Friday Reads

Good Morning!

Much is being made of the election results that delivered a sound thumping to Republicans and their agenda to restrict the rights of women and minorities and to provide benefits to the wealthy and powerful.  A record number of women will be serving in the US Senate.  Five new women will be headed there.  Of all the significant races, Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren appears to have garnered the most hope and angst. Simon Johnson considers her election “important”.

Senator Warren is well placed, not just to play a role in strengthening Congressional oversight but also in terms of helping her colleagues think through what we really need to make our financial system more stable.

We need a new approach to regulation more generally – and not just for banking. We should aim to simplify and to make matters more transparent, exactly along Senator Warren’s general lines.

We should confront excessive market power, irrespective of the form that it takes.

We need a new trust-busting moment. And this requires elected officials willing and able to stand up to concentrated and powerful corporate interests. Empower the consumer – and figure out how this can get you elected.

Agree with the people of Massachusetts, and give Elizabeth Warren every opportunity.

Laura Gottesdiener thinks Warren’s election may usher in the end of the Tea Party.

Warren, who beat out the incumbent Republican Scott Brown in a bitter election, ran a campaign centered on connecting the dots between economic policies and personal values. A Harvard bankruptcy-law professor, Warren trumpeted a platform that called for economic reform, financial regulation and the protection of Social Security, Medicare and other safety-net programs.

“We said this election is about whose side you’re on,” Warren told The Huffington Post . “I think of this as an election where we stuck to our values: Make sure Social Security and Medicare benefits are protected, and millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. To me, that’s the heart of it. That’s really where the basic social contract is reaffirmed.”

This type of populist platform became increasingly risky after Citizens United allowed for the infusion of billions of dollars into state elections. Warren was already well disliked on Wall Street for her role in creating and heading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a watchdog agency that seeks “to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans — whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products.”

 Warren may be given a seat on the powerful senate banking committee which has to be worrying Wall Street.

Senior Senate Democratic aides, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Massachusetts senator-elect is a logical fit for the committee, even though it is rare for a freshman senator to get such a plum assignment.

If she gets the slot, Warren’s bully pulpit would be replaced with real power.

The bipartisan panel can greatly influence policy decisions through its oversight of financial services, international trade, insurance, housing, securities and economic issues.

Warren, who has called for breaking up the big banks, could move to block legislative tweaks to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial oversight law that would blunt the full impact of profit-pummeling reforms.

She would also be able to forcefully push for regulators to use all the powers available to them to write strict interpretations of rules.

That could mean stronger curbs on Wall Street trading, higher capital buffers and rules that would compel mega-banks to shrink.

Warren and other Senators will have to watch the President and Speaker of the House as they battle of the so-called fiscal cliff before getting their say in the budget.

While no can say for sure how the negotiations to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” — the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and impending across-the-board spending cuts — will unfold, the betting here is it will get ugly before it gets better.

First, virtually no one believes what happened last time will happen this time: President Obamawon’t cave on extending tax cuts for upper income earners.

So will House Republicans come to the table voluntarily, before the first of the year? Or will it require all hell breaking loose — an expiration of the income and payroll tax cuts, sequestration, the estate tax, and the AMT kicking in, cap gains and dividend rates rising — before they are forced to come kicking and screaming to an agreement?

The president holds a lot of leverage here — not just because he just won, Democrats expanded their majority in the Senate, and gained seats in the House. He holds leverage because, structurally, we’re talking about tax cuts that are expiring. His position is clear: The rate for the wealthiest will be allowed to go up. If he is willing to go to the wall and let the the lower rates expire, pressure shifts to House Speaker John Boehner to make a deal before his conference is isolated by the business community, which more than anything wants D.C. to just cut a deal, and Senate Republicans, who cut a deal and sold Boehner out last time. Add to that a tanking market and mounting economic hysteria, and that’s a lot of pressure on the House GOP true believers, Allen West or no Allen West.

The conventional wisdom is that Obama and Republicans will make a short term deal on taxes and sequestration — kicking that can down the road yet again — contingent on agreement on a “framework” for tax reform to be done in the first part of 2013.

There is incentive for Boehner to try and make an early deal, before the first of the year. The question, as always, is will he have the votes to allow tax rates on the wealthy to rise? Seems doubtful. He would have to be a pretty firm and big commitment from Obama on tax and entitlement reform to get them to go along.

Is it a matter of who will blink first?  Here’s a conversation between Ramesh Ponnuru and Margaret Carlson.  This is Ponnur’s take.

Does Boehner mean that tax reform should raise money by cutting tax breaks more than it cuts tax rates? Or does he mean that it should raise money just by encouraging economic growth?

If it’s the first, Boehner is going to have a problem with conservatives — especially Grover Norquist, the party’s anti- tax enforcer. If it’s the second, he’s not talking about much revenue.

That’s a bargain that sounds grand to me, but liberals who just won an election might disagree, don’t you think? My guess is he’s being ambiguous so he can gauge the reaction.

Another question: What leverage does Boehner have, and what leverage does he think he has? Obama doesn’t have to cut any deal to get a lot of extra revenue. He can let taxes go up as scheduled and challenge the Republicans to cut them only for the middle class. Republicans can either go along or decide not to and then blame him for the resulting middle-class tax hikes. Who likes their odds better in that fight?

Republicans have another bit of leverage, beyond the threat of blaming Democrats for tax increases: We’re getting close to hitting the debt ceiling again, and in the normal order of thingsHouse Republicans would have to agree to lift it.

Carlson has this to say.

In an election that was otherwise a debacle for Republicans, the House held its majority, and Boehner holds the gavel as long as he coddles his most extreme members. So he will.

Meanwhile, the president (unless you see something in him, Ramesh, that I don’t) still believes in this hope-y, change-y stuff Republicans consider a joke. He still sees himself as a historic figure that can bridge the partisan divide.

It is Boehner’s tiny, eensy-weensy bit of openness to dealing with Obama that is enraging conservatives. At the same time, it is playing to Obama’s view of himself. The president’s signature trait is an inability to negotiate from strength. He leads with his best offer. If Obama were buying a car, he’d probably pay full price and leave without radial tires.

In fairness to Obama, it’s foolish to call the bluff of an opposition that’s already shown it will allow the U.S. to default on its debt.

You’re right, Ramesh, that Obama doesn’t have to do anything at all to raise revenue. But he can’t risk raising taxes on the working and middle classes when the economy is still shaky. Republicans, by contrast, are willing to risk anything.

One of the quiet victories of the election is the failure of the NRA whose candidates didn’t do well this election.

The Sunlight Foundation, a campaign watchdog group, found that the NRA’s Political Victory Fund – the political arm of the nation’s largest gun lobbying organization – spent almost $11 million for or against individual candidates in the general elections, but got less than a 1 percent return on its investment.

The NRA, for instance, spent more than $7.4 million in opposition to President Obama and almost $1.9 million in support of Mitt Romney, according to Sunlight. But Obama was the victor on Tuesday, and the NRA had similar bad luck trying to influence Senate and House races.

For example, the group put almost $538,000 behind Indiana Senate contender Richard Mourdock (R), who lost, and spent more than $512,000 to oppose Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who won, according to Sunlight.

Conversely, Planned Parenthood did an outstanding job!

Planned Parenthood’s political wing trounced other groups with a near perfect return on its election spending, according to a new numbers review.

The Sunlight Foundation found that Planned Parenthood’s advocacy arm and super-PAC spent about $5 million and $7 million, respectively, to oppose Republicans and support Democrats in the general election.

In the end, the two groups saw returns on investment of about 98 and 99 percent, according to Sunlight.

The figures come as election-watchers pick apart the most expensive cycle in history. Republicans’ loss in the presidential race and failure to claim the Senate came as a surprise to outside donors, many of whom spent millions to ensure GOP victories.

Planned Parenthood’s political wing played an outsized role in the general election, compared to cycles past. The flood of political activity came as Republicans vowed to end Planned Parenthood’s federal funding as a healthcare provider for low-income women. Conservatives argue that while the law technically bans public funds from supporting abortions, taxpayer money need not flow to a group that performs the procedures.

The election covered a wide range of women’s health issues in addition to public funds for Planned Parenthood, giving the group ample chance to advocate in favor of abortion rights and access to free birth control.

The only outside groups that came close to beating Planned Parenthood’s return on investment were Majority PAC, which fought for Democratic Senate candidates, with a success rate of about 88 percent, and the Service Employees International Union PEA-Federal, with about an 85 percent success rate.

I’ll end with offering some beautiful finds in a Thracian burial site in Bulgaria.


The researchers found fragments of a wooden box, containing charred bones and ashes, along with a number of extremely well-preserved golden objects, dated from the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd century B. C.. They include four spiral gold bracelets, and a number of intricate applications like one which shows the head of a female goddess adorned with beads, applications on horse riding gear and a forehead covering in the shape of a horse head with a base shaped like a lion head. The objects weigh 1.5 kg, but the excavations continue.

The precious find also contains a ring, buttons and beads. Gergova explains that it seemed the treasure was wrapped in a gold-woven cloth because a number of gold threads were discovered nearby.

The Professor says these were, most likely, remnants from a ritual burial, adding the team expects to discover a huge burial ground, probably related to the funeral of the Gath ruler Kotela, one of the father-in-laws of Philip II of Macedon. She notes this is a unique find, never before discovered in Bulgaria.

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88 Comments on “Friday Reads”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    Until the GOP begins to look inward for the reason they lost they will never be able to fashion a coherent message.

    It wasn’t Barack Obama or Hurricane Sandy or Nate Silver that sunk their chances but themselves. It was their platform, message, and candidates that were rejected based on their radical approach for the future.

    The majority of public opinion sits somewhere in the range of 70% for keeping social safety nets in place and rejects the proposals to turn women into human Pez dispensers in expelling baby after baby regardless of the circumstances. Conferring “personhood” on a zygot with the same rights as a human being is reaching far beyond the norm.

    Four years devoted to nothing more than making Obama a one term president shifted the issues of the needs of a nation, suffering one of the worst economic crisis since the days of the Depression,off to the sidelines while they played games is another of their undoings.

    The nominee himself left much to be desired. Feeling that all he had to do was show up at an event while betting the odds that there were enough voters out there who disliked Obama enough to “throw the bum out” was not enough. He wobbled, wiggled, and lied like no other candidate I have ever seen in my lifetime.

    You can’t blame Romney entirely. If not him then who? Bachmann? Santorum? Perry? Gingrich? Cain? Not a dime’s worth of difference amongst them. They all carried the same message, the same platform, the same proposals and there was not one – with the exception of Santorum who I believe truly believes in his own bullshit – that could be trusted.

    This is the current GOP. A collection of lunatics, liars, and ignoramuses. They defeated themselves.

    • Joanelle says:

      Amen, Pat -well said.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      How could it be the GOP’s fault? Not only are they Right, but they’re also correct (in their minds) on every issue. Reduce the size of gov’t (cut gov’t jobs for middle class workers, gut the social safety net), increase offense spending & build the Starship Enterprise, install surveillance cameras in women’s vaginas & let Christian preachers tell you who to vote for. Anyone who doesn’t agree with this platform – they aren’t Real Americans. They are all fine until they step outside Republican World & enter reality. Faux News – the new LSD for white men & their Stepford wives.

      • peggysue22 says:

        Oooo, Jon Huntsman at State would certainly be an interesting choice. And I heard POTUS is seriously considering reaching outside the party for some of these replacements. Just stay away from the Repugs for Defense, please!

        I picked up a C-span vid where the Tea Party made a declaration of war on the establishment Republicans. The civil war has begun. To listen to these people is to be convinced of how thoroughly deluded these members are. They really believe these ideas represent the majority opinion in the country, even though they took a trouncing in the elections. There’s something very dangerous in this refusal to accept what is, rather than what they wish [and demand] happen in a country clearly not on their wavelength.

        Link here:

        http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/AgendaAf

        Interesting times!

      • bostonboomer says:

        Why should Obama appoint more Republicans to the cabinet? I won’t support that. We need Democrats this time. How about Christina Romer for Treasury Secretary?

        • ecocatwoman says:

          I wasn’t seriously suggesting Huntsman, but I’d prefer him to Bowles. My depth of knowledge about diplomatic experts is less than a quarter inch deep. That’s probably painfully obvious to everyone here.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Bowles is thought to be a candidate for Treasury Secretary, not State. Bowles is a Democrat, supposedly, but not really. If Huntsman wants to be SOS, he should switch parties. Same with Sheila Bair if she wants Treasury. But that won’t happen, because Obama treated her like shit before.

        Geithner is a Republican too. It’s time for Obama to start acting like Democrat and appoint Democrats. He tried it Geithner’s way, and the recovery has been very slow. It’s time for Obama to listen to some real Democrats. He ran a populist campaign, and he’d better live up to his promises or there will be hell to pay. Unions are really fired up at this point. They’re not going to accept Obama effectively instituting Romney’s policies.

        • ecocatwoman says:

          Big oops on my part. I threw Huntsman’s name out on the discussion of Kerry/Patrick for State & then mixed it up when I was responding to your response about Huntsman to that. On Treasury, I know Bair was pushed out & that she’s a Republican. I’ve seen her on panels & on Moyers & although I’m not a financial expert, she sounded smart, reasonable & capable. Hey, if it was my choice I’d probably put Bill Clinton at State & Krugman or Reich at Treasury. I’m not professing to be an expert in either area, just putting my 2 cents in.

      • RalphB says:

        I’m with you on that BB. Though I can think of a Republican or two who would be excellent, like Sheila Bair. Frankly, they aren’t recognizable as Republicans anymore though. Think Lugar at State, could do a lot worse.

    • Fannie says:

      Here, hear – word: Rejection from the good citizens of USA.

  2. ANonOMouse says:

    Thanks for the info on Elizabeth Warren and what her role may be in the next Congress. I’m so excited about her potential to change the direction of the debate on economic matters, consumer issues, and the social compacts. I hope she can make her presence felt quickly.

    On the Fiscal Cliff: I predict Dems will take it to the American people and then take the leap, because they have no other choice with the intransigent GOP/TP. I’ve watched the fights in both the House and the Senate via CSPAN ever since the TP/GOP took the House majority. There is no option but to force them, and in the process force all of us, to take the potion that the GOP/TP has concoted through their inability to compromise. I predict this is a fight we will win, but it will be painful for all of us peons before the GOP/TP capitulates. .

    On Gover Norquist……His “pledge” has been soundly rejected by the American public. Those who persist on honoring their allegiance to Norquist instead of their oath of office and the will of the people of the USA, will either compromise or go the way of Allen West.

    On the NRA…….No one is coming to get the guns, you dumbclucks. On the morning after the election, I called my son-in-law, the gun collector, who has actually fallen for the “Obama is coming to get your guns” bullshit, and asked him if he still had his guns. He did, so did I..Who knew? Reasonable people knew, that’s who!!!! .

    On Planned Parenthood, five words sum up it’s election victory. WIN, WIN, WIN, WIN, WIN !!!!!

    FYI: A Public Service Announcement……”President Obama is expected to make a statement on the U.S. economy and “fiscal cliff” from the East Room at the White House on Friday at 1 PM EST, CNN reported late Thursday”.

    This is getting ready to get REALLY GOOD, REALLY QUICK!!

    Thanks for the great post Dak, have a super day Sky Dancers.

    • Joanelle says:

      Yep, living in NJ, I watched with my nose pressed against the glass all throughout Warren’s campaign but frankly that was my election night focus- I was thrilled to see her squash Brown – and am excited about her – and our potential now that she is where she needs to be to do some real good!

      • Pat Johnson says:

        The irony of Brown’s loss is this: if Hillary resigns as they expect her to, John Kerry may very well be tapped as her replacement.

        This leaves another Senate seat open and they are suggesting that Brown would win this time out.

        The other interesting tidbit is that Obama will tap his good friend Deval who has only 2 more years as governor for a cabinet post thus leaving that position open.

        The whispers are that Brown will go for either one of those openings and will more than likely win one.

        Not sure of who would be the Dem nominee for either position so far.

        Stay tuned.

        • ecocatwoman says:

          It’s info like this, Pat, that makes alternate realities appear attractive. I think both Kerry & Patrick should stay put. Both would be more effective where they are, IMHO. I’d rather see Obama tap Jon Huntsman for SOS, than either Kerry or Patrick. I don’t know enough of the players to even suggest anyone, but I do know that no one will be able to fill Hillary’s shoes.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        Bernie Sanders will finally have someone else to yell FIRE & hopefully light one under those other a$$es in Congress.

  3. Joanelle says:

    Great post, Dak – thanks!

  4. bostonboomer says:

    I hope the Democrats hang tough and just step off the fiscal curb, as Lawrence O’Donnell called it last night. I’m sick and tired of House Republicans and their power trip.

    I watched some of Morning Joe today, and the message was that Obama should go on bended knee and do whatever the Republicans demand. If he does, there will be hell to pay. That’s not what the American people voted for, and a lot of them are paying attention now.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Exactly, BB!!!!

    • ecocatwoman says:

      That seems to be the pervasive Repug message. You won, Obama, now beg for our forgiveness & be our lap dog. These Repugs all must have thought Romeo & Juliet had a happy ending & Hamlet was a comedy, ’cause they just don’t get it. It’s time for them to change the name of their party to the Cognitive Dissonance Party.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      I’m 100% with you.

      None of us here signed up another “grand bargain” tribute where the 1% gets moved up a few notches and back to the Clinton era but then handing over drastic cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits in pretense of phony bipartisanship.

      The GoP had their “fun” holding the rest of us hostage for 4 miserable years and should not be playcated. I am sick to death of Boehner and McConnell making demands for things nobody wants.

      Kill the Catfood Commission proposals and get serious. Make cuts in the military and oil subsidies. Put fines on Wall Street and make them accountable. Get the troops out of Afghanistan now. Tell those who benefited so greatly in the last 12 years that the ride is over. Enough of the pussy footing and obstructionism. This is what we voted for.

      Let Boehner hoist himself on his own petard if he can’t keep the loonies in line and let the public see once and for all what they are up against.

      If Obama is concerned about his “legacy” now is the time to act. But anymore GOP appointments in key posts is not going to do it.

  5. joanelle says:

    I’m not a Maddow fan but she summarized some good things here:

    http://www.towleroad.com/2012/11/rachel-maddow-on-the-election-video.html

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Okay, I’ll bite, because I love Rachel. Just curious – not trying to be antagonistic – what don’t you like about her?

      • joanelle says:

        I guess I’m still harboring my feelings about her pretty vicious attacks of Hillary.

        • ecocatwoman says:

          That makes sense to me. I love MHP too, but she still occasionally throws out something about Hillary that sets my teeth on edge. Personally, since Jon Stewart called out the media talking heads, I’ve seen a big turn around in MSNBC & in Rachel in particular. And the fact that MSNBC has made Rachel the moderator/hall monitor for the debates & elections & the boyz actually listen to her – I love it. But both 2000 & 2008 rancor I felt will follow me to my grave.

    • Boo Radly says:

      Rachel was glowing last night. First time I have watched any MSM program in years and first time for Rachel. She was in her element it seemed – she had the facts and adored sharing each fact – she was terrific.I’m so jaded – I’m not a fan of anyone(‘cept Skydancing) but I really admired Rachel last night – it seemed like an old fashioned, real facts program, you know, pre-Faux style, democratic values, etc. I would love to have a coupe of our Skydancing posters serving up political commentary. I know this is not the huge pendulum swing this country needs – just the beginning. But – it is so sweet to savor the landside losses of the Rethugs – so sweet- allowed me to dream of a better America.

      Question – does stupid make someone hate so much or is it hate makes stupid? Those quasi dems we used to mingle with online – blech! The viral ones are disgusting, but , the ones who just support nothing, try to just attack BO as well as R – stand for nothing.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        For me, that’s the 64 million dollar question. In a way, it’s kind of chicken/egg thing. One of those inscrutable mysteries of the universe. I think it’s a shame those types don’t have some sign on them or a tell of some kind so we could just cross to the other side of the street when we see them. Reason & confrontation don’t seem to work, so avoidance is the only solution that I’ve found.

      • NW Luna says:

        Blech, indeed!

        I especially don’t understand the ones who say they’re for decent healthcare, living-wage jobs, higher taxes on the rich, women’s right to decide if/when to have kids, etc., — but then say they support Romney!

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Krugman speaks for me: Let’s not make a deal.

    President Obama has to make a decision, almost immediately, about how to deal with continuing Republican obstruction. How far should he go in accommodating the G.O.P.’s demands?

    My answer is, not far at all. Mr. Obama should hang tough, declaring himself willing, if necessary, to hold his ground even at the cost of letting his opponents inflict damage on a still-shaky economy. And this is definitely no time to negotiate a “grand bargain” on the budget that snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.

    In saying this, I don’t mean to minimize the very real economic dangers posed by the so-called fiscal cliff that is looming at the end of this year if the two parties can’t reach a deal. Both the Bush-era tax cuts and the Obama administration’s payroll tax cut are set to expire, even as automatic spending cuts in defense and elsewhere kick in thanks to the deal struck after the 2011 confrontation over the debt ceiling. And the looming combination of tax increases and spending cuts looks easily large enough to push America back into recession.

    Nobody wants to see that happen. Yet it may happen all the same, and Mr. Obama has to be willing to let it happen if necessary.

    Why? Because Republicans are trying, for the third time since he took office, to use economic blackmail to achieve a goal they lack the votes to achieve through the normal legislative process. In particular, they want to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, even though the nation can’t afford to make those tax cuts permanent and the public believes that taxes on the rich should go up — and they’re threatening to block any deal on anything else unless they get their way. So they are, in effect, threatening to tank the economy unless their demands are met.

    Mr. Obama essentially surrendered in the face of similar tactics at the end of 2010, extending low taxes on the rich for two more years. He made significant concessions again in 2011, when Republicans threatened to create financial chaos by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. And the current potential crisis is the legacy of those past concessions.

    Well, this has to stop — unless we want hostage-taking, the threat of making the nation ungovernable, to become a standard part of our political process.

    So what should he do? Just say no, and go over the cliff if necessary.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Totally, absolutely, without a doubt AGREE! The Repugs are brats who threaten to hold their breath unless they get what THEY want & F the American people. Or, Obama could always fall back on “America doesn’t negotiate with terrorists.” Republicans are acting like a terrorist group & it must stop – NOW!

      Oh, and if not Bair for Treasury, I’d be perfectly content with Krugman in that slot. That’s my version of hopey/changey, as Colbert calls it.

    • RalphB says:

      I never argue with Paul Krugman! The USA does not negotiate with terrorists and the Republicans in the House have been economic terrorists too many times already.

      We should jump off the cliff if they won’t deal. It’s not really a cliff anyway.

    • RalphB says:

      Not surprisingly, Business Insider agrees with Krugthulu.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/krugman-on-the-fiscal-cliff-2012-11

    • prolixous says:

      Agree totally with Krug — no negotiation, but there has to be a price for the R’s willingness to do irreparable harm to the country. While the fiscal cliff is more like a fiscal glide slope, the WH should employ everyone who can cogently put a noun and verb together to go out and talk about the willingness of the Rs to hold the country hostage over a 4% increase on the wealthiest 1.2 million Americans.

      That’s all it is — 4% on 1.2 million wealthy Americans who have made out like bandits for the past decade. The WH needs to have everyone and their dog in every Tea Party district knowing that these spout-sucking Tea Partiers are willing to wreck a fragile recovery over 4% on millionaires.

      And while I’m at it — fudge a big lotta tax deduction reforms — it is a ruse to open Pandora’s box on loopholes and deductions. Make the Tea Partiers eat the 4% increase, bow and embarrass them to the point of shame, and then and only then start dabbling in tax reform.

  7. RalphB says:

    Bill Maher’s blog post is dead on right. GOP brand identification has reached “pink slime” territory.

    Why the Republicans Lost
    =

  8. RalphB says:

    ROFLMAO! Sometimes one just has to sit back and marvel.

    NYMag: With Just Four Years to Go, Poll Shows Hillary Clinton Leading 2016 Iowa Caucuses

    According to a new survey by Public Policy Polling, Hillary Clinton currently has 58 percent of the vote in the 2016 Iowa caucuses, followed by Joe Biden at 17 percent, Andrew Cuomo at 6 percent, and Elizabeth Warren at 3 percent. Warren’s dismal showing isn’t surprising, considering that she’s done nothing for Massachusetts residents in the two days since she was elected.

  9. NW Luna says:

    WA state is still waiting to see if we have Jay Inslee, former Congressman, as our Dem governor, or Rob McKenna as Republican governor. McKenna is that rare breed, a moderate Republican (meaning his policies stance is just like Obama’s.)

    51.1% Inslee, 48.8% McKenna, with approx half a million ballots yet to count. Most of the remaining ballots are from the blue-stronghold Seattle area. Washington hasn’t elected a Republican governor for over 2 decades.

    Unfortunately a charter-school initiative, supported by huge money donors, passed.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Didn’t the last gubernatorial election get a long delay before decision too? Too bad they can’t just export the data into an Excel spreadsheet & hit the Sum icon.

      • NW Luna says:

        Yeah, three elections in a row, the vote-counting for governor dragged on. One year — it was 2004, Christine Gregoire (D) paid for a hand recount. She turned out to have won. We got $$ support from across the country for the recount; everyone was smarting from losing Ohio by a few votes (or perhaps not with the long lines, voter suppression and voting-machine shenanigans there.)

  10. bostonboomer says:

    John Boehner just had a press conference in which he arrogantly proposed the Romney tax cut plan and made it clear that he believes the deficit must be balanced through cuts to “entitlements.” He adamantly refused to consider any tax increased on the rich and sidestepped questions about closing loopholes.

    It’s clear that his position is that any revenues can only come magically by cutting taxes and supposedly expanding the economy, i.e., magic. He even suggested lowering taxes beyond the Bush cuts, a la Romney’s plan!

    Obama is speaking at 1PM. He’d better be geared up to fight and stand strong!

    • RalphB says:

      Let’s see what he says after all the Bush tax cuts expire. That would be my route anyway.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      “Obama is speaking at 1PM. He’d better be geared up to fight and stand strong!”

      i”m really anxious to hear this speech. I think we’ll know at the end of it which direction Obama intends to go. These are the fights I live for..

      • bostonboomer says:

        The MSNBC people are saying Obama will be conciliatory and talk about bipartisanship. I hope that’s not true.

  11. madamab says:

    I fully expect Obama to fold. I will be extremely happy if he doesn’t.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      madam……..We’re going to find out if he’s learned that you can’t dance with devil. There will be compromise of some sort, that’s a necessity, but I don’t expect it will the sort of compromise that will be unacceptable.

    • bostonboomer says:

      OMG! Can you believe that guy is a Boston Radio host? I can’t stand him. He’s insane!

      • RalphB says:

        Obama’s speech was straight to the point and seemed strong to me.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I agree Ralph…..He takes middle america tax rates, including payroll tax increases off the table, and then says we will look for compromise on the rest. He sounded strong and I believe he’s learned some lessons from the last round of talks. I don’t believe he will allow any sort of dismantling of SS/Medicare/Medicaid, but will work to find ways to cost save through adminstrative practice and in Medicare/Medicaid best practice revisions. I think part 1 will happen before 12/31 and the rest will be hammered out in the 113th. If the GOP/TP obstructs it will be a disaster for them..

      • RalphB says:

        I didn’t hear him sing Kumbaya either. He knows the American people voted for him and his plans and he’s gonna push them.

    • RalphB says:

      That guy is a truly disgusting idiot!

  12. pdgrey says:

    Why in the hell would Obama raise the age of SS to get something that is going to happen Dec.31? F Chuckie Todd

    • Fannie says:

      reminds me of the little girl last year on you tube…….why do girls have to buy pink toys and princesses?

  13. Fannie says:

    Four Star General David Patreus has resigned……………he’s been messing around with some other woman, and has hurt his wife Holly…………………….wow, honor is the word. This seems personal, but other questions will be asked………..about CIA

  14. jawbone says:

    Kristina vanden Huevel pointed out on The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC this morning that the Dems won the popular vote for the House.,

    Counting all votes cast for House members, the highest number went to the Dems. The Repubs won because of canny, sometimes ugly, redistricting. Obama either was terribly stupid about understanding the 2010 election’s importance…or he understood it all too well for his conservative agenda…. In a perfect electoral set up, the Dems should be in control of the House, but the world is not at all perfect.

    Interesting, no? This should also confirm that the demographic changes, as Rudy Texieira
    and his writing partner pointed out a few years ago, completely favors the Democratic Party.

    Now all we need are real Democrats in a real Democratic Party….

    • RalphB says:

      What was Obama supposed to do about state redistricting? Gerrymandering is done in the state legislatures and the Justice Dept stepped in where they could, like in Texas.

    • bostonboomer says:

      What?

      “Obama either was terribly stupid about understanding the 2010 election’s importance…or he understood it all too well for his conservative agenda….”

      The out party nearly always has big gains in the midterms. I guess Obama could have spent more time trying to sell the ACA and the stimulus, but I’m not sure it would have done that much good in the economic environment. But to suggest that he wanted a bunch of tea party nut jobs in the House? That’s a bridge too far for me.

      BTW, even Barney Frank in MA was a victim of redistricting. And this state couldn’t be much more Democratic. I’m not sure how it happened, but it did.

  15. dakinikat says:

    This is interesting

    Mystery firm is election’s top corporate donor at $5.3 million

    http://www.southernstudies.org/2012/11/mystery-firm-is-elections-top-corporate-donor-at-53-million.html

  16. jawbone says:

    The MCM’s (Mainstream Corporate Media’s) acceptance of the Cat Food Commission, Pete Peterson’s big push for austerity, the idea of a fiscal freakin’ CLIFF instead of a fiscal slope, etc., is driving me crazy.

    Even on Science Friday, the host intro’d the show by asking how falling off the fiscal cliff would affect scientific research funding.

    Good grief! On a show devoted to reason and factual evidence!!