Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Wednesday, December 21, 2011



House G.O.P. Leaders Agree to Extension of Payroll Tax Cut
Republican leaders bowed to intense pressure from members of their party to end a politically damaging impasse, agreeing to accept a two-month extension of a payroll tax holiday.

How curious is this?  The party of NO TAXES! refused the payroll tax cut extension compromise, which means taxes will go up for Americans. 

Read that again:  The GOP is for raising your taxes!

The GOP, in their maniacal hatred of President Obama, will actually act contrary to all they believe in order to prevent a compromise with the Kenyan Marxist Socialist Commie.  You gotta admire, in a sick way, the depth of their derangement here and their willingness to abandon all they stand for in service to that hatred. 

Speaker Boehner has lost control of the House to the Tea Party freshmen, who know nothing about governing and who took over in November of 2010; and Boehner, along with them, is taking his party off a cliff to certain disaster.

Even the Wall Street Journal, no cheerleader for Mr. Obama, has this to say about the lastest political insanity from the House Republicans:

The GOP's Payroll Tax Fiasco:

How did Republicans manage to lose the tax issue to Obama?

After a year of the tea party House, Mr. Obama and Senate Democrats have had to make no major policy concessions beyond extending the Bush tax rates for two years. Mr. Obama is in a stronger re-election position today than he was a year ago, and the chances of Mr. McConnell becoming Majority Leader in 2013 are declining.

From the Associated Press:

"John Boehner vowed early on that as speaker, he would let the House “work its will.” At the end of his first year in charge of the fractious Republican-controlled chamber, it’s clear he has little choice.

An uncompromising band of conservatives, led by GOP freshmen to whom Boehner owes his speakership, has repeatedly forced him to back away from deals with President Barack Obama, Democrats and, this week, even one struck by Senate Republicans. Gridlock, again and again, has defined Congress in the Boehner era even as Americans fume and the economy continues to wobble."

From Reuters:

"In Congress' tense drama over how to extend payroll tax cuts for 160 million Americans, it may be the most intriguing subplot: whether Republican House Speaker John Boehner is losing his grip on members of his own party."

Jay Carney, WH Press Secretary:

White House: President Obama Not A "Marriage Counselor"

"TPM - In his daily briefing to reporters, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said there's no good reason for House Republicans not to support the Senate's compromise legislation on extending a payroll tax cut. Carney said the Senate compromise was "a result that was deemed by the Speaker of the House as a good deal." "The president is not, and should not be a marriage counselor" between House and Senate Republicans, Carney said, when asked whether the president would work to bridge the divide between the two chambers."


"Many on the left credit President Obama's rise in the latest polls to the idea that he's adopted a "more populist" message lately. But those of us who have watched him closely these past few years know two things: First of all, we paid attention to the populism in his message all along. And secondly, we also recognized the long game he was playing of continuing to be "the only adult in the room" focused on real solutions. As I've said before, with Republicans adopting a policy of total obstruction, that forced them into an ever smaller corner of extremism, which is causing the divide today.

That, my friends, is the definition of conciliatory rhetoric as ruthless strategy. And as far as I can see...its working."

Photo via Democratic Underground


Rational Nation USA said...

Actually the republican led congress wants to extend the points of discussion here for a period on one year rather than two months.

I continue to scratch my head in amusement.

Oh the drama of it all.

Leslie Parsley said...

RN: If you fall for that disingenuous nonsense, you'll fall for most anything. This is just another stall tactic. Funny how raising taxes on the middle class and struggling Americans while not raising them on the top wealthiest doesn't seem to bother you.

This NBC Nightly News video illustrates the total disrespect Boehner and his laughing hyenas have for the Office of President, for our government, for the seriousness of the situation in our country, and for their own responsibilities as representatives of the people. They act like this is a big frat party with joking and laughter all around. Totally appalling.

FF to 1:20 to see all these laughing/smirking goons as they come out of chambers. And then go to 2:10 to see the real horror show. People like this should not be in Congress, period.

Rational Nation USA said...

The joke is certainly not on me. I was not addressing taxing the wealthy.

Nor was I addressing the POTUS's position.

I was sticking to facts. Not something some choose to do.

So, the POTUS and the democrats should call em on it and give them the year.

But of course that wouldn't fit the narrative of the progressive now would it?

Shaw Kenawe said...


"Speaker Boehner requested that Senator McConnell and I work out a compromise,” Mr. Reid said, referring to the minority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. “Neither side got everything they wanted, but we forged a middle ground that passed the Senate by an overwhelming bipartisan majority.”

Although Mr. McConnell, like scores of his colleagues, voted for the Senate-brokered bill, he retreated from the measure on Sunday, throwing his support behind Mr. Boehner’s idea to come up with a yearlong extension, which was the original goal of Mr. Obama and Senate Democrats."


"Republican leaders are seeking a deal for a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut to try to blunt what are certain to be Democratic accusations heading into an election year that Republicans are against tax cuts for low- and middle-income workers.

The conflict over the Senate bill reflects the fundamental unease that many rank-and-file Republicans have expressed for weeks over extending the tax holiday, which would replace the tax increase that would have gone toward the Social Security fund with general fund money.

It also mirrors a well-established pattern of House conservatives undermining Mr. Boehner’s efforts to reach bipartisan compromises on a variety of fiscal matters. In July, Mr. Boehner and Mr. Obama were close to reaching a large deficit-reduction agreement but retreated when it became clear that the most conservative House Republicans would not agree to new revenue measures like increasing the income tax paid by the wealthy.

“We are witnessing a pattern of Speaker Boehner walking away from bipartisan compromises to kowtow to his extreme Tea Party wing of his caucus,” Representative Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland, said in a statement. “This is the latest example of the Tea Party Republicans sacrificing the good of the country on the altar of extreme ideology.”

From the NYTimes 12/21/2011

billy pilgrim said...

it seems to me that the people who have jobs should pay the payroll tax that social security needs. isn't it the poor people without jobs that should have a few kopeks tossed their way rather than giving more money to those with jobs?

both of your political parties seem to be more interested in buying votes with money they don't have than addressing the deficit. if it can't be brought under control now, wait and see what happens when interest rates climb.

Rational Nation USA said...

The New York Times? Right... A very {mind you} unbiased publication.

As to kopecks, well I prefer dollars. Backed by gold if you don't mind.

Anonymous said...

The Speaker's problem with the Tea Party caucus, is not Obama's concern.
Obama's concern is getting reelected. He is doing that fine, without regard to what's best for middle and poor class Americans.
It's easy to make Republicans look bad. A little harder to repair his well deserved negative ratings.

Shaw Kenawe said...


What was in the NYTimes is a factual report. The report is NOT an op-ed piece or an opinion column.

If you think it is biased, please find me something factual and linked that refutes what was reported.


Rational Nation USA said...

Fact: The leadership is seeking a deal to extend for one year.

Opinion: They may or may not be doing so for reasons believed by some or many.

Opinion: The may or may not be right in opposing the 2 month as opposed to the full year.

Fact: The Senate version is just kicking the can down the road a shorter distance.

Opinion: The WSJ is likely correct.

Shaw Kenawe said...


This disputes what you've written:

Washington (CNN) -- The gridlock and partisanship that threatens to ruin Christmas in Washington could be an election year gift for President Barack Obama's campaign.

A growing number of voters , 50% compared to 44% in March, trust Obama to solve the nation's problems while the percentage of those with faith in congressional Republicans is slipping, according to a CNN/ORC International Poll.

CNN Poll: President's approval nearing 50%

This comment from you:

"Obama's concern is getting reelected. He is doing that fine, without regard to what's best for middle and poor class Americans."

is risible, and obviously uninformed.

And you apparently don't pay attention to presidential politics, because if you did, you would understand that EVERY president is concerned with getting re-elected, not just Mr. Obama. And I, for one, am glad he's doing better in the polls so that he will have a better chance at winning a second term.

Shaw Kenawe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shaw Kenawe said...

Let's look at the House Payroll Tax Cut Bill

1. Extends payroll tax cuts for one year.

2. Cuts the amount of weeks the feds help pay for long-term unemployme­nt benefits.

3. Exempts the Coal industry from upcoming environmen­tal regulation­s they have been exempted from before.

4. Keystone pipeline.

5. Drug-testi­ng for unemployed people to collect benefits.

6. Raises Medicare premiums on those making $85k or more (hello means-test­ing)

7. Freeze pay for federal workers (again)

8. Make federal workers pay for more of their benefits (again)

9. Hike fees on banks that do business with Fannie and Freddie.

I can't understand why the Dems can't get behind this. It's obvious how deeply the GOP loves the workers in this country.


Anonymous said...

Oh please,
Bush's ratings were 30 points higher and these ratings are Obama's best in 3 years
Obamamaniacs will make him look good even when he is pro Bush tax cuts and extends them
A two month extension is not in the best interests of poor and middle class Americans. Neither was an extension of the Bush tax cuts.
Have fun living in your delusion.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Some quick thoughts:

The dispute between House and Senate Republicans is highly unusual for a party that trades on loyalty and solidarity and keeps disagreements behind closed doors. It can also be argued that the Tea Party insurgency was unstable from the beginning, and the rift between ‘establishment’ Republicans and party extremists is now out in the open.

The scathing WSJ editorial is a PR debacle for the GOP and a bonanza for the Democrats.

According to recent polls, President Obama’s approval ratings have approached the all-important 50% level. Public perception is not absolute but relative to the field of available candidates, and the GOP field is generally regarded as under-qualified, loony, or too extreme for mainstream voters. Thus, the president wins by default.

Most Americans, regardless of party affiliation, are getting sick and tired of gridlock and obstruction by Tea Party insurgents; and the political pendulum is far more likely to swing against the party holding the House hostage.

Shaw Kenawe said...

@Anonymous 3:53 AM: "Bush's ratings were 30 points higher and these ratings are Obama's best in 3years."

No. That's not true:

From Gallup:

"Obama's Historic Popularity

Obama's favorable ratings from the American people have increased since the election -- rising to 70%, up from 61% in Gallup Poll Daily tracking from Nov. 1-3. But even the pre-election 61% reading broke records, marking the highest rating for any presidential candidate in the 1992-2008 period in which Gallup measured favorability using the current question."

And apparently you didn't read my 9:50 PM comment, which illustrates why the president would not sign the original payroll tax cut bill. Look at the additional provisions the GOP inserted into it, and understand why the president vetoed it and wanted an extension so that a better bill could be hammered out in 2012. The president wanted a one-year extension; the House stuck in unacceptable provisions for that one-year extension, such as drug testing for unemployed people. Had he signed that, I imagine you would have come here to point out how awful the bill was that Obama signed.

You and the other anti-Obamas want a magic president? Next time vote for a unicorn. Or grow up.


Good analysis. Obama has gotten a bit of a bump in his approval, no doubt because there is a slight improvement in unemployment. Whether it hold or not is unknown--today the NYTimes reported that experts don't see this slight improvement in the economy lasting.

And we certainly know that the GOP will do nothing to help the American people. Their goal is to defeat Mr. Obama no matter how much it hurts US.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Ana Marie Cox:

"A friend covering the Hill impasse over the payroll tax cuts insists that Speaker John Boehner's job has become a task of "herding squirrels." Not cats, the more typical go-to cliché for trying to organize the unorganizable, but squirrels: 'Squirrels are panicky and prone to irrational running into traffic.'

This is an apt enough metaphor, as no matter what the eventual policy outcome – an extension of the tax cut or no – Congressional Republicans are roadkill. The question is just whether or not Democrats will chase out into the street after them."

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

… today the NYTimes reported that experts don't see this slight improvement in the economy lasting … And we certainly know that the GOP will do nothing to help the American people.”

Auntie Shaw,
This is a new dimension in American politics and one that disturbs me the most. Never before in the history of the union has a political party put ambition above the interests of country, the economy, its citizens, and the law. After the election of 2008 but before the new president even took office, the GOP took their marching orders from Rush Limbaugh who said, “I hope he fails.” From that day forward, the goal of the GOP has been one of obstruction, bullying, deceit, defamation, and hostage-taking … despite the large and convincing electoral win of a new president. This is not democracy but an insurgency that disrespects express wishes of voters. And there is no other word for it: Neo-fascism.

Now, I don’t give a damn if our conservative readers take exception to my comment because I am damn angry at having MY vote and the institutions of MY government hijacked and dishonored by partisan goons.

Yesterday, I went to Best Buy in search of holiday gifts. In the electronics aisle, I overheard a salesman (yes, a salesman) in a tirade against socialists and Democrats. How unbelievable, inappropriate and offensive, I thought. You can’t even go Christmas shopping anymore and escape the hyper-partisanship. There is a “conquest” mentality in how our politics is conducted that disrespects freedom of conscience, and I deeply resent having religion and politics shoved in my face wherever I go.

If the GOP doesn't wise up real soon, there will be a backlash ... and it won't be peaceful.

Rational Nation USA said...

Octo - Rush is becoming a mere afterthought to those of us who understand what conservatism should support, limited constitutional government and increased (as opposed to diminished) liberties.

I do not approve of many of what I perceive the President's philosophies of government to be. However, I, like the majority of Americans do not wish the President to experience failure for failures sake. Any more than you wished Bush to fail simply for failures sake. Somehow that just strikes most people as childish and or immature.

Taking issue with his policies and presenting opposing views is in fact very American. Having said this, at the end of day it should not be the object of intent for either house to obstruct completion of the business they have elected congress and the President to transact.

The current political environment is highly charged. Extremes in both the red and the blue camps contribute to the heated climate.

We do have mechanisms in place that were intended to maintain order based on the rule of law. Perhaps I am a bit naive, however, I still believe enough in our founding principles and documents (as well as the American people) to think America will survive this period of our history in tack.

It remains to be seen if it is for the better or for the worse.

At any rate... Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and in the PC way A Very Happy Holidays to all the fine people who visit this fine site!

S.W. Anderson said...

"The GOP is for raising your taxes!"

Recalling what the SOB's did to him so dishonestly and in such a mean-spirited way in 2004, I'd like to see Sen. John Kerry go on national TV and drop this line:

"The fact is, Republicans were for reducing your taxes before they were for raising your taxes. Why should anyone trust flip-floppers like them with high public office?"

S.W. Anderson said...

Oh, and lest I forget, happy holidays to you and yours, (O)CT(O).

S.W. Anderson said...

"The current political environment is highly charged. Extremes in both the red and the blue camps contribute to the heated climate."

Please, the efforts on the Democratic side to find common ground, compromise, even kow-tow have been exceptional. Republican instransigence, abuse of the filibuster rule, Senate holds and much more is unprecedented, too. There is and has been no equivalence from the day Democrats retook the House on '06, from the day Obama was sworn in '08.

If you think obstruction purely for political gain is wrong, you should write or call congressional Republicans and tell them. Pleading some kind of equivalence here isn't going to do any good.

Dave Miller said...

RN, your view on Rush is myopic at best.

If you think he is an afterthought to those that understand conservatism, then I guess you believe there is not one GOP congressional leader who understands conservatism.

What else can we infer from a group that refuses to criticize him for his inflammatory language out of fear of alienating his listeners?

Perhaps RN, you can explain the logic that for years has said we do not have to pay for tax cuts in the budget because they themselves are stimulatory and cover their own cost, yet in this case that is not true.

Why has no GOP leader explained this to the American people?

Is it because it is not true, and they were lying to us all along, or because it is true and they are only against it because President Obama is for it?

Really RN, your attempts to hide behind your thin veil of rationality will not work on this one.

You are still aligned with and defend the indefensible GOP.

The party is cracking up right before our eyes... all thanks to the Sarah Palin inspired Tea Party and her favorite shill, Rush Limbaugh...

Rational Nation USA said...

Dave, myopic? So say you, lacking understanding.

But rather than argue... Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Please accept my best wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

It is not my intention to pick on you personally, but I can't disguise my contempt for the bullies and bigots that comprise the extreme Tea Party faction of the GOP. There is a palpable and offensive mean-spiritedness among them. Recent examples:

Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc) who made derisive comments about Michelle Obama (i.e., her appearance from the waist down - super offensive shit !!!).

Rep. Allen West (R-FL) who considers Democrats as equal to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels and says all liberals and progressives "contaminate the gene pool." This is not political speech but hate speech, the same kind of language that lead to the murder of my forbearers in the Holocaust.

And Newt Gingrich who would arrest and imprison any "activist" judge whose opinion runs contrary to his. Years ago, I recall, the same Gingrich said he would outlaw liberal political speech. Thus, Gingrich would criminalize any judicial opinions and political speech he doesn't like.

Yet, not one GOP candidate has spoken against these outrageous abuses. Not one! And right-wing media such as Fox News actively promotes hate shit such as this.

You wonder why I sometimes lash out in anger! And why I regard these people as dangerous! Where are the voices of conscience in your party? Are you even aware of these abuses?

Rational Nation USA said...

Octo - I share some of your concerns.

Because I know you despise shameless self promotion by anyone on anothers site, which I respect, I hesitate to say even this.

Therefore, I will only suggest you visit my sight and read my most recent, and last post prior to December 26th. I believe you will fully understand my reason for suggesting you might want to do so.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Many thanks and much appreciated. Of course the next thought: Recalling what happened to Pamela a few years ago, there may be some blowback from certain quarters (but I am sure you have anticipated this too).

At any rate, I will add your forum to the SZ link list. From the home page, it helps me scan the blogosphere quickly and participate in discussions. In addition, I'll notify the sea critters to be a bit more cordial next time. They are actually a fun, fair and friendly group once you get to know them.

Rational Nation USA said...

Octo - in order:

1) I am quite sure there will be blowback. I'm cut of strong timber.

2) I have anticipated said potential of blowback, and concluded that I don't care. My principles remain the same. The fact there are those who fail to understand is really of no concern to me.

3) Thank you for your kind gesture of adding RN to your links. Appreciated.

4) Finally, the Nameless Cynic (I call him the Nameless One) is certainly the most engaging sort of chap. I do believe he is a very distrusting. Such is life :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shaw Kenawe said...

@Anonymous 9:16 AM:

I seem to have attracted a couple of "anonymice," stirring before Xmas Eve and who come here tp post uninformed comments. This morning's "anonymouse" is no exception.

Calling what (O)CT(O)PUS wrote about this unprecedented obstructionist GOP Congress "bullshit" may have made anonymous feel intellectually powerful, but, sadly, it doesn't make this anonymous intellectually acute.

Here are the facts to counter anonymous' @ 9:16 drive-by bullpuckey:

"The History of Filibusters in the US Congress

[Charts included]

For those unfamiliar with the procedures, a senator can stop progress on any bill by speaking on and on and on on any topic they choose, unless 60 Senators vote to invoke cloture, there by ending the endless ramble. The first instance of cloture being used was to end a filibuster of the ratification of the Treaty of Versailles by isolationists in 1919. Following that, there were only 3 instances of cloture until 1960.

Use of the filibuster began to rise during the progressive fight to pass Civil Rights bills in the 1960′s, mainly from conservative Southern Democrats opposed to ending segregation.

During an attempt by the Bush [administration] to ram a group of conservative activist judges down the throats of the nations highest courts in 2005, the Democratic minority threatened to filibuster. At this point, the Republican majority threatened to abolish the filibuster (called the nuclear option) as a parliamentary procedure."

"It's hard to argue that the 112th Congress isn't "the worst one ever," says The Economist. It's even more depressing when you realize that this is not a temporary shift due to transient factors, such as the rise of the Tea Party, but "the culmination of a long period of realignment in American politics" that has left the parties polarized. Things are likely to get even worse in 2012, as redistricting and acrimonious primaries pick off more moderates, one by one.
"Worst Congress ever?"

Congress is only as bad as GOP obstructionists make it: The debt-ceiling showdown has "laid bare the degree to which our political system has become dangerously dysfunctional," says John Farmer at the Newark Star-Ledger. The nation's Founders divided power among the different branches of government to serve their ideal of checks and balances. "But for that to work, compromise is a must, not something malevolent," as a growing bloc of my-way-or-the-highway Republicans now seem to view it.

"Debt ceiling struggle exposing dysfunction in the U.S. political system"


So, yes, (O)CT(O) is correct; Anonymous @9:15 is a troll.

Smarter "Anonymice," please.

Shaw Kenawe said...

And just for good measure, to completely discredit our dumb Anonymous @9:16:

"No less an authority than congressional scholar Norman Ornstein, who literally wrote the book on Hill dysfunction, has taken to calling our disaster-courting 112th Congress the worst in history. Here, how its accomplishments stack up against famously awful sessions of yore.

The Ball-Dropping 112th (2011-2013)
Where to start? With GOP freshmen and assorted long-serving right-wingers in open revolt, House gridlock has gone from merely frustrating to outright scary—and meanwhile, the Senate is so far voting only half as often as it did during the last maddeningly bottlenecked session. Some post offices have been renamed, though."

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Auntie Shaw,
A coincidence, I deleted the anomaly just as you posted your rebuttal. No big loss. Just another flyby assassin lacking substantiation (make that ‘transubstantiation’ since Christmas approaches).

P.S. About my aquarium, the water needs to be changed.

I didn’t get a chance to contact the Cynic yet - I’ll be traveling later today – but the link has been added. The Cynic keeps all of us on our toes and makes us do pushups and peel potatoes. Nothing personal. Those military types are heavy into 'discipline.'

Shaw Kenawe said...

I thought about deleting Anonymous 9:16 as well.

He/she is just another boring example of how FAUX NOOZ keeps them stupid.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Auntie Shaw,
About the anonymous anomaly, there is a theory circulating in private sectors (I can't reveal the confidentiality of private conversations) that the anomaly is thought to be a former liberal blogger who has suffered either a mental collapse or some form of gray matter meltdown. In any event, the anomaly is more deserving of our sympathy than our antipathy (but still unworthy of attention whatever the case).

Shaw Kenawe said...

Thanks for the information on the anon.

Here's hoping your tank is de-inked for a very happy holiday.

dmarks said...

Shaw said: "Let's look at the House Payroll Tax Cut Bill...
7. Freeze pay for federal workers (again)"

An excellent idea, to stop giving more handouts to this well off/wealthy group