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Signs Of Life From Obama And The Lame Duck

[ Posted Thursday, November 18th, 2010 – 18:00 PST ]

This duck may be lame, but rumors of its demise are apparently premature.

Or, to put it another way: will the lame duck Congress actually get some things accomplished in the next few weeks? Conventional wisdom has held for the past few weeks that nothing much would happen in the lame duck, other than a giant fight over extending the Bush tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy. Everything else, this narrative prophesied, would get swept under the carpet, either (1.) because there won't be time to deal with anything else, (2.) because the Democrats didn't have the stomach for any other fights after the midterm election, or (3.) because it would just be easier to kick the can down the road to the next Congress. This conventional wisdom -- like much inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom, I should point out -- could turn out to be wrong, at least if the past day's news is any indication.

Democrats seem to be eager to fight a few battles before the sun sets on the 111th Congress. Strong statements have come from the most unlikely people. Votes are being scheduled on some very contentious issues. This push seems coordinated between the White House, the Senate, the House, and even the Pentagon. Meaning that the lame duck session might be a lot more productive than generally assumed, in the end.

President Obama's White House deserves a lot of credit, at least so far, for pushing these issues to the fore. While Obama's legislative style up until now has been mostly to work behind the scenes as Congress dithers, and then jump in and support whatever bill actually makes it out of the sausage-grinder up on Capitol Hill. This is a mostly risk-free strategy for the White House, because Obama never has to come out and fight for any provision in such a bill that may ultimately get defeated.

But maybe Obama has realized that the lame duck is going to be his last, best chance to advance any major parts of his agenda until 2013. Or maybe it's just part of the "midcourse correction" that all presidents go through after their first midterm season. Maybe it's because Rahm Emanuel is gone. Whatever the reason, though, it certainly marks a change in strategy (or, at the very least, in tactics) by the White House.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has also been showing quite a bit of fight, as well. Instead of just throwing up his hands and declaring "there isn't enough time," Harry is promising floor votes on these tough issues before the lame duck is over. This shouldn't be all that surprising, because Reid has shown over the past two years that he knows what a powerful tool forcing the Senate to actually work (instead of taking an extra two or three weeks off) right before a holiday break. Whatever the reason, it is refreshing to see Reid out in front on a few of these issues, especially since the Senate has largely been the stumbling block for Obama's legislative priorities.

Three of the issues Obama and Reid are pushing currently deal with the military, in one way or another. Reid has made it clear that he's going to seek a vote on the DREAM Act, which is mostly an immigration measure (but which grants a path to citizenship to immigrants who volunteer for the armed services). This is a smart thing to do politically, because Latinos are becoming a much more powerful presence in the American electorate, in the Democratic Party, and (most especially) in Nevada, where they were the swing votes who just sent Reid back to the Senate.

The second issue is what is being called "New START" (a new Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty). This is the treaty which President Obama signed with Russia to reduce the number of nuclear warheads each country has, and to get American inspectors back into Russia (the old treaty expired a year ago, and the inspectors haven't been in since). In typical budget-busting deal-making, one Republican senator is holding up the vote because he wants lots and lots of money spent on modernizing our nuclear stockpile. Obama offered him $80 billion to do so, and then threw an extra $4 billion into the pot, but so far it hasn't been enough for Republicans.

The White House is fighting back on this, with the full support of the Pentagon, who sees the treaty as important for our national security. The Obama administration is lining up foreign policy experts -- both Democratic and Republican -- on their side in the fight, portraying the Senate Republicans as playing politics with foreign policy. This, up until very recently, was supposed to be a big no-no in Washington, exemplified by the saying "politics stops at the water's edge."

The most visible fight on military matters, however, is the push to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy (DADT), which keeps gays from openly serving their country. The Pentagon report on the matter is due out on the first of December, and it is expected to show support for ending the policy by a majority of the people affected -- people currently serving in the military.

Joe Lieberman, of all people, called a press conference today to push wavering Democrats forward on the issue. He swears Democrats have the 60 votes necessary to overcome the inevitable filibuster attempt by Republicans. The White House has engaged in the fight as well, with Obama reportedly making some phone calls to key senators to encourage their support. This is a dramatic turnaround from the story leaked a few days ago which had it that Carl Levin had already cut a deal with his Republican counterpart to strip the DADT repeal from the Pentagon budget bill. Conventional wisdom is proving wrong, once again, in other words.

President Obama is getting out in front on this battle, backed by Joe Lieberman and some powerful Democrats in the Senate, and also backed by the military's own leadership. This effort will be bolstered even more when the report comes out. This is good news for a number of reasons. Obama is helping himself politically by leading this fight (since an overwhelming -- and growing -- percentage of the public wants to see the policy end), perhaps because he has realized that if the lame duck Congress doesn't act then either the courts are going to; or else Obama's going to be forced to end the policy by Executive Order -- something he is loath to do.

On the issue of the Bush tax cuts, Steny Hoyer over in the House just promised to hold a vote only on extending the tax cuts for those making less than a quarter of a million bucks a year. This is going to put the Republicans in a very dicey position -- because they will either have to vote against a tax cut (which cuts across their own orthodoxy on such matters), or they will have to vote for a bill brought up by Democrats (also anathema to them). If they vote against it, Democrats can make all sorts of political hay over the issue, which is kind of the whole point. Eventually, some sort of deal will be cut in the Senate, of course, but that doesn't mean the House can't make a political point in the meantime.

In all the surprisingly feisty news from Democrats, though, some very important things are likely not to make it through the lame duck. Unemployment insurance will likely not be extended (cutting off payments to millions, just in time for the holidays), and a food safety bill might not make it through the Senate, which is just shameful. Republicans are betting on Americans following their "small government" philosophy, but when that means buying possibly tainted food, the Republicans might be surprised at how public opinion turns against this ideological stance.

But even though some big issues are likely to slip through the cracks in the lame duck session, I have to say that I'm a lot more optimistic about them getting a few other big issues dealt with before the end of the year. While it's always amusing to see the punditocracy proven wrong (once again) in their groupthink, that is merely the icing on the cake. Because it looks like the next month and a half is shaping up to be a pretty productive period for advancing the Democratic legislative agenda. This is indeed good news, because it is really the last chance any of this stuff may have of being enacted for the next two years. Which is much more important than watching the Beltway set wipe the egg off their collective face, in the long run.

 

-- Chris Weigant

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

37 Comments on “Signs Of Life From Obama And The Lame Duck”

  1. [1] 
    fstanley wrote:

    Now my expectations have been raised that something substantive will be accomplished in this LD session. I just hope they [the Dems] don't retreat just when with one more push they could take the hill!

    ...Stan

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    I can't believe the Democrats in Congress would be stoopid enough to push their agenda after the American public has just told them what they think of that agenda.

    But, then again, we ARE talking about greedy politicians who are utterly and completely clueless on their jobs..

    Their job is to do the will of the American people, NOT push their unpopular agenda.

    Oh well, it will just make things that much easier for the GOP in 2012..

    Michale....

    12

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    But maybe Obama has realized that the lame duck is going to be his last, best chance to advance any major parts of his agenda until 2013.

    Sorry, CW, but I think yer dreamin' here. :D

    The inevitability of Obama being a 1-term'er is approaching certainty.

    Michale.....

    14

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Keep those amusing comments coming! I'm going to match your pledge up to 200 comments. :)

  5. [5] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Their job is to do the will of the American people, NOT push their unpopular agenda.

    Isn't it a bit audacious to assume that the Republican agenda is the agenda of the American people?

    I think there's lots in the Democratic agenda that's pretty popular with Americans: improving the economy, tax cuts for the middle class, regulations on the banking industry, protecting social security, improving health care legislation, etc.

    If you give people the actual details and talk to folks about these things, people tend to agree with a lot of what Democrats are doing.

    The inevitability of Obama being a 1-term'er is approaching certainty.

    Even better. Nothing to lose!

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Keep those amusing comments coming!

    Amusing?? :D Consider what CW said above. Obama is unlikely to have ANY legislative successes over the next two years..

    Barring any natural or "man-made" disaster, Obama is not going to have the opportunity to shine..

    Given this, I can't see how anyone expects Obama to win a re-election.

    Also, consider the fact that, for Obama to win re-election, he is going to have to woo back Independents and NPAs to his camp. And that group is not only growing, but also it has the "FOOL ME ONCE" attitude about Obama.

    So, Obama will have to do some pretty amazing things to woo back Independents and NPAs. Amazing things that are sure to royally piss off his base.

    It's a perfect Lose-Lose for Obama. If he caters to the Independents and NPAs, he loses his base. If he caters to his base, he loses the Independents and NPAs.

    Obama can't win re-election unless he has BOTH in his camp. I don't see how it's going to be possible for Obama to achieve this.

    I'm going to match your pledge up to 200 comments. :)

    That will probably be about a weeks worth! hehehehehehehe

    Michale.....

    15

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Isn't it a bit audacious to assume that the Republican agenda is the agenda of the American people?

    Did you just miss the last election??

    If you give people the actual details and talk to folks about these things, people tend to agree with a lot of what Democrats are doing.

    You mean, if you cheery pick the few good items and try to bury and suppress all the crap, then yes. People will tend to agree with what the Democrats are doing.

    But the problem with that approach is that the American people have caught on to that sort of propaganda and are not buying what the Democrats are selling.

    How else can one explain the results of the Mid Terms??

    Michale....

    16

  8. [8] 
    Americulchie wrote:

    This duck may be lame, but rumors of its demise are apparently premature.

    I am literally betting the farm that the demise of the duck is premature;I believe that DADT is dead;after all is said we are talking about 10% of the population.I believe some sort of "compromise"will be worked out as to tax cuts and unemployment;yes Michale the politicians are venal but not stupid.They are going to need taxpayers to pay for the extension of the war in Afghanistan.Every day I am sure that I made the right decision in not having children;I now think we are a nation of incompetent British.I think with that last statement that will assure a healthy dialogue.:)

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    I now think we are a nation of incompetent British.

    Hay now! Let's keep things above the belt!! :D

    Michale

    17

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    How else can one explain the results of the Mid Terms??

    Many voters were not well informed about the issues and what this administration has been doing. I'm fairly certain that most could not even articulate what the Obama/Biden/Geithner agenda is. So, there's that.

    And, on top of that, many voters have extremely short memories. Which makes it easy for them to vote against their own best interests, as they are often wont to do.

    Of course, California voters provided the exception to prove that long-standing rule. :)

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    That will probably be about a weeks worth! hehehehehehehe

    My cheque book is at the ready!

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Many voters were not well informed about the issues and what this administration has been doing. I'm fairly certain that most could not even articulate what the Obama/Biden/Geithner agenda is. So, there's that.

    That might explain a small modest gain by the GOP over the Dems.

    But that wouldn't explain the tidal wave that the mid-terms was.

    I suspect that people are a lot more informed than ya give them credit for.

    That WOULD explain the Tidal Wave. :D

    Michale

    18

  13. [13] 
    akadjian wrote:

    You mean, if you cheery pick the few good items and try to bury and suppress all the crap, then yes. People will tend to agree with what the Democrats are doing.

    You mean if I talk about policy and leave out all the stuff about how he's a socialist anti-God liberal Muslim hell-bent on destroying this country? :)

    Ok, ok. It's just too much fun to say that.

    But to be fair, I have a hard time articulating what Obama's agenda is. Why? Because I think he could do a better job telling us what it is.

    I think part of this is because his leadership style is more bottom-up than top-down. By this I mean, he likes to hear from all points of view and then chart a course.

    To try to understand what went on in the elections, I'd look to the exit polls. These polls don't show Republicans as more popular than Democrats. About the only thing they seem to show is that people are unhappy with the economy and they want something to change. With the Dems in power, they took the hit.

    Cheers
    David

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    About the only thing [the exit polls] seem to show is that people are unhappy with the economy and they want something to change. With the Dems in power, they took the hit.

    This is a perfect example of folks voting against their own best interests.

    The exit polls indicate that voters were inclined to put back into power those who were most responsible for the economic mess we are in and to kick out those who are desperately trying to fix that mess.

    Of course, as you would agree, the Obama/Biden administration have done precious little to dissuade voters from engaging in this sort of self-destructive behavior. If the exit polls showed nothing else, they have amply demonstrated that Obama/Biden have been responsible for one of the worst communication strategies and public education campaigns in the history of the world.

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    To try to understand what went on in the elections, I'd look to the exit polls. These polls don't show Republicans as more popular than Democrats. About the only thing they seem to show is that people are unhappy with the economy and they want something to change. With the Dems in power, they took the hit.

    For this to be accurate, the GOP incumbents would have had to lose as many seats, proportionally, as Democrats lost.

    The facts show that this did not happen.

    Regardless of whether or not ya'all want to admit it, the Mid-Terms were abut the policies of Obama and the Democrats.

    The American public overwhelmingly, with every political decision/election of the last year, stated that they don't want these policies.

    If Democrats continue to ignore the American people, 2012 will make 2010 look like a picnic...

    Just like 2010 made 1994 look like a picnic...

    I am at a loss to understand why this simple concept will not be grasped.

    Do you honestly believe that the American people are behind the Democratic Party?? After the "shellacking" that the DP just got??

    I guess denial is NOT just a river in Egypt, eh?? :D

    Michale....

    19

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    A good chunk of voters couldn't tell you what this administration's policies are if their very own lives depended on it. That is the sad truth of the matter.

  17. [17] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    If Democrats continue to ignore the American people, 2012 will make 2010 look like a picnic...

    Just like 2010 made 1994 look like a picnic...

    +10 seats in the house and -2 seats and failure to take the senate over 1994 is a HUGE victory over 1994 in your book?

    What happens in this lame duck session will be almost completely forgotten in two years they might as well get as much done as possible.

    I also think Obama's chances in 2012 are quite good and will depend mostly on who the Republicans can up with to run against him. The American people want change and they are not going to get it from the Republican house. Do you really think they will blame Obama for the failure of the other party they voted for to bring change? They (and you) almost complete ignored the Republicans in the senate playing obstructionists...

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    A good chunk of voters couldn't tell you what this administration's policies are if their very own lives depended on it. That is the sad truth of the matter.

    For you to be right, that would mean that the vast majority of voters have been fooled on a scale unprecedented in human history...

    OR

    The vast majority of voters completely understand what the Democrats have done to this country and they don't like it.

    Employing Occam's Razor, the latter option is the most likely..

    Time will tell which one it is... But, given the history of the last year, where time after time the voters rejected the Democrat agenda, I think the answer is self-evident.

    But, let me put a hypothetical to you.

    Let's say that things go as I predict and 2012 makes 2010 look like nothing.

    Will you still maintain that the voters are stoopid...er.. uninformed..

    Or would you concede the possibility that the voters are right and it's you who is mistaken..

    Michale.....

    20pd

  19. [19] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Whoops, forgot to close that tag after huge. Yes, another vote for post editing...

  20. [20] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, a couple of quick comments (it's Friday, I should be writing right now).

    One, editing posts ain't going to happen any time soon, as it is programmatically a tough change to make. Sorry about that. But I think I fixed everyone's tags, for now...

    Two, the 2010 midterms had a lot to do with the state of the economy. Don't forget to factor that in, when making rash 2012 predictions, everyone.

    Three, for Elizabeth, there's an op-ed by Warren Buffett that you REALLY need to read. Don't have time to scare up a link, just Google "Warren Buffett" and "Uncle Sam" and you'll see it. You have been waiting for this for a long time, so it WILL be worth the effort to hunt it out.

    Four, Michale -- DADT repeal is favored (most recent poll I've seen) by a THREE-TO-ONE margin by the American people. So who is pushing an unpopular agenda, and who is "speaking for the American people" in this instance, hmmm?

    Gotta run, I'll answer more comments later, I promise.

    -CW

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    +10 seats in the house and -2 seats and failure to take the senate over 1994 is a HUGE victory over 1994 in your book?

    Sorry, Bashi, but you are incorrect..

    The GOP turned over more seats to their side than any other time since the 1930s... I believe the Net Gain stands at 62 right now with about a half dozen seats still undecided..

    The turn-over was the second highest in US history..

    You can deny the facts all you want.. But that doesn't make them any less factual..

    I also think Obama's chances in 2012 are quite good

    What do you base that on??

    Seriously... Anyone who think Obama has a good chance of being elected.. What do you base that on??

    The American people want change and they are not going to get it from the Republican house.

    .....you hope.. :D

    They (and you) almost complete ignored the Republicans in the senate playing obstructionists...

    And you completely ignored Democrats playing obstructionists when the GOP is in power..

    Such is the nature of partisan politics.. The difference is that I recognize it in BOTH Partys and ya'all only complain about it when the GOP does it. Ya'all think it is fully justified when the DP does it..

    But here's the thing. Obama has massively lost the Independents and the NPAs.

    This is FACT...

    Now, you want Obama and the remaining Dems to push the far Left Democratic Party agenda..

    And you HONESTLY believe that the Independents and the NPAs will come swarming to the Democratic Party afterwards??

    Seriously???

    Here are the facts..

    Obama and the Democrats simply CANNOT win with Independents and NPAs.. This is fact.

    Obama and the Democrats cannot swing Independents and NPAs to their side by pushing their extreme Left agenda. This is fact.

    So, the only POSSIBLE way for Obama to win re-election and the only POSSIBLE way for Democrats to not lose even MORE seats in Congress is to tack right and tack right fast...

    If there is a flaw in my logic, I would LOVE for someone to point it out...

    I mean that in all seriousness..

    Michale.....

    21

  22. [22] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    1994 republicans won 54 seats. A quick internet search found 64 seat pick up this time (though wikipedia has less plus a few still in contention). My math says +10 seats over 1994 gains. I think my facts are just fine thank you very much...

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama and the Democrats simply CANNOT win with Independents and NPAs.. This is fact.

    Of course, that should read:

    Obama and the Democrats simply CANNOT win without Independents and NPAs.. This is fact.

    Michale.....

    22

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    1994 republicans won 54 seats. A quick internet search found 64 seat pick up this time (though wikipedia has less plus a few still in contention). My math says +10 seats over 1994 gains. I think my facts are just fine thank you very much...

    As are mine. This is the most seats the GOP has picked up since the 1930s...

    Go ahead. Minimize it all you like.. As I said above, denial is not just a river in Egypt..

    But the fact is, this recent election was a referendum on the policies of Obama and the Democrats. Just like the election of Scott Brown and the GOP governors and over and over again..

    The American people have spoken loud and clear that they do not like the agenda of the Democratic Party.

    Democrats pursue that rejected agenda at their own peril..

    Do you HONESTLY think that 2012 will be any better for Democrats???

    What do you base that on?? Oh wait.. Let me guess...

    HOPE. :D

    Michale.....

    23

  25. [25] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    This is FACT...

    Well, it's nice to know that your use of "fact" has not gotten any better or more accurate.

    The first thing you have wrong is that everyone to the left of Atilla the Hun has a homogeneous view. Hint: they don't. Stop trying to put words in to everyone mouth in order to further your argument, it's silly.

    Independents are not a party or homogeneous bunch either. They swing left or right for a multitude of different reasons. But in the end I think if the economy and jobs are improving, Obama has a good chance to get those votes. In September 2008, before the election I saw a Warren Buffet interview. His opinion was that if the government jumped in and worked to improve things we could recover in as little as two years. If the government did nothing the economy would recover naturally in about 5 years maybe a little more. He thought aggressive government action was the way to go as what was spent helping the economy recover would be less than what would be lost if the recession deepened and lasted longer. With the most obstructionist minority party in the history of the senate doing some blocking, I think the two years has been extended out to three or four years, which would put serious recovery at right around the spring/summer before the 2012 elections. Yup, Obama's chances are looking up...

    You accuse the left of being delusional, which very well may be true but no more than your hate of Obama has made you...

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bashi,

    Exactly which "fact" are you disputing?? And, if you are going to dispute it, please provide some facts of your own...

    Further, you still have yet to explain how Obama and the Democrats can bring the Independents and NPAs back into their camp by furthering the Leftist agenda..

    Economic recovery CAN'T happen while the size of government increases exponentially..

    It's simply not possible...

    Therefore, the economic recovery that you base your opinion on won't happen as long as Democrats and Obama push the far Left agenda..

    Ergo, there is nothing in the next two years that could possibly happen (sans natural or "man made" (that STILL cracks me up :D) disasters) that would give Independents or NPAs any reason to think that Obama and Democrats can properly lead this country.

    Conclusion: If Obama wants to be re-elected and Democrats want to regain/increase their majority, they are going to have to do things that appeal to the Independents and NPAs of this country..

    It's simple logic.

    Now, I'll ask again..

    If you have any FACTS that dispute this, by all means, please share...

    Because, the facts as they exist in the here and now show a completely different outcome than the one you are hoping for.

    Many of the arguments you make were the same ones made BEFORE the mid-term elections..

    Guess what? Those arguments proved to be totally and utterly false..

    What makes you think 2012 will be any different??

    Michale.....

    24

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    But, let me put a hypothetical to you. Let's say that things go as I predict and 2012 makes 2010 look like nothing. Will you still maintain that the voters are stoopid...er.. uninformed..

    Yes I will!

    Or would you concede the possibility that the voters are right and it's you who is mistaken..

    No I wouldn't!

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    So, yer gonna believe what you choose to believe regardless of the facts.. :D

    Well, I admire your tenacity and your honesty. It's why I like you so much...

    Me?? I tend to go with the reality of things. I readily concede that things may be just as Bashi hopes they will be.

    It's entirely possible that you and he are right, that it's all a Grand Illusion. That Obama and the Democrats are right and pure in everything they do.

    But, it's ALSO possible that I am right (again) and that Obama and the Democrats will crash and burn even worse in 2012 than they did in 2010.

    The difference here is I acknowledge that both outcomes are possible.

    Ya'all refuse to even consider the latter possibility...

    But I luv ya'all anyways.. :D

    Michale.....

    25

  29. [29] 
    Americulchie wrote:

    I learned from posting on Huff Po if you're prone to criticizing Democrats one has to state"I am a lifetime partisan Democrat of liberal proportions".

    I first off loved the duel of opposing data;proving once again the truth of the axiom"There are lies,damn lies,and statistics."The only numbers I have ever put any faith in are the ones printed in theDaily Racing Formall else is subject to a jaundiced eye.I think the best example would be the Nevada Senate race;the polls up to the election showed the obtuse Angle heading to victory by 6 or 7 points;the result was Mr.Reid by 5;it is my firm conviction that the polllsters were doing their polling in every church parking lot in Nevada;there is no other reasonable explanation.
    Finally for all the Nancy Naysayers I leave you with this she has more huevos than any Republican male in the field.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/magazine/21fob-q4-t.html

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    How did you sneak that in!!??? :D

    Four, Michale -- DADT repeal is favored (most recent poll I've seen) by a THREE-TO-ONE margin by the American people. So who is pushing an unpopular agenda, and who is "speaking for the American people" in this instance, hmmm?

    Yes, DADT repeal is favored 3-1. I (personally) think it's more important to wait for the December report, but that's just me. I am sure most Americans don't have that level of interest in the issue.

    But, like I said to David, if one cheery picks the issues of the DP agenda, one can find a few here and there that Americans will agree with..

    But, sadly for the Democrats, the DADT issue is the exception that proves the rule...

    I can name another issue that would probably sit well with the American people. The DREAM Act...

    If the Democrats were smart, they would hold DADT and DREAM in reserve and push those issues AFTER the GOP takes control, rather than wasting them on the Lame Duck session...

    But then again, if Democrats were smart, they wouldn't have just had their arses handed to them in the last election... :D

    Michale.....

    26

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Actually, I believe what I believe because of the facts, not despite or without regard for them. I thought you knew that. :(

    And, while it is quite admirable to be open to considering all of the possible outcomes, it’s prudent to acknowledge relative probabilities, too.

    As for the reality of things ... clearly, we might as well live in parallel universes given our apparent divergent perspectives on the political reality of the Obama/Biden administration. Of course, I say that with all appropriate love and affection. :)

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    ... there's an op-ed by Warren Buffett that you REALLY need to read. Don't have time to scare up a link, just Google "Warren Buffett" and "Uncle Sam" and you'll see it. You have been waiting for this for a long time, so it WILL be worth the effort to hunt it out.

    Thanks for that 'Dear Uncle Sam' letter heads up. It was a refreshing read.

    Now, all that is needed to shut me up would be a comprehensive article singing the praises and expounding upon the efforts of a certain beleagured and much maligned treasury secretary who has been working tirelessly on behalf of Main Street America.

    Be sure and let me know if and when you happen across a lengthy piece like that ... :)

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Actually, I believe what I believe because of the facts, not despite or without regard for them. I thought you knew that. :(

    Ya'all are basically pulling a Pelosi..

    Complete denial of reality even after it reaches out and Gibbs-smacks ya'all upside the head.. :D

    Michale.....

    27

  34. [34] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Complete denial of reality even after it reaches out and Gibbs-smacks ya'all upside the head.. :D

    I don't think any of us are denying that Republicans didn't win in 2010, my friend.

    But why they won? Look to the exit polls.

    People are angry about not enough jobs being generated as the economy recovers. And people are blaming the party in power.

    What I don't hear from people is, boy, those Republicans sure have some great ideas.

    Personally, I think that if there were a 3rd button on election day that read "Eff you both Republicans and Democrats!" that this button would have won the election by the greatest margin in the history of elections.

    Cheers
    -David

    p.s. Liz- are you sure? A matching donation for every comment Michale makes? :) He doesn't appear to be holding back.

    (You know I'm kidding folks. This is good fun for a good cause.)

  35. [35] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    p.s. Liz- are you sure? A matching donation for every comment Michale makes? :) He doesn't appear to be holding back.

    Well, I did make a stipulation ... a stipulation which appears to have been publically thrown out the window! What is Michale up to now ... forty something??? Oh, well ... as you say, it's all for a good cause.

    But, I am hoping that Michale's computer goes out of commission for a bit ...

    I'm joking! Keep 'em coming, Michale... :)

    I'm just

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... yes I am!

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    People are angry about not enough jobs being generated as the economy recovers. And people are blaming the party in power.

    What I don't hear from people is, boy, those Republicans sure have some great ideas.

    Perhaps not.. But what you ARE hearing, what the American people said with the mid-term shellacking is that the GOP ideas are better than the DP ideas..

    Personally, I think that if there were a 3rd button on election day that read "Eff you both Republicans and Democrats!" that this button would have won the election by the greatest margin in the history of elections.

    Most likely... :D

    Liz,

    But, I am hoping that Michale's computer goes out of commission for a bit ...

    I'm joking! Keep 'em coming, Michale... :)

    I might be buying Mrs CW a new car for Xmas!! hehehehehehehehe

    Michale.....

    35

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