Thursday Open Thread

Filed in Open Thread by on January 3, 2013

Ezra Klein: “What’s the record of the 112th Congress? Well, it almost shut down the government and almost breached the debt ceiling. It almost went over the fiscal cliff (which it had designed in the first place). It cut a trillion dollars of discretionary spending in the Budget Control Act and scheduled another trillion in spending cuts through an automatic sequester, which everyone agrees is terrible policy. It achieved nothing of note on housing, energy, stimulus, immigration, guns, tax reform, infrastructure, climate change or, really, anything. It’s hard to identify a single significant problem that existed prior to the 112th Congress that was in any way improved by its two years of rule.”

This is a great photo (click through for larger versions):


The explanation from White House Photographer Pete Souza: “This is one of those rare instances where my presence indirectly became a part of this reaction from those pictured in the photograph. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had just accidentally dropped all of her briefing papers onto the Oval Office rug and she, the President and Vice President all reacted in a way that indicated that surely I wouldn’t get a photo of that to embarrass her.”

“Do keep in mind that Obama pretty much rolled the Republicans, and he has left them in disarray. Did that mean he was “desperate” to cut a deal? I don’t think so. It means he knew that getting credit for avoiding the cliff was better than letting the Republicans get blamed for going over it–especially if he could portray them as simultaneously craven and incompetent. He did both. Obama plays a long game, much longer than any of us realize. I suggest thinking about him with a little more nuance,” – David Gutting, a commenter responding to Paul Krugman’s latest column.

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  1. jason330 says:

    The debt limit “fight” will reveal whether or not there is a new improved Obama on the scene.

    The optimal strategy is one he has already sketched out – “There is no debt limit fight. Congress spent the money, so congress needs to raises the money, or borrow it.”

    Will the President be able to stick with that, of will his desire to strike a grand bargain undo everything?

  2. cassandra_m says:

    Nancy Pelosi pressed the idea in an interview on NPR this AM that it was silly for Congress to threaten to not pay the bills they racked up. I hope that this is on the lips of every Democrat. Except for Tom Carper who will be looking for ways to kill Social Security and Medicare and what better way to kill them by not paying for them?

  3. pandora says:

    Sheesh, Boehner crying again… shame he can’t cough up a few of those tears for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

  4. liberalgeek says:

    I wonder why Republicans don’t bring this up as an example of crony capitalism:

    Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios

  5. puck says:

    Comment rescue from dKos about the coming fight over entitlements:

    depends on what you mean by “fight” (12+ / 0-)

    If you mean:

    Sternly worded speeches, and angry pounding of podiums about how heartless and mean the Republicans are.

    Hair on fire fundraising spam to constituents, with repeated pledges to never give an inch.

    Meaningless symbolic votes, followed ultimately by abject caving in to whatever plan the Admin and the Republicans work out behind closed doors with no Democratic input.

    Then yes, I expect one hell of a fight!

  6. Jason330 says:

    For some reason the “hair on fire fundraising spam” is the part that gets me down. If only Dems were 1/3rd as feisty as their fundraising spam, we’d have a pretty decent political party.