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Congressional Dealmaking Isn’t Extortion

Bloomberg View Memo Pad Politics

Congressional Dealmaking Isn’t Extortion

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Dec. 12 (Bloomberg View) — Are Senator Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats who opposed the government funding bill the practical equivalents of Senator Ted Cruz and the radical Republicans who shut down the government last year?

They are not.

Matt Yglesias makes the case that, in fact, Republicans were responsible for trouble in both 2013 and 2014. In both cases, Republicans pressed to add a provision that Democrats opposed — most recently one that rolled back a portion of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law in the funding bill that passed the House yesterday and is moving to the Senate .

There’s something to this argument, but it really understates what was special about Tail Gunner Ted’s shutdown in 2013.

Of course, part of normal bargaining involves a certain amount of brinksmanship and part of deliberate shutdown politics can involve claims that the other side is “really” responsible for the breakdown.

The process goes off the rails when it includes excessive demands, backed up by ultimatums, that are far outside what appears to be the normal range of bargaining. Demanding a repeal of Obamacare (or “defunding”) despite a solid Democratic majority in the Senate and a Democrat in the White House is of a different order than a fight about a relatively small provision of Dodd-Frank, or the other policy riders added to the current funding bill.

In any case, it was clear from the beginning of last year that the radicals were more interested in the principle of blackmail than they were in the fate of any particular hostage. Indeed, most of the drama of the government shutdown involved Republicans flailing around looking for a good demand they could make for the shutdown they had already engineered.

That was true this time, too — but it only involved a small group of Republicans. The bulk of mainstream conservative Republicans made policy demands (and will win some policy victories if the Senate, as expected, passes the bill this weekend). But that was in the context of normal bargaining, in which Democrats also won concessions. Sure, there’s always the implicit threat that a failure to reach a deal will cause a shutdown. But that’s very different from the attitude of the Cruz group in 2013 (or New Gingrich’s similar plan in 1995) to use a shutdown as a strategy for getting the other side to agree to something outside of normal negotiating.

What Warren and the other liberal dissenters have done this week is equivalent to saying that the deal isn’t quite good enough for them. They’re not starting from the assumption that they should hold their breath until they get their way… and then looking around for something to demand. This wasn’t extortion for the sake of extortion. Just regular sausage making.

Photo: Senate Democrats via Flickr

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125 Comments

  1. dtgraham December 12, 2014

    I can hardly believe that the White House worked so hard to whip the Democratic vote last night. The Cromnibus change in that “relatively small provision of Dodd-Frank” removed the firewall between the trading and banking side and once again exposed FDIC depositors’ money to highly risky off balance sheet derivative trading and speculation. There will be now, once again, the implicit guarantee of another future bail out. That “relatively small provision of Dodd-Frank” forced the big banks to create a separate entity and had removed that possibility.

    That was a huge step in returning to 2008. This isn’t a give-in on a minor alteration to chained CPI computations or something. This is a tad important to say the least. I’m stunned that this was inserted at the last moment and allowed to happen by the Democrats. I really have to believe that Boehner would have removed this Citi Bank written provision at the demand of the Dems if he couldn’t get their votes that he needed. I can’t believe this happened. I’d like to see other opinions from NM readers.

    Reply
    1. Dominick Vila December 13, 2014

      I agree. I suspect the specter of a Congress fully controlled by the GOP, determined to pave the way for a resumption of Wall Street fraud, excesses, and abuse; and the likelihood of the next Congress underfunding the ACA, influenced the Administration’s decision to cut their loses and get some reprieve – or a delay – in what is likely to happen 9 months from now. The obvious question: is prolonging the ACA agony worth another economic debacle? At this point all we have to do is wait for a resumption of more Enrons, AIGs, Lehman Brothers, Bernie Maddof and all the other scandals that were an integral part of the deregulation that led to the Great Recession.

    2. itsfun December 13, 2014

      We all have been complaining for years now about gridlock and no corporation between the White House and Congress. This time both sides gave some and a bill got passed. Kind of a damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

      1. Grannysmovin December 13, 2014

        The problem is the lobbyiest for CitiCorp wrote the provision and no one will come out and claim ownership for putting this measure forward. If it is such a good thing for the American People why are the individual(s) who put this forward hiding behind anonymity. Are they concerned the vote will show who stands with Wall Street and who stands with the middle class and the poor, They can simply remove this provision and allow the bill to pass without further delay. I don’t like when either party does this. I believe that a bill should contain only things that are pertinent to the subject matter, all other items should be put forth in their own bill to be discussed and debated – OMG that would be a working Congress.

        1. itsfun December 13, 2014

          I am with you on that. Attaching pork to bills in the dark of night is despicable and there should be a way to stop that. I don’t know if a line item veto would help stop that.

    3. sleepvark December 13, 2014

      Perhaps the good thing to come out of all this is that when the too big to fail folks fail yet again, as they surely will, the possibilities of a bailout will have been reduced to the point that these Wall St tools go to jail. Real jail. With affectionate cellmates with names like Abu Bubba.

  2. itsfun December 13, 2014

    Did the author of this article forget how the obamacare tax law was passed. Bribery, blackmail, special rule so a simple majority of 51 could pass it.

    Reply
    1. jmprint December 13, 2014

      It was voted for that’s how it was passed. Majority is majority.

      1. itsfun December 13, 2014

        It was passed because Harry Reid enacted a special rule that was meant for financial issues to allow a simple majority to pass it. Other wise it takes over 60 votes to pass a bill in the Senate.

        1. sleepvark December 13, 2014

          It’s the law of the land. Get over it.

          1. itsfun December 13, 2014

            Only until a Republican president makes an executive order repealing it.

          2. Grannysmovin December 13, 2014

            If a Republican president repeals it and does not have something better to replace it, he or she will be blamed for taking Health Care away from millions of Americans. Talk about a “Death Panel”!

          3. itsfun December 13, 2014

            Just showing what can happen when a President decides to make laws or change them without going to Congress.

          4. Grannysmovin December 13, 2014

            ACA went through Congress and he did not make the law and the delays he made are no different than the delays implented by Bush on Medicare Part D. Next year Republicans can pass a law preventing any President from making delays in implenting a law or issuing Executive Orders. However that law will be applicable to both Democratic Presidents and Republican Presidents no matter what party controls the House and the Senate and limits the authority of the Presidency.

          5. itsfun December 13, 2014

            when he changed the implementation dates of parts of the law that were written into the law, he changed the law. My whole and only point was to show how easy a president can do these kinds of things. Obama said he couldn’t change the immigration laws, because he was not an emperor. When he changed the law, he became in his own words a emperor. Just showing how one feels about these issues depends on whose ox is getting gored.

          6. Grannysmovin December 13, 2014

            So was Bush an emperor when he changed the implemention dates of Medicare Part D?

          7. itsfun December 13, 2014

            I don’t know if the dates were written into the law. If they were and he changed them without the blessing of Congress, I would say he violated the constitution.

            I never intended this post to be about Obama and Bush or any one else. I was just trying to show what can happen if a future President decides to use executive power for anything he/she wants. Could a future President make an executive order saying no more business taxes, birth control, etc. Not trying to make any statement except about using executive orders.

          8. Grannysmovin December 13, 2014

            I agree A President could abuse Executive Orders so Congress should pass a law limiting the use of E.O. or removing it altogether. I don’t believe neither party would put forth that bill.

          9. itsfun December 13, 2014

            I would bet you are right. Nice talking to you again.

          10. Grannysmovin December 13, 2014

            Same here. Just in case we don’t speak before have a Safe and Happy Holiday.

          11. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            Why would say that?? Prevent a president from doing what he or she can to help move America forward when Congress is unable to accomplish anything because of the gridlock like we’ve been seeing over the past 6 years??

            When our founding fathers set up our government, they created the 3 branches with almost equal power so that one branch theoretically couldn’t go off and really send America in the wrong direction (I say theoretically because clearly the SCOTUS has done that since 2000).

            A president (the Executive Branch) is charged with implementing the legislation passed by Congress (which the President chooses not to veto), in an effective manner that maximizes the benefits of the legislation and does not put an undo burden on some segments of the American economy/people.

            Nothing that Obama has done has exceeded any of that authority. His delay of the ACA legislation was because a lot of small businesses were really not prepared to take on the burden of complying with the some ACA provisions. Having forced that on them would have had a decided negative effect on many businesses and therefore our economy and therefore a lot of American people.

            And given that Obama has issued the fewest EOs of any 8 term president since 1900 – far less than the majority of them (Teddy Roosevelt signed 1,083, Calvin Coolidge over 1,200; Eisenhower 484 I believe, Reagan about 376 – and Obama’s not even to 200 yet.

            So why is everyone making such a big deal out of the few Obama has signed – the GOP – because they want to create whatever waves they can to try and make Obama look bad in the eyes of the American people; while at the same time working to stall the American economy.

          12. Grannysmovin December 14, 2014

            See my comment above.

          13. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            I believe that would take a change to the Constitution – Congress doesn’t have the authority TO LIMIT THE PRESIDENT’S AUTHORITY.

          14. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            More HOGWASH!! A president has every bit as much authority over a law AS CONGRESS DOES. Just like the Supreme Court can override legislation that is written by Congress, a President has the authority to use his judgement in implementing ANY LAW CONGRESS PASSES – ensure that it is implemented in the most effective way.

            If Obama is guilty of doing something unconstitutional by delaying the implementation of some ACA provisions in order not to put undue burden on some portions of our economy WHICH IS WHAT HE DID – then Bush’s entire time in office was an UNCONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIR given that he added A SIGNING STATEMENT TO EVERY PIECE OF LEGISLATION HE SIGNED – indicating what in that legislation THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH WOULD ENFORCE AND WHAT IT WOULDN’T!!!!!!!!

            Some of Bush’s signing statements actually indicated that the Executive Branch had not intention of enforcing some portions of bills THAT CONGRESS HAD PASSED!!!!!!

          15. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            He changed absolutely NO DATES in the implementation of ACA. The ACA dated stated that the law was to be implemented AFTER 12/31/13: AND that date DID NOT necessarily apply to every single provision within ACA. NO DATES WERE CHANGED!!

            I

          16. itsfun December 14, 2014

            I guess you don’t consider delaying a year is changing a date. By the way the constitution says it is the Presidents responsibility to enforce the laws, not interpret them or change them.

            A one-year delay in requiring firms with over 50 workers to provide insurance

            Scrapping a long-term care insurance program (for nursing home care, for example) called the CLASS Act

            Lifting the requirement on businesses to file a form called a 1099 for a variety of business expenses

            The administration acted on its own to delay the employer mandate,

          17. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            The only time I can recall that Congress has limited a president’s authority was when they took away the ability of a president to create Executive Orders that required funding; that was when they feared that Nixon would misuse the EO authority so they created the office of Budget and Management. FDR had used an EO to create the WPA which put millions of Americans to work in repairing a lot of the country’s infrastructure. But I believe something like that would require a veto proof vote in Congress of 67 votes.

            So unless, the party of the president in office agreed to having the number of EOs reduced, that would be hard to do. And it may be that doing that would have to target certain EOs because presidents use EOs for a lot of purposes that are not directed toward how they will or won’t enforce/implement laws that have been passed by Congress.

          18. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            Yeah!! Go to a Congress which has blocked virtually everything you’ve attempted to do by using the Fake Fillibuster more than 425 times!! Get Real!!!!!!!!!

          19. plc97477 December 13, 2014

            I think that death panel will be the death of the gotp.

          20. docb December 13, 2014

            That would be the continuance of the repub bag Death Panels… Millions would be in the streets to impeach a repub doing that even if a President could repeal a law by EO.
            Foolish repub screeching and vacuous!

          21. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            Why do we have to suffer these paid trolls?? When is Disqus going to wake up and prevent these idiots from posting with the intent of disrupting interchanges between sane poster.

          22. awakenaustin December 13, 2014

            You cannot repeal a law by executive order. You can interpret it or fail to enforce it. But you can’t repeal it.
            It only requires 50 votes to pass legislation in the Senate. As a matter of Senate rules (which they make up themselves) it requires 60 votes to vote cloture to overcome a filibuster. You really don’t know much about how your government operates do you..

          23. itsfun December 14, 2014

            OK what happens when a Republican makes a executive order to not enforce collecting taxes, or not to enforce any provisions in the ACA? Obama has created a very slippery slope.

          24. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            As usual, you RWNJs always digress to the point of absurdity!!!

            If a president were to do any of the idiotic things you just stated, Congress would surely create legislation to overrule the EO via a veto overriding vote – more than 67.

          25. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            MORE LIES AND MORE LIES AND MORE LIES!!!!!!

          26. itsfun December 14, 2014

            ok so he/she makes a executive order to not enforce it.

          27. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            Why are you and your ilk exaggerating what Obama is doing which is CLEARLY nothing more than countless GOP presidents have done before him??

            You better go back and review the 1,038 EOs that Teddy Roosevelt signed in an effort to move America forward around a DO NOTHING congress; and the more than 1,200 that Coolidge signed to do the same thing; or even the 3,500 plus that FDR wrote to get around the DO NOTHING stymied by the GOP Congresses of his time – including the one he signed that created the WPA which put millions of Americans to work fixing up America.

            Or better yet, take a look at the 376 Reagan signed , some of which did things a lot more egregious than what you’re accusing Obama of.

            Or maybe go back and look at Bush Jrs signing statements on virtually every piece of legislation he signed which indicated that he had no intention on enforcing certain aspects of virtually EVERY PIECE OF LEGISLATION CONGRESS PASSED!!!!!

          28. sleepvark December 14, 2014

            And you are willing to wait another century or so for that to happen, eh bozo?
            Don’t look to the recent non-election to back up your drug induced fantasy. There will be a lot more voter participation in the next election, something the goobers rightfully fear. No goober candidate will stand a chance.

          29. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            Let’s certainly hope that happens. And that in the process of voting in a nonGOP president, that enough Americans wake up to the disaster that is GOP governance, such that they vote enough of them out of Congress, so the next president can actually get something accomplished with respect to moving America into the 21st century.

            As has been shown in a number of articles I’ve been seeing, America is falling further and further behind the world, not only with respect to advances in replacing fossil fuels as their main source of energy, but also with respect to our country’s infrastructure and it’s increasingly antiquated modes of moving people from place to place and in providing modern methods that would improve our interstate commerce.

          30. sleepvark December 14, 2014

            Indie, your perception from the articles is only a hint of how we are falling behind. Spend a little time in central China and see how we compare to the current number 1 economy in the world. They have become number one in China because of their relentless investment in infrastructure. Their airports and train stations make ours look miniature in comparison. Their high speed trains make intercity rail transport as fast as, in some cases faster than air travel. It becomes more so as they open up new stretches of high speed rail, and even new mag lev lines where the trains do 300 mph.
            Problems abound there, but they’re actually doing something about it, not just sitting on their collective hands.
            We are very quickly becoming a second rate nation because of our lack of commitment to infrastructure maintenance and improvement.

          31. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            Being retired and living on an island, I’m obviously not intimately familiar with much of what you’re describing, but I’ve done a bit of searching on the internet and been on websites that show much of what you’re describing. And for a long time I’ve been aware of just how much the GOP will sit back and allow our country to deteriorate in many ways toward a second-rate country while they focus on doing everything to channel taxpayer money into the pockets of the already wealthy.

            This is one reason I get so incensed by paid trolls on the NM like itsfun who support this insidious destruction of our country; it’s just appalling to me that people living in America would intentionally sit back and watch the country around them collapse little by little WHILE THEY DO NOTHING TO FIX IT.

            Hopefully, something magical will occur in 2016 that allows a president and sane legislature to start at least making inroads to bring America truly into the 21st century; which would return prosperity to not only the wealthiest but even those who are struggling so hard today, just to get by.

          32. joe schmo December 15, 2014

            Your side is already making boo qu mistakes. I believe one of these days the Democrats are going to implode.

            “Narcissists need mirrors. This simple truth is central to an understanding of liberalism. Liberals don’t look at the world to understand it. Instead, they look for chances to feed their vanity and
            parade their moral purity.”

            “When liberals look at these riots, they don’t see what’s really there: yet more destruction by violent, self-righteous and deeply misogynist non-Whites who despise liberals. Instead, they see a blameless minority crushed by police racism and state oppression.”

            http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2013/07/narcissism-and-nihilism-how-liberals-destroy-themselves/

            Of course America is falling further and further behind. Couldn’t be all that social funding, poor secular run schools and lax liberal laws would it? If we get a Warren in office we will fall further behind:) We are as good as cooked. Why don’t you just tell me where we have succeeded to get ahead in this country? It is only due to the PRIVATE sector that we have minimal success.

        2. angryspittle December 13, 2014

          What bullshit. Only if it is filibustered.

          1. itsfun December 13, 2014

            look it up, that’s how it got passed. When Brown won Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, the Dems lost the majority needed to pass any bill. Harry used the

            reconciliation rule below:

            From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

            Reconciliation is a legislative process of the United States Senate intended to allow consideration of a budget bill with debate limited to twenty hours under Senate rules.[1] Reconciliation also exists in the United States House of Representatives, but because the House regularly passes rules that constrain debate and amendment, the process has had a less significant impact on that body.

            A reconciliation instruction is a provision in a budget resolution directing one or more committees to submit legislation changing existing law in order to bring spending, revenues, or the debt ceiling into conformity with the budget resolution. The instructions specify the committees to which they apply, indicate the appropriate dollar changes to be achieved, and usually provide a deadline by which the legislation is to be reported or submitted.[2]

            A reconciliation bill is a bill containing changes in law recommended pursuant to reconciliation instructions in a budget resolution. If the instructions pertain to only one committee in a chamber, that committee reports the reconciliation bill. If the instructions pertain to more than one committee, the House Budget Committee reports an omnibus reconciliation bill, but it may not make substantive changes in the recommendations of the other committees.[3]

          2. angryspittle December 13, 2014

            That is exactly how W got his tax cuts, by reconciliation. I should have added “or moved by reconciliation” to my statement. I was only focusing on the 60 vote statement.

          3. itsfun December 14, 2014

            I shouldn’t have said the 60 votes without saying they were needed to break the filibuster. Even Harry Reid made the same wrong statement.

            How majority rule works in the U.S. SenateCOMMENTARY | July 31, 2009 The press and political leaders often say that a three-fifths majority is needed to pass a bill. That’s incorrect, but more and more it is working out that way. Longtime journalist Lawrence Meyer explains and spells out how dissenting senators, conceivably representing no more than 12 percent of the population, can stymie legislation.

            By Lawrence Meyer
            lrm3016@gmail.com

            How many votes does it take to pass a bill in the Senate?
            a. 51
            b. 75
            c. 60
            d. none of the above

            If you guessed 60, it would be wrong, but understandable because that’s what the media mostly report whenever the subject comes up.

            Even senators speaking on the record obscure the truth. The Washington Post recently quoted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:

            “‘I have a responsibility to get a bill on the Senate floor that will get 60 votes,’ Reid said. ‘That’s my number one responsibility, and there are times when I have to set aside my personal preferences for the good of the Senate and I think the country.’”

            In fact, Reid does not need 60 votes to pass a bill. He needs 60 votes in order to allow the Senate to vote on a bill, something The Post didn’t bother to explain in this instance.

            That failure to explain is too often the case. It’s hard enough to understand the legislative process without misrepresenting it. What Reid meant was that 60 votes were needed to break the ever-present threat of a filibuster, not to actually pass the bill. Last month, the Senate took up an amendment to the Defense appropriation bill. The amendment would have made a concealed weapon carry permit from one state valid in all 50 states regardless of whether or not concealed weapons were valid in the other states.

            The amendment received 58 votes in favor, but it still failed to pass. USA Today, the largest circulating daily newspaper in America, carried an AP story that reported: “The vote was 58-39 in favor of the provision establishing concealed carry permit reciprocity in the 48 states that have concealed weapons laws. That fell two votes short of the 60 needed to approve the measure, offered as an amendment to a Defense spending bill.”

            New York Times readers were told, “A group comprising mostly Republicans, along with some influential Democrats, had tried to attach the gun amendment to the annual military authorization bill, a must-pass piece of legislation. But the provision got only 58 votes, two short of the 60 needed under Senate rules.”

            That got closer to describing the situation, but still didn’t quite do it, though the Times story did present a rare example of using the word “comprise” properly.

            The Washington Post that time got it right: “The measure, introduced by Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota), gained the support of all but two Republicans and 20 Democrats, but the vote of 58 to 39 in favor fell two short of the 60 votes needed to end a filibuster.”

            A distinction without a difference, some might say. Journalists, for reasons of time and space, often use shorthand. As a practical matter, some might argue, if a filibuster is threatened and it takes 60 votes to end debate in the Senate, then it does take 60 votes to pass a bill.

            Nothing in the Constitution says that a three-fifths majority is necessary to pass ordinary legislation. The repeated use of terms like “short of the 60 votes needed” or “It takes 60 votes” or “60 votes are needed” to pass a bill in the Senate certainly gives that impression. That might be the case, but it’s rarely explained to the public in those terms.

            Americans revere the Constitution. They might revere the Senate less—assuming they revere it all—if they understood the process better. If the public understood that 41 senators can prevent the Senate from even voting on a measure, how tolerant would the public be?

            And, by the way, those 41 senators might represent as little as 12 percent of the U.S. population.

            In the past 40 years—and even more so in the past 10 years—the filibuster, or just the threat of one, has been used increasingly to stifle legislation. Norman Ornstein, the highly respected Congressional scholar, wrote last year that,

            “In the 1970s, the average number of cloture motions filed in a given month was less than two; it moved to around three a month in the 1990s. This Congress [the 110th], we are on track for two or more a week. The number of cloture motions filed in 1993, the first year of the Clinton presidency, was 20. It was 21 in 1995, the first year of the newly Republican Senate. As of the end of the first session of the 110th Congress, there were 60 cloture motions, nearing an all-time record.”

            Yes, it’s true that the Senate was designed by the Founding Fathers to put a check on the more rambunctious House of Representatives; and yes, it’s also true that the Senate makes its own rules, and it’s certainly true that at one time or other some proposal that many of us thought was very bad was denied passage by using a filibuster or the threat of one. But wouldn’t it be better if we got a full description of the process when a minority can block the majority?

            Would it make a difference if it were reported that way? We can’t know the answer unless we try.

            Lawrence Meyer worked as a reporter and editor for 36 years, 31 of them at The Washington Post. He was the lead reporter for the Post in covering the Senate Watergate hearings and the Watergate break-in trial.
            E-mail: lrm3016@gmail.com – See more at: http://niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=background.view&backgroundid=381#sthash.WI2iVeK5.dpuf

          4. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO STOP LYING???????

          5. itsfun December 14, 2014

            They didn’t use the reconciliation rule to get around normal Senate procedures?

          6. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            Why would they need the reconciliation rule when with Nelson and Lieberman they had the 60 votes they needed to prevent the GOP from filibustering the law!!!!!!

        3. Independent1 December 14, 2014

          Your are a PATHOLOGICAL LYING POS!!!

          ACA passed because concessions were made to get Nelson and Lieberman’s vote on the bill that gave the Dems a 60 vote margin on the bill which prevented the GOP from being able to filibuster it!!!

          Here’s the truth you lying piece of crap!!!!!!

          With the Republican minority in the Senate vowing to filibuster any bill they did not support, requiring a cloture vote to end debate, 60 votes would be necessary to get passage in the Senate.[92] At the start of the 111th Congress, Democrats had only 58 votes; the Senate seat in Minnesota ultimately won by Al Franken was still undergoing a recount, and Arlen Specter was still a Republican.

          To reach 60 votes, negotiations were undertaken to satisfy the demands of moderate Democrats, and to try to bring several Republican senators aboard; particular attention was given to Bob Bennett, Mike Enzi, Chuck Grassley, and Olympia Snowe. Negotiations continued even after July 7 — when Franken was sworn into office, and by which time Specter had switched parties — due to disagreements over the substance of the bill, which was still being drafted in committee, and because moderate Democrats hoped to win bipartisan support. Then, on August 25, before the bill could come up for a vote, Ted Kennedy—a longtime healthcare reform advocate—died, depriving Democrats of their 60th vote. Before Kennedy’s seat was filled, attention was drawn to Snowe because of her vote in favor of the draft bill in the Finance Committee on October 15, but she explicitly stated that this did not mean she would support the final bill.[75] Paul Kirk was appointed as Senator Kennedy’s temporary replacement on September 24.

          After the Finance Committee vote, negotiations turned to the demands of moderate Democrats, whose votes would be necessary to break the anticipated Republican filibuster. Majority leader Harry Reid focused on satisfying the Democratic caucus’s centrist members until the holdouts came down to Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, an independent who caucused with Democrats, and Ben Nelson, a conservative Democrat, representing Nebraska. Lieberman, despite intense negotiations with Reid in search of a compromise, refused to support a public option, agreeing to vote for the bill only if the provision were not included,[75][93] although it had majority support in Congress. His demand was met.[94] There was debate among the bill’s supporters over the importance of the public option,[95] although the vast majority of supporters concluded it was a minor part of the reform overall,[93] and Congressional Democrats’ fight for it won various concessions, including conditional waivers allowing states to set up state-based public options such as Vermont’s Green Mountain Care.[94][96]

          1. itsfun December 14, 2014

            You really get upset when someone proves you wrong.

          2. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            You haven’t proven anything you meally mouthed lying paid troll!! I get upset when I realize you worthless pieces of trash think nothing about coming onto a blog thread to spread one lie after another in attempt to distract the honest sane bloggers from being able to share their opinions without being distracted by your idiotic ideological DRIVEL!!

            You’re no better than the dirt I walk on!! And because of that I’m going to give you absolutely no respect for being such worthless human beings!!!!!

          3. itsfun December 14, 2014

            Golly gee wally; you really hurt my feelings. You must actually believe I care about you respect. I have a idea, if you don’t like what I post, don’t read it.

          4. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            Sorry!! I’m not going to allow you meally mouthed lying paid trolls to get away with spewing your outright lies and distortions and I’m going to call you exactly what you are -PATHOLOGICAL LYING TRASH!!!!!

          5. itsfun December 14, 2014

            ok and I won’t let you get away with you name calling and lies. I’m not paid by anyone. All you need to do is a simple search when I post something and you will see I don’t make anything up or distort anything. Kinda like whey you actually checked the facts on obama saying his policies were on the ballot.

          6. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            I never denied that Obama said his policies were on the ballot!! Your post implied that he made that statement and then later denied that it was his policies that resulted in the GOP wins!! Which you have not substantiated!! YOU HAVEN’T PROVEN ONE STATEMENT YOU’VE EVER MADE ON THIS BLOG!!! NOT ONE!!!!!

          7. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            And if you think I believe you’re not a paid troll, you’re living in la la land. No one refuses to accept FACTS and keeps spewing canned lies without being paid for being a pathological liar!!!!!!

            Why is it that all of a sudden Joe Schmoo, Kenndeb, Mike and other Paid Trolls aren’t here and suddenly YOU’RE HERE!!

            And are you so stupid that we don’t realize why you have the screen name itsfun!!! Get real you low life!!

          8. itsfun December 14, 2014

            Believe what you want to. It makes no difference to me.

          9. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            I know – low lifes are so worthless they really don’t care what people’s opinions are of them.

            Money is clearly more important to them than respect.

          10. joe schmo December 15, 2014

            We are allllll watching………….

          11. DAVE in VA December 15, 2014

            It looks like you and itsfun have really gotten under independent skin on this one. Independent is going to blow a gasket one of these days. Keep up the good work. The KOCH Brothers will put a little extra in this weeks pay to show their appreciation for all of the hard work…LOL

          12. joe schmo December 15, 2014

            ….and you won’t get us to stop standing up for ourselves and you won’t get us to stop pointing out when your representatives and media state misconstrued and deceitful statements about Conservatives.

          13. joe schmo December 15, 2014

            I have told them this on many occasions. Seems they just can’t help themselves……

          14. joe schmo December 15, 2014

            YOU…..CANNOT……HANDLE…….THE…….TRUTH!

          15. joe schmo December 15, 2014

            Fun, you must have really gotten Independents goat. He seems to be answering you in volumes….LOL

          16. itsfun December 15, 2014

            Kinda makes me feel that he doesn’t like me.

        4. Independent1 December 14, 2014

          And it DOES NOT TAKE OVER 60 VOTES TO PREVENT A FILIBUSTER – JUST 60!!!!!!!

          And had Ted Kennedy not died on 8/15/09, none of this special maneuvering would have been needed.

        5. joe schmo December 15, 2014

          Exactly. It’s called the ‘nuclear option,’ but you do know, that can work both ways:)

          1. itsfun December 15, 2014

            Exactly, but at least they are tolerant of the opinions of others (LOL)

    2. Independent1 December 14, 2014

      Is all you know how to do is lie??? ACA is without question the most transparent, bi-partisan created piece of legislation created by Congress in decades!!

      There was NO BRIBERY, NO BLACKMAIL or anything akin to that in passing ACA – IF THERE WAS ANY LYING, IT WAS ON THE PART OF THE GOP!!

      Mitch McConnell decided ON HIS OWN, that passing ACA was not something that the GOP wanted to get behind, EVEN THOUGH ACA includes MORE THAN 200 GOP AMENDMENTS. The FAKE excuse
      that he and other GOP legislators came up with to not vote for ACA IS EFFECTIVELY A DELIBERATE LIE!! THAT ACA HAS AN INDIVIDUAL MANDATE!!

      Well IDIOT!! PRIOR TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF ACA, THE GOP HAD ACTUALLY PRESENTED TO CONGRESS STARTING BACK IN 1993, EITHER BY THEMSELVES OR IN BIPARTISAN AGREEMENTS, at least 4 national health care creation proposals ALL OF WHICH INCLUDED AN INDIVIDUAL MANDATE!!!

      So for the GOP to stand up at the last minute – after months of negotiation and the addition of 200 GOP amendments to the legislation, is nothing short OF THE GOP’S EFFORT TO JUST DO ONE MORE THING TO TRY AND SABOTAGE OBAMA’S PRESIDENCY!!!!!!!

      1. itsfun December 14, 2014

        You have a strange way of considering something bi-partisan. Not even one Republican Senator or Representative voted to pass the bill. NOT ONE. The Democrats completely own the obamacare tax law. Senator Nelson of Nebraska was given special favors to vote for the law. Senators were told they would lost committee chairmanships if they didn’t vote for the law.
        Republican alternatives were not allowed out of committee.

        1. Independent1 December 14, 2014

          As I explained to you – the fact that NOT ONE Republican voted for ACA is because McConnell being the GOP leader of the Senate, decided ON HIS OWN that the GOP should not be seen as backing ACA because the GOP was afraid ACA would really work and give the Dems something to run on for Obama’s re-election in 2012. So, if you read what I posted for you – McConnell actually SHEPPARDED the final vote on the bill TO ENSURE THAT NOT ONE REPUBLICAN WOULD VOTE FOR IT!!

          And as what I posted for you POINTED OUT, in order to not make McConnell look bad as the GOP leader, most Republicans STARTED LYING ABOUT WHY THEY WOULDN’T VOTE FOR ACA – supposedly because it was ‘UNCONSTITUTIONAL’ – WHEN IN FACT, a number of the Republicans who voted against it for this LIE about an individual mandate being unconstitutional HAD ACTUALLY PREVIOUSLY BACKED SEVERAL GOP ATTEMPTS AT GETTING NATIONAL HEALTHCARE PAST!!! LEGISLATION THAT INCLUDED AN INDIVIDUAL MANDATE!!!!!

          The fact that NOT ONE REPUBLICAN VOTED FOR ACA, HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH BIPARTISANSHIP; it had everything do with McConnell trying to ensure the statement that he made BEFORE OBAMA WAS EVEN SWORN INTO OFFICE – that it would be THE GOP’S #1 PRIORITY TO MAKE OBAMA A ONE-TERM PRESIDENT!!!!!!

          1. itsfun December 14, 2014

            It is always the goal of every political party to make the other parties President a one term President. The ACA is only constitutional as a tax. If McConnell is the reason the Republicans didn’t vote for the obamacare tax, then Harry Reid is the only reason the Democrats voted for the obamacare tax. No matter how you spin it, the Democrats completely own the ACA

          2. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            Yes, but not to the degree that the GOP has gone to with Obama. Not to the degree that a political party would put accomplishing that to THE DETRIMENT OF THE ENTIRE NATION!!

            To saying NO to virtually every effort a president has made to try and help move the country forward.

            To even having the House refuse to take up a bill that was passed in a clearly bi-partisan manner in the Senate 68-32!!

            To even allowing millions of the parties own constituents to languish and struggle in unemployment for years BECAUSE THEY REFUSED TO PASS A JOBS BILL THAT THE CBO SAYS WOULD HAVE PUT 2-3 MILLION OF THEM TO WORK!!

            To actually having 14 bordering on treason members of a party meet to PLAN HOW THEY COULD PURPOSELY SABOTAGE THE ECONOMY IN AN EFFORT TO MAKE OBAMA FAIL!!

            NO! NO! No! – At no previous time in American history has a political party EVEN COME CLOSE TO ACTING LIKE THE GOP HAS OVER THE PAST 6 YEARS!!!!!

            UPDATE: Eric Cantor Plotted to Sabotage US Economy in Secret Meeting with Hensarling & Luntz

            FACT 1. In Robert Draper’s book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives” Draper wrote that on inauguration night, 2009, during a four hour, “invitation only” meeting with GOP Hate-Propaganda Minister, Frank Luntz, the below listed Senior GOP Law Writers literally plotted to sabotage, undermine and destroy America’s Economy.

            FACT 2: Draper wrote the guest list included:

            The Guest List:

            Frank Luntz – GOP Minister of Propaganda
            Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
            Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)
            Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA),
            Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX),
            Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX),
            Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI)
            Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA),
            Sen. Jim DeMint (SC-R),
            Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ-R),
            Sen. Tom Coburn (OK-R),
            Sen. John Ensign (NV-R) and
            Sen. Bob Corker (TN-R).

            Non-lawmakers present Newt Gingrich – Failed GOP candidate for President

            FACT 3: Newt Gingrich confirms meeting took place in an interview with Al Sharpton’s Politics Nation on June 12, 2012

            SHARPTON: In fact, let`s go to a book that Mr. Draper wrote about the night of the inauguration. There was a meeting at a hotel near the inaugural ball, about a mile away … He writes about that night the plan was to show united and unyielding
            opposition to the president`s economic policies … And Draper writes that you told the group — you, Newt Gingrich, “You will remember this day…you will remember this day the seeds of 2012 were sown.”
            If there was a commitment from day one, before he ever took a seat behind the desk of the Oval Office, that everyone was going to obstruct him, then what he`s done has been almost unbelievable, against those kind of odds, Speaker Gingrich.

            NEWT: The first is, it was an important meeting and I was glad and honored to be part of it … I said to Callista when we left the hall — because we were at the Capitol for the inaugural. As we left, I said, you know, if he sticks to the kind of moderation and bipartisanship he`s been describing, he will split the Republican Party. He`ll govern like Eisenhower and he`ll get reelected. Now this is — this is the inaugural day.

            SHARPTON: I`m glad you admit you had it.

          3. itsfun December 14, 2014

            Don’t you remember the names that the Democrats called George Bush when he was President?

            How many House bills did Harry Reid allow to see the light of day in the Senate?

          4. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            During Bush’s time in office, Congress was like a rubber stamp. The White House with Rove constructed 90% of the legislation Congress passed an all they did was ask “how high do you want us to jump”. How do you think Bush got the okay to start a war??/ How do you think we’re still languishing in deficit spending because Bush got to unwarranted, unfunded tax cuts passed?? How do you think Bush got a prescription drug benefit passed that the GOP refused to sign unless it included a provision that the government couldn’t negotiate drug prices??

            You’re lying through your teeth again!! Harry Reid NEVER USED THE FAKE FILIBUSTER TO PREVENT VERY MUCH GOP LEGISLATION WHILE BUSH WAS IN OFFICE!!!!!!

            IT WAS THE GOP CONTROLLED CONGRESSES FOR BUSH’S 1ST 6 YEARS THAT PREVENTED THE DEMS FROM EVEN ASKING FOR AMENDMENTS TO THE IDIOTIC TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE LEGISLATION THE GOP WAS PASSING!!!

          5. itsfun December 14, 2014

            Harry Reid wouldn’t bring the House passed bills to the Senate floor for a vote. Are you saying that George Bush actually worked with Congress to get things done, instead of telling Congress what they would pass.

          6. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            Every bill that Harry Reid is sitting on has a poison pill intentionally put in it by the House knowing that Harry wouldn’t bringing it up for a vote. Those bills were created intentionally just TO WASTE TIME, by the House adding provisions that IT KNEW IN ADVANCE wouldn’t get through the Senate: giveaways to Big Oil or Big Agribusiness or BigPharma; and/or, cuts to social programs and on and on.

            And no, George Bush “didin’t work with Congress” – George Bush DICTATED TO CONGRESS, and like the normal SHEEPLE THAT CONSERVATIVES ARE, they bowed to the master and DID HIS BIDDING!!

            More often than not, passing TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE LEGISLATION – LIKE TWO UNFUNDED TAX CUTS WHILE AMERICA WAS AT WAR KNOWING ALL THE WAR AND OTHER EXPENSES WOULD SIMPLY RUN UP ON A CREDIT CARD TO BE PASSED DOWN TO OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN!!!!!!

            AND EVEN AN UNFUNDED GIVEAWAY TO BIG PHARMA CALLED MEDICARE PART D THAT’S ADDING TO OUR DEFICITS EVEN TODAY!!!

          7. joe schmo December 15, 2014

            SHEEPLE! SHEEPLE! Turn that mirror on yourself and you will see who the SHEEPLE are. Conservatives are critical and question authority. Even our own representatives…..

          8. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            And what is calling a Pathological Lying worthless president like Bush names GOT TO DO WITH ANYTHING???

            Why do you suppose that his approval rating languished in the upper 20 and lower 30 percent for the vast majority of his 2nd term?? Because virtually every American except ideologically depraved Republicans had realized he was a disastrous president!!!!!

          9. itsfun December 14, 2014

            You call Bush a pathological lair. What do you call obama then? Check obama’s approval ratings. I doubt if you will be bragging about them.

          10. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            I know Obama’s approval rating every day! This week it has averaged 48-50%. The only poll I give any credence is the Rasmussen poll.

            And I verify a lot of what Obama says – and yes, he may stretch the point sometimes, but I have never found that I feel what he says is a deliberate lie – totally unlike George Bush WHO RARELY EVER SAID ANYTHING THAT WASN’T EITHER A LIE OR A DISTORTION OF THE TRUTH.

            He was such a pathological liar that I simply COULD NOT listen to his speeches; they actually made me nauseated.

            Just as an example: When it was first substantiated that the CIA was actually torturing detainees, a reporter stopped Bush, ON CAMERA, and asked him about the allegation; his response was “We do not torture.” Even though it had been substantiated and as we know now, Cheney says Bush was actually intimately involved in what the CIA was doing to torture detainees.

            And I could site numerous examples of Bush lying about Iraq’s involvement in 9/11 and that it had WMDs, and was seeking Uranium and on and on.

          11. itsfun December 15, 2014

            It is always a good idea to just read or listen to only one poll or one news show. That way you never have to see or hear what the rest of the world believes. Obama is proven to be the biggest liar ever in the White House. That is why no world leaders have any respect or use for him. He threatened Putin with the red line BS, then backed down as fast as he could saying he never talked about a red line.

          12. Independent1 December 15, 2014

            Sorry, I take polls with a grain of salt for 2 reasons: 1) the vast majority of polls are partisan biased (mostly right-wing), especially the Gallup and the NBC/WSJ polls), and 2) the polls are surveying what I consider to be the grossly ignorant American populace who are so removed from reality, that their opinions are moot anyway. But having said that, by using one poll which I’ve found to be, in my estimation, ‘fair and balanced’; a poll that surveys a RANDOM SECTOR of the ignorant American populace every day – whether 100% accurate or not, I get a true sense of these ignorant Americans’ mood swings.

            So you can be sure, I am not letting myself be mislead by the clearly biased swings that the Gallup takes for example, every time the GOP tries to fear monger America. Even foreigners can see that it’s only a minor subsector of the American people who many polls are biasing – the sector that has allowed itself, such as yourself, to be totally hoodwinked into allowing the American Mafia to constantly siphon the ever getting poorer American populace of their hard earned money so it can be dumped into the pockets of the mega rich corporations and already wealthy Americans.

          13. DAVE in VA December 15, 2014

            itsfun, this is a good little list of Obama’s lie’s.

            http://obamalies.net/list-of-lies

          14. itsfun December 15, 2014

            Thanks Dave: The list is even bigger than I thought. Never thought I wouldn’t be able to believe the word of the President. I can’t trust his word any farther than I can throw the White House.

          15. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            And now even Cheney has throw Bush under the Bus – making it clear that Bush was well aware and approving of all the torture that the CIA was committing!!!!!!!!!

          16. joe schmo December 14, 2014

            OMG…..here we go……Anarchy, atheism, decadence, corruption, deceitfulness, lawlessness at it’s finest and it all resides in the Democratic party. In the end, you know who will lose?

            Yah, this ideology may stick around for a time but just like the Roman Empire, it will crumble and fall. Say, when are we going to start stringing babies over the coliseum and have alligators snap at them for entertainment?

          17. Independent1 December 14, 2014

            Yeah!! The Democrats own ACA that has already been projected to have saved more than 50,000 Americans their lives; is projected to save hospitals across the nation 5.7 billion this year alone; that is projected to add 15,000 jobs in the Red State of Arizona along with adding more than a billion in revenues and saving the state millions in reduced hospital reimbursements; a law that has actually spurred the economy by freeing up billions in cash from millions of Americans who felt like they had to hoard their money in case of a devastating medical emergency – ACA – CLEARLY THE BEST PIECE OF LEGISLATION PASSED BY CONGRESS SINCE SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE!!!!

          18. joe schmo December 14, 2014

            50,000 poor Americans who do not pay a dime into the system. They were the first people on board.

            I hope the SOBin’ ACA implodes just like your ludicrous party…..

          19. joe schmo December 14, 2014

            Seriously, are you that stupid. McConnell didn’t want the GOP to vote for ACA because he believed it would work. Wow, are you delusional. McConnell is a RINO and I believe if he would have thought it was such a GREAT plan, he would have voted for ACA’s passage.

            IT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

        2. joe schmo December 14, 2014

          Thank you and I believe the Repubs wanted it that way because they wanted the Liberals to sink their own ship which, according to the last election, is just what they did.

          Go figure. What’s good for the goose is not good for the gander…..

          1. itsfun December 15, 2014

            Not sure, but I think every Democrat senator that has ran for re-election since passing the obamacare tax law has lost. Have you read about how many small town hospitals and clinics have and are about to close because of the obamacare tax? Another problem is emergency room visits are actually increasing because so many doctors are not accepting the new rates paid and the waiting time to get an appointment with a doctor that accepts the rates is to long.

      2. Richard Holmes December 14, 2014

        Don’t you mean obamboy’s dictatorship? You are a typical lib puke.

        1. Independent1 December 14, 2014

          Let’s see, if Obama, who has written the fewest Executive Orders to get around a DO NOTHING CONGRESS than any 2-term president in office since 1900 – is considered a ‘Dictator”?

          What do you suppose they called the Republican president named Coolidge back in the 1920s who signed more than 1,200 Executive Orders – “Emperor of the Universe?

          And what about another Republican president named Roosevelt who signed more than 1,000 EOs – do you suppose the they call him “Little Emperor of the Universe?”

          And what about another Republican president named Eisenhower who signed more than 450 EOs – Do you suppose he was “Little King Ike?”

          And what about another Republican president named Reagan who signed more tha 350 EOs – do you suppose that called him King Ron??

          Are you catching on DUMBO??? Obama is no more a dictator than you’re king of the world!!!

          Only someone as completely stupid as you would even suggest such a thing!! When are you going to grow up????????

      3. joe schmo December 14, 2014

        What is it with you people, you think everyone that is a Conservative is a liar? We do more fact searching and statistic finding than any of you put together. Personally, I have even found information on Liberal sites and posted that information. All you do is blow hot air out of your asses and accuse us of being equivocal.

        We simply contradict your sides opinions which usually are the opposite of your belief system. We try to bring to light the ‘lies,’ ‘untruths’ and misconstrued information that your media spews at you. We are not calling you liars rather we think you are more uninformed than we are. You jump on the first boat to China while we stew on whether we want to board or not.

        Obamacare is a joke. It started out bad and you damn well know it. I know that these idiots in Washington (trust me both sides are in cahoots) want a one-payer system which in my opinion is very much like Europes socialized medicine. I also know how that system works because of Drs. in my family. It sucks because most people will get mediocre healthcare while the wealthy (like those buffoons in the White House) will get specialized care because they can afford it. if you can’t see that then you are an even bigger fool than I thought.

    3. joe schmo December 14, 2014

      Did the author also forget to mention that 1.1 billion will go to making the ILLEGALS legal. The very thing we just voted against.

  3. Dominick Vila December 13, 2014

    Insinuating a parallel between Sen. Ted Cruz, a man inclined to embrace the most radical causes if doing so help him achieve his unrealistic political expectations, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a woman who has been focused, almost entirely, on Wall Street reform to end the abuses and unwise practices that contributed to the near debacle of the U.S. economy has got to be the epitome of hyperbole or naivete.

    Reply
    1. Independent1 December 13, 2014

      GOP lovers will resort to almost any innuendo to try and legitimatize their illogical political gambits. Suggesting that Warren is doing anything akin to the “government shut down gambit of Cruz”, is totally illogical: there’s no comparison. Even just in the fact that Warren is trying to prevent another economic meltdown (something truly beneficial to all Americans except bankers); while Cruz was simply trying to just do his part in keeping Obama from being an effective president.

      For those who haven’t heard Warren’s give-it-to-them speech in the Senate when she asked the Senate Republicans “Who do you work for? Wall Street or the American People?”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRDJDq6PkWQ

      1. joe schmo December 14, 2014

        Well, I guess we should ask Warren who she works for. Is she like Obama, and does she work as part of the old Communist party or does she work for the people of the United States. Can go both ways……

        1. Independent1 December 14, 2014

          Virtually every American knows who Warren is working for: the middle and lower classes!! Only someone as clueless as yourself would ask such a nonsense question.

          1. joe schmo December 14, 2014

            Bullshit…. Just what we need another Communist in office…. Right now your party thinks they hold the trump card. You just wait until you have no rights left. I know what Communist Europe is ALL about. You don’t even have a clue.

    2. joe schmo December 14, 2014

      Hey Dominick, there really is really little difference between the Democrats and Republicans. Warren is far left (she’s a Progressive Marxist like Obama) and on the other side is Cruz…..

  4. angryspittle December 13, 2014

    A most fundamental rule change for both houses should be that all amendments must be germane, but that will never happen because then individual bribe takers couldn’t fulfill their purpose of sucking Koch.

    Reply
  5. Whatmeworry December 13, 2014

    No they are far worse. Their agenda is to paralyze the economy and make the Federal Govt the only employer

    Reply
    1. Daniel Max Ketter December 13, 2014

      Yep, I hope they can get that budget agreed on and keep the government working for me and the taxpayers. I certainly don’t want any delay with my disability income

    2. jmprint December 15, 2014

      Yes that is the nature of the Republicans to paralyze our economy, thank God for President Obama’s leadership the economy is doing well.

      1. Whatmeworry December 15, 2014

        Sorry under Barak the Middle class has totally disappeared

        1. jmprint December 16, 2014

          Well hold onto your panties, because the bill that just got passed with all the perks going to the one percent (thanks to the republicans) is going to make it a little tougher for the poor and middle class, especially if we bail out the banks again. And the EPA won’t be working at full force, so when the water you drink is contaminated, make sure you blame the GOP as well. President Obama has kept the middle class stable, otherwise there wouldn’t be a middle class AT ALL.

          1. Whatmeworry December 16, 2014

            Next we need to trim down the military

          2. jmprint December 16, 2014

            Yeah, we really don’t need all those mansions that were built in the Cheney era.

          3. Whatmeworry December 16, 2014

            We could trim down the active military COLA’s and make them pay into their pensions like everyone else

          4. Whatmeworry December 17, 2014

            The 47% who don’t pay any taxes and illegals do VERRRY well under the new budget

          5. Daniel Max Ketter December 18, 2014

            Heck, I found loopholes around paying taxes. It’s called claiming disability, and it worked for 30 years!

          6. jmprint December 18, 2014

            Great, good for them I hope and pray they prosper as well as you did.

          7. Whatmeworry December 18, 2014

            1 day when you pay taxes you’ll think differently

          8. <Whatmeworry is Dan M Ketter December 19, 2014

            Dan Ketter has never paid taxes!

          9. jmprint December 19, 2014

            I don’t understand why YOU make such childish remarks, I thought this was an adult conversation. FYI: I have been paying taxes since I was 14 years old. Bought my brand new car at the age of 18, became supervisor at 19. Became VP of my own company at the age of 23. So maybe you just haven’t grown up yet. I understand, some are slower.

          10. Whatmeworry December 19, 2014

            Take a look at your previous posts to see childish behavior. Being a VP of a lawn care mowing company isn’t a real accomplishemnt

          11. jmprint December 20, 2014

            Your insinuations are incorrect, you like to make up stories and lie, but that is your character and I am glad you are the only one that has to live with it. I am still in business (and it’s not lawn service), have been for 35 years. Seems you just don’t like for people to be self improved. Being an a-hole is a wonderful accomplishment for you, considering you think you are better than everyone else.

          12. Whatmeworry December 20, 2014

            I forgot that you own the ding ding truck

          13. <Whatmeworry is Dan M Ketter December 21, 2014

            Somebody send douchbag Danielle Ketter aka Whatmeworry a xmas card and a new grey shirt!

            Dan Max Ketter
            2909 Elizabeth Champion Ct,
            Williamsburg, VA

          14. Whatmeworry December 18, 2014

            The 47% who pay any taxes and illegals don’t do VERRRY well under the new budget

        2. Daniel Max Ketter October 12, 2015

          I drive a toyota. Fords are shet

      2. Whatmeworry December 16, 2014

        Sorry under Barak the Upper class has totally disappeared

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