Krauthammer: Obama Has Republicans Right Where He Wants Them

Pundit and perpetually dour Travelocity Gnome Charles Krauthammer, took to his token WaPo seat today to inform the world that the Compromiser-in-Chief really hornswoggled those waskly Republiwabbits with his captiulation compromise on the Bush tax cuts. A plan so clever that Obama, Democrats, and apparently judging by their reactions, Republicans too, are just too dim to see.

Yup Chuck, that wiley old Kenyan socialist has ‘em right where he wants ‘em now!

According to the Great and Glorious Oz-Hammer, Obama tricked Republicans into what the Wall St. Journal calls, “a second, stealth stimulus package” worth a $1 trillion by agreeing to tax cuts for all and extra money for those not lucky enough to be unemployed corporate titans.

Psst…don’t tell anyone that many economists see the tax cuts for the wealthy as making up the lion’s share of the trillion and providing the least stimulus – unless by stimulus you mean stimulus for yacht and corporate jet makers.

Oh wait! The wealthy already get private jet service as part of their measly compensation packages. Silly me!

Alienating Voters for Fun and Profit
Obama gave up his objection to tax cuts for the rich – before negotiations even started – in exchange for tax cuts for everyone and unemployment money the Republicans didn’t care a whit about anyway – except to the extent that the have nots would’ve been momentarily pissed if they got nothing.

Now here’s the genius of Barack Machiavelli’s plan. Give the Republicans what they really want (tax cuts for the rich) in exchange for letting them off the hook for their most outrageous and politically embarrassing proposals (no middle class cuts and unemployment continuation).

Then, kick the can down the road so that Republicans will be in power and more easily able to strip the tax cuts down to only those for the More Money Than God tax bracket while pummeling Obama with accusations that those budget-busting middle class tax cuts and extended unemployment benefits just ruined the economy. Ruined I say!

If the Republicans gave a crap about their constituents – other than their corporate donors I mean – the unemployment extension shouldn’t have needed to be negotiated. It was a worthless bargaining chip as far as the Republicans were concerned, “Let the little people have their crumbs. Pass the $5,000 per ounce caviar Mr. Halliburton.”

As for middle class taxpayers it’s not such a ‘victory’ either. The deal could raise taxes for 1-in-3 workers. And as usual, the working poor get bupkis. The Obamicans giveth with one hand and taketh away with the other.

Lighting $100 Cigars with $100 Bills
The Bush tax cuts were passed during the period of the inflating bubble. The corporate titans could light $100 cigars with $100 bills worth $200. Middle class folks could buy homes well-beyond their means with money loaned by banks engaged in the world’s largest 3-card monty game. Most everybody, except those losing their jobs to offshoring, was working. And, we were flush enough to finance two wars – creating much of the deficit Obama inherited – “off the budget books”.

There’s an old fable that makes too much sense to possibly be true. To balance a budget you have to have more coming in than you have going out. But when your economy is built with all the stability of a Jenga game on quicksand you won’t be able to do it quickly. The economy took a long time to get so thoroughly and royally hosed.

It’ll take sacrifice and austerity by EVERYONE – yes Robber Barons and your super-citizen corporations, this means you. It also means middle class folks who won’t like to bite the bullet, but guano happens. The poor aren’t generally paying taxes anyway because the tax on zero is, oddly enough, zero.

The truly fiscally responsible way would’ve been to give no tax cuts to anyone. The rich and middle class are where the money is and are best equipped to weather the storm, even if income disparity is as equal as an elephant on the other side of a scale from a squirrel. Not a popular solution, but everyone suffers equally, if not proportionately, and the treasury is that much closer to getting more coming in than going out.

As for the extension of unemployment benefits, pass them independent of any deals. The politicians have shafted these people quite enough already, giving them a break is the least they could do. At least that money will be spent on something useful, like keeping a roof over the unemployed’s heads and food on the table. It’ll cost a little, but not as much as the cuts.

Rich folks, and those who ride their ample coattails, I know it’s tough to forgo that yacht the size of an aircraft carrier, but come on. Dig deep. Get the holiday Christmas spirit. Middle classers, you’ll have to suck it up as you always do. That sucks, but it is the way of capitalism – greed always wins.

The Republicans don’t give a damn what the electorate thinks of them. The Democrats are more disorganized than a herd of feral cats. And Barack…poor, poor Barack…got his feelings hurt because he’s become mono-partisan – that special state of grace where everyone – left, right, and center – thinks you’re an incompetent boob.

No more negotiating. No one ever negotiates anything that’s good for the country and it just depresses the hell out of the rest of us.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Quinnipiac polls (Rupert Murdoch polls?)

The latest numbers from Quinnipiac suggest biased polling data - biased sampling procedures (biased in favor of John McCain and the Republican Party).  We now learn that the Quinnipiac polls are sponsored by the Wall Street Journal, owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Coincidence?

It used to be possible to rely on Quinnipiac University polling, but that era may now be past, if Quinnipiac is going to bend its sampling procedures to suit the owner of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, Rupert Murdoch.

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When gas goes to $6.00 a gallon.

The Wall Street Journal says things are probably not looking up in the oil and gas crisis:

In the U.S., $200 crude would push the price of gasoline to well over $6 a gallon, causing commuters to alter their driving habits more sharply than they have already, while putting extreme strains on large sectors of the U.S. economy.

Speaking as one member of a strained-large-sector-to-be, I am wondering what I can plan ahead to do by December... or, indeed, what I can do now that I haven't done already... to make economic survival possible.

I'm already driving a car that gets 33 mpg, and, except for going the 15 miles back and forth to work 3 days a week (4 this coming fall), I have limited my driving to the half mile to the grocery and the gym.  No more exciting trips to visit friends or relatives. No vacation travel. This part of life has already been cut back and become utterly boring (but has kept me from spending money in many places where I would have before). West Virginia has little-to-no public transportation, so that's out as well.

I've cut down doing my laundry to once a week... and doing cold-water washing at that. I used to do laundry twice a week and always used hot water. I wear things for longer periods, now... and for that I hope to be forgiven by the local style mavens.

Sweaters come out of the closet this fall...heat gets cut down on, even though we're an all electric house... sooner or later the ticket goes back to the oil prices.

Most of all, I'm going to encourage everyone I know to get the Republicans who left us with this mess out of office... and I don't feel too partial to some of the Democrats who helped them when there are more progressive ones available.

Under The LobsterScope

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Republicans unravelling?

This morning I indulged in some schadenfreude surfing the opeds in places like the WSJ,letters to the editor at the WSJ, analysis in the NYT, WAPO etc, rantings on Redstate, etc. The Republicans are starting to come apart at the seams and the most amusing thing about the whole process is that they don't get it. I suppose this is what happens when a political party starts to implode. The blame game being played out is totally surreal. Basically most of conservative opeds blame the three successive Republican disasters in districts that have been gerrymandered for year to make them uber safe for conservatives on the fact that Republicans are not being conservative enough. According to the WSJ it has nothing to do with Bush, the Iraq war, the massive income shifts, the gradual collapse of a market based approach to healthcare and all the other right wing doctrinaire positions dear to their hearts. No it's all because the Republican minority in congress is married to earmarks and hasn't been obstructive enough. Perhaps the biggest laugh in the Journal is Karl Rove pontificating about a state of affairs of which he is personally one of the prime architects. No I take that back. Some of the letters from die hard Republicans which they always publish in large numbers contradicting each other, complaining about the drift to the center, are even more hilarious. On the net their counterparts at Redstate are even more extreme: attacking Boner and the leadership, ranting about socialist policies from Republican appeasers, demanding the start of a new war. Amazing stuff.        

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Obama, Race, the WSJ, and the Issues

Here is a link to an interesting Wall Street Journal opinion piece:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12053667 7319031953.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

I rarely read the conservative editorial pages of the Journal (only the excellent reporting on the front pages). But this one has an interesting argument. Basically, it says Obama uses his race as a shield against tough criticism. If the criticism is very effective, we see an Obama surrogate claiming racism. The piece points out New Hampshire - where the Clintons used very effective arguments against Obama - 'It takes a President' and 'Obama´s Iraq stance is a fairy tale'. Obama's camp, after reeling from his New Hampshire loss, claimed that these were racist talking points. It also points out that when the 3 AM ad that was deemed to be effective - Obama supporter Paterson called the ad racist in a NYT editorial.

I have been seeing that Obama uses the race card to muzzle any serious discussion of the limits of his qualifications. It is a truly divisive strategy. And effective in the Democratic Primary. It is like one of those super shields you get in those video games that protect you against any direct hits. But, as seen by the Wall Street Journal piece, the conservatives are on to this race shield. And they are ready for it.

My anger at Obama's supporters (and David Axelrod's) use of the race shield has made me blind to the fact that any discussion of race will help Obama in the primary. Because, it mutes any discussion of real issues. Like:

1. Obama´s recent foriegn policy expert, Samantha Powers, assertion that Obama talk about a withdrawl from Iraq is just talk, and that he will not withdraw from Iraq on his timetable.

2.  We should be discussing his true stance about NAFTA, and how it affects Pennsylvania.

3. How his dealings with Rezco could reflect on his possible Presidency, with hundreds of billions of dollars of Federal Government contracts at his disposal.

4. Obama's honesty. And the fact that he is lied about his NAFTA contact with the Candians. That he quite possibly is lying about his Iraq intentions.

5. The fact that Obama ignored his own voters in his district that did not have heat in a Chicago winter. That his financial benefactor, Rezco, was given in millions of taxpayer dollars to refurbish these houses. But Rezco pocketed the millions instead of fixing up the houses. And let the houses go onto foreclosure. This was in Obama's own district. And Obama said nothing.

Finally, about Hillary, we should point out that she does in fact have some incredibly experience to bring to the presidency. That Bill Clinton is an incredibly asset. And that his presidency was very positive for the majority of Americans. These are the reall issues facing us today.

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