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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Archive for December 2010

President’s Debt Commission – The Final Report (Part 2)

The Debt Commission Report, formally The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, has been subject to a lot of derision on the left.  It has been seen as a waste of time at best, or an attack on Democratic core principles at the worst.

This is the second installment looking section by section of the report.

Here’s the link to the first installment:…

Also, here is the link to the actual report:


An Era of Republican Presidential Dominance?

By: Inoljt,

It’s been somewhat fashionable amongst the Washington beltway to classify the past few decades as an era dominated by the Republican Party, at least on the presidential level. According to this view, Republican presidential dominance started under President Ronald Reagan, who initiated the Reagan Revolution. Since then America has been under continuous Republican hegemony, interrupted only by the centralist term of President Clinton. In light of the 2008 Democratic victory, holders of this idea sometimes assert that President Obama has initiated a new era of Democratic presidential dominance.

The idea of Republican presidential dominance, however, fares poorly when compared to the evidence:

An Era of Republican Presidential Dominance?

More below.

President’s Debt Commission – The Final Report (Part 1)

The Debt Commission Report, formally The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, has been subject to a lot of derision on the left.  It has been seen as a waste of time at best, or an attack on Democratic core principles at the worst.  So much so, that many started calling it the Catfood Commission.

The President created this commission after a Republican backed Congressional commission failed when the President indicated his support for such a measure.  So, the President created it himself and put it to work to find a way to seriously look at the budget and make recommendations on how to reign in the nation’s huge budget deficits in the short, medium, and long term.  It was stocked with 18 members, requiring a super-majority of 14 votes to approve of any recommendations.  This is why I would argue that the commission was created to work through the process but to ultimately fail.  Hopefully, creating a serious look at what might be done to improve the nation’s finances.  

A Christmas Eve Outing

Subtitled: Cautionary Tales from the Great Orange Satan.

Well I’m home from my holiday day trip to Philadelphia, but much of my Christmas Eve, and time in the last week was taken  up with a strange and twisted adventure in blogging over at GOS.

Festive Cheer: Christmas Open Thread

To keep you both funky and festive, here’s an offbeat seasonal collection of songs, mainly folk and rock, created by my brother in law, and designed to get you into the spirit (or the spirits if that’s your thing) while wrapping presents:

In more good news, The Guardian ends the year by praising the jujitsu moves of the Obama administration after the nightmare of the midterms.

Some key quotations after the jump…

Change that matters

Hey Moosers!!

Here is a new ad by the DNC.  It’s great, and it basically does what we have been dying for from the administration.  It’s a great way to show all of the President’s main accomplishments in a flashy way.

I’m not sure what the reason is but he isn’t getting the credit he deserves for what has been already accomplished.

Here’s the video:

Watching Young Obama

By: Inoljt,

Out of the many politicians in America’s democracy, President Barack Obama is unique in several ways. For one, the books authored under his name are actually written, beginning to end, by himself. In Washington politicians author many books, but very rarely are the words their own; the tradition is to use a ghostwriter.

Interestingly enough, Mr. Obama did take some steps to promote his first book – Dreams From My Father. One such interview provides a revealing hint of his early philosophy:

Part two can be found here; part three is here.

More below.

Open Thread: A Sad Day for the Intertubes

The FCC voted on its net neutrality proposal today, and we’ve all come out the losers.

I will admit to having been distracted of late. Between Christmas, work, the excitement over the repeal of DADT, the new tax deal, and my personal life, I pretty much forgot that this was coming up. And frankly, it depresses me, so I won’t be offering much commentary.

From Raw Story,

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who has championed “Net Neutrality” in the past, said the FCC’s proposed rules would actually “destroy” the principle of “Net Neutrality.”

[. . .]

But the plan would also allow for a greater fractioning of the Internet and data rationing on mobile and wired networks, according to analysis of the policies. Major network stakeholders like Verizon and AT&T would be able to sell bandwidth in capped tiers, with overage charges for users who download too much information, and certain types of data traffic like peer-to-peer file transfers could be banned altogether.

Raw Story

A New Start to START (Updated)

For awhile it looked like the Senate’s ratification of the new START Treaty might be dead because Sen. Reid chose to hold the DADT vote first.

But not so fast ~ the Senate has blocked a filibuster attempt with 67 votes.  What makes that ’67’ number even better is that, because a 2/3 majority is necessary to ratify a treat, this vote likely signals that there are enough votes to ratify START.

Let’s see how we got here from the dead-in-the-water of late last week.

First we get a bit of horse-trading from the 2008 Dynamic Duo of McCain and Graham:

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) had promised the White House early last week that they would deliver the votes necessary to ratify the START treaty if the administration would pull the repeal of the military’s DADT policy off the lame-duck agenda, according to Democratic aides familiar with the pair’s offer.

Well, our homophobe-in-chief turned down the deal (which gives some lie to that TPM article from late last week that tried to start up some crap about the White House stalling DADT).

Sen. Graham went on Face the Nation to complain about the lame duck session, calling it poisoned and suggested that any ratification would have to wait until the next session of Congress.

Sen. Corker of TN likewise had some issues with the order of the voting.  He told Greg Sargent:

pushing for DADT repeal and other issues “is hardening them against passage of this treaty at this time,” referring to unnamed Republican colleagues. He then clarified: “I just want to make sure it’s clear they’re not going to oppose the treaty permanently … But it’s hardening them against doing it right now.”

So things were looking bleak for START.

Not anymore, though.  Today we get a vote with a number of Republicans, including Mr. Corker, voting for cloture.  So what, you might ask, turned some of the naysayers around?  Was it the President’s wit and charm?  Was it the Democrats’ powers of persuasion?  Or maybe the public support for the treaty?

Nope ~ it wasn’t the president or Harry Reid.  It wasn’t constituent phone calls or letters or protests.  It was, apparently, some Congressional staffers with either too little or too much imagination….