The so-called sequester is designed to be highly unattractive to both sides of the aisle. But it is structured in a way that makes it significantly more unattractive to the Republicans. The problem is the cuts to the Defense Department. The Republicans who serve on the Armed Services committees aredesperate to avoid those cuts and they are willing to cut a deal favorable to the president to avoid them. The progressives don't like the across the board cuts to the discretionary budget, which will take a bite out of nearly everything, but they prefer them to making a deal that makes significant cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.
If Mitch McConnell wants to be taken seriously when he complains about proposed changes to the filibuster rule, he probably shouldn't go out and do ridiculous things like filibustering himself. He seriously asked Harry Reid to have a vote on the president's plan to keep Congress from destroying our credit rating. And when Harry Reid said, "Okay, let's vote," McConnell refused to grant unanimous consent for it.
I don't like to mince words. Mitt Romney is getting slapped around worse than Cory Booker after a Meet the Press appearance. There are redheaded stepchildren and rented mules who are having an easier time of it than the Mittster. In Nate Silver's model, if the election were held today, Romney would have a 2.2% chance of winning. His chances on November 6th are down to 18.1%, and they are only that high because Silver is still assuming a bit of a convention bounce and some economic headwinds that will keep Obama's numbers down. In any case, things are bad enough that Silver decided to try to figure out if Obama could possibly do as well or better in November as he did in 2008. Things are bad enough that Chris Cillizza decided to tell us all that they won't get much worse. Mr. Cillizza assures us that Mitt Romney won't get blown out, and Mr. Silver basically agrees, although he allows that it's at least as likely as Romney coming back to win.
Karen De Young of the Washington Post
points the finger at informs us that the reforms to America's intelligence community initiated by Ruler of the Galactic Empire, Darth Cheney President Bush and his the Republicans lapdogs in Congress in 2004, the legislation which created the National Counterterrorism Center, were the primary factor in the failure of the Intelligence Community to identify and deter the "underwear bomber."
Mexico City showed more bravery then many North of the Border States this year when it came to gay rights, and just in time for Christmas, too:
I think the economy is pretty darn awful, but with record profits on Wall Street and all the happy talk about a recovery from the recession (albeit a jobless recovery) it's confusing for many people as to what our economic future really holds. Well, here's relevant statistic that sums it up nicely, one that shows the so-called recovery is mostly a smoke and mirrors vaudeville magician's routine by the same people who either got us into this fine mess in the first place, or enabled the ones who did. Take a peek at this excerpt from Inner Workings David Goldman's blog at Asia Times:
The main reason that supporters of Bush's anti-terror policies are wetting their pajamas is pretty clear from a look at National Review Online:
Republican Senator from the Great State of South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, apparently isn't chummy enough with one of the major constituencies of the Republican Party. Neoconservatives? No, not them. Religious Fundamentalists? Maybe, but he's still talking the talk. Glenn Beck and the tea-baggers? You betcha, but that's not the group that he's really offended. Offended enough that they are running advocacy ads against him in his home state. No the group that is really pissed off at Senator Graham is the group that thought he was always in their hip pocket, bought and paid for, as it were: Big Oil:
Shailagh Murray and Lori Montgomery have a damn good roundup in the Washington Post of the state of play for health care reform on the eve of the big vote in the Senate Finance Committee. If you don't feel like you have a good grasp of the various issues and shifting winds, I recommend giving it a careful read. There's not much to complain about in their report.
From the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll: