Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Open Thread & News Round-Up: The Raw Deal

The Senate will vote on the Raw Deal today at noon eastern. In the meantime, here's the latest...

The GuardianHouse of Representatives passes debt bill: "Enough Democrats and Republicans reluctantly joined forces to see the proposed legislation through, 269 votes to 161."

The HillDems furious, see deal as GOP win:
House Democrats on Monday expressed outrage at the White House for how it handled the debt-ceiling negotiations, claiming the administration caved to the GOP and left them in the dark.

The irate lawmakers took exception to the lack of balance between cuts and revenues; they railed against the White House for excluding them from the process; and they accused President Obama of bowing to the demands of Republicans without putting up much of a fight.

"Our negotiators weren't tough enough," Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said Monday. "They didn't do the work."

...Not only did the agreement slash domestic spending while excluding new tax revenues, many Democrats ranted, but the White House left rank-and-file members in the dark through most of the talks.

...[Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.)] said most Democrats in the New York delegation had requested a meeting with the White House to discuss potential cuts in graduate medical education.

"We couldn't get a meeting," he said.

When the deal was reached Sunday, Engel continued, the White House "didn't bother" to contact House Democrats.

"We all heard that there was this deal through the media," he said.
CBS—Boehner: I got 98 percent of what I wanted: "When you look at this final agreement that we came to with the white House, I got 98 percent of what I wanted. I'm pretty happy."

LA TimesBiden denies likening Republicans to terrorists in debt talks:
"I did not use the terrorism word," he told "CBS Evening News" anchor Scott Pelley. "What happened was there were some people who said they felt like they were being held hostage by terrorists. I never said that they were terrorists or weren't terrorists, I just let them vent."
Too bad. Because we could really use someone in his position to speak that truth.

The coverage of this debacle abroad has been interesting, to say the least. Two of my favorites today: In Der Spiegel, they're running an interview with "Tea Party Co-Founder Mark Meckler," who is a garbage nightmare, and in The Telegraph, under the awesome headline "The real story of the US debt deal is not the triumph of the Tea Party but the death of the Socialist Left," Toby Young says: "To focus on the Tea Party is to ignore the tectonic political shift that's taken place, not just in America but across Europe. The majority of citizens in nearly all the world's most developed countries simply aren't prepared to tolerate the degree of borrowing required to sustain generous welfare programmes any longer."

Which puts me in mind of that great Edwin Starr classic, "Empathy! Huh! Yeah! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!" Sob.

Elsewhere...

The HillUnion chief warns of job losses from debt-ceiling deal: "Gerry McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), said: 'The deal forced upon the White House and the nation represents a form of economic malpractice,' McEntee said in a statement. 'At the least, it will slow economic recovery and impose more joblessness, wage cuts and hardship on America's working families.'"

David Dayen at FDL—Future Congresses Can Change Austerity Terms, But These Democrats Won't: "I don't see these Democrats, who have been parroting the language of austerity so much they have to believe at least some of it, will ever go beyond this agreement. ... The way out of this box is to find different people than the ones currently in office. I don't see any other way around that."

PoliticoMatt Damon weighs in on the debt ceiling: "I'm so disgusted, man. ... The wealthy are paying less than they've paid in any time else, certainly in my lifetime. ... It's criminal that like, you know, so little is asked of people who are getting so much; I mean, I don't mind paying more. I really don't mind paying more taxes."

And here's a fun picture lulz.