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23 Dec 2011 14:28


Politics: Obama on signing the two-month payroll tax-cut extension … finally

  • I promise you, the American people, your voices made a difference on this debate. You reminded people in this town what this debate and what all of our debates should be about: It’s about you; it’s about your lives; it’s about your families.
  • President Obama • Speaking about the debate around the payroll tax cuts, which finally reached his desk today after a solid week of hand-wringing by the House GOP. Here’s the plan from here on out, according to the president: “We’re going to have to roll up our sleeves together, Democrats and Republicans, to make sure that the economy is growing and to make sure that more jobs are created.” Think he’s making headway? source

22 Dec 2011 20:08


Politics: A rare concession: House GOP loses on payroll tax-cut issue

  • The GOP lost one. The tell-tale signs were everywhere. On a day where John Boehner lost support from the GOP establishment on blocking a payroll tax-cut plan — which mind you, was just for two months, and otherwise would’ve been a big GOP victory because of the Democratic concessions made — the political kayfabe finally gave way to inevitability. Here’s how it went down. (Photo by Gage Skidmore, that guy who takes all the GOP politician photos on Flickr)
  • cause For months, Republicans were soft on the idea of extending payroll tax cuts into 2012, a key issue for Democrats, because they thought it didn’t stimulate the economy. Eventually, the Senate passed a limited extension, but the House wouldn’t go for it.
  • reaction For days, House speaker John Boehner faced significant pressure over the House’s stance, and eventually his own party started criticizing the late-December move, which they believed could give the Democrats major leverage in 2012.
  • result Today, Boehner  gave in, with the House speaker allowing for a voice vote on the issue. “We have fought the good fight,” Boehner said. “Why not do the right thing for the American people even though it’s not exactly what we want?” source

24 Feb 2011 20:59


World: Algeria finally concedes to protesters that there’s no emergency

  • 19 years of emergency rule in Algeria … well, until today source

06 Dec 2010 20:20


Politics: Three things Obama conceded to push through the Bush tax cuts

  • two number of years the Bush tax cuts were extended for everyone – not just the middle class
  • 4.2% the Social Security payroll tax next year – that’s down two full percentage points, BTW
  • 35% the maximum estate tax rate; there will also be an exemption of $5 million per person source
  • » Will Democrats go for it? Maybe not; it seems that many congressional Democrats are upset about the estate tax thing in particular, and the overall deal got a weak reception from Democrats in particular. But the GOP likes it. When was the last time Obama pleased the GOP?

20 Dec 2009 10:40


Politics: Fox News’ angle on Ben Nelson: He sold his vote for his state!

  • Do the twist! Saying that the abortion concessions weren’t enough, Fox News claims that Nelson sold his vote for health care to win kickbacks. “It’s pretty obvious votes have been bought,” Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia said. Nelson did get Reid to agree to help pick up his state’s future Medicaid tab, at a cost of $45 million. Most other states will get their tab picked up, but only over a short period.
  • Fair & balanced Politico covers the issue differently – they note it’s the kind of concessionary agreement made with legislation like this. Nelson’s fellow Democratic Nebraska senator, Tom Harkin, makes a good point: “… it is going to be the impetus for all the states to stay at 100 percent. So he might have done all of us a favor.” That’s right, the Feds might pay the balance of Medicaid for everyone eventually.