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Mike Lillis reports: "Liberals on and off Capitol Hill agonized Thursday that supercommittee Democrats had bungled early negotiations over a budget deal and put their party in a position to be bested again by Republicans. By proposing significant cuts to Medicare and Medicaid as an early offering, liberals said the panel Democrats weakened their party's negotiating position as Republicans, who have ceded no ground on their central anti-tax message, sat back and watched."

Liberals are furious with the sweeping $3 trillion deficit-reduction proposal presented Tuesday by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mon) to Republicans on the deficit panel. ( photo: AP)
Liberals are furious with the sweeping $3 trillion deficit-reduction proposal presented Tuesday by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mon) to Republicans on the deficit panel. ( photo: AP)

"Deja Vu" Are Democrats Caving in Budget Talks?

By Mike Lillis, The Hill

28 October 11

iberals on and off Capitol Hill agonized Thursday that supercommittee Democrats had bungled early negotiations over a budget deal and put their party in a position to be bested again by Republicans.

By proposing significant cuts to Medicare and Medicaid as an early offering, liberals said the panel Democrats weakened their party’s negotiating position as Republicans, who have ceded no ground on their central anti-tax message, sat back and watched.

"My fear is that this is déjà vu all over again," said Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), one of the dozens of liberals who thought the White House cornered itself in the summer debt-ceiling talks by floating similar entitlement cuts to the GOP in negotiations led by Vice President Biden.

"This is essentially what happened in the Biden talks," Welch said. "The Democrats were putting concrete proposals on the table [including entitlement cuts] and the Republicans never came forward with concrete revenues to match it.

"The Democratic side was negotiating against itself," Welch added. "As a strategy, that won't work."

While some Democrats said their deficit package is evidence that they're the more serious negotiators, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) shrugged it off and remarked it was "time for everybody to get serious" about the talks.

In a memo highlighting the Republicans' blanket opposition to new tax hikes, Boehner's office said the Democrats' plan is "not a serious proposal."

"Republicans have been willing to discuss new revenues, but this offer is rooted in unacceptable tax increases, which would have a negative impact on the economy and jobs," the memo reads.

Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee ( PCCC), a liberal activist group, echoed Welch's message Thursday, saying the Democrats' early offer to cut Medicare and Medicaid is "just incompetent negotiation strategy."

"If Democrats on the [supercommittee] are proposing cuts to Medicare, Medicaid or other middle-class benefits, that is fundamentally out of step with what the 99 percent of Americans are crying out for right now," Green said in an email. "The middle class has sacrificed enough — it's time for Wall Street and the wealthy to finally pay their fair share, and voters need Democratic politicians to get that."

A former House Democratic staffer sounded a similar note, saying the Democrats could use a lesson in how to squeeze more of their priorities out of the ongoing bipartisan talks.

"Though the [Democrats] won't likely bite on Medicare offsets (i.e., bene[fit] cuts) w/out revenue, the cuts are now, nevertheless, out there," the staffer, who is now a health policy analyst, said in an email. "Someone really should give these guys a primer on negotiating skills!?!"

The liberals are furious with the sweeping $3 trillion deficit-reduction proposal presented Tuesday by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to Republicans on the deficit panel. The plan includes hundreds of billions of dollars in entitlement cuts and more than $1 trillion in new tax hikes — a package along the lines of the "grand bargain" negotiated over the summer by President Obama and Boehner that eventually died in favor of a more modest deal focused on spending cuts.

The proposal offered by Baucus — which was endorsed by a majority of the six Democrats on the deficit panel — features roughly $400 billion in Medicare reductions, including significant cuts to senior benefits. A number of liberal Democrats hammered the proposal this week, warning that benefit cuts under Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are a nonstarter.

"I don't want to hear Democrats suggesting that we have those types of cuts in Medicare," Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told The Hill on Wednesday. "I hope that's not true."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, however, declined to join those critics on Thursday.

"It's no use asking me about specific things until we see the whole package," Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol.

The California Democrat reiterated her party's insistence on a "balanced" deficit-reduction plan, suggesting that she and her caucus won't support a package that fails to spread the pain of austerity across a class spectrum.

"It's not fair to say to a senior, 'You're going to pay more for Social Security, and we're not going to touch a hair on the head of the wealthiest people in our country,' " Pelosi said.

Democrats also hammered a Republican counteroffer that would cut the deficit by $2.2 trillion over 10 years and generate up to $640 billion in new revenue.

Consistent with the Republicans' vows not to impose new taxes, the revenues originate from increased user fees and tax-revenue increases the GOP says will accompany an overhaul of the tax code.

Democrats said it focused too heavily on middle-class benefit cuts without balancing them out with tax hikes on the wealthy.

"As reported, Republicans' stubborn refusal to come forth on real revenues as part of a deficit reduction package threatens any real progress in the Select Committee," Rep. Sandy Levin (Mich.), senior Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement. "Their unwillingness to ask anything of the very wealthiest even as they propose devastating cuts to Medicare and Social Security is totally unacceptable."

Yet liberal activists argue that the Democrats' proposal is little better.

"This plan protects the status quo for the 1 percent while the 99 percent are expected to sacrifice vital healthcare they need to survive," said Jim Dean, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's brother and the chairman of Democracy for America, a political action committee with 1 million members.

"Democracy for America will oppose any Democrat who votes for a plan that cuts Medicare or Medicaid." your social media marketing partner


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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

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Founder, Reader Supported News

+60 # fredboy 2011-10-28 14:48
Are Democrats caving on budget talks?

Don't they always?
+45 # Doubter 2011-10-28 16:36
NOBODY is this stupid. They MUST be collaborators in sheep's clothing!
+25 # readerz 2011-10-28 18:47
Remember Baucus (Senator, Democrat, Montana, all his campaign money comes from the health insurance industry)? This is PRECISELY why the small states do NOTHING for anybody in this country; these "Senators" have all the power, but not even enough constituents to run a campaign without taking money from big businesses. SURE he is a collaborator. Remember who wrote the health care bill... the health insurance industry, BECAUSE OF HIM. He should be censured. But the "system" isn't his fault; it is all because there are more Senators than Representatives in his state, and every big business interest rules like a kingdom.
+22 # 2011-10-28 19:08
I think you are right! NOBODY is this stupid or INEPT!
+8 # mwd870 2011-10-29 07:14
NOBODY is this stupid or INEPT!

Except for 90-95% of Congress. There are a few good men and women among our lawmakers despite the pressure from corporate lobyists. Naivete aside, let's hope some of the worst will be gone after the 2012 elections.


+6 # brianf 2011-10-29 15:37
Uh, these are Democrats who are caving in. Merely voting against Republicans is not nearly enough. We need to get these corrupt Democrats out too. Vote them out in the primaries!
+5 # jon 2011-10-29 19:09
"Vote them out in the primaries!"

Let hope there are enough Elizabeth Warrens to go around in all of these primaries.
+2 # mwd870 2011-10-30 09:30
Agreed, some of the worst are Democrats, though I'm not sure I can think of any *good* Republicans. Voting in the primaries is absolutely necessary - in the best scenario there will be enough Elizabeth Warrens to go around as the message becomes stronger.
+5 # Stephanie Remington 2011-10-29 13:19
Political actions from both major parties are a charade. They each have their talking points, but ALL actions are designed to benefit their paying clients.

Any time your "representative s" express agreement with you on a major issue, you can be sure they will somehow come out on the losing side of the final vote.
+4 # MidwestTom 2011-10-30 12:58
It is not Democrats versus Republicans, but we the 99% versus the elected Congress of both parties and their handlers on Wall Street.
+70 # camus11 2011-10-28 14:51
The democrats caved when they appointed Max Baucus to the "stupor" committee. Is anyone surprised?
+25 # 8LEA 2011-10-28 17:30
Blame Harry Reid: 2 of his three choices were faux-democrats Baucus and Kerry. Neither will vote to raise taxes on the wealthy...Kerry even tried to lower his own taxes by mooring his yacht out of state; he's been saying for years that we need to "reign in entitlement spending." Democrats in name only.
+18 # readerz 2011-10-28 18:49
Kerry doesn't want to offend his current Republican wife. He is sure a different person than back in the anti-Vietnam war era. Isn't it high time that people actually SHOW UP on these Senators' doorsteps and complain?
+1 # brianf 2011-10-29 15:41
Harry Reid is a horrible Senate leader and a disaster for the country. I wish he would have lost the last election so Democrats could have had a different leader in the senate.
+41 # lbn108 2011-10-28 14:56
Go Democracy for America!!! I will not vote for any such democrat either! My membership in the democratic party is nearing extinction...
+13 # CL38 2011-10-28 17:27
just don't vote will be a million times worse.
+4 # RLF 2011-10-29 07:20
Vote third party or don't bitch when you take up the a#* from your own party. There must be a price for these jerks to pay when they screw us.
+1 # jon 2011-10-29 19:11
"Go Democracy for America!!! I will not vote for any such democrat either! My membership in the democratic party is nearing extinction..."

Are you a republican?
+54 # Barbara K 2011-10-28 15:06
This committee is about the stupidest thing ever in Congress. The fate of the whole country should not rest on so few people. This "committee" should be abolished right now. We have the right to have our fate decided by more than a few, how about a vote of the people?

+16 # noitall 2011-10-28 15:38
+7 # mwd870 2011-10-29 08:23
Not everyone is able to make it out to the street (yet). I believe in the power of the Occupy Movement and agree everyone who can should try to join their local occupy protests. However, expressing opinions and supporting the emerging efforts of activists like Dylan Ratigan is also valid. Try not to make this personal, eh?


+15 # noitall 2011-10-28 15:50
Doing (or expecting) the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of Insanity. I've been watching these Dems and Obama make the same decisions that are contrary to what the majority that voted them in stand for, over and over. Did we actually expect something less insulting to their base? THEIR base is for walking on. Now, again we're hearing things hissss out of those same mouths, causing us to know that they understand what we need, but then when we see their final draft in hard copy, it is 180 off from what the people NEED and dead on to what they are told by the master that is needed. People ask why people are in the street. It is a last resort, painfully inadequate, but Americans don't have the heart for anything more and most can't muster getting in the street...thus, the perception of "well it must not be that bad if only the expected riff raff bongo beaters and extroverts are in the street". Most are painfully unaware of the issues that truely warrant OUTRAGE. They think its bad govt. as usual. Our enemy is the low expectation that the People have for govt. anyway. They are going to boil their frog ass in the tub. We'll all boil with them. We fought the Nuke plant in Wa, it failed, we pay for it regardless if we were for it or against it. Its the American way...apparentl y. Satisfied? then stay home. Become frog soup. We are there.
+27 # camus11 2011-10-28 16:37
With all due respect, it is a given never to vote for the reactionary gop'ers, but we also should never vote for a democrat who supports in any way cutbacks to social security, medicare or medicaid, when if anything they should be increased. And this would include Obama hinself. The lesser of evils is still evil--haven't we learned that yet?
+12 # readerz 2011-10-28 18:56
I have said over and over (tired of my own posts on it) that there needs to be other progressives running AGAINST Obama in the Primaries; at the very least it would cause a series of Debates that would allow discussion of these issues. And who knows, Pres. Obama might realize that people really care. Even if somebody else doesn't think they will win, there still should be some people RUNNING SERIOUSLY. I totally agree that the two Parties are both way to the right of center: my definition of "centrist" would still include Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security intact, even increased. Maybe some cuts in military; but increase jobs and bailout people, not banks. I really don't understand how anybody could see Obama as liberal; he is not.
+4 # brianf 2011-10-29 15:53
When it comes to global warming, the lesser of two evils is exactly the same as the greater of two evils. We need a real leader who understands the challenges of our time. No Republican comes close. Very few Democrats are even halfway there. I don't know of a single one who has a half-way decent understanding of the biggest threat we face. I'm afraid we are doomed.
+1 # brianf 2011-10-29 15:48
Never vote for a bad Democrat, like Reid, Baucus, and the rest. That's even more important. The Democrats are now just like the Republicans were 40 years ago, and the Republicans are ten times worse. Why? Because most Democrats blindly vote for people based solely on the party they belong to.
+56 # Tzul el Chapin 2011-10-28 15:17
Circa 1968 in Austin, Texas, an Austin lawyer disenchanted with Lyndon Johnson's escalation of the Vietnam war put up a billboard on one of the city's busiest street, near the University of Texas. On a black background, in large while letters, were the words: Bring Lyndon Home. Occupy Wall Street and other activist groups need to put up billboards in every state where a turncoat senator caved to the Republicans. They could start with one that reads BRING MAX BAUCUS HOME! Start recall petitions in every state that have recall statutes. ORGANIZE! RESIST!
+11 # CL38 2011-10-28 17:28
good idea!
+43 # Bill Clements 2011-10-28 15:36
Really, Democrats these days more often than not resemble and act more like Republicans than the party they say they belong to. Democrats: the obsequious party missing a backbone.
+27 # noitall 2011-10-28 15:36
+2 # Barbara K 2011-10-29 15:01
I'm just curious, noitall, where have you been out in the street? What city or town? I live in Michigan where we are recalling the Governor and 38 legislators just from my county alone. We are getting the royal shaft here.
+39 # DPM 2011-10-28 15:37
Once again:
"Under Republican's, Man Exploits Man.
Under Democrat's, It's Just The Opposite!"
Our two party system has become one when it comes to the 99%. They keep us arguing with each other while they both "rape" us. We need to begin forming new idea's and new political parties. We need to begin making the Republican and Democratic party's irrelevant. I've been at the rallies I can get to. Guess what. No drug crazed hippies. Mostly older people worried about their grand children. Get out and march! Make some noise! Every voice, every body is important. Don't think the "powers that be" aren't watching.
+11 # Okieangels 2011-10-28 17:21
Vote Green...
+2 # Bill Clements 2011-10-28 21:27
Great post! I'm totally with you!
+32 # Rara Avis 2011-10-28 15:39
I think offering to raise taxes on the Republican members of the Supercommittee only would have been an excellent opening negotiating position.
+24 # dfvboulder 2011-10-28 15:52

For one, the "incompetent caving" excuse is just not believable. Nobody is that stupid. That just leaves one explanation: the Dems are just as corrupt as the Repugs, but they are hiding it by claiming incompetence. Not a bad idea, since incompetence is clearly the lesser of two evils.

As for a real negotiating stance, it makes absolutely no sense to create a huge debt by giving away the farm to the rich for 30 years, and then split the debt evenly to correct the problem. Roll back all the breaks to the rich first, THEN get to "entitlements," if at all.
+9 # readerz 2011-10-28 19:03
Baucus has said that he has to get his campaign financing from the health care insurance industry because otherwise he would not have enough money to make a campaign in a state with such a low population. That says it all: the low-population states are destroying everybody else, and bragging that they HAVE TO be corrupt in order to play the game. They get all the grants and government projects in those states, all entitlements, but they should not be entitled. They shouldn't have Senators at all with populations that make fewer Senators than Representatives ; combine with other states for the Senators. Really, the demographics has drastically changed since the Constitution was written, which is the reason we no longer have a democracy.
+21 # FLAK88 2011-10-28 15:57
When negotiating, you NEVER give up anything until both parties first agree that they will BOTH give up something. Even then, never commit to any mentioned specific until you're certain it's the best deal you'll get. I don't think any of the Dems have ever bought an automobile or a house! Maybe they need to watch the AARP T.V. commercials with the 50 million SSA/ Medicare recipients and keep track of the ever increasingly popular Wall Street movement in order to get motivated. What a bunch of DOPES !
+7 # jwb110 2011-10-28 16:26
It doesn't matter if the Dems cave and the Republicans try to steal more, all the really big decisions are being made in the OWS Movement.
+3 # brianf 2011-10-29 15:55
I wish....
+16 # walt 2011-10-28 16:36
Here we go again.
The Party of No (G-NO-P) vs. the Cave-in Party!
We need a new party!
0 # 14democracy 2011-10-30 14:47
We DO have other parties, but the Republicrats won't let them participate in any debates and the corporate-owned media doesn't cover their campaigns. In addition, we don't require public financing of campaigns or spending limits. We need at least a plurality so there are more choices or better yet, to do away with all parties so that there would be more choices and candidates would actually have to deal with the issues.
+15 # fishmother 2011-10-28 17:04
Do the Democrats have a death wish? I'm a registered Independant. I am a former Democrat, but the party is so lame and gutless that I can't in good conscience lend my name to their ranks. Even when I vote for Democrats I do so under Working Party so as not to have to vote for their spineless responses. It's as if President Obama has just remembered that he made campaigh promises. Not even loosing the House woke him or the Dems who lost their seats seemed to get that they have served the Republicans better than their constituents. WAKE UP!
+6 # grouchy 2011-10-28 17:05
Ok, surprise, surprise! They have been caving in ever since the Repugs took control of the house. It's now a trend. Disgusting!
+9 # KittatinyHawk 2011-10-28 18:51
Way before that, most of you may just be catching up but Dems have been digging their grave for couple of decades...they just do not know when to stop digging
0 # brianf 2011-10-29 15:56
Right, it began with Bill Clinton, if not before.
+15 # Saberoff 2011-10-28 17:06
Of course they did.
Of course they are.
The audacity of these people! How can this Politburo be constitutional? They laugh at us.
Screw them!
Why, simply, do we allow them the power? Because they say they have it? Why do the cops beat up the people? Because they get paid to do it? Why do the kids go to war? Uniforms tell them to? Why do we give our money to people who say they'll keep it for us, and then charge us to give it back?
Do we grant these people this power because we feel we can't do anything about it?
We're the only ones who can do something about it.
+6 # KittatinyHawk 2011-10-28 18:53
We better start reminding them all what we can do...stay home from work week, stop buying month, boycott states, corporations but do something
+3 # 2011-10-28 19:05
Let's do something about it, Saberoff!
You get it. Start a party for the people baased on truth telling and courage!
+6 # pernsey 2011-10-28 17:09
This sucks!! Im to mad to say anything else grrr!!!
+11 # CL38 2011-10-28 17:26
It's simple, Democrats, you become as obstinate as the right and refuse to back down. For once, let them blink.
+6 # Terrapin 2011-10-28 18:26
Oh please ... "become obstinate ... refuse to back down" ... aren't you asking a lot of these Invertebrates ... this party of spineless, political Cowards.
+10 # Regina 2011-10-28 17:49
"Special Needs" children are better learners than today's Democrats. How many times do they have to be skunked before they learn that they're being skunked?
+17 # lorenbliss 2011-10-28 17:56
The DemocRats aren't "caving in," they're merely functioning as Republican facilitators, and their treachery is intentional betrayal not accidental ineptitude.

In bitter truth that's same betrayal the DemocRats have inflicted on us since LBJ conned us into believing he was the "peace candidate" – the Big Lie behind which he secretly escalated the Vietnamese civil war into an incalculable bonus for Wall Street and endless misery for that era's Working Class.

Ever since then it's been the same story of capitalist governance: both parties working in secret to provide absolute power and unlimited profit for the Ruling Class while imposing ever-intensifyi ng subjugation, worsening poverty and eventual genocide on all the rest of us.

Thus the climactic charade-politic s of today, no less scripted than professional wrestling, the Republican elephant seemingly stomping the DemocRat jackass but both parties laughing all the way to the (off-shore) bank.

Thus too the entirely justified rage fueling Occupy America – potentially our greatest national awakening since 1776, potentially our greatest global awakening ever.
+6 # readerz 2011-10-28 19:13
Back in the day, history classes spent a lot of time talking about what led up to the American Revolution, and that all in all, it was a much less bloody revolution than many others, etc. Not just propaganda: they carefully showed how many years passed, and how many unfair things were done (due process taken away, every piece of paper taxed, etc.). American colonists had less of an interest in government than we do today; they wanted to be left in peace for the most part. But eventually, they were moved to fight some very bloody battles. I do not like war, but it is eerie how our due process is being taken away, and our Constitutional rights taken away, and our money stolen by people akin to aristocracy. The question is, how many years will people take it before even complacent Americans start to stand up to it. People will blame themselves only so long before they try to find the real culprits, and tar and feather them.
+3 # Lloyd Wagner 2011-10-28 19:24
I was just about to post something attempting to what you just said, but you said it so well, I gave you a thumbs-up instead of posting myself.
You hit the nail right on the head.
+2 # vitobonespur 2011-10-29 01:26
As much as I hate to say it, I'm inclined to agree with you. I find it incomprehensibl e that the Dems are actually that dense.

On the off chance they have a change of heart and decide to actually do what the People want, just tell the Repubs that they are rescinding the offer to barter with entitlement funds because, noting the "Occupy" movement, it has become quite obvious what the American Public really wants.

Or, on the other hand, tell the GOP that the offer was bogus, knowing that they wouldn't go along with it anyway.

Or...simply tell them that WE LIED...just like you do!
+11 # PGreen 2011-10-28 18:04
The problem is that when elections come around, we're stuck with choosing between two bad options. We haven't laid the ground work for serious change to bring in a real political alternative, nor changed the nature of our electoral process to allow better forms of democracy. To wit, it would be good to see these issues considered:
--An end to the legal declaration of money as speech, and a ban on corporate contributions to candidates and PACs
--Public financing of elections
--Instant runoff voting
--Stricter regulations on paid lobbying of elected officials
--Free television time for qualified candidates, who achieve a certain level of popular support
I'm sure others could come up with an equally good list of changes that would enable us to make significant changes in the system. This is where our energy should go, because until such things are possible, we'll be stuck voting for Obama because he is marginally better than any Republican candidate out there.
At least OWS is telling us that we have a serious economic problem, a focus that has been marginalized and hidden from us for a very long time. Hopefully getting everyone to realize that economic inequality is at the root of much of this political mess will energize us to address it.
+5 # KittatinyHawk 2011-10-28 18:55
Voting is coming up, pay attention to this vote, get people out, get Republicans out. In meantime start learning how to start a New Party We can no wait until July 4, 2012...time is Now as new candidates must be put into the running legally....
+6 # 2011-10-28 19:01
We need a new party. That is what the Occupiers should be saying. There's time to get this going. So many people are not satisfied with the government, WS and the two parties who are playing political games to get elected but not listening to the people and talking about what is needed.
+6 # mwd870 2011-10-29 08:34
Forming a new viable party may have a better chance after November, 2012. In the meantime, supporting ideas such as getting money out of politics and enacting tax reform without loopholes so that the rich are actually paying taxes are ways to try to work within the current system. Admittedly, not an especially bright prospect with the group controlling Congress now.

+5 # rsnfan 2011-10-28 19:58
Obviously there are not enough of us "occupying Wall Street".
Find some friends and get out there.
+2 # abeitling 2011-10-28 20:22
It is time to let the people decide what should be cut. Give the liability for a balanced back to the populace, take it out of Congressional hands, and take the options to the polls. Obviously our regulators are the only ones who are in a stalemate. The sooner, the better
+2 # Polimorphus 2011-10-28 20:22
The Dems and Reps sell out to the same interests. The Dems think they're smarter because they sell out cheaper. The Reps make more out of the same deal because they're on the same side as the ones they sell out to. It's the same everywhere. The venal Left/Liberal thinks he/she is smarter for selling cheaper - and invariably loses out. Even if things turn really bad and the voter votes him/her in, the law has been enacted and the damage done. The sad truth is there's never ever been a successful Third party...
+3 # Rick Levy 2011-10-28 20:27
This is another for implementation of better gun control laws in order to stop Democrats from shooting themselves in the foot.
+7 # lin96 2011-10-28 20:38
With Baukus proposing this, is anyone really surprised? He was on the committee for healthcare and he sides with the Republicans all the time. If Harry Reid appointed him he's out of his mind too. Baukus is a donkey in elephant's clothing.
If anyone sees our President, as he's canvasing the countryside, would you please ask him why he thinks it's alright to allow 12 members of Congress to decide what he doesn't want to take responsibility for deciding and bringing before Congress like a big boy? I strenuously object to this ridiculous committee. I guess we need another petition to object to this committee. Are they ever going to get it right for the American people? Baukus is a Republican posing as a Democrat, and anyone who agrees with him is nothing better. Leave our Medicare and Medicaid alone! I hope he's up for re-election in 2012 and we can vote him out of there. He's an embarrassment.
+5 # Scott479 2011-10-28 21:16
A 3rd party is needed to save OUR country, the other 2 are expensive street walkers owned by the the 1%.
+1 # futhark 2011-10-28 21:53
I just watched Morgan Spurlock's informative satire "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold".

Now perhaps someone will follow it up with "The Greatest Campaign Ever Sold" or "The Greatest Candidate Ever Sold". Get behind the scenes where the real deals are cut, the misleading slogans are generated, and the messages are spun to make the public think they are voting for something that will save themselves, the country, or the world, but are really helping make the world safe for plutocracy.
+3 # MainStreetMentor 2011-10-28 21:55
There is not a Democrat in the House nor the Senate who possesses a political backbone! and ... in the House, Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi have AGREED TO CUT MEDICARE AND CURRENT AND FUTURE SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS! It would appear, the United States of America finally has ONE, Single political Party - because there is absolutely no meaningful opposition to the RepubTeacans!
+1 # reiverpacific 2011-10-28 21:59
This lot should have been be dismissed as a bad idea, even from Ob' who must have thought it was his last chance of "Bipartisanship " as he tried to perceive it.
OK Mr Ob' you now forfeit y'r right to speak for the submerged minions unless you show a bit of fight and abandon this weakly-structur ed carapace of bloviating well-to-do's at the expense of the rest of us.
It was a suspect concept even at it's inception and is now being exposed for what it is; a sham (Sham-on-you!) to make you look -well, "reasonable!"??????
This is probably related to why you gave the Judas-Kiss to Elizabeth Warren when she showed a good, no-lose solution to the formation of CPA but perhaps a tad too much knowledge of how things really work.
We are getting uncomfortably close to calling you on y'r true colors, which are as of now a kinda dirty, cloudy gray!
If this crowd of natty and imbalanced sweet-talkers (who remind me of the House of Lords in the UK in their collective smugness) is your last and best idea, I'm now absolutely at loss to describe the ineptitude of the whole concept.
Please, no more "Beer and sandwiches" (the old UK method of bringing opposing parties to the table for discussion) -we of the submerged percentages need a FIGHTER! -Not "Braveheart" exactly but at least "Brave intentions then balls out actions"!
+2 # James Bowen 2011-10-28 22:31
Sounds like more urban mythology to me. Without actual details of what was offered I am not believing any of it.I don't repeat rumors.
+3 # Bill Clements 2011-10-28 22:55
This Super Committee was a great idea, wasn't it? Or should I say subterfuge? A great subterfuge. Look, when they came up with this and they announced the details of it, I imagined it would go badly for the Democrats because they've made a habit of capitulating at the drop of a hat. It is hard to think they're not working in tandem, isn't it?
+4 # wwway 2011-10-28 23:29
Democrats have offered up 3 trillion in cuts including Medicare and Medicaid but included small tax hikes for the rich. The Republicans offered up only cuts to the tune of 1.5 trilion. The super committee is required to cut only 1.2 trillion over 10 years. Republicans rejected the Democratic proposal outright because it included tax hikes. I say that Medicare and Medicaid be OFF the table. Tax hikes ON the table. If the Supercommittee doesn't get the job done then there will be automatic big cuts to Defense spending.
The fact that Max Bacus is on the committee doen't bring much hope. The conservadem (Blue Dog) sold us out on the Affordable Health Care Reform Act
and he leading the charge to sell us out further.
0 # jcdav 2011-10-29 12:48
OK we got sold out again. The Dems are NO different than the Reps. The Dems are simply "pre-caved" on the issues. The whole thing is a dance/theater with the 1%, MIC, Big Business calling the tune. Folks, we got no chance of getting anything like a fair shake with these clowns. I kinda doubt we will be in as good shape as we are now by the time the election rolls around (assuming it happens).. we need to take the Dem Party back to a populist center.. we need an FDR and some trust busting..the current structures will not allow this to happen..
a third party is risky, but when both of the existing parties offer the same dead end choices..what's to loose? It appears that the only difference is the RATE of our loss...the loss keeps coming regardless of which party is in charge. The OWS folks are right, but they only point out the symptom, we need solutions. We are not going to get solutions "granted" by those @ the top..they will have to be convinced (read forced-left no other option) that what the 90% require will also benefit the 10%. This will be difficult to do unless the pressure is absolute, constant and inescapable. I'm open to suggestions.
0 # amye 2011-10-29 13:57
Well, I'm not going to vote for ANY Democrats! This from a long time democrat!! Obviously I don't vote for Reps! Where's the 3rd Party?? Or better yet just a group of folks from OWS to run for office! They sure seem to be smart!
-1 # nice2blucky 2011-10-29 23:26
Not voting for any INCUMBENT Democrats... with few exceptions ... very few.

Primary Elections: the only elections with choice.
0 # 14democracy 2011-10-30 14:36
This is precisely why getting more Democrats in Congress is so unconvincing. They are at best enabling cowards, often complicit in the machinations of the ultra right, and in the pocket of the corporate world. The system is so broken and corrupted, it is going to require more fundamental structural changes in order to again represent the people. Among many other reforms, we need election reform so that third parties and Independents have a fighting chance against the two-party duopoly so there can be some actual choices.
0 # Paul Scott 2011-10-30 15:55
First up I do not accept the super-committe as legal and hereby protest to congress. What next a super-committee of 2; nowhere in the U.S. Constitution do I find that a super-committee can be granted congressional power?
0 # Barbara N Shabo RN 2011-10-31 03:17
If they are "caving in" it's because the corporations are once again giving them money. See Dylan Ratigan's Rant on youtube and sign his petition to
0 # jabo13 2011-10-31 05:01
The GOP, aided and abetted by portions of the Democratic party, is actively destroying our country.

Occupy everywhere.

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