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Posted by on Aug 10, 2011 in Media, Politics | 36 comments

Staunch Republican Conservatives Picked for Deficit Committee

The outlook for the special committee — or Super Congress — tied in with the controversial debt limit ceiling deal is…g-r-i-d-l-o-c-k. The reason: staunch conservatives who’ve all signed Grover Grover Norquist’s no tax pledge and who are not exactly known as best buds of Social Security, Medicare, etc are the ones who’ve been named. And the names on the Democratic side don’t make you think: “Hey, both parties will work together and find common and sound financial and political ground.”

Republican leaders of the House and Senate announced their picks Wednesday for the “super Congress” deficit committee slated with finding about $1.5 trillion in savings. Their announcement comes a day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appointed three Democrats to the 12-member commission.

On the Senate side, Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) will serve on the commission, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced. Reps. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) will represent House Republicans, said Speaker John Boehner.

All six Republicans have signed a pledge to Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform that they will not vote to raise taxes.

They will join Democratic Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.), whom Reid appointed to the commission on Tuesday. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has not yet made her appointments.

One surprise in the Republican announcement was the exclusion of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who put out the House-passed budget last spring. But Ryan said in a statement Wednesday that he asked Boehner not to consider him for the committee, so that he could keep his full attention on the budget process.


The Daily Beast’s John Avlon, a well-known independent who worked for former Mayor Rudy Guiliani and is also a CNN contributor, has a piece
that puts this into context: the gang of six has been disssed and hyperpartisanship is being celebrated. Here are some excerpts from his column:

The day before the S&P downgrading of the United States debt, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal lauded the virtues of stubbornness at the Republican National Committee summer meeting in Tampa, Florida.

“It pays to be stubborn,” Jindal said. “The press is constantly urging compromise. They root for it like it is the highest possible virtue, the sign of true maturity and achievement in life.” This all-or-nothing impulse is what led 77 percent of the American people to conclude that Congress acted more like “spoiled children” than “responsible adults” during the debt ceiling debate. Not incidentally, it is also the logic that led to our downgrade, according to S&P, which cited “the political brinksmanship of recent months” making “America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable.”

The political crisis of hyper-partisanship created our current fiscal crisis by compounding the problem of unsustainable deficits and debt. Now the next challenge is hurtling toward Congress in the form of the Joint Special Committee, whose 12 members will be chosen by party leaders over the next week.

This bipartisan supercommittee is empowered to find at least $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade. The broad policies necessary to put our nation on stronger fiscal footing are well known—they include tax reform and entitlement reform and have been analyzed in reports ranging from the Bowles-Simpson Commission to the Gang of Six. This Joint Committee will be the first empowered to bring its proposals to an up-or-down vote. And the panel has a deadline to do it—by the end of this year.

The most important question is what people will be selected to serve on the committee. If ideological stubbornness is the key virtue partisan leaders are looking for in appointees, more political paralysis looms. The initial selections, announced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid late Tuesday afternoon do not inspire much confidence in this regard. They include Senators Patty Murray of Washington, John Kerry of Massachusetts and Max Baucus of Montana.

It sounds like both sides have….once again…decided they want people who are popular with or at least moderately acceptable to their parties’ bases. It sounds like Power Game Central is what we’ll see and more political brinksmanship. More Avlon:

Because Democrats dissed the Gang of Six, it virtually guarantees that the GOP will bypass it as well. As former senator Alan Simpson—the respected co-leader of the Bowles-Simpson Commission—told me last week: “If you see the leadership not appointing members of the Gang of Six to the new commission of 12, you’ll know they don’t want to get anything done.” Well, that is what we are seeing right now.
And if you don’t believe that, re-read who the GOP has named..

MORE:

“Outsiders”—that word choice reflects the insularity of the congressional echo chamber. Instead of “outsiders” like Simpson and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, who are presumably tainted by their independence, McConnell seems to prefer the appointment of predictable partisan insiders like Jon Kyl of Arizona—a man who walked out of deficit reduction meetings with Vice President Biden and who infamously defended making false statements on the Senate floor in a debate over defunding Planned Parenthood by having a flack explain that it was “not intended to be a factual statement.”

AND:

But remember, Senate appointments are supposed to provide the dose of sober statesmanship—and the unannounced House appointments are likely to reflect even more partisan sensibilities. Already, Eric Cantor has reaffirmed his no-new-revenue pledge, while Nancy Pelosi has promised that entitlement reform will be avoided by her yet-to-be-announced appointees. The net result is a Joint Committee that seems likely to be stuffed with the ideologically stubborn, receptive to special interest arguments, and therefore unlikely to achieve bipartisan agreement. It is a recipe for failure at the very time we need just such a Joint Committee to succeed.

This is the problem with such ideological “stubbornness”—it is now the status quo in our polarized politics. It is a hyper-partisan vice parading as high-minded virtue. Even the urgency provided by the first downgrading in our history seems unlikely to dislodge it.

In the past, we could at least depend on a crisis to unite politicians to act in the national interest. The fact that no longer seems to be the case reflects the deep disconnect between Congress and the common-sense, non-ideological problem-solvers who make up the vast majority of the American people. If you’re looking for reasons that Congress’ approval ratings are at an all-time low, start there.

Indeed, you look at some of these names and think:

Why don’t we just let Congress go home and turn over the committee to Fox News and MSNBC?

We’d probably get about the same result in the end.

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Copyright 2011 The Moderate Voice
  • DLS

    This reads like typical liberal media bias. What about the Dems? They have been the problem with reform, and promise still to be until proven otherwise, surprisingly: Where is their reasonable and sensible stance, yet, on entitlements and entitlement reform?

  • DLS: do you NEED GLASSES. Did you read Avlon and the rest of the post and how I ended it. Your comment is why i stay out of comments. It’s sheer partisan knee jerk commentary. Read it again. If you insist on not reading my posts, do yourself a favor and don’t read them rather then leave inaccurate comments. Avlon was not complimentary of the Democrats and my ending made it clear I was not singing their praises.

  • LOGAN PENZA

    Joe, I think a lot of commenters post after having just read a headline or maybe an opening paragraph instead of reading the entire post first. I have similar problems from commenters on the other side from DLS pretty much every day. Nuance and blog commenters are like oil and water, eh?

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    DLS-Because if the Dems would have given Boehner that last 2% he wanted all would be rosy now??

    Are you doing standup at this point because that is really rather funny.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    I would also note the GOP doesnt discuss reforming entitlements. They discuss privatizing them. I cant really think of a better argument against the market and market solutions other than our current market and how lovely it continues to perform with the skeletal remains of what once was regulation and taxes lower than any time since the new deal. Where is that economic miracle? For that matter where has it been for the last decade with all of that in place?

    Is it just maybe a little possible that low tax rates and lax to nonexistant regulation either no longer works or only worked when that was the actual problem…you know in the early 80’s?

  • Quelcrist Falconer

    If Max Baucus is on this thing, then we can expect the Republicans to get everything they want.

  • Absalon

    “I have similar problems from commenters on the other side from DLS pretty much
    every day.”

    And you are surprised? Your headlines are pretty much a good indication of what you are trying to do throughout the rest – advertising a movement of the Overton window.

    All your posts are pretty much the same, on a primal level.

    Also, DLS, there will be no tolerance of any talk about reforming Social Security or any of your other pet causes because there simply are no congressional republicans that want “reform” as you or I see it – more effectivity and efficiency, trying to preserve the level of help and aid offered while avoiding fiscal collapse.

    You want to improve/reform the electricity grid, start electing people who AREN’T AMISH.

    You want to reform entitlements to save the fiscal sheet. Republicans want to “reform” entitlements to save wealth levels and tax rates for a minority of the population. No dice!

  • In the immortal words of Bender from “Futurama”: “We’re boned.”

    (and yes, I read the whole article)

  • Well, MSF, if you’re talking about SS, that’s kind of the problem. Legislators are good at stealing the excess, disguising the theft, putting off problems until they blow up, and adding benefits without worrying about the long term results.

    Either way, you’re at risk. I’d rather deal with a monster that I can fight than one that I can’t.

    What’s scarier than a committee that fights: one that doesn’t.

  • JSpencer

    “Nuance and blog commenters are like oil and water” – LP

    Go ahead, insult your readers. Good grief…

    Re: the “super congress”, back when the thing was first announced I noted that each party would choose it’s most stubborn and unyielding members to sit on it. That said, the dems might (again) yield if the fate of the country is being held hostage. (again) What a dog and pony show.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    Prof-Oddly I can vote out idiots that steal my investment in gov, until they all become trickle down believers and join in the game which is where as Barky noted “we are boned.” Where as in the market stealing is rather legal and we call it winners and losers. Winners are those that loot us and losers are well…everyone else.

  • DLS

    No, Joe, it should go without the need for saying the obvious — there is no reason (excuse) for that reaction of yours. The title says all, except to the deaf or the defensive (about what, it is wondered?).

    * * *

    Sky, your response was meaningless — true stand-up stuff…

    * * *

    I find the choices interesting, and hardly only on the GOP side (hint: Here is an intelligent response, not limited from bias toward only the GOP, either; read on).

    I was anticipating, if liberals were to dislike it, some kind of GOP contingent (assignees) being described by liberals as resembling the nature of the people that Teddy Roosevelt chose for the “fair, objective” (fair and balanced — ha) commission to settle the Canada-USA Alaska boundary dispute. I would have expected smart liberals to note this aloud. If they know such facts, that is.

    The GOP side, the Red team, or “contingent” of assignees to the commission, is of some note, not any more. It was appropriate to send Toomey (closer to the mainstream than liberal Democrats are) and Portman, as part of the contingent, since people from the Senate (and House) budget committees logically should be most or all of those assigned to the commission, and the purpose of the commission should be budget, mainly spending and entitlement, reform. Sound positions need to be taken, too, on tax reform. (The commission is derelict if it simply raises some existing taxes.) Nothing out of the ordinary with the GOP people chosen, but obviously others could have been sent. If House chairman Ryan wasn’t going, what about the Vice Chairman, Scott Garrett, and two other budget committee members? Or just choose those who are among the designees to other committees.

    The Democratic side (continuing, as I told you earlier), the Blue team, is somewhat as we might expect but also odd and amusing.

    Why was Patty Murray, of all people from the budget committee, sent? She’s known world-wide, not just here in the States, as the Dim Bulb in the Congress, a farther-left-leaning liberal sound-bite parrot. (WA’s liberals chose Maria Cantwell to join her in the Senate. Doesn’t say much for that electorate, now does it?)

    At least the ludicrous Sanders wasn’t selected.

    At least one attempt (Baucus, outside the budget committee) to try to perhaps restructure “reformed” entitlements and maybe other spending and other budget (tax) reforms (one hopes, not just tax increases of no thought beyond letting the Bush rates expire) with past experience on budget matters.

    I’m wondering who Pelosi will choose. Will it be non-serious like Kucinich or the Illinois far-lefty Shakowsky (not really serious, or indicating a ludicrous bargaining position, at least initially), or someone serious but also farther-lefty like Barney Frank, or will Frank stay in his post and someone like him go instead. What about the head of the Dems in the budget committee in the House? Arguably better than the GOP’s leaving budget committee leaders off the commission. Why not Chris Van Hollen and two other good budget committee members in the Senate? Maybe Van Hollen and two (other-)committee designees. Maybe, if she is crazy, Wasserman-Schultz, Shakowsky, and maybe Henry Waxman, or Pete Stark, or maybe Ed Markey from Massachusetts. (Don’t forget George Miller if Medicare “reform” is to be sought.)

    Here are the Dem and GOP members of both budget committees. Certainly they should have constituted most or all of any budget commission. It’s up to readers here to wonder which among these people might make the best assignees, and why they would be. (It’s presumed that most and probably all members should come from the budget committees rather from elsewhere in Congress.)

    Note that the Dem House Budget Committee members are the logical best choices for Pelosi. Wasserman-Schultz (tends to be extremist) is controversial but might be sought because she is not only on the budget committee but also is DNC Chairwoman. (Future VP choice, leading to Presidential hopes?) Controversial, but a logical choice even if she isn’t that, someday.)

    Senate Dems:

    Chairman = Kent Conrad, D-ND

    Others = Patty Murray, D-WA; Ron Wyden, D-OR; Bill Nelson, D-FL; Debbie Stabenow, D-MI; Benjamin L. Cardin, D-MD; Bernie Sanders, I [D] – VT; Shedon Whitehouse, D-RI; Mark Warner, D-VA; Bark Begich, D-AK; Chris Coons, D-DE

    http://budget.senate.gov/democratic/index.cfm/democraticmembers

    Senate GOP:

    Ranking Member = Jeff Sessions, R-AL

    Others = Charles Grassley, R-IA; Mike Enzi, R-WY; Mike Crapo, R-ID, John Cornyn, R-TX; Lindsey Graham, R-SC; John Thune, R-SD; Rob Portman, R-OH; Pat Toomey, R-PA; Rod Johnson, R-WI; Kelly Ayotte, R-NH

    http://budget.senate.gov/republican/Members.html

    House GOP:

    Paul Ryan (WI-01), Chairman
    Scott Garrett (NJ-05), Vice-Chairman
    Mike Simpson (ID-02), Appropriations Designee
    John Campbell (CA-48)
    Ken Calvert (CA-44), Appropriations Designee
    Todd Akin (MO-02)
    Tom Cole (OK-04), Appropriations Designee>/b>
    Tom Price (GA-06)
    Tom McClintock (CA-04)
    Jason Chaffetz (UT-03)
    Marlin Stutzman (IN-03)
    James Lankford (OK-05)
    Diane Black (TN-06),
    Ways & Means Designee
    Reid Ribble (WI-08)
    Bill Flores (TX-17)
    Mick Mulvaney (SC-05)
    Tim Huelskamp (KS-01)
    Todd Young (IN-09)
    Justin Amash (MI-03)
    Todd Rokita (IN-04)
    Frank Guinta (NH-01)
    Rob Woodall (GA-07), Rules Designee

    House Dems:

    Chris Van Hollen (MD-08), Ranking Member
    Allyson Schwartz (PA-13)
    Marcy Kaptur (OH-09)
    Lloyd Doggett (TX-25)
    Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
    Betty McCollum (MN-04)
    John Yarmuth (KY-03)
    Bill Pascrell (NJ-08)
    Mike Honda (CA-15)
    Tim Ryan (OH-17)
    Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20)
    Gwen Moore (WI-04)
    Kathy Castor (FL-11)
    Heath Shuler (NC-11)
    Paul Tonko (NY-21)
    Karen Bass (CA-33)

  • DLS

    The Magical Sky Father wrote:

    I would also note the GOP doesnt discuss reforming entitlements. They discuss privatizing them.

    Incorrect. Many discuss reforming entitlements, and nearly all the rest don’t discuss entitlements at all for fear of losing re-election. It’s impossible to claim that Paul Ryan’s idea for ending Medicare’s nature is in any way representative of all.

  • DLS

    The Magical Sky Father wrote:

    I can vote out idiots that steal my investment in gov[.]

    There is no “investment” of any kind with entitlements, nor is it “in government,” obviously. FICA taxes and general revenues go not into any “account” (which is merely savings, not “investment”) with your name on it, but directly to current beneficaries. Entitlements are pay-as-you (Ponzi) schemes, which is why they have long been known to be unsustainable, made worse by the big eligibility expansions and benefit increases by generous politicians in the decades after World War — causing Social Security nearly to fail when it was changed in 1983, and why the future demographics as the Baby Boomers age and retire will make the programs fail in their current design. As I’ve written before, the mid-2000s were probably the last decent chance to convert the entitlements to being fully funded. Dems said no to any and every mention of problems, let alone reform, of S.S..

    The previous surpluses were taken by Congress and replaced with special Treasury debt. Now (thanks in part to Obama’s budgeting decisions, which included lowering FICA taxes), Social Security is already running deficits (rather than starting in 2016). To pay benefits in full already, money has to be found from elsewhere in the budget, or taxes raised or more borrowed (one likely reason the debt limit was raised — NOTE) to pay benefits in full.

    None of this is too difficult or should be too difficult to understand.

  • DLS

    Here, for the nuance-challenged (which is to say, so many of my critics, unless it’s some other problem[s] they have).

    Roosevelt sent the following “impartial” judges to the commission:

    Elihu Root, Secretary of War

    Henry Cabot Lodge, Senator from Massachusetts (foreign policy hawk)

    George Turner, Ex-Senator from Washington (hint: Yukon Gold Rush)

  • Allen

    And the terrorist Republicans have the gall to say they cannot accept the Democrat picks. Like they can control whom their opposition chooses to negotiate for them.

    Screw these jackasses. The Democrats can pick whom they want! If the tea terrorists don’t like it, and, refuse to negotiate, then the trigger will kick in and let the world see that it was the tea terrorists republicans that caused the ensuing horrible mess.

    Man you think the stock market is dropping now, just wait!

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    DLS-I think most of my issue is with Baucus. He is just way to sane to put on a committee with the likes of Kyl and Kerry is little more than and empty chair. At this point I am actually hoping Pelosi pulls something crazy just to stop the habit of caving to irrationality.

    Oddly you say “out of the mainstream” yet polls show over and over that voters want tax increases AND budget cuts which oddly is the current Dem stance no less centrist Dems.

    Ryan is utterly invalid on this one as is Sanders. I have read that Obama will be sending up his suggestions, I hope and pray they are either Bowles Simpson or the gang of 6 template. Of course both would be blocked by those in the GOP which is why they are out of the mainstream on this.

    I know this is news, heck I am confused as well but the GOP has steered so far right that the Dems as a whole are becoming the rational centrists which is really really scary stuff.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    Allen-Could we just call them hostage takers since we have them using that language instead of terrorists? Neither are positive and one is actually much more difficult for them to explain away. Calling them terrorists just makes the Dems look as unseemly as the GOP acted in the 00’s.

    I will say I am still fond of Teahadist though. I can let go of teabagger and terrorist but I may have to throw down to keep Teahadist.

  • StockBoyLA

    “Wasserman-Schultz (tends to be extremist) is controversial but might be sought because she is not only on the budget committee but also is DNC Chairwoman. (Future VP choice, leading to Presidential hopes?) Controversial, but a logical choice even if she isn’t that, someday.)”

    Actually if I were thinking of running for Prezz ro VP someday I’d stay away from this committee with it’s hyper-partisan politics and headaches it will cause. I would not want my political opponents to someday point back at (what will surely be) a committee that will cause the stock market to fall even more when they can’t work things out.

  • JSpencer

    All reactionary apologism and wordy distraction aside, the Grover Norquist contingent will only make matters worse, just as republicans in general have only tended to make things worse in this country for the last two decades. The party that obstructs process to the greatest degree and takes the most influence away from the bulk of the citizenry is the party that damages America the most. When you factor in allegiance to party over all else, including truth and patriotism, then it’s easy to see how little this “super congress” is going to accomplish. Govt is broken allright, but it’s largely because some folks wanted it broken.

  • Allen

    TheMagicalSkyFather-

    I would rather remain an individual on the matter. The republican party is the minority. They cannot be allowed to use insurgency or otherwise terrorist legislative tactic to gain a majority’s portion of power. I’m afraid that “legislative terrorist” is the most accurate description for their unprecedented behavior.

    Let the correct label accurately describe the product that the package wrapper conceals. Call it truth in labeling.

  • LOGAN PENZA

    “I will say I am still fond of Teahadist though. I can let go of teabagger and terrorist but I may have to throw down to keep Teahadist.”

    Even I like that one. Consider it stolen.

  • DLS

    The Magical Sky Father wrote:

    I think most of my issue is with Baucus. He is just way to sane to put on a committee with the likes of Kyl and Kerry is little more than and empty chair. At this point I am actually hoping Pelosi pulls something crazy just to stop the habit of caving to irrationality.

    Kyl, don’t know the reason why he was selected.

    Kerry, who knows why he was even thought of for selection.

    Baucus, did some budget or tax stuff in the past, didn’t he, or is his news limited to his stab at health care “reform”?

    Pelosi is known for irrationality, however, as are others like her.

    It’s okay for her, I guess, to wait to last to make her selections, but there’s no excuse for choosing to be extremist and to be deliberately provocative as well as controversial. If she chooses the worst, we’re rightly due for another downgrading of the US credit rating before, not just after, such a tainted commission.

    If you’re curious, well, we know why some of the Reps were chosen, and one interesting Republican is the guy from the energy committee, which hints the GOP may wrongly try not to seek reform, but to fight to retain some exceptions and special favors: to fight to keep tax preferences for oil companies.

    Oddly you say “out of the mainstream” yet polls show over and over that voters want tax increases AND budget cuts which oddly is the current Dem stance no less centrist Dems.

    We don’t see centrist Dems, just liberal and more-liberal Dems.

    The tax increases the people want aren’t the stupid gimmicks that appeal to losers that the Dems in the news have been seeking. Higher taxes on the rich are sought by many, yes, but this can be had by some progressitivity after reform, or (preferable) merely by reform, which is the essential and foremost tax policy action. (True reform means eliminating all deviations from neutrality, getting rid of all special favors and disparate treatment of things in the tax code — it’s no place for Dem social engineering nor for ways for the well-connected to avoid taxes, their true “fair share.” True reform enables rates to be lowered, which is good — it’s a good thing, for a change, for conservatives to demand revenue neutrality if not lower if there is reform, which gives us extra money like money dropped in the furniture, as the Economist described it.)

    Ryan is utterly invalid on this one as is Sanders.

    Agree completely. Overall Ryan is less extremist, obviously than Sanders (on many issues), but as I’ve written any times, his idea for transforming (my word) Medicare into something else (only partial-value or subsidy vouchers for health insurance — for those few who can get any insurance, their premiums will have been raised by an additional amount equal to the subsidy, you can bet on it) is simply out of the question, actually something that’s arguably more alien(ating) as any actual proposal we can think of the Dems suggesting (their version of means testing, say). Ryan’s plan ends entitlements, and we’ll have to have them in the future as necessary evils because of the way people finances have been wrecked by oversize taxes and government to date, as well as to economic circumstances and changes in the business world. (Someday, in government, too, with its retirees.) The proper thing is reform, making the programs solvent, not to end them. (And I’ll remind everyone that means it’s problematic if we try to end them for some, i.e., the means test, for that will end their support for the programs, too.) The Ryan plan is nonsense.

    I have read that Obama will be sending up his suggestions, I hope and pray they are either Bowles Simpson or the gang of 6 template. Of course both would be blocked by those in the GOP which is why they are out of the mainstream on this.

    It was Obama and the Democrats who rejected Bowles-Simpson.

    I know this is news, heck I am confused as well but the GOP has steered so far right that the Dems as a whole are becoming the rational centrists which is really really scary stuff.

    The Dems are not rational centrists, just less news in the liberal media. Arguably they’re less extreme than Ryan, but he is an exception even among the strictest House Republicans, no way a generalization. Meanwhile, the Dems have truly been worse so far, rejecting anything even hinting at reform, lying about the state of entitlements, all the rest. It’s they who truly must Change [tm] so we have real Hope [tm] of reform and rescue from the worst to come. I suspect the commission may, may, try to do at least some things right. May again defer entitlement reform, but do discretionary spending reform and cuts, along with some tax changes, including some tax rate increases if there is no reform. (Inferior, but it might start to secure some relief from what’s coming.)

  • DLS

    Well, Stockboy, it may very well be that some were asked who were possible presidential runners later, who declined because they have no faith in the commission — and they were asked because those doing the asking already have no faith in the commission and didn’t want to join it themselves. Or they asked others first, who likewise declined.

  • dduck

    As I stated from the first announcement of the super-pooper committee. It’s a terrible idea and a cop out, kick the can down the alley and all these guys know it. It is screw the electorate and let’s put on a great show of governing, reach gridlock and blame the other guys.
    Going from SB to this is like going from Petrus to Thunderbird.
    And, please take your pledge and publicly place it in a refuse can before I let you join any committee.

  • DLS

    Actually, Sky, what would have been great reporting theater (with no doubt better and more accurate article titles than this one’s on this thread, which was biased for no good reason) would be if the three GOP people selected consisted of:

    Ryan, war on Medicare,

    Some other guy, principally trying to end (do war on) Social Security;

    Any among many in the GOP who want to do war on Medicaid.

  • D.R. WELCH

    DLS,
    Just for clarification, you are saying Baucus is a lefty?

    If you believe that, your reality is becoming stranger and stranger.

    DR

  • DLS: I’m really tired of your personal attacks and turning every post into a comment on how a writer is a liberal hack. Stick to issues in the posts please. I have asked you again. This is the final time. Thanks so much for cooperating with this request to move on.

  • dduck

    @Joe
    I confess that I don’t have the patience to read all of DLS’s comments, nor do I agree with many that I can understand, but I think you are being a little harsh with the “personal attacks” accusation against liberal hacks in all posts. The balance of liberals to conservatives does not heed further shaking, please.

  • DaGoat

    Everybody’s kind of overreacting here, but I will say that if the intent of the article was to say both parties are placing partisans on the special committee, the headline does not reflect that very well.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    Am I the only one that faithfully reads DLS???

    I mean seriously if you are you are missing many wonderful additions to the conversation.

  • JSpencer

    Yes, DLS provides many “wonderful additions to the conversation”, but reaching those additions requires wading through a godawful amount of gratuitous insult. I’ve defended DLS here on many occasions, but he does in fact post whatever he likes with almost no regard to who it offends. I have to assume this is a conscious choice and it is in fact one he has indulged for a very, very long time. It gets old.

  • dduck

    Suck it up folks, otherwise we are limiting (further) our debates.

  • Jim Satterfield

    I think that all arguments about which side has appointed the less flexible representatives are rendered moot by the irrefutable fact that every Republican has signed Norquist’s pledge and are the type to stick to it. That renders all meetings and discussions rather pointless. Given how well the Democrats have done so far they might as well just give everything up to the Republicans now and avoid yet another farce.

  • hollytandy

    When getting health insurance I usually go through “Penny Health” website. The reason for this approach is because I get more personalized service and assistance. Once I went though ehealthinsurance and it offered no customer support.

  • Jim Satterfield

    Ooops. Something slipped through the spam filters.

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