Sadly, I have no changes to report. I’m current with replies. One of these days…
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:22 (average 4:16). To do it, click here. How did you do?
From The Oregonian: This is more classic Senate-in-Action: The fight over filibuster reform launched by Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall won’t be settled on the first day of the new congressional session after all.
Although rules changes that only require a simple majority are supposed to be taken up on the first day of the session – occurring on Thursday — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, is putting that off until Jan. 22, the day after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech.
How can Reid do that? Simply by recessing the legislative day on Thursday until Jan. 22 instead of adjourning while lawmakers flock back to their states (or head off to other locales). That means that, in Senate parlance, the "legislative day" will last for at least 19 calendar days.
So add the fact that a day is just not a day to another curiousity about the Senate, a body where 41 of the 100 senators can block just about anything thanks to its exuberant use of the filibuster.
This means we need to keep the pressure on Senators until the 22nd. Remember that the last time Reid reached an accommodation with Republicans on this matter, the Republicans reneged by breaking their word in less than two weeks.
From NY Times: For the reality is that our two major political parties are engaged in a fierce struggle over the future shape of American society. Democrats want to preserve the legacy of the New Deal and the Great Society — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — and add to them what every other advanced country has: a more or less universal guarantee of essential health care. Republicans want to roll all of that back, making room for drastically lower taxes on the wealthy. Yes, it’s essentially a class war.
The fight over the fiscal cliff was just one battle in that war. It ended, arguably, in a tactical victory for Democrats. The question is whether it was a Pyrrhic victory that set the stage for a larger defeat.
Why do I say that it was a tactical victory? Mainly because of what didn’t happen: There were no benefit cuts.
Click through for the rest of this excellent editorial by Paul Krugman. Chained CPI must be off the table. This year, the CPI increased 1.7%. My rent increased 4%. My groceries increased over 10%. The cost of my Medicare advantage plan increased 3%. Even before reducing the CPI, the COLA is not keeping pace with prices on the items for which seniors spend the most money.
From MSNBC: And the lies begin again (as if they ever stopped).
No President can spend a dime that Congress did not budget. And the party responsible for over 2/3 of that debt are the Republicans. The debt ceiling only authorizes paying the bill for money Congress has already spent. Republicans only want to give the money you already paid for your Social Security and Medicare to the 1% instead of spending it on your retirement. They are lying for one reason. If they tell the truth, even brainwashed sheeple won’t support them.