…or he’s inspecting the War on Christmas from the front lines. Whichever fits your personal narrative.
…or he’s inspecting the War on Christmas from the front lines. Whichever fits your personal narrative.
Nothing else that happened this week mattered as much as Joe Biden’s visit to Costco.
Huffington Post: [Vice President Joe Biden], who flashed a store membership card as he entered the city’s first Costco on its opening day, said consumer confidence is growing – as demonstrated by the huge crowd at the gleaming new store in Northeast Washington.
“The last thing we need to do is dash that” confidence by imposing a tax increase of about $2,200 for a typical middle-class family, Biden said. Bush-era tax cuts are scheduled to expire Jan. 1, the same time as across-the-board spending cuts are scheduled to take effect. The combination of tax hikes and spending cuts could spike unemployment and bring on a new recession.
Biden and President Barack Obama have pressed Congress to extend middle-class tax cuts while raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, while congressional Republicans have pushed to extend cuts for all taxpayers.
Biden said Congress should act on the middle-class tax cuts before Christmas to spur consumer confidence and then fight later over tax cuts for families earning more than $250,000 a year.
“We have a lot we have to settle, but there’s one thing we should all agree on and that’s the middle-class tax cut should be made permanent. I think it’s important Congress acts now, I mean right now,” Biden said at an impromptu news conference at the store, where he was surrounded by shoppers and employees eager to shake hands, take photos and even hug the vice president. [...]
Biden said he was optimistic about reaching a deal to avoid the fiscal crisis and said, “all these folks in this store, man, it’s going to make a difference. Take $2,200 out of their pockets next year, you have a big problem.”
afternoonsnoozebutton: Look at this picture of Joe Biden examining the giant pies at Costco
yahoopolitics: Joe Biden’s visit to Cosco, gif’ed. You’re welcome.
“Guys in all honesty I didn’t have my own card, Jill wouldn’t let me have one. So I went to get my wife’s card, and she said: ‘No, no, no you get your own.’” – Joe Biden at Costco in DC today.
[Source: CBS News]
Joe Biden single-handedly jumps-starts economy at Costco!
Meanwhile, before his lunch with the President:
downlo: Biden being charming at Costco vs. Mittens looking awkward as hell at McDonald’s. He also reportedly was there ahead of his lunch with Obama today. Does he think the White House isn’t going to serve a good lunch? Weird. (1, 2)
Ezra Klein reports: Chrystia Freeland is editor of Thomson Reuters Digital and author of “The Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else.” We spoke Tuesday about how the plutocrats she reported on for the book were handling Mitt Romney’s loss:
Ezra Klein: You’ve written about the revolt of the very rich against President Obama, and all the money they spent and time they dedicated to defeating him. So what’s the mood in those circles now that they’ve lost?
Chrystia Freeland: There’s a great joke on Wall Street which is that the bet on Romney is Wall Street’s worst bet since the bet on subprime. But I found the hostility towards Obama astonishing. I found the commitment to getting him out astonishing. I found the absolute confidence that it would work astonishing. On that Tuesday, the big Romney backers I was talking to were sure he was going to win. They were all flying into Logan Airport for the victory party. There’s this stunned feeling of how could we be so wrong, and a feeling of alienation.
The Romney comments to his donors, for which he was roundly pounced on by Republican politicians, I think they accurately reflected the view of a lot of these money guys. It’s the continuation of this 47 percent idea. They believe that Obama has been shoring up the entitlement society, and if you give enough entitlements to enough people, they’ll vote for you.
EK: Here’s my question about those comments. Romney was promising the very rich either a huge tax cut or, if you believe he would’ve paid for every dime and dollar of his cut, protection from any tax increases. He was promising financiers that he would roll back Dodd-Frank and Sarbanex-Oxley. He was promising current seniors that he wouldn’t touch their benefit. How are these not “gifts”?
CF: Let me be clear that I’m not defending any of them. But I think the way it works — and I think Romney’s comments were very telling in this regard — there are two differences in the mind of this class. First, they’re absolutely convinced that they’re not asking for special privileges for themselves. They’re convinced that it just so happens that their self-interest coincides perfectly with the collective interest. That’s where you get this idea of the “job creators”. The view is that to seek a low tax environment or less regulation, that’s not special pleading for yourself, it’s not transactional politics. It’s that this set of rules is the most conducive to economic growth for everybody. It will grow the pie. Now, it also happens to be an incredibly convenient way of thinking. If you’ve developed an ideology that what’s good for you personally also happens to be good for everyone else, that’s quite wonderful because there’s no moral tension.
What a convenient and self-serving justification for taking everything for yourself! Sort of like this:
Bob Cesca: “Even though Hostess is asking for permission to cut employee pensions by over $1 million per month, they’re also still asking for permission to dish out bonuses [to senior management] totaling $1.75 million.”
Bloomberg: “Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS), the casino company led by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, voted a special dividend that will pay [Sheldon Adelson] about $1.2 billion before an expected increase in federal taxes.”
That’s BILLION with a B. Or this special spin:
Think Progress: “Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) argued Wednesday: ‘People need to understand that the reason we worry about raising taxes on anyone – even raising taxes on the rich – it’s not that we’re looking out for the rich, it’s not that we’re concerned that the rich won’t be able to fend for themselves, because they will. It’s because we worry about the consequences that will inevitably result from that action and that will hit the poorest among us the hardest.’“
“Son, in politics you’ve got to learn that overnight, chicken shit can turn to chicken salad.” — Lyndon B. Johnson
TPM: President Obama hosted his former Republican challenger Mitt Romney for lunch that lasted over an hour at the White House on Thursday. …
This afternoon, President Obama and Governor Romney visited for an hour over lunch in the Private Dining Room adjacent to the Oval Office. Governor Romney congratulated the President for the success of his campaign and wished him well over the coming four years. The focus of their discussion was on America’s leadership in the world and the importance of maintaining that leadership position in the future. They pledged to stay in touch, particularly if opportunities to work together on shared interests arise in the future. Their lunch menu included white turkey chili and Southwestern grilled chicken salad.
Paul Constant: I have two thoughts about this:
1. As Boston.com notes, Mitt Romney kicked off his 2012 campaign by serving big bowls of Ann Romney’s turkey chili to fans in New Hampshire. There is no way that today’s menu was a coincidence.
2. “Let’s stay in touch, particularly if opportunities to work together on shared interests arise in the future” is the new “fuck you, you fucking fuck.”
A closer shot:
Eavesdropping on Obama and Romney’s Lunch Meeting — Rolling Stone: Here’s what we imagine they might be saying to each other…
zainyk: A Milford man.
At least it’s Friday!
On a cold November night in Times Square, Officer Lawrence DePrimo was working a counterterrorism post when he encountered an older, barefooted homeless man. The officer disappeared for a moment, then returned with a new pair of boots, and knelt to help the man put them on.
A bunny for your Thursday.
The part of this day that Romney “carried” was exactly 206 to Obama’s 332. I believe the GOP would have called that an ass-whooping, had the numbers been reversed…
Stuart Stevens, the “chief strategist” for the Romney presidential campaign, puts things into a little perspective in an op-ed penned yesterday, in which he argues that by winning wealthier and whiter voters, Romney secured the moral victory over Obama:
“On Nov. 6, Mitt Romney carried the majority of every economic group except those with less than $50,000 a year in household income,” Stevens wrote. “That means he carried the majority of middle-class voters. While John McCain lost white voters under 30 by 10 points, Romney won those voters by seven points, a 17-point shift.”
Stuart goes on to say,
“There was a time not so long ago when the problems of the Democratic Party revolved around being too liberal and too dependent on minorities. Obama turned those problems into advantages and rode that strategy to victory. But he was a charismatic African American president with a billion dollars, no primary and media that often felt morally conflicted about being critical. How easy is that to replicate?”
As a commenter responds: “‘… a media that often felt morally conflicted about being critical.’ He’s right. Aside from Benghazi, his birthplace, his religion, socialism, naziism, communism, dog-eating, hatred of America, Libya, Affirmative, Action, school transcripts, the war on Christianity, gays, Iraq, abortion, welfare, foodstamps, Bin Laden, Afghanistan, drones, the economy, Bo, Hillary, Wall Street, drought, taxes, partisanship, disaster response, and that damn Michelle trying to force us to eat broccoli, I recall very little criticism coming from the media.”
Stuart’s brave finish: Romney lost the election but he won!
“Yes, the Republican Party has problems, but as we go forward, let’s remember that any party that captures the majority of the middle class must be doing something right. …And Republican ideals — Mitt Romney — carried the day. On Nov. 6, that wasn’t enough to win. But it was enough to make us proud and to build on for the future.”
Rich, conservative white men are collectively shaking their heads at the reality that today, in 2012, the votes of the poors and the blahs count exactly the same as theirs. Obvious solution? Build more conservative white men, build the future!
goodreasonnews: All fortune tellers, mediums, and psychics.
Washington Post: “Sixty percent of all Americans back higher taxes on higher incomes in the new Post-ABC data. Earlier this month, an identical 60 percent of voters in the presidential election said income taxes should be raised on income over $250,000, according to the national exit poll.
In the new poll, 73 percent of Democrats support such tax hikes, including a majority, 57 percent, who do so “strongly.” Among political independents, 63 percent back an increase, while 59 percent of Republicans oppose such a move.
[...] Even fewer — 30 percent — favor raising the age for Medicare from 65 to 67, part of a bid by Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker to avert the automatic spending cuts and tax increases that would hit if there is no deal by the end of the year.”
Notice a majority of Republicans oppose raising taxes on higher incomes — but that majority also opposes reducing deductions and raising the age of Medicare. Apparently Republicans favor MAGIC on all issues related to the federal budget.
No wonder they voted for Romney-Ryan, who promised them: (1) moar tax cuts, (2) no cuts to programs YOU use *wink*, (3) magic, (4) balanced budget!
pimmyjalmer: Rachel Maddow facepalm.
Josh Marshall asks: is this the stupidest thing McCain ever said?
“Under what circumstances? Why was reference to Al Qaeda left out? There are so many things that have happened. The interesting things finally, we knew in hours of all the details when we got bin Laden, they making a movie out of it and we are ten weeks later and finally our ambassador to the United Nations, who appeared on every national Sunday show, is now saying that she gave false information concerning how this tragedy happened as far as the spontaneous demonstration triggered by a hateful video.”
As Josh points out: “…you tend to know more about a raid you spent a year planning and executed yourself than a raid on your compound which, as kinda tends to happen in these [situations], you didn’t know about in advance and happened in dark.”
Yes, it’s a great mystery that we had “all the details” about a long-planned raid — and it’s simply dereliction of duty that we can’t foretell the future.
After his comment, perhaps it’s worth noting that John McCain graduated sixth from last place (894th out of 899th) in his class at the U.S. Naval Academy. Ironically, he called Susan Rice “not very bright“ (Rice graduated from Stanford University with honors, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. at Oxford University). Of course, he’s a rich conservative white man, so… that makes him qualified to judge those who aren’t.
It’s somehow fitting that John McCain’s legacy will be Sarah Palin, who has proven herself to be one of the dullest knives rattling around in our nation’s junk drawer.
“The conspiracy therefore was not to mislead the American public but to mislead America’s enemies. If Rice had gone beyond her unclassified talking points and said that Ansar al-Sharia was suspected to be behind the Benghazi attacks, no doubt she would now be being hounded for the unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” — Peter Bergen, CNN (AS)