Obama’s Raw Deal?
Friday 8 July 2011
by: Joe Conason, Truthout | Op-Ed

Suddenly Republican leaders in Congress, after months of staring down the Democrats over a potentially disastrous debt default, began blinking so fast that they might be signaling in Morse code. Although their message is muddled and illogical — with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., saying he can accept closing tax loopholes only if such measures are “revenue neutral,” thus canceling their budgetary value — the Republicans now appear to understand that they will be blamed by voters if the negotiations collapse.

And Democrats appear to understand that they have the political advantage, as they voiced support for a proposal by Senate Budget Committee chair Kent Conrad, D-N.D., to reduce future deficits by $4 trillion with an even split between increased revenues and reduced spending.

But just when the Republicans are showing fear and losing momentum, there is one important Democrat who seems to think it is time to wave the white flag — and give his enemies a historic victory on the eve of his own re-election bid.

Read more.

***

Posted at 01:14 PM ET, 07/08/2011
Democrats incensed with White House over Social Security, Medicare
By Felicia Sonmez

Long-simmering tensions between the White House and congressional Democrats on how best to address the country’s debt boiled over Friday, with leaders and rank-and-file members alike fuming at reports that President Obama is mulling cuts to Social Security and Medicare as part of a bipartisan debt-limit deal.

“What I’ve heard from people you might not expect to hear it from … is if they bring to the Senate a [deal] that really comes down heavy on working families and children and the elderly and they expect me to matter-of-factly vote for it, they’ll have another thing coming,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Friday morning.

In a Friday afternoon news conference, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), emerging from what she called a “lively” House Democratic Caucus meeting, declared that Democrats “would not reduce the deficit or subsidize tax cuts for the rich on the backs of America’s seniors.”

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