Morning Bits

You expected him to be reasonable? Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner trying to defend President Obama’s ludicrous opening offer: “The president is asking for $1.6 trillion worth of new revenue over 10 years, twice as much as he has been asking for in public. He has stimulus spending in here that exceeded the amount of new cuts that he was willing to consider. It was not a serious offer.”

Now, this is reasonable. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.): ”The tax side of this framework would include new revenue from top earners, provided it results from pro-growth tax reform that lowers marginal tax rates and offsets the lost revenue by limiting deductions, loopholes, and write-offs. This is exactly the manner in which Bowles-Simpson and every other bipartisan deficit-reduction commission has recommended any revenue increase. Doesn’t it only make sense that any revenue increase be done in a way that minimizes harm to the economy?”

A reasonable assessment of the bargaining positions in the fiscal clif negotiations: “ The view is shifting a little bit now, where there is a sense that if President Obama goes into his second term and poisons the environment so much that he can’t get a deal and we go over the cliff, it’s going to be so toxic for year two, year three, year four, and he — the Republicans have some leverage too. The president has to be worried about his legacy and how he’s going to govern through the second term. And even though Republicans might get blamed, this whole idea that the president is bringing the country together, something he wasn’t able to do in his first term, if he can’t do it in his second term, it could be very problematic.”

Given what the White House is saying, this is a reasonable prediction. “Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday expressed pessimism over talks to reach a deficit-reduction deal, saying the he believes the nation is ‘going over the cliff.’ ‘I think we’re going over the cliff. It’s pretty clear to me they made a political calculation,’ said Graham on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation,’ dismissing the initial White House proposal to help the nation avoid the looming ‘fiscal cliff’ of automatic spending cuts and tax rate rises.”

That is a reasonable conclusion. Chris Wallace to Geithner on “savings” from ending wars: “You’re taking savings that no one ever thought you were going to spend that money anyway. It’s a budget gimmick, sir.” Why, yes it is, Chris, but it will help narrow the gap in a fiscal cliff deal.

How, you think it’s reasonable that media be independent and not simply JournoList shills? “Now that he’s won re-election, [liberal media are] faced with a choice: Should the left continue always to play the loyal attack dog against the GOP, blaming the opposition at all hours of the news cycle for intransigence? Or, should it redirect some of that energy on the president, holding him to his promises and encouraging him to be a more outspoken champion of liberal causes?” No, they have no self-awareness or shame.

An entirely reasonable assessment: California is the worst-run state in the country. (And isn’t that pretty much where the federal government is heading?)

Not the most reasonable method to light Chanukah candles, but certainly the most inventive.

 

 

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