“A Christmas wish list written by kids without access to calculators”

President Obama participates in a Twitter live question and answer session in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 3. (Pete Souza)

Read all the President’s Twitter replies today here


Steve Benen: …. Under this proposal, Republicans would keep all of the Bush-era tax rates, but accept $800 billion in new revenue. How? Through “pro-growth tax reform that closes special-interest loopholes and deductions while lowering rates.”

From there, the GOP leaders want to cut $600 billion from Medicare and Medicaid; cut $300 billion from mandatory programs; cut $200 billion by changing the consumer price index; and then cut another $300 billion in further discretionary spending.

To call this a “counteroffer” is to strip the word of meaning … This isn’t a “counteroffer”; it’s a Christmas wish list written by kids without access to calculators.

Full post here



Michael Tomasky: So, the House Republicans made their counter-offer today. But it’s not much of a counter-offer. Josh Barro of Bloomberg identifies three problems: 1, zero specifics; 2, what description there is of the tax numbers doesn’t add up; 3, it doesn’t really avert the fiscal cliff….

…. It’s always the same story with these people. They have these policy goals that they know are quite unpopular outside their besotted 30 percent, so they’ll never put specifics to them until the last possible second. But until then, anyone would be a fool to trust them. The only thing they really care about is cutting high-end tax rates, but they know full well that they can’t say that, so they make us all play these silly games.

…. Let’s keep remembering, folks, that they’re going through all these contortions basically so as not to raise the top tax rate 4.6 percent on taxable income above $250,000, which a little less than 2 percent of the population even has. Deeply unserious people.

Full post here



Josh Barro (Bloomberg): House Republicans are out with their response to the President’s opening bid on the fiscal cliff, and it’s not very impressive. Here are three big problems with the letter they sent to the White House:

1. It’s not really a proposal – it’s just a set of headline numbers without specific policies….

2. The description of tax reform makes little sense…

3. The proposal does not fully avert the fiscal cliff …. it would only partly delay the implementation of austerity measures (tax increases and spending cuts) into future years when the economy is stronger.

…. The letter also says nothing about the payroll tax holiday or extended unemployment insurance benefits, both of which Republicans likely want to sunset. As such, this proposal only constitutes a partial aversion of the fiscal cliff, which would mean a drag on economic growth in 2013.

Full post here




Erskine Bowles: While I’m flattered the Speaker would call something “the Bowles plan,” the approach outlined in the letter Speaker Boehner sent to the President does not represent the Simpson-Bowles plan, nor is it the Bowles plan. In my testimony before the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, I simply took the mid-point of the public offers put forward during the negotiations to demonstrate where I thought a deal could be reached at that time.

More here



Dan Pfeiffer: “The Republican letter released today does not meet the test of balance. In fact, it actually promises to lower rates for the wealthy and sticks the middle class with the bill. Their plan includes nothing new and provides no details on which deductions they would eliminate, which loopholes they will close or which Medicare savings they would achieve. Independent analysts who have looked at plans like this one have concluded that middle class taxes will have to go up to pay for lower rates for millionaires and billionaires.

While the President is willing to compromise to get a significant, balanced deal and believes that compromise is readily available to Congress, he is not willing to compromise on the principles of fairness and balance that include asking the wealthiest to pay higher rates.  President Obama believes – and the American people agree – that the economy works best when it is grown from the middle out, not from the top down.  Until the Republicans in Congress are willing to get serious about asking the wealthiest to pay slightly higher tax rates, we won’t be able to achieve a significant, balanced approach to reduce our deficit our nation needs.”


Steve Benen: If a video like this one seems familiar, it’s because this is exactly the sort of clip Obama for America routinely released in the weeks and months leading up to Election Day. Yesterday, however, the same campaign organization put this clip online for President Obama’s new fight.

…. I’m nearly as interested in its existence as I am its message …. Team Obama is hoping to approach the second term very differently from the first, and that’s especially true of dealing with Congress….

… This time, the president is taking a new negotiating posture, hosting public events outside the Beltway, and utilizing his campaign structure in the hopes of shifting public attitudes…..

Full post here


Thanks UT

195 Responses to ““A Christmas wish list written by kids without access to calculators””

  1. 1 susanne
    December 3, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    yikes! is it possible?!

  2. December 3, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    We can’t wait …


  3. December 3, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Good Evening, Everyone 🙂

  4. December 3, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    I think this applies quite appropriately to Republican lawmakers.

  5. 24 andogriff
    December 3, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Congrats on first, Susanne!

  6. 26 Anna
    December 3, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    susanne, I can’t remember, are you the one from Hawaii? If so, I am visiting your state, home state of our President, on Maui, enjoying the sun, the ocean, the beauty of the place. Congrats on first.

  7. 29 utaustinliberal
    December 3, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Guys, whatever you do, you have got to carve out time to watch Part 1 and 2 of this fascinating Michael Lewis interview about the Vanity Fair article he wrote on Pres. Obama. We all know what a hard working, brilliant, strategic, honest, and decent human being and leader Pres. Obama is, but Michael Lewis goes more in depth and reveals a lot of background details that he couldn’t put in the piece due to page constraints. In Part 1 and 2 of the interview, we learn what a “fundamentally decent human being” Pres. Obama is. I borrowed that phrase from David Cameron’s toast to Pres. Obama when he was in the America for a state dinner and Cameron was right. Pres. Obama is a fundamentally decent, compassionate, loving, and kind human being. If you can’t watch everything now, you must watch minute 26:24 of Part Two where Lewis talks about how much the staff and Secret Service loves Pres. Obama. It’s not a blind hero worship. It’s love of a man who treats them as equals. It’s love of a man who treats them as human beings, it’s love of a man who treats them as family, and it’s love of a man who is at his core, a very pure person.

    • December 3, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      Ah UT, thanks a million for the reminder, I haven’t had a chance to watch them yet today, but I meant to add them to the post after seeing you recommend them earlier – now added. Thank you!

    • December 3, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      I watched them on my lunch break and found them to be very informative. One thing I got from Mr. Lewis was that PBO is a very honest man who really does his best to tell the truth, that he is not a typical politician. I know that most of us if not ALL of us sense that about President Obama but I felt and STILL feel that way. I have had a lot of senicle people tell me he’s “just another politician” but now I can tell anyone who tells me that, “HE IS NOT JUST ANOTHER POL”. He geniunely wants to make a difference. I

      Another thing I got from this interview which is in PART II, is that everyone who works with the President really really really likes him.

      EVERYONE ….this is a must see interview. I am going to try to find the article and print it for everyone I know to read.

    • 39 majiir
      December 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      Although I’ve never met him, PBO makes me feel comfortable, too! I also feel much safer since he’s in the WH–something I never felt when GWB was CIC.

    • 40 99ts
      December 3, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      His discussion on the debate – on the fact that PBO always told the truth – that he didn’t have the option to lie – that the media ignored the lies others told – was so interesting – as was his talk of jet lag – adding to my amazement as to how PBO just keeps on going – day after day – without a thought for jet lag – the AF1 discussion also showed some insights I hadn’t seen/heard before.

      His goal was to speak of being the President – rather than a specific President – but what he learned about PBO comes out again and again. It is such an uplifting discussion – full of truth and humor, honesty and respect. I could rave on forever. If you haven’t seen it – find time to watch it all.

    • December 3, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      Yes, yes, yes, I agree. This is sooooooooooooo much fun, so sweet, insightful, gratifying, inspirational in terms of human being . . . .
      what’s possible for us as human beings, ways of being. and then of course, just plain interesting to hear about our PBO, as a man
      who is truly not ~needy~. Can you imagine? No need for flattery, and assumes the same for you. I thought Michael Lewis’s humanity
      shown brilliantly as well. Really: do yourself a favor and see this. xoxoxox

    • 42 AnitaW
      December 3, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      This was a great interview. I’m keeping an eye out to see if he comes to LA Public Library Aloud event. That would be awesome. Loved the story of the gift from the SS. I remember them giving him one during the 2008 campaign, but had never heard the back story.

      • 43 0388jojothecat
        December 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm

        I sleep a little better tonight knowing that they really respect and like him very much. I did not like that some yahoo walked into the gym while Mr. Lewis and PBO were excercising in Columbia though. Fortunately it he was not dangerous and the SS ushered him out quickly.

        • December 3, 2012 at 10:59 pm

          The SS was totally off their game in Columbia. I’m hoping that has changed now that they’ve been publicly shamed. This was an amazing video to watch. I was riveted.

    • 45 theo67
      December 3, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      UT – finally just finished watching this and it’s amazing. Close exposure to this man seems to reveal an extraordinary human being, and the fact that he chose to commit his life to public service and public betterment is a gift which we will never truly and totally unwrap and appreciate. Really amazing.

  8. 46 utaustinliberal
    December 3, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    If you’ve lost Josh Barro (conservative who is normally on the GOP’s side) while talking about fiscal policy, then your plan is a joke.

  9. December 3, 2012 at 8:44 pm

  10. December 3, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Ugh: just discovered my least favorite ‘reporter’ on earth, Politico’s Donovan Slack was following me on Twitter. Bloody well blocked!

  11. December 3, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    For those who have real-time access, should be interesting …

    • 123 Melissa
      December 3, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      People in favor of gun control should send Costas some love coz he reallllyyy got the wingnuts even nuttier with his comments… He’s not my favorite person in the world, but he did good.

    • 124 Lorraine
      December 3, 2012 at 9:54 pm

      Great! I have a lot of respect for Bob Costas as a journalist and member of the American family.

    • 125 0388jojothecat
      December 3, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      As a country we need to do something about gun control in America and not letting the NRA water down our criminal laws when a gun is involved. Most people would agree that mentally ill people should not have access to guns, people who are convicted of domestic violence should not have access to guns, urban areas where people are gunned down should have much tougher laws regarding criminals commetting crimes when using a gun. Most people rely on our police departments to protect us so that most of us won’t have to have to buy a gun to protect our person and property. I am so sick of people mimicking the talking points that “if we would just use the laws that are on the books we won’t NEEd new gun laws”. Please tell anyone who says that, that the laws already on the books have been watered down by the NRA and any NEW laws will surely be watered down by the NRA if we don’t support our police departments who want stronger gun laws.

  12. December 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Neat tweet 😀 😀

  13. 130 susanne
    December 3, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    interesting idea for new revenues, from eliot spitzer:

    ‘ Here is the idea: A tax of less than half a percent on every $100 of stock sales or sales of other financial instruments including bonds, derivatives, and options. The tax could raise anywhere from $170 billion to $350 billion per year depending how it was applied. Extend that over 10 years, and we are raising almost what the White House and Republicans agree needs to be raised in order to accomplish the objectives of a grand bargain.

    But there is an added benefit here: Trading in the equity and debt markets has gone wild over the past few years. High-speed trading and speculation have overtaken the economically legitimate reasons for our desire to have highly liquid markets: the capacity to raise capital and then allocate it efficiently among sectors and companies. The trading that has emerged over the past few years is not serving that purpose—it is a casino enterprise driven by hidden pools and computer algorithms that do not seek to hold capital for longer than an instant.

    To the extent that a financial-transfer tax drove some of those trading practices out of the marketplace, that would be another good outcome. ‘


    • December 3, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      Yes, Susanne, it is a good idea and has actually been discussed by a variety of folk, for several years. Am very pleased to see this article because it makes it clear exactly what ‘the market’ has become and that taxing transactions as described is perfectly reasonable.

      Thank you

  14. 134 susanne
    December 3, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    rethugs are claiming pbo is playing at ‘thelma and louise’ with the fiscal cliff. gotta remind them of a few things about those women:

    • 135 dudette9t9
      December 3, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      Jumping up and down cheering and screaming — just like when I first saw the movie!!

      • 136 susanne
        December 3, 2012 at 10:38 pm

        i love it! the rethugs obviously have not seen the movie, or they wouldn’t dare mention it.

        ‘my husband wasn’t sweet to me, and look how i turned out.’ 🙂

  15. December 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    😀 😀 😀 😀

  16. 143 jacquelineoboomer
    December 3, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Chips – How utterly magnificent that you gathered up the President’s Twitter replies for us and brought them here, especially for us latecomers. You are totally and utterly magnificent! (And good thing I read the caption for the top photo and checked it a second time, because all I saw at first was Jay Carney with a bunch of others and didn’t notice the President, front and center! I’m a bit distracted tonight, but in a good way.)

    • December 3, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      Hellooooooo Jacqueline! Hey, what’s going on with you and Jay? 😆

      I can’t claim any credit at all for the tweet collection, J, that was somebody else’s work (the White House account??), it was a great way for anyone who missed PBO on Twitter to catch up.

      • 145 jacquelineoboomer
        December 3, 2012 at 10:33 pm

        Nothing; whatever could you mean by that? 🙂 No, actually, he just looked so cute sitting there on his cell phone he caught my eye and after a quick look, I was thinking the others were White House staff or something. Yes, I realized you didn’t create the link, but it was SO NICE of you to link to it via TOD for those of us who missed it on Twitter earlier. You Ba-rack!

  17. 146 dudette9t9
    December 3, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Alright Chips! Nice attempt to placate me with the cute puppy dog face, but I’m calling an intervention right now. I think you’ve been bitten by a Rethug virus. I prescribe immediate therapy! Watch this video!

    STAGE 1:

  18. 152 hopefruit2
    December 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Miss Ann is crying in private. Who cares? Lady it’s time to put on your big girl panties and woman up!

  19. 177 dudette9t9
    December 3, 2012 at 10:38 pm


  20. December 3, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Wife: Get your mom’s recipe for ropa vieja
    Me: What are these recipes of which you speak? Have you ever seen my mother cook from a recipe?


  21. 180 dudette9t9
    December 3, 2012 at 10:49 pm


  22. December 3, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Time to prepare some dinner … thank you for all the fun and substance!!!! bbl

  23. December 3, 2012 at 10:51 pm

  24. December 3, 2012 at 10:55 pm

  25. December 3, 2012 at 10:56 pm

  26. 188 dudette9t9
    December 3, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Okay Chips have you been watching your therapeutic videos? I need to know how you’re feeling before we apply the next Stage.
    Think carefully now!

    • December 3, 2012 at 11:07 pm

      Completely chilled now, Dudette, those videos did the job. Will never misbehave again. Ever.

    • 190 dudette9t9
      December 3, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      Oh no! The first step to recidivism is thinking you’re done with your program before it’s finished. No, m’am! You have two more stages to get through. This 4th one is a DOOZY (length-wise at least). Lots of favorites here. Watch carefully…

      Not much music, but plenty of RAW talent! 😉

      • 191 cman
        December 3, 2012 at 11:36 pm

        Wow this is a gem. I’m laughing my aSS OFF! Funniest part..”They drove the car into a ditch, make it hard to get out and now they want the keys back…NO!” Lol

  27. 193 dudette9t9
    December 3, 2012 at 11:22 pm


    This one is not as long, but essential to completion of your programming! 8 1/2 minutes of pure love courtesy of our awesome POTUS, and FLOTUS and some very lucky children! By the time you finish this one, the Rethug virus should be completely gone. Of course, there’s no guarantee that you won’t be infected again at some point in the future, but we can develop a more stringent program if required. 🙂

    I like what the author say about the uploaded video, so I’m including it here.

    The Obamas – You Can’t Fake That!
    Published on Aug 30, 2012 by Debra Kerr-Hunter

    “A depiction of the Obamas with Our Greatest Resource – Our Children. No Copyright infringement is intended with the use of these songs. This video was not created for monetary gain.

    How this video came about. I started in early 2009 to see lots of pictures all over the Internet of the Obamas with kids. They seem to really enjoy talking to, and connecting to children. They seemed patient, attentive, and loving in the photos I saw. A couple weeks ago I did a search to see how many pictures there were. Oh My Goodness!! In order to make this video short enough to be palatable to the average viewer, heeding my husband, Christopher’s advice, I whittled down the first video removing 65 photos that I downloaded. There are an incredible amount of photos of this President and First Lady with kids. I hope you enjoy seeing a positive view of our First Family. Please feel free to share. I am so appreciative of the positive response.”

    • 194 theo67
      December 4, 2012 at 12:17 am

      This was lovely – thanks for putting this together! 🙂

    • 195 nathkatun7
      December 4, 2012 at 2:19 am

      Dudette, have I told you lately what a wonderful human being you are? Thank you so much for sharing all these inspiring collection of videos. Ms. Debra Kerr-Hunter did a wonderful job with POTUS and FLOTUS and the Children.

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