The Winnah!…this week


Though I must point out to Steve Benson – if he ever notices I’m posting one of his cartoons – I’m older than either of these guys. My personal politics are a tad to the Left of both. Have been since the first time I got together with a bunch of folks from SNCC to join the sit-ins at lunch counters I’d never recommend to anyone, anyway.

And I still understand that getting that lowlife scumbag out of the White House remains the highest priority.

House passes U.S. Budget Bill, avoids most tax increases

The House of Representatives passed legislation averting income tax increases for most U.S. workers after Republicans abandoned their effort to attach spending cuts that would have been rejected by the Senate.

The 257-167 bipartisan vote breaks a yearlong impasse over how to head off $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts that were set to begin taking effect today. The Senate passed the bill early this morning, 89-8, and it goes to President Barack Obama for his signature…

The measure isn’t the grand bargain on deficit reduction lawmakers wanted when they created the tax-and-spending deadlines over the past three years. While it averts most of the immediate pain, it is only a small step toward controlling the federal deficit — an issue that will return with a February fight over raising the $16.4 trillion debt limit.

The deal was worked out by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican. Eighty-five Republicans and 172 Democrats voted for the measure while 16 Democrats and 151 Republicans opposed it.

The plan will make the George W. Bush-era income tax cuts permanent for most workers while letting them expire for top earners…

The legislation will continue expanded unemployment benefits and delay automatic spending cuts for two months. It will let a 2 percent payroll tax cut expire.

The Senate vote early today shifted the pressure to House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, who didn’t speak during debate on the bill. In his two years as speaker, Boehner has had to quell rebellions among fellow Republicans backed by the anti-tax Tea Party.

Boehner’s second-in-command, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, voted against the measure. Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, this year’s Republican vice presidential nominee, voted for it “to protect as many Americans as possible from a tax increase,” he said in a statement.

The budget deal will raise taxes on 77 percent of U.S. households, mostly because of the expiration of the payroll tax cut, said the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington.

That last one is something most working families will feel. The definitions are fuzzier, they will vary more. They won’t hurt any less for working class families.

The chance for real equity in SSA funding will only come when the cap is removed and folks earning more than $106K keep on paying the tax.

No respect for political conventions in endless U.S. campaign

There are few timeouts in U.S. presidential campaigns any more…A tradition of candidates keeping a low profile while opponents bask in the limelight at their party conventions has frayed in recent elections.

This year, that custom will be all but ignored as President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney compete to be heard amid the cacophony of campaign noise on Twitter, YouTube and the 24-hour news cycle.

In a phenomenon known as “convention counter-programming,” the two White House hopefuls will campaign at full speed during each other’s conventions to try to grab some of the attention from their rival…

Obama will focus much of his time next week on young voters, embarking on a two-day college tour in the critical swing states of Iowa, Colorado and Virginia.

“While Hollywood producers and advertising executives try to reinvent Mitt Romney in Tampa, President Obama and Vice President Biden will be on the road next week to lay out the clear choice between building an economy from the middle class out or the top down,” said Ben LaBolt, Obama’s campaign spokesman.

First lady Michelle Obama is appearing on “The Late Show with David Letterman” on Wednesday, the same night as vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan presents himself to the American public in his acceptance speech at the Republican event.

As aggressive as the Democrats will be next week, Romney and his team also have no intention of just letting Obama enjoy rallies and partisan speeches uncontested when the Democrats meet for their convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, from September 4 to 6.

Senior advisers to the Romney campaign say it never entered their minds that they might take time off during the Democratic convention.

I have a dozen or so movies saved on the DVR in the living room. They will substitute for any of my regular programming pre-empted by political hacks.

I’m fully confident the Democrats will try to find fourteen new ways to tell me what I already know about which side I am on – working people and America’s middle class. I’m fully confident the Republicans will try to find fourteen new ways to lie to me about protecting social security and medicare – and dribble down voodoo economics.

I plan not to listen to any of it.