Senator Tester Abdicates Role of U.S. Government to GOP in Budget Fight

By JC

This is a tough opinion to write. My goal here is not continually to bash Montana’s junior senator, but the buildup to the looming battle over the budget, complete with threat of government shutdowns and refusal to raise the debt ceiling, leaves me with no choice but to lay the political argument out on the table: what is the role of the U.S. government?

It is with this question in mind this morning when I awoke to Senator Tester’s new op-ed piece in my inbox. And of course, I was hoping that he would address the big question: what is it that we need from our government today? Particularly when Congress is so polarized between the conservative/teabagger alliance hellbent on tearing government down to an inefficient and meaningless puddle of tail-between-the-legs government employees propped up by the world’s greatest military, and a democrat rump party unable to craft a message about the appropriate role of government and a message to defend it and inspire people to value their government and rise up in opposition to this insanity.

I so wanted Senator Tester to live up to the promise that the Weekly Standard posed, in its front page cover and headline article asking the question of is Jon “The New Face of the Democratic Party?” Because the democratic party is in sore need of leadership able to craft a message and fight for the needs of Americans struggling to survive the Great Recession.

Turning to Tester’s op-ed, what are greeted with?

“Congress has an important decision to make this week: Either work together to responsibly cut spending and keep our government working, or refuse and let our government shut down.”

And with that statement, the battle was lost–them’s some real fighting words. Democrats, if Jon Tester is any indication, have already abdicated their responsibility, if this is how they choose to define the battle. And Denny Rehberg’s election committee must be laughing their asses off right about now. They won that round.

At a time when the GOP budget, as outlined by Rep. Ryan, has as its goal the abolishment of Medicare and Medicaid in 10 years what we need is a battle for the heart and soul of the democratic party, liberal policies, and progressive ideals. Instead democrats let the right define the terms of the battle, and the end goal: budget cutting at any cost.

There is nary a word in Tester’s words cutting to the right’s vulnerabilities in their quest, and they are multitude. Where the right gets away with labeling the Affordable Care Act as “Death Panels” democrats must be fine with the GOP proposing true death panels: turning the health care needs of the elderly, the disabled and the poor over to the private sector–which seeks only to profit off of their misery. Social Security privatization is right around the corner.

I could go on and on dissecting Tester’s op-ed, but my ulcer is already killing me. Suffice it to say that I view his words as opportunity lost, nothing more than a rearrangement of the chairs of the Titanic, that once majestic Great Society that has taken nearly 80 years to build, yet with one weakly challenged budget battle, will begin to unravel at breakneck speed.

Update: Paul Krugman just weighed in on this theme in “The Threat Within:”

“The great danger now is that Obama — with the help of a fair number of Senate Democrats — will kill Medicare in the name of civility and outreach.”

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  1. I concur. Writing in The New Republic on 13 January 2011, John Judis observed that “…for the first time since the Civil War, the United States has a political party that is ideologically cohesive, disciplined, and determined to take power, even at the cost of disrupting the political system.”

    The GOP has moved so far to the right, and become so ideologically narrow, that it’s as much a cult as it is a political party. It’s ruthless, mean-spirited, and very dangerous. The Paul Ryan scheme is not a negotiating position. If they get the chance to kill Medicare & Social Security, they’ll do it no matter how crazy it appears to rational people.

    Tester and his colleagues error when thinking the best response is to serve tea and cookies while discussing common ground. They need to grab their pitchforks and stick ’em where it will do some good.

  2. Tester is a Corp/thug Tool from DAY ONE. He is owned lock stock ‘n barrel – by the Banking AG and Lumber industries…and more. i’ll NEVER vote for this corporate porch monkey again.
    Festering under the rule of Corp Scumbag Baucus all of the Montana Dems are his lackies. Messina, Fleishmann, Tester… Its amazing that the Gov is Vetoing anything by the Party of Corporations.
    Tester is nothing but spit in the eye (war monger) of every Montanan who voted for this duesch bag. I can’t wait to see one term tester/hayseed Gone!

    • Ingemar Johansson

      You’re right D26, let’s eat the rich.

    • petetalbot

      So who you going to replace Tester with, Darwin, Denny Rehberg? Denny would rollback every social program, cut all taxes on the rich and not balk at any war while gleefully strip mining all of Eastern Montana.

      Or do you have some great progressive candidate who is going to beat Tester in the primary and then go on to take out Rehberg in the general?

      Pray tell, Darwin.

      • petetalbot

        There, got that out my system. Back to the subject of the post. I agree with both JC and Mr. Conner that the days for compromising with far right — which seems to encompass just about every Republican in Congress — are over (if ever there was a day, at least in the past few decades).

        And I worry that the progressives who worked so hard for Tester in 2006 are losing their passion. Take famed blogger Markos Moulitsas. As mentioned in the 2006 Weekly Standard shown above, Moulitsas sang Tester’s praises. Now, after Tester’s no vote on the Dream Act, Markos has no further use for the Senator. I fear that other progressives are losing their motivation.

        The op-ed piece that JC found in his inbox was also the lead editorial in today’s Missoulian. It was pretty milquetoast. The bullet points in the piece lacked the sweeping reform and change in the status quo that we need to fix the economy and improve people’s lives (although the top five percent who control 61 percent of the nation’s net wealth seem to be doing OK). Again, I agree with James Conner: its time for the Democrats “to grab their pitchforks and stick ‘em where it will do some good.”

        It hasn’t even been mentioned here that part of the Republican budget plan is to roll back taxes on the richest individuals and corporations while cutting programs for the poor, kids and seniors.

        C’mon, Democrats, don’t placate these scoundrels. It’s a sure way to lose.

        P.S. Krugman, as usual, gets it right.

      • Tester has not done us one bit of good. his voting record stinks. Rehberg lying sycophant Chauvinist pig that he is at least brought the most Earmarks of any Cong Critter.
        Tester has sold us out!
        WE need to End the Baucus Machine.

        Sadly, unfortunately, with deep regret this is my take on Tester and getting rid of active Capitalist Neo-Libereral. Tester IS NOT a LIBERAL he is a NEO LiBERAL (hayseed).

        If you want, write my name in ~ i don’t have a solution who to run in Testers place; Someone, Please Jump on Board but i’m not sacrificing my integrity and principles for more neo-fn’g Liberals.

        • petetalbot

          WTF are you talking about, Darwin? You’re touting Rehberg’s earmarks? What a joke. First of all, he’s sworn off of them (being the massive hypocrite that he is) remember? Second, there weren’t THAT many and they were usually co-sponsored by Baucus, Burns and Tester.

          Touting Rehberg over Tester is like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  3. OK… I have limited time to respond before leaving to go see Sucker Punch but without reading Tester’s entire message (not enough time right now), I have to take exception to your opening salvo –

    “Turning to Tester’s op-ed, what are greeted with?

    “Congress has an important decision to make this week: Either work together to responsibly cut spending and keep our government working, or refuse and let our government shut down.”

    And with that statement, the battle was lost–them’s some real fighting words. Democrats, if Jon Tester is any indication, have already abdicated their responsibility, if this is how they choose to define the battle.”

    I am not sure how you came to your conclusion based on just that statement. Are you saying that we don’t have to responcibly cut spending? I simply don’t understand how you get from point A to point B. Are you saying that the Democrats can “force” the Repubs to agree to some other method of addressing the sorry state our economy/finances is in? The only way anything will get done at this point is with bipartisan cooperation at some point. The Repubs own the house and the Dems own the Senate. Someone will have to cross lines before anything is accomplished.

    Further, do you honestly believe that trying to work – in some way – with the opposition is worse than a complete government shutdown and our defaulting on our debt when we hit the debt ceiling? Not even the economists can agree on just how bad that would be but they ALL say it would be BAD. As much as I believe that our government is out of control, I still don’t want to see what happens when we default on our debt. You think the recession is bad now, wait…

    Spending cuts are a given. We HAVE to cut spending because our spending levels are unsustainable. Further, Medicare and Medicaid HAVE to be addressed – for a variety of reasons. While I simply despise Paul’s suggested method of fixing Medicare and Medicaid, it doesn’t absolve us of addressing the issue.

    I will read the rest of Tester’s message when I return but I really hope there is more to the message that substanciates your rather vehement trashing of Tester. I have to agree that Tester is a far better choice than Rehberg.

    More later.

  4. JC

    “Are you saying that we don’t have to responcibly cut spending?”

    You’re making this into the argument the GOP wants to have, which starts with the assumption that we have to cut spending. I don’t grant them that assumption.

    Having not granted them that assumption, then I don’t have to make the distinction between “responsible cuts” or irresponsible ones.

    I happen to believe that while the country is still in dire economic straights, that the government should not be cutting overall spending levels. That needs to be put off until the economy recovers. And when the economy recovers, and we have another 15 million people paying taxes, then the problem begins to take care of itself.

    I deliberately didn’t want to make this post about an argument for/against austerity economics as a political/ideological tool to drag this country out of economic doldrums. You can bring that argument in, if you want, but i’m straight-up against austerity at this point in time.

    Instead, I want democrats to get a spine and start arguing against austerity economics. If they don’t, we’ve lost Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. And that’s the harbinger that statements like Tester’s bring. There is precious little time for them to start making the argument. One budget is before us. The country hits the debt ceiling May 16th (or thereabouts). The 2012 budget is being crafted in a pot of bubbling snake oil by Rep. Ryan and his supporters right now.

    The time for action is now. Not next week, or next month, or next year during the election run-up.

    And what I hear from you is that the fear of a government shutdown is enough for you to let the GOP begin the abolishment of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Is that what you want? If not, where do you draw the line?

    I’ve drawn mine.

  5. Color me a little confused here, but I’m having a real hard time understanding exactly what the problem is with cutting spending responsibly? That is what many of us who want out of Bush’s great adventures in nation building have been advocating (among other things).

    Jon Tester writes:

    Montanans know that truly fixing our debt won’t happen until we make Social Security and Medicare strong for the future. It won’t happen until we reform our tax code.

    Regardless of what you think he means, all of that rings pretty true to me. Jon also writes:

    After ten years of ignoring our broken health care system, the House passed a measure that will shut down community health centers in Montana. After passing a measure that strips Pell Grants from hardworking Montana students, the House last week voted to spend $300 million in taxpayer dollars on Washington, D.C. charter schools. The House passed a measure to take away basic health care for women.

    The House even passed a measure that will take away Medicare benefits for 26,000 Montana seniors. This short-sighted plan doesn’t even save taxpayers money. In fact, it will raise our debt by $5.7 billion.

    All of which is, again, absolutely true. It needs to be remembered that this op-ed comes in the shadow of a government shut down, an event that will hurt Montana more than many other states. Tester is now well positioned to put the blame squarely where it belongs, with the House Republicans. If Tester were ceding the debate as you claim, all he’d have to do is vote for the House budget as submitted to the Senate, which other Democrats have already advocated doing to avoid a Government shut down.

    JC, you might to reread your post. It states quite clearly that you expected something, didn’t get what you wanted, and are now very upset because of that. You told me that when I point such things out, I am engaging in a “Straw Man” fallacy, yet here you write it very large. You haven’t really defined what it is you want, but the American people have. They seem to want budgetary restraint. If that is the case (and a damned fine argument could be made that it is) then Jon is actually leading the way in a manner that Republicans are not. They want symbolic gestures that garner favor with their base while they steal from the poor to give to the rich. I don’t see that in Jon’s op-ed.

    • JC

      I expected something? I know you have a problem with a politician’s constituents holding them accountable to their rhetoric, or exhibiting disappointment over certain actions.

      If I had no expectations of politicians, I would become an apolitical recluse. Yes I expect something out of Tester. I expect him to give a damn about the things I wrote about above: “the battle for the heart and soul of the democratic party, liberal policies, and progressive ideals.”

      If that’s asking too much for you Rob, then maybe you need to take a look at your own democratic underpinnings.

      If a democratic politician is unwilling to engage in the battle against the GOP for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security–then any platitudes to “responsibly cut” are really meaningless.

      Tester needs to be pressured to do the right thing here. If you’re not willing to, then when you turn 65, and are trying to figure out how to make your Medicare voucher work, you only have yourself to blame.

      I just want to see him fight Rehberg and the GOP against the onslaught on everything the democratic party, liberal policies, and progressive ideals have stood for for the last 80 years.

      If he’s not willing to do that, as James Conner says below, he’ll lose his reelection bid.

      • I know you have a problem with a politician’s constituents holding them accountable to their rhetoric, or exhibiting disappointment over certain actions.

        No you don’t, JC. You just think you do. That doesn’t surprise me at all given that you actually think this post in any way shape or form holds any one accountable.

        I expect him to give a damn about the things I wrote about above: “the battle for the heart and soul of the democratic party, liberal policies, and progressive ideals.”

        More assumption. See, you’ve already assumed so much:
        a) That Jon Tester doesn’t care about the lofty (and completely unspecified) goals and ideals you profess here,
        b) that the heart and soul of the Democratic party walks in step with liberal policies (again unspecified) and progressive ideals that even progressives can’t agree on,
        and c) that Jon Tester needs to be the embodiment of your assumptions lest your ulcer keep you from actually dealing with things beyond your assumptions.

        This was a campaign op-ed. What inspired you to write this post was that it wasn’t the verbiage you wanted to read. It strikes me that you were bitten by your own expectations, not Jon Tester.

        If that’s asking too much for you Rob, then maybe you need to take a look at your own democratic underpinnings.

        When Lizard’s response is 5 times more measured than your own, you might want to ask yourself if you’re overreacting just a bit.

        I just want to see him fight Rehberg and the GOP against the onslaught on everything the democratic party, liberal policies, and progressive ideals have stood for for the last 80 years.

        Yeah, I’d like to see that too. Especially the fist fight part against Rehberg. A funny thing, though. I’ve read that op-ed several times now, and I just don’t see the capitulation you assume is there. I quoted exactly where Tester says he isn’t going along with the House Republican plans (Rehberg), and stands against them. You quoted where he agrees with them exactly where?

        If he’s not willing to do that, as James Conner says below, he’ll lose his reelection bid.

        You could have saved yourself a lot of typing and just been as succinct as Markos was: “Good luck getting reelected, asshole”.

        Tester needs to be pressured to do the right thing here. If you’re not willing to, then when you turn 65, and are trying to figure out how to make your Medicare voucher work, you only have yourself to blame.

        Spare the rod and spoil the child, eh? I seem to remember that being a good progressive ideal from somewhere. Don’t insult my intelligence, JC. When I’m 65 and figuring out the Medicare voucher system, I’ll know exactly who to blame. It will be easy. See, I’ll be surrounded by mopey ex-progressives who were so distraught by what they read in a reelection bid op-ed that they willingly handed the power to kill Medicare back to the people who truly desire to do so. “Jon Tester didn’t fight for us as we helped elect the evil bastards who killed our medicare. It’s your fault, and Tester’s, and everybody else but mine.”

        There’s a question I’ve asked at least a dozen times, in a dozen ways, at at least half a dozen different progressive websites. The only response it ever garners is some kind of slam against me for even posing such a thing. That hasn’t deterred me from asking it.

        Exactly how is kvetching that a person isn’t who you want them to be, or that a politician behaves like a politician, in any way holding their feet to the fire?

        It’s a simple question that progressives stumble over about 99 percent of the time. (That % has probably gone down given that Obama has America mainlining disappointment.) But here we have Jon Tester, betrayer, quisling, and a guy running for reelection in a state that (perhaps you didn’t notice) just took a turn to the hard/crazy right. Tester has shown no indication that he will fulfill your fear fantasies, other than that he favors austerity where it actually makes sense. The only way to hold his feet to the fire is to primary him, accept and energize his inevitable defeat (self-fulfilling prophecy), or just bitch about his reelection material on a blog during a reelection. ~WTF~? But hey, when Rehberg wins and Medicare is repealed by the Republican House and Senate you’ll still get to blame me, right?

        • JC

          Blah, blah, blah…

          So you’re fine with Tester’s performance? I get it. You’re a loyal democrat unwilling to rock the boat or criticize the status quo as they present it.

          And “austerity where it actually makes sense”? Spare me the platitudes. Go back to your blog or LitW to make your case for economic austerity right now.

          And I know it pisses you off when I bitch about “reelection material on a blog during a reelection”. I’m supposed to shut up like a good little go-along, or else I might take a few votes away from him, and then you can point a finger at me to blame me for his loss.

          You should know by now that I’m not part of the democrat sheep mentality. I’ve got an opinion, and a place to post it. Sorry you don’t like it. Many others do.

          All I hope is that Tester gets the message that a lot of his supporters want to see some fire out of him. If he wants to win his reelection, he’s going to have to feed his base and energize them. Unfortunately, it is words like yours that tend to alienate his supporters. You’re not doing him any good by attacking me, that’s for sure–and I’m not attacking his supporters. But you can use me for a scapegoat all you want, if it makes you feel better. I gots me some thick skin, won over decades of political and policy fights.

          • I get it.

            No, you really don’t. You’re just an arrogant prig who refuses to be challenged.

          • Okay, I just can’t let such blatant bullshit go:

            And I know it pisses you off when I bitch about “reelection material on a blog during a reelection”. I’m supposed to shut up like a good little go-along, or else I might take a few votes away from him, and then you can point a finger at me to blame me for his loss.

            You’ve already blamed me for his loss. How dumb are you? You don’t even understand what you just wrote?

            You should know by now that I’m not part of the democrat sheep mentality. I’ve got an opinion, and a place to post it. Sorry you don’t like it. Many others do.

            Doubling down on the dumb, I see. You won’t deal with a single valid issue raised. You just pompously tell me of your importance. I’m so happy for you.

            And “austerity where it actually makes sense”? Spare me the platitudes. Go back to your blog or LitW to make your case for economic austerity right now.

            Trippling down on the dumb. Hate to tell you this, smart guy, but getting the hell out of military engagements/bases we don’t need is a case for economic austerity. And you don’t have the first clue what a “platitude” is, do you? You are such a “progressive” self-important little lamb. Cutting unnecessary spending actually helps the taxation situation, dumbass. Your all or nothing tripe helps … nothing.

            Unfortunately, it is words like yours that tend to alienate his supporters.

            Why? Because I’m writing a response to an over-reacting little china doll? Get thee to a fainting couch, you fragile creature!

            You’re not doing him any good by attacking me, that’s for sure–and I’m not attacking his supporters.

            Excuse me, jackass, but you started attacking me. Do I really need to quote you? My concern isn’t Jon Tester. My concern is you. After all, you wrote this post and every comment you’ve left since, to make this all about you. You’re unhappy that Jon Tester didn’t fulfill your need for rhetorical combat, while you suffer from your ulcer preventing you from actually writing about anything of a substantive complaint, other than you not reading what you want to read. And just as I predicted, you blame me for what will be the result of your poor reaction.

            • JC

              Dude, you’re just making a fool out of yourself.

              I’d appreciate you not calling the authors of articles here “jackasses.” Even i don’t have the audacity to come into your haunts and do such to you, though there are times I would have liked to have.

              You basically render all of your arguments moot by resorting to ad hominem. I’ll ask you again nicely: leave the ad hominem out of your attacks on me.

              • Insult is not Ad Hominem. That’s another thing you foolishly don’t understand.

              • JC

                NO Rob, it is you who can’t distinguish between insults and ad hominem.

                From WIkipedia:

                “Ad hominem abuse (also called personal abuse or personal attacks) usually involves insulting or belittling one’s opponent in order to invalidate his argument,”

                Which exactly is what you are doing.

                This is the last time I’ll ask: kindly stop the mean-spirited insults.

              • No. Wikipedia is not a very definitive source. This is much better.

                I was not trying to be mean-spirited. I was trying to be mean. Just as you did to me. You wrote:

                If that’s asking too much for you Rob, then maybe you need to take a look at your own democratic underpinnings.

                THAT was an Ad Hominem attack. And it was mean, and truly unnecessary.

                You also wrote:

                I know you have a problem with a politician’s constituents holding them accountable to their rhetoric, or exhibiting disappointment over certain actions.

                That was not only an Ad Hominem; it was a Straw Man fallacy. But wait! There’s more:

                If that’s asking too much for you Rob, then maybe you need to take a look at your own democratic underpinnings.

                Again, Ad Hominem. i only say such things because of my “democratic underpinnings”, wrongly believed. If you wish to debate logic, you’ve chosen the wrong guy to mess with.

                JC, you are requesting that I be polite when you a) refuse to answer questions directly asked, b) accuse me of behavior that you only think I’ve done given Wikipedia, c) won’t acknowledge any counter-point I’ve raised to the actual post, and d) threaten me with removal when it is you who have failed to engage.

                It’s your website. I get that. But the progressive cause might get better served if you actually challenge the nay-sayers such as myself, rather than insulting them and telling them that they aren’t following a pattern you expect.

                I like you JC. I would have it, much as you do with Jon Tester, that you would actually respond in the manner I hope you would. The difference between us is that I won’t go off because you don’t give me what I want to read. Go off against me personally? Yeah, we got us an issue. Read the quotes above and tell me that you didn’t do that. You kinda did.

              • JC

                Rob, now you’re getting petty. Nothing I said to you raised to the level of being called a “jackass”, “dumbass”, or “over-reacting little china doll.”

                And no, I’m not asking you to be polite. I’m asking you to not insult me, as a form of debate. I call it ad hominem. You may not. But that is not the argument we’re having here. My blog, my rules.

                And no, I’m not going to acknowledge your counterpoints when you insult me. I don’t encourage that sort of behavior with ascension.

                And nowhere did I “threaten [you] with removal”. If your abuse were to continue I would just close comments on this thread.

              • Rob, now you’re getting petty. Nothing I said to you raised to the level of being called a “jackass”, “dumbass”, or “over-reacting little china doll.”

                And no, I’m not asking you to be polite.

                That’s exactly what you asked me to do. Quit lying.

              • JC

                Bullshit. Point out where I asked you to be polite. You may take my words that way, but that’s not what I said.

                I said “don’t insult me” and you just went ahead and did it again by calling be a liar.

                Knock it off Rob. You’re starting to piss me off.

  6. What does cutting spending responsibly mean? Exactly what gets cut, why, and by how much?

    I think spending cuts will weaken the economy. Our principal problem now is high unemployment and hardly any job growth. We need to get people back to work, and the best way is a massive, federally funded public works program to repair existing infrastructure — roads, bridges, etc. — and build the infrastructure required for the future; smart grid, etc. Once people are back to work, tax revenues increase, demand for products increases, and private investment makes economic sense again. Our current situation is similar to the 1930’s, although not as severe. And the cure is spending on the order of what was required during WWII (it was the spending, not the shooting, that finally lifted us out of the depression).

    Democrats make a terrible mistake when they adopt the premise that the deficit and the debt are the terrible things that must be avoided. If that premise is adopted, then the argument become how to cut government spending, not how to help people and grow the economy.

    Now, I grant that Tester is in a bind. He’s not an exciting guy, he won by a plurality, and he facing a formidable challenger in Rehberg. Progressives have no alternative to Tester, but they still have a responsibility strengthen his campaign, and do some good, by, when necessary, pointing out the error of his ways. If he thinks he can win by closing the distance on issues, and underscoring his willingness to cut a deal when his opponents want no deal, and when fiery defiance is required, and it’s required now, he’ll lose.

    Tester needs some tough love. JC just gave it to him.

    • James, as reasonable as it sounds, your comment would make more sense if you actually pointed to any single ‘error in Jon Tester’s ways’. Spending/cutting isn’t all or nothing to either side.

  7. i agree with james and jc. jon’s adopting and appeasing the GOP’s erroneous memes only leads to compounding more and more errors. yes the deficit is beyond reason but until we really identify the true reasons for the rollercoaster hurtling to hell- ie/ all the corporations lined up in washington dc for special favors, privatization of military logistics, privatization and fraud in our byzantine health care delivery system, etc… it is just ridiculous to hack away at the few green roots providing nourishment to our weak economy while maintaining the dead wood of the greedy few who would sell this country down the river for a pennies difference in their bottom lines.

  8. lizard19

    at least tester paid a little lip service to closing down a few military bases and reforming the taxcode, but really his whole op-ed can be filed under reelection rhetoric that until followed by action is bullshit.

    i don’t think the democrats are capable of fighting the corporate privatizing/deregulating war against the last scraps of the new deal. the erosion of our manufacturing base and neoliberal sellout of the clinton era has pretty much rendered them a bunch of mewling castratoes when it comes to fighting to preserve critical social programs.

    • Sadly, unfortunately and to my deepest regret, Lizard covers our depressed and dismal situation quite well; i would rather it were otherwise but the Neo-libs have killed us. The Dems as they stand now and the Working Class can kiss their ass good bye.

      The Senate should be abolished. NOW. they serve only to keep the Capitalists happy. The immense power of our state over California is absurd. And Tester has done Zero… except play the capitalist game and score money for his coffers from the Capitalists that he works for.

      And most importantly he opted for funding the Wars 3 times.

      If Rehberg is the next Senator so be it… we survived that nit wit Burns.

      The Progs in Montana if they could ever get together/ and i know they can… should find a person to run for Senate. i think the filing fee is $2000 ? while if you want to run for President it’s FREE??? in MT.

      • petetalbot

        “If Rehberg is the next Senator so be it…. we survived that nit wit Burns,” says Darwin. Good point. Let’s hang out while the Burns’ and Rehbergs strip away any sort of family planning or choice, any chance for decent public education, any sort of sustainability or economic justice. The Democrats aren’t pushing hard enough or fast enough and yes, we can do better, but the Republicans are acting like Latin American dictators, feathering their own nests and screwing the masses.

        Sure, I expected more from the Democrats I voted for but I’m not quite ready for anarchy.

        By the way, it takes more than the $2000 filing fee to win an election.

        • lizard19

          By the way, it takes more than the $2000 filing fee to win an election.

          yes, apparently the price-tag for the next presidential election will be a billion dollars.

        • Pete, i don’t begrudge your vote or sentiments. the choices here are not the measure of who each of us is.
          i was at a campaign event where Tester and McClelland/ (the Nam Vet with his arm’s ‘n legs blown off / Former Senator from Georgia) Jon buoy was sooooo all against the Wars and spending on it, he was all for the Vets ie While methodically making more Vets! Killing mayhem Torture.
          Choose your poison Tester-Rehberg- i get mileage out of knocking the Neo Liberal/Baucus hell out of the MT Dem Pty if that can happen…i don’t know but i have a strong feeling he controls the Dems at the Local Level.
          Montana can only go up – which is what we thought when ObamanationINC took over for the USA… and on the other hand Montana won’t have far to fall if this isn’t the bottom. 49th on the wage scale, only one in nine make a living wage; MT is a welfare state anyhow… What can a Republican do here to make matters worse (probably lots of things- i’m sure)?
          It’s not about who wins or loses in this case, since there’s little if any difference it’s Who are the Progressives in Montana? – what do they stand for? Progs elected Tester and we’re gonna unelect him.
          This is My opinion alone. It’s obvious i have a whole lot less patience with people and situations like this.

  9. Ingemar Johansson

    I take issue with one of Tester’s last sentences.

    “For us, a shutdown means delayed Social Security and Medicare and veterans’ benefit checks.”

    Not true, the afore mentioned checks will still be drawn and sent.

    • Yes, and no. While existing Social Security Claims will continue to be sent – for a while anyway – no new claims will be able to be processed. Same goes with Medicare/Medicaid. Veterans Benefits will also be sent but no new claims can be drawn up.

      This is just the tip of the iceburg. How many people will be at home when they should be working? How many people will have to try to feed their family while the politicians laugh at us? Your precious Wilderness areas are no longer being maintained. How much revenue from lost wages is the government losing each day that they are shutdown.

      Maybe you don’t care. Maybe your family isn’t employed by the government. Like the very Republicans you so despise – you say “It’s not my problem”.

      Then, when the climbing national debt hits the debt ceiling, the US goes into default. Since not even the experts can say what happens then, I really don’t know how bad that will get. You can be assured, though, it isn’t the rich that will suffer – it will be you and me.

      I am not advocating “rolling over and giving the republicans everything they want”. What I am advocating, though, it working toward solving the issue and preventing a shutdown. At least then, you don’t come off as a spoiled child, taking your toys and going home instead of engaging the bully in the sandbox.

      • Ingemar Johansson

        Jon not telling the whole story perhaps? If new applications were the only ones being held up then maybe he should have stated that, instead of a half truth.

        Interesting that you wonder about my ability to care. Frankly a economic collapse actually benefits me. I own stock (horses, cows) and live pretty much a self sufficient lifestyle. I also own precious metals, gold silver, brass and lead. The ranch has three springs the buildings have wood stoves and hundreds of acres of timber.

        Default hurts the lower and middle classes. The R’s plan saves Mcare and SS. The D’s plan sends us into insolvency and hyper inflation.

        Which path to take? Makes no matter to me.

        • As I have already posted elsewhere in this conversation, Paul’s plan does not “save” Medicare, it privatizes it – and not very well, BTW. Social Security doesn’t need to be “saved”. Your hypobole on the “D”‘s plan is just that – since the “D”‘s ahve not really submitted a plan yet – they are being forced to respond to the Republican plan by the political gamesmenship being played with government shutdowns and the debt ceiling.

          As far as you, personally, I don’t know whether you care or not. The “republicans”, in general, seem to think that a shutdown is what is needed for this country – their leadership has said as much. The Tea Party is actually rooting for one – again, they said as much today.

          • Ingemar Johansson

            55 and older-no change.

            55 and younger, some privatization.

            Let me see. we can continue to give our money to Bernie Madoff and the ponzi scheme boys or we can manage our own money.

            Self managed money that doesn’t get throw some rat hole never to be seen again.

            • JC

              “Self managed money that doesn’t get throw some rat hole never to be seen again.

              How much wealth was wiped out in America when the markets crashed 2 1/2 years ago? Self-managing your money doesn't work as long as there aren't any tight federal controls and regulations on the markets.

              Or is that what you want? People who, to no fault of their own, invest in stocks and bonds and funds that are manipulated behind the scenes in, as you put it by "the ponzi scheme boys", like the ones that securitized mortgages and sucked all their value into the great "vampire squid" seeking out new profits wherever they may lie.

              Oh, and I turned 55 today. How fitting…

              • Ingemar Johansson

                Market crashes and manipulated stock prices are a drop in the bucket compared to our nation’s $14T debt.

                Oh happy Bday-you’re safe.

              • JC

                The Federal Reserve estimates that $17 trillion dollars of household wealth were lost during the crash. Which accounts for about 27% of total household wealth.

                Care to revisit your statement?

              • Ingemar Johansson

                Lost and then regained. Markets grow-markets decline, long term investments like retirement funds still out pace the govt..

                That household wealth thing-are you Michael Moores biggest fan? “There’s wealth out there all we have to do is take it.”

                And the results of that taking? You may like living on a reservation where you wait around for a check. The rest of us want something else.

              • He wants Chris Cox SEC Chair justice, with his ‘restrained enforcement’ blather while Willy, the Bush Crime Family and now ObamanationINC are perfectly willing for the books to be balanced on the Backs of the Working Class while the thieves REPUBLICANS and Scumbag Neo-liberals Let the crooks run wild… they even give them continued control of the Worlds money – Summers, Bernake, Greenspawn of Satan,
                – Capitalist Swine will gladly privatize that well earned Social Sec fund for you… Aren’t you glad you didn’t have your Soc Sec in the Crash?

            • JC

              “Markets grow-markets decline”

              Deficits grow and deficits decline–just like they were when Bush took office, and before he and the right started raiding the public coffers.

              And market price fluctuations do not equate overall wealth levels. How many people have lost homes? That is where most of the wealth of the middle class rests–in their equity, which does not track the market.

              And knock off the stupid shit about “You may like living on a reservation where you wait around for a check. The rest of us want something else.”

              I like living on the reservation because land was cheaper here (and I own my property), it’s a quiet place to work, and the only checks I wait for are the ones from my employers, or the freelance clientele I have.

              Your prejudiced and bigoted statements bely the true nature of much of the right. Nice going.

              • Ingemar Johansson

                “You may like living on a reservation where you wait around for a check.”

                That sentence should have read “You may like living on a reservation where MOST wait around for a check.”

                Wasn’t a personal reference but a forewarning of things to come if current spending levels continue.

                I draw my Native American creds from living 35 years across the fence of the Crow reservation. I’ve seen the damage that welfare has wrought.

                Prejudiced statement full of bigotry? To someone afraid of the truth, I suppose.

              • Ingemar Johansson

                And when are going to stop blaming Bush? Just give me a date, half way thru the next presidents term perhaps?

              • JC

                Talk about a non sequitur. NIce comeback.

  10. Finally, the Federal Government has released it’s contingency plans on what happens if the Government shuts down. While I pretty much knew most of what would happen (I have read the reports on what happened last time), there were some surprises –

    – Active Duty Military Members would not get paid starting April 8th – including those in war zones.

    – 800,000 Federal Workers would go home without pay. While the Republicans encouraging this shutdown are saying they will back paid when the shutdown is over, there is no guarentee that will occur since that backpay is at the descression of Congress. That means 800,000 families without a paycheck (and not paying taxes either). This may be an acceptable “collateral damage” to Larry, it is not to me.

    – The Environmental Protection Agency also shuts down so no new permits, studies or findings will be produced – putting many of the “new” energy technologies on hold until the shutdown is lifted.

    There is more and I encourage you to read them. While many here seem unconcerned about a shutdown, I see that lack of concern misguided and harmful. Tester may well have the right idea in trying to prevent the shutdown.

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/06/news/economy/government_shutdown/index.htm?hpt=T1

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/04/news/economy/shutdown_faq/index.htm?iid=EL

    • JC

      This post wasn’t about a shutdown. I don’t want a shutdown. It is about democrats not facing up to the economic blackmail that republicans are using to extort their ideological predation on this country.

      No matter how much the democrats “give” in compromise, the right will come back looking for more. It is a constant game of moving the goal posts meant to move the country as far right as possible, and to dismantle the social safety net that has been in place for 80 years.

      Democrats have the opportunity to lead by capitalizing on all of the stupid policy–particularly Rep Ryan’s budget–the right is putting forth.

      Of course, if democrats feel that the country has moved so far to the right that they have to embrace and go along with republican conclusions (we must cut, cut, cut) and that abolishing Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security is needed to put this country “on a path to prosperity”, then I don’t want anything to do with it. Democrats caving in to republican demands will not pull me (or millions of others on the left) with them to the right.

      No matter how dire the immediacy of a shutdown or debt ceiling problem becomes. You willing to trade the seeds of Medicare abolishment for preventing a shutdown? At what point do the dems draw a line in the sand telling the right they are not going to do this? I have yet to hear a word from our two dem senators, or most of dems in congress.

  11. Once again, you are trying to draw me into an argument that I didn’t make – that being that by attempting to avoid a shutdown, I would agree to Ryan’s budget proposal. I hate to tell you this, but the two are not linked, nor should they be.

    The fact is (whether you want to admit it or not), government spending is unsustainable at the level it is. It is a simple matter of math. The money coming in doesn’t meet the money going out. No matter how you want to massage the argument, that simple fact exists and it is not mutable. We can try to increase revenue (increase taxes, close loopholes, tax the rich/corporations more), but it is not the only side of the equation and spending has to be addressed.

    Back to my original argument – if the Dems can at least attempt to keep the shutdown from occuring – especially if they can agree to a few REASONABLE spending cuts, they are better serving their constituants than the Republicans taking the Tea Party line to shut down the Government. If the shutdown does occur (and it is even odds at this point according to every news source I have tapped), at least they can say “We made this and this and this effort to avoid the shutdown”. The Repubs can’t even say that. They have made it clear that they are not interested in compromise – in fact, their Tea Party masters have made it clear that they WANT a shutdown. When I go to the polls next year, this is one of the things will be considering when I vote.

    When you want to have a discussion about Paul’s budget proposal (especially the Medicare/Medicaid debate), let me know. I am posting about that myself on my blog. I have a few choice words to say on that score. This post was about Tester’s responce to the emminent shutdown (and how the author felt betrayed by him) and I will try to stay on subject.

    • JC

      Then why do you make a statement like this:

      “Tester may well have the right idea in trying to prevent the shutdown.”

      if you’re not setting the bait for an argument about a shutdown?

      “The fact is (whether you want to admit it or not), government spending is unsustainable at the level it is.”

      I disagree. I think government spending needs to be as robust as it can until people have jobs. Then many entitlements and expenses go down (unemployment, medicaid, etc…), and tax revenues go up. Sure, the government can, and should move money around–cut defense to bolster investment in infrastructure and alternative energy.

      As I stated above, I didn’t intend this article to be a debate on austerity economics. It seems that you’re willing to indulge in austerity at a time the country is vulnerable. I am not.

      “Back to my original argument – if the Dems can at least attempt to keep the shutdown from occuring – especially if they can agree to a few REASONABLE spending cuts, they are better serving their constituants than the Republicans taking the Tea Party line to shut down the Government.”

      Dems have already agreed to 30 billion in cuts–half of what the republicans want. But that isn’t good enough. They want another 10b–and then what will they ask for next? It’s never enough. You think dems should encourage economic blackmail? It the right wins this one, what will they demand when the debt ceiling gets reached next month as blood money to pass a ceiling raise? Then when the 2012 budget rolls in, what is the extortion price for that?

      The GOP has already indicated that it want to abolish medicare, medicaid and social security. Every toe-hold the dems grant them by pre-compromising and attempting to be “the grownups in the room” (Obama’s words) just encourages the right to pull harder and move further right.

      We have the perfect opportunity–the senate battle between Rehberg and Tester–to define those issues, and to take a stand. But it doesn’t appear to be happening. As James Connor said above, many of us think that Tester needs some “tough love” right about now. And I’m sure Im far from the only one giving it to him. But if he doesn’t respond, he is hurting his electoral chance greatly.

      WHy would I want to donate to a dem candidate and work on his campaign (again) when he is unwilling to make the case at the time precisely it is needed most? And fight for the heart and soul of liberal and progressive policies that have been fought so hard over, for the last 80 years?

      • I didn’t intend this article to be a debate on austerity economics.

        JC, that is absolutely bullshit. Your sole source of tummy hurt was that Jon Tester agreed (with the Republicants) that austerity is important by engaging in ‘rational spending cuts’. It’s what set you off about this whole op-ed. If it isn’t about austerity economics, then what the hell is it about?

        • JC

          About him making the wrong argument at a time when events are calling for a far greater response. Agreeing with republicans to cut at a time when their goals are the abolishment of medicare, medicaid and social security is tantamount to acquiescence.

          If I would have wanted a debate for or against austerity economics, I would have had that straight up. But I don’t want that debate, because I’ve studied the issue inside and out, and my mind is made up. Color me a Krugman-ite on this one. I don’t know that there’s anything you or anyone else on this blog can say to make me change my mind about it. Yes, I am closed-minded at this point about austerity economics.

          And about you calling “bullshit” on my intentions? Kindly knock it off, as you have no special insight into my intentions.

          • I can’t find a single national economist that 1) agrees with you and 2) has any kind of reasonable plan to accomplish what you say has to be accomplished. It seems somewhat turtle to make the statement that you are against austerity economics but won’t discuss it because “you’ve studied it inside and out and made up your mind”. If you were so sure it is the right way to go, don’t you feel up to the task of defending it, especially since you are using that arguement against others? That seems kind of … chicken.

            I will say you are wrong. I have even said why you are wrong both here and at other sites (as well as my own). The numbers just don’t add up. I am willing to discuss my reasons why I say you are wrong. More importantly, I use my reasons to defend the Op-ed by Tester that has your panties in such a bunch. I guess my beliefs are strong enough to me to defend.

            • JC

              Can’t find one economist? Then you haven’t been reading Krugman or Simon Johnson.

              Actually, judging by the raw nerve I’ve touched in the Kailey brothers here, I think I am on to more than you’d like to admit. Otherwise, you just blow off what I have to say as irrelevant, and move on to the next thing…

              • You are correct, I disregard Krugman because his assumptions are as flawed as Paul’s are. In fact, his assurtions are just as absurd as the ones made by Reagan when he was advocating “trickle down” economics.

                As far as your assumptions about my motivations and actions, you are just as misguided as you were about Rob. Rob and I come at things from different directions. I disregard trolls. I argue with people I think actually have two brain cells to rub together. When I decide you are not worth the effort, you will know because I will start completely ignoring you.

              • Ingemar Johansson

                You first paragraph made complete sense.

              • JC

                Well, Krugman has a nobel prize in economics, and you and Ryan have…???

                Nada, zip. Disregard him at your peril. HOw about Simon Johnson–former chief economist at the IMF?

                I have a feeling that any economist that doesn’t agree with you will be given the “flawed assumptions” slander, because, well you think you know more than them? Show me some reasoned analysis of Krugman’s supposed flawed assumptions, and I’ll eat crow.

              • Ingemar Johansson

                Economics is like physics. Wait, let me explain. In economics there are a number of different “schools” of economics. Here’s just a few: Monetarists, Mercantilists, Physiocrats, Rational Expectations School, Classical School, Marginalist School, Marxist School, Institutionalist School, Keynesian School, Austrian School, Rational Expectations. They hold only one thing in common, that anyone under the influence of an opposing School is worthless. In other words, much like physics, the search for a Unified Field Theory of economics goes on. Krugman is, as a NYT op-ed writer, largely a Neo-Keynesian. Neo is the proper term because he not only supports but pumps up some of Keynes’ loopiest ideas and buries his few good ones. But his major sin is simple inconsistency. On the one hand he will accuse Bush (R) of “running up outrageous and irresponsible deficits” and a few years later accuse Obama (D) of not doing enough because his budget deficits are too small. Apparently, he now believes his first loyalty is to the ideology of the NYT editorial board and owners, rather that the objective application of any knowledge of economics he might still retain.

              • Krugman is being entirely consistent. George Bush produced irresponsible deficits by initiating tax cuts (which are notoriously difficult to repeal and have a relatively small effect on the economy, as any economist will tell you, because they don’t contribute directly to GDP) and wars, which (because they did not require an extensive increase in manufacturing of arms) also have little positive effect on GDP, yet are quite expensive.

                Krugman supports spending on infrastructure development and government services precisely because they contribute directly to GDP and job growth. He is thus a consistent Keynesian.

              • Ingemar Johansson

                Then pray tell why didn’t the $1T stimulus work?

                Wasn’t big enough? After all they were “shovel ready” (as in infrastructure).

                And W’s tax cuts hard to defeat? O’s pen could’ve nipped them in the bud.

              • Ingy – unemployment is dropping and GDP is rising, much like during Roosevelt’s Keynesian handling of the Great Depression. And like that era, the recovery has been very slow. Perhaps Keynesian economics isn’t perfect, but Krugman is consistent.

                As for tax cuts – compare the trillions in tax cuts to the trillion dollar stimulus. You don’t have to worry about the stimulus coming back by default next year; it was a time-limited fiscal action to deal with a temporary economic crisis. Tax cuts do not have immediate effect and continue to affect revenue for years to come, thus they are a poor fiscal tool for dealing with economic crises.

              • JC

                Um, how is a $1t stimulus going to turn around an economy that had $14t in wealth knocked out of it in a matter of months?

                AIn’t gonna happen.

    • Just to note, the Dems are better served politically by letting the shut-down happen. In truth, I’m kinda in favor of that right now. It might remind a few progressives what is actually at stake here.

      • Unfortunately, while I do understand why you would make that statement (a shutdown will certainly hurt the Repub more than the Dems), I just can’t be that impartial about it. While I don’t work for the Government, my wife does and the loss of her income will directly effect us. Further, my son is on active duty and he will stop getting paid for defending this country on April 8th if the Government shuts down. Oh, he won’t be able to stop doing his job – the country needs him “on that wall”, but he just won’t get paid for it. Worse, there is no guarentee that he will get paid when the government eventually starts back up – that is up to congress and given the current mood there, nothing is a given.

        I guess a part of me is still hopeful that these idiots will get their head out of their butt and actually start doing their damn job.

        • Ingemar Johansson

          There’s bills in the congress to address serviceman’s paychecks.

          By Mario Trujillo

          Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) introduced a bill that would ensure pay for military personnel in the event of a government shutdown.

          “When somebody is fighting for us they don’t need to be distracted by what kind of gamesmanship is going on in washington,” Gohmert, flanked by six other Republican congressmen, told reporters Friday. “We want this taken off the table.”

          Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), who joined Gohmert, said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) supports ensuring that servicemen are paid, but Carter said he didn’t know if the Speaker would put the bill on the legislative calendar in the next week.

          Lets see who supports your son with their vote or who wants to hang him out to dry.

          • When that bill makes it out of Congress (long after this crisis is past, obviously), we will discuss it then. Right now, both of he and my wife will be effectively unpaid come Saturday if the shutdown occurs.

            If the Republicans are so concerned about our Servicemen getting paid, why are they not willing to even talk about compromising to avoid a shutdown?

            • Ingemar Johansson

              $30B is not a compromise, it’s funding only 3 days out 365.

              D’s had all last year to come up with a budget, before the land slide elections.

              They punted, afraid of the electoral consequences and the hope of a shutdown.

      • Ingemar Johansson

        Rob, you thinking this is 1995 all over again.

        I’m thinking you’re wrong this time.

  12. lizard19

    rob, watching how you roll from a more removed position has been very illuminating.

    in your first response to the post, where you “color” yourself confused, you attempt to reduce JC’s criticism to the same charge you’ve levied against me:

    JC, you might to reread your post. It states quite clearly that you expected something, didn’t get what you wanted, and are now very upset because of that.

    first, suggesting JC reread his own post, then supplying your impression of what he will find, is not just patronizing, but, i believe, designed to goad your target into an emotional exchange.

    then, when you get the desired response, you kick into gear, revving up your own “discourse” until you’ve reached pissant/jackass attack mode. then, when you get your target sufficiently pissed, you lay out your logic dong and ask everyone to admire how big it is.

    now, back to the post.

    i think JC is correct to be concerned that jon has conceded the fight in the first line of his op-ed. precisely because it’s apparently election season already, this carefully crafted statement right off the bat accepts a dichotomy the right have set-up and are running wild with—cut it or shut it down.

    the rest of the piece is safe and mildly encouraging. it appeals to sense while maintaining the stern gravity of cuts that have already been made. reforming the tax code and closing down military bases was just enough dangly red meat for me to be, i guess, 5 times more measured in my initial response.

    but it doesn’t carry the spark of the fight in Wisconsin. it doesn’t convey the shock of what’s going down in Michigan, Ohio, and Florida. And it doesn’t even take any shots at the budgetary cruelty being perpetrated in his own backyard.

    instead, there’s mush like this:

    Now after years of reckless spending and racking up record debt with zero transparency, some members of our U.S. House of Representatives are desperately trying to convince Montanans that they’ve suddenly found fiscal religion. And they want us to believe that this country’s spending problem will go away simply by passing symbolic resolutions and gimmicks.

    but it’s safe, and that’s what they are going for. responsible. sensible.

    but the problem is there’s brazen class warfare going on right now, and a politician like jon, who needs lots of cash to win reelection, must walk a fine line.

    it’s politically unrealistic to expect him to act otherwise, but that shouldn’t stop us from wondering who he’s going to work for if he gets reelected.

    that said, i’ll still probably vote for him. because fuck rehberg.

    • first, suggesting JC reread his own post, then supplying your impression of what he will find, is not just patronizing, but, i believe, designed to goad your target into an emotional exchange.

      You’re absolutely right about that. You simply fail to show what’s wrong with it.

      when you get your target sufficiently pissed, you lay out your logic dong and ask everyone to admire how big it is.

      Logic is logic. It isn’t a penis. I’m a little scared of your internal fantasy/vision. I am a lefty. But I am a rational one. I have a bit of an issue with those who go off half cocked, and then blame me because they lack self-control.

      You have remained rational here. I like that. If you don’t think I’m scared then you haven’t been paying attention.

      JC is correct to be concerned. But when I asked him to pinpoint the concern, he simply assumed that he knew where I and all others were coming from. He punched me, and I punched back. Witness his latest post. Many of us ‘progressives’ have been calling for spending cuts for many many years. Those are precisely the spending cuts that Jon Tester has proposed or is reviewing. But agreement with that is somehow agreement with the right? Not hardly. That was his accusation, and one I just don’t feel the need to accept at this point.

      And yes, fuck Rehberg. (For the record, most people who make the halls of Congress profit wildly for it in the first two years. Jon Tester hasn’t. I wonder why that is …)

      • lizard19

        i fail to show what’s wrong with your statement? some might think being patronizing is synonymous with being an asshole, and that responding like an asshole, which you freely admit you are doing, leads to unproductive emotional responses. you set the tone in your initial response, and i lay out why i think you do it.

        Logic is logic. It isn’t a penis. I’m a little scared of your internal fantasy/vision. I am a lefty. But I am a rational one.

        sorry, stud, there is no internal fantasy/vision regarding your logic dong; just a growing admiration at the length and width of your talent.

        You have remained rational here. I like that. If you don’t think I’m scared then you haven’t been paying attention.

        i’m doing just fine with where i choose to place my attention. i think you goad people into volatile exchanges because anger can diminish your opponents ability to use their own rational logic to counter your logic dong. it’s an effective strategy.

        And yes, fuck Rehberg. (For the record, most people who make the halls of Congress profit wildly for it in the first two years. Jon Tester hasn’t. I wonder why that is …)

        for the record, maybe you could provide a source for that assertion. and for the record, there are always great career opportunities for politicians who bark on command.

  13. JC as much as I enjoy watching the civil war among the Dems I think you’ve mixed up who Jon Tester actually is with the Jon Tester you would like him to be.

    Reality vs Expectations.

  1. 1 Putting the National Debt in Perspective | Intelligent Discontent

    […] part of that deficit is from the wars. And unlike JC at 4&20 (who is nonetheless hosting an interesting conversation on the matter), I agree with Jon Tester that we can afford to make some responsible cuts. Indeed, […]

  2. 2 The Cost of “Compromise” « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] I enjoyed the discussion on my last post the other day, “Senator Tester Abdicates Role of U.S. Government to GOP in Budget Fight”, about Tester’s avoidance of framing the ongoing budget debate in any other terms than the […]

  3. 3 The Road Less Traveled » Blog Archive » Can we stop Pretending?

    […] from this depression and that reasonable spending cuts are not going to fix anything. Further, they are taking Democrats to task for even considering spending cuts. The simple failure of any kind of logic (or understanding of the fact that the majority of […]




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