Hat tip to Matt Stoller, via email:

But with conservative Republicans denouncing the plan as an affront to free-market capitalism and some liberal Democrats criticizing it as a giveaway to Wall Street, both parties were anxiously starting to court votes, particularly in the House, where angry Republicans nearly scotched a deal that had been in the works for days.

House Republicans, under pressure from Democrats to deliver 70 to 100 votes, were scouring the ranks and focusing on the two dozen Republicans who are retiring this year.

Both parties also were scouring the political map to identify lawmakers who face little or no opposition for re-election in November, knowing they would be more willing to vote yes.

Democratic officials said that despite having control of both chambers in Congress, they were far from having a majority sufficient to pass the measure just from their ranks. And they also warned that Demo-crats in potentially tough races could not be counted on to provide the votes to put the package over the top when it reaches the floor.

They’re not under any illusion the country wants this. So we know who’s pulling the strings here.



Pachacutec did not, as is commonly believed, die in 1471. To escape the tragic sight of his successors screwing up the Inca Empire he’d built, he fled east into the Amazon rain forest, where he began chewing lots of funky roots to get higher than Hunter Thompson ever dared. Oddly, these roots gave him not only a killer buzz, but also prolonged his life beyond what any other mortal has known, excluding Novakula. Whatever his doubts of the utility of living long enough to see old friends pop up in museums as mummies, or witness the bizarrely compelling spectacle of Katherine Harris, he’s learned a thing or two along the way. For one thing, he’s learned the importance of not letting morons run a country, having watched the Inca Empire suffer many civil wars requiring the eventual ruler to gain support from the priests and the national military. He now works during fleeting sober moments to build a vibrant progressive movement sufficiently strong and sustainable to drive a pointed stake through the heart of American “conservatism” forever. He enjoys a gay marriage, classic jazz and roots for the New York Mets.