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“Reading the Tea Leaves”

Tea leaves!!!

One does not need to be able to “read the tea leaves,” to know that the death knell now tolls for the US safety net. Below is the July 31, 2012 announcement from Senator Harry Reid’s office that the Senate, the House, and the White House, have reached an agreement on a six-month CR (Continuing Resolution) to fund the US government.


September Vote on Six-Month CR Would Provide Stability for Fall Fiscal Negotiations

July 31, 2012

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced an agreement with House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama on a six-month Continuing Resolution (CR) that will avoid a government shutdown while funding the government at $1.047 trillion.

“This agreement reached between the Senate, the House and the White House provides stability for the coming months, when we will have to resolve critical issues that directly affect middle class families. The funding levels in the six-month CR will correspond to the top-line funding level of $1.047 trillion. I hope that we can face the challenges ahead in the same spirit of compromise.”

[US Senator for Nevada, Harry Reid’s Official Website]

Ostensibly, the purpose of this agreement is to “keep the government open and funded through early next year, averting a September 30 government shutdown.” And, certainly, I agree that a CR should be passed,in order to circumvent a phony debt crisis.

My problem is with the phony narrative that the mainstream media spins. They would have you believe that the Republican leadership is going along with this, because the specter of a shutdown just before Election day was such a frightening prospect, it prodded them to reach a deal.” There’s a name for that–Kabuki Theater. One unidentified Republican aide reportedly told NBC News “that the GOP did not want to risk a distraction from its central messaging on President Obama’s economic record.” And another unidentified GOP operative conceded that “the conservative rank and file” would not be content with this agreement, because it doesn’t cut the current spending levels; adding, however, that it would not jeopardize the bill’s passage in the House. [NBC Politics, Luke Russert]

Another area of concern that I have, is Senate Majority Leader Reid’s statement that “this agreement provides stability for the coming months, when we will have to resolve critical issues that directly affect middle class families.” The only plausible issue that he could be referring to, is the passage of the Bowles-Simpson austerity plan. Here’s a link to The National Commission On Fiscal Responsibility and Reform’s report entitled, The Moment of Truth (PDF).

TRANSLATION: The “fix” is in. Tell me I’m wrong, but as I see it, this move was necessary to allow room, and time, to maneuver the “Grand Bargain” or its framework, through the lame duck session before year’s end. The mainstream media’s “narrative” is that avoiding the threat of a government shutdown, was a victory for the Democrats. I don’t buy that, because everybody knows that Republicans don’t give up something, for nothing. So, my question is, “Exactly what did President Obama give up, or promise, in exchange for this deal?”

What are your thoughts, on this? And more importantly, what can we do to fight back?

Crossposted at

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