Political Animal


December 09, 2012 8:50 AM A Tea and Newspapers Day

By Adele Stan

Good morning, Animals. Forgive me for eschewing my customary exclamation point at the end of that greeting, but it’s a grey, raining day here in your nation’s capital, the kind where one’s energy recedes, and puts a literal damper on those great plans one had to haul home a holiday tree from Eastern Market. (Yes, I said “holiday tree.”)

In truth, yesterday’s sunny, balmy weather should probably have been more a cause for concern than jubilation, but it’s hard to focus on the six-inch rise in sea levels that’s due in in less than 50 years, according to the World Bank, when December shopping at an open-air market requires no more outerwear than a fleece hoodie.

But we have other matters to consider today:

Egypt’s would-be dictator Mohamed Morsi has walked back the most controversial part of his power-grabbing decree, but that hasn’t quelled the opposition.

All the smart people at the big newspapers this morning are prognosticating on Hillary Clinton’s future, once she leaves her post as secretary of state, which she is expected to do in January. (Gotta love Anne-Marie Slaughter’s son asking her if a man can be secretary of state.) At the Daily Beast, Michael Tomasky has is own advice — well, actually, a demand — to offer.

A deal on raising the eligibility age for Medicare continues to gain traction among Washington types, with Politico featuring such conjecture as its lead story this morning. (You can find yesterday’s Political Animals discussion on the topic here.)

And that’s just the beginning. I’ll be back as soon as I dig up my tea cozy.


  • Barbara on December 09, 2012 9:32 AM:

    Does anybody else get the feeling that "Fix the Debt" types are whispering into the ears of journalists re changing age of Medicare eligibility more as a way to create momentum for this colossally stupid thing to do rather than as a reflection of anything they are hearing from Obama?

    Cuz I wrote to the White House and told them it was a stupid thing to do and a complete sell out. It doesn't save money and it hurts people. WTF?

  • martin on December 09, 2012 9:41 AM:

    The Fix The Debt reps were all over NPR this morning, completely unchallenged and uncontradicted. Looks like they are now the coventional wisdom amoung the villages. Once again, the so called liberal media is showing its true colors.

  • AndThenThere'sThat on December 09, 2012 9:46 AM:

    A deal on raising the eligibility age for Medicare continues to gain traction among Washington types...

    I'd be happy to consider a deal, if and only IF, the other side of the deal has these two components. 1) In addition to resetting tax rates for income over $250,000 to pre-Bush era rates, raise those rates further to fully pay down the cost of the Iraq war within 5 years. Call it the Patriot Fund Act of 2012 2) George Bush and Dick Cheney must both be extradited to Switzerland.

    Anything less than that, and fuck the deal, and fuck any "democrat" who is willing to go along with it.

  • xpatriate on December 09, 2012 9:53 AM:

    Agree with Barbara. Hopefully this is just the deficit nazis trying to get their billionaire buddies off the hook by getting the idea out there. Equally hopeful that President Obama will hold the line.

  • c u n d gulag on December 09, 2012 9:59 AM:

    If for no other reason than politically, talking about raising the eligibility age should be a non-starter - because raising it would be the absolute stupidest thing a Democratic politician could do to him/her/self, and the Party.

    The R's gained the House in '10 in large part because of the idiotic "Death Panel's" and, Obama's monkeying (yes, that's the word I want - because that's what the right thinks) with your Medicare and SS, meme's.

    Any, ANY, non-positive changes in Medicare, or SS, will be used by Republicans like a crow-bar to bash Democrats over the head with in election years for the next half-decade or more.

    And THAT, even more than throwing 65 and 66 year-olds back into the private insurance pool (raising the rates ON EVERYONE to cover for them), ought to be something EVERY politically savvy person should know.

  • Adele Stan on December 09, 2012 10:07 AM:

    For those who missed our discussion on this topic of yesterday, click here. And, yes, I am stalling for time while I blog up the next thing.

  • Ted Lehmann on December 09, 2012 3:14 PM:

    While we sit reading this and sipping our fancy coffees from French presses or whatever, does anyone ever think about the guy (or gal) who's spent thirty years on roofs laying shingles or on floors hammering wall-to-wall carpet into corners using a tool you kick with your knee. These people, and so many more, are broken down by age 55 and need cancer treatment and knee replacements now!

    I agree we need to spend less and tax more, but we also need to rebuild our infrastructure, recreate opportunities for young men to succeed, think seriously about developing a sustainable environment. We cannot allow the right wing to continue to stew as they plot to save the few.