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Maybe this will help:

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Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

(Could not find attribution.)

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From Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire:

A GOP Civil War Looks Possible

Nate Cohn: “The Republicans could nominate a unifying candidate in the 2016 primaries–you never know–but a contested primary would probably break along geographic lines. In retrospect, the 2012 primary might have been a sneak preview. Even though Romney possessed vastly superior resources and acceded to every substantive demand of the right, the GOP primary electorate divided neatly between north and south. Southerners concerned with nominating an authentic conservative never embraced Romney: Despite the help of a divided field, Romney only broke 31 percent of the vote in one southern state, Florida. Geographic polarization ensured that the 2012 Republican presidential primary lasted until April. The fiscal cliff vote shows that such polarization is becoming the rule rather than the exception. If a blue-state Republican secures the GOP presidential nomination thanks to winner-take-all contests in blue states like New Jersey and California, Krauthammer might actually get his civil war.”

The Cohn article from which this is quoted is worth reading too.

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Someone – I’ve been looking but haven’t been able to find exactly who, a political luminary though – once said that “the election of a president is nothing more than deciding who will get the blame.” It should perhaps be amended to read, “except when his sincere and earnest – though sometimes flawed – efforts at compromise have been repeatedly rebuffed, rejected, and ignored over the course of several years by a radical and obstructionist Republican congress – then we blame the Republican congress.

A new Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll released yesterday evening has congressional Republicans receiving the majority of the blame if we as a country are to, I suppose, fall off the fiscal cliff at the end of the year (26 days and counting) – or whatever the active, present-tense nomenclature  of this scenario actually happening would be. The American people are set to blame the GOP at almost 2-to-1 over President Obama, with a minority blaming both equally. What I find most fitting is that not only do those numbers sound about right, percentage-wise, to what I would expect, but that this ratio of 53/26 also seems like the right way to distribute the blame, should we actually…tumble over the precipice. I, for one, would tend to find both parties partially at fault, but in different amounts – something this poll didn’t leave much room for. If this comes to pass, and all recession breaks loose, I think the GOP deserves the lion’s share of the blame, and Obama, though far from blameless, should receive about half as much, rather than assigning complete fault to one or the other (here we are of course accepting as plausible the idea that blame is a quantifiable factor that can be measured).

The original Washington Post article and chart can be found here.

So the 53/26 polling results are particularly appropriate and useful. If we go over the cliff, I will be saving the majority of my anger for the GOP, and about half that amount for the President. And unless someone does something particularly bold, drastic, or stupid to bridge the giant fiscal canyon that separates the two parties, this isn’t likely to change.

fivethirtyeight_postNate Silver, who blogs for the New York Times website at FiveThirtyEight.com, was recently dubbed “God of the Algorithm,” and probably got more out of November 6th than Barack Obama did in terms of career prospects, wrote this excellent post explaining how marginal tax rates work and what creates a tax bubble. For those who are struggling with the tax portion of the Fiscal Cliff conversation, or any part of tax policy, this helps a lot.

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Tensions over the fiscal cliff debates reached new heights today as Speaker of the House John Boehner’s blood pressure exceeded his doctor’s recommendations upon receipt of a White House proposal to, among other things, implement a $1.6 trillion tax increase. The Speaker’s apparently frazzled state rose past miffed, passed quickly over piqued, completely skipped disturbed, soared over pissed, perturbed, and confounded, crow-hopped distraught, and landed squarely on…

“I was flabbergasted,” Boehner said.

John Boehner: single-handedly bringing the term “flabbergasted” back for America.

(Full story here.)

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