It was nice to hear at least one person in Congress talk about the dangers we're facing with these so-called "fiscal cliff" negotiations and that is this moment of panic being used to ram a bad deal through that includes things like cuts to Social Security. Rep. Keith Ellison appeared on Al Sharpton's show on MSNBC and explained why he could not vote for any deal that doesn't protect the working class and our social safety nets and that "if you're talking about cutting Social Security, I'm not with that program."
I'd feel a lot better if I was hearing the same thing from Harry Reid. It might be a good time to remind him not to give away the store to McConnell and Boehner in the next few days.
Update: Here's more from Digby on these negotiations: Fiscal cliff notes 12/28 and she included some additional contact info for Reid:
So Reid and McConnell are supposed to try to work out some deal that will pass both houses and if they don't the president wants an up or down vote on extending the Bush tax cuts for those making less than 250k a year and Unemployment Insurance. He's pretty much daring the GOP to filibuster in the Senate --- and/or Boehner to take the heat for not allowing a vote on middle class tax cuts. [...]
Keep in mind that if Reid and McConnell come up with something, the likely outcome is that Democrats will have to be the majority in both houses to pass the deal. That means most of the Republicans will be allowed to vote against spending cuts and tax increases while most of the Democrats will be expected to vote for spending cuts and tax increases. Despite the fact that the taxes were scheduled to go up anyway, this will be called a Democratic victory. Why, Villagers might even bestow upon them their greatest accolade and call them "grown-ups."
I think the sequester will be taken care of --- nobody's going to allow the defense industry to lose even a penny. Nobody. Either break off the middle class tax cuts now as the president proposes as his fallback plan or let everyone vote for tax cuts after the first and then allow the debt ceiling games to begin. (It's got to happen some time.) I see no reason to capitulate on spending at this point. If that's what it takes, go over the cliff. Why should Democrats become the tax collectors for the austerity state?
If you are of a mind to call Senator Reid's office and leave him a message, you can do so here. (And be sure tell him to keep Kent Conrad and his big "ideas" off the table. Conrad's the lamest of ducks and has no business involving himself at this point.)
Phone: 202-224-3542 / Fax: 202-224-7327
Toll Free for Nevadans: 1-866-SEN-REID (736-7343) - Restricted to calls originating from area codes 775 and 702