Sen. Mark Pryor made press rounds in Little Rock yesterday and his message included hopefulness about Republican Senate colleagues. He believed they recognized the inevitability of raising the debt ceiling. He believed they understood, though they weren’t yet saying, that any budget solution has to include some tax increases.

These would be reasonable assumptions on the part of a consensus-builder if he was dealing with reasonable people.


He’s not.

The Republicans in the Senate reassert that the deal must be spending cuts only, including huge cuts in support for health care for the aged, with NO tax increases. If the Democrats want to go it alone, let them go it alone, the Repubs say. They should of course. Every poll — and I mean every poll — indicates a broad majority believe the lucky ducks in the top 2 percent need to pay a little more as part of the solution.


Love Sen. Bernie Sanders:

No, we will not balance the budget on the backs of working families, the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor, who have already sacrificed enough in terms of lost jobs, lost wages, lost homes, and lost pensions. Yes, we will demand that millionaires and billionaires and the largest corporations in America contribute to deficit reduction as a matter of shared sacrifice. Yes, we will reduce unnecessary and wasteful spending at the Pentagon. And, no we will not be blackmailed once again by the Republican leadership in Washington, who are threatening to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States government for the first time in our nation’s history unless they get everything they want.

Don’t love the ethically challenged Tea Party Sen. Ron Johnson, who’s apparently threatening to tie the Senate in procedural knots.