By now, no one should be surprised that President Barack Obama is trying and trying and trying to appease the Republicans who so despise him by offering them everything including cuts to Medicare and Social Security benefits, but the lack of surprise doesn’t stop the sting.

President Obama will release a budget next week that proposes significant cuts to Medicare and Social Security and fewer tax hikes than in the past, a conciliatory approach that he hopes will convince Republicans to sign onto a grand bargain that would curb government borrowing and replace deep spending cuts that took effect March 1.

Obama will break with the tradition of providing a sweeping vision of his ideal spending priorities, untethered from political realities. Instead, the document will incorporate the compromise offer Obama made to House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) last December in the discussions over the “fiscal cliff” – which included $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction through spending cuts and tax increases.

As Gaius Publius extrapolated for us:

We are guarding seven borders, each a proxy for all. Each of these seven items is a benefit cut:

Social Security
1. Raising the retirement age
2. Chained CPI instead of current COLA
3. Means-testing benefits

4. Raising the eligibility age
5. Increasing Part B premiums
6. Increasing “cost-sharing”

7. Shifting costs to the states by any means, such as “federal blended rate,” etc.

Susie Madrak, managing editor at Crooks and Liars, joined me in the first hour for a frank and honest discussion of what’s going on here and explained that we all must take action, NOW, to make our voices heard.

You can start by signing on to this petition which, with other groups’ similar statements, will be delivered to the White House tomorrow!

And make those phone calls!! Call your senators, call your congress critter, call the White House.

Tomorrow morning, RJ Eskow of the Campaign for America’s Future will join in to continue the conversation.  Your homework before then is to read his latest missive on the subject, “Obama’s Social Security Cuts Are Our Wake-Up Call

It’s Monday, so we’re still suffering from the Sunday talk show hangover.  Nicole Belle joins in for “Fools on the Hill” to deconstruct the idiocy that takes over our TV sets each Sunday morning.

It’s really tempting to talk about the establishment media as a monolith, even though it really isn’t true.  But listen to these chuckleheads and tell me that they are not actively colluding to hurt the country.

Jim Cramer, who famously had his stock picks analyzed and found to perform worse than the market average, is convinced he has the answer to our economic and job woes: the Keystone Pipeline!

Fox News Anchor Greta Van Susteren, who oddly showed up on an ABC News show, failed miserably in trying to explain why the Republicans refuse to raise taxes: because we don’t have the money.  Go ahead, make sense of that.   Luckily, Paul Krugman was there to set her straight on another ‘laughable’ assertion that the Obama administration was strangling businesses with regulations and that was why the March jobs report was so dismal.

Lindsey Graham didn’t pass up another chance to be on the Sunday shows and let us know what a drama queen he is.  He vowed to keep up the Benghazi outrage if Hillary Clinton officially runs for president.  But that’s not all.  He’s really, really encouraged that Obama is willing to let Grandma eat catfood, because he characterized it as the president “showing a little bit of leg here.”  Can I just say ew?

Swanson heir Tucker Carlson, the new host of Fox & Friends Weekend, thinks unemployment insurance benefits are unnecessary and wasteful, but his guest John Tamny, editor of Forbes and RealClearPolitics has to one up Carlson by suggesting that scrapping UEI altogether would be the kindest to the poor, because it disincentives them from looking for work.