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Happy Hour Roundup

* Sharron Angle responds on Twitter to Harry Reid's opposition to the Islamic center near Ground Zero:

Nice of you to join us, @HarryReid.

In other words, all coming out against the project accomplished was to allow Angle and Republicans to claim -- rightly -- that they're setting the agenda and that Reid only took his position in response to her criticism.

* Obama links clean energy to manufacturing jobs.

* Points for honesty? Dems have been pounding Mitch McConnell for this: "I wish we had been able to obstruct more."

* Obama's response: "Obstruct more? Is that even possible?"

* Creative glass-half-full moment of the day: Dems say this fall isn't shaping up as another 1994 because unlike last time, they already recognize in advance how angry voters are.

* Takedown of the day: Ezra Klein versus Paul Ryan. Sample:

There's nothing false about the claim that Ryan's plan would end Medicare as we know it. In fact, it's unambiguously true.

* Mayor Bloomberg is campaigning with Joe Sestak tomorrow, which means Sestak will certainly be pressured to take a side on the Islamic center, as Bloomberg so memorably did. Should be interesting.

* ICYMI: My take on why Reid's opposition to the Islamic center near Ground Zero is weak, indefensible, and bad for Dems.

* Steve Benen and Jed Lewison also skewer Reid.

* Looks like Jon Stewart was first to recognize the existential threat posed by Halal carts on Ground Zero. With video!

* The group behind Cordoba House denies rumors they've pulled the plug on the project.

* Is fighting it out over the mosque tantamount to letting the GOP message machine dictate the topic of the midterms?

* Better late than never? Sam Stein reports that the RNC is revamping its new media campaign staff -- with three months until election day.

* Right wing media, apparently trying to recoup its credibility after the Breitbart mess, keeps up the attacks on Michelle Obama's vacation.

* And CNN bites hard:

To some she is a self-made woman and a global superstar. To critics she's an "angry black woman" ashamed of her country. Now she's been called a modern-day Marie Antoinette.

Balance!

What else is happening?

UPDATE, 7:33 p.m.: White House spokesman Bill Burton responds to Reid's position on the Islamic center:

As the President said on Friday night, he respects that Americans of all political persuasions will have different opinions on this issue. That is a strength in our country and in the Democratic Party.

Senator Reid is a fiercely independent individual and the President believes that is one of his strengths as a leader.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 16, 2010; 5:51 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Breaking: Reid calls for mosque to be built "someplace else"
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

This obsessive interest in Michelle Obama's vacation trip is ridiculous.I've already written a letter to the NYTimes criticizing their stupid coverage, just repeating right-wing talking points and calling the trip "controversial." This, along with the so-called "
Ground Zero Mosque" exemplifies what's wrong with mainstream US journalism--its eagerness to be dictated to by right wingers!

Posted by: nancycadet | August 16, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Wow ... just WOW:

More than half the students at Nathan Bedford Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Fla., are black, and some members of the community object that they are forced to attend a school that was named in honor of a racist.

Nathan Bedford Forrest was a slave trader before the Civil War, a top-notch Confederate cavalry leader during the war, and the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan in Tennessee when it was over, according to University of North Carolina-Greensboro emeritus professor Allen Trelease, a Civil War scholar.

Forrest High got its name in 1959, when the Daughters of the Confederacy, angry about the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision forcing school integration, pushed for the name.

The school board voted 5-2 to keep the name, with all five white members in favor of Forrest. Of course lots of things in the United States are named after people with a bad record on racial issues, but not only is Forrest an unusually egregious case in this instance it’s clear from the timing that the school was given that name specifically as an f-you to blacks and supporters of racial equality.

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/08/nathan-bedford-forrest-high-school/

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 16, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

nancy, did the NYT call it controversial? if so, amazing.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 16, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

And:

Germany's growth numbers look pretty good right now: If the next three quarters are as robust as their last quarter, growth will be almost 9 percent next year. And they think they know why: their stimulus, which focused on keeping workers in their jobs rather than generating new jobs that newly unemployed workers could apply for. "A vast expansion of a program paying to keep workers employed, rather than dealing with them once they lost their jobs, was the most direct step taken in the heat of the crisis," reports the New York Times.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/08/consider_the_germans.html

What a concept. Wonder if the GOP members of Congress have heard about it or if they still think the policies of Hoover will work better this time around.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 16, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Sharron Angle isn't leading anybody.

She's just another Tea Bagging wacko.

Posted by: lindalovejones | August 16, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

"Obama links clean energy to manufacturing jobs."

And the GOP says, "Hey, look at that Muslim!"

Posted by: wbgonne | August 16, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

One last thought on Harry Reid and the mosque-troversy. I wonder how he reconciles "build it someplace else" with the history of his own religion's adherents being run out of town quite a few times.

Also, anyone know if Mitt Romney has weighed in yet?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

@nancycadet - will you concede that the Ground Zero Mosque is "controversial"?

Posted by: AmericanDelight | August 16, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Jack Conway, the Kentucky Democratic nominee for Senate, has joined a growing number of Democrats publicly calling on President Obama to nominate Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by the new financial reform law.

...

"Kentuckians deserve a strong nominee to fight for consumer protections in Washington," Conway said. "Elizabeth Warren has gained invaluable expertise protecting taxpayers as chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel and continues to stand up to Wall Street on behalf of consumers."

Conway also took the oppurtunity slam his opponent, Rand Paul. Conway said the Republican "wants to get rid of regulations."

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/jack-conway-backs-elizabeth-warren.php?ref=fpi

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh I do not think the issue was that MIchelle could not take this extravagant trip and partially on our dime. It was the fact that she used poor judgement in going with 95,000 for personal staff, Air Force 2 and all the expense of the security along with persona friends. This was not only pathetic but almost sickening at a time of economic tragedy for so many struggling and out of work. It was a Marie Antoinette moment.
And it was also sad that while the President was sticking his toe for the right photo op in the gulf, hundreds of people are out of work on the gulf turning in their beloved pets to shelters unable to feed and care for them. Why did he even bother?
I do not know about you but our family is so steamed at this inept administration. I want these arrogant phony radicals out of office in November and 2012. Call me mad and motivated to work hard to elect fiscal responsible conservatives.

Posted by: greatgran1 | August 16, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Jack Conway Backs Elizabeth Warren

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/jack-conway-backs-elizabeth-warren.php

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

"fiscal responsible conservatives."

Oxymoron, anyone?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

"Is fighting it out over the mosque tantamount to letting the GOP message machine dictate the topic of the midterms?"

Y - E - S!

However, the mind-boggling amount of excessive publicity that this controversy has already spawned (as shown by your own blog today) is now at such an absurd fever pitch that there is reason to hope that the media interest is already peaking, and that this flap will soon wind down in favor whatever becomes the next catnip story for political reporters.

It won't be an issue for the midterms if everyboduy is already sick to death of hearing about it before Labor Day.

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 16, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

greatgran1 :

You hate Barack Obama. Got it. Anything to contribute?

Posted by: wbgonne | August 16, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

"Call me mad and motivated to work hard to elect fiscal responsible conservatives. "

Get back to us when you find some.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 16, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

greatgran thinks the First Lady going on vacation at a time of economic tragedy is pathetic and sickening.

She does not mention if she thinks that blocking a jobs bill at a time of economic tragedy is pathetic and sickening.

Priorities.

Obviously the First Lady's vacations are the only thing that matters in America.

Not governance.

Not policy.

Not blocking efforts to help the economy.

Not investing in America.

It's The First Lady and her vacation to Spain.

THAT is what pisses off "greatgran" at a time of economic tragedy.

If we stop her from taking vacations, the economy immediately get better!

SMART!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Is Jon Stewart right that there is currently a Mosque 4 blocks away?

Posted by: soapm | August 16, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

The Republican party sure have some platform to run on, "we won't let them build a Mosque"...

Posted by: soapm | August 16, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Democrats have been controlling congress for 4 years now with even a super majority and they have an ALL TIME LOW APPROVAL RATING OF 11%.
That says it all

Posted by: jblast2000 | August 16, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

After reading this slop, no wonder many are abandoning WAPO as having any objectivity. Greg, you might as well be working for the DNC. You are simply an arrogant progressive liberal whose opinions really resemble nothing more than a secluded Beltway mentality. All of your quotes are really amusing and I suspect if any Talk Radio people on the Right see them, you will be the butt of many jokes this week. LOL

Posted by: phillyfanatic | August 16, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

"In covering the growing controversy over the proposed Islamic community center in lower Manhattan, the national media, let by the big cable networks, have by default shaped the increasingly heated debate by repeatedly referring to the project as the "Ground Zero mosque."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20100816/pl_yblog_upshot/news-outlets-split-in-describing-mosque

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 16, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

soapm: "Is Jon Stewart right that there is currently a Mosque 4 blocks away?"

Yes, it's true. From what I have read about it, it is small, and they often turn people away from prayers because they don't have enough space to accommodate all who wish to pray there.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

"In other words, all coming out against the project accomplished was to allow Angle and Republicans to claim -- rightly -- that they're setting the agenda and that Reid only took his position in response to her criticism."
----------------------------------------------

That's probably because they're setting the agenda and we're allowing them to merrily lead us around by the nose. But Harry Reid, as much as I'm disappointed by both his position and the fact that he allowed himself to get suckered into joining this silly bruhaha, is certainly not the one to blame for how blown out of any semblance of reasonable proportion that it's gotten. You guys did that all on your own.

Posted by: CalD | August 16, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

greatgran and phillyfanatic...wow what a pair of intellectual lightweights....care to tell us where you're going to find your fiscal conservatives...certainly not if you vote Republican...both Reagan and Bush inflated the deficit and of course Bush tossed two wars, some nice deregulation, a totally inept administration full or torturers and Brownies..."great job Brownie"

Do you people not give a rats' arse about facts about history about the R record.
They gave us the Great Depression...now the Great Bush Recession...so disastrous and frightening John McCain was ready to call of his campaign for prez to run back to DC in a tizzy.

Yeah a lot to look forward to with INFORMED folks like phillyfanatic and greatgran voting...perhaps they finally get the R who can seal the deal and send all of us to the poorhouse!

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

This is truly hopeful.

"At the Death Camps, Muslim Leaders Grapple With Jews’ Pain"

Krakow, Poland — It was a perfect summer day at the Dachau concentration camp. The clear skies and pleasant breeze seemed almost offensive. And there, beneath the main monument, a bronze sculpture of writhing bodies intermeshed with barbed wire, was an uncommon sight: a group of Muslims leaders prostrate in prayer.

At the end of the service, prayer leader Muzammil Siddiqi, imam of the Islamic Society of Orange County, California, offered up an additional prayer: “We pray to God that this will not happen to the Jewish people or to any people anymore.”

Siddiqi was one of eight American Muslim leaders on a study tour to Dachau and Auschwitz that was co-sponsored by a German think tank and the Center for Interreligious Understanding, a New Jersey-based interfaith dialogue group. The delegation’s sole female member was Laila Muhammad, daughter of the late American Muslim leader W.D. Muhammad and granddaughter of Elijah Muhammad, the late leader of the Nation of Islam.

The excursion, which ran from August
8 through August 10, was one the U.S. government itself invested with great importance. Accompanying the group were several government officials, including Hannah Rosenthal, the State Department’s special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, and Rashad Hussain, special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

much more and worth a read:

http://www.forward.com/articles/130013/

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Ya know, it just might be that the Obamas are livin' large on the government dime because they know that 4 years is all they're going to get. After that they can continue to live large on the pension, speeches and books. What a racket.

Posted by: actuator | August 16, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Ya know, it just might be that the Obamas are livin' large on the government dime because they know that 4 years is all they're going to get. After that they can continue to live large on the pension, speeches and books. What a racket.

Posted by: actuator | August 16, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Here's a little item being distributed by email:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsH8xvjTAlo

Posted by: actuator | August 16, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

"...all coming out against the project accomplished was to allow Angle and Republicans to claim -- rightly -- that they're setting the agenda and that Reid only took his position in response to her criticism."

Which is major considering Angle has been on defense most of the time.
It also accomplished a lot more than that. It made Greg and liberal base angry/sad/disappointed and can only depress their turnout and enthusiasm further while energizing the GOP base with a small victory. Furthermore, it makes the Dems look like a bunch of chickens running around with there heads chopped off.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | August 16, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

The Post has a lot of mindless partisan hacks on the payroll, but Sargent is probably the most mindless.

Posted by: bobmoses | August 16, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Actuator you may be the dumbest arse to post on this blog. Do you realize how incredibly ignorant you are? Of course not losers like you get to live lives of bliss.."ignorance is bliss" while trying to wreck America with your lunacy. But enough name calling let's just cut to some facts and see if you have brains enough to figure out reality and a response...

"Ya know, it just might be that the Obamas are livin' large on the government dime because they know that 4 years is all they're going to get. After that they can continue to live large on the pension, speeches and books."

What freakin country do you live in actuarsehole? Obama is already wealthy...wealthy long before his election because of two books he wrote.

I tried listening to your propaganda youtube crap but it started off with such an incorrect premise about some sheriff under assault from "cartels".

Actuator a test of your limited knowledge.
Has violent crime gone up in Arizona in the past four years? How about a simple answer with statistics to back it up?
Ah it's not nice to pick on the mentally challenged and so here actuarsehole a link to get you started....FBI statistics for you and perhaps you can cite those statistics and tell us WTF you are so freaking afraid of....

http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/new-fbi-data-confirms-falling-crime-rates-arizona

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

"Is fighting it out over the mosque tantamount to letting the GOP message machine dictate the topic of the midterms?"

Will you just stop it with this stuff? By now it should be perfectly clear to you that the media itself dictates the topic...and that 9 out of 10 times it follows whatever catnip nonsense the GOP throws at it.

The Dems aren't "fighting this out" because they think it's an issue...they are having to deal with it - despite the fact that the public OVERWHELMINGLY would rather talk about the economy - because the media can't hear a talking point from a member of the GOP without turning into a parrot immediately afterwords.

And I'm even saying that while recognizing the fact that if the full focus was on the economy right now...the Dems would likely be in MORE trouble than talking about a community center in NY. Politics don't matter...the public is concerned about the economy. The only reason we are wasting time talking about this nonsense is because - and you're guilty of this today as well - the media keeps it going.

The GOP is stoking fears and pissing on the US Constitution for short term political gain. Write a single story denouncing the pathetically underhanded tactics, call out the moronic press for falling for it (again) hook line and sinker. Then move on, and tell everyone else to move on.

Greg. You see through this crap better than most, so it's partially up to you to change the current gossip-laden media culture.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 16, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

"What else is happening?"

You missed James Taranto promoting your (ever evolving/devolving) take on what Obama said/meant last Friday.

"Sargent called the speech "one of the finest moments" of Obama's presidency. That's a matter of opinion, but there's no question it was one of the shortest moments. As the Times reported Sunday:

In brief comments [Saturday] during a family trip to the Gulf of Mexico, Mr. Obama said he was not endorsing the New York project, but simply trying to uphold the broader principle that government should "treat everybody equally," regardless of religion.

"I was not commenting, and I will not comment, on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there," Mr. Obama said. "I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That's what our country is about."

A clever little dodge indeed! Once again, Barack Obama votes "present." "

Taranto also noted the same ugly and divisive tactic that I have pointed out Greg has consistently employed on this issue.

"So why did nearly everybody construe the Friday remarks as a strong endorsement of the Ground Zero mosque? Blame the professional left, which, in its characteristic neo-McCarthyite style, has sought to portray all criticism of the mosque project as, to quote Sargent, "un-American" and the critics as an undifferentiated lunatic fringe that rejects the First Amendment, at least as it applies to Islam.

Obama is a man of the left, so when he deployed the left's rhetoric about the First Amendment, allies and adversaries alike assumed that he also intended to level this accusation at the mosque's critics. They might well have been right about this, but if so, the president quickly made clear he does not have the courage of his convictions."

Read it all.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704868604575433310421810210.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 16, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

nancycadet:

"...exemplifies what's wrong with mainstream US journalism--its eagerness to be dictated to by right wingers!"

You can tell how absurdly far left someone is when they accuse the likes of the NYT of being a mouthpiece of the right. Whacky.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 16, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

rukidding writes:

"Actuator you may be the dumbest arse to post on this blog. Do you realize how incredibly ignorant you are? Of course not losers like you get to live lives of bliss.."ignorance is bliss" while trying to wreck America with your lunacy."

Didn't you ban Bilgeman for simply calling people "slave"? And you are going to allow this?

Say it with me now...double standard!

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 16, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

"You can tell how absurdly far left someone is when they accuse the likes of the NYT of being a mouthpiece of the right."

Hmmm....there's a name on the tip of my tongue.....Janice.....Jennifer......Julia....Judith! That's it! Judith Miller! Ring a bell? How about this:

"Although Miller conceded that some intelligence experts found the information on Iraq's weapons programs "spotty", she didn't report specific and detailed objections, including a report filed with the US government more than a year before Miller's article appeared by retired Oak Ridge National Laboratory physicist, Houston G. Wood III, who concluded that the tubes were not meant for centrifuges."

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 16, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

s-cat:

"Judith Miller! Ring a bell?"

Yeah. She got fired. Remember?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 16, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3 I thought you were bilgey! You mean he's banned and you're not his sock puppet?

Sorry to offend your delicate sensibilities but you can ask Kevin, SBJ and others from the right if I usually respond that harshly.
And if you're honest Scott you can see that I actually posted the facts that illustrated Actuator's ignorance. I would stand by calling the ignorant out if you do it with facts not just name calling.

As Kevin W would lecture me correctly "arsehole" was over the top and so I'll apologize for that...however actuator is ignorant...I posted facts that showed his last two posts were LITERALLY IGNORANT.
So what's your problem Scott3?

BTW Given all the incredibly hateful vitriol posted by bilgey over the months I find it hard to believe he got ran for simply using the word slave...btw Scott did bilgey/you ever post the first fact that confirmed we were slaves? Or was it simple name calling?

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"I thought you were bilgey!"

And you are calling others ignorant?

"So what's your problem Scott3?"

Greg's double standard. I thought that was obvious when I mentioned, er, his double standard.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 16, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

"You can tell how absurdly far left someone is when they accuse the likes of the NYT of being a mouthpiece of the right."

The issue is not about whether media leans left or right. All media are now completely under the spell and are blowing this story out of all proportion.

The media loves superficial issues like this, which allow them to stage little shouting matches between a couple of pundits, and which they can milk over and over with no need for any actual investigative reporting or in-depth analysis. The demagogues manufacture a controvery, the media super-sizes it, and eventually the Democrats to what has become (but which never should have been) a major national brouhaha.

TheBBQChickenMadness has it exactly right...this is media "catnip."

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 16, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

sorry for typos in my last post...the garbled sentence should have said:


The demagogues manufacture a controversy, the media super-sizes it, and eventually the Democrats have to take part in what has become (but which never should have been) a major national brouhaha.

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 16, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

What else is happening?
Well..a three judge panel on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals put a hold on gay marriages in CA. I read it late in the day so forgive me if it's already been posted here today. From what I've quickly read, some of the lawyers, both pro and con, think this might not be such a bad thing. That doesn't take into account how it must make all the hopeful couples feel, though.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_gay_marriage_trial

Posted by: carolanne528 | August 16, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

carolanne's post reminded me again of the wonderful prioritization the fright wing seems to have. Again let's do it with a laugh...the gay marriage thing is old and here is Lewis Black engaging the subject back when Bush was still President...but this is really about the fright wing not Bush. Fbomb warning..otherwise this is hilarious and illustrates just how absurd the fright wing's positions and priorities have become...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ANrvQC4wIk

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

Could you please confirm or deny that bilgey was tossed off the Plum Line because he used the word "slave"? Is that the solitary reason or was there more? Not that I don't trust Scott I would just like to get affirmation from the actual person in charge.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Digby points to this post at DownWithTyranny. As we learned with Reid today and now Gifford, not all Dems are molded from the same cloth. Too bad Giffords is the one getting support from the DCCC. It's hard to be a liberal sometimes.

"Giffords is looking like the point of the Blue Dog spear being thrust into the House progressive infrastructure. As we pointed out over the weekend, despite Pelosi's efforts to tamp it down, the Blue Dogs are going on the warpath against progressive Democrats, using Henry Waxman's interview with The Hill as an excuse. One thing we can always be sure of inside the Democratic Caucus-- well, two, actually: Blue Dogs will always put self-preservation above the party’s principles, and the DCCC will do whatever it can to help them get re-elected.

Giffords is emblematic of the tragic turn the House Democratic Party has taken. Over the weekend she launched a $350,000 ad buy in the Tucson media market that slams the principled stand Grijalva took against SB1070-- throwing him directly under the bus in order to make herself look sufficiently xenophobic for the bloodthirsty Know Nothing mobs. As you can see in the ad, she makes a solemn vow to fight “these groups” who have protested this unjust law by boycotting the state. “These groups” include Latinos, liberals, and citizens across the country who know an injustice when they see one. She's directly targeting Grijalva, Arizona's most progressive leader and the Congressman who most consistently stands up for those who are hurt by the right wing’s agenda."

http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2010/08/unscrupulous-blue-dog-attack-on-raul.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Posted by: lmsinca | August 16, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

"What else is happening?"

rukidding!{TM} ;D

ELVIS: Requiescat in Pacem

uh-huh-huh oooooo yeaayah yeah yeah

Posted by: tao9 | August 16, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I found a fiscally responsible conservative.

His name is Bill Clinton!

Ba-dum-dum!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Actually Kevin again we find common ground.
If you judge simply by the facts and the results...Clinton was a fiscally responsible conservative. Did you vote for him?

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Kevin...perhaps you missed Anne Applebaum last week. Her piece confirms your observation about Clinton as the true fiscal conservative...

"President Bush increased government spending more than any of the six presidents preceding him, including LBJ." I didn't write that: The astute libertarian economist Veronique de Rugy did. She also points out that during his eight years in office, Bush's "anti-government" Republican administration increased the federal budget by an extraordinary 104 percent. By comparison, the increase under President Bill Clinton's watch was a relatively measly 11 percent (a rate, I might add, lower than during Ronald Reagan's). In his second term, Bush increased discretionary spending -- that means non-Medicare, non-Social Security -- 48.6 percent. In his final year in office, fiscal 2009, he spent more than $32,000 per American, up from $17,216.68 in fiscal 2001.

But Bush is not the only culprit: The federal government usually spends money in response to state demands. Look, for example, at Alaska, a state that produces a disproportionate quantity of anti-government rhetoric, that has had Republican governors since 2002 and whose congressional delegation is dominated by Republicans as well. For the past decade, Alaska has been among the top three state recipients of federal funding, per capita. Usually, Alaska is far ahead -- sometimes three times as far ahead -- of most other states in the union.

For more...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/02/AR2010080203717.html

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

"His name is Bill Clinton!"

Newt made 'em dew/it.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

"...in time your gonna pay"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCqAt6-sptk&feature=related

Posted by: tao9 | August 16, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

ruk, skim through the comments over Father's Day weekend, June 19 & 20, maybe even the 18th. Those were the last days of Bilgey on Plum Line. IIRC, he was banned on Monday, June 21. You can draw your own conclusions from there.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

suekzoo Are you suggesting that Scott was not exactly correct in his assertion that Bilgey was run for simply using the word "slave"?

I've been posting on this blog since the old site..before the move to this WaPo site. IMHO the blog has improved since Q.B. and bilgey have left. There used to be far too much name calling and the ole Pee Wee Herman tactic..."I know you are so what am I." It seems in the past month people are trying to make an effort to deal with what they perceive are facts backed up by attribution and links.

Unlike Ethan (who I respect enormously but disagree with on this issue) I give a lot of credit to Kevin W who has challenged us to constrain our generalizations and stop the simple name calling.

I confess sometimes when Greg gets linked to a fright wing site and the nut cases invade it's hard not to answer tit for tat...but ultimately I agree with Kevin W.

Best not to feed trolls like actuator who are obviously uninformed when it comes to actual facts...but after a long Monday..:-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Gee RUK, I really set you off eh? Good. Now how much of Obama's livin large is he paying out of his own pocket? And why does the first lady's staff have to be so large and her travelling entourage as well? But I think the thing that makes you the angriest is that he's very likely to be a one termer and you don't want your hero to go down. And hey, this social liberal/fiscal conservative did not stoop to calling you any names. But that must mean I'm not a liberal in the modern sense of the word.

Posted by: actuator | August 16, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

@rukidding: "Clinton was a fiscally responsible conservative. Did you vote for him?"

Nope. I liked H.W. Bush, walking back that No New Taxes pledge aside. I skipped the Dole election--so I essentially voted "Meh" that year. In retrospect, I have softened towards Clinton. However, part of that is in comparison to W., and part of that is just the perspective that time adds.

At the time, I didn't care for the impeachment (I personally don't think 20 year old land deals should be grounds to do anything with a sitting president, even if they look fishy, and Whitewater looked fairly typical for what it was) and Clinton may have vetoed Welfare reform, but he eventually signed it, and I think it was pretty good legislation, and it was the product of compromise. He also supported NAFTA which, for whatever flaws it may have, I think was a solid idea.

Of recent presidents, the most fiscally conservative ones were Bill Clinton and JFK. Bush spent tremendously, Obama is going to blow through the Bush records, LBJ, Nixon and Reagan all spent quite a bit. Off the top of my head, I'm not sure about Carter.

I like the idea of electing fiscally responsible conservatives, it's just they apparently don't run for office.

Also, it's worth pointing out, that there is no "fiscal responsibility" button in the office of senators and congressmen. It's easy to say, much more difficult to do.

"President Bush increased government spending more than any of the six presidents preceding him, including LBJ."

No doubt, and most conservatives--even the rough-and-tumble, my-party-right-or-wrong types--were often queasy about it. Bush was a big spender. Take out the tax cuts, which conservatives are generally going to support and consider a net positive, Bush was still a huge spender--and preemptive wars turn out to be very costly. And I was a fence sitter on the Iraq war (and admission I'm sure some might find worthy of a flogging), just for full disclosure. I should have just been opposed from the get-go. But, point being, Bush didn't ever seem to meet a spending bill he didn't like.

"in office, Bush's 'anti-government' Republican administration"

This is wrong, though. Bush's administration was not anti-government. It was anti-tax, perhaps, but hardly anti-government. Indeed, Bush was and is a Big Government conservative of the Weekly Standard variety, who thinks government needs to be and should be very Big, but big in a conservative way--i.e., pre-emptive wars, "regime change", Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, stimulus programs, etc.

Some people might have assumed or hoped Bush was a small government conservative, but he never made a secret of his Big Government heart.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

ruk: "Are you suggesting that Scott was not exactly correct in his assertion that Bilgey was run for simply using the word "slave"?"

My impression was that the repeated taunts Bilge made over the weekend for Greg to do it was what did it. He dared Greg more than once, so what would one expect? "Slave" probably played a role, a minor one. And, there was a long lead up to the finale.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

"For the past decade, Alaska has been among the top three state recipients of federal funding, per capita. Usually, Alaska is far ahead -- sometimes three times as far ahead -- of most other states in the union."

Of course it is. But I think that's a little misleading--the lowest population states always receive the most federal funds, per capita. It's an artifact of relative population sizes, as certain things--national parks, Interstates, and so on--require money based on landmass more than population. And while Sarah Palin may be pro-small government (that's the theory, anyway), that doesn't mean the other Republican governors are or have been. Ted Stevens (may he rest in peace) never saw a piece of pork he didn't like.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

@rukidding: "As Kevin W would lecture me correctly 'arsehole' was over the top"

Seriously, I'm not trying to be a scold. Just, when people start with the name calling or huge generalizations, I tend to try to engage them about that. Or, it's a goal in progress to try and do that, anyway.

I become honestly curious. What do we think we're accomplishing, if anything, with the name calling? What do we want out of that interaction? Trolls don't listen as a rule, but most people don't listen when we start name calling.

I find the trolls interesting, too, though. What's the goal? Clearly, they aren't reading any of the discussions--they just want their comment, often only barely related to the article, to be registered. Then sometimes they'll come back and read for replies, and reply to those.

If you were in a company and you had an idea, and you knew some of the guys on your development team were hostile to the sort of idea you really wanted to pursue, would you drop into a meeting and say: "So, idiots and retards do this sort of thing, which is evil. And smells bad. And makes you look like a moron. So, I want you to do what I'm telling you, because I'm awesome and you're stupid." Probably not, but that's the troll.

Also, trolls often know the future ("It'll be a bloodbath in November for Democrats") and can read everybody's mind ("All of America thinks a Mosque at Ground Zero is a bad idea, and they all know it, only you people here don't see it, because you're all CRAZY LIBERALS"). Reverse some of the concepts for lefty trolls, but the same basic rules apply.

Finally, trolls love ALL CAPS. What does that accomplish? "Everybody knows that OBAMA IS A SOCIALIST!"

Really? Because, first I didn't think you knew what you were talking about. But then the way that last part of the sentence was all-caps . . . man, you really made me think.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

kevin: "the lowest population states always receive the most federal funds, per capita. It's an artifact of relative population sizes, as certain things--national parks, Interstates, and so on--require money based on landmass more than population. And while Sarah Palin may be pro-small government (that's the theory, anyway), that doesn't mean the other Republican governors are or have been.

And your assessment of what makes a net receiver state is spot on. But it slays me when governors like Palin want to play the small government, fiscal tightwad on teevee, knowing full well that if it wasn't for the donor states, they'd have far less economic stability, and would not necessarily have the standard of living they enjoy either. It's disingenuous. I'd rather they just say, "thank you." It's also irksome when these same governors rail so loudly about redistribution of wealth (SOCIALISM!!!!!), while they are enjoying the benefits of distributions from the donor states.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 17, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

"But it slays me when governors like Palin want to play the small government, fiscal tightwad on teevee"

That tends to be most Republicans. They talk the talk, but they don't walk the walk, when it comes to fiscal restraint.

The argument is really one of degrees--I think less redistribution of wealth is good, you may think more is good, but clearly we have some, and it's beneficial. But things tend to get framed in absolutes: you want to redistribute all wealth, everywhere! Well, you don't want any regulations or any government stuff, anywhere! And so on. When most folks should (except for Rand Paul) be able to agree that the money spent on the Interstate Highway system is a Good Thing™.

However, the objective fiscal conservative should recognize that there are precious few folks in the GOP interested in cutting the budget at all, and none that can manage it as a practical matter. For example, I'm sure Paul Ryan actually wants to cut the budget, it's just not going to happen--at least, not anything like his plan.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 17, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

BTW: Scary Muslims working to destroy America by playing football, eating Apple pie, and driving Chevrolets.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/highschool/news/story?id=5467167

As someone over at The Corner said, "this is what stage 1 assimilation looks like". Just FYI, I thought it was a good story.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 17, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Kevin, LOL...more likely they are driving a Focus or an Escape! It's Dearborn!

I lived for 4-1/2 years about a mile from Fordson High School. 1989-1993, so before and after the First Gulf War. My landlords were a Muslim Iraqi couple who emigrated prior to the Iran-Iraq War. He was an mechanical engineer at Ford Motor, and his wife taught Math at U-M Dearborn.

Thanks for the "old home week" memories. :o)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 17, 2010 2:00 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"I find the trolls interesting, too, though."

Methinks your definition of a troll differs from many people here. I started posting here about a year ago. I was as polite and non-confrontational as one can be while expressing disagreement with people. However, because I was indeed disagreeing with liberal orthodoxy, I was soon labelled a "troll" and was the object of all kinds of as hominem attacks.

A troll to many people here is simply someone who disagrees with them.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 17, 2010 5:28 AM | Report abuse

Kevin Willis:

George W. Bush was antigovernment in the modern GOP sense: the federal government is mocked publicly while it spends unlimited amounts on GOP-favored programs such as the military, law enforcement, and corporate welfare.

On the larger point, please tell me how a depleted federal government can deal with domestic problems resulting from the relative scarcity of resources in today's world. The idea of a minimalist national government -- whatever its theoretical or historical suitability -- has no place in modern America. The people acting cooperatively through their national government must solve our otherwise insoluble problems. A strong, active, and well-financed national government is necessary.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 17, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

"...the relative scarcity of resources in today's world."

Which resources are you talking about, and what indicates to you that they are more scarce today than at other times in history?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 17, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

@Greg... the contributor over at TPM you link to puts it very well, I think. These folks are very adept at controlling narrative through symbolism and through engaging the emotive. A large part of that expertise involves an understanding of how modern media functions and how it can be manipulated.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 17, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

"The people acting cooperatively through their national government..."

What does this really mean? Is a bare majority of people imposing their desires on a bare minority of people against their will an example of "people acting cooperatively through their national government"? Is the government imposing laws that a majority of people object to an example of "the people acting cooperatively through their national governemnt"?

The bigger the population over which a government exerts control, the less sensible it becomes to describe what the government is doing as "people acting cooperatively".

BTW, people don't need the government to "act cooperatively". They need the government to exert force over those who refuse to cooperate.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 17, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

@ru - No, bilge wasn't banned for 'using slave'. He was banned for serial infractions involving more than that term (which he used in almost all posts to non-conservatives). Others here have been guilty too but none so much as bilge.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 17, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Re 'troll', wikipedia's definition matches the traditional understanding of the term...

"In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response[1] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion"

It's no coincidence, if you think about it, that this has a close operative correlation to what I just mentioned regarding the modern rightwing's operations with media manipulation.

Re Scott's post above, he's right that folks referred to him as a troll though I and others defended him against the label. Scott and others can read the definition and consider whether he presently does or does not match the term.

@Scott - If you go back and look at your first posts here (you can quote them if you like) it seems rather a challenge to describe them as non-confrontational and polite (though they certainly weren't of the sort we've seen from many others). As I recall, you arrived after during a heated contest between Greg and an NRO writer?

@Kevin - There's one important sense in which Bush 2 was anti-government or anti-big government if you like and that was as regards governmental oversight of the corporate world. Here, its operations and funding were broadly eviscerated and those functions commonly turned over to the lobbyists working for corporate interests.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 17, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/the_morning_plum_75.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 17, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Others here have been guilty too but none so much as bilge."

Hogwash. Many others here have been at least as bad as Bilge (although certainly not as entertaining....Canadian Man-bag? Now that was pretty amusing!)

You know as well as I that if Bilge was posting in defense of liberal orthodoxy in precisely the same manner, Greg wouldn't have done a thing. We know this because people like ruk, Ethan, and Tena have done precisely that, and they are either still here or left of their own volition much to Greg's dismay.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 17, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

ScottC3: "Methinks your definition of a troll differs from many people here."

Well, there are trolls as can generally be agreed upon: they attack, the posts are usually only tangentially related to the article, they are new or infrequent posters, and they can be, but are rarely, serial offenders.

Then there are folks who feel anyone who disagrees with them is a troll. I've been accused of being a troll several times since I've been here. ;)

Really, it's like any stereotype or prejudice--they *want* you to be a troll, because then you are easily categorized and dismissed.

I've seen this exact same phenomenon in the comments at conservative blogs. A thoughtful liberal posts a few things with a quasi-belligerent attitude, and they are called trolls. When they really aren't. I've also been called a concern-troll, because I've speculated on the efficacy of certain political strategies, when I'm honestly interested as to wether or not they'll work.

"A troll to many people here is simply someone who disagrees with them."

This is true of many comment boards, all over the political spectrum, in my experience. My goal is generally to win them over, try different approaches, and keep on going. Often the "troll" accusation is because they feel your views are obviously wrong, which is reasonable give their point of view. So, why would you be here, espousing obviously wrong views on issues, if you weren't a troll?

I just assume anyone who calls me a troll needs a great, big hug. And proceed from there. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 17, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Scott:

Cooperative rule is the very point of democratic government. In our system, majority rule is tempered by the Constitution. Our system was founded in an era of unlimited land and nearly all other natural resources. Things have change drastically in 240 years. We now have problems that cannot be solved simply by moving to another plot of land. Government is necessary to adjudicate competing claims on our limited resources. That is why antigovernment rhetoric is obsolete.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 17, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Bernie said:
"Others here have been guilty too but none so much as bilge."

Scott replied:
Hogwash. Many others here have been at least as bad as Bilge

OK, challenge yourself. Take a dozen arbitrary posts from Bilge and a dozen from anyone else and count up the number or personal insults in both. Prove Greg and I wrong in an clear and evident way.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 17, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

@Bernie: "it seems rather a challenge to describe them as non-confrontational and polite (though they certainly weren't of the sort we've seen from many others)."

I always try to keep in mind that people's self-analysis of their correspondence is usually not objective. If you ask someone to characterize their bloviating and hyperbole, they will often tell you--with no sense of irony--that they had just objective presented the facts of the matter, with all the courtesy and aplomb of a recent graduate of the Mrs. Manner's School of Internet Etiquette.

That being said, the troll label is often thrown around as an easy way to stereotype and dismiss (or perhaps as an effort to offend and thus chase away the more thin-skinned types). It can also be a form of trolling--accusing someone with a quasi-legitimate disagreement of being a troll often causes things to turn more argumentative, and for the thread to go off topic.

@bernie: 'There's one important sense in which Bush 2 was anti-government or anti-big government if you like and that was as regards governmental oversight of the corporate world. Here, its operations and funding were broadly eviscerated and those functions commonly turned over to the lobbyists working for corporate interests."

Even then, I think it's hard to argue that Bush was either anti-government or anti-Big Government. He may have been anti-oversight, or anti-regulation, think the government that governs least governs best. But he grew the bureaucracy, increased spending, increased entitlements, increased federal involvement in education, and so on. And while his administration was not pro-relugation, per se, much of the evisceration of regulations happened at the congressional level, and there were some Democrats that were key to making it happen--Frank, Dodd, Biden and others. But there were generally more Republicans voting for the repeal of financial and other regulations than Democrats.

One example is the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999, under Clinton. It was a Republican bill, but a majority of Democrats voted for it (as did Republicans). It passed easily (with veto proof majorities, actually) and Bill Clinton signed it. Some may argue that Glass-Steagall was antiquated, but chances are, if it had still been in force, this current recession wouldn't have been as deep, and the bank bailouts would have been less necessary.

I haven't seen much of a sign that a majority of Democrats are really serious about meaningful financial regulation, except perhaps Blanche Lincoln. In that sense, Democrats are either similarly "small government", or just excessively passive in regards to regulating Wall Street.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 17, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"If you go back and look at your first posts here (you can quote them if you like) it seems rather a challenge to describe them as non-confrontational and polite..."

Then consider it a challenge to go back and look at my posts over the first couple of weeks I was here (end of August 09) and find the posts you consider confrontational and/or impolite.

FYI I arrived here on the back of Greg's tiff with Stephen Hayes at TWS. I was initially compelled to challenge Greg over his failure to address the WaPo article that directly contradicted his claims about the effectiveness of EITs, made all the more conspicuous by the fact that in the days preceding the article, he had been challenging the mainstream media to address the topic. I quickly got pulled into the healthcare debate.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 17, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "George W. Bush was antigovernment in the modern GOP sense: the federal government is mocked publicly while it spends unlimited amounts on GOP-favored programs such as the military, law enforcement, and corporate welfare."

This might just be those mystic chords of memory, but I don't recall George W. Bush mocking the federal government.

Also, under Bush, spending on Democrat favored programs continued largely unabated as well, budgets often increasing for said programs, year over year, well in excess of inflation. Most of the increased defense spending was to fund two simultaneous wars. I'm looking forward to Obama or some Democrat really cutting corporate welfare (I really am; that would be great). When is that happening? When has a Democrat cut corporate welfare, farm subsidies, or depression-era programs that pay land owners an annual stipend because they *aren't* farming their land? And by "farms", I mean giant agribusinesses?

What Democrats are cutting those GOP-favored programs? Because if they are, I missed it, and now I'm excited. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 17, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis:

The current crop of Democrats is only marginally less plutocratic than the GOP. Hence my call for a Third Party.

At least in theory, however, the Democratic Party recognizes our national problems and the necessity of federal government intervention. The present GOP lives in a jingo-fantasy where intractable problems are simply imagined away and demagogic trifles are used as distractions.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 17, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "OK, challenge yourself. Take a dozen arbitrary posts from Bilge and a dozen from anyone else and count up the number or personal insults in both. Prove Greg and I wrong in an clear and evident way."

It's not any of my business (so I should shut up), but I think these kind of contests are pointless. There are a lot of associated emotions, and a lot of subjective interpretation of what is an insult and what isn't.

In the end, "he did it first" is not a good defense. "Well, but he used this word that this other guy never used" is not a good defense. If enforcement is random, that's still not an excuse.

It shouldn't be a contest about who is the most asocial, disruptive goofball. Plus, a blogdaddy gets to decide who stays and who goes, based on whatever criteria they choose. It's their blog!

Don't test the blogdaddy.

To me, the response to a belligerent commenter getting the boot is: "Too bad he could at least try and be a little more cordial", not that it's unfair he couldn't stay and be rude as these guys over here. It's moving the needle in the wrong direction.

And I'm done sticking my nose where it doesn't belong (for now!).

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 17, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Take a dozen arbitrary posts from Bilge and a dozen from anyone else..."

That would not be a legitimate test. There is far more interaction between liberals than between non-liberals here, so an arbitrary collection of posts is far more likely to encompass friendly back-and forths between libs, and hence less likely to encompass insults.

In any event, the Plum Line's search engine is pretty pathetic, which makes this type of investigation difficult. All I can say it that personal experience with the likes of Liam (who spent weeks calling me a "parasite"), Tena (who called me all manner of nasty things), and Ethan suggests that plenty of lefty posters gave quite as good as they got from Bilge.

The only thing that distinguished Bilge was his habit of addressing all libs as "slave". And it was this very habit that caused the initial public complaint against him, which then compelled Greg to put Bilge's presence to a vote on the board. (A vote I think Bilge won, but in the end it didn't matter.)

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 17, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"Plus, a blogdaddy gets to decide who stays and who goes, based on whatever criteria they choose. It's their blog!"

I wholeheartedly agree, and said so when Bilge got banned. But if the blogdaddy is exercising his control in one manner while claiming to do it in another, it seems fair enough to point it out.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 17, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

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