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Happy Hour Roundup

* Kudos to Dick Durbin for clearly and unequivocally supporting Cordoba House, and for denouncing Sarah Palin and her merry band of demagogues for trying to "divide America with fear and hate."

Also: Durbin is a member of the Senate leadership, so this represents a clean break with Harry Reid.

* Josh Marshall worries that the GOP is on the verge of breaking away from Dems in the midterm matchup.

* And: Aaron Blake crunches the numbers and finds the GOP is just crushing Dems in the enthusiasm department.

* Also: The Rothenberg Political Report shifts five Dem-held House districts in the direction of the GOP column.

* Jake Tapper previews Obama's big upcoming speech about Iraq. The message will be that on national security, the mission is not "accomplished."

* Ron Paul seems to suggest that his son Rand, in opposing the "mosque," has thrown in his lot with the haters and the Islamophobes.

* But: Digby points out that Ron Paul's statement of support for the project isn't all that saintly.

* Sign o' the times: David Kurtz finds that "Ground Zero mosque" is higher on Google than "Ground Zero" itself.

* As Sam Stein notes, it's remarkable how the organizers behind Cordoba House have conspicuously failed to mount any kind of coordinated defense of the project.

* Stephen Stromberg deftly skewers the idiocy of critics who blame the "mosque" controversy on Obama's decision to weigh in long after its opponents had already whipped it up into a national story.

* Coinage of the day, courtesy of a Rhode Island Democrat: "Anchor embryoes."

* Chris Bowers says endorsements from Michael Bloomberg and Chuck Hagel will shift the media narrative Joe Sestak's way.

* Billionaire Jeff Greene, on track to lose tomorrow, really wants Florida Jewish voters to know that he's Jewish. Did he mention that he's Jewish?

* And Mike Tomasky says Dems have nothing to fear but their own fear of Republicans.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  August 23, 2010; 5:54 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , Immigration , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Reid ads quote Sharron Angle in her own words
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

"Josh Marshall worries that the GOP is on the verge of breaking away from Dems in the midterm matchup."

The Left strikes again.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 23, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

From Tomasky:

"the Democrats are terrible at countering Republican spin. On virtually every major issue, to put matters in debating society language, the Republican point of view is the proposition, the Democratic one the opposition. This may sound odd, given that the Republicans are the ones who are in opposition. But they almost always set the terms of debate in Washington. And so, Republicans began saying shortly after Obama took office that the midterm elections would be a referendum on Obama's overreach. The Democrats countered with not much of anything."

Is there nothing the Left won't do wrong?

Posted by: wbgonne | August 23, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

hey wbgonne, been meaning to ask, how's the book coming?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 23, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Final edits, Greg. Thanks agains for asking.

But on this Blame-the-Left nonsense it must stop. Ceding that ground (gleefully!) is how the Democrats lose all the policy debates. And then get clobbered politically, not coincidentally, for good measure. That's what Tomasky is talking about.

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

Jeff Greene is a schmuck.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 23, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I suppose it's not that interesting to too many people here but here's another great piece from Dean Baker re Social Security. I know ChuckinDenton expressed some interest so maybe he's around this afternoon. Maybe Dean Baker's one of those dreaded "professional left" guys though. Yikes !!!!!!!!

"It should also bother workers that plans to cut Social Security would take away benefits for which they have already paid. The Social Security trust fund has accumulated a surplus of more than $2.5 trillion. According to the report issued just last week by the Social Security trustees, the program can pay all future benefits through the year 2037 with no changes whatsoever. The workers who will be retiring in the next 15-20 years have paid for their benefits. They have every right to be furious if President Obama or anyone else suggests taking these benefits away from them.

So, the real question is: where does President Obama stand on the plans being put forward to cut Social Security? This should be on the table for all to see. We have an election in two and a half months. If Social Security cuts are on the table, then voters should have the right to know where their representatives in Congress stand. This would be one of the most important issues addressed by Congress. It would be an offense against democracy if it were not discussed in the election and voters given a chance to express their views."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dean-baker/social-security-the-repub_b_691537.html

Posted by: lmsinca | August 23, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Re: Democratic enthusiasm gap.

I just have to wonder; did the Democratic Party really think they could tell liberals to get lost indefinitely before some of us actually, like, you know, did?

As a liberal I will not be voting for ANY national Democrats this year or for the foreseeable future.

I refuse to continue to support a party that doesn't support my values.

Hint: Middle-class destroying trade policies, billion dollar bailouts of parasitic banksters and health insurance companies, ongoing assaults on the US Constitution in the name of "national security" (you know, destroying the Constitution in order to save it), etc, ARE NOT the values I support.

And yes I understand me not voting for Dems accomplishes nothing but getting Republicans elected.

It's just that:

A) There really is no difference between the parties apart from the propaganda they use, and

B) I really, really just don't care anymore.

Coming up on 20 years of the Dems telling liberals to get lost. Well this one is lost and in all likelihood is gone for good.

...

Posted by: McMia | August 23, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Isn't some Democrat going to say "good riddance" to McMia?

It wil feel really good.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 23, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Vikings: Mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque. Lovely mosque! Wonderful mosque!

Mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque...

Posted by: CalD | August 23, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Vikings: Mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque. Lovely mosque! Wonderful mosque!

Mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque...

Posted by: CalD | August 23, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I can't remember who said it, but I remember a commentator making the point prior to Obama's inauguration that when Clinton won, it was the left's abandonment of him that allowed the right to make sweeping gains in the House and Senate and would no doubt happen to Obama also.

I remember telling myself, man, I can't imagine that happening. I mean, after the rights economic philosophy just about destroyed this country, would they really abandon Democrats?

I guess my question is answered.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 23, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

"Stephen Stromberg deftly skewers the idiocy of critics who blame the 'mosque' controversy on Obama's decision to weigh in long after its opponents had already whipped it up into a national story."
----------------------------------------------

Ably abetted we might add, by some of the more prominent and many not-so-prominent megaphones of the left, who basically took a relatively small handful of brain farts from the usual suspects on the radical right, dropped them into the reverb chamber and amplified it into one giant, smelly and very lingering BLAT!!!

...not to mention any names or anything.

Posted by: CalD | August 23, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Let me ask this question: Assuming that "liberals" are unreasonable either in policy, politics, or both does it not remain true that "liberals" are NOT in control of the Democratic Party, never mind the country? If so, the Centrist and Establishment Democrats are in fact in control. That means THEY, not the Liberals, have the power and are making the crucial decisions.

And then I ask you: How have those decisions turned out politically? If you agree that the Democrats have not fared well since the Election then who or what is to blame? Is it Liberals, who have no power, or is the Centrists, the Democratic Establishment that, apparently, has never gotten past 1968?

Posted by: wbgonne | August 23, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca, thanks for that. I'm having real trouble getting a sense of what's going on with SS. I keep hearing Dems say they're going to attack the GOP this fall for wanting to destroy it. But no one can figure out where Dems stand on it. Am I missing something?

And agreed, wbgonne, that is an interesting post from McMia. I wonder how many others feel that way. I sense a real "throwing their hands up" vibe among some on the left.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 23, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

From the Tomasky link above:

"Question: among Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, which one had the highest approval rating at this 20-month mark in his presidency? The answer is Obama, who, at 44% or 45%, is a few points better than each of those predecessors was."

Posted by: bernielatham | August 23, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

@ Greg

"I'm having real trouble getting a sense of what's going on with SS."

That's the point. Establishment seems to be taking a stand against privatization while courting the deficit commission which has made no secret about keeping cuts on the table. Seems like we need some clarification and I think Baker has a valid point, take a stand before November and lose the ambiguity.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 23, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Those who throw up their hands and stay home are the problem. Because apparently they can't be counted on to back up the most liberal president in my lifetime. These folks should stop picking on the far right for insisting on tea party conservative lockstep because the far left is just as much a group of purity trolls if they are going to sit on their hands and go home. Apparently for the progressive democrats it is better to scream impotently and complain that everything would be better if they were listened to then to have to try to be a governing party.

If the left wants to stay home in November then they better sit down and shut up for the next 2 years because they will be responsible for everything Republicans do if they take back any part of Congress. But keep whining about how Obama is a corporatist or whatever. This president has done everything he could do in this environment but everyone didn't get their ponies so they have to stay home because someone hurt their feelings.

If you actually govern from the left and the left abandons you for not being far enough left and you lose why govern from the left, might as well be a Ben Nelson Democrat and try to own the center.

Posted by: zattarra | August 23, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey all, back from the wilderness! Anyone want to give me a summary of what I've missed since about mid-june?

Posted by: holyhandgrenaid | August 23, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

The number of progressives who sit out any election are limited. I realize there are a few voices out there advocating it, but for the most part we're mobilized in our districts working on behalf of candidates running progressive campaigns. The rest is media hype IMO or setting up the fall guys for whatever losses we incur.

Most of the "professional left" blogs and websites are working and raising money for their chosen candidates all across the country. Now, if you expect them to go out and campaign for Blanche, then you would probably be disappointed.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 23, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

lol holyhandgrail. Here goes nothing.

OK. Obama sucks. Muslims are scary. Sharron Angle is crazy. Palin is still dumb as a box of rocks. Crist is gonna win FL and piss all over the rights shining start Rubio. Rand Paul is turning out to be as whacko as his dad who happens to be on the right side of history regarding the Cordoba house. Halperin has been amazingly accurate and levelheaded in his commentary lately. The left is angry. The right is even more angry. And Nate Silver's last day is today at fivethirtyeight.com and he'll be @ NYT tomorrow.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 23, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

so, Mike, what you're telling me is that nothing has changed since June except that Mark Halperin pulled his head out of his keister for a spell. Lovely.

Posted by: holyhandgrenaid | August 23, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back hhg, you survived the bears. It's August, that pretty much says it all.

Hope your field work went well. My daughter starts classes tomorrow at Mines. I bet you have a lot of work to do this year evaluating all that research. Good luck !!

Posted by: lmsinca | August 23, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Unnatural Selection
How a politically rigged economic system has been sold to Americans as a force of nature.
By Ed Kilgore
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2010/1009.kilgore.html

Posted by: bernielatham | August 23, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Lmsinca, I reckoned that there would be no major news going on right now, I was just hoping that maybe something exciting had happened in July. As for having a lot of work this fall, I do indeed, a terrifying amount, so it looks like I'll only be an evening participant around these parts going forward, if that. I hope your daughters classes go well.

Posted by: holyhandgrenaid | August 23, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that Kilgore link Bernie, I'll have to put the book on my list.

"The aims should be threefold: to reduce the capacity of entrenched elites to block needed reform; to facilitate broader participation by those whose voices are drowned out; and to encourage the development of groups that can provide a continuing, organized capacity to mobilize middle-class voters and monitor government and politics on their behalf."

Posted by: lmsinca | August 23, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

@ wbgonne | August 23, 2010 7:38 PM:

Looks to me like your confusion is due to a flawed premise. In fact, liberals are nothing if not reasonable. The term "liberal" doesn't actually mean dead-ender, all-or-nothing ideological purist. One can be a liberal and still be pretty OK with an incremental approach to change for the better, particularly when more sweeping change is out of reach in any practical sense. You can also be a liberal and still be willing to recognize that some pretty impressive changes have in fact been accomplished in the last year and a half.

Additionally, it's actually a very common fallacy shared by ideologues of the left and right that all electoral setbacks for the party they're aligned with happen because said party wasn't ideologically pure enough in their actions. But if democrats take a pounding at the polls this year it certainly won't be due to backlash over not having gone far enough in pushing the liberal agenda, any more than it was true that Republicans lost in 2006 and 2008 in punishment for their failure to outlaw all un-Christian behavior, cut enough taxes, start enough wars or let big business run sufficiently amok, as the radical right so fondly believes to this very day. It will be because the economy sucks and Republicans succeeded in leveraging people's nervousness about that to set off a stampede.

Posted by: CalD | August 23, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else see that Tea Party guy Mark Williams called Michael Bloomberg and Scott Stringer (Manhattan Borough President) "Judenrats"?

Check out TPM.

Is it going to continue to get worse like this?

Are minorities no longer welcome in the USA?

When can we expect the new Republican Majority to start rounding people up?

I just want to know so I can help my family "escape" from the USA like we "escaped" Russia 100 years ago.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 23, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else see that Tea Party guy Mark Williams called Michael Bloomberg and Scott Stringer (Manhattan Borough President) "Judenrats"?

Check out TPM.

Is it going to continue to get worse like this?

Are minorities no longer welcome in the USA?

When can we expect the new Republican Majority to start rounding people up?

I just want to know so I can help my family "escape" from the USA like we "escaped" Russia 100 years ago.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 23, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

"[A]nd so, Republicans began saying shortly after Obama took office that the midterm elections would be a referendum on Obama's overreach. The Democrats countered with not much of anything."

Actually, that is not quite accurate. I think the GOP (particularly the rank&file party members) were truly cowed by President Obama's win, moreso by the crowds he drew, and were deeply impressed (really) by the transformational nature of the win. I know I was (FYI: I ain't a rgstrd. Republican).

The GOP politicos gambled on...I was at the track in Saratoga Sat ;< ...I'd say, the 7-1 shot that the stimulus would freak out centrists and the market conservative wing of the party. The TownHall summer '09 frenzy gave them Hope(TM).

The HCRA was StimulusXTen in the freak out potential, because, and I don't care what the polls said, at least half of the people didn't think it could ever ever ever work, ever. I'd say with good reason.

The Dems did counter with something. The Dem reaction to the resistance of the GOP and, much more importantly, the burgeoning resistance of the people was to roll out the old trick, the Auld Billy Baroo: Call people ignorant, misinFOXformed, WTF's the matter w/ you Kansas morons, elitist(?) and then the dbldown of all dbldowns: you folks are raaaacissssts.

So you talk to the guy next door re: the country's direction, he's hinky like you on the spending and and the precipitous accretion of FED power and you know he's none of the epithets above. And it p;$$es one off.

Whirlwind sown, reaping in 2 months.

Posted by: tao9 | August 23, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if this was mentioned earlier, but Giuliani weighed in on the community center. Apparently, true healers wouldn't support the project; only warriors would.

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/rudy-giuliani-ground-zero-mosque-082010#ixzz0xGFwnezf

Also, as the article says, here's another hot-button issue just in time for elections--and probably beyond:

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/court-halts-federal-funding-embryonic-stem-cell-research.php?ref=fpa


Posted by: carolanne528 | August 23, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Ethan,

I seriously doubt Mark Williams is the harbinger of the ethos of, at this point, the highly conjectural GOP majority.

Have you ever actually met a Republican or are your impressions merely taxonomically theoretic.

Posted by: tao9 | August 23, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

@ holyhandgrenaid | August 23, 2010 8:20 PM:

I'm pretty sure something happened in July... Oh yeah, Wall Street reform: passed and signed into law. So that was pretty cool. Oh, and that crude oil leak in the gulf, off the coast of Louisiana officially became the largest in history and, and was finally plugged a couple of weeks ago, after several attempts.

Other than that, since about the first week in August, the entire world has apparently stopped producing virtually any news about any subject other than an Islamic center that some people want to build in downtown Manhattan, a tad too close to the former site of the World Trade Center to suit some other people (the vast majority of whom I'd guess have likely never ventured anywhere near NYC and probably never will).

So just skim the HH round-up above and you've pretty much got August covered. The one thing you might not immediately get if you're walking in cold is that the city of New York actually signed off on the project and the location before the whole dust-up really started in earnest. So there isn't any actual a question as to whether the people who want to build the place get to build it where they want. But all right-thinking people everywhere still demand to know, where is the outrage(!)?

Hit it, Vikings.

(Vikings: Mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque. Lovely mosque! Wonderful mosque!

Mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque...)

Posted by: CalD | August 23, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

This is disturbing:

"The leaders of a religious freedom commission solely financed by the US government say moderate Muslims are not free to build an Islamic center in New York."

representatives of a wholly US government-funded outfit have joined the vociferous opposition to the Park51 or Cordoba House project that critics have dubbed the "Ground Zero Mosque." A leader of this group—which receives $4.3 million a year from the government—has even proclaimed that the community center could be a front for Islamic terrorism. That's not all: the same agency, the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCRIF), has been the subject of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint for allegedly discriminating against Muslim employees.


The commission was created by Congress in 1998 to monitor religious freedom around the world and scold countries that aren't meeting religious freedom obligations outlined by international human rights treaties. Its sole source of funding is the US government; it is empowered to make recommendations to the president about policy decisions related to issues of religious freedom. Recently, the commission has decried Vietnam for its systemic violation of religious freedom and slammed China for its repression of Uighur Muslims. But leading conservative members of the commission have supported the opposition to the Cordoba House, essentially joining those who want to deny New York Muslims the freedom to build their religious and cultural center at this particular site.

Nina Shea, one of USCIRF's nine commissioners (who are selected by the president and congressional leaders), wrote that instead of "a cultural center for all New Yorkers," the "mosque" project could be "a potential tool for Islamists"—suggesting it would be a hotbed of jihadism that, among other things, spreads the literature and ideas of Islamic extremism. She compared the leaders of the Cordoba House project to convicted terrorist Omar Abdel Rahman (the "blind Sheikh") and accused Fort Hood and Christmas Day bombing coordinator Anwar al-Awlaki. (Shea's piece, as of Monday, was no longer showing up on the NRO site.)

Leonard Leo, the chairman of the commission and a top official in the conservative Federalist Society, is director of Liberty Central, a new tea party-related rightwing group organized by Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and Liberty Central has organized a petition campaign against the Cordoba House project. Moreover, Virginia Thomas is one of several conservative leaders participating in a 9/11 rally against the Cordoba House project, organized in part by anti-Islam activist/blogger Pam Geller, who runs an organization called Stop Islamization of America and who kick-started the "mosque" controversy.

more: http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/08/commission-international-religious-freedom-ground-zero-mosque

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 23, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

CalD & hhg,

Actually THE story is the bond-bubble & small investor equity (panic) exit, on the down/low at the FED re:
Rhymes with "gnash".

Bernanke is openly telling the regional governors to shut/the/f/up.

Oh the Humanity.

Posted by: tao9 | August 23, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

"The HCRA was StimulusXTen in the freak out potential, because, and I don't care what the polls said, at least half of the people didn't think it could ever ever ever work, ever. I'd say with good reason."

Right. And the Democratic Establishment jettisoned the public option, the most popular feature of health care reform. Just before voting down the second most popular feature, drug re-importation. The country wanted health care reform and would have been thrilled had it been done with minimal competence. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party is run by cowardly boobs.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 23, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

And what is going on with Abe Foxman & ADL?

"ADL explains why Foxman lobbied against imams' Auschwitz trip"

Earlier this month eight American imams and Muslim leaders took a trip to the Dachau and Auschwitz concentration camps accompanied by the Obama Administration's envoy to combat anti-Semitism, Hannah Rosenthal, and its official representative to the Muslim world, Rashad Hussein. At the end of the emotional trip, the imams released a joint statement (.pdf) condemning Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism.

It all seemed like a perfectly good idea, which is why some were surprised that Abe Foxman, the head of the Anti-Defamation League -- which counts Holocaust education and battling anti-Semitisim as core missions -- actually lobbied against the participation of U.S. officials in the trip.

Foxman's opposition to the Auschwitz trip was first reported by Laura Rozen of Politico earlier this month:


Organizers of the trip say they were dismayed that the Anti-Defamation League’s Abe Foxman lobbied U.S. officials against participating. They also say the Investigative Project’s Steve Emerson, author of "American Jihad," lobbied against the trip, arguing that one of the imams planning to participate had made Holocaust denial statements a decade ago.


Continue reading.
Foxman didn't respond to Rozen's requests for comment, but the ADL gave a statement to Salon today confirming that Foxman lobbied against the participation of the Obama officials.

"Mr. Foxman raised the question of the appropriateness of the State Department’s special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism to accompany individually and privately sponsored trips," the statement says. "Given that there are many places in the world where anti-Semitism remains a problem, we believe that her leadership role in fighting anti-Semitism is best done government to government."

That refers to Rosenthal, the State Department official, whose grandparents were killed in the Holocaust. Given that the trip resulted in such a strong statement, in which Muslim leaders from around the U.S. publicly denounced anti-Semitism in the strongest terms, the trip organizers saw it as a major success.

One person familiar with the trip told Salon that Foxman called both Rosenthal and the White House to object. When it went forward anyway, he went beyond objecting to the participation of the U.S. officials and called a Polish rabbi who had a scheduled meeting with the imams and asked the rabbi not to see the group, the person said.

Below is the ADL's statement in full and the imams' statement below that:


http://www.salon.com/print.html?URL=/politics/war_room/2010/08/23/foxman_lobbies_against_auschwitz_trip

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 23, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

wb,

"...the public option, the most popular feature of health care reform."

Like I said, I don't believe the polls. The most salient aspect of the whole debacle (poll-wise at least) was the 80%plus of people who had insurance (which BTW is a majority of Americans) were satisfied with their HC experience.

I think there was some fibbin' to appear altruistic, and, of course, the usual MSM sampling baloney tuned to result in the "correct" conclusion.

Posted by: tao9 | August 23, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

tao:

Believe what you like. The polls consistently showed Americans wanted health care reform. And the polls consistently showed those two features of health care reform -- public option and drug re-importation -- were overwhelmingly popular with the general public. Only an idiotic party leadership would have abandoned the most popular features of a massive reform plan. But then, this same party leadership wound up appearing as handmaidens to the same Wall Street crowd that fleeced the world and ruined the nation's economy. And now they have the audacity to blame others for their pathetic failures.

Sorry, I ain't buying it.

Good night. And good luck.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 23, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

tao, or Obama took the office with an electoral mandate, personal popularity up the kazoo, a national emergency in both the economy and health care, republicans gave us socialism, birthers and waterloo. We all thought by essentially being a pragmatist with the fall of the empire our politicians would work together to save not only the banks and wall street but main street as well. He never had a chance to go big and we ended up with a weak stimulus and a republican health care reform law. It's a head wind when you consider the corporate influence and the fact that republicans don't seem to want to legislate.

He's done a lot but so far your average joe isn't feeling it as it's tough to prove a negative, it would have been worse. They made some mistakes, compromising too early, no populist message (see Tea Party), and assuming the good intentions of the minority party among a few.

The greatest problem so far is the stubborn rebound of the economy. Somebody needs to come up with a plan, and soon, and run on it in November. Put America back to work.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 23, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

wb,

"Only an idiotic party leadership..."

I don't like 'em much but even I don't think they're idiots.

That's more (circumstantial) evidence that the polling was overstated & non-operational (If I recall because not contemporary).

Posted by: tao9 | August 23, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I saw this yesterday but forgot to link it, forgive me if someone else did. I don't think America has the same appetite for endless war as we used to.

"One influential Republican senator has changed his mind on President Barack Obama's plan begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in the summer of 2011.

After a recent trip to the region, Sen. Lindsey Graham returned to say that he believes some troops could be removed in July 2011.

"After this trip, I think we can transition next summer some areas of Afghanistan to Afghan control," Graham told CBS' Bob Schieffer Sunday.

"I see progress I had not seen before. I see a scenario if things continue to develop the way they are that certain areas of Afghanistan can be transitioned to Afghan control and we could remove some troops safely without undermining the overall war mission," he said.

"But at the end of the day the president has to let the Afghan people, the regional players know, the American people know that we're not going to leave until we're successful. But I do see a path forward next summer to transition in certain areas of Afghanistan but we will need substantial troops well past July of 2011 to get this right," continued Graham."

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/node/39190

Posted by: lmsinca | August 23, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Tao, I don't appreciate your condescending post. I am genuinely concerned about the direction of this country and it is ENTIRELY the result of YOUR party's catering to bigotry, racism, and fear-mongering.

Maybe if your religion was persecuted over and over again over thousands of years you'd understand. Idiot.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 23, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Tao, I don't appreciate your condescending post. I am genuinely concerned about the direction of this country and it is ENTIRELY the result of YOUR party's catering to bigotry, racism, and fear-mongering.

Maybe if your religion was persecuted over and over again over thousands of years you'd understand. Idiot.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 23, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

lms,

Ever see Rashomon?

Loved that film.

(But liked 7Samurai more, & The Magnificent Seven...fogeddaboutit!!)

da DA! da-da DAH DAHH!, DA-DAhh-DA-DAhh....

niters ;^)

Posted by: tao9 | August 23, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Ethan,

My religious upbringing and subsequent development advises me me that your religion is Eternal. And your people timelessly resilient.

I'd stand between you, or yours, and any threat or harm if it came to what you fear.
Tens of Millions would also.

Mark Williams is as insignificant as a grain of dust.

You dishonor the inimitable majority of your countrymen and the good faith and decency of your own nation.

Those you ought to fear existentially you seem to defend.

It's a puzzlement.

Posted by: tao9 | August 23, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

WaPo/ABC News Public option polling June - Oct 2009

Favors:

June - 62%
July - n/a
Aug - 52%
Sept - 55%
Oct - 57%

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2009/10/20/GR2009102000148.html?sid=ST2009101902502

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 23, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Rational people with different points of view tao? Yep

Night

Posted by: lmsinca | August 23, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

"did the Democratic Party really think they could tell liberals to get lost indefinitely before some of us actually, like, you know, did?"

McMia, can you provide a link to any time a democratic politician told liberals to get lost?

"And yes I understand me not voting for Dems accomplishes nothing but getting Republicans elected."

So republicans represent your values more than democrats do?

"Coming up on 20 years of the Dems telling liberals to get lost."

There's that curious "get lost" claim again.....

"Well this one is lost and in all likelihood is gone for good."

Buh-bye!

Posted by: SDJeff | August 23, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I meant to link this earlier as well for anyone who's interested. "Stop the War on Prayer". The link shows the signatories.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Open Letter to the Faithful,

We the undersigned call on believers of all faiths to join us in denouncing the dangerous 'War on Prayer' being waged in America.

The War on Prayer is a war against me, against my house of worship, and against my community of faith.

The faithful are no strangers to religious persecution. We recognize the request to build a place of worship “here” but not “there” as a breach of a fundamental American principle: in America, we don't tell anyone where they can and cannot pray.

We believe that there is no more sacred bond than the relationship between people and God found in prayer. For political figures to infringe on this most intimate relationship by telling citizens where, when, or how they should pray is a sin and transgression of the worst order. Our nation’s Founding Fathers recognized the freedom to worship as the most hallowed and self-evident of rights.

We believe it is time to shine light on the hypocrisy of politicians and pundits who expound on the freedom of religion for their chosen sects while seeking to tell our Muslim brothers and sisters where they can and cannot worship. Using a political podium to bully a religious community threatens one of our most fundamental freedoms.

Scripture is our guide. The Hebrew Bible teaches (Lev. 19), "Do not hate your brother in your heart." The New Testament (1 John) teaches, "If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar."

We support the rights of all Americans to worship in their chosen place, through a climate of respect, dignity and peace.

Faithfully,


http://waronprayer.org/

Posted by: lmsinca | August 23, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Since the Democratic primaries are mostly a new lacklustet guy against an incumbent, they're not very interesting. The Republicans have psychos endorsed by Palin et al, going against extremists who are trying to see if they can be righter than the Tea Partier--of course the right is more fired up about primaries--and making some pretty poor choices for the general--but that doesn't mean the left won't be out in full force.

Posted by: wd1214 | August 24, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Netanyahu has union troubles... http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-diplomats-strike-threatens-pm-s-washington-trip-1.309971

Israel also has, of course, a really excellent universal (compulsory) healthcare system run by the government... http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-diplomats-strike-threatens-pm-s-washington-trip-1.309971

All this Socialism!

Posted by: bernielatham | August 24, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/the_morning_plum_80.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 24, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

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