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Happy Hour Roundup

* Breaking: A new Pew poll finds a sizable majority, 62 percent, supports the right of Muslims to build mosques in local communities, even if the neighbors object.

* But: A majority opposes this if the project in question is not a mosque and it's near Ground Zero. The poll also finds 51 percent oppose Cordoba House.

* It's not just wacked out lefty media watchdogs anymore! Ed Chen, the former chief of the White House Correspondents Association, says Fox's front-row White House seat is a "travesty."

* Questioning Obama's faith is a hoot! Sam Stein reports that the RNC is distancing itself from its new media director's Tweet poking fun at the idea that Obama may be a Muslim.

* But: Credit to RNC spox Doug Heye for stating unequivocally that Obama's faith is "both crystal clear and a non-issue."

* Jed Lewison suggests it's not all that outlandish to imagine that Sharron Angle actually believes the things she says.

* Groundbreaking assertion of the day: Josh Marshall says we can hold two ideas in our heads at the same time -- Cordoba House very well may never be built, but the project is still important to defend for its larger symbolic value.

* Ben Smith reports that administration insiders may be quietly pushing Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary, which will make Beltway bipartisanship fetishists swoon with joy.

* John Boehner's dress rehersal as House Speaker continues: He's now set to give a speech on Iraq on the same day that Obama's scheduled to do the same. Boehner will hammer Obama for opposing "the surge."

Friendly reminder: A majority thinks the Iraq War will be judged a failure -- and that's with the surge.

* A new Reuters poll finds the public divided on whether to extend the Bush tax cuts. I'd like to see the question wording on this one.

* Steve Benen keeps making an important point: The stimulus wasn't big enough, which is why it fell short, but its shortcomings are persuading people that government spending doesn't work.

* Obama will say no more about Cordoba House. Dammit. Can't we come up with a new way to fault his handling of this controversy?

* Dems gear up for action in response to the court ruling banning Federal funding of stem cell research.

* And Adam Sorensen notes some disconcerting similarities between Tim Pawlenty's new book and Sarah Palin's recently released tome:

tpawrogue.JPG

The snark fails me on this one. Supply your own.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  August 24, 2010; 5:41 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Sharron Angle agrees with radio host who says we have "domestic enemies" within Congress
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

Shame you didn't cover the New Yorker Story about Koch and his war against all Obama:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer

and

How NewsCorp is using their biggest private financier, Prince Alwaleed, as a prop to stoke up anti-Muslim sentiment.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-august-19-2010/extremist-makeover---homeland-edition

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 24, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Other than that...have a great day!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 24, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

“Wahhh! Cordoba house is not Obama’s fault! Wahhh”

Wow Greg, I wonder what kind of tantrum you’ll throw when Obama’s approval drops to thirty.

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | August 24, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

"A new Reuters poll finds the public divided on whether to extend the Bush tax cuts. I'd like to see the question wording on this one."

Me too. That is not consistent with what I've seen. Strong majority AGAINST extending the tax cuts for the wealthiest. The Dems should use some actual numbers to bring it home to voters. Top 1% earners should be taxed at 70% like they have (at least) been throughout our history. Sure would bring the debt down.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 24, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I thought this was sort of amusing. It'll be interesting if anyone actually bought his "walk back".

"Daniel Webster is the former Florida State Senate Majority leader and a rising star within the GOP. The Republican National Committee handpicked him to run against progressive hero Congressman Alan Grayson in Florida. Webster seemed like the easy pick to win his party's primary to run against Grayson, but after recent comments in favor of cutting Social Security, his chances are now looking less likely.

Webster seems to have gotten himself in hot water with some of the Tea Party movements biggest backers -- senior citizens. Last week during a forum, Webster proposed cutting the regular Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increases for entitlement programs including Social Security. Webster's proposal would result in a 100 dollar per month cut for those on Social Security. Webster's proposal was so radical that none of the other six conservative candidates he was debating would explicitly call for any form of cuts whatsoever in Social Security. Webster was hounded in the press and by voters for his radical position.

As a result, Webster quickly changed his position, stating "I've never stated that Social Security benefits should be cut or reduced for those who are currently receiving benefits or those near retirement age." Despite the fact that in the debate he called for just that by saying all COLA adjustment for all entitlement programs (including Social Security) should be cut, Webster had to quickly backtrack because calling for cuts to Social Security is political suicide in a place like Florida."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-elk/tea-party-pushes-back-aga_b_692663.html

Posted by: lmsinca | August 24, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele (remember him?) tries to distance the GOBP from the Arizona immigration law mess, in an interview with Univision.

"In an interview with Spanish-language network Univision, RNC Chairman Michael Steele distanced his party from Arizona's controversial new immigration law, saying, "The actions of one state's governor is not a reflection of an entire country, nor is it a reflection of an entire political party."

"We hope, now that this debate is in full bloom, level heads will prevail and that we'll reach a common sense solution with regards to immigration," Steele said."

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/steele-tells-univision-arizonas-immigration-law-doesnt-reflect-the-gop-video.php?ref=fpb

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 24, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

"The stimulus wasn't big enough, which is why it fell short, but this is persuading people that government spending doesn't work."

Yet another danger from tepid measures in the current environment. Go Deep, Dems!

Sigh.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 24, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

"Courage to Stand"... because "Walk Hard" was already taken.

Posted by: converse | August 24, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

The good news is that it seems Boehner's Economic Dissertation (formal title, "The AntiAmerican JobKilling Democrats' AntiAmerican JobKilling Agenda") didn't go over well. AND he's going to give an Iraq address, too. The GOP would be doing FANTASTIC if they have actual legislators and candidates who insist upon opening their mouths. Carry On, Agent Orange!

Posted by: wbgonne | August 24, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"Courage to Stand" OMG, really?

I didn't realize it took courage to stand. If standing takes courage you have to be terribly frightened of most everything. What were the other potential titles?

"Courage to Walk Across the Street"

"Courage to Shower"

"Courage to Dress Like Sarah Palin"

Come to think of it, I went to the bathroom today, I must be the bravest guy ever!

Posted by: nisleib | August 24, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

if they DIDN'T have actual ...

Posted by: wbgonne | August 24, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

"The stimulus wasn't big enough, which is why it fell short."

So finally we can all agree on something: the stimulus plan is a failure.

Posted by: sbj3 | August 24, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

"Courage to be just like Sarah"

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 24, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Uh-oh. Where is T-Paw's flag pin????

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 24, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

SBJ Hyperbole much? Falling short of goal is now = to failure?

Nothing like a perfectionist! :-)

Nothing like a simplistic world view!

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Somehow when I think of Tim Pawlenty courage may be the last word that comes to mind.

How about cowardly political panderer who will blow with whichever wind the polls generate.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey, ruk!

Thanks for standing up for the Left! We gotta DEMAND respect!

(Liberals are the Henny Youngman (remember him?) of the political world.)

Posted by: wbgonne | August 24, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Stimulus Plan Boosting Tech Innovation

According to the analysis, the package's $100 billion "innovation" investment has helped put the United States on track to cut the cost of solar power by 50 percent in the next five years.

The report also predicts that the cost of electric vehicle batteries will drop 70 percent by 2015. The country's total capacity to generate renewable energy, it says, will double by 2012.

Additionally, the analysis says that medical investments funded by the Recovery Act will lower the cost of a personal human genome map to under $1,000 over the next five years - a development that could have significant ramifications for health care.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/08/24/biden.recovery.act/index.html

I don't know what SBJ is smoking (ahem *CRACK*) but the stimulus, despite the fact that it should have been bigger, has been a resounding success in investing in all of the things that Bush let slide for 8 years.

You know, like, AMERICAN GROWTH INDUSTRIES.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 24, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

No, wait. The Rodney Dangerfield of the political world.

Oy.

Night, All.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 24, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Henny Youngman wasn't really very funny, so your analogy holds.

Posted by: converse | August 24, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

P.S., The GOP's War on Science claims anther scalp: stem cell research.

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/stem-cell-ruling-to-598502.html

Posted by: wbgonne | August 24, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

After Boehner's speech today and I am looking forward to the GOP's proposals in September.

Boehner got thoroughly bashed. It will be interesting to see what happens after there are actual detailed proposals.

Posted by: maritza1 | August 24, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I am also hoping that Greg will do something substantive on the Mayer piece tomorrow.

Above, sue makes a crack re Steele - "remember him?". But Steele's relative insignificance in the scheme of real power on the right relates directly to the Mayer piece on Koch (and related funding, organizing and propaganda operations driving the modern right). Steele has no real power nor influence whereas these other individuals and entities have it in spades. It is they who have created the modern party and they who have driven in to the far right ("anarcho-totalitarianism" in WF Buckley's wording). It from these corners that America is being driven towards something quite unrecognizable and unpleasant.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 24, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

"Now, trouble in California? Obama jumps into the governor's race to help Jerry Brown vs. Meg Whitman"

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/08/jerry-brown-barack-obama-meg-whitman-california.html

Posted by: sbj3 | August 24, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

For Bernie:

http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2010/08/propaganda-posters-of-world-war-two.html

Posted by: sbj3 | August 24, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne Yeah...you me and lmsinca get bashed almost as much as skippy,Q.B. and sbj. LMAO

I'm curious if anybody can even define what it means to have a "moderate' foreign policy much less a "progressive" foreign policy.
In the days I grew up invading and occupying two sovereign nations was considered "hawkish" especially when those nations didn't attack us.

Of course since we quickly conflate the 19 hosers who committed suicide on 9/11 with Islam I can see how super easy it must be to conflate 19 wack jobs with all Afghanistan.

Actually I wasn't put off by the original military action in Afghanistan which purported to be a mission to find OBL and his crew and punish them. Did we succeed?
Not hardly and now that original action has metastasized into the longest war in our history...a war with no real success in sight. A war which claims not only the precious lives of our servicemen and women but also the lives of innocent Afghans. But of course they Muslims and so THEIR lives do not count. If in our all knowing wisdom we deem it in OUR best interest to invade and occupy another nation...who is to quibble with OUR judgment?

And Iraq. Does anybody really doubt how history will judge that Bushie adventure?

I enjoy history and I'm wondering if one of our history buffs can name another single instance when we invaded another nation before they sent troops against us?
Maybe the Mexican American war? Not the Spanish American War.."Remember the Maine".
Perhaps a lame concocted excuse but unlike WMD the Maine actually did exist.

The only real example I can think of the U.S. invading someone elses nation is of course in our wars against the Native Americans.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

@Bernie....Don't know if you've read Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine, The Rise of Disaster Capitalism". It's a terrific look at how PURE capitalism isn't very pretty.

But I must warn you Bernie...Klein is like you a Canadian by birth...and as if that isn't enough to make her a communist pinko she is a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics...A Canadian with extensive influence from the Euros...:-)

I bring her book up both because I think you would enjoy it and also because it hits on the same Corporatist themes you are trying to bring to our attention.

And I agree 100% Bernie...it's not really the tea party or radical right we need to fear, it is the Corporatists like the Koch
brothers, Rupert Murdoch and the other completely unscrupulous villains who will do anything to increase their financial power. They really believe in their version of "The Golden Rule". He who has the gold makes the rules!

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Thanks sbj. If you happen to find an illustration of a giant Liz Cheney victoriously squatting beneath the glorious rays of the morning sun and peeing on a mosque, will you link it here for me?

Posted by: bernielatham | August 24, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

cmc (from an earlier thread):

“So, skip, you think this woman (Angle) is qualified to be a United States Senator?”

As if, like a brain surgeon, being a Senator requires some special qualification. I’ll tell you what…if Harry "Negro dialect" Reid is “qualified”, so is Angle.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 24, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

qb (from an earlier thread)):

“So I await Greg's response.”

And wait you will. You know as well as I that Greg will neither acknowledge nor abandon his double standard.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 24, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

nisleib:

“I didn't realize it took courage to stand.”

How deliberately obtuse and petty can one get? (Did you realize that it took audacity to hope?)

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 24, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

“Falling short of goal is now = to failure?”

Um…yes.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 24, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

"Steve Benen keeps making an important point: The stimulus wasn't big enough, which is why it fell short, but its shortcomings are persuading people that government spending doesn't work."

Benen is a shrewd analyst, but I think it's wrong to suggest that people are persuaded (or are being persuaded) that government spending doesn't work. Instead, support for, or opposition to, additional spending seems to actually depend on how that stimulus spending is presented to the public.

For instance, according to a Time poll, the public is opposed to another major stimulus -- a comprehensive spending bill, if you will. However, they seem inclined to support more targeted spending measures.

CNN asked the following in an August 6-10, 2010 poll:

"Do you favor or oppose a bill in which the federal government would provide 26 billion dollars to state governments to pay for Medicaid benefits and the salaries of public school teachers or other government workers?"

Of all adults, 60% favored the bill; 38% opposed the bill. Majorities of Democrats and Independents supported the bill, with Republicans (not surprisingly) being overwhelmingly in opposition to helping teachers, firefighters, policemen, etc.

Additionally, and perhaps more strikingly standing as a counterpoint to the notion that people are persuaded against additional stimulus, CNN asked the following question in a July 16-21, 2010 poll:

"Which do you think should be more important for the Obama administration? Reducing the deficit, even if it might slow down economic recovery. Stimulating economic recovery, even if it might mean less deficit reduction."

Fifty-seven (57) percent sided with stimulating recovery, and 42% favored deficit reduction.

Bennen et al. may be giving more weight to a recent (7/15-18/10) Pew poll that found that 51% favored deficit reduction and 40% favored additional spending, but 9% in that poll were undecided. Additionally, the Pew poll was worded in the following manner:

"If you were setting priorities for the government these days, would you place a higher priority on reducing the budget deficit, or spending more to help the economy recover?"

Note that, unlike CNN, Pew did not note the likely impacts of focusing deficit reduction or focusing on stimulus spending; the Pew question was more generally worded.

Thus, additional spending, if specifically targeted on job creation/boosting economic growth and explained as such, is still supported by the public.

Posted by: associate20 | August 24, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

“The GOP's War on Science claims anther scalp: stem cell research.”

Classic left-wing propaganda. (Bernie, please take note!)

Opposition to federal funding of stem-cell research is no more a “war on science” than is opposition to farming subsidies a “war on agriculture”. As Bernie might say (if he wasn’t so pre-occupied with uncovering the vast right-wing propaganda conspiracy), this is nothing but a mindless cliché aimed at making people stupider.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 24, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Wow..Florida may offer insight to just how incredibly moronic the R's are versus the Dems.

We had two sleazeball millionaires..one might be a billionaire make an attempt to buy political office.

On the R side Rick Scott one of the sleaziest slimy human beings ever..made his millions on the backs of sick people with his HCA Corp. is leading McCollum. I realize McCollum is no prize but geesssh..
Rick Scott? Have the R's totally lost their freaking minds. Defend this one.
Yes I'm very premature only 10% of the vote is in but Scott has a six point lead.

Scott was ousted by Columbia/HCA's board of directors in 1997 in the midst of the nation's biggest health care fraud scandal. The company ultimately settled the Medicaid and Medicare fraud allegations and paid out a total of $1.7 billion dollars in fines and civil claims. Scott says he claims responsibility for that disaster as if saying I claim responsibility is a noble thing after you taken advantage of the sick, elderly and the tax payers with Medicaid/Medicare fraud. Now this despicable human being has a series of clinics in the Sunshine state which have already guess what...been sued by Physicians who have worked for Scott. Scott's company wanted them to fake records. Scott settled out of court and then refused to let anybody view his deposition.

Are R's so DESPERATE for new faces that they will elect an out and out crook? If I were an R I'd be embarrassed and I'm still worried that there are enough goobers in our fair state to vote for someone so greedy and crooked.

The Dems had their own problem with billionaire crook Jeff Greene whose real estate companies were deeply involved in fraud...fake mortgage holders etc.
At least the Dems are smart enough to blow this loser out of the water. Meek leads him by double digits.

Another proud moment and terrific nominee for the Republican party. It truly boggles the mind.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

ru - I have it in my library and read about a third before dropping it for some other book. Good reporting on the Chicago School boys and the devastation they've wrought.

Mayer makes a brief mention in her piece of the proximate genesis of these strategies within the Chamber of Commerce, a story I've noted earlier and required reading... http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2004/Republican-Propaganda1sep04.htm

But at that point (early seventies) there was a functioning Republican Party that had a coherent ideology of governance in contrast to Koch, Norquist and the modern crowd who really do wield the power and who believe that the only valid act of government is suicide.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 24, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Holy smokes Scott ... did you take notes as you pored over the old threads looking for opportunities to spew lazy GOP talking points?

I'm sure Greg appreciates it but it seems kinda pathetic.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 24, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

RE: "But: Credit to RNC spox Doug Heye for stating uneqBut: Credit to RNC spox Doug Heye for stating unequivocally that Obama's faith is "both crystal clear and a non-issue."

My take: Crystal clear to wing-nuts (yeah he's a Muslim) and a non-issue (except to 50% of hardcore GOP).*

Doug Heye would deserve credit if he had said, unequivocally that Obama's faith is "both crystal clear and a non-issue - Obama is Christian"

But he didn't, so count this as a McConnell dog-whistle or a non-denial, denial -- too cute to be honest.

(But I haven't seen the actual quote so I MIGHT be being a bit too tough on Doug H.)

* 24 or 18 percent of polled respondents (Time / Pew) report that Obama's a Muslim -- GOP is around 34% so slightly more than half based on Pew and two thirds of GOP based on Time.

Posted by: grooft | August 24, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"If I were an R I'd be embarrassed...."

If you were an R I'd be embarrassed too.

(C'mon, admit it...that was a hanging curve just waiting to be slammed out of the park.)

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 24, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

cmc:

"did you take notes as you pored over the old threads..."

No. I was reading the threads while they were live but wasn't able to post at the time. And your question was just too silly to leave hanging out there without a response.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 24, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Baddah boom...Ok Scott I admit it...that one was a hanging curve ball. LOL

Now a philosophical question. If the Dems tried for a certain level of stimulus but were blocked by R's and had to settle for less than they wanted...still they forge ahead...and if the goal is to keep unemployment below double digits..and they don't reach their goal..but ohhh by most economist's reckoning they avert a total collapse...that is a failure?

Hypothetically speaking here...because I don't expect you to agree with this premise..but if the goal was to keep UE to single digits and they only succeeded in keeping it below 15%..well below the 25% UE of the last Republican economic disaster...that is a failure?

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Greg appreciates it but it seems kinda pathetic.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 24, 2010 8:12 PM
======================

Are you kidding? Keyboard Kommando ScottC is taking the world by storm!
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 24, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

Its' strictly a semantic question. If the goal of action Y was to prevent X, and X happens anyway, then yes Y was a failure.

If the goal of action Y was to prevent X+Z from happening, and X happens while Z doesn't, then it is not entirely a failure.

But your point is much like Obama's claim about "saving" jobs instead of creating jobs. It is designed to be unfalsifiable.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 24, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

"“Falling short of goal is now = to failure?”

Um…yes."

Scott, I take it then you count the Iraq War as a monumental failure? Bush's War on Terror including his pursuit of bin Laden and the botched war in Afghanistan? No Child Left Behind?

Each has fallen far short of its intended goals, which means republicans failed miserably when they were in charge, at least by your logic.

I actually think that while it's responsible for many good things, the stimulus has failed to meet its intended goal, which was to get the economy moving again. Instead all it did was rescue us from the brink, which was also extremely important. But most Americans aren't happy to give partial credit, and I don't blame them. It just shows democrats are ineffective. And they're ineffective at messaging. Everyone should know all the good that's come from the stimulus, from funding science, education, infrastructure, green energy, etc. But I bet most Americans don't know that. Voters are lazy. You can't bore them with minutiae.

Even though it was republicans who blocked the stimulus bill from being more effective, voters don't want to hear that as an excuse. The democrats have to own up to the fact that the bill they passed, which cost several hundred billions of dollars, did not put as many people back to work as we were led to believe.

However, I know the republican plan, or their lack of one, is much worse, so I will gladly vote a straight democratic ticket this fall.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 24, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Just read some of the day's threads, esp. Morning Plum.

You guys get kahhraaazy during business hours.

Greg, we need a PL Beer Summit (and an APB for BGinCHI).

Posted by: tao9 | August 24, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

And it was important enough to you to announce across threads your unabashed and absolute determination that Sharron Angle is qualified to be a member of the United States Senate.

Still very pathetic.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 24, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, the AP calls it for Meek!

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 24, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

But your point is much like Obama's claim about "saving" jobs instead of creating jobs. It is designed to be unfalsifiable.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 24, 2010 8:37 PM
================================

Unlike claims like "tax cuts will pay for themselves!" which then proceeded to falsify themselves.

P.S.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703447004575450152495002646.html

ScottC3, you are 1) tedious, 2) dishonest, and 3) not worth reading. Have a nice day.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 24, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

SDJeff....The part they don't know that aggravates me most of all is that the Stimulus contained the largest middle class tax cut in history.

I did my personal best on the issue. Our office manager is married to a retired minister. Because of their single minded abhorrence of abortion...while I am pro choice..I understand the deep feeling that goes with that issue...but alas because of that single issue they were lured to Fox.
As I spent weeks pointing out the lies and misinformation on Fox they began to reconsider. The clincher was all the braying during the election..remember Joe the pretend Plumber... about Obama raising their taxes...I kept assuring them do not worry they do not make $250,000...she didn't believe me of course..they went their merry way and voted McCain/Palin.

After the election and passage of the stimulus...when the tax cut kicked I took the first paycheck effected and handed it to her..asked her to look at it and said...guess what...see the raise in your paycheck...we didn't give it to you..it's a tax cut from Obama's stimulus. Did Fox tell you about that.

For Scott and the other conservatives who visit us the stimulus is a stalking horse...an abstract economic idea...for my office manager it is a reality that put another 3% after tax pay into her envelope each week. Ask her if the stimulus was a success. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

SDJeff:

"Scott, I take it then you count the Iraq War as a monumental failure?"

Well, you've added the qualifier "monumental", which I never used. Natch, you just can't resist the urge to overplay your hand, can you?

Anyway, the stated goal of the Iraq war was to topple Saddam and ensure that he did not develop WMD's. In that it was a success, perhaps even monumentally so. A secondary goal was to establish a stable, democratic government in Iraq. That is still up in the air.

"Bush's War on Terror..."

This was never advertised as anything other than a long haul project. Impossible at this point to declare it a success or failure, although the fact that the US has not suffered another 9/11 scale attack is a good sign.

"...including his pursuit of bin Laden..."

To the extent that the capture of bin Laden was a goal of certain actions under Bush, those actions have been an obvious failure.

"...and the botched war in Afghanistan?"

The initial goal, toppling the Taliban and putting AQ on the defensive, was an obvious success. Stabilizing the country has been less so, although still on-going.

"No Child Left Behind?"

I don't know enough about it to pass judgment, although it wouldn't surprise me if it was indeed a failure. If it is, however, it is hardly Bush's failure or a GOP failure. The legislation was written and pushed through congress by Ted Kennedy, passing with overwhelmingly bipartisan support in both the Senate (91-8) and the House (384-45).

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 24, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Looks like fraud artist Rick Scott might have bought the GOP goobernator nomination.

Good news for Alex Sink.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 24, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

if:

"ScottC3, you are 1) tedious"

At times, no doubt.

"2) dishonest"

Never.

"3) not worth reading."

And yet, apparently worth responding to nonetheless. You lefties are a perpetual fount of contradiction and irony.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 24, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

"Reagan proved deficits don't matter."
-Dick Cheney

Can anyone spot the contradiction? How about the irony?
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 24, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

@tao

"Greg, we need a PL Beer Summit (and an APB for BGinCHI)."

I like the way you think. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Scott, on the Iraq War, you got me....the stated goal to keep Saddam from obtaining WMD was total BS from the beginning, since there were never any in the first place.

But we're just now finishing up 7 years after we were told major combat operations ended. The war was a failure by any reasonable person's measure, but not by your words which I was trying to throw back at you.

The goal of the Afghan War was to capture bin Laden and eliminate it as a terrorist safe haven. Fail.

No Child Left Behind has not met its self imposed standards because it was underfunded by President Bush. Another failure.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 24, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Time Magazine....for adults!

http://www.theonion.com/video/time-announces-new-version-of-magazine-aimed-at-ad,17950/

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 24, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

OT (FL-Sen and FL-Gov)

If Rick Scott pulls this off in the GOP primary, it's going to be tempting to write thank you letters to Florida conservatives. It's not difficult to see how this could bleed over to the Senate race. Dems (and Crist) tying Rubio to Scott (the Tea Party Two) in 3,2,1...

And way to go Kendrick Meek! Jeff Greene was simply awful.

Posted by: michael_conrad | August 24, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Are we really willing to pay any price for even the most rosy conservative definition of success in Iraq?

"Anyway, the stated goal of the Iraq war was to topple Saddam and ensure that he did not develop WMD's. In that it was a success, perhaps even monumentally so. A secondary goal was to establish a stable, democratic government in Iraq. That is still up in the air."

Was that goal really worth thousands of American lives and tens if not hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives. Have we really become that cavalier about human life.

If that was a reasonable goal in Iraq was it not even more reasonable to invade N. Korea...Iran is next? Oh but Geo W. didn't have to finish Poppy's war in N. Korea.

I thought this was a war against terror and included capturing or at least neutralizing OBL.

Again while we stupidly argue about "success" in Afghanistan and Iraq..constantly moving the goal posts to give success even a snowball's chance in hades...how about our competition in this war on terror.

Well OBL has had to move from some mud huts in Afghanistan to caves in Pakistan if our intelligence is to be believed...a minor change in lifestyle.
We obviously haven't achieved our goals. how about OBL? What has he achieved?

Argue with the results conservatives/neocons.
OBL's goals with 9/11

1.) Make a HUGE P.R. statement. Success!

2.) Provoke us into attacking an Arab M.E. nation. Success!!!

3.) Create a war between the U.S. and Islam. Success!!! Thanks Newt for siding with the enemy on this one you moron.

OBL has achieved precisely what he was after and the pity of it all is we enabled it. OBL has kicked our arses. He doesn't need anymore successful terrorist attacks. He already has our nation cowering in fear. He ha achieved his goal.

Fortunately that's just the first few battles and the war continues. Are we smart enough to rebound and win the next battle?

Judging from our second consecutive August of lunacy (remember the "death panels" and keep the government out of my Medicare last year) and the rampant Islamophobia loose in our nation...things still are not looking very good. OBL must be laughing his butt off with every new bit of press on the Park51 project. And while he may live in a cave is there any doubt that OBL and his minions are well aware of how Americans are treating peaceful Sufi Muslims. It's just incredible...we are doing his bidding for him...and he gets the bonus..remember he not only hates us...he is a Wahhabi who hates Sufi Muslims as well...so while we are urinating on them we are doing his bidding for him. Terrific...two birds with one attack.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

@Michael C...

Here is another thing that happened in Florida tonight that won't be reported or perhaps will be misreported as it was on Countdown tonight.

K.O. quickly said Marco Rubio running unopposed is the R nominee for Senate.
Not really. There were two other candidates that were in the race. I'm a Floridian and I can't even recall their names but they won 7 and 6% of the vote.

Think about that a moment. Marco golden boy could only muster 84% of the vote even AFTER Crist dropped out. Even though his two opponents were underfunded no names 1-5 Repubicans have joined the chorus...anybody but Marco!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

@rukidding7

Nice catch! I missed that. Rubio has an interesting line to walk before now and November. If the right-wing base isn't cutting Scott Brown any slack, it's tough to see how they will go any easier on the Chosen One.

Posted by: michael_conrad | August 24, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

ru,

Somebody Else's Civil War
Michael Scott Doran
January/February 2002

Summary: Osama bin Laden's attacks on the United States were aimed at another audience: the entire Muslim world. Hoping that U.S. retaliation would unite the faithful against the West, bin Laden sought to spark revolutions in Arab nations and elsewhere. War with America was never his end; it was just a means to promote radical Islam. The sooner Washington understands this, the better its chances of winning the wider struggle.
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/57618/michael-scott-doran/somebody-elses-civil-war

This is now behind the FP paywall. Note the date. Eerily prescient.

That said, no war can be judged, nor has ever been judged accurately, whilst ongoing.

Rhetoric re: an ongoing war is a whole other hound dog.

Mr. Obama ran on the efficacy of diplomacy over the "surge" which he characterized as a failure prior to its start. Well, where's the diplomacy? It's been a year and a half and the President hasn't lifted as much as a nine-iron to brokering an established Iraqi govt.. It's almost like he'd prefer not to have one.

Posted by: tao9 | August 24, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

ru et. michael conrad,

re: Rubio -- remember he hasn't spent a penny nor run an ad for months.

Don't have a feel AT ALL for Fla politics, but they seem tres kooky. Crist basically went Jekyll/Hyde (or the obverse per your POV).

Who elects a Stevenson character to the US Senate?

Uh, wait, er....

Posted by: tao9 | August 24, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"Was that goal really worth thousands of American lives and tens if not hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives."

That is a different question than the one I was answering. But to answer your new question....in light of the apparent absence of WMD, I am inclined to think not. Some people, particularly Iraqis who are no longer under the thumb of Saddam, may disagree.

"If that was a reasonable goal in Iraq was it not even more reasonable to invade N. Korea?"

Probably not. The likelihood of NK using a nuke would have to be weighed against the benefits of an end to Kim Jong Il's rule.

"OBL's goals with 9/11"

Are these OBL's stated goals (if so, where?), or are these the result of you doing a jedi-mind trick and reading his thoughts?

"He already has our nation cowering in fear."

Why are you cowering in fear? I'm not, and no one I know is. So I am curious why you and the people you know are.

As for the rest, what makes you think you know the first thing about what OBL is thinking about Park51 (or most of anything else for that matter)? I confess that I don't have the first clue as to whether he'd be overjoyed to see the thing built next to the site of his greatest triumph, seriously po'd, or if he isn't paying any attention at all.

But more importantly, I really don't care. Why do you?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 24, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Go Meek!

He's definitely got a real shot. He would be a great Senator, imho. That's why the GOP wants this win so badly in FL. Meek will be hard to knock off in 6 years.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 24, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to change the subject back to SS but somebody sure is cranky. Alan Simpson really really doesn't have any diplomacy skills does he? Now he's got a bunch of people asking for him to step down.

p.s. I posted this earlier but it got yanked, don't know what I said, so if it shows up again I apologize.

"Simpson's email, which OWL chief Ashley Carson released publicly, (PDF) was sent in response to an April blog post Carson wrote for the Huffington Post. Carson criticized Simpson for repeatedly describing his Social Security opponents as "Pink Panthers," arguing that the description had sexist connotations.

His email is peppered with exclamation points and condescension. At one point he urged Carson to read a certain graph, "which I hope you are able to discern if you are any good at reading graphs."

Simpson concludes by implying that leading a major organization dedicated to the interests of middle-aged and elderly women is not "honest work."

"If you have some better suggestions about how to stabilize Social Security instead of just babbling into the vapors, let me know," he writes. "And yes, I've made some plenty smart cracks about people on Social Security who milk it to the last degree. You know 'em too. It's the same with any system in America. We've reached a point now where it's like a milk cow
with 310 million ti!s! Call when you get honest work!"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/24/alan_simpson_social_security_n_693277.html

Posted by: lmsinca | August 24, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that the Dem defense of Obamanomics is now morphing along the lines ruk suggests above: The stimulus wasn't really as much as we wanted, because the GOP obstructed us. So if things aren't good, they at least (we assert but have no evidence to support) aren't as bad as the would have been, and the difference isn't our fault but the GOP's. Is that how it works?

Yet Dems have had political power unprecedented in recent decades. They have POTUS plush large majorities.

The GOP has never had anything remotely like that control. GWB scarcely had a working majority at all. Reagan and Bush 41 never had such majorities.

Yet all we hear from Obama and Biden and their surrogates is the endless mantra . . . all that has gone wrong is the GOP's fault. They don't know how to drive, Obama mocks, and on and on.

Truly a fascinating double standard. No, really much worse than a double standard. Dems aren't accountable even when they have total control. GOP is accountable even though is has little to no effective control and no ability to actually pass a conservative agenda.

Please feel free to explain the contradictions.

Posted by: quarterback1 | August 24, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

""He already has our nation cowering in fear."

Why are you cowering in fear? I'm not, and no one I know is. So I am curious why you and the people you know are."

Bush tapped into the fear bin Laden created to convince a solid majority of Americans that we should invade another country for absolutely no reason.

And today, that fear remains. You, Scott, are so afraid of Muslims that you believe Muslims who were in no way involved with 9/11 should not be able to build a community center near Ground Zero.

"As for the rest, what makes you think you know the first thing about what OBL is thinking about Park51"

I don't know what bin Laden's thinking either and I don't care. But there is evidence that Muslims in general are more apt to radicalization as a result of Americans' attempt to deny First Amendment rights to Muslims in the US. According to NPR, extremists are "gleeful" that you are opposing it. It helps with their recruitment:

"The supercharged debate over the proposed center has attracted the attention of a quiet, underground audience -- young Muslims who drift in and out of jihadi chat rooms and frequent radical Islamic sites on the Web. It has become the No. 1 topic of discussion in recent days and proof positive, according to some of the posted messages, that America is indeed at war with Islam.

"This, unfortunately, is playing right into their hands," said Evan F. Kohlmann, who tracks these kinds of websites and chat rooms for Flashpoint Global partners, a New York-based security firm. "Extremists are encouraging all this, with glee.

"It is their sense that by doing this that Americans are going to alienate American Muslims to the point where even relatively moderate Muslims are going to be pushed into joining extremist movements like al-Qaida. They couldn't be happier." [...]

Extremists and radical clerics posted a stream of "I told you so" messages: After years of telling followers that Islam was under attack by the West, the harsh reaction to a simple community center seemed to prove it."

Posted by: SDJeff | August 24, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Shorter Greg Sargent:

Mosque!

Posted by: CalD | August 24, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

"It's not just wacked out lefty media watchdogs anymore! Ed Chen, the former chief of the White House Correspondents Association, says Fox's front-row White House seat is a 'travesty.'"

I don't think the attempt to advance this issue is going to serve the left nearly as well as they apparently think it will. And while just advancing the idea might cause a little blowback ("what? Some people don't think we should kick out 'news' organizations that give us unfavorable coverage? But Media Matters doesn't like them!"), if Fox does get the boot, it will be a truly Pyrrhic victory. Expect those whacky right-of-center folks to respond about as well as liberals would have responded to Bush kicking out CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN. You know how those anti-"mosque" protesters look to you? All crazy and bigoted and anti-First amendment? Well . . .

Who the Anti-Mosque Protesters should be protesting instead: the goofballs at the LA Times who think Ernest Borgnine doesn't deserve a lifetime achievement award because he didn't want to go see Brokeback Mountain.

http://goldderby.latimes.com/awards_goldderby/2010/08/should-sag-honor-ernest-borgnine.html

BTW, I found Christopher Hitchen's take on the Ground Zero Notamosque interesting. He thinks the protesters are stupid, but that Feisal Abdul Rauf is not what he says, and that Islamophobia is a nonsense word, because Islam is, in fact, quite scary. And phobia implies an irrational fear. Not sure that I agree with him, but Hitchen's sure does write pretty.

http://www.slate.com/id/2264770/?from=rss

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 24, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Here is the letter the National Council of Women's Organizations sent to the President calling for Simpson to remove himself from the commission.

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

The Letter that we are sending to President Obama reads as follows:

We call for the resignation of Alan K. Simpson as co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. We have given the former Senator several chances at redemption, but his email today to our sister member organization, the Older Women's League, illustrates his clear disrespect for Social Security, women and the American people, highlighted by his degrading, sexist, ageist and profane language. In the closing few sentences of the e-mail he states, "It's the same with any system in America. We've reached a point now where it's like a milk cow with 310 million ti!s! Call when you get honest work."

The facts speak for themselves, but Mr. Simpson suggests that anyone supporting people who most need help and who deserve the benefits they paid for must be dishonest or stupid. Such open contempt goes beyond the pale and cannot be tolerated from someone in such a position of authority.

The National Council of Women's Organizations (NCWO) works in coalition with many other campaigns to prevent misleading and false attacks on Social Security. Forty-five percent of women over age 65, who live alone, do so in poverty. Women, who earn less on average for the same work as men, are hit again upon taking Social Security benefits; due to lower lifetime earnings, women receive on average less than $12,000 per year in Social Security benefits, while men receive nearly $14,000.

Further, women are not living longer in retirement (low-income minority women have seen decreases in life expectancy), and cannot continue to work more years in physically difficult or demanding jobs. Social Security is not an overly generous program helping all seniors live out luxurious retirements. Social Security provides a base level of replacement income for older Americans who can no longer work, and any cuts to benefits, either in the form of smaller checks or by raising the retirement age, will hurt all generations, forcing more and more Americans back into poverty.

It may be good politics to have such an enemy to play off of heading into November, but Mr. President, it is time for you to stand up for the millions of American workers who have paid into Social Security on the promise of a secure retirement, and put them ahead of political sportsmanship. Mr. Simpson must be removed from this commission, either by his own will, or by yours. Show American workers you mean what you say about protecting Social Security. This is your chance.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 24, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

SDJeff, trying to appeal to, or not to offend, radical Muslims is futile. Why do you liberals have such a hard time with such an obvious truth?

There is nothing that societies of the West can do outside of collective suicide that would stop Islamists from recruiting and focusing their existence on destroying us. Are you aware that the truth or the facts have almost nothing to do with the hate propoganda that most of the Muslim world receives as "news" about the world?

And, no, this isn't "cowering in fear." This is dealing with reality by recognizing threats and dealing with them.

They hate and want to kill us because we are infidels. They don't need and have never needed more reason. They are playing YOU. They have YOU cowering in fear. Not the rest of us.

Posted by: quarterback1 | August 24, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010: "That's why the GOP wants this win so badly in FL. Meek will be hard to knock off in 6 years."

In this case, I think you're giving the GOP too much credit. They aren't thinking past November, much less 6 years ahead.

@rukidding: "Think about that a moment. Marco golden boy could only muster 84% of the vote even AFTER Crist dropped out."

Even so: "In the Fla. GOP Senate primary in Florida, 787K votes cast; in the Dem primary, 489K votes cast."

And, as you noted, there wasn't serious opposition to Rubio, but there was a real fight between Greene and Meeks. Normally, that wouldn't be a good sign for Meeks in the general, whatever Rubio's flaws may be.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 24, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

The stimulus was merely $860B, certainly not because of GOP obstruction.

Dems knew that if they went closer up to, or over the T word, that the 12 zeros would blow middle-class gaskets right then, as opposed to a year later when the UE went two-plus points higher than their best case scenario.

Oh yeah, and that for all the 2faced grand-poobah gravitas mumbeaujumbo, sane Dems (Hello Larry, Christina!) know that Krugman is batsh!t.

Posted by: tao9 | August 24, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Scott:

"And wait you will. You know as well as I that Greg will neither acknowledge nor abandon his double standard."

Yes, but it is not even just a double standard. One of Greg's pet commenters condemned himself out of his own mouth, in words that are incontrovertible. I wouldn't care with too many other people, but Ethan is a pretty special case.

I view it as an object lesson, regardless of Greg's (and Ethan's) studied silence -- worth it just to demonstrate for all to see what the "rules" really are.

Posted by: quarterback1 | August 24, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Forgive me, Kevin. This has worried me.

How come in all the heated back and forth of the last few days none of our friends from the port-side of the PL boat said?:

"Whahchu talkin' bout Willis?"

{{{Where has our shared culture gone to?}}}

For my money it's because your right. Alot.

Posted by: tao9 | August 24, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

tao9: ""Whahchu talkin' bout Willis?"

Hah! I've never heard that before.

Seriously, they've refrained out of respect for the late Gary Coleman, cherubic sit-com phenom and former candidate for governor of California.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 25, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

"There is nothing that societies of the West can do outside of collective suicide that would stop Islamists from recruiting and focusing their existence on destroying us."

This is true but we don't need to provide them with material for their recruiting. Maybe a few skeptics wouldn't be turned if not presented with the direct quotes and video evidence of Americans such as you and Scott suggesting that Muslims in America be denied some of our most basic freedoms. You're making it easier for them. But then, you guys always have. Bin Laden warned the Arab world that Americans want to invade an Arab nation, slaughter Muslims, take the oil, and indefinitely occupy their holy land. Oh gee, guess what? He proved to them he was right.

"They hate and want to kill us because we are infidels. "

Now where exactly is the evidence of that? Why then didn't Germany get attacked instead of us? Or Poland? Or Japan? We're not the only "infidels" with "freedom". They don't like America's foreign policy in the middle east. And they still don't. Imagine the tens of thousands of children who are growing up without parents, or brothers and sisters, because we bombed them. You think that's all water under the bridge for them? This is a whole generation being raised to think of Americans as the enemy, not because we're infidels, but because we killed their families. It didn't have to be that way, but you guys just had to have your nice little multitrillion dollar war and send thousands of American soldiers to their deaths in the process, not to mention the tens of thousands seriously wounded.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 25, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

btw, here's the article about the CBO saying the economy could've contracted over the past quarter if not for the stimulus. I know you guys didn't want to do anything, so you would've been happy with that. Also, millions of jobs were added, again just in the second quarter.

http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=USTRE67N55X20100824

Posted by: SDJeff | August 25, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

@SDJeff: "You think that's all water under the bridge for them? This is a whole generation being raised to think of Americans as the enemy, not because we're infidels, but because we killed their families."

While I certainly wouldn't defend doing that, I don't think that's the only problem. Indeed, I don't think anything after to the breakup of the Ottoman empire is water under the bridge to radical Islam.

BTW, this video was made before the mosque protests.

http://www.tangle.com/view_video?viewkey=0861ff3eabea1ceb73e4&

While the Mosque protesters may add fuel to the fire, as it stands now, I don't think that's nearly important as the fact that we exist.

The terrorism of radical Islamists (so-called) is not rational. I really don't think tweaking America's foreign policy, past, present, or future--is going to make much of a dent in the pursuit of the world-wide caliphate. Or the fundamental and ongoing complaint (which is a big deal, for the radical Islamists, it seems) of our stubborn "replacing" of divine Sharia law with corrupt, man-made law.

Which is not an argument for protesting the Park 51 Community Center (which is stupid), just saying that behaving as if "Islamic" terrorists are rational actors is probably inadvisable.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 25, 2010 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Kevin-

re: rational actors- word.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | August 25, 2010 5:33 AM | Report abuse

SDJeff:

"Bush tapped into the fear bin Laden created to convince a solid majority of Americans that we should invade another country for absolutely no reason.

In fact Bush convinced Americans to invade Iraq for a very specific reason...WMDs. And he got help convincing them from many quarters, such as Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Al Gore, etc. none of whom would ordinarily be politically inclined to give him help.

"You, Scott, are so afraid of Muslims that you believe Muslims who were in no way involved with 9/11 should not be able to build a community center near Ground Zero."

Ah, another lefty who thinks he can read minds. Regrettably your mind reading skills are no better than your word reading skills appear to be. I have repeatedly said here that I do not object to the building of the m/Ic/w. I realize that this doesn't fit well into the simple-minded lefty view of the world, but that's the way it is.

"According to NPR, extremists are "gleeful" that you are opposing it."

I am not opposing it (NPR gets its facts wrong again, I guess), although I guess I should be flattered that the extremists are so concerned about what I think.

But more importantly...so what? My thoughts and action are not driven by what makes the extremists happy or not. I don't look to the reaction of extremists as an indication of what I should think about gays, women, Jews, headscarves, facial hair, how to pray, whether to object to the m/Ic/w or, really, anything at all.

Why do you?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 25, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

SDJeff:

"Maybe a few skeptics wouldn't be turned if not presented with the direct quotes and video evidence of Americans such as you and Scott suggesting that Muslims in America be denied some of our most basic freedoms."

I hereby challenge you to present any quotation of mine that suggests in any way at all that "Muslims in America be denied some of our most basic freedoms."

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 25, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

@ScottC3: "My thoughts and action are not driven by what makes the extremists happy or not."

Indeed. Collectively, I don't believe our actions can be dictated (or should be) by what terrorists want, or support, or will respond negatively or threateningly to. I can think of plenty of reasons not to engage in pre-emptive wars, but appeasing terrorists is not one of them. Additionally, I don't object to Park 51, and I think the protesters have gone off the deep end. But that terrorists are using it as "proof" that we are at war with Islam, and thus getting more recruits--well, what we do or do not protest should not be informed by what makes terrorists unhappy.

Fortunately, I've seen very little sign that the Obama administration cares about what makes terrorists happy, at the end of the day. Cuz they keep allowing the military to drone-bomb terrorists leaders, which really doesn't make terrorists happy. I imagine, in fact, that the Obama admin's ongoing use of drones to kill Al Qaeda leaders and disrupt their networks just makes us more unpopular with terrorists, and might even help them in their recruiting. However, I don't think that's even remotely a reason to stop, and apparently the Obama administration agrees.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 25, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Kevin [on the issue of Fox]said:
"I don't think the attempt to advance this issue is going to serve the left nearly as well as they apparently think it will. And while just advancing the idea might cause a little blowback ("what? Some people don't think we should kick out 'news' organizations that give us unfavorable coverage? But Media Matters doesn't like them!"), if Fox does get the boot, it will be a truly Pyrrhic victory. Expect those whacky right-of-center folks to respond about as well as liberals would have responded to Bush kicking out CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN. You know how those anti-"mosque" protesters look to you? All crazy and bigoted and anti-First amendment? Well . . ."

Bad answer for a number of reasons. First, you avoid the important issues here through identifying FOX with the other networks. It is demonstrably, measurably different, and those differences present the problem.

Second, avoidance of "blow back" doesn't seem the key determiner of what people ought to do in any number of situations, yes? Lincoln, ML King, fighting apartheid, etc. It might look "easier" to let big problems or injustices or bad folks get away with stuff but that's a short and ultimately self-destructive path.

Do we want a press corps populated by Jeff Gannons? The reasons why we don't are the reasons applicable here. News media enjoy important privileges (access, legal protections, power) because we understand we need such institutions to act as a counter to those who hold great power, whether governmental or other. Voices that can stand up to such power and hold it accountable are a fundamental feature of free societies. Where those voices become an adjunct of sources of power, they have moved fully into the realm of propagandists. FOX is, in operations and in motive, comparable to the operations and motive of Pravda in a manner which the other networks are not.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 25, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/the_morning_plum_81.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 25, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

wb said: “The GOP's War on Science claims anther scalp: stem cell research.”

Scott said: "Classic left-wing propaganda. (Bernie, please take note!)

Opposition to federal funding of stem-cell research is no more a “war on science” than is opposition to farming subsidies a “war on agriculture”. As Bernie might say (if he wasn’t so pre-occupied with uncovering the vast right-wing propaganda conspiracy), this is nothing but a mindless cliché aimed at making people stupider."

First, restricting/banning use of embryonic stem cells for research into medical treatments clearly has a consequence for science which the agriculture subsidies do not. Entirely inappropriate comparison in this case.

Second, there are moral/ethical issues here and reasonable grounds for rational disagreement. In that, this issue and judgement looks very different than other areas of cultural contention that wb probably has in mind re 'war on science'.

That something like a war on science is underway from some corners is not contestable to any serious person. The two main culprits are the more extremist or absolutist theologies and important sectors of the corporate world.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 25, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

wb said: “The GOP's War on Science claims anther scalp: stem cell research.”

Scott said: "Classic left-wing propaganda. (Bernie, please take note!)

Opposition to federal funding of stem-cell research is no more a “war on science” than is opposition to farming subsidies a “war on agriculture”. As Bernie might say (if he wasn’t so pre-occupied with uncovering the vast right-wing propaganda conspiracy), this is nothing but a mindless cliché aimed at making people stupider."

First, restricting/banning use of embryonic stem cells for research into medical treatments clearly has a consequence for science which the agriculture subsidies do not. Entirely inappropriate comparison in this case.

Second, there are moral/ethical issues here and reasonable grounds for rational disagreement. In that, this issue and judgement looks very different than other areas of cultural contention that wb probably has in mind re 'war on science'.

That something like a war on science is underway from some corners is not contestable to any serious person. The two main culprits are the more extremist or absolutist theologies and important sectors of the corporate world.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 25, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"First, restricting/banning use of embryonic stem cells for research into medical treatments...."

You are attempting to change the topic. The issue is federal funding, not restricting/banning. Nice try.

"Second, there are moral/ethical issues here and reasonable grounds for rational disagreement."

Exactly correct, which is another reason why the phrase "war on science" in this context is dishonest propaganda. Science cannot and does not purport to resolve moral/ethical issues.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 25, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

@ScottC3: "You are attempting to change the topic. The issue is federal funding, not restricting/banning. Nice try."

Well, I would suspect Bernie realizes that, but there are plenty of folks out there that think that Republicans banned stem-cell research outright, not that it is legal and can be done until the cows come home, if privately funded. Which, if there was serious potential for marketable treatments, it surely would be.

Plus, irrespective of the merits of federally funded embryonic stem-cell research (productive adult stem-cell research progresses unimpeded, demonstrating a lot of potential) , embryonic stem-cell research continues in all areas in Europe and Asia. The impediment to real scientific process this represents is not huge, and the decision will be appealed. And, um, Democrats in congress have had almost two years now to undo the Dickey amendment. Which would solve the problem right there.

Even then, characterizing specific policy arguments as a "War on Science" is disingenuous. There is, essentially, an objection to scientific research that destroys human embryos (a "war on embryo-destroying science") and disputing anthropogenic global warming, which is more of a "war on the level of confidence some people put in our current ability to accurate assess and predict millions of interactions in hugely complex systems"). Even if you assume in both cases that the opposition is idiotic, it's rhetorical hyperbole to call such opposition a blanket "war on science".

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 25, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

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