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Did I hear that a few people hung out on the National Mall yesterday?

By Greg Sargent  | October 3, 2010; 8:59 AM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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AP reported the crowd was not as "dense" (I'm sure they intended that pun) as Beck's rally.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 3, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

While no official crowd estimates were available at the time of this writing, photos of the event showed that far fewer attended this rally than the rally recently held by Glenn Beck.  The New York Times reported that, "Tens of thousands of union members, environmentalists and peace activist" showed up at the Lincoln Memorial - the same site used by Glenn Beck.  The Los Angeles Times said that "Thousands of activists from groups that support the Democratic Party" were in attendance.

The meeting started with an opening speech by MSNBC host Ed Schultz, whose message of "unity" was rife with with attacks upon conservatives.  

"The conservative voices of America, they are holding you down," said Schultz. "They don't believe in your freedom. They want the concentration of wealth. They've shipped your job overseas...They suppress your vote," Schultz said.
 
Claiming the rally had the blessings of God, Schultz said progressives and liberals, "must fight the forces of evil, the conservatives in this country across the board want it for them."  Schultz's message of "evil conservatives" was echoed by other speakers at the rally.
 
CSPAN carried the event live, and streamed it on their website, however, their website used pictures from a Glenn Beck Tea Party rally, as shown at gatewaypundit, apparently in an attempt to make the rally appear larger than it really was. 

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 3, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

elscott, if you're around, I just wanted to second Bernie and others who appreciated your thoughtful comments yesterday. We'd love to hear from you more often...

and tx for those accounts, clawrence 12

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 3, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Here's a really nice report from a citizen reporter/photographer of the mall yesterday. Wish I could have been there.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/10/2/907233/-10210-photos-and-narrative:-what-is-was-like-there.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 3, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Turnout, schmurnout. Good for Glenn Beck, he's kinda a celeb, and has a daily TV show on which he could publicize the hell out of the thing. And you had a high percentage of retirees, including all those small gov conservatives who retired from public sector jobs at ages 45-55 with their nice pensions. I hadn't heard about this rally until about 3 days before. Not that I would have gone, I usually don't. But for once in my life, I am motivated to travel for a DC rally, and that's for the Stewart-Colbert event. I don't know if I can, work might prevent, but my husband and sons will go. I wonder if a lot of people on the moderate-to-progressive side of the scale are waiting for this one. Hope they get good weather.

Meanwhile, Greg, thanks for the tip, I'm going back to yesterday to find elscott's comments.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I read elscott yesterday. Great comments. Used to visit WaPo comment threads in 08, but they became unbearable. A la Politico. Tip o the hat on that to one of the new regulars here. I told him more than once I thought he was a paid Republican operative. It was impossible to spend that much time monitoring and commenting on blogs without it being your career. ABC News.com has been hijacked as well. You can't even open the comments without your eyeballs starting to bleed.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

@Kathleen - Yeah, if I was closer, I'd not miss the Stewart/Colbert rally myself. The Colbert/crowd interactions will be, I fully expect, enormous fun.

As a strategic point, I recently read a piece on how some folks in Hollywood are shaking their heads at the Dem's current failure to utilize the arts/story-telling community there in the manner that Rove's people used them. That's not even to mention the under-utilization of celebrities. This all strikes me as a sad lack of imagination or (more generously) a somewhat understandable reluctance to play the propaganda game in that manner. But it isn't as if the other side is playing patta-cake. For thirty years, the "war" metaphor has been a fundamental in their rhetoric and in their operations. Given all that is at stake, a more realistic address to all of this seems in order.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 3, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Short video of Moody's chief economist describing why Boehner's statements on the failure of the stimulus are wrong...
http://fora.tv/2010/08/25/Monitor_Breakfast_Moodys_Mark_Zandi#Zandi_Says_Stimulus_Ended_Recession_Jump-Started_Economy

(damned pity to see Fora put up a pay wall)

Posted by: bernielatham | October 3, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

The communist party was one of the event sponsors. Shultz has a huge problem with conservatives but is totally OK with communists? Conservatives want the gov't to balance the budget and keep spending under control. A pretty reasonable request. Communists want to replace the government with a totalitarian regime and turn us all into slaves who exist to support the elite class. Shultz is derranged.

Posted by: peterg73 | October 3, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39474438/ns/politics/

Interesting that One Nation organizers said they were planning this rally before Beck.

Posted by: mjohnson1116 | October 3, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

From the photos I saw, It looked like turnout for the big rally was maybe half the size of the Beck rally. Maybe people heard Ed Schulz was headlining and suddenly remembered prior engagements.

Posted by: CalD | October 3, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I headed down to the mall yesterday to check things out. Fun rally, and a relatively coherent message of "jobs not war."

As for crowd estimates, the organizers are definitely full of it. I was at the Beck rally as well (work related) and if we assume that it was around 100,000 at its peak, I would roughly estimate OneNation at about 25,000. I wasn't there right at noon and I have heard that people started to leave fairly early, but there is no way the crowd size was remotely comparable. I was able to easily get fairly close to the stage, whereas the Beck rally had closed off access to the reflecting pool due to over-crowding.

It seems like the organizers didn't really go all out. There were not really any high-profile speakers, though I thought Ben Jealous gave a good speech. They had to know it would be compared to the Beck rally, so why not try to get some of the big guns there?

Posted by: jbossch | October 3, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"Conservatives want the gov't to balance the budget and keep spending under control."

Uh-huh.

"Communists want to replace the government with a totalitarian regime and turn us all into slaves who exist to support the elite class."

Uh-huh.

"Shultz is derranged."

Ipso facto.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 3, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe people heard Ed Schulz was headlining and suddenly remembered prior engagements."

Yeah, they should have had Ben Nelson speak instead. You Republicrats would frenzy!

Posted by: wbgonne | October 3, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"Paul, Conway Sqaure Off in Kentucky Senate Debate"

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703466104575529953086518986.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Just what the U.S. Senate does NOT need: another Republicrat. I hope Paul wins. It will be fun watching the GOP try to break him.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 3, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

kathleenhusseininMaine wrote,
"Used to visit WaPo comment threads in 08, but they became unbearable. A la Politico. Tip o the hat on that to one of the new regulars here. I told him more than once I thought he was a paid Republican operative."

Nice of you to drop in every once in awhile to say how terrible the place has become. It really adds to the discourse. Try www.echochamber.com. You'll like it better. Difficult to imagine how the blog even survives without your patronage. I guess because the Republicans have taken over WAPO.

-----

Re Beck rally:
"... you had a high percentage of retirees, including all those small gov conservatives who retired from public sector jobs at ages 45-55 with their nice pensions."

Don't retirees count? If you think the majority of public sector jobs are/were held by small gov conservatives, then you truly are delusional. No wonder you get your news from Comedy Central.

If you want to attract all the deep thinkers, just put Ed Schultz and Al Sharpton on your list of speakers. Well, at least some people have actually heard of Al Sharpton. And be sure to pay everyone's expenses with union dues---sort of like the walking-around money (among other incentives) the Dems use to "turn out the base." And for a REALLY big rally get a couple of comedians to host the event. If either Stewart or Colbert falls ill, Rob Schneider is probably available.

If liberals want to really impress the voters, they should invite a comedian to Capitol Hill to discuss his day in the beanfields with Kathleen. Beats the heck out of passing a budget or voting on taxes. Oh wait, they've already done that.

Posted by: Brigade | October 3, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

How climate change legislation collapsed. Utter dysfunction. Read it and weep.

"“The influence of special interests is now at an extremely unhealthy level,” Gore said. “And it’s to the point where it’s virtually impossible for participants in the current political system to enact any significant change without first seeking and gaining permission from the largest commercial interests who are most affected by the proposed change.”

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/11/101011fa_fact_lizza?currentPage=all#ixzz11JcCgumJ

We are slaves to the Plutocrats.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 3, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

This made me laugh out loud. Just wanted to share it.
-------------------------------------------

Sunday Talk - That Hopey-Changey Thing
by Silly Rabbit
Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 09:30:05 PM PDT

When President Obama was elected to office almost 2 years ago, most of us thought we'd be getting ponies, STAT!

But we were quickly betrayed by the appointment of Rahm [expletive deleted] Emanuel, who made it his mission in life to throw Daily Kossacks under the bus.

With each passing day, it became increasingly difficult for us to get fired up and ready to go.

But now, as Rahm sleeps with the fishes, it's just like starting over.

-------------------------------------------
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/10/3/907244/-Sunday-TalkThat-Hopey-Changey-Thing

Posted by: CalD | October 3, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"But now, as Rahm sleeps with the fishes, it's just like starting over."

Things look just the same to me. I read Obama's RS interview. He strikes me as arrogant, something I never thought before.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 3, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

The Beck rally was all about televangelist Beck; on the Mall that day, his followers turned out to hear the latest mesmerizing words from their new messiah. The One Nation rally was different: Democratic union members, peace activists, civil rights activists and the like. It was multi-ethnic, more "American," with a less divisive, more inclusive message. In sum, rich vs. middle, lily white vs. multi-ethnic, exclusion vs. inclusion, militaristic vs. peace loving, totalitarian-leaning vs. democratic. As always, the Independents will decide who wins.

Posted by: dozas | October 3, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I responded earlier to Brigade but it's on hold. Maybe because I used a couple of swears? Anyways, cleaned-up version:

Retirees count. Especially since they vote in droves and create the fabled third rail on their interests. I hope to be a retiree some day.

The nature of being retired is you have more time to roll into DC for stuff. Just like you have more time to learn your history from Glenn Beck at 5, when most workers are working or commuting.

Some of those retirees are Medicare recipients who rallied for and got their prescription drug benefits, at great cost to taxpayers (but God forbid the gov could negotiate bulk rates); who think efficiencies = death panels. Who profess shock when they hear about a 93-year-old woman in the hospital for pneumonia has a doc who orders a Pap smear while she's semi-conscious, 'cause Medicare covers it. But who think it would be wrong for the government to crack down on that kind of abuse.

I never said most public sector workers are conservatives. What I have been surprised by is the number of people at rallies I've seen interviewed (or read about being arrested) who are public sector workers--fed, state, county, municipal. They bellyache about bloated government and never see the irony. As a bonus, lots of them can and do retire as early as 45, and then show up at rallies like Beck's. And that's not even throwing military and cops, who are also government payroll careerists. And I thank them for their service. But they are not competing in the marketplace, and not entreprenuerial. Until they take their pensions to bankroll a business. And retired military officers, in particular, cash in by consulting for contractors, selling security and weapons systems overseas. I've got an in-law "retired" very nicely that way.

I also know many conservative public school teachers. They largely resent paying their union dues, then they fight tooth and nail to protect their annual raises and scheduled steps, and to contribute as little as possible to the health benefits.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Using various vintage Disney cartoons and mixing them with recent news coverage, Jonathan McIntosh has created a fascinating clip in which an angry, unemployed Donald Duck is drawn in to Glenn Beck's inflammatory rhetoric.

Read more: http://jezebel.com/5654400/disneys-donald-becomes-right-wing-radio-duck#ixzz11JrbuQH4
--------------------------------
Watch the video. It is very entertaining.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

kathleen,
thanks for withholding the swears. :)

You'll get no argument from me that something is wrong with the system when public sector workers are, by and large, better off than the private sector workers who are paying for their salaries and benefits. The ideal solution is prosperity in the private sector rather than forced austerity in the public sector---although some government entities have certainly promised themselves into a deep hole with retiree benefits.

When you come up with a workable solution, you'll have my vote.

Also, there's enough ignorance and hypocrisy among voters to go around. Surely there must be a few deadbeats watching daytime television---else how do you explain "The View" still around after all these years?

Posted by: Brigade | October 3, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Careful, brigade, when you go after viewers of the View. Aren't they mostly stay-at-home moms? I think so--many of them Dr. Laura fans.

Going after stay-at-home moms is a lot like going after autism. Best avoided.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The Beck rally was all about televangelist Beck; on the Mall that day, his followers turned out to hear the latest mesmerizing words from their new messiah. The One Nation rally was different: Democratic union members, peace activists, civil rights activists and the like...

Posted by: dozas

========================================
You left out the communists. The communist party was sponsoring the event so I'm sure they don't want to be left out. An innocent omission I'm sure.

Posted by: peterg73 | October 3, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, Brigade, I wasn't swearing at you ;). Just maybe spelled out BS.

I'm skeptical of forced government austerity, too, mostly because we'll have that many more people out on the street. Not a fan of the entire state capital of Maine being half-staffed in July and August because that's when everyone goes on vacation. Gee, maybe we can make do with fewer employees year round. Not a fan of my civil servant friends who have so much vacation time, they take every Friday in winter off to ski and every Friday in summer to bike. And regular vacation weeks, too. Well, I'm a fan of my friends but not their cushy deals.

Also, not a fan of deadbeats.

12BarBlues, I've got a son with Asperger's. You are dead to me.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

@kathleen,

You misunderstood me re autism. In no way was I minimizing it, or denying that it exists, nor that it is devastating. My mistake for not being clearer.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey, peterg73--maybe you forgot, but the great thing about this country is you're allowed to be a communist. They have the right of free assembly. And free speech. You're also allowed to be an atheist. Although as either you can doubtlessly never be president.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey, peterg73--maybe you forgot, but the great thing about this country is you're allowed to be a communist. They have the right of free assembly. And free speech. You're also allowed to be an atheist. Although as either you can doubtlessly never be president.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

No worries, 12Bar, that was meant as irony. See, cuz you "brought up" autism; which is best not to bring up.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

@kathleen,

Bwahahaha!!!!!! Got it. I'm a little slow on the irony meter today.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Tom Friedman says the two party duopoly is hopelessly compromised, calls for a Third Party, predicts it may happen by 2012.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/03/opinion/03friedman.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

Posted by: wbgonne | October 3, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues just stirs up trouble.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 3, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Heh, Asperger's isn't even going to be in the next edition of the DSM.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 3, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Heh? Why is that funny to you? In the next DSM, AS is going to be incorporated under Autism Spectrum Disorder. Semantically, Asperger's Syndrome will probably stay with us.

Oh, and, snap...."While some Aspies are upset over the American Psychiatric Association's decision to move Asperger's Syndrome in with Autism in the DSM-V, this decision could lead to increased assistance for children and adults who suffer from Asperger's Syndrome.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2695965/dsmv_aspergers_syndrome_to_be_eliminated_pg2.html?cat=5

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

@ddawd,

Do you mean that the term "asberger" will disappear from the DSM? What's the back story? [I know I'm not supposed to bring this up, but oh, well, curiosity is getting the better of me...]

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

@kathleen,

Are you happy with the decision?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

12Bar, Asperger's was only added to the current DSM, issued the year my son was born (90); what it did was give people parentheses to put around behaviors and impairments that have always been with us. Same for ADHD. How many people do you know who have a kid diagnosed with ADHD who realize, oh, yeah, that's my deal is.

So, I wish they wouldn't because I think AS is more specific, easier for civilians to wrap their arms and minds around. ASD is so diffuse. But for diagnostic purposes, I can see their (the American Psychiatric Association's) point.

12Bar, I just saw your prior post. Yes, the new DSM-V is due in the next year or so, and Asperger's is supposed to disappear as a formal diagnosis. I don't know if it will remain in any language describing it as such when it is subsumed under the new rubric of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The whole thing is out there for review and comment. Who knows what political pressure will do. I've got enough on my plate without taking it up as a cause. But I will smack down stupid snark.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

P.S., 12Bar, do you know why Asperger's was so late in arriving on the scene? Because the psychiatrist who identified it, in 1944, Dr. Hans Asperger, was an Austrian. Medical research performed under Nazi rule was discredited. With good reason, of course.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

At one time, my grandson was thought to have Asperger's, but his symptoms gradually declined and then disappeared. It was a very difficult time for all of us, mostly him.

No, I didn't know the backstory about Asperger's. That is quite interesting.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Astroturffing has become the latest GOP campaign strategy.

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 3, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

That's good news for your grandson and all of his family, 12Bar. My son is finding his way, and he's a great guy, very optimistic and undefeated. We don't suck our thumbs, but it is hard. As is life. We count our blessings.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

@kathleen,

I try not to get in between other posters' disputes, but I'll make an exception this time. I know DDAWD a little, and I really doubt he was making a snarky comment about Asperger's. He's not that kind of person, IMO.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne, if Tom Friedman said it, then you know it'll never happen.

Seriously, that's one of the dumbest columns of his I've ever read.

I'd like to see a viable, non-corporate third party emerge too, but it ain't gonna happen the way Friedman describes it.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 3, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

On Friedman, on the snarky side:

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/10/03/a-modest-proposal-5/

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 3, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

You want to see how hedge fund types spend their money?

http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=F2700

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 3, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

BG:

I'm not a big fan of Friedman and, yes, he is somewhat Broderesque. However, I completely agree with his conclusion that the 2-party system is fundamentally broken. Take a look at that New Yorker piece on climate change, just one recent example. I do believe that more and more people are becoming convinced that a Third Party is necessary because the GOP-Democrat duopoly has been totally corrupted by entrenched power. I saw that Joan Vennochi in today's Boston Globe discussed Bacevich's "Washington Rules," another eyepopping account of our national political dysfunction. The system in broken. Whatever legitimacy there is in the Tea Party movement reflects the same despair, I think. Whether Friedman's predicted path materializes may be unlikely but something is going to happen. The status quo is unsustainable. Something has to give.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 3, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

At least half of the attendees had no idea that they were going to a rally when they left home, the weather was perfect for hanging out on the Mall and the fact that there was a stage set up drew people over to see what was going on.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | October 3, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I read the Friedman piece and had the same reaction as you all. One analogy is like the Plague in the middle ages. If you think you can keep the Plague out by running to another town, you don't understand the Plague.

I don't disagree at all that we seem to have sold out to corporate interests, who are impossible to ferret out. I'm not sure what it will take to loosen their death grip on our politics, but just forming another party, and thinking they'll stay out, is wishful thinking.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

12Bar, thanks. Open mind. I just didn't get the heh. That's like a snark alert to me.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I just didn't get the heh.
----------------------------------
Nor do I. DDAWD is studying for his M.D., so maybe he's a little tired.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

@12bar - thanks for the Donald Duck mix, it's quite brilliant!

Re Freidman, Digby puts it in proper perspective...

"I don't know what's going to happen to these people when they realize there are no grown-ups rushing in to rescue them from all this political ickiness. The right wing has gone nuts and a bunch of "radical centrists" aren't going to save them. They're going to need the hippies to do the heavy lifting on this one and it's extremely debatable if they are up to the task either. But one thing is clear --- a bunch of handwringers bleating about civility and telling everyone to find common ground with psychopaths is about as necessary as a second bellybutton. "

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/little-tommy-friedman-dontcha-know-that.html

Posted by: bernielatham | October 3, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"but just forming another party, and thinking they'll stay out, is wishful thinking."

The Green Party already does it. Yes, the Green are marginal presence right now but the party does have national scope and organization and could easily be vitalized. Or another party could do the same. I don't see why it's impossible to keep a party populist, especially with today's technology making organization relatively easy. Votes are still the ultimate currency in representative democracies, even ours.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 3, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I attended yesterday's rally -- what the media seems to be missing is the most important message -- jobs -- good jobs. Most of the attendees were not traditional leftists but hard working union members from all over the place. I met people from New York, Chicago, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Delaware and NJ. The media seems to be focusing on comparisons with T Party and so forth.

Jobs are the key and if America doesn't find a way to put people back to work and rebuild communities we really will become a third world company where large numbers are impoverished without a safety net (too expensive) and where most people will not be able to afford a decent education.

It is truly sad to see a our wonderful nation being degraded by those who put greed above the national well being.

Posted by: hcole1 | October 3, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Re post above on how much moola public sector employees make relative to private sector...

"So, how much truth is there to this? State and local employees are paid more, on average, than private-sector workers — about 13 percent more, according to this analysis by John Schmitt. But as Schmitt shows, that’s an apples and oranges comparison: state and local workers are much better educated and somewhat older than private-sector workers, and once you correct for that the comparison actually seems to go the other way.

I think the easy way to think about this is to realize that about half of state and local workers are teachers and academic administrators — which means that they’re college-educated, at minimum. And think about it: how many ambitious young people do you know saying, “My goal in life is to become a high school teacher — that would put me on easy street”?

Yes, firefighters and police get pretty generous pay packages; they also pull people from burning buildings..."
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/09/schoolteachers-driving-cadillacs/

Posted by: bernielatham | October 3, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

@wb,

Perhaps the Green party is pure right now, but what happens when they attract more voters? I think that the only reason corporate interests don't corrupt the Greens is because there's nothing there to worry about.

Please understand that I would be the first one to applaud getting corporate money out of our elections. But it will take legislation and enforcement to do that.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

re: corporate money out...

legislation and the courts...

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Take the candidacy of Meg Whitman, for example. One has to question why a saavy businesswoman, experienced CEO, would invest more than $130m of her money to become governor of California. Now, she has promised to SELF FINANCE any propositions that go to the people. She will pay out of her own pocket.

What is in this for her? She doesn't even vote, so it's not love of the political process. The reason she has to pay out of her own pocket for her campaign is because she did not come from the grassroots. One day she just decided to run, and that was it.

Her supporters have decided to see that as an advantage. "She won't be beholden to anyone". I would say she won't be beholden to the voters.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Hi hcole1
"It is truly sad to see a our wonderful nation being degraded by those who put greed above the national well being."

Indeed.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 3, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

The heh was just that I find it weird that something can be considered a disease one day, but not the next. I'm not exactly sure why it's not going to be in the DSM-V.

But it's really more a matter of renaming. Docs aren't saying that people with Aspergers are healthy. They are saying that they are just going to call it autism now.

From what I hear, this is actually better for people who suffer from the disease since it's easier to get treatment for autism than it is for Asperger's.

I'm not sure what the new diagnostic conditions would be for autism, but I'd have to guess it's being loosened up a good amount to include Asperger's sufferers since the current criteria for autism is a lot more stringent than the criteria for Asperger's.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 3, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Just caught Brigade's other snazzy comeback to me:

"Nice of you to drop in every once in awhile to say how terrible the place has become. It really adds to the discourse. Try www.echochamber.com. You'll like it better. Difficult to imagine how the blog even survives without your patronage. I guess because the Republicans have taken over WAPO."

Man, sarcasm 101. Try harder. I'm all for divergent viewpoints. I'm talking about ranting hijackers, people who don't converse, just throw down, repetitively, and with 0% insight. The political equivalent of high school sports team trash talk and one-upsmanship. Have you ever read a Politico comment thread? You can practically here people roaring "take that" and then laughing like Beavis and Butthead when they hit the submit button. Inane, insulting and immature. And for whatever reason, this art form seems to be sui Republican.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

" according to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, the senator [Demint] went further and "said if someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn't be teaching in the classroom and he holds the same position on an unmarried woman who's sleeping with her boyfriend -- she shouldn't be in the classroom."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/02/demint-gays-unmarried-pregnant-women-teachers_n_748131.html

The man doesn't know he's insane.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 3, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, ddawd. From what I've read, it's all about the nomenclature. And right now, because they've formed a community, Aspies don't want to lose their diagnosis because it's part of their identity. That's from the Aspie viewpoint. If it helps kids who need services get SPED-identified, great.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Aspies don't want to lose their diagnosis because it's part of their identity.
-------------------------------
This really puts it into human perspective. Aspies (as you call them) don't want to feel weird or unique. It is better that they feel part of a community who struggle. It gives cause for optimism. I think we can all understand how debilitating it is to feel all alone.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Hurray! I made a return visit and no STRF contaminating the threads and instead great discussions from Kathleen Hussein and 12Bar
and my faves BG and wbgonne and the usual excellent info from Bernie.

Only one idiotic post about "communists".
While Kathleen is correct and even Communists are entitled to their opinion let's look at some freaking facts..PLEASE..

The Communist Party claims about 20,000 members in 28 of 50 states. They only exist in about HALF our states in numbers that are probably smaller than the Glen Beck fan club of Fargo N.D.

http://www.keywiki.org/index.php/Communist_Party_USA

And while we're at it...Sharia Law...puhleeze...Muslims comprise approximately 3% of the U.S. population.
In the U.S. 42% of us are folks who regularly attend a CHRISTIAN church...add in the other's who don't show up but call themselves Christian and you'll realize we will not have Sharia law in our lifetime.
If we end up with any theocracy it would most certainly be of the conservative Christian variety.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I made a return visit and no STRF contaminating the threads
-------------------------------
Don't hold your breath under water on that one.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

All

One person wrote "Nice of you to drop in every once in awhile to say how terrible the place has become"


***************

Well - I have been reading the Fix for quite some time and now I have been reading here since that place fell apart. I am amazed that the comments seem to turn to conflict frequently.

It is clear to me that the people who say that one person or another is "ruining a thread" almost always does not agree with that point of view.

What I don't get is the "ganging up." All of a sudden one or two people who don't like a point of view - they try to organize others against that person. That is not engaging the person on topic - that is saying "your point of view should not be here."

However, the "replacement conversation" is often much worse - and those who are complaining are really, like one person states, really looking for a chat room so they can talk to some people back and forth - and there is little discussion of topics.

Isn't that spam? Those people often have more comments than the people they are complaining about. And their comments are often completely devoid of any thought or any topic at all.

I saw the discussion from yesterday from people from the Fix - they had a long list of complaints from a bunch of people - clearly the problems there were not one or two people.

The hostility being displayed is quite interesting - the exact people who have stated that they intend to ignore someone - they appear to be the ones coming back and complaining that they are being ignored. They have found themselves outside the conversations people they refuse to engage.

I just do not understand the hostility - these people are talking to someone they never met - never will meet - however the venom has to come out through the keyboard.

It is important to make the point that at least some of the people complaining are not really offering much. Their idea of a blog is pretty narrow - and I find it pretty silly if "I'm leaving if I can not control the content" is guiding anyone.

Those people never leave - they are just trying to silence someone else.

Posted by: RedskinsWin1 | October 3, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey, peterg73--maybe you forgot, but the great thing about this country is you're allowed to be a communist. They have the right of free assembly. And free speech. You're also allowed to be an atheist. Although as either you can doubtlessly never be president.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine
==========================================
What are you talking about? The fact that we allow the communist party to exist isn't something great about this country. We also allow the Nazi party to exist. Were they invited to your democrat rally too? Fascism is only a blend of socialism and capitalism not the full blown socialism like what the communists want. Also, the Nazi's have exterminated far less people than the communists. Technically the Nazi's should be a much less offensive group to invite to your little rally. Personally I'm not hanging out with either of those groups. They disgust me.

Posted by: peterg73 | October 3, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

@Bernie...saw the Demint quotes in this mornings paper...like you I am astounded at this man's ignorance and his longing for a "Christian version of Sharia".

@hcole "It is truly sad to see a our wonderful nation being degraded by those who put greed above the national well being."

Amen!

The headline article in today's St. Pete Times editorial section was written by their "business writer" about the wealth inequity in America. It's something we've talked about before but the different angle about this piece is just how ignorant Americans are about the current distribution and how when they were asked about it...even R's were not for the current situation.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/perspective/how-americans-spread-the-wealth/1125343

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I think this is the worse possible explanation. In May, 2010, the stock market crashed 1000 points and recovered within 20 freaky minutes, but investors got stopped out and lost gazillions. On Friday, regulators came out and said one (1) firm traded 75000 S&P emini contracts.

That turns out to be one smallish midwest firm who made one trade.

What would have happened if it had been a big firm, trading more contracts. To be snarky, what if they hadn't been the MINI contracts, but the full size contracts.

They better come out with some kind of regulations that make this impossible in the future. Small investors (and maybe even big investors) are not going to trust a market that can crash and recover all within 20 minutes--not on news, not on earnings, but on ONE trade.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Astroturffing has become the latest GOP campaign strategy.

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 3, 2010 3:15 PM
=====

LOL. Pretty weird, leichtman1. What is the context for that statement? Did I miss someone's post?

Posted by: Brigade | October 3, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Well, Redskins = STRF. Nice try.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Alas the graphs do not show up in the online version of the Times article...but here is one amazing bit of info to come from the research based on showing those graphs to over 5,000 people..all demos etc...r's &d's.

"While most Americans claim our economic system is preferable to Sweden's, when they look at (unlabeled) graphs comparing the distribution of wealth in Sweden and America, 92% of Americans picked Sweden as preferable."

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I guess STRF is really scared he's going to get the boot. Get an email from the higher ups? Eh?

Changing the handle again? You are so predictable.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7 wrote,
"Hurray! I made a return visit and no STRF contaminating the threads and instead great discussions from Kathleen Hussein and 12Bar and my faves BG and wbgonne and the usual excellent info from Bernie."
-----

Hey, what about me? Aren't my posts excellent?

Posted by: Brigade | October 3, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

2peterg73 No snark intended just genuine curiosity. Are you aware there is a difference between communists and socialists?
Are you able to describe that difference?
Are you really afraid of a party with a membership of 20,000 in a country of over 300 million people?

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@Brigade....:-) Hey, what about me? Aren't my posts excellent?

Many...virtually all of them if you're not in a p*ssing fight with me or some other progressive. :-)

Seriously..I do enjoy getting your and Kevin's point of view because you two are not johnny one notes who are simple ideologues.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues wrote,
"Take the candidacy of Meg Whitman, for example. One has to question why a saavy businesswoman, experienced CEO, would invest more than $130m of her money to become governor of California. Now, she has promised to SELF FINANCE any propositions that go to the people. She will pay out of her own pocket.

What is in this for her? She doesn't even vote, so it's not love of the political process. The reason she has to pay out of her own pocket for her campaign is because she did not come from the grassroots. One day she just decided to run, and that was it."
----

I don't know about Whitman in particular, but in some cases I think it's ego. They're already rich; now they want to be famous---get their name's in the history books. They can buy anything else they want, so now they'll try to buy a political office.

I think Mike Bloomberg relishes his role and, as far as I know, he doesn't even take a public salary. And hey, he's a smart guy. Some people may actually do it for altruistic reasons.


Posted by: Brigade | October 3, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

So, do you think that Meg Whitman is doing this for altruistic reasons?

I'm not sure I would put her desire to be in history books as altruistic. Altruism means something done without personal benefit, doesn't it.

She didn't even vote. I don't get her sudden desire to be part of the process she didn't even care enough about to vote. Color me skeptical.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Hi RU--watching football with the laptop, plenty of time to converse away here.

12Bar--Exactly. And Aspies' have adopted the nickname Aspies.

RedskinsWin1--um, I think that was a stirring defense of STRF? Or others? Yes, this place is primarily populated by liberals. Greg is a journalist, but he comes at it generally from a moderate to left-of-center perspective. So we're bound to congregate here.

There have always been conservative voices. But some have been unbearable. One guy banished himself when people started asking to get rid of him, because he'd regularly throw down nasty racist stuff. And he'd also have good observations, or at least important perspective from the other side. But it was all buttered and fried up in vitriol and hate. Really ugly. He drove off a respected regular, Tena; she would use pretty strong language and take pushback from her non-fans, but, man, she's smart and incisive and I miss her voice.

We also have other liberals here who go over the top and we smack each other down.

STRF's problem is he repeat posts. Like, 3, 4, 5 times. But he says nothing.

Greg believes thinks the comment thread is integral to the blog; it's because we're thoughtful and informed and add value. And sometimes links. Not because we all agree. The community enforces standards. Unwritten protective covenants, if you will. Those who don't make a real contribution will feel the disdain, and we will give you s...t until you improve your game or go take your ball and go home. Or until we do. But that's less likely because we won't let anybody drag the place down.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7 - Today's conversation is next to worthless - much of it isn't even about politics.

And this self-congratulation stuff is pretty silly - how old are you?

There is an election in one month and all of a sudden the democrats do not want to talk about the issues. It is shocking that few democrats really want to make an honest assessment of Obama and what he has failed to do. Thomas Friedman started to do that today.

Gibbs and FireDogLake has gone at it - and there is a fight brewing between the left and the administration.

But outside of that, the democrats have done virtually no assessments of Obama.

This is completely pathetic. The partisan nature of any political discussions have led the democrats to be lying or to be practicing deceptions almost everytime an issue comes up. They don't want to tell the whole truth. They don't want to talk about how bad Obama is.

This that the problem - honest evaluations of Obama have to be ignored or - even better - censored?

Hey - calling those people racists didn't work - so we might as well move over to censorship.

And we might as well act like children - "I'm leaving if I don't get my way" - that usually comes right after name-calling with the 8 year-olds, right?

You all can not be serious if you act that way and then continue to call yourselves adults.

Posted by: RedskinsWin1 | October 3, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

It was reported today in Burnt Orange. It's the newest form of political dirty tricks not seen since the New Hampshire phone jamming incident being used by the Perry campaign since the only accomplishment he can brag about in ten years is exceeding California's $20 billion budget deficit.

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 3, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

RedskinsWin1 is STRF. He just changed his handle because he must have gotten the email from the editors threatening his status. Same thing he did on the Fix. At the end, he was changing his handle several times a day.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

If Meg was altruistic she would have just contributed her $119 million to a worthy charity and at least gotten a charitable deduction.

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 3, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

@Kathleen...My team has a bye this week which is why I have time this afternoon:-)

Just wanted to agree with all of your observations...I'm going to ignore the poster who must be upset that STRF had to change his name. LMAO

However Kathleen wanted to second something you posted.

"Tena; she would use pretty strong language and take pushback from her non-fans, but, man, she's smart and incisive and I miss her voice."

I miss her as well, she also had a wicked sense of humor. She and BG and Liam would oft times have me rolling. Of course our dissenting poster here today would probably find humor on a political blog unacceptable. And again in the interest of fairness we have some humorous righties as well...Kevin, brigade, and tao come to mind.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Peterg73--I'm no fan of communists...I'm no fan of the John Birchers or the KKK either, or the Church of Latter Day Saints, and they are allowed to meet and try to persuade people to join their cause.

I'm not going to get into with you on Communist attempts to infiltrate our government or spy for the Soviets. We have traitors who've spied for allies, too.

But equating today's American Communist Party with Stalinists is like me saying all Republicans are war criminals because Bush and Cheney are.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

37th, STRF now Deadskinswin1. How long will moderators tolerate that?

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 3, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

It is just ridiculous to complain about the "quality" of conversation - and come back with some chat room of full of children - not even talking about politics.

I suppose they have AOL chat rooms for that.

The self-congratulations - "we are so thoughtful" "We are so amazing"

Oh yea? Go back and read your conversations - what are you 8 year-olds telling each other you are the "prettiest girls in the class" so you are now licensed to be nasty to everyone else?

Posted by: RedskinsWin1 | October 3, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Bwahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What's your next handle? How about You-Can't-Block-Me-ha-ha?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

@12bar & leichtman1 Given that deadbrain1 or whatever he's calling himself now saw fit to deride my post celebrating the fact that STRF wasn't here messing up threads, and given your experience over at the Fix, I suspect you are correct about the sick person who inflicts himself/herself upon us.

I'm not that excited about getting in a p*ssing contest about posters but I must confess to some paranoia of my own. When this blog was hosted by another organization we had mostly intellectual posts. As Kathleen pointed out..even the fellow eventually banned at least made some cogent points. When WaPo decided to host this blog I was happy for Greg since I suspect that is a step up for his professional reputation. Perhaps it's paranoia but I sometimes wonder if there is not a concerted effort by folks of the Breitbart ilk to use stooges like O'Keefe, STRF to crash progressive discussion sites.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Do I go there? 1. We are amazing. 2. It's a Sunday open thread. We can go as off topic as we want to be. 3. Nobody's being nasty. Just asking repetitive/nonsensical/pointless spammers to pull up their socks or quit it.

RU--SBJ can be funny and Mike from Arlington is, too.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

IMO, STRF is a lone actor. Too pathological.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

LMAO...Is it just me or does anybody else not see the incredible contradiction contained within a single post at 5:14PM?

It's just ridiculous to complain about the quality of posts and then come back...followed by a complaint over our posts today...I'm still trying to figure then why deadskinwin is back on this blog?
By their own logic they should be someplace else to avoid the 8th grade conversations.:-)

At least this person is entertaining...much the same way Forrest Gump amused us. Run STRF...run...

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

@12bar As I suggested perhaps I'm just a bit paranoid. :-) It does seem coincidental thought doesn't it that STRF and JakeD pride themselves in taking down liberal blogs...unless of course they are sock puppets for the same guy. But I do not take issue with your point...I'm just getting too suspicious.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

@kathleen,

Speaking from more experience with STRF than I would like, here is the translation of his complaint:

Dear higher ups:

You can't block me because these other people are worse. And besides, I don't understand the rules. Besides that, you didn't follow the rules before, so why start with me? And finally, if I am blocked you are violating the Constitution because I have the right of free speech.

Grovelingly yours, STRF

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

@Kathleen..agree about SBJ and Mike and I'm sure we've left somebody out.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

IMO, STRF and Jake are not the same person.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

@12bar & Kathleen...In an attempt to get back to learning something...do you guys feel the HCR reform will address Aspergers/Autism or will the "private companies" still make it difficult to find coverage that they will actually honor beyond collecting premiums?

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I think I'm saying it pretty directly - first the liberals tried to control the conversation by calling people racist.

Now, when they find that doesn't work - they are acting like children.

I suppose if you have to ask someone to act like a mature adult, it is already too late for improvement.


Kathleen - you are repeating the same nothingness. You aren't discussing politics. You are having some side chat with 12Bar - who is only trying to get some allies so she can lash out her hostility at some point.


This seems to be the pattern:

Let's get a common enemy - "surely the blog will improve once we all get rid of that person."

The blog never does - the way the blog improves is if you confront the issues in front of the country right now. It's not a blog problem.

Why don't you just go out and call people racist some more?

Posted by: RedskinsWin1 | October 3, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

@ruk,

I'll have to leave that to kathleen. I am uninformed on that subject.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Best sign ever. Girl on our right :)

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/gallery/2010/10/progressives-gather-for-one-nation-under-blue-skies.php?img=52

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 3, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse


http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/gallery/2010/10/progressives-gather-for-one-nation-under-blue-skies.php?img=52

Ehthan

Looks like there aren't that many people at the rally. One paper is reporting that half the people at the rally were at the Mall for the afternoon anyway - and just drifted in. They weren't intending to go to the rally earlier in the day.

Posted by: RedskinsWin1 | October 3, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan...Yes a great sign. And one of the things that makes me an optimist is that the righty ideas being expounded on this blog are generally in disfavor with younger demographics.

Some like Clawrence delight in what they perceive as a victory in that Beck's rally drew more...but he is living in lalaland.
The demos, the internet, and even history as Hegel suggested, are all on OUR side.

Just as we rid ourselves of slavery, child labor laws etc, we will rid ourselves of discrimination against the gays, this massive inequality in wealth distribution, the lack of health care for all...on virtually every issue the trends are coming our direction, perhaps that's why the old folks who watch Faux (have you ever checked their demographics..talk about the Geritol set) are so upset...they realize it's just a matter of time until progressive ideas win out over the reactionary crowd.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

ruk, good to see you. It's only lightly sprinkling trolls today, so better convo all around.

Any recognizable difference in the races down there now that the Dems are spending money?

Alexi is polling better here now but seriously worried about Feingold.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 3, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

12Bar and RU -- I don't know. My son is pretty well covered, and I'm glad he can be covered until he is 26. Don't know what will happen after that.

Thinking about the billionaire/Megalomaniac/self-financing politicians...Maybe motivated by history, maybe a teeny bit of altruism, partly ego and Hollywood-for-ugly-people fame whoring. But mainly I think they're bored. Meg needed a project, and why not California.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Redskinwin--Off politics alert --

Donovan intercepted. Oh noes!

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Commies & Socialists & Czars Oh My:

http://maroonedinmarin.blogspot.com/2010/10/one-nation-of-commies-unions-other.html

Next time the riff-raffs should haul out the trash they bring in. what a bunch of pigs.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | October 3, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

What the hell is with McNabb? He made two terrible throws within a few plays.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 3, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Bubbette1, oh gosh, thanks for that. Now, how about some pics of Beck's rally afterwards?

Also, could you please tell us some of the insightful ideas Glenn Beck has for this country?

Can't wait to hear it.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 3, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Meg needed a project, and why not California.
------------------------------
Scuttlebutt about Meg is this: She sees Sarah Palin's popularity and says "I can knock her off easy. I way smarter, smoother, female and can appeal to the Tea Party types." Jump from California governor (Meg wouldn't make the mistake of quitting early either) to Republican candidate for President. Meg's 54, so she'll be just about right for 2016 cycle.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

correction: She sees Sarah Palin's popularity and says "I can knock her off easy. I'm way smarter, smoother, female and can appeal to the Tea Party types."

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

@BG Rubio is on cruise control. Crist and Meek are splitting the "anybody but Marco' vote and Rubio hasn't even had to go to the negative ad card. He's running all feel good spots about his hardworking immigrant parents and really not addressing the issues.
Not that I blame him..he is a slam dunk unless either Crist or Meek drops out and that's not going to happen. Meek had Al Gore in town this week in Tampa. Too little too late...but at least Rubio is simply defending a seat already held by the R's.

The Gubernatorial race scares me. A rasmussen poll a week ago had Sink up by 7 but a poll this week had Scott up by a similar number. Hard to conceive how people could elect a crook...but this is Florida!!! What's frustrating is that many of the voters who will support Scott do so because they are against the "special interests" controlling Gov't. Scott IS a special interest. One thing I do not know about is what would happen to Scott's holdings should he win. I guess the old "blind trust" charade. But Solantic could benefit greatly from favorable legislation. Piggybacking on 12bar, Kathleen, and Brigade's speculation about Meg Whitman's motivation for spending so much money...in Scott's case his 50 million could literally be an investment in his latest company. Solantic is growing exponentially and specializes in clinics for people without insurance. Scott would certainly be motivated to prevent Florida from buying into HCR if at all possible.

Grayson WAS kicking butt before his blunder with Webster. The irony is that while Grayson's ad was certainly guilty of Breitbart like editing...as Speaker of the House Webster did introduce legislation based on Christianity's version of Sharia.
He introduced a bill for "Covenant" marriage. For people who sign up in advance for this type of marriage..divorce is prohibited even in the case of domestic violence. I know there is hyperbole in comparing this to Sharia...nobody gets stoned...they just get he sh&t beat out of them by their hubbies...or perhaps their wives...depends on who is physically superior.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

12Barblues - you are repeating yourself..... again. Kathleen says that is against the rules.

*******************

Clearly, if you are attempting to make the case that someone is breaking the rules - one can can ask - "What rule has been broken?"

12Barblues - you seems to want to sidestep this question.

You even want to sidestep the issue of the other comments sections on the Washington Post. The comments there are much, much worse. So this issue is reasonable.

How can all those comments be within the rules if they are worse ?

You would rather mock this question than answer it. Clearly the question is reasonable.

In addition, several people have attempted to make the case their their comments are of a higher quality - however a "chat room" is of no quality at all.

Surely, that point is reasonable as well. Those people who try to make this point really do not look that good when some of their comments are pointed out, do they ? Not to bring up anyone in particular, I believe we all know.


I, for one, find the hostile comments pretty far out of bounds. The hostility should be held by adults. However, the liberals appear to believe that they can act like children, they can be hostile towards others. But the "quality" of other comments is up for close scrutiny.


Posted by: RedskinsWin1 | October 3, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Re Meg and Carly - It's an interesting question why they ran. One can guess about the insides of their noggins (how entitled/superior does one come to feel as a billionaire?)

But my suspicion is that they were encouraged to run (or egos massaged) because 1) they could self-finance and 2) they matched the desired narrative of fresh-faces/non-DC/female - mamma grizzlies.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 3, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Has anybody been keeping up with the Terrorist threat alert for Europe?

Amazing that we have to issue these alerts.
You mean over 50,000 troops in Iraq and another 100,000 in Afghanistan are not really protecting us in the war on terror.
Snark snark.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7 wrote,
"Hard to conceive how people could elect a crook..."
----
LOL. U R kidding. Right?

Posted by: Brigade | October 3, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

12Bar, I see the point about Meg. All those things she may think about her v. Palin are true. But Palin catapulted on charisma. As did Obama. Whitman to me has about as much of that currency as Bill Gates does.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 3, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Commies & Socialists & Czars Oh My:

http://maroonedinmarin.blogspot.com/2010/10/one-nation-of-commies-unions-other.html

Next time the riff-raffs should haul out the trash they bring in. what a bunch of pigs.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | October 3, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Meh, billionaire businessmen running for office to satisfy conceits is nothing new. They think that running government is like running a business.

And they put too much emphasis on having money and don't realize that being able to raise money is an integral part of the process.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 3, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7 - since you have said that you would like to ignore some people - then you have no problem if people ignore you, right?

Just checking in, before I tell everyone that I am ignoring you.

Everyone - I am ignoring rukidding7 now - I think it would be a good idea if you ignore him too.

So, let's all ignore him, OK?

Posted by: RedskinsWin1 | October 3, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

@bernie,

I think what you are saying about Meg/Carly is that the GOP encouraged them to spend their own money (and not the GOP's) in a blue state they were unlikely to win.

I don't know about Carly, but Meg is too smart a cookie to just waste $130m and more, just to lose. She's got some reason for doing this. Personally I believe it is the GOP run for President in 2016. She sees Palin and knows she can knock her off easily, and sees Barack Obama come out of nowhere, and thinks "I can do it".

And perhaps that wasn't so dumb, until maid-gate. I'm awaiting new polls and see how this is playing out. Meg is really on the defensive the last 4-5 days.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

IMO, STRF and Jake are not the same person.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 5:31 PM
---

Definitely not the same person.

You asked me last night how I could say that Zouk was literate and/or interesting. You have to remember that for six months several people thought he and I were one and the same person using multiple monikers. If he was not literate and interesting, then what does that say about me? I HAVE to defend him.

Posted by: Brigade | October 3, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

@Brigade...OK point taken. LOL I should have put in the qualifier...such an obvious crook. What's amazing is that Scott supporters say...well he was a good businessman who knows how to create jobs.
NO! Actually he is a disgraced businessman who was FIRED! He cost is company 1.7 BILLION in fines. The same people who support Scott are worried about the deficit and wasting our taxpayer $..actually Scott's corporation stole from TAXPAYERS with fraudulent Medicare/Medicaid claims. The people who support Scott say he can create jobs..actually he eliminated thousands of jobs when he bought up all of those hospitals and he is talking about gutting the state's workforce again ELIMINATING jobs. Here is a man who literally represents virtually everything the tpers are against..and yet they'll be out in droves to vote for him.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

ru said:
"they just get he sh&t beat out of them by their hubbies...or perhaps their wives...depends on who is physically superior."

Finally, someone recognizes my particular situation.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 3, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Whitman to me has about as much of that currency as Bill Gates does.
----------------------------------
Or even less.

Bwahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!! If Meg had charisma, she wouldn't have to be financing her own campaign, would she.

Well, she might be smart, but it doesn't mean she sees herself very realistically. Being the Superwoman CEO, and surrounded by sycophants, she may not know she's not that likable.

I just think she's got a master plan going here. I heard the former leader of Tea Party Express saying the SAME EXACT thing that I'm saying: "What's in it for her?"

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

@Bernie...actually that comment was directed more at BG who I think has a wife who cycles and stays in great shape...but I do understand what you're talking about. :-) My wife keeps a machete hanging on the wall...supposedly a souvenir from Mexico. But I don't doubt her ability to go Lorena Bobbitt on me.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

@Bernie...actually that comment was directed more at BG who I think has a wife who cycles and stays in great shape...but I do understand what you're talking about. :-) My wife keeps a machete hanging on the wall...supposedly a souvenir from Mexico. But I don't doubt her ability to go Lorena Bobbitt on me.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

@brigade,

You might remember that I never thought you were one and the same. Totally different style, if nothing else. OK--I'll give you a compliment--you can write. Perhaps zouk could write, but he did not demonstrate it. Every time he posted something eloquent, I would google a sentence, and every time, it was a complete cut & paste.

Bwahahaha!!!!!!! Clever point that you HAD to defend him. Humor point!

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

For what Meg Whitman has spent on the CA gubernatorial race, she probably could have bought herself some small nation and installed herself as President. But maybe getting elected would somehow make her feel that people like her. Therapy would be cheaper.

Oregon has a similarly uncharismatic (but much taller) newcomer in Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Dudley. To his credit, he does seem to be getting a lot of campaign contributions. IMO, that is in large part because the business community thinks it has the first real chance in nearly 20 years to have a Republican governor.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 3, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

"Paul, Conway Square Off in Kentucky debate." . . .

Posted by: wbgonne | October 3, 2010 12:29 PM
-----

I saw some of this debate. Paul didn't come off like the wild-eyed crazy we've heard about. He actually did okay. Conway tried to bait him once with an aside about lunch counters and discrimination, but Paul just shrugged it off and didn't respond. I don't think debates are going to save Conway.

Posted by: Brigade | October 3, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

How about an intellectual debate. The Supreme Court heads back into session and one of the big questions will be a Freedom of Speech issue about that despicable moron Fred Phelps who takes his family to military funerals with signs saying things like soldiers should die. The motivation behind Phelps rage...homophobia.

How do we think the Supremes should come down on this issue?

IMHO I respect Phelps free speech rights on the public square, but having said that I believe local governments should be free to craft legislation forbidding ANY type of protest with in a certain respectful distance of ANY funeral. It's such a special time of grieving insensitive jerks bound on exercising their first amendment rights should be forbidden from intruding on such an occasion. Kind of like not letting people yell fire in a crowded theater.

@Bernie...I suspect in Canada where they have a little more rational viewpoint of "free speech" this would be a non issue.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Phelps's activities are more like harassment than free speech.

Posted by: Brigade | October 3, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

rukidding I'm not ignoring you now.

I agree - people who are mourning should not have to deal with war protesters at a funeral. The war protesters have the whole rest of the country in which they can protest.

By the same logic, the mosque at Ground Zero should be sent packing. The area is just too sensitive - and the families have expressed concern.

Is there really a "compelling" reason why that mosque has to be there - instead of somewhere else. It appears they are trying to make a political point, not a religious point. In any event, it is not appropriate at all. The Imam has been completely unable to articulate why he should be able to trample on the sensitivities of others - and why the "sensitivity" toward his project is more important.

Posted by: RedskinsWin1 | October 3, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

@ru - yes, Canadian tradition and law, lacking the US Constitution and 1st amendment, isn't so absolutist on speech even while acutely aware of the dangers of curtailing (particularly) political discourse. The case you mention would surely be less problematic in Canadian jurisprudence.

It looks like a lot of cases coming up before the SC will be interesting in how the votes come down, the one you cite will be one I watch. I doubt it will pose much of a problem for the more liberal justices but I'm not sure how the others are going to balance out their taste for absolutism (perhaps particularly where Christian voices are concerned) on the one hand and their ideological need (if that phrasing is fair) to maintain certain worshipful myths re military on the other.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 3, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I'll bet the Supremes will uphold the right to protest. That doesn't make me happy, but nevertheless...

If the police have to provide extra security for funerals, I hope they charge it to the protesters. That might cool their jets some.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Random thought.

Wife and I were talking the other night about the lack of females heading up North American governments (less true in Europe). There's no good rational reason for this, of course but there's clearly something in our culture or our genes or both that produce this consequence. And it occurred to me that a benefit of monarchy had been the far greater frequency of females at the top. Not that I'm a fan of that institution but still...

And I was reminded of that just now reading Krugman on the vacuousness of Friedman's comparison of Rome and the US...

"In that case, however, why did the empire have a golden age in the first place? Partly luck — a series of pretty good emperors, partly because a series of childless emperors adopted competent men as their heirs. But also — and here’s where Goldsworthy is gloriously un-PC and willing to see the world as it was — stability rested largely on the lack of meritocracy. As long as only members of old Senatorial families were contenders, the game was relatively limited and stable; once the seemingly pointless role of a hereditary aristocracy had been eroded, it became a deadly free-for-all."

It seems that because of how human groups tend to organize themselves, "meritocratic" rule excludes females at a rate much greater than hereditary transfers of power.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 3, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

ruk,

I've encountered the Phelps family up close -- they picketed my church (which openly welcomes LGBT members) during Sunday morning worship. My view is that the First Amendment guarantee of free speech is the rope our Constitution gives to idiots so that they might publicly hang themselves. The unvarnished ugliness of the Phelps family's hatred of gays and lesbians, IMO, helped a lot of young people in the church -- who grew up in atmosphere of acceptance -- understand why they can't take such acceptance for granted.

I think I understand the sensitivity of funerals, in particular military funerals. But how do we craft a legal principle that defines what views are too offensive to be uttered or viewed on public property on particular occasions? If Fred Phelps can't picket on public property at a military funeral, what about one person silently holding a sign saying "End the war" or "Bring our troops home" or "Love Your Enemy" or "All men are brothers"?

I agree the the Phelps family's protests are callous and offensive. But the fact that they offend me doesn't mean I want to give the government the authority to ban them.

Ironically, they win attorney fees when anyone tries to stop them from protesting and they use those fees to pay for their travels and to support their protests. Ignore them, and (maybe, we can hope) their funding goes away.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 3, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

brigade: Ky is an overwhelmingly conservative R state, I posted that in May. The fact that Paul is struggling in what should be a slam dunk R election shows what an awful candidate Paul is. Paul stated that its OK if Medicare deductibles increase to $2000. Saw his flip flop today where he is now changing his tune and claimining he only wants $2000 deductibles for GenY voters who aren't supporting him anyway.Kys must be awfully gullible if they buy that line. Take out the waffle iron for the radical right R who will still likely win in an ultra conservative state. Apparently radical Rs can say most any irresponsible thing like not wanting to prosecute drug dealers and still pass the R/ Tea Bag smell test.

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 3, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Clearly after reviewing the comments today, few liberals want to even talk about Obama. Is that the offensive part of the discussions? That Obama has done such a horrible job that anyone discussing the details is just so far out of bounds.... well.... so far out of bounds ...... that it is unspeakable ?

Is that it?

To point out that Obama lied when he said that his health care bill would lower premiums - when in fact this year health care premiums have gone up 10-20%. The situation is so bad that the DNC has told its candidates not to repeat the Obama promises from..... oh my... can I say?... from last spring ?

Obama insisted on a 2,000 page bill - with multiple moving parts. There was little thought as to whether the plan would work, or even if the plan was a good idea. Instead the nation was subjected to a dumping of the bill on the internet in the middle of the night - and this is what everyone in the country, millions of people, now have to live with?

Then, to point out that the health care plan has negative effects on hiring now - apparently that is unspeakable as well. It is unbearable. How in the world could someone try to get that message out? The unemployed who are unemployed because of Obama - no one wants to hear about them.

It is only the unemployed that we can clearly blame on Bush who are worth talking about. It is their plight that the nation should care about.

There is an election in one month. The democrats seem to want to ignore the issues, ignore that they put Obama in. Ignore any discussion of what Obama and the democrats promised in 2008 and what was delivered.

Is this the real problem? Fawning over Obama for months on end is just fine. Talking about how wonderful he is/was is just fine. But when it comes to actual governance, actual evaluations - that is clearly out of bounds.

Why? Because Obama just doesn't measure up? Because the affirmative action guy just can't handle the job? Because Obama's soft on terrorism policies are going to be disasterous if there is another attack?

Posted by: RedskinsWin1 | October 3, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I think this may be the SCOTUS case to watch:

"Supreme Court to decide corporate privacy rights"

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/supreme-court-decide-corporate-privacy-rights/

Just how far will this Radical Right Wing Court go in empowering corporations?

Posted by: wbgonne | October 3, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

FYI:

"On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions. The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law. In a democracy, the people rule. We Move to Amend."

http://movetoamend.org/

Posted by: wbgonne | October 3, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne,

The idea that corporations are "persons" did not originate with the Citizens United decision. The Supreme Court has been saying that since 1886; Citizens United is but the most recent extension of the principle.

I wasn't aware of the proposal to amend the Constitution. Given the power of corporations over Congress and our legislatures, it would be a hell of a fight to pass such an amendment. But at this point it is even less likely that we will ever see a Supreme Court that will reverse over 120 years of law on the issue of corporate personhood.

Thanks for the tip -- I'll have to look at the proposed amendment.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 3, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

@bearclaw -
"My view is that the First Amendment guarantee of free speech is the rope our Constitution gives to idiots so that they might publicly hang themselves."

I think this is one of the rationales offered for speech absolutism which is compelling, bolstered by slippery-slope concerns, of course.

But we are often in the situation where compelling rights or principles or values stand in opposition and so neither can be fully realized. It's these situations where lots of trouble develops as we see, for example, with abortion. I'm almost always in disagreement with absolutist "solutions" to such problems. Their main appeal is often that of merely pretending things are simple. Though I fervently defend a woman's right to choose, I recognize that there's no real difference between a fetus one day out of the womb and one day from exiting the womb.

On the case at hand, no significant loss of speech rights would follow from banning protests of that sort at military funerals. On the other hand, I see compelling reasons to civil society of allowing families the right to grieve in peace.

An interesting corner of this matter arises if we imagine hippies protesting at a Viet Nam vets funeral. How would Scalia/Roberts/Alito/Thomas find on that one?

Posted by: bernielatham | October 3, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

ruk, thanks for the FL update. Yikes though; it's getting krazy down there. I can't believe a state would elect Rick Scott as their governor. He's a crook and a selfish asshat to boot. But it's FL, so what are you gonna do? Maybe eating that shitt sandwich for a couple of years will wake people up.

As for my wife, she's fit and strong and sometimes bossy, but she wouldn't hurt a fly.

Also agree with Bernie and others that the Supremes decisions coming up are going to be VERY interesting.

How far to the right? I think we'll be amazed.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 3, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Greg, thanks for your comment about my posts on the last thread and your invitation to post more frequently. I appreciate it!

When your regulars come back, like they have in this thread, I am so impressed with their conversations and level of intellect. It's a pleasure to read most of the posts on this thread.

Posted by: elscott | October 3, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

@wb - Yeah, the corporate privacy rights case will bear watching. I think you're quite right to suggest it could be one of the more consequential cases (gad, I wish I had more time to study!).

And good night all.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 3, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

elscott, yes, there are some smart people around here.

And no one even mentioned O'Donnell's flirtation with the hare krishnas!

Meatballs?

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 3, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

bernielatham,

I agree that there are plenty of other places to protest besides military funerals. But the problem, in light of the First Amendment ("Congress shall make no law . . .") is "what is the rule we use to decide what speech is too offensive or what event too sensitive?"

As you probably know, "time, place and manner" restrictions on speech have been upheld, whereas "content based" restrictions on speech are almost always struck down.

If a military funeral is off limits to any "protest," wouldn't that also mean barring people who are holding a banner saying "Support Our Troops," "Honor Their Sacrifice," "God Bless Our Troops," etc.? That would be the necessary result of restrictions based on "time, place and manner" but that are content neutral.

What about the funeral of a President, or a member of Congress?

I get nervous about these kinds of restrictions because the Bush/Cheney years brought us the term "free speech zone," i.e., a small plot of land to which every dissenting voice was confined so that the President, Vice President, and their supporters wouldn't have to hear or see anyone who disagreed with them.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 3, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

@bearclaw...Like you I do respect "free speech" rights enormously, and you make an excellent point. But I think Bernie raises a valid point when our "rights" conflict with each other.

I find it totally reprehensible that anybody would demonstrate outside of someone's church, synagogue, mosque, temple..whatever. I understand that the right to free speech empowers many to the right of rude behavior or as Brigade (correctly IMHO) pointed out the right to simply harass, but perhaps the Canadian model is better.

I'm glad that at least in the case of your church a valuable lesson was learned by the young people.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

@BG Just joking about your wife of course.
So she wouldn't harm a fly. Could she outride you on the Brockway mountain climb.
Who is the fittest? In my family I've always maintained my wife and I get along great because neither of us is really sure which one is the most intelligent and so we NEVER have that argument. However since she doesn't read this blog I will say that I can smoke her in spinning class...something she'd probably argue. :-)


Forgive my ignorance here BG but is your Mayoral election NEXT November. At least that is what I'm assuming, I can't imagine Rahm entering with just a month to go.

How do you handicap his chances...even money?
Better than even money? Speaking of money I assume he'll be the best funded candidate in your little brohaha.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

ruk,

I appreciate your position on conflicting rights. I tend to be an absolutist on Free Speech, and I understand that is a hard position for many to stomach.

But here is another point: our country produced a response to the Phelps family (I refuse to refer to them as a church) and their protests at military funerals: the Patriot Guard Riders. Here is their Statement of Purpose:

"Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives:

Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.
Shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors.

We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means."

A wonderfully American response to a small group of haters: a large group of people mobilized to protect the grieving family.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 3, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

bearclaw1, I don't think we have the same political viewpoint, but I appreciate your thoughtful post about the Phelps family. I've never encountered them personally, as you have, but they infuriate me. My first instinct is to holler "throw the book at 'em," but since I'm a big believer in First Amendment rights, even for the "unvarnished ugliness" exhibited by the Phelps, I have to argue myself out of that reaction.

I didn't know that they use the attorneys' fees that they win to help fund their protests. That's interesting (and appalling). You may be right about ignoring them; it's just difficult to see, and I wish there were a way to stop the pain they must cause for people grieving at a funeral.

Posted by: carolanne528 | October 3, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

ruk, she's probably stronger than me on the road much of the time, but not always. I'm a better climber. Of course, with no climbs here that doesn't come in too handy. I'm faster on the mtn bike.

Glad you're continuing with the spin. It'll keep you fit and happy and tired. I recommend to all as the best workout that is free of impact on aging bones (next to yoga, but spin has greater cardio).

Chi mayoral election stuff is in Feb I think. Unless someone gets a majority top 2 go to runoff. I might be wrong. You could Google it. I expect the campaigns are going to be short and sharp and I hope they don't get too racially polarizing.

Off to watch Wallender on PBS.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 3, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

@bearclaw Thanks for the info on the "Patriot Guard Riders" I hadn't heard of them before your post.

I'm afraid sooner or later the Phelps family is going to be victims of violence. I understand free speech rights and their importance...but some people do not respect those rights..and it's always seemed to me that this is a ticking time bomb.

When I saw the father of a fallen Marine comment on the protest you could almost see the regret on his face and hear it in his speech...regret that he hadn't done something physical in retaliation to the Phelps family.

Whatever...it should be interesting to see how the Supremes come down on this.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

carolanne528,

The Phelps family has several lawyers in the family, and they formed their own firm. I believe they won about $16,000 in attorney fees from the dead soldier's family in the case that is going to the Supreme Court.

As for other ways to deal with the Phelpsians, see my post about the Patriot Guard Riders.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 3, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

@bearclaw,

What would be the result of law enforcement if the two groups became violent against each other in the course of protecting the funeral? Let's say that a brawl breaks out, that it's impossible to say who instigated it, and there was some bodily injury and property damage created. Let's say no one is killed or horribly maimed, but the property damage is say $10,000--some nearby cars damaged that belong to people in the funeral. What crime, if any, would be chargeable?

Is there some point at which the courts would say the protesters are inciting violence?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

ruk,

I learned about the Patriot Guard Riders after a friend's fiance was killed in action in Al Anbar province. My impression is that the Patriot Guard Riders are now at most funerals for servicemembers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 3, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse


I cannot begin to say how much I loved One Nation. How proud it made me. How happy.

Whoever designed One Nation to have two or more people of utterly different types, ages, races introduce each other and share the podium was so inspired that they should be applauded forever. I saw '63 and of course that is chiseled in history, but 10.02.10 was somehow even more touching to me. There were no women (except one) on the steps in '63. One Nation had everyone. I burst with pride.

Two signs I loved:

Gonna Vote?
You Betcha!
...
Say No to No
....
One Nation will always be a huge and major event in my life.

Thanks with all my heart to everyone involved.

Posted by: wendyf | October 3, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I cannot begin to say how much I loved One Nation. How proud it made me. How happy.

Whoever designed One Nation to have two or more people of utterly different types, ages, races introduce each other and share the podium was so inspired that they should be applauded forever. I saw '63 and of course that is chiseled in history, but 10.02.10 was somehow even more touching to me. There were no women (except one) on the steps in '63. One Nation had everyone. I burst with pride.

Two signs I loved:

Gonna Vote?
You Betcha!
...
Say No to No
....
One Nation will always be a huge and major event in my life.

Thanks with all my heart to everyone involved.

Posted by: wendyf | October 3, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Since we are talking about Veterans' who are KIA and their funerals. Let me preface this for you 12bar and maybe you too bearclaw..don't know how long you've been with us but I am a Vietnam Vet who was proud to have served with the 101st Airborne who are now getting pot shotted along the border with Pakistan. So I am TOTALLY supportive of the young men and women in uniform. I am also not a knee jerk "pacifist". However I am so anti the two "wars", military adventurism is a better definition, in which we are currently embroiled.

wbgonne thanked BG today for his recommendation of Andrew Bacevich's latest book Washington Rules...America's Path to Permanent War. Don't know if it was BG or Bernie..but I'm halfway through the book and I agree with wbgonne...it is a must read written from a retired Army Colonel's perspective.

Today Bacevich ripped Bob Woodward's new book Obama's Wars for the justifiable reason that it is nothing more than a gossip story just as his lightweight effort on Bush's war was earlier this decade. In other words who cares who dropped eff bomb in meetings...Bacevich gets to the heart of things with this passage from his Huffpo contribution.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-bacevich/prisoners-of-war-bob-wood_b_740601.html

"Here we confront a series of questions to which Woodward (not to mention the rest of Washington) remains steadfastly oblivious. Why fight a war that even the general in charge says can’t be won? What will the perpetuation of this conflict cost? Who will it benefit? Does the ostensibly most powerful nation in the world have no choice but to wage permanent war? Are there no alternatives? Can Obama shut down an unwinnable war now about to enter its tenth year? Or is he -- along with the rest of us -- a prisoner of war?"

Hopefully more and more people will begin to pay attention to Bacevich. He is a former military man who has given this lots and lots of critical thought. Why is our nation so fearful of actually asking tough questions about national security/foreign policy/intelligence?

Read Washington Rules...IMHO it's excellent!

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

@Wendyf Thanks for your post. Glad you enjoyed it. Actually I have quite a few friends who plan to attend Stewart's Rally for Sanity. KathleenHussein mentioned her family is planning to go...hopefully it too will generate a turnout like you witnessed yesterday.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 3, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

bearclaw1, Sorry, I must have scrolled past your post about the Patriot Guard Riders. Thanks, I didn't know about them and will read more. I think they're performing a fine service and I admire them for it. Do they also protect funerals of homosexuals, such as Matthew Shepard, or would that be up to LGBT groups? (I know, I should look it up myself!)

I wish there could be a more "universal" solution that wouldn't step on the horrible Phelps family's 1st Amendment rights. Thanks again for the information :)

Posted by: carolanne528 | October 3, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I ordered Washington Rules on everyone's recommendations. I look forward to the read.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I ordered Washington Rules on everyone's recommendations. I look forward to the read.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

@ruk,

I hope you don't get sick of hearing "Thank you for your service", but that's from me.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 3, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

The extraordinary thing about One Nation was the stupendous young leaders who were featured. One Nation brilliantly paired old warhorses with new young leaders. I watched, in tears, for hours on CSpan as all the ages and races spoke so earnestly and with such clarion confidence. It ignited your soul. Your practical daily kind soul.

I think people who scoffed at One Nation didn't actually watch much of it. These young leaders would ignite and unite and delight anyone not narrowminded or narrowhearted.

Posted by: wendyf | October 3, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

@BGinChi:

"Now, how about some pics of Beck's rally afterwards?"

http://bigjournalism.com/fross/2010/08/29/the-mall-after-the-glenn-beck-rally-spotless-of-course/

"Also, could you please tell us some of the insightful ideas Glenn Beck has for this country?"

One word: gold standard.

Other stuff I missed by not participating all day:

12Bar: Good call on Redskin. I couldn't have told it from the first post, but afterwards, yeah. BTW, if you ever have an alias, I believe your secret will be revealed by the involuntarily use of "Bwahahaha!!!!!!" It's like your personal thing-that-you-do. ;)

KathleenHussein: "And you had a high percentage of retirees, including all those small gov conservatives who retired from public sector jobs at ages 45-55 with their nice pensions"

How many folks are really retiring before age 55 with a sweet pension, from anywhere? I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but enough to populate a Glenn Beck rally. Color me dubious. Plus, public sector people (even those with a sweet retirement) strike me as fairly credible witnesses regarding government largesse gone overboard. ;)

@wbgonne: "However, I completely agree with his conclusion that the 2-party system is fundamentally broken."

Meh. Maybe. I see no sign that folks with more active political parties get better results. I think it's kind of like the sheltered fellow who got a tour of the sausage factory.

"The sausage factory is broken!" he announced upon leaving.

"And how is that?" asked one of the workers at the sausage factory.

"Well, well," the man sputtered. "The sausages--they're made out of pigs!"

Okay, I just made that up (sorry) but I think elements of our system that we say are "broken" are actually elements that are working, but in ways that are much less glamorous and attractive than we'd like.

@bernie (quoting ): "But one thing is clear --- a bunch of handwringers bleating about civility and telling everyone to find common ground with psychopaths is about as necessary as a second bellybutton"

Hey, I resemble that remark. That being said, I think the "trying to find common ground with psychopaths" frame is the easy one, that give the framer carte blanche to be a jack@ss and do nothing to try and provide context or create dialog--or actually even advance their own agenda, except as it might happen to advance by happy accident, when random elements coalesce around rants about bigots, Nazis, socialists, Koch, Soros, Haliburton or MSNBC.

That's probably not expressed well. Let's just say, it's worth trying to open and maintain a dialog, sometimes, even with folks who really don't want to. Good for you, at least, even if it doesn't make much progress with them.

And to quote Forrest Gump: That's all I've got to say about that.

At least, for tonight.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 3, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Except for this: Anybody else watch Rush Limbaugh on Family Guy? Makes me want to make sure and listen to Rush tomorrow, just to see what he has to say about it, and what his callers' takes are on it.

Because Rush clearly feeds into liberal stereotypes of conservatives in ways that I think a lot of dittoheads will think indicates that Rush was fooled by mischievous liberal Seth McFarlane in some way.

On the whole, I liked it. Could have been funnier. But I say that about Family Guy a lot.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 3, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

I watched parts of the rally on CSPAN and I found it pretty inspiring. People grinding out the hard work to help out the least fortunate among us. It can't be easy with pretty much the entire mainstream establishment pitted against them.

Good for them. Beck is the millionaire today, but they're the ones who are rewriting the history books.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 4, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

CBS is so liberal that........


CBS is so liberal that........


Sounds like a knock-knock joke, right, but the truth is.....


The truth is.....

CBS is so liberal that its Washington reporter got arrested for growing pot in his own house ......

Growing pot in his own house??


Yes, a CBS reporter was arrested for growing pot in his own house -


You say how much pot .?


The police logged it in as eleven POUNDS OF POT in the CBS reporters house.

Hey, did you hear how liberal CBS is ???


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 4, 2010 1:45 AM | Report abuse

. . . this Radical Right Wing Court . . .

Posted by: wbgonne | October 3, 2010 7:52 PM
-----

Tsk, tsk, tsk. Remember the good ole days when Brennan, Marshall, and Douglas made Stevens look like a moderate?

Posted by: Brigade | October 4, 2010 6:25 AM | Report abuse

ruk: Bacevich's book must make your blood boil. 12 Bar, I hope you enjoy it. too.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 4, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

You think things are working fine. But then again you think Sarah Palin should be president.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 4, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

"Just how far will this Radical Right Wing Court go in empowering corporations?"

Typically uninformed legal silliness from wb.

Two of the three judges who signed on to the unanimous Third Circuit opinion in ATT v. FCC were Clinton appointees.

The case involves no constitutional issue but only a question of statutory interpretation. It actually isn't that complicated. The exemption at issue refers to disclosures that would invade "personal privacy," and the act itself defines "person" to include corporations. These two Clinton appointees agreed that the plain language of FOIA thus includes corporations in the exemption.

Those darned Clinton radical right wingers.

Those "Move to Amend" people are pretty kooky and uninformed, too. One wonders whether any of them have had the depth or foresight to consider all the implications of a constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not persons and aren't entitled to any of its protections.

Assume away such problems as how, in that case, a nonperson could be prosecuted for crimes or civil offenses, and just consider the economic impact of such a sea change. I suppose if one's goal is to destroy the efficacy of corporate organization, taking away all due process and other rights is a good way to do it. But one might be surprised at the results.

The Move to Amend folks are also against judicial review and preemption, and apparently seek amendments abolishing them, and they think the Constitution was designed to set up a democracy. Hahaha.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 4, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

"Remember the good ole days when Brennan, Marshall, and Douglas made Stevens look like a moderate?"

Stevens was a moderate. A moderate conservative appointed by Nixon. This Radical Right Court has made even moderate Republicans seem like Liberals, that is a reflection of just how extreme it is. Republicans used to pretend they hated that activist unelected judges making decisions for the whole country, now they love it.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 4, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "You think things are working fine."

Well, that sorta depends on how you interpret that phrase. I think sausages are made out of pigs, with the slaughtering and the pork rendering and the blood-soaked killing floor.

By "fine", I don't think things are operating at some utopian level, where policy is conducted by princes and princes sitting astride brilliant white unicorns, but I'm a cynic at heart and don't think that's really possible. Certainly, would not be sustainable.

"But then again you think Sarah Palin should be president."

I think she could be a good president. Not terribly relevant, because I think it's highly unlikely that she ever will be. The reality-show aspect of her life (not really her fault) plus the quitting the governorship (unquestionably her fault) and the polls all kinda militate against that being a possibility.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 4, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Koch Bros. Con Law strikes again!

Corporations ain't people. They are legal fictions. Yes, because they are operating business concerns they must have legal standing in some financial matters. That's it. The Bill of Rights applies to human beings. not business entities. You know that the Founders' specifically chartered every business corporation and that they were granted only for public or quasi-public purposes. Sounds a lot like state control of business. Does this mean the Founders were socialists?

Posted by: wbgonne | October 4, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

""But then again you think Sarah Palin should be president."

"I think she could be a good president. Not terribly relevant, because I think it's highly unlikely that she ever will be."

Oh, no, it is COMPLETELY relevant; in fact, it is dispositive b/c it shows that you are not a serious person. Sarah Palin is all that is wrong with this country and you want to make her president. Case closed.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 4, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

@qb: "One wonders whether any of them have had the depth or foresight to consider all the implications of a constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not persons and aren't entitled to any of its protections."

One wonders what effective that would have on unions, Political Action Committees, lobbies and the like. The implication would be that, once two or more like-minded people joined together to effect political or social change, their organization enjoyed no particular rights to free speech, or to act in any way that might advance a collective goal . . .

An interesting thought exercise. There was no anti-flag burning amendment to the constitution, and there won't be an anti-corporate personhood amendment.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 4, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

How about a little thought experiment. Suppose as of tomorrow corporations were declared nonpersons under the Constitution and without constitutional rights, privileges or protections. What consequences would there be, aside from achievement of the fevered mania to prohibit their speech?

Corporations would have no due process rights. Their property could be taken by fiat, without due process or just compensation, just because a Barack Obama, for example, wanted to take it.

Media corporations (and nonprofits) would also lose their rights. The government could censor the NYT, WaPo, and MSNBC at will. Or it could just shut them down.

Corporations could be subjected to bills of attainder and ex post facto laws at will.

Corporations probably would lack standing to sue in federal courts, even assuming they had any legal rights to vindicate. Any contract or property rights they had under law would likely automatically be devalued. As nonpersons, they might also be immune from being sued in federal courts for the same reason. Courts would have to construct some other way to find a case or controversy involving a nonperson. Of course, such lawsuits would be rather a farce, since, if a corporation could even be sued, would have no right to defend itself, no right to jury trial, etc.

I doubt any of the people clamoring against Citizens United and for amendments stripping corporations of personhood has thought through any of this.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 4, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I quote Digby: ": "But one thing is clear --- a bunch of handwringers bleating about civility and telling everyone to find common ground with psychopaths is about as necessary as a second bellybutton"

Kevin said: "Hey, I resemble that remark."

No, you very clearly don't. That's the problem.

Digby is, of course, referring to the individuals and groups driving modern conservative political rhetoric, ideology, policy and strategy (and Broder's head-shaking level of myopia/romanticism or whatever it is that permits him to deny some seriously unhappy facts). She uses the term "psychopaths" which I have also used. A few weeks back, Tomasky quoted some statements by and re Gingrich (by his ex) and then noted the clinical description of "psychopath". They match. And he's not unique.

There's an argument here which I am weary of making (nothing to do with you) - that the axiomatic presumption that both parties are the same, that everybody does 'it', that this period in time is just like every other period in time or all these other x equals y cliches simply terminate thought. They provide the easy way out through denying any need to discriminate or actually look at evidence in an orderly manner. Broder is one who does this constantly. It's not his only failing (his DC insider social-class elitism allowed him to presume that Clinton-of-Arkansas had 'trashed the place and it's not his place') but it's the one at issue here.

By a great number of metrics, the modern GOP is far outside the norm. Dragging the Senate to a constant 60 vote protocol, number of judicial holds and appointment blocks, strategies to obstruct congress implemented from day one and applied universally, daily statements from party leaders which are false and misleading note just some. Then there's the modern rightwing media machine of talk radio and Fox (and much else beneath them) which are pumping out into the nation more incendiary charges and more outright falsehoods about your President than anything we've ever seen (a model developed to some degree with Carter then jacked up for Clinton and now in full and destructive bloom). And I haven't even mentioned the rise in power within the party and movement of what is a truly theocratic coalition (these people have never been so close to the levers of power and even Goldwater hated and feared them). And we now have a level of lobbyist control of policy that's new (measure by expenditures, numbers of them in DC) and the corporate control they have over us. I could go on but it's wearying.

That's what Digby is talking about. And it's what Krugman is referring to in his first graph this morning:

A note to Tea Party activists: This is not the movie you think it is. You probably imagine that you’re starring in “The Birth of a Nation,” but you’re actually just extras in a remake of “Citizen Kane.”

Posted by: bernielatham | October 4, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "Oh, no, it is COMPLETELY relevant; in fact, it is dispositive b/c it shows that you are not a serious person."

Well, I suppose we're all entitled to our opinions. Just for the record, I think you're wrong about that.

"Sarah Palin is all that is wrong with this country and you want to make her president. Case closed."

Well, in all fairness, she's not the only person I'd like to make president. Not even my favorite. My hands-down favorite right now is Chris Christie.

Beyond that, we're going to have to agree to disagree. Sarah Palin is all that is wrong with this country? A: There's not that much wrong in this country, unless you're comparing it to some form of largely unachievable utopian (which is not an argument against progress, just against fantastical, some-day-my-prince-will-come comparison of reality to fantasy). B: Sarah Palin is a person, with positives and negatives, not an emblem for all that a certain class people think is wrong with the country. As much as having convenient bogeymen (or, in this case, bogey-women) may delight them. /snark

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 4, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

I forgot. What country much in the news lately does this most sound like?

I'll give you a hint. It's the "democracy" run by the dictator with whom Barack Obama shared a chuckle at calling GWB the devil.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 4, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Hey, wake up! It's Monday morning now.

Posted by: battleground51 | October 4, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

"How about a little thought experiment. Suppose as of tomorrow corporations were declared nonpersons under the Constitution"

There's a much simpler 'thought experiment'. Merely turn the clock back several months and view American history prior. Difficult, I understand, to recall such a period of political oppression, economic devastation and a near-feudal lifeway for all of us until that SC decision liberating America.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 4, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

"My hands-down favorite right now is Chris Christie."

The NJ governor who blew a half-billion in federal education funds b/c he forgot to submit the application? And then blamed and fired his education chief for it? Good choice. Grifter Mama Sarah could make him AG. I'm sure he'll outperform W's Pet Gonzo.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 4, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

"There's not that much wrong in this country"

Nope. All is well in St. Ronnie's Fantasy World.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 4, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne "Bacevich's book must make your blood boil."

Absolutely wbgonne, but not particularly because I'm a Vet. It's beyond my comprehension how it wouldn't make ANY American's blood boil.

It also shows the absolute hypocrisy of those who run around talking about the Constitution and the Founding Fathers and yet support all of our military adventurism. It's clear to anybody who has ever studied history that our Founding Fathers would be far more disturbed by our myriad invasions of sovereign nations and our militarism than they would be "Obamacare".

Last week's revelation of our "Nazi like" use of human beings for OUR scientific experiments on VD is just appalling and disgusting. I believe that should be thoroughly investigated and the responsible people should be "outed" Yes I realize in most cases we'd just be heaping scorn on their graves but they should have their names forever scorned by history for such an egregious and atrocious program.

BTW Wbgonne...have you read Naomi Kleins "Shock Doctrine"? Another blood boiler.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 4, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/the_morning_plum_103.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 4, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

"There's a much simpler 'thought experiment'. Merely turn the clock back several months and view American history prior. Difficult, I understand, to recall such a period of political oppression, economic devastation and a near-feudal lifeway for all of us until that SC decision liberating America."

That is indeed a much simpler thought experiment, and also an entirely simplistic, misinformed, and misleading one, since the CU decision did not -- wb's legal fantasies notwithstanding -- invent the idea of corporations' having rights or attributes of personhood, and proposals to strip them of such go well beyond reversing CU.

When you develop a critique that is other than unserious and lazy, to use your terms, a further response could be warranted, but as is you are simply venting hot air about matters unfamiliar to your near-reaching mind.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 4, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

ruk:

I just put "Shock Doctrine" in my Amazon cart. Thanks for the recommendation.

Did you see what Obama said about Afghanistan in RS? He sounded just like Bush. If Obama lets the military coerce him into staying in Afghanistan things may get hairy in the country next year.

Later.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 4, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "There's a much simpler 'thought experiment'. Merely turn the clock back several months and view American history prior. Difficult, I understand, to recall such a period of political oppression, economic devastation and a near-feudal lifeway for all of us until that SC decision liberating America."

I'm not sure anybody is suggesting that pre-Citizens was a time of political oppression, or a feudal way of life (though, no doubt, you would have made quite the feudal lord yourself, Bernie-san).

However, the character of a constitutional amendment specifically eliminating the possibility of corporate (in the sense of "a group of people") have protections suggests outcomes not present in the pre-Citizens legal landscape.

Crafting such a thing would be a very sticky wicket, in other words.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 4, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "'There's not that much wrong in this country' -- Nope. All is well in St. Ronnie's Fantasy World."

I think you've actually got that backwards. If I were to look at my life, flaws and all, and compare it to what my life could be like, if only I was eternally youthful, had won the lottery, could travel through time, and had various other super powers--then, yes, my life would be bitterly disappointing. However, that's not (to my mind) a rational comparison.

No doubt, America would be a much better country if it conformed more closely to a utopian vision of an ordered, progressive society where there was no poverty, no hunger, no need or even want. While not as close to that as we can ever come, I think we are about as close to that as we can come right now (in the real world, with the real limitations of both humanity and, I dunno, physical laws) and we're making progress towards a more ideal state about as rapidly as we are actually capable of. It's not necessarily pretty (indeed, even the most delightful meal becomes something much less appealing, if inspected in great detail, upon it's exit from our digestive system--yet that same exit is intrinsic to the process).

If you prefer to characterize a fairly well- (and long-) considered point of view, based in both pragmatism and cynicism (but with what I like to consider a positive realism, or a realistic positivism) as "St. Ronnie's Fantasy World", that's certainly your right (even today, in the Disunited States of AmeriKKKa /snark) but I'll have to assume you tend to sacrifice accuracy to expediency in other parts of your mental life, as well.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 4, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Ed Schultz has no ratings on MSNBC. And the Commie One rally was so poorly attended. Maybe nobody will know what a failure the two buffoons are, the individual and the meeting of the politburo. Good thing it wasn't really a 'serious' event! LOL

Posted by: wwyni | October 4, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

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