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The Morning Plum

* Beware those shadowy left-wing enviro groups rigging our midterms: The conservative groups founded by Karl Rove, along with the right wing 60 Plus Association and Americans for Job Security, have now spent a total of $33 million on ads helping Republicans. Add in the U.S. Chamber's promised $75 million, and you're now looking at spending possibly topping $100 million, much of it coming from undisclosed donors.

And yet media figures are still letting conservatives skate with their B.S. comparisons to the spending of groups like ... the League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club. Really laughable.

* Yet another phony "grassroots" group on the right: A great story by Dan Eggen: Concerned Taxpayers of America, another right wing group funding ads attacking Dems, counts exactly two "concerned taxpayers" as donors, each of which chipped in hundreds of thousands.

* DNC shovels big money into the midterms: The DNC, hoping to arm Dem party committees and state parties for the final push, has dumped over $5 million into their coffers for October, sending over nearly $2 million each to the DSCC and DCCC, and the rest to seven battleground states, a party official confirms.

The total provided by the DNC: Over $20 million and counting.

* Labor cranks up: The AFL-CIO is going out with a huge mail drop this week: Four million mail pieces in eight Senate races and 71 House districts. No, this isn't the equivalent of the right's activities -- labor has to disclose far more than other political groups do.

* Rand Paul forced woman to bow down before "false idol"? You've probably already seen the new Jack Conway ad, which quotes my story on the Aqua Buddha woman. It seems highly questionable to accuse Paul of forcing her to "bow down before a false idol."

* And nobody could have predicted... ... that the Conway ad would give Paul an opening to release his own ad accusing Conway of attacking his "faith."

* Tea Partiers for private police forces: The security guards hanging with Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller arrest a local reporter, slapping handcuffs on him and everything. Maybe that anti-government stuff also means replacing municipal police departments with your own?

* Maybe it's too early to decide whether the Dem attacks on secret money are working? Kevin Drum gets it right: It's not at all persuasive to cite the GOP lead in the generic ballot matchup as proof that this particularl Dem attack line isn't working, since it's only been underway since last week.

* Echoing your opponent's talking points in order to undercut them? Maybe if President Obama keeps agreeing that it's true we need to rein in his excessive government spending, John Boehner will stop attacking him for excessive government spending.

* It's not impossible that Dems could lose the Senate, but... Here's how it could conceivably happen, though looking at that scenario in detail does underscore how unlikely it is.

* The Dems' rope-a-dope strategy? The DCCC decided to let the NRCC outspend it last month, in hopes of ending the campaign with a crushing financial advantage. Will it work, given that the outside spending coming from the right is already creating a lopsided GOP advantage?

* And the right continues to claim "intimidation," with zero evidence: Add Gary Bauer to the list of those valiantly standing up for the right of anonymous donors to influence the outcome of elections against the thuggish intimidation tactics of those asking for transparency.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | October 18, 2010; 8:40 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, Labor, Morning Plum, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Next: Sharron Angle's war on Canada

Comments

Alaskan reporter tries to get candidate Joe Miller to answer questions regarding possible prior mis-use of government property and reporter is roughed up and handcuffed.
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/10/didnt_know_you_could_do_that.php?ref=fpblg

A solitary leader-figure with his own private security-army who rejects personal and performance review.

Small government ideology perfected.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 18, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

This is the week that Kevin_Willis is banned, let us be glad and rejoice.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 18, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

"And yet media figures are still letting conservatives skate with their B.S. comparisons to the spending of groups like ... the League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club. Really laughable."

And let's not forget the Plumline Actblue page! I really don't know how the American Petroleum Institute and the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers and the Friends of Turd-Blossom can be expected to compete in the face of this financial onslaught. Thankfully, Grifter Mama Palin and Beck the Rodeo Clown are flimflamming their snake oil customers into sending all their money to Big Business.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 18, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

"Yet another phony "grassroots" group on the right: A great story by Dan Eggen: Concerned Taxpayers of America, another right wing group funding ads attacking Dems, counts exactly two "concerned taxpayers" as donors, each of which chipped in hundreds of thousands."

Why would people like this trust government? They know exactly what they are like themselves and thus everyone else must be like them too(deceitful, manipulative, out to make a buck and screw anyone else).

Posted by: bernielatham | October 18, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

lol.

Obama said of the Republican resurgence while in Ohio: The empire is striking back.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 18, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of the Actblue PL community page. Here's another link and I've added Ann Kuster per wbonne's suggestion.

We're coming down to the wire so it's time to empty our piggy banks, GOTV, knock on doors and put out the yard signs. The right is busy celebrating their victory while we work.

http://www.actblue.com/page/plcommunity

Posted by: lmsinca | October 18, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Let's just be honest here.

The far right Republican Party has TERRORIZED Americans into thinking that all environmental advocacy is a terrible, evil thing.

I guess we should all just roll over for corporate polluters and stop whining about "little things" like cancer, pulmonary and cardiac disease, asthma and other illnesses brought on by polluted air and water. Screw the planet. Screw our quality of life. We have to bend over to multinational corporations and their obscene profits, because their corporate agenda and profiteering is far more important than America as a country and the well-being of its citizenry.

The Republican Party is a shell, a ghost party, for big corporations and Wall Street gamblers who have already destroyed our environment and our economy on multiple occasions.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 18, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Let's just be honest here.

The far right Republican Party has TERRORIZED Americans into thinking that all environmental advocacy is a terrible, evil thing.

I guess we should all just roll over for corporate polluters and stop whining about "little things" like cancer, pulmonary and cardiac disease, asthma and other illnesses brought on by polluted air and water. Screw the planet. Screw our quality of life. We have to bend over to multinational corporations and their obscene profits, because their corporate agenda and profiteering is far more important than America as a country and the well-being of its citizenry.

The Republican Party is a shell, a ghost party, for big corporations and Wall Street gamblers who have already destroyed our environment and our economy on multiple occasions.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 18, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

And, I'm guessing that Rand Paul issue has less to do with making her bow down than the part about him breaking one of the ten commandments.

It's the same deal with O'Donnell. I think her little commercial, I'm You, was to reassure the Christian right she wasn't some sort of heretic. Her admission of being a witch and considering being a Harikrishnia.

They loose confidence with the religious right, or at least the ones that are serious about it, they'll just stay home I would guess rather than vote for someone they think might be on the wrong team.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 18, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

No on Prop 23!

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 18, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

Can you give us the top 5 (or 2 or 3, if you prefer) policy goals of the Tea Party, as you understand them?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 18, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca:

I hit Ann Kuster and gave your man Hedrick a shot. The idea of Agent Orange as House Speaker really scares me.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 18, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Tea Partiers are just Republican activists so just go to the RNC web site and copy/paste their agenda here.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 18, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

No on Prop 23!

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 18, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Yes on filthy air!

Posted by: wbgonne | October 18, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

President Barack H. Obama has analyzed the problem plaguing his Obamacrats this year and it's not all because the evil Republicans are using criminal, foreign cash to flood the airwaves with false and misleading attack ads and spreading vicious lies about innocent liberals. No! It is because the learning challenged masses are easily duped by the wicked, manipulators of right-wing, shadow groups funded by mega-rich industrialists and tycoons.

Obama has consulted with our intellectual betters again and they all agree that the American peasantry don't have enough brains to fill a teacup and must be led to the place where truth and light prevail. That wonderful, liberal utopia where big government coffers overflow with manna and greenbacks for everyone.

Americans!!! For the love of OBAMA quit trying to think for yourselves! You just can't do it. Obama and his elite class of thinking progressives will do that for you.

Now isn't that a relief?? Just sit there and wait. Obama has it all under control.

Instructions to follow.

Posted by: battleground51 | October 18, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Conway's ad reminds me of Elizabeth Dole's "godless" ad in 2008 attacking her opponent's religious beliefs. If I recall, that ad backfired.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 18, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

"And yet media figures are still letting conservatives skate with their B.S. comparisons to the spending of groups like ... the League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club. Really laughable."

How many other journalists have you brought this up to? Have you directly asked members of the media for comment about this glaring false equivilence?

I'm glad your an advocate for a better media, but sideline snark only works to a point. People in the media who don't do their job should be held accountable.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | October 18, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe it's too early to decide whether the Dem attacks on secret money are working?"

This is a far less important question if considered in the short term (re this election). It's far, far more important in the longer term.

Demographic change and the strong liklihood of an extended recession leave the Republicans in a disadvantaged position. Future elections will be tougher in any case and if they trumpet that they are in power, that trumpeting will come back to haunt because of the continuing or worsening situation of the middle class.

Their only options will be to 1) continue activating their base through media manipulation and through fear-mongering and divisiveness (your neighbor is out to get you); 2) gerry-mandering districts to their advantage; and 3) continuing and expanding the role and influence of their corporate backers.

The reason the right is pushing back so hard on this line of attack is because they fully understand the danger of it to their narrative. One important function of promoting their Tea Party narrative is to further the notion that government (liberal government) is hurting citizens and that corporate values/entities will free them from coercion and lift them into consumer heaven. Put more to the point - the goal here is to capture 'populist' anger and direct it away from the wealthy elites who actually run the show and towards others who have little real power or influence - because some scapegoat is needed.

Unfortunately for all of us, that identified scapegoat does not have to be the real culprit at all. So long as the narrative of blame is emotionally plausible (and pretty much anything is emotionally plausible) and so long as the narrative is blasted out continually, it can be made to suffice for effective scapegoating leaving the real culprits to further gain a hold on the levers of power - because the targets of this manufactured populist anger will be designed to be the individuals and entities which do pose a real challenge to their power and dominance. There's a very good reason why fascist-leaning dictatorships and systems target unions and universities and intellectuals and existing or arising civic institutions.
(continued in next)

Posted by: bernielatham | October 18, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"Conway's ad reminds me of Elizabeth Dole's "godless" ad in 2008 attacking her opponent's religious beliefs. If I recall, that ad backfired."

Except in the Godless ad they took a voice and made it sound like her opponents voice.

Rand Paul's words are being used against him. If Paul has a problem with it maybe he should apologize and admit he was just joking around and move on.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 18, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The modern US right is very smart about all these things. They know that they must keep their funders hidden and will try dilligently to keep the amounts of money hidden as well, if they can. They understand that front groups can effectively trick people into believing the opposite of what is actually true. They understand that if they can stay on top then they stay on top and it's very good up there (as it was for 17th century aristocrats) and hell, if it's not them it will be someone else so it better be them. The rabble? They'll obviously always be there and, obviously, deserve to be there.

So, post election, there will be an enormous effort to drive a narrative which 1) paints the left as equally guilty of monied influence, 2) protects the legal structures now in place after Citizens United which allows them this lever on power. They'll do both of these things in an absolutely cut-throat manner because a real populist uprising presents the true danger to them.

What's uncertain is whether the left will get it together enough to play this game as if it is for keeps. And we're friggin' doomed if they don't.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 18, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

battleground51

That Faux Man-of-the-People schtick is so 1980s. I'll ask you a question: If political propaganda doesn't work why does Big Business waste so much money doing it? Answer: because it DOES work. Just like advertising works. The primary defense against propaganda is critical thought founded on accurate information. Is that what Grifter Mama Palin and Beck the Rodeo Clown are encouraging? Critical thinking? Accurate information? Based on the Cartoon Constitution they've rendered to serve the purposes of their Corporate Masters I think not.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 18, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

MFA, I just think that it's a risky move to go that route (though perhaps it's what's needed)

Posted by: DDAWD | October 18, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Greg, you're making this too easy for me.:


"Maybe it's too early to decide whether the Dem attacks on secret money are working? Kevin Drum gets it right: It's not at all persuasive to cite the GOP lead in the generic ballot matchup as proof that this particularl Dem attack line isn't working, since it's only been underway since last week."


This headline is of course only the prelude. In the days AFTER the election you will be writing that this strategy REALLY, REALLY, did work, but they just ran out of time before the election. That's exactly what I told you last week would happen.

Correct me if I'm wrong but the date of the election hasn't been moved, even by foreign donor money.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 18, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne, I was making fun of Ethan2010.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 18, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

As someone who has been accused of being a teabagger, let me answer the question about the security. IT'S WRONG. False arrest is false arrest. But we all know idiots with badges and handcuffs still act like idiots. It doesn't matter if it is private security, local police, FBI or Secret Service. This career field attracts its share of people with a complex who do things that would otherwise be illegal. Short of Joe Miller directing his security to arrest the guy, I don't see how it is fair to blame him for the actions of his hired thugs. Just like it wouldn't be fair to blame Obama for the actions of the Secret Service when they act like goons.

"And the right continues to claim "intimidation," with zero evidence:"
Actually, there is some proof. Take it for whatever you will.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20011983-503544.html

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/moveon-ad-boycott-target-for-pro-emmer-political-donations-video.php

Posted by: Bailers | October 18, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

@Scott
As the graph I posted a couple of weeks ago illustrated, the people who self-indentify as tea partiers also identify as Republican and as social conservatives (the intersection constitutes about 80%). So you can answer your own question from that.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 18, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

A chart that explains the current deficit better than any other. It is from Krugman's blog but is based on incontorvertible objective fact and demonstrates that the deficit surge is almost entirely based on falling revenue.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/17/why-have-deficits-exploded/

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 18, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

bernie:

Fear mongering doesn't work very well in a good economy. Unfortunately, My party consistently fails to get that.

When they took office, instead of having the idiotic Miss Sunshine Christina Romer on tv preaching optimism, they should have had someone saying the world is coming to an end today, or at least tomorow. That way, they could be taking credit for the failure of the end of the world. Instead. Romer had to give her recent valedictory speech about how she really was confused why the optimistic projections failed to materialize.

The last Democratic economic adviser who knew what they were talking about was Dick Morris, when he told Clinton to just get out of the way.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 18, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Here's a feature of the modern political world that has gained far too little attention...

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the strategy of the insurgents/Taliban has been to disrupt government functioning. They are attempting to keep the populations in those two countries from gaining trust and affection for civic structures of any sort other than what they wish to see in place.

And if folks cannot perceive the similarities here in what Republicans/conservatives have been trying to pull off, then you are pretty dull indeed.

And those insurgents believe, probably most of them, that they are the true patriots.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 18, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

pragmaticstill wrote:

"It is from Krugman's blog but is based on incontorvertible objective fact and demonstrates that the deficit surge is almost entirely based on falling revenue."

I agree with you. The failure of everyone on this board to achieve millionaire status is NOT based on our spending, but on our inadequate revenue!

Posted by: 54465446 | October 18, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne

Thanks and here's the latest polling on Hedrick, he's got the momentum and CA voters are finally waking up. He has a real shot at the incumbent. I worked all weekend on it and I wasn't alone.

I'll chip in later today and will send a little Kuster's way.

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

In a recent poll conducted in California’s 44th Congressional district, Democratic challenger Bill Hedrick has the momentum to win. The new poll shows Hedrick has closed the gap between himself and corrupt incumbent Congressman Ken Calvert to a mere 5 points (48% for Calvert to 43% for Hedrick) while the 18-year Washington politician has lost ground as undecided voters have begun breaking to the challenger.
A public poll released two weeks ago showed Hedrick trailing Calvert by 11 points. Since that time the Hedrick campaign has kicked their media and field programs into high gear, and voters have responded. Hedrick has gained 5% in two weeks, while Calvert has lost 1% as undecided voters are moving steadily toward Hedrick.
In the horserace question, Calvert has lost ground and continues to poll below 50% - a true danger sign for an incumbent in what is becoming an increasingly anti-incumbent year. Specifically, only 48% of voters indicate support for 18-year incumbent Ken Calvert – down 1 point from two weeks ago. In contrast, Hedrick has seen his support increase by 5 points to 43%, with the remaining 9% of voters undecided.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 18, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Here's a feature of the modern political world that has gained far too little attention...

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the strategy of the insurgents/Taliban has been to disrupt government functioning. They are attempting to keep the populations in those two countries from gaining trust and affection for civic structures of any sort other than what they wish to see in place.

And if folks cannot perceive the similarities here in what Republicans/conservatives have been trying to pull off, then you are pretty dull indeed.

And those insurgents believe, probably most of them, that they are the true patriots.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 18, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Ouch!

""As the attorney general of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, I'm always amused to get a lecture on constitutional law from a self-certified ophthalmologist."

-- Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Jack Conway (D), quoted by the Cincinnati Enquirer, in a debate with rival Rand Paul (R)"

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

@clawrence: "This is the week that Kevin_Willis is banned, let us be glad and rejoice."

You and Ethan will party like it's 1999. ;)

We shall see. Greg hasn't changed the format yet, and there's always a chance that (if different than The Fix) it won't get blocked by the proxy filter/IPS.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 18, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

bernie wrote:

"And if folks cannot perceive the similarities here in what Republicans/conservatives have been trying to pull off, then you are pretty dull indeed.

And those insurgents believe, probably most of them, that they are the true patriots."

Ummm, the preferred method of disruption of government over there is not the filibuster, believe it or not. They tend more to leave bodies in pieces. I know the closer we get to the election the more exotic and dire the charges and comparisons, but bernie please! Aren't you at least a week or two early with the Taliban thing?

Posted by: 54465446 | October 18, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Lamestream media figures are "letting" conservatives skate with their B.S. comparisons to the spending of leftist groups because the inconvenient truth would hit a little closer to home. After letting him skate on not taking public financing, Obama's 2008 campaign raised over $103 million in UNCODED donations, so he is actually the one guilty of "failure to disclose" not Rove or the Chamber of Commerce:

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=n00009638

Whatever happened to the hard-hitting INVESTIGATIVE reporting of the WaPo, you know, Woodward and Bernstein tracking down who ordered the Watergate breakin? Does that caliber of reporting only happen when a Republican is in the White House? As an added irony, Sarah Palin's speech in California started with Sousa's "Washington Post". If anyone missed her full speech:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/10/sarah-palin-bristol-palin-rnc.html

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Who couldn't have seen this coming? The Shiites are shutting out The Sunnis, from any real participation in Government, and in fact al-Maliki has recently formed a coalition with Mukhtar Al-Sadr, of Mahdi army notority.


"Sunnis in Iraq Allied With U.S. Rejoin Rebels"

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/17/world/middleeast/17awakening.html

"BAQUBA, Iraq — Members of United States-allied Awakening Councils have quit or been dismissed from their positions in significant numbers in recent months, prey to an intensive recruitment campaign by the Sunni insurgency, according to government officials, current and former members of the Awakening and insurgents.

Although there are no firm figures, security and political officials say hundreds of the well-disciplined fighters — many of whom have gained extensive knowledge about the American military — appear to have rejoined Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. Beyond that, officials say that even many of the Awakening fighters still on the Iraqi government payroll, possibly thousands of them, covertly aid the insurgency.

The defections have been driven in part by frustration with the Shiite-led government, which Awakening members say is intent on destroying them, as well as by pressure from Al Qaeda. The exodus has accelerated since Iraq’s inconclusive parliamentary elections in March, which have left Sunnis uncertain of retaining what little political influence they have and which appear to have provided Al Qaeda new opportunities to lure back fighters.

The Awakening members’ switch in loyalties poses a new threat to Iraq’s tenuous social and political balance during the country’s ongoing political crisis and as the United States military prepares to withdraw next year.

“The Awakening doesn’t know what the future holds because it is not clear what the government intends for them,” said Nathum al-Jubouri, a former Awakening Council leader in Salahuddin Province who recently quit the organization.

“At this point, Awakening members have two options: Stay with the government, which would be a threat to their lives, or help Al Qaeda by being a double agent,” he said. “The Awakening is like a database for Al Qaeda that can be used to target places that had been out of reach before.” '

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"Who couldn't have seen this coming?"

Yes, it was inevitable. We papered over the problem by putting the Sunnis on the payroll. Now that's over. All Bush's "surge" did was kick the can down the road so it would blow up on the next president.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 18, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

This has been tagged "the year of the old farts" and those old farts are maddern heckfire. It's another reason our beloved liberals are in danger of being wiped off the political map.

Who can reason with a crazy old fart?? Not intelligent, reasonable, educated liberals, that's for sure.

And, of course, most all those crazy old farts are white males. That's triple trouble there. Those ignorant, racist, homophobic, sexist, nativist, gun totin', knuckle dragging neantherthals are irrationally angry with Obama because Obama is a person of one-half color.

Just imagine how mad those old, white farts would be if Obama was all black.

I don't even want to think of it!

Posted by: battleground51 | October 18, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "Let's just be honest here.

The far right Republican Party has TERRORIZED . . ."

----

Is it just me, or do I detect a strong resemblance to STRF here?

Not saying they're the same person. It's just . . . interesting. ;)

@bernielatham: "The modern US right is very smart about all these things. They know that they must keep their funders hidden and will try dilligently to keep the amounts of money hidden as well, if they can. They understand that front groups can effectively trick people into believing the opposite of what is actually true. "

Fortunately, you have a magic hat that keeps this despicable trick from working on you. ;)

"What's uncertain is whether the left will get it together enough to play this game as if it is for keeps."

They aren't now? I don't think it's a matter of playing for keeps or not, it's the strategies they are choosing in order to play for keeps. Although, I may be wrong there. For example, I find most political advertising actually makes me want to vote for whoever they are running the ad against. So I may be an outlier on all the "courting the voter" strategeries. I think they are all off their nut, when it comes to how they try to get elected.

"And we're friggin' doomed if they don't."

No, bernie, you're not. You, and liberals in general, will live to fight another day, and win the day, and lose the day, again. That's how it works. Doom is often predicted, by political aficionados who associate doom with any victory by the other side, to dirty bearded men carrying sandwich boards down the street, but, thus far, predictions of the end of the world have been highly exaggerated.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 18, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Dan Eggen OTOH gets 100% disclosure of the funding behind "Concerned Taxpayers of America" but that's not enough because the Treasurer did not return his call. I mean, really, this is getting a little silly, don't you think?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

The failure of everyone on this board to achieve millionaire status is NOT based on our spending, but on our inadequate revenue!


Posted by: 54465446 | October 18, 2010 10:23 AM

Gee ... and I thought it was a result of those horrendous tax increases President Obama forced down the throats of the American people!

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 18, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

54 said: "Ummm, the preferred method of disruption of government over there is not the filibuster, believe it or not."

And there's a big difference between a shark's pearly whites and a jack-knife, mac.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 18, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Kevin

I think you have a great point there - Ethan IS Save the Rain Forest - just saying the opposite.

You have figured out what has been going on here.

This is a bad version of a Seinfeld episode.........


Posted by: CapitolOrCapital | October 18, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "And if folks cannot perceive the similarities here in what Republicans/conservatives have been trying to pull off, then you are pretty dull indeed."

Conservatives = the Taliban / Al Qaeda. I see. All I can say is, while we may be pretty dull for not immediately seeing the equivalency there, if that's the sort of thing that represents "getting serious" in regards to securing and maintaining electoral majorities, I can only hope Democrats and liberals everywhere follow Bernie's lead.

"Being a Republican is No Different Than Being a Terrorist" is the sort of sloganeering that is sure to open people's eyes, and have them voting for Democrats and progressives in droves. Victory is assured! Run with that. Seriously.

"And those insurgents believe, probably most of them, that they are the true patriots."

Of course they do. The question is, who doesn't? Don't you consider yourself a patriot, Bernie? Do you think your opposition to conservatives and Republicans is moral and responsible or immoral and self-serving? Do you get up and think about how you hate your country, and want to destroy it by electing socialists?

I would wager that you don't. So, if you do consider yourself a patriot, and feel that you are fighting the good fight against an implacable and oppressive, and perhaps even irrational, enemy, then you, too, are like the insurgents and the terrorists. Thus, using your own logic, it can only be asserted that bernielatham ≤ Al Qaeda. /snark

Also, if you possess two feet, eat food, and drink water, and you make phonetic noises strung together to form so-called "words" in order to communicate, then you resemble the terrorists in these ways, as well. I'm establishing a pretty damning case against you, Bernie.

And if folks cannot perceive the similarities here between Bernie and the insurgents, then they are pretty dull indeed.

:)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 18, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Who can reason with a crazy old fart?? Not intelligent, reasonable, educated liberals, that's for sure.

Posted by: battleground51
________________________________

Wow. Thank God there are people like you in this world that are tolerant and smart enough to lead the rest of us through the desert.
Please, show us the light that you clearly posess from your superior intellect and genetic makeup.

Do you go out in public with that smuggness?

Posted by: Bailers | October 18, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Kevin Willis

I'm not exactly sure what the real position is. If Ethan is Save The Rain Forest, just saying the opposite, what is the message.

Obviously the truth could be that the orginial Ethan could be the satire. All along Ethan has been overly-pro-democratic, hoping to create a satire which is so ridiculous that everyone would recognize the absurdity of it all.

However, that orginal satire of Ethan didn't work, so he decided to start saying the opposite right before the election, which was his original message.

Kevin, I think you are onto something here.

If you are right, we have to re-evaluate many of the discussions here. We have had satire here everyday. But none of us "got" it. This is something here. Is the far-left agenda so far off the mainstream that the left does not even understand satire ???

Posted by: CapitolOrCapital | October 18, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@JakeD2: "Dan Eggen OTOH gets 100% disclosure of the funding behind "Concerned Taxpayers of America" but that's not enough because the Treasurer did not return his call. I mean, really, this is getting a little silly, don't you think?"

The premise is silly. And I am all for full disclosure in all political advertising--although, in part, I count the fact that the Chamber of Commerce is funding something, and I know it, as full disclosure. It's not like that doesn't tell me something about the advertising right there.

But there's the thing. Let's say that you, JakeD2, see a dozen versions of this ad leading up to the election: "Christine O'Donnell is, in fact, a witch. Vote for a beardless Marxist in November." And that's it. No disclosure statement, no nothing.

Now, let's imagine the same scenario. You see the same ads, only they end with the following disclosure: "This ad was paid for by money from the Tides Foundation and the mother of Chris Coons." Is your perception any different? Were you convinced by the first one, and not by the second?

Have you ever seen advocacy ads masquerading as public service ads? You could tell, right? Heck, I can tell when there's a political undertone to a Benetton ad. I don't have to know who the ad director is at Benetton making the decision to inject a political message into their advertising. The underlying message is transparent, even if the people funding it (something I believe should be disclosed) is not.

Are we really saying that there are any voters out there who will be convinced by a message if they think the Chamber of Commerce is paying for it, but will not be convinced if they find out a Texas Oilman donated a lot of money to the Chamber of Commerce--if there is no difference, regarding the message?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 18, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Who can reason with a crazy old fart?? Not intelligent, reasonable, educated liberals, that's for sure.

Posted by: battleground51
________________________________

Wow. Thank God there are people like you in this world that are tolerant and smart enough to lead the rest of us through the desert.
Please, show us the light that you clearly posess from your superior intellect and genetic makeup.

Do you go out in public with that smuggness?

Posted by: Bailers | October 18, 2010 10:58 AM |

......................

battleground51 is actually a dedicated right winger, who fully supports the tea party movement.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

@CapitalOrEthan: "I'm not exactly sure what the real position is. If Ethan is Save The Rain Forest, just saying the opposite, what is the message."

I think you're right, SaveTheOStreetEthan57th.

Although, at the end of the movie, you find out there are no commenters at all. Just a very busy Greg Sargent, rapidly switching personalities as he argues with himself. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 18, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

All, new Adam Serwer post on Sharron Angle's latest illegal immigration howler:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 18, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

In other news: Obama will appear on an upcoming episode of "Mythbusters". I was hoping that he would be bringing his LONG FORM birth certificate, but alas no:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_obama_science

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

This is to answer wbegonne:

The liberal media has been crafting it's news and commentary with a liberal slant for over 50 years now. I know because I have witnessed it. It has been very successful in pushing what used to be very moderate ideas to the right and what used to be left-wing, crackpot ideas to the middle.

So-called "gay marriage" is one of them.

But America, as a whole, has been conservative, 1950s style. Today, that is demonized as far right wingnut. That demonization seems to make conservatives even more so. In short, liberal propaganda has not worked but what you call right-wing propaganda works only because it goes where America already is.

Karl Rove, et al, knows how America feels and he just taps into it.

Why can't the Democrats do that too??

Why aren't Democrats fishing in the mainstream like Republicans?? America has always prospered with majority rule, not hodge-podge rule.

I'll tell you why. Democrats are controlled by the left-wing. The left-wing despises America, as it really is, and it shows. The only ones blind to this are very left of the American center.

Posted by: battleground51 | October 18, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@kevin - You're a fine fellow with a laudably liquid noggin. Four years ago, did you imagine that a year or two up, you and the rest of the country and the world would be face to face with the razor-thin path avoiding a world wide depression possibly worse than the thirties? We all were, as the central figures have subsequently admitted, that close. They weren't confident they could avoid it. How confident are you re four years from now?

A reality of the modern America is that your infrastructure is crumbling. If you've read any reports from the engineering community on this, you'll appreciate that the certainties we grew up with re bridges are no longer warranted. If you've read the reports of paved roads being resurfaced with gravel because it is all that can be afforded, you may consider investing in the Dust Buster Corp.

And if you believe that the extremisms of the present conservative movement are fictional or unimportant or benign, then I congratulate you on your peaceful state of mind. Here's a very short bit from John Judis' biography on Buckley...

"In 1961, Buckley was beginning to worry that with the John Birch Society growing so rapidly, the right-wing upsurge in the country would take an ugly, even Fascist turn rather than leading toward the kind of conservativism National Reivew had promoted." And, though I do not mean to impinge upon your agreeable emotional state as it presently lounges, you may want to survey Glenn Beck's broadcasts for John Birch representatives (quite a few of them) and Bircher ideas (many of them, and they are central) and you might finally wish to survey those who deem themselves Tea Partiers as followers and admirers of Beck.

On these happy notes, I'm away to practice eating porridge with water.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 18, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

okay, another day when the talk is mostly about posters rather than substance. I'll be back much later.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 18, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

54465446:

What do you think that Obama is hiding, a different "father" listed on the LONG FORM birth certificate? Assuming that father was an American citizen, then it doesn't even matter if little Barry was born in Kenya.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

"Are we really saying that there are any voters out there who will be convinced by a message if they think the Chamber of Commerce is paying for it, but will not be convinced if they find out a Texas Oilman donated a lot of money to the Chamber of Commerce--if there is no difference, regarding the message?"

Of course it does. Assuming for the moment that money and speech are equivalent and that corporations are the same as human beings, the identity of the speaker or spender is vital information as voters assess information. Even this Radical Right Supreme Court acknowledges this. When one speaker hides his -- or its -- identity behind someone or something else disclosure is defeated and voters are denied vital information. Pretty simple really.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 18, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"So you can answer your own question from that."

Unfortuantely, I can't. When asking about how someone else understands something, I find it best to let them state their understanding for themselves. Unless, of course, they have some objection to doing so for some reason.

You have posited that the Republican party in general and the Tea Party movement in particular is so "extreme" that even the likes of Barry Goldwater would be rejected by it. I'd like to analyze that by looking at a few of the TP's most important policy positions (as you understand them - it was, afterall, you who made the assertion) and comparing them to BG's positions, particularly when he ran as the Republican party's candidate for President in 1964, to see if it is indeed true that the party has moved away from AuH2O.

For example, you have held up Goldwater's (much later) support for abortion and his opposition to the "religious right" as evidence that the Republican Party has moved away from him. I don't know whether you consider these pro-life policies or an embrace of religion in public life to be primary goals of the R's or TPers, but in the Republican Party platform from 1964, when Goldwater was the Republican nominee, there is no mention of support for abortion (not in the least surprising, to be frank) and the platform specifically crticized the Dem leadership for its "indifference to national ideals rounded in devoutly held religious faith." So a suggestion that the party has moved away from Goldwater on at least these two fronts seems not to be supported by the evidence.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 18, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

A shocking, new poll (based on a small but respectable 319 person sample, with a margin of error of 5.6 percent, weighted to eliminate gender bias) shows Dennis Kucinich ahead of his opponent, Peter Corrigan, by ONLY 4 percent. The profile of undecided voters suggests they may break for Corrigan by about 3-2. And Corrigan's 4 percent deficit turns into a 4 percent Corrigan lead when voters are given information on Kucinich's ties to corrupt local Democratic leaders, and on Kucinich's support for illegal immigration. These are signs that undecided voters could be pushed to go Corrigan’s way. Furthermore, Corrigan is running even with Kucinich among those who've already requested their absentee ballot, as early voting has already started in Ohio.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/dennis-menaced_508901.html

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I wrote, and wbgonne accurately quoted: "Are we really saying that there are any voters out there who will be convinced by a message if they think the Chamber of Commerce is paying for it, but will not be convinced if they find out a Texas Oilman donated a lot of money to the Chamber of Commerce--if there is no difference, regarding the message?"

To which wbgonne responded: "Of course it does."

Of course _what_ does?

"Assuming for the moment that money and speech are equivalent and that corporations are the same as human beings, the identity of the speaker or spender is vital information as voters assess information."

Did not say it wasn't.

"Even this Radical Right Supreme Court acknowledges this."

As does my Radical Right, bad-azz self.

"When one speaker hides his -- or its -- identity behind someone or something else disclosure is defeated and voters are denied vital information. Pretty simple really."

Agreed. So, you're agreeing with me, right? And the part where you quoted my question as to if knowing who is paying for it is actively going to sway an opinion, if the message itself is unchanged, because you liked the sentence structure, right? Because that was the point--that opinions are not likely (not impossible, just not likely) to be affected by knowing whose paying for the message, if the message itself is unchanged.

If you are saying that, yes, people will accept the message when they don't know who is paying for it, but will reject it when they do, in any significant amount, I'd be curious to see a compelling reason, or some sort of study, that indicates that would be the case.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 18, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"Who couldn't have seen this coming?"

Yes, it was inevitable. We papered over the problem by putting the Sunnis on the payroll. Now that's over. All Bush's "surge" did was kick the can down the road so it would blow up on the next president.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 18, 2010 10:41 AM .

...................
A Preemptive Invasion to start a civil war. Did you catch the recent 60 Minutes feature, showing how our great friends in Iraqi Kurdistan are violating the sanctions on Iran? They showed lines of gasoline trucks, stretched back for miles, delivering gasoline to Iran.

What Bush/Cheney have wrought in Iraq.

The Great Day by William Butler Yeats

Hurrah for revolution and more cannon-shot!
A beggar upon horseback lashes a beggar on foot.
Hurrah for revolution and cannon come again!
The beggars have changed places, but the lash goes on.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Donate to Peter Corrigan HERE:

https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_flow&SESSION=bLAM2x2fFcuYWiw6V1HCRFgyhbEjevpZEDQKTfLXnSCJzDS8X3P8Tg6oypC&dispatch=5885d80a13c0db1f8e263663d3faee8dc60d77e6184470d51976060a4ab6ee74

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Gov. Palin also kicks off another TEA Party bus tour today:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/10/18/tea.party.tour/index.html?hpt=T1

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Newsflash: The terrorists have won! They have taken "Campbell's Soup" down. The immams will now have their evil way with every can. Gulp!!

First the mosques, then our soup! What next??

Canned, sharia soup. MMMMMMMM, mmmmmm, good.

Posted by: battleground51 | October 18, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"If you are saying that, yes, people will accept the message when they don't know who is paying for it, but will reject it when they do, in any significant amount, I'd be curious to see a compelling reason, or some sort of study, that indicates that would be the case."

When human being assess information we consider the source of the information and especially the source's biases. It has always been so. That cannot happen without full disclosure. In any case, it is up to the American people to decide how much or little weight to give to the source's identity and biases. Without full disclosure the American people are deprived of information vital to making informed political decisions. Big Money is hiding behind the Chamber of Commerce which, in turn, is riding the good will of the thousands of local Chamber's. It is trickery and deceit. There is no defense for secrecy. It really is quite simple.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 18, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Justice Alito BOYCOTTING the next State of the Union address:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/16/AR2010101600649.html?sub=AR

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Liam:

I saw that re: the Kurds. The hard truth is that we have no better idea of what is going to happen in Iraq now than we did the day before we launched our illegitimate war. The damage from the Worst Foreign Policy Mistake in United States History is just beginning.

Later.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 18, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"Without full disclosure the American people are deprived of information vital to making informed political decisions."

For any lurkers who have never before heard that Obama failed to disclose many of his campaign contributions:

At least $25,289,671 of his 2008 campaign donations were indeed NOT disclosed (big surprise you haven't heard about that, given the support he got from the lamestream media):

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/summary.php?cycle=2008&cid=n00009638

In addition, over $5 million was returned to (potential) foreign donors and another $15,611,429 was deemed to be "incomplete" disclosure, without sufficient information to tell one way or the other. In total, over $103 million ended up "Uncoded" so we may never know the full truth.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

@bernielatham: "@kevin - You're a fine fellow with a laudably liquid noggin."

Either you're saying my head's full of nuthin', or that I'm all wet. Or you meant to say that I'm a furry fellow with laughably liquid nitrogen. In which case, I'd be suspicious as to how you could possible know so much about me.

"Four years ago, did you imagine that a year or two up, you and the rest of the country and the world would be face to face with the razor-thin path avoiding a world wide depression possibly worse than the thirties?"

Glenn Beck was warning me, and I thought he was smokin' crack. So, no, I did not.

"We all were, as the central figures have subsequently admitted, that close. They weren't confident they could avoid it. How confident are you re four years from now?"

Even if we do suffer a technical depression, I think we'll come out all right. Especially in the 1st world.

"A reality of the modern America is that your infrastructure is crumbling."

I think infrastructure should be addressed. This would be an excellent opportunity to do it. In elected office, neither Republicans nor Democrats seem very serious about it, but the time will come when they will be again.

"If you've read any reports from the engineering community on this, you'll appreciate that the certainties we grew up with re bridges are no longer warranted."

Obviously, such things should be addressed, though I would note that infrastructure is always crumbling. In requires constant maintenance, and all of it has never gotten all the maintenance needed. I'm 41 years old, and I think the first time I ever heard of a bridge collapsing was when I was 8 or 9, which was during the Carter administration. It's not the last and, thus far, we don't seem to be suffering more than usual. If it gets to the point we are, politicians will suddenly find the motivation and justification for increased infrastructure spending. Politicians are funny like that.

"If you've read the reports of paved roads being resurfaced with gravel"

I'm dubious of the justifications for such things, based on my experience with people who want to twist arms to increase their own budgets, but, in general, I do not support replacing paved roads with gravel or dirt.

"And if you believe that the extremisms of the present conservative movement are fictional"

No.

"or unimportant"

Yes and no.

"or benign"

Yes and no.

"then I congratulate you on your peaceful state of mind."

Yes, and no. So, I accept your congratulations with caveats.

We just had a huge sweep of Democrats and at least quasi-progressives into all branches of government. Obama, a Democrat, won the day, and got a supermajority in the house, and nearly so in the senate. This was two years ago.
The institutions of government are populated with either progressives or big government quasi-conservatives. In the judiciary, liberals outnumber conservatives, if not on every circuit court (or the supreme court). Republican dictatorship is not imminent. :)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 18, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

@JakeD2: "For any lurkers who have never before heard that Obama failed to disclose many of his campaign contributions:"

And yet, somehow I was no more compelled to vote for him, or change my vote or my opinions in anyway, than if I did know who those contributions came from.

Ain't that a kicker?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 18, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis:

You may indeed be a smart voter (thank God you don't live in Delaware though ; )

But I believe that you are misunderestimating the average intelligence of your fellow voters just a bit. Considering how many Obama voters now claim to be having second thoughts, it is indeed likely that some of them would have NOT voted for Obama if full disclosure had been required.

Under current law, the Chamber and Crossroads GPS are NOT obligated to disclose donors -- but Obama was -- see the difference?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else have the BP advertisement banner above?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else give a crap what Joke thinks, wants, questions, needs, etc?

Posted by: Observer691 | October 18, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I give a crap.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 18, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

clawrence12:

Thanks (so do I, obviously ; )

Kevin_Willis:

Are you still around, or did you get banned already?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"Democrats have 63 [House] seats in serious danger compared to just four for Republicans."

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/2010_Elections/page?id=10476449

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Sniff, sniff, sob, sob dept:

I remember the good ol' days like they wuz yesterday. I was in 4th grade and had a Royce Union bicycle (made in USA) and rode a newspaper route on it. It was 1960 and I proudly sported a "KENNEDY" campaign sticker on both sides of the fake, teardrop, gas tank thing. My dad was in the UAW and my mom was a Roosevelt Democrat so I should have been a lifelong Democrat. What happened?

The late 1960s happened. Radical weirdos took the party over and wove a Marxist red into the tapestry of the Democrat quilt. That became a red stain that never went away. It wasn't the party of MOM & DAD anymore. As they got older, they became less and less attached to the thing. I was repelled by it even a a college student.

The failure of the Obamacrats in 2010 has its roots in the downfall of the Democrat party in the 1960s. Look at the evidence and you will believe.

When the Democrat party renounces it's leftist bent, throws off the tyranny of it's assorted, fringe, minority groups and starts working FOR the benefit of the vast, American majority again, it will suffer some temporary setback in the short run but will be able to thrive in the long run. As it is now, the Democrat party is committing slow suicide.

Obama put out a false image in 2008 and fooled a lot of people into going back to the Democrat fold. But fools get really angry when made fools of.

Posted by: battleground51 | October 18, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD2: "Are you still around, or did you get banned already?"

Look for the change in the comment section formats. If it goes to a threaded fix style, then I'm probably gone. At least, until the evening, in which case I'm not going to be reading every comment thread. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 18, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Come on, threaded Fix-style comments!!!

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

And there's a big difference between a shark's pearly whites and a jack-knife, mac.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 18, 2010 10:51 AM
-------------------------------
Bravo, bernie. It's not that easy getting these lyrics into the conversation. I love the last, mac.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

JakeD2, there is no issue with Obama's citizenship. I have a daughter whose mother was not a citizen, born in a foreign country. My daughter is a citizen of the US by virtue of my citizenship and was issued a "Certificate of Citizenship" to establish that fact. It doesn't matter where he was born and to me it doesn't matter if all the technical requirements were met. This is a dead issue.

He is still a menace to the country in spite of what he considers his good intentions.

Posted by: actuator | October 18, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Well, maybe to YOU it doesn't matter if all the technical requirements were met, but to some of us, it does ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Unintended consequence dept:

A pro-Coons ralley was attacked by an African-American mob the other day after the Coons people were heard chanting their mans name, over and over. All the Coons people were up on hate crime charges when the error was rectified.

From now on, the Coons people will cry "Chris! Chris!"

Cat fight dept: Meghan McCain is going around dissing Christine McDonnell because O'Donnell is so darned goofy. Are those Irish lasses cute, or what?

Posted by: battleground51 | October 18, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

PragStill posted the link to Krugman's graph showing the decline in revenue. It also showed continued increasing government spending. Revenue declined to some extent because the government depends on the revenue stream of captive audience wage earners' witholding taxes. When employment took a dive that stream took a dive with it and when it kept going down the dive continued.

Most individuals and business apply common sense and reduce expenditures when revenues decline. Many, if not most, states may not legally spend more than they take in so they too, reduce expenditures. Does the federal government do this? No. Would any liberal or so called "progressive do this? Possibly, but not likely. When this adminstration came into office the first thing they did was take action to increase spending in the face of falling revenue with bailouts and HCR. The Clinton campaign chant, "It's the economy, stupid." was clearly not on their minds. Krugman and his ilk seem to think that this makes sense when it certainly appears to be illogical. The piper is going to be paid and that is where taxation without representation becomes clearly apparent. Our children, grandchildren and the unborn are going to be taxed to pay for this stupidity and have no say in the matter.

Posted by: actuator | October 18, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Jake wrote:

"What do you think that Obama is hiding, a different "father" listed on the LONG FORM birth certificate? Assuming that father was an American citizen, then it doesn't even matter if little Barry was born in Kenya."

Stopped back in for a second. There has never been a definitive meaning of "natural born citizen", but most probably a person born outside the US and it's territories, even to two US citizens, is ineligible for the presidency.

See:

ROGERS V. BELLEI, 401 U. S. 815 (1971)

for the probable closest case on this principle. So had Obama been born in Kenya to two US citizens, he most likely would not have been eligible for the Presidency, though being a citizen in every other way.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 18, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

54465446:

I wouldn't be making that argument though. Seriously, why is he hiding his original birth certificate? Do you really think it lists a different father than "Barack Obama, Sr."?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

The trouble with censoring people in the comments section of newspaper websites is that you will experience a bland sameness when one side gets voted out. It will become mind-numbingly boring to all who demand diversity of thought and invigorating challenge. The comments will dwindle down....to......a.......few like minded........partisans.......who hate......any and all..............competing......ideological thought............processes and or............challenges...........I

Posted by: battleground51 | October 18, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

pragmaticstill wrote:

"The failure of everyone on this board to achieve millionaire status is NOT based on our spending, but on our inadequate revenue!


Posted by: 54465446 | October 18, 2010 10:23 AM

Gee ... and I thought it was a result of those horrendous tax increases President Obama forced down the throats of the American people!"


Ok, I hope you got the satire, in pointing out Krugman's oversimplification, but perhaps no?

Krugman is the best illustration of what I call the "Psychic Principle of Economists"

Namely, if you ever get a few projections right, that is all people will ever talk about. No batting average of times right versus times wrong will be brought up. A lifetime of employment awaits you in one university or another. The really important thing is to stay newsworthy.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 18, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Kevin said:

"Is it just me, or do I detect a strong resemblance to STRF here?

Not saying they're the same person. It's just . . . interesting. ;)"

Been sayin' it for weeks. Ethan = STRF without the substance.

wb said:

"In any case, it is up to the American people to decide how much or little weight to give to the source's identity and biases. Without full disclosure the American people are deprived of information vital to making informed political decisions. Big Money is hiding behind the Chamber of Commerce which, in turn, is riding the good will of the thousands of local Chamber's. It is trickery and deceit. There is no defense for secrecy. It really is quite simple."

Thus proceeds liberalism's infantilization and subjegation of the public. There's no trickery or deceit involved. If it were true that "who paid" were a "vital" piece of information that people must have to evaluate a message, then messages funded anonymously will be discounted.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 18, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

jake wrote:

"I wouldn't be making that argument though. Seriously, why is he hiding his original birth certificate? Do you really think it lists a different father than "Barack Obama, Sr."?"

Okay, not fooling around, and being serious I am 100% convinced he was born in Hawaii. Given that, why won't he give all of you what you want?

1) sheer stubborness?, this is certainly a strong one. Since there is no law requiring him to do so and in fact the law requires not only his but all citizens records to be private unless authorized to be revealed he may simply feel that it is beneath him to have to prove what is so patently obvious.

2) not the birthplace, but the circumstances of his birth are somewhat murky. An already pregnant mother marries an African student on scholarship, who may or may not want/need the marriage to remain in the country after college. Who but the two people involved could ever say how that came about. It doesn't matter to the birthers however because it doesn't legally inhibit his ability to be president no matter what name is on the certificate if he was genuinely born in Hawaii.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 18, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Since there is no law requiring the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to disclose it's funding, you will certainly abide by that too?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

jake wrote:

"Since there is no law requiring the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to disclose it's funding, you will certainly abide by that too?"

I don't know if this is addressed to me. If so you must have missed my post early this morning:


"Greg, you're making this too easy for me.:


'Maybe it's too early to decide whether the Dem attacks on secret money are working? Kevin Drum gets it right: It's not at all persuasive to cite the GOP lead in the generic ballot matchup as proof that this particularl Dem attack line isn't working, since it's only been underway since last week.'


This headline is of course only the prelude. In the days AFTER the election you will be writing that this strategy REALLY, REALLY, did work, but they just ran out of time before the election. That's exactly what I told you last week would happen.

Correct me if I'm wrong but the date of the election hasn't been moved, even by foreign donor money."

I have saying since the very beginning that foreign donors don't matter to the electorate given all the other issues on the table MORE important, and that this is a losing argument for my party to try to win an election on.


Posted by: 54465446 | October 18, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

@12bar - My pleasure.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 18, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin - good post. Not exceptional, but good.

Dictatorship is not a reasonable prospect here or in any western industrialized nation (outside of some horrific and highly unlikely circumstance). Nor is a hardcore police-state of the sort Russia lived under for a long time. But this hardly exhausts the real threats to liberty that you/we face. Furthermore, concentrating on such prevents realistic appraisals of what might come down the pike (or even what might be presently the case). I hope you understand this important distinction.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 18, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

@SCott
"You have posited that the Republican party in general and the Tea Party movement in particular is so "extreme" that even the likes of Barry Goldwater would be rejected by it. I'd like to analyze that by looking at a few of the TP's most important policy positions (as you understand them"

This is not really written for you as I don't believe you might much adjust your notions regardless of much of anything.

First, I demonstrated the movement to the far right of the modern party/movement through several examples - Goldwater on abortion and on the influence of the religious right on your party; Eisenhower on the social contract and on the extremism of the oil men from Texas who he was speaking of, now far more influential in your party and ideology now than then; and Buckley on the extremisms of the Birchers who are again exerting serious influence on your party/movement with no one on the horizon who will beat them back.

There are many other measures we could bring to bear to contrast earlier periods and now but those are telling enough.

As to a Tea Party platform - its a rather silly notion as there is little reason at all to imagine the TP as anything other than a rebranding project to make 'conservativism' and the Republican Party appear as something less failure-ridden than many Americans had come to view it after the eight years of Bush. The only 'new' aspect of it is the Paulite faction (which is the fundamental source of the Bircher resurgence) which Republican strategists worked to kidnap for their activist passion and so as to prevent a third party split. This segment is a minority and will not be permitted to get far. Whatever libertarian values this crowd holds, on choice, legalization of drugs, etc will gain no real representation in the party/movement going forward because other sectors of the movement are far more powerful and are far more integral to Republican electoral success - and thus to corporate goals and gains. There's a reason why the christian coalition has been disappointed in realizing certain goals (see David Koh or Diiulio) and that reason is that where their goals work against either corporate profits or Republican electoral success, they fall to these other more powerful interests.

That's the story. Do with it as you wish.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 18, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

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