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Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* Fun read: Michael Cooper skewers the leading mythological interpretations of Tuesday's results.

* Fact-check of the day: Jake Tapper debunks all the nonsense about the cost of Obama's India trip, and notes, crucially, that members of Congress are trafficking in it too.

* Dave Weigel, an MSNBC contributor, looks at the larger media/political context and makes a persuasive case against the suspension of Keith Olbermann.

* Another one: Salon reports that CNBC's Larry Kudlow donated $1,000 to former GOP Congressman Chris Shays in 2009.

* Bernie Sanders is the first elected official to weigh in on the Olbermann firing:

"It is outrageous that General Electric/MSNBC would suspend Keith Olbermann for exercising his constitutional rights to contribute to a candidate of his choice. We live in a time when 90 percent of talk radio is dominated by right-wing extremists, when the Republican Party has its own cable network (Fox) and when progressive voices are few and far between. Keith Olbermann should be reinstated immediately and allowed to present his point of view."

* No, Olbermann's contributions are nothing like those of News Corporation and MSNBC, unlike Fox, does not have multiple potential presidential candidates as on-air personalities.

* Michael Calderone pokes another hole in the Olbermann suspension: "NBC has previously noted differences between what MSNBC hosts and their NBC News colleagues can do."

* Nancy Pelosi speaks to E.J. Dionne, who concludes Dems may support her for Minority Leader because they're "tired of reflexively capitulating to the other side's narrative."

* Blue Dog Dem Jason Altmire says he won't vote for Pelosi, because she doesn't understand "what happened on Tuesday."

* The liberal-versus-moderate battle lines over Pelosi are already drawn, with other Blue Dogs like Dan Boren, Heath Schuler and Jim Matheson coming out againt her, while MoveOn and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee have rallied around.

* History lesson of the day, from Chris Bowers:

Keep in mind that after the 2002 election debacle, we were told making Nancy Pelosi Democratic leader would be a disaster. Supposedly, we would have been better off with Harold Ford Jr.

* Interesting point from Jay Newton-Small about Steny Hoyer's challenge to Jim Clyburn for minority whip, another key race to watch: He "lost much of his power base in the 60+ seats that have been wiped out."

* And there's simply no end to Sarah Palin's phony grievances about the media.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | November 5, 2010; 6:49 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Political media, Senate Dems  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Did Keith Olbermann even violate NBC policy?
Next: Open Thread

Comments

Good report by Jake Tapper, but after they cut their own pay, the GOP need to start cutting the Executive branch. We taxpayers spend more than $2 BILLION per year to run the White House, and Obama keeps using Air Force One, etc. to excess during an economic "crisis". Can we really afford these costs anymore?

http://theintrepid.blogspot.com/2008/11/how-much-does-it-cost-to-operate-white.html

Shouldn't he show some fiscal leadership and stay closer to home while REAL Americans are suffering?

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 5, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse


Im putting Kevin's software on ignore


Maybe that will make posting comments faster

______________________________


Obama denies the $200 million a day cost figure for his vacation.

However, he will NOT give a real cost figure.


The smart thing is to CANCEL the trip, but it's not like Obama went to Harvard or anything like that.


.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

um, ya, uh, Representative Jason Altmire, Mrs. Pelosi knows exactly what happened on Tuesday; Blue dogs got spanked and progressives won. If you don't like it, keep voting like you've been voting and you won't have to worry in 2 or 4 years.

Posted by: matt_ahrens | November 5, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Does it matter if the Blue Dogs don't vote for Pelosi? As opposed to Speaker of the House, this is a Dem only position, so party unity isn't required as it was when Pelosi was running for speaker.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 5, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Harold Ford!!

That's exactly what the Dems need to avoid.

Let the Blue Dogs twist in the wind. Why does the caucus need them now that they're the minority party? Like tets on a bull.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 5, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

PolarBearMadness:

Read that article I linked to. It's hidden out of sight, and no one knows the real costs (obviously, we have to pay Air Force personnel even if the jet stays in the hanger), but the price of fuel, additional security, and cutting down coconuts adds up.

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 5, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Well Olberman should be OK now that he has the Socialist support of Bernie Sanders.


Takes care of that one.........


.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Look at this,

http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/127819-mitch-daniels-weak-candidates-hurt-gop-drive-for-senate

I've wondered whether Mitch Daniels would be the Republican nominee for POTUS, the blood and dust caked survivor emerging from the smoking wreckage of Tampa, August 2012. But look at the comments underneath. Wow, makes us appear (almost) civilized.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

"news broken on twitter via @chrislhayes...
OK: I'm not filling in on Countdown tonight because I didn't feel comfortable doing it given the circumstances."

So I guess they asked Chris Hayes to fill in for Olbermann, he does that a lot, but he said no thanks.

There's also a petition circulating with 50,000 signatures already for him to be re-instated. I'm not a huge Olbermann fan and only watch him occasionally, but I think this entire episode reflects poorly on MSNBC. It seems pretty clear they have a double standard in play regarding campaign contributions. They should have found a different excuse.

It does seem like sort of a weird thing for him to do because I know in the past he hasn't even voted in order to maintain his distance from particular candidates. I wonder what made him do it this time.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 5, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

lms: Phil Dumbass Griffin.

He's trying to stamp the network with his seal of incompetence.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 5, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

"We taxpayers spend more than $2 BILLION per year to run the White House"

First off, the author of that article took it upon himself to decide what is/is not White House expenses. Basically, he pulled the numbers out of his a**.

In addition, even if you accept his numbers as accurate.....can you please explain to me how $1.5B is more than $2B? Is that some sort of special math they taught you at Stanford? Or is that part of Rove's magical math?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | November 5, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

'cat, they HAVE the book Math For Dummies, but that doesn't mean they read it.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 5, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

"Nancy Pelosi speaks to E.J. Dionne, who concludes Dems may support her for Minority Leader because they're "tired of reflexively capitulating to the other side's narrative."

So they choose the person who was the LEAST capable of framing a worthwhile narrative in the last election. Makes sense to me.

Reid wins, Pelosi runs, and Obama calls for a summit conference with Reps.

This movie already bombed at the box office.

Why are they making a sequel?

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

State law says a write-in vote should be counted if the write-in line is filled in with the candidate's name, as written on the candidate's paperwork, or at least a last name. The law says "there are no exceptions" to such rules.

Thomas Van Flein, Mr. Miller's attorney, said the state would be breaking the law by counting misspellings in Ms. Murkowski's favor. He wrote to state Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai, arguing that election workers shouldn't do so.

On Friday, Ms. Fenumiai pointed to two previous Alaska cases in which ballots were counted for a candidate when voter intent was clear, even if the ballot wasn't filled out correctly. Those cases didn't involve write-in ballots, however.

Ms. Fenumiai said the state is "proceeding as originally stated" with the counting process.‬

"It's very clear under Alaska case law that voter intent has to be considered when reviewing the ballots," said Ms. Murkowski's lawyer, Timothy McKeever. Although the previous cases cited by Ms. Fenumiai weren't related to write-in ballots, "a person who casts a write-in ballot is entitled to have their ballot considered just the same that anybody else's ballot is," he said.

Election officials have also said they wouldn't count a vote for "Lisa" or "Lisa M." in Ms. Murkowski's favor. When asked to comment on that, Mr. McKeever said, "We have not gotten any indication from the Division of Elections about the standards they're going to apply, but we expect that they'll comply with Alaska law."

Rick Hasen, an election-law expert at Loyola Law School, said states typically interpret election rules so they maximize the chances voter intent is considered. Alaska, in particular, "has generally taken the view that statutes should be liberally construed," he said.

The ballots will all be counted in the same place, with two election workers at each of several tables, Ms. Fenumiai said. If the name on a write-in ballot doesn't exactly match the name of a registered write-in candidate, the ballot will be added to a stack to be reviewed by Ms. Fenumiai and state lawyers department of law. Any dispute over ballot-counting process could end up in court.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704405704575596702529217476.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 5, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

jake:

You won. Quit with your obsession with hysterical nonsense about Obama already. You've got to pull yourself together in time to govern in January!

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, Clinton got rid of that, remember?

Until your boy Georgie and his pals ran it up again.

Thanks for playing, though.

Posted by:BGinCHI|November 4,2010
------

Wow! Bill Clinton paid off the national debt? Get the word out. Not many people know that.

Oh, and you've never heard me defend "Georgie's" prolific spending.

Please try to keep up.

Posted by: Brigade | November 5, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

schrodingerscat:

As I said, NO ONE knows for sure, but the $1.5 billion figure was an outdated and "conservative" estimate which I've adjusted for inflation.

54465446:

I'm not governing anything (I just want the federal budget cut, so a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 5, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, been saving that one up, eh?

Living a full, rich life, are we?

Maybe you were in a coma during the 90s. Or just oblivious to what was going on. It's ok, it happens to a lot of conservatives.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 5, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

If we had a political incompetence contest organized by party lines, we'd have a draw. The losers, dong dongs, whackjobs, imbeciles...call me an elitist, fine I'll own it, but maybe Plato was right.

Nancy Pelosi declares "Mission Accomplished" and wants to stay the course. Michael Steele stands in front of the mid term election results and says, "See, look what I did."*

*quotes used are not the actual utterances of the referenced imbeciles

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

But shrink, Mitch McConnell has a mandate.

I hope they go Dutch.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 5, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Steny Hoyer

They should just create another leadership position -

In a situation like this, why don't they create Duputy Minority Leader - and just be done with it

They don't need a fight right now - they are having too much trouble dealing with reality at this point.


.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

"As I said, NO ONE knows for sure, but the $1.5 billion figure was an outdated and "conservative" estimate which I've adjusted for inflation."

So, basically, YOU pulled that figure out of your a**. Not surprising given that you pushed the "Obama's trip to India is going to cost eleventy billion dollars a day!!!!" story ad nauseum.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | November 5, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Kenneth Walsh’s (low) 2002 estimate just for both Air Force One planes, right here in the good ol' Washington Post, was $200 million a year -- maybe that's morphed into the $200 million per day figure -- the actual cost is no doubt far higher now, as Walsh's figure fails to account for any of the measures aimed at beefing up security after September 11th and the dramatic rise in fuel prices since 2002.

More recent estimates suggest that Air Force One costs around $68,000 an hour (mostly for fuel), but the yearly costs to operate the two 833,000 pound behemoths are still a mystery. One of the problems with calculating the cost is that part of the expense depends on the total travel hours, personnel costs, backup aircraft, and sometimes even ground transportation. All of this can get pretty pricey. In 2000, for instance, one of Clinton’s week long trips to Asia cost an estimated $63 million. Sometimes these costs are lumped in with Air Force One’s budget, and sometimes they’re not. Many of the costs are also classified, which makes them difficult to determine.

Since 2002, Jet fuel prices have gone up about twenty per cent, so if I had to estimate, I would guess that Air Force One's yearly operating expenses are somewhere between $240-280 million (though even this estimate might be far too low).

Luckily, Congressional Committees can get to the bottom of any classified budget ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 5, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

this might be the first election cycle in 32 years that the number of women in Congress does not increase.

It's about time white men got a chance to lead this country.

Posted by:Ethan2010|November 5,2010
-------

I guess you were a big supporter of O'Donnell and Angle, eh bozo? Too bad they lost to old white men.

Or maybe you're just talking about the Democrats? Republicans Tim Scott and Nikki Haley did okay in the deep South. And Marco Rubio managed to beat the old white guy after those whose boots you lick couldn't talk the black candidate into dropping out for the old white guy.

Too bad about Alvin Greene. Can you believe 350,000 people voted for a man with the IQ of a field mouse. That means they're even dumber than him. Typical Dems. We just need to educate them more.

Posted by: Brigade | November 5, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Jake

There is a report out that Obama is building a kilo-meter long tunnel - all bomb-proof to go to a museum in India


They say the area is densely populated - so Obama needs them to build a tunnel for his safety.


I do not want Obama to go into any undue security situation, but if it is too dangerous there, Obama should just not go.


.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

schrodingerscat:

No, I've been "pushing" the over-$2-BILLION-total-White-House story since January 20, 2009. And my estimates are based on published reports including, as I've said, those from right here at the good ol' WaPo.

Again, Congressional Committees can get to the bottom of any classified budget ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 5, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

jake:

The cost will be and has been no different for a Rep president than it has and will be for a Dem. This is a silly debate.

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

"Since 2002, Jet fuel prices have gone up about twenty per cent, so if I had to estimate, I would guess that Air Force One's yearly operating expenses are somewhere between $240-280 million (though even this estimate might be far too low)."

Whew....good thing W flew coach.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | November 5, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

"No, I've been "pushing" the over-$2-BILLION-total-White-House story since January 20, 2009."

Well, at least you've admitted that your problem is with Obama spending that money and not Bush.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | November 5, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

PolarBearMadness:

There already is a "Deputy" Minority Leader (called Minority Whip, I think ; )

As for Obama being subjected to undue security situations that are too dangerous, I guess that just goes with the job.

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 5, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

It was a major mistake for Nancy Pelosi to stay on - they should just make her an Ambassador in Europe

The democrats need to get rid of Harry Reid too.

And if Obama resigns, Biden will be a fresh face too.


Olberman is out, and that is more election-related than people think.

NBC is making a change, so should the democratic party.


.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Sean:

The difference, of course, is that we are in an economic crisis and cannot afford it anymore. EVERYTHING is on the chopping block ; )

BTW: the $1,592,875,254 fiscal year 2008 "estimate" does not include classified outlays. These are likely
to be substantial, but they cannot be published legally. Nor does this total include acquisitions and renovation work for the public rooms of the White
House, supported by the White House Historical Association since 2001, which was $7,509,449. Finally, as I noted (and PolarBearMadness points out) security outlays -- Defense budget, Secret Service, and local authorities -- have escalated
markedly since 9/11. None of this takes into account lost productivity time and costs when Obama jams up Los Angeles streets like he did here recently.

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 5, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, in your rush to prove you are not racist, you wingers keep forgetting about Jaime Herrera (R) who beat the old boy networked white guy Denny Heck (D) in WA3.

The spectacular thing about her victory was that there are no Hispanic numbers in that district (all the downwardly mobile white guys voted for her), she is the first Republican ever to win there, she had negligible outside support and the district has been brutally damaged in the economic crisis (value added wood products jobs lost overseas in particular).

Democrats who don't realize what just happened are whistling past their grave yard.

And you shouldn't do any more of that Clarence Thomas and Michael Steele, Republicans are playing a joke on America stuff, it isn't funny. There are smart conservatives who are not white, don't appoint any more clowns.


Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Go Nancy!
We need a strong Dem leader to counteract all the DEregulations that Rethugs will be trying to pass for their corporatist buds.

Posted by angie12106|November 5,2010
-------

Just to fill you in: the House does not operate like the Senate. Nanny won't be counteracting anything. She will have zero power. Zero. The Republicans may not even allow her in the room when they're writing legislation. Dingy Harry and Obama will have to run the interference for Dems.

Nanny is everything of which the left accuses Sarah Palin. A useless twit born into a family of professional politicians who has used their coattails to get where she's been. And she's definitely now a has-been, though still drunk with power and completely delusional. A woman who would rather lie than tell the truth. Republicans will be overjoyed if she remains the face of the House Dems. Over the course of the next two years, she should be able to drive her approval rating from 8% down to 1%---and her party along with it. But, hey, as long as she's popular in Frisco . . .

Posted by: Brigade | November 5, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

THIS PLUM-LINE BLOG has been reduced to two topics


1) How the national democrats intend to ignore the results of the election on Tuesday, and the American People


2) How the democrats on this blog intend to ignore opposing points of view completely.

STARK ASTONISHING SHOCKING


.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Jake:

I'll play. So what would you do to change that?

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

"Living a full, rich life, are we?"

------

Just working every day to help pay for your foodstamps.

Posted by: Brigade | November 5, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, though, once Republicans take control of the House of Representatives this January, even minority Democrats will be able to offer amendments to reduce spending for all legislation that comes before the chamber -- something that was NOT allowed under out-going House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) -- this promise was reiterated on Thursday by Rep. Greg Walden(R-OR), who has been put in charge of the GOP House transition team, which will oversee the transfer of power from the Democrats to the Republicans.

In a press conference held Thursday in the Capitol, Walden said that Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), the expected new speaker of the House, plans to treat the Democratic minority far differently than the Democratic caucus treated Republicans in recent years.

“He [Boehner] has been very clear to us, to our conference, and I think to you all, that he intends to open up this House and have open rules,” said Walden. “I’m not here to say it’s going to be every single item -- that’s not my role -- but that’s his view and he’s made it clear to us.”

In September, the GOP included a promise in its “Pledge to America” to open up the rules process.

“By forbidding amendments on spending bills, Democrats have denied lawmakers the opportunity to tighten Washington’s belt and slash wasteful and duplicative programs,” the Pledge reads. “Structure dictates behavior, so we will let any lawmaker — Democrat or Republican — offer amendments to reduce spending.”

This promise represents a marked change from the last four years under Democratic control when Republican members were often blocked from offering any amendments by Democratic leadership.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/house-gop-promises-open-amendment-proces

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 5, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the Comcast/NBC merger pulled the trigger on KO (http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/05/burke-comcast-msnbc/).

Corporate America and liberals do not mix.

The corporate Republicans and corporate media do not like net neutrality, either. Next, they will find a way to get rid of TPM, HuffPo, and the like.

Corporations are taking over America, folks: they now have the House and 5 Supreme Court Justices. Next, the Senate and the Presidency.

Posted by: dozas | November 5, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

"Nan[c]y is everything of which the left accuses Sarah Palin. A useless twit...drunk with power and completely delusional. A woman who would rather lie than tell the truth. "

I agree 100%. I can't stand either of them. Neither side can see what is wrong with their people. I guess they think, yeah, but at least she is ours.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Sean:

For starters, across-the-board cuts back to 2008 levels will save over $100 billion per year. I think that Obama can make due with $1 billion too ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 5, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Jake

I am not familiar with all the exact titles in the leadership of the House parties.

I believe there is one additional position which the majority party holds - because they have the Speaker plus a majority leader, then the whip.


The minority party has the leader, then the whip, which is one less.

I am just saying - add a position there in the middle and be done with it.

I'm not sure how all this was done prior to the 1950s - but the two leaderships are run differently now as compared to then. In addition, there are important communications functions which really were not as demanding prior to the 1950s -

The whole thing is different now.


.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Jake:

I didn't mean the whole budget. I meant the WH money that you were speaking about.

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Re Pelosi - Pleased as punch to see the support for her and love EJ's take. Not to mention that it frustrates rightwing attempts to behead Reid and her.

Re Olbermann - Given the contributions from Scarborough and Buchanan, its difficult to see this decision as other than the consequence of a personal grudge or a politically-motivated attempt to remove a strong progressive voice from prime time.

We really ought not to discount the possibility that, as with Weigel, there are folks who wish to color the media landscape in a very particular manner. Alongside the desire to place conservative voices in major media we've seen attempts to diminish independent or progressive media; eg attacks on NPR and the attempt to remove Moyers and place WSJ personnel on PBS.

We'll see how this plays out but given the blunt reality that this move will seriously tarnish the MSNBC brand for its audience, if the decision remains in place, the only viable explanation will be that corporate at MSNBC are playing a game that they do no want to share with their audience because it is antipathetic to the values of free speech and independent voices in the public domain at the cable broadcast level.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 5, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

2/3 of the JetA bought by the USofA is produced by BP. When Ken Salazar said the Obama Administration had its boot on the neck of BP last Summer, he should have been fired on the spot. Liar, liar, pants on fire. We don't like be lied to, we have bipartisan agreement on that.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Bernielatham wrote,
"So the really interesting part of this will be watching FOX and Limbaugh and Beck and Kristol to see what they do and how they go about it. This will further clarify the actual power structures and alignments in the conservative world."
-------

Isn't it priceless how terrified liberals are of FOX, Limbaugh, et al.? They talk about this all the time. I'm conservative, but I'll guarantee you that Bernie spends a lot more time following FOX (or is it Faux?) and Limbaugh than I do. LOL.

Meanwhile, libs just keep eating their own. Rather, Shuster, Williams, and now Olbermann---am I forgetting anyone? It's not like we don't know these people are blatantly partisan. It's not like CBS or MSNBC is going to convince us they have journalistic standards. So just leave these people alone; let libs be libs. I think Olbermann is a dirtbag, but things have come to a pretty pass when it's conservatives like me who have to come to these guys' defense.

Posted by: Brigade | November 5, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

bernie:

Doesn't the fact that Olbermann was smug, pretentious, generally insufferable, and had a very small audience matter?

Couldn't CNBC be using this as an excuse to get someone in there who will draw more viewers than "Antiques Roadshow"?

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Jake

John Kass of the Chicago Tribune has a good idea -

Get Obama to resign and have him run for Mayor of Chicago


That would solve alot of issues.


.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

"schrodingerscat" now there's a name that will be way over the heads of the right wingers. BTW, when did they let you out of your box and were you alive of deceased? Dr. Hawking and I would like to know! I think an admirable new novel would be a brief history of the republican party and it's parallels to the communist party where there are two distinct segments to the structure but instead of two parties it becomes two classes as it has here under republican rule.

Posted by: anOPINIONATEDsob | November 5, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Further re Olbermann... Think Progress gets to what is the probable root of the situation here...
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/05/burke-comcast-msnbc/

Posted by: bernielatham | November 5, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

anOPINIONATEDsob at 8:16 PM


I already quizzed her on that name - and she got really sensitive really quickly


And for your information, my impression is the Conservatives are the only one's who get it.


.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

There's "simply no end to" Greg Sargent's phony complaints about "Sarah Palin's phony grievances about the media."

You've got to be kidding, Greg. A sleazeball "journalist" and "writer" decides to to make a name from smearing Palin, rents a house next door to spy on the family, and then threatens to sue because HIS privacy is "invaded" by being filmed. And you describe this story as a phony complaint by Palin??? Did you even read it? Your obsession is running out of control.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 5, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, in your rush to prove you are not racist, you wingers keep forgetting about Jaime Herrera (R) who beat the old boy networked white guy Denny Heck (D) in WA3.

. . . she is the first Republican ever to win there . . .

Posted by: shrink2
+++++++++++

I'm not sure where you got the idea that WA3 has never been held by a Republican. It has been in Republican hands for over 40 of the approximately 100 years the district has existed.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 5, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

An alternative explanation from Steve Krakauer:

"Two years ago Keith Olbermann was MSNBC. In many ways, he was untouchable, and knew it. In a New Yorker profile in June 2008, he joked that his boss, Phil Griffin, “thinks he’s my boss.” Around the same time, a high level MSNBC source told me, “He is not central to MSNBC, he is the center of the MSNBC ratings strategy. We hang the entire schedule on him.”

But that’s changed. Now, Rachel Maddow is getting better ratings than Olbermann in the key A25-54 demographic, and Lawrence O’Donnell isn’t far behind. Olbermann is no longer the center of the strategy either – as the network has unveiled a vibrant, massive new campaign “Lean Forward” which focuses on half a dozen members of the MSNBC talent pool."

Too big for his britches, Olbermann? How unlike him!

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

. . . rents a house next door to spy on the family . . .

Posted by: quarterback1
++++++++++

As a lawyer, I'm sure you understand that the video Palin's crew took is proof they actually spied on McGinniss. Where is your proof that McGinniss intended to spy on Palin's family, or that he actually has spied on them? Oops. There is none. He rented the house next door. That is not a tort and it is not a crime. Sarah's paranoia doesn't constitute proof.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 5, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Brigade said "but I'll guarantee you that Bernie spends a lot more time following FOX (or is it Faux?) and Limbaugh than I do."

I'd expect that the list of things I follow more than you is fairly expansive and might very well include those two as well. As any educator could advise you, not everyone is into the learning thing.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 5, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Just seeing if you were going to check. Wasn't that quite a victory though? I happen to know that area and they don't spend a lot of time celebrating diversity and all that liberal stuff, but they brought in Jaime Herrera.

I think Republicans should run figure out what they are going to change. That is why Herrera won and that is why Obama won. I don't know if Republicans have a choice, but if you go backwards or do everything the same, Republican business as usual, you won't know what hit you in two years, just like the Ds now.

And to this..."There's "simply no end to" Greg Sargent's phony complaints about "Sarah Palin's phony grievances about the media."

*whispering* do we care? so long as the comments provide repartee, I mean, its not like anyone is here to get the news, or to learn how wrong they have always been

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Jake

This is actually the third election which Obama has lost.

Last year was New Jersey and Virginia - and then in January it was Scott Brown


So this is the third time that Obama has ignored the American People - and just said that it is a failure of the American People to understand.


Obama is right, the voters are wrong - that is the OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE POSITION.


It really is a laugh that the US has an admistration like this. Who do these people think they are???


.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

@54 - that's not an explanation. A lack or claimed lack of humility is hardly reason to let go of central media figures or there'd be none left standing. And could you please link your sources so that others can attend to them.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 5, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Good piece from Yglesias on the irrelvance of Mitch McConnell...
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/11/the-irrelevance-of-mitch-mcconnell/

Posted by: bernielatham | November 5, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

It's a disaster - the democrats are still out-of-touch with the American People.

Nothing they have said this week has changed their attitude.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Somewhere in the USA right now, 300,000 people are wondering how to center their lives now that Olbermann is no longer around, . . . or less than the combined number of people who will attend the Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State games tomorrow.

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

bernie:

You're a fair man and that's a fair request!

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/the-two-underlying-reasons-keith-olbermann-was-suspended-now/

Also my post that he has a viewership of about 300,000 or so comes from numerous tv rating sites. O'Reilly (who I also can't stand) has about 2.5 times the number of viewers, but at least Keith beats Anderson Cooper handily.

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Shrink,

I'm not sure there is much substance to Jaime Herrera, but I guess we'll see.

It is funny that her big break in politics came when she was appointed to a seat in the Washington Legislature vacated by a conservative Christian "family values" "anti gay rights" Republican man who, while in Spokane for a meeting of Republican leaders, had quite the sexual fling with a male prostitute, with whom he then had major altercation over payment. His activity came to light because he had to call police in order to get his wallet back from the prostitute.

Jaime Herrera -- with a story like that, you know her rise in Republican politics was destiny.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 5, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

oh..and you thought this was America? Like that's supposed to mean something? Next the corporations are going to be able to fire you for voting for a Democrat, opps they are ready are....

Please, we live in the Divides States of Glenbeckistan Inc.

What planet does MSNBC live on? Impartiality? Where? I don’t see any; anywhere. Yall live in la la land.

What! Is no one aloud to have an opinion? I've seen this guy on the news and he doesn't hide his leaning in any way. Right off the bat I knew this Olberman was a liberal type. Firing Keith for donating to the DNC or whatever is crazy!! It's like firing someone for donating to a church or any cause they believe in. Hell, when any of us buy products we fund corporations that run huge public policy related PR campaigns.

MSNBC is shifting to the right because plain and simple it's more profitable. The elderly are the ones watching the tube and they lean hard to the Republicans side so ditching Keith is simply a way to bring more right-wing viewers.

Oh…and as far as I’m concerned, the media is only as “liberal” as the giant corporations that own it.

Profit makes perfect.

Posted by: getcentered | November 5, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, 200 million RUPEES ($4.5 million) per day would be a little less than Clinton's Africa trip in 1998 ($5.2 million per day, says CNN). Not that anyone--certainly not a congresswoman or Fox "News" employee--could have made a mistake this stupid.

Posted by: pjro | November 5, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Back when conservatives were sane...

"About a half-century ago, actor John Wayne, who made no secret of his conservative political viewers, was asked for his thoughts after JFK defeated Richard Nixon. "I didn't vote for him," Wayne said, "but he's my president, and I hope he does a good job.""
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_11/026503.php

Today, several other axioms hold sway in the conservative universe:

- Obama (or any Dem President) cannot do a good job because a liberal cannot do good, only bad

- We conservatives cannot hope that he does a good job because that stands directly at odds to our primary job in opposition (recently stated by McConnell as re-gaining power). We must hope he does a lousy job to increase our chances (and we'll obviously do whatever we can to ensure he does a lousy job and that voters believe he's responsible).

Posted by: bernielatham | November 5, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

bearclaw, heh, heh, so you know she is nothing but a pretty face and an accretion of sound bites. No doubt about that.

But she is Hispanic in a downwardly mobile white Republican district. My point was that she got elected, she was not an affirmative action hire. Those Clark, Cowlitz, Pacific, Lewis, even Thurston County folks are desperate for change. They are desperate for jobs and they were willing to vote for her silly promises because they knew the Ds could not do anything but spend tax dollars and that won't save a place with no tax dollars.

Likely Herrera will accomplish nothing, in fact I am sure of it. But that isn't the point. She'll be out of a job fast enough. It is a sad situation.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

@54 - Thanks for the link. It's a protocol I think very important.

Yes, I'm aware of the ratings differences between Olbermann and O'Reilly. But that's not relevant to this issue as the job of any TV show will be to create and grow a viable market. It isn't merely the top draw in any hour is the only viable enterprise, obviously.

As to the aspect of popularity, it's important for a number of reasons but by itself this doesn't tell us anything about quality or worth. We probably aren't about to judge Lady Gaga versus Ella Fitzgerald using a measure of downloads.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 5, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

bernie,

When John Wayne was making films for the government during WWII, was he engaged in propaganda? If so, was it wrong? If not, when did it stop being right?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 5, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey, you know what Kevin's trollhunter thingamajig does now that is superb? Its that little box that has Ignore and Your Identity stuffed into the same little active space that anyone can click.

Knowing that dropping flaming bags of poo on other people will make you disappear, not them, is HUGE.

So why didn't blog owners do that a long time ago? I just don't have an answer for that.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

@Troll - You can work that out pretty easily for yourself, I'd imagine.

Do you think the fellow was knowingly attempting to deceive?

Posted by: bernielatham | November 5, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Quote of the day from Maloy at Media Matters...

"But one thing's for sure: The road to the 2012 Republican presidential nomination runs right through Fox News."
http://mediamatters.org/columns/201011050030

Posted by: bernielatham | November 5, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

bernie said: "@Troll - You can work that out pretty easily for yourself, I'd imagine."

I don't know how I can work that out since I cannot (mercifully (Mercifully!)) read your mind. I eagerly await your answers.

"Do you think the fellow was knowingly attempting to deceive?"

Isn't propaganda an attempt to deceive? What difference would it make if he knowingly did it? My question(among several) was, if the government was engaged in propaganda, when did it stop be acceptable to do conduct it?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 5, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Brigade said "but I'll guarantee you that Bernie spends a lot more time following FOX (or is it Faux?) and Limbaugh than I do."

I'd expect that the list of things I follow more than you is fairly expansive and might very well include those two as well. As any educator could advise you, not everyone is into the learning thing.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 5, 2010 8:34 PM
--------

Glad you're into the learning thing. From what I hear, FOX and Limbaugh should be able to teach you a lot. Maybe sweeten up your worldview a bit.

Posted by: Brigade | November 5, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Somewhere in the USA right now, 300,000 people are wondering how to center their lives now that Olbermann is no longer around . . .

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 8:44 PM
-------

Probably the same 300,000 people who voted for Alvin Greene.

Posted by: Brigade | November 5, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

We should cut the BS about a reasoned discourse. The Republicans just showed us the WWE is ordinary mainstream American culture on the skids, but it is mainstream. Alvin Greene starts with Jim DeMint then Christine O'Donnell runs in to do a tag team event featuring at the end, Sarah Palin and Barak Obama. They don't have to actually humiliate themselves, apart from the outfits. Everyone knows the posing and the bluster, the raging speeches, the dark predictions...are the attraction, not the more comical than ever "wrestling" matches.
Matches? Matches!? We don't need no stinking matches.

We don't have to care what other countries think about the decadence of American politics. We know we aren't ridiculous. If we wanted to, we could get serious.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

McWing:

"I eagerly await your answers."

It's been said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time is a good indication of insanity. I'm beginning to worry you may be insane.

Asking our resident propagandist questions while expecting him to answer honestly, forthrightly and without evading or dissembling seems pretty crazy to me.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 5, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

@Troll - You probably ought not to try to best me on this one. A better tact for you to take is to try and understand the historical uses of the term and work out which (or which aspects of prior usage) provide you with a helpful tool for understanding.

You could start (it would be clarifying and beneficial for you) in deciding if there is an important difference between deceitful intent and intentions of a different sort, eg making one's good works well known. Without such a differentiation, you end up with a sort of unhelpful brain-mush on the subject and I wouldn't advise it.

Then, you might ask yourself if there's anything useful to be gained in attributing the term "propaganda" to someone who is mouthing a deceitful story but who has, himself, no awareness that it is deceitful. You could say he's doing propaganda but it's rather more clear-headed to say he's just unknowingly repeating it (real propaganda obviously counts on such unknowing agents to spread the tale that THEY know is false).

Work through the subject in this manner and you'll get somewhere. But do it yourself because that's far more valuable to you. And do some research for new ideas and perspectives.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 5, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

@PolarBear: "Im putting Kevin's software on ignore"

Cool. It's easy to do. But it won't make things go much faster, and has nothing to do with any problems the WaPo blogs were having. It's a user script, runs on the user's computer, and has no impact on the WaPo servers at all. Just FYI.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 5, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

bernie:

Yes but . . .

How do you move people, how do you expand your audience, how do reach those who disagree with you, if you demean them, call them stupid, laugh about the things they hold sacred, etc?

It's the same argument that SHOULD be going on in the Dem party today but won't be because Reid and Pelosi will still be in charge.

If democracy means anything it means the right of the people to choose, does it not?

Olbermann respresents the idea that me and my small group know what's best for everybody and if you don't agree, it's because you're not as smart as me school.

Ponder for a moment that FDR who my 90 year old father still idolizes, had absolutely nothing in common with the people who voted for him, and loved him all their days.

If Olbermann, CNBC, or for that matter the Democratic party wants to connect with people they should spend the next 30 days researching how the ultimate blue-blooded patrician could "betray his class" as the saying went, and spend 13 years as President without ever demeaning or belittling the people, or being pretentious.

Beloved by the common people, with whom he had nothing in common.

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

@Scott - You're not a bad guy but there's an aspect to your engagement here which prevents you from gaining what you could. You don't have an interest in learning but rather in fighting. Certainly so if the person you are talking with is a "liberal". You will and do presume that such an exchange is inherently belittling to you and evidence of arrogance on the part of the other. So, for me, such a conversation with you ends up a waste of time.

And now, home for dinner.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 5, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3,

Hope springs eternal I guess, I'm just a cockeyed optimist.

bernie's rather weird answer yesterday to my Andrew Sullivan/birther/credibility question was rather insightful though. While I don't know in what way pointing out Sullivan's birtherism is either "ad hominem" and/or fallacious, I do know he quit responding at that point. Obviously Sullivan's insane birtherism is an exceedingly valid reason to question his (Sullivan's) credibility, bernie knows this, and he did not want to admit it, at least publicly.

Now bernie's in a bit of a pickle because he's prattled on about the perils of so called rightwing propaganda, and is trying to sqaure the circle about why propaganda put out by FDR, a decided left winger, is ok. I suspect either no answer will be forthcoming, some sort of insult or condescension about my woefully inadequate edjumacashun will follow.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 5, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

@bernielatham: "You're not a bad guy but there's an aspect to your engagement here which prevents you from gaining what you could. You don't have an interest in learning but rather in fighting."

Well, to paraphrase Forrest Gump: "I'm not a smart man, but I know what a cop out looks like."

;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 5, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Yup, the woefully inadequate edjumacashun dodge.

Is there any commentor here, with your identical "education," that is worthy of your answers? If not, why post such nonsense? Why would you assume that mere questions are some attempt to "best" you? I'm trying to understand why you believe one side of a political debate engages in "propaganda" and the other doesn't, that's all. Seems pretty straightforward, no? I'd also love to know if think there had ever been a time when "propaganda" has been used for the good? And if so, when. Why do these questions disturb you so?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 5, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Good night with a comment on the obvious. Inflation proof your life. Oil will hit $100 a barrel, possibly even by the end of the year. Nearly all commodities are at yearly high's and not going down on dips for very long.

The Fed has guaranteed inflation to take down the deficit. The brakes on the train have been disabled to make it go much faster. Lord knows how this will all end!

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

54554

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/06/business/economy/06fed.html?hp

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Slight update to Trollhunter. Still trying to allow for formating, but changed the syntax. Now asterisks should be *bold type*, and single underlines should be _italic type_, and __double underlines are underline__, and double dashes --are strikethru--, which can be fun for making a snarky point, but only to the other people who are --smart and cool-- actually running the latest Troll Hunter.

Yes, I know, this may be overkill.

Also added a count to each message, so you can see which # each message is (at the bottom of each comment, before the date).

Specified the font in the comments text box. It's always courier for me, in Firefox, and that was getting irritating. So I made it Arial, which is pretty much how it is for me on Chrome or Safari.

And that's it for now.

http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/89140

As always.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 6, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

So, the election on Tuesday is a "myth"

Scott Brown doesn't exist either - he is a creation of the media, and he is really a computer-generated image.

He does not exist, and neither do his daughters.

.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 6, 2010 2:53 AM | Report abuse

Kevin

You killed the blog

No one wants to say anything because they think they will be put on ignore.

You killed the blog


The blog is dead.


This blog resembles roadkill on a hot Texas highway at 2 pm


.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 6, 2010 2:58 AM | Report abuse

So Kevin, who do you sell the credit card numbers to - the ones you get when Troll Hunter graps a credit card number off someone's computer ???


Just wondering - and how much have you made so far from this project?


.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 6, 2010 3:10 AM | Report abuse

MESSAGE OF THE DEMOCRATS

The democratic message is now: the voters are not smart enough to continue to support Obama.

It's not as if the voters didn't go for Obama two years agao


NO, the voters are suddenly stupid and fickle - they were right two years ago and now they are wrong.


OBVIOUSLY, the rest of the American People think the voters were wrong in 2008, and right now.


In additon, Obama now thinks the American People DO NOT DESERVE him.


So, Obama had decided to leave the country for 10 days - just to make the voters miss him - and to prove the point that the voters are just wrong.


When the voters learn their lesson, Obama will come back.


The American People are sorta hoping that Obama stays in Indonesia - where he is probably a citizen anyway......

.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 6, 2010 3:21 AM | Report abuse

The liberals on this blog are unable to get along with people in a civil manner.


quite remarkable, for a group of people who claimed they would be bipartisan for 4 years if the nation voted for Obama.


Anyway, this is nothing but a character flaw which must be pointed out, if the liberals have any chance of repenting...

.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 6, 2010 3:39 AM | Report abuse

Quote of the morning, from Brade DeLong on Bachus' expressed desire to go all Tea Party/anti-elites/anti-banks bailouts through giving the financial sector exactly what the financial sector wants...

"This is simply another example of why friends simply do not let friends vote Republican, ever."
http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2010/11/the-republicans-announce-their-eagerness-to-serve-their-banking-sector-masters.html

Posted by: bernielatham | November 6, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Liberals love a cozy, little club of like-minded bobble-heads. They always have and always will. It's why they despise anyone who has a starkly different view of things.

FOX NEWS is about the only network that leans conservative. It's a lonely, little island of conservative views in a vast ocean of liberalism but liberals want to nuke it anyway. Liberals do not want any opposition at all. Opposition disturbs them and makes them feel insecure.

That's why they call conservative commenters trolls and try to ignore them.

It's par for the course.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 6, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

I don’t know enough about you to know whether or not you are a bad guy, but there's an aspect to your engagement here which causes you to seem like one. You don't have an interest in an exchange of opinions among equals, but rather in talking down to people as if you were their intellectual better. Certainly so if the person you are talking with is a "conservative", but really your condescension and arrogance is apparent even towards those with whom you ostensibly agree. You will and do pretend that such an exchange is inherently an opportunity for you to “educate” your inferiors, which leads you to dismiss any opinion which opposes your own as the product of a refusal to be “educated”. So, for you, such a conversation with anyone ends up reinforcing your abnormally-sized ego.

Which itself is entertaining enough for me, and after all that is why we are all here…to pass the time. Watching a self-important and pompous America-hater weave crazy conspiracy theories and then hide behind his self-presumed superiority in order to avoid challenges can be amusing. So, when and if you make good on your promise to depart our little community here, I will miss you, Bernie. Just not for the reasons your inestimable self-regard will make you think.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 6, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Kevin said: " I know what a cop out looks like."

Uh, no, you don't.

Troll said: "While I don't know in what way pointing out Sullivan's birtherism is either "ad hominem" and/or fallacious, I do know he quit responding at that point. Obviously Sullivan's insane birtherism is an exceedingly valid reason to question his (Sullivan's) credibility, bernie knows this, and he did not want to admit it, at least publicly."

You "don't know in what way" because you don't understand what an ad hominem is thus why fallacious thus why the Trig thing is irrelevant thus why I didn't bother with it. If you were actually curious about these things, as you claim, you'd put in some time getting straight on the ad hominem until you were clear on it and could grasp what I've just said. But you didn't and likely you won't.

As to your claim or suggestion above that I've said "only one side engages in propaganda", that's simply false. I've never said it.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 6, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

@polarbear: {{So Kevin, who do you sell the credit card numbers to - the ones you get when Troll Hunter graps a credit card number off someone's computer ??? Just wondering - and how much have you made so far from this project? }}

The money will all be from the lawsuit when I sue an overzealous performance artist for libel. ;)

Seriously, I'm one of the few people here who still reads your stuff. You really want me to block you, too?

{{Kevin
You killed the blog
No one wants to say anything because they think they will be put on ignore.}}

Really? That's why there's 95 comments on this blog post alone?

And I'm not afraid to say anything. And folks can ignore me, just like anybody else.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 6, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

"As a lawyer, I'm sure you understand that the video Palin's crew took is proof they actually spied on McGinniss. Where is your proof that McGinniss intended to spy on Palin's family, or that he actually has spied on them? Oops. There is none. He rented the house next door. That is not a tort and it is not a crime. Sarah's paranoia doesn't constitute proof."

First, consider the track record and character of the man. If you've read, for example, his laughable "fact check" of Palin's book, you know he is a completely dishonest and unserious hack who is engaged in nothing but a smear campaign. And, no, don't even try to argue about that. It isn't opinion. It is fact. His writing on Palin is demonstrably preposterous.

Second, after makeing a public show of being in the process of writing an "expose" of Palin and her scurrilous family, he moved to Alaska, and rented the house next door to them to do his "research." As a Palin hater, you can choose to believe that was a coincidence and involves no spying -- or would you prefer "observation"? As a lawyer, I know which side of that argument I would want to argue to a jury. A typical jury would be mocking your argument as soon as they got to the jury room.

As for your claim that the video (which neither you nor anyone has seen) is "proof" the hack was spied upon, I guess you would have to define what you mean. If you mean it is proof that the Palin crew committed some legal wrong, I'm afraid you are getting a bit ahead of yourself.

But I was more focused on Greg's mischaracterization of the story he linked. He characterized it as a story about a phony complaint by Palin, when it's a story about a phony complaint by poor, persecuted McGinnis, who moved to Alaska to be close to the objects of his expose. Do you think Greg's lede is accurate?

I think it is a hilariously brilliant move for Palin to turn the tables on this officious dirtbag. I hope they send McGinnis's lawyers back a terse FU response and let them take it to court. He made himself a public figure by attacking Palin and touting his forthcoming tome "exposing" her alleged corruptions. I would love to see this clown try to explain his complaint about invasion of privacy to a judge or jury. I'd love to cross examine the sleazeball and moron.


Posted by: quarterback1 | November 6, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Bernie (to McWing):

"You "don't know in what way" because you don't understand what an ad hominem is..."

Actually it is apparent that you don't. An ad hominem is a fallacious form of argument. A question is not an argument and therefore cannot be an ad hominem.

(Unless, perhaps, it is a rhetorical question, but McWing has made clear his question was not rhetorical and that he was looking for a answer from you...one that you refuse to provide.)

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 6, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

A relevant question from Fair...

"If supporting politicians with money is a threat to journalistic independence, we should consider the contributions of NBC, and at NBC's parent company General Electric.

"...According to the Center for Responsive Politics, GE made over $2 million in political contributions in the 2010 election cycle (most coming from the company's political action committee). The top recipient was Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman from Ohio. The company has also spent $32 million on lobbying this year, and contributed over $1 million to the successful "No on 24" campaign against a California ballot initiative aimed at eliminating tax loopholes for major corporations (New York Times, 11/1/10).

Comcast, the cable company currently looking to buy NBC, has dramatically increased its political giving, much of it to lawmakers who support the proposed merger (Bloomberg, 10/19/10). And while Fox News parent News Corp's $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association caused a stir, GE had "given $245,000 to the Democratic governors and $205,000 to the Republican governors since last year," reported the Washington Post (8/18/10)."
http://www.alternet.org/media/148763/if_olbermann's_donations_are_bad,_what_about_ge's/

We could again point to Dewey's observation, "Politics is the shadow cast by business."

Posted by: bernielatham | November 6, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I'll bring this up again.

Olbermann's donations were made to guests that appeared on his program. The donations were made the day each appeared on his program.

Do these facts change anything?

Posted by: DDAWD | November 6, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

All, a fresh Open Thread for you:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/open_thread_10.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 6, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

@bernielatham: "Uh, no, you don't."

I know you are, but what am I?

Sure sounded that way to me. Lacking sufficient erudition I am, no doubt, mistaken.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 6, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Good grief.

Andrew Sullivan has an opinion on X. It is (in TmcW's view) a foolish opinion. Therefore, Sullivan's other opinions on all political or other matters are without credibility.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 6, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I'd meant to mention this head-shaker of a statement from the NY Times analyst Matt Bai when I bumped into it the other day but didn't have time.

"A powerful force in the party, Ms. [Sarah] Palin represents an aggrieved, anti-elitist strain of conservatism that goes back to Richard M. Nixon’s Silent Majority. It is a rural conservative impulse, rooted most firmly in the South and West, that equates liberal government with tyranny and anti-Americanism."

All the way back to the dimly remembered past of Nixon's time. How the frigging hell did this get past his editors? Or one could reasonably ask, how the frigging hell did this fellow get his position writing on American politics with such a lousy knowledge of American history? That's just depressing.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 6, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Bernie,

I challenged you to actually familiarize yourself with ad hominem fallacies when you had that exchange with TMW yesterday. Do you acknowledge that an ad hominem fallacy consists of disputing a claim on grounds of an irrelevant personal characteristic of the speaker?

You ought to know that this is the proper definition, and you ought to notice that the attack should be "irrelevant" to be fallacious. Pointing out a claimant's history of dishonesty, not to mention fantastic, personally abusive, obsessive disregard for truth, is hardly an irrelevant attack on character. Indeed, in Anglo-American law, evidence of a general character or reputation for dishonesty is admissible to attack a witness's credibility.

Are you prepared to state that you consider claims made by Fox, Rush Limbaugh, the Chamber of Commerce, NRO, or any of the other conservative bogeymen who inhabit your world to be on equal credibility footing with those of . . . who, Mother Jones, the Nation, or pick your favorite source?

Yesterday you quoted Sullivan commenting on Palin's not answering hard questions from the press. TMW asked you whether it bothers you that Sullivan has been obsessed with Palin birtherism. How is that bizarre history of Sullivan's with regard to Palin irrelevant to his continued commentary on her?

Can hardly wait for your enlightening responses.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 6, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Kevin

Just so you know, I love everything, except the html tags. The reason is they only work if you're using the script yourself and reading the comments from others using the script and the tags. For those who choose not to install the script, they see the __{{**}}__----etc around the comments. I don't think that's necessarily fair for people who don't want to install Troll Hunter for whatever reason.

Maybe that's just me, but I thought I'd let you know.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 6, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"Andrew Sullivan has an opinion on X. It is (in TmcW's view) a foolish opinion. Therefore, Sullivan's other opinions on all political or other matters are without credibility.'

No, you've completly misstated his question to you (and the position it could have implied). You quoted Sullivan on Palin. He asked you about Sullivan's bizarre history re Palin, not "all political or other matters."

Pick whomever is the most unhinged and irresponsible Obama birther in your view. Consistency with your position now re Sullivan would compel you to accept said birther's commentary about Obama as uncritically as you would that of your favorite commenter.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 6, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "Andrew Sullivan has an opinion on X. It is (in TmcW's view) a foolish opinion. Therefore, Sullivan's other opinions on all political or other matters are without credibility."

I'm not sure that's TmcW's point--in fact, I think it may be the opposite point, as some liberals do occasionally use a conservatives personal failings, for example, to discredit the whole notion of "family values", or attempt to suggest that (though lower taxes might be bad in and of themselves), the fact that a conservative also believes in something the liberal considers especially foolish (the divinity of Jesus Christ, the 2nd amendment, original intent, alien conspiracies), thus all of conservatism is thereby soundly invalidated.

And, while it's just my opinion, Trig Trutherism goes well beyond foolish, to kind of bizarrely obsessive. But perhaps that's just me.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 6, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Kevin said: "Sure sounded that way to me. Lacking sufficient erudition I am, no doubt, mistaken."

Nothing to do with erudition. But you are mistaken nonetheless. Your clear presumption was that I didn't engage because I had no good response or counter-argument available. That ain't it. I'll give you an example of the worthlessness of spending one's time in a certain sort of "conversation".

So, tell me, Kevin, when a submarine surfaces in the mid-Atlantic and there's a salmon caught on the con tower, was that submarine fishing?

Posted by: bernielatham | November 6, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Scott,

Your 8:44 addressed to Bernie said it perfectly. Brilliantly crystalized the problem, and perfectly stated it.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 6, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "So, tell me, Kevin, when a submarine surfaces in the mid-Atlantic and there's a salmon caught on the con tower, was that submarine fishing?"

Well, to some degree, I'd suppose it was.

But do they eat the salmon, or throw it back?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 6, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the submarine was fishing, in the same respect that the minimum wage unemploys workers, and HCR unelects Democrats.

If you are the fish or the worker, though, it doesn't really matter.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 6, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Kevin said: "some liberals do occasionally use a conservatives personal failings, for example, to discredit the whole notion of "family values","

If done in such a broad manner, obviously that's an ad hominem too. However, if the criticism is directed at a figure who has campaigned on a "family values" platform but has himself or herself not demonstrated those stated values, then the criticism is valid IF hypocrisy is the charge. A preacher or family values politico misbehaving doesn't say anything, by itself, about conservatism nor the faith.

I had no interest in the Trig matter so didn't follow it at all. As I said before, it has no significance for me at all (it's irrrelvant to her potential as a political leader in my view) unless she's lying which would have some relevance. But Troll is clearly trying to suggest that because Sullivan became obsessed (we'll use your word) on this that therefore he can no longer be considered credible on anything related to Palin. I expect he rejects S's credibility in a far more wide-ranging manner but even if we assume the narrower focus, it's still an ad hominem. Sullivan clearly has no use for the lady (nor do I) but there are substantive and relevant reasons for that position (see Gerson, Rove, Kondrake, Krauthammer, etc)

Posted by: bernielatham | November 6, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

That particular salmon had climbed hundred foot waterfalls and passed through a gauntlet of grizzlies and it threw the submarine back.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 6, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

qb:

re: McGinnis

If I am not mistaken, McGinniss is the same guy who wrote Fatal Vision, the book about Jeffrey Macdonald, who murdered his own family. Duplicity and deception are not exactly unknown to McGinniss...see the lawsuit which he eventually settled with MacDonald after a mistrial.

http://law.jrank.org/pages/3306/Jeffrey-Robert-MacDonald-Trial-1979-Murderer-Sues-Writer.html

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 6, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Andrew Sullivan has an opinion on X. It is (in TmcW's view) a foolish opinion. Therefore, Sullivan's other opinions on all political or other matters are without credibility."

You are providing an excellent lesson on logical fallacies today, Bernie, albeit unintentionally so.

At no point did McWing argue or suggest that Sullivan was "without credibility" on all political or other matters as a result of his lunatic Trig birtherism. Hence, the above is a perfect example of a straw man argument.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 6, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

It should be obvious, at least, that simply answering what you think is an irrelevant question "yes, the sub was fishing") is quicker than dodging it over and over and over again. Such evasiveness belies the true objection being "relevance."

I predict that Bernie Latham will make his final swan song here before he would ever admit that Andrew Sullivan's credibility on all things Palin has been demolished by his Trig obsession.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 6, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I think Pelosi knows EXACTLY what happened on Tuesday! It's Jason Altmire and many others who don't know what happened.

On Tuesday, wealthy Republicans corporations BOUGHT quite a number of Congressional seats for MULTI-BILLIONS of DOLLARS, an unprecedented SHAM of our country's voting system by circulating tons of anti-Democrat lies, filth, and other propaganda on cardboard mailers, TV videos, radio, and billboards, to intentionally confuse and mislead voters. The advertisements blamed the Democrats for the economic disasters brought on by Bush and the Republican Congress's out of control enormous deficit spending from Bush's unpaid bills for his TRILLION DOLLAR A YEAR wars and his BILLIONS of DOLLARS of TAX cuts per year to his multi-millionaire and billionaire cronies!! The campaign was begun only DAYS after Obama's inauguration, especially blatant on the REPUBLICAN entertainment network of FOX, demeaning and deriding the hard work Obama and the Democratic majority Congress were achieving.

Their MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR campaign culminated in numerous successes on Tuesday by some candidates who could have easily been serial killers because THEIR qualifications, or lack of, never even entered the picture! It was the most crooked scam and mockery of democracy I have ever witnessed in my 70 years!

Drastic limits on spending and RATIONAL campaigning MUST return if we are going to actually BE a Democracy, instead of the recent criminal pretext as we have witnessed!

NOW do you understand what happened Tuesday, Jason??

Posted by: Maerzie | November 6, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Someone doesn't know that the Democrats spent MORE than Republicans this time around too.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 6, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I predict that Bernie Latham will make his final swan song here before he would ever admit that Andrew Sullivan's credibility on all things Palin has been demolished by his Trig obsession.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 6, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

This isn't a panacea for what happened to Keith. Writing on this page along with the good and bad comments doesn't salve my feelings against MSNBC and Phil Griffin for doing something to Keith that was stupid and hypocritical. Any person with even marginal intelligence (as evidenced by some of the comments on this page) can figure out that Keith is a person impassioned by what's right and good and crtical of both parties. Keith is a liberal, yes, a democrat yes, and there was no doubt in the minds of his million plus viewers that he was anything else. It's not a shock that he gave his own personal funds to three democratic candidates. The real shock would come if he gave funds to republican candidates. Now that would be a story, but I wonder if Griffin would suspend Keith for that? One can only wonder.

One thing is certain, knowing that Keith may never come back has left a hole in our hearts. We want him to come back because he is smart, he made us laugh, he made us angry and made us feel that this is the best country on the planet because we have the right to vote and chose our elected officials no matter how flawed and corrupt the process has become. When Keith lost his father and mother we felt as though we all lost a family member and when the irresponsible right made comments about his dead parents we were angry at their callousness and shame.

I doubt that Keith will ever come back. That's the way things are these days, there is no remorse and to show that you made a mistake is intrepreted as weakness, something a CEO or General or other leader will never admit to. They make no mistakes they have no regrets. So to those out there who hope that Keith will come back...don't hold your collective breath, I'm not, and that makes me sad.

Posted by: spamizham | November 7, 2010 3:03 AM | Report abuse

spamizham, do you also believe that the MSNBC rule which simply requires permission before a potential conflict of interest is tantamount to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust? By the way, I've heard that he only had 300,000 viewers, not a million plus. Since I only watched him on election night, perhaps you can point to where he was "critical" of Obama?

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 7, 2010 5:59 AM | Report abuse

It's actually LESS than 300,000 viewers (age 25-54):

http://www.businessinsider.com/quarterly-ratings-keith-olbermann-is-slipping-in-the-key-25-54-age-demographic-2010-6

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 7, 2010 6:15 AM | Report abuse

By comparison, even Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have more viewers:

http://assets.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/politics/Stewart%20Colbert%20spreadsheet.png

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 7, 2010 6:26 AM | Report abuse

I called the White House over 50 times, I called Hoyer more than 20 times and asked them to sue the News Media (ABC,NBC,CBS,PBS, Fox and CNN) for $500 Billion Dollars for False News Coverage I have to give PBS a little break they at least told you that we have people from both sides say what they want and let you decide who is telling the truth. When Meet the Press alowed Repub supporter to come on their program and say Pres Obama say unemployment would not go above 8% they created a false and misleading picture. Fact that all unemployment above 5% was created by GW Bush and company why is Pres Obama being blamed. Granted he had the responsibility like John Kerry not to be swift boated but sometimes a person with a good heart does not see the evil in others. I think it was the early 60th when a very funny sitcom was on the TV it wss called "Amous and Andy" the first Black "All in the Family" remember Archie. It was taken off the air and at the time I did not understand, but after a few months in Viet Nam it came to me. The NAACP protested that it demeaned Black Americans that why TX Sen Phil Gram said to a New reporter "What if they had drafted me, all they would have done is make me a clerk and sit me in a bldg out in a field somewhere, what a waste that would have been." That was the only thing Phil said I agree with because I was the l8 year old white boy from Atlanta GA by way of Houston that got drafted made into a clerk and sit out in that medal bld in the Bomb Dump at Da Nang AB Vietnam in May 20l0 begause of Agent Orange as Sen Sanders in Sep 20l0 hearing said is still to toxic to be around I had heart by pass and the government with a l nov 20l0 date still is putting off giving a reply to disability claims. Republican are good at starting a war then walking off and leaving Dem to clean up the mess. David Stockman said after leaving the Regan White House that in l980 "We met a Ronnie's kitchen table and decided that the only way to get rid of Social Security and Medicare was to bankrupt the Gov and get people to believe that we could not afford them Now tea party and Repub who are responsible for increased abortions have kept thir word and destroyed this country. Funny Russian Pres Krucheft was wright American will destroy itself we do not have to do anything. Check out what
Stockman said on Meet the Press this last Sunday 7 Nov 20l0. The rich do not deserve a Tax Cut due to the largest bonus in history being paid out. As far as Indep go quite being lazy don't let Million dollar a month News Ankers talk you into another $100,000 a month tax cut like Matt,katy,Brain,Diana and Jim received the last l0 years out of your pocket. David said it was all borrowed money.

Posted by: clackatack84 | November 9, 2010 4:27 AM | Report abuse

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