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Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* Contrast of the day: Here's Harry Reid, on the Senate floor today, articulating Dems' plans for the lame duck session:

"Our number-one priority is still getting people back to work. And the most important change we can make is in working more productively as a unified body to help our economy regain its strength."

As Steve Benen points out, this contrasts rather neatly with Mitch McConnell's recent claim that his number one priority is to ensure that Obama is a one term president.

* Sam Stein gets more Democrats on the record joining the push for a vote just on extending the middle class tax cuts. Real momentum, or public option redux?

* Downer of the day: Jed Lewison says such a vote makes "so much sense that it's hard to imagine it will happen."

* As Paul Waldman notes, the point is to expand the realm of what's politically possible, not accept the world as you find it.

* Whatever you think of Obama's self-flagellation for failing to fix the tone on Washington, it is interesting, as Perry Bacon points out, that he's blaming no one but himself for Dem losses.

* But Digby argues that if Obama doesn't making promises to "change the tone" that he can't keep, he's going to lose in two years:

So despite the fact that he spent the first two years of his presidency doing back flips to get even one Republican to vote for his program, even as they demonized him as a socialist and a coward, he is assuming responsibility for the failure and earnestly promising to do better. And just like before, when the Republicans rebuff his every gesture, the American people will see someone who is unable to fulfill his promises and will blame this failure for all their problems.

* Justin Elliott finds that Newt Gingrich has publicly repeated nearly two dozen times now that he will soon decide whether he'll run for president -- and that each time, the media reported it as if it were news.

* Fun fact of the day: Twenty three studies have now found that repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell wouldn't harm the military.

Presumably John McCain would like us to commission a 24th, on the off chance that it might find the opposite...

* Mitch McConnell's flip-flop on earmarks pits united Republicans and Obama against Senate Dems, raising the question of how Dems will respond.

* Here comes one Dem: Senator Mark Udall of Colorado joins the call for an earmarks ban.

* Results! Taegan Goddard flags a new study finding that 100,000 Latinos may have fled Arizona in the wake of passage of the onerous new immigration law.

* Good move for Dems: Hard-charging Chuck Schumer is set to play a much more hands on political and messaging role.

* And divided government will not usher in a period of bipartisan compromise, argues Jonathan Chait, because one of the two parties doesn't have a stake in the government succeeding.

What else is up?

By Greg Sargent  | November 15, 2010; 5:36 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012, Happy Hour Roundup, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, taxes  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Round one to Jim DeMint as Mitch McConnell flip-flops on earmark ban
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

The list of Obama's politically-connected companies and unions getting waivers from his health care plan is growing

Obama's health care plan is looking more and more like this: Tax the Republicans, give benefits to the democrats -

The potential for corruption with this kind of waiver-driven system is massive.

If the health care law is so good, Obama should not have handed out so many waivers already

These kinds of waivers are just wrong. Can individuals apply for waivers too???

1 Protocol Marketing Group
2 Sasnak
3 Star Tek
4 Adventist Care Centers
5 B.E.S.T of NY
6 Boskovich Farms, Inc
7 Gallegos Corp
8 Jeffords Steel and Engineering
9 O.K. Industries
10 Service Employees Benefit Fund
11 Sun Pacific Farming Coop
12 UFCW Allied Trade Health & Welfare Trust
13 HCR Manor Care
14 IBEW No.915
15 Integra BMS for Culp, Inc.
16 New England Health Care
17 Aegis Insurance
18 Alliance One Tobacco
19 Asbestos Workers Local 53 Welfare Fund
20 Assurant Health (2nd Application)
21 Captain Elliot's Party Boats
22 Carlson Restaurants
23 CH Guenther & Son
24 CKM Industries dba Miller Environmental
25 CWVEBA
26 Darden Restaurants
27 Duarte Nursery
28 Employees Security Fund
29 Florida Trowel Trades
30 Ingles Markets
31 Meijer
32 O'Reilly Auto Parts
33 Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 123 Welfare Fund
34 Sun Belt
35 UFCW Local 227
36 Uncle Julio's
37 United Group
38 US Imaging
39 Vino Farms
40 Advanta
41 Agricare
42 Alaska Seafood
43 American Fidelity
44 Convergys
45 Darensberries
46 Gowan Company
47 Greystar
48 Macayo Restaurants
49 Periodical Services
50 UniFirst
51 Universal Forest Products
52 UFCW Maximus Local 455
53 AHS
54 GuideStone Financial Resources
55 Local 25 SEIU
56 MAUSER Corp.
57 Preferred Care, Inc.
58 Ruby Tuesday
59 The Dixie Group, Inc.
60 UFCW Local 1262
61 Whelan Security Company
62 AMF Bowling Worldwide
63 Assisted Living Concepts
64 Case & Associates
65 GPM Investments
66 Grace Living Centers
67 Mountaire
68 Swift Spinning
69 Belmont Village
70 Caliber Services
71 Cracker Barrel
72 DISH Network
73 Groendyke Transport, Inc
74 Pocono Medical Center
75 Regis Corporation
76 The Pictsweet Co.
77 Diversified Interiors
78 Local 802 Musicians Health Fund
79 Medical Card System
80 The Buccaneer
81 CIGNA
82 Greater Metropolitan Hotel
83 Local 17 Hospitality Benefit Fund
84 GS-ILA
85 Allied
86 Harden Healthcare
87 Health and Welfare Benefit System
88 Health Connector
89 I.U.P.A.T
90 Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc.
91 Transport Workers
92 UFT Welfare Fund
93 Aegis
94 Aetna
95 Allflex
96 Baptist Retirement
97 BCS Insurance
98 Cryogenic
99 Fowler Packing Co.
100 Guy C. Lee Mfg.
101 HealthPort
102 Jack in the Box
103 Maritime Association
104 Maverick County
105 Metro Paving Fund
106 PMPS-ILA
107 PS-ILA
108 QK/DRD (Denny's)
109 Reliance Standard
110 Tri-Pak
111 UABT

Posted by: RedRevolution | November 15, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

The wisest reform ideas focus on transparency. Make congressmen declare which of the ugly earmarks are their own. Write them, in plain sight, into bills instead of hiding them where few people know to look.

But earmarking in and of itself isn't bad. The idea that a federal bureaucrat should have greater input than a congressman on how, for instance, highway funds are spent in his district is just dumb. The Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse, and there is absolutely no reason that power should apply only to top-line spending levels and not to specific programs. Congress, after all, created all the agencies. Banning earmarking is like stating parents have a right to say how much the family is going to spend on food, but the kids get to do the actual shopping.

Tom Delay, February 26th, 2007

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0207/2903.html

Posted by: HansSolo | November 15, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Clarence Thomas' wife, Ginni, has stepped down from leadership of the Tea Party group she founded.

From TPM:

""She'll take a back seat so that Liberty Central can continue with its mission without any of the distractions," Liberty Central spokesperson Caitlin Carroll, of CRC Public Relations, told the Post. "After discussing it with the board, Mrs. Thomas determined that it was best for the organization."

Carroll said that an announcement today or tomorrow would detail Thomas' decision and the merger of Liberty Central with another organization, while an anonymous source told the Post that Liberty Central will be merging with the Virginia-based Patrick Henry Center."

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/ginni_thomas_stepping_down_from_conservative_group.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 15, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

So far, Obama has given out waivers to health care plans totalling 1,175,411 people.


So, those people do not have to comply with Obama's health care law.

The rest of us - who may not be politically connected with Obama and his cronies - have to PAY the high health insurance premiums and the high health insurance costs.


Great job democrats.


What a complete scandal How in the world does Obama expect people to support this?

Posted by: RedRevolution | November 15, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I just had a thought, if Obama is siding with Republicans on an earmark ban, wonder what John "earmarks are bad" McCain will do. He's flip flopped so many times just to take the opposite stand Obama takes, he'll probably hate agreeing with him on anything. LOL

I think the whole earmark thing should really just boil down to transparency and not loading other bills to get votes, but if it appeals to the bipartisans among us, go for it. If it denies the Tea Party a talking point in their hatred for Obama that's an added bonus. Maybe Obama and the Tea Party can agree on "no cuts" to Social Security as well.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 15, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Red Revolution banned for thread bombing.

whack a troll to grow more aggressive in the days ahead...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 15, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree that it is a good move to put Schumer in charge of combining governing and messaging.

He is the best in the Senate for this.

Posted by: maritza1 | November 15, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

100,000 Latinos may have fled Arizona in the wake of passage of the onerous new immigration law.


_____________________________


But, not back to Mexico, right ??

.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 15, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious how the GOP earmark ban will effect States where two Republicans represent it in the Senate. It seems like those states are going to be screwed over because they will end up getting even less federal money now.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | November 15, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

whack a troll to grow more aggressive in the days ahead...

~~~~~

Might I suggest you request an intern from Brock Marauder's School for Unruly Ruffians and task them with the ban hammer? I had many internships in college, but that would possibly be the best internship ever.

Posted by: HansSolo | November 15, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Greg

Numerous times you have been requested to give a precise definition for "thread-bombing"

Without such a definition, it is impossible to comply with such a vague concept - which apparently only gets enforced against Conservatives.


As has been communicated to you several times, there is no problem with complying with such a rule - if a definition is adequate to comply with.


Also, all the other rules like "intent to harass" apparently never get enforced against any liberals.


The rules should be enforced on an equal basis, not based on your personal political views.
.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 15, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

imsinca: "I just had a thought, if Obama is siding with Republicans on an earmark ban, wonder what John "earmarks are bad" McCain will do. He's flip flopped so many times just to take the opposite stand Obama takes, he'll probably hate agreeing with him on anything. LOL"

I think McCain may wet himself.

:o)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 15, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of McCain, did anyone else find it really very odd that after Cindy's ad was released supporting the repeal of DADT, that she (apparently) walked in back some, and now supposedly agrees with her husband that another study is needed? At least he says she agrees with him on MTP yesterday. (I can't help but wonder about bullying...)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 15, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Red Revolution banned for thread bombing.

whack a troll to grow more aggressive in the days ahead...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 15, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

As a now-casual reader I must say that I find the thread-bombing much more annoying as I'm not prepared to dedicate the time necessary to sift and sort. Something to consider, marketing-wise, Greg.

Best, All.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 15, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Greg

The harassment of other posters by liberals never results in any banning.

That is not an even-handed situation.

It is a sad situation when your own personal political views influence a blog in this way.


Did you cry on election night?

How emotionally-invested are you???

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 15, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Kevin's Troll Hunter is wonderful.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 15, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Suekzoo

Glad you are happy. How is it that you were responding to comments then?

Please stay in your echo-chamber.

Reading opposing views may be hazardous to your sense of self-importance.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 15, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

"It seems like those states are going to be screwed over"

Not sure how much harder a ruby red state like Mississippi can be "screwed over". It is already among the worst in almost every category (GDP per capita, education, poverty, etc).

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 15, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

AMT Madness

Apparently, the Alternative Minimum Tax is also affected by the tax cut expirations.

The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts (P.L. 107-16 and P.L. 108-27) provided for temporary increases in the basic exemption for the AMT as a means of mitigating the interaction between the reductions in the regular income tax and the AMT. The Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004 (P.L. 108- 311) extended those increases in the AMT exemption through 2005

____________________________


I believe these have been extended year-by-year up to now.

This could prove to be another tax disaster for the democrats.

If the AMT is not extended, it amounts to a massive tax increase on the middle class.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 15, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Sue,

I don't know why Cindy McCain did the "walk back". You would think she could bring her husband in line by cutting his allowance or forbidding him access to a couple of the houses.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 15, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Don't like the debt/deficit?

Make your OWN budget!

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html

http://crfb.org/stabilizethedebt/

http://www.cepr.net/calculators/calc_deficit.html

Ezra:

"they're all good, clean fun, and they all make the same basic point: It's the health-care system, stupid."

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 15, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: Red Revolution banned for thread bombing. Whack a troll to grow more aggressive in the days ahead...

Yay, Greg!!! I lost my instructions for Kevin's masterpiece--can somebody tell me when they were posted so I can take care of my home computer?


Posted by: cheles | November 15, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

David Dayen points to something that really needs to get taken care of during the lame duck session. I wouldn't count on Republicans to appropriate the money for it after January.

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

"In the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, the feds authorized $35 million dollars to support legal aid programs, mostly nonprofits, that give assistance to struggling borrowers facing foreclosure. This authorization seemed like a good deal at the time, but wasn’t seen as consequential as it does today. These nonprofits and legal aid programs have been crucial to ferreting out foreclosure fraud. For borrowers already facing financial woes, they simply won’t have representation in the courts if they don’t secure the services of one of these types of legal aid programs.

If we’re going to get to the bottom of foreclosure fraud, we need good lawyers able to do the work of stopping the banks’ mad rush. They need to be able to scrutinize the documents, find flaws, question the standing to foreclose, and basically throw sand in the gears of the process. Pro bono lawyers discovered the robo-signing scandal. They have successfully defended homeowners from the rapacious banks. They need to keep going."

http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/11/15/congress-must-appropriate-the-35-million-authorization-for-legal-aid-for-homeowners-facing-foreclosure/

Posted by: lmsinca | November 15, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Ethan

Didn't Obama fix the health care system - or are there still more problems ahead?

Hard to believe that we have a Mult-Trillion dollar program from Obama and the health care portion of the Federal budget has NOT been fixed ???


Is that what you are saying? Obama's health care plan is a complete failure???

I'm not really sure what to say about that - because the liberals never really cared about how much Obama's plan cost, OR where the money was going.

Isn't that the case?

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 15, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I did it!

I eliminated the deficit!

See how I did it:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html?choices=63934bm3

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 15, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

"* Justin Elliott finds that Newt Gingrich has publicly repeated nearly two dozen times now that he will soon decide whether he'll run for president -- and that each time, the media reported it as if it were news."

Well thank goodness you didn't touch it then.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 15, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have still not been taken care of by Obama

That is another 300 - 500 Billion.

However, in the foreclosure mess, it is possible that those guarantees are to the mortgage portfolios - NOT to the big banks.


If the Courts decide that the big banks did not properly place many of the bad mortgages in the portfolios, then Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may be OFF THE HOOK.


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guaranteed the portfolios, not the big banks. If the big banks are found to be the true owners of the bad mortgages, they can not collect on portfolio insurance issued to the portfolio trusts.

New York State Trust Law would govern that part of it.

.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 15, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Ethan everyone here should play with that thing.
As I said a few days ago, slaughtering sacred cows is easy when there are no politics involved.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 15, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Earmarks are being banned.

Exactly what Earmarks are - is a really bizarre thing.

Congress has to appropriate money - they have to fund projects. So how is that any different from earmarks? The default seems to be to hand over all the powers to democratic operatives in the executive branch - and after 2012 - to Republican operatives.


Does that make much sense?

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 15, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

cheles, here it is,

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

Posted by: shrink2 | November 15, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

shrink2 and Ethan 6:42 PM


Funny how the democrats run up the deficit with their programs - then they start to say, "Let's start cutting things on both sides"

That sure seems like a ploy to get some things cut, while preserving democratic programs.


The democrats have jammed-back the budgets on the Federal, State, county, local and school board levels - expensive union contracts are all over the place.


And Ethan plays with a calculator in the NY Times and thinks he can solve the problem.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 15, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

"Ethan everyone here should play with that thing."

I agree!

"As I said a few days ago, slaughtering sacred cows is easy when there are no politics involved."

Exactly. It really goes to show how politicians being so vested in their own personal careers prevents them from doing the right thing. Of course, I selected items that GOPers might not have selected in order to get to the best result, but if there was at least an adult debate about these issues out in the open followed by votes... It's hard to imagine anybody being so obtuse as to deny the country a balanced budget just to serve their own personal ideologies. Really, it's taxes. They go up, they go down, it's the way of life in the modern age. It's not a big deal. Republicans make these tax rates the be-all-end-all to life as we know it, and so they hold up (or destroy) the entire process. It truly is a shame.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 15, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Shrink2, thanks!

Posted by: cheles | November 15, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

cheles, here it is,

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

Posted by: shrink2 | November 15, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

My choices:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html?choices=w3tudl34

VAT, here we come.

Posted by: sold2u | November 15, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

5yr Treasury yield up 10% today.
10yr Treasury yield up 5% today.
Munis off the cliff today.

QE2 is a giant wet kiss to the insolvent BankSucks.

Play with the NYT Deficit Toys4Tots game all you want.

Obama's crashing this zeppelin.

Maybe Bernie's onto something, this is pi>>ing me off. I want to see big bank chapter 7's, and handcuffs...Dodd and Barney in a pair of bracelets would be nice too.

eaaarrmarkzz and DADTyourmama, the media is an a$$.

Posted by: tao9 | November 15, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: lmsinca | November 15, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Great piece in this month's Rolling Stone by the incomparable Matt Taibbi on what's beneath the mortgage fraud fiasco. As an added bonus, there's a roundtable discussion on politics that includes Taibbi and that Phlegmatic Fool David Gergen.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 15, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Ethan yes, I guess I was hoping our President might somehow be able to cut through some of that. It appears (as noted above) the only choice he sees, or which anyone can see for him is to capitulate to Republicans or fight/bicker with them.

But both parties share many problems and it isn't like that is a secret. An adult debate would be a change in tone in Washington, it would not be business as usual.

I believe the independents would have stayed with him if he had taken on both parties as complicit in America's crisis. And he still can. He doesn't have to worry about losing the D base, what are they going to do, vote for Palin?

Posted by: shrink2 | November 15, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks wbgonne, I'm out to go finish your book, about 20 pages. I've really enjoyed it BTW. As a born and raised West Coaster, I really get a kick out of East Coast politics.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 15, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Tao

I agree with you, Can Obama go out in handcuffs too?

.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 15, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Noticing that most are balancing the budget through a combination of tax increases and spending cuts.

"Draconian" spending cuts!

You, too, can balance the budget in under a minute!

http://blogs.reuters.com/james-pethokoukis/2010/11/15/balance-the-u-s-budget-it-did-it-in-under-a-minute/

Posted by: sbj3 | November 15, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Not sure how much harder a ruby red state like Mississippi can be "screwed over". It is already among the worst in almost every category (GDP per capita, education, poverty, etc).

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 15, 2010 6:19 PM
-------

That seems racist since Mississippi has the highest per capita population of African Americans among the 50 states. How do Louisiana, South Carolina, and Georgia measure up? They're second, third, and fourth. Could one infer there's some connection between GDP, education, poverty, etc. and the percentage of blacks in the population? Is this the legacy of the "great society" after nearly 50 years?

Posted by: Brigade | November 15, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Obama's plan for civilian trials for terrorists is running into trouble.

There is one going on in Manhattan right now, and already there is jury trouble.

This isn't going to work.


Remember that Obama's friend, Bill Ayers, got off on in his terrorism trial on a technicality which had little to do with his guilt or innocence.

Bill Ayers was accused of bombing the Penatgon and other sites. Feel free to read up on the details

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 15, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Terrorism Trials

Bill Ayers got off in his trial - on a technicality based on government wiretaps.


The Capitol Building was bombed on March 1, 1971

The Pentagon was bombed on May 29, 1972

The charges were dropped in 1973.

The US State Department was bombed on January 29, 1975


________________________________


The concern is that similar legal technicalities will enter into the terrorism trials - if they are civilian trials instead of military tribunals.

The concern is not without precedent.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 15, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Terrorism Trials

Bill Ayers got off in his trial - on a technicality based on government wiretaps.


The Capitol Building was bombed on March 1, 1971

The Pentagon was bombed on May 29, 1972

The charges were dropped in 1973.

The US State Department was bombed on January 29, 1975


________________________________


The concern is that similar legal technicalities will enter into the terrorism trials - if they are civilian trials instead of military tribunals.

The concern is not without precedent.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 15, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Newt's formula for a vigorous and enhanced democracy in the USA..."replace the left".

Newt also said:

"I would ask you to pray not for us, but for our country," Gingrich said. "If we can arouse a community of faith, a community of believers, a community of patriots, then the job Callista and I will have to do will be very easy."

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/11/gingrichs-plan/#more-134941

Now let's look cross-reference with the following: (from wikipedia)

"Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a political system where the state, usually under the control of a single political person, faction, or class, recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible.[2] Totalitarianism is generally characterized by the coincidence of authoritarianism (where ordinary citizens have less significant share in state decision-making) and ideology (a pervasive scheme of values promulgated by institutional means to direct most if not all aspects of public and private life).[3]
Totalitarian regimes or movements maintain political power through an all-encompassing propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, a single party that is often marked by personality cultism, control over the economy, regulation and restriction of speech, mass surveillance, and widespread use of state terrorism."

Not a one-to-one correspondence (yet) but close enough to remake the USA into a paradise for the despotic. He is a f*cking maniac.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 15, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

There's a lot of attention being paid to David Frum's NYT piece from a couple of days ago (not sure if Greg flagged it?). And attention should be paid. It's the best thing I've seen from Frum. Here's one graph but read the whole piece...

"Too often, conservatives dupe themselves. They wrap themselves in closed information systems based upon pretend information. In this closed information system, banks can collapse without injuring the rest of the economy, tax cuts always pay for themselves and Congressional earmarks cause the federal budget deficit. Even the market collapse has not shaken some conservatives out of their closed information system. It enfolded them more closely within it. This is how to understand the Glenn Beck phenomenon. Every day, Beck offers alternative knowledge — an alternative history of the United States and the world, an alternative system of economics, an alternative reality. As corporate profits soar, the closed information system insists that the free-enterprise system is under assault. As prices slump, we are warned of imminent hyperinflation. As black Americans are crushed under Depression-level unemployment, the administration’s policies are condemned by some conservatives as an outburst of Kenyan racial revenge against the white overlord."
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/magazine/14FOB-idealab-t.html

Posted by: bernielatham | November 15, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Bernie ... sorry to say that although I agree Newt is a maniac and an embarrassment and a hypocrite and a lot of other really bad stuff, I think maybe totalitarian despot is a bit too far.

If we are ever going to bring the right back from the unhinged dis-reality they have taken themselves, we on the left really need to be careful with our hyperbole. Certainly we need to call out all of their lies and deceit but avoid allowing them the opportunity to say -- "see, they're as bad as us!!"

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 15, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

B-eezer,

My cat and, and I'd be willing to bet, your first wife have--not one2one but close enough correspondence to--paradisal totalitarian tendencies.

Gingrich's prayer reminds me more of my Aunt Betty's favorite novena.

Man, talk about the paranoid style. Lay off the flippin' Hofstadter&Harper's juice...it's making you arc.

Posted by: tao9 | November 15, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

@brigade: "Could one infer there's some connection between GDP, education, poverty, etc. and the percentage of blacks in the population?"

There is often, but not always, a correlation between the proportion of African-Americans in a state and the amount of institutional racism brought upon them by whites in those states. The institutional racism in several Southern states -- Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia -- is appalling.

But of course, I was talking about the political leadership of states like Mississippi, which has been predominantly, if not entirely, white. So, yes, it not only "seems" racist, there is certainly a strong element of racism in the political establishment in those states.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 15, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

@brigade: "Could one infer there's some connection between GDP, education, poverty, etc. and the percentage of blacks in the population?"

There is often, but not always, a correlation between the proportion of African-Americans in a state and the amount of institutional racism brought upon them by whites in those states. The institutional racism in several Southern states -- Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia -- is appalling.

But of course, I was talking about the political leadership of states like Mississippi, which has been predominantly, if not entirely, white. So, yes, it not only "seems" racist, there is certainly a strong element of racism in the political establishment in those states.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 15, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Who knew?

"This open letter to Ben Bernanke is a remarkable document, not least for who signed it. Who knew that William Kristol was an expert on monetary policy?"

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/15/liquidationists-of-the-world-unite/

But Bill isn't, of course. He's just up to exactly what his father was up to...

"Among the core social scientists around The Public Interest there were no economists.... This explains my own rather cavalier attitude toward the budget deficit and other monetary or fiscal problems. The task, as I saw it, was to create a new majority, which evidently would mean a conservative majority, which came to mean, in turn, a Republican majority - so political effectiveness was the priority, not the accounting deficiencies of government..."
http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2009/09/the-side-he-picked-in-economics-was-an-odd-one.html

When Cheney told O'Neill that "Reagan taught us that deficits don't matter" he meant that they don't matter politically/electorally.

And that's ALL that counts with these people.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 15, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

@pragmaticagain

You realize, I trust, that Gingrich is explicitly advising that organizational systems be set up on the right in order to create a single-party, single-ideology state?

And that "patriotism" be understood as allegiance to that party and ideology?

And that the class that rules be comprised of adherents to one particular religious community?

Now, I'd be very happy to use some other term for this architecture of governance if you have a better one to hand. If you do not, then I suggest you face more clearly just what it is you are looking at.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 15, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how to respond, Bernie, to your certainty about Newt other than to say I have more faith in the USA than to think an idiot such as he will ever rise to a position from which he may be able to hatch such a dastardly plan. I also believe in the ultimate wisdom of a majority of the American people to reject such a manifesto just as we have rejected other preposterous and divisive bigotry in the past.

We are living in very difficult times and many people are frightened. This fear has allowed for the ascendancy of crack pots and fools as it has in our history. But the fear will subside and our republic will survive. The voices of reason which these days seem to only come from the left must not lose faith, we must not lose focus.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 15, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Bernie

That makes sense

Conservatives make up 40% of the population

Moderates make up 40% - that could be a party

The liberal agenda is dead - there is no reason to vote for them anymore.


.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 15, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

pragmaticiam


Yes, I supposed in your world, hyperbole is your enemy.


.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 15, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

It is high time some the democrats start taking personal responsibility for how bad Obama has been.

For all the stimulus dollars

For all the health care premium increases and the health care deficits.

The democrats are personally responsible.


AND they are irresponsible for electing someone who was so inexperienced and unqualified. Now the whole country is paying the price. The gridlock is Obama's fault.

.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 15, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Interesting for Arizona. They will probably gain a Congressional seat due to immigration. Then they drive away those immigrants. Good for Republicans.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 15, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA CANCELS 2012 ELECTION


In response to Newt Gingrich's statements, Obama has announced that the country could not risk Newt trying to set up a one-party state.

Besides, Obama said, "the voters don't understand the issues anyway."

Obama cancelled the 2012 election - saying that the election will be held "when he is sure the voters know how to vote properly."


Obama also announced that Nancy Pelosi will stay on as Speaker of the House, because the voters did not give her enough time to finish her agenda.

Obama said that all the House democrats who lost their elections could stay in office, and that would give the democrats a working majority, 242 - 235.


Obama also said that Russ Feingold could stay in the Senate. Joe Sestak will retain his House seat.

Obama then announced that the remaining provisions of the Liberal Agenda will be enacted and that he would supply Congress with a timetable for those bills to be passed.

Obama called for an immediate vote this week on the Bush tax cuts for those earning over 250,000. Obama said that the taxes for those people would be raised even more "because of what the Republicans did." The new tax rate would be 55%.

Obama said if you don't like it, "there are more tax increases to come, so it's best for the Republicans to keep quiet."

.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 15, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA MAKES STATEMENT ON 2012


Obama, speaking from the Oval Office, told the nation that "he is President and he gets to pick who the Speaker of the House is."

Obama said that he knows that in the past it has been done differently, but "the country voted for change in 2008," and that gives him "the right to do this."

Obama said that all the House democrats who lost their elections could stay in office, and the democrats would have a majority 242 - 235.

Obama then went on to outline the provisions of his liberal agenda which Congress will have to pass now - and he will give Congress the timetable.

Obama announced that Congress would vote immediately on ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich, and the new top rate for those earning more than 250,000 would be 55%.

Obama said that Nancy Pelosi agreed to this. And Obama also said that all the Generals agreed with the policy too, after he threated with sending them to Alaska.

Obama also ordered the TLC network to cancel Sarah Palin's rock-climbing show.


.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 15, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Mortgage refinancing means re-funding the mortgage loan with better terms as well as conditions, most likely from a different lender. It is one way to save money. Search online for "123 Mortgage Refinance" they found me 3.1% refinance rate and also gave free analysis of my mortgage.

Posted by: wilsonle | November 16, 2010 2:25 AM | Report abuse

You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price check http://ow.ly/3akSX .If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy about it and trust me you are not going to loose anything!


Posted by: maquinnajo | November 16, 2010 3:11 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Imsinca. I hope you enjoy the bitter end of The Bitter End.

Keep the faith.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 16, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

@pragmaticagain
I was really hoping that when you responded you wouldn't make the conflation you've just made.

What Gingrich is hoping and advising for America and whether America might end up that way are two separate issues. Christian dominionists, for example, voice a totalitarian objective regardless of whether they are likely to rise to significant power and influence. One party/one ideology rule is totalitarian and that is what Gingrich was advocating in this speech. It would also be, of course, the consequence of Rove's hope and activities (again, explicit) in working towards Republican/conservative political dominance running decades into the future (they'll then, in a tip of the hat to democratic principles, just hand power back?) if it were to be achieved.

You seem to take this use of the term here as a slight against the US. Sorry but the word means what it means regardless of how pretty the flag might look. Exceptionalist notions are delusional and dangerous and this is a perfect example of how such notions work as a barrier to confronting some very real phenomena.

Further, it's difficult to square your implicit claim that Gingrich is some sort of rare bird or that he is without significant influence. There's a chance he'll run and if he does, the chances of him winning are far greater than if Palin were to run (organizational backing, funding, debate performance, etc). He has made more appearances on Meet the Press than ANY other individual since Obama took office. And that's just one show on one network. Have fun counting up the appearances on FOX, not to mention the laudatory references to him or quotes from him that FOX has carried.

And then you have to square your suggestion or hope that Americans would never be seduced by such extremism by attending to the reaction of his audience in Dallas where he made these statements. Were they up in arms? Did they show any sign of rejection of his totalitarian vision? Have there been criticisms and op eds by conservatives disclaiming Gingrich for what he said and for what he things conservatives ought to do? Not a frigging peep of this sort I can find.

Any sign from the media that such political ideas are so profoundly at odds with democratic ideals and American tradition that this man ought to receive even some mild castigation for being so extreme and, dare we say, anti-American? If you see some such, please let me know.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 16, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Gerson gets another one right (batting 2% is better than nothing)...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/15/AR2010111505173.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

It's actually a very good column and here's a hat tip to him.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 16, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Once again we're hit upside the head with the realization that it's long term rising health care costs that are driving the deficit. The recent GAO update illustrates that while there were cost control measures in the health care bill passed in March, we need to do much more. It's too bad the deficit commission didn't address this problem. Obama and company took a stab at it within the limits of the possible considering the entrenched special interests and an opposing party determined to see him fail, but we need to revisit and strengthen the bill rather than undermine it.

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

"GAO's annual fall update of its long-term simulations underscores the need to address the long-term sustainability of the federal government's fiscal policies. While the economy is still fragile and in need of careful attention, there is wide agreement on the need to look not only at the near-term but also at steps that begin to change the long-term fiscal path as soon as possible without slowing the recovery. With the passage of time the window to address the long-term challenge narrows and the magnitude of the required changes grows. The federal government faces long-term fiscal pressures that predate the economic downturn and are driven on the spending side largely by rising health care costs and an aging population. GAO's simulations show continually increasing levels of debt that are unsustainable over the long-term. Under the Alternative simulation, debt held by the public as a share of GDP would exceed the historical high reached in the aftermath of World War II by 2020. Both of these simulations incorporate effects of health care legislation enacted in March 2010, which includes a number of provisions to control the growth of federal health care spending. There is a notable improvement in the long-term outlook under the Baseline Extended simulation, which assumes full implementation and effectiveness of cost control provisions, although some--including the Trustees, CBO and the CMS Actuary--have raised questions about the sustainability of certain of these cost controls. These concerns are reflected in the more pessimistic Alternative scenario, which incorporates CBO and CMS alternative projections, which assume a breakdown in some of these cost control mechanisms after 2020 and a return to historical rapid health care spending growth rates. However, even in GAO's Baseline Extended simulation, debt increases continuously in future years, surpassing the historical high in the mid-2030s. More must be done even if the implementation and effectiveness of these cost containment provisions is assumed."

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-201SP

Posted by: lmsinca | November 16, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

I hear ya Bernie and I don't disagree with anything you just wrote. As I previously said, Gingrich is an idiot and the fear has allowed fools and zealots such as Newt to spew their hate to adoring and approving crowds that are blind to the truth.

In fact, I don't even necessarily disagree with your characterization of the intent of these speakers and their ultimate goal. I only suggest that use of such (perhaps somewhat accurate) terms provides the right with false justification for their ridiculous claims of socialism/communism/Kenyan usurper. Claims of equivalence, no matter how false, ring true with the deceived masses that I think it is our responsibility as the "grown ups" in the room to educate.

I apologize if I offended or demonstrated some ignorance in these suggestions.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 16, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Prag

Quite remarkable that you have complained about other people's comments - when you comment the way you do.

Do you expect anyone to converse with you the way you comment???

You are not a serious person at all.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 16, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Prag


Your comments are offensive, not only to people who value reason, but to the truth itself.


Can't really help you if you intend to comment the way you do.


Just because you claim that others are lying 5 times in one post, that does not mean you are tellng the truth.


It takes one to know one.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 16, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/the_morning_plum_132.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 16, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

"Once again we're hit upside the head with the realization that it's long term rising health care costs that are driving the deficit."

I have a great idea: how about we develop a public health plan to compete with the commercial insurers who merely add costs to the system? I mean, who could possibly object to that idea?

Posted by: wbgonne | November 16, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne, you're so funny, like something that sensible would ever happen. That would be like holding the banks and wall street to the letter of the law in mortgage and foreclosure procedures.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 16, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

@pragmaticagain - Ain't no kind of problem here, old chum. But it is not merely a distortion of the truth to avoid using correct terms and descriptions for very real aspects of the modern right, it is an example of subservience to the bullying rhetorical style they've come to depend on. There's an increasingly valid complaint against Obama and his team in their reluctance to really confront the nature of and goals of their modern opposition. It sure as hell is growing in me. And part of the problem here is the reluctance to bring the appropriate language to bear and to yell it as loudly as is needed for it to be heard over the manufactured din.

It isn't just a matter of losing. Democracy means, as a West Wing episode smartly put it, that sometimes the bad guys win. It is a matter of losing to a very extremist version of "conservatism" which holds that it and it alone has a legitimate claim on American governance. This is important and it is dangerous.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 16, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Yes Bernie and I respect and appreciate your voice in that effort.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 16, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

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