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Posted at 6:05 PM ET, 11/23/2010

Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* With the right exploiting the furor over the TSA pat-downs to increase calls for racial profiling, former Bush homeland security chief Michael Chertoff suggests the idea could actually make life easier for Al Qaeda.

* Strong stuff from Jonathan Capehart, who invokes Martin Luther King to demand that Harry Reid show the leadership neccessary to hold a big debate on DADT repeal before the end of the year. Repeal still could happen -- if the Dem leadership tries to make it happen.

* Mark Murray, commenting on the news that American companies racked up record profits this quarter, asks:

If 'death panel' was the political falsehood of 2009, then will 'Obama is bad for business' win that award in 2010?

* HuffPo reports that environmental advocates are ready to ally with conservative Senators to torpedo ethanol subsidies.

* David Dayen says the conservatives could really win this one too, just as they did with earmarks.

* Sleeper issue? The Dem firm Public Policy Polling finds large majorities of Republicans and independents want anti-Obamacare members of Congress to forgo their own Big Government Health Care.

* And: According to one estimate, GOPers forgoing their Congressional health care could save $2.4 million per year.

* Inside the Fox bubble: A public policy think tank says Fox News has refused to run their ad pushing for DADT repeal.

* It would be kind of amusing if the RNC ends up being chaired by a guy whose first name is "Gentry."

* Steve Benen, on the Senate GOP's hopes of killing the DREAM Act: "It's as if the GOP has decided to alienate as many minority communities as humanly possible."

* Gamble of the day: A House Democrat is introducing legislation rolling back the most popular provisions of health reform -- and daring Republicans to vote for it.

* Richard Cohen, on the real meaning of Sarah Palin's attack on Michelle Obama:

She could not be the president of black America nor of Hispanic America. She knows more about grizzlies than she does about African Americans -- and she clearly has more interest in the former than the latter.

* The Fix crew games out why Mike Huckabee is Palin's worst nightmare.

* The Post signs up conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin, partly as a companion to this blog.

* And please savor Josh Benson's apt label for the intra-GOP battle over ethanol subsidies: "Tea versus Corn!"

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | November 23, 2010; 6:05 PM ET
Categories:  2012, Happy Hour Roundup, Political media, Senate Republicans, economy, gay rights  
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Comments

@Greg: Who is it on the right that is calling for racial profiling?

Posted by: sbj3 | November 23, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

So, the Right is calling for GOP Members to forego "big govt healthcare" as a protest to HCR, which mandates folks to buy private healthcare? Hookaaay

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 23, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Greg, Go easy on the warm welcome for Jennifer. It might go to her head.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 23, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

"* Inside the Fox bubble: A public policy think tank says Fox News has refused to run their ad pushing for DADT repeal."

Where are all the constitution waivers demanding first amendment rights and yelling about foxes censorship of free liberty speech???

I guess the constitution only applies when it's a conservative cause...

Posted by: soapm | November 23, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

"""Gamble of the day: A House Democrat is introducing legislation rolling back the most popular provisions of health reform -- and daring Republicans to vote for it."""

Oh man, what's not to love about this (from the link above):

"The congressman said the legislation — all titled the HIPA-CRIT (Health Insurance Protects America—Can't Repeal IT) — will give Republicans a chance to "put up, or sit down" on their campaign promise to repeal the eight-month-old law."

Hilarious.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 23, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: Who is it on the right that is calling for racial profiling?

Posted by: sbj3 | November 23, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Krauthammer, Will, and Hannity for a start. What? You think that the call for profiling doesn't include race? How quaint.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 23, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Krauthammer, Will, and Hannity for a start.

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade
+++++++++++++

And the Coultergeist.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 23, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

@fairlington: "What? You think that the call for profiling doesn't include race?"

Evidently you did not see the poll results Greg posted earlier?

"In another approach, would you support or oppose the TSA profiling people... to determine who gets selected for extra security screening at airports?

Support 70%

"If profiling is done, for each item I name please tell me if you think it should or should not be included in a passenger's security profile.

"Race, should not be included 59%"

Oh look - facts! How cute.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/polls/postpoll_11222010.html

Posted by: sbj3 | November 23, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

"The congressman said the legislation — all titled the HIPA-CRIT (Health Insurance Protects America—Can't Repeal IT) — will give Republicans a chance to "put up, or sit down" on their campaign promise to repeal the eight-month-old law."

And the Republicans graciously invite the Congressman (and other Democrats) to join in discussions to repeal other parts of the bill. And now we are having a bipartisan discussion of the best way to repeal Obamacare.

Posted by: sold2u | November 23, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

"The trouble liberals face in maintaining their intellectual chops is that they operate in a world of knowing glances, incomplete sentences, and shared cultural references. Conformity is seen as a sign of intellectual prowess. And you need not write anything intelligible, let alone intellectually compelling, to qualify as a liberal public intellectual."
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/382106

You guys are gonna luv 'er.

heh

Posted by: tao9 | November 23, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

klautsack: "I love that a plurality supports 'Personal Appearance' as being one of the criteria. I call this the Disney effect. Who are the bad guys? Why the ugly ones, of course."
-------

Well, so far they have been the ugly ones.

Posted by: Brigade | November 23, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

@tao - Well, if she can speak in other than Ancient Clicheish, it could be interesting.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 23, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

tao-

Well, she seem wholly interested in showing that her mind is already made up.

So, as entertainment, I *might* like her...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 23, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

A refreshing sanity moment brought to you by citizens...

"A new poll by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which was provided to the Huffington Post, shows that by a double-digit margin, voters want Congress to use a constitutional amendment to overturn that decision and once again restrict corporations from directly spending on elections."

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/23/voters-against-cu/

Posted by: bernielatham | November 23, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

The mantra of "keep your hands off my health care" is really a (shared cultural reference, perhaps?) polite way of saying, "I don't want my tax dollars subsidizing those who can't afford health insurance".

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 23, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

"The Obama administration recently tried another of bin Laden's cooks in a military commission. He got fourteen years. That kind of light sentence is typical of the military commissions thus far. But we're supposed to view Ghailani likely spending the rest of his life in prison as a failure of the civilian system."

Posted by: pragmaticagain|November 23, 2010
-------

In more ways than one. The fourteen years the fellow received in a military commission was evidently deemed appropriate. The jurors in the Ghailani trial, however, were likely thinking the guy deserved no more than a wrist slap---rightly or wrongly, he was acquitted on all but one of 286 counts. If one of our resident criminal defense attorneys---like leichtman1---is present, he can fill you in on how justice works in the federal system and what your chances are of getting away clean. A federal indictment usually involves a number of counts and for good reason; a conviction on any one of them usually leaves the defendant open to whatever sentence the prosecutor has in mind anyway. Same with pleading guilty to one or two counts in a multiple count indictment. Many states don't have anything to quite match the "conspiracy" catchall featured as part of most federal indictments. It's a relatively easy charge to prove; maybe the defendant once said something to somebody---or not.

I don't see how sentencing someone who was all but found innocent to life in prison is reason to celebrate. Maybe because he deserves it. But these cases don't belong in civilian court, and this particular one demonstrates clearly why even a U.S. citizen can find himself in a world of hurt if the feds ever set their sights on him.

Posted by: Brigade | November 23, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

"Corporate Profits Not Actually At Record High

I saw a lot of commentary yesterday about how corporate profits are now at a record high. I think it’s worth noting that this is true if and only if you don’t adjust for inflation. And I have no idea why you would think adjusting for inflation is a bad idea in this context. A helpful chart the Commerce Department emailed out yesterday illustrates what’s actually happening:"

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/11/corporate-profits-not-actually-at-record-high/

Better to get things like this right.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 23, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis, would you be okay with Palin promising Huckabee a Cabinet-level position if he endorses her for President (and she wins of course)?

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 23, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Re the ethanol subsidy, Kevin_Willis wrote,
"Grassley is just another inside-the-beltway, bought-and-paid-for politician. At least, in that respect."
--------

But these aren't really partisan issues, as witness:

"Harkin threatens to oppose electric vehicles bill without ethanol provisions
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) on Monday called for expanding Electric and Natural Gas Vehicles Legislation slated to come up for a procedural vote during the Lame-duck session to encourage the use of Ethanol. While he said he would vote for Cloture on the bill, he warned that he would oppose the bill on a final vote if provisions to encourage Biofuels are not added. Harkin’s comments are certain to rankle Environmentalists..."

Harkin is as far left as Grassley is right.

Posted by: Brigade | November 23, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, Jonah Goldberg's columns and Sarah Palin's new book are both the work of Goldberg's wife...

http://mediamatters.org/blog/201011230026

Posted by: bernielatham | November 23, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

"Just before the mid-term elections, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell candidly told the National Journal, "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

If that means doing nothing to help 15 million Americans searching for work who can't find it, too bad. If that means blocking ratification of a nuclear arms control treaty with Russia that's wholeheartedly backed by all the top U.S. military leaders as needed for national security, so be it.

If that means stone-walling efforts to stimulate the economy with business tax cuts, or blocking extension of expiring jobless benefits, that's the way the cookie crumbles. If that means changing the law to direct the Federal Reserve to stop paying attention to unemployment and focus solely on inflation in its monetary policy decisions, we’ll ignore the fact that core inflation is the lowest in half a century.

In short, congressional Republicans don't want conditions in the United States to improve on any front before the 2012 elections..."

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Blogs/2010/11/22/What-the-Republicans-Really-Want.aspx

Posted by: bernielatham | November 23, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Re: Jennifer Rubin quote above...

As a liberal, it appears to me by the quote provided by tao that she has no interest in any kind of debate with those of my stripe. Her mind is apparently closed and one can only wonder what kind of tone that will set for her new blog.

I wonder if the irony has eluded her.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 23, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer Rubin is an idiot.

Is that clear?

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 23, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Sarah Palin, bernielatham wrote,
"I'm a hell of a lot smarter, more curious, more educated and more intellectually responsible than she is. What I lack, compared to her, is the naivety that comes from being poorly educated, incurious and arrogant."


Nothing arrogant about Bernie. Let's see now: Sarah's attractive, rich, famous, successful---a former mayor, governor and vice presidential candidate, and Bernie is ... well, at least he has the time to keep us updated with posts from all the left wing hate sites.
-------

And this also,
"A tragic side-effect from the ceasless slandering of government and politicians which marks the modern conservative movement is the sort of notion you seem to advance. And it is reflected in the number of fools you guys have putinto office."

Well, well, fools is it? Slandering now are we? Probably no two more incompetent buffoons have ever won the Presidency than Carter and Obama. Even Democrats in big business don't think Obama has a clue. But maybe Bernie wasn't talking about the White House. Does anyone know if Guam has tipped over yet, or if the flags left on Mars by the astronauts are still flying?

Barry may never be able to pronounce corpsman or visit all 57 states, but by gummy he can use a teleprompter with the best of them.

Posted by: Brigade | November 23, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

"Conformity is seen as a sign of intellectual prowess."

Fess up, anybody read the whole link?

{{{hallelu.giggle.jah}}}

Posted by: tao9 | November 23, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

BG,

Neo-con? Qui.
Idiot? Mais non.

Hey, I'm reading V. Hugo's Essays on Humanity. Makes me a little filled up with dread at times...and woozy.

Posted by: tao9 | November 23, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

@brigade-

"Slandering now are we? Probably no two more incompetent buffoons have ever won the Presidency than Carter and Obama."

I'm sure you were being ironic here, yes?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 23, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

@tao - in answer to question, no. The passage quoted was without merit. Lots of people do Coulter for fun and profit.

As regards "dread"...an appropriate response.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 23, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

B,

The graf is the last of a long post re: Meacham's "Obama & the Book of Job" piece in the NYT/RoB.

How even the precis for that ever got by a assumably lucid editor tells all one needs to know re: NYC lefty eggheads and insularity.

Merit's like a box a chockOlattes...

heh2X

Posted by: tao9 | November 23, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

B,

Have you read those Hugo Essays? He posits so many provocative questions it's often taken me an hour to read a page.

He is the soul of 1848.

Posted by: tao9 | November 23, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

@tao: "You guys are gonna luv 'er."

Indeed. I can't wait. I'll see you there, Tao.

@claw: "Kevin_Willis, would you be okay with Palin promising Huckabee a Cabinet-level position if he endorses her for President (and she wins of course)?"

As long as it's not Secretary of Health and Human Services. He'd end up going all Bloomberg Nanny State on us.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 23, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

RACIAL PROFILING

We, as a nation, should not allow our feelings about racial profiling of blacks affect the way we fight a war.

That is just stupid.


You can't fight a war in a "politically correct" way.


If you did, you wouldn't shot anyone.

It's a war. Grow up about it.


.

Posted by: RedNation | November 24, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

It's outrages like the DREAM ACT and the attempted REPEAL of DADT that caused the Obamacrats to get shellacked in the mid-terms and what do the dimwits do??

Come back with more of the same with congressional ducks that are lame.

Obama is our Panderer in Chief.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 24, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

tao, I thought neocon and idiot were synonymous.

Don't they both lead to Les Miserables?

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 24, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

As a liberal, it appears to me by the quote provided by tao that she has no interest in any kind of debate with those of my stripe. Her mind is apparently closed and one can only wonder what kind of tone that will set for her new blog.

I wonder if the irony has eluded her.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 23, 2010 8:19 PM

---------------------------------

What a ridiculous thing to say - she hasn't even begun here.

AND do you really find that the minds of others on this blog are not closed???


You have applied a standard which is slightly unrealistic, don't you think?

Posted by: RedNation | November 24, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

BGinChi

Why don't you give Jennifer Rubin a chance?

Read her stuff - then you can reply point-by-point


Start any bar fights lately ???

Posted by: RedNation | November 24, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

battleground51 at 12:07 AM


You are correct. And the American People should be angry that the liberals have persisted - instead of listening to the results of the election.


First, the liberals ran around the country with a bunch of deceptions and lies of Obama - and told the country that Obama would be bipartisan and centrist


Then, the liberals TWISTED the meaning of the 2008 election, and attempted to claim that they had a mandate for their liberal ideas.


NOW, the liberals are running around the nation trying to convince people that they have the right to ignore the election results, and somehow push through their liberal agenda in these remaining days.


Calling these people UNAMERICAN seems to be out-of-bounds. However, clearly their actions and words have been running counter to our democratic traditions for years now.

Obama and the liberals (which is not the name of a band) have been DISRESPECTING the will of the American People for years now.


This is certainly a reason for anger. However, it also proves the liberals are unfit to govern, and should not be given an opportunity to govern ever again.

Posted by: RedNation | November 24, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Everyone knows that when you're talking about profiling, it means young, muslim men (wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more). You're an idiot if you think that screening is purely random.

I once had to buy a same day one way ticket. I was going to fly to KC and drive back home. I got my dates mixed up and bought a ticket for my return date. Stupid mistake, I know. So, I had to buy a one way ticket on that morning to keep my plans. I naturally got called out for additional screening. My same day purchase of a one way trip raised a flag as it should have.

And any middle aged person whining about the screening process should clearly be going to the doctor more often.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 24, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Republicans are not getting very excited about Democrat distractions like the "Dream Act" and "Repeal of DADT" because Republicans believe those bills will fail naturally in the shell-shocked, lame duck, Obamacrat session. I think they are correct. Here's from "HOT-AIR":

__________________________________________

“Americans don’t think we should be raising taxes on anybody, especially in the middle of a recession. But instead of giving Americans what they want, Democratic leaders plan to use the last few days that lawmakers expect to spend in Washington this year focusing on everything except preventing this tax hike, which will cost us even more jobs:
“…Immigration…A repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ …A reorganization of the FDA … More environmental regulations…
“Democrats put off all these things until after the election, along with the most basic task of funding the government. By focusing on them now, and not on legislation to promote job creation and reduce spending, they’re showing where their priorities lie.”

__________________________________________

"In other words, they’re not pro-DREAM, they simply think Reid should stop wasting valuable time in the lame-duck with crappy distractions that voters don’t much care about".


Those Republicans seem to know what they are doing.

DREAM and DADT REPEAL are last ditch, failing efforts of Obamacrats to pander to their vanishing base.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 24, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

RedNation | November 24, 2010 12:32 AM

Check!

They are unfit to govern because they are, in reality, anti-Democratic.

It's why I call their party the DEMOCRAT party. It does not deserve to be call Democratic.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 24, 2010 1:39 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: ricardoeddy | November 24, 2010 2:08 AM | Report abuse

"Everyone knows that when you're talking about profiling, it means young, muslim men (wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more). You're an idiot if you think that screening is purely random."

You don't even have to be Muslim. Just a tinge of dark skin is enough. I've been through the situation enough myself. Hell, I could see 50 people go through the line unmolested and me and one other dark person next to me in line get randomly selected.

You white people want to declare the end of racism? Then stop sticking your hand up my a** every time I look in the direction of an airplane.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 24, 2010 3:00 AM | Report abuse

@tao - Insularities are a feature of human life, unavoidably ("If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me"). But it's a variable of course. I had three ladies (in their fifties) come in my shop this week who had spent the high school period of their lives in the same private school in Beirut. As it happens, I have a good friend (about a decade older) who'd spent his first fifteen years in that city. All were families of military or foreign service. We had a great chat including on the subject of how such an experience or early life put all of them at some remove from common American myth stories and assumptions (of the exceptionalist sort). Travel, reading, education, association with foreigners etc help to mitigate, as you know. Thus I'd be tickled pink to see every young person anywhere to be shipped off to some foreign country for a year of their lives. We'd be a richer and better species for it. Implicit here is the acknowledgement that we all suffer somewhat from insularities.

This seems somehow related... time lapse visualization of the ebb and flow of red/blue voting across the nation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=k4h62jRiUcc

Re Hugo...something of a curious coincidence here. When we talked a few days back re my moral values as they relate to how government ought to be organized (and my grounding in a certain christian heritage) I thought about, but did not mention, the influence of Hugo in my values. During the fifth grade, a teacher read Les Miserable to us and it bit pretty deeply. In junior high, I read more Hugo but don't recall with certainty if the essays were part of that reading. My mom (mennonite) and dad (Anglican and a union organizer) didn't agree on everything but there was certainly concord on a moral duty to organize communities such that the weak and the poor would not be forgotten. And that's a bit of my insularity showing.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 24, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

I was reading yesterday's thread between you and sold2u about the health care system, and became curious about something. Are you managing your current family issue here in the US or in Canada?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 24, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

From The Economist...

"WHAT makes people psychopaths is not an idle question. Prisons are packed with them. So, according to some, are boardrooms. The combination of a propensity for impulsive risk-taking with a lack of guilt and shame (the two main characteristics of psychopathy) may lead, according to circumstances, to a criminal career or a business one."

http://www.economist.com/node/17460702

Peggy Noonan, as I noted the other day, hoped that looters operating during Katrina would be shot by police (and her wish was granted and those murders are now being prosecuted). She also, as I noted, has not expressed a wish that the Wall Street types who have pushed us to this edge (with magnitudes greater consequence) ought to be shot.

For hierarchical creatures like we and the other primates are, shooting down is very much easier than shooting up. Which changes nothing, of course. And the Chamber of Commerce types are doing all they can to insure that the guns continue to point everywhere else but at them.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 24, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"the Wall Street types who have pushed us to this edge..."

What are you talking about? Do you have anything other than the most superficial (and probably caricatured) understanding at all of what "Wall Street types" actually do, or of the complexity of events that "pushed" us to "this edge"?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 24, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "Travel, reading, education, association with foreigners etc help to mitigate, as you know."

Mitigate what? I spent a month in Europe when I was twelve. Spent two weeks in England in college. I went to art school. I've read thousands (if not tens-of-thousands; it certainly feels like tens-of-thousands but I'm probably way over-estimating) books, most of them before the age of 30. I've associated with numerous non-Americans (although I try to avoid those filthy Canadians ;P ) . . .

I'm still a fan of the concept of American exceptionalism. Perhaps if I had spent two months in Europe?

@ScottC3: "What are you talking about?"

How dare you ask for clarification! Don't you know who you're talking to? ;)

Speaking of which:

@bernie: "(and her wish was granted and those murders are now being prosecuted)"

You mean people who used deadly force to protect their property and themselves during Katrina are being regarded as murderers, and prosecuted thusly? Or folks who just randomly shot people doing whatever? Because those people aren't technically "looters".

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 24, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "Well, if she can speak in other than Ancient Clicheish, it could be interesting."

Well, after she starts, we'll ask. If she can speak Byzantine Conspiraciesh or Classic Condescenian, you should be right at home. :P

Sigh. Comments on message boards could real be more effective if I could somehow attach an actual snare-and-cymbal hit at the end, so people could know which part is funny. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 24, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

""The trouble liberals face in maintaining their intellectual chops is that they operate in a world of knowing glances, incomplete sentences, and shared cultural references. Conformity is seen as a sign of intellectual prowess. And you need not write anything intelligible, let alone intellectually compelling, to qualify as a liberal public intellectual."
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/382106

You guys are gonna luv 'er.

heh

Posted by: tao9 | November 23, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

That is a tired and hypocritical cliche, which is about all the Cons have today. Groupthink and political correctness are far more prevalent on the Right today than on the Left. Witness the Left's criticism of Obama and the Democrats. Compare that to the Cons with Bush, whom they now disparage. Or think about how Limbaugh and Hannity can literally make or break GOP candidates depending upon whether they tow the Con line. This is part of the rot that has befallen Conservatism after too long in power with no ideas.

Today's GOP: Putting the Con in Conservatism.

Welcome aboard, Jennifer.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 24, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

@Scott - it's neither myself nor wife. A brother and sister in law are both now being treated for a particular malady for which modern technology and meds have proven very effective (stem cell replacement is key). Prognosis as regards time not yet known because of the short duration these procedures have been in place. In a near statistical impossibility, a third family member (another sister in law's mother) had the same illness (passed away two years ago). All three are different genetic lines and there's no environmental causality.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 24, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Earmark schmearmark or money rules or do what I say not what I do

" Senate Republicans' ban on earmarks - money included in a bill by a lawmaker to benefit a home-state project or interest - was short-lived.

Only three days after GOP senators and senators-elect renounced earmarks, Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, the No. 2 Senate Republican, got himself a whopping $200 million to settle an Arizona Indian tribe's water rights claim against the government.

Kyl slipped the measure into a larger bill sought by President Barack Obama and passed by the Senate on Friday to settle claims by black farmers and American Indians against the federal government. Kyl's office insists the measure is not an earmark, and the House didn't deem it one when it considered a version earlier this year"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/23/AR2010112305580.html?hpid=sec-politics

Posted by: bernielatham | November 24, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Kevin said: "Well, after she starts, we'll ask. If she can speak Byzantine Conspiraciesh or Classic Condescenian, you should be right at home."

That was well done.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 24, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"I'm still a fan of the concept of American exceptionalism. Perhaps if I had spent two months in Europe?"

I spent almost 15 years overseas, including 7+ in Europe (well, England, which isn't quite the same)and 6+ in Asia. I'm still a fan of American exceptionalism, too. I guess some of us hillbillies are simply incurable.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 24, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

"...which is about all the Cons have today."

You mean besides the House, right?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 24, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

@Scott re Wall Street

My knowledge is superficial and I have no doubt the complexities escape me (probably an understatement). For these reasons, I don't talk about economics much. But I do attend to economists who you don't like for ideological reasons.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 24, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Matt Bai's largely wrongheaded piece in the NYT today accidentally stumbles upon an interesting thought:

"what has become the central theme of Mr. Obama’s presidency: America’s faltering confidence in the ability of government to make things work. "

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/24/us/politics/24bai.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&src=ig

Government is presently unable to make things work BECAUSE it is so dominated by Big Money that government is unable to do anything without the consent of Big Business. ANd Big Business only agrees to what helps the corporate bottom line. Corporations don't give a rat's a*s about anything other than profits so giving Big Business a veto over American policy guarantees government failure. Obama's presidency so far is testament. Government and Big Business must have an adversarial relationship because they don't have different goals. That doesn't mean war but it does mean that government, representing the American people, must be the boss. The sooner the Democrats realize that the better off they -- and the country -- will be.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 24, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

ScottC3: "I spent almost 15 years overseas, including 7+ in Europe (well, England, which isn't quite the same)and 6+ in Asia. I'm still a fan of American exceptionalism, too. I guess some of us hillbillies are simply incurable."

Awesome, dude. Which languages can you get by in? I'm hopelessly anglophilic. I can ask where the bathroom is in Spanish. At least my mom learned French well enough to get around in France (where she lived for 1 year, and she's pretty darn liberal, but she was already pretty liberal well before that). And I had a year of Spanish (followed up by, in my youthful foolishness, a year of Latin, and now I remember almost nothing of either).

I've also known a few American exceptionalists who not only live overseas, but aren't even (and never have been) Americans. It takes all kinds.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 24, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/the_morning_plum_138.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 24, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Kevin said: "I'm still a fan of the concept of American exceptionalism. Perhaps if I had spent two months in Europe?"

Rather longer would be better. But your position would be mirrored by many Brits over the last two centuries who were stationed in Asia or India or the Middle East (or America, for that matter) in coming away still with the notion their homeland was the best thing since CheezeWhiz and that the natives were lesser. If "exceptional" means "different", fine. If it means "better/best/smiled upon uniquely by God", then I am as unimpressed by the stance from an American as from a Brit, a mid-century German or Japanese or whomever.

As regards Katrina and Peggy Noonan's blood lust (so long as it's the blood of the lower classes) -

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38228986/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts

http://www.propublica.org/nola/story/post-katrina-shooting-by-police-gets-federal-attention-219

Posted by: bernielatham | November 24, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

"...which is about all the Cons have today."

You mean besides the House, right?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 24, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

The Cons have been in power for 40 years. For the last 30 of those years, the Cons have had nothing to offer but self-enrichment, greed, and gluttony. The Cons still have no ideas. I listened to the GOP House transition guy yesterday. When asked about the GOP's ideas, he repeatedly said that "uncertainty" was inhibiting business hiring. Apart from the dearth of factual support for that proposition (never a problem with Cons b/c they are impervious to evidence), what else did this GOP "leader" urge? De-regulation and lower taxes. IOW, let's have Big Money rape the country all over again. Oh, and that's Con-speak for you: when a Republican says "uncertainty" is the problem what he means is that the Democrats should do things the GOP way immediately. Talk about knowing nods and dog whistles: Cons have the monopoly on that tactic.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 24, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"For these reasons, I don't talk about economics much. But I do attend to economists who you don't like for ideological reasons."

Attend to whatever economists you want, for whatever reasons you want. But you probably should not assume from ignorance that "Wall Street types" are singularly responsible for our current economic woes in order to then equate them to looters during a natural disaster who ought to be shot. (Your attempt to paint Noonan as a hypocrite on this front is simply silly.)

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 24, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

America was exceptional. But the Plutocrats and the Cons have turned us into just another imperialist a-hole.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 24, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"Which languages can you get by in?"

My language skills are really quite extensive. I speak American English, British English, and Hong Kong pidgin English fluently. I can get by in Scottish English, Australian English, and Kiwi English.

Apart from that, I know taxi Cantonese (sam sap sam, Tai Tam Do, mm goy), and few Japanese phrases. I took 6 years of Spanish during highschool and college, and can barely speak a word.

Impressive, eh?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 24, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

@Scott - no attempt make that equation.

The point, from posts earlier, was that we find it very easy to shoot down but not up. Noonan here exemplifies this fact of our society (and all or most societies). But it is a function of wealth, power and class and the failures of perception/thinking that attend. More to the point, it is a violation of the sort of justice and fairness which we would hope to see our institutions display. Further, penalizing the folks at the bottom is relatively inconsequential whereas nailing people near the top who screw up (hurt their fellow citizens) far far worse can have rather better results for the community - not to mention that penalties ought to match the actual consequences of the act.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 24, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"If "exceptional" means "different", fine. If it means "better/best/smiled upon uniquely by God", then I am as unimpressed by the stance from an American as from a Brit, a mid-century German or Japanese or whomever. "

If one didn't think that being different from others in a particular way was better, why in the world would one aspire to be different?

I suspect that deep down you actually believe in American exceptionalism, too. It's just that you think America is exceptional in all of the worst kinds of ways...exceptionally ignorant, insular, immoral, bullying, whatever.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 24, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

@Scott - Dead wrong, old chum. I actually love a bazillion things about America (not least being the folks who live here but I like folks everywhere). I'm a fan of the constitutional experiment, of the levels of liberty, of the freedom for ideas to bash around, of the celebration of arts and letters, of the vigor of the sciences, of the libraries everywhere, etc. It's a really damn fine place in many ways. But that's hardly the whole story.

My fundamental gripe as regards notions of exceptionalism is that they function not merely as celebration and validation (all fine) but also as blinders to the negatives. That's the dangerous part and it ought always to be challenged regardless of which tribal community gets all puffed up about their superiority over others because that's exactly where the justifications for oppression, violations of sovereignty, treating others as a resource to be harvested and seriously immoral violences are perpetrated.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 24, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

@Scott - Well, let's see you use "skookum" properly in a sentence.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 24, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"...that's exactly where the justifications for oppression, violations of sovereignty, treating others as a resource to be harvested and seriously immoral violences are perpetrated."

Can you name an instance in which the notion of American exceptionalism has used to justify any such actions?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 24, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Well, let's see you use "skookum" properly in a sentence."

My extensive travels around the world have confirmed to me that America is one skookum country.

(I had to look it up...never heard of it. Seems to be native to the pacific northwest, not any place I have ever been).

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 24, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

@Scott - Yes, it had common usage where I grew up and I had no idea until my middle years that it was specific to the PNW. There's a number of such terms with the same pidgin origins that we use.

As regards your other question. You gotta be kidding.

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

Bernie:

"You gotta be kidding."

Not at all.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 24, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

American exceptionalism is a pretty asinine philosophy. Americans are just as capable of committing sins against the earth as anyone else. We aren't better simply because of the plot of land we live on. Our actions oversees aren't necessarily good for others simply because of the flag that accompanies what we do. We are one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gasses in the world. Our health care system is a joke.

Americans can do great things, but they have to do them before they can be called great. It isn't just a perpetual state of being. As a political board, we can start with the state of politics. The fact that we have a major political party that formulates policy specifically designed to run counter to evidence based ecological and economic knowledge and that we have an electorate that still votes for these people simply because they are too lazy to open a newspaper is a massive dagger in the heart of American exceptionalism. When Americans act in a manner that befits the title, I'm all for it. But we aren't there now.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 24, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

DD:

"American exceptionalism is a pretty asinine philosophy."

It's not a philosophy.

"Americans are just as capable of committing sins against the earth as anyone else. We aren't better simply because of the plot of land we live on. Our actions oversees aren't necessarily good for others simply because of the flag that accompanies what we do."

All true. And entirely irrelevant to the concept of American exceptionalism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_exceptionalism

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 24, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Tell the truth about the DREAM ACT?

AMERICAN TAXPAYERS MUST READ THE FULL TEXT OF S 3827, BEFORE THEY CONDEMN THOSE AGAINST THE LAW. THIS DREAM ACT MUTANT LAW HAS MANY HEADS, THAT WILL HAVE BAD IMPLICATIONS ON OUR FUTURE. IT MUST BE TABLED AND THEN REVISED WITH COMMON SENSE? THIS IS ANOTHER EXPENSIVE PARTY FAVOR FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS AND WHOLE FAMILIES THAT WILL JOIN THEM LATER? AS FOR STUDENTS GOING ON HUNGER STRIKE, WE CANNOT BE INTIMIDATED BY THIS TYPE OF RECKLESS BEHAVIOR AND MUST NOT BE TOLERATED.
The Dream Act is not a crucial law if aliens want to join the military?
Another provision that misleads the public is the fact that illegal aliens can join the military in this time of conflict and collect as a guarantee a path to citizenship at a later date. Under the provisions of the current law (10 USC § 504), the Secretary of Defense can authorize the enlistment of illegal aliens. Once enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces, under 8 USC § 1440, these illegal aliens can become naturalized citizens through expedited processing, often obtaining U.S. citizenship in six months.

These corrupted legislators will not even tell you the real costs, for settling instant-citizenship infants (Anchor Babies?) Here is the last chance to harass your Senator or Representative by phoning (202)224-3121. Challenge them to stop the Left wing zealots for planting another Amnesty in America called the DREAM ACT. HOW CAN SENATOR HARRY REID AND HIS HIERARCHY OF LIBERAL CRONIES, PUSH PASSAGE OF THE DREAM ACT WHEN 15 TO 22 MILLION AMERICANS ARE GROVELING FOR A JOB? IN MOST CASES ANY JOB TO FEED THEIR FAMILIES?

Go to www.numbersusa.com website for in-depth information on illegal immigration and what you can do to stand for our sovereignty and citizen rights? The Tea Party is adamant that no new laws must--NOT--find passage until the real DOUBLE border fence is secure. That no new visas should be implemented until the Guest Worker fraud is extinguished, which businesses owners and their lawyers undertake annually. The Tea Party will blacklist any politician, including those lawmakers they backed, if they cater to illegal immigration and the DREAM ACT--as is?

Posted by: infinity555 | November 24, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Go to www.numbersusa.com website for in-depth information on illegal immigration and what you can do to stand for our sovereignty and citizen rights? The Tea Party is adamant that no new laws must--NOT--find passage until the real DOUBLE border fence is secure. That no new visas should be implemented until the Guest Worker fraud is extinguished, which businesses owners and their lawyers undertake annually. The Tea Party will blacklist any politician, including those lawmakers they backed, if they cater to illegal immigration and the DREAM ACT--as is?

Here is the full text of the Dream Act (S. 3827: Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2010:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s111-3827

READ the facts about the Dream Act and not the propaganda from Senator Harry Reid's Liberal party leadership that must--END? Sen. Jeff Sessions put out the following release last week on the DREAM Act, that it’s an incremental illegal-alien amnesty bill. IT IS A VERY CAREFULLY PLANNED AMNESTY, FULL OF RHETORIC? BUT EVERY TAXPAYER NEEDS TO READ THE FULL TEXT OF THE WHITE PAPER. Remember your taxes are certain to accelerate upwards, to pay for all these indecent provisions. American citizens are already having money extorted from them to pay for the babies of illegal aliens born here, the education of illegal alien children, the health care for all family members and crammed prisons and jails for convicted illegal alien felons. All needs to be paid for by your taxes? High on the list of Negatives is that the students will be able to sponsor immediate family members under the chain migration law.

Not so much the students who would become naturalized citizens, but the chain migration that would snowball for all family members. As I have said before we are committing financial suicide, because the majority of guarantors never honor their affidavits to support the people they vouch? In the end the older family folks who have never paid into the Social Security system, become another public welfare liability. Hundreds of thousands or may be millions have been allowed into America on the surety of the original sponsor, who failed to support his-her immediate family. Over the years taxpayers have been confronted with this issue, as the US government never had the man-power to enforce this sponsorship law. Years of non-compliance has become yet another Social Security, (SSI) Supplementary Income of Tax payers left to pay even heavier taxes in support of people who were sponsored and then neglected. The amount of money that cannot even be estimated, that is being appropriated every year to account for the illegal immigration invasion.

The invasion hasn't stopped and never will until we cut of all welfare entitlements?

Posted by: infinity555 | November 24, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

WANT THE REALITY OF COSTS? GOOGLE---Illegal immigrant costs and find out for yourself and then you decide? Then go to the Heritage Foundation website and it will explain with graphs, projections and text by the reputable in-depth analysis by Robert Rector.

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2007/06/amnesty-will-cost-us-taxpayers-at-least-26-trillion

Next week will add further enticements for illegal immigrants to come here, if this Dream Act passes?

For immediate release: Are the Liberal extremists under the leadership of Billionaire Ultra-Socialist George Soros, trying to take over the free Internet and place it under government control this December using a secret vote: Go to http://spectator.org/archives/2010/11/24/seizing-the-internet
No Copyright. Distribute freely.

Posted by: infinity555 | November 24, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

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