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Posted at 6:10 PM ET, 11/29/2010

Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* Chuck Schumer is working very hard to create the impression that a lot of Senate Dems support his compromise proposal to end the Bush tax cuts only for those over $1 million.

Senator, mind if Dems hold their vote on the $250,000 threshold before you aggressively promote your very own brilliant plan?

* Jonathan Cohn skewers Schumer's proposal, pointing out that it would apparently cost an additional $400 billion over 10 years.

* As Jed Lewison points out, no one could have predicted that Republicans would say Obama's pay freeze doesn't go far enough.

* Steve Benen aptly notes that the problem with the pay freeze is that "Obama appears to be getting literally nothing in return" from Republicans, with the only upshot being that "we'll be left with 2.1 million Americans with less buying power."

* Support for repealing DADT is surprisingly high even among evangelicals and church-goers.

* Ben Smith notes that blaming newspapers for publishing the WikiLeaks docs is largely beside the point, since newspaper editors can no longer control what gests out and what doesn't, and indeed there's been surprisingly little ire directed at news orgs this time around.

Also interesting: The New America Foundation's Steve Clemons tells Smith that WikiLeaks is "a market reaction to the massive advance of official secrecy over the years."

* Taegan Goddard flags a fascinating Chris Christie factoid that suggests serious national ambitions: His staff is tasked with filming Christie "moments" that are quickly disseminated to conservatives across the country.

* Be sure to bookmark Brian Beutler's new blog on Congress.

* Fact check of the day: Jonathan Capehart skewers the right's ridiculously bogus rehashing of Obama's "I won" moment.

* James Fallows debunks the ongoing effort to use the TSA pat-down uproar to draw false equivalences between left and right.

* Did Sarah Palin, who could very well be the GOP nominee for president in 2012, suggest that the United States should have targeted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for assassination?

* And a good friend of Palin mocks the lamestream media for lavishing endless coverage on her even as she treats them like garbage:

"If she says the leaves are falling in autumn, it's picked up in 35 newspapers. So why does she need them?"

Exactly right: We're getting played, fellow lamestream media chumps, and no amount of clicks or page views will change that.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | November 29, 2010; 6:10 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, House GOPers, Political media, Senate Dems, taxes  
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Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

Greg I dont understand your views on Sarah Palin. You seem to not like her, but mention her every other day. And you often criticize the media for following her, yet concede that she's a potential nominee for 2012.

Posted by: adammc123 | November 29, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Greg wrote: "Exactly right: We're getting played, fellow lamestream media chumps, and no amount of clicks or page views will change that."

I'm with you Adam. Greg, post a Palin item and then have the next post be a criticism of those that post items a out Palin? It seems hypocritical.

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

Wow, that didn't come out right. It should read, Greg, why put up a blurb about Palin, followed by a blurb about how Palin is playing those that post blurbs about her?  Is it irony?  Do you need the clicks?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 29, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Greg, what is this line all about?

Senator, mind if Dems hold their vote on the $250,000 threshold before you aggressively promote your very own brilliant plan?

_______________________


In NY, 250K for a two-income family doesn't go very far.


So, a compromise makes sense.

Besides, many democratic Senators do not want to cast a vote on the 250K level - going into tough re-election fights. You rarely consider the situation in 2012 for the democratic Senators in their re-election prospects.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 29, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

"Chuck Schumer is working very hard to create the impression that a lot of Senate Dems support his compromise proposal to end the Bush tax cuts only for those over $1 million."

Democrats have perfected the art of negotiating with themselves. The GOP just stands there and waits until the Democrats cave in. This political party does not get it and neither does this president: Without Liberals you have NOTHING. And you are about to see just what that means.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 29, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

"Senator, mind if Dems hold their vote on the $250,000 threshold before you aggressively promote your very own brilliant plan?"

If only there had been a time, in the last 2 years, when the Democratic caucus had 60 votes, and an overwhelming House majority to take care of this Tax issue.  Who knew they were set to expire?  If only there'd been some warning.  Pity. 

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 29, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

That Capeheart column on "I won" is laughably inept, as laughably inept as Greg's assertion that the criticism of Obama "ridiculously bogus."

Not arrogance, Capeheart says, no, no, no. Just good "fiesty leadership." And he seems to believe the massive electoral repudiation the Dems just suffered is irrelevant to Obama's absolute authority to decide "which ideas" to accept.

I swear, WaPo publishes some of the most risible online hackery. You couldn't even make up such inept nonsense and be believed.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Cut a deal. Extend them all temporarily for 2 or 3 years and get an extension of unemployment benefits out of it.

A compromise everyone can live with.

Posted by: sold2u | November 29, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

"Did Sarah Palin, who could very well be the GOP nominee for president in 2012, suggest that the United States should have targeted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for assassination?"

No, Greg. And if you read the absurd hit piece you linked you know that is true.

Do you have any standards left? Do you exercise even the slightest quality control over the utter nonsense you link on this blog?

Those are serious questions. That piece is preposterous, and if you don't acknowledge that you have no credibility.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone else made the observation that people who have self-confidence and think positively about themselves have little concern about others' arrogance?

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Greg, the WaPo editorial today (the editorial!) defending Tom Delay?

Seriously?

Unfit to line bird cages.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 29, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

"Has anyone else made the observation that people who have self-confidence and think positively about themselves have little concern about others' arrogance?"

That would explain the eight-year freak out by liberals over the "arrogant" GWB.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

"What else is happening"

Well, I have one of those good-news, bad-news stories to report. Remember way back in time 3 months ago when there was oil drifting onto the beaches of Grand Isle, LA from the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico? Well, the good news is that we won't have to worry about oil polluting the Louisiana Coast much longer. The bad news is that the reason is that global warming means that there will not be a Louisiana Coast much longer, at least not where it currently exists.

http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2010/11/flooding_predictions_have_dram.html

Posted by: wbgonne | November 29, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama's "making work pay" tax break for middle income families expires in a few weeks. But that was just for families making up to $150,000 a year. If it had included millionaires, maybe there would be juice to re-up that cut too, but it didn't, so it will just be allowed to expire quietly.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 29, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

What do you think of the author of this book, bernie?

http://www.amazon.com/Losing-America-Confronting-Reckless-Presidency/dp/0393059421

Isn't it great, how the title and subtitle capture both the idea of America' being lost to the illegitimate "other" party, and the president as arrogant?

You must have hated that book.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Steve Benen aptly notes that the problem with the pay freeze is that "Obama appears to be getting literally nothing in return" from Republicans

________________________________


So, everytime there is a budget cut, the Republicans have to give something to the democrats in return ???


How ridiculous is that ???

Just enforces the sterotype that democrats will continue to spend money without ever thinking - in a mindless and wreckless fashion.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 29, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

It think when Obama said the words "I won" he destroyed his remaining credibility.

That was about it - all thinking people had to realize that Obama would never compromise, and never adhere to his campaign commitments.


In a situation like this, it is best just to get rid of someone like Obama and just move on.

.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 29, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

"Has anyone else made the observation that people who have self-confidence and think positively about themselves have little concern about others' arrogance?"

Yes. They recognize their brothers. The most common trait of inhabitants of asylums for the criminally insane is that they think very, very positively of themselves.

Posted by: tao9 | November 29, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

tao, I think that def goes for goalies too.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 29, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Bernie at 6;58

That is not true - arrogant people hate other arrogant people

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 29, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

U.S., EU Expect Limited Progress at Climate Talks, No Treaty

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-29/un-s-chief-climate-envoy-urges-compromise-at-talks-on-100-billion-finance.html

No hurry. It's not like there's an astronomical amount of coastal real estate at risk in the U.S. We can certainly afford to spend a trillion or two relocating New York, Boston, New Orleans, Norfolk, Miami, Houston ...

Posted by: wbgonne | November 29, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

"Well its one, two, three, what are we fighting for?"
Peace with honor? A just and lasting peace? Afghanization? Hearts and Minds?

Afghan border police officer kills 6 U.S. troops.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 29, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

"Well its one, two, three, what are we fighting for?"
Peace with honor? A just and lasting peace? Afghanization? Hearts and Minds?

Afghan border police officer kills 6 U.S. troops.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 29, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse


End the war! Now!

Posted by: wbgonne | November 29, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

@QB - You found an instance! Compelling.

There is, of course, nothing illegitimate about conservativism nor is that an implication in title or subtitle. But as John Danforth and a lot of other conservatives have pointed out, what the *modern* party has become is something quite other. And ya know, if I'm going to take a reading on the state and past of conservativism in the US, I'll probably go with Danforth rather than yourself.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama's Inaction on Wikileaks


I've been thinking about this since yesterday - and there is a conspiracy theory afoot.

Why is Obama so inactive in going after Wikileaks - and stopping the release of these documents. Surely, somehow the US government could have stopped the last two releases of documents.

My thought is that perhaps Obama WANTS all these documents released - Obama wants our nation to be embarrassed and Obama WANTS to damage our national security interests.


This falls in line with Obama's desire for "transformative" changes in our economy and government.

However, somehow Obama believes that power structures have to be destroyed and torn-down in order for the new "transformative" changes to take hold.


So, tear down the US foreign policy - and then re-build from the ruins.


OR Obama is really a spy - and he is damaging our national security on purpose. That actually makes much more sense than some more extensive theory.


Posted by: RainintheForest | November 29, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

BG,

A confession:

There's never been one goal that went in on me...that I didn't think I could have saved.

It's part of the attitudinal hardware for success at the position.

You also MUST at the very moment that play resumes post-goal...forget it.

It's very strange, and yes, I've heard that goalkeeps are also.

How was the Holiday Wk/End in CHI? Da Bears rocked.

Posted by: tao9 | November 29, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

For bernie's edification, several snippets from a book by the evidently insecure Robert Byrd.

"This green and arrogant President had made a U-turn on our tradition of working with our allies . . . ."

"Little in the White House catalogue of arrogance, however, can match the initial attempt to create an Office of Homeland Security."

"Continued Bush insistence that there was not enough specific information to cause him to react to warnings smacks further of the detached and arrogant approach with which this President conducts his duties."

"In only two short years this reckless and arrogant administration has initiated policies which may reap disastrous consequences for years."

-- all from Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne at 7:13 writes

We can certainly afford to spend a trillion or two relocating New York, Boston, New Orleans, Norfolk, Miami, Houston ...

____________________________


I can not tell you how much of a ridiculous and silly statement this is.


New York is WAY above sea level - and there is no danger of it flooding - AT ALL


The elevations of the other cities is much higher than you think too.


The predictions of the sea level increasing - even they were true - would NOT flood these cities. This is a perfect example of how the global warming people have just thrown aside facts - or refused to verify anything.


Clearly, sea levels are not coming up 3 feet - as the most dire predictions state - but EVEN IF they did, that would NOT flood any of those cities.


The predictions of a Global warming crisis has become completely silly.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 29, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

"The most common trait of inhabitants of asylums for the criminally insane is that they think very, very positively of themselves."

Tough to counter that one. Confidence equals psychopathy. It's like an axiom or something.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

The most common trait is that they are criminally insane.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 29, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Bernie,

It's a Chesterton trope. The point is those who "believe in themselves" without also humbly giving credit to God, grace, good fortune, the help of those who went before, etc.. were candidates for, at the least self-deceit, at worst monstrous criminality.

Posted by: tao9 | November 29, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

shrink,

That, too.

Posted by: tao9 | November 29, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

By the way, tao, I'm really rather proud of your Pope for his recent nuanced moral formulation on condom use.

@qb - Thanks. I'm now edified and it's a wonderful gift.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

NEWS FLASH

Reports are that reviews of the "Expiration" of the Bush tax cuts - actually mean that on January 1, ALL INCOME TAXES are eliminated, not just the lowered rates.


The "expiration" removes ALL THE TAX RATES - not just the decreases under Bush.


So, Obama is really saying that he wants to tax the Middle class, and have the rich pay nothing.


Funny things happen when one tries to divide people............

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 29, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey qb!

Do you think Sen. Byrd may have ever thought, privately of course, that the *modern* Democratic party had become something quite other from say, the party of 1980.

Posted by: tao9 | November 29, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

"It's a Chesterton trope. The point is those who "believe in themselves" without also humbly giving credit to God, grace, good fortune, the help of those who went before, etc.. were candidates for, at the least self-deceit, at worst monstrous criminality."

I'd personally leave out the big G there but otherwise, you betcha.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Chuck Schumer is working very hard to create the impression that a lot of Senate Dems support his compromise proposal to end the Bush tax cuts only for those over $1 million.
----------------------------------------------

And this of course was the guy being widely touted as the preferred replacement for Harry Reid just a few short weeks ago. It is to laugh.

Posted by: CalD | November 29, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

tao, cold but pretty nice. A nasty wind on the bike, but got out a couple of days.

Otherwise all peaceful before December and general busyness sets in.

No snow yet hereabouts. You guys get anything yet? How was Boston? Besides full of M*ssholes....

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 29, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Sorry in advance wbgonne, I didn't mean you.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 29, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

"@QB - You found an instance! Compelling."

Took maybe 5 seconds to fetch that one. It's a problem with the left that your memories are short and selective.

"There is, of course, nothing illegitimate about conservativism nor is that an implication in title or subtitle."

Nor did I say it was. You're just changing the subject again.

"But as John Danforth and a lot of other conservatives have pointed out, what the *modern* party has become is something quite other."

So you acknowledge that criticisms of the incumbent party as illegitimate are nothing new?

"And ya know, if I'm going to take a reading on the state and past of conservativism in the US, I'll probably go with Danforth rather than yourself."

Of course you would, since Danforth isn't actually a conservative, and you don't know what conservatism is. You deal better with myth and fantasy than reality.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Another sane conservative who worked for Reagan and Bush 1...but who is saying things that are politically incorrect for the modern party...

"The Idiocy of Starve-the-Beast Theory"

http://capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/bruce-bartlett/2051/idiocy-starve-beast-theory?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+CapitalGainsAndGames+(Capital+Gains+and+Games+-+Wall+Street,+Washington,+and+Everything+in+Between)&utm_content=Google+Reader

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Bernie, I think Zell Miller is the voice I'm going to listen to on the current state of the Democratic Party.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 29, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Afghan border police officer kills 6 U.S. troops.

__________________


The liberals do not have much respect for this loss of life


However, it can be pointed out that Obama has an unrealistic time frame for transition to the Afghan Security Forces - and because it is being rushed, people are being let into the Afghan forces who are not properly vetted.

The killer was one of these people - the liberals ALL have blood on their hands - for pushing the pull-out before things are properly ready.

.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 29, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

"@qb - Thanks. I'm now edified and it's a wonderful gift."

Glad to be of service. Just call me the reminder.

tao,

We had a "debate" here some time back in which, I think fair to say, Scott and I proved as well as anyone can prove such things on in blog comments, that bernie's thesis that the GOP has "moved radically right" since Reagan and Goldwater, while the Dems have stayed straight and true, is 180 degrees wrong. It is, objectively measure, a complete reversal of reality.

Not sure what I think Byrd would have thought about his party in this regard. Honestly, I think he was sufficiently partisan that he never, ever would have turned publicly against it. He was a thorough-going big government guy, but I don't recall where he was at on some of the more radical notions of his contemporary party.

(Well, that was rather a dull response. But I lack a pithy one on Byrd. I just know he hated GWB with a passion and wrote himself a book on presidential arrogance.)

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

The funny thing about QB's post is that Byrd's criticisms are right on target. GWB was, and still is, arrogance personified.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 29, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

The funny thing about QB's post is that Byrd's criticisms are right on target. GWB was, and still is, arrogance personified.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 29, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

@tao - just a fun anecdote. When my wife was at Columbia and doing clinical work, one of the inhabitants at the institution was Son of Sam.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I knew Ethan would show up to miss the point.

His lack of judgment, however, needs no explication. There is an arrogance about Obama that far exceeds any arrogance of Bush. (That construction was just for BG.)

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

qb, that expresses perfectly the vapidity of the Palin approach. But since you think she's smart, I can only hope you can understand what I'm talking about.

There's a narcissism in DC, there's an arrogance about Obama.

That's about as close to a substantive argument as you're gonna get from today's conservative.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 29, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Afghan border police officer kills 6 U.S. troops.

__________________


The liberals do not have much respect for this loss of life


However, it can be pointed out that Obama has an unrealistic time frame for transition to the Afghan Security Forces - and because it is being rushed, people are being let into the Afghan forces who are not properly vetted.

The killer was one of these people - the liberals ALL have blood on their hands - for pushing the pull-out before things are properly ready.

.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 29, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

BG,

Boston was great once we got there...full 1/2 hr stop on the Pike at the 84 merge in Sturbridge then slowwwwww all the way in.

Dinner for 27 taoist 'rents, aunties/uncs, bros/sisses, cuz, nieces/nephs. 3 Birds smoked outdoors, also vegan fare. Touch football on the pitch @ Nobles School in Dedham. No politix @ table, much nostalgia for those absent, lots of lies to the younger attendees re: past hijinx mostly involving adult libations, our parents apparently knew what we all were up to 35 years ago anyway. Y'know, a delightful time.

There's snow up/country, Whiteface opened on the 26th!

Posted by: tao9 | November 29, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Didn't say it was a substantive argument. Just word fun.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Israel's FOX/Murdoch media presence...

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/45623.html

I'm sure this will end up just fine.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

The United States is not exceptional in any way, shape or form, nor is it inherently better than any other democratic form of government.

Posted by:jvlem|November 29,2010
-------

But it would be exceptional if you and a few others who think like you would just take a powder.

Posted by: Brigade | November 29, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Quarterback1: Is that you Heath?

Posted by: LAB2 | November 29, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

If Obama does not reject--as in, threaten to veto--further tax cuts for the Rich he is finished. For me at least.

Posted by:wbgonne|November 29,2010
-------

That is, of course, until the 2012 election rolls around and you find he's being opposed by a (gasp) Republican.

Posted by: Brigade | November 29, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan - actually, I find Bush now considerably more humble in demeanor than while running for and then in office. That's understandable in that he no longer has to present a certain sort of portrayal of self.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I am getting tired of the American exceptionalism dream, but whatever. I would suggest that you who DON'T wonder about it, travel the third world. While we do a lot for many of those people, we have wrought much of what they have now to bear. Being a grown up means taking responsibility for your actions. I suggest if American did that, we'd be a far more respected nation.

Posted by: LAB2 | November 29, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Btw, I don't recall saying Palin is smart. You'd have to give that some definition. What isn't smart is saying she is stupid. That's dumb.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, meant Americans...not American. We are all part of the problem, and the solution.

Posted by: LAB2 | November 29, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Bernie,

I was living on E.65th&Lex when Berkowitz was at large. First job out of school, short money (& that recession was almost as bad as the present), and a that guy running around. The City simply sucked then. Moving to Boston was like going to Jamaica, mon.

Posted by: tao9 | November 29, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...I guess I missed the referendum on my ballot about opposing the repeal of DADT. Was it on your ballot? Didn't think so.

If you think the midterm was a referendum on DADT, you are braindead. If you think the midterm was an endorsement of every bit of the wackadoodle conservative social agenda, you are braindead.

Posted by:bearclaw1|November 29,2010
------

The liberal mind at work. How silly of us not to realize that the midterms were, in fact, an endorsement of the wackadoodle liberal agenda.

DADT may not have been on the ballot, but the retention of State Supreme Court justices who voted in favor of gay marriage was on the ballot---they all lost.

Posted by: Brigade | November 29, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Cool move. Nation apologizes for the hit piece on Tyner...

http://www.thenation.com/blog/156700/apology-john-tyner

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

QB, what, specifically, has Obama said that is more arrogant than Bush's telling America's adversaries to "Bring it On"?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 29, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

"Quarterback1: Is that you Heath?"

Hmm, no, just a word that came to mind.

But I will admit thinking Heath Barkley was the coolest when I was a kid. (Although Nick had those cool black gloves.)

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

The Murdoch footprint in Australian media...

http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/2010/11/bunker-mentality.html?spref=tw

Speaking of psychopaths...

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Some pearls from DaveHarris:

"What kind of patriot refuses to pay taxes or lift a finger to support his country or help his fellow citizen?"

If you're talking about federal income taxes, then about 47% of the population fits the bill; maybe none of them are patriots---I wouldn't know about that.

"What kind of patriot slanders his commander-in-chief with ridiculous lies?"

No patriots with whom I'm familiar. I guess that leaves out you bozos who continally slandered GW Bush and, to this day, whine about how he lied us into war. Maybe you ought to sign up for some sort of government service or even become a missionary. It might make you a better person.

Posted by: Brigade | November 29, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Torture is morally unacceptable and totally ineffective.

That's why the GOP loves it.

Posted by:Ethan 2010|November 29,2010
------

Howler of the day. As Kevin_Willis responded, waterboarding is not considered torture in some circles. And Shaikh Mohammed gave up a great deal of actionable and reliable intelligence in response to being waterboarded. Earth to Ethan: if it hadn't worked, they wouldn't have kept doing it.

Posted by: Brigade | November 29, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

@tao - I gather it was a rather awkward time for the apple. As a Jamaican might voice it, there was rascality afoot.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

"I think fair to say, Scott and I proved as well as anyone can prove such things on in blog comments"

Golly. I hope someone noticed.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

"Golly. I hope someone noticed."

Probably not, Gomer.

You can probably google it up, though. It's the discussion that points out that the GOP actually wasn't for higher taxes, gay rights, and free abortion in 1964, nor did WFB champion those causes.


Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

-In slideshow, Rep. Joe Barton declares war on the Obama administration-

Then comes the money slide, titled: "What's in Store for the Obama Administration," with photos of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Generals Omar Bradley and George Patton in uniform.

"Speaker Boehner is our Dwight Eisenhower in the battle against the Obama Administration. Majority Leader Cantor is our Omar Bradley. I want to be George Patton - put anything in my scope and I will shoot it."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/29/AR2010112904500.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/gallery/2010/11/29/GA2010112904227.html#photo=10

"What's in Store for the Obama Administration" [...] "put anything in my scope and I will shoot it."

Country First*

* Unless you're talking about a black Democratic President, then he is automatically the enemy

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 29, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

QB, I'd love a response to my question:

What, specifically, has Obama said that is more arrogant than Bush's telling America's adversaries to "Bring it On"?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 29, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Ethan wrote: "* Unless you're talking about a black Democratic President, then he is automatically the enemy"

Obviously, Republicans should always embrace the agenda of a Democratic President. To do otherwise is racist. Republicans loved Clinton.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 29, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Ethan,

I would ask whether you have ever listened to an Obama political speech, but it's obvious you have no concept even of what arrogance is, just from the supposed Bush example you cite. Beyond that, I am in no mood to waste my time answering insincere questions from irrational persons.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

"...more arrogant..." ???

I'll play!:

‘Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me.’

http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/0110/Berry_Obama_said_big_difference_between_10_and_94_is_me.html

{{{giggle}}}

Posted by: tao9 | November 29, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

@TMWN,

Funny, I don't remember any sitting members of Congress saying that what is in store for President Clinton is that they will "put anything in [their] scope and [they] will shoot it."

I don't remember sitting Republican congress members calling President Clinton a tyrant, do you?

I don't remember whole swaths of the Republican Party -- including elected officials -- saying that President Clinton might not be from the United States, or that he might be hiding his birth certificate, or that he is hiding his college transcripts, or that he wasn't vetted by the media, or that he is actually in cahoots with terrorists, do you Troll?

I don't remember anything like those things, Troll, do you?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 29, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

@QB: "I am in no mood to waste my time answering insincere questions from irrational persons."

Three words:

"BRING. IT. ON."

Hands down the most obnoxious and arrogant statement by a President in modern history, if not in U.S. history.

@Tao: "Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me."

That's pretty cocky. But you think it's more arrogant than Bush's "Bring it on"? No way, it's not even in the same league.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 29, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Ethan,

There was the whole "Mena, Arkansas" thing along with a wierd video, sponsored by, I think, Richard Scaife, about how the Clinton's had people killed in pursuit of their various political ambitions. Also, the Vince Foster suicide was rather fertile ground for "criticisms" of 'ol Slick Willie.

And if I'm not mistaken, Democrat's did not support Bush 43's re-election. If memory serves, Mr. "Selected, not elected. Thank God for Diebold cheating, Bushitler, 9/11 was an inside job" Bush wan't even nominated by the Democratic party in the 2004 election. The Democrats opposed him and ran someone against him! Shocking I know.

Opposition is opposition. If it makes you feel better to think that all of Barry's opposition is race related, go ahead. In the end though, I think you miss out on a lot of information.

That's just this Cracker's opinion, however.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 29, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

As I said, Ethan doesn't even understand what arrogance is, and on cue he confirms it.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

It's symbiotic. Post anything about Palin and you'll have a million people there to defend her or praise her about whatever. I'm sure the press would gladly deal with a few angry words to get all those clicks.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 29, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

"Mr. "Selected, not elected. Thank God for Diebold cheating, Bushitler, 9/11 was an inside job" Bush"

Again, I don't remember any of that coming from Democratic elected officials, do you?

"Opposition is opposition"

Correct. Opposition is opposition. Opposition is not "he is a tyrant and therefore anything that he puts in front of my scope I will shoot it."

That is not opposition, it is reckless, intellectually immature, and runs counter to every principle that this democratic republic was founded on. And you know that to be the truth, whether you're a "Cracker" or not.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 29, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I think we should give the UN more money. What an organization!

http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/bigger_issue/

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 29, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Was Gen. Anthony McAuliffe's reply to the Germans at Bastogne arrogant?

Was Churchill's June 1940 "beaches" speech arrogant?

Was the famous "Laconic reply" arrogant?

In fact, was Bush's post-911 speech asserting that the war would end at a time and in a way of our choosing arrogant?

Go think about those questions, Ethan. You might, just might, eventually grasp something other than your own prejudices.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Brigade

Do you know where the income break is for that 47% - I'm thinking that would include the standard deduction.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 29, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

"Again, I don't remember any of that coming from Democratic elected officials, do you?"

Oh good grief, this bs again?

Let me give you some names -- Cynthia Mckinney (911 truther), Robert Byrd (Bush=Nazi), Al Gore (Bush = treasonous Nazi), John Glenn (Bush = Nazi), Hillary (selected not elected).

You proved long ago that you don't "remember" hardly anything that happened or that your side said before 2008. No need to cover that ground again.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama's Inaction on Wikileaks


I've been thinking about this since yesterday - and there is a conspiracy theory afoot.

Why is Obama so inactive in going after Wikileaks - and stopping the release of these documents. Surely, somehow the US government could have stopped the last two releases of documents.

My thought is that perhaps Obama WANTS all these documents released - Obama wants our nation to be embarrassed and Obama WANTS to damage our national security interests.

This falls in line with Obama's desire for "transformative" changes in our economy and government.

However, somehow Obama believes that power structures have to be destroyed and torn-down in order for the new "transformative" changes to take hold.


So, tear down the US foreign policy - and then re-build from the ruins.


OR Obama is really a spy - and he is damaging our national security on purpose. That actually makes much more sense than some more extensive theory.


___________________________

Does Obama really WANT these wikileaks documents released?

Doesn't it align with Obama's worldview - to tear-down the existing power elits - and install his liberal cabal in powerful positions around the world???


There is something seriously wrong with Obama's inaction here

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 29, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

qb (to Greg):

“Do you have any standards left?”

It’s a good question, especially in light of the fact that just this weekend Greg accused Gerson of “sleight of hand” for posing this question:

“Was the president really contending that Republican representatives want their constituents to be unemployed in order to gain a political benefit for themselves?”

Greg claimed that because Obama didn’t explicitly say that GOP reps want their constituents to be unemployed, Gerson was being deceitful. Now, today, we find Greg posing the following question:

“Did Sarah Palin, who could very well be the GOP nominee for president in 2012, suggest that the United States should have targeted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for assassination?”

Well, no she didn’t. But isn’t this precisely the same rhetorical formulation that Greg claimed was deceitful “sleight of hand” on the part of Gerson? Yes, indeed, it is.

The term “unthinking partisan hack” seems appropriate here.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 29, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

John Kerry, Manchester, 1/2004:

"Bring it on!"

{{{³√[2(y+4)]giggle(17³-1)³}}}

Posted by: tao9 | November 29, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

"I think fair to say, Scott and I proved as well as anyone can prove such things on in blog comments"

Golly. I hope someone noticed.
====

I did!

Posted by: sbj3 | November 29, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Gee whiz, Greg. I hadn't even made the connection Scott just did.

Gerson posed a rhetorical question, the answer to which was clearly "yes," and you said it was deceitful to ask because Obama had not explicitly said it.

Now you pose a rhetorical question -- linking an absurdly illogical hit piece -- the answer to which is clearly "no," in your perpetual smear war against Palin.

What are we supposed to make of your intellectual integrity in light of this patent lack of standards?

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

qb, I'm glad we can agree Big Valley was an excellent show, with the amazing Barbara Stanwyk.

I can still hear the theme song.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 29, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

"QB, I'd love a response to my question:

What, specifically, has Obama said that is more arrogant than Bush's telling America's adversaries to "Bring it On"?"

Absolutely nothing. This is the new FOX News meme that is being repeated by the Conservative Fan Club. It's just throwing sh** against the wall and seeing what sticks. Don't you remember that the original meme is how Obama went on an international apology tour?

Posted by: DDAWD | November 29, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Bush shouldn't be called a Nazi, but why do you have a problem when Hillary says that Bush wasn't elected fairly? He wasn't. You had a Supreme Court ignore all precedent, ignore Florida's right to conduct its own election, and even go so far to say that the ruling should not be used as a precedent for future cases.

Yeah, Bush is no Nazi, but he wasn't elected by the rules of the Constitution.

Bush was selected, not elected. This isn't some nasty hyperbole. It's solid, non-debatable fact.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 29, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

This is, well, exceptional! And (I imagine, exclusively) American.

"Trauma Transit"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/27/AR2010112703989.html

Posted by: tao9 | November 29, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

I am about a third of the way through your book recommendation by the former Cigna PR exec. It wouldn’t be fair to critique it without having finished it, so I will hold off on that for now. But I just couldn’t resist addressing the 8 “rhetorical tricks” that he notes are basic “propaganda ploys”. What was most amusing to me about the 8 “tricks” is that they represent an almost perfect encapsulation of your standard methodology here in this board.

“1) Fear: Organizations with the most to lose are most likely to resort to fear mongering…It may also vilify a specific cause or even a specific person in order to create the desired point of view.”

You routinely promte fear over the future of the nation due to the “modern conservative movement”, and barely a day goes by in which you do not vilify one of a few favored targets...Kristol, Murdoch, Rove, etc.

“2) Glittering generalities: This approach uses strong, positive emotions by using words and phrases like “democracy”, “patriotism”, and “American way of life.””

You regularly make appeals to the choices made by “democracy”, the “community”, or “the people” in order to defend your policy preferences.

“3) Testimonials: Celebrities or recognized experts are frequently recruited or hired to provide testimonials about a product, cause, company, organization, or candidate”.

I would guess that between 80% and 90% of your contributions on this board consist of you linking to and quoting from a few favored writing celebrities of the left…Benen, Sullivan, Tomasky.

“4) Name calling: Blatant insults can be a very effective public relations tool…negative terms tend to stick, even if they are undeserved.”

Again, you routinely resort to name calling of your favorite demons, referring to them as “vile creatures” or some such. For example, just tonight you called Murdoch a “psychopath”.

“5) Plain folks: Any time a business executive poses with rank and file employees or customers, he or she is claiming to be “of the people”.”

Well, OK, this is not so much you. Your standard schtick actually oozes with condescension, if not outright contempt, for regular folks, so you get a pass on this one.

“6) Euphemisms: PR practitioners often select words that obscure the real meaning of action or concepts.”

This is you all the time. One great example is your repeated attempts to portray socialized medicine as a “consumer choice” made by “the community”, thus obscuring that the introduction of socialized medicine comes as the result of coercion, not choice. Another, just this weekend, was your attempt to portray the taking of money from one person in order to give it to another as the “redistribution of power”, a very obvious attempt to obscure the real meaning of the act of taxation and wealth redistribution.

(cont'd)

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 29, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Bernie (cont'd):

“7) Bandwagon: The overriding bandwagon message is that everyone else is doing or supporting this – and you should too.”

Again, one of your standard attempts to justify socialized medicine is to cite all the other nations that have it. Americans shouldn’t object to Obamacare because Canadians and Brits and Israelis are happy with their health care. This is a regular Latham routine.

“8) Transfer: Similar to testimonials, the transfer approach involves the approval of a respected individual or organization.”

I admit that I don’t get this one or how it differs from testimonials, so I can’t cite any examples of you doing it. Perhaps you can show us how you use this it?

In any event, I think it will be a fun exercise going forward for other posters here to monitor and note your use of the various propaganda techniques. You are, afterall, our resident propaganda expert, an expertise obviously developed after much practice.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 29, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Maxime Waters is now crying due process


Where is the due process for the American People?

Waters and Rangel delay delay delay for years - and NOW all of a sudden they both want their cases over in the lame duck session.

BEFORE the Republicans take over

They both are disgraceful


The democratic party is showing its corruption by handling these cases this way - now they want to push everything through in the lame duck?


A bit ridiculous

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 29, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

DDawg for SCOTUS!

snortsnarfle

Posted by: tao9 | November 29, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

There's an interesting piece and interview at Forbes re Assange. No more secrets I guess. I'll bet it's BofA.

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

"Early next year, Julian Assange says, a major American bank will suddenly find itself turned inside out. Tens of thousands of its internal documents will be exposed on Wikileaks.org with no polite requests for executives’ response or other forewarnings. The data dump will lay bare the finance firm’s secrets on the Web for every customer, every competitor, every regulator to examine and pass judgment on.

Admire Assange or revile him, he is the prophet of a coming age of involuntary transparency. Having exposed military misconduct on a grand scale, he is now gunning for corporate America. Does Assange have unpublished, damaging documents on pharmaceutical companies? Yes, he says. Finance? Yes, many more than the single bank scandal we’ve been discussing. Energy? Plenty, on everything from BP to an Albanian oil firm that he says attempted to sabotage its competitors’ wells. Like informational IEDs, these damaging revelations can be detonated at will."

http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2010/11/29/wikileaks-julian-assange-wants-to-spill-your-corporate-secrets/

Posted by: lmsinca | November 29, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

The New York Times should review its policies - and the US government should review the terrorism laws to see if the New York Times crossed the line into aiding terrorists by releasing this information from wikileaks


It is a serious question

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 29, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I understand Freedom of the Press

however, espionage is a different thing - no one really knows all the names of sources in the cables, and those sources could be targeted now.

Working with wikileaks could be close to manslaughter - or worse.


The New York Times has assisted Wikileaks in spreading stolen documents.


There are limits on Freedom of Press - and if someone is going to die, or there is imminent danger to the nation, then Freedom of the Press stops right there.


As always, there is no morality at the New York Times, and they never look at issues such as the limits of Freedom of the Press- they do whatever they want until someone gets hurts.


Then they decide if they care or not

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 29, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

@qb: "Isn't it great, how the title and subtitle capture both the idea of America' being lost to the illegitimate 'other' party, and the president as arrogant?"

False equivalence!

All further need for argument or discussion immediately obviated.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 30, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

@BGinCHI: Big Valley was good. But, oh, a young Barbara Stanwyk. Circa The Lady Eve. Oh, my.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 30, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

@lmsinca: "Does Assange have unpublished, damaging documents on pharmaceutical companies? Yes, he says. Finance? Yes, many more than the single bank scandal we’ve been discussing. Energy?"

I wonder what the hold up is on releasing them. Does information want to be free, or doesn't it? What's the delay in revealing the truth behind banks and pharmaceutical companies (which I anticipate will not be pretty, but may still be very interesting). Is he holding out for cash or something?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 30, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

re: Obama's arrogance.

I don't get this, myself. I don't see him as arrogant. Indeed, Bush came across as more "arrogant" (re, bring it on, and wouldn't I like to see a little more of that level of cowboy arrogance out of Obama, yes I would). Advancing big pieces of legislation, even against opposition, is not arrogant, it's ambitious. "The difference is, you've got me," is a little smack talk, it's a little appeasement, and, given the 2008 election, is was reasonably for him, at the time, to consider himself as asset in the midterms.

If Obama was a little more arrogant, he might show a little more leadership. Or maybe not. In any case, I don't see him any more arrogant than any other politician with the chutzpah to run of president of the United States. A little more humble in some respects.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 30, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Kevin

From what I read, what they receive is like a huge information dump and they have to go through all of it before releasing it. They have so much information now they've had to close down the incoming for awhile in order to go through all of it, plus they're always on the move.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 30, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse

"DDawg for SCOTUS!

snortsnarfle"

Good counterargument.

But say what you want. You know I'm right.

It's history and I can live with it. I have to. But you can't start throwing a temper tantrum when someone points it out.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 30, 2010 1:51 AM | Report abuse

"Taegan Goddard flags a fascinating Chris Christie factoid that suggests serious national ambitions: His staff is tasked with filming Christie "moments" that are quickly disseminated to conservatives across the country."

When he starts losing weight, then we will know.

Posted by: rhallnj | November 30, 2010 5:12 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin - good post directly above re "arrogance" and Obama. Thanks.

It's worthwhile looking at the etymology of the term. It's a form of the verb "arrogate"... "to claim unwarrantably or presumptuously; assume or appropriate to oneself without right: to arrogate the right to make decisions."

There's the nuance in there of not merely being snooty (professors, Frenchmen) but also of claiming/presuming some position or power while not really deserving it.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 30, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse

"Yeah, Bush shouldn't be called a Nazi, but why do you have a problem when Hillary says that Bush wasn't elected fairly? He wasn't. You had a Supreme Court ignore all precedent, ignore Florida's right to conduct its own election, and even go so far to say that the ruling should not be used as a precedent for future cases.

Yeah, Bush is no Nazi, but he wasn't elected by the rules of the Constitution.

Bush was selected, not elected. This isn't some nasty hyperbole. It's solid, non-debatable fact."

Of course, that wasn't the point, but you could hardly be more wrong. I carefully read all the court opinions involved, and there isn't much room for debate that the 7 justices who agreed that the Florida Supreme Court's ruling was unconstitutional and contrary to Florida's own law were right. Even liberals Breyer and Souter agreed to that much; they simply disagreed as to the remedy.

I'd encourage you to read the Florida Supreme Court's opinion sometime. It is a shamelessly dishonest piece of hackery. No suprise that the justices were all Democrats.

The SCOTUS decision was not unprecedented, as you claim. Read the opinion. You'll see precedents. Was the ultimate issue a new one? Sure. But the various questions that had to be answered leading to it were not. That's how it usually works.

To a reasonable and competent person who's read the opinions, it's clear as well that it wasn't SCOTUS but FLOTUS that tried to usurp the right of Florida's citizens to vote for POTUS. FLOTUS simply ignored Florida election law to get the result it wanted. It's crystal clear.

And what isn't debatable is that recounts by Gore-friendly media after the fact showed that Bush in fact won the state anyway.

It must have been hard when you saw Gore a few yeas later shrieking and spewing spittle that Bush had betrayed his country, or when you read about his attempted rape of a masseuse, or you saw his thoroughly debunked fantasy film, and you realized just what a great statesmen had lost in 2000. But he did lose, and you should accept that FACT.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 30, 2010 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Scott Scott Scott Scott... you've outdone yourself! And taken me totally by surprise, I confess.

I shall read this book on the Holocaust and from it I will draw the lessons that demonstrate how the person who recommended it is himself a Nazi.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 30, 2010 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"I shall read this book on the Holocaust and from it I will draw the lessons that demonstrate how the person who recommended it is himself a Nazi."

Well, if he is a Nazi, that would be pefectly legitimate, no? Do you think for some bizarre reason that constantly warning about the propaganda of others somehow makes your own more acceptable?

(BTW...you are truly the very personification of Godwin's law.)

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 30, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Gerson's column today (is he appearing more often than previously?) is titled "Tea Party complications".

This could be interesting, I thought. As we've all talked about here for a while, there certainly are some of those complicator thingeys in the works for Republicans after feeding this beast.

And Gerson, give him credit, finally gets down to the big complication facing the GOP now that they have the beast close at hand...

"Will Tea Party revolutionaries view this as victory? Will they be tempted by the Ross Perot option - a third-party movement that would increase the odds of Obama's reelection?"

Yes. That was the danger implicit in the enthusiasm of the Ron Paul contingent, particularly given the broad dissatisfaction with the Bush administration within the base and the more moderate demographics. It was why, as we learned from TP organizers in California and elsewhere, GOP representatives arrived at the early TP meetings expressing their concerns of a third party dynamic.

So, Gerson is being honest here, sort of.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/29/AR2010112905134.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: bernielatham | November 30, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

"I shall read this book on the Holocaust and from it I will draw the lessons that demonstrate how the person who recommended it is himself a Nazi."

Nominated as most vacuous argument of the week.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 30, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "I shall read this book on the Holocaust and from it I will draw the lessons that demonstrate how the person who recommended it is himself a Nazi."

Now, I'm just a simple, unfrozen caveman. You're world is scary and unfamiliar to me. But I'm pretty sure Scott was calling you a propagandist, not a Nazi. Propaganda is not the exclusive purview of Nazis (or anybody else).

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 30, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Scott - when I see some serious address to the substance of the Cigna exec's story, if you proceed in anything like an honest manner (which isn't looking likely at this point) we could perhaps have a conversation. But right now, you're doing nothing that deserves my attention.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 30, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

BTW, you owe me $14. I saved you 12 bucks by getting it on my Kindle instead of the hard copy. But I will settle for the cessation of your advocacy for "redistributing" my (as yet un-specified) vast political power.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 30, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Kevin,

I find your lack of detection of arrogance in Obama sad and inexplicable (waters receding, campaigning to Berliners, "don't do much talkin', I don't wanna hear much talkin'," you have to ride in the back, insulting (and lying about) Justices in the well, on and on), but what puzzles me more is the idea that "bring it on" was arrogant.

How would you answer my 9:57 questions to Ethan, taking into account a definition of arrogance like Bernie's above, which seems adequate? And then, what do you find wrong with "bring it on" in light of your answer about those other historical declarations of defiance?

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 30, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

@ Kevin - No, Scott wasn't calling me a nazi.

Here's a story that ought to get anyone grinding their teeth in anger...

"US energy secretary warns of 'Sputnik moment' in green technology race
Steven Chu says US must invest urgently in research and innovation to keep pace with China and other countries"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/29/us-green-technology-energy-investment

There is an aspect in which the US might be badly disadvantaged as we move forward. If the huge and influential energy companies (and related interests) find it in their immediate interests to maintain the status quo, then changes towards new arrangements in energy production and distribution and use are going to be inhibited. If other nations are less beset by such institutional inertia, they'll very likely be able to move more quickly into these new areas.

An advantage that the US had earlier in time was just that sort of "youthful" and unemcumbered zest and freedom to do new things and move in fresh directions. That's an advantage which sooner or later will fall to others simply as a matter of inevitability. And maybe the sclerosis is setting in already.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 30, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Kevin,

Btw, I assume you know that references in my questions to Ethan, but just in case someone else doesn't, to save look up time, they are:

Gen. McAauliffe sent back the one-word note "Nuts!" in reply to the Germans' demand for surrender.

Churchill's speech I assume pretty much everyone recalls in generalities.

Phillip II sent the Spartans a demand for submission saying something like, "You are advised to submit, because, if I enter your land, I will slaughter your armies and enslave your people," and the Spartans sent back the reply "If."

My question is whether these responses to aggression were arrogant.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 30, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"But right now, you're doing nothing that deserves my attention."

I wasn't seeking your attention, Bernie. You really need to get over yourself. As I have said may times before (what does it take, really, to get through to you?) you can respond to me or not as you like...I really don't care. I gave up on any serious discussions with you about anything long ago, when it became apparent that you evade, dodge, and run away from any challenge to your faith(s).

I remain content to watch you do so...yet again.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 30, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Tomasky is most surprised by the lack of anything terribly meaty in the wikileaks docs and goes on to say...

"The surprising thing is that the release of a quarter-million unvarnished and unedited cables that were designed for private consumption only don't offer more shocking revelations. Just imagine if a quarter-million private documents from the business world were suddenly made public, as Julian Assange now promises. I'll bet any of you dollars to donuts that those papers will prove to be more surprising than these have."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/nov/30/usforeignpolicy-iran

This strikes me as a sound prediction. There was, I gather, a fairly low level of secrecy status to what was released and as it involved State missives, a lot of it is gossipy stuff. But depending on what kind of docs get released next, the potential for important revelation is high.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 30, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Tomasky again...

"If the Democrats could somehow link the pay freeze to jobless benefits extension, then that would maybe be worth it politically. People care a lot more about jobs right now than the deficit. But the Republicans won't negotiate, even though Obama here has adopted one of their positions. From the Politico story linked to above:

And Obama's attempt to find common ground ahead of the meeting — his last-minute embrace of a two-year wage freeze for federal workers — was met with skepticism by some Republicans, who are irked by Obama's failure to credit them for the proposal during his brief remarks Monday.

"This was a pretty obvious missed opportunity," said a GOP leadership aide. "If you're going to embrace a proposal that Republicans have made in the past, why not say so? Why try to hog all the credit? Communication is like bacon — it makes everything better. But this was just ham-fisted."

I see. So the substantive point doesn't matter because he failed to give the poor babies credit. Boo hoo.

What a bunch of silly, unserious people. That America is confused enough to think these people deserved more seats in Congress is testament to just how weak the Democrats are."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky

Tough to argue with those last two sentences.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 30, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

@qb: "I find your lack of detection of arrogance in Obama sad and inexplicable"

Well, sorry about that. But I'd argue even the "waters began to recede" comment is a naive expression of hoped for collective change--a misplaced sense that the entire country had finally come to its senses and decided to abandon materialism and live on collective farms and he was just a part of that. Plus, I suspect Axelrod wrote the line. But sweeping rhetoric is par for the course in presidential campaigns. And it was essentially a statement, when it comes down to it, that he was going to pursue climate legislation once elected. I think lots of politicians engage in questionable phrase turning. But I don't think Obama is exceptionally arrogant, even compared to recent presidents, or exceptionally cocky (especially not now).

Gotta go. More later, maybe.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 30, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

@qb: "And then, what do you find wrong with "bring it on" in light of your answer about those other historical declarations of defiance?"

Perhaps I was unclear, I don't find anything wrong with "bring it on", I think Obama could use a little more of that. The problem is not an excess of chutzpah and piss & vinegar.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 30, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

@Scott - A sort of truce or telescopes fixed on opposing fortresses or something? In any case, I'm going to include you in my 'ignore' category now. You are one of three. Congrats.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 30, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

"Tough to argue with those last two sentences."

No, not really.

Start with questioning the premise. Admittedly haven't seen all the news surrounding the announcement, but here's how Reuters reported GOP (and Dem) reactions:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6AS3AY20101129

Don't see too much "skepticism" there.

"I see. So the substantive point doesn't matter because he failed to give the poor babies credit. Boo hoo."

He probably should quote some Rep who actually said that if he wants to attribute it, rather than just making up words and putting them in unspecified persons' mouths. Ironic that he would write this childish tripe and follow with calling the unidentified nonspeakers silly and unserious.

Then ask yourself, if Obama were really about rising above partisanship and accepting all good ideas from all sides, why wouldn't he give credit where it was due? Key word "If."

Btw, on Obama arrogance, how about his reacting to the election results by asserting that they were due only to people's frightened failure to understand how good and successful his policies are, and perhaps his failure to spend enough time on messaging, rather than anything to do with substance?

Great response, no? People are basically stupid and afraid, and I am not sufficiently focused on politics. How humble.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 30, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

"Tough to argue with those last two sentences."

No, not really.

Start with questioning the premise. Admittedly haven't seen all the news surrounding the announcement, but here's how Reuters reported GOP (and Dem) reactions:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6AS3AY20101129

Don't see too much "skepticism" there.

"I see. So the substantive point doesn't matter because he failed to give the poor babies credit. Boo hoo."

He probably should quote some Rep who actually said that if he wants to attribute it, rather than just making up words and putting them in unspecified persons' mouths. Ironic that he would write this childish tripe and follow with calling the unidentified nonspeakers silly and unserious.

Then ask yourself, if Obama were really about rising above partisanship and accepting all good ideas from all sides, why wouldn't he give credit where it was due? Key word "If."

Btw, on Obama arrogance, how about his reacting to the election results by asserting that they were due only to people's frightened failure to understand how good and successful his policies are, and perhaps his failure to spend enough time on messaging, rather than anything to do with substance?

Great response, no? People are basically stupid and afraid, and I am not sufficiently focused on politics. How humble.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 30, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/the_morning_plum_140.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 30, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Kevin,

We can certainly disagree about Obama. But I think it would actually be difficult to find parallels to many statements he has made, going back to the campaign, that assign to himself, personally, a grandiose power and role, as if the country's coalescing around him personally, as the embodiment of the best of America, was the key to healing the very planet we live on. That's pretty much what he expclicitly said.

I think this is form of rhetoric rather unique in American history, and that Hillary was not inventing unfounded an unfounded criticism when she parodied his campaign's hubris as suggesting the sky would open, choirs of angels would sing, or whatever her line was.

And I do think his and the Dem leadership's legislative behavior was extremely arrogant in, for example, the passage of Obamacare by hook or by crook when it was very clear the public was against it, and Massachusetts had even sent Scott Brown to replace Ted Kennedy, the godfather of government health care, in reaction to the legislative movement. They showed that they truly didn't care what the public thought. As Pelosi said, they were going to realize the Founders' promise (!) of government health care despite any opposition -- my nomination for the moment of maximum hubris 2008-10.

But, it's all up for debate.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 30, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

QB, the fact that you lump Bush's absurd "Bring it on" (which led to a surge in attacks on the military, if I'm not mistaken) with those other military moments is absurd to the point of delusional. "Bring it on" was not only incredibly arrogant and brash, but it was incredibly stupid and accomplished nothing other than putting our American men and women at an increased risk. In case I need to remind you, QB, we lost 4000+ men and women in Iraq and we got NOTHING out of it.

Kevin, I agree with your post on this matter, and it was well-stated. I think President Obama COULD use a little more fire in his belly. When he has that fire he is clearly at his best. But, to my point, having passion and confidence is not the same as being brash, obnoxious and arrogant like Bush was and Cheney was as well.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 30, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

QB, the fact that you lump Bush's absurd "Bring it on" (which led to a surge in attacks on the military, if I'm not mistaken) with those other military moments is absurd to the point of delusional. "Bring it on" was not only incredibly arrogant and brash, but it was incredibly stupid and accomplished nothing other than putting our American men and women at an increased risk. In case I need to remind you, QB, we lost 4000+ men and women in Iraq and we got NOTHING out of it.

Kevin, I agree with your post on this matter, and it was well-stated. I think President Obama COULD use a little more fire in his belly. When he has that fire he is clearly at his best. But, to my point, having passion and confidence is not the same as being brash, obnoxious and arrogant like Bush was and Cheney was as well.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 30, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"In any case, I'm going to include you in my 'ignore' category now. You are one of three. Congrats."

Thanks. The fact that you felt the need to announce it rather than just doing it speaks volumes.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 30, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

@qb: "And I do think his and the Dem leadership's legislative behavior was extremely arrogant in, for example, the passage of Obamacare by hook or by crook when it was very clear the public was against it,"

I personally don't consider failing to fold immediately in the face of opposition as arrogance. I think it was ambitious, and tenacious, perhaps, but there was also a great deal of compromise to make it happen . . . and I'm pretty sure it would have passed with a straight up and down vote in the senate. Most of the American people are opposed to extending tax cuts for the rich--do you think the Republicans are arrogant for trying to hold on to those? I don't.

"and Massachusetts had even sent Scott Brown to replace Ted Kennedy, the godfather of government health care, in reaction to the legislative movement"

I also think it was a reaction of Martha Coakley. You want to see arrogance and entitlement in politics, just look to how Coakley and the Dems ran their campaign against Scott Brown and how Coakley just presumed that, since she had a (D) next to her name, that senate seat was hers, and let the peons eat cake. I don't think arrogance is an accurate description for a failure to immediately surrender against political opposition . . . or terrorists, for that matter, so I don't have a problem with "bring it on" or "mission accomplished", personally.

But, for some people, it seems anything short of immediately capitulation in the face of any opposition is "arrogance". ;)

We should all be so "arrogant".

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 30, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Bernie...does this mean you won't be paying me?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 30, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

"QB, the fact that you lump Bush's absurd "Bring it on" (which led to a surge in attacks on the military, if I'm not mistaken) with those other military moments is absurd to the point of delusional."

Yes, you are certainly mistaken, and daff. Strong "argument" otherwise. /s

What is the difference, to the undeluded, between "bring it on" and the other responses to aggression that I listed?

""Bring it on" was not only incredibly arrogant and brash, but it was incredibly stupid and accomplished nothing other than putting our American men and women at an increased risk."

How was it arrogant? That's the question. Can't explain that, I gather?

Accomplished nothing? How would you measure that and prove it? Putting people at risk? Really? You seriously think that those three words put people at risk they weren't at before? That OBL and the jihadi terrorists weren't at war with us until then? talk about delusional.

"In case I need to remind you, QB, we lost 4000+ men and women in Iraq and we got NOTHING out of it."

No, you can't "remind" me of something that is just your foolish opinion and not a fact.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 30, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least TrollMcWingnut can now take satisfaction in the fact that Scott has fallen even farther down in Bernie's regard than him!

We all need reasons to go on living.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 30, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

qb:

"Well, at least TrollMcWingnut can now take satisfaction in the fact that Scott has fallen even farther down in Bernie's regard than him!"

Good point. At least my misery will make someone happy.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 30, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

qb:

"Well, at least TrollMcWingnut can now take satisfaction in the fact that Scott has fallen even farther down in Bernie's regard than him!"

Good point. At least my misery will make someone happy.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 30, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

@ScottC3: "Thanks. The fact that you felt the need to announce it rather than just doing it speaks volumes."

Well, how else would you know you're being punished? ;)

Definitely not going to stop talking to Scott. Or QB. You (meaning Bernie) might as well as ignore me, too. :P

Although, if I ever do update Troll Hunter, how will you know? Tis a conundrum.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 30, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

HEY, KIDS! Here are some jaw-droppingly stupid quotations from the distinguished convicted felon from Texas!

This is Tom DeLay explaining the massacre at Columbine High School in 1999:

"Guns have little or nothing to do with juvenile violence. The causes of youth violence are working parents who put their kids in daycare, the teaching of evolution in the schools, and working mothers who take birth control pills."

This is Tom DeLay explaining why he didn't fight in Vietnam:

"So many minority youths volunteered....that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like myself."

This is Tom DeLay on his job description:

"I am not a federal employee. I am a constitutional officer. My job is the Constitution of the United States. I am not a government employee. I am the Constitution."

This is Tom DeLay on why America had to invade Iraq:

"We're no longer a superpower. We're a super-duper power."

This is Tom DeLay talking to three young Katrina evacuees at the Astrodome in Houston:

"Now tell me the truth, boys. Is this kind of fun?"

Now tell me the truth, folks. Isn't Tom DeLay a hoot-and-a-half? Come to think of it, I'm gonna miss him!

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Posted by: tomdeganfrontiernetnet | November 30, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"@Scott - A sort of truce or telescopes fixed on opposing fortresses or something? In any case, I'm going to include you in my 'ignore' category now. You are one of three. Congrats."

Hilarious!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 30, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Bernie: "In any case, I'm going to include you in my 'ignore' category now. You are one of three. Congrats."

This is really pathetic. I'm adding Bernie to my ignore list that includes ackerman, rasmussen, dKos, and media matters.

Posted by: sbj3 | November 30, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

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