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Posted at 5:45 PM ET, 11/30/2010

Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* Is a deal taking shape where Republicans would get a temporary extension of all the Bush tax cuts in exchange for GOPers allowing a vote on the New START treaty?

* The key point from Robert Gates at his presser today about the Pentagon's DADT report: He urged Congress to go through with repeal because the courts are getting more involved, arguing that if he's allowed to implement the change he can pull it off smoothly.

* What that means: Any Republicans who continue to oppose repeal will be bucking a direct request from the leader of our armed forces to let him do what's in the best interests of the military.

* It's hard to read Obama's powerful statement on the Pentagon report without concluding that momentum has shifted in a big way and that repeal may actually happen:

Today I call on the Senate to act as soon as possible so I can sign this repeal into law this year and ensure that Americans who are willing to risk their lives for their country are treated fairly and equally. Our troops represent the virtues of selfless sacrifice and love of country that have enabled our freedoms. I am absolutely confident that they will adapt to this change and remain the best led, best trained, best equipped fighting force the world has ever known.

* Relatedly, this is crucial: Robert Gibbs said today that the president believes there's enough time left in the session for the Senate to repeal DADT and do everything else. This makes it tougher for Dems to punt.

* Harry Reid's statement aptly calls on the Senate to "listen to our military leaders," who have made a "compelling case that repealing this policy will improve our military's readiness."

Indeed. But it is still up to Reid to hold the cloture vote and set aside the time for an extended floor debate.

* Andrew Sullivan gets at a key point about the Pentagon report: How careful, painstaking, thorough, and professional it is. The military leadership really wanted to get this one right, to give opponents no oxygen whatsoever.

* Steve Benen, on John Boehner and the prospects for compromise on the Bush tax cuts: "He knows what he wants, and he'll accept nothing short of everything." That seems pretty accurate.

* In their meeting, Obama conceded to GOP leaders that he'd failed to reach out to them enough during his first two years. It's my understanding that Republicans made no similar concession.

* Markos Moulitsas has a good explainer on why the ethanol subsidies are looming as a key test for the GOP.

* Conservative blogger Ed Morrissey says the push to end ethanol subsidies could force the GOP presidential candidates to choose between the Tea Partyers and the Iowa corn farmers.

* Good point from David Dayen: "Canceling ethanol subsidies saves more money than freezing public worker pay."

* A fascinating nugget from the Pentagon report: Resistence to racial integration of the armed forces was far more intense than today, yet our leaders did the right thing, anyway. History is watching.

* And don't miss this fun video montage of GOPers hemming and hawing about whether Sarah Palin should run for president.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | November 30, 2010; 5:45 PM ET
Categories:  2012, Happy Hour Roundup, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

And now for something completely different.... GOOD NEWS!

Funding For Black Farmers' Settlement Passes House (next stop POTUS)

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/funding_for_black_farmers_settlement_passes_house.php

Senate passes bill to boost food safety

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2010/11/senate_passes_bill_to_boost_food_safety.php

N.Y. Assembly Approves Fracking Moratorium

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/n-y-assembly-approves-fracking-moratorium/

Best for last:

GM hiring to push electric effort beyond Volt

General Motors Co said on Tuesday it would hire 1,000 engineers and researchers in Michigan over the next two years to develop more electric cars and hybrids as it launched its battery-powered Chevrolet Volt.

"Volt clearly demonstrates that we are well on our way and it is especially true when it comes to the electrification of the automobile," GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson said at a ceremony marking the imminent shipping of the plug-in hybrid.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2010/11/gm_hiring_to_push_electric_effort_beyond_volt.php

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 30, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

The Pentagon report on Dont Ask has been dangerously compromised by special interests - and there has been far too much White House influence on its conclusions.

The whole report was "stacked" from the beginning to read one way.


The American People should see this report for what it is: nothing but a statement coming from special interests.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 30, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Ethan

What is that all about - just a listing of your own talking points from the people who pay you?

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 30, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

WHAT IS ASTONISHING

In the month since the election, the liberals and the democrats have pushed for all sorts of things in the lame duck session.

NO ONE ITEM IS DESIGNED TO SPARK THE ECONOMY


The economy is simply NOT on the liberal agenda. If anything some items are sure to drag the economy down.

It is simply amazing that the liberals just do not care about the economy enough to have any concrete problems.


Astonishing - the liberals are trying unfit to govern. They still don't get it. And they are still harping on the gay agenda, raising taxes on the rich and amnesty for illegal aliens.


GEEEEEEEEEsshhhhhhhhhh


It is unbelievable.


Posted by: RainintheForest | November 30, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

If DADT is repealed, there is every indication that the military will regain many trained, qualified members who -- despite the discrimination they have endured -- are willing and even eager to re-enter military service. That will be a great day for our country and our security.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 30, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, you don't think the Pentagon report is good news? ;)

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 30, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

bearclaw,

And a lot of those who rejoin the military after DADT is repealed are officers who we have invested millions of dollars training....

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 30, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, you don't think the Pentagon report is good news? ;)

...and agreed, bearclaw, it would be huge.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 30, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Obama has got to be kidding about GOP "outreach". How much more to the Right does he have to go before he's totally co-opted by them?

If he's serious, he's got a screw loose. Maybe he's just screwing with them.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 30, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

"Indeed. But it is still up to Reid to hold the cloture vote and set aside the time for an extended floor debate."
---------------------------------------------

The outcome of virtually every vote in the senate is known before it's cast. "Debate" certainly doesn't change anyone's mind and Reid isn't often one to hold a losing vote just for show. Presumably he'll hold a vote when/if he has the votes to pass it.

Posted by: CalD | November 30, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

BHO thinks he didn't reach out enough to GOP??? He's starting to sound like a battered wife (ahem, abused spouse).

Posted by: joeff | November 30, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

BHO thinks he didn't reach out enough to GOP??? He's starting to sound like a battered wife (ahem, abused spouse).

Posted by: joeff | November 30, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

"And don't miss this fun video montage of GOPers hemming and hawing about whether Sarah Palin should run for president."
----------------------------------------------

Sarah who?

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

Here's hoping this is a start of some momentum....George Voinovich now wants a vote on START this year.

--
"Sen. George Voinovich, the Ohio Republican whose stated opposition earlier this month to President Barack Obama’s nuclear arms accord appeared to sink it, now says he’s leaning toward its ratification – and wants a vote this year.

In an interview with Washington Wire, Mr. Voinovich said unified support out of the Lisbon summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization this month convinced him that Europe, especially Eastern Europe, wants the treaty. He had based his concerns on his belief that the treaty’s ratification could bring a return to Russian dominance of Eastern and Southeastern Europe.

“There seems to be a lot of coming together there and a lot more comfort [with the treaty] among our friends and allies in Europe,” Mr. Voinovich said. “I think I’d be supportive.”

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/11/30/voinovich-leans-toward-start-treaty/?mod=wsj_share_twitter

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 30, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't think caving on the tax cuts is a fair exchange for the START treaty. Again, Obama takes the short end of the deal. Is this the weakest president in history or what?

Posted by: soapm | November 30, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

"Resistance to racial integration of the armed forces was far more intense than today, yet our leaders did the right thing, anyway. History is watching."

Truman ordered the integration, Eisenhower carried the water, he made it happen. That was bipartisanship and it was very difficult. Now I don't think either side has the courage to do anything right, to do the hard work. Sometimes, partisan positions are where cowards hide.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 30, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

If they *do* repeal DADT, does anyone know what will become of the status of those who were previously discharged?

Posted by: sbj3 | November 30, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Looks like someone at Josh's operation bumped into this too...wonderful interview with Chomsky on his early life...

http://www.tabletmag.com/news-and-politics/50260/qa-noam-chomsky/

Posted by: bernielatham | November 30, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

"Is this the weakest president in history or what?"

As Glen Reynolds is fond of saying, it looks like the Carter Administration is a "best case" scenario.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 30, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Andrew gets this exactly right...

""Educated Jews" For Palin?
30 NOV 2010 05:25 PM
The writer in Jewish Week actually means four hardcore neocons: John Podhoretz, Bill Kristol, Seth Lipsky, and Joe Lieberman. Why? Because she supports increased and rapid Israeli colonization of the West Bank and war against Iran, and might be able to bring along the Christianist masses in such a new crusade. The Palin-Bill axis is really the old Reagan-Irving axis - history repeated as farce."

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/11/educated-jews-for-palin.html

Internal link goes here...

http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial_opinion/opinion/sarah_palin_gaining_support_educated_jews

Take a peek. Note the pretense that Palin is some sort of constitutional and foreign policy scholar who authors the stuff longer than a tweet released under her name. Who believes this stuff?

Posted by: bernielatham | November 30, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Chuck:

"How much more to the Right does he have to go before he's totally co-opted by them?"

A lot more.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 30, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

McWing:

I am now officially lower than you on the BL interest-o-meter. Congrats.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 30, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Bernie,

Do you think Dr. Sullivan, OBGYN has determined the matronage of Trig Palin, and if not, is this distracting his high powered intellect?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 30, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Andrew also links to this Pravda (I've always wanted to write for Pravda) piece on Palin. Warning: it's blistering.

http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial_opinion/opinion/sarah_palin_gaining_support_educated_jews

Posted by: bernielatham | November 30, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3,

I saw that. It must be devastating. If you'd like, I can tell you that you can't know anything unless you've duplicated my education.

I'm a giver.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 30, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"The writer in Jewish Week actually means four hardcore neocons: John Podhoretz, Bill Kristol, Seth Lipsky, and Joe Lieberman."

Joe Lieberman, hardcore neocon?!? Really? Hardcore?

"The Palin-Bill axis is really the old Reagan-Irving axis - history repeated as farce."

I thought Reagan was one of the good-guy conservatives now, in stark contrast to the "modern" conservatives. Can't you at least coordinate to get those narratives consistent?

"Who believes this stuff?"

Apparently a lot more people than believes Bernie's stuff. Which must really gall, I'd imagine.

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

Breaking:

~Judge tosses challenge to Obama healthcare law~

A federal judge in Virginia on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit challenging the landmark healthcare law championed by President Barack Obama, upholding key provisions that require health insurance coverage.

U.S. District Judge Norman Moon ruled that the law requiring individuals to buy health insurance coverage as well as requiring employers to buy coverage for their employees was legal under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

[...]

The Obama administration welcomed the decision, the second major ruling backing the law. A federal judge in Michigan last month upheld provisions requiring Americans to buy health insurance coverage.

"The judge's ruling today only underscores the importance of the law's individual responsibility provision," Stephanie Cutter, a White House adviser, said in a blog post. "In order to make health care affordable and available for all, the Act regulates how to pay for medical services."

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6B000920101201

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 30, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Good news. Thanks, Ethan.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 30, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

"You don't need to be straight to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight."

-- Barry Goldwater

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 30, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Heads up, guys. This one is important.

"
An important TDS Strategy Memo by Ed Kilgore, James Vega and J.P. Green

In a recent Washington Monthly commentary titled "None Dare Call it Sabotage," Steve Benen gave voice to a growing and profoundly disturbing concern among Democrats - that Republicans may actually plan to embrace policies designed to deny Obama not only political victories but also the maximum possible economic growth during his term in order weaken Democratic prospects in the 2012 elections.

The debate quickly devolved into an argument over the inflammatory word "sabotage" and the extent to which the clearly and passionately expressed Republican desire to see Obama "fail" will actually lead them to deliberately choose economic and other policies that are most conducive to achieving that result.

But, among Democrats themselves, this particular question is actually just one particular component of a much broader and deeper concern -- a very real and authentic sense of alarm that there is something both genuinely unprecedented and also profoundly dangerous in the intense "take no prisoners" political extremism of the current Republican Party. There is a deep apprehension that fundamental American standards of proper political conduct and ethical political behavior are increasingly being violated.

The key feature that distinguishes the increasingly extremist perspective of today's Republican Party from the standards of political behavior we have traditionally considered proper in America is the view that politics is -- quite literally, and not metaphorically - a kind of warfare and political opponents are literally "enemies"..." (more at link)

http://www.thedemocraticstrategist.org/strategist/2010/11/beyond_sabotage_-_the_central.php#comments

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

ScottC3-

Yeah, "totally" will take some time. He's already headed there. But, I find it interesting that y'all on the Right can't decide if he's reincarnation of Lenin, or is barely to the Left of Leiberman.

Must be headswimmingly confusing for y'all to slam someone who adopted moderate GOP ideas in HCR and then call him a "socialist". Talk about Sybil...

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

Just today...

"The cost of borrowing for the governments of Spain, Italy and Belgium reached a new record compared with Germany." BBC

Hmmmm, a problem coming to a country near and dear to you. But you still argue partisan politics. You only encourage partisanship.

Either American leaders can't get any political traction on the correct path because the partisans won't allow it, or the political leaders are so craven and corrupt they need their partisans to keep them from doing the right thing for the country. Or maybe both, a vicious, bad behavior reinforcing cycle . Maybe a virtuous cycle is not possible. It looks bad.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 30, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

bernie-

Word. Cantor's impression of John C. Calhoun today is actually quite frightening. We have the incoming Majority Leader invoking nullification.

I have to hand it to them: they can get as cray-z az dey wanna be and no one in the lamestream media will call them on it. Must be nice.

Hey Scott-
How you feel about Cantor/Calhoun?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 30, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"But, among Democrats themselves, this particular question is actually just one particular component of a much broader and deeper concern -- a very real and authentic sense of alarm that there is something both genuinely unprecedented and also profoundly dangerous in the intense "take no prisoners" political extremism of the current Republican Party."

Ah yes. According the Bernie recommended "Deadly Spin", this would be a classic example of propaganda ploy number 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.”

Those dreaded Republicans are "profoundly dangerous" and creating a "very real and authentic sense of alarm". Talk about fear mongering. Excellent use of propaganda trick number 1, Bernie. I give you an A.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 30, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

wow obama made a "powerful statement"

that's so 2008

Posted by: newagent99 | November 30, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Well, Scott:

How would you characterize Cantor's nullification fetish?

Personally, I don't think he has the balls Calhoun had-he's just pandering to the TeaOP.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 30, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

"that Republicans may actually plan to embrace policies designed to deny Obama not only political victories but also the maximum possible economic growth during his term in order weaken Democratic prospects in the 2012 elections."

Is there a universally agreed upon set of economic remedies that Republicans can knowingly deny Barry? Remedies that no accredited expert would publicly or privately disagree with?

"The key feature that distinguishes the increasingly extremist perspective of today's Republican Party from the standards of political behavior we have traditionally considered proper in America is the view that politics is -- quite literally, and not metaphorically - a kind of warfare and political opponents are literally "enemies"..." (more at link)"

As determined by the Democratic Strategist? They've archived the universally acknowledged political etiquette?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 30, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Agreed Cantor's pandering, but who doesn't dig the nullification amendment?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 30, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

"The debate quickly devolved into an argument over the inflammatory word "sabotage" and the extent to which the clearly and passionately expressed Republican desire to see Obama "fail" will actually lead them to deliberately choose economic and other policies that are most conducive to achieving that result."

Democrats should be thrilled if the GOP actually has such a wicked plan, since if they wanted to choose policies in their eyes conducive to failure they would adopt the ObamaDems' policies lock stock and barrel, and give Barry everything he wants.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 30, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Troll-

I'll tell you who: the GOP if they get the presidency and congress again. Then it'll be "now wait just a cotton pickin' minute"...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 30, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see Obama's statement to the press today?

After, Obama hung his head in shame and just left the room.


Obama has been FORCED to compromise - exactly what he promised the nation he would do but then turned his back on the nation by refusing to do.

It is astonishing to see this.

What a turn-around. Obama is irrational Obama has destroyed his career, and his party. Let us hope the damage to the nation is limited.

Posted by: RainForestRising | November 30, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama had two years to put through the liberal agenda - and he didn't.

Now the democrats have LOST the election, and yet the liberals are still trying to put through the gay agenda, higher taxes on the rich and amnesty for illegal aliens.


Can you be more out-of-touch ??? Running around wild after an election, appearing to pretend that an election never took place??? Just proving that all liberals are unfit to govern in a democracy.


It is unAmerican.


It is disgraceful to act against the results of the election.

Posted by: RainForestRising | November 30, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

The liberal agenda is FAR outside the mainstream of American politics.

So, why in the world would Republicans want to support any of it ???


The democrats have acted like they deserve the support of Republicans - because the democrats claim they won the election in 2008. However, the Republicans do not agree with what the democrats want because it is so far outside what the American People want.


NO one wants their children taught the gay agenda in schools when the children are young.

Simple.

Well, now the Republicans have won the election, and the liberals are running around, trying to jam their agenda down everyone's throats.... still.


The American People are tired of this boorish behavior. They really are.

Posted by: RainForestRising | November 30, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Well, the Republicans will pass a large stimulus when they take office.

And of course, qb1 will come out talking about how great they stimulus is and how dumb the Dems are for not thinking of it themselves. Someone will point out how the Dems did pass one and tried to pass others, but qb1 will come out with his list of Sean Hannity comments on how this isn't true.

And why will he do this? To be a part of the Conservative club, I guess.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 30, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

That Bill Kristol lies isn't any sort of revelation. Nor, for many of us who've studied the fellow, is his rationale/justification for lying in the manner he commonly does. As a student of Leo Strauss' Platonism, Bill perceives it as one duty which the philosopher-elites are morally bound to pursue...

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

But Bill has a double loyalty which directs the instances and the purposes of his myth-creations and falsehoods, in pursuit of his notion of a properly governed America and a a properly governed (and assisted) Israel. In both cases, this means, for Kristol, an extremist right wing and militant (war is good) social organization.

Here is Bill at work...

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/30/kristol-wikileaks-iran/

Posted by: bernielatham | November 30, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Bernie

your little tryst with Bill didn't turn out well ?

He didn't return your call?


Please tell ........

Posted by: RainForestRising | November 30, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

A "nullification" amendment may be coming out of Virginia? I'm shocked.

Let's see: Virginia's legislature never voted on the Sixteenth Amendment (Income tax, which by the way was popular in most states in the South -- Alabama was the first state to ratify).

Virginia's legislature never ratified the Seventeenth Amendment (direct election of Senators).

Virginia's legislature didn't ratify the Nineteenth Amendment (women's suffrage) until 1952.

Virginia's legislature has never ratified the 23rd Amendment (permitting residents of the District of Columbia to vote for electors in Presidential elections).

But Virginia was the second state to ratify the 18th Amendment (Prohibition).

We should listen to the Virginia legislature? Why?

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 30, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Shorter Bernie: Bill's a Jeeeeeewwwwww!!!!!1!1!!111!!!!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 30, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Orienting a new contract employee today, was amazed. The right and the left are indistinguishable in their absurdity. The way they want to politicize the work place, the way they talk to their bosses...as if we care. Bosses want hard working, honest, intelligent and educated workers. Apart from that, we want the two sides to keep it out of our workshops. This person wanted to reprogram the homosexuals. The liberals want everyone to be like them or they'll lawyer up. It is hard out there in the work place.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 30, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

bearclaw1 at 8:48 PM


Two words for you bud: Patrick Henry.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | November 30, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

@Chuck - Yes, I saw that. One might conclude, gazing across the modern panorama of the Supreme Court's undoing of a century of precedent, of all the phenomena described in the Dem Strategist piece I linked above, in the notions forwarded by Cantor, the instigation and cheering for torture, the zest to blow other nations' citizens to hell, etc, that these people have a notion that they want to fundamentally alter the character, the traditional moral underpinnings and the nature of America.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 30, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

modern panorama of the Supreme Court's undoing of a century of precedent


I suppose one could say the same about the 1930s cases confirming the expanision of the interstate commerce clause - undoing a century of precedent


The integration of the schools - undoing a century of precedent


The cases overturning Jim Crow - undoing a century of precedent

The democrats should start getting on the right side of history.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | November 30, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Bernie

"modern panorama of the Supreme Court's undoing of a century of precedent"


--------

I suppose one could say the same about the 1930s cases confirming the expanision of the interstate commerce clause - undoing a century of precedent


The integration of the schools - undoing a century of precedent


The cases overturning Jim Crow - undoing a century of precedent

The democrats should start getting on the right side of history.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | November 30, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Or, there's Mark Thiessen's version of America...

"THIESSEN: There are plenty of tools at our disposal. … But failing that, we can act unilaterally. We can go and get him without another country’s permission. We did it with General Noriega — there’s authority within the Office of Legal Counsel and that we can go and take anybody anywhere in the world."

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/30/thiessen-assange-sweden/

The Noriega example is telling. After two or three decades of operating with the CIA (with the US ignoring his drug involvement and other corruptions when that served their interests) he ran afoul of US interests and was taken out by the US military. Some hundreds of neighbors were killed in this operation (god knows how many merely mutilated) and thousands left homeless. For Thiessen, a wonderful bit of US history.

(One corollary note here - this was the first real experiment by the US military to regain media control during war. They had learned in Viet Nam that an unconstrained press taking pictures and telling true stories of war tended to make Americans rather less rah rah about the matter. How the press was controlled in Panama is a very interesting story for anyone interested in modern US military propaganda techniques)

Posted by: bernielatham | November 30, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

For those interested, Milton Friedman, pinko...

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/11/milton-friedman-on-quantitative-easing/

These days, the right wing's annual copy of "Who's Still Who?" has to be re-edited each issue.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 30, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

"...Milton Friedman, pinko..."

You know why. Death causes people to pretend to find what really matters, like prison religion. If Milton could sell out a bunch more born losers to buy a new lease, a bunch more decades in as one of the most powerful men in the world...well that story has been written.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 30, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

RainForest still hasn't read any history. One can always spot this when they make blanket statements about Democratic support for Civil Rights in the '40's-'60s.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 30, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

We've all seen enough gangster movies to know what "whack" means, yes?

Here's a bit from Bill Kristol in the Weekly Standard. Title is "Whack Wikileaks". He wonders if anything can be done about this fellow and his operation...

"Maybe there is. Marc Thiessen argues powerfully in the Washington Post that “the Obama administration has the ability to bring Assange to justice and to put WikiLeaks out of business,” and challenges the administration to do so. And it's hard to see why Thiessen isn't right. Why can't we act forcefully against WikiLeaks? Why can't we use our various assets to harass, snatch or neutralize Julian Assange and his collaborators, wherever they are? Why can't we disrupt and destroy WikiLeaks in both cyberspace and physical space, to the extent possible? Why can't we warn others of repercussions from assisting this criminal enterprise hostile to the United States?"

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/whack-wikileaks_520462.html

One of the values of framing the modern version of war-mongering as a war "on terror" is the multiple uses that can flow from such an indistinct "enemy". We saw that early on when the DHS began referring to animal rights activism as "terrorism" (applicable when a commercial endeavor is the target but not when, say, gay people are murdered). And, of course, we'll recall when Richard Perle referred to Seymour Hersch as "a terrorist" for exposing Perle's financial interests related to international "security" businesses he was involved in.

What Kristol and Thiessen and that camp are doing here is attempting to frame this information release as falling within this borderless and indistinct set of things they don't like and which deserve to be regarded as nearly identical to "terrorism". Bunker busters on Iran, cruise missile into Iceland to get Assange. All OK.

On the other hand, doing anything and everything to cripple your sitting President (and C in C), patriotism on stilts.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 30, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

"...the traditional moral underpinnings and the nature of America."

Bernie,

Could you give us a thumbnail view as to what you think this is?

I wonder where sovereignty fits into your construction.

Oh, and this, "Supreme Court's undoing of a century of precedent..." With all due cordiality, WTFreakin'F are you talking about?

Posted by: tao9 | November 30, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

ChuckinDenton at 9:53


The topic of that comment was the "Supreme Court's undoing of a century of precedent"


We all know that the democrats supported slavery -

The Republicans freed the slaves


The democrats created the Jim Crow laws

The Republicans supported Civil Rights for the blacks during that era


The democrats enforced Jim Crow through their alliance with the KKK

The KKK even controlled blocks of delegates at the democratic national conventions.


___________________________


Not really sure what you are talking about -


However, the democrats should get on the right side of history.

Posted by: RainForestRising | November 30, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

April 11, 1954 has been now called the most boring day in history - the 20th century because they say nothing happened that day of significance.


Well - isn't getting that distinction lift that day out of its "boring" label?


Now the day is quite relaxing - a holiday.


What day of the week was that?

Posted by: RainForestRising | November 30, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

tao:

"Could you give us a thumbnail view as to what you think this is?...Oh, and this, "Supreme Court's undoing of a century of precedent..." With all due cordiality, WTFreakin'F are you talking about?"

Good luck with that.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 30, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

sovereignty ≠ sovereign wealth funds and free capital flows ≠ unfree trade ≠ illegal...or,

sovereignty does = sovereign wealth funds and free capital flows and free trade and exploiting all illegal means...

A word like sovereignty is kind of like spirituality, it is overdetermined and it is supposed to be unassailable, it isn't. It can be good and bad, it is just a word.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 30, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Bernie says:

"What Kristol and Thiessen and that camp are doing here is attempting to frame this information release as falling within this borderless and indistinct set of things they don't like and which deserve to be regarded as nearly identical to "terrorism"."

Bernie puts the word "terrorism" in quotation marks, but if one reads the actual blog post to which he is referring, one will search in vain for the word. That is because at no point whatsoever does Kristol frame the wikileaks issue as "nearly identical to 'terrorism'". Bernie simply made it up out of whole cloth.

Earlier tonight Bernie claimed that Kristol lies. Yet again, we find Bernie projecting his own vices onto others.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 30, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I think we can see that Bernie is off his mark - completely.


Also, isn't Bernie "thread-bombing?"


Ethan "thread-bombs" during the day - then the shift is picked up by Bernie.


Doesn't anyone else see the pattern??? They both are probably paid by the same people.

Posted by: RainForestRising | November 30, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

tao,

What bernie means by "undoing of a century of precedent" is Citzens United, and it is an unvarnished lie -- one that I had to put the stake through multiple times with "scholars" like rukidding.

It was the lie told by Barry Obama during his SOTU speech, when he insulted the Justices sitting right in front of him, and is one of the starkest and most pernicious lies he has told. Citizens United simply did not, by any stretch of imagination, undo a century of precedent. It overuled a precedent exactly 19 years old that had itself implicitly overruled a string of earlier precedents and had been widely criticized for the radical departure it was from established 1st Amendment jurisprudence.

But Obama squarely lied to the whole country about it, because that's just how he rolls, and it suits his political interests to lie about it. I say "lie" advisedly, since, as we all know, Obama was a great Con Law "professor" at one time. In fact, he had that job just a few years after the the decision 19 years ago came out, and he undoubtedly was familiar with it and its controversial nature.

And does anyone think that, as the biggest campaign spender in history he wasn't keenly aware of the case law in this area?

So Bernie is just repeating Obama's propaganda lie. I'm trying to think of how many of the propaganda techniques listed by Scott from Bernie's recommended propaganda book Barry and Bernie are using here. Clearly, one is inspiring fear -- fear of the demise and usurpation of the Republic by the evil forces of mammon. Fear of the radical "other" taking over the country. Etc.

As for wanting to "fundamentally alter the character, the tradional moral underpinnings and the nature of America," well you can't top that for projection and irony, coming from a Canadian socialist who backs Obama (explicitly stated goal: fundamentally transforming America!), radical gay rights, demonization and marginalization of the traditionally religious, disarmament, free abortion, socialized medicine, etc., etc. What a hoot.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 1, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

@tao - re "moral underpinnings" - the most obvious and egregious example is torture, not merely the broad and planned commission of it by the military and intel communities but the purposeful organization of legal strategies designed to protect those committing and those OKing, and also the broad acceptance of all the above by so many on the modern right. Under Nuremberg or international law standards, the individuals involved would be and should be tried for war crimes. Or you can take the new concept of pre-emptive war as justifed legally and morally, particuarly as in the case of Iraq where purposeful deceits were advanced into the public and diplomatic spheres to facilitate such a policy. Or you can take the examples I noted in the posts above.

Sovereignty? Re international law, is there a more critical moral concept than this one? It is an extension of our fundamental moral notion that as individuals or as families or communities, we must be considered to have an inviolable right to be free from violences perpetrated upon us by others. This is probably our most fundamental moral notion.

Re the overturning of close to a century of legal precedent by this present SC, the arguments that precisely this is what we are now witnessing are broad and deep. You can and should read Toobin in the present New Yorker or any of the essays by Ronald Dworkin in the NYRB and much else.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 1, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

"Is a deal taking shape where Republicans would get a temporary extension of all the Bush tax cuts in exchange for GOPers allowing a vote on the New START treaty?"

That such a "deal" is even mentioned seriously shows clearly how Obama is held in contempt by the GOP. While I concluded that Obama and the Democrats are unworthy of support that doesn't mean they are undeserving of criticism and protest since, after all, they remain in power. With that, turn to the inaugural column by Greg's evil twin, a punchy little number about John Bolton running for president, entitled:

"Obama's in over his head"

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-turn/

For probably the first time in my life I agree with John Bolton. For the good of the country, Obama should not run for president again. He appears to hate the job and demonstrates no understanding of what it entails. In any event, he is calamitously feckless. Democrats should mount a campaign, starting today, to replace Obama with a stronger candidate from the Left. Howard Dean comes to mind.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 1, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

From Ha'aretz...

"Settlement freeze failures have exposed gutless leaders in both Israel and the U.S.

The total ineptitude of moves to extend the freeze has damaged Israel's image. But to be fair, the U.S. administration is as much to blame as Israel."

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/settlement-freeze-failures-have-exposed-gutless-leaders-in-both-israel-and-the-u-s-1.328149

Before the outset of the attack on Iraq, as the Bush administration was rounding up allies with particular concentration on getting Blair on board, Blair tried to convince the US that the situation of the Palestinians (under often violent occupation and with their land being continually encroached upon by settlement) had to be remedied in order for anti-American hatreds to be cooled in the middle east. He was right and that is still the case though now the problems are even more complex and acute.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 1, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

"Re the overturning of close to a century of legal precedent by this present SC, the arguments that precisely this is what we are now witnessing are broad and deep."

But apparently they are not very specific. ; )


Come now, bernie, you meant Citizens United. You used the same phrasing, again, that Obama used when perpetuating that lie to the whole country.

So, lets assume away the unfortunate fact that there is no undoing of a century of precedent here. As a general matter, is overturning of decades of precedent a bad thing? Inherently wrong?

How then do you feel about the New Deal court? The Warren Court? You'll recall Obama has lamented they did not (could not) go far enough in sweeping away the past and establishing welfare rights. Was all their trashing of precedent illegitimate?

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 1, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Another. I'll let you folks do what you will with the thesis here but it is not easily discountable...

"WikiLeaks cables tell the story of an empire in decline
President Obama emerges from the WikiLeaks cables as a weak leader, whose good intentions dissipate in the face of the stubbornness of his Middle Eastern counterparts.

By Aluf Benn"

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/wikileaks-cables-tell-the-story-of-an-empire-in-decline-1.328145

And, no, for the most part this is not a good thing.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 1, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

@tao - Ever wonder what happened to Leon Russell? He's just popped up again...

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/inside-the-mind-of-elton-john-2147822.html

Posted by: bernielatham | December 1, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

"Good point from David Dayen: 'Canceling ethanol subsidies saves more money than freezing public worker pay.'"

So why not do both?

@bernie: "President Obama emerges from the WikiLeaks cables as a weak leader, whose good intentions dissipate in the face of the stubbornness of his Middle Eastern counterparts"

Well, (a) what would you expect, and (b) what would Obama's alternatives be? Cowboy diplomacy? Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran?

@qb: "So, lets assume away the unfortunate fact that there is no undoing of a century of precedent here. As a general matter, is overturning of decades of precedent a bad thing? Inherently wrong?"

And another question--is it being done illegitimately? Certainly, there is nothing in the Citizens decision that stretched jurisprudence to the same level as the Warren court's discovery of a heretofore undocumented right to privacy in the constitution, and its conclusion that this right to privacy guarantees a right to abortion.

The "undoing 100 years of precedent" argument, even if accurate, is neither unusual or bad. When does (at it was) by the appropriate mechanisms at hand for doing just such things, everything is working the way it's supposed to. We may not like it, and may even think the decision will have negative consequences, but that has nothing to do with its having undone precedent. And it doesn't mean there was anything illegitimate about the process, even though we may disagree with its conclusions.

Although I find it ironic that the supreme court has found that corporations are legally people, but that unborn babies are not. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 1, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

BTW, a repeal of DADT is going to undo over 15 years of established precedence. The travesty!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 1, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "For probably the first time in my life I agree with John Bolton. For the good of the country, Obama should not run for president again."

I realize you aren't happy with his performance, but I think that's a little strong. Presidents with much lower poll numbers than him have run and won.

That being said, I'm a pragmatist. If he gets a single challenger from the left, he should drop out and throw his support behind said challenger for the good of the party (good of the country--well, I suppose that depends on your point of view). Otherwise, the challenger will go9 rounds with him, sour much of the remaining base on Obama, and then Obama will still probably win the primary and go on (after having been through such a primary battle) to lose the election to the Republican, whoever it is.

But that's would it would take. If Ted Kennedy couldn't beat Jimmy Carter in a primary battle, nobody on the left is going to beat Obama in a primary battle.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 1, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Good thing all that oil in the Gulf disappeared so we can just get back to business as usual for King Oil:

"Efforts to negotiate a comprehensive overhaul of federal offshore drilling regulations have collapsed, but there's still a chance for a more limited bill that increases oil spill liability limits."

http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/11/offshore_drilling_regulation_o.html

President Alan Colmes strikes again!

Posted by: wbgonne | December 1, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/the_morning_plum_141.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 1, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Bernie lamented:

"the overturning of close to a century of legal precedent by this present SC"

This would be an example of propaganda ploy number 2 (as explained in "Deadly Spin", the Bernie-recommended book on health care propaganda), Glittering Generalities. Note how, even when asked explicitly, Bernie is unable to come up with any specifics. This goes hand-in-hand with his fear mongering (propaganda ploy number 1) over the dreaded Republicans destroying the "moral underpinnings" of the nation.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 1, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Kevin,

I pretty much agree with you about "undoing precedent." I've always had the view that wrong decisions should be overturned, without more complication than that. The Constitution takes precedence over decisions that misconstrued it.

This is one of the features of the Casey abortion opinion that is so disturbing. It basically says, we probably were wrong in Roe, but we can't undo it now, because it has been so controversial and has not "settled" the debate, and if we (SCOTUS) backed down now we would look weak. Thus, the justices demanded that the country "accept" that they had "settled" the issue and "end" the controversy over it.

The opening line of Scalia's dissent is to me the most immortal of SCOTUS lines: "The Imperial Judiciary lives!" They put their own admitted mistake above the Constitution because they put themselves above it.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 1, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Of *course* Rainforest doesn't understand what I'm talking about re: Democrats and I'm not going to explain it to him now. He might check the voting records of the other Party, as well...

Also waiting on Scott to reply re: Cantor and nullification. He will be *your* majority leader soon.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 1, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Chuck:

"Also waiting on Scott to reply re: Cantor and nullification."

What is the question?

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 1, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Are you with Cantor?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 2, 2010 5:23 AM | Report abuse

Chuck:

"Are you with Cantor?"

In what way? I certainly think that the federal government exercises too much power over the states, and I think that power ought to be decentralized away from Washington.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 2, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

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