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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 11/27/2010

Saturday Open Thread

By Greg Sargent

Slow blogging, or perhaps no blogging at all, this weekend. Trying to detox. And to rest up a bit for the mayhem that's about to break out in the final weeks of lame duck.

And by the way, I should have said this on Thursday, but a huge thanks to all of you who read and contribute to this blog day in and day out. Plum Line is coming up on two years old, and the site wouldn't be what it is without your tips, comments, insights, and merciless but often constructive heckling. You all are the reason this gig is so rewarding, illuminating, and fun.

By Greg Sargent  | November 27, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Comments

Detox is overrated.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 27, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't argue with the comparison of taking time off from Plum Line to detoxing.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 27, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Freedom of speech in the UK:

"A teenage girl has been arrested on suspicion of inciting religious hatred after allegedly burning an English language version of the Koran - and then posting it on Facebook."

I wonder if burning a Bible, or an American flag, would meet with a similar fate. Somehow, I am doubtful.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 27, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, here's the link:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1332877/Girl-arrested-Facebook-footage-Koran-burning-school.html

And, BTW, if one is guilty of "inciting religious hatred", mustn't the authorities be able to produce at least one person who was actually "incited" to hatred by the act?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 27, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm presently doing retox.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 27, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

If no one minds (or even if someone minds) I'll post this one in the living thread. Two wondrous parts...

@wb - not to put too fine a point on it, I think your syllogism might be better constructed as:

Liberalism can only fail
Obama is a liberal
Therefore Obama must fail

This gets the sequence more correctly as the propaganda project to deny liberalism the status of a valid or workable or American political philosophy long predates Obama's arrival. But your notion that "liberalism" - defined in this narrative as unnecessary and counter-productive legislation and institutions which place constraints on business vigor or "natural" domination heiracrchies - is the real target is exactly right.

It seems to me there's a very mechanistic metaphor sitting at the bottom of this notion which presumes that human affairs are like, and should be considered as, a sort of engineering problem. Eg, if you wish to pump maximal amounts of fluid through a pipeline or transfer electrons most efficiently through a conductor, you ought to remove as much resistance as possible. If we think of it this way, the behavior and beliefs of authoritarian (or ridgidly heirarchical) types makes a sort of sense ("it would be easier" Bush once said, "to be a dictator"). When totalitarian or fascist regimes take over in a culture, they predictably act quickly to remove (murder, jail, forced deportation) potential opposition sources - political foes, intellectuals and universities, labor groups, and independent media (and religous or ethnic communities in some cases as well). They are perceived, correctly, as sources of potential or certain 'resistance'. Obviously, anyone pushing for "one party rule" is advocating an instance of this totalitarian scheme.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 27, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

It's revealing to think of "redistribution of wealth" arguments in the context of the above. The phrase itself, it seems to me, misses rather than gets at what is important. We really ought to use the phrase "redistribution of power" instead. You'll note that folks on the right commonly say that the wealthy can simply donate portions of their wealth if they wish to. So they don't mind, really, if wealth gets redistributed. They would accept, as would I, one of those million dollar checks from John Beresford Tipton, Jr and not feel themselves in conflict with "natural" laws.

The objection is to redistribution or diffusion of power by "government". But, of course, "government" has had the prime and celebrated function within human groups in the West since at least classical Athens of diffusing power. No tyrant at the top but instead, policy/law established by consensus of a majority of citizens. Social contracts, informal or formal, are what we are speaking of.

The Economist piece I linked the other day discussing research showing that psycopaths are disconnected from perception of or engagement with social contracts seems rather relevant. There's a basic idea underpinning modern conservative economic/social philosophy, conscious or not, that as a community we will achieve our closest proximity to a Utopian arrangement if we simply allow unrestrained tyrants to battle against other unrestrained tyrants. That doesn't seem to be working out very well.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 27, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"No tyrant at the top but instead, policy/law established by consensus of a majority of citizens. Social contracts, informal or formal, are what we are speaking of."

Speaking of unrestrained tyrants, even the Viking Kings had little or no political authority, which was vested in the Thing. In 1075, Adam of Bremen declared of the Icelandic Vikings, "They have no King, only the law." The Chief's or King's job was to uphold the prosperity and honor of his Clan or his group of Clans, especially with regard to religious matters.

No, the American conservatives' Ur-Myth, Rugged Individualism, has been rejected by all successful civilizations, one after the other.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 27, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Here is wonderful argument against corporate rugged individualism. The dying piece of s#*t rich guy finally get's it, the genre is shopworn, but it is relevant to this point. He learns that to make the most money, you invest in social productivity in general. Oh and he is shocked, shocked that the people who made him rich have not been brought to justice.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/27/your-money/27money.html?hp

What a jerk...

"Mr. Murray grew up in Baltimore, about the farthest thing from a crusader that you could imagine. “I was the kid you didn’t want your daughter to date,” he said. “I stole baseball cards and cheated on Spanish tests and made fun of the fat kid in the corner with glasses.”

He got a lot of second chances thanks to an affluent background and basketball prowess. He eventually landed at Goldman Sachs..."

Well now, isn't that amazing, it must have been the basketball prowess.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 27, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"It's revealing to think of "redistribution of wealth" arguments in the context of the above. The phrase itself, it seems to me, misses rather than gets at what is important. We really ought to use the phrase "redistribution of power" instead."

Only if "we" wish to confuse things rather than clarify. Wealth is not power, or at least not the power you are pretending it is. I know plenty of people who are very wealthy but have no more political power than than anyone else. Wealth can conceivably buy political power, but only if those who have it are selling.

"The objection is to redistribution or diffusion of power by "government". "

No it isn't. The objection is to redistribution of wealth (not power) via force.

Your deception here is twofold. First you conflate wealth with power, but the fact is that it is wealth that is being redistributed. The IRS doesn't take my political power because I haven't got any, or at least not any more than any other voter, rich or poor. What it does take is my money.

Second, and more importantly, you are attempting to obscure the true source of the objection...the denial of freedom via the use of force...by labeling it "government". But as you of course know (yet continually elide), government action is coercion, which is precisely the source of objections to it.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 27, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"Wealth can conceivably buy political power, but only if those who have it are selling."

Hilarious! The morning laugh, thanks.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 27, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"No tyrant at the top but instead, policy/law established by consensus of a majority of citizens. Social contracts, informal or formal, are what we are speaking of."

You mean, for example, a consensus of a majority of citizens who establish a law prohibiting a person from "marrying" someone of the same sex? Is that the type of "social contract" law the imposition of which you are all for? How about if there is a "consensus of a majority of citizens" that Muslims ought not be able to build a mosque near ground zero? Is that a good example of this "social contract" you are talking about?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 27, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

shrink:

"The morning laugh, thanks."

My pleasure. (You are easy to please on this front.)

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 27, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Growing up with a psychiatrist father and psychologist mother, then after a few decades in diverse forms of psychiatric practice, I have learned this: easy to please is good.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 27, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

"The phrase itself, it seems to me, misses rather than gets at what is important. We really ought to use the phrase "redistribution of power" instead."

The fallacy here is that you are not describing "redistribution" of something called "power" but are granting a new power -- that of "legal" expropriation -- to your favored actors. You are engaged in propaganda.

"No tyrant at the top but instead, policy/law established by consensus of a majority of citizens. Social contracts, informal or formal, are what we are speaking of."

It's a characteristic fallacy of the left to dichotomize tyrany and democracy. That dichotomy is rejected in mainstream, post-monarchical western thinking, and in American constitutional history. You pretty much missed the whole point of the U.S. Constitution.

"There's a basic idea underpinning modern conservative economic/social philosophy, conscious or not, that as a community we will achieve our closest proximity to a Utopian arrangement if we simply allow unrestrained tyrants to battle against other unrestrained tyrants. That doesn't seem to be working out very well."

You could hardly be more ignorant about conservative thought.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 27, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

qb:

"You are engaged in propaganda."

Exactly.

In Bernie's confused view of the world, when people see the difference between the gross and the net in their paycheck each month, they lament the amount of "power" that the IRS has taken from them. How absurd can one get?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 27, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

@ qb-

"You could hardly be more ignorant about conservative thought."

That's an interesting statement. As practiced or defined by whom? Christine O'Donnell or the New Republic?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 27, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"That's an interesting statement. As practiced or defined by whom? Christine O'Donnell or the New Republic?"

That you imagine TNR is conservative tells us all how pointless your question is.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 27, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Scott,

It's hard to believe in this case Bernie isn't consciously aware of the fallacious nature of his argument, isn't it? He deliberately conflates the use of "power" to redistribute with what is being redistributed, conveniently concealing the actual use of power involved. Silly stuff, really.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 27, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey I'm thankful to Greg S. and the Post for this blog. Sincerely. It's been a highlight of the blogosphere for me this year. Thanks!!

Posted by: Vaughan1 | November 27, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey everyone, hope your Thanksgiving was fantastic. I'm out for the rest of the weekend first to take a long nap with a new book then to decorate for Christmas. Just wanted to say Hi. It should be a few interesting weeks politically and I'll be looking forward to all the shenanigans, although I'm fairly certain I'll be just as frustrated as ever. Nice to see Scott and qb commenting again but I think you guys need a new routine. LOL

Posted by: lmsinca | November 27, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"Nice to see Scott and qb commenting again but I think you guys need a new routine. LOL"

New routine? You have to be kidding! I detoxed for a couple of weeks and thought maybe some of the lefties would develop a new routine while I was gone. No such luck.

Happy Thanksgiving, though. At least you add a little pleasantness to the unpleasantness of . . . well, some of the other commenters.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 27, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

That is the problem with detox, it turns relapse into a disappointment, you can't look forward to it each morning, like you're used to.

Recovery on the other hand, is all about new routines, a whole different story.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 27, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Quote of the decade:

"There is a narcissism in our leaders in Washington today," - Sarah Palin from her new book-thing.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 27, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Bernie wrote: "Quote of the decade:

"There is a narcissism in our leaders in Washington today," - Sarah Palin from her new book-thing."

I'm curious if you disagree? Or do you think Palin is a narcissist and are marveling at the (supposed) hypocrisy?

As a side note, it's a given on the right that Barry is a narcissist.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 27, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Greg writes:

"merciless but often constructive heckling"


______________________________


I'm not exactly sure you enjoy vigorous debate.


However, I will take this as a compliment.


Greg - I'm not sure if you are encouraging the heckling of other poster or not. I don't know if you are encouraging people to engage in "intent to harass" or not.


.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 27, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Troll, you know why it is funny. What if I wrote a "book" one day after doing a lot of "research" out on the cement behind my house in between screeching at the kids trying to do each other and obsessing about the neighbor behind the 14' fence...sorry where was I oh yeah...lets say one day I came to the conclusion not only that power was for sale in Washington, but only if people who were able to buy it found people who were willing to sell it.

What if I decided that was something that needed to be in my "book", like, my ideas with my name on it, my "book". Wouldn't that be funny, my "book" I mean?

How about: I just realized the sun rises in the East and sets in the West? Should I find a publisher before someone else finds out?

Posted by: shrink2 | November 27, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

TMW

"As a side note, it's a given on the right that Barry is a narcissist."

Barry is much more than a narcissist. He is a megalomaniac at a minimum -- as someone said, the first President who actually believes the job is beneath him.

And why not, all the sycophants around him constantly remind him of his omniscience and infallibility.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 27, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

@shrink - thanks for the Viking post. Another subject-area where I know zilch.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 27, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Scott said: "Wealth is not power, or at least not the power you are pretending it is."

Well that would explain why America's green-grocers and janitors have such influence in Washington while the finance and energy sectors are powerless.

"The objection is to redistribution of wealth (not power) via force...But as you of course know (yet continually elide), government action is coercion, which is precisely the source of objections to it.."

Yes. Thus the horrors to liberty and citizen well-being wrought from the coercion of government restraints on pollution of the river running past your house or into the watershed that provides the water you drink, of codes for building bridges that won't collapse or toys that won't poison children.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 27, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

shrink,

So, let's get this straight. You find the fact that Palin's book contains a truism to make her and the book risible?

Is that your grand point?

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 27, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I like how Palin says "a narcissism," like she wanted to go with "a monster" or "a Sasquatch," but she couldn't resist going with an embodiment of pure ego while she was pushing her book of pure ego.

There is plenty of narcissism (let's lose the indefinite article, ok Sarah?) in DC. No one needs to be told that.

But to make a pile of money telling low info folks that, well, that's something else altogether.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 27, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I've been continuing to scratch my head over Bernie's strange polemic about "redistribution of power," and finally concluded that it reduces to the simple assertion that the purpose of government is to redistribute wealth.

Setting aside arguments about why that is simply wrong or immoral, it is interesting because this is an inchoherent theory of government -- incoherent in that it is self-contradictory and self-negating. If, as Bernie claims, wealth equals political power, and the wealthy therefore have political power while the poor do not, then government will never redistribute wealth, because those who seek redistribution have no power to effect it.

Thus, in Bernie's theory of government, government can never serve its purpose. Conversely, when we see government redistributing wealth, we can know that Bernie's premises are false.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 27, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Shrink,

Luckily for your own credibility here, you put the word 'book' in quotes.

I think Bernie is leaning towards hypocrisy for whomever wrote Palin's (may Lord Cheney keep and fortify her) book, It's not like he thinks she can even read, let alone write.

Obviously, you're enttled to your sacred views, and I'm not arguing their validity, but you don't think The 'Cuda is entitled to be even a little disturbed that an obsessive freak, whose stupidity is second only to Dr. Sullivan - OB/GYN, moved in next door? You'd be fine with Pervert McPedophile watching you from the porch? Nothing to hide I suppose... Hmmm?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 27, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"Setting aside arguments about why that is simply wrong or immoral..."

All governments redistribute wealth every single day. It may not amount to transfers that are eye-popping, but it's one of government's most important and useful functions. If it didn't, it couldn't do anything except attempt to coerce through implied power or through force (though to do this it would have to self-fund). I can think of many Renaissance and Medieval examples where this exact kind of thing occurs, and the results are always unsustainable.

So, in the modern period, it's not whether the gov't does this, it's how and to what extent.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 27, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

qb:

“It's hard to believe in this case Bernie isn't consciously aware of the fallacious nature of his argument, isn't it?”

Yes, it is hard to believe. But as Orwell so to wittily pointed out once, some things are so foolish only an intellectual could believe them, and Bernie is the very epitomy of the type that Orwell was talking about, so I don’t put it past him that he really does believe the foolishness he propagates here.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 27, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

"All governments redistribute wealth every single day."

I suppose you would have to be very specific about what you mean, for us to evaluate your claims, including not only what you are considering redistribution but whether it is the object or a means or a side consequence of policy. But Bernie was making a very specific claim: that the purpose of government is to redistribute wealth (which he claims equals political power) from those who have it to those who don't.

Good luck in defending that claim with all the Renaissance and Medieval historical examples you want.

As for the idea that government can do nothing without redistributing wealth, that's just plain silly.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 27, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Under the heading of "Well, yeah"...

"Scowcroft on START: ‘Partisan’ GOP Doesn’t Want To Give Obama ‘A Foreign Policy Victory’

...In an attempt to rally bipartisan support for the treaty, the White House has enlisted the kind of GOP foreign policy wise men that Lugar exemplifies -- among them former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and James A. Baker. But they have had no success with members of their own party, and it has left them scratching their heads over the source of the GOP opposition.

"It's not clear to me what it is," said Brent Scowcroft, a former national security adviser to President George H.W. Bush who noted that this START treaty is not very different from previous ones negotiated and ratified under Republican presidents. "I've got to think that it's the increasingly partisan nature and the desire for the president not to have a foreign policy victory."

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/27/scowcroft-gop-start/

Posted by: bernielatham | November 27, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

“Well that would explain why America's green-grocers and janitors have such influence in Washington while the finance and energy sectors are powerless.”

Nice sleight of hand, as Greg might say, conflating individuals (green grocers and janitors) with industries (finance and energy sectors). Of course, the food industry and unions have plenty of political power while, say, simple derivatives traders have none (and you can take than one to the bank, believe me).

Again, Bernie, you deceive and in the process, make people “stupider”.

“Thus the horrors to liberty and citizen well-being wrought from the coercion of government restraints on pollution of the river running past your house or into the watershed that provides the water you drink, of codes for building bridges that won't collapse or toys that won't poison children.”

Again, more stupid conflating. There is a difference between the use of coercion to prevent violations of one’s person or property, and the use of coercion to effect such a violation. You understand this difference when “the community” uses “the social contract” towards ends of which you disapprove (think abortion, gay marriage, building a mosque near ground zero, etc.) But suddenly the difference is lost on you (or so you pretend) when it is being used to effect behavior of which you approve (wealth redistribution).

Again…listen to Bernie and become stupider.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 27, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

BG,

Your complaint about an indefinite article -- a perfectly valid construction with a long history of use -- says more about pettiness and small mindededness on your part than anything about Palin.

If Palin cured cancer, you would say she her motives were egotistical. That's all we need to know.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 27, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

qb, no. There's no such thing as "a narcissism." You might try to get away with this in some florid prose ("There's a narcissism that stalks these halls..." or "There's a narcissism at work when Sarkozy claims that....") but otherwise it's just silly to use it this way.

My point, as you well know, was to cast doubt on a woman who isn't very smart trying to use a word instead of an idea or concept. You know, it's possible to learn what, for example, narcissism is, instead of just using it without thinking. And that's what I'm accusing Palin of doing: using a word without thinking.

If she cures cancer you'll be surprised by my humbleness and magnanimity as I congratulate her and all of human kind.

Any idea how far along she's gotten in her scientific work?

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 27, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Covering all the bases...

"Marco Rubio, the charismatic senator-elect from Florida, is in many ways similar to other Cuban-American politicians from his home state: conservative, Republican and a “practicing and devout Roman Catholic,” in the words of his spokesman, one who “regularly attends Catholic Mass” and “was baptized, confirmed and married in the Roman Catholic Church.”

But while Mr. Rubio, 39, presented himself on his Florida Statehouse Web site and in interviews as a Roman Catholic, bloggers and journalists have noted since his election that he regularly worships at an evangelical megachurch whose theology is plainly at odds with Catholic teaching..."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/27/us/27beliefs.html?ref=us

And, if need be, a photo-op in New York with Chris Hitchens.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 27, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Palin-Rubio 2012

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 27, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

THIS is exactly the state of affairs...

“If Dick Lugar,” said John C. Danforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri, “having served five terms in the U.S. Senate and being the most respected person in the Senate and the leading authority on foreign policy, is seriously challenged by anybody in the Republican Party, we have gone so far overboard that we are beyond redemption.”

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/27/danforth-lugar-overboard/

Posted by: bernielatham | November 27, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

@Scott - my god. Bloomberg and his butler - equally access to power. The Association of Moustached Janitorial Persons and Haliburton - lobbying dynamos. Jesus.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 27, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

just came to me, Palin practices freedom of screech . . .

3ha

Posted by: wendyf | November 27, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Interestingly, Mdme. Speaker Pelosi, Senators John Kerry and Dick Durbin and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, all practice a theology plainly at odds with Catholic teaching. As, of course, did the late Senator Edward Kennedy.

Posted by: tao9 | November 27, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanksgiving fun from Glen Reynolds (Instapundit)...

"JUST WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW: North Korea fires artillery barrage on South. If they start anything, I say nuke ‘em. And not with just a few bombs."

And he goes on to admiringly quote another on a weird notion that has somehow taken hold...

"You know, somehow there has arisen the idea that there’s some magic rule that prevents a nuclear power from using its nukes against a conventional state."

http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/110310/

Beyond redemption? Like Pluto is beyond the distance I can throw a house.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 27, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh, Scott3, you've disgusted Bernie (again). How wealthy do ya have to be bernie, to control the levers of power? And wouldn't Bill Gates have more power than, say, Buffet? At what level of wealth is one's power inconsequential? Does fame equal power? Does, for example, Snookie have the same kind of juice as say, Martha Stewart? Her wealth, on the other hand, didn't seem all that helpful, did it? Is that the minimum? Can we quantify this thing?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 27, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

@tao - I think that would be true of the majority of catholics worldwide, wouldn't you?

I'm delighted that catholicism has gained the acceptability it now enjoys in the US (Canada's history is quite different with its French population).

Romney has a problem re faith community which ought not to be a factor but will be (Beck will help). But one wonders how long it might take for a Buddhist to be acceptable as a Presidential candidate. Or, obviously, a non-believer. On-going struggle, this religious liberty/equality thing.

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

BG,

"There's no such thing as 'a narcissism.'"

Nonsense. I don't suppose I would challenge you to a grammar contest, but in this case you simply allowed your instinct to revile Palin to overcome your sense. Use of indefinite articles before abstract nouns has a long and legitimate history, as you must know. The connotation is of a particular instance or the thing.

Such as: "There is an arrogance in the way he comments." "There is an air of humility about him." "There is a sorrow known only to those who . . .."

You irrationally hate Palin and find ways, justified or not, to revile every word word and act of hers.

"You know, it's possible to learn what, for example, narcissism is, instead of just using it without thinking. And that's what I'm accusing Palin of doing: using a word without thinking."

You have no basis for that claim at all. If one of your students handed in a paper so flimsily argued and supported, I would hope you would fail him.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 27, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I yam a victim I yam I yam

Palin facebook entry...
"Obviously, I would have been even more impressed if the media showed some consistency on this issue. Unfortunately, it seems they couldn’t resist the temptation to turn a simple one word slip-of-the-tongue of mine into a major political headline."

And back in the real world...

"Because based on a search of Nexis, here’s a partial list of the major American newspaper that did not turn the Palin/North Korea gaffe into a “major political headline,” did not treat it as news, and did not even mention it when it occurred:

New York Times

Wall Street Journal

Los Angeles Times

Washington Post

New York Post

Houston Chronicle

Philadelphia Inquirer

Newsday

Denver Post

Arizona Republic

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Dallas Morning News

Cleveland Plain Dealer

Seattle Times

Chicago Sun-Times

What other news outlets ignored Palin’s verbal gaffe when it occurred? All three major networks--ABC, CBS, and NBC--as well as CNN, Fox News, PBS and NPR."

http://mediamatters.org/blog/201011270001

Posted by: bernielatham | November 27, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, should the South Korean's simply surrender? Or surrender after they're attacked? Or lose tens, if not hundreds of thousands of South Koreans to avoid having "nuked" another country that has attacked it?
Or is North Korea, by South Koreas very existence, a provocation? Or, maybe it's the U.S. that's a provocation? How long would South Korea have lasted without the U.S.? Or, does that matter?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 27, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Bloomberg and his butler - equally access to power."

Well, no, actually, since Bloomberg is an elected politician with, well, actual political power of the first order (as opposed to the second order power that you obsess about). Your example doesn't even make sense on your own terms, for goodness sake.

But let's make this a little more concrete. I am one of those people whom you would like to "redistribute" away from. Please tell me what political power I have that you, or the janitor, or the grocery store manager, does not have and that you would like me to give them. Be specific, Bernie.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 27, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Here is a sentence from the first page of Audacity of Hope, wherein he oafishly places the indefinite article before an abstract noun not once but twice:

"It signalled a cynicism not simply with politics but with the very notion of public life, a cynicism that . . . had been nourished by a generation of broken promises."

Apparently Barry doesn't know English, either. Nor what "cynicism" means.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 27, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

McWing:

Good questions, all. I will be back later, and I fully expect to return to find Bernie either telling you are too stupid to for him to bother with answerrs, or that he is just not interested in responding, but he really does have perfectly coherent answers for you, if he wanted. Really, truly, he does.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 27, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

I am still trying to figure out how people with no power are able to use government to take power. Let alone how this is the purpose of government.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 27, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

bernielatham, the first time I even heard of that gaffe was when the WaPo reported on Palin's facebook post about it. I saw the 57 states plastered all over the place (with some sickeningly racist commentary every now and then)

I wonder if this is all groundwork for backing out of a Presidential run. "I can't run because the lamestream media will be too unfair to me." or something like that.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 27, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

@McWing

You offered a pretty serious false dichotomy there- you all but explicitly suggest that the only options are nuke North Korea or abandon South Korea. I can't speak for Bernie with too much confidence, but I'm going to go out on a limb and point out that he's simply pointing out the absurdity of nuking North Korea (and thereby running a serious risk of getting in a war with NK's ally, China, which has nukes that they are eminently capable of actually deploying), vis-a-vis promising protection by conventional forces (the only option for anyone that doesn't suffer from Strangelove-esque degrees of lunacy).

Your questions are moot because their structure assumes that Bernie is against protecting South Korea and doing what is required (which under no circumstances would be nuking) if North Korea were to attack, when all he is doing is pointing out the abject insanity that lies in Reynolds's statement.

Posted by: holyhandgrenaid | November 27, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

What option did I leave out? How many dead South Koreans are acceptable? At what point does a NORK attack become existential? Is it territory captured? Total deaths? I'm not so sure China would retaliate anyway. What country has a bigger impact on the economy of China? North or Sout Korea?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 27, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Forgive me, handgrenade, as Bernie will undoubtedly note, I fetishize the military. Hell, I even served. Strike Two!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 27, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Again, McWing, ONLY nukes are off the table. That is all I was saying. All we would be doing is opening Pandora's Box if that was explored as an option. It is simply not an option, it will never be, regardless of who is sitting in the White House. That we're even discussing it is absurd- and we don't have any direct say in the matter.

Posted by: holyhandgrenaid | November 27, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

"You irrationally hate Palin and find ways, justified or not, to revile every word word and act of hers."

No no, I was rationally hating her for being stupid.

It's not just this example, but oh so many. Just like with W, it's a pattern of inattention, of skating by in a political career that so far is completely devoid of substance.

She's afraid of Katie Couric, for god's sake!

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 27, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

She's not afraid of Katie Couric; she simply "rationally hates" her and all journ-O-lists.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 27, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

BGinCHI wrote: "No no, I was rationally hating her for being stupid."

Here's what I don't understand. Palin has a college degree, was elected to the Wasilla city council and then Mayor. She also was elected to the position of Governor. She was nominated to be the Republican candidate for Vice President, unfortunately for all of us, lost that election and then moved on to publishing two books that have, by all measures, sold very well. In addition, she has a television show with TLC and probably earns six figures a year, at least, giving speeches. If she is stupid, as in mentally deficient, that's not a bad record, no? If her IQ is below normal, and she has achieved all that, shouldn't you be lauding her and holding her up as an example to others of limited mental capabilities?

Or, let's say she's not stupid, but merely average. O.k., that track record above looks pretty good too.

How about she's smart (don't worry, I said it so you don't have to. I wouldn't want you to jeopordize your street credibility among your peers) but intellectually lazy? Oops, that doesn't work, because you already said she's stupid.

So, is she a intellectually below average overachiever who should be celebrated for accomplishing more than virtually all her mental superiors? Or is she... what?

Unless you're assuming the "peanut butter on the roof of the mouth" scenario where some nefarious "user" found some pretty hick in the wilds of Alaska (the first place any manipulator would look, dontcha ya know), prettied her up and "sold" her. Oops, that won't work either because it takes at least some average intelligence to keep up the charade, let alone enourmous discipline and you already know she's stupid and devoid of substance.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 27, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

@DDAWD - The commentary on her facebook page could turn one to some serious drinking. Back during the healthcare debate, I posted a few entries noting that Israel has a government managed universal/compulsory arrangement. About four (mannerly and detailed) posts in, I got the hook.

I'm not sure this facebook entry has that goal you surmise. "Liberal media bias" is, as you know, a staple of right-wing narrative and becomes critically essential when some doofus like Palin, O'Donnell, Angle or many others open their mouths.

The negative of her using overwhelming victimization as a rationale for quitting would paint her as a sort of weakling which, for the modern right, is a far worse character flaw than, for example, humping prostitutes or somebody else's spouse or doing rah rah for dropping nukes on some city where suspiciously-colored people live.

They'll have to find some story for her retreat that looks heroic, bold, and patriotic. It is no easy problem.

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

TrollMcWingnut, repeat after me, that is all "a political career that so far is completely devoid of substance" the same applied to George W. Bush who was so "stupid" he beat both geniuses Gore and Kerry.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 27, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Troll,

Facts don't matter to BG and the rest of the deranged.

What's amusing is that he's fine with true idiots like Barbara Boxer, Maxine Waters, or Claire McCaskill, or lightweight frauds like Al Gore.

You'll notice he has no answer for the fact that his Messiah President used a dreaded indefinite-article-before-abstract-noun twice on the first page of his masterpiece. He just knows Palin is illiterate for using the same construction.

Tells you everything about the credibility of his argument.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 27, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

If she's assassinated, that would be heroic, bold, and patriotic.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 27, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

"I think that would be true of the majority of catholics worldwide, wouldn't you?"

No. Nor do a majority of Catholics worldwide.

Bernie, have you ever noticed that I don't comment (perhaps rarely would be more apposite) on things about which I haven't the remotest clue?

It serves one well.


Posted by: tao9 | November 27, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

@Greg - this if for you

http://www.thedemocraticstrategist.org/strategist/2010/11/sabotage_who_us.php#comments

Posted by: bernielatham | November 27, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Bernie,

MediaMatterz bone-z thems that cite them, at least the grown-ups of max gullibility...the kidz usually go ThinkProggy.

Most (I'd say all, but I only looked at the first 4 search pages) of those media platforms covered the Palinism via an AP wire story.

You believe Brock, you'll believe freakin' anything...just ask Hillary.

Posted by: tao9 | November 27, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Obama is incompetent.


It is irresponsible for any American to continue to support him.


Any democrat who voted for him should take PERSONAL REPSONSIBILITY for inflicting this incompetent person onto America - ignoring everyone who asked them to consider experience and qualifications - and instead the democrats let their ARROGRANCE govern how they voted.


At a minimum, the nation wants an apology from EVERY person who voted for Obama.


At this point, Obama has proven, in an unprecedented way, how unfit to govern every democrat is. If a democrat ever thought Obama could do a good job in office, they were horribly wrong - they took a gamble with the nation, and they should apologize to everyone they ever encounter.


Democrats: SAY YOU ARE SORRY TO EVERYONE YOU MEET.


At this point, the democrats would do well to agree, and simply agree to Obama's impeachment and removal from office. It is the RESPONSIBLE thing to do FOR THE COUNTRY right now.


If you don't agree, you are only hurting youself and your country.


.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 27, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Greg

At this point, Bernie is "thread-bombing"

In the interests of even-handedness, he and Ethan, who has also "thread-bombed" should also be banned.


Seriously, man.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 27, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

A little history lesson for John McCain and friends...

"Negro outfits should be maintained separately," an Army master sergeant from North Carolina told the Pentagon in 1947. "To do otherwise is to invite trouble and many complications. The equal rights plan should not be forced on the Army as an example to civilians."

Troops also offered dire predictions for what would happen if whites and black units were forced to serve together.

"For sure, all the GIs will quit the Army or buck like hell to get out," a 20-year-old Army private first class told the surveyors. The service members were quoted anonymously in the 1947 study.

Added another 19-year-old soldier: "If the Negro and the whites were mixed, there would be a civil war among the troops. There would be a lot of useless bloodshed if this happens."

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/11/27/us/politics/AP-US-Gays-in-Military.html?ref=news

Posted by: bernielatham | November 27, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

It is true that the democrats have been irresponsible with America.


The way they can save themselves is to agree to get Obama out of office as soon as possible - that would be a show of unity toward the rest of the country.


The liberal agenda has already been thrown onto the trashheap of history. The democrats would be wise to just leave it behind like a used condom.

.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 27, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Murdoch a psychopath? We report. You decide.

http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/11/26/the-torture-of-writing-about-climate-change-at-the-oz-one-journos-story/

Posted by: bernielatham | November 27, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

"You'll notice he has no answer for the fact that his Messiah President used a dreaded indefinite-article-before-abstract-noun twice on the first page of his masterpiece. He just knows Palin is illiterate for using the same construction."

Don't you people believe that the book was written by Obama's terrorist friend anyways?

Posted by: DDAWD | November 27, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse


Greg

Bernie gave you this link in which you are quoted.


It must be extremely embarrassing for you to have your name next to such nonsense - you know perfectly well that you are twisting a quote from almost two years ago in order to prove intentions of other people who did not speak the orginal words.

AND you know perfectly well that Obama's health care plan is designed to FORCE a fiscal crisis down the road - in order to create the conditions in which a government socialist take-over of health care will be presented as the "only solution" to the contrived crisis.


So, you know perfectly well that Obama and the democrats are guilty of exactly what you are falsely accusing the Republicans of.


So, you must be extremely embarrassed that another website has picked up your words - which make no sense on any level, but are deceptive at best.

http://www.thedemocraticstrategist.org/strategist/2010/11/sabotage_who_us.php#comments

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 27, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

"Don't you people believe that the book was written by Obama's terrorist friend anyways?"

That's what makes qb1's point so delicious. People like you know he wrote it.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 27, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

"That's what makes qb1's point so delicious. People like you know he wrote it."

See, when people accuse Republicans of racism, it's this kind of nonsense we refer to. If you want to call this an honest policy disagreement, go ahead, some people might believe you. Everyone else knows this attempt to link Obama with terrorism because of his name and skin color is plain racist.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 27, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD wrote: "See, when people accuse Republicans of racism, it's this kind of nonsense we refer to. If you want to call this an honest policy disagreement, go ahead, some people might believe you. Everyone else knows this attempt to link Obama with terrorism because of his name and skin color is plain racist."

Well, first of all, you're the one who brought it up. I don't believe that QB1 even remotely inferred an author other than Barry. Let's look at his own words, "...the fact that his Messiah President used a... " he (qb1) even called the book's authorship by Barry as a fact. I didn't agree with you on your assertion, I just pointed out how "delicious" it was. The question is then, why put words in people's mouths, and then accuse them of racism based on things they did not say?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 27, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, I see the confusion. When I wrote "People like you know he wrote it." I was referring to people like you know Barry wrote it. I should have been more clear. Obviously, the default assumption should be that anyone who questions the omniscience of Barry must believe he's incapable of writing two books about himself.

My apologies to all who were mislead and hurt.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 27, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

oops

I guess my point still stands. Just not as a response to you.

I still remember when that nonsense was plastered all over FOX News. Funny, but pretty sickening too.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 27, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Great article on how the Arrogance of the liberals destroyed the environmental movement.

The point is: if the liberals were not so arrogant, unbending - and unwilling to adjust to real-world circumstances, they might have agenda items which were much more practical - and perhaps workable.


Instead, liberalism is ending up on the trashheap of history - along with everything Obama thought was "unprecedented"

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/margaret-wente/can-environmentalism-be-saved-from-itself/article1815408/


.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 27, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Ddawd

As you have been told perhaps dozens of times now, it is extremely inappropriate to bring up the "racist charges" when the subject matter is something quite different.


Then you throw in a little sterotyping of your owns - saying "all" Republicans do it.


See - what you are really showing is your OWN RACISM towards whites.

You would never make these kinds of charges against blacks or any other minorities. It is precisely this way you vent your anger toward white people who are in the majority.


So, you show how much of a bigot you are with these charges. You throw in a sterotype. We know you have made several charges that "all" Republicans are racist - and you constantly cite statements which have nothing to do with race as evidence for your false "racist charges."


Your point does not stand.

It is not even close to being valid.


This is entirely why white people don't want to talk about race - people like you immediately start in with the "racist charges."

When will you realize that when you do that, you actually set back race relations. No progress is made. AND you actually halt any chance there is for progress.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 27, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

What are the chances that Obama will break through his arrogance and admit that he is incompetent ???


AT some point, the good of the country has to be taken into account - and Obama should admit that the nation is worse off with him in office.

The nation would be far better off if we could have a clean break from Obama - and just start fresh with Biden, dumping this crazy far-left agenda - and start concentrating on the economy.


Obama is dragging the economy down - and he has created so much uncertainty in the business world that his own personal struggle to hold onto office CAN bring about no positive for the nation.

Everything Obama does from here out will only hurt the country - and any prospects he has to be re-elected will surely serve to further drag down hiring and the overall economy.

Obama would do best for the nation by resigning - and allowing everyone to just move on.

To drag the nation down for two more years - and DELAY any positive action on the economy - only for Obama's personal benefit that he would want to try to get re-elected - is just ridiculous.


At this point, the "wise-men" of the democratic party are realizing that Obama has done more harm than good - and the next two years will not be much better.

Obama is unable to help the economy - his continuing in office is only hurting the nation.


The democratic party is now responsible for getting the message to Obama - the good of the nation is far more important than anything Obama thinks he is doing, or doing for himself.

The country is now being held hostage to Obama's ego - it is pathetic.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Ddawd

Making a charge of "racism" when you have little or no basis is OFFENSIVE


you seem to constantly take unrelated statements and attempt to say "that's why all these people are racist"


You are causing trouble with these kinds of charges - and you have done it for over 2 years on these blogs. Many, many times, you have politely been told to knock it off.

At this point, we have to conclude that you are completely unable to be reasoned with - and that you lack the intelligence to understand simple concepts.


Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse


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

Posted by: charlesstraton | November 28, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

I haven't the faintest idea whether Barry wrote Audacity all by himself (lifting the title, of course, from the spiritual mentor he never really knew). It does appear to be full of the same hypocritical and banal tripe Barry loves to preach.

But I do find it funny that Bill Ayers and "racism" is the only defense offered for his use of "a cynicism" twice on the first page, a construction making him an uneducated, semiliterate hack according to the resident lefty English professor.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 28, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

*Avigdor Lieberman lays out a blueprint for Likud propagandization of Europe.*

"The Foreign Minister is planning to initiate a new public relations campaign in a number of European capitals early next year. The campaign, which will make extensive use of professional advocacy and public relations experts by Israeli embassies in Europe, aims to also use as many as a thousand people in each country, who will be willing to volunteer to spread Israel's message.

"...Each ambassador was instructed to prepare, by January 16, a list of at least 1,000 "allies" who will be routinely briefed by the embassy for advocacy and public relations. These "allies" will have to be willing to take action on behalf of Israel, through support demonstrations and rallies, in publishing articles in the press, etc.

Among the types of persons that will be sought to assist in the campaign will be members of the local Jewish community, activists in Christian organizations, journalists, politicians, intellectuals, academics and activists in student organizations.

The novelty of this campaign is that it will not rely on the work only of Israeli diplomats and volunteer supporters, but on professional lobbying and public relations companies hired by the embassies.

...The Foreign Ministry team will produce three types of materials: political messages, in which Israel's positions on the peace process, the settlements, etc. will be encapsulated; "branding" messages which will position Israel in specific areas of activity, such as technology, economy, tourism, etc.; and messages about problematic developments in the Middle East which are not directly related to Israel, such as human rights in Iran or Syria, Hezbollah's take over in Lebanon, etc."

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/lieberman-urges-europe-embassies-to-use-allies-in-pr-efforts-1.327261

What's unusual here is the specificity and detail. Propaganda projects like this one normally prefer to be implemented unanounced for the obvious reasons. But this is exactly how it gets done.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 28, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

God lord, you Obama haters are putrid. Why anyone wastes time debating you is beyond me.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 28, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

If you are interested in Brit press coverage of the impending wikileaks release of diplomatic cables "many of them distinctly undiplomatic"...

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/wikileaks-set-to-reveal-what-us-really-thinks-of-david-cameron-2145790.html

Posted by: bernielatham | November 28, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

wb,

So tell us where the hatred is. BG says that Palin is an uneducated rube because she used a definite article.

I said his criticism was petty and wrong. He doubled down and said Palin is stupid. I pointed out that, not only was his grammatical point wrong, but Barry Obama did the same thing on page 1 of his literary masterpiece.

So who's the hater here?

Yeah, thought you would have no answer. Next.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 28, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

wb:

"Why anyone wastes time debating you is beyond me."

"Debate" is not really the proper word for what you lefties engage in here.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 28, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

I am still waiting for you to detail the "power" the I have, which you want the IRS to "redistribute" away from me, that you or a janitor does not have.

Do you have an answer, or is your money = power conflation just so much rubbish?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 28, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

We saw "Inside Job" last night, and we highly recommend it ["we" are my wife and I].

Government policy has caused a redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the very wealthy over the last 30 years. The movie backs that premise with statistics and interviews. It also tells us that BHO and Congress have been listening to Summers and not Volcker and that we of the middle class are still at the mercy of Wall Street financial manipulators.

There appears to have been blame everywhere and to the extent DC enabled the scoundrels of finance it was establishment DC, Ds and Rs, in lockstep. The film claims that promotion of financial engineering over actual engineering has pervaded the business schools as well, that biz profs are highly paid functionaries of Wall Street. Unlike a Michael Moore movie, this one is not shrill and not partisan. Everyone from Shrink, a self-proclaimed socialist, to TEA people, would watch this horror story unfold and understand the painstaking explanations of CDOs,"AAA ratings", deregulation, housing bubbles, globalization, AIG, Fan/Fred; how we got there and why we have not fixed it.

Do not take my review as gospel and do not reject it out of hand. Go see it.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 28, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Quote of the day - "I'm sure I know exactly what I'm talking about' category

"Hayek's fellow countryman, Joseph Schumpeter, went further: "Gentlemen!" he announced to his students at Harvard University (there were no ladies). "A depression is healthy! Like a good ice-cold d*uche!"

http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2010/11/foreign-policy-the-four-horsemen-of-the-teapocalypse.html

Posted by: bernielatham | November 28, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Mark. It's definitely on my list.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 28, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

@Scott - you're not being even remotely serious or honest. Go ahead with your claim that wealth and power have no real world connections and gain the predictable and deserved derision of everyone in the room, if you desire it.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 28, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

@tao - links would be in order. NYT search pulls up nothing I could find. Re WP, found just this...

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/11/palin-fires-back-on-facebook-w.html

Here's MM's statement...

"Because based on a search of Nexis, here’s a partial list of the major American newspaper that did not turn the Palin/North Korea gaffe into a “major political headline,” did not treat it as news, and did not even mention it when it occurred"

Here's Palin's claim...

"Obviously, I would have been even more impressed if the media showed some consistency on this issue. Unfortunately, it seems they couldn’t resist the temptation to *turn a simple one word slip-of-the-tongue of mine into a major political headline*."

I'm not a Nexis user so not sure exactly how it functions (would Greg's blog be gathered up?). But I have not the slightest doubt that if MM said they ran a Nexis check, then they did.

But rather more to the point, which of the two claims about hews closer to the truth? There's really no comparison, is there?

Posted by: bernielatham | November 28, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I think average Americans, Dem and Repub alike, unless you're in the upper echelons of high finance or corporate entities, have very little power. We have one vote each and very little ability to persuade Congress or the President from either party to change the dynamic going forward. Until or unless we enact campaign finance reform in a meaningful way we're all just spinning our wheels.

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

"There are plenty of Americans who don’t endorse Stewart’s indictment of cable news; there’s even a reasonably large group that doesn’t buy Beck’s perceived shortfall in American religiosity. But seemingly everyone is aggrieved about the hijacking of the political system by anonymous special interests. The most recent Times-CBS News poll found that an extraordinary 92 percent of Americans want full disclosure of campaign contributors — far many more than, say, believe in evolution. But they will not get their wish anytime soon. “I don’t think we can put the genie back in the bottle,” said David Axelrod as the Democrats prepared to play catch-up to the G.O.P.’s 2010 mastery of outside groups and clandestine corporate corporations.

The story of recent corporate political donations — which we may never learn in its entirety — is just beginning to be told. Bloomberg News reported after Election Day that the United States Chamber of Commerce’s anti-Democratic war chest included a mind-boggling $86 million contribution from the insurance lobby to fight the health care bill. The Times has identified other big chamber donors as Prudential Financial, Goldman Sachs and Chevron. These are hardly the small businesses that the chamber’s G.O.P. allies claim to be championing."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/28/opinion/28rich.html?_r=1&hp

Posted by: lmsinca | November 28, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Bernie is now deflecting criticism of his argument with reference to vague "connections" between wealth and power. But in the beginning he made a specific claim: the objection to government redistribution of wealth is misplaced because wealth is power, and the purpose of government is to redistribute power.

So we are left with a puzzle. How can government ever serve its supposed "purpose" when the wealthy have all the power?

This is a case of vague terminology in service of sloppy and misleading argument -- an amorphous and ambiguous use of "power" that changes meaning at various points in his argument.

It also raises some obvious historical questions. Are we really to believe that the purpose of the U.S. Constitution was to redistribute wealth? It's a risible claim.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 28, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Tony Perkins' FRC has come out with a dilly of a statement in response to the SPLC designating them as a hate group.

First graph: "Family Research Council has, for nearly 30 years, advanced faith, family, and freedom in public discourse. We do so with civility and compassion. We hold to the indisputable fact that the family - a Dad, a Mom, and children - is the best building block of a good society, which is why we oppose efforts to transform it based on personal sexual preference."

Here's just a small taste of that civility and compassion (we won't even get into the Muslim thing)

"...one of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the 'prophets' of a new sexual order." —"Homosexual Behavior & Pedophilia," a FRC publication, July 1999, http://www.frc.org/misc/bl057.pdf

"Gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the homosexual movement." —"Homosexual Behavior and Pedophilia," FRC publication, July 1999, http://www.frc.org/misc/bl057.pdf "

And how not to love that "We hold to the indisputable fact" which is, of course, indisputed only within the confines of the FRC and buddies.

Second graph: "The Southern Poverty Law Center is a massively funded liberal organization that operates under a veneer of public justice when, in fact, they seem more interested in fundraising ploys than fighting wrongdoing."

The FRC, of course, manages to get by on Perkin's mothers social security check. Right Wing Watch puts 2000 finances at $10 million but these boys don't provide transparency on donors or cash on hand (big friggin surprise) whereas the SPLC provides full financial transparency.

But graph 3 is my fave: "This is a deliberately timed smear campaign by the SPLC. The Left is losing the debate over ideas and the direction of public policy so all that is left for them is character assassination..."

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/family-research-council-rips-splc-over-slanderous-hate-group-label.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: bernielatham | November 28, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Sarah Palin and her Thanksgiving Day rant against the MSM and Obama, ridiculous. She has such a petty little mind that she could barely wish her fans a Happy Thanksgiving, forget about the "haters" as she likes to call the rest of us. I find her to be a despicable excuse for a woman and a leader and clearly the opposite of what our country needs right now. And I'm not saying Obama is what we need either, unless he can bring himself to discover a little hope and promise of prosperity for the bottom 90% of Americans.

We spent Thanksgiving with 24 families from the Pomona area who are down on their luck and it's getting ridiculous that this situation still exists two years post the financial crash. If our politicians can't find a way to put these people back to work, if our profitable corporations and financial institutions can't do it, and if there's no demand to keep our small businesses alive, we're going to lose a decade of income and prosperity with a middle class sinking to new lows.

I suppose it could be entertaining for some of us to "debate" tax cuts for the rich, unemployment insurance extensions, lack of affordable health care, the "faux" collapse of Social Security, etc. etc. but for most of the 10% plus of the unemployed it's desperation time and we need to work together to figure something out.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 28, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Ims said: "Until or unless we enact campaign finance reform in a meaningful way we're all just spinning our wheels."

That seems exactly right to me. No other factor comes close to being so important.

But it will never happen outside of something pretty big and very unpleasant. The institutionalization of this system is now so deep and pervasive and profitable that it would be easier to get an atheist into office and that is perhaps a century up the road, if ever.

Don't you think?

Posted by: bernielatham | November 28, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"And how not to love that "We hold to the indisputable fact" which is, of course, indisputed only within the confines of the FRC and buddies."

Lol, I'm pretty sure that if you put the proposition to the test in a survey the public would overwhelmingly agree with FRC and not Bernie/SPLC. SPLC is itself a leftwing hate group exemplifying all the very sins it claims to battle.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 28, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"She has such a petty little mind . . .."

And yet I'm sure you just voted for Barbara Boxer, the dimmest of dim bulbs, and the pettiest of the petty ("Would you mind calling me Senator. . . .").

"I find her to be a despicable excuse for a woman and a leader and clearly the opposite of what our country needs right now."

I find it sad that the left, particularly the feminist and female left, habitually attacks her legitimacy as "a woman." Truly mindboggling, but nothing new. The feminist left has always hated nonconforming women more than anyone else.

I won't bother with the economics. It's pointless to say debates should be set aside so we can agree on solutions.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 28, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"Don't you think?"

Bernie, I'd be surprised if it even becomes a campaign slogan in 2012. As long as everyone values short term profit over long term growth we will continue to slide backwards as a nation IMO. We will also continue to bounce back and forth between D's and R's as there is very little discernible difference in any action, and words just don't matter that much when everyone lies.

I met a lot of interesting people on Thanksgiving but it broke my heart a little to see so many good ones slipping through the cracks of our own gilded age.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 28, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of how the government of the USA redistributes wealth...Frank Rich agrees with me. I am not surprised, I have a narcissism about me. Both parties are pigs with all four hooves in the trough...

"Such is the ethos in his own party that Senator Jim Webb, Democrat of Virginia, complained this month that he “couldn’t even get a vote” for his proposal for a one-time windfall profits tax on Wall Street bonuses. Republicans “obviously weren’t going to vote for it,” he told Real Clear Politics, but Democrats also demurred, “saying that any vote like that was going to screw up fund-raising...When it was reported just days before our election that Iran was protecting its political interests in Afghanistan’s presidential palace by giving bags of money to Hamid Karzai’s closest aide, Americans could hardly bring themselves to be outraged. At least with Karzai’s government, unlike our own, we could know for certain whose cash was in the bag."

Posted by: shrink2 | November 28, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

qb, I'm not going to debate SP's qualities with someone who is so obviously hateful of a sitting President. I'm a non-conforming woman who has raised three non-conforming women and I know what it looks like. I find her pettiness and supposed victimhood entirely self-serving and I don't like it.

As far as debating solutions to our economic situation if you and Scott and others could get over your fears of someone taking a little something from you, maybe we could have a debate. Until then, feel free to keep spouting the same old argument that government is coercion. I'll continue fighting for and searching for solutions to bring the forgotten middle class to a level of prosperity that trickles up.

Have a nice Sunday everyone. The rush to the end of the year begins tomorrow, let's hope we have something to look forward to.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 28, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has seized dozens of domain names over the past few days, according to TorrentFreak.


______________________________


WOW Obama and his Department of Homeland Security refuses to deport illegal aliens, but now they are seizing domain names of websites.


AND WITHOUT A COURT HEARING.


Wow - imagine that - Obama doing something without going to Court first - after ALL the things Obama was claiming Bush was doing wrong in the War on Terror - and after all the quibbling about this Court procedure and that Court procedure from Obama - now Obama is doing something wrong


Remember Obama refuses to deport illegal aliens which have been caught


The only illegal aliens which Obama is proceeded to deport are the ones with a criminal record (apparently immigration doesnt count as a criminal record)

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Insinca

The way the left characterizes any criticism of Obama as Obama-hating is ridiculous.

The right has attempted to debate - the economy - and whether the health care plan is too expensive, or whether it places too much of a drag on hiring.


The left simply has REFUSED to engage any of these issues - they preferred to spend the last three years fawning over Obama rather than actually evaluating his qualifications, experience - and now policies.


To be honest, it is the left who is way behind.


The right has been watching Obama with a clear head for years now - we see what he is all about. The left - all they want to do is smear and sterotype - not much in the direction of clear-thinking or debate.


Take the Tea Party - at first, all the left did was create a haze of false sterotyping and false charges of racism

That is not debate, that is childish behavior.


Now the left tries to call any attempt to debate Obama's policies as Obama-hating. That is ridiculous.


It is always some reason out there - some reason the left gives for not recognizing reality.


The health care plan is STILL not paid for, it is STILL going to create a massive fiscal deficit - and the health insurance premiums - which Obama said would go DOWN, have gone up


What was the crisis? Why did health care have to get passed so quickly? Obama said because it would bring premiums down


It was simply the WRONG direction for the nation to go in an Economic Crisis


It is about time the democrats realized that - let's put the Obama insanity behind us.


This nation has to find a way forward - and it is clear that Obama and the liberals do not have a clue what to do.

The time for excuses and "blaming Bush" is over - time for Obama to step aside and allow someone else to get us out of the Economic mess which is clearly the fault of the democrats as well. The Subprime mortgage mess was Clinton's program. Period.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

lms,

It's ironic for you to impugn me as standing between my own paltry and dearly earned money and the "forgotten middle class." More than ironic, it's a bit obscene. If only you had any idea of the truth of it. Perhaps I should impugn you, since your self-proclaimed compassion always comes at the expense of others whom you don't even know but deem undeserving of whatever they have. No, I suppose you would take offense at that.

"qb, I'm not going to debate SP's qualities with someone who is so obviously hateful of a sitting President."

Interesting non sequitur and deflection. I don't hate Obama. And I defy you to cite one thing I've said that shows I do. But I find his ideology and his hubris a threat to the country, and I find him just as unlikeable and unsympathetic a figure as those on the left find him benign and superhuman in his abilities. No one, for example, has ever run for President by portraying himself in such grandiose terms. That's a fact. Hillary was right about that. But I don't hate him.

"I'm a non-conforming woman who has raised three non-conforming women and I know what it looks like."

Or perhaps you are just presumptuous and haven't noticed that only women who conform to your own ideology and political agenda are "non-conforming" in your view. I know it when I see it, too, and I find your views about as conformist as is possible. Btw, we probably have never had politicians who played the victim more than the Clintons. Even Obama plays the victim and lashes out at Fox and conservative media. But I understand, that's all very differnt.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 28, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Bernie wrote: "@Scott - you're not being even remotely serious or honest. Go ahead with your claim that wealth and power have no real world connections and gain the predictable and deserved derision of everyone in the room, if you desire it."

Scott3, you were right when you wrote " I fully expect to return to find Bernie either telling you are too stupid to for him to bother with answerrs, or that he is just not interested in responding, but he really does have perfectly coherent answers for you, if he wanted. Really, truly, he does.".

And I can't for the life of me understand why Israelis's would want to improve their image in Europe. I bet Murdoch (and Lord Cheney, chaos be upon him) is behind this.

At least you get an idiotic dismissal. I guess I'm no longer worthy of engagement or he put me in his troll blocker.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 28, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

The liberal agenda

Let's be honest here - this is what the democrats want to rush through in the lame-duck session

- dont ask, don't tell

- Amnesty for illegal aliens - and giving them discounted college education

- a $700 tax hike which will drag down the economy

- the Start treaty

- meanwhile Obama is preparing to create a massive health care bureaucracy

Is this what the American People voted for when they voted for Obama ???


The liberals will gladly give you this poll or that poll, or this part or that part ....


However, that is not the question, the question is IS THAT what you voted for when you voted for Obama???


NO, most people had NO IDEA that Obama was going to try to push through such a far-left wing agenda.

And here exactly is the rub - the liberals simply DO NOT CARE that the American People are not behind their policies. The policies are more important to the liberals than the support of the people.

Clearly, the liberals set out to fool the country, but they ended up fooling themselves.


.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

“Go ahead with your claim that wealth and power have no real world connections…”

That was not my claim, and you know it. You claimed that objections to the redistribution of wealth can be properly interpreted as objections to the redistribution of political power, the implication of which is that wealth is the equivalent to political power. My claim was that this was a false equivalency, and to demonstrate the falseness I posed a question to you.

I object to the forced redistribution of my wealth, something that you are plainly in favor of. If, in fact, what is actually being redistributed is political power, then necessarily I must currently have some political power that you or “a janitor” does not have, and which you want “redistributed”. What is that power?

If you have no answer, then just be honest and admit it, but please stop this evasion and intellectual dishonesty and, more importantly, stop trying to make people stupider.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 28, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

qb:

“This is a case of vague terminology in service of sloppy and misleading argument -- an amorphous and ambiguous use of "power" that changes meaning at various points in his argument.”

Just so. This is a classic Bernie evasion technique.

McWing:

“At least you get an idiotic dismissal. I guess I'm no longer worthy of engagement or he put me in his troll blocker.”

Not much difference...his responses to me are no more substantive than his non-responses to you and qb.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 28, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Now how about this for a good idea?

"Some of the Republican senators who seem most likely to vote for the New START pact say that Obama must do more to build public support if the document is to be ratified before a new Congress is sworn in."

Build public support, use the bully pulpit, use the extraordinary power of the President of the United States of America to build public support for something he believes will be good for Americans. President Obama has been accused of many things, but he is not generally accused of being politically lazy, or of cowardice. I am not ready to make these accusations, not yet. But I will do it a week before Frank Rich does it or we won't do it at all.

Intellectually lazy means you spend a little time looking over the discordant universe of facts for something to support your beliefs (you know who I am talking about). Politically lazy means you expect someone else to do the hard work of building consensus for decisions effecting the constituents' welfare, I mean workfare, how about, on decisions for the good of the nation. I'll never stop being angry, for example, about Obama's mishandling of the great health industry stimulus act of 2009. If it was worth selling to the public, he should gotten out in front of it and sold it, so that people thought they were getting a good deal for the money. But that didn't happen.

The public will be lead. They will find leaders if leaders don't lead. Obama will campaign on behalf of himself. Will he campaign on behalf of this country? I am not so sure. But I am sure of this, if he campaigns on behalf of his country, he won't need to campaign for himself.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 28, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Scott

Everytime the left attempts to "redistribute wealth," they end up hurting the poor more than anyone.

The reason is clear: such schemes reduce economic growth.

The poor needs economic growth more than anyone - they need job creation.


The rich get hurt by redistribution - however the truth is they are best positioned to weather the storm. The rich have all sorts of alternatives available to them to mute the effects of these flawed programs.

5 or 10 years later, the poor are worse off than they would have been without the cut-off economic growth. The rich are generally recovered - switching their income, or making adjustments and the rich are back where they are.


This time it is different - Obama is threatening the middle class - threatening them with knocking them down.

And the lack of economic growth is going to hit the middle class the worst this time.

Obama has created a massive subsidy program on health care - it is simply the wrong way to go. The incentives in the system are the wrong direction.


Perhaps this is by Obama's design or by incompetence - there is a system in place which can not cover its costs: the subsidies are going to have to get bigger, and more outrageous.


Anyway, there has never in American history been an extension of an entitlement program without the support of the American People - this is Obama's error.

Obama promised the nation that he would secure BIPARTISAN COMPROMISE for his programs - for this alone, Obama should be impeached.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Bernie is a paid troll

If there are any real thread-bombing rules, he has certainly broken them this weekend.


Ethan never gets tripped up either - when he breaks the rules.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"Perhaps I should impugn you, since your self-proclaimed compassion always comes at the expense of others whom you don't even know but deem undeserving of whatever they have."

qb

Impugn me if you want. I know who I am and what I believe in. Ninety percent of the American population makes less than $113k per year per skipsailing's numbers. We're talking about slightly increasing the marginal rate of Americans agi of $250k per family. If that's obscene then so be it. It's not even a tax increase as the tax cut expires Jan 1 per Republicans. If it helps bring down the deficit so we're not such nervous nellies about investing in the remaining 90 percent who've seen their wages stagnate, their home values plummet, and jobs disappear, we're not much of a nation IMO.

And you don't know me well enough to know what kind of woman I am or the kind of women I respect. I'll tell you this much though, none of them play the victim, whether they agree with me politically or not. Political philosophy is only a small part of any person's character and I don't use it as a sole determining factor.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 28, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Bernie,

Old news, simple search...here ya go:

http://www.bing.com/search?q=palin+our+north+korean+allies+associated+press&go=&qs=n&sk=&first=21&FORM=PERE1

Even older news is that INeedMyMeds Matters is, as the auditing firm of Friar, Brother & Monk, PC, have found; consistently full of propagandic schmeg 98.9% of the time.

Posted by: tao9 | November 28, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca, if you don't "hate" Sarah Palin, then she's not referring to you. Do you deny that there are Palin haters? Did you vote for Barbara Boxer?

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 28, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Shrink wrote: "Intellectually lazy means you spend a little time looking over the discordant universe of facts for something to support your beliefs (you know who I am talking about)."

Who are you talking about?

Btw, where has Barry shown political bravery in promotion of lefty politics?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 28, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Sir Wingnut, sorry to dredge up the usual topic, I don't want to talk about Sarah Palin anymore.

And Barry has *not* been brave about promoting lefty politics. His administration, his approach to government, has been as busy redistributing the wealth and the power of the barely employed to the obscenely rich as any before his.

Say, why do you people attack each other so much? Is that fun? To me it seems like more fun to attack the politics of the day than the people who want to talk about them. One of the reasons I left organized leftists politics was this one. They spent most hours attacking each other, instead of working on behalf of people who need help (ok, fine call me a Quaker/Catholic hybrid, I won't deny it) which is what political action should be about.

Speaking of fun, off the Mt Hood again, going to spend some wealth on sliding down the hill with my kids and friends. Enjoy your blessings everyone.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 28, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

TrollMcWingnut, the real reason that shrink2 doesn't want to talk about Sarah Palin is because I asked (on that prior thread) "how many books have YOU written?" I just finished her "America by Heart" and it was a great book too. If another commonsense Conservative doesn't run for the Republican nomination, it's clear to me that she will.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 28, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

lms:

"I'm a non-conforming woman who has raised three non-conforming women and I know what it looks like."

What does a "non-conforming woman" look like...standing while urinating?

"As far as debating solutions to our economic situation if you and Scott and others could get over your fears of someone taking a little something from you..."

Why don't you get over your desire to take something from us?

"Until then, feel free to keep spouting the same old argument that government is coercion."

It is not an argument. It is a fact. We cannot have a constructive discussion on the role of government in our society unless and until you acknowledge this very basic truism.

"I'll continue fighting for and searching for solutions to bring the forgotten middle class to a level of prosperity that trickles up."

What could that possibly mean..."prosperity that trickles up"?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 28, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

@tao - So, WP carried the AP piece on line though didn't see a NYT instance (may have missed it). It seems Nexis covers print. Anyone can correct me if that's wrong.

But sorry, I'm not even remotely compelled to follow your notions here. As I noted, the deviation from reality/truth by Palin is of a far greater magnitude than what you point to. Besides, your generality re MM is just silly.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 28, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

@Scott - How dishonest is your address to this? Very. Translate your suggestion (you or someone else might have money but no specific political power necessarily attends, therefore power and money are disconnected) into the possession of a navy, airforce and lotsa nukes.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 28, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Troll and Scott,

I could not care less whether Bernie responds to me, and I don't address my comments to him unless he addresses me. His responses rarely have any substance or confront the issues anyway. I'm totally satisfied skewering his arguments in the third person.

lms,

You can cite all the stats you want. It won't change the fact that I AM the "forgotten middle class." To get to that lofty if precarious status, we invested years of grinding work and several hundred thousand dollars in an education, while most of our friends were taking it easy, partying, and expecting to given a jobs making lots of money. We live a very ordinary life, closely control our expenses, have a small 401k, and just paid off our own education loans a few years ago (I'm almost 50). Now I'm "lucky" enough along with my partners to also be a small employer, and my tax bill is absolutely huge.

But according to you the problem with the country is that I don't pay enough taxes to help the "middle class." Yes, I consider that an obscenity, and I consider your opinion that I pay too little in taxes irrelevant at best.

And, trust me, raising my taxes isn't going to help any of my employees or lead to our hiring any more. Our industry is under intense cost pressure and has laid off thousands, cut bonuses and salaries, and the tighter we are squeezed, the more of that will come.

Moreover, your prescription of raising taxes to allay fears of . . . raising taxes is a little like treating high cholesterol by inducing a heart attack.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 28, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Quarterback

I don't know how many employees you have - but do you have any idea what your health care costs are going to be next year, the year following or the years after that???

So, not only does Obama want to take money from you on money you have earned, but Obama wants to SLAM you with additional health care costs over the next few years.


And Obama doesn't care. He simply does not understand the dynamic - or does he even wish to think about it.


To him, employers are more fortunate that other people, so in his mind you should be slammed every which way.


No one no one wants to hire new people - they don't know how much it will cost to keep their existing employees on health care.


The liberals on this blog and around the country refuse to talk about this.


And yet, they want to blame "the economy" for Obama's woes - and make excuses for Obama - and the liberals say if it wasn't for "the economy," Obama would be being hailed as the greatest leader of any nation, of all time.

.
.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

"Besides, your generality re MM is just silly."

Hahahaha. The very idea of a person who styles himself the intellectual superior of pretty much everyone and yet defends MM as having any legitimacy. Very, very funny stuff.

It brings to mind the former poster who haplessly cited a false (and never retracted) "report" by MM supposedly showing that Fox News falsified interview transcripts. But then 90% of MM is just its humorous daily tripe like, "Fox News refers to George Bush without noting that he is a War Criminal and Miserable Failure."

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 28, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama's Grandmother Prays Obama Converts to Islam


The Telegraph of London reports:

Sarah Omar, 88, who was on hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, told the Al-Qatan Saudi daily: "I prayed for my grandson Barack to convert to Islam".

The paper said that Ms Omar was in Saudi Arabia on pilgrimage along with her son, Mr Obama's uncle Saeed Hussein Obama, and four of her grandchildren.

Ms Omar told the newspaper that she could only discuss hajj matters and would not comment on Mr Obama's politics


_________________________________

The liberals are really ignoring reality, aren't they ???


Is this the same grandmother who said that Obama was born in Africa ???


Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone else read page 18 of Bush's "Decision Points" yet?

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 28, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Scott

"What does a "non-conforming woman" look like...standing while urinating?"

Since you're being silly, I'll respond in kind, I hate, hate, hate shopping.

"It is not an argument. It is a fact. We cannot have a constructive discussion on the role of government in our society unless and until you acknowledge this very basic truism."

It's called taxes.

"What could that possibly mean..."prosperity that trickles up"?"

It's called consumers with a little discretionary spending money in their pockets, which normally keeps money flowing through the economy, even upwards. A rising tide.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 28, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

clawrence

The liberals haven't read page 1, what are you talking about?

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

qb, I understand your story as being one of hard work and persistence, you know I don't begrudge you that. It's not unlike my own. We've always worked hard, sacrificed to provide for our children and will have a modest but adequate retirement in a few years. I'm not looking for anything for myself but I spend too much time with people who have done the same things as you and I and have not been as fortunate. I donate as much time and money to worthy causes as I can possibly afford and still wouldn't mind paying a little more in taxes if it would help my neighbor get a leg up. Sometimes hard work isn't enough when the opportunity doesn't exist and most of the money rests in the hands of the top 2%. Our friends and neighbors are truly suffering and we need to do something.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 28, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"Our friends and neighbors are truly suffering and we need to do something."

Please allow me to handle this reply for the Cons:

"Yes, we should be kind (if we choose to) but we should only do it through our churches as charity. It's in the Constitution. The fact that you don't get that shows, sadly, that you are a communist."

Posted by: wbgonne | November 28, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Here are some questions George Bush asked himself in 1999 that Sarah Palin should ask herself: "Was it right to subject my family to the scrutiny of a national campaign? Could I handle the embarrassment of defeat with the whole country watching? Was I really up to the job?"

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 28, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Today's Cons are essentially nihilists and anarchists. Believing there is no point to life other than religious piety they fill the void with materialism. In that, they are nihilists. And since the accumulation of private property is the only legitimate public motive, government is a hindrance, required only to secure property rights and physical security. That's the dogma. The reality -- which will shortly begin dawning on Tea Partiers, if it hasn't already -- that this branch of Radical Conservatism is no more than a full-throated defense of plutocracy, which for those not familiar, is the merger of Big Government and Big Business. How, the Teapartiers reasonably asked themselves, could they go wrong with the GOP Cons, since everyone knew that the GOP Cons stood for LESS GOVERNMENT above all else?

Here's how: the GOP Cons aren't AGAINST government, really. They are FOR concentrated wealth, in the guise of Wall Street and Big Business. Today's GOP Cons are all for all crony capitalism, which requires the fusion of Big Government and Big Business. Today's GOP Cons, even more, are for Big Business by deregulation which transfers the costs of externalities from Big Business to the American people.

In short, today's GOP Cons are FOR Big Government to the extent Big Government helps Big Business. That all of this comes at the expense of the American people is what is now dawning on the Tea Partiers.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 28, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

“Translate your suggestion (you or someone else might have money but no specific political power necessarily attends, therefore power and money are disconnected)…”

I already told you once, and I will tell you again...that power and money are “disconnected” is not, and has never been, my suggestion. Your repeated use of this deception, despite my repeatedly setting you straight does not speak well of your intellectual honesty.

“...into the possession of a navy, airforce and lotsa nukes.””

Again, you attempt to change the subject. We were not speaking of the funding of government in general, and especially not the funding of what I consider the fundamental purpose of government (ie defense). We were very specifically talking about the redistribution of wealth, which you claimed was the equivalent of the redistribution of power.

So, are you now, finally, admitting that you cannot specify any political power that I have which you or “a janitor” does not have? If so, then you must also admit that your claim earlier, that objections to the redistribution of wealth can be properly seen as an objection to the redistribution of power is just so much intellectually misleading rubbish. If not, then I ask you for a third time...what power do I have that you or “a janitor” does not have, the “redistribution” of which you are advocating when you demand higher taxation on me?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 28, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

RainintheForest, I intend to sprinkle nuggets therefroe herein.

wbgonne: "The free market provide[s] the fairest way to allocate resources. Lower taxes reward[s] hard work and encourage[s] risk taking, which spur[s] job creation. Eliminating barriers to trade create[s] new export markets for American producers and more choices for our consumers. Government should respect its constitutional limits and give people the freedom to live their lives."

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 28, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

clawrence

I used to believe that when it came to trade barriers, however our experience with the Free Trade agreements shows that we need revisions to our policies.

1) the greatest good for the US should be employment here in the US, and the highest salaries for our people.

Unfortunately, that doesn't always coincide with the overall efficiency of the world economy

We can not have a situation in which Americans have to get $3 an hour in order to compete with workers around the world.

2) We have to be careful that trade on our side may be free - but other nations may keep barriers to trade on their side

3) Currencies are getting manipulated - and the US has to watch carefully and play the game


I believe the simplest solution may work: just keep all exports EQUAL to all imports every month. At the end of every month, hold up all the imports until they are equalized for the month.

Trade balance is important - inefficiencies and other factors are causing the trade to be out of balance.


The theorical underpinnings of the Free Trade deals are based on the idea that international trade will tend toward an "equilibrium" point at which trade is balanced, and currency exchange rates are at the proper "balanced."


All this has not worked in the real world - for a whole set of reasons.

All we need to do is to make the "halftime adjustments" to get international trade to those "equilibrium points."

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Congrats on a truly incoherent and buffoonish dorm-room rant, wb. I can't recall the last time you made an intelligent comment or one in good faith.

You are worthy of being ignored, which henceforth you will be.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 28, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

lms:

“Since you're being silly, I'll respond in kind, I hate, hate, hate shopping.”

I was trying to be amusing (did I fail?), but I was making a real point. Societal expectations about how a woman should behave in this day and age are so wide ranging (if not entirely absent) that to proclaim oneself to be a “non-conforming woman” is actually pretty meaningless.

“It's called taxes.”

What is called taxes? And, whatever your answer, taxation is indeed an exercise in coercion. Why are you so reluctant to admit that plain and simple fact?

“It's called consumers with a little discretionary spending money in their pockets, which normally keeps money flowing through the economy, even upwards.”

Take from the rich and give to the poor, so the poor can give it back to the rich? Is that it?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 28, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

That was directed to wb.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 28, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

WB,

If us CONS are Anarchists, how could we want any government, even if it's to protect "our" property rights? I thought Anarchists were, ya know, no government folks? Also, wouldn't Anarchist be a little, I'm just spitballing here, suspicious of a Plutocracy?

It's just me, but I think you should stick to calling us Fascists. Either ALL CAPS or lowercase depending on your level of spittle-flecked rage.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 28, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

RainintheForest, we will have to agree to disagree on free trade (happily, that is one of our rare disagreements). Have a great week, my friend.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 28, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

“Today's Cons are essentially nihilists and anarchists. Believing there is no point to life other than religious piety they fill the void with materialism. In that, they are nihilists.”

Hmmm. Religiously pious nihilists. That’s an interesting concept. What will you pontificate upon next…square circles?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 28, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

From Foreign Policy...

"End of the Establishment
Where have all the serious Republicans gone?

When Mitt Romney denounced the new START treaty in the Washington Post last week, he didn't simply demonstrate that he's determined not to allow Sarah Palin to outflank him on the right. He also affirmed something else -- the decline and fall of the Republican foreign-policy establishment."

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/07/16/end_of_the_establishment?page=full

Of course, it isn't just foreign policy as John Danworth said two days ago...

"...we have gone so far overboard that we are beyond redemption.”

Posted by: bernielatham | November 28, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

McWing:

"If us CONS are Anarchists, how could we want any government, even if it's to protect "our" property rights? I thought Anarchists were, ya know, no government folks? Also, wouldn't Anarchist be a little, I'm just spitballing here, suspicious of a Plutocracy?"

It would seem that, like so many other libs, wb really couldn't care less, and probably hasn't the slightest clue, about the actual meaning of the words he uses to describe things. In that it is actually he who is closest to being a nihilist.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 28, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

As a further on the last post (over the edge and heading for the pointy rocks)...

"...today on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, President Reagan’s former budget director took on his own party for pushing this faulty logic. David Stockman, who led the all-important Office of Management and Budget under Reagan and was a chief architect of his fiscal policy, criticized today’s GOP for misreading Reagan’s legacy by adopting a “theology” of tax cuts."

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/28/stockman-slams-gop-taxes/

No kiddin'.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 28, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Obviously you're right Bernie, Opposing and, horrors, denouncing a proposed treaty is beyond redemption. How could it not be? Up until this point in our history, every proposed treaty has never had debate and was passed 100 - 0 within nanoseconds of it's proposal. The end is nigh. Stock up on non-hybrid seeds!!!1!!!1!11!!eleventy!!1!1!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 28, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

"a “theology” of tax cuts."

But tax cuts are of supreme importance, just ask qb, scott and McWing. Paying taxes is coercion, not civic responsibility or even fiscal responsibility. And dontcha know 47% of the "people" pay NO taxes. Oh and tax cuts not only pay for themselves they create jobs also, too.

Scott

qb's the one who brought up the non-conforming woman, not me. As someone who gave up her own lucrative career not once, not twice, but three times, because of the burdens and joys of family life, I probably fit the bill better than she does in this day and age. Just sayin'. But you're right there's no percentage in defining non-conformity any longer, to each her own.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 28, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Re wikileaks - if anyone is following the discussions, one good site is...

http://www.thenation.com/blog/156701/blogging-wikileaks-release-return-here-all-day-updates

I have a particular interest in what might come out re Israel/US etc. Ha'aretz has one interesting piece today...

"Meanwhile, another cable shows that a 2009 claim by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Iran was months away from achieving military nuclear capability was dismissed by the Americans as a ploy.

According to German weekly Der Spiegel, which also received advance information from WIkiLeaks, a State Department official says in a classified cable that Netanyahu informed the United States of Iran's nuclear advancement in November 2009, but that the prime minister's estimate was likely unfounded and intended to pressure Washington into action against the Islamic Republic."

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/wikileaks-expose-barak-warned-strike-on-iran-was-viable-until-end-of-2010-1.327453

Hardly a surprise, of course. Nor the chorus from the PNAC crowd (Bolton, Cheneys, Kristol, Kagan, Krauthammer et al) of the terrifyingly imminent danger.

In the Lieberman propaganda plan I noted earlier today, the methodology is explicated - get allies (in media, think tanks, PR agencies etc) to spread an approved narrative line about Israel's benign intents and the bad intents of other mid-east nations.

A relevant historical anecdote...when operation Desert Storm was begun, the press ran with a story that Iraqi soldiers entered hospitals in Kuwait, went up to the maternity wards and unplugged incubators. Some weeks later, it was revealed that this was total BS pumped out by PR firm Hill and Knowlton hired by Kuwait.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 28, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Tony Perkins really can't be happy with this corner of god's creation...

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/11/why-are-americans-uptight-about-sex.html

Posted by: bernielatham | November 28, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Hardly a surprise, of course. Nor the chorus from the PNAC crowd (Bolton, Cheneys, Kristol, Kagan, Krauthammer et al)..."

Hmmm. The Obama admin described wikileaks as "reckless and dangerous" and has said that it "has put at risk not only the cause of human rights but the lives and work of these individuals."

I guess our current administration is now a part of Bernie's dreaded "PNAC crowd". Obama sure is making the job of being an anti-right propagandist tough on this issue, isn't he Bernie? But you'll keep hacking away at it, I am sure. Coherence, logic, rationality, and common sense have proven no deterrent in the past, so no reason it should now, I guess.

BTW...still no answer on exactly what power it is that you want to redistribute away from me and to your janitor? I am truly interested.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 28, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Bernie wrote: "In the Lieberman propaganda plan I noted earlier today, the methodology is explicated - get allies (in media, think tanks, PR agencies etc) to spread an approved narrative line about Israel's benign intents and the bad intents of other mid-east nations."

What, in you opinion, is Israel's intentions?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 28, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

lms:

"qb's the one who brought up the non-conforming woman"

Actually he used the term in a specific context referring to women who do not conform to the feminist agenda. I'm pretty sure that is not what you meant. But no matter, if we agree that as an unqualified term, it is meaningless.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 28, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Scott,

"In that it is actually he who is closest to being a nihilist."

Perfect observation.

lms,

You again betray a serious lack of understanding of the ideas you assail. You'll find nothing I've ever said that suggests a theology of tax cuts, etc.

Whether taxes should be cut (or raised) is entirely dependent on the existing circumstances. I believe as a general matter that taxes should be low and flat rather than high and steep, both because it is right and because it leads to prosperity.

I could just as easily parody your views: liberals believe that government spending pays for itself, and that raising people's taxes makes them richer. Quite a utopia.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 28, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

My response to Con replies is a question: the nonsense replies, What is that about the inability to keep opposing ideas simultaneously in one's mind"

But far more importantly:

My or my but the Tea Partiers are going to be angry at the Cons and the Plutocrats once they realize they've been ... Conned. It's already happening. Do you really think Kyl's "it depends on the meaning earmarks" crap is going to fly? Three days after the GOP "vow" to eliminate earmarks!

Here is why, ultimately, the Cons are doomed: because you can't fool all the people all the time.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 28, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

ThinkStoogeGress gives Stockman, a fellow they find vile (he's the very model of an...indicted!...WallSt bankster), the lefty upperleg/TSA/pat-down because he's useful to their MM Jr. propaganda.

{{{B, if you persist in using these wet knuckle-butz as primary source cites you're going to lose your PL Official Egghead (MFA., PhD, DDS) status.}}}

Reagan was the chief architect of his own fiscal policy.

Stockman was a former Congressman from the "tax collector for the welfare state" (ie.: Rbt Dole's) wing of the 80's GOP. Then he got the gig as Reagan's OMB errand boy.

Mr. Stockman took the trip to the woodshed, faded at OMB, then quit. Stockman's been politically cross-dressing since he turned on his boss...better cocktail parties and all that.

He also admitted to Greider in 1981, "None of us really understands what's going on with all these numbers."

I love that. True then, true today!

Sic Semper Bureaucratus.

Posted by: tao9 | November 28, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

McWing:

"What, in you opinion, is Israel's intentions?"

Why are you bothering him with such trivialities? Obviously it is the very fact that Israel is attempting to promote a "narrative" (nevermind, also, whether or not that "narrative" has any truth to it) that makes it such a threat to the world.

Like so much else in Bernie's world, the standards for earning his contempt are rather, shall we say, flexible.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 28, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

wb,

It was a water rights settlement for the Apaches. Even CNN is calling BS.

Why do you hate thirsty Native Americans?

"A spokesman for Kyl is defending his support for the “White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights Quantification Act of 2010,” as it is officially known, saying it has been a long-negotiated deal between federal agencies and the tribe that has the backing of President Barack Obama. “What is not accurate is to call the United States government’s settlement of a claim against it an earmark,” said Kyl spokesman Andrew Wilder. “Saying we ‘slipped’ it into the package is nonsense designed to insinuate something untoward. Kyl first introduced the settlement on behalf of the parties in 2008 and has worked to get it through ever since. But even though it passed with unanimous support Friday, some wish to play political games with it,” Wilder said

In fact, some in the Obama administration agree with Kyl.

Dan DuBray, a spokesman for the Bureau of Relocation, part of the Interior Department, says the $200 million was part of a settlement they negotiated with the tribe, and that everyone agreed it was a good idea to pair it with the black farmers’ legislation, because by law settlements such as this must be approved by Congress.

“We don’t see it as an earmark at all,” said Dan DuBray."

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/24/democrats-accuse-gop-senator-of-breaking-pledge-on-earmarks-true/

Posted by: tao9 | November 28, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

tao:

"Reagan was the chief architect of his own fiscal policy."

How could that be? Back in the '80s Reagan was just a genial dunce actor, remember? It is only now, 20 odd years later and after his death, that Reagan has become a thinking, reasonable representative of conservatism. So clearly he could not have been the "architect" of anything.

It was obviously the serious, highly intelligent, clearly honest and upstanding Stockman that was the architect. That's the ticket. ;)

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 28, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

"Whether taxes should be cut (or raised) is entirely dependent on the existing circumstances."

Well I can't imagine more dire circumstances for eliminating at least a small portion of the tax cuts from the Bush years. Record deficits, two wars, an economic firestorm for the middle class, and high unemployment, what are we waiting for? Let's get this show on the road.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 28, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

"Let's get this show on the road."

If you believe in a theology of tax increases, I suppose that's the preordained conclusion.

We don't pay too little taxes. We spend too much.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 28, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Scott3,

Yeah, well, one can try. I still would like to know what bernie think's Israels short and long term intentions are.

And, if bernie is dredging up Stockman, can an analysis of the modern Republican party (and how nefarious and diabolical it is) conducted by that rock ribbed CON (see what I did there wb?) John Dean be far behind?

Tao, didn't Jack Kemp play a pretty key role in helping Reagan design his economic policy?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 28, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Reagan was also a bellicose cowboy who blew up the world in nuclear holocaust. It was only years later that he became the President who led us to peaceful Cold War victory.

There's a quantum problem here somewhere.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 28, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

TMcW,

Re: Kemp (QB, 38th NY)

Aye, near equal credit is due.

Posted by: tao9 | November 28, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

clawrence

That's OK -

I just want to point out that the Free Trade deals as we have them really are not achieving the economic balances which the economic theories aimed at - so there are fundamental flaws in implementing the Free Trade deals.

Also, we are hurting our own nation if we don't take care of our people - and maintain the long-term demand in our economy.

At this point, we are sapping our own economy - and giving away economic strength to other nations.

Right now, a good chuck of the rise in unemployment from 5 to 10 percent is structural, and those jobs are not coming back unless we do something about the Free Trade deals.

I don't think our political system could handle a permanent 8% unemployment floor - which might actually rise back to the 10% we have today. Don't think that demand in China is going to employ those people here in the US. We have to do something.


I am advocating revisions to the Free Trade agreements which will maintain the long-term economic strength of our nation.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

George Bush also writes that he was flattered by the confidence of those who urged him to run for President. "But my decision would not turn on whether others thought I could win. After all, everyone told me I could never beat Ann Richards. The key question was whether I felt the call to run."

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 28, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

WikiLeaks


Obama is really getting hurt badly with the wikileaks - it is exposing Obama's foreign policy as without direction - a hodge-podge of in adequate policies completely lacking in vision.


Obama was supposed to lead the world - electing a black man was supposed to lead to the end of wars - because if only American elected a black man, the rest of the world would see how wonderful we are, and all wars would immediately end.


It didn't work that way. Terrorism has increased. Somalia heated up. Korea is attacking.

If anything, Obama has been a weak leader who other nations are looking for their opportunity to exploit.


Overall, Obama has made no progress on any foreign policy front. These wikileaks are threatening to expose whatever Obama has going for himself - and make matter worse.

So much for the liberals and their "foreign policy."

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

clawrence

A thought just occurred to me

If at the time the Free Trade deals were put through, it was said that their passage would mean permanent unemployment for an additional 3% of Americans - would that be acceptable ???


I don't know the answer to that question-

What we were told is that there would be transitions to other, higher-paying jobs. There were even promises of job-retraining programs to help displaced workers.

However that is not nearly what has gone on - 3% additional have now lost their jobs - many in mid-career with little chance to re-train or to get another large company to hire them.


The real problem is if that 3% expands further - to 5 or 7% (for a total of 10-12% total unemployment)


Obviously we would all feel better if the 3% was transitory - and lowering over time - but it doesn't look like that is the case.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Scott

"Actually he used the term in a specific context referring to women who do not conform to the feminist agenda."

Interesting then that SP calls herself a feminist although I heard she missed the historical mark in her latest book. I haven't read those passages so who knows? The feminist agenda encompassed many changes over the last century so it's rather difficult to define that even. I do wonder if she would have voted for the equal pay for equal work bill that was just defeated though.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 28, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

There's no such thing as "permanent" unemployment. Ford Motor Co. put horse buggy makers out of business once upon a time too. Those people found other jobs. Check out this data:

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2001/08/the-effects-of-nafta-on-exports-jobs

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 28, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

The idea that David Stockman was "the architect" of Reagan's fiscal policy is ludicrous. Reagan had been advocating lower taxes for years, and tax cuts were one of his principal campaign themes.

And he wasn't alone. His election was the culmination, not the origin, of a movement toward lower taxes and a freer economy. Kemp, Laffer, many others were part of it.

Stockman was not. Honestly, this idea that tax cuts were his brainchild is historically preposterous.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 28, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Clawrence

Bush 2 had a great deal of help in that his father was President recently - and that his father lost in his attempt for a second term.

The Republicans were eager to rally behind someone they thought could win


The Clinton scandals helped Bush too.

It did not hurt that Bush's father had a fresh rolodex of Republican heavy-weight contributors. If his father had won his second term, he would have been in office until January 1997. His father was fresh from the scene - it was not like there had a been decades between the two.


Bush also was aided by a general feeling in the country that he would govern like his father - which few people in the country could also claim.


If this guy's name wasn't Bush, he wouldn't have made it anywhere.


Overall, it probably would have been better for all if Bush's father decided to back McCain in 2000, and then push Jeb further down the road.


That would have worked.


.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Clawrence

Bush 2 had a great deal of help in that his father was President recently - and that his father lost in his attempt for a second term.

The Republicans were eager to rally behind someone they thought could win


The Clinton scandals helped Bush too.

It did not hurt that Bush's father had a fresh rolodex of Republican heavy-weight contributors. If his father had won his second term, he would have been in office until January 1997. His father was fresh from the scene - it was not like there had a been decades between the two.


Bush also was aided by a general feeling in the country that he would govern like his father - which few people in the country could also claim.


If this guy's name wasn't Bush, he wouldn't have made it anywhere.


Overall, it probably would have been better for all if Bush's father decided to back McCain in 2000, and then push Jeb further down the road.


That would have worked.


.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

First of all, Bush writes that he would not have been President if his father had defeated Bill Clinton. Second, I don't know if that would have been better for all.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 28, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Clawrence

Correct - rather than permanent unemployment, perhaps "structural" would have been better.


My point is that the way in which the Free Trade deals have played out have caused an employment issue here in the US - and we should be addressing that issue.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

yea, gaming out history becomes a self-stacked exercise.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

"Had Dad won in 1992, I doubt I would have run for office in 1994, and I almost certainly would not have become President."

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 28, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

"We don't pay too little taxes. We spend too much."

Cute slogan. Now what do we cut?

Posted by: DDAWD | November 28, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/10/how-to-cut-343-billion-from-the-federal-budget

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 28, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

ddawd

you would be a good place to start the cuts.


.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Wikileaks

The revelations on wikileaks are many - in far-ranging subject areas in foreign policy.

They all deserve proper examination.

Obama's foreign policy is a mess - Obama's pacifist leanings in the Middle East are leading him to compromise with Pakistan and Karzai in ways that will hurt our long-term interests - or which will have to be reversed once Obama is out of office.


With the Russians and Chinese, Obama appears completely unrealistic and without direction.

Well, hopefully the wikileaks will show little more than Obama's complete weakness and lack of policy - and the damages are limited.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Wikileaks and Gitmo

The documents show Obama offering other nations all sorts of incentives in order to take the detainees -

All so Obama can claim that "he closed" Gitmo - which eventually became a rather expensive proposition.

We haven't heard much about closing Gitmo lately. They bought the prison in Illinois to transfer the detainees - what ever happened to that ?

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse


North Korea, currently embroiled in a knife’s edge confrontation with South Korea and the U.S., was able to smuggle 19 advanced, Russian-designed missiles, capable of delivering nuclear payloads, to Iran, according to a Feb. 24, 2010, cable detailing a meeting between Russian officials and a State Department nonproliferation expert. The shipment of some R-27 components was widely known in intelligence circles, but the WikiLeaks disclosures represent the first confirmation that Iran now possess complete missile systems.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/45644.html#ixzz16dvLxs4u

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 28, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

From what I read, the repeal of DADT is pretty much a non-starter this year.

DADT is Bill Clinton's greatest achievment in bi-partisan compromise. It works very well as it allows homosexuals to serve without the possibility that they will disrupt military order and morale by bringing all their homosexual baggage with them.

The Obamacrats obviously did not want to be responsible for repeal of DADT or they would not have left it to a tepid pond full of lame ducks to do it.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 29, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse

tao:

As you know, Kyl's non-earmark earmark is just the tip of the (melting) iceberg. Wait until the GOP "tries" to kill corporate subsidies for corn and oil and outsourcing American jobs to China. The Tea Partiers will not be happy when they realize they've been duped.

Pass the popcorn.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 29, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

"McCain compares Sarah Palin to Ronald Reagan"

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/11/mccain-compares-sarah-palin-to.html

Better get some extra popcorn. This should be really good.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 29, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Tao, your citation to CNN as an authoritative source is rejected. CNN is Fox-lite, less flamboyant and less intelligent (not as cunning) but Con to the core.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 29, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Re Palin and feminism... it would be, as Ims points out, interesting to hear Palin speak to ERA or the equal pay bill in some careful way but I expect that's asking a bit much. If she's spoken at all to the obvious fact that her present situation could not have happened without the feminist movement's fight for just that possibility, I haven't seen nor heard it.

Because the feminist movement has been quite consistently derided within the new conservative movement's powerful religious component particularly, she or any other conservative candidate/spokesperson has to dance along a thin edge on this. What to say, for example, to Southern Baptists who yet hold, as a formal doctrine, that daddy wears the pants?

Palin is far more a consequence or benefactor of feminism rather than a representative of it unless one imagines that possession of a specific set of body parts is what makes a feminist automatically.

It's a great social good to see women reaching these heights, obviously. It's much less of a social good that she, like Michael Steele, have been pushed forward as symbols and strategic branding exercises in order to gain votes.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

EJ points to a Robert Kagan piece supporting the renewal of the START treaty that I hadn't seen. Kagan is an interesting guy, very smart indeed and he has been highly influential in foreign policy matters over the last decade or more. He's far more of a war-monger than any decent human ought to be, particularly in matters involving the middle east and Israel but he isn't insane in the manner of Bolton and others. I once saw an interview with him on CSPAN after he'd returned from a trip to Europe. He injured himself or contracted an illness and so was thrust into the medical system of that country (Belgium, if I recall correctly). His comments on that experience were absolutely fair and without any trace of ideological warp. I found myself liking the fellow. In any case, here's the column...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/10/AR2010111003708.html

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Tumulty has a worthwhile column today on American exceptionalism...

"Is this a great country or what?

"American exceptionalism" is a phrase that, until recently, was rarely heard outside the confines of think tanks, opinion journals and university history departments.

But with Republicans and tea party activists accusing President Obama and the Democrats of turning the country toward socialism, the idea that the United States is inherently superior to the world's other nations has become the battle cry from a new front in the ongoing culture wars. Lately, it seems to be on the lips of just about every Republican who is giving any thought to running for president in 2012..."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/28/AR2010112804139.html?hpid=topnews

I recommend reading the whole column as Obama's brief dissertation is very bright - historically grounded and nuanced. Standing in contrast are the slogans and cliches and cultural/nationalist insularity voiced by those like Romney.

Perhaps if Tumulty had more space, she might have drawn out the history of the American exceptionalist myth - it's correspondence with early religious notions (Christianity reborn in a simpler and truer-to-the-orginal form thus better than other corrupted versions in Europe and thus with a responsibility to evangelize this more 'real' faith) and the happy facilitation that both the above provided for American commercial enterprises to move into the (lesser) nations of the world - 'sure, we're harvesting, but it's bound to work out better for those natives because of the intrinsic goodness of us'.

Still, a worthwhile read.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Palin is far more a consequence or benefactor of feminism rather than a representative of it..."

Define what you mean by "feminism". If you mean the historical movement to establish equal rights for women, then nearly every woman extant in the US is more a benefactor of it than a representative of it. But if you mean the premise/implications of the feminist movement - that women are as capable as men of achieving, even in traditionally male dominated roles - then you could hardly find a better representative.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 29, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

"Obama's brief dissertation is very bright - historically grounded and nuanced."

Obama has been unable to translate his gifts into presidential leadership. That's the fundamental problem, right there. I hope O wakes up before it's too late. But I don't see it yet. I understand Obama's having a meeting with the GOP tomorrow about taxes. What are the odds on a White House cave-in, er, compromise, where all the tax cuts are extended at least temporarily? Obama won't be a successful president until he realizes that the President MUST be the Wasta Man. It cannot be avoided, much as Obama might like to be a consensus builder, that is impossible in the current political climate. The sooner O gets it, the better off we'll all be (except for the Cons, of course, but the Cons are the enemy that must be confronted for Obama to achieve success).

Posted by: wbgonne | November 29, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

It's interesting that tao, scott, qb and McWing pursue the strategy of discrediting Stockman as being unimportant, a traitor, not very good with numbers, blah blah blah, rather than refute his actual comments. Shoot the messenger and ask questions later.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 29, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"...the idea that the United States is inherently superior to the world's other nations has become the battle cry from a new front in the ongoing culture wars."

You are confused. American exceptionalism is not the idea that the US is "inherently superior" to the world's other nations.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 29, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

lms:

"It's interesting that tao, scott, qb and McWing pursue the strategy of discrediting Stockman as being unimportant, a traitor, not very good with numbers, blah blah blah..."

I did? Where did I do this?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 29, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Scott

"It was obviously the serious, highly intelligent, clearly honest and upstanding Stockman that was the architect. That's the ticket. ;)"

There's the blah, blah, blah.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 29, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

@wb - jeez, I hadn't seen that Palin = Reagan comment from McCain.

What's most interesting in this is the stature Regan has for new conservatives. There's no comparable phenomenon on the left. No prior Dem president has been pushed up onto such a lofty pedestal. No one comes close.

For the modern conservative movement, Reagan has become a sacred figure. There's zero chance you'll get anywhere in the movement unless you repeat (and appear to believe) this worshipful (it is the right word) regard of the man. Speaking critically of him is a violation of the sacred. Far more allowable to criticize Lincoln or even Washington than Reagan.

And all this speaks to two thing, I think. One is the brilliantly executed project from Norquist most particularly to create just such iconography through re-writing history (Reagan raised taxes and approved income redistribution legislation and didn't destroy communism) and through a constant campaign to ensure that Reagan was elevated and that reminders of him were ubiquitous (think posters and statues of Mao or Stalin all over the place - same techniques).

The other depressingly undeniable feature here is the propensity within we humans, some more than others obviously, to need an authoritarian icon who it is presumed is infallible or something close and who will guide and protect us.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

@ScottC3: "You are confused. American exceptionalism is not the idea that the US is 'inherently superior' to the world's other nations."

Exactly. But I think it's non-intuitive to people who think of America as it exists today as largely an ongoing crime against humanity, starting with Columbus in 1492. How can you argue for American exceptionalism and the unique brilliance of the American experiment and yet not be saying that all other nations are inferior by comparison?

Yet inferiority compromises so much. America does not have the best examples of medieval architecture, for one example. It is not the birth place of democracy, philosophy, or French bread. I imagine, having spent so much time out of the country, you can point to lots of things, either personally or practically, where other countries are "superior" to America. Personally, I find the Tube in London (and mass transit in Europe generally) better than anything I've personally experienced in America.

Also, best two weeks of my life--ever--was spent in England. Yet my unshakable devotion to the concept of American exceptionalism remains.

BTW, Stockman was pretty much at odds with Reagan and the supply-siders through much of the Reagan administration, and is certainly not to be credited with Reagan's economic policy. For that, look to folks like Ronald Reagan himself, Jack Kemp, Art Laffer and Milton Freidman. But I'm certain he was good with numbers.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 29, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

@bernielatham: "No prior Dem president has been pushed up onto such a lofty pedestal. No one comes close."

What reality do you live in? Earth Prime? I realize LBJ will forever have Vietnam tarnishing the Great Society, but JFK? FDR? Nothing "even comes close"? Seriously?

Is every liberal here on board with that statement? Anybody else remember the Time magazine cover with Obama pasted in as FDR? What is that, if not equivalent to someone suggesting that Palin = Reagan? Presuming that was meant in a positive sense. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 29, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

tao:

"Reagan was the chief architect of his own fiscal policy."

How could that be? Back in the '80s Reagan was just a genial dunce actor, remember? It is only now, 20 odd years later and after his death, that Reagan has become a thinking, reasonable representative of conservatism. So clearly he could not have been the "architect" of anything.

It was obviously the serious, highly intelligent, clearly honest and upstanding Stockman that was the architect. That's the ticket. ;)

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 28, 2010 8:19 PM |

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 29, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Scott said: "You are confused. American exceptionalism is not the idea that the US is "inherently superior" to the world's other nations."

Well then, why not lay out in some detail exactly what you consider the phrase to mean with some quotes from modern conservative leaders which deny American superiority. To unconfuse me. You might also type "the greatest nation on earth" or "the greatest nation the world has ever seen" into google and let us know how many hits you get. Proceed.

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

bernie:

All I can say about McCain comparing Palin to Reagan is:

Somebody better keep an eye on Peggy Noonan because she is going to get the vapors again and keel over in a faint.

Like I said, get extra popcorn. Revenge of the Tea Party! Blood on Con Street.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 29, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

"American exceptionalism is not the idea that the US is "inherently superior" to the world's other nations."

Really? How, then, is America exceptional?

Posted by: wbgonne | November 29, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

lms:

Ah. I was the "blah, blah, blah" part. I see. Tough to conest that, I suppose.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 29, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

"It's interesting that tao, scott, qb and McWing pursue the strategy of discrediting Stockman as being unimportant, a traitor, not very good with numbers, blah blah blah, rather than refute his actual comments. Shoot the messenger and ask questions later."

I said one specific thing: he was not a "chief architect of Reagan's fiscal policy," and, more strongly, the claim that he was is historically preposterous.

Stockman is, as here, periodically resurrected by the media to pronounce to all of us on the evils of lower taxes, and on what basis? His authority as the supposed architect of the Reagan tax cuts. So it is very relevant to point out that the premise on which his OPINIONS are presented to as authoritative is entirely false.

He was entirely what tao described -- a bright young man of the tax-collector-for-the-welfare-state wing of the GOP. It was on of the inexplicable mistakes of Reagan to appoint him to OMB, but in any event what he was was more akin to a carpenter than to an architect.

As for refuting his "comments," which comments exactly? That he'll never forgive Bush for cutting taxes? His opinion that the "rich" need a higher tax burden? His absurd suggestion that higher revenue did not follow lower tax rates?

It's all been rehearsed starting many years ago, when Stockman first decided to turn against Reagan, and he has offered no new insights. You need to accept a fact: the reality of the Laffer curve is a fact. Its shape and position can be debated; its existence isn't and can't be. You might notice, for example, that despite all the fulmination by your party leaders to raise taxes they never suggest we raise them to the pre-Reagan levels that all the attacks on Reagan and tax cuts imply. That's because everyone secretly knows they needed cutting, and badly. Just like Bill Clinton knew it.

Is Stockman a "traitor?" He probably would have needed to believe in the cause of cutting taxes in the first place to be a true traitor, and he clearly never did. What he should not have done is taken a job he did not believe in, but he was an ambitious young pol who evidently decided in his vanity that he could submerge his personal resistance to Reagan's policies to take a prominent and important position in the new administration.

He is still, thirty years later, just the same old tax collector for the welfare state -- the kind of "Republican" who was consigning the party to permanent irrelevance by identifying as his duty keeping tax rates high to pay for all the spending Democrats wanted. History has proven Stockman a blind fool. He became irrelevant 25 years ago.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/the_morning_plum_139.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 29, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

"What reality do you live in? Earth Prime? I realize LBJ will forever have Vietnam tarnishing the Great Society, but JFK? FDR? Nothing "even comes close"? Seriously?"

Yes, seriously, kevin. Any Dem candidate running anywhere could easily criticize numerous policies and personal traits of LBJ, JFK, or FDR or any other such figure and there would be no problem that arose from such criticism. "I think Kennedy's tenure was marked by significant failures of policy and of personal character" or "LBJ was effective in some ways as a politician but as a person he could be both cruel and tyrannical" or "FDR got some things right but also got a lot wrong" etc. Not only could comments like these be raised, they have been.

And there is NO chance that in the modern Republican party any significant criticisms of Reagan's policies or character are permitted.

If you know of some current Republicans running for office anywhere who have criticized Reagan's character or honesty or sexual behavior or personal kindness or have criticized in some significant manner his political ideas, please note them in your reply.

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

Now, after the last descent into either blind stupidness or propaganda, Gerson goes and writes another good column. I haven't brought up previously the very interesting and long-overdue discussion taking place within the Catholic community re the Pope's recent comments on condom use in certain circumstances. That's the subject Gerson speaks to and he does it well.

"But the prevention of disease always involves some element of ethical behavior, even when it comes to condoms. Their use during high-risk sexual activity is always good for an individual, since condoms are about 90 percent effective in preventing HIV transmission."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/22/AR2010112204998.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Well then, why not lay out in some detail exactly what you consider the phrase to mean..."

I'll play the Bernie card here and direct you to a site called Google where you can do your own research and, hopefully, educate yourself.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 29, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

"What is that, if not equivalent to someone suggesting that Palin = Reagan? Presuming that was meant in a positive sense. ;)"

Actually, the specific reference by McCain was to their perceived divisiveness.

Which seems to me to be another loopy statement by McCain, but not for the reason the bats are implying.

My eyes are rolling uncontrollably after reading bernie's nutty screed about iconography of Reagan and the lack of any comparable hero of Dems. The mind reels at all the ways bernie is misinformed and confused, and misiinforms and misleads others. I truly don't think he has ever had a conversation with a conservative, or honestly read a piece of conservative writing.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Good grief, you guys. The urge to line you up and deliver a Stooge-slap is overwhelming.

Of course one can make a sensible case for American exceptionalism if you define it in a non-exclusive or non-superior manner. That's precisely what Obama does as quoted by Tumulty. And of course the same can be done by Germans or French of Lithuanians or Brits. And one can run these definitions or examples against some metric of sound or questionable quality - eg biggest guns or benefits to world culture etc. It's a good exercise because it points to the good but has the balls to also face the bad.

Tumulty is properly addressing (somewhat) the stupid, ethno-centric, savage nationalism that appears far more commonly in the modern conservative movement than anywhere else in the broad landscape of your present culture, the mindset that will not hear or engage serious criticisms of the US as a character on the world stage.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 29, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

You could do worse than starting with the National Review pieces here discussing exceptionalism and the problem it is for Obama and the left.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=%22national+review%22+obama+exceptionalism&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=CN39RVrDzTNCfB5uqgATJ2rGCCQAAAKoEBU_QL4Ur

"The urge to line you up and deliver a Stooge-slap is overwhelming."

Someone's superiority complex is showing again. Perhaps we call it Bernien Exceptionalism.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 29, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

The United States had the potential to truly be exceptional after WWII through Bush II. We were the unquestioned world leader for 50 years but we sold our leadership for a pocketful of coins stuffed into the plutocrats' pockets. Now we can't lead the world. We can't even govern ourselves. And the rest of the world knows it.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 29, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

@qb: "Someone's superiority complex is showing again. Perhaps we call it Bernien Exceptionalism."

Indeed. Ironic, is it not?

Also known as the Latham Principle.

"I truly don't think he has ever had a conversation with a conservative, or honestly read a piece of conservative writing."

When you are certain ahead of time that the person you are conversing with is an inveterate serial killer harboring plans to destroy the planet, then, of course, that "knowledge" is going to inform your understanding of both what they say, or what they write. How could it be otherwise?

@bernie: "And there is NO chance that in the modern Republican party any significant criticisms of Reagan's policies or character are permitted."

Reagan signed off in a increase in the capital gains tax, which is oft criticized, and I dare say someone running for Republican office could safely say Reagan was wrong on agreeing to a capital gains tax increase in order to appease Democrats. Republicans running for national office--including Reagan himself--have said that Reagan was wrong on signing off on no-fault divorce in California. Numerous Republicans, up until this latest election cycle and the tea party, have been telling us that the era of Reagan is over and it's just time for us bitterly clinging right-wingers to drop it and welcome the new, enlightened era of the Rockefeller Republican. In the 2010 cycle, that argument--that Reagan was an antique and flawed anyway and should be completely abandoned--gained zero traction. Even then, I suspect folks could argue that Reagan was wrong on capital gains (I would) or no fault divorce or other compromises that lead to higher taxes or advancements of a more liberal social agenda, and not get unduly punished by conservative voters or the GOP establishment (who, until recently, were leading the "forget Reagan" charge).

Admittedly, those criticisms aren't raised often, but criticisms of JFK and FDR, particularly, are extraordinarily rare and meek on the left, especially from politicians courting the liberal base that romanticize those particular political leaders. I had a lefty attack me for suggesting that JFK was a hawk, and perhaps even comparable to Reagan in that respect. You would have thought I'd gone into a Baptist revival and shouted out that "Jesus sucks!"

Perhaps our experiences in this realm simply differ. In generally, I find that there is little substantive criticism of iconic figures like JFK and FDR outside of biographers and academia (and Reagan's humanity has been similarly examined in these realms). If you do in fact believe there is a yawning chasm between the regard with which Reagan is held on the right and regard with which JFK and FDR are held on the left, I think it's a trick of perspective that doesn't reflect any kind of actual topographic reality. In my opinion.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 29, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "Well then, why not lay out in some detail exactly what you consider the phrase to mean . . ."

In brief, that the American experiment is unique, and irreproducible.

"with some quotes from modern conservative leaders"

I gotta agree with Scott, there. If you're really that interested in challenging your preconceptions, you got the Google. But that's not even the point, which it comes down to it.

"which deny American superiority."

There's a difference between disbelieving in the inherent inferiority of all other nations and not denying American superiority. Subtle, to be sure, but embracing the greatness of our country with a hyperbolic turn of phrase, such as "America is the greatest nation on earth", is not the same as saying. "England sucks. France sucks. Italy sucks. And don't get me started on India!" I understand that it might seem that it is . . . but it really isn't.

"To unconfuse me."

Alas, on this issue, I don't think that's possible. It's a cop out, I know, but if you don't get it, then nobody is going to make you get it. Either you do, or you will, in your own way in your own time. But it's not something that anybody can make happen for you.

Now, if that wasn't a Lathamian answer from the right, I don't know what would be. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 29, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

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