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Posted at 6:24 PM ET, 12/ 3/2010

Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* Senator Scott Brown has come out in support of repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell, but he is abiding by Mitch McConnell's threat that Republicans won't vote for cloture on DADT or anything else Dems want until the Bush tax cuts standoff and government-funding are resolved.

"He won't support moving the process forward until something is done on taxes and funding the government," Brown spokesperson Gail Gitcho emails me.

* Sam Stein obtains a memo written by top Dem pollsters pleading with Dems not to cave on the Bush tax cuts, arguing that they musn't sacrifice a major political opportunity on the altar of "compromise."

* Big controversy today over Dem Senator Robert Menendez, who compared negotiating with Republicans on tax cuts to negotiating with terrorists:

"Do you allow yourself to be held hostage and get something done for the sake of getting something done, when in fact it might be perverse in its ultimate result?" he asked. "It's almost like the question of do you negotiate with terrorists."

* The response from Eric Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring: "Um ... No, senator, it is not. Not at all."

* How's this for a crazy idea: The White House argues that the bad jobs numbers today actually bolster the case for extending unemployment benefits.

* It really is important to keep in mind that it's not the White House's fault that Dems punted on the pre-election tax cuts vote and have been all over the map in the Senate on the issue.

* David Dayen has a useful vote count and overview of the state of play on DADT repeal.

* The big picture, from Joan McCarter:

Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, or a court decision overturning it, is inevitable, regardless of how hard John McCain shakes his fist at the clouds.

* And all of McCain's fist-shaking at the clouds is actually increasing support for repeal: A new CBS poll finds support has jumped to 69 percent, including 53 percent who support it strongly.

* Takedown of the day: James Fallows versus McCain, who "seems intentionally to be shrinking his audience, his base, and his standing in history."

* Special bonus McCain takedown from Andrew Sullivan. As Andrew reminds us, McCain has worked closely with gay staffers.

* Brian Beutler says it isn't just on DADT; our public officials suffer from a serious lack of direct interaction with the people impacted by policy fights across the board.

* Orwellian up-is-downism of the day: Digby warns that if Dems try to cut Social Security, Republicans will cast themselves as defenders of the elderly.

* And the quote of the day: Senator Tom Harkin says that if Obama gives ground on the tax cuts for the rich, he'd better be "hoping and praying that Sarah Palin gets the nomination."

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | December 3, 2010; 6:24 PM ET
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
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Comments


Anything else going on beside the liberals trying all they can to disrepect the American People and the election???


To hear these liberals, the election never happened.


The liberals are frozen in 2008. Frozen. It's like a global warming reversal.


HA.


______________________________


Greg

You complain about anti-gay bigotry

However, you are happy, even gleeful in talking down to the Tea Party - and calling them 'rubes'.


You really can't have it both ways - one or the other.


You can't complain about hate when you so gleefully engage in it yourself

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 3, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Re DADT, Adam had it exactly right in his contribution today.

By blanket opposition, they gain:
- a loss for an Obama inititative
- the loyalty of their homophobic fundamentalist christian base
- the appearance of steadfast principle (to those who aren't so bright)

And it will be overturned and then, as Adam smartly recognizes, that presents another opportunity to propagandize on "activist courts" over-ruling the will of the people.

Of course they would behave in exactly this manner.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 3, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

"Senator Tom Harkin says that if Obama gives ground on the tax cuts for the rich, he'd better be "hoping and praying that Sarah Palin gets the nomination.""

Harkin's got that right.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 3, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Sullivan, pointing to the Fallows piece, presumes that McCain is not homophobic. I'm willing to buy that possibility. Sully's thesis, and it's a damn good one follow. I've bolded one part for the obvious reasons...

"The alternative explanation for his recent behavior is fathomless cynicism and hollowness. It's important to remember how this torture victim, in 2006, agreed to acquiesce to the CIA using the same torture techniques once used on him on other prisoners.

The reason? *Rove threatened him with full-scale opposition to his nomination in 2008 if he persisted in opposing torture, and Rove, for good measure, wanted to use torture as a key wedge issue in the 2006 mid-terms.* I don't know how a torture victim can subsequently support the same thing being done to others. I don't know he sleeps at night knowing that he is responsible for tying human beings up for hours on end in excruciating stress positions - especially when he knows firsthand how horrifying this is. But I do know that such a man has lost his soul in the process."

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/12/understanding-john-mccain.html

Posted by: bernielatham | December 3, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Greg

You complain about people shouting things from cars - and yet you feel perfectly comfortable calling millions of people names on a website of a major newspaper.


Somewhere, there is a bit of insanity here.


Case closed.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 3, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Given the critical importance to Israel of Russia remaining on good terms with the US, this brings up the question of why AIPAC is refusing to aid the administration on START. Rosenberg (who worked at AIPAC) gives the details including one key reason for AIPAC's drift from a bipartisan lobby to one that is now solidly connected to the GOP...

"According to Nathan Guttman in the Forward and Ron Kampeas at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, AIPAC is in agony. It desperately wants to support the US-Russia START treaty aimed at limiting nuclear warheads because the treaty would greatly advance Israel's security.

But it is afraid of defying right-wing Republicans in the Senate. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), in particular, is telling AIPAC "don't you dare." His reason is simple: Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has ordered Republicans to block anything the President submits to the Senate except, of course, tax cuts for millionaires. That includes START. (The good news is that Kyl may come around and then AIPAC can too.)..."

http://politicalcorrection.org/fpmatters/201012030008

Posted by: bernielatham | December 3, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Can reconciliation be used to put through the middle class tax cuts? Can the house bill be passed using reconciliation?

Posted by: soapm | December 3, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Maybe McCain knows firsthand how horrifying it is to be gang-raped in the POW camp, maybe not. But I do know that such a man has lost his soul in the process.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 3, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure RainForestRising was incredibly respectful of the American People and the election in 2008, just like the Republicans were as they blocked everything Obama and the Democrats elected by the American People tried to do to follow the mandate of the American People. Of course we all know that such mandates only apply to Republicans.

Posted by: KCinDC1 | December 3, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

KCinDC1 at 7:20 PM


You are wrong on all accounts. Clearly, you have not been reading


However, in 2008 Obama promised bipartisanship and compromise - NOT the twisted version of a mandate which the liberals falsely claimed to have.


Disgraceful and shameful.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 3, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Matthew Dowd , chief strategist for Bush/Cheney campaign in 2004 writes something wonderfully sane (and anti-authoritarian) re wikileaks and government secrecy...

"When did we decide that we trust the government more than its citizens? And that revealing the truth about the government is wrong? And why is the media complicit in this? Did we not learn anything from the run-up to the Iraq war when no one asked hard questions about the justifications for the war and when we accepted statements from government officials without proper pushback?"

http://www.nationaljournal.com/columns/common-sense/maybe-the-government-would-earn-more-of-our-trust-if-it-invaded-our-privacy-less-20101202

Read the whole thing, it's very good. And it underlines how the "whack Assange" chorus from the right conceptualizing and forwarding a set of notions which are truly authoritarian. Liberty-lovers, they.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 3, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Clawrence knows firsthand what it feels like to gang-rape an under-age victim in a bar, maybe not.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 3, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Greg, could you get Republicans on record to state what impact extending the top tax bracket would do and vice versa,ie, what happens if they expire.

Get specifics, employment rate and when we'll hit it.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 3, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

"Given the critical importance to Israel of Russia remaining on good terms with the US, this brings up the question of why AIPAC is refusing to aid the administration on START."

Follow the money...

Posted by: shrink2 | December 3, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

@deepshrink - you can't be alluding to aid to Israel which is a given regardless of party. So what are you talking of?

Posted by: bernielatham | December 3, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

"It desperately wants to support the US-Russia START treaty aimed at limiting nuclear warheads because the treaty would greatly advance Israel's security."

I don't think this is true. Greater or lesser Russian nuke #s have no bearing on Israeli safety. They could be argued to be protective. Times have changed. Nowadays, Russia and Israel have a lot in common.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 3, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

KCinDC1 at 7:20 PM


Did the democrats ever respect Bush???


The level of the respect the democrats gave Bush has become the "new normal."


The democrats are a laugh - when they try to make a case that Obama deserves more respect than the democrats gave Bush.

I don't want to hear about Florida - because if the democrats want to cite Florida, then they should have given Bush respect after 2004, when there was no dispute.

However, they never did.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 3, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, Russia is tired of people killing Russians. They know who their enemies are. Think about the Chechen disaster, (Beslan was like 9/11 for them), their Afghan debacle, Nagorno-karabakh...sure, they hate Jews, they are Russians after all. But who keeps killing Russians? This is the reality. Israel and Russia will never be allies, but they know they are no threat to each other.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 3, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

@RF = "However, in 2008 Obama promised bipartisanship and compromise - NOT the twisted version of a mandate which the liberals falsely claimed to have."

Isn't compromise a two way street. He can try to compromise all he wants but if the other side won't meet him in the middle then his efforts will fail.

We saw Obama invite the GOP to the table for every discussion but they came insisting things be their way or no way at all. Just like the tax cut debate, unless they get their way 100% then there will be no vote. That's not bipartisan compromise and you can't blame the democrats if the GOP leave no room for negotiations...

Posted by: soapm | December 3, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

@shrink - I think if you read down further, you'll see that the rationale relates to Iran and how good US relations with Russian allows leverage or favors which prove important to Israeli security.

On another matter, Sarah Palin. First a description of the individual being interviewed on Palin as presidential material...

"Claire Berlinski is a City Journal contributing editor, a freelance investigative journalist, travel writer, biographer, and novelist who lives in Istanbul. She is the author of Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis is America's, Too, and There is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters, which Newt Gingrich said "every American should read" and Theodore Dalrymple described as "about as powerful a defense of Thatcher’s record as is likely ever to be written."

http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/berlinski.htm

And here's the interview (2 and a half minutes) but it's devastating:

http://fora.tv/2010/09/03/Uncommon_Knowledge_Claire_Berlinski#Is_Palin_the_Next_Thatcher_No_Way_Says_Claire_Berlinski

Berlinski, from what I can find on a brief check (I'm not familiar with her), appears to be aligned with the Gingrich camp (as well as the neoconservatives) and is a voice of fairly extreme anti-Muslim sentiments.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 3, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

"Newly released documents from the Federal Reserve Board show that General Electric Co. was a significant user of one of the Fed's rescue programs in the fall of 2008, even as the blue-ribbon company enjoyed the highest credit rating available at the time."

http://www.propublica.org/article/general-electric-tapped-fed-to-borrow-16-billion

Posted by: bernielatham | December 3, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

"I think if you read down further, you'll see that the rationale relates to Iran and how good US relations with Russian allows leverage or favors which prove important to Israeli security."

Iran is the enemy. No one expects favors. US Russian relations as they relate to New START...I can't see an Israeli security valence. I think AIPAC thinks like I do and that they don't care whether the US and Russia deal with their mutual waste of nuclear weapons dollars.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 3, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Last yak then I'll leave the space for others...

TPM has good coverage today on the attempts by the government and at least one private corp (with defense contracts) to stifle the information flow from wikileaks by disallowing content viewing/downloads or by threatening individuals that mere viewing might have legal or professional consequences of the bad sort.

The nature of the web has made this a very big problem for those who don't wish free flows of certain sorts of previously secretive information. As origin sites get closed, multiple mirror sites open up.

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/12/03/wikileaks-blocked-bu.html

And I'll link again, for those who missed it, a fascinating and very bright account of just what Assange and team are up to. This guy is no dummy, nor is the author...

https://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/julian-assange-and-the-computer-conspiracy-%E2%80%9Cto-destroy-this-invisible-government%E2%80%9D/#

Posted by: bernielatham | December 3, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Bernie

you are thread-bombing again - I suppose it is OK for the liberals, since rules are made only to go after Conservatives.


Clearly, your point on Mathew Dowd needs some more discussion


First, Julian Assauge is NOT a US citizen

Second, he is dumping thousands of documents at a time - without ANY review as to whether it is dangerous to release that information.


He is making zero effort to hold back information which is not proper to release.


NOT that his judgement is worth anything.

However, he has not made the SLIGHTEST effort to be responsible about this release

Especially since there is such a volume of materials - there is no way he could have read all of it, or had someone with any expertise read it.


NO - this is a wholesale release, without any responsibility at all.


The American People - after being faced with this - NOW THEY TRUST BUSH MORE THAN THIS GUY


how ironic

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 3, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Greg, could you get Republicans on record to state what impact extending the top tax bracket would do and vice versa,ie, what happens if they expire.

Get specifics, employment rate and when we'll hit it.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 3, 2010 7:51 PM


_______________________

The democrats are ALREADY on record saying that if the stimulus was passed, the unemployment rate would go to 8%


you and your democrats are on record on that.


Just want to remind you.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 3, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

soapm at 8:42 PM

It was Obama's commitment to the American people - Obama said he could "bring people together" - Obama said he could do it -

Instead, Obama did NOT deliver - instead everyone got EXCUSES just like the one you just gave.


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

At the health care summit - there was a 2,000 page bill there on the table


Was Obama compromising, meeting people in the middle ??


NO, instead we hear Obama say "if you have any ideas, he'll think about them and maybe throw them in."


THAT is not compromise, that's arrogance.


Obama never met anyone in the middle.


And it was justified because Obama said he had the votes - well the Republicans have the votes now.


Clearly, your thoughts are TWISTED - I keep on reminding you what Obama and the democrats COMMITTED to do in 2008, committments to the American People - with no excuses.


I keep on reminding you what Obama actually DID - then somehow you are complaining that the Republicans are acting just like Obama has acted.


Obama is the one who acted like this - NOW you are saying that is out-of-bounds.

Your point appears to be that the Republicans should act as Obama said he would in 2008, NOT like Obama actually acted.


YOU are trying to hold the Republicans to the same standards that not even Obama held himself to.

And somehow that passes as logic for the liberals.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 3, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

I still say let all the tax cuts expire. That's easy. All they have to do is nothing. It's quite potentially a win-win for Democrats politically if they handle the messaging properly -- which I fully realize is asking for a lot from Democrats but it's almost too good an opportunity to pass up trying.

a) Democrats can quite rightly blame Republicans for being tools about the whole thing when they tried to cut a deal.

b) I have a feeling they'll find Republicans much more amenable to compromise once taxes go back up and the case can very credibly be made that it no one's fault but their own.

Posted by: CalD | December 3, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

It is becoming clear that Bernie and Ethan are paid bloggers - perhaps paid by the same group, or party committee


And all the "complaints" lodged - it has become clear that they have been coordinated from perhaps the same party committee or group.


So much for respect for Freedom of Speech - if a party committee or aligned group has been actively attempting to silence American Citizens from speaking out - especially during an election time.


That is precisely what we had - demands to silence critics before an election.


Can't think of ANYTHING more UNAMERICAN than that. And that is directed to all you Obama people.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 3, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

and D are on record as saying that had they followed the GOP plan of doing absolutely nothing other than watching GM Chrysler, AutoNation and AutoParts companies go into bankruptcy liquidation along with Citi that the unemployment rate would be reaching 20% today. Ten years of tax cuts skewed to favor the top 2% have failed to create jobs as the GOP promised. And how many jobs have been created over the last 29 days?

Posted by: leichtman1 | December 3, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

CalD

Technically, they don't have to hold to the deadline of the end of this year. Congress can pass a tax bill in January or even March and make it retroactive.


The problem is the tax tables - the IRS has tax tables which they print out - all the businesses and computers have to be set to deduct the right amounts out of everyone's paychecks come the first of the year.


So, if they do make the taxes retroactive, everyone will get deductions based on the higher rates, then there will be a switch-over once the new rates are set by Congress.


Obama could veto anything he wants. Then there is the question of a veto over-ride.


If Congress does pass a compromise bill, and Obama vetos it, then the democrats have to vote AGAINST the tax cuts in order to hold Obama's veto.


All this just gives the Republicans excellent 30-second attack ads come election time - don't you think???


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 3, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

"He won't support moving the process forward until something is done on taxes and funding the government," [Scott] Brown spokesperson Gail Gitcho emails[.]
----------------------------------------------

Hmmm. Wonder how that'll play in MA? I tend to doubt that defending tax cuts for the rich to the last breath is going be a lot more popular in MA than it seems to be nationwide, and the same very likely goes for DADT. I'm not at all sure this is a winning position for him.

Posted by: CalD | December 3, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Leslie Gelb writes - almost correctly the following - and it is important to note - there has never been such a well behaved power in the history of the Earth:


(Also, all you want to say about Bush, the wikileaks, in thousands of pages - a quarter million pages - NOT one scandal directly relating to Bush. Now you have all the evidence - and Bush comes off extremely well )

Leslie Gelb:
"When you remove the gossip and obvious trivia that mesmerized the press, you clearly see what the Wikileakers never expected: A United States seriously and professionally trying to solve the most dangerous problems in a frighteningly complicated world, yet lacking the power to dictate solutions. U.S. policymakers and diplomats are shown, quite accurately, doing what they are supposed to do: ferreting out critical information from foreign leaders, searching for paths to common action, and struggling with the right amount of pressure to apply on allies and adversaries. And in most cases, the villain is not Washington, but foreign leaders escaping common action with cowardice and hypocrisy."

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 3, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

"It really is important to keep in mind that it's not the White House's fault that Dems punted on the pre-election tax cuts vote and have been all over the map in the Senate on the issue."
---------------------------------------------

Somebody'd better tell the Firebaggers.

http://firedoglake.com/2010/12/03/the-opposite-of-leadership-president-obamas-tax-cut-for-the-rich/

Posted by: CalD | December 3, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

@bern...rhymes with vern:

"Berlinski, from what I can find on a brief check (I'm not familiar with her), appears to be aligned with the Gingrich camp (as well as the neoconservatives) and is a voice of fairly extreme anti-Muslim sentiments."

The above may be the most crystalline example of conjectural buggery you've tossed since you first graced us with your wee quack professorial emanations.

Gad, my man, you haven't an inkling. If you're "not familiar with her," don't embarass yourself.

"Last yak..." If only!

Posted by: tao9 | December 3, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

And how many jobs have been created over the last 29 days?

Posted by: leichtman1 | December 3, 2010 9:52 PM


_________________________________


In case you haven't been reading the papers, Nancy Pelosi is still the Speaker and the democrats are still staging meaningless votes, trying to score political points instead of doing the hard work of job creation.


But you can keep up with your fantasies and your blame games

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 3, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

CalD

Firebaggers - I think I like that term but it comes a little close to what they were saying about Lindsay Lohan, don't you think?

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 3, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

If I were Israeli, I'd be preparing for a war with Iran. If it does not happen, fine. But Israelis know about appeasement, it is no option.

Meanwhile our President...his visit comes weeks after the Pentagon reported violence there at an all-time high...Obama knows why America is still involved in a war there, why he ordered a surge.

The Republicans had sold the idea that a surge "worked" at least in a political sense to cover their defeat and retreat from the Iraq disaster. Talk about plausible deniability. Iraq war? You mean the one where the surge worked?

Back at the time Obama was making lethal campaign promises, he was trying to seem more deadly to Muslims sorry I meant to say Terror than The Clintons & McCain Palin were posing to be. A fine thing.

Now Israel has a choice. Which America will help it most effectively in the Iranian war,

Door #1, hope and change on the skids, or
Door #2, the craven, brutal Republicans.

If I were an Israeli...I'd feel bad about the choice I had to make too.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 4, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

No, bernielatham, I don't. Barack Obama and Larry Sinclair do however.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 4, 2010 2:07 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Menendez related negotiating with Republicans about tax cuts to negotiating with terrorists.

I think a better comparison, though terrorists are applicable, would be relating negotiating with republicans to NEGOTIATING WITH FAILURE.

The Tax Cuts were and are abject failures by every meaningful statistical measure.

Democrats should let it be known, and then they should stop negotiating with the failure that is the bush tax cuts

Posted by: tdman21 | December 4, 2010 2:30 AM | Report abuse

@Clawrence - if you'd just said "not true for me", I'd have responded "of course it isn't" and that that is exactly the point. Tossing out such hypotheticals with no evidence and no reason to assume the truth of them isn't reasoning, it's just an attempt to smear and to avoid thinking. But then you go and do it again. I had you on ignore on my other computer and now you are on it with this one.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 4, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

"Takedown of the day: James Fallows versus McCain, who "seems intentionally to be shrinking his audience, his base, and his standing in history."

But McCain has to show the Teabuggers back in AZ that they are getting their moneys worth.

Posted by: rhallnj | December 4, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

@tao - and my mother wears army boots? Your posts to me are a tad schizoid, do you realize? Light-hearted over to angry personal attacks. I don't attack you personally, do I? I recall an instance of suggesting you were being dishonest in a post. And in the case above, you've quite lost me with your reaction. Sequence was:
1) I bumped into the video interview while checking our ForaTV (great source for politics, music, arts interviews)...listened...thought she was making exactly the right argument re Palin's lack of qualifications
2) went looking for data on her and found precisely what I noted above including authorship of a book on Thatcher (highly relevant)
3) tossed it in here as a continuation of ours (and everyone's) discussions on Palin and qualifications and as another example of the (again, relevant) divergence of opinion on the right over Palin and the (relevant) issue of allegiances or possible allegiances among 2012 R contestants
4) noted up front my lack of thorough familiarity with the speaker

Where exactly is your protest grounded? And why that level of animosity in this case?

Posted by: bernielatham | December 4, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

@shrink - Israel is in a tough position. It had the very bad fortune of sitting near what has been for a century, the world's most important and valuable resource. Consequently, the whole region is a petri dish for every species of corruption, coercion, propaganda and high-tech or low tech-massacreeing.

Toss in some *very* old tribal animosities (Sodom and Gomorrah aren't stories about nasty stuff going on in two "cities", they are stories that detail the justificationn myths of a group of nomadic herders moving into land already occupied by people living in permanent settlements - they're an elder version of nasty San Franciso and New York) and how are things not going to be ugly.

I don't know what Israel will do. Barak (according to one of the wikileaks cables) said this month marked the termination of the period when such an attack would be viable. But who knows? Everybody is lying through their teeth. Whether the potential consequences to the world economy (Iran will surely block Hormuz and terrorist attacks on the West will increase) will ward off the crazy isn't certain. We humans aren't terribly bright.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 4, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

ps the monster fire raging in Israel for two days now will have a significant effect on Israel's options. Folks can go to Ha'aretz for coverage on it.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 4, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

This obsession with all things homosexual, by liberals, always seemed creepy to me.

It still does.

Liberals have always hated the military forces that protect America. Very few true liberals ever join up and the ones that do seem to be "gay".

This is very curious, indeed.

With these facts in mind, it becomes obvious why repeal of DADT is the most important thing in the world, to liberals, right now.

They want to weaken and corrupt the American military forces while providing a safe haven for their homosexual friends.

It's another evil plan by your friendly, neighborhood Marxists. The ones America tried to get rid of in November.

Posted by: battleground51 | December 4, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Uh...yes.

"The newly created independent political groups known as super PACs, which raised and spent millions of dollars on last month's elections, drew much of their funding from private-equity partners and others in the financial industry, according to new financial disclosure reports.

The 72 super PACs, all formed this year, together spent $83.7 million on the election. The figures provide the best indication yet of the impact of recent Supreme Court decisions that opened the door for wealthy individuals and corporations to give unlimited contributions.

The financial disclosure reports also underscore the extent to which the flow of corporate money will be tied to political goals. Private-equity partners and hedge fund managers, for example, have a substantial stake in several issues before Congress, primarily the taxes they pay on their earnings.

*"Super PACs provide a means for the super wealthy to have even more influence and an even greater voice in the political process,"* said Meredith McGehee, a lobbyist for the Campaign Legal Center, which advocates for tighter regulation of money in politics..."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/03/AR2010120306995.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: bernielatham | December 4, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Check the correct answer.

Britain will prove her undying love for the US of A by:
a) inviting Liz Cheney to a fox hunt and pretending she is equal
b) waterboarding Benny Hill and the Lake Poets or their descendants
c) dismantling Abby Road and Sherwood Forest and shipping them to a Las Vegas casino
d) buying more weapons from US military corporations

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/dec/03/wikileaks-cables-us-special-relationship

Posted by: bernielatham | December 4, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

This obsession with all things homosexual, by liberals, always seemed creepy to me.

Posted by: battleground51 | December 4, 2010 8:44 AM

The obsession seems to be only from the far right homophobes. Unless Chairman Mullen and Secretary Gates are now considered liberals. Although I would certainly agree that integrity, honesty, equality and freedom have been liberal concepts throughout history.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | December 4, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

@prag - possibly he refers to the creepy obsession with justice and equality. That obsession is a key marker in spotting the un-American.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 4, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

As a political movement liberalism is dead. They do not have the numbers. They do not have the policies. They have 23 seats in the Senate to defend in 2012 (against the Republicans' 10) and Republican control of state houses and legislatures will give them even more seats in the future. Liberalism R.I.P.

This from the WSJ

But I say liberals are like vampires. They will rise from the dead, walk by night and keep the "gay" bars open.

We must keep our guard up and look for them to creep into our lives again, and again.

They will not rest, in their graves, until America is a "gay" friendly, multicultural, open border, Marxist bedlam.

You can detect and ward off these progressive ghouls by flashing a full color glossy of Ronald Reagan, in their pallid faces. They will instantly shrink away and hide.

Works every time.

Posted by: battleground51 | December 4, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Tax cuts are NOT going to help as long as there is corruption and stock market manipulation. See the movie "Stock Shock-The Short Selling of the American Dream" for a look at how things really work. If you are on a budget, buy the movie at the site www.stockshockmovie.com and save a few bucks. It is an education we all need.

Posted by: DeniseHubbard | December 4, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

soapm at 8:42 PM


A campaign pledge is a commitment to the American People - not to the Republicans


Somehow, you are trying to say that because the Republicans did something you didn't like, Obama is released from his commitments - but it doesn't work that way


Every adult knew it would be difficult - that it was not easy. Obama didn't tell the American People, "I'll try once, and if they say no, I can do whatever I want for 4 years."


If Obama wants to take back his commitment, he can give back the votes the election. RESIGN.


What we have right now is just excused and blame from Obama - he has been acting like an 8 year old girl There is absolutely no maturity or responsibility coming from the Obama people.


All the Obama people are doing is their own agenda NOT the work of the people


The government has been HYJACKED


Nancy Pelosi is only holding politically motivated votes now - to please her base - not to take care of the business of the American People

It really is a disgrace

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The word is that Menendez didn't even know how to speak Spanish - until he started running for Congress.

Not a good representative for hispanics.


The democrats are a bunch of frauds.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the tip DeniseHubbard. I will put it on my list.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 4, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Bernie announced to us after the election he was leaving

Obviously, he thought that the people who pay him would stop paying him - because the election is over.

Now Bernie's contract has apparently been renewed - and the thread-bombing has begun.


Apparently there is a rule against "thread-bombing."


If there was any integrity, Bernie and Ethan would both fall under "thread-bombing" YES I'M CALLING IT OUT.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

The following McConnell quote has been much discussed and I'd like to add a thought on it...

*"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."*

That's honest, as everyone acknowledges. We can even presume that this intention is founded not on a blind and unthinking need to hold power but on a belief that a liberal President will inevitably fail the country. If that's correct statement of belief, and everything suggests it is, then another way to say the thing would be:

"Our primary duty is to ensure that liberalism is kept out of power"

Two observations can be made from this. First, "liberalism" has replaced the prior "destructive and un-American other" Manichean pole which was held by "communism".

The second observation, or prediction, would be that once these Republicans (who hold this belief or ideology) do regain the WH, the single most important thing they will wish to achieve is the elimination of instances of liberalism in government which are, per the ideology, the necessary causes of things wrong in the nation. An immediately subsidiary goal will be to prevent the possibility of future instances of any liberal President regaining power or of liberals having power in the other branches of government.

It should be clear that this ideological stance leads straight to one permissable ideology of government and one-party-rule.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 4, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

The democrats are spending their last days in office playing politics - again - instead of taking care of the economy and doing the hard work of the American People.

Right now, the Senate is staging another SHOW VOTE - for politics, not for governance.


Or Good Government.


Clearly, this fits the pattern of the entire past two years - and sadly the democrats have wasted the last two years playing politics.


Another pattern: last spring during the negotiations for the Financial Regulation bill, Obama and the democrats pulled out of the negotiations and started a series of SHOW VOTES - designed to embarrass the Republicans.


IS THAT THE SPIRIT OF BIPARTISANSHIP ?

Is that negotiationing in good faith ? The ONLY time talks have taken place, the democrats have acted like little children, holding votes and pulling temper tandrums. Even NBC news noted this behavior yesterday.


The American People EXPECT the democrats to at least ACT MATURE.


That is not what the American People are getting.


The democrats - again with these votes are PROVING THEY ARE UNFIT TO GOVERN. They are unfit to act like adults. They are unfit to work with the other side.


It is actually amazing how shameful the actions of the democrats have been - and are up to THIS MINUTE WHEN THEY ARE TAKING THIS VOTE.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

If one starts to read between the lines and the lines themselves, Howard Dean will be challenging Obama in the primaries.


Hillary says she is out, and one can take her at her word. She would have to leave her post, which she apparently enjoys, to start fundraising perhaps this spring. She has indicated she wishes to stay longer than that - and finish out Obama's only term with him.

Howard Dean is a different story. He clashed with Rahm Emanuel before Obama came on the national scene. Ironciall, Dean's "50 State Strategy" benefitted Obama in the primaries - and that groundword helped Obama secure the democratic nomination.

However, when Obama came into office, Obama wanted Rahm - who stayed neutral in the primaries - and Obama chose to back Rahm and leave Howard Dean out of the administration.

That is a silly thing to do - back someone in a fight after the fact - when one can be neutral and smooth things over. Instead Howard Dean was rightly offended and Obama may pay a high price for his stupidity. Howard Dean wants to make the challenge.

Well.

Howard Dean has kept in close touch with left-wing groups. And the formation of the left perhaps could have been encouraged all along by Howard Dean. In fact, much of the ire over the past two years has been directed towards Rahm - another indication that Howard Dean's fingerprints are on the far left wing discontent.

Howard Dean is going to do it - he is going after Obama.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@Denise *none dare call it looting* Hubbard

Corruption and stock market manipulation is here to stay and so anyone who styles as a "retail investor" is a fool. The era of the American middle class stock investor was unique (I can tell you, there are no day traders at home in front of computers in Jakarta) and short lived. The mutual fund industry is moribund.

Actually, people with money don't know what to do with it, so it sits by the trillions, in cash, on the sidelines. All of the markets already seem run up and no one is willing to bet the bottom of the housing market. Talk about deflationary pressure...what if you offered to loan free money and people said no thanks, I don't want to risk losing it.

That is the position a lot of people are in, so this marks the end of any hope for the trickle down theory, not that it every worked before. But you are right, tax cuts won't help, it'll just increase the cash hoards of the wealthy.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 4, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

While I understand the frustration from the left regarding what has been described as Obama Administration "fecklessness" perhaps it is time for 40 Dem Senators to pen a letter to the President indicating that they intend to filibuster any attempt to grant a tax bonus on income over $250,000. Period.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | December 4, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse


Howard Dean

Clearly, there is another game here - and it is going to be an important aspect of politics in the next few years.


Just as a good chunk of the fuel behind Obama's primary victories were a result of people who just didn't want to see the Clintons in charge of the democratic party again - the future will hold sway again.


Specifically, there are democrats looking into the future - and they want to at least PREPARE for what is going to happen: Obama is going to lose re-election and leave the democratic party in disarray. There are democrats who RIGHT NOW want to start working to pick up those pieces.


What will the democratic party look like when Obama loses, and completely discredits everything he has ever attempted to do???


Howard Dean wants to pick up those pieces - he can position himself as the leader of the party - even if he loses a primary challenge to Obama. The democrats who think clearly - they will see that the Obama people and their incompentence have to go.


With Obama running the democratic party and the country into the ground, the democrats are right to start to look to 2014 and beyond.


Those democrats are correct to believe that Obama will destroy the party's chances in 2012 - and it will be a good idea to start thinking about what will happen in 2014 and 2016 as the best chance for the democrats to start coming together.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

He may be feckless, but they're not stupid, they'll never bite the hand that feeds them

Posted by: shrink2 | December 4, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Everytime Obama has been in talks with the Republicans, it has NOT been in good faith.

It is astonishing that Obama - after all his campaign pledges - would STAGE SHOW VOTES now and last spring during the negotiations over the Financial Reg bill


THAT IS NOT GOOD FAITH.


THIS GUY OBAMA IS WORTHLESS


I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE SEEN SO MUCH BAD FAITH FROM SOMEONE - IT IS PATHETIC - IF THE REPUBLICANS IMPEACHED OBAMA, THEY WOULD HAVE ENOUGH JUSTIFICATION BASED ON JUST OBAMA'S BAD FAITH THIS WEEK.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

AP:

Alaska wildlife officials have released a report acknowledging that scientific and traditional evidence increasingly shows climate change at unprecedented rates throughout the Arctic.

The report released this week marks a departure for the state, which is suing to overturn the federal listing of polar bears as a threatened species because of declining sea ice habitat.

The report, called "Climate Change Strategy," says warming temperatures could affect Alaska's bodies of water, leading to changes in sport fishing and subsistence opportunities.

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

Sarah Palin's Alaska experiencing climate change at "unprecedented rates." She is either ignorant of, or willfully ignoring, the reality that is plainly evident in her own backyard. What a fraud.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 4, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

AP:

Alaska wildlife officials have released a report acknowledging that scientific and traditional evidence increasingly shows climate change at unprecedented rates throughout the Arctic.

The report released this week marks a departure for the state, which is suing to overturn the federal listing of polar bears as a threatened species because of declining sea ice habitat.

The report, called "Climate Change Strategy," says warming temperatures could affect Alaska's bodies of water, leading to changes in sport fishing and subsistence opportunities.

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

Sarah Palin's Alaska experiencing climate change at "unprecedented rates." She is either ignorant of, or willfully ignoring, the reality that is plainly evident in her own backyard. What a fraud.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 4, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Ethan, Chuck Blow says we're not supposed to make fun of her anymore, even as he does it himself

"She’s the Zsa Zsa Gabor of American politics. She once did something noteworthy, but she’s now just famous for being famous."

It is hard to resist, but we must remain strong in the face of refersity.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 4, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Obama is not negotiating in good faith


It is BAD FAITH to STAGE SHOW VOTES designed to embarrass the other side when you are in negotiations.


OBAMAS CONDUCT IS SHAMEFUL - AND OBAMA DESERVES TO BE IMPEACHED.


They should do that.


The Republicans should draw up Articles of Impeachment and meet this shameful conduct of Obama head on.

Obama thinks he is the only one who can play games.


Obama never thinks about the consequences of what he does.


IMPEACH OBAMA


IMPEACH OBAMA


IMPEACH OBAMA YES WE CAN


WE CAN IMPEACH OBAMA


JUST DO IT NIKE

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Ethan

Global Warming is not happening. The scientists in the East Anglia emails said it themselves.

All the climate models do NOT work.


Come on, be a man about it.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Bernie wrote: "It should be clear that this ideological stance leads straight to one permissable ideology of government and one-party-rule"

How far are you willing to go to stop this?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 4, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"Where exactly is your protest grounded? And why that level of animosity in this case?"

B,

Grounded @ "Gingrich camp"..."aligned with the neo-conservatives"..."extreme anti-Muslim sentiments..."

Quite simply, you don't know what you're talking about.

As to the stab @ "issue[s] of allegiances or possible allegiances," again, Stevie Wonder at the rifle-range.

Not animosity, but I suppose the reaction was similar to the annoyance of having a small stone in my shoe for way too long. Miserere, mea culpa.

You can find the whole half-hour, as opposed to 2 minutes @ ForaTV, here (the horror...the horror):

http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/post/?q=ODYwNDVkYTcxMzVhNGI1OTk1ZGU3NGYxMmYzMGQ4MzI=

BTW: Ms. Berlinski has made Instanbul, that hot-bed of anti-Muslim sentiments, her home.

Posted by: tao9 | December 4, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Obama and the democrats should be made to pay a price for their Show Votes this week

An Impeachment vote on Obama would be appropriate.


If the democrats think holding such votes "to satisfy their base" is correct, then the Republicans can do the same exact thing


Two thirds of the Senate to remove Obama from office??? How many democratic votes would that take ???? 53 - 67 They need 20 democrats to vote to remove Obama from office


IS THAT DOABLE???

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Troll, Bernie makes a good point about the GOP's quest for total domination of politics and antipathy for compromise. But it goes beyond that. Conservative ideologues like battleground51 repeatedly suggest they oppose "multicultural" society. This is the GOP mentality... Authoritarian rule over a homogeneous population. That's fine if you want that, but it is the antithesis of the United States of America.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 4, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Troll, Bernie makes a good point about the GOP's quest for total domination of politics and antipathy for compromise. But it goes beyond that. Conservative ideologues like battleground51 repeatedly suggest they oppose "multicultural" society. This is the GOP mentality... Authoritarian rule over a homogeneous population. That's fine if you want that, but it is the antithesis of the United States of America.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 4, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Clearly, the liberals have no idea what it means to work with anyone - to negotiate in good faith.


The liberals in the House have decided that they are going to have an extremely difficult time over the next two years.


These votes are shameful - and a disgrace. It proves the democrats have absolutely no judgement

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 at 11:58 AM


In this comment, YOU are clearly sterotyping - and YOU are showing your bigotry


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

quest for total domination of politics and antipathy for compromise

Authoritarian rule over homogeneous (thinking) population.
___________________________


That doesn't describe Obama?


Ethan, you are being deceptive, if not completely lying


The American People do not want what Obama and the liberals are pushing.


America is a democracy - you fail to consider that the American people do NOT want what you are pushing.


Your position is disgraceful. You claim that "multiculturalism" means that American want your expensive massive government programs - and the liberal and gay agendas


That is RIDICULOUS


If Obama went to the health care summit last year and offered a 50-50 compromise, then you might have something to stand on, but you do not.


Stop with the foolishness, will you?

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Ethan,

I find that political parties tend to try and accumulate as much power as possible. Fortunately, voters tend to limit that inclination. I think bernie's fevered conspiracis and fear-mongering propaganda to be less scary and more hilarious than anything, but if he thinks a political party is hell bent on totalitarian rule, I'm curious to know what he's prepared to do to try and stop it.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 4, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Bernie wrote: "It should be clear that this ideological stance leads straight to one permissable ideology of government and one-party-rule"

How far are you willing to go to stop this?

_______________________________


Isn't that what Obama tried to do???


Obama lied about being in the Campaign Finance system - then he pulled out of it.


Obama took that $700 Million Dollars and used it to try to establish ONE PARTY RULE AND GET 60 VOTES IN THE SENATE


Which Obama did.

Until the people of Massachusetts, the most liberal state in the nation, stopped Obama.


Clearly, the American People do not want Obama running things. Then the democrats went through reconciliation to push through something the American People clearly did not want.


NOW the democrats are wondering why they lost the election?

The response of the democrats: Ignore that there even WAS an election last month - pretend that the lame duck session is all for their liberal agenda to get pushed through - all AGAINST the American People.


The liberals are AGAINST the people, not REPRESENTING THEM.


It is disgraceful - their paid hacks sit on this blog on a daily basis - pushing this stuff like drug dealers.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

For the sake of good government in the future, the liberals should pay some high price for the show votes they took this week - seriously folks.

A "symbolic" vote of IMPEACHMENT of Obama would be appropriate.

Obama said if elected, he would work with the Republicans, and these show votes are far from that. Obama should be impeached - and he should be held responsible for his own actions.


The conduct of the democrats has been shameful and disgraceful.

The airport scanners' purchase - which was rejected by contract should also be included in the impeachment. Stimulus money was diverted to the purchase of those machines - the violations of the 4th Amendment taking place at the airports every day should be included


AND Obama extended benefits to domestic partners of Federal workers WITHOUT Congressional approval -

That has to be impeachable as well.


All told, there are approximately 20 abuses by Obama which could be counts in Obama's impeachment.


The actions of Obama this week PROVE that he certainly deserves it.


After the Republicans get theirs in, just like the democrats got theirs in this week, MAYBE then the democrats would be ready to negotiate in GOOD FAITH.


However, at this time, all the democrats are doing is playing politcs, and wasting the money and time of the American People.


Shameful and disgraceful.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

After the silly show votes this week, the Republicans are drawing up the Articles of Impeachment against Obama.


Clearly, the democrats do not want to work with the Republican at all - despite all of Obama's promises and rhetoric.


Howard Dean wants to run against Obama - this week is basically Obama's last attempt at a good headline - it is all downhill from here.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Yea great point -

Instead of holding a vote on unemployment benefits, the democrats are playing political games on Capitol Hill


If the democrats weren't playing so many games with their liberal agenda, Don't Ask and amnesty, they could have probably ALREADY gotten unemployment benefits passed.


It is silly - The democrats and Pelosi could have had a deal with McConnell earlier this week -

HOW HARD IS IT ?

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Thank God I'm finally "on ignore" from both of bernielatham's computer!

Now it's safe to tell RainForestRising that I agree with impeachment. I hope it's from Rep. Issa uncovering something really juicy though.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 4, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Clawrence

I think they should re-open the files on Bill Clinton taking money from the Chinese and the Indonesians in 1996 - and see if Hillary was involved with that.


That would finally blow the lid on the Free Trade deals - and how Clinton got us into owing China 3 Trillion dollars.


Hillary should be under investigation to see how involved she was with that

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Great idea (this time, let's impeach BOTH Clintons to prevent them from ever holding federal office again).

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 4, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Obama is optimistic he'll be able to collapse Democratic opposition to ongoing tax cuts for the rich, "We need to get this resolved, and I'm confident we can do it." Republicans are laughing at him now.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 4, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Republicans voted unanimously against the House-passed bill, and they were joined by four Democrats — Senators Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Jim Webb of Virginia — as well as by Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut.

“You don’t raise taxes if your ultimate goal, if the main thing is to create jobs,” said Senator John Thune, Republican of South Dakota, echoing an argument made repeatedly by his colleagues during the floor debate.

The Senate on Saturday also rejected an alternative proposal, championed by Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, to raise the threshold at which the tax breaks would expire to $1 million. Some Democrats said that the Republicans’ opposition to that plan showed them to be siding with “millionaires and billionaires” over the middle class.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 4, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Obama has slowly been twisting in the wind (to use a Nixon metaphor) ever since he reached for the poison apple of 60 votes.


No sooner than that Court in Minnesota recognized that election did Ted Kennedy died.

Then the democrats should have never gotten the Massachusetts legislature to change the law so he could get back to 60 - that was bogus.


Then the democrats lost the 60 again when Scott Brown was elected.


They STILL didn't listen to the American People - Arlen Specter is an idiot - and he is STILL drawing a Federal paycheck -

Specter betrayed the people who elected him by switching parties - you keep hearing that he is leaving office - but he HASN'T gone yet - still another month for him.


Geesssh....

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Either way, Obama is headed out the door.

Liberalism is dead - and Obama buried it all by himself.


What we see right now in the lame duck is ZOMBIE LIBERALISM - the walking dead of a liberal agenda.


In fact, that is what is going on here in this blog.


This blog is now ZOMBIE BLOG - the walking dead of a blog - still pushing liberalism, still demanding meaningless votes - all for what???


The American People don't send democrats to Washington to stage meaningless votes all the time.


It is completely pathetic.


The democrats are so blinded by their own lack of reality that they have completely lost sight of the idea that democrats go to Washington to represent the people, not a dead agenda.


THE DEAD AGENDA SOCIETY - a new movie produced by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid

And yes, at the end, they all hang themselves.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 4, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"Read the whole thing, it's very good. And it underlines how the "whack Assange" chorus from the right conceptualizing and forwarding a set of notions which are truly authoritarian. Liberty-lovers, they. Posted by: bernielatham "

There are a few of us out here on the far left who know that Wikileaks has done serious damage to the peoples right to know.

The materials that Wikileaks published should, by normal policy, never have been available to leak. They are nearly all material that should by routine have been deleted immediately after the recipient read them. But memory is cheap, and standardized declassification schedules can be allowed to declassify and release to the public items like these once their period of sensitivity has passed. In paper for they would all have had declassification posts stamped on them directing their declassification after the appropriate time had elapsed.

Now these items will travel the security communications net appended with caveats like Do not make copies or print out this memo. Do not disseminate beyond distribution list Do not retain this document, AND Do not archive this document. For making public a quatermillion bits of gossip, Assange has cost historians decades of such tidbits, useful in understanding the past, but to sensitive to allow to be immediately released, and so for very ordinary reasons of good security discipline, they will get the electronic equivalent of being shredded, pulverized, burned and then mulched.

Good bye historical minutiae, gossips can't be trusted to keep you off the internet long enough to prevent the kind of damages your early release might cause.

Posted by: ceflynline | December 4, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"While I understand the frustration from the left regarding what has been described as Obama Administration "fecklessness" perhaps it is time for 40 Dem Senators to pen a letter to the President indicating that they intend to filibuster any attempt to grant a tax bonus on income over $250,000. Period. Posted by: pragmaticagain "

Even better, some leftist of courage ought to request the floor and move that, since the republican Minority has declared that no business shall be conducted unless the republicans get their way, the Senate ought to take them at their word and adjourn the second session of the 111th Congress. Given that impetus Nancy Pelosi ought to propose closing the House, as without the Senate until the 112th Congress, the House has no further reason to meet.

The though of a filibuster by the majority caucus is delicious, but the thought of Reid and Pelosi telling the Republicans that, since they can't behave better than rowdy kindergartners, they should just go home and sulk is a repast fit for the gods.

Posted by: ceflynline | December 4, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

With that post, Greg, I think i am going to adjourn from the washington post for a while. Your blog is now the 37th, Zouk, and jake net, and most of the editorials are similarly overrun by them and their friends. I hate having to read blogs backwards,and for some reason the troll butter program doesn't work well with my system.

When I hear that your new system is in place I may decide to return, but wading through 37th's 100 inches per day of blather to try to find somebody readable is just not worth it.

Via con dios, mon, and I hope you can get your column back under your own control.

Posted by: ceflynline | December 4, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Tao said: "Grounded @ "Gingrich camp"..."aligned with the neo-conservatives"..."extreme anti-Muslim sentiments..."

Quite simply, you don't know what you're talking about.

As to the stab @ "issue[s] of allegiances or possible allegiances," again, Stevie Wonder at the rifle-range."

Tao - Yes, she lives in Istanbul, that's noted in a number of the items I read. Is your premise that everyone living in Istanbul must hold pro-Muslim views?

But more to the point, why not provide some actual evidence or links to information which show I have something wrong or where my surmises (acknowledged as surmises) have it wrong rather than merely making your assertions and tacking on the insult-cuties?

Posted by: bernielatham | December 4, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

As I have before cef, I will sorely miss you. I get it though, I wouldn't watch what people say here if I had to see that mind poo splattered all over the place.

Wow, my Troll blocker (thanks Kevin!) says there are 32 of his dung heaps I have not seen on this thread alone, fully a third of the 92 total. Too bad you can't get it to work. I see it has been installed on almost 400 machines so far. Amazing...all to not see one person's excrement. Have you tried the latest version? Do you use Chrome?

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

Posted by: shrink2 | December 4, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Adios, ceflynline!

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

Empathy, Putin and Berlusconi style.

"At one of their most memorable appearances together, in Moscow, in 2008, a Russian journalist named Natalia Melikova asked [Russian President Vladimir Putin] about his apparent marital trouble and rumored romance with the young and indecently plastic gymnast-cum-parliamentarian Alina Kabaeva. When asked about the liaison, Putin's face hardened. “There is not a word of truth in this story,” he said. Berlusconi, giggling, regarded the exchange. When Putin had finished answering, Berlusconi cocked his hands, and, imitating a gun, fired with a silent “Pow! Pow!” at Melikova. It had only been a year and a half since Anna Politkovskaya, an investigative journalist, had been shot in her Moscow elevator, and Melikova was reduced to tears. On the dais, Berlusconi laughed, and Putin nodded."

http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month=12&year=2010&base_name=one_more_reason_to_dislike_ber

Posted by: bernielatham | December 4, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

RainForestRising, God forbid that a non-liberal voice get "fully a third" of the posts here (even though they claim not to read it)! Whatever will they do if the Troll Blocker doesn't work? Someone call the FCC :)

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 4, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse


You can't keep a good woman down!

http://www.detnews.com/article/20101203/SCHOOLS/12030428/WSU-cancels-Helen-Thomas-award-after-remarks

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 4, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama is "owned by Zionists"?! When was the 13th Amendment repealed?

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 4, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

ceflynline wrote,
"Your blog is now the 37th, Zouk, and jake net, and most of the editorials are similarly overrun by them and their friends. I hate having to read blogs backwards"
-------

What a buffoon. Zouk and Jake don't even post here---Jake used to.

Posted by: Brigade | December 4, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Obama is optimistic he'll be able to collapse Democratic opposition to ongoing tax cuts for the rich, "We need to get this resolved, and I'm confident we can do it." Republicans are laughing at him now.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 4, 2010 2:24 PM
------

If they're laughing, it isn't over the tax cuts. Obama realizes that it will be a bit more difficult for him to get re-elected than for people like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer; and even Schumer is willing to raise the limit to $1 million.
Barry isn't going to roll the dice on a double-dipper by allowing all these tax cuts to sunset because of a congressional stalemate. He knows full well that his future fate is tied to economic recovery, and he's not going to let Republicans hang this one around his neck just to please the lefties.

Posted by: Brigade | December 4, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Just 32? I am up to like 45. But I have like three other people in addition to the 37th incarnations.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 4, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Dennis G at Balloon Juice indicts Fred Hiatt for his dishonest op ed on the Plame film...

"In his editorial, Fred demands more of Hollywood than a well made film. He demands that filmmakers adherer to provable facts as they craft their fictionalized narratives based on real events. In this way, Hiatt holds Hollywood to a much higher standaard than he holds himself and his collection of propagandists (George Will, Marc Thiessen, Michael Gerson, etc.) whom he lets play fast and loose with facts, history and truth as they craft their essays based on absolute bullsh*t.

Perhaps the fact that a Hollywood movie is more honest about the War (and life) than Hiatt’s Editorial page is what really sets the rat b*stard off. The film exposes the insanity of the Iraq War on so many level and I guess that is why Fred felt compelled to go on the attack—an attack which twists the reporting of the WP to defend Fred’s lies and his efforts to keep the selling of the Iraq War as an active project of the WP Editorial Page.

If one wants to understand why Journalism is failing America one needs to look no further than Fred Hiatt. Any organization concerned with journalistic integrity would fire his lying ass. That he continues at the WP is an insult to the many decent reporters who work there and good reporters everywhere. Katharine Graham must be spinning in her grave."

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/12/04/established-facts-are-willfully-ignored/

Posted by: bernielatham | December 4, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

@bernie,

I saw the Plame film and it is powerful. It's high praise indeed for a supporter of the war to attack the film, because the film is that convincing. If you haven't seen it, you should. It's worth the price of admission.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 4, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

"If one wants to understand why Journalism is failing America one needs to look no further than Fred Hiatt."

When was the era that Journalism did not fail America? How long did it last? What preferred it? What circumstances allowed it's existence? Why did it start failing America again?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 4, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

@12bar - Haven't seen it but will when I get the chance. Presently I'm working 10+ hours six or seven days a week. The reality for many small retailers these days. The plus is that I truly love dealing with the folks who come into our store - big fun each day. Also looking forward to the Coen brothers remake of True Grit.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 4, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Related to the BJ quote above on Hiatt's op ed, Eric Alterman talks about the modern Post's attempt to be either FOX or the Weekly Standard on its op ed pages...

"The Washington Post is luckier than most in this respect because its parent company allows it to piggyback on the profits of the educational testing company Kaplan Inc., which has been subsidizing the newspaper’s losses at what must feel like an alarming rate in recent years—one that is unlikely to continue if the younger members of the Graham family that owns the newspaper ever decide they are more interested in profits than in providing a public service.

One reaction to the crisis that has gone largely unremarked, however, has been a kind of panic on the part of the paper’s top editors—along with its ombudsman—about its ability to appeal to conservatives. One is hard pressed to say whether this is an economic concern or merely a knee-jerk response to a consistent campaign by conservatives to “work the refs” at the Post. But all one can say for certain is that it is happening and making itself more obvious all the time..."

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/12/ta120210.html

Posted by: bernielatham | December 4, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

@bernie,

That's on my list too (True Grit). I am a big fan of the brothers.

The Plame film will be just fine on the small screen.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 4, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Good reminders of the history of DeLay and crowd in Alterman's Sending the Hammer to the Slammer...

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-11-25/tom-delays-conviction-a-holiday-gift-to-liberals

Posted by: bernielatham | December 4, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

"The Plame film will be just fine on the small screen."

Just one more in a long line of clues that I've become my parents.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 4, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

bernielatham, hasn't the WaPo started up a new Red blog or something? Third time's a charm. The first one was a plagiarist and the second one turned out to be far too reverent towards the ground soldiers of the tea party movement and not reverent enough towards Republican talking heads. I guess the third one will get it right.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 4, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Up above, ceflyline makes a challenging argument of negatives arising from the Assange wikileaks doc dump. If she/he comes back and wants to discuss this more, I'd be happy. It's complex and we don't know where this is going.

Alterman writes on it here...

"Today, the digitization of information has empowered “citizen journalists” like the folks at WikiLeaks to actually determine the agenda of the mainstream media — and of world governments — to a degree most of us are only beginning to understand."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/opinion/03iht-edalterman.html?_r=2

And Jay Rosen here...

"Julian Assange Ducks the Question A Lot of Us Have About Wikileaks

It happened in a Q and A with readers of The Guardian. I am posting it to here to provide a place to comment, since it is clear from my Twitter feed that not everyone agrees. My own view is that he should have provided a serious, by which I mean a morally serious, response to JAnthony's question. That he did not disturbs me.
What do you think?"

http://jayrosen.posterous.com/julian-assange-ducks-the-question-a-lot-of-us

Posted by: bernielatham | December 4, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

The democrats are so blinded by their own lack of reality that they have completely lost sight of the idea that democrats go to Washington to represent the people, not a dead agenda.


THE DEAD AGENDA SOCIETY - a new movie produced by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid


And yes, at the end, they all hang themselves.

_____________________________

ceflynline

If you were an honest person, you would be complaining about the liberals on this blog - Bernie and Ethan among others who post all the time.


The Conservatives hardly keep up with the liberals and their out-of-touch-with-reality comments.


For you, at this point, it is simply a question of honesty. You can be honest, and state clearly that the liberals do the same and worse. OR you can just blame and vent, neither of which have any grounding in reality.


To blame your anger at Obama for his incompetence and lack of qualitification on several bloggers - that is pretty much complete insanity. I suggest you check in somewhere as soon as possible.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 5, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

"If one wants to understand why Journalism is failing America one needs to look no further than Fred Hiatt."

When was the era that Journalism did not fail America? How long did it last? What preferred it? What circumstances allowed it's existence? Why did it start failing America again?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 4, 2010 7:55 PM

_____________________________

I think everyone wants the Washington Post to be of the highest quality possible - and many believe that the Washington Post is not meeting its potential at the present time.


Do you think the Post is up to its potential???


Obviously not. Greg Sargent leaves a great deal to be desired - and he knows it. Chris Cillizza dropped the ball on his blog. One can run down the entire opinion staff - they need to cut a bunch of them loose - and hire some quality people.


Sad, but entirely true.


Yes, perhaps the editors should start listening. Before the internet, the editors could do whatever they want, and ignore the letters which came in the mail. Now, with the internet, everyone can comment - and the editors can not simply ignore reality - or what the public thinks.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 5, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Obama's Transformations


Obama has transformed the democratic party into the THE DEAD AGENDA SOCIETY.


Fitting accomplishment, unprecendented in its scope - and perhaps the only thing Obama will be put into the history books for - the complete destruction of the democratic party due to an unprecedented combination of arrogance and stupidity.

.
.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 5, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

ceflynline


It would be good for everyone if you really did leave.

However, no one believes that you actually will.

Bernie promised to leave early last month - now he is the leading thread-bomber, unpunished obviously.


You would do us all a favor if you took your bad attitude and just left.

So, please feel free. But no one believes you.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 5, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

After being taken to task for ignorantly suggesting that Berlinski is “a voice of fairly extreme anti-Muslim sentiments”, Bernie demonstrates his firm grip on logic:

“Yes, she lives in Istanbul, that's noted in a number of the items I read. Is your premise that everyone living in Istanbul must hold pro-Muslim views?”

Apparently Bernie’s premise is that anyone who does not hold pro-Muslim views would, logically, be properly characterized as holding “extreme anti-Muslim” views. Sharp, Bernie, sharp.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 5, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

McWing:

"When was the era that Journalism did not fail America?"

Indeed. Was it when William Randolph Hearst was manufacturing wars abroad in order to sell newspapers? Was it when newspapers during WWII refused to print pictures of dead American GIs, thus conspiring with the government to keep the realities of war from reaching Main Street. Was it during the early '60's when it conspired with the Kennedy administration to keep the President's health and, er, extra-curricular activities a secret from the American people? Was it during the seventies when it was propagating fears about global...cooling?

When exactly was this golden era?


Posted by: ScottC3 | December 5, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

@DDAWD - The hire of the Commentary writer by the WP is one of the subjects of Alterman's piece I linked above (8:20).

**************

There's a very smart piece in this paper by Robert Kaplan today. I'd split some hairs on a couple of small points but nothing significant to his overall theme or argument.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/03/AR2010120303448.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Cefyline argued above that the wikileaks doc dump will further entrench secrecy and/or result in much less text being written or stored thus (this seems to be the main objection) decreasing future historians' primary sources and their ability to write thorough and accurate accounts. Thus, citizens' ability to know will be diminished.

I don't find this very compelling by itself. If, for example, the Bush administration's communications had been more transparent (less able to be hidden) before the Iraq war, that war would have been less likely to have been initiated. And if my choice is between historians' access to the how and why of that war and on the other hand, no war or decreased chance of it, I'll go with the latter.

Assange's conception (as I read it anyway) is that as institutions (government, corporate, even NGOs etc) accrete power, they also just naturally accrete communication links branching out to other related entities. These links, if only because they go to singular or limited destinations, are functionally secretive (not necessarily conspiratorial but often quite banal, as Assange puts it). But there's a good insight here that coercive structures or systems arise in just this manner. Assange hopes that if the linkages can be forced into multiple and indiscriminate paths then the capacity for entities to retain isolated power will be damaged.

It seems to me that the more valid counter-arguments will speak to the negatives of "anarchy". Can complex (or even simple) human societies function where evolved or imposed order is constantly upset or undercut? And then (again, as it seems to me) this gets us to the problem that has no answer - how much must the individual submerge himself or herself in order to achieve the perfect balance of relationships with everyone else around him or her? What is "liberty" worth if you are starving because a network of entities delivering food cannot function efficiently or because you aren't recompensed enough at labor to purchase food/shelter?

It's easy enough to observe and indict the authoritarian types who (by genetic endowment or culture or whatever) insist upon rigid social structures and maintenance of existing power relationships. They are certainly not my favorite types. But there's that other side of the dilemma too, with its guillotines.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 5, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

All, a fresh Open Thread for you:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/sunday_open_thread_12.html

Posted by: sargegreg | December 5, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Frank Rich diagnoses Obama with Stockholm Syndrome, the adaptation to terror, a traumatic stress disorder we discussed here last week. I knew he read the Plumb Line comments to steal our ideas, but it is getting a little obvious now.

Everything in the column is rehashed and he misses the point, no one is holding the President hostage. Above, Brigade says he is doing this "Blazing Saddles" style, pointing the gun to his own head to avoid getting blamed for the economy not being fixed when he runs for re-election. I hadn't thought of that. Thanks Brigade.

This isn't Stockholm Syndrome, it is the President running for reelection on tax cuts for the rich...even though he knows they are ineffective. But he knows America thinks they are, he is just that cynical.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 5, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"But he knows America thinks they are"

Your evidence for this assertion is what?

Posted by: bernielatham | December 5, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

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