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Posted at 6:41 PM ET, 12/17/2010

Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* Obama signed the tax deal into law this afternoon, hailing bipartisan compromise, but also taking full ownership of the deal's success in averting a middle class tax hike:

"I refused to let that happen. And because we acted, it's not going to."

* Dan Balz says Obama's critics are deeply unsettled by the political resilience Obama displayed in getting the tax deal done, and capitalizing on it.

* Bipartisan good feelings? John Boehner says the deal is only a good first step and that Dems "need to end the job-killing spending binge."

* Obama campaign blogger Sam Graham-Felsen says the problem isn't that Obama has alienated the left -- it's that he's alienated the grassroots.

* With the final DADT repeal vote set for tomorrow, Jonathan Capehart has an interesting look at how opinion in Congress has shifted slowly and inexorably in the direction of favoring repeal.

* Steve Benen, on GOP suggestions that the DADT vote could ice the START treaty:

"Taking a step back, what we see here is yet another hostage situation...It's as offensive as anything Republicans have done in years, and given the antics of these guys, that's really saying something."

* But: Olivier Knox notes that Lindsey Graham, another GOP Senator taking the lead on START, is denying up and down that he has ever hinted at any such threat.

* And Igor Volsky, who's been on top of this story today, has video of senators John McCain and Jon Kyl running away from the notion of any threat.

* Indeed, Allahpundit says there are tensions among Senate Republicans over how hard to push the line that a DADT vote could imperil START.

* Mitch McConnell concedes he may not be able to obstruct either New START or DADT repeal.

* Good read: Adam Serwer on the larger arguments behind the skirmishing over the individual mandate.

* Also in the above link: Yale prof Jack Balkin tells liberals how they should make the case for the mandate:

"Liberals should take a page from the Tea Partiers and wave their pocket Constitutions around and ask, what part of regulating commerce between the states don't you understand? What part of tax and provide for the general welfare don't you understand?"

* The judge who ruled the individual mandate unconstitutional really seems to crave attention.

* PolitiFact's "lie of the year" is a Fox News staple.

* Friday comic relief: First Read has Michael Steele's top 10 gaffes on video.

* Special bonus Steele moment: This one isn't sexy or funny, but it remains my favorite: Steele conceding that the GOP has employed a "southern strategy" for four decades.

* And this should be constructive: GOP Rep. Pete King is planning to hold hearings on the "radicalization" of Muslim communities.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | December 17, 2010; 6:41 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: GOP Senator to Dems: If you try to pass DADT, Republicans won't pass START
Next: DADT repeal wins!

Comments

NBC News is reporting that a delegation of Republican Senators went to the White House today, to try and get Obama to persuade Harry Reid to not call repeal of DADT up for a vote, and to bring up the START treaty instead.

Reid is reported to have said, that he has the votes to repeal DADT now, so he must go ahead with it, because he will not have enough votes to pass it, next year.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 17, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

It is about time Obama hears he is alienating his base, the people who elected him, not the left.

No wonder he didn't care, someone probably told him the only people who were mad at him collect the early works of Noam Chomsky for fun and profit.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Liam,

To quote Boehner, "that's chickenpoop."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 17, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Why are the long knives always out for Michael Steele.

Regardless of his gaffs, I wouldn't mind trading how his party has faired, since he got the position, compared to how Democrats have faired, since his counter part took over from Howard Dean.

Why is Michael Steele under constant attack, and not a peep is being heard about cleaning house over at the DNC.

Keep in mind. Two years ago; The Republicans were reduced to a regional rump party, and many pundits were saying that they were probably through as a real national party.

Since then; they have captured the Senate seats previously held by Ted Kennedy and Barack Obama, in two of the Bluest States in the Union.

They had masssive gains in both houses of congress, last month, and they also had massive gains in the number of Governorships captured.

So, how did Steele hurt the Republicans, and how come he is in danger of losing his job, while no one has uttered a single critical remark about the disastrous two years that the DNC have had.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 17, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I read that Graham-Felsen piece earlier and have to agree for the most part. During the HCR summer of discontent I was at an OFA training seminar and during a Q&A moment I asked a question regarding Obama's commitment to the public option. Three of the staff jumped up immediately and pulled me aside and essentially gave me a bunch of platitudes and promises for the future and basically hinted that I should not rock the boat. I resigned the next day. Maybe there's still some grassroots efforts going on, I've heard a few people mention it here, but I think by and large people like me have gone on to other organizations. Just an observation.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 17, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I see the site's eating comments again.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 17, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

"Why are the long knives always out for Michael Steele."

Double reverse psychology does not work around here.

"No one has uttered a single critical remark about the disastrous two years that the DNC have had."

Actually, I've been ranting about that since Dean got kicked to the curb and it is also true that I am no one.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I see the site's eating comments again.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 17, 2010 6:58 PM


It hasn't eaten mine; just slow to digest them. After I hit enter there is an annoying delay before they show up. I have found that once I hit enter, instead of waiting for them to post, clicking on the thread title at the top right column, opens the thread at once, and my comments are already posted.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 17, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

One more thought re OFA. I remember the week that Obama recommended the pay freeze for Federal Employees and sent out some sort of email whipping up support among members. I thought that was a real stretch.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 17, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Gotta wonder what the story was/is with Dean

,

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 17, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I've been ranting about that since Dean got kicked to the curb and it is also true that I am no one.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2010 6:59 PM

........................

I am not talking about people like you and me. I am asking why so many powerful Republicans keep castigating Steele, while no Big Time Democrats have said a discouraging word about how the DNC has been run.

Forget about being a Teflon chairman; Tim Kaine appears to have been clad in an invisibility cloak.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 17, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Liam, yeah it just looks like it's slower than usual. Hey, are we going to hang out here during the DADT vote in the Senate, it's a big one AFAIC and could be a nail biter. I will if you will, assuming someone knows what time it will be.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 17, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca

I will probably log in tomorrow, since it is very cold here, so we are not going to venture out, and there are no real sports worth watching on the telly.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 17, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Imsinca, we are not the left (what the heck is that anyway? no one seems to know the difference between a liberal and a socialist, that should be our first clue) we are attacked as "malcontents", they say nothing is ever good enough for us. I say this man's organization has no idea who elected him or why.

Oh here, yes Liam Tim Kaine is a shadow wrapped in an invisibility cloak. Michael Steele was far more valuable to the Republican Party, simply because he was out there getting buzz. We know why Steele has to go, the real Republican money management firm of Gillespie, Barbour & Rove are coming back to run things and Steele, well, he just wouldn't fit in.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I see the site's eating comments again.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 17, 2010 6:58 PM

It hasn't eaten mine

Posted by: Liam-still | December 17, 2010 7:04 PM
-------

Unfortunately.

Posted by: Brigade | December 17, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Have a good night all. I will check in tomorrow.

Here is a 12 century Irish Carol, sung by Imelda May at the Belfast Opera House last December.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nLJjupZL8U

Posted by: Liam-still | December 17, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Brigade the Psychopath who exulted over the shooting of unarmed students at Kent State?

Posted by: Liam-still | December 17, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Liam-still wrote,
"Most of the complaining about Federal Taxes comes from welfare parasites."

So, stop complaining. Those who don't pay any are always wanting them raised.

"Mostly Blue States pay the taxes that are doled out to the Red States that keep whining about Federal Taxes."

So, stop whining.

"bunch of freeloading hyprocites."

So, stop freeloading even if you can't control your hypocrisy.

Posted by: Brigade | December 17, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Liam again,
"The US spends more, each year, on The Military, than the next top 49 nations combined."

-----

It's a cinch we haven't spent any of that money on you. Think how much you've saved the country by whining instead of serving. Now, if you'd just stop freeloading . . .

Posted by: Brigade | December 17, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

benevolent9 wrote,
"I believe a significant amount of revenue could be raised toward a government option through voluntary contributions on income taxes."
------

LOL. You wouldn't raise a dime from the liberals. They want the government to squeeze it out of someone else. Even the wealthy libs don't trust the government to spend their excess wealth; they give it to charities of their own choosing. The liberals who make up the infamous 47% and aren't in the penitentiary will drain the system rather than support it.

Posted by: Brigade | December 17, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

"Mitch McConnell concedes he may not be able to obstruct either New START or DADT repeal."

My god! The man is clearly an utter failure.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 17, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

"Liberals should take a page from the Tea Partiers and wave their pocket Constitutions around and ask, what part of regulating commerce between the states don't you understand? What part of tax and provide for the general welfare don't you understand?"
___________________________________________

Are you serious? First, we are not states. And I'd calmly ask the professor to explain to me exactly how forcing us to purchase a product is a tax, and how that is providing for anyone's welfare beside our own.
For this guy's argument to be true, Congress would need to levy a tax and buy the insurance for us. Individual mandate is not a tax.

Posted by: Bailers | December 17, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

This is rather humorous. Palin in an interview at home responds to the criticism from Sorkin...

"Palin on GMA, "[I] would never shoot an animal for its fur or for fashion". In the background, a bearskin rug complete with head."

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/scarce/completely-predictable-sarah-palin

Posted by: bernielatham | December 17, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

All is forgiven. I love Obama again. I opened the mail and got a beautiful Xmas card will all four members of the family's "personal version" signature stamp, including Bo.

I must be on a preferred donor list. Just so you don't get jealous, I got a lot of faux personalized mail from Sharron Angle, Dino Rossi and others too. But this is a very nice Xmas card, the White House on a snowy morning.

Maybe he really does care about the people who got him elected?

Naaaa, paper is cheap.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

"Palin on GMA, "[I] would never shoot an animal for its fur or for fashion". In the background, a bearskin rug complete with head."
------------------------------------------------
What is it with her? First turkeys being slaughtered, then a bearskin rug on the wall?

That's the smallest bearskin. Sure it isn't a cub? I'd like to know if the Palin's ate this little teeny bear in their quest for organic dinner. Yeah, sure...do they think we are complete fools?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 17, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Typically great column by Alterman on FOX propaganda...

"Sammon is once again relying on a political strategy mapped out by Luntz years ago. Back in 2002, Luntz told Republicans that if American “voters believe there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community,” political action to address would remain stalled in Congress. To effect their strategy, the climate deniers needed to embrace a tactic employed for decades by tobacco companies by funding and publicizing their own “studies” and research institutes."

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/12/ta121610.html

Posted by: bernielatham | December 17, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Re:Yale prof Jack Balkin tells liberals how they should make the case for the mandate

Why any liberal would want to make a case for the mandate is beyond me.

It was a terrible idea from the beginning, and if it takes a wingnut judge to do it in - all the better.

At least we'll be spared the sight of Mr. Obama selling the farm making a deal with Republicans to eliminate the albatross before the 2012 elections, as it must be to avoid further losses.

Posted by: ktktk | December 17, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Thought I'd ad in this addendum to Eric's column. In a recent conversation, James Fallows of the Atlantic who had just returned from some years in China was asked what changes he noted here after so long away. He responded that the thing that most surprised him was the serious decline of this paper.

"Author’s note: In last week’s column we noticed that The Washington Post had recently added to its stable of conservative bloggers and columnists Jennifer Rubin, the paper’s second anti-Islam, pro-torture proponent. Had we shown more patience we could have included yet another Post hire for hate’s side.

The paper recently announced with pride, we presume, that it would be giving a blog to Jordan Sekulow. He has referred to the Park 51 Islamic Center as a "shrine to terror." He actually believes that “the threat of Sharia law is real and the people of Oklahoma are ahead of the curve."

His organization, the American Center for Law and Justice, argued on behalf of an investigation of Muslim congressional staffers based on a bogus, McCarthyite Fox News report. And ACLJ, and Jordan in particular, is extending its reach around the world to help activists in Africa, for example, ensure that homosexuality remains criminalized.

One is tempted to ask after reading this stuff: When we have a Washington Post, who needs Fox News?"

Posted by: bernielatham | December 17, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

And another from Eric...

"Indeed, the entire edifice of supply-side economics was constructed with this goal in mind. Neoconservative pundit Irving Kristol, Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Robert Bartley and former Treasury Secretary William Simon, among others, made this their cause throughout much of the 1970s and '80s, with often astonishing results. They helped channel hundreds of millions of dollars, later mushrooming into billions, into the newly created conservative counterestablishment. These groups and others championed the arguments of Austrian economist Friedrich von Hayek and his American counterpart, monetarist Milton Friedman, to replace the global Keynesian consensus with their own. Their ideas were further disseminated by a rash of new quasi-academic and political journals and publishing houses, later augmented by an entire alternative media structure we now understand to be a natural part of our politics and culture."

http://www.thenation.com/article/157163/whats-story-mr-president

Posted by: bernielatham | December 17, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

One is tempted to ask after reading this stuff: When we have a Washington Post, who needs Fox News?"

==

Well this IS the paper that runs Krauthammer, Gerson, Thiessen, and Will, with only Dionne and Robinson as token balance.

And the paper that runs that lickspittle GOP sycophant Cillizza as its signature analyst.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 17, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

"The covers of this book are too far apart"---Ambrose Bierce

Given the paucity of facts, wit and substance, the same may be said of the first word and the last in a post by caothein9.

Posted by: Brigade | December 17, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Re Palin...so now the fire is coming from Commentary. First, in response to her interview on O'Reilly (following a critical column on her from Krauthammer), Jonathan Tobin writes:

"Everything she does and says lately seems geared toward reinforcing the negative opinion of that 60 percent already convinced that she isn’t qualified to be the commander in chief. And there’s simply no way that a person that six out of 10 voters wouldn’t vote for under any circumstances can be elected president."

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/tobin/384493

Then, Peter Wehner (also at Commentary) writes:

"Virtually every time Ms. Palin speaks out, she reinforces some of the worst impressions or deepest concerns many of us have about her. *If she were to become the voice and representative of the GOP and the modern conservatism movement, both would suffer a massive rejection*."

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/wehner/384562

As Imsinca and others here might recognize, that bolded passage is precisely the rationale which I figured would lead GOP establishment forces to cut her off at the knees.

Going through Media Matters tracking of Limbaugh, I can't find a single mention by him of Palin in the last month. That tracking doesn't cover all content so there might be something missed here but if so, it's minimal.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 17, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

It is frightening that the democrats insisted on misinterpreting their mandate from 2008

AND NOW the democrats are insisting on jamming their special interest liberal agenda down the throats of Americans


TRULY DISGRACEFUL

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 17, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

@cao - I'd love to talk to EJ or Eugene and get their perspective on the devolution of the paper over the last decade or so.

I don't agree with your portrait of Cillizza however. He commonly offers up the he said/she said undiscerning equivalences common to Villager notions of what reporting should be and he'd probably feel at home working for Politico. But he's not a GOP lickspittle.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 17, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

ps...h/t to Sullivan on those Commentary pieces

Posted by: bernielatham | December 17, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Nieman Journalism Lab week in review...lots of links re Assange and other such stuffs...

http://www.niemanlab.org/2010/12/this-week-in-review-taking-sides-on-wikileaks-the-ipadprint-dilemma-and-the-new-syndication/

Posted by: bernielatham | December 17, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Bernie

It's fascinating watching Palin grasp at the ring with butter fingers. She's been toying with the "lamestream media" lately and I assume she's realized she can't win with just her facebook and Fox fans. I agree the politerati are beginning to turn on her as it becomes more clear she can't possibly out distance Obama. I still think she may enter the primaries just to tickle her fancy and increase the adoration of her fans though. She seems to be immune to criticism coming from the "haters" but can't resist returning fire.

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

@bernie: dunno if you're a regular Fix reader but I was for two years and found his GOP favoritism to be, well, glaring, so much so that it was occasionally nauseating. Two favorable mentions of Obama in two years, both lukewarm and the second delivered in a tone as though through clenched teeth.

And almost daily, sometimes several posts a day,fawning lovingly over assorted Republicans, often saying really nothing at all of any worth to anyone. A simpering review of Romney's staff. Articles about Pawlenty nothing short of adoring, cooing at Haley Barbour and Mitch Daniels. Hyperventilating over one Republican governor nobody cares about endorsing another Republican governor nobody cares about, yet when a Democrat of note endorsed another, not a mention, much less a whole column.

I finally had to just stop reading. I couldn't take him seriously at all, and what you said about the shallowness. Not just he-said-she-said but a small palette of writing tics that grated after a while. On the one hand, on the other hand. It remains to be seen. Etc.

And bad news for Democrats five days a week, sometimes coming into the otfice on the weekend for more of it.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 18, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Balkin babbled: ""Liberals should take a page from the Tea Partiers and wave their pocket Constitutions around and ask, what part of regulating commerce between the states don't you understand?"

-------------------------------------
So, Balkin thinks that people are now packages in the interstate commerce system. Talk about low IQ. LMAO

Posted by: illogicbuster | December 18, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

And teabagger believe that what benefits the rich benefits them too.

And they don't believe the world is heating up from burning fossil fuels.

And they believe that the president is a Kenyan-born Muslim and a Communist.

And they believe their own taxes have gone up since Obama took office. A lot of them have copies of their own tax returns!

Baggers on medicare scream outrage at "government run healthcare."

Baggers on Social Security scream their support for ending it.

And you wanna talk about some quibble in "interstate commerce?"

Posted by: caothien9 | December 18, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

It is not a quibble with "Interstate Commerce"


It is important to have a balance berween State and Federal powers.

Extremely important.


And it is far better to have weaker Federal government. Concentration of powers never yields good results.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 18, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

It is not a quibble with "Interstate Commerce"


It is important to have a balance berween State and Federal powers.

Extremely important.


And it is far better to have weaker Federal government. Concentration of powers never yields good results.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 18, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

@ims - I'm sure she wants to run (though the motives of advisors around her are less clear - they're making fine money right now and Randy Scheunemann is a weasel with fire-sale loyalties). As to her entering the primaries, my thinking here is that no one except her immediate circle and her base will wish it to happen (and Dems, of course). The argument that Wehner makes in that quote above is applicable not merely if she's the nominee but also if she becomes a competitor in the primaries. Because of her present profile, if she enters the primaries, she WILL represent the GOP and modern conservative movement, surely moreso than any other candidate. The character of the modern media, exceling in knee-jerk and shallow celebrity-worship coverage, will make this a certainty. And she'll be shown, repeatedly, to be a fool and as Wehner, Tobin, Rove, Krauthammer, Will, Labash and others understand that will hurt the image of the GOP and conservative movement (who pushed her forward and defended her so vociferously).

If we consider the main narrative she has and continues to push (simple patriotic citizen who suffers aggrieved victimhood through being targeted by the mainstream media and the DC establishment boys' clubs - note that these are key Tea Party memes) then any other Republican competitor or rightwing media outlet who "attacks" her in the sustained manner of a primary, will automatically be conceived by her followers as everything the Tea Party is against. The potential for serious movement turmoil and confusion is very high and that would have critical consequences for narrative simplicity, movement solidarity, activism, enthusiasm and voter turnout.

And there are many many billions of dollars at stake on this next election. So she'll be stopped. It didn't surprise me to see that Limbaugh has (apparently) ceased talking about her - that's what he does when a tough conflict arises, he just talks about other things until some co-ordinated strategy is worked out. He will have to get from Sarah booster to Sarah's not the right one. And they haven't figured that out yet or, more likely, are already in the runup to building this consensus on the right. But it is a tough one and I truly hope they screw it up because the whole crowd has become something so morally corrupt that our future could be really unpleasant if they win the day.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 18, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

@cao- No, I've never been a reader of the Fix. Now and again, I get linked to the fellow and I've seen him on teevee a fair bit. So I have to take a back seat to you as regards familiarity. I suppose I'd just make the point that the description you give above is very close to mine. But I see this as a widespread phenomenon across the major media.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 18, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Serwer's column is sadly (and typically) inept at explaining how the mandate is is within the federal government's enumerated powers. He says it is "easier than it seems," but then gives no explanation at all. Here is his entire explanation:

"The commerce clause grants the federal government authority to regulate interstate commerce, of which the health-insurance market is most certainly a part. That authority is meaningless if it does not allow the federal government to deal with the particular problems the health-insurance market poses, like adverse selection and guaranteed issue in individual states. But that doesn't make the federal government all powerful."

That's it? He doesn't deal with any of the actual argument against the mandate. Nice work, Adam. I guess you win if you just fail to engage the issue.

He goes on to numerous fallacies and misrepresentations. For example:

"Without some kind of federal mechanism, you can't preserve the private insurance market and ensure affordable universal coverage."

Never explained or even acknowledged is where the federal government got the power to "ensure affordable universal coverage" in the first place. Sort of an important oversight. So the argument is that the mandate is constitutional because, otherwise, federal regulation lacking its own constitutional basis would destroy private insurance. That doesn't even rise to the level of a "bootstrapping" legal argument.

It boils down to the assertion that "you can't actually choose not to participate in the health-insurance market, because deciding not to buy health insurance drastically affects everyone else."

So that's the rule? Whatever you don't do that "drastically affects everyone else" can now be "regulated"? Not working, or not working hard enough. Not going to college. Not eating right. Not exercising.
Right now the government says we aren't spending enough money, and that is "drastically affecting everyone else."

He quotes Balkin: "You couldn't do this with cars, you couldn't do this with cell phones, you couldn't do this with Cuisinarts. [Health] insurance is special."

Absent living and working in a densely populate urban area, not having a car imposes on everyone else costs of providing transportation (public or private) and impedes the ability to work and engage in commerce. After all, one can't actually choose not to be transported by cars at some point. Or, as the GM bailout shows, the auto industry is critical to the national economy. Therefore, everyone must buy at least one car to support it.

There, I just did it two different ways, Professor Balkin.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 18, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Bernie, is Nieman behind a paywall? I receive the following at your link:

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Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 18, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Every time Harry is up to aSturdy or holiday vote, he is up to no good.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 18, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Greenwald update on things wikileaks including Biden going from "no problem" one day to "big problem" on next day, and on the military trying to hose down the potential fire from broad knowledge of their treatment of Manning...

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/

Posted by: bernielatham | December 18, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Mark, the Nieman link works fine for me (thanks bl), though yesterday I was having some troubles with vapors in the ether.
Big morning in politics...can't wait.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Here's another one from Serwer/Balkin:

"Conservatives worried about a "food mandate" might remember that unlike health insurance, the price of food doesn't go up dramatically when someone waits until they're starving to eat."

Oh come now. Not eating right surely raises health care costs much more than not buying insurance. Undoubtedly, then the federal government can mandate purchase quotas for fresh vegatables and fruits. Just ask Michelle: we can't leave this to parents.

And how in the world do Serwer and Balkin miss the obvious -- Wickard v. Filburn itself! Wickard held that the federal government could forbid growing forbid a farmer from growing his own wheat for his own family's consumption, because it would mean he wouldn't buy wheat from someone else. This is the very case that the mandate's defenders argue provides precedent for the mandate, because it effectively if not actually forced the farmer to purchase wheat.

So what on earth are Serwer and Balkin talking about in claiming that the argument for the Obama mandate wouldn't apply to food??? The government is still in the business -- 80 years later -- of propping up food and crop prices. Under the Wickard/Obamacare rationale, it could just as easily compel each of us to buy 10 boxes of corn flakes a year, because our failure to do so affects corn prices and the economy as a whole.

Serwer then lurches into this:

"The real difference between liberals and conservatives is that liberals admit that in the pursuit of a fairer and more equitable society, they make judgment calls about the balance between freedom and providing for the general welfare."

That's interesting, since there is no general power of "provding for the general welfare." Actually, the difference is that conservatives read the Constitution and apply its terms. Liberals try to find ways to twist or evade it.

And then he says this:

"Conservatives borrow the thoughtful anti-statism of their libertarian allies, right up until they endorse the coercive power of the state to manipulate Americans into doing everything from buying homes to getting married. They admit no contradictions between decrying the overreach of the federal government and demanding it prevent gays and lesbians from marrying or imitate Arizona's descent into a virtual police state."

Consevatives generally are opposed to distorting tax features like the mortgage interest deduction. But we unfortunately have an economy built for many decades on it. And it doesn't raise the same constitutional issues. It's a tax deduction, not a universal mandate.

Re gay marriage, he means DOMA, presumably? It doesn't forbid anything. It defines marriage for purposes of federal law. No enumerated powers issue.

Immigration enforcement? A core federal power. Indeed, that's the basis of liberal's attack on the Arizona law!

Serwer needs to stick to issues he has some remote possibility of understanding. This isn't one.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 18, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Bernie

The issue with Palin running or not is how far the head honchos are willing to go to keep her out and alienate the Tea Party crowd. I think they're testing the waters now but the only other populist candidate running with any creds is Huckabee and I'm not sure he has the same in your face "hell no" attitude of an anti-government crusader like Palin. We'll see if they can keep her from running, I'm just no so sure.

I don't know if you read this piece but it explores an interesting angle, manager vs. populist.

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

"Given the GOP’s overwhelming general-election performances among working-class whites in 2008 and 2010, many party strategists expect those supporters to contribute an even larger share of the GOP vote in the 2012 presidential primaries. “Once people cross the bridge and become active [with a party] in the general election, they become more active in the primaries,” Weaver said. “My sense is that will happen—and it will change the dynamic of the primary.”

http://nationaljournal.com/magazine/populists-versus-managers-in-the-gop-race-20101216?page=2

Posted by: lmsinca | December 18, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

@mark - I'm a tech doofus so have no idea why link didn't work for you. But you ought to be able to get to it via the main url.

@Ims - another rambling thought... one fuzzy worry I have had is that Palin will, by contrast, make others look smart/intellectual/well-read even if they aren't in comparison to traditional conservative presidential candidates other than W, of course.

But no candidate opposing her could openly run with this version of the good cop/bad cop dichotomy (smart candidate/dumb candidate) because they'd immediately fall into the framing of insider/elitist that Palin and the TP and GOP broadly have worked so hard to create as a basis for how conservatives ought to view the world.

Just a clarification or amplification of one aspect of the dilemma facing everyone if she's in the contest.

Now, away for some hours.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 18, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

It has always been clear Palin won't be on the 2012 ticket, the only question, the fun to watch part, is how they 'promote' her to a sort of lode star emeritus prom queen status before their convention.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight:


The government funding ended last night at midnight - AND ALL THE DEMOCRATS CARE ABOUT ARE THE GAYS AND ILLEGALS

SHAMEFUL


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 18, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight:


The government funding ended last night at midnight - AND ALL THE DEMOCRATS CARE ABOUT ARE THE GAYS AND ILLEGALS

SHAMEFUL


.

They funded through Tuesday


It's a joke


filibuster

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 18, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

We will see what happens today


they said they would filibuster until the govenment was funded

AND they want to kill these bills. The democrats really are destroying their party with this lame-duck session. What is wrong with them????

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 18, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

"Actually, the difference is that conservatives read the Constitution and apply its terms. Liberals try to find ways to twist or evade it."

==

(avuncular chuckle) There you go again.

Wrong. Conservatives use the Constitution the way fundamentalists use the Bible., as a mirror to reflect whatever pjeudices and wholly-formed conclusions they already believe. The Constitution is a fig leaf trotted out like Trig Palin with much self-righteousness and pomposity but the truth is that conservatives are just like fundamentalists if they differ from them at all.

It's no wonder that the nation is a-dither with phony Constitution classes filling the empty container that is the conservative mind with an oily swill of distorted and revisionistic Consitutional "principles," violently slanted to favor the wealthy and the bigots.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 18, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

"If we consider the main narrative she has and continues to push (simple patriotic citizen who suffers aggrieved victimhood through being targeted by the mainstream media and the DC establishment boys' clubs - note that these are key Tea Party memes) then any other Republican competitor or rightwing media outlet who "attacks" her in the sustained manner of a primary, will automatically be conceived by her followers as everything the Tea Party is against. The potential for serious movement turmoil and confusion is very high and that would have critical consequences for narrative simplicity, movement solidarity, activism, enthusiasm and voter turnout."

==

An excellent and articulately-expressed summary.

Might be almost as much fun it Huckabee got the nod .. imagine how stale that cornpone act would get after nine months. I'd rather him than her, having her voice coming out of the radio and TV for a whole election cycle could induce one hell of a lot of headaches.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 18, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Debate prior to the cloture vote on DADT is live now on C-SPAN.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 18, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Amusing that a Vietnamese communist who believes the Constitution is irrelevant and should simply be ignored argues that it is conservatives who distort it.

Interstate Commerce Clause: Congress has power "to regulate commerce . . . among the several States."

Liberal view: Congress has power to compel all individuals to buy insurance, because their not buying insurance, while not commerce "among the several States" or even "commerce" to begin with, might have a remote affect on interstate commerce in the future if someone later consumes some form of "health care" and doesn't pay for it, meaning that someone else might (or might not) pay for it indirectly through higher prices for the health care they consume.

Conservative view: a person isn't engaged in commerce among the states by virtue of not buying health insurance, and compelling individuals to buy insurance isn't "regulating" "commerce" let alone "commerce among the states."

Pretty clear which side is twisting and distorting and looking for ways to evade what the Constitution actually says.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 18, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

File this under OMG:

Boehner has given Michelle Bachmann a committee assignment on the House Intelligence Committee.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_12/027154.php

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 18, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I don't like Joe Lieberman, but he delivered a good speech.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Lieberman's speech was good, and I do appreciate his taking this up and making it happen.

(I can't help but wonder if he's trying to boost his bona fides with the left, because his reelection options are horrid.)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 18, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Jon Kyl wants illegal labor to stay illegal, corporate toadies always do, that is the plan. Competitiveness = productivity, right Republicans? Cheaper labor means more profit, right? Since you can't have slaves anymore, illegals will have to do. Inexplicably, downwardly mobile white people think Democrats somehow benefit from the exploitation of illegal labor.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Amusing that a Vietnamese communist who believes the Constitution is irrelevant and should simply be ignored argues that it is conservatives who distort it.

==

Glad to bring some amusement to the turbo-charged tedium that is your online life.

But hey, you're slipping .. you forgot the "Stalinist mass murderer" part this time. Stay On Message, dude, it's all you have.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 18, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

John McCain, what a mess. I can't even imagine this man as President, unthinkable.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Given how petty and spiteful he's become, I wonder if McCain still lets Lieberman put his arm over his shoulder now that he's come down on the liberal side of DADT repeal.

And his own wife, too. Feeling cornered, Senator John?

Posted by: caothien9 | December 18, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

commie said blah blah blah

You've been here a couple of weeks and are boring everyone to tears.

That's what happens when all you have to contribute is repetitious, strident rhetoric. It's just like a loud, monotonous noise.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 18, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Now I've seen it all. Vietnamese commie sitting in Ho Chi Minh City trashing John McCain. Have you gone down to the Hanoi Hilton to honor his torturers and soak up the wonder and history of it all? It must be one of your favorite places.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 18, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Here ya go, QB!

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=228408&l=b5b5eef705&id=100001182823513

Posted by: caothien9 | December 18, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

". . . having her voice coming out of the radio and TV for a whole election cycle could induce one hell of a lot of headaches."

That's worth it voting FOR her right there.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 18, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Jon Kyl wants illegal labor to stay illegal, corporate toadies always do, that is the plan. Competitiveness = productivity, right Republicans? Cheaper labor means more profit, right? Since you can't have slaves anymore, illegals will have to do. Inexplicably, downwardly mobile white people think Democrats somehow benefit from the exploitation of illegal labor.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 10:30 AM
---------

No, but they realize that Democrats would benefit from a few million more voters in need of government assistance after their former slavemasters abandon them in favor of a new wave of slaves...er, illegal immigrants. Try to stay on top of things.

Posted by: Brigade | December 18, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

You needed to find still another way to confirm that you are a totalitarian fueled by rage and murderous aspirations? We get it already. We are glad you are gone. Never come back.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 18, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

quarterback1, granted that Palin is not a lawyer (maybe a good thing) or among the elite ruling class, but the same type of attacks ("her negatives are too high" and "her voice is like fingernails on chalkboard") didn't stop Hillary from running. Worse-case scenario, the Republicans get to say we were the first major party to nominate a woman for President.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 18, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Why do Republicans hate Hispanics and Gays?

Haters!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 18, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Why do Republicans hate Hispanics and Gays?

Haters!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 18, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: dunno if you're a regular Fix reader but I was for two years . . .

I finally had to just stop reading. I couldn't take him (Cillizza) seriously at all.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 18, 2010 1:14 AM
------

As a former Fix regular, I can testify---and 12BarBlues can back me---the reason poor caothien9 "finally had to just stop reading" is because the last of his multiple bannings (thus the many monikers) was after the format change, so he could no longer foam and drool and toss his hatred about in that forum. He doesn't play well with others. Since he is woefully misinformed and misguided he is prone to occasional meltdowns when confronted by conservatives with facts. Those of us who've had a bit of a history with him realize that his use of the troll hunter here is a method of self-protection. Moving from America to Vietnam, where the bait shops are indistinguishable from the grocery stores, is truly cutting off one's nose to spite one's face. At least he now has a whole new group of students to tutor on the correct method of practicing the stranger.

Posted by: Brigade | December 18, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"...the first major party to nominate a woman for President..."

Do it! Rove would stroke out, he deserves it. Then all the big money managers won't know what to do, that would mean a fundamental change in how the party functions (which is why it won't happen).

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

"is truly cutting off one's nose to spite one's face."

He actually seems to think his decampment was a heroic act of defiance or a valiant blow to the U.S. It's more like all of the plague-carrying rats jumping in the ocean.

He's a real study in abnormal psychology.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 18, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Why do Republicans hate Hispanics and Gays?

Haters!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 18, 2010 11:19 AM
-----

I don't think they really hate them. They just wish more of them would move to Vietnam.

Posted by: Brigade | December 18, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Smart move Republicans, make sure Hispanics brought here through no fault of their own grow up to a life in the shadow economy and of course, in uglier forms of crime.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Brigade, I'm glad you finally admit that Republicans are racist bigots.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 18, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Brigade, I'm glad you finally admit that Republicans are racist bigots.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 18, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

All, DADT repeal just passed!

Thoughts coming in a moment.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 18, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Senators are harder to make sit down than kindergarteners...

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Greg, tell me your favorite charity, I promised...

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Brigade, he's now luring the neighbor's kid with an iPad. EWWW!

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 18, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Four Senators did not vote on DADT. Anyone know who they are?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 18, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I guess that means that START ain't getting ratified now. Oh, well, pick your poison(ed well).

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 18, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Finally the dreadful anachronism of DADT will go away. Congrats to everybody who worked to make this happen, and to the American people for being ready for it. Fearmongering doesn't work forever.

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

The four "Profiles in Too Scared to Vote" are Machin, Bunning, Gregg and Hatch.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 18, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"...START ain't getting ratified..."

Stupid Republicans...now you are going to have soldiers mincing around missile control rooms wearing speedos and fairy wings left over from the pride parade, isn't that right?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

All, my thoughts on DADT repeal:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 18, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Hip hip hooray for the end of DADT. The social conservatives .. Jesus did I really call them that? How evasive. The rednecks in suits just lost a big one, demonizing gays just got a lot harder with the defamation of the uniforn suddenly just behind the curtain.

Now the fun starts, wondering which Republican is going to wear the lampshade in the next few days,making some remark about showers.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 18, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Gregg isn't going to 'retire' from politics (obviously), otherwise he wouldn't have cared to go on record.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"now you are going to have soldiers mincing around missile control rooms wearing speedos and fairy wings left over from the pride parade, isn't that right?"

Thank goodness you do not stereotype.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 18, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

And the Marine Commandant will be showering with his clothes on, terrified old coot might loose both his legs due to distraction if a gay guy ogles his sagging behind.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Who knew that shrink2 would be the first lampshade-wearing Republican?!

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 18, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Sign this letter of thanks to gay veterans who have worked so hard and sacrificed so much just so they and other gay and lesbian patriots can have the opportunity to serve their country:

http://act.americablog.com/sign/dadt_thankveterans/?source=Ablog

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 18, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Sign this letter of thanks to gay veterans who have worked so hard and sacrificed so much just so they and other gay and lesbian patriots can have the opportunity to serve their country:

http://act.americablog.com/sign/dadt_thankveterans/?source=Ablog

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 18, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Always watch your back claw, no holds barred now, it is a free for all, just don't scuff my chaps...sheesh, what a bunch of pansies.

Republicans, aren't you supposed to be the rough and tumble party of no feelings? Are you really "distracted" by gay people?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Sargent, I would like you to investigate the following topic.
Compare the treatment of candidate Obama at this same point in the Presidential election process (Dec. 2006), to the treatment of Sarah Palin this time around.
What did polls say about Obama's chances, and how were those polls reported on and what was the "narrative" about his standing as per polling vs. hers.
Was he as far behind Hillary, Guiliani, etc, as she is behind Obama?
Was he considered "unpopular" and "unable to win" because of his polls, like she is now?

Posted by: johnL1 | December 18, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

shrink2, no, we are common-sense conservatives.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 18, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

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