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Posted at 6:14 PM ET, 12/20/2010

Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* Down to the wire: Obama personally lobbies GOP Senators by phone to support the New START treaty in advance of tomorrow's Senate vote.

* Republican Senators privately concede that New START will pass. If it does, that will stand as more vindication of the Dems' decision to vote on DADT repeal first.

* Indeed, Senator Scott Brown, last seen voting to repeal DADT, will now support the New START treaty. From his statement:

"Ensuring adequate funding for nuclear modernization and protecting our missile defense capabilities have always been my greatest concerns. In the course of the debate, these concerns have been addressed by the White House and the Pentagon. This treaty is critical to our national security."

Emphasis mine. Got that, Senator Kyl?

* Did John McCain and Lindsey Graham really offer to support New START if Dems dropped plans to vote on don't ask don't tell? So reports Ryan Grim.

* "Triangulation" idiocy of the day: CNN says the fact that Obama's approval rating has gone up among moderates proves he's succeeding as "triangulator in chief." Lame.

* Also: CNN finds that 75 percent support Obama's tax deal.

* History lesson of the day: Steve Benen patiently explains to GOP Rep. Pete King why holding hearings on the "radicalization" of Muslim communities just might make things worse.

* Here's still another example of Haley Barbour's "bubba" problem.

* And speaking of Barbour's bubba problem, the DNC says his whitewashing of Mississippi history is "disqualifying."

* Also: As Mark Murray notes, Barbour's latest basically ensures that a 2012 Obama-Barbour showdown would be all about race, making Barbour perhaps too much of a foil to Obama.

* The author of the piece that got Barbour in trouble supplies a bit more context and suggests his comments weren't as bad as they sound.

* And Markos keeps up his brutal assault on Senator Jon Tester for his vote against the DREAM Act, revealing just how deep the anger on the left is running over Tester's decision.

Key context: People forget this, but Tester was originally a netroots creation, which explains the sense of betrayal.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | December 20, 2010; 6:14 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, race  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Does Haley Barbour have a "bubba" problem?
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

Greg,

The Russians have basically told the GOP that START is a 'take it or leave it' deals, and they are not interested in reopening negotiations. I wonder if that might focus some minds.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/21/world/europe/21start.html?_r=1&hp

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 20, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

* The author of the piece that got Barbour in trouble supplies a bit more context and suggests his comments weren't as bad as they sound.
..........................

Which reminds me of this:

"I'm told that Wagner's music is not as bad as it sounds." - Mark Twain

Good night all.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 20, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Sign the petition to pass the Zadroga 9/11 Bill

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/pass-the-pass-the-james-zadroga-911-health-bill/

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 20, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

File this under "About Time"

The Obama administration issued long-awaited, long-delayed guidelines on Friday to insulate government scientific research from political meddling and to base policy decisions on solid data.

Under the guidelines, government scientists are in general free to speak to journalists and the public about their work, and agencies are prohibited from editing or suppressing reports by independent advisory committees.

And the agencies are instructed that when communicating a scientific finding to the public, they should describe its underlying assumptions. For instance, they are told to describe “probabilities associated with both optimistic and pessimistic projections” — a guideline that, had it been in place last summer, might have helped the administration avoid overly optimistic estimates of the BP oil spill.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/18/science/18research.html?_r=1&ref=us

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 20, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

~Net Neutrality Regs Tomorrow~

The Federal Communications Commission is poised on Tuesday to pass net neutrality regulations, rules that would for the first time prevent Internet service providers from blocking or giving preferential treatment to Web sites on their networks.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/posttech/2010/12/fcc_copps_to_vote_in_favor_of.html

When Big Telecom is against it, that's pretty much all you need to know.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 20, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

It looks like Barry (to distinguish him from his alleged father who was also named Barack Hussein Obama) will purpprtedly sign this affront to common decency into law on Hump Day. Let's see how long it takes for all branches to "certify" that they are prepared for repeal.

Of course, repeal of DADT (10 USC 654) merely eliminates the ability to administratively dismiss homosexuals from the service for being a homosexual -- honorable discharge by the way -- but homosexual conduct in the military will still be prohibited by a different federal law (10 USC 925) similar to adultery (10 USC 934) under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 20, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, Sue. I think the good Senators care more about DADT passing than they do about what some faraway Russians say. :)

I added a link to Brown's full statement above....

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 20, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

All you need to know about clawrence12 is that earlier today he said the government shouldn't help 9/11 survivors. Not just first responders, but actual SURVIVORS of 9/11 who were injured the attacks. This is the level of depravity of some of these conservative cretins.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 20, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, GOP for the "Obama win" if y'all pass START. Your dog and pony show was too clever by half.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 20, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

~Former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) skewers GOP leadership/rhetoric on START~

Neither has former Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican and a former member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He called some GOP objections to the treaty "exaggerated rhetoric" and an attempt "to take away a so-called victory from the president" on an important foreign policy issue.

While some senators may have legitimate reservations about the treaty, Hagel said it's time for "the leadership on the Republican side to rise above politics" and move to a final vote.

"The number of hearings this treaty has been subjected to, if not a record, is close to one," Hagel said. "I find it ridiculous — 'We need more time, we need more time.'"

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/12/20/105589/senate-sets-start-showdown-vote.html

Amazing that he tells it like it is... one more time for emphasis, GOP rhetoric on START is:

"an attempt 'to take away a so-called victory from the president'"

Bingo Chuck, bingo.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 20, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Ethan,

The Troll Hunter loves munching on clawrence12.

:o)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 20, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I've never said that "government shouldn't help 9/11 survivors."

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 20, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

All you need to know about clawrence12 is that earlier today he said the government shouldn't help 9/11 survivors. Not just first responders, but actual SURVIVORS of 9/11 who were injured the attacks. This is the level of depravity of some of these conservative cretins.
-----------------------------------------------------
In all fairness, Ethan, I believe clawrence said that we've helped them enough. His exact quote was: Enough is enough.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 20, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I said "Enough is enough" as to the FEDERAL government. State, county, and city governments can help them all they want. They can all move to Massachusetts as well. You can easily read my actual positions on the prior thread:

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

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 20, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Repeal of DADT (10 USC 654) merely eliminates the ability to administra­tively dismiss homosexual­s from the service for BEING a homosexual­. Homosexual CONDUCT in the military is still prohibited by federal law (10 USC 925), as is Adultery under ( 10 USC 934).

Posted by: bywhatright2 | December 20, 2010 12:03 PM
------

This tidbit was dropped into one of the dead weekend threads this morning. Any comments from anyone? Will Harry have to wrangle yet another vote?

Posted by: Brigade | December 20, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

What an AWESOME couple of weeks in Congress, and they're not done yet. As a moderate Democrat who cares much more about policy than politics, I couldn't be happier.

Somebody please: carve Obama's face on the side of a mountain.

Posted by: paul65 | December 20, 2010
-------

May I suggest Mt. Kilimanjaro

Posted by: Brigade | December 20, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, I certainly hope that Reid can't get that passed this week.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 20, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

"On noez! A bunch of hardened soldiers that hunt down terrorists in the rugged terrain of AfPak are not going to be able to handle teh gayz!"

Funny. I have to wonder if these nitwits don't know there are plenty of gays in the military already.


Posted by: fiona5 | December 20, 2010
----------------

We're either all equal or we're not. Apparently, there are some who aren't comfortable with the concept of equality. We call these people "conservatives."

To clarify - not all conservatives are bigots; but all bigots self-identify as conservatives. GOP: time to clean house.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | December 20, 2010
-------

Now that they can serve openly, will gays be able to refuse orders and sue superiors on grounds of discrimination if they don't like the orders? You're putting me on K.P. because I'm gay!

What if the C.O. orders a gay man to the point in a combat zone? Discrimination? After all, armies are always in need of cannon fodder. Will non-gay soldiers still be issued fragmentation grenades? What if some of them are bigots?

Posted by: Brigade | December 20, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Poor wingers, seething in hatred and utter brainlessness... an embarrassment to the human race.

Posted by: fiona5 | December 20, 2010 1:50 PM
----

A typical fiona5 post but on target for a change. The huge influx of Republicans in the House this coming January will effectively pull the teeth of wingers like Pelosi and Bawney Fwank. They'll probably still seethe with hatred and utter brainlessness, as you say, and continue as embarrassments to the human race, but, hey, they won't have the power to pass anything but gas in the new Congress. Aren't you thankful? Even though the gas from Pelosi and Bawney is unusually stinky.

Posted by: Brigade | December 20, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know when the START vote is scheduled?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 20, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

The START treaty is not going to happen in this lame duck session you can thank Harry the horse's asp Reid for that too, speaking of thanking Harry.

Posted by: screwjob23 | December 20, 2010 12:46 PM
----

Don't you mean speaking of spanking Harry?
C'mon now, when's this old fool coming out of the closet? He's obviously one of those "straight" types caothien9 had in mind who are always asking about gay sex.

Posted by: Brigade | December 20, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

It is an absolute, lead-pipe cinch, take-to-the-bank guarantee that a "medical monitoring" and "screening" fund like this is a complete rip off of taxpayers.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 20, 2010
------

And people like Liam are always the first to fall for these scams. Why not, when someone else is picking up the tab?

Posted by: Brigade | December 20, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm a liberal Dem -- see all my other comments for proof.

And I think Kos needs to get over Tester's DREAM vote already.

Posted by: paul65 | December 20, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

nominate Snooki Of The Tundra, for President.

Call your movement: Patriots For Palin, And The American Way. You Betcha!

Posted by: Liam-still | December 20, 2010 4:46 PM
-------

and then this:

-------

you always refer to him as "Barry", and never by his real name.

Barry was a nickname he was called when he was a mere schoolboy, but you know that, I am sure; and that is why you will only call him "Barry". It is your way of calling him Boy!

Posted by: Liam-still | December 20, 2010 4:51 PM
-------

Have you ever seen a more totally unconscious buffoon?

Posted by: Brigade | December 20, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

It's not even the main guy, it's just that ONE of the actors is African-American.

GOP = Racist Neanderthals

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 20, 2010
------

It's not just the GOP. I remember when some people got their panties in a wad over the Jar Jar Binks character in the Star Wars films. And others called for the banning of the old Amos and Andy TV show, even though the actors were black. And whenever BIRTH OF A NATION is shown at some revival theater, there's always some bedwetter like Liam picketing outside.

Crazy isn't it?

Posted by: Brigade | December 20, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I suppose Kos wishes that former Senator Conrad, rather than Tester, were voting on DADT and START this week.

Hey Kos, is Tester "morally bankrupt" for his positions on those bills, along with ACA, financial regulatory reform and the stimulus package?

Kos, you're either a blowhard or a moron.

Posted by: paul65 | December 20, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

did Cao get banned for his comments on the morning headlines?

Posted by: NoVAHockey | December 20, 2010
----

I seriously doubt it. He was banned on multiple occasions from the Fix but usually for more egregious comments. He repeatedly threatened to sue one of the other posters there for libel or slander, although it was never clear how you libel an anonymous poster on a message board.

I think part of his bitterness stems from having been bilked in a scheme to invest in private property in a communist country---probably by the confederates of some gay Asian gigolo.

I've defended him against those who wanted him banned. Rebutting his wild theories and idiotic rants is always a source of amusement, sadistic I suppose, like cripple shooting or doing fish in a barrel. Since he can't accept that there's any field of human endeavor in which he's not an expert, he's relatively easy to toy with and trap.

Poor devil. I suppose we should pity him rather than take advantage of his ignorance and mental instability. He says he doesn't read my posts anymore, although he always manages to take at least one shot at me per day. If true, this probably reduces the chance of another flameout without depriving me of my fun.

Posted by: Brigade | December 20, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, I certainly hope that Reid can't get that passed this week.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 20, 2010 7:08 P
-----

Sorry, I didn't notice you'd already referenced this tidbit of info.

Posted by: Brigade | December 20, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

12BB, the vote on START could come as soon as tomorrow.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 20, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) — The 2010 census report coming out Tuesday will include a boatload of good political news for Republicans and grim data for Democrats hoping to re-elect President Barack Obama and rebound from last month's devastating elections.

The population continues to shift from Democratic-leaning Rust Belt states to Republican-leaning Sun Belt states, a trend the Census Bureau will detail in its once-a-decade report to the president. Political clout shifts, too, because the nation must reapportion the 435 House districts to make them roughly equal in population, based on the latest census figures.

The biggest gainer will be Texas, a GOP-dominated state expected to gain up to four new House seats, for a total of 36. The chief losers — New York and Ohio, each projected by nongovernment analysts to lose two seats — were carried by Obama in 2008 and are typical of states in the Northeast and Midwest that are declining in political influence.

Democrats' problems don't end there.

November's elections put Republicans in control of dozens of state legislatures and governorships, just as states prepare to redraw their congressional and legislative district maps. It's often a brutally partisan process, and Republicans' control in those states will enable them to create new districts to their liking.

-----

No doubt Greg means to devote a column to this, but I thought I'd beat him to the punch.

Posted by: Brigade | December 20, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Regarding kos having his nose out of joint about Jon Tester, in Montana a month ago, Democrats given him an 87 approval rating and Independents give him a 54.

http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/2010/11/mixed-news-for-tester.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 20, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

@brigade,

Normally I ignore your bantering with chris fox, but I have to question this:

"I think part of his bitterness stems from having been bilked in a scheme to invest in private property in a communist country"

Where do you get this idea? I certainly never read anything that said or even hinted at that. In fact, just recently Chris told me his house has significantly appreciated.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 20, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

cliarence and brigade,

Do either of you know how to look up a statute? 10 U.S.C. 925 provides for court martial for "sodomy":

"Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration, however slight,
is sufficient to complete the offense."

In other words, it doesn't prohibit all homosexual "conduct" and it doesn't just apply to homosexuals. Other than that, you are right on the money (assuming by "the money" one means a $3 bill).

I'm looking forward to seeing the Religious Right demand an inquiry into the private sex acts performed by married, heterosexual members of our armed forces.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 20, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

unnatural carnal copulation
---------------------------------------------
My, my. That does cover a lot of territory, doesn't it.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 20, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

@bearclaw,

I'll admit I don't know how to look up a statute, but I can see that one should. Would you care to tell me how to do that?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 20, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

12Bar,

It does indeed cover a lot of territory! Strict enforcement might thin the ranks of our military just a bit, don't you think?

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 20, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

12Bar,

The United States Code is online at:

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collectionUScode.action?collectionCode=USCODE

You also can use "the Google" by entering the statute ("10 USC 925") and that will usually work. Not much mystery to it.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 20, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

@bearclaw,

If this statute is dusted off, and used, who would be immune from prosecution? Talk about a scare tactic.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 20, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

@12Bar,

Yes, a scare tactic. But that "tidbit" is probably being tossed around among the homophobes (Whirled Nut Daily, Dread State) as evidence that losing on the repeal of DADT wasn't really a loss for the righties. But most of them likely haven't bothered to read the statute, let alone understand the repercussions of enforcing it across the ranks of our armed forces.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 20, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

@sue - re the guidelines for government research scientists... definitely about time. Thanks for posting that item.


On another issue, John Bolton figures maybe the situation has deteriorated enough so that someone like him could actually make a run for the Presidency...

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46543.html

But I actually want to bring to our attention not merely the decision by the NRO staff to put Bolton on the cover and make him the subject of the recent issue but to note the media manipulation (propaganda) aspect in Lowry's explanation...

"He looms quite large," Lowry said. "There are so few voices on foreign policy [in Republican politics]. John has that expertise, *and he's on Fox, I would guess, once a day at least. He's writing what feels like, to me, an op-ed a week or more for fairly substantial outlets.*"

FOX and agreeable op ed page editors (Hi, Fred) doing the Pravda function.


Posted by: bernielatham | December 20, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

evidence that losing on the repeal of DADT wasn't really a loss for the righties.
--------------------------------------------------------------
The last two days, on this blog, conservatives have alternated between muttering threats that civilization will end, the military will cease, or even this signals the end-times -- or --

Section 925 will prevail and gays will be prosecuted anyway.

Whatever happened to "gracious in defeat"? That seems to be a value that has completely disappeared. It has now become "vindictive in defeat".

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 20, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

@12Bar,

What must be particularly galling to the righties is that they were planning on at least two years of gloating about the 2010 elections, and the President's success in the lame duck session was something they didn't foresee.

@Bernie,

John Bolton? For President? Let's see -- who was the last Republican former UN Ambassador to run for President? Oh, right: Alan Keyes. That was a great success.

Here's hoping he runs, just because it will add to the entertainment value of the Republican primaries.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 20, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Where do you get this idea? I certainly never read anything that said or even hinted at that. In fact, just recently Chris told me his house has significantly appreciated.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 20, 2010 8:16 PM
------

As shrink2 has mentioned, it is foolhardy to think you "own" property in a communist country. His house has "significantly appreciated" in the same way the Brooklyn Bridge has significantly appreciated.

Don't look for him to say anything negative about his holdings there or to describe the lifestyle and government in other than glowing terms. Okay to bash the US; not okay to bash Vietnam unless, as Rainforest suggests, you want to disappear and be found hanging upside down in a pit.

---
"The issue is not simply one of corruption, which, as you say, is more than likely. The first point is that the land reforms, whatever the Hanoi leadership may promote, are not aimed at providing secure land tenure for poor peasants. They are being carried out at the behest of the World Bank and the IMF as part of free market reforms aimed at opening up Vietnam to international finance capital. Their purpose is to encourage the growth of agricultural and extractive industries on a capitalist basis....it will inevitably mean the further accentuation of social polarisation in the countryside as poor peasants are driven into debt and are forced to leave their land. You suggest that low-interest loans and low taxes would assist farmers. We agree. But such a scheme is not going to take place in Vietnam where the regime is intent on utilising whatever limited capital is available to establish private enterprises and constitute itself as a capitalist class.

"It is a question of out of the frying pan and into the fire. Instead of being preyed upon by Stalinist bureaucrats on a small scale, the peasantry will now be robbed on a grand scale through the mechanism of the market. There is no solution to their problems either under capitalism or under the Stalinist regimes, such as the one in Vietnam, which have been fraudulently passed off as socialist. If you doubt this, all you need to do is examine any country in Asia--from Indonesia to India--where the operations of the market have been underway for decades.

"The establishment of private property in land is not going to halt the predations of officials or strengthen the position of peasants against the Stalinist state. What is necessary is a political struggle for the abolition of the Vietnamese regime."
-----
Higher scores are more desirable, i.e. property rights are better protected. Scores are from 0 to 100.
The index also assesses the likelihood that private property will be expropriated and analyzes the independence of the judiciary, the existence of corruption within the judiciary, and the ability of individuals and businesses to enforce contracts.
Source: The Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal

VIETNAM had a score of 15 of 100.

Posted by: Brigade | December 20, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

12Bar,

It does indeed cover a lot of territory! Strict enforcement might thin the ranks of our military just a bit, don't you think?

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 20, 2010 8:26 PM
-----

Uh, one group can pretty much be counted on for sodomy---the other, not so much. The law's the law. Don't like it? Change it.

Posted by: Brigade | December 20, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

@brigade,

So Chris did not say that he was hoaxed...right? The acid test of his investment is whether he can sell it or not, and for what price.

I have some doubts about your cited analysis of Vietnamese investments since I know there are a number of companies who have invested there. What does the Heritage Foundation have to say about that?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 20, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

The law's the law. Don't like it? Change it.
-----------------------------------------
Bwahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don't change it. Keep that law on the books.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 20, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

@Bearclaw - If you weren't aware of it, Bolton got that ambassadorship for his services down in Miami-Dade in 2000 helping to block the recount. He's possibly the only potential Republican candidate who makes Atilla look like a pacifist. But the NRO crowd are really big on dropping bombs on the women and children of the more countries the better. Of course they like this idea.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 20, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

ABC

If you check in I just wanted to let you know I'm watching our hometown boy, running back Toby Gerhart play in tonight's game. Go Vikings.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 20, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

@brigade,

So Chris did not say that he was hoaxed...right? The acid test of his investment is whether he can sell it or not, and for what price.

I have some doubts about your cited analysis of Vietnamese investments since I know there are a number of companies who have invested there. What does the Heritage Foundation have to say about that?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 20, 2010 9:19 PM
------

He's never said to me that he was hoaxed. What the Heritage Foundation is saying...

"Higher scores are more desirable, i.e. property rights are better protected. Scores are from 0 to 100.

The index also assesses the likelihood that private property will be expropriated and analyzes the independence of the judiciary, the existence of corruption within the judiciary, and the ability of individuals and businesses to enforce contracts.

The Global Property Guide considers protection of property rights as a significant factor affecting the desirability of a residential real estate investment."

Source: The Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal

There are a great number of countries in the property index. Some examples and their scores (out of 100):

Japan 80
South Korea 70
Taiwan 70
India 50
Thailand 45
Mongolia 30
Pakistan 30
Cambodia 30
Bangladesh 20
Vietnam 15
North Korea 5

Of 34 Asian countries listed, Vietnam is third from the bottom. Let's get real.


Posted by: Brigade | December 20, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Well, what is happening on the ground, and has been happening for some number of years, is corporate investment in Vietnam. They're not all idiots, brigade. Think about it.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 20, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Meh.

Re: Bolton's "foreign policy" cred. He's more like the guy you bring in to fire the staff and "reorganize" when your handlers in Beijing make the call.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 20, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, what is happening on the ground, and has been happening for some number of years, is corporate investment in Vietnam. They're not all idiots, brigade. Think about it.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 20, 2010 9:34 PM
-----

No, not all of them. Some people make money running drugs from Mexico, but not all of them.

Posted by: Brigade | December 20, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Last year, Vietnam granted foreign companies licenses to invest $4.2 billion in the country -- which, calculated as a percentage of gross domestic product, puts Vietnam on a par with China in foreign direct investment.
-------------------------------------------------------
Vietnam is an emerging investment opportunity, but it does have its challenges. But, it is misleading to act like intelligent people are not investing there.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 20, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Also, the key phrase in my post was "residential real estate investment".

Posted by: Brigade | December 20, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Kos is unhinged. A key quote:

"I can't think of anything more shameful than punishing children for something they did not do. Those who do can rot in hell."

First off, the children are not being punished for something they did not do. They DID cross over the border. They may have not understood what was happening and may have. I'm pretty sure a teenager has a pretty good idea about what's going on. Deporting a child born in the US of someone who entered the US without a valid visa--now THAT is punishing someone for something they did not do.

One can argue about the fairness of this policy. The DREAM act has some strengths and some weaknesses. I didn't go to college as an act of public service. It was to further my education and I've done pretty well from it. So, if the idea is that good potential citizens should do some public service, fine and dandy. How about military service or civilian service? The equivalent of the YCC.

I must further note that Kos's argument has little to do with the DREAM act itself. He essentially argues that deporting a child who entered the US without a visa is an act worthy of eternal damnation. I don't see where military service or going to college entered into his argument.

Finally, Greg is totally off base in claiming that Tester was a creation of the netroots. He is his own man. He is one of two Senators from the state of Montana and I don't think Markos hails from there. I'm quite a fan of the senior senator from Virginia. The netroots do not own Sen. Webb and they can shove it if they think they have a call on MY senator.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 20, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Lawrence v Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003),is a landmark United States Supreme Court case. In the 6-3 ruling, the justices struck down the sodomy law in Texas. The court had previously addressed the same issue in 1986 in Bowers v. Hardwick, where it upheld a challenged Georgia statute, not finding a constitutional protection of sexual privacy.

Lawrence explicitly overruled Bowers, holding that it had viewed the liberty interest too narrowly. The majority held that intimate consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected by substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. Lawrence has the effect of invalidating similar laws throughout the United States that purport to criminalize sodomy between consenting same-sex adults acting in private. It also invalidated the application of sodomy laws to heterosexual sex.

Scalia thought that Lawrence opened the path to legalizing homosexual marriage, btw. The case has application to the UCMJ, of course, so there will be no effort to change the UCMJ in Congress and there will be no sodomy prosecutions for consensual private adult sex in the military.

I have knowledge of one [heterosexual between two officers] that began as a prosecution of both, in San Diego, in 2004, but the prosecution was dropped, the guy stayed in, and the female became an aerospace engineer in industry after HD.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 20, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Hi Fairlington.

12BarBlues,
It's good to have at least one person supporting poor caothien9. We don't want him to get discouraged and quit coming around. I'm off to greet the sandman; feel free to slam me when I leave.

Posted by: Brigade | December 20, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Hi Fairlington.

12BarBlues,
It's good to have at least one person supporting poor caothien9. We don't want him to get discouraged and quit coming around. I'm off to greet the sandman; feel free to slam me when I leave.

Posted by: Brigade | December 20, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Interesting news item up on Conservapedia right now...

"Atheistic Canada defeats legislation..."

Clearly, I was more influential up there than I'd previously imagined.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 20, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

"Have you ever seen a more totally unconscious buffoon?"

Ethan and some others give him a good run for his money. Like this morning when Ethan told someone to stop YELLING and settle down, and then two lines later started YELLING. But Liam the Liar is hard to beat.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 20, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

BB, thanks for that comment regarding KOS. I knew nothing of this.

"I must further note that Kos's argument has little to do with the DREAM act itself. He essentially argues that deporting a child who entered the US without a visa is an act worthy of eternal damnation. I don't see where military service or going to college entered into his argument."

Good point.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 20, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Mark, at best "Lawrence (no relation) v. Texas" is dicta as to UCMJ. We'll see what happens with prosecution. Adultery is still a valid offense too (even though civilian laws are not enforced on that either).

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 20, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

"The majority held that intimate consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected by substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment."

Yes, they did, in another travesty of "jurisprudence." Substantive due process is one of the most incoherent, misconceived notions the Court has ever adopted. Lawrence is another case that shows just how misguided it is.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 20, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

clawrence, there have been a few law review articles about this since 2004. You are correct to the extent that privacy rights for milpers are secondary to military necessity.

So two soldiers are guarding a post and they decide to drop arms and trou. One of the multiple charges I could imagine is "sodomy".

But in a purely off duty situation? Nah.
The SD situation I knew of was off duty and off post, and after drinks, etc.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 20, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Actually, John Tester was the recipient of significant support from Netroots. ActBlue alone raised $342k for his Senate campaign.

Dave Weigel notes in a post back in September:

"Webb was drafted by liberals who were impressed by his bio and his essays against the Iraq War. Tester was the choice of activists on sites like Daily Kos over the establishment's choice, state auditor John Morrison. Yes, the DSCC came around to both candidates, but the liberals were there first."

http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/weigel/archive/2010/09/17/a-netroots-history-lesson.aspx

But, now here's the thing.... if Montana voters are happy with Tester, and there indications that they are, what's Markos' going to do? Maybe he thinks a challenge from the left would be a good idea. Or maybe he thinks that Netroots should withdraw their support. In either case, the seat could (and probably would) flip back to the GOP, and then who wins and who loses?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 20, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

"FOX and agreeable op ed page editors (Hi, Fred) doing the Pravda function."

But rest assured that MSNBC, The New Republic, The Nation and American Prospect do not provide the "Pravda function."

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 20, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Mark, I know that I am correct.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 20, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

@Brig - Enjoy your night's sleep. I'm posting a bit more at Right Turn lately. As the Republicans have discovered lately, it's more fun playing offense.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 20, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

BB: "First off, the children are not being punished for something they did not do. They DID cross over the border. They may have not understood what was happening and may have. I'm pretty sure a teenager has a pretty good idea about what's going on."

Probably the more accurate way to state it is to say that the children brought here were not responsible for the decision.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 20, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

If progressive donors decide to donate elsewhere next cycle, then don't whine about the Montana equivalent of Rand Paul. You think there's a difference between Imhofe and a democrat? Every time I think about the 2000 election, I fear I will be indicted for a case of shaken Green symptom. Because I want to take every person who voted for Nader and shake them until they admit that yes, there was a difference between Al Gore and George Bush. A big effin difference!

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 20, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

@bb,

If there is ever a state who could come up with the cowboy version of Rand Paul, it would be Montana.

Best regards, the other 12BB

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 20, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

This is one of the most mundane votes that comes up before the Senate. This treaty, more benign than the very first one is being drummed up to be a vital one, of paramount importance.

When it is approved, and it'll be approved, it'll be hailed by Obama as a great victory. A triumph for national security.

As you GOP goobers seethe in anger, remember that without the Republicans dragging their feet needlessly on this, this would have been approved without the fanfare it deserves.

There is a time to say NO, and this wasn't it. The GOP will look like major obstructionists. ALL BECAUSE OF SPITE

Posted by: HumanSimpleton | December 20, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

@sue - Yours is accurate, though it took buy-in sometimes. I'm not in disagreement about how counterproductive deporting or marginalizing juveniles is. Just that enforcement of US law is an act worthy of eternal damnation.

Love the handle, by the way. Whenever I read it, I mentally pronounce Sue Ka Zoo and chuckle.

Cheers,

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 20, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

BB:

:o)

My name is Sue, I live a bit west of Kalamazoo. (And my real last name rhymes with both.)

Nice to meet ya!

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 20, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

@sue - I fondly remember spending a couple of months in Michigan about 10 years ago. I did a short contract job for Dow in Midland. I stayed on a little longer and rented a car for a weekend driving around. It was incredible. It's a great state.

Cheers!

Paul

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 20, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Normally I ignore your bantering with chris fox, but I have to question this:

"I think part of his bitterness stems from having been bilked in a scheme to invest in private property in a communist country"

Where do you get this idea? I certainly never read anything that said or even hinted at that. In fact, just recently Chris told me his house has significantly appreciated.

==

Did he really say that? Wow, what a liar he is.

My house cost $110K to build on land that cost $30K. The land is now worth $90K and I had an offer to buy the house for $330K before it was even finished. It's worth a cool VNĐ 10 billion (google the conversion) now and we plan to buy the lot on the other side.

And oh, it's a bleedin' palace .. be he still calls it a hovel. Pics on facebook if anyone cares.

Brigade just makes crap up, why don't you join me in blocking him. He's a malevolent racist swine and his "gross-out" stuff about Vietnamese cuisine is infantile. Good to know that being Brigade is its own punishment, probably has a fistful of broken metacarpals from punching walls.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 20, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

caothien9, your colorful insults are very entertaining.

Posted by: 6pack | December 20, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Intel is opening a huge manufacturing facility here, thousands of high-paying jobs, taking advantage of a very well-educated workforce (you won't find an illiterate Vietnamese, even out in the provinces, unless you restrict your search to children under six years of age) with a solid work ethic.

Yeah, Intel, those left-wing buffoons, right? I mean, what have they ever done right?

Brigade, go soak your head. I love it here.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 20, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

caothien9 where does all of this bitterness emanate from?

Posted by: 6pack | December 20, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who remember Bilgey, cao9 is our Bilgeman. LOL

And in case anyone wonders, it's not an insult. I'd bet qb won't agree though now that he considers me politely belligerent because I agreed with one thing cao said last night. Almost everyone on this board throws insults around like confetti and if you take it too serious it's time to move on.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 20, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

@6pack: it's the melon they call _khổ qua_ here.

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

Posted by: caothien9 | December 20, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Will someone tell me why there are a few people on this board who are *so* offended by an expat living in Vietnam? I swear, I don't get it.

There are expats all over the world. My uncle lives in the Phillipines part time, and has lived in Asia his entire professional life. What's the problem with that?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 20, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow, 12BarBluesAgain, when you put it that way, it really makes it silly that a lot of us are offended when someone refuses to engage in intellectual debate and spews out random insults.
caothein9, the bitter melon comment is hilarious.

Posted by: 6pack | December 21, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Believe it or not, 6pack, I wasn't talking about you. There are at least 2 ppl who are so offended by cao living in Vietnam, they are nearly incoherent in their insults. I don't get it.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 21, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

"Will someone tell me why there are a few people on this board who are *so* offended by an expat living in Vietnam? I swear, I don't get it.

There are expats all over the world. My uncle lives in the Phillipines part time, and has lived in Asia his entire professional life. What's the problem with that?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain"

Because he's not saying Conservative Things, so the Conservatives on here feel they need to attack him for some reason because that is a Conservative Thing To Do.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 21, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

I see. For the record, in none of my comments have I attacked any of commentators on this board, I simply attacked their arguments.

Posted by: 6pack | December 21, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

What I think really has their undies in a bundle, 12BB, is that (1) I'm an unapologetic liberal who doesn't waver and doubt and water down his posts with qualifications and homage to uncertainty and (2) I not only live outside the USA, I love in a Communist country and I report that it's not a brutal repressive regime. It isn't.

Quarterback suffers nightmares of dissonance because the purity of his bellief set is adulterates, and Brigade is just a bigoted PoS who likes to insult Asians.

Yes, they do eat fish heads here. So, frankly, do I, and they're delicious. If you don't eat the cheek of the fish you've missed the best part.

There's this bt of patriotic schmalz that suggests there's something misfit about Americans who live outside America, like doing so should be intolerable. Real Americans are fat and diabetic and eat cheeseburgers for lunch and steak for dinner.

Unless, of course, they're abroad working to Create Wealth for their corporate employers .. then it's OK, as long as they come back annually for a red white and blue transfusion.

I won't come back to the USA unless I absolutely have to, and then for as brief a time as I can manage.

There's this "thing" in the American psyche that says it's fun to bother people, as exemplified by drivers who go 20 MPH under the limit on roads where others can't pass, clearly enjoying frustrating the other drivers. People here don't have that quality, and that alone is worth the move.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 21, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

caothien9, I'm not offended by your lifestyle choices. What I find offensive is using diversion tactics and baseless insults to avoid engaging us conservatives in intellectual and civilized debate.

Posted by: 6pack | December 21, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

6pack, if you don't think that telling a gay man that his inborne orientation is equivalent to screwing animals and children counts as an insult, then you're nothing more than another conservative liar, just like all the others. I don't care how many thines and thy thee uses in saying so or how many "The Lord Jesus Christ"s you weave into it.

I prefer straight-out name-calling to your pompous mealy-mouthed religious horsesh|t.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 21, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

@cao,

No doubt your analysis is correct. What I notice is that when you lived in the U.S., people disagreed with you. When you moved to Vietnam, their level of disagreement multiplied by 10 to the point that you don't even have the right to voice your views, as if moving alone was equivalent to treason.

Since being an expat is not treason, obviously their reaction comes from some emotional place, that I don't identify with. There are millions, I'll bet, that live outside the U.S.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 21, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

6pack: "What I find offensive is using diversion tactics and baseless insults to avoid engaging us conservatives in intellectual and civilized debate."

But just the other night you basically told Chris that you believe his lifestyle (your word) is sinful, and that you don't believe his orientation is anything other than a choice. That, friend, is judgment, and is a far distance away from intellectual and civilized debate. You've already determined the outcome. He's wrong, a sinner, and treatable.

Believe me, we get it. What more really is there to say?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 21, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

caothien9, I'm not offended by your lifestyle choices. What I find offensive is using diversion tactics and baseless insults to avoid engaging us conservatives in intellectual and civilized debate.

==

Homosexuality isn't a choice, you damned idiot.

There, you see, I called you a damned idiot, and not baselessly, based rather on your deliberate repetition of a damned idiotic lie. Always willing to illiuminate where needed.

If this were 1964 I would engage with conservatives civilly and intellectually. But in 2010 conservatives have become science-denying bigots whose idea of civility is disrupting town hall meeting with yelling and whose idea of political discourse is threatening Democrats with assassination, so I will continue to respond to lying rhetoric such as your comparisons of people like myself to sheep-f ckers and no, I will not dignify talk like that with civil response because you don't deserve it.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 21, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

cao,

What's the hardest thing to get used to over there? And the best? Do your birds like it?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 21, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Paul: "I stayed on a little longer and rented a car for a weekend driving around. It was incredible. It's a great state."

Thanks! Lord knows we have our issues to resolve, but this is a beautiful state. I just love the Great Lakes. They really have to be experienced to be appreciated. Glad you got to see a bit of Michigan for yourself. I always have to chuckle when people who've never been here get the opportunity, and go away with a little different perspective.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 21, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

But just the other night you basically told Chris that you believe his lifestyle (your word) is sinful, and that you don't believe his orientation is anything other than a choice. That, friend, is judgment, and is a far distance away from intellectual and civilized debate.
----------------------------------------------------
@sue and cao,

Overhead at a local church: "I'm not a judgmental person. I don't care how wrong they are..."

Bwahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 21, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

"caothien9, I'm not offended by your lifestyle choices. What I find offensive is using diversion tactics and baseless insults to avoid engaging us conservatives in intellectual and civilized debate.

Posted by: 6pack"

Most of the Conservatives on here are civilized, I'll grant. But the whole practice of Saying Conservative Things ad nauseum without regard to any counterargument simply cannot be considered intellectual.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 21, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

If I wanted to insult you, I would have just resorted to name-calling. Instead, I stated my beliefs as based on my religion. I believe that all sexual sin as stated in the Bible, is immoral. That includes fornication, adultery, bestiality, homosexuality, and pedophilia (1 Corinthians 6:9). According to the Bible, committing any of those sins makes us worthy of eternal damnation, but Christ died for us to allow us to escape damnation. Christ said if a man looks upon a woman with lust in his eyes, he has already committed adultery in his heart (Matt 5:8). So in essence, me looking at a woman with lust is no worse than you looking upon a man with lust. In God's eyes, there's no difference. I'm not saying "I'm holier than thou", to the contrary, I'm saying that all sin is the same in God's eyes and makes us ALL worthy of death and eternal punishment. That's where Christ comes in. Christ died for us so that we can escape spiritual death (Hell) and have the victory over physical death through the resurrection of our physical bodies that is to happen when Christ returns. You misunderstand me. I am simply reaching out as a person who is concerned over your spiritual condition and eternal destination. I'm not saying you will go to hell for being gay. I'm saying you will go to hell for being a sinner and you can escape hell by giving your life to Christ. If you were a heterosexual fornicator you will go to hell. Again, in God's eyes there is no difference.

Posted by: 6pack | December 21, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

6pack,

This is a *political* blog, not a proselytizing blog.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 21, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

@12BB: I feel remarkably settled in, and the only thing really aggravating me is getting more fluent in the language. I was tutored in the northern dialect and I live in the south, and while I can read my way around with near fluency, and make myself understood albeit haltingly, I have a really hard time understanding people. Sounds that are different in the north merge together here so that for example I can't tell v- from d- from gi-, they all sound like y- to me. But it will come.

Not being able to go to a grocery store and get things like Cæser salad and honey-mustard pretzel pieces .. wow, that's rough.

The birds love it here, they have a fourth-story open air view and they get fruit and veggies every day, vastly better than the seed diet they had in the USA. and they get a lot more attention. Two months preparing for the move they got very little (and it weaned me off The Fix, which was good).

People are really nice, I have more friends here than I've had in the USA in ten years, and all help me learn the language. Vietnamese are nice people, not just uninterested in nuisancehood, but genuinely warm.

A few days ago my cat disappeared. I was pretty sure she'd gotten bitten by a snake (lots of venomous ones here), and people here don't like cats, regard them as bad luck .. nevertheless, neighbors went around looking for her. She showed up day and a half after vanishing, unhurt and starving, never to go outside again. Sorry, Mithrenifain, yer a nindoor kitty now.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 21, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

@6pack, don't bother writing that crap for me, I won't even skim it. I don't care if you cite chapter and verse.

I stopped believing in that stuff before I was 12 years old. And as it happens I'm a student of early Christianity and probably know a lot more about original doctrine than you do, and frankly I don't give a crap what the bible says about homosexuality or fornication or anything else, and I will continue to regard your equivalentizing homosexuals with sheep-f uckers as pure insult, no matter how you try to justify it in terms of your backward and contemptible "beliefs."

The bible comes from a world thousands of years old, a time predating science and logic, and its sexual prejudices from from Hebraic nomads who were only one famine away from dying out who buried most of their children. Anything that detracted from keeping up with the attrition of disease and starvation was a serious threat to trival survival.

In 2010 we have the exact opposite problem, and even if that bigotry could be justified back then, which is can't, it's out of date today. Homosexuals are part of society, are functioning normal people who don't prey on anyone, and for you to dredge up this garbage and sugar coat it with mentions of book and chapter is no different that quarterback moaning that Marines won't be able to call other Marines f ggots.

So take that crap and stick it.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 21, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

suekzoo1, you accuse me of judgment by asserting what the Bible says regarding sin. Am I being judgmental if I say that murder, rape, lying, stealing, or bestiality is wrong? In an era of postmodern ideas, how do any of us have the authority or right to assert that any of that is wrong? Are we being judgmental if we say that those things are wrong or are we basing that upon the ideal that there is absolute truth and an absolute sense of what is right and wrong? Otherwise how can we say what is right or wrong, good or evil? The Bible says that all of those things I just named are wrong, therefore I'm basing my assertion upon what the Bible says is wrong. So if the Bible also says that homosexuality is wrong and I assert my agreement with the Bible I'm being judgmental?
DDAWD , I welcome any counter-arguments you provide because I am willing, as a Christian apologist, to defend what I believe and debate you. I'm not going to simply tell you "You're wrong" and leave it at that. If I did, then you could accuse me of disregarding counter-arguments to my assertions.
12BarBluesAgain, is this not a public forum for which any of us can voice our thoughts? Is there any rule that says I cannot reach out evangelically? Besides, the comment posted at 12:35 am was in response to caothien9's previous comment. Sorry, I should have been more clear in whom I was addressing.

Posted by: 6pack | December 21, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

You're good with languages, so I'm sure the language will come.

Are there American/European grocery stores? If there aren't now, they will be coming with all the foreign investment making its way there.

I didn't remember about your cat. Did you take her on the plane? That must have been interesting...how did you handle her potty needs on the trip? I will be bringing my new puppy on the plane, but only 6 hours, but am wondering how you do the potty thing.

I'm glad she came back. If your neighbors looked for her, they like you. Better for her to be a inside kitty anyway.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 21, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Problem 6pack is that you don't argue, you just recite "the bible says this" and "the bible says that" and I hate to be the bearer but that isn't good enough.

And being homosexual has nothing to do with murder and rape and stealing, so that that and stick it , too,

Posted by: caothien9 | December 21, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

12BarBluesAgain, is this not a public forum for which any of us can voice our thoughts?
---------------------------------------------------
Listen, my friend, you are on the wrong blog. Pursuing Chris in an attempt to convince him he is a sinner, makes you look intolerant and will result in being blocked with the Troll Blocker. Until now, the only person I block is Rainy, but I will add you and I won't be the only person. Take that from a fellow Christian church goer.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 21, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I have no problem with people having religious beliefs. Believe what you want, but the Bible holds absolutely zero logical weight. It's just a fiction book and has no more validity than a Harry Potter book. If you want people to respect your beliefs, you need to have equal respect for those who don't. The best way to do that is to steer clear of baseless beliefs.

Of course, then you don't get to call yourself a Conservative, a fate worse than death.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 21, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

12BarBluesAgain, I understand your point and thank you for making me aware of that.

Posted by: 6pack | December 21, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Blogs are very poor places to troll for converts. Preaching turns everyone off. Leading by example is not possible on a blog.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 21, 2010 1:09 AM | Report abuse

I hope we're done with the sin stuff for a while.

Here's something I never expected before moving here:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=231350&l=af50a3498c&id=100001182823513

This sidewalk kiosk serves the restaurant behind it where we eat four or five times a week. It's all vegetarian. I'm not, but it would be easy to be here. This stuff is very convincing fake meat; your teeth and stomach are both convinced. And cheap! A bowl of noodle with five kinds of fake meat is like 40¢. And drop dead good.

We're probably buying this cart .. the restaurant needs a bigger one and we're going to try out selling a beefsteak breakfast here, right in front of the house, because there's one in the city that does serious daily biz. A heated steel platter with beef and egg with sides of onion and hot chilis, really good.

And we only need to make $30 a day to be in the black here.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 21, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

@lmsinca--Toby Gerhart is a bright spot in as bizarre a season as a professional team has had. Go Vikes, at this point, may mean go to the Bahamas and sit on a beach until your heads stop spinning.

Posted by: AllButCertain | December 21, 2010 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it interesting how entrepreneurial one can be in a communist country? I hope you give the beefsteak thing a try. Even if you get sick of doing it, it can't cost you a lot of money to try it and then close up or sell the business.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 21, 2010 1:40 AM | Report abuse

ABC, yeah I saw the game, pretty depressing. Sorry, but I have enjoyed seeing him play with the big boys. Did you know he was also HS valedictorian? He's a pretty good guy. It did look like the weather was a little better than it's been there lately, although the filed looked downright crunchy. We're on our 3rd or 4th day of rain, I've lost track, with two or three more to go. Brace yourselves in the Southwest everyone, it's coming if it's not there already.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 21, 2010 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Also for people from the DC area, Shiancoe went to Montgomery Blair High.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 21, 2010 2:01 AM | Report abuse

"History lesson of the day: Steve Benen patiently explains to GOP Rep. Pete King why holding hearings on the "radicalization" of Muslim communities just might make things worse."

King does not understand that gratuitous exacerbation of tensions with Muslims only raises the odds of a car bomb in Manhattan, which will always be the #1 target. If I were a resident of NYC, I would be urging King to shut his big mouth.

Posted by: rhallnj | December 21, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

"Yes, they do eat fish heads here. So, frankly, do I, and they're delicious. If you don't eat the cheek of the fish you've missed the best part."
-------

Not to mention the boiled centipede.

Posted by: Brigade | December 21, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

@cao,

"No doubt your analysis is correct. What I notice is that when you lived in the U.S., people disagreed with you. When you moved to Vietnam, their level of disagreement multiplied by 10 to the point that you don't even have the right to voice your views, as if moving alone was equivalent to treason."
-----

In my view, he was the exact same dolt before and after the move.

Posted by: Brigade | December 21, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Hi ABC - How's "Gang of Five" coming?

Did anyone have a clear sky last night for the eclipse? Portland, of course, did not. The last lunar eclipse I got to watch came as Hale Bop was visible. It was one of those nights when pre-science star-watchers would have gone into a Signs and Omens tizzy, like Phyllis Schlafly at a gay pride parade.

Re the "sin" notions up above... I don't much care what anyone believes but as a liberty issue, it's obviously will not do for members of some particular faith or sect to insist that other members in the broad community must also abide by their particular notions. This seems a rather obvious point.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 21, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse


Upcoming fun...

*"And just Monday, Mr. Assange told a reporter from The Times of London that he had enough material to make bosses of a major bank resign.

You’d think that bank executives would be quaking in their Gucci loafers.

But guess who may be even more nervous about the possible data dump?

Regulators in Washington.

It seems the prospect of gigabytes of e-mail and other documents from financial institutions can be viewed one of two ways: as a treasure trove for regulators to scrutinize — or as an embarrassment for the United States government, which has spent millions of dollars investigating Wall Street in the last two years without a scalp to show for it.

Inside the Securities and Exchange Commission, the organization is bracing for a public outcry, according to people who have recently spoken with some high-ranking officials about the prospect of a WikiLeaks release of bank documents...

The big surprise would be that such chicanery was documented, in black and white, and that regulators hadn’t found it yet — or worse, they had found it and did nothing about it."*

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2010/12/20/prospect-of-wikileaks-dump-poses-problems-for-regulators/?hp

Posted by: bernielatham | December 21, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

A fine reason to despise DC...

"When the Federal Election Commission voted last month to close an investigation into a $96,000 payment to Senator John Ensign’s former lover, it overrode the findings of its own staff lawyers, documents made public Monday showed."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/21/us/politics/21ensign.html?hpw

Posted by: bernielatham | December 21, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Stupidest question of the year? From the WP subhead for today's On Faith discussion...

"A new study shows a majority of atheists and agnostics celebrate Christmas. Do you have to believe to observe the holiday?"

Posted by: bernielatham | December 21, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Oh for pete's sake... here's the same idiocy in CSM...

"Is the Senate working during Christmas holidays sacrilegious?"

Surely it is a base vulgarity shoved right into God's face! But Walmart staff working christmas day for next to minimum wage stocking shelves for the Big Holy Sale Event...that's zesty mercantilism, upon which God smiles.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 21, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

To respond to a few things:

"For those of you who remember Bilgey, cao9 is our Bilgeman. LOL

And in case anyone wonders, it's not an insult. I'd bet qb won't agree though now that he considers me politely belligerent because I agreed with one thing cao said last night."

I'm sure lmsinca didn't intend it as an insult, but it is one, and it is unfair to Bilgey. Bilgey was good humored and amusing. Mostly he was interesting and different. His banning by Greg was ridiculous.

This caothien person is NOTHING like Bilgeman. He's the first person I think should probably be banned, because his vitriol is on a different level than anyone so far (which is saying A LOT), he doesn't seem to have a purpose other than to attack people personally, and he advocates things like mass murder and holds up Stalin's reign of terror as the model for economic development, not hypothetically but in earnest. (Too bad Scott has not been around to debate the need for liquidation of the "banker caste" with him.)

But most of me wouldn't like him banned, because he is such a great poster child for the insanity of the American left. He's an avowed "socialist" who finds his true home under communist dictatorship. Yet it is only a short step between his stated views and those of others on the left. I think this is quite instructive.

"Will someone tell me why there are a few people on this board who are *so* offended by an expat living in Vietnam? I swear, I don't get it."

12bb, you once again completely miss the point and miss reality. Speaking for myself, I'm not offended that he moved to Vietnam. In fact, I'm not "offended" by him at all. Being "offended" is largely a matter of insecurity and immaturity, and I find the whole contemporary obsession with being offended tedious and bizarre.

I make a point of his decampment, rather, because he makes a point of it. And the point he makes over and over is that he left this country because he hates it and hates its people. In contrast, he loves living under a communist regime.

My reaction to all this is simply that when he comes here as he now daily does and spews venom about America and its corruption, condemns our military and government, calls for liquidation of capitalist classes, etc., he should be labeled for what he is: no longer an American, an enemy of freedom, and, given his violent and destructive "ideals," an enemy of humanity.

I'm thrilled that this person has permanently decamped and only hope he is true to his word that it is permanent. He doesn't belong here, and he really shouldn't meddle and interfere in our affairs. He ought to do the honorable thing and forfeit his citizenship, since he has renounced this country. That makes him much more than an expatriate.

I'm sure Vietnam and its people are lovely, but for small issues like communist rule. I couldn't be happier the guy has a new country and won't be back.


Posted by: quarterback1 | December 21, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

"Quarterback suffers nightmares of dissonance because the purity of his bellief set is adulterates, . . ."

Speaking of incoherent insults.

I find it interesting, and sometimes chuckle, at how routinely lefties remark on what my beliefs or views are, or what motivates me, when they really have little idea and are just making assumptions. Just like they foolishly assume that anyone who's a conservative got that way by listening to Rush or Glenn Beck and has no education or knowledge base. It's really a laugh.

There's nothing new or shocking to me in any of cao's crazed ranting. And none of it in any way disturbs my beliefs or my sleep. It's all old hat, truly. Indeed, it's stereotypical.

"There's this "thing" in the American psyche that says it's fun to bother people, .... People here don't have that quality, and that alone is worth the move."

Such irony.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 21, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

"When the Federal Election Commission voted last month to close an investigation into a $96,000 payment to Senator John Ensign’s former lover, it overrode the findings of its own staff lawyers, documents made public Monday showed."

Sounds a lot like the Obama/Holder DOJ SOP.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 21, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

"Just like they foolishly assume that anyone who's a conservative got that way by listening to Rush or Glenn Beck and has no education or knowledge base. It's really a laugh."

Yeah, cuz you people do soooooo much to dispel that belief. You guys are wrong about everything, but agree on everything. Really? You all independently arrived at the conclusion that there is no global warming? Really? Really?

Posted by: DDAWD | December 21, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/the_morning_plum_155.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 21, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Back before Commentary had been dragged over the edge by Podhoretz's flowering insanity, there were good writers writing good pieces, like this one by Halberstam (1956) on Barbour's heroes at the Citizens Council...

"In march of this year Congressman John Bell William told a Greenville, Mississippi, White Citizens Council, “I’d gladly trade all the Negroes in the country for my few good ni**er friends.” Williams is no political scientist—he flunked out of the University of Mississippi law school in near record time—but on this occasion he did, if inadvertently, define the nature of the Citizens Council movement. Pull aside the curtain of States’ Rights and you find, more prominent than anything else, this desire to trade coat-and-tie Negroes for barefoot ones...."

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/the-white-citizens-councils-br-respectable-means-for-unrespectable-ends-2460

Posted by: bernielatham | December 21, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

QB, you remind me of the first run of Star Trek: so deep into reruns that one can sing along with every word.

My what a repetitive fool you are.

I take it you don't dig what I have to say here.

Well, you know what you can do about that. But I bet you let your breath out well before actual cyanosis.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 21, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, cuz you people do soooooo much to dispel that belief. You guys are wrong about everything, but agree on everything. Really? You all independently arrived at the conclusion that there is no global warming? Really? Really?

==

Not only do they hold all the exact same views, but they all come upon them on the same day and express them with the same words. And just by coincidence, it's the same words as one of their luminaries uses and on the same day he uses them. Like as school of little fish all changing direction at once in a flash of silver scales.

Then they get on the blogs and say that the liberals all think alike, and that it's the liberals who are intolerant, and conservatives are all about individuality and freedm and libbiddy an' stuff.

We should call them Wallpaper Conservatives.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 21, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Those on the left, who coordinate their message, we call them Journ-O-lists. You are fine with that of course.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 21, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

holds up Stalin's reign of terror as the model for economic development

==

My actual words are archived if anyone wants to read them.

I wrote that the Bolsheviks imprisoned and executed the financial caste and were then able to take the SU from a backward feudal monarchy to a major world power in a single generation. This is historical fact.

QB decides to play this as a call for the murder of the American financial caste and has now moved Stalin back in time several decades to boot.

I'm not one to pull punches and if I meant that the American financial caste should be rounded up and slaughtrered, I wouldn't hesitate to say just that. I do think much of that caste deserves jail time and many of them have probably made decisions that led directly to the deaths of thousands, but I would settle for getting them the hell out of the way, because they are nothing but parasites and bloodsuckers.

You're a lying piece of junk, QB.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 21, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

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