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Posted at 5:37 PM ET, 12/23/2010

Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* Robert Gibbs tweets that Obama's State of the Union speech will "focus on our debt/deficit."

* Filibuster reform update: Senator Jeff Merkley tells Ezra Klein it's not about doing away with the filibuster; it's about changing the rules to make Senators actually filibuster.

Key takeaway. Keeping reform in the realm of the achievable is the way to get it done.

* Ezra also has today's most talked about chart dramatizing the massive spike in filibuster abuse in recent years:

fili.JPG

* Dave Dayen pushes back on Dems who say the time is wrong for filibuster reform because they could soon end up in the minority.

* Steve Benen hails the 111th Congress's full range of accomplishments, and adds, crucially, that they were all achieved amid exceptionally hostile and difficult conditions.

* Here's a far more comprehensive list than mine of this Congress's lesser known, but still important, accomplishments.

* DADT repeal darling Joe Lieberman tells Brian Beutler that he's mulling running for reelection as a Democrat.

* Adam Serwer says DADT repeal will speed up the legalization of gay marriage, because repeal is "undermining the crumbling logic of denying gays and lesbians the benefits of full citizenship."

* White House comm director Dan Pfeiffer vows "confrontation" with Republicans over spending next year.

* Glenn Greenwald has a useful and comprehensive rundown on the raging debate over alleged mistreatment in custody of alleged Wikileaks leaker Bradley Manning.

* Here's a Bradley Manning timeline if you need to get caught up.

* Sarah Palin may hate "treasonous" Wikileaks, but she's happy to use the info it uncovered to demagogue about Iran.

* Speaking of demagoguing about Iran, Matt Duss reports that Rudy Giuliani has taken to traveling to foreign countries to denounce President Obama's policies on Iran as "appeasement."

* As Atrios notes, Kirsten Gillibrand had been mostly written off by the media, but here she is driving major legislation giving health benefits to 9/11 heroes.

* The 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls don't seem all that eager to show up at next month's Hispanic Leadership Network conference.

* The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which has cornered the market in criticism of Obama as weak, wins The Nation's award for most valuable online activism.

* Correction: The other day I noted that DailyKos had just joined the campaign to reform the filibuster. In fact, DKos has been part of this campaign since its inception, and props to the DKos team for that.

* And The Daily Beast struggles to plumb the depths of John McCain's bitterness and rage.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | December 23, 2010; 5:37 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, Senate Dems, filibuster, gay rights  
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Comments

Steve Benen had this item in his lunchtime round-up:

"The Republican-focused Hispanic Leadership Network will host a conference in Miami next month, and organizers invited every GOP official who's hinted at interest in the 2012 presidential race. The only candidate to accept was Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty; the rest blew off the invitations."


Great way to attract that growing Hispanic electorate...

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 23, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

"And The Daily Beast struggles to plumb the depths of John McCain's bitterness and rage."

Hey, isn't that practicing psychiatry without a license? I mean, somebody should be getting paid to plumb the depths of the bitterness and rage of the last person to run against Barak Hussein Obama.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Robert Gibbs tweets that Obama's State of the Union speech will "focus on our debt/deficit."

I am glad you brought that up. The speech is the opening salvo of the 2012 offensive, that's right offensive. Obama must inspire America with relentless optimism, on and on about all that we have in front of us to become. It doesn't have to be bullspit. It is possible. America could find its buttocks with both hands if we put our minds to it.

The Republicans have only one, just one campaign message: the people who are mad and sad should bring back their Republican tormentors.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Who are you going to run against Obama?
--------------------------------------------------
If this blog is populated by activists, I find it interesting the answers that you get whenever you ask this question. The answers I've seen (from potential GOP voters) are 1) outliers who have no chance or 2) silence.

This lack of response seems to validate your premise.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 23, 2010 3:58 PM
-------

I don't recall too many people touting Obama this far out. How's president Hillary doing these days? Al Sharpton? Dennis Kucinich? John Edwards? Strong candidates all. Talk about whistling past the graveyard. Dems were thoroughly clobbered in November, and the best you can come up with is that Republicans don't know who their candidate for President will be two years from now? They'll have one. Trust me. It might not be John McCain again---since he stopped being every liberal's favorite Republican when he actually became a Presidential candidate. Who'll primary Obama if the unemployment rate is still at 10% and his popularity hovering around 40%? Kucinich? Sharpton? What if we're still in Afghanistan and Iraq? What if Gitmo's still open? What if the "tax cuts for the rich" get renewed? ...oh, wait. Principles much?

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Greg, the #1 achievement of the Republican message machine was convincing people that Obama is responsible for everything wrong with America, especially if they don't have enough money for a lot of Xmas presents.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 4:17 PM
-----

Well, duh. Where are the jobs? What happened to the "summer of recovery"? Can't be Obama's fault---he's only the President, with huge majorities in both houses of Congress. Let's blame Reagan!

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues
"Now the GOP House will be expected to propose solutions. Do they have anything other than (1) repeal of HCR, and (2) tax cuts for the wealthy?"
-----

Obama already took care of number (2). I'll bet that cost him any chance of ever getting your vote again? No? Hahahahaha.

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

You wingers are sure obsessed with Al Sharpton. He's not a candidate, so what's the point of bringing him up? Gee, wonder why that is.

Obama will be the candidate and against him you will field -- Sarah Palin? Mike Huckabee? Mittens Romney-- lol.

The base and the pragmatists [what's left of them] of the r party are further apart than they have ever been, so no one is going to be acceptable to both.

The ideological purity the base is seeking is mythical in politics, and the end they will probably turn on everyone who might be electable in a general.

Posted by: fiona5 | December 23, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Brigade,

In case you can't remember that far back, there was no incumbent President (or VP) running for re-election in 2008. So the GOP had its own Battle Royale. This time, Obama gets to watch while the Republican aspirants clobber each other.

As for all of your "what ifs" -- "if wishes were horses, beggars would ride."

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 23, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I did not know that manning has been kept in solitary. Except for prisoners who endanger guards and/or other prisoners, that was not how the brig operated way back when. Punitive pretrial solitary incarceration was not something I ever sought as a prosecutor, either. What is the status of his Article 31? Of his CM?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 23, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

"They'll have one. Trust me. It might not be John McCain again--"

I can not trust you. But I know it will not be John McCain again.

"I don't recall too many people touting Obama this far out."

No matter, your recall does not count. This far out it was all over for Democrats. The Clintons were going to go back to the White House except Obama was serious about his challenge and there were a lot of people who can recall that. There was no one else.

You can pretend this does not matter, but the fact is, Republicans have no serious candidate for a campaign that has to start right now. Are you ready? I said, are you ready? Are you really ready?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Brigade,

In case you can't remember that far back, there was no incumbent President (or VP) running for re-election in 2008. So the GOP had its own Battle Royale. This time, Obama gets to watch while the Republican aspirants clobber each other.

As for all of your "what ifs" -- "if wishes were horses, beggars would ride."

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 23, 2010 6:17 PM
----

I remember. The point you're missing is that virtually ALL the Republican candidates were superior to ANY of the Democratic candidates as far as ability to govern. McCain lost because of the market crash---he was acutally ahead in the polls prior to that. But keep thinking Obama is a shoo-in for re-election even if the economy's still in the toilet. After all, the loonie left wingers who post here obviously have the pulse of the American voter (the November election notwithstanding). No one cares about the economy as long as DADT was repealed. Who needs a job?

And I bring up Sharpton and Kucinich because they seem to be among the stock candidates, the cream of the Democratic crop.

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

@fiona,

The top 3 GOP candidates, per their polling, are Romney, Huckabee and Palin so it stands to reason it will be one of those three. What is interesting, using this blog as a microcosm of the real world, is that almost no one will go on record as backing any one of those three. At least, I'm still waiting. There *used* to be support for Palin, but those people are like a tsunami--they sweep through, then disappear.

Whether or not we think that any of those three can beat Obama, because it is too early to know, I find the strategy behind the pick more interesting.

Should the GOP back their strongest candidate in 2012 and bat for the fences? If wrong, they could be crippled for 2016.

Or should they play it safe and hold their strongest candidate out, waiting for 2016, and back their second strongest candidate for 2012? Hope for a home run in 2012, but hold out for their best chance in 2016.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 23, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

No matter, your recall does not count. This far out it was all over for Democrats. The Clintons were going to go back to the White House except Obama was serious about his challenge and there were a lot of people who can recall that. There was no one else.

You can pretend this does not matter, but the fact is, Republicans have no serious candidate for a campaign that has to start right now. Are you ready? I said, are you ready? Are you really ready?


Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 6:20 PM
------

You continually overlook the obvious. Obama was not considered a serious candidate two years out, regardless of your faulty recollection. Clinton was your serious candidate ("going to go back to the White House"). She was the one all ready to go. You're correct in saying that the Republicans do not have a Hillary Clinton at this time, and she is living proof that it matters not. But keep dreaming.

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

"McCain lost because of the market crash..."

Nonsense, he "suspended" his campaign to go fix everything.
Besides, the market crash was an Act of God, right? Either God did it or Bawney Frank did it, we know the market can do no wrong against America...but neither can God so it was all Bawney Frank's fault.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

"McCain lost because of the market crash..."

Nonsense, he "suspended" his campaign to go fix everything.
Besides, the market crash was an Act of God, right? Either God did it or Bawney Frank did it, we know the market can do no wrong against America...but neither can God so it was all Bawney Frank's fault.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 6:34 PM
------

Well, that too. You're beginning to see the light.

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

"Obama was not considered a serious candidate two years out"

Yes he was. Look at Oliphant's cartoon 10/23/06. All Hail Obama.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Rick Warren thought Obama was a candidate:

"I've got two friends here, a Republican and a Democrat," declared conservative Pastor Rick Warren, influential author of runaway best-seller The Purpose-Driven Life," on World AIDS Day on December 1, 2006 at his 20,000 member Saddleback Church in Orange County, California.

Later, grasping hands with two potential 2008 presidential candidates, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), Pastor Warren led the group in prayer for sufferers of AIDS and HIV, and to stop the pandemic that's already killed 25 million people worldwide.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 23, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

"Should the GOP back their strongest candidate in 2012 and bat for the fences? If wrong, they could be crippled for 2016. Or should they play it safe and hold their strongest candidate out, waiting for 2016, and back their second strongest candidate for 2012? Hope for a home run in 2012, but hold out for their best chance in 2016."

Yeah, this is it. This is the money question.
Republicans could win in 2012. It isn't as if Obama has the country rooting for him.

But they have no contenders. The Republican vetting process is broken. Exhibit A: Palin attacks the Bush family for attacking her family.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

The difference is, *no one* on the left considers Sharpton, Kucinich or Nader or other extremists as serious candidates. But many on the right consider Palin to be one.

Posted by: fiona5 | December 23, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

12Bar and Shrink,

Please stop confusing Brigade with the facts. Brigade believes Hillary was the only serious candidate, and belief is enough.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 23, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

The Republican vetting process is broken. Exhibit A: Palin attacks the Bush family for attacking her family.
----------------------------------------------------
To be fair, the Bush family seems to be sending Mrs. Palin a not so subtle message. Mrs. Palin seems to comprehend the message all right. It's just that Mrs. Palin doesn't like the message and it seems she fights all her battles with knives and in the press.

As I remember, this is exactly what the McCain campaign complained about with Mrs. Palin. When McCain suspended him campaign in Michigan, wasn't it, she went to the press and criticized him.

Subtlety is definitely not her long suit.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 23, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

"...the McCain campaign complained about..."

No one would know of this person if the McCain campaign had not decided she was going to be their it factor. They thought becoming the president was like staging a Reality TV "contest". Maybe they still do.

The Republicans are in deep trouble. They know it, We know it.

They need leaders but they can not develop them through the home entertainment system that operates the mind of their base.


Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

They need leaders but they can not develop them through the home entertainment system that operates the mind of their base.
------------------------------------------------------
To me, it seems that the only GOP candidate with grassroots supporters is Sarah Palin. And yet, the GOP establishment clearly does not want her in 2012. Barbara Bush carried that message to Mrs. Palin, delivered somewhat cruelly on Larry King. It has been reported that the establishment and their candidates are tearing their hair out how to dissuade Mrs. Palin. Mrs. Palin, whose favorite m.o. is playing the victim, naturally fell into using the Bush family as her foil. I'm going to guess that the GOP doesn't perceive Mrs. Palin as a winner in 2016 either, just from the way they and she are infighting.

Assuming the GOP is able to block Mrs. Palin, that leaves Romney and Huckabee. I think that's why Barbour is coming out of the weeds because he senses an opening to become the "more acceptable" Huckabee.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 23, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

The Republican vetting process is broken. Exhibit A: Palin attacks the Bush family for attacking her family.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 6:53 PM
-----

"Tell George Bush (41) to STOP LYING ABOUT MY RECORD!"

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse


The difference is, *no one* on the left considers Sharpton, Kucinich or Nader or other extremists as serious candidates. But many on the right consider Palin to be one.

Posted by: fiona5 | December 23, 2010 6:53 PM
---

You don't consider them serious because they've never come close to winning the nomination. Neither has Palin. Kevin_Willis has declared that he'd vote for Palin over Obama; so the question for you is: Kucincich vs. Palin, who ya votin' for?
-----------------------------------

12Bar and Shrink,

Please stop confusing Brigade with the facts. Brigade believes Hillary was the only serious candidate, and belief is enough.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 23, 2010 6:55 PM

---

Even Hillary believed Hillary was the only serious candidate. I'll be a bearclaw1 and just wait until someone actually wins the nomination and then, like Pee Wee Herman, declare, 'I knew it all along!'

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't that be something, talk about lipstick...

Huck v Barbour

Is that what the Republican Uprising! is going to put in front of America in 2011?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are in deep trouble. They know it, We know it.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 7:49 PM
-----

Actually, I don't think they do know it. Silly fools still think they won the House in November and picked up a few Senate seats---not to mention taking control of the Governorship and state legislatures in several states.

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


Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Is that what the Republican Uprising! is going to put in front of America in 2011?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 8:34 PM
-----

There's been some talk they might look for a black liberation theologist to run, maybe someone from Jeremiah Wright's church.

It's curious how Obama's victory in Iowa made him a serious candidate, but Huckabee's victory there really doesn't mean anything. I think you people should try to get out more. Then maybe the 2012 elections won't come as such a shock.

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Do you have a candidate?
Huck? Is that who you back?

You know that he has no chance of becoming the President, don't you?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Do you have a candidate?
Huck? Is that who you back?

You know that he has no chance of becoming the President, don't you?


Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 9:00 PM
----

I know that's what many people said about Obama. Wasn't it Bill Clinton who told Ted Kennedy, "Why are you supporting him? A few years ago he'd have been serving us coffee."

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Huck? Is that who you back?
------------------------------------------------
Anybody who has to be begged to tell us who he backs, is certainly not enthusiastic.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 23, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Exactly. We fought The Clintons, we knew when we beat them there was nothing the Republicans could do that was worse than what The Clintons did. All we had to do was beat The Clintons.

Obama was transported past The Clintons by people he can barely recognize.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Briggie - Obama announced his candidacy in February 2007. You think there was no preparation that? Start paying attention, please.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 23, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

'There's been some talk they might look for a black liberation theologist to run, maybe someone from Jeremiah Wright's church.'

And this has to do --with what???

Excuse me, does this person actually have anything to say, other than stale and tedious and old R talking points that are empty and meaningless? and if so, what is it? Or is it simply a way to try to block actual conversation on issues?

Posted by: fiona5 | December 23, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Huck? Is that who you back?
------------------------------------------------
Anybody who has to be begged to tell us who he backs, is certainly not enthusiastic.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 23, 2010 9:07 PM
-----

I haven't picked anyone yet. How enthusiastic are you? If you keep listening to CF, you'll want to just pack it in.

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I haven't picked anyone yet.
-----------------------------------------------
Bwahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You could have said that long ago and not wasted so much bandwidth. It's ok to be undecided.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 23, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

All, sorry about the broken ital tag. fixed now.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 23, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Briggie - Obama announced his candidacy in February 2007. You think there was no preparation that? Start paying attention, please.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 23, 2010 9:16 PM
-------

Let' see. 2008 -1 = 2007. Right.
Now 2012 -1 = 2011. Oops.

This is only 2010, but all of the Republicans should have already announced. Right?
--------------------------------

Excuse me, does this person actually have anything to say, other than stale and tedious and old R talking points that are empty and meaningless? and if so, what is it? Or is it simply a way to try to block actual conversation on issues?


Posted by: fiona5 | December 23, 2010 9:16 PM

---

You should take some reading classes.

Also, some writing classes. Then, maybe you'd produce some "actual conversation on issues" to which we could respond---rather than the insults and moronic blather you routinely poop out. I won't hold my breath.

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Bwahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You could have said that long ago and not wasted so much bandwidth. It's ok to be undecided.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 23, 2010 9:37 PM
-----

That's incoherent. I never said otherwise. The liberal talking point seems to be that the Republicans don't have any legitimate candidates for 2012. I've heard 8 or 10 mentioned so far and none of them have as yet announced whether or not they'll run. Governors. Senators. It goes without saying that the liberal wingers don't believe any of them can win, but it's not the liberal winger vote they're after. I can't think of any of those I've heard mentioned that wouldn't bring more experience and gravitas to the position than did Obama.

Whoa! There's the cue. Paste the "you're a racist" response.

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues, I am a member of Saddleback Church, and most of us will be voting for whomever the Republicans nominate for President in 2012.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 23, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

"...most of us will be voting for whomever the Republicans nominate for President in 2012."

Everyone knows that. The question is, will the person you are told to vote for be Palin or Romney?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

thank you, claw. Another undecided.

Shrink, so far the experiment is 100% undecided.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 23, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Everyone knows that. The question is, will the person you are told to vote for be Palin or Romney?
----------------------------------------------------------
Have you ever seen so much bobbing and weaving? I think they are all afraid this is a trick question. Bwahaha!!

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 23, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Everyone knows that. The question is, will the person you are told to vote for be Palin or Romney?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 10:04 PM
-----

No, the question is whether Obama could conceivably do anything at all, other than announce he'll be running for re-election as a Republican, that would result in folks like you not voting for him.

Liam and a few of the others have gotten in a snit and said they're done with him altogether. Not so Ethan. Frankly, I don't believe it. So where do you stand? Haven't I seen a few posts where you said you're no longer supporting Obama. Who then? Just staying home? Like all those "average voters" did last month.

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

They are waiting for instructions.

When they get their candidate, they will pretend they have been behind that person since s/he was a child.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

shrink2, had you decided on Obama this far before the 2008 election?

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 23, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Hell, I could pick my candidate today if I were going to vote GOP! How people can be indifferent to the a slate of 3 or 6 or 10 people is pretty strange. But, it does prove your point, shrink, that there are no leaders among the crowd. Huckabee is no different than Gingrich than Palin than Romney?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 23, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues, you're welcome.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 23, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

shrink2, had you decided on Obama this far before the 2008 election?

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 23, 2010 10:19 PM
-----

Haven't you heard? Shrink2 was for Obama from the very beginning. He and a few others put him over the top in his uphill struggle against the racist DINOs known as the Clintons.

I like Jeb Bush. I mean since W can't serve another term. I like Romney. Hell, 12Bar, I like them all compared to Barry. Have there been any rumblings from Ralph Nader?

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Really, shrink2, that's pretty impressive. Congratulations on picking that one so far in advance. My dad was for Obama this far in advance, too, but I don't recall any other non-blacks that gung ho for him all the way in 2006.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 23, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

And the award for most valuable/must-read blog of the year (from some guy on the internet in the comment section) goes to... this one.

The filibuster chart is stunning.

Nice job on the lists.

I think the only point to add is that, as laudable as the things like the infrastructure investments are, they were done in response to the crisis facing the country... which didn't make them any easier to pass of course, but did make them absolutely necessary.

The biggest welcome surprise in my eyes was student loan reform. It's a BFD in its own right and could serve as a straightforward example of what the Dem vision of government is all about.

And let's hope Adam is right about DADT and LGBT equality in general. There's certainly reason to be optimistic.

Posted by: michael_conrad | December 23, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

"They are waiting for instructions."

DING DING DING DING!!

We have a winner.

As soon as the Officially Sanctioned Conservative Position comes through, all the keyboard kommandos will show up reciting it in unison and every one pretending they arrived at it all on their own.

And along the way poking that "liberals all think alike."

Posted by: caothien9 | December 23, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

"My dad was for Obama this far in advance, too, but I don't recall any other non-blacks that gung ho for him all the way in 2006."

Other people can remember, the left did not like The Clintons.
I could cite chapter and verse of those days. It isn't like we are talking about when we were kids, it was just a few years ago. If you don't think "non blacks" were the reason Obama is President you don't understand politics and you were not involved in the run up to the 2008 election.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Huck v Barbour

Is that what the Republican Uprising! is going to put in front of America in 2011?

==

Thirty million hands reach for TV remotes at the exact same moment.

Those mushmouths get tiresome pretty fast.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 23, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

For the record, no one has "told me" to continue opposing the so-called 9/11 First Responders law.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 23, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

"But, it does prove your point, shrink, that there are no leaders among the crowd."

No, it doesn't. Unless, by definition, every time an incumbent runs for the 2nd term the oppo has no apparent leaders. Hell, President Obama was a helluva candidate but no one could have mistaken him for a party leader at Christmastide 2005...he'd been in the Senate for what, a half-an-hour?

Were Dean and Kerry Dem leaders in 2002?

Shrink, you apparently think someone (presumably a priest/minister or Fox News or the ghost of Reagan) tells center-right folks whom to vote for, because--clearly--they're cognitively incapable of decision making. Perhaps you vote for the jackass the NYT or New Yorker declares this year's "Lightgiver." And the reflected frisson upon you of obeying Bill Keller or Charlie Rose (or Oprah...giggle) blinds you to your inner-progzombie.

Posted by: tao9 | December 23, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

shrink2, of course non-blacks elected Obama. What I'm saying is that only ONE non-black I knew this far before the 2008 election had already picked him.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 23, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

The bigots didn't just lose on gays in the armed forces with DADT repeal, they lost the whole demonization of gays as a motivator and it was one of their very big ones. Needless to say we can expect them to turn up the heat on "illegal aliens" even more now, as they're fast running out of people to hate.

They gave a go at hating the educated but the teaparty seems to be fizzling fast, there being little doubt that it cost the Republicans the Senate and it never did have much of a platform. Red-faced stupid people carrying misspelled signs do not a populist movement compris.

Republicans are in trouble. Remember when they crowed about Scott Brown, and it turned out to be a fizzle? Well, within a week of winning all those House seats the heat was on them like never before to start getting their act together, and it's clear as can be they have no intention of doing that. Expect two years of posturing and tantrums and expect that the voters will fail to see the humor.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 23, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Ok. As I lay me down to sleep, I am sure I know the Republicans have not considered the 2012 election...apart from their feelings about Barak Obama.

It is as if the question is settled, as if the person they are going to vote for isn't worth consideration.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Exactly.

The question isn't settled. And Obama is a very strong incumbent.

Sleep tight.

Posted by: tao9 | December 23, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

shrink2, of course non-blacks elected Obama. What I'm saying is that only ONE non-black I knew this far before the 2008 election had already picked him.

==

You guys are always trying to rewrite history, it seems compulsive. Move over, Joe Stalin.

Obama was a Man To Watch from the moment he delivered that speech at the 2004 DNC convention.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 23, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

tao, pick a winner, do it. Do you have candidate? It is getting late.
You can say you don't care or that you have to do more research.

Palin?
Tao is Palin your choice?


Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Who said we haven't considered who the nominee should be?!

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 23, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

'And the award for most valuable/must-read blog of the year (from some guy on the internet in the comment section) goes to... this one.

The filibuster chart is stunning.

Nice job on the lists.

I think the only point to add is that, as laudable as the things like the infrastructure investments are, they were done in response to the crisis facing the country... which didn't make them any easier to pass of course, but did make them absolutely necessary.

The biggest welcome surprise in my eyes was student loan reform. It's a BFD in its own right and could serve as a straightforward example of what the Dem vision of government is all about. '

--As the parent of a college student, hallelujah, brother. It's time to stop corporations from swindling kids, which they have been doing for some time now.

Posted by: fiona5 | December 23, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

No...And lms asked me the same question months ago, same answer...Palin is not my candidate.

Posted by: tao9 | December 23, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

It's also time for the colleges to stop swindling kids (now with the assistance of the government).

Posted by: tao9 | December 23, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

"shrink2, of course non-blacks elected Obama. What I'm saying is that only ONE non-black I knew this far before the 2008 election had already picked him."

Posted by: clawrence12 |

This is the way you think? 'Blacks' vs. 'non blacks'? What a sad, pathetic and barren universe you live in.

Posted by: fiona5 | December 23, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

"...Palin is not my candidate."

This is apostasy and I hope you know she is keeping track, or trig or something like that.

Who do you love? Are you going to be so confident as to give me a hint? Or if you told me, would you have to kill me?

Look it isn't like like this is some kind of black-oops thing. You are dancing on the victory of last month. You already know Obama is gone, dead...can you just wink at some candidate you think might be your candidate.?


Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Fiona, I was answering a question above.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 23, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

It's also time for the colleges to stop swindling kids (now with the assistance of the government).

==

Wow, turning it around, that's some impressive rhetorical artistry. I may have to plagiarize that. Almost ranks up with the brilliance of Brigade's "I know you are but what am I" shtick, but doesn't hold a candle to his rewriting quoted posts.

So how exactly are colleges swindling students? By allowing them to study science and engineering when they should all be studying market fundamentalism and Republican economics? And torture techniques for working in the intelligence community?

Or should they just hold singalongs of commercial jingles?

Posted by: caothien9 | December 23, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Who can think President Obama is gone? The incumbent is never gone, esp. w/ 2yrs to go.

Too early (maybe) for Ryan, Haley or Rubio, Christie says he wont run.

Daniels or Kasich perhaps.

Posted by: tao9 | December 23, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

If Mitch Daniels is the best you can come up with you guys should just cancel the primaries.

You guys treat the presidency as some sort of celebrity thig\ng, exactly as you accuse Democrats of idolizing Obama. The only people you get wetter over than guys in suits are guys in uniform. You're like a gaggle of sixth grade girls forming fan clubs over adolescent boy-bands.

Fact remains. There are no Republican presidential candidates for 2012 and nobody's going to ride up on a white horse.

The original Reagan coalition of Wall Street zombies and religious crazies has fallen apart.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 23, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Wow toa, thank you.

I think Mitch would be good, a real alternative.
Is he going to run?

The Republican problem, they have to dial back the crazy "enthusiasm" people or they will have the same outcome in 2012 as they did in Nevada against Reid, the dead duck I could have beaten. Sharron Angle.

Have Republicans learned the lesson of the lame duck session?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

"Have Republicans learned the lesson of the lame duck session?"

Well, all those folks above are pretty smart.

I think the President and, at least GOP Senators, learned alot. Mr. Obama actually moved to further to the right than the GOP cutting left. The DADT, START, etc. are successes, but the Omnibus defeat and the tax-rate retention are where the real grown-up governing of the nation happened.

My sense of 2012 is that the House holds, the Senate goes GOP, and Obama wins with zip/nada coattails.

That and a $5.50 will get you a cuppa coffee at BarStucks.

Posted by: tao9 | December 24, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

"My sense of 2012 is that the House holds, the Senate goes GOP, and Obama wins with zip/nada coattails."

I think so too. 2016 is the important year, the show down.
If Democrats can't win that election going away...they can't complain about the media or anything other than the people they see in the mirror.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 24, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

FILIBUSTER CHART

If you review it carefully, most of the abuses were started by the democrats directly after the Republicans took control of the Senate

Then the Republicans just followed up by adopting the same tactics later

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 24, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Shrink,

I have, perhaps, a naive faith in my country. 'Tis a blessing to live in interesting times.

I'm out, and off to VT slopes 2morrow.

MERRY CHRISTMAS YOU WONDERFUL OLD BUILDING & LOAN

er...I mean ALL PL'ers!!!

{{{Yeah, even YOU...you know who I'm talkin' to...giggle.}}}


Posted by: tao9 | December 24, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

FILIBUSTER CHART


In order to form an accurate opinion, it would be a good idea to look into who is filibustering and what the issue is.

For instance, separate out the judges and appointments

The lower axis is SESSION OF CONGRESS

97th is when the Republicans took control in 1981

104th th is when the Republicans took control in 1995


108th is when the Republicans took control back by 2003


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 24, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

FILIBUSTER CHART


The basic truth is the democrats used the filibuster to stop Civil Rights


Then there was an uptick against Reagan - tempered by Tip O'Neil who still held democratic influence


Then the democrats used the filibuster again after Clinton lost control of Congress - to gridlock the place

Then the democrats held up Bush's judicial nominations


The truth is most of the abuses of the filibuster have been by the democrats


The complaints by the democrats are really based on a willfull disregard for history or outright ignorance


AND it is pretty silly to think that US Senators would actually want to give up one of their most potent powers

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 24, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

caothien9:
"Red-faced stupid people carrying misspelled signs do not a populist movement compris."
----

You could never make up this stuff.

Posted by: Brigade | December 24, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

I'd dispute the acceleration of Republican gains. Don't forget what shabby and irresponsible use the GOP is going to make of their gains last month. It's going to be phony investigations and obstruction, with proudly declared indifference to the under- and unemployed.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 24, 2010 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Cao

Dispute whatever you want


Since the Republicans won the election, more has been done in Washington than in all the years of Pelosi

The key is to give Republicans power and take influence from Obama


The Republicans' winning changed the dynamic


All these moron democrats want to give credit to Obama who could have done all this at any time over the past two years, but Obama preferred to drag down the economy with his health care plan and his other wacko liberal ideas


Case closed.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 24, 2010 1:49 AM | Report abuse

" the tax-rate retention are where the real grown-up governing of the nation happened"

==

yeah, real "grown-up." Cutting taxes on people who don't need the cuts and who've already benefitted hugely for 30 years, at a time of deficits so extreme that essential services are being cut and we're borrowing money from foreign bankers, all in homage to a fundamentalist idelogy that's been completely discredited.

That's some seriously "grown up" behavior. Like giving a box of chocolates to an 800-lb diabetic.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 24, 2010 2:29 AM | Report abuse


In a traditional refinance, insist on a good-faith estimate of the costs up front, before you give the lender a penny, search the web for "123 Mortgage Refinance" I would strongly recommend them. They got me 2.891% rate!

Posted by: gracewynn | December 24, 2010 2:49 AM | Report abuse

shrink2, had you decided on Obama this far before the 2008 election?

==

Beside the point. By 2006 we already had a short list of possibilities and it was up to the primaries to winnow that list down to one.

Here you guys are two years before 2012 and you don't have a single real possibility,just a motley collection of uninspiring mediocrities none of whom budge the enthusiasm meter and all of whom have powerful negatives.

The one inspiring the most enthusiasm among anyone couldn't possibly win because every not screaming themselves hoarse about her .. despises her.

The one with the most actual qualifications won't get the nod from the GOP base.

And then there are the Seven Dwarves, assorted one-trick ponies nobody can listen to five five seconds without tuning out. Pawlenty? Really?

Maybe you'd better see if Fred Thompson is still alive

Posted by: caothien9 | December 24, 2010 3:25 AM | Report abuse

And a Fabulous Festivus to you, tao.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 24, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Fighting terrorism the good-ol'-fashioned way...with Wrigley's Spearmint, Louisiana Hot Sauce and Marlborough Reds -

"Despite sanctions and trade embargoes, over the past decade the United States government has allowed American companies to do billions of dollars in business with Iran and other countries blacklisted as state sponsors of terrorism, an examination by The New York Times has found."

But it's ok because of the relative nature of right and wrong -

"Mr. Levey, a Treasury under secretary who held the same job in the Bush administration, pointed out that the United States did far less business with Iran than did China or Europe; in the first quarter of this year, 0.02 percent of American exports went to Iran."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/24/world/24sanctions.html?_r=1&hp

Posted by: bernielatham | December 24, 2010 6:32 AM | Report abuse

The "big government" lie...

"If you listen to the recent speeches of Republican presidential hopefuls, you’ll find several of them talking at length about the harm done by unionized government workers, who have, they say, multiplied under the Obama administration. A recent example was an op-ed article by the outgoing Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, who declared that “thanks to President Obama,” government is the only booming sector in our economy: “Since January 2008” — silly me, I thought Mr. Obama wasn’t inaugurated until 2009 — “the private sector has lost nearly eight million jobs, while local, state and federal governments added 590,000.”

Horrors! Except that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, government employment has fallen, not risen, since January 2008. And since January 2009, when Mr. Obama actually did take office, government employment has fallen by more than 300,000 as hard-pressed state and local governments have been forced to lay off teachers, police officers, firefighters and other workers."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/24/opinion/24krugman.html?src=ISMR_HP_LO_MST_FB

Posted by: bernielatham | December 24, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Well, Pawlenty *is* a Republican so it would be unfair and intolerant to expect him to conform to other people's values, like, you know, telling the truth.

Freedm freedm freedm. Respect the individual and don't forget that it's been individual initiative in the form of free enterprise that;s made America what it is uh today. Freedm freedm freedm.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 24, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

All, Christmas Eve roundup posted:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 24, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

The slow, painful evisceration of Palin by her creators.

This morning, the NRO links a Conan O'Brien video mash-up of a Ruldolph cartoon and reality-show Sarah hunting with a big scoped rifle. Rudolf as adolescent, we ought to note.

http://www.nationalreview.com/

Well, just a perfect example, some might say, of the unique personal strengths of conservatives who can chuckle at themselves (as contrasted with liberals who are too snooty and lacking in confidence to manage the trick.

On the other hand, though, what are the chances we'll ever see anything like this where Reagan is the subject. A SNL skit, say, where Nancy grounds Ron before the Reykjavik summit after advice from her astrologer (played by Susan Sarandon)? If your answer is "zero", you win. Or the chances we'd see something similar if Rubio was the subject. Same answer, or course.

These boys are playing a slick dance here. They continue to carry or link policy op ed pieces written by somebody who isn't Palin but with her name on the byline. She has policy wisdom, is the projected PR theme. That "wisdom" just happens to match neoconservative ideology, of course.

At the same time, they are now joining with other Republican establishment figures and pushing a distinctly different set of notions - she's a bit of a hick, a bit stupid, and a bit of a joke when imagined as Presidential material.

But they have to play it this way, don't they?

Posted by: bernielatham | December 24, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Watch it, er, her, parlay this dismissal as an unfair attack by liberals and the conservative boy's club (doesn't have to make sense) and squeeze out another with-book to eek a few more millions out of the fact of being famous.

Rove is a bad guy to have as an enemy and he despises her.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 24, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

bernielatham, you will be pleased to know that Rush Limbaugh defended her against Nicole Wallace the other day:

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_120110/content/01125112.guest.html

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 24, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

caothien9, I totally agree with you.  Sarah Palin?  There's no way, there's simply no way.  Give me Obama. Give me four more years of Obama any day.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 24, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

We aren't supposed to let this out until the announcement is ready, but the Republican presidential candidate in 2012 will be Jeb Bush.

We're holding the announcement until former President George W. Bush polls higher than Obama. Based on current trends, this should be some time in early 2011.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/112353-poll-bush-obama-nearly-tied-for-blame-on-bad-economy

http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/2010/04/obamabush-nearly-divided.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/polls/postpoll_12132010.html?sid=ST2010121701650

Until then, the minor candidates are there to keep the media and the bloggers distracted until Jeb is ready.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 24, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

That would be cool.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 24, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

It is good to read that Lamar Smith is so open-minded that he may be willing to consider a compromise. To wit, let those who came here at a very young age have a path to legalization as long as there is a reduction in legal immigration.

And some have said that the Tea Partiers are only opposed to illegal immigration! The nerve of those people!

Posted by: AMviennaVA | December 24, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Brigade @ December 23, 2010 6:05 PM wrote "Well, duh. Where are the jobs? What happened to the "summer of recovery"?"

Well, duh ... Are we losing 750000 jobs a month as were during the Republican 'prosperity'? Are we gaining jobs?

Face it, there has been a swing of 850000, or so, in the number of jobs gained every month from the time the Republicans were running things!

Posted by: AMviennaVA | December 24, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Face it, there has been a swing of 850000, or so, in the number of jobs gained every month from the time the Republicans were running things!

Posted by: AMviennaVA | December 24, 2010 12:22 PM
-----

So, the unemployment rate is now back to where it was before the Dems won control of Congress in 2006 and the Presidency in 2008? Didn't think so. Drop the talking points and come back to reality, or better yet, try this as a strategy in 2012 if the unemployment rate's still hovering around 10%. Unless you're gay or enjoy living on the dole, Obama has been a failure to this point. HCR? Now fund it.

Now, point out what a wonderful year bankers and Wall Street have had. Lots of bonuses. It'll be interesting to hear liberals tout this as evidence of Obama's success. And extension of the Bush tax cuts---libs really like to brag about that.

Posted by: Brigade | December 24, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

bernielatham, are you still around? Before that link I provided to you from Rush Limbaugh's show, he actually interviewed her for her latest book tour (on November 17th). I just wanted to make sure you saw that, along with this much more recent show (December 17th) where he agreed with Sarah Palin yet again:

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_121710/content/01125111.guest.html

You were saying something earlier about how Rush Limbaugh has stopped talking about Sarah Palin (even though you also admitted you don't even listen to his show)?

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 24, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, clawence, for that precious kernel of candor.

@jnc: Jeb Bush? You MUST be joking. What does he have to recommend him?

Posted by: caothien9 | December 24, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

The presidential election of 2008 was only the second one since 1980 that didn't have someone on the ticket named George Bush. I think we should be able to skip more than one election without a Bush on the ballot, don't you? IIRC we had a war to push back against a monarch in charge of us. No dynasties, please.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 25, 2010 2:24 AM | Report abuse

The election of John Quincy Adams also provided spurious allegations of "dynasties" and a de facto monarchy. In fact, the race to be Monroe's successor was hotly contested between Andrew Jackson, a Democrat; Henry Clay, a Whig; and Adams, who ran somewhat reluctantly and with no official party affiliation. Since none of the candidates received a majority of electoral votes, it was again required that the decision be made by the House of Representatives. John Quincy Adams was elected President when Clay threw him his support, thereby defeating Jackson, who had actually received the most popular and electoral votes. Luckily, the Constitution prevents a monarchy, even though there's no prohibition on Presidents with the same last name. Too bad that your side didn't push that through this lame-duck Congress as well.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 25, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Well if we are going to have a dynasty I think we could do a lot better than that rich white trash called the Bush family.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 25, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

You mean "we" the people who live in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam?

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 25, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Don't knock it, claw, you have no idea what you're missing. The food is fantastic, the people are nice, it's a relaxing and serene life here. People help each other and everyone knows their neighbors.

Oh, wait, I was supposed to get stomach cramps at the word "Socialist," wasn't I. Sorry, didn't happen. Maybe you should rethink some of your core beliefs.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 26, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Maybe, not.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 26, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

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