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Posted at 4:45 PM ET, 12/27/2010

Happy Hour Roundup

By Jonathan Bernstein

Today's must-read is Brian Beutler's reporting on GOP plans to fight regulations. At first glance, I'm going to say that this seems more like posturing and spin than effective, substantive tactics; most likely, the real leverage that the GOP can bring during the 112th Congress is through the appropriations process. But I'm not sure. At any rate, it's good reporting on what we're going to see next year. 

What else? I think my version of a tab dump isn't quite as newsy as Greg's is, but I thought these were all worth reading:

1. Daniel Drezner, unlike some people, understands that the Cold War is over.

2. Andrew Gelman identifies the Graph of the Year.

3. Broken windows.

4. I liked Dave Weigel on the Gaffes of 2010.

5. Via the Dish, a defense of pennies from Tim Cavanaugh. I'm not convinced, but if you're anti-penny, you should probably read one decent argument the other way.

6. And certainly don't miss the Nixon reindeer cookie.

Jonathan Bernstein writes about American politics, political institutions and democracy at A Plain Blog About Politics, and you can follow him on Twitter here.

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 27, 2010; 4:45 PM ET
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup  
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Comments

Well that Cold War is over, but 2.0 is just getting started. When Kruschev promised to bury us, he didn't mean militarily. Now that the governments who own the means of production in their countries (and the banks, the press, etc.) are at it again, with a new friendlier face.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 27, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

37th & O RULES.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 27, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Uh ohhh...here comes trouble

Total public debt subject to limit Dec. 24 $13,814,611,000
Statutory debt limit $14,294,000,000

Posted by: shrink2 | December 27, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Shrink


Maybe we should stop spending


What day will we hit it????


This is actually good news for the economy if it stops Obama from spending money


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 27, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Shrink


That is actually 479 Billion which normally would take YEARS to blow through


Obama will probably be through it in 4 months.


Not sure how the yearly cycle works with the tax refunds However, it is probably better to file for your refund early this year, rather than later


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 27, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Part of the deficit can be defrayed with plain old fashioned economic growth. So it is good news, the Xmas retail season looks like it will meet or exceed 2007 the 'best' season on record. Everyone thinks unemployment can't get better until consumer spending revives, maybe it just did.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 27, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

shrink

I saw this in the WSJ and thought of you and your "concern" for who the heck is the GOP going to run in 2012.

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

"When conservative activist and former presidential candidate Gary Bauer scans the potential 2012 Republican field, not much excites him. "All the obvious frontline names have all the usual pluses and minuses," Mr. Bauer says.

But in considering one candidate, Mr. Bauer sees only qualities that he likes. Indiana Rep. Mike Pence is a military and fiscal hawk who frequently plugs his Christian credentials. To some, he's the potential candidate best able to unite two wings of the Republican Party—its fiscal conservatives and social conservatives.

"He is definitely the guy to watch," says Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, a group that opposes gay marriage and abortion.

Now, Mr. Pence has a decision to make: While he says he is seriously weighing a run for the White House, many signs point to him running for Indiana governor in 2012 instead. No one else mulling a presidential run faces a similar quandary. Mr. Pence says he plans to announce his decision early next year."

Posted by: lmsinca | December 27, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Part of the deficit can be defrayed with plain old fashioned economic growth

posted by Shrink


____________________________

Do I detect a convert to the Laffer Curve???


How about some good old-fashioned supply-side tax cuts next ????

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 27, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Pence as you may know, won the "values voters" straw poll this Fall, a scary prospect. IMO, if he runs, he will run in 2016 after flirting with this cycle, making endorsements etc.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 27, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

clawrence12, did you participate on the House Committee on Un-American Activities?

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 27, 2010
---

LOL. You may be thinking of shrink2. His dad campaigned for McCarthy.

Posted by: Brigade | December 27, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

“Given these differences, the Insiders use overt political dramas as symbols that placate the masses while using covert political activity to plunder them. What we would now call rent-seeking succeeds because Outsiders are dazzled by the symbols while Insiders grab the substance.”

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 27, 2010
-----

So. . . are you sufficiently placated yet?

Posted by: Brigade | December 27, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

An interesting insight into the Federal Agencies and where their mandate comes from regarding which branch of the government. I know the goal of Republicans is to cut funding to not only the EPA but also the new financial reform regs and health care legislation. We'll have to wait and see how much people are willing to put up with but I'm getting a sense of what my New Year's resolution might be.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 27, 2010
-------

And what funding would you cut?

Posted by: Brigade | December 27, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

From "Bernie's Greatest Hits" of the day:

'And, under the heading of stupid....

"What the 'death panel' folks were talking about was government counsellors deciding that your 99 year old aunt's end of life planning wishes be ignored if they determine the costs outweigh the benefits. You've heard the term "rationing" before?"

'Except that all of this is a total fabrication intended to fool you (and it did). Nothing remotely like this exists in Canada nor in Britain nor in Israel nor anywhere else where some form of non-American style healthcare is in place.'

-------

No rationing in these other countries? Wow. No waits for service either, I'll bet. We're all relieved to know that 12Bar's 99 year old aunt cannot and will not be denied anything after HCR. Medicare will now pay for EVERYTHING. Always. Guaranteed. I wonder if she'll even need supplemental.

Posted by: Brigade | December 27, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Imsinca wrote,

"The question at hand is whether to shift our current implicit rationing system to one that is explicit and has broad public approval.

"The bottom line, in response to those who worry about “government rationing of health care” is that rationing is already deeply embedded in our current system."

-------

No. No. No. Bernie has assured us that this is simply a lie. There will never be any "government rationing of health care." We have Bernie's word on it.

Posted by: Brigade | December 27, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Aand as we all know, Arizona is the only state that actually rations health care -- that actually has death panels -- and they have allowed several people to die. But that's 'conservatism' for you, in action.

Posted by: fiona5 | December 27, 2010

-------

No, that's government for you, in action. What makes you think the federal government would never do anything "conservative" like Arizona's government? At least it's nice to see one of the PL's resident liberals admit that government has in fact "allowed several people to die."

Posted by: Brigade | December 27, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Would Norquist, if he could, rename the Empire State Building as The Ronald Reagan Liberty and Strength Edifice? Well, of course. And folks of a certain sort would gobble it up and think nothing could be finer.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 27, 2010
-------

Are you certain no one will ever try to name anything after Barry? Not even a replica of the Titanic, named the Economy?

Posted by: Brigade | December 27, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Another plum from Bernie:

'Today, Bill Kristol pushes the same narrative at the Weekly Standard...

"In the midst of an otherwise predictable editorial today on "The Looming Crisis in the States," in which the New York Times calls for state tax hikes and more aid from Washington, we find this sentence: "Starved for revenue and accustomed to decades of overspending, many states have been overwhelmed."

'First, let's just note how convenient (and dishonest) it is for Kristol to ignore the first part of that sentence he quotes, "starved for revenue". Typical Kristol, of course, but it needs noting because anyone or anything 'starved for revenue' is bound to 'overspend' when it spends anything. His framing is meaningless outside of its propaganda function.'

-------

Dishonest? Propaganda? So states like California have not overspent and over-promised? Well, they can always just raise taxes more. That should solve everything---right? Sorry, Bernie, Kristol was on the money, and it's you who are engaging in propaganda.

Posted by: Brigade | December 27, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

We do allow people to die. Just a few weeks ago I worked on a case in which we got a guardianship on a terminally ill person and a comfort measures only order from that guardian. Then in turn we worked to get the person out of (locked) custody and into a hospice facility, where s/he has been visited by grateful family members daily. If we had not allowed her to die in this way, we could have spent an awful lot of opm torturing her spent body. I don't call it rationing, I call it rational.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 27, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

More Bernie:

"A prime propaganda method is to develop a range of voices, planted in various different locations within the culture, to echo the same narrative... "One thing is for certain, disaster looms if..."

---

Now who'd have thought Bernie was a member of the "deficits don't matter" club?

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

"This narrative line they are now beginning to push to the forefront is merely a story. The right is very very bright regarding how to move groups of people through story. It doesn't hurt that they have nearly a century of marketing experience at their disposal. It also doesn't hurt that they can play this game from deepest cynicisms and without conscience.

"If we get to wondering why folks like Clawrence or Brigade etc feel so strongly about the story they've been sold, a lot of the answer to that is illuminated above"

---

It also never hurts to have the facts on your side, a circumstance with which Bernie is unfamiliar.

Posted by: Brigade | December 27, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Easy answer.. write the bill that says "NO FILIBUSTERS BY REPUBLICAN MEMBERS OF EITHER HOUSE - PERIOD.

End...

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | December 27, 2010

-------

That's the spirit! I believe that's what DDAWD would like to see. However, I wouldn't hold my breath.

Posted by: Brigade | December 27, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't call it rationing, I call it rational.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 27, 2010 7:39 PM

-------

Shhhh. Don't tell Bernie.

Posted by: Brigade | December 27, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't want anyone to think that I'm posting this just to piss off certain posters.

"*For the third straight year, President Barack Obama ranks as the man most admired by people living in the U.S., according to an annual USA Today-Gallup poll.*"

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/12/27/us/politics/AP-US-Most-Admired.html?_r=1&ref=news


Posted by: bernielatham | December 27, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

@Jonathan - Thank you for the Nixon reindeer cookie. Or crookie, I suppose. In either case, very festive.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 27, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

""*For the third straight year, President Barack Obama ranks as the man most admired by people living in the U.S., according to an annual USA Today-Gallup poll.*""

Does that mean that most Americans are unaware of Barry's extrajudicial, sanctioned slaughter of Pakistani and Yemeni civillians? Or do they know and not care? Also, are they, these "living in the U.S.", happy with the "trumped up" rape charges against Assasange, at the behest of Barry? Or do they not care? Finally, do these "Barry admirer's" dig Barry's indefinite detention? Or, again, do they not care? If the admirer's are unaware of these things, should we care what they think? Or, if the don't care, are they the type of people we should advertise that love Barry?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 27, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

If the admirer's are unaware of these things, should we care what they think?
-----------------------------------------------------
Only at election time.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 27, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I linked this on a non-relevant thread earlier and wanted to plop it in here too. It is, I think, a very bright analysis from James Vega and well worth a close read...


"December 26, 2010
Progressives: Obama's recent criticisms seemed deeply unfair but could turn out to be the most helpful thing he could possibly have done for us - if it makes us finally take seriously the job of building an independent grass-roots progressive movement."

http://www.thedemocraticstrategist.org/strategist/2010/12/progressives_obamas_recent_cri.php#more

Posted by: bernielatham | December 27, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

"Only at election time."

Yet bernie is aware, and it's not election time? Hunh? Does he not know, or just not care?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 27, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Fiscal prudence. It defines the modern conservative. Taxpayer dollars are both scarce and sacred. Wasting them is really a cardinal sin within this theology.

Haley Barbour, zipping about to fund-raisers and boxing matches in this thing...

http://www.smartcockpit.com/site/plane/cessna/CITATION-JET-SERIES/CITATION-JET-SERIES.jpg

...has blown a half million bucks of taxpayer money in three years. Hell of a guy. Hell of a civil servant. Hell of a conservative.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/12/27/barbour-jet/

Posted by: bernielatham | December 27, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

"...has blown a half million bucks of taxpayer money in three years. Hell of a guy. Hell of a civil servant. Hell of a conservative."

-------

If I were you, I doubt that I'd ever vote for the guy.

Posted by: Brigade | December 27, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

The Wired/Poulson piece of the Wikileaks story is getting altogether weird...

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/27/wired/index.html

And let's note that nobody is doing better reporting on the Wikileaks story (that's I've seen at least) than Greenwald.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 27, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

We're supposed to be surprised or chagrined that the POTUS is most admired by 22%?

Isn't the big story that 88% are racists?

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 27, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

bernielatham, how much does it cost to operate Air Force One (and Two because Michelle and the girls couldn't wait one day to start their vacation in Hawaii)?

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 27, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

clawrence,

That's okay, because O isn't a conservative. He believes spending all the money possible is his job. Flying to Hawaii probably created or saved another 10k jobs in his book.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 27, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

"Isn't the big story that 88% are racists?"

Not so much racist as bad at math.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 27, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Other than regarding the sex angle the general public doesn't care a fig about Wikileaks. Although the usual cheerleaders for US/Western decline, all in the name of transparency of course, at MSNBC, Salon, and certain blog precincts are mesmerized and charmed by the fey Aussie weasel.

I suppose Mr. Obama may care enough to send the squint to Gitmo, but that's about it.

Posted by: tao9 | December 27, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

"Isn't the big story that 88% are racists?"

Not so much racist as bad at math.
--------------------------------
Smartypants.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 27, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

quarterback1, exactly. IOKIYAD

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 27, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

And bernie blames the Kristol/Barnes/Government/GE/NBC/MSNBC/Olbermman access. It's the Chinese. (The Chinese!)

http://nhjournal.com/2010/12/26/shea-porter-implies-chinese-cost-her-election-helped-guinta/

The NeoCons (Joooooooo's) will accept your apology anytime.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 27, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

"Other than regarding the sex angle the general public doesn't care a fig about Wikileaks. Although the usual cheerleaders for US/Western decline, all in the name of transparency of course, at MSNBC, Salon, and certain blog precincts are mesmerized and charmed by the fey Aussie weasel.

I suppose Mr. Obama may care enough to send the squint to Gitmo, but that's about it.

Posted by: tao9"

Good job, I'm sure Palin is winking her little eye off at you for saying all those Conservative Things. Now if only we had some videotape of people literally cheering at bad news for the US. Like, wouldn't it be embarrassing for liberals if a bunch of people at MSNBC started cheering when the Olympics were awarded to Brazil?

I don't know about you, but if people of MY ideological club were to behave that way, I'd be deeply, deeply embarrassed.

But then again, I'm capable of feeling shame.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 27, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Well jeeze, I hate to bring this up two nights in a row, but here's a little more detail on the new Medicare directive regarding reimbursement for doctors for end of life counseling and Medical Directives. Doesn't really sound very "death panelish" to me.

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

"With a chance to plan with their personal physician, some patients might decide, if they become terminally ill or permanently unconscious, they’ll want a peaceful death with as little intervention as possible. Others will decide to utilize every kind of life-sustaining therapy as long as medically possible. The conversation protects either decision. These conversations empower patients and make sure that their wishes are heard.

With the new regulations, Medicare will now compensate physicians for that consultation. Why is reimbursement important? When physicians are asked why they do not regularly engage in advance care planning with their patients, they report that they do not have the time for such conversations.

As Muriel Gillick wrote last year in the Boston Globe,

Survey after survey indicates that most patients want to have end-of-life discussions but most do not have them."

http://my.firedoglake.com/barbaracoombslee/2010/12/27/new-medicare-regulations-empower-patients/

Posted by: lmsinca | December 27, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse


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

Posted by: kathrynmuniz | December 28, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse

ladies and gems, its the "brigade" thread.

proceed with caution.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 28, 2010 3:34 AM | Report abuse

@qb @ 9:14-

Wow.

Sad.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 28, 2010 3:37 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca rules.

Cheers!

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 28, 2010 3:39 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about you, but if people of MY ideological club were to behave that way, I'd be deeply, deeply embarrassed.

But then again, I'm capable of feeling shame.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 27, 2010

-------

That would be a first.
Any links?

Posted by: Brigade | December 28, 2010 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca wrote,

'"With a chance to plan with their personal physician, some patients might decide, if they become terminally ill or permanently unconscious, they’ll want a peaceful death with as little intervention as possible."

'As Muriel Gillick wrote last year in the Boston Globe,

"Survey after survey indicates that most patients want to have end-of-life discussions but most do not have them."'

-------

Maybe someone will invent hospice care.

Posted by: Brigade | December 28, 2010 6:35 AM | Report abuse

"Not so much racist as bad at math"

Wow you sure nailed me there. So hard to get anything by you guys. But just treat it like Democrat budget math and it adds up just fine.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 28, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about you, but if people of MY ideological club were to behave that way, I'd be deeply, deeply embarrassed.

But then again, I'm capable of feeling shame.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 27, 2010

-------

You must have been embarassed about this.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/20/politics/main2709229.shtml

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 28, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

ladies and gems, its the "brigade" thread.

==

No, it's not, this thread, like every other, is the Troll Hunter thread.

Once every few weeks it's fun to turn it off and see if any of the "conservatives" are getting any closer to, you know, making a point. And needless to say they're farther from it than ever.

Just the usual snideness, sarcasm, ridicule, and snark, peppered with the occasioinal Dutiful Recitation Of Conservative Things.

The former are, well, just boring. Brigade doing fourteen rapid-fire posts ridiculing Bernie, when he isn't claiming I'm sexually impotent. Class act, Brigade. One forgettable poster saying that cutting corporate taxes to zero will solve the budget deficit (and you can get thin by gorging on cake and candy too)

The conclusion I always reach as I reset the filters is that conservatives, at least the ones on blogs, are mental defectives.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 28, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it amusing how the Creature from Vietnam constantly brags about filtering all conservatives but never posts a comment that is more than a string of insults and vapid leftist talking points?

A year ago, I'd never have believed that the population of leftist trolls at PL could be replaced by an even more vitriolic, unhinged, and vacuous lot. But they have been. Amazing.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 28, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

John Boehner says that Obama is trying to destroy "the best healthcare system in the world." Calling America's the best is a staggeringly bizarre claim, and one really needs to wonder by what metric it's the
"best."

Maybe he meant "the most expensive" or "the most profitable,"because it sure isn't the most successful at keeping people healthy.

Not by a long shot.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 28, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

@tao - re Wikileaks, whether or not "the public" demonstrates any pervasive interest in the matter doesn't have any relevance to the importance of the phenomenon.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 28, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

The Death Panel Dodge: conservatives don't approach the debate honestly.

Their case in a nutshell: if government-run healthcare isn't willing to embark on the fiscal equivalent of a mission to Mars to extend the life of a hopelessly senile 99-year-old man one more year, that means healthcare is "rationed" and subject to capricious "bureaucratic" decisions to condemn people to death.

Yet the same people defend private insurers who drop customers who're battling cancer on invented pretexts, citing some supernatural drivel about imaginary "market forces."

Would United Healthcare pull all the stops for a 99-year-old man going down for the third time? Or does it take a "bureaucrat?"

Posted by: caothien9 | December 28, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe someone will invent hospice care."

Brigade, hospice care is for people who have already decided with their doctors and families that the end is near and no more heroic measures are needed, just a pain free existence and a peaceful passage, if possible. In order to even be accepted into hospice, at least here in CA, you must already have an Advanced Directive. Hospice is for people who are at the end of a rather long illness.

There are other cases where people are stricken suddenly with a heart attack or stroke, or some kind of injury and no one knows what the hell to do. An Advanced Directive in that case can make a big difference to everyone involved.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 28, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

"Yet the same people defend private insurers who drop customers who're battling cancer on invented pretexts, citing some supernatural drivel about imaginary "market forces.""

Exactly, and then refuse to call it rationing.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 28, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

""Yet the same people defend private insurers who drop customers who're battling cancer on invented pretexts, citing some supernatural drivel about imaginary "market forces.""

Exactly, and then refuse to call it rationing."

Or that could just be your misrepresentation of the issue. Unless you can show that opponents of government-run health care defend what you claim they do.

Corruption of language and thought is liberalism's stock in trade.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 28, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

re Palin
So, she mushes two words together, refute and repudiate, then tries to cover up with the "english is a living language" and makes self-comparisons to Shakespeare (and Kristol writes a column pushing the same ridiculous deceit). Then she claims she just hit the wrong key on her blackberry (though they're not near each other) but it turns out that prior to the tweet, she'd used the incorrect word on Hannity in a prior case...

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/07/palin-invents-word-compares-he.html?hpid=moreheadlines

And, courtesy of the Weekly Standard, we get Bill Kristol's opinion (stated on FOX) as to whether Palin will run in 2012 and on who else might do well...

"KRISTOL: Can I go out on a limb, since everyone else is scared to say -- actually make any predictions. I predict Palin will not run. I have no knowledge at all; I just have the hunch that she ultimately will not run.

I think Newt Gingrich is underestimated. Newt is going to run and Newt will be formidable. People can talk about the baggage, but lots of candidates have had lots of baggage, and people think they're the right guy for the job, he could do better -- and I do think -- than people expect.

I think, if Mike Pence runs, he could be formidable as a, kind of, conservative movement candidate, the congressman from Indiana. I guess he's trying to decide whether to run for president or governor of Indiana, which will be open after Daniels finishes.

And I do think someone could get in late, you know, in September. I think it will be a late-breaking race, and that's where the Christie or Paul Ryan, who will be the most important Republican in Washington for the next six months."

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/will-sarah-palin-run-president_524998.html

Bill has a "hunch". No knowledge, just a hunch.

It's really the second paragraph that ought to scare folks. I think he gets this right too (note the certainty in his phrasing) and that's not an appealing prospect because Gingrich is a psychopath.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 28, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

@cao - yes, you and Ims have it precisely.

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

@cao - yes, you and Ims have it precisely.

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

@Troll: "Does that mean that most Americans are unaware of Barry's extrajudicial, sanctioned slaughter of Pakistani and Yemeni civillians?"

I am! And his compromise on the Bush tax cuts, his aggressive use of drone attacks, his immediate capitulation on a public option in HCR . . . why do you think I admire him, anyway? ;)

Although I like and admire most of the Democratic presidents of the 20th century I can think of (except Jimmy Carter) even if I haven't actually voted for any of them.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 28, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

re Jonathan's link above re "cold war" etc.

War is profitable. Constant war is really profitable. There's never been any surprise that the WSJ would do rah rah for bloated military spending and that it would push all the myths and symbolisms of war as grand and heroic. War is a business now and business is booming.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 28, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

@DDAWD: "Now if only we had some videotape of people literally cheering at bad news for the US. Like, wouldn't it be embarrassing for liberals if a bunch of people at MSNBC started cheering when the Olympics were awarded to Brazil?"

Why was that bad news for the US? So some local American community missed the opportunity to shoulder a huge financial burden for preening, self-important internationalists who could contemptuously look down on us while we bankrolled them? Or, while local tax payers did? I dunno. I think we dodged a bullet there. Certainly, it's hard to argue that it was actually bad news for America.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 28, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin... you know another President who has managed, through long persistence and personal dedication, to come so close to ridding the world of a really ugly affliction which has caused unbelievable suffering to so many of the world's poor?

"This fight against the guinea worm is a battle former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has waged for more than two decades in some of the poorest countries on earth. It is a battle he's almost won."

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hoheb99gI6x_FwQXAQeXHobBNgyA?docId=b293b92190514267b7aaeedd1699b562

Is there some better representative of the best of Christian values?

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

Your typical Republican presidential candidate -- liar, hypocrite and thief--dug out by Politico, a right-leaning org:

"Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, recently embroiled in controversy after praising a white supremacist organization, now faces another scandal. Politico reports that Barbour, a rumored presidential candidate, has used the state plane of Mississippi for personal trips, racking up a huge bill that has been dumped on the tax payers of Mississippi — the poorest state in the union. A Politico analysis found:

Much of the time, he has used the plane to go to fundraisers for himself and other Republican candidates and committees, to football games and to at least one boxing match. The flight logs obtained by POLITICO indicate that Mississippi has spent more than $500,000 over the past three years on Barbour’s air travel. That total does not include security and other logistical costs associated with his trips."

Posted by: fiona5 | December 28, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Greenwald on Wikileaks and the mainstream media's obsequious posture to the powers that be...

"What an astounding feat to train a nation's journalist class to despise above all else those who shine a light on what the most powerful factions do in the dark and who expose their corruption and deceit, and to have journalists -- of all people -- lead the way in calling for the head of anyone who exposes the secrets of the powerful. Most ruling classes -- from all eras and all cultures -- could only fantasize about having a journalist class that thinks that way, but most political leaders would have to dismiss that fantasy as too extreme, too implausible, to pursue. After all, how could you ever get journalists -- of all people -- to loathe those who bring about transparency and disclosure of secrets? But, with a few noble exceptions, that's exactly the journalist class we have."

http://www.salon.com/news/media_criticism/index.html?story=/opinion/greenwald/2010/12/28/cnnn

Posted by: bernielatham | December 28, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

@qb: "Unless you can show that opponents of government-run health care defend what you claim they do."

Well, while HCR isn't "government run healthcare" in any kind of absolute sense (that was Clinton Care), I can't think of an example of a conservative defending insurance companies dropping cancer patients for fraudulent reasons. Indeed, while there is rationing in the private sector, this occurs mostly by occluded coverage--i.e., insurance companies are slow to pay for (or do not every pay for), or only pay for small portions, of aggressive, novel or incredible expensive treatments with modest-to-poor records of extending life.

The main difference between rationing via public vs. private sector is likely to be the use of end-of-life counseling or hospice care as a way to avoid the expense of one more round of $500k worth of chemo treatments that ,statistically, don't have a great record of life extension.

Meaning: that is an alternative the government can and inevitably will explore as a means of cost containment, whereas any insurance company counseling end-of-life care instead of more rounds of expensive drugs and surgeries would be crucified and the top managers and VPs shot on sight. ;)

BTW, I think end of life counseling can be a net good, but this ease with which so many dismiss the concerns of opponents about the government having a role in such matters is a little off-putting. Should the government take such a role in advising about adoption options for women contemplating the termination of an unwanted pregnancy? I'm not sure they'd be so sanguine about that.

BTW, people ought to have advance directives. I've got mine. Resuscitate me, beeyotches. Heroic measures. Break out the paddles.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 28, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

ps...we watched "Network" again last night. Hadn't seen it since the release in mid-seventies. Chayefsky would not be surprised in the slightest by Limbaugh or Beck or what Greenwald speaks to above. It's an amazingly smart work.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 28, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

@bernielatham: "@Kevin... you know another President who has managed, through long persistence and personal dedication, to come so close to ridding the world of a really ugly affliction which has caused unbelievable suffering to so many of the world's poor?"

Well, if that's the yardstick we're using, I suppose he's all right.

"Is there some better representative of the best of Christian values?"

I dunno. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, donors to the Carter Center, and the American taxpayer who, through the CDC, has been footing the bill?

Just a thought.


Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 28, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

@caothien9: "The conclusion I always reach as I reset the filters is that conservatives, at least the ones on blogs, are mental defectives."

Are there any other categories of thought where an inadequate alignment with your opinion represents a form of mental defect, or is it just politics?

Do you find yourself reflecting that peoples irrational opinions about books, movies, or music also constitutes evidence of mental problems?

I hadn't thought of it, but I •could• always write a version of the Troll Hunter that •only• showed you your own posts. That way you could avoid any risk of ever seeing anything that deviated from your own perfected opinions on all issues yet still be able to reflect repeatedly upon your own wit and wisdom.

:)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 28, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

"Is there some better representative of the best of Christian values?"

They are legion. Even the accursed Pat Robertson. Look into Operation Blessing sometime.

Besides, I've been led to believe that only paying taxes to be distributed by the feds reflects Christian values. Or is that your point?

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 28, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

"Is there some better representative of the best of Christian values?"

Bill Gates is a Christian? All this time I thought he was Aspbergers.

How about Republican icon, Pat Robertson demonizing Haitian quake victims for their ancestors' pact with the devil?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 28, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

fiona5, thank you for pointing out what a liar, hypocrite and thief that Barbour is. While we are on the subject, did you know that it cost more to operate Air Force One (and Two because Michelle and the girls couldn't wait one day to start their vacation in Hawaii)?

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 28, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"The Median Voter Supports The Affordable Care Act
We’ve seen this before, but today CNN has another poll (PDF) confirming that the Affordable Care Act’s conservative critics are a minority:,,,"

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/12/the-median-voter-supports-the-affordable-care-act/

Posted by: bernielatham | December 28, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Article in the Post yesterday on HIPPA and how the programs in the States for high-risk pools are not working


The prices of the Obama insurance are too high - even though Obama put Billions of taxpayer money into these programs State-by-State

OK - let's have a quick review


1) the added required Obama benefits have caused insurance costs for EVERYONE to increase 10-25%


2) this in sharp contrast to Obama and the democrats saying passage of the bill would bring down premiums OBAMA LIED


3) Now

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 28, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Except that all of this is a total fabrication intended to fool you (and it did). Nothing remotely like this exists in Canada nor in Britain nor in Israel nor anywhere else where some form of non-American style healthcare is in place."

Yet again Bernie demonstrates his incredible difficulty grasping facts in his never-ending effort to make people stupider. From the UK's Telegraph:

"Patients with terminal illnesses are being made to die prematurely under an NHS scheme to help end their lives, leading doctors have warned."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6127514/Sentenced-to-death-on-the-NHS.html

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 28, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Except that all of this is a total fabrication intended to fool you (and it did). Nothing remotely like this exists in Canada nor in Britain nor in Israel nor anywhere else where some form of non-American style healthcare is in place."

Yet again Bernie demonstrates his difficulty grasping facts in his never-ending effort to make people stupider. From the UK's Telegraph:

"Patients with terminal illnesses are being made to die prematurely under an NHS scheme to help end their lives, leading doctors have warned."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6127514/Sentenced-to-death-on-the-NHS.html

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 28, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"The Death Panel Dodge: conservatives don't approach the debate honestly. "

Actually, it is you who is being dishonest. What you describe as "government-run healthcare isn't willing to embark on the fiscal equivalent of a mission to Mars to extend the life of a hopelessly senile 99-year-old man one more year" is indeed the very epitome of rationing. You may think such rationing is sensible and a good idea, indeed even necessary, but if so, then make the argument. It is entirely dishonest (yet typical of people on the left) to pretend that, since the word generally used to describe what one wants to do has a difficult connotation, the word means something other than what it actually means.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 28, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

3) Now the State pools are failing


Obama was supposed to start off his health care plan with these insurane pools - funded with Billions of YOUR MONEY


And yet even with all that money, the cost of the insurance in those programs is too high

If Obama cant do these early simple things right, the nation is in for a pack of trouble when the more difficult and more expensive parts of the program start to get implemented


Yikes this is serious


The Obama health care people really dont know what they are doing

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 28, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

clawrence said:
"fiona5, thank you for pointing out what a liar, hypocrite and thief that Barbour is. While we are on the subject, did you know that it cost more to operate Air Force One (and Two because Michelle and the girls couldn't wait one day to start their vacation in Hawaii)?"

I saw your earlier iteration of this post and didn't bother with it because it's really pretty stupid or dishonest, take your pick.

The proper comparison isn't with a President but with another governor. If you want to try and criticize Obama for mis-use of AF1, then you'd have to compare his use with that of the prior Presidents. If you want to compare Obama's time away from post then you'd have to compare the proportion of time away with, say, George W Bush.

If you are going to write something here which actually makes some sort of intellectual contribution, great. If you're going to just type out unthoughtful stuff, why bother?

Posted by: bernielatham | December 28, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Bernie


All you write is unthoughtful stuff


AND you promised to leave

What happened to that?


Bernie Lied


Bernie Lied


Bernie Lied


Posted by: RainForestRising | December 28, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Another good example of how rationing doesn't exist in the UK's government run health care system.

http://www.pri.org/health/how-the-uk-rations-health-care.html

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 28, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

RainForestRising, I think the excuse was that supposed family matters were not as pressing as he thought they were going to be. At least we aren't afraid to read his posts or answer questions.

bernielatham, thank you for your concern. The thing is, you can only build a brick wall one brick at a time. If you or fiona5 would actually answer the question, I'd be more than happy to place the next brick. You fail to see the relevance now, unless you are lying, but I assure you it will clear to all once the entire wall is built.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 28, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"If you want to compare Obama's time away from post..."

He was talking about the cost, not the time away.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 28, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

The only way to have deliver health care with no rationing is to buy services directly from health care providers, as if one were buying fruit at a roadside stand. Rationing occurs when someone decides who gets what kind of health care services when cost (or fee basis) is part of the decision making algorithm. All health care systems involve rationing. The only question is who gets to decide who gets what, who pays and how the relationship between the people who pay, the people who get paid by the people who pay and what the the people who get services from the various payment systems get from actual health care providers...is organized, or sliced and diced, or rationed. Good thing we don't have to buy local produce that way.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 28, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

~Stats suggest retail sales at strongest level since 2005~

Figures released Monday by MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, which tracks retail purchases including cash, debit and credit cards, showed sales from Nov. 5 through Dec. 24 rose 5.5percent compared to last year. That's higher than most analysts had initially forecast. When after-Christmas sales are added in, the totals should show the most holiday spending growth since 2005.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/12/28/105854/stats-suggest-retail-sales-at.html

Obama has ruined the economy, right?

It's just RUINED!!!

Wait... What's that?

Highest holiday consumer spending in 5 years?

Oh.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 28, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

shrink:

"Good thing we don't have to buy local produce that way."

Good thing we don't buy much of anything that way.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 28, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

wingers are always so inspired and cheered by workers dying:

'Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) plans to pursue an aggressive pro-oil agenda as the incoming chair of the House Science and Technology Committee. In an interview with the Dallas Morning News this month, the “unconditional champion of fossil fuels” described his zeal for the “holy grail” of the oil industry — the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — discussed issuing subpoenas to interrogate climate scientists, and explained why the BP disaster “didn’t dampen his enthusiasm for offshore drilling.” Hall described the BP explosion that killed eleven men, injured dozens, and led to the despoilment of the Gulf of Mexico as a “tremendous,” “blossoming” flower of energy:

"As we saw that thing bubbling out, blossoming out – all that energy, every minute of every hour of every day of every week – that was tremendous to me. That we could deliver that kind of energy out there – even on an explosion."

In an extensive report yesterday, the New York Times describes the explosion differently: “Dazed and battered survivors, half-naked and dripping in highly combustible gas, crawled inch by inch in pitch darkness, willing themselves to the lifeboat deck. . . . Crew members, certain they were about to be cooked alive, scrambled into enclosed lifeboats for shelter, only to find them like smoke-filled ovens.”

Posted by: fiona5 | December 28, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Everyone see this?

New GOP Rules:

"all new spending has to be paid for, but tax cuts do not"

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/gop-house-rules-pave-the-way-for-more-bush-tax-cuts.php

That makes sense...

But only if you are trying to build a permanent debt/deficit.

Why do Republicans hate American fiscal solvency?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 28, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "Obama has ruined the economy, right?"

I'm pretty sure there isn't an economic rheostat in the Oval Office. Ergo, presidents generally do not make or break economies. They either appear to take economic doldrums seriously, or they don't. They're actual practical immediate effect is minimal.

That being said, it does look like the holiday season was impressive. Perhaps the best Christmas for retailers on record. My anecdotal experience was that there was a lot of shopping and spending going on over the holidays. Hope that translates into reductions in unemployment very, very soon.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 28, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@shrink2: "How about Republican icon, Pat Robertson demonizing Haitian quake victims for their ancestors' pact with the devil?"

Pat Robertson is to Christianity as Josef Stalin is to liberalism. Or as Mao (and his murderous purification of the People's Party) is to atheism. Attitudinally, I mean. Not in regards to body counts.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 28, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Yes Kevin, one of the innovations of the Christian faith was redemption, the parable of the Prodigal Son, an individual relationship with God. Multi-generational karmic debt is not part of Christian theology.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 28, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Kevin- "I'm pretty sure there isn't an economic rheostat in the Oval Office. Ergo, presidents generally do not make or break economies. They either appear to take economic doldrums seriously, or they don't. They're actual practical immediate effect is minimal."

I mentioned this before, but there was an interesting podcast on this topic on the "Freakonoics" podcast. You can listen to it on your sad little nano while I revel in my iPad superiority.

I asked a few retailers about how busy they were when I made my holiday purchases and they all said they were very busy this season. Hopefully it is a sign of things to come.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 28, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Kevin-"Attitudinally, I mean. Not in regards to body counts."


Given Robertson's willingness to attribute deaths to various acts of spiritual malfeasance, he may very well be responsible for any of number of deaths if he has ever sinned.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 28, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

@shrink2: "Yes Kevin, one of the innovations of the Christian faith was redemption, the parable of the Prodigal Son, an individual relationship with God. Multi-generational karmic debt is not part of Christian theology."

Well, the sins of the father have been visited upon the sons, or succeeding generations have paid the debt of their forefathers (or sometimes benefitted from their faithfulness), although this would be more of the Judaic tradition portion of Christo-Judaism.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 28, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@ashot: "I mentioned this before, but there was an interesting podcast on this topic on the 'Freakonomics' podcast. You can listen to it on your sad little nano while I revel in my iPad superiority."

You rich son-of-a-gun. I remain class-envious of you. One day, one day . . . .

But it looks like it was a good Christmas season. I hope this will be the start of an excellent New Year for everybody.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 28, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

although this would be more of the Judaic tradition

Exactly. If there were no difference, Christians would be Jews.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 28, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

...it looks like it was a good Christmas season...

Indeed. But the smart money is saying a housing market double dip can only be prevented by a domestic hiring binge. In other words, if this bump in retail sales/confidence was real (not amortized by people running up credit cards and then going austere again through the Winter) and if oil price speculators don't cause $5 gasoline, unemployment numbers need to start dropping or a glut of foreclosure sales that will will drive the housing market off a cliff are going to happen once the prosecutors and the banks have negotiated the way that can happen? All clear?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 28, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"Rationing occurs when someone decides who gets what kind of health care services when cost (or fee basis) is part of the decision making algorithm. All health care systems involve rationing. The only question is who gets to decide ...."

No, that's simply not true. A free market for health care involves no rationing. It involves scarcity and decisions, but not rationing. Rationing occurs when someone dictates who may have how much of X. The government could ration, or perhaps a monopolist could ration. But rationing is not what occurs in a free market. When someone enters into an insurance contract, the contract may establish what services and goods are covered, but that isn't rationing.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 28, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

"Pat Robertson is to Christianity as Josef Stalin is to liberalism. Or as Mao (and his murderous purification of the People's Party) is to atheism. Attitudinally, I mean. Not in regards to body counts. "

That's a pretty far-out statement, Kevin. Seems a bit uncharacteristically unhinged for you.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 28, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

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