Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 8:37 AM ET, 12/21/2010

The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* New START showdown set for today: With a key Senate vote set for today on the treaty, the pressure from the White House and military leadership on wavering GOP senators couldn't be more intense. The military leadership is engaged in a last-ditch push to undercut the two primary GOP objections, insisting that all reasonable concerns about the treaty have been met and that it must be ratified sooner rather than later -- for the sake of national security.

* Getting START done without Jon Kyl or John McCain: Also in the above link: The current whip count has seven GOP Senators now supporting New START, which puts the treaty within two votes of the two-thirds it needs for ratification. What's more, senators Judd Gregg and Bob Corker seem to be strongly leaning towards Yes.

In other words, the White House may be on the verge of getting the treaty ratified around the opposition of John McCain and Jon Kyl. Hard to overstate what a massive rebuke that would represent, particularly for McCain, who just suffered another major, high-profile defeat with the repeal of don't ask don't tell.

* Dems keep up pressure on 9/11 health bill: Chuck Schumer and other Dem Senators will bring 9/11 first responders to the Capitol today, where they will politely ask GOP senators to allow a straight up or down vote on whether the U.S. government will pay for the health care of those sickened from rescue work after the worst terrorist attack in our nation's history.

* It's all because of indefatigable investigative reporter Jon Stewart: This, from a New York Daily News editorial demanding that senators back the 9/11 health bill, doesn't reflect particularly well on the American media:

America finally appears to be waking up to the fact that the country's honor is at stake. Thanks in large part to relentless television advocacy by Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show," the 9/11 bill has risen up the agenda.

* The lame duck session running tally: If the two above measures succeed, that will mean that during the lame duck session, Dems notched a major civil rights victory by repealing DADT, ratified a major arms control treaty, passed a health bill for 9/11 responders and secured a food safety bill. Not too bad.

Of course, the GOP hasn't even taken over the House or increased its Senate minority yet. So Dems should savor these successes while they can.

* Mitch McConnell puts Dems on notice: Indeed, Senator McConnell tells Politico that his use of political and procedural tactics to frustrate the Obama/Dem agenda is only going to get much, much worse:

"There's much for them to be angst-ridden about," McConnell said with a chuckle. "If they think it's bad now, wait 'til next year."

* Public servants are the new welfare queens: Good read: Karen Tumulty and Ed O'Keefe take a look at the recession-fueled political assault on public servants from coast to coast.

Two key points: This is at bottom "class warfare." And Democrats are joining in the fun, too!

* The left wins one: As Eugene Robinson notes, the White House and Dem leaders were right to do what it took to don't ask don't tell repealed, because "progressives needed a clear, unambiguous victory." As I noted before, this was the best -- and perhaps only -- way to quiet all the chatter about Obama's supposed "triangulating."

* Time for the Marine Corps chief to go? In the wake of DADT repeal, Richard Cohen calls for the resignation of DADT repeal opponent and Marine Corps commandant James Amos, michievously framing it as necessary for the sake of morale and unit cohesion.

Key takeaway: The political fallout from this fight isn't going to stop anytime soon.

* Dems to go on offense against GOP over health law repeal? Believe it or not, some House Democrats are making noises about being aggressive and seizing the initiative in the looming health law repeal fight.

* Special bonus Dem agressiveness: In the above link, Rep. Henry Waxman actually says Dems should welcome the repeal fight as a way to make the case for the reform law!

* The Gang of Two will tackle the debt: I don't quite get the affection Beltway commentators have for Bipartisan Dynamic Duos, but get ready for The Great Mark Warner and Saxby Chambliss Debt Reduction Tour.

* We will never be rid of ethanol subsidies: Conservative Senator Tom Coburn's new report on government waste has come in for some criticism, but Coburn is right to note that it's extraordinary that ethanol subsidies continue to survive, despite broad bipartisan opposition, some four decades after their inception

* And Haley Barbour's "bubba" problem isn't going away: National Journal has a good overview, suggesting this story has legs.

As I noted yesterday, Barbour's history of being overly casual about racial matters -- his refusal to keep the political third rail of race at arm's length -- will dog his presidential ambitions.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | December 21, 2010; 8:37 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, race  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Happy Hour Roundup
Next: GOP obstruction made START a White House win

Comments

I continue my rant against this Congress that so many of you think is "productive".

Recall - The House and Senate typically spend months on the 12 annual spending bills, but Democrats didn't bring even a single one to the Senate floor this year, an unprecedented collapse of an appropriations process. The House only passed two of the 12 bills and didn't make any of the other 10 public. Now we are governing by Continuing Resolution. THIS IS AWFUL.

In my world, it means no new Fed Judges. For all of us, it means a breakdown in government [predictably in April]. Ezra adds this morning:

'Here's the problem with funding 2011's government using 2010's budget: When the 2010 budget passed, neither financial regulation nor health-care reform had passed. And so the 2010 budget didn't include the new funds necessary to support their implementation. We're not talking about a lot of money here, of course, but certainly some. And for the health of these bills, it's important money.

But after the collapse of the omnibus spending bill, the Democrats have moved to funding the government using a resolution that simply continues 2010's funding levels. And that means starving some of their signature accomplishments of implementation funds. This hasn't been lost on Republicans, of course: Mitch McConnell's key argument for turning GOP senators who'd pledged to vote for the omnibus was that it included funds for health-care reform. The Democrats, however, seemed less attuned to this dimension of the funding fight. And even those who do see the problem aren't making much noise about it...'

I would have traded DADT and DREAM and let the tax cuts and UC expire in exchange for a freaking budget in a New York minute. That is just me. The DQ of homosexuals in service was gone within a year anyway, DREAM had no chance of passage, and letting the tax cuts expire would have forced us to look at tax reform, so all I would have been giving up to put some stability in the system was UC extension, which even the next Congress would probably have passed in January.

Think "April". No Budget. No increase in the debt ceiling. Standoff; that will be broken at a cost to a bunch of stuff you want or believe in. And there will be no impetus to work either tax reform or budget overhaul a la Bowle-Simpson, because we will be dealing with the then "current emergency".

And it will have been unnecessary but brought to you by the Democratic Party, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi. Leadership? Historic? Baloney.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 21, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

"indefatigable investigative reporter Jon Stewart"

Good one, Greg, and ain't that the truth?

If the Zadroga bill gets done, Stewart should get to be front and center at the signing ceremony and get the first pen.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 21, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Hey Republicans: stop putting America's security at risk with your pathetic political antics.

Posted by: paul65 | December 21, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

As I pointed out yesterday (and even Ethan2010 was forced to recant), the current version of this bill provides healthcare to civilians too, not just first responders.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 21, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Even if all 19 judicial nominees mentioned by AP yesterday is approved this week, SEVERAL DOZEN ADDITIONAL nominations will expire at the end of this term if Reid doesn't schedule a vote.

Why in the world would Reid send everyone on vacation from Christmas through January 4th, after he just announced an extended vacation in January, without getting this done?

Posted by: paul65 | December 21, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Matt Yglesias points to this exceptionally accurate graphic representation of the modern conservative movement worldview...

http://yfrog.com/h0jefhxj

Posted by: bernielatham | December 21, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, it's totally the Democrats' fault. Good thing those heroic Republicans are there refusing to save us by filibustering spending on established law like the ACA.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 21, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

ddawd, that is the price of leadership. The funding was within the reach and the grasp of a D majority in both houses - but they did not want a budget to be complete before the elections, hoping that we would not notice; fearing they would provide ammo to opponents if the appropriations bills were passed. It is the Ds' cowardice and fault.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 21, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Penning a post to his conservative commenters defending Barbour, Mike Tomasky's final graph...

"Lastly, I and Josh Marshall and Yglesias and many others are carrying on about this, I can promise you, not to damage Barbour's presidential prospects. I don't care about those. If anything, I hope he's the GOP nominee, as I believe I have written before. He's probably the second-ugliest available face of Republicanism today, so naturally I wouldn't mind letting America have the chance to experience what Republicans are saying they care about if they nominate him to face Obama.

We're carrying on because we're pissed off. There are many good things about the United States, but this is the single worst thing about it - its racial history, pertaining particularly to the South. Trying to downplay that today or compare it to something else is at best unserious. So please be serious. And anyway, if you are a Republican, do you really want to be represented in the world by that kind of idiocy?"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/dec/21/usa-note-to-conservatives

Posted by: bernielatham | December 21, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

The health care, including prescription drugs, is to be provided without any deductibles, co-payments, or other cost-sharing.

•Some of this money will go to pay for treatment that otherwise would have been mostly covered anyway by worker's compensation or by other private-sector or government health plans.

• The money doesn't just go to police and firefighters — I.e. first "responders" — but also to anyone who "worked, resided, or attended school, childcare, or adult daycare in the New York City disaster area for — at least 4 days during the 4-month period beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on January 10, 2002." The "New York City disaster area" is defined as Manhattan South of Houston Street and any block of Brooklyn that is wholly or partially contained within a 1.5 mile radius of the former World Trade Center site. You can also qualify if you spent 30 days in this area between September 11, 2001 and July 31, 2002. This includes me, though I never have really thought of myself as a "certified-eligible WTC survivor."

• The list of health conditions includes asthma, chronic rhinosinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), generalized anxiety disorder, substance abuse, and depression.

• The bill is 120 pages long (have ANY of you Jon Stewart fans even read it?)

• The number of responders and survivors covered by the bill are each capped at 25,000, for a total of 50,000 potential beneficiaries. There's some non-health-care stuff in the bill, too, but if you just take the total $7.4 billion spend and divide it among the beneficiaries, it works out to $148,000 each, or (not dealing with inflation or present discounted value), $14,800 a year for ten years for each beneficiary in health benefits over and above whatever they are already entitled to from worker's compensation or from any other health benefits or insurance that they have.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 21, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

@Greg - You've been doing some very fine writing lately and I wanted to give you a full scale hat tip for that. Thank you.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 21, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin

I don't agree with everything you've said but I do agree we're headed for a showdown and most likely a government shutdown early next year. I think we can expect a lot of "shared sacrifice" rhetoric from pundits and politicians alike which will undermine both our economic progress, such as it is, and further erode the security of the middle class. I don't believe Republicans would have allowed anything else, they're looking forward to it, and Dems didn't fight hard enough to prevent it. It's just another indication of what's broken in DC.

Avoiding the DADT, Dream Act, Start Treaty, etc. wouldn't have mattered though, we just would have ended up with nothing IMO.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 21, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

clawrence - Are you sure the bill provides primary and not secondary coverage?

It surely seems to me that it ought to have been written as secondary coverage. Why should the primary insurer collect premiums without earning them? You describe a windfall from taxpayers to private insurers. I hope that you have misread the bill, or that I have misunderstood your report.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 21, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca, was it not your perception that many Ds did not want to run on the appropriations and that is why we did not have bills passed before the election? Or do you think the minority killed the committee process itself?
As far as I can recall, these bills were not bottled up by Rs.

Just a small point: I would not have given START away. FP is separate from domestic bickering and dealing, for me.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 21, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"Time for the Marine Corps chief to go? In the wake of DADT repeal, Richard Cohen calls for the resignation of DADT repeal opponent and Marine Corps commandant James Amos, michievously framing it as necessary for the sake of morale and unit cohesion."

Life imitates the satire of just 24 hours ago. Of course, those of us predicting this knew it wasn't just satire. Let the purges begin. And don't stop at the Commandant. The rest of the majority of combat deployed Marines who are opposed to repeal must be expelled as well. For starters. Then we must ferret out those homophobes still lurking. There is no room for anyone who fails to approve of homosexuality.

And this is why the issue will never be resolved and settled on the left's terms. You can call a lie the truth, but you won't change the truth, and you'll never brainwash everyone or even close to everyone to exchange the truth for a lie. That's the new requirement for acceptability -- not just tolerance but affirmation and approval. You've defined a large portion of the country and most of the active military as bigots. Of course, they aren't, and you won't be able to cow them all into falsely confessing that they are. You'll never convert the warrior class to your ideology.

So now the left has fully ignited a cultural struggle to the death, so to speak. It isn't possible for left and right to coexist on the left's terms. You have declared war on the very foundations and integrity of our culture and society, and put the military in the crosshairs of the attack. God help this country. We are going to need it. In the meantime, anti-military twits like Cohen can mock our slow-motion ruin.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 21, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I haven't misread the bill. The whole argument has been that every other possible insurance coverage has denied, so first responders need this as primary coverage. Read it yourself.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 21, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Yes Clawrence12, we know you hate helping Americans who are in need after an American national disaster. You are truly against America in every way. We see it on a daily basis. I can't wait for the Congress to pass the Zadroga Bill so I can laugh in your Taliban face.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 21, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Yes Clawrence12, we know you hate helping Americans who are in need after an American national disaster. You are truly against America in every way. We see it on a daily basis. I can't wait for the Congress to pass the Zadroga Bill so I can laugh in your Taliban face.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 21, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

You can laugh all you want, but not everyone who spent four or more days south of Houston Street (I was just off Delancy) gets to feed at the federal trough. Enough is enough!

Ethan2010, that's not what I am saying at all. Please review my posts above. The federal government has already provided BILLIONS OF DOLLARS for 9/11. Not only the $7.2 billion directly to families of those killed, but also FEMA disaster, insurance and tax relief for exactly those people you are complaining about today. In addition, private charities were partially subsidized by tax deductible donations. The September 11th Fund was created by the New York Community Trust and the United Way of New York City, raising $534 million from more than two million donors, for those injured, displaced from their homes or jobs, affected small businesses, and other community organizations.

For those interested in more federal funding already provided for "first responders" specifically

http://www.gop.gov/bill/111/2/hr847

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 21, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I was raised religiously and I was never comfortable with the imperative prayer such as, "God help this country." God planned everything, he is doing whatever he planned to do, he already gets it; I was told I could not petition God with prayer, let alone change worldly outcomes, even of football games. When I was taught religion, prayer was about a relationship people hope to share with the Creator, about the mere human being trying to better understand that relationship, it was not about helping God understand anything, or even help anybody. Now that was old German Catholic (Benedictine), pre Vatican II, so maybe things have changed.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 21, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the Republicans next year should include $1 million in every bill they propose for puppies and kittens, then we can campaign how Democrats "hate" adorable little animals too.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 21, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

mark

It's a failure of both parties afaic. This is from Sept. before they left town and I'm skeptical enough to think this is the way both parties want it.

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

"How gridlocked has Congress become? With only days left before lawmakers leave Capitol Hill to focus on keeping their jobs in Congress, they have yet to complete their most basic job responsibility: funding the government.

Not a single appropriations bill has passed Congress this year, leaving the government at risk of shutting down later this week. It won't happen, but it's another telling sign of the bipartisan stalemate in the nation's capital.

Democrats, of course, blame Republicans for obstructing their plans and blindly blocking every proposal. Republicans, in turn, blame Democrats for ignoring their suggestions and stubbornly trying to jam every proposal down their throats."

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/gridlocked-congress-rushes-pass-stop-gap-funding-bill/story?id=11747415&page=1

Posted by: lmsinca | December 21, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Let me second bernie's post of 9:06. Outstanding stuff here, Greg, WaPo should give that bootlicker Cillizza the Push and give you his job.

Re: QB's rant on Amos and Cohen .. my guess is QB hasn't even read the article for fear or cranial rupture. Cohen, far from an esteemed writer to me, has written a sound piece of reasoning: that there will be gay Marines and Amos has given the green light for their harassment. Which, of course, quarterback is cool with.

But hey it's not like either one of them is a *bigot* or anything, right? Golly gosh no. Just airing some perfectly prudent concerns about, well, showers and waving willies.

</sarcasm>

Move to Iran, QB.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 21, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

So sorry to offend your former religious sensibilities, shrink. I understand from 12bb and DDAWD, however, that religious discussion is not appropriate.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 21, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

"...religious discussion is not appropriate..."

Yes, I agree, that is what I was saying in a roundabout way. Lets stick to politics, where at least we can appeal to a factual basis for our understanding once in awhile.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 21, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

@clawrence the Taliban: "Enough is enough!"

Tell that to the NYPD and NYFD brave who risked their lives and are dying without treatment or are under threat of eviction from their homes because of uncovered health costs. Tell it to THEM you Taliban coward.

Yeah, 9/11 cost us a lot of money. If George the Idiot Bush had done his job of protecting America we wouldn't have had to worry about it. But it DID happen (on Bush/GOP watch), so it has to be dealt with whether scum like you care or not.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 21, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Let's be honest here. Plum Line would be a hollow shell of itself without a few stalwart conservative contrarian commenters who've propped it up. : )

"Re: QB's rant on Amos and Cohen .. my guess is QB hasn't even read the article for fear or cranial rupture."

You are on a really bad streak of wrong guesses, assumptions, and assertions. Perhaps it hasn't occurred to you that you are a leftist reading a leftist blog, while I'm a conservatie reading it. Think about that and extrapolate a little.

"Cohen, far from an esteemed writer to me, has written a sound piece of reasoning: that there will be gay Marines and Amos has given the green light for their harassment."

Hogwash. Even your premise is false. You don't read very carefully, do you?

"But hey it's not like either one of them is a *bigot* or anything, right? Golly gosh no."

There you go again with that word you don't seem to understand. Some of them might behave out of line, but nonacceptance of homosexuality as equal to heterosexuality isn't bigotry.

"Move to Iran, QB."

Hmm, no thanks. But I could live with more people like you leaving my country, which isn't yours any longer.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 21, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

"Tell that to the NYPD and NYFD "

Actually, the problems are not limited to NYPD and NYFD. Responders from around the country are in the same straits. This is not just a NY issue, it's a national issue, and needs a national remedy.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 21, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

In the previous thread QB wrote about me:

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

==

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

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

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

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

You're a lying piece of junk, QB.

As for living in a Communist country, that's my choice and I've never had cause to regret it. Life here is sweet and I enjoy leisure and luxury I have no intention of apologizing for. For a place supposed to be so repressive the people here are a hell of a lot less fearful of their government than Americans are; nobody panics when the cops show up, people don't whisper behind their hands and look around nervously, there are no re-education camps and the secret police don't come for you in the middle of the nght.

The society is unabashedly collective, people know they're in this life together, which I like a hell of a lot better than the fat American conceited lie about personal independence and the virtue of selfishness.

I have guest rooms too and if any of you I know would ever like to come see this place. drop me a line. The food is fantastic.

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

Not sure if you saw the gymnasts that did a performance for the Pope but someone dubbed some music over the top of it and made what was already what seemed like an awkward moment turn into one that made you absolutely cringe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urkrK2TSnIE

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 21, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

A couple of people brought up the traumatic brain injury care our vets are receiving, or not receiving I guess. This piece is really great at describing the real life consequences of these types of injuries and also how important the proper therapy is. I don't think we need some kind of commission to study it, the value has been known for years. What we need to do is give these soldiers a certain level and time-line of re-education therapy and then train their friends and families to carry on.

My sister was thrown from their car about half way down a 250 foot cliff 20 years ago and we learned even then how important proper rehab is for recovery but it's not some kind of big mystery that can't be undertaken by families. Our experience was that at some point you reach a limit where progress stalls for the most part and you are forced to realize you've gotten just about all the benefits from therapy you're going to get. Minor improvements seem to occur quite naturally and spontaneously after that if they occur at all.

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

http://www.npr.org/2010/12/21/132203864/philanthropist-provides-care-that-the-pentagon-wont

Posted by: lmsinca | December 21, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Nobody has said "heterosexuality and homosexuality are equal," QB, talk about reading comprehension deficits, that one's a doozy.

The discussion is about gays serving in the armed forces without harassment, official or otherwise.. please make an earnest effort to keep up. I understand that learning to not move your lips as you read helps.

But the two are not all that different aside from the fragrant plumbing. Married couples and gay couples experience pretty much exactly the same pecadillos and issues in their respective relationships.

For you, though, the real issue about the repeal of DADT is, as you were so explicit about yesterday, your own personal issues with nudity. And really there is little else to it, however you try to narratize it with junk about dignity. A guy who's afraid to change his clothes at the gym is stunted at some early level of development. Yeah, disease, right, no you don't get it from toilet seats.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 21, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Sue, true dat. I don't care who they are or where they live. If they volunteered to help clean out any of the 9/11 attack sites and they are ill from their work, as MANY of them are, they should get full health care from the Federal government. It's a no brainer.

@clawrence: "Republicans next year should include $1 million in every bill they propose for puppies and kittens, then we can campaign how Democrats "hate" adorable little animals too."

So you're not just morally bankrupt, you're LOGICALLY bankrupt too. As with yesterday, your analogy is so fraudulent as to be laughable. Either you are unable to think clearly or you are just not that smart to begin with. I would pity your ignorance if you were well-intentioned, but I don't because your extremist ideology is so egregiously antithetical to everything that this country stands for.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 21, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

All, good post by Adam Serwer on GOP obstructionism and START:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 21, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

And when reading about that brain injury that is the signature of Bush's vanity war in Iraq, don't ever forget how Republicans voted down extra armor to do the war on the cheap and fund tax cuts for the wealthy.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 21, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't matter, the GOP won the biggest battle of the lame duck, the appropriations bill. The power of the purse will negate all these victories since the GOP will reuse to fund any of them.

The Senate should have removed all the earmarks and tried one last time to pass the bill or just passed the house bill without amendment.

You can have a millions successes look like a million defeats of none of your successes get funding...

Posted by: soapm | December 21, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Good writing as usual, Greg. Really appreciate your column.

Haley Barbour has always been overtly racist, with a nod and wink. He is a disaster as a national candidate, the perfect example of the white supremacist past that still festers in the Republican base.

And Mitch McConnell is a vile, disgusting scumbag.

Posted by: fiona5 | December 21, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I noticed that you've referred to the Barbour story and the race as the "third rail." I always thought that Social Security was the third rail. Seems to be that candidates have always played up racial tones in their campaigns, sometimes successfully (meaning they won) and other times not. I'm not sure why you're describing race as the "third rail" -- meaning untouchable -- when that's really not the case.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | December 21, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Welfare queens? How about shining the light on the farming industrial complex, where the Congress has created a fail-safe welfare state. Did you notice the big ethanol subsidies for corn growers in the latest tax compromise bill? Farmers get tax breaks, subsidies, cheap credit, free research, free marketing, even free money to not farm, and most taxpayers don't know it or don't care. They have taxpayer-funded departments of agriculture on every level of government, from the county, State and the Feds that serve them in every facet of their business. Farm welfare is the biggest free lunch entitlement that always seems to be off everyone's radar.

Posted by: dozas | December 21, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

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

Indeed they are. I encourage everyone to go find them if they are interested. Inter alia, you said you would be okay with mass imprisonment but would favor grinding the bankers into fishfood. All in the context of lauding the Soviet's development model, starting with liquidation of the bankers.

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

Now, I'm not an expert on Sovient and Russian history, but I do know that pre-Bolshevik Russia wasn't quite the pre-industrial, medieval place you imply. Largely agrarian but not without industry and development. And I do know that you both exaggerate Soviet development (which was not that remarkable in reality) and conveniently ignore that it was done on the backs of millions who died and many millions more who were oppressed, imprisoned, and impressed.

As I explained before, ancient and medieval Chinese built the Great Wall, and ancient Egyptians built the pyramids. People can do a lot with guns to their heads. Hitler proved that, too. That you idolize the Soviets is as much as we really need to know about your views.

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

You repeatedly said it.

Stalin was part of the leadership from the start and took over from the deceased Lenin around 1924 if memory serves. He stayed there through the mass murders, purges, and government-caused famines of the next several decades, his pact with Hitler, and WWII, where he proved he could build many tanks on the backs of slave labor.

So much for your knowledge of history.

"As for living in a Communist country, that's my choice and I've never had cause to regret it. Life here is sweet and I enjoy leisure and luxury I have no intention of apologizing for."

Nor has anyone asked you to. You are obviously in a place that suits you. As I keep saying, thanks for leaving; don't come back. In fact, please send your passport back to the State Dept. I'll give you the address if you'd like.

I'm sure there's plenty of wonderful food and wonderful people there. I wish food culture in the U.S. could be a little better in some ways, although we do have variety in our own way. But I'll stay here for now.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 21, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"Nobody has said "heterosexuality and homosexuality are equal," QB, talk about reading comprehension deficits, that one's a doozy.

The discussion is about gays serving in the armed forces without harassment, official or otherwise.."

I see. So this isn't about equality after all. Homo is not equal to hetero. It's just that everyone must treat them as equal. I'll try to keep that in mind. It's too bad you didn't explain this so clearly earlier.

"For you, though, the real issue about the repeal of DADT is, as you were so explicit about yesterday, your own personal issues with nudity. And really there is little else to it, however you try to narratize it with junk about dignity. A guy who's afraid to change his clothes at the gym is stunted at some early level of development. Yeah, disease, right, no you don't get it from toilet seats."

Yawn. Interested people can retreive the discussion.

Re disease, I guess despite your expertise in microbiology and contagion you aren't aware of the significant issues of staff, MERSA, and other infections in gym and other "public" or semi-public showers. (And, no, flipflops don't really help, people.) Surprising. But then you also don't seen to be aware of the rampant bacterial contamination of food carts. Maybe you should take a refresher.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 21, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

To put a fine point on the whole Stalin/Soviet issue, Soviet "development," such as it was, beginning in the early 1920s under Stalin was built on the misery and deaths of millions of people -- yes, bankers and many others -- who were murdered and worked and starved to death as slaves. Slave labor. Work camps. Gulags. Mass starvation. Industrial manufacturing prisons. Police state terror.

This caothien person holds this period of Soviet history up as proof that collectivism fosters rapid economic development and prosperity. It is the most insanely idiotic and depraved argument I've ever seen even in the bizarro world of the web.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 21, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

quarterback1, even better he should physically turn in hiss passport and legally renounce his citizenship at the nearest American embassy or consular office.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 21, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

clawrence,

You're probably right. Not an area of expertise of mine. I was just trying to make the general point again that he ought to do the honorable think, as you suggest, and formally renounce his citizenship, since he has for all intents and purposes done it.

What I am most curious about and confess i don't know are the voting laws as they would apply to him. I understand that true expatriots can vote at least under some qualifications, can someone who has permanently given up and renounced residency and loyalty? I sure hope not. This guy should not have any voting privileges.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 21, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company