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Posted at 6:18 PM ET, 01/18/2011

Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* Chris Cillizza quotes two Democratic sources saying Joe Lieberman will announce his retirement tomorrow.

* I asked below whether polling gurus could explain the wild variation in polling on repeal, and Stefan Hankin, the president of D.C.-based Lincoln Park Strategies, emails over an explanation that's well worth reading.

* Also: Steve Benen makes a key point, noting that the difficulties in pinning down public opinion on repeal are rooted in the fact that even if health reform is unpopular, some key individual provisions are very popular indeed. Key to keep in mind as the repeal fight heats up.

* And Ezra Klein says the larger point is that repeal will get more difficult when proponents are forced to "talk specifics," which will only get tougher as its provisions become active and passions fade.

* Also: Another poll, this one by the Post, finds only a third support complete repeal when offered a range of options.

* And: As Jon Cohen observes, the bottom line is that all the polling on repeal basically reveals a "split verdict" on the health law.

* McClatchy goes to town on the GOP claim that health reform is a "job killer."

* Ryan Grim and Sam Stein also report that Lieberman is likely to resign, and explain why he had little other choice.

* Aaron Blake has the rundown on all the Dems who will fight it out for Lieberman's seat.

* Kent Conrad's retirement, announced today, is bad news for Dems, because they will now have to defend 23 Senate seats in 2012 while Republicans only defend 10.

* Critics say Obama's executive order promising to pare back useless government regulation accomplished nothing more than legitimizing a GOP talking point and emboldened Obama's corporate opponents.

* Fox chief Roger Ailes, in today's much discussed Esquire profile, tries to get you to believe that he runs his network independently and doesn't get pushed around by Rupert Murdoch:

"He comes down here a lot, because I'm the only one of his executives who's not crawling up his leg."

* Digby says Ailes's psyche, on full display in that article, offers us a window into "the Ego and Id of Tea Party America."

* As E.J. Dionne points out, Theodore Roosevelt blamed incendiary rhetoric for inciting the attacker who shot him.

* Andrew Sullivan on how Palin and Beck are laughing all the way to the bank after hoodwinking rank and file conservatives into believing that the duo have their best interests at heart.

* No Republicans have come out in favor of a rather moderate bill that would ban the kind of high-capacity ammo magazine that was used to shoot Gabrielle Giffords.

* And here's your Tuesday comic relief: GOP Rep. Steve King clarifies his earlier comment that the health law reflects an "irrational leftist lust for socialized medicine":

"The word 'lust' is more associated with the word love than it is violence. So I didn't think that that was an irrational comment at all, I just thought that it described the scenario that we're in," King said. "And I have an irrational lust to love the Constitution and a fiscal responsibility in individualism. So I don't think that's sharp rhetoric."

Uh, okay. I was worried for a minute there that King would launch into a detailed explanation of why "leftist lust" is different from the right-wing variety.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | January 18, 2011; 6:18 PM ET
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Joe Scarborough to right wing: Stop whining about shooting!
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Comments

Per TPM

"FBI: Bomb Planted Along MLK Day Parade Route In Spokane"

"incendiary device found along the route of a Martin Luther King Day parade in Spokane, Wash., was "likely capable of inflicting multiple casualties," the FBI said today.

A city employee found a backpack Monday morning, just before the parade was to start, in a parking lot that was both on the parade route and across the street from a performing arts center that hosted a pre-parade rally.

More than 1,000 people attended the parade, according to the Spokesman-Review.

Police responded, followed by the FBI. Several blocks around the parking lot were shut down, and the parade was re-routed. The area was shut down all day, as agents first dismantled the device, using a robot, and then called in hazmat teams.

The FBI said today that the device posed a credible threat.

"Subsequent preliminary analysis revealed the backpack contained a potentially deadly destructive device, likely capable of inflicting multiple casualties," the agency said in a statement.

The device was found stuffed in the backpack and wrapped in several T-shirts. The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for information about the person who left it there. "

Posted by: Liam-still | January 18, 2011 6:24 PM | Report abuse


Two of Emanuel’s rivals held rival events Tuesday at which they said Clinton’s appointment of Emanuel to the board of mortgage giant Freddie Mac aggravated the foreclosure crisis.


________________________


Something actually important to talk about:


Rahm Emanuel was on the board of Freddie Mac

Christine Gillibrand and Andrew Cuomo were at HUD when they created the sub-prime mortgage program.

Clinton - deregulated derivatives.

I tell you what Greg - are you going to continue to completely ignore the Economy and still write about:

1) Sarah Palin

2) The Republicans take secret money, but Obama never does

3) bad polls saying people want Obama's health care plan

4) Let's tweak this nuance so the liberals win -

5) Let's twist this word around so the liberal agenda sounds reasonable.


________________________


Greg -

Perhaps you could move this blog to the ONION - that is just about right.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Starting to look like the administration was right when they said the public will slowly warm to reform.

It'll be interesting how 2012 plays out.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 18, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

A very bright observation from the MUST READ piece on Ailes linked by Greg...


"Is Fox News "fair and balanced"? Doesn't matter. Because fair and balanced is not a description of Fox News; it's an attack on everyone else."

Posted by: bernielatham | January 18, 2011 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Liam

Are you now going to try to link Sarah Palin or the Tea Party to that crime ???


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 6:26 PM | Report abuse

More comic relief.....

Obama has a primary challenger!!

None other than Randall Terry, who claims he is going to run as a Dem.

HAHAHAHAHA...snicker.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/18/randall-terry-plans-to-mo_n_810575.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 18, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Greg, why haven't you banned caothien9?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 18, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse


Greg

Liam should still be banned for partipating in the smear campaign - attempting to link innocent people to a mass murder.

I would say you let his mother off.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

mike: "Starting to look like the administration was right when they said the public will slowly warm to reform."

Yes, and in light of this just-released study that 129 million people have pre-existing conditions, they may clue in a lot sooner....provided that the Dems get the message machine going in the right way.
-----------

"As many as 129 million Americans under age 65 have medical problems that are red flags for health insurers, according to an analysis that marks the government's first attempt to quantify the number of people at risk of being rejected by insurance companies or paying more for coverage.

The secretary of health and human services is scheduled to release the study on Tuesday, hours before the House plans to begin considering a Republican bill that would repeal the new law to overhaul the health-care system. The report is part of the Obama administration's salesmanship to convince the public of the advantages of the law, which contains insurance protections for people with preexisting medical conditions. "


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/17/AR2011011704481.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 18, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Why haven't you banned Congressman Steve King's(R) "Irrational Lust" ?

Posted by: Liam-still | January 18, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Why haven't you banned inane questions that get asked over and over on every thread?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 18, 2011 6:35 PM | Report abuse

So, looks like Traitor Joe Lieberman, after tanking the public option, NOW decides to rid us of his presence and not run again.

So long Joe.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 18, 2011 6:36 PM | Report abuse


Greg

I just want to make sure you are aware that 12barbluesAgain is responsible for bringing Cao to this blog.

She did this knowing FULL WELL what he would do on this blog.

She acted to destroy this blog.

I just want to be clear.

12Barblues should be banned forever.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

More comic relief.....

Obama has a primary challenger!!

None other than Randall Terry, who claims he is going to run as a Dem
-------------------------------------------------------
A line from the article: Terry himself is not bullish on his prospects, saying, "Will I defeat Mr. Obama? I'm not delusional."
-------------------------------------------------------
He sounds more sane than Christine I-am-not-a-witch O'Donnell. Bwahahaha!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 18, 2011 6:38 PM | Report abuse

From the New Yorker on Issa...

"Many politicians have committed indiscretions in earlier years: maybe they had an affair or hired an illegal immigrant as a nanny. Issa, it turned out, had, among other things, been indicted for stealing a car, arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, and accused by former associates of burning down a building."

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/01/24/110124fa_fact_lizza

Posted by: bernielatham | January 18, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

This bomb story is serious stuff.

I wonder who will throw the first allegations?

Maybe it was a left winger acting like a right wing teahadist!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 18, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

"Key to keep in mind as the repeal fight heats up."

The repeal fight is over before it starts. We all know ACA can not be repealed.

Every poll is also showing that about 3 out of 4 people want ACA changed/improved/repealed. So my question is: are the Dems going to obstruct the will of the people when it comes to improving ACA? Most people think it needs to be changed. Will the Dems obstruct any efforts at change?

Posted by: sbj3 | January 18, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

sue -- fair question. banning does little good because determined trolls come back in 10 minutes under another name. I suppose I should take that as a compliment.

I'll be updating you all this week on planned changes to the comments section...I think they're mainly designed to make it easier for people to see only the comments of those they choose, if they want to avail themselves of that option...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 18, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse

That DC! Just fly in and you're corrupted...

"However, after a weekend trip in Afghanistan to be wooed “away from the Tea Party” by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Tea Party victors Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have all decided to ignore the Tea Party and rebuke the idea of any timetable for withdrawal as “artificial”:"

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/01/18/tea-party-senators-afghanistan/

Posted by: bernielatham | January 18, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

"...polling gurus could explain the wild variation in polling on repeal..."

All the kool kids ape each other and scratch their earnest, puzzled simian brows.

OK!

Marist HCR poll sample: 35% Democrat, 28% Republican.

AP HCR poll sample: 42% Democrat, 36% Republican.

Shocker! The pollsters forgot we had a November last year.

Posted by: tao9 | January 18, 2011 6:46 PM | Report abuse

sue -- fair question. banning does little good because determined trolls come back in 10 minutes under another name. I suppose I should take that as a compliment.
-----------------------------------------------------
It's hard though. How could a compliment feel so much like a bucket of cold water in the face? Life is complicated, eh?

:o))

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 18, 2011 6:48 PM | Report abuse

This is your mom on acid (via Ace)

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/01/18/2011-01-18_author_discovers_vintage_video_of_housewife_tripping_on_lsd_during_1956_experime.html

Posted by: sbj3 | January 18, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

"Most people think it needs to be changed. Will the Dems obstruct any efforts at change?"

Not if the changes reduce the cost of providing benefits without putting more people at risk.

Posted by: mmyotis | January 18, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Tea Party victors Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have all decided to ignore the Tea Party and rebuke the idea of any timetable for withdrawal
---------------------------------------------------------------
I'd hate to be the Tea Party person in charge of keeping the RINO list. They might as well put all the Republicans on the list and cross off the non-RINOs with disappearing ink. It'd be easier. Lord.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 18, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Washington Times writer concurs that Our Lady of the Bitter Grievances will not ascend to the presidency...

"As I write this, I’m watching Palin on Shawn Hannity’s show. She’s rehashed her speech and her grievance. She’s in full defensive mode. She’s reinforcing her bubble with Hannity’s eager assistance. Unless she learns to break out of it instead, Sarah Palin will never be president."

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/stimulus/2011/jan/18/why-sarah-palin-wont-be-president/

Posted by: bernielatham | January 18, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse


Greg

I just want to make sure you are aware that 12barbluesAgain is responsible for bringing Cao to this blog.

She did this knowing FULL WELL what he would do on this blog.

She acted to destroy this blog.

I just want to be clear.

12Barblues should be banned forever.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Mama Grizzly Sings The Blues.

Who knew Grizzly Bears were this weak?!

Posted by: Liam-still | January 18, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

"FBI: Bomb Planted Along MLK Day Parade Route In Spokane"

-------

If you can find some way to connect Palin with it, your ratings will be up for the next couple days. I see Eugene Robinson did yet another piece today headlined with Palin's name. Talk about obsession. I suppose her name is the only reason anyone would bother to read his moronic twaddle.

Posted by: Brigade | January 18, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein says the larger point is that repeal will get more difficult when proponents are forced to "talk specifics,

____________________


What a laugh - something Obama never did until he dumped a 2,000 page bill on the internet in the middle of the night.


All I remember is Committee hearings getting out and all the democrats saying, "don't worry, this is not the final bill"

ALL Obama did was AVOID SPECIFICS.


Hey Ezra, my neighbor's grandmother is about to turn 100 - what should I tell him you said to do with her ???

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Special for Sue: "Many of the things the study claims that ObamaCare ends were already illegal under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996."

http://blogs.investors.com/capitalhill/index.php/home/35-politicsinvesting/2352-129-million-lies-about-obamacare

Posted by: sbj3 | January 18, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Sean Hannity agrees with you. He would never bring up her name, or even talk to her.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 18, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Pay To Play: Corporations Pay For New GOP Governors’ Inaugural Balls To Gain Better Access

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/01/18/pay-to-play-governors/

Excerpt:
" In the era of professed “austerity,” some Republican governors have found a better way to fund extravagance. Tapping into the well-heeled pockets of special interests, several Republican governors funded their inaugural bashes this year with corporate money. While inaugural activities are often paid through private donations instead of taxpayer funds, these governors are allowing corporations with a vested interest in policy outcomes from a friendly government to pay for their inaugural bashes.

Two weeks ago, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) spent $3 million in funds from Florida’s business interests that have “the most at stake in his administration,” including tobacco, real estate, gambling, and drug companies seeking specific regulatory advantages for their business. Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) also received a big inaugural bash courtesy of private donations from Boeing, Duke Energy, and SCANA. Several other Republican governors are following suit. According to local reports, Govs. Rick Perry (TX), John Kasich (OH), Brian Sandoval (NV), Mary Fallin (OK), and Rick Snyder (MI), are the newest state executives to join the pay-to-play club:

– Perry: Yesterday, Perry took the oath of office in a $2 million swearing-in society paid for by “oil executives, beer distributors, lobbyists and big-dollar campaign donors "

Use the link to read the entire report on the Republican Governors' Tango with corruption.

"

Posted by: Liam-still | January 18, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

12BarBluesAgain in reply to your comment at 6:48 PM


I guess I should take it as a compliment that you have been so obsessed with me all this time.........

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

sbj writes:


Special for Sue: "Many of the things the study claims that ObamaCare ends were already illegal under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996."

http://blogs.investors.com/capitalhill/index.php/home/35-politicsinvesting/2352-129-million-lies-about-obamacare

_______________________

Excellent that is the correct answer.


Very good........

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Liam

Who are you going to attempt to blame for the attempted mass murder in Spokane???

Surely, you want to blame someone who disagrees with you about something.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

From Thinkprogress.com

"Last night on MSNBC, conservative commentator David Frum appeared to come to the same conclusion as Gingrich, but advised Palin to just stop speaking altogether. “She should stop talking now, really,” Frum said, calling her video response to the Tucson shooting “a disaster” and “a failure.”

“They’re not going to shut me up,” Palin also told Sean Hannity last night, “They’re not going to shut you up or Rush or Mark Levin or Tea Party patriots.” Referring to that comment on his MSNBC show this morning, conservative Joe Scarborough re-asserted his belief that Palin’s “political career is over.” He said, “She is now putting herself in the league with Mark Levin and talk radio hosts. … And I think that about says it all.” "

Posted by: Liam-still | January 18, 2011 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Alabama's new Governor has gotten a lot of notice for the following comment...

"“There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit,” Bentley said. ”But if you have been adopted in God’s family like I have, and like you have if you’re a Christian and if you’re saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister.”

Bentley added, ”Now I will have to say that, if we don’t have the same daddy, we’re not brothers and sisters. So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.”

Clearly he's not one of the "there are many ways to God" contingent.

I find this sort of belief quite contemptible. It's not just the severe tribalism of it which is bad enough but what I find even more worthy of scorn is how it frames the believer axiomatically - "me and mine are better and more God-like than those others who are not equal to us".

If held by some religious community off somewhere in the woods, who cares? It's just some folks who are comfortable with that sort of grandiose delusion of self. But when it moves into the broad public sphere and becomes explicitly or implicitly the basis for policy and for appointments that will affect the entire community (those lesser Jews and Catholics and Ecumenicals and Buddhists etc) then I have the urge to throw rotting fruit at people like this guy.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 18, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Liam

Soooooooooooo, is your point that BECAUSE Sarah Palin refuses to shut up, that is why someone placed a bomb along the parade route in Spokane ???

hhhhhmmmmm..............

Sort of like a protest to her horible facebook video - like facebook videos are good to begin with....

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Any Right Winger who does not accept that every one should be able to receive good health care, has not accepted the teachings of Jesus.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 18, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin wrote,
I know nothing whatsoever about Joe Scarborough other than what I read here. Is the following correct?

"He was a Congressman from FL [R] in the 90s."

Most politicians have big egos, but Scarborough is an egomaniac. He's allowed to have his own show on MSNBC, having been moved from prime time to early morning some years ago, so long as he demonstrates his objectivity by routinely trashing Republicans while everyone else on the set, with the occasional exception of Pat Buchanan ... well, trashes Republicans. He continually blows his own horn about how correct he's always been on every issue and how everyone just loves him unless he confronts them with some uncomfortable "truth".

A quote of his posted by 12BarBlues:

"As a conservative who had a 100 percent rating with the National Rifle Association and the Gun Owners of America over my four terms in Congress, I wonder why some on the right can’t defend the Second Amendment without acting like jackasses."

See, he's managed to be a good conservative without being a jackass---except in everyone's mind but his own, he's a jackass.

"He was not implicated in a scandal."

Some considered the following to be a bit of a scandal:

"Lori Klausutis was found dead in former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough's Fort Walton Beach office at about 8:10 a.m. on July 20, 2001 by Juanita and Andreas Bergmann, who claim they had an appointment that morning with Rep. Scarborough to facilitate Mr. Bergmann's application for a green card."

Posted by: Brigade | January 18, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

ALL,

On a previous thread, a comment was made why can't we shift the entire discussion to "uncivil discourse."

The truth is the democrats were caught red-handed in a SMEAR CAMPAIGN.

Soooo, instead of talking about how uncivil the SMEAR CAMPAIGN WAS LAST WEEK.

The democrats want to shift the discussion to how uncivil everyone else has been.

That is the issue.

LET'S JUST TALK ABOUT HOW UNCIVIL THE SMEAR CAMPAIGN WAS FOR 5 DAYS LAST WEEK


And why the President of the United States sat silent, with zero leadership, while his people attacked people over the internet day and night for 5 days.

Let's have that discussion FIRST.

Then we can go on.

Thank you.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Say It's So, Joe!

Feel the Retirementum!

Posted by: bearclaw1 | January 18, 2011 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Do the polling experts let the people know that "Bartering Chickens For Checkups" would be a much less costly solution?

Posted by: Liam-still | January 18, 2011
-------

Tell them how much money you saved by having the same gerbil examine both your colon and your prostate.

Posted by: Brigade | January 18, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Bernie states,

If everyone doesn't believe with his religious views, then Bernie says he has

"the urge to throw rotting fruit at people like this guy."
________________________


So, this is Bernie's religion - agree with Bernie or get the rotting fruit to the head.


Someone stop Bernie -

He is getting violent - and completely irrational.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I'll be updating you all this week on planned changes to the comments section...I think they're mainly designed to make it easier for people to see only the comments of those they choose, if they want to avail themselves of that option...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 18, 2011 6:41 PM
------

Just mail a check to Kevin_Willis and save your time; he's way ahead of you with the infamous Troll Hunter that does just what you describe.

Posted by: Brigade | January 18, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

"LET'S JUST TALK ABOUT HOW UNCIVIL THE SMEAR CAMPAIGN WAS FOR 5 DAYS LAST WEEK"

Okay RFR. How about you start by citing the evidence that supports your claim that there was a smear campaign.

Provide quotes and links.

Thanks.

p.s. The use of all caps is experienced as shouting. Could you tone it down some please?

Posted by: mmyotis | January 18, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

"The Associated Press released a poll this weekend finding that 43 percent want the (HCR) law changed so it does more, versus only 26 percent who want it fully repealed. A Marist poll last week found the same, with 35 percent wanting the law expanded versus 30 percent who want it scrapped completely."
======================

roflol -- that truly is the most laughable thing I have ever read. clue: polls are worthless. you can make people say anything you want just by a change of wording. and not knowing the construction/methodology makes it even more worthless. it's calling 'cherry-picking.'
Posted by: fiona5 | January 14, 2011

Posted by: Brigade | January 18, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

The most important issue in this country is the Economy and jobs.

It is clear that Obama distracted the nation from the Economy for 10 days - but he can't do that for the next two years to run out the clock on the election.

Obama is adrift. He is incompetent - so all he wants to do is get through the day.

Obama is completely lost in this job. He has no experience and little idea of how to get the country out of the messes he himself created.

The democrats have proven how unfit to govern they are - last week's smear campaign is just the latest example of instead of the Economy - the country gets a smear campaign aimed at the Tea Party. The democrats are more concerned with their own stupid overnight poll numbers - than the number of Americans who are unemployed.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

From an Economist editorial in 1858 as a sewer system for London was being discussed...

"suffering and evil are nature’s admonitions—they cannot be got rid of."

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/18/stuff-happens/

Posted by: bernielatham | January 18, 2011 8:01 PM | Report abuse

"The most important issue in this country is the Economy and jobs.

It is clear that Obama distracted the nation from the Economy for 10 days"

Really RFR? You think Obama was responsible for the 'distraction'?

Posted by: mmyotis | January 18, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

mmyotis in reply to your comment at 7:48 PM


A civil discussion does not start with demands for quotes and links.

So, I suppose you are being silly. Anyone who was on the internet starting from two hours after the mass murder knows exactly what the democrats were up to.

One poster on this blog today was talking about the opinion section of the Washington Post - many opinion pieces - responding to "talking points" send out by the democratic party.


Obama just sat silent when his people conducting a massive SMEAR CAMPAIGN - attempting to link Sarah Palin and the Tea Party to the mass killings.

I suppose you could read the statements of Sheriff Dupnik and many of the other democratic clowns.

___________________


If you need to do some research, go to Google News.

Thank you very much.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse

May I toss in a new term re Connecticut ...

Joementropy

Posted by: bernielatham | January 18, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

mmyotis in reply to your comment at 8:03 PM

You are required to keep up with the news on this blog.

Yes, the point has been made numerous times that every time a Muslim is accused of a terrorist attack, Obama rushes to the microphone in order to urge people not to rush to judgement.


This time, Obama and his people decided they were going to score political points off a mass murder - and INSTEAD of making his usual statement about NOT rushing to judgement -

Obama sat silent while his people emailed talking points out - URGING PEOPLE TO RUSH TO JUDGEMENT.

And that judgement Obama wanted to be: it's all Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.

_______________


Obama appears to have an inability to think ahead to the next move. Life is like chess. But Obama only makes one move at a time.

It seems like when Obama made the initial decision to conduct a SMEAR campaign, he had no more moves left - he didn't realize that everyone in the nation would KNOW he was full of it.

Obama was not prepared for that.

Obama was not prepared to ask the crowd at the Memorial Service to have a respectful tone either -

Those t-shirts created a political rally atmosphere instead of respect for the dead.

One should wear black, or dark clothes to a Memorial Service.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

mmyotis, would YOU tone it down if you were the target of blood libel?

While I second RFR's comment, here are just four quotes for starters (i agree that you can use Google for links)

"Will G.O.P. leaders accept the reality of what's happening to America, and take a stand against eliminationist rhetoric? Or will they try to dismiss the massacre as the mere act of a deranged individual, and go on as before? " Paul Krugman

"Both [Palin and Beck] are finally being held to account for recklessly playing with violent images in a way that is bound to incite the unstable." Dana Milbank

"Mission Accomplished, Sarah Palin" Markos Moulitsas (providing a link http://is.gd/knNgl to her infamous map)

"Palin has the blood of that 9-year old old girl on her hands." Hillary08

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 18, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

""Our Lady of the Bitter Grievances""

I recall a time many moons ago being taken to task by you for being so intellectually slovenly as to refer to Obama as something other than his actual name. File that one in the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do cabinet, I guess.

""I find this sort of belief quite contemptible. It's not just the severe tribalism of it which is bad enough but what I find even more worthy of scorn is how it frames the believer axiomatically - "me and mine are better and more God-like than those others who are not equal to us".""

Indeed. Sort of reminds me of the way leftist academics like yourself frame the great uneducated masses of the Bible Belt. Scorn-worthiness, I suppose, can be a relative thing.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 18, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse

But RFR, there is obviously a difference of opinion on how to read the events that followed the shooting. Many reasonable people stated from the very beginning that there was no evidence to blame any individual other than the shooter for what happened. Those who did lay blame, like Dupnik, were expressing what they felt was an emotional truth. Their statements were not reasonable, they were emotional. These facts aren't in question are they?

What is in question is how you can look at these facts and say that they add up to a 'smear campaign'. Is that a reasonable charge, or are you expressing an emotional truth?

If someone disagrees with your emotional truth, are they justified and accusing you as a partner to a smear campaign against 'liberals'? Would that be a just way of interpreting your reaction?

Posted by: mmyotis | January 18, 2011 8:24 PM | Report abuse

anyone,
please show me the document that proves that Paul Krugman, Dana Milbank, Markos Moulitsas and the POWERFUL Hillary08 are paid by Obama.

Honestly folks, please seek help.

Posted by: savetherest | January 18, 2011 8:26 PM | Report abuse

"Life is like chess."

Quite possibly the stupidest comment I have ever read on any blog.

No, RFR, chess is a game. It has established rules. It is orderly. The players take turns. The pieces can only move in certain ways. The rules define who has won, who has lost, and when the game is a "draw."

Real life is just a bit messier. Opponents don't wait for you to take your turn before they move again. They don't follow rules. And often there is no agreement as to who is the winner and who is the loser.

That is why we don't simply choose as President the natural born citizen (at least 35 years old) with the highest FIDE rating, or program a computer to be Commander-in-Chief.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | January 18, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

mmyotis in reply to you at 8:24 PM

You are now being childish and silly.

I'm not going to debate reality with you. If you want to believe in an alternate reality, you can.

I suppose you believe that Obama's health care plan has NO new taxes in it - that all those new benefits are "paid for," and that we all live in CANDYLAND.

Well, you don't live in CANDYLAND.

Sorry, someone has to PAY for the health care bill.


Right now, the Obama health care bill is a TICKING TIME BOMB - ready to blow up the deficit.

Obama's deficit is already $1.3 Trillion - I suppose you think the budget is balanced.

Anyway -


Let's have a CIVIL discussion as to whether it was appropriate for the Obama people to try to SMEAR Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.

And I suppose you will say that there have been no FALSE CHARGES OF RACISM over the past 3 years either.


You would say we live in a post-racial, post-partisan CANDYLAND in which no one has to be taxed to pay for Obama's expensive massive government programs.


Yea, you are right - I just looked outside and there are gummy bears coming down from the sky.

.
.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Ah, yes, EMOTIONAL truth. I know it when I see it. Kinda like "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 18, 2011 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Bearclaw


"Life is like chess."


That was a metaphor - which obviously was used to state that life is more complicated than making one move. The point is that one has to think beyond the first move.

You came back and said Life is even more complicated than that - which only confirms my point.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow is Robert E. Lee's Birthday


Show some respect for the heritage of this nations and

CELEBRATE IT.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 8:46 PM | Report abuse

"Life is like chess."

Part Two of "why RFR is completely wrong"

In chess, there are precisely two sides. In life, it is never that simple. You have clear opponents, and many people or countries who are allies at times and opponents at others.

In chess, all of the pieces are on the board, and clearly identifiable to the players. In life, you never get to see all of the pieces that are in play.

In chess, there is absolutely no element of chance. (That's one thing I love about the game). In life, there is a significant element of chance or randomness. Things happen that no one can predict: natural disasters, mass murders, deaths of world leaders, epidemics. A leader who thinks he or she can plan out the next couple of moves will almost certainly be undone by the unforeseeable.

In chess, the most powerful opponents are by definition the most rational. Would that it were so in real life.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | January 18, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

savetherest, that's not what mmyotis asked for. Besides, being paid directly by Obama has nothing to do with the SMEAR CAMPAIGN or whether Obama should have put a stop to such baseless speculation. If you really want to see Hillary's nominating papers, though, let me know.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 18, 2011 8:52 PM | Report abuse

clawrence12,

I wasn't claiming that people didn't try to lay blame. Please see my comments to RFR.

"would YOU tone it down if you were the target of blood libel?"

I have years of personal experience with acting out of self-justifiable anger and nothing to show for it. I've come to realize that when I tone things down things turn out better than they otherwise would and I feel good about myself.

So yes, I tone myself down whenever I can because experience has shown me that it's the right thing to do.

Posted by: mmyotis | January 18, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

@mmyotis,

You seem like a reasonable person who has stumbled into the quicksand of Rainforest. If you feel like your brain is going to explode if you have to read even one more of Rainforest's posts, you can do what the rest of us do. We have installed a Troll Hunter script that allows you to block anyone you want. It has been installed hundreds of times (477 at last count) which should tell you something. Since we are all human beings with limited lifespans, none of us bother to interact with Rainforest.

http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/89140

You will need Greasemonkey installed as an addon to Firefox, if that's your browser. Ask questions if you have trouble getting it installed.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 18, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

bearclaw1 (no relation) has apparently never heard of Tri-D chess:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-dimensional_chess

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 18, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

bearclaw1 (no relation) has apparently never heard of Tri-D chess:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-dimensional_chess

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 18, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

@SBJ "So my question is: are the Dems going to obstruct the will of the people when it comes to improving ACA?"

You mean exactly like the Republicans did when they concentrated on Obama's Waterloo and instead of working to make the bill better simply obstructed, obstructed, obstructed. You SBJ will forever be known as the party of "death Panels" "pulling the plug on granny" and Demint's infamous "Waterloo". Really SBJ I expect more out of your posts. To bring up a question about whether Dems might obstruct from someone who supports the Grand Ole Party of Obstruction is rich indeed SBJ. Have you no pride?

@Claw & tao and anybody else who wishes to make some allusion to the will of the people because of the November midterms.
Get over yourselves will you. Where were you when the will of the people produced what by modern standards was a relative political landslide...Obama clearly had a mandate and did the R's respect the will of the people? Yeah!

Hypocrite- –noun
1.
a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
2. a Republican

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 18, 2011 9:08 PM | Report abuse

"And I suppose you will say that there have been no FALSE CHARGES OF RACISM over the past 3 years either."

Please try not to suppose what I might think. I'm here and will answer your questions if you care enough to ask.

Yes, there have been false charges racism. Ad hominem attacks are being perpetrated by people all the time. And yes, that is a terrible problem. We see the same crap going on all the time right in here.

But I don't see your point in bringing it up. Perhaps you can explain.

Posted by: mmyotis | January 18, 2011 9:17 PM | Report abuse

clawrence,

Tri-D is not "chess." Chess is the perfect game. There will never be a need to change it.

And, in any event, everything I said about "chess" is just as applicable to Tri-D. The only thing you really are adding is the extra dimension, some different rules, and in some versions some different pieces.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | January 18, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Bearclaw

A metaphor is a metaphor

It is like one person saying - "it is more than one"

And then you saying "it is alot more than one"

But "alot more than one" is still "more than one"


Thank you very much.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow is Robert E. Lee's Birthday


Show some respect for the heritage of this nations and

CELEBRATE IT.

Why celebrate a traitor? He took the free U.S. education at West Point and then turned on his nation and fought under the flag of sedition with the other traitors.

Down here in Florida it's fascinating how the same malungins who fly the stars and bars claim to be patriots. NO morons that is the flag of sedition. Only people who hate the Union and our country are represented by that flag.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 18, 2011 9:20 PM | Report abuse

ruk,

Funny that RFR wrote "Show some respect for the heritage of this nations . . ."

The plural, if unintentional, is a perfect Freudian typo for someone who wants to celebrate Lee's birthday.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | January 18, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Hahahaha. I appreciate your concern 12BarBluesAgain. I'm okay with RFR. I just want to talk with him a bit.

Thanks,
Tom

Posted by: mmyotis | January 18, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

"A metaphor is a metaphor"

I love the smell of tautology in the evening -- it smells like . . . surrender.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | January 18, 2011 9:27 PM | Report abuse

And now I have to hit the road. See you all later!

Posted by: mmyotis | January 18, 2011 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Hahahaha. I appreciate your concern 12BarBluesAgain. I'm okay with RFR. I just want to talk with him a bit.

Thanks,
Tom
-----------------------------------------------------------------
You'll come around, Tom. We all set out just like you, innocents that we were. Write down the link because you'll pay good money to have it someday.

Bwahahaha!!!!

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 18, 2011 9:31 PM | Report abuse

ruk, as to Obama's man date, I thought you weren't going to bring up Larry Sinclair again?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 18, 2011 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow is Robert E. Lee's Birthday


Show some respect for the heritage of this nations and

CELEBRATE IT.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Hypocrite- –noun


1) Anyone who promises bipartisanship, post-racial policies and transparency in 2008, and then goes on to a BAIT AND SWITCH OPERATION against the American People

2) Anyone who supports the person who did (1)


Thank you very much.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Good job, RainForestRising.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 18, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

""Why celebrate a traitor?""

I don't consider Lee a traitor. Recall that, prior to the Civil War, the United States was a "they", not an "it". Lee was a reluctant participant in secession, and, like many (perhaps even most) others at the time, felt his loyalty belonged to his state, not the union of semi-independent states that was called the US. It is wrong to judge his actions in the context of our sense of nation today and call him a traitor. Given the mindset of the day, it would have been traitorous of him to forsake his state of Virginia.

Regarding the Confederate flag, you may find this oldie a tad interesting:

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2001/libe119-20010430-03.html

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 18, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

RU,

I'm not gainsaying Mr. Obama's and the Dems electoral wins, but when the poly/sci guys say "Elections matter." That's exactly right.

They swing so much faster today than Schlesinger's 20 year "pendulum." The thrill is definitely gone.

People intuitively comprehend the defects of this thing on FISCAL(!) grounds. You can decry the granny stuff all you want but that ain't driving the train. People don't need a CBO report to know that ObamaCare is unsustainable. They laugh out loud at the idea it's going to save anyone a penny, much less (effectively)insure those presently without.

Just ask Kent Conrad.

Posted by: tao9 | January 18, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing that the inane question under discussion is Jake trying to open each new thread demanding to know why I haven't been banned.

As JakeD[2] his bothersome inanity was questioning Obama's eligibility to be president.

I never got the whole thing about enjoying being a nuisance, but it seems to be an American trait more than a human one.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 18, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

ruk, Ducks-Ottawa going to overtime.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 18, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't consider Lee a traitor.

==

He precisely fits the definition. Quite unlike all the others you conservatives do call traitors every day in here.

Calling out conservatives on hypocrisy is a waste of time, it's like trying to get fish to give up water.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 18, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

ruk, Ducks-Ottawa going to overtime.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 18, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Re: Lee-

Ford finally granted posthumous citizenship after Lee's Oath of Allegience was discovered. http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2005/spring/piece-lee.html

All but 14 Confederates (Lee among them) had been pardoned.

I think its useless now to insist that Lincoln's aim of binding wounds cannot be honored 145 years later-especially when he asked for it in 1865. No percentage in holding those kinds of grudges. We don't want to mimic other nations or ethinic struggles who cannot forgive past actions.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 18, 2011 10:02 PM | Report abuse

The Truth

The truth is Obama and his people are a bunch of dangerous liars - intent on imposing their will on the American People - and not caring if the Economy recovers or not.

Obama sees the Economic crisis as a change to force people to accept his imposed agenda.


If Obama's agenda is so good, why do people have to be forced into it???


,

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 10:03 PM | Report abuse

People don't need a CBO report to know that ObamaCare is unsustainable.

==

Of course not. Not when the "people" you refer to are conservative buffoons who regard arithmetic as elitist and anti-American. They don't need the CBO, all they need is some pudgy rabble rouser with a whiteboard.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 18, 2011 10:03 PM | Report abuse

∴ American ≠ human

high5!!!

Posted by: tao9 | January 18, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Chuck:

Thanks for that link. I don't think I ever knew that or, if I did, I forgot it.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 18, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Ducks win shootout!

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 18, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are landing in it face-first. The healthcare repeal won't pass but the discussion gives the Democrats a second chance to sell it, AND they get to do so after the popular provisions have taken effect, since they botched the salesmanship so thoroughly the first time.

The echo chamber bites the GOP again. Everyone they listen to wants it repealed. But they only listen to the red-faced contingent.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 18, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

12Bar

I suppose I should take it as a compliment that you are so obsessed with me -

you lurk on this blog - and run to befriend anyone who says anything to me.


Isn't that harassment?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

you need to learn some basic set theory, tao.


Cheap shot.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 18, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Arithmetic quiz:

242-193 = ?

Posted by: tao9 | January 18, 2011 10:16 PM | Report abuse

The major point - in the midst of all the democrats trying to re-frame the issue to hide the fact that they engaged in a 5-day smear campaign against Sarah Palin and the Tea Party -

The MAJOR point is that Obama is STILL failing at helping the Economy.

Few jobs have been created - Obama's jobs website is STILL not being updated.


The Stimulus is a miserable failure. Amazing that after the democrats tried so hard to attach that label to George Bush - we NOW have the stimulus which shows us what a REAL MISERABLE FAILURE IS AND IT IS OBAMA.

Funny how those things seem to happen....

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 10:16 PM | Report abuse

@tao I don't believe the bill contains cost or really addresses it. This health care crisis has been around since at least the 90's and the R's had the W.H. and both houses of congress and did NOTHING. When the HCR debate began this time again the R's did Nothing. Because they did NOTHING..my wife and I are forced to work two years past our planned retirement to reach Medicare because of the $20,000+ annual premium with $4,000 deductibles. My wife and I are healthy with no prexisting conditions I can only imagine the hell the current system represents for many of my fellow Americans. And what did the R's EVER do...NOTHING!!! And what do the R's offer in place of the current system they plan to symbolically repeal....NOTHING. That's it tao...your guys are not simply the party of obstruction they are the party of NOTHING so why should I EVER listen to anther freaking R after what the hosers have done for me...NOTHING! Ohhh but that Bush recession which wiped out 40% of my assets was certainly a big help.

As for cost...I've done a ton of research and IMHO it's all going to end up as single payer/Medicare for all anyway. Yeah I'm one of those 40% who think HCR didn't go far enough. Single payer..or socialized medicine(obviously different and less preferable for me...although Socalized medicine in our country..The VA is currently the most successful form in terms of patient satisfaction/outcomes and cost control. It's one or the other...single payer or socialized medicine. The free market simply does not work in health care. Just as letting power companies compete within community...very innefficient economically we award the business to ONE company...the current system is an absurdity. It's cruel to consumers and totally unwieldy in terms of lending itself to free enterprise solutions. Life and death are not the same as buying a computer/tv/car whatever...when someone looks at life and death they lose any semblance of being a rational consumer.

@clawrence....lightning-blue jackets in the OT shootout right now. Good luck to your ducks....yayyy Ryan Malone scores in the shootout...Lightning 3 Blue Jackets 2 OT

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 18, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Cao

You need to learn some basic manners.

I wonder what your mother taught you. Whether she tried, and you just didn't listen - or whether your rude behavior is somehow related to your homosexuality.

Perhaps you can help us out on why you think it is appropriate to be so rude on this blog.


In addition, since you left the country, why do you care about US politics?

Or are you just a mole, and you never moved to Vietnam. Instead, you might be an Obama troll - seeking to gauge interest in Communist Vietnam - and seeking to see if other people will express interest in moving to Vietnam.

OR you are actually in Vietnam for the little boys.

Which is it?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Tao

Quiz you this what is 242 minum 205 ???


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

clawrence

Larry Sinclair - refresh our memories - is Larry Sinclair the person claiming to have done crack cocaine with Obama - and that Obama wanted to have sex with him several times while on drugs???

Is that the guy???

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Robert E. Lee

I don't know the exact details - however I believe something was withheld based on the false premise that the proper paperwork was not submitted by Lee.

However, later research at the State Department proved that the proper paperwork Oath of Loyalty was submitted by Lee and was in order.

So, there was a movement to pardon all the Confederates - however the actual implementation was obstructed - this time because someone claimed the Oath of Loyalty was not submitted.

It was.

Ford tried to fix it later.

___________________


Tomorrow is Robert E. Lee's Birthday


Celebrate it.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Robert E. Lee

I don't know the exact details - however I believe something was withheld based on the false premise that the proper paperwork was not submitted by Lee.

However, later research at the State Department proved that the proper paperwork Oath of Loyalty was submitted by Lee and was in order.

So, there was a movement to pardon all the Confederates - however the actual implementation was obstructed - this time because someone claimed the Oath of Loyalty was not submitted.

It was.

Ford tried to fix it later.

___________________


Tomorrow is Robert E. Lee's Birthday


Celebrate it.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 10:31 PM | Report abuse

You could use some Strunk and White, Nurse Popper.

And a mirror.

Posted by: tao9 | January 18, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

The free market simply does not work in health care.

==

bears repeating, and repeating.

And we have the example of plenty of other countries as evidence.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 18, 2011 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Cao

You have a great deal of comments, but you rarely respond to any questions.

The free market works in health care.

Health care insurance premiums are set in the free market.

When governments intervene excessively - then that distorts the market and creates inefficiencies.

Anyway, you are in Vietnam now - why dont you find a blog about the Vietnamese elections and blog there?

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 18, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

And you could use a mindwipe and a fresh start, tao.

Anyone still a conservative since torture and tea has no ground to stand on.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 18, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse

@Scott I love history and I accept your points about Lee. I am aware of what you say and understand your point. And so I can understand those who still love Lee...but I do like to poke fun at the rebels. I thought calling Lee a traitor might get some response. :-) BTW while I completely accept your point...there were some men who crossed the line to fight for their country and not for the South.

But again I do not wish to quibble...many historians would point to the Civil War as the real beginning of the "UNITED" States, because as you correctly point out prior to that we hadn't yet settled the question...where we a loose group of states or a genuine nation. We know which side of the question Lincoln came down.

BTW Scott thanks for that link. I've saved it. True story. As you may already know my wife is a Dentist. She has a colleague who is an Endodontist who has been in practice a couple of year longer than my wife. They are friends. We went skiing with he and his wife several years back. I asked him a political question about our then Mayor....his response..the Mayor would have been OK but he's too concerned with the N&*ers in our town. Last time I ever agreed to socialize with them. Fast forward to a couple of months ago. As is frequently done he invites my wife to lunch...she refers lots of patients to his office..it's a form of marketing for Dental specialist...he tells my wife how upset he is and that he has purchased land in Panama. If Obama wins in 2012 he plans to build in Panama and leave the country because he won't live in a nation with an N as President. Just another reason to hope Obama wins in 2012 and we can get rid of that sleazeball.

Maybe because I am at ground zero here in the heart of cracker land I am hyper sensitive. My neighbor four doors down is a Neurosurgeon who you would know from his national recognition when he sent an email to his tparty friends with Obama as a witch doctor and a bone through his nose.
Both of these men are educated, successful professionals. They are intelligent enough to know better. I consider them as whale sh*t! Why whale sh&t. Because as my Drill Sergeant to scream at us..trainee you are no better than whale sh&t...do you know how low that is? It's at the bottom of the ocean it's the lowest you can get.
Perhaps...but no lower than the scumbag Endodontist and the Neurosurgeon. Again Scott these are educated professionals you can imagine how exciting it is as you drop down the educational ladder...Two guys who voted for a guy they believe is a crook to be our Governor for the simple reason...a crook is preferable to voting for a woman.
You can't make this stuff up..it's just pathetic. The only person who can feel my pain is Mark in Austin...on the scale of trying to get lower than whale sh&t...we in Florida love Texas...they have Louie Gohmert and a cast of losers as big as Floridas. Sorry Mark. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 18, 2011 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Standing right here on the Saratoga County Line. There's a foot of snow on the ground.

Where you standin', Bobby Lee?

Posted by: tao9 | January 18, 2011 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Tao "Where you standin', Bobby Lee?"

How funny...I had to do a double take...being a good Kentucky born boy my first two names...Robert Lee. I had an aunt who used to call me Bobby Lee all the time.
I hated it! :-)

Later in TV in Bristol Tn. we in the newsroom used to have a lot of fun giving each other "Southern" names....of course I came equipped with Bobby Lee..others were Jim Bob...Billy Joe...Jerry John...
Don't know why you Yanks aren't just as proud of your middle names.

Here you go Tao...I'm going to confer honorary rebelhood on you...if I have to give you a middle name..how about Tao Elvis

And with that it's time for bed. Happy that the Lightning are winners as they prepare for that Eastern Conference showdown with Tao's Bruins and a Stanley Cup Final against Clawrence's Ducks.

Ohhhh and I'm so happy I could drop a log...after six years of double digit increases...renewal pack came from United today and our health insurance only went up 2.3%.....2.3 freaking % Unbelievable!
And our deductibles did not go up for the first time in four years. I truly do not know why...but I am thrilled!!! Wifey and I may make it to Medicare without first going bankrupt.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 18, 2011 11:09 PM | Report abuse

ChuckInDenton at 10:02PM - thanks for the link. And for the Lincolnian sentiment, as well.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 18, 2011 11:24 PM | Report abuse

after six years of double digit increases...renewal pack came from United today and our health insurance only went up 2.3%.....2.3 freaking % Unbelievable!
-----------------------------------------------
Maybe they are reacting to the provision that mandates that 85% of premiums must go toward actual health care expenses.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 18, 2011 11:41 PM | Report abuse

RU,

Glad to hear you and spouse caught a break from your provider. These are tough times, don't figure my retirement is coming soon or ever, we're in the midlin savings/investment cohort plus MizzTao's schoolteacher pension, and grandkid costs "no man can pay." ;>) I love my work though, and would be bored to tears without, so c'est la vie.

I learned to say "Bobby Lee" from the Shelby Foote Trilogy (one of the Great Works of our civilization IMHO) and then fell in love with the guy in the PBS/Burns series. Foote is our Thucydides.

BTW: I've got a passel of 1st cousins, native born, down to Knoxville. Been down there many times.

Posted by: tao9 | January 18, 2011 11:41 PM | Report abuse

"...torture and tea..."

I'm Irish, with a dram of Huron+Quebecois from GreatGram.

So thanks, you're sweet...how'd ya know?

Posted by: tao9 | January 18, 2011 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mike,

Don't know if you caught my response on the earlier thread. I am based in Fairlington, though Fairlington Towne is actually in Alexandria. We kinda borrowed the name from our better half.

Read through a few of the comments. I'd be curious as to caothien's take on the political situation in his new home. It's gotta be interesting.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 18, 2011 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Greg, why haven't you banned caothien9?

==

Why did you return after being banned, Jake?

If you don't like my posts then don't read them. I certainly don't bother reading yours.

Greg isn't going to ban me because he has no reason to. You on the other hand are going right back to the same nuisance behavior that got you banned here already.

This sh*t gets old. Scroll past and shut up.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 19, 2011 12:22 AM | Report abuse

@rukidding: one of the biggest disappointments that life has served up to me was the discovery that the educated and intelligent are no less prone to bigotry than the illiterate and the dull-witted. If anything they're more adept at rationalizing it.

My last gig at Microsoft I was doubled up with a bright guy who in our first ten minutes of conversation volunteered that crime rates in the USA are entirely attributable to blacks. I excused myself without answering and went and requested an office move, wouldn't talk with the guy again.

At least the n-word users know they've lost the right to be regarded as gentlemen.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 19, 2011 12:34 AM | Report abuse

@BB: I don't yet follow politics here. One, I'm a guest in this country and want to be a polite one. Two, the greater reason, the Vietnamese in the newspapers is very difficult for me to read, much harder than the ubiquitous public service announcements and information campaigns that I am now able to read but couldn't only six months ago.

Someone snarked about car prices. Vietnam has the highest import taxes in the world. I even have to pay a buck if I buy a used CD by mail (package of Steve Roach's latest due any day now, yay!). Automobiles are high luxury here, even professionals ride motorbikes.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 19, 2011 12:43 AM | Report abuse

I just heard it on the radio that Every 6 months, you should compare auto insurance rates with several auto insurance companies to find the best deal, also he was saying something about "Clearance Auto Insurance" who provide insurance for dollars. find online

Posted by: mariebaker18 | January 19, 2011 5:17 AM | Report abuse


It is fantastic time to refinance home mortgage. As Clark Howard says it is very tough to find these low rates for long time. Search online for 123 Mortgage Refi they found me THE lowest possible rate.

Posted by: elsieho123 | January 19, 2011 5:23 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe because I am at ground zero here in the heart of cracker land I am hyper sensitive. "

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 18, 2011 10:48 PM

______________________________


Is this how all the Obama people think???


They show hatred toward whites - and then make the same kinds of racist statements?


Seriously people THIS IS RACIST - THIS PERSON MUST BE BANNED FROM THIS WEBSITE IMMEDIATELY.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 19, 2011 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Obama's approval following Tucson speech at highest level since April with 72% of Repulicans approving of his response.

And this is the week that Boeher and Co. are going to take on ACA.

It's gonna be a good week for Redenbacher.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 19, 2011 6:41 AM | Report abuse

My last gig at Microsoft I was doubled up with a bright guy who in our first ten minutes of conversation volunteered that crime rates in the USA are entirely attributable to blacks. I excused myself without answering and went and requested an office move, wouldn't talk with the guy again.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 19, 2011 12:34 AM
-------

Who's he kidding? No one does this stuff. As many stories as he's told about office moves and getting people fired, you have to know such whining, anti-social behavior would have gotten him terminated at Microsoft or any other business in the country with over 5 employees.

What B.S. Let's get real. Cao is a figment of his own imagination. He's never worked in any field that required familiarity with anything more complicated than a potato peeler or a plunger.

Posted by: Brigade | January 19, 2011 6:42 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe because I am at ground zero here in the heart of cracker land I am hyper sensitive. "

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 18, 2011 10:48 PM

___________________________

So, from your comment - all I can conclude is that ALL of you in that town are RACIST


YOU just don't agree with everyone else on who to hate.

Is that just about right?

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 19, 2011 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Brigade, at least he's stuck posting amongst the "Clearance Auto Insurance" and "123 Mortgage Refi" spam now.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 19, 2011 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Alaska's new governor off to a muddy start:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/18/AR2011011807034.html?hpid=moreheadlines

"Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister"

Everyone should have a savior.

(pause)

Posted by: caothien9 | January 19, 2011 6:53 AM | Report abuse

This is interesting. Assange has a bunch of cables related to Murdoch and his corp.

And it seems the most sophisticated tech attacks on wikileaks are coming from China.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jan/12/wikileaks-rupert-murdoch

Posted by: bernielatham | January 19, 2011 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Cao

You are slipping up again - very unusual for you - are they poisoning you there? Maybe the Vietnamese are putting poison in your food.

You are making mistakes that you usually do not make.

The other day it was grammar, and today you have the State's wrong - AL is Alabama, not Alaska.

You should get yourself checked out.

Seriously, something is going on with you - you don't usually make these mistakes.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 19, 2011 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Cold War 2.0 is all about state dinners, blather about human rights and getting tough...

"China has already leveraged this advantage [that the government owns all of its top banks and industries, known to Marxists as the means of production] to wipe out large swaths of American industry, build up a $3 trillion dollar war chest and help to put the U.S. economy in a rut characterized by low growth, high unemployment and unsustainable trade deficits."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/18/AR2011011806900.html

The thing Pearlstein got wrong,

"...China can force its companies to act collaboratively to achieve the country's strategic economic objectives."

Force? It owns the companies; there is no force involved. Its companies and its political/foreign policy are one. State capitalism versus market capitalism = Cold War 2.0.

Some day the pundits will realize what is going on. But Americans won't because we already won the Cold War and we are exceptional. We think we are the Middle Kingdom, in Mandarin Zhongguo, the Chinese name for China, it dates from c.1000 B.C


Posted by: shrink2 | January 19, 2011 7:06 AM | Report abuse

@Scott - re your 8:23 post up above...

Perhaps, as Sarah says, your attacks on me are diversions - you hate my message and so, attack the messenger. You know, Scott, up in British Columbia the rivers are teeming with salmon, those magnificent God's creatures and when they are swimming up-streams on their mission and they don't let anything stop them. And I'll tell ya Scott that's the spirit of me and so many brave British Columbians who strive to love the flag and do our humble part as we swim up the rivers and in spite of the lameness of those who would stop us up the waterfalls and towards a better future for all British Columbians.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 19, 2011 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Nothing in US press I've seen yet on this Ha'aretz piece...

"U.S. told to 'sabotage' Iran's nuclear program, says WikiLeaks
Leading expert advised U.S. officials that actions such as 'unexplained accidents' and 'computer hacking' would be 'more effective' than a 'devastating' military strike, The Guardian reports, citing a January 2010 cable."

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-told-to-sabotage-iran-s-nuclear-program-says-wikileaks-1.337912

Posted by: bernielatham | January 19, 2011 7:15 AM | Report abuse

@tao - "I'm Irish, with a dram of Huron+Quebecois from GreatGram."

Two drams would have been better.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 19, 2011 7:25 AM | Report abuse

It must be harder than it looks to be a headline writer,

"Getting Someone to Psychiatric Treatment Can Be Inconclusive"
NYT

Who knew?

Posted by: shrink2 | January 19, 2011 7:27 AM | Report abuse

My quote of the day from a fan attending Stephen Hawking's appearance at Caltech...

"It's like seeing the nerd pope!"

Posted by: bernielatham | January 19, 2011 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

""your attacks on me""

You have a mighty strange notion of "attacks". Pointing out your name calling (along with the implicit hypocrisy therein) and observing the similarities between those you scorn and those you admire hardly ranks as "attacks".

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 19, 2011 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Joking

Posted by: bernielatham | January 19, 2011 7:39 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Bernie, not sure if you saw it, but I responded to your last on yesterday's Morning Plum at 12:19pm. In short, the evidence I have found (and supplied to you) does not support your assertion.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 19, 2011 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Needs work.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 19, 2011 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Breaking Cold War 2.0 News...China buys US Nuclear weapons technology....

"Under the agreement to be signed by Energy Secretary Steven Chu and China Atomic Energy Authority Chairman Chen Quifa, China would pay for most of the center's costs, but the United States would provide technology and expertise. [well that sounds familiar]

The idea for the center was first proposed by Hu at Obama's nuclear security summit in April....The venture would be aimed at training to improve security at nuclear facilities and accounting of nuclear materials. U.S. officials also hope to hold joint exercises on response to nuclear disasters and terrorism and to |hi:share nuclear detection technology|." AP

Posted by: shrink2 | January 19, 2011 7:49 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe because I am at ground zero here in the heart of cracker land I am hyper sensitive. "

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 18, 2011 10:48 PM


___________________________


So, from your comment - all I can conclude is that ALL of you in that town are RACIST


YOU just don't agree with everyone else on who to hate.

Is that just about right?


Greg

Why hasn't rukidding been banned? This is clearly RACIST HATE SPEECH.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 19, 2011 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Today's NRO has a piece by McCarthy - "Sarah Palin had it right on the Ground Zero imam."

It also has a poll you can vote on - "In her reaction to the Tucson shootings, has Sarah Palin hurt herself? helped herself? neither?
Presently the first choice has 16%, second has 47%.

And then they've embedded The Battle Hymn of Sarah Palin! Which, if you haven't seen, you should. And when you do watch/listen, you might want to imagine how welcome this duo would be at a Kristol or Kudlow dinner party up on the Upper Westside.

http://www.nationalreview.com/

Posted by: bernielatham | January 19, 2011 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"...at a Kristol or Kudlow dinner party up on the Upper Westside."

FYI, Kudlow lives in Connecticut and Kristol lives in DC (I think). The Upper West Side would be more your crowd.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 19, 2011 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Scott

First of all the apartments on the Upper West Side are too small for "dinner parties"

Kudlow - well he makes his runs around.

Kristol LOL.


You guys have NO IDEA what the Upper West Side is really like.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 19, 2011 8:11 AM | Report abuse


"Maybe because I am at ground zero here in the heart of cracker land I am hyper sensitive. "

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 18, 2011 10:48 PM


___________________________


So, from your comment - all I can conclude is that ALL of you in that town are RACIST


YOU just don't agree with everyone else on who to hate.

Is that just about right?


Greg

Why hasn't rukidding been banned? This is clearly RACIST HATE SPEECH.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 19, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone have a clue why JC Duvalier left his fat dictator's life in Paris? I'm looking at you France , are you tired of your reputation for harboring criminals and terrorists, we need some Wikileaks on this point. Did he go home to face his crimes against the benighted (that pact with the devil doncha know) Haitian people?

"Although people close to him said he had only planned to stay for only a few days before returning to France [?!], the prosecutor’s case against him prohibits such a departure."

Did he really think he was just going to breeze through? To what end? Or to put it simply again, why?

Posted by: shrink2 | January 19, 2011 8:25 AM | Report abuse

@Scott - Kristol lives in the Upper West Side.

@Shrink - That has me rather befuddled as well. He's under arrest but wasn't handcuffed when brought in. I guess time will tell what's up.

Very good piece by Sullivan on "civility" and starting out from a beautiful quote from Orwell writing on Dickens...

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2011/01/generously-angry.html

Posted by: bernielatham | January 19, 2011 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

""Today's NRO has a piece by McCarthy - "Sarah Palin had it right on the Ground Zero imam." ""

Interestingly, this piece by McCarthy is in response to another piece published earlier this week on NRO by Henry Payne - "Palin Libels Rauf".

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/257320/palin-libels-rauf-henry-payne

Perhaps, Bernie, you could explain how these two seemingly opposing pieces fit into your theory that NR is nothing more than a propaganda organ for, well, for unnamed forces of the "modern conservative movement". Why would a propaganda outfit put forth two directly contradictory messages within a matter of days?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 19, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Have either of you ever BEEN to the Upper West Side?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 19, 2011 8:39 AM | Report abuse

@Scott - Obviously, to fool you. But your premise that an effective propaganda organ will or must demonstrate a constant singular "message" on all matters at all times is faulty.

****

On the absence of a traditional left in the modern blogosphere...

"the blindspot (updated)
I'm sorry, but I feel compelled.

The last week has seen an endless discussion, within the political blogosphere, about the meaning of rhetoric, extremism, and what is acceptable discourse. I'm on break now, so I've been more attentive than usual. I find I can barely express what a profound failure, on balance, the conversation has been. Bloggers fail to have this conversation honestly because they are incapable of seeing or unwilling to admit that the political discourse, in our punditry, lacks a left-wing.

There are many myths within the political blogosphere, but none is so deeply troubling or so highly treasured by mainstream political bloggers than this: that the political blogosphere contains within it the whole range of respectable political opinion, and that once an issue has been thoroughly debated therein, it has had a full and fair hearing. The truth is that almost anything resembling an actual left wing has been systematically written out of the conversation within the political blogosphere, both intentionally and not, while those writing within it congratulate themselves for having answered all left-wing criticism.

That the blogosphere is a flagrantly anti-leftist space should be clear to anyone who has paid a remote amount of attention. Who, exactly, represents the left extreme in the establishment blogosphere? You'd likely hear names like Jane Hamsher or Glenn Greenwald. But these examples are instructive. Is Hamsher a socialist? A revolutionary anti-capitalist? In any historical or international context-- in the context of a country that once had a robust socialist left, and in a world where there are straightforwardly socialist parties in almost every other democracy-- is Hamsher particularly left-wing? Not at all. It's only because her rhetoric is rather inflamed that she is seen as particularly far to the left. This is what makes this whole discourse/extremism conversation such a failure; there is a meticulous sorting of far right-wing rhetoric from far right-wing politics, but no similar sorting on the left. Hamsher says bad words and is mean in print, so she is a far leftist. That her politics are largely mainstream American liberalism that would have been considered moderate for much of the 20th century is immaterial...."

http://lhote.blogspot.com/2011/01/blindspot.html

Posted by: bernielatham | January 19, 2011 8:39 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/the_morning_plum_169.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 19, 2011 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Greg, why haven't you banned caothien9?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 19, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

""But your premise that an effective propaganda organ will or must demonstrate a constant singular "message" on all matters at all times is faulty.""

So how is one to know when it is engaging in propaganda and when not? Which of these two pieces is propaganda, if either, and how can you tell?

How do you tell the difference between NRO publishing propaganda and NRO publishing mere opinion?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 19, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

@shrink

I always enjoy your posts but this is profound...

"State capitalism versus market capitalism = Cold War 2.0."

Amen brother! Our FP has been screwed since WWII because we always seem to be fighting yesterday's war. Coming out of that war we were the only major power with infrastructure actually better not worse than pre war...we had a roaring economy...we had ALL the advantages. This afforded us a HUGE margin of error.

It seems to me we have now used up that entire margin...we are no longer in the same advantageous postion...other Countries...China and India to name the monsters on the block plus the entire coterie of the Asian Tigers and a resurgent Brazil have all been muscling in. It's as if we were the 16 year old on the playing field against the 8 year old after WWII...but now the 8 year olds have grown up and we've just gotten older. We must stop squandering our resources on Guns...it's time to produce some butter...because as you correctly IMO point out Shrink..Cold War 2.0 is not about aircraft carriers and bombers and huge standing armies.

To steal a line from SNL's Bill Hader...oops I mean James Carville..(am I the only one who thinks Hader's Carville is better than Carville himself?)

"It's the economy stupid."

Infrastructure here in America is far more important than infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are NOT going to wins their hearts and minds...they are well aware of the large swath of our nation..people like Newt Gingrich who..hate them existentially...they are freaking Muslims..don't you get it..that makes them terrorists..don't let them build houses of worship in our country...no community centers...they are all terrorists right?
But we still think we can win their hearts and minds...yeah that'll happen about the same time STRF posts like a considerate human being instead of an anti social wack job.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 19, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

OK Scott...here you go, two parts:

@Scott - OK, I took a look at your post from yesterday morning.

First, there is a conflation that doesn't differentiate the religious right from the broader movement. But the modern movement would be an entirely different creature less the influence of the religous right which has grown in influence over the last thirty years. The modern movement would be unrecognizable minus this element. Quick anecdote. I have a Republican friend who has a fairly high profile in the party (got to know him on a discussion group like this one). He commanded a Pacific carrier and ferried Wolfowitz to the Phillipines when Wolfie got that assignment. He's sat down with Cheney more than once. He's one of the crowd of elite Republicans who meet every year in the California redwoods and do whatever the hell they do there (tree worship is definitely a part of this odd gathering). He's Irish Catholic, smart, well-educated and seriously anti-liberal/left. Several years ago, after some preceding years of me (and wife) trying to convince him of the seminal influence of the christian right on the modern party and his refusal to buy that argument, he wrote me and confided that the wife and I had this right and he'd been wrong. For what that is worth to you.

As to my assertion that this element in the movement deem that the push by those of us who believe sexual orientation is a civil rights issue in all important ways exactly like racial civil rights or gender civil rights is a violation of this segment's own liberties, you aren't going to find that claim in a Focus on the Family "who we are" statement. Not explicitly. It is framed as an attack on Christianity or on Christian beliefs or traditions. Where they are criticized for their stance (a stance which isn't merely philosophical of course but which is supported by enormous expenditures on sophisticated legal challenges across every state and by an equally sophisticated PR apparatus designed to forward their viewpoint) their defense is to cry out that their faith is under assault - that their religious liberty is at stake. A good exercise is to google various combinations of "religious liberty" and (appropriate here) "gay marriage" . You'll get a lot and, for example, this pops up immediately...

" Conservative Activists Argue Gay Marriage Threatens Religious Liberty"

http://www.usnews.com/news/religion/articles/2009/05/19/conservative-activists-argue-gay-marriage-threatens-religious-liberty

Posted by: bernielatham | January 19, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

More broadly, consider the similar cases (similar in claim of threat to liberty) where it is insisted that any legislation which constrains expressions of a religion in a public space constitutes a liberty threat. Consider the "war on Christmas" campaign. Aside from the constitutional aspect, what we are looking at is a fundamental claim that the Christian faith (and usually, one version of it) holds a unique status theologically and politically and that the members of this community have an inherent right to exclude other faiths (or those without faith) from having an equal position. "Happy Holidays" is (we won't even address the commerce element here) of course not an attack on a faith but a move to include other faiths or belief communities. The only "attack" is on exclusive presence or prominence of one above the others.

And in these cases as well, the plaint arrives with the resonant "our religious rights are being attacked!" element. But the only "right" at issue here is their presumed "right" to deny the same to other belief systems.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 19, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

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