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Posted at 6:49 PM ET, 01/20/2011

Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* Breaking: Yet another national poll finds the public thinks job creation is a far higher priority than addressing the deficit.

* Also: 56 percent do not believe the impact of the health law has been clearly explained. One wonders whether the sheer inability to understand the law contributes to frustration with it and by extension support for repeal.

* Some House Republicans want to slash $2.5 trillion from the budget and fire 15 percent of the federal workforce.

* Sam Stein reports that Dems fear Republicans will try to force a government shutdown over health repeal and games out whether the GOP can really succeed in defunding the law. Be. Very. Afraid.

* How the GOP could in fact force a repeal vote in the Senate, against the Dems' will.

* Ronald Brownstein, clinging to the quaint notion that facts matter in the health care debate, documents how repeal would sweep away many lesser-known innovative measures that restrain costs and increase efficiency and accountability in the health system.

* Ominously for Obama's reelection bid, it turns out that the worst news about jobs is concentrated in some of the battleground states, and the good economic news tends to reside in the non-competitive ones.

* Obama's campaign shakeup today means a far more consolidated reelection-DNC operation than we've seen yet, one designed to maximize discipline and avoid typical turf wars.

* Steve Benen has much more on the right's "unshakable persecution complex," and why it's so bizarre that the individual mandate is what's triggering so much pathology.

* Takedown of the day: Sarah Goodyear, on that ridiculous Examiner story suggesting that Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign might be partly responsible for a rise in pedestrian deaths:

What might be most depressing about the whole ridiculous thing is that in this country, merely wanting to walk from one place to another can qualify you as being "into physical fitness."

* More on what Sarah Palin is really up to in Iowa.

* And here's the Palin-obsessive media self-parody of the day. The lead story on CNN's politics page right now:

Why America is growing tired of Palin

Um...okay, well, what else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | January 20, 2011; 6:49 PM ET
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Why Americans think Obama is too liberal
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

Megyn Kelly says that Fox personalities don't invoke Hitler, Nazis etc

And Media Matters notes about 30 distinct cases where exactly that has been done...

http://mediamatters.org/research/201101200037

The truth. It's really important over at Fox.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 20, 2011 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Benen rocks.

So does Juan Cole: http://www.juancole.com/2011/01/gop-to-uninsured-dont-get-sick-if-you-get-sick-die-quickly-part-deux.html

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 20, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

"Police in Arlington, MA this week seized a “large amount” of weapons and ammunition from local businessman Travis Corcoran after he wrote a blog post threatening U.S. lawmakers in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). In a post on his blog (which has since been removed) titled “1 down and 534 to go” — 1 referring to Giffords and 534 referring to the rest of the House of Representatives and the Senate — Corcoran applauded the shooting of Giffords and justified the assassination of lawmakers because he argued the federal government has grown far beyond its constitutional limits..."

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/01/20/libertarian-guns-boston/

Posted by: bernielatham | January 20, 2011 7:05 PM | Report abuse

These days, even if you are a conservative hero-in-bloom, you really ought not to go appointing a judge who has the name Mohammed...

"– Hate blogger Pamela Gellar, in a post titled “Governor Christie’s Hamas Pick for Superior Judgeship,” declared Christie’s political career over: “Governor Christie looked and sounded like he could be presidential. He’s not. He’s in bed with the enemy. All the other stuff doesn’t matter if you don’t have your freedom.”

– At Commentary magazine, Jonathan S. Tobin wrote a post about Christie’s “troubling appointment,” and charged that Christie’s “appointment of Sohail Mohammed to the court shows that his judgment on the issue of support for terrorism is highly questionable.”

(More examples at link)

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/01/20/christie-muslim-judge/

Posted by: bernielatham | January 20, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

All,

If the Founding Fathers wanted government-run Health Care, Article One, Section 8 would have said EXACTLY THAT.

In addition, our Founding Fathers would have SET UP GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE in Philadelphia, Annapolis or New York or wherever they were before they built Washington DC.


Seriously folks, the Founding Fathers DID NOT DO THAT.


How much more OBVIOUS do you want it to be?


.

____________


The competing (and correct) argument to the interstate commerce issue is this case

United States v. Alfonso Lopez, Jr., 514 U.S. 549 (1995)


In this case, the Supreme Court recongized that there were limits to the Federal powers in "interstate commerce."

The Court did not exactly define where the line is, however, the Court stated clearly THERE IS A LINE.

Most liberals believe there is no line at all, that Congress has powers over whatever it wants.

However, most Americans believe that there is a line between Federal powers and State powers, that the sovereignty of the States must be respected.

In the Lopez case, the Supreme Court affirmed there is a line. Later cases will refine where that line is.

I would imagine that the Supreme Court will be looking at these issues closely, along with the individual mandate.

There are many Americans beleive that there is much more unConstitutional to Obama's plan than just the individual mandate - there is a fundamental issue as to on which side of the line health care is.

For 200 years, health care has been on the States' side of the line. So, all of a sudden we are going to say that EVERYONE has been wrong for 200 years, and it really should have been done differently for the last 200 years ???

That makes absolutely zero sense.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 20, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

The bottom line is:
McConnell took a bet on the very low average political intelligence of the American voter...and won.

Posted by: grosmec | January 20, 2011 5:52 PM
-------

If that's true, he certainly hit the jackpot with you.

Posted by: Brigade | January 20, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, McConnell may be too clever by half, then, if O's "moderate" numbers stay up in 2012. So much for that "deny him one term at any cost" b.s.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 20, 2011 5:29 PM
-------

If Obama keeps bytch slapping Nancy and Harry and works in good faith with the Republicans, as he did on extension of the Bush tax cuts, it will definitely help him. Liberals like you and wbgonne will be sick as dogs, but you've got nowhere to go so you'll just keep licking his boots.

Posted by: Brigade | January 20, 2011 7:21 PM | Report abuse

The GOP's "persecution complex" is not a pathology. It's a strategy. Has been for years. Actually, decades. "We're keeping the dog."

Posted by: joeff | January 20, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

It's also worth noting that Obama ran explicitly on rejecting a universal mandate for health insurance and then reversed himself on this once taking office. It was one of the primary differences between him and Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primaries.

Posted by: jnc4p | January 20, 2011 5:24 PM
-------

Most people would say that makes him a liar; but in liberal speak, it probably means something else.

Posted by: Brigade | January 20, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Bernie-

That link is golden. I love it when the Right buys into its own Big Lies and then crucifies their own with it.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 20, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

"Why America is growing tired of Palin"
-------

Evidently not too tired, or the WAPO would find someone else to talk about.

Posted by: Brigade | January 20, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

The proposal is not to fire 15% of the workforce, it is to reduce through attrition. And replace and a 1-2 ratio. It also involves freezing raises (mostly automatic step increases) for five years.

The Post story is flat wrong, and so is Greg.

http://www.usnews.com/news/washington-whispers/articles/2011/01/20/house-gop-lists-25-trillion-in-spending-cuts

http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cfm?articleid=46915&dcn=todaysnews

Posted by: Bailers | January 20, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

That link is golden. I love it when the Right buys into its own Big Lies and then crucifies their own with it.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 20, 2011 7:25 PM
-------

Judging from most of your posts, the bigger the lie, the more likely you are to go for it hook, line and sinker.

Posted by: Brigade | January 20, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Brigade is charming as ever. "Good faith"? That's rich. Tell it to Demented.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 20, 2011 7:31 PM | Report abuse

The Post story is flat wrong, and so is Greg.

Posted by: Bailers | January 20, 2011 7:25 PM
-------

Are you telling me we can't believe everything we read here? Are they the Big Lies that Chuck likes or just little ones?

Posted by: Brigade | January 20, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

@Chuck - Given the variety of extremisms within the movement now that internecine hatreds are inevitable. It's not a big tent, it's Calling-All-Nuts.

But your capitalization suggests a succinct name for the Republican repeal bill - The Big Lie Bill.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 20, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Apparently I have a groupie here. I'm soo flattered. What does my groupie think of Christie's nomination and its backlash? No boots to low to lick, eh?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 20, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

January is National Blood Donor Month.

And Mark Kelly, the husband of Rep. Giffords, has a message on her House website asking that those who would like to do something in response to the shootings in Tucson contribute to the American Red Cross or the local food bank.

So if you have the urge to go beyond civil discussion to civic contribution, please consider giving blood this month. The best part is that you don't know if the blood you give will help save the life of a "Dimocrat" or a "Repug." Blood doesn't have a political viewpoint.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | January 20, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

By Joe Brooks
(WIREUPDATE) —"One of CNN’s last true journalists was on his game tonight. In an interview with Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Anderson Cooper pointed out the hypocrisy the two-term Congressman has been spewing as of late between civility in public discourse and his comments calling Republicans Nazis and Tea Party attendees members of the KKK."
====================================

Democrats have two cards to play: racism and totalitarianism. Every other card in their deck is just a variation on these two. Too bad no one with an ounce of common sense is buying it any more.

Posted by: Brigade | January 20, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Brigade,
After I hit send, I realized my post came out more harshly than I planned on. Sorry Greg.
But I do generally think the material posted her is true, from a certain point of view.

Posted by: Bailers | January 20, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Tomasky (and Benen yesterday) both disagree with the position I hold on Cohen's big lie comment...

"However, I do think we should dispense with Goebbels-big lie analogies. They're very tired, for one thing. And given that Little Joe was in charge of the whole media, no analogy along those lines can really be accurate"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2011/jan/19/democrats-republicans-cohen-misspeaks

Posted by: bernielatham | January 20, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Oy. Anderson Cooper didn't get too far into the substance of Cohen's analogy, though, did he? I guess 1/2 of a journalist is good enough for CNN.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 20, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Apparently I have a groupie here. I'm soo flattered. What does my groupie think of Christie's nomination and its backlash? No boots to low to lick, eh?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 20, 2011 7:37 PM
-------

You'll never please everybody.

Posted by: Brigade | January 20, 2011 7:44 PM | Report abuse

@Brigade-

"You'll never please everybody"

That's it??

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 20, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Oy. Anderson Cooper didn't get too far into the substance of Cohen's analogy, though, did he? I guess 1/2 of a journalist is good enough for CNN.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 20, 2011 7:43 PM
-------

You can always go back to FOX.

Posted by: Brigade | January 20, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

On the plus side with the Republicans proposal, there are some good things that I hope Democrats don't dismiss out of hand.

Repeal Davis Bacon, it's an antiquated law that isn't needed anymore. In reality, many markets the collective bargaining agreement for union laborers is higher than Davis Bacon anyway.

Eliminate the Death Gratuity for members of Congress. Yeah, that seems a no brainer. So it won't happen.

Cut the remaining stimulus funds. Blame it on a out of date federal system, but if they haven't spent it by now, take it back.

I would like to have seen some hits by DHS and DOD. DHS is spending too much money on stupid things. But maybe getting the T&A screeners into the private sector would be the place to start.

Posted by: Bailers | January 20, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Eric Alterman on Palin...

"Sarah Palin is the gift who keeps on giving. Think about it. Palin holds no public office. Her political experience includes, exclusively, a term as a small-town mayor and an unfinished, albeit scandal-ridden term as governor of America’s least populous state. Her educational background includes attendance at six different schools merely to earn a bachelor's degree. Despite having run for vice president—in what John McCain’s top advisers later admitted was a desperation move—she has never participated in a full-fledged press conference with members of the national media. She communicates almost exclusively via 140-character pronouncements on Twitter, updates on her Facebook page, and brown-nosing interviews with the likes of Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck on Fox, from a studio the network built for her in her home. And yet she is by far the most written about, talked about, and most definitely muttered about woman in America..." (continue at link)

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/01/ta012011.html

Posted by: bernielatham | January 20, 2011 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Quote of the day (from the Alterman piece above)

"Palin is far more a symbol of the degradation of our political culture than its cause."

Yes, that's it precisely. And it seems to me a very dependable measure of any conservative's intelligence (or lack of that) whether or not they understand that this is what liberals see in the Palin phenomenon. We're not frightened of her but of what her presence and stature in the conservative universe indicates.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 20, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

We're not frightened of her but of what her presence and stature in the conservative universe indicates.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 20, 2011 8:04 PM
-------

She can't hurt you. The person you ought to be worried about is living in the White House.

Posted by: Brigade | January 20, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

my favorite time of the day is when RainForestRising hops on his Medicare paid rascals and goes to the unemployment office to collect his check. For those 20 minutes of the day, he leaves this blog and people can have serious discussions.

Posted by: savetherest | January 20, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Haven't we all had enough of this

So Obama is going to put the nation through a re-election campaign, filled with how many FALSE CHARGES OF RACISM ???

Can Obama just be a man and spare the country???

Obama promised the nation he would be post-racial -


The nation got the democrats crying RACIST at every turn and questioning everyone's motives - saying "you really don't believe that, your real motive is racism against Obama"


Haven't we had enough of this???


If Obama was a real man he would step aside right now and spare the nation.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 20, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

So, let's get this straight

First the Obama people launch an SMEAR campaign to attack the Tea Party and attempt to Falsely link them to a mass murder.


Then, when they realize that those charges are not working, the Obama people start to scream bloody murder that they want more Civil discourse in the country.


AND this week, the Obama people are claiming the Republicans have a "Big Lie" and no one can figure out what they are talking about this time.


Is that about right?


Is this complete insanity??? These people are supposed to be governing and managing the Economy, right ???


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 20, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Ya know, bernie, I think your comments re Palin are spot on. It is a wonder to me why the conservative cause is so desparate that it would hitch its wagon to such a clearly dishonest and disingenuous mudslinging panderer. Certainly the right has some legitimate ideas, some that might even be worthy of consideration but rather than present those ideas in an honest debate they have chosen hyperbole and outright lies to discredit policy propositions from the left.

There is no doubt that the health care debate would have benefited from input from the right but instead the republicans chose the path of McConnell and Demint in an attempt to break the President rather than contribute to the actual legislation.

It is a sad state of affairs. The country would be much better if the right would participate.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | January 20, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

@savetherest,

Looks like he rascalled back early. Just when you thought it was safe to go in the water.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 20, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

"Dr. Kermit Gosnell of Philadelphia was charged on Wednesday with eight counts of murder for the deaths of one woman and seven infants. The doctor, who catered to minority and immigrant women and lost his medical license last year, is alleged to have induced the birth of seven infants, all in the sixth month of development or later, before severing their spines with scissors. Pennsylvania law prohibits abortion after 24 weeks. Prosecutors say Gosnell also kept fetuses in jars that lined his office and employed unqualified assistants, including a high-school student.

"Pro-choice absolutists will face questions: Some feminists believe that abortion should always be allowed late in pregnancy, says William Saletan in Slate. But while "it's one thing to preach these ideas in the lefty blogosphere," it's another to see them in practice. This "tale of gore and nihilism" should give pro-choicers cause to consider the limits of reproductive freedom — and decide whether they really want to support abortions at "28, 30, or 32 weeks."---theweek.com
=====================================

If someone had shot this doctor, the left would be up in arms. But since it was only infants that were murdered, you don't hear much about it.

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

oh well, im sure he will milk the govt of something else tomorrow.

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

savetherest

You must have a sad life if the best part of your life is when I'm working and takig phone calls.

Yes, I am working the whole time as I post.

I can multi-task. It's it wonderful?

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 20, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Alterman again, this time on the Stuxnet attack on Iran's nuke operations and on the other voices who had been (and still are) cheering for war. It's a very good piece and I hope some of you will read it.

http://www.thenation.com/article/157893/worm-neocons-plan-bomb-iran

The Stuxnet attack was elegant. It was also highly moral in contrast to the "solution" that people like Oren, Bolton, Kristol, and Broder push. It is true, as I've noted before, that Stuxnet also provides a model for future attacks on our technological weak points but it would be foolish to imagine that those who might initiate such an attack don't already perceive this avenue. Richard Clarke, among others, have been warning of precisely such a thing for years.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 20, 2011 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Ya know, bernie, I think your comments re Palin are spot on.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | January 20, 2011 8:17 PM
-------

Well now, that's a shocker. Why don't you tell us anything bernie's ever said that you DON'T agree with.

Posted by: Brigade | January 20, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse

since it was only infants that were murdered, you don't hear much about it.
-----------------------------------------
That's not true, brigade, this is all over the news. Google has 55,000 hits with the story. BTW, this is atrocious. Some of you may know that I am liberal and prolife.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 20, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

It's it wonderful?

Posted by: savetherest | January 20, 2011 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Exactly my point ... thanks Brigade.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | January 20, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

savetherest, I think that should be "Isn't it wonderful?"

You've never posted a typo online?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 20, 2011 8:38 PM | Report abuse

"* How the GOP could in fact force a repeal vote in the Senate, against the Dems' will."

So let's see, Mitch can refuse to let legislation proposed by his own party in the House pass through the Senate because this piece of nonsense passed by the House isn't passing in the Senate. More Party of No, except in this case it is No unless we get to say NO.

OR some republican can demand suspension of the rules so that Republican nonsense can get its day in the Senate.

And he will get his 67 votes where?

Ah, lucky Ned Pepper, how almost apt you are.

"I call that bold talk for a one eyed fat man!"

Posted by: ceflynline | January 20, 2011 8:41 PM | Report abuse

@prag - I know. There are real problems on the horizon and real problems in the present and the deep dysfunctions in our political system here are the source of my recurring sadness. We might not be able to get it together.

Even trying to figure out what's gone askew is deeply complex. One can do a thought experiment and, say, remove a few individuals from our recent history - I'd choose Murdoch, Ailes, Limbaugh, Coulter and Gingrich off the top of my head - and suddenly our politics and rhetoric leap back to a place far saner, for more civil and far more productive than now.

But all of them are where they are because of historical and structural aspects of American culture and economic arrangements.

On the other hand though, nobody is beating up on me for merely sitting at a white lunch counter.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 20, 2011 8:47 PM | Report abuse

ceflynline, we don't need 67 votes (as those Dems who vote against allowing the repeal vote will be on the record for 2012 campaign purposes). Either way, we win.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 20, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

I saw your link yesterday to the Maggie Gallagher organization that argues, as you claimed, that gay marriage is a threat to religious liberty, but didn’t get a chance to respond. The argument is a bit more complex and nuanced than the soundbite suggests. In fact what they are arguing is that, with the introduction of gay marriage, other existing laws will then be applicable which will themselves threaten religious liberty. As just one example, a Catholic university which provides housing for married students will (in the absence of a specific exemption) be forced under equal-access laws to allow gay students to use that housing, despite any religious objections the school might have.

Now regardless of whether or not you think this is a good thing (I’m sure you do), it is pretty undeniable that such a thing would be a restriction on the religious liberty of such an institution. So, yes, in a sense the argument you said was being made is indeed being made. But it is a legitimate argument.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 20, 2011 8:56 PM | Report abuse


So, let's get this straight

First the Obama people launch an SMEAR campaign to attack the Tea Party and attempt to Falsely link them to a mass murder.

Then, when they realize that those charges are not working, the Obama people start to scream bloody murder that they want more Civil discourse in the country.

AND this week, the Obama people are claiming the Republicans have a "Big Lie" and no one can figure out what they are talking about this time.

Is that about right?

Is this complete insanity??? These people are supposed to be governing and managing the Economy, right ???


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 20, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

12Bar

I thought you were not reading anything I wrote.

How complimentary.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 20, 2011 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Scott

Religious institutions could always be exempted - which is proper in any case.

My feeling is that the Freedom of Religion of the institution would prevail - but the liberal Judges are all wacky.

My personal belief is that the real danger is the teaching of the gay agenda to little children in schools. A few gay marriages in town and the next thing you hear is some administrator is slipping in the gay agenda to first graders - all the way to fourth graders. They rarely notify parents or have open meetings to discuss the gay agenda


__________________________


CIVILITY ALERT


Stop the Blog


So, let's get this straight

First the Obama people launch an SMEAR campaign to attack the Tea Party and attempt to Falsely link them to a mass murder.

Then, when they realize that those charges are not working, the Obama people start to scream bloody murder that they want more Civil discourse in the country.

AND this week, the Obama people are claiming the Republicans have a "Big Lie" and no one can figure out what they are talking about this time.

Is that about right?

Is this complete insanity??? These people are supposed to be governing and managing the Economy, right ???


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 20, 2011 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Liberal women drive the antipathy re: Palin that manifests itself in hate; and also a mass-case of projection that rivals some cosmic negative/polarity Beatlemania. {{{yeah, yeah, yeah}}}

The reasons for that are fairly obvious, and they have absolutely nothing to do with her intellect.

This, in turn, then drives Palin-Madness in liberal men who would prefer to, lets just say, stay on the better side of their wives, SIs, consorts, et.al..

Then, of course, there's Sully (and the MetroNancys @ ThinkProg & OffOurMedsMatters) but only Shrink2 and Krauthammer have the Psy chops to go there.

just sayin', 1Man's view & all that...heh

{{{reaching for my helmut right now ;>)}}}

Posted by: tao9 | January 20, 2011 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

""One can do a thought experiment and, say, remove a few individuals from our recent history - I'd choose Murdoch, Ailes, Limbaugh, Coulter and Gingrich off the top of my head - and suddenly our politics and rhetoric leap back to a place far saner, for more civil and far more productive than now.""

During what period in our history were things "far saner", "more civil", and "far more productive" than now?

Was it back when chants of "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today" were a regular feature on the news and kids were being urged to engage in revolution for the hell of it?

Was it in 1963 when, hours before the President got assassinated, pamphlets with a picture of the JFK and the headline "Wanted for Treason" were being passed out in Dallas?

Was it during the late '40s when Hollywood liberals were blacklisted for refusing to cooperate with HUAC?

Was it during the '30s when early supporter and later critic of FDR Charles Coughlin was using his radio addresses to stoke up populist anti-semitism against Jewish bankers?

Or perhaps it was during the 1850's when politicians were literally endorsing the dissolution of the country itself?

Or maybe you had in mind the early years of the nation, when politicians like Hamilton and Burr regularly mixed political and personal attacks (bastard Hamilton, immoral Burr) anonymously via proxies in their favored press outlets, ultimately resulting in duel and death?

Were any of these what you were thinking of as place you'd prefer our politics to move "back" to?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 20, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Don't you worry about what Megyn Kelly says, you worry, be very worried about what y'all been up to the last few years.

Posted at 6:49 PM ET, 01/20/2011
Happy Hour Roundup
By Greg Sargent

"Why America is growing tired of Palin"
Um...okay, well, what else is happening?

Well Greg, aside from no news is good news, America is growing tired of being regaled with the "Why America is growing tired of Palin" pusillanimous promoters, purveyors of anti-anti uncivil, umbrages, and ubiquitous assault and abuse, carried out in the midst of a serious introspection of what brings such climates, events, to the fruition of heinous acts and threats of same.

Posted by: RichNomore | January 20, 2011 10:30 PM | Report abuse

[@ 8:47 PM on January 20, 2011 bernielatham Posted: "@prag - I know...deep dysfunctions...recurring sadness..."]
= = = = = =
When some people are sad because a lot of people are now happier, that's dysfunction, and what has gone askew with bernie and prag is what troubles US. Have y'all ever heard of boot-strap therapy, after the crash of the *Jack***Wagon?

Posted by: RichNomore | January 20, 2011 10:42 PM | Report abuse

[@ 8:47 PM on January 20, 2011 bernielatham Posted: "@prag - I know...deep dysfunctions...recurring sadness..."]
= = = = = =
When some people are sad because a lot of people are now happier, that's dysfunction, and what has gone askew with bernie and prag is what troubles US. Have y'all ever heard of boot-strap therapy, after the crash of the * Jack***Wagon?

* Jack***Wagon: A large, unpowered square-wheeled vehicle pulled by people engaged in working and producing goods and\or services in the free market of commerce in America. Those who choose not to help pull the gargantuan, plush seated conveyance, 'give up' their place in the rough-fitted harness with the toilers, stand aside and are pulled up into the passenger cabin by hands eager to save the newcomers any effort at all. As time goes by, more people drop the harness, are pulled aboard the cruiser, it moves slower, and slower, there are fewer spaces left in first class, the designers of this monstrosity are forced to bring up a trailer, smaller, more coach class in appointments, and hitch it behind. As the comfort level decreases in the Wagon which soon becomes overcrowded, the Riders begin dragging their feet, and screaming about the unfairness, the greediness of the Wagon Pullers who, now diminished in numbers, are pulling slower, sliding left towards the Brink, and are beginning to complain themselves, that so many are riding and not pulling. Finally the remaining pullers decide it is just too hard to continue down the road, and they also start thinking how to drop out of the harness and jump in the wagon themselves. Soon there too few pulling the Wagon with most everyone now riding, the Wagon stalls near the Brink. Then one day a Progressively Progressive Street Sweeper, powered by vegetable oil, comes roaring along, knocks the Jack-Wagon, all of it's Hapless Riders, and the few left in the harness, off the edge into the Purgatory reserved for all no longer useful idiots, who thought they were indispensible to the New World Order they struggled so bravely (and stupidly) to bring to pass. This is a true story, except the Street Sweeper's power source, which will be a new green technology mystery motor, designed and built with the money confiscated from the paychecks and profits of those still working.

Posted by: RichNomore | January 20, 2011 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Again do we deal in English on this blog?
Do we accept definitions from a Dictionary.
Ok from Dictionary.com

in·fant
   /ˈɪnfənt/ Show Spelled[in-fuhnt] Show IPA
–noun
1.
a child during the earliest period of its life, esp. before he or she can walk; baby.
2.
Law . a person who is not of full age, esp. one who has not reached the age of 18 years; a minor.

fe·tus
   /ˈfitəs/ Show Spelled[fee-tuhs] Show IPA
–noun, plural -tus·es. Embryology .
(used chiefly of viviparous mammals) the young of an animal in the womb or egg, esp. in the later stages of development when the body structures are in the recognizable form of its kind, in humans after the end of the second month of gestation.

The man in Philadelphia was a heinous monster. Dr. George Tiller was a martyr at the hands of a right wing wack job.

Again for those who do not comprehend what has been accepted in our society as ENGLISH. Tiller nor anybody has killed any infants. That is such a gross distortion of reality.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 20, 2011 11:01 PM | Report abuse

@Scott

"As just one example, a Catholic university which provides housing for married students will (in the absence of a specific exemption) be forced under equal-access laws to allow gay students to use that housing, despite any religious objections the school might have."

Q.B. is gone and I'm not an attorney Scott but I'm not sure your example is accurate.
If said Catholic school didn't wish to have gay couples in their married dorms as a "private" school they would be permitted to set that distinction or qualification for their married dorms. What would be at risk however is their Federal $$$.
Certainly under the scenario you describe the Feds could and would pull their $$$$.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 20, 2011 11:06 PM | Report abuse

CIVILITY ALERT


Stop the Blog


So, let's get this straight

First the Obama people launch an SMEAR campaign to attack the Tea Party and attempt to Falsely link them to a mass murder.

Then, when they realize that those charges are not working, the Obama people start to scream bloody murder that they want more Civil discourse in the country.

AND this week, the Obama people are claiming the Republicans have a "Big Lie" and no one can figure out what they are talking about this time.

Is that about right?

Is this complete insanity??? These people are supposed to be governing and managing the Economy, right ???


.

_____________________

Sorry folks, but the democratic talking points for the past few weeks have been COMPLETE MADNESS.

Serious folks, the democrats have not accepted the results of the November election.

First the lame duck session was nothing less than DISRESPECT FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND FOR THE ELECTION.

And then we had Obama on vacation for the 20th time.


AND then the SMEAR, CIVILITY DEMAND - BIG LIE ACCUSATION MADNESS.


Seriously folks, the democrats went over the edge in early November and THEY HAVEN'T BEEN BACK.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 20, 2011 11:12 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

""a child during the earliest period of its life""

So is it your contention that a human being in utero has no life?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 20, 2011 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Scott and rukidding7


This is not a theorical question - the DC Human Rights law (liberal agenda version of "human rights") is causing substantial issues with the Catholic colleges.

In fact, DC is losing support for many social services which the Catholic Colleges have provided.


It is an issue - I really do not see why the Catholic Colleges do not have a First Amendment exemption - there have been cases decided along those lines.

The truth is that to pull Federal dollars would be really stupid - that certainly would be a violation of the First Amendment.

But then again, the liberals only care about the First Amendment when they think it applies to them, right?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 20, 2011 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Liberals:


If a child in the womb has no life, why do you have to kill it?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 20, 2011 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday on one of the Cong. Cohen-Goebbels threads I wrote that the mention of Hitler ends rational discussion. The rest of the thread contained evidence to support my contention. Tonight John Stewart agreed with me, with good humor, but with emphatic examples.

Hyperbolic name calling - attaching one's political opponent to the accepted definition of evil, whether Hitler, or Stalin, or Pol Pot, for that matter - is a conversation stopper. "You are wrong or lying" is within the bounds of a dialogue, if you can back it up. Ms. Bachmann is wrong or lying when she calls ACA the crown jewel of "socialism". I can back that up. Goebbels? No. Get real.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 20, 2011 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Question of the Year: Is Abercromie a Birther ???


Pressure was mounting on Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie today amid increasing confusion over whether President Obama was born there.

Abercrombie said on Tuesday that an investigation had unearthed papers proving Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961.

He told Honolulu's Star-Advertiser: 'It actually exists in the archives, written down,' he said.

But it became apparent that what had been discovered was an unspecified listing or notation of Obama's birth that someone had made in the state archives and not a birth certificate.

And in the same interview Abercrombie suggested that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not exist within the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health.

He said efforts were still being made to track down definitive vital records that would prove Obama was born in Hawaii.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 20, 2011 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Anna Dunham comes home one day and the 18 year old tells her parents she is pregnant.

And there is more.

She is going to have the baby.


And there is more.


The baby is black.

In 1961, this is not exactly the thing parents are looking forward to.
_________________


Now let's just say for a moment that Anna went to Africa and had the baby there.

Wouldn't Anna's parents then seek to register the baby so it could claim American citizenship???


The question is clear: what is the PROCEDURE for that under Hawaii law? Apparently, because of Hawaii's geographic area, this is not uncommon, to register a baby overseas.

If a baby is born at a hospital, a HOSPITAL GENERATED LONG-FORM CERTIFICATE is send to the State of Hawaii, which keeps them all in the files.

I have seen mine - my long form.


So, the question is - WHAT is in Hawaii's files ???

Is it the paperwork which was probably the grandparents registering the baby as it was born from an American citizen - OR do we have the HOSPITAL GENERATED LONG FORM CERTIFICATE???


Because, everyone - and LISTEN CAREFULLY CHILDREN - under BOTH CIRCUMSTANCES ABOVE, Hawaii generated the "Certificate of Live Birth" we have all seen.


So, more documentation is REQUIRED before a reasonable person can make a determination - and only then can one start the name-calling.


Abercrombie - WHAT was he thinking - starting this issue up again WITHOUT HAVING THE DOCUMENTS IN HIS HANDS ???

WAS Abercrombie so sure the the documents were there - that he spoke before he had the documents in his hands???


OR is Abercrombie secretly working with Obama, to stir up all the "birther" stories again, because Obama thinks that he benefits from characterizing those people in a bad light?

Is that the conspiracy-conspiracy theory???

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 20, 2011 11:57 PM | Report abuse

ACA what is that?


Obama's Drag On The Economy -


More accurately the health care bill should be called the ODOTE - Obama's Tax Increases to drag down the country's Economy.


Case closed.


Posted by: RainForestRising | January 21, 2011 12:01 AM | Report abuse

The liberals tend to come and go on this blog in a group - or at least a bunch of them.

They used to do that before too -

Like they are working together - and they are off planning something together.

Just because you are paranoid, that doesn't mean people aren't after you.

The behavior of the liberals is suspicious - every once in a while they all start acting together - in unison, which would extremly improbable if they were all independent people, stretched around the nation as they claim.


You see, there is a group of people on this blog who CLAIM they are all independent of each other, however at times, that simply can not considered credible.


Thank you very much.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 21, 2011 12:08 AM | Report abuse

"Q.B. is gone and I'm not an attorney Scott but I'm not sure your example is accurate."

I've lurked -- which I highly recommend -- and will be lurking more today to see what changes Greg unveils.

Whether imposition of "gay marriage" equivalency, etc., would only "follow the money" depends on how the policy is enacted and enforced. If the feds imposed acceptance of gay "civil rights" and equivalency in all "public accomodations," federal money wouldn't matter, for example.

Use of federal money to impose social policy is always controversial and complicated, but many -- me included -- would find it no less objectionable to impose "gay marriage" through the spending power. Generally speaking, this is one of the many aspects of the case against big government -- the more the government taxes and spends our money, the more it imposes and can impose its will on us, enforce radical change, level and homogenize society, etc.

Although I haven't been following developments closely, there have already been lawsuits around the country seeking to impose acceptance on private citizens and rule their religious objections illegal. And yes I find it . . . pick the adjective.

There is a more general sense in which government redefinition of marriage affects everyone, and that is that it redefines the institution to which all married persons belong, for them and the rest of society. This is a very real effect and one that a party that claims the exclusive capacity for nuance and complexity ought to be able to comprehend. For example, children of traditional marriages -- well, there are no actual children of "gay marriages," are there? -- are indoctrinated to accept that their parents' relationship and union is no different from a gay one.

But instead Bernie twists and caricatures this point to reduce it to a petty and nonsensical complaint about the "right to deny others their rights." Come to think of it, his caricature is also circular, assuming the right to gay marriage. But then Bernie seldom if ever addresses an issue or argument honestly on its own terms.

The short article NR published a few months ago is a great introduction to the case against "gay marriage."

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 21, 2011 6:28 AM | Report abuse

So QB, you are saying that the bigger the Federal government, the more strings that government can attach when it spends the money ?

So if the Constitution allows the spending of money, and a "string" strays into the unConstitutional-unAuthorized area, then that "string" can be unConstitutional, is that correct???


I suppose then there can be a debate as to what kinds of "strings" are Authorized to be attached. OH WAIT, we actually have Article ONE Section 8 which actually LISTS the powers of Congress.


I suppose the nation settled on that LIST.


Is that correct ???

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 21, 2011 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Again for those who do not comprehend what has been accepted in our society as ENGLISH. Tiller nor anybody has killed any infants. That is such a gross distortion of reality.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 20, 2011 11:01 PM
======================================

Nor anybody? Just to bring you up to speed, ru: the doctor in Philadelphia is being charged with murder. The babies came into the world alive and were then murdered. They were infants.

It is not unusual for "victims" of third trimester saline solution abortions to be born alive and survive for a time before finally cashing out. One such survivor hit the campaign trail with a pro-life candidate a few years ago---I forget her name, but you know how to google. She had a bad arm as a result of the botched abortion, but she was an adult and didn't look much like a "fetus" to me.

You are supporting a heinous practice that makes slavery look good and torturing the language in the process, by referring to infants who are born alive as "fetuses".

Posted by: Brigade | January 21, 2011 6:37 AM | Report abuse

ceflynline, we don't need 67 votes (as those Dems who vote against allowing the repeal vote will be on the record for 2012 campaign purposes). Either way, we win.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 20, 2011 8:49 PM
-------

We may not need 67 votes now that we've got 57 states.

Posted by: Brigade | January 21, 2011 6:41 AM | Report abuse

QB writes:

There is a more general sense in which government redefinition of marriage affects everyone, and that is that it redefines the institution to which all married persons belong, for them and the rest of society. This is a very real effect and one that a party that claims the exclusive capacity for nuance and complexity ought to be able to comprehend. For example, children of traditional marriages -- well, there are no actual children of "gay marriages," are there? -- are indoctrinated to accept that their parents' relationship and union is no different from a gay one.


___________________

This is an excellent way to write this point.

This issue affects other families. The proponents are pretending that other people are not affected.

The issue goes much deeper than adults. The proponents of gay marriage seek to change the way SCHOOLS teach young children - 7 and 8 year old children about the gay agenda.

One the most fundamental level, the school system in the US is not supposed to teach social policy and not suppose to be indocrinating our children into their way of thinking. On this issue, the schools, are practicing politics.

This is an element of deception here as well. In many of the cases, adminitrators seek to introduce these policies WITHOUT telling anyone. Obviously, they fear a backlash. However, the notifications to the community are limited.


EVEN WORSE, the people seeking to get these programs into the schools DO NOT want any votes taken. Liberals have taken on distinct anti-democratic OPERATIONAL TACTICS.

Avoid telling anyone, avoid taking a vote. See if you can get the program in for a few years without many complaints. Ignore all complaints - then tell people it is a fait accompli.


The very existence of these TACTICS tells everyone that the liberals do not believe in democracy - they are seeking to IMPOSE THEIR AGENDA without going through the normal processes of democracy.


Posted by: RainForestRising | January 21, 2011 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Scott said: "As just one example, a Catholic university which provides housing for married students will (in the absence of a specific exemption) be forced under equal-access laws to allow gay students to use that housing, despite any religious objections the school might have.
... it is pretty undeniable that such a thing would be a restriction on the religious liberty of such an institution. So, yes, in a sense the argument you said was being made is indeed being made. But it is a legitimate argument"

First, you need to honestly appreciate the difference between the beliefs in place and the legal strategies (and arguments) advanced to fortress those beliefs. Gallagher's group and most others within the religious right (including the Catholic church on this issue) do not consider gays as equally deserving of liberties and status within the community. The worst of them can be identified by their notions, comments and writing on the "gay agenda". There's an understanding that they ought to temper their bigotry for public consumption and that they have to mount legal arguments which thread the needle - that is, which somehow get around prior legal rulings designed to protect the liberties of previously marginalized or despised minority groups. No one who has read the literature from Gallagher's group or the many others like it believes that if some legislation could be devised which validated gay marriage but which allowed a particular church to opt out of such ceremonies and which allowed hiring practices to stay in place, etc, that these groups would be satisfied. They would not be. The problem, to them, is homosexuality and their desire is to have the community at large continue to marginalize (or even criminalize) homosexuality and, to this end, wage battle against any legislation or public commentary which might work towards the acceptance of homosexuality as equal of liberty rights as heterosexuality. The legal argument you refer to is an artifice and pretense.

Second, it is the case that the same sort of claim or protest on "restriction on the religious liberty of such an institution" could be made - and HAS been made in the past - regarding blacks and women and Jews and (in the case of Protestant facility) Catholics themselves. See, for example, Bob Jones University policies (recently changed) on interracial dating and marriage.

As I originally said, this is a demand to define liberty as the right to deny others equal liberty (because those others are lesser and don't deserve equal consideration/status.)

Posted by: bernielatham | January 21, 2011 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Blair is now testifying again in the Brit inquiry on England's entry into the Iraq war. I'll try to keep track of this and note anything I see of importance. Two paragraphs from the NY Times piece demonstrate the weasel mode Blair and others have continued to use...

"Last July, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, a former head of MI5, said the domestic intelligence service had had no concerns “in either the short term or medium term” to support Mr. Blair’s frequent contention that he acted to prevent terrorists securing access to unconventional weapons in Iraq.

Mr. Blair said on Friday that after Sept. 11, two views emerged internationally concerning terrorism, one of them that the threat could simply be managed. His own view, he said, was “that we have to confront it.”

More plainly, intel had no evidence to support the claims that Bush/Blair made (paragraph one) and... we had to confront terrorism (paragraph two). You'd hope the bastard would be honest enough to say, "yeah we lied but we thought we had to".

And there's this (which definitely isn't consistent with Bush's deceits regarding intent, planning etc, eg "There are no war plans on my desk"... a straight up lie to citizens and the world community (though we already knew this from Woodward's book).

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/22/world/europe/22britain.html?hp

Posted by: bernielatham | January 21, 2011 7:21 AM | Report abuse

oops...here's the passage...

“Regime change was their policy so regime change was part of the discussion,” he said. “If it became the only way of dealing with this issue, we were going to be up for that.”

For the Bush administration, “from Sept. 11 onwards, this was on their agenda,” he said."

Posted by: bernielatham | January 21, 2011 7:28 AM | Report abuse

"The man in Philadelphia was a heinous monster. Dr. George Tiller was a martyr at the hands of a right wing wack job.

"Again for those who do not comprehend what has been accepted in our society as ENGLISH. Tiller nor anybody has killed any infants. That is such a gross distortion of reality."

If reports are accurate, the Philadelphia "monster" plainly did kill infants. Whether Tiller performed equivalent acts is a question different from your judgment of whether he is a "martyr" of one sort or another. I first read about Tiller many years ago in National Review. In my experience, most of his impassioned defenders were not very well acquainted with his practices.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 21, 2011 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Does the US Senate have a rule for Discharge Petitions - bringing a bill to the floor and to a vote without Harry Reid?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 21, 2011 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Scott said: "As just one example, a Catholic university which provides housing for married students will (in the absence of a specific exemption) be forced under equal-access laws to allow gay students to use that housing, despite any religious objections the school might have.
... it is pretty undeniable that such a thing would be a restriction on the religious liberty of such an institution. So, yes, in a sense the argument you said was being made is indeed being made. But it is a legitimate argument"


then Bernie goes on to dispute....


______________________________


First of all, liberals tend to ignore this issue completely.

Then once pressed many liberals agree that religious institutions should be given exemptions.


HOWEVER, in practice the CRAZY RADICAL liberals rarely give those insitutions exemptions - they jam through their insane versions of the liberal agenda, and they "get in everyone's faces."


Seriously folks, this is NOT civil.

The Churches of this nation deserve RESPECT.

The liberals regularly disrespect the Churches of this country.

This issue is one in which there is a simple way to solve the issue - YET we see people like Bernie starting fights over the exemptions - name-calling is soon coming after.


The lack of reasonability is exactly what is causing much of the trouble.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 21, 2011 7:42 AM | Report abuse

@Scott - re 9:28 post
Your anecdotes are analytically worthless. American politicians have lied and Politburo members of the USSR regime lied therefore all is equal.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 21, 2011 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Bernie

Your comment at 7:44 is not helpful


So your position is that because teh Poliburo lied, that means that Obama has the right to LIE to the American People as he has over the past 3 years???


Obama's BAIT AND SWITCH and Obama's LIES are unacceptable.


Obama needs to be fired.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 21, 2011 7:46 AM | Report abuse

@tao - "but only Shrink2 and Krauthammer have the Psy chops to go there."

Ya figure? My wife is a psychoanalyst and I'd be happy to have her write on Palin or on responses to Palin or, if you like, on Krauthammer himself.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 21, 2011 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I've been noting here the story of Murdoch's Brit paper that hacked royal staff phone conversations. The paper's editor at the time was Andy Coulson (who denied knowing anyyyyything about it as did Rupert). Then Coulson got appointed by the Brit conservative PM as his PR guy. The police investigation continues. Now Coulson resigns as heat increases...

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70K2F920110121

Much more at the Guardian.

But we'll note this factor in play...

"The row comes at a sensitive time for News Corp which is waiting to hear if the British government will clear its planned $12 billion buyout of pay TV operator BSkyB or refer the deal to competition authorities for further investigation."

Posted by: bernielatham | January 21, 2011 8:00 AM | Report abuse

"No one who has read the literature from Gallagher's group or the many others like it believes that if some legislation could be devised which validated gay marriage but which allowed a particular church to opt out of such ceremonies and which allowed hiring practices to stay in place, etc, that these groups would be satisfied. They would not be. . . .. The legal argument you refer to is an artifice and pretense."

Here is another of Bernie's classic and patented non sequiturs. The conclusion simply does not follow from the premise. He asserts here that, because acceptance of objection A would not satisfy objection B, objection B is a pretense. It's utterly illogical and disingenuous. We might just as well say that, when gay rights advocates complain that homosexuals are denied specific privileges of marriage like visitation or inheritance, they are engaged in pretense because in reality they would not be satisfied with less than compulsory full societal acceptance of "gay marriage." Being intelligent, we must assume Bernie knows better.

"Second, it is the case that the same sort of claim or protest on "restriction on the religious liberty of such an institution" could be made - and HAS been made in the past - regarding blacks and women and Jews and (in the case of Protestant facility) Catholics themselves."

Has there ever been a more simplistic and circular "argument" than this old chestnut? This isn't an argument but evasion of argument. There must be a name for the fallacy asserted, but alas I do not know it.

"As I originally said, this is a demand to define liberty as the right to deny others equal liberty (because those others are lesser and don't deserve equal consideration/status.)"

And as I said, this is just another meaningless tautology that refuses to engage the issue. I could as well (and in fact better) say that the demand for "equality" is the demand to define liberty so as to deny it to everyone who does not accept the premises of the gay agenda (horrors, I used that term!). Bernie's fallacy as always depends on mischaracterizing the issue as involving the notion that "others are lesser and don't deserve equal consideration/status." To the contrary, it concerns the status and nature of different relationships. Opponents of this agenda treat no one as "lesser" or undeserving of "equal consideration/status."

I would marvel that the Bernies of the world never tire of repeating these simplistic nostrums, except that I understand what they are up to -- starts with a "p".

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 21, 2011 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

""There's an understanding that they ought to temper their bigotry for public consumption...""

Ah yes. I forgot about that notorious ability of progressives to read other people's minds.

""No one who has read the literature from Gallagher's group or the many others like it believes that if some legislation could be devised which validated gay marriage but which allowed a particular church to opt out of such ceremonies and which allowed hiring practices to stay in place, etc, that these groups would be satisfied.""

I know. That is why at the very beginning of this I objected to your implication that their opposition to same-sex marriage was founded on the grounds that it will impinge on their religious liberty. Clearly they object to the very notion of re-defining marriage, and they do so on religious grounds. And if they are forced to accept this redefinition with regard to their activities, then just as clearly their religious liberty is being impinged upon.

""The problem, to them, is homosexuality..."

To be sure, many religious groups do think that homosexual behavior is immoral. But that fact does not invalidate any argument they may make against the state re-defining the concept of marriage, nor does it mean that their religious liberty is not being impinged upon should they be forced to provide or alter their services with regard to that re-definition.

""...their desire is to have the community at large continue to marginalize (or even criminalize) homosexuality .""

So it is their (assumed) motives, not their actual arguments, to which you object?

""...wage battle against any legislation or public commentary which might work towards the acceptance of homosexuality as equal of liberty rights as heterosexuality.""

There is nothing about the traditional definition of marriage that denies equal liberty rights to homosexuals.

""Second, it is the case that the same sort of claim or protest on "restriction on the religious liberty of such an institution" could be made - and HAS been made in the past - regarding blacks and women and Jews and (in the case of Protestant facility) Catholics themselves. ""

I know. But again, just because you might think that a particular restriction of liberty is a good thing doesn't mean that it is not, in fact, a restriction of liberty.

""As I originally said, this is a demand to define liberty as the right to deny others equal liberty...""

No, it isn't. The argument to maintain the traditional definition of marriage in no way at all asks the state to act coercively against anyone and thus deny them liberty. On the other hand, if you believe that the liberty of homosexuals depends upon the state forcing religious institutions to act contrary to their beliefs, it is you who is defining liberty as the right to deny others equal liberty.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 21, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/the_morning_plum_171.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 21, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

""Your anecdotes are analytically worthless."

I suppose I could have treated your original with a similar out-of-hand dismissal..."Your assertion is analytically worthless."

But rather than do that, I figured it would be more interesting to take your point...that the political atmosphere today is particularly insane/unproductive/uncivil...and provide some historical context to show that there is nothing particularly insane/uncivil/unproductive about today relative to other times in our history.

I am not surprised, however, that you think a sniffing dismissal of an opposing view is somehow more interesting than actually addressing it. Heaven forbid that you deign to consider alternatives to your comfortable preconceptions.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 21, 2011 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Nobody is forcing religious institutions to act against their principles, since nobody is forcing them to accept federal money.

A condition of accepting federal money is equal treatment of homosexuals. Religious schools can decline the money and retain their bigotry.

Conservatives are still reeling from racial bigotry going outnof fashion. Now homophobia too. Their world is crashing around their very ears.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 21, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

" if you believe that the liberty of homosexuals depends upon the state forcing religious institutions to act contrary to their beliefs, it is you who is defining liberty as the right to deny others equal liberty."

So, church A moves against a proposed change in law which had previously disallowed Jews from marrying each other because they had the religious belief that such a relationship was profane, then the state can be properly accused of violating the religious liberty of church A?

Or if Church A holds that attempts to overturn a law prohibiting negroes from walking down Jesus Avenue will result in the profanization of that holy place, this would be an example of the state potentially violating the religious liberty of church A?

The traditional definition of marriage in California up until about 1970 excluded marriage between blacks and whites. It was illegal. It was not "traditional". It was held as a moral profanity.

Now, you might presume, holding as you consistently do, that the "state" is the prime or only source of coercive activity in a community functionally denying liberty to community members, and that the miscegenation laws were a vile assault on religious liberties if you want to occupy such a position, Scott. But it isn't a serious position. It's certainly not concerned with liberty issues other than in a manner so dogmatic and narrow as to be self-contradictory and laughable. And that's all of my time you get today.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 21, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

"And that's all of my time you get today."

Hahaha

"Good day to you, sir!"

He sure told you, Scott.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 21, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

One last Scott. Re your last post above. You are consistently dishonest here and though I'm tempted to deal with you, you never fail to disappoint.

Please detail for all of here the many prior historical instances where the most popular cable or other tv network in US television employed as hosts or stars with regular daily or weekly appearances half or more of the candidates running for the Presidency and where every one of these was also brought in front of the cameras on a regular basis by each other or by other hosts on that network and where every one of them were members of one political party.

Your utter refusal to honestly address an element of this magnitude is not excusable.

So, we're done. I'll check back in a month or so and see if you've managed to get up the inner stuff to be honest.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 21, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

"Your specific counterexamples to my broad conclusion are analytically worthless. My broad assertion stands true unless you detail for me a historical precedent for the (false) specific contemporary example I choose to accept as proof.

"And again I say, good day to you, dishonest Sir!"


Posted by: quarterback1 | January 21, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

bernielatham, is there anything I can say to make it a year instead of just one month?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 21, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"" So, church A moves against a proposed change in law which had previously disallowed Jews from marrying each other because they had the religious belief that such a relationship was profane, then the state can be properly accused of violating the religious liberty of church A? "

No, I referred specifically to "the state forcing religious institutions to act contrary to their beliefs." So, taking your hypothetical, if the state forces church A to accomodate married Jews in their university married housing quarters, then yes, the state can be accused of violating the religious liberty of Church A. Again, Bernie, just because you (or even I) might think that a particular violation of liberty is a good thing doesn't mean it is no longer a violation of liberty.

""Or if Church A holds that attempts to overturn a law prohibiting negroes from walking down Jesus Avenue will result in the profanization of that holy place, this would be an example of the state potentially violating the religious liberty of church A?""

You have not provided sufficient information. Specifically, who owns Jesus Avenue?

""Now, you might presume, holding as you consistently do, that the "state" is the prime or only source of coercive activity in a community functionally denying liberty to community members""

I do not hold and never have held that. I have consistently held that the state is the only source of LEGAL coercion. Obviously there are a lot of potential sources of coercion within society, which is precisely why (contrary to the left's caricatured notion) I and others on the right think government is necessary.

""...and that the miscegenation laws were a vile assault on religious liberties if you want to occupy such a position, Scott.""

I don't think this is was you meant to say. Assuming you meant to refer to the ABOLITION of miscegenation laws, of course I do not hold that it was an assault on religious liberty. In fact, miscegenation laws were themselves a violation of religious liberty if they prevented churches which wished to perform marriage ceremonies between blacks and whites from doing so.

""It's certainly not concerned with liberty issues other than in a manner so dogmatic and narrow as to be self-contradictory and laughable.""

I think you'd have a very difficult time demonstrating that my understanding of liberty is contradictory. Indeed, it seems your problem with me is that I refuse to adopt your inconsistencies. And I think it is laughable to believe, as you seem to, that "liberty" is defined as any outcome that you find personally preferable. My understanding of liberty, leads me to understand that oftentimes people are free to do things that I may not particularly find attractive or beneficial.

""And that's all of my time you get today.""

Suit yourself, although I do find it odd, and perhaps telling, how often you feel the need to broadcast your lack of time for me.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 21, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

@bernie:

"You are consistently dishonest here" = "You consistently disagree with me"

You may not like his approach (although he seems to be emulating yours, in many cases), but I have a hard time finding your "consistently dishonest" accusation credible.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 21, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps bernielatham's wife / shrink will post in order to pick up the slack? I would LOVE to question her.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 21, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "These days, even if you are a conservative hero-in-bloom, you really ought not to go appointing a judge who has the name Mohammed..."

While I love it that lefties are jumping into bed with (of all people) Pamela Geller in opposing Chris Christie, I'm pretty sure this is going to be a non-issue in 2016.

@Scott: "I am not surprised, however, that you think a sniffing dismissal of an opposing view is somehow more interesting than actually addressing it. Heaven forbid that you deign to consider alternatives to your comfortable preconceptions."

Good gravy. You two just need to get a room. Or at least kiss, and break the tension.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 21, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

""You are consistently dishonest here and though I'm tempted to deal with you, you never fail to disappoint. ""

I'm beginning to think you do not understand the meaning of that word, dishonest. Perhaps I misunderstand your point, or perhaps I simply disagree with your judgment. That is not dishonesty.

""Please detail for all of here...""

Except you, who won't be "attending" to me for the next month?

""...the many prior historical instances where the most popular cable or other tv network in US television employed as hosts or stars with regular daily or weekly appearances half or more of the candidates running for the Presidency and where every one of these was also brought in front of the cameras on a regular basis by each other or by other hosts on that network and where every one of them were members of one political party.""

Well, you have me there. There was no TV at all during the founding or the Civil War or during the Great Depression, much less cable news shows. But I thought you were talking about political tone/atmosphere/rhetoric, not the mode by which it is was presented. Certainly if the existence of cable networks is the distinction you are drawing between today and times past, then maybe you have a point, albeit a rather pedestrian one. But using existing means of media to promote political views or political candidates to the exclusion of others is hardly an invention of modern times. Alexander Hamilton was not the only politician who owned his own newspaper and used it to advance his political interests while attacking, fairly and unfairly, those of his rivals. And perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the likes of William Randolf Hearst, and his infamous instruction to his reporter "You supply the pictures, and I'll supply the war."

""So, we're done. I'll check back in a month or so...""

Whatever.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 21, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

""Good gravy. You two just need to get a room.""

How, would you suggest, should I have responsed?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 21, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

@ScottC3:

""How, would you suggest, should I have responsed?""

I don't know, I'm just suggesting that I sense a lot of sexual tension. Just sayin'. :P

""There was no TV at all during the founding or the Civil War or during the Great Depression, much less cable news shows. But I thought you were talking about political tone/atmosphere/rhetoric, not the mode by which it is was presented.""

But, to your point, most organs (stop snickering) that were available at the time were expressly partisan. Almost all papers were explicitly partisan, to the point of including the name of the favored party, or some element of the ideological philosophy, in the masthead. Many of them were bankrolled by folks with a known partisan agenda, like a George Soros or Koch brothers of today. Editorials and, yes, news, were often slanted to disfavor one party and favor the other.

That, today, there is only Fox news with such outrageous bias (I'm granting an argument, in this case, I do not wholeheartedly endorse) is, in fact, the anomaly.

BTW, Fox, in my opinion, is a good network and serves a market, and is challenging to a certain segment of the population. As such, when Obama agreed to appear on Bill' O'Reilly, or agrees to any interviews on Fox, he goes up several notches in my estimation. Admittedly, she isn't president, but has Sarah Palin gone on MSNBC? And, yes, I know, many Republicans have, and bully for them. I don't mind that Fox and MSNBC have a point of view, and I admire when folks who cut against the grain on those networks sit down and pow-wow.

I liked Air America. I'm sorry it's mostly gone. I think a rich marketplace of ideas (even one's I consider kinda outlandish) is good.

I think the idea that Fox is bad for America (or society at large) is sorta like thinking exercise is bad because it "tires you out" or sports are bad because people can get hurt when playing. Having news organizations that talk about the issues of the day with a particular point of view is a net positive. Even if Fox and the folks on Fox often do things I don't care for.

Clearly, their propaganda isn't all that effective at brainwashing, or constant watchers like Bernie Latham would be rock-ribbed Republicans by now.

Which leaves me with the conclusion that Fox, and others like them, are reporting news and discussing the issues of the day with a particular viewpoint on what's important, what's not, and what things mean, and throwing that out there into the arena of ideas. And Kevin Willis, and ScottC3, and wbgonne, and Liam-Still, and Bernie Latham can watch or not watch as is our choice (I mostly watching on Sundays for Dr. Rosenfeld), and let the mind mediate betwixt hand and heart.

Yes, I went off on a tangent. What of i?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 21, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"" don't know, I'm just suggesting that I sense a lot of sexual tension.""

I figure there are three ways to respond to Bernie, and especially his tendency to impute dishonesty to me every time I disagree with him. First, I could ignore him, but if I was interested in ignoring the likes of Bernie I wouldn't be here. Second, I could mock him, which I spent some time doing, but that wears thin, especially in this new age of "civil" discourse. Lastly, I can address him seriously, which is what I am now attempting to do.

No sexual aspect intended, believe me.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 21, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

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