Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 8:37 AM ET, 01/28/2011

The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* Dems planning major showdown over Social Security? It's great to see that Dem messaging chief Chuck Schumer and other Democrats think a showdown with the GOP over Social Security could be a major winner for them. But such well-laid plans could of course get a bit complicated if Obama seeks a bipartisan deal to raise the retirement age or otherwise change the popular program.

* Yep, Obama unabashedly defended government: Charles Krauthammer gets this one right: Obama's State of the Union didn't flinch from defending his vision of government's proper role, and Krauthammer's anger over this is a pretty good sign that the speech was effective in this regard.

* The untouchable filibuster: It's good that Dems were able to end secret holds and streamline nominations, but it really does look as if filibuster abuse is here to stay.

* The right wing's own private Europe: Paul Krugman on how Paul Ryan and American conservatives have invented an alternate European reality in which country after country is going belly-up, all because of progressive Big Government policies.

* Trouble in Tea Party paradise: New GOP Senators like Ron Johnson and Marco Rubio, who rode the Tea Party to victory, are now suddenly reconsidering their association with it and deciding maybe they should keep the Tea Party Caucus at arm's length as they plot their careers going forward.

* Tea Party GOPers race to the bottom: Meet a House GOP candidate who wants to slash spending to 1998 levels -- cutting it by half a trillion dollars. Who will be the first to propose doing away with the Federal government entirely?

* Obama's shift on climate change: Good catch by Joseph White, who points out that Obama didn't use the politically-charged word "climate" during his State of the Union, suggesting a reframing of energy reform to make it all about economic competitiveness, rather than saving the planet.

* Rand Paul versus the neocons? Rand Paul has now announced that he supports ending aid to Israel, prompting this from John Cole:

"I'm wondering if the R after his name will protect him from a full-fledged freakout at Commentary, the Weekly Standard, and the other Israel-first rags."

Key takeaway: Rand Paul has long been regarded with suspicion by the neocons, partly because of his father's criticism of Israel, and this could exacerbate those tensions.

* Obama's staff shakeup shows he's ready for a fight: Howard Fineman on how Obama's staff changes in advance of reelection show that "he is adaptable, he is a survivor and he has a supreme desire to win."

* Looking at the world through the lens of America: With demonstrations raging in Egypt, Massimo Calabresi gently asks American commentators to stop indulging the delusion that the prospects for creating sustained democracies abroad rest heavily on rhetorical support from Washington.

* Mitt-mentum!!! Or...not. Uh oh. It looks like some of Mitt Romney's top 2008 supporters are a wee bit skeptical about his 2012 rerun.

* And here's the takedown of the day: Stephen Stromberg on Sarah Palin's use of wildly mangled history and confused Reagan mythology to tar Obama's "WTF" speech.

Friendly reminder: This woman is a very credible contender for the presidential nomination of one of America's two major political parties.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | January 28, 2011; 8:37 AM ET
Categories:  2012, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Social Security, Tea Party, filibuster  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Happy Hour Roundup
Next: What the right won't tell you about the Black Panther case

Comments

The country has to recognize that with this new phase of the foreclosure crisis, the big banks which put together the mortgage portfolios are going to be BANKRUPT

That is not such a bad thing

Let new banks emerge with clean balance sheets.


The FDIC or other branches of the government have to take over the bad balance sheets - and unwind them - NOT allow the big banks to steal and rip everyone off in an effort to save themselves and their bonuses.


WE need a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT to prevent the big banks and the bankers to give money to campaign - these people have ABUSED THEIR MONEY, and they need to be PERMANENTLY CUT OFF.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Obama's "ready for a fight" (as well as "Stickin' to his guns" from last night) are violent metaphors.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 28, 2011 8:44 AM | Report abuse

"But such well-laid plans could of course get a bit complicated if Obama seeks a bipartisan deal to raise the retirement age or otherwise change the popular program."

If Obama does that he may well lose the 2012 election. He will certainly devastate the Democrats in Congress. Could Obama be so stupid?

No backroom deals. All Social Security negotiations in the sunlight.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I'll channel the NRO a sec.

Rand Paul wants to surrender to the terrorists. This country was built on Judeo/Christian values and Israel is to be defended at ALL COSTS.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 28, 2011 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Greg:

I think that ending marijuana prohibition is a slam-dunk winner, both policy-wise and politically for the White House. Plus it will save $42B annually on the deficit. Obama even said it was worthy of discussion. Why no mention?

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

"Friendly reminder: This woman is a very credible contender for the presidential nomination of one of America's two major political parties"

LOL.

That ship sailed on resignation day.

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 28, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

From "The Hill":

*The three founding members of the Senate Tea Party Caucus voted against a rule change Thursday that would end senators' ability to use secret holds.*

*Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) were three out of the four senators to vote against a resolution outlawing the practice. The other was GOP Sen. John Ensign (Nev.). The rule change, which passed 92-4, was part of a packaged rules proposal brought before the Senate.*

I will understand the skeptical liberal response. I wonder if the libertarian response will be accepting or critical of that vote.
Scott? TMW? Tao? Any of y'all have a thought for my penny?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 28, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

The SOTU speech was Obie's death knell.
A one termer.

Posted by: illogicbuster | January 28, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Wow. I hate to say this but I agree w/ Forrest.

"WE need a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT to prevent the big banks and the bankers to give money to campaign - these people have ABUSED THEIR MONEY, and they need to be PERMANENTLY CUT OFF."

I'd go a step further. Remove all corporate influence. Neither sides corruption will end voluntarily unless both sides are forced simultaneously to remove all corporate financial support.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 28, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

"With demonstrations raging in Egypt, Massimo Calabresi gently asks American commentators to stop indulging the delusion that the prospects for creating sustained democracies abroad rest heavily on rhetorical support from Washington."

The World is passing the U.S. by while we stay suspended in a 19th Century time warp sponsored by Big Money and its Conservative plutocrats. Same as Krugman's piece on the Con version of Europe, same as with Global Warming, same as with gun control, same as ...

It is all of a piece. Which is why I advise Obama to find one weak link in the Con chain and then drive a truck through it. Marijuana policy could be that issue (and I though it would be when Obama was first elected).

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

"New GOP Senators like Ron Johnson and Marco Rubio, who rode the Tea Party to victory, are now suddenly reconsidering their association with it and deciding maybe they should keep the Tea Party Caucus at arm's length as they plot their careers going forward."


The only people surprised by this are the members of the tea party.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 28, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

"The SOTU speech was Obie's death knell.
A one termer."

Of course it was.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 28, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

"Obama's shift on climate change: Good catch by Joseph White, who points out that Obama didn't use the politically-charged word "climate" during his State of the Union, suggesting a reframing of energy reform to make it all about economic competitiveness, rather than saving the planet."

This is what I've been saying for years! The idea to engage the debate on "climate change" was/is a huge mistake.

Stopping pollution. Creating new jobs that can't be outsourced. Getting off fossil fuel dependance. More and cheaper long term energy. New technology innovation, as well as budding science, education, and research.

All these things are MUCH more "sellable" to the public, and all would help our climate. There's a running joke amoung liberals, mocking conservatives who deny climate change...saying "so if climate change turns out to be a hoax, we get stuck with unlimited cheap energy that doesn't polute - oh no! Hahahahaha."

The irony is that they are too stupid to realize that from a messaging standpoint, the second part of that mocking is so much more effective politically than the first. It should be the crux of the arguement, not an afterthought result of winning it.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | January 28, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne writes
"There appears to be a strong consensus across the political spectrum that marijuana should be legalized. So why isn't it?"

Do you think that's true in the Repub caucus that holds the House majority? If you can get a bill past them, there might be a case for the WH to go with the flow. But it would be political suicide for the WH to initiate that discussion.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 28, 2011 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Why would it be "political suicide" for the White House to initiate a discussion on marijuana legalization?

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

"Yep, Obama unabashedly defended government: Charles Krauthammer gets this one right: Obama's State of the Union didn't flinch from defending his vision of government's proper role, and Krauthammer's anger over this is a pretty good sign that the speech was effective in this regard."

And to be clear, that role, according to Obama, is centralized economic planning. The government is in charge of the economy, its role to "create jobs" by taxing and spending on industries, businesses, and areas it chooses. With a heavy-handed thumb on the balance in favor of Big Unions. Essentially every word he says about free markets and enterprise is lip service.

As to Krauthammer, though, "angry"? What signs of "anger" do you see, Greg? Or is that just another of your routine and discourse-cheapening insults?

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 28, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/27/AR2011012707000.html?wpisrc=nl_wonk

The IMF warns against US deficits continuing at these high levels.

Do not close your eyes to the danger now because pols cried wolf for so long [since WW2]. We had the currency of last resort and could get away with anything for most of my lifetime. Not so, any more. I think wbg is not ready for a compromise but I do not know if anyone else here is. My questions for everyone: Would you accept Bowles-Simpson as the framework for compromise to make us fiscally healthy? Would you accept a return to Gramm-Rudman-Hollings and pay-go as a self correcting mechanism for deficit management?

If neither is acceptable to you, is it because you think the Congress can manage without a limiting mechanism? Is it because you do not believe deficits are a problem? Is it because you think the federal government should just shrink? Is it because you think the federal government should provide more welfare state than it does? Do you think tax cuts will generate more revenue than they give up?

What keeps us from addressing the deficits if they are, as I think they are, dangerous?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 28, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

"The idea to engage the debate on "climate change" was/is a huge mistake."

Like BSimon you apparently think it best to try to slip "liberal" positions through by subterfuge or camouflage. I think that is exactly backwards and the conversations must PRECEDE the changes because honest conversations will enhance the reality-based policies liberals advocate. It is the Conservatives who should be afraid of legitimate discussions. And they are. That was precisely what the Tea Party Summer of Rage was all about: sabotaging evidence-based discussions. Obama and the Democrats mistaken;y run in fear from policies that the vast majority of Americans would support. This has been the Democrats' error for 20 years and Obama's mistake since Election Day. More of the same won't help.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

"Why would it be "political suicide" for the White House to initiate a discussion on marijuana legalization?"

It would play into the hand of opponents who want to trivialize the Obama admin's agenda. "He wants everyone to smoke dope when we have real problems to solve!" There may be widespread support for the idea of decriminalization, but it is not a high priority (ha!) for many people at all. In other words the risks are higher than the rewards. And quite frankly, the $42B, while a huge number, is a dent in the budget.

Back to you: do you think the Repub held House would pass such a bill?

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 28, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Rahm is stuck in the polls at 44%. That means that 56% don't want him - and the other candidates are really not that well known overall.

I would guess that the other candidates are set to unite behind one candidate - probably Gary Chico. If they can work that out, and present a united front, they can push Rahm out.


It is that simple. Rahm has backed up his outsider status with $14 Million in OUTSIDER MONEY. That does not help.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

"Why would it be "political suicide" for the White House to initiate a discussion on marijuana legalization?"

Because of what happened in California. When Obama comes out in support of it, Fox will grab a hold of it and turn any on the fencers against the president who supports stoned school bus drivers.

If you know of a way to prevent public opinion from shifting I'm all ears.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 28, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

In fact, I'd add that the behavior of Conservatives on this blog also demonstrates that the one thing the Right WIng fears is open and honest fact-based discussions of issues. If the Cons fear it, the Dems shouldn't.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

This isn't a "discourse cheapening insult?"

And to be clear, that role, according to Obama, is centralized economic planning. The government is in charge of the economy, its role to "create jobs" by taxing and spending on industries, businesses, and areas it chooses. With a heavy-handed thumb on the balance in favor of Big Unions. Essentially every word he says about free markets and enterprise is lip service.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 28, 2011 9:08 AM

Posted by: pragmaticagain | January 28, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

"Like BSimon you apparently think it best to try to slip "liberal" positions through by subterfuge or camouflage."

Where did I say that?

As an aside, the left has been trying for over 30 years to win the environmental battle using logic & rational argument. How's that been working out?

Changing the argument isn't quitting, its learning from mistakes. There is a compelling economic & foreign policy argument for reducing our reliance on petrofuels. Given that the oil, coal & gas lobbies are winning the environmental argument by claiming they're saving jobs, green / alt energy proponents need an argument that beats the jobs argument. One such argument is that being an innovative country in green tech will create more new jobs & boost the economy than would drilling more oil wells or scraping off Appalachian mountain tops.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 28, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

"Because of what happened in California. When Obama comes out in support of it, Fox will grab a hold of it and turn any on the fencers against the president who supports stoned school bus drivers. If you know of a way to prevent public opinion from shifting I'm all ears."

To begin, that wasn't what happened in CA. What happened in CA is that the White House and the Dem Establishment OPPOSED marijuauna decriminalization. They were the ones -- Feinstein at the lead -- who steered the opposition to the ballot measure. If Obama and the Dems had simply stayed silent the measure almost certainly would have passed.

The second point -- the fear of FOX News -- is telling because that is EXACTLY the problem that Obama and the Democrats have. They fear debate, even when they are on the right side of the issue. You simply cannot win like that. Is the U.S. Mass Media a disgrace? Yes. Is Fox Goebbels-TV? Yes. So what. The president of the United States has more power to drive debate than any other person or entity in the country. That is the power that Obama relinquished on Election Day and that is the reason he has not reached his potential.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

"Rahm is stuck in the polls at 44%. That means that 56% don't want him - and the other candidates are really not that well known overall."

In round one, if a candidate doesn't win a majority, the top two go to a run-off. If Rahm has 44% now, he'll be one of those two. That he's only 6 pts from winning outright puts him within reach of winning outright; or gives him a large lead in the runoff.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 28, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

"As an aside, the left has been trying for over 30 years to win the environmental battle using logic & rational argument. How's that been working out?"

Not so well without an outspoken advocate in the White House. I have nothing against marshaling all arguments in favor of a policy position. We should. But the most compelling argument for addressing global warming is that global warming is happening and the costs of it will be astronomical by all measures. The Cons know this, which is why their game plan all along has been to attack the science and raise just enough doubt to justify the status quo. This frontal assault on science and reality must be answered. Democrats are too timid. Nobody wants to follow leaders who lack confidence in their own positions.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin asks
"What keeps us from addressing the deficits if they are, as I think they are, dangerous?"

Unwillingness to pull our own weight. There is near universal acknowledgement that deficits are dangerous & the debt is excessively large. Yet we still demand services from government and refuse the tax hikes that are necessary to pay for them. Until the majority are willing to pay their fair share, the problem will go unsolved.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 28, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

"It would play into the hand of opponents who want to trivialize the Obama admin's agenda." "He wants everyone to smoke dope when we have real problems to solve!"

That is precisely the type of defensiveness that signals a loser. We can't do it because the the Right Wing will call us names.

"There may be widespread support for the idea of decriminalization,"

Isn't that all that should matter in a democracy?

"but it is not a high priority (ha!) for many people at all."

Agreed. And it shouldn't be a focal point of the Administration. Marijuana legalization is an issue that Obama and the Dems can use to drive wedges into the Cons. You will have the Libertarians fighting with the Social Conservatives.

"In other words the risks are higher than the rewards."

Disagree.

"And quite frankly, the $42B, while a huge number, is a dent in the budget."

Well, it's 20 times more that Obama will save with the federal employee freeze. And it will mean that we don't have to cut $42B elsewhere.

"Back to you: do you think the Repub held House would pass such a bill? "

I honestly don't know. And my guess is that the House Repubs don't want to go near this issue because it will engender coalition splits among its caucus.

In any case, timidity and political leadership are incompatible. And that, in a nutshell, continues to be the problem for the Democratic Party and for President Obama.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"Who will be the first to propose doing away with the Federal government entirely?" so i have been thinking about this as the gop seems intent on repealing and defunding and dissolving much of the federal government and return such oversight to state governments - education, clean air and water and food safety.

as it is now, there are states which are donor (except for texas mostly blue coastal states), meaning they give more to the federal gov't in tax revenue than they receive back, and debtor states (mostly southern) which receive back from the federal government more than they send to washington. one could call these states welfare states, as they can keep their taxes lower and still provide services to their citizens augmented by citizens who are willing to pay higher taxes.

so the question then would be, what would these debtor states do without the financial assistance from the federal government sent there by those lunatic leftie liberals - eliminate pubic education, air and water quality would deteriorate, roads and bridges would collapse, become the "state of salmonella?"

my suggestion? visit those national parks and monuments now in these debtor states before it is too late; oh and like visiting mexico, don't drink the water and take your own food.

Posted by: sbvpav | January 28, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Later.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The internet has apparently been pretty much taken down in Egypt as, in Iran previously, it had provided the means for assembly and communication. Obviously, that's one of the key weak points in developing the means for organizing modern civic protests and potential political revolutions (identifying and locating "perpetrators" is another).

Posted by: bernielatham | January 28, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

"Friendly reminder: This woman is a very credible contender for the presidential nomination of one of America's two major political parties."

No, Sarah Palin has not been a credible contender for the presidential nomination since she resigned the Alaskan governorship. Blood libel and interesting interpretations of political history may not help, but once she resigned the governorship, she ceased to be a credible contender for the presidential nomination. That doesn't mean she won't run--she may--but the only way she gets it is if there's a GOP-wide conspiracy to throw her at the "Obama Juggernaut" to get rid of her, and I don't think there's going to be any kind of agreement on whether or not Obama can be beaten in 2012.

@wbgonne: "There appears to be a strong consensus across the political spectrum that marijuana should be legalized. So why isn't it?"

This is a prime example of the homogeneity of the political class. Republican or Democrat. There's no political angle, no advantage, and apparently a downside to even doing the most basic thing and arguing for the legalization of medical marijuana, so no matter how rational or reasonable it may be in the abstract as a general policy, no one in the political class is going to take a stand.

While many on the left and right can, and have, criticized Obama's political instincts, he is nothing if not a politician. And the politician isn't interested in a fight with no apparent upside to his political future/legacy, no matter how good an idea it is for the people outside the beltway, and no matter how much sense it makes monetarily just to stop attempting to prosecute marijuana possession (even for sale) as a crime.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 28, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

EGYPT

Interesting that Greg would list a link to an article pointing out clearly that liberal ideas on foreign policy are naive.

Anyway, the bottom line is any revolution in Egypt will be an Islamic Revolution - the Muslim Brotherhood has been waiting in the shadows for a long time to seize on anything that could bring them to power.


DO NOT DECEIVE YOURSELF into believing that a pro-American democracy movement is running in the streets in Egypt. It is a pro-fundamentalist Islamic nightmare for the US.


In addition, the Egyptian peace treaty with Israel from the 70s will probably be out the window in such a situation.


Did you think of that one - when you were dreaming that somehow these protesters would end up installing a pro-American government??? Did you think of the women in Egypt who might end up being subjected to Islamic law if this turns Islamic ?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Obama’s SOTU Address: Least Smart Since FDR
http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cspg/smartpolitics/2011/01/keeping_it_simple_obama_record.php

"President Obama now has the LOWEST average Flesch-Kincaid score for State of the Union addresses of any modern president — with his 8.5 grade level falling just below the 8.6 score recorded by George H.W. Bush during his presidency."

*wicked smaht*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 28, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

The NYT says...
"President Obama is right to reach out to business leaders, but his agenda must not be taken over entirely by corporate interests."

How embarrassing. I can't imagine writing those words, let alone publishing them. So painfully obvious, the fact the Times decided they needed to publish them as an opinion tells us one thing is certain, the horse left the barn a long time ago.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 28, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@Q.B.

"The government is in charge of the economy, its role to "create jobs" by taxing and spending on industries, businesses, and areas it chooses. With a heavy-handed thumb on the balance in favor of Big Unions. Essentially every word he says about free markets and enterprise is lip service."

Aside from your first line which is certainly hyperbole.."in charge" is not the same as "has an important role".

Having said that I don't disagree with the rest of your observation. My question to you Q.B. is where have you lived all your life. To borrow Sister Sarah's acronym WTF do you think has been going on in the U.S. for far longer than even our lifetimes? Of course the Gov't has a major role to play in our economy..tax policy and regulations have been part of that mix for a long long time. Obama is certainly not articulating anything but an American tradition. Again check out the 1956 REPUBLICAN PLATFORM! Pro Union..expand S.S...address the pay inequities based on gender, race, etc.
CUT defense and try to rein in the MIC.

What you "accuse" Obama of doing is actually simply continuing along with what has been U.S. Policy for more than a century. By definition...Obama is small c conservative in doing this...that is preserving the status quo or even going back in time.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 28, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

bsimon, we agree about the root cause and we agree that CA is the archetype of voter disconnect. But I was hoping that liberal and moderate and conservative commenters here could address the Commission approach and also the revival of Gramm-Rudman-Hollings. I tried to frame it in a way that would let me understand if there is any real hope, frankly.

Sometimes it seems that blogging liberals and conservatives believe that they are in a struggle that one side will "win", perpetually silencing the other. Thus all suggestions of compromise solutions are met with suspicion or contempt., at least by some.

The competing views of the role of the federal government, at a philosophical level, may be irreconciliable if each side thinks it will "win". But as in labor negotiations, which are tough, if both sides know that the other will still be there after this negotiation ends then the irreconciliable can become merely a formidable obstacle, not Mt. Everest.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 28, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Tomasky on Clarence Thomas...

"Obviously, Thomas is not going to be indicted over this. But how could a man - a member of the Supreme Court! - just openly lie on such a form? Lie? Yes, rather obviously. Let's put it this way. If you or I were filling out a form, and we came to a question about our spouse's income, and we knew very well that our spouse had income, we would check the appropriate income category. And here is one of the nine leading legal people in the United States. On what conceivable honest basis could he have thought his wife, who got up every morning and went to work every day at one of Washington's most richly endowed think tanks, had no income? For six years?

I wish we had a satirist, a Balzac, chronicling this age. It is beyond believability."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2011/jan/27/usdomesticpolicy-clarence-thomas-what

Justice, banana republic style. What level of integrity and honesty is captured by this "none"? What level of "the laws and rules do not apply to me" sense of privilege?

Posted by: bernielatham | January 28, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

bernie...

"identifying and locating "perpetrators" is another"

They are reading your script, ElBaradei is now in House Arrest.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 28, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Later, wbgonne. You are the one who proved unable to participate in debate on this issue. I answered your question on the prior thread. Obama "opposes legalizing marijuana from personal experience, it's wrong, and leads to bad things." Mob rule does NOT control a REPUBLIC (we are not a direct democracy). That being said, I'm sure there's at least one thing currently illegal that would impact you enough personally to realize it would not be worth it to legalize, even for $42B.

BTW that $42B is not the actual "savings" in the end.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 28, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@shrink - I did not know that. Thank you.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 28, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

RAHM

What kind of scandal just happened at the Illinois Supreme Court ???


People are going to be looking into this one - closely.


A guy who was on the BOARD AT FREDDIE MAC - who was accused of misleading investors in the sub-prime mortgage scandal - just got this decision from the court ????


OUCH


This is going to be scandal - OBAMA IS GOING TO BE INVESTIGATED.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

This is hilarious! She thinks she still matters, what a dope.

http://www.facebook.com/notes/sarah-palin/obamas-message-to-america-the-era-of-big-government-is-back-now-help-me-pay-for-/494999858434

Posted by: shrink2 | January 28, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse


RAHM

What kind of scandal just happened at the Illinois Supreme Court ???


People are going to be looking into this one - closely.


A guy who was on the BOARD AT FREDDIE MAC - who was accused of misleading investors in the sub-prime mortgage scandal - just got this decision from the court ????


OUCH


This is going to be scandal - OBAMA IS GOING TO BE INVESTIGATED.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

TP had a good piece up yesterday night on the Chamber of Commerce's role in supporting the Egyptian regime.

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/01/27/us-chamber-egyptian-dictatorship/

Of course there is absolutely nothing new or unusual about this. The main function of the CIA and of the State Department and the US military isn't to do good works in the world but rather to facilitate the extraction of resources and profits from foreign lands. Tyrannies have been supported or even created commonly by US activities/interests in order to produce "stability" - which really means a dependable and predictable arrangement which will allow extraction with as little trouble as possible for those extracting. Now, that isn't everything that is done by the US and it isn't the entire motive, but it's the driver and the fundamental function being supported.

The real surprise would be if the C of C was NOT so operating.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 28, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Michelle Obama told "Good Morning America" her presence at the Tucson speech (or ceremony or whatever it was) gave her "energy to do the next thing...It's truly a privilege for me to be doing that kind of stuff."

I like her, at least I think I do, but she really does not have the gift of gab.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 28, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

~ "Tea Party GOPers race to the bottom: Meet a House GOP candidate who wants to slash spending to 1998 levels -- cutting it by half a trillion dollars." ~
---------------------------------------------

LOL. Actually if you read a little more closely, Bernier thinks we should knock of more like $2 trillion. The $500 billion number is Rand Paul's target -- the funny part being that's just about where we'd be right now, in 1998 (pre-GWB administration) dollars.

But even given that, you could eliminate the entire Dept of Defense which accounts for almost half of all discretionary US government spending and it would still get you less than halfway to Bernier's dream number. (Yep, we can grow 'em pretty dumb up here in New England too.) If there's one thing the Republican marketing and PR machine has taught us over the last couple of decades though, it's that there are rarely any consequences to just flat out making stuff up like that. Young Bernier may well go far.

Posted by: CalD | January 28, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

bsimon, I hope you are still posting here when she clinches the GOP nomination.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 28, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

@mark in austin....

I agree wholeheartedly with your 10:01 post.
Having said that let me posit what is at least part of the problem.

As a progressive I am still willing to look at entitlements. But part of the problem is that R's have lost any credibility. They have told sooo many whoppers that you simply can't trust them. Do I need to catalog all the examples during HCR debate...they literally lied..on purpose...Gov't takeover..Socialism...death panels..."job killing" even though the CBO says otherwise. And now they are going over the top with this deficit scare! I've posted several links to graphs and stories from economists that put this problem in perspective. It IS a problem...it is NOT a crisis...it is NOT unmanageable. Now is not the time to obsess on the debt until we fix our jobs problem. We've had two other times in our history where the deficit was FAR worse as in triple where we are now as a % of GDP. The current debt does not actually represent 70% of GDP when viewed as debt is normally viewed..that is..what is the ability to repay over time. Trillions of $$$ are numbers too large to wrap our minds around and sound incredibly scary. What would be a more convincing argument for me is that we are currently spending 5% of our budget on the interest on that debt. That is too much in my opinion but it is not the end of the world and the sky is not falling.
Again if you look at historical trends..whenever we have a Dem President the deficit gets addressed...whenever we have an R President it does not..at least over the past several decades...this is simply fact. I believe Obama is sincere when he says he believes the debt..5% wasted annually on interest..is a problem and plans to address it. I don't believe that entitlements are necessarily the solution. Defense is just as huge and anybody who has been in the military can tell you of the outright waste, fraud and corruption in that budget. Wealthy taxpayers have received mind numbing benefits since Reagan in terms of tax structure and regulation...let's look seriously at that.

I guess Mark what I am saying is that while I agree with and respect your point about goring everybody's oxen...The R's so overstate the emergency that they have no credibility and of course when they fight for tax cuts for the wealthy and then advance entitlement spending as their first way to fix the budget...who can believe a Republican...they've simply told too many egregious lies already...and this deficit problem..while a problem..is not yet a crisis. Look how quickly Clinton ran a surplus with something as simple as Paygo..when Obama proposed doing paygo again the R's objected. R's are not serious players in budget discussions..they have no gravitas or credibility.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 28, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

VIDEO: Wicked smaht President repeatedly confuses Iraq/Afghanistan
http://www.breitbart.tv/the-smartest-president-ever-obama-confuses-iraq-and-afghanistan/

...painful to witness, even the interviewer tried to "help" the bumbling TOTUS; but the Obamateur just ploughed ahead oblivious to reality.

Q: Can the Obamateur even find Tunisia on a map?

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 28, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

claw, are you on the SD police review board?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 28, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Kaddafi is still upset his hero Palin wasn't aware Africa was a continent and not a country.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 28, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Now for something that really matters...once upon a time I was a huge David Gilmour fan, then living between Hamburg and Amsterdam, after high school, it was all Sir Freddie Laker's fault, $200 RT across the pond...the rest is history.

"Police filed charges against the son of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour on Thursday for his role in last month's violent protest against the British government's decision to raise university tuition fees.

Charlie Gilmour, 21, shocked many in Britain when he was photographed swinging from the Union Jack attached to the Cenotaph, Britain's most important war memorial, during the Dec. 9 demonstration.

The picture of Gilmour swinging from the flag featured prominently in the country's tabloid press and ran over captions reading "vile" and "shame."

Gilmour was originally arrested on suspicion of violent disorder, theft and "attempted criminal damage of the Union flag on the Cenotaph." AP

Posted by: shrink2 | January 28, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Well clawrence you still wish to continue with your cannabis nonsense..OK again...

"He opposes legalizing marijuana from personal experience, it's wrong, and leads to bad things."

Yeah...like becoming President of the Unites States...or the film maker of classics like Oliver Stone...or the host of hit TV series like Bill Maher...or creating the music that defined a generation...The Beatles...do I really need to go on?

Do some pot smokers become unproductive heads? well yes..do some alcohol drinkers become unproductive? well yes...Do virtually ALL cigarette workers become less productive and require more of our health care $$$ Absolutely. Clawrence probably saw "Reefer Madness" one too many times.
Certainly at least the past three U.S. Presidents have smoked dope..and how childish are we about that...one..who has a propensity for lying as in "I did not have sex with that woman"..claims he didn't inhale. LMAO Did Bubba not realize how freaking moronic that was..."Yeah I'm going to experiment with an illegal substance..commit the crime without actually doing what it takes to complete the experiment..really smart..or perhaps we had a Pres who was so unable to resist peer pressure he simply faked his way..yeah I want someone who can't handle peer pressure in the W.H. NOT. We all know bubba inhaled..and that G.W. and B.O. both snorted as well as inhaled...but as Liam suggests the church ladies like Clawrence simple can't handle reality.

@wbgonne "Speaking of the budget deficit, ending marijuana prohibition will save $42 Billion per year."

I assume you are talking about savings from ending the "War on Drugs" But as far as the budget there is another consideration...you have described cutting expense...good thing..how about revenue enhancement..have you seen any numbers about how much tax income would accrue to the various entities...and trust me at minimum the states and the Feds would have their hands deeply into everybody's bag of weed.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 28, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne

"Like BSimon you apparently think it best to try to slip "liberal" positions through by subterfuge or camouflage."

Not only is your assumption incorrect in terms of what I think liberals should do message-wise, but you're completely ignoring the fact that using Government spending to spur growth is a fundamentally liberal position in of itself. The idea of selling the public on the good than can come from government investment via spending is certainly not trying to "slip" anything by anyone.

Transforming this country into one that uses electric cars and runs off solar, wind, tidal, and geothermal energy is the goal...but how we get there is the question.

We ccould get there by arguing that doing so is needed to avoid climate disaster, or we can get there by arguing the positive economic incentives and nationalism inherent in the transistion. Both are factually accurate. One is clearly more "sellable" to the general public, especially in times of economic distress and national renewal.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | January 28, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@shrink: "She thinks she still matters, what a dope."

Oh, Sarah still matters. Just because she isn't a credible presidential candidate doesn't mean she doesn't still matter.

@bernie: "he main function of the CIA and of the State Department and the US military isn't to do good works in the world but rather to facilitate the extraction of resources and profits from foreign lands."

Well, those are good works for •somebody•, just maybe not the people whose lands resources are being extracted from. But even then, maybe sometimes.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 28, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I support PDX putting in hundreds of charging stations because the basement of my mom's house in Woods Hole has a pump that runs 24/7. There is always a new one for when the one that is running all the time burns out.

When she bought it ca 30yrs ago, there was no sump pump, then it started flooding once or twice a year, now all the time. It is salty water. She lives a 1/4m from Vineyard Sound at sea level on the shore of a salt pond. The ocean is rising, no doubt about it. The house can't be sold now, it would be condemned after it was surveyed.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 28, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Ahhhh here is one to warm the cockles of clawrence and RFR's dark hearts.

From the "you might be a racist if..."

Hopefully you are aware of the Arena Football League...indoor football..don't suspect many follow it..but Tim Marcum has coached the Tampa Bay Storm to AFL championships...and what kind of guy is Timmy?

http://www.tampabay.com/sports/football/storm/tampa-bay-storm-coach-tim-marcum-had-racy-racist-material-on-work-computer/1148070

"In a WTSP-Ch. 10 report Wednesday, Marcum, acknowledges the material — which liberally uses the N-word, includes references to Air Force One as "Watermelon One"

But Marcum, 67, who declined to comment Thursday, didn't find the material inappropriate as long as it was kept between him and those with whom he corresponded. He also denied he is a racist.

"None of this has anything to do with what I feel as a man," he said in a video clip of the deposition during the Ch. 10 report.

Marcum, the winningest coach in Arena League history, also acknowledged sending material to other Storm employees"

It's that people of primarily a certain generation...alas my generation...can do the most racist things and yet believe they are NOT racists...not unlike some posters on this very blog.

Let's see if we can help...if you drop N bombs to workers under your supervision...YOU ARE A RACIST!!!!

If you send around jokes about Air Force One being Watermelon One again to fellow employees from your work computer...YOU ARE A RACIST!

clawrence and RFR are you able to comprehend this?

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 28, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

ruk, my point was that wbgonne called out CONSERVATIVES for not wanting a legitimate discussion. I think that I've proven that wrong at least.

Assuming that Obama becoming President (if he is indeed a natural-born citizen)...or the film maker of classics like Oliver Stone...or the host of hit TV series like Bill Maher...or creating the music that defined a generation...The Beatles are not "bad things" I would at least note that Obama was able to do so because he STOPPED smoking weed and turned his life around. Didn't you read his book on that?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 28, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

And I agree if you refer to Air Force One as "Watermelon One" you are a racist.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 28, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Wow claw, that is big of you. Since Mark says we should work to find points of agreement, I'll say that I too stopped smoking pot and turned my life around, or maybe it was that I turned my life around and stopped smoking pot...or maybe I just grew up. Point is, I think pot is bad.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 28, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@clawrence...

"I would at least note that Obama was able to do so because he STOPPED smoking weed and turned his life around."

You actually make my point Clawrence. Pot didn't lead Obama, Bush, Clinton, The Beatles, Bill Maher...into lives of deprivation and lack of productivity.

And in fact we could make the same argument for banning alcohol..you've read G.W.'s story right...he didn't turn his life around until becoming a teetotaler.

As someone who has inhaled and had numerous friends who have inhaled...and who have drank alcohol...I've seen the damage both drugs can do to a small % of users who become addicted. Now that I'm FORCED...a favorite word around here when we talk about taxes...to drink Vodka or some other alcoholic beverage to mellow out in a certain fashion..relax..call it what you will...the time honored martini before dinner...I can just tell you from life experience that having experimented with both I'd prefer to fire up a doobie before dinner to drinking a martini...presently I do not have that option..at least legally.

And this from a man who will take a yoga class today followed by :45 minutes of pretty intense weight lifting. I consider myself an athlete...I am truly able to enjoy the feeling of being straight...I meditate to relax...but like Ricky Williams of the Dolphins I feel that the occasional high from cannabis provides insights I do not get from any other substance.

It's really a simple question. How can anybody support the legalization of alcohol but not the legalization of pot...well there is one group I at least understand taking that position logically...the cartel of Alcohol producers who are well aware that millions of folks like me would possibly never again sip Belvedere if we could toke red bud.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 28, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse


RAHM

What kind of scandal just happened at the Illinois Supreme Court ???


People are going to be looking into this one - closely.


A guy who was on the BOARD AT FREDDIE MAC - who was accused of misleading investors in the sub-prime mortgage scandal - just got this decision from the court ????


OUCH


This is going to be scandal - OBAMA IS GOING TO BE INVESTIGATED.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse


RAHM

What kind of scandal just happened at the Illinois Supreme Court ???


People are going to be looking into this one - closely.


A guy who was on the BOARD AT FREDDIE MAC - who was accused of misleading investors in the sub-prime mortgage scandal - just got this decision from the court ????


OUCH


This is going to be scandal - OBAMA IS GOING TO BE INVESTIGATED.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

And I agree if you refer to Air Force One as "Watermelon One" you are a racist.

Posted by: clawrence12

No snark intended here...I am glad we agree on this. We can officially eliminate you from the "you might be a racist if..." category....now if we could only get you to stop the existential hatred of Obama that leads you down this "birther" path. :-)

It may not be racist..in your case at least...but it is still incredibly wacked out!

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 28, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I'll be happy to answer your "simple" question just as soon as you've answered mine.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 28, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

hey shrink, you think pot is bad ...ok. But how would you as a doctor/shrink compare its badness to alcohol or even nicotine?

Posted by: pragmaticagain | January 28, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

There's plenty of functional pot smokers out there, just as there are plenty of functional drinkers out there. It does have impact on one's professional opportunities as active use precludes military service as well as getting a clearance.

And I can assure conservatives on the board that she who shall not be named winning a presidential nomination is the liberals' fondest hope.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 28, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@shrink

David Gilmour? Pink Floyd? We KNOW you've inhaled. LMAO

When I was a student at the University of Cincinnati in 1970-71? I went to a Pink Floyd Concert. I did not fire one up before the show...no problem..I walked into the auditorium and there was a cloud..envision Cheech and Chong go to see Pink Floyd. I didn't have to smoke anything...all I had to do was take a deep breath of the auditorium air. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 28, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism Reports:

Rahm Emanuel getting 53% among "likely voters"

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=177145&print=1

"Jan 26, 2011
A glance at recent polls shows Chicago voters dividing their support for mayor along strictly racial proportions. However, a closer look shows that those who plan to vote for frontrunner Rahm Emanuel are a far more diverse bunch than these numbers imply.

A poll released Tuesday by the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and We Ask America shows more than 56 percent of likely African-American voters say they support Emanuel, nearly double their citywide percentage. The same poll shows 20 percent of blacks plan to vote for Braun.

The We Ask America poll shows Emanuel getting the support of 53 percent of likely voters – more than the minimum 50 percent plus one required for him to win the Feb. 22 election outright."

Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I don't hate Obama. I love the Constitution.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 28, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

U-Minn: Obama LEAST Smart Since FDR
http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cspg/smartpolitics/2011/01/keeping_it_simple_obama_record.php

"President Obama now has the LOWEST average Flesch-Kincaid score for State of the Union addresses of any modern president — with his 8.5 grade level falling just below the 8.6 score recorded by George H.W. Bush during his presidency."

*wicked smaht*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 28, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"bsimon, I hope you are still posting here when she clinches the GOP nomination"


Its like the lotto: can't win if you don't play. She ain't gonna play.

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 28, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Rand Paul Self Certified his Senate Election Results, and then swore himself in.


Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"A CBS online poll taken soon after Obama's address recorded an extraordinary 91 per cent approval rating. In a separate CNN poll, 84 per cent approved.

Time to head to the gym kiddies...play nice and don't be too tough on the conservatives...it's hell when all you have to offer is negativity. To borrow from Mr. T. "Pity the fools."

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 28, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade, I can assure you that liberals thought the same about Reagan taking on Carter.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 28, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse


AND if you agree that FALSE CHARGES OF RACISM are only directed at white people,


Then you are not a racist.


Anyone who levels a FALSE CHARGE OF RACISM is a RACIST AGAINST WHITES.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin writes
"bsimon, we agree about the root cause and we agree that CA is the archetype of voter disconnect. But I was hoping that liberal and moderate and conservative commenters here could address the Commission approach and also the revival of Gramm-Rudman-Hollings. I tried to frame it in a way that would let me understand if there is any real hope, frankly."


I suspect the majority of people posting here - perhaps everyone but yourself - would have to review those proposals to remember what's in them.

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 28, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Egypt is "the story." If "the people" succeed, who is next. Big changes for Israel (=they should have made peace with the Palistinians), our Afghan War may be irrelevant (=the Muslim Brotherhood will welcome anti-American jihadists wherever the revolutionary winds take hold), and all of this because of Wikileaks: who would of thunk it?

Posted by: dozas | January 28, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Charlie Sheen is a "functioning" cocaine addict too.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 28, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"...all I had to do was take a deep breath of the auditorium air.."

Heh, heh, like boarder dude Ross Rebagliati, who lost his Gold Medal at Nagano because, he claimed, he went to a party and breathed the air.

To this question from prag, "how would you compare its badness to alcohol or even nicotine?" At the same level, though somewhat more benign, capable of destroying vulnerable peoples' lives though if used rarely or, if a person is lucky, even in considerable quantity pushing the *moderation* envelope, it can be almost, if not entirely harmless.

Oregon is a medical MJ state and lots and lots of people have cards. It can be a nasty habit, though I am biased by working in the receiving area for very bad outcomes, obviously. Even so, the best argument I can see from a clinical perceptive for legalizing MJ is to separate its culture and its distribution system in particular from that of the horror drugs, methamphetamine and heroin.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 28, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

All, Adam Serwer wallops Jennifer Rubin one last time on the Black Panther tale:

http://wapo.st/g6RTFC

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 28, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

If the protestors manage to change the government in Egypt(A very long shot), then China will have a lot to worry about.

They rely too much now, on exports to the developed world, to be able to repeat the handling of the previousTienanmen Square protests.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

the pragmatic one wrote:
=========
This isn't a "discourse cheapening insult?"

And to be clear, that role, according to Obama, is centralized economic planning. The government is in charge of the economy, its role to "create jobs" by taxing and spending on industries, businesses, and areas it chooses. With a heavy-handed thumb on the balance in favor of Big Unions. Essentially every word he says about free markets and enterprise is lip service.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 28, 2011 9:08 AM

==================

Apparently, you can't handle the truth. I say this simply because what QB1 describes is exactly correct.

Why the heck else would a sycophant like Immelt be welded at the hip to Mr Obama

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 28, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"I assume you are talking about savings from ending the "War on Drugs" But as far as the budget there is another consideration...you have described cutting expense...good thing..how about revenue enhancement..have you seen any numbers about how much tax income would accrue to the various entities."

That 42B figure is only for marijuana not other drugs. It includes savings from law enforcement and assumes taxation; the 42B is roughly half from each.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"our Afghan War may be irrelevant"

I'm afraid it is far worse than irrelevant. We have SO FAR spent 373B in Afghanistan and now we are ramping up our forces. We are accomplishing nothing, just like we did in Iraq but we are stoking anti-American sentiment throughout the Muslim World.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne

Thanks for the clarification.

@skippy Have you read the Republican platform for 1956. It's well to the left of Obama...is it your contention that one of our greatest War heroes..Ike was a bleeding heart liberal with no respect for the Constitution? Because that's the only logical inference one could draw from your post since Ike was well to the left of what Obama is proposing. Ohh but Ike presided over a booming middle class growth while your pinheads from Ronnie on presided over a shrinking middle class with a massive wealth transfer...socialism for the rich.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 28, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

$42B does not include the other costs to society.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 28, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"We ccould get there by arguing that doing so is needed to avoid climate disaster, or we can get there by arguing the positive economic incentives and nationalism inherent in the transistion. Both are factually accurate. One is clearly more "sellable" to the general public, especially in times of economic distress and national renewal."

I have no problem with additional arguments to support addressing global warming. But if we don't take the Flatearthers on directly we won't succeed. Period.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Imagine how huge the Prison Industrial Complex could become, if we started incarcerating all Alcohol abusers and pushers, the way we now handle people who deal in, or use narcotics. Well, except for the likes of The Big Fat Pillbilly.

"Ah but justice is a fickle thing
One law for the common man, another for the king
And don't you know when kings can't win the game
It won't be long 'til all the rules are changed
And it's all justified when you're on the winning side"
Robbie O'Connell

Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Again bringing the point home: We have a President and the Democratic Party who won't take positions that are BOTH politically popular and sound policy SOLELY BECAUSE the Right Wing will get angry. Whether it is marijuana, taxes on the Rich, the public option, whatever, Obama and the Dems are abandoning winning positions out of fear of the Cons. That is beyond stupid.

Here's what you do as President: You say that marijuana should be legalized, or taxes on the Rich should be raised, or global warming must be addressed, you give your reasons -- finances, freedom, whatever -- then you make the Cons play defense because they will be opposing inherently popular positions. How hard is that?

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Rush Limbaugh is on vacation?!

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 28, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Liam is correct. Law enforcement is a huge and nearly untouchable industry in the United States. It costs $25,000 per year just to incarcerate someone for a year. Putting Americans in prison makes Big Money very happy and very wealthy.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

It actually cost 60K per year, in 2008 to warehouse a single person in the US Prison Industrial Gulag.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh, I am going on vacation tomorrow morning for another week too. But I don't think I have to worry about bumping into El Rushbo up in British Columbia. Last time he was busted with a pocket full of Viagṙa, he was coming back from a place where child prostitution is aok.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 28, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@the name caller RUK:
"@skippy Have you read the Republican platform for 1956. It's well to the left of Obama...is it your contention that one of our greatest War heroes..Ike was a bleeding heart liberal with no respect for the Constitution? Because that's the only logical inference one could draw from your post since Ike was well to the left of what Obama is proposing. Ohh but Ike presided over a booming middle class growth while your pinheads from Ronnie on presided over a shrinking middle class with a massive wealth transfer...socialism for the rich."

Perhaps you could provide some, you know, good old proof of contentions. Or is making assertions and calling nasty names all you got?

further, it is a question of right and wrong, not a question of prior Republican presidential "positions" that you allege but have not proven.

Without respect to what Ike might have said, that you haven't proved, striking the proper balance between government control and personal freedom is what the debate is all about.

And I don't see the middle class shrinking at all.

Thanks for the continuing name calling. It is important to know that liberals cannot change what they are. And you, sir, are unworthy of respect. Just like Liam-still.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 28, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

in response to this:
================
Last time he was busted with a pocket full of Viagṙa, he was coming back from a place where child prostitution is aok.
==================

so everyone who travels to, oh say, Thailand is, according to your smear, accused of engaging in child prostitution, right?

Are you having calumny hang-over from those heady days when folks like you accused folks like Palin of all sorts of misdeeds based on absolutely nothing?

is this now the standard for intellectual rigor amoung America's liberals?

for shame.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 28, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

There is one crucial aspect of global warming that has not been addressed. I have often wondered why costal real estate prices in the U.S. seem impervious to the inevitable sea rise. I would have expected that the insurance market, which obviously knows what's coming, would have done its Invisible Hand thing and caused insurance prices to skyrocket, thereby diminishing the value of coastal real estate. But you know what? The insurance industry isn't even taking any chances: private insurers have largely pulled out of the coastal real estate market. Guess who now insures all that very expensive property at risk from global warming? WE DO! The United States government provides catastrophic insurance when no sane insurer would. The American people are indirectly subsidizing global warming denial. That is something that must change. If people want coastal properties they must either get private insurance or bear their own losses when the inevitable occurs. Obama can certainly address that.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Gee skip, I hope I didn't touch a sore spot.

So, coming back from Thailand with a pocket full of pee pee pills and no prescription for them...yeah, I am thinking: sexual tourist.
Pardon me if that seems bananas.

Now prostitution exists everywhere. But the Dominican Republic and Thailand are infamous and deservedly so for vending children to tourists and that is no joke. Rush Limbaugh decided to go to the Dominican Republic at that time a single man and an addict, and he did not buy those pills for no reason..

Posted by: shrink2 | January 28, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Rush was caught returning from The Dominican Republic, not just with those blue pills, but also a prescription for them, in another person's name. If Rush had nothing to hide, then why was he using another person's prescription; which is a crime.

I did get a kick out of the fact that he was returning with all those unused pills, which means that Rush turned out to be, even with the aid of those blue pills, not much of a stand up guy.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne

"I have no problem with additional arguments to support addressing global warming. But if we don't take the Flatearthers on directly we won't succeed. Period."

You really believe that if Democrats make the arguement that by creating a clean energy grid with unlimited power and high-paying jobs that won't ever leave our shores...the right's rebuttal of "but climate change isn't real!" will win out? I'm going to feel comfortable in disagreeing with you on that one.

I'm reminded of a great line in The West Wing where Josh is arguing with Toby about the re-election campaign:

"Josh: I don't know what gave you the impression that I had to be convinced, but I want to win. You want to beat him, and that's a problem for me, because I want to win."

So many liberals need to stop thinking about to "beat them" and start focusing simply on how to win.

If get get to a point where 100% of our power is coming from solar, then I don't care at all about whether people think we did it to save the planet, to create jobs, or to have cool-looking techno-countrysides. We still won, and we still won without resorting to the lying/manipulation that the GOP uses. We won, AND we won while taking the high-road.

I'm not saying to avoid the arguement like the plague. I'm not even saying we shouldn't acknowledge the benefits of clean enery on the evironment. I'm not saying it should be hidden from view or not included in the debate...

I'm merely saying that it shouldn't be the main focus of our position - which is what it's mostly been for decades.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | January 28, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

That's right, skipsailing, no one travels to the Dominican Republic (or Vietnam, for that matter) single, with Vïagra unless it's to scréw little boys.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 28, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

No shrink2 you didn't touch a sore spot. But you did disappoint me. It is just that now I know that you're not different from any other thoughtless liberal. Hurling lies and false accusations at people with the unmitigated gall to simply disagree with your politics is hardly the work of a exceptional intellect.

Basically what it amounts to is that there is simply no difference between you and, oh say, Ethan.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 28, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Rush was caught returning from The Dominican Republic, not just with those blue pills, but also a prescription for them, in another person's name. If Rush had nothing to hide, then why was he using another person's prescription; which is a crime.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

skip, thank you for the exceptional intellect backhand complement. I'll try harder. I hope I wasn't lying, I didn't intend to, lying is evil. But I also hope the accusation is false, for the sake of, you know, the children.

As you also know, I don't fight with the people on post-it boards, I just make some jokes and oh course, if people misquote me or take what I've said so far out of context that it makes no sense, sometimes I'll bother to defend what I've said.

That said, Rush Limbaugh is a person I consider fair game, a person who engages for entertainment purposes in the same shall we say hyperbolic arguments I used in the sex tourism innuendo. He was in really bad shape then. Now he is married and presumably clean if not sober. People make mistakes. Public figures' mistakes are routinely trotted out by their political enemies, it comes with the millions.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 28, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"So many liberals need to stop thinking about to "beat them" and start focusing simply on how to win."

I will respond to your global warming comments momentarily but O wanted to zero in on this for a moment because it repeats the fallacy that staking "liberal" positions is a losing proposition. That is, quite simply, wrong. And if nothing else persuades you then Obama first two years and the resultant Democratic collapse, must. On Election Day Obama adopted the approach you seem to advocate and it has been a dismal failure. It is surprising to hear lectures about "pragmatism" from the party that just pragmatized itself right out of power.

What I propose is not pie-in-the-sky liberalism. The positions I advocate -- a public health insurance plan, ending the War on Drugs, addressing global warming and sea level rise, raising taxes on the Rich -- these are all positions that the majority of Americans ALREADY support. WIth Presidential leadership, that support level could be stratospheric. You will then force the Conservatives into dissension, playing defense and admitting doubts. Once that happens, the entire GOP playbook burns to ashes.

I am saying this: It just so happens that the American public generally holds so-called "liberal" positions on most important issues. The issue positions sell themselves. Therefore, it is BOTH good policy and good politics to push those positions. The fact that Obama and the Democratic Party seem unable to grasp this is what has been most frustrating for those like me on the Left who had such high hopes for the Obama presidency. All the Dems have (had) to do was cash the chips.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"You really believe that if Democrats make the arguement that by creating a clean energy grid with unlimited power and high-paying jobs that won't ever leave our shores...the right's rebuttal of "but climate change isn't real!" will win out? I'm going to feel comfortable in disagreeing with you on that one."

Let me put it this way. If Obama and the Democrats can't convince the American people that global warming must be addressed because the Cons have successfully raised unreasonable doubt about science, what makes you think Obama and the Dems can withstand the Cons' inevitable attacks against the reasons you've given -- clean energy grid with unlimited power and high-paying jobs that won't ever leave our shores? After all, if the Dems can't withstand Right Wing assaults on SCIENCE, how will they successfully defend anything else.

Take the bull by the horns. Do the right thing, not the right political thing. Explain to the American people what the problems is and what you propose to do about it. Trust the American people. Dare Congress to defy you and the American People. The DC Establishment is out of touch with the American People and out of touch with reality and should be ignored as much as possible. That's my advice for Obama on this global warming issue and most others.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

O&O.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"O&O" means that he won't be dealing with any points against the argument to legalize marijuana.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 28, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne

Sigh.

Look, I get where you're coming from. I understand what you're saying. You are saying that because the public at large is more progressive than they get credit for, that having the President out there advocating for the things that the public already supports would simply reinforce those positions, thus making them easier to pass legislatively.

I get that, and I agree that the public at large is more left than basically everyone in DC seems to think they are. I also agree that fighting in favor of issues that have proven public support (great example: DADT) can create a political climate which Dems can win in.

I'm not disagreeing that what you think they should do would work. I'm merely stating that there are other, and better, ways to get what we want.

"Do the right thing, not the right political thing."

Do you honestly think that advocating for alternative energy by mainly highlighting the job creation and protection, the cheaper and more long term energy, and the advances in technology and science...that is somehow merely "the right political thing", and not "the right" to do?

You really, really didn't understand what that quote was talking about.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | January 28, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"Do you honestly think that advocating for alternative energy by mainly highlighting the job creation and protection, the cheaper and more long term energy, and the advances in technology and science...that is somehow merely "the right political thing", and not "the right" to do?"

Not what I was referring to. Sorry for being unclear. Frankly, I don't care WHY the right thing gets done on global warming just that it does. From what I see, however, it is NOT getting done. And that's the bottom line.

By the "Right political thing" I meant that Obama should stop cutting deals with Congress and directly address the American People. It seems to me that Obama's process is this: he considers a real problem and correctly identifies the correct solution but then Obama abandons that solution for some ineffective half-measure founded on political expediency that fails. That's how Obama got blamed for being too liberal when the real problem was that he wasn't liberal enough.

I know you're very sharp on political strategy. It can't be news to you that Obama's strategy has failed severely. But instead of making the correct adjustments, Obama appears to have gone even further to the Right. Although it may profit Obama's immediate political fortune, that is yet another huge strategic mistake because it will move Obama EVEN FURTHER AWAY from the positions preferred by the American People.

That's all I got.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 28, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

@skippy You deserve the nasty names after your response to Jenn with the condescending "dearie"...particularly rich since you are not even a pimple on Jenn's considerable intellect.

You need proof of the 1956 R Platform...my heavens are you so old like Grandpa McCain you can't even use the "googles".

Google.com type in 1956 Republican Platform. It's still in the public record

Some snippets for you...

"Further reductions in taxes with particular consideration for low and middle income families."

Freaking socialist Republicans out to redistribute the wealth and "confiscate" all the rich folks money. Marginal rates were above 90%...Capital gains 25%..in other words "labor" was valued as much as the investing class..by REPUBLICANS!!!

"Under the Republican Administration, as our country has prospered, so have its people. This is as it should be, for as President Eisenhower said: "Labor is the United States. The men and women, who with their minds, their hearts and hands, create the wealth that is shared in this country—they are America."

Wow...can you imagine an R today saying ANYTHING about helping the working man.
R's do not value labor...they value investors and the wealthy and if you can't see that skippy you need to learn more than the googles.

"Assure equal pay for equal work regardless of Sex;"

Whoaaa what a concept! From an R?

"Continue to fight for the elimination of discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry or sex;"

Provide assistance to improve the economic conditions of areas faced with persistent and substantial unemployment;

"Revise and improve the Taft-Hartley Act so as to protect more effectively the rights of labor unions, management, the individual worker, and the public. The protection of the right of workers to organize into unions and to bargain collectively is the firm and permanent policy of the Eisenhower Administration."

FREAKING PRO LABOR!!!!!!

The Republican Party believes that the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of the people is as important as their economic health. It will continue to support this conviction with vigorous action.

"Republican action created the Department of Health, Education and Welfare as the first new Federal department in 40 years, to raise the continuing consideration of these problems for the first time to the highest council of Government, the President's Cabinet."

But I've saved the most astounding for last...there are more but this one takes the cake..

"We recommend to Congress the submission of a constitutional amendment providing equal rights for men and women."

Ike and the R's were FOR the ERA. Amazing!

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 28, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse


Ever wonder about all the free stuff you see on the web? It appears like everybody wants to give stuff away for nothing, nada, zilch. But are these items truly free of charge? If so, how can these companies afford to give away all of these coupons and samples? It’s truly all about you, the consumer. We live in a very competitive world marketplace place. The internet has upped the ante in terms of who could be seen and heard via all with the mass media. Now companies need to make lots of noise and this is one way that can do it. One of the best place on the web is called "123 Get Samples" and get your free stuffs

Posted by: lindanancy29 | January 29, 2011 5:18 AM | Report abuse

The Jews are destroyers. They are also the Anti-Christ that the bible speaks of. They will destroy any and all things to get their way. They are ruthless, vile, filthy scum that serves their father, the devil. To befriend a Jew, is to sign your deathwarrent. The filthy Jew will trick you and lead you to your own destruction.

I am so glad Senator Rand Paul has stood up to the Jewish Lobby and will stop aid to Isreal

Posted by: ToddPollard | January 30, 2011 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

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

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




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company