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Posted at 6:25 PM ET, 02/18/2011

Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* The White House stands by Obama's firm opposition to rolling back the bargaining rights of Wisconsin public employees.

* MSNBC's First Read gang hits on a crucial point about the anti-public employee drive: "they could be waking up a sleeping giant heading into next year's presidential contest."

* As Mike Tomasky notes, Republican state legislators around the country are closely watching what happens in Wisconsin to gauge what they'll be able to get away with in their own states.

* Kevin Drum perfectly captures the larger goal of the drive against public unions: "it's an effort to destroy one of the few institutions left that fights relentlessly for the economic interests of the middle class."

* Nancy Pelosi voices strong support for the State Senate Dems who fled Wisconsin: "I'm very proud of what they are doing."

* New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman's retirement means a battle over another open seat that both national parties will certainly target, and one that Dems didn't want.

Also: Chris Cillizza says national Dems are casting Bingaman's decision as the result of a broader strategy to force Senators who are mulling retirement to "make their intentions clear early on."

* A twofer as House Republicans pass measures to defund Planned Parenthood and the health care law.

* And House GOPers publicly battled each other over a measure -- eventually defeated -- to cut $22 billion more in spending, another sign that this fissure remain deep.

* Planned Parenthood's response to the defunding vote:

"It is difficult to understand why people who say they are opposed to abortion would do so much to undermine the family planning and contraception that helps prevent the need for it."

* Dem Rep. Jackie Speier discusses her decision to deliver that emotional speech revealing her abortion:

"I sat there thinking, none of these men on the other side have even come close to experiencing this, and yet they can pontificate about what it's like. It just overwhelmed me."

* Adam Serwer on how Speier's floor speech vividly revealed that the abortion policy fight involves issues that happen to have an impact on real-live human beings.

* Wisconsin Dems vow to stay out of the state for weeks if necessary.

* And here's what to watch for next: Will the Koch brothers and the Tea Party succeed in building any real national right-wing backlash to the Wisconsin protest?

What else is going on?

By Greg Sargent  | February 18, 2011; 6:25 PM ET
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Labor, Senate Dems, abortion  
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Comments

Hope y'all don't mind some more Tx news. I would humbly suggest that Democrats address the needs of the growing Hispanic population. One wonders what they think of the public school system here now that the GOP has bankrupted the State:

"The state’s population increased by 4.3 million compared with the 2000 census, increasing to 25.1 million. Roughly 90 percent of that growth came in counties around the major urban centers — Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio — along with the Rio Grande Valley, census data shows.

And of that 4.3 million, 2.8 million — 65 percent — are Hispanic, said Dr. Lloyd Potter, the Texas state demographer." http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20110217-population-growth-surging-around-dallas-other-texas-cities-census-figures-show.ece

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 18, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

The Koch brothers aren't concerned about individual rights. It's the individuals right to collectively bargain.

Posted by: Judy_L | February 18, 2011 6:55 PM | Report abuse


Earlier, Bernie quoted Juicebox, er, Ezra, gaming out Boehner's motivation: " The open rules are leading to a lot of ad hoc coalitions between congressional Democrats and more mainstream congressional Republicans. If these two groups get used to working with each other on small things, such as funding for police, that might help them work together on big things, such as avoiding a default or shutdown.""

As usual Bernie, another thought provoking link. Thanks.  There are two mounts worth mentioning I think. First, Boehner promised a more open House, so Occam's Razor and all that.  Second, maybe EZ's right!

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/144993-dems-like-openness-in-gop-house

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 18, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

The Bible never refers to Hispanics. Just sayin', everyone true American knows Jeebus had blonde hair and blue eyes. You see, if America had given all that war-on-poverty, great-society money to churches, there wouldn't be any question about these things. Churches get culture wars, you could say, religion and culture wars are as old as tribes.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

EazyE, Troll, you got it goin' on

'Well it's like that and it's like this,
I took her to the park and we started to kiss'

I had no idea you were old school.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

One wonders what they think of the public school system here now that the GOP has bankrupted the State

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 18, 2011 6:53 PM
++++++++++

Technically not possible, because states can't declare bankruptcy.

Moreover, Gov. Goodhair won re-election on the strength of the Texas economy. So Texas must be flush with cash. Republicans don't lie. Look under the cushions. The money must be somewhere.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | February 18, 2011 7:26 PM | Report abuse

wow, Firedoglack must have banned me from posting because I was having a back and forth with the regulars there.

They really don't like opposing viewpoints do they.

I suppose they like their echo chamber of hate over there. Not sure why I even bother with those anarchists.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 18, 2011 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Dismantle the unions, and you dismantle a key get out the vote mechanism for the Dems. That's the R's bottom-line.

~ Halli Casser-Jayne

Posted by: PolitiHAL | February 18, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Check this out!

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/18/ohios-turn-to-revolt-thousands-flood-statehouse-over-anti-union-bill/

It's happening....time to wake up Democrats. Unite against fight to crush the American worker.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 18, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

mike, that is what people like, pinging opinions off "friends".

All day you say something trite or cut and paste from some approved link and when you refresh you see... "How lovely!" "Brilliant." "I couldn't agree more and thank you." "You have helped me learn something I never knew I knew..."

That feels so much better than putting your best ideas out there and being told to, well you know, where to shove them.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

They are more anti-Obama than Fox to be honest.

Somehow, they don't understand that if you attack what is going to be the top of the ticket 24/7, that in 2012 it's going to have down ticket repercussions. Anyone who visits that site will be encouraged to sit on their hands and stay home while more crazies take over state legislatures and governorships.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 18, 2011 7:59 PM | Report abuse

As a liberal, people are surprised that in principle I am against unionization of public employees. I stand with Franklin Roosevelt on that issue. However, given the low level of private sector unionization these days, we need public employee unions just to provide a voice for working people to rally round.

The big shame is that Republicans attack the laughable benefits going to normal people while sponsoring tax breaks for the rich and corporate welfare for the big agriculture as well as the big Wall Street firms that caused the whole red ink mess to begin with. Seems like they want to pick on the little guy because they are the easy targets.

Posted by: Poster3 | February 18, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

"That feels so much better than putting your best ideas out there and being told to, well you know, where to shove them."

Heh. Dont forget "and only someone vile and made of pure evil would even hold them."

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 18, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

There was one person telling me it's good that Republicans took over and it would be good if a Republican wins the White House because that will motivate Democrats more?!?!?!? and nobody questions them.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 18, 2011 8:01 PM | Report abuse

As a liberal, people are surprised that in principle I am against unionization of public employees. I stand with Franklin Roosevelt on that issue. However, given the low level of private sector unionization these days, we need public employee unions just to provide a voice for working people to rally round.

The big shame is that Republicans attack the laughable benefits going to normal people while sponsoring tax breaks for the rich and corporate welfare for the big agriculture as well as the big Wall Street firms that caused the whole red ink mess to begin with. Seems like they want to pick on the little guy because they are the easy targets.

Posted by: Poster3 | February 18, 2011 8:01 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone who visits that site will be encouraged to sit on their hands and stay home while more crazies take over state legislatures and governorships."

Hmm, suddenly, I'm starting to like FDL. ;-)

Really interesting comments today Mike!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 18, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's already been pointed out, but with all the talk about how the fight in Wisconsin is going to destroy the middle class because they won't be able to bargain for benefits anymore, has anyone noticed the federal employees? They can't bargain for wages or benefits (with only a few exceptions) and according to all the news stories about them, seem to be doing just fine.

Maybe the sky isn't falling after all.

Posted by: Bailers | February 18, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Troll, you should head over there. It's bash Obama, call him the black Bush, and anything else to tear the admin any chance they can get.

In fact, their top post right now is comparing what Walker is doing to what Obama did as President.

They would love you over there.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 18, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

"They would love you over there."

Thanks for the suggestion. As a Con though, I'd rather be "feared." ;-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 18, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse

"As a Con though, I'd rather be "feared."

I think it is laudable that you've set your sights on the unobtainable.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 18, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Dont forget "and only someone vile and made of pure evil would even hold them."

Aww, did some bad o puddy tat say that to you?

It is hard to be here Troll, kind of like Passchendaele, you just try to survive, but you can't because you were never given the choice.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Feared? LOL

When I see your name, I get a vision of Alfred E. Newman.

Must be your name, Troll.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 18, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Re the two separate links above on "waking a sleeping giant" and "what will the Koch-funded tea party strategists do?"...

First, Odom (Weigel's link) suggests that the corporate boys might have the makings of a Santelli repeat in Wisconsin. But the two situations are different in a very important way. The Santelli/tea party phenomenon had the frame of angry citizens versus government. But Wisconsin (and now elsewhere) is also frame of angry citizens against government. What can the tea party front groups do other than set up citizens against citizens? That might get ugly, of course, but it is the necessary framing for uninvolved citizens to be forced into attending to what is up and making decisions on which side they ought to stand for - one version of governance with its supporters or another version of governance with its supporters.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 18, 2011 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Troll has thick skin, I like him. He does not do the, "Well I think you are a stinky dirty ass wipe."

He can pour (semiotic) lead into liberal straw figures on the internet and he can take the incoming chaff. He is a man on a mission. He is in an intellectual fire fight. He is a good, honorable man.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

And if anyone has an in with Anonymous, would you please ask them to hack into the Koch machine.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 18, 2011 8:48 PM | Report abuse

"Feared? LOL

When I see your name, I get a vision of Alfred E. Newman.

Must be your name, Troll."

The "vision" that's more accurate is Flounder. Clarity is very important to me.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 18, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I've grown fond of troll as well.

Good piece from Krugman on a question I'd been wondering...

"One thing I’m hearing and reading from liberal sources is the argument that we can find big savings by ending the war in Afghanistan, and more generally by cutting bloated defense spending. So, a few words on that issue.

Yes, there’s a lot of wasteful defense spending — in fact, it’s almost surely the most waste-ridden part of the federal budget, because politicians are afraid to say no to anything for fear of being called unpatriotic. And even aside from the question of the Bush wars, it has long been clear that we’re still spending a lot to head off threats that haven’t existed since the fall of the Soviet Union. Read Fred Kaplan for a sense of just how bad it is.

Then there are those wars. I was against Iraq from the beginning — and I was pretty lonely out there on the pages of major newspapers. Afghanistan made sense in 2002, but I have no idea what we’re doing there now.

But if we’re talking about fiscal issues, you have to bear the arithmetic in mind. We’re not living in the 1950s, when defense was half the federal budget. Even a drastic cut in military spending wouldn’t release enough money to offset more than a small fraction of the projected rise in health care costs.

So by all means, let’s try to crack down on the massive waste that goes on in matters military. But doing so would be of only modest help on the larger budget problem."

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/

Posted by: bernielatham | February 18, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

""Troll has thick skin, I like him. He does not do the, "Well I think you are a stinky dirty ass wipe."

He can pour (semiotic) lead into liberal straw figures on the internet and he can take the incoming chaff. He is a man on a mission. He is in an intellectual fire fight. He is a good, honorable man.""

For a psychiatrist you're easily fooled. There was nothing honorable about what he did to Ddawd last night unless you think he deserved it.

Food (I mean word) fights notwithstanding, there's something unique in Mc Wing's strategy which I can certainly respect on a skillful level but disdain on a mind (I mean word) game level.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 18, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Just skimmed the daytime threads.

Some very, very slizzered sandinistas.

I had no idea, it's a ♫♫ whole new world ♫♫.

There's a alt/bizzaro-RainForest w/ allcaps and upagainstthewallmofo graphs. (STRF wouldn't go false flag would he?)

Nahhhh

Posted by: tao9 | February 18, 2011 9:01 PM | Report abuse

* Nancy Pelosi voices strong support for the State Senate Dems who fled Wisconsin: "I'm very proud of what they are doing."
=======================================

There's reason to be proud. Dems doing what Dems do---draw your pay but tuck tail when it comes time to actually earn the pay. Taxpayers can stay home and take care of their kids instead of going to work, while the teachers, who get paid to be with the children, take to the streets, because they don't wish to share in the sacrifices required of those who pay their salaries. A public relations nightmare for liberals. We're not talking exploited immigrant labor here; we're talking chickens coming home to roost. The future is now. Too bad they can't figure out some way to keep the State Senate Dems out of state indefinitely.

Posted by: Brigade | February 18, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Krugman clearly must be straightened out by rukidding and the other stalwarts of PL, who hold to the true faith that the cost of the gringo imperialist war machine is over half budget (since most of what we spent we don't really spend but just spends itself, apparently).

The answer's clear either way: massive tax increases to create jobs andget the economy growing. That's the ticket.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 18, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

The Bible never refers to Hispanics. Just sayin', everyone true American knows Jeebus had blonde hair and blue eyes. You see, if America had given all that war-on-poverty, great-society money to churches, there wouldn't be any question about these things. Churches get culture wars, you could say, religion and culture wars are as old as tribes.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 7:09 PM
========================================

One too many martinis can lead to incoherence.

Posted by: Brigade | February 18, 2011 9:05 PM | Report abuse

For a psychiatrist you're easily fooled. There was nothing honorable about what he did to Ddawd last night unless you think he deserved it.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 18, 2011 9:00 PM
=======================================

I must have missed that exchange, but it's hard to imagine anything he could have said that DDAWD wouldn't have had coming. You'll rarely encounter posters with more bile and resentment of any and all who disagree with them than DDAWD and cao.

Posted by: Brigade | February 18, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

"Troll has thick skin, I like him. He does not do the, "Well I think you are a stinky dirty ass wipe."

He can pour (semiotic) lead into liberal straw figures on the internet and he can take the incoming chaff. He is a man on a mission. He is in an intellectual fire fight. He is a good, honorable man."

"Yeah, I've grown fond of troll as well."

Dang!  Let's get a room!

And Imsinca, when I complimented and thanked DDAWD last night I meant every word of it.  I understand that some don't believe me, obviously I bring some of that on myself. I do acknowledge, and pride prevented me from writing it last night, that it was wrong for me to include my sincere statement in one that could have easily been construed as sarcastic, thereby "tainting" the whole thing.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 18, 2011 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Taxpayers can stay home and take care of their kids instead of going to work, while the teachers, who get paid to be with the children, take to the streets, because they don't wish to share in the sacrifices required of those who pay their salaries.

Posted by: Brigade | February 18, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

---

You really should read before posting on occasion. Wisconsin unions have already agreed to give backs. This is about eliminating the right to collective bargaining. Wisconsin's budgetary issues are entirely of the governor's making and much less than those facing other states.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 18, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Okay McWing, thanks for the explanation, I admit to being disappointed but I'm an old softie. I like to keep truth and sarcasm separate because some people can't tell the difference and I don't like traps. Thanks

Posted by: lmsinca | February 18, 2011 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey all!

I know the following link's from HotAir. Now, before everybody "freaks out" there are two video clips (that are IPad compatible!) embedded in the article, one of the two, I promise, will make you laugh!

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/02/18/video-and-now-some-important-messages-from-the-wisconsin-union-protesters/

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 18, 2011 9:24 PM | Report abuse

"Food (I mean word) fights notwithstanding..."

But, that is all this is.

"I understand that some don't believe me, obviously I bring some of that on myself."

People on the internet want attention from strangers. We all understand, no need to apologize.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Poor, poor pitiful DDAWD, picked on by the mean, dirty, no good TrollMWN.

Good heavens. It was DD doing his usual hate-rage bit of saying (so originally) that conservatives have all led a sheltered life and never lost anyone, hence their pathological sickness.

Poor, poor pitiful him.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 18, 2011 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh Thank God! i am SO grateful and relieved that the fiscally responsible republicans and the tea party freshmen republicans were able to SAVE the NASCAR sponsorship. WHAT, i ask you, is more important spending than, NASCAR??? a masterful display of the republican's care and responsibility of our outrageous deficit!

we should be grateful for the fact, that this absolutely GLORIOUS save of NASCAR funds, simultaneous to, and juxtaposed by, republican efforts to deny millions of the middle class and poor from health care coverage, means that it is a WIN, WIN. hurray!

Posted by: ebproducer | February 18, 2011 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Some pearls of wisdom from earlier in the week by one of the liberal chiselers in chief, Robert Reich:

"The best way to revive the economy is not to cut the federal deficit right now. It’s to put more money into the pockets of average working families. Not until they start spending again big time will companies begin to hire again big time.

The most direct way to get more money into their pockets is to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (a wage subsidy) all the way up through people earning $50,000, and reduce their income taxes to zero. Taxes on incomes between $50,000 and $90,000 should be cut to 10 percent; between $90,000 and $150,000 to 20 percent; between $150,000 and $250,000 to 30 percent."

He also wants to exempt the first 20,000 of income from Social Security taxes. Let's see now---we'll raise the percentage of workers who have no federal income tax liability well above 50% of the total, cut taxes for everyone earning under 250,000, and make sure those most likely to depend on Social Security in their golden years don't pay much into the pool (aka welfare). And we'll afford all this by letting the Bush tax cuts on upper income earners expire and by (sorry DDAWD) tapping into the increased revenue windfall created by cutting taxes for the vast majority of taxpayers.

Yeh, that'll work. And from another Reich piece:

"Some time this year or next, the Supreme Court will be asked to consider whether the nation's new healthcare law is constitutional. Watch your wallets."

Can you believe the audactity of a big government free-wheeler like Reich telling taxpayers to "watch your wallets"? It just doesn't get much more ludicrous than this.

Posted by: Brigade | February 18, 2011 9:34 PM | Report abuse

"One too many martinis!"

Funny you thought that. You're such a card.
I've done that on the internet too.
I've "said", "Are you drunk?"
I've tapped, "Isn't it a little early to be drunk?"
It is a funny thing to say.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

qb and brigade

Since you don't know what you're talking about why don't we just drop it. McWing knew what I meant and explained, good enough for me. You won't see me defending many posters around here, left or right, but some things go a little deeper than that.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 18, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

"For a psychiatrist you're easily fooled. There was nothing honorable about what he did to Ddawd last night unless you think he deserved it."

Well, who knows? I probably deserve it. But he wasn't making fun of me. He was making fun of the plight of terminally ill patients. But if Conservatives think that kind of stuff is funny, that's no business of mine. His lack of compassion isn't making anyone any sicker except himself.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 18, 2011 9:40 PM | Report abuse

DD is becoming a doctor. The hard part is to be competent without becoming nasty. This is just the sand box. When you say, "For a psychiatrist you're easily fooled," I think darn it, now she knows.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

"DD is becoming a doctor. The hard part is to be competent without becoming nasty."

Umm, becoming nasty isn't an issue for DD. He should never be a doctor. And I'm totally serious about that.

lms, I know exactly what I'm talking about, but I'm happy to drop it, because there are few topics less pleasant that DD.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 18, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Fairlingtonblade:
"You really should read before posting on occasion. Wisconsin unions have already agreed to give backs. This is about eliminating the right to collective bargaining. Wisconsin's budgetary issues are entirely of the governor's making"

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

I would have given you credit for slightly more intelligence than to imply Wisconsin's budgetary issues are entirely the making of a man who's been in office six weeks. Obama's in his third year now---can you find any responsibility for him to share concerning the sorry state of the nation's economy? No?

-------

"The Washington Post reported Friday that the President's "political machine" worked closely with state and national union officials to mobilize thousands of protesters to gather in Madison Thursday and to plan similar demonstrations in other state capitals. As Alex Newman reported at TheNewAmerican.com, police estimated the number of protestors at the Wisconsin capital Thursday at about 25,000, many of whom are believed to have bused in from out of state.

"We're not going to be intimidated by people coming in from outside of Wisconsin trying to tell us what we need to do to balance our budget," Walker said. "The bottom line is, we got elected to do a job."

"Nine arrests were made and Walker said on Thursday he might have to call out the National Guard to maintain order and keep certain government facilities, including the state prison, functioning, as some of the state employees had apparently walked off the job. Democratic legislators were also missing in action, having fled to Illinois to put off a vote on the governor's proposals."

-------

Looks like you're the one who should sharpen the ole reading skills---unless you wish to contend that no protests took place and that all the workers and elected officials showed up for the jobs they're being paid to do. No?

Posted by: Brigade | February 18, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

"US vetoes UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements.
It was the first veto exercised by the Obama administration which had promised better relations with the Muslim world."

Settlements, what a lark. But you can't blame the Right Wing Jewry, Theocracy is aok with most Muslims and American Republicans.

Why no justice? God on our side. He who has the God makes the rules.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Briggie, ducking the issue as usual. Having had to abandon the false claim that unions are refusing to accept reduced benefits, the boogie man of demonstrations comes out. Notwithstanding that it wasn't raised in my comment. Public workers in Wisconsin are slightly more sharp witted than you and realize this is about wresting the right to collective bargaining away from them.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 18, 2011 10:10 PM | Report abuse

"U.S. banking authorities closed four banks on Friday, bringing the total number shut in 2011 to 22. In 2010, 157 banks failed following 140 failures in 2009. The bulk of the failures have been smaller institutions, those with less than $1 billion in assets, as large banks have recovered more quickly from the 2007-2009 financial crisis" Reuters

Let that be a lesson to the "micro lending" community. Not in this country. No billions, no bank.

"large banks have recovered more quickly" Imagine that.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Is Vi@gr@ a bad word? All day long I was actually trying to let skip know (and now he's gone) that while we agree on almost nothing his post regarding the above mentioned and the Teacher's Union was spot on. Every time I brought it up I went to moderation.

The other one that was moderated was a comment by a legislator in Texas after they passed another pre-req for abortion, she said something along the lines of Republicans trying to shrink the government so it would fit inside a woman's "ut..us" (you know the word for womb). I thought it was sort of funny.

Let's see if these sneak through.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 18, 2011 10:13 PM | Report abuse

shrink

Remember the campaign to "move your money"? Where? I don't think we have a community bank within 20 miles anymore.

Have a good night all...................Sorry to be so persnickety, I must be getting old, LOL.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 18, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

You now know that yes, Vîagra is verboten. Who knows why. It must have been determined, as a word, to have no political value but for making fun of Rush Limbaugh.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 10:21 PM | Report abuse

From Reuters.com to Fairlington:

"The Milwaukee Public School system, which serves 85,000 students in the state's largest city, canceled all classes on Friday after nearly 630 unionized teachers called in sick.

"Republicans want state workers to increase contributions to pensions to 5.8 percent of salary, and double contributions to health insurance premiums to 12.6 percent.

"They also want to limit collective bargaining to the issue of wages, and cap increases to the rate of inflation, with a voter referendum needed for bigger increases.

"Walker said the alternative is to layoff more than 10,000 workers."

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

Fact: So far, they have refused to accept reduced benefits. But they will---you're right about that. Or explain to the 10,000 workers who lose their jobs that it's all the fault of the mean old Republicans doing what they were elected to do.

Too bad Obama hasn't gotten around to doing what he was elected to do, in Washington, instead of sticking his nose in Wisconsin's business. But he can be easily replaced. Oh, wait---I forgot; he's doing a wonderful job; it's just that so many of us bigots can't stand the sight of a slightly brown face behind the presidential seal.

Posted by: Brigade | February 18, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh, hope you Christian zealots don't love the Jewish zealots as much as you think you do.

CAIRO — Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a cleric who is banned from the United States and Britain for supporting violence against Israel and American forces in Iraq, delivered his first public sermon here in 50 years on Friday...

...the Egyptian military also allowed two Iranian Navy ships to pass through the Suez Canal — a first since the 1979 Iranian revolution and a move that some Israeli officials called a provocation. Egyptian officials reportedly said the ships did not contain weapons.

SO funny, reported as if the "officials" cared whether anyone thinks they are lying.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

"...Israeli officials called a provocation"

Iranian ships through Suez? Ya think?
Besides, Israelis know provocation.

Jews were on the receiving end of this game for 2000 years.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 10:47 PM | Report abuse

In the final analysis, I believe Scott Walker has destroyed his political career, in Wisconsin, and elsewhere. It will be interesting to see if he lasts his 4 year term. His name is now synonymous with such words "hubris, megalomania, insolence, arrogance...."

Posted by: dozas | February 19, 2011 1:24 AM | Report abuse

In the final analysis, I believe Scott Walker has destroyed his political career, in Wisconsin, and elsewhere. It will be interesting to see if he lasts his 4 year term. His name is now synonymous with such words as "hubris, megalomania, insolence, arrogance...."

Posted by: dozas | February 19, 2011 1:24 AM | Report abuse

In the final analysis, I believe Scott Walker has destroyed his political career, in Wisconsin, and elsewhere. It will be interesting to see if he lasts his 4 year term. His name is now synonymous with such words as "hubris, megalomania, insolence, arrogance...." He is not serving the people of his State, only himself and his extreme ideology. Hopefully, his actions have awakened the electorate--nationwide--to the dangerous anti-middle class/pro-corporation agenda that he has recklessly acted on. One way or another, I believe the good, solid citizens of Wisconsin will checkmate him.

Posted by: dozas | February 19, 2011 1:35 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Walker's attack on public employee unions will be any more pivotal than any of the other attacks on the middle class. Thirty years of market fundamentalism hammered into peoples' heads has worked; substantial numbers of Americans not worth nine or more figures believe with hollow-eyed conviction that working people are not entitled to live well, and have somehow lost track of the fact that this belief is against their own interests.

And, well, that's it, folks. This isn't just a puzzling political disconnect, this is the end of the great American experiment. This is the end of that spirit celebrated by de Tocqueville, that great work of Jefferson and Franklin. When people can be persuaded to believe and to vote against their own interests, the game is over.

Someone remember to turn out the lights.

CT in CT
Expatriate

Posted by: caothien9 | February 19, 2011 5:49 AM | Report abuse

Iranian ships through Suez? Ya think?
Besides, Israelis know provocation.

Jews were on the receiving end of this game for 2000 years.

==

yeah and they were taking notes

Posted by: caothien9 | February 19, 2011 6:04 AM | Report abuse

But Army sponsorship of NASCAR goes on.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/19/opinion/19collins.html?ref=opinion

And the passion to cut foreign aid somehow exempts Israel.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 19, 2011 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Karl Rove and Gov. Walker, the Geni has been let out the bottle!

And, why is it that Democrats, and most countries (China, Japan, etc.) Revere their teachers while Republicans think of them as second class and someone to be feared as to puting to much knowledge and intelligence in the heads of their charges? I guess they realize that an intellligent populace cannot be controlled. Hello Egypt! We have now come to the point where we finally realize that the Great Wizard of Oz is a pathetic, not so honest person.

The Great Income Divide! Who controls the wealth in the United States and why?

http://tinyurl.com/474czzp

Posted by: wdsoulplane | February 19, 2011 7:00 AM | Report abuse

"...the game is over."

Nope, not over. Not even close.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi cao!

I wonder, do you ever return for visits?

{{{no snark, just curious}}}

gotta go, tasked w/early Sat a.m. honeyDO

Posted by: tao9 | February 19, 2011 7:17 AM | Report abuse

From Ha'aretz...

"Israel 'deeply appreciates' U.S. veto on UN resolution condemning settlements"

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-deeply-appreciates-u-s-veto-on-un-resolution-condemning-settlements-1.344390

Well, yes, one expects Israel does. But it's less a favor than it is a consequence of the deep influence of the Israel lobby on US politics. As Netanyahu said...

" “I know what America is. America is a thing that can be easily moved, moved in the right direction"

http://crooksandliars.com/ian-welsh/israeli-pm-natanyahu-america-easily-move

Posted by: bernielatham | February 19, 2011 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Watching the news from the middle east last night, it struck me that what's going on there doesn't seem to have a precedent in my lifetime (I'm 62). Specifically, I mean the number of nations in the throes of citizen-led turmoil/revolt driven by the desire to cast off autocratic and oppressive regimes who have used their positions for wealth and privilege with no regard for a broader and more equal distribution of the goods of their societies. The closest phenomenon I can think of was the broad rejection of colonial control. But that happened at a much slower pace and had rejection of foreign domination as its understandable goal.

So, unless someone with a better historical education can point out where my thinking here might be in error, then what's going on looks pretty damned significant.

And one could also make the suggestion here that what people like the Koch brothers or Scaife or Murdoch or the Chamber of Commerce wish to see in regards to how our society ought to be organized is a vision closer to what the regimes in the middle east are trying to salvage than it is to the vision of, say, Eisenhower.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 19, 2011 7:44 AM | Report abuse

How important does the establishment right view this contest in Wisconsin? Take a look at NRO this morning.

http://www.nationalreview.com/

Posted by: bernielatham | February 19, 2011 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I actually wouldn't mind having a conversation over whether collective bargaining makes state government better or worse. But that is definitely not the discussion Scott Walker is having with his state. As both his State of the State speech and his proposal show, he's framed this entirely in fiscal terms. And that's an important difference. If he'd framed it in terms of governmental performance, he'd have to admit that he's trying to completely destroy the viability of the state's public unions, which is something he's been working hard to obscure.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/02/what_do_virginia_washington_an.html

Posted by: pragmaticagain | February 19, 2011 7:58 AM | Report abuse

The best way to understand Walker's proposal is as a multi-part attack on the state's labor unions. In part one, their ability to bargain benefits for their members is reduced. In part two, their ability to collect dues, and thus spend money organizing members or lobbying the legislature, is undercut. And in part three, workers have to vote the union back into existence every single year. Put it all together and it looks like this: Wisconsin's unions can't deliver value to their members, they're deprived of the resources to change the rules so they can start delivering value to their members again, and because of that, their members eventually give in to employer pressure and shut the union down in one of the annual certification elections.

You may think Walker's proposal is a good idea or a bad idea. But that's what it does. And it's telling that he's exempting the unions that supported him and is trying to obscure his plan's specifics behind misleading language about what unions can still bargain for and misleading rhetoric about the state's budget.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/02/what_is_actually_being_propose.html

Posted by: pragmaticagain | February 19, 2011 8:05 AM | Report abuse

It will be telling if Reid & Obama, after being given the check needed to run the government for the rest of the year, decide to shut it down instead.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 19, 2011 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Yep, illogic, I'm sure that's the new talking point ... was that on Hannity or O'Reilly last night.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | February 19, 2011 8:14 AM | Report abuse

"...the game is over."

Nope, not over. Not even close.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi cao!

I wonder, do you ever return for visits?

{{{no snark, just curious}}}

==

Yes I do think it's over. No, not the country, inertia will keep the USA going long time, but the greatness is gone. The idealism is just a memory, not even comprehensible to the generation in high school now. The might remains but its limitations are suddenly clearly outlined as America goes I to hock to China to finance two wars we didn't need to fight and which didn't go anything like WWII.

But democracy in America is a ghost. Sorry Tao but I keep coming back to this point; Republicans have nothing to offer anyone not worth nine figures, period, and anyone paying attention knows that the GOP is not in their corner. Were democracy functioning the GOP wouldn't be able to elect a bloody toilet attendant.

No I'm not interested in arguing about Socialist this and entitlement that or trickle-down these thems and thoses. To claim that working people have any advantage in Republicans gaining power is dishonest and delusional. They've spenf 30 yết making it clear as they can manage that they're looking out for the wealthy and are intent on removing all obstacles to the concentration of wealth at the top.

But working people vote republican, against their interests, supporting their impoverishment at the ballot box, and, I say it again, when people vote against their interests in significant numbers, democracy is over.

The way things are going it'll be the Muslim nations that have democracy while the USA will be a second rate nation living on faded glory and indulging in shot glasses of patriotic schmalz, a half-educated populace with missing teeth, crumbling infrastructure, aflame with defiance but impotent in every way that matters.

Do I visit? Not yet. Only been here three months. It's too soon. Honestly, I'm hesitant. There are things I miss, I'll probably come back to see friends, I would love a cuppa percolated coffee and a pizza, and Christ am I going to miss cool autumn evenings .. But for now, no plans.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 19, 2011 8:31 AM | Report abuse

All, a fresh thread for you:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/birtherism_worst_trap_ever.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 19, 2011 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: pragmaticagain: "Yep, illogic, I'm sure that's the new talking point ... was that on Hannity or O'Reilly last night."
-----------------------------------------
What ARE you babbling about. How much drugs DO you take on a daily basis? No lying now.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 19, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse

SNAP! Good one illogic!

Posted by: pragmaticagain | February 19, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: pragmaticagain: "SNAP! Good one illogic!"
--------------------------------------
No, the good one is when you come clean on your drug use. Waiting...

Better hurry, I heard that the new 2011 budget cuts your methadone subsidy...

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 19, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

You sure are the masterdebater. Sorry, no more time to waste on you. Good luck spreading your Fox/Luntz memes of idiocy!

Posted by: pragmaticagain | February 19, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: pragmaticagain: "You sure are the masterdebater. "
--------------------------------------
Come on, come clean and tell us about your drug use. Or, didn't your fathers tell you that lying was wrong?

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 19, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Stupid troll.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 19, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

If the "democratic revolution" continues in the Arab world, Israel will have to deal with the voices of 360 million Arabs, instead of a handful of autocrats. Israel just makes things worse for themselves and their peoples by not making a permanent, just peace with the Palestinians.

Posted by: dozas | February 19, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

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