Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 8:41 AM ET, 02/ 1/2011

The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* Today's political/media narrative: That White House aides are worried that the Egypt crisis is a distraction from the narrative of the turnaround in Obama's political fortunes.

* Obama administration pushing for change behind scenes: While publicly calling for an "orderly transition" without quite defining it, the administration is quietly pushing for the process to move in the direction of free elections.

Also key: Officials say that today's protest march will be "pivotal" in gauging the direction of events in Egypt, and setting the White House response to it. As it happens, the crowd in Cairo's central plaza is already massive.

* And: Reuters puts the crowd count at more than 200,000.

* Bipartisan agreement on Egypt: Conservative bloggers gnash teeth as a key House Republican in charge of foreign aid to Egypt says Republican and Obama officials are largely on the same page when it comes to handling the crisis.

* Egypt an issue in the 2012 presidential campaign? Republican presidential hopefuls gingerly try to outdo one another on the Egypt crisis in the quest for political advantage.

* Health care looming as major issue in 2012 race: One of the key takeaways from yesterday's court ruling on health reform -- one I'm not sure is fully appreciated -- is that health care isn't going away as a major issue and will play a key role in defining the 2012 presidential race.

* Laying the groundwork for life after the individual mandate? While health reformers are officially proclaiming that the mandate won't be overturned, they're already working on various scenarios they will pursue if it is ruled unconstitutional.

* Will Supreme Court take into account repeal's impact on real live human beings? Also key in the above link: Reformers hope that once the law's provisions kick into effect and start having an impact on people, it will help dissuade the Supreme Court from pulling the plug.

Whether this will be a factor for the highest court is a key question to keep an eye on going foward.

* Reality check of the day: Kevin Drum games it out and concludes that if the health law is partly overturned or otherwise gutted, the soonest Dems could replace it with anything vaguely single-payer-ish is the year 2024.

* Romney's game plan: His latest: He's refusing to apologize for Romneycare's individual mandate, and apparently hopes that if he keeps throwing around the term "Obamacare" it will paper over his political problem.

* But: Ben Smith argues that the court ruling actually helps Romney, because it focuses attention on the mandate as a problematic expansion of federal power, as opposed to state power, precisely the distinction Romney has struggled to make.

* There's no keepin' those social conservatives down: House GOP leaders may not want social issues to dominate, but rank-and-filers won't be denied their right to push abortion, "anchor-babies," and the English-only cause.

* Do Americans really dislike government? Ctd. A great post by Digby on the larger success "starve the beast" conservatives have had in making anti-government a "baseline" sentiment, eroding people's relationship with their government. Her core point:

Ronald Reagan didn't end Big Government. Neither did Bush, Clinton or Bush II. But they all did their part in making it impossible to do anything that requires people to pay for it. That bill is coming due. It remains to be seen if Obama will be the one who finally picks up the tab.

* GOP redefining rape? In case you need to get caught up on the controversy over the House GOP measure to limit access to abortion coverage for some rape victims, Sandhya Somashekhar gives you the overview.

* And this should make some noise: Relatedly, Dem Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz calls the measure "a violent act against women."

Cue up the outrage machine. What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | February 1, 2011; 8:41 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Health reform, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Political media  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Happy Hour Roundup
Next: The fight over health-care reform is more political than legal

Comments


In Ayotte - quoted in the health care decision:


The central question is this:


After finding an application or portion of a statute
unconstitutional, we must next ask: Would the legislature
have preferred what is left of its statute to no statute at
all? All the while, we are wary of legislatures who would
rely on our intervention, for it would certainly be
dangerous if the legislature could set a net large enough
to catch all possible offenders, and leave it to the courts to step inside to announce to whom the statute may be applied. This would, to some extent, substitute the judicial for the legislative department of the government.


______________________


Well - that certainly is an interesting topic -

Do the Courts throw the entire health care law back to Congress - "sans individual mandate" - or do they just get rid of the whole thing.

Interesting that the "preference" of Congress is attempted to be inferred here.


Further of interest is the intervening election - in this case, the American People have CLEARLY indicated a preference to get rid of the entire law.


In this case, "judicial activism" would ACTUALLY be putting in place the WILL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, rather than the will of a HIJACKED GOVERNMENT.


Something with those Minnesota court decisions which gave Franken his seat and Obama his 60 votes - there is something that does not sit well there. There is something RIGGED

The Rahm Emanuel gets his court decision the way he wants.......


OH, there is a resident of the MOON who is now allowed to be candidate in the Mayor's race in Chicago.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 1, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends. We're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 1, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse


In Ayotte - quoted in the health care decision:


The central question is this:


After finding an application or portion of a statute
unconstitutional, we must next ask: Would the legislature
have preferred what is left of its statute to no statute at
all? All the while, we are wary of legislatures who would
rely on our intervention, for it would certainly be
dangerous if the legislature could set a net large enough
to catch all possible offenders, and leave it to the courts to step inside to announce to whom the statute may be applied. This would, to some extent, substitute the judicial for the legislative department of the government.


______________________


Well - that certainly is an interesting topic -

Do the Courts throw the entire health care law back to Congress - "sans individual mandate" - or do they just get rid of the whole thing.

Interesting that the "preference" of Congress is attempted to be inferred here.


Further of interest is the intervening election - in this case, the American People have CLEARLY indicated a preference to get rid of the entire law.


In this case, "judicial activism" would ACTUALLY be putting in place the WILL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, rather than the will of a HIJACKED GOVERNMENT.


Something with those Minnesota court decisions which gave Franken his seat and Obama his 60 votes - there is something that does not sit well there. There is something RIGGED

The Rahm Emanuel gets his court decision the way he wants.......


OH, there is a resident of the MOON who is now allowed to be candidate in the Mayor's race in Chicago.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 1, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Now the Jordanian prime minister and government are gone at Abdullah's order after street protests.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 1, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

"That White House aides are worried that the Egypt crisis is a distraction from the narrative of the turnaround in Obama's political fortunes."

That doesn't make the White House look very good. For one thing, it seems petty considering what is happening in the ME. For another, a crisis is sometimes an opportunity (ask Rahm) not a catastrophe.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 1, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

"worried that the Egypt crisis is a distraction from the narrative of the turnaround in Obama's political fortunes."


________________________

UM - this should read White House aides are worried that Obama's incompetence in the Middle East will be a distraction from whatever FALSE narrative they come up that day.


AND the health care decision is not going to "distract" the public -


The health care decision just reminds people of WHY they want to get rid of Obama.


These Court cases are the worst thing for Obama and the liberals - because it is always in the press -


Obama should just FOLD on health care - agree to the repeal - it will get it out of the press - and improve Obama's re-election chances. Right now, this is death by a thousand cuts - in the press.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 1, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

qb:

BTW, I am quite curious about how many other people here on this board subscribe to Bernie's rejection of morality as referring to anything real. I'm fairly positive none of the conservatives do. And frankly I suspect that almost none of the liberals do either. Bernie's position is a very academic philosophical position, and I doubt that many non-academic people agree with it, although to be fair most non-academics wouldn't have given it that much thought. Most people simply intuitively accept the existence of some moral standard outside themselves, and the problem is determining what that standard is. Certainly no one with religious convictions would agree with Bernie.

Anyone on the left want to join Bernie on the "morality is a con game" train?

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 1, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

"Will Supreme Court take into account repeal's impact on real live human beings?"

No. Maybe 10 years from now but not when the law is new and being challenged from the outset.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 1, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Have now read the opinion and it gives food for thought.

First, Congress inexplicably left out the boilerplate severability clause in the statute. That left an open door for a court to enter.

Second, Vinson is sold on the "inactivity" distinction. He assumes that, standing alone, the mandate is a novel stretch of Congressional power which would have to be justified based on whether it was a necessary and proper adjunct to a bill regulating commerce. He concludes that it is necessary but not proper.

This is not foolishness by any stretch, but I think the case should turn on the acceptance or rejection of the aggregation argument of "Wickard" and "Raich". That is, the single incident of a person failing to buy health care insurance in Keokuk when aggregated with similar decisions of others in other states affects commerce among the states.

I am suspicious of the aggregation argument, in general, but it seems relatively strong here. Failure of some to buy HC insurance raises our property tax rates and the cost of hospitalization for those of us who do pay for it, b/c hospitals and docs must charge us for their charity work when they are forced to do it, also by government mandate.
The weak link in that chain of argument is the rare person who can pay out of pocket for hospital stays and procedures - her failure to buy insurance does not affect me. But I think it is a generally sound argument for an overarching scheme that is based on regulation of commerce among the states.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 1, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

If there is any way we can get more real live social conservatives in front of the camera we should empty our pockets to do it. Can you imagine anyone more repellent than some yahoo screaming that a teenager raped by her stepfather be forced to bear his child?

Let's face it: the Palin supporters are a truly sick bunch of people and the more candor we can get out of them the sooner we can flush the toilet on this whole tea party thing.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 1, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

"Reality check of the day: Kevin Drum games it out and concludes that if the health law is partly overturned or otherwise gutted, the soonest Dems could replace it with anything vaguely single-payer-ish is the year 2024."

Here is my political advice for the Democratic Party. Declare National Single Payer health care an essential goal of the Democratic Party. Expel anyone who opposes it. Watch the national debate move your way. Reap electoral success.

Or not.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 1, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

ok

"Judicial Activism" is when the Courts come down with a decision which is against what the PEOPLE WANT.


In this case, the Judge is DOING WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT.


Obama's DECEPTIONS AND LIES HAVE GONE TOO FAR. Obama is not entitled to his own version of the English language.


For a guy who claimed that Bush lied - ONCE, this dude Obama is sure lying ALL THE TIME.


Disgraceful. Will the liberals please tell Obama that the children are watching.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 1, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

RomneyCare is different from ObamaCare in that a person can move to another State and there are not millions of union members "waived."

As for rapists, they should get the death penalty, not their children. No proposed legislation can be a "violent" act; even the bill that was eventually passed to lock up Japanese-Americans during WWII was not "violent" until carried out. Maybe that's what Debbie Wasserman-whatever meant?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 1, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

"Will Supreme Court take into account repeal's impact on real live human beings?"

==

Color to the blind. You're talking about the court that ruled on Citizens United.

John Roberts thinks the law is his personal Playskool toy.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 1, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Since the Cons are full of morality today, I'll repeat:

America's Radical Right subscribes to the most anti-christian political philosophy conceivable within a democracy. The American Radical Right mocks everything Jesus Christ preached and stood for.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 1, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

ALERT


More than 200,000 people flooded into the heart of Cairo Tuesday, filling the city’s main square as a call for a million protesters was answered by the largest demonstration in a week of unceasing demands for President Hosni Mubarak to leave


_______________________________

Do you think this woould work with Obama???


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 1, 2011 9:01 AM | Report abuse

As for rapists, they should get the death penalty, not their children.

==

A fetus isn't a child you stupid twit.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 1, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse


ALERT


More than 200,000 people flooded into the heart of Cairo Tuesday, filling the city’s main square as a call for a million protesters was answered by the largest demonstration in a week of unceasing demands for President Hosni Mubarak to leave


_______________________________

Do you think this would work with Obama???


If the liberals are OK with getting the President of Egypt out this way, then they must be OK with Obama leaving office this way as well.


Or Obama could just resign.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 1, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I wasn't "screaming" any of my prior post.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 1, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Mark:

""I am suspicious of the aggregation argument, in general, but it seems relatively strong here. Failure of some to buy HC insurance raises our property tax rates and the cost of hospitalization for those of us who do pay for it, b/c hospitals and docs must charge us for their charity work when they are forced to do it, also by government mandate.""

I am not a lawyer. That being said, if the aggregation argument is strong in this case, then wouldn't it be equally strong with regard to legislation which requires people to buy GM cars? Or to require them to buy insurance products from AIG? Afterall, the US taxpayers now have a stake in both of those ventures, and an aggregate failure buy GM cars or AIG products will ultimately cost the taxpayer money.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 1, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Liberals - this is what your WEAK Obama has brought on the world:

A leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt told the Arabic-language Iranian news network Al-Alam on Monday that he would like to see the Egyptian people prepare for war against Israel, according to the Hebrew-language business newspaper Calcalist.

Muhammad Ghannem reportedly told Al- Alam that the Suez Canal should be closed immediately, and that the flow of gas from Egypt to Israel should cease “in order to bring about the downfall of the Mubarak regime.” He added that “the people should be prepared for war against Israel,” saying the world should understand that “the Egyptian people are prepared for anything to get rid of this regime.”

_______________

Liberals - are you happy now? Forcing a clearly unqualified and inexperienced person on the country.


A vote for Obama was the MOST IRRESPONSIBLE act of any person, ever, in your life.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 1, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Now the Jordanian prime minister and government are gone at Abdullah's order after street protests.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 1, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Wow! Where will popular revolutions against corrupt governments ensue next?

Saudi Arabia?

Iran?

China?

The United States?

Posted by: wbgonne | February 1, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Visualize the Koch brothers unable to sleep worrying which of their bodyguards is going to shiv them.

Only then will we get some changes around here.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 1, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Greg, I hope you'll take a look at last night's thread and the idea you should add a woman guest blogger to make the Plum Line more receptive to women's voices on politics.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 1, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

OT sort of: Al Jazeera is pretty much locked outnof the US cable market. But in the past few days their web site has seen a 2500% increase in traffic. Not a typo.

Call your cable company.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 1, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

(from that linked article)

The bill's supporters, however, say groups such as Sterling's are exaggerating the possibilities to serve their abortion rights agenda. They say it largely codifies what has already been practice, which is to bar federal employees, members of the military and those who receive federal assistance from using taxpayer money to pay for abortions, with a few exceptions.

"Rape is an abhorrent crime of violence," Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), one of the few Democratic sponsors of the bill, said in a statement. The bill "was not intended to change existing law regarding taxpayer funding for abortion in cases of rape, nor is it expected that it would do so. Nonetheless, the legislative process will provide an opportunity to clarify this should such a need exist."

Lipinski is the lone Democrat to sign on to the bill, which has 173 co-sponsors in the House. If passed, however, it will receive a chillier reception in the Senate and could face a veto by President Obama, who supports abortion rights but has said he would like to see a decrease in abortions in the United States.

(Obama also famously claimed that "when life begins" is above his pay grade)

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 1, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Republicans who want to push for "not even in cases of rape or incest" might consider the more expedient route of simply dousing themselves in gasoline and setting themselves on fire.

Please, social conservatives, speak your minds.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 1, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

@Cao

Can you imagine anyone more repellent than some yahoo screaming that a teenager raped by her stepfather be forced to bear his child?

NO!!!!!!!!!!

@wbgonne

“Here is my political advice for the Democratic Party. Declare National Single Payer health care an essential goal of the Democratic Party. Expel anyone who opposes it. Watch the national debate move your way. Reap electoral success.”

Amen brother. 99% of this country could give a squat about the “legal” arguments revolving around HCR. Hell it’s even boring to we political junkies. Look who is fascinated…attorneys..surprise..surprise. I understand and respect the attorneys facination but it’s not really representative of the public at large IMHO.
They will simply see their insurance jerked out from under them if the Supremes confirm yesterday’s ruling. And again wbgonne to further buttress your point…for the umpteenth time here is where American public opinion comes down.

http://www.wpasinglepayer.org/PollResults.html

@Q.B. I left a post to you at the end of the last thread that I hope you get a chance to read. Don’t get too excited though, it is not another tossing of the gauntlet for a great debate. 

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 1, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

"key House Republican in charge of foreign aid to Egypt says Republican and Obama officials are largely on the same page when it comes to handling the crisis."

Somebody needs to tell the RFRbot programmer about this. It's about time for RFR v 0.0.

Posted by: mmyotis | February 1, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

So far today, we seem to have Rain Man, wbgonne, and Cao recommending either revolution here or murder . . .

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 1, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"Amen brother. 99% of this country could give a squat about the “legal” arguments revolving around HCR."

Exactly, ruk. This is a policy question not a legal question. How in the world the Democrats ever ended up in this ditch would be inexplicable if they weren't Democrats. Like Casey Stengel used to say: Can't anybody around here play this game?

Posted by: wbgonne | February 1, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Scott, I think your example runs afoul of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. QB1 pointed out two days ago that creating a truly socialist state would be impeded, if not stifled, by the "takings" clause and the due process protection for property rights announced in the Fifth Amendment. Your example would result in an end run around Congress having to pay fair market value to expropriate GM's competitors. I think that could not stand.

Let me pose a different example. Many of my clients must post DOL and OSHA statements in their workplaces on pain of very stiff fines. They have been found by Congress to affect commerce by reason of their financial size or number of employees, alone. The posting of signs in a place is hardly an economic activity and it is local and de minimus. In fact, I cannot be forced to post them for my employees in my law office, because it is too "small" [to affect commerce, regardless of what I might actually to affect commerce].

I am of a mind to think only the "necessary and proper" clause supports Congress' rules for signage in the workplace. But with this inactivity of not buying insurance there is more. Remember that we have the background of a federal mandate that hospitals must treat everyone in medical need. No gunshot victim gets turned away, not the guilty shooter nor the innocent bystander.
So the "inaction" is actually a cost shifting from the uninsured to moi.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 1, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

re:ABC, Sue, 12Bar, lmsinca, Jenn, Kathleen Hussein,with apologies to those I left out.

FWIW I agree with the ladies. You are an excellent journalist with good instincts so I hope you'll listen to them about getting a guest female on the front page.

Last night's thread made me realize just how valuable our ladies are on this blog.
They as a group are far superior to the men when it comes to cogent posts lacking bombast and hyperbole.

BTW I place myself at the top of the list of those who are dragging down the men's reputation. :-) STRF of course would have beaten me out for that title but he got eliminated for "professionalism". He's lost the right to compete for blog jerk on a blog for "amateurs". LOL

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 1, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Where are the jobs?

Where is the focus on the economy?

Perhaps the GOP also missed the message in this last election and thought we sent them to end abortions or something???

Posted by: soapm | February 1, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Back OT

A pox on both parties re Egypt. It's the Egyptians freaking country and we should lose some of our hubris and realize that simple fact.

For the W.H. to worry about P.R. over this event is disgusting IMO!

For the R politicians jockeying for the '12 nomination to make any political hay is equally disgusting.!

I would say the right wing blogosphere and morons like Kristol are disgusting...but then we already knew that.

I think our position is to sit back and watch history being made and then approach the resulting government with modesty and compassion and a genuine offer of any help we can offer THEY deem appropriate.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 1, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"(Obama also famously claimed that "when life begins" is above his pay grade)"

Which of course is a statement of his humility before God. This may not be a concept that you recognize. That would explain why you cannot understand it clawrence12.

Posted by: mmyotis | February 1, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"So far today, we seem to have Rain Man, wbgonne, and Cao recommending either revolution here or murder . . ."


I didn't "recommend" revolution. I posed a query.

But I did recommend: a) national single payer health care; and b) that the Democrats develop a spine. So I can see why you thought I was asking for a revolution.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 1, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Bringing in a female journalist for the sake of balance alone isn't likely to end well. Not that this struggling paper has the luxury of adding anyone for such a revenue-unrelated reason ., but even if so, i has too much potential foe tokenism.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 1, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

On HCR. It was pussy footing around by Congress that caused this twisted logic of using the tax code. It's very simple. Set the FICA tax appropriately and convert Medicare, Medicaid and everything else into a credit for a basic health insurance policy run by private companies that anyone can purchase. Individuals or employers are welcome to top that off, but it's not tax free.

Whammo bammo. All that lovely competition that conservatives like and all that universality that liberals like.

It'll never happen.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 1, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

"That White House aides are worried that the Egypt crisis is a distraction from the narrative of the turnaround in Obama's political fortunes."

What cracks me up is all these freedom loving "patriots" at Fox and across the right wing are getting in a tizzy because President Obama isn't sucking up to the Egyptian dictator.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 1, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

If you read the thread last night, Cao, it's not about balance. It's about making the site seem more welcoming to female voices. Note Sue's comments in this regard.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 1, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse


ALERT


More than 200,000 people flooded into the heart of Cairo Tuesday, filling the city’s main square as a call for a million protesters was answered by the largest demonstration in a week of unceasing demands for President Hosni Mubarak to leave


_______________________________


Do you think this would work with Obama???


If the liberals are OK with getting the President of Egypt out this way, then they must be OK with Obama leaving office this way as well.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 1, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

In other news, Obama's resurgence continues. Even Rasmussen has him +1 for approval.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html

Even Congress is showing a slight uptick.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/congressional_job_approval-903.html

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 1, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Mike from Arlington


So, you think that crowds in the streets should WORK TO REMOVE A PRESIDENT ???


Let's get everyone out there.....


OK, let's wait until Spring.......

Most people are emailing me asking me if they can bring their lawn chairs.....

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 1, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

"NO!!!!!!!!!!"

Again I am not the one screaming about this topic.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 1, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

""Bringing in a female journalist for the sake of balance alone isn't likely to end well. Not that this struggling paper has the luxury of adding anyone for such a revenue-unrelated reason ., but even if so, i has too much potential foe tokenism.""

I can think of at least four female bloggers off the top of my head that wouldn't be here for "tokenism". You want to see some heads explode bring any one of these women on board occasionally. It's doubtful Greg could get them though: Yves Smith, Joan Mc Carter, Marcy Wheeler and of course the inimitable Digby.

What about it Greg?

Posted by: lmsinca | February 1, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Greg

ABC, Sue, 12Bar, lmsinca, Jenn, Kathleen Hussein,with apologies to those I left out.

Send them over to Jennifer Rubin - Im sure they will enjoy it over there......


voices.washingtonpost.com/right-turn


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 1, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Oh make no mistake ABC I'm all for it, for but more for diversification than balance. Especially given that the idea of balancing the quality of liberal posters here with conservatives of equal caliber is an absolutely lost cause. There aren't any.

I'm not convinced however that there is a female side of this stuff. Would you know that a poster is female without her saying so? I wouldn't. The whole issue seems a little, well, forced.

Can we find one (1) conservative poster who can debate honestly? Bonus points for not routinely descending to scatological insults, canned caricatures, or steeple-fingered pomposity.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 1, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

"OT sort of: Al Jazeera is pretty much locked outnof the US cable market. "

LinkTV has been carrying al Jazeera English. If you have satellite, you can get it. On DirectTV it's channel 375. Don't know what channel on Dish Network, but I know they are carrying it.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 1, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

"NO!!!!!!!!!!"

Again I am not the one screaming about this topic.

==

Outside your monotonous determination to be a PitA, the only interest anyone here has in abortion is how the GOP is going to self-immolate by demanding that the victims of rape and incest bear their offenders' children.

Hate to be the bearer Jake but nobody here gives a rat's about you or whom you and your wife are traveling to another state to vote against.

Go away.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 1, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

mmyotis:

On the other end of the life continuum, those in power who knew about the Holocaust going on in Germany were simply being "humble" by remaining quiet.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 1, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

@Cao

"it has too much potential for tokenism."

I take your point but may I respectfully disagree.

When I was a young man in the early 70's I was just getting started in broadcasting.
The EEOC was really clamping down on stations (who feared losing their licenses) about adding African Americans to our staffs. Alas this requirement came before our educational system has caught up and provided enough "qualified" blacks.
I went through the spectre of watching one weekend announcer (most were buried in the least noticed time slots) get fired for being drunk on the job. The local black funeral director also head of the NAACP threatened the station. A weekend news anchor/weekday reporter at a TV station
where I worked missed 30 days of work one year. The station of course finally fired him, replaced him with a black female anchor and yet he still charged "racism"
Worst of all in my then "libertarian" eyes was the fact that "qualified" whites literally lost their jobs to make way for this wave of what we derisively called "tokens" who were less qualified.

My point Cao is that I lived through the worst excess of "tokenism". I was in a libertarian rage at what I saw as injustice. Proponents of these EEO rules insisted this was the way to get more minorities on the air.

Fast forward and all around me I see black anchors and reporters doing exceptional work. In fact unless race is the topic I can't say I really differentiate anymore between them and white or Asian reporters.
Some are good...some stink..some are excellent. And so I see the result that those EEO folks promised back then. I have to believe they were right and I was wrong. I have no problem admitting I'm wrong..if I did I'd be hung up all day because of all the times I am wrong. :-)

I view women much the same way. Again perhaps because I'm married to a very talented woman and have seen up close and personal how sexism works.

I respect what you posted on the gender differences Cao...apparently you've given it some study..perhaps you're just a prodigious reader with a photographic mind.
I claim no such science for my opinion.

The women as a group are far better than the men (as a group) posting on this blog.
I love having them around. I do observe they seem to bring at least a different tone if not substance. Even if the woman Greg selected was a "token" I'd still appreciate hearing from the "feminine" perspective. Besides I trust Greg's instincts...I don't believe he'd burden our blog with a "token"...just sayin'. ;-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 1, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Mark:

""So the "inaction" is actually a cost shifting from the uninsured to moi."

It isn't the inaction that cost shifts. It is the legislation mandating treatment that cost shifts. And the insurance mandate is simply trying to alter the nature of the cost shifting that has already been legislated into the system.

Under no ordinary or reasonable understanding of the terms can inactivity be construed to be commerce at all, much less interstate commerce. It is not inactivity that effects commerce in the way you describe. It is federal legislation that does.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 1, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

To all Liberals

You are OK with mandates, right?


Five South Dakota lawmakers have introduced legislation that would require any adult 21 or older to buy a firearm “sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense.”

The bill, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2012, would give people six months to acquire a firearm after turning 21.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 1, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I've been thinking about something since last night and just want to throw it out there. I disagreed with the "Run Sarah Run" scenario being touted by some liberals, not just here but pretty strongly on other sites as well. I gave a few reasons but here's the one I've been thinking of since last night. Let's suppose Sarah or someone like her, way to the right of middle America, wins the nomination. Obama will be able to run as a moderate and appear liberal by comparison. But if a moderate Republican wins the nomination he'll be forced to differentiate himself by redefining liberalism as a liberal and not a moderate. Worst case scenario, he loses, and we end up with a moderate Republican. Just a thought.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 1, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I am not Jake. Neither am I the one descending to scatological insults, canned caricatures, or steeple-fingered pomposity.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 1, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Hey ruk hope you haven't gotten the idea I'm against it. I'm not.

My point: some of the best posters here are women. I just don't think it's because they're women, I think it's because they're bright and decent people.

Don't forget, I'm gay and I lived though the whole radical egalitarian thing and twenty years of "to each their (sic) own." I'm a little bent out of shape about the whole thing.

That said, make no mistake, your crusade has my full support.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 1, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Scott, I agree with your premise that it is the federal mandate to treat that causes the cost shifting. My point is that if the mandate to treat is constitutional, then the individual mandate is justifiable. IMHO.

But were there to be no treatment mandate I think an aggregates argument would fail.


Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 1, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I understand that those against abortion feel it is a moral question. I understand that those who support abortion rights also feel they are completely moral in making that choice. What I haven't seen and fail to understand is how those who are against abortion can state that their view is the ONLY view allowed. I mean, I feel they are fine having their opinions and beliefs and carrying on their lives accordingly but they seem to think they have the right (and duty) to push those beliefs on those of us who don't share them.

Put it another way....I am not going to tell them they have to go out and get abortions, but they seem to think it is fine telling me I couldn't if I were to desire one. There is an inherent inequality to that argument. Their values and morals do not trump mine.

Posted by: kindness1 | February 1, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@lms:

Aside from the reasons I stated already, the simple celebrity tawdriness of lowering electoral politics to the level of a game show, I fear something like an October assassination that lets Palin become president by default. And then it isn't justbfour really bad years, it's a dead planet.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 1, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I understand that those against abortion feel it is a moral question. I understand that those who support abortion rights also feel they are completely moral in making that choice. What I haven't seen and fail to understand is how those who are against abortion can state that their view is the ONLY view allowed. I mean, I feel they are fine having their opinions and beliefs and carrying on their lives accordingly but they seem to think they have the right (and duty) to push those beliefs on those of us who don't share them.

Put it another way....I am not going to tell them they have to go out and get abortions, but they seem to think it is fine telling me I couldn't if I were to desire one. There is an inherent inequality to that argument. Their values and morals do not trump mine.

Posted by: kindness1 | February 1, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Cao, you say, "I'm not convinced however that there is a female side of this stuff. Would you know that a poster is female without her saying so? I wouldn't. The whole issue seems a little, well, forced."

The point isn't about finding a female side of this stuff. It's about having more women join these broader political discussions that affect everyone. The statistics out there about the ratio of men's to women's voices offering political opinion suggest there are factors that are deterring many women from entering the conversation. And Sue pointed out she finds more women comment on sites where there's a woman on the front page. Hence the suggestion for Greg.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 1, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Ims, ABC, ruk, and anyone else following this discussion,

I want to clarify my position on Greg adding female front-pagers. I was not requesting that he do this, just merely noting what I have observed elsewhere. It's really up to him (and maybe his bosses) to decide who they will add in keeping with what the owners' objectives are for this site. I don't presume to know what's best for them. (Above my pay grade...lol)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 1, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

(quoted for accuracy: "At what point does a baby get human rights?")

"I think that um whether you are looking at it from um a theological or a scientific perspective, uh answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade." August 16, 2008

(also relevant to the proposed bill)

"[U]nder our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions." September 9, 2009

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 1, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

cao

Those are similar to the reasons I expressed last night, but thought I'd add another twist, Palin is not only bad for America but for Obama and liberalism as well. I've never wanted to see her run just because it "might" be an easy win for Democrats, I think it's a dangerous game. I was thinking about my comment on competitive vs. combative women and thought of Palin as not only combative but with a chip the size of a giant redwood on her shoulder. That's a big step backwards for women.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 1, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

@kindness: look who's making the moral claim in being against abortion. Look at the rest of their positions.

- pro death penalty

- against government programs to foster prenatal and infant nutrition

- against proper education funding

- anti-environmental

- zealously in favor of war, even the most indiscriminate

Their moral claims are false. They oppose abortion for purely punitive reasons.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 1, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@kindness

You make great points and even though I'm pro choice my I take a stab at what you're going to hear from the anti crowd.

IT'S MURDER! They sincerely believe that.
And if you think about how you would feel if you TRULY believed it was murder you'd probably get the reason this is a question that will never get resolved.

You and I can look at a speck of a zygote and say WTF..that's not murder. We can fail to understand that "some" religious folks even believe the same thing about simple sp&erm..hence mast&urbation is murder.
I'm not saying I agree with them kindness(btw what a great blog name) but I do understand their passion.

What I do not understand is that most of these same folks who will go to the mat, blow up clinics..murder innocent ADULTS over this issue...ONLY seem to care about human life when it is still in the zygote or fetus stage...once the baby is delivered...tough freaking luck..no health care, a cavalier attitude about their education...for many...not all..conservative Christians..a human life is far more valuable in the womb than after it actually comes to term. Actions speak louder than words.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 1, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Sue, if more women are drawn to this site, doesn't WAPO get more revenue? I don't see what they'd have to lose.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 1, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

@lmsinca

Don't know if you saw my late post on the last thread. I have apologized for my complicity in the "Run Sarah Run"

Your points are excellent and when I really thought about my motivation it was not very pretty...just a chance to see a pompous arse exposed. Shame on me! Exposure is mine sayeth...or something like that. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 1, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

kindness1, thank you for your calm question. I do indeed feel like my way is the only right way. The alternative is simply too horrific. Do you similarly feel that the 13th Amendment should be optional? I'd bet there's SOMETHING even you would agree with me should be illegal.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 1, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Jake, the discussion is over your head. Butt out.

If a blastula gets legal protection then so should a goldfish. For that matter so should a hangnail, as it contains millions of nuclei that could be implanted in ova and develop into humans.

The idea that a bundle of cells is a child is pure effing idiocy.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 1, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

ruk

I saw it. I get the instinctual desire to see her run and I'm sure a lot of people think they have good reasons for it, I just don't happen to be one of them. Glad you agree with me now though, wonder if we could get Liam to quit his campaign. I'll let you ask him about it, LOL.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 1, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

The statistics out there about the ratio of men's to women's voices offering political opinion suggest there are factors that are deterring many women from entering the conversation

==

Are there any statistics on moderated blogs that block troll behavior?

What you see here fir example is an artificially restricted subset, the people who came and saw a third of the posts coming from a single mentally ill hysteric and decided to participate anyway. I'd bet that the wing nuts drive a lot of people away, but disproportionally women, being less inclined to compete with foghorns and poo flingers.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 1, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Frankly, ABC, I don't know if women front pagers will attract more women commenters who stick around the PL. A lot of the time, the "discussions" here are off-putting to a lot of people. The food fights are ridiculous, but totally tolerated. I think that stems from the comments being unmoderated and the lack of the current front pagers interacting much in the comments.

I can't tell you the number of people I have suggested this site to who are just not interested in joining the fray. Quite a few of them are male.

Again, I just can't presume to know what's in the best interest of the owners of this site. That's their decision to make. In all honesty, I took a long leave from here last summer to find other blogs to participate in that are more in line with what I am looking for. And I found them. I come back here because I find Greg's perspective interesting and worth reading. But this is not my #1 favorite place to comment most of the time.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 1, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Friedersdorf on Beck and FOX:

As I've said before, lots of Glenn Beck listeners aren't in on the joke. Unlike Roger Ailes, Jonah Goldberg, and every staffer at the Heritage Foundation happy hour, they don't realize that the Fox News Channel puts this man on the air fully understanding that large parts of his program are uninformed nonsense mixed with brazen bullshit. When a Fox News host tells these viewers, "I'm not going to treat like you're a moron," playing on their insecurity about other media outlets talking down to or lying to them, they take it at face value. What sort of callous, immoral person allows these viewers to be played for fools?

I appreciate that this is my hobbyhorse, and that others think that the faults of cable news networks are an unimportant matter. But the fact that Roger Ailes and his associates air this kind of nonsense –couched in these kinds of assurances! – is indefensible. It is hard to think of anyone who disrespects and takes advantage of conservatives more than they do. And although they make mounds of money, they ought to be objects of disgrace, akin to any other manipulative huckster who preys on the elderly.

Did these people never have grandparents?

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2011/01/this-is-important-stuff.html

Posted by: pragmaticagain | February 1, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I read that there is reporting of easily over a million (possibly approaching two million) people on the streets of Cairo. Fascinating story, whatever the outcome, the middle east is changing.

Greg, have you been reading our comments re a female guest blogger?

I need to get to work, have a good day all.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 1, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

All, good post from Adam Serwer taking down yesterday's ruling:

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

and lmsinca, yes

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 1, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I oppose abortion (didn't read the article and have no idea what the GOP is up to with this re-defining)

"pro death penalty" -- nope, the government shouldn't be in the revenge business.

"against government programs to foster prenatal and infant nutrition" There are other ways to address poverty

"against proper education funding" education funding so the poor have access to good schools is one thing. state monopoly on schools is something else.

"anti-environmental" That's so broad its meaningless. I bike to work. Does that make be more or less of an environmentalist because I think cap-and-trade was bad policy. It certainly makes more more of an environmentalists that a smug hybrid driver. and i didn't even get a tax credit for the purchase of my "hybrid" bike.

"zealously in favor of war, even the most indiscriminate" Give politicians a lot of power, money and guns and you can't be surprised when they use them.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 1, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Another issue as to "rape" allegations:

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/02/01/2011-02-01_nun_rape_tale_was_bed_of_lies.html

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 1, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

clawrence12

It sounds as if you are suggesting that there might actually be some equivalence between the state sponsored killing of Jews and a woman's right to choose the circumnstances under which she commits herself to raising children.

Evidently this isn't an issue you're able to talk about reasonably.

Posted by: mmyotis | February 1, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@Sue

We're glad you decided to come back and add your two cents...you are one of the rational voices of reason who also posts some terrific links.

To Sue and all ladies....please don't punish us with your departure because of the boorish behavior of the few...and realize some here have some significant "issues"...is that a nice way to say mentally disturbed? I don't even wish to joke about this because I believe it to be literally true.

BTW lmsinca..Sue or anybody who might know...whatever happened to Tena...yess she was a firebrand, but I really enjoyed her...I really miss Tena.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 1, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"whatever happened to Tena"

I think folks like NewsReference, who was the equivalent of STRF on the left drove her away with their repetitiveness bordering on psychosis.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 1, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

mmyotis, there's no equivalence. Abortion has killed many more than Hitler ever did. You can think that "unreasonable" but numbers don't lie.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 1, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

ruk:

""What I do not understand is that most of these same folks who will go to the mat, blow up clinics..murder innocent ADULTS over this issue...""

"Most" of these same folks blow up clinics and murder innocent adults? Your fevered imagination never ceases to amaze me, ruk.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 1, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Is clawrence really jake? That would explain why this blog has gone into the dumper.

Posted by: Observer691 | February 1, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

To reply to those who have answered.

Abortion isn't murder. It's a completely legal medical procedure. I don't feel a clump of cells is an ensouled human being.

I'm a liberal who does believe in the death penalty. I do wish it was only used for the most horrific of crimes, and not just to polish a DA's or Judges conservative credentials. But I'm OK with putting someone like the Tucson political rally assassin to death. It serves justice and it's what he deserves.

Now I understand that those who are against abortion do feel it is murder but go back to my original point. My morals are not for them to decide. The are my own. I won't make choices of their lives wrt my beliefs and I expect that they should do the same for me. They won't, of course but I am not the hypocrite in this matter.

Posted by: kindness1 | February 1, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

@Scott

"Most" of these same folks blow up clinics and murder innocent adults? Your fevered imagination never ceases to amaze me, ruk."

I apologize Scott. You are absolutely correct. That statement is perhaps going to be one of the most egregious bits of hyperbole the blog will see today and that is saying a lot.

You are correct, as constructed that was an awful statement. Obviously..not "most"...not even "many"...perhaps we can agree on "some".

As to my "fevered imagination"...thanks for providing an out, and I wish that were the case...but in all honestly it was just a horrible example of sloppy posting or simple intellectual laziness.

But I take your point and you are correct.
I know you appreciate precision and to say the use of the word "most" was imprecise is an understatement. Again Mea Culpa.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 1, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I've been thinking about something since last night and just want to throw it out there. I disagreed with the "Run Sarah Run" scenario being touted by some liberals, not just here but pretty strongly on other sites as well. I gave a few reasons but here's the one I've been thinking of since last night. Let's suppose Sarah or someone like her, way to the right of middle America, wins the nomination. Obama will be able to run as a moderate and appear liberal by comparison. But if a moderate Republican wins the nomination he'll be forced to differentiate himself by redefining liberalism as a liberal and not a moderate. Worst case scenario, he loses, and we end up with a moderate Republican. Just a thought.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 1, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Great point. With VERY wide application.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 1, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"whatever happened to Tena"

I think folks like NewsReference, who was the equivalent of STRF on the left drove her away with their repetitiveness bordering on psychosis.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 1, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

So sayeth the Third Way. Perhaps there are alternative explanations. Just sayin.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 1, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne

I knew you'd get it. He would be forced to define himself, win or lose.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 1, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Ims:

That is why my preferred approach is a relentless push to the Left. Always demanding more progressive governing. Always demanding more. Always complaining. Always criticizing.

To the Left, I say! Move to the Left!

Posted by: wbgonne | February 1, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry. Palin will NOT be the GOP candidate. She is finished as a political force. She just doesn't realize it yet. And she's still got another 20 or 30 millions dollars to grift from the suckers ... er,I mean, the Tea Partiers.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 1, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

kindness:

""My morals are not for them to decide. The are my own.""

Do you think that enslaving black people is wrong? If so, do you think that it is wrong even for people who don't think it is wrong?

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 1, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Ims:

Let's be honest though. The vast majority of Democratic commenters here -- and Democrats around the country generally -- would be THRILLED to have Obama run against Palin precisely BECAUSE he could then run as a Third Way Triangulator and win handily. And then govern like a Republican.

Just keepin it real.

Another Winter Wonderland Experience in The Hub.

Later, All.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 1, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't think she will be either, I just hope we see a left/moderate general rather than a moderate/right race. We need the comeback and it would put third wayers on the side lines.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 1, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Oh, one last thing: I see the COns persist in some claim to moral superiority so I will repeat:

America's Radical Right subscribes to the most anti-christian political philosophy conceivable within a democracy. The American Radical Right mocks everything Jesus Christ preached and stood for. Jesus would despise the American Radical Right Wing and drive them away like the Moneychangers in the Temple.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 1, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@Mike

I had forgotten about NewsRef. He disappeared..what..right after ACA was signed into law?

That's a funny comparison...NewsRef as the left's version of rainman.

Whatever the reason I miss Tena. And I miss BG from Chi even more. We had a lot in common and he was a witty, cogent poster who never took himself too seriously...using your technique Mike I could call BG the Kevin of the left. :-)

I miss them both.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 1, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne

Yes, that's probably why you're the only one to comment on my larger point.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 1, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

""perhaps we can agree on "some".""

Perhaps we can agree on "almost none".

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 1, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Further to your point, Ims, every step to the Right that the Democratic Party and Obama take means a step further to the Right for the GOP as they desperately try not to be outflanked. The end result is the persistent Rightward bias the country been subjected to the last 30 years. In fact, one can make a plausible case that it is the Democrats and not the Republicans who are the real culprit in the nation's descent into Right Wing insanity. By failing to stake out the legitimate liberal policy positions as their partisan goals, the the Democrats are the ones driving the country ever Rightward.

Interesting, huh?

Posted by: wbgonne | February 1, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@Scott

Perhaps you'd prefer I go online and do the research and come up with the specific number of Scott Roeders or clinic bombings or the number of locales where women had to cower behind friends to run the gauntlet of the "almost none" you are talking about.

Not going there..do your own freaking research you've crossed the very line of being the "literalist" an accusation you hurled at me the other day. Violence against women over this issue is significant. If your too much of a delusional ideologue to confront the truth I'm too lazy to do your research.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 1, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"that's probably why you're the only one to comment on my larger point."

Yipper. DFHs, that's all we are. Even drove Tena away, we did.

Now I gotta run.

Later.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 1, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

@scott: "BTW, I am quite curious about how many other people here on this board subscribe to Bernie's rejection of morality as referring to anything real"

I don't think even Bernie subscribes to it. Clearly, some things are regarded as immoral by Bernie.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 1, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

@kindness: "Now I understand that those who are against abortion do feel it is murder"

Well, if it's killing a person 8 months later, then the idea that it's still kinda killing a real, live person is not without a rational basis.

"but go back to my original point. My morals are not for them to decide. The are my own."

Well, not if you decide you've got a moral right to drown your two year old daughter. That's not an absolute principle.

"I won't make choices of their lives wrt my beliefs and I expect that they should do the same for me. They won't, of course but I am not the hypocrite in this matter."

People on both sides of the aisle make decisions about how people can live their lives all the time. From smoking to trans-fats to light bulbs to marijuana to Vioxx.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 1, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

@cao: ""look who's making the moral claim in being against abortion. Look at the rest of their positions.:""

""- pro death penalty""

Normally, not always.

""- against government programs to foster prenatal and infant nutrition""

Sometimes, not always.

""- against proper education funding""

Depending on your definition of proper funding, that's simply not true.

"- anti-environmental"

Again, I suppose it depends on your definition, but this is also, for the most part, incorrect.

"- zealously in favor of war, even the most indiscriminate"

Largely untrue.

"Their moral claims are false. They oppose abortion for purely punitive reasons."

Now, to speak in a vernacular you might be more comfortable with, that's just stupid. Do you really (for lack of a better word) "think" that?

"They" oppose abortion for the same reason "they" oppose infanticide. Abortion and infanticide may not be the same things to you, or the same thing in some universal objective sense that some are enlightened enough to perceive, but that's the source of their objection, and if you don't get that, you're picking the emotionally satisfying indulgence over the more rational, and obvious, reality.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 1, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

claw isn't Jake. Much different style of posting. Occasionally more personal and none of the obsessing on a few topics (birther for example). Also none of the "when did you stop beating your wife" type of questions.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 1, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Kevin:

""I don't think even Bernie subscribes to it. Clearly, some things are regarded as immoral by Bernie.""

I agree. But if you press him (I have, repeatedly, for over a year) he will tell you that when he uses moral language, he is only using a linguistic "tool" to convince others to follow his own "preferences". He is not actually referring to anything that exists in the real world outside his own head.

Which is why, when I ask him things like "Did a black slave posess any rights despite the fact that the wider community claimed he did not," I don't get a coherent yes or no answer, but instead I get bizarre formulations such as "There is no refusal to say black slaves had rights."
Well, sure there is no refusal to say it, but does he believe it? You will labor in vain to ever get him to give you a straight answer.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 1, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

@BB

I tend to agree with your observation about claw versus Jake. I can't ever remember a worthwhile post from Jake. I disagree with Claw the vast majority of the time...he is a birther, too bad, because he does seem to come to the blog with manners...especially relative the rest of us...I don't see him calling names very much...and sometimes he actually makes a good point.

Perhaps we've all been to harsh on him because he shares that "birther" thing with Jake. It's simply difficult for rational people to imagine there are more than two birthers..much less on this blog.
:=)

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 1, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

""Not going there..do your own freaking research...""

I haven't asked you to do any research. I don't particularly care whether you are informed or not. However, at last count, 47% of the nation considered itself pro-life. That makes approximately 140 million people who are against abortion. Relative to this number, the number of people who have engaged in or even advocated violence against abortion doctors or abortion clinics is infinitesimally small. Or, in words I already used, almost none.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 1, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm no more a "birther" than Chris Matthews is, and no one less than RUK7 himself has already posted that I am not a "racist" either.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 1, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I find this entire conversation around the severity clause to be very interesting. On the one hand, if we are to believe that president Obama is as intelligent as the MSM including this paper have been telling us, then he either did not intend for there to be health reform or he was reckless in his attempts to the bill through that they just forgot to add the clause or the Democrats were just drunk with power and forced this unconstitutional bill into existence. On the other hand perhaps president Obama just isn't that smart and we've had a cruel hoax foisted upon us.

On another topic there was a photo shopped picture of Reagan with his arm around Obama and I'm now think it should have been president Carter. Just think about the economy, Iran/Egypt all we need now is something of great value for Obama to give away.

Posted by: CPOSharkey | February 1, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

"'They' oppose abortion for the same reason "they" oppose infanticide. Abortion and infanticide may not be the same things to you, or the same thing in some universal objective sense that some are enlightened enough to perceive, but that's the source of their objection"

If you follow this enlightened position to its logical conclusion, a woman commits infanticide every time she has her period and fails to bring another potential child into the world. Men who cry murder over abortion and seek to prevent women from choosing when, where, and by whom they will have children disgust me.

Posted by: mmyotis | February 1, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

mymyotis:

""If you follow this enlightened position to its logical conclusion, a woman commits infanticide every time she has her period and fails to bring another potential child into the world.""

Nope. That is just silly. An unfertilized egg is not a human life, and a natural bodily process is not an act of intention in any event. A fertilized human egg is a human life. That is simply a scientific fact. And, of course, to those who oppose abortion, the pertinent fact is the existence of human life.

""...prevent women from choosing when, where, and by whom they will have children disgust me.""

A woman contemplating an abortion is not choosing when, where, and by whom she will bring a new life into this world. She is contemplating what to do with the life she has already brought into the world. Sorry, but thems the facts, however inconvenient you may find them.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 1, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

@Scott...

Nice try at a misdirect. My comment was not directed at the 140 million that are pro life. You should read a little more closely, you blew it on this one my "literalist" friend.

"What I do not understand is that(most of these same folks who will go to the mat,) blow up clinics..murder innocent ADULTS over this issue...""

That is a clear qualifier that exempted the vast majority of the 140 million you have introduced into the discussion...unless you believe that all of these 140 million "will go to the mat".

IMO an insightful person could easily have deduced the group to which I was referring.
My mother and sister call themselves "pro life" but they wouldn't interfere in someone else's choice. I suspect a great many of those 140 million might fall into that category of "self identified" pro lifers on a personal level but at least accepting choice since that is the law of the land...those who would never think of it for themselves, and might even vote against Roe v Wade if it were on a ballot, but they'd never break the law, nor would they try and complicate a young woman's life by screaming or yelling at her in the midst of perhaps the greatest emotional turmoil in her life.

Those who would go to the mat...are people like Russell Terry and all the fundamentalist ministers who think nothing of violating the law much less simple decency by using vandalism and intimidation at clinics.

I think any reasonable person would separate "those who go to the mat" from the 140 million you erroneously brought up. Taken as a % of Evangelicals alone...the group "going to the mat" suggests...it is not an insignificant number. If one contributes to an organization that sponsors such terrorism, and does so knowingly...they are just as much a terrorist as the screamers and at the clinics as well as the out and out terrorist assassins like Scott Roeder.

Now Scott you are the one who has drifted off into lala land. I see you still haven't found your mojo.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 1, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3,

Perhaps you close the discussion by triumphantly citing supposedly scientific fact because you are afraid to address the very real, very important, and very human issues involved. I don't know. What I do know is that your shutting the door on the possibility of intelligent discussion of the very real impact of bringing unwanted children into the world has the classic stench of intolerance, and it makes me question the depth and quality of your opinion about the morality of abortion.

Posted by: mmyotis | February 1, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@Scott

Whoaaa dude...I'm serious somebody has hijacked your mojo!!!

"A fertilized human egg is a human life. That is simply a scientific fact."

That is as you might say "simply" untrue.
It's a hotly debated fact with many points of view, many of which are diametrically opposed to your version of what is simple science. You can easily google a host of sites that will support your claim...I or anyone else can easily google sites that refute your claim.

You are entitled to your opinion. You can select whichever argument is most persuasive to you, but you are guilty of using your OPINION as "simple scientific fact". The beginning of life is a very complicated question. Logically one could say that if life is finite...that is has a beginning and end...wouldn't the beginning be defined in somewhat similar fashion as the end...the opening and closing parenthesis in your life so to speak. For a great read try this....

http://8e.devbio.com/article.php?id=162

Just one excerpt...this site represents all views including your personal view on when life begins, but not your personal view that it is a "simple scientific fact".

Neurological view:

"Although most cultures identify the qualities of humanity as different from other living organisms, there is also a universal view that all forms of life on earth are finite. Implicit in the later view is the reality that all life has both a beginning and an end, usually identified as some form of death. The debate surrounding the exact moment marking the beginning of a human life contrasts the certainty and consistency with which the instant of death is described. Contemporary American (and Japanese) society defines death as the loss of the pattern produced by a cerebral electroencephalogram (EEG). If life and death are based upon the same standard of measurement, then the beginning of human life should be recognized as the time when a fetus acquires a recognizable EEG pattern. This acquisition occurs approximately 24- 27 weeks after the conception of the fetus and is the basis for the neurological view of the beginning of human life. "

You know Scott you would have been the last poster on this blog I would have suspected of smug religious arrogance, and perhaps your mistake was an honest one and I've jumped the shark, but it was delivered with such hubris that it just has that taint of religion to it! You know..that special knowledge handed to you by God not by any empirical thought or research.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 1, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

""That is a clear qualifier...""

Because I am very bored at the moment, let's have a grammar lesson.

This is the sentence (I use that word advisedly) we are talking about.

""What I do not understand is that most of these same folks who will go to the mat, blow up clinics..murder innocent ADULTS over this issue...ONLY seem to care about human life when it is still in the zygote or fetus stage...once the baby is delivered...tough freaking luck..no health care, a cavalier attitude about their education...for many...not all..conservative Christians..a human life is far more valuable in the womb than after it actually comes to term.""

The issue at hand is, who is referenced by the phrase "these same folks". You claim that the phrase is subsequently qualified such that it refers only those people who "will go to the mat, murder innocents, etc." But in fact the phrase "these same folks" refers back, not forward, in the text, to some previously mentioned "folks", and the only people mentioned previously in the text was "the anti-crowd", and indeed you were responding to a post which was speaking generically of anyone who opposed abortion. The subsequent "who will go to the mat, etc." does not, as you claim, qualify the statement at all, but rather simply attributes even more characteristics to "these same folks" mentioned before.

Now, I can't get inside your head to know what you actually meant. but what your sentence says is that most of "these same folks", ie "the anti crowd", who are defined by their willingness to "go to the mat, etc", only seem to care about yadda yadda yadda. So it is possible that I misunderstood what you meant, but only if you didn't mean what you said.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 1, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

@clawrence...not only have I conceded I do not believe you to be a racist...I agree with BB that you are not Jake...who was a racist.

As far as being a birther...if you are not...my apologies...I thought I had read birther stuff in some of your posts...If I am mistaken...sincere apologies.

And notice in my post confirming BB's observation that you are not Jake...that you rarely come on here and just call names...

A question for you Clawrence...

Do you believe two wrongs make a right?

It's not a trick question just curious.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 1, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Scott...

Nahhh you're simply wrong...the modifying phrase ,who will go to the mat, clearly id's "these same folks."

If you wish to debate sentence construction fine..I'm sure you're a terrific grammarian, I am not, but I do understand English as well as you! Any normal person would easily understand that "who will go the mat" modifies "these same people".

BTW Do you understand the meaning of the word hubris?

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 1, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

BTW As far as these same folks meaning those anti folks we had been previously discussing...yes...but the "goes to the mat" qualifies that group even further.

And again remember I acknowledged my misuse of the word "most"...I added that indeed the modifier "many" was also too strong and ended up saying "some". That wasn't good enough for you which prompted all you smug BS about being bored and deigning to "teach me a grammar lesson".

You know what Scott...slamming out a post that results in sloppy construction is one thing...being a pompous arse is quite another...especially when you were wrong on both this discussion as well as your FACTUAL mistake about what constitutes simple science. Ahhh but Scott I am bored so I took the time for a vocabulary lesson..hope you enjoyed it.

Now Scott I suspect next you'll perhaps deign to give me spelling lessons, IF you get "bored" enough, because of my frequent sloppy misspelling of homophones and then perhaps we can move to typing. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 1, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

""Whoaaa dude...I'm serious somebody has hijacked your mojo!""

This insincere routine of yours is getting old. At no point in my time here have you ever thought I had "mojo". I could, if I were so inclined, reach back into the archives and find example after example after example of you consistently and routinely denigrating what I've said for one reason or another. The only time you have ever actually shown respect for what I have written has been when I have said something that you already agree with. You are now only prefacing every single critique of my posts with this faux "you are usually so much better than this" so as to build the pretense of objectivity and even-handedness, thus giving your latest dismissal of what I say more credibility than it might otherwise have. "I usually think you make sense, but THIS time, you are just wrong." The thing is, you pretty much never think I make sense, and never have. Which is fine. You are hardcore, ideologically driven lib, so I don't expect anything else. But really, ruk....spare me.

As for whether an embryo inside a woman is a human life, there are only two questions that need to be answered. First, is a zygote a living organism? I would be shocked if you could present a biologist (or, really, any scientist) who claims it is not, because of course it is. Second, if the product of the fusion of a human egg and a human sperm is something other than a human zygote, what is it? A canine zygote? A gorilla zygote? What classification is it?

BTW, as for the "nuerological view" that you presented, I can only say this (actually, I could say a lot, but I won't bother with anything besides this): Does a flower exhibit a cerebral EEG pattern? If not, does this mean that a flower does not have life?

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 1, 2011 9:20 PM | Report abuse

mmyotis:

""Perhaps you close the discussion by triumphantly citing supposedly scientific fact because you are afraid to address the very real, very important, and very human issues involved. I don't know.""

Not in the slightest. If you want to justify abortion by appealing to the "human issues" involved, that's fine. I am simply saying that you cannot justify it by denying that the fact that the thing you are destroying is a human life. It is.

""What I do know is that your shutting the door on the possibility of intelligent discussion of the very real impact of bringing unwanted children into the world...""

Again, I was not shutting down any such discussion. I wasn't even involved in such a discussion. I was simply a) refuting your silly argument that, if abortion is the killing of a human life, then logically menstruation is infanticide and b) pointing out to you that to contemplate an abortion was not a decision on whether to bring a new life into this world, but rather what to do with the new life that you had already brought into the world. Nothing more, nothing less.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 1, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

"First, is a zygote a living organism?"

Is a sperm a living organism?

Is an ovum a living organism?

I would be just as shocked if you could present a biologist or really any scientist who says they are not because of course they are.

You've already answered your own second question...it's a human zygote...not a human life anymore than a sperm is a canine sperm or a gorilla sperm.

And sorry if logic disturbs you. I recommend Kevin's Troll blocker..of course you could easily do as I do with rain man..simply scroll by................:-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 1, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

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

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




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company