Wednesday Afternoon Open Thread

I need to do some sports blogging. But here is a funny thing, Ezra Klein, PUMA?

There's a difference between letting Congress lead as a strategy and being unable to lead Congress. WH is teetering now.

Apropos of the Village Dem meltdown:

This is an Open Thread.

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    We have always been at war with the White House (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by andgarden on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:29:59 PM EST

    Question: did Obama look (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by observed on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:35:09 PM EST
    happy or unhappy that Brown won?

    Claire McKaskill (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:37:58 PM EST
    rears her head again

    Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has joined Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) in warning leaders not to try to push a revised health care reform bill through the Senate before newly elected Republican Scott Brown arrives.

    McCaskill said Wednesday morning that "people out there" believe the agenda is "going too far, too fast" and that it would be a "huge mistake" for Democrats to force a vote on a new bill in the Senate before the new senator from Massachusetts is seated.

    "As I said to somebody last night:, everybody needs to get the Washington wax out of their ears and listen and pay attention that people out there believe that we are going too far, too fast," McCaskill told POLITICO.

    At the same time, however, McCaskill defended the administration's approach, saying the president inherited an economic recession that he couldn't resolve with "little itty-bitty baby steps."

    "You take the big things we had to do, as related to the economy, and you combine that with the frustration of the American people and a big health care bill that frankly, because it was big and complicated, it lent itself to this almost virulent misinformation that got out there," McCaskill said. "The more those seeds planted, the more they flourished in that environment, and I think now we've got to hunker down and be realistic about what we can accomplish and certainly realize that if we don't pay attention to what the voters say in Massachusetts, then I think we do so at the peril of our party's effectiveness."

    But she added that Obama is keeping his campaign promise by trying to pass a health care bill.

    "You know what this president tried to do, which is different, he did what he said he was going to do," McCaskill said. "If you look at the steps he's taken, he's trying to keep his word to the voters that elected him."

    Oh, Claire, you silly girl.

    What virulent misinformation (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by cawaltz on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:57:58 PM EST
    is she babbling about? The part where they cut Medicare or raise on folks with decent care or the part where they make legislative swiss cheese of health regulation while mandating people purchase from private industry?

    What big things to do... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 06:05:24 PM EST
    regarding the economy?  Is she talking about the "too big to fail" con?

    Uh, maybe the part (none / 0) (#58)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 11:09:24 PM EST
    about the "government takeover of one sixth of the economy," or the part about "government bureaucrats getting between you and your doctor" and "death panels" and I could go on and on and on.

    Please let us not forget, bad as the White House/Dems are, there are far, far worse bad guys out there.


    Even (none / 0) (#65)
    by cawaltz on Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 06:35:11 AM EST
    without all the rhethoric people hate the plan on its face. Massachussets is a very liberal state. The idea they were opposed to the health care plan because of the GOP noise machine is crazy. It is and was an ill concieved plan that benefits insurance industry first and citizenry second. Fix that and even if the GOP yells "takeover" and "death panel" no one will care. The sooner Claire gets that through her head the better off we will all be.

    Some "people out there" (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 06:56:46 PM EST
    may think that Senator McCaskill has enough "Washington Wax" in her ears to start her very own Madame Tussauds. Maybe in her "going too far" she  should give pause to the overreaching ragbag of health care reform legislation--insuring those millions uninsured, regulations, "sin tax experimentation" with health care delivery, cost controls without affecting access,  more health care is not better care mantra, mandates without a public option, and, of course, "Medicare savings without benefit cuts". Why in the world did she not think it was going too far to include Medicare as a part of the health care legislation, at this time.  Medicare is not in dire straits, until about 2017, and needed changes could be made through regulations or legislation later.  A big part of the tea bag and death panel initiative was from old timers fear of losing their cherished Medicare; but their cry to keep government out of Medicare, was ridiculed as coming from senile oldsters who did not know that Medicare was a government program. Oldsters who, in the same year, saw their home equity and retirement funds nosedive, while whatever interest income they depended on was at about zero to subsidize the banks. Oh, and Obama still has not even nominated a director for Medicare, a position unfilled for three years--but maybe McCaskill thinks that is " going too fast."

    Yes, big and complicated leads to misinformation, (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 07:29:30 PM EST
    and also accurate information, that scares people. That is why it is a huge advantage to keep it simple, like Medicare-for-all : a concept that everyone can understand even if they don't know every detail.

    The plan now is a rube-goldberg contraption that falls apart with the changing of any detail. No one can understand it without knowing nearly all the details. That is why people feel un-informed even though the various versions of the mess have been on the internet for a long time. And it feels to them like it is being rushed even though it has been in the works for nearly a year. Assuming for the sake of argument that it is a good plan, leadership did not to nearly enough to socialize the whole thing with people - get them familiar and comfortable with the basic concepts. Just a bungle from the get-go.


    Bingo, bingo, bingo (none / 0) (#59)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 11:10:43 PM EST
    Hit the nail on the head.

    I say we all be quiet and let the right go at it: (5.00 / 5) (#25)
    by steviez314 on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 06:05:03 PM EST
    Glenn Beck on Scott Brown:
    I want a chastity belt on this man. I want his every move watched in Washington. I don't trust this guy. This one could end with a dead intern. I'm just saying. It could end with a dead intern.

    Randall Terry on Scott Brown:

    I - like many other political activists - am enjoying the moment of "Ted Kennedy's seat" going to a Republican. The problem is that Scott Brown supports Roe vs. Wade....
    We need to replace Scott Brown as soon as we can with a true defender of babies' lives, not a phony who supports their murder.

    Hah (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 06:07:03 PM EST
    Great stuff.

    Terry found him out (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 06:27:07 PM EST
    While running around MA in his pickup and in all his campaign commercials, Scott Brown had secret messages  "I want to murder babies". These messages could only be seen by those who had the Scott Brownn secret decoder rings.

    (rolls eyes).


    Comedy Gold! Now where does the line form ... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 08:17:23 PM EST
    ... to be Scott Brown's bimbo eruption when he's he 'moderate' GOP prez choice in 2012?

    I want to avoid the stampede, I'm willing to take one for the team here, and I promise not to bring back the repellant No Excuses Jeans.


    Ezra is going to give Booman the vapors (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by cawaltz on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 06:05:28 PM EST
    Since he's criticizing Obama and all.

    Doesn't he realize he's supposed to have his pom poms at the ready?

    C'mon Ezra, give me an O

    Ezra Klein a PUMA? You've (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by observed on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 07:07:49 PM EST

    Uh oh (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by cawaltz on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 07:56:37 PM EST
    Someone else dropped their pom poms.

    Apparently someone needs to replenish the punch bowl.

    I guess he isn't quite the President she thought he'd be. I hope she at least thinks it was worth driving a good portion of folks off the site over.

    Perhaps not though.


    Oh, thankee, thankee, thankee (5.00 / 0) (#54)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 09:07:42 PM EST
    It's icebergslim?!  After how she behaved.  Hahahahaha.

    PUMA's? Anti-Obama posts? (4.40 / 5) (#16)
    by txpolitico67 on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:38:21 PM EST
    I haven't been on TL in over a year because of the tension over primary results of 08. Hard to believe some of the posts are being left to stand w/o moderators taking huge exception. Actually the results of the MA Senate race should give all Obama supporters the warm fuzzies:  forget the majority that the Dems held in the Senate, let's bring more republicans to Congress and have that big ol' bi-partisan lovefest Obama dreams of.  I hear Donnie McClurkin and Warren are available, again, for Obama to help out with invocations, prayers and whatever else to make sure R's are comfortable.

    We've missed you around here (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:42:11 PM EST
    I hope you decide to stay - I always loved reading your comments.

    Speaking for myself, of course.


    Thank you (none / 0) (#19)
    by txpolitico67 on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:47:15 PM EST
    for your comment.  JM was always cool with me but towards the election my passions just got the best of me, and I made some comments that were deleted, or was scooted away.  I haunted a few of the other renegade Dem sites, but really politics just totally disillusioned me.  Now that the most liberal senator's Senate seat has been taken over by a republican cosmo-centerfold, it will be interesting to see the REAL Democrats get fired up and DO something. I do believe BTD is right though:  this guy will lose in 2012 when it's time to elect a senator from MA.  Carolyn Kennedy wanted Hillary's seat.  She has time to move to Massachusetts, set up shop, and run.  

    Now that a Kennedy (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by itscookin on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 06:12:27 PM EST
    no longer has that seat, I'm not sure it will be that easy for one to get it back. I think that the Democrats will look for a strong campaigner to run against Brown in 2012 and that doesn't describe Caroline. I don't think the Kennedy clan could handle her loss gracefully. She was pathetic in her bid for Hillary's seat.

    Nope (none / 0) (#31)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 06:28:02 PM EST
    Your comments are still here.  :)

    Welcome back (none / 0) (#60)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 11:14:56 PM EST
    But... the idea of Caroline moving to Mass. to run for the Senate is, I hope you realize, deeply, profoundly insulting.  Massachusetts, of all the states in the union, is loaded to the gills with talented, experienced, popular Democrats.  It's not some wasteland that needs a long-dead president's neophyte daughter to swoop in and take over, thanks.

    And as should be evident after the Brown victory (but was evident to pretty much all Dems. in Mass. long ago), Teddy Kennedy had long since become sui generis-- himself for who he was, and not because he was a Kennedy and therefore any Kennedy will do.


    There's a lot of disappointment in (none / 0) (#20)
    by observed on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:51:31 PM EST
    Obama, but I'd hate to see Dems in Congress give up because Obama won't commit to a Progressive agenda. In my opinion, Obama has failed as a leader---but Democrats shouldn't say that.
    Instead, they should take the ball and run with it, saying they are doing Obama's will.
    Specifically, I"m thinking of his statements about bankers. Someone in Congress should turn his remarks into a bill, and credit Obama with the leadership.

    I have never been disappointed in Obama (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by txpolitico67 on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:54:47 PM EST
    because my expectation levels were kept at zero.  I was hoping for something amazing to happen the first year, but, nothing did.  I had a glimmer of hope when the first round of HCR passed, but the battle over public option brought me back into reality.

    I'm still PO'd at Team O's treatment of Van Jones (none / 0) (#47)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 07:56:48 PM EST
    VJ did the honorable thing (under the circumstances) of stepping back to spare Obama from having to deal with increased RW attacks.

    Instead of using this respite advantageously to push a Dem platform, The O-Team inexcusably rewarded the attackers.

    This is the kind of mentality and behavior I can't stand in "centrist" or "moderate" Dems.


    hmmm, moderate Dems (none / 0) (#52)
    by txpolitico67 on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 08:46:34 PM EST
    me no likey.

    Hey, buddy! (none / 0) (#64)
    by Ellie on Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 04:23:39 AM EST
    Nice to see you back. I untethered from blogtopia (and cable news) for 10 mos or so. Didn't miss either one bit.

    I realized how many on/offline entity depended on keeping my hair on fire.

    I like my hair. It keeps my brains warm. Plus, the world, "side", or my top issues won't suffer irreversable loss from working on/offline.


    No, I think he's either a racist (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:24:14 PM EST
    or a WATB.  I pick WATB :)

    WATB? (none / 0) (#3)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:25:40 PM EST
    whiny @ss titty baby n/t (none / 0) (#5)
    by lilburro on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:26:10 PM EST
    a favorite of Atrios'.

    lol!~ (none / 0) (#8)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:30:03 PM EST
    That is so fitting . . . .

    Gawd, (none / 0) (#17)
    by Radiowalla on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:40:21 PM EST
    does that ever bring back sour memories!

    Another interesting tweet (none / 0) (#2)
    by lilburro on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:25:37 PM EST
    RT @JeffreyYoung_HC "Senate Budget Chair Conrad cautiously open to using reconciliation for #hcr bill." Whoa!
    about 6 hours ago from web

    For what who knows though...I'm guessing it won't have anything to do with MEDICARE the worst program in the history of the United States of North Dakota.

    HA HA HA (none / 0) (#4)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:25:53 PM EST
    Kwame Kilpatrick, former mayor of Detroit, is in some more trouble!  Oh, m how arrogance and hubris can make one fall so far....

    Can't see how that makes him a PUMA (none / 0) (#6)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:27:49 PM EST
    He didn't say he was leaving the party.

    Excuse me (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:31:25 PM EST
    Sine I "run" a PUMA site, I will be the judge of PUMAs.

    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by andgarden on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:36:39 PM EST
    I almost want to keep tabs on this comment to see how long it takes until someone cites it seriously.

    I kind of wondered if he noticed. (none / 0) (#32)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 06:30:56 PM EST
    Gets kind of old though.

    Well at least you didn't run the (none / 0) (#24)
    by steviez314 on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 06:00:43 PM EST
    Marthais60 site.

    How about this, then? (none / 0) (#14)
    by RonK Seattle on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:37:29 PM EST
    ... a Democratic Party that would abandon their central initiative this quickly isn't a Democratic Party that deserves to hold power. If they don't believe in the importance of their policies, why should anyone who's skeptical change their mind? If they're not interested in actually passing their agenda, why should voters who agree with Democrats on the issues work to elect them?

    (Hat tip to the PUMA site)


    in a few (none / 0) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:30:20 PM EST
    months the PUMA movement will proably have mushroomed into millions and millions and yet they haven't done one iota of recruiting that I know of.

    They're worse than teh gays (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by observed on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:37:13 PM EST
    that way.

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by cawaltz on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 05:54:55 PM EST
    Unlike sexual orientation,PUMA is a choice.

    I guess we never felt we had to recruit since we were hoping to be wrong and all.

    We were really weren't that anxious for Obama and the Democratic Congress to actually make the case for everything we were saying(He reveres Reagan, his attack ads against universal care and statements on health care are a bad omen, his economic policy doesn't address infrastructure which is a mistake, he doesn't address housing, his policy positions lack depth and don't show how he gets from a to b.......I've got a million of them unfortunately we were left to discussing them among ourselves)

    The Democratic Party - poster children for PUMA


    as a gay man (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by txpolitico67 on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 08:48:11 PM EST
    i was told by the pink mafia that my numbers were off.  therefore, i will be attending the next RNC meeting to meet my quota.

    Fess' up (none / 0) (#55)
    by cawaltz on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 09:13:17 PM EST
    It was you who got to Cindy wasn't it? ;)


    We know your master plan and we have ways to make you talk. Bwahahahahahahhaha


    I predict: HRC (none / 0) (#33)
    by kidneystones on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 06:51:26 PM EST
    is shelved by the end of the week and we never hear another peep about it from any Dem hoping to win re-election in November.

    Reading over the options: Snowe, re-assuring Barney Frank, waiting till Brown is seated is like water torture, and a magnification of the debacle that led up to this debacle.

    Fact is: man at the top isn't up to the job. Intense pressure might get him to budge from the safest possible course, but I doubt it.

    This is a presidency scared shi#less with majorities in both houses. The kubuki isn't even worth watching. Republicans are worse, but at this point I'm not sure that matters.

    Dems have majorities and can't govern. There's no upside to that. If HRC dies quick, Dems have a chance. Otherwise, Hillary in 2012.

    If HRC dies this year, I see (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by observed on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 06:58:52 PM EST
    no chance of Hillary winning in 2012.

    How so? (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by kidneystones on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 07:21:14 PM EST
    Really? I confess a certain bias. How does the Sec of State pay the price for this debacle? I can see the a slight resonance and certainly her opponents will try to marry her to the bill.

    But she's offshore during this administration and isn't going to have to pay for any of this administration's domestic blunders. Or even those of State.

    The WH has 'special regional envoys' who report directly to the immensely clever super-intellects at the top, like Biden. My guess is her stock has never been higher. She's ten times the leader this clown is.

    Polarizing? Absolutely. But I see that as a feature, not a bug.


    Spit my tea (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 07:28:41 PM EST
    Well (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by cawaltz on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 07:58:59 PM EST
    Reagan still gets trotted out and he's been dead for years.

    If they can't do this, what can they do? (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by esmense on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 07:21:47 PM EST
    People want and need health care reform. This should have been easy.

    I swear, the Democrats couldn't sell free food to a starving man.

    By the time they finished praising the Republicans and Blue Dogs who created the 5 page document he needs to fill out to prove his eligibility, arguing for why he needs to give up his first born son to the manufacturer of the artificial food product they're peddling, and extolling their own generosity, the guy would be dead.

    One can only hope he'd have enough energy left to take a few of them out with him.


    I disagree (none / 0) (#42)
    by kidneystones on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 07:33:05 PM EST
    very strongly with your characterization of the ease of passing health care reform, but endorse completely your critique of the Dem ineptitude.

    Digby is now linking approvingly to Andrew Sullivan. It's come to that.

    I'm far less ideologically driven than some, perhaps, I'd simply like to see the unemployment rate go down. I outlined my wish list on another thread.

    I stand by my critique that for all the tough talk about Rahm, there isn't a ball-crusher (if you'll pardon the expression) in the bunch. These clowns bent over for corporate American early and often. They have zero negotiating skills, have won next to no support for any international initiatives and can't do squat domestically.

    Every day we're seeing fresh examples of incompetence, with HCR only being the most noticeable, at the moment.

    Folks were sick of Bush, that's about the only thing Dems still have going for them. In several months (or weeks!), voters are going to be sick of Dems, too. We're looking at one term right now for Bozo.


    You have the mistaken impression (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 11:19:19 PM EST
    that Rahm somehow gave in against his wishes to corporate America.

    Hillary (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 11:17:55 PM EST
    Is. Not. Going. To. Run. Against. An. Incumbent. Democratic. President.

    Not, not, not, not, not, not-- never.

    And absolutely certainly under no circumstances one she works for.

    Good grief.


    No, she certainly would not ever do that (none / 0) (#63)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 01:52:11 AM EST
    But, I really wonder if he will decide not to run again. If the mood toward him doesn't improve, he may decide to find something more interesting and easier to do.

    I said from the beginning (none / 0) (#67)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 09:07:16 AM EST
    I thought there was a good chance he wouldn't have the whatever to do more than one term before retiring into the glory of being the adored former POTUS, where he could be feted and pampered and make inspirational speeches from time to time without actuall having to take responsibility for anything.

    Last night on Matthews, Axelrod was running on and on about the mid-terms and beyond and slipped in a phrase I haven't heard before from an Obama person-- "in 2012, if he should decide to run again."  Made my ears prick up, but Matthews didn't notice.

    I'm trying to think if I've ever heard an aide to any president so much as hint at anything other than the rock-solid assumption of two terms.  I don't believe I ever have.


    Aha.... (none / 0) (#68)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 07:38:33 PM EST
    Yes, that was my belief, as well. He wanted to be a former President more than anything else...those high paid gigs of Bill Clinton's really appealed to him....$50M book deals and $1M speaking engagements!!

    Noting, though, he will be as flimsey a follower of Bill post-presidency as he is in his current gig.

    I'll bet Obama often says to his closest people that he regrets not looking closer at this job before he dove into the primaries.


    Gonna be a half-a-House full of PUMAs (none / 0) (#45)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 07:48:33 PM EST
    this election season as they throw the Senate Dems under the bus. Every man in every district for himself.

    Well it sure appears (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by cawaltz on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 08:01:36 PM EST
    Obama ain't gonna look out for them.

    If he were, he'd have been pressing them on the jobs plan his economic team has come up with and he would of, I don't know, actually used his bully pulpit to promote things he supposedly wanted, like a public option.


    Per TL AP link, Cinty McCain poses for (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 08:30:18 PM EST
    anti-Prop 8 ad:  AP

    I really like her and Meghan (none / 0) (#56)
    by cawaltz on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 09:15:23 PM EST
    I don't know why but I really seem to identify with alot of the stronger GOP women. I wish they would replace some of the men they have with some of the ladies.

    Because (none / 0) (#66)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 07:51:16 AM EST
    With a few exceptions of course (Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin etc.) many of the Republican women aren't nearly as crazy or extreme in their views as the fat old white men.

    I have (none / 0) (#57)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 10:47:50 PM EST
    a new po-man's macro setup with my new SLR.  Finding good things to shoot is a little challenging right now.  Flowers are in scarce supply this time of year and I got tired of shooting food and jewelry, so I moved on to my husband's hotwheels.

    When I perused my photos, this one made me laugh out loud.  What a metaphor for the Democrats...the car that says high performance, but is actually just a motorless hot wheel....it's even a green car, which just adds to the ironic humor.  All I need to do is photoshop Obama turned around and waving from the driver's seat and the pic is complete.

    Anyway, if anyone is interested, the pic is here Shooting macros is just the most addictive fun ever.