Monday Night TV and Open Thread

I'm about to start watching The Bachelor, "24" and Damages. Am I missing anything?

If you'd rather talk about the State of the Union address or health care or the war on terror, or whatever else is on your mind, here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

And if someone figures out who "Person A" is in the Headley/Hana Indictment, please let me know. (It's not the same person as "Individual A" and "Member A".) How does Patrick Fitzerald come up with these designations....and why?

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    The long march to Social Security cuts (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 08:15:52 PM EST
    begins with a single budget freeze. The NY Times is now reporting that, in the SOTU,  Obama will propose a 3 year freeze on domestic spending starting with the 2011 budget. Not affected will be the military, homeland security, veterans affairs and, for now, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

    While the overall budget savings from this freeze is expected to be small, the WH thinking is that if the voters see that Obama is willing to deal in this way with the deficit, the public will be more open to cutting Medicare and Social Security.

    So, apparently, the WH hopes that if they can fool the country into believing that they are tackling the deficit by enacting a freeze and cuts that may well hurt some people without actually making a real dent in the deficit, that the voters will then support the destruction of the two most popular and successful government programs we have.

    A Democratic president determined to destroy Medicare and SS. I never thought I'd see the day.

    It's a sad day for America.

    Link to NY Times.

    Or in other words (none / 0) (#20)
    by SOS on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 11:30:32 PM EST
    the people are being set up for another "haircut". . or shearing if you prefer.

    Additional info on freeze: (none / 0) (#26)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 03:42:04 AM EST
    After the loss in Mass., they're worried about losing the independants.

    "only when the public believes such perceived waste is being wrung out will they be willing to consider reductions in popular entitlement programs, the official said".

    Maybe it's time they worried about losing their base. All the independant support in the world isn't going to save them if they continue on this course.


    Obama Seeks 3-Year Freeze (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 08:19:15 PM EST
    President Obama will call for a three-year freeze in spending on many domestic programs, and for increases no greater than inflation after that, an initiative intended to signal his seriousness about cutting the budget deficit, administration
    officials said Monday.

    I'm getting really tired of Democrats trying to out Republican Republicans.

    I still want to know where all these fiscal conservatives were the last 9 years of supplimental war bills? Or where were they when Bush became the first president in our history to cut taxes at a time of war?

    Two right wings (none / 0) (#6)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 08:52:02 PM EST
    was how Gore Vidal characterized it years ago.

    The market model that so may Repubs and Dems were weaned on, and that their corporate pay masters were CERTAINLY weaned on, has no conscience.

    It's survival of the fittest, and the devil take the hindmost.


    The signs were obvious during the (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by observed on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 08:53:32 PM EST
    Obama is going to pull off the impossible Republican dream: killing or gutting Social Security, and he'll be cheered all the way.

    to clarify: when Republicans speak in (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by observed on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 08:57:52 PM EST
    code, we're allowed to interpret, but somehow when Obama was signalling that he would be open to cutting/ending SS, it was verboten to call him on it.

    Insurance cos. running the health show (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by DFLer on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 08:33:25 PM EST

    ...The fight is between Continuum Health Partners, a consortium of five New York hospitals, including Beth Israel Medical Center and St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, both major teaching hospitals, and UnitedHealthcare...:

    UnitedHealthcare's demand that the hospitals notify the insurance company within 24 hours after a patient's admission. If a hospital failed to do so, UnitedHealthcare would cut its reimbursements for the patient by half.

    UnitedHealthcare says the proposed rule is meant to improve the quality of care and cut costs by allowing insurance case managers to jump in right away. The hospitals say that having their reimbursement cut in half is too much to pay for a clerical error, and that the revenue drain would ultimately hurt their patients.

    (my emphasis)  Yes by all means let the insurance company's case managers run the show, not the medical staff! yikes

    According to junk mail for Michael Steele, (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 08:19:45 PM EST
    I am a loyal Republican.

    Good to know the GOP is spending it's money wisely.

    O should propose a hefty INCREASE in SS benefits (none / 0) (#5)
    by Yes2Truth on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 08:37:36 PM EST

    Given the policies O supports, I don't understand why any self-respecting person would vote for ANY D
    in 2010 except for people Grayson and Kucinich.

    And THIS writer is very close to writing off O and all other Ds in 2012, to boot.

    Ron Paul even looks better than the nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue we all got conned into voting for in 2008.

    I'm getting to where I can't stand to look at him, much less listen to him and snake oil pitch.  Sure, the kids are cute, and Mrs. O couldn't have been expected to "testify" against her spouse, but I have a sneaky suspicion that she's just as much of right-winger as he is.

    When I am through with you.... (none / 0) (#9)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:18:04 PM EST
    there won't be anything left...

    I won't do 'Damages' spoilers, but OMG, great surprise actor!

    Negotiating 101: Walk away from the table if ... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ellie on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:21:18 PM EST
    ... the 'compromise'/deal's giveaway to your adversary is huge, immediate and up front, but your benefit is nebulous, back-loaded and kicks in two or three years down the road (if at all) walk the f*ck away.

    If your benefits from the "compromise" -- or protections from exploitation -- can't be explicitly laid out up front, chances are they're not going to occur when the sun goes down and you're not around. (The voters still have muscle: uncast votes for 2010/12.)

    1. Example one: Wall St. bailouts. They've experienced huge profits but not resulted in jobs. (Those would occur down the road, dunno, futurish o'clock or around then.) Bailout recipients just celebrated a banner year for bonuses and are "quietly" spending their lucre like bandits avoiding prosecution. Obama has asked the recipients of his largess to return, voluntarily, at least some of the public's lunch money or do more to fix the economy they broke.

    2. Example two: Enough has been written here and elsewhere showing cui bono from health care/insurance reform and, more importantly, when. As I understand it from discussions here and elsewhere, insurers are up front and immediately being guaranteed protections for their bottom line, but those public protections are to occur down the line and outside public view. Meanwhile, Obama immediately sticks a political feather in his cap for "leadership" on a gutted bill. Congress critters immediately get to pretend they bipartisanly cumbaya'd forth a bill, any bill.

    If anyone on "our" side still gives a d@mn: Really, leave your card at the table and walk away until the other side is serious.

    Just saw a headline: Obama would (none / 0) (#11)
    by observed on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:29:44 PM EST
    rather have one good term than two mediocre terms.
    So, he's already past denial and  anger and at the bargaining stage?

    The president who's giving himself (none / 0) (#12)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:59:41 PM EST
    a B+ for Year One probably thinks he's on track for one good term, but from where I sit, I'm not even sure he's on track to earn himself a Gentleman's C.

    Obama attacks Congress (esp Libs) via Anonymice (none / 0) (#16)
    by Ellie on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 10:32:50 PM EST
    ... but protects DINOs. Sleazy, yeah, but he's keeping his photo-op, catalogue cover-wear impeccable for 2012, when his remaining fan club can insist he tried.

    I view the glass ceiling he put on women as doing double duty. It's also a glass floor affording him some protection from downtick Dems (and the Martha Coakleys who will always take, after the fact, the brunt of the flak for nebulous BS qualities like being boring, uninspiring, unelectable, "divisive", yadda yadda.)

    Coakley would have served less time in the Senate than Obama did. (It was too boring for Arugula-for-Brains to learn the difference between impressing Sarah Jessica Parker's toddler and twisting Joseph I Lieberwhine's arm.)

    Presumably, she would have been a reliable D-vote and wouldn't have been there long enough to inflict damage.

    IMO, 2010 will be a bi-cameral bloodbath for Dems.


    Well that's unlikely (none / 0) (#13)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 10:08:11 PM EST
    If he has one good term, he's going to get a second one unless he does not run. Does he think he will quit while he is ahead? If he ever gets ahead?

    Wait, I get it - he is thinking of the Bush model, where one abysmal term got him a second one. Well, I would not bank on that.


    He is thinking of laying a solid foundation (none / 0) (#14)
    by Politalkix on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 10:21:32 PM EST
    for the long term well being of the country even if it causes short term pains and unpopularity. This is what I think.

    Anything he lays down in one term (none / 0) (#15)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 10:26:36 PM EST
    will be immediately undone if the next president is a Republican. We've seen how fast it can happen. If he is looking to do good in the long term, getting re-elected better be a priority.

    No, he's not thinking that. (none / 0) (#17)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 10:49:48 PM EST
    God help us if Obama really thinks what he is, and is not, doing right now, sets the stage for long-term good.

    If Obama is laying a foundation for anything, it's a foundation for his welcome to the moneyed class, post White House. Why go to the trouble of a second term, and waste four money-making years, if he can finesse a way out after one term?

    The speaking engagements, the corporate board seats, the sweetheart investment deals-- why waste anymore time pretending to care about the working and middle classes?


    The sooner (none / 0) (#19)
    by Emma on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 11:05:49 PM EST
    he's gone, the better, AFAIC.  Hopefuly well prior to undoing everything FDR and JFK created.

    Well, he already squandered his mandate (none / 0) (#18)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 11:00:50 PM EST
    so why not throw the whole Presidency in the trash?

    He'll be rewarded handsomely (none / 0) (#23)
    by SOS on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 11:37:51 PM EST
    with some FAT Corporate board job why worry.

    Nonsense. No party plans on one term (none / 0) (#24)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 12:35:17 AM EST
    none, nada, no political party ever plans on only that.  Two terms minimum.  Three or four is better.

    Just another sign that Obama was in this for himself, not for the party -- and not for the public.

    But it is exactly what the Nu Dems deserve for what they did to the party, too.


    At this (none / 0) (#27)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 04:57:04 AM EST
    point he's heading towards one really bad term.

    That was his response to Diane Sawyer's (none / 0) (#34)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 12:38:39 PM EST
    question on whether or not he would even want a second term based on the events of his first year. The clips were on the news this morning.

    His response is a clear indicator that he is completely out of touch with reality. Was he predicting a very good one term run would cause him to lose re-election? How purely stupid is that?

    The DEMOCRATS in congress need to see how important it is that they begin pushing back hard on this POTUS. If they lose big this year, the Republicans will happily support all his legislation and we end up in an even more horrid pickle.

    Obama might not understand the mood the country is in because of his blunders, but I'd like to think most of the congressional members are capable of figuring out people are truly angry at the direction the country is being taken by this administration.


    The Jill of Rights -- a Wo/manifesta in progress (none / 0) (#21)
    by Ellie on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 11:31:07 PM EST
    Tired of paper-rights women are relentlessly persecuted from accessing, I threw this challenge out to the sisterhood (bio, rhetorical, and all friends welcome to the process).

    Facts on the ground: The more that "progress" marches on, the more flagrantly women are targeted for abuse. This rotten habit has become so acceptable as to imbue the flogger with a shimmering aura of moral loftiness for answering to some Higher Power for doing so.

    Whatever happened to old fashioned self-flagellation? Even the perfunctory self-loathing a-la Jon Stewart for his fair-and-balanced attacks on "Liberals" -- B00by-having ones far outnumbering the schlonged and Obama hardly ever -- don't cut it here.

    Since the Constitution has been riotously amended outside of due process anyway, I thought it was high time to attach a Jill of Rights and live by it until persecutors currently threatening women's lives by the millions show legal standing.

    I'd use the S.C.U.M. Manifesto (The Society for Cutting Up Men) as a rough draft.

    Participants in Jill can clean up the language in reconciliation.

    My initial contribution stands: getting uninvited d0chebags like f*ckw@d Ben Nelson (D-Coat-Hanger)'s fat stupid nose the h&ll out of my upcoming pap smear, holy confession, and consultation with my mouthpiece for impending rotten stuff I intend to do, and thoroughly enjoy, during Mardi Gras.

    Love you too... (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 08:25:00 AM EST
    Valerie Solanas...good lord.

    Sorry about her old man and granddad and all...but jeez, that ain't me babe:)  

    And way to early for all that hate..I need another shower and I only got through 2 paragraphs of the manifesto.


    Mild compared to what's being preached (none / 0) (#31)
    by Ellie on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 10:37:22 AM EST
    ... in Congress against women and the vast majority of men continue to regard women's medical and moral rights as an Ick issue from the women's aisle.

    I'd be lying... (none / 0) (#32)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 10:53:56 AM EST
    if I said I didn't have moral qualms about the big 'A'...but bodily sovereignty and choice and trumps all in my book.

    I don't think the way to beat the embarassments to my sex is by becoming an equivalent embarassment to the female sex...but I haven't walked in a pair of high heels so what do I know:)


    Always said that until men realize the hate behind (none / 0) (#33)
    by Ellie on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 12:12:38 PM EST
    ... this cruelty (ntm the pathological fantasy about literally carving up women), there won't be decent, medically-based health care, a "win" for the "war on poverty" or a more equality-based society.

    If the gender roles were reversed and Solanis was in Congress, she'd be labeled as centrist or moderate.


    I was never big on... (none / 0) (#35)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 12:56:27 PM EST
    "if ya can't beat 'em, join 'em" theory...more of a lose with dignity guy myself.

    Whats coming (none / 0) (#22)
    by SOS on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 11:36:34 PM EST
    is the Fed Reserve & Wall Street Mobsters' next contrived economic shock. The Obama administration, along with their in-house lobbyists, is smack-dab in the middle of this cluster-flock.

    I say contrived only because any semblance to a bona fide resurgence in the housing market and Wall Street indexes was ephemeral, designed to lull investors back into the markets for their next "haircut".

    Without at least a 3 to 6 month period of increased employment ( discounting new military enlistments ), all bets are off regarding the economy. The economic elevator is still going down, and the emergency brakes ( New Deal-style CCC & WPA jobs programs ) still haven't been applied.

    Lasik Surgery Article: one patient's experience (none / 0) (#25)
    by Ellie on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 12:38:38 AM EST
    Since a few TL'ers had (or were considering) the procedure, I thought I'd pass along this article FYI.

    Side effects continue to plague patients like me. Now, as the FDA investigates, one expert admits, "We screwed up" (Lasik's blurry vision By Abby Ellin, Salon.com, Jan 25, 2010)

    I'm still considering it but am surgery-phobic. Also, I grew so enamored of my prescription swim goggles for protecting my eyes during workspace refurb that I began wearing them all the time and kind of want to roll with that.

    Upshot: the goggles work better than safety glasses, which do squat to protect from dust, with the added bonus of weirding out stray visitors who come bearing small talk. Good during bad air days too, when noxious emissions hang heavy over Scenic Undisclosed and I'm walking or cycling home.

    I had no bad side effects from Lasik (none / 0) (#28)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 08:16:43 AM EST
    but do have a friend who did, and she went to the same doctor I did. I think the results must be very prone to individual characteristic, so it is hard to recommend it to anyone else with any real confidence.

    I'd say you have certainly adapted well to the glasses life! No reason to change if you are happy.

    Reminds me I promised a PRK update...


    Post PRK Update (none / 0) (#30)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 08:26:30 AM EST
    This week is my 6th week post PRK laser eye surgery, and I promised to keep Jeralyn and others updated.  the eye feels fine, but I'm still healing - one morning last week I rubbed my eye when I was still too sleepy to stop myself, and it really hurt for that day. So I know it is not done yet. My vision fluctuates a lot. It is much better when I use a lot of artificial tears, so I have been using them every half hour or so, especially when I am working on the computer all day. At its best, the vision is nearly as good as the other eye, but it is not that way all the time. It should continue to improve for the next couple of months. I don't have another followup until March.

    It is already better than it was before surgery, so that is good. I don't need glasses for driving,  outdoor activities (I think I could ski fine now, whereas the last time I went I had some trouble - squinting a lot down the hill), or going to movies or concerts, or watching TV,  that kind of stuff. Need them for computer and reading, but I'm used to that.

    So, overall, not perfect yet, but still a success for what I wanted. Of course I wish I did not need reading glasses, but those days are gone....