Thursday Morning Open Thread

Matt Yglesias:

The strange thing about the “super committee” process is that it’s been clear from the beginning that the Democrats will end up surrendering one way or the other. That’s because of the way the “trigger” has been structured. The automatic cuts are supposed to be evenly divided between domestic programs that Democrats want to protect and defense programs that Republicans want to protect, but Democrats also favor protecting those defense programs. [. . .] That means Democrats have merely re-created the original debt ceiling problem for themselves. They don’t want to agree to an all-cuts deficit reduction, but they really don’t want to experience the alternative.

You don't say.

Open Thread.

< Wednesday Night Open Thread | More On The Deficit "Bargaining" >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    It is all so depressing (5.00 / 6) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 09:41:48 AM EST

    And the most depressing church sign (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 09:49:58 AM EST
    I've ever seen in the South so far was in Brundage AL on our way to Atlanta on Monday.  It read, "Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by Tyrants".

    Not sure how they are applying this to our current reality we are all living in, but could I stomach knowing?  I could go to the church on Sunday for awhile I suppose and discover who is the head tyrant in their opinion.  Discovering exactly why is probably so camouflaged I would probably never be able to get to that secret!

    Downright frightening (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:24:17 AM EST
    I was taken aback by the reader board at a local christian high school, "Thanksgiving Day services 10:00 AM" - trying hard to remember when Thanksgiving became a religious holiday.

    Seems that's a quote by William Penn (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 03:18:02 PM EST
    and the context is that he was a Quaker for whom pacifism was a religious requirement.

    So I guess for him he felt that if we all were pacifists, including our rulers, then none of the rulers would be tyrants?

    There is more to the quote:

    "If thou wouldst rule well, thou must rule for God, and to do that, thou must be ruled by him....Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants." -William Penn

    Dunno what the point of the church you saw was...


    A Southern Baptist church causes me to have (none / 0) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 12:33:44 PM EST
    many many unkind thoughts about what they were implying.  Every day down here lately I come upon individuals insisting Obama is a tyrant.  A tyrant how when compared to the last President who never riled anyone up down here?  I'm just so tired of it.  On my daughter's facebook, kids she went to school with here put on their facebook that they hope President Obama is assassinated, or they clearly display that none of them paid any attention during Government class.  They have no idea at all, not at all, how our systems of government works.  The things that they claim are his fault are things that Republican representation have brought down upon us and have backed into a corner on.

    Last Sunday night I got home late and we were out of milk and bread, things I would need in the early morning.  So I went to Walmart.  The milk is all the way in the back of the store so as I was trucking there I pass a gentleman and someone who seemed to be his spouse.  He had Elvis hair and that's okay, he spoke like an Evangelist though and he had two Walmart employees cornered (one very young girl) and he was preaching about how the President is not a U.S. citizen and is a liar and a Muslim in hiding.  I could hear him go on and on.  The thing that really ticked me was that he had a captive audience.  The customer is always right and if he needs to address you you must allow him to.  It took every fiber of my being to not steer my cart right to him and start fighting back.  It was 10 o'clock.  I had had a long day, was tired, and I have to listen to and witness that crap and just take it?  Well no, I didn't have to do anything at all but it was very unpleasant to witness go down.


    MT, their broader point (none / 0) (#48)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 07:09:30 PM EST
    is that the Golden Rule is a pretty good guideline.

    Heh....ya think? (none / 0) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 12:19:37 PM EST
    Let's hope it wasn't about the White Rule.

    It seems that the Republicans (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:00:59 AM EST
    might agree to some increases in tax "revenues" if the Bush tax cuts are made permanent.  This would, in effect, be about a $3 trillion cut in revenues.  So the Super Committee is a way to achieve the dream: extend, permanently, the Bush tax cuts and cut and gut Medicare and Medicaid and deal with that milk cow with 310 million teats.  A "balanced" and bipartisan result- A bold step on the way to deficit reduction, it will be called.  Can't reduce Pentagon spending what with trainers, advisors and troops all around the globe.  Sequestration anyone?

    We (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jackson Hunter on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:07:23 AM EST
    posted at the same time, your argument is MUCH better than mine. :) You're absolutely right.



    But...but...but... (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Jackson Hunter on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:03:26 AM EST
    We got DADT (which was inevitable as even the worst case scenario did allow for an Executive Order), a new Start Treaty (that was also likely inevitable), and what, an extension of UI Benefits that has already concluded? Imagine all of the lost revenue from the extension of the Obama Tax cuts (they are his now) into infinity because the Democorp Party will likely never let them die, although they will hold tough until the votes are counted next November, then they will cave as is their wont. Then they will help to gut the entire Safety Net.

    Gee, that was a little dour, sorry everyone, I guess reality really does bite. :)

    BTW, China is going well, I have met a woman, the food is really good (especially hotpot), and no God or Jesus stuff constantly in your face. That last is really nice, man was I sick of that in America. You can be a Christian here, but you can't witness for the faith. No knocks on my door, no Mormons on 10 speeds pestering you, and the Buddhists here and others never try to recruit you, which makes them enticing. The people are really nice, and the kids I teach are for the most part the best. It will suck that I'll miss Turkey, but I can have Roasted Duck. But NO STUFFING! AAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!



    I'll trade ya... (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:00:27 AM EST
    some of my turkey for that duck!  Duck is the king of poultry.

    How would you describe the police/law enforcement presence where you're at in China?  Tolerant of political activity?  Tolerant in general?  Scary?  Heavy presence?

    What do the people wanna know about America?

    Just curious...glad you're having a great time Jackson, sounds so exciting!  TL has a man on the street in China and Kazakhstan, as well as all corners of the USA...pretty cool, this blog rocks.  


    Sorry K-Dog (none / 0) (#50)
    by Jackson Hunter on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 12:05:11 AM EST
    because of the time difference, I had gone to bed before I saw this comment.

    Yes, the duck here is fantastic, they'll cut the roasted skin off and you eat that separately and then you take the meat and wrap it up in this bread/taco like thing and eat it. It's very good. The only thing I don't like is that they put hot peppers in everything almost, so the food is very hot. I like spice, but Jesus they go overboard here. LOL

    They Police presence is very low key here, I almost never see them and when I do they are always friendly. People are honest as individuals, meaning they will criticize things about China they don't like, but I never see political gatherings or protests. Of course, I'm in a little town by Chinese standards, only about 50,000 people. The police aren't scary here at all, infact people will honk at cop cars to get them to move! Try doing that in America. LMAO

    People ask if I like Obama, many ask about our gun culture "Why Americans have so many guns?", but mostly they ask what we think about them. I always tell the truth (as I see it) about those things. I tell them how anti-communist the Country is, and that owning guns is traditional (they like and respect that word), and that Obama cares more about Corporations then people. I tell them we have Corporate Party A and Corporate Party B, with only a few social issues separating them. I also say many positive things as well, and many people here want to come to America, and for the most part they seem to like and respect Americans.

    Unfortunately, I don't have a "connection" up here, if you know what I mean. But in the South of China I was able to get some "HASH browns" (and it really was brown-lol) that was pretty good. No tests here, but as a guest I have to be super careful, I don't want to get arrested and put into jail here. Overall, I feel freer here in China than I did in America, the cops aren't really arround and no one messes with me. As I said in another c omment, no d@mn missionaries knocking on my door.

    And I agree, this blog rocks! I'll try to participate more, but the time difference is SO extreme that it is hard to at times. I'm on Beijing Standard Time, btw. Again, sorry for the late reply, I hope that you see it.



    Thanks dude... (none / 0) (#51)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 11:56:27 AM EST
    Honking at squad cars...different world! :)

    I was dying to ask about the story with "connections" over there and that scene, but didn't wanna pry or impose...so double thanks for the extra info.


    The only thing that DADT really did for me (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:08:42 AM EST
    Was demonstrate how powerful our President is when he chooses to not hide how powerful he is.  I wanted it, I needed it, and in the end it just pissed me off more because people lie and lie and lie about their motivations, their power, their overlords....they just lie like hell these days and the money rolls.

    Agree (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Jackson Hunter on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:35:20 AM EST
    DADT was very important, but I am tired of this "The President is powerless" garbage. A Leader of true substance and vision can effect great change, or at least change the argument of the Country he leads. Pres. Obama has failed miserably at both. But a bunch of DFH's can and has, but the Dems seem fixated on caving. I guess that pays better.



    uh-huh (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by sj on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:11:22 AM EST
    I mostly agree with this, but I just can't totally get behind it.  I have to admit it makes me very uncomfortable to refer to "Our" President or "My" President (no matter who the office-holder is, btw).  It just sounds so Dear Leader-ish to me.  To me it is "The" President.  That is honorific enough.

    I have been properly checked (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:27:56 AM EST
    You sound like my soldier person :)  There is one conservative soldier who calls President Obama Barry out of disrespect.  My husband falls on the floor when he does it and produces a conniption because there is Dear Leader and then there is disrespect and neither one is desirable I'm told :)

    I was not allowed to call Dubya (none / 0) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:28:54 AM EST
    Dubya in his presence :)

    I've referred to the last 5 we've had.... (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:43:12 AM EST
    as "a$$hole"...is that wrong?:)

    For some (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:50:44 AM EST
    Not me, I'm good with freedom of all speech :)

    In the presence of Dubya or in the (none / 0) (#45)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:49:06 PM EST
    presence of your husband?

    Exactly (none / 0) (#49)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 07:13:24 PM EST
    But was soon as Obama was sworn in many who had called Bush everything but President immediately started telling us that we had to call Obama "Our President" and that we were racists if we didn't.

    No problem (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:11:29 AM EST
    I've finally made it into the 1%, so now I'm a person of substance.

    I received three email this morning from women dying of "osophogeal" cancer who have all decided to willme millions of doolars each.

    On top of the four coorier companies acting on behaff of the 'United Nation, Public Finance & Special Duties' department who have finally been able, for a small fee to cover processing, to release my long awaited and overdue payments as part of the UN global fight against scam and fraudulent activitie.

    Plus, I have have won the sum of £1,500,000.00POUNDS in this year edition which is organized by the National Geographic International United Kingdom.

    Oh happy day. Come on down. I'm buying.

    correction (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:19:53 AM EST
    depart ment

    Our son-in-law received a phone call (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:23:55 AM EST
    on his cell phone last week while he was out tearing up someones yard with a tractor that said that he had won a prize via Walmart (they said that was how they got his number), they asked him if he wanted media coverage or not when they gave him his 150,000 prize.  He's young, he thought maybe it was true that because he was hard working and paid his taxes he had automatically been placed into some kind of lottery.  He did give them his address.  Then he phoned me.  I phoned my husband.  We raced to their house thinking horrible thoughts of people who might want them together in the house for all the wrong reasons at the same time.  They phoned him back while we there, I'm going to assume that they were going to ask him for money in order to get his check to him that they were unable to get to him for some reason without needing "something" special.  The phone number had area code suggesting it was coming from Jamaica.  Who knows though?

    Could be real. You never know. (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:27:15 AM EST
    It may be part of the Obama/Democrats new social safety net plan?

    Well if you listen to some liberal like me (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:29:49 AM EST
    who swears that if we can just rub this bottle the right way a genie pops out, no wonder huh?

    Have you no faith, MT? (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:32:47 AM EST
    "In the end, if the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists - to protect them and to promote their common welfare - all else is lost."

    Barack Obama, University of Nairobi, August 28, 2006
    An Honest Government, A Hopeful Future


    Well (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Jackson Hunter on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:39:28 AM EST
    You can't sell them soap if you can't sell them hope!

    Another thing I like, I'm off the grid here in China, no junk mail, no calls from people trying to sell me stuff, although I still have e-mail I guess.



    Lot's of factory jobs over there, I hear? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:41:29 AM EST

    Oh yeah (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Jackson Hunter on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:45:30 AM EST
    Luckily I don't have to work one. I could have been an apple picker here as well. It's funny, I moved from one apple region to another. :)

    Luckily, I live in a small town, not many factories, air is pretty clean. It rains a lot, so it keeps the air cleaner. I like it, I'm staying for a while, but I will vote absentee next year.



    High paying (none / 0) (#29)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:51:50 AM EST
    and secure too, I hear.

    Lot's of overtime.

    Even come with their own social safety nets under the third and fourth floor windows? ;-)


    LOL (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Jackson Hunter on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:10:25 AM EST
    I had a long comment get lost in the ether. Uncle Mao, was that you? LMAO! CCTV does cover negative things, including the deprivations of some of the workers in factories. But I am a guest, you know?

    It is not near as grim and propagandistic as I thought it might be here. The people here are TOUGH and bigger than most Americans think. Santorum needs to come here before he lightly goes into battle. To twist Jim M. for a moment, "We have the guns, but they have the numbers!" And they are ONE team here, they work together, it's their strength.



    Hoocoodanode? (5.00 / 8) (#11)
    by Romberry on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:19:14 AM EST
    Everyone other than blind loyalists knew this was how it would play out this way. It's the way this story has played out since Obama became president. After a while, you have to be willing to face up to the fact that these things are happening by design. And it's also perhaps necessary to consider the idea that had the other party's nominee made it to the White House instead, Democrats may have actually resisted and that resistance may have actually resulted in a course less extreme than what we have with Mr. Hope and Change.

    Economy remains in a ditch and unemployment is high and long term. Yet Ezra Klein reports this:

    For most of this year, the White House has thought that the surest path to President Obama's reelection was to strike a big deficit deal with Republicans, or at least be seen trying to strike a big deficit deal with Republicans.

    And this:
    Then came the debt-ceiling debate. By the end of those negotiations, Obama had offered Boehner a deal that would cut the deficit by about $4 trillion, with only $800 billion to $1.2 trillion coming from revenue. That deal would also have raised the Medicare eligibility age to 67, cut Social Security and made the Bush tax cuts permanent.

    No one who can walk and chew gum at the same time is that incompetent. No one.

    It's been his plan all along (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:22:36 AM EST
    He's not incompetent. He's doing exactly what he set out to do. Why do you think he wears that big grin all the time?

    And why is he currently in Asia, (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:33:07 AM EST
    not D.C.?  Very clever.  

    I'd be hiding too (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:34:14 AM EST
    Out of range

    Perfect. (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Jackson Hunter on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:42:18 AM EST
    Right on the money. Man we are so fricked in this country. (H/T Elliot Reid)



    This Is What Our Government Has Come To (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:26:57 AM EST
    Forcing itself into deals in which no one is happy because actual deals are impossible, so pseudo future deals have to be struck.

    This is no way to govern and as much as the Obama train has focked up pretty much everything, they are still capable of adult behavior in regards to negotiating and reality.

    This is where the republicans are killing the country, their inflexibility in regards to taxes, even for the people that can easily afford them at the expense of people who can't even feed their families.  It's beyond ridiculous, just like the current political climate.

    And i will say all of this child like behavior of 'No Tax Increases' is all the derived from one place, Fox News.  Their misinformation and flat out lying is creating a whole class of people that simply don't understand the issues or reality. Yet they are the most vocal because the information they are given is either a distortion of the facts or just straight up non-sense.

    Obama & Co has plenty blame to claim, but it's getting to the point where one party simply will not allow any meaningful negotiations because their network has instilled some silly notion that rigidity in politics is grand.

    Democrats also favor protecting defense programs? (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by BobTinKY on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:30:09 AM EST
    the DoD budget ought to be first on the chopping block.

    The DoD Budget (none / 0) (#23)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:36:14 AM EST
    Live updates.... (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:08:45 AM EST
    of the two-month anniversary actions of OWS here.

    Love the 11:52 am update snark...

    *11:52 am: counterterrorism agents spotted, appear oblivious to economic terrorism

    No sh*t Sherlock, nail on the head!  Thousands of regular "crime fighters" spotted too, appearing oblivous to economic crime.

    Amazing, isn't it? (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:13:38 AM EST
    They get it.

    They know if they can't nip it in the bud it'll be the "end of the regime" at some point, and people will be hunting them like Libyans hunted Qaddafi...


    Check this out... (5.00 / 6) (#39)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:47:27 AM EST
    we found a cop that gets it too...three cheers for Captain Ray Lewis outta Philly!

    At least 200 people have been arrested so far for peaceful assembly and nonviolent civil disobedience, including retired Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis. "All the cops are just workers for the one percent, and they don't even realize they're being exploited," Mr. Lewis said. "As soon as I'm let out of jail, I'll be right back here and they'll have to arrest me again."

    Aye Freakin' Aye Captain!


    Very cool! (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:56:50 AM EST
    Reality bites. ;-)

    Do you have the link for that, kdog?


    Same as the update link... (none / 0) (#42)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:01:08 PM EST
    as reported by occupywallst.org

    ahh (none / 0) (#43)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:03:29 PM EST

    Chris Hedges wrote about this (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:41:26 PM EST
    just two days ago...

    Despotic regimes in the end collapse internally. Once the foot soldiers who are ordered to carry out acts of repression, such as the clearing of parks or arresting or even shooting demonstrators, no longer obey orders, the old regime swiftly crumbles. When the aging East German dictator Erich Honecker was unable to get paratroopers to fire on protesting crowds in Leipzig, the regime was finished. The same refusal to employ violence doomed the communist governments in Prague and Bucharest. I watched in December 1989 as the army general that the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu had depended on to crush protests condemned him to death on Christmas Day. Tunisia's Ben Ali and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak lost power once they could no longer count on the security forces to fire into crowds.

    The process of defection among the ruling class and security forces is slow and often imperceptible. These defections are advanced through a rigid adherence to nonviolence, a refusal to respond to police provocation and a verbal respect for the blue-uniformed police, no matter how awful they can be while wading into a crowd and using batons as battering rams against human bodies. The resignations of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan's deputy, Sharon Cornu, and the mayor's legal adviser and longtime friend, Dan Siegel, in protest over the clearing of the Oakland encampment are some of the first cracks in the edifice. "Support Occupy Oakland, not the 1% and its government facilitators," Siegel tweeted after his resignation.

    -- This Is What Revolution Looks Like


    Live streaming here: (none / 0) (#46)
    by shoephone on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:54:33 PM EST
    Greece (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 09:58:39 AM EST

    Greece is the word that you heard (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:06:28 AM EST
    It's got groove it's got meaning.  Greece is the time, is the place, is the motion.  Greece is the way we are feeling :)

    I just couldn't stop myself


    It'll be (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:14:59 AM EST
    a nice haircut too. Very slick.

    It's too early out this morning (none / 0) (#28)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:49:19 AM EST
    I have no idea what this is all about: disgusted.org.