Wednesday Night TV and Open Thread

Lots of TV on tonight: The X-Factor, Survivor, Harry's Law, the finale of America's Top Model, even a new Restaurant Impossible.

The Wall St. Journal reports the Today Show has been recruiting Ryan Seacrest to replace Matt Lauer.

In Bachelor news, the show has had enough of spoiler Reality Steve. It filed a federal lawsuit today against Reality Steve and owner Stephen Carbone. The plaintiffs are NZK Productions Inc. and Horizon Alternative Television Inc., which are indirect wholly owned subsidiaries of Time Warner, Inc.

The Complaint, available here, alleges intentional interference with contractual relations and unfair competition. It accuses Steve of contacting show participants and other cast, crew members and employees, and seeking information in violation of their contracts. In some instances, it quotes e-mails from him to show participants offering money for information. Steve doesn't seem worried and posts some e-mail correspondence between lawyers. He's always said on his site he doesn't get information from the cast or participants. But the suit now includes "other employees." Steve has already revealed the final four contestants on the upcoming Bachelor with Ben Flajnik.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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  • I hope Obama is an angry man (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Edger on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 07:21:27 PM EST
    And I hope he's furious with me

    President Obama thinks he can win reelection by running the same hoax on his Democratic base as he did in 2008: flavoring his speeches with progressive sounding rhetoric while tightening the bankers' grip on government and continuing his pursuit a "grand bargain" with the Republicans. In his speech on Tuesday in Kansas, Obama depicted himself as the reincarnation of President Teddy Roosevelt, known as a corporate "trust-buster" at the turn of the 20th century. But Obama is no trust-buster. He has never busted a corporate monopoly. His administration approved the merger of Comcast and NBC, consolidating even an bigger monopoly and giving the lie to his 2008 campaign promise to reinvigorate anti-trust enforcement.

    The Obama m.o. is to talk a progressive game and then do just the opposite. He claims he found it "infuriating" to rescue the banks from collapse when he came to office. If that's the case, then the best thing that could happen to Black people would be for Obama to get absolutely furious at us - and then the trillions would flow. When Obama supposedly got furious at the banks, he put the whole government and the Federal Reserve at their beck and call and funneled more than $16 trillion into their accounts. Apparently, it pays big time to get Barack Obama "infuriated." If he gets mad enough at you, he'll open up the windows at the Federal Reserve and hand out trillions of dollars in interest-free loans.

    more at...
    Obama: The "Trust-Buster" Who Never Busted a Trust
    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    If only (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 07:34:48 PM EST
    Obama was really the reincarnation of Teddy Roosevelt.  (Link.)  If he wants to re-incarnate any Republican, much, much better Theodore Roosevelt than Ronald Reagan, his previous Republican idol.

    Oh, now look... (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 07:38:06 PM EST
    Wall Street, the insurance industry, weapons manufacturers, and mortgage lenders turned into property owners all across the land are all beside themselves with joy and can barely contain their glee at their power to power the American economic powerhouse.

    And all they get is bashed for it?

    Come on, people. Get with the program. Jeeze.

    Eventually you know it all has to trickle down to the peasants once the bottoms of their pockets split open from the weight of all that progress, and funding wars is a major part of that strategy. You know this.

    Reagan promised that, and Obama is doing everything humanly possible to make it happen, so he deserves all the credit he deserves.

    We must keep the Pentagon budget equal to or above the amount all 50 state governments combined spend every years for the health, education, welfare, and safety of 310 million Americans, or there will be that much less to trickle down.


    Yep (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 07:53:06 PM EST
    but I don't think Obama really means it unfortunately. I have to wonder if he thinks we are all stupid and or will conveniently forget his record for the past three years.

    My commnet was a serious one (1.00 / 0) (#8)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 08:42:11 PM EST
    If you differ, perhaps you could explain.

    I wasn't (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 08:52:45 PM EST
    replying to you.  I was replying to Edger's comment. Sorry, but not every comment on this blog that you do not agree with is directed to you.

    I was actually trying to have a real (none / 0) (#12)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 09:03:20 PM EST
    discussion about the speech.  You gave my first comment on this thread a "1", and I was inviting a response from you as to why.  But you knew that.

    Perhaps you are reacting to the other thread, where I pointed out that you gave a "5" to observed's one sentence comment that Obama's record on civil rights was akin to the old Soviet Union.  

    But who knows....A further explanation on your reaction to my post on the speech would be helpful.


    I really don't think (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 09:08:30 PM EST
    that I have anything further to say to you.  I have perused your past comments, and you don't really have "real discussions" with anyone, as far as I can tell.  Have a good evening.  Over, and out.

    No, no, me first! Be absolutely furious (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Towanda on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 07:58:10 PM EST
    with me, Mr. Obama, puhleeeze!  I wanna see some trillions trickling down to me, oh, puhleeeeze?

    If you're not furious enough with him, remember this:

    During the financial meltdown, a new analysis of 29,000 pages of previously secret documents shows, central bankers at the Fed shoveled out an incredible $7.77 trillion in dirt-cheap loans to the nation's financial institutions.

    This massive wave of low-cost loans, note the Bloomberg news analysts who broke the story last week, amounted to a bailout over ten times larger than the $700 billion funneled to banks via the Treasury Department's controversial Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.

    Bloomberg reporters had to win a court case to access the stunning new bailout data. How stunning? The $7.77 trillion the Fed committed to the nation's financial industry, observes Bloomberg, equaled "more than half the value of everything produced" in the entire United States during the key crisis year.

    To put the bailout in more homespun terms: The Fed provided banks the equivalent of over $25,000 per American.

    Previously secret documents? As Col. Potter used (none / 0) (#41)
    by Farmboy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:28:34 AM EST
    to say, horse hockey.

    The results of the GAO audit have been publicly available since they made their report to Congress - in open hearings - back in July. Those results were reported on by the media back in August.

    Banks borrow money from the Federal Reserve every day. And every day the banks pay it back. That's one of the reasons we have a Federal Reserve bank system. People should have learned that during a high school economics class.

    There are many things in the financial industry to be upset about. The standard daily practices of the Fed since 1913, not so much.


    Standard daily practices... (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:40:02 AM EST
    standard or not, I find them upsetting.

    Think of the good 7.7 trillion worth of low or no interest microloans direct to the American people could accomplish...but I guess thats no way to create a nation of debtors slaving for the banks, and no way for Jamie Dimon to stay in caviar.  


    Okay, let's go with that. I'll be the Fed, and you (none / 0) (#55)
    by Farmboy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:21:48 AM EST
    be - well, you. Now I'll make the same loan to you the Fed does with the banks, under the same conditions.

    You: Give me $1000; I need to fix my car.
    Me: Here you go, $1000 in your account.
    (one day later)
    Me: I need the $1000.01 you owe me.
    You: What? I don't get paid until next week, and even then I can only give you $200. I'll pay you another $200 next month.
    Me: No, I need it all now. That money has to stay in circulation.

    And that's why it won't work for private individuals. Banks only borrow the amounts they expect to take in during the business day - money in circulation. On any given business day that amount is around 1.2 trillion being loaned and repaid. Individuals aren't banks or businesses; they don't have daily income. Plus, we usually borrow for long term repayment.

    What the GAO report revealed was that for a period of time a couple years ago more money than usual was being borrowed and repaid by the banking system. This extra money in the economy is intended to prevent things like bank runs, and is one of the primary reasons for having a Federal Reserve system.


    Still can't see how... (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:30:03 AM EST
    we would not be better served cutting out the middleman.

    Banks borrow from Fed at next to zero and loan out at 7% to you and me...why not have the Fed lend direct at 2%...the Fed wins, we win.

    If they can pay it back next day why are they borrowing?  Is it a ponzi scheme type deal?


    Think of your body's circulatory system (none / 0) (#66)
    by Farmboy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:49:28 AM EST
    Blood goes out from the heart, flows around to all the bits, then comes back through the heart again. Usually it just ticks along at 60 beats/second or so. When we do something strenuous it pumps harder to maintain the flow. Without a heart our blood would tend to pool in our extremities. Circulation could be forced externally via massage and gravity, but it wouldn't be as beneficial as having a heart.

    The Fed isn't a Ponzi scheme; it's the heart of our economy system - it helps keep the money flowing. It was empowered to be the middleman back in the day for that very reason. The GAO report showed that during the recent problems the Fed performed as it was designed to do, although there are things that could be improved.

    It's like if you were having poor circulation and went to a doctor. She couldn't find an immediate reason so she sent you to a cardiologist - who said your heart is okay, but you need to exercise more. However, the next step in diagnosis is to search for a different cause.

    The next step in fixing our banking problem is to investigate the banks and Wall Street.


    If the Fed is the heart... (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:01:53 AM EST
    it is sending far too much blood to our d*ck and not nearly enough to our brain.

    We could at least use our Fed loan program, which the banks must be relying on, to get better terms outta the banksters for Main St.


    You are participating in the Federal Reserve (none / 0) (#96)
    by Farmboy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:59:31 AM EST
    system right now. The contents of your checking account, for example, is an asset on their balance sheet.

    The system isn't just tax dollars - the system includes all dollars, yours, mine, and Uncle Sam's.


    Not kdog. He makes every effort (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:06:53 AM EST
    to avoid doing anything that involves a bank. You won't find his money floating around in a checking or savings account. And I don't think the Fed gets to claim money kept under one's mattress as assets.

    I may be a moron... (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:12:05 PM EST
    when it comes to high finance and monetary policy, but I like to think I'm smart enough to know when I'm the mark.

    Like in poker when you sit at the table and can't spot the fish, the fish is you.


    Yep (none / 0) (#102)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:13:37 AM EST
    kdog so walks his talk.

    Actually, mattress money does count. (none / 0) (#108)
    by Farmboy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:29:04 AM EST
    It's considered currency in circulation, even while gathering moths and dust under a mattress.

    If I could stash... (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:26:56 PM EST
    future goods and services under the mattress I would:)

    Money, money, money...I see how it it is more convenient than barter and all...but it still makes me uncomfortable.  And the more I learn the shadier it all seems.

    "Man I never understand why all my money
    Goes down to the man at the bank
    And all he does is sit and think
    About the money that I'm gonna make"

    Ryan Bingham, "Dollar a Day"


    A friend just had an international (none / 0) (#128)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:34:39 PM EST
    "wired" transfer of money held up.  Seems she put in the "notes" section the last name of a client, which is also the name of an infamous drug cartel. Problems abound.  

    Great Deal... (none / 0) (#137)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:50:36 PM EST
    for the wire transfer outfit...will your pal get principal plus interest once it is squared away?  err...if it is squared away?  He/she might have to sue to get whole...some stealing is legal.

    Still in flux but promises promises. (none / 0) (#148)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:34:30 PM EST
    How about just (none / 0) (#79)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:36:11 AM EST
    cut 7.7 trillion worth of taxes to the american people?  Less paperwork, clerks, save even more money.  If you want to talk pipe dreams.  

    Worth looking into...n/t (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:49:19 AM EST
    If we close all the foreign bases, disband the DEA & ATF, serious cuts to DHS/ICE/CIA/FBI/DOD we could maybe swing it.

    If it was pub;icly available (5.00 / 4) (#113)
    by NYShooter on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:50:00 AM EST
    why did Bloomberg News need the Freedom Of Information Act to wrestle the information from the Fed?

    If it was publicly available, why wasn't Barney Frank, who was the House Financial Services Committee Chairman at the time of the unprecedented SECRET loan, informed about it? (neither was Greg Judd, his Republican counterpart)

    The reason might be because:

    A. the 7.7 Trillion dollars free loan to the banks represented more than seven times the total amount of money the U.S. had in circulation at the time,


    B. The government lent it out at .01% and borrowed it back through treasury bonds, netting the banks a cool 13 Billion Dollars profit, virtually overnight.

    Business as usual, nothing to see here, move along...

    Yeah, right


    There were no facts in the Bloomberg article (none / 0) (#145)
    by Farmboy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:20:04 PM EST
    about the actions of the Fed that you couldn't find in last summer's GAO audit and report, including the existence of loans to the banks. The 7.7 trillion is in there too, if you count borrowing and repaying a trillion dollars each day as 7.7 trillion in loans. By that accounting method I have half a million dollars - if you add up all my paychecks since college, and ignore all my expenditures.

    What wasn't in the GAO report was the huge profit the banks made from those loans. That's the big reveal, but it's on the banks' ledger sheets, not the Feds. And that profit, in my opinion, is what needs to be investigated. It's another example of the banks and Wall St. gaming the system.


    Sounds about right.... (none / 0) (#151)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:40:33 PM EST
    using the Fed loans to make big profits while Main St. suffers and gets no such favors from the banks is the stink here.

    Appreciate the food for thought Farmboy...can you explain why banks need to borrow a trillion, repay a trillion, rinse & repeat?  is it an accounting trick to increase profit thing?  Collecting overnight interest on it somehow?  Dodging late fees from their creditors?  

    To this laymen if you can repay it next day you shouldn't have needed to borrow it to begin with...something fishy must be going down.


    Throughout the course of a day, banks will transfer money to each other, to foreign banks, to large clients, and other counterparties on behalf of clients or on their own account.

    At the end of each working day, a bank may have a surplus or shortage of funds.

    Banks that have surplus funds may lend them to or deposit them with other banks, who borrow from them.

    The overnight rate is the amount paid to the bank lending the funds.

    Banks will also choose to borrow or lend for longer periods of time, depending on their projected needs and opportunities to use money elsewhere.

    Most central banks will announce the overnight rate once a month.

    In Canada, for example, the Bank of Canada sets a target bandwidth for the overnight rate each month of +/- 0.25% around its target overnight rate: the Bank of Canada does not interfere in the overnight market so long as the overnight rate stays within its target band, but the Bank will use its reserves to lend or borrow in the overnight market to ensure that the overnight rate stays within its announced bandwidth.[1]

    Gimme a sec... (none / 0) (#170)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:20:09 PM EST
    need the smoke coming out my ears to clear, can't see my screen:)

    What a tangled web!  Watch your back flies.


    Ya, it's all based on belief, ultimately. (none / 0) (#185)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:38:57 PM EST
    Been that way since currency was invented. Dam non-believers like you just mess it up for the rest of us!

    Leave it to banks.... (none / 0) (#199)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:58:48 PM EST
    to make religion look reasonable by comparison...a man in the clouds makes more sense than that sh*t:)

    That's your issue with this report? (none / 0) (#78)
    by Towanda on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:33:01 AM EST

    My issue with the report isn't with the (none / 0) (#93)
    by Farmboy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:55:38 AM EST
    level of hyperbole, although it's impressive. My primary issue is that the authors wrote an article about the Federal Reserve without expressing any basic understanding of what the Federal Reserve is or does. It's like the little boy who cries, "wolf!" - every time he sees a potato. My comments today have been a vain attempt to help shed some light.

    Another issue is that the echoes of this article have been bouncing all over the blogosphere, growing and growing: 7.7 trillion! 16 trillion!! 300 trillion!!! And as to that, nothing can help. That's just folks exercising their 1st amendment rights.


    BAR (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Makarov on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 09:28:59 PM EST
    is one of my favorite sites for commentary. Glen Ford and Bruce Dixon are great.

    Now this is a sentence (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 07:53:59 AM EST
    that tells you the writer is giving a fair read of the situation:

    "President Obama thinks he can win reelection by running the same hoax on his Democratic base as he did in 2008 . . ."


    You think it will be ... (5.00 / 4) (#44)
    by Yman on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:43:11 AM EST
    ... a different hoax?

    O (none / 0) (#49)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:57:37 AM EST
    ran on bipartisanship and a willingness to make the extremists on both sides angry to find a middle ground. Change.

    Your bad if you didn't believe him.


    "O" ran on those things ... (5.00 / 4) (#54)
    by Yman on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:20:14 AM EST
    ... when it was convenient.   Other times, depending on the audience and the demographic he needed, he ran on things like:

    • Renegotiating NAFTA
    • opposing offshore drilling
    • stopping the FISA "compromise"
    • a public option
    • public/transparent HCR negotiations
    • closing Guantanamo
    • opposing the Colombian FTA
    • lobbyist prohibition
    • windfall profits tax on oil companies to finance alternative energy

     etc., etc., etc. ...

    Their "bad" if they believed him, huh?

    Guess that's the nice thing about running on "Change".  It sounds nice and it's extremely vague, giving the apologists an opportunity to go back later and (re)define it, conveniently forgetting about the relatively few specific promises Obama made.


    When OWS protested Christie (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:28:35 AM EST
    on the Romney campaign trail, and then he spoke about where the anger comes from....it was so hard to watch that because of the element of truth that was present in it.  I can't stand Chris Christie, I can't stand listening to him, and it makes me gag when he has anything on me and he does right now.  I support OWS, I supported OWS from day one, and I am a Democrat and a Liberal that feels utterly screwed over by Obama and Chris Christie gets me and fakes empathy for me.  Made me throw up in my own mouth.  And this is the position that Obama has placed me in as we run up to the election, throwing up in my own mouth.  It's really hard to be grateful for that!  It might even be impossible.

    cmon now (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by CST on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:26:44 AM EST
    he ran on bipartisanship to a degree, in the "why can't we all get along" sense, not in the "make everyone angry sense", but every policy position he championed was a liberal policy position.

    You can't sit there and tell me "public option, close guantanamo, get out of iraq, raise taxes on the rich, invest in green technology, end torture, Dream Act" is a bipartisan position.  Because it's not.

    People voted for that.  En masse.


    Another pledge broken (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:36:33 AM EST
    Regarding the Obama administration inauguration day pledge:

    an Administration that pledged on inauguration day that medical and health decisions would be based on fact not ideology

    In what can only be called an astounding move by an Administration that pledged on inauguration day that medical and health decisions would be based on fact not ideology and for which women are a major constituency, today Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) overruled a much-awaited decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make emergency contraception (EC) available over-the-counter (OTC) to women of all ages.


    In a statement this afternoon FDA underscored that it "had been carefully evaluating for over a decade whether emergency contraceptives containing levonorgestrel, such as Plan B One-Step, are safe and effective for nonprescription use to reduce the chance of pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse."

    Experts, noted the statement, "including obstetrician/gynecologists and pediatricians, reviewed the totality of the data and agreed that it met the regulatory standard for a nonprescription drug and that Plan B One-Step should be approved for all females of child-bearing potential."

    IDEOLOGY(Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) overrules FDA science based research) Why?

    Because apparently the health and rights of women do not matter, but placating the far right does. Because apparently helping teens actually prevent unintended pregnancies isn't an authentic a goal of this administration. Perhaps it was among the topics on which President Obama came to "understand the concerns of Catholics [read the 281 bishops]," as Archbishop Timothy Dolan assured the New York Times after his private meeting with the president.

    Welcome back, Blue. (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by KeysDan on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:02:06 AM EST
    Your insights and research were missed, as were you.

    This is a terrible decision, and (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by Anne on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:16:44 AM EST
    yet another blow to women's health delivered by an administration that calls itself pro-choice.

    An 11 year old can walk into the local Walgreen's or CVS or Rite-Aid, and buy over-the-counter products that have far more serious health risks than Plan B.  Acetaminophen, NSAIDS, cough and cold products, laxatives, acid-reducers - the list is long, and yet, I don't hear any concerns about those products being freely available for sale.

    What I do hear are anti-choice proponents cheering this decision - just as they cheered conscience clauses, and every other decision that undermines the right of women to deal with their own health issues, and just as they are lobbying for Catholic Church-affiliated employers to be exempt from having to include coverage of birth control on the insurance plans they offer.

    This was not a political decision?  If we can dispense with common sense, and accept that it wasn't, then - based on the FDA's long study of this drug - the only other conclusion that I can reach is that Obama isn't comfortable with females under the age of 17 and of child-bearing age having the ability to deal with a possible pregnancy in a timely fashion that could avoid her having to seek an abortion.

    But, then, we also know that Obama thinks abortion is a decision a woman should not make on her own.

    Maybe someone needs to explain to Obama that being "pro-choice" doesn't mean that others must live with his choices, but muse be allowed to make their own.


    free abortion on demand (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by The Addams Family on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:50:16 PM EST
    for all women - that's what i'm for

    but 11-year-old girls are children (& according to the law, somewhat older girls under the age of consent are minors)

    children are incapable of informed consent to activity that can get them pregnant

    what if the father is an uncle? a grandfather? an older brother? a teacher or trusted family friend? the girl's own father? it's true that any of these guilty parties could simply buy the bill OTC and give it to the girl, but it's also true that these parties can keep their hands a little cleaner if the child can buy it on her own

    moreover, just because a 10- or 11-year-old girl can get pregnant, that doesn't mean that her reproductive system has matured to the point where it can tolerate the morning-after pill without deleterious side effects - do we know that it has been adequately tested with children?

    & the fact that NSAIDS & other substances can carry serious health risks for children is not in itself an argument for making the morning-after pill available  over the counter to children & minors

    intelligent women can disagree over this decision, as Secretary Sebelius & women physicians at the FDA have done

    anti-choice proponents probably cheer at really good fireworks displays on the 4th of July, too - so do i


    I don't believe for one moment (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by shoephone on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:55:33 PM EST
    that Sebelius' decision was really about 11-year-old-girls. It was a pretext, in the service of electoral politics.

    i think so, too (none / 0) (#198)
    by The Addams Family on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:57:16 PM EST
    but that doesn't make it a bad decision with respect to children buying the morning-after pill over the counter

    Let's not (none / 0) (#168)
    by vicndabx on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:18:38 PM EST
    dispense with common sense

    Personally, I'd want my daughters to talk w/me or their mother about Plan B - as I'm sure most parents would w/their own kids.

    To say well, "now all those girls who live in an abusive situation won't be able to just go get the pill", ignores the reality that they are not in the majority.  Women 17 and up can still get the pill.


    no they aren't the majority (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by CST on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:23:47 PM EST
    just the most vulnerable.

    And I for one am not willing to throw up my hands and say "oh well" about it.

    Of course you'd want to talk to your kids about it.  And if you create an environment where they feel comfortable talking to you about it maybe they will.  But that is not the job of the law.

    To put it another way - one thing kids will always have access too, with or without parental consent - is sex.  Preventing them from having access to Plan B is never going to change that.


    Condoms (none / 0) (#179)
    by vicndabx on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:34:22 PM EST
    aren't they available to pretty much anyone?

    I'm not trying to minimize the concern for the most vulnerable.  However, in this day and age where, you're right, a lot of not vulnerable kids are having sex, parents need to have as many opportunities as possible to get involved.  Giving young kids the opportunity keep something like a potential pregnancy a secret doesn't help.


    Yes, condoms are readily available (5.00 / 2) (#187)
    by shoephone on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:41:48 PM EST
    Does every teenager do the right thing and use them? Why shouldn't Plan B also be readily available? The answer is in the sexism. Girls younger than 17 have been having sex forever. Abstinence programs are unrealistic and stupid and they do not work. Access to birth control makes more sense.

    condoms break sometimes (5.00 / 3) (#188)
    by CST on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:42:21 PM EST
    and then you need Plan B.  And that's for teenagers that are trying to be responsible.

    In the event of assault or abuse condoms are not necessarily an option.  You say you are not trying to minimize that but at the same time you've said nothing that addresses that concern, and it is a very real concern.

    Also, if they are using condoms effectively without telling you they are still keeping a potential pregnancy a secret.  So I don't really understand how that concern jives with your "condoms are everywhere" line.


    Condoms are not a drug (none / 0) (#202)
    by vicndabx on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 03:14:43 PM EST
    If a teen is assaulted or abused, if you really want to help them, providing more opportunity to hide the assault or abuse isn't the way to do it.

    if they are using condoms effectively without telling you they are still keeping a potential pregnancy a secret

    Key phrase is "using condoms effectively."  My issue isn't w/the sex.


    Wow. Cluelesness reigns (5.00 / 3) (#176)
    by shoephone on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:31:04 PM EST
    You can "hope" that your daughter would come to you if she thought she was pregnant, but you don't really "know" that she would, do you? And if she was the victim of rape, do you "hope" or "know" that she would come to you to tell you? As for rates of child sexual abuse, well, there's lots of information out there about that.

    Sebelius's (and Obama's) decision has nothing to do with facts or science, and everything to do with politics. And it was a really stupid move on the administration's part. Every medical scientist interviewed so far has castigated them for it -- and rightly so.


    My daughters (none / 0) (#200)
    by vicndabx on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 03:00:28 PM EST
    would be on some sort of birth control or be aware of her choices so there'd be no need, hopefully for the morning after pill.

    But yeah, despite your attempts to disparage the relationship I have w/my daughters (or will have, since they're 6 mos. and 3 yrs old) I'm fairly certain they will come to me or their mother, especially if they were (God forbid) raped.  Jeez.  Talk about clueless.  Do you even have kids?

    It's amazing how so many people leap of the ledge w/no knowledge of who people are they are talking to.  My ex-wife of many years is a social worker in a public school here in NY.  I'm quite aware of the at risk populations you talk about.  Presumably you are also aware the number of at risk teens is substantially lower than run of the mill sexually active ones.


    Your "fairly certain" (5.00 / 2) (#201)
    by shoephone on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 03:06:09 PM EST
    and yet they're only 6 mo and 3 years old now? How you can make such a prediction is beyond ridiculous. You have no idea what your 6 month old is going to be experiencing 15 years from now.

    Oh, and as someone who just happens to work with at-risk youth, I'm not even going to waste my time on the second part of your statement.


    Your daughters are 6 mos and 3 yrs old (5.00 / 2) (#203)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 03:16:54 PM EST
    And you know will have a relationship with them where they will come to you with suchs issues.  During puberty.

    Bwa-ha-ha!!  Have you been the parent of adolescent before?  Because that is the silliest thing I have heard in a while.

    And if you have gone through an offspring's adolescence and still have such utter certainty? Then I were I you I would get down on my knees and thank whatever deity you have (if any) for blessing you with such an daughter in the past.  And not expect it in the future.


    Obama is a liar and a danger to women's rights (5.00 / 2) (#163)
    by shoephone on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:09:02 PM EST
    NYT reports that Obama gives his full support to Sebelius's b.s. decision on PLan B, by repeating her b.s line about how 11-year-olds shouldn't be getting access to birth control.

    What a major a**hole this guy is. He doesn't believe in science. He doesn't give a cr*p about reproductive choice, as he has already proven. He believes in pandering to the right-wing nutcases if he thinks it will win him an election.


    New subject: Obama giving up (none / 0) (#164)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:13:31 PM EST
    smoking.  Didn't he tout he'd done that during 2008 campaign?  Yes, he did.  

    Re: the bipartisan pony - almost forgot (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Yman on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:32:05 PM EST
    My personal favorite:

    He [Obama] warned that the general election campaign could get ugly. "They're going to try to scare people. They're going to try to say that `that Obama is a scary guy,' " he said. A donor yelled out a deep accented "Don't give in!"

    "I won't but that sounded pretty scary. You're a tough guy," Obama said.

    "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun," Obama said. "Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I've seen Eagles fans."

    Obama as a tough, street fighter - heh.

    Jim Malone is rolling in his fictitious grave ....


    Uhhhm (none / 0) (#134)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:46:38 PM EST
    Obama has proven pretty conclusively the way he's stayed on path despite blasts from the right and the left that he has been tough as nails.

    The easiest path would be to give the left everything it wants.  He has taken the much harder road.


    Way to miss the point (5.00 / 0) (#135)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:48:20 PM EST
    you already know (5.00 / 0) (#140)
    by The Addams Family on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:54:58 PM EST
    that i will take issue with the "give the left everything it wants" part of your comment, so let's just skip that

    but what "path" do you mean?

    because there has been more than a fair amount of dithering from Obama, & he has been roundly (i.e., "bipartisanly") called out for it in the media, too, e.g., when he was "leading from behind" on HCR in 2009 & leading up to the BushObama tax cuts for the rich last December & this past summer as well, during the contrived "debt ceiling" fiasco

    i do not understand what you mean by "on path"


    The Path (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:26:24 PM EST
    Basically to lose battles to win wars.  That's the case on almost every front.  It doesn't always work (at least short term).  Few examples:

    1. DADT.  When he didn't issue an executive order immediately, it was seen as a huge blow.  He got heat from the left and the right smirked secretly with the thought that the military would reject the concept. Battle lost.  War won when it was repealed through the legislature on time and with zero problems thus far.

    2. Iraq: Conservatives were angered with a timeline for withdrawal (despite the fact that W put the framework there) and the left thought he was waivering. He committed to a firm framework that was months longer than preferred but provided time to lay the groundwork. Battle lost.  War won when the engagement forces left and no one in either Iraq or the US actually noticed for the most part.  Low key but promise delivered.

    3. ACA: Now here is the controversial one.  The exchanges aren't perfect but the poison pill was the pre-existing conditions piece. That piece now in place will never be repealed, which is why the right fought so hard over it.  Now he lost the public option battle (you'd say he never fought it but irrelevant) but the preexisting condition provision is really the key to the whole thing. With that you ultimately end up being forced to devise a mechanism to keep costs under control.  We are using a mandate and exchanges right now but let's say that they fail to control costs giving the prexiesting conditions requirement.  A public option or some modified version is the obvious answer.  Might not happen now. Might not happen for 5-10 years.  But the highest hurdle was breached and the war for affordable healthcare for all was essentially won. There will be won and lost battles along the way (including possibly the mandate being declared unconstitutional or repealed) but the poison pill is here to stay and the only scenarios rising from that are liberal policy solutions or a modified mandate.

    Obama has many, many weaknesses, but his greatest strength has been to take whatever heat or fire he gets for losing the battle to win the war.  It served him in the primaries, the general and the presidency overall.

    As a lame duck President, I think that is going to be even more prominent.  Let me say this in all CAPS:

    YOU (X person who thinks he's a huge failure now) WILL LIKELY BE AS FRUSTRATED BY OBAMA IN A SECOND TERM AS YOU WERE THIS TERM.

    He will have less need to moderate certain positions for the left or the right.  But I think it will free him to surprise both the left and the right on a number of issues and I am betting the house on the fact that we all end up better for it.  His freedom will hurt liberals sometimes but delight them more often than they would think. I think we'll see it in Afghanistan.  I think we'll see it in tax reform.  I think we'll see it in infrastructure projects and vision.

    Particularly because we'll have a President who has presided over the entire recovery and will have the proof of his action laid out.  If you look at the current economic arch, Obama will walk out of office in 2017 with unemployment in the 5s and years of the population seeing that number drop under his leadership.

    That's what liberals should be excited about.  If we support him, the two most recent dem presidents will have presided over major corrections of conservative screw ups, both here and abroad.

    That, my liberal friends, is how you shift the country left long term.

    I am voting for that.


    Please don't say (5.00 / 2) (#175)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:29:22 PM EST
    liberal again.

    Thank you.


    You don't own the term (2.00 / 0) (#180)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:34:37 PM EST
    which is the problem.

    Sorry I can't oblige.


    Well, there goes (5.00 / 0) (#181)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:36:19 PM EST
    your opportunity to make some liberal friends. Too bad.

    Nobody owns the term, ABG (5.00 / 4) (#191)
    by shoephone on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:45:49 PM EST
    But you don't even slightly resemble the term. (And, psst... Obama is not moving the country to the left.)

    In the next open thread (none / 0) (#189)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:45:27 PM EST
    I'll post a Nate Silver analysis that actually looks at analysis of how liberal or conservative dem presidents have been and their successes based on their strategies.

    That analysis doesn't say what I think many here would guess it does.


    Who cares what Nate Silver says? (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by shoephone on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:46:46 PM EST
    I never have.

    thank you (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by The Addams Family on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:36:26 PM EST
    i agree with some of what you say

    btw, you said "give the left everything it wants"

    does that mean you are not on the left? that you're a centrist, like BTD? or . . . ?


    lol (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:45:44 PM EST
    Of course it does.  Cue ABG's efforts to pretend he didn't say what he said.  He must be getting agitated.  That's when the jovial bonhomie disappears, the mean streak shows up, and he starts the equivalent of "who are you going to believe.  Me? or your lying eyes?"

    It's a good thing the thread is about to fill up.


    I am on the left (none / 0) (#193)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:50:01 PM EST
    But I am also a pragmatist. It is the difference between policy and tactics.

    In terms of policy, I believe in the public option, taxes on the rich, helping the little guy, civil liberties, the whole 9 yards (except on some terrorism stuff).

    I just don't think the way to get to the objective is in large steps.  It is done incrementally. I viewed the public option as a complete red herring to get preexisting conditions, for example. Not because I hate the public option but because I knew it couldn't pass now. Not without intermediate steps.  So I was fine with sacrificing it without a huge fight.

    Tactics v. policy.

    I think those tactics brought us closer to a PO than we would have been had we fought the battle for it now.


    I can't tell if you are really pessimist (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by CST on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:57:06 PM EST
    or a very long-term optimist.

    Oy (none / 0) (#196)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:55:54 PM EST
    The "much harder road" - heh (5.00 / 3) (#152)
    by Yman on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:42:12 PM EST
    How many times have you lectured people about how Obama must adhere to a moderate position (irrespective of his campaign promises) because that's what the majority of people want?  How many times have you claimed that he couldn't do X or Y because they were politically impossible?  How many times have you argued that he has to take moderate positions in order to get himself re-elected?

    Now you want to argue that "giving the left everything they want" would be the easier path for Obama?


    BTW - No one uses the phrase "tough as nails" and "Obama" in the same sentence, ...

    ... unless they have this in mind.


    Short term v. long term (none / 0) (#178)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:33:11 PM EST
    A lot of the fire he got from his left the last three years will now start to pay off.  It already has.  

    Despite the slow recovery, as the right goes more insane, Obama looks more and more reasonable.  HIs numbers are creeping up and much of it is because stories of his bipartisan approach and his accomplishments are coming back to people.

    If he wins, it will be a huge vindication for his t


    In other words, the speech (1.00 / 0) (#6)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 08:25:00 PM EST
    was fine and you agree with what he said.

    Katey bar the gate, if he said something you disagreed with.


    He does make a good speech, doesn't he? (5.00 / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 08:53:59 PM EST
    I especially liked it when he said....

    As the situation continues to unfold, our first concern is preventing injury or loss of life. So I want to be very clear in calling upon the... authorities to refrain from any violence against peaceful protesters.

    The people... have rights that are universal. That includes the right to peaceful assembly and association, the right to free speech, and the ability to determine their own destiny.

    These are human rights. And the United States will stand up for them everywhere.

    Violence will not address the grievances of the... people. And suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away.

    What's needed right now are concrete steps that advance the rights of the... people, a meaningful dialogue between the government and its citizens and a path of political change that leads to a future of greater freedom and greater opportunity and justice for the... people.

    He was talking, of course, (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 08:58:31 PM EST
    about the fact that...

    The 99 percent movement, which has been evicted from many of their encampments across the country, is finding common cause with thousands of homeowners who are also being evicted from their homes.

    Even though the movement has often been criticized for a lack of defined goals, Tuesday's "Occupy Our Homes" action in at least 20 cities makes it clear that they are standing up to banks to reverse foreclosures.

    "We're in the neighborhood in New York City that had the highest number of foreclosure filings in 2010 to send a message that the economy is failing the 99 percent," Vocal New York organizer Sean Barry told Raw Story from a Brooklyn neighborhood as about 200 protesters chanted in the background.


    There were over 40 events planned in more than 20 cities Tuesday, but that is just the beginning.

    "When it comes to Wall Street's control over our economy, our democracy and our lives, there's few better examples than the housing crisis," Barry noted. "Occupy Wall Street is going to continue to support this national Occupy Our Homes campaign, and both defend homeowners who are being threatened with eviction due to foreclosure, and to move families that need homes into vacant buildings that banks are just sitting on."

    It's hard not to like the guy when he goes all populist on you like that, eh...


    You know, Edger, (none / 0) (#13)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 09:06:26 PM EST
    the Occupy movement shows what can be done when a positive agenda is pursued.

    Food for thought.


    Very true (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 09:13:58 PM EST
    It's too bad Obama's great speeches aren't more than just empty words, isn't it?

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    WASHINGTON -- Police arrested 62 protesters Wednesday as supporters of Occupy Wall Street targeted lobbyists who promote the interests of corporate America in Washington's corridors of power.

    Undeterred by steady rain, more than 1,000 marchers -- many of them labor-union activists -- shut down several blocks of K Street, epicenter of the US capital's influential and lucrative lobbying industry, around midday.
    Wednesday's shutdown of K Street came a day after demonstrators backed by labor unions and civic groups occupied Congressional and Senate offices on Capitol Hill as part of a three-day Take Back the Capitol action.

    The hollow words rejoinder (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 09:18:46 PM EST
    is not new.  The Occupy movement is new.

    Perhaps more emphasis on the Occupy movement and less on trying to reprise Chicago 1968 would be helpful.


    You're the one (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edger on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 09:25:17 PM EST
    who wanted to talk about his empty speeches. That didn't last too long, did it....

    Well, you were well beyond the text (none / 0) (#20)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 09:40:57 PM EST
    It is hard to tell, but it appears that this blog has lost the ability to discuss anything about Obama in fair terms.

    The majority here just self-re-inforce anti-Obama sentiments.....

    But, what the heck, in response to your bank bailout comments, I will state a bailout was absolutely necessary.  A failure of the money and banking system is what pushed the economy over a cliff in the 1930s.  The viable critique in my view was the need for strings on the bailout.  My solution would have been to change the Bankrputcy Code to allow Judges to cram down secured creditors' principal to market value.  That would have been ideal, but it was never really possible.

    As a matter of background, I am probably to the Left of many of the commentators here on a range of issues.  But I am too much a fan of realism to believe that defeating Obama will do anything to get what you say you want.


    The banks would be fine if (none / 0) (#21)
    by Edger on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 09:56:23 PM EST
    rather than bailing out wall street over the subprime mortgage mess they created for themselves and everyone else, the administration and the fed had instead paid off every mortgage in the country, subprime or not, for less money (only about 12 trillion) than the 18-20 trillion they gave wall street as a reward for pillaging the economy. This could even have been done with tax credits thus avoiding any outlay of money from the fed.

    It would have restored the value behind the CDO mortgage backed securities that wall street got themselves into so much trouble with, and thus saved wall street while tremendously boosting the consumer driven economy as the money would have gone directly to the mortgage holding banks while at the same time effectively doubling the amount of bailout money by lifting a enormous debt weight from all those homeowners who would then have had an equivalent amount of disposable funds to spend any way they chose.

    The US consumer economy would be rockin' by now - maybe even enough to pull the rest of the world out of the hole.

    Now, had this been done Obama and the Democrats would likely have lost all future donations from wall street and they'd be whining so loud we  couldn't hear ourselves think - those donations of course were more important to Obama than bailing out homeowners instead of the party's corporate owners.

    Candidate Barack Obama campaigned for the restoration of Glass-Steagall, and then put in place all the same people who'd destroyed it. He'd been made an insider. The day after a special election in Massachusetts to replace Senator Ted Kennedy, President Obama briefly pulled out his old rhetoric. Wall Street immediately shifted its "donations" from Democrats to Republicans, and that settled that. Obama pushed corporatized "health insurance reform," which distracted from his absolute subservience to Wall Street on matters financial. He drew on the "expertise" of those who'd created and collapsed these mega-corporations in building on President George W. Bush's accountability-free bailouts at public expense. It was the same pattern Obama followed in every department: Where he didn't leave Bush's people in charge he brought back Clinton's. Anything to be an insider.

    -- A Reminder: "Wall Street's Mercenaries Ride Donkeys"

    But there was a reason for bailing out the 1% rather than bailing out the 99%, after all...

    Obama & A Bundle of Shared Sacrifice.pdf

    President Barack Obama has relied more on well-connected Wall Street figures to fund his re-election than he did four years ago when he campaigned as an outsider and an underdog.

    One-third of the money Obama's elite fund-raising corps has raised on behalf of his re-election has come from the financial sector, according to a new Center for Responsive Politics analysis.

    He does make a good speech though. He's a great salesman. One of the best I think I've ever seen.

    Too bad he doesn't sell a better product.


    Now it's left to Occupy (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Edger on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:02:23 PM EST
    to help homeowners, since Obama wouldn't, and they're being arrested outside Obama's white house for trying to do what Obama wouldn't...

    Ah, here it starts (none / 0) (#24)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:20:27 PM EST
    What good did Tom Hayden really do?

    as a member of the Chicago Eight.... (none / 0) (#26)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:29:10 PM EST
    They actually tried the cram down (none / 0) (#23)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:19:14 PM EST
    approach. The Democratic Senate rebuffed it.  That's life.  Too much of the Golden Rule, as he or she who has it, rules.

    I like the cram down over the bailout of homeowners because it was cleaner, simpler and self activating. It would have forced a gazillion voluntary modifications by the banks--with the threat of bk cramdown hanging over their heads.  And it would not have cost the gov't any money.

    And by paying off the loans, you are paying the banksters, right?

    You can bash Obama all you like for not getting such a program through, let alone the paying off of hundreds of thousands of loans.  That is hoping for a Utopia that has no chance of success.  


    The SENATE rebuffed it? (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by Yman on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:58:41 AM EST
    You mean the same Senate that was following Obama's lead, when he refused to attach it to TARP, or the stimulus bill, or the continuing resolution.  The same Senate that got zero support from the White House when it came time to fight for cram-down?:

    "We would propose that this stuff be included and they (Obama/White House) kept punting," said former Rep. Jim Marshall, a moderate Democrat from Georgia who had worked to sway other members of the moderate Blue Dog caucus on the issue...

    ... Privately, administration officials were ambivalent about the idea. At a Democratic caucus meeting weeks before the House voted on a bill that included cramdown, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner "was really dismissive as to the utility of it," said Rep. Lofgren.

    Larry Summers, then the president's chief economic adviser, also expressed doubts in private meetings, she said. "He was not supportive of this."

    ... Treasury staffers began conversations with congressional aides by saying the administration supported cramdown and would then "follow up with a whole bunch of reasons" why it wasn't a good idea, said an aide to a senior Democratic senator.

    ... While the Obama administration was silent, the banking industry had long been mobilizing massive opposition to the measure.

    ... "It was a pitched battle to get it out of the House," said Rep. Miller, with "all the effort coming from the Democratic leadership, not the Obama administration."

    You're right (none / 0) (#25)
    by Edger on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:27:44 PM EST
    Hoping for Obama to help homeowners and the average American instead of his wall street cronies has no chance of success.

    Glad we agree. Goodnight.


    Good night to you as well (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:32:19 PM EST
    I tried to discuss this with you in a reasonable fashion and you sign of with snide sarcasm.

    You only seek Obama's defeat, and are thus just the flip side of Mitch McConnell.  If you are successful in defeating Obama you will set back the goals you say you support by many years...

    Frankly, I do not think you are acting in good faith.


    I half expected (5.00 / 2) (#126)
    by NYShooter on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:32:32 PM EST
    him to say at the conclusion of his speech, "and, if you elect me to be your President, the very first thing I'm going to do, the very first day after my inauguration, is................oops."

    And (none / 0) (#132)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:40:27 PM EST
    "You can take that to the bank!" ;-)

    Edger (none / 0) (#36)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 07:59:55 AM EST
    Obama and the executive branch are not responsible for those arrests.  Surely you know that.

    Yes they most definitely are (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:47:14 AM EST
    responsible for those arrests.

    The protesters would be there if not for what Obama and the executive branch have done over the past three years, besides the glaring fact that Obama is quite willing to spout empty rhetoric expressing his 'support' of protesters rights in other countries, but has not been able to bring himself to spout empty rhetoric in support of Americans protesting both democratic and republican policies.


    "would NOT be there"... (none / 0) (#52)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:01:05 AM EST
    More than 1000? (none / 0) (#182)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:36:23 PM EST
    Sounds like the reporting is being done by the same people who told us Obama had over 200,000 at his rally in Berlin. I don't know where they got that number, but from the three different times they marched around my office building (under police escort, with the cops shutting down intersections to let them march through), there was nowhere near 1000+ protestors.  The largest group we saw had maybe 200 people.  I guess they could have had more people that I didn't see, but I highly doubt 800 people dropped out between the 2 blocks from where this was being reported and where I work.

    it was a good speech (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by The Addams Family on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:48:50 AM EST
    in the previous open thread, i linked to Robert Reich's analysis of it

    here is a reaction from Michael Tomasky

    i hope Obama continues in this vein - this is the way to use the bully pulpit


    Did he assure in the speech (none / 0) (#32)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 06:19:40 AM EST
    that this time he will follow up his words with actions that give meaning to his words?

    If he gave that assurance would it mean anything?


    answer for Edger (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by The Addams Family on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:50:56 AM EST
    Did he assure in the speech that this time he will follow up his words with actions that give meaning to his words?

    no, of course not - it was a campaign speech

    If he gave that assurance would it mean anything?

    on the evidence so far, it might mean something or nothing - campaign promises, even when a president acts to fulfill them, often lead to something different from the promised outcomes, given the involvement of the legislative branch

    it's also true that such an assurance from Obama would probably mean very little or nothing to the portion of the Democratic base that distrusts him almost across the board - i generally count myself in that company

    that said, it was still a good speech by Obama

    if Obama continues to speak in this vein for the next 11 months, he has an opportunity to continue the OWS-initiated change in "the conversation," particularly if he is handily reelected after speaking in this vein for the next 11 months

    & if that happens, (1) the toxic wingnuts of our political culture may finally stand isolated & exposed as the barking-mad demonologist rump party that they are, (2) the Overton Window may shift slightly to the left, & (3) Obama may be find himself obliged, for reasons of "legacy" if for no other, to govern in accord with that tiny shift

    but even if none of that should come to pass, it was still a good speech


    Thanks, TAF (none / 0) (#127)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:34:30 PM EST
    That's true. All of his speeches are good speeches. Unfortunately, that's all they are for the most part. Just speeches. Mostly empty ones.

    I agree with you that if he will "continue the OWS-initiated change in 'the conversation'" he might get somewhere - and if so that will show the power of the pressure of activism to force a change in the course and actions of a politician.

    He certainly won't do it without motivation, and even if he does it will be under duress and not something that he "led" on, but rather is forced to do.

    Results are what matters, more than words...


    Shorter Edger (3.00 / 5) (#35)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 07:57:35 AM EST

    Thought 1: I want Obama to talk tough and press progressive values from his bully pulpit but now that he's doing what I asked that doesn't matter because he won't do what he says anyway, which means my first request was bullsh*t and it never mattered what Obama said so he should just advocate for conservative values.

    Thought 2: Get mad at Obama advocating conservative values and go to Thought 1.


    Please stop (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by NYShooter on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:24:42 AM EST
    Your caricature is now so pronounced it has succeeded in caricaturing itself.

    Maybe the debunking of perpetual motion needs to be reassessed?


    Question for you, ABG: is the speech (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by Anne on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:47:53 AM EST
    Obama gave in Kansas a bully pulpit-policy proposal-here's-what-I-want-the-Congress-to-do plan for governance speech, or was it a campaign speech?

    I'm sure you will argue that it was both, that first you have to rally the electorate, win the election and then do, well...he didn't actually include anything of real substance in that speech that he wanted to do - other than  the Congress to approve his nominee to the CFPB and pass the extension of the payroll tax cut.  

    So, it was a campaign speech.  We've been there with Obama, remember?  He got people all fired up, excited about a future driven by Democrats, who would look out for the little people, finally give those Democratic ideals and agenda a fighting chance.

    You can call it Obama-hate, you can harangue people with poll numbers to prove that we diehard liberals are going the way of the dinosaurs, and we need to snap out of our going-nowhere idea that if we don't push for those Democratic ideals they're just going to die.  And you can bring all your lists of Obama's checklist accomplishments that you think prove Obama's the second coming of FDR.  And you can use my name and Edger's and others' as if they were expletives.

    But it doesn't change the one thing we know: Obama gives great speech, but he has a history of re-shaping the goals and giving up - sometimes as a first move - the parts that really make them align with a Democratic world view, and then trying to claim that the watered-down, GOP-seasoned, catering-to-special-interests "accomplishment" is another one for his win column.

    And you, and far too many of that 77% of so-called liberals you keep bringing up, are fine with that.  You cheer it.  You bend it and twist it until it looks like something you can defend.

    Well here's another batsh!t liberal thought for you: rather than beating up on we who comprise the dead-ending 23%, you should be thanking us.  Yes, thanking us.  Why?  Because you and the rest of the 77% aren't pushing Obama left - you aren't holding him accountable: you're just going whichever way Obama goes, no matter what.  If he keeps moving to the right, that's fine with you - because according to you, that's what the president of all the people has to do - accommodate the other side of the aisle.

    The 23%, we call BS on that.  As I see it, you'd better hope the 23% keeps pushing, because without it, that blind devotion and that cult of personality is going to kill liberalism for good.

    Even the moderate kind.


    Anne (none / 0) (#120)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:23:29 PM EST
    You ask me a question:

    "Obama gave in Kansas a bully pulpit-policy proposal-here's-what-I-want-the-Congress-to-do plan for governance speech, or was it a campaign speech?"

    Then you gave the answer I would give (both).

    Then you immediately, without explanation said it was a campaign speech because he gave nothing of substance that he would do (ignoring the fact that he's been stumping for months on a new stimulus and has been screaming for weeks about the payroll tax cut).

    But the real problem with what you wrote is as follows:

    "He got people all fired up, excited about a future driven by Democrats, who would look out for the little people, finally give those Democratic ideals and agenda a fighting chance."

    The issue is that you believe that he failed in those promises.

    I believe that he did not.

    We are not going to agree on that point and I respect your opinion.  You do not respect mine.  You dismiss the idea that some believe he fulfilled most of the promises he could as half baked.

    The issue we have today, and always will, is that your world view cannot be questioned and mine can.

    If I disagree with you, it is not because I analyze the facts differently.  It is because I am ignorant and you are wise.

    That's just not going to fly.

    The 77% number is relevant only because it shows the number of people who believe as I do.  No it is entirely possible that Obama has done nothing, but given those numbers, it is far more likely that he's done more than you give him credit for.

    The problem isn't defining liberalism.  The issue is that most liberals disagree with you and instead of acknowledging that you aren't the typical liberal, you would instead say the rest of the world of liberals is wrong.

    I don't think that is a very strong position to take.


    You are missing the point, and the (5.00 / 4) (#184)
    by Anne on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:36:34 PM EST
    point could not be bigger.

    Then you immediately, without explanation said it was a campaign speech because he gave nothing of substance that he would do (ignoring the fact that he's been stumping for months on a new stimulus and has been screaming for weeks about the payroll tax cut).

    So, you agree that the speech was not one of policy, but of ideology.  He didn't ask for anything other than the two things I mentioned, and he charted no path toward attaining things like closing the income inequality gap he talked about in the speech.  Now, I haven't taken a poll, so take this for what it's worth, but if you don't believe that was a campaign speech, you might be the only one.

    But the real problem with what you wrote is as follows:

    "He got people all fired up, excited about a future driven by Democrats, who would look out for the little people, finally give those Democratic ideals and agenda a fighting chance."

    The issue is that you believe that he failed in those promises.

    I believe that he did not.

    Yes, I do believe he has failed.  Maybe your memory is better than mine, but I do believe he ran on turning away from the awful policies of Bush/Cheney on things like privacy rights and indefinite detention, on transparency and accountability - just to name two.  He's worse than Bush on whistleblowers - he's vindictive.  No accountability from the Wall Street crowd, nothing.  He talks a good story, but maybe he thinks we don't pay attention and can't see that his follow-through is sadly lacking.

    We are not going to agree on that point and I respect your opinion.  You do not respect mine.  You dismiss the idea that some believe he fulfilled most of the promises he could as half baked.

    I respect your right to have an opinion, but when I see, over and over, that your opinions rely on your revising history and  distorting what others clearly say so that your opinions are credible, it's hard to get past that.

    The issue we have today, and always will, is that your world view cannot be questioned and mine can.

    I never said that, ABG, but I can't control how you feel.

    The 77% number is relevant only because it shows the number of people who believe as I do.  No it is entirely possible that Obama has done nothing, but given those numbers, it is far more likely that he's done more than you give him credit for.

    The problem isn't defining liberalism.  The issue is that most liberals disagree with you and instead of acknowledging that you aren't the typical liberal, you would instead say the rest of the world of liberals is wrong.

    So, are you saying that you don't support what used to be Democratic ideals and principals?  That most liberals do not believe in a Medicare-For-All kind of program to address problems with access to and affordability of health care?  That most liberals do not support strong environmental regulations, a real commitment to a woman's right to choose and to her right to make health care decisions?  That most liberals believe we need to cut and "fix" the social safety net programs?  That most liberals are okay with the erosion of their privacy rights, the militarization of our police forces?  That most liberals are okay with not holding Wall Street accountable for its actions?  

    Do you really want to make that argument, ABG?  Really?  

    Because, speaking only for me, I think you don't have a clue what liberals think, in spite of the liberals here telling you, ad nauseam, what matters to them.   And if you think we are so wrong about what it is we do believe in, that what we believe in is so wrong for the country that it isn't worth working for, I do have to question whether you are in thrall to process, to the goal of Obama attaining his political goals, and uninterested in the substance of his policies and agenda.


    Obama is (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:39:50 PM EST
    a progressive not a liberal because progressive means nothing.

    Was I speaking to you there? (none / 0) (#42)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:37:52 AM EST
    I ashed Addams Family a question.

    If the question I asked him upsets you so badly that you can't resist butting in where you weren't invited then address the question.

    Or learn some manners.


    Edger (1.00 / 1) (#136)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:48:38 PM EST
    Please. You butt in early and often.

    Obviously I thought the question was too many.

    Get a thicker skin.  You wouldn't last a day in my shoes is that nonsense got your goat.

    You did everything except spin on your heels and cry "good day to you sir!!!!!"

    Please. This is the internet.  It's ugly and rough.  


    Don't waste your time (none / 0) (#153)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:45:10 PM EST
    Oh the stupid (none / 0) (#7)
    by me only on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 08:33:40 PM EST
    The $16 trillion is so stupid.  All it takes is reading the document to know that it is all accounting fiction.

    Using the that accounting I have borrowed $800 million on my house.


    The Federal Reserve loans out around 1.2 (none / 0) (#39)
    by Farmboy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:08:06 AM EST
    trillion dollars to banks every day. And every day it's paid back. From Business Week, which is talking about how people didn't understand the numbers they were seeing:
    Bloomberg built its database to show amounts outstanding, while the GAO tallied cumulative loans. For example, if a bank borrowed $1 billion overnight for 100 nights, Bloomberg would say the bank had a $1 billion balance at the Fed for 100 days; the GAO would say the bank borrowed $100 billion.

    Sincet he Fed is never auditied (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:57:38 AM EST
    There is nothing holding up your assertions about its solidity.  It is largely a secret organization.  Show me the audit, show me the books.  HINT: when an institution has NO ONE in the government controlling it, you can be pretty certain it is not on the up and up.  Unless you think other secret organizations are bastions of upright honesty.  The Fed props up a certain class, and it couldn't care less about the majority of us.

    Seriously, show me the audit with the actual numbers that the Fed honestly and forthrightly shows to the American people, who are supposedly the stewards of their own government.


    Dadler, you might try performing a web search (none / 0) (#59)
    by Farmboy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:32:37 AM EST
    before you compose passive-aggressive tirades. But I'm a nice guy, so I'll do the work for you.

    Here, the GAO's report to Congress on their audit of the Federal Reserve, delivered in July of 2011. Completely open, and publicly available.

    Hint: it was the first item returned in Google.


    One time audit (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:48:29 AM EST
    We were not allowed access into understanding "the monetary policy" being put to use either.  That was voted out in being allowed.  And here is just one area of many that are of concern!

    The GAO said the Fed didn't have documentation showing that the AIG loan from the New York Fed was secured to its satisfaction or how interest rates were determined on other loans that were part of the rescue. For another program that was part of the rescue, "there was no documentation that AIG was, in fact, unable to secure adequate credit from other banking institutions," the GAO said.

    Evan saying "one time audit" is (none / 0) (#71)
    by Farmboy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:04:01 AM EST
    stretching things too far. The Federal Reserve system of banks is audited on a regular basis, both internally and externally. In addition the GAO audits them regularly - like they did this year. Again, a web search quickly reveals a source of information.

    There is a limitation, though:

    GAO auditors are restricted by law from reviewing monetary policy operations and transactions carried out by the Federal Reserve on behalf of foreign central banks. This restriction was imposed by Congress to assure the independence of the Federal Reserve from political influence.
    This is where your question about policy comes in, and it does need to be addressed.

    However, the above claim that the Fed has never been audited, ever, is easily disproven.


    Downplaying the utter lack of (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:12:22 AM EST
    transparency that is the Fed.  Secrets are key, right up to Geithners Treasury bitterly fighting an audit of any kind and bloggers not being able to quote members of Treasury, only paraphrase.

    If you look what was said in the actual (none / 0) (#81)
    by Farmboy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:37:45 AM EST
    interview, it goes contrary to the headline.

    The headline: "Fed Audit Bitterly Opposed By Treasury"

    What the Fed official actually said:

    [T]he GAO already has audit authority and the chairman routinely testifies before Congress. He said he supports full disclosure when it comes to the scale of Fed lending and wouldn't draw a bright line around auditing certain activities, but wants to make sure it maintained its independence. A lack of independence, he said, could lead to inflation and otherwise undermine progressive priorities.
    In other words, Treasury already gives Federal Reserve audits and reports to Congress and wants to maintain their separation from political influence peddling - there is the "bitter" opposition the Huff Post revealed.

    And what sort of auditing does that bill do, since GAO already performs audits? According to its authors, Ron and Rand Paul - yes, the Pauls are all for this - they want the Comptroller General to perform audits, because you can't trust the GAO audits.

    And this is where we're through the looking glass: the Comptroller General is the head of the GAO.

    Go Ron Paul!


    And it isn't just the Pauls that are for (5.00 / 3) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:45:00 AM EST
    auditing the Fed, Occupy Wall Street is too.  And if you can't understand what "the monetary policy" behind the current Fed's movements are, you have no way of knowing who they are feeding and protecting verses who they plan to make pay what bills, how much those bills are, and what the final cost in blood and treasure will be being placed upon this country.

    The question is (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:52:31 PM EST
    Is Farmboy correct?

    The audits are excessively incomplete (none / 0) (#82)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:42:09 AM EST
    They always have been.  And how do you square that the audit is revealing that loans were given that were not secure?  That's called a bailout.  If the loan isn't repaid there is no collateral, nothing to gain any kind of repayment with.

    That the Fed Reserve exercises strong control (none / 0) (#105)
    by Farmboy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:26:18 AM EST
    over our monetary system is a given, and it's what they are designed to do. This shouldn't be a surprise to people.

    As to the unsecured loans, again, they have been doing this for decades. If a bank had to fill out an application for approval every time they needed an overnight loan our economy would crash back to the "trade you two clams for that pretty gourd" phase in minutes. Banks say, "hey, I'm good for this" and since they have been in the past, and their credit rating looks good (there's the problem), the Fed does business with them. It's no different than for you or me. If your credit rating is trustworthy you can get a loan. In the case of the banks a couple years ago I'd be looking at who was zooming whom about trustworthy credit.

    Now, that being said, the Fed knowingly bought up nearly a trillion dollars in toxic assets back then. Again, not a surprise - it was all over the media, and discussed on this very site for days.

    I'm sure it would be a surprise to the folks who "broke" this recent "story", but the Fed releases to the public their complete balance sheet every Thursday afternoon at 4:30EST, just like clockwork. Then the GAO audits them to see if their external audit jibes with the balance sheets. And the chair reports to Congress about the results of the audits and the content of the balance sheets, plus anything else that Congress asks him.

    If folks want to change the system, then change the system. However, call me crazy, but I happen to think that an understanding of the system as it exists is helpful in order to make improvements. Statements like "the Fed has never been audited", or "the Fed loaned money to banks - OMG!" shed more heat than light.


    Well (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:34:24 AM EST
    We know who Farmboy works for, more or less.  At least in what "industry".  Just saying.

    Actually, I haven't worked for the banking (none / 0) (#143)
    by Farmboy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:04:22 PM EST
    industry. I just remember my econ classes from high school and college, plus I did some web searches.

    And as often happens, encountering the alarmist/conspiracy theory point of view makes me do research for verification. If I believed everything I read at face value simply because it was blogged, well, I'd not be me. :-)


    Sure (5.00 / 1) (#204)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 03:24:04 PM EST
    Because econ classes from HS and College indicates only a casual interest in the finance world.  And engenders such a vociferous and passionate defense of their practices.

    LOL.  Is it something in the air today?  I will say this:  I have learned something from you today.  Part of may not have been what you intended, to be sure, but some of it was.


    Facts, knowledge and reasonableness (3.00 / 2) (#149)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:34:48 PM EST
    will get you no where on this site...

    Looks like... (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:44:56 AM EST
    the case of D.B. Cooper may finally be solved.

    I just hope it ain't true that D.B. lost all the cash during the jump.

    That's almost sad... (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:26:08 AM EST
    It is... (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:27:59 AM EST
    I always imagined D.B. sippin' umbrella drinks in paradise:)

    The fate of D.B. Cooper, and Sasquatch, (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:48:27 AM EST
    are two enduring folk tales out here in the Pacific Northwest.

    heh! (none / 0) (#89)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:48:51 AM EST
    The guy's a legend, man. I think, by definition, legends are not solve-able.

    They just are, aren't they? ;-)


    A thought on Democrats (5.00 / 4) (#53)
    by CST on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:01:42 AM EST
    and the art of what is possible.

    If Obama runs for election using the bully pulpit for liberal values and WINS a national election (as he did in 2008) - how is it not possible to govern this country using liberal values - because this country is apparently too conservative?

    Opinions change all the time, in the last 10 years a whole lot of "impossible" became "possible" and it will in the next 10 years too.  A good and effective politician can swing a lot of minds.  Effective policy is the best mind-swinger of them all.

    CORZINE IS TESTIFYING (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:36:48 AM EST
    He has leaked that he will say he does not know where the missing money is and he was as stunned as the rest of us.  He will take questions.

    Has Corzine... (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:53:51 AM EST
    checked his bank account? Dollars to donuts at least some of it is there!

    I think he's just doing a Reagan Iran-Contra impression:)


    It's been weird lately (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:01:58 AM EST
    Sandusky giving horrible interviews.  Blago's lack of accountability and inability to even acknowledge that having no principles isn't a good thing.  Now we have Corzine not being able to stand losing his golden boy liberal place in the world and he's going to testify?  All your has bulletproof are mine isn't working out so well for many overlords.  I did mean to type that last sentence that way too, it isn't just my usual typo :)

    all your typo are belong to us (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by The Addams Family on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:28:17 AM EST
    Hey, he just got drunk at (none / 0) (#64)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:48:25 AM EST
    his Club's bar and left a really big tip....

    No problem.


    Caution: don't blog disparagingly (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:43:28 PM EST
    about Thai king and subsequently visit Thailand: LAT

    I have to wonder (none / 0) (#147)
    by CST on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:29:34 PM EST
    if it wasn't semi-intentional civil disobediance on his part.

    Given that he has indicated he will probably stay in Thailand after his release in order to work towards a more democratic Thailand.

    He doesn't strike me as someone who stumbled into this.


    He went back to Thailand for (none / 0) (#150)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:36:42 PM EST
    medical treatment.  Didn't realize he intended to stay there.  interesting.  

    Here is the article (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by CST on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:51:20 PM EST
    I read.  Link

    "Asked if he would stay in Thailand after serving his time, Gordon said: "I would like to stay and see some positive Thailand. I want to see the real, amazing Thailand, not the messy Thailand.""


    that's not quite (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by CST on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:52:37 PM EST
    "work towards democracy" as I had described, but it could be.

    I dunno (none / 0) (#161)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:58:33 PM EST
    The article says that he made the comments several years ago, and that he is now a US citizen.  I read it more as he vented back then and they got wind of it.  They must google everyone who petitions to enter the country.  If he had to petition?  

    In any case that sounds like a really long game.


    I don't mean to imply he (none / 0) (#165)
    by CST on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:14:10 PM EST
    got arrested on purpose, although I realize that's implied in civil disobediance.

    I think he knew it was a risk, one that he decided was worth taking.  And frankly, if he is someone who is going to make those kinds of comments/translations critical of the king, he probably knows that Thailand won't like it - hence him being critical in the first place.

    I guess what I'm getting at here is this doesn't strike me as some ignorant kid who got caught up in foreign politics.  He strikes me as someone who cares enough about this stuff that he would make those comments to begin with and then go to Thailand anyway on purpose, with the full knowledge that he might spend time in jail for it.  That doesn't mean he wanted to get arrested, just that it was an acceptable part of the plan.


    Seems a bit on the speculative side. (none / 0) (#166)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:15:50 PM EST
    very speculative (none / 0) (#167)
    by CST on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:18:01 PM EST
    Ah, I see (none / 0) (#171)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:21:18 PM EST
    Thank you for the clarification.

    If you haven't seen (none / 0) (#18)
    by Makarov on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 09:27:44 PM EST
    American Horror Story, you've missed the best new show in a couple years. Jessica Lange is pretty amazing.

    With a solid 1.8M A18-49, it's safe to say the show will be renewed.

    I've been watching it (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:53:31 AM EST
    Only because my daughter told me about it, and I was able to record from On Demand the first three episodes that I missed. Not for children, and impossible to put down.  It is really crazy, and I can't stop watching every Wednesday.  There's so much Freudian going on though, it makes Black Swan look like low hanging Freud :)

    For BTD (none / 0) (#28)
    by Makarov on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:57:14 PM EST
    I bet Alec Baldwin is disappointed (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:21:19 PM EST
    he didn't make this open thread.

    I'm with Alec... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 07:44:38 AM EST
    American Airlines is the pits...old dirty planes, rude staff...the worst I've flown on.

    Airplanes & airports, schools, government buildings...all resembling prisons.  


    Haters Gonna Hate (none / 0) (#37)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:01:47 AM EST
    But this is good news for the country and democrats and progressive ideals:

    "While the focus the last few weeks has been on the tumult within the GOP primary race, gone unnoticed has been the sharp and aggressive turn that team Obama has taken toward possible re-election. The President has had the best 30 days since the first few months of 2009. Improvement in the unemployment rate, a gradual rise in the President's approval rating, a sharply focused re-election strategy (propelled yesterday by a laser like populist speech) and the stumbling of a cadre of GOP candidates who seem intent on giving away this election has made it at least a 50/50 shot that Obama wins re-election in 2012. This is quite a change since Labor Day."

    That's from a conservative.


    Great follow up quote (none / 0) (#38)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:04:57 AM EST
    from that piece that deserves highlighting:

    "In the past two years we've officially removed our last combat troops from of Iraq and killed Osama Bin Laden. Four years ago, you would have expected these would be keystone accomplishments, yet for most voters they hardly register."



    These are great accomplishments ABG (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:47:57 AM EST
    I cannot/will not ever downplay that.  These accomplishments though do not feed our children or shelter or clothe our children, nor do they address how endangered our children's futures have become.

    Our current economic situation is more dangerous to the health of a majority of us than troops in Iraq were or a living Osama bin Laden was.  Sorry, but that's reality in real life and real living.

    Obama's job, that he was hired to do, is to take care of his people.  Where doing that is most challenging he has been a huge failure.  He inherited this economy and championed the robber barons because that was easiest and most profitable for him.  He inherited a military that wanted out of Iraq and was stricken that the real terrorists were never addressed, and they worked hard on many levels and fought the real fight too.  Obama inherited many things, and what he has done with those situations and the assets he had on hand has reaped his reward at this time as it stands.


    Again (none / 0) (#86)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:47:22 AM EST
    Obama created between 2-4 million jobs.

    How is that not "helping the economy"?

    This is what is grossly unfair.  The stimulus worked to a large degree.  His actions helped.  A LOT.

    You speak as if that stuff never happened. As if unemployment benefits weren't extended on his watch. etc.


    I have a theory about the (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:30:04 AM EST
    ascension of Newt.  I think there are many of his supporters who know he has no chance of ever being president.  but I think they also think that about Romney.  I believe most people who think realized a while ago that the reason none of the "serious" republicans are running is because they know Obama is going to be re-elected and they do not want to run and lose.  sure some just like him because he is nasty and so are they but not all IMO.
    what they want now is someone who will take their unreasoned hated for Obama onto a stage with him.  someone who will be a lens to focus all the hate and vitriol for Obama.  (something you are familiar with I am sure).
    the establishment is freaking because they know that Newt will not only lose but take Senators and Reps with him.  the base doesnt care.

    I am really enjoying this.  and praying every night (ok "hoping") that they get their way.
    I would dearly love to see the debates Newt wants.  
    he is the stupid persons idea of a smart person and I would pay to see Obama take him apart.  which he would.


    I have a shorter theory (5.00 / 3) (#141)
    by jondee on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:00:25 PM EST
    regarding the mysterious 'ascension' of the fella with the Lord of the Rings-villain sounding name: Perry and Cain both gave strong public indications that they didn't know their as*es from the proverbial hole in the ground, and managed to turn themselves into walking punchlines in a short couple of months -- with minimal assisstance from the out-to-get-every-Republican, "liberal media"..

    Afterwards, the cold, slimey one had, of course, nowhere to go but up in the polls.


    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Zorba on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:22:40 PM EST
    After Perry and Cain (and don't forget Bachmann's "one brief shining moment"), Newt must appear to at least the gullible to be a genius.  Of course, we all know that Newt is a pompous blow-hard, and that he's a "legend in his own mind," but compared to Perry and Cain (and Bachmann).......well, he's Einstein.  There's another thing going on, though, and that is the Republican base casting about frantically for "anyone but Romney."  They neither like nor trust Romney.  

    Lord of the Rings villian sounding name? (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:47:53 PM EST
    I always thought of it as the Dr. Seuss-villian sounding name.  

    I can't possibly be the only one, right?


    No, no, no, sj (5.00 / 2) (#160)
    by Zorba on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:58:24 PM EST
    Not Dr. Suess- Monty Python!  I can't hear the word "newt" without thinking of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  
    Sir Bedevere: What makes you think she's a witch?
    Peasant 3: Well, she turned me into a newt!
    Sir Bedevere: A newt?
    Peasant 3: [meekly after a long pause] ... I got better.
    Crowd: [shouts] Burn her anyway!  

    that or (none / 0) (#156)
    by jondee on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:51:24 PM EST
    one of the demons in The Screwtape Letters; if you've ever read that one..

    but.. (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by jondee on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:58:35 PM EST
    what's in a name..of a guy who publicly goes on and on about Clinton's infidelities while he himself screwing around on his wife; or who publicly declaims that Barney Frank belongs in jail, while he himself is getting paid millions by Fannie and Freddie for "historical work"..

    The Right sure knows how to pick 'em..


    Not yet (none / 0) (#158)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:54:35 PM EST
    Sounds like it could be up my alley though.  I'll try to look it up.

    Agree (none / 0) (#112)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:49:32 AM EST
    generally with what you are saying but Obama is a terrible debater. There is no way he "will take Newt apart" in a debate. What would happen is that you would have one sane person and one crazy person answering questions. The sane person wins the debate merely on the basis of being sane.

    I think a lot of the GOP base actually thinks Newt can win. I think they are just that deluded but the GOP establishment definitely knows that he can't win and you're right that they are freaking out about it. Hence all the Republicans like Ann Coulter et. al. coming out with with opinion pieces going after Gingrich and Ron Paul trying to take him down with his internet ad that's being sent to a ton of people.

    I also think that the realizes that it's too soon after George W. Bush to think they can take the presidency again because Obama's numbers are bad enough that the GOP could beat him.

    The larger story is the general collapse of the GOP coalition it seems.


    note to the GOP (none / 0) (#115)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:57:46 AM EST
    There was a young lady of Niger
    Who smiled as she rode on a tiger;
    They returned from the ride
    With the lady inside,
    And the smile on the face of the tiger.

    Sorry (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:19:36 AM EST
    I cannot consider the outright killing of OBL as a keystone accomplishment.  Locating him?  Heck, yeah.  But a keystone accomplishment would have brought him to trial right out in the open.

    I can't believe how easily people just gloat that we killed Osama Bin Laden.  And oh yeah, due process took a hit but it's just a little collateral damage.  

    That brings us down to his level where he likely gloated that he brought down the twin towers.  And the 3000 casualties from around the world was just collateral damage.

    Not an perfect analogy, to be sure, but I get queasy every time I hear someone gloat that "we" killed anybody.  Even OBL.

    OTOH I am very glad that combat troops have been removed from Iraq.


    we were at war with Osama Bin Laden (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by CST on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:29:52 AM EST
    and he declared it.

    I'm very comfortable with it.


    I respect that others aren't comfortable (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:47:30 AM EST
    with it though.  I wasn't at first.  We had lost many lives finding him, I did not want one single other life lost.  I was spent.  I was done.  I have had time to process everything though and I respect that many Americans will always have wanted him brought to justice instead of killed.

    Many people are (none / 0) (#80)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:37:06 AM EST
    I get that.  But I just can't get behind the idea of a nation, actually a superpower, being at war with an individual.  Who cares if he declared it?  More of his hubris.  

    I mean, I could declare war against Spain that and commit acts of terrorism and sabotage but that doesn't make it a war.  It makes it a violent crime.  A despicable a crime.  And Spain would be well served to find me and bring me to justice.  But to for a nation to declare war on me because I am an egomaniac?  

    In addition, OBL could posture all he wanted, but only Congress can declare war.


    that's fair (none / 0) (#106)
    by CST on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:27:32 AM EST
    just adding my two cents.

    As for the individual vs a superpower, 9-11 caused more deaths in a single day than pearl harbor did, which was the most recent act of direct war on this country by a nation (superpower).  Just some food for thought.

    If you attacked Spain as an individual acting alone it's one thing.  But that's not what Osama did.  The lack of a flag does not mean it's not an army.

    Again, I understand your position, and that's fine, I just wanted to clarify where I'm coming from.


    Indeed (none / 0) (#111)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:49:08 AM EST
    The loss of life was staggering.  A major punch in the gut.  But, taking my analogy further, if I could enlist co-conspirators and inflict as much damage as he did I would still be a criminal.  A much more dangerous criminal but still a criminal.  As would my co-conspiritors.

    And that is the last I can take of me imagining myself as that sort of sociopath.  I'm freaking myself out. :)


    in the days after 9-11 (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by The Addams Family on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:02:05 PM EST
    the debate was all about whether the attack should be treated as a crime or as an act of war

    Dis-elected President Al Gore, if allowed to take office, might well have seen the attack as a matter for law enforcement

    but Un-elected President Dick Cheney & the rest of the neocons wanted their war, & here we still are


    SJ (none / 0) (#83)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:44:35 AM EST
    Bill Clinton authorized the taking of Osama dead or alive and it has been the standard policy of the US through 3 Presidents.  Clinton almost killed him in 1998. It would have been the policy under Hillary or Edwards or Kerry.  It would have been the policy under any US President.  There is really little disagreement about it.  The overwhelming majority of americans have no problem with Obama being killed on site.  I understand that you disagree with this, but if we are talking about signature accomplishments, that is one of them based on how most people judge such things.

    Bush justified two wars on killing Osama.  Obama accomplished the goal (set forth for over15 years) in just 2.5 years. 94% of the public approved of the action.

    It's not gloating to call it an accomplishment.  It just is an accomplishment, just as winning WWII was an accomplishment despite the fact that many people died.  

    It's not pretty but being President is not pretty.  This is how we judge our leaders historically.


    Who cares about Bill Clinton? (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:56:34 AM EST
    I don't need a 94% approval rating to have my own perspective on anything.  I'm not trying to "convert" your 94%.  

    I am telling you that I an uncomfortable with "us" gloating that we killed anyone.  Your poll makes you feel better.  That's fine.  Other people have come to terms with it in their own way.  Also fine.

    But I for sure don't need a poll to tell me how to view something.  I'll come to that on my own, thank you very much.  My view may be altered by experience or by an insight/information provided by another, but my view will never be altered by percentage points.

    I won't sacrifice personal integrity just so I can sit comfortably with some herd.  


    Clinton had the shot too and didn't take it (none / 0) (#91)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:49:23 AM EST
    You sound sort of silly talking down to sj about this in the manner that you are.  Sorry, but for me you just do.  No matter who says it is okay, that doesn't make it instantly okay.  Even Bill Clinton understood this :)

    Then there was that one other President (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:52:31 AM EST
    who said it was okay to kill Osama.  The same one who said that Osama didn't matter and he wasn't worried about him.  I suppose if Osama had knocked on the door of the White House though Dubya might have shot him with Saddam Hussein's gun that was kept in the Oval Office...Oy

    No, he would have invited him in for a drink (none / 0) (#95)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:57:42 AM EST
    So Osama walks into this bar, see, and George Bush says, "Whad'l'ya have, pardner?" and Osama says, "Well, George, what are you serving today?" and Bush says, "Fear," and Osama says, "Fear for everybody!" and George pours it on for the crowd. Then the presidential bartender says, "Hey, who's buying?" Osama points a thumb at the crowd sucking down their brew. "They are," he says -- and the two of them share a quiet laugh.

    On us.

    Now there's apparently a body in the ocean, handily where no one can identify it.


    Edger (none / 0) (#99)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:04:18 AM EST
    Do you know how many years of social analysis, advice from Islamic advisers and strategic thinking went into dumping his body in the ocean quickly?

    "What to do with the body" is a question that has probably been examined by the folks in charge as much as any.

    You give me your preferred option for disposing of the body and I will explain why it is less optimal than the ocean burial.


    Use your head (none / 0) (#103)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:16:42 AM EST
    If they could have identified it, the DNA analysis would have bee screaming off the front page of every newspaper in the country, to "prove" that Obama killed Osama.

    With his own two bare hands too. What a guy! Conan Obama.


    Wait Edger (none / 0) (#122)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:27:47 PM EST
    So what are you saying? You don't think we killed Osama?

    Anyway, Obama get credit for taking Osama out.

    Unless you want to argue that he had nothing to do with that either.

    in which case my earlier point about giving the man no credit stands.


    I am saying what I said, abg (none / 0) (#131)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:38:04 PM EST
    sheesh - can you read?

    Fair Enough (1.00 / 0) (#97)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:01:30 AM EST
    Tone perhaps too strong for what SJ said.

    It is just frustrating to spend 90% of my time in a liberal blog explaining to folks the good things the president has done.  

    It has gotten to the stage where I don't many want him to succeed.  They have a lot invested in him failing which means that they actually have a lot invested in seeing the country fail.

    So we end up in situations where I say for example that last weeks job numbers were the best in 9 months based on the folks over at Calculated Risk:

    "Employers added a net total of 120,000 jobs last month. The economy has generated 100,000 or more jobs five months in a row -- the first time that has happened since April 2006."

    And then watch in amazement as people jump through  every possible hurdle to show how (a) that isn't true or (b) such good news should be completely ignored.

    Creates a weird psychic space here at times and I sometime overreact. My bad.


    Thank you for that (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:04:11 AM EST
    I get you today :)

    And if I had had to make Obama's calls (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:08:55 AM EST
    on Osama bin Laden I would have made the exact same calls right down the line.

    That .4% was mostly due (none / 0) (#63)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:47:07 AM EST
    to people giving up and leaving the job market.

    Heck, if Obama can persuade everyone to stop looking the U2 rate will drip to near 0%.

    Of course the U6 will rise from around 16% to near 25%.


    But the U6 rate (none / 0) (#85)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:45:29 AM EST
    is falling too so now what's your point?

    The point is that (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:03:39 PM EST
    the U3 is bogus.

    And if the U6 is falling then jobs created and people hired must be greater than the jobs lost and people opting out.

    I don't see that.


    So I dislike (none / 0) (#62)
    by CST on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:43:21 AM EST
    the Reagan worship as much as the next person.  But I think this is brilliant.  I wish they'd done it two years ago.

    Lordy lordy dying laughing (none / 0) (#104)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:23:28 AM EST
    Michael Steele just said that Gingrich can go toe to toe with Obama in a debate and all this is getting baked into his narrative and is driving the polling numbers.

    Gingrich can go toe to toe with Obama in a debate?  I'm very unhappy with my President, but that notion is hoooey.  If something is getting baked around here, it is Michael Steele.

    You know neither one (none / 0) (#117)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:04:49 PM EST
    thinks very well on their feet but in completely different ways.  Gingrich isn't troubled by honesty or any other sort of ethics and will just say anything.  With confidence.

    Obama chooses his words carefully to find just the meaning he wants to project (a trait I identify with, by the bye).  That may not be to his advantage in a toe to toe with a blowhard like Gingrich.  It may not go as well as it seems like it should.

    I can't say I would be rushing home to watch Gingrich do his thing...


    You know what? (none / 0) (#119)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:23:11 PM EST
    I'm willing to be that Steele really thinks that.

    I hear this "baked" stuff a lot lately (none / 0) (#123)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:28:02 PM EST
    I would say 50% of Newt supporters are completely clueless about his baggage.  these people dont remember what got us into the meltdown of 2008 and we are expected to think they remember the 90s?

    the funny thing is you dont even have to be a "historian".  
    his signature issue so far is child labor.


    but I would add (none / 0) (#125)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:32:31 PM EST
    as I said above I dont think it will matter for many of them.

    and no.  
    I disagree with the other comment about debating.  Obama would kill him.  
    it would not be a trick.  all he would have to do is tell the truth.


    Not so sure Pres. Obama would (none / 0) (#129)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:37:11 PM EST
    best Gingrich in a debate as far as public opinion goes.  But it would be interesting.  

    Here's something to argue about: (none / 0) (#130)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:37:59 PM EST
    How about a plain, (none / 0) (#139)
    by Zorba on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 12:53:35 PM EST
    unadorned Festivus Pole?  (The pole is about 40 seconds into the clip.)  

    12/6/11 Daily Show.... (none / 0) (#144)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:16:28 PM EST
    is a must see...Stewart at his best!

    Ryan Seacrest (none / 0) (#169)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:19:32 PM EST
    I meant to say earlier that Ryan Seacrest is really busy guy.  It seems he'd have to give up something to make the Today show work.  I don't know anything else about him, but I look forward to Matt Lauer stepping down.

    Another Virginia Tech shooting (none / 0) (#172)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:23:27 PM EST
    2 confirmed dead

    Campus in lockdown.

    Oh no! (none / 0) (#177)
    by sj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:31:26 PM EST
    Oh, that's just so sad.  And so scary for them.