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  • Speech Reax Part Deux (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:21:08 PM EST
    "As heartening as it was to hear President Obama's full-throated condemnation of the House Republican budget plan -- he didn't pull any punches -- what made his remarks this afternoon especially satisfying was his defense of the progressive vision.

    The point of the remarks was primarily to advance two goals: explain why Paul Ryan's radical proposal must be rejected and present a "balanced" alternative towards long-term deficit reduction.

    But along the way, the president made a point of reminding his audience that government, the institutions of the modern welfare state, and the modern social compact are worthy of a spirited defense. Indeed, to hear Obama tell it, the progressive vision is the American vision. . . . There's a word to summarize this approach to government. It's called "liberalism."


    This is what we wanted from him, right? He's got to implement obviously, but a strong establishment of liberal ideals is what has been at the top of everyone's gripe list.

    He's delivered and should get some credit.

    Seeing that he's worse than Reagan and all.

    What is the rationale for giving (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:24:20 PM EST
    this speech on a weekday during the work day?  

    Most Presidential comments are given (5.00 / 0) (#55)
    by christinep on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:04:58 PM EST
    during the daylight hours. Rare exceptions: Wars and immediate crises.  The situation here--while regarded as a deficit crisis--is the result of years of certain fiscal practices (or non-practices.) It is also part of the overall budget approach & Congressional interaction. If the President were to go to the nighttime speech routine (or request the time for it) it would shortly be viewed as overreaching political manipulation and draw more controversy than it would be worth while overshadowing the speech. If the debt limit is not lifted by the real deadline (probably early July), we could face an immediate crisis...and have a very different need at that time.

    I'm not saying you're wrong, but what you (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by observed on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:07:04 PM EST
    say about times of speeches doesn't gibe with my memory. Anyway, it's a minor issue.

    State of the Union addresses excepted, natch. (none / 0) (#58)
    by christinep on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:05:50 PM EST
    No night slots avail (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:38:03 PM EST
    M/T is DWTS
    W/T is AI



    Good Gawd, this reminds me (none / 0) (#157)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:09:21 PM EST
    of the SAT.  Translation, puleeze.....

    Okay--Dancing with the Stars, got it....


    American Idol (none / 0) (#158)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:09:50 PM EST

    lol (none / 0) (#162)
    by sj on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:12:58 PM EST
    I, on the other hand, understood immediately.  And I don't even watch AI.  Sad, isn't it?

    why not (none / 0) (#11)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:29:32 PM EST
    its not like anyone can see/hear it anytime they want.  

    This is an excerpt from (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:44:04 PM EST
    the NY Times:

    Mr. Obama spoke in strikingly partisan tones in parts of the 43-minute speech, offering a blistering critique of the Republican approach to reducing the deficit and laying down political markers that are sure to please even his most skeptical Democratic allies. The president vowed not to extend tax cuts for the wealthy or to dismantle the government-run health care systems for the elderly and poor. And he said there is "nothing serious or courageous" about the proposals Republicans offered this month.

    Crticizing when the speech was given shows that there is very little, if anything, to criticize about the substance of the speech.  So, on to process of when & how the speech was given.  Actually, I like that it was given on a Wednesday.  It will dominate the week's coverage and should be the main topic on the Sunday shows--unless something else happens....This was not a Friday dump of info when no one was looking.

    And a prime time speech would have been a little much.  That would only add to a sense of emergency--that could bolster the idea there really is a need to cut.....  


    The blistering critique of the (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by MO Blue on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:17:23 PM EST
    Republican approach to reducing the deficit was the part I liked the most. For a lot of the speech Obama actually sounded like a Democrat.

    This is part I liked the least because IMO these are just empty promises that he made before and chose not to keep:

    We will cut spending on prescription drugs by using Medicare's purchasing power to drive greater efficiency and speed generic brands of medicine onto the market.

    This is the polar opposite of what is contained in his health insurance legislation. These elements are not in the legislation because Obama traded them away. I have no faith that that action will be reversed.

    Can't say I trust him to let the tax cuts to the wealthy expire either.  


    I agree completely (none / 0) (#30)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:46:52 PM EST
    this did not require a prime time oval office speech

    He had (none / 0) (#36)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:52:10 PM EST
    me until he started on not extending tax cuts for the wealthy because he's already done that. I wanted to laugh when he said that.

    he wont do it again (none / 0) (#39)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:52:57 PM EST
    I offered to take bets in the last thread.  offer still open.

    So far (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:05:09 PM EST
    Obama has not fought for anything and all we hear is "it was the best I could do". We're supposed to vote for him again hoping that he won't fold like a cheap lawn chair the next time?

    His word is no good. If he does better in negotiations with the GOP than he has done so far then maybe you'll be right but it seems to me Obama might just be doing this speech right now because so many activists have been saying they aren't going to work for him in '12.


    He did set a direct marker (none / 0) (#71)
    by christinep on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:23:09 PM EST
    by saying directly--and without qualifying and without being in the hyper-atmosphere of campaign rally--that "I refuse to do that again."  Frankly, to state that he allowed the tax cuts to be extended as the way, in his estimation, to keep the middle-class tax relief is a key point for me. Why? Because I believe that we elect a President to make those kinds of judgments...and, he did. (Looking at how crazed a number of Repubs in the new Congress are acting, I'd say that Obama's judgment in that regard has a basis in reason.) I am sure that a number of people on this blog could not now acknowledge any justification...and, that's fine. IMHO, for the short-term reprieve re: the wealthier & tax cuts, the President obtained the SALTII Treaty ratification, the abolition of DADT, the funding for asbestos contaminated first responders in NY, the Social Security year's payroll holiday and --ta da--here he is back for the tax monies/revenue that should be in the public coffers.

    Maybe, in future, it will not seem like such a mistake/bad deal after all.  (Kind of like breaking an impasse & preventing a govt shutdown by smartly selling a $14.7B savings in spending as #38.7B. Smart man!)  


    Read my lips: Promises about future (none / 0) (#75)
    by observed on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:27:01 PM EST
    action on taxes are worthless.

    I agree there (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:11:47 PM EST
    definitely a 'believe it when I see it' thing after what went down in December.

    People on this blog (none / 0) (#77)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:32:59 PM EST
    I wrote that the ideal result on extending the tax cuts from an economic standpoint was to extend them all for a couple of years......the reasoning being you don't want to take out any money from the economy during a recession/depression. (As a corollary, you don't cut the Federal budget, either, during a downturn.)

    You raise taxes and cut spending after the economy is back on its feet....this would help to avoid inflation.....

    From a political standpoint, however, any extension of the tax cuts cedes the field to the Republicans......


    ABG, some of his speech was fine. (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:29:32 PM EST
    But I made some critiques in the other thread. He has to earn my trust back. If this is a set position, then much of it is potentially good. If it's the opening negotiation position, in my opinion he didn't go far enough.

    I'd rather see him start by going farther than the middle.

    I would prefer that he step on the Republicans toes until they, the republicans, apologize.

    He didn't.

    So... we'll see.

    I didn't think it was inspiring for him to give a speech defending SS and Medicair to a bunch of college students.


    he wont win (none / 0) (#13)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:30:44 PM EST
    by stepping on toes but by appearing reasonable.

    I do not agree. (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:31:26 PM EST
    The stepping-on-toes bit (none / 0) (#80)
    by christinep on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:36:08 PM EST
    I certainly feel that impulse.... But, over the years, I've found that if you wait around for an apology in politics, you will have been in the grave for a long time before anyone even acknowledges the demise. Seriously. Best to savor the comeuppance elsewhere because to give vent to the urge to pummel the opponent at this point is a loser when Americans (in poll after poll and interview after interview) expect the "reasonable" man/woman approach. Even the Tea Party fad is giving every indication of fading away & losing favor with the public.

    It may be a bit of Kabuki for too long at first; but, now we are hearing--for the first time in so long I can't recall the last time--a discussion in the speech today about the role of government from a Democratic perspective. Very significant...and, very significant that the President put down a specific marker about enhanced tax revenue from the wealthy in a formal speech setting.


    Christinep, you step on their toes (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:43:25 PM EST
    until they give in. That's the great thing with starting from the position of 'step on their toes till they apologise.'

    They give in, we win.


    He finished losing the election today (none / 0) (#171)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:25:40 PM EST
    seriously? (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:43:59 PM EST
    who's going to beat him? mittens? fig newton? huckster? loonytune bachman?

    i'm not seeing it...


    No, the GOP will rely on The Donald (5.00 / 2) (#194)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 07:04:22 PM EST
    and proving that the COLB is a fake.....

    Boehner didn't even (none / 0) (#193)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 07:04:16 PM EST
    show up at the GOPer press conference, far as i could tell.

    Courageous body builder Ryan (5.00 / 2) (#198)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 07:06:50 PM EST
    was whining that the President hurt his feelings......

    Yes, yes and yes (none / 0) (#195)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 07:06:07 PM EST
    Molly Bloom am I today.....

    I so wanted somebody to make that point forcefully in a very public way.....Bonus points that it was the President who said it....


    appearing reasonable. (none / 0) (#19)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:35:29 PM EST
    That is the key to the independents and moderates he will need to win.

    This is where Obama's approach should pay off.


    Pay off for re-election (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by itscookin on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:38:26 PM EST
    But will it result in good policy.

    Haven't you heard? (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:39:35 PM EST
    That. Does. Not. Matter.

    Obama's 2012 slogan: (none / 0) (#27)
    by shoephone on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:44:11 PM EST
    "Bi-partisanship IS Patriotic!!!"

    Sometimes you have to put it on the line and (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:46:53 PM EST
    say, "It may cost me my job or my career, but I will do what is right."

    I think Obama's philosophy is more, "It may cost what is right, but I'll continue my career."

    I have met, worked with, for and had work for me both types mentioned-- there are of course more than just two types.

    It's Martin Luther compared to oh, one of the Medici popes, or, say, MacArthur compared to Eisenhower. differences in governance or style. I prefer the Luther/MacArthur style, if not the reasons on MacArthur... Truman also versus Eisenhower in presidential leadership.



    No (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:50:58 PM EST
    it's not. Good policy is what will get people to vote for you and if he produces that they will vote for him. So what if you "appear reasonable" but the unemployment rate is 12%? Ain't none of those people voting for you then.

    That's the fallacy of Obama. He prefers fluff over substance.


    Right, that's how Republicans win (none / 0) (#53)
    by observed on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:03:46 PM EST
    ---by never stepping on toes.
    I swear,  some Democrats are just stone stupid when it comes to politics.
    Look, if you liked the speech, it was because he DID step on toes, for instance Ryan's.

    we are not (none / 0) (#61)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:07:51 PM EST

    Yes, and we do not win! (none / 0) (#73)
    by observed on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:26:13 PM EST

    This is where reality has to kick in (none / 0) (#18)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:33:40 PM EST
    To some degree. He drew a firm line in the sand on Bush Tax Cuts. I think we should hold him to that without reservation.

    However, if we think that the final plan is going to be as good as the one he proposed, we are going to be disappointed. Not because of dem weakness, but because of the GOP congress. We will have to make concessions.

    We need to have fair and realistic expectations of what can be accomplished.


    That's why his starting position was (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:36:03 PM EST
    weak, in my opinion. He had the chance to push the starting point, but didn't. The republicans will not be so accommodating.

    His strategy (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:56:59 PM EST
    revolves around appearing reasonable.  You can disagree with that strategy, but you can't implement it and appear serious if you demand tax increases, cuts to defense and no changes whatsoever to address any of the conservative requests.

    It is a gamble but one that may be the only option in this environment and with this dynamic.

    Inany event the gauntlet he threw down with the tax cuts is really the biggest flashpoint.

    The GOP has called tax increases a non-starter. Despite what BT argued was the downside of The Deal, this is the time to have that battle. Giving up two years of tax cuts to appear reasonable and win the larger war on taxes will be (if successful) well worth it.


    Democrats control the senate (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:02:39 PM EST
    and the presidency. Last Congress he had all three branches. Re-election isn't my goal, governance is. Good governance leads to re-election.

    Re-election doesn't necessarily lead to good governance. The US can't wait until after the election for a strong presidency.

    This administration reminds me more and more of the Carter administration in terms of governance, but for different reasons.

    The president needs to step up, or decide he's not the person for the job. Re-election is NOT governance.


    Good governance (none / 0) (#97)
    by christinep on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:57:35 PM EST
    When members of the Senate pose a barrier to a President (even one in the smae party) and those members are longtime, powerful (possibly committee chairs), etc. the President cannot "govern" by ramming something down their throats. Yes, he can cajole, persuade, use the traditional carrots & sticks, but he is not the king.

    I write this bit only to point out that certain Senators in the first two years--lets just say, e.g., Baucus, Nelson, Landrieu, Lincoln, & Liebermann--had interests in their particular states that were occasionally at odds with the WH goals. That became obvious early on. Maybe way back in our history, the dynamics of how far the Executive could go (sub rosa) may have favored a harder knocks...but, the times have changed somewhat over the years by virtue of other Executives' miscues as well as by the concentrated power of the Senate. Summary: Easier said than done.


    NOW is the time? (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by Yman on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:41:11 PM EST
    The time to have the battle was in December, when all he had to do was nothing.

    Now, he has 237 Reps and 41 Senators who signed Grover Norquist's No Tax pledge, the vast majority of them Repubs who are very serious about their no-tax pledges and remember what happened to GWB when he broke his pledge.


    Reality kicked in ages ago (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by shoephone on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:42:18 PM EST
    Obama's words mean very little. Actions are what counts.

    What? (5.00 / 4) (#35)
    by cal1942 on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:51:47 PM EST
    Not because of dem weakness, but because of the GOP congress.

    The GOP does NOT control Congress.  They control one house of the Congress, which would not have happened had he acted something like a resolute Democrat.

    He had a free chance to at least restore the Clinton tax structure last December by doing absolutely nothing.  Instead he deliberately gave away more of the store.


    They control a house of congress (none / 0) (#47)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:59:09 PM EST
    which has veto power over anything Obama can propose.

    You can't minimize that fact.  He will have to concede a fair amount to reach a deal.  We shouldn't fool ourselves or set unrealistic expectations.

    There is no path to legislation that checks all of the progressive boxes without caveat.


    I'm not a progressive, I believe in good (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:09:18 PM EST
    governance, the ideals of the New Deal, the Great Society. What I say is this: make the house the new "Do nothing congress." better for nothing to be done than half measures.

    What happened to the republican 80th Congress? The same.damned.thing that happened last year.

    Have you ever heard the phrase, "Do something, even if it's wrong?" I support the president's actions in Libya for that reason-- not because I think it's wrong, not because I think it's right, but he decided to DO something.

    He applies this tactic, decision-making and action, more, he becomes a president, not an empty suit.


    No (5.00 / 0) (#64)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:10:00 PM EST
    we don't have to concede. My gosh, you are as bad as Obama when it comes to folding. What if Obama had gotten the GOP to end funding for the war in Iraq during the last budget negotiations? That is something I would have considered a win/win for the most part because we would have gotten something out of it. As it is, we get almost nothing and the GOP gets most of what they want.

    The GOP has 1/3 of the government and we have to do everything they say??? You are the best advocate for voting GOP that I've ever seen. If we have to do what they say when they ONLY have 1/3 of the government then why not just let them have the whole government and quit the charade???


    On that issue (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by lilburro on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:58:45 PM EST
    I agree with Krugman

    Update: I should probably say, I could live with this [Obama's plan] as an end result. If this becomes the left pole, and the center is halfway between this and Ryan, then no -- better to pursue the zero option of just doing nothing and letting the Bush tax cuts as a whole expire.

    Firm line on the tax cuts (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by observed on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:05:17 PM EST
    That's the laugh of the day.
    Gosh, guys, how stupid can you be????
    Promises about bills which won't even be heard before the election are worth nothing.
    By the way, someone noted that the Republicans will probably bring up the tax cuts before the election anyway.

    He drew the same "line in the sand" ... (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Yman on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:32:45 PM EST
    ... in 2007.

    Why do you want to "hold him to that without reservation" this time?  Besides, given your constant apologia for all of his other broken promises, what does that even mean?


    Without reservation? (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by MO Blue on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:46:46 PM EST
    Dear Mr President:

    I am writing to tell you that I plan, without reservations, to hold you to your promise to not extend the tax cuts again.

    Enclosed please find my check and rest assured that no matter what policy you pursue, I plan to work tirelessly for your reelection and vote a straight Democratic ticket, without reservations.



    How do we hold him to it? (none / 0) (#164)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:14:07 PM EST
    They don't expire again until AFTER the 2012 election.

    41 Dems in the Senate (none / 0) (#174)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:31:25 PM EST
    should be able to do that.....

    I thought it was (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:44:52 PM EST
    a terrific speech, best he's given by far since being elected.

    I deeply regret that he's taught me not to believe he will stand up for what he says he will, though.  So the speech is very welcome for, finally, a full-throated defense of liberal government, something I haven't heard him do for a very long time.

    But... sadly, it's just a speech, and going on past record, there's absolutely no reason to have any faith that he'll stick to the principles he outlined in it.

    I did note with amusement and satisfaction that the GOP congressional leadership reaction at their press conference today didn't amount to much more than sputtering and spittle and whining about "partisanship." (Wrong, guys, it's not partisanship, it's ideology, but whatever.)


    If Obama sticks to this theme (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:55:04 PM EST
    it will turn out very well for progressive values.....

    Not if he stick to this theme, (5.00 / 5) (#52)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:03:35 PM EST
    but, as gyrfalcon says, all that matters is if he backs it up with real action.

    He is utterly confusing to me - I do think, unlike others, that he does believe in liberalism and good government, and many of his speeches are excellent examples of this.

    But his actions are often completely at odds with these principles.

    Nevertheless, good speech.


    RE: the GOP (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:00:32 PM EST
    Well, that's the problem with Obama preaching bipartisanship--it gives an opening to the GOP.

    I too believe that Obama's word is no good.


    From what I heard (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by lilburro on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:52:32 PM EST
    and have since read of his remarks, it was a good speech.  And indeed a spirited defense of our social safety net.  The spirited part matters because he will have to defend SS, Medicare, and Medicaid from being cut in a way that decreases services.  Making those programs smarter is one thing, denying Americans what they've been promised is another.

    I am pleased with the speech.  If that's the standard he's set for himself, then to cut those programs is to fail.  So he agrees with me then policy-wise.

    He can give into the GOP on austerity.  He obviously is on the same page as they are on that issue at some level.  But letting something happen to Medicare, Medicaid, or SS is suicidal for a Democrat.  I think his speech demonstrated that he knows that.

    I think you were to the right of Obama on this speech ABG.


    Personally, I felt no spirit from him (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Dadler on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:55:58 PM EST
    It seemed by the numbers, designed for soundbites to be played later, hence the afternoon start time for the speech.

    It's nothing but a playbook move.  Obama has made it singularly clear that the only way he will stand for something on principle is if others lead him to it.  Not, as with a competent leader, the other way around.

    Yap yap yap is cheap.  Action is all that matters, and there is zero track record here.


    leading, being led (none / 0) (#46)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:58:51 PM EST
    The issue is getting to the right position....

    It took RFK awhile....to get there.  He viewed MLK warily at first....and wanted to put off civil rights until later....


    Words, words, words, Horatio (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Dadler on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:10:29 PM EST
    I have no reason to believe Barack Obama will act in any way other than he has up to this point UNLESS enough dems threaten to unseat him.  And since that isn't going to happen, guess what?  Our entire hope and effort is pinned on, when and IF the time comes for him to make that tilt SCOTUS pick, that, for once in his life, he acts in a manner that truly pisses off the powers that be.  Now, perhaps because he can't run for a third term Obama will suddenly turn from a conservative prince into a progressive pumpkin, and I love me some punkin pie, but I really cannot cling to that in any way.

    Economically, when reality is factored in (and I highly recommend this new piece from Taibbi which lays ALL this granny-hating, entitlement trashing, budget deficit nonsense to rest, and shows what a kleptocracy/oligarchy we live in), it's all just a very, very, VERY cruel joke. (LINK)

    But look, I have a ten year-old child, I'd love to be wrong.


    He could have gone really out there (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:00:31 PM EST
    and educated the American people on why we really don't have to do anything about the deficit; he could have explained government spending in a way that did not come right out of the GOP handbook.

    David Dayen:

    The weakest part of the speech was his rebuttal to this concern, where he says he basically agrees, he gave everyone a payroll tax cut (which doesn't do a heck of a lot for people not on a payroll), and an evidence-free assertion that "doing nothing on the deficit is just not an option." But it's actually quite a good option.

    At the moment the international investment class is prepared to lend money to the United States of America at low interest rates. What's more, at the moment the United States of America has a lot of infrastructure needs. Furthermore, at the moment the United States of America has a large number of unemployed people. The logical course of action would be to accept international investors' desire for us to increase our volume of low interest borrowing in order to put people to work on useful infrastructure projects. Near the end of his speech, Obama said that "doing nothing on the deficit is just not an option." But it is an option! It's not an option for Spain, which is facing sky-high borrowing costs. It's not an option for Portugal, which just accepted a bailout from the European Union. But it is very much an option for the United States of America. It's a good option, an appealing option, an option that will increase our wealth over the long term. It won't be an option forever, but that's all the more reason to exercise the option while we can.

    Policies like this are just a missed opportunity, a chance to actually win the future with investments in the present that extend our economic performance. We could recover the half of the deficit created by falling tax receipts just by employing people. No deficit reduction works at 8.8% unemployment.

    And, as Paul Krugman noted in his update to his initial post-speech critique:

    I should probably say, I could live with this as an end result. If this becomes the left pole, and the center is halfway between this and Ryan, then no -- better to pursue the zero option of just doing nothing and letting the Bush tax cuts as a whole expire.

    There's "balanced," ABG, and then there's "give them an inch and they will take a mile;" most of us have reason to be concerned that legitimizing the bad ideas of the GOP is what happens when Obama seeks balance.


    Rising Employment (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:07:42 PM EST
    covers a lot of sins.....

    If unemployment contiunes to go down, and Federal revenues go up, the deficit will fall.  If that happens then the pressure to devastate the poor and the middle class to benefit the rich will dissipate...

    There was very little legitimizing of GOP ideology here....And there is a difference between the short term deficit and the long term deficit.....


    Advocating a middle class tax hike (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:22:31 PM EST
    is NOT a good starting point.  

    Krugman, bless his heart, fails to see the political suicide in doing that.  You lose the political advantage in advocating increased taxes for the rich.

    Bill never suggested raising taxes on the middle class.

    The last major political figure to do that was Mondale.

    If you try the Krugman approach--advocating that all the tax cuts expire, including the middle class tax cuts--you would be shellacked for this for life.  All the oxygen would be sucked up by such a proposal.  Republicans would have the upper hand politically--even more so.

    This reminds me of the health care debate.  So many here fault Obama for not putting single payer on the table.  But he, Hillary and Edwards took single payer off the table during the Primaries.  Obama did not campaign on single payer.  To try and throw out single payer just as a negotiating ploy would have been sooo transparent.  Perhaps some members of Congress could have done more to advance such a bill, but the unilateral concession to the GOP was made in 2007 by Obama, Edwards--and Hillary.

    To just throw out a clearly unserious proposal will often harm future negotiations by suggesting your future proposals will be just negotiating ploys too.  Single payer would not have been a credible proposal in 2009.

    So too, advocating a tax hike on the middle class would, in the best case, be seen as not serious, and in the worst case, as real--an attempt by Democrats to raise taxes on the middle class.  No, no and hell-no.


    Single (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:34:29 PM EST
    payer didn't even need to come into the conversation. What could have been done was simply opening up Medicare for those that wanted it. That's what Hillary and Edwards proposed and it's pretty smart considering the fact that it's well liked and easy to understand. I could never understand why Obama's healthcare plan included a public option and created a whole new administration for something that was already in place.

    MKS (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 07:12:12 PM EST
    Exactly right. Tax increases on the middle class is political suicide. Keep the leverage, take advantage of GOP extremism and deafness. Pound them on the points that give you the edge. This was a well done speech strategically. I haven't yet read a response from conservatives today that counter's Obama's attack. I just don't think there is one. If 2012 is about the GOP defending tax cuts for the rich, liberals and deems win big.

    The game is now joined in earnest. The deal and the budget compromises were just positioning. This is the real fight we must win.

    Today clarified the reasons that I thought the attacks on the Deal were fair but overblown. That was just a minor opening skirmish important only to set the stage.


    ABG, good governance (5.00 / 5) (#203)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 07:15:51 PM EST
    is not about election or re-election.

    Geez Louise (none / 0) (#185)
    by christinep on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:54:38 PM EST
    That's a strange heading on my part, I realize.  But, I'm almost overwhelmed--certainly, "whelmed"--by your comments, MKS.  Many, many thanks.

    Lots of people here show emotion. Now, let me show some.  Whoopee, Bravo, Allaeluja, and everything else.... You got it. You see it. You know it.  Thanks!!!

    It is one thing to negotiate in private business or even at the governmental level, as I did. You start high, the other side says "no way" (or words not so nice), and--if it works--you move toward the middle. Everybody is happy, or not so happy.  When it is the highest levels of our governmental life...i.e., the big, big standoff with President & Congress (or one Branch of Congress), it isn't so simple. The major audience is the public; the public is not composed of attorneys nor of politicos; the public more and more wants "results" "no nonsense" & all that stuff. They want a choreographed version of bipartisanship....translation: reasonable man. (I don't just say that; every poll that comes out for years says or affirms that assertion.) So, the complication has to do with the inevitable insertion of politics; and, that has to do with the reality of what can happen. Not necessarily what we want for ouselves.

    I love Krugman, for the most part. He deserves all kinds of accolades for his perceptive, principled positions in the past several years. BUT, from Adam he doesn't seem to realize that to start with saying a "tax on all your houses" is anathema. The line in the sand of whatever it is in is precisely the right time (when people are sort of listening now) and the right tone...Obama has voiced what most people can/will support: The rich need to contribute a bit more...they can & must absorb this moderate tax hike. His timing is excellent. Great.


    Wasn't the spin (none / 0) (#188)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:57:27 PM EST
    the rich won't let us raise taxes on them unless we raise them on you?

    heh, there's so many (5.00 / 0) (#197)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 07:06:32 PM EST
    of them, and so few of us.

    Oh, wait...


    I like what I have seen so far (none / 0) (#147)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:02:13 PM EST
    Have not seen it all yet - I actually had to work today - but just read Joan Walsh's summary.

    As always we will see if the actions match the rhetoric, but this was a good opening salvo. If the Republicans are indeed muttering about partisanship, it is a sign it was a good speech in my book.


    "He delivered and should get some (none / 0) (#149)
    by KeysDan on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:03:03 PM EST
    credit'  might better be phrased as he delivered a good speech and should get a lot of credit. Importantly, the content of the speech frames the argument for the media (probably beyond where the president actually goes)  and contrasts, if not discounts, Paul Ryan's position--a position gaining media momentum, not so much for its merits as for Ryan's blue eyes.   And, if credit is to be given, save a little for the professional left for keeping his feet to the fire.  Of course, we all know that President Obama's words do not always translate to his actions, but maybe his words will resonate with his party.

    My cheerleading (none / 0) (#204)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 07:17:58 PM EST
    Is inversely proportional to the fairness of the attacks against him. Also, I shout louder when I am the only defender in the room.  If we want to discuss his positions on drug law enforcement for example I am all in with the haters.

    But this theme of portraying him as someone who hates liberal values across the board was just something I feel compelled to push back against.

    Should we criticize? Yes. But argue that he's worse than Reagan and we shouldn't vote for him to allow for President Romney?

    Oh he'll no.


    I've tried to (none / 0) (#205)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 07:21:17 PM EST
    be specific in my critique. Let's move to the new thread, okay?

    People have been swooning over (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by observed on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:08:19 PM EST
    Obama's speeches for seven years.
    Excuse me, Charlie Brown, speechmaking is not Obama's weakness. Whether he gave a good speech (i'll have to check out the text) just does not matter!!

    I for one have not (none / 0) (#148)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:02:48 PM EST
    This speech was a very different order of rhetoric than I've heard from him.

    As I said above, it's just a speech.  But it's a heck of a lot more promising speech than 99 percent of what's come out of his mouth since he showed up on the scene back at the primaries.

    YMMV, of course, but here's one decidedly non-swooner who liked it a lot.


    I'm reading the speech now (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by observed on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:13:59 PM EST
    Several good points in the first few paragraphs.
    First demerit: mentioning the debt increase in the 80's and not tying it to Reagan.

    But as far back as the 1980s, America started amassing debt at more alarming levels, and our leaders began to realize that a larger challenge was on the horizon. They knew that eventually, the Baby Boom generation would retire, which meant a much bigger portion of our citizens would be relying on programs like Medicare, Social Security, and possibly Medicaid. Like parents with young children who know they have to start saving for the college years, America had to start borrowing less and saving more to prepare for the retirement of an entire generation

    makes it sound like the baby boomers and entitlements are the major cause of the increasing debt. Reagan's tax policy, for $1 trillion, Alex?? Big big minus points for this. Hope he corrects later.

    Frack he mentions bipartisan (none / 0) (#72)
    by observed on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:25:15 PM EST
    efforts to deal with the debt, but not Clinton's tax increase?
    Ok, I'm skimming. I don't need to read that Ryan's plan is trash.
    Can someone tell me, was Defense spending $400 billion less in the last two years?! That's the way Obama makes it sound.
    What's the feasibility of his projected cost savings for medical care? This sounds like boilerplate rubbish to me, frankly.
    "Yeah, we'll get rid of waste" facepalm

    I can't criticize what he says on tax policy, but I'd like to see some independent analysis.

    My review: many good things, several annoying omissions in the discussion of recent history.
    Also, his talk of lowering medicare costs sounds like pure fantasy, which means option B---doing whatever the catfood commission says---comes into play.


    The bipartisan agreements to (none / 0) (#92)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:51:23 PM EST
    cut the deficit included Bush I's tax increase....The Clinton tax increase was a party line vote....

    But there were bipartisan budgets in the 90s.


    The problem is that he doesn't give (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by observed on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:02:00 PM EST
    credit where credit is due, nor place blame where that belongs.
    You know, if he cannot criticize Reagan 30 years after the fact, he's just hopeless.

    The Rude Pundit's Five-Word Response.... (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by trillian on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:35:25 PM EST
    Haha (5.00 / 0) (#142)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:56:37 PM EST
    Why should we believe you?

    Rude pundit speaks for me!


    i'm checking (none / 0) (#1)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 02:55:27 PM EST
    prices per square meter in Cabo Polonio and Colon, also Manizales.

    I think I give up, time to do something completely different.

    I'll pay you (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by CST on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 02:58:34 PM EST
    $100 to fill out my P.E. application for me...

    Not really.  <-Just in case anyone from the "board" is reading TL


    DK link re The Speech: (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:17:14 PM EST
    I'm certainly (5.00 / 4) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:46:31 PM EST
    not fawning over the speech like Lewison is but he must have gotten a new speech writer and gotten rid of that odious Jon Favreau because he is distilling things down which is good.

    The problem with the statement about the tax cuts is that he already gave away the store on that one so it's kind of silly to talk about giving himself a tax cut when he already did it.


    I'm really surprised (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by brodie on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:52:22 PM EST
    by how Joe Stiglitz he went with the 1% rhetoric.  Almost Huey Long like with some populist-sounding rhetoric.    

    I mentioned a few days ago he needed to be questioned about those grim economic figures from Stiglitz at his next presser, what was happening on his watch, so maybe what happened is Obama read my post here at TL and decided to take my advice for a change.


    That JS article got some play (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:56:13 PM EST
    Bernie was also using it in his reason for not voting for the budget deal yesterday.

    As he should..... (none / 0) (#43)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:56:17 PM EST
    I do think that he was talking to the base here....

    If only he keeps it up during the closed door negotiations....


    He really needed (none / 0) (#67)
    by brodie on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:12:24 PM EST
    to begin showing some respect to the segment that got him elected.  Folks I was hanging around, all O voters, were starting to work up enthusiasm for a mutiny.

    As for action, sticking to core Dem principles, and the nitty-gritty of negotiations with the Goopers, let's just hope he doesn't pull another one of these ...


    The public now knows (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:01:12 PM EST
    that he made a huge concession on The Deal.  I think it will resonate. You will here the line "I will not concede on tax cuts again" repeatedly.

    That line shows that he's reasonable and that the time has come for the other side to cave.  This is the set-up I talked about in December.


    Read my lips. (5.00 / 6) (#54)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:03:49 PM EST
    If you believe his core values are (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by observed on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:33:40 PM EST
    Democratic, you could have some confidence.
    But isn't this the President who campaigned about fixing the excesses of the Democrats, fawned over Reagan and said he wouldn't make the same mistakes FDR did?

    well that overstates it (none / 0) (#87)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:46:23 PM EST
    As to FDR, he didn't so much say that FDR was wrong as he had it worse than FDR in some ways because he jumped in the fray early on TARP.

    Not his best comment. But not what you portray, either.

    Another difference was that FDR took office in March--a couple of months later than now. So, FDR really had less reason (or ability) to do anything in December.  But Obama was faulted for not naming a Secretary of the Treasury right after the election in November....

    The timing of the economic downturn still gives Republicans some cover.  As in unemployment went up after Obama took office.  Of course, it would--the economy was falling off a cliff.

    If the downturn had been a few months earlier, and Obama took office at the bottom, many Republican (bad) arguments would never have seen the light of day.



    Not sure if we're talking about the same (none / 0) (#89)
    by observed on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:49:37 PM EST
    comments re FDR. I distinctly recall him saying that he did not repeat the mistakes FDR made in his first few months.

    FDR made no mistakes in his first (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:55:02 PM EST
    few months in office....really amazing that that was the case.  

    I remember the comment about FDR didn't have it as bad because he waited (for months after his election) to act until March (when he took office)......

    I think you remember the comment as critizing FDR for making mistakes his first months in office.


    It's crystal clear that he is faulting FDR. (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by observed on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:09:26 PM EST
    The link has the likely explanation of what conservative myth he swallowed.

    I don't think Obama has discussed (none / 0) (#102)
    by observed on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:00:16 PM EST
    FDR only once. I'll see if I can find the quote I meant, and I'm talking about criticism of FDR's "mistakes", not saying he had it harder.

    Here's the comment and a link: (none / 0) (#107)
    by observed on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:06:19 PM EST

    "We didn't actually, I think, do what Franklin Delano Roosevelt did, which was basically wait for six months until the thing had gotten so bad that it became an easier sell politically because we thought that was irresponsible. We had to act quickly." - President Obama

    I mean.. WTF??


    Yes, that is what I was talking about (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:37:13 PM EST
    Let's stipulate the comment by O was off--whining.

    But the six months he was referring to (or intended to refer to) was the gap between the November 1932 election and the March 1933 Inaugural--not quite six months....

    The First Hundred Days of FDR was historic--and the reason people still talk about an administration's first hundred days.  No one could suggest that FDR waited for six months after he took office before acting.....The Bank Holliday was right away.


    The context was that FDR (none / 0) (#178)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:40:46 PM EST
    waited until he took office to act.  He only wanted to be held responsible for the economy when he had some real ability to affect it.

    Whereas people demanded Obama do something in November....with respect to TARP especially.

    But different contexts.....FDR had no real power until March....Today, in the info age perception is much more clearly reality.....  


    your reading is (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by observed on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 07:07:26 PM EST
    Not supported by the actual quote. Obama is not just saying he did better than FDR, he is charging him with deliberately delaying action. That is clear from the quote alone, but read the link for background.

    your reading does not compute (none / 0) (#200)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 07:10:17 PM EST
    because FDR did not wait for six months to act after he took office.....

    That is the undisputed fact that gives context to the quote....


    "read my lips" (none / 0) (#66)
    by CST on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:11:22 PM EST
    I will raise taxes.

    Interesting comparison.


    I'm pretty sure the comparison (none / 0) (#118)
    by shoephone on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:24:05 PM EST
    is in the b.s. factor of the pledge.

    Heh, heh ... (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by Yman on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:51:07 PM EST
    "I will not concede on taxes ...

    ... again.

    No, ...

    ... seriously.

    What?!?  I'm not kidding this time!"

    ty oculus. (none / 0) (#14)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:30:53 PM EST
    I couldn't get it to open completely again... but geez, it seems as though a lot of folks are, uh... orgasmic? over at DK.

    No segue. jeff, did you see this? (none / 0) (#70)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:20:10 PM EST
    didn't see that, (none / 0) (#101)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:00:10 PM EST
    but I don't want to browse there to find it... let me ask some folks with subscriptions to find it for me...I don't mind leeching from the NYT, since they insist on charging to read their stuff. I read papers from across the world online free, and usually I check the Times to see who's died...

    The cheapie hotel in Manhattan (none / 0) (#106)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:06:06 PM EST
    has a stack of NYT behind the registration desk.  I didn't burn a click.  Interesting that private colleges seem to pay their academics more than pubic ones do.

    Time for the pirate crew, at least those (none / 0) (#74)
    by caseyOR on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:26:38 PM EST
    of us who are over 50, to get serious about a port of call south of the border. Under 50 pirates (kdog, I talking to you) are, of course, always welcome and, given the sad direction the U.S. is heading, encouraged to move to the pirate ship sooner rather than later.

    Jeff, you offered in the other thread to start scouting locations this summer. I say, "Go for it. Find us a home."


    Cap'n, I'll find us a nice cheap place. (none / 0) (#83)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:40:56 PM EST
    Might not have electricity--candles and gas light, but running water is kind of important!

    You build the fire (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:45:56 PM EST
    and I'll bring my cast iron :)

    Running water is a definite must. (none / 0) (#90)
    by caseyOR on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:50:17 PM EST
    Electricity would be nice, but gas works for cooking as well as lighting. And these new-fangled LED lanterns I've seen in the sporting goods store run for days on a couple of batteries. So, electricity is not mandatory.

    But, yes, running water, please.


    I will visit you from a neighboring city (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:04:02 PM EST
    with electricity!

    There's actually a lot of close-by places (none / 0) (#159)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:10:15 PM EST
    with electricity, internet, cell phones...

    Folks, the US is like 30th in internet wifi connectivity... some South American countries are A LOT better...


    No worries... (none / 0) (#166)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:17:41 PM EST
    I'll work the hamster wheel until your Mac is fully juiced.

    Internet Access is somebody elses department.


    I knew having pirate crew members from (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by caseyOR on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:24:52 PM EST
    a demographic younger than the boomers was a good idea. I'll do all I can to help keep the hamster wheel turning, kdog, but your younger legs will carry the day in that arena.

    I vote... (none / 0) (#104)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:03:14 PM EST
    off the grid...way off.  

    In the pirate spirit, if we're not sailing we should be squatting land.  Somewhere with as wide a circumference from signs of industrialization pollution as possible, but within a few days pack-mule hike to a trading post.

    You guys be the brains, I'll dig the well and run in the hamster wheel to charge the batteries.


    Squatting is (none / 0) (#108)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:07:55 PM EST
    not out of the question... some countries have laws much more amenable to squatters. Uruguay, for example.

    how's the soil in dem der parts? (none / 0) (#110)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:10:17 PM EST
    Any experience... (none / 0) (#121)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:27:19 PM EST
    growing tobacco Sister Pirate? I hear it is a somewhat difficult crop.

    If we wanna get really Rudie we can squat the Bush Family Compound...largest fresh water reserves in the world.  Ya can get lost in 100,000 acres:)

    Rudie Can't Fail...dems pirate lyrics.


    Did you ever see the NYT article (none / 0) (#123)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:31:44 PM EST
    on the woman in Brooklyn that grows it?

    I'm sure some growing could be arranged south of the border. I think the climate is right for it . . . .

    I've got a good seed stash for food crops going :)


    Missed it... (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:45:40 PM EST
    between all the articles of men and women chained and caged for growing different smoking herbs in Staten Island...they're busting a grow op a week it seems over the Verrazano.  

    In case you missed the news from your old stomping grounds back east..."same sh*t different day" in local vernacular:)

    Farmers, laborers, educators and assorted brainiacs...sweet talk the special lady into an anarcho-syndicalist pirate commune experiment, we got ourselves an MD.  She'd be down too.

    It would be some scene if nothing else:)


    Wow, that's my favorite Clash song, (none / 0) (#132)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:49:31 PM EST
    followed by Spanish Bombs.

    Ty matey! We need enough power for a CD player.

    Or an old-fashioned record player!


    Great knuckleheads... (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:56:42 PM EST
    think alike...I shoulda known you know the score on the Clash!

    Tobacco is a 13 month crop (none / 0) (#167)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:19:16 PM EST
    Jim, this is similar to coastal mississippi (none / 0) (#176)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:35:06 PM EST
    in climate, and theres a huge casino in visible distance. and yes, they play holdem.

    I'll only need... (none / 0) (#179)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:41:26 PM EST
    to mule in a couple pounds to hold me over.

    Any chance you can rig us a rudimentary anti-drone defense system with your knowledge? :)


    Dog, cigs will be so cheap you won't (none / 0) (#182)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:44:45 PM EST
    believe it. Also, you can buy them as a single smoke, a five pack, a 10 pack...

    It's business. Don't worry!

    Now that anti-drone stuff...Jim, help us out? we're peaceful pirates! any jammers?


    Only if we go deep... (none / 0) (#191)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:59:21 PM EST
    say if we squat Bush's joint...can't be running to the store to buy smokes.  

    Can't really do that now due to tax implications, it's an hour round trip, but thats another story.


    south america, also.

    the cheap ones-- provide nicotine...harsh

    middle-- still sort of harsh for US customers

    Cowboy Killers-- Marlboro for export. Guaranteed to have double the nicotine and tar of a US cig. and still harsh. You can buy five cartons in the duty free, and fill your suitcases with your brand, the 'service charge' is a lot less "South of the Border."


    Au contraire... (none / 0) (#196)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 07:06:12 PM EST
    ya only get one duty free now.  I got jacked for ten bucks per over one last month.

    I was gonna say something but the PA was going on about inappropriate remarks and handcuffs and what not so I pulled a Kramden.

    "Pins and needles, needles and pins.  It's a happy man that grins."


    That's ... usury. (none / 0) (#202)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 07:14:19 PM EST
    Down south, they are for export, but they are a lot cheaper, and there will be no NYC taxes on them either.

    I'm even more disgusted by the government now. When
    I smoked, in the Army, I bought "Menthol Cigarettes." White pack, green letters. Four dollars a carton.


    I'll check... (none / 0) (#129)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:41:57 PM EST
    and give a report on all of the areas. Inland Uruguay has good soil, plano oriente in colombia does, Colon in panama? not so much...

    But grapes, wine, etc, in Argentina or Chile, no problem.


    Here's one... (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:52:15 PM EST
    for you Spanish Civil War buff...Spanish Bombs.

    And well worth a read.

    The hillsides ring with "Free the people"
    Or can I hear the echo from the days of '39?
    With trenches full of poets
    The ragged army, fixin' bayonets to fight the other line

    True heroes. First to fight against (none / 0) (#155)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:08:24 PM EST
    fascism. Also, the anarcho-syndicalists were persecuted by the Bolsheviks, as well. Andalucia, Catalunia, and the Basque... Anarcho-syndicalists.

    Maybe not Paraguay--at least not now: (none / 0) (#135)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:51:44 PM EST
    Dengue's overrated (none / 0) (#140)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:54:52 PM EST
    as a disease... I know from experience. It just sounds scary.

    But then again I got shot in the stomach (none / 0) (#145)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:00:33 PM EST
    and afterwards ran three miles to the PZ... I might not be the best judge of dengue, although it's easily controllable... or treatable... or you suffer through it...

    Wow. Stick to the big stuff. (none / 0) (#153)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:07:13 PM EST
    heh, 25 years ago... (none / 0) (#184)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:49:35 PM EST
    I can still eat and get fat, lol

    What about ... (none / 0) (#93)
    by Yman on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:52:21 PM EST
    ... internet access?

    Local internet cafe's (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:54:18 PM EST
    might be a business to get into.

    Internet cafe, eh? A little side income. (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by caseyOR on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:58:45 PM EST
    Every little bit helps.

    Also, maybe we could rig up some sort of solar power collection system. I read somewhere (can't find it right now) about mechanisms being tested in parts of Africa that use simple solar power systems to provide electricity to villagers. Enough power for a light bulb or two and to run the laptop computer.

    Mostly, let's keep it simple.


    Don't forget wind power (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:19:42 PM EST
    the combo of the 2 works quite well I hear for off grid living, my dream . . .

    Query: will Smartphones work? (none / 0) (#124)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:32:17 PM EST
    Work, yes. (none / 0) (#133)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:50:32 PM EST
    Change your plan? Have to.

    No smartphones if we locate in the (none / 0) (#134)
    by caseyOR on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:50:59 PM EST
    right spot. Satellite phone, maybe, for emergencies, but don't bother packing the iphones, blackberrys, androids, etc. They will be nothing but added weight in your bags.

    Remember, the pirate team is pretty fed up with the corporate bloodsuckers and that includes their attendant toys.


    I'm out. Could consult re classical music. (none / 0) (#137)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:53:02 PM EST
    You can come for visits, oculus. (none / 0) (#144)
    by caseyOR on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:59:18 PM EST
    We can offer good conversation, good food, an all-around good time. Friends of the crew are always welcome.

    Perhaps we could book a roadshow of (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:05:56 PM EST
    "Pirates of Penzance."

    Contact with loved ones will be (none / 0) (#139)
    by caseyOR on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:54:27 PM EST
    needed. Jeff needs to be able to call Little Jeff, and kdog must have contact with his senorita. That said, can we please leave Verizon and AT&T behind?

    And BTW, whatever became of the (none / 0) (#156)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:09:00 PM EST
    "woman of a certain age" re Jeff?

    We have agreed to love poodles, (none / 0) (#163)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:13:43 PM EST
    exchange letters, and like one another until she earns her million dollars...

    I'm just not into money, and losing my job and moving away haven't helped.

    After she gets hers, she might become a pirate auxiliary, who knows?  I just can't chase that dollar...we still talk, but we don't agree on some things. Also, we still respect each other.


    Aren't pirates all about treasure? (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:15:28 PM EST
    Got me there... she's old school pirate, (none / 0) (#172)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:28:12 PM EST
    and I'm not. I'm a pirate-anarcho-syndicalist New Deal democrat, so I'm constantly confused.

    By the way, Buenos Aires and Montevideo have wonderful opera houses.


    I love the Teatro de Colon in BA. (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:30:13 PM EST
    And my ticket, during financial crisis, was about 50 cents U.S.  

    A solar-powered Starbucks franchise. (none / 0) (#113)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:17:58 PM EST
    Pirates do not franchise. :-) (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by caseyOR on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:26:30 PM EST
    Starbucks is a corporate bloodsucker. No reputable pirate enterprise consorts with corporate bloodsuckers, well,  unless it's to suck them dry.

    Aye Freakin' Aye Captain... (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:28:48 PM EST
    thats who were running from:)

    What about creating their own brand? (5.00 / 2) (#126)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:35:03 PM EST
    I'm pretty good when it comes to branding/licensing and marketing on the creative end  ;)

    Sorry, stray, no branding, licensing or (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by caseyOR on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:44:29 PM EST
    marketing. Art, however, if always welcome. You could find your inner Gaugain (?) in our south of the border hide-a-way.

    Arrrrrrr! (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:53:13 PM EST
    What's that delicious drink?


    What's the brand, I want to buy some!


    No... what's the brand?

    Coffee... we call it coffee.


    No prob (none / 0) (#141)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:55:03 PM EST
    I could officially retire then  ;)

    I'd be happy making my own paint like substances and also using clay/wood/etc in the sculpt area . . .


    Jerry Brown (none / 0) (#3)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:06:05 PM EST
    Funny how your link doesn't (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by MO Blue on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:58:53 PM EST
    match you statement.

    As part of the fight against global warming, California already requires its large, investor-owned utilities to get 20 percent of their electricity from the sun, the wind, and other renewable energy sources, a goal they have not yet met. Developers are racing to build wind farms and solar power plants across the state, often using technology developed by California companies.

    or in real life (none / 0) (#17)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:31:44 PM EST
    Brown signs law requiring 33% renewable energy

    I was enjoying his (none / 0) (#22)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:38:27 PM EST
    "Gov Moonbeam" quip being played a few times yesterday. That along with the snips about San Jose trying to decide how they want to regulate their pot shops made for some only in CA news updates :)

    I guess he also believes in Unicorns (none / 0) (#169)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:23:22 PM EST
    TN, AL and MS should be loving this.

    Naw (none / 0) (#181)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:44:01 PM EST
    they come here but then they leave because of the quality of the workforce. The company (forget which one) that opened up in Alabama said never again. What they save in that kind of stuff they lose on the workforce.

    Until the south starts to learn to compete in ways other than corporate welfare, we're always going to be last.

    BMW in South Carolina doesn't even hire much locally. They import most of their workers from out of the state and out of the country.


    Say It Ain't So! (none / 0) (#186)
    by StephenAG on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:55:22 PM EST
    Now, just waittaminnit! Out here in California I see the BMW ads touting the build of the X3 and you can't convince me that all of them peoples in that ad are furriners. Hunnit' percemt built by Proud Merricans. That's what the ad is relaying to me, at least.

    Makes me almost want to go ahead build on some family land in Griffin, GA. Almost.


    this is funny (none / 0) (#4)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:08:19 PM EST
    Inhofe "Scared The Crap Out Of" Airport Workers

    During the call, which was recorded by the FAA, Boyd said Inhofe's antics "scared the crap out of" workers, adding that the Cessna "damn near hit" a red truck. Referring to the vehicle's driver, Boyd added, "I think he actually wet his britches, he was scared to death. I mean, hell, he started trying to head for the side of the runway. The pilot could see him, or he should have been able to, he was right on him."

    Boyd also said that Inhofe showed little contrition following the close call. "He come over here and started being like, 'What the hell is this? I was supposed to have unlimited airspace.'"

    The article I read sd. Imhofe flew in (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:15:53 PM EST
    Vietnam, has flown for 50 yrs., and, according to Boyd, this was the most dangerous maneuver Boyd has ever seen.  Missing the humor.  

    I think he was talking (none / 0) (#10)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:28:35 PM EST
    about missing workers by a hair not combat

    win the future (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:24:02 PM EST
    is awful.  How about "today is tomorrow"

    agree on that slogan (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:31:35 PM EST
    I hate it.

    How 'bout.... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:41:08 PM EST
    How about (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by brodie on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:48:23 PM EST
    I always liked (none / 0) (#33)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:50:11 PM EST
    Where ever you go, there you are

    How about (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by Yman on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:54:04 PM EST
    "Change ... for real this time."

    Bonds Guilty of Obstruction (none / 0) (#79)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:35:51 PM EST
    other 3 counts Hung Jury/Mistrial

    I see no logic (none / 0) (#100)
    by CoralGables on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:59:50 PM EST
    in guilty of obstruction but not perjury. As I'm not a lawyer I'll plead ignorance, but on it's face it looks like a jury room bargain settlement.

    What it sounds like (none / 0) (#105)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:05:11 PM EST
    is misleading/not being totally truthful vs outright perjury, which is more specific, so says man on teevee.

    I guess (none / 0) (#112)
    by CoralGables on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:13:54 PM EST
    I could buy that. It was my belief that everyone charged in the BALCO case either pleaded guilty or was found guilty so what would have been obstructed?

    ** I should note that other than when the Giants were playing the Marlins, one of my favorite things was watching Barry Bonds at the plate.


    The act of obstructing doesn't (none / 0) (#114)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:18:20 PM EST
    have to be successful, just that you tried?

    I say this as one who holds a degree in paint, charcoal and color theory . . .

    I have a Barry bobble head :)


    I know what you mean. All those boos (none / 0) (#116)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:21:16 PM EST
    and cameras flashing.  Then Manny retired precipitously  Where's the fun?

    Manny (none / 0) (#128)
    by CoralGables on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:40:21 PM EST
    never put fear in me the way Barry did when striding to the plate against my beloved Fish. Barry is also the only player I saw that also struck fear into every opposing manager.

    He was intentionally walked 620 times in his career (2nd place is a mere 229). He was also walked more total than anyone in the history of the game (2,558 vs 2,042 for the Sultan of Swat, The King of Crash, The Colossus of Clout, the Great Bambino).


    More to the point (none / 0) (#146)
    by scribe on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:02:08 PM EST
    he would be intentionally walked with the bases loaded, meaning the opposing manager was willing to eat one run rather than chance eating four.

    And here I've always thought Rickey (none / 0) (#160)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:10:56 PM EST
    held the reoord for walks.

    Rickey holds the record for steals, iirc (none / 0) (#187)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:56:54 PM EST
    OH MY (none / 0) (#82)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:40:50 PM EST
    "CBO: Budget deal cuts this fiscal year's deficit by just $353 million, not $38 billion touted."

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/cbo-budget-deal-cuts-this-fiscal-years-deficit-by-just-353-mi llion-not-38-billion-touted/2011/04/13/AFFJnkWD_story.html

    Fourth dimensional chess indeed.

    Read it again (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Yman on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:10:42 PM EST
    It's not, as you postulated yesterday, some 11th dimensional accounting jujitsu that Obama sneaked imaginary cuts past the Republicans.  Many of the cuts don't affect this fiscal year because they're "slow-spending" programs.  Others, like 8 billion in decreases to domestic programs and foreign aid, are offset by increases in defense spending, so there's no net benefit to those reductions.

    Do you seriously think that Republicans would be fooled in to agreeing to only 352 million in cuts?

    Nice try.


    box score (none / 0) (#99)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 04:59:01 PM EST
    "commitment(s)" = 9

    "entitlements" = 0

    specifically wrt SS, Medicare, etc.


    a good speech - wingnuts are already fulminating - & now we'll find out if it's "just words"

    they're ALWAYS fulminating (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by Dadler on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:23:41 PM EST
    Nothing new there.  They fulminate in their sleep, on the can, in church, I think it's a pre-requisite for membership.  Maybe they'll secede and form fulmiNATION.  

    What would be new, however, and EVERYONE knows this, is Obama doing anything that genuinely resembles playing hardball.  The Repubs play hardball, he plays softball, and a "lousy" deal is struck (lousy for the people, that is).

    But I'd love to be surprised.  Don't think I will be thought.


    make that "though." n/t (none / 0) (#119)
    by Dadler on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:24:48 PM EST
    "fulmiNATION" Good one. Quick-- (none / 0) (#125)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:35:02 PM EST
    trademark/copyright/web address etc.

    Two cheerful science changes of pace: (none / 0) (#192)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 07:04:04 PM EST