Tuesday Morning Open Thread

Ironic quote of the day from David Brooks:

[T]he president lost his cool. Obama never should have gone in front of the cameras just minutes after the talks faltered Friday evening. His appearance was suffused with that “I’m the only mature person in Washington” condescension that drives everybody else crazy.

Coming from Brooks, that's rich.

Open Thread.

< Obama Addresses Nation on Debt Proposals | Triangulation As Electoral Strategy >
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    Actually, the room could use an adult... (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by masslib on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:20:01 AM EST
    Obama should have said I need a clean debt ceiling bill to pay for what Congress already appropriated or I am going to invoke the 14th.  

    I think this has gone (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by observed on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:31:02 AM EST
    beyond theater. What is the betting line on default now?

    How would you feel if it turned out that - (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 10:47:46 AM EST
    we have more time than we thought to raise the debt ceiling?

    As of Friday, according to the Treasury, the government had $85 billion in cash.

    UBS estimates that the government will run out of money to pay all bills starting no sooner than Aug. 8. Barclays suggests Aug. 10. Wells Fargo Securities said the government might have to cut back on some spending but could pay most of its bill through August.

    "If policymakers are truly falling short by just a few days on a big agreement, they now seem to have an extra week or so," said Barclays analysts, led by senior debt strategist Ajay Rajadhyaksha.

    Yeah, me too...like I want to hurl at the likelihood that there will be more plans floated, more lectures from the Dad-in-Chief...blech.

    It's shallow of me, but can I just say, thank God the NFL lockout is over and I can distract myself with the drama of the free agency scramble, the cuts, the cap, who's landing where, etc.


    At this point, I don't see how anything (none / 0) (#38)
    by observed on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 11:15:48 AM EST
    except a clean debt ceiling increase can be passed, and that seems unlikely.
    Either that, or the Soylent Green option.

    yup (none / 0) (#28)
    by CST on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 10:05:25 AM EST
    I fail to see how any of these bills gets passed at this point.

    I think it's worse then that (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Slado on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 10:21:40 AM EST
    The debt deal will happen.  Something everyone won't like will pass.

    The bad news is no matter what happens I think the ratings on govt debt will be downgraded and then any cuts passed will disappear in an instant with the rise in rates and the economic slowdown they will cause to occur.

    The economy is retracting with or without Washington and all this is political theatre for the bases.


    Do you think Obama's (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by observed on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:00:42 PM EST
    scolding is useful?
    I think he's jeopardizing a deal simply by being so aggravating and arrogant.

    Dean Baker on deficit (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:01:20 PM EST
    The Congressional Budget Office's projections from January of 2008, the last ones made before it recognized the housing bubble and the implications of its collapse, showed a deficit of just $198 billion for 2009, the year President Obama took office. In other words, the deficit was absolutely not "on track to top $1 trillion."

    This is what is known as a "gaffe" of enormous proportions. It indicates that President Obama does not have the most basic understanding of the nature of the budget problems the country faces. He apparently believes that there was a huge deficit on an ongoing basis as a result of the policies in place prior to the downturn. In fact, the deficits were relatively modest. The huge deficits came about entirely as a result of the economic downturn brought about by the collapse of the housing bubble. This misunderstanding of the origins of the budget deficit could explain President Obama's willingness to make large cuts to core social welfare programs, like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. link

    Obama has always seemed (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by observed on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:35:54 PM EST
     innumerate to me.

    Geithner knows this, and you know (5.00 / 0) (#48)
    by observed on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:51:28 PM EST
    that Obama's financial advisors vetted the content of the speech.

    I think so, too, observed (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Zorba on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 04:30:06 PM EST
    I think that Geithner et al vetted this, and I also think that Obama is on the same page as his neoliberal financial advisers- it's why he chose them to begin with.  He is a neoliberal himself.

    I read that Geithner (none / 0) (#89)
    by observed on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 05:23:44 PM EST
    was the force behind the "think big"  approach to raising the debt

    Actually that is not what he is saying (none / 0) (#101)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 11:19:37 PM EST
    What he is saying is that prior to the housing bubble and the implications of its collapse being recognized, the CBO showed a deficit of just $198 billion for 2009.  What Baker is contending is that Obama misstated the reasons for the high deficits. Here is what Obama said was the reason for them:

    "For the last decade, we have spent more money than we take in. In the year 2000, the government had a budget surplus. But instead of using it to pay off our debt, the money was spent on trillions of dollars in new tax cuts, while two wars and an expensive prescription drug program were simply added to our nation's credit card.

    Baker disagrees with that assessment and contends the economic downturn was the primary cause.

    The huge deficits came about entirely as a result of the economic downturn brought about by the collapse of the housing bubble.

    He also believes that because Obama misunderstands the reason for the high deficits, he is taking the wrong action to correct them.

    This misunderstanding of the origins of the budget deficit could explain President Obama's willingness to make large cuts to core social welfare programs, like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

    No, those where "off-the-books" (none / 0) (#114)
    by BTAL on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 02:06:55 PM EST
    because they were not part of the annual appropriations bills.   The funds spend were still accounted for just like appropriated/budgeted spending.

    Beck compares Norway youth camp ... (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 03:44:33 PM EST
    ... to the Hitler Youth.

    How any human with at least a double-digit IQ takes this idiot seriously is beyond me.

    Fail to see your point (none / 0) (#1)
    by Slado on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 08:51:51 AM EST
    Obama has totally lost control of the situation and will now be forced to sign whatever comes out of congress.

    He may veto a bill but after all his rhetoric about default when that bill isnsent to his desk late Sinday night I don't see how he can.

    The right is calling hisnspeeches "tantrums".  They are not that but instead the only thing he has left.  The congress is negotiating without him and he is simply playing to the true believers in hismbase to stay relevant.

    David Brooks objecting (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 08:57:40 AM EST
    to someone condescendingly pretending to be the only adult in the room does not strike you as ironic?


    (Yep, that was me being condescending to you.)


    Can't please Brooks (none / 0) (#14)
    by bison on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:17:52 AM EST

    10/4 (none / 0) (#17)
    by Slado on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:24:16 AM EST
    There has been a lot of that lately and Brooks is the king of self proclaiming reasonableness.

    Tantrum (none / 0) (#2)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 08:56:58 AM EST

    Tantrum may be going a bit far, but only a bit.

    Its pretty clear that he is not serious when he drags out the corporate jet silliness.  



    What are President's (none / 0) (#55)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:28:16 PM EST
    audience ratings?  I think I read about a year ago that few people are listening....

    Let's focus the discussion (none / 0) (#3)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 08:57:16 AM EST
    Reid, Obama and Pelosi are now backing a plan that cuts no entitlements, trims the deficit and does not raise taxes. However, the POTUS has the trump card in 2012 on that point.  Much of the savings comes from ending the wars, which we all want. The other portions come from various savings that is not terribly harmful.

    It seems to me that the time spent here and elsewhere bashing the dems focuses on things that are not in fact now being proposed. There is nothing on the table by the Dems that cuts the stuff we care about.

    So can we focus on the bad guys in the room now.  It remains insane to me that 80% (rough guess) of our discussion is focused on Obama instead of the folks on the other side of the aisle.  You know the crazy ones who created this "crisis", refuse to negotiate for anything but have the luxury of a unified base behind them that doesn't spend all day bashing their leaders.

    There is a deal on the table that we should be able to support (though it is not perfect).  All three dem leaders support it.

    Perhaps we should too.

    I bash Obama for the December Deal (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 08:59:29 AM EST
    The substance of the Debt Ceiling Deal seem pretty predictable and the melodrama around it rather pointless.

    I am curious to see if Boehner can round up the votes for his latest melodrama.


    This hinges (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:12:10 AM EST
    on Boehner's willingness to do what is right for the country.

    he may have to lose his position as speaker to get a dem supported deal through the House.  If he does that, we have to go out of our way to show him support.  It would be the brave and right thing to do.  The Reid deal is there for the taking and addresses everyone's issues to some degree.

    I don't think he'll do that though and we're all f*cked.  You know my take on your Deal position.  No need to rehash that.

    With Greece about to crash for real, we need this thing to get done.  The markets really are going to go insane shortly.


    Not sure what you are talking about (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:16:16 AM EST
    but depending on a pol to sacrifice his political office is insanity.

    you appear to live (5.00 / 0) (#40)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:00:04 PM EST
    in a Steven Spielberg movie

    this one, however, represents a slight departure in that the hero & savior of the free world is not a little white boy living in the suburbs


    Since Obama's speechifying (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:07:24 AM EST
    and 'austerity' talks, who knows what he supports?

    Obama blew it a long time ago, beginning with health insurance reform.

    "Can't we all just get along?" isn't a particularly strong position from which to govern.

    When it comes to "the bad guys in the room," as you call them, I'm not sure how to answer. Seems like Obama has been one of the bad guys in the room, as well.


    Fallacy (none / 0) (#9)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:14:16 AM EST
    "Austerity talk" is the sole meme of Obama.

    ""It is clear we must enter an era of austerity; to reduce the deficit through shared sacrifice." - Pelosi

    Disagree with it if you want but painting Obama as the sole dem mentioning it is wrong.


    Repeating something I posted in the (5.00 / 6) (#24)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:35:09 AM EST
    prior thread:

    Let's talk about "austerity," shall we?  Do you truly believe that what people want is a life of austerity?  What if we called it something else - like, say, government-imposed deprivation?  Because isn't that what we're talking about?

    "Austerity" is something one chooses - like monks, for example, or others in religious life who have taken a vow of poverty, or those in the secular world who believe that the less one surrounds one's self with, the less emphasis one places on "things," and the acquisition and accumulation of them, the better one is able to focus on one's inner life.

    And how about "sacrifice?"  Now, there's a noble and moral word for you.  Another word of choice, not imposition, which is what is happening here.  No one is choosing to sacrifice their financial well-being, their ability to manage retirement and old age, and those who lose their jobs as a result of this deal or that deal I believe are going to be hard-pressed to take any satisfaction from sacrificing their jobs to the glory of deficit reduction.

    No one's "asking" us to "sacrifice" or lead a life of "austerity," ABG; this isn't going to be a choice we get to make.  No one's going to be getting a postcard where they can check off the box that says, "Yes!  I want to wait until age 67 to be eligible for Medicare" or "No, thanks!  I don't want to wait - I'll be ready at 65."  There will be no official form in the mail that asks us to choose how we want our Social Security calculated.  No, these decisions will be made for us, so, as far as I'm concerned, this is not the choice of austerity or sacrifice, it is government-imposed deprivation - because to "deprive" means "to take away."

    No one who has been in front of a camera, speaking into a microphone, standing at a podium, sitting at an anchor desk, has been honest with the American people about what this manufactured crisis will mean to them.  And when you're not honest with people, asking their opinion about what you've been telling them is more likely than not going to get you the answer you're looking for.  When people are asked, they overwhelmingly reject increases in the age of eligibility and decreases in benefits from SS and Medicare - so how bright do you have to be to understand that whatever "compromise" people say they favor does NOT include these things?

    "Most people" do not want more uncertainty in their lives.  "Most people" do not want to look back at their hard work and be told to wait longer to get less, and too bad if that means no retirement.  "Most people" do not want to realize that all the personal sacrifice they've made for their children - because most of us who are parents have sacrificed for our kids - it comes with the territory - is likely to mean little if there are no jobs for them, or the jobs there are won't allow them be financially independent.  


    You miss the point. (5.00 / 7) (#25)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:36:35 AM EST
    What austerity? Where? WHAT HAS OBAMA DONE TO LEAD?

    "Eat your peas" does not explain where cuts will be, does it? unless it's some super secret 11th dimensional kabuki chess I'm not a part of. Specifics... Boehner and Reid gave specifics. When do we EVER get specifics from the great orator/leader/Teh One/ tingle-leg causer?

    For a couple of days I've been reading in papers and blogs that congressional leaders are going around Obama in the negotiations, because of his particular characteristics in regard to inexperience and, although not stated, implied, ineptitude. This info was out there before last Friday.

    Here's what I thought: "We're on the new ship of fools, and Captain Ahab is at the helm chasing down a white whale only he thinks has importance."

    Usually I'm not this insulting or combative quite so early in the morning. However, given the intersection of my grim position and then watching/hearing the president say, in a nutshell, "Suck it up, loser," doesn't give me reason to put much credence in The Leader of The United States.


    I thought of Ahab too (5.00 / 0) (#44)
    by mjames on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:35:23 PM EST
    immediately -

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:12:41 AM EST
    Obama is the one "compromising" the welfare of millions of Americans for political gain.

    Let's restate what Obama considers a "compromise:"

    Medicare: Raising the eligibility age, imposing higher premiums for upper income beneficiaries, changing the cost-sharing structure, and shifting Medigap insurance in ways that would likely reduce first-dollar coverage. This was to generate about $250 billion in ten-year savings. This was virtually identical to what Boehner offered.

    Medicaid: Significant reductions in the federal contribution along with changes in taxes on providers, resulting in lower spending that would likely curb eligibility or benefits. This was to yield about $110 billion in savings. Boehner had sought more: About $140 billion. But that's the kind of gap ongoing negotiation could close.

    Social Security: Changing the formula for calculating cost-of-living increases in order to reduce future payouts. The idea was to close the long-term solvency gap by one-third, although it likely would have taken more than just this one reform to produce enough savings for that.

    Discretionary spending: A cut in discretionary spending equal to $1.2 trillion over ten years, some of them coming in fiscal year 2012. The remaining differences here, over the timing of such cuts, were tiny. link  

    We can now focus on the 12 members of the Super Congress who will push through Obama's compromises on the safety net programs which btw do slash benefits.

    The Deal on the Table (none / 0) (#13)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:16:46 AM EST
    Has none of the cuts you are talking about.

    It's becoming clear that many people care more about what was discussed than what is actually likely to pass (and bashing accordingly).

    If the Reid plan passes, it feels like people will pretend that it cuts entitlements just so they have something to yell about.  There is so much invested in the theme of Obama the Entitlement Slayer that people can't seem to grasp a reality where that is not the outcome of this showdown.


    It does have a 12 member panel (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:30:16 AM EST
    that is designed to relieve Congress of the responsibility of passing the cuts that Obama has offered. Included in the Reid plan:

    Establishes Joint Congressional Committee to Find Future Savings: In addition to $2.7 trillion in concrete savings, the Senate package will establish a joint, bipartisan committee, made up of 12 members, to present options for future deficit reduction. The committee's recommendations will be guaranteed an up-or-down Senate vote, without amendments, by the end of 2011.

    The theme of Obama Must Win And You Must Be Willing to Sacrifice Everything that you have been singing non stop conveniently ignores what Obama has said and done up to this point. He has said he wants to focus on the "entitlement" programs" in 2007, 2009 and numerous times during this manufactured crisis.


    If he wants to "focus (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by Amiss on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 04:14:34 PM EST
    on entitlements" shouldnt the number one focus be to pay back the 4.1 trillion that they borrowed, so it would not be in danger?

    The problem AGB (5.00 / 4) (#37)
    by cal1942 on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 10:54:33 AM EST
    is that Obama has threatened Social Security, etc. for years (2007 at least) and still offered to cut Social Security, etc. until a few days ago.

    It was Obama who held that ridiculous one day deficit summit in his first days in office and Obama who created the Deficit Commission (aka Catfood Commission) over the objection of a Congress controlled by Democrats.  It was Obama who appointed Simpson and Bowles, known supporters of slashing or eliminating Social Security and Obama who let Pete Peterson's minions operate the business of the commission. It was Obama who cut payroll taxes, weakening the Social Security Trust Fund in the infamous DEAL.  It was Obama who adopted the Republican deficit meme as soon as the GOP took over the House.

    I'm thinking it's the phones calls, letters and the Democratic Caucuses in both houses that forced him to drop Social Security, etc. cuts from the latest proposal.

    I could go on, like the tax cuts that constituted nearly 40% of the ARRA, the DEAL, etc., etc.

    It comes down to this:  Obama is not to be trusted under any circumstances.


    Tunnel vision - or bllind (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by mjames on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:40:49 PM EST
    Part of the "plan" is the 12-person commission.
    Can you not read?

    Talk about 'savings' on these (none / 0) (#60)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:38:15 PM EST
    social safety net programs is very dangerous, as savings for what?  Budget?  These programs are solvent for many years to come, so we have to be careful not to adopt the misleading mantras of those who would use misreps about general savings coming from cutting entitlement programs.

    We know that the debt and deficits (5.00 / 7) (#21)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:30:59 AM EST
    are only a problem for Republicans when they do not hold the White House, and that has certainly been true here.  But what's Obama's excuse for buying into it and trying to be better at it than Republicans?

    We know that Republicans only love big government when it allows them to wage war, invade the personal privacy of ordinary Americans, and legislate private matters that involve sex, religion and drugs; they hate bigger government that helps people.  But what's Obama's excuse for buying into much of that agenda?

    Anyone who was listening carefully to Obama, even from before he was officially a candidate for the presidency, knew that this was not someone who was going to operate from a traditional Democratic place, so many of us are not at all surprised by what has been happening; it's been a colossal disappointment to see how relatively easily the Democrats in Congress have enabled that less-than-Democratic agenda, because that really was the only hope we had to stop it.

    And anyone who was paying attention as Obama convened the Deficit Commission, whose ideas we were only saved from the first time by its failure to get the required 14 votes of approval within the committee, understands that what is most important to Obama now, in whatever deal is struck, is the creation of a new, Congressional commission, that will require only a majority commission vote before getting an up-or-down, no-amendment, no-filibuster vote by the full Congress.  We understand that that is where the safety net changes will come; that you don't see it, or refuse to acknowledge it, is just par for the course for someone so completely wedded to this man's political fortune.

    There is no crisis.  If there were a Republican in the WH, we would not be having this conversation, as the debt ceiling would have been raised, in traditional perfunctory fashion, months ago.  So, it once again makes me ask the question: why has Obama bought in, why is he determined to out-do the Republicans on this?  Just answer that, would you?

    And please don't tell me that this is what people want; I can assure you that it isn't.  They want jobs - good, well-paying ones.  Whatever deal gets done is not going to be delivering them, and in all likelihood, more people will lose their jobs.  The government does not have to live within its means - not when it has complete control over those means.  A real Democrat would have made that argument to the people.  A real Democrat would have pointed to all the many, many times the debt ceiling has been raised while Republicans held the WH and the Congress.  A real Democrat would have never, ever opened the door to cuts in the safety net - especially not now when so many are suffering.

    Republicans may have started the debt conversation, but Obama could have ended it; that would have been the responsible, Democratic thing for the leader of this nation to do, but he engaged.  Why?


    It appears that he (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Madeline on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:40:36 PM EST
    wants all to know "I'm the President', therefore I will decide, no matter what it is.

    I am struck by the repetition, him stating the BIG THINGS he wants to do, something he thinks no one else has done like take on social security, medicare; push through Obamacare, even when everyone knew the timing was questionable. Like the December Decision, when polls suggested, clearly, respondents wanted them to end, he did it anyway.

    I am not a conspiracy person but don't you really want to know why he's driven to make these decisions?


    Oh my gawd. So many here will rush to (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:52:00 PM EST
    answer your final question.  

    It's easy to say (5.00 / 0) (#56)
    by Madeline on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:31:39 PM EST
    ego, arrogance, unskilled, he's a Republican.

    He campaigned on changing Washington and appears to have envisioned being a Ronald Reagan, "changing the tone". But after almost four years, it's not working. He refuses to accept that he continues to take himself out of the debate with the "compromise, negotiate, moderate calm cool" demand.

    Gawd.  Right now, who cares.  Surely he sees this approach is not working. Why.....self destruct?


    Since the Pres. is talking about his (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:33:35 PM EST
    legacy already and since he and his wife have talked about only serving a single term, maybe he won't run for second term.  

    One can only hope (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Amiss on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 04:07:36 PM EST

    Are you a Romney supporter:) (1.33 / 6) (#97)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:54:54 PM EST
    darlin' . . . . (5.00 / 7) (#102)
    by nycstray on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 02:55:24 AM EST
    your not so subtle calling folks repubs is beginning to look a tad desperate . . . smiley face not an effective shield.

    I long for the day... (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by kdog on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 07:56:52 AM EST
    when elected representation is judged on the content of their representation and character, and not the letter after their name.

    I'm not subtle at alll, sweetie (none / 0) (#110)
    by christinep on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 01:18:28 PM EST
    Take a look at how the Repubs are openly tearing each other up now. They did not expect that to happen, did they? (And, we can only wait till their primary no-holds battles.)

    Hey--when someone plays the "grass is greener" routine a bit much, my own fightin' reaction is probably similar to yours: Call them on it. Why? Because the "I wonder what this Repub would be like, can't be any worse than what we have now" routine is about as doomed as the Repub brawl that will break out wintertime.


    I wonder, christine, if, at some point in (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 08:10:42 AM EST
    your life, after expressing your opinion or raising some points of contention, you were asked, "oh, is it that time of the month?"

    Because the question you asked Madeline is meant to accomplish the same thing: render her opinion not worth consideration.  "Oh, she must be a Romney supporter, so nothing she says is worth consideration."  Right up there with, "oh, her hormones are all out of whack, so nothing she says is worth consideration."

    In my opinion, when people resort to those kinds of responses, they have already lost the argument.

    Very petty, christine, and not worthy of someone who never fails to remind us all just how vast and deep her experience in politics and government is.


    When people play petty, it begets petty. (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by christinep on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 01:20:29 PM EST
    You are correct about my flippant comment...but, we all do it. It is not a morality play.

    One point of clarification... (none / 0) (#105)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 08:13:24 AM EST
    it seems christine's response was to Amiss, but Amiss was responding to Madeline, so that's why I framed my response to christine in terms of Madeline's comment.

    he will run (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 04:45:50 PM EST
    for a second term

    whether he serves a second term will now be determined by the number of swing voters do not vote in the general for Mitt Romney


    And let's be clear about context of 'deprivation' (5.00 / 4) (#57)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:33:02 PM EST
    it means deprivation only for those of least means.    

    Exactly, Anne (5.00 / 3) (#88)
    by Zorba on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 04:47:25 PM EST
    I was wary of him when he first burst onto the national scene (hey, I'm from the Missouri/Illinois region, and I'm probably programmed from birth to be wary of anyone coming up from Chicago politics), but I can understand why so many people were taken by him and his rhetoric initially.  However, as soon as he said that he admired Ronald Reagan, that should have set alarm bells ringing in most Democrats who were paying the least bit of attention.  

    Why the base bashes Obama (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by FreakyBeaky on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 10:02:27 AM EST
    First, because it's not his base, and he's not it's president (in the sense that he wasn't it's first choice). Perhaps I'm projecting, but he generally does not advocate what I support, and that's not new. He just advocates something that sucks marginally less that what the crazies want - and sometimes that's not good enough.

    Second, because it's obvious that you get more of what you want out of Obama by bashing him than any other way. Supporting him just puts you on the hook for budget austerity and cutting Social Security and Medicare, or you get sold down the river a la The Deal.

    If this debt ceiling thing comes out OK, and by no means am I convinced that it will, it won't be because everyone interested just said He's Got It. It will be because not everyone interested did so.


    IIRC (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by lilburro on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 10:05:57 AM EST
    your idea of "winning" coming out of this included increased tax revenues.


    Don't get me wrong. I am with Reid and Pelosi: if we get some compromise with no material revenue component i am going to be pissed, but the polls say the following:

    The country generally doesn't want to raise the debt ceiling (meaning they don't understand what is at stake)

    The country generally favors solutions in this order: 1. Cut spending/raise taxes, 2. cut spending only, and 3. raise taxes only.

    The country trusts Obama, the dems and the gop, in that order.

    If there is no deal, most will blame the republicans.

    What Reid is proposing has no tax increases, what Boehner is proposing has no tax increases.

    I am glad that it looks like the social safety net will not be cut, but I am still mindful of the fact that if one refuses to constantly move the goalposts you can't help but see that what's on the table is a deal in which the GOP win.

    And this is AFTER an extended period in which we were all pretty much agreeing that the President was outperforming and embarrassing Republicans!

    And the GOP still wins!


    Obama's approval rating on the (none / 0) (#59)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:35:29 PM EST
    economy is down to 39%; approval among African-Americans, down from 77% to mere majority, etc.

    Define "win" (none / 0) (#64)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 02:06:49 PM EST
    For example, if the freshmen crazies definition was "wanting to show the world" that they could bring government to a halt, that we would substantially cut (if not throw out) the safety net, that we would cut regulatory programs to the bone and if--via gimmicks or otherwise--mild-mannered Harry Reid devises a plan to show the world that the Repubs are not talking about reducing deficits (because we gave them what they said they wanted in the way of $$...or somewhat) and which plan depends in large part on their own accounting mechanism for military drawdown plus cuts that don't touch the programs we care about....

    In my life, I've learned that there are many ways to "win." In this case, let me offer one: Prevailing against the almost-unbounded onslaught from the right with the numbers & the arrogance they gained in November 2010. Think about how one is often termed a victor by history by surviving & thensome...esp when the odds were against that political survival.


    My usual addendum: Lets see what happens (none / 0) (#65)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 02:10:21 PM EST
    ...especially, lets see if these shenanigans by Repubs will result in taking themselves down when it will count the most (at the ballot box.)

    Translation (5.00 / 3) (#90)
    by sj on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 07:03:22 PM EST
    The end result of "Let's see what happens" is "Let's wait until it's a done deal and too late".

    You forgot something (none / 0) (#92)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 07:23:27 PM EST
    The end result of "Let's see what happens" is "Let's wait until it's a done deal and too late".

    Send your contribution now to help Obama save SS, Medicare and Medicare. And vote for Obama.


    "Let's see what happens?" (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 07:49:45 PM EST
    What, like, "we'll call 911 after the assaulter leaves the scene of the crime?"

    Heh. Exactly. (none / 0) (#98)
    by lilburro on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 10:13:59 PM EST
    If we can all agree that not touching entitlements is a win, then I am fine with that.  That has always been a win for Democrats.  In that case though, I expect never to lose...because with two wars going and the Bush tax cuts soon to expire, I never should lose.

    But, those nasty old numbers plus (none / 0) (#99)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 10:48:58 PM EST
    the thrust of the 2010 elections-do-have-consequences election did point to a loss of those things we value. We might not think it ever should happen; but, the House Crazies can be a wake-up call to what that mood was and has been.

    Shucks, I keep repeating it...keeping us honest.:)


    It amazes me (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by lilburro on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 09:28:55 AM EST
    that you think we should just roll over to the Tea Party.  Just because they have the House doesn't mean they should magically get what they want - Dems never do in such circumstances.

    I absolutely do not support entitlement cuts, ever.  And since the Tea Party was voted in based on (albeit misleading) ads about Medicare cuts, I don't think they do either.


    Compromise does not equal roll-over (none / 0) (#108)
    by christinep on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 01:08:52 PM EST
    Tell me which long-term, stable & democratic society does not have "compromise" at the center of moving forward.

    I am aware of the tempting conclusion that all Repubs are crazy, all are teapots (a good part of the time, I think that myself.) Acknowledging that the whole Repub party is being charged by the tiger they once rode in--invited by Boehner et al on thet day in the spring of 2009 to protest & storm against Dems debating ACA--a large part of me wants to see the tiger give Boehner his ironic reward. But, as I see BTD writes today in reprise of "pols will be pols," I don't just sign on to that nostrum, I firmly hold it...and, more. That means, if it perceived by a politician that Action A is better for him than Action B, the choice of A is certain. Sometimes, tho, it can be less simplistic if the Congressperson is looking down the road a bit. For example: The Boehner conundrum...Assume (1) that he wants to remain Speaker, so he needs to hold on to the House which means that he needs to keep the voters of the right & farther right together & to ensure their active participation for the party in 2012 (2) that the Tea Party Tiger is getting hungry, impatient and the Repubs are patching it together as best they can now with Boehner in charge (3) that Cantor has the Speakership in sights for himself (4) that even is there is a patching with the Boehner plan now, the Speaker has to know that he will be very vulnerable in that position in 2012 if Repubs retain the House...because (hoo, hah) he can never be rightwing enough for his hungry tiger.

    What does that mean for Dems? There are different strategies beginning with either (1) laughing & standing back as the Speaker, your enemy, goes down or (2) slyly help to keep him afloat as the alternative would be worse or (3) borrow from both approaches.  My reaction: The Dems might employ (3) because it is logical to assume that the Repubs will tear whatever band-aid they apply now & go full at each other during their primary battle.

    I agree with the goals you state here; but, that doesn't make it happen. Some people here have said it is important for a leader to get the hands dirty when the time comes...I also apply that to all of us. These "games" we see in DC are distastefull; we can stipulate to that. It takes a determined plan, with adaptable strategies & tactics to surpass it in these kinds of times.

    BTW: Noway & nohow do I support anything that looks like this Tea Party. (I prefer coffee.)


    Regrettably, compromise (none / 0) (#109)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 01:17:52 PM EST
    remains Obama's end result, not the means of achieving some end.

    Herein lies the problem. The lack of adherence to Democratic Party principles allows 'compromise' to drift to simple acquiescence.


    A political & all-around question, Jeff (none / 0) (#112)
    by christinep on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 01:37:26 PM EST
    What is your modus operandi you want something very much & there are tangible, physical, etc. obstacles in the way?  It is a leading question, I realize.

    Kinda' like the battle & the war "victories" we all heard about in terms of strategy over the years. It is great when both coincide. But....

    BTW, your comment about "end result" is a tough one. If I were guessing/mind-reading, I'd guess that the President's negotiation style has been quite influenced by Saul Alinsky. The "know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em" pragmatic political organizer & philosopher. That may appear to blend substance with process, which may be why you see a kind of process-for-process sake. My reaction: Try as we might, at a certain point in adulthood--while we can adapt behaviors based upon feedback & other stimuli--we have our styles. How we persuade, how we react, how our emotions reflect themselves, IMO, cannot be hidden for too long...esp when under a spotlight. For that reason, it makes some sense to accept the style of whatever leader (President or otherwise) that is a given at the time, and figure how best to work within that context...i.e., what persuasion style works best with that leader. Because to keep trying to say--as others here have done--"I wish he were more like" "He's so..." (sorta like the Repubs everlasting search for their new Reagan)--probably works as well as hitting the head against a wall.

    Lately, I've talked about holding cards: Well, one does have to play the hand one is given. What does walking away from the table get?


    Worst student of Alinsky ever. (none / 0) (#116)
    by caseyOR on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 02:57:31 PM EST
    Really, this is Obama channeling Saul Alinsky? Really?

     Gosh, I just can't seem to recall all the times Alinsky blustered at slumlords about the conditions in slums  and then offered to let them increase the rents if they promised to someday, maybe think about fixing the furnace.

    In all my reading I don't know how I missed that. And during my time working for an Alinsky group in Chicago I must have been absent the day they extolled the virtues of capitulation and explained the importance of starting a negotiation by offering your opponent everything they've asked for and then proceeding to offer them more.

    Wow, i really did not understand what Saul Alinsky was teaching.


    Hmmm. (none / 0) (#117)
    by christinep on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 04:37:41 PM EST
    Then I heard Alinsky incorrectly when circumstances many years ago allowed me to be at a smallish dorm dinner (15 to 20 people.) At hat dinner, he talked about individual personality, style, going-for-the-whole-loaf...and, being prepared to move ahead incrementally by consolidating smaller gains, and about how one determines where to fit in a movement. He differentiated between catalysts, early movers, negotiators, compromises...and reaching the ultimate goal.

    For a freshman in college then, the talk by a person whom I had only vaguely heard about was both an eye-opener & an ear-opener. I'll never forget an answer he gave about how one determines which change-personality one fits. (Sometime back, I described his likening to trying to scale a wall & getting over it toward your goal while meeting opposition at various points...& who works best at each place.) I remember specifically that he did not tend to get trapped by what may have happened (not to say that he said to ignore what did happen--just don't get mired in it)...he focused on each step forward...very methodical (even as his demonstrations themselves could be boisterous & attention-getting.)

    Frankly, my encounter (and what I read later about methods) lead me to quite a different conclusion than yours about Obama as a "student."
    From Alinsky's metaphor about forward movement, Obama displays a deft ability to know his positioning in that movement forward.


    Christine, (none / 0) (#118)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 06:16:57 PM EST
    a little too hypothetical for me to answer the first-- I don't think one concrete answer works. Give me a situation, and I'll try to give you an answer.

    Second, to Alinsky... this will sound harsh, but his methods never really succeeded in any significant change. There were some upturns-- the farm workers, for example, but his declaration that everything was war means that every position is equivalent.

    I think Obama may follow the Alinsky model in campaigning, but in governance, he doesn't accept that there is no hard, cold, external reality. Reality is intrinsic to what is created. The process of creating reality is more than just a process, but creates reality. By allowing anyone else to create the reality, which he does, means he has to make no intellectual effort to come up with a pragmatic solution.

    I'm trying to use Alinsky to analyze Obama's  governance here. By allowing the opposition, whether the republicans, liberals, blue dogs, yellow dogs, pointers, poodles, pit bulls, whatever, to define the debate means that Obama constrains himself to the terms of the established debate reality.

    As such, Obama fails as a follower of Alinski, fails to interpret correctly what Alinski stood for, and fails in his actions based on the previous two failures.

    Alinski himself never achieved much. Better that those groups formed lost power than became institutionalized.

    Alinski's methods, without Alinski's three main tenets, have failed Obama's approach. Obama's alliance with Geithner goes directly against Alinski's tenets and principles.

    Preaching pragmatism and practicing pragmatism don't equal the same thing.


    Let me think about your comment for awhile, Jeff (none / 0) (#119)
    by christinep on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 08:25:32 PM EST
    As to the defined reality goal, you may have a strong point as to Obama's approach.

    The other area, tho, is the incremental methods he also endorsed. (See my response above to Casey.)

    I will be thinking about it. Thanks.


    Doing the same with your (none / 0) (#120)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 08:53:31 PM EST
    comments. As I said in a different thread, I feel ill. I try to be cordial here, and if I have been snippy tonight, there are external reasons.

    I'm tired of spending one day out of three unable to urinate, and slowly feeling more and more sick to my stomach. Makes my comments less friendly.


    I understand. (none / 0) (#122)
    by christinep on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 10:30:05 PM EST
    Your comments are fine...even within the bounds of "etiquette."

    Just take care. And, think: If you didn't feel "spippy" in the circumstances...then, you would really be sick. Hold on when you have to; exhale & smaile when the days are better.


    Yoiks--I must be tired (none / 0) (#123)
    by christinep on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 10:32:46 PM EST
    "spippy" should read "snippy" and "smaile" should be "smile."  Scusi. 'Time for me to do a crossword puzzle.

    please feel free to email me for (none / 0) (#124)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 10:33:48 PM EST
    deeper discussions than might be warranted here. No joke. Might take me a while to reply, but I will, citations and all... and pointing out my own suppositions. It's the real part of academic discussion-- lives are at stake.

    Let me add that (none / 0) (#121)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 08:55:29 PM EST
    I enjoy discussing with someone on these various levels, irrespective of agreement. We make points that others read and consider.

    I am trying to understand (none / 0) (#113)
    by lilburro on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 01:50:49 PM EST
    what you mean.  That Dem strategy is oriented towards looking ahead to 2012 and expecting weak Congressional candidates to emerge from GOP primaries?  Is that what you are saying?

    My concern is that the budget battle is coming up.  The GOP will be hungry for more cuts then as well.  I don't know that this debate has led to a split in the GOP that will make the budget easier to negotiate on our part.

    We'll see what happens...I can live with Reid's plan passing.  But I think the reason it's passing is that the establishment Dems (Obama, Reid) underestimated the fact that the GOP is set on a course for destruction.

    Obama's going to have to play hardball because they won't agree to revenue increases, period.  I am wondering if he knew that before now.  I hope he knows it now.  


    2 things (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by christinep on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 02:37:10 PM EST
    (1) The barely-contained Repub imbroglio has every chance of bursting even more open in the primaries. If that happens, as you suggest, their candidates for Congress will be weakened substantially. (We have our fights among Dems...always do; but, the Repubs have contained a lot of growing differences as the Crazies took control of their national message; and, the "debt ceiling" struggle--at first & on the surface favored the Repubs in numbers. But, look around, they are being typed by the average guy now as the non-compromisers, as the obstructionists...all resulting in their internal diminishment. IOW, the Repubs are going for their own jugulars.

    (2) I can live with Reid's plan as well. In brief, given the original numbers, he has contained it well...as well as any Congressional type could. Altho the budget battle for 2012 looms, if the American public is not of a mind to see the intransigence that they so far have seen in the Repub "debt ceiling" conflict, the question might become "How does the Repub party restructure their argument to avoid looking like the uncompromising, cantankerous do-nothings...esp when their Presidential contenders will be pushed into saying something?" Ya' see, lilburro, I think that the Repub strutting may have been overplayed this summer. We'll see.


    I am talking about "win" (none / 0) (#72)
    by lilburro on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 02:44:59 PM EST
    in terms of Eric Cantor saying "No tax increases."  They also denied Obama his Grand Bargain.

    They have gotten us to a point where both plans, one that would presumably pass w/ GOP votes (Boehner's) and one that would be mostly Dem votes (Reid's), do not require revenue increases at all and cut trillions.  The other options are default or the 14th Amendment.

    All of these options (with the exception of the 14th Amendment) are very GOP friendly.

    Reid's plan is the only one (with the exception of the 14th Amendment) that is somewhat Dem friendly...and only because it exists in the context of a supposedly offered Grand Bargain that involved raising the Medicare eligibility age, etc.


    The Super Congress of 12 Caesars can pick any (none / 0) (#75)
    by jawbone on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 03:07:53 PM EST
    area they wish to make cuts.

    This is going to be Obama's third bite of the SocSec/MM apple.

    We can hope they won't touch entitlements. We have zero guarantee.


    Brzezinski comments (none / 0) (#10)
    by bison on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:14:46 AM EST
    Who would have thought (none / 0) (#31)
    by brodie on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 10:12:16 AM EST
    30 yrs ago or even 3 yrs ago that the former cold war hardliner Zbig would end up playing the economic justice-advocating liberal Democrat in a weird play where the country's first AA president and nominally a Dem ends up governing more like an Eisenhower Republican?

    Also people should catch the next segment w/The Nation's Katrina VDH who I think was a very strong and proud Obama backer in the 2008 cycle.  Now she's saying Obama has been "too kumbaya" in the negotiations with the Repubs.  That's quite an admission from a major liberal media person firmly in O's camp.  It will be interesting to check out Rachel Maddow and Randi Rhodes and see whether they are beginning to doubt, too.


    There are times to fight (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 10:35:59 AM EST
    I had hoped that after the disasterous negotiations dealing with the stimulus bill and HCR, Obama would abandon his vision of bipartisanship in Washington. So much for hope!

    His premise that saner, more responsible minds would rise to the ocassion in DC is a total joke. McConnell has flat out said he would do everything within his power to make Obama look bad. This comes from their Senare leader. To continue to play their game is pointless at this point.

    Republican want a Democrat's stamp on the destruction of the New Deal. They think they have a willing partner in Obama. They won't settle for less until he shuts the door.


    I've tried to listen/watch (none / 0) (#80)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 03:36:16 PM EST
    on a few occasions, but couldn't get it to play. Anyone have a synopsis?

    If ya get bored... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:16:44 AM EST
    of my concert reviews please advise, but I gotta tell y'all about the mighty Toots!  We stew over enough bad news, and there is no shortage of that right? Lets not forget the positive.

    A slice of Funky Kingston in Brooklyn last night, my dogs are barking from skanking so much.  The best way I can describe Toots is he is the Jamaican James Brown...the dude is a master showman. And the current Maytals incarnation held the sh*t down behind, I still got BASS buzzin' in my ears.  In a word, Irie.  

    Thanks Toots, I do believe every word you say:)

    Oh stewardess! I speak jive. (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:20:25 PM EST
    How 'bout you holmes? (none / 0) (#61)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:44:54 PM EST
    Any good live ear candy lately?

    Further doing a run at the Greek in October, you and Mrs. Sarc should get on that.  I'm not the biggest Deadhead, but they are in the zone right now dude...phenomenal.


    And I haven't seen Phil and Bob since 1987. Very tempting.

    Mr. Weir... (none / 0) (#74)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 02:51:56 PM EST
    did Garcia duty on "Sugaree", his voice sounds great.

    He joined Levon and the gang for "Deep Elem Blues" during their set...oh sweet mama!


    Keep your money in your shoes. (none / 0) (#76)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 03:23:06 PM EST
    Oh, and Furthermore, they're at The Greek (none / 0) (#77)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 03:24:25 PM EST
    on my b-day.

    Sounds like a no-brainer... (none / 0) (#79)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 03:31:06 PM EST
    drop some hints for a primo b-day present.

    Always enjoy (none / 0) (#18)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:29:55 AM EST
    and they increase my vocabulary when I need to hit up the urban dictionary to find words or phrases unknown to a suburban dwelling old timer.

    Nice to give back... (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:37:07 AM EST
    in the edumacation dept., I take so much more than I give:)

    And I can't be the only one bored with debt ceiling this, debt ceiling that...you'd think we'd have something to show for all this debt with cathedral ceilings except war and grift...sure as hell ain't enough jobs or affordable health care or real investment.


    "[A]ll this debt with cathedral (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 10:29:32 AM EST
    ceilings."  Excellent.  

    I was most impressed by (none / 0) (#39)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 11:52:30 AM EST
    "my dogs are barking from skanking so much"

    It is a most worthy addition from a linguistinator poet such as kdog. What I wasn't able to decipher is whether the musical selection from last night was traditional, 2-Tone, or 3rd Wave.


    I gather from the clip this was the theme (none / 0) (#43)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:29:01 PM EST
    song for a TV show.  Which one?

    Also, after listening to clip, the meaning of this phrase becomes clear:

    And the current Maytals incarnation held the sh*t down behind

    Toots is Roots... (none / 0) (#50)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:54:21 PM EST
    what I consider traditional Jamaican ska reggae music.

    For those who have seen the legendary film, "The Harder They Come", you might remember Toots from the scene in the studio recording another of his many hits, "Sweet & Dandy".

    But his most memorable tunes are "Pressure Drop" and, most apt for Talkleft, "54-46 That's My Number".  Apt because 5446 was Toots prisoner number when he was locked up..."and right now, somebody else has that number."

    Ain't that the truth Toots.


    Perhaps correctional departments could make (none / 0) (#53)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:21:43 PM EST
    some $$ by retiring numbers.  

    Most unsavory... (none / 0) (#54)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:28:04 PM EST
    but surely profitable, considering all the Humanity Hall of Fame members who spent time behind bars.

    The song is dated though...I'd love to live in a country where there were so few prisoners that ID numbers are only 4 digits!


    Business as usual (none / 0) (#16)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:23:15 AM EST
    I do think this whole scenario is just theater. The corporate warlords that control the cash flow to both parties would not be happy if they woke up the next morning to find the markets have crashed.

    Business prefers a gridlock in Congress because it maintains their status quo. (But not at their expense).

    I expect the ceiling will be increased and any major policy changes will be resurrected in next year's election cycle.

    As for Brooks, being an absolute hypocrite is a minimum requirement for any right winger.

    Sounds about right... (none / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:30:48 AM EST
    whatever grifters want, grifters get...unless they plan on making their next blood money score on shorts the ceiling will be raised.

    I'm going to bet against you (none / 0) (#30)
    by FreakyBeaky on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 10:11:06 AM EST
    I don't think this is just theater. The corporate warlords threw their weight behind the crazy Republicans, thinking they would control them. Now they find that they don't. Oops.

    I left a half-snark comment on another blog some months ago to the effect that the R's would refuse to raise the debt ceiling, thus causing economic chaos on purpose, and then attempt to seize absolute power. We're on track so far ...


    Obama's fighting for the support of the banksters (none / 0) (#33)
    by Dan the Man on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 10:27:08 AM EST
    The banksters and other rich people didn't like Obama last year because even though he said a lot of nice things about them, he didn't say enough.  Now Obama's trying to woo them back by saying they would lose a lot of money because the Republicans don't care if the US defaults.  This is why Obama's trying so hard - he wants the banksters to love him again.

    Strangely, Obama doesn't realize the best way for him to win the bankster's is to use the 14th amendment constitutional option.  One could argue doing so violates the Constitution and the rule of law but neither Obama nor the banksters worry about those things when it suits them.  Unfortunately, obama's too constricted by his right-wing ideological orthodoxy to take the most obvious action to win back the bankster's love.


    Given that the Republicans are a bunch (none / 0) (#23)
    by tigercourse on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:34:19 AM EST
    of psychotic 8 year olds who are prepared to burn the house down if they don't get their way, Obama might be right.

    He's the adult who couldn't in any way control a bunch of terrible kids.

    Gov. Brown nominates Goodwin Liu (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:13:44 PM EST
    to California Supreme Court.  Gutsy.  But Latino activists are enraged.  LAT

    Mildly interesting the latest Dem. (none / 0) (#62)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:55:22 PM EST
    Congressman resignation, called for by Nancy Pelosi, is garnering zilch media coverage compared to Weiner's.  

    Maybe if his name was David Wang? (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 02:04:47 PM EST
    That is kinda weird, and far more questionable behavior than Weiner.

    Maybe because (none / 0) (#66)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 02:14:23 PM EST
    There is a question as to his mental stability?

    He's in Congress... (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 02:41:03 PM EST
    mental instability goes without saying:)

    True. :) (none / 0) (#73)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 02:49:13 PM EST
    But I mean really.

    Is he bi-polar? Always difficult to find the right (none / 0) (#78)
    by jawbone on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 03:29:17 PM EST
    meds for that.

    Now I feel bad for him, especially when Pelosi ought to know about the upa and downs of mental problems.  Why not a bit of medical leave -- why just demand he resign?

    He's been in the House since 2000 -- doesn't past cred have any weight nowadays?


    Past cred? (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 03:40:36 PM EST
    forget it, not with "unwanted sexual encounter" and "friend's teenage daughter" in the same sentence.

    But what do I know, it is the "acceptable" everyday business behavior of congress-critters that I find most deplorable.


    No pictures (none / 0) (#68)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 02:26:17 PM EST
    We need pictures, otherwise it's all just a bunch of words :)

    There are supposedly... (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 02:42:31 PM EST
    tiger costume pics, but I guess Rupert's been too busy with his own scandal to play in other's muck.

    He's from Oregon, (none / 0) (#67)
    by shoephone on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 02:20:52 PM EST
    a state most Americans don't pay much attention to. Even someone like me, who does pay attention to NW politics, had never heard of him until last month. Plus, between the slaughter in Norway and the debt "crisis" there's not a lot of interest in a scandal that didn't get any coverage to begin with. Unless there are any emails, photos, or compromising tweets, it's unlikely to ring alarms in the mainstream media.

    Here in Oregon we've been following (none / 0) (#86)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 04:31:56 PM EST
    the sorry saga of the fall of David Wu since this past winter. This current revelation is just the final straw.

    Yes, there was the ill-advised picture of himself in a tiger costume that Wu tweeted to way too wide a circle of people (please, people, twitter is not always your friend). There was his odd behavior during 2010 campaign that caused his staff to basically shut it down at the end just before election day. Some particularly weird behavior at a campaign event was blamed on Wu's having taken pain meds belonging to someone else and then having what was claimed to be a bad reaction. And then a big chunk of his staff up and quit.

    This current situation, what is being called aggressive and unwanted sexual advances to the 18 year old daughter of a longtime donor, is just too much like the revelations of a few years ago that, while in college, Wu tried to physically force his girlfriend to have sex. I don't know why it is always worded that way (physically force). It sounds to me like attempted rape. He was not prosecuted, but Stanford took some kind of disciplinary action at the time.

    Wu has never been an especially effective representative. And the past few years have seen him ever more marginalized in Congress due to his behavior.

    The constant drip drip of these revelations had many wondering when the final shoe would drop. Well, it just did. I am not someone who calls for resignation at the first sign of human foible, but it is past time for him to go.


    Per CNN headlines on my "smart" (none / 0) (#91)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 07:21:30 PM EST
    phone, Congress persons" phone lines and e-mail jammed due to constituents, following President's speech last night.  Wonder what they wanted to say?

    Hands off SS, Medicare and Medicaid (5.00 / 3) (#93)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 07:27:06 PM EST
    Definitely can't get though to relay my message.

    But, but, but . . . The President instructed (none / 0) (#94)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 07:30:47 PM EST
    us to call and ask Congress for PPUS!

    I was never good at following (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 07:54:46 PM EST
    instructions that I disagreed with. I'm sure Obama had his OFA's calling non stop before the lines closed down. He also has bamboozled a whole lot of folks. This piece of wisdom {bangs head on desk} from the co-director from a liberal group {?}, Campaign for America's Future.

    "Many liberal Democrats are hoping that Obama can pivot from defending Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid to putting forward his own plans for creating jobs," the group's co-director Roger Hickey said.

    As BTD is known to say, We are so scr&wed.