Saturday News and Open Thread

The U.S. has filed a 90 page superseding indictment against Kim DotCom and the other Megaupload defendants, adding several wire fraud and copyright infringement charges. The U.S. has seized $50 million from the defendants so far. [More...]

Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces yet another criminal inquiry, this time related to prostitution. He's been "summoned to appear" for questioning.

India has decided to proceed with charges against David Coleman Headley, Tahawwur Rana and others in the 2008 Mumbai attacks and issued extradition warrants. Headley's U.S. plea agreement promises no extradition. Rana, who was found guilty of the Danish attack and conspiring with LeT, was found not guilty of the Mumbai attacks at his trial in Chicago and is awaiting sentencing. Article 6 of the U.S.-India Extradition Treaty says "Extradition shall not be granted when the person sought has been convicted or acquitted in the Requested State for the offense for which extradition is requested."

Big Tent Democrat won't be around this weekend but will be back to posting next week.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    at least a nmonth (5.00 / 6) (#3)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 02:29:43 PM EST
    before surgery, if my insurance doesn't screw up again. Getting mega-antibiotic treatments to get me well enough to be exposed to MRSA.

    Heh, I think I'm turning into a glass 3/4 empty with polluted water kind f guy...

    Hang in there, kiddo. (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by caseyOR on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 02:39:50 PM EST
    The upside is that the insurance company is, at the very least, willing to once again take your money. That is an improvement over their previous position that you did not exist to them.

    And, hey, if I win the Powerball lottery tonight I'll send you the cash for your treatment. It's the least a captain can do for a beloved crew-mate.


    Thanks, Cap'n. (none / 0) (#7)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 02:41:49 PM EST
    Did you check out Belize any more?

    Stil in the research stage. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by caseyOR on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 02:45:57 PM EST
    I do know that, even though Medicare only covers Americans for medical care in the United States, Social Security will send you your money anywhere. You don't have to be living stateside to collect SS benefits.

    If Belize has any kind of decent healthcare system, that ups its favorability points as a pirate crew home port.


    Hey (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 04:10:08 PM EST
    think positive: you're a lot closer to getting surgery than you were a few weeks ago. Hurray!!!
    It's odd that you were diagnosed before me and now are starting your treatment after i've completed mine. I hope your treatment goes as smoothly as mine did for the most part but I am now finding out that they will never tell you how bad the treatment really is.

    Sorry (none / 0) (#46)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:29:38 PM EST
    if this sounded off.

    No...not at all (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 07:24:14 PM EST
    slip of the hand...click...oops

    Thoughts are with you Jeff (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 04:22:34 PM EST
    I know this has been drawn out and challenging, unnecessarily at times.

    Sending good thoughts your way, my man (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Dadler on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 04:50:22 PM EST
    As for the 3/4 empty, look at it this way: at least you got a glass.  When you're down to a paper cup you scrounge outta the trash, then you know it's time to fold. ;-) Hang tough, you're gonna beat this sh*t.  

    Sending all the (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Zorba on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 05:44:29 PM EST
    prayers and positive energy your way that I can, my brother.  Hang tough- you'll get through this!

    Good luck! (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by observed on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 08:32:43 PM EST
    You have people on many continents and many climate zones pulling for you.

    Mr. Deity and his Son (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by Edger on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 05:16:02 PM EST
    who are the only 2 1%'ers in the kingdom and run the whole shebang as well as being the guys who send people to Hell and torture people because they claim to "love" them, are confronted by the 99.9999999999999%'ers of the Occupy Heaven Movement who aren't happy anymore living under the rule of an out of touch king.

    Once upon a time there were (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:06:38 PM EST
    the Reagan Democrats, and now there are the Obama Republicans.  With as much outrageous repulsive rightwing hatred for our current President that is out there, you would think I would be grateful for a segment of Conservatives that wasn't just a bunch of psychotic racist bigots.  It doesn't bring me much joy though that if you aren't a psychotic racist bigot and you are a Conservative, Obama is your man.

    Respect and Presidencies are earned (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:24:58 PM EST

    At least in this country up to now (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:25:28 PM EST
    Right, but apparently (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by Edger on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 07:00:31 PM EST
    he can't "earn" it unless he has a 100% approval rating first, and is not stressed thinking about the 2012 election.

    Or until his party controls the house and senate again like they did until the 2010 midterms when he was unable to convince enough people that his batsh*t crazy drive for bipartisanship with batsh*t crazy republicans was the only way to go.

    He's not a king or a miracle worker, after all.

    He can't be a good leader unless Boehner and the republicans let him be a good leader.


    How American voters can redeem themselves (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by NYShooter on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 10:44:36 PM EST
    Deny Obama a second term


    Elect veto proof Democratic majorities in both houses. (hopefully, with the aid of some well placed primaries)

    How's that for sending a message?


    You better be happy (none / 0) (#83)
    by CoralGables on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 10:58:20 PM EST
    with gaining a couple House Seats, losing a couple Senate Seats, and holding the White House. Anything else is wishful thinking.

    No, YOU better be happy (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by NYShooter on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 09:50:06 AM EST
    With your crummy couple of seats....one way, or the other.

    But, since this is my post, and my fantasy, I'd suggest you pop open a nice warm, flat can of beer and watch some nice Sunday reruns about....whatever.

    Now, if my fellow Merlins and Machiavellians will indulge me, just think what my bubble, bubble, toil and trouble scenario would mean.

    Obama, by being thrown out, would learn, "you messed with us Libs one too many times, bub." Or, as Miracle Max (Billy Crystal), in "The Princess Bride," said, "Humiliations galore."

    And, with a responsive, rejuvenated, reinvigorated D. Congress firmly in place, the newly elected, "figure head" R. President might as well spend his term "in the head."

    Now, I know there's been a lot of good neighbored ribbing being tossed around about Obama's Matrix-like Presidency,  his 11th. Dimensional chess, and all that. But guess what....he gets the last laugh, after all.

    Just think of his legacy. By pretending to screw up his first (and only) term as President, and through his pretend weakness, the R's were goaded into bashing him so mercifully, and continuously, that the Crazy Bat$hit was bound to come out, and so scare the B'Jesus out of the electorate that every Liberal Democrat in the country gets voted in. Only by screwing up his first four years so thoroughly could you get a blowout Democratic victory (Sans the President) and swear in the most Progressive Congress in a century.

    Ole Barack Obama.....we owe you an apology.


    Enjoy (none / 0) (#94)
    by CoralGables on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 09:53:10 AM EST
    your fantasy and maybe lay off the appletinis. Tomorrow is Monday. Back to real life.

    MKKS makes some good points, MT (none / 0) (#75)
    by christinep on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 09:03:38 PM EST
    Apart from various relationships, friendships on this blog, he makes some darn good points. Without wanting to be provocative, we are getting close to the "fish or cut bait time."  We are getting close to the Romney or Santorum (maybe both) time or the Democratic Party & Obama time.  

    Yes, there are legitimate issues in a number of areas. And, it isn't a phony-baloney threat on my part to say to within a few months, we can either decide to go one way or another...or the decision will be made for us. Its hard; but, its real.

    Now, I'll be quiet for awhile on this score....


    With respect, christine (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by sj on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 11:14:29 PM EST
    within a few months, we can either decide to go one way or another...or the decision will be made for us.

    I have been saying for some time that I have long ago swallowed the bitter pill of the decision being made for me.  I can never support a Republican.  Nor can I support the inevitable Democratic candidate.  Whichever one takes office (likely Obama) it will be without my help.


    As If any of us will be supporting (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 08:49:05 AM EST
    Romney or Santorum when the time comes.  Wake me when the Republicans have a candidate, which is a hopeless mess at this point and not because they have two glittering, astute, prize specimen candidates either who are duking it out.

    Kudos (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 11:43:45 AM EST
    To christenep, MKS and others for stepping up here.  I know for a fact that they are not mindless Obama drones because they have disagreed with my Obama defenses on a number of issues.

    Anne would be more credible if she ever said anything positive about Obama. Ditto Edger.  But they have spent the last three years blasting his every single policy or action.  When DADT was repealed, Obama didn't do it the right way.  When troops in Iraq were brought home it wasn't quite fast enough.  When Obama nominated two women to the court, they weren't exactly the right kind of women.

    We are getting down to crunch time and if we have policy we want Obama to take seriously, we need to focus our message and be credible.  There is no need for him to listen or pay any attention to groups who will never give him any credit and whose entire focus is on blasting him at every turn.

    It is time for reasonable progressives to separate themselves from the 5-8% of the progressives who will never be satisfied with anything and have completely unreasonable expectations.

    I am glad that this is happening.


    Santorum claims mainline Protestantism ... (5.00 / 0) (#48)
    by Yman on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:31:36 PM EST
    has "is gone from the world of Christianity" in 2008 speech at Ave Maria University.

    "We all know that this country was founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic. But the Judeo-Christian ethic -- sure the Catholics had some influence -- but this was a Protestant country," said Santorum. "And the Protestant ethic, mainstream, mainline Protestantism, and of course we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is a shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it."

    If only that gets out (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Zorba on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:50:23 PM EST
    to the "mainstream media," that will cost him some votes among the Protestants!  Of course, many of the Evangelicals who like him will rationalize that they aren't the Protestants he was talking about.  

    What is he talking about.... (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by desertswine on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 07:25:59 PM EST
    Santorum doesn't make any sense to me, ever, about anything.  He's got nothing.

    Mr. Santorum is in the wrong profession (none / 0) (#77)
    by christinep on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 09:15:37 PM EST
    He seems fond of talking about religious pronouncements in a number of areas. Would it have been better for him to enter the clergy...and then, he could talk about the subject as much as he wants.

    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 09:33:07 PM EST
    but he's Catholic remember? And I don't think the Catholic Church allows their clergy to get married.

    Episcopal Priests (none / 0) (#81)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 10:08:28 PM EST
    who have converted to Catholicism and were married have been allowed to be priests in the Catholic Church, or so I heard.....

    True, but sort of like what your (none / 0) (#103)
    by KeysDan on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 11:38:49 AM EST
    definition of is is.  The Catholic Church does not allow former Anglican/Episcopal priests who convert to get married, but it does (on a case by case basis) allow married Anglican/Episcopal priests to become Roman Catholic priests.

    Taking advantage of the divisions in the Anglican Church, brought to a head with the Episcopal Church's elevation of V Gene Robinson as the first openly gay bishop, along with issues such as same sex marriage and women clergy, the Pope welcomed "traditionalists" and made it easier, than in the past, for Anglican priests to become Catholic priests.

    If the wife of a former Anglican priest, and now a Catholic priest dies, that priest can't re-marry.  In no case can a married man become bishop, and a married Anglican bishop is excluded from retaining that post after becoming a Roman Catholic priest.


    Just agreeing with you (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Edger on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:57:05 PM EST
    After all, the dems did such a fantastic job last time they controlled congress I'm not surprised you want to run on their record...

    Are you really going to support (none / 0) (#55)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:58:47 PM EST
    demonstrations at the Democratic convention?

    What is wrong with demonstrations? (5.00 / 4) (#69)
    by Anne on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 08:16:21 PM EST
    What is wrong with carrying a sign that expresses what you want and expect from Democrats?

    I mean, it's not like they pay any attention to the letters, faxes, e-mails and phone calls, so what's left?  Meek acceptance that the only thing they want from us is our vote, and for that we should expect nothing in return?

    You asked what Democratic presidents I approved of.  Well, I wasn't alive for FDR or Truman.  I was 7 when JFK was elected.  Didn't care for Carter.  When Clinton was elected, I voted for him with some enthusiasm, but I had two young kids and was working and, while I tried to keep up, wasn't as engaged as I am now.  And let's face it, with Clinton, it was one investigation after another, which sucked a lot of attention and focus away from governance.  I was a staunch defender of Clinton, though - I thought he did some good things, and while he triangulated a lot, it seemed to me it was more in service of what he wanted than in service to the other side.  I voted for Gore and for Kerry, but that was the beginning of doing it because of the Court, not so much because I was terribly enthusiastic about either one.

    Now, I've explained my lack of presidential vote in 2008 many, many times.  You like to leave out the part where I didn't just not vote for Obama, I didn't vote for anyone.  I didn't feel there was a candidate of any party who was worthy of the job.  I think I'm entitled to that opinion, and to act accordingly.

    Unlike you, I haven't been keeping score on the occasions when someone did or didn't say something positive, but I know that I have on several occasions said that Obama did the right thing - not many, but there have been a few.

    But getting back to demonstrations, this is America, where we're supposed to be able to exercise our right to assemble and our right to speak; seems like the site of the convention, of the biggest political event that precedes the exercise of our right to vote is an appropriate time and an appropriate place to do that.

    And lest you think I'm advocating violence, let me disabuse you of that notion - I'm not.

    What is it that you're so afraid of if demonstrations take place - that the message might be that we're not united?  Well, we're not, so why pretend otherwise?

    Maybe you have some good ideas for how we get some progressive, Democratic policy out of this president and this Congress that isn't just a sop to election-year politics and pandering to all these interest groups.

    Can't wait to hear them.


    Demonstrations by Leftists (none / 0) (#72)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 08:47:35 PM EST
    at Democratic conventions come to no good....

    Go ahead and knock yourself out opposing a Democratic President.  Of course you have that right, but I have the right to say it is misguided and playing into Rove's hands.

    You discourage liberals from voting for Obama.  That is destrucitve.

    The Occupy movement did just fine without trying to defeat Obama......They changed, as they say, the debate.......No need to turn that sentiment into an anti-Obama one.

    Your overt opposition to Obama does not help progressive causes.....

    If you really believe in BTD's view that you should support policies rather than politicians, I would extend that to: you should oppose policies instead of politicians.  In your writing, Anne, I do not see all that much policy discussion as much as the latest example of how disappointed your are in Obama.  If you are interested in policy, then perhaps a policy directed, as opposed to an anti-Obama centered, discussion would be helpful.  It is done all the time by various bloggers and commentators even on this blog.


    You can keep saying that I am opposed to (5.00 / 5) (#80)
    by Anne on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 10:04:35 PM EST
    Obama, but I have repeatedly said that it's about his policy and agenda, not him.  I don't know him - all he represents to me is what he advocates for and what he opposes, what he does as opposed to what he says.

    Of all the commenters here, I would rank you low on the likes-to-discuss-policy chart, because I don't see much from you except constant hectoring that takes the form of, "well, we know you don't support Obama, so..." or "well, I guess you'll be voting for a Republican."

    I discuss policy all the time, MKS - which you don't read.  I want to discuss the foreclosure fraud settlement, the abrogation of privacy rights, indefinite detention, health care, use of predator drones - I bring information on these things here all the time.  Instead of engaging, what do you do?  Give me the same old line: "nothing Obama does is good enough for you."

    That's not debate, and it's certainly not discussion - it's just personal jabbing designed to get me - or anyone else who offers anything similar - to go away.

    Where were you on some of these issues when Bush was president?  Given that Obama has accepted and extended much of the Bush policy, I have no idea why you would defend it now if you didn't defend it then.  Which makes you the one who puts party and politicians over policy, not me.

    I'm actually a little embarrassed for you; trying to turn this all on its head and make me the one who isn't about policy is just sad, and really, really cheap.


    It does sound like (none / 0) (#74)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 08:57:21 PM EST
    you weren't happy with Gore, Kerry or Obama.

    Perhaps you do fit best supporting third party candidates like Nader....but that means you are basically opting out......


    I would rather be someone who (5.00 / 3) (#112)
    by Anne on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:42:35 PM EST
    demands the impossible than someone who defends the mediocre path of least resistance.

    I would rather be someone who believes in liberal policy as a true force for the greater good than someone who is afraid to reach for the stars and decides to settle for whatever those in power deign to offer me.

    I would rather be someone whose sense of right and wrong is not based in party or personality, than someone who can find ways to defend what he or she opposed only a few short years ago - when it was Republican-based.

    The reality is, as I stated in another comment, that you and MKS and christine may not like having to keep being reminded of the facts and forced to look at the disconnect between words and actions and have BS called on the endless excuses and justifications for why this administration and the current crop of Congressional Democrats keep finding ways to abandon the people they were elected to serve, but it is people like me, and Edger and sj and Tracy and casey and jeff and Zorba and lentinel and Dr. Molly, and every other person here and many, many more all over this country, who believe we have something important and relevant and honest to say, and we're not going to stop just because it irritates you.

    The harder you try to live in a state of denial is how much harder we will endeavor to bring reality and truth to the table.

    Put on your big boy pants and deal with it.  Find something substantive to say instead of some variation of "nothing is good enough for you," because that's not an answer, that's deflection.

    Here is where your perspective is skewed (none / 0) (#125)
    by vicndabx on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:12:37 PM EST
    you view whatever change that is made as

    the mediocre path of least resistance

    When in reality it was extremely hard to get the various factions our politicians represent to agree to the change in the first place.


    I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by sj on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 08:44:41 PM EST
    Her perspective, as I understand it, isn't skewed at all.  

    It is one thing to not succeed or be hamstrung by the various factions.  A worthy battle is a testament to one's values.  Even when it yields limited results.

    It is quite another thing to not even try.  That is the mediocre path of least resistance.  It is the cave-in-advance that is not worthy of respect.  It appears that the Administration is so focused on not wanting to appear to have "lost" a battle that they are perfectly willing to cede the war.  They look like bigger losers to me than they would have had there actually been a principled stand.  The only principle appears to be appeasement to what should be the opposition.

    They throw up the figurative hands and say that's the best they could do.  Under the circumstances.  But actually, I don't think they're losing at all.  I think they are getting exactly the result they want.  Apparently they think you can fool most of the people all of the time.


    I love Maya Rudolph (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by loveed on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:47:59 PM EST
     A lot of people do not know that she is black. Even black people.
     She is the daughter of one of my favorite singers Minnie Ripperton. She died much to soon from cancer.
     She was the host of SNL last night. It's been a long time since I've watched a whole show, but it was hilarious.
     Here is a couple of clips.
    link also link

     SNL made some good points.

    Oh my gosh (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by shoephone on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 09:49:13 PM EST
    I was a camp counselor at a Los Angeles day camp in 1979, when one of our little campers had to leave in the middle of the summer session. Her mother was Minnie Ripperton, and Minnie had just died the day before of brain cancer. I guess Maya must have been that camper. Adorable little girl.

    Wow (none / 0) (#157)
    by loveed on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:11:00 PM EST
    Such a small world.

    I have a tooth issue and its Saturday ;( (4.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 04:26:33 PM EST
    I had a horrible year at the dentist when I was five, it went on for months and months and then Colorado Springs fluoridated the water.  That changed everything for many of us.  I always had to stay on top of my teeth too, but I think I got superior adult teeth out of the deal when compared to what mother nature really had in mind for me.  Water is not fluoridated here.  I suppose it was only a matter of time.  I hope this isn't the first of a series of teeth failures.

    No dentist around (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edger on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 04:27:28 PM EST
    on Saturdays?

    Nopus (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 04:28:50 PM EST
    The sidewalks aren't even out

    Oh... (none / 0) (#19)
    by Edger on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 04:31:00 PM EST

    Scratches head ;-)


    Ibuprofen is very very kind to me (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 04:38:24 PM EST
    The NSAIDs work for me in amazing ways.  Aleve is wonderful too.  Works better for me than narcotic anything.  If I think an infection is working in the area I've got more than a bit of antibiotic substances around here because of the pooches.  I get them at Jeffers.  In this constant damp, a few infections have shown up from time to time.  I suppose if they are good enough for the dogs :)  It's all common stuff.

    Wild (none / 0) (#23)
    by Edger on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 04:50:13 PM EST
    Oregano Oil is good too. Though easier to stand if you like really hot spicy food It's antibiotic also...

    Didn't know this (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 05:55:36 PM EST
    And Oregano is perennial here.  I didn't know it had antibiotic qualities.

    There are differences (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Edger on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:03:11 PM EST
    apparently between wild and, I guess, domesticated, strains of it.

    Here's a bit about it, but this is a  store that sells it so you might want to do some more googling.

    I've used it in the past for things like sore throats, etc... and I got to actually like the superhot taste of it. It BURNS. ;-)


    This is old news (none / 0) (#2)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 02:27:48 PM EST
    and what happens with a Republican House.

    And also, sadly, what happens nowadays (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by caseyOR on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 02:32:36 PM EST
    with a Democratic President and a Democratic Senate. Unions would be better off focusing their money and energy only on specific candidates that, you know, support the American worker.

    Cut the ties to the Democratic Party. Clearly the Party has moved on from labor, seemingly having put labor in the same boat as women, the "where else are they gonna go?" boat.

    Hey, unions, take your money and run.


    This bill would have never passed (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 02:36:31 PM EST
    if Pelosi were Speaker.

    When you lose the House, you lose power and some bad legislation will get through.   You can't stop it all--the messy nature of compromise makes that goal unrealistic.


    You just keep telling yourself that. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by caseyOR on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 02:42:45 PM EST
    Sometimes self-delusion is all that gets us through.

    Sure, with Pelosi as speaker, this would not have passed. Still, it passed a Democratic Senate. A GOP controlled Senate, faced with a union-friendly bill passed by a Dem. House, would never have gone along like Harry Reid and Company have done.


    Not delusion (none / 0) (#9)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 02:44:32 PM EST
    Just being realistic.

    The idea that a solidly Republican House will get no wins at all is completely naive.  


    And the idea that a Senate controlled (5.00 / 5) (#11)
    by caseyOR on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 02:47:52 PM EST
    by Democrats would stand firm in its support of American workers is clearly also naive.

    Perhaps we might want to give (none / 0) (#13)
    by christinep on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 03:17:53 PM EST
    some credence to what the Unions determine.  Whom do the Unions support--specifically & in general--and their stated reasons.  Without being too coy, we know the answer to that...despite what some here might say. And, without being unduly snippy, I'd add that the Unions have the actual intelligence in terms of what has transpired and in terms of their own abilities to make intelligent endorsements.  

    As the daughter of a strong machinists union Dad, the relative of a number of a number of UMW members, and as an organizer of the first local AFGE for EPA regional employees...I can tell you that aim is to get actual, real results.  To name a few: Lily Ledbetter equal pay legislation, recess appointment of 2 good NLRB members (a key ingredient to ensuring progress as to interpretation of labor disputes), the principal voice & vote on several occasions for extending unemployment compensation thru the inherited recession, and the cornucopia for job increases in Michigan & related Mid-west states that the GM bailout became, etc.

    As important as you think it is to state your statement, it is equally important to me to push back with a different perspective.  BTW, it is critical for the labor movement & supporters such as yourself, caseyOR, to keep pushing. But, it is just as worthwhile to recognize from time to time what has been accomplished in the past three years--during the anti-organization force leading up to Walker & Kasich.  Heck, at this point, I'd like to see a "commendation" for the overreach of those Repub midwestern Governors who inadvertently reinvigorated the Unions, their supporters, and their $$$ contributors.


    Point of information about Ledbetter. (5.00 / 5) (#26)
    by caseyOR on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 05:07:44 PM EST
    The Lily Ledbetter Act did not do much of anything to advance he cause of pay equity. Ledbetter simply fixes a technical glitch concerning the timeline to fickle suit. It does nothing to mandate equal pay, nothing to bring some transparency to pay rates within a business or industry, nothing to make it easier for women to get the information needed to file a lawsuit. It-just-fixes-the-timeline-glitch.

    And that is the constant citing of Ledbetter as some kind of major achievement by Obama for women and labor is such a crock. Is it good that Ledbetter passed? Of course. Did it make any significant and positive changes to wage inequity? No.

    So why does it get such big play from Obama and his supporters? Because it is just about the only damn thing this administration has done for working women, or for women at all, for that matter.


    You are correct, but (5.00 / 0) (#40)
    by christinep on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:13:34 PM EST
    Ledbetter was significant in that the legislative fix--necessary because of the Supreme Court's constrained view of filing time in discrimination cases--was needed in situations all too common when info about one's pay situation comes to light after long time has passed. (Over the years, that has been an all too typical reality in the workplace for women...a reality that had a real impact on $$$ equality.)

    For me, seeing two women elevated to the Supreme Court was outstanding. That has generational impact in terms of potential real-world outcomes when it comes to the inevitable discrimination & related cases ahead.  My understanding, also, is that the number of women appointees to high-level jobs throughout the government (an area where the Executive has some effect) is at the highest levels in history.  Further, that women not only fill a number of Cabinet positions, but key Cabinet positions such as State, HHS, Homeland Security, and Labor not only continues the trend toward ensuring that women are in central power positions but--when the government & jucicial appointment context together with key Cabinet position--advances the role of women in the government structure...which, undoubtedly, will lead toward advances throughout the country.  E.g., the preventive care mandates via the ACA direct women's health coverage in a way that had not existed prior to this administration...and, for free.

    I go on especially because...to tell you the truth...it is unclear what you would want in three years from a President in the area of advances for women.  From the women I know very directly involved with NOW, Emily's List, ACLU, etc. the verdict is quite positive as to advances made in that time under this WH.  Not perfect, but nothing is.  


    It was a must have fix (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:20:30 PM EST
    But isn't making up for the fact that the Obama administration doesn't do "women's studies".  And they have now been assessed on more than one occasion as ignoring and being dismissive to their own female leaders and appointments.

    MT: I'm not sure about the particulars (none / 0) (#73)
    by christinep on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 08:48:33 PM EST
    to which you are referring? And, since I know that you pay as much attention to women's issues as anyone, do you find fault with what I said here; do you disagree about the particular advances; do you find any other President equal or better in terms of issues related to the advancement of women; and, what did I miss?

    I'm pushing, MT. Just got back from a lovely dinner--with a wonderful Boodles martinit and I also acknowledge your unfortunate dental matter today, but.... Seriously--apart from areas of disillusionment on things not moving fast enough (and, since I trust that you will say what you really feel without games) what, specifically, would you have asked of this President in the way of advancement for women--and, under the circumstances of the opposition in Alabama & elsewhere--that he has not produced at this time?


    Too easy (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 10:08:07 AM EST
    Here's just one instance of women under the bus.

    Jimmy Carter was much much better on women and what we need to even survive well, and recently so right in the Catholic Churches face......and Evangelicals too.

    Instead of catering to your little foot stomping, I challenge you to tell me what past Democratic President he is better than and why?

    As for his administration's history of shelving women and ignoring the women it has appointed and treating them like tokens, if you are up to date on Obama I would assume you have read about it all either in the books written or from those sharing what they did actually have the gumption to acquire and read.  It was all discussed here at length.


    I almost forgot my favorite WOMEN DON'T (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 10:17:03 AM EST
    MATTER moment that President Obama granted me.  The hiring of Larry Summers.  And then to ice that cake, really let me know how much I suck he puts Larry Summers in charge of women.

    OH yeah....then what ends up happening on the social and decision making level makes it into a book.  Nobody could have predicted that fat disgusting hedonistic sexist Larry Summers..............

    Then there was the part where Biden is his Vice President and that POS Simpson from Wyoming gets to be on his super special bipartisan committee, after what those two did to Anita Hill.  I'll give him pass on the Biden, all politics.  Who could really want gaffing Joe Biden as their second?  But Simpson?  Wow, please KMA


    Ha, ha (none / 0) (#106)
    by christinep on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 11:52:57 AM EST
    "foot stomping, is it?  Hmmm. I asked a questio ...you responded by labeling it "foot stomping.". I hardly think so (but, nice try.). When you can tell me--in specifics--what more he could have/should have done under the circumstances, I will gladly answer your question.  After you, MT.

    Ha ha (5.00 / 3) (#108)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 12:43:22 PM EST
    Have no Democratic President since the civil rights era that he has even superseded?  I'm not even saying he needs to move the pawns forward, he just needs to stop throwing the Queen under the bus and stand evenly with Carter or Clinton.  I won't even ask him to get all JFK.  I thought so but nice not even trying.  When you can tell me such specifics I will gladly not notice how you can do little more than deflect and deflect and deflect and be an apologist.  98% of women use/used birth control and he can't even be brave enough to stand with us and has sold us out three times on contraception and general child bearing health, when the chips are really down he is a coward.  He gives credence to the dark ages.

    No specifics in your post (none / 0) (#120)
    by christinep on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 04:38:18 PM EST
    As for the birth control position in terms of free contraception, the accommodation announced by the President ensures that the ACA provision regarding free preventive services for women, including contraception, will be there. Whatever the histrionics and substantial push coming from the Bishops, the WH has stood its ground by keeping the end result the same and "not throwing under the bus" one of the biggest women spokespersons in the area, Sister Keehan of the Catholic Hospitals Assoc.  From Planned Parenthood to ACLU to Emily's List to Catholic Charities and the more moderate lay group known as Catholics United, all have endorsed the accommodation. (As to why, the accommodation was needed...to ensure unity on the issue among women from all persuasions. And, certainly, the bleeding of support for the ACA that would have occurred on the Catholic side of the ledger--beyond the Bishops & in the pews among the laity--has been significantly stemmed by putting the onus on the hospital insurers...smart & sensible to not fall on the sword when it is better to get the same result without the divisive cost.)

    No, MT...in this area, what you call "deflecting" is my pointing out positions & positive changes for American women that have occurred with the Administration.  You have not said whether you think the several changes & appointments are good, bad, or indifferent. Only that you are unhappy. I respect that. And, yet, my disagreement with your general statements on this particular issue could not be stronger.

     What I see is this: President Clinton & President Obama combined have done more to advance the role of women in our society than all the other Presidents combined...part of that clearly results from the simultaneous changes & evolution in society as a whole...part of it is/will be the product of numerous high-level appointments in government. That President Obama
    addressed early on the Ledbetter legislative fix & the stem cell issue definitely directly benefits women; and, very obviously, the preventive care for women in terms of mammography, etc. is a significant step in women's health as well.

    Finally: MT, please know that most of the time I admire your comments, enjoy & look forward to your perspective...but, here, I can only say that my perception is that your anger or disappointment in things not moving fast enough has overtaken the ability to look at the accomplishments with a sense of neutrality and without rancor.  Our views on this differ very much.


    I gave particulars...many (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:54:19 PM EST
    and you choose to ignore them.  That is your prerogative and also your agenda.  Just as the Catholic Bishops still reject Obama's dead dog cowardly rollover and NOTHING was accomplished.  A huge majority of Catholic women use contraception....this was never a problem for them.  This is a "made up" problem that now is solved in your make believe land of luvin Obama. Obama's worst RECENT betrayal of women is right here.  The man is a coward, first rate coward.

    December 7, 2011

    In a stunning betrayal of women, the Obama administration has sided with radical right politics in rejecting the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision to remove an age restriction on emergency contraception.

    The experts on the FDA advisory committee resoundingly supported all available scientific and medical evidence, declaring Plan B One-Step to be safe and effective for all women over the counter, regardless of age.

    Today, Plan B One-Step is available without prescription to women ages 17 and above. However, because of the age restriction, it is held behind the counter in pharmacies, and women are required to produce either proof of age or a doctor's prescription to access the drug.

    A 16 year can walk into a store (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:06:00 PM EST
    and buy a bottle of Tylenol that can kill her or kill someone else if she gave it to them, while even the FDA says Plan B is very safe.  I used it about ten years ago and it cost me $20.  I'm certain it is more expensive now.  Even if a teenager took a $100 worth of Plan B though the only thing that would happen is that they would become too sick to their stomach and throw it all up.

    Either Obama is not pro-choice, or he is a coward.  I'm fine with you taking your pick on this.


    Maybe your tooth is hurting too much (1.00 / 1) (#124)
    by christinep on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:07:27 PM EST
    Why else would you being accusing me of "make believe world" and "choos(ing) to ignore particulars" that I can't find and my "agenda."

    Look, we disagree.  And, my disappointment isn't about Obama.  What is with casting personal aspersions on someone who, myself, who only--from her heart & belief--lists what I and many regard as major achievements by a President.  Earlier, I asked for specifics (i.e., what acts, specific legislation, etc.) he could have done differently that you would have expected.  Near as I can tell, your response had to do with not liking Larry Summers...hey, I'm not a big Summers fan either, but so what does that have to do with the price of beans.

    Perhaps, enough on my part. We disagree.


    My tooth isn't hurting at all (5.00 / 2) (#126)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:22:46 PM EST
    It hasn't hurt all day. Leave it to a jerk like you that when you have utterly lost in your position that Obama is wonderful on women's issues, to attempt to somehow make what I have typed tainted in some way because I have a tooth that needs to be seen by a dentist tomorrow.  You are a first rate coward too.

    Wow, Tracy - if christine were a man, that (5.00 / 3) (#127)
    by Anne on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:57:02 PM EST
    question would have been "oh, is it that time of the month, dear?"  Because the whole perhaps-your-tooth-is-hurting thing falls into the category of I-got-nuthin'-so-let's-see-if-I-can-get-control-of-the-dialogue.

    I'm not sure there is a woman alive who hasn't run into that game, and what just frosts my cupcakes is how once again christine goes  passive-aggressive in an attempt to take all the air out of your argument.

    When everything has to be looked at through a lens of how-can-we-make-this-work-to-Obama's-advantage, the vision is distorted.  You know and I know, and many other women here know, that what matters isn't how many women are members of the Obama administration, but about how many are window dressing.

    The answer to everything isn't Lily-Sonia-Elena-Hillary, but, by God, that's what you get.

    Here's a name: Dawn Johnsen.  Liberals loved her for OLC, but he never fought for her.  And is it any wonder?  Look at some of the decisions coming out of the executive branch and tell me the Dawn Johnsen we all knew would ever have rubber-stamped them.



    That was follow-up to (2.00 / 1) (#131)
    by christinep on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 09:56:27 PM EST
    The dental discomfort that MT spoke of yesterday.  In fact, it was my clumsy way of allowing for both of us to back away from an escalating teapot tempest where we both appeared to be talking past each other.  My empathy was misplaced.

    No, MT was speaking directly (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Edger on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 10:14:43 PM EST
    It only seemed to you that she was talking past you because you did your best to avoid her points.

    She did not address my question, Edger (none / 0) (#135)
    by christinep on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 10:32:10 PM EST
    I originally asked what the President could have or should have done more with regard to women"s rights...as I read MT's response, she deflected by asking me which Presidents did less (or better for that matter), all the while insisting that deflection came from my end.

    It really is a tempest-in-a-teapot situation by now.  The only perplexing part probably was my own naïveté in misreading how responses can & do escalate in the immediate situation of diametrically opposed beliefs, positions.


    I was making an observation (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by Edger on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 10:43:24 PM EST
    I was talking to you, not with you. I have no interest in any conversations with you. You are a waste of time, as I observed above.

    That should be direct enough for you.


    What a nice person you are, Edger (2.00 / 1) (#137)
    by christinep on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 10:53:26 PM EST
    I've lived a long time so far, and--with all the types of people we meet--never have I encountered one with such an angry attitude.  'Sad for you.

    Lol :-) (none / 0) (#139)
    by Edger on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 11:15:11 PM EST
    Right past you...

    MT has written at length on that topic (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by sj on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:51:45 AM EST
    I originally asked what the President could have or should have done more with regard to women"s rights
    She didn't deflect at all.  You just wanted her to say it yet again.  But I agree with you.  It kind of is a tempest in a teapot at this point, yet I am still very interested in your response to her question:
    I challenge you to tell me what past Democratic President he is better than and why?
    Because, as I said, I really would like to think better of the President of this nation than I do right now.  Again, my interest is in domestic matters.  I can't think of a single domestic issue in which he has surpassed the performance of any previous Democratic president.  I would like to think that is the lens through which I am viewing his performance, and not that he really is as marginal as he seems to be.

    Fighting for (none / 0) (#128)
    by Edger on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 08:38:07 PM EST
    Dawn Johnson's nomination would have meant Obama living up to his campaign rhetoric and Holder's past statements:

    "Our needlessly abusive and unlawful practices in the 'War on Terror' have diminished our standing in the world community and made us less, rather than more, safe," ... "For the sake of our safety and security, and because it is the right thing to do, the ... president must move immediately to reclaim America's standing in the world as a nation that cherishes and protects individual freedom and basic human rights."

    In March 2009, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11 to 7 aye on Johnson's nomination, and from there on she was forgotten.


    The committee's vote split along party lines and a lengthy and contentious floor debate is expected over her nomination.  Johnsen, a law professor at Indiana University at Bloomington, has served as legal counsel for NARAL, a pro-choice reproductive rights political group. She has strongly criticized the Bush administration's OLC legal memorandums and positions on executive power. During her nomination hearing, she explicitly called waterboarding a method of torture when asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein
    There are 11 Assistant Attorney General positions filled by executive nomination. The OLC will play a vital role in crafting the Obama administration's legal positions on the Guantanamo Bay detainees and detention power.

    Let's tone it down (none / 0) (#132)
    by christinep on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 10:11:15 PM EST
    We won't be getting anywhere with the "is too, is not" argument.  I honestly believe that the President has done an outstanding job in advancing women's issues; you & MT do not. If there was a way to move on this debate, I would...but, especially given MT's conclusion that the President has sold out on the recent birth control/ACA contraception matter , a conclusion 'which stands at odds with approval from such relevant groups as Planned Parenthood, Emily's List, NARAL, & ACLU (aswell as liberal Catholic groups), I'm not sure how to proceed.  There is an impasse...nothing about passive, aggressive or other personality characteristics...simply impasse stemming from diametrically opposed view of the facts.

    Christine, what you continue to (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by Anne on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 10:59:05 PM EST
    refuse to see, and what Tracy and I and others object to, is that Obama took a gratuitous and  unneccessary risk with women's access to contraception in the hope, I guess, of scoring some political points.  

    Equal access is important - which is why the groups you listed approve of that end result; but what is also important is taking a stand as a leader, in the face of opposition, and doing so where the ground one is standing on is solid, is secular and is buttressed with legal precedent.  In other words, Obama accommodated where no accommodation was required, and that's what we object to, because that strategy has continued a precedent he set early on: that where women are concerned, he is open to dicussing giving little pieces of them away - I find that, frankly, horrifying.

    I don't think it advances the interests of women to have those interests constantly being used as political footballs; We're tired of having our autonomy placed on the table to be tossed back and forth by - mostly - men, who don't seem to actually want to listen to the women who have quite a bit at stake.

    Maybe someday you can find a way to explain how that honors women, and their struggle for equality in all aspects of their lives, because I find the Obama strategy to be patronizing and paternalistic.

    He doesn't get a pass because of Hillary-Lily-Sonia-Elena; that's not enough.


    In many respects, I do not disagree (none / 0) (#140)
    by christinep on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 12:05:36 AM EST
    With your comment, Anne.  The sense of the taken-for-grandness that permeates the societal history of women.  I'm well aware of that harsh reality, and continue to feel how it weighs down so many nations.  Our point of departure on this particular issue:  I believe that an adjustment ala the accommodation that was presented (whereby insurers would  now bear responsibility for contraceptive coverage in hospitals, education institutions associated with religious) was the correct decision for a number of reasons.  As an act of leadership, it forged a clear path through what was quickly becoming societally divisive...divisive at a level that could well have derailed our necessary attention on the economy...the decision took the steam out of fanned legal conflicts between Church & State...it promoted the healing of rifts without sacrificing the desired result.

    When a leader can put aside personal issues & frame a result for the broader polity, that is a trait and a reality to emulate, IMO.  (If it were me, I'd probably be tempted to go for "the pound of flesh.")  I admire Obama's demonstrated ability to go beyond the narrowness of the Bishops...and to not be tempted to slam it.  In the long run, that approach is smart in the raw politics sense as well because the gains outnumber the losses.  The action he took demonstrates a number of aspects of a growing leader & leadership.

    So, I'm not oblivious or unaware.  As you know, Anne, there are different styles & types of leadership appropriate in different situations. I believe the President decided wisely.


    Typo (none / 0) (#141)
    by christinep on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 12:08:11 AM EST
    Hyphenated word should read "taken-for-granted"

    Name-calling? (1.00 / 1) (#134)
    by christinep on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 10:22:15 PM EST
    Have at it, MT.  Or, why don't we just both back away & own our positions.

    As I noted to Anne below, the "tooth" comment was, indeed, clumsy on my part...but, I meant it as a way for both of us to say that it was a bad day (recalling your comments about waiting past the weekend for dental visit.).

    You should not be calling people cowards...because we are in disagreement.  You stated your position; I stated mine. Neither of us impressed the other. Let's give it a rest.


    In the world (none / 0) (#144)
    by christinep on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 12:15:04 PM EST
    Outside the blogs, calling people names like "coward" based upon several lines of give & take and as a result of marked disagreement is definitely out-of-bounds and unacceptable,. I would warrant that in MT's family and always in mine, that charge is not a charge made to anyone as a result of frustration, anger, or any sense of entitlement.  That kind of behavior is flat-out wrong...and,calls for unrebuttable proof or apology.

    We all get carried away sometimes in debate, but that kind of willy-Billy name calling is unnecessarily provocative.


    Well, here's the thing, Christine. (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:31:14 PM EST
    Tracy has given you some concrete examples of Obama either sacrificing - even is so-called "small" ways - the rights of women, or putting those rights on the bargaining table, and has speculated that he is either not really pro-choice - as we understand what that means - or he does not have the courage of his convictions - which is how I interpreted the meaning of the word "coward."

    I am uneasy entrusting my ability to have autonomy over my own body and my own health to someone who keeps finding ways to hedge a little here and a little there, apparently comfortable taking risks on my behalf that may not always end well for women.  The president who said he wanted to make decisions based on science retreated from that decision on access to Plan B.  He retreated to being a dad making a judgment about what was best for his daughters, and left millions of women out of the process.  I'm sure he's a great dad, but he's not everyone's dad - and if it had been George Bush who made the same decision on the same basis, Democrats would not have found excuses for it.

    Part of being able to choose is having access to all the choices, and trusting that women, and even young women, can and will make the decisions that are right for them.

    I don't think he trusts us, Christine, I really don't.  

    So, what is it?  If he believes what he keeps saying he believes, where is the courage of those convictions?  And how unfair is it, really, when someone demonstrates a lack of courage, to call it cowardice?  Isn't it?

    And if it's not cowardice, what is it?  Is it a lie?  Or is it a situational ethic that's rooted only in politics?  Which means he doesn't care about anything but whether he gets to walk away with points on the board?

    I know there are those who will say that, of course I can't find a way to put some positive spin on any of this - after all, I "hate" Obama, or at least that's what people resort to telling me when they can't find any other way out of the debate.  But, come on, Christine - keeping the door open to compromise and accommodation on women's issues can't be spun in a positive way.  Oh, wait - I have it: he has to keep using us to score points so he can keep the office and prevent those other, even worse, guys from taking over and taking it all away from us.

    Yeah, I'm sure that's it.  In fact, I think there's quite a pattern there of him doing exactly that.  

    Wow, those poor Republicans: somehow they're just going to have to suffer through a Democratic administration that is slowly giving them what they want...thank God we're only getting sold out by inches instead of feet, huh?


    I personally would not use the word (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by sj on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:52:24 PM EST
    coward.  On the other hand, you do appear to be running from a question that you don't even have the courage to acknowledge let alone try to answer.

    I'm thinking that perhaps it isn't the lens that I'm using, but rather that there's no "there" there.  If someone as supportive of this president as you are can't come up with a response, well, maybe there isn't one.  I get really tired of having such a low opinion of this President.  It's exhausting, frankly.  I was looking for some relief.


    I'm not running, sj (none / 0) (#149)
    by christinep on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 03:58:52 PM EST
    I may be a bit too lazy to write it all out.  I'll stand by my earlier discussions of the numerous high-level, significant appointments of women in government power positions, and--so importantly for generations--the two Supreme Court appointments.  I'll stand by my extensive discussion as to the recent ACA implementation of free contraception...a position by key women's groups in this country.  I'll stand by my unswerving support for the ACA's major advances for women in free preventive care for mammography & other life-saving services.  I'll stand by my supportive comments as to the President's early action on stem cell research and his administration's legislative fix for Lily Ledbetter, etc.  I would also add here that a look at the Administration's rehab of the education system so narrowly defined by testing shows promise for families in terms of a more expansive teaching approach.

    My question remains:  what else in these three years should the President have initiated & completed in advancing the cause of women.  The only response seen from MT appeared to focus on either the drawbacks of Larry Summers (to which I replied worrying along the lines of what did that have to do with the issue) or the Administration's decision disallowing over-the-counter morning-after pill purchasing by those 17 yes or younger ( and, while I did not address MT's comment on that matter, I mistakenly assumed that the teenage sale was one where legitimate disagreement existed among women on that score and that it could not have been the sine qua non of Obama's standing in general.). As I stated before, I believe that Presidents Obama & Clinton lead all others combined in terms of advocating for issues directly advancing

    I was called a "coward" for forthrightly stating my positions, beliefs about the issue...for stating what I believed.  That kind of rebuke was undeserved, out of line, and--under any standard of interaction-- plain wrong. I stand by my comments on that as well.


    No Christine (5.00 / 0) (#150)
    by sj on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 04:31:50 PM EST
    That isn't an answer.  You are reciting a standalone list of what you consider to be his accomplishments.  But that isn't the question.  To refresh your memory, the question is:
    I challenge you to tell me what past Democratic President he is better than and why?
    It's a straight up question.  It's not restricted to women's issues (although my interest is limited to domestic issues).  My interest in the answer is completely unrelated to your conversation with MT, and I have been careful to remain separate from that.

    This is the closest you can come to a response:

    As I stated before, I believe that Presidents Obama & Clinton lead all others combined in terms of advocating for issues directly advancing

    And it isn't one.  For one thing, you are conflating Obama and Clinton.  And anyway, I would hope that women's issues would advance in the last hundred years as I would hope civil rights issues would have advanced.  Some of that credit goes to the times and not just to the Presidents.  That's sort of like saying that he (Obama) is much better on race issues than Andrew Jackson.  Of course, he is.  But it still doesn't answer the question.

    Is it possible that Christinep (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by vicndabx on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 06:20:06 PM EST
    didn't want to do a boatload of research into the activities of oh, say the last 70+ years of presidents to see who did what when?

    I know I sure wouldn't when we're all just spoutin' opinions.

    Seems to me on women's issues at least, considering it wasn't until say, the late 70's,  early 80's that women's issues really started getting the attention it deserves, one can only really compare the current president to either Carter or Clinton.

    The question seems strawman-ish to me.  "Who is he better than" is entirely subjective.


    Oh, it is completely subjective (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by sj on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 07:13:37 PM EST
    I agree with you.  All of our opinions are, right?  That's why I didn't want to limit the conversation to women's issues.  It is a pretty narrow window.  Limiting to domestic issues gives a broader range, but still provides focus.  Also, I'm only interested in domestic issues.  I'll always be disappointed when it comes to foreign policy issues, so I leave them alone.  And I wasn't asking for research.  I was asking for her opinion.

    But, as opinions are subjective, so is my opinion of Obama as barely marginal.  And actually, I would like to think better of the current President than I do.  Christine, by her own admission, has been observing politics for a long time.  So, frankly, I didn't think it would be so hard to get a response.  

    I can see it's not going to happen, so I'll leave it alone.  I'll have to wait and see if he actually does something to pleasantly surprise me.  Not says something.  Does something.


    I pay pretty close attention (5.00 / 0) (#154)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 07:43:05 PM EST
    to things he does instead of things he says he'll do, so I'll try to let you know if he ever does anything that would be pleasantly surprising.

    You'll be here all year and next, right?


    LOL (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by sj on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 08:10:57 PM EST
    I'll be here -- and standing by.

    I won't hold my breath, though.  Likely more on the hyperventilating side :)


    No really, I will (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 08:13:00 PM EST
    You know you can count on me.

    I PROMISE! ;-)


    On a completely different note (none / 0) (#147)
    by sj on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 03:00:56 PM EST
    I was intrigued by your use of willy-Billy.  I've always used willy-nilly derived from "will he, nill he" or "will ye, nill ye".  So I wanted to check on the colloquialism.  I love colloquialisms.

    There is an Urban Dictionary definition for "billy willy" but I'm pretty sure that's not what you had in mind.  It's probably not a typo you want to make in future :)


    My guess? "b" is next to "n" (none / 0) (#148)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 03:12:52 PM EST
    on the keyboard; imagine there might be even more creative new terms and words if "preview" wasn't an option, lol.

    Why wait? (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by sj on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 12:59:57 PM EST
    I would very much like to hear your answer to the question:
    I challenge you to tell me what past Democratic President he is better than and why?
    A good, thoughtful answer could actually have the potential to open or even change minds.  Possibly even mine.  Believe it or not, I want to hear good things about this President.  I live in this country, too.

    But just a heads-up, if you go to foreign policy, you lose me personally.  My issues are domestic issues.


    Fact of life (3.50 / 2) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 05:53:30 PM EST
    When we are selling ourselves we have to play what we have as big as we can make it :)

    But not what should happen with a (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Anne on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 04:42:27 PM EST
    Democratic president.  

    Or are you just leaving him out of the process as a helpless bystander with no choice but to sign bills like this?


    There is no reason for him to do this (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 04:48:54 PM EST
    as a Democrat.  He is earning Republican votes though now.  

    A Republican president (none / 0) (#29)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 05:43:48 PM EST
    --and I think it was Reagan--signed what was called the Boland amendment, which prohibited military aid in Central America.  This is why the aid to the Contras was such a big problem.  It was illegal.  You think Republicans would ever support that if they could avoid it?

    So, sometimes even Presidents have to sign legislation that gives them most of what they want but some things they do not like.

    The FAA legislation was much bigger than just the union provisions.....

    Anne, it is clear that you will never support or vote for Obama, and are constantly looking for reasons to support that entrenched opposition. So, why bother trying to get your support?

    I think your view is shortsighted, and in time, will be seen as totally incorrect.


    Tell me why Obama had to support this (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 05:51:47 PM EST
    I genuinely want to know why he had no choice.

    Secondly, I don't know who Anne will vote for on election day.  Neither do you.  But she isn't very good at giving people a free pass and when I have a really busy day or week I specifically search out Anne's posts for nitty gritty stuff on the current politics because she is good at collecting such things.  I can find Ezra and a gorgeous glossing over and cherry picking of facts very easily, no effort involved there.  This is not to say I always agree with Anne, but she is good at getting to bottom lines and I take advantage of that ability that she has.


    Short version (none / 0) (#35)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 05:59:25 PM EST
    It was a much bigger piece of legislation that contained a lot of other things.  They have been battling over the FAA authotization bill for a long, long time.

    They have been relying on continuing resolutions for months. My brother is an FAA engineer and a union rep and has no problenm with this.  The bill, iirc, has funds for various projects that will generate jobs.

    The original anti-union provisions were worse, again irrc.

    If you scour bills for bad Republican amendments, you will undoubtedly find them.   That is why getting control of the House matters.


    So why isn't Obama getting up there (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:16:54 PM EST
    And telling the whole country he doesn't want to do this, and it is going to hurt the middle class but the Republicans have him over a barrel. And he really really needs a Democratic House in order to be able to take care of all of us?

    Obama has articulated a much (none / 0) (#54)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:57:55 PM EST
    progressive view of late, talking about a do-nothing Congress.

    So nothing specific (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 07:26:31 PM EST
    Can't be bothered with it or with me.  Just political "messaging", and I'm supposed to once again simply believe the flying unicorn he rides farts magic fairy dust?

    Well, I thought you were talking (none / 0) (#66)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 07:33:10 PM EST
    general messaging.

    Oh have some faith will you, MT (none / 0) (#67)
    by Edger on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 07:36:10 PM EST
    he's got 20% of republicans saying they'll vote for him now because in their view Romney is too "moderate", and that alone brought him up to almost 50% approval.

    That's some hardcore fairy dust he's blowing. Heh.


    if so (5.00 / 4) (#114)
    by The Addams Family on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:03:25 PM EST
    it's no thanks to the people who have been uncritical Obama apologists for the last three years

    Obama's shift in rhetoric -- for what it's worth in an election year, & for what it's worth in view of Obama's credibility gap -- is due to the Occupy movement & to other sources of pressure on Obama from the left


    Good point. (none / 0) (#49)
    by Edger on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:42:58 PM EST
    Getting control of the House matters...

    If Obama is not re-elected, and people don't work towards returning workable majorities in the House and the Senate to the Democrats, then the country only continues its decline, and all will be lost.

    It may be the end of a two century great social experiment unequaled in human history.

    Returning the Democratic Party to the glory days of house and senate control that it had until Obama and the party were unable to convince enough people that their batsh*t crazy drive for bipartisanship with batsh*t crazy republicans was the only way to go, is the only way to go. There is no other reasonable way to go.

    There were huge socially progressive strides made towards thinking about gradually thinking about progressively moving forward by Obama and the Democratic Party during that time, and the only thing holding them back is that not enough people clapped loudly enough.

    The voters predicament and the collapsing economy is all the fault of the voters.

    Wall Street, the insurance industry, weapons manufacturers, and mortgage lenders turned into property owners all across the land are all beside themselves with joy and can barely contain their glee at their power to power the American economic powerhouse.

    And all they get is bashed for it?

    Come on, people. Get with the program.

    Give Obama and the Dems Some Credit For A Change


    True, Anne will reliably (none / 0) (#37)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:04:50 PM EST
    give you the most dire anti-Obama view from the Left.

    And Edger is promoting anti-Obama at all costs, and apparently supporting protests that would disrupt the Democratic Convention.

    I harbor no illusions that they will ever support Obama.  You are getting close to propaganda with them. It is a question of proportion, of which they have none.

    I do not believe, as they do, that defeating Obama will serve progressive interests well.  


    With all due respect, MKS, what I (5.00 / 6) (#47)
    by Anne on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:30:00 PM EST
    think I reliably do is give a liberal, traditional-not-New-Dem assessment of current policy and action, and that almost always ends up being critical of what we are getting from Obama, because he does not govern or lead from the same place I think I have the right to expect from someone who calls himself a Democrat.

    Maybe you have resigned yourself to just accepting whatever you get from him as being as much as you could hope for.  Or maybe you believe that whatever he does is acceptable as long as it keeps Republicans officially out of power.

    In my mind, propaganda is what we too often get from the government, dished out willingly and without much question from the media.  If you are uncomfortable when others try to go beneath the surface veneer, beyond the conventional wisdom, reject the spin - I'd have to say that you might be more a victim of propaganda than I am a purveyor of it.

    I would love to be able to support Obama's policies and agenda, but what I'm afraid of, MKS, is that as soon as I do what so many others are doing, telling myself, well, it's not so bad, really, then there's no pressure at all for him to throw us even the few bones he has deigned to over the last three-plus years.

    I guess I'm fighting against people like you, who, no matter what he does or says or proposes or offers, no matter how many times he compromises, or caves, you're right there to tell us all why it's okay, why we're all so stupid not to see how much worse it could be with Republicans in charge.  Meanwhile, Obama just keeps moving more and more to the right, to the point that today's middle used to be something we called conservative Republican policy - that we rejected.

    What's kind of ironic, really, is that the president of "Yes We Can," has become, with your permission, the president of "No We Can't," and you're directing your anger at people like me, who still think we can, and should.


    People like me (3.00 / 2) (#50)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:47:42 PM EST
    No, Anne, I am not the mirror image opposite of you.

    I have critized Obama here on this blog.

    It has been four years since I came here. In those four years, you have not said one thing--ever--at all positive about Obama.

    Going by my rule of thumb--look at the middle of your post for the personal dig--and there it is. Neither dig is true.

    Pressure on Obama.  No, you have gone beyond that into full opposition.  You have said you did not vote for him 2008 and do not support him now.

    It is clear that you will oppose him here at every turn, reaching, distorting, using things without any sense of proportion in support of that opposition.  I will do my best to provide, from time to time, the alternative view.  


    Anne, which Democratic Presidents (none / 0) (#59)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 07:12:50 PM EST
    have passed your test?

    Any of them?


    I can't speak for Anne (none / 0) (#68)
    by sj on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 08:11:14 PM EST
    but in my view FDR was just fine. :)

    FDR (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 12:55:17 PM EST
    stood between the loot-and-pillage, social Darwinist elements of  the ruling class, and a whole lot of pitch forks and brickbats - Leon Trotsky and Emma Goldman - and he knew it..

    He did what he did because he had tremendous, unrelenting pressure from 'below' -- at a time when close to half the labor force in this country was organized and raising holy hell..

    FDR didn't come down from the mountain with some divine dispensation unavailable to our 'leaders' today..



    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by sj on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 01:17:15 AM EST
    One can also argue that he was able to do it because of that pressure.  Which is why all the calls to "shhh!  STFU and stop criticizing Obama because it will hurt him" and to stand down and not demonstrate are just gibberish.



    And the internment (none / 0) (#71)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 08:34:20 PM EST
    of Japanese Americans?

    Truman was good, but he dropped the bomb.

    JFK was a cold warrior who many leftists would say engaged in needless brinkmanship over the Cuban Missile Crisis.  And JFK was not all that clear about Vietnam; and, he was the author of the original counter-terrorism strategy, overseeing the formation of the Green Berets who were tained to teach armies from developing nations how to oppose guerilla movements.

    LBJ had Vietnam.  And he sent the Special Forces to Guatemala to fight the student led guerillas.

    Carter.  Maybe you have a liberal without conservative blemish in him.  And he is ranked as the most liberal among the modern Presidents....

    Clinton.  He supported NAFTA and Welfare Reform, and said the "Era of Big Government is Over," framing that would have had him villified here.


    You say this as if it was a "gotcha" (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by sj on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 11:05:20 PM EST
    I'm pretty sure it has been determined that no one is perfect.  Every human being has done some ugly things.  And the bigger a person's reach -- such as that of a US President -- the bigger the potential for that ugliness.  I don't excuse or condone.  

    But that "bigger reach" also includes the possibility to do great things.  And the New Deal is one of the truly great things.


    Sigh. JFK was no cold warrior. (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by brodie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 09:12:06 AM EST
    He was always skeptical of CW platitudes and simple approaches that usually involved US military involvement or support.  He also had firmly decided about withdrawing from VN by the fall of 1963. Avoided also US military incursions into Laos and Cuba that the national security establishment had recc'd.  A true cold warrior would have sent troops into those places, probably triggering a major confrontation or war over Berlin wrt the Soviets in the case of Cuba.

    Kennedy was an independent thinker in FP areas in addition to being a well known voice in support of anti-colonial forces around the world.  And in the Missile Crisis his level headed management of the situation was masterful given his limited options.

    FDR was also overall a worthy prez, though not nearly as good as his fans on the lefty boards would have it.  He rarely acted in bold progressive ways which would have put at risk his political support, including the morally terrible action against Japanese Americans, the failure to act at all on civil rights for blacks and the failure to act more aggressively to save more Jews starting in the late 1930s.  His incredibly unwise economic policy of 1937, as if he'd learned nothing in the preceding four years.


    I pose the Leftist (none / 0) (#99)
    by MKS on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 10:28:06 AM EST
    critique.  Not my view on JFK.

    Thank you for thinking for me (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by sj on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:10:35 PM EST
    Replying To:
    I pose the Leftist (none / 0) (#99)
    by MKS on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 10:28:06 AM EST
    critique.  Not my view on JFK.

    As a "Leftist" (really?) I appreciate the effort, but would rather present my own view instead of someone's distorted version of it.  It's rather like the game "telephone".  

    But really, I'm perfectly capable of misstating my own views by myself.  I don't need help doing it.


    Thx for the clarification (none / 0) (#101)
    by brodie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 11:17:59 AM EST
    I've seen that dishonest critique so often on lib boards that by now I just react on autopilot ...

    I loved everythin about FDR (none / 0) (#76)
    by christinep on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 09:11:43 PM EST
    that I read, heard about from my Dad & family, etc. Revered that memory; and, that historical reality.

    Some things are apples & oranges.  Women, Hispanics, Blacks, etc.  FDR? Obama? Yesterday & today.  Lately, I've been thinking about the comparison...and, the differences diminish neither in my mind.


    Obama has a chance (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 09:32:46 PM EST
    to acheive historic success in foreign policy.

      He has rid Democrats of the label of being soft on defense in a way that avoids all out invasions and war.  A huge step forward....A step away from war.....


    MKS, you think those people are (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 01:59:13 PM EST
    ever going to stop saying - night and day - that Democrats are soft on defense? As long as the perception is current that liberals don't like war enough; aren't working diligently enough to bring about the Twilight of the Gods..

    And as soon as an Obama, or a Clinton, or whoever, threatens to cut even a million from the defense budget, the same hysteria-mongering, wingnut jackdaws will start jumping up and down all over again..


    That may or may not (none / 0) (#85)
    by sj on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 11:07:49 PM EST
    be true.  I will not judge that either for good or ill.  FP is important, but not so much to me.  Those who pay more attention to it than I do can more properly assess that.

    My focus is domestic issues.  And on that front, he is barely marginal.  On a good day.


    occasionally i push Anne (5.00 / 4) (#122)
    by The Addams Family on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:05:28 PM EST
    because from time to time i want her rhetoric to rise to the same high level as her intelligent, principled comments, with which i don't always agree

    but i do always experience Anne's comments "from the Left" as completely appropriate to a blog called "TalkLeft," not "TalkCenter" or "TalkBipartisan" or "TalkObama"

    sometimes i find your comments intelligent & principled, too, but more often i see in your comments a habit & a history of hijacking whole threads with strawman arguments built on premises that you have falsely attributed to other commenters


    Yep, Boland signed by Reagan (none / 0) (#31)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 05:47:12 PM EST
    the comment you are replying to (none / 0) (#158)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:39:12 PM EST
    was deleted because too much of it was printed in the comment. Please, everyone, be respectful of other people's work and just post a few lines or short paragraph or two, with a link, not a significant portion of the work. We can't reprint the works of others here, it's a copyright violation and also takes up too much space.

    Sorry Jeralyn (none / 0) (#159)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 10:01:39 PM EST
    I didn't think that it was too long as I tried to cut the quote to only what I needed to get the point across, but I'll try to edit quotes down even farther in future.

    The link is here (none / 0) (#161)
    by Edger on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 01:23:15 PM EST
    ATTN all Bay Area TalkLeft basketball fans (none / 0) (#12)
    by Dadler on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 02:58:54 PM EST
    I hate a great free ticket for the USF/Gonzaga game this afternoon/evening at 5.  Anyone wants to use it, lemme know by 3 p.m. PST, and we can meet outside the gym in The City.

    No takers? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Dadler on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 04:51:47 PM EST

    Does (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by NYShooter on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 05:20:35 PM EST
    a coast to coast ticket come with it?


    Nice thought anyway....double sigh.....


    And, the answer? (none / 0) (#58)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 07:09:42 PM EST
    Why not be upfront about it?  If it is such a good idea, why not be clear?

    It's a great idea (none / 0) (#60)
    by Edger on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 07:15:51 PM EST
    Enough pressure on them might actually wake them up and motivate them to start doing the things they should be doing that will earn them the votes they need to take back the house and senate. And the oval office.

    I'll expect to see you in Charlotte on the streets giving it your all, yes?

    Without that pressure you can probably kiss them goodnight.

    2012 DNC Prepares To Welcome Occupy Wall Street In Charlotte


    No, I totally disagree (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 07:27:22 PM EST
    That kind of "pressure" has never worked.

    1968 is the model.  But I expect you are more interested in defeating Obama than in actually having a positive effect on policy.

    Obama opponents like you, i.e,. from the Left, will actually hurt the progressive causes you say you support.  You are in the same boat as Rove in harming progressive values...

    To the extent I am able, I will be giving my all to replace the votes, if any, that you take from Obama due to your damaging and misguided Nader-like approach.

    You have already said that you want Obama to campaign on single payer and a war crimes trial for Dick Cheney.  To the extent you are serious, you are advocating something that perhaps 10% of the people support.  Totally unrealistic. And along the way, you will help elect President Santorum.


    Why I hate the media (none / 0) (#87)
    by loveed on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 11:54:42 PM EST
     This is off subject. It's the way the media vilify people. All week the media have been gunning for Bobby. Her ex husband, whom the media blames for her drug use.
     Several friends,has said she was on drugs before she met him. Even Ms Houston herself has said Bobby had nothing to do with her drug use.
     At Whitney Houston funeral today a big dust up about Bobby Brown.
     The media implied Bobby arrived with a nine member entourage. And when they refused to seat him, he raised a ruckus and left.
     Even CNN got it wrong. link.
     These are Bobby Browns children, Whitney's stepchildren. The children born before the marriage,one within the marriage. The mother was pregnant when she married Bobby. Also their Bobby Christine brothers and sisters.
     The security made them move 3 times. Would not allow them to speak to her. The daughter as you can see in the video was upset. Bobby kissed the coffin and left not to cause a ruckus. My count there are only four, and they were invited.
     She loved them.

    mt (none / 0) (#102)
    by CoralGables on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 11:25:20 AM EST
    is having a tough weekend. She gets a pass yesterday and today and definitely isn't part of a mob. MT is most assuredly her own person and not in the cohort loop to which you refer.

    This is a prize worthy comment. (IMHO.) (none / 0) (#104)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 11:41:47 AM EST