Veteran's Day Open Thread

We've got snow!
Good thoughts go out to all the vets. Even when we don't like the war, we still appreciate their sacrifice and thank them for their protecting our country.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    More post-election analysis: (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 06:48:24 AM EST
    From Howie, at Down With Tyranny:

    The AFL-CIO has post-election data that shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans favor Democratic Party progressive positions-- from a more specific one like raising the minimum wage to a more amorphous one like reducing the power of Wall Street and Big Business. AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka says that there's a disconnect with voters because over half of them agreed that "politicians from both the Democratic and Republican parties do too much to support Wall Street financial interests and not enough to help average Americans." That explains why most of the pain and suffering Tuesday was among members of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- Blue Dogs, New Dems and other corporate whores-- and, with a few exceptions, not among normal progressive Democrats. "If a candidate goes out with a strong economic message, and says, 'Here's how I'm gonna solve your economic problems,' that candidate's gonna do well," said Trumka. "It doesn't matter whether they're a Democrat or Republican. But the economic message that voters heard, they heard stronger from the Republican side than from the Democrats."

    On Friday, I talked a little about why voters didn't vote but this morning I found a perspective worth looking at by George Lakoff. "Democratic strategists," he wrote "have been segmenting the electorate and seeking individual self-interest-based issues in each electoral block. The strategists also keep suggesting a move to right. This has left no room for the Democrats to have an overriding authentic moral identity that Americans can recognize." That's the crux of it. Pelosi appointed Israel because he's greasy crook with strong ties to slimy lobbyists, Wall Street predators and Big Business interests. His job was to raise money-- and he did. The problem was that he was an abject failure at crafting any kind of strategy (mystery meatism could not have possibly worked) or in recruiting viable candidates capable of independent thought and carrying a progressive message and vision-- both of which are abhorent to Israel himself. Israel's base is not working families; it is the strategic infrastructure on which Lakoff bases part of his critique: "PR firms, pollsters, consultants, researchers, trainers, communication specialists, speechwriters, and their funders."

    Check out what Lakoff lists as the flaws in the strategies used by Democrats - you won't wonder anymore why Dems lost so badly.  

    And this does not bode well for 2016, either:

    Pelosi is about to replace the most inauthentic DCCC Chair in recent memoiry with a Wall Street puppet even less authentic, Jim Himes, a catastrophe in the making for working families who depend on the Democratic Party and are the real victims of the party's geriatric leadership's inability to see the errors of its own ways.

    Sometimes, I can't get over the obvious stupidity; the question is, why are these strategies still in place, and why in the name of all that is holy are people being put in charge of it who don't have any hope of finding a clue about what matters to Democrats???

    The person (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 06:54:57 AM EST
    who needs to be held directly responsible is Obama. I don't know why everybody keeps making excuses for him. This goes back a long way with Obama never rallying the party around issues. Obama just more or less created a personality cult. And personality cults only show up when the cult leader is on the ticket.

    Chuck Todd... (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 08:54:52 AM EST
    ...was on the TV today promoting his book, The Stranger: Barack Obama in the White House, which seems to be more or less what you mention.

    Basically the guy comes in with the notion that he is an outsider who is going to end the polarization of politics.  Fails immensely and in the process alienated his own party's top brass and now he sits alone in the White House.

    But here's the thing, he's got two years left, and he is the GD President, he can still bring the party back together and at least go out having tried to unite the party in defense, and for the future.  But I don't see it, once ACA passed, he checked out as leader of the party and compromised away democrat ideals for nothing.

    I don't think he cares, he was never about democratic ideals, and viewed them as tools for compromise, for his glory.  Now we are left with a hack who will probably sign a bunch republican legislation believing that glory is still achievable.  And while I don't think he would, it would not surprise me if he neglected to veto anti-ACA legislation.

    To me it's amazing how someone can go from a near cult like status to irrelevant in 8 years.  He had the world behind him and now his own party doesn't want anything to do with him.  

    Only one person on the planet responsible for that.


    Unfortunately, he is not irrelevant (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 09:22:55 AM EST
    He still has the ability to do a lot of damage to the citizens of this country and to the Democratic Party.

    A Republican majority in both houses of Congress provides Obama with the best possibility of passing his much desired Grand Bargain which includes more cuts to social and safety net programs and "reforms" to the corporate tax code which includes a lower corporate tax rate and allowing corporations to bring funds back into the U.S. tax free.


    If you haven't read Charlie Pierce (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 02:37:05 PM EST
    today, for his look at a Politico article that discusses how much easier these red-state Dems plan to make it for the new GOP majority to "get things done, do give it a read; your sweet Claire is right in that mix, again.

    I was going to try to put up some excerpts from both, but it's too hard to chop them up, so go take a gander.

    And then join me in having a good cry in between bouts of embracing the porcelain god...

    My biggest political fear for the next two years is that these kinds of Democrats are going to aid and abet the GOP in pushing through one of the god-awfulest agendas we've seen in a long time.

    For some reason, I keep thinking about that old Shake-and-Bake commercial ("and I helped!").


    Insanity has definitely become (5.00 / 4) (#74)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:29:45 PM EST
    epidemic here in the good old u.s.a.

    Per Charlie's post:

    And, you there, kindly Doc Maddow? You proposed McCaskill as a possible presidential candidate in 2016, right there in this month's issue of Esquire Da Mag. Seriously?)

    The New Yorker is tooting Jim Webb's horn as a good choice for a presidential candidate and Maddow has proposed, I can't freaking believe it, Claire McCaskill.

    In a world gone nuts, so called progressive media outlets and commentators are pushing for candidates that are sure to back the most Republican policies possible. In their zeal to back anyone but HRC, they are recommending people who by comparison make both Obama and Clinton two of the most liberal people in the U.S.

    Brace yourself, the odds are some really bad Republican policies will become law in the next two years.


    WTF (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 06:54:45 PM EST
    is wrong with these people. They all seem to want to take Hillary down in favor of Webb? Are they out of their minds?

    Yes. (5.00 / 3) (#109)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 07:00:45 PM EST
    They are.    

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 07:23:03 PM EST
    if their goal is to make her more palatable to the left wing of the party they are doing a great job. Otherwise they're idiots.

    Ugh (none / 0) (#50)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:06:48 PM EST
    They should just pull a repeat of what the GOP did and do nothing. That way they won't have any responsibility for the crackpot legislation that is going to come out of the GOP. I guess that is too much to ask. There is no reason for them to help anybody. The GOP has enough votes to do it themselves. And it's not like the GOP agenda is popular. The GOP in congress has a 16% approval rating.

    There are millions of reasons (5.00 / 3) (#89)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:59:37 PM EST
    for my sweet Claire and the other so called Dems to willingly help the Republican. Millions of dollars that they want in their campaign chests and do not want spent running ads against them.

    For all the BS to the contrary, a whole lot of Dems are dancing to the same corporate tune as the Republicans.


    Yes, President Obama (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by KeysDan on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:23:32 PM EST
    will never be more relevant than in the next congressional session, when consideration is given to legislation proposed or passed by the Republicans, with a little help from the blue dog Democrats.

    The entire objective of the next two years will necessarily be to contain or prevent damage. And, that will be the most constructive thing we can hope for.   Certainly, we know that the Republicans are constitutionally unable to present anything constructive, it is in their genes and platform.   No programs is us. The magic of the marketplace and by the grace of Corporate America.

    So everything will be deconstructive with the danger abated or damage prevented by threats of veto, or more likely, the actual ink of the veto pen.   President Obama against insanity. Kind of scary.


    I Got Stuck... (none / 0) (#16)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 11:15:21 AM EST
    ...on that word and just couldn't think of another, but you are right irrelevant is not accurate, but I cannot think of one to properly describe where Obama sits with his own party.

    Yep (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 09:01:57 AM EST
    Maybe someone can break thought that self imposed bubble he's put himself in and get him to do something. I put a couple of quotes from that book in another thread and Todd seems to hit on quite a few things I saw back in 2008. The thing that is so frustrating to me is that I saw all this and it's rocket science.

    I think (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 06:50:02 AM EST
    that analysis is somewhat misleading because first of all the majority of house seats are gerrymandered.

    Did you read the whole post? (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 08:27:27 AM EST
    Did you take note of the DCCC and DSCC strategy?

    [and let's at least acknowledge that gerrymandering doesn't apply to the Senate - and it was the Senate the Dems just lost their majority in]

    * Use demographic categories to segment the electorate, categories from the census (race, gender, ethnicity, age, marital status, income, zip code), as well as publicly available party registration.

    • Assume uniformity across the demographic categories. Poll on which issues are "most important," e.g., for women (or single women), for each minority group, for young people, and so on. This separates the issues from one another and creates "issue silos." It does not include segmentation for moral worldviews that differ between conservatives and progressives.

    • Assume language is neutral and that the same poll questions will have the same meaning for everyone polled. In reality, language is defined relative to conceptual frames. And the same words can be "contested," that is, they can have opposite meanings depending on one's moral values.

    • Assume that people vote on the basis of material self-interest and design different message to appeal to different demographic groups. In reality, poor conservatives will vote against their material interests when they identify with a candidate and his or her values.

    • In polling, apply statistical methods to the answers given in each demographic group. This will impose a "bell curve" in the results. The bell curve will impose a "middle" in each case.

    • Assume that most voters are in the middle imposed by the bell curve. Move to the middle. If your beliefs are on the left of the "middle," move to the right to be where most voters are. You will be helping conservatives, by supporting their beliefs. And you may be saying things you don't believe.

    • Check the polls to see how popular the present Democratic president is; if he is not popular, design your message to dissociate yourself from the president. It will reinforce the unpopularity of the president when members of his own party, as well as the opposition, disown him.

    • Attack your opponents as being "extremists" when they hold views typical of the far right. This will help your opponents as standing up for what they believe among those of their constituents that share any of those views.

    • Attack your opponents for getting money from rich corporations or individuals. This will help your opponent among Republicans (and some Democrats) who respect the values of the wealthy and successful.

    • Argue against your opponents by quoting them, using their language and negating that language. Negating a frame reinforces the frame, as in the sentence "Don't think of an elephant!" This practice will mostly reinforce the views of your opponent.

    • Privatization: When significant public resources become owned or controlled by private corporations, the public has lost an essential element of freedom.

    • Fear: When you are emotionally gripped by fear, you are not free.

    What were the Dems selling this election?  

    Here's the bottom line:

    "Such strategies," writes Lakoff, "miss the opportunity to present an overriding moral stand that fits the individual issues, while saying clearly what ideals Democrats stand for as Democrats. There happens to be such an overriding ideal that most Democrats authentically believe in."

    That (none / 0) (#5)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 08:45:08 AM EST
    is specifically why I didn't mention the senate and only mentioned the house.

    I don't really agree with some of what he is saying. The GOP's views ARE extreme. Do you really think not pointing that would have helped? I mean are we here in GA supposed to be quiet about nut like Jody Hice's views and not point out that they're flat out nuts?


    The point that is being made is that (none / 0) (#10)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 09:32:10 AM EST
    it isn't enough and it apparently doesn't work too well, if the entire message is "those Republicans are crazy."  That if there is no counter to the constant drone of "Republican policy is bad," it only reinforces the GOP message and does nothing to promote the Democratic vision.

    For example:

    * Attack your opponents as being "extremists" when they hold views typical of the far right. This will help your opponents as standing up for what they believe among those of their constituents that share any of those views.


    * Argue against your opponents by quoting them, using their language and negating that language. Negating a frame reinforces the frame, as in the sentence "Don't think of an elephant!" This practice will mostly reinforce the views of your opponent.

    If Dems aren't offering an alternative, the voters are hearing the GOP message from both the GOP and the Dems.

    I have to tell you that this was the strategy used by Anthony Brown, running for governor of MD as a Democrat with 8 years as lt. governor, against a Republican who was not at all radical or crazy.  Day after day, Brown hammered Hogan as being a radical, crazy Republican; he offered little or no vision of himself, of the Democratic policies that had worked in MD, of the Democratic policies he believed in.  Hogan hammered Brown on all the taxes O'Malley had gotten through the legislature - and Brown could have told the voters the positive things they had gotten for those taxes, but he just let it stand.

    In a state that is 2-1 Democratic, and especially in those jurisdictions that have overwhelmingly voted Democratic, the voters did not turn out to support Brown.  

    It's proof positive to me of all the things Lakoff identified in his critique of Democratic strategy.

    You're still blaming Obama - and there are reasons why he does need to own some of this - but it clearly didn't work to run away from him.  All it did was reinforce for the voters that if his own party didn't support him, there was no reason for the voters to support Democratic candidates.

    The people devising electoral strategy had better get a clue, or 2016 is going to make 2014 look like a day at the beach.


    I'm sorry (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 09:48:03 AM EST
    I think Lakoff is way off on some of these. Todd Akin was attacked as an extremist and it didn't help him did it?

    The problem is a lack of a message. This has been an ongoing problem with Obama. He has no message so the rest of the party has no message. That's not to say that the DSCC and the DCCC and Governor's Association couldn't have just cut Obama out and developed their own strategy.

    I would prefer to use compare and contrast. State their extreme positions but then state what yours are and why they are better.

    The WH which is supposed to be in charge of messaging is abysmal.

    Do you really think clinging to Obama would have helped Grimes in KY? That kind of thing defies reason. Obama lost the state by 20 points in a presidential year. Grimes lost the state by 7 points against an entrenched incumbent in an off year election.
    And Obama came down here to GA to help Nunn and actually played into the GOP's hand by stupidly saying if Nunn wins Dems get the senate which is exactly what the GOP wanted him to say. So while I'm not going to let the DSCC or the DCCC or anybody else off the hook Obama get's the LION'S SHARE.


    I think I've been pretty clear that (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 10:16:37 AM EST
    the main problem was lack of a message, but that can't all be laid at Obama's feet; it's up to these candidates to craft a message and not depend on one to be handed to them by the president.

    The DCCC and the DSCC are a huge problem, and a lot of the blame has to go to them.  Why those in charge of those committees are in charge is a complete mystery to me - they chose to back conservative Dems when there were clearly progressive alternatives.

    Blame Obama if that makes you feel better, but it isn't going to help as Dems get ready for 2016 - I don't think he's going to magically morph into a Man with a Message, so it's going to be up to candidates to come up with their own.  And if they let themselves be bullied by the DCCC and DSCC into having the same strategy they used this year, well, that's on them.


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 11:52:57 AM EST
    Anne you've basically got a president who won't even defend himself and Lakoff thinks they should defend him. That's really hard to do. You also have to realize that Obama took control of the purse strings of a lot of organizations that were working on crafting messages.

    Here's the problem. The fish rots from the head down. When the president a D he is supposed to set an agenda and a message. The other organizations are basically left out to hang. Can they craft a message that is completely different than the one Obama has or against what Obama has done while he is in office? I don't know but that seems to be what you think they should do.

    Anyway all that is water under the bridge. Whoever the 2016 nominee is will be crafting the message and coordinating with all the organizations hopefully.


    I don't think Lakoff is saying that (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 12:17:37 PM EST
    Obama should have been defended as much as he's saying - and I agree - that there were ways to campaign for things that didn't involve being openly anti-Obama.  Heck, there was already enough anti-Obama coming from the GOP candidates, why did the Dems need to join in?  I never understood the stonewalling Grimes did on whether she voted for Obama...would it have been worse if she'd just said, "of course I voted for the Democratic candidate for president - I'm a Democrat.  And while I don't march in lock-step with anyone just because we're in the same party, the reality is that I believed we'd have a better chance of getting the things I support and this country needs with a Democrat in the WH than a Republican."

    I feel like we played right into their hands, and in a "change" election, Dems didn't give people enough reason to vote for them.

    Here's what I mean: for example, when Republicans campaigned against the ACA, Dems could have provided not just statistics on how it has helped people, it could have had actual people it helped speaking out in ads.  

    The reality is this, Georgia: Obama is a terrible Democrat.  He just is.  He doesn't seem to believe strongly in much of anything except avoiding conflict and confrontation, even if that means we end up with sucky policy.  

    I feel like it's just time for some people to go - the Dem party leadership is old, tired, bought and paid for and not working in our best interests.


    Yes. The Dems adopting the GOP own criticisms (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 12:27:14 PM EST
    is such a tired old refrain.

    I was off work for a few days, dis a little mini-road trip, listened to a lot of xm radio, and there was a segment on some show about why the GOP  message gets across so much more strongly...obviously a lot of it is Fox news and right wing radio driven. But here is the rub - even a lot of the leftie shows I have tried to listen to, like the Young Turks, spend so much time playing Fox News and Rush Limbaugh clips that they are listenable to by anyone with a brain. Even if they are just playing those guys to come back and refute them, they have spent valuable air-time on the GOP message!!!

    They should be developing their own messages and pounding them home.


    ooops - UNlistenable! (none / 0) (#24)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 12:27:55 PM EST
    I understand (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 01:05:58 PM EST
    that but how do you do it? Grimes in KY did exactly what Lakoff suggested and she still got painted into a corner because Obama is the president. Actually it might have been worse to say that she voted for Obama. He has a 28% approval rating in KY or maybe it would have made no difference. It's not like Mitch McConnell campaigned on issues either. He just ran against Obama. It was the same down here in GA. It was just Obama sucks 24/7 and nothing else. So while you talk about the Dems not having a message and they didn't it's not like the GOP had one other than Obama sucks. What basically happened is the GOP reran the their 1998 campaign but they were running against someone with approval ratings in the 60's and 70's versus someone with approval ratings in the 40's.

    Well, I do agree with you regarding leadership. We're looking at Pelosi again? We need someone new.

    And a lot of these problems are going back years to 2008 or even before. And it seems nobody learned anything from 2010 either. Obama was caught flat footed then as he is now.


    They could have run harder on issues (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 02:05:05 PM EST
    without ever mentioning Obama. It was Congress that passed the stimulus, and the ACA. Run on the benefits of all of that. Propose more of it. Or if they really have no positive ideas to put forward, then I guess they deserved to lose.

    That is (none / 0) (#51)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:07:59 PM EST
    what Grimes did.

    In my mind, Obama was never the leader of the (none / 0) (#22)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 12:20:42 PM EST
    party. Few presidents really are the leaders of the party - they are the person the party feels has qualifications for the job, and is most 'electable'.

    I don't know who the leader of the party is - I suspect it is a committee - DSCC, DCCC, as you say, and I will add DNC, and the results speak for themselves.

    I totally agree that just 'anti-GOP' is not enough, no matter how horrible they are. The Dems need a positive message of their own. It should not be that hard - the stimulus worked to the extent that a minimal stimulus could, we have a more inclusive society, exemplified by gay marriage acceptance and more minority inclusion, a better health care system, and many fewer troops in war zones. Just because none of these things are 100% perfect does not mean they can't be bragged about.


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 01:09:53 PM EST
    maybe he's technically not the leader but I'm willing to be the majority of voters see it that way.

    I think Hillary actually advised people to run on the ACA is what I read. I don't know if that is true or not.


    And I add.. (none / 0) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 02:05:57 PM EST
    The deal is this...

    If the attack ad from the Demo attacks a Repub position and if the Repub position makes sense to the listener then, at best, the Demo attack is just trying to negate the Repub position.

    At worst it reinforces the Repub position and paints the Demo as nasty/mean/crazy etc.

    And this works both ways. Demo-Repub and Repub-Demo

    I had a long and successful career in what is called "complex sales." One of the bedrock guides is this.

    Don't talk about your competition. Make it use its time and money to sell itself.


    The problem (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:10:51 PM EST
    is the Repub positions don't make sense and there's a reason why they ran on Obama sucks. It's because it's easier to say hey, look over there it's Obama rather than run on their issues that nobody likes. I mean Jim there's a reason why the GOP's numbers are even lower than Obama's.

    Joni Ernst spent the entire time hiding from the press because she showed up one time and said that we actually found WMD's in Iraq. LOL. The GOP did a good job of keeping the radicals mouth's shut and putting them through finishing school. LOL.


    You know (none / 0) (#69)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:09:40 PM EST
    they don't make sense to you.

    They made sense to enough people to win a historical election.

    And yes, WMD's have been found in Iraq. They may have been made prior to the invasion but the fact is that they were found.

    But her claim, whether you agree with it or not, is a non issue. Only those on the fair Right/Left margins care.

    And by keeping on telling everyone that Obamacare was great, the economy was great and energy costs down the Demos just kept reminding everyone that

    Obamacare was a mess, the economy was bad and energy costs were high.

    Your base knew that was true and the Repub base knew that was true. And when the Independents looked, after being reminded about the issues time and again, they knew that was true.


    They don't make (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 05:06:39 PM EST
    sense to anybody who is able to reason but yes they make sense to hysterical ninnies and bed wetters because all they understand is fear. Conservatives are not able of reasoning. They only seem to be able to react based on some fear real or imaginary.

    Yes, the GOP really should haul those old rotting canisters around and say that we found WMD's in Iraq. Please please add this to the clown train that's going to be riding the rails in the next year or so. You can have clowns with rotting canisters screaming I found it. LOL.

    Gas prices are down to below what they were before the economy collapsed under Bush. I have noticed that conservatives have quit complaining about that. LOL.

    The irony is that the economy is not as bad as it was in 2012 so if it's the economy that just proves my point and undercuts your point. I know however the GOP is going to try to crash the economy again in the next two years hoping that it will get them into office. They've already tried to blow up the country.

    Actually the GOP didn't do well with independents. The majority of people that showed up were the GOP base but I really really want you to think that these crackpots have a mandate to do things like the personhood amendment and all the other crackpot things they promised the GOP base they are going to do. It's going to be a regular comedy show for two years Jim. We're going to get a lot of laughs at your expense. Ted Cruz is already starting. LOL.


    The GOP (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 05:36:25 PM EST
    Yeah (none / 0) (#98)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 05:44:50 PM EST
    though still pretty much proves my point that they had to rely heavily on the base to win because their base is so small.

    Jim (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 05:25:20 PM EST
    they didn't even RUN on any issues. The sole GOP message was "we're against Obama" unless you think that is running on issues. So apparently if the entire Dem party ran and said only we're against Bush that would be running on issues too? No, it wouldn't be.

    That is exactly... (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by sj on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 03:22:11 AM EST
    ... the tack that the incumbent Mark Udall took. With the same results. None of the odious amendment passed, but the odious Corey Gardner will be the junior Senator from Colorado.

    Especially (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 07:45:05 AM EST
    As many of the newly elected Republicans say they want to govern.  It will be hard for Obama to say the Republicans aren't doing anything if they actually legislate and he denies them at every turn.  

    Rise of the Repbublican Pragmatists

    In Washington, narratives last long past their sell-by date. One of the most common tropes is that Republicans are controlled by the far-right wing of the party and have little ability to govern. That was certainly true for several years, in the wake of their party's wipeouts in 2006 and 2008, along with the subsequent tea-party wave in 2010 that gave Republicans control of the House. Of the 66 Democratic seats that House Republicans picked up that year, more than half (36) were in solidly red districts John McCain carried in the 2008 presidential election. Many of those newly elected members hailed from the GOP's tea-party wing, reflecting their conservative constituencies. With little room to maneuver, House Speaker John Boehner had trouble managing a fractious caucus and found himself battling his own party as much as the Democrats. The 2013 government shutdown marked the party's low point, with leadership at the mercy of several dozen uncompromising conservative backbenchers.

    But many pundits are mistakenly looking to the past to determine the future of the new Republican-controlled Congress. With Republicans determined to improve their image in the run-up to a presidential election, and a crop of new, more-pragmatic members heading to Washington, all the signs suggest that the GOP will be eager to unite and advance a legislative agenda.

    This year's congressional majorities were built on the victories of center-right candidates, not the bomb-throwers who disrupted their party's leadership over the past two years. Of the 16 House Republicans who picked up seats for the party, 11 of them represent districts President Obama carried in 2012. And the freshman Senate class may be filled with conservatives, but ones who have expressed willingness to work across party lines.


    That's not to say the new wave isn't conservative, but there's a huge distinction between being conservative and being uncompromising. All of these GOP senators-elect have an interest in policy, and already showcased governing aptitude. Cotton, Sullivan, and Ernst (all military veterans) could join the party's group of foreign policy hawks, led by Sens. McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Kelly Ayotte. Sasse, a policy wonk, could team up with Sen. Mike Lee on proposing Obamacare alternatives.

    Gardner, who made inroads with Hispanics in his election, could be a point person on immigration reform if the Senate tackles the issue. Shelley Moore Capito, the first Republican elected to the Senate from West Virginia since 1956, is likely to take up energy issues as part of her portfolio. These aren't Republican nihilists at all.

    In the House, GOP critics have highlighted the far-right positions by a handful of new members, like Georgia's Jody Hice, Wisconsin's Glenn Grothman, and Alabama's Gary Palmer. But the more significant development is that, with at least 12 more Republicans in the conference--a number that could reach 15 after recounts--Boehner now has significantly more wiggle room to manage his caucus, even with some defections from the party's right flank. In the new Congress, he will be able to afford about 30 GOP defections and still pass legislation through the lower chamber.

    Very interesting dance that's about to take place between the people that occupy both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.


    Whoever (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 08:00:20 AM EST
    wrote that has never paid attention to who the GOP has put in the senate. I'm sure Mitch fed this piece to the National Journal because that is exactly what he would like people to think. They didn't put more Olympia Snowes in the senate. They put more Ted Cruzs. All of them signed onto the far right tea party ideas and if they plan to try to govern in the center the talk radio crowd and the rest of the very vocal part of their party is going to start shooting. It's not rocket science. They've already started.

    And I knew you would say that (3.50 / 2) (#130)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 08:09:32 AM EST
    Do you (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 08:19:09 AM EST
    even know who the GOP put in the senate? Joni Ernst thinks the UN is going to take over the country. David Perdue ran far right in the general election. Gardner has a history of supporting far right causes. Do you think these are main stream type of people?

    Of course the Republicans are saying they (5.00 / 4) (#136)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 09:10:56 AM EST
    want to govern - but what they left out of that was the word, "now."  "Now" they want to govern; before "now," not so much.  Please find me all the quotes from Republican Senators expressing their desire to work with Obama and the Democrats to get things done when Dems were in the majority.  Find me all the bipartisan legislation Republicans signed onto and voted for.  Oh, and just so you know, when Republicans say the want to "work with" Democrats, and "work with" Obama, what most people have come to understand is that means, "Gentlemen/Ladies: start conceding - we'll let you know when you hit the sweet spot where `everything we want' meets `you get nothing.'"

    "Now" they want what they always want: their own way.  And the stupid Democrats, as we saw during the Bush administration, and to some extent under Obama, will be the ones to demonstrate their willingness to "work with" those on the other side of the aisle.  Obama, Conciliator-in-chief that he is, will bend over backwards and turn himself inside out to show what a man of all the people he is.  He will ignore the DFH wing of the Democratic Party.  He will declare the liberals to be the real obstructionists.

    I can hardly wait.

    The thing is that, with more looney-tunes Republicans in both houses of Congress, it may not matter that the eventual GOP presidential nominee is someone who appears to be reasonably sane, because  the real damage will be done in the Congress - and it's my belief that Obama, looking for Grand Bargain and legacy, and the might-as-well-be-Republican, red-state "Democrats," are going to be very helpful to the GOP in that regard.  

    One more thing: I don't know who at the National Journal decided that Joni Ernst's picture belonged with a headline of "Rise of the Republican Pragmatists," but if she's the poster-child for pragmatism, someone changed the definition to "someone whose intelligence and sanity is questionable" while I wasn't looking.  


    Sure (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 12:54:52 PM EST
    But please don't act like the Dems did anything different when they took over in 2006.  Everything right now is the face of conciliation.  

    McConnell wants to clear the agenda of several "must-pass" bills so the new Senate Republican majority can start 2015 with a clean slate.

    He's ready to work with Reid to pass bills that have been stalled for months -- as long as Democrats don't try to load up the December calendar with partisan legislation or controversial nominations.

    Reid, with just a few weeks left in the majority, has priorities of his own. After a depressing election result, he wants to pass legislation to keep the government open; provide new funds for the fights against Ebola and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS); and confirm as many of President Obama's nominees as possible.

    Both sides believe the veteran lawmakers can reach a deal.

    Hey - maybe the Repubs will be as lame as the 100th Democratic-controlled Congress in 2007-2008, which had more than 700 bills sitting on Harry Reid's desk that went nowhere.  Maybe that will be their strategy - to say they passed bills but then didn't act on them - that should be good!


    Like I said, (5.00 / 3) (#167)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 02:55:10 PM EST

    He's ready to work with Reid to pass bills that have been stalled for months -- as long as Democrats don't try to load up the December calendar with partisan legislation or controversial nominations.

    is how Republicans define "working together:" they'll be happy to pass Republican bills - the Democratic ones will be deemed "partisan...or controversial," and will die.

    I'm not interested in a game of "both sides do it."  Congress is about as dysfunctional as it is possible for a legislative body to be, and Democrats show no signs of being capable of meaningful leadership, of being able to go to bat for the American people, of being able to strategize around the Republicans to get more of what they want.

    And the biggest problem is the president's stated desire to work with the Republican majority - we all know what that means.  


    Well (none / 0) (#153)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 01:22:10 PM EST
    if McConnell has any sense he should probably sit on a lot of those bills that are going to come up from the house which is even further right than it was before. Harry Reid should have really let some of that crackpottery come up to a vote and let the GOP defend it.

    The Legislation itself (none / 0) (#155)
    by christinep on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 02:10:05 PM EST
    As you say, we will begin a new political dance ... of some kind.  The notes and steps of that upcoming dance must be defined, in large portion, by exactly what legislation will be introduced by the Republican leadership, either in the House or in the Senate.

    What precise legislation will be introduced?  No matter what we say here or anyone else says anywhere else, the determinant of how palatable the dance will be ... what legislation the leadership in Congress actually, in reality introduce.

    First, the skirmishes (on all sides.) Then, the posturing (on all sides.) And, finally, right where everyone can see will be Legislation ... That will tell us, as nothing else can, what McConnell and Boehner are FOR.  We know what they say they are against.  Now, we await the unveiling of what the new congressional leadership is FOR.


    I'm thinking... (none / 0) (#163)
    by sj on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 02:33:09 PM EST
    ... the Grand Bargain.
    Now, we await the unveiling of what the new congressional leadership is FOR.
    I would dearly love to be wrong.

    Harry Reid (none / 0) (#165)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 02:41:42 PM EST
    of course not (none / 0) (#175)
    by sj on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 04:24:28 PM EST

    Really (none / 0) (#138)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 09:29:09 AM EST
    Any article that calls Joni Ernst who is the Michele Bachmann of Iowa a pragmatist you have to wonder.

    If you believe that the Republicans are (none / 0) (#126)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 07:49:50 AM EST
    interested in governing, after 6 years of being obstructionists, then I have a great piece of property in Brooklyn that I'd like you to take a look at..............

    Shrug (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 08:06:49 AM EST
    It's easy to be obstructionist when you're in the minority. Political strategy 101.  Although we all know the Dems NEVER did that. <snark>  It's a little different when you're in the majority and eyeing the WH in 2 years.  They have to put up or shut up.  And it's certainly good political strategy to show voters that they can pass legislation and wait for Obama to veto it - that will only go so far for the Dems, as he can't veto EVERYTHING.

    The article (nor I) said nothing about people on this blog liking whatever legislation they pass, but that doesn't mean they won't be a little more proactive in trying.


    The thing (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 08:14:01 AM EST
    is they are going to have to pass legislation that is acceptable to Obama to get it passed. It's also going to have to go through the crackpots in the house to even make it to Obama's desk is it not? So unless they are planning on putting through legislation that the Dems are going to vote for and work out something like they did with the debt ceiling we're probably seeing a reverse of what's happened in the last six years with legislation dying in the house instead of the senate.

    These new senators campaigned on the fact that they would not even vote for McConnell for majority leader. Do they go back on their promises their first week in DC or do they keep their promise?


    Can the leopard change his spots? (1.00 / 1) (#132)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 08:12:51 AM EST
    Can the Cushite change his skin?

    With Mitch McConnell still talking about removing Obamacare 'root and branch' as recently as last month, you think that they'll do something useful this time around.

    jbindc, I think you should know something.

    Crack kills.


    Yeah, probably (none / 0) (#146)
    by sj on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 11:26:22 AM EST
    It's easy to be obstructionist when you're in the minority.
    And yet... somehow I'm having a hard time seeing the Dems acquiring that skill.

    I wonder if the new Republican leadership (none / 0) (#156)
    by christinep on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 02:15:18 PM EST
    will introduce legislation to raise the minimum wage? That type of legislation, I understand, would be supported by the majority of Americans. I wonder.  Because, don't ya' know, what the Republican leadership is FOR will not be so easy to obscure once in the majority ... and, I suspect many people will take note.

    They're (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 02:24:50 PM EST
    not going to introduce anything of the sort and you know it. Past things like Keystone XL and maybe one or two other things they don't seem to have an agenda.

    That's my point Ga6th (none / 0) (#162)
    by christinep on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 02:31:10 PM EST
    For those who didn't know out there, we will find out shortly What Do The Repubs Stand FOR.

    Of course, they could fashion a new obscura technique by looking for a reason to impeach.  That would vacuum up all the news space ... and, as they must well know, it would also backfire.


    At this point (none / 0) (#168)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 03:01:14 PM EST
    it's looking like almost everything is going to passed in the lame duck session. After that maybe a confirmation to replace Holder. I guess look at what the house did for two years for an agenda. I guess vote after vote to repeal Obamacare, a bill supporting personhood of a zygote and what else I'm not sure.

    Probably not (none / 0) (#171)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 03:17:29 PM EST
    Looks like the Lynch confirmation will be after the Republicans take control in January.

    That is what I was saying (none / 0) (#182)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 08:53:22 PM EST
    That the supposedly "bipartisan" stuff is going to happen in the lame duck session. Yes, I know Lynch is not scheduled until January and that is what I meant.

    So 2/3 of Republicans apparently want far right legislation according to the exit polls and to oppose Obama on everything. So if they are going to do what their base wants it is pretty much going to end when the new senate comes in.


    And look (none / 0) (#129)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 08:09:28 AM EST
    no further than Scott Walker who's first order of business is try to do a Karen Handel and start "investigating" women's clinics in WI in order to try to shut them all down. He hid his real agenda to get reelected and now is going full speed ahead. Even a not to bright guy like Walker knows the path to winning in the GOP primary runs to the far right.

    Call me (3.50 / 2) (#131)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 08:10:20 AM EST
    when Scott Walker or Ted Cruz or whomever else you throw out as a boogeyman actually even gets close to winning the nomination.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 08:15:36 AM EST
    actually you were saying that Walker was a prime candidate for the GOP nomination a while back. I guess you've changed your mind on that?

    Yes, the GOP is going to try to shove another candidate down the voter's throat just like the Dems are trying to shove another candidate down the voter's throat in 2016. In either case I don't think it's going to work.


    I don't ever remember saying that (none / 0) (#161)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 02:29:48 PM EST
    But if you say I did, well, it was probably in a context of something like, "The Republicans won't nominate a Senator or House member, but I can easily see a governor like Walker, Christie, Bush, or even a Romney 2.0 being a nominee."

    I can't fathom that I would ever say that he would be a frontrunner or that he was good for the nomination.


    Yes (none / 0) (#169)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 03:06:12 PM EST
    it was in the context of a governor but the guy is showing himself to be a complete and total tool but that still doesn't mean the GOP isn't going to be stupid enough to nominate the clown.

    Scott Walker could get that nomination. (none / 0) (#157)
    by christinep on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 02:16:26 PM EST
    I wouldn't put money on that (none / 0) (#158)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 02:17:01 PM EST
    If his history in that state is any guide (none / 0) (#164)
    by christinep on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 02:33:55 PM EST
    I don't have to (nor would I), because the Koch Bros would back him a $$$lot$$.

    Don't worry christine (none / 0) (#166)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 02:44:06 PM EST
    There's plenty of Dem money out there to defeat him.

    Oh ... I actually agree, jbindc (none / 0) (#170)
    by christinep on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 03:10:04 PM EST
    What I was really focused on here, tho, is that the Bros Koch could decide to throw their big-time moolah toward helping their Wisconsin side-kick, S. Walker, should he seek his party's nomination.  'Looking first at his primary prospects ... unless, of course, Jeb corrals most of the big investors' $$$$$ first.

    "Obama is a Republican" - Bruce Bartlett (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 09:02:59 AM EST
    He's the heir to Richard Nixon, not Saul Alinsky.

    I found this while running down a commentary treating Suburbia as a "radical government re-engineering of society."

    And yet I still heard some "analyst" (5.00 / 5) (#25)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 12:39:00 PM EST
    on NPR yesterday talk about him as being on the left extreme, and saying the Dem candidate in 2016 will have be more centrist. I nearly veered off the road.

    Of course, the subtext is that being black is what makes him seem extreme. Anyone white will be deemed more centrist.

    It is going to be a looong two years.


    America (none / 0) (#28)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 01:11:41 PM EST
    is not mature enough to have a black president I have decided. Well, actually I have known that for a while but I think the past 6 years have just affirmed what I already knew.

    In scanning loads of comments (none / 0) (#29)
    by christinep on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 01:12:28 PM EST
    at lots of media sources, one short observation sprung off the page and stuck. That is: If the Louisiana Senate race is won by the Republican in the December run-off, the swath of southern states that have now become Senate Republican (aka "red states") would approximate the states that comprised the old Confederacy.

    What scares me is if the Republican state (none / 0) (#31)
    by Angel on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 01:45:27 PM EST
    legislatures try to change how the electoral college votes are allocated. Instead of winner take all (except Nebraska & Maine) the votes are split based on percentage of votes for each candidate.  I've read some discussion about this and how it could give the GOP a winner in 2016.  

    Give (none / 0) (#32)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 01:49:21 PM EST
    us another minority president like Bush. What a freaking nightmare for everybody.

    I'm not sure it would give the GOP the presidency though because the GOP depends on states like GA to get their win and they would lose EVs if they did that here.

    To me the problem is if they are only going to break up states like Ohio and then leave states like GA whole. Talk about cheating large but apparently they think cheating is the only way they are going to win the presidency in the near future.


    But Here in Texas... (none / 0) (#42)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 02:43:36 PM EST
    ...that would have given 40% of the electoral votes to Obama in 2012, which is ~15 of the 38.

    In this day and age, the electoral system should be dismantled.  We can count every vote as nearly as fast as they are cast.

    As you know, there isn't much of an incentive to vote in a state with an overwhelming majority of the opposing party.  It would most certainly ensure a larger turnout, and ensure an election is not won by someone who did not get the majority of votes.

    Ditto for primaries, the nightmare of backroom deals with delegates and super delegates and all the other non-sense that obscures the will of the people voting.

    There is literally no reason we cannot vote from home, the technology exists.  This business of going to a poll and standing behind a curtain is just another way to dissuade people from voting.  If they are going to make changes, let's make changes that match the technological age we are in and allow registered voters, who want to, vote using the method they use for everything else, the internet.

    Create a website to ensure your vote is being tallied correctly.  Easily verified to ensure no funny business.  Right now, the technology isn't being used wisely and there is nothing to verify votes aren't being electronically altered and without that control, they are inviting fraud.


    Not to be contracy, but (5.00 / 3) (#76)
    by christinep on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:30:32 PM EST
    even tho the "technology exists," the thought of voting from home using any technology that could be easily hacked (and has been ... over & over & over again) is one of the worst nightmares of destroying a voting system that could come to mind.  The imagery is scary; the reality would be ever more frightening.  IMO, the very ironic thing is that the safest way to vote may well be the paper ballot filled out and put directly in a ballot box.  With ample provision for early & extended voting by direct mail/drop off and with required retention of all ballots cast (or traceable record thereof.)  

    I guess for us old-timers--or whatever the boomer category is--a nostalgia I've heard spoken and agree with is the missing community of voting day(s.)  The desire to participate in one's community is a driving force for many ... a positive force.  A few days after the election, the Denver clerks' office conducted a phone survey about peoples' preference for manner of voting ... I was one of those interviewed.

    Yes, expand voting access and voting venues.  Caution only as to relying on as yet "hackable technology," because the temptation is too great.  Witness 2000 and the infamous Diebold electronic machines.  The vote that millions have fought to obtain and to protect should be kept special ... if you don't mind my saying, it is a secular democracy version of "my lips to God's
    ear." No eavesdroppers allowed.


    Title word above should read "contrary" (none / 0) (#82)
    by christinep on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:37:18 PM EST
    Well... (none / 0) (#140)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 09:58:47 AM EST
    ...not for nothing, but GWB won in part because of hanging chads on paper ballots.

    In Texas we use electronic machines, that have been proven to be 'hackable'. Not maybe, or it could be done, it's been done.  And worse, even if they know, there is no way to recover errors/tampering.  And like it or not, your vote, everyone's vote eventually ends up in the hands of a machine that is prone to errors.

    My suggestion, unlike a paper ballot, would allow anyone who voted to go a website to validate their vote is accurate.  Something that should be done regardless of the method used.

    You simply have no idea if your paper ballots have been tallied correctly, you only assume they have been because no method exists for you, or anyone, to verify.  My assumption is based on recounts, when there is a close race, most states require a recount, which is rarely the totals as originally tabulated; recounts are legislative recognition of probable errors.

    I think you argument that anything on the internet is hackable is simply false.  Just because this place or that store was hacked, does not mean everything on the internet, is 'hackable'.  


    Scott, you mean you don't trust (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by fishcamp on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 11:51:25 AM EST
    those nice older ladies at the Islamorada fire station, where I vote?  I'm not sure I trust them either,  after they find out I'm a Democrat. And then with the early voting mail in paperwork, I don't even know where those ballots go after dropping them off at the Post Office

    SUO, that film is great and I hope (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by fishcamp on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 12:54:03 PM EST
    everybody here watches it.  Rob Fordyce is a long time friend and one of the very best captains down here.  That bridge, in his part of the film, is about a mile from my house and I fish there all the time, but he makes it look easy. It's not easy.  My little boat is exactly the same as his, but a few years older.  That boat and motor cost about $60 thousand, and my little outfit was only $15 thou used.  Of course, he gets all his boats, motors, rods, reels, and clothing free, since he wins most of the tournaments.  It wasn't exactly explained how the fish becomes a legal catch in this film.  All the angler has to do, is reel the leader, thats tied to the line, through the tip of the rod, or the captain can reach out, as he did, and touch the leader.  Then you just break them off, so the fish doesn't get even more stressed.  She was using 20 lb. test leader for an 95 lb. fish.  Those tarpon are only here from about April through June, so it's a frantic time.  Thanks for posting that, and come on out next spring and I'll put you on one of the silver kings.

    the leader, I wondered what in the heck he was doing. If I can get down your way I definitely will!

    fish (none / 0) (#160)
    by CoralGables on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 02:29:29 PM EST
    I don't like the advantage gained by chasing the hooked fish with the boat. I prefer finding out if I'll get stripped, or run under the bridge, when using spin from man made terra firma.

    CG, I know what you mean but, (none / 0) (#173)
    by fishcamp on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 03:24:04 PM EST
    with fly rods it's a different game.  Usually when spin fishing, one uses heavier line and leader.  Also the IGFA, International Game Fishing Association, says it's ok.  In a tournament, time is money, so to speak.  Also chasing them down means they get caught faster, and have less stress put upon them.  When I anchor down, at the bridge, and fish with bait, I usually try to dead boat them.  Strange term but that's what they call it if you don't start up and go after them.  Usually I can tell, after the first jump, what their size is, and if they are 65 lbs. or less I try and dead boat them.  Weaving back and forth through the double bridges down here is quite an experience, and you just know that's where they are going to go.

    Indeed they are no dummies (none / 0) (#179)
    by CoralGables on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 08:06:45 PM EST
    The big ones will always head for the bridge after they get irritated with the standoff... and beeline towards the opposite side from where I'm standing of course.

    For the record though I've always used 10 lb line, leader in the 40 lb range, and dazzle them with a white bucktail along the nighttime bridge shadow.

    Unfair on my part...the bridge gives leverage not found at water level.


    10 lb line for a 65-95 lb Tarpon. (none / 0) (#180)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 08:29:23 PM EST
    That is impressive!

    SUO, it can be done with very (none / 0) (#181)
    by fishcamp on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 08:43:20 PM EST
    light line and leader.  The IGFA categories start with the impossible 2 lb. range, and then 4lb., 6lb., 12lb., 16lb., and 20lb. for fly fishing.  They go all the way up to 130lb. for conventional fishing.  

    Sounds like a heck of a lot of fun! (none / 0) (#183)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 09:10:15 PM EST
    Oh, (none / 0) (#55)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:16:07 PM EST
    I'm all for dismantling the electoral college but I think we should just go to the popular vote but I know that probably will never happen.

    Angel: What you fear as to electoral vote (none / 0) (#80)
    by christinep on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:35:44 PM EST
    tinkering, splitting, etc. was tried several years back in Pennsylvania.  I recall that it passed the legislature, that the outcry was huge against the just-defeated Governor Corbett and then ???

    Another article (none / 0) (#13)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 10:04:50 AM EST
    along those lines:

    Obama makes Bushism the new normal. (by Dan Froomkin).

    Obama was elected in the hope and expectation that he would be the antidote to the sickness inflicted upon the country by GW Bush.

    It didn't turn out that way.

    No wonder nobody wants to vote for the Democrats - even with the threat of Republican gargoyles as the alternative.


    Veteran's Day bromides. (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 09:58:04 AM EST
    Agent Orange.
    Gulf War Syndrome.
    Exposure to chemical weapons in Iraq built by the West.

    The Pentagon kept silent as munitions left over from Saddam Hussein's war with Iran found new targets from 2004 to 2011: American and Iraqi troops.

    The Pentagon and other government agencies and officials have been silent for decades - while veterans seek treatment in vain.

    "Honor their sacrifice"?
    That phrase, regurgitated on Veteran's Day and Memorial Day by various and sundry elected officials, makes me angry because, imo, it is meant to cover up a sickening reality.

    Rather than honoring our veterans, we, our government, marginalize them, and routinely ignore their needs - physical, psychiatric and emotional.

    Excerpt from today's NYT article (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 10:31:16 AM EST
    on the Mormon church's efforts to become more transparent:

    There remains one way in which polygamy is still a part of Mormon belief: The church teaches that a man who was "sealed" in marriage to his wife in a temple ritual, then loses his wife to death or divorce, can be sealed to a second wife and would be married to both wives in the afterlife. However, women who have been divorced or widowed cannot be sealed to more than one man.
    Kristine Haglund, the editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, said that while she found the church's new transparency "really hopeful," she and other women she had talked with were disturbed that the essays do not address the painful teaching about polygamy in eternity.
    "These are real issues for Mormon women," Ms. Haglund said. "And because the church has never said definitively that polygamy won't be practiced in heaven, even very devout and quite conservative women are really troubled by it."

    Maybe the LDS church (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 12:14:22 PM EST
    is trying to become "more transparent," but the transparency is pretty meaningless if it is not transparent about the sealing of a widow who remarries to her first husband.  And not only that, her children from her second marriage are sealed to her first husband, as well.
    This is not news to me.  I've known about this for years, as well as other Mormon beliefs that I doubt they are being transparent about.
    But then, we lived in Salt Lake City many years ago, and I made a lot of friends who were what was called "Jack Mormons" (ex-Mormons).  Boy, did I learn a whole lot from them about the LDS church.

    And the Mormons have determined out that ... (none / 0) (#58)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:26:45 PM EST
    ... the hierarchy of the heavens is a patriarchal booty call -- how, exactly? If the Lord is a Lady, I can't see how She would look very kindly upon that particular notion. For all we know, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young might be spending their afterlife as male praying mantises, perpetually used for sex before being subsequently devoured at their mate's leisure.

    Harpers: Why We Lost in Iraq and Afghanistan (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 11:54:44 AM EST
    I am a United States Army general, and I lost the "global war on terror." It's like Alcoholics Anonymous; step one is admitting you have a problem. Well, I have a problem. So do my peers. And thanks to our problem, now all of America has a problem, to wit: two lost campaigns and a war gone awry.

    - Lt. General Daniel Bolger, USA-Ret

    Why We Lost in Iraq and Afghanistan, A 3 Star General's account of the military's mistakes, Harpers, September 2014

    Lt. Gen (ret) Daniel Bolger (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by KeysDan on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 01:15:49 PM EST
    also wrote an NYT Veterans Day op ed (Nov 11), entitled "The Truth About Wars,"  although it might, more accurately, be subtitled: Generals Never Learn, At Least Not Before They Retire and Write a Book.    But, at least he offers a confession, or mea culpa.

     Excerpts:  "...The surge in Iraq did not "win" the anything.  It bought time.  It allowed us to kill some more bad guys and feel better about ourselves. But,in the end, shackled to a corrupt, sectarian government in Baghdad and hobbled by our fellow Americans unwillingness to commit to a fight lasting decades, the surge just forestalled today's stalemate.  ...The surge legend is soothing, especially for military commanders like me... We did not understand the enemy, a guerrilla network embedded in a quarrelsome, suspicious civilian population.  We didn't understand our own forces which are built for rapid, decisive conventional  operations, not lingering, ill-defined counterinsurgencies.  We backed ourselves into a long-term counterinsurgency in Iraq, then compounded it by doing likewise in Afghanistan."

    "...I would like to suggest an alternative. Maybe an incomplete and imperfect effort to contain ISIS is as good as it gets."

    The general did not understand the enemy--and apparently who they were (the generic bad guys); And, "hobbled" by American's who did not want to spend any more $billions and lives.  And decades.

     At least, General Bolger has remorse and introspection.  The non-retired Generals seem to differ since it looks like its more of the same. But, of course, smarter this time around.

    More troops (3,000) that will surely become combat at some point, more money to train the incompetent Iraqi and Kurdish allies, more air power and collateral damage, arming moderates, when their own studies show limited success, with the great exception of Afghanistan in the 1980's, but for the emergence of Osama bin Laden.


    He seems to have missed (none / 0) (#35)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 02:15:30 PM EST
    a few details...

    the surge just forestalled today's stalemate.  ...

    Those details is Obama's failure to leave enough troops to maintain the peace... despite being advised to do so by his own people.

    Can you imagine what a Germany or Japan would look like today had we put a government in place and then just left??


    You seemed to have missed ... (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Yman on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 02:40:04 PM EST
    Those details is Obama's failure to leave enough troops to maintain the peace... despite being advised to do so by his own people.

    ... one incredibly large fact - namely, George Bush signed a SOFA which required us to leave Iraq.

    Those annoying "details".


    And your point is?? (1.50 / 2) (#71)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:17:08 PM EST
    No matter what Bush did Obama's people said do otherwise.

    And, in case you don't know, Obama was elected to fix Bush's mess.


    Too bad he did what he wanted to leaving his minions to try and make excuses


    You make zero (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:57:52 PM EST
    sense. Obama did follow the agreement that Bush made. I guess your hero is now George W. Moron for making that agreement.

    Doesn' matter what they said or wanted (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Yman on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 06:05:29 PM EST
    They were required by law to withdraw from Iraq under the terms of Bush's SOFA and the Iraqi's weren't about to agree to a new SOFA with immunity for US soldiers.

    Was that last group of words an attempt at a sentence?


    Jim (5.00 / 3) (#110)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 07:05:11 PM EST
    would have rather have the soldiers stay there and be put in jail and tortured and kidnapped I'm guessing.  

    Also, from the referenced (none / 0) (#46)
    by KeysDan on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 02:52:41 PM EST
    NYT op ed of the General.  And, also missed.
    "Here's a legend going around these days. " In 2003 the US invaded Iraq and toppled a dictator.  We botched the follow through and a vicious insurgency erupted."

     Four years later we surged in fresh troops, adopted improved counter-insurgency tactics and won the war. And, then dithering American politicians squandered the gains.But, it's just a story.  The surge did not win anything."


    The irgnorance (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:17:21 PM EST
    is again astounding. Germany had a history of democracy before WWII and the reason for staying there was because of the Cold War and had nothing to do with promoting a democracy in Germany.

    Actually there were (1.00 / 1) (#72)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:22:20 PM EST
    groups opposing the allies after the surrender in Germany and Japan.

    And if we had left within a year Germany would have come under Soviet control and Japan would not have had their modern constitution.

    The point is that we stayed long enough. Check out the Marshall Plan.

    BTW - Before accusing someone of "irgnorance" you really need to be sure you have your spelling down pat.



    Lol (none / 0) (#87)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:55:50 PM EST
    you and your stupid predictions. You've shown below that you have ZERO understanding of foreign policy. Keep reminding the entire country as to why the GOP should never be in control of foreign policy anytime soon.

    Will someone at NBC News please explain ... (5.00 / 4) (#68)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:06:08 PM EST
    ... to us the exact criteria they used to promote Luke Russert to his present position as NBC's Capitol Hill correspondent? Because seriously, the guy might as well have a sign posted 100 ft. from his office door which says, "Caution - Dipschitt Ahead."

    Hah.. (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by desertswine on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 05:17:47 PM EST
    Well I was watching Ronan What's His Face (Sinatra's Kid)on MSNBC because CNN is no longer on Dish, and he had Bush's Kid, Jenna, reviewing Bush's(that's Bush the Dumber) new book about Bush's father (Bush the Old Man). What the h...?
    Seriously. I had to turn it off and I don't think I'll ever turn it on again. I almost lost my lunch.

    LOL! That should read ... (none / 0) (#118)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 02:35:33 AM EST
    ... "Sinatra's kid that Woody Allen got conned into supporting and putting through college." The entire Farrow clan is a walking exercise in dysfunction -- which, oddly enough, makes Ronan a perfect fit for MSNBC.

    The criteria (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by lentinel on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 06:54:59 AM EST
    that I believe they used were those inspired by the elevation of Chris Wallace.

    In short, "the son of ...".

    Same criteria used for the worst Presidents in history - (Bush, Baby Doc, Kim Jong-un...)


    Comet landing tomorrow (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 07:36:14 PM EST
    ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has had quite a remarkable journey since it was launched in 2004. After traveling throughout the solar system for a decade, Rosetta finally met up with its target, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, in August. In the time that has followed since that rendezvous, Rosetta has been observing the comet and preparing to launch Philae: a 100 kg (220 lb) robotic lander that will be the first human instrument to make a soft landing on a comet's nucleus. This historic event has been scheduled for November 12.

    Rosetta will launch Philae early Wednesday morning. It will take a gut-wrenching seven hours for the lander to travel 22.5 km to 67P/C-G and land at Agilkia, the targeted area on the head of the comet's nucleus. After Philae lands, it will deploy harpoons that will hold it securely to the comet's surface. Next, it will make observations and get oriented before sending the information back to the Rosetta orbiter, which will then be relayed back to Earth. It takes nearly half an hour for information to be received from Rosetta, so confirmation of the lander's success is expected to come in around 11:00 am EST.

    Philae contains a suite of ten instruments that will sample the nucleus, generating a great deal of data about its composition and structure. The data could reveal what role comets may have played in the presence of water on Earth, as well as any influence comets may have had on early life.

    Slooh Community Observatory will be doing a live webcast discussing Philae's landing beginning at 2:00 pm EST on November 12. The event will be hosted by Slooh astronomer Bob Berman alongside Geoff Fox, in addition to many guests, including ESA scientists from the Rosetta mission. Use #SloohRosetta on social media to join in the conversation.

    This is just so damn amazing... (none / 0) (#117)
    by desertswine on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 09:20:21 PM EST
    Here is a simulation of the landing and a few pictures on NPR.

    Live coverage here (none / 0) (#143)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 10:34:25 AM EST
    Wow (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 08:03:54 PM EST
    Republican Obamacare Plan will kill people

    And Jimppj if you're out there Mitch is gunning for you but I'm sure you're roll over and let him knock you off.

    Alan Grayson was right all along: (none / 0) (#122)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 07:07:23 AM EST

    "The Republicans' health care plan for America: "Don't get sick." That's right -- don't get sick. If you have insurance, don't get sick; if you don't have insurance, don't get sick; if you're sick, don't get sick -- just don't get sick! That's what the Republicans have in mind for you, America. That's the Republicans' health care plan. But I think that the Republicans understand that that plan isn't always going to work -- it's not a foolproof plan. So the Republicans have a backup plan, in case you do get sick. If you get sick in America, this is what the Republicans want you to do. If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: "Die quickly." That's right. The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick."
    Now, the Democrats have a different plan. The Democrats say that: "If you have health insurance, we're going to make it better. If you don't have health insurance, we going to provide it to you. If you can't afford health insurance, then we'll help you afford health insurance." So America gets to decide. Do you want the Democratic plan, or do you want the Republican plan? Remember, the Republican plan: "Don't get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly.""

    For Veteran's Day (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 08:06:00 PM EST
    A picture worth a thousand words.

    Thanks to all who have served and to those like that lad that bear the cost of that service.

    Too sad (none / 0) (#116)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 09:17:30 PM EST
    I turned 18 in 2002 (5.00 / 5) (#144)
    by CST on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 11:05:12 AM EST
    And I've always been well aware of the fact that regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan there are 2 Americas, one where people join the military and one where they don't.  For the most part, I've spent my life sitting pretty among those that don't.  I've had acquaintances that served, but not really friends, and most of my peers went to college, not the middle east.  So even though my generation did the bulk of the fighting, I've been somewhat removed from the impacts.

    That changed this year.  I'm not going to get into details, but I have a new appreciation for just how much mental damage war can do to a person.  So on that note, happy belated veterans day.  Let's see if we can avoid sending them to war for the next few decades.

    And you folks wonder why people (1.00 / 3) (#37)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 02:18:06 PM EST
    just shake their heads when Obama's name is mentioned.

    Take a look.

    Really?? This is what the President of the US is suppose to look like??

    Yes, not the decorum (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by KeysDan on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 02:42:37 PM EST
    set by his predecessor, George W. Bush, at the Beijing Olympics.  Looking and acting drunk is probably not as bad as chewing a medicated gum for smoking cessation.  Although, a cigarette dangling from his mouth would make for a good right-wing photo.    If you have ever been to a conference, you probably know that hosts often provide a jacket or some special garb for attendees.  Refusing to wear the gift of the Chinese would also have made for good FOX coverage of that diplomatic "gaff."

    So let Fox make (1.50 / 2) (#75)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:29:52 PM EST
    dummies of themselves for attacking Obama acting like a President.

    Look, that isn't a sales meeting where the VP of Sales comes riding out on his stick horse waving his cowboy hat while attendees yell "HeeHaw! And wave their hats back."

    And yes, I have attended many many many many many conferences and my description is what happened at one.... And the VP was fired two days later.


    So (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:53:33 PM EST
    foreign policy is the equivalent of a drunk VP riding a bull. You're a great reminder of how the GOP should never be allowed anywhere near foreign policy. Baawaawaa.

    No, Ga (1.00 / 1) (#96)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 05:39:37 PM EST
    foreign policy is the President representing our interests. He first does that by acting Presidential. Remember what I wrote. The VP was fired because he acted like a fool.

    As for current results the just over with election, of which you are still hurting, shows that the american people do not agree with how Obama is conducting it.


    Acting like (none / 0) (#99)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 05:48:44 PM EST
    a fool would be following your advice Jim. If people followed your advice they'd be giving Angela Merkel shoulder massages in meetings or doing other inappropriate things but I guess it would be okay to do it if they were wearing a suit?

    Once again you're spouting nonsense. And again, you're proving my point that conservatives don't make any sense and have no understanding of foreign policy. Sheesh silly boy. This is the kind of stuff children obsess over. You remind me about the little girl in second grade who made fun of my socks.


    Ga, you just deny and make things up (1.00 / 2) (#102)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 05:58:03 PM EST
    My point was easy. In one meeting a VP acted like a fool and was fired...and rightfully so.

    So how does that relate to

    If people followed your advice they'd be giving Angela Merkel shoulder massages in meetings or doing other inappropriate things but I guess it would be okay to do it if they were wearing a suit?

    There's no connection there. And dearest Ga, you can stomp and hold your breath but you lost really really bad.

    So I'd say the Repubs are doing something right.

    Maybe the secret is they just let Obama be Obama.


    Like how Clinton is responsible for (none / 0) (#123)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 07:21:22 AM EST
    GWB's ascent to the Presidency in 2001?

    Yeah, I agree, people around here should stop making things up.

    BTW, why don't you just come out and call Obama "boy" instead of "man-child", which is a mouthful, and not in keeping with Southern traditions?

    Or is the real truth, that deep down inside, you're actually no more than a spoiled man-child yourself, and that you're the IMAX theater when it comes to projection?

    Oh, and go squeal like a stuck pig to Jeralyn if you don't like this comment.  She might end up deleting some of your comments like the last time you started on the insults around here.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.  :-0


    I just reread the string here (1.00 / 1) (#184)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 13, 2014 at 08:33:08 AM EST
    and found that your reply had nothing to do with anything.

    All you do is make things up, insult and play the race card.

    BTW - Did you catch that AK went Repub?

    Which brings me back to my point which you seem incapable of understanding.

    I'll try again.

    Don't attack the competition. Sell your product.

    Your product was Obama. You were afraid to sell him.

    The Repubs product was anti-Obama. They sold it well.


    Calling a grown man (5.00 / 2) (#185)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Thu Nov 13, 2014 at 08:45:19 AM EST
    A man-child is a racist insult to an African-America male, period, full stop. You didn't call him boy, but it's right next door to that.

    I'm sorry this has been stressful and painful for you but, as they say, the hit dog barks the hardest.


    Sell your product.. (none / 0) (#186)
    by jondee on Thu Nov 13, 2014 at 03:28:34 PM EST
    So that picture of Obama as an African witch doctor was what? part of a marketing campaign you're launching?

    I'll try again.

    Try following your own advice.



    Why yes it is! (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Angel on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 02:47:40 PM EST
    If you didn't it's because (1.00 / 1) (#77)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:31:58 PM EST
    I didn't see it.

    Acting dumb is acting dumb.

    And he's not my favorite anything.

    And he is not President now and he has no coattails in 2016.


    No, he's supposed to look like (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 02:57:53 PM EST
    he does in that head-dress-wearing, loin-clothed, bone-in-his-nose photo you're so fond of.



    Actually my favorite is a non photo shopped (1.00 / 3) (#97)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 05:41:30 PM EST
    picture of Obama bowing to a Muslim prince.

    Kinda set the tone for the next 5 years.

    And that's what appearance and actions do.


    Funny my favorite is G.W. (5.00 / 4) (#107)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 06:21:41 PM EST
    walking down the road holding hands with a Muslim Prince. But what the heck, familiarity is often shown among family members. Oh, wait that was Bandar Bush and not the prince.  

    You must be getting fuzzy in the head if you can't (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Angel on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:02:04 PM EST
    recall that many former presidents and dignitaries have dressed in a foreign country's traditional garb when visiting.  It's called being respectful.  

    This is Better I Suppose (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:08:56 PM EST
    Hey! (1.00 / 1) (#78)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:34:13 PM EST
    Wow (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:12:33 PM EST
    the ignorance of conservatives on matters of state are just astounding. No wonder you think the Bush Doctrine is a success. LOL.

    Guess you didn't get past the first image (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:34:23 PM EST
    it's no wonder you have so many problems understanding what's going on in the real world . . .

    Jim, Are You a Veteran ? (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:49:55 PM EST
    If so, happy Vday.

    You too, Scott (none / 0) (#79)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:35:39 PM EST
    We both made it through when some of our friends and peers did not.

    "Ask not for whom the bell tolls"


    ... of what life will be like for us in our golden years, given this rather mindless indignation on your part. Did your grandkids lace your prune juice with Elmer's Glue again?

    Nope (1.00 / 1) (#81)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:37:17 PM EST
    I sniffed the glue...

    And drank the juice...

    Gotta go now.



    Jim, apparently you did not read (none / 0) (#39)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 02:39:13 PM EST
    the entire article you referenced.
    Vladimir Putin and other APEC leaders were pretty much all dressed like that.
    If Obama had dressed differently, he would then have been criticized for showing disrespect to his Chinese hosts.
    Really, Jim, find something more substantive to whine about.  We are no longer the only country that counts in this world.  As if we ever really were.
    Grow up.  You're way, way old enough to do so.

    And the Chinese must be (1.25 / 4) (#73)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:25:37 PM EST
    laughing their collective ^876 off.

    And no one would have criticized him for dressing and acting the part of President of the United States.

    So really Zorba, carry his water and keep on making excuses for this man child who is so far over his head we'll be lucky to not be in a war by the time he's gone.


    You (5.00 / 3) (#85)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:50:28 PM EST
    really don't know anything about foreign policy do you? It's astounding simply astounding the statements you make about this kind of thing. Were you laughing at George W. when he wore a kimono? I'm guessing not. Were you laughing at George W. holding hands with the Sauds? I guess not.

    Apparently, he doesn't (5.00 / 3) (#90)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 05:01:13 PM EST
    If one of "his guys," like George W., holds hands with someone from the House of Saud, or wears a kimono, all is good.
    But if Obama does it, Obama is a "man child."
    Jim is really getting beyond ridiculous.  But then, this is nothing new.

    Were the Saudis (5.00 / 3) (#92)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 05:16:24 PM EST
    laughing their @sses off when G.W. Bush held hands with and hugged Crown Prince Abdullah?
    So really Jim, sorry but your prejudices are showing.
    And we wound up in two wars under G.W., BTW, but I suppose you think they were "good" wars because your guy started them.
    Keep on carrying the right-wing water, Jim, and keep on making excuses for them.



    Yes, they probably got a grin (1.67 / 3) (#100)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 05:50:44 PM EST
    at Bush greeting the prince with a kiss on the cheek and walking while holding hands.

    The reason for hand holding was to insure that the other person didn't grab a concealed weapon and attack.. Which, btw, is not peculiar to Muslims.

    And thanks for playing the race card. I knew you could do it.

    Of course the real question is this.

    How can we get the country turned round?? I maintain worrying about what dumb thing Bush did while accepting that the President should dress like a Zombie serving man at the bequest of the Chinese is not the way to go.


    Who is playing the race card??? (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 06:12:44 PM EST
    You constantly accuse others of doing what you do all the d@mned time, Jim.
    It's called hypocrisy, Jim, and you are a hypocrite.

    Look (none / 0) (#113)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 07:38:21 PM EST
    at it this way Zorba: He's a great case study as to why people like Joni Ernst, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and assorted other nut cases are in office. Jodi Hice is another one I'm sure Jim would love. LOL.

    Accepting.. (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by jondee on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 05:30:42 PM EST
    Really, Jim?

    I remember you back in '03 and '04.

    To read your posts back then, one might start believing Bush breaking wind inspired the creation of Chanel No5.

    But then, this country's had very few Presidents who so closely embodied the principals of social liberalism the way Bush did..


    just to be sure you understand my point (1.33 / 3) (#101)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 05:52:31 PM EST
    "Which, btw, is not peculiar to Muslims' culture."

    Jim, really I'v tried but, (5.00 / 2) (#149)
    by fishcamp on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 12:01:12 PM EST
    Jeralyn could you start a minus rating system we can use for him?

    An "Ignore" button would be a godsend. (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 12:42:41 PM EST
    Getting so I cringe whenever someone mentions...well, best not to even type the words; pretty sure you know the issues that always bring jim out from under the stairs.

    Stairs? (5.00 / 2) (#172)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 03:23:47 PM EST
    I thought he lived under a bridge.

    That made me laugh out loud (5.00 / 2) (#176)
    by sj on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 04:30:02 PM EST
    Stairs? (none / 0) (#172)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 02:23:47 PM MDT

    I thought he lived under a bridge.

    Like one of these?

    All I Could Think of... (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 05:34:28 PM EST
    ...is how people used to lock retarded family members in attics and under porches, both having stairs.  I had a awesome joke, but I fear it would have crossed about 6 decently lines, including my own, but it connected your comment to republican funded mental health facilities...

    Many customs (none / 0) (#124)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 07:27:38 AM EST
    have some sort of beginning in having a practical purpose, but, yes, let's trash Obama, the Kenyan Usurper Man-Child for being of respectful of his host country by dressing in their traditional clothing, the same thing GWB did, because................

    Another example (none / 0) (#187)
    by jondee on Thu Nov 13, 2014 at 03:55:49 PM EST
    of what the Repubs have been reduced to..

    Racist stereotypes of witchdoctors, and now wardrobe changes as a key to "turning the country around".


    Heh (5.00 / 3) (#105)
    by Yman on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 06:10:22 PM EST
    So really Zorba, carry his water and keep on making excuses for this man child who is so far over his head we'll be lucky to not be in a war by the time he's gone.

    Like the Iraq War that you supported?


    That's not what people ... (none / 0) (#45)
    by Yman on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 02:48:56 PM EST
    ... are shaking their heads at.  They're shaking their heads at inane, trolling comments like yours.

    BTW - APEC's silly shirts: The awkward tradition that won't go away

    But since you take such great offense at Obama's participation in the tradition of APEC clothing, here's a few shots for your enjoyment

    No President Rocks APEC Fashion Like George W. Bush

    That is what a President of the United States is supposed to look like?!?

    Heh, heh, heh ...


    Yman, now they're shaking their (none / 0) (#47)
    by fishcamp on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 02:53:52 PM EST
    heads because he was chewing gum in that stupid outfit.  I'v never seen Obama chew gum before, so I think he did it on purpose.  What purpose?  Only The Shadow knows.

    RIP, Orlando Thomas (1972-2914). (none / 0) (#19)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 12:11:51 PM EST
    The former All-Pro defensive back for the Minnesota Vikings died Sunday after a 10-year battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. It is suspected that his hard-hitting style, which twice propelled the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game in 1998 and 2000 but also led to numerous injuries and missed games in the latter part of his career, contributed to the early onset of his illness.

    I have no brief for the ritualized violence (none / 0) (#36)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 02:16:03 PM EST
    In sports like football, but aside from the inherited forms of ALS, there have been no causes of ALS identified yet, AFAIK:

    ALS is a somewhat diverse and decidedly mystifying disease. In more than nine out of every 10 cases diagnosed, no clear identifying cause of the disease is apparent, that is, patients lack an obvious genetic history, complete with affected family members. Also, nothing about the way patients live their lives gives scientists and clinicians clues as to what causes ALS. Nothing in patients' diet, where they've lived, how they've lived or what they've done with their lives can easily explain why they've developed this late onset, fully developed and progressive disease(Ed)
    However, in about 5 percent of cases, a clear genetic history exists. The disease is classed as autosomal dominant in these patients; that is, that almost half of all family members show a clear history of ALS. Studies in the early 1990s on the genetic form of the disease revealed that a single gene defect could account for a portion of these familial cases.
    Mutations in the gene for the enzymes superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) or copper zinc superoxide dismutase have been found in approximately 15-20 percent of the familial cases of ALS. Some quick math shows, then, that approximately 1 to 2 percent of all cases of ALS involve this particular gene mutation.
    Still, for the majority of ALS cases, we do not know what causes the disease. Researchers haven't been idle, however, and several attractive theories exist on what could cause or contribute to the death of motor neurons in ALS. Laboratory scientists are focusing on these pathogenic theories. Learn about  the research being done in this area by our center.

    That's interesting. Thank you for the link. (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:47:19 PM EST
    For so long, we knew so very little about the brain and how it actually functions. Only now, really, have we finally become aware that repeated concussions can lead to serious neurological problems later in life. We may have suspected it, but we just didn't have enough data to put two and two together.

    My aunt died of ALS in January 2010. She had been having trouble with hand-eye coordination, walking, etc., for several years before finally being diagnosed with the disease in July 2009. At that point, she then deteriorated pretty quickly and died six months later at age 71. I'm very grateful that it wasn't a prolonged process over years and that her suffering was thus kept at a minimum, not only for her own sake but also that of her husband, siblings, children and everyone who loved her.



    Raisin' my Raisins (none / 0) (#43)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 02:44:40 PM EST
    No wonder trail mix costs so much:

    The Federal Raisin Ripoff

    You might think that between the Democrats, who profess to care about consumer welfare and the Republicans who say they're for free enterprise and private property rights, we would long ago have gotten rid of this governmental abomination.

    Dude... (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:36:54 PM EST
    ...you seriously need to get some sleep.

    I buy raisins all the time, they are $.99 for an 8 pack of lunch size.  Compared to other dried fruits, they are giving them away, and then some.  

    Here you go, over a pound for $3.50

    I am curious as why you think raisins make trail mix expensive, the answer is they don't.

    I think you need to look up the word 'abomination', because that does not describe the price of raisins.


    So I guess you missed this: (none / 0) (#139)
    by Uncle Chip on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 09:58:03 AM EST
    There's a flat $5.99 delivery fee for each box.

    So that $3.50 box would cost $9.49/lb delivered.

    I buy raisins all the time, they are $.99 for an 8 pack of lunch size.

    Is that for your school lunch???

    That's a deal.

    Perhaps you should contact Amazon.com or other internet wholesalers at recess to sell to them your excess raisins because they can't even buy it for that price.  

    A pound of grapes should sell for more than a pound of raisins. And yet I just bought a pound of grapes at Aldis for 89 cents/lb where an 8oz box of raisins sells for $2.99.

    "Why do raisins cost more than grapes???"

    Put that question into your Search Box during your free time and tell us all what answer you get.



    Raisins Cost More... (5.00 / 3) (#145)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 11:13:52 AM EST
    ...because you paying for water with grapes.  It's take 4 lbs of grapes to make a pound of raisins.

    I have Amazon Prime, so that was my cost.

    Pretty much everything I buy is snack size, it cost more, but I eat less, so in the end the price is more or less the same with the added bonus of portion control.

    Here are HEB raisins, neglecting the sale price, they are $6.48 for two pounds.  $3.24 a pound, compared to your grapes at $3.56 for 4 lbs it would take to make a pound of raisins.

    But really, this is getting off track, you mentioned the government abomination related to price of raisins.  According to this, Americans eat on average 1.3 lbs of raisins/yr.  

    Please explain the 'government abomination' related to consumer prices of a product that the average person spends less than $10/yr on.


    I guess he couldn't find (5.00 / 2) (#174)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 03:28:04 PM EST
    anything else to whine about.

    Yeah... (5.00 / 2) (#188)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 13, 2014 at 04:22:37 PM EST
    ...he playing Columbo, the Medical Examiner Edition, in another post.  

    Doesn't seem right, does it? (none / 0) (#60)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:34:18 PM EST
    Looks like it's not just the raisin industry, although in some, like almonds, the growers can vote to change the amount diverted to gvt "reserves":
    The Almond Board of California makes yearly recommendations to the Secretary of the USDA on the percentage of saleable almonds, if any, to be removed from the market and placed into reserve. Growers can eliminate the order or amend the provisions by a two-thirds vote.

    Personally, I would start growing and selling (none / 0) (#64)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:39:27 PM EST
    dried grapes if I didn't think it seemed right . . .  :)

    I have no idea what that means. (none / 0) (#67)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:50:57 PM EST
    Kind of a joke . . . (none / 0) (#104)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 06:10:17 PM EST
    And then we have cotton and tobacco (none / 0) (#84)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:41:40 PM EST
    Raisins! (none / 0) (#119)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 02:57:10 AM EST
    Obviously, such a nefarious scheme could've only been hatched in a truly despicable place -- Fresno!

    Fresno is about 80 miles (none / 0) (#137)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 09:29:05 AM EST
    northeast of where I live, and the article didn't mention that both Yosemite and the giant sequoias are about 2 hours drive from there in different directions as well.

    That's because Fresno is ... (none / 0) (#141)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 10:06:53 AM EST
    ... Yosemite's shameful and dirty little secret. Yosemite and its neighbors King's Canyon and Sequoia all have a cherished reputation to protect, and they goes to great lengths to not associate itself from their trailer park trash cousin down in the Central Valley. And for its part, Fresno has proved itself to be gallingly shameless in its namedropping.



    It used to be known as (none / 0) (#142)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 10:24:54 AM EST
    The Fresno Air Terminal, or FAT, which isn't a very inspiring name.  

    As for parks, I've driven the 2-hour stretch of Kings Canyon Road from downtown Fresno to the eponymous park, and is a very smooth, upward dive, nothing like the twists and turns you have to master going up to see the sequoias via CA-198 east from Visalia closer to where I live.

    Some people here are hopeful that the bullet train will increase tourism in the area as well, and I can see taking the train from Visalia or Fresno to S.F. for a day trip for some of us Valley hicks(which I'm not, technically, since I was born in San Jose even though I've spent the majority of my life here.  



    Rush Limbaugh (through his lawyer) (none / 0) (#59)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:31:30 PM EST
     asserts it is wrong (and apparently tortious) to  spin someone else's position in order to be mean.

     No, seriously.


    Rush is a dork. (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by fishcamp on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 03:39:17 PM EST
    Sorry Jeralyn, meant to say a dink...

    I saw (5.00 / 3) (#83)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 04:41:19 PM EST
    this yesterday and started laughing. Yeah, I really hope he sues. Talk about a whiner. He even threatened to sue Al Franken back in the 90's for his book Rush Limbaugh is big fat idiot but he's just going to run his mouth and do nothing. The fact of the matter is the idiot opened his mouth and is probably losing more advertising dollars. All he cares about is it costing him money. I guess he can dish it out and but he can't take it.