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    • The Attack In Ottawa will be used to justify losing more rights
      Prime Minister Harper pretty much confirmed it: ‘Our laws and police powers need to be strengthened’ Yup.  Never let a crisis go to waste. I’m very sad that MPs and their staff were scared, and I’m sadder that a soldier lost his life.  But one attack does not justify increasing the police state.  However, if [...]
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Overnight Open Thread


From Slate:

Are the Palin Girls Cyberbullies?
Analyzing their Facebook flame war.

Check out this oxymoronic paragraph:

The headlines on Gawker and TMZ are about Willow’s homophobia because she called a couple of the guys she was attacking “gay” and “faggot.” The language, however typical of adolescent taunts, is shameful, especially in light of the recent cluster of suicides by gay kids. But what’s also striking about the thread is that it has all the hallmarks of a typical teenage Facebook flame war. The Palins sound nothing like image-conscious celebrity kids, and since they seem to know some of their Facebook critics, the fight quickly gets personal and nasty, just as any high-school Internet battle can.

It’s shameful homophobia and a typical Facebook flame war! It’s your typical personal and nasty adolescent taunts, just like any high-school internet battle!

What she said was wrong but Willow Palin no longer has a Facebook page and Bristol has issued an apology. Rather than focus on these two young women we should be concerned with the “typical” nature of what they said.

IOW – Let’s focus on the forest and not just a particular pair of trees.

On a related topic I’m gonna predict that the Season 11 finals of DWTS will be the highest rated EVER. It will also have the highest number of viewer votes in the program’s history.

ABC is loving every minute of it.


This is another open thread.



Sure Happy It’s Thursday Open Thread


Next week is the shortest work week of the year (followed by the longest weekend) for anyone with a traditional job.

 

For people in retail sales it’s the beginning of the nightmare before Christmas. For others it’s just another week.

Some people will be traveling (with and without junk-touching) and others will be staying home. For some it will be a time for family and friends, for others a time of isolation and loneliness.

For me it will be time for lots of beer, turkey, football and beer. I’ll also be spending time with some people I wouldn’t have anything to do with if they weren’t my relatives.

What are you doing next week?

This is one of those open thread thingies.


If you want the "happy ending" that's extra


 

James Carville: “If Hillary gave up one of her balls…

…and gave it to Obama, they’d both have two.”

That’s what James Carville is supposed to have said at a breakfast meeting this morning.  (Why don’t I get to go to breakfast with James Carville?? )

But James is wrong.

Hillary has ovaries of kryptonite.

There’s more to it than that.  Stan Greenberg and Carville were discussing the Democrats’ poor messaging that lead to the midterm elections debacle.  Mostly, he’s correct:

Democratic strategists James Carville and Stan Greenberg said the party’s massive election losses earlier this month are attributable to poor messaging that made Democrats and the White House look “out of touch.”

Greenberg, who was former President Clinton’s top pollster during the 1992 presidential race, criticized President Obama’s repeated use of the “car in the ditch” metaphor on the campaign trail, suggesting that it contributed to the impression that Democrats in Washington are tone deaf.

“A metaphor about a car in the ditch when people are in trouble and angry about the abuse of Wall Street, it’s just out of touch with what’s going on,” said Greenberg.

Speaking to reporters at a breakfast sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor, both Greenberg and Carville slammed the party’s election messaging, calling it a mistake to argue that Democratic policies were contributing to economic growth while the unemployment rate remained near 10 percent.

Carville said that while most messaging tends to just “go in one ear and out the other,” the Democratic message this past fall “went in one ear and right to the brain. What were they thinking?”

But then he kinda screws up (or he’s using reverse psychology):

Despite both strategists lambasting the Democratic approach in 2010, Carville said the presidential outlook for Obama in 2012 is a positive one.

“The deck he’s going to be playing with in 2012 is going to be fundamentally more favorable than the one he played with in 2010,” said Carville, arguing that young voters and minorities will come out in large numbers two years from now, making the face of the electorate significantly more Democratic.

“Republicans are forced to double down on older whites,” Carville said. “And longterm, that’s not a very productive place to be.”

What about all the people in the middle, especially working women, who just handed the Democrats their asses?  They’re the ones who stayed home.  You think they’re going to forget the four years where they were shut out of the system and when Obama treated us with contempt?

Wake up and smell the beignets, James.

Avoir le cafard


Avoir le cafard – To have “The Bug.”


Designboom (via Blue Lyon):

american kills’ by chilean-born new york based artist sebastian errazuriz is a public installation showcasing the suicide rates of US soldiers. after searching on official war sites on the internet, he accidentally found out that 2 times more american soldiers had died in 2009 by committing suicide than those killed during that same year in the war in iraq; an alarming comparison that errazuriz had personally never read or heard about before.


I remember reading about a World War II veteran who described his military service as “Long periods of extreme boredom interspersed with moments of sheer terror.” I first heard about Le Cafard in a book of fiction about the French Foreign Legion.

According to the story men stationed in the deserts of colonial Algeria and Morocco would grow so depressed they would go mad and start shooting cockroaches, each other and themselves. Supposedly deaths from Le Cafard exceeded deaths from combat.

I didn’t believe it at first (it was fiction, after all) but I’ve since learned it is true. Avoir le cafard is now a French idiom referring to an extreme depression or sense of pointlessness.

As you can see from the picture above, Le Cafard is very real and very deadly.

Young men and women, far from home and under stress. Fear, loneliness and firearms.

Stop the madness. End the wars and bring our kids home.



Thursday: Stating the Obvious

I was flipping through channels last night, trying very carefully to avoid broadcast news, when my low battery powered remote got stuck on PBS during the NewsHour.  There was Judy Woodruff interviewing Pete Domenici and Alice Rivlin about their (yet another) budget deficit reduction plan.  This one is just another version of “stick it to the middle class” that has become the popular fad in Washington these days.  In this one, we get a sales tax!  Ooo, it’s like opening a new present every morning.

But what was funny about this interview was not their earnest but misguided assertion that if we, the naively childish middle class voters of America, would just understand what the problem is, we would thank them for bringing it to our attention before things got really bad.  It wasn’t the magical rearranging of the debt burden saddling us while the rich get away with murder with (yet another) income tax cut.  It’s not that these bipartisan groups to which no one WE know were invited to participate in keep coming up with new ways to screw us.  No, it was Domenici forgetting where he was.  Literally:

ALICE RIVLIN: We got a surplus. We both worked on that.

And we got the budget from a considerable deficit into surplus. And the way it was done was some tax increase and holding down spending. The caps on spending are the same idea that we had back in the ’90s. And it worked. It worked. Yes, it worked.

PETE DOMENICI: I want to say this one thing about this. And, as far as I’m concerned — tell me what I’m talking about, because I have forgotten.

JUDY WOODRUFF: About whether you believe that this will actually be solved, that the members of Congress will vote…

PETE DOMENICI: Oh. Yes. We were able to — we were able — we were able to do bipartisan work and get some big problems solved. [RD hides head in hands from embarrassment] This problem is many, many more times difficult for America. We’re going to be ruined as a nation and become a second-rate country if this debt is allowed to continue like it is.

So, we have a bigger, a more just reason to convince people. We convinced them then to work together. We ought to be able to now. It won’t be easy, but I believe leadership, including leadership from the president, is going to make this a war, a war on this debt. And, if we do that, we might win.

Well, I’m confident now.

(Ok, maybe I was too hasty.  Pete Domenici apparently suffers from a brain disorder that leads to Republicanism dementia.  My remarks might be misconstrued as a bit insensitive.  However, with that in mind, Domenici probably was not the best person to work on this committee or present it on TV.  It tends to make me not take this bipartisan task force very seriously)

By the way, Washington, the next time you want to set up (yet another) bipartisan group thingy to examine the deficit, I suggest you go through the formal route and have Congress do it so the people’s representatives, some of whom may be liberal Democrats (we’re not positive but some claim to lean that way) have some semblence of having the teeniest, tiniest input.  Otherwise, it doesn’t look legitimate to us and we will probably not “understand” and will be harder to “convince”.  JMHO

Paul Krugman weighs in on a national sales tax with some graphs to back it up but I’m with Atrios on this one.  (come to think of it, I’m in agreement with a lot of what Atrios wants like better urban planning and mass transit. If Obama hadn’t destroyed the left blogosphere, we might even be allies.  Go figure.)  The deficit hawks aren’t giving us any choices to reduce the deficit except on the backs of the middle class and I’m agin it until they do.

Accountability before Austerity

But I could think of at least one way to boost the nation’s economy in a big way that got taken down by Ben Nelson of Nebraska yesterday…

Join me below the fold…

Continue reading

Miss Cleo says “Don’t hold your breath”


New York Birdcage Liner:

Reid to Push to Allow End of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

In a direct challenge to Republicans who support the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, said he would push ahead with a military policy bill that includes language authorizing the Pentagon to repeal the ban.

Senator John McCain of Arizona, the senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee, led his colleagues in blocking consideration of the bill in September in part because it allowed the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Mr. McCain has not changed his position, and Democrats had been considering stripping the provision to advance the legislation.

But the White House on Wednesday repeated President Obama’s commitment to repealing the ban. In a statement later in the day, Mr. Reid said he would bring the bill to the floor, with the repeal language in place. “We need to repeal this discriminatory policy so that any American who wants to defend our country can do so,” Mr. Reid said.

Gee Harry, why don’t you just ask President Obama TO DROP THE FUCKING DADT APPEAL?

It doesn’t take a psychic to figure out that the Democrats don’t really want to repeal DADT, but they want the Republicans to take the blame.

I hope the Senate Republicans let just enough enough of their senators vote in favor of cloture to bring the DADT repeal to an upperdown floor vote.

Then the Democrats can’t posture anymore.



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