Wednesday News

Good Morning Conflucians!!

A few interesting things happening in the news. First up, we have a cure for HIV infection, at least in one patient:

Doctors believe that they may have found one of the largest breakthroughs in the battle against HIV, the virus which leads to AIDS. The news broke today (December 14) out of Berlin, Germany when doctors confirmed that Timothy Ray Brown received a stem-cell treatment while battling leukemia. His doctors recently published a report in the journal Blood affirming that the results of extensive testing “strongly suggest that cure of HIV infection has been achieved.”

Here’s the abstract of the paper in question for any of you up on your hematology research. Here’s the salient point:

In conclusion, our results strongly suggest that cure of HIV has been achieved in this patient.

There’s a lot of work yet to do, and this may not be an overall cure, but it’s a major breakthrough.


As reported yesterday by RD, a federal judge in VA ruled the mandate to buy a private product part of the health insurance company bailout bill is unconstitutional. Here’s a follow up article about the ruling and the VA district attorney’s winning strategy:

Virginia’s go-it-alone legal strategy to challenge the nation’s sweeping federal health-care overhaul – once questioned by both advocates and some opponents of the law – seems to be paying off for state Attorney General Ken T. Cuccinelli II after Monday’s court ruling, in his favor, that a key provision of the law is unconstitutional.

When Cuccinelli (R) filed suit in March against the federal law – rather than signing on to one filed jointly in Florida by 20 other attorneys general – Democrats said it was an exercise in grandstanding for political gain.

[...]

But his decision has undermined those who contend that constitutional challenges to the law are frivolous.

“There’s no question that this was a gamble in terms of how the litigation would have been perceived if he’s received the third strike in a row,” said Jonathan Turley, professor of law at the George Washington University Law School. “It’s certainly a gamble that’s paid off.”

Cuccinelli has maintained all along that filing his own challenge made more sense than signing on to the Florida effort.

The Virginia General Assembly had passed a law in March that made it illegal to require state residents to carry health insurance. The conflict between the state statute and the federal law gave Virginia unique standing to sue, he argued.

“You just don’t go to other states to protect your own laws,” Cuccinelli said in an interview Tuesday.

That being said, the real test will be the supreme court. Which at the earliest would be sometime next year, and likely the year after that. I think it’s an interesting issue and very worth a supreme court case. Clearly there’s gray area with being “punished’ for inaction with respect to having to buy a commercial product. And of course when the health insurance lobbyist wrote the bill, making that part not a tax was a big issue. Those calling the issue silly or frivolous were being silly.


And speaking of silly, Republicans that think the 2010 midterm elections were about them are of course not even close. A new poll out back up what everyone should know (again):

Republicans may have made major gains in the November elections, but they have yet to win the hearts and minds of the American people, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The midterm elections – in which Republicans gained 63 seats to take control of the House and added six seats to their Senate minority – were widely seen as a rebuke to President Obama. Still, the public trusts Obama marginally more than they do congressional Republicans to deal with the country’s main problems in the coming years, 43 percent to 38 percent.

The poll suggests that the election, while perhaps a vote against the status quo, was not a broad mandate for Republicans and their plans. The survey also underscores the degree to which Americans are conflicted about who they think is setting the agenda in Washington.

The president’s narrow advantage is a striking contrast to the public’s mood at this time in 1994 and 2006, the last two midterm election years when one or both chambers of Congress changed hands.

[...]

In the new poll, just 41 percent of respondents say the GOP takeover of the House is a “good thing.” About 27 percent say it is a “bad thing,” and 30 percent say it won’t make any difference. Most continue to say that the Republicans in Congress are not doing enough to compromise with Obama on important issues.

At this time in 1994, six in 10 Americans said the GOP had taken a stronger leadership role in Washington, while just one in four said Clinton was firmly in charge. In the new poll, Americans are about evenly split between Obama and the Republicans in Congress on this question.

Of course it’s idiotic comparing 2010 to 1994 for many reasons. One is that in ’92 Clinton won a three man race without  a majority. So his numbers were building up from a low point. Obama’s numbers in contrast have been steadily coming down from a high point. Also in ’94 Democrats got shown the door precisely because a large number of them were breaking the law. Whereas in this case, we have a supermajority Democrats in congress and a Democratic president elected in ’06/’08 to fix a majorly broken economy. And in the last 4/2 years respectively, it’s gotten worse. And for better or worse (or right or wrong), the voters wanted a new direction. That is, it’s the economy stupid. On top of that, Obama’s a real piece of shit and the congress that just does what he says (same as they just did what Bush II said before) were getting a bit tiring.

But what these numbers do indicate to me is that if things don’t get better economically, esp. with respect to jobs, then the Republicans will incur losses in ’12. If we’re around high 8% or higher in unemployment, there’s going to be some more changes. And they might just be dramatic.


The Commandant of the Marines says repealing DADT will result in casualties:

The Marine Corps’ top general suggested Tuesday that allowing gays to serve openly in the military could result in more casualties because their presence on the battlefield would pose “a distraction.”

“When your life hangs on the line,” said Gen. James F. Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, “you don’t want anything distracting. . . . Mistakes and inattention or distractions cost Marines’ lives.”

In an interview with newspaper and wire service reporters at the Pentagon, Amos was vague when pressed to clarify how the presence of gays would distract Marines during a firefight. But he cited a recent Defense Department survey in which a large percentage of Marine combat veterans predicted that repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law would harm “unit cohesion” and their tight-knit training for war.

“So the Marines came back and they said, ‘Look, anything that’s going to break or potentially break that focus and cause any kind of distraction may have an effect on cohesion,’ ” he said. “I don’t want to permit that opportunity to happen. And I’ll tell you why. If you go up to Bethesda [Naval] Hospital . . . Marines are up there with no legs, none. We’ve got Marines at Walter Reed [Army Medical Center] with no limbs.”

I understand Commandant Amos’ concern for his marines and why he would want to move very slowly when it comes to any change that shakes things up. But it’s way past time for this change. We have women at most levels and in combat (though we pretend they’re not), and of course for a long, long time, we’ve had people of color in the armed forces, even though both of those were changes that shook things up and were distractions at the time. I have faith in the marines that they can handle such a change just fine. If memory serves, the previous commandant has similar issues. I hope he can take a lead from his boss, Adm. Mike Mullen, and move to deal with the new realities instead of throwing wrenches in the works.


In the latest news from the world of WikiLeaks, the Air Force has blocked WikiLeaks from it’s own networks:

The Air Force is barring its personnel from using work computers to view the Web sites of The New York Times and more than 25 other news organizations and blogs that have posted secret cables obtained by WikiLeaks, Air Force officials said Tuesday.

[...]

Cyber network specialists within the Air Force Space Command last week followed longstanding procedures to keep classified information off unclassified computer systems. “News media Web sites will be blocked if they post classified documents from the WikiLeaks Web site,” said Lt. Col. Brenda Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Air Force Space Command, a unit of which oversees Air Force cyber systems. “This is similar to how we’d block any other Web site that posted classified information.”

Colonel Campbell said that only sites posting full classified documents, not just excerpts, would be blocked. “When classified documents appear on a Web site, a judgment will be made whether it will be blocked,” she said. “It’s an issue we’re working through right now.”

The other armed forces are handling it differently:

Spokesmen for the Army, Navy and Marines said they were not blocking the Web sites of news organizations, largely because guidance has already been issued by the Obama administration and the Defense Department directing hundreds of thousands of federal employees and contractors not to read the secret cables and other classified documents published by WikiLeaks unless the workers have the required security clearance or authorization.

“Classified information, whether or not already posted on public websites or disclosed to the media, remains classified, and must be treated as such by federal employees and contractors, until it is declassified by an appropriate U.S. Government authority,” said a notice sent on Dec. 3 by the Office of Management and Budget, which is part of the White House, to agency and department heads.

A Defense Department spokesman, Col. David Lapan, in an e-mail on Tuesday night sought to distance the department from the Air Force’s action to block access to the media Web sites: “This is not DoD-directed or DoD-wide.”

The Air Force may have gone too far. We’ll see how that plays out. And in related news, Julian Assange paid bail, but is still in jail:

Sweden tonight decided to fight a British judge’s decision to grant bail to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has spent more than a week in prison over sexual assault allegations involving two Swedish women.

A dramatic day in and around City of Westminster magistrates court saw Assange win bail, but then be forced to return to what his lawyer Mark Stephens described as “Dickensian conditions” at Wandsworth prison while the international legal battle played out.

Sweden has decided to contest the granting of bail to Assange, who is being held pending an extradition hearing, on the grounds that no conditions imposed by a judge could guarantee that he would not flee, a legal source told the Guardian.


And speaking of crimes, it looks like the Senate will pass the near trillion dollar deficit increase and social security destruction bill today:

The U.S. Senate today is poised to pass President Barack Obama’s $858 billion proposal to extend Bush-era tax cuts for all income levels, cut payroll taxes and extend expanded jobless benefits.

Majority Leader Harry Reid said last night on the Senate floor that the chamber will start debate at 11 a.m. on the measure. Before a vote on final passage, senators will take up three amendments, Reid said. Amendments require a two-thirds supermajority for adoption.

Senate passage will send the tax bill to the House, where Democrats — who threatened last week not to bring it to the floor — late yesterday discussed a plan to let Democrats vote on an alternative to estate-tax provisions many of them oppose.

We will see soon after that what happens in the House. Please write your congressman and tell them not to pass anything like this POS giveaway to the rich and obvious ploy to destroy social security and medicare.


Rahm “The Fish” Emanuel got a Chicago style grilling yesterday about his mayoral run:

The most serious attack on his candidacy came in the first 90 minutes of the hearing as the lead attorney challenging Emanuel bored in on the issue of whether the former White House chief of staff meets the requirement of being a Chicago resident for one year prior to the Feb. 22 election.

But after that, it was open season as a long line of citizens who object to Emanuel’s run for mayor quizzed him on everything from when and where he purchased a city sticker for his car to whether he played any role in the violent 1993 Waco, Texas, siege to if he has ever been a member of the Communist Party.

Sadly I think he’ll be able to run just fine. And sadly he’s still the front runner.


Interest rates have been inching up and the Fed has taken notice:

Interest rates are marching upward, making it more expensive to take out a mortgage or get a loan to expand a business, and diluting efforts by Congress and the Federal Reserve to strengthen the economy.

The rise is partly because of good news: The outlook for growth has improved, putting less pressure on investors to keep their money in ultra-safe bonds. When there’s less demand for bonds, their interest rates – or yield – go up to attract more investors.

And the better economic outlook could allow the Fed to pull back sooner than expected on the extraordinary steps it’s taking to keep rates low.

But bond investors are also spooked by the tax-cut deal between President Obama and congressional leaders, which if enacted would increase the budget deficit substantially over the next two years.

The climb in interest rates is confounding the Fed’s efforts as it tries to bring down rates by buying $600 billion in Treasury bonds. The central bank affirmed that it would stay on course with those plans Tuesday after a policy meeting.

Yes, it’s good and it’s bad and it’s messing up their efforts to make money cheaper. It’s all going to end in tears I tell you. Our economy as well as the world economy is fragile. The dollar is on the brink. It’s scary out there. The current worry about interest rates going a bit higher (as if things are getting better.. give me a break) reminds me of a small leak in a dam being plugged by a finger. Sadly we’re all living in the small village below the dam.

On that lovely note, let’s open the floor to more news. And some positive news please. Chime in with what you’re reading.

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93 Responses

  1. What’s this “good news” thing? :-)

  2. Blood affirming that the results of extensive testing “strongly suggest that cure of HIV infection has been achieved.

    Wonderful news! This is a cure that is long overdue.

    It will be fun seeing what the prog bloggers say as this crap bill is passed.

    Nice post Dandy…..

    Hillary 2012

    • The patient was also cured of his leukemia!! But the Dr said this one medical success story was far from having wide spread application, since one would have to find a compatible stem-cell donor — who also has that rare anti-HIV gene, and then the patient would have to take anti-stem-cell rejection meds for his/her entire life. Nevertheless, this is a start and great news.

    • Good news indeed! HONK!

  3. If AIDS is cured, of course the best thing will be all those people who are alive and healthy again.

    However, the NEXT best thing will be watching all those neo-Pharisees who said AIDS was the wrath of God eat their words. After all, if it were truly the wrath of God, how could science defeat it? :twisted:

    • 2 things:

      1. The abstract doesn’t report the duration of time of the study. That alone is a red flag that they very possibly are hyping a pre-mature conclusion. HIV remains dormant for a very long time sometimes. I tried to get the full article via my U-Washington account and see how they expand on their findings, but it’s not available yet.

      2. At very, very best, this is not a cure for AIDS for the vast masses. For instance, stem cell transplant is unaffordable for most Haitians who have HIV…..And doing what they did is not possible without stem cell transplant. There is no vaccine that will come from this. They had to destroy the cells and replace them. If it’s a cure, this is a cure for the wealthy, and for those who have insurance, and can convince their insurance plan to cover the stem cell transplant….if it’s a cure at all. And guaranteed, if this proves out, insurance companies will be writing policies to except it from coverage. Realistically, they would possibly go bankrupt otherwise….

      • Agree. It’s early days. Great news. But there’s a lot to do. And it my not be a cure for full on AIDS. But still, amazing.

        • The other issue is the stem cell donor happened to be one of those people who have a mutation that renders them resistant to HIV (called “long term non-progressors”). It’s a very rare mutation and such donors can’t donate stem cells all the time. Of course, the resistant cells might be engineerable, but that process is full of its own pitfalls. In addition, people like Helen Horton at Seattle Biomed are doing studies over here in Seattle on people who are resistant to HIV, and some of them aren’t resistant indefinitely…some actually do progess to AIDS. And many of the people who are tolerant/resistant are so because they have certain other autoimmune diseases that could kill and maybe you don’t want them donating stem cells (???). It would be interesting to see the stem cell donor’s medical history.

          It turns out that the guy in your article had his transplant in 2007. We’ll see what the next 10 years brings. But I’m definitely happy for him. That’s good news — for him. But “cure” —and the scientists used this word — is way too strong a term.

          • It’s a very rare mutation

            Umm… it’s not “rare”, particularly in the Mediterranean region
            http://qjmed.oxfordjournals.org/content/99/8/497.full

            In the mid-1990s, it was discovered that possession of the CCR5-Δ32 allele leads ‘to nearly complete resistance to HIV-1 infection’ and AIDS.1 This genetic mutation shows strong geographical traits: while supposedly absent among Africans, Amerindians and East Asians, it is found in up to 14%, in certain northern populations of Eurasia, and more recently this figure has been estimated to be as high as 18%.2

  4. NBC Universal is making a big push into science fiction films. They brought us the Obama administration, so this would seem like the logical next step. (Pasting first sentence of articles in google search will get you past walls.)

    Hollywood studio Universal Pictures will join with cable sibling Syfy television network to make science-fiction, fantasy, and horror movies. Called Syfy Films, their new company will make one to two movies a year, which Universal will distribute beginning in 2012. Universal and Syfy, which was originally launched in 1992 as the Sci Fi Channel, are both owned by General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal.

    • Well, this is good news for my family at least–hubby works on most of those “crap film of the week” that SyFy shows on Saturdays. : )

  5. The Air Force may have gone too far

    People who have not worked with classified information don’t understand…the issue is protecting unclassified computers from becoming contaminated with classified information. If someone surfs the NYT from an unclassified Air Force computer, the Air Force pretty much has to trash that computer.

    They are just protecting their infrastructure.

    • They are just censoring information.

    • surfs the NYT from an unclassified Air Force computer
      No, what they’re doing is filtering traffic from networks they have control over. That means you can’t surf the NYTimes (if they decide) from your own computer in your house on or near the base even.

      • Similar to what YouTube does in blocking the BBC news videos here in the US…yup, they sensor the feed, but you can access it in other countries.

        Freedom of Information, Free Speech and Freedom of Expression are on the chopping block with the meme of ‘They are protecting US’.

        Allen West was advocating that the news services be censored, and NOW facing a ‘backlash’ from the Tea Party and others, is saying he said ‘censure’, but the news orgs are not elected and he is doing some fancy back peddling via words and spelling.

      • How Wikileaks Fights Big Government By: The Southern Avenger

  6. Obama has taken a strong leadership role? Hmm. Who answers these polls?

    • Obots. You will be assimilated…

      • The Oborg Collective rather spectacularly failed to assimilate the Elephascist (aka GOP) Dominion and their Tea Party Jem’Hadar.

        Resistance is fertile… :twisted:

    • Exactly, masslib. What a crock of SH#$%^T!!! These news outlets are on damage control.

    • It’s WAPO/ABC, that’s all I need to know about how biased the questions must have been. Who thinks this guy is a strong leader? Even his biggest bootlickers are disappointed.

  7. My morning sneeze concernes the same WaPo/ABC poll – and why its credibility is null
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/the-morning-sneezeshhhh-they-hate-the-signature-piece/

  8. >>there’s going to be some more changes. And they might just be dramatic.

    Churn, churn, churn of the washing machine. Back and forth. Cleaning out the dirt.

    Carolyn Kay
    MakeThemAccountable.com

  9. Zuckerberg is person of the year and Facebook is best place to work.

  10. Al Franken will vote for the “near trillion dollar deficit increase and social security destruction bill today”

    But for Minnesota’s middle class, struggling to get by in a tough economy, there’s a lot in this bill that will really help: tax cuts for working families, a payroll tax holiday, energy tax credits, and the extension of Recovery Act initiatives that are already making a difference.

    And for the Minnesotans truly suffering right now — men, women, and children on the edge of economic disaster — the alternative is simply unacceptable. If we let Republicans block unemployment benefits, even temporarily, there will be a lot more pain for working families, a lot more homeless kids spending Christmas in a shelter or a car.

    I don’t get it…. The bit about the payroll tax holiday should be a complete deal breaker. Why are these guys going along with it?

    • Ooops! This was supposed to be a good-news-only thread. (smacks head)

    • Yea, I got his whiny email explaining how he didn’t want to, but gosh darn it, it’s still better than nothing. Sigh. I had high hopes for him. Turns out he’s a piece of shit just like the rest of them.

      • Why you had “high hopes” for Franken is beyond my comprehension.

        I lost any respect I ever had for him when he voted for that Stupakian health insurance monstrosity.

        He talks a good game, i.e., the speech he gave on the Senate floor a few days ago, but when it comes time to put his vote where his mouth is, he doesn’t have the courage of his supposed “Democratic” convictions.

    • I liked much of what Franken was saying. I never however never had illusions about him. I remember him on Air America saying that we have to go in Iraq, cuz Powell can’t ever be wrong. and then later, after W stole the 2004 election, he was pushing callers talking of it.

  11. The fix is in. Predictable.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission is slowing the pace of some investigations and routine inspections as part of a belt-tightening caused by the budget impasse in Congress. Agency officials recently postponed gathering testimony from witnesses in a number of probes into potential wrongdoing, according to people familiar with the situation. And some previously scheduled audits of financial firms outside Washington have been put on hold because the SEC won’t pay travel costs for investigators until an agreement is reached on the agency’s funding for the current fiscal year.

    • They will wait for three “Missing Blond Cheerleader” news cycles before quietly dropping the investigation. A week after it’s dropped, bags of cash will magically appear on certain doorsteps.

  12. Progressives will make a small progress when they’ll be better than hate radio and constantly have new targets for hate. Rahm is gone, leave him alone, try to be better than Glen Beck and other haters. You can criticize people, don’t hate them.

    The hate of Clinton, CDS, has brought us Obama. Bravo!

  13. OT – I am sure that I am not the first to make this point but if Hills were president and she trotted out Bill to finish a tough press briefing would there be even one single unexploded conservative head in Washington or the media?

    • If Hillary had won over Obama and brought Bill to finish/help with a tough press briefing, it’s the Obots that would have exploded and then melted down.

      • Tru dat.

      • If the Theft of May had not occurred, President Hillary Clinton would have been impeached by the Democrats by now. Such is the depths of CDS.

        • Ok, now you are giving me nightmares. Cut it out!

          • Yea, that’s scary. I don’t think they would have gone that far, but I think they would have been against her much like the Dems were against Bill in his first two years. Washington elites are allergic to outsiders, even if you haven’t been an outsider for decades.

  14. Here’s the other side of the coin of that HIV article:

    Link

  15. I love sloppy journalism. About that tax bill:

    “once questioned by both advocates and some opponents of the law “.

    In this case, the misplaced modifier is probably highlighting the truth – I’m sure there are only two advocates of that mess.

  16. [...] Continue reading Tags: berlin, blood, broke-today, brown, journal, news, recently-published, stem-cell-treatment, the-journal, timothyBookmark the permalink. ← Black Label Society- Devil's Dime Lyrics | Black Label Society Rangers News, Notes and Game Preview – Blueshirt Banter → © 2010 The Knowledge Blog – Dominima var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-20235547-1']); _gaq.push(['_setDomainName', '.dominima.net']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www&#039 ;) + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })(); [...]

  17. Not sure of any value in that supposed HIV cure but since stem cells are involved look for the republicans to nix any domestic research if they came from fetal tissue.

    Could research be done into growing spines for Democratic legislators from stem cells?

    • It’s the devils work I tell you. /snark

    • I believe they used adult stem cells (like they do with other cancer stem cell transplants)….actually from a donor who has a rare mutation making his cells resistant to HIV and/or progress more slowly to AIDS.

  18. A couple of bad news updates on Afghanistan. First from BBC covering a report by the red cross:

    In a rare public assessment of the humanitarian conditions in Afghanistan, the International Committee for the Red Cross said growing civilian casualties, internal displacement and poor medical care have created a dire humanitarian situation and are likely to persist into next year.

    The group said the conflict has entered a “new, rather murky phase” in which proliferating armed factions impede humanitarian efforts, including providing medical care, food and clean drinking water to the growing number of refugees.

    “One armed group may demand food and shelter in the evening, then, the next morning, another may demand to know why its enemy was given sanctuary,” Reto Stocker, head of the ICRC delegation in Afghanistan, said in a statement.

    And then there’s report at the NYTimes covering bad news from an intelligence report:

    As President Obama prepares to release a review of American strategy in Afghanistan that will claim progress in the nine-year-old war there, two new classified intelligence reports offer a more negative assessment and say there is a limited chance of success unless Pakistan hunts down insurgents operating from havens on its Afghan border.

    The reports, one on Afghanistan and one on Pakistan, say that although there have been gains for the United States and NATO in the war, the unwillingness of Pakistan to shut down militant sanctuaries in its lawless tribal region remains a serious obstacle. American military commanders say insurgents freely cross from Pakistan into Afghanistan to plant bombs and fight American troops and then return to Pakistan for rest and resupply.

    When will people wake up to the fact this this is a rat hole that we can never get out of with any semblance of a win. It will only get worse. Pull out now.

    • Obama, like Bush before him is too much the Narcissist to believe the old adage,”Afghanistan is where empires go to die”. He thinks he can pull a win out of his butt.

      • That’s an insult to narcissists. :)

      • I guess Obummer thinks his cronies will engineer a win for him by backroom manipulation of “Da Roolz” like they have done throughout his whole “brilliant” political career.

        Obummer doesn’t realize that the Taliban don’t give a flying duck what “Da Roolz” are. :twisted:

  19. As Sarah Palin would say, this poll is a hoot. A Politico poll shows Washington Elite don’t seem to like Palin very much:

    79 percent of Washington elites believe Palin is a “negative influence in national politics” while just 15 percent find her to be “a breath of fresh air.” Outside the nation’s capital, however, more than twice as many believe she has had a positive impact on politics, while 50 percent see her as a negative influence.

    “Palin is a populist-oriented phenomenon drawn heavily from lower middle-class voters, but she also deliberately comes off as anti-intellectual and anti-Washington, so it is no surprise she does not play in the Beltway,” said Mark Penn, CEO of the polling firm Penn Schoen Berland, which conducted the survey for POLITICO. “Elites almost everywhere are turned off by her and some of the very things she does that attracts her core support.”

    Washington elites’ low opinion of Palin was also clear when those surveyed were asked who is “most likely to win” the Republican nomination in 2012.

    • A bit more from the article:

      While Washington expects Romney will be the nominee, the rest of the country views Palin as the front-runner: 18 percent of the general public rated her as “most likely to win” the GOP nomination, a higher percentage than anyone else in the potential field.

      Romney was the only other likely candidate to be picked by more than 10 percent of those polled, getting 13 percent.

      Gingrich, Huckabee and Texas Rep. Ron Paul follow Palin and Romney among the general public and are the only other candidates to get picked as most likely to win by more than 1 percent of those polled.

      Fifty-one percent of the general public said they “don’t know” who will win the GOP’s nomination in 2012.
      Washington elites are defined in the poll as those who live within the D.C. metro area, earn more than $75,000 per year, have at least a college degree and are involved in the political process or policymaking.

      The poll, the last in the six-month “Power and the People” series, is the latest survey to show a wide-open presidential field — and signs of trouble for President Barack Obama.

    • She will be “Hillaried” in the primaries. Jeb, not Romney will be the nominee. Barbara’s recent snit against Palin revealed that much.

      • That’s up to Jeb. If he says yes, he’s it. I mean, he’s it no matter what the voters do. Sorry Obama. If he says no, they’ll run Romney who will lose to Obama. That’s the plan.

        • Yes, and since Obama sucks so bad, almost as bad as W, W’s bad reputation won’t hurt Jeb.

  20. repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law would harm “unit cohesion” and their tight-knit training for war.

    That’s b.s. Truman integrated the armed forces at a time when segregation was the rule, and the men adjusted. Amos is making excuses to support his bias.

    • I call b.s., too.

      If I was in a foxhole with bullets flying, it wouldn’t matter one speck to me if the person next to me was straight!

  21. If the Repub est rejects Palin as their candidate in 2012, she may very well go rogue and run as an Indie.

    • That’s what I’m expecting. No way on earth will the Repub establishment allow her to be the nominee, even if she gets the votes. And I don’t think she is necessarily that loyal to the Repub party. Prepare for some serious popcorn munching.

      • I don’t think Palin wants to be where she’s not wanted. If the GOP were smart, they would have recruited her for chair of the RNC because she is a fund raising machine. If she’s basically browbeaten by Romney’s people out of entering the nomination contest, her base will stay home and we’ll get a second Obama term.

  22. This just in, Obama is working hard to improve relations with the super rich CEO’s he’s been serving all of his political career. The meeting is about the next step in Obama’s effort to transform the US to the middle ages, an overhaul of the tax code:

    Obama plans to meet with some of the most prominent U.S. corporate leaders for a discussion covering such issues as trade, clean energy, the deficit and tax code reform.

    The president that the “primary engine of America’s success” is not government, but “the ingenuity of America’s entrepreneurs.”

    The meeting is a highly visible example of the commitment Obama has made in recent weeks to improve relations with the business community, which has been critical of the administration in its first two years.

    Obama said the goal of the meeting is to find ways to “help us climb out of recession.” The meeting will also focus on tax reform, a “balanced approach to legislation” and spurring foreign businesses to invest in America, he said.

    • My favorite on the list of attendees is billionaire Penny Pritzker of super wealthy Chicago real estate fame heavily involved in the subprime mortgage scandals who Obama wanted as commerce secretary until he was shamed out of it. She also apparently looted her own family trusts. Right up Obama’s ally.

      • Even funnier, she was a heavy contributor to dubya Bush and then served as Barack Obama’s National Finance Chair since ’08. I’m sure the Obots will have an 11 dim chess explanation for all of this crap.

        • They’ll probably claim that a wise man keeps his friends close and his enemies closer, or some such b.s.

  23. Subject: Bon Jovi we need you now more than ever

    And we thought the era of the autobromic* presidency  ended with Dubya:

    Today’s news at a glance:

    Poll: Obama Health Care Marks Hit New Low – Political Hotsheet – CBS News
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-6084856-503544.html

    Obama Recruits Bon Jovi
    12/15/10 at 11:30 AM 5Comments

    Photo: Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
    He’s already got Kal Penn, but Obama needs more pop culture surrounding his administration. So: Mr. Jon Bon Jovi has been officially named to the White House Council for Community Solutions. No details on what his official duties will be, but rest assured he will rock them in as anthemic a manner as humanly possible. [AP]

    http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2010/12/obama_recruits_bon_jovi.html

    *autobrom
    The Joke That Writes Itself

  24. Wow! That news about HIV is incredible. I lost a very close friend 15 years ago, and I think of all that I could have shared with him over the years. I love and miss you Mark.

  25. Rangoon78, on December 15, 2010 at 11:59 am said:
    “. . . the new “best and brightest” of the Obama generation will unleash a new cycle of activism, reform and fresh thinking . . .”
    -Tom Hayden
    Tom Hayden: An Endorsement of the Movement Barack Obama Leads
    January 2008:
    . . . today I see across the generational divide the spirit, excitement, energy and creativity of a new generation bidding to displace the old ways. Obama’s moment is their moment, and I pray that they succeed without the sufferings and betrayals my generation went through. There really is no comparison between the Obama generation and those who would come to power with Hillary Clinton, and I suspect she knows it. The people she would take into her administration may have been reformers and idealists in their youth, but they seem to seek now a return to their establishment positions of power. They are the sorts of people young Hillary Clinton herself would have scorned at Wellesley. If history is any guide, the new “best and brightest” of the Obama generation will unleash a new cycle of activism, reform and fresh thinking before they follow pragmatism to its dead end. 
    -Tom Hayden
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-hayden/an-endorsement-of-the-mov_b_83478.html
    Congratulations on being (to use Lambert’s
    Phrase) prematurely correct:
    From your archives:
    The “historic candidate” is an epic failure. Once again the hubris of the “best and brightest” has led us to disaster.
    Once again they are smugly confident it’s not their fault.
    http://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/the-creative-class-todays-best-and-brightest/
    Reply

    • We told them. We yelled from the rooftops. They said we couldn’t be right. We were of course. What are you going to do. And now we’re yelling about this tax bill like we did about the health care bamboozle. It will lead to social security and medicare cuts. Are they listening now, finally. Of course not.

  26. DANDY!!!

    I think you need to add this to your AIDS post:

    Link

    HIV/Aids charities are getting indundated with calls that they don’t need in this horrendous economy. People need to know that the scientists who called this a “cure” are being irresponsible. It’s about furthering their careers with half-truths.

    • Good point. Everyone, this is an early result about HIV, not AIDS. And it’s not a cure in the general case as we understand it. There’s lots and lots of work to do. Fantastic news obviously. But without further funding and effort, it’s not going to go to the next step.

  27. OMG, tweety just said he thought Obama turning things over to Clinton in that press conference was actually a show of confidence on the part of Obama. Kool-aid is a hellofa drug.

  28. speaking of interest rates, and cost of living…i tried to find a gas station today in central coast california selling regular for less than $3.25 per gallon. Outrageous.

    • And the price will continue to go up because the price per barrel of oil closed today at $88, but it’s been around $91

      Blame Obama and Bernanke

    • Do like I do when I’m at the pump and hear the next guy or gal over grousing about the price.
      I tell them that the price started to go up as the polling trended to a republican win in November and if they want $5.00 a gallon gas elect a republican president.

  29. “we’ve had people of color in the armed forces”
    Is that even a little the same thing? DADT for cohesion. It you are a very strait man it is a deep commonality, good for campouts.

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