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Friday Morning News and Views

Good morning Conflucians!!! TGIF!

When I first wrote that I really thought it was a good morning. I just spent around 2-1/2 hours writing a long morning news post, and when I tried to save it, I discovered that WordPress had logged me out. Therefore, my entire post was wiped out. I’ll try to recreate some of it, but here are some non-political stories to get you started. Too bad I got so involved in writing that I didn’t save till the end…

We were back in the deep freeze this morning in New England–12 degrees where I live, but we aren’t facing what the Twitter folks are calling “snowmageddon” and “snowpocalypse.”

the main event with this storm will be heavy snow in the Mid-Atlantic States. Snow will begin in the Washington area this afternoon and spread northward towards Philadelphia by evening.

Heavy snow will continue into Saturday before winding down by evening. Travel may grind to a halt for a time, especially overnight and Saturday.

By the time the storm ends, many areas in northern Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and southern Pennsylvania will have over a foot of snow. Some places may end up nearly two feet of snow from this storm.

As the low pushes off the coast, it will strengthen quickly and produce very strong winds, especially along the Mid-Atlantic coast. Gusts between 45 and 50 mph are possible from southern New Jersey to the Norfolk area Friday night and Saturday morning.

Blizzard warnings are in effect for southeastern areas of New Jersey as well as much of Delaware.

It is also worth mentioning that this storm will spread snow as far west as the Ohio Valley.

Amazingly, the storm is expected to blow out to sea before it can get up here to New England. It’s our second weekend of nice weather while those south and west of us suffer. I feel for the people in the areas that will be hard-hit, but I’m sure glad I won’t have to shovel snow this weekend (fingers crossed, because you never know with the weather).

Police Arrest Drive-by Ass Grabber (with video!)

RIDGELAND, Miss. — A Madison man was arrested by Ridgeland police and is accused of driving up and grabbing a woman’s butt, police said.

Christopher Johnson, 26, was arrested Friday and is charged with disorderly conduct, Ridgeland police said.

He is accused of grabbing Debbie Thweatt’s butt as she was walking out of Walmart in Ridgeland Tuesday, police said.

The guy grabbed another woman’s ass before he was arrested!

Beware lottery winners: Friend of slain lottery winner arrested on accessory charges

A Florida woman has been arrested in connection with the death of a lottery millionaire, whose body was found buried under recently added concrete at a home, authorities said.

Dorice Donegan Moore, 37, was arrested Tuesday evening on charges of accessory after the fact regarding a first-degree murder in the death of Abraham Shakespeare, 43, said Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee.

Moore befriended Shakespeare after he won a $31 million Florida lottery prize in 2006 and was named a person of interest in the case after Shakespeare went missing, authorities said.


Can I just say again that I love Al Franken?

Al Franken lays into David Axelrod over health care bill

Sen. Al Franken ripped into White House senior adviser David Axelrod this week during a tense, closed-door session with Senate Democrats.

Five sources who were in the room tell POLITICO that Franken criticized Axelrod for the administration’s failure to provide clarity or direction on health care and the other big bills it wants Congress to enact.

The sources said Franken was the most outspoken senator in the meeting, which followed President Barack Obama’s question-and-answer session with Senate Democrats at the Newseum on Wednesday. But they also said the Minnesotan wasn’t the only angry Democrat in the room.

“There was a lot of frustration in there,” said a Democratic senator who declined to be identified.

“People were hot,” another Democratic senator said.

But apparently Franken was the only one with real guts.

And then there’s this: Sen. Al Franken Rips NBC, Comcast Execs Over $30 Billion Merger

and this: Franken telling weak-kneed NARAL to beware of the current SCOTUS, especially Chief Justice Roberts.

What redeems my faith in the system is the fact that every so often, a politician comes along who actually exceeds my expectations, who comports themself the way we expect a politician to — without fear of losing, with more of a focus on the people they represent than the next election. The late, great Sen. Paul Wellstone, DFL-Minn., was one of those politicians. He ran a spirited campaign and talked a good show, but once elected he backed up his words with actions. He walked the talk.

And now, the man who holds his seat in the Senate is doing the same thing.

On Tuesday, Sen. Al Franken, DFL-Minn., served as the keynote speaker for the NARAL Pro-Choice America Roe v. Wade anniversary luncheon. And his remarks to the group were outstanding. Franken gave a full-throated, unapologetic defense of the right of women to choose their own reproductive destinies — and did so with both humor and grace.

I like this piece on Franken by Allison Kilkenney at True/Slant

Kilkenny is very good. She had a great snarky post yesterday too: Another columnist asks administration for blanky, cup of cocoa. It’s about “Terrorism Derangement Syndrome.”

Another loudmouthed politician whom I don’t like or trust as much as I used to, Barney Frank, made a very good speech recently about how the Right Wing Noise Machine works.

I have to agree with Frank that John Fund is a slimy, scurrilous liar and he deserves to be shunned.

Dennis Kucinich (another member of the House whom I don’t trust as much as I used to) has a post at Truthdig on health care reform after Massachusetts.

The verdict in Massachusetts was a verdict on the overall economy. But it was also a commentary on how the entire health care debate was flipped upside down by insurance interests who were able to intervene so that the final product that was offered out of the Senate was nothing more than a sell-out to the insurance industry.

We can still have health care reform in America. We need to take a short-term and a longer-term view. On the short-term: We need to take away the antitrust exemption that insurance companies have. We need to make sure, on the short-term, that we can see everyone with a pre-existing condition have access to insurance. There are things that we can do with single-initiatives to help regain the momentum on health care.

And for the longer-term: The answer is “Medicare for All.” The answer was never to continue to give the insurance companies one out of every three dollars in our health care system.

If only someone would listen to him!

Please check out this autobiographical piece on living under DADT by Retired Navy Capt. Joan E. Darrah.

OK, that’s about all I can remember of my lost post. I know I had more links, but I can’t remember them all. I’ll leave it to you Conflucians to post your stories in the comments. I love you guys!


190 Responses

  1. The first million-dollar winner in the California lottery was stabbed and killed by a jealous cousin.

  2. Andrew Sullivan says he was wrong on Edwards but right on Palin and her family. What a misogynist blowhard. Man would I love to take him down.

  3. Here’s a story that is just weird:

    The State Department has refused to answer basic questions about an accident that took place in Washington on Wednesday night, in which a U.S. Diplomatic Security Service vehicle struck Daily Caller employee Sean Medlock as he was crossing the street.

    An agent in the vehicle, Mike McGuinn, did not identify himself to Medlock at the scene, or apologize for running him down. Indeed, Washington, D.C., police drove to a local emergency room to serve Medlock with a jaywalking citation as he lay prostrate in a hospital bed, while a man who identified himself as “special agent” stood by watching and taking notes.

    Reached on his cell phone the following day by the Daily Caller, McGuinn refused to answer questions about the incident.

    “I’m a federal agent and I’m not allowed to talk to the media,” McGuinn said, citing “liability.” McGuinn initially declined even to reveal which agency he works for. “You can refer to the [DC] police department report,” he said before hanging up abruptly. (According the police department, no report will be publicly available for at least three days.)

    According to Medlock, who writes under the name Jim Treacher, he was struck at about 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, while crossing M Street in downtown Washington. Medlock says he was walking within the bounds of the crosswalk, toward a blinking white signal, when a government SUV suddenly turned left and plowed into him, knocking him to the ground.

  4. I’m really sorry about the loss of your post, BostonBoomer.

    On the weather thing, In DC they’re calling it snOMG! I like that too. I heard they’re expecting 16-24 inches — which I just can’t imagine. I’ve NEVER seen close to that much snow.

    • You’re kidding. I thought Kansas got lots of snow. We’ve had way more than that at once. Two feet isn’t all that much up here.

    • Snow came to Northern Va two hours ahead of schedule. They called for it to start around noon and it has been falling for the last half hour – brisk, wet snow.
      We expect 18 to 24 inches before it ends Sat night.

    • me too BB! I’ve had that happen before and you just want to sit down and cry! Hope you’re all snug up there with some hot cocoa or coffee and a soft blanket!!!

      • Thanks for the empathy, Dak. I need to remember to save at the end of every paragraph or something.

        • I use word document to write in for that very reason. It saves every so often whether I like it or not.

          • If you do that with WordPress, the formatting causes all kinds of crazy problems, unfortunately.

  5. Gallop:

    More than one-third of Americans (36%) have a positive image of “socialism,” while 58% have a negative image. Views differ by party and ideology, with a majority of Democrats and liberals saying they have a positive view of socialism, compared to a minority of Republicans and conservatives.

    • Well if people believe that the alternative to socialism is a bankers oligarchy, can you blame them. It’s one of those words that most people have a loose undertanding as a pure political philosophy. But a desire for fairness and popular resistance is indicated.

      • I’ve started teaching my students one lecture on this topic now. I think they’re really coming in confused on what the differences are between Marxism, Democratic Socialism, Libertarianism, and even conservative and liberal. I blame people like Glenn Beck who makes things up and screams it on air. It’s a shame we give political shows to people who have never even studied political philosophies and know the differences between the various approaches. I think folks are mistaking fascism for socialism and their mixing their economics and political science concepts

        • I’ve always thought the inherent weakness in any socioeconomic philosophy was the people that implement said philosophy. If you don’t dot your I’s and cross your T’s then it doesn’t matter about the philosophy. Because of the one major flaw, people, I think every pure philosophy has proven to not work as intended whether it be capitalism, communism or socialism. When something works it is because people see the need to work together toward a common purpose and minimize the influence of the Robber Barons that seem to crop up in every system.

          • And let me add that the one reason I loathe Libertarianism is that it seems to me to be all about the robber baron types. Unfettered free market in the land of technology, huge banks and the uninformed is a recipe for disaster. Libertarianism in my book is the most vile form of any socioeconomic system mainly because they borrow good ideas from others so that they can implement their really nasty ones.

          • MYIQ that was just too darned funny! Kudos on finding that one.

    • I wonder if they asked these people what socialism was before asking their opinion. It’s pretty apparent that people like Tancredo are clueless. He thinks using government money to give to private corporations when done by a Democrat is socialist.

      • That definition seems to be the popular notion of what socialism is today. I blame it on a press that never defines terms and always ladens comments with hyperbole and unsubstantiated misinformation (not that misinformation by itself is enough damage to public discourse).

    • http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/02/05/success_of_the_left_in_europe_the_right_in_us/

      Before welfare reform, US states with more African-Americans were significantly less generous to their welfare recipients. My colleague Erzo Luttmer found that people in the United States who live around poor people of a different race are more likely to oppose welfare spending. There is a long historical literature, written by scholars like C. Vann Woodward, documenting the role that racial divisions have played in blunting the appeal of populist redistributors in the United States and elsewhere.

      The other half of the difference between the United States and Europe can be explained by differences in political institutions. Richer countries – including the United States – that have have first-past-the-post electoral systems tend to have less redistribution. The welfare state is generally bigger in countries that make it easier for minority groups to elect leaders through proportional representation, as is the case in much of western Europe.

      • I’ve been hearing this stuff first hand since at least ’75 and it always comes from the more racist types.

        • What does?

          • I am sure you’ve heard it all before. But when I was a kid people used to/and still do blast AA’s for living off of welfare and driving expensive cars and living in shacks. If I heard that once I’ve heard it a thousand times. It was completely untrue then as it is now. Now the phrasing is different to be sure but still racist and unfounded all the same.

    • Comparative political philosophy, as well a comparative religion, should be mandatory subjects for high school graduation.

    • The news there is that there are some Republicans and conservatives that have a positive view of socialism.

  6. Now this is racism:

    The opening-night speaker at first ever National Tea Party Convention ripped into President Obama, Sen. John McCain and “the cult of multiculturalism,” asserting that Obama was elected because “we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country.”

    The speaker, former Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., told about 600 delegates in a Nashville, Tenn., ballroom that in the 2008 election, America “put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House … Barack Hussein Obama.”


    “Thank God John McCain lost the election,” he said, voicing his belief that McCain would have presided over big budgets and lacked a tough stand against immigration.

    Tancredo served 10 years in the House of Representatives and made a name for himself with his ardent opposition to immigration. He believes the 2008 election served to galvanize the right.

    “This is our country,” he told the crowd. “Let’s take it back.”

    I didn’t know that Tancredo was Native American.

    • Like Lou Dobbs has a Mexican wife. I suppose it provides cover. Tancredo is a scary nut who is bound to make the difficult immigration debate ugly.

      • I think it was supposed to be a joke 3W.

        It’s a reference to his statement “This is our country,” he told the crowd. “Let’s take it back.”

        I do believe Tancredo qualifies though as a full blooded moron.

        • Right, Tancredo is Italian American. Myiq’s snark works faster than my coffee. 🙂

          • I have Italian friends who are also against Mexicans and think they are all illegal Aliens. They complain about how people in Scranton who are Mexican should have to speak English. The funny thing to me is that their grandparents all spoke Italian only when they were growing up.
            I used to say everyone who came after 1700 should be deported because the 1600s were when real Americans who spoke English came to this country.
            The point went right over their heads. I have a friend who is German and his ancestors came over in the mid 1800s… they didn’t speak English either. But he insists that is a different situation.
            Many people, maybe even most can not learn from history, even their own history.

          • Of course if I said everyone who’s family came here after 1607 had to leave, some upstart people of Spanish decent would then say the same about anyone coming after the 1500’s. Damn the Spanish Empire. 🙂

    • “we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country.”

      That is helpful in answering my question about how Tancredo ever got elected.

  7. Jon Stewart appears to be going after the lefty blogs. He’s making a point about lack of news discipline more than politics, I believe..

    • Mostly it was about the hyperbole in their headlines. It was pretty funny. Though he sort of sucked up to Madow in the bit. {{slight dry heave}}

  8. School just called — early dismissal.

  9. Re: Medicare for All/Single payer. According to a news post yesterday, 50% of all health care payments will be made by the federal government by 2012. That is because of the growing number of baby boomers entering the medicare years and because of the expansion of medicaid (due to poverty) and schip for children. Add to that veterans, the disabled, and the military.

    The medicare population, of course, also accounts for the largest number of sick people. I suppose you could add to that the reality that those in poverty have the highest risk for poor health.

    • If that’s true, the government might as well extend Medicare to everyone. That would spread the risk around and save billions.

      • 2012 is only the beginning of the baby boom retirements. I’m on the leading edge, and I won’t be eligible for Medicare until the end of 2012.

      • Exactly. Or maybe in the absence of political failure to act, we get there anyway. Note that this is “50% of all healthcare PAYMENTS”.

      • Exactly, I’m with Kucinich on this one. I read somewhere that we are the only industrialized country with a for profit health insurance system. Because really, what value does it add to society? What is the service being provided? How does it help people? Suck out the profits by converting to a total non-profit system and use extra money to direclty provide the care instead of for executive compensation and shareholder payouts.

  10. Corpse-man?

    • That was really a funny bit and he repeater corps(e) 3x. Don’t think that was a Totus mistake. They will have to add diacritical marks next.

    • The Navy guys are not liking that one bit. If you are going to send them into battle, at least pronounce their title correctly.

      • He also called Kirsten Gillibrand “Kristen.” It’s not unusual to mispronounce names, but he does it regularly with his colleagues. That self-absorption really takes a toll on recognizing others huh? Get out of your delusions of grandeur head O.

      • maybe he should spend less time giving parties and playing golf and more time reading his speeches before reading them in public.

      • And don’t ever call a Marine a soldier either. If you’re dealing with the military you win hearts and minds by learning a few things about them. Almost like you give a damn.

    • I heard that on the radio. LOL. Maybe he thinks it’s a zombie story.

      Next they will use phonetic spelling only on TOTUS.

      • It’s a tad odd to me that he can pronounce Pakistan but didn’t take the time to learn the title of the men and women who he is reliant on to be ambassadors on behalf of the US.

        Still, it’s nice that he acknowledged the aid being rendered.

        • It kind of bugs me the way he says “Pock-e-stahn” because he doesn’t pronounce the names of other countries with their inflections/pronunciations. He doesn’t say “Frahnce” or “Sverige,” for instance.

  11. The Tea Party Convention is disrobed. They have 600 attendees. I have to hand it to them—never have the few rattled the many with so much twitter.

  12. John Judis:

    Here is a fact: Barack Obama has trouble generating enthusiasm among white working class voters. That’s not because they are white. He would have had trouble winning support among black working class voters if they had been unable to identify with him because he was black. He has trouble with working class voters because he appears to them as coming from a different world, a different realm of experience, a different class, if you like. And that’s because he does.

    • He has that right. I remember that this was a huge and continuing problem for 0 in the primaries as he the process moved into the states that were more and more “working class” venues. It was very clear in PA, TX, IN, OH, WVA etc. HRC oth seemed to really connect when the blogger boyz were certain she could not.

      • Which they then blamed on (what else?) racism.

      • Hillary is not a “warm and fuzzy” person but she is quite warm and she is no nonsense. Back in ’92, she said that if people didn’t like what the Clintons had to say, then don’t vote for them. That’s still Hillary.

        I’ve never seen her approach voters with the “stay home, we don’t need you” attitude that we saw from Donna B and the rest of the Obama camp.

        • One of the reasons Bill survived the Lewinsky scandal was that people were willing to forgive him because they believed he really cared about them.

          Bill Clinton and Reagan both come across as warm and likeable – which made people willing to overlook their faults.

          Obama comes across as cold and detached – he won’t survive any scandals and he won’t get any slack for “trying” when he runs for reelection. His only hope is convincing people he’s competent.

        • I volunteered at the local precinct back in ’92 to run the phones. I was totally dismayed by the people who were running the thing as they were one issue people all the way. They were touting Bill because they wanted to legalize drugs. Didn’t give a darned about any other thing. Didn’t know any of the platform at all. I just wonder if the part of the left that is continually bashing Hillary and now Bill was in part because of that issue. I never once heard Bill or Hillary say they wanted to repeal any drug laws but when people get something in their heads it tends to stick.

      • Hillary Clinton had a solid grasp of pocketbook issues. Obama gives me the impression that he is getting econ tips from Reagan’s corpse.

    • I remember that the black voters were really more won over by Michelle than by Barack, initially.
      (Just like I was won over by Elizabeth Edwards. It’s a lesson to me. Don’t listen to the spouse; listen to the candidate.)

      • To be fair, Edwards talked about doing healthcare reform with the insurance companies not allowed at the table, and was against nuclear and against “clean” coal energy. Too bad he turned out to be such a scum bag in private life.

        • That’s what I mean — I questioned his sincerity initially, but EE was just amazing when she spoke — really commonsense & from the heart, that I conflated her with him.

          • Turns out that all of his ideas were actually her ideas. One of these days we’ll hopefully be able to leave the shallow empty suit at home and have nothing but grown-ups at the table. Maybe by then it won’t be too late.

      • Makes perfect sense. Michelle wasn’t raised white.

  13. On Franken: right words, wrong target – Axelrod is not the one supposed to lead.
    Bringing this from downstairs

    • I thought that too Edge—wrong target— but figured that Franken knew that and tried to deliver the message anyway hoping it might get delivered to the correct doorstep

    • That’s true. They are stlll pulling their punches. One report on that meeting with Senate Dems said that they were polite when Obama was there, and did not get confrontational until he left. The buck stops there, Al.

      Still, it’s good to see that Franken is on fire. I think all those years of railing against it have built up, and now that he has a platform, he’s going to use it. Good for him–keep it comin’.

      • … could be he’s targeting the puppeteer instead of the puppet.

        • Bingo!

          ITA all those years of railing …. He now has a platform and has to use it. Thats what Franken fought for. Hard. Go! AL!

          “puppeteer” = thats it

          right words, right target

  14. So NY State AG Andrew Cuomo is going after Ken Lewis, former head of BofA/Merrill. Andrew is probably running for Governor in the fall. Lewis counters by calling Bernanke and Paulson to testify for his defense. Hope Andrew knows what he’s doing. This is just like Law & Order. 🙂

  15. Roubini is not optimistic.

    The Ticking U.S. Fiscal Bomb
    Nouriel Roubini
    The administration lacks the political capital for financial reform.

    In the last few weeks we’ve witnessed a series of events that reveal the Obama administration’s juggling act. It has sought to introduce policies to maintain growth and tame the fiscal deficit, while also garnering the Congressional support it needs to see them pass. The Democrats’ loss of the Massachusetts Senate seat, though, raised questions about President Obama’s ability to move forward on financial regulation, fiscal austerity and health care reforms. Obama’s waning political capital will stand in the way of achieving his fiscal, social and economic goals.


  16. It’s DKos but its a good post on the current unemployment numbers.

  17. Silicon Valley admits if there were more women in tech, maybe Apple would have found a different name for the iPad.

    • Wasn’t the Mad Tv parody enough of a clue?

    • Why do so many people hear “pad” and think “menstruation-related product”? I’m of the female persuasion and I use a writing pad, a mouse pad, a sleeping-bag pad, knee pads, shoulder pads, etc. and NONE of them are for menses.

      Get over looking for innuendos in everything.

    • While this is just a lead-in to his larger point of the lack of women entrepreneurs, I’m not sure it would have made a difference.

      I’ll bet that if Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs had even one woman on his executive team, the iPad would have been given a different name. Otherwise why would Apple (AAPL) give its new device a name half of the population equates with feminine hygiene?

      What half of the population?

      Does Vivek Wadhwa think women came up with all of the iPad jokes?

    • Sigh

      There aren’t enough women in tech. There aren’t enough women in finance. There aren’t enough women in politics.

      Kinda decries the idea that we have “come a looooong way baby.”

  18. http://hotair.com/archives/2010/02/05/another-kennedy-seat-at-risk/

    I did not realize that if he loses this will be the first time in almost 50 years there will not be a Kennedy in Washington.
    I guess Teddy did more harm to the family legacy then he thought when he backstabbed Hillary and claimed backtrack.



  19. Scott Brown’s campaign apparently kicked ass on the internet.

    Google offers free consulting services to politicians of both parties, and their Elections and Issue Advocacy Team has reportedly started staffing up for the 2010 cycle.

    Google was so impressed by Brown’s campaign, they invited Willington to give a talk at their Washington, D.C. office earlier this week. (You can watch the video Willington showed at the talk here.)

    Google suggested that the tools Brown’s campaign had used were so useful because they were both scalable and easily trackable.

  20. Brent Budowsky:

    When Thomas Paine wrote Common Sense, it was one of the great best-sellers in history and made a ton of money by 1776 standards. Paine donated all of the money, every penny of it, for the troops of the continental army. Sarah Palin, by contrast, gives a populist speech at a Tea Party convention, and donates the money to herself.

    I think Brent is jealous.

    • Yeah, and how many Dems follow Tom Paine’s guidelines from “Common Sense” these days?

    • Oh, give me a damn break. She’s actually said that she’ll use the money for various conservative causes, but even if she kept it and bought a damn car, SO WHAT?? Big name Dems don’t get speaking fees? Al Gore gives 90% of his income to charity or something?

      They are just pissed that even though they drove her out of elective office, she remains influential and very happy with her life. They are pissed that once the Village passed judgement on her, she didn’t meekly acquiesce and put on a hair shirt and go into seclusion. How DARE she remain successful after the Beautiful People decreed her persona non grata?

      • I do not buy the story she was forced out of office. She could have stayed. Other politicians have fought legal challenges in Alaska. Ted Stevens comes to mind.

        • We disagree on that. Ted Stevens did not have completely baseless “ethics” complaints filed against him by the dozens, ceaselessly, as a concerted strategy to keep him from doing his job. This was not a complaint or two she could have fought (as a matter of fact, she won the ones that she DID fight.) This was malicious intent to keep those complaints coming one after the other, nonstop, and simply overwhelm the governor’s office with fighting them. The people doing it bragged openly that their entire intent was to drive her from office, and they did not care one whit whether there was actual wrongdoing.

          Not the same thing.

          • I guess we will. I will defend sexism against Palin, but she is an opportunist.

          • Good for her. I wish I had opportunities like that.

          • Palin is an opportunist in the sense that she’s making a fool out of people who thought they were the ones making a fool out of her.

          • cxm, this is the disconnect that I do not get. I get disagreeing vehemently with her politics. But I don’t get the idea that someone with conservative politics must of necessity be automatically more venal, more selfish, less moral than someone of Liberal politics. That fighting for their beliefs on what is good for the country is a morally different thing from me fighting and advocating for mine.

            How is continuing to remain on the national stage, and garner attention for causes she believes in, any more “opportunist” (and vaguely unsavory) than Al Gore doing so? I see the difference in their politics, but I cannot for the life of me see how one can declare that the one is doing so from noble motives, and the other is doing so from baser motives. Where, exactly, is the evidence of this “opportunism”, other than using every opportunity she has to advance her beliefs?

          • WCMB, I’m not saying she is more venal, etc. but it seems to me a disconnect when she states she’s for the average Joe/Jane and then takes a$100K speaking fee. If her fee were not so high, maybe people would not have had to pay $600 to attend the convention.

          • If she wasn’t speaking, maybe nobody would go at all.

          • Do you know what Sarah Palin owes people?

            Not a goddamn thing.

          • My point is that what she is doing is NO different than what many big name Dems do, as far as speaking fees, etc. Bill Clinton gets them, Howard Dean gets them, Al Gore gets them. Yet somehow it’s “opportunist” for her. How so?

          • Maybe Michael Moore should stop charging for his documentaries and just freely put them up on youtube. That would make him more believable as the hero of the common man.

          • Misogynists are post partisan. 🙂

          • I don’t think I’ve ever heard of any politician that didn’t at one time or another proclaim he was for the working class joe. I also don’t see any of them turning down $100,000 for speaking engagements.

          • Wonk, I’m guessing Michael’s looking forward to cashing in on the recent Scotus decision.

          • ITA with wmcb & myiq.
            Palin’s the kind of woman that scares the cheetos — won’t sit down and won’t shut up. The fact that she’s on the other side makes her their favorite target.

          • As usual the Cheetos are slow though. If we are likely going to get stuck with someone who has a conservative bent, I’d much rather it be someone who has record of at least showing compassion when it comes to social spending. Someone who isn’t completely an ideologue to the point where if the Democratic side of the aisle were in charge she’d purposely demagogue for political points.

            All in all if we get stuck with a conservative we could do wayyyyyyyy worse then someone like Palin despite my ideological differences with her.

          • All in all if we get stuck with a conservative we could do wayyyyyyyy worse then someone like Palin despite my ideological differences with her.

            Yup. Again, totally agree with this too. I view her as wrong on a bunch of issues, but honest, sensible, and with heart.

    • Did Obama — who I hear became the father of our nation when he gave his SOTU speech — donate all his book money to the ‘corpse men’ or something?

      • Whatever happened to Obama’s Nobel money?

        • He said he would donate it to charity. Obamapromise!

          • He gave $15,000 to Haiti relief (probably via the Clinton/Bush effort).

            I can’t find anything online that quotes Obama saying what he would do with the $1M Nobel dollars.

        • As a sitting President he actually has no choice in the matter. He is not allowed to accept gifts of any magnitude. He gets paid a salary and that is it.

        • His tax return will probably be made public as those of others in the past so charitable contributions should be shown.

  21. NY Times:

    The White House fired back this morning at a move by Senator Richard Shelby, Republican of Alabama, who placed a “blanket hold” on dozens of President Obama’s nominees awaiting confirmation before the Senate.

    Roberts Gibbs, the White House press secretary, sharply criticized Mr. Shelby’s actions, calling it the best instance yet for how Washington is broken. “I guess if you needed one example of what’s wrong with this town, it might be that one senator can hold up 70 qualified individuals to make government work better because he didn’t get his earmarks,” Mr. Gibbs told reporters today. “If that’s not the poster child for how this town needs to change the way it works, I fear there won’t be a greater example of silliness throughout the entire year of 2010.”

    Obama is an outsider, see!

    • Like kindergarten.

    • I’ll bet Shelby’s approval rating in Alabama just went up 5 points. He doesn’t give a flying fuck what the voters in the other 56 states think.

    • Shelby wants an earmark for an FBI center in his state to analyze improvised explosive devices. Interesting that all these obstructionists will complain that positions are not filled.

  22. http://www.startribune.com/world/83623612.html?elr=KArks:DCiUBcy7hUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU




    • WELLINGTON, New Zealand – This Scotch has been on the rocks for a century.

      Five crates of Scotch whisky and two of brandy have been recovered by a team restoring an Antarctic hut used more than 100 years ago by famed polar explorer Ernest Shackleton.

      Ice cracked some of the bottles that had been left there in 1909, but the restorers said Friday they are confident the five crates contain intact bottles “given liquid can be heard when the crates are moved.”

  23. American Idol wants Howard Stern to replace Simon Cowell.

    • One more reason not to watch.

      • Can you imagine? Instead of a singing competition we’ll get treated to hearing Stern profess his opinion on all the women auditionings body parts and questions about their sex lives.

        What an awful, awful decision.

      • I have never watched a single episode of American Idol. Stern certainly would not make me more likely to do so.

        • I’ve watched it. You aren’t missing a bunch. Although the show does underscore that there are some talented singers out there undiscovered.

          • I’ve seen snippets on youtube, or in passing, etc. and agree there are some real talents out there. But I never sat through a whole show. Of course, I also never saw a full episode of Dallas, or ER, or many other hits.

    • Yux.
      I like Simon Cowell. I’ll probably watch his other show instead.

    • Ick, ick and more ick. Glad that I’m not in the habit of watching it.

    • Meh…I appreciate Howard. He revolutionized the industry and is one of the nicest people you could meet in RL. In any event, he’s in contract negotiations with Karmazin and I’m guessing the American Idol talk is part of the posturing. Mel will find a way to keep him, at least for 3 more years I’m betting.

      AI’s audience and Howard’s audience couldn’t be more different, and I believe enough people understand that. Howard’s schtick is not compatible with the pre-teen audience that keeps AI on top; although I think the show has jumped the shark and is on the way out. I think Simon is deserting the sinking ship for safer waters. IMHO.

  24. Looks like James Cameron wants to take over NASA. Guess after Titanic and Avatar, that would be logical next step. What an ego on that guy.

    • Here is his opening statement: “What do rockets burn for fuel? Money. Money that is contributed by working families who have mortgages and children who need braces.” I hope he does understand that we get a ton of benefits from NASA and if the organization were closed tomorrow NONE of the money would be given back to those people whose taxes fund NASA and none of the money would be passed on to needy people. More likely it would just go down the sinkhole that is Iraq and Afghanistan and some insane missile defense project. He does realize these things, doesn’t he?

    • Let him take it over 😉

      He is a brilliant director. Titanic was amazing. Looking forward to seeing Avatar.

      I watched Terminator 2 again yesterday and it holds up so well … can’t think of a better made film of that genre right now. Clearly, he knows what he is doing re films. And his films need a guy with a big ego.

  25. DNC to run ads accusing Republicans of protecting Wall Street. And the Dems are innocent lambs. DNC is either stupid or blind.

    • GOP Chases Wall Street Donors
      Data Show Fund-Raisers Begin Capitalizing on

      “Republicans are stepping up their campaign to win donations from Wall Street, trying to capitalize on an increasing sense of regret among executives at big financial institutions for backing Democrats in 2008.”


      • I figured that one was coming. They’ll swap off again, not because one or the other party is likelier to do their bidding (both will do that), but because they are aware of the changing political winds and want to grease the palms of the next winners. Ugh.

        • And Wall St. has been helped by bailouts so in a sense our money is being used and probably against us.

  26. http://www.cracked.com/article_18380_the-6-most-statistically-full-shit-professions.html

    This struck me as funny
    Notice where k obo fits in.



  27. Now there’s a second Tebow ad that will run 4X during the pre-game show, in addition to the 2x for the main Tebow ad during the game. Planned Parenthood had countered with this ad which will only run online.

  28. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking-news/story/1464926.html

    I just saw this a piece of a cargo plane falls on shopping mall parking lot in Miami. No one hurt



  29. Cuomo sued Lewis; BoA settles with SEC subject to court approval


    “The legal drama surrounding the controversial takeover of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America, one of the pivotal moments of the financial crisis, took a fresh turn on Thursday as the attorney general of New York leveled civil fraud charges against Kenneth D. Lewis, the former Bank of America chief who masterminded the deal.

    But no sooner did that news break than the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had struck a new, $150 million deal with Bank of America to settle its own cases involving the merger. Moments later, North Carolina’s attorney general announced that his office also had reached a settlement.”

    • I believe the SEC is supposed to work for Congress, not the Treasury or the Fed. But keeping Paulson and Bernanke out of the courtroom must have been a priority. Cuomo scores his political points and collects on the settlement for NY State. Lewis is essentially untouched, must have been innocent. Neat way for Cuomo to get a bank to help with his campaign. Wonder if other pols up for election will try and greenmail the Treasury. Messy stuff.

      • The article does not imply that Cuomo is giving up against Lewis. I’m inclined to believe the banks settled to try to undercut Cuomo.

        • Not defending any of these overpaid megalomaniacs, but Lewis always seemed like he was pressured to swallow Merrill by Paulson and Bernanke. Not that BofA didn’t have its own problems. I’m still puzzled by how no attention has been paid to Stan O’Neal, the Merrill CEO before Thain who was really responsible for digging the big asset hole at Merrill with his team.

  30. Long article on orphanages in Haiti:


  31. changing my email account is a lot of fun for so many web sites…Hopefully this is the way to do it on here…

  32. The 9″ of snow we have just gotten is going to seem tame compared to NoVA’s blizzard. They interviewed the new Gov on the Weather Channel awhile ago and VA is at Level 5 Alert which is as high as it goes here.

    Umm, I know he’s a repub and all that but he gave a pretty impressive interview……

  33. Look what’s happening at Revolution Books in Berkeley, CA:

    Upcoming events
    A Year of Obama…Change You Still Believe In? (February 9 at 7:00pm)
    Revolution Books staff discusses A Year of Obama…Change You Still Believe In?.
    If all the outrages that drove you to support Obama were wrong under Bush, they are still wrong today. If those abuses led you to pour your efforts into the Obama campaign, then there is a responsibility to confront and work towards finding ways to change these now. Yes, this will require hard work… … (more)and hard thinking. AND yes, this may make you uncomfortable- uncomfortable in doing new things, and uncomfortable in thinking about this country in ways that can pose challenges to what you take for granted intellectually,how you live and what you dream about. That requires a significant degree of bravery.But there is no other morally viable course.

    Wow. This is almost unbelievable. This is Berkeley. I think the earth just moved. Checking my calendar now.

    • Jeebus, I hope they wake up permanently. What they’ve been doing so far is getting mad, then running right back to Obama when he whispers some more sweet nothings in their ear.

      As a longtime CENTRIST Liberal, I can honestly say that what Obama does is choose the absolute worst ideas of the Democrats, and the absolute worst ideas of the Republicans, and combines them into one big clusterfuck. Gee, if he was going to try to be a “moderate”, couldn’t he pick stuff from either side that sorta WORKS ???? I mean, at least that would be sane, if not always ideologically satisfying.

      • And may I add that this is where being all image and no substance comes in. Compromise is indeed possible, and is not always a bad thing, IF you are looking at it from a practical point of view. Bill knew how to do that. He was all about what works, and could steal ideas from all over the spectrum and craft them to do at least a small amount of good.

        When you compromise in a non-directed, vague, just-for-the-sake-of-it-to-look-warm-and-fuzzy-and-bi-partisan way, you end up with a rudderless mess.

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