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Sunday Morning: D’oh! Sooooo close.

The fallout from the midterm election is still being analyzed by the blogosphere and the mainstream media.  Some of the best analysis can once again be found at Anglachel’s Journal.  Her latest, The Failure of Team Obama , gets almost to the heart of the matter:

Political choices have political outcomes. Failure to act in the long-term interest of the party – which is just another way of saying failure to enact policies and engineer outcomes that will build mass support for continued electoral success – and subsuming party interests to that of elite factions within a party (and even more those elite groups spanning parties) will erode institutional strength:


This simple fact – that Obama chose the team he wanted, with full knowledge of who they were and where their loyalties lay – undermines the Obamacan apologists like WKJM who whine on about how we have to give The Precious more time and we aren’t being fair and times are tough and any way Clinton lost big at the midterms too and blah blah fucking blah.

This is also why the growing meme of “This is Bill Clinton’s old financial team, so really it’s all his fault because he started it, and Obama inherited his problems from Clinton, and it’s all due to the evil Clinton cabal!” can’t hold water. If the economic choices of the Clinton administration were wrong, then Obama should have had the wisdom to chose different advisers. There was time enough to see the long-term effects of those past political choices, with special emphasis on how the loopholes of the legislation (loopholes demanded by both Republicans and Democrats, each in turn guided by that cross-party interest group, Wall Street) were exploited under an out-of-control Republican regime.


The biggest problem here is not that Obama pulled the wool over anyone’s eyes. He was this way all along and has performed exactly as he said he would – center-right, non-confrontational, go with the status quo, listen to all the Very Serious People, and earnestly pursue bi-partisan capitulation.

The failure lies with those who believed his bullshit in the first place.

There’s more where that came from.  Go read the whole thing.

Add to that two small posts at Craig Crawford’s Trail Mix.  The first was about how the Democrats lost significant support in the states where Hillary Clinton had won the 2008 primaries by landslides.  In Dems Lose Clinton Country, Crawford writes:

Forty of 63 House turnovers to GOP were in states Obama lost to Hillary in 2008 primaries. Just something for the President’s camp to think about as they ponder a more daunting reelection map than they had faced before Tuesday.

Had Hillary been available to campaign – her position as secretary of state doesn’t allow it – could she have made a difference? Bill Clinton was more than available, barnstorming everywhere she might have helped, but Democrats still lost much ground in HRC 2008 states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana (12 House turnovers).

Although Obama won those states in the general election, Tuesday’s drubbing suggests he’ll be spending a lot of time there over the next two years.

The other post, Was 2008 an Outlier?, comes closer than a gnat’s wing to the truth but doesn’t quite connect:

How can elections two years apart look so different? But Tuesday’s vote seems to be the norm. Its center-right results fit into the main stream of the last 30 years far more than 2008’s assumed lunge to the left.

Even the Democratic congressional sweep of 2006 was actually more in keeping with tradition. Democrats won Congress largely by recruiting centrist candidates – which created a time bomb that exploded in their faces this week, as voters in those right-leaning districts and states switched back to the Republican column.

This has me wondering if Barack Obama’s election was merely an exception made possible by the alluring uniqueness of his personal history and appeal. If so, the biggest mistake Democrats made was in assuming that their recent successes were transformational, instead of merely temporary.

Let’s clear this up right now.  I don’t think that the Democratic party in 2008 really believed that Obama’s candidacy was transformational.  Obama was a franchise, complete with two autobiographies of a man who didn’t have a history, and a slick brand marketing campaign.  The Democrats sold the Transformation brand to win but forgot to include the crucial ingredient- actual transformation.  And the voters called them on it.

I don’t think there was any doubt that voters wanted something significantly different than Republican Movement Conservatism in 2008.  Voters didn’t switch back to the Republicans in 2010 so much as Democratic voters failed to show up.  This election is not about voter rejection of transformation.  It’s anger that came when they bought the only cereal on the shelf only to find there wasn’t any prize in the damn box.  Republicans were not rewarded.  Democrats were punished.

As for who believed the hype, it sure wasn’t the people in Hillary country, which included all of the biggest, most Democratic states in the nation.  Blowing those voters off was the biggest mistake Democrats ever made.  Depriving them of the right of self determination was going to come back to bite the party in the end and in fact, voters in Massachusetts and New Jersey almost immediately got back at the party.  Democrats who failed to show up in both states derailed the careers of Martha Coakley and Jon Corzine. But the Democratic party didn’t take these defeats seriously.

What I found most surprising about the last election cycle is that Democrats didn’t even appear to be trying.  They trotted out fearmongering of Republicans, mirroring Republicans stock in trade when applied to scary muslims.  It was propaganda to tweak the irrational in us.  Combine that with the praise of legislation that in no way met the needs of the people it was purported to serve, like Health Care Reform and the Lilly Ledbetter act. Democrats seem to have severely underestimate the intelligence of the average voter.

Note to Democrats:  They’re not as dumb as you think they are.  Oh, sure, there are plenty that can be mislead, millions that can be confused.  But deep down, they know the score.  They’re just trying to keep their heads above water.  What they wanted was a life preserver and you failed to throw them one. If you’re preaching change but not really changing things, they’ll gravitate towards the people who at least promise to keep their taxes low.  But I’m guessing that the real reason they punished you is because they sensed that their lives were just not very important to you.  So your jobs became less important to them.

The voters in Clinton country never did believe the Obamawama bullshit to begin with.  The true believers were the “Creative Class” contingent.  Any party that is being lead around by a bunch of delusional political virgins probably deserves to lose.

Moving on:

The GOP Plans to Use Purse Strings to Fight Health Law .  How are they going to do that?:

Republican lawmakers said, for example, that they would propose limiting the money and personnel available to theInternal Revenue Service, so the agency could not aggressively enforce provisions that require people to obtainhealth insurance and employers to help pay for it. Under the law, individuals and employers who flout the requirements will face tax penalties.

Moreover, Republican leaders said, they plan to use spending bills to block federal insurance regulations to which they object. And they will try to limit access to government-subsidized private health plans that include coverage ofabortion — one of the most contentious issues in Congressional debate over the legislation.

Yeah, that’s the way to do it.  Why can’t Democrats play like this?  This wouldn’t happen if Democrats had given us Medicare for All or a nice Public Option.  Gits.

Frank Rich wonders why Obama is flying off to India right after the bruising his party got during the election.  I should think it’s obvious, Frank.  Obama is going to put everything on the table and, in a bipartisan fashion, politely ask India to give us our jobs back.  Who the hell cares why he’s going?  He’s not doing us any good in Washington.  Rich also muses about what voters really want with regards to spending cuts and entitlements:

Pressed about Social Security and Medicare, Blackburn would only promise to have an “adult conversation” with Americans on the subject. That’s the new Republicanese for punting. The G.O.P. budget guru, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, also called for a “conversation” in a specifics-deficient op-ed manifesto in The Financial Times last week. Boehner and Mitch McConnell, in their postelection press conference, declared no fewer than 11 times that they were eager to “listen” to the American people. At the very least they are listening to a message guru like Frank Luntz.

Were they to listen to Americans, they’d learn that they favor budget cuts mainly in theory, not in fact. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll this summer found that three-quarters of Americans don’t want to cut federal aid to education — high on the hit list of most fiscal hawks — and more than 60 percent are opposed to raising the Social Security retirement age to 70. Even in the Republican-tilted electorate of last week, exit polls found that only 39 percent favored extending the Bush tax cuts to all Americans, including those making $250,000-plus. Yet it’s a full Bush tax cut extension that’s the entirety of the G.O.P. jobs program in 2010. This will end “uncertainty” among the wealthiest taxpayers, you see, and a gazillion jobs will trickle down magically from Jackson Hole.

I got yer adult conversation right here: If Democrats use Republicans as cover for cutting social security, they will be telling folks like me that it was OK to lie to us for three decades about why we were paying in to the social security surplus fund.  It will have amounted to a huge tax increase during our prime earning years that was used to cover the tax breaks for the wealthy and wars that many of us didn’t want.  I’d call that fraud.

Do we look stupid to you??  You want an adult conversation?  Let this voter start it.  Accountability before Austerity. That’s the message I am delivering to every Congresscritter in Washington.  Before you ask for single penny in sacrifices from us working class wage slaves, get the money from the bankers, tell the financials to take a hair cut, end the costly wars, raise the taxes of anyone making $250K and make investors cough up their share of capital gains taxes and other percs.  Or how about we replicate the recently passed NJ law that says that you can’t use payroll assessments for any other purpose than the ones for which they were collected?  (See, Dems?  I’ve given you several very good political ideas that will make you popular with the voters who just handed you your asses.  Use them, damn it.)

No, No, No.  Do not think you can talk to us like children about talking to us as adults.  You seriously underestimate us when it comes to social security, which is not an entitlement.  It’s retirement insurance for the working class and during this Mother of All Recessions when so many of us have seen our 401Ks take a hit, now is not a good time to talk about cutting it or making it unreachable.  Forget it.

Accountability before Austerity.

On a more literary note:

I’m listening to Keith Richards’ autobiography, “Life”.  It’s not as profoundly philosophical as you might think from the pithy title, but then this is Keef.   (Did we really need to know that Mick Jagger has a small penis?)   Keith comes off as a bad boy with a good heart and a fascination with putting just about everything but Comet cleanser in his body.  But 2/3’s of the way through the book, Keith is making me ask some uncomfortable questions.   Such as, why is he in so many damn car accidents, including one with his girlfriend, Anita Pallenberg, when she was 7 months pregnant?  Ok, the one in Morroco sounds like a close call that was not necessarily his fault, but the others?  Why does he worship Pallenberg but keep a stable of ready girlfriends on the side in case she doesn’t come home one night?  How could he let his amazing talent get buried by enough heroin to kill an elephant?

Journalist Bill Wyman, channeling Mick Jagger’s likely critique of the book in Slate puts it this way:

So I will take that point. All of the forgoing was just … a little outré behavior on tour. Let’s go to the next tier—again, of matters one is informed of with some regularity, this not over months, not years, but entire decades. Keith’s been arrested with a mason jar full of heroin and a shopping bag full of other drugs and drug paraphernalia and is charged with drug trafficking. That was his baggage for a weekend in Toronto. It is hard to play a show with a catatonic guitarist, harder still when he is in jail for 10 years. I won’t even get into the fact that this came right when I had every record label in the world fighting to sign us, and in an instant my negotiating power was vaporized. Here’s a baroque bulletin from the archives: Anita’s 17-year-old boyfriend has accidentally shot himself, in Keith’s house—Keith’sbedroom—with a gun Keith left lying around. Young Marlon, then perhaps 10, saw Anita, covered in blood, coming down the stairs distraught, and God knows it could have been Marlon playing with the gun. Or: Keith’s driven his car off the road (again) with Marlon inside (again). In his book Keith stands back, amazed at the things that just … happen to him. He is frequently the victim of faulty wiring in the hotels in which we bivouac; a surprising number of times this phenomenon has caused fires. Ritz-Carltons are not built the way they use to be, I guess. Redlands burned down a couple of times as well, as did a house he was renting in Laurel Canyon. It’s a wonder Marlon survived his childhood. A third child Keith disposed of by sending her off to his mum back in Dartford I to raise. The second? That was another son, who was left with his paranoid, unstable, heroin-addict mother and didn’t make it past infancy. Keith says he blames himself, and on that at least I think we can agree.

There’s enough class resentment and insecurity in this book to justify years in therapy.  I’m particularly interested in his own reflections on his flow state when he started writing music.  The music he churned out in the 60s was a result of his brain in perfect sync with his guitar.  But, jeesus, most of us don’t need to test the body’s capacity for recovery the way he has.  It’s almost like he’s an overachiever for a Darwin Award.  The title of the book refers less to his personal history than his own incredulity at his ability to survive as long as he has.

Fascinating read.  Four sponges.  (Sometimes he goes off on a tangent about the harmonic effects of a five string riff and I sort of lose the plot.  Well, so has he, probably.)

What are you reading today?

193 Responses

  1. Human Events Oct. 14, 2010:

    Democrats passed the “stimulus” package in early 2009 with the idea it would do two things: keep unemployment below 8% and create millions of “shovel-ready” jobs.

    Five months later, unemployment leaped to 9.5% and Vice President Joe Biden said it was because the administration “misread the economy.”

    Fast forward another 15 months to today and President Obama tells the New York Times “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects.” That’s two for two.

    Obama first made “shovel-ready” a cool, keeping-it-rustic catchphrase in an interview with Tom Brokaw on “Meet the Press” in December 2008. “When I met with the governors, all of them have projects that are shovel-ready,” he  said.

    And on that day, a talking point was born.

    The President referred to “shovel-ready” jobs whenever he could. In that same month, Obama announce his energy and environment teams and said, “We’ve got shovel-ready projects all across the country that governors and mayors are pleading to fund. And the minute we can get those investments to the state level, jobs are going to be created.”

    “the only thing that is really shovel ready is what comes out of Obama’s mouth.””the only thing that is really shovel ready is what comes out of Obama’s mouth.”
    -Tom in Pain

  2. Fantastic post! If I’ll have to follow the links when I’m, you know, actually awake.

  3. I’m reading the 4th book in a series by Maria Lima — Blood Heat. It’s about a family of necromancers. It’s not deep literature but, it’s well written and fun.

    The BEST book I’ve read all year (maybe a couple of years) was called The Lonely Polygamist, Brady Udall. About a guy and his family. I was skeptical but, reading a chapter or two hooked me. And I’m still thinking about the characters and situations in that book.

    • Yeah, I looked for the polygamist novel on audible but it wasn’t there. I’ll look for the necromancer book. Sounds lite and entertaining.

      • With this series, the plots stand alone but the relationships of characters grows … The first one in the series was, Matters of the Blood (and I enjoyed it so much I immediately downloaded the next one)

        B&N doesn’t have an audio version so that doesn’t look good.

        • Ahhh, that’s why I didn’t see it before. It came out in audible on October 19 this year. I was probably a few days early.
          Is it credit worthy? I have 1 credit left until November 26.

          • Absolutely credit worthy … Reading time is 23h 10min — it’s not quick.

            And, seriously — it’s a GREAT book. I deserves more attention.

  4. My favorite characters were from Ross Thomas’ hilarious Pacific rim series. All were criminals by trade, but somehow totally endearing.

  5. No one is going to cut the war budget. Democrats didn’t do it in 2006. They certainly wouldn’t do it under Obama and they can’t do it now.

    Including TARP, the national debt has increased by 3 trillion dollars. Reinstating the Bush tax cuts will add another $2-3 trillion over the next decade. If people who voted Republican don’t really want their current programs cut, they certainly don’t want new ones.

    • Well, it’s un-American to have a single payer health care system even if it delivers a better product for less money and it’s also un-American not to invade other countries to loot their resources. So don’t expect to see any cuts in military spending because you don’t know when some Third World country might need a shellacking.

    • Oh, I don’t think Republicans will do a damn thing about the deficit. They’re truly, truly awful people without any redeeming qualities. And I seriously mean that. But anyone who is contemplating shutting down spending in the midst of a major recession is probably not motivated by what benefits most voters in this country. I never did care too much for the nutty deficit hawks who don’t care how many formerly middle class carcasses they leave in their wakes.
      No, I’m just pointing out that Democrats can win back points with the voters if they really want to. So, far, they seem more motivated by keeping their heads down than actually, you know, sticking up for us.
      But it can be done, even if they don’t have the Fox megaphone.

      • The key is if the Democrats really want to.

        Even with only the House, the Republicans have the advantage because they would prefer that much of the federal budget disappear. They may not be able to pass items, but they can keep any budget from being passed. Bush knew that he could keep war funding after 2007 by calling the Democrats terrorist sympathizers if they cut funding to Iraq.

        • And no doubt, the Republicans are going to threaten a government shutdown to get the White House to comply. They’ve probably got their mindless slogans already written and the scripts in the can for the Fox news appearances. But I can think of something just as big that will get the Republicans attention if we all decided to do it together. If I were Republicans, I wouldn’t start messing with the budget or ordinary people might get very creative.

  6. Dems have been drifting to the right ever since they voted for Reagan instead of Carter back in the 1980’s.
    The no vote on CA’s prop 19 is a good indicator of where Dem. voters stand.

    About Obama’s team being made up of former Clinton administration people so this his fault.
    Who is to say Hillary would have brought them back in today’s economy? Good leaders learn from past mistakes and move forward with new strategies.
    The O-bot’s CDSers called it Triangulation.

    • Obama picked those guys out early. Krugman at the time seemed to suggest that Hillary was going to pick a different team.

      My theory (and I’m sticking with it) is that Obama is an enabler and Hillary is rehab. And the last thing the bankers wanted was rehab.

      I love the Dap Kings.

  7. Milbank asks whether we would be better off under Pres. Hillary

    • Yep, read that. The problem is, er, he was part of the problem in 2008.
      It was just too much fun to wail on her at the time. Now, he sorta regrets it. All that jumping on her for every damn little thing made him giddy. He wants to walk it back.
      Too late, Dana.

      • He is trying not to be responsible hoping that people have a short attention span. Reminds me of the joke from some third world country where there is an accident and the crowd is building to the mob and the driver being a quick thinker, starts yelling, ‘Where is the driver!’, and manages to get away, while the crowd starts looking.

    • Milbank’s blog post has apparently been published now as a column, under the title “What Would Hillary Do?”

      Well, since Milbank suddenly recovered his memory about Hillary’s “boring” yet “prescient” prescriptions for the mortgage crisis, let’s hear it from the lady herself:

      “CNBC Interview: Clinton Outlines Plan to Toughen Mortgage Rules” (07 August 2007) — http://www.cnbc.com/id/20157294

      And just to show how bankrupt rightingers are and will always be, here was Michelle Malkin’s response — http://michellemalkin.com/2007/08/14/hillarys-socialist-housing-bailout-plan/

      And in September 2008, while Congress was debating the proposed TARP legislation, Hillary wanted to go beyond bailing out the banks: “Let’s Keep People In Their Homes” (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122230767702474045.html)

      Damn the Democratic Party and the Big Media! May all the Obama enablers rot in political and financial hell!

    • Nothing like being late to the dance. But with Milbank, I guess better late than never. Interesting article!

  8. I think the biggest mistake pundits make is the one that leads to speculation about the US as center right, center left, liberal, conservative. I think most American voters mix these so called ideological bases and choose some of this and some of that. Most of all I think most Americans want competence and fair dealing from their government and if a government program is effective and works, they back it to the hilt. If it screws things up, they want it fixed or axed.

    O and the Dems blew it when they failed to follow thru #1 on jobs and put together a stimulus plan that was mostly about pork.

    Fed education aid: I used to be an advocate. I now believe that the fed involvement does more harm than good more often than not. Today most fed ed programs come with ties to ed theories that are poorly researched and more about unproven theories that fail to consider unintended consequences. The one thing I would support is full federal funding of special education.

    • I’d fully fund gifted programs. Too many of these kids are poorly understood by their teachers and end up as security guards.

      Agreed that it’s pointless to try to categorize the voting public as center, left or right. My hunch is that it is really center left and that voters tend to take stuff like medicare and social security for granted.

      But there is still a contingent of people, mostly older, religious women, who are socially conservative even though they have not benefitted by the conservatism they push on the rest of us. And it’s going to take another decade or so before they’re not a significant voting bloc anymore. These are the people Fox targets. They pump them full of emotional fury over abortion and then get them to vote for the hardasses who would take away their social security.

      Democrats haven’t even attempted to wake these people up. Hillary had a good shot at it but they took her out.

      • I used to be a security guard

      • I don’t think it’s only older, religious conservative women. It’s religious conservative men of all ages, too. I was recently horrified to find that a young lawyer who was my student, goddammit, and a smart, open-minded young man, has gone all Opus Dei and Counterreformation–and worse, is teaching catechism classes for kids and passing the fanaticism on.

  9. I don’t think the Republicans will actually accomplish a single thing they campaigned on, and I think we will have 2 years of very ugly, very public finger pointing, fighting, and media blitz’s all in preparation for 2012. I think by then the public will once again be weary, fed up and even angrier and you will see another shift of independents to the Dems, and we will continue to lurch from one to the other, with no relief in sight. Nope, I am not optimistic, or hopeful. I personally think we are just hopelessly doomed to live in despair for the balance of our days.

    • That sounds like what I heard in a podcast recently. Was it This American Life from last week?

      • Really? A podcast? Haven’t heard of it, but if it is, I guess there are more people thinking we are doomed besides me. Not sure if that is really a good thing, but then again, misery does love company.

  10. I was just reading over at Realclearpolitics and something caught my eye. It was an interview with Claire McCaskill by Blitzer, CNN. I’ve wondered why she’s disappeared when she was so front and center 2008. I thought she was up and coming. haha. So I read it and a statement struck me.
    MCCASKILL: And I’m not sure that he was ready for that kind of mano a mano combat.
    Well, wasn’t Hillary’s deal that she’d be ready on DAY 1. Claire and Obama said he was too. She’s admitted he wasn’t. Where’s her apology?When is she up for re-election?
    She owes us. I’d love to go to one of her rallys.

    • McCaskill is up for re-election in 2012. Remember her infamous remark, that she wouldn’t let Bill Clinton anywhere near her daughter? This, on the eve of a fundraiser for her 2006 campaign by no less than Bill himself! Needless to say, Clinton canceled.

    • Oh my heavens, Obama would never dirty his carefully manicured hands in a fight. It’s unseemly for a Harvard man. Must keep our voices lowered and discuss these things like gentlemen, without the rabble looking on.

      He doesn’t have what it takes to be president in this era. Maybe he could have developed it in time but the career track he was on called for rapid acceleration. I don’t think it’s part of who he is to do actual politicking. That’s like hands on work and his class doesn’t do it.

      • Oh my heavens, Obama would never dirty his carefully manicured hands in a fight.

        No, he lets that up to his cadre of former young republican, cheese flavored snack dusted, basement dwellers.

  11. O/T, but in celebration of Hillary for sounding “boring”:

    “…Obama will make history for more than one reason during the Nov 6-9 visit. This will be the first time a teleprompter will be used in the nearly 100-feet high dome-shaped hall that has portraits of eminent national leaders adorning its walls. Indian politicians are known for making impromptu long speeches and perhaps that is why some parliament officials, who did not wish to be named, sounded rather surprised with the idea of a teleprompter for Obama. “We thought Obama is a trained orator and skilled in the art of mass address with his continuous eye contact,” an official. . .said. Obama is known to captivate audiences with his one-liners that sound like extempore and his deep gaze. But few in India know that the US president always carries the teleprompter with him wherever he speaks….”


    • OMG — that’s good.

    • Do you read a lot of Asian newspapers? I confess, I don’t usually check them out. If you do, what is the zeitgeist there for Obama’s visit? What about Hillary’s recent trip to the area to the southeast?

      • The constant theme among commentators and regional diplomats about Hillary’s Southeast Asia tour was that they saw it as a sign of greater American engagement in the region, and they welcome it to counter-balance China. Basically, the ASEAN wants to see balance-of-power, and they like it that the US explicitly told China that it wants to see a peaceful solution to conflicting claims on the various islands along the South China Sea. With New Zealand, it’s about “Hillary breaking the ice” off the frozen relationship between the two countries after 25 years (when NZ banned the US’ nuclear-powered warships from entering its ports). In Australia, the whole narrative is about closer ties, greater engagement with China but also enhanced US military presence in the Pacific.

        On Obama’s trip, frankly and without bias (!), I haven’t seen any really substantive coverage. I think this reflects the lack of in-depth agenda in his own rainbow tour. I do know that the proposed FTA with South Korea has Ford protesting strongly, since SK has not allowed US cars to enter its market and the FTA has not addressed this issue, I think.

        • Ford was the only US car manufacturer that didn’t need a bailout and actually posted a profit. I don’t know much about how Ford does business but they seem to be getting some things right. Selling the auto industry out to the Koreans would be a real slap in the face.

          • Oldest son, who worked his way thru college busing and prep cooking also did a stint behind the parts counter at a local dealer, said Ford lucked out by refinancing before the crash so got their operating capital where Mopar and GM couldn’t.
            Timing is everything.
            Daimler Chrysler was a marriage made in hell.

          • Good time to buy used Ford trucks!

          • Yup….on Diamler Chrysler.

            Detuned technology isn’t exactly sharing tech. They actually flew their programmer over to kneecap Mercedes transmissions in Chrysler/Dodge vehicles.

            Who knows what else they pulled.

        • then you obviously have not been reading or listening to the news. Obama’s trip has been covered – easing export restrictions, preliminary order agreement with Indian military and boeing for 4.2 billion in aircraft, which will give US 22,000 new jobs and support over 600 suppliers across 44 states. order with GE for billion dollars worth of aircraft that should support over 4,000 jobs in U.S.
          plus 2.7 billion on commercial aircraft from Boeing to Air Spice, which will support 13,000 U.S. jobs.
          and more, for gas and steam turbines, joint venture to built harley davidson plant in India – all to provide jobs in India and the U.S.
          There are some positives to come out of this trip – which was planned long before mid term results were in the picture and should only be looked at in a favorable light..

      • Here’s what I think about this obama trip:

        Patty Murray, WA – D was in trouble winning her senate seat this year.

        Boeing had a BIG order pending in India (I heard it was actually won/signed a month ago).

        Obama, Biden, Mrs. Obama, the big dog – everyone came here to campaign for Murray.

        I think obama announcing the big India order was the payoff for the help. Once again being handed credit for a victory he had absolutely nothing to do with. I don’t think obama does anything for anyone without a payoff for him (Chicago school?).

        • So, out of 30 Billion he only got 10 Billion? He should be working it then, because this won’t look good, if 10 was in the bag before Air Force One took off. Heck, I expect all 30 Billion to be at play and Obama gaining ground…otherwise heck send Hillary, since the Indian people love her. Do you all remember the Indian slight the Obama camp said about Hillary for being a good diplomat and an advocate of Human Rights and being so respected by the Indian people?

          “Hillary Clinton (D-Punjab)’s personal financial and political ties to India,”

          • actually, I think he is just trying to look like he is doing something.

            The Indian news clip lower down shows that they aren’t thrilled with obama – of course, who knows, it could be something like Fox news here.

          • Well, I still think he should work it and try for all 30 Billion, he said he had ‘game’, well, GAME ON! Bring back the 30 Billion!

    • “trained orator” = trained to read off a teleprompter.

  12. Platform:

    1. Medicare for All

    2. End the wars

    3. Soak the rich.

    • It’s catchy, gotta good beat, you can dance to it. I’d give it a 98, Dick.

    • Socialist!

      • Yeah! Want people to vote against their self interest?
        Label the other party’s agenda as Socialist.

      • Yes, I support Social Security, Medicare and the Pledge of Allegiance written by a Christian Baptist Socialist. 😉 Oh, but don’t tell Glenn Beck’s chalkboard about WHO wrote the Pledge of Allegiance.

        Honestly, the yellers and the SOCIALIST labeling of people and the questioning of one’s ‘patriotism’ is too much for me, especially since they don’t bother to see what they are yelling about.

    • Nice!

    • lambert strether,


      1. Medicare for All

      2. End the wars

      3. Release Credit to small business

      3. No Tax Breaks for multimillionaires

      4. No Bonuses to Wall Street Greedos from BailOuts or Tarp money. Get the Bonus Money back!

      Liked 1 & 2 and added some more..

  13. Politico:

    Pelosi, who faces no challenge thus far in her bid for minority leader, closed with a call for recruiting defeated Democrats to run again.


    “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”

    • If congressional Dems don’t throw Harry and Nancy out on their bums then we know the party is toast.

    • upon which republicans started dancing in the streets.

    • The Nancy Pelosi Titanic sails again…WHAT ICEBERG, those were ice cubes in the MidTerm elections…. While others yell 60 congress folks overboard, maybe more as some absentee ballots are coming in and a snafu happened back East…send the life preservers pronto!

    • Well, if my defeated Congressman runs again, I will vote for him again. And in two years so will most of my district since the man they elected is so clueless.

  14. jangles, although I still believe in public education, you are correct with regard to the following comment:

    “Today most fed ed programs come with ties to ed theories that are poorly researched and more about unproven theories that fail to consider unintended consequences.”

    Case in point, the Whole Language Theory (vs. Phonetics/Phonics) as a basis for teaching children how to read. In a nutshell, whole language requires students to memorize entire words and their meanings whereas phonetics requires the use of sounds to construct individual words. Whole language theory, IMO, is the dumbest way to learn how to read any Indo-Eurpean language. Indo-Eurpean languages are inflected languages (i.e based on case systems) and constructed through sounds (i.e. on alphabets which are used to construct words through sounds). The memorization of entire words as signs (i.e. with attendant meanings) is an approach better suited for the learning of ideogrammatic language systems, such as Egyptian hieroglyphs or Chinese. The English language is NOT an ideogrammatic language (!), but rather a language which is based on sounds rather than signs.

    No wonder we have a generation of young adults today who cannot read with fluency. As one who has studied languages all of her life ( I’m fluent in four and read and/or understand 2 more), whole language is the worst possible approach to literacy of the English language. It may sound all PC and oh so compassionate for “at-risk” students in theory, but it is creating a class of young adults who do not have the tools to read beyond the words they’ve memorized as signs. Unfortunately, the certain forces in Education have maligned the use of Phonetics (or Phonics) over the years, and have reduced literacy in this country to a matter of pure ideology, rather than on practicality and reason.

    Here are some links to the whole language vs phonetics links debate. Read for yourself, and then decide which system you find the most logical, etc:



    • When my middle daughter was in elementary school they were using whole work recognition. This combined with her being dislexic (and all the teachers wanting to diagnosis her with ADHD which was the “in” diagnosis) made it almost impossible for her to learn to read. And of course, it wasn’t helped by the idea of having 1st and 2nd graders reading silently. Sure, read to yourself, and it you come to a word you don’t know, just guess — no problem there for a child who was seeing words as mirror images!!!! She once mispelled “least” as “sleat”.

      • Actually, my oldest who has moderate to severe learning disabilities, including those that affect her reading and math skills, could NOT learn to read phonetically. I basically taught her to read by a kind of whole word style to make up for what she was missing in school. I would buy two of every book she was reading, for pleasure or at school, and I would read aloud while she read along for years. Thank goodness for books on tape! It amazes me that schools would even try and teach whole word learing to all new readers. It’s hard as hell to learn to read that way and to this day if she comes across a word she hasn’t seen before she still cannot sound it out or pronounce it or know what it means other than by context clues in the sentence or story.
        For her it was the only method that worked but I know she misses a lot by reading that way. I would imagine kids without learning disabilities would encounter the same problems if taught to read with that method alone.

    • Oh, they don’t do Whole Language anymore. My 14 year old taught herself to read before she went to kindergarten but when she got to first grade, it was all phonics all the time. In fact, she found it tedious. But then, she had already been reading for a couple of years.

      It’s math where there’s a problem now. The spiral method in elementary school drove her up a wall. I think this is where teachers make their mistake. Not everyone learns at the same pace. You can’t possibly design a single curriculum that will cover all students adequately. Ideally, the curriculum should be adaptable. But that’s really hard to do in a heterogenous classroom. So, why not break up the classes by ability and level? Somehow, that’s not democratic or egalitarian.
      No, it’s not.
      But it is fairer to the students. And that’s what should count.

      • I’ve been there – GT boy, off task all the time and acting like a lawyer when the teachers in early grades made statements like “You can’t take 8 away from 6”. I still can’t believe some of the absolute statements made in those early grades that are NOT true. Arg! The GT pull-out (“you are GT on Wednesdays”) program was a joke too.

        Anyway, I have a little girl in first grade now and it appears to be quite a bit better (my kids are 14 years apart). They have gone back to reading groups and use a combination of “sight words” and phonics. They are teaching arithmatic visually side by side with equations – so far it seems good.

        • You can’t take 8 away from 6
          My head just exploded.

          • (snark) Which is why, in countries that use the metric system, temperatures never drop below the freezing point of water (Zero Celsius). (end snark) 😛

            I guess the world will come to an end if we teach early elementary schoolkids about negative numbers. 🙄

      • Unfortunately, my nephew (and his generation) who went to grade school in the 1990s was taught through the Whole Language method. He was not a good reader and and as a result became discouraged in school, choosing to forgo college altogether.

        Yes, Whole Language was thrown out in the mid-1990s, but the damage has been done to a whole generation of kids. Apparently WL has been supplanted by “Balanced Literacy” — a combo approach, which some claim is just another way of holding on to the Whole Language approach (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_language ).
        I don’t have kids, so I don’t know how Balanced Language has worked out / is working out. Still, so many kids are entering college in need of remedial English (& also math) courses. Of course, there are a host of reasons why such remedial courses are needed; WL theory and its derivatives are not solely to blame. No Child Left behind, for example, an approach based on testing, is one of the reasons schools are failing kids. Now we have Race to the Top, Obama’s grant initiative for schools which is meant to reform GWB’s NCLB. Too bad Obama and his Congress didn’t overturn the NCLB law instead.

      • They did it in CA. Breaking up the class into study/work groups based on ability and level. They even gave tests within the work group structure. Obviously, the thinking was not holding back the smarter students but also that the other students could learn from each other if a teacher wasn’t reaching someone.

        It was all based on teaching labs that the teachers attended and was applied from grade school through high school. Of course, in high school, placement testing made it possible to skip classes completely and placed smarter students on a track with each other. But they still used the work group/learn at your own pace sessions within those higher level classes.

        Of course, Ms B would then be forced into a group with that boy who is threatened by her intelligence….

    • Another linguist here. Spot on.

      I think the root of this problem is that once a person is a fluent reader, s/he does process whole words or even phrases as signs. So the theory wonks decided to start at that level instead of end there.

      Even a fluent reader will pause and parse out something like “chromoskedasic” as “chro-mo (okay, “color”)-ske-da-sic (whathehell?)” until s/he’s seen it a few times, though. Ie., will revert directly to phonetics. Note, however, that the phonetics-trained reader has an advantage even with an unfamiliar word because s/he can break it down into its component meanings before reaching for the dictionary.

      • You’re a linguist?
        Hmmm, did you go through a period of obsession with words, grammar and foreign languages when you were an adolescent? Brooke taught herself French this summer and is busily deciphering Swedish and Russian-into French. She’s like some kind of alien trying to learn all the world languages as quickly as possible. What do I do with her?

        • Yes, Okashi is the the linguist here, and your question was meant for her, but I’d like to just say how impressive your child sounds! This curiosity and obsession for language is hard to shake off once you have bitten by the bug. (She’s probably good at math and music too.) For a natural like Brooke, exposure to studying and learning languages — in the classroom and eventually abroad — is the way to go. Smart kid! (BTW, it is common for Swedes to speak/study at least 4-5 languages. IMO, they are the most gifted foreign language speakers in other European countries where only 2-3 languages are commonly spoken.)

          • Yep, good at math, music and art.
            Doesn’t dance well, so, there’s that. But it’s not like she gets many opportunities.

        • Oh, the obsession started a lot earlier than adolescence. I grew up on the Texas-Mexico border and spent summers with Tsalagi-speaking grantparents in N. Texas. My parents taught me to read, using the phonetic method, when I was four–a matter of sheer self-defense. (“Here, kid, you’re going to learn to do this for yourself!”) I did modern and medieval languages, classics and linguistics at University. My undergraduate roommate did the same, and we spoke a code-switching dialect unintelligible to anyone else for about a year.

          For Brooke–give her all she’ll take, as fast as she’ll take it. Optimum language learning occurs young, but once the window’s open it will stay open longer for someone who’s already speaking a second language–because at least in the US, one of the biggest hurdles to get students over is the fact that other languages don’t behave like English. For preference enroll her in an extracurricular language program where she won’t just read but will hear the language(s) spoken by native speakers. Give her books and music in the language she’s learning. Expose her to the culture that goes with it–language and culture are symbiotic. Let her pace herself.

          And in her and your spare time–do the same with her art and music.

        • Is your daughter interested in theater? If she would enjoy acting and since she has taught herself french and you live in central NJ ,you might look into her participating in L’avent Scene(the french theater troupe at Princeton). The French director, Florent Masse,has accepted high school aged students from the community. My daughter is a student of his and has performed with a number of them. Your description of your daughter reminds me very much of mine at her age.

      • Okasha, you are absolutely right on your last point. Native speakers can decipher an unfamiliar word and reach an educated guess as to its component meanings before using the dictionary. (It’s not so easy, however, for the non-native speaker. Still, phonetics is the way to go for ESL students, even though the English language is rife with phonetic and grammatical exceptions.)

        (As a kid, I taught myself how to read Spanish through the phonetic approach. My point is that the Whole Language method would not have yeilded the same results for me, especially because my Spanish vocabulary was limited, since my siblings and I spoke mostly English at home [speaking Spanish only when we spoke to our parents].)


        About Michelle Obama, I’m starting to feel sorry for her and the dowdy fashion choices she’s made for this trip to India.

        • [i.e. yielded”]

        • I agree that phonetics is probably the best technique for most reading learners. Just pointing out that there comes a point at which a fluent reader does recognize whole words as signs without pausing to sound them out, but can lapse back to the phonetic method+linguistic analysis when an unfamiliar word crops up.

          I think that non-native speakers reach a point, sometimes short of complete fluency, where they can decifer other languages in the same way, at least as long as they’re in the same language family. Because of the way it forms words, German is fairly easy to slice and dice, and changes across time and geography become more intelligible if you know your sound shifts. Eg., Latin initial “f” became “h” as Spanish broke away from its root stock: formosa/hermosa, fornax/horno; German “t’s” became English “d’s” and German “d’s”, English “th’s.”

  15. This Indian newsman is hilarious

    • Too funny. Yes, he’s been extremely ineffective as president.
      I believe they are mocking him. Yes, yes, they are. And he will not be mocked.

      • Well, as we all know, the only people who mock Obama are racists. So sad to see this blatant racism spreading all across the world now!

        • How astute of you to point that out. I hadn’t noticed how r@ycist the Indian anchors were but now that you mention it. It won’t be long before Digby and Will Bunch are all over India’s case for being the south Asian branch of the KKK.
          They also seem to be bringing up imperial Rome an awful lot. I wonder what that means…

          • Obviously they hate Italians too!

          • … and King George V, I believe.

          • Speaking of Sally Quinn-Lite:

            There should be a price to be paid for Blue Dogs crashing and burning and that’s the right one. Hoyer has no business being in the leadership now that he only leads a handful of fake Democrats. The caucus is much more progressive and they’re going to have to be cohesive and confrontational to do anything. Hoyer is not suited to that job since he sees himself as a GOP facilitator.

            And Clyburn makes the “traditional conservatives” (if you know what I mean) absolutely crazy.

          • Obviously they hate Italians too!

            They must have heard about Snooki

    • No kissing! Namaste. I’ll bet Hillary would never make that kind of error in protocol.

      • Did he bring over any dvds to give as gifts?

      • Hope their media shows the newly built for Obama under gound tunnel leading to the Ghandi Museum.

      • Michelle makes up her own rules and the Obots praise her for being personable. Um, no. It’s disrespectful for a guest to enter a foreign country and not respect that country’s distinct cultures and traditions. She made similar errors last year on her visit to the UK.

        On a side note, I think her outfits on this trip have been awful. Her clothes always look wrinkled and mismatched. I only mention this because of the huge focus the media places on her wardrobe when she goes on overseas trips.

        • I have to agree with you about her clothes. Those tiny little sweaters look childish and don’t balance out her wide hips. But, hey, it’s India and probably hot. We shouldn’t be picking on her clothes. I guess I’m just surprised that some stylist hasn’t been consulted. If I were Michelle, I might have stepped off the plane dressed in a salwar kameez. That would have been flattering and hidden her out of whack hip region. The turquoise blue color looks nice on her and could have been adapted into a tunic/flowing trouser combination.

          • “She had two hips like battleships, one stayed home while the other took trips.”

            If you ever went to summer camp you know the song.

          • Summer camp! Hey, how come we don’t have that as adults. I think we’ve been robbed.

          • You mean Catalina mataleena ookatockawokatockaokamokapoka was her name?

            A ten ton truck hit mataleen
            {{wait for it}}
            Driver had to buy a new machine.

        • The empress has wrinkled clothes.

      • about King George V:

        Robert Lacey describes George as such: “. . . as his official biographer felt compelled to admit, King George V was distinguished ‘by no exercise of social gifts, by no personal magnetism, by no intellectual powers. He was neither a wit nor a brilliant raconteur, neither well-read nor well-educated, and he made no great contribution to enlightened social converse. He lacked intellectual curiosity and only late in life acquired some measure of artistic taste.’ He was, in other words, exactly like most of his subjects. He discovered a new job for modern kings and queens to do – representation.”


    • Is this representative of mainstream media coverage in India? If so, Mr. Obama isn’t exactly a superhero over there.

      • No, indeed, he is the object of ridicule.
        It’s delicious.

      • Yes, that’s how Indian media are covering it. The papers said he has come to India begging for jobs. And they noted that he took credit for the Boeing plane deal (33 planes ordered by a domestic airline Spicejet) with which he had nothing to do.
        And he bragged that deal creates 50K jobs in the US.

        Mumbai trip did not go well in my view. Michelle went to a orphanage or someplace did a Bollywood dance. I saw one photo of that, which was quite bad. They cancelled her trip to red light district due to security reasons.

        • Maybe Michelle was too jet lagged to take advantage of the wares in that side of town.
          Another time, perhaps. She should leave Barry at home next trip.

    • Here’s one from Wall Street Journal (http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2010/11/07/scenes-from-the-obama-visit-agricultural-exposition/) — sorry I don’t know how to do block quotes:

      “Mr. Obama was most taken by drudgery reduction. He watched as a woman farmer shelled peanuts with a simple, metal machine and stripped corn cobs in a small metal tube.

      “’Look at this. It’s like an infomercial. I want one of those,’ the President said.

      “He turned to reporters and said: ‘This reduces women’s labor time for food processing up to 30%—remarkable,’ before taking a turn stripping corn.”

      And this is supposedly the most intelligent — nay, intellectual — president the US has ever had.

    • Isn’t Singh a Sikh name?

      • It is. That’s why Obama’s decision to cancel a planned trip to the Golden Temple at Amritsar — because he did not want to wear the proper head gear — was considered by several commentators and Sikh-Americans as a slap to the PM.

        • Jeez, I’ll bet he would have worn a yarmulke in a Jewish temple. Such a little thing.
          Oh, I forgot, Christians are more equal than members of other faiths or non faiths. Musn’t upset them.

          • Remember Sister Mary MIchelle with the past-the-waist black veil at the Vatican?

          • That’s different. Wimmins folk need to cover their heads before God and hid earthly representatives, men.
            Jeez, what bs. It’s the 21st century. Can we dump these stupid traditions already? God needs all the help he/she can get. She/he doesn’t have time for this submissive gender stuff. It’s bad management.

          • Speaking as an idiosyncratic, if not heretical, and highly imperfect Christian, I don’t think the gender submission crap was God’s idea, anyway.

            The Scriptures are precious to me, but they are neither factually nor morally infallible.

    • This was great .. I watched the whole thing. VERY interesting to hear the sort of points that are brought up about the USA in (without a filter) other countries.

    • I am not going to fault the Secret Service for their call on their use of their own helicopter. I still have Indira Gandhi’s assassination

      On 31 October 1984, two of Gandhi’s bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, assassinated her with their service weapons in the garden of the Prime Minister’s residence at 1 Safdarjung Road, New Delhi as she was walking past a wicket gate guarded by Satwant and Beant.

      vividly in my memory bank as an event that shocked me. She was assassinated by some of her own security detail, and say what you will but the Secret Service would cover him (placing their own bodies over him to protect him) and but not harm him.

      I also, got some Human Rights related abuse documents from a Freedom of Speech issue and saw first hand via the documents and the victims willingness to come forward, how police are paid off and can therefore see why the Secret Service chose to do their own security while using the Indian security forces as their flanks (protective shield, as they are more in the know of the land). So, the security helicopter thing is off base for me.

      It would be a royal mess if anything went wrong and I for one expect everyone back in one piece including TOTUS.

      • The American helicopter seems perfectly reasonable. I don’t know if the secret service has the right to demand blood samples fro
        Indian security details though. It’s a bit rude. By the time a would be assassin does his thing, he’s not going to be able to get away with it anyway. A blood sample would be moot.

    • Delightfully snarky commentary by the Indian anchors 🙂

      They don’t sufficiently grovel like the MSM.

  16. Still reading, but wanted to comment on the numbers where Democrats lost in Hillary country. To me, it just shows again that she was the candidate who really could have bridged the divide.

    • Possibly but the CDS of the cultural elites because they were from Arkansas made the Clintons’ unacceptable to them. Now they are getting it back in the face. Obama is unacceptable to much of the non-elites for many reasons including his policies. The elites hated President Clinton’s policies as well as his cultural beginnings. I really think the 2008 primaries/caucuses and the last two years have split the party irrevocably. At present I do not see the two sides coming together. Clinton Democrats were purged from the party and are to some extent staging a coup to get it back, but one side or the other is going to have to start up their own Party.

      • What I meant was that she could bring the voters, ie, the people, together.

        • Agreed. But I am convinced that much of the paid Democratic infrastructure do not give a rat what the people want. They make distressed squeaking sounds after having their behinds handed to them after elections which they quickly forget about and continue on their merry way. They need to be sent into political exile or work for a minority party that thinks that way. I think one of the things that keeps CDS going so strongly is fear of being purged and unemployed in the political gravy train if the Clintons’ made it back into power and prominence.

          • Seems absolutely correct to me. There are a lot of people feeding at the political trough of both parties who stand to lose a lot if the wrong candidates get elected.

          • Yes. The problem is that what the party wants and what the people want are two different things. The party leaders are bought and paid for; the people want someone to represent their interests. I think that the reason the party does not want Hillary is because she is not bought and paid for. That is the real fear – as Ralph says.

  17. Comparing Obama and Hillary’s trips, here’s one from Australia on Hillary’s visit. Note the pantsuit.

    • Damn, she does seem very presidential. And the Australians are treating get like one.
      She looks good.

      • Here’s one more:

        “Charm offensive: Clinton down under” (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10686147)

        “Australia and the United States are today expected to further tighten defence co-operation as part of a shift in focus to counter the rise of China and strengthen America’s strategic position in the region.


        “Clinton last week strengthened Washington’s strategic relationship with New Zealand – although it is still restrained – and after Australia will seek to boost co-operation with Singapore and Malaysia.”

      • Oh, and the head band is back. And just as when she was First Lady, fashionistas can’t help themselves:

        “Hairs to Clinton’s big band” (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10685971)

        • One good reason to carry a hairband with you on an extended trip abroad:
          Bad Hair Day.

          Sometimes, nothing else works.

      • When does she not seem presidential! What poise and intelligence. I think the reporter Gerard was quite taken with Madame Secretary.
        No CDS overseas.

    • “The most powerful woman in the world” was repeated several times by the Australian media. Yes, Indeed!

      But, Forbes has ranked HRC as 5th most powerful; Oprah, 3rd most powerful; Michelle Obama, most powerful.

      Certainly, Hillary is more powerful than Oprah. On the other hand, if rumors are true about BO’s mental disintegration and Michelle as the taking charge behind the scenes, then she may very well be the most powerful woman in the world.


      • you are assuming that Obama is the most powerful man in the world. I am thinking that this may no longer be the case.

      • And that Aussie media guy described Def sec’ry Gates as “the other big gun” of America, implying Hillary was one also.

        Oprah indeed!

    • She can carry off more colors than anyone I know. She looks great in bold variety.

  18. Is your laptop cooking your testicles?


    If there is an app for that I don’t want it.

  19. >>”The researchers hooked thermometers to the scrotums of 29 young men who were balancing a laptop on their knees.”

    How do you write a grant for that with a straight face?

  20. Interesting read:


    “The Obamas had not yet boarded the Presidential chopper Marine One in Washington, but we already had nakabandis and sealed roads, policemen on rooftops with binoculars, commandos with narrowed eyes and fingers on the trigger, and patrol jeeps whizzing around with crackling walkie-talkies… as if the First Couple had reached Chowpatty. Not to mention the exasperating traffic rigmarole of Sunday as all roads leading to the heart of South Mumbai were shut so that Obama could visit St. Xavier’s College. C’mon, Mumbai has had Bill Clinton stay at the Taj, and only one floor was occupied, other guests hung around the corridors hoping to bump into him, he dined at restaurants in and out of the hotel, and the jazz band playing at the Starboard even kept a sax ready in the hope that the President would jam with them. But the difference between then and now is 9/11 and 26/11. And while Obama’s visit might cost the US taxpayer $200 million a day, it is the poor common man in Mumbai who felt the pinch most… ”

    Read more: Yobama! – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/people/Yobama/articleshow/6883686.cms#ixzz14dDbgVW1

  21. Interesting….

    “The Obamas had not yet boarded the Presidential chopper Marine One in Washington, but we already had nakabandis and sealed roads, policemen on rooftops with binoculars, commandos with narrowed eyes and fingers on the trigger, and patrol jeeps whizzing around with crackling walkie-talkies… as if the First Couple had reached Chowpatty. Not to mention the exasperating traffic rigmarole of Sunday as all roads leading to the heart of South Mumbai were shut so that Obama could visit St. Xavier’s College. C’mon, Mumbai has had Bill Clinton stay at the Taj, and only one floor was occupied, other guests hung around the corridors hoping to bump into him, he dined at restaurants in and out of the hotel, and the jazz band playing at the Starboard even kept a sax ready in the hope that the President would jam with them. But the difference between then and now is 9/11 and 26/11. And while Obama’s visit might cost the US taxpayer $200 million a day, it is the poor common man in Mumbai who felt the pinch most… ”

    Read more: Yobama! – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/people/Yobama/articleshow/6883686.cms#ixzz14dDbgVW1

  22. “I’m not gay”
    Best line in the montage.

  23. xxx

  24. YOBABA!

    “The Obamas had not yet boarded the Presidential chopper Marine One in Washington, but we already had nakabandis and sealed roads, policemen on rooftops with binoculars, commandos with narrowed eyes and fingers on the trigger, and patrol jeeps whizzing around with crackling walkie-talkies… as if the First Couple had reached Chowpatty. Not to mention the exasperating traffic rigmarole of Sunday as all roads leading to the heart of South Mumbai were shut so that Obama could visit St. Xavier’s College. C’mon, Mumbai has had Bill Clinton stay at the Taj, and only one floor was occupied, other guests hung around the corridors hoping to bump into him, he dined at restaurants in and out of the hotel, and the jazz band playing at the Starboard even kept a sax ready in the hope that the President would jam with them. But the difference between then and now is 9/11 and 26/11. And while Obama’s visit might cost the US taxpayer $200 million a day, it is the poor common man in Mumbai who felt the pinch most… ”

    Read more: Yobama! – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/people/Yobama/articleshow/6883686.cms#ixzz14dDbgVW1

  25. Voters have caught on that the press is not their friend. Shame the politician to game it first was Rick Perry.

    To Hell With the Press

    Perry didn’t receive any endorsements from the major newspapers in the Lone Star State. And, the governor went out of his way to make sure he didn’t. Perry didn’t attend a single editorial endorsement meeting–knowing he would, therefore, be unlikely to gain any newspaper endorsements. And he didn’t. Which is what he wanted.

    Mike Baselice, Perry’s highly skilled pollster, acknowledged Wednesday at a public forum sponsored by The Texas Tribune that the campaign asked primary voters in Texas whether a newspaper endorsement would make them more or less likely to vote for Perry. Only 6 percent said an endorsement would make them more likely to support Perry, while an eye-popping 37 percent said it would make them less likely (56 percent said it made no difference).

  26. After Dandy Tiger’s reference, I had to find and post this: :mrgreen:

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