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Pre-Black Friday Open Thread

Shop 'til you drop!

The remains of the turkey are in the fridge, the relatives have gone home, and now it’s time to get ready for the biggest shopping day of the year.

Harrah’s Sports Book puts tomorrow’s over/under at 5 dead* – trampled, crushed, shot by other bargain hunters or heart attacks caused by fighting over sales merchandise.

What will you be doing tomorrow? Will you be in the mosh pit fighting for great deals or will you sleep in? If you’re going shopping where are you going and what are you looking to buy?

This is an open thread.

(*Not really)

I agree with . . . Booman?

David Broder, Village Idiot and High Priest of Bipartisanship, thinks that Princess Lisa’s successful write-in campaign for reelection means that Americans want more (surprise) bipartisanship.

To which Booman replies:

I should have known that the historic, successful write-in campaign of Sen. Lisa Murkowski would revive David Broder’s tender parts. I should have seen that coming from a mile away, and stayed clear. I think the Alaskan people sent a clear message, and that message was that the electorate of the state as a whole is quite a bit different from the subset of registered Republicans. But to take the unique circumstances of the Alaskan senatorial election and try to make “bipartisan cooperation” the “real meaning of this month’s midterm elections,” is delusional. There are two “real meanings.” One is an estimation of what the electorate wanted, and the other is the consequence of the electorate’s actions. On the latter point, the real meaning of the midterm elections is the exact opposite of what Broder claims. As to the former, the electorate isn’t a person and it doesn’t have an opinion. If most people went to the polls hoping for more bipartisan cooperation, then they are simply going to be disappointed. They are going to get the opposite of that, and get it on steroids.

Back in 2006, when the Democrats were kicking ass and taking names all around the country, Democrat Ned Lamont was defeated by “Independent Democrat” Holy Joe Lieberman. What did that prove about the electorate that year?


If the reelection campaigns of Lieberman and Murkowski after losing their respective party primaries proved anything it was about the power of incumbency and the lengths some politicians will go to to cling to power.

It’s a Wonderful Life

It just wouldn’t be the holidays without watching this classic story of New Deal idealism.

Make the jump to see the rest:
Continue reading

I’m Thankful

Believe it or not, even petulant clowns can be thankful for a few things.

I’m thankful for three great kids and three really great grandkids (with more still to come I hope.) Despite my obvious failings as a parent my kids all turned out okay.

I’m thankful I live in the United States of America, which despite it’s numerous faults (past and present) is still the greatest nation on Earth.

I’m thankful for those amateur revolutionaries and political philosophers who created a political system based on principles of democracy and defined freedoms.

I’m thankful for the public school system, which helped me advance beyond my humble beginnings. That includes the free K-12 education I received, as well the low-cost community college and California State University systems. It also includes the student grants and loans I received.

I’m thankful for the 2010 San Francisco Giants, who finally repaid all my years of loyalty with a world championship. I’m thankful that the Raiders decided not to suck again this year.

I’m thankful for beer, bacon and Popeye’s fried chicken. I’m thankful for the blogosphere and to Riverdaughter for providing me a platform from which to inflict my opinions on dozens of other people the world.

I’m thankful to Bill and Hillary Clinton for all the things they had done for us.

Last but not least, I’m thankful for all of you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

T-day News: Stand By…

Hey, there, sports fans, I’m in Harrisburg today for Thanksgiving with the fam.  I have to head out in a sec to see if I can scrounge up some last minute stuffing ingredients.  (bread cubes, sage sausage, apples, walnuts, celery, onions, chicken broth, egg and yes, I stuff the bird.  Deal with it, germophobes).  There’s a 22 lb fresh turkey waiting in the walk in fridge, aka The Garage.  This year, we’re going to try a countertop roasting device type thingy.  Never tried this before but my mom says I can’t use the oven because other people have to cook.  (???)  Hokay, whatever.

Anyway, I haven’t had a lot of time to gather news yesterday and today, what with packing and driving and shooting the breeze with the aunts and cousins and stuff.  So, this will be brief.  Make of it what you will.

For those readers who are still clinging to the idea that “Hillary wouldn’t have been any better”, check out Anglachel’s post on To the Right of Lincoln.  Lincoln, in this case, refers to Blanche Lincoln.  Anglachel dissects Obama’s tendency towards right wing policies.  Very convincing.  As for Hillary, she’s a tireless, dedicated public servant who the world admires, she’s doing a laudable job running the state department, gay state department employees and their families are serving with dignity, respect and equality, and she’s been a passionate defender of reproductive rights.  Sooooo, you Obama apologists are probably wrong.  She would have been MUCH better than Obama.

Matt Yglesias’ prescription for Obama’s next two years?  Do nothing and make Congress look bad.  Yep, even the guys that are on your side.  To do otherwise would be “politically toxic”.

Something slightly distinctive from these ideas that I would emphasize are the President’s myriad opportunities to not do anything. Scott Brown and Ron Wyden have an interesting idea about state waivers under the Affordable Care Act, and I think it’d be brilliant of the White House to do . . . absolutely nothing about this. Let Senator Brown try to build Republican support for it. Maybe he’ll succeed, maybe he’ll fail, maybe it’ll be an interesting intra-caucus fight, maybe nobody will care. Either way, the President will be doing something else and it’s someone else who’ll be associated with the legislative sausage making or the failure of the sausage to get made. Similarly, Senators Coburn and DeMint seem to be interested in provoking a fight over ethanol subsidies. The White House should . . . ignore this. With luck, they’ll succeed. Without luck, they’ll fail. But either way, the President shouldn’t get sucked into a political debate for or against ethanol subsidies.

The important thing is to understand that even though a certain number of Washington DC political professionals regard it warmly, the United States Congress is a widely (and in my view, appropriately) despised institution. The only way to get an ambitious legislative agenda passed is for the President to deeply engage with Congress, but deeply engaging with Congress is politically toxic. With John Boehner as Speaker of the House, no “ambitious legislative agenda” is ever going to pass so the White House should simply check out. Tell reporters to ask members of congress the questions about congress. Keep busy doing other stuff. Give wannabe congressional dealmakers space to make deals. Let congressional jerks go be jerks. If something terrible passes, veto it. Don’t negotiate. If you don’t want rich people’s taxes cut, don’t sign a bill that cuts don’t. Don’t hold meetings. Then go back to working on all the stuff in CAP’s report.

{{pause to let that sink in}}

Why can’t I get paid to write stupid things in The Atlantic?

So, let me get this straight: you’ve just lost your majorities because your policies are lame, the House is now run by a bunch of predators posing as hysterical drama queens who can’t WAIT to get their bloody hands on social security, 10% of your citizens are still unemployed and burning through their 401Ks to stay afloat and the advice you are given is to sit on your hands until 2012 because this is the best way to ensure your own re-election.  Do not attempt to champion policies that the public might like even if you may not eventually win the day.  Run against your own people.  This will look good to the voting public.

Because the voting public consists solely of people like Matt Yglesias??  Fine by me.  Obama doesn’t deserve a second term and this seems like the best way to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Ok, I really have to go stuff the bird now.  They’ll be all over my case if it’s not cooking by 10.  Slave drivers.

Leave some links in the comments.  I’ll check back later.

Don’t eat too much.  (Yeah, who am I fooling?)

Mr. Obvious – The Turkey

This is an open thread