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    November 2010
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    • Who Goes To Prison For America’s Crimes? The Whistleblowers.
      There’s a joke about the CIA and torture, in that the only person who went to prison for torturing people was the guy who revealed the torture. Daniel Hale, the guy who revealed that drone bombing killed 90% innocents, is now off to his stint in jail. He seems tough, maybe he won’t be driven to multiple suicide attempts like Manning was by the deliberate mis […]
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Funky Friday Fugue State

Matt Yglesias thinks we need a Reality Check:

Something I find incredibly puzzling is the strange determination many progressive have to diagnose what the “problem” is with Democrats that makes them so “bad” at electoral politics. They actually seem to me to be fine. Look at the 30 year span from 1980 to 2010. The Democratic candidate won the popular vote in 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2008 (4 times) whereas the Republican candidate won in 1980, 1984, 1988, and 2004. It’s true that in the real world the poor ballot design in Palm Beach County, the Supreme Court, and the Electoral College put George W Bush in the White House but none of that is the fault of Democratic Party messaging tactics.

Democrats controlled the House for 18 out of those 30 years, and controlled the Senate for 14 out of 30 years. In the new year, they’ll control two out of the three branches of government. None of that sounds to me like a political party that’s having trouble persuading people to vote for it.

Check it out, Bill Clinton is a Democrat again! Okay, to be fair I’ve never seen MattY accuse the Big Dawg of being a DINOcrat Republican but plenty of his Creative Class pals do it all the time. I wish they would be consistent with their memes.

MattY’s numbers are kinda tricky though, since Bill won in 1992 and 1996 with pluralities and Gore “lost” electorally in 2000 with a popular vote majority thanks to Jeb Bush and 5 SCOTUS (in)justices. His definition of “winning” is fairly narrow, confining it to the outcome of elections and not having anything to do with accomplishments in terms of policy and legislation.

Kevin Drum:

True! But here’s another lens to look through, one that I’ve mentioned before. It’s liberal-centric rather than Democrat-centric.

Over the past century, American liberalism has mostly progressed in three very short, sharp spurts.


But the last one of these spurts ended 40 years ago, and the Obama Era, such as it was, lasted a mere 18 months. That’s despite the fact that Democrats had big majorities in both the House and Senate, George Bush had seemingly degraded the Republican brand almost beyond salvaging, and conservative policies had produced an epic financial collapse that should have provided a tremendous tailwind for substantial progressive reform. And yet: 18 months. That was it.

So yes: Democrats have done OK over the past few decades. And it’s fair to say that conservatism has made only modest strides during that period. Triumphalist right-wing rhetoric to the contrary, America obviously doesn’t have any burning desire to turn back the clock to the 1950s. But actual, substantial liberal progress? We haven’t seen so much of that, and after 18 months of modest achievements we’re obviously not going to get any more for quite a while.

So what happened?

Awww, so close but no cigar.

Does Kevin really not know what happened or is he just not allowed to say it? At least he isn’t trying to convince us that Obama had the most awesomest first two years of any POTUS ever.

You-know-who did another Facebook fireside chat in response to the latest ginned-up PDS fauxrage:

A Thanksgiving Message to All 57 States

My fellow Americans in all 57 states, the time has changed for come. With our country founded more than 20 centuries ago, we have much to celebrate – from the FBI’s 100 days to the reforms that bring greater inefficiencies to our health care system. We know that countries like Europe are willing to stand with us in our fight to halt the rise of privacy, and Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s. And let’s face it, everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma and they end up taking up a hospital bed. It costs, when, if you, they just gave, you gave them treatment early, and they got some treatment, and ah, a breathalyzer, or an inhalator. I mean, not a breathalyzer, ah, I don’t know what the term is in Austrian for that…

Of course, the paragraph above is based on a series of misstatements and verbal gaffes made by Barack Obama (I didn’t have enough time to do one for Joe Biden). YouTube links are provided just in case you doubt the accuracy of these all too human slips-of-the-tongue. If you can’t remember hearing about them, that’s because for the most part the media didn’t consider them newsworthy. I have no complaint about that. Everybody makes the occasional verbal gaffe – even news anchors.

That’s it for now, yesterday was a quiet news day but I’m sure there will be more stuff to talk about later so keep checking back.

My big project for today is putting up my Festivus lights outside. What will you be doing?

Have a great Friday!


60 Responses

  1. For Obama’s 2012 campaign, aides debate a Chicago headquarters

    When President Obama kicks off his reelection campaign sometime in the next few months, senior advisers say, it is virtually certain that his headquarters will be located in Chicago.

    But should it be?

    Full of nostalgia for the 2008 campaign and keenly aware of the anti-Washington vibe in the electorate, advocates say the arrangement would give the president’s team a chance to get away from inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom and to recapture the grass-roots energy that helped Obama beat two candidates entrenched in the capital’s culture two years ago.

    Yet no president or vice president in recent history has won reelection with his headquarters so far from the White House. The arrangement would splinter the president’s staff, sending some of his most trusted advisers to another time zone, and would risk creating a competing power center in Illinois. Because it would limit their casual contact, the distance could also force the White House and campaign staff members to adhere more rigidly to requirements that their work be kept separate. Not to mention that the campaign staff would rarely, if ever, see the candidate.


    Aides said setting up shop in Chicago again has some powerful advocates, including senior adviser David Axelrod, who is planning to move back home early next year; deputy chief of staff Jim Messina, who is expected to be named campaign manager; and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, another longtime Chicago resident.

    The idea has its detractors, however, and some have quietly registered their objections to the political staff in recent months. One aide described the Chicago plan as “crazy,” saying it would disrupt an already beleaguered team and add financial burdens – in the form of plane tickets and office and apartment rent – just so the president can make the disputable claim that he is not tethered to Washington.


    White House allies said Obama’s political advisers see returning to Chicago as a kind of test for prospective staff members: People who are too attached to their lives in Washington to move should not consider themselves welcome. During the 2008 campaign, they were often critical of the campaign of then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who put her headquarters in Ballston and wound up with what one Obama aide at the time described as a “team of mercenaries.” And as disruptive as requiring aides to move to Chicago could be to their personal happiness, supporters also see it as a way to foster a tight-knit culture that shuts out distractions.

    Cults do that

    • Cuz you know, having a family with kids in school in DC, and having real roots set up there is silly, a sign of a lack of “discipline”.

    • “…just so the president can make the disputable claim that he is not tethered to Washington.”

      Like it’s a good thing the president is not “tethered to Washington.”??????

  2. FESTIVUS ya good one . i think ill try it

  3. Girl, 15, arrested over ‘Facebook Koran burning video’

    A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of inciting religious hatred after allegedly burning an English language version of the Koran.

    • The Brits need a 1st amendment equivalent.

      That said, the Brits have a growing problem with right-wing crazies–skinheads and white supremacists. It’s the adults the authorities need to be addressing. These kids didn ‘t dream up this hate on their own.

      • How’s our 1st amendment holding up these days?

        • Surprisingly well, for the time being.

          No one’s been arrested for burning a Q’ran, a Bible, a Torah or a flag. Hate speech isn’t a crime; in fact, it’s a flourishing little industry. Fools are allowed to scream in public about the construction of a non-house of worship at non-Ground Zero or vent their homophobia on the street corner. Tom Delay’s going to jail for money laundering, not for lying.

          Free speech zones need work, but in general we’re in far better shape than we might be.

  4. HuffPoop:

    Elizabeth Warren was the first senior Obama administration official to recognize the potentially incendiary impact of a bill that would have made it significantly easier for mortgage companies to foreclose on homes, and her subsequent warnings played a crucial role in persuading the President to veto the measure, according to freshly released documents and people familiar with the deliberations.

    The disclosure that Warren was instrumental in halting a bill that would have streamlined the foreclosure process comes as she confronts fierce criticism from Republicans on Capitol Hill for the way she was appointed to construct a new consumer financial protection bureau, and characterizations that she is inclined to take an overly punitive tack with Wall Street.

    A long-time advocate for greater regulation of the financial system and a prominent critic of predatory lending, Warren now finds herself at the center of an intensifying debate over the relationship between the Obama administration and the business world.

    For consumer advocates, who have long decried what they portray as Wall Street’s outsized influence in Washington, Warren represents their greatest hope that big banks will be more tightly supervised following the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. For a vocal group of business leaders and their Republican allies, Warren has become Exhibit A in their case that the Obama administration is anti-business.

    The decisive way in which she labored behind the scenes to stymie a bill that would have eased requirements for documentation in the foreclosure process underscores how her arrival has altered the administration’s relationship with major banks.

    I find this story disturbing because it says without this 1 person Obama wouldn’t have vetoed the bill. It reminds me of when he was about to vote for confirming Roberts to SCOTUS until his COS told him not to.

    • What’s even more disturbing is my suspicion that even if he were going to vote for it before (or for Roberts before), it wasn’t because of some (conservative) principled thing. I don’t think he thinks or works that hard. I fear it’s just random, haphazard, whatever, present. Because, you know, he’s thinking about golf, or basketball, or vacation. That is, what Jarrett said before, he’s just too bored to actually do his job.

  5. Ex-Gawker hack writer Kid Pareen compiles Salon’s 30 biggest hacks list:

    1. Richard Cohen

    2. Mark Halperin

    3. Thomas Friedman

    4. David Broder

    5. Marty Peretz

    6. Marc Thiessen

    7. Jonah Goldberg

    8. Maureen Dowd

    9. Laura Ingraham

    10. Peggy Noonan

    11. George Will

    12. John Fund

    13. Roger Simon

    14. David Ignatius

    15. Mort Zuckerman

    16. Michael Barone

    17. Bill Kristol

    18. Tina Brown

    19. Joe Klein

    20. Howard Fineman

    21. S.E. Cupp

    22. Tucker Carlson

    23. Howard Kurtz

    24. Dana Milbank

    25. Mickey Kaus

    26. Jeffrey Goldberg

    27. Pat Caddell

    28. Andrew Malcolm

    29. Matt Bai

    30. David Brooks

    Somehow Joan Walsh didn’t make the cut.

  6. This is unreal:

    The Twittersphere lit up after the publication of Ms Palin’s message, with critics jumping on her mention of 57 states – clearly not realising it was her joke aimed at Mr Obama.

    Kool-aid is a helluva drug.

    • Ha!Ha! I only saw a tweet saying she should be ashamed of herself on a day of giving thanks for being so mean. This from the bros before hos crowd.

      • I’d bet if one were to follow those twits who tweet this stuff, they would discover they are the ones who speak most harshly against Sarah, Bristol, Willow and Trig. At least they are experts at MEAN.

    • I read several tweets this morning and thought, WTH?? These people are attacking Palin for Obama’s gaffe and they don’t realize that the joke is on them?

      Really creepy, the PDS was so strong, one guy had a swastika for an avatar, but nobody thought that was odd. Nazis’s can be part of our tribe now, as long as they’re bashing Palin??

      Naturally people don’t seem to have enough self awareness to realize that when you start attracting the Nazi’s and skin heads to your group, you’ve got some major hatred issues going on. Birds of a feather, flock together.

    • & she only mentions a fraction of his gaffes. The hysterical Group Think is so easily triggered.

      • Just you wait, Tina Fey will appear on SNL and repeat the “57-state” gaff, and Obots will claim this is proof that it was Palin’s gaff all along.

    • There’s a book in here – PDS. And several theses and doctoral studies – the lightning rod that Palin serves for liberals. She was referred to derogatorily several times by the same couple at my Thanksgiving celebration yesterday.

      • Each person repeats the same stories as if they are somehow being original and insightful, not realizing they are only revealing their utter Sheeple mindlessness. It’s the same disease that got Obama elected, in reverse. Mass programming disguised as ‘informed and superior’ reasoning. I’m so sick of it.

  7. Matts reality check totally ignores what happened throughout the 57 states local and state elections that has seen a landslide of Republicans elected when 18 months ago we were reading of the death of the Republican Party for years to come. Look at my state of Florida that saw Healthcare crook Rick Scott elected governor and Marco Rubio, claiming to be a Tea Party candidate, elected to the Senate. Both of these elected due to the influence of Jeb Bush and Barack Obama even though both had indictments and suspicious money problems.

  8. I slept on the sofa in my mom’s family room last night. There is a dish of walnut tassies on the coffee table in front of me and I am snuggled deep in blankies in thus chilly room. All nice and comfy. Ahhhh.
    Damn, I have to pee.

  9. I have news for Yglesias: Dems also won in 2004.Kerry however took the deal that Clinton refused in 92: “Don’t let me be a one termer or you’ll never work in this town again” So he conceded an obviously flowed result.

  10. Not sure if everyone knows Cannonfire is back. He finished the Bro pictorial too

  11. Tday funny: I was having a hard time removing the 22 lb bird from the roaster. It was hot and heavy and the roaster pan didn’t have the handles it orginally came with. Brooke observed by sweaty, frustrating efforts then said: “maybe if we all stand around it and use our two fingers…”
    I lost it laughing so hard.

  12. It’s Howdie DUdie time again!
    The “Most progressive President in 40 years” edition

  13. Going back 30 years isn’t a very representative sample. Going back to 1960, Democrats had the House 38 out of 50 years and the Senate 34 out of 50 years. They had the presidency 22 out of 50 years (not counting the whole 2000 thing).

    Going back 100 years is an even worse story. Democrats dominated the House 72 out of 100 years, with a continuous run lasting a total of 4 decades. They held the Senate for 64 years with a run lasting 26 years.

    The trend is heading downward. Since 1980, Democrats have only held the Senate as long as 8 years. Since 1994, the Democrats have only had the House for 4 out of 16 years.

  14. (dragging myself off the reading-couch)

    Good morning! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!!

  15. If only the print and broadcast media wouldn’t have had a vendetta for Al Gore he would have gotten enough votes that no amount of republican chicanery would have stole the White House.

    Do any one of those thirty bad journalists have feelings of guilt for their part in appointing Bush to the White House and the misery that followed?

    How many of them rue the day for piling on Hillary and ushering in the Bush III administration.

    Or are they all sociopaths with no feeling of guilt?

    • The above questions are rhetorical.

    • No.

    • If Gore hadn’t been a sanctimonious ass and had allowed Clinton to campaign for him in Arkansas, it wouldn’t have mattered about Florida or the media. The media did screw him terribly but he lost that election with his own decisions.

      Rather he let the election be close enough to be taken by the Supremes.

      • Were those his own instincts, or was he following orders handed to him by Donna Brazile, his campaign manager?

        • Gore was the candidate. Donna B worked for him. Any responsibility has to lie with the guy paying the bills 😉 but I know what you mean.

  16. The American electorate has been fed with erroneous sound bites parading themselves as facts along with the pre-occupation of the cult of personality from the media. It doesn’t matter if it is Obama, Palin or Reagan. Meanwhile the rich and powerful are looting the treasury.

  17. >>the Obama Era, such as it was, lasted a mere 18 months

    Uh, he must be referring to mid-2007 through the end of 2008.

    Carolyn Kay

  18. Obama was elbowed in the mouth while playing basketball and got 12 stitches! Maybe vanity will keep him locked up in his bedroom for the next week or two.


    “President Obama had his lip treated with 12 stitches after he was hit by the elbow of one of the players joining him in a post-Thanksgiving basketball game. [….]”

  19. The PDS on the left is absolutely sickening. This is not normal in any way whatsoever. There’s video and a transcript. Calling Bristol a hooker is not the worst thing there IMHO.

    Sandra Bernhard Calls Bristol Palin a Hooker on ‘Joy Behar Show’

    BEHAR: What`s her name, Bristol on today`s “View” said something like —

    BERNHARD: How did she do it? How did she get to New York to do the “View”?

    BEHAR: I don`t know.

    REBECCA DANA, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, THE DAILY BEAST: They have their own plane, these people.

    BERNHARD: She`s such a hooker. She got on a flight after losing last night.

    RW warning, the link is to newsbusters.

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