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Open Bar; Open Thread


The drinks are on me.

Saturday: Things that make you look stupid. And other stories.

And I thought he looked dumb with a rubber chicken in his mouth!

Rather neatly cutting out the Popcorn Gallery, Peter Daou noticed:

For some time, the basic division over Obama on the opinion-making left was between those who argued that he had accomplished much considering the obstacles and those who believed he was selling out progressive principles out of a misguided desire for bipartisanship.


We weren’t supposed to worry too much about the Cat Food commission …. Even though the commission was obviously stacked with deficit hawks and Social Security haters because (the story went) the commission would have to agree to ALL the recommendations as a package and it would take 14 votes to send it along to the Capitol.

And now that the package got only 11 votes? (I LOVE this headline)

Obama Offers Hope for Debt Panel’s Plan

President Obama said he would consider adopting some of the recommendations in the provocative debt-reduction plan from his fiscal commission, which wrapped up work on Friday with more of a bipartisan accord than even its members had expected.

Soon after the commission finished — with 11 of its 18 members backing the package of deep spending cuts and revenue increases — Mr. Obama issued a statement praising the panel’s work. Without embracing any particular ideas, he said he would review them all as he looks for ways to “correct our fiscal course.”

And why shouldn’t he send some of those recommendations? Isn’t that why they gave him the big bucks back in 2007?

Well, a girl’s gotta dream and I like this one (H/T Suburban Guerilla)

The Infernal Commissions of Elites Should Give Way To One of Real People

I would like Barack Obama to do something entirely uncharacteristic.

President Obama, appoint another panel of American citizens who have never had an income of more than $30,000 dollars, 18 or more of them. I’d require that they have a proven ability to read a budget and to not be afraid of mathematics. I’d require representation of public school teachers, first responders, non-profit health professionals and others with a professional or avocational experience in providing disinterested public service. Let them come up with proposals to make cuts and rearrange things. Make it regionally representative. They should be required to sign contracts to prevent them being bought off by the elites that would try to corrupt them. Give THAT commission a staff of real, non-DC insiders, an adequate budget AND THE AUTHORITY TO FORCE A VOTE IN CONGRESS THAT THE ELITE COMMISSION HAD.

I’m sure that the DC beltway elite would scorn and ridicule the very idea of a commission of those kinds of Americans. The idea would be attacked and mocked, their product discounted as the product of ignorant stupid people. Sally Quinn, David Broder and just about every one of the known presstitutes would attack them. The idea that a commission of modest, middle class professionals should get so close to writing legislation that has to be acted on by the House and Senate will horrify the connected elite and the media that serves them.

We have a pretty good idea of the sorts of things that would come from that idea:

AmericaSpeaks But It’s Not What Pete Peterson and Crowd Want to Hear

The AmericaSpeaks events were a series of town meetings held across the country ostensibly to provide the public with a greater voice in influencing policy with regard to “fiscal responsibility.” But something funny happened on the way to the forum, as the plebes tuned out framing biases both subtle and blatant and came up with progressive solutions to our ills.

Froomkin concentrates on showing that participants emerged from the fora having moved toward more progressive positions, contrary to the sponsors’ claim that the forums caused both liberals and conservatives to “moderate” their views regarding spending and tax cuts. But it’s not just that participants moved toward traditional liberal positions, they pretty much arrived there. And on the way they weren’t happy being coralled, in particular with regard to single-payer:

That’s about all I can stomach today…. What have you found in your bookmarks this morning?

[Edited to add an oldie but goodie] Continue reading

No sh*t?


Palin book signing a tightly controlled operation

Members of the media and book-toting Sarah Palin supporters were asked to follow a surprisingly strict set of guidelines Friday as the former Alaska governor appeared in South Carolina on the final stop of a tour to promote her new book, “America By Heart.”

Palin has been met with long lines at each stop during the two-week book tour, but fans at a Books-A-Million in suburban Columbia actually had to line up at the store twice: Once on Wednesday to enter a lottery for one of 500 wristbands that would guarantee them entry into the event, and if they got lucky, again on Friday night to actually meet the former Alaska governor.

Once inside, customers were required to present receipts for their books as a proof of purchase. They waited patiently as country music wafted through the box store, and several customers told CNN they had trekked all the way from Georgia or North Carolina for a moment with Palin.

That was until a store employee told the reporter that press were not permitted to speak with customers inside the store, or leave the roped-off cafe area that had been designated for them.

“It’s a Sarah rule, not our rule,” the employee said, apologetically. Another store representative told reporters that the strict rules were handed down via Palin’s publishing house, HarperCollins.

Why is this even a story? Palin doesn’t want to let the unfriendly media ambush her so she keeps them at arm’s length. She also doesn’t want to get ambushed by some crazed Obot so she has started using a security detail.

They wouldn’t need all these rules for the media if the media wasn’t obsessively dogging every move she makes. Jeebus, people! She’s not even a candidate yet!

Which begs the question – if she can’t possibly win why do they care what she does?