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Wednesday News

Good Morning Conflucians!!

The big news of the day is still the big sell-out job Obama did. Well, I say sell-out because that’s what the (until recently) Obama fanclub for idiots call it. Of course we all know Obama is doing what he planned to do and what he wants to do. Giving the ultra rich more money is what he has always done. It’s what he was hired to do. It’s the cost of sexism. Quite expensive as it turns out.

So let’s see what people have to say about that event. Oh my, there seems to be some yelling and gnashing of teeth. That’s what they always do, at least until they get “the visit” or the “air force 1 ride”. And sadly for some idiots, it doesn’t even take that as they’ll suck up and say it’s all good. Mark my words. Give it another week and all the usual suspects will say how this was genius all along. Firstly we get reports of some shouting and Obama’s testy reaction:

A testy President Barack Obama on Tuesday expressed frustration at his own Democrats for attacking him over his tax-cut deal with Republicans, who he called uncompromising “hostage takers.”

Obama found himself in an unusual position a day after sealing a major tax-cut agreement — praised by Republican opponents and denounced by liberal Democrats who felt he violated a pledge that helped get him elected in 2008.

Liberals accused him of caving to Republican demands by agreeing to extend all the Bush-era tax cuts, even those for wealthier Americans, instead of their preference for limiting the tax cuts to families making less than $250,000 a year.

Obama leveled some of his toughest criticism to date at the left wing of the Democratic Party, saying his critics were taking a “sanctimonious” position that would not have helped solve problems.

His voice rose and he sounded exasperated when he said if he had refused to compromise, “People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position and no victories for the American people.”

The country was founded on the principle of compromise, Obama said, and he singled out one leading critic, The New York Times editorial page, saying “The New York Times editorial page does not permeate across all of America. Neither does the Wall Street Journal editorial page.”

Did Obama just call Democrats “sanctimonious”? I believe he did. Poor babies. I hope they didn’t cry. Others have a similar story about the struggle with Democrats to get this passed:

In a 35-minute news conference, Obama chastised liberals for seeking ideological purity that would cause legislative logjams on vital issues. He didn’t spare Republicans, either, likening them to “hostage takers” willing to hurt the great majority of Americans for the “holy grail” of extending tax cuts for millionaires.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was noncommittal before and after Obama’s afternoon appearance, saying she would discuss the matter with fellow Democrats. “So far the response has not been very good,” she said after meeting with other Democratic leaders.


If Democrats kill the tax plan, it would mark a stunning defeat for Obama and a huge political bet that voters will blame Republicans as much as Democrats for an impasse that leads to higher taxes starting Jan. 1. Few on Capitol Hill believe Democrats will take that gamble. But liberal lawmakers’ discontent is hard to measure in the wake of last month’s big election setbacks.

Despite their minority status, Senate Republicans managed last week to block Obama’s long-promised bid to end Bush-era tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000. They insisted that all the tax cuts from 2001 and 2003, scheduled to expire in three weeks, be extended, for rich and poor alike.

But Politico comes to the rescue saying don’t worry about those Democrats because this can be passed without them:

Don’t be fooled by all the shouting. President Barack Obama’s tax-cut deal likely will squeak through the Senate, according to congressional aides, propelled by a coalition of Republicans, moderate Democrats and members won over by last-minute tax sweeteners.

The House, however, is more difficult to call – but there is a path to success there as well, and it likely includes wooing some wavering members by adding a few more specialized tax breaks, aides said.

House Republicans expect nearly all of their 179 members on board and could make up a roughly 40-vote shortfall with the help of Blue Dog fiscal conservatives in the Democratic party.

House Democrats, clearly miffed, say if Obama wants the bill, he’s got to find the votes, which isn’t assured.

“Making the case for this falls on the shoulders of the administration, not House leaders,” said one House Democratic aide. “The White House cut this deal so they gotta defend it.”


Still, some Blue Dogs could break from the bill, as could moderate Democrats and even some recently defeated Democrats who accuse the GOP of hypocrisy – for attacking the high price tag the health care and stimulus bills but signing on to this $900 billion or so plan.

New Democrats, the pro-business wing led by New York Rep. Joe Crowley, signaled openness to the bill, but only if bonus depreciation and research and development tax credits are included in the final product.

Who needs these Democrats anyway? Looks like Obama doesn’t. Having said that, not all is united on the Republican side either. The Hill reports on crazy Michele Bachmann and her distaste for the unemployed:

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said Monday — before the White House deal was unveiled — that congressional Republicans could balk at voting to extend all the tax cuts for two years if it’s tied to a long-term extension of jobless benefits. Bachmann is the chairwoman of the House Tea Party Caucus.

“I don’t know that Republicans would necessarily go along with that vote. That would be a very hard vote to take,” Bachmann said on conservative commentator Sean Hannity’s radio show.

“I think we’re back in a conundrum. I think the compromise would be extending the rates for two years and not permanently, but not tying it to massive spending,” she said. “We cannot add on something like a year of unemployment benefits.”

Isn’t she special. Isn’t it so difficult for her. She has to contemplate the unseemly act of lending a hand to the unemployed while shoveling mega millions to the richest 1%. I think she’s worried she might catch something from the peasants. Funny thing is, I don’t think she and Obama are that different.

For your reading pleasure, WaPo has more details about what Congress will be trying to accomplish in their last week before their holiday break.

In some sad news, as we found out yesterday, Elizabeth Edwards died. Good wishes and prayers to her family.

Where do you go from that sort of news. Well, beer of course. Here are the top ten home brew beer recipes:

To home brew a great beer—whether it’s all-grain or extract—requires, first and foremost, an understanding of the process and mastery of brewing technique. That’s not to say creative, well-balanced recipes with all the right ingredients don’t help with the final product. We scoured brewing books, listened to beer podcasts, and talked to brewmasters to find ten of the best homebrew recipes out there, representing a range of beer styles. The recipes we found come from some of the best professional brewers in the country as well as absurdly dedicated homebrewers.

Read on for those recipes and beer discussions.

Finland had the highest literacy rates for quite a while, but alas, no more. Recent student test results puts them behind three asian areas:

The tri-annual Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) survey of 15-year-olds ranked China’s Shanghai region in first place.

With Finland coming third, its education minister blamed a decline in reading, especially among boys.

Pupils in Sweden and Ireland also performed worse than in 2006.

And speaking of the writing on the wall, Bank of America just can’t get a break (boo hoo):

Bank of America Corp.’s agreement to pay $137 million in restitution for taking part in a nationwide bid-rigging conspiracy for municipal-investment contracts may soon be followed by more settlements to repay the scheme’s victims, the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division head said.

“Stay tuned to this channel — I think you will see a lot more activity in the coming weeks and months,” Christine Varney, the antitrust chief, told reporters yesterday. “We are committed to getting restitution, full restitution, to all the municipalities that were victims of this scheme.”


Bank of America’s settlement is “likely the tip of the iceberg,” Andrew Gavil, a law professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C., said in an e-mail. He said other conspirators may pay much higher penalties.

The government has identified more than a dozen firms, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., UBS AG, and Societe Generale as unindicted co-conspirators in a criminal case brought by the Justice Department against a Los Angeles investment broker.

Read on for much more detail on various cases and issues, and where the government will likely be lenient.

Some exciting news from space, a private rocket is sitting on a launch pad, ready to lift off, from Cape Canaveral in what should mark a new phase in the worlds efforts to explore:

The rocket, a Falcon 9 built by Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, for short, is unassuming — a runt compared to NASA’s space shuttles. It is scheduled to lift off on Wednesday morning and place into orbit an empty capsule, designed to carry cargo and eventually astronauts, which will circle the Earth twice before splashing down in the Pacific. The mission is to last less than three and a half hours.

Although the flight lacks in theatrics, it marks a major shift in the space program toward private industry. It is the first demonstration flight under a National Aeronautics and Space Administration contract that is to lead to SpaceX’s ferrying supplies to the International Space Station.

NASA, under a new space exploration blueprint signed into law in October, will now embark on a similar strategy for sending astronauts to orbit — buying rides from commercial companies rather than operating its own rocket.

The LA Times also has some coverage:

In half a century of spaceflight, only a few countries have been able to send a capsule into space and have it return to Earth intact, a technological and financial feat reserved for the wealthiest of nations.

That may all change as early as Wednesday, when a Hawthorne-based rocket venture plans to send an Apollo-like capsule into space and have it splash down in the Pacific, becoming the first commercial spacecraft to orbit the globe and survive the fiery reentry back to Earth.

If the mission is successful, it would mark a major turning point for private spaceflight and a key milestone for SpaceX, a venture started by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Elon Musk.

“When Dragon returns, whether on this mission or a future one, it will herald the dawn of an incredibly exciting new era in space travel,” said Musk, the founder and chief executive of SpaceX, formally known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp.

Well, I think it’s exciting anyway. There are some amazing things to do, even in near space, and great opportunities just out of our reach. I’m very happy to see such private enterprise efforts.

That’s a bit of what’s going on. Chime in with what you’re finding or with what’s on your mind.

37 Responses

  1. “sanctimonious”? “ideologically pure”? Wow. He really doesn’t understand the people who were forced to vote for him in 2008, does he? I know people who would run away screaming from the liberal label who are absolutely incensed that Obama isn’t willing to send his IRS men around to break the knees of the rich. Yep, plain, everyday, working class people think that Obama is screwing them over for letting the wealthy get away with murder. That’s the new definition of sanctimonious.
    Anyways, I voted for Hillary and everyone who knows me would think it’s ridiculous to call me pure. Pure? Moi??
    No, what we got here is Obama’s failure to imaginate. If the best he can do for a stimulus package is force hard working Americans to dip into their Social Security retirement stash, then he is a very sorry excuse for a politician.
    But then, we knew that already.

  2. Whoa! Have you been to the big orange? The individual cheetos are starting to crumble. Mike Stark, Icebergslim and One Pissed Off Liberal have rec diaries calling a spade a kettle.
    Highly entertaining.
    You know, I just realized that they really are sanctimonious and have lost all credibility but we shrieking band of paranoid holdouts can safely escape that label.

    • Yeah, I noticed and it’s wild. I’ve been making the point that Obama is the same as he always was but they just didn’t want to see it.

    • They are sanctimonious jerks.

    • It’s a good day to be here with all my fellow r@c!$+$, bitter knitters, inbred hicks, gun nuts, religious clingers (Klingons?), dry-feline dowagers, Sino-Peruvian yuri girls, and the rest of the shrieking band of paranoid holdouts. :mrgreen:

      And of course the clowns. Mustn’t forget the clowns. Or the pirates, ARRR! Or the mad chemist who founded the place. 😉

  3. Obama is a servant of the rich. He no longer needs gulled Democrats so he will proceed with Republicans who will back him up and tell him he is really cool. Maybe there will not be hearings after all if he is going to do everything they tell him as instructed by really really big money. The Congressional Dems are the biggest patsies I have seen in my lifetime. So are the Yes We Can (Screw Ourselves) army of dupes. I especially enjoy Obama making announcements of his total collusion with Republicans without even bothering to tell anyone in Congress who is a Democrat. Who needs them. They are just something stuck on the bottom of his shoe.

  4. I want a Obama 2012 Republican bumper sticker.

  5. On my commute to and from work I’ll tune into one of the local conservative talk radio shows, they are l gloating over what is happening to the Democratic party. They see the White House as theirs in 2012 and the Dems in shambles.

    Congratulations to Pelosi, Reid, Kerry , Dean and the rest of the elites that foisted Obama on us.

  6. Well, at least some of the loyalists are having to try to explain how “Obama is on our side”

  7. Obama is the same as he’s always been. Here’s an article that the msm ignored during the primaries. In terms of his character, it tells me everything I needed to know about the charlatan this country was electing. Nothing new here.


  8. Yesterday press conference generated some interesting photos on page ones today

  9. Howard Fineman finally worries that Obama may have been serious about his Reagan man-crush:


    Took him long enough.

    • Nice. That guy is such a joke!

      It seems like he is only concerned that the message will be unfavorable no matter how the tax cut extension plays out.

      I can’t figure out why anyone things the tax cuts are creating jobs… the rich have enjoyed lower taxes for many years and jobs don’t seem to be the priority for the moneyed class – money is the priority.

      I’m thinking they should tax the shit out of them and use the revenue to create some jobs since clearly the rich are not up to the task.

    • Howard should know all about man-crushes. These alleged reporters who worship the ground Obama walks on are amazing.

  10. I saw him give his hissy fit, and what jumped out at me was when he talked about “core principles”.

    “What they don’t understand is if we held to these supposed ‘core principles’ we’d never get anything done.”

    He doesn’t realize it–because he doesn’t even know what core principles are–he just admitted that HE HAS NONE! News flash Pander Man: the very definition of a CORE PRINCIPLE is that it is something you are NOT willing to compromise!!

    He can’t stand it when everyone is not applauding and fainting over him.

    • Right on! So true. He doesn’t even know the meaning of the word “principle.”

      And it’s our collective fault that we don’t appreciate his wonderfulness. Why, look, he gave us health care and women’s rights and LGBT rights and no Gitmo and no wars and, and, and …. How could we be so stupid?

  11. Murmurs of Primary Challenge to Obama

    WASHINGTON — President Obama’s compromise with Republicans on extending tax cuts for the wealthy, which his self-described progressive critics see as a profound betrayal, is bound to intensify a debate that has been bubbling up on liberal blogs and e-mail lists in recent weeks — whether or not the president who embodied “hope and change” in 2008 should face a primary challenge in 2012.


  12. Obama Channels Reagan, and Risks Becoming Carter

    But this deal crystallizes the new reality of this year — which is not only that the GOP is on the rampage but that the Dems have fallen out of love with their ostensible hero.

    Even if there is no democratic challenger to Obama, he is in grave danger of Carterization.

    Consider this: if the economy improves over the next two years, it will in part be “because” of the Bush tax cuts! And if it doesn’t, it will be because of the Bush tax cuts that became the Obama tax cuts!


  13. From the comments at Hullabaloo:

    “I heard a trial balloon about a payroll tax holiday a year and a half ago while working in a Congressional office. I aren’t no jeenius, but I could see the slippery slope falling away in front of us. There …will be some who will fight like hell against this behind closed doors – and maybe in public – but they will be insufficient to win against Republicans, Blue Dogs, O’pologists, and “moderates.” If this “holiday” is included in the final package, pay attention to the rollcall when the vote is taken: those who vote against it are your friends. Everyone else is your enemy, no matter what reasons they give.”

    I agree — “Everyone else is your enemy, no matter what reasons they give.”

    It’s a bad, bad idea.

    • Obama and his cronies beholding to investment lobby want to shrink Social security to the point where it can be drowned in a bathtub.

  14. You know what really gets me? Obama truly believes he is Teh One and we are all idiots for not appreciating his greatness. He cannot be shaken in that rock-solid belief. He is so far above us we are lucky he even deigns to lead us (over the cliff). He is exasperated that we children do not understand all the wonderful things he has accomplished. I don’t think for one second the thought enters his mind that HE is the fool, the knave, the quisling. Not for one second. He is the greatest.

    This passes for intelligence? He is a sanctimonious jackass. He is the very essence of sanctimony. And massive self-delusion and, yes, insanity. This guy is certifiable.

  15. My favorite thing from the press conference yesterday, was when a reporter asked him if there was something he wouldn’t budge on, something were there would be a line in the sand he wouldn’t cross. His answer was that there were many things and many lines in the sand. That really cracked me up. The perfect symbolism of someone who votes present and who has no core values is that they have many lines in the sand.

  16. The other amazing thing during the press conference was when he talked about the insurance giveaway bill. He said he did something no Democrat has been able to do for over 100 years, and after passed all these purists could do was complain about one little bit of it. One little insignificant bit. Of course he was talking about the Stupak amendment where they basically make abortion illegal. That little bit.

  17. Today in 1980 John Lennon was murdered. Wow, it’s been 30 years.

  18. Wonder when the term “President Cave-Man” will finally stick?

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