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Note to Prospective Liberal Trolls: TPN does not tolerate liberal trolls. If your sole purpose is to join this site in order to disrupt the flow of constructive dialogue against liberalism, you will find your time here very short. You can and will be banned for being a liberal. If you wish to debate the virtues of liberalism (as though there were such a thing), there are many other sites on the web who will tolerate you. TPN is not one of those sites.
To be fair, there are plenty of political sites, both conservative and liberal, which do ban participants from rival ideologies. Depending on the site’s mission, there are actually rational and practical reasons for doing so. Daily Kos is among them for instance. My personal record for remaining a member of Free Republic is 12 minutes. I don’t blame them as there are sites dedicated to broad general debate, and sites dedicated to discussion within very specific frameworks which would be greatly diluted if more open. I just find the above wording priceless.
Addendum: This quote from a TPM poster is also noteworthy.
I haven’t seen any mention of how quickly the administration tried to release as much info as it could to the public vs. Bush’s endless stonewalling when it came to releasing any info that could prove politically damaging. Could you imagine Bush offering up this kind of report to the public without a subpoena?
GOP representative Mike Conoway gets asked why they are so gung ho in attacking Obama for waiting for three days to comment on a thwarted attack, when Bush took six to respond to a similar attack. He clearly was not prepared for the question. Unfortunately, she lets him off the hook.
Addendum: The White House hit back at the GOP, and particularly VP Dick Cheney – fairly aggressively actually. Some excerpts:
“The difference is this: President Obama doesn’t need to beat his chest to prove it, and – unlike the last Administration – we are not at war with a tactic (“terrorism”), we [are] at war with something that is tangible: al Qaeda and its violent extremist allies.
To put it simply: this President is not interested in bellicose rhetoric, he is focused on action. Seven years of bellicose rhetoric failed to reduce the threat from al Qaeda and succeeded in dividing this country. And it seems strangely off-key now, at a time when our country is under attack, for the architect of those policies to be attacking the President.
Second addendum: Just so you know, another problem with Obama is that he’s vacationining in his home state of Hawaii. That’s a “foreign place.”
Meanwhile, Democrats are starting to find their voice. This isn’t 1980 or 1994.
So last night I was driving home from a long day in Eureka. I was listening to KGOE, which plays some Air America offerings. Mike Malloy was ranting and is pretty much giving up on Obama. There was a nice story about some protestors with a sign in Norway directed to Obama with regard to the Nobel Peace Prize which read, “you won it, now earn it.” Then they started in on the Medicare buy-in compromise, when I reached the Main Street exit of Fortuna and lost the signal. It dawned on me that when driving at night I always lose the signal as I reach Fortuna. Is conservative Fortuna jamming the frequency?
I switched stations. Gene Burns on KGO was discussing something boring. A few notches to the left at 780 a.m. is KOH, a station out of Reno with all conservative broadcasting. I used to listen to it often when I lived out on Red Rock Road in Benbow. Back then Michael Reagan had the time spot, but last night there was a soft-spoken but dogmatic host named “Roger.” He went through a litany of grievances, crowed in sanguine manner about Obama’s poll numbers being in the tank, and complained about…. the war in Afghanistan. He complained that we are in a war which has no clear goals and will potentially be endless. The war in Iraq made more sense, but now Obama is “starting” a war in a country which has no democratic traditions to build on.
Huh. I’d like to know if he was raising the same points two years ago. Any conservatives out there listen to him?
The defeat of health care reform this week is about as depressing as the Bush wins of 2000 and 2004. Lieberman pretty much killed it single-handedly, and today said he would even filibuster an “irritant” such as a triggered public option. He says, “If they say that it’s unlikely to be [pulled] then it’s unnecessary.” He’s right about that.
But now he’s even “troubled” about the Medicare buy-in proposal. I think Snowe and the Republicans finally caught up with him and explained how dangerous a slippery slope that one could be, especially if it made Medicare more solvent. Someone would figure out that lowering the age even further would do more.
Well, there’s a little bit of noise gathering in the House. Grijalva and other progressives are hinting that they may just sink the bill. And in fact the Democratic leadership is talking about skipping conference and going straight to the House floor for a vote. Grijalva says he and others won’t look kindly on that, but hesitates to make any firm threats until he’s seen what comes out of the Senate.
And if Lieberman pushes them too far, Reid may have to reconsider reconciliation – which would make my day.
But Lieberman has jutzpa. Look what else he’s carved out for himself. If it passes like this and Lieberman retains that chairmanship, I may boycott all Democrats in the next election.
Nate Silver thinks I’m overreacting.
We report, you decide – Fox gets the award for the all time most loaded poll question from a major news network: “What do you think President Obama would like to do with the extra bank bailout money — save it for an emergency, spend it on government programs that might help him politically in 2010 and 2012, or return it to taxpayers?”
Michael Walzer argues that Obama’s escalation of the Afghan war is not just prudent, but moral. Some of his arguments are at the core of my own ambivalence about the issue.
I guess North Carolina has a provision in law which bars atheists from serving in office. It almost kept this individual out of office. It’s probably only been on the books this long because it hasn’t been enforced.
The health care reform debate is proceeding slowly at the moment. All of the sudden two Republicans are back in play who may be more amenable to some sort of public option than the four holdout conservative Democrats. They’re talking triggers. Has anybody ever seen a federal policy “trigger” actually pulled? Consensus is that triggers normally mean it won’t happen, although the HRC politics do have some unique dynamics.
A very interesting dynamic on the Ed Schultz show last night. He was interviewing conservative talk show host Michael Medved who pumped out the usual in terms of sudden Republican concern for the deficit (some mathematician out there will probably come up with a calculus formula someday for the increase/decrease of concern for the deficit depending on whether you are the party in power) and jobs. When Schultz pointed out that the CBO scores the deficit as actually being mitigated by reform, his response was different from Lieberman’s (who simply says he doesn’t believe it). His concern was that it wouldn’t happen right away, and to the degree that it does it’s factoring in the increased taxes which for some reason only known to him shouldn’t be considered in reference to the deficit. Point is, he acknowledges the long term fiscal benefits of reform. Would that Republicans in office would go on record as well.
Medved is one of the few right wing talk show hosts I can stomach in large doses.
Former Labor Secretary Elaine Chow blames the recession on Obama, citing the unemployment rate of November, 2007. Apparently Obama was president for the year 2008.
Jon Stewart on Obama’s channeling of Bush.
Senator Dave Vitter – waiting for coffee is for the little people.
Bernie Sanders bucks Wall Street and blocks Fed Reserve Chair Bernenke’s confirmation for another term, demanding disclosures as to where the TARP money went. More power to him.
Here’s part of the exchange.
And Nate Silver thinks that Obama’s promise to pull out of Afghanistan by 2011 is what will make or break his presidency. It is inconsistent with Obama’s current image as a pol who takes no chances. Maybe he’s hoping economic recovery will draw minds away from the promise should he have to break it. Or maybe he’s that sure of the plan.
In a previous post I joked that former Secretary of State George Shultz (also Secretary of the Treasury under Nixon) might be a communist because of his appearance at the dedication of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Monument last year. I lamented the lack of photographs of him at the incident. Well, there’s a youtube video. He’s the guy in the blue suit two seats to the right (from the audience perspective) of the speakers.
My mother attended the event along with my now deceased VALB grandmother. She reported that Shultz went very stiff when they sang the Internationale. She suspected that he had been unaware of the nature of the event before agreeing to attend. I’m not so sure. He isn’t a chimp like Dana Perino; his politics are horrible, but he knows his history. He was there for his wife.
His wife, Charlotte Malliard, is a socialite in San Francisco. I have no idea what her politics are, but she has managed to land herself a position of some sort with the City of San Francisco which Wikipedia is calling the “ceremonial Chief of Protocol and Director of Special Events.” When they were married it was called by someone “the wedding of the year” for the city. She has been in the position since the mayorship of Jack Shelley (during the 1960s, when Shelley broke about 50 years of Republican mayors – they’ve been Democratic ever since) with a brief break (fired by “conservative” Frank Jordan, rehired by “liberal” Willie Brown). Apparently she has the respect of political dignitaries across ideological lines, and the City Hall staircase, which ought to be somehow named after the anti-HUAC demonstration (film through the link) where protesting kids were hosed down the stairs in 1960, is named after her.
Back to Shultz, he probably figured with people like Gavin Newsom attending and all of those honored and still living being older than him that it would be “safe.” And perhaps his exposure to the “liberal elite” of San Francisco has softened his politics, although he was never really a right wing ideologue. He vehemently protested Iran-Contra and did threaten Reagan with resignation over the Iran-Contra affair, though he backed down when Reagan discarded his letter of resignation. He was definitely not part of the inner circle. A bit of the history for those who missed the events in the late 1980s.
He’s also called for the legalization of recreational drugs and for the end to the embargo of Cuba. On the other hand he remains a part of the right wing cabal in many respects, including association with “the Vulcans,” an ad hoc group of foreign policy advisers to President George W. Bush. A complex man. Or perhaps a little confused in his old age. As quoted in Leah Garchick’s column (which also noted some boos when Shultz was introduced) following the event, Shultz seemed to be comparing the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln brigade with President Bush.
We are “fighting against fascism for liberty,” Shultz said when I asked him about it after the ceremonies, “and supporting people who are doing it.” In the Spanish Civil War, “people picked up arms and fought.” To this way of thinking, the administration’s decision to join the battle is even more heroic.
Don’t ask me to explain that further.
No, it’s not satire.
It’s right out of the Life of Brian.
There’s been a little bit of a stir over the tea bagger signs on the Capital steps yesterday comparing the anticipated victims of health care reform to Dachau victims, complete with photos of bodies found in the famed death camp. Republican after Republican scrambled to speak in front of the crowd, but nobody bothered to comment on the sign until today, following pressure from Jewish groups. Senator Eric Cantor has now deemed the sign “inappropriate” and even gone so far as to criticize Rush for inflaming the debate by comparing Obama to Hitler.
It’s in the Friday afternoon dump, but tea baggers don’t take kindly to criticism of their icons or the perceived weakness of apologies (to liberals). Anybody want to start a pool on how long it will take Cantor to recant his anti-Rush heresy?
TPM has put together a list of the ritual apologies made to date, entitled “Forgive me Rush for I have sinned.”
Meanwhile, some Democrats are seizing the moment to make the wingnuttiness the story of the protest. Fair game? You decide. Rep. Steve Israel:
“I can’t believe that Congresswoman Bachmann would stand where she stood, and see those images, and not have the common decency to say, ‘I disagree with the use of those images.’ I think that she owes the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust an apology. She owes us all an apology. And I’m waiting. We’re all waiting.
Don’t burst former Rep. Tancredo’s bubble! “You bet it’s appropriate” he says. And he blames anti-Bush demonstrators. As previously noted, the right wing approach these days is: Don’t apologize. Always attack. Don’t worry about how lame it sounds. They’ll praise you for “straight talking.”
I guess he really is drawing a proverbial line in the sand and I hope he’s seriously considering a reconciliation maneuver. After months of playing footsie with “moderate” Republicans he appears to be willing to call a bluff in a high stakes hand. He’s written a letter to the Republicans in response to their accusations that the Democratic health care reform proposals have been enshrouded in secrecy. His response reads in part as follows:
While the two health care reform plans that are serving as the main building blocks for the merged bill have been publicly available for quite some time, I would note that the Republican leadership’s health care plan remains a secret, unless perhaps it does not exist.
Needless to say, I fully understand if your plan is still under development, and would not presume to suggest that you publicly share draft legislative text for even an individual element of your plan, let alone an entire bill, before it is finalized.
However, as soon as a comprehensive Republican alternative is complete, I hope you will be willing to immediately make it public. I am sure you agree that the American people deserve the opportunity to fully review both parties’ health care reform plans before we begin this important debate.
Of course they don’t have a comprehensive proposal. Everything they toss out basically amounts to either tax breaks, tort reform, or deregulation – the perennial Republican cure-alls for everything from a rainy day to premature ejaculation. A few Republicans like Chuck Grassely and of course Snowe had at least brought some constructive proposals to the table, but when Grassely announced over the summer that he would not vote for the bill even if he got everything he wanted he was shocked to find that nobody asked him for further contributions.
The Republicans in office are frozen in fear right now, because they know their non-participation isn’t going to play well with independents, but they’re afraid of the tea baggers who currently dominate the party. They want it both ways.
On the Republicans, they are fighting an internal war for the soul of their party right now. The moderates have mostly been quiet to avoid tea bagger wrath, but a few of the moderates are growing weary. We’ve seen a few defections, and now the civil war is playing out in the 23rd Congressional District of New York where a moderate Republican has now dropped out of the race in the face of a huge tea bag challenge from the Conservative Party. What’s more, the moderate threw a ringer by endorsing the Democrat after Fox News had reported that she would be backing the tea bagger. Watch and enjoy.
Joe Biden paid the District a visit and called upon GOP moderates to teach their party leaders “a lesson.”
Although the polls probably don’t mean a whole lot under the circumstances, it does appear that the Conservative Party is set to win its first Congressional representation. Bad for GOP moderates. Good for Democrats.
Meanwhile, another GOP luminary is warning that health care reform is more dangerous than terrorism.
Addendum: If there’s any truth to this report it’s huge.
And Rush Limbaugh managed to push the envelope again. Referring to the defection in upstate New York, Rush proclaimed that Dede Scozzafava is “guilty of widespread bestiality. She has screwed every RINO in the country.”
The de facto leader of the Republican Party reaches yet another plateau of professionalism and class.