Post Mortem

I’ve actually had a good night’s sleep after the November 2010 midterms. I’d like to thank everyone for participating. It was fun. I learned how to Skype.

The election went pretty much as expected. Nate was spot on. His model was incredibly accurate. I was actually satisfied with the results. Everybody who needed to lose, lost (well, there’s Rand Paul, but eventually that might be useful. Oh and Russ Fiengold. Didn’t see that one coming.). O’Donnell, Nazi impersonator, Angle, Fiorina, Whitman, Miller; etc. All the crazies lost. We knew the pendulum would swing because people were distraught by the economy. But the American people were not fooled. We knew Democrats would lose some seats and likely the House. Sixty was pretty big but not that big. We held the Senate. That hasn’t happened, historically. Both Houses usually fall in midterm and the pendulum swings waaaaay to the other side. Didn’t happen. Patty Murray won. John Kitzhaber won. As our commenter Alki pointed out, “The western firewall has held”. East coast, West coast. Blue to the max. As far as elections go; it could have been worse.

Of course the conservatives will spin this into tsunami territory. They’ll be thumping their chest’s and claiming that this is a mandate from ‘the people’ to end the Obama era. That’s how they roll. Mitch McConnell, in a fit of hubris, has already announced the end of Obama’s Presidency. We’ll be in for a couple of more years of pain. Sometimes it has to hurt before you decide to stop doing that which is bad for you.

I am often puzzled by the ‘punishment vote’. It baffles me that people would vote against their own interests to punish a party they think has failed them when in fact the party hasn’t had an opportunity to fix the problem. Short attention span, I guess. I’ve always believed you vote for the candidate that would best represent the populace.  But it doesn’t always happen. I’m amazed that the right wing talking machine can convince people to vote for things that will ultimately be bad for them.

In thinking about the propensity for electing right wing candidates, I’ve come to a conclusion. We live in a privileged country. I mean, America pretty much saved the world from Fascism and Hitler’s  twisted perspective. We broke out of the great depression as a result of WWII. We agreed to work together to achieve a common goal. We made sacrifices. As a result of winning WWII we experienced an era of prosperity unprecedented in our brief history.

My suggestion is that this was a bubble. Much like the internet bubble. It was unsustainable.

My other suggestion is that much of the fundamental philosophy of modern politics is based on that bubble. There’s a perception that we live in that time. A perception of wealth, prosperity, unlimited growth. I suggest that perception is flawed. But the need to cling to it is palpable. Yeah, I remember it. I’d like to have it back. But IT DOESN’T EXIST. It was a blip on the radar.

So that means a large proportion of our populace is in huge denial. They think the world is like a ‘Leave it to Beaver’ episode. This denial of reality is not helpful. It’s the only reason I can fathom that Republicans andTea Partiers, keep being seriously considered. They are caucusing for a world which doesn’t exist. And they are fighting the rest of us to do so. That is so wrong.


About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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133 Responses to Post Mortem

  1. shiloh says:

    Sixty was pretty big but not that bigSorry, but “we” don’t need to spin like Bart lol ie (60) is huge, no ifs, ands or buts.just sayin’Bart got his tsunami, but but, but what does a tsunami leave in its wake ~ the total destruction of America, which by definition is what Reps want if they want Obama to fail, eh. Again, a catch-22 for teabaggersOne of the ironies is Michael Steele, as Reps can’t fire him now lol after their midterm success even though he’s a clueless fool and terrible fund raiser. But as we saw $$$ was not a problem for Reps thanx to Citizens United.Yea, Reps won despite Steele, so he wins and his comedy relief tour will continue another (2) years as Reps are the party of minorities. ;)Heard that nationwide Reps won generically by 5 million votes and the youth vote was (12) million less than 2008 ie enthusiasm was the big factor er lack thereof.And McConnell is too funny as he dictates to Obama. Somebody please tell Mitchell he’s still (((senate minority leader))) ie he has no juice. Hell, even in his own state he has no juice as Paul beat Greyson ie he was totally embarrassed by DeMint.Every time Rand Paul opens his mouth the next (6) years it will be Manna from Heaven for the Dems as Reps try to keep him on a short leash.Was surprised Quinn beat Brady in IL as he was behind 10/15 pts the whole frickin’ year and of course Kirk got 48% so it would behoove him to be a moderate the next (6) years, eh. So the Dems survived the Blagojevich factor lol but Kirk had a big $$$ advantage his opponent couldn’t overcome. Same w/Toomey and Sestak as Toomey had the big $$$ advantage. And Kasich had a big $$$ advantage over Strickland.Again Bartles $$$, name recognition, incumbency, superficiality … ideology, not so much as voters were upset w/the party in power and acted accordingly.All fame is fleeting but, but, but show me the $$$! the bottom line in elections.

  2. Mr. Universe says:

    Sorry, shiloh. The REpubs might have picked up the seats, but I think they lost the war. i could be wrong, but time will tell.

  3. robert verdi says:

    You left out the massive victories on a state and local level for the right, a massive accomplishment all its own. A central ally of the Democrats are the organized interests that revolve around state and local government (its these allies who I believe propelled many of the Senate Democrats in the face of the wave), with the GOP winning the house and the end of state bailouts you are going to see increased austerity measures that Chris Christie was the vanguard for in New Jersey.This will end up as less donations for elected Democrats and less foot soldiers for the GOTV movement. This hardly means the Democratic party is finished, but there are very real structural threats to that party.

  4. mclever says:

    robert verdi,Your opinion that Democratic contributions will be massively reduced and that there will be significantly less foot soldiers for GOTV seems like wishful thinking to me. The same sort of wishful thinking that had Democrats crowing the same thing about Republicans two years ago, and we just witnessed the fruits of that. It seems just as reasonable to guess that Democrats will be energized in two years in counter-reaction to this Republican wave.I’m not saying that the wins at the local level are meaningless, but we should be careful about over-interpreting things.

  5. Bart DePalma says:

    M: “Nate was spot on.”The final seats will be in the mid 60s. Nate was low and Gallup was high.M: “Sixty was pretty big but not that big.”Sure.The mid-60s is the largest GOP gain since 1938 and the largest of any party since 1948. In the era of computerized gerrymandering, this is the largest wave any of us are likely to see in our lifetimes. There are only three states remaining with a majority Dem congressional delegation which are not on the coasts.What is being missed here is the once in a century state level fallout. The New Deal alignment at the state level has been wiped out and the GOP is back where it was in 1928. The GOP now has about 2/3 of the governors, all legislative chambers in over half of the states and at least one chamber in another quarter of the states. The voters in places like Michigan and Maine have granted the GOP their state governments.M: “We knew the pendulum would swing because people were distraught by the economy.”The last major recession election was in 1982. The GOP lost less than 30 seats. If the voters liked Dem policies, the Dems would have experienced a 1982 election and Pelosi would still be speaker.M: “It baffles me that people would vote against their own interests to punish a party they think has failed them when in fact the party hasn’t had an opportunity to fix the problem.”Incredible. This is the third wave election repudiation of government expansion and corruption during the Reagan Era (94, 06-08 and now 10) each one larger than the last.94 was a repudiation of Hillarycare, the Brady Bill firearms restrictions and the Clinton tax increases.06-08 was a slow motion repudiation of the lack of progress on the Iraq War and the profligacy and corruption of the GOP Congress. You may recall that Bush increased spending by nearly a third and implemented the first major new entitlement since before Reagan. Progressive Dems like to forget that their congressional majorities were built on Blue Dog Dems running by Rahm Emmanuel’s design to the right of GOP incumbents as gun-totting fiscal hawks who would clean up the corruption in Washington.As the new Dem government came into power in 08, Gallup was recording the lowest public trust in government since Watergate. However, the Obama Administration badly misread their mandate and tripled down on government.10 was a repudiation of almost every major governing policy over the past two years. Only the financial regulation bill is not polling underwater.M: “So that means a large proportion of our populace is in huge denial.”Envisioning Mono curled up in a corner keening: “They really do love progressivism, they really do. We just didn’t explain it well enough… There was a mass psychosis…. Damn it, the voters are just too f_cking stupid to appreciate what we do for them. That must be it.”How many times do the voters have to speak before YOU stop swimming in the river denial.

  6. Bart DePalma says:

    Sorry Mono, I meant Mr. U.Need morning coffee.

  7. Bart DePalma says:

    FINALLY, some decent news on unemployment. Private employers hired 159K workers in October. Not recovery level by any means, but for at least one month the employment growth is break even with population growth.Hopefully, those jobs are out here in CO.

  8. Bart DePalma says:

    Obamacare cheerleader, AARP, just notified their employees that Obamacare is raising their health insurance premiums.http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101104/ap_on_bi_ge/us_aarp_health_planKarma.

  9. mclever says:

    I think Mr. Universe makes an astute observation about the prolonged “bubble” after WWII and the idealizing of the 1950s by many in this country. As he says, “A perception of wealth, prosperity, unlimited growth” which doesn’t (didn’t) really exist. If that desire to return to the fantastical 1950’s world of “Leave It To Beaver” is in fact what motivates the Tea Partiers and other social conservatives, then that would certainly explain the Tea Party’s appeal to older, white folks.We do tend to think of ourselves as the prosperous leaders of the world, but a quick glance at poverty levels, education statistics, or other economic indicators puts America squarely in the middle of the pack as far as industrialized nations go. The disconnect between reality and wishful thinking can be quite disheartening. I want to be an education, innovation, and economic leader, too!Take heart, Mr. Universe. Most minorities don’t want to return to an era when they were second-class citizens. Most younger women wouldn’t want to return to a world where their only acceptable careerpaths were “housewife” or “mother”, and they’d get paid pennies on the dollar for doing “man’s” work. Those constituencies are the growth constituencies in our country. How long is it until whites are merely a plurality? This idealization of the 1950s is on the decline. Perhaps it’s in its last throes.We can hope!

  10. mclever says:

    Speaking of post-mortems, did anyone else see Nate’s preliminary analysis of polling accuracy?Polling winners and losersYes, I’m burying the lede.:-)

  11. filistro says:

    Mr U… I think this is a very perceptive and original idea, and worth giving some serious thought to.Are folks on the right living in constant nostalgia for some brief “Golden Age” in America that actually didn’t exist?You often hear people waxing nostalgic about the days when a family could live well with only one breadwinner… when Dad went to work with a lunchbox and Mom stayed home baking cookies and bandaging skinned knees.But… I’m old enough to remember the 60’s. The house that all those Moms stayed home in was about 900 sq ft, and had only 1 bathroom. Moms socialized with the ladies on the street because ordinary folks didn’t have a second car. Kids played outside with simple toys. A household had only 1 television. Everybody wore clothes to school that were discreetly patched.That was the “solid middle-class existence” the GOP is so nostalgic for. Now it would be considered poverty level. It’s not that prosperity has declined so drastically in recent decades… it’s partly that our wants and life-style demands have increased beyond the capacity of the economy to provide.

  12. Bart DePalma says:

    mclever wrote: “Speaking of post-mortems, did anyone else see Nate’s preliminary analysis of polling accuracy?”I just left a post asking Nate who was closer in their prediction of GOP House gains – Ras or Nate?Both were low, but Ras was closer.Let’s see if it survives the censors.

  13. filistro says:

    Good old Bart… still doggedly defending the indefensible. This is where we get the well-known phrase “blind as a a Bart.”

  14. Todd Dugdale says:

    Mr. Universe wrote:”Of course the conservatives will spin this into tsunami territory. They’ll be thumping their chest’s and claiming that this is a mandate from ‘the people’ to end the Obama era. That’s how they roll.” You can always count on Republican arrogance to undo any advances they make. They will overplay their hand in a big way.

  15. filistro says:

    My post-mortem of this election is based on people like Alki, who is a smart, solid, sensible, hard-working democrat.Jut before the election, Alki was bummed. Didn’t even want to chat with us here, clearly expecting the worst, quite downcast. Now Alki is jazzed, optimistic about 2012, all smilies and exuberance. (I love it :-)All the Dems I know feel the same way. They see this a heartening outcome, a lot better than expected. I feel that way too… but I’m not sure why. As shiloh points out, a 60-seat gain is nothing to scoff at.. yet we all feel so good. Why? Just because the hold in the Senate was really solid? Because we know what havoc the parasitic Teapers are going to wreak on their hapless GOP host? Because we can see 2012 from our house?

  16. Bart DePalma says:

    Fili: “Because we can see 2012 from our house?Yeah, you and McConnell.You do not want to see 2012 from your house yet. Currently, Obama is trailing both Romney and Huckabee and there are over 20 Dem senators up for reelection, 7 or so in red states.Let’s see what happens in 2011 before looking at 2012.

  17. mclever says:

    @filistro“Because we can see 2012 from our house?”Indeed. We’re already seeing the 2012 hopefuls making the rounds and testing the waters here in Iowa. The Presidential marathon has already begun…

  18. swampmongrel says:

    If that desire to return to the fantastical 1950’s world of “Leave It To Beaver” is in fact what motivates the Tea Partiers and other social conservatives, then that would certainly explain the Tea Party’s appeal to older, white folks.This is exactly right. Best illustrated by “taking our country back” and “restoring honor”. ‘Fiscal responsibility’ is just a front to justify a general unease that America isn’t and can’t be what they want it to be.

  19. mclever says:

    @Bart Re: hiring 159K workers in October.Finally some good news? I agree that the new jobs are good news, but we added more jobs than that back in May. In fact, there’s been a somewhat steady trickle of new jobs–there’ve been more jobs created the past 18 months than in the entire 8 years under GWB.The really good news is the big cash infusion ($600B in T bonds) the Fed announced on Wednesday, plus a few other policy tweaks, like letting banks increase dividends. It’s already having a huge stimulative effect, because that’s what sent the stock markets climbing this week.

  20. shiloh says:

    You left out the massive victories on a state and local level for the right, a massive accomplishment all its own.rv keeps mentioning this in every thread, fine.Paraphrasing a military expression, they better “shit” some jobs soon in their district, state or they will be bounced. We just saw how patient the voters are, eh.Indeed Bartles talking er pipe dreamin’ re: Rep realignment. Sorry Bartles, no realignment w/out jobs, soooo Kasich, Scott, Nikki Haley, Bentley, Deal Haslem, Corbet, LePage, Snyder, Walker, Branstad, Perry, Martinez, Brewer, Sandoval better shit some jobs, w/out any federal govt. help which of course they don’t want and loathe.>hmm, maybe Bartles can shit a lot of jobs since he’s soooo full of crap !!!:) 🙂 :)carry on

  21. filistro says:

    @mclever Speaking of post-mortems, did anyone else see Nate’s preliminary analysis of polling accuracy?Nate now has a VERY high profile in the mainstream media and the polling world. If his calm, even-handed, dispassionate analysis succeeds in destroying Rasmussen’s credibility, that will be a huge win for the Dems (and for justice in general.)Ras has become an enormously influential tool (and I use the word advisedly) for the GOP in recent election cycles, and now we see that Dems have not just been imagining or inflating the bias. Good work, Nate!

  22. Bart DePalma says:

    mclever wrote: @Bart Re: hiring 159K workers in October. Finally some good news? I agree that the new jobs are good news, but we added more jobs than that back in May.The key passage there is “back in May.” The new report covers October. The summer in between did not even keep up with new entrants into the work force.BTW, no amount of playing games with the Bush employment record is going to change the two facts that (1) we are in an L recession like the Great Depression where we fell into a trough and are now bouncing along the bottom without a recovery and (2) both Prokulus bills failed utterly to bring the Administration’s own predicted recovery.

  23. DC Petterson says:

    @Bartthe GOP is back where it was in 1928.Careful what you wish for. The GOP in 1928 led to the Great Depression which led to the New Deal which led to a generation of Democratic dominance. By the way, Bart, are you going to answer Michael’s economic questions?

  24. Realist says:

    @Bart,M: “Nate was spot on.”The final seats will be in the mid 60s. Nate was low and Gallup was high.Nate was on target with the votes, on average. Where he was off was the precise distribution of them.So it depends on what metric you’re using as to whether he was right on or off.It’s funny how you always know exactly what the voters are thinking, by the way.Regarding your AARP article, it appears you should take the time to improve your reading comprehension skills. Or maybe take the time to read past the headlines through partisan glasses.See, the article said that the premiums are rising for the same reasons they’ve been rising for the past few years. This is something brought to your attention repeatedly, by the way. I assume you are either ignoring it (because you certainly haven’t rebutted it), or you aren’t actually reading it.So what’s changing? The deductibles and co-pays, because of the “Cadillac tax.” That, by the way, is probably the only part of the bill that I genuinely dislike.

  25. shrinkers says:

    @filistroWhy? Just because the hold in the Senate was really solid? Because we know what havoc the parasitic Teapers are going to wreak on their hapless GOP host? Because we can see 2012 from our house?A big part of it for me is that the Republicans are going to be credited for a Big Win — hell, they’re shouting it from the rooftops! WE WON! WE WON BIG! Yet they have not acquired the power to actually do anything.We’ll have to put up with two years of stagnation. And that will be very, very bad for the country. But the Republicans will not be able to deliver on a single one of their campaign promises, because the Senate and the President can stop them. On everything.And the Republicans will get the blame for all the ill effects of the stagnation. Because, after all, THEY WON! THEY WON BIG! And the are absolutely committed do doing the work they were sent to Washington to do!So, how patient will the Teaper voters be in 2012, after the TSUMANI OF EPIC PROPORTIONS! fails to deliver any of the things it promised?The Democrats won’t have to defeat the GOteaPers. They’ll stand in a circle shoot each other. 42583

  26. filistro says:

    I see Bart is still committed to talking down the economy even though his party now controls the House. I guess they’re going to keep doing this right through 2012.It really IS all about Obama.

  27. shrinkers says:

    My last post ending a little too bold.

  28. filistro says:

    shrinkers… My last post ending a little too bold.That’s okay, I was shouting anyhow.Bart has that effect on me 🙂

  29. Mainer says:

    Guys and girls we are all in for a bad spell. Let me speak of my state. Bart you are rightfully proud that the Republicans got the state senate, the state house and the Gov……it was a good go and while the margins are thin a win is a win………serious conservative Republican friends of mine are not happy because now they own the game…..a game even they don’t expect they can win and they have no cover.For the last 4 years or so we have been in it up to out keysters…..we are a poor state. We have cut and cut and cut. All te easy cuts have been made, all the semi easy cuts have been made, alot of the early ouch cuts have been made. And now here come the Republicans promising to cut the state budget to the bone, to reduce taxes, to undo years of Democratic rule.The people that put the Republicans in power are the ones most needful of state services. The only way this Republican majority can even come close to balancing the budget (don’t even talk about the promised tax cuts) is by eradicating many of the social safety nets that are keeping the folks voting in the change alive. I only wonder when not if the electorate is going to turn on them for they not what they voted in. Our new govenor is between a rock and a hard place. I didn’t vote for him. The people that voted for his chief Indy adversary like myself are the progressives that will be expected to provide the new jobs. Does any one see a disconect here?Oh and I invite any one to pull up and read the teaper social conservative Republican platform for this state that many of the newly elected fully intend to implement. You want jobs from progressive people well lets first take you back to the stone age and see if you still want to invest here?Oh and Bart while I still applaud your service you sir are one dumb son of a bitch.

  30. Bart, I have good news and bad news for you. The bad news is that I never heard from you regarding real personal income less transfer payments. Surely we can agree that it’s an economic indicator worth remembering as we get out of the recession.The worse news is that 159,000 jobs in a month is about half the target to really have an economic recovery. Check out Peter Morici online – a strong Obama basher in terms of economics – who said yesterday that the economy has to generate 300,000 jobs a month consistently until 2013 to get back to 6% unemployment. There is no serious policy option on the table right now that gets us to this figure – White House, Democrats, GOP, Tea Party. No policy option today gets us to 300k a month and 6%.The good news, Bart, is that I’m with you on one thing. This whole idea that John Q. Public is in denial or are dumb is foolish. But on the flip side, the idea that John Q. Public thinks “elites” are weak is just as foolish. They are rhetorical devices that are meant to make one side feel superior over another. People who fall for them are getting played.

  31. Michael Weiss says:

    Bart, let me help you out. Here are the pending questions for you regarding your arguments on Keynesian economic policy:1) explain the holes in my argument: Government has been proven repeatedly to be capable of investing money more effectively than private industry.2) provide your definition of “wealth,” in the context where you claim that government spending cannot create it.3) show me where the current economy is not supply rich and demand poor. I’ll be happy to provide as much evidence as necessary to show that the current economy is supply rich and demand poor.4) do you still stand behind the assertion that the worst private sector investment has performed better than the best government investment?5) explain the mechanism by which supply drives an economic recovery6) by stating that a supermajority of voters don’t believe in Keynesian economic policy, were you implying that a supermajority of voters are economists, or that one doesn’t have to be an economist to understand economics? Or were you trying to say something else entirely?7) what percent of voters can explain Keynesian economic policy?

  32. Bart DePalma says:

    DC Petterson wrote: “By the way, Bart, are you going to answer Michael’s economic questions?”Michael, I’m sorry, but I am barely skimming the threads these days. I am catching up at work and have other commitments. If you would like to discuss an economics issue like the utter historical failure of Keynesianism, please start a thread dedicated to whatever subject you wish to discuss and address it to me.Thanks.

  33. Bart DePalma says:

    shrinkers wrote” ” big part of it for me is that the Republicans are going to be credited for a Big Win — hell, they’re shouting it from the rooftops! WE WON! WE WON BIG! Yet they have not acquired the power to actually do anything.”The GOP House has the greatest power granted the federal government – the power of the purse – IF they are willing to use it.

  34. Bart DePalma says:

    This is just too sweet. Pelosi is running for minority leader again and probably has a great chance given that nearly every Dem representative right of Keith Olberman has been fired by the voters.The GOP can almost run the same ads with Obama, Pelosi and Reid in 2012.

  35. Michael Weiss says:

    Bart,We agreed at 538refugees, as a matter of policy, to not address threads to particular individuals. I will not make an exception for you.I was very succinct in listing the questions for you that are currently outstanding, included again below. The lack of response from you on this, while continuing to provide substantial verbiage elsewhere, suggests a lack of intellectual curiosity on your part, in addition to a lack of knowledge in basic economic principles. These are not hard questions.1) explain the holes in my argument: Government has been proven repeatedly to be capable of investing money more effectively than private industry.2) provide your definition of “wealth,” in the context where you claim that government spending cannot create it.3) show me where the current economy is not supply rich and demand poor. I’ll be happy to provide as much evidence as necessary to show that the current economy is supply rich and demand poor.4) do you still stand behind the assertion that the worst private sector investment has performed better than the best government investment?5) explain the mechanism by which supply drives an economic recovery6) by stating that a supermajority of voters don’t believe in Keynesian economic policy, were you implying that a supermajority of voters are economists, or that one doesn’t have to be an economist to understand economics? Or were you trying to say something else entirely?7) what percent of voters can explain Keynesian economic policy?

  36. filistro says:

    I LOVE seeing Pelosi hold her position. She’s been a very effective Speaker. Why should she give up her gavel just because the GOP doesn’t like her?I think they fear her ability to hold the line and mobilize her own party and not knuckle under. They’d love to have her gone for the next two years so they can run riot in the House.Sorry, boys… not happening. Mom is still in the House, and everybody will still be required to keep their feet off the furniture, look after their smelly laundry and put their own dishes in the dishwasher. I know you’re bummed about it, but that’s life 🙂

  37. filistro says:

    Just a scoring update:Michael… 11Bart… 2

  38. Bart’s answer speaks for itself. He’s a bomb throwing zealot. Agree with someone? Could not be interested. Hubris on the third day after winning an election is a recipe for disaster. That 11-2 score looks about right from here! 🙂

  39. Just Sayin' says:

    My only hope for the next two years is that President Obama doesn’t give an inch to the Repubs, “not one inch”, and that he gets better marketers and spinners. Gridlock? You haven’t seen nothin’ yet!!

  40. filistro says:

    When I think about it, Pelosi’s decision is an example of just what I was asking for yesterday… a politician putting country ahead of self.Most politicians who get stripped of a powerful position choose to resign. Pelosi will be moving to smaller offices, giving up power and perks. She could easily go home to life as a wealthy CA socialite and enjoy her big family and her grandkids. She’s doing this because she feels it is her duty to her country. As Andrea Mitchell just said… “This lady has a lot of guts.”Amen.

  41. shrinkers says:

    @BartThe GOP House has the greatest power granted the federal government – the power of the purse – IF they are willing to use it.Yes. They can shut down the government. How well did that work for the Newtster?And / or they can default on America’s obligations. Do you really think that will help either the country or the Republican Party?Nothing short of either 1) or 2) will have a noticeable effect on the budget, or on the legislation that was passed but the 111th Congress.Now, the question for you is — Do you actually think the GOteaPer Party is either stupid enough or insane enough to attempt either 1) or 2)?

  42. shrinkers says:

    @filistro I agree with you in spades about Pelosi. The reason the Republicans targeted her in their campaign ads is that she is effective and brilliant. They hate this smart, effective, liberal woman almost as much as they hate the brilliant black man in the Oval Office. The fact that she wants to stick around and continue to fight the good fight bodes well for the country and for the Democrats. And it speaks well of her, that she isn’t allowing the hatred from the right to drive her out of public service and service to the nation.Pelosi in 2016?

  43. shrinkers says:

    BartMichael, I’m sorry, but I am barely skimming the threads these days. I am catching up at work and have other commitments. ::: chuckle :::You’ve got time to drone on and on and on and on about how you won your TSUNAMI OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS! but you don’t have time to answer softball questions from Michael.Please.No one buys it, Bart.

  44. Nancy would be 76 years old in 2016. Hillary would “only” be 69 in 2016.Let’s not start measuring the drapes just yet. 😉

  45. shrinkers says:

    @The Real Mike Is BackYeah, I know that. But it would be fun to scare the conservatives with the teaser. 😉

  46. filistro says:

    The Freepers are saying Keith Olbermann has been suspended indefinitely without pay for making illegal contributions to Dem campaigns.Is this true?

  47. shortchain says:

    Just Sayin’,That’s funny. The day after the election Obama had an extended press conference in which he did everything but prostrate himself in front of the GOP — and it was received by the GOP, to quote Bart, as “an extended middle finger”. That is, of course nothing but projection on Bart’s part — as I watched as much of it as I could stand and it was reasonable to the point of being obsequious, but it indicates how it was received by the new, steeped-in-tea GOP.No, Obama will just continue being “reasonable” and “gracious” to an opposition that will take such treatment as an invitation to become even more demanding.The GOP found that its ideology, when implemented, led to financial catastrophe. This would lead an intellectual to wonder about the ideology (ala Alan Greenspan, remember?) What it caused a large number of the GOP to do was cast off intellect.The thing about anti-intellectual beliefs is that they tend to work fine in good times, when, no matter what you do, you probably will be carried along with the current. When times are bad, however, they don’t work out so well all the time.What we’re seeing in the political world is very much like what you get when you add energy to a chaotic mechanical system. You don’t always get a simple response. What you often get are wild swings, as the previous dynamic equilibrium breaks down. These swings become more and more violent until a new dynamic equilibrium is achieved. Of course, that new equilibrium may be one where your apparatus is in a hundred pieces on the floor — which is just the breaks.

  48. shrinkers says:

    @ filistrohttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/05/keith-olbermann-suspended_n_779586.htmlThe only part that appears to be not true is the “illegal” part. I’m not sure what law could have been broken, particularly in the face of Citizens United.

  49. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: “The GOP House has the greatest power granted the federal government – the power of the purse – IF they are willing to use it.”shrinkers wrote: “Yes. They can shut down the government. How well did that work for the Newtster?”You may recall that Boehner was one of Gingrich’s LTs at that time and more than likely learned that lesson.Boehner was asked that question recently on Fox News. He just smiled and said the GOP had a number of tricks up their sleeves to deal with that.All the GOP needs to do is break the appropriations bills down and include the legislation defunding Obamacare and any other targets with spending that is important to the Dems and not the new GOP coalition. Obama has a choice between vetoing the funding for Dems or defunding his priorities.EPA is an easy target. No Republican gives a damn whether that agency shuts down for awhile.The GOP could use these little battles to highlight Obama’s various abuses of power. Attach amendments defunding pay for his various czars to a bill funding white house administration including the President’s pay. Let’s see if he wants to cut off the paychecks for himself and his staff.The only limit on the havoc the House can play on the executive is only limited by their imagination.

  50. filistro says:

    When it comes to messaging, Obama could probably tout his own accomplishments a bit more. Perosnally I find his self-deprecation appealing, and I think a lot of other people do, too… but the electorate is a pretty blunt instrument and doesn’t do nuance well so it’s a jump ball, I guess.But I think he handles the R’s EXACTLY RIGHT… and here’s why. The R’s are not a party of ideas or policy. Oddly enough, despite being the dried-up old white guys, they are the party of emotion. They must always have an opponent to flail away at and kick back at, or they have nothing to present. They can’t actually govern, they can only FIGHT. By refusing to fight with them, by being courteous and humorous and mild while watching them somewhat quizzically, Obama leaves them looking flat and aimless… and really quite silly. They’re dancing around with their fists up, bobbing and weaving and screaming abuse at… nothing. Watch for a lot more of this in coming months.. the ultimate, masterful game of rope-a-dope that leaves the R’s looking completely befuddled.It’s fun to watch. 🙂

  51. mclever says:

    @shrinkers & filistro re: OlbermanFrom what I understand, he was suspended for failing to get approval from the NBC brass before making the contributions in accordance with NBC policy. No laws were broken. He didn’t give more than the legal limits. They were personal contributions and not “corporate” contributions. There was nothing wrong with the contributions per se, except that he didn’t notify his superiors first.

  52. shrinkers says:

    Ah, Bart, so you think the Republicans should play petty games with America’s future. Typical. But them, why should they change now?It won’t work, though. They’ve been complaining about the Democrats using unfair tricks to push their agenda. And now you’re advocating having the Republicans subvert the way our government works to push shove far-right fascist policies down America’s throat. What hypocrisy. Americans don’t like petty games. It’ll backfire bigtime.(Yes, my rhetoric is over the top. I’ve been watching you for two years. You’re a gifted teacher.)And your wet dreams about de-funding PPACA? Won’t happen. The majority of it is entitlements that don’t kick in for years yet (not till well after the current Congress has been voted out) and don’t need approval anyway. And it would take a act of Congress, signed by the President, to stop the funding, and that won’t happen.As for the Administrative functions, it is not at all clear that any existing Federal department requires any additional funding in the next two years to implement their part of the structure. So that won’t work, either.So the Republicans will utterly fail to stop implementation of PPACA, just as they utterly failed to prevent its passage. How will your Teaper friends react to this epic failure on the heels of their TSUNAMI OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS!! ?

  53. shrinkers says:

    Yes, that was my understanding as well. The Freepers just want to put a bad twist on it.Thanks for the additional info!

  54. mclever says:

    @filistroPerhaps it comes as no surprise, but I completely agree with you regarding Obama’s response to Republicans. He’s very gifted at making his opponents look foolish. I think he could actually do more of this (ala the master, Bill Clinton) and actively and openly embrace any items on their agenda that can reasonably be co-opted. Watch Republicans backpedal from supporting their own ideas as fast as possible, which causes much flailing and angst on the Right, because it derails their planned message train. (Of course, those on the professional Left need to understand this strategy and not castigate him too much for it.)I also agree that Obama needs to do more to tout his accomplishments. Democrats seem to think that the accomplishments will sell themselves, but I really think Obama (and other high-positioned Dems) need to be out there every week reminding Americans what the Dems are doing and how Dem policies are making their lives better every day.You’re right. The electorate doesn’t do subtle very well. Obama can maintain his courteous and mild demeanor, while simultaneously drumming into the American public all of the reasons why they chose the Dems in 2008, especially if (when) the Republicans flounder this go around. 🙂

  55. mclever says:

    Maybe Obama needs to “feel our pain” and connect more emotionally with America?

  56. robert verdi says:

    I said less not massive. As for wishful thinking, well find out in 2 years.

  57. Let’s play a little “How Washington Really Works”All the GOP needs to do is break the appropriations bills down and include the legislation defunding Obamacare and any other targets with spending that is important to the Dems and not the new GOP coalition.First, you’d need an Appropriations Committee Chair even remotely interested in this. Good luck telling Bill Young, Jerry Lewis, and Hal Rogers that the Teapers are in charge now. The two things those guys care about the most are money and power. This is the central front in the upcoming GOP civil war that Filistro so effectively reminds us is coming. 🙂 I won’t even get into the Senate today. Take a little history lesson from Ted Stevens what he thought of the government shutdown.

  58. Bart DePalma says:

    shrinkers wrote: “Ah, Bart, so you think the Republicans should play petty games with America’s future. Typical. But them, why should they change now?”If we had a President and a Senate majority who listened to the 2010 election returns and governed accordingly, we would have bipartisan majorities in Congress repealing most of the past decade’s worth of abuses and a President who would gladly sign the bills and would win reelection by acclamation.Unfortunately, the Obama and the Dems continue their war on the voters and the GOP House will need to engage in guerrilla warfare.

  59. shrinkers says:

    I agree with you both. It will be fun watching Obama co-opt Republican talking points, just as Clinton did. Of course Newtie was a politician, not just a hack like the current crop. He had the sense to at least try to reach agreements — which is how Clinton managed to balance the budget, for instance, and reform welfare, etc., etc. But today’s Republicans are like evil clowns. Whenever Obama advances a suggestion that the Republicans have previously made, allofasudden they are opposed to it on principle. They begin fighting their own proposals as if they were all fiendish Socialist plots. All Obama needs to do to get a tax increase is to suggest we slash taxes. All he needs to insure Health Care Reform stays untouched is to recommend some changes.And remember — when the Republicans tried to impeach Clinton for having oral sex in the oval office, the Democrats actually gained seats in Congress. The more the R’s dive into their typical investigative cesspool, the more they’ll insure a Democratic majority in the House next cycle.And all Obama has to do is continue being the adult in the room.

  60. Realist says:

    Bart,If we had a President and a Senate majority who listened to the 2010 election returns and governed accordingly…Seriously? This from the guy who kept demanding that the President, Senate majority, and House majority should ignore the 2008 election returns?At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

  61. shrinkers says:

    As I said, Bart. Petty political games. Thanks for the confirmation.

  62. shrinkers says:

    All the GOP needs to do is break the appropriations bills down and include the legislation defunding Obamacare and any other targets with spending that is important to the Dems and not the new GOP coalition.It occurs to me — didn’t the Teaper Pledge include a promise — maybe even a constitutional Amendment — demanding that bills NOT be loaded down with irrelevant extraneous matters? Wasn’t this one of their big points — they wanted to stop these games of putting a poison pill inside must-pass legislation?So, Bart is advocating that the Republicans declare war on their own promises and principles, before the new Congress is even sworn in.Is this the sort of unethical ramming-down-our-throat we can expect from the new Republican House? Totalitarians always act like that, don’t they?We must stop their assault on America.

  63. GROG says:

    @mclever:but I really think Obama (and other high-positioned Dems) need to be out there every week reminding Americans what the Dems are doing and how Dem policies are making their lives better every day.Obama did that very thing. Twelve times to be exact in the state of Ohio alone in the past year and on the taxpayers dime. He lost miserably in Ohio, from House Reps to Senate seat to Governorship to state offices. When are you guys going to relize the American people reject the Democrats ideas and policies? They’re not making their lives better. They’re making them worse. @shrinkers,Please give evidence that Clinton was impeached for having sex in the oval office.

  64. shrinkers says:

    @GROG –I have some questions for you from a previous thread first.Do you agree that government can do some things better than the private sector can? Should government, or the private sector, run the military, for instance?You said government should get completely out of the “business of business.” Should we dismantle the FAA? After all, it interferes with airline companies, doesn’t it?Should we end public schools and public colleges? Don’t they intrude into business interests of for-profit private schools and colleges?Respond to those first.

  65. Can I add one? Doesn’t the Pure Food Act interfere with the rights of farmers and food manufacturers to make a profit?

  66. shrinkers says:

    I was right. Quoted directly from “A PLEDGE TO AMERICA”:Advance Legislative Issues One at a Time: We will end the practice of packaging unpopular bills with “must-pass” legislation to circumvent the will of the American people. Instead, we will advance major legislation one issue at a time.So, Bart wants the new Republican House to ram its ideas down the throat of America by going back on its “PLEDGE TO AMERICA”. Such hubris. Such unethical double-dealing. He wants them to break their promises starting Day One.

  67. “Republicans also should resist pressure to take all defense spending cuts off the table. Newly elected Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky had the courage to say he’d go after defense waste during his campaign, and I look forward to working with him. We should start by taking common sense steps like freezing defense spending until the Pentagon can pass an audit and remove all nondefense spending from the Pentagon’s budget.Our nation’s military leaders understand the need to cut spending. As Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, “Our national debt is our biggest national security threat.” History shows that every nation eventually adopts the foreign policy it can afford. Taking defense spending off the table is indefensible. We need to protect our nation, not the Pentagon’s sacred cows,” – Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK).Good luck, buddy.

  68. GROG says:

    @shrinkers,Yes, I think the government can run some things, like the military, better than the private sector. No, I don’t think we should dismantle the FAA or end public education. But public education, the military, and the FAA are not business ventures nor should they be. Now, please show proof that Clinton was impeached for having oral sex in the oval office.

  69. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: “If we had a President and a Senate majority who listened to the 2010 election returns and governed accordingly…”Realist wrote: “Seriously? This from the guy who kept demanding that the President, Senate majority, and House majority should ignore the 2008 election returns?”The Dems were elected on the basis of the following campaign promises:1) Obama promised in the debate that his new programs would all be more than paid for with offsetting budget cuts for a net spending cut.2) Obama promised everyone earning less than $200,000 a cut in their taxes.3) Obama promised that, under his health care plan, you could keep your current insurance and your premiums would decrease by $2,500.4) The blue dogs had been campaigning for two cycles as fiscal hawks who would stop the Bush deficit spending.I never once objected to the Dems carrying out their campaign promises. I warned everyone I could that they were lying. I was right.BD: “All the GOP needs to do is break the appropriations bills down and include the legislation defunding Obamacare and any other targets with spending that is important to the Dems and not the new GOP coalition.”shrinkers wrote: “It occurs to me — didn’t the Teaper Pledge include a promise — maybe even a constitutional Amendment — demanding that bills NOT be loaded down with irrelevant extraneous matters?”Breaking down an appropriation does not mean it has to include extraneous matters. For example, the HHS bill can be chopped down to just the Obamacare bureaucracies and those sections of the agency which service Dems constituencies, then the Obamacare bureaucracies can be expressly defunded. Nothing extraneous there.The bills to repeal the TARP, Porkulus I & II and Obamacare should be passed individually.I have no particular faith in the Senate GOP, but they should compel the Dems to actually debate to support their filibuster of each of these bills. Even if the Dems outlast the GOP and maintain their filibuster, it would dominate the news and the Dems will not be able to consign each of the repeal bills to the memory hole. I am unsure the Dems could sustain a filibuster given all of their senators up for reelection in 2012. Than means Obama has to veto them. So much the better for 2012.

  70. shortchain says:

    Noted: Bart said “they (the Senate GOP) should compel the Dems to actually debate”.Somebody has a fundamental misunderstanding of how the Senate operates. There is no debate unless the debate is agreed-to. If there are insufficient votes for cloture, then there need be no debate.But I expect some members of the Democratic caucus to cave. In other words, it won’t be the Republicans who roll Obama over — it will be the members of his own party (or an “independent”).

  71. GROG says:

    OK shrinky. You’re comment about Clinton being impeached for having sex in the oval office was one of the following:1) Ignorance2) Opinion masquerading as fact.3) Typical liberal tactic of playing the victim. ie, Clinton was the real victim. Not the American people having a sitting President who lied under oath.

  72. shiloh says:

    Oh and Bart while I still applaud your service you sir are one dumb son of a bitch.So nice, let’s say it twice although one should never applaud Bartles, who was a paper pusher during then (43) day Desert Storm skirmish, but should respect his service.Someone like John McCain I both respect and honor his extreme personal sacrifice to his country! It will always stand apart from his personal political failings back home.>>>OK, minutia out of the way, Bartles He just smiled and said the GOP had a number of tricks up their sleeves to deal with that.Bartles again, boehner better be shitting some jobs w/those childish trick up his sleeve ’cause that’s all voters care about …solo estoy diciendoand again too funny and oh the irony of Bartles continuing to whine about Obama trying to help America after (8) years of cheney/bush deliberately FUBAR’ing America.So let’s recap, shall we:Obama still drives Bartles bat shit crazy 24/7 and he has plenty of time to whine, moan and groan, but not enough time to answer simple questions.Oh yea, didn’t he say he was taking a break yesterday ’cause there was nothing left to talk about as he continues to whine about Obama/Dems 24/7.Bart, you’re such an amusing fraud! :)take care, blessingapologies to amusing frauds

  73. mclever says:

    GROG,If shrinkers had said Clinton was impeached for lying about a blowjob in the Oval Office, would that resolve your objection?The point is that for all of the Republicans’ attempts to demonize and discredit Bill Clinton, including impeaching him for what were arguably spurious and salacious charges, those attempts backfired, because most Americans saw them as overreaching.From the rhetoric we’re hearing from the newly elected Congressmen, it seems likely that Republicans are poised to repeat the errors of overreach.

  74. shrinkers says:

    Me: “It occurs to me — didn’t the Teaper Pledge include a promise — maybe even a constitutional Amendment — demanding that bills NOT be loaded down with irrelevant extraneous matters?”Bart: “Breaking down an appropriation does not mean it has to include extraneous matters. For example, the HHS bill can be chopped down to just the PPACA bureaucracies and those sections of the agency which service Dems constituencies, then the PPACA bureaucracies can be expressly defunded. Nothing extraneous there.Except this is not what you said before. Previously, you’d argued, All the GOP needs to do is break the appropriations bills down and include the legislation defunding PPACA and any other targets with spending that is important to the Dems and not the new GOP coalition. Obama has a choice between vetoing the funding for Dems or defunding his priorities.EPA is an easy target. No Republican gives a damn whether that agency shuts down for awhile.EPA has nothing to do with PPACA. So now that you’ve been caught advocating that the Republicans abandon their PLEDGE TO AMERICA, you’re changing your tune.Additionally, you are clearly waging a petty partisan war by targeting what you view as “Dems constituencies”. It would be far better to keep your eyes on the good of the Nation, rather than merely looking out for your fat cat corporate friends, and screwing the American people.Bart again: “The bills to repeal the TARP, ARRA I & II and PPACA should be passed individually.”I agree with this. They would never get a hearing in the Senate, and would in any case be vetoed by the President. Having the House waste its time on nonsense attempts to ram its fascist agenda down our throats — knowing these efforts are going to fail, and diddling with themselves while America’s problems go unaddressed just for the sake of political theater — is exactly what I’d expect from your Teabagger friends.

  75. Bart DePalma says:

    Shrinkers: “EPA has nothing to do with PPACA. So now that you’ve been caught advocating that the Republicans abandon their PLEDGE TO AMERICA, you’re changing your tune.”I never suggested that the EPA and Obamacare appropriations be mixed. I noted separately from the Obamacare discussion that the EPA is an easy target because you can enact and appropriations bill for the entire agency with all CO2 regulation drafting and enforcement defunded and if Obama vetoes the bill, it is not going to harm the new GOP coalition. Hell, no one would notice.Shrinkers: “Having the House waste its time on nonsense attempts to ram its fascist agenda down our throats…”Only a progressive would consider the desires of the voters in a wave election to be a “fascist agenda.”

  76. shrinkers says:

    GROG, let me remind you of a bit of history:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_HastertIn the aftermath of the 1998 midterm elections, House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia stood down for the Speakership and declined to take his seat for an 11th term. The initial Republican prospect for Gingrich’s replacement was Bob Livingston of Louisiana, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, who was unanimously chosen as the Republican candidate for Speaker–and de facto Speaker-elect. However, soon thereafter, Hustler magazine detailed sexual affairs Livingston had in the past while seemingly hypocritically attacking President Bill Clinton for the Monica Lewinsky scandal; Livingston announced he wouldn’t seek the Speakership and resigned from Congress.So, to recap: Livingston was forced to resign because of the hypocrisy of pushing Clinton’s impeachment while he himself was having affairs. The subject matter was Clinton having sex. The nonsense about perjury was the way they tried to hide it, the Republicans’ shallow attempt at plausible deniability. They hoped to embarrass Clinton badly, by making the details of his sexual escapades public, in the loudest way possible. And thus, having embarrassed him, force him from office, or at least cripple his presidency. That it was, in fact, all about the sex, is proven by Livingston’s resignation. There were impassioned speeches by Republicans in both Houses of Congress, condemning the President for sexual infidelity. That is what it was about.Now, GROG, your turn again. I had said that our disagreement was not about whether government and business should be separate, but where the dividing line should be. I had said no purpose is served by pretending the other side doesn’t want a line at all. Do you agree or disagree? If you agree, will you promise to never again imply that a Democrat “wants the government to run business” or something similar?

  77. shrinkers says:

    Only a progressive would consider the desires of the voters in a wave election to be a “fascist agenda.”And only a conservative could consider the desires of voters in the wake of the 2008 election to be a “socialist agenda.”You opposed the policies that the Democratic majorities in both houses and the President were elected on. Did you ever support the Public Option or a Single-Payer system? Did you ever support Cap and Trade? Did you ever support Obama’s economic policies? These were the reasons Obama was elected. Your conservative hypocrisy is showing again.

  78. robert verdi says:

    I like the idea of making Dems defend their policy choices, but I do fear one negative possibility. Dems in safe districts and states defend the Democrat agenda, Dems in swing areas vote for repeal thereby providing them with political cover in 2012. The danger is Dems game it out to the point that they know who can get the cover and still maintain the legislation they passed the past 2 years.

  79. Mr. U says:

    Olbermann has long held a contentious relationship with MSNBC. This could be a calculated move. But even Griffin is smart enough not to screw the cash cow. I think this could be a move by the new Overlords.But firing Keith? C’mon, we’re not talking Shuster here.

  80. GROG says:

    shrinkers,You said Clinton was impeached for having sex in the oval office. I’m still waiting for you to show proof. There were impassioned speeches by Republicans in both Houses of Congress, condemning the President for sexual infidelity. That is what it was about.That’s your opinion masquerading as fact.

  81. Realist says:

    @Bart,The Dems were elected on the basis of the following campaign promises:I’ll note here that any promises made in the first debate should be taken in the context that the economic meltdown hadn’t happened yet, and assume that you would not advise any sitting government to be held to make decisions based solely on the economic and political landscape in existence four months prior to taking office.If I’m wrong on that assumption, please clearly say so.1) Obama promised in the debate that his new programs would all be more than paid for with offsetting budget cuts for a net spending cut.This was in the first debate. What he actually said was:”And what I’ve proposed, you’ll hear Sen. McCain say, well, he’s proposing a whole bunch of new spending, but actually I’m cutting more than I’m spending so that it will be a net spending cut.”As I’m sure you’re aware, a President’s proposal differs from actual legislation, since legislation is written by Congress.2) Obama promised everyone earning less than $200,000 a cut in their taxes.What he actually said was:”I want to provide a tax cut for 95 percent of Americans, 95 percent. If you make less than a quarter of a million dollars a year, you will not see a single dime of your taxes go up. If you make $200,000 a year or less, your taxes will go down.”He said nothing about tax rates. Every word of this promise came to pass.3) Obama promised that, under his health care plan, you could keep your current insurance and your premiums would decrease by $2,500.What he actually said was:”If you’ve got health care already, and probably the majority of you do, then you can keep your plan if you are satisfied with it. You can keep your choice of doctor. We’re going to work with your employer to lower the cost of your premiums by up to $2,500 a year.”The first point I’d like to make here is that he did not promise that your tax deductions wouldn’t change. And I’m sure nobody expected health care legislation to forbid insurance companies from changing their policy offerings.Secondly, he said they would work with employers to lower premiums by up to $2,500 per year. I have no idea if that has come to pass, but it certainly wasn’t a promise that everyone’s premiums would drop by $2,500.For those of you playing along at home, you can read the transcript for yourself here:http://articles.cnn.com/2008-10-07/politics/presidential.debate.transcript_1_commission-on-presidential-debates-obama-debate-town-hall-format?_s=PM:POLITICS

  82. filistro says:

    You know… though I was as riveted by the spectacle as everybody else at the time, I don’t remember now exactly WHY Clinton was put under oath to answer questions about sexual infidelity.How did the R’s get from A to B on that one?

  83. Realist says:

    @GROG,That’s your opinion masquerading as fact.Nice try, GROG, but it won’t fly here. He gave the supporting evidence “There were impassioned speeches by Republicans in both Houses of Congress, condemning the President for sexual infidelity.” This was part of the impeachment debate. That’s fact. And it’s supporting evidence for “That is what it was about.”In other words, no masquerade. Statement with supporting evidence.

  84. filistro says:

    ok Realist, spill it NOW.. how do you do the sticking-out-the tongue smiley?

  85. shortchain says:

    Speaking of creating monsters, here ya go, filistro. Go crazy. ;65

  86. Mr. U says:

    I’d like to point out that Obama has never stated that he would seek a second term. He could do a total LBJ. I wouldn’t blame him. The right has trown a verfitable shitstorm at him.I might even argue that it would be a good strategy. “You think it was bad under my watch? Okay, here you go (insert Republican goon here in 2012). How you like me now?”

  87. shortchain says:

    Oh, drat. Looks like those smileys only work in their special environment.

  88. Monotreme says:

    Try colon dash capital P.:-P

  89. Mr. U says:

    Hey, I forgot it was FFFriday. I’m on the Droid. Can one of you other cats post the article? Also, Fili has one in the queue. Post ikt too?Mr.U

  90. filistro says:

    @shortchain… Oh, drat. Looks like those smileys only work in their special environment.Damn. I would dearly love to have a few of the little guys on that page you linked to. :-(Failing that, I vote to waterboard Realist and force him to give up a few of his own private smilies.

  91. GROG says:

    Nice try Realist.This was part of the impeachment debate. That’s fact. And it’s supporting evidence for “That is what it was about.”That’s not what he was impeached for. Shrinkers said he was impeached for having sex in the oval office. Try again.

  92. filistro says:

    What’s the little sunglasses dude?

  93. Monotreme says:

    filistro asked:You know… though I was as riveted by the spectacle as everybody else at the time, I don’t remember now exactly WHY Clinton was put under oath to answer questions about sexual infidelity.How did the R’s get from A to B on that one?There is a fairly thick book on this, which I’ve read. It’s called The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr by Ken Gormley. I recommend it highly.It’s impossible to summarize a 789-page, fully sourced book in one paragraph, but I’ll try.Basically, it started with an attempt to discredit President Clinton by attacking him on the Whitewater deal. When that failed, mainly due to the stonewalling of Susan McDougal, the attack turned to the Paula Jones matter.It was well-known that President Clinton was a sexual philanderer. (In fact, I’d submit that was known before the 1992 election, unless you actually believed Hilary Clinton’s protestations during the “60 Minutes” interview.) All that was required, then, was for Kenneth Scaife to bankroll Paula Jones’ civil suit against President Clinton. (See: Fury, Hell Hath No, Woman Scorned.) In the course of depositions taken in connection with that case, President Clinton lied under oath.GROG is technically correct in that the Articles of Impeachment did not cite the sexual misconduct. He is disingenuous, though, if he actually intends to suggest that President Clinton’s impeachment was not about sexual misconduct. We’d also have to believe that Al Capone’s prosecution was about tax evasion, and not his organized crime activities.

  94. Monotreme says:

    I don’t know about sunglasses, but it’s almost certainly eight dash CloseParen. Let’s try it.8-)

  95. robert verdi says:

    In regards to Olberman, I think that canceling that 30 million dollar contract was mighty good incentive for getting rid of him.

  96. filistro says:

    So he was under oath about Paula Jones, but lied about Lewinsky?

  97. Monotreme says:

    Sorry, Richard Mellon Scaife.

  98. Realist says:

    @GROG,That’s not what he was impeached for. Shrinkers said he was impeached for having sex in the oval office. Try again.There’s what he was impeached for, from a legal standpoint, and what he was impeached for, from a political standpoint.Legally, you’re right; it was perjury. However, if you read the transcripts of the House debate, and watch the behavior of the prosecutors, it’s clear that it was more about the salacious stuff.

  99. Monotreme says:

    They deposed him in regards to the Paula Jones matter. As I recall (and others can correct me if I’m wrong), he was being questioned under oath about a pattern of behavior towards women. That’s the context in which the illicit affair with Monica Lewinsky came up.

  100. shortchain says:

    filistro,OK, now that you have the power, use it wisely.

  101. filistro says:

    Treme… it’s capital B dash closed paren.(I will now move this vital discussion to FFF 😛 B-) 😉

  102. mclever says:

    Monotreme,I think the sunglasses are capital B dash closed parenthesis. Like this:B-)

  103. filistro says:

    Treme… it’s capital B dash closed paren.(I will now move this vital political discussion to FFF 😛 B-) ;-)shortchain… I’m feeling kind of drunk with power. I might be out of control for a while… 😛

  104. Monotreme says:

    I found the passage I was looking for.This is from pp. 386-387 of The Death of American Virtue.Jim Fisher is the attorney representing Paula Jones for the Dallas law firm Scadden Arps. Bob Bennett is the President’s attorney. “Now Fisher attempted to move in for the kill, asking the question as he looked directly at the president:”FISHER: Did you have an extramarital sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky?”CLINTON: No…”FISHER: If she told someone that she had a sexual affair with you beginning in November of 1995, would that be a lie?”CLINTON: It’s certainly not the truth. It would not be the truth. “FISHER: I think I used the term ‘sexual affair.’ And so the record is completely clear, have you ever had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, as that term is defined in Deposition Exhibit 1, as modified by the Court?”Bennett waved his hand, bringing the questioning to a halt. ‘I object!’ he bellowed. Judge Susan Webber Wright, watching the legal jousting from her side of the oval table, glanced down at her copy of Exhibit 1. She ruled: ‘Well, it’s real short….I will permit the question and you may show the witness definition number one.'”After studying the typed definition, the president pushed the piece of paper away and answered, with a tone of adamancy, ‘I have never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. I’ve never had an affair with her.’ “That was it. Clinton, on the advice of counsel, later claimed that the oral sex he received did not meet his personal definition of “sexual relations”.

  105. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: The Dems were elected on the basis of the following campaign promises:Realist wrote: “I’ll note here that any promises made in the first debate should be taken in the context that the economic meltdown hadn’t happened yet…”Nonsense. The recession started in 2007 and the market collapse hit its trough in September 2008 (that is before Obama started his predictions of the Second Great Depression in 2009).BD: 1) Obama promised in the debate that his new programs would all be more than paid for with offsetting budget cuts for a net spending cut.Realist wrote: “This was in the first debate. What he actually said was: “And what I’ve proposed, you’ll hear Sen. McCain say, well, he’s proposing a whole bunch of new spending, but actually I’m cutting more than I’m spending so that it will be a net spending cut.”As I posted…Realist wrote: “As I’m sure you’re aware, a President’s proposal differs from actual legislation, since legislation is written by Congress.”Spare me. All Obama needed to do is veto more spending that he signed off on. Even the Dem super majority could not override a veto. In reality, Obama was the one pushing all the new spending. He lied.BD: “2) Obama promised everyone earning less than $200,000 a cut in their taxes.”Realist: What he actually said was: “I want to provide a tax cut for 95 percent of Americans, 95 percent. If you make less than a quarter of a million dollars a year, you will not see a single dime of your taxes go up. If you make $200,000 a year or less, your taxes will go down.”Realist wrote: “He said nothing about tax rates. Every word of this promise came to pass.”Please. There was no change whatsoever in the tax code. Obama had the IRS provide micro welfare payments to anyone earning $200K or less regardless of whether thy actually paid any net taxes.BD: “3) Obama promised that, under his health care plan, you could keep your current insurance and your premiums would decrease by $2,500.”Realist wrote: “What he actually said was: “If you’ve got health care already, and probably the majority of you do, then you can keep your plan if you are satisfied with it. You can keep your choice of doctor. We’re going to work with your employer to lower the cost of your premiums by up to $2,500 a year.”Obama was more categorical in his official plan:”Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s plan strengthens employer–based coverage, makes insurance companies accountable and ensures patient choice of doctor and care without government interference. Under the plan, if you like your current health insurance, nothing changes, except your costs will go down by as much as $2,500 per year. If you don’t have health insurance, you will have a choice of new, affordable health insurance options.”http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/issues/HealthCareFullPlan.pdfEvery single statement in that paragraph was a bald faced lie and none of it was at any time included in Obamacare.

  106. shrinkers says:

    Hey guys, I was in the car coming home from work. Thanks for stepping up to respond to GROG.Bart, so you know, I’m not going to respond to any more of your points until you address Michael’s questions on economics. And I will remind you every time you comment on something I say. Fair?

  107. Alki says:

    Bart, your’e such a loser. You said you wouldn’t gloat and all you have done this week is gloat. Pathetic.

  108. Alki says:

    @ mclever, we knew Rasmussen was stacking the deck and directing the narrative and then people like Nate went along with it and became enablers. The result……..the greatest lost in the House in decades. The GOP, Rasmussen and Rove managed to determine the outcome of an election. It can’t happen again in 2012.

  109. shrinkers says:

    Bart, in regard to your current discussion with Michael regarding Obama’s campaign statements, you should be aware that merely repeating your false assertions after they’ve been proven wrong does not make them true.Now, are you ready to respond to Michael’s questions on economics?

  110. Realist says:

    @Bart,I wrote: “I’ll note here that any promises made in the first debate should be taken in the context that the economic meltdown hadn’t happened yet…”Nonsense. The recession started in 2007 and the market collapse hit its trough in September 2008 (that is before Obama started his predictions of the Second Great Depression in 2009).Oh, that’s right…you’re an “economist junkie.” Here, let me clarify things a bit for you.The recession started in 2007, but people don’t know that they’re actually in a recession until well after it starts. People knew things weren’t great, but there wasn’t any sort of meltdown going on yet on September 29, the date of the first debate.The big stock market meltdown began the following week. You can look for yourself. The charts are all over the Internet.All Obama needed to do is veto more spending that he signed off on.Sure he could. But without line-item veto power, you end up sending the OK back to square one while waiting for the perfect. This rather weak promise on his part was not worth throwing the rest away for.He lied.Quite an assertion. Show evidence. You won’t, of course, because that’s how you roll.There was no change whatsoever in the tax code. Obama had the IRS provide micro welfare payments to anyone earning $200K or less regardless of whether thy actually paid any net taxes.And yet every word of this statement is true: “If you make less than a quarter of a million dollars a year, you will not see a single dime of your taxes go up. If you make $200,000 a year or less, your taxes will go down.” Go figure.“Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s plan strengthens employer–based coverage, makes insurance companies accountable and ensures patient choice of doctor and care without government interference. Under the plan, if you like your current health insurance, nothing changes, except your costs will go down by as much as $2,500 per year. If you don’t have health insurance, you will have a choice of new, affordable health insurance options.”Every single statement in that paragraph was a bald faced lie and none of it was at any time included in PPACA.The PPACA strengthened employer-based coverage by fining companies for not providing it.It makes insurance companies more accountable by requiring that more of the premiums go toward health care.It did nothing to prevent you from seeing whatever doctor you wish.Did you expect there to be a mandate that insurance companies couldn’t change their policies from term to term?Now, I will readily admit that costs are not going down, at least for some (I don’t have access to enough data to say more than that).I will also readily admit that the choice of new options isn’t there, but their plan intended for there to be a public option, which didn’t come to pass. Hardly a lie, unless you assume that they were able to predict the future.But, most importantly, you are flat out WRONG.

  111. Realist says:

    @shrinkers,The campaign statement debate is mine, not Michael’s.

  112. filistro says:

    So actually Clinton didn’t lie. He accurately parsed the word “relations.” Since it’s plural, the.. erm… gratification would have to go both ways. Because it only went one way, it wasn’t plural.It’s like being asked… “Did you cook meals with your mother?. If in fact only Mom did the cooking, while you ate the meal… it would not be a lie to say “No, I did not.” So… the GOP impeached Clinton for telling the truth under oath about sex in the Oval Office.Grog… I do hope you’re ashamed P-)B-);-)

  113. GROG says:

    @Realist,Legally, you’re right; it was perjury. However, if you read the transcripts of the House debate, and watch the behavior of the prosecutors, it’s clear that it was more about the salacious stuff.Which is your opinion. That’s my only point here. Shrinkers despises when someone on the right gives an “opinion masquerading as fact”, yet he does it all the time.

  114. filistro says:

    OOOPS… :-P(This smiley stuff is HARD. It’s HARD WORK. 😦

  115. Alki says:

    filistro, the reason I am jazzed is first of all, the Senate is the upper house……..the most important house of Congress. We hold it.Secondly and even more importantly, the positions in the Senate more accurately reflect where the people are at because they poll an entire state and not just a defined district, one that has been so tightly gerrymandered it is almost guaranteed to vote a particular way. The Rs have been gerrymandering these districts since 1980. The upset wasn’t 2010…it was 2008 when many of these districts turned blue with Obama’s long coattails. And while they were lost during this election…….the seeds have been planted. Good Dems like Perriello almost kept their districts….others actually did keep them. Perriello will be back…….so will others. We will win them back.Thirdly, we all know Rs can’t drive. They have learned nada the past two years. If Obama is clever, and I think he is, he will play them for all they are worth. After all, none of them ever asked the wizard for a brain. ;-)The only thing that has me concerned are the issues coming out now…….how Rasmussen willfully framed the narrative. Who do you think paid for 105 polls? If you guessed Crossroads and Rove, you would be guessing right. There is a reason Scott Rasmussen is joining Rove on his post election cruise. Turdblossom is a scum bucket. With the assist of the USSC and the Chamber, Rove orchestrated an entire election……narrative and all. It can’t be allowed to happen again.

  116. Realist says:

    @GROG,Which is your opinion. That’s my only point here. Shrinkers despises when someone on the right gives an “opinion masquerading as fact”, yet he does it all the time.It wasn’t he who started this “opinion masquerading as fact” thing.The issue isn’t stating opinions in statement form. The issue is stating opinions in statement form without supporting evidence, as if it were already universally accepted truth.Does shrinkers do that sometimes? Yes. This just wasn’t one of those cases. If you amplify everything, we hear nothing.

  117. mclever says:

    Actually, Alki, political scientists have tried to study whether or not election polling drives voting behavior or vice versa. From the studies that I remember reading, the election polls do not impact voting results, except potentially at the margins or in blow-outs.If I recall the study correctly, if the projected margin is large–greater than 9 or 10 points, then the losing side’s voters are potentially influenced to stay home. Why bother if it’s going to be a blow-out? (Which, could explain why polling tends to underestimate blow-out elections, btw.) However, in closer elections, whether it’s a few points one way or the other, it tends to equally motivate voters on both sides. The “winning” side to ensure the close win, and the “losing” side hoping for an upset.So, while opinion polling might be used to push a narrative, as long as the top-line numbers are close enough, it shouldn’t actually impact the election result. While I agree that Rasmussen may be cooking the books, we shouldn’t overstate the likely impact of his maneuvering. Of course, those studies are 10 years old or more, so it would be interesting to see an updated analysis.

  118. GROG says:

    @Realist,I know what you you’re saying. Someone just needs to point it out every once in a while. I’m done now.

  119. Monotreme says:

    filistro:Actually, I believe he lied under oath. However, I think the circumstances surrounding that deposition were deplorable. Also, I don’t think lying about sexual relations under oath meets the Constitutional definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors”.Here’s the definition of “sexual relations” which was shown to President Clinton in the passage I reproduced above.”…knowlingly engaging in or causing contact with the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person with an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.”One could argue the transitive nature of the definition and the question Mr. Fisher posed to the President. I believe that was part of the argument.In terms of GROG’s argument, I offer the statement of Sen. Dale Bumpers during President Clinton’s impeachment trial in the Senate:”We are here today because the President suffered a terrible moral lapse of marital infidelity…a breach of his marriage vows. It was a breach of his family trust. It is a sex scandal. [Emphasis in original.]”H.L. Mencken one time said, ‘When you hear somebody say, “This is not about money,” it’s about money.'”And when you hear somebody say, ‘This is not about sex,’ it’s about sex.”So, GROG, it’s not just shrinker’s opinion, or mine, or Sen. Bumpers. I’d submit that the burden of proof is on YOU to show that it’s not a widely held belief.

  120. Monotreme says:

    GROG,Sorry, I wasn’t piling on. It took a while to type that up, and the discussion moved forward while I was doing it.I apologize.

  121. filistro says:

    Treme… you have a mind like a scalpel. Truly impressive.And the fact is… if you asked everybody in America why Clinton was impeached, I post that 98% of them would answer “It was something about sex.”

  122. Realist says:

    Ultimately, though, it doesn’t matter if Clinton perjured himself or not. The House doesn’t have any burden of proof requirements to bring charges to the Senate, and the Senate doesn’t have any burden of proof requirements to convict.@filistro, I doubt that it would be as high as 98%, but I’m pretty confident it would be a majority.

  123. Monotreme says:

    filistro:Aww, shucks.As I said, Gormley’s book is really good. I’m just pulling quotes from it.It’s really a Greek tragedy, isn’t it? I’ve always been a sucker for the plot in which the main character carries some hidden, fatal flaw that undoes him in the end, like King Lear’s hubris and insensitivity to human nuance.I see President Clinton in the same terms. As a liberal, there’s also a fair dose of “there but for the grace of God go I”. If I were put in the same situation, I’m almost certain I would make the same mistakes — or worse.

  124. Mr. U says:

    Realist is correct. You’d have to be pretty sequested to not know it waz about a blue dress and a Blowjob. Apologies to the ladies for the reference.

  125. shrinkers says:

    @RealistThe campaign statement debate is mine, not Michael’s.Sorry. I’ve been working a lot. Also trying to progress on my next novel. Brain fried. With beans. Apologies to both.

  126. shiloh says:

    Bill Clinton’s current popularity 55/23. 🙂Clinton left office with an approval rating of 68 percent according to the CBS poll at the time B)Bush job approval Oct. 2008 (((25%))) 😦 also when Bush had the Highest Disapproval in presidential history ~ (((71%))) :-PBush left office w/an approval rating of (((30%))) Jan. 2009 :DObviously Bush needed a blow job from any teabagger groupie 🙂 at some time during his historically disastrous/incompetent/corrupt presidency to improve his pathetic #s. ;)just sayin’Again, a historical study in the mid 70s determined only (2) presidents didn’t have an “affair”, Harry S. Truman and Gerald Ford, besides unmarried James Buchanan who compensated by trying 😉 to give half of America to the south!carry on w/your ad nauseam minutia :):o 😮 😮

  127. Bart DePalma says:

    Realist:1) The first presidential debate was on September 26, 2008 and the main topic was the economic crisis, which Obama said was the “final verdict on eight years of failed economic policies promoted by George Bush, supported by Sen. McCain.” Please do not claim that Obama was unaware of the recession.2) Unless you are claiming that Obama was mentally disabled and unable to understand the promises he repeatedly made to the voters, he was routinely lying to them. This was not a situation where Obama was simply a weak President who tried to enact what he promised, but was thwarted by a Congress controlled by the other party. Obama got 90% of what he wanted through a Congress controlled by a super majority of his own party.As for the rest or your post, you are tap dancing. I have nothing to add to my original post.

  128. Realist says:

    Bart,You’re right, the economy was the topic of the first debate. I still stand behind the rest of what I said.I showed you how what he said was clearly not only not lies, but how he worked to fulfill those promises.He lied.Quite an accusation. Show evidence. You didn’t, even though you had a great chance, and won’t, of course, because that’s how you roll.

  129. Mr. Universe says:

    The economy collapsed in September 2008 almost to a day. You’re delusional if you think Bush deregulation didn’t cause it and Obama did. Oh wait, You are delusional, Bart. Nevermind.

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