The Presidential Democratic Values Apology TourPosted: November 30, 2010 Filed under: Catfood Commission, Surreality, Team Obama | Tags: bipartisanship, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Obama apologizes for being too bipartisan 48 Comments
No. It didn’t take place in Saudi Arabia. It took place on Capitol Hill. It’s proof to me of an alternate universe there.
Ed Henry just said that it’s true that President Obama apologized for failing to be bipartisan and promised to work harder to find common ground.
There was a Republican presser with a follow up column at WAPO today by John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. Both were a joke. They don’t want to work with their Democratic colleagues. They want a one term Democratic president and damn any Democrat that believes any differently after they’ve said it over and over again.
Here’s Johnny!! (and Closet Case Mitchie too!)
The day after the election, President Obama seemed to acknowledge that a change in course is needed when he conceded that “the overwhelming message” he heard from the voters was “we want you to focus completely on jobs and the economy.”
Despite what some Democrats in Congress have suggested, voters did not signal they wanted more cooperation on the Democrats’ big-government policies that most Americans oppose. On the contrary, they want both parties to work together on policies that will help create the conditions for private-sector job growth. They want us to stop the spending binge, cut the deficit and send a clear message on taxes and regulations so small businesses can start hiring again.
We can work together and accomplish these things, but the White House and Democratic leaders in Congress first will have to prioritize. It’s time to choose struggling middle-class families and small businesses over the demands of the liberal base. It’s time to get serious.
What isn’t clear about this? They’ve said what they want and that’s all that they want. There’s no sign of cooperation here unless it’s you do what we say. Which is frankly kind’ve weird given we’ve gotten so much Republican-style policy through Capitol Hill without them.
What’s the President apologizing for? Gee, I know you mugged me, next time I’ll be sure to carry more cash and less credit, I’m so sorry.
The CSM seems to think that having them all in the same room is about as much bipartisanship as you’re going to get from this crew. I see more hippy bashing in my crystal ball.
Still, despite all the talk of a fresh start, Obama acknowledged the elephant in the room – what he called “the current hyper-partisan climate.”
“There are always those who argue that the best strategy is simply to try to defeat your opposition, instead of working with them,” the president said.
He needed look no further than McConnell to see someone whose stated goal is to make sure Obama does not win a second term. And in a Washington Post opinion piece published Tuesday by McConnell and Boehner, the rhetoric seemed distinctly McConnell-esque.
The column – titled “Where we and Democrats can work together” – called on the White House and Democratic leaders to “prioritize.”
“It’s time to choose struggling middle-class families and small businesses over the demands of the liberal base,” the GOP leaders wrote. “It’s time to get serious.”
Okay, let’s just start from the assumption that it’s not just the liberal base that doesn’t want their social security and Medicare privatized or shut down. Let’s also assume that most of us ARE concerned about jobs and not tax cuts. What exactly do they think the demands of the liberal base are? Giving unemployed people their unemployment checks? I haven’t seen any decent demands coming out of the liberal base in forever! No demand to shut GITMO. No demand to get out of Afghanistan. No demand to stop giving preferential treatment to banks. No demand to not put American citizens on hit lists. No demand to hold Cheney and Dubya accountable for breaking the Geneva Convention. What frigging demands? We can’t even protect a Woman’s right to choose over Insurance companies’ rights to extraordinary profits! DADT should’ve been gone by now and Pay Equity should’ve passed. What FRIGGING demands?
Yet, if you read reports from the PBS Newshour, POTUS is “Encouraged”. (Videos of pressers from this link)
Encouraged about what? Giving multimillionaires tax cuts? Implementing Allan Simpson’s plans to send seniors to homeless shelters? Maybe, it’s their desire to tank START?
What fresh hell is this?
Notable tweets from the un-notable Ed Henry CNN on the “Slurpee summit”
edhenrycnn Ed Henry
(oldest to newest)
President striking conciliatory tone, saying he’s committed to “common ground” on taxes — a phrase Boehner used several times
Breaking news: Senior admin official tells CNN the President did tell Repubs behind closed doors he failed to reach out enough in 1st 2 yrs
Senior official tells CNN President told Repubs “he had to do better and the President is ready to do his part” in the days to work together
Senior admin official is confirming account from Republicans that Potus acknowledged “he had not reached out enough” in words of Cantor
Defense Department Study Shows Few Problems with Ending DADTPosted: November 30, 2010 Filed under: Civil Rights, GLBT Rights, Human Rights | Tags: Barack Obama, DADT, Defense Department, John McCain, LGBT rights, Robert Gates 58 Comments
Here is a summary of the report at DOD Live:
U.S. Army Gen. Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Army Europe, said the study found that 50 to 55 percent of people surveyed said there would be no major effect if the repeal passed, while 15 to 20 percent said they’d expect a positive change. Only 30 percent said repeal would have a negative impact.
Ham indicated that he doesn’t think repeal would be harmful, if handled properly and performed deliberately. He said the leadership today has the ability to implement a new policy and maintain unit cohesion.
There is still a lot of discussion required, Ham said, but the military should begin planning now. “The best way for us to think about this is as a contingency plan,” Ham said. “Our report lays out the groundwork for actions that we recommend, if repeal does come.”
You can read the full report here.
From The Boston Globe: Pentagon study finds overturning “don’t ask, don’t tell” will do little long-term harm.
A long-awaited Pentagon report released today concluded that overturning the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy would do little long-term harm to morale or military effectiveness, dispelling chief arguments opponents have had with allowing gay and lesbian service members to serve openly.
The report’s release shifts the focus on the issue to moderate members of the Senate, including Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who had said they wanted to read the report before voting on whether to end the policy.
The House has passed a bill overturning the policy, but a Republican-led threat of a filibuster halted a similar effort in the Senate in the fall….
The study, conducted over ten months, found that 70 percent of troops surveyed believed that repealing the law would have mixed, positive, or no impact. The other 30 percent felt there would be negative consequences if gays were allowed to serve openly, with opposition strongest among combat troops.
Secretary Gates is strongly recommending that Congress and the President complete the repeal of the law before the end of this year. He held a long press conference earlier today. Lynn Sweet at the Chicago Sun-Times published the transcript. Here is an excerpt:
Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell after a number of steps take place – the last being certification by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman that the new policies and regulations were consistent with the U.S. military’s standards of readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention. Now that we have completed this review, I strongly urge the Senate to pass this legislation and send it to the president for signature before the end of this year.
I believe this is a matter of some urgency because, as we have seen this past year, the federal courts are increasingly becoming involved in this issue. Just a few weeks ago, one lower-court ruling forced the Department into an abrupt series of changes that were no doubt confusing and distracting to men and women in the ranks. It is only a matter of time before the federal courts are drawn once more into the fray, with the very real possibility that this change would be imposed immediately by judicial fiat – by far the most disruptive and damaging scenario I can imagine, and the one most hazardous to military morale, readiness and battlefield performance.
Therefore, it is important that this change come via legislative means – that is, legislation informed by the review just completed. What is needed is a process that allows for a well-prepared and well-considered implementation. Above all, a process that carries the imprimatur of the elected representatives of the people of the United States. Given the present circumstances, those that choose not to act legislatively are rolling the dice that this policy will not be abruptly overturned by the courts.
At the San Francisco Chronicle, that was seen as a thinly veiled “warning to John McCain.”
BostonBoomer was much faster with her post. I wanted to add this video showing McCain bizarre behavior on DADT. What a creep!
Meanwhile, opponents of repeal are shifting their arguments.
The ball is now in the Congress’s court. What will President Obama do now to prevent gays from serving openly in the military? Or will he actually support repeal of this discriminatory and unjust law?
Catfood Commission Chairmen to Postpone Vote on RecommendationsPosted: November 30, 2010 Filed under: Catfood Commission | Tags: Alan Simpson, Catfood Commission, David Dayen, Erskine Bowles, Jan Schakowsky, Paul Ryan 22 Comments
Via David Dayen at FDL, Alan Simpson are seemingly on the verge of wimping out on their draconian austerity recommendations for fear they can’t get 14 votes for their efforts to turn old people out into the streets.
For most of the week, you could see the wheels coming off of the Catfood Commission. First we heard that “they may surprise us,” but then there was this moving of the goalposts. Despite the fact that 14 of the 18 panel members had to agree to secure any recommendations which would go to Congress for a vote, now insiders were saying that a majority vote would show a signal of support.
But it’s clear that Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson can’t even get that. They canceled a planned public meeting today in favor of more private negotiation. And reports emerged that the panel was simply deeply divided on the issues.
Dayen seems to think the whole plan to slash the social safety net is going down the tubes. I hope so. He ends with this:
The entire thing was an embarrassing display from two self-admiring cretins who wanted to use an economic crisis as a pretense to destroy the social safety net. Whatever they come up with will still represent a threat on that front, especially with a Republican House and who knows what in the White House, but this failure will damage the credibility for catfood. And progressive reports which show deficit reduction without touching the safety net are gaining in prominence.
“Who knows what in the White House” That’s a good one.
Truthout has information from one of the most liberal members of the Commission:
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., says that as of this morning she had not been shown the latest proposal of the White House deficit commission, even as she says it is being “shopped around” by its co-chairs in an effort to get the support of a simple majority of its 18 members—not the support of 14 members as was its original goal.
Schakowsky confirmed this shift in an interview with OurFuture.org after giving a private briefing to members of the Tuesday Group, a meeting of progressive organization leaders convened by the Campaign for America’s Future.
Schakowsky has even proposed her own recommendations for reducing the deficit:
The Schakowsky Plan could reduce the deficit by $427.75 billion by 2015, without burdening the middle class. This would surpass the projection of the President’s target of $250 billion — an amount that the Commission’s plan would not even achieve.
Schakowsky’s plan also calls for:
•Raising taxes on the highest incomes.
•Modifying Social Security without changing benefits paid out.
•A $200 billion two-year stimulus investment, creating jobs and providing economic growth.
•Cutting farm subsidies and the Pentagon budget by more than $100 billion (both of which are also being proposed by the Commission, though Schakowsky goes further by cutting unnecessary weapons systems, reducing troop levels and other measures).
•Imposing taxes on corporations that out-source jobs and saving $132 billion from limiting or closing tax breaks on corporations.
•Letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire.
•Treating capitol gains and dividends as regular income, which could generate another $150 billion.
•Removing the caps on payroll taxes for employers and lifting the threshold above $106,000 for employees, and imposing a ‘legacy tax’ above the cap.
•And, most impressively, Schakowsky proposes a Public Option for health insurance, which would lower healthcare costs and allow the government to negotiate drug prices with the PHARMA industry to lower costs, like it does for the V.A. Drug costs could become a fraction of the amount that seniors now pay. Tellingly, both Bowles and Simpson acknowledge a Public Option may be necessary if costs don’t go down, so perhaps a P.O. could finally be on the way? There is certainly no indication health care costs will decrease in 2011.
In addition, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, a Republican, says he’s not voting for the plan.
“It’s tough to ask anybody to support something that they just got, that’s this big,” Ryan said in an interview. The panel needs agreement from 14 of its 18 members to forward a plan to Congress.
“I don’t think there’s 14, and I don’t think I’ll be one of those 14,” Ryan said.
He said panel co-chairman Alan Simpson, a Republican former Wyoming senator, gave him an “oral Cliff notes” version of the plan today. Ryan said it didn’t include major changes from the panel leaders’ earlier draft proposal. Members will receive the plan in writing tomorrow, he said.
How soon can we send Alan “310 million tits” Simpson and Erskine “Sourpuss” Bowles packing? If I never have to see either of their disagreeable faces again, I’ll be very happy.
UPDATE: The Catfood Commission has postponed the vote until Friday.
Behind the Screen NamePosted: November 30, 2010 Filed under: Populism, the internet | Tags: anonymity on the net, blogstalking, screen names, trolls 64 Comments
I can remember the first time I got on AOL and had to think up a ‘screen name’ after being told it wasn’t cool to use my real name. Dakinikat is actually my second screen name from there and it’s about 12 or so years old. I used to go by Anais for a long time. The Dkat moniker came after I started practicing Tibetan Buddhism and a relationship had ended. It was my fresh start in middle age. I used it to search out follow Buddhists on line since there wasn’t a huge community of them around me. You’ll see many of them pop in here ever so often because we’ve all gotten so close from the first years in the AOL Buddhist Chat room.
I actually was outed about a 1 and 1/2 years ago in a blog that hated Obama detractors and Hillary Supporters. It really bothered me then because the 2008 primary was so ugly and I had just started blogging. I really didn’t want my political views known to my students before they got to know me. I always like to taunt their opinions from all sides of the political spectrum and most of the time they have no clue about my political affiliation or they get it wrong. I was actually warned when I started Sky Dancing not to put too much personal information here because there were people that would abuse it. Now, you can find out who I am pretty easily through my twitters and my FaceBook if you’re really that interested. I still like the penname/screename and it tickles me when I talk to folks who know me as ‘kini’ or “daki’ or my IRL nickname ‘kat’. I personally respect people that don’t want to be outed because of that adventure and a later one involving some of the same folks and Hillbuzz. There was an incident a few months ago and I used the opportunity to prod a troll by releasing information I had gleaned from the net off of his email which was hidden to any one but an administrator. I didn’t totally out him, but he knew that I knew who he was and and he suddenly freaked.
So, what got me waxing philosophical about my screen id is this article in the NYT by Julie Zhuo, the product design manager at Facebook. She has a piece today–‘Where Anonymity Breeds Contempt’–that talks about blogstalking and trolls. It also talks about site managers and their attempts to control the troll populace. There are the classic stories out there that just make you cringe over the behavior of your fellow human beings. (They’re ugly so I’m not putting them up here, you can read them there yourself.) She even tells an old Greek Classic story about a man who could hide behind invisibility and took advantage of his status to do horrid things. Anonymity on the web does provide a shield for rude behavior. It also has led to illegal activity, so should it be actively discouraged?
Psychological research has proven again and again that anonymity increases unethical behavior. Road rage bubbles up in the relative anonymity of one’s car. And in the online world, which can offer total anonymity, the effect is even more pronounced. People — even ordinary, good people — often change their behavior in radical ways. There’s even a term for it: the online disinhibition effect.
Many forums and online communities are looking for ways to strike back. Back in February, Engadget, a popular technology review blog, shut down its commenting system for a few days after it received a barrage of trollish comments on its iPad coverage.
Many victims are turning to legislation. All 50 states now have stalking, bullying or harassment laws that explicitly include electronic forms of communication. Last year, Liskula Cohen, a former model, persuaded a New York judge to require Google to reveal the identity of an anonymous blogger who she felt had defamed her, and she has now filed a suit against the blogger. Last month, another former model, Carla Franklin, persuaded a judge to force YouTube to reveal the identity of a troll who made a disparaging comment about her on the video-sharing site.
But the law by itself cannot do enough to disarm the Internet’s trolls. Content providers, social networking platforms and community sites must also do their part by rethinking the systems they have in place for user commentary so as to discourage — or disallow — anonymity. Reuters, for example, announced that it would start to block anonymous comments and require users to register with their names and e-mail addresses in an effort to curb “uncivil behavior.”
So, the anonymity cuts both ways on the web. Like I said, I’d prefer my students get to know me before they read any of my strong opining over here. This is especially true when criticizing this president since it has frequently been framed as ‘racism’ and I live and teach in a community where I am the minority.
You can see throughout our commenters here that there’s a mix between screen names users and people who riff on some version of their real names. We do screen all first time commenters for signs of spam and nastiness, but I’ve gotten so used to screen names I don’t give them a second thought. What I want to know is does it make any difference to see the name vs. the screen name? Is there a difference between reading Digby’s opinions and Jane Hamsher’s when you can put a face and a name to the latter? I’m still bemused by the stories of shock when Digby was revealed to be Heather, a woman. My other question is wondering if there’s a different standard for front pagers and down pagers? Still, I agree that some of the most virulent stuff comes from the folks that can successfully maintain anonymity.
Will lifting the veil of anonymity promote civil behavior or stalking? I’m curious about what you think..