Thursday Reads

Good Morning!

If you’ve read some of my threads for some time, you know that I am fascinated by the right wing meme that Obama is some kind of Marxist or Socialist or secret Muslim when it is pretty clear that he is aligned with major corporations promoting monopoly.  It is very much in the interests of corporations promoting monopoly to convince people that their enemies are immigrant workers, Raj in Bangalore, or the poor minority family down the street that needs assistance.  It takes every one’s minds off the real issues and the true targets.

Even under Free Trade agreements, the government doesn’t have to provide tax incentives and deductions to corporations that make vertical production moves to poor countries feasible and profitable.  Even with assistance to the poor and elderly, that doesn’t mean that the government can’t provide good roads, translucence and oversight to the operations of markets, and ensure job conditions where every one is safe and can earn a working wage.  Large corporations and power interests thrive on selling the idea of a zero sum game or a pie that is only so big.   The U.S. pie is pretty big right now, although finite at any point in time. It grows with technology and better use of resources. The biggest pieces of the pie–our national income–are not going to Raj in Bangalore, the family needing assistance down the street, the elderly couple surviving on social security, or the immigrants who come to the United States looking for jobs in the worst of situations.  We are all in the same wobbly, leaky boat.  We exist in a boat with those who are trying to survive on wages that never keep up with costs and with continual  fear of job loss and illness that will cost everything.  The rich don’t really have that fear.  The anxiety of having to live with a car that’s more than a few years old or a less exotic vacation is not a real fear. It’s neuroses. Those folks don’t want us in their boats.  They want us all crammed into the wobbly, leaking boat feeling so insecure that we consider tossing our neighbor overboard to the sharks.

Okay, so it’s a reads link, and where am I going with this at a time when you’re still probably drinking your first cup of coffee?    My new issue of Vanity Fair came last night.  I got to thinking more and more about those people that want to egg us into tossing our neighbors to the sharks.

Now, I know all the issues people can have with Christopher Hitchens but despite these, his latest in VF is a must read.  Unfortunately, it’s not out there on line so you may have to find the print edition.  His latest diatribe is on the Tea Party and Glenn Beck raises the specter of an organization that has always represented some of the worst of the American conservative movement;  The John Birch Society. The JBS is so despicable that William F. Buckley Jr. spent a large amount of time trying to get them out of the Republican Party back in the day.  There is really very little left of the ‘intellectual’–if you can call it that–side of that conservative movement ushered in by Buckley and the JBS has moved back in to fill the void.  They do so in their worst form. This is typed in from my print edition of VF.

“So, Beck’s “9/12 Project” is canalizing old racist and clerical toxic-waste material that a healthy society had mostly flushed out of its system more than a generation ago, and injecting in right back in again.  Things that had hidden under stones are being dug up and re-released. And why?  So as to teach us a new about the dangers of “spending and deficits”?  It’s enough to make a cat laugh.  No, a whole new audience has been created, including many impressionable young people, for ideas that are viciously anti-democratic and a historical. The full effect of this will be felt farther down the road, where we will need it even less.

Hitchens spends quite some time going over some of the things that point to a resurgence of the JBS including the absolutely lunatic notion that Bill and Hillary Clinton had anything to do with Vince Foster’s death. You may recall that Hitchens is no fan of the Clintons.

Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin  and the Tea Party are the ideological descendants of Robert Welch who denounced President Eisenhower as a “dedicated, conscious agent” of Communism.  Now, we’re getting the same filth but it’s about President Obama.  They did try it with President Clinton but  it didn’t settle in then.  For some reason, it’s taking with President Obama.  There are racial dynamics at play here, there are the dynamics of his absentee sperm donor, and there are dynamics that make demagoguery more possible because of the bad economy.  My fear is that these people–as well as the nutjobs in ‘The Family’–would love to see things worsen because it would justify more and more of their fascist ways as well as hand them more profits. That we have a President that seems to play into their hands–while at the same time is used as a symbol of everything they feel is wrong with American–is just a cruel irony. These conversations and labels would go away if Obama would change parties.

So, the worst read to suggest today is one that Glenn Beck suggests and has made the top item at Amazon. You probably don’t need to read the book. But google some of the excerpts available in studies and on the web.  Hitchens calls this book a “demented screed”.   This is exactly why we must be aware of it and what it suggests.  The book is by W. Cleon Skousen and it is called The Five Thousand Year Leap. Skousen’s other book is called Naked Communism. His views were so radical and so out there, that the JBS  and many others kept him at a safe distance.  However, his theoretical based world view attracted Tim LaHaye in the 1980s.  He planted enough seeds that they’ve taken root and grown.  Skousen wrote things that were beyond inflammatory.  He too thought Eisenhower was a communist agent.

“In The Naked Communist, a lengthy primer published in 1958, Skousen enlivened a survey of the worldwide leftist threat with outlandish claims, writing that F.D.R.’s adviser Harry Hopkins had treasonously delivered to the Soviets a large supply of uranium, and that the Russians built the first Sputnik with plans stolen from the United States. A year before Richard Condon’s novel The Manchurian Candidate appeared, Skousen announced that the Communists were creating ‘a regimented breed of Pavlovian men whose minds could be triggered into immediate action by signals from their masters’ … A later book, The Naked Capitalist, decried the Ivy League Establishment, who, through the Federal Reserve, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Rockefeller Foundation, formed ‘the world’s secret power structure.’ The conspiracy had begun, Skousen wrote, when reformers like the wealthy banker Edward M. House, a close adviser to President Woodrow Wilson, helped put into place the Federal Reserve and the graduated income tax … In 1981, he produced The 5,000 Year Leap, a treatise that assembles selective quotations and groundless assertions to claim that the U.S. Constitution is rooted not in the Enlightenment but in the Bible, and that the framers believed in minimal central government.”

Sean Wilentz, Princeton University historian

Notice that a progressive income tax and the Federal Reserve are at the heart of his radical attacks. It is not the least coincidental that Beck recommends this book and the Tea Party voices these opinions.

[MABlue update: Hitchen’s article has now been uploaded. You can read it here.]

On a side note, that Princeton historian Sean Wilentz  wrote an article calling  George W. Bush  the “The Worst President in History’ for the Rolling Stone and was an outspoken Hillary supporter in 2008.  You can read the Rolling Stone article at Truth Out. But to our main point, Dr. Wilentz was featured in an npr story in October talking about the parallels between the extremism in the 1950s and Beck’s 9/12 movement. He sees the JBS as an active component.

Wilentz, who teaches at Princeton University, argues that the rhetoric expressed by both conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck and the Tea Party is nothing new — and is rooted in an extremist ideology that has been around since the Cold War, a view that the Republican Party is now embracing.

“I think what’s happening is the Republican Party is willing to chase after whatever it can to get the party back — to get power back,” he tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross. “This is what’s happening in the Republican Party, so instead of drawing lines, they’re jumping over fences to look like they’re in the good graces of these Tea Party types.”

Wilentz says Beck, who has emerged as a unifying figure and intellectual guide for the Tea Party movement, finds fodder for his Fox News Channel and syndicated radio shows in the ideas espoused by the John Birch Society, an ultraconservative political group founded in 1958 that, Wilentz writes, “became synonymous with right-wing extremism.

“It’s a version of history that demonizes the progressive era, particularly Woodrow Wilson,” Wilentz says. “It sees it as the beginning of America’s going down the road to totalitarianism, which ends in Beck’s version with Barack Obama.”

Particularly troublesome, Wilentz says, are the gross historical inaccuracies Beck makes on his Fox show, which now reaches more than 2 million people each day.

This interview also highlights some of the historical inaccuracies made by Beck on his show.  Much of what the movement does is rewrite history and Beck is a master of making it up as he goes along.  Most revisions are very frightening and many people actually believe them.  I’m going to reference the JBS example.  BTW, the John Birch Society is very much functional and has a presence on the web.  you can find them here.

On the John Birch Society

“The John Birch Society was founded in 1958 at a meeting in Indianapolis in which Robert Welch presided for a couple of days and read his manifesto of what’s going wrong [in America]. … The idea was the John Birch Society was going to influence local politics. They saw the country as having been taken over by the totalitarianists — by the communists. So they were going to try and undo that. And Welch says in the Blue Book, ‘You know, it hasn’t come to a military conflict quite yet. We don’t have to overthrow these guys with a violent revolution.’ So there’s still a possibility for political action. And that’s what the John Birch Society was devoted to: education and political action so that their people would get involved in local politics so the right people and the correct people would get elected to the school board, which was very important in deciding what kinds of books students would be reading in public schools. They wanted to make sure that the right kinds of people were running and getting elected. … Somewhere by the early ’60s, it was estimated that they had as many as 100,000 members around the country but many, many more sympathizers.”

On the John Birch Society and racism

“The John Birch Society wanted to have nothing to do with segregation, wanted nothing to do with any of that as an expression of white supremacy. However, they did oppose all of the civil rights laws because they saw it as an overleaning federal government taking control of people’s lives, of overstepping its boundaries. So they opposed all of that.”

Beck is the public voice and face of a movement to make the JBS and its horrible views palatable and there is no Bill Buckley to fight them in the Republican Party.  Many of the Republican Party are welcoming these folks which should give us all pause.  ABC’s The Note had an article on the participation by the JBS in 2010 as a co-sponsor of CPAC.  This is from February 19, 2010.

According to Ian Walters, a spokesman for CPAC, it’s the first time the John Birch Society has sponsored the conference.  That’s not surprising, considering that the Birch Society has long been considered wacky and extreme by conservative leaders.

William F. Buckley famously denounced the John Birch Society and its founder Robert Welch in the early 1960s as “idiotic” and “paranoid. ”  Buckley’s condemnation effectively banishing the group from the mainstream conservative movement.  Welch had called President Dwight D. Eisenhower a “conscious, dedicated agent of the communist conspiracy” and that the U.S. government was “under operational control of the Communist party.”  Buckley argued that such paranoid rantings had no place in the conservative movement or the Republican party.

However, Beck and others have brought them back like some kind of 1950s movie zombies.  Remember this group feels that civil right legislation is inspired by communism.  One of their first publications was a call to get the US out of the UN.  They also wants to abolish the income tax and the Federal Reserve.  Are any of these calls sounding remotely familiar to you?  Here’s more information from Source Watch. PublicEye.org also has some of the more outrageously antisemitic and racist views held by members of JBS.  When these things come to light, JBS purges their public faces, but the antisemitism and the racism remain.

These people are undoubtedly back in the Republican party and have sympathizers in the ranks of elected officials like Jon Kyl and Rand Paul.  Many of the things you read in the JBS list of goals are the things you hear from the lips of  Tea Party and Beck aficionados.  The roots of those nutty conversations about taking up arms and revolution are easy to find in the writings of Welsh and Skousen.  They are also heard daily on the Beck show and they are spouted at rallies by populist right wing icons like Huckabee and Palin. We should not be condemned to repeat this part of our past,  please.  You can only imagine how evil they are if Bill Buckley felt they were worth purging.

In more current news, if you’ve been watching MSNBC at all, you know that both Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann have taken on the Obama Tax compromise. Have all the MSNBC anchors lost that loving feeling?

Michael Bloomberg announced that he had no interest in running for President in 2012.  He did urge policy makers to take more centrist approaches.

This week we will undoubtedly have live links up following the votes on the Tax cuts/Unemployment extension, DADT, and the Dream Act.  The President is begging liberal democrats to ‘not topple the economy’ by rejecting his deal with McConnell. That alone should be an interesting kabuki today.

[MABlue’s picks?]
Democrats promised to alter the “Deal” before agreeing to it. I don’t know if they have done so, but I just saw this:
Democrats in Senate warming to tax deal

Senate leaders are planning to begin debate on a far-reaching tax package as soon as Thursday as rank-and-file Democrats warm to an agreement between the White House and Republicans to extend a host of expiring tax cuts and pump fresh cash into the economy.
Democrats were still angry Wednesday about what they viewed as President Obama’s capitulation to GOP demands to preserve tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, particularly a deal to exempt estates worth as much as $10 million from a revived inheritance tax. But lawmakers said the magnitude of the concessions Obama won came into sharper focus Wednesday as the White House highlighted independent forecasts predicting that the package could create as many as 2.2 million jobs next year.

What does that mean? They didn’t understand “The Deal” the first time around?

Are we about to execute an innocent man (again)? These type of stories are the main reason I’m (speaking for me only) against the death penalty.
Framed for Murder?

“California may be about to execute an innocent man.”

That’s the view of five federal judges in a case involving Kevin Cooper, a black man in California who faces lethal injection next year for supposedly murdering a white family. The judges argue compellingly that he was framed by police.

Mr. Cooper’s impending execution is so outrageous that it has produced a mutiny among these federal circuit court judges, distinguished jurists just one notch below the United States Supreme Court. But the judicial process has run out for Mr. Cooper. Now it’s up to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to decide whether to commute Mr. Cooper’s sentence before leaving office.

Is corruption more preponderant in Louisiana? Kat, what’s up with that?
Senate, for Just the 8th Time, Votes to Oust a Federal Judge

The Senate on Wednesday found Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr. of Federal District Court in Louisiana guilty on four articles of impeachment and removed him from the bench, the first time the Senate has ousted a federal judge in more than two decades.

Judge Porteous, the eighth federal judge to be removed from office in this manner, was impeached by the House in March on four articles stemming from charges that he received cash and favors from lawyers who had dealings in his court, used a false name to elude creditors and intentionally misled the Senate during his confirmation proceedings.

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What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

88 Comments on “Thursday Reads”

  1. fiscalliberal says:

    Could I suggest that the Right will be successfull in framing Obama because he does not have the fortitude to stand up for his own principles. That leaves us unable to overcome the roar of nonsense. We need to remember that the ultimate power of the presidency is to use the bully pulpit to frame the issues and then be willing to veto the oppositon.

    Obama has had the bully pulpit and the House and Senate leadership to frame the issues. He seems to be unwilling to use the power of the veto. In his own press conference he admitted his inability to get the job done for his own ideals. Now the argument is the domain of the pork lobbyists and he has lost control of the issue.

    Clinton worked with Gingrich to get the issue framed and when they threatened to bring the government down, he took them on and won. Do we have any hope that Obama has that skill level. I think not. In his press confernece he came of as beaten, whiney and incapable of doing the right thing. Hence capitulation.

  2. fiscalliberal says:

    Dak – are you buying and eating gulf shrimp now days?

    • dakinikat says:

      No. I got some from winn Dixie that clearly had something oily in their intestine. I know the restaurants and some folks are saying its okay but that just got to me. I don’t trust any one who says its safe that has a financial interest in seafood.

    • dakinikat says:

      I’m not sure if you saw me tweet this from NOLA.COM but I think it raises some serious issues.

      Louisiana residents have long bragged about their prodigious consumption of local seafood, but a survey by an environmental group suggests that government seafood testing programs in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill severely underestimated that rapacious appetite for fish — and may have underestimated residents’ risk as a result.

      A survey of 547 coastal residents in the four Gulf states by the Natural Resources Defense Council found they had seafood consumption rates far higher than those being used by federal and state regulators to determine if contamination levels pose a risk to human health.
      112Share
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      Those results may indicate a large population of coastal residents has been left at risk by the state and federal health standards, the NRDC said.

      “We’re not saying not to eat Gulf seafood, not by a long shot,” said Dr. Gina Solomon, senior scientist at the NRDC. “What we are saying is our survey identified large numbers of people who are eating more seafood than the FDA (federal Food and Drug Administration) assumes in its guidelines.

      “My assumption is there are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people who are not protected by the FDA guidelines.”

  3. cwaltz says:

    I’ve been trying to follow the Buy American Bonds that Yves had posted. It boggles the mind that BoA and AIG would be too big to fail but California, the 8th largest world economy, failing would be hunky dory I feel like Alice must have felt when she fell down the darn rabbit hole. Every time I think it can’t get much worse the bar seems to be set for a new governmental fail and low point.

  4. Pips says:

    About the ‘Socialism talking point’ in Alexandra Pelosi’s documentary on John McCain’s 2008 campaign “Right America Feeling Wronged – Some voices from the Campaign Trail”, she has a hilarious encounter with a young man. On the back of his T-shirt he’s written “Say No to Socilism”. She informs him that it’s spelled wrong to which he reacts with surprise “Whaaat!” and asks her for a marker – but she’d rather have him explain what Socialism is. He grabs his cell phone: “There IS a definition. I can look it up really quickly” [lol!], but she just wants to know “in principle”.

    So, while his eyes move left and right as if he’s reading something memorized, he goes:

    “Okay! So! Socialism – it’s basically like the views of … of Hitler. It’s, it’s … it’s the in-between bet… eh … it’s like between communism and err … I can’t … I don’t know what the other word is but between … it’s like the medium between two views. Between communism and another view, but I don’t know exactly what that is.”

    He seemed like a sweet, albeit naive, young man, and I wanted to give him a hug … and then send him off to a better schooling. But I’m afraid his misconception – or rather total lack of conception – of what “Socilism” is, represents the view of many.

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    Anyone who has read “The Family”, a book outlining the workings of the C Street group, would realize that some of what they espouse is seeing some of the fruits of their labors taking root. It has reached into the highest powers of our government by way of its elected officials as we have seen by the Stupak amendment as a place to start. Stupak is reportedly “losely associated” with Bob Pitt from PA who is a member.

    I could be wrong, but I think I had also read somewhere that the Koch brothers are sons of a former member of the John Birch Society and use their money and connections as a means of endorsing and funding the Tea Party organizers who share their world view.

    That view, based on the inner workings of members of C Street, is to introduce a global Christian society acting in accordance with bibical laws and carrying out the teachings of Christ throughout the world. Sen. James Inhofe is one member who has made many trips to Uganda, a country that is seeking to outlaw and punish homosexuality and making it into law.

    There is treachery involved in these “teachings” as members of C Street acting on behalf of the secret “Family” have paid their way into at least 20 foreign countries who have agreed to promote these policies in exchange for money. Their beliefs that even death and destruction can bring about this worldwide contention of establishing governments under a Christian doctrine and a mandate for worldwide domination.

    If enough of these members and adherents to this philosophy continue to gain a foothold in this government, we will be subjected to much of what this movement is eager to carry out. Judging by the monies that filtered back to Tea Party candidates from subsidiaries of these various groups that lead back to the Koch brothers, it is not a fantasy to suggest the path they are following can be traced in part to the workings of C Street and the former agenda of the John Birch Society.

    The “secretiveness” of these shadow groups is beginning to emerge.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Glenn Beck suffers from a “Messianic complex”. In some cultures he would be locked up for being a menace to society. Instead, he is considered a “prophet” by those who sit in front of this circus each night, nodding in agreement.

  6. CinSC says:

    Really? Glenn Beck? Idiotic and paranoid don’t begin to describe the man. As far as I’m concerned, he and his followers can take their food insurance backpacks, gold coins and righteous holier than thou attitudes and go hide in the woods while the rest of us actually deal with the reality of today. He seems like a person on the edge of a mental break, and it’s just sad that people (fox news) are enabling him.

  7. Minkoff Minx says:

    I think that is why Beck likes his black boards, it gives him that authority to “teach” his viewers. This stuff is frightening. Thanks MABlue for the updated link to the Vanity Fair article.

    On this whole tax deal, and the Dems now saying that they “get it” what a freaking joke…

    I just saw this “Worthless Crap” from Suburban Guerrilla:
    Suburban Guerrilla » Blog Archive » Worthless crap

    Take a look and see if you don’t get even more pissed off.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      After reading this article I am more than incensed by the lies, cheating, deal making, and heartlessness that supports this “compromise”. I too was under the impression that this move was to guarantee those already suffering from unemployment would get the much needed assistance they deserve.

      How hateful and duplicitous this is and Obama has signed on. Perhaps he did not fully appreciate what lies within just as I myself was misled. Or perhaps this is just another “I don’t give a damn” gesture from President Indifferent that we have learned to expect.

      I hate these people!

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        I know, I am with you there pat…I hate these people too. It is just more reason to say, the hell with it…and find someway and someone to voice our anger and stand up to our beliefs. We need our own “tea party movement” by that I mean we need to get our act together and focus on someone who will represent faithfully our democratic principles.

        • Minkoff Minx says:

          And on that note, it seems the powers that be have made up our minds for us…

          Would any Democrat really challenge Barack Obama? – Jonathan Martin and Ben Smith – POLITICO.com

          “The chances of Obama getting a primary challenge just went up exponentially after his tax cut deal,” said Ed Fallon, a liberal activist and former member of the Iowa House who now hosts a radio show in Des Moines. But pressed on who could mount such a campaign and be competitive in the first-in-the-nation caucuses, Fallon replied: “I don’t know – that’s a really good question.” (See: Barack Obama’s tax plan could squeak by with GOP help)

          The lack of options has prompted some liberals to reach far into their imaginations for possible candidates.

          In a Washington Post Op-Ed last weekend, for example, Tikkun editor Michael Lerner offered such names as 81-year-old Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich), just-defeated first-term Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) along with LBJ aide turned PBS commentator Bill Moyers and actress Susan Sarandon.

          There doesn’t appear to be a serious candidate on the horizon of the sort that could attract even modest support — let alone the sort of backing necessary to throw a scare into Obama.

          • Pat Johnson says:

            I remember during the 2008 primaries arguing with an Obama enabler who criticized my take on him by suggesting that Obama was a “nice guy”. To which I pointed out that so was my mailman but I did not consider him presidential material.

            I have now reconsidered my position. Perhaps my mailman could do an even better job than what we have now considering who is currently sitting in the WH.

            Therefore, for your consideration, my mailman!

          • Sima says:

            Ohh heck, F* it, I’ll run.

            Chubby, just shy of 50, fairly well educated, albeit mostly impoverished farmer woman with absolutely no experience in government.

            It can’t be any worse than what we’ve got!

        • Minkoff Minx says:

          Weigel : Why the "Liberals Can Mount Primary Challenge to Obama" Talk Makes No Sense

          So: All of this liberal discussion about challenging Barack Obama (it really is limited so far to Robert Kuttner, Michael Lerner, and a handful of other people) misses the point about how to effectively pressure a political party into doing what you want. The least effective way of pressuring the party is to back a stunt campaign against the president of the United States. Nothing gets more coverage. Nothing is less winnable. This means nothing is going to get you more coverage about how you’re not winning.

          • bostonboomer says:

            David Wiegel is a Libertarian conservative. I’m not interested in his opinion about this. A primary challenge can make a big difference even if you don’t win anyway.

          • Sima says:

            BB’s right. Even if it doesn’t get rid of Obama, it should scare the crap out of him and maybe get him to throw a few bones our way. Not a very good deal, but at least it’s something.

  8. Minkoff Minx says:

    Guardian has updates on all the Wikileak stuff: WikiLeaks US embassy cables: live updates | News | guardian.co.uk

    Luke Harding has a great new line: Russia has suggested that Julian Assange should be awarded the Nobel peace prize, in an unexpected show of support from Moscow for the jailed WikiLeaks founder.

    In what appears to be a calculated dig at the US, the Kremlin today urged non-governmental organisations to think seriously about ‘nominating Assange as a Nobel Prize laureate’.

    They are also citing other media outlets, like Salon Glenn Greenwald. Anyway, check it out if you have a chance. The page will update every minute.

  9. Ron4Hills says:

    As far as MSNBC losing that loving feeling… I suspect it has all been for show.

    This morning on “Morning Joe” Mike Barnacle, Harold Ford and Joe Scarborough were all basically praising the tax cut deal and calling Dem’s idiots for not appreciating how great the “compromise” really is.

    I think that MSNBC likes to mix in a little “mild” criticism in with their usual sycophanitic crapola in order to appear “credible” and to deflect any real “serious” criticism.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      I had it on this morning then turned it off in disgust listening to Harold Ford, Jr. explain why this was such a “good deal”. Having always considered him to be an idiot, he just topped himself by becoming a complete idiot with that analysis.

      This table full of millionaires just don’t get it. As long as they are safe in their own little gated communities, limo services, and all manner of people dancing to their needs, they are as out of touch with the average citizen as Marie Antoinette.

      Morons!

      • zaladonis says:

        I had it on this morning then turned it off in disgust listening to Harold Ford, Jr. explain why this was such a “good deal”. Having always considered him to be an idiot, he just topped himself by becoming a complete idiot with that analysis.

        I did exactly the same thing at the same time for the same reason!

        Harold Ford, who can’t get elected now but does fine getting rich off the celebrity he made out of public office, is insufferable.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Chris Matthews has spent his last two shows whining in so many words, “Leave Barack aloooooone!”

      • zaladonis says:

        I’ve watched some of that as well.

        Does Joan Walsh annoy you as much as she does me? Last night on Hardball she said something about all the abuse she suffered warning about Obama and defending Hillary and I thought, what, for those two whole minutes before you went all Kool Aid? And now of course she’s all expensively clothed and coiffed and made-up and blinding the camera with her whitened teeth, and I think you twit it SHOWS that you sold out your principles!

        These days if I turn on the damn thing and don’t have a movie channel on, I’m yelling at the TV set.

        • bostonboomer says:

          OMG, I can’t stand Joan Walsh! Frankly, if I weren’t staying with my mother, I wouldn’t be watching TV at all. When I’m home, I rarely even turn it on.

        • Sweet Sue says:

          Speaking of Joan Walsh, Salon has gone into full CDS and Obama protection mode.
          One of their writers has a piece about Hillary’s “Plumbers”* at the State department and another has some post stating that, actually, Obama is very popular with self described liberal Democrats who approve of his job performance. I kid you not!
          * For those of you under fifty, that’s Salon’s way of comparing Hillary Clinton to Richard Nixon. Anything to save Obama’s bony you know what.

  10. bluelady says:

    Headline on Yahoo News:
    Unhappy Democrats say tax bill likely to pass

    Unhappy doesn’t even begin to describe the gut churning rage I have about
    Obama pushing this payroll tax holiday, the beginning of the end for Social Security.

    I emailed my Rep (Olver) to demand he reject this bill.
    10 mins later I get a soliciting phone call from the Dems- (coincidental?)

    I told the person don’t ever call again if this bill passes.

    Maybe this is a plot to give me a stroke before I can collect anything from Social Security.

  11. Pat Johnson says:

    I just got off the phone with a close friend, a Dem, who keeps insisting that Obama “did not have a choice”. Imagine, this president of the US who insisted he was ready on Day One to assume this role, did not have a choice. The most powerful man in the world has been given a pass because the mean old GOP had him hamstrung.

    The very same man who stood before millions and announced a call for “hope and change” in the face of the damage the previous administration had wrought did not have a choice in bending over and playing dead when leadership was needed at the most critical of times. Astounding!

    I’m off to do some Christmas wrapping for most of my holiday purchases most bearing a label “Made in China”. And we wonder why there are fewer jobs available for all those “lazy” unemployed dolts who prefer to lay around all day watching reruns and “sucking off the tit of the government”.

    I’ve lived through some pretty hard times but nothing compared to where the US is today. A nation beholden to the corporations and a foreign power who has our cojones in a vice.

    • paper doll says:

      Yesterday I was thinking about how EE must of felt when that horror show HC bill was passed…I remember when JE gave BO his support ( which was the plan from the start: Sink Hill , throw in support ) Obama said Elizabeth was going to help him” figure this Health Care reform out” As thousands cheered …did he have no choice but to LIE so cruelly about that? He’s an out and out SOB with shark eyes…that’s why the powers that be love him so

      • Sima says:

        ‘Lie so cruelly’ describes it exactly. No wonder his former and current supporters are in a dither and acting like chickens without heads. Think of all the cruel lies Obama has given them. To keep believing must take a real stretch of disbelief suspension.

  12. bostonboomer says:

    More than 50% of Americans say they are worse off under Obama.

  13. bostonboomer says:

    Obama agrees to extend Republicans’ custody of his balls:

    In an effort to end what he called “the bickering and rancor in Washington,” President Barack Obama agreed today to extend Republicans’ custody of his balls for an additional two years.

    “I know my critics are going to make a big deal out of this,” the President told reporters at the White House. “But all this does is formalize an arrangement that was already in place.”

    Mr. Obama said that extending Republican custody of his balls through 2012 “was like the Holy Grail for them, but I’m keeping my eyes on the North Star,” adding, “I have no idea what any of that means.”

    Moments after the two-year transfer of Mr. Obama’s family jewels was announced, Vice President Joe Biden defended the President against critics from his own party: “I know he’s going to catch a lot of heat for this, but what he did took cojones.” Emerging from the Oval Office after the deal was struck, Republican leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) pronounced himself pleased with the outcome: “The President put what he had on the table, and we came away with what we wanted.”

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said that the agreement on Mr. Obama’s nuts would make upcoming budget negotiations go more smoothly: “This greatly reduces the size of the President’s package.”

  14. Pat Johnson says:

    This from one of my “all time favorite people” in the world:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/08/michele-bachmann-congressional-prayer-caucus_n_793147.html

    Clears up any doubts where this next congress is heading with the “god factor” at play.

  15. ralphb says:

    Why the Obama tax deal with Republicans is insane

    http://www.correntewire.com/why_obama_tax_deal_republicans_insane

  16. fiscalliberal says:

    I just heard on Bloomberg radio that Defazio said the Obama proposal was going to be rejected. I immediately called my Democratic Congressman Peters who lives iin a swing district, supporting the rejection of the Obama capitulation.

    • Dee says:

      This is amazing – elected Democrats fighting openly with the Democratic President. Can you remember another time when something like this got out into the open?

      I assume they (congress critters) are as pissed at the process as they are at the deal.

      • paper doll says:

        I assume they (congress critters) are as pissed at the process as they are at the deal.
        Yup , no one likes be left out of the back room. They are fighting for relevancy….why does it take one’s own head on the block to wake people up .
        I hope it last even if pork is offered to get them to lock step

  17. bluelady says:

    Can it be true? Will they actually have the spine to “leave it”? From the link:
    “Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon said: “They said take it or leave it. We left it.”

    Puleeze let them fight – and let that b@stard Obama fume.

  18. Sweet Sue says:

    Did I say something wrong?

  19. Woman Voter says:

    TSA faces diplomatic storm after #Indian ambassador to U.S is subjected to patdown… because she was wearing a sari

    He said: ‘It was a wonderful programme, maybe the best we’ve had, (but) this stupid incident ruined the whole thing. She said, ‘I will never come back here.’
    Revealing: The nude body scans are used to pick up hidden objects that a passenger may be concealing under their clothes but leaves little to the imagination

    Revealing: The nude body scans are used to pick up hidden objects that a passenger may be concealing under their clothes but leaves little to the imagination

    Despite the embarrassment, a US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokesman said diplomats were not exempt from the searches and that

    Ms Shankar ‘was screened in accordance with TSA’s security policies and procedures’.

    Last month Ms Shankar attended a glitzy state dinner for the Indian Prime Minister at the White House and the 338-person guest list included a mix of Washington insiders, Hollywood A-listers, the Obamas and prominent figures from the Indian community in the US.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1337137/US-faces-diplomatic-storm-Indian-ambassador-Meera-Shankars-TSA-patdown.html#ixzz17dpkQUbB

    Will they pat DOWN the Queen of England too? If so, then next flight Obama should be prono scanned and patted down!

  20. bostonboomer says:

    MSNBC is still talking to people supporting the bill and saying it is politically smart for Obama. The propaganda is so obvious these days.

  21. dakinikat says:

    Speaking of total nutterz. The Westborough wackos plan to picket Elizabeth Edward’s funeral.

    Westboro Baptist Church, a group with a history of staging protests at funerals and issuing anti-gay statements, is planning to picket the Saturday funeral of Elizabeth Edwards.

    The group said it will picket outside Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh from 12:15 until 1 p.m. when the funeral is scheduled to begin.

    I’m not sure how many of these folks were repeatedly dropped on their heads as babies, but my guess is all of them. Can’t Kansas put them in some nice padded room some where?

  22. Beata says:

    I am from Indiana, where until a few years ago, the only way to qualify for Medicaid was to be completely and permanently disabled without any possibility of recovery even with treatment. Needless to say, almost no one qualified, even the most seriously ill. “Die Quickly” could have been the state motto for the sick and uninsured, and many people did just that. Medicaid benefits were often awarded posthumously, however, so doctors and hospitals did not go begging. After years of lawsuits, Indiana was forced to change its policies by the Federal govenment but it is still very difficult to get Medicaid here.

    I saw this story today and it broke my heart. Will Obama’s “Health Overhaul” do anything to keep situations like this one from happening? I have no idea. My gut feeling is, as Medicaid is expanded to cover more people in 2016, coverage for rare conditions will be even more difficult to get. And unless GPs are given incentives to accept Medicaid, primary care will also be hard to find. Currently, Indiana Medicaid recipients must sometimes go outside their home county to get primary care. Transportation then becomes a major issue as well, especially for the disabled who cannot drive.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/08/seth-petreikis-baby-with-_n_793950.html

    • dakinikat says:

      Hi Beata good to see you!!! How are you feeling? Thank you for bringing that to every one’s attention.

    • Thursday's Child says:

      Wow, I had Medicaid when I was in Indiana and I wasn’t “completely and permanently disabled without any possibility of recovery even with treatment.”

    • Thursday's Child says:

      I had Indiana Medicaid from the mid 1980s thru the early 90s.

      • Beata says:

        I don’t know your circumstances but here is one article ( from 2001) with some details of the long legal fight to change Indiana’s Medicaid laws, which were considered the most stringent in the country by many authorities.

        http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2001/06/24/loc_indiana_must_give.html

        • Thursday's Child says:

          Not only was I not “completely and permanently disabled” I actually had the potential to recover completely. When I think of what those f*ckers intended to do to me I want to kill them.

          Too bad you don’t have a link to any source better than the Enquirer.

          • Beata says:

            You seem to be questioning the verity of my comments. I lived through those years of lawsuits and had two friends die as a result of Indiana’s Medicaid laws. In her final days of breast cancer, one was actully living in her car.

            Really sorry I posted. Won’t be back.

          • dakinikat says:

            Those are tragic stories. Really, you’re very welcome here.

          • Thursday's Child says:

            The Enquirer isn’t much of a source.
            Sorry, I wasn’t questioning what you said, I was just surprised that I qualified. I don’t think I really did, I think the health care agency which treated me just wanted more money than I could give them and to get it they were willing to wrongly label me a hopeless case, therefore negatively affecting the Rx I was eligible for and my prospects.

            Please don’t go.

          • Beata,

            please don’t be a stranger. I’m sorry your (first?) experience commenting here felt like an inquisition. Try saying hello again — let us all start over. I can’t be the only one who smiled to see your name pop up here.

            XOXO, Wonk

    • Woman Voter says:

      That is one reason I was in support of HR 676, which would have brought cost controls, savings, and health care access to all Americans and relief to military personnel and their families. HR 676 would have been good for all, their would no longer have been the ‘medicaid’ patient stigmatization and people like myself would have been happy with it, soldiers wouldn’t have to have been away from their families.

      Many people worked on HR 676 for years, there has never been any proof that Obama has worked for the American people’s health care as Elizabeth Edwards, Hillary Clinton and on and did. He knocked out HR 676 (Single Payer), then said he supported the Public Option (which we now know he blocked and lied about) and then offered the Medicare Buy In (DOG BONE) for those over 50 (age kept moving…I prefer 4) and then in the END WE DIDN’T EVEN GET THE BONE…we got a SWIFT KICK IN THE AR@!

      Why no one comes up to challenge him in the primary is beyond me.

  23. Minkoff Minx says:

    “Jubilant campaigners have claimed victory in the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the woman whose sentence of death by stoning for adultery triggered an international outcry.”

    Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani 'freed' after outcry over Iran stoning sentence | World news | The Guardian

    If this is indeed true, it is a relief to me…

  24. dakinikat says:

    Just wanted to add this quote from the Hitchen’s article now that I don’t have to type it all in! (Thx MABLUE!!!) Here’s an example of some of Skousen’s blatantly racist screeds.

    To give you a further idea of the man: Skousen’s posthumously published book on the “end times” and the coming day of rapture was charmingly called The Cleansing of America. A book of his with a less repulsive title, The Making of America, turned out to justify slavery and to refer to slave children as “pickaninnies.” And, writing at a time when the Mormon Church was under attack for denying full membership to black people, Skousen defended it from what he described as this “Communist” assault.

  25. Minkoff Minx says:

    Dak, I saw this over at Mediaite…you may find it interesting. I mostly want you to check out the Black clip from the Daily Show.

    Glenn Beck Makes Copious Nazi References | Mediaite

    • dakinikat says:

      thx, I’m convinced he’s nuts. There’s a lot of Birchers in the higher ups of the LDS church. He’s probably getting a lot of his talking points from them.

      • Thursday's Child says:

        I remember the JBS being in the news in the 60s. Hadn’t heard of them in years. I’m really sorry to hear they’re still around.

  26. Thursday's Child says:

    OMG, the 5 year old from hell. What next?

    http://www.post-trib.com/news/lake/2956084,new-lakeridge1209.article

  27. affinis says:

    I’m ethnically Ukrainian (third generation). A lot of Ukrainians who immigrated in roughly the WWII timeframe were virulently anticommunist. I’d occasionally read the main Ukrainian-American newspaper in the 1980’s and find myself surprised by the (not infrequent) presence of JBS articles. JBS is headquartered in WI (my state of residence) – in Appleton – home of Joseph McCarthy. WI has a long history of populism, and a wacko right-wing strain (ala JBS) is one thread of that.

    On the topic of right-wing nuts – I was involved in debunking and exposing the birthers in 2008, and there hasn’t been that much about them in the MSM lately, so I’d mistakenly thought this fringe movement had been dying down somewhat. Was looking into them online this week and was surprised at their current numbers and level of organization. Seems that Missouri (home of Adam Fink – one of the figures who started this whole thing, with his hoax analysis) is an epicenter.