It Isn’t the Spending

Via Sullivan, this David Weigel post:

I’m not surprised by this: I think Republicans have acted (and prematurely popped open champagne) on two assumptions that aren’t true right now.

The first is that voters rejected them in 2006 and 2008 because they spent too much money; the subtext is that voters oppose big government spending, and reward the party that cuts it down. This seems like a tautological argument that’s not backed up by history — how much did former President Ronald Reagan cut spending, after all?

I know this will distress some people to learn that the American public for the most part doesn’t care about spending, but this isn’t really news. If runaway spending really was a concern, more people would know about Gramm/Rudman/Hollings and it might actually be followed and include “off budget” spending, we wouldn’t have to have signs in Times Square counting the national debt, and the Concord Coalition would be more than the topic of a trivia question. Weigel’s observation is spot on, but it isn’t actually news, and one of my favorite bloggers, Daniel Larison, has been pointing this very fact out for, well, months, if not years. Here is a snippet from September, when he was merely irritated at the GOP silliness:

I can’t give an exact date, but at least as far as domestic policy is concerned I believe it must have been in March or April 2007, or at least no more than a few weeks after McCain’s announcement of his candidacy. By the fall of 2007 one of his favorite shots at the Democrats was his line (”I was tied up at the time”) about the earmark for a museum in Woodstock that Clinton had supported. Throughout the primaries McCain’s main line of criticism against the GOP was that it had engaged in too much wasteful spending, by which he meant spending earmarked for various pork projects, and for most of 2008 the issue for McCain, as well as the House minority leadership and many Republican pundits, has been reforming earmarks. One reason for this preoccupation has been the utterly mistaken impression that the 2006 midterms were a punishment for the GOP’s excessive use of earmarks. (To his credit, the head of the NRCC, Tom Cole, has acknowledged that earmarks had nothing to do with the defeat in ’06.) Naturally, having made this practically the centerpiece of his domestic agenda (before drilling became the obsession), he chose a soul running mate reputed for her acceptance of earmarks that McCain himself considered wasteful. Of course, it is a testament to the establishment nature of the GOP leadership and of McCain himself that something as insiderish and obscure to most voters as earmarks has acquired such centrality in the Republican presidential campaign. Nothing says that the GOP has been in power too long better than its insistence that its main failing was attaching too many pork projects to its legislation.

In October, a shift in tone fro irritated to disgusted:

This is one reason why I find the Republican and mainstream conservative turn in the last month or so to little more than excuse-making to be rather troubling, because it repeats the same errors that were made before and after the 2006 election. The GOP lesson from the ‘06 defeat was apparently nothing more than this: we really need to get a handle on earmarks! After the election this time we are likely to hear about how the right should have combated voter fraud more assiduously.

A few weeks ago, he moved from disgusted to fatalistic and bemused:

There is something else about the stimulus business that annoys me. The newfound zeal for fiscal responsibility, such as it is, reveals one of the fundamental problems of the GOP leadership, which is its completely unfounded notion that the GOP is now on the skids because of wasteful spending (and earmarks!). This sounds nice, but there seems to be no reason to think this has any merit as a matter of electoral politics. The anti-earmark mania that dominated the presidential campaign and which seems to control the minds of House leaders has prevailed yet again, suggesting that once again Republican leaders have learned absolutely nothing about why they have suffered two major electoral drubbings. The leadership’s flailing, much like McCain’s during the early days of the financial crisis, sends the message that the GOP has nothing to say to the public that cannot be summed up by the phrase wasteful spending. That doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t oppose wasteful spending, of course, but when they have absolutely nothing else to talk about (except, God help us, the return of the Fairness Doctrine) it is more than a little frustrating to watch.

And while we are all having a chuckle at the absurdity of the Republicans, Democrats would be wise to go back to review Larison’s criticisms leveled at Obama, in which he makes the case that Obama’s chief flaw is that he is too establishment and mainstream (Bacevich fans will note the agreement between Bacevich and Larison regarding Obama and the national security apparatus and foreign policy). Regardless, back to Weigel’s point- of course the Republicans are misreading things, but this is neither a new or shocking development.

*** Update ***

And Larison writes about this again, today:

Suppose for a moment that all observers of the debate agreed that the House Republicans were right that the stimulus bill isn’t fast or effective enough and that it is larded down with all sorts of unnecessary spending, and let’s go one step beyond that and grant for the sake of argument that, say, a payroll tax cut alternative is far superior to what is being offered. Voting against the stimulus bill would still make no sense politically unless you believe two things: 1) the public is hostile to vast increases in spending; 2) the public judges these matters based on a high degree of wonkish detail. The first assumption is appealing to those of us who are hostile to vast increases in spending, but we make up a small portion of the electorate and are unrepresentative of the rest of the country. For that matter, such people make up a small portion of the GOP itself, which is why the sudden return of the GOP’s anti-spending enthusiasm seems so bizarre to me. Of all the times to acquire zeal for austerity, which is rarely popular in the best of times and risky even for popular majority parties, they have chosen the middle of a recession after having taken two huge electoral drubbings. This is something like discovering antiwar scruples only in the middle of an invasion. The second assumption about how the public judges the debate is simply fantastic. At most, these measures are judged by the parties’ stated priorities and their rhetoric.

Go read it.






140 replies
  1. 1
    MazeDancer says:

    The President was campaign- level persuasive at the Indiana town hall. PR perfect pitch. Made total sense. Made the people bickering against this total sense seem out of touch. When the President says that if we’re going to have to spend, we ought to be spending on things we need and things that create jobs for the future and things that will make America not just competitive but leader of the new economy, then all the discussion of "pork" and "spending not stimulus" seems like crumpled, ancient, useless, grubby leftovers of another era.

  2. 2
    liberal says:

    If runaway spending really was a concern, more people would know about Gramm/Rudman/Hollings…

    Nope. G-R-H was a failure.

    The legislation that actually started us down the road of fiscal sanity was the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990 and its subsequent amendments.

  3. 3
    TenguPhule says:

    of course the Republicans are misreading things, but this is neither a new or shocking development.

    And the Sun rises in the East.

  4. 4
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Man bites dog. ;)

    No shit. I heard the "earmarks" crap right off and I knew it was only their attempt to put a label to their failure in ’06 in a lame attempt to reframe the loss as having been due to those darn "earmarks" and not their outright shitty performance and partisanship.

    The Rushublicans do this all of the time, like MD20/20 and his goat-roping festival last night. Problem? Move the goalposts. Someone notice you moved the goalposts? Move the goalposts again.

    Wash, rinse, repeat as necessary. But whatever they do, they never admit that they ever moved the goalposts. If necessary, they move the damn things again to change the subject.

  5. 5
    Dave says:

    The entire GOP apparatus is rotting from the inside. All they have talked about since the election is earmarks, tax cuts and the continuing hagiography of Reagan.
     
    There hasn’t been one, one original idea from their side about any of the myriad problems that we face right now. Do they even have any ideas on foreign policy beyond texting "I Luv Israel 4eva!" to each other during business hours? Their health care solution consists of shouting "Not Canada/Britain" over and over again until your ears bleed.
     
    It’s sad and pathetic and, worst of all, dangerous. Not only because if they got the levers of power in their hands again it would be the End Times, but because in a two-party system you need two functional parties working together in a give-and-take fashion. If this were a school reunion, the Democrats are dancing by themselves while the GOP is spiking the punch bowl and talking about how awesome high school was.

  6. 6
    Josh Hueco says:

    @Conservatively Liberal:
    You forgot "Toss dozens of additional footballs out on the field, labeled ‘Obama’s Aunt,’ ‘Planned Parenthood,’ et al to confuse the players even more."

  7. 7
    liberal says:

    …the Concord Coalition would be more than the topic of a trivia question.

    LOL!

    A: "The president of this group is a hypocritical POS who claims to be in interested in fiscal prudence, yet also thinks hedge fund managers’ income should be taxed as capital gains, when in fact it’s not their capital."

    Q: What is the Concord Coalition?

  8. 8
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    @Josh Hueco:

    No, they would throw soccer balls with those labels. Sows more confusion. ;)

    Goal posts? Soccer balls?! WTF??!!

  9. 9
    TenguPhule says:

    Problem? Move the goalposts. Someone notice you moved the goalposts? Move the goalposts again.

    Also, has anyone else noticed how fucking infuriating the Media is with this 60 votes needed to pass anything the moment Democrats took majority and buried any memory of up or down votes and how when Republicans ruled the magic number was 51?

  10. 10
    kay says:

    White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, from the White House transcript:

    " I think it’s illuminating because it may not necessarily be where cable television is on all of this. But, you know, we’re sort of used to that. We lost on cable television virtually every day last year. So, you know, there’s a conventional wisdom to what’s going on in America via Washington, and there’s the reality of what’s happening in America."

    Gibbs is addressing the apparent disconnect between House Republicans and cable television pundits and the Gallup polling data.

    I’m a little surprised that Republicans have decided to run the exact same campaign they lost three months ago, up to and including daily appearances by John McCain.

    I’ll admit that caught me off guard. It’s completely bizarre, but I’m going with it.

    I’m following Obama in Elkhart today, online. I would not be at all surprised if John McCain appeared and held a Town Hall, across the street.

  11. 11
    TenguPhule says:

    Goal posts? Soccer balls?! WTF??!!

    Followed by Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh streaking around the field with baseball bats and insisting it was a foul ball.

  12. 12
    Zifnab25 says:

    We don’t really need a two party system. What we need is a multi-candidate system. And any blind chimp can get on the ballot. So we are covered there. We also need a multi-opinion system. But that is harder.

  13. 13
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Well duh! The media knows the Democrats will fold faster than a lawn chair, hence the 51. They also know that the Rushublicans are batshit crazy and will fight tooth and nail against any Democratic plans, hence the 60.

    ;)

    Followed by Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh streaking around the field with baseball bats and insisting it was a foul ball.

    Intimate contact with either Malkin or Coulter would be considered a ‘foul ball’.

  14. 14
    Comrade Dread says:

    Yeah, this has been pretty obvious for some time. I remember hanging out in conservative sites where earmarks were all the rage.

    They never could quite grasp the fact that earmarks make up such a small fraction of government spending that cutting them would have zero impact on the overall size of government.

    They were also not responsive to my suggestions that if they were serious about cutting government hand outs and waste, the Defense Department budget would be a good place to start.

  15. 15
    Josh Hueco says:

    @Conservatively Liberal:

    Haha…You know, it’s too bad this establishment doesn’t have some conservative commenters of quality. I actually wouldn’t mind ND30 if he would make arguments or link to sites in good faith—but he doesn’t. Buffalo Billputsthelotiononitself is creepy loner guy with a freezer full of cat heads crazy. Scrutator and Atanajurat are obvious spoofs. Wisdom and Samuel are amateurs. I think the best conservative we have on this site is John. :-/

  16. 16
    kid bitzer says:

    can’t blame the republicans altogether.

    they hang out on the talk shows, and talk show hosts *love* to rail against earmarks.

    nobody in fucking america cares. but for some reason, "earmarks" sounds really serious and sober to the meet-the-press crowd.

  17. 17
    TenguPhule says:

    Intimate contact with either Malkin or Coulter would be considered a ‘foul ball’

    Intimate contact with either involves contact with foul balls.

    Badumbum-*crash*

  18. 18
    TenguPhule says:

    nobody in fucking america cares. but for some reason, "earmarks" sounds really serious and sober to the meet-the-press crowd.

    Incorrect.

    Any money brought to their own district is "bringing home the bacon". Any money for anyone else is "wasteful earmarks".

  19. 19
    The Populist says:

    I read a story once that some blogger had intimate relations with Coulter. Don’t know if it was a spoof or anything, but it sure was funny.

    Ann Coulter would be scary naked. Michelle Malkin is not the hottie she thinks she is and I’ll bet she looks kind of sloppy in the nude.

    There is a rightie chick on Fox I think might be hot but, then again, they’d bore me with their sheeple thought processes.

  20. 20
    Bootlegger says:

    Was there ever a defense spending measure opposed by Republicans? You can’t claim to be a steward of the people’s money when the largest expenditure is off-limits, earning only an American-hater epitaph if one suggests controlling wasteful defense spending.

  21. 21
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    @Josh Hueco:

    I miss Darrell, he was a quality troll. His endless shit was entertaining to no end, like an endless fountain of stupid that would never quit giving up gold. I know he is still out there, recharging. I hope he returns one day for one last round for old times sake.

    One day we will get a troll who is the caliber of Darrell and all will be right in the world of BJ once again.

  22. 22
    Josh Hueco says:

    Footage of Obama’s town hall speech, via dem Groessen Orangen Teufel.

  23. 23
    The Populist says:

    The right hate earmarks yet their new hero Sarah Palin LOVES them.

    Funny, she cries about socialism on the left yet can’t look in the mirror to see that what she is doing in Alaska is the very definition of socialism!

  24. 24
    The Populist says:

    The right lost the RIGHT to criticize any spending with all the mess they created in the Bush years.

    1 trillion folks. I dare the right to defend that nonsense.

  25. 25
    stickler says:

    Well, there is another reason why the GOP leadership seems focused on the trivial and the nutty. To seriously examine where the party is headed means coming to grips with the intellectual bankruptcy of the party’s leaders. And, to be frank, this was true back in 2000, and is one of the reasons George W. Bush’s Presidency was so craptacular. There is no philosophy of government in the GOP anymore. None. Just slavish adherence to marginally-successful campaign tactics.

    Because to seriously examine where the party is headed — Confederacy + Utah, and irrelevant everywhere else — would mean rejecting one of their increasingly incompatible core constituencies. Which would they jettison? Big business? Fundagelical Christianists? Racist crackers?

    No. Far easier to whinge on about the Fairness Doctrine, or earmarks, or honeybee insurance. Country First!

  26. 26
    Martin says:

    Heh. Crist is joining Obama to rally for simulus. Has Red State called him a commie yet? Cross another off the 2012 purity list.

  27. 27
    woody says:

    Progs and Libs wanted the election to be a repudiation of the last 8 years of conservatard rule. It wasn’t. Had it been, the margin would have been greater.

    Obama’s election was certainly a rebuke to the centuries of racial bigotry and discrimination. But his complicity in many, many pieces of repressive and regressive legislation, his contingent ‘opposition’ to the wars and the reductions of human and civil rights in the US and elsewhere, his embrace of the breaching of the wall of separation, all this vitiates the idea that the USer electorate was rejecting the policies of the past; only one or several of the politicians…

  28. 28
    The Moar You Know says:

    @The Populist: Not 1 trillion. The Bush/DeLay years added 5 trillion to the national credit card.

  29. 29
    The Populist says:

    Moar,

    Good point, I keep thinking of the YEARLY number instead of adding it up. Last i read wasn’t it closer to 8 trillion?

  30. 30
    The Populist says:

    Heh. Crist is joining Obama to rally for simulus. Has Red State called him a commie yet? Cross another off the 2012 purity list.

    Charlie is like Ahnuld. They both aren’t really died in the wool righties. They are seen by many on the right as RINOs.

  31. 31
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Couple random (but deep) thoughts.

    First, people camped out in Ft. Myers FL to get in and see Obama in his upcoming appearance there.

    Second, Joe Lieberman has been on the tube in the last few mins pimping the stimulus and urgent action.

    That’s the same Joe Lie-berman who campaigned for the insane and corrupt John McCain only weeks ago, who, had he become president, would now be AGAINST the stimulus that Lie-berman says is essential to our economic recovery right now.

    ( head, desk, bang )

    I can’t process some of this shit.

  32. 32
    Josh Hueco says:

    @The Populist:

    Charlie’s pissed at the RNC because he went to the trouble to get married to a woman and McCain still passed him over for VP.

  33. 33
    The Populist says:

    Hey righties, answer me this…

    Why is it a LIBERAL Dem left a surplus when he left office yet none of your heroes (Reagan, Bush, Bush) can’t say the same?

    Weird eh (I know, Billy Bob isn’t a true liberal but I am being rhetorical, so give me that!).

    As one caller to Malloy’s show said, Bill Clinton is the best Republican President we’ve had in a long time. THAT is why the right hated him so much.

  34. 34
    The Populist says:

    Charlie’s pissed at the RNC because he went to the trouble to get married to a woman and McCain still passed him over for VP.

    Good point but i also think Charlie and Arnold are cut from the same cloth politically. They aren’t very loved by the hard right asswipes (not that they are the best governors anyway!).

  35. 35
    The Moar You Know says:

    @The Populist: He didn’t. He did run a surplus for the last two years of his term, but the total deficit rose under Clinton as well. It did not DOUBLE, as it did under every Republican president since and including Reagan, but it did rise.

  36. 36
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Followed by Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh streaking around the field with baseball bats and insisting it was a foul ball.

    And then Eric Cantor would give a sideline report about how that last goal doesn’t count because the offense was in the crease.

  37. 37
    Bootlegger says:

    @Josh Hueco: Anyone seen a link to his Q&A?

  38. 38
    Comrade Dread says:

    Why is it a LIBERAL Dem left a surplus when he left office yet none of your heroes (Reagan, Bush, Bush) can’t say the same?

    From what I understand:

    1. Reagan: Fighting the Commies.
    2. Bush I: There was no Bush I. These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.
    3. Bush II: 9/11

  39. 39
    Bootlegger says:

    @woody: You mean greater than any margin since LBJ? Seriously? After the Wingnuts tried to scare everyone with the Black Boogieman commie terrorist-loving American-hater, and he still blew away Joe and Jane Populist.

  40. 40
    max says:

    I know this will distress some people to learn that the American public for the most part doesn’t care about spending, but this isn’t really news.

    I think they do care about spending, but how much in taxes they pay is more important. When I say they do care about spending, they’d like more of it, in the right place.

    I agree with Larison that the R’s have failed to learn the right lesson, but what is the right lesson? Foremost, obviously, is that no one will support a agenda for less spending, if the government will continue to pester people. If the government is going to pester you (me)(them), then they should probably do something useful, like spend money on useful stuff (such as freeways, and bridges and dams and so on). Meanwhile, if they are going to actually spend less money, they should probably spend less money invading small countries full of easily annoyed brown people, and even less money on defending Germany from Poland. If they aren’t going to do that, why should government spend less on freeways? Lastly, of course, if you’re handing out money to rich people, banks and your 10,000 closest personal freinds, it’s really kind of hard to argue that you should cut fifty bucks a month to a single mom.

    Yet, oddly enough, the GOP has managed to convince itself that it should be invasive, intrusive, tax poor people more, rich people less, and then spend the proceeds in far away foreign lands full of cranky religious nuts, which isn’t wasteful. Coincidentally, spending in the South is also rarely considered wasteful.

    They can’t cut military spending, they can’t cut debt service. They can cut taxes but it all gets sucked up by the relatively wealthy. They can’t cut most other spending, because people would hate them. They can’t adhere to their professed principles, because to do so would contradict their other professed principles. So, in the end, they have to be in favor of a fascist police state mired in massive debt and there’s no bedtime for bonzo if they cut any other spending, and they really can’t go further into debt.

    They can’t stick to their principles except in opposition, because their overarching principles don’t make internal sense; if they admitted that to themselves they wouldn’t have anything to run on, so the only lesson they can learn is the wrong one.

    The odd part is that the Democrats are often such an awful party that the people are willing to give those nitwits a chance, which even those nitwits would admit is probably a bad idea.

    max
    [‘The world makes sense, it’s just that the sense it makes isn’t very nice.’]

  41. 41
    Stuck says:

    Democrats would be wise to go back to review Larison’s criticisms leveled at Obama, in which he makes the case that Obama’s chief flaw is that he is too establishment and mainstream (

    Well yea, I mean how non establishment (whatever that is) can a skinny black dude named Hussein get, at least at first? And I’m not to sure that asking the American people for the largest spending bill in the nations history, notwithstanding the crisis we’re in and the fact that Americans generally aren’t that concerned with government spending, would be all that mainstream. Though there is a limit to the public’s spending acceptance, if the meme of big liberal spending gets a new foothold. We’re likely not there yet, but the TARP before the stimulus, and more TARP and other initiatives after, will push that patience to the limit imo.

    And the republicans at present are now being self victimized by the very strategy that brought to power over the past 30 years. The military like message discipline, together with a mouthful of misleading but patriotic sounding catchwords and phrases don’t work anymore. And now they can’t stop the wulritzer from continuing to whirl. They have no leadership and no new message or ideas, that has not been tried and failed. They are now opportunistic scavengers, only able to feed off dem mistakes, real or perceived. And continue to fail at being a responsible opposition party, which every democracy needs. We are currently a country flying by the seat of it’s pants, with Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins apparently serving as air traffic controllers.

  42. 42
    Josh Hueco says:

    @Bootlegger:

    Here’s a liveblog of the Q&A, with possibly one of the best Obama jpegs ever at the end. :) Will keep searching for video.

  43. 43
    Michael D. says:

    It’s a good thing we’re not in the middle of the worst financial crisis to hit this country in most of our lifetimes and something like this is actually considered news:

    Obama bumps his head

  44. 44
    The Populist says:

    He didn’t. He did run a surplus for the last two years of his term, but the total deficit rose under Clinton as well. It did not DOUBLE, as it did under every Republican president since and including Reagan, but it did rise.

    Moar,

    I understand this but if the righties had stuck to the formula he had left them, like B-Boxer said on the floor, none of this crying about spending would be a big deal in a time of recession.

    Wasn’t it 10 years of surplus would pay off the deficit? That’s what I was inarticulately trying to say with the surplus comment. The idea that if we had applied the yearly surplus per Billy Bob’s plan, our country would be so much better off.

    The fact that a "liberal" did this cracks me up since all the righties do is cry that libs are "tax and spend". In my world, I’d rather have tax and spend politicians than borrow and spend ones. It’s so much easier to fire a tax and spend politician and repeal the taxation than pay off massive debt.

  45. 45
    Stuck says:

    @Michael D.:

    LOL. I guess this awesome event will cut into the Octuplet ladies airtime. And we will all suffer because of it.

  46. 46
    Punchy says:

    OT:

    I just spent 20 minutes of my life I cannot get back on DKos. John, thank GOD you never bit on the whole "troll rate" or "recc list" shit during your site upgrade. What a whore’s bath of liberal nuts over there. Kos is truly cultivating the salliest of the sally Dems.

  47. 47
    BDeevDad says:

    OT but John will want this news. Roethlisberger played with broken ribs

  48. 48
    Rick Taylor says:

    I know this will distress some people to learn that the American public for the most part doesn’t care about spending, but this isn’t really news.

    I’ve said this before, but I care about spending a hell of a lot less after a over sixteen years of the Republicans have used the argument of fiscal responsibility to hamstring Democratic administrations. I watched approvingly as Clinton raised the payroll taxes, a nasty regressive tax, to "save" social security. I watched as we put inessential matters like health care on hold in favor of beginning to turn around the deficits created by the previous decade of Republican administrations. And then I watched as a Republican administration came in and said, hey look at all this money here! And promptly blew it on tax cuts aimed towards the rich and an insane war. And I felt royally screwed. Fool me once, shame on you. So when the village scolds are wringing their hands and opining about how Americans are so irresponsible and don’t care about the deficit, they might want to think about how we got here.

  49. 49
    J. Effingham Bellweather says:

    the national debt clock referenced in the op ran out of digits in early october…

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7660409.stm

  50. 50
    Napoleon says:

    I have said this before, in many ways the Democratic Party of today (and Obama) are the Republican Party of 1976, and the Republican of today is a crazy reactionary nihlist faction that wouldn’t even be given a hearing in 1976.

    We do not have a major left leaning party.

  51. 51
    Stuck says:

    @Punchy:

    At least we know where they are.

  52. 52
    TenguPhule says:

    We are currently a country flying by the seat of it’s pants, with Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins apparently serving as air traffic controllers.

    Worse, our engines have hit a flight of canadian geese with the face of Rush Limbaugh.

  53. 53
    jnfr says:

    One thing I loved about the Elkhart Q&A is that the crowd and the questions were totally un-screened. First come, first served. Truly the anti-Bush.

  54. 54
    The Populist says:

    I have said this before, in many ways the Democratic Party of today (and Obama) are the Republican Party of 1976, and the Republican of today is a crazy reactionary nihlist faction that wouldn’t even be given a hearing in 1976.

    They make libertarians and other third party whack job parties sound normal by comparison. The GOP is more or less an extension of the crazies in the Constitutionalist Party.

  55. 55
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @Conservatively Liberal:

    There are two goalposts in soccer. They stand beneath the crossbar.

  56. 56
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    I agree with Larison that the R’s have failed to learn the right lesson, but what is the right lesson?

    In 2006, it might have been that demonizing Mexicans was a dumb move politically.

  57. 57

    They make libertarians and other third party whack job parties sound normal by comparison.

    Tru dat.

    Ron Paul is crazy, man, but Rudy Guiliani and Tom DeLay are very serious people.

  58. 58

    OT: OK so the Obama administration is an abysmal failure and the end of the world is coming anyway, BUT what other President had his very own lava lamp after being in office less than a month? HA!

  59. 59
    John S. says:

    Crist is joining Obama to rally for simulus.

    As others have pointed out, he is a dying breed. But if he wants a shot at getting elected to the Senate in 2010 when Mel Martinez leaves, he will have to continue to appeal to moderates and conservative Democrats.

    Florida is – and has been – a purple state for quite some time.

  60. 60
    Joshua Norton says:

    1 trillion folks. I dare the right to defend that nonsense.

    Not only that, but they can’t account where the bulk of the money went. They just whine that it’s too hard to keep track of it all.

  61. 61

    I don’t think Crist is a dying breed.

    It hit me today: Barack Obama intends to "change the tone in Washington" by inventing a better Republican Party.

  62. 62

    Re: Lava Lamps; The thing you need to know about lava lamps is that they are dangerous. A review of the Obama lava lamp led me to this quote from Lava Lite, LLC’s Larry Gutkin:

    “We believe this lamp captures Mr. Obama’s charisma and optimism, which are reinforced with the words “Yes We Can” on the back of the lamp.”

    But this lamp is better than Mr. Gutkin lets on to. The back of the lamp says: “Yes We Can!” I may buy one of these lava lamps. Perhaps there is one coming out with Deval Patrick’s face on the front and a “Together We Can!” on the back.

    Lava Light, LLC is owned by Talon Merchant Capital, which, one week ago was acquired by Liquidation World Inc. Liquidation World, Inc. lost $2.7 million last quarter, which is strange, as one would think liquidators would be doing well in this economy. I would like lava lamps more if the lava lamp company was run by some guy, working out of his basement.

  63. 63
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Punchy: I left the fold of the GOS in 2006; they had gone way over the top back then. It’s worse now. Reading it today is painful. A larger bunch of unquestioning, groupthinking sheep can’t be found anywhere.

  64. 64
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Backyard Crematory Bill: Imagine. A consumer product is dangerous when you do something with it you are totally not supposed to:

    Kent police said Phillip Quinn put the lamp on a hot stovetop

    Do you read anything all the way through? A beer bottle would do the same thing under the same circumstances.

  65. 65
    georgia pig says:

    "Obama’s chief flaw is that he is too establishment and mainstream"

    That’s what you do when you want to co-opt the establishment. The Republicans got uncritical business support for years by shoveling out C of C bromides and giving out tax and regulatory goodies. However, most businesspeople are not idealogues or crooks. As DougJ said in an earlier post, even they’re starting to be scared of the crazy neo-confederates in the current Republican party. Obama went to Indiana and Florida, both purple states led by "moderate" republicans and in deep shit economically. Besides trying to get some emergency palliatives out the door quickly, he’s using the stimulus (and probably TARP II) to drive a wedge between "reformable" business interests and the real crooks and ideologues. It’s kind of a "clear and hold" counterinsurgency strategy. Secure Indiana and Florida, force the GOP deeper into their redoubts in Alabama and the Fox News studios. Maybe he got the idea from Petraeus.

  66. 66
    Zifnab says:

    @John S.:

    As others have pointed out, he is a dying breed. But if he wants a shot at getting elected to the Senate in 2010 when Mel Martinez leaves, he will have to continue to appeal to moderates and conservative Democrats.

    He’s a state governor. Obama is proposing a bill that gives him money. A number of other noted Republican Governors have come out in favor of it.

    Having your state tank out while you’re in the Governor’s mansion probably won’t do good things for a reelection bid. GOoPers can come off dumb, but you don’t get elected to a statewide office by being completely stupid.

  67. 67
    Rick Taylor says:

    This new guy who’s going to help save the Republican party, Michal Steele, is quite funny. Via Josh Marshall, he’s said the stimulus is just a wish list from people who want some bling bling. I’m assuming by now everyone’s seen the video in which he explains how government is incapable of creating jobs?

    Republican’s are on their way to long term irrelevance. There plenty of Americans who care about the jobless and who are angry at the way corporations wield power, but have put up with them because of "values", that’s going to get less and less important as the economy sours, and the Republican party is doing everything it can to turn these voters away.

  68. 68
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    The entire GOP apparatus is rotting from the inside. All they have talked about since the election is earmarks, tax cuts and the continuing hagiography of Reagan.

    There hasn’t been one, one original idea from their side about any of the myriad problems that we face right now.

    Even if this has been mentioned here at B Juice before, it’s too rich not to revisit:

    "The Republican National Committee, under new chairman Michael Steele, has quietly killed an ambitious plan to create the Center for Republican Renewal, a big in-house RNC think tank intended to develop new policies and ideas in order to take the party in a new direction, a Republican official who was directly informed of the decision by RNC staff tells me. "

    Link

  69. 69
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @The Moar You Know: A larger bunch of unquestioning, groupthinking sheep can’t be found anywhere.

    Last I looked, Democratic Underground could give them a run for it – but that was some years back.

  70. 70
    Martin says:

    There hasn’t been one, one original idea from their side about any of the myriad problems that we face right now.

    What about tax cuts? Have they mentioned that before?

  71. 71
    The Other Steve says:

    The GOP is accusing the Democrats of spending it on earmarks and pet projects because that’s how they would spend it if they were in charge.

  72. 72

    Again O/T: This is good advice The Moar You Know. If I do end up buying an Obama lava lamp to help capture a piece of the optimism and charisma, I will remember to not put it on the stovetop. I will probably put it next to my bed, so when I wake up, it will cheer me.

    Though I do not believe that a beer bottle would explode very violently, if at all. A beer bottle has a compressible gas, in the form of Carbon Dioxide, in addition to the liquid in the confined space that is the bottle. It might explode, but the bottle would be so hot, that the glass would not be very rigid. Maybe it would rupture.

    Perhaps the bottle would turn molten, deform itself, and I could sell them as art. That $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts is sounding better. If you hear of Brick Oven Bottles ©, you will know that is me.

    I may try this out when the weather warms. But I do think that lava lamps are more dangerous than beer bottles.

  73. 73
    Dave says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Better yet, their big focus right now is a tech summit:

    A Republican closely involved with the changes at the party said the summit "underscores the seriousness with which the new chairman takes the party’s deficiency in terms of the use of technology internally and externally," and the fact that "the Republican party is well behind the Democratic Party.

    Talk about missing the forest for the trees. Your problem isn’t technology, Mike, it’s your utter lack of ideas and solutions. Being able to Twitter "TAX CUTS! TAX CUTS! HATE TEH GAYS!!" ain’t gonna help you much.
     
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/.....ummit.html

  74. 74

    BJ hates me I have tried to post this point three times now and either my puter or the site just ate it. Anyhow after having just got back from lunch and listening to Limbaugh in the car (know thine enemy) spouting that the calls to congressional offices are 100s to 1 AGAINST the bill I am saying this again. WHERE is the 13 million strong e-mail address list that we heard about after the campaign. Cannot SOMEONE send out an e-mail saying "please call/write/e-mail/fax your local representative and tell them to support the bill. KTHXBAI your cool new POTUS."
    If these idiots start getting calls etc., overwhelmingly supporting the bill then they would be fools to overlook it." Pehaps this is what the pres plans and it is the card he has up his sleeve but it is frustrating me, however I know that the pres is far smarter than I so perhaps I should just sit back and watch the game and hope that Maverick really does know that next card is an ace.

    PS) I can has open thread? KTHX

  75. 75
    Martin says:

    Though I do not believe that a beer bottle would explode very violently, if at all.

    Do us a favor – try it and report the results.

    Please.

  76. 76
    Punchy says:

    @The Moar You Know: Yup, 2006 for me as well. Dems took Congress, but Dkossers just couldn’t fathom why Congress couldn’t impeach the Pres, arrest the Vice, reverse every single bill passed 4 years prior, bring the ponies, and get Jess Alba naked in a movie. Every other diary for the next 6 months straight was full-on deleterious apoplexy.

  77. 77
    Martin says:

    If these idiots start getting calls etc., overwhelmingly supporting the bill then they would be fools to overlook it.

    What makes you think they aren’t? Or are you under the belief that Rush doesn’t lie about pretty much everything?

    Polling suggests that the public is overwhelmingly in favor of this. Governors are. Businesses are. This will pass just fine. Let the GOP fight against something that the public wants. Let Rush rail against it.

  78. 78
    Stuck says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    Though I do not believe that a beer bottle would explode very violently, if at all. A beer bottle has a compressible gas, in the form of Carbon Dioxide, in addition to the liquid in the confined space that is the bottle. It might explode, but the bottle would be so hot, that the glass would not be very rigid. Maybe it would rupture.

    I swear BoB, I’ve come to believe you are either a frackin’ wizard, or completely deranged. So until it becomes clear which, I am going to refer to you as our whack-a-doodle "Macgyver". And I’m sure I’ll regret it.

    In fact, I already do.

  79. 79
    Mike S says:

    John,

    Your old buddy at Confederate Yankee had an awesome screed the other day.

    The multi-generational financial rape that Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and so many members of our Congress are trying to force down our throats—under increasing threats and ever-louder fear-mongering—is a betrayal of the core ideals of our Founding Fathers.

    Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Franklin… they did not want a large and powerful government. They went to war against such a monstrosity, one that had strangled them with punitive taxation and oppressive government. The fought tooth and nail for to establish a free republic where Americans could enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    Our socialist President and his Democratic Party acolytes are not breaking any laws in trying to ram this $1 trillion dollar of waste down our throats… and wouldn’t hold themselves accountable if they were.

    As with many tyrannical governments of the past, they’re sincere in their belief that encroaching further into our lives—taking a little more liberty, putting up one more fence post at a time—is for our own good.

    But power only makes governments hungry for more power, and a point is eventually reached when that strangling power, that encroaching fence, must be put asunder before to envelops those who love liberty and turns them into slaves.

    We face a very simple choice here, in early February of 2009, my fellow Americans.

    We stop the fencing today.

    We stop our government, Republican and Democrat alike, and declare that they will not have their bloated stimulus, this financial rape of our children’s future, that dwarfs the costs of the entire Iraq War and Afghan War combined.

    We will shout out NO MORE.

    Or in the not too distant future, we will face a far darker decision, that of surrendering what little of our freedom that remains to the all powerful government, or sharpening our tusks, and going to war yet again against tyranny. Hopefully, you will act to day and not allow yourself to be led dumbly into that pen. You will stop it, now, before it can successfully be constructed.

    There are pig farmers in the White House and Congress that would see you led in captivity so that they may dine on your fatted flesh.

    Will you be led to slaughter.

    Or will you be free?

    Posted by Confederate Yankee at February 6, 2009 02:05 PM

  80. 80
    TenguPhule says:

    Anyhow after having just got back from lunch and listening to Limbaugh in the car (know thine enemy) spouting that the calls to congressional offices are 100s to 1 AGAINST the bill I am saying this again.

    Anyone who believes anything Rush says without evidence from a more trustworthy source deserves to be mocked without mercy.

  81. 81
    TenguPhule says:

    A beer bottle has a compressible gas, in the form of Carbon Dioxide, in addition to the liquid in the confined space that is the bottle. It might explode, but the bottle would be so hot, that the glass would not be very rigid. Maybe it would rupture.

    Only BOB can take all the relevant facts and come to a completely wrong conclusion.

  82. 82
    Mike S says:

    @Mike S:

    cripes. The whole thing was in block quotes in preview.

    I blame the Democrats.

  83. 83
    bootlegger says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Phone calls to congress is not an accurate sampling method. Rush probably made 50 of those calls and Hannity the other 50.

  84. 84
    Zifnab says:

    @Dave:

    Talk about missing the forest for the trees. Your problem isn’t technology, Mike, it’s your utter lack of ideas and solutions. Being able to Twitter "TAX CUTS! TAX CUTS! HATE TEH GAYS!!" ain’t gonna help you much.

    Can’t hurt.

    I think the GOP might have an easier time selling their snake oil if they were more versed in modern mediums. Republicans have more or less dominated television and radio news, they’ve made massive inroads into the classroom, and they’ve co-opted most major religions to a frightening degree. But their inability to tap the internet as a fund raising and rabble rousing tool has hurt them in the last few elections.

    Keep in mind that 46% of the vote went to John McCain. We’re not talking about huge margins of victory, even if Obama did win in an electoral landslide. Simply cultivating and broadcasting a more effective message could aid them in the long run even if they don’t change their policies.

    It scares the hell out of me, but it’s not something I’m blind to.

  85. 85
    gbear says:

    I may try this out when the weather warms. But I do think that lava lamps are more dangerous than beer bottles.

    Probably doesn’t make much difference if someone is hitting you over the head with it.

    Also, my old band never played ANYwhere where someone threw a lava lamp at us. In my experience, lava lamps have caused lots less consternation than beer bottles.

  86. 86
    Laura W says:

    @kay:

    I’m following Obama in Elkhart today, online. I would not be at all surprised if John McCain appeared and held a Town Hall, across the street.

    I have come to count on you for my MDR McCain guffaw, kay.

  87. 87
    The Populist says:

    Did anybody hear the exchange between Obama and the Hannity fan in Indiana today? Wow…

    I LOVE how he not only acknowledged Hannity in a way that was both respectful yet uncaring, he then said he’d love to have a beer with the guy except Sean doesn’t like him very much.

    If Bush was asked that question (he usually would ignore it or have his goons keep potential problems out in the first place) he would never acknowledge the names of his critics.

    Obama is one funny fella. This kind of exchange must piss the right off. They can’t rattle this fella AND he’s funny in a way even a rightie can laugh with.

  88. 88
    The Populist says:

    Rush probably made 50 of those calls and Hannity the other 50.

    Kinda hard to do since I doubt Rush would be very good at hiding that bombastic speaking style of his while Hannity would need help via text message to come up with something to say.

  89. 89
    The Populist says:

    "The Republican National Committee, under new chairman Michael Steele, has quietly killed an ambitious plan to create the Center for Republican Renewal, a big in-house RNC think tank intended to develop new policies and ideas in order to take the party in a new direction, a Republican official who was directly informed of the decision by RNC staff tells me. "

    Yawn…isn’t Steele in trouble for giving campaign money to a defunct company registered under his sister’s name?

  90. 90
    SGEW says:

    O/T

    Obama Administration Maintains Bush Position on ‘Extraordinary Rendition’ Lawsuit

    The Obama Administration today announced that it would keep the same position as the Bush Administration in the lawsuit Mohamed et al v Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc.

    Glenn Greenwald reacts:

    As I wrote after interviewing Wizner two weeks ago: "This is the first real test of the authenticity of Obama’s commitment to reverse the abuses of executive power over the last eight years." Today, the Obama administration failed that test — resoundingly and disgracefully:

    This is the one thing I won’t let slide. Pardon me while I go put my protester hat back on.

  91. 91
    jenniebee says:

    @Zifnab: I disagree. Broadcasting and print publications are inherently top-down media; twitter and other internet communication strategies are much more inherently democratic. Republican ideas have flourished in the age when big businesses have run the information dissemination outlets and chosen to shape information in ways most favorable to them. They fail on the net because it is so much harder on the net to prevent infiltration of their message by dissent, facts, and (on the other side) freepermaniacal lunacy.

    Live by the oligarchy, die by the mob.

  92. 92

    @TenguPhule:

    Okay okay I was simply pointing out what Rush said because that is what the republican obstructionists have ALSO been saying on tee vee for two straight weeks. All I am saying is what the is the use of having 13 million e-mail addresses, all supposedly ON YOUR SIDE, if you don’t use them?

    Also it was refreshing to see Joe this morning on prompting from Mika that yes the Republicans are fucking hypocrits, every last one of them. (he didn’t curse of course, he learned that lesson!) I think it was Barnicle that then said "ah but now they’ve all found god!"

  93. 93
    SGEW says:

    more

    Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU said of the decision: “Eric Holder’s Justice Department stood up in court today and said that it would continue the Bush policy of invoking state secrets to hide the reprehensible history of torture, rendition and the most grievous human rights violations committed by the American government. This is not change."

    If there isn’t some very quick changes made by Holder and Justice, I will be one very, very sad li’l civil liberties fellow.

  94. 94
    Mike in NC says:

    Anyone who believes anything Rush says without evidence from a more trustworthy source deserves to be mocked without mercy.

    Just needed some light editing…

  95. 95
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Rush probably made 50 of those calls and Hannity the other 50.

    Nah, Rush just lent his call-screeners to the Congressfolk for a while.

  96. 96
    The Populist says:

    If there isn’t some very quick changes made by Holder and Justice, I will be one very, very sad li’l civil liberties fellow.

    I’d trade this for the total destruction of the Patriot Act. As I’ve said from day one, let’s see where this is going. For all we know this is part of an ongoing game of chess.

  97. 97
    Stuck says:

    @SGEW:

    I’m not criticizing you for wanting to protest this, but will add another one of the updates from ABC.

    UPDATE: ABC News’ Jason Ryan reports that Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller said of the case, "It is the policy of this administration to invoke the state secrets privilege only when necessary and in the most appropriate cases, consistent with the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Reynolds that the privilege not ‘be lightly invoked.’" Miller said that Attorney General Eric Holder has started a review of all state secret privilege matters. "The Attorney General has directed that senior Justice Department officials review all assertions of the State Secrets privilege to ensure that the privilege is being invoked only in legally appropriate situations. It is vital that we protect information that, if released, could jeopardize national security."
    "The Justice Department will ensure the privilege is not invoked to hide from the American people information about their government’s actions that they have a right to know. This administration will be transparent and open, consistent with our national security obligations," Miller said.

    They are still reviewing the program to weedle out what happened and whether some material might not need to be released. Maybe putting folks in danger and other auxiliary info about sources and methods. But it is something to speak up about and watch closely imo.

  98. 98
    TenguPhule says:

    All I am saying is what the is the use of having 13 million e-mail addresses, all supposedly ON YOUR SIDE, if you don’t use them?

    Because no matter the number, Republicans are unable to hear anything a DFH has to say.

    We are all DFH now.

  99. 99
    TenguPhule says:

    Live by the oligarchy, die by the mob.

    If only.

  100. 100
    bootlegger says:

    @The Populist: Good points. Perhaps they hired illegal immigrants to do the work for them? Or in Rush’s case some of his junkie friends.

  101. 101

    Last O/T, but I have looked into Martin’s suggestion, and the results are interesting.

    The glass transition temperature for glass is around 1000F, which is hotter than the ambient temperature in the oven (800F), but cooler than the burning coals (~2000F). From the pressure cooker ladies, we gather that a five psi rise in pressure, corresponds with 15F temperature rise. The pressure cooker ladies only go up to 15psi however.

    So at the glass transition temperature of 1000F, we will make the simplistic assumption of a linear and proportional pressure rise within the pressure cooker-beer bottle of 300 psi. This pressure is twice as high as the rating of those big plastic municipal water pipes, which appear, to me, to be more robust than a beer bottle.

    So I think the best bet would be to place the bottle directly on the coals, and hope that this direct heat would bring a localized portion of the bottle to the glass transition temperature, changing it, before the pressure within the bottle achieves the assumed 300 psi equilibrium pressure. If the beer achieved film boiling at the point of contact, this is fully realistic.

    This is much safer than using a wood burning over for petroleum research, as the energy contained in a hot beer bottle is relatively limited, relative to an oil shale sample. But nonetheless, this should not be tried by anyone except me, ever. I will report the results, when the time comes.

  102. 102
    bootlegger says:

    @SGEW: Will he get a question on this at tonight’s news conference? My Magic 8 Ball proclaims: "ask again later"???????

    You try it .

    Update: now it says "Absolutely!"

  103. 103
    gwangung says:

    They are still reviewing the program to weedle out what happened and whether some material might not need to be released. Maybe putting folks in danger and other auxiliary info about sources and methods. But it is something to speak up about and watch closely imo.

    It sounds more than a tad weasly…

    On the other hand, this may be the result of burrowing from the last administration, with a lot of mud being thrown in the water and "national security" being invoked where it shouldn’t be by burrowed weasels, and no one knowing what’s legit or not.

    At any rate, I see no problem with raising your voice and keeping pressure on to keep procedures open. That’s a Good Thing to do, no matter what.

  104. 104
    John Cole says:

    You know what? I am sure this will give someone the opportunity to call me an Obama cultist, but considering Holder just got confirmed a week ago and I doubt Marty Lederman and Dawn Johnsen know their office phone numbers yet let alone everything that happened the last eight years and what and where Obama should redraw the lines, I am going to wait on issues like this before I freak the fuck out.

    Sorry. But if shit like this is going down in April or May, I am going to have a different take. Right now, I will let it pass.

  105. 105
    Punchy says:

    I am glad the Obama Admin has upheld state’s secrets. I would not want others to know that Wyoming is really filled with gay-hating assholes, that Alabama just learned how to use indoor plumbing, and that Tennessee makes whiskey to hide rampant use of pot which conceals the rampant production of meth which masks the abject poverty of most of the state.

    Them are secrets we guard at all costs.

  106. 106
    bootlegger says:

    @Punchy: Don’t blame the whisky and the weed!

  107. 107
    Perry Como says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Americans have organized Economic Recovery House Meetings in all 50 states — including 382 in California, 255 in Florida, 115 in Ohio, 199 in New York, 105 in Washington, and 149 in Texas.

    That’s part of the most recent email.

  108. 108
    bootlegger says:

    @John Cole: Here’s what the Justice lawyer said

    the new administration — the new DOJ — had actively reviewed this case and vetted the Bush positions and decisively opted to embrace the same positions.

    Via Glenzilla.

  109. 109
    JL says:

    @Mike S: Through trial and error, I discovered that you have to get rid of the spaces between the paragraphs.

  110. 110
    Stuck says:

    I am glad the Obama Admin has upheld state’s secrets

    Yes, but i for one will insist on getting the exact dimensions of Cheney’s testicles. America needs to know.

  111. 111

    @Mike in NC:

    Don’t make me come down there Mike, I’m only 45 mins away.

  112. 112
    TenguPhule says:

    as the energy contained in a hot beer bottle is relatively limited, relative to an oil shale sample.

    Unspoofable.

  113. 113
    SGEW says:

    @John Cole: I understand the sentiment, believe me (see, e.g., me repeatedly saying "C.T.F.O." about the stimulus, Clinton’s appointment, Daschle’s tax and lobbying mischief, etc. etc.).

    However, this malignant state secrets argument is one of the chief legal mechanisms that the Bush administration used in their unconstitutional lawfare. I’m not going to shift on this one, not one bit. The trepidation I had over the FISA vote (and rationale) is nothing compared to this, and if Holder and Justice don’t explain themselves very convincingly it won’t be long before I wind up [civil disobedience tactic excised].

    Remember: Lederman and Johnson are in the OLC, not Justice. Accountability on this one goes straight to the A.G. and the Chief (who should fucking know better).

  114. 114
    J. says:

    I say screw the Republicans and Democrats! Let’s hold a nationwide popular vote on the stimulus plan, like we do with other budgetary initiatives, referendums, and propositions!

  115. 115
    TenguPhule says:

    the new DOJ —had actively reviewed this case and vetted the Bush positions and decisively opted to embrace the same positions.

    Last I heard, the whole mess was under review.

    Given just how badly Bush screwed the pooch without any lube, it could take the new DOJ weeks or months to untangle. I’ll believe it when I see the official press release.

  116. 116
    Ash Can says:

    @Punchy: Yep, there are a lot of people running around on that site with their hair on fire, but it’s still a decent one-stop source of news tidbits and lengthier articles which are actually very well researched. You just have to pick through a few piles of junk to find the good stuff.

    @Mike S: Wow. That’s a primo example of sheer frothing lunacy there. I’m all in favor of contrarian views when they’re lucid and sensible, but holy crap, what the fuck is that?

  117. 117
    Mike S says:

    @JL:

    Thanks.

  118. 118
    Laura W says:

    @Obama cultist: Can we please have a thread for the press conf tonight?
    Also, the more I read BO Bill, the more his pacing and phrasing remind me of CatHat. Which is actually a compliment to both of them, ironically enough.

  119. 119
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    I will report the results

    By all means, do. Just not here.

  120. 120

    Laura, you will note that you have never seen TheHatOnMyCat and me in the same place at the same time. Think about it.

  121. 121
    Napoleon says:

    @SGEW:

    Bush didn’t come up with the state secret doctrine. I want to say it has been invoked by everyone since Truman. I am not defending it, I think the courts have abdicated their constitutional responsibility by buying it (they should instead simply grant an "in camera" review of the evidence the government says is sensitive). Similarly I think Congress is not bound, and have abdicated their constitutional responsibility.

    But the doctrine was not a big issue with Truman, Eisenhower . . .Carter, Ford, etc. and Obama is not Bush.

  122. 122
    Krista says:

    Totally OT, but there appears to exist a cat who puts Tunch (and the late, great Walter) to shame in the girth department.

  123. 123
    Stuck says:

    Cloture vote on stimulus starting now on Cspan2

  124. 124
    The Moar You Know says:

    But nonetheless, this should not be tried by anyone except me, ever. I will report the results, when the time comes.

    @Backyard Crematory Bill: Guess what, Brick Oven Dumbfuck, I wasn’t posting the beer bottle scenario as a hypothetical. I’ve done it. The bottle explodes. Quite violently.

  125. 125
    The Populist says:

    I say screw the Republicans and Democrats! Let’s hold a nationwide popular vote on the stimulus plan, like we do with other budgetary initiatives, referendums, and propositions!

    (buzzer sound)…WRONG.

  126. 126
    Laura W says:

    @Krista: and what a name, huh?
    Digweed too much get munchies.
    He looks like Tyler, I think? John’s friend Tammy’s kitty. Or what I recall him to look like, anyway.

  127. 127
    SGEW says:

    Bush didn’t come up with the state secret doctrine. (etc.)

    Apples and oranges. The current use of the "state secrets" doctrine in the torture cases is categorically different than its appearance in the past. Where the doctrine was once used to dismiss some evidence at trial (or confine it to in camera review) the Bush Administration and the current D.O.J. (apparently) are using it as a blanket excuse to dismiss the entire case.

    Some reading on the issue:

    Henry Lanman at Slate, trying to put it all together.

    Scott Horton, rightfully enraged.

    Jack Balkin, being snarky.

    And, (ironically?), Marty Lederman.

  128. 128
    SGEW says:

    [comment in moderation – too many links? Sorry for double posting, if any]

    Bush didn’t come up with the state secret doctrine. (etc.)

    Apples and oranges. The current use of the "state secrets" doctrine in the torture cases is categorically different than its appearance in the past. Where the doctrine was once used to dismiss some evidence at trial (or confine it to in camera review) the Bush Administration and the current D.O.J. (apparently) are using it as a blanket excuse to dismiss the entire case.

    Some reading on the issue:

    Henry Lanman at Slate, trying to put it all together.

    Scott Horton, rightfully enraged.

  129. 129
    SGEW says:

    [post continues, w/ links]

    Jack Balkin, being snarky.

    And, (ironically?), Marty Lederman.

  130. 130

    Your result is likely because you heated up the bottle slowly The Moar You Know. I have expressed my opinion that a beer bottle cannot withstand a pressure of 300 psi, in agreement with you. My plan involves placing the bottle on a white-hot 2000F bed of coals, however

    As the heat is transferred to the beer, the bottle will have a large thermal gradient between the white hot coals and the 212F (and rising) beer. Then I will pass nucleate boiling, then I will achieve departure from nucleate boiling, and finally film boiling.

    At film boiling, the glass will be freed from the constraints of the liquid, allowing the thermal gradient to equalize, sending the glass temperature soaring towards the 1000F glass transition temperature. This is what happened at Chernobyl. From there it will be a race.

    If we get the glass to 1000F before the pressure within the bottle causes it to explode, a beautiful glass creation, which I hope to sell to the government, will be the result. If not, there will be glass shards, so I will not watch. Success for me will be a function the temperature of the coals.

  131. 131

    […] themselves to be residents of Cloudcuckooland, as always. The issue, as always, seems to be getting the message through to the co-dependent Democrats in Congress. So if you want this thing to pass, America, you’ve got to get off your asses, […]

  132. 132
    D-Chance. says:

    Well, this IS the worst recession in terms of job loss. I saw your chart, Cole. Although YOU omitted a couple of lines.

    Wanker.

  133. 133
    headpan says:

    Earmarks
    I was in a really pissy mood this morning so I drove on down to the convenience station for a pack of cigs. I walked in, sunglasses hiding a tear trickle. As I stood there waiting, a white dude at the other register started going off to the black lady behind the counter about Obama and "earmarks." The lady just said something like, I’ll take what I can get and be happy with it. I gave a thumbs up. She repeated, under her breath, something about being happy with what you can get. I understood her point. What’s this dipshit complaining about and why doesn’t he stfu?

    I’m thinking, how fucking stupid does a white man have to be to come into a place like this and talk to an older black lady (she looked to be in her 60’s) who was obviously not doing this for fun or just to "meet people," and considering her age, I’m guessing she’s not really having the time of her life standing on her feet all day in a fucking gas station for $5.75 an hour, about Obama and earmarks in the stimulus package.

    After leaving the store, I watched him climb into his nice, new-looking Tundra.

  134. 134
    chuck says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: don’t listen to the people here. The bottle doesn’t explode. It does have an effect, but it’s quite subtle. You need to put your head very close to the bottle in order to see it. Go do that and let us know.

  135. 135
    Rick Taylor says:

    Of all the times to acquire zeal for austerity, which is rarely popular in the best of times and risky even for popular majority parties, they have chosen the middle of a recession after having taken two huge electoral drubbings.

    This is an obvious point, but the Republican party has discovered its zeal for austerity now because it is no longer in power, which means it can use that as a club against the Democratic administration. That is the only reason.

  136. 136
    Martin says:

    Guess what, Brick Oven Dumbfuck, I wasn’t posting the beer bottle scenario as a hypothetical. I’ve done it. The bottle explodes. Quite violently.

    Which is why I encouraged him to try it. Coals do not transmit heat quickly (wood and charcoal are natural insulators) – they will not melt the glass fast enough. If they did transmit heat quickly, people would burn horribly when walking on coals and your food would turn into a cinder when trying to cook it. I understand you *can* melt the glass faster than the beer will explode but you need an oxyacetylene torch or better and a shitload of dumb luck to not shock fracture the glass since it’s a race against time vs flash boiling the beer.

    But by all means BOB, try it. Maybe putting it in the microwave will work faster. Toss your kitten in there to liveblog the action for you.

  137. 137
    Jeffro says:

    All of this – the DOJ stuff, the stimulus package, even the Hannity beer comment – I mean, it’s interesting.

    But am I the only one who is still (platonically) pinching himself while reading, "PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA this…" and "PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA that…"?

    Three months after he won and almost a month after he was sworn in, I’m still in this awesome daze. I can just imagine what the most reality-challenged among us (i.e., Rush’s crowd, Hannity’s crowd, Confederate Spankee, etc) are having to deal with.

    If I’m this happy, they’re at least that miserable.
    And I believe that means I’ll have another Bass…=)

  138. 138
    Mike in NC says:

    I can just imagine what the most reality-challenged among us (i.e., Rush’s crowd, Hannity’s crowd, Confederate Spankee, etc) are having to deal with.

    Now would be a good time for them to go to Costco and stock up on cases of Depends.

    Limbaugh must be working up a stomach ulcer the size of his fat head.

  139. 139
    satby says:

    But by all means BOB, try it. Maybe putting it in the microwave will work faster. Toss your kitten in there to liveblog the action for you.

    Please don’t give him ideas. He really is stupid enough to try it.

  140. 140

    […] Larison, via Balloon Juice, offers a succinct line: Of all the times to acquire zeal for austerity, which is rarely popular in […]

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  2. […] themselves to be residents of Cloudcuckooland, as always. The issue, as always, seems to be getting the message through to the co-dependent Democrats in Congress. So if you want this thing to pass, America, you’ve got to get off your asses, […]

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