The Deep Insights of Chuck Todd

I’m far more pessimistic about the future of this country after a few days of reading twitter feeds from our news elite. Here is Chuck Todd, after Reid gets the necessary votes to advance the HCR bill:

smokingcrackrock

Shorter Chuck Todd: It’s only big news if the Democrats fail!

I guess he didn’t pick up on the fact that if they had failed to get the 60 votes, HCR would, for all intents and purposes, be dead in the short run, as the Republicans would filibuster. That is why this is such a big deal- they have overcome the obstructionism of the GOP, and the debate can advance.

Although in fairness to Chuck, he may be more concerned with why Obama didn’t reach out more to President McCain. Not to be too subjective, or anything.

*** Update ***

Can anyone imagine the feeding frenzy for the next two weeks if they had failed to get 60 and advance the debate? Can you imagine the Sunday shows tomorrow? Can you imagine all the headlines speculating if Obama was a lame duck? “Senate fails to advance health care reform. Is Obama’s entire agenda at risk?” and “Obama’s signature legislation killed in Senate. Can he recover?” and “Republicans, spurred by sagging Obama poll numbers and grass roots support from tea party, stop Obama administration in their tracks.”

And Chuck Todd would be leading the goddamned charge with that crap.






115 replies
  1. 1
    r€nato says:

    One would think that Chuck Todd’s job would require him to understand the nuances of how legislation is passed.

    This is not a football game; it’s more like chess but the rules are far more arcane and obscure. I guess Chuck Todd is annoyed that this can’t be cast in simple ‘horse race’ terms.

  2. 2
    different church-lady says:

    Oh great, just what the world needs: two part tweets.

    John, honestly, just find yourself a big old slab of marble and smash it into your head five or six times. It’s easier, and doesn’t hurt as much.

  3. 3
    jeffreyw says:

    Step away from the twitter, John. Think of this as an intervention.

  4. 4
    r€nato says:

    in fact, it would call into question the party’s ability to be a governing party

    man, fuck Chuck Todd. Fuck him right in the ear and break it off.

    This is not some feel-good ‘ban flag burning’ amendment. A GOP-controlled Congress could pass that in a day and make happy hour easily.

    This is health care reform. This will affect a sector which is 1/6th of the nation’s GDP.

    Sorry that Chucky is bored, maybe we could gin up some kind of sex scandal for him to follow. I hear the MSM just loves stories about interns and blow jobs.

  5. 5
    licensed to kill time says:

    Gosh, John, this Twitter thing is really working out for you, huh? I get BP spikes just from brief exposure to cable news, not sure I’d want to add the Tweetspikes to the mix ;-)

  6. 6
    r€nato says:

    I probably sound like an old fart but Twitter is a horrible idea.

    I don’t know of too many people whose passing thoughts are so brilliant and interesting that they need to be shouted to the entire world.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    r€nato says:

    Can anyone imagine the feeding frenzy for the next two weeks if they had failed to get 60 and advance the debate?

    Yep.

    “Heads I win, tails they lose” is a pretty good position to be in, isn’t it?

  9. 9
    Seebach says:

    I probably sound like an old fart but Twitter is a horrible idea.
    I don’t know of too many people whose passing thoughts are so brilliant and interesting that they need to be shouted to the entire world.

    What’s horrible is trying to reconstruct a conversation between two people. All you can do is click back and forth between two pages, and it doesn’t zoom directly to the comment. It’s a mess.

  10. 10
    eemom says:

    I don’t do twitter, but my morbid fascination with self-promoting egomaniacs disguised as progressive blogger/activists is just as bad.

    When I saw that Reid got to 60, I just knew Jane Hamsher was gonna take the credit…..and sho ’nuff,

    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.c.....ilibuster/

    That woman is fucking insufferable. I mean really.

  11. 11
    r€nato says:

    actually, not getting HCR passed with the WH and both houses of Congress WOULD be a major defeat. It would expose the Democratic majority as somewhat hollow and easily split.

    Which means that holding the Senate Democratic Caucus together is a big victory… but you’ll never hear that from Todd of course.

  12. 12
    Chat Noir says:

    @r€nato:

    I probably sound like an old fart but Twitter is a horrible idea.

    No, you sound like a rational person to me. Twitter seems like a waste of broadband to me. The problems this country (and the world) face are much to complex to nail down in less than 140 characters.

  13. 13
    dr. bloor says:

    Twitter is the perfect vehicle for Chuck Todd, whose mind is basically wired to kick out sound-bite size stupidity.

  14. 14
    Chat Noir says:

    @Chat Noir:

    much too complex

    Argh! To/too/two fail.

    Edit function, plz.

  15. 15
    r€nato says:

    @eemom:

    re: Jane Hamsher, yeah I called that one a long time ago, but nobody ever listens to me.

  16. 16
    Narcissus says:

    I always thought that Chuck Todd was some number-cruncher who lucked into a reporting job, but wikipedia tells me he actually has a background in journalism. And then I see it was Russert who put him in the spotlight and it all starts to make sense.

  17. 17
    Chat Noir says:

    @Chat Noir: Oh, never mind. I had it correct the first time. This healthcare debate has me discombobulated.

  18. 18
    licensed to kill time says:

    @r€nato: I’m with you, r€nato, though noting the irony of all of us here posting our brilliant and interesting thoughts on this blog, which admittedly is not the whole world but a great place to {{{shout}}} !

    Twitter is creepy. Facebook is creepy. Yep, I sound like an old fart.

  19. 19
    burnspbesq says:

    @eemom:

    Calm down, E. Repeat after me.

    “Jane is irrelevant.”

    Say it to yourself as many times as necessary, until you convince yourself of it.

    You’ll feel much better.

  20. 20
    r€nato says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    well, I’m all about the Facebook actually. Though it does indeed lead to interesting insights as far as etiquette and what people think the whole world would like to know about them.

    Twitter, however… very few people use it in a non-annoying way. Most people do not have immediate reactions which can be captured in 140 characters or less and are worth sharing without further reflection.

    In fact, there are few people in this world who are intellectually astute enough to share their immediate thoughts without further reflection/editing.

  21. 21
    cleek says:

    Facebook sucks because it shows you that all your old friends are ridiculous.

  22. 22
    McGeorge Bundy says:

    I can’t stand these idiots.

  23. 23
    Lolis says:

    It is annoying how Republicans don’t get any heat from the MSM for saying no to anything, but thankfully they are irrelevant. I remember being shocked at the 2006 election results because I was still relying on the MSM to get my news and I thought the Dems were going to perform badly.

    The MSM keeps missing the story. It will take them awhile to regroup from Republican indoctrination, and maybe they won’t have time before they die off. Whatever.

  24. 24
    r€nato says:

    @cleek:

    that’s funny, I thought that was one of its virtues.

  25. 25
    Tim (The Oher One) says:

    I turned 57 on Thursday so I’m definitely an old fart. Twitter is absurd. Facebook is kinda fun but I still don’t want my computer to be my TV or my cell phone to be my toothbrush. More to the point kids; we’re actually going to get HCR. Through all the noise and bubble(s) and GOP absurdity, it’s going to happen. This just dawned on me so I thought I should dawn it on you.

  26. 26
    r€nato says:

    @Tim (The Oher One):

    yep. Not in time for Christmas, but we are going to get it.

    Rejoice, DFHs. A century-long dream will soon be realized.

  27. 27
    r€nato says:

    Catching up on your older posts, John… it’s striking how far you have come in just five years. Nobody would ever suspect that you were once a wingnut, and now you are comfy with being an unwashed fornicating 60s rebel against conformity along with the rest of us.

    I’d like to know what The Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy™ slipped in your water. Maybe it’s the fluoride.

  28. 28
    jwb says:

    @cleek: Or that’s its genius.

  29. 29
    jwb says:

    @r€nato: Mind meld.

  30. 30
    Davis X. Machina says:

    That woman [Jane Hamsher] is fucking insufferable. I mean really.

    The rooster thinks he makes the sun rise.

  31. 31
    Libby says:

    Chuckles has been especially dense and annoying since he got back from Asia. I’m chalking it up to jet lag. He’s not usually quite this bad. Not that he’s ever fun or anything. Chuck almost never responds by the way.

    They’ve all been pretty insufferable since they left for Asia, except for Mark Knoller. He’s my fav in many ways, even though he doesn’t interact all that much but he’s never smug and he has an adorable droll wit.

    And you Twitter haters, I was once one of you. It doesn’t make sense until you start using it. It’s hard to explain but it has its uses. And you can actually follow a conversation between two or more people if you are following all of them by the way.

  32. 32
    licensed to kill time says:

    @r€nato:

    I’ll reveal my oldfogeytude and confess I have never even gone on Facebook. You know how when you visit people and they snag you into looking at all 3,983 pictures of their vacation or the adorable kid photos from birth to infinity? Most people just don’t take very interesting pictures (obviously, BJ people are the exception) or have the greatest taste (meaning like mine) in music or ever got more interesting than they were in high school so I don’t see the point of looking at their pages.

    I can’t think of one person from high school I’d want to reconnect with. I barely remember anyone from high school.

    And posting photos on the ‘net that will be there forever is just creepy to me. But that’s just my personal bugaboo.

  33. 33
    gocart mozart says:

    To quote Brent Bozell, Chuck Todd is a “douche”.

  34. 34
    Martin says:

    A modest proposal:

    Can we see more coverage of good journalism rather than just repeatedly banging on what we already know is bad? I’m not saying the bad stuff shouldn’t get called out, but I’d really much rather see more traffic go to Fallows than Sully and to ProPublica than Fox.

    Fallows has a nice series of posts on how badly the US media have fucked up reporting on Obama’s trip. When someone from our media is praising China’s state-run media over our own, that seems pretty noteworthy.

    ProPublica has been doing a great job covering the stimulus, HCR, bank bailout, Gitmo, and a bunch of other investigative stories.

    More balance, please. These are the guys trying to fix this shit. Let’s help them out a bit.

  35. 35
    Terri says:

    r€nato beat me to it, but I think it bears repeating:

    Fuck Chuck

  36. 36
    Libby says:

    Adding, that John Cole is a natural for Twitter. His tweets are brilliant, insightful and funny. He’s already a star player now that he decided to join the game.

  37. 37
    different church-lady says:

    @Tim (The Oher One):

    Facebook is kinda fun but I still don’t want my computer to be my TV or my cell phone to be my toothbrush.

    Hey, I’d be overjoyed if my cell phone could make phone calls.

    More to the point kids; we’re actually going to get HCR.

    Details, details…

  38. 38
    demkat620 says:

    Its going to get worse because 2008 was a huge ratings bonanza for them, they need to be able to portray the GOP in a better position than it is in.

    By January they will have the GOP in position to take back the House and the Senate. And by March it will be a forgone conclusion.

    June, July, and August will be spent telling everybody what the GOP will do once they are back in charge.

    Remember, impeachment was a ratings winner too. I think the Starr Report was the biggest non-fiction best seller that year.

  39. 39
    John says:

    Silly rabbit, don’t you know this is all good news for Republicans and President McCain? If you didn’t, I’m sure you’ll learn that on the Sunday Idiot Shows tomorrow.

  40. 40
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    OT, but great news for the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences:

    Guilty!

    “I’m not going to comment on the content of illegally obtained emails. However, I will say this: both their theft and, I believe, any reproduction of the emails that were obtained on public websites, etc, constitutes serious criminal activity. I’m hoping the perpetrators and their facilitators will be tracked down and prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows.”

    Somebody needs to tell Dr. Mann that when one accepts public monies to study science, that then produces, like, public information.

  41. 41
    BethanyAnne says:

    @r€nato: what? ;-)

  42. 42
    R-Jud says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    I can’t think of one person from high school I’d want to reconnect with. I barely remember anyone from high school.

    Hear, hear.

    That said, I am on Facebook, because family members 3,500 miles away who are otherwise unreachable by phone or e-mail will reply to a stupid message on their “wall” in thirty flat.

  43. 43
    icedfire says:

    Part of me wonders if this is an elaborate plan to let Lieberman stab the Dems in the back again, giving the caucus a reason to strip Reid of Majority Leader and giving it to someone who immediately embraces reconciliation.

    You want ratings, Chuckie Boy? That would give you ratings.

    And I’d have all the schadenfreude I could stand.

  44. 44
    Libby says:

    @Martin: I posted that Fallows piece at my blog along with a link to a companion piece at the New Yorker that added context. Both links that I caught on Twitter this morning, by the way.

  45. 45
    Jim says:

    Chuck Todd and the other junior leaguers– Gregory, Tapper, King–give every indication of being worse that Russert, Cokie and Broder. At least those three arrived at their various idiotic idées fixes on their own. For the younger ones, they simply accepted all that idiocy without examination or question.

    Random thought: Are there fifty Dems with the guts to bring back the nuclear option? I know the usual suspects would clutch their pearls and ring for their fainting couches and laudunum, but could there be fifty ready to rumble? If they planned it right, they could at least get a discussion going of how much more the filibuster is being used now than it was when the GOOPers tried it a few years back. Even thirty or so to get a rule change under discussion might be useful.

  46. 46
    Rhoda says:

    It’s really simple.

    Everything in this world is about Obama for them and right now, they want it to be about how Obama is failing. Fallows called the White House press corp out for the abysmal coverage of the Asia trip. Something huge that the administration figured, after the last eight years, the President needed to do to follow up the care and attention Sec. Clinton gave the area.

    Rather than discuss trade policy, discuss climate change, discuss monetary policy…they all decided to write the Obama is weak and got nothing because the Chinese now own us. No hint in the media that this is a suicide pact at this point and if the Chinese blow us up; they’ll be killing themselves. So we DO have the option of having a constructive relationship to move towards a more healthy and less symbiotic relationship.

    That takes intelligence and careful reporting, so, oh well.

  47. 47
    Jim says:

    @Martin:

    Can we see more coverage of good journalism rather than just repeatedly banging on what we already know is bad? I’m not saying the bad stuff shouldn’t get called out, but I’d really much rather see more traffic go to Fallows than Sully and to ProPublica than Fox.

    Trouble is, for the vast majority of voters, especially “independents”, it isn’t real unless it’s on TV. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen Fallows on TV.

  48. 48
    mcd410x says:

    @Libby: Can’t agree with you more! And it’s led to most posting here, too. Also! Wins all around.

  49. 49
    TheFreshBrew says:

    I notice you caught Todds ‘subjective’ tweet. He’s probably still wondering why that is…

  50. 50
    Brent says:

    Chomsky had all this shit nailed down years ago. Todd is a Russert styled establishmentarian scold. Nothing to see here. Just like Big Russ says, stay in line, do as you’re told, follow orders, keep quiet, and don’t question authority unless it’s a democrat in power.

  51. 51
    r€nato says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    I can’t think of one person from high school I’d want to reconnect with.

    Yeah, funny story about that:

    I pretty much can’t stand just about everyone I knew in school, because most of them gave me a hard time. Yeah, I was that kid.

    So when I see them on Facebook, I laugh my ass off. I look great at 44 and many of them look a lot worse and weigh a lot more than I do.

    I thought perhaps it would be nice to re-connect with some people I kind of sort of knew back in high school (not the people I still know and never lost touch with, I am cool with them) but it only took my very first encounter to educate me about that.

    This douchebag started up immediately with the old nicknames from 30 years ago. I don’t even use my old last name from back then, any longer. So right away I figured out that the past 30 years might as well have never happened; to them, I will always be that kid they all made fun of back then, no matter what happened between then and now. No matter that my life now is 10 times cooler than theirs, no matter that what I’ve done with my life since then would make them green with envy.

    So yeah, I went for the jugular. I asked him how his middle-aged spread was working out for him and asked him if he’d grown up in the last 30 years, like I had.

    I was amazed at the reaction this idiot provoked in me, and I don’t like being transported back to those days AT ALL.

    So, I’m down with Facebook for reconnecting with long-lost friends. Long-lost schoolmates? I’d prefer they stay lost, that’s why I never stayed in touch in the first place.

  52. 52
    Chat Noir says:

    @Libby: Great quote from the Fallows piece:

    This is a different kind of crisis, though it makes the business crisis worse: the distortion of reality by compressing every complex issue into the narrative of the DC-based “horse race.”

    This could be why I’m so irritated with the MSM.

  53. 53
    fraught says:

    Chuck is a college dropout climber who tucked himself into Tim Russert’s armpit like a tick and lucked out when his host um…died. All the young up and coming faux-humility from last year is gone and now he seems to believe he is a meme king for the villagers. His ambition is in full flare, his goatee all greased up and snake oil salesman unctuous and he tweets ostentatiously provocative apercu for the cool kids who can’t believe how far he’s come.

  54. 54
    r€nato says:

    I’ve also discovered that most of the people I thought were assholes in high school and junior high…

    …turned out to be right-wing Republican Christian assholes as adults. It’s really striking how many of them turned out that way.

  55. 55
    Libby says:

    @mcd410x: Thanks. Not often that someone on the internets agrees with me. :)

  56. 56
    lamh31 says:

    OT,

    But how funny is this?

    “Joe The Plumber Comes Out Against Palin Running In 2012”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....66376.html

  57. 57
    eemom says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Dude…..! I thought we were partners in Hamsher/Greenwald bashing??

    Srsly, it doesn’t actually bother me anymore. I just go over there for comedy relief, and to see if there is anyone left who is not batshit crazy. Generally there is not……although occasionally an obscure dissenter does have the misfortune to wander into the comments, where he or she is promptly devoured, Night of the Living Dead-like, by the Janebots.

  58. 58
    r€nato says:

    @fraught:

    and now it has occurred to me that most of the people I thought were assholes in high school… who turned out to be assholes as adults…

    …are likely perfectly suited to be the kind of brown-nosing, get-along-and-go-along social/career climbing backstabbing unprincipled assholes who get ahead in Washington, just like Chucky the Toddster.

    And now the circle is complete. From Chuck Todd to Facebook and back again, round trip.

  59. 59
    SFAW says:

    I don’t know of too many people whose passing thoughts are so brilliant and interesting that they need to be shouted to the entire world.

    Outside of BOB, that is, right?

  60. 60
    pixelpusher says:

    John,

    Assholes is too good for this guy. Tag him him “Barnacle”!!!!

  61. 61
    r€nato says:

    @SFAW:

    BoB is a gem. The joint would not be the same without him.

  62. 62
    Martin says:

    @Libby:

    I’ve seen a few people here reference it, but BJ does a lot of media criticism on the front page (which is good) but I’ve always found that criticism carries the most weight when it’s directly tied to an example of the right way to do something. It’s just too easy to dismiss criticism out of hand as ‘well, it’s too hard to get this just right under the circumstances’ but if you can point to someone who does get it right, then you actually stand a chance to get a substantive debate going on.

  63. 63
    ThresherK says:

    Todd has to answer the first question required of any Beltway Inbred on HCR: When did you last buy your own health insurance with your own money?

    OT: As a disinterested party, am I the only one who’s wondering how many SEC officiating crews will be left available by the end of the season?

  64. 64
    Libby says:

    @Chat Noir: That’s why most of us are so irritated with the MSM. They’re mostly a bunch of lazy prima donnas that crib anything of substance they say from smart bloggers. Otherwise they just make shit up about the “conventional wisdom” to make themselves feel important and to advance their pre-determined narrative.

  65. 65
    Jim says:

    It’s distressing how many bloggonauts are in a perma-tizzy because Obama isn’t governing as Dennis Kucinich the way he secretly promised, and how he’s using that silly “Constitution” with its so-called rules about some fantasy called the legislative process as an excuse not to magically undo the political trends that go back to the late 1950s, like he could if he really wanted to. And Hillary would have fixed everything by now!!!

  66. 66
    Chat Noir says:

    @r€nato:

    So yeah, I went for the jugular.

    Good for you! There’s a reason that time of our lives is in the past. I’m glad you didn’t let that guy get away with continuing to be an asshole even after 30 years.

    I was on Facebook for about 3 weeks in August. The inanity and immaturity of a lot of folks (mostly people from high school) made me shut my account down. Now, I follow my husband’s FB page only because he posts some of the funniest, most well written stuff anywhere (several of his FB friends have remarked that he needs to start his own blog or publish because he’s so good — something I’ve been telling him for years).

  67. 67
    Yutsano says:

    The Deep Insights of Chuck Todd

    Yeah, you pretty much lost me right there.

  68. 68
    licensed to kill time says:

    @r€nato: Jeez, what a crappy thing. I’ve heard (from people who actually go to their high school reunions since I have no personal experience with that) the same type of thing, that the old roles magically reappear and that jock asshole is still a jock asshole, the snooty cheerleaders, cliques, the whole nine yards.

    I love to hear stories of the geeks who turned into the most interesting people.

  69. 69
    Libby says:

    @Martin: You’re more optimistic than me. I’ve about given up on substantive debate. It’s mostly either an echo chamber or a lot of shouting. But I agree we should strive for it, and focusing on good works of journalism is important.

    I try to to do that myself, but I’m just a tiny little voice on the internets and admit I fall into the trap of criticizing the bad all to often myself. Which kind of does just solidify the opposing sides.

  70. 70
    r€nato says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    that’s me, the geek who studied hard and caught shit endlessly for being smart.

    Fuck ’em all. They should be glad I don’t come to reunions; I might show up one day, drunk and not giving a shit whom I offend.

  71. 71
    SFAW says:

    BoB is a gem. The joint would not be the same without him.

    Well, Congress would not be the same without Rethuglicans, but I think I could choke back the tears and muddle through.

  72. 72
    r€nato says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    the old roles magically reappear

    Yeah, I believe that 200%. See, that’s the thing; I was willing to forget all about that shit with regards to the people I sort of knew back then but not as friends.

    But that fuckwit started up RIGHT AWAY, it was like he picked up where he left off 30 years ago without missing a beat.

    I know I got under his skin with my comebacks too. Ha. Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it, Mr. Spracale.

  73. 73
    mcd410x says:

    I wonder if any of the guys watching football in Muskogee, Okla., know who Chuck Todd is … I love journalism, but I certainly hope not.

  74. 74
    paradox says:

    I’ve heard Twitter referred to as microblogging, y’all can take that as it is.

    I don’t Twitter, I think it’s stupid, and I could give an unholy shit what some pissant journalist thinks in 140 characters. George Stephanopoulos, Glenn Greenwald got a hard on ’cause he wrote well said in a tweet.

    Well, so the fuck what? Am I Glenn, where dickwad journalists preen and squirm from his Glenzilla posts? Shit.

    As I understand it, Twitter has a very good communication application with devices and crowds, or far-flung groups of people who need a readily available communications hub. If you don’t Twitter with a device it’s very hard to see that utility, I think.

  75. 75
    pcbedamned says:

    @r€nato:

    I love to point out to my 15 year old daughter how all the ‘cheerleaders and cool kids’ are now fat, divorced, or working at Wal-Mart. And all the ‘geeks’ now have great jobs, and are actually ‘married with children’. It is amazing what 25 years can do…

  76. 76
    Libby says:

    @r€nato: I feel the same way about Facebook. I’ve moved a lot in the last few years and it’s a great way to keep in touch with old friends I made as an adult and new ones that don’t live near me for that matter. But my high school classmates, not so much. The ones I liked don’t seem to be on the internets and I discovered , when I briefly flirted with the idea of going to my class reunion last month, that the ones I still can remember pretty much haven’t changed much except they turned into raving conservatives.

    However, I did reconnect with one old HS friend who’s still cool, so it was kind of worth it.

  77. 77
    Martin says:

    @Jim: He does the sunday programs now and then, but generally he avoids the usual suspects because they don’t want to hear what he has to say because he’s not going to break things down into black/white issues.

    But I don’t buy the TV excuse. When Fox proclaims master of the universe status, we pretty quickly note that even though they have a proportionately high cable audience, overall it’s a pretty damn small audience. Huffington Post and Drudge pull in ballpark to Fox demographics, by comparison. Many people here decry the death of the newspaper – both in terms of them physically going away, but more importantly of them just sucking more and more. WaPo and NYT probably get more attention here than Fox.

    It matters because the cable outlets generally only break news that is visual – something they can put a camera on and look interesting. AG scandal doesn’t work for them because there are no visuals, but they will pick up the story if the print guys are pushing it hard enough – so print matters. And as we’ve noted, Josh has picked up stories from the local markets and moved them forward to a national stage. If you want better TV news, you need to also want better news in other outlets because there is a trickle-up effect.

  78. 78
    r€nato says:

    @pcbedamned:

    I was very, very precocious.

    I knew all this stuff at an early age, and it is what kept me going.

    Believe me, when you are that age, it’s awfully easy to succumb to peer pressure, to seek acceptance. I actually had this internal debate with myself, about trying not to appear too smart so that I wouldn’t catch so much shit from the other kids.

    I mean, what a horrible position to be in. How many of the smart kids to this very day are afraid to ‘act as smart as they really are’, because of the rejection it will earn them?

    That’s just pathetic, and it tells you a lot about the attitudes some folks have towards Al Gore.

    Good for you, that you tell your 15 year old daughter these things. She really, really needs to hear this. It is very important for teens to learn to stick to their principles and not let the desire for acceptance persuade themselves to sell themselves short or otherwise do things against their own interest.

  79. 79
    Libby says:

    Well, I’m off again. Can’t wait until my life settles down and I have more time to hang out. I love this place.

  80. 80
    Jim says:

    My recollection of high school is that most people had pretty much gotten over the childishness and name calling by senior year. Junior high was hell on earth, in that regard.

    That said, I have no interest in reunions, and people I haven’t seen in almost twenty-five years coming out of the virtual woodwork is one of the major reasons I’ve stayed off Facebook.

  81. 81
    r€nato says:

    @Libby:

    there’s been one or two old contacts from school that I am genuinely glad I came across thanks to FB.

    One guy, it turned out that I had been a tremendous (positive) influence on him, and I had not known that before I connected with him again. It was genuinely touching that he had remembered me in that way.

  82. 82
    Yutsano says:

    @licensed to kill time: Ha. I just got an e-mail regarding my twenty year reunion. I giggled out loud when I read that, then deleted and moved on with my life. I have zero interest in how any of those other people turned out save the few I’m still in touch with, even if that connection is tangental.

  83. 83
    r€nato says:

    @Jim:

    agreed, junior high was THE WORST. Must be something about the onset of puberty that makes junior high seem like a re-enactment of “Lord of the Flies”.

  84. 84
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @ Jim

    Three million posts at Democratic Underground have now been rendered superfluous in a paragraph.

    Well done, sir.

  85. 85
    r€nato says:

    @paradox:

    As I understand it, Twitter has a very good communication application with devices and crowds

    that’s a good point. The only reason I am even on Twitter (JC is even following me, how did he find me?) was because I was at the inauguration and I thought it would be a neat way to keep others up-to-date in real time.

    I did not stop to think about the many warnings that cellular service would be spotty or non-existent for much of the day. So Twitter was pretty much a waste on that day… and now I do nothing at all with it. Maybe someday.

  86. 86
    r€nato says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    thank you SO MUCH for passing that along.

    I could have written that. It’s like he read my mind.

  87. 87
    Jim says:

    @Martin:

    When Fox proclaims master of the universe status, we pretty quickly note that even though they have a proportionately high cable audience, overall it’s a pretty damn small audience.

    Yeah, the TV thing is reductive, but I do think it’s a big part of it. I know some pretty liberal people, who care about politics, but they still get their news from network TV. A very liberal cousin, an Obama volunteer, told me during the last election how much she missed Tim Russert and wished he were covering the campaign. I choked on my beer.

    Another is that the MSM journalists–print and electronic–have internalized the idea of their own liberal bias to the point the facts are less important than some vague notion of ‘balance’. That’s what I meant about CTodd and the received wisdom of this new generation.

    Fox has a small audience, but I think they (and their fellow travellers) do a lot to set the agenda for the rest of the TV shows. Russert used to brag about being Rush Limbaugh’s favorite TV journalist, and he was a panelist on the Brinkley show in Clinton’s first term (IIRC).

  88. 88
    Martin says:

    @paradox:

    I’m convinced that Twitter is very well suited to instant broadcasting – anything that could be called liveblogging, from news to academic feedback/discussion.

    Beyond that, meh. I think Twitter should have its focus exclusively on this market, and particularly on handset usage where longer form communication is harder than with a laptop. Continue to make it easier to pull these conversations together, to visualize the interaction, to find people at similar events, tweeting about the same as you, and so on.

    Twitter should be the killer app for disaster coverage – thinking of how hard it was to pull the pieces together on the last big wildfire I tried to cover out here. With more and more smartphones, all the pieces are in place for people to tweet about a tagged event, use the geolocation and timestamp data to mark that tweet, include a photo, and a short text note. Create a google map overlay with a time slider and use follower stats to indicate authority of content. Twitter is steadily working that way (though the photo integration needs to be automated in the client) but the discovery service doesn’t yet exist.

  89. 89
    r€nato says:

    @Jim:

    My recollection of high school is that most people had pretty much gotten over the childishness and name calling by senior year.

    I would pretty much agree with that; junior high was AWFUL and the kids mostly laid off actively giving me shit once high school began.

    however there was this lingering, mostly unspoken contempt that was always there.

    And like I said, I was willing to let most of that slide, until I got that very rude awakening from the guy who picked up where he left off 30 years back.

  90. 90
    pcbedamned says:

    @r€nato:

    Yes, my daughter is one of those ‘very, very precocious’ kids. But then again, I homeschooled her until Grade 8 (yea, I’m one of ‘those’), and I tend to be a very independent, outspoken individual myself. Although my politics tend to fall farther to the right than most here, I am also very open minded and analytical, and weigh things on their merit rather than their politics. This is something that I have instilled in both of my children as well. I let them know that it is ok to disagree with ANYONE as long as they have the FACTS to back up their assertation.
    An example of my daughter and ‘precociousness’ – I guess one day in class they were discussing about how kids are so messy. Of course the conversation was fully along the lines of ‘we are teenagers and that’s just the way we are’. My daughter then pipes up with ‘Bullshit. I’m just lazy and that’s why my room is a mess’. I guess the teacher was so surprised, he didn’t even call her out on the swearing…
    (now if only she would actually listen at home instead of spouting her ‘words of wisdom’ elsewhere).

  91. 91
    licensed to kill time says:

    @pcbedamned: Have you checked her wiring? Maybe it’s a short in the swearing switch ;-)

  92. 92
    aliasofwestgate says:

    I have yet to go back to my high school reunion. I had plans the week of my 10 year reunion and i sure as hell wasn’t gonna cancel them for the clique reassertion crap.

    I might go to the 15 year reunion, but not for long. I was enough of a geek to the point where i was able to keep myself out of our class’s politicking. I wasn’t really all that fond of most of the people i graduated with either. I may go back to see if any of them ended up the way they dreamed.

    I know i didn’t, but my consolation prize isn’t half bad either. There is also the fact that at about 16 i just said ‘screw it!’ and started doing what i wanted and ignoring the idiotic cliques. I could talk to people, but i stayed out of the politicking and made a point so they wouldn’t try that bull on me, either.

  93. 93
    gwangung says:

    @Yutsano: Yeah, high school folks are not the folks I’m interested in reconnecting with (except, maybe the high school crush, who was tall, blonde and played the pro tennis circuit…sigh…).

    College and adult friends, though? Thoroughly enjoyable. They’re the folks I WANT to see their kid pictures and all…

  94. 94
    Mark S. says:

    God, Todd is the stupidest guy on the planet. He has no fucking idea what he is talking about. It is a hell of an accomplishment that Reid was able to keep everyone on board.

  95. 95
    pcbedamned says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    (Groan). I am never going to live that down, am I? (licks wounded pride once again).
    Once again, I must ask for a PREVIEW FUNCTION!!!
    (as a side note, it may be a short because even ‘grounding’ her doesn’t work when it comes to the swearing :-)

  96. 96
    licensed to kill time says:

    @pcbedamned: Aww, I thought it was cute! The unintentional typing spaz is a source of great amusement here. Plus the flurries of “what I meant was…or, just imagine all of the above was properly blockquoted…..or, FYWP! my kingdom for an edit button!” Why, BJ just won’t be the same once we can all type exactly what we mean….

  97. 97
    noncarborundum says:

    @Chat Noir:

    Oh, never mind. I had it correct the first time

    ?

    Your original post had “much to complex”.

  98. 98
    pcbedamned says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    Very true. And what makes BJ such a great place is that most realize it is a ‘spaz’ and not an intentional swipe, thereby starting the inevitable flame wars you see most everywhere else. Hell, even a ‘righty’ like me seems to be welcomed…

  99. 99
    noncarborundum says:

    @r€nato:

    It would expose the Democratic majority as somewhat hollow and easily split.

    No, what it would expose is the fact that the Democratic Party has members that in any sane world would be Republicans. And by “sane world” I mean “world with sane Republicans”.

  100. 100
    Seanly says:

    @r€nato:

    This will affect a sector which is 1/6th of the nation’s GDP

    That’s the one aspect of this entire thing that makes no sense to me. Why should 1/6th of our economy be healthcare? Am I the only person who thinks that is an absurd amount?

    I work in the public infrastructure market. We account for about 1% of GDP. If it were 1.5% our roads, bridges, airports, waste water and such would be so much better. To have a world-class infrastructure, we’d need to be about 2% of the GDP (which is what China is spending right now). It would also employ lots and lots of people at a variety of income levels (unskilled workers, skilled workers, professionals, etc). Healthcare wouldn’t miss a little bit to help out infrastructure, would it?

  101. 101
    Yutsano says:

    @gwangung: Amazingly enough, these are the folks who are screaming for me to get off my ass and get a Facebook page. My reasons aren’t to be a neo-Luddite, it has more to do with their reluctance to amend their privacy practices. I’m not totally convinced they’ve done enough to keep the info I want kept private private. The easiest way? Keep it off the Intertubes entirely.

  102. 102
    Chat Noir says:

    @noncarborundum: Gaah. I’ll stop posting now.

  103. 103
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Yutsano: Amen, brother. It is astonishing to me the amount of personal stuff people stick all over the ‘net, and with no apparent thought to the fact that it will be there quite literally forever. Or at least until the Great Meltdown, when all our technology dies like the dinosaurs and we are foraging for food again and killing each other with sticks and clubs.

    (Why yes, I do enjoy dystopian scifi, why do you ask?)

  104. 104
    Mark S. says:

    @Seanly:

    This is why we can’t have nice things. The US is going to fall behind other industrialized countries until we change this. The average spending on health care in other industrialized counties is around 8% of GDP.

    The Democratic plan will not reduce the % of GDP. The Republicans have no plan. The MSM is completely clueless.

    This health care debate is rapidly destroying my faith in the American system of government.

  105. 105
    sparky says:

    @Davis X. Machina: no interest in starting a troll/flame war here, but i disagree. strongly.

    oh, and btw, “it’s a good thing we didn’t elect McCain” only works as a valid argument till the election, not afterwards.

  106. 106
    NobodySpecial says:

    One look at Chuck Todd’s wingnut face mullet and I can’t take him seriously.

  107. 107
    SFAW says:

    sparky @105

    Maybe it’s me, but there seems to be some information left out of your comment. Such as: disagree with what? “valid argument till the election, not afterwards” means what? usw.

  108. 108
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @r€nato:

    and eemom:

    Jane Hamsher is all about Jane Hamsher. Always has been, nothing’s changed. Sure, we’re eating our own but I agree that people like her have always infuriated me to no end.

  109. 109
    D-Chance. says:

    Funny how Cole didn’t post the Jon Stewart video where he played Chuck Todd to Joe Biden… and Biden could not come up with an answer. In short, Dems own the House, they own the Senate, they own the White House, either do it or shut the fuck up about it (I THINK that’s the BJ version of “piss or get off the pot”).

  110. 110
    Emma Anne says:

    How come nobody talks about reconciliation anymore? I was half hoping we wouldn’t get 60, because then we could have a good bill and ignore Lincoln et al.

    On Facebook: you can ignore updates from anyone you find you aren’t interested in. This makes it a much more pleasant experience IME.

  111. 111
    Original Lee says:

    @Chat Noir: Restart your account, but change your privacy settings immediately. I started on Facebook in September, being the last holdout in my family, and the only posts I get on my feed are from my family, because they are the only ones I have friended and who have friended me back. Like R-Jud, for me it’s a really useful tool for those of us with far-flung family. I’m closer to my nieces and nephews now than ever before, which is a good thing.

  112. 112
    Original Lee says:

    On high school reunions: The received wisdom from my grandmother is that you wait until the 40th or so, and then they are actually kinda fun. Everybody who is not a total douchenozzle (my word, not hers) is comfortable with who they are, and they’re so glad to see people with the same shared experiences aren’t dead yet that it’s a very pleasant evening. My parents recently went to their 50th and had a great time, and they had never bothered to go before. Needless to say, I am adopting that plan.

  113. 113
    CalD says:

    And Todd seemed so promising when he first began popping up on cable. I would never have pegged him for someone ignorant of the basic workings of our legislative process.

  114. 114
    Dr. Loveless says:

    I went to my 10-year reunion. I didn’t bother with my 20th. I’ve since come out, and the only way I’ll go to any further reunions is if I have a hot boyfriend to show off.

  115. 115
    Paddy says:

    eemom – others – if there is even a semblance of a public option in the final bill, if the final bill remotely does what it should after Reid negotiates it away with the right wing dems(who are not doing as their constituents wish) then Jane Hamsher will be a very big reason why. Have you been paying attention at all?

    Now if you are all about medical savings accounts, some of the other republican frauds, and continued bending over for the insurance execs then keep pushing the BS.

    If we get a decent bill, Jane Hamsher will be as much a reason why as anything.

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