This Is What Obstructionism + Nihilism + the Wurlitzer Looks Like

James Joyner reacts to the news that 1 in 8 Americans is on food stamps with surprise (a surprise I share) and has the following to say:

I’m of mixed minds on all this. We should help the working poor — and their children — get enough to eat. Ditto those too disabled to work and provide for themselves. De-stigmatizing aid to such people — and even reaching out to make sure they know help’s available — makes sense.

But, rather clearly, we’ve taken this to absurd levels, creating a self-licking ice cream cone in which the program’s main focus is on expanding the program. Do we really need to be providing food stamps to able-bodied college graduates who are Americorps volunteers? Or, indeed, if we think Americorps is so valuable, why not provide a stipend so its “volunteers” can afford to feed themselves rather than treating them as indigents?

Hey! We agree! We should help those who can not feed themselves otherwise, and if we value Americorps volunteers, we should afford them a stipend and not make them have to use a program designed to be a stopgap measure.

But here is the thing- we can’t do anything about it. I’m sure the House could pass a bill containing a small stipend for Americorps volunteers- in fact, I bet it would get a good bit of support. It might even be very popular with the entire country, as well as being good policy! Likewise, I bet almost all the Democrats and even some Republicans in the Senate would be in favor of passing that bill.

Except the bill would never pass, and I’m surprised James does not recognize that he is operating in a fantasy world. Once the bill hit the Senate, the fun would begin. Even though in the past there were probably numbers of Republicans who supported Americorps, the large majority of them would just flat out say no.

Wanting to negotiate in good faith, having never learned a lesson ever, the Democrats like Baucus and Conrad would slow down the debate to give the Republicans time to participate. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe would work for a couple weeks with Senate leadership, get a couple things they want in the bill, then sigh and utter their public regrets that they just can not support the bill. Chuck Todd, the Politico, and other dullards in the beltway media would run a few pieces wondering why Obama hasn’t reached out more to moderates. While this is happening, the wurlitzer’s media blitz starts.

First off, we all know who loves Americorp- the Clenis. From there, it is all downhill. Breitbart would seize upon the bill, and claim that the anonymous stipend is just President Obama seeking to pay off his campaign volunteers- just like the KHMER ROUGE, POL POT, STALIN, AND DUVALIER! They would find some innocuous aspect of Americorps and turn it into something that is no doubt worse than Hitler. Like, for example- Americorps VISTA:

AmeriCorps VISTA members serve full-time for a year in anti-poverty organizations and agencies throughout the nation, working on issues such as fighting illiteracy, improving health services, creating businesses, increasing housing opportunities, improving college access, and bridging the digital divide.

VISTAs perform indirect service, which means they help build the capacity of organizations to deliver valuable direct services to people living in poverty. VISTAs typically create new programs, write grants, and recruit volunteers. For example, a VISTA could establish a tutoring program, recruit and train volunteers, and raise money for the program—but would not tutor the children.

And you all know how this story goes from here- improving literacy would become “socialist indoctrination.” Improving health care would become “socialized medicine.” Bridging the digital divide would become “giving laptops to welfare queens.” And you just know that someone in Americorps may have one day talked to someone from ACORN.

The subservient GOP drones in the blogs would pick up everything Breitbart has said. Instapundit and Reason magazine would wake from their glibertarian slumber to denounce this “vast, wasteful expansion of government.” The Fonzi of Freedom, Nick Gillespie, would make fifty idiotic web videos decrying the bill, in between appearances on Fox News and penning stupid op-eds with Matt Welch in the NY Post. Pete Suderman and Megan McCardle would exchange links to each other, giving us all an eye into the steamy world of glibertarian pillow talk. Welch would do his own part, pointing out that the French have something very similar to Americorps, and he really enjoyed their services while he and his wife were in France, but now that they are here in America and rake in enough money that they don’t need those services, he will loudly and in the most smug manner possible oppose Americorps. Also, he is still pissed that his car was not accepted for Cash for Clunkers.

Malkin would start printing the addresses of Americorps volunteers, and would have her internet sleuths post a facebook picture of an Americorps worker drunk four years ago while in college. By this time, the noise machine is in full swing, and Rush, Glenn Beck, Hannity, the Heritage Foundation, the rest of the Koch funded “think tanks,” Fox News, the NY Post and the Washington Examiner, the NR, and the Weekly Standard and the other wingnut welfare publications would all embark on another disinformation campaign.

Somewhere around this time, Randy Scheuenemann and Meg Stapleton would post a bunch of nonsense on Palin’s facebook page, maybe declaring that Americorps is just like Hitler Youth Corps. This would get picked up by the Weekly Standard’s resident Palin fluffer, Matt Continetti, repeated by the increasingly loathesome Michael Goldfarb, and mainstreamed into CNN by Stephen Hayes in one of his typical fact-free appearances. Bill Kristol would pick up the ball and run with it, and before you know it, Fred Hiatt’s fishwrap would have 20 editorials railing against Americorps.

At this time, we would have tea partiers packing guns to town hall events, terrified of a socialist takeover of, well, something, carrying racist signs and chanting “Keep Government out of Americorps!,” and the rest of the MSM can start their coverage. Sensing an opportunity, shitheels like Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln and Mary Landrieu sense the bill is in trouble, and would start to pack the goodies into it for their home state. Lieberman and Marshall Wittman would sense that liberals really want this, and then start voicing grave concerns about the bill, and Marty Peretz and company would call anyone who noted Lieberman is just being an asshole an anti-Semitic Jew hater. Evan Bayh and other “fiscal conservatives” would then start mugging for every camera they could find, and would make appearances on all the Sunday shows with mean old man John McCain talking about the need to cut government and why war should always be off budget.

At around this point, the Democratic firing squad starts. The usual suspects would start blaming this on Rahm, and screaming “Why isn’t Obama using his bully pulpit more” and “Bush would have gotten his bill!” Folks like me would start yelling at the usual suspects, instead of the Republicans and the noise machine which is to blame for this mess.

And then, quietly, the bill that James and I and the majority of the House, Senate, and American people all agree would be a good thing, slowly and without any dignity dies. The beltway pundits, feeling no shame for their part in amplifying the bullshit from the noise machine, would then begin 100,000 horse race pieces discussing how this is bad for Obama and good for Republicans, and what role this will play in the 2010 elections.

Most frustrating of all, when you point this all out to reasonable conservatives like James Joyner, that Republican obstinacy is keeping legislation that even they in the past have supported from passing, they’ll just dismiss you and say the Republicans are just playing hardball politics.

And that sick feeling you have in your stomache right now? That just means you know I am right.

*** Update **

I forgot two things:

You forgot the part where James O’Keefe showed up at an Americorps office dressed as a pimp, doctored the audio to make it look like Americorps would help him run his pimping exercise, got the ombudsmen of the Times and Post to say this meant they needed to hire more conservative reporters, and got Jon Stewart to run a witty piece about how the media wasn’t investigating Americorps enough.

And the other thing is that, if by some miracle, the bill does pass and is signed into law, the first people back to their districts with Publishers Clearing House checks at signing events will be the Republicans, and no one but Rachel Maddow will notice. Instead, Rick Klein and others will be running Q&A sessions asking people who is more at fault for the lack of bipartisanship.

347 replies
  1. 1
    DougJ says:

    You forgot the part where James O’Keefe showed up at an Americorps office dressed as a pimp, doctored the audio to make it look like Americorps would help him run his pimping exercise, got the ombudsmen of the Times and Post to say this meant they needed to hire more conservative reporters, and got Jon Stewart to run a witty piece about how the media wasn’t investigating Americorps enough.

    But other than that, this is right on.

  2. 2
    Mnemosyne says:

    So, wait, we have massive unemployment with over 400,000 people losing their jobs every month and Joyner wants to cut those people off from having food?

    Jesus, what an asshole. “Sorry you can’t find another job as an aerospace engineer, but, hey, maybe having your children cry themselves to sleep from hunger every night will incentivize you to take that job at McDonald’s!”

  3. 3
    DougJ says:

    You also forgot about how Megan McArdle would write a 3000 word contrarian treatise about how it was better for Americorps volunteers to starve and how Sully would link to it and hold it up as a good example of Burkean gradualist thinking.

  4. 4
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    The usual suspects would start blaming this on Rahm

    Poor, poor Rahm. He hasn’t made a single mistake, yet people criticize him. His “momentum strategy” has worked amazingly well, and his “let Congress do it” plan has too.

  5. 5
    MattF says:

    And, not to pile on or anything, Joyner will be able to continue his ‘rational’ and ‘fair’ critiques of librulism without indulging in intimate relations with the extremists. Everybody wins!

  6. 6
    John PM says:

    It sounds like you are basing this scenario on a situation that has already happened, but darned if I know what it is.* :)

    You may also want to add that certain progressive bloggers on the left will say that Obama could have enacted an executive providing for a dividend for all Americorp volunteers and the fact that he has not just shows that he hates young people and volunteers.**

    *Seriously, however, I think that you could write an awesome screenplay satirizing the events sounding the current round of HCR, although it might be difficult to go over-the-top enough.

    ** I know this is from a different issue, but it was too good to pass up.

  7. 7
    GambitRF says:

    Think you need to add that there will be lot of bitching about how Democrats are “jamming the bill through” even if it’s taken like 8 months to negotiate that there’s a ton of Republican concessions in it. And at some point someone will bitch about how the size of the bill makes it impossible to read while simultaneously explaining how a footnote on page 1,857 gives Obama the power to kill someone’s grandma, sell her jewelry, and give all of the money to ACORN.

    This is pretty accurate though. And depressing.

  8. 8
    DougJ says:

    Strapping young bucks ordering T-bone steaks from Fresh Direct on their government-issued laptops. Also.

  9. 9
    drunken hausfrau says:

    A-yep. I think you nailed it. You can use this as a template for any issue. And now, I need a big drink because this has really shot my evening mood…

  10. 10
    danimal says:

    In my fantasy pony-world, this post would be required reading for all remaining rational conservatives.

  11. 11
    dmsilev says:

    @DougJ: You’re forgetting that McArdle likes to think of herself as a foodie. She’d probably advocate that people go down to the coast and evaporate ocean water to make their own sea salt.

    -dms

  12. 12
    Frank Chow says:

    A-effinmen! Well said Cole.

    Food stamps are really only used properly by patriots and tax tea partiers. And if you don’t agree with me you hate Uhmerika.

  13. 13
    valdivia says:

    This is gold John. also DougJ’s additions. But as is, it really is required reading for not just sane conservatives (are there any left?) but our media establishment which does not understand anything.

  14. 14

    And that sick feeling you have in your stomache right now? That just means you know I am right.

    I’ll just retire to my joke about the web site being down, because it’s a lot nicer place than this political hellhole we’re living in.

  15. 15
    UlyssesUnbound says:

    As a very proud Americorps VISTA Alum, I want to actually defend the fact that Americorps Vistas get paid so little–underfunded to the point that they rely on foodstamps (something that I had to do during my term of service). Part of the idea of Vista, which is ultimately a program designed to reduce poverty, is that to reduce poverty you must understand poverty. And to fully understand poverty you must live it. The stipend americorps members get is essentially ‘poverty + 10 percent.’. Those in americorps go on food stamps to learn what it is to be on food stamps–to feel the stigma, to understand its limitations, and to be motivated to help their fellow citizens to rise out of poverty. And yes, we could raise the stipend so this wouldn’t be so, but in the end, wouldn’t it be just a different type of government assistance, only cash instead of stamps?

  16. 16
    Foxhunter says:

    Best post of Snowpocalypse 2010.

  17. 17
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    The reality is that we’ll never get a chance to do Americorps legislation for another 50 years and so we’ve gotta do it right now, no matter how hideous it turns out, no matter how awful the clown show. People will like it or they will fucking die. That is all.

  18. 18
    E Sibley says:

    That’s pretty much it…

  19. 19
    Painlord says:

    Pure awesome fire, Cole. My tummy hurts and you are right.

  20. 20
    Warren Terra says:

    This dynamic also makes the legislation worse: a Senate committee is trying to grease the skids for an $80 billion jobs bill with several hundred billion $$s for rich folks, including the estate tax.

  21. 21
    brantl says:

    I’m one hundred percent behind you on this one, John. The only silver lining would be if Amircorps started working on compost piles; that shitheel O’Keefe would be underneath one, “investigating”, and we’d have a 50-50 chance he’d smother.

  22. 22
    Redshirt says:

    Depressing. We all know this is the template. But does it matter? They’ll follow it all the same, and it will work all the same.

  23. 23
    Comrade Dread says:

    Yeah. What John said.

    I suppose Democrats could probably try passing the “I <3 Baseball, Apple Pie, and Fuzzy Kittens" resolutions.

    But Republicans would still filibuster it as a promotion of socialist unions, unnecessary government interference in our diet choices, and embracing freeloading ungrateful welfare queens (however fuzzy and cute they might be).

  24. 24
    Cathie from Canada says:

    Brilliant post.
    You know, I sometimes wonder how long the United States can afford the kind of disfunctional government and media that you have had for the last two decades, ever since the 1994 midterms.
    I realize you are a wealthy country and so your society can continue to operate even with a government that can’t pass necessary legislation, but eventually it will catch up to you, I think.

  25. 25
    Jeanne says:

    Yeah, finally can see the site, first time since Monday. Woohoo!

  26. 26
    DougJ says:

    @Warren Terra:

    Yes, good point.

  27. 27
    Ash Can says:

    the large majority all of them would just flat out say no.

    Let’s be realistic.

  28. 28

    […] Joyner | Thursday, February 11, 2010 While John Cole agrees with the substance of my mild criticism of our food stamp policies, he thinks “we […]

  29. 29
    Mary says:

    This was a typically brilliant Balloon Juice post. It belongs as an OpEd in the Washington Post.

  30. 30
    John Quixote says:

    You know what? Fuck it. Let the teabaggers take over. If the country is going to hell in a hand basket anyway, I at least want to be entertained. We don’t deserve a POTUS that speaks in complete sentences. We deserve an Alaskan Grifter and her thuggish husband, riding into office on a Pale Moose pushing a platform of “They took yer jerb”.

    Meanwhile, the Virginia House of Delegates has vowed to protect Virginians from microchips and ‘the mark of the beast’.

  31. 31
    Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    @Ash Can: Who knew that Nancy Reagan’s anti-drug propaganda would become the Republican party platform?

  32. 32
    licensed to kill time says:

    @DougJ:

    Strapping young bucks ordering T-bone steaks from Fresh Direct on their government-issued laptops.

    Don’t forget the self-licking ice cream cones. Jeez.

  33. 33
    wrb says:

    Everyone knows that Americorps volunteers would just use the stipends to buy Pol Pot, which causes socializm and bestiality when smoked

  34. 34
    John Quixote says:

    @Foxhunter:

    Best post of Snowpocalypse 2010.

    I prefer Snowtorious B.I.G.

  35. 35
    John S. says:

    The reality is that…

    You’re a fucking moron with a tin ear and a record stuck in the same groove, playing the same whiny tune over and over again.

    When tens of thousands of Americorps workers are dying each year from lack of access to food altogether, then you’re nonsensical rejoinder might make sense.

  36. 36
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Jeanne:

    Welcome back!

  37. 37
    Zifnab says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    His “momentum strategy” has worked amazingly well, and his “let Congress do it” plan has too.

    If Obama had presented a Health Care Bill, wrapped up in crushed velvet and served on a silver platter, the Senate ConservaDems would have thrown a shit fit because Obama was trying to bully them and wasn’t giving them enough perks.

    Rahm’s plan was the best of all possible plans. But in a 60 vote Senate (which magically appeared on Jan 20th ’07 and will remain till whenever the Republicans retake the chamber) you’re not passing anything until you have all 60 votes.

    If you recall, Rahm’s plan was actually on schedule to work, until the Massachusetts Democrats decided to LOSE TED KENNEDY’S SEAT TO A FUCKING REPUBLICAN.

    So unless Scott Brown was all part of the insidious plan fuck HCR, I really have no idea where Rahm managed to fuck up.

  38. 38
    The Main-Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    Pete Suderman and Megan McCardle would exchange links to each other, giving us all an eye into the steamy world of glibertarian pillow talk.

    Cheap shot FTW.

  39. 39
    Foxhunter says:

    @John Quixote: That was good.

  40. 40
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    Best. Post. EVAR.

    John Cole wins the Internet.

  41. 41
    Guster says:

    Damn. Break more bones. I need a handful of Tums.

  42. 42
    Steve says:

    If you look up “tour de force” in the dictionary you will find this post.

  43. 43
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole:

    We should help those who can not feed themselves otherwise, and if we value Americorps volunteers, we should afford them a stipend and not make them have to use a program designed to be a stopgap measure.

    Another step you left out, John:

    Then you would get people (like me) who protest the very idea, from the left, pointing out that far too many people who work full time are on food stamps, and that rather than just passing a stipend for Americorps volunteers — who are a very, very small percentage of total food stamp recipients in any event — we should be increasing the fucking minimum wage to a high enough level that full time workers don’t need food stamps to get by.

    .

  44. 44
    GR says:

    This is the blog entry of the year so far for 2010. And now, to recede even further into my “we are doomed” funk.

  45. 45
    Michael says:

    Lost in the tech thread shuffle, some fresh idiocy from Michelle Bachmann.

    http://minnesotaindependent.co.....ect-israel

    At a Republican Jewish Coalition event in Los Angeles last week, Rep. Michele Bachmann offered a candid view of her positions on Israel: Support for Israel is handed down by God and if the United States pulls back its support, America will cease to exist.

    They had to be misquoting her, right?

    I am convinced in my heart and in my mind that if the United States fails to stand with Israel, that is the end of the United States . . . [W]e have to show that we are inextricably entwined, that as a nation we have been blessed because of our relationship with Israel, and if we reject Israel, then there is a curse that comes into play. And my husband and I are both Christians, and we believe very strongly the verse from Genesis [Genesis 12:3], we believe very strongly that nations also receive blessings as they bless Israel. It is a strong and beautiful principle.

  46. 46
    stinkwrinkle says:

    @John S.: TEH AMERICORPS VOLUNTEERS AREN’T LAUGHING!

  47. 47
    JGabriel says:

    BTW, Cole, you shouldn’t be writing posts this good while you’re still ironing out the bugs in the WP upgrade — unless you want to stress test the system with all the links this piece will undoubtedly get.

    .

  48. 48
    SpotWeld says:

    Can we tag this “righteous indignation”…. dear go the letters on screen nearly blazed with invisable holy fire.

  49. 49
    John Quixote says:

    @Foxhunter: I can’t take credit for it. Somebody twatted it on the CNN earlier in the week.

  50. 50
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    certain progressive bloggers on the left will say that Obama could have enacted an executive providing for a dividend for all Americorp volunteers

    Good call. Why should anyone demand our commander-in-chief issue an order for something directly under his control (say, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell) when he could just hand it off to our highly effective Senate and wait a century or two for them to fix it?

    After all, it’s so much easier to piss and moan about the evil media all day instead of demanding action from our elected officials.

  51. 51

    @Michael:

    some fresh idiocy from Michelle Bachmann.

    is there any other kind?

  52. 52
    cat48 says:

    Sounds like an excellent screenplay. Perhaps this could be performed at the Correspondent’s Dinner coming up this Spring. Maybe I could play the part of Helen Thomas. I feel that old some days.

  53. 53

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Why should anyone demand our commander-in-chief issue an order for something directly under his control (say, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell) when he could just hand it off to our highly effective Senate and wait a century or two for them to fix it?

    Because he is allowing the Joint Chiefs to do the heavy lifting? You should take that weak Obama is no better than Bush sh*t back to FDL>

  54. 54
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    I try to eat economically and am currently cooking potatoes ($0.25/lb), onions ($0.33/lb), and carrots ($2.69/5lbs).

    Recently I discovered that on the cash register, it shows whether or not a food-item is covered by food stamps, so I decided to buy a $0.89 jelly donut and find out if jelly donuts can be purchased with food stamps.

    They can.

  55. 55
    geg6 says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Yeah. Poor Rahm never gets any credit. I mean, he was totally right about Dean’s stoopid 50 state strategy, too. Rahm is just one of those under appreciated political and strategic geniuses who aren’t missed until they are gone. ;-)

  56. 56
    Liz says:

    @FormerSwingVoter:

    Best. Post. EVAR.

    John Cole wins the Internet.

    So much. Thanks JC.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Why should anyone demand our commander-in-chief issue an order for something directly under his control (say, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell) when he could just hand it off to our highly effective Senate and wait a century or two for them to fix it?

    Yes, we should be encouraging the president to unilaterally overturn laws that were passed by Congress. There’s no possible way that could go wrong.

  58. 58
    Michael says:

    I’m just waiting for the next high profile villager demise, as I’m certain that there is some connected spawn ready to leap forward to snatch the falling microphone and start uttering weighty opinions.

    Luke Russert is the shizzle.

  59. 59

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yes, we should be encouraging the president to unilaterally overturn laws that were passed by Congress. There’s no possible way that could go wrong.

    This. Again. And. Again.

  60. 60
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Zifnab:

    Rahm’s plan was the best of all possible plans.

    Oh yeah, obviously. I mean, look how well things are going.

    “Hey everyone, let’s start out slow then, as our victories pile up, moderates and conservatives will be stampeding to jump on our bandwagon and we’ll get whatever we want!”

    “But what if we don’t start with victories?”

    “Uh. . . . . . .”

    Rahm’s plan was actually on schedule to work

    Yup, those victories are piling up. And they brought so many moderates and conservatives along for the ride.

  61. 61
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    This post and your From the “No Shit” Department post last night are spot-on.

    I couldn’t believe that at no point yesterday was a meteorologist brought in to explain the causes of precipitation so we didn’t have to hear another lame-ass it’s snowing which proves Al Gore is fat joke.

    Would it have been so difficult to get someone from the national weather service to give everyone a little Weather 101?

    That’s it, I’m going Galt.

  62. 62
    gwangung says:

    Why should anyone demand our commander-in-chief issue an order for something directly under his control (say, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell) when he could just hand it off to our highly effective Senate and wait a century or two for them to fix it?

    Because they know that DADT is NOT under his control?

    Moronic posts like this, that ignore reality, do progressive causes no good. It shows the thinker is a knee jerk ideologue with no more sense or knowledge than your typical wingnut.

    Jay-zus.

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Ever notice that it seems to be the Greenwald readers who call the loudest for Obama to issue executive orders overturning legislation that was passed by Congress? Talk about cognitive dissonance.

  64. 64
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yes, we should be encouraging the president to unilaterally overturn laws that were passed by Congress. There’s no possible way that could go wrong.

    Oh, yeah, the great and powerful media would start harping on it, and then we would all have to. . . I don’t know, drink hemlock or something.

    This. Again. And. Again.

    May I ask why? And, thank you for at least spelling these words correctly.

  65. 65
    SpotWeld says:

    BOB… shut up

  66. 66
    jenniebee says:

    @UlyssesUnbound: Thanks for that. My first reaction to Joyner’s focus on Americorps was to wonder how in the world there could be so many Americorps members that it could be a statistically significant proportion of the, what now, more than 30 million people on food stamps? He acknowledges that 90% of recipients have incomes below the federal poverty level (and that, my friends, is very very low) and somehow, he concludes from that “the program’s main focus is on expanding the program.” How is getting more people who qualify to sign up “expanding” the program? Wouldn’t expansion of the program entail some redefinition of who qualifies?

    The belief staggers. The mind reels.

  67. 67
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @gwangung:

    Because they know that DADT is NOT under his control?

    Could he, or could he not, order the military–which he commands–to ignore DADT? Doesn’t Congress have enough to do? Do we really trust them to fix this?

    It shows the thinker is a knee jerk ideologue with no more sense or knowledge than your typical wingnut.

    That’s absurd.

  68. 68
    JGabriel says:

    dmsilev:

    [McArdle would] probably advocate that people go down to the coast and evaporate ocean water to make their own sea salt.

    And then compare herself to Gandhi.

    .

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Oh, yeah, the great and powerful media would start harping on it, and then we would all have to. . . I don’t know, drink hemlock or something.

    So you set up this precedent that the president can overturn any law s/he likes just by issuing an executive order. Then President Palin is elected.

    Still see absolutely no way that setting up a legal precedent that says a president can use an executive order to overturn any legislation passed by Congress might possibly be bad?

  70. 70
    John S. says:

    Yes, we should be encouraging the president to unilaterally overturn laws that were passed by Congress. There’s no possible way that could go wrong.

    As I have maintained for quite some time, too many “progressives” feel that Obama should be some sort of bizarro-Bush. He should overstep his constitutional powers, shit on the Congress and just do whatever the fuck he wants — but it will be okay! — because unlike Bush, he’ll be on the right left side of the issues.

    These are the same people that despise Obama because they have no use for his long-term approach to things, and frankly, don’t understand the concept. They just want payback. And ponies. RIGHT NOW. Consequences be damned.

    SEE: Notorious P.A.T.

  71. 71
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @jenniebee:

    How is getting more people who qualify to sign up “expanding” the program?

    Good call. He makes food stamps sound like McDonald’s or something. “Hey, how can we get more people to sign up for wonderful food stamps? Maybe give away a toaster!”

  72. 72
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @John S.:

    They just want payback. And ponies. RIGHT NOW.

    Who would ignoring DADT “pay back”?

    Did you see what happened in New Jersey? Gay rights groups have pulled their funding from the Democrats when gay marriage failed. They didn’t get anything, so they aren’t going to give anything. A sign of things to come, I think.

  73. 73
    gwangung says:

    Could he, or could he not, order the military—which he commands—to ignore DADT?

    A) This leaves the personnel involved in legal limbo. Not a good place to be.

    B) This can be overturned by executive order, easily.

    C) Without buy in from the military itself, it will be ignored.

    That’s absurd.

    You keep harping on this issue, despite the arguments, despite the facts. You are proving my point with every single post you make: FACTS DON’T MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO YOU.

    That’s the essence of an ideologue. That’s the same behavior as a wingnut.

  74. 74
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Rahm Emanuel was much better on West Wing and usually succeeded at whatever he was doing inside of 60 minutes.

  75. 75
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So you set up this precedent that the president can overturn any law s/he likes just by issuing an executive order.

    Sigh.

    Did I say that? No. Up there, in post #50, I said “when something is directly under Obama’s control, he should move on it, instead of giving responsibility to a sucky Congress.”

    You might as well puke on your keyboard as argue against something no one said.

  76. 76
    celticdragonchick says:

    I feel like I need to slit my wrists after that.

  77. 77
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Wages in Central America are $3/day/worker. Food stamp benefits in the US are $10/day/breather. Let us determine what $10/day/breather purchases, first in the metric of potatoes, and second, using the metric of jelly donuts.

    A food stamp recipient can purchase:

    $10 / ($2.49/10lb) potatoes equals 40.02 pounds of potatoes daily; or

    $10 / ($0.89/jelly donut) equals eleven jelly donuts daily.

  78. 78
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    I guess today is dystopia day in the Cole Bunker. I like it.

  79. 79
    jibeaux says:

    I was actually surprised the one guy in the NYT article got $2500 a month as an Americorps volunteer. That must be their urban rate. I taught school for 6 years, and that’s more than I made for probably the first four years. (I vividly remember my first take-home paycheck — monthly, mind you — for $1233. There were probably some cents, too, but I don’t remember them.) This is not to take away from Americorps, as several friends have done it and have gotten the food stamps too, but I think Americorp in NC must pay quite a bit less. I really doubt a single person making $30k in NC would qualify.

  80. 80
    licensed to kill time says:

    BOB shouldn’t be wasting his food stamps on jelly doughnuts, just sayin’.

  81. 81
    Rommie says:

    BOB has brought up the point that the Republicans would also take the opportunity to “re-examine” the Food Stamp program in general, and highlight the Jelly Doughnut “problem” as a way to enact further restrictions on what constitutes Food. Reduce Govt. spending by the “bread-and-water” compromise!

    Poor Private Pyle, if only he had never tasted the Jelly Doughnut because of Food Stamps, he would have make it through Basic.

  82. 82
    John Quixote says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Even if Obama gave you your pony, you’d just bitch about how it isn’t sparkly enough, is too damn slow, and doesn’t poop diamond encrusted gold.

  83. 83
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @gwangung:

    You keep harping on this issue, despite the arguments, despite the facts. You are proving my point with every single post you make: FACTS DON’T MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO YOU.

    I don’t agree with you, so I’m a wingnut who doesn’t care about facts? That’s a leap.

    Without buy in from the military itself, it will be ignored.

    I could have swore that the generals who testified recently already supported ditching DADT.

    This leaves the personnel involved in legal limbo. Not a good place to be.

    Do you think they would rather be kicked out of the service? Do you think we don’t need gay Arabic experts in the military?

    This can be overturned by executive order, easily.

    It sure can. What’s the alternative? Do nothing? Because “nothing” is what we are going to get from Congress.

  84. 84
    gwangung says:

    No. Up there, in post #50, I said “when something is directly under Obama’s control, he should move on it, instead of giving responsibility to a sucky Congress.”

    Hm. The facts are that DADT is not under his direct control. It’s a Congressional law.

    What you’re saying is EXACTLY “So you set up this precedent that the president can overturn any law s/he likes just by issuing an executive order.”

    You better make a better argument because you’re not making a whole lot of sense.

  85. 85

    @Notorious P.A.T.:
    sigh, do we have to consult the rule book? DADT is *not* under Obama’s control, it’s a f**king law!

  86. 86
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @John Quixote:

    Even if Obama gave you your pony, you’d just bitch about how it isn’t sparkly enough, is too damn slow, and doesn’t poop diamond encrusted gold.

    Wow, what a strong and well-thought-out argument.

  87. 87
    Redshirt says:

    My greatest fear in all this is that this insanity – this noise machine – has infected everything and everywhere. For example, in Boston we have a nice regional news Channel – NECN – who does a nice morning news show. All pretty standard. And maybe this is the Obot in me talking, and I am highly sensitive to attacks, but I’ve noticed since January they have a far more opinionated line on what should be hard news stories. For example, this morning, they briefly talked about job creation, and how the Stimulus effort added so many jobs each month. Then, they simply said “Republicans responded by saying this is so much pure propaganda posing as policy”.

    My jaw dropped as they moved on to traffic. It was such a highly contentious statement, given as a matter of fact, in the traditional two party framework. One side is stating actual stats, the other is invoking pure Doublespeak – and here NECN either has to pretend each side has equal content to add, or they feel obligated to repeat RNC talking points.

    I don’t know what it is, but to see this level of insanity in such an innocuous setting was unsettling.

  88. 88
  89. 89
    ksmiami says:

    All I can say is this; even in Rome, the government gave the citizenry decent roads, food and awesome bathhouses / entertainment. Here, not so much. I am beginning to feel like fucking over the GODAM stupid Repukes, ineffectual dems, Teapartiers and their mouthpieces in the MSM with a friggin two by four with the letters WPA on it!

  90. 90
    JGabriel says:

    James Joyner:

    … we’ve taken this to absurd levels, creating a self-licking ice cream cone in which the program’s main focus is on expanding the program.

    Actually, wouldn’t the program most responsible for recent expansions of the food stamp program be the GOP deregulation that led to Bush/Cheney crashing the economy?

    Perhaps Joyner should meditate on that for a bit before resorting to rhetorical devices like “self-licking ice cream cones”.

    .

  91. 91
    Governor Perrywinkle says:

    @GR:

    This is the blog entry of the year so far for 2010.

    We need to pull together a checklist. For each new Dem bill, run down the checklist until it gets killed. That would be teh awesome.

  92. 92
    gwangung says:

    I could have swore that the generals who testified recently already supported ditching DADT.

    And you REALLY think the President didn’t spend this year getting buy-in from the top brass? When he said he would be doing this from the get-go?

    It sure can. What’s the alternative? Do nothing? Because “nothing” is what we are going to get from Congress.

    Geez, you really DO want a unitary executive that ignores Congress. And you don’t even want to TRY to work it through Congress.

    You’re not only a knee jerk idealouge, but you’re a lazy bum. You don’t even want to do the hard work to get things changed.

  93. 93
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.: Sometimes it seems like you are anti-Obama and that really harshes the mellow around here.

  94. 94
    John S. says:

    Who would ignoring DADT “pay back”?

    First off, I think there is a difference between “payback” and “pay back”.

    The LGBT community constantly cites Obama’s efforts to repeal DADT as a way to “pay back” their support because they feel they are a core constituency of his, and he needs to address their concerns. I happen to think that DADT is a shitty policy that makes no rational sense and therefore should be repealed for its complete lack of merit.

    Urging Obama to sign EOs to overturn conservative policies and mistakes always smacks of “payback”, because when you say it’s ok for him to do it because Bush did it too, your reasoning is nothing more than a tit-for-tat. Don’t pretend to be so naive as to think that this mode of thinking isn’t responsible for a lot of the angst on the left with Obama.

    “Bush got everything he wanted!” “Republicans wielded their power far more effectively!” “Obama should take some cues from them and do XYZ!”

    One of the inevitable consequences of abusing power is that you lose power. People shouldn’t lose sight of that. However, that is not to say that Democrats need to be tougher and more aggressive — they do. But they should never lift any plays from the GOP playbook, unless their goal is to become Republican-Lite. And we all know that a real Republican will beat a Republican-Lite any day of the week.

  95. 95
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Did I say that? No. Up there, in post #50, I said “when something is directly under Obama’s control, he should move on it, instead of giving responsibility to a sucky Congress.”

    And the move you want him to make is to issue an executive order that overturns a law that was passed by Congress.

    Either you genuinely don’t understand that DADT is a law that needs to be repealed by Congress or you just don’t care and want Obama to be your dream dictator who will use his power to overturn laws you don’t like.

  96. 96
    28 Percent says:

    Thank you Brick Oven Bill the poor should not get 89 cent jelly donuts which are just like 89 cents worth of Iranian caviar, if you think about it. We owe it to the poor to correct their food choices and remind them that personal indulgences like jelly donuts are only for people who have earned them. Granted, we have no fear of being reduced to needing food stamps to feed our families, and that is central to my point, because if the poor made better choices like getting a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering they would not have to worry about being on food stamps either and could have all the jelly donuts they wanted. If the poor would only step up to the plate and do their part we could all be chemical engineers and that would end poverty and reduce taxes and solve all our problems, except, of course, the problem of who’s going to make jelly donuts now, because that’s a minimum wage job, tops. That the poor refuse to do their part proves that they belong BEHIND the donut counter, NOT IN FRONT OF IT.

  97. 97
    Redshirt says:

    Aren’t there enough threads to re-re-re-re hash DADT and how Obama hates everyone? Please?

  98. 98
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    DADT is not under Obama’s control, it’s a f**king law!

    Wait a second. Let’s clear things up here.

    DADT was established by a presidential order, right?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.....n%27t_tell

    So why couldn’t another president alter it with a presidential order?

  99. 99
    Maude says:

    He left out the US Military. A lot of families are on stamps.
    He’s one of those “Are there no workhouses?” types.

  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    So you agree with P.A.T. that the president should be allowed to overturn any law that Congress passes whenever he pleases?

  101. 101
    SpotWeld says:

    BOB your fixation on donuts is nearly Freudian.
    If you want donuts buy them… stop pestering the rest of us.

  102. 102
    Shinobi says:

    And that sick feeling you have in your stomache right now? That just means you know I am right.

    Oh good, I thought it was the potentially underdone burger I had for lunch. So glad it is actually the byproduct of the realization that our democracy is totally screwed in an uncomfortable place.

  103. 103
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @John S.:

    because when you say it’s ok for him to do it because Bush did it too

    And I said that where, again?

  104. 104
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So you agree with P.A.T. that the president should be allowed to overturn any law that Congress passes whenever he pleases?

    Where, EXACTLY, did I say that?

    Do a Google search on “straw man”.

  105. 105
    Ailuridae says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    Food stamp benefits are not 10 dollars a day, you stupid piece of shit. Illinois has one of the more generous programs and for a single person its about $6.40 per person and for a family of four its about $5.50 per person.

    God you’re an insufferably ignorant piece of shit.

  106. 106
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Sometimes it seems like you are anti-Obama and that really harshes the mellow around here.

    Well I can’t help it if half the people who scream “moron” and “idiot” and “dumbass” at me do not, objectively, even know what I am saying.

    So far, I’ve learned that I want Obama to overturn any law he doesn’t like with a stroke of the pen (an ability I, apparently, believe he has) and I want him to be a dictator, and I’m a wingnut who doesn’t care about facts, and if Obama gave me everything I ever wanted I still wouldn’t like it.

  107. 107

    @Notorious P.A.T.:
    What part of U.S.C. do you not understand?

    Don’t ask, don’t tell (DADT) is the common term for the policy stopping openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals from serving in the United States military, as mandated by federal law Pub.L. 103-160 (10 U.S.C. § 654). Unless one of the exceptions from 10 U.S.C. § 654(b) applies, the policy prohibits anyone who “demonstrate(s) a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts” from serving in the armed forces of the United States, because “it would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.”

  108. 108
    mr. whipple says:

    Wow. This post is a tour de force. Dead on. Exactly how it would happen.

    We can’t get anything done anymore, except wars and tax cuts for the rich and naming post offices.

    Bah!

  109. 109
    danimal says:

    @John S.:

    As I have maintained for quite some time, too many “progressives” feel that Obama should be some sort of bizarro-Bush. He should overstep his constitutional powers, shit on the Congress and just do whatever the fuck he wants—but it will be okay!—because unlike Bush, he’ll be on the right left side of the issues.

    This.

    The desire for payback is stronger than the desire for little things like healthcare reform. I’m more hippy than hippy puncher, but I wish my fellow progressives would shake themselves out of this mode.

  110. 110
    Eric S. says:

    And that sick feeling you have in your stomache right now? That just means you know I am right.

    I do know that but I was pretty sure the sick feeling stemmed from the extra hot peppers and mustard. Damn, that was good sandwich.

    Now to email this post out to everyone and see if I can bring the site down again.

  111. 111
    DougJ says:

    @Zifnab:

    Rahm’s plan was the best of all possible plans.

    Rahmglossian thinking.

  112. 112
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    I also smoke an occasional cigarette SpotWeld.

    We will now convert food stamp benefits to cigarettes. Consulting the Internet, we can estimate that people pay a 50% penalty to convert food stamps to cash. Thus:

    $10 food stamp dollars equals $5 cash.

    Cheap cigarettes go for $3.49 for a pack of 20 in my neck of the woods. Thus:

    $5 cash / ($3.49/20 cheap cigarettes) equals 29 cheap cigarettes.

    29 is a lot of cigarettes.

  113. 113
    JGabriel says:

    John S.:

    Urging Obama to sign EOs to overturn conservative policies and mistakes always smacks of “payback”, because when you say it’s ok for him to do it because Bush did it too, your reasoning is nothing more than a tit-for-tat.

    Most of us who urged overturning DADT by Executive Order thought it was a good idea, not because Bush did it, but because Truman did it to integrate the army.

    So that particular objection is kind of a strawman argument.

    .

  114. 114
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    DADT was established by a presidential order, right?

    No, it wasn’t. That’s why that Wikipedia article points you to the FEDERAL LAW that prohibits gays and lesbians from serving in the military. It’s US Code Title 10, Subtitle G, Section 654.

    I’m at least relieved to see that you just had no idea what the hell you were talking about and weren’t actually advocating giving the president power to unilaterally overturn laws.

  115. 115
    Michael says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.

    You’re an idiot. Quit commenting.

    You didn’t even read your own fucking link.

  116. 116
    dmsilev says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.: From your own damn link,

    Congress, opposing Clinton’s proposed changes, included text in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 (passed in 1993) requiring the military to abide by regulations essentially identical to the 1982 policy[3].

    Law. Passed by Congress, signed by President Clinton.

    -dms

  117. 117
    Stooleo says:

    BTW, any bets if Obama makes a few recess appointments this weekend. I look forward to gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair.

  118. 118
    Warren Terra says:

    Notorious, try reading the first freaking sentence of the Wikipedia article you linked: it’s a Federal Law.

  119. 119
    Mnemosyne says:

    @JGabriel:

    Most of us who urged overturning DADT by Executive Order thought it was a good idea, not because Bush did it, but because Truman did it to integrate the army.

    Truman’s executive order was overturned by the Supreme Court, which is why it is one of only two attempts to overturn laws by executive order. How fast do you think the Roberts court would act to overturn a similar action by Obama?

  120. 120
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    what harshes my mellow around here are idiots and morons who piss down my back and tell me it’s raining. And it matters not whether Obama fucked up or not. Or if they support Obama or not. Just clearing the mud a little.

  121. 121
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m at least relieved to see that you just had no idea what the hell you were talking about and weren’t actually advocating giving the president power to unilaterally overturn laws.

    Why don’t you cool down, there, hothead. There’s no reason to throw around insults. Especially when you are the one telling me I said something I never said. Look up there at post #50. Read it as many times as you want, I don’t mind. That is the position I take. I used “commander-in-chief” because I was talking about military matters that Obama could directly influence, like DADT.

  122. 122
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    I call bullshit. Bob’s a fucking idiot – and a fucking bigot. Why didn’t you just check to see whether you could buy a t-bone steak with foodstamps? I mean it is the “young bucks buying t-bones” with foodstamps that keeps you up at night, isn’t it?

    What store did you do this at? What did that single jelly donut show up as on the receipt?

    And, for shits and giggles, which foods (specifically, because a jelly donut is pretty specific – baked goods, notsomuch) should a person on food stamps be allowed to buy and which foods should be prohibited? Are there any exceptions for dietary needs (ie lactose intolerance, gluten-free, etc)? Must a food stamp recipient be limited to only generic and store brands? Is skim the only acceptable milk or can a poor person by 2% Vitamin D?

    Really getting sick of BoB the Bigot…

    I’m going Galt.

  123. 123
    Redshirt says:

    Recess Appointments?!?!?! NUCLEAR OPTION!!! So obvious Obama doesn’t care about bipartisanship (pay no attention to the fact that Bush did this solely for political reasons and all Repugs were OK with it!)!

  124. 124
    Zifnab says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Yup, those victories are piling up. And they brought so many moderates and conservatives along for the ride.

    You must simply not follow politics. That’s the only thing I can conclude. Otherwise, you’d be aware that a completed version of the Senate Health Care Bill is currently sitting on Nancy Pelosi’s desk, waiting for reconciliation and/or final passage.

    It’s got flaws – gaping flaws that the House wants to fix – but it’s farther along than any HCR bill since Medicare was passed in 1967. If that’s not one of those “victories” that are “piling up”, I have no idea what is.

    Quit being dense.

  125. 125
    Paul L. says:

    @DougJ:
    Afterwards ACORN AmeriCorps would claim.

    This recent scam, which was attempted in San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia to name a few places, had failed for months before the results we’ve all recently seen.

    And more “edited” tapes would be released showing the “scam” worked in those places and that ACORN AmeriCorps are liars.

    Remember John C and Doug J on your defense of ACORN to quote Andrew Breitbart “There are more tapes.”

  126. 126
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Michael:

    You’re an idiot. Quit commenting. You didn’t even read your own fucking link.

    You are an asshole, for throwing around insults like that. Or a child. Grow up.

  127. 127
    John S. says:

    Most of us who urged overturning DADT by Executive Order thought it was a good idea, not because Bush did it, but because Truman did it to integrate the army.

    I know I was generalizing – and obviously there are some people that aren’t pressing for Obama to do things simply because Bush would have – but I don’t think YOU can speak for everyone. If you want to remove yourself specifically from that crowd, fine, but there is plenty of sentiment out there that rationalizes from the construct that 1) Bush got what he wanted so 2) Obama should do what Bush did. I don’t know how many people would connect the dots back to Truman.

    And using an EO to overturn DADT is not a good idea, especially in light of the fact that:

    Truman’s executive order was overturned by the Supreme Court

  128. 128
    darryl says:

    You left off the part about how the whole time, David Broder would type 750 senile words on an IBM Selectric, which a CNA at the nursing home would then fax to the WaPo.

  129. 129
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    there is plenty of sentiment out there that rationalizes from the construct that 1) Bush got what he wanted so 2) Obama should do what Bush did. I don’t know how many people would connect the dots back to Truman.

    Maybe so. But that’s out there, not in here. Until someone specifically mentions that, there’s no reason to shoot it down.

  130. 130
    williamc says:

    I’m not officially at lunch yet, but wanted to jump in here before the Obot v. Progbot wars destroy the thread. We have 5 AmeriCorp members on our staff here in Atlanta, and I haven’t ever asked if they are on food stamps or not, but I know they all receive a monthly living stipend, which is just above minimum wage. We are in the center of Atlanta, and the prices are comparable to any Large Metropolitan Area in the US (outside of NYC and DC, which cost a lot more), and I don’t know how they survive on it. I can barely survive and I’m single with no kids and make 3 times as much as they do and I cook my own food every night. Now that I’ve written it out, maybe I should apply for foodstamps.

    Anyone know what the qualifications are?

    BoB, what are the income qualifications? Do you have to be as dumb as you are to get them?

  131. 131
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    I used “commander-in-chief” because I was talking about military matters that Obama could directly influence, like DADT.

    And the way you want him to directly influence it is by overturning a federal law that was passed by Congress.

    But I guess that if the president overturns a federal law you don’t like using an executive order and claims he can do it because he’s the CiC and we’re fighting a war, that’s totally cool.

  132. 132
    mr. whipple says:

    Actually, wouldn’t the program most responsible for recent expansions of the food stamp program be the GOP deregulation that led to Bush/Cheney crashing the economy?

    True as that may be, one thing I will give the Bush admin for was pushing the use of food stamps. During his terms, there were commercials on the radio constantly, telling people to check to see if they were eligible and to get them if they were.

  133. 133
    Zifnab says:

    @DougJ: Fuck it, DougJ. Perhaps Obama should have embraced the Clinton ’92 strategy. That worked well.

    Remind me how the Clinton HCR Bill ended? Was it sitting on the Speaker’s desk at the end of ’93, waiting for reconciliation? How many Senators from MA were ready to vote on it?

    I can’t fucking recall. Please remind me.

  134. 134
    Warren Terra says:

    JGabriel, I’m not aware that racial segregation in the military was enacted by Congress before Truman ended it by executive order. You’d be on more solid ground citing the Emancipation Proclamation.

  135. 135
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    I call bullshit. Bob’s a fucking idiot – and a fucking bigot.

    I am reviewing the internet traditions, but I don’t think you can call bullshit on common knowledge. Unless you want to of course. :-)

  136. 136
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Zifnab:

    Quit being dense.

    Again with insults. What is it with you people? I swear to god, some of you it’s like your skin is as thick as tissue paper and no one has ever challenged you before.

    Do you really think victories are piling up? Where is cap-and-trade, or card check? Where is consumer financial protection? Are you really happy with how things are going?

    I could understand “it’s a good plan, let’s keep using it” but “the plan has worked really well so far” is just unjustifiable.

  137. 137
    licensed to kill time says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    I bet BOB would love to be the Food Stamp Nazi at the checkout counter:

    “No jelly doughnuts for you !”

  138. 138
    Ailuridae says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    No, there is a law on the books from an act of Congress. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 includes the language that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service” and persons who engaged in homosexual acts or stated that they are homosexual or bisexual were to be discharged (quoting from wikipedia). Clinton’s finessed DADT as a workaround with an existing law on the books but the underlying law is far more restrictive and explicitly establishes that homosexuality is grounds for removal from the Armed Forces. So, the objective is not overturning DADT (and basically anyone arguing that is either ignorant or arguing sloppily) but overturning an explicit act of congress that prevents homosexuals from serving.

    Its amazing that somebody who has been endlessly beating the drum about this in the comments here had absolutely no idea what the fuck they were talking about.

  139. 139
    John S. says:

    But I guess that if the president overturns a federal law you don’t like using an executive order and claims he can do it because he’s the CiC and we’re fighting a war, that’s totally cool.

    Thankfully, there are enough people that do understand the long game.

    My personal gripe with Obama is that he sometimes takes his eye off the short game because he focuses too much on the long game. But I think he’s smart enough to arrive at that conclusion without my help.

  140. 140
    Jay B. says:

    @UlyssesUnbound:

    Hey fellow alum. Spot on with the post. I ditched the food stamps when i was doing it (I think I was making $450/mo. but this was some time ago), but I begrudged no one who did.

    VISTA is and was a great program.

  141. 141
    Tristan says:

    Why should the nation bother putting so much effort into rerouting federal money from food stamps to Americorps…so that Americorps volunteers who currently use food stamps to buy food receive a stipend to buy food?

    It’s the same money, being used for the same thing.

  142. 142
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    I don’t think you can call bullshit on common knowledge

    LOL

  143. 143
    JGabriel says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    How fast do you think the Roberts court would act to overturn a similar action by Obama?

    Pretty damn quick, but would the Joint Chiefs listen to them or the President?

    Anyway, the federal regulations that are on the books make the legal situation for an EO even more iffy than it was when Truman did it. So that’s why I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s better to overturn DADT via legislation than EO, although I used to support the EO option.

    So my point wasn’t to criticize the legislative strategy, it was just to point out that John S.’s argument that it was Bushian “tit-for-tat” wasn’t particularly valid, and therefore unnecessarily inflammatory.

    .

  144. 144
    mr. whipple says:

    Its amazing that somebody who has been endlessly beating the drum about this in the comments here had absolutely no idea what the fuck they were talking about.

    Not really amazing at all. You can say anything on the internets.

  145. 145
    Elie says:

    @williamc:

    By the way, Williamc, I want to apologize to you for comments that I made to your post several days ago. It was during a heated argument about the progressives and I misinterpreted your comment and was otherwise harsh. I want to watch that because I value free exchange of ideas and conversation that we have here and what you were saying was basically that.

    So again, ot from this thread, but I apologize nevertheless.

  146. 146
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Ailuridae:

    Have you put a sign in your window saying “Obama ’12: His administration is banker-friendly and his policies have heavy corporate input!” Since you seemed to think that was such a winning strategy and all.

  147. 147
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Again with insults. What is it with you people? I swear to god, some of you it’s like your skin is as thick as tissue paper and no one has ever challenged you before.

    That’s pretty rich coming from someone who was just pwned because he didn’t read his own damn link and had no idea what he was asking for when he demanded an executive order to overturn a federal law.

  148. 148
    Libertini says:

    @John Quixote: Thanks for the link – full of win (or FAIL) depending on how you look at it. Excerpt from my favorite comment:

    The idea of an “anti-christ” being deterred by the Virginia legislature is pretty comical. Think about it. The most evil force in the world brought up short by a bill passed by the Virginia legislature. That is funny. The sketch writes itself.

  149. 149
    benintn says:

    This is way too accurate. The whole media game is almost as sick and predictably crappy as the Washington political game. Seems as if everyone can see through the blatant attempts of politicians to influence media through PR/framing.

    Sadly, much of “journalism” and even blogging these days is more about “complaining about the refs” instead of changing the game.

  150. 150
    SpotWeld says:

    BOB…. seriously. You have to be 21to smoke in the US.
    You’re mom wouldn’t like you joking about such things.

    So go take your donuts into your room and just be sure to clean up the mess afterwards.

    Also, shut up

  151. 151
    mcd410x says:

    Why can’t progs get you a toe by 3 o’clock in the afternoon? With nail polish? Fucking amateurs.

    (P.S.: Great post)

  152. 152
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    Am I the only one who pictures BoB as an endomorphic version of Dwight K. Shrute?

  153. 153
    Phlip says:

    Someday, assuming that conservatives haven’t outlawed education entirely, this blog post may very well be a history chapter in a textbook somewhere.

  154. 154
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @mr. whipple:

    Not really amazing at all. You can say anything on the internets.

    That’s for sure. You can insult people, call them names, set up straw men and beat ’em down. All sorts of good stuff.

    Nice place this site is turning into.

  155. 155
    SpotWeld says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford

    I was thinky more Baby Huey, but yeah something like that.

  156. 156
    t jasper parnell says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.: From your link:

    DADT) is the common term for the policy stopping openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals from serving in the United States military, as mandated by federal law Pub.L. 103-160 (10 U.S.C. § 654).

    It strikes me that a law mandating something means that the thing is mandated by law. Obama could modify the terms of DADT via EO, however, that would not change the underlying law, which means that there would be a legal grey area for gay soldiers, which is why the law’s repeal has been the focus of Obama’s efforts.

  157. 157
    Little Dreamer says:

    Wow, you really outdid yourself with this piece, Cole. I’m thinking this post is going to be pretty viral. Cogent reasoning that looks like a slippery slope to the uninitiated. I bet fun times are coming!

    Good work!

  158. 158
    Redshirt says:

    See how trolls work people? What’s this thread about now? John’s awesome post and that content, or this P.A.T fellow who does the same exact thing in every single thread on this site?

  159. 159
    Ailuridae says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    No dumb fuck. I just can’t believe someone has been arguing the same wrong-headed shit for weeks, has been repeatedly getting corrected, then provides a link that proves he or she is fucking wrong and then cries when people point out they didnt know what the fuck he or she was talking about.’

    Simple question: Do you now understand that there is a federal law on the books that prohibits homosexuals from serving in the military? And assuming you realize that will you stop making an ass of yourself in the comments here with your whining about how Obama is failing to act on DADT despite him not having the Constitutional authority to do so? Seriously, do you even have a shred of fucking intellectual integrity?

  160. 160
    carlos the dwarf says:

    @jibeaux: That had to be a typo. As a VISTA, I can assure you that none of us, anywhere, make anything close to $2500 a month.

  161. 161
    JGabriel says:

    Warren Terra:

    I’m not aware that racial segregation in the military was enacted by Congress before Truman ended it by executive order.

    Yes, I know, see my response in 143 at the second paragraph.

    .

  162. 162
    t jasper parnell says:

    I hadn’t seen this comment@arguingwithsignposts: before making this comment @t jasper parnell:

  163. 163
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Hey, I’ll just come right out and admit it: I deserve to be insulted. I deserve to have my intellect and my sanity questioned. I deserve to be told to go away.

    I deserve all that because I am absolutely terrified about my country’s future, and despondent over my own present. I am horrified that if Obama doesn’t do something–anything at all–to turn around his and his party’s approval ratings, Republicans will make gains in this year’s election and maybe even take the presidency in 2012. I deserve it because I am so desperate for someone )such as the man who campaigned on “hope” and “change”) to do something to fix something that I can taste it.

    So yeah, go ahead and call me whatever name you can think of. Because I clearly have it coming.

  164. 164
    auntieeminaz says:

    Bravo! Standing “o”

  165. 165
    Michael says:

    I guess for Firebaggots like P.A.T., facts don’t matter, and when called on it, whining about the means of the criticism becomes de rigeur.

    No, P.A.T. – you’re not going to get a pony.

  166. 166
    Elie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Going all the way back to this earlier comment:

    So, wait, we have massive unemployment with over 400,000 people losing their jobs every month and Joyner wants to cut those people off from having food?

    The hidden question that is the theme to our ongoing emotional argument with ourselves: Am I my brother’s keeper?

    My answer and the answer of many of the progressives is, ‘YES’ …for others, not so much… even as they suffer. Where does the transect between self-sufficiency and mercy begin and end? Strangely lately, the Democrats have been silent about this in the recent national discussion about this — totally absent. To me this is the hallmark value of our party, and yet, we see no one in the leadership really promoting it, much less defending it. The healthcare debate surprisingly addressed this very little and we got our knickers in a twist over who was going to pay rather than that everyone gets covered.

    Que pasa?

  167. 167
    Redshirt says:

    Notorius P.A.T. is concerned. That’s all.

  168. 168
    DougJ says:

    @Zifnab:

    No, I mostly agree with you.

  169. 169
    Little Dreamer says:

    Oh, I meant to ask, John… (sorry, edit doesn’t seem to be functioning, but at least I can see the site again) –

    Did you always believe that poor people should be fed? Most Republicans I know couldn’t give a damn if people starve or not, so long as it’s not them. I know you used to be one, did you always have that decent human kindness inside you?

  170. 170
    Mnemosyne says:

    @JGabriel:

    Pretty damn quick, but would the Joint Chiefs listen to them or the President?

    A very good question. Since the administration has been working on the Joint Chiefs and the other moving parts for a solid year to get them behind the repeal, they would probably follow an EO. Once you’ve testified in front of Congress that you think the law should be repealed, it would be hard to justify continuing to follow that law when the executive asks you not to.

    I still think that the precedent it would set is bad enough that we should continue the legislative strategy, especially since Gates and Co. just swept the last leg out from under the DADT-ers. I really, really don’t like the optics of the military ignoring a federal law on the orders of the executive. It’s a little too It Can’t Happen Here for my comfort.

    So my point wasn’t to criticize the legislative strategy, it was just to point out that John S.’s argument that it was Bushian “tit-for-tat” wasn’t particularly valid, and therefore unnecessarily inflammatory.

    I will say that I’ve seen plenty of people upset because Obama isn’t being enough like Bush and acting unilaterally against Congress. I don’t know that people here are specifically doing that right now in regards to DADT, though.

  171. 171
    John S. says:

    it was just to point out that John S.’s argument that it was Bushian “tit-for-tat” wasn’t particularly valid, and therefore unnecessarily inflammatory

    Not particularly valid as it pertains to YOU — JGabriel.

    It is an entirely valid argument and pertains to plenty of other people who are not you. Or are you now putting forth the notion that everyone thinks exactly the way you do? And for the record, my theory isn’t specifically related to DADT – it is just a general theory that there are plenty of liberals out there who are doing as I suggest on any issue.

  172. 172
    williamc says:

    and um, how did foodstamps for people who are actually serving their country (in a way that is not killing brown ferriners) turn into “Dictator Obama should legalize gays with guns post haste?”

    This anti-Obama stuff, when he has nothing to do with the conversation at hand, is some serious Presi-hatin’…

    @Elie:

    and its ok Elie, I was drunk on 2 pitchers of Newcastle if I remember that night out correctly, and brown beer makes me an asshole…but then, so does ipa…as does white ales…damnit, it all does, thats why I normally stick to vodka

  173. 173
    Woodbuster says:

    @Ailuridae:

    “Its amazing that somebody who has been endlessly beating the drum about this in the comments here had absolutely no idea what the fuck they were talking about.”

    A-fucking-men.

  174. 174
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s pretty rich coming from someone who was just pwned because he didn’t read his own damn link and had no idea what he was asking for when he demanded an executive order to overturn a federal law.

    Keep beating on straw men, M.

    And I guess I should only read the first line of articles, huh? This is what I was focused on:

    The Clinton Administration on December 21, 1993[4] issued Department of Defense Directive 1304.26, which while following the letter of Congress’s restrictions attempted to soften them by focusing on homosexual “conduct” rather than sexual orientation

    Maybe you only read the first line of an article, but I don’t.

  175. 175
    Michael says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.

    I deserve all that because I am absolutely terrified about my country’s future, and despondent over my own present. I am horrified that if Obama doesn’t do something—anything at all—to turn around his and his party’s approval ratings, Republicans will make gains in this year’s election and maybe even take the presidency in 2012. I deserve it because I am so desperate for someone )such as the man who campaigned on “hope” and “change”) to do something to fix something that I can taste it.

    Fucking WATB – go cry on Jane the Ignorant Slut’s shoulder, drama queen.

  176. 176
    t jasper parnell says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: No you aren’t

  177. 177
    matt says:

    I have a man crush on John Cole for this post.

  178. 178
    Woodbuster says:

    @ John Cole:

    Bring it, Reverend!

    Best post of the year, and that’s saying something.

  179. 179
  180. 180
    licensed to kill time says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: I was thinking more along the lines of Fat Bastard, Austin Powers style:

    Fat Bastard is noted for his foul temper, his emotional monologues that end with flatulence, his vulgar manners, and his unusual diet.

    To be fair, BOB’s temper is more “flat affect” than foul.

  181. 181
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    I deserve all that because I am absolutely terrified about my country’s future, and despondent over my own present.

    No, you deserve it because you want the president to do things that are blatantly illegal to make yourself feel better. The fact that you’re terrified and despondent doesn’t excuse the fact that you want the president to break the law and upend the Constitution to make you feel better.

  182. 182
    pablo says:

    I hereby rename it “AmeriKaKorps”.

  183. 183
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Michael:

    I guess for Firebaggots like P.A.T., facts don’t matter, and when called on it, whining about the means of the criticism becomes de rigeur. No, P.A.T. – you’re not going to get a pony.

    I thought the defining characteristic of a firebagger was opposing the health care reform bill. Which I, demonstrably, do not. Better luck next time.

    “You don’t get a pony” What the fuck does that even mean???

  184. 184
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Michael:

    Say that to my face, tough guy. You live in Michigan or northern Ohio?

  185. 185
    Midnight Marauder says:

    This has spiraled out of control in a hurry. But at least there are no basketball analogies floating around today.

    Brilliant post, Cole.

  186. 186
    meh says:

    BOB is full of win – it hurts the baybay jebus that you hacks can’t see that…

  187. 187
    Zifnab says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Again with insults. What is it with you people? I swear to god, some of you it’s like your skin is as thick as tissue paper and no one has ever challenged you before.

    Quit being dense and I’ll quit calling you dense. If you want to call the Rahmbulance every time legislation doesn’t get passed at your designated speed, you’re not being helpful. You’re not even being honest.

    Do you really think victories are piling up? Where is cap-and-trade, or card check? Where is consumer financial protection? Are you really happy with how things are going?

    The Senate has been a stumbling block for each piece of legislation. I still haven’t seen your solution in overcoming this hurdle. Card Check can’t be passed with 50 votes plus Biden. Cap-and-Trade was in negotiations before the blizzard. At this point, we are dealing with a very perverse political stalemate, but Rahm Emmanuel has virtually nothing to do with the Republican obstructionism.

    I could understand “it’s a good plan, let’s keep using it” but “the plan has worked really well so far” is just unjustifiable.

    We got a bill out of the House fairly quickly. We got a bill out of the Senate after pulling teeth. We had 60 Senators lined up to handle the reconciliation process. And we had to make some serious sacrifices to get to this point (see: Option, Public). But where, exactly, did the plan stop working? Only the truly asshole Senators – Lieberman and Nelson – were giving us trouble, and only because they refused to bargain honestly. The other 58 votes were in hand.

    This was a bill that got blind-sided by the unexpected when it had been a very painful and bloody fight up until the last vote. But, again, the strategy was sound. The bill was written. The votes were had (until Brown-MA).

    At the very least, have the decency to bitch out Reid or Lieberman. Blaming this quagmire on non-Senator Rahm is absurd.

  188. 188
    John Quixote says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Have you put a sign in your window saying “Obama ‘12: His administration is banker-friendly and his policies have heavy corporate input!” Since you seemed to think that was such a winning strategy and all.

    You’re not going to be happy until Obama skullfucks Jamie Dimon on American Idol. And you’d still get pissed off because he only stuck his wang in Dimon’s left eye socket.

    Again with insults. What is it with you people? I swear to god, some of you it’s like your skin is as thick as tissue paper and no one has ever challenged you before.

    Actually , people with thin skin are always the ones who go crying about ‘insults’. I could honestly give an ass rat’s what somebody on the tubes says about me. There is nothing that anybody could say that would be no meaner than the usual Turkey Day banter at the parental units kitchen table. Then again, I guess most families don’t call each other pigfuckers and have a good laugh about. Perhaps I am just odd.

  189. 189
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    And I guess I should only read the first line of articles, huh?

    When the first line of articles contain important facts that should inform your opinions, you’re damn skippy you should read them before you start spouting off.

  190. 190
    Michael says:

    Notorious P.A.T.

    Maybe you only read the first line of an article, but I don’t.

    And it shifts again, continuing to flay the horse that’s been ground into tartare.

    Either that, or you need to go kick the fuck out whichever combination of idiot family members and educators that taught you to read, because your comprehension of the entirety of that article sucks.

  191. 191
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Why doesn’t Shaq do the passing instead of LeBron?

  192. 192
    Ailuridae says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Hey, I’ll just come right out and admit it: I deserve to be insulted. I deserve to have my intellect and my sanity questioned. I deserve to be told to go away.
    I deserve all that because I am absolutely terrified about my country’s future, and despondent over my own present. I am horrified that if Obama doesn’t do something—anything at all—to turn around his and his party’s approval ratings, Republicans will make gains in this year’s election and maybe even take the presidency in 2012. I deserve it because I am so desperate for someone )such as the man who campaigned on “hope” and “change”) to do something to fix something that I can taste it.
    So yeah, go ahead and call me whatever name you can think of. Because I clearly have it coming.

    Oh FFS, you whining baby. You have made repeated inaccurate statements about the President’s capability to overturn DADT for weeks now and have had the same half dozen posters (not including me as you clearly don’t believe in empirical facts) telling you he can’t do that. At every turn you kept pounding at the keyboard that yes he could overturn it and you just knew it. You then linked to a post that demonstrated you were wrong and were all hurt that people rightly insulted you for making ignorant and strident arguments in every fucking thread you could. Why don’t you just admit you were clearly fucking wrong and not do any passive aggressive drama shop companion to that admission?

    Some of us post here because its a reality-based community. Your posts consistently fuck that up.

  193. 193
    t jasper parnell says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.: How is following the letter of congress restriction, i.e., the law, different that, you know, following the law? If any president were to issue and EO that contravened a law it would or could spark a constitutional crisis, no?

    and this little rant proves that you are, of course, right to be factually challenged and overly broad in your criticism, concerned something or another is concerened

    I am absolutely terrified about my country’s future, and despondent over my own present. I am horrified that if Obama doesn’t do something—anything at all—to turn around his and his party’s approval ratings, Republicans will make gains in this year’s election and maybe even take the presidency in 2012. I deserve it because I am so desperate for someone )such as the man who campaigned on “hope” and “change”) to do something to fix something that I can taste it.

  194. 194
    Tonal Crow says:

    At around this point, the Democratic firing squad starts. The usual suspects would start blaming this on Rahm, and screaming “Why isn’t Obama using his bully pulpit more….

    You lost me in the last clause. For better or for worse, the President bears primary responsibility for his party’s rhetoric. If he’s aggressive, his party’s aggressive. If he’s disengaged, his party’s apathetic and disappointed.

    If Obama hits the GOP, hits them hard, and doesn’t let up, watch the Democratic rank and file wake up and get active.

    If Obama doesn’t take the lead, watch the Democratic rank and file instead spend its time shooting at each other.

    Using the bully pulpit is called “leadership”. Not using it is called “losing”.

  195. 195
    Ailuridae says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Jeebus Christ you’ve lost. Stop digging.

  196. 196
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @JGabriel:

    Hey J, thanks.

  197. 197
    blogasita says:

    That was great!

  198. 198
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Why doesn’t Shaq do the passing instead of LeBron?

    Because he’s not Yao Ming, the best passing big man in the game today.

  199. 199
    Michael says:

    John Quixote

    You’re not going to be happy until Obama skullfucks Jamie Dimon on American Idol. And you’d still get pissed off because he only stuck his wang in Dimon’s left eye socket.

    I’ll admit to being willing to cough up some extra bucks for seeing that one on pay per view.

  200. 200
    pandera says:

    simply brilliant. A rant for the ages and a perfect summation of our current befouled system. I wish i’da wrote it…

  201. 201
    t jasper parnell says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:
    Well your ignorance of and a pony explains a lot of your foolish error prone ranting and self-involved unreflexive criticism of the current administration.
    For and a pony go here

  202. 202
    kgc16 says:

    @28 Percent: Well done, spoof troll!

  203. 203
    Oscar Leroy says:

    James Joyner reacts to the news that 1 in 8 Americans is on food stamps with surprise (a surprise I share)

    I’m not surprised at that. I wish I could be, but I’m not

  204. 204
    Jay B. says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Don’t worry N.P.A.T. there are plenty of valid excuses as to why everything fails. I’m sure voters will understand, after all they respond most positively to “the process takes time”, “the Republicans are mean” and “well, our hands are tied — that’s democracy for you!”

    None of those things are wrong of course. And thankfully, we have a rational electorate, so no urgency is required. Silly drama queen. The thundering assurance of righteous excuse making and process arguments will make everything all right.

  205. 205
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @t jasper parnell:

    B. Beets. Bears. Battlestar Galactica

  206. 206
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    If he’s aggressive, his party’s aggressive. If he’s disengaged, his party’s apathetic and disappointed.

    Surely, you jest.

  207. 207
    John S. says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    I agree with the general thrust of your statement, but this:

    If Obama hits the GOP, hits them hard, and doesn’t let up, watch the Democratic rank and file wake up and get active.

    Is rather silly. If Democrats were Republicans – which they are not – then the President’s bold leadership would have the rank and file marching in lockstep. But since they are Democrats, that will not happen, no matter how much we wish for it.

    There are plenty of nervous and wavering Democrats that will fall in line behind Obama’s lead, but for every one of them, there are an equal number of Democrats who will proudly go against the President for a myriad of reasons. Especially in the Senate.

    Having a big tent has consequences.

  208. 208
    John Quixote says:

    @Michael: We can combine it with The Skwisgaar Skwigelf Advanced Fast Hand Finger Wizard Master Class and charge $49.95. It would definitely be both metal and brutal.

  209. 209
    Little Dreamer says:

    @28 Percent:

    Oh, and if everyone became a fucking chemical engineer, who would deliver your newspaper, and who would dry clean your clothes? Who would stock the grocery store with your damned food?

    Are you this obtuse in real life?

  210. 210
    Oscar Leroy says:

    @kgc16:

    B-O-B has a partner! How nice )

  211. 211
    Midnight Marauder says:

    Chuck Todd, the Politico, and other dullards in the beltway media would run a few pieces wondering why Obama hasn’t reached out more to moderates. While this is happening, the wurlitzer’s media blitz starts.

    The latest screaming headline at the top of HuffPo Politics?

    DANGER AHEAD

    Obama Virtually Tied With Generic Republican Candidate In 2012

    With nearly three years to go before the 2012 presidential election, President Obama’s hold on the White House appears to be in jeopardy, according to the results of a Gallup Poll released Wednesday.

    But seriously, fuck you, Arianna Hufington.

  212. 212
    Tonal Crow says:

    @John S.: I’m not talking lockstep. I’m talking inspired and active. That doesn’t mean everyone’s on board with every policy.

  213. 213
    bago says:

    This post is fucking epic. A true distillation of the american mediaspace. It represents the moment after a facepalm. Rock!

  214. 214
    Libertini says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Either way, said breathers will get rickets. Would that make you happy?

  215. 215
    Ailuridae says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    You failed at the internet, kiddo.

  216. 216
    Comrade Luke says:

    Do they still have the Koufax awards? Because this is the winner.

  217. 217
    Michael says:

    @pandera

    simply brilliant. A rant for the ages and a perfect summation of our current befouled system. I wish i’da wrote it…

    There were some pieces of the puzzle obviously omitted for length.

    1. A Fox News discussion panel consisting of Fred Barnes, Charles Krauthammer, Brit Hume and Ann Coulter debating on how this attempt to boost Americorps proves that Obama is trying to destroy America, and Mort Kondracke offering the counterpoint of it not being deliberate sabotage of all that is good – that it is only negligently done.

    2. A Luke Russert special on Americorps and how his dad would have really liked this discussion about it. He’ll interview a bunch of villagers about what they think his dad would have thought.

    3. Jane Hamsher appearing on O’Reilly to talk about just how bad Obama sucks, with a special interview of Ralph Nader.

  218. 218
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    If Obama hits the GOP, hits them hard, and doesn’t let up, watch the Democratic rank and file wake up and get active.

    I think you’re way overestimating Congress. There are plenty of Democrats — especially in the Senate — who are pissed off that this young whippersnapper is President and are pleased to obstruct what he wants at every turn.

    Much as I wish we were, we are not the rank and file. In terms of Fred Clark’s very fine post from a couple of weeks ago, we are the fans, not the teammates. We can pressure the team from the sidelines, but unless we run for office ourselves, our influence is unfortunately limited.

  219. 219
    t jasper parnell says:

    @Jay B.:
    This is that irony thing I keep hearing so much about right? So then what, in the first year of his admin Obama should have been on the tv, radio, intertubes, and telegraph doing what now? See those Republicans? They are leeches and they should die,die I say. Seriously, what should he have done, and not the obvious pass abunch of bills but how?

  220. 220
    mai naem says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: I know this is only going to egg you on but you are full of shit. I know a couple of people who get food stamps. One gets $58/ mo for a single person and the other person gets $300 for a five person single parent household.

    Also too, as we all know, it’s Amerikkkorps not Americorps.

  221. 221
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Ailuridae:

    Attacks on my person don’t prove your point. Explain your stance and be done with it, otherwise, you look like you’re just trying to win an argument without any facts.

    Try it, you might see that it’s a better approach!

  222. 222
    rootless_e says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    If Obama hits the GOP, hits them hard, and doesn’t let up, watch the Democratic rank and file wake up and get active.

    Is this a comedy routine?

  223. 223
    Ailuridae says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    The post you replied to was a spoof.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....raditions/

  224. 224
    t jasper parnell says:

    @Little Dreamer: 28percent is a spoof; while BOB is, as has been pointed out, an enlarged version of Dwight Schrute

  225. 225
    Michael says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.

    Say that to my face, tough guy. You live in Michigan or northern Ohio?

    Oooooooooooh – he’s tough, he’s rough. But is his mouth writing checks his ass can’t cash?

    LOL

    And in answer to your question, I can say that I don’t live within 4 hours of there.

  226. 226
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Ailuridae:

    Oh, and if I fail to answer, that doesn’t mean I have no reply either. I happen to deliver newspapers (it’s a job with odd hours) and it’s my bedtime, so if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to dreamland to get my beauty sleep and I’m not going to worry my pretty little head about your personal attacks. I know others here will see what’s going on and address it.

    I’ll be back to check this thread tonight when I wake up.

  227. 227
    t jasper parnell says:

    @Ailuridae: or this

  228. 228
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    Attacks on my person don’t prove your point. Explain your stance and be done with it, otherwise, you look like you’re just trying to win an argument without any facts.
    __
    Try it, you might see that it’s a better approach!

    28 Percent is a known spoof. Seemingly legitimate, well-intentioned responses to such types is bound to get you slapped with the “INTERNET FAIL” label.

  229. 229
    Will says:

    This is the best thing you’ve written this year, John. Thank you.

  230. 230
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Ailuridae:

    Doesn’t matter, I made a point, I don’t care if spoof or not. I never HAVE cared.

    For all we know, there could be people who actually think these things and it’s better to address them and get the argument out there. I’m sorry, I don’t care who said it, or what purpose they served, it if was said and it was idiotic, it needs to be shot down anyway. That has always been my POV.

    Carry on!

  231. 231

    I just gotta comment to say what a great rant this is, John. You’ve captured the essence of what our system has come to.

  232. 232
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    So fail me, I don’t care MM. As you fully well know, there are idiots out there who will believe any damned thing, and just because someone is spoofing doesn’t mean no one ever believes that shit. Remember, as long as we have Rush and Bill O. and Hannity and the Pat Robertsons and such, we’re doomed to deal with stupidity.

  233. 233
    Little Dreamer says:

    Okay, well, I have to go to sleep now. I just wanted to say “Great piece, John!”.

  234. 234
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Without getting in the crossfire, I had to comment and say, damn, Cole, when you’re on, you’re on. This post is smoking and right on the money. Depressingly so. Carry on, good sir.

  235. 235
    JGabriel says:

    Mnemosyne: Thanks for the link to that Slacktivist post on Jackie Robinson and Obama. Very interesting.

    Notorious P.A.T.: You’re welcome. As I said above, I’ve converted from thinking we should use an EO to overturn DADT to preferring the legislative route. But I also don’t like to see the argument for EO mischaracterized.

    .

  236. 236
    Jay B. says:

    @t jasper parnell:

    Is it really beyond your ken to understand that engaging Republicans was not only useless, but actively detrimental? It’s really really pointless to argue with some of you, but here goes — year one is pass big things using the tools at your disposal, in this case, say, a gigantic Democratic Majority. The worry started with the stimulus, which, in fact, while good, ALSO lived up to the criticisms from those from the left who criticized its tax cuts and its smaller scope — so it was successful in stopping the slide (very important), but not successful enough in reversing the losses (also very important).

    Again, I know the “rational” response to this: where was he getting the votes for a larger stimulus, etc. And the counter: he didn’t even try, he let Congress dictate the terms. It gets nowhere.

    But the Administration’s rhetorical timidity was most obvious on HCR and banking regulations. These should have been the next things to tackle immediately. Last year. Not this. When Congress is up for reelection. Had they done it last year, they would have two more giant things to campaign on. But Congress was inept and slow and Obama, whenever he could, talked about the need to bring Republicans into the conversation, stalling any momentum and giving the worst Democrats incredible leverage. Why on Earth do you think this is a good tactic?

    But OK, Congress is the problem. And worse than Congress, Republicans in general are the problem. So what else could Obama do?

    Well, for starters, lets see what he does directly control: pretty much the national security apparatus. The anti-torture statement was great. His record on Executive privilege and civil liberties is not only atrocious, it’s opposite what he said he would do as President. Had he simply lived up to his promises and his promise as a Professor of Constitutional Law, I think a lot of us would have been supportive of other compromises on his domestic policy.

    This, in particular, is a place where you can’t blame Republicans or Congress.

    Sure, one defense is that he would be attacked and his legislative agenda would be fatally compromised — but it is anyway. Which brings me back to my original point and one you can’t seem to grasp – – at no point does the GOP operate in good faith. None.

    You tell me why Obama keeps reaching out to them.

  237. 237
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Mnemosyne: Our potential influence is much greater than our current influence. When congresscritters’ switchboards get jammed, day after day, they take notice. While the loudest wheel doesn’t always get the grease, it gets it much more frequently than the quiet ones.

    Further, by using the bully pulpit to its utmost, the President pushes the media in his direction. I didn’t say “flips the media to his side”. I said “pushes the media in his direction”. This is critically important, as John’s rant implies. If you want better media, you’ve got to have a better message, more consistently promoted. And that’s the President’s responsibility. Leadership comes (or doesn’t come) from the top.

    I’m not blaming Obama for every failure. But his rhetoric has been — for the most part — weak tea, and that’s got to change.

  238. 238

    Joyner wouldn’t like the cure to the expanding roles, a return to the near confiscatory tax rates on huge income. You cannot get these idjits to look at history or even economic sense. Huge income takes that money out of the wage stream – it is a zero sum game because a company has just exactly so much income and it certainly is not raised by huge management rewards. The wage stream in the US has suffered consistently as those rates decreased.

    Attaching such a rate to multiples of the median wage would avoid messes like the AMT not to mention not penalizing wealth for rising wages. But that might make sense.

  239. 239
    Throwin Stones says:

    Righteous rant John.

  240. 240
    Tonal Crow says:

    @rootless_e:

    If Obama hits the GOP, hits them hard, and doesn’t let up, watch the Democratic rank and file wake up and get active.

    Is this a comedy routine?

    Yeah. What I really think is that Obama shouldn’t confront the GOP or promote his own policies. Instead, he should sit back and rely on dispassionate policy discussions to convince Congress and the voters. This will inspire Democrats to come out in droves — and the GOP to stay home in droves — this November, and will get him 90 seats in the Senate and 400 in the House.

  241. 241
    t jasper parnell says:

    @Jay B.: You are, I think, right about executive privilege and I confess I am baffled about some of his stances. But he is who he is and the stimulus, the passing HCR in both houses of congress and the lower house passing banking reform and so on are actual advances. His stance on regulatory regimes and the people he has put in place and wants to put in place are all positive.

    I understand that the bipartisan outreach makes him look, to some, like Charlie Brown re Lucy’s football. On the other hand, a recent poll suggested that something like 58% think the Republicans are being too obstructive, which I take to be evidence of Obama’s success.

  242. 242
    Ruckus says:

    Cole
    It’s a little short for a masters thesis but so good that it doesn’t matter.
    Heretofore Therefore and all with all that other bull shit is your Master of the Intertubes degree.

  243. 243
    Raoul says:

    One. of. your. best. posts. ever.

  244. 244

    @Zifnab:

    the Rahmbulance

    @John Quixote:

    You’re not going to be happy until Obama skullfucks Jamie Dimon on American Idol. And you’d still get pissed off because he only stuck his wang in Dimon’s left eye socket.

    Two comments so full of win. thanks, BJ!

  245. 245
    t jasper parnell says:

    Here’s a link to the poll on Republican obstruction.

    I would also point out that the finding most hyped is the Republicans clawing their way back to parity on their traditional strengths, which really does suggest the media are the message and that message is all about Obama fail.

  246. 246
    Da Bomb says:

    Fantastic rant John!! Keep up with the piss and vinegar!

  247. 247
    gwangung says:

    @t jasper parnell: Yeah, gotta agree with you. Really dislike his behavior on executive privilege and civil liberties with respect to terrorism, mildly dislike his stances on Afghanistan. But I’m fine on how he’s approaching legislation in other areas, where he’s methodically trying to get a dispassionate approach to getting legislation passed, even though some valued items get dropped.

    That doesn’t satisfy my inner child, but it strikes me as an approach that emphsizes the intellectual and may sustain you in times of ebb, as well as flow.

    (this is not hippie punching; i have punched hippies before, but this is no hippie punching).

  248. 248
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Jay B.:

    Is it really beyond your ken to understand that engaging Republicans was not only useless, but actively detrimental? It’s really really pointless to argue with some of you,

    that’s because we are arguing in two different dimensions Jay. You are arguing from the left dimension only, which is Ok, if you recognize it as being that. We, and Obama, I think, are arguing from the body politic as a whole. Obama is president of the entire country, not just progs and libs.

    And it is hard to make the claim that the left dimension is all that unhappy by giving him historic high approval ratings of 90 percent. And as Jasper points out, the ever important center or independent voters are giving him high marks for the effort of reaching out to wingers.

    It seems fruitless and even detrimental but it is not. It puts some pressure on the few more moderate goopers CCer;s from blue states to at some point break away from the current southern wingnut leadership strategy of blocking all of Obama’s initiatives and gives some cover to some, though not all, red state dems. Though I know some still side with the repubs. But it is a percentage game of keeping presidential support as high as possible, which is the coin of the realm for presidential power to get things done in the long term.

    And I am full aware that you will not accept any of this from me, or any one else here. We, by and large, look at and comment on the big picture. You don’t and that is ok. But maybe my explaining it to you will reduce banging your head against the BJ wall so much. Second thought, prolly won’t stop that at all, but do carry on.

  249. 249
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Well I can’t help it if half the people who scream “moron” and “idiot” and “dumbass” at me do not, objectively, even know what I am saying.

    It’s pretty fucking obvious you aren’t swooning over President Obama so nothing else matters. Surely you’ve figured that out by now?

  250. 250

    Very good post. Not only do I hate my government more. I am feeling much more misanthropic to my neighbors, coworkers, and those strange creatures I call friends.

    Its like a detailed view of the pool of fail we as humanity are diving into.

    oh moderation! Good thing I didn’t put any curse words in ;)

  251. 251
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    [applauds this post and the comments subsequent]

  252. 252
    t jasper parnell says:

    <href="#comment-1580835">Just Some Fuckhead: Not, obviously that it matters, but your claim is nonsense. No one is swooning, well nearly no on, most of us are disappointed and were prepared to be disappointed but I am not a baby and bathwater kind of guy and Obama has done some things and incremental change is better than the Ryan budget but not as nice, it is true, as the pony budget.

  253. 253

    Holy cow. I think I need a cigarette after reading that post.

    Bravo!

  254. 254
    birthmarker says:

    Great post, John. Boy, you really hit a nerve with some of these folks, didn’t you?

  255. 255
    Evinfuilt says:

    How dare you John, that rant upset my weak delicate stomach. I thought all wonderfully inspired ideas just magically passed the Senate.

    Magical Unity Ponies for everyone!!! The Republicans will always do whats best for the nation.

    I’m sure someone above has already commented how Reason would do an expose showing how helping Americorps volunteers would disenfranchise young people from volunteering, and only corporate funded volunteerism is worthy.

  256. 256
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    When congresscritters’ switchboards get jammed, day after day, they take notice. While the loudest wheel doesn’t always get the grease, it gets it much more frequently than the quiet ones.

    That’s part of the problem we’re running into on healthcare. Congresscritters are getting calls, e-mails and faxes from people opposed to it, but very little supporting it. When all you hear is people who don’t want the healthcare bill to pass, and then you see (badly worded) polls that say the same thing, you’re going to get cold feet.

    I’m not blaming Obama for every failure. But his rhetoric has been—for the most part—weak tea, and that’s got to change.

    I somewhat disagree with you because he’s been doing a lot of his campaign strategy of going into smaller news markets and getting local coverage, but I agree that national coverage has been a disaster. They were able to circumvent the national media during the election, but they can’t really do it on national issues, which I think was their miscalculation.

  257. 257
    Jay B. says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    It seems fruitless and even detrimental but it is not.

    Yes it is. Let me modify this — it is if you want anything good to pass and happen. The GOP are close to winning this battle because they stand together and oppose everything. This is what opposition parties often do. And since the argument isn’t “We tried, but Republicans are obstructing the people’s agenda, it’s up to us Democrats to work it out.” but “I’d love to work with Republicans and sit down with them at an idiotic health care summit to work out a solution — as if this hasn’t been on the table for over a fucking year now — and stretch out the process even further to prove some esoteric political point”, it kind of makes the entire point of political beliefs irrelevant. Why fucking bother having one if, in order for something ideologically-derived (like, say, health care reform) to pass, the goal of the President is to make sure there are no political differences that aren’t overcome? Process politics isn’t a zero-sum game, but passing a bill is and so are elections.

    Meanwhile, Democrats can’t run against Republicans as obstructionists because the President wants to still work with them.

    So again, it depends on what your definition of fruitless and detrimental is. I think passing good bills is good and it doesn’t matter who votes for them so long as they pass. And to consistently wait for people who have vocally and endlessly opposed these bills is, in my definition, fruitless and detrimental.

    It puts some pressure on the few more moderate goopers CCer;s from blue states to at some point break away from the current southern wingnut leadership strategy of blocking all of Obama’s initiatives and gives some cover to some, though not all, red state dems.

    No it doesn’t. In fact, the Democrats are in the process of losing ground to the GOP in blue/purple states. Even beyond Massachusetts. California, Illinois, Ohio, New Hampshire, Colorado — Republicans are either ahead or uncomfortably close. The GOP is winning because, in effect, they stand for something (nothing) opposed to the Democrats, who stand for working with nihilists to produce nothing. It’s more direct to simply go directly to nothing than go through endless gyrations to produce nothing.

  258. 258
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Jay B.: Like I said, you won’t listen. And are just ignorant of politics in the extreme.

    Meanwhile, Democrats can’t run against Republicans as obstructionists because the President wants to still work with them.

    This so mind numbingly dumb, if I didn’t know better, I would call it spoof. But you are serious, I think.

  259. 259
    t jasper parnell says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I agree that national coverage has been a disaster. They were able to circumvent the national media during the election, but they can’t really do it on national issues, which I think was their miscalculation.

    This does help explain the current state of affairs.

  260. 260
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Hey look, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb are patting each other on the back.

  261. 261
    John S. says:

    @JGabriel:

    But I also don’t like to see the argument for EO mischaracterized.

    Yes, you seem to prefer mischaracterizing other people’s arguments, especially when doing so allows you to persist in making wrong-headed arguments of your own.

  262. 262
    Jay B. says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    And are just ignorant of politics in the extreme.

    Yup. Me and Harry Truman.

    “The Republicans believe that the power of government should be used first of all to help the rich and the privileged in the country. With them, property, wealth, comes first. The Democrats believe that the power of government should be used to give the common man more protection and a chance to make a living. With us the people come first.”

    Simple. Direct. Clarifying. Not giving a flying shit about worrying about how independents will take it.

    This so mind numbingly dumb, if I didn’t know better, I would call it spoof. But you are serious, I think

    .

    Right. Here’s the Democrats in Congress: “The Republicans are obstructing us.” Even if that sounds wimpy and lame, it contains at least some truth. Here’s Obama: “The Republicans are valued voices at the table.” Both can’t be true.

  263. 263
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Jay B.:

    Yup. Me and Harry Truman.

    Harry doesn’t comment on Balloon Juice.

  264. 264

    Dear Firebaggers in this thread: inconstant Democrats like you are the reason the Democratic party can never make more than the incremental gains you so despise

    Sack the fuck up.

  265. 265
    NR says:

    @Jay B.: Yes. This.

    Chuck Grassley says “This health care reform bill is going to pull the plug on Grandma,” and a couple of days later, Obama praises him and says he’s negotiating in good faith. If that’s not an incredibly stupid political approach, I don’t know what is.

  266. 266

    […] Cole does a fantastic job of speculating on exactly what would happen if Congress were to attempt to fix something that most […]

  267. 267
    ruemara says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Really? I must have missed the rallying Senate Dems who threw off their torpor and fear, screaming “FUCK IT, MA PEEPS WANT SINGLE PAYAH BICHEZ!” Then, in a swirl of patchouli and love beads, they passed the total green earth initiative, installed compost toilets, taxed rich people at 99% and strung up a bank exec in a wicker man for a kumbayaya bbq.

    All I saw was Blanche Lincoln puling about standing against the left and working with republicans in bipartisanship after her party leader smacked the bejeezus out of a room full of republicans. And then Ben Nelson joining repubs in failing to vote for cloture for a nominee.

    Dude, we have people with snakes for spines.

  268. 268
    Sick and Tired of being Sick and Tired says:

    I think you should put some music behind that post and title it “How a Bill Doesn’t Become a Law” and play it during Saturday Morning cartoons. Explain to kids school house rock style how congress works today

  269. 269
    Hob says:

    @JGabriel: The phrase “self-licking” could be more properly applied to Joyner’s entire article. When my dog spends 5 minutes cleaning his groin, he seems to share Joyner’s belief that he has addressed an important issue, and his efforts are just as beneficial to the rest of the world.

  270. 270
    Jay B. says:

    @media browski:

    Yep! Lifelong Democrats who help give them nearly all the levers of political power are the reason that the Democrats can’t do shit.

    It’s definitely our fault for not clapping louder.

  271. 271
    Cassidy says:

    I just want to know one thing. How long did it take the one armed man to type this?

  272. 272
    inkadu says:

    May I recommend “Self-licking ice cream cone” as a new tag?

    And how can I submit a blog post for a Pulitzer?

  273. 273
    t jasper parnell says:

    @ruemara: “Snakes for spines,” here is part of the problem. The Dems who speak and vote right and the Dems who back stab, aren’t spineless, I would argue, they actually believe what they are saying and doing it is one of the problems Obama faces.

    It is also the case that, Obama probably believes that Grassely was acting in good faith, although the recent Reid disembowelment of the Bacus/Grassley bill suggests an awakening, as does the embarrass them over the stimulus and the make them yes or no to Ryan’s insane budget.

  274. 274
    gwangung says:

    “Snakes for spines,” here is part of the problem. The Dems who speak and vote right and the Dems who back stab, aren’t spineless, I would argue, they actually believe what they are saying and doing it is one of the problems Obama faces.

    Does anyone think that this is what we’d be facing if we had multiple parties in this country? Because the Dems are a lot more of a coalition than the Republicans are…

  275. 275
    t jasper parnell says:

    @gwangung: Bingo

  276. 276
    gelfling545 says:

    As my nephew was recently a VISTA volunteer and we are now acquainted with many of his co-volunteers, I can tell you that VISTAs do get a small (really small) stipend from which to provide for their food, clothing, shelter and transportation. They are not permitted to participate in other income producing activities (no part time side jobs). The idea is that they SHARE in the experience of the people they are serving, understanding poverty by living poor. I can tell you it makes an impact on one’s worldview and removes any sense of “de haut en bas” from one’s attitude. Food stamps and all the attendant problems in applying, re-certifying and being subjected to demeaning conduct of some social service workers, not to mention rude comments and stares in the supermarket are all a part of the regular experience the working poor face every day. Bravo to the VISTAs for being willing to take this on in order to be of service.

  277. 277
    ruemara says:

    @t jasper parnell:

    As a side note, I believe Grassley said what he said after Obama praised him for negotiating in good faith. Not before. Even if he did, what do you expect him to do? Lambaste him? Bitch about Republican tactics? I know it’d be balm to my soul, but it’s not going to improve things. & liberals ain’t the base. We’re a sizable portion of the base. The rest of the base are moderates & independents who are so clue-free they could put their long term memory up for rent. They see President Obama get into it with an idiot Senator, then they sit around absorbing all the tut-tut from media pundits. Right now, Obama is winning the battle for reasonableness. All it takes is one Dean Scream and he’ll lose war.

  278. 278
    kay says:

    I look at food stamps a little differently.

    The federal poverty limit for a family of four is 22,050. One minimum wage job in my state is 15,142. Food stamps here are available at 130% of poverty level.

    I’ve come to think of food stamps as “the government feeding the low wage workforce”. Which is probably preferable to private for-profit entities paying them a living wage, if you were to ask private entities. Wages have been stagnant for 10 years.

    But that might be too cynical. Maybe it’s really a charitable program. Personally, I think the wheels ‘o commerce get a lot of grease in return for their food stamp “contribution”.

  279. 279
    t jasper parnell says:

    @ruemara: I agree, sorry that wasn’t clear.

  280. 280
    Dave C says:

    I know I’m way late to the party here, but, John, I just wanted to say that this is possibly the greatest thing you’ve ever written. Well done, sir.

  281. 281
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @kay: I think there oughta be a weight limit you can’t exceed in order to qualify for food stamps. If we cut down on feeding fat people, who don’t need feeding, we can feed more people who do need it.

  282. 282
    Tzal says:

    John — This may be your best post ever.

  283. 283
  284. 284
    ruemara says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Wow. Your ability to make anyone think “Wow, what an asshole” is amazing.

  285. 285
    t jasper parnell says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Yeah, they could set it at 130% of the BMI. I betcha that this is, in fact, what M. Obama has in mind with her “obesity panels” and healthy eating scam. ;)

  286. 286
    gnomedad says:

    It’s a sad day in American when a parasite like BoB can use food stamps to buy pie.

  287. 287
    kay says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Picking on fat people is too easy, even for you.

    Who do you think you are, anyway? Michelle Obama?

  288. 288
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @kay: How am I picking on fat people? Scientists have hypothesized there’s a link between eating too much food and being really fucking fat.

    I’m not talking about “chunky mom” fat. I’m talking about twelve thousand calories a day fat. And I don’t have a problem with people being monstrously fat. Taxpayers shouldn’t have to subsidize it is all I’m saying.

    I dunno, it just seems like common sense.

  289. 289
    t jasper parnell says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Wait, you’re serious?

  290. 290
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @t jasper parnell: Rarely.

  291. 291
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @t jasper parnell: Of course he’s serious. It’s the new wave, fuckhead is a Rush Limbaugh progressive.

  292. 292
    Irony Abounds says:

    Mr. Cole: If they gave Pulitzers for blog entries, this would nab one of those suckers. Brilliant. It is very difficult to imagine that at one point in time you were actually a Bush supporter. I guess when the fog lifted the landscape was quite a bit different than you thought.

  293. 293
    t jasper parnell says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: No[w] there’s a coalition partner, overweight, bigoted, sex perverts, hate spewers for universal single payer HCR.

  294. 294
    PB says:

    Wow, I love this post.

  295. 295
    El Cid says:

    Just wanted to say, John Cole, that was awesome.

    This is a keeper. This will be read and re-read. And forwarded. And linked.

  296. 296
    kay says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    They all smoke, too, so just get over it.

    I hate the “why are poor people so fat?” discussion. I don’t know why they’re fat. Because they don’t know anything about nutrition or how to prepare food? Because they have crappy cars that break down all the time so they “stock up” on huge amounts of non-perishable “food” that has lots of calories but little nutritional value? Because they eat a lot when food’s available- they’re always scared they’ll get cut off?

  297. 297

    […] Cole has an impressive rant describing how a bill just about everybody likes could flame out, die and cause political wreckage […]

  298. 298
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @El Cid: I just re read it and it is a masterpiece of logical cynicism and a road map of our fruit loop political process for governing that currently exists in this country. A work of dark art.

  299. 299
    Chris says:

    And how did he know I would be sick? Damn I was…I didnt even realize it til he mentioned it. Ugggg

  300. 300
    Sharl says:

    Mr. Cole, that was most excellent: ++

    Extra plus, for this:

    The Fonzi of Freedom, Nick Gillespie…

  301. 301
    chili6 says:

    I don’t usually post, just read and enjoy. But that was outstanding!

  302. 302
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    Dude, we have people with snakes Slinkies for spines.

    Fix’t.

    You have outdone yourself with this post John, you’ve knocked this sucker out of its skin, right out of the ballpark, through the stratosphere and now it’s on its way across the Milky Way. Some evil alien overlord is going to get beaned by this, go ‘WTF?!’ and then launch an all out attack on our planet.

    All you need to do now is every time a bill comes up just edit this post a bit, slap it up online and you will have given everyone a scene-by-scene description of the dog and pony show in advance. That way we can all point, laugh, cry, ridicule and go “ooooh!” and “ahhh!” as the action (and inaction) unfolds in front of us.

    If there was a Pulitzer for blogging you would win it with this entry.

  303. 303
    Comrade Luke says:

    I never knew what “Fonzi of Freedom” meant, but since I saw Gillespie on Bill Moyers I’m LMAO.

  304. 304
    Svensker says:

    Dear John, it is Mr. Crankypants posts like this that keep me coming back (that, pictures of the critters, and your big ol’ soft heart).

    I know 3 people on food stamps. One, a friend whose business in eastern PA died a horrible death about a year and a half ago. He’s sold his house and burned through all his savings. His only income is his food stamps, which he sells to his sister for cash so he can keep his health insurance and his phone.

    The other two are my wingnut brother’s 2 adult kids. My wingnut brother of course thinks it’s great his kids are getting some help while they are having a rough time financially. Other people who get food stamps, however, are welfare cheats.

  305. 305
    policomic says:

    JC, this is your 5th Symphony/Sistine ceiling/Sgt. Pepper.

  306. 306
    Cain says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    If Obama hits the GOP, hits them hard, and doesn’t let up, watch the Democratic rank and file wake up and get active.

    Riiight, cuz when Clinton did it, everybody got behind him didn’t they? I seem to recall that when he was getting attacked by Republicans and he was fighting that the dems really had this back, went to bat for him and everything, amirite?

    cain

  307. 307
    LauraNo says:

    Spot on. You have a ‘great ear’. I’ll be doing my best to spread this far and wide. We really really need to shame all parties involved. But, how can we get any tea partiers to read this or see the underlying problems? That’s probably a lost cause. Please keep it up.

  308. 308
    goblue72 says:

    Man, I wish I could have qualified for food stamps when I was in AmeriCorps. Sure would have made my weekly meals have a little more variety than “do I want frank and beans or a Ramen pack with an egg and Veg-All for dinner?”

    Course, that was 15 years ago and from what I’ve heard, our munificent federal government as controlled by the Republican Army of Capitalismstan has increased the annual stipend by about only $1,000 since the mid-90s.

    I really wish they’d also stop calling them volunteers. Its National Service. Conservatives don’t run complaining about paying for soliders food and housing when they volunteer to go kill brown children overseas do we?

    Oh, right, they do.

  309. 309
    Cain says:

    @ruemara:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Wow. Your ability to make anyone think “Wow, what an asshole” is amazi

    And your troll sense is off. He was clearly being sarcastic. Jeez.

    cain

  310. 310
    harris says:

    no offense but i think thats a slippery slope argument. by that i mean that when u say that if this happens then this other thing will happen when actually something else could happen.

  311. 311
    just to pile on says:

    What a great post.

    Also, this site is one of my favorites. I check in several times a day.

    What a great post.

  312. 312
    Elie says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    You are a sad creature.

    Poor people get really fat because the food that they can afford is very fattening — high density carbs, very little protein and even less vegetables — . They are fat, but frequently malnourished and therefore unhealthy.

    I don’t know who you are, or what is in your core, but you had better hope that there is no justice, only mercy after this life — if you truly believe as you say.

    I have generally found that people who say things like you did, are not very happy people. When you are at peace with yourself, and like who you are, mercy and kindness are the outcome, not contempt and bitterness.

  313. 313
    Elie says:

    @Cain:

    We dont really all know each other that well sometimes to read between every set of lines. Why leave it to chance? Do we have to be that aware of everyone’s little shtick all the time? I hear your point, but Rue made an honest mistake as I did — who knows around here. We do get jackals more than only once in a while…

  314. 314
    Steve R. says:

    “Poor, poor Rahm. He hasn’t made a single mistake, yet people criticize him. His “momentum strategy” has worked amazingly well, and his “let Congress do it” plan has too.”

    The man is a martyr, I tell you.

    The only part missing is where the usual suspects claim that the President is helpless when it comes to influencing the workings of Congress and public opinion and anything that goes wrong should be blamed on the Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader, and/or Jane Hamsher, not necessarily in that order.

    Otherwise, a really great post.

  315. 315
    Ken says:

    Late to the party, thanks to the intertubes and their finicky behavior.

    But, brilliant. Just brilliant.

  316. 316

    John, this post is one of your all-time greats! Well done, Sir.

  317. 317

    […] 12, 2010 in Uncategorized This is perfect. Absolutely, mind-blowingly […]

  318. 318
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    It’s always pretty obvious who the fats ones are, huh?

    BTW, is this “Go Play With Your Poop” Elie from yesterday? Yeah, look me up when I say something that stupid.

  319. 319
    Steve J. says:

    This post is an instant classic!

  320. 320
    Kobie says:

    GREAT post, John. And to the rest of you slapfighting here, grow up. This is going to be the most linked post on BJ in a long time. The outside world is looking. Try to act like decent human beings.

  321. 321
    Elie says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Yeah — its me and I have to say, I am just getting to know this cast of characters… I come in and out quite a bit depending on my time and I miss stuff.

    I am apologizing for any offense to a spoof well intentioned. That said, you have to admit some of the more poisonous visitors sometimes are hard to detect when we overlap the very words and attitudes they project..

    Ok. So if you dont want me to call you fuckhead, Fuckhead, let me know once in a while you are for real.

  322. 322
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Elie: No, it’s my fault for getting in the way of yer daily freakout.

  323. 323
    Laura W says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Kobie means you, Fuckhead.
    Stop embarrassing John!

  324. 324
    Shyam Sundararaman says:

    This is the most brilliant thing I have read in a long time! Very well written! Thank you!

  325. 325
    Elie says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Never a good idea, LOL!

  326. 326
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Laura W: I emailed John an apology and told him to feel free to delete my posts. I don’t want to be the one responsible for him getting passed over for the Pulitzer.

  327. 327
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    Kids… kiiidddsss… KIDS!! Do I have to pull over and smack the shit outta you? N P.A.T., quit whining about ice cream! Elie, quit dunking JSF’s head in the inkwell. JSF, quit pooping on Elie’s books. You little brats keep this up and I’m dropping you off at Crazy Aunt Jane’s Hamster Farm then heading off to Vegas to spend your inheritance and college money on hookers and blow.

    A few days of playing in wood shavings and hamster poop ought to set you right.

  328. 328
    Cassidy says:

    when they volunteer to go kill brown children overseas do we?

    Dammit! That’s what I forgot to do today. Guess, I’ll just have to make up for it and bag two tommorrow.

  329. 329
    Tax Analyst says:

    WOW! I missed this earlier and just got over here after reading some references to it in later threads.

    Great rant, John. You just about nailed every response once you included DougJ’s addition.

    Bravo!

  330. 330
    mak says:

    This post is Cole’s Magnum Opie.

    Jay B., with the pass from NPAT wins this battle in the war of the Good-enufs vs. the Bitterly Disappointed Former True Believers. Like the BigDog said, it’s “better to be strong and wrong than weak and right.”

    And btw, Obama’s ability issue and Executive Order ceasing enforcement of DADT is no less legitimate than was his order that the DOJ cease shutting down medical marijuana locations. This is especially so when, as noted above has already happened here, the Brass has signed off on it. I suppose you people would also oppose recess appointments because GW made them? Round to Notorious.

  331. 331
    Tax Analyst says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Why doesn’t Shaq do the passing instead of LeBron?

    Because he’s not Yao Ming, the best passing big man in the game today.

    You’re kidding, right? Pau Gasol is demonstrably superior to Yao.

    Career Assist/game: Yao Ming 1.6, Pau Gasol 3.2
    Best season ave. Assists/game: Ming 2.3, Gasol 4.6
    Highest assist total/season: Ming 137, Gasol 371

  332. 332
  333. 333
    Mum says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Clinton’s Department of Defense Directive 1304.26 was issued as an attempt to mitigate a portion of the legislation passed by Congress – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 – which saw “homosexuality” as incompatible with military service, mandating discharge for any and all “homosexuals” and “bisexuals.” Obama could issue a similar Defense Directive to remove the mitigation (DADT), but that would mean that “homosexuals” and “bisexuals” could be removed from the military regardless of whether or not they were open about their sexual orientation, per the Defense Authorization Act as signed into law by Clinton.

  334. 334
    Mum says:

    @JGabriel:

    I believe that when Truman issued his Executive Order in 1948, which EO ordered the integration of the military, there was no law that forbade African-Americans from serving in the military. African-Americans had been serving in the military since Revolutionary War times, and Eisenhower had, as field commander, already integrated some units as early as 1944.

    In the case of DADT, there is a law on the books (since 1982, at least) forbidding “homosexuals” and “bisexuals” from serving in the military, openly or not. Obama CAN issue an Executive Order or Defense Directive overturning DADT, but the original law would still be in effect.

    See, it really is a lot more complicated than waving that magic Executive Order wand.

  335. 335
    Mum says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I knew that Truman’s civil rights initiatives, including the integration of the military, did not fully take effect for nearly 15 years after he laid them out, but I was unaware of any Supreme Court decision overturning his Executive Order on military integration (as they did with his EO on the steel manufacturers). Can you provide a link?

  336. 336
    Mum says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    You’re right. Obama can repeal DADT with an Executive Order or Defense Directive, but THE UNDERLYING LAW WILL STILL STAND, and that means that “homosexuals” and “bisexuals” can be discharged whether they are serving openly or not.

  337. 337
    Mum says:

    @John S.:

    I’m not so sure that the Supremes overturned Truman’s Executive Order. I can find no reference to it anywhere and have asked the original poster of that fact to provide a link.

  338. 338
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @mak: Way to go. You packed in more half truths and outright lies in this comment to win the BJ wanker of the week award and receive 4 purple plastic unicorns out of 4 possible. Congrats! moran.

    “former true believer”. riiight

  339. 339
    StonyPillow says:

    Balloon Juice — it satisfies.

  340. 340
    RCSlyman says:

    Yeah… shoulda seen it when this crap-filled shoe was on the other foot. That was a load of fun, too, let me tell ya.

  341. 341
    Zoogz says:

    Great work John, both the original post above and the thread below the post illustrate all any high-school senior would ever need to know about our American system of politics and media.

    Last one off the soapbox… please turn off the lights.

  342. 342
    Dragonfish says:

    Excellent post Mr. Cole, thank you.

    I’ll throw this in as an aside: AmeriCorps alumni, like myself, would much rather not be taxed for using their education awards. That’s right, when you use your education award (earned by completing your year of service) that money is taxed as “additional income”.

  343. 343
    La La La La says:

    This is a keeper post. Goes in my permanent file.

    John, is your shoulder bone connected to your head bone–cus that physical therapy is working for you.

  344. 344

    […] * Wanting to negotiate in good faith, having never learned a lesson ever, the Democrats like Baucus and Conrad would slow down the debate to give the Republicans time to participate. Juan Cole explains how Washington works. […]

  345. 345
    Craig Nelson says:

    Hilarious and acutely observed but I don’t know whether to howl with laughter or pain.

  346. 346
    Panda Kahn says:

    And I am so sorry to confess that this is why I am no longer willing or able to identify as a conservative. Not in any way, shape, form or genre will I tell people I am a conservative.

    It makes me feel shame that these people claim to be.

    MPK

  347. 347
    jim says:

    Wow.

    One of the ugliest things I’ve read in a long time, because it’s dead on.

    It does indeed have a beauty of its own. So does a cobra expanding its hood. So do microphotographs of malignant cancer-cells.

    You’d better figure out how to fix this, & soon. The US is starting to look more & more like a textbook case of a failed state … with nukes.

    I hear it sucks really bad to have to live in a third-world dictatorship – here’s hoping you never have to find out about it first-hand.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] * Wanting to negotiate in good faith, having never learned a lesson ever, the Democrats like Baucus and Conrad would slow down the debate to give the Republicans time to participate. Juan Cole explains how Washington works. […]

  2. […] 12, 2010 in Uncategorized This is perfect. Absolutely, mind-blowingly […]

  3. […] Cole has an impressive rant describing how a bill just about everybody likes could flame out, die and cause political wreckage […]

  4. […] Cole does a fantastic job of speculating on exactly what would happen if Congress were to attempt to fix something that most […]

  5. […] Joyner | Thursday, February 11, 2010 While John Cole agrees with the substance of my mild criticism of our food stamp policies, he thinks “we […]

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