Friday Evening Open Thread

(Jeff Danziger’s website)

Another (bitter) chuckle to start the weekend, from Charlie Pierce:

Josh Marshall’s joint has been all over the fact that Mitch McConnell, minority leader of your U.S. Senate and onetime nuclear safety pitchman, finally jumped on Harry Reid’s last nerve, forcing Harry to get all parliamentary on Mitch’s withered hindquarters.
(We pause here to note that Reid is going through this entire fan-dance in order to bring to the floor a version of President Obama’s jobs act that is actually less than the president wants, but more in line with what Chuck Schumer’s patrons in the financial-services industry might allow him to accept, and more in line with whatever oil-soaked calculations are now clicking through the oil-soaked circuits of Mary Landrieu’s brain. There must be days when Harry Reid just hates everybody.)
The Republicans are, of course, agog, agog being their natural state. John Cornyn of Texas is hollering about “tyranny.” Is this the same John Cornyn who once blamed a ruling of which he didn’t approve for deadly attacks on federal judges? Why, yes it is. Is it the fella who once was so concerned about the sex life of box turtles? Of course. Why do you ask? Why are we listening to the likes of this guy? Very good question.

59 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    I just can’t get too excited about a move by Reid that ultimately means nothing short term, and less long term.

  2. 2
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I’m not sure what Pierce’s point is. Did Obama sell us out, or not?

  3. 3
    JGabriel says:

    That quote will finally get conservatives to admit that Reagan was senile in his second term.


  4. 4
    kindness says:

    AHHHH! Here I am still at work and you East Coasters are putting up Friday Nite threads.

    Can’t you at least wait till I get outta here?

    @JGabriel: Alzheimer’s isn’t senility although senility is a symptom of it. And we knew. The media didn’t talk about it, but we knew.

  5. 5


    Poor baby! How much longer do you have to work?

  6. 6
    Svensker says:

    I like the cartoon, a lot, but that is the worst Reagan sketch ever.

  7. 7
    lamh34 says:

    ok, I know we’re done with the Steve Jobs “tributes”, but I just saw this video from “The Colbert Report” and I had to share it with those of ya’ll who may have not seen it.

    Stephen Colbert Pays Tribute To Steve Jobs (VIDEO)

    I know people love Jon Stewart, but for my money, Colbert is way better…the student has beaten the teacher I guess.

  8. 8
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    If it gets us more American Presidential Exceptionalism, I’m all for it!
    Who’s with me?


  9. 9
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Yeah, that Reagan doesn’t look much like Reagan.

    Perhaps Jeff was in a hurry sketching that one out.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    BGinCHI says:

    Until someone with brains and respect says “That’s right, class warfare is the only response to the class warfare of the rich,” then we are going to keep having a useless conversation about semantics.

    The facts are not on the side of the conservatives.

  12. 12
    Zifnab says:

    John Cornyn is a giant weeping penis. That is all.

    /Texas Resident

  13. 13
    BGinCHI says:

    @Corner Stone: You’re thinking of Tara Reid.

  14. 14
    Corner Stone says:


    Until someone with brains and respect says “That’s right, class warfare is the only response to the class warfare of the rich,” then we are going to keep having a useless conversation about semantics.

    And the second that person/unicorn does say that – boom goes the dynamite. Not invited to Lil’ Billie Kristol’s annual cruise events.

  15. 15
    Corner Stone says:

    @BGinCHI: Hmmm…hmmmm…

  16. 16

    The part of me that is nihilistic and dark minded toward the current GOP and their seditious behavior since Obama became president, just loves what Reid did.

    But make no mistake, this now constitutes, at least in the winger mind, all out pol warfare in congress and elsewhere. It is the end game to a new state of affairs in our politics, and Harry Reid had better realize now the gloves are completely off. And if you thought the senate was broken before, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Meaning, that dems, both in the Senate and Obama, have thrown down the gauntlet and should be prepared to give at least as good as they get, because the wingers, what little attention they have given to good faith polticking, are going to go all out rebellion to get what they want.

    Even though I have been against dems pulling nuke power plays in the senate, up to now, due to the certainty that it will spiral all out of control, and especially when wingnuts get the senate back. But Mcconnnell using the arcane parliamentary trick of calling for repeated cloture votes was the last straw, imo, for obstruction of that body’s business. And I support what Harry did, but only hope he doesn’t now retreat, because the revolution is on. And if it was in doubt the wingnuts would abolish the cloture rule in toto, when they get the senate back, it is a certainty now, imo.

    And the very survival of the New Deal and all previous progressive legislation, is in more danger now than ever before. Believe it or not. Maybe that is the way it should be, being what the GOP has been pushing us toward all along.

  17. 17
    R-Jud says:


    AHHHH! Here I am still at work and you East Coasters are putting up Friday Nite threads.

    Can’t you at least wait till I get outta here?

    I’m working, still, and it’s almost Saturday morning.

  18. 18
    Zifnab says:

    John Cornyn is a giant weeping fallacy. That is all.

    /Texas Resident

  19. 19
    BGinCHI says:

    @Corner Stone: What, you don’t think David Gregory is going to come to the rescue?


    Honestly, I don’t know how we shut up the 24-hour mindless news cycle. All they want is horse races, but they can’t tell the asses from the contenders.

  20. 20
    Zifnab says:

    @General Stuck:

    But make no mistake, this now constitutes, at least in the winger mind, all out pol warfare in congress and elsewhere.

    Oh no. Whatever will we do now that the Republicans are going to really super duper pull out the stops (he says as though they haven’t been doing that from day one of Obama’s Presidency)?

    Have you not seen the shit going down in the House? Even the most institutional anti-Obama Republican leadership isn’t aggressive enough in its attempt to undermine the President.

    That Reid has decided to nut up and play hardball doesn’t change the game at all for Republicans. They’re going to be just as vicious and nihilist as they’ve ever been. Now they’ll just be slightly less successful in their goals.

  21. 21


    No, they haven’t actually pulled out all the stops yet. You would know that if you knew anything how the senate works. And the House is always a partisan body, now the senate is likely to become the same thing, and whatever party controls them all, can do whatever they want. And the minority can’t do anything about it, if, and when the wingnuts get back control of all of it, you will see what I mean.

  22. 22
    Canuckistani Tom says:

    Putting my feet up after spending another long day on as a campaign volunteer. This was the last day, the day after the election when all the signs have to come down ASAP.

    After a month of walking around putting up signs on foot, I figure I’ve walked somewhere in the 150-200 km range. My shoes have a worn spot on the sole almost the size of a hockey puck, so they’re history.

    How’d we do? We won. Mike Prue got almost 50% of the vote in Beaches-East York. NDP got 7 more seats, and there’s a Liberal Minority government in Ontario. Whether or not that leads to a coalition or another election in 12 months, we’ll see.

    Worst news is the voter turnout, which may not crack 50%. This has me really worried, because for the first time there were days of advance voting opportunities. If making voting more convenient won’t help, what will?

  23. 23
    El Cid says:

    You want Ronald Reagan to sound like a fucking Communist while President, not in the 1740s when he supported Unions?

    Next time some right wing jackass moans about how half the damn Amurkans don’t pay no fedrul income taxiz, please show them this. Repeatedly.

    Please, please read, link, forward, and repeat this. It’s an actual thing that happened. It is a thing, that happened.

    Reagan’s Tax Revolution: A Big Boost for Families and the Poor
    By Anna Kondratas | The Heritage Foundation | July 25, 1985
    Ronald Reagan’s tax reform plan offers major gains for the working poor. It does so as part of a comprehensive effort to lighten the tax burden on families, correcting in part the anti-family bias of the current tax code.
    The Reagan plan seeks specifically to raise the zero-bracket amount and personal exemptions and to expand the earned income tax credit, thereby improving the lot of the poor and of families.

    If enacted, the Reagan proposal would ensure that families with income at or below the poverty level no longer paid any federal income tax.

    The federal tax burden on the poor has been increasing for many years. The tax code distressingly has had the same systemic bias against the poor as it has had-against taxpayers in general.
    Inflation-induced bracket creep, for example, has meant that taxes rise automatically with inflated incomes. Since tax brackets are narrower at lower income levels, and the personal exemption and standard deduction (known as the zero-bracket amount) constitute a larger proportion of income, bracket creep has disproportionately hurt lower-income taxpayers.
    This was corrected only partially by the 1981 Tax Act. To make matters worse, while the poverty threshold is indexed to inflation, the tax threshold is not. The result: increasing numbers of Americans have been stung by federal tax liabilities, resulting in an unintended shift of the tax burden toward families, especially larger ones.
    In the 1960s and 1970s, Congress made a number of attempts to eliminate the tax burden on poor families by increasing the personal exemption and standard deduction, or by enacting tax credits such as the earned income tax credit (EITC).
    Despite these efforts, the real value of the current $1,000 personal exemption is now about half what it was in 1955 and has fallen from 14 percent of median family income in that year to just 4 percent.2Even the EITC lost its impact because it was not indexed for inflation.

    By removing poor families from the tax rolls, the Reagan tax revolution guarantees that they will never reenter those rolls so long. as they are poor. Indexation, already in place for this year, will prevent bracket creep. And the President’s tax reform proposes to give a big financial boost to families and the poor.

    Here’s Reagan’s letter upon submitting “The President’s Tax Proposals to the Congress for Fairness, Simplicity, and Growth, May 1985” and a section on reducing family tax burden:

    For too long our tax code has been a source of ridicule and resentment, violating our Nation’s most fundamental principles of justice and fair play. While most Americans labor under excessively high tax rates that discourage work and cut drastically into savings, many are able to exploit the tangled mass of loopholes that has grown up around our tax code to avoid paying their fair share –sometimes to avoid paying any taxes at all.
    The American people want change and for very good reason. Our present tax code is not only unfair, it slows economic growth and job creation, and hinders technological advancement by interfering with free markets and diverting productive investment into tax shelters and tax avoidance schemes.
    Families with income at or below the poverty level should not be subject to income tax. Thus, the level of income at which tax is first paid would be raised so that for most taxpayers it approximates the poverty level.
    This would be accomplished by raising the zero bracket amounts, relatively more in the case of heads of households, and doubling the personal exemption compared with its 1984 level.
    These proposed changes are designed to reflect differences in ability to pay taxes that result from differences in family size and composition. The working poor also would be protected by increasing the earned income credit and indexing it for inflation…

    That, too, is Ronaldus Magnificus Reaganicus. In print. Writing.

    Reagan called the EITC — you know, that librul Reagan always stickin’ it to the Job Creators so that we can give free T-bone Cadillacs to Young Kenyonesian Bucks and so letting these scofflaws out of paying federal income taxes — called the EITC “the best antipoverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.”

  24. 24
    JCT says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Paul Conrad’s Reagan was a thing of beauty. When I was in college my father used to send me Conrad’s stuff all of the time — just found a cache of it when cleaning out my attic. He was fantastic.

  25. 25
    A Humble Lurker says:


    /does a double take/ Oh my. I initially misread that and it put the nastiest picture in my head.

  26. 26
    TooManyJens says:

    There must be days when Harry Reid just hates everybody.

    Only the ones that end in Y.

    I know we all, myself included, get exasperated with Harry Reid’s leadership, but honestly. Look at the assholes he has to work with.

  27. 27
    El Cid says:

    @General Stuck: Non-metaphorically and non-analogically speaking, what do you see as some of the different procedures that Republicans with a new hold on the Senate would do differently than in the 2002 (108th) to 2008 (109th) period of the Republican Senate majority, especially when controlled increased to 55-45?

    And do you feel that these changes you foresee under a new Republican Senate will be largely prompted by this use of a tool by Reid that Republicans would then possess? That would require the assumption that without this use of this vote on the parliamentarian’s decision by Reid that a Republican Senate majority would have been less likely to have used this maneuver.

  28. 28
    Mike in NC says:

    Hearing that today is the 15th anniversary of FOX News and they’re very busy patting themselves on the back for their contributions to the human race, etc.

    Goebbels would have been so proud.

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike in NC:

    they’re very busy patting themselves on the back for their contributions to the human race

    Contributions can be negative.

  30. 30
    PhoenixRising says:

    TGIF y’all!

    Good news is, the PET scan says that my particular case of the kind of disease I have–is limited to the diagnosed area.

    Bad news is, I have the kind of disease that for-profit insurance will pay to have PET scanned before sending me to a specialist.

    Good news is, they’re paying for the specialist in NYC, so I get to check in with the OWs 99ers between medical activities.

    Bad news is, I have a disease that my shareholder-owned health insurance company is willing to send me out of network to be treated for.

    So that’s the news. Will report from Wall St as my schedule permits!

  31. 31

    OMG shoot me now. The U.S. Postal Service is officially dead to me. Fuck ’em.

    To help offset its projected losses for this year, the U.S. Postal Service is running ads and relaxing rules to encourage business to send more mailed pitches, reports today’s Wall Street Journal. (As we’ve previously reported, they’re also considering eliminating Saturday delivery.)

    Jesus effin’ Christ. I get nothing BUT junk mail. Tons of it. UNCLE already. Cripes.

  32. 32

    @El Cid:

    I look for the wingers to do, or likely do, what dems threatened to do if the wingnuts nuked the filibuster cloture rule for judges during the Bush years. It is called “blowing up the senate”. And the reason it is called that, is that the senate was set up and runs on something called “unanimous consent”. Which boils down to everything that happens in that body has to have everyone agree with, no matter how mundane, and likely even the color of the drapes, or they vote on it.

    The cloture rule came about because the minority was preventing basic business from being conducted with the “extended debate” provision, to bring everything to a halt, if there was something the minority couldn’t live with.

    The cloture rule was adopted to give some order to dissent, and if enough dissent, then to block certain pieces of leg they, the minority couldn’t live with as was.

    I look for the repubs to do this, at least for awhile, and Harry Reid may have to be willing to nuke other rules as well, to keep the senate running. Maybe the wingers won;t react this way, but recent history seems to indicate they will do about anything to get their way./

    As far as 2002, and the years where the wingers ran everything, it is a myth that they got everything passed that they and Bush wanted. They didn’t.

    But like I said, I agree with Reid doing this now, and think he had no choice, because currently the senate is pretty well shut down anyways. I hope my predictions on the wingnut reaction is wrong, and that when they get the senate back, and have the WH at some point, they won’t get rid of the cloture rule, and repeal all the shit they hate. And when confronted, they will cite this action by Reid as the starting of it all, and they are just doing what dems did.

    And I was just citing the obvious scenario if the worst happens and the wingers run everything at some point in the future, then nuke the leg cloture rule, and commence repealing the New Deal and every other liberal law they hate, and do it with a simple majority. Does anyone that has watched them the past couple of years believe they are not capable of that, and likely will?

    Once one rule is nuked by either side, i think it makes it easier for the next one, and the one after that, and that Is all I;m saying, which should be common sense. The wingers want a civil war? maybe. It sure looks a lot like the senate and congress of the 1850’s to me. When the crowd with the same mentality abused the rules then to bring congress to a halt.

    In other words, if one side of this struggle wants to force the issue, they can. And can set the rules of engagement as low as they want. Harry Reid looks like he gets this, and it’s game on. We shall see.

  33. 33

    @General Stuck:

    And I would add to this, that if and when it comes to how much there is to lose with the senate becoming just another majoritarian body like the House, it is democrats with the most to lose. All the wingers want is for government to become inert, or impotent. They don’t have near as many bills and initiatives to lose, or get repealed. Like liberals.

  34. 34
    David Fud says:

    In case you would like to watch the old gipper say it himself.

  35. 35
    PeakVT says:

    @Southern Beale: Oh, come on. The USPS is doing that only because Congress has required it to operate like a business while saddling it with tons of restrictions. Your reaction is exactly what Republicans want.

  36. 36
    wilfred says:

    “…but more in line with what Chuck Schumer’s patrons in the financial-services industry might allow him to accept”

    Schumer = Wall Street. How about a primary challenge to him?

  37. 37
    wilfred says:

    Better primary Gillibrand, too – she’s a bigger whore than Schumer:

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Southern Beale:

    The Postal Service is required by law to fully pre-fund the retirement of workers it hasn’t hired yet. If Congress would stop fucking with them and let them actually operate like any other business, they wouldn’t have to do shit like this.

  39. 39
    mclaren says:

    Hold your nose. We’re about to be dipped in shit.

    Scientists warn that world oil supplies are set to run out faster than expected.

    Previous reports claim we have enough oil to last 40 years. This new study says it’s more like 4 years.

    This is how the world ends…not with a bang, but with a lynch mob…

  40. 40
    Elliecat says:

    Okay, I was thinking the Charlie Pierce love recently was a little over the top, but after following AL’s link above, I went on to his next post.

    Is there a more unmitigated horse’s ass in American public life than George Effing Will?

    Is there a more breathtaking coupling of tinhorn erudition and pig-ignorant arrogance? Is there anyone who is a more perfect combination of tea-cosy courage, sherry-sipping macho, and lace-hanky contempt for everyone who isn’t himself? Is there another human being on this planet who more richly deserves to be hung from a coat rack by his undershorts? Is there a dumber looking bow-tie? Breathes there a man with a soul so dead? These are our questions.

    Now I love him too.

  41. 41
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Stuck: I’m not sure there is anything I love more than when people “splain” shit to El Cid.
    Yeah. He didn’t know that.

  42. 42
    Corner Stone says:

    “There are votes held. Sometimes in the House. And sometimes in other places, that may or may not be word salad Mars. But when those marklars come due it’s almost like I’ve been watching for those votes that three dozen dunkin donuts to my resolution. Coffee for some, but not for others, and those others that searched and rescued the desert. Twelve and Dodge Hemi.”

  43. 43

    @Corner Stone:

    You likkered up again?, babbling nonsense like you’re dropped off at a chimp day care center. Jumpin’ up and down, scratching yer own balls.

    YAWN, nothin’ new for you. Embarrassing, but not new.

  44. 44
    mclaren says:

    DOJ press release:

    SACRAMENTO, Calif.October 7, 2011 – The four California-based United States Attorneys today announced coordinated enforcement actions targeting the illegal operations of the commercial marijuana industry in California. The statewide enforcement effort is aimed at curtailing the large, for-profit marijuana industry that has developed since the passage of California’s Proposition 215 in 1996. That industry has swelled to include numerous drug-trafficking enterprises that operate commercial grow operations, intricate distribution systems and hundreds of marijuana stores across the state — even though the federal Controlled Substances Act makes illegal the sale and distribution of marijuana.

    Still waiting for John Cole to apologize for telling me how wrong I was when I pointed out that Barack Obama had flagrantly violated his campaign promise to scale back the DEA’s war on state medical marijuana dispensaries.

    We need to remember, of course, that this is not just another escalation of the pointless and brutally counterproductive War on Drugs…it’s also a war on sick people, DEA agents arresting cancer patients in wheelchairs.

  45. 45
    mclaren says:

    @General Stuck:

    Wow. You really don’t have a thing to add to this forum other than endless name-calling.

    In fact, you’re not even a real person, are you?

    You’re just a Javascript program that vomits out epithets.

    Pack it in, smearbot.

  46. 46
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Stuck: “I’ve always thought, except when I didn’t, that things meant things. Some times votes were held. They meant things. But marklar things when those marklars didn’t mean things. Then they voted on those marklars. A lot of you don’t realize that.”

  47. 47
  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    @mclaren: Cole scoffed at OWS just like he scoffed at legit people asking President Obama why marijuana was still on the death list.
    He moves in increments. Usually never useful increments, but all the same.

    It’s awesome to read Cole banging on people who wanted to ask a fresh president to help them.
    Just like he busted people who asked a 3rd year president to please help them.
    Cole is an authoritarian. He ain’t got much else.

  49. 49
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Stuck: What a sick little bootlicker you are.
    Please, sir, may I have another?

  50. 50
    Corner Stone says:

    “There are things that mean things. Then there are, except when they are not, things of a certain grocery store. I believe mountain tops mean that double knotted sneakers are zeroed out. And if that doesn’t compute then I say Mountain Dew.”

  51. 51
    mclaren says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Well, at least John Cole eventually changed his mind about the Republicans and Dubya. The guy had the guts to eventually admit when he was wrong.

    That’s a lot more than you can say for bully-worshipping wannabe-crutch-kickers like the servile and cringing General Crackpot Fake Name.

    Obama orders American citizens assassinated without a trial or charges?

    Noooooooooo problem!

    Obama scales up the War on Drugs until it becomes a War on Wheelchair-bound Cancer Patients?

    Noooooooooo problem!

    Obama backs more tax cuts for the rich?

    Noooooooooo problem!

    Obama proposes cuts to Social Security and Medicare in order to increase military funding for America’s endless pointless wars in third world hellholes?

    Nooooooooooo problem!

    Is there any depravity or insanity that fawning lickspittle toadies like General Crackpot Fake Name won’t rush forward to defend by spewing seemingly drunken obscenities at people who dare to assert that the president of the united states is not above the law?

  52. 52

    goodnight whackjobs.

  53. 53
    eemom says:

    @General Stuck:

    Two peas in a pod.

    meh, not exactly. More like a half-assed Hannibal Lecter wannabe in a pod with a half-assed Buffalo Bill whose therapy was going nowhere.

  54. 54
    mclaren says:

    While the rest of us post actual news items relating to serious policy issues, what do losers like eemom do?

    You guessed it.

    More endless pointless name-calling.

  55. 55
    mclaren says:

    While the rest of us post actual news items relating to serious policy issues, what do losers like eemom do?

    You guessed it.

    More endless pointless name-calling.

  56. 56
    joeshabadoo says:

    @General Stuck:
    “Harry Reid had better realize now the gloves are completely off.”

    The gloves were never on. They have already been bringing their best (or worst depending on your view). The next time they do something they will give this as a reason. They will shout it so loud that you will swear that they just unleashed a horde screaming for Reid’s blood. After the cries die down you will notice that there was no horde, just the same group that has been attacking all along just with a megaphone. They will be doing exactly what they would have done anyway, just with a new and louder slogan.

    The “Don’t do this or the GOP will to!” stuff always seemed like bullshit to me. Depending on them to somehow play by gentlemen’s rules and not tear up the agreement the second it benefits them is ludicrous.

  57. 57
    Ian says:

    Calling a woman a whore. nice.

    Check out their Ratings score.

  58. 58


    You may well be right, in the end. But the fact remains, they, the wingnuts, have not “nuked” a standing senate rule, like Harry Reid just did, changing it with a simple majority vote, and overturning the parliamentarian in the process. They threatened to do that once in the recent past, to nuke the cloture rule on confirming judges. But they didn’t actually do it.

  59. 59

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