Time for the Annual Collapse

It appears Obama will not veto the Defense bill with the hideous detention policies, and I just heard that the Democrats have dropped the millionaire surtax for the payroll tax cuts.

I never knew the amount of depression and self-loathing that was involved in becoming a Democrat. I honestly think I hate Democrats more now that I am one than I did when I was a Republican.

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284 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Given prior experience, I’d still like to see the final product before engaging in self-loathing.

  2. 2
    (another) Josh says:

    Dunno if this’s been hashed out on BJ, but there’s a video circulating in which Senator Carl Levin claims that it was the White House that asked for the hideous detention policies to be kept in there. (Yeah, I know Carl Levin lives in Brazil . . . )

  3. 3
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Congress will easily overturn his veto of the defense bill, and the payroll tax cut won’t pass unless the millionaire’s tax is dropped. Got any better ideas?

  4. 4
    Zandar says:

    @Baud:

    Given prior experience, I’d still like to see the final product before engaging in self-loathing.

    You’ll never build your mighty arm muscles for carrying your own cross with logic like that.

  5. 5
    Keith G says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    Got any better ideas?

    Fighting for moral principles would be a start.

  6. 6
    cathyx says:

    @(another) Josh: I saw that video, it has since been removed from the internet, but he said that the White House asked that it be put in.

  7. 7
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Keith G: Conservative Democrats don’t have moral principles.

  8. 8
    Hill Dweller says:

    Dropping the to threat on the defense appropriations bill is especially mind-boggling. Even if you set aside the morality of it, neither the CIA, FBI, DOJ nor Pentagon wants this, but Obama still caved. Before anyone says, yes, everything is optional, and I’m sure Obama will issue a signing statement, but he is codifying indefinite detention for American citizens. Imagine Newt Gingrich with this power, which will be sanctioned by a Dem President and Senate.

    As for the surtax on millionaires, I’m a bit more sympathetic. The Dems have to pass the payroll taxcut and unemployment insurance extensions, or the economy will get worse. If they can get it passed without raising medicare premiums, that will be alright with me.

  9. 9

    @Keith G: But, gee whiz, how can we get the defense industry to give us billions for the re-election campaign if we do that?

    /sarcasm

    /shows self out

  10. 10
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Hunter Gathers: Then why drop the threat? Save face?

  11. 11
    lamh35 says:

    Dems should hold fast on principle.

    But then I have a pretty steady job, so even unemployment insurance runs out won’t really bother me much and I dont’ have a government job, nor do I get a government check either so Dem should just stick it to GOP the unemployed will just have to get over it.

  12. 12

    @Baud:

    Given prior experience, I’d still like to see the final product before engaging in self-loathing.

    Or any other kind of loathing, for that matter. The way it’s reported and the way it actually turns out is not always exactly the same.

    Having said those wonderful words of wisdom, I’ll go on to suggest that you not throw your loathing away. You still might need it.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    he is codifying indefinite detention for American citizens

    FWIW, I’m of the view that the bill does not do that, although I know that other folks have reached a different conclusion. I’m less sanguine about the detention of resident aliens, however.

  14. 14

    When Democrats push back against this kind of stuff the obligatory hippie punching ensues so maybe this is what you signed on for, GOP-lite…

    And you’re not pleased? Get yourself into the real world where… well whatever the latest Democratic cave-in is just – you know – reality.

  15. 15
    FlipYrWhig says:

    It’s been a while since we had occasion for lamenting a WORST SELLOUT EVARR!ONE1eleven. It’s like old times!

  16. 16
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    I want to hear from the slavish Obamists on this.

    And please don’t tell us ‘don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good’.

  17. 17
    Lev says:

    @Hunter Gathers: Didn’t the defense bill get 60 votes in the Senate? Third grade math tells me that’s less than 2/3.

    Obama might as well sign it, though. After letting us know that science, reproductive rights, smog and greenhouse gas regs are all much less important than his re-election, he might as well add civil liberties to the list. I’m still waiting for that combative spirit of the Kansas speech to kick in.

  18. 18
    ExtremeLiberal says:

    Compromise equals collapse now? Does anyone know the details yet, or is this just more whinging?

  19. 19
    Lysana says:

    The NDAA specifically exempts US citizens and resident aliens in 1032. Go read it on thomas.loc.gov.

    I don’t like indefinite detention and the bitter pill of further restricting Obama’s attempts to close Gitmo is rough, but we are not going to be putting Americans in military custody, period.

  20. 20
    askew says:

    @Keith G:

    Principles won’t help the unemployed pay their mortgage or put food on the table. It’s real easy to be tell the Democrats to refuse to compromise when you don’t have to face any consequences for losing unemployment benefits.

  21. 21
    Schlemizel says:

    it was not always like this John – the last 30 years have gutted the Dems as badly as it has the country.

    We used to be a party that stood up for American & Americans, a party that fought, often against long odds (see the 1964 Civil Rights Act) to make this a better country.

    Between to Stockholm Syndrome babies, The corporate owned Blew Dogs and empty suits that warm chairs in many districts the handful of actual Dems can’t move the ball forward.

  22. 22
    JPL says:

    The House passed the bill and MSM has given the repubs cover. Unfortunately, we live in a society in which people read the headlines but not the fine print.
    I’m so disillusioned with our press and with the democrats for not standing on the capitol steps with a megaphone.

  23. 23

    @Lev: #17

    After letting us know that science, reproductive rights, smog and greenhouse gas regs are all much less important than his re-election, he [Obama] might as well add civil liberties to the list.

    Being president is apparently addictive. No one wants to walk away from it. Democrat, Republican, whatever.

    I am an Obot but an addiction is an addiction. It isn’t reasonable or logical. We will see what happens.

  24. 24
    LT says:

    Glenn Greenwald is fat.

  25. 25
    FlipYrWhig says:

    The moral of the story is, yes, we all read Talking Points Memo at roughly the same time too. “Is Bad Thing about to transpire? Sources suggest it might! Poll: do you like the way Democrats have handled Bad Thing?”

    Discussion thread: Bad Thing sucks! Why do Democrats always fuck everything up when it comes to issues like Bad Thing and civil liberties? Corporatism, that’s why.

    Next discussion thread: Hey, Andrew Sullivan linked to Megan McArdle about something! What’s the deal with that?

  26. 26
    LT says:

    Everybody put their safety glasses on: General Stuck’s gonna be here soon.

    #ThereWillBeSpittle

  27. 27
    IL JimP says:

    @Lev: I thought it got 93 votes

  28. 28
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ExtremeLiberal: PREEMPTIVE whinging. You don’t want to be the last guy in on a good whinge binge.

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    @Schlemizel:

    We used to be a party that stood up for American & Americans, a party that fought, often against long odds (see the 1964 Civil Rights Act) to make this a better country.

    You have every right to criticize Democrats as you wish, but this is pure romanticism. On all but the rarest occasions, the Democratic Party has always had to deal reactionary forces within the party.

  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The problem with caving is that the end result is the same as standing on principle.

    There’s no way around it anymore. The Rethugs WANT non-violent political processes to break down. They think that they can win a second Civil War.

    This time, fuck “malice toward none, charity toward all”. That seems to have been, in retrospect, a mistake. It was taken as a sign of weakness.

  31. 31
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    Isn’t the point of the millionaire surtax that it’s pretty much the only way to pay for it that won’t necessitate slashes in essential areas for the same people the payroll tax is supposed to help?

    That’s what’s so frustrating about that part. Without the surtax, it’s like taking $60 bucks out of a man’s wallet to pay him back the $60 you’re supposed to pay him.

  32. 32
    jpe says:

    I never heard that there was any plausible chance they’d pass a surtax. it’s fine to be disappointed by Ds, but stick to the realistic rather than these sorts of firebagger disappointments

  33. 33
    The Dangerman says:

    I don’t know about NDAA, but I’m guessing that the Payroll Tax goes down; the economy is starting to show a flame and the Republicans need to snuff it out.

    I’m curious about having a government shutdown over the Holiday’s; that should be fun.

  34. 34
    Allan says:

    @ExtremeLiberal: Details? We don’t need no stinkin’ details! Self-immolate immediately!

  35. 35
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Lysana: Apparently, the change agreed to Monday make everything optional, allowing the sitting President to decide where to put the terrorist/criminal. But it does codify the power to indefinitely detain people for future Presidents. And it will be signed by a Democrat…

  36. 36
    LT says:

    @FlipYrWhig: This is gone farther than TPM.

  37. 37
    IL JimP says:

    Remember they did adjust the NDAA in conference as well by adding additional language not allowing detention of US citizens or permanent residents.

  38. 38
    Guster says:

    @askew: I don’t have a job or unemployment insurance, but I still really wish that Democrats would learn to play long ball. I understand that there are good reason to give in to hostage-takers every single time. I truly understand that. But I’m still not convinced it’s the wisest long-term plan.

    On the other hand, we don’t have the votes for anything, we’ve never had the votes for anything and we never will; the President is basically powerless and the bully pulpit is a punch line, so what’s Obama supposed to do?

    Makes me want to occupy something.

  39. 39
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I will freak out when there is a deal and it actually sucks.

  40. 40
    Bill Murray says:

    @askew: so your idea is if there is anything in the bill related to extending unemployment benefits, the Dems should support it under any circumstances?

  41. 41
    LT says:

    @IL JimP:

    Remember they did adjust the NDAA in conference as well by adding additional language not allowing detention of US citizens or permanent residents.

    I don’t feel comfortable just “No they did not you stupid fuck,” but…

  42. 42

    @askew:

    Principles won’t help the

    Yup…and the last extension of the BushCoTaxCuts brought us the GOPers refusing to pay the national debt thanks to lack of revenue and we got.. but principles aren’t edible… and this will get us … more of the same.

    I suppose at some point they’ll offer up a shit sandwich you just can’t swallow… maybe.

  43. 43
    chopper says:

    @IL JimP:

    shut up, they’re rolling.

  44. 44
    mclaren says:

    …And cue the Obots to explain how Barack “The Eloquent Man Who Talks Like JFK But Enacts Policies Like G. W. Bush” Obama is nonetheless the only human being in the circumambient universe who stands between civilized society and the horrors of a neocon regime full of tax cuts for the rich (which Obama keeps signing off on) and endless foreign wars in third world hell-holes for reasons no one can explain (that Obama keeps signing off on) and an Orwellian prison-surveillance-military-garrison-police state where American citizens get murdered and kidnapped and hurled into secret prisons to be tortured to death in secret with no accountability and no chance of ever seeing a lawyer (which Obama keeps signing off on).

    C’mon, Obots! Explain it to us!

    Let us know how horrible it would be some Republican far-right fringe lunatic did all the things Barack Obama is now doing. Explain to us how much worse it would be.

  45. 45
    gaz says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    !ONE1eleven

    okay, El zero El

    that was pretty funny man.

  46. 46
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Guster:

    I still really wish that Democrats would learn to play long ball

    Well, there’s a substantial number of Democrats who aren’t liberals — and when you look at it from their standpoint, you don’t see “caving,” you see… getting what they want. And even then these milquetoast Dems are almost certainly miles better than their Republican opponents. Which feeds the feedback loop all over again.

    ETA: I take it the “millionaire surtax” was proving tricky for the usual gang of tax-averse doofs like Joe Manchin. The conserva-Dems are the usual chokepoint for all good fiscal things. Civil liberties is a different story, although some of the same suspects appear in that spinoff too.

  47. 47
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    So the Kenyan word for George W. Bush is Barack Obama, sorry I calls them as I sees them.

  48. 48
    cathyx says:

    @mclaren: Because republicans want to make abortion illegal.

  49. 49
    Lev says:

    Sure looks like the story is as advertised:

    http://www.reuters.com/article.....6A20111215

  50. 50
    Observer says:

    the Democrats have dropped the millionaire surtax

    This would be the same Democrats and the same POTUS that extended the millionaire Bush tax cuts …. one year ago.

    Last year the cover story was “needing to get the economy going”.

    This year the cover story is … “needing to get the economy going”.

    At some point you have to assume that the POTUS isn’t a dumb guy and he’s signing into law what he actually wants.

    When you’re sitting at a poker table for an hour and you don’t yet know who the easy mark is … it’s because you’re the easy mark.

  51. 51
    different-church-lady says:

    @ExtremeLiberal:

    Compromise equals collapse now?

    Where the hell have you been? In Left Blogistan that’s been the operative math for at least a year and a half now.

  52. 52
    Schlemizel says:

    @Baud:
    I guess that was true when they were fighting the Dixiecrats – except they passed FDRs new New Deal, Trumans Square Deal and an awful lot of JFK & LBJs initiatives. Thats not romanticizing.

    Yes, there were failures but it was never from a lack of will or a willingness to abandon core principles.

  53. 53
    askew says:

    @Guster:

    I’d love to have a clear win for the Democrats too but there is zero leverage to use with the House Republicans. They genuinely don’t care how many people suffer for their ideology and the Democrats do care. That’s the difference. You can’t work with lunatics.

  54. 54
    burnspbesq says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Is there any meaningful, other-than-symbolic difference between Obama signing the bill and having his veto overridden?

  55. 55
    bystander says:

    I honestly think I hate Democrats more now that I am one than I did when I was a Republican.

    Yeah, well, my antidote was to register as an independent/unaffiliated. A bit of “arm’s length” helps soften the blow a bit. A touch less ego involvement and “identity” stuff helps keep a person grounded.

  56. 56
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Wasn’t Obama’s veto threat made over the possibility that Congress might set limits on the president’s authority to do whatever the fuck he wants on detention as our elected king? Was it ever about disagreeing with the indefinite detention stuff?

  57. 57
    LT says:

    @IL JimP:

    In response to this veto threat, the Senate revised the provisions mandating military custody and inserted the option of a waiver for American citizens; that is, the Executive branch would be allowed to waive the requirement to deprive suspects of their constitutional rights at their discretion.
    __
    As revealed in the Senate deliberations last week, the Obama administration itself requested the principal authors of the provision – John McCain and Carl Levin – to include language authorizing due-process-free military custody for American citizens. The initial threat of veto was apparently nothing more than political theater on the part of the White House.

    Among the changes: a section affirming that the United States government can hold terrorism suspects without trial would delete a paragraph saying that it does not apply to citizens or lawful residents for their actions on domestic soil “except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.” Instead, it would be silent on whether or not such Americans can be held without trial.

  58. 58
    Baud says:

    The NDAA as modified by the conference committee now says this (section 1021):

    Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.

    In other words, no change of law, and it looks like they addressed my concern about lawful residents.

  59. 59
    different-church-lady says:

    @Keith G:

    Fighting for moral principles would be a start.

    You know who else fought for his principles? HITLER.

  60. 60
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Capitulation masquerades as compromise while the masses sleep.

  61. 61
    LT says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Is there any meaningful, other-than-symbolic difference between Obama signing the bill and having his veto overridden?

    Are you saying “Why have a president at all?”

  62. 62
    cathyx says:

    Why was Mclaren’s comment removed?

  63. 63
    askew says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    WTF are you talking about? The extension of the Bush Tax Cuts got us unemployment benefits, payroll tax cut, the ratification of the START treaty and DADT repeal. That’s a damn good deal. We’ll see what we get this time.

  64. 64
    Baud says:

    @Schlemizel:

    except they passed FDRs new New Deal, Trumans Square Deal and an awful lot of JFK & LBJs initiatives. Thats not romanticizing.

    Southern Dems used to be economic populists, but that’s about it, and only to the extent economic populism did not help blacks in the South. Dems lost the South over civil rights, so we lost a good bit of the power behind progressive advancement on economic issues.

  65. 65
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    I knew the Kansas speech was a fig-leaf rather than an olive branch to the Left.

    But I keeping hoping……………….

  66. 66
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @askew: And that means the only way to handle it would be to let the ideologues have it their way, let whatever misery will happen happen, point the finger at Republicans, then run on that. But that concedes that misery happens. And that tugs at bleeding-heart heartstrings every time… and conservative ideologues know it… which emboldens them further. I don’t know how to break that cycle.

  67. 67
    Satanicpanic says:

    Cole is still in the early stages of disillusionment with the Democrats. Eventually we all get to the stage of just being happy that they’ve committed to dismantling the country a little more slowly than the other side.

  68. 68
    different-church-lady says:

    @Lysana:

    The NDAA specifically exempts US citizens and resident aliens in 1032. Go read it on thomas.loc.gov.

    Wait… you expect us to actually READ the thing we’re fighting about? Hell, even the congress critters who just voted on it didn’t do that.

    Why do I have the feeling that we’re once again going to do the Rorschach thing where everyone’s going to insist that something they don’t actually understand means exactly what they want it to mean?

  69. 69
    burnspbesq says:

    @LT:

    If that were what I had meant to say, I would have said it.

    If Congress wishes to pass clearly unconstitutional legislation, that is Congress’ prerogative. I could get all hot and bothered about Obama not issuing a veto that is sure to be overridden, or I could reach for my checkbook and send some more money to the ACLU. Which do you think is more likely to have an impact?

  70. 70
    askew says:

    @Bill Murray:

    No, I just think that we should care more about how many people will be helped or hurt by a compromise than caring more about standing for principles. Take for example last year’s Bush Tax compromise. Millions of poor/middle class Americans were helped by that compromise and the rich got a tax break for 2 more years. To call that a progressive failure, as so many emoprogs have, is absurd. is There’s nothing progressive about refusing to compromise, if standing up for “principles” means that millions of Americans won’t be able to pay for food/shelter.

  71. 71
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Baud: Also Republicans used to have liberals in their ranks too — the whole socially liberal, fiscally conservative, corporations with a conscience, noblesse oblige thang. Rich people who wanted their own taxes low but also to help the poor. They’re all gone.

  72. 72
    different-church-lady says:

    @askew:

    Millions of poor/middle class Americans were helped by that compromise and the rich got a tax break for 2 more years. To call that a progressive failure, as so many emoprogs have, is absurd.

    Zero-sum worldviews: they’re not just for conservatives anymore.

  73. 73
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I will freak out when there is a deal and it actually sucks.

    Dude, what kind of leftist are you, with your insistence on “facts” and “reality”? If you’re not willing to freak out over a poorly sourced story that confirms the worst fears of the firebaggers, then you’re not worthy of the name Democrat.

    (Yeah, firebaggers, I went there. Deal with it.)

  74. 74
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @askew: It’s not unlike the war discussion on that other thread. There’s a sliding scale. At some point would it be better to refuse to compromise _even if_ it necessarily means allowing people to suffer? That’s a rough, rough call. And it leads to the bitterest fights in the liberal blogosphere.

  75. 75
    LT says:

    The far-reaching detainee provisions would codify indefinite detention without trial into US law for the first time since the McCarthy era when Congress in 1950 overrode the veto of then-President Harry Truman and passed the Internal Security Act. The bill would also bar the transfer of detainees currently held at Guantanamo into the US for any reason, including for trial. In addition, it would extend restrictions, imposed last year, on the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo to home or third countries – even those cleared for release by the administration.

  76. 76
    taylormattd says:

    John, please remember you are getting your information about the defnense bill and the possible cave on taxes from the so-called left blogosphere. You must treat any hyperventilating information that comes from those sources as presumptively false.

    Regarding the defense bill the language requiring detention of American citizens was removed, hence the veto threat was removed. This is from a letter from democratic congressman Adam Smith explaining why he now supports it:

    “Section 1022, entitled, “Military Custody For Foreign al-Qaeda Terrorists” specifically excludes US citizens. It states, “the requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.” It also states the requirement to detain under Section 1022 “does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.””

  77. 77
    Baud says:

    @FlipYrWhig: That too.

  78. 78
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    then you’re not worthy of the name Democrat.

    I think I have worn the title longer than most around here.

  79. 79
    different-church-lady says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    That’s a rough, rough call. And it leads to the bitterest fights in the liberal blogosphere.

    Well, at least things like that are things worth fighting over.

    I just wish more people would fight honestly about them.

    (PS: original cut and paste fail now corrected)

  80. 80
    Anya says:

    This is what Sen. Carl Levin said:

    “The initial bill reported by the committee included language expressly precluding ‘the detention of citizens or lawful resident aliens of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.’ The Administration asked that this language be removed from the bill.”

    That’s very bad, if true. I am not one of the regular “Obama sold us out” crowd, but I deeply care about civil liberties issues. It’s particularly harmful when a Dem president codifies the most egregious violation of our laws and moral standing. Even if President Obama did not have the votes, he should have, on moral grounds vetoed the bill.

    This a no laughing matter, but still I want to say to all the commenters who were ridiculing my concerns on this thread this:

  81. 81
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @different-church-lady: FWIW I didn’t write the quoted line.

  82. 82
    askew says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The problem is that the blogosphere and the left pundit class is mostly populated by rich/upper-middle white folks. So, of course they don’t care about the poor/middle class having to suffer. Losing unemployment benefits or losing a payroll tax cut doesn’t impact them, so as long as the politicians stay ideologically pure that is all that matters.

    It’s the same folks to tried to kill the health care bill because it didn’t include a public option or wasn’t single payer. Now, we find out millions of Americans are benefiting from the bill and those say people are still calling the bill a failure.

  83. 83
    RAM says:

    My basic expectation when I voted for Barack Obama, a former professor of Constitutional law, was that the U.S. would return to the rule of law and respect for the Constitution. My basic expectation has not been met.

  84. 84
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Anya: I’d be curious to see the before and after. There seem to be a lot of different versions of the language being cited above.

  85. 85
    Anne Laurie says:

    @cathyx:

    Why was Mclaren’s comment removed?

    There was a Mclaren comment that went into moderation because FYWP can’t tell the difference between ‘circumambient’ and the spam-bait sleep aid ‘ambien’.

  86. 86
    LT says:

    @askew:

    It’s the same folks to tried to kill the health care bill because it didn’t include a public option or wasn’t single payer. Now, we find out millions of Americans are benefiting from the bill and those say people are still calling the bill a failure.

    Come on. This is a “Mussollini had the trains run on time” argument. It is very, very good that 2.5 million have coverage directly because of ACA, but it is not the only way to measure it. It’s still a far fucking way from what other countries actually do for their citizens.

  87. 87
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    At some point would it be better to refuse to compromise even if it necessarily means allowing people to suffer?

    False choice. It was a short-term solution that made the long-term success less likely. Compromise should not result in capitulation.

    “Give a man a fish, or teach him to fish”

  88. 88
    Gus diZerega says:

    @Hunter Gathers: A demonstration of courage by the man who stands for little to nothing that is in the White House.

  89. 89
    LT says:

    A lot of people claim to know the last word on the citizens question (the links I gave above say the president can use discretion to circumvent), but worse than that – a lot of people here are acting like that was the only thing wrong with the bill.

  90. 90
    LT says:

    Adam Serwer:

    This morning I wrote that by making the mandatory military detention provisions mandatory in name only, the Senate had offered the administration an opportunity to see how seriously it takes its own rhetoric on civil liberties. The administration had said that the military detention provisions of an earlier version of the NDAA were “inconsistent with the fundamental American principle that our military does not patrol our streets.”
    __
    The revised NDAA is still inconsistent with that fundamental American principle. But the administration has decided that fundamental American principles aren’t actually worth vetoing the bill over.

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Anya:

    Even if President Obama did not have the votes, he should have, on moral grounds vetoed the bill.

    You do realize that he hasn’t even been given the bill yet, right? It’s so strange to me that you’re already talking about the bill as a fait accompli that we should be upset about instead of something that we can still complain about.

    What is it with this passivity from everyone? If you’re pissed off that the veto threat has been withdrawn, call the fucking White House and complain! Send a fax! Jesus, the defeatism here just drives me up the wall. “Well, Reuters said that the bill will be signed at some point in the future, so there’s no point in trying to prevent it.”

    Wankers. All of you.

  92. 92
    Gus says:

    I never knew the amount of depression and self-loathing that was involved in becoming a Democrat.

    Your mistake was believing Republican rhetoric that Democrats are liberal.

  93. 93
    Anya says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I agree and usually, I am not the type that freaks out before I see the final version or smart people’s analysis of it, however, the quote above from Levin is a major worry. Why would the WH object to a language that affirms the constitutional guarantees?

  94. 94
    askew says:

    @LT:

    Far more than 2.5 million people have been helped by the ACA. Millions of seniors got money back this year as the donuthole in Medicare is closed. Millions of Americans are getting health care coverage from community health center funding in the bill. Millions of Americans got free preventive care visits due to the ACA. Millions of Americans got increased student loan funding from ACA.

    And those millions of people would have been worse off without the bill being killed, which is what so many emoprogs fought for. Apparently, if the bill isn’t perfect, then those millions of Americans are better off suffering.

  95. 95
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @askew: Honestly, I don’t really think it’s that (class privilege or, for that matter, racial privilege). I think some people almost by nature tend towards preferring large-sacrifice-with-principle-intact over smaller-sacrifice-with-principle-diminished. Even if it cost them personally. Case in point: I’m pretty sure Glenn Greenwald would say, even if presidentially-ordered Predator drones would save his life and nothing else would, nonetheless it must not be done, because it is just morally repugnant. It’s not that he thinks it’ll never happen to him; he’s just that committed to that stance.

  96. 96
    LT says:

    @Benjamin Franklin:

    “Give a man a fish, or teach him to fish”

    If that’s the choice, I give the man a fish. Because fishing is hard – even the best fisherman don’t always catch a fish – and he could starve before he caught one.

    In the mean time I’d also teach him how to fish. And rob Walmarts.

  97. 97
    sherparick says:

    Welcome to the club. But 2000 taught me that the alternative really, really, really is worse.

    The key is primary the suckers and support the outside agitators. FDR understood that it was the radicals making hey on the outside that allowed him to accomplish anything on the inside.

    And that does remind me that FDR, like Abraham Lincoln, was not always a a great defender of Civil Liberties as the internment of the California Nisei proved during WWII.

  98. 98
    different-church-lady says:

    @LT: Dude, just stop.

  99. 99
    LT says:

    @askew:

    So more millions – great! It still isn’t jack compared to Canada, or Australia, or dozens of other countries that we constatnly call ourselves “better than.” That is not an unfair way to measure our health care system.

    And those millions of people would have been worse off without the bill being killed, which is what so many emoprogs fought for.

    And what the fuck does that mean? Fighting for better mean you want everyone who got helped to die horrible soon?

  100. 100
    Ron says:

    @Lev: The defense bill in the Senate passed 93-7

  101. 101
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Benjamin Franklin: I’m not talking about any particular negotiation that actually occurred. I’m talking in the abstract. Frankly, I have a lot less confidence that “long-term success” as such can ever happen.

  102. 102
    Soonergrunt says:

    House Passes $662 Billion Defense Authorization Bill

    The House of Representatives passed a massive $662 billion defense bill Wednesday night after last-minute changes placated the White House and ensured President Barack Obama’s ability to prosecute terrorist suspects in the civilian justice system.
    Applying pressure on House and Senate negotiators working on the bill last week, Obama and senior members of his national security team, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, had pressed for modifications in the provisions.
    Specifically, the bill would require that the military take custody of a suspect deemed to be a member of al-Qaida or its affiliates and who is involved in plotting or committing attacks against the United States. There is an exemption for U.S. citizens.
    House and Senate negotiators added language that says nothing in the bill will affect “existing criminal enforcement and national security authorities of the FBI or any other domestic law enforcement agency” with regard to a captured suspect “regardless of whether such … person is held in military custody.”
    The bill also says the president can waive the provision based on national security.

    So the law doesn’t actually change anything, and even if it does, the President can waive the law at will. What’s the problem here?

  103. 103
    LT says:

    @different-church-lady: Which part, the links or the proverbs? Cuz I can’t stop both.

  104. 104
    different-church-lady says:

    @LT:

    In the mean time I’d also teach him how to fish. And rob Walmarts.

    Goodness, that sounds like a busy schedule. Where will you find the time to post your usual drivel here?

  105. 105
    Baud says:

    With all this talk about whether the NDAA covers American citizens or not, the fact remains that to fall within the NDAA’s detention provisions, a person has:

    (A) to be a member of, or part of, alQaeda or an associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Qaeda; and (B) to have participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners.

    (Section 1022 of Conference bill).

  106. 106
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    It still isn’t jack compared to Canada, or Australia, or dozens of other countries that we constatnly call ourselves “better than.”

    Those are also countries that have had their healthcare systems in place for a minimum of 30 years, if not more.

    But I guess you believe in American exceptionalism since you think we could build a British-style healthcare system by passing a single bill even though it took the British themselves 50 years to build their system. We’re better than they are, so we should have been able to do it faster, amirite?

  107. 107
    askew says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    It’s definitely a class/privilege issue. Rich people can fight for their prinicples because they know that their kids won’t go hungry or have to live in the streets. Glenn can fight for his principles because he is rich and lives in Brazil. All of the PL and most of the blogosphere will not be impacted by the unemployment benefits ending or care about an extra $1,500 in payroll tax cut.

    That’s why the views of the PL and the blogosphere don’t reflect the views of the overall Democratic party.

  108. 108
    different-church-lady says:

    @LT: I would think the comparisons to the Fascist dictator part, wouldn’t you?

  109. 109
    Lolis says:

    I never thought a millionaire surtax would be implemented so I am not disappointed. I don’t think it is a failure of Dems either. I also don’t think they will agree to Medicare cuts, although it would be smart to allow an up or down vote on it in the Senate.

  110. 110
    Anya says:

    @Mnemosyne: I did call both of my senators and the WH, as well as ACLU. But that does not make me less concerned. According to TPM:

    Carney said the White House is still concerned “about the uncertainty that this law will create for our counterterrorism professionals,” but said the changes “give the President additional discretion in determining how the law will be implemented, consistent with our values and the rule of law, which are at the heart of our country’s strength.”

    Do you really want to give Gingrich, Romney or any other Republican president that much discretion? Also, don’t you think it’s too late to complain once the President signs the bill. Now is the time to raise a ruckus, not after it becomes the law of the land.

  111. 111
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Soonergrunt: The problem arises in giving the president too wide a latitude, too much discretion, because it becomes reminiscent of Bush-Cheney notions of executive power.

  112. 112
    Lev says:

    @Ron: I was confusing the vote on the amendment to strip the detention language with the actual bill. My mistake.

  113. 113
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You are right. I forgot that not a single person ever fought for – or even ever thought about – universal public health care coverage in this country before Obama became president.

  114. 114
    askew says:

    @LT:

    And what the fuck does that mean? Fighting for better mean you want everyone who got helped to die horrible soon?

    In the case of the Kill the Bill crowd, it does absolutely mean that. People are alive today due to the ACA and yet many of the PL/emoprogs did everything in their power to kill it.A rational person would have done everything possible to fight to pass this imperfect bill and then work to improve the bill. But, some people prefer to be “right” over helping people.

  115. 115
    LT says:

    @different-church-lady:

    You haven’t heard the saying “At least Mussolini made the train runs on time”?

  116. 116
    cathyx says:

    @Anne Laurie: Well, it was there, I commented on it, then it disappeared, then it reappeared.

  117. 117
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Frankly, I have a lot less confidence that “long-term success” as such can ever happen.

    That’s EXACTLY the problema. The Republicans don’t care what happens to the little guy as they fiddle over the burning of Rome. If we don’t display a similar toughness, they will, and do, drink our milkshakes. They, like other less evolved cultures only respect strength, and despise compassion as WEAKNESS.

  118. 118
    LT says:

    @askew: Were there actually a significant number of people who actually wanted and fought for the killing of the bill to worry about? Or are they your version of Republicans war on Dem vote fraud?

  119. 119
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Anya:

    Also, don’t you think it’s too late to complain once the President signs the bill.

    Given that you keep complaining that he “should have” vetoed the bill, I did not realize that you were aware that nothing has actually happened yet.

    Now is the time to raise a ruckus, not after it becomes the law of the land.

    Yes, it is, but telling people that he “should have” vetoed the bill gives the impression that he has already signed it and there’s nothing they can do. If you actually want to urge people to write and call to protest the bill, then say that. Don’t wallow in how disappointed you are that he “should have” done something that hasn’t actually happened yet.

  120. 120
    different-church-lady says:

    @LT: Yeah. I’m familiar with it. That’s how I understand that your use of it was completely fucking moronic.

  121. 121
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    You are right. I forgot that not a single person ever fought for – or even ever thought about – universal public health care coverage in this country before Obama became president.

    Thinking about universal health care doesn’t do jack shit without actual legislation. Plenty of people “thought about” UHC in Canada and Britain and France before it actually happened, but we don’t date the establishment of UHC in those countries from when people started thinking about it. We date it from when actual laws were actually passed that could actually accomplish something, not from when people thought, “Hey, that would be a great idea.”

  122. 122
    Soonergrunt says:

    @FlipYrWhig: You know, there’s a funny thing about that. Another law can be passed.
    This was about the best that was to be gotten this time.

    You want to make a lasting fix to the country? Get to 65 reliable progressives in the US Senate. Anything that doesn’t work to that end is emoprog professional left whiny bullshit.

  123. 123
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    But I guess you believe in American exceptionalism since you think we could build a British-style healthcare system by passing a single bill even though it took the British themselves 50 years to build their system.

    This is so fucking stupid I’ve got to respond again. “A single bill”? Medicare passed in 1965. 46 years ago. It not only was no the first attempt to get decent health care coverage in this country – it was an attempt to get *universal* coverage. And it failed. The ACA was a continuation of that fight.

    This thing has been going on for way more than 50 years, you complete jackass.

  124. 124
    Anya says:

    @LT: Would you have prefered to wait for the perfect bill. There is a difference between fighting for something that does not exist and improving on something that’s already in place. SS and Medicare were not perfect when they were first enacted.

  125. 125
    LT says:

    @different-church-lady: You are familiar with the saying, and you still thought I was being literal? Is that what you’re saying? Because it’s hard to understand how you could do that.

  126. 126
    different-church-lady says:

    @LT: I didn’t think you were being literal. I thought you were being a dumb asshole.

  127. 127
    askew says:

    @LT:

    The most prominent left blog DailyKos fought to kill it for some time. FDL, the 2nd most prominent blog, fought to kill it, raised money to kill it, threatened Democrats, Joe Liberman’s wife, the Susan G Komen fund and Bernie Sanders to try to get them to vote no on the bill. Arianna Huffington fought to kill it. Ed Schultz fought to kill it at one point. Howard Dean briefly fought to kill it. That is about 75% of the prominent left voices in the media and blogosphere who tried to kill the healthcare bill.

  128. 128
    LT says:

    @Anya:

    Would you have prefered to wait for the perfect bill.

    At the end of the day i said, “Eh, a good step. A really good one.” But while the fight’s on your fucking fight. And you hope the people you voted for do too.

  129. 129
    Allan says:

    @cathyx: Because ZOMG Adolf Hitler Obama’s Storm Troopers swept in, indefinitely detained mclaren while twirling their mustaches and laughing with unalloyed glee, then censored BJ with their awesome powers to control everything. Duh.

  130. 130
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    Apologies to everyone for my angry tone. I’m just so tired of being ‘dumbed down’ by politicos who tell me how hard it is to risk their jobs for principle.

  131. 131
    LT says:

    @askew: I’m a member of DKos. I didn’t fight to kill it.

    Look, I’ll concede that it was used as a tactic. You can make your case that that is the wrong way to go about it, but in political fights like that that’s one of the tools used. It doesn’t mean that the people making that fight actually want to kill whatever bill will be passed, it means they’re fighting for better. I’m personally okay with that.

    And you are completely discounting whatever benefits may have come to the bill via pressure. Pressure like that does actually work in politics, to differing degrees.

  132. 132
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    Next stop; SOPA….

  133. 133
    eemom says:

    @LT:

    It still isn’t jack compared to Canada, or Australia, or dozens of other countries that we constatnly call ourselves “better than.” That is not an unfair way to measure our health care system.

    IIRC, your pious little ass is doing quite well under one of those superior health care systems at the moment. You’re not one of the 40 million uninsured. “Our” health care system ain’t YOURS.

    So once again, STFU — unless you want to move back here and take your chances under the status quo. THEN you can fucking yap about how the ACA “isn’t jack.”

  134. 134
    askew says:

    @LT:

    I am talking about the front-pagers at DailyKos trying to kill the bill not anonymous posters.

    And the pressure to “kill the bill” groups did nothing to help the bill get passed and in fact made it more difficult to get Lieberman to vote yes due to FDL’s attack on his wife. And all of the smearing of the bill has made it almost impossible for Democrats to talk about the positive aspects of the bill.

    That’s the problem with the PL and the blogosphere. They don’t understand how to apply pressure, instead they end up turning allies into enemies.

  135. 135
    LT says:

    @eemom:

    You are like a moth to my light now, are you?

    P.S. No matter how tight your knickers get, I’m going to still be here. And really: People can actually see your comments. Do you honestly not realize how unbearably and painfully pig ignorant your sentiments are? Is that really possible? Do you honestly not understand what it means to be a citizen of a country?

  136. 136
    Anya says:

    @Mnemosyne: I am interested to know, what’s your stand on the bill? Do you agree that the quotes I’ve provided above are troublesome, or would you prefer to fixate on my application of the wrong tense.

  137. 137
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Mr. Cole: I know right :(

  138. 138
    AA+ Bonds says:

    hhhhhhhhh the more people dislike this bill the better it is for the Democrats anyway, that’s how this dumb system works, so I don’t think this foolishness in the comments does much good for anyone but the Republicans, all the posters here trying to go to bat for the bill I mean

  139. 139
    Chris says:

    @Anya:

    about the uncertainty that this law will create for our counterterrorism professionals

    If you find an American terrorist, you arrest the fucker, you interrogate him legally, and then you sent him to court so he can go to prison. Too fucking complicated for the national security “experts”?

    Jesus. It’s fucking ridiculous. I keep coming back to the example of terrorist Carlos the Jackal, the closest thing the 1980s had to an Osama Bin Laden – the French caught him (not a French citizen btw), brought him onto French soil, tried him on French soil, and imprisoned him in a normal, if high security, prison on French soil, where he’s still rotting away to this day. I think it was La Sante in Paris – fucking hell, I lived in the same city as that terrorist asshole for three years and I’ve probably never been safer. It’s not fucking rocket science, and it’s not as if it’s never been tried.

    (And get this, we make fun of the French for being cowards when we’ve got an entire population soiling its pants at the idea of locking up our criminals in a maximum security prison because it’s afraid we’ll pull a Magneto).

  140. 140
    Anya says:

    @Chris: Love your righteous rant. What can I say? Our political discourse is overtaken by lunatics.

  141. 141
    eemom says:

    @LT:

    do you honestly not understand what it means to be a self-righteous little asshole who — citizen or not — is passing judgment on tough decisions with real consequences for actual people who DON’T INCLUDE YOU?

    And REALLY: people can actually see your comments.

  142. 142
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @LT: I don’t call us better than other countries. I also think we can be better tahn we are. That being said, one does have to consider where we started on health care in order to measure progress. We have a long way to go but we are further along now than we were before.

  143. 143
    LT says:

    @eemom:

    Shorter eemom:

    Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin: SHUT UP!!!!!

  144. 144
    boss bitch says:

    I can’t speak on the defense bill but anyone upset over the surtax needs to shut up. For the past week or so all I’ve been seeing from blogs is that the Senate and Obama should not cave on the pipeline for payroll tax cut deal and they didn’t. Not a god damn soul was worried about the surtax. Now its ZOMG they caved!

    I don’t care about the surtax now. I care about the payroll tax and unemployment benefits. If Dems need to find another way to pay for it then let them. Millions of people are my main concern not the fucking sensibilities of a few people on the internet.

  145. 145
    LT says:

    And eemom, if you’re really a pig ignorant ass, you should come back with “Oh, so you think you’re as important as Franklin and Jefferson?! That proves everything! I say is true! Garble warble!”

    I wish I knew how to make that comment invisible, so it could be highlighted…

  146. 146
    LT says:

    @boss bitch:

    Not a god damn soul was worried about the surtax.

    Good god.

  147. 147
    Sasha says:

    If scrapping the surtax, in exchange for dropping the XL pipeline, gets the needed things extended — even if unpaid for — I’d consider it a win.

  148. 148
    eemom says:

    @boss bitch:

    Millions of people are my main concern not the fucking sensibilities of a few people on the internet.

    Srsly? You mean you don’t care about the sensibilities of people on the other side of the planet? But what if they’re CITIZENS?

  149. 149
    carpeduum says:

    Dear John,

    Fuck you very much. No seriously, fuck you! When all is good and the poll numbers are up and GOPers are flailing about and Obama is doing all the right things all you have to say is “hey, look at what my cat did”.

    As soon as Dems do something controversial you fold like a deck of cards and the knives come out.

    Fuck you! Dems don’t want people like you. You are not a supporter. You are not someone dems can count on when the going gets tough. I suspect you are like that in non political ways. My guess is that when people who know you personally describe you they don’t imagine a scenario where they want you holding the other end of the rope if they are dangling from a cliff. Go back to the GOPers where you belong.

  150. 150
    LT says:

    @eemom:

    Maybe you’ve heard this before but you have the vibe of an Ann Althouse-like stalker.

  151. 151
    different-church-lady says:

    @LT: OK, if I’ve got this straight, Obama is Mussolini and you’re Thomas Jefferson.

    [updates spreadsheet]

  152. 152
    LT says:

    @carpeduum:

    You are a fucking idiot.

  153. 153
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I have to say this took my breath away. I thought Wyden was one of the good guys. He’s decided this is a good moment to show bipartisan support for vouchers. With Paul Ryan.

    The two announced via The Washington Post that they’ll be teaming up on a different version of that Medicare plan — one that closely mimics plans offered by leading GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, and a proposal authored by former Sen. Pete Domenici and former Clinton budget director Alice Rivlin, which loomed large in the Super Committee’s failed negotiations.
    The move makes Wyden the first elected Democrat to endorse creating a premium-support system to compete with traditional fee-for-service Medicare,

  154. 154
    somethingblue says:

    So are they dropping the millionaire surtax in exchange for a credible commitment from the Republicans to pass the bill? Or are they, as usual, just caving “in hopes that this will make the bill more appealing” to the unicorn-like moderate Republicans?

    ’cause it’s their propensity to the latter that drives me nuts about Reid and the Dear Leader.

  155. 155
    eemom says:

    @LT:

    ooooh, better watch that spluttering spittle there, skipper. You don’t want to work yourself into a frenzy and crash the Tanzanian yacht.

  156. 156
    LT says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I’m just like Thomas Jefferson in that I love red wine; France; my slave bitchez.

    [comma key broken…]

  157. 157
    Nellcote says:

    Here is a letter from Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA), the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, defending and clarifying the detention provisions in the NDAA and advocating for its passage.

    Dear Colleague:

    One of the most important issues in the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) involves detainee issues. I would like to take a moment to explain my position.

    First, the AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force) section in our bill, Section 1021, merely codifies current law. It specifically states, “nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities, relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.” Quite simply, our courts will decide what the law is regarding detention of U.S. citizens.

    Second, any U.S. citizen detained under Section 1021 has the right under habeas corpus to have the legality of any such detention determined by our courts. The courts have also held that anyone detained under the AUMF at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, also has habeas rights. We do not change these rights.

    Third, Section 1022, entitled, “Military Custody For Foreign al-Qaeda Terrorists” specifically excludes US citizens. It states, “the requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.” It also states the requirement to detain under Section 1022 “does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.”

    Fourth, we also codify periodic review for those being detained at Guantanamo Bay, now and in the future, which is an important procedure for those detained indefinitely as a threat to the United States under the law of war.

    Finally, I understand and respect the opinions of our colleagues who do not like the current law on this subject. I fought hard in conference to make sure that this bill did nothing to expand federal authority under the AUMF and succeeded in that effort. We need to protect our country but also preserve our values and due process rights in doing so.

    This bill needs to be passed. We need to make sure that our troops have the support they to protect our country and ensure national security.

    Sincerely,

    Adam Smith

    Ranking Member

    House Armed Services Committee

  158. 158
    LT says:

    @eemom:

    Tanzanian yacht.

    I really called it on the Ann Althouse thing didn’t I? How deep into this particular box of wine and carton of oreos are you?

  159. 159
    eemom says:

    @LT:

    Now, now, Mr. Jefferson-Franklin. It is MOST un-founding-father like to flail around like a furious todder, hurling insults like toys in a sandbox.

    Let’s focus back on the topic at hand, shall we? Please go on with your expatriated wisdom. We folks back home are waiting breathlessly.

  160. 160
    mclaren says:

    @cathyx:

    Why was Mclaren’s comment removed?

    Criticism of the Great Hero of the Fatherland first black American president is not permitted. As we march forward toward a glorious socialist soviet workers’ capitalist free-market paradise, our progress cannot be impeded by the running-dog crawling insects who subvert our magnificent system of governance and insult the immeasurable dignity of the state.

    Forward, comrades! Let the corpses pile up into mountains in the gulags! Ever forward, regardless how many suspected disloyal citizens we must torture and imprison and kill, for in the end it will all be worth it! We are building a sublime soviet socialist open-market capitalist Eden! Now, comrades, nothing — not infamous reptiles like mclaren, not scumsucking tapeworms misnamed the “Occupy movement” who drain the vitality of the state — must be permitted to prevent us from reaching our goal of creating the New Soviet American Man and uniting all kulaks blue-collar Republican voters with all apparatchiks four-year-college-degree white collar Democratic voters to attain the End of History and the Last Man!

  161. 161
    marianne19 says:

    I’ve been reading your archives so I know you already got welcomed to the circular firing squad when you became a registered Democrat.

    But more seriously, I am a 63-year-old who was a proud yellow dog. I handed out leaflets for JFK when I was 12 years old. But it just gets worse and worse as far as any hope for Democrats defending working people(re dropping the millionaire surtax). It seems to me that the culture wars and/or the takeover of politics by money splintered the party into social/cultural constituencies focused on defending gay rights, abortion, diversity and other values issues rather than the economic interest of the working class.

    Obama has been talking a good game recently-he’s a wonderful speaker-but I just despair of his really understanding the working class. I know he grew up poor, but there’s real difference in the poverty of an academic family like his mom and him versus the working poor. Families of academics may not have much money, but their cultural values and ability to access education are similar to what you find in the upper middle class.

    But, even of we stipulate Obama’s heart is completely in the right place, the structure of our government (too much weight for small states, the way the Republicans gerrymandered congressional districts and packed the judiciary) has his hands largely tied. Which is why “Obamacare” is so ugly and why it’s almost impossible to get any other domestic program passed without giveaways to the 1% (back to dropping the millionaire tax).

    Long way of saying “I hate them too.” I guess you hate your family when it disappoints you.

    Sorry to be so long-winded; I need to take a breath, but once I get rolling with the self loathing, it’s hard to stop.

  162. 162
    Corner Stone says:

    Another comment thread that exemplifies the memory hole prevalent on BJ.
    The thing being assigned less value has less value because it’s being given up. The thing we all agree is more worthy is more worthy because it’s the thing not being given up. Or not being given up on in its entirety.
    But next time! Next time! Next time the thing with less value will have more value! And the thing we value now will have stood us in good stead!
    Or something. I’ve run out of mustard for the pretzel motherfuckers commenting here.

  163. 163
    askew says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Wyden has some goofy ideas on health care. He was a pain in the butt during the healthcare bill fight as well. Not surprised that he joined with Ryan on vouchers for Medicare.

  164. 164
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    This is so fucking stupid I’ve got to respond again. “A single bill”? Medicare passed in 1965. 46 years ago. It not only was no the first attempt to get decent health care coverage in this country – it was an attempt to get universal coverage. And it failed. The ACA was a continuation of that fight.

    Again, you seem to be confused about the difference between “fighting for” legislation and actual legislation actually existing. The fact that Medicare failed to cover everyone means that it fails to cover everyone, which means that it’s not universal healthcare coverage.

    ACA is another step towards universal coverage, but you’re whining and crying that it sucks because our system did not magically become the NHS after that single piece of legislation was passed. The fact that it took the British 50 years to build that system to its current state after it was founded apparently doesn’t register with you at all — as far as you’re concerned, they announced NHS, it formed magically, and then unicorns appeared, so therefore the US sucks because we didn’t do the same thing.

  165. 165
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Anya:

    I am interested to know, what’s your stand on the bill? Do you agree that the quotes I’ve provided above are troublesome, or would you prefer to fixate on my application of the wrong tense.

    I think it’s a bad bill, which is why I’m calling and faxing the White House to ask the president to veto it anyway rather than wringing my hands about how it’s totally inevitable that he’s going to sign so there’s no point in trying to do anything, which is what you seem to be doing.

  166. 166
    wilfred says:

    Too funny, this post. I propose a new posting category: Lady Macbeth.

    Clue: This is what happens when you place loyalty over dissent. Assuring Obama your support NO MATTER WHAT means you get what you pay for.

    Had people pressured Obama a little here from within, the result might have been different.

  167. 167
    carpeduum says:

    @LT: Truth hurts my little groupie.

  168. 168
    Corner Stone says:

    @wilfred:

    Had people pressured Obama a little here from within, the result might have been different.

    But…but…Godzilla! No, not a metaphor. I mean if Obama isn’t re-elected then the actual Godzilla will destroy NYC.

  169. 169
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m really trying to get what you’re doing here. You’re saying that calling 1965 attempt at Medicare for all the start (or a start) of our fight for this is wrong – (I’m hearing you say “How dare you be mad that that one bill in 1965 didn’t magically do everything?!”) – because

    Oh fuck it. You lost me. (And do you get that? That you can say “How dare you be mad that that one bill didn’t magically do everything?!” about 1965’s bill? Do you get that?)

    And me calling the ACA when done “a good step – maybe a really good step” is not “crying that it sucks.”

  170. 170
    Corner Stone says:

    I, for one, am pleased as fuck we got a new START signed instead of some trillion dollars in governmental revenue.
    So happy we allowed certain hostages to be assigned to a deal we never needed to. Who in their right mind made UI part of the deal? Oh, right…

  171. 171
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’ve got to go back to this. What the fuck are you doing? Simply pointing to the fact that the US is fifty fucking years behind everyone else on this (one hundred years in Germany’s case) is wrong because…the US is fifty years behind everyone on this! THAT’s your fucking argument! Unbefuckinglievable.

  172. 172
    Anya says:

    @Mnemosyne: In that case, we’re on the same side.

  173. 173
    eemom says:

    @wilfred:

    Had people pressured Obama a little here from within, the result might have been different.

    aaaand, another ship-jumper from over THERE weighs in on what we should be doing, “HERE”.

    I guess sanctimonious hypocrisy is in high demand among foreign countries granting residency to US **CITIZENS** these days.

  174. 174
    That Guy says:

    @LT:
    How can you be so god damn dense? She’s saying quit shitting on the Affordable Healthcare Act just because it doesn’t magically transform our shitty healthcare system in one go. Why are people on the Internet so fucking dumb?

    “Obamacare” may not be perfect, but it is a step in the right direction. I know it wasn’t the bill you weren’t fucking expecting, but it was the bill that got passed. It helps people. Get over yourself.

  175. 175
    That Guy says:

    If there is one commonality between emoprogs, firebaggers, glibertarians, libertarians, teapartiers, and Republicans, it is poor reading comprehension. I swear; talking to an emoprog is like talking to a teapartier.

  176. 176
    Corner Stone says:

    When people use the “word” emoprog?
    Well, they don’t have anything to say worth reading.

  177. 177
    Corner Stone says:

    I mean, when my son was 5 he made up words to stand in for things too.
    Those words made more sense.

  178. 178
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Repeal AUMF and all this goes away.

  179. 179
    LT says:

    @That Guy:

    …it doesn’t magically transform our shitty healthcare system in one go.

    Because it’s the only go that there has ever been always and forever amen.

  180. 180
    Corner Stone says:

    The most interesting part of this thread is actually in the twit feed for Cole.
    He can’t dismount the tiger he created here.
    He’s got ABL calling him out in pretty much every comment thread and Zander doing the “DRONES EEERYWHERE” schtick unrepentantly.
    It’s more than a little amusing.

  181. 181
    superfly says:

    I honestly think I hate Democrats more now that I am one than I did when I was a Republican.

    Congratulations, you are now a Democrat.

    (apologies to anyone who already posted the same or similar sentiment, thread was too long to check)

  182. 182
    shano says:

    Rocky Anderson and the Liberty Party are looking better and better everyday.

  183. 183
    That Guy says:

    @LT:
    Your statement is a strawman. I would explain why, but with your reading comprehension, I’d just confuse you.

    Go you firebagging-emoprog asshole, go!

  184. 184
    LT says:

    @That Guy: Oh yer pretty.

    Hey you know what argument you could use to defend something no matter how shitty it was:

    “__________” may not be perfect, but it is a step in the right direction.

    It’s that kind of precision that makes you such a winner.

  185. 185
    That Guy says:

    @Corner Stone:
    Emo + Prog(gressive) = emoprog
    FDL + Teabagger = Firebagger
    Glib + Libertarian = Glibertarian

    You should know these terms; they are used here often. I even seen you use each of terms at least once. You forgotten them? Don’t worry though, I also forget shit sometimes.

  186. 186
    LT says:

    @Corner Stone: That Guy is doing his damndest to prove you right.

  187. 187
    That Guy says:

    @LT:
    Mnemosyne already covered why the Affordable Healthcare Act was good, or at least acceptable. If you are not satisfied with anyone of those reasons, then oh well. Though, I can’t really tell you if you don’t agree because you regularly ignore parts of her post and attack strawmen.

  188. 188
    That Guy says:

    I would seriously love to address and answer you guys, but people within this thread have already done so and much better than I ever could. It’d be an insult to them if I just decided I was better equipped to penetrate your thick skulls. It is an intellectually lazy reason, but I am lazy.

    Anyway, I enjoy messing with you guys. I got nothing better to do for an hour anyway.

  189. 189
    LT says:

    @That Guy:

    Mnemosyne already covered why the Affordable Healthcare Act was good, or at least acceptable.

    Because Mnemosyne and you are the final arbiters of that? Listen to yourself. I cam into this conversation at comment #86.

    @askew:

    It’s the same folks to tried to kill the health care bill because it didn’t include a public option or wasn’t single payer. Now, we find out millions of Americans are benefiting from the bill and those say people are still calling the bill a failure.
    __

    Come on. This is a “Mussollini had the trains run on time” argument. It is very, very good that 2.5 million have coverage directly because of ACA, but it is not the only way to measure it. It’s still a far fucking way from what other countries actually do for their citizens.

    That is an entirely reasonable comment. And it’s entirely fair to compare American health care to the health care of other nations as a way of measuring it. There are other ways too – but it is a fair way. Do you disagree with that?

    EDIT: And let me just add that the 2.5 million figure is just the 18-26 provision. There are far more people who got help (and will get help) from this.

  190. 190
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    But I guess you believe in American exceptionalism since you think we could build a British-style healthcare system by passing a single bill even though it took the British themselves 50 years to build their system. We’re better than they are, so we should have been able to do it faster, amirite?

    It took less than a year to put Medicare in place after it passed Congress. And that was with 1960s technology.

  191. 191
    NR says:

    @askew:

    People are alive today due to the ACA and yet many of the PL/emoprogs did everything in their power to kill it.

    And people are dead today because the Democrats didn’t pass a better bill, and yet many of the BJ center-right crowd did everything in their power to see that a better bill didn’t get passed.

  192. 192
    That Guy says:

    @LT:
    I really want to address your weak ass point, but I just said I wouldn’t, so I won’t. I’m sure you understand. I want to stand by my principle of being honest.

    Anyway, if you can’t see what is wrong with your argument with having Mnemosyne point out, you’re hopeless.

  193. 193
    That Guy says:

    Oh, hey it’s NR. You’re one of my favorite trolls. Come join the party.

  194. 194
    different-church-lady says:

    @That Guy:

    How can you be so god damn dense?

    Practice, practice, practice.

  195. 195
    NR says:

    @askew:

    I am talking about the front-pagers at DailyKos trying to kill the bill not anonymous posters.

    You’re a fucking liar. DailyKos supported the bill and made a major push to get it passed.

  196. 196
    LT says:

    @That Guy: You’ll be back you coward.

  197. 197
    different-church-lady says:

    @NR: Yes, you’re absolutely right: more people would be alive today had we held out for single payer and gotten nothing.

    Is it me? It’s him, right?

  198. 198
    Samara Morgan says:

    Like i said on your pearl clutching about Libya thread, fucking man-up and GOTV you pansy ass cry baby.
    cuz if we dont, its wash, rinse, repeat in Iran.

  199. 199
    NR says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Yes, you’re absolutely right: more people would be alive today had we held out for single payer and gotten nothing.

    This assumes that the only choices were this shitty bill, or nothing.

    More people would be alive today if we’d forced the Democrats to pass a better bill.

  200. 200
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Corner Stone: emoprog is a perfectly good word. its like teabagger or firebagger. descriptive, concise, and succint.

  201. 201
    That Guy says:

    @LT:

    I never said I was going anywhere. I just said I wouldn’t try to bring up points already addressed by people more knowledgeable and well-informed than I am.

    Also, the word coward. If I didn’t know you were an emoprog, I’d swear you were a Republican. They love that word. They think any honest person gives a shit about that word, and so do you, apparently.

  202. 202
    different-church-lady says:

    @NR: More people would be alive today if we forced the Democrats to cure cancer too.

    Probabilities were about the same. But I’m sure your alternate reality disagrees.

  203. 203
    LT says:

    @That Guy: Ha ha ha ha ha…

    Oh and I was responding to speciffic comments; mostly this one:

    @LT:
    Your statement is a strawman. I would explain why, but with your reading comprehension, I’d just confuse you.
    __
    Go you firebagging-emoprog asshole, go!

    That smells cowardy.

  204. 204
    NR says:

    @different-church-lady: My “alternate reality” is reality.

    The Democrats didn’t refuse to pass a better bill because it was impossible, they refused to pass a better bill because they didn’t want to pass a better bill. And because people like you were only too happy to let them get away with it.

    The Democrats had the power to pass whatever they wanted. And that’s exactly what they did.

  205. 205
    LT says:

    @different-church-lady:

    More people would be alive today if we forced the Democrats to cure cancer too.
    __
    Probabilities were about the same.

    This is the formula:

    • If Obama did it; it’s good enough.

    • If it’s not good enough – it’s not Obama’s fault – it wasn’t possible.

    It works for everything.

    P.S. My comma key has broken damn it.

  206. 206
    different-church-lady says:

    @NR: So reality is whatever you insist it is? And however simple you insist it is?

    Maybe if Obama had just been more willing to slap the Blue Dogs with his dick. On Monday morning, the quarterbacks always know best.

  207. 207
    Jason says:

    Are you a firebagger yet John? C’mon, join the team. You know you want to… Jane Hamsher will give you kiss..

  208. 208
    LT says:

    @different-church-lady:

    So reality is whatever you insist it is? And however simple you insist it is?

    The lack of self-awareness necessary to write that seconds after writing this:

    More people would be alive today if we forced the Democrats to cure cancer too. More people would be alive today if we forced the Democrats to cure cancer too.
    __
    Probabilities were about the same.

    Astonishing.

  209. 209
    different-church-lady says:

    @LT: What are the odds of the rest of your keyboard following suit?

    Who fucking said it was good enough? It’s better than nothing.

    And considering that they only barley passed what we did get, how can anyone seriously make the argument that holding out would have resulted in more?

  210. 210
    FlipYrWhig says:

    You know what would have been excellent? Not passing any health care bill, then listening to unending harangues about how terrible Obama was for fucking _that_ up. That shit would NEVER get old.

  211. 211
    different-church-lady says:

    @LT: OK, smart kid, you explain how you get the blue dogs to vote for more than what they voted for.

  212. 212
    NR says:

    @different-church-lady: The thing about reality is that it doesn’t matter what you or I insist. It simply is.

    And the reality is that the Democrats had the power to pass whatever they wanted. Which is what they did.

  213. 213
    LT says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Who fucking said it was good enough? It’s better than nothing.

    Uh – wow.

    I think you just made all your fellow emoprog-hunters cry.

  214. 214
    NR says:

    @LT: Isn’t it great to see that the mindset that Voltaire so expertly satirized hundreds of years ago is still alive and well today?

    God is good, therefore this is the best of all possible worlds, therefore any evil that happens is both absolutely necessary and the least that it could possibly be.

  215. 215
    different-church-lady says:

    @NR: OK. You stick to that. We’ll move on without you.

  216. 216
    Allan says:

    @LT: Obama took your commas, right after he took your pen1s.

  217. 217
    different-church-lady says:

    @LT: No, I’m serious: who on this thread said it was good enough?

  218. 218
    4jkb4ia says:

    It’s part of being in Blogtopia. Every day, even if all you read is Greg Sargent, you see that being a Democrat and being a liberal are two different things. Also you have Manchin to feed your depression and self-loathing.

    The first day I logged into DKos was after the 2004 election, and I was beside myself thinking that Democrats had to do better than this. They have done better than this at winning elections, but they haven’t done better at messaging. Not vetoing the NDAA is pure poor messaging. No one outside the civil liberties community knew what the heck was going on.

    Not to mention that being willing to bargain the millionaire surtax away shows that they are not learning when it will come time to renegotiate the Bush tax cuts. Very, very depressing.

  219. 219
    different-church-lady says:

    @NR: So you’re saying the ACA is evil. Got it.

  220. 220
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    You’re saying that calling 1965 attempt at Medicare for all the start (or a start) of our fight for this is wrong – (I’m hearing you say “How dare you be mad that that one bill in 1965 didn’t magically do everything?!”) – because

    Here’s where you seem to be deeply confused:

    The British didn’t “start fighting” for universal healthcare in 1948. That’s when they set up a system. No one counts the system as starting in the late 1800s just because that’s when the idea was first proposed.

    The ACA doesn’t retroactively take effect because people “started fighting” for UHC in the 1930s. It takes effect going forward, because that’s how legislation works. You’re making some weird argument that because people started fighting for UHC decades ago, somehow that means that we should be further along in the process of setting up a system than any other country was at the same point in their process. We’re not. We’re at the same point that South Korea was in 1977 when they first started switching from private health insurance to UHC.

    It took South Korea 12 years to transition from private insurance to UHC — something that healthcare experts consider to be a transition done at lightning speed — and yet you think the US was supposed to manage to do it in a single year with a single piece of legislation?

  221. 221
    That Guy says:

    @LT:

    Why would I care if you called me a coward? That means very little to me. Sorry if I confused you on this point.

    In all honesty, I want you and the other trolls/emoprogs/firebaggers to leave, but you won’t. If you can’t beat them, make fun of them. Y’know what I mean?

  222. 222
    LT says:

    @different-church-lady:

    OK, smart kid, you explain how you get the blue dogs to vote for more than what they voted for.

    For starters – be a Democratic president. Don’t elevate yourself above party – you’re a Dem; it’s how you ran; it’s how you got our votes. Be a fucking Dem. 2) Don’t treat lying fucks like respected people. Don’t elevate thier lies. “Speaker Boehner has a point…” No he fucking doesn’t. He’s a fucking liar. Call him a fucking liar. Do your fucking job.

  223. 223
    different-church-lady says:

    @LT: Well first off, Boehner wasn’t speaker when the ACA passed, so I’m not sure what you’re going on about.

    Blue Dogs are democrats. They dragged the damn thing down. Apparently Obama was supposed to get all up in their faces and “be a fuckin’ Dem” on their asses. Yeah. Single payer is as easy as dropping some whup ass.

    Fuck all, it’s a good thing you spend all your time here on the internet with me, because otherwise you might be out in the real world damaging real shit.

  224. 224
    NR says:

    @different-church-lady: The fact that people died because the ACA was passed instead of a better bill is evil. And according to you, that evil was both absolutely necessary and the least that it could possibly have been. Everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds.

  225. 225
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You’re dragging this further and further into the weeds. Look: We humans compare like things to one another. It’s one of the tools we use to assess value. We can stand back and look at the American hc system the Canadian the UK… and make some assessments. You’re bizarre pulling out of dates of starts and weirdnesses – you’re way off track. My first comment on this was this:

    @askew:

    @#askew: It’s the same folks to tried to kill the health care bill because it didn’t include a public option or wasn’t single payer. Now, we find out millions of Americans are benefiting from the bill and those say people are still calling the bill a failure.
    __

    Me: Come on. This is a “Mussollini had the trains run on time” argument. It is very, very good that 2.5 million have coverage directly because of ACA, but it is not the only way to measure it. It’s still a far fucking way from what other countries actually do for their citizens.

    I said it was VERY FUCKING GOOD. Jesus. Do you want me to hold up a picture of Obama and kiss its ass? Fuck! I also said it’s a far way from here where I live and other places. THAT’S FUCKING TRUE. Jesus H Christ.

    That wasnt’ even a mean comment or an unkind one. And it brought the likes of you out acting like I’d – I dont’ fucking know. I just made the point that ther eare lots of ways to measure the ACA’s worth. Why this brought out so much wrath – you really need to check yourself.

    And:

    The British didn’t “start fighting” for universal healthcare in 1948.

    Are you a scholar on this? Cuz that seems to be wrong.

  226. 226
    different-church-lady says:

    @NR: It’s not evil? Gosh, I’m so confused here. You presented me with two choices. Neither one of the was the one I would have picked, but you and your pal Voltaire decided to define me as a binary thinker, so I had no option other than to play along as best I could.

  227. 227
    LT says:

    @different-church-lady: It was pretty obvious that your question was a sham.

    I think Obama could have played the hc debate so much better. That’s my take on it. Do you think he did good?

  228. 228
    That Guy says:

    @different-church-lady:

    His reasoning is understandable even if his logic is flawed.
    He truly believes that getting some healthcare reform and being happy about it prevents you from wanting to make what we already have to be better.

    Or in other words, because we say Obamacare passing is a good or great thing, we cannot possibly want something better.

    NR idea is just a spin on this. He thinks that because we understand that anything more progressive or comprehensive had a very slim chance to pass, we are just Obots who cannot understand the “fact” Obama is a, what was the term, a capitalist pig.

    Essentially, they cannot understand that world may be more complex than what first seems.

  229. 229
    different-church-lady says:

    @NR: People died because the ACA was passed? Got it.

  230. 230
    NR says:

    @different-church-lady: You started this discussion by saying that our only choices were the ACA or nothing. How is that not binary thinking?

  231. 231
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LT: OK, so let’s try your strategy on Bart Stupak. Obama says, “Hey, man, we’re Dems, let’s get this shit done.”. Stupak says, “I’m a Democrat, but I also love unborn babies and I won’t vote for anything that puts them at risk.”. What does Obama say at that point? “Fuck you”?

    The thing is, there’s a huge disjunction between kinds of Democrats, and there are A LOT who think that their way is superior to Obama’s way, because, after all, here they are getting elected in red states, winning the votes of people who despise Obama and liberals. And they believe in _that_ a lot mor than they believe in supporting their own president.

  232. 232
    different-church-lady says:

    @LT: Could he have gotten more? Maybe. Barely. Public option? Probably not. Single payer? Get real.

    And that’s the whole damn problem with debates like this. Nobody wants to admit all the strum und drang is about table scraps. It’s so much easier to pretend one more yard would have resulted in a 50 point touchdown.

  233. 233
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And of course we have to work with what we have and move forward. But while we were working we should have been fighting and hard for a universal single payer system – examples of which we have right out there in the world around us. Examples that actually work; and actually result in healthier people. And nobody – nobody – not yesterday or five years ago – goes broke in Australia because they got sick and had to pay outrageous bills. We SHOULD be ashamed of that and we we should be trying to move toward that.

  234. 234
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Editing comments on this blog on an iPad is almost as frustrating as having the same fight about health care and Obama’s negotiating record for 3 straight years.

  235. 235
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    Why this brought out so much wrath – you really need to check yourself.

    Yes, I can’t imagine why comparing Obama to Mussolini caused people to get upset with you. After all, there are so many areas where they’re identical that it’s ridiculous for anyone to argue that Obama is not exactly like Mussolini.

    Not to mention the fact that, for us Americans, healthcare is just a little bit more fucking important than getting the trains to run on time. Getting us on the road to having UHC — which is what ACA does — is something that a lot of us think is a really fucking big deal because it’s something we’ve been fighting to get for a very long time. When your child took its first step, did you demand to know why he hadn’t run a marathon yet? After all, a bunch of people in their 50s had already run marathons, so clearly a toddler should be able to do it.

  236. 236
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LT: No matter how good any political idea is, it still has to get past a dozen Ben Nelsons. And that’s when conditions FAVOR Democrats. Lordy.

  237. 237
    LT says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Obama says fuck you is is goddamn right. And he goes to Stupak’s district and uses his considerable powers of charm to tell people Bart Stupak is a fucking idiot. And you should vote for someone else.

    There is such a thing as power of persuasion. Whenever these conversations happen – all the “EMOPROG!” criers (and I dont’ think your’e one) act like Obama couldnt’ talk a drunk into a drink.

  238. 238
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Getting us on the road to having UHC —which is what ACA does

    Objection. Assumes facts not in evidence.

    The ACA gets us on the road to universal health insurance. Whether it gets us on the road to universal health care–the jury is very much still out on that.

  239. 239
    RalfW says:

    Some wag on a BJ thread yesterday asked how I could have said that my sis-in-law could be both smart and an Independent.

    I’d say J.C.’s post up top just about covers it.

  240. 240
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yes, I can’t imagine why comparing Obama to Mussolini caused people to get upset with you. After all, there are so many areas where they’re identical that it’s ridiculous for anyone to argue that Obama is not exactly like Mussolini.

    Oh fuck you Mnem. Have you never heard that fucking saying? And are you so childish that you have to pretend that someone was making a literaql comparison to Mussolini? Are you that fucking childish? Fuck you – if you have to keep this up. Why fucking bother.

    There was a fucking point in there. It was very easy to see. Saying that ACA did X Y Z is not a good defense. You also have to look at what it doesn’t do. If you’re too motherfucking dense or proud or stupid to go there – just fuck.

  241. 241
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    We SHOULD be ashamed of that and we we should be trying to move toward that.

    We are trying to move toward that. That’s why we fucking passed ACA.

    You’re bizarre pulling out of dates of starts and weirdnesses – you’re way off track.

    Yes, I’m sorry I brought facts and statistics about the realities of actually switching from a healthcare system dominated by private insurance to your imaginary playground where unicorns and lollipops dance all day. I’ll try not to disturb your beautiful mind with actual numbers any more.

  242. 242
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LT: But the people in Stupak’s district, and Heath Shuler’s, etc., actually like those guys a lot better than they like Obama. They might be Democrats but not THAT kind of Democrat. Or, alternatively, Blue Dog du jour might say, “OK, do your worst, Obama, but when you have some kind of crazy Republican in this seat instead of me, you’re going to like that a hell of a lot less than you like dealing with me, and I’m a giant jerk wad, so, just imagine.” Dems who represent districts where Dem presidents never do well have a lot of leverage. That IMHO is the overriding reason why We Can’t Have Nice Liberal Things.

  243. 243
    different-church-lady says:

    @NR: Because the fucking congress can be a binary institution, is why. Either a bill passes or it doesn’t. You can tinker with the damn thing until the cows come home, and in the end either it becomes law or it doesn’t.

    Other than “being a fuckin’ Dem” nobody has yet to explain how anyone was going to get the congress critters to vote for more than they voted for. Freakin’ thing got watered down so it would pass, and now everyone wants to write bullshit magic-realism comic books about Obama could have gotten the likes of Mary Fucking Landrieu to crap PEZ candy instead of Blue Dog Doo if he had only wanted to slap her with his magic presidenting wand.

    In the meantime some people get enough help to live because of the ACA, and some people don’t. Why is it so hard for you to acknowledge the simple concept that it’s better than if the bill had failed? Nobody here asking you to agree it’s a great bill. Nobody here is asking you to agree it’s a great solution.

    The only thing you’re being asked to do is give up on the fantasy that somehow blue dogs were going to turn yellow if you beat them enough.

  244. 244
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yes, I’m sorry I brought facts and statistics about the realities of actually switching

    Acting like this is the very first American salvo on this is not bringing out facts. Especially not when my comment was a reply to someone wo acted like the ACA was made of the living Holy Spirit of perfection. I was simply pointing out that it’s not close to as good as universal systems in other countries. Saying “But they blah blah blah 50 years!” is not a sensible reply to that. Honest. I’m not lying. I get where you’re coming fro – but it doesn’t make sense as a reply to what I said.

    Look – we’re talking past each other in some aspects of this.

  245. 245
    different-church-lady says:

    @NR: I agree with you readily on that. (Just so you don’t think I’m being a dick with you just for the sake of it.)

  246. 246
    LT says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    But the people in Stupak’s district, and Heath Shuler’s, etc., actually like those guys a lot better than they like Obama.

    In early 2009? I’lll just disagree. There was an awful powerful thing that happened n this country at that time. I of course can’t quantify it – but I can see how Obama quickly became “Above the Party.” And that wrankles.

  247. 247
    That Guy says:

    Another thing emoprogs share with the other assholes, they seem to never grasp easy, basic concepts. They need everything explained to them and again in simpler terms, and they still may not understand.

    I’m not saying emoprogs, firebaggers, and et cetera are dumb, but they do not inspire in me great confidence of their intelligence.

  248. 248
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    I think Obama could have played the hc debate so much better. That’s my take on it.

    Why does it matter?

    Seriously. The legislation has passed. The ACA is being phased in. Why do the legislative battles of 2009 matter anymore? Why do you and NR have to keep dragging us backwards with complaints about how the ACA was passed two years ago instead of looking ahead to the next steps needed to transition our system?

    The only people who seem to think that the ACA was the be-all and end-all of legislation that can never be changed or improved upon are you and NR, not any of the ACA’s defenders here in the thread.

  249. 249
    LT says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Why is it so hard for you to acknowledge the simple concept that it’s better than if the bill had failed?

    I’ll acknowledge that.

    Nobody here asking you to agree it’s a great bill.

    That’s just flat out wrong. And in a couple of ways. The most significant for how this gets played here: If you criticize the ACA – you get the rage machine here. I mean in the smallest of ways. How is that not a way of saying “ACA good! No say bad thing!”

    I mean look what Cole’s post is about. It ain’t the ACA. It was brought in here by someone who hates EMOPROGS! and a whole bunch of people were waiting to join right it on that trip. That should tell us something about the motivation behind these things.

  250. 250
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Why do you and NR have to keep dragging us backwards with complaints about how the ACA was passed two years ago instead of looking ahead to the next steps needed to transition our system?

    Having very recently experienced close interaction with the Massachusetts law, I’ma say two things about that:

    1) Similar assertions have been made about the MA law, and I see utterly no evidence that any next steps are near.

    2) Without getting into the details of my personal situation, I am going to be MUCH better off in the coming year than I would be without it.

  251. 251
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Why do you and NR have to keep dragging us backwards

    Fuuuuuuuck.

    Askew mentioned ACA. I responded to it and woke the rage of the BJ EMOPROG! criers.

  252. 252
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Why do you and NR have to keep dragging us backwards with complaints about how the ACA was passed two years ago instead of looking ahead to the next steps needed to transition our system?

    Speaking only for myself, I only bothered replying because some asshole pulled out the “If you opposed ACA, you wanted people to DIE!” card. I just wanted to point out that both sides can play that game.

  253. 253
    Allan says:

    @LT:

    Do you want me to hold up a picture of Obama and kiss its ass?

    Yes. This. Video it and upload it to YouTube. Use lots of tongue.

  254. 254
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The only people who seem to think that the ACA was the be-all and end-all of legislation that can never be changed or improved upon are you and NR, not any of the ACA’s defenders here in the thread.

    And I’m sorry but you act kinda high and mighty sometimes and then say stuff like this. I not only have not said it’s a dead end; i’ve said it’s a very good step.

    It’s hard to not think of you and just purposely misleading when you do things like that.

  255. 255
    different-church-lady says:

    @LT: I assume you consider the genesis of the tangent to be this:

    It’s the same folks to tried to kill the health care bill because it didn’t include a public option or wasn’t single payer. Now, we find out millions of Americans are benefiting from the bill and those say people are still calling the bill a failure.

    Saying that the bill was not a failure is not the same thing as insisting the bill be considered good. There’s this concept called “mixed bag”. Not very popular in contemporary discussion, I know, but the option is still out there for use.

    Noting that a lot of people are better off with this bill passing than if it had been killed is not the same thing as insisting that we ought to be satisfied with it.

    If you don’t think the bill is a failure, nor supported its death, then I’m not sure why so much objection to that comment.

  256. 256
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    And people are dead today because the Democrats didn’t pass a better bill, and yet many of the BJ center-right crowd did everything in their power to see that a better bill didn’t get passed.

    Yeah, I remember all the people on BJ cheering on Joe Lieberman when he nixed extended Medicare to 55 years (which was the then compromise when the public option got taken off the table).

    Nye Bevan and Clem Atlee had a parliamentary system and a strong mandate when they got the legislation for the NHS through. The House of Commons doesn’t have a supermajority empowering egoist douchebags in the name of checks and balances. If we had a simple majority rule in the Senate, then we’d have a better bill. But we don’t.

  257. 257
    William Hurley says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    You’ve been misinformed. Obama did not “cave”, it was Congress that caved in to Obama. The veto threat delivered to the House and Senate pertained to the language of universal capture and detain powers in the penultimate version of the bill. Obama argued that that language was too restrictive on the powers of the Executive to fight a terror.

    Levine folded and the language was changed to meet the President’s requirements.

    It is telling that when one compares Obama’s willingness to secretly and repeatedly meet with health care industry lobbyists and executives “negotiating” away any and all variants of universal/single-payer healthcare reform options claiming – once the fact of the meetings and the matters discussed were leaked – that a “single-payer” or Medicare for all model wold not pass Congress yet when he wants to further institutionalize the power grabs he and his predecessor have made under the rubric of “Unitary Executive” Constitutional Law theory, he neither hesitates nor wavers in pursuit of his own goals.

    If you support Obama now, you’re a a DINO.

  258. 258
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    And I’m sorry but you act kinda high and mighty sometimes and then say stuff like this. I not only have not said it’s a dead end; i’ve said it’s a very good step.

    What you said is that the people who defend the bill think it’s perfect and doesn’t need any improvement. That is quite patently not true.

  259. 259
    LT says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Now, we find out millions of Americans are benefiting from the bill and those say people are still calling the bill a failure.

    Really? You serious? That’s not praising the bill? Okay. Whatever.

    Again: I simply responded to that and said that’s not the only way to measure it.

    We’ve got to stop.

  260. 260
    different-church-lady says:

    @LT: Oh and by the way…

    I’ll acknowledge that.

    Cool. I’ll acknowledge what we got is a lot less that what we need.

    I can understand how the cheerleaders can drive you nuts. (Because sometimes they drive me nuts too.) But one needs to not start seeing cheerleading in every supportive comment.

  261. 261
    William Hurley says:

    @Herbal Infusion Bagger:

    The “Public Option” was never “on the table”. Obama unilaterally decided to give away all such reform models in his then secret, now well known and thoroughly documented, meetings with health care execs and lobbyists while, at the same time, telling the press that he had charged Congress with putting together and delivering him a bill.

    Obama’s lied to Congress and the public, the base and the “chase” demo, repeatedly. Suskind’s book lays bare these and many more realities of the Obama White House.

    Take note. There’s an Occupy movement for reason – and that reason is the President.

  262. 262
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    What you said is that the people who defend the bill think it’s perfect and doesn’t need any improvement. That is quite patently not true.

    You are pathological.

    I’ll wait right here while you show me where I said that.

  263. 263
    different-church-lady says:

    @LT:

    I simply responded to that and said that’s not the only way to measure it.

    Y’know, I gotta admit that the Mussolini bit got so much of my attention that I didn’t really take in the rest of what you said. Might have saved us some trouble if I had.

    We all got emotions, don’t we? ;-)

  264. 264
    different-church-lady says:

    @William Hurley:

    There’s an Occupy movement for reason – and that reason is the President.

    You might want to bring that news to the Occupy movement itself. I’m sure many of them would be surprised to hear it.

  265. 265
    LT says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Huh. Really baffled by that one. didn’t expect it to rankle anyone. It’s just an old saying.

  266. 266
    LT says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Gootta go. Good time to too…

    Thanks…

  267. 267
    kathy says:

    wading into the deep end here … on the payroll tax issue, and other putative compromises, it bears remembering that we’ve seen a number of dogs come by that didn’t turn out to be so doggish after all … so there’s that.

    and let’s not pretend that the levers of power are within the grasp of the quote-unquote democratic process. let’s be appropriately cynical on that point at least. otherwise, permanent sad face is in order.

    i need to think about this idea more … but … perhaps the magic of obama, such as it is, is his symbolic value as a “liberal” leader that embodies competence, self-control, flexibility, calm … unassailable in his moral bona fides (the 27 crew’s opinion notwithstanding) … he’s our prezzie, and he’s pretty awesome when it comes to optics …

    i don’t know … incremental change … something? i’m just thinking out loud. please advise.

  268. 268
    kathy says:

    if someone doesn’t attack me soon, i’m going to bed.

  269. 269
    Keith G says:

    @kathy: That was cute.

  270. 270
    jfxgillis says:

    John:

    I never knew the amount of depression and self-loathing that was involved in becoming a Democrat.

    I’m sure somebody said this already, but I can’t go through 268 comments to check: Don’t worry. After forty years or so you get used to it.

  271. 271
    WereBear says:

    @taylormattd: Thank you so much for that. So what you are telling me is that it does make a difference, having Democrats with some responsibility?

    That’s what I always figured.

  272. 272
    chopper says:

    LOL, i love the balancing act by the people who’ve been shitting on the ACA from the beginning. it’s like the guy who spends all day shitting on his wife, calling her stupid and fat and ugly, but once a day says something nice so he can point to that. ‘what? just before i told you you were beautiful! i’m not an asshole! when? just a few minutes ago, after i called you stupid and before i compared you to mussolini.’

  273. 273
    FollowtheDough says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    American Terrorist: This song paints the picture where we are headed as a nation.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVhol0iAQ1s

    Hello Gorgeous
    This phone call’s probably being recorded
    Just know that I did it for the four of us
    And those motherfuckers kept ignorin’ us
    After this I’m going underground
    If they come asking give them the run-around
    How does Costa Rica in the summer sound?
    Couple days then we moving to another town
    Yea I know them dreams, seems
    Just know that time’ll never come between
    Space either, fake features
    Things that we reject but connects all us believers
    The insurrection’s gone viral
    They’ll never stop it now
    I hope it all spirals
    Outta control, like a dam with a hole
    From here on out it’s all about survival
    The way we left things they probably think we rivals
    But don’t be naive, they hate you more than I do
    Remember always speak in opposites, I hate you so much, it’s such a compliment
    I know that defies the common sense, but we ain’t never been right: honestness
    We never fit in school, and never did rules
    But who’d a thought we’d turn out bombing shit

    [Hook]
    I’m giving you a nightcall to tell you how I feel
    I want to drive you through the night down the hills
    I’m gonna tell you something you don’t want to hear
    I’m gonna show you where it’s dark but have no fear

    [Verse 2 – Lupe Fiasco]
    He said he was just so tired, of them fighting our water with fire
    He said that we need something drier, to really impress the empire
    Funny cause he really hated war, but why we went to war is what he really hated more
    Said it’s silly how that our schools make us stupid and our jobs make us poor
    When he came back from the Corps, is when he really got serious
    Read a lot of books, started acting all mysterious
    The VA is what really made him furious, told him his condition didn’t exist, period
    That’s why he started that petition, went all the way to Washington, said they didn’t listen to a white male Christian
    He just laughed when they took our father’s pension
    He said that you gotta act in opposites, helps you hide your tracks when you stand up to the dominant
    But I knew he felt bad, told me later was the saddest day he ever had
    To see our dad so hopeless, that was the turning point that’s what really gave him focus
    I didn’t agree with everything, some of it made sense
    But never thought that he would do something like this

    [Hook]

    [Verse 3 – Lupe Fiasco]
    I know you don’t watch but your brother was on TV
    Couple guys in black suits came around to see me
    They went through all your book’s and took all of your CDs
    My granny said you’d be all right, she saw it in the tea leaves
    All the operations going well, had a lotta contact from all the other cells
    Everybody, everywhere is calling you a hero
    They going through the rubble, but the body count is zero
    It’s all violent and bloodless, I know the government really loves this
    This account is hacked, you know how to keep in touch
    I’ll never see you again, I hate you so much

  274. 274
    ruemara says:

    @William Hurley: …and that’s a lie right off the bat. You should at least attempt not to start with a proven fallacy.

  275. 275
    The Raven says:

    I am not a Democrat, though I often vote Democratic, and this is why.

    When does Occupy start fielding candidates?

  276. 276
    The Raven says:

    @LT: Just remember, the King can do no wrong.

  277. 277
    William Hurley says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Maybe my comment was too enigmatic. Let me rephrase it in the way I’ve expressed it here in the past.

    Occupy = UnBama.

  278. 278
    William Hurley says:

    @ruemara:

    You’ll have to clarify and maybe even substantiate your assertions. The facts are as I’ve conveyed them. If you are aware of new information or alternative information that I am not yet familiar with, by all means do tell.

  279. 279
    jacksmith says:

    REALITY!!

    ( http://my.firedoglake.com/ifli.....alth-care/ )

    ( Gov. Peter Shumlin: Real Healthcare reform — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yFUbkVCsZ4 )

    ( Health Care Budget Deficit Calculator — http://www.cepr.net/calculator.....lator.html )

    ( Briefing: Dean Baker on Boosting the Economy by Saving Healthcare http://t.co/fmVz8nM )

    START NOW!

    As you all know. Had congress passed a single-payer or government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one, our economy and jobs would have taken off like a rocket. And still will. Single-payer would be best. But a government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! that can lead to a single-payer system is the least you can accept. It’s not about competing with for-profit healthcare and for-profit health insurance. It’s about replacing it with Universal Healthcare Assurance. Everyone knows this now.

    The message from the midterm elections was clear. The American people want real healthcare reform. They want that individual mandate requiring them to buy private health insurance abolished. And they want a government-run robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one. And they want it now.

    They want Drug re-importation, and abolishment, or strong restrictions on patents for biologic and prescription drugs. And government controlled and negotiated drug and medical cost. They want back control of their healthcare system from the Medical Industrial Complex. And they want it NOW!

    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL NOT, AND MUST NOT, ALLOW AN INDIVIDUAL MANDATE TO STAND WITHOUT A STRONG GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE.

    For-profit health insurance is extremely unethical, and morally repugnant. It’s as morally repugnant as slavery was. And few if any decent Americans are going to allow them-self to be compelled to support such an unethical and immoral crime against humanity.

    This is a matter of National and Global security. There can be NO MORE EXCUSES.

    Further, we want that corrupt, undemocratic filibuster abolished. Whats the point of an election if one corrupt member of congress can block the will of the people, and any legislation the majority wants. And do it in secret. Give me a break people.

    Also, unemployment healthcare benefits are critically needed. But they should be provided through the Medicare program at cost, less the 65% government premium subsidy provided now to private for profit health insurance.

    Congress should stop wasting hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on private for profit health insurance subsidies. Subsidies that cost the taxpayer 10x as much or more than Medicare does. Private for profit health insurance plans cost more. But provide dangerous and poorer quality patient care.

    Republicans: GET RID OF THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE.

    Democrats: ADD A ROBUST GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION TO HEALTHCARE REFORM.

    This is what the American people are shouting at you. Both parties have just enough power now to do what the American people want. GET! IT! DONE! NOW!

    If congress does not abolish the individual mandate. And establish a government-run public option CHOICE! before the end of 2011. EVERY! member of congress up for reelection in 2012 will face strong progressive pro public option, and anti-individual mandate replacement candidates.

    Strong progressive pro “PUBLIC OPTION” CHOICE! and anti-individual mandate volunteer candidates should begin now. And start the process of replacing any and all members of congress that obstruct, or fail to add a government-run robust PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! before the end of 2011.

    We need two or three very strong progressive volunteer candidates for every member of congress that will be up for reelection in 2012. You should be fully prepared to politically EVISCERATE EVERY INCUMBENT that fails or obstructs “THE PUBLIC OPTION”. And you should be willing to step aside and support the strongest pro “PUBLIC OPTION” candidate if the need arises.

    ASSUME CONGRESS WILL FAIL and SELLOUT again. So start preparing now to CUT THEIR POLITICAL THROATS. You can always step aside if they succeed. But only if they succeed. We didn’t have much time to prepare before these past midterm elections. So the American people had to use a political shotgun approach. But by 2012 you will have a scalpel.

    Congress could have passed a robust government-run public option during it’s lame duck session. They knew what the American people wanted. They already had several bills on record. And the house had already passed a public option. Departing members could have left with a truly great accomplishment. And the rest of you could have solidified your job before the 2012 elections.

    President Obama, you promised the American people a strong public option available to everyone. And the American people overwhelmingly supported you for it. Maybe it just wasn’t possible before. But it is now.

    Knock heads. Threaten people. Or do whatever you have to. We will support you. But get us that robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one before the end of 2011. Or We The People Of The United States will make the past midterm election look like a cake walk in 2012. And it will include you.

    We still have a healthcare crisis in America. With hundreds of thousands dieing needlessly every year in America. And a for profit medical industrial complex that threatens the security and health of the entire world. They have already attacked the world with H1N1 killing thousands, and injuring millions. And more attacks are planned for profit, and to feed their greed.

    Spread the word people.

    Progressives, prepare the American peoples scalpels. It’s time to remove some politically diseased tissues.

    God Bless You my fellow human beings. I’m proud to be one of you. You did good.

    See you on the battle field.

    Sincerely

    jacksmith – WorkingClass :-)

  280. 280
    FuzzyWuzzy says:

    @lamh35: Isn’t this exactly what the GOP is depending on as leverage? Why not make a big hairy deal about standing up for principles, unleash the Kraken on the media blaming the GOP and naming names and telling the people who are affected exactly where to go with torches and pitchforks? It’s all very nice to be nice, but we are supposed to have an oppositional system, not right wing masters and whipped dog codependents. Most of this country is lucky to be one paycheck away from being unable to maintain the fiction.
    Is it better to be hanged as a sheep or a wolf?

  281. 281
    Syndicalist says:

    @Mnemosyne: The Democrats and the Democratic Party are leftist? News to me.

  282. 282
    Syndicalist says:

    @Mnemosyne: The Democrats and the Democratic Party are leftists? News to me.

  283. 283
    Alan in SF says:

    OMG, John, you finally got it. Praise Ceiling Cat!

  284. 284
    Alan in SF says:

    @Chuck Butcher: The DLC established the principle that the Democratic Party would never be to the left of the Republicans on “national security.” It’s been a difficult standard to maintain, but they’ve never faltered. It should never come as a surprise; it’s in the rule book.

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