Monday Morning Open Thread

mr lame duck to you luckovich

(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)
.

One for the Obots. Also, Todd Purdum, in Politico of all places:

Barack Obama is not a modest man, but when it comes to assessing his or any president’s place in the long American story, he has been heard to say, “We just try to get our paragraph right.” Yet the way a raft of recent events have broken sharply in his favor, Obama suddenly seems well on his way to writing a whole page—or at least a big, fat passage—in the history books.

From the Supreme Court decisions upholding his signature health care plan and the right of gay Americans to marry, to contested passage of fast track trade authority, the opening of normal diplomatic relations with Cuba and an international agreement to curtail Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Obama is on a policy and political roll that would have seem unimaginable to many in Washington only a few months ago.

“Obama may be singular as a president, not only because of his striking background,” says Kenneth Adelman, who was Ronald Reagan’s arms control negotiator with the Soviets three decades ago, and who has his doubts about the Iran deal. “It may turn out that unlike virtually any other president, his second term is actually better than his first.”…

“It is a measure of the times in which we live that we start the legacy discussion a year and a half before the end of a presidency,” says David Axelrod, Obama’s former longtime strategist. “But he’s had the most productive period he’s enjoyed since the first two years: Cuba, the climate agreement with China, action on immigration, fast track on trade, the SCOTUS decisions on health care and marriage and now this agreement on Iran. These are big, historically significant developments, in most cases the culmination of years of commitment on his part.”…

…[T]ime and again, Obama has proven himself patient and willing to play what he likes to call the long game, or what Axelrod summed up as “the determination to resist small, incremental politics to do big, transformational things.”

The president’s former chief speechwriter, Jon Favreau, notes that almost all of Obama’s recent successes had their origins in things he said and did long ago, including his insistence in a 2007 primary debate that it was worth talking even to enemies (an assertion that many commentators saw as a gaffe at the time) and his 2008 Philadelphia speech on race (which he made over the nervous objections of some of his advisers).

“This is the long game paying off,” Favreau says. “Most critically, he understood that change on all of these issues would come at a slower and more gradual pace than the perpetual hysterics in Washington would demand. When it came time to actually govern, he put the history books ahead of the news cycles, and our politics will be better off if future presidents follow his example—because the thousands of words written since the midterms about how resigned and defeated Obama is now seem as insightful as the comments section of a blog.”…

***********
Apart from hard-earned plaudits, what’s on the agenda as we start another week?






185 replies
  1. 1
    David Koch says:

    Texas is putting up more resistance then we planned for. It will take longer for us to complete the occupation.

    #JadeHelm15

  2. 2
    Randy P says:

    the thousands of words written since the midterms about how resigned and defeated Obama is now seem as insightful as the comments section of a blog

    He means some other blog of course.

  3. 3
    Steeplejack says:

    I’m up very early—since about three o’clock—after crashing very early last night (somewhere around 7:00 p.m.). I’ve done the crosswords and had a cup of joe, and now I’m catching up on the blogs.

    In about half an hour I’ll turn on ESPN to see the last round of the British Open, which has been dogged by bad weather (the North Sea coast of Scotland—surprise!). There are three players at –12, including an amateur, Paul Dunne. There hasn’t been an amateur in the lead after three rounds since Bobby Jones in 1927. There are 10 or 15 other players with a legitimate shot, so it should be interesting, especially if the weather acts up again.

    And there’s the Tour de France on NBC Sports at 8:00 a.m. EDT. A good morning for background TV.

  4. 4

    I’ve been using the app Whisper to ensadden myself of things but I’ve been frankly amazed by the amount of just grace that’s available there. Where do I turn in my atheist card?

  5. 5
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Steeplejack: Sounds more like TV that requires adult drinks.

  6. 6
    NotMax says:

    Just binge watched the second season (6 episodes) of Vicious. Enough laugh out loud moments to make it worthwhile. Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi still making Peter O’Toole look subdued in comparison.

    But such a bittersweet ending.

  7. 7
    raven says:

    What a fucking yak fest last night!

  8. 8
    NotMax says:

    @raven

    Heh. That calls for a picture of a real yak.

    Yackfest.

    /annoying as all get out pedant

    Framers done? Finishing work commencing?

  9. 9
    bago says:

    Who wants to shadowrun with me? We still have clear air up in Seattle.

  10. 10
    Steeplejack says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Hey, it beats Morning Joe for those of us with delicate constitutions.

  11. 11
    raven says:

    @NotMax: Oh yea, electrical, plumbing, hvac all made great strides last week. The cornice materials are here so we hope they get started today. The windows should be here mid-week and I’m not sure about the roofers. Meanwhile our rentals air went out and I’m going it’s the capacitor, I’ve got it yanked and plan to hit the appliance part joint in 2 hrs!

  12. 12
    NotMax says:

    Did some asphalt repair work yesterday, and still finding splotches and drops of patch goo on the skin in the – um – oddest places.

  13. 13
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Steeplejack: They have president John McCain on today, should be fun considering The Donald’s remarks over the weekend.

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Obama has a particularly strange effect on his enemies: His very existence drives them crazy. That he is smarter than they are is salt in the wound. The fact that he is in the White House is the surest sign that their world no longer exists and makes them desperate. It is true that he was blessed with good timing in that FOX was reaching it’s (I hope) zenith and conservatives were willingly submitting to it’s alternate reality.

    This led to the GOP over reaching for over a decade now and Obama has been able to take advantage of it time and again. Sooner or later the real world is going to slap some sense into them and they will wake up. It may be happening right now in the form of the Frankenstein that is Donald Trump, but I doubt it. I think it will be the election of Hillary that will force them back into the real world. I hope so. A 2 party system depends on 2 functioning parties to work properly.

    Of course, it is just as likely that Dems will over reach and the crazy party will get in on that basis.

  15. 15
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I think the shocker for the GOP was when President Obama won the second time. I really think they thought his election in 2008 was a fluke and that once the American people got to see him in action, they’d go for the boring White guy. That’s why they kept comparing him to President Carter (rather than President Clinton).

    Well, he’s not only won twice, he’s thriving. Despite all the GOP obstructionism, he’s still pushing his agenda forward.

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    Nothing Obama is doing is a surprise to me. I just wish voters had continued to support him by giving him a Democratic Congress for his whole term. We would be a such a better place right now.

  17. 17
    NotMax says:

    @raven

    Excellent news.

    The windows should be here mid-week

    Ever see Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House? The scene with the windows is classic.

    Braver man than I. Have done carpentry, have done masonry, have done electrical (100 & 220), have done plumbing (potable and sewerage), have done demolition with recycling in mind* HVAC I leave to the pros.

    *Interesting was a partially collapsed two-story house built in the 1880s or 1890s which we took apart. The only nails in the place (square head!) were the ones in the clapboard. Everything else was mortise and tenon.

  18. 18
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    Stupid typo. Obviously should read: 110 and 220.

    Maybe a third double martini will help. :)

  19. 19
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    From Morning Joe: Both sides do it, Sen. Franken make a similar joke to The Donald’s(15 years ago).

  20. 20
    David Koch says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: did he bring up how McCain used to viciously attack a kid and her mom?

    “Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno.”

    McCain speaking to a Republican dinner, June 1998.

  21. 21
    Joel says:

    @NotMax: the Inca built their structures by fitting stones together. No mortar. Have survived many, many earthquakes. The Spanish, not as well.

  22. 22
    raven says:

    @NotMax: I’m hoping this isn’t a mistake. The unit buzzes and nothing happens so I hope the diagnoses is correct. Shot in the dark but getting someone here will be tough given the heat wave.

  23. 23
    mtiffany says:

    @Baud: In total, Congressional Democrats racked up a million more votes than the Republicans in the last midterm. Gerrymandering. Pure and simple.

  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: I had a friend with a dilapidated garage that was so far gone it had to be brought down before it could be demo’d. I had no room to work with on one side and 4 feet on the other. I looked it over and said, “I can do this.”

    I got out my chainsaw and cut all the studs 3/4 of the way thru and hooked a chain to the back of my truck. With much bated breath on the part of all who were watching (truth be told- me too) as being even 6″ off in my calculations would be very expensive, I gave it a tug and…

    It dropped exactly as it needed to. I was strutting around like a peacock.

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    @mtiffany:

    2010 wasn’t gerrymandering. That’s what allowed the gerrymandering.

  26. 26
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: Also, came back and saw the recipe you left. I love tomato soup (my wife not so much) and that looks like a winner. Also gave me the idea to fire roast a bunch of maters and can them and that is on schedule for this afternoon.

    Mucho gracias.

  27. 27
    Sherparick says:

    @Randy P: Yea, I thought I resembled that remark!!

  28. 28
    Steeplejack says:

    Went outside for a few minutes and found that’s it very muggy already here in NoVA: temp 79°, 85 percent humidity, dew point 74°. Supposed to get to the mid-90s today, and there’s a heat advisory, so this will be a good day to lie low and work at home.

    The housecat is hitting me up for double breakfasts because of our off-kilter sleep pattern last night. She had a little wet food when we got up, and now she’s wanting her “regular” breakfast. Not sure that’s in her contract, but I don’t think I can resist the steely gaze of command.

  29. 29
    Sherparick says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Although I don’t think he quite had the base so deranged because of his blackness (“we are not racists, but he was born in Africa…),” the Movement Conservative elite was just as nutty about the Clintons in the 1990s. Of course, it was more isolated in the Conservative media in those pre and early internet days, but back issues of American Spectator and National Review are filled with nutty speculations.

  30. 30
    JPL says:

    Gitmo’s still open.

  31. 31
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @David Koch: No. Joe seems to think that Al Franken was thinking about running for office in 2000. His political career started the day of Sen. Welstone’s funeral.

  32. 32
    JPL says:

    For some reason I decided to stream Morning Joe. I’m still not sure what Israel’s problem is. Iran is mean, not only to America but to Israel. It’s a sad moment for all of us.

  33. 33
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Steeplejack: It’s warm and humid here in LALAland, almost 76 at 4am.

  34. 34
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Joe doesn’t really care about details such as facts.

  35. 35
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @JPL: I really don’t think that the Israelis(or Republicans) understand what happens if there is no deal.

  36. 36
    JPL says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Even though they didn’t like the sanctions the coalition put in place, they now want to keep those in place, even though they can’t. I blame Obama.

  37. 37
    mtiffany says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    I really don’t think that the Israelis(or Republicans) understand what happens if there is no deal.

    The Iranians stay 6 months away from a nuclear weapon for another 15 years?
    /snark

  38. 38
    JPL says:

    Yeah McCain is going to be on Morning Joe. Trump’s statements were good news for him, since the media has ignored him of late. Maybe he’ll be on MTP this weekend.

  39. 39
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: Can’t find the interview that Joe was talking about, I’m shocked.

  40. 40
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    You’ve got 71 percent humidity and a predicted high of 81°?! Boo-hoo-hoo.

  41. 41
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sherparick: Yes, but I don’t recall any ‘unskewed polls’ in ’96, point being that they have reached new levels of delusion. This is why the election of Hillary (that woman) will drive the 27% even more bonkers (they never really hated Bill, they absolutely loathed her). It is the rabid base I am speaking of who have finally found their mouthpiece that just won’t shut up. I never saw the MC Elite as being crazy so much as being manipulative. They were riding the Southern Strategy not because they were racist*** but because it worked. But it worked only because they spoke in code. Trump refuses too, and the base loves it. Any one who speaks in dog whistle is now just another RINO.

    *** are movement conservative elites by and large racist? ask and they’ll say no. I say it doesn’t matter, too many of their policies are.

  42. 42
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Found it:

    Al Franken, former cast member of “Saturday Night Live” and author of “Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot”

    The 2000 election will determine whether we continue going in the direction Clinton started — a sort of common-sense, doable liberalism — versus going back to the tax-cut, anti-environment conservative agenda. The best thing the next president can do is to find a way to keep the economy going so we don’t have to make the awful cuts we did in the 1980s, like closing psychiatric institutions and making the mentally ill homeless.

    The biggest problem we’ll face depends on which neighborhood you live in. If you’re in a bad neighborhood, it’s crime and violence. If you’re an international businessman, it’s terrorism. My biggest fear about the election is that Americans will decide George W. Bush is a lightweight and vote for him anyway. I’d love to have Bush, McCain, Bradley and Gore over for dinner. I’d serve lots of wine and get them looped. I’d ask Bush about the CRA (Community Reinvestment Act). Just to see if he knows what it is. I’d also ask him what part of Jesus’ philosophy he draws on. He said Jesus was the biggest influence on him, but he seemed to have trouble explaining why. He didn’t seem terribly familiar with Christ’s teachings.

    I doubt I could cross the line and vote Republican. I have tremendous respect for McCain but I don’t buy the war hero thing. Anybody can be captured. I thought the idea was to capture them. As far as I’m concerned he sat out the war.

  43. 43
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    I’ve read some of Franken’s books. It wouldn’t surprise me if he made a similar joke about McCain, since Franken was, you know, a comedian and all (and one with a biting sense of humor).

  44. 44
    NotMax says:

    @Joel

    On the other hand, the Spaniards are still around. The Incas, not so much.

    Just sayin’.

  45. 45
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Link or source?

  46. 46
    David Koch says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: this is really going to hurt Franken when he’s up for reelection in 6 years.

    /snark

  47. 47
    NotMax says:

    @Baud

    Cannot possibly be the only one for whom the appearance of Franken & Davis on the old SNL was a klaxon to hie to the kitchen to get a fresh brewski (or come up with any other flimsy excuse to leave the room).

  48. 48
    JPL says:

    As was pointed out before, McCain led the pack in dissing the Clinton’s daughter. His vice pres. nominee called our current President a terrorist by association. Kerry’s swift boating was beyond the pale and yet Trump is bad. The entire group should be abolished to Gitmo as soon as the President closes it.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    Baud says:

    Asked if he would continue his pattern of “name-calling, using terms like ‘dummy,’ ‘loser,’ ‘total losers’ on Twitter and elsewhere” when he’s “criticized or attacked” if he was elected president, Trump told Raddatz he only gives it back to people who attack him.

    “When people attack me, I let them have it back,” he said. “People are constantly attacking my hair. I don’t see you coming to my defense.”

  51. 51
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    Wonder how many USO tours Joe did.

  52. 52
    Joel says:

    @NotMax: A sustained campaign of pillage and terror will do that (although, demographically, Peru is still mostly indigenous).

  53. 53
    Punchy says:

    Theres another “Jon without the “h” Favreau” that’s not the actor/director?

  54. 54
    NotMax says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA

    Offhand, would say one less than the number of deceased interns found in his office.

  55. 55
    EconWatcher says:

    I agree with most people on this blog that Andrew Sullivan’s sins were unforgivable, but I wouldn’t mind reading one of his “meep, meep” blog posts right about now.

  56. 56
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    So Texas is all about that 2nd amendment. The 1st Amendment? Not so much.

    “The concern for us is the radical element of Islam,” David J Meeks, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, told the Dallas Morning News. He said he thinks the cemetery would be the first step toward a broader Muslim expansion in town.

    “How can we stop a mosque or madrassa training center from going in there?” he asked, referring to a type of Islamic school.

    Hmmmm, I wonder if it has occurred to this idgit that what is sauce for goose is sauce for the gander? Nah, no I don’t.

  57. 57
    Shakezula says:

    Barack Obama is not a modest man,

    [Eyeroll] “I’m going to say something not negative about the president. Quick! Better get in a jab about his uppitiness! Also, the usual rejects will read on in hopes of more jabs!”

    “Obama may be singular as a president, not only because of his striking background,”

    Why, whatever could he mean??

  58. 58
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Obviously, you don’t seem to understand that the United States is a Christian nation. The 1st Amendment only applies to Christians(and maybe Catholics).

  59. 59
    EconWatcher says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    I like Franken, and I like to think he’d revise that statement if raised with him. It’s just churlish to quibble about whether McCain was a war hero. He suffered enormously and refused special treatment as a POW, as I recall. That’s more than enough.

  60. 60
    Baud says:

    @Shakezula:

    [Engage whisper] He means he’s black. [/whisper]

  61. 61
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Thanks. Nice to know the source—book, interview or whatever.

  62. 62
    NotMax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly

    Heh.

    RFRA cuts both ways.

  63. 63
    EconWatcher says:

    @Baud:

    Well, I don’t want to sound naive, but there are other ways to read that statement. For example, it had never occurred to me that community organizing could be part of a career path to the White House before this President.

  64. 64
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @EconWatcher:

    He suffered enormously and refused special treatment as a POW, as I recall.

    With all due respect, that makes him an admirable and honorable man. It does not make him a hero.

  65. 65
    Baud says:

    @EconWatcher: I suppose, in theory. But that hardly seems “striking.”

    And I jest, but obviously being America’s first black president is an accomplishment worth recognizing. But there have been too many attempts to limit Obama to that achievement.

  66. 66
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    Resetting cookies.

  67. 67
    Kay says:

    I’m glad the President won on health care and same sex marriage but the sales job they did on the trade deal is the most dishonest thing I saw the entire time Obama was in office. The proponents like to lecture those who raised questions on “reality” but the charge should run in the other direction- DC consistently over-sells trade deals as beneficial to most people and “job creating” and it’s purely political. They can support the trade deal on geopolitical strategy grounds or “long arc” benefits to multinational companies we are all pretending are “US” companies, but selling it as a “jobs program” is just nonsense. It’s not true. The fantasists and “hypotheticals” are all on the trade deal side. Unless they’re relying on some attenuated, trickle down worldwide theory where they can predict how incredibly complex systems play out over decades they should stop telling people it’s “about” US jobs.

  68. 68
    David Koch says:

    @Baud: This is getting hairy

  69. 69
    Botsplainer says:

    @Baud:

    2010 wasn’t gerrymandering. That’s what allowed the gerrymandering.

    2010 was the year of the purity progressive activist, they were at their zenith. Instead of organizing counterweights to town halls full of squealing teatards, they actively worked (the paid ones in particular) to suppress turnout in order to purge blue dogs in a goddamn census year.

    They out-Nadered Nader.

  70. 70
    different-church-lady says:

    @Shakezula: Well, you know, Hawaii is pretty exotic, after all — grass skirts, mai tais, that kind of stuff.

  71. 71
    David Koch says:

    @different-church-lady: they’re skirts alright, but I don’t think they’re grass

    Q. I wonder which one was Barack’s?

    A. All of them, Katie.

  72. 72
    rk says:

    I’m sad that Donald Trump is flaming out so soon. I wanted him to cause enough trouble for the republicans at least till early 2016. Oh well! it was fun while it lasted.

  73. 73
    Baud says:

    @David Koch:

    Barack Obama is not a modest man.

  74. 74
    JPL says:

    @rk: That’s how I feel. He was able to rise again from several bankruptcies so maybe he will rise again.

  75. 75
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    @mtiffany: Gerrymandering explains a lot about the House and its politics, but you can’t gerrymander the Senate. That’s turnout. That’s on us.

  76. 76
    Baud says:

    HAVANA (AP) — Cuba’s blue, red and white-starred flag is set to fly outside the country’s diplomatic mission in the United States for the first time since the countries severed ties in 1961.

    While no formal ceremony is planned Monday for the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, it too will become a full-fledged embassy just after midnight as the Cold War foes formally enter a new era of engagement despite what remains a deep ideological gulf.

  77. 77
    different-church-lady says:

    @rk: Oh don’t worry, that bull has no intention of ending his china shopping trip any time soon.

    He’ll probably stay at his roughly 20% level and continue to lead the pack until some consolidation happens around another candidate. The first round of those playoffs don’t start for quite a while. In the meantime he stays in Berserker-cum-Honeybadger mode while the rest of the GOP candidates try to navigate a resulting field that looks like a Mad Max CGI landscape.

  78. 78
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    @different-church-lady:

    he stays in Berserker-cum-Honeybadger mode while the rest of the GOP field tries to navigate a resulting field that looks like a Mad Max CGI landscape.

    Poetry to my ears.

  79. 79
    satby says:

    After the big threads about the contremps in Phoenix yesterday, I was waiting for Booman’s answer to why everyone is wrong. He posted it in the wee hours this morning:http://www.boomantribune.com/s.....2278/85492

    I like it.

  80. 80
    Richard Mayhew says:

    @Botsplainer: Or more prosaically, 2010 is what happens when a conservative leaning sub-electorate votes in the middle of the worst economy since the Great Depression — the incumbent party gets whacked hard. Take a look at how the Western democracies voted in the first general election after 1929 — they all dumped the incumbent party and gave power to whomever was in opposition, it was ideologically free and pure voter punishment for a depression.

    Sure the purity patrol did not help the matter, but they were a marginal influence that could aid a truly shitty economy. What Senate seats did they cost Dems? Arkansas? Unlikely as Arkansas has been going hard red for a decade now? What House seats? Maybe a marginal few, but not enough to keep a majority. The biggest problem for 2010 was the 2009 stimulus package was a couple Trillion dollars too small.

  81. 81
    Mobile Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I think it will be the election of Hillary that will force them back into the real world

    Only if the Republican candidate is a True Believer (Cruz, Walker, Rubio) and not a squishy Establishment stooge (JEB!), and if she absolutely spanks him in both popular and electoral votes, enough to where claims of “voter fraud” are not credible.

    Even then, don’t hold your breath.

  82. 82
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mobile Grumpy Code Monkey: Truth, they could go completely over the edge.

  83. 83
    JPL says:

    @satby: Thanks. One comment mentioned that the upheaval caused the networks to divert their attention from Trump. That’s not true. I haven’t heard mention of the convention.
    Queen Elizabeth was mentioned more than Network Nation.

  84. 84
    gogol's wife says:

    @Randy P:

    Whenever I read what they say about Obama in the New York Times, I just think, “Are they looking at the same person I am?” He isn’t cold, he isn’t aloof, he isn’t ever defeated.

  85. 85
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Obama earned his place when he beat the Republicans at their own game with that shutdown bullshit.

    I swear to dog these journalists just have these canned stories–year 6? write the “legacy” long piece–and crank them out when the nouns changed out mad libs style.

  86. 86
    MattF says:

    Here’s Huckabee (via Kevin Drum) making an ever-bigger fool of himself.

  87. 87
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Hey, so I saw your comment the other day. What do you mean by sodium levels? I have been craving salt bad this summer but I figured it’s because I’m Irish and I sweat too much. I’m often low on sodium on hot days. Plus I’ve been eating home-made food which is lower in sodium anyway.

    The meds have been working for me, help me out of the lowest lows. Doesn’t do much for my anxiety so I’m doing CBT and awareness training for that. The SSRI that I tried nuked my anxiety but made me so wired my body was literally shaking at all times and I couldn’t sleep.

  88. 88
    Patrick says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    From Morning Joe: Both sides do it, Sen. Franken make a similar joke to The Donald’s(15 years ago).

    I am assuming Joe then also criticized all the Republicans who made fun of Kerry’s military service…

  89. 89
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Baud: This is why we can’t have nice things. No snark.

  90. 90
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @David Koch: Don’t forget the gross queer-baiting.

    And didn’t McCain try to throw a wrench in the wind-down of DADT?

  91. 91
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Joel: I liked that scene in Motorcycle Diaries where the Inca kid says, “We call the Spanish incapabile.”

  92. 92
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Patrick: He must have forgotten about that, he didn’t mention it.

  93. 93
    debbie says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    This led to the GOP over reaching for over a decade now

    The GOP has been overreaching since Reagan. (“Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you Newt Gingrich.”) Somehow, Reagan bestowed omnipotence and eternal righteousness on his minions, which they now cling to more bitterly than their guns and their Whiteness. There’s a direct line from Reagan to Cheney (“This is our due.”) to Cruz (“We will get our country back.”).

  94. 94
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I disagree. I think movement conservatives ARE racist. Their leading lights were major racists (Weyrich) or opportunists who used racism at every turn (Atwater). When you scratch these guys they always spew deeply racist argle bargle. Just because they’re too middle class/upper class aspirational to wear white hoods doesn’t mean they don’t believe deeply racist stuff from bell curve white apologetics all the way to paranoid Ron Paul newsletter NRA cant. Matt Drudge is no redneck but he posts cherrypicked misleading news items about white people being jumped by black people in public all fucking day long. Infinite Ericks has said plenty of racist shit when pushed. David Brooks is a one man white privilege machine. CPAC itself had that embarrassing openly racist white colonial garb rap duo (filmed and uploaded for our gawking displeasure as soon as it happened).

    Movement conservatism is about uptight motherfuckers obsessed with preserving “traditional” America, which thanks to Dixie-driven self-censorship of movies and TV was a Pleasantville scrubbed of poverty, disease, hardship, and most importantly, racial integration. If only “those people” would stay “over there” like in the good old days.

    Movement conservatism is DEEPLY racist.

  95. 95
    different-church-lady says:

    @Another Holocene Human: The perverse brilliance of that joke was the way it managed to compact so much offensiveness in so many different directions in one short burst. I stand in awe of how technically sound it is at expressing something so repulsively mean spirited.

  96. 96
    Josie says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Actually, I heard Joe question McCain about his feelings on the Kerry swiftboating stuff. His question equated the two incidents. It surprised me that he would bring it up. McCain’s answer was sort of a general “I like Kerry sometimes and sometimes I don’t” and specifically said that POW’s should be treated better. That was his way of dividing Kerry from the argument, I suppose.

  97. 97
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Kay: I didn’t see where it was being called a jobs program. Instead, they claimed they were going to fix some problems with NAFTA and also beat the Chinese to the punch, ie better of two evils argument, which makes sense to me. I’m still pissed at labor for fighting really hard, getting pretty big concessions out of the GOP leadership, I mean big for this fucking Congress, and then throwing it all away to cries of “kill the bill!” Apparently the AFL-CIO can’t count any number higher than their fingers and toes put together.

    If admin proxies were running around calling it a jobs program then fuck them. The stuff I saw out of the official channel was a lot of big talk claiming it would be good for the environment. We’ll see. The pollution is happening full pace anyway so….

    My kneejerk reaction, especially after 6 years, is not to distrust Barack Obama when he tells me something. If that makes me an Obot, so be it.

  98. 98
    FridayNext says:

    Barack Obama is not a modest man,

    I know the author is working really hard to NOT call Obama “uppity” here, but a serious question. Has there ever been a modest man in the White House. Who is the most modest person ever to be president? (Ford?Carter?) Has a modest person ever run for president?

    It just seems to me that being immodest would be the first requirement to thinking you could be president. And that’s not a bad thing, per se.

  99. 99
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Hell, the whole conversation was that it would probably cost jobs and what were they going to do about displaced workers. Answer: NOTHING because the original compromise was kiboshed and the GOP passed it anyway with no sops. In conclusion, fuck you national labor orgs, you suck at your jobs.

  100. 100
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @FridayNext: Pogo.

  101. 101
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Pope Gregory VI “The Great”

    He was a community organizer, also, too.

  102. 102
    Another Holocene Human says:

    MLK, jr. wasn’t one to brag on himself much. Lots of American schoolchildren think he was president.

  103. 103
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @gogol’s wife: He’s “aloof” because he doesn’t hasten to open the NYT every morning to see what they said about him. He’s “cold” because he doesn’t invite them to the South Lawn for beer parties.

    Instead of having his nose up the village’s ass all this time, turns out he was coaching his daughter’s bball team. He found time for that because he crossed the media circle jerk off his schedule. Imagine that.

  104. 104
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @JPL: It was on all the right wing bottom feeder blogs this weekend because it plays into their memes about moonbats and uppity nigras.

  105. 105
    Kay says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Sure they said it was a jobs bill. The President went out to Nike to promise ten thousand jobs. John Kerry promised 600k. Mitch McConnel promised 1.2 million. Marco Rubio promised “millions”.

    The entire sales job was based on two things- high wage jobs and the (false) notion that trade deals are about humanitarian aims and labor protection. No, they’re not. In fact, humanitarian aims and labor protections are called “non trade barriers”- they’re barriers to the deal.

    If Obama wants to promote his trade deal that’s his business, and his perogative as President but saying trade deals are “about” raising labor standards is like saying we invaded Iraq to remove a dictator and build schools.

    No. Not true. Might happen, might be some side benefits somewhere down the road, but trade deals are about getting rid of trade barriers and humanitarian aims and labor protections and environmental standards ARE trade barriers. The sales job was dishonest from the get-go, in exactly the same way NAFTA was dishonest from the get-go. Free traders don’t trust people to support these things on the merits so they reframe the essential nature, what trade deals ARE. Invading Iraq wasn’t about humanitarian aims and trade deals aren’t about labor protections or “raising standards”. The sort of icing on the cake to this nonsense was turning around and claiming the critics were misrepresenting. No, they weren’t. Each and every argument they made has merit, the Administration just decided it was better politicially to try to discredit them.

  106. 106
    ruemara says:

    I’m pretty sick of the “Obot” slur. How about dropping it? It’s derisive and now that we see that what was ok for principled non-obots is not ok for possible obots, maybe the term should just get buried.

  107. 107
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie:

    The GOP has been overreaching since Reagan.

    In 1984,
    88, 2004, a majority of voters disagreed with you.

  108. 108
    raven says:

    It wasn’t the run capacitor. I have surrendered and the pro is coming.

  109. 109
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    I disagree. I think movement conservatives ARE racist.

    And they disagree with you. So what? Their policies favor the status quo, which by definition is racist in result but not necessarily in intent.

    I say again, it doesn’t matter if they have racist intentions if their policies have racist results.

  110. 110
    Kay says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    is not to distrust Barack Obama when he tells me something. If that makes me an Obot, so be it.

    They don’t distrust him on trade because he’s a bad person with evil intent, they distrust him on trade because he has his own lousy trade deals. His. Not NAFTA. The South Korea trade deal was sold exactly the same way as this one. The US “leads” on free trade by removing trade barriers into the US and promising that other countries will follow suit. When other countries DON’T follow suit the US does nothing and part of the reason the US does nothing is US companies benefit from lax labor standards and race to the bottom.

    . I mean, it’s very generous of us to “lead” on trade based on our ideological devotion to the basic theory but since we’ve removed all barriers to our markets and don’t enforce when other countries erect barriers, this isn’t working out so good for US workers. I don’t why they’re the designated worldwide losers in these deals, and if they have to be someone should at least tell them that instead of recasting this as ABOUT regulations. The US isn’t even the gold standard on labor protections and environmental regs among the trade deal partners. We may “lead” on free trade but we’re not “leaders” on labor and environmental, unless we’re comparing with Vietnam or something.

  111. 111
    rikyrah says:

    Recognizing Cuba and opening their embassy.

    next stop..Iran.

  112. 112
    catclub says:

    @Joel:

    the Inca built their structures by fitting stones together. No mortar. Have survived many, many earthquakes. The Spanish, not as well.

    I would say that the Spanish have survived a good bit better than the Inca. Or did you mean their buildings?

  113. 113
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: Well, you tried.

  114. 114
    Another Holocene Human says:

    I’m not on twitter or any of that but to the folks wringing their hands about NN15, just read Elon James White’s twitter feed, okay? (@elonjames) He’s at the heart of the twitter kerfuffle and, you know, just reading that underscores how much it’s not what Sanders does or says so much as what his most rabid and obnoxious fans do and say, like arrogantly explaining to Elon, who was there, what actually happened in Phoenix, or telling African Americans on twitter that if they push for their issues then they must want the Republicans to win, and, you know, lots of tiring and contemptible crap like that. One person told Elon to his face that Sanders was right to cancel his meeting with TWiB! because the same people shouting him down were the people wanting to meet with him ….

    And all Hewmons look alike. Got it.

  115. 115
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The windows just arrived, they look really nice! Plygem.

  116. 116
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @catclub: Well, you must mean their royal families because the Inca are still there. You may have even bought albums of their music at some time in the past.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quechua_people

  117. 117
  118. 118
    boatboy_srq says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’d be less disinclined to think of McCain as a war hero if he hadn’t spent the last couple decades adamantly insisting on creating more war heroes.

  119. 119
    debbie says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The GOP’s overreaching was never reliant on voters’ opinions. That’s the whole point.

  120. 120
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I think people like Weyrich were quite open about their white supremacy if you used the right code words.

  121. 121
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: What kind of windows did you get? (material as well as brand)

  122. 122
    Shana says:

    @raven: Good luck with that. It’s always hard here in NoVA to get folks to come when it’s so hot.

    My schedule for the day: go to court for another hearing on the contractor who defrauded us, along with the other 5 families who’ve found each other via the miracle of the internet. Then on to sweat and see the Nats play the Mets. Thankfully the new hot flash meds I’m taking seem to have kicked in so even though it’s going to be brutal out there at least my own personal body heat won’t add to it.

  123. 123
    Kay says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    They’re already reneging and the thing isn’t even completed. Senate Democrats added protections against forced labor to Fast Track. That means Malaysia had to get better quick or they’re out of the trade deal.

    John Kerry’s state department simply reclassified Malaysia as a “tier 2” country on forced labor rather than a “tier 3 country”. Forced labor didn’t change. The State Department made sure Malaysia can stay in, forced labor or no forced labor.

    There’s a reason people don’t trust our trade negotiators and it’s based on a long track record. When they’re this far along they will do anything to get a deal.

  124. 124
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:Ply Gem. They appear to be wood. Double glaze Low E Argon gas. Our contractor is very environmentally conscious so I assume they are good!

  125. 125
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I attended a semi-respectable Southern religious-affiliated university. On acceptance I was a candidate for one of the in-house scholarships (pending interview with the scholarship’s trustees). During the interview I got some (for me) very odd questions – but looking back it was all boilerplate Reagan-era dogwhistle (“states’ rights”, “federalism” etc). Needless to say I didn’t get it. Looking back, knowing what I do now, I would have refused it on principle. But these efforts are all over the Conservatist sphere going back decades, taking all sorts of on-the-surface veneers of respectability. You have to scratch one or two layers down to get to the wingnutsery.

  126. 126
    Punchy says:

    At what point, as the GOP realizes that Trump’s bellicosity and general assholeishness become proportional to his approval numbers, do the GOP candidates begin to realize that the base is simply insane? Do they too become complete assholes, shitting on Mexys and gays and McCain, or do they attempt to be the opposite?

    I’m not sure being polite and thoughtful (for a GOPer, it’s all relative) is the way to win this base over. They’re just f’ing deranged and Trump’s message seems to match them well.

  127. 127
    Cervantes says:

    @catclub:

    I would say that the Spanish have survived a good bit better than the Inca.

    And predators a good bit better than their prey.

  128. 128
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Kay: The US does not have a super good negotiating position in 2015, though. We can’t argue a counterfactual. Back in when NAFTA was done, yeah, they could have done things entirely differently. In East and Southeast Asia you have Japan and the US, and if Japan and the US wanted to do something15 or 20 or 25 years ago they were in the driver’s seat. But come on, you have China, you have Indonesia, and you have Australia which seems bent on not giving a shit American style. So the US has no choice but to inject themselves in the process. I have no idea what South Korean politics are but they are a big player now too.

    You can hate everything about it but when the experts on the region are saying either the US and Japan do this now or China will be dictating the terms, I listen.

  129. 129
    Kay says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    In May of 2015 Malaysia was a deal-breaker:

    If the State Department does take Malaysia out of Tier 3 status in the next human trafficking report, it will be hard-pressed to make the case that decision is based on merit. Last year, when Malaysia was downgraded from Tier 2, the department said the country was rife with systematic exploitation of foreign workers through abusive work conditions, de facto indentured servitude, and rampant sex trafficking.
    In fact, Malaysia’s downgrade to Tier 3 should have come two years earlier, but the State Department granted it waivers in 2012 and 2013. The Malaysian government promised to address the problem in those two years, but did not, the department found. Last year, the Malaysians actually decreased their anti-trafficking enforcement efforts. U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia Joe Yun said publicly just last month that the Malaysian government had to do more if it wanted to lose its Tier 3 status.

    In July the State Department changed the status to “Tier 2” in a report and Malaysia is magically off the “bad actor, barred from trade deal” list.

    http://www.bloombergview.com/a.....trade-deal

  130. 130
    Cervantes says:

    @Punchy:

    At what point, as the GOP realizes that Trump’s bellicosity and general assholeishness become proportional to his approval numbers, do the GOP candidates begin to realize that the base is simply insane?

    At no point, if they did not realize it in 2010.

  131. 131
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Kay:
    I blame Najib and his golfing buddy Obama.

  132. 132
    catclub says:

    @Cervantes: I was going to add that the Spanish helped the Inca to not survive very well.

  133. 133
    MattF says:

    @Punchy: What distinguishes Trump isn’t his opinions– it’s his lack of inhibition in expressing them. There’s always been a lingering suspcion that, sooner or later, some Republican candidate would cross the various red lines drawn by the Republican Establishment– now it’s happened, and now we shall see.

  134. 134
    Mack says:

    @raven: Are you getting good condensation drain?

  135. 135
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @bago:

    We still have clear air up in Seattle.

    Until the Cascadia subduction zone decides you ought to have water where the air is now.

  136. 136
    Cervantes says:

    @Kay:

    The current Malaysian regime may be among the most corrupt in the world.

    He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas.

    (Ben Franklin could have told the State Department — but it’s much too late for that.)

  137. 137
    different-church-lady says:

    @Punchy:

    …do the GOP candidates begin to realize that the base is simply insane?

    They already know the base is insane. Making them insane was the entire strategy for years. They created this monster because they thought they could harness its power, but (completely predictably) the thing got out of the lab.

    Now they have only three choices: continue believing they can leverage it (Cruz), try to live with it and work around it (Jeb), or be it (Trump). But nothing they do at this point will get it back in the lab and under control.

  138. 138
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Another Holocene Human: The thing about code words is that the use of them allows one to persuade a person who would be repelled by outright racism. Most racism in this country is not hiding under a white robe burning crosses, it is in modern middle class America hiding under policies that reinforce the status quo. Voter ID is not being sold as “Keep them Darkies out of the voting booth” it is being sold as “Keep our elections free from fraud” which to most people sounds reasonable especially when they all have photo ID. They can’t imagine why this might be problematic for some people.

  139. 139
    Kay says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    They knew the State Department would change the status which is why they put the provision in Fast Track. The Bloomberg reporter knows it too, with his “it will be very difficult to claim this is based on merit…” and that was back in May.

    It won’t matter. Every single Democrat who voted for Fast Track will vote for the trade deal. Which is fine! If they’d have admitted that at the outset instead of demonizing their opponents as idiots who don’t understand the complex nature of high level negotiations and world markets.

  140. 140
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Video for Kay, E Warren gives the shoutout at about 11minutes in:

    https://youtu.be/d7YL5U2tEh0

  141. 141
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: Looking at them now. Not too common around here but I have seen a few. Glad to hear you got wood (I like wood) are they vinyl or aluminum clad?

    Heh. Got to laugh at myself…. Just remembered where I’ve seen them: I’ve been putting Ply Gem in my house. Get them from the local lumber yard. And yeah, I am quite pleased with them, well constructed. 2 down and 5 to go.

  142. 142
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I think they must know, though. On Usenet the next most nasty newsgroup after the alt.* race-baiting stew and I guess soc.men (never went there but heard about their kooks and trolls, also alt.childless) was misc.transport.urban-transportation, or mtut as we called it.

    We all knew the subtext, because talking about suburbs and exurbs is talking about white flight, white flight is about integration, superhighways and SUVs rule and trolleys drool because reasons LET ME SHOUT YOU DOWN NOW IT’S OBLIGATORY.

    Yeah they would wank all day about the environment (air quality is for wussies and losers, are you a loser?!) and lie about transportation policy and how much it cost to install different modes of transportation but c’mon, we knew why they would disrupt, troll, and shout down any attempt to have a productive discussion about urban transportation on there, e.g. city people, e.g. THOSE people live there and my tiny red inflamed suburban penis gets angry if THOSE people get anything NICE!!

  143. 143
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Ugh, I was talking about mtut but started talking about SUV suburban wankers’ well known p 3 h 1 5 problem and got moderated. Meh.

    Probably nobody here remembers mtu-t.

  144. 144
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cervantes:
    But Najib swears he never touched the $700 million that the Wall Street Journal says went into his personal bank accounts! He says he was cleared by the investigative task force. (The task force reports to the Attorney-General who reports to the PM who is Najib.)

  145. 145
    catclub says:

    Patrick commented at PoliticalAnimal:

    In the eyes of The Media, Trump committed the ultimate crime – he disparaged their golden boy, John McCain.

    Has Trump mentioned that if McCain had been flying for the North Vietnamese, downing 5 US planes makes him an Ace?
    Cause I want him to.

  146. 146
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Latex gloves.

  147. 147
    Kay says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Thanks. Other than trade and education I like Obama, and I think it’s clear he’ll be considered a “consequential” President, historically, based on accomplishments. That’s a pretty exclusive club he’ll be joining- there just aren’t a lot of them :)

  148. 148
    Julie says:

    Actual headline yesterday on CNN.com: “Obama, you’re still no Reagan”. Apparently Reagan was a transformational president because among other things “he could deliver a great one-liner”.

  149. 149
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Why do people keep saying Republicans want war with Iran?

    Sam Stein ‏@ samsteinhp 1h1 hour ago
    Scott Walker says the next president will “very possibly” take military strikes on Iran the day of the inauguration

  150. 150
    different-church-lady says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: What makes him think Hillary would do that?

  151. 151
    Cervantes says:

    @Julie, quoting:

    “Obama, you’re still no Reagan”

    Nor vice versa.

  152. 152
    Amir Khalid says:

    @different-church-lady:
    No doubt Scott Walker believes he will be that next president. But just in case it’s not him in the Oval Office on that day, he needs to orchestrate irresistible political pressure upon the President, whether named Clinton or Trump or Fiorina or Sanders, to take that momentous but necessary step towards ensuring the security of Israel and peace in the Middle East.

  153. 153
    MattF says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The ‘foreign policy’ pronouncements that we’re getting from the Republican candidates are all the political equivalent of jumping off the edge of the flat earth. Do they all really think everyone wants war with Iran? Do they all really think that unfocussed rage, however intense, is a good basis for policy?

  154. 154
    shell says:

    Another fry-an-egg-on-the -street kind of day.

    Has anybody ever tried that..

  155. 155
    Cervantes says:

    @shell:

    Yes.

    Works, but not an ideal method if you really intend to eat the egg.

  156. 156
    opiejeanne says:

    My husband’s back surgery is this morning. The agenda for the next few days/weeks will revolve around his recovery. He spent the past two weeks getting as much done in the garden as possible, planting roses, pulling weeds, laying down red bark mulch, and just general tidying of the place. The kids will come over and mow the lawn for us and help out in other ways.

    Thank goodness it is supposed to be 25 degrees cooler today than yesterday.

  157. 157
    Ken says:

    @Joel: That’s something of a selection effect. By definition, we only see the structures that survived. Archaeologists find plenty that didn’t – the Inca, like most cultures, put a lot of care into their monumental buildings, not so much into the peasants’ huts.

  158. 158
    Kropadope says:

    @Julie:

    Actual headline yesterday on CNN.com: “Obama, you’re still no Reagan”.

    I expect they’re right. I mean, there’s no way of knowing today, but I seriously doubt that Obama’s policies put the U.S. on a 30+ year trajectory of mostly-decline.

  159. 159
    Kropadope says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Scott Walker says the next president will “very possibly” take military strikes on Iran the day of the inauguration

    You would think they’d take some time between the inaugural celebration and the strikes to at least plan out the strikes with respect to goals and consequences.

    Oh, right, Republicans.

  160. 160
    J R in WV says:

    @EconWatcher:

    As I recall, he was shot down because he broke all the rules of engagement for the mission he was supposed to fly. If he had flown the mission his orders called for, he wouldn’t have been shot down, because they told him not to fly over the anti-aircraft missile batteries.

    Being shot down and captured is distinctly not heroic, especially when it’s your own fault for not following your mission plan.

    Dropping your total mission bomb load into a sea of burning jet fuel on the Forrestal flight deck is also not so heroic.

    Calling your wife a c–t* in front of reporters… actually calling her that in private is pretty inexcusable also too.

    McCain is a tortured failure of an individual, who finished 3rd from the bottom of his Annapolis class, crashed many expensive jet planes, and would have been bounce from the pilot corps if both his father and grandfather had not been well respected admirals.

    Since being discharged from the Navy he has lived on his wife’s fortune, which is probably why he called her a c–t** in front of all those reporters, who didn’t report his use of the slur because they were afraid to use the actual words he spoke in their news publications. I omit the way he treated his first wife, who seemed to be a much better person than he is.

    Anyways, not sorry to disagree with you. Not a hero. Heroes save lives in combat, are victorious in combat, hell, just save lives, firefighters are heroic every day somewhere. McCain, not so much at all.

    Notes:
    * -nt-

    ** -nt-

  161. 161
    Linnaeus says:

    @shell:

    Cooled off up here in the Great Northwest, thank goodness. Got up to 96F-97F yesterday, and my apartment was an oven by 6:00 PM or so.

  162. 162
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Kropadope:

    You would think they’d take some time between the inaugural celebration and the strikes to at least plan out the strikes with respect to goals and consequences.

    That’s why it took them 18 months to launch GW2: it took that long after AQ hit the US for the Shrubbery to manufacture the evidence find the smoking Iraqi gun that proved Saddam was behind 9/11. The next GOTea pResident probably won’t be so picky.

  163. 163
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @J R in WV: Since being discharged from the Navy he has lived on his wife’s fortune,

    I’ve seen his mother and grandmother, the Mrs Admiral McCains, described as oil heiresses, so I imagine he has a trust fund of his own, even if it’s not as big as his odious daughters’s.

  164. 164
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kropadope: With Field Marshal Bill Kristol as his senior military advisor, I’m sure a foolproof plan is already in place.

  165. 165
    Kropadope says:

    @boatboy_srq: Well, in that particular case, they only got about halfway through the goals part and didn’t give a second of thought to consequences beyond the jingoistic “They’ll greet us as liberators.”

  166. 166
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Kropadope: Outside of “oust Saddam, get the oil and scare Ahmurrca into letting us do what we want” there really weren’t goals. That was the problem. The rest is manufactured from whole cloth. They didn’t give a single thought – first second or nth. I like Naomi Klein, but I can’t help thinking that what she sees is GWoT-as-Convenient-Excuse assumes far more intelligent planning than the Shrubbery showed themselves capable of. What little attention I’ve paid to the current crop of GOTea pResidential material makes me think that the current set aren’t even interested in that much work, and may even blame Shrub for what happened because he planned too much and acted too late.

  167. 167
    J R in WV says:

    @opiejeanne:

    Best of good luck, OpieJ! The medical work now is amazing, I know from two shoulder replacements, my friends have had spinal work done with great success.

    Keep us posted, I’m sure everyone here is hoping for total success for you and hubby!

  168. 168
    J R in WV says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    Well, of course!

    If Shrub had invaded Iraq before September 11, there would not have been collapsing World Trade Center on TV for months. He could have prevented everything if he had just gone with instructing the Joint Chiefs to invade, tomorrow, the day after the Inauguration balls.

    But no, he had to plan everything out in detail, and it took so long he couldn’t save those good Republicans in the Towers! A wonder he got re-elected at all!

  169. 169
    Kropadope says:

    @J R in WV:

    A wonder he got re-elected at all!

    Re-elected? I have questions about either one.

  170. 170
    Calouste says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Refusing early release doesn’t make McCain an admirable man, it just makes him someone who didn’t want to get court-martialed when he got back home. PoW release is strictly first-in-first-out, unless the commanding officer (the highest rank among the PoWs) decides otherwise, and that is mostly limited to medical reasons. And talking about that like he did something good makes him anything less than an honorable man.

  171. 171
    Elie says:

    @opiejeanne:

    Best to you and your husband, Opie J — I know this stuff can be very stressful … thinking and sending good thoughts your way

  172. 172
    boatboy_srq says:

    @J R in WV: What scares me is that what to you and me is snark is to the Teahad sound foreign policy.

    @Kropadope: Shrub was [s]elected pResident fair and square in 2000 with 56% (five on nine justices on SCOTUS). ’04 he won because brother JEB! shielded his incompetent FEMA from the hurricanes of that year: had FL had LA’s leadership the [s]election would have been very different. (/bitter)

  173. 173
    boatboy_srq says:

    @opiejeanne: [[HUG]]

  174. 174
    Kropadope says:

    @boatboy_srq: Can we see a hardcopy on people’s 2004 Diebold-powered electronic votes?

  175. 175
    satby says:

    @opiejeanne: Best wishes for his fast recovery!

  176. 176
    J R in WV says:

    @Kropadope:

    @boatboy_srq:

    Well, you gjuys got me dead to rights!!!

    And, worse, I know that, and I know I should have used the verb Selected, not Elected!

    Sorry is all I can say. Diebold, what a walking talking disaster! Those guys were deliberately building voting machines designed to throw elections in an undetectable way, and they knew it. All of them knew it.

    No reason to build a voting machine with no audit tape other than designed to steal. Their ATMs all have precise audit tape, AND video of all the users withdrawing and depositing monies. Imagine a voting machine that tapes all the votes cast!

  177. 177
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Kropadope: Granted Diebold had a vested interest in preserving the status quo. But look at what happened in ’05: Katrina hit, FEMA dropped the ball big-time, and Shrub’s approval tanked. Imagine what would have happened had those events taken place one year earlier, mere months – or in Jeanne’s case, weeks – before the general election. They didn’t because FL’s own emergency management took over the running of the Charlie/Frances/Ivan/Jeanne recovery and owned the process instead of handing it to DC. The same talk about “FEMA trailers” and “displaced populations” would have been about Orlando, Lakeland, Melbourne, Kissimmee, Captiva, Arcadia, Punta Gorda, Ft. Myers, Port Charlotte, Pensacola and Jacksonville. And yes, those “FEMA Trailers” were used, and yes two years later many were still there – but AFAIK it didn’t make the national news once the storms had passed and emergency management had stepped in. Diebold or no Diebold, those actions saved Shrub a minimum of ten points at the polls: I doubt even Diebold would have been able to “correct” for that.

  178. 178
    Kropadope says:

    @J R in WV:

    Imagine a voting machine that tapes all the votes cast!

    Right to private ballot.

  179. 179
    Kropadope says:

    @boatboy_srq: Definitely, when people agree they want something, it’s difficult to hide.

    @J R in WV:

    Their ATMs all have precise audit tape, AND video of all the users withdrawing and depositing

    What’s the importance of ascertaining the fidelity of individual small financial transactions vs. the election of the leadership of a major world nation?

  180. 180
    J R in WV says:

    @Kropadope:

    My point, exactly. And of course in Diebold’s case we aren’t talking about individual voters being corrupt!

    We’re instead talking about the people running the voting machines being used having already decided how the totals of the machines were going to break down, and making sure that was how the totals would be.

    You can’t really tell what’s inside a software executable, it’s compiled down to 1s and 0s and no one can tell how it’s going to work from that executable. If it’s done right, it can be very hard to tell how something is going to work from the written code, actually.

    Some people actually try to make their code “unreadable” so they can’t be replaced. Stupid, but in a social way, and many software guys aren’t particularly good with social rules. You don’t want one working on a team project, it’s too hard to fold those components into a bigger whole, and then to debug the abstruse code segments is nearly impossible.

    Yet the coder tells everyone, it’s the most efficient way to structure the code!! Even though no one else can tell what it’s going to do.

    I’m so glad I don’t have to worry about that any more.

  181. 181
    Kropadope says:

    @J R in WV: My bigger concern is stories of people coming in and switching components at voting facilities where they hadn’t requested service.

  182. 182
    Kropadope says:

    @Kropadope: If the machines were systematically skewing the vote by design, there should be some way of demonstrating that, even if it’s painstaking manual entry of known vote totals or some other such experiment.

  183. 183
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Kropadope: Remember all the polling in 2005, and the question “If the election were held today…” – and how badly Shrub did? His results dropped below 40% before December, and a lot of that was Katrina alone. Move those poll results back a mere 12 months and amplify for all four 2004 storms.

    @Kropadope: Agreed. The code may be sound, and may be handled by qualified people; but the maintenance of the individual machines is another matter, especially to elections officials and poll workers to whom these things are all magic black boxes.

  184. 184

    @Botsplainer: Yep–you are right on that, Botsplainer. Remember the “sit it out to send a message” folks? Or the DKossers who were dancing a jig after the Blue Dogs were pushed out while ignoring the fact that the BDs were more supportive of Democratic policies and would at least vote for progressive policies….unlike the Tea Party, who did not give two s&*!s about progressive policies.

    Let’s face it, in 2010 too many people decided to cut their own noses off to spite their faces. Same for 2014.

  185. 185
    Tree With Water says:

    I discount any and all “dimensional chess” talk (cough-Grand Bargain-cough). Long game? I’m OK with that, if that’s the administration’s preferred phrasing.

    But the fascist tendencies of republican party could not be suppressed, and the president’s election enabled their final, complete takeover of the republican party. Today it is inarguably the party of rule or ruin, the best interests of the country be damned. And everyone knows it, even those who believe the democratic party as corrupt.

    The good news is republican shot callers proved too rabid to deign accept the Grand Bargain, and thank god for that. But to think what otherwise might have been. Had Obama been been afforded the opportunity to engage with a loyal opposition, this country would be in vastly better shape than it is.

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