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Week In The News: Afghan Deals, Senate Goes Nuclear, Midwest Storms

Midwest destruction, Afghan troop talks, a big fine for J.P. Morgan and gay marriage and the Cheney sisters. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during the first day of the Loya Jirga in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. Karzai has told a gathering of elders that he supports signing a security deal with the United States if safety and security conditions are met. Karzai spoke as the 2,500-member national consultative council of Afghan elders known as the Loya Jirga started in Kabul on Thursday. (AP)

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during the first day of the Loya Jirga in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. Karzai has told a gathering of elders that he supports signing a security deal with the United States if safety and security conditions are met. Karzai spoke as the 2,500-member national consultative council of Afghan elders known as the Loya Jirga started in Kabul on Thursday. (AP)

Nuclear option, taken this week by Democrats  in the US Senate.  Republicans say, just you wait.  In Afghanistan, maybe a deal on US troops there for years more.  Maybe not.  The loya jirga meets.  In the Cheney family, a messy public spat over gay marriage as would-be Senator Liz suggests her lesbian sister Mary’s marriage is wrong. A big fine for JP Morgan. A massive line of tornadoes and destruction in the Midwest.  And a nation pauses to remember of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This hour On Point:  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook


Trudy Rubin, Worldview columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. (@TrudyRubin)

Bill McKenzie, editorial columnist for The Dallas Morning News. (@Bill_McKenzie)

Jack BeattyOn Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Bluster from Congress on Iran, but to what end? – “I can understand Netanyahu’s thinking: He distrusts Tehran and wants President Obama to back an Israeli military strike on its nuclear sites. But I can’t grasp the ‘thinking’ in Congress. Are the sanctions hawks really ready to push America into another unnecessary Mideast war? The hawks argue that if strong economic curbs pushed the Iranians into talks, then harsher punishment will make them give up their nuclear program. But when it comes to Iran, that kind of strategy has failed badly in the past.

The Dallas Morning News:  A second president’s profile in courage — “Johnson’s reaction went beyond an ability to handle emergencies; I think another factor was in play. He was absolutely comfortable using his authority to achieve his goals. That trait separates political leaders from those who follow in their wake. Johnson’s indomitable will certainly helped him prepare to lead from the moment he arrived at Andrews. The late George Plimpton described some leaders as having an X factor that defines them and puts them in a special category. For some, that could be charisma, which Kennedy had in large doses. But Johnson’s ability to tower over others was his X factor. He used it often as Senate majority leader in the 1950s to move legislation. And, of course, he put it to use in carrying out JFK’s domestic legacy.”

Politico: Liz Cheney tries to repair hostile relations with Wyoming press — “The question is whether she can undo the initial damage in a state with such a strong newspaper tradition. The primary contest is nine months away, but political pros say Cheney faces a steep uphill climb against the incumbent, Sen. Mike Enzi. Cheney was widely seen as a carpetbagger from the moment she entered the race — she moved her family to the state last year — and the attacks on the state’s newspapers, which have a loyal readership, have left a sour taste.”

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  • Mike_Card

    Nuclear option, my eye! Let the T party whine about the majority’s tyranny–I’ll take that over tyranny by the tiny brain party. When are the Kock brothers going to write a check for the $24 billion shut-down?

    • OnPointComments

      Perhaps President Obama will claim he never made this statement, or he’ll say he modified what he said, like he claimed with “You can keep your plan if it hasn’t changed.” He apparently is either unaware that there are videos and news reports of every utterance, or he’s simply a hypocrite who says whatever is expedient at the moment.

      SENATOR BARACK OBAMA (D-ILLINOIS), April 13, 2005: The American people sent us here to be their voice. They understand that those voices can at times become loud and argumentative, but they also hope that we can disagree without being disagreeable. […]


      The American people want less partisanship in this town, but everyone in this chamber knows that the majority chooses to end the filibuster. If they choose to change the rules and put an end to Democratic debate, then the fighting and the bitterness and the gridlock will only get worse.

      Now I understand that Republicans are getting a lot of pressure to do this from factions outside the chamber, but we need to rise above the “ends justify the means” mentality because we’re here to answer to the people – all of the people – not just the ones that are wearing our particular party label. […]


      • jefe68

        Oh please. The Republican rubes misused their position by being obstructionist on a level beyond the pale of decency. They used the filibuster about 400 times in the three years Obama has been president!

        Your indignant attitude is dully noted. As well as your ignorance.

        Mr. Reid, along with all but three Senate Democrats, was pushed to act by the Republicans’ refusal to allow any appointments to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, just because they wanted to keep a conservative majority on that important court.


        • pete18

          Oh please, Reid also doesn’t seem believe in video cameras or stenographers,

          “The accusations took place against the backdrop of a looming showdown
          over Senate rules governing the confirmation of President Bush’s
          judicial nominees. Republicans are threatening to change Senate
          procedures to end the power of the Democratic minority to block
          confirmation by exploiting the requirement of 60 votes to end debate,
          arguing that Democrats have already in effect changed the rules by
          blocking 10 of Mr. Bush’s appeals court nominees. Both sides view the
          battle over confirmation procedures as pivotal to the expected fights to
          fill vacancies on the Supreme Court.

          Democrats argue that Republicans are threatening the balance of
          powers by diluting the Senate’s check on presidential appointments, and
          they have threatened to halt virtually all Senate business if the
          Republicans change the rules. They cited comments Mr. Bush made about
          Mr. DeLay’s calls for Congressional oversight of judicial decisions in
          an effort to bolster their case.

          Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, praised Mr.
          Bush’s support for “an independent judiciary,” then called on him to ask
          Senate Republicans to drop their threats to change the rules.

          “The threat to change Senate rules is a raw abuse of power and will
          destroy the very checks and balances our founding fathers put in place
          to prevent absolute power by any one branch of government,” Mr. Reid

          However, on this issue both parties are hypocrites who change the rules to suit their own needs. You can take it to the bank that the democrats will be wanting to change this rule back again once the balance of power shifts.


      • NewtonWhale

        Republican Senate Policy Committee Statement on “The Constitutional Option”
        -April 25, 2005:

        One way that Senators can restore the Senate’s traditional understanding of its advice and consent responsibility is to employ the “constitutional option” — an exercise of a Senate majority’s power under the Constitution to define Senate practices and procedures. The constitutional option can be exercised in different ways, such as amending Senate Standing Rules or by creating precedents, but regardless of the variant, the purpose would be the same — to restore previous Senate practices in the face of unforeseen abuses. . . . This constitutional option is well grounded in the U.S. Constitution and in Senate history. The Senate has always had, and repeatedly has exercised, the constitutional power to change the Senate’s procedures through a majority vote.


      • Don_B1

        The use of the filibuster has evolved over the Senate’s lifetime from the ability of the minority to make their case on the floor of the Senate to the ability of the minority to totally gum up the works of governing the country. And it is that last “capability” that has been ended, for appointments, by the action yesterday.



        for some cogent analysis of what drove this action and the its consequences.

        But the Republican sock puppets here are only interested in screaming about hypocrisy to cover the hypocrisy of the Republicans whose obstruction reached new highs and created the need for the Democrats to change the rules.

  • Michiganjf

    Funny how no one is saying the country is doomed, now that Dems can secure Obama nominees by thwarting Republican obstructionism… instead, everyone is FREAKED about how terrifying it is that Republicans might ever engage the “nuclear option” if they ever regain a majority in the Senate.

    That says a lot quite a lot about how most of America now regards the Republican party… with fear.

    • Don_B1


      The Republicans felt that the Democrats would never take the step of eliminating the power of the filibuster for Cabinet and judicial appointments (except to the Supreme Court).

      The only downside is that most Americans have no idea of the way the Republicans have used the filibuster more times in 5 (five) years than in the previous history of the country.

      The comparisons to as recently as 2005 when Democrats were trying to use the filibuster to block some horribly unqualified judicial appointments by President George W. Bush (Janice Rogers Brown to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia [recent voting rights decision] and Priscilla R. Owen to the 5th Circuit [recent Texas abortion clinic law decision stay reversal]).



      for why such appointments matter.

      None of President Obama’s nominations have been anywhere near as radical as President George W. Bush’s. Many of those rejected by Senate Republicans have worked in Republican administrations. Richard Taranto nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was held up some 17 months by threat of filibuster and then confirmed 91 to 0, just because Republicans could do it. Where was the justification for the filibuster?

  • jefe68

    How about On Point putting this on the agenda: Vermont is the first state to set up a Single payer system. The program will be fully operational by 2017, and will be funded through Medicare, Medicaid, federal money for the ACA given to Vermont, and a slight increase in taxes. In exchange, there will be no more premiums, deductibles, copay’s, hospital bills or anything else aimed at making insurance companies a profit. Further, all hospitals and healthcare providers will now be nonprofit.


    Way to go Vermont!

    • northeaster17

      When it’s done and VT has not fallen into some black hole governed by the darkest forces of the universe and also saves lots of money.. I hope the rest of the country can finally get on board.

    • HonestDebate1

      More power to them.

    • AC

      are teaching hospitals generally non-profit? as a frequent visitor, i find teaching hospitals are the best. although i’ve learned not to let the newer residents poke around too much, they get too excited when you say ‘sure’ :/

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Why have you posted a link to a letter to the editors of a Minnesota News site? Surely there is a better source for such an important development? Perhaps you should check out the Vermont Gov site.


      • jefe68

        Because it was an article about the law.
        What’s it to you anyway?

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          “What’s it to ya?” Indeed.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Nice rewrite.

          • jefe68

            Uh, it’s called editing. Your level of obtuseness is dully noted.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Post in hast edit at leisure. And I like the obtuseness/dully noted pun. Your humor is growing on me.

          • jefe68

            Well those are my principles, if you don’t them I have others.

        • Don_B1

          Except Republican-controlled states, particularly if there is a Democrat in the presidency.

    • John Cedar

      People who have the good sense to oppose monopolies and oligopolies should have the good sense to oppose the same in a government.

      The population of the Buffalo Niagara Falls metropolitan area is twice that of the population of the entire state of Vermont. So a single payers system for Vermont is akin to a two payers system in Buffalo.

      In the not too distant future, Vermont will be inundated with miscreants and takers to take advantage of the utopia.

      • Ray in VT

        Yup, them peoples just gonna be flooding into the state to get onto our single payer system.

        • jefe68

          Wow, what a maroon…

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    The big story for me this week came in the mail, in my Life Extension Magazine. The article talked about using the Mung Bean, and Green Tea extract to halt and even reverse the disease, Sepsis. Apparently the coating of the Mung bean is very effective in fighting this disease, as is ECGC. Sepsis kill about, 375,00 people every year.



    Lef. Magazine article not available on line at this time.

    Negative attitude:
    Did you know that about 80% of Americans are carrying the Herpes Virus? About 50 to 60% have Periodontal Disease. That is just 2 conditions!

    Positive attitude:
    “Life Extension is Funding Study of Therapy That Cured Cancer in 100% of Mice”

    Lef. Magazine article not available on line at this time.

    • AC

      this IS good news…

  • NewtonWhale

    Props to Harry Reid, who finally took his vorpal sword in hand and slew the frumious filibuster. The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

    Twas brillig!

    One two! One two! And through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
    He left it dead, and with its head
    He went galumphing back.

    ‘And hast thou slain the filibuster?
    Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
    Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
    He chortled in his joy.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Anything to change the topic away from Obamacare.

      • MrNutso

        Right, because that’s the only thing happening in the world.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves
          Did gyre and gymble in ye wabe:
          All mimsy were ye borogoves;
          And ye mome raths outgrabe.

          The irony of choosing that particular poem as an ode to Sen Reid is delicious.

          • NewtonWhale

            That’s a poem about accomplishing something worthwhile.

            Carroll wrote another poem that applies to the GOP’s efforts to kill Obamacare:

            They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
            They pursued it with forks and hope;
            They threatened its life with a railway-share;
            They charmed it with smiles and soap.
            They shuddered to think that the chase might fail,
            And the Beaver, excited at last,
            Went bounding along on the tip of its tail,
            For the daylight was nearly past.

            They hunted till darkness came on, but they found
            Not a button, or feather, or mark,
            By which they could tell that they stood on the ground
            Where the Baker had met with the Snark.

            In the midst of the word he was trying to say
            In the midst of his laughter and glee,
            He had softly and suddenly vanished away–
            For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.


      • jefe68

        Yeah, the right just stands around screaming Tyranny, Obamacare, Benghazi like demented banshees.

  • pete18

    A way to save the post office:

    • NewtonWhale

      You Might Hate Obamacare, But It’s Saved These People’s Lives

      • pete18
      • HonestDebate1

        Let me guess, anyone who opposes Obamacare wants innocent children to die. Just go ahead and say it.

        • NewtonWhale

          GOP Offers Detailed Plan to Replace Obamacare with Nothing

          WASHINGTON – Congressional Republicans today offered a detailed plan to replace the Affordable Care Act with nothing. “This is a tried and true solution,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia). “We’ve already done it with food stamps, disaster relief, and veterans’ benefits.”


          Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand.

          Sometimes it’s just criminal negligence.

        • jefe68

          What a fool, what a pathetic fool you are.

          • keltcrusader

            Wish I could “like” this a hundred million times

        • Don_B1

          Those who oppose the PPACA may not want innocent children to die, but they are not willing to do much to prevent innocent children from dying of untreated health problems. See:


          particularly the fifth through eighth paragraphs, starting with the fifth:

          “In other words, they’re actively working to maintain America’s shamefully high rate of uninsured. And that comes with deadly consequences. Because, in this country, we do ‘let ‘em die’ – we let the poor and the uninsured die from treatable illnesses every day.”

          The linked blog post goes on to show that the purported Republican “solutions” are mostly vacuous.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s sick.

          • Ray in VT

            It is sick. Sick that we allow it to happen. Sick that some will fight to defend the system that allows it to happen.

          • HonestDebate1

            You’re the one defending millions losing coverage, cancer patients losing doctors and death panels, not me.

          • Ray in VT

            Death panels? Another knee slapper. Thanks for more from the mind of the Great Alaskan Dingbat. Tell me, for those who want to repeal the ACA, what are they offering that would protect the children to which are referred above? Let the market take care of the sick kids, just like it always had and would totally do if only the evil big gub’ment would get out of the way.

            Also, many of those who have been receiving cancellation notices seem to have cheaper options available, and what of all of those who have gotten screwed by the insurance industry that the ACA has sought to protect? Why does the TOP want to kick them back into a system that has mistreated them in the past?

          • HonestDebate1

            We just want it repealed so children will die. What’s so hard to understand?

          • Ray in VT

            That’s probably the most honest contribution that you’ve made here today.

          • HonestDebate1

            And that opinion is why honest debate is not possible with you. I think you are woefully ill-informed and ideological as hell but we could debate the facts. Or you could just assume I want kids to suffer which means your are a shallow, nasty person.

          • Ray in VT

            Good one. Ill informed and ideological as hell describes you pretty perfectly as far as I’m concerned. Maybe that’s why you promote every garbage conspiracy theory that comes out the mouths of stooges like Rush and the like. You seem pretty well informed regarding the b.s. that they push. It’s just a shame how often those things are just lies, hyperbole and exaggerations made by those who have managed to figure out how to stir up the dopes on a daily basis, kind of like regarding the lies pushed by Fox about Benghazi right before the election.

          • HonestDebate1

            Obama was blaming the video 2 weeks out. TWO WEEKS! And you want to say Fox was lying?! Maybe Obama truly believed it was the video so he wasn’t lying, right? Doh! You can’t say that. You can’t say that the video meme was the truth. You can’t say it was a lie either. Your position is untenable. You haven’t a leg to stand on. What can explain it if not ideology?

          • Ray in VT

            The uncertainly that existed regarding actual facts on the ground. It is just too bad that your ideology blinds you to that. Bush gets a pass though. As someone on Fox recently said, the Iraq War didn’t really affect people all across the country, so no biggie I guess.

            There’s plenty of gray in the world. I don’t need to see things in black and white, so there’s plenty of wiggle room, as I don’t have to fit things into a tight ideological box. You should try it sometime.

            Maybe if they had a drone supplying real time video throughout the attack, as Fox said and you seemed to defend, then maybe they could have definitively said earlier, but they didn’t have that, unless you have actual evidence that they did. You said that Lamb’s testimony supported that. Please provide a quote to that effect if you can, or just keep on living and spreading the lie. That’s far easier than the messy facts of reality.

          • HonestDebate1
          • Ray in VT

            I think that it was very unwise to project any sort of uncertainty in that situation, given the unknowns. I am saying that uncertainty existed, based upon reports from the ground, until the video footage from the consulate was retrieved some 17ish days after the attack.

            You jumped the shark a long time ago with your “klan with a tan” crap, your inability to read a dictionary and the rest, but let’s take a look at your quotes that supposedly say that there was live drone footage. For instance, the first link cites Lamb’s testimony, yet does not contain her statement that “Sir, what was happening is they were making multiple phone calls”. That’s not drone footage.

            A drone did arrive some two hours after the initial attack, so how would Hannity’s supposed operator have been able to tell anything about the initial part of the attack, unless he has a time machine.

            So, please tell me where Lamb has stated she was able to monitor the attack in real time via video? Tell me where she said it, smarty pants.

          • HonestDebate1

            JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy. This is in response to a video that is offensive.

            (END VIDEO CLIP)

            WALLACE: You don’t really believe that?

            RICE: Chris, absolutely I believe that. In fact, it is the case. We had the evolution of the Arab spring over the last many months. But what sparked the recent violence was the airing on the Internet of a very hateful very offensive video that has offended many people around the world.

            That s certainty but you said there was uncertainty. If there was uncertainty then why speak with certainty? It was a lie.

            Alright, I’m glad you are backtracking. There was a drone feed, you see that now. The attack was in two phases and went on for much more than two hours. The drone wasn’t the only live feed, there were also the security cameras.

          • Ray in VT

            So, you label the Obama administration as liars for speaking with certainly when uncertainty existed, yet you defend the Bush administration against the charge of lying not only in similar situations, but where the evidence is far more clear cut that the statements that were made, while they may have been believed (or perhaps not), were not in line with available facts. Yet more dishonest debate and the use of a double standard.

            I was wrong about some part of the drone feed. I will admit that. Something else that I had read stated that drone video was only available for later portions of the attack. Now, let us address the drone video that was available, as it concerns statements out of Fox that people in Washington or at the White House were watching the attacks in real time. There is this statement from this piece:

            “There was never any real-time video of this early portion of the
            Benghazi hostilities. No one in Washington — State Department, White
            House, whatever — was watching live feeds of the gate-crashing.”


            Given that the first drone did not arrive until well after the first portion of the attack began, then that is true. When the drone did arrive, ” It “didn’t provide resolute clarity on what was happening on the ground
            — no,” says a Defense Department official. “It later provided us with
            analysis on the timing of the attacks and the facilities that were
            impacted, but was not providing real-time information to senior
            department leaders.”” (also from the same piece), and the security cameras have been described in all pieces that I have read as closed circuit recordings that could not be viewed from outside, and those records were not retrieved for some time (17-20 days). Fox, as well as other outlets, made what I think are unsubstantiated and irresponsible claims regarding Benghazi in the lead up to the election, and that is pretty much to be expected from them, and others, as far as I am concerned.

            Now, are you still saying that Charlene Lamb stated that she was following events in real time via video, as Hannity, among some others, have said? I have yet to see any evidence that she said that, but feel free to correct me if you think that I am in the wrong.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who cares what Hannity says? He’s a blowhard flamethrower. And I didn’t cite reports from the media of unnamed sources all of whom are in total CYA mode. Why are you ascribing his words to me?

            I don’t think I even said anyone was watching, I said they had access to it, they did. I said Obama could have watched if he wanted to, he could have. Charlene Lamb testified that she was following it almost in real time. How? There were cameras in the sky and on the ground. I did not claim she testified anyone was watching in real time. I replied “that was her testimony” to this:


            And then you replied with a non-sequitur:

            “Care to quote where Ms. Lamb said that they had access to real time video?”

            And now you admit they did have access. Duh!

          • Ray in VT

            It’s only lame because you want to smear the current administration for something relatively minor when compared to the massive failures that cost thousands of lives under Bush.

            My position is that morons like Hannity and others run on any garbage that they think that the rubes that tune in will gobble up. I didn’t make claims about what you said, but you certainly seemed to defend those positions from a “blowhard flamethrower”, such as that Lamb said that they were following in real time. How? You ask. Read her testimony. A few phone calls. If her testimony was that they had real time video access, then please provide the quote.

            Yes, I admit that there was some video, and I gave you the statements that rated its value in an attempt to counter the sort of “they watched them die” sort of b.s. (along with the lies that the administration did nothing to attempt to send aid). I can accept when I have made a mistake. Can you? Your position regarding the dictionary suggests otherwise.

    • AC

      it’s blank?

  • NewtonWhale

    Do you remember when your TV screen was aglow with Republicans demanding up or down votes?

    Return with me now to those golden days of yesteryear when they controlled the senate:

    Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “The Constitution of the United States is at stake. Article II, Section 2 clearly provides that the President, and the President alone, nominates judges. The Senate is empowered to give advice and consent. But my Democratic colleagues want to change the rules. They want to reinterpret the Constitution to require a supermajority for confirmation.”

    Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA): “Every judge nominated by this president or any president deserves an up-or-down vote. It’s the responsibility of the Senate. The Constitution requires it.”

    Tom Coburn (R-OK): “If you look at the Constitution, it says the president is to nominate these people, and the Senate is to advise and consent. That means you got to have a vote if they come out of committee. And that happened for 200 years.”

    John Cornyn (R-TX): “We have a Democratic leader defeated, in part, as I said, because I believe he was identified with this obstructionist practice, this unconstitutional use of the filibuster to deny the president his judicial nominations.

    Mike Crapo (R-ID): “Until this Congress, not one of the President’s nominees has been successfully filibustered in the Senate of the United States because of the understanding of the fact that the Constitution gives the President the right to a vote.”

    Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “I think filibustering judges will destroy the judiciary over time. I think it’s unconstitutional”

    Chuck Grassley (R-IA): “It would be a real constitutional crisis if we up the confirmation of judges from 51 to 60, and that’s essentially what we’d be doing if the Democrats were going to filibuster.”

    Jeff Sessions (R- AL): “[The Constitution] says the Senate shall advise and consent on treaties by a two-thirds vote, and simply ‘shall advise and consent’ on nominations…. I think there is no doubt the Founders understood that to mean … confirmation of a judicial nomination requires only a simple majority vote.”

    Richard Shelby (R-AL): “Why not allow the President to do his job of selecting judicial nominees and let us do our job in confirming or denying them? Principles of fairness call for it and the Constitution requires it.”

    John Thune (SD): Filibustering judicial nominees “is contrary to our Constitution …. It was the Founders’ intention that the Senate dispose of them with a simple majority vote.”

    Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN): “I would never filibuster any President’s judicial nominee, period. I might vote against them, but I will always see they came to a vote.”


    • pete18

      The glow emanates from both sides of the floor:

      “Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, praised Mr. Bush’s support for “an independent judiciary,” then called on him to ask Senate Republicans to drop their threats to change the rules.

      “The threat to change Senate rules is a raw abuse of destroy the very checks and balances our founding fathers put in place to prevent absolute power by any one branch of government,” Mr. Reid said.

      • NewtonWhale

        “The glow emanates from both sides of the floor:”

        Which just goes to show that both sides have agreed, at one time or another, that filibustering judges had to end.

        Bipartisanship at last!

        • pete18

          And they also agreed that changing the Senate rules is a raw abuse of power destroying the intended checks and balances.

          • northeaster17

            When one side filibusters everything in sight ya had to see it coming.

          • NewtonWhale

            The checks and balances are provided by the fact that the Senate gets to vote, and membership in the Senate is set at 2 senators per state, as opposed to the House, which is proportional.

            There is nothing in the Constitution that requires a supermajority vote for confirmation.

            The filibuster came into being in 1806, when the Senate adopted a rule based on arguments made by Aaron Burr (murderer of Alexander Hamilton and traitor).

            The cloture vote was introduced in 1917 as a way to end filibusters. Again, by a change in Senate rules. The number required for cloture has steadily been decreased from 2/3 of those present and voting in 1917, to 60 in 1975, to 51 for non-supreme court judicial and executive nominations today.



      • OnPointComments

        Harry Reid is President Obama’s puppet, and he does whatever he is told to do. If we ever have a wide-angle perspective of Reid making a speech, we’ll see that President Obama has his arm up Reid’s posterior and is making Reid’s mouth move.

    • Ray in VT

      It is often different when the shoe is on the other foot.

    • HonestDebate1

      Republicans never pulled the trigger on the nucular option.

      • Ray in VT

        Democrats also weren’t so thoroughly gumming up the works. Would you care to point to a time when the Democrats held up a cabinet level nomination for some two years because they didn’t like the rules of that agency?

        • jefe68

          He can’t. It’s pathetic.

      • Don_B1

        The Republicans did not “pull the trigger on the nuclear option” because the Democrats backed down when Republicans gave lip service to the issue but got three really unqualified nominees that Bush had nominated through the confirmation process.

        The Republicans reneged on their agreement almost before the sound waves of the announcement had died down. The Republicans have shown, with every agreement that their word is totally untrustworthy.

        • HonestDebate1

          That’s funny!

    • Guest
    • TFRX


      I remember many of our Beltway Inbreds chanting it.

  • lobstahbisque

    What is wrong with Liz Cheney? She so wants to be an alpha male, but instead comes across as a rabid, yappy little terrier. Someone smother her and put her out of her misery, please!

    Here she is doing her best wicked witch of the west imitation.

    • NewtonWhale

      Like father, like daughter:

      “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

    • HonestDebate1

      Love her!!

      • John_in_Amherst

        not surprised

    • John Cedar

      The Problem with Liz Cheney is that she publicly states an opinion of gay marriage similar to the opinion Obama publicly stated up until about a year ago. It is hard to keep track of who is winking and nodding when they state their positions.

      • lobstahbisque

        There are complexities and nuances to the subject that are beyond some breeder’s thinking process. But go ahead, make invidious comparisons, you’re not fooling anybody.

        • John Cedar

          Hey, I’m with you and Harvey Danger in your haughty opinion of breeders. But that is not a valid defense for rebuking Liz while excusing Obie for publicly expressing similar opinions of gay marriage.

      • Don_B1

        Totally different circumstances:

        When you are in the middle of the Sahara with no oasis, even the mirage of one, in sight, you would call out for water.

        But when you were dropped in the middle of Lake Superior without a ship in sight, a call for water, not so much.

        • John Cedar

          Could you dumb that down a little for me? Having trouble seeing the trees through your Forest Gump analogy.

    • hennorama

      lobstahbisque — Hey! Don’t denigrate terriers by likening them to this cretin.

      (written by a proud owner of a Jack Russell terrier that’s presently yapping at the birds on the lawn)

  • NewtonWhale

    Obamacare Continues to Outpoll Bush’s Medicare Rx Launch

    President Bush’s Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, a program that now enjoys 90 percent approval from America’s seniors, was far more unpopular during its launch than Obama’s Affordable Care Act is now.

    The charts from the Kaiser Family Foundation above tell the tale. Since its passage in March 2010, support for and opposition to the Affordable Care Act has been largely unchanged. But KFF’s polling of seniors’ views of the Bush Medicare drug plan showed it consistently more unpopular than the ACA, with disapproval spiking during its launch in the fall of 2005. And that dismal performance was for a program for which enrollment was voluntary and the coverage fully paid by Uncle Sam.

    The headlines in late 2005 and early 2006 explain why. The launch of the enrollment period for 43 million seniors to use their new drug benefit to purchase prescription coverage from private insurers was met with stories like “Medicare prescription drug plan stump seniors” (USA Today), “Officials’ pitch for drug plan meets skeptics” (New York Times), “Medicare drug plan still not generating much enthusiasm” and “majority of Americans say drug plan is not working” (Gallup). As Sarah Kliff explained in June, “Part D was less popular than Obamacare when it launched”:

    So Republicans now tap-dancing on Obamacare’s grave would do well to put their celebration on hold. If Medicare’s experience is any indication, a year–or two or three–from now the polling numbers will be looking much positive for the Affordable Care Act.


    • HonestDebate1

      Apples and oranges.

    • William

      How many seniors were kicked off Medicare to enact Medicare Part D?

      • Don_B1

        Medicare is a good program that helps seniors deal with health problems.

        The policies that people supposedly “liked” were mirage policies that look good until the insuree needs the promised benefits, which vanish as soon as the insuree gets sick.

        Also, the insurance companies are making their last play to screw the insurees, by cancelling policies sold to them since 2010 without telling the insuree that the policy would be terminated starting in 2014 because it would not meet the PPACA requirements. They are also cancelling the policies and “giving” a new one at higher cost without (or only in fine print at the bottom of the letter) telling the individual that other PPACA compliant policies that could be cheaper are available on the state exchanges.

        • TFRX

          Now Don, if William read about one person who never got sick while holding a crap insurance plan pre-ACA, it only stands to follow that everyone’s useless insurance provided nothing but unicorns and gumdrops while curing and preventing diabetes.

    • TFRX

      Good as far as you’re going, but don’t forget the mediascape. Somehow things happened then and the opposition went in to fix things.

  • AC

    more jobs changing (this time nurses and ultrasound techs, etc…)

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    Under the Affordable Care Act, and federal regulations, many congressional staffers — designated as “official” aides — were forced to move out of the old heavily subsidized Federal Employees Health Benefits program and into the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace exchange. Others designated as “unofficial” were allowed to stay in the FEHB program. Managers had to choose whether aides were “official” or “unofficial” by Oct. 31, and Ta said that wasn’t enough time to make an informed decision about who would benefit and who would lose out by going into the new system.


    • Don_B1

      That was a “poison pill” insertion by Senator Charles Grassley (R, IA), and kept in the Senate version of the PPACA in an attempt to attract Republican support.

      Because Massachusetts elected Scott Brown to succeed Sen. Ted Kennedy, the 60 votes for cloture to pass a conference committee “cleanup” was not available, the provision is still there. Democrats would not have kept it otherwise.

  • Ed75

    Today also marks the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S.Lewis, who still sells 2-3 million books a year (World Over, Raymond Arroyo, 11/21).
    C.S. Lewis was an atheist and was injured in WWI, while recovering he read Chesterton. At Oxford he became life-long friends with the Catholic J.R.R. Tolkein, and Lewis converted to the Anglican Church after a public discussion with Tolkein about myth. Lewis was very Catholic in his sensibilities and practices – went to confession, participated in the sacraments, but didn’t join the Catholic Church probably because he was originally from Ulster. (Joseph Pearce World Over 11/21.)
    Tolkein argued for a more imbedded Christian message, Lewis’s message is more on the surface, but both are widely read today. See ‘A grief remembered’ and ‘The problem of pain’ by Lewis.

  • Coastghost

    This article cites the PROMISE made by the Obama Administration as recently as 25 Oct 2013:


    The American public wasn’t particularly asking for this promise, but this IS the promise made to “the vast majority” of the American people by the Obama Administration.
    So by end of day Saturday, 30 Nov, Obamacare (aka the Affordable Care TAX Act) will be fully functional for most Americans.
    Where’s a reliable Pew poll when you need one: how many Americans one week out believe that Obamacare will be up and running, even for “the vast majority” of Americans by end of day Saturday, 30 Nov?
    Come Sunday, 1 Dec (or let’s postpone ourselves until Monday, 2 Dec), the vast majority or perhaps a lesser majority, or perhaps a vast minority, or even a lesser minority, can begin to make this appeal to the American people concerning our abjectly lying President: REPEAL OBAMA.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    Middle America isn’t frothing over Obamacare because we are a nation of racist policy wonks who did the math and hate the blacks. The public is angry first (as Edsall mostly seems to understand) because of the supremely infuriating blend of incompetent arrogance our Second Lincoln has brought to the greatest domestic challenge of his presidency. They are angry because an expensive and cumbersome new piece of social engineering looks badly engineered. But in the second place, they are angry because the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and its journalistic spear carriers in the MSM systematically misrepresented the nature of the new system.


  • OnPointComments

    Sure, we all believe that it is merely coincidence that the extra month will push the enrollment period and the rate shock until after the election…

    Insurers to Get Extra Month to Set 2015 Obamacare Rates

    “The Obama administration plans to push back by a month the second-year start of enrollment in its health program to give insurers more time to adjust to growing pains in the U.S. law, a move that may stave off higher premiums before the 2014 congressional elections.

    “The enrollment period, previously scheduled to begin Oct. 15, 2014, will now start Nov. 15, said an official with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services who asked not to be identified because the decision isn’t public. The change is important to insurers that need more time to evaluate the first year of the government-run marketplaces.”

  • Fredlinskip

    Prior to the Obama Administration, 20 executive branch nominees were ever filibustered. Under Obama, 32 have been filibustered.

    Let’s do the math- 32 in 5 years compared to 20 in 237 years. So exec nominees use to be filibustered once every 12 years (144 months), Since Obama they get filibustered at a rate of once every 2 months.

    So Obama’s nominees were filibustered at a rate of over 70 times the rate than before (did I get the math right?)

    Something had to give.

    • Ray in VT

      The rate is probably somewhat off, given that in the 19th century there were likely far fewer cabinet level appointments that required Senate confirmation, although the overall numbers are pretty striking.

      • Don_B1
        • Ray in VT

          Thanks, Don. Some of these things might be a bit difficult to determine, and the proliferation of positions surely complicates that matter. To properly do this, I suppose, one would need to pore over a very large amount of historical data, such as (possibly) the Public Papers of the President, the Federal Register, the Congressional Digest, the papers out of the relevant committees and floor voting/action records. Thankfully the Federal government has done a pretty thorough job of recording such deliberations and proceedings, and it has done a pretty good job of getting that information out to the public in the Internet age.

    • TFRX

      All you need to know is Cokie Roberts says “It’s not gonna do Dems any good”.

      After a record low rate of full Senate votes, Cokehead wants a Democratic president to just sit on his hands appointing people for the next 3+ years.

      You go, Cokehead. Indulge in whatever Inbred Amnesia you’re suffering from. And you’re a great addition to public radio.

  • OnPointComments

    A good argument for concealed carry laws and stand your ground laws:
    Three “Knockout” Attacks Reported In Philadelphia Area
    More deadly “knockout game” attacks being reported across U.S.
    More Victims Fall Prey to Violent “Knockout Game”
    A Very Dangerous Game
    Young blacks who attack people of other races for fun are getting no media attention.


    “The way the game is played: One of a number of young blacks decides to show that he can knock down some stranger on the streets, preferably with one punch, as they pass by…the victims being either whites in general or people of Asian ancestry. In Illinois the game has often been called “Polar Bear Hunting” by the young thugs, presumably because the targets are white.

    “Sometimes the attacks are reported, but only as isolated attacks by unspecified “teens” or “young people” against unspecified victims, without any reference to the racial makeup of the attackers or the victims — and with no mention of racial epithets used by the young hoodlums exulting in their own “achievement.”

    • hennorama

      OnPointComments — pray tell — exactly how would being armed help you, and prevent you from being blindsided by a single punch?

      What nonsense.

      • OnPointComments

        When enough of these hoodlums have been shot, perhaps they will think twice before they assault someone.

        “Knockout Game” Player Shot By Concealed Carry Permittee

        • hennorama

          OPC — yes, sure. We all know how well the use of violence prevents further violence.

          • OnPointComments

            I bet it will stop further violence from the knockout player who was shot.

          • Don_B1

            Most people who were knocked down by a blow to the midsection or face would be too startled to dig out their gun in time to even see the perpetrator, unless the game also requires them to stand around taunting the victims.

            So people being armed will not accomplish even the injury of the perpetrator. And it is probably illegal for even police to try to shoot an unarmed perpetrator in many jurisdictions so for a bystander to do the same would put that bystander at risk of prosecution since that person was not threatened. For the bystander to start firing a gun on a crowded city sidewalk is problematic in so many ways there is not room or time to list them here.

        • MrNutso

          Wouldn’t it just be simpler to impose the death penalty for all crimes.

  • Ray in VT

    It’s not making the news much any more (it seems), but the death toll from Typhoon Haiyan looks to now be above 5,000, and it does look to rise a bit more.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Truly tragic.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    All hail Mob Rule!

    Constitutional Republic? Oh pshaw! That’s so……. 1700′s

    Sadly a majority in this country are either completely disengaged, or naively think we can pull off a benevolent dictatorship.

    My lord (says the atheist), I shudder at the thought of what we face should the NeoCons ever get back at the helm of the all powerful beast we have created.

    • TFRX

      Yeah, jagoff, you think the GOP wasn’t gonna do this the next time? What, did the Double Super Promise not to?

      What’s weird about this Galt’s Gullible Gulch you must live in—there are no bullies there?

      Cos there’s one thing to do to a bully-stand up to him.

    • Fredlinskip

      Mob rule might be used to describe unprecedented obstructionism by a minority.

      Senate wasn’t a “deliberative” body- it was simply a “broken” body.

      But not to worry-
      any Senator who wants to hold up a vote on any legislation can simply let their floor leader know of their intention and instantaneously erect a blockade 60 votes high.

      Majority in Senate STILL means next to nothing.

      Please don’t pretend this was founder’s intentions.

      • John Cedar

        Your thinking is flawed on this. A minority obstructing other rulers from making rules is not the minority ruling. Just as a single jurist has the power to stop a conviction but not the power to convict on his own.

        Perhaps the most important duty of the senate is to advise and confirm judges, (who are essentially quasi dictators). Such an important responsibility ought to have 2/3rds consensus, since it is as important as impeachment.

        • Fredlinskip

          In the history of our nation, 23 district court nominees have been filibustered –


          Something’s wrong with this picture.

        • Don_B1

          I have to assume that you are talking about appellate judges here, as anytime an accused chooses to skip a trial by jury the decision for his case is made by a single judge, where a conviction is one of the possible outcomes.

          • John Cedar

            No, I inadvertently used the wrong word.
            I intended to say juror.

  • OnPointComments

    “We should make no mistake. This nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power. It is a fundamental power grab by the majority party. The nuclear option abandons America’s sense of fair play. It is the one thing this country stands for: not tilting the playing field on the side of those who control and own the field.” –Senator Joe Biden, 2005

    • northeaster17

      Not when the Rethugs filibuster as much as they have.

    • TFRX

      A record number of filibusters, just because.

      I don’t expect everyone at NPR to know their history. But I’ll call you on in, chump.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      We need the Senator Obama quotes. How much more rank hypocrisy can he survive?

    • Don_B1

      As with every right (here the right to filibuster) there comes the requirement to be responsible in the exercise of that right.

      The outright filibuster of every nomination that President Obama has made, and then when finally shamed or otherwise convinced to remove the filibuster, the nomination is confirmed 91 to 0 shows that the filibuster was not being used for its intended purpose, e.g., it was willfully being used irresponsibly.

  • Coastghost

    To accommodate our lying President, Sen. Reid had to break a standing Senate rule to change the Senate filibuster cloture rule.

  • MrNutso

    The discussion of the “pushing the nuclear trigger” is only framed around the actions of Senate Democrats. Why is there no discussion on the continual election nullification attempts by Republicans. This time by filibustering qualified administrative and judicial appointments. There have been 168 filibusters of Presidential nominees, of which 82 were nominated by President Obama.

  • toc1234

    the nuke move and pushing the ACA sing-up deadline for 2014 past the election smacks of a party reeling. they probably know that obamacare is going to implode pretty soon and they figure they better get what they can (in terms of judges, EPA, etc…) while they can.

    • TFRX

      So what you’re saying is “Dems being nicey-nice and not doing anything” is what Dems should do because…why again? Caving into the GOP gets Dems votes? It’s good politics?


      • toc1234

        ?? I’m guessing you didn’t do so hot on reading comp testing. All I said was that the motivation for these moves is that the Dems must know that all lot more crap is going to hit the fan regarding Obamacare (fraud, doc loss, employer plans canceled, etc…) and they are trying to get what they can now before Nov 2014. and I don’t blame Reid – its a legal (but probably short-sighted) play. He’s a complete hypocrite but everyone knew that already and its actually one of his more endearing qualities anyway…

        • TFRX

          “Getting things done while you’re in office”.

          Wow, that stings.

          Acutally, that’s why people are in office–to get things done. Try harder–except I’ve seen your best.

          • toc1234

            hmm you’re still not really following what I’m saying. you should work on your reading comp this w/e. maybe do a dozen or so SRAs.

          • TFRX

            What the Republicans were doing was basically a reverse court
            packing, where nominations are being held up, slow-walked and
            stonewalled to preserve the 50-year push to move the courts to the

            Court packing = Creating new judicial posts out of thin air to shift the balance of the court in your party’s favor.

            What the Obama administration was doing = Filling vacancies in existing judicial posts as is the President’s prerogative.

            What the Senate GOP was doing = Holding as many existing judicial
            posts as possible vacant to keep the balance of the court in their

            I literally don’t care what you say. My intent is to keep one NPR staffer from saying “BothSides”.

    • MrNutso

      Not getting what they can. Doing what they were elected to do.

  • TFRX

    Won’t somebody think of the bipartisanship????

    Seriously, Tom, you’ve been covering this ranting, run-it-to-ruin-it GOP for a few years of Obama’s presidency now. The belief of bipartisanship being the end goal, the apex of what we can do for people,is squat.

    People want good policies. If pols’ feelings get hurt, too bad.

    And if bipartisanship is sooooo valuable, I invite the GOP to do it first.

    Once more: Anyone who thinks the GOP wouldn’t have changed this all by themselves when they’re in power is a dimwit who deserves to be bullied.

  • Coastghost

    Trudy Rubin: Americans who disagree vehemently with our lying President’s policies kinda sorta relied on the Senate abiding by its standing rules that, until yesterday, permitted the actual “obstruction” you and Democratic Sen. Reid complain of.
    All bets are off now.

  • Coastghost

    Republicans have been “more partisan” . . . than? Than whom or what, Trudy Rubin? Republicans have been “more partisan” than the Democrats? Are you even trying to be serious? (Comedy and irony are NOT your strengths.)

    • MrNutso

      Period. More partisan period.

      • Coastghost

        “More” is a comparative construction: a comparison is invoked, which Ms. Rubin deftly failed to clearly enounce.

        • MrNutso

          How about most?

          • Coastghost

            “Most” is a superlative construction: Ms. Rubin posited a comparison which she failed to draw out. (Easier to see now why Americans have dim views concerning the credibility of American journalists.)

  • alsordi

    Hey, Any of you faux-liberals out there see what the Israelis are up to lately… re-enacting the Warsaw Ghetto with the Palestinians. Causing raw sewage in the streets, lack of food and drinking water. Closing in the boundaries. Daily IDF incursions and house raids. Yavolt !!! The US congress clowns are in AIPACs pocket, and that little slimy puppet dictator with the sunglasses in Egypt is doing his part before he gets his exile in France or the guillotine.

  • Labropotes

    Without the need for 60 votes, the two phony parties will need to find something else to pretend to disagree about. Anyone notice the perfect continuity between the Bush and the Obama administrations?

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      The Ds and Rs love the power, and the collusion between Washington, The Fed, and Wall St, to dream up experimental central planning schemes which they skim their corrupt living from will continue.

      That’s the nature of the almost absolute power held by that triumverate. The notion that what we the people think and do actually is of consequence anymore is a weak illusion.

  • Coastghost

    How many abjectly lying Presidents have we had? why SHOULD the US Senate become this President’s doormat? His Mendaciousness faces high public disapproval for his highly obvious lying performance.

    • TFRX

      Let me give you some more straws to grasp at.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      We can start with GWB.

      • MrNutso

        I would start with anyone who said “tax cuts will reduce the deficit”.

        • pete18

          Tax cuts can, lots of additional spending can’t.

          • Don_B1

            Some tax cuts can increase revenue if they spur short-term activity to really bubble for a year or so (capital gains tax reduction being a prime example), but then they reduce revenue relative to the earnings in the economy in the future, as happened when the Clinton capital gains tax was reduced in the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 .

            Spending may increase the deficit (the social safety net spending appropriately increased the deficit in and after the Great Recession) but by putting people back to work sooner than the private economy would all on its own, the deficit is reduced in a year or two if the spending was large enough to make a dent in the drop in demand that caused the recession.

      • Coastghost

        We can start with GWB and then instantly return to the Senate during Bush’s two terms, which did not change standing Senate rules on filibuster cloture. We now have Primadonna Obama, isolated and ineffectual, having to get the Senate to change its own procedures to compensate for his Presidential failures of leadership.

        • northeaster17

          How many filibusters did Bush have to put up with? Have you got a count?

          • Coastghost

            Some or many fewer than Obama has had to contend with, but again I posit that this is due clearly to Obama’s choice to “lead from behind”. Obama’s pusillanimous style of leadership (or: his style of pusillanimous “leadership”) has to be considered a factor in the disregard Republican Senators have held for his judicial nominees–up until yesterday, that is.

          • Don_B1

            The Republicans filibustered a circuit court judge nominee and then finally voted, confirming him unanimously? That doesn’t look like they had much contempt for the nominee. But they have shown contempt for President Obama from the first day of his first term, before they had any justification (“leading from behind” or anything else) other than just pure hate of the idea of a Democrat being a President, not to mention a Black American.

  • MrNutso

    Thanks for the summary Jack. If Republicans really believed the first circuits load is too light, they should propose legislation to eliminate the seats. They don’t want to do that, they want judges appointed by a Republican President.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Without giving an up or down opinion of the Senate’s use of the “nuclear option”:

    If it is “Tyranny of the majority” what do we call John Boehner, Speaker of the House, not putting anything to a floor vote that doesn’t have the “majority of the majority” (the Hastert Rule) in favor?

    In my opinion, that is tyranny. It guarantees that nothing both the minority party plus a minority of the majority party support will ever be passed. Those people would be a MAJORITY of the House and represent a MAJORITY of the American people yet nothing that group supports will ever become law.

    • MrNutso

      Right on. We keep hearing majority and minority tossed out as if it was a set block.

      What kind of “majorities” would there be if everything got an up or down vote?

    • John Cedar

      Stopping people from passing new laws and spending money we don’t have is not tyranny by any definition.
      Your going to have to be happy with “obstructing”.

      • Don_B1

        What about a new law that would have cut the costs of a program, but in a way that Republicans do not like?

        • John Cedar

          Sounds fair to me.

  • TFRX

    Bill McKenzie sounds reasonable, but must remember that, compared to decades ago, the Democrats are in the center.

    The GOP have been going wingnut, en masse, since the Hunting of the Clenis.

    • hennorama

      TFRX — that gets a [Vote up] on the basis of the last word alone.

      • TFRX

        That’s another coinage I can’t take credit for, but thanks. It’s my posse’s term. (Wait–I’m freckled-American–can I call them a posse?)

      • MrNutso

        A vote up from me as well, but I still have to look up words in the dictionary.

        • TFRX

          Is that a “selfie is in the dictionary” joke? If so, good stuff!

          • hennorama

            TFRX — not sure if it’s wise to put “selfie” and “Clenis” in the same discussion.

          • TFRX


            But, seriously, why do you think I’m not using my real name here?

          • MrNutso

            Crap! We’re not supposed to use our real names?

          • MrNutso

            And now it’s in my browsing history.

          • TFRX

            “Well, MrNutso–if that’s your real name…”

            (I guess it’s time to go to The Simpsons’ well.)

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA: (edited)
    Observers sympathetic to the president and a progressive Democratic agenda chalk the sharp decline up to the clusterf%^&ed rollout of Obamacare. “Because they came of age watching a Republican president fail massively in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and the financial crisis, Millennials are predisposed to favor Democrats,” writes Peter Beinart, coming up with arguably the most inventive new variation on the old “blame Bush” meme. Beinart notes that even as Millennials are less trusting of government than Gen Xers and baby boomers had been in their 20s, they were more likely to support both Obama and his health care reform plan. “If Obamacare never gets fixed,” frets Beinart, “it might just sour the single best relationship the Democratic Party has: its love affair with the young.”


  • Coastghost

    The Democratic Party assured us that America was ready for the divisiveness that was to be fostered in an Obama Administration. The Democratic Party can now reasonably take the MAJORITY of the credit for promoting and fostering the divisiveness we behold in the American electorate: the Democratic Party is ably dividing America.

    • MrNutso

      Any divisiveness comes from Republicans who object to the existence of Democrats.

      • Coastghost

        Republican Senators, as I recall, were not changing standing Senate rules on filibuster cloture in either of Bush’s two terms: but Democrats seem vastly unwilling to accept the fact that not all Americans are enamored of the Democrats’ lying President and shape-shifting Senators.

        • Ray in VT

          Perhaps the unprecedented obstruction of cabinet level appointments by Republicans changed a few minds.

          • Labropotes

            I don’t care about the filibuster one way or the other. It was just a rule. But I think it’s really funny that it just goes away — poof! — at a vote of 52. All this time, the Senate might as well have been wearing an artificial crisis inducer.

        • MrNutso

          Your argument seems to boil down to the day after an election, americans don’t know who or what they voted for and even if they did, elections don’t matter. Your contempt for the electoral process is amazing.

          • Coastghost

            I knew full well that I was NOT voting for Obama in Nov 2008 and Nov 2012.

        • TFRX

          What the Republicans were doing was basically a reverse court
          packing, where nominations are being held up, slow-walked and
          stonewalled to preserve the 50-year push to move the courts to the

          Court packing = Creating new judicial posts out of thin air to shift the balance of the court in your party’s favor.

          What the Obama administration was doing = Filling vacancies in existing judicial posts as is the President’s prerogative.

          What the Senate GOP was doing = Holding as many existing judicial
          posts as possible vacant to keep the balance of the court in their

          • Coastghost

            Were Obama the hereditary monarch you seem to think he should be, filling judicial vacancies would indeed be his “prerogative”. That he is not such a monarch robs your oneiric idealism of all the credibility you crave for it: it is the Senate’s prerogative to review Presidential judicial nominations. Not even sub-Messiah Obama can simply appoint judges of his liking irrespective of Senate confirmation, or at least not unless Sen. Reid says he can.

    • TFRX

      How about: I’ll take care of all the influentia far-left out-of-0mainstream folks,, you take care of the racist, sexist, homophobic bigots on the right who decided to stop wearing their flag pins because Obama.

      You have much more work ahead of you.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    This talk about the “Center” and just letting politicians “get things done” is inane. There is a difference between being a crazed ideologue and recognizing that there are actual core principles, based on empirical historical wisdom, for the design of our Constitutional Republic, and our unique preservation of Liberty over the historically tried and failed empowerment of the Centralized State.

    • Ray in VT

      It seems that empirical historical wisdom shows that it is often the case that it has been the “failed empowerment of the Centralized State” that has been able to more fully guarantee and protect the rights and liberties of those citizens who have been deprived of their rights under the more the system wherein more power was held by the states.

    • jimino

      I agree that the current Republican Party is dominated and controlled by ” crazed ideologues” who have abandoned any pretense of adhering to “actual core principles,
      based on empirical historical wisdom, for the design of our
      Constitutional Republic” When your overt sworn fealty is to 1. Grover Norquist and 2. Making sure Obama is thwarted at every opportunity, even when proposing policies you have long supported, the game as we have always know it is over. That’s why the old rules just don’t work.

      • TFRX

        It’s nice to see someone try to talk sense into him. Lord knows my patience is used up on that front.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    If Trey Radel was arrested in his home state of Florida, and he was convicted, he would go to jail for about a year – and he would lose the right to vote – for the rest of his life.

    Also, more hypocrisy: he supports a law to do drug tests of welfare recipients.

  • sickofthechit

    To solve our grid-lock/partisanship problems we need to revamp our election system such that third party candidates of all types have a chance in our elections. We need to have 50%+1 vote for all races, that way voters will not have to be voting “defensively” as so many of us do now. Runoff elections between the top two or three vote getters is the only way I see forward. charles a. bowsher

    • MrNutso

      Actually the best method (IMHO) is instant runoffs. You rank each candidate from 1 to x. After the first round if no one has a majority, the candidate with the fewest votes is tossed and their ballots assign to the remaining candidates based on rank.

    • ThirdWayForward

      Better yet would be “consensus voting” where one can vote for as many candidates as one finds acceptable. The candidate who is acceptable to the most voters wins. It gives strong incentive to find positions that are palatable to the most citizens. It’s a more stable voting strategy than what we have, and it would open up the political landscape to alternative perspectives (right now any third party bid is almost always a suicide/spoiler run).

      We should also standardize election procedures across the country and take gerrymandering out of the hands of the parties. Nothing exposes the inherent evil of conservative Republicans like their current efforts to suppress voting in the states they control.

      But election reform will never happen — it would take a constitutional amendment — it’s nowhere in sight. The right is going bonkers just over the small change of allowing Presidential cabinet and judicial candidates to be appointed on the basis of a simple majority. They act like angry bullies whose tools for obstruction and intimidation are being neutralized.

    • Don_B1

      While I support your advocacy of “Instant Runoffs,” it needs to be pointed out that there is no voting method that is always “fair” or cannot be “gamed.” Kenneth Arrow proved that mathematically as referenced here:


  • TFRX

    Tom, didn’t Radel get caught buying coke from an undercover cop after propsing The Poors get drug tested before getting benefits?

    It’s never a bad time to reitierate how ValuesRepublicans work: It’s a state of being. Hypocritical acts like Radel’s don’t matter in the Beltway, because RightWingValues is something that they’re anointed with, not something that can ever be stripped by mere action.

    At least the RNC is relieved. “Thank God he wasn’t caught with a pool boy!”

    I’m not the betting sort, but I’ll predict this career path: Leaves Congress under cloud of (what should be) shame, not running, getting to be the next Joe Scarborough. What an honor!

  • OnPointComments

    I wonder if Tom will report that Zimmerman’s girlfriend had been shopping her story to the national media to see how much money she could get for it.

    • ThirdWayForward

      Zimmerman clearly has some serious mental issues. He had similar issues with former girlfriends and run-ins with law enforcement. You can try to deny it all you want, but there is a strong pattern here — the guy gets angry and he rapidly reaches for his guns. People like this should not possess lethal weapons.

      It should not be easier to buy a gun than to vote.

      • OnPointComments

        Some might say that Zimmerman’s years of government persecution, which continues even after a jury verdict of not guilty, and having a bounty placed on his head by the Black Panthers, might have pushed Zimmerman over the edge, but that would be speculation.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    So the “I was against it before I was for it team”, Reid and Obama, overturn 226 years of precedent so they can pack the courts. Worse, they are packing the court that provides citizens defense against lawless executive orders and regulations. Simultaneously , Obama is continuing change the Obamacare law without authority.

    A pure power grab.

    Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    • Ray in VT

      “Packing the courts”. Formerly known as filling existing vacancies.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        The court needed no filling due to the existing case load. Therefore the “packing” description is apt.

        • MrNutso

          That does not matter. If Republicans thing there are too many seats on the court they should propose legislation to have the seats eliminated.

        • Ray in VT

          So, when members of one party decide that a particular court doesn’t have the need for judges, then that justifies blocking any attempts to fill existing vacancies. That sounds a bit like the logic that held up Richard Cordray for 2 years. Let them change the law regarding the number of seats on the court. They seemed to think that it needed judges when George W. Bush was appointing people.

    • MrNutso

      You do not understand the concept of packing the courts.

    • northeaster17

      What do you think about abusing the power of the filibuster?

    • TFRX

      I love it wnen you try hard to sound polite but just regurgitate the Republican True Principled Conservative bullshat.

      Just quite while you’re behind. Just admit you don’t have any interest in a Democrat appointing Democrats, and any excuse for the GOP to run out the clock is okay with you.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Sounds like the facts hurt.

        What isn’t widely reported is many of the GOP filibusters are used to extract information that “the most transparent” regime in history is withholding. Once the information is released — the nomination goes forward. Notice only 2 nominees have been turned down.

        Are you against transparency? We have lost a tool to hold the regime accountable.

        • Ray in VT

          So it’s not about whether or not the person is qualified, it is about getting something that someone wants?

        • TFRX

          I love it when you try hard to sound polite, but just reguritate the GOP crap.

          Record number of delays, filibusters and holds.

    • nlpnt

      “Pack the courts”!?! Seriously?!

      No. Quite the opposite, in fact.

      What the Republicans were doing was basically a reverse court packing, where nominations are being held up, slow-walked and stonewalled to preserve the 50-year push to move the courts to the right.

      Court packing = Creating new judicial posts out of thin air to shift the balance of the court in your party’s favor.

      What the Obama administration was doing = Filling vacancies in existing judicial posts as is the President’s prerogative.

      What the Senate GOP was doing = Holding as many existing judicial posts as possible vacant to keep the balance of the court in their favor.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Sorry, when you appoint judges to a court that has no backlog instead of appointing judges to courts that do have a backlog it is virtual packing. The court itself said it doesn’t need any more judges.

        It is a power grab and a waste of taxpayer money.

        • jefe68

          Yeah, and when the Republicans do it it’s just fine and dandy with you lot. You right wingers are such a hoot. You guys just love playing the victim card.

  • sickofthechit

    For national health care I say gradually reduce the qualifying age for Medicare by 2, 3 or 4 years every year. It is the most efficient health care delivery system out there (except for Bush’s drug (part). charles a. bowsher

    • Thinker

      Great idea!

    • TFRX

      The number of well-dressed people who are paid to be on my teevee who have no idea of the workings of an insurance pool is shocking.

      Edit: It’s not shocking. I retract that. So many of these media people don’t hobnob with the riffraff like me (and maybe you) that they are in quite a bubble about healthcare and health insurance.

      Their gullibility to promote any lazy person with an “I lost my crappy insurance, looked at the ACA for two seconds, and I’m confused” saga is proof of that.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Won’t it be nice when a fine NeoCon like Cheney gets to have all this raw power we’ve been talking about.

    • TFRX

      Hey, someone wanna tell Serfborader who was really in power during the Bush II reign?

      Your pretense at not being a Republican is wearing thin.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        I never voted for GWB, what are you going on about?

        The point is administration after administration, Washington drifts further and further from Constitutional Rule of Law and more toward a discretionary, Central Banking/Wall St/Pandering politician benevolent dictatorship, that one day may not be so benevolent. Good old history.

        • TFRX

          Yeah, and Libertarians can’t be heard on it until Democrats are in power.

          Don’t let that PR go to your head. Not everyone here is as gullible as the mainstream media.

  • OnPointComments

    “If the right of free and open debate is taken away from the minority party, and the millions of Americans who asked us to be their voice, I fear that the already partisan atmosphere in Washington will be poisoned to the point where no one will be able to agree on anything. That doesn’t serve anyone’s best interests, and it certainly isn’t what the patriots who founded this democracy had in mind. We owe the people who sent us here more than that – we owe them much more.” –Senator Barack Obama, April 13, 2005

    • TFRX

      Does the barrel you’re scraping have no bottom?

      Record number of filibusters and holds, jagoff.

      Your comment has been filibustered, and will not appear until 60% of the board approved a vote on it.

      • OnPointComments

        One would think that a direct quote from the chosen one wouldn’t garner any down votes.

        • TFRX

          I see you’ve found a new bottom. Don’t worry–there’s another level below that.

    • northeaster17

      Not being able to block court appointments does not take free and open debate from a minority. Obstucting goverment does not represent free and open debate

  • Coastghost

    Is the Kennedy hagiography of Nov 2013 fueled more by 1) rank Democratic partisanship (wonderfully distracting anniversary to observe), or 2) Baby Boomer indulgence of its nostalgia insofar as its own managerial competence is on the line given the numerous institutional collapses it’s presided over in the past decade or two?

    • MrNutso

      It’s about the murder of the President.

      • Coastghost

        Not so simply, no: it’s about the murder of the youthful charismatic President, who incidentally helped lead the US straight into the maw of Vietnam.
        I regret JFK’s assassination, but his cult of personality and the proclamation of his “martyrdom” belie the circumstances of his death: I don’t subscribe to the idiot conspiracy theories, so I’m not obliged to think that JFK was murdered because of his policy initiatives. Oswald was emotionally unsteady, but his fury seems to have steadied his aim.

        • MrNutso

          Read a little and find that JFK might have kept us from ramping up in Vietnam.

          • Coastghost

            Far too late for revisionism now, sorry.

          • Ray in VT

            That does not seem to be your position regarding some other topics.

          • MrNutso

            People will be writing about JFK long after we are both dead and gone. They will posit new analyses of the man and his actions. That does not mean it is revisionist.

          • Coastghost

            Yet the further passage of time likely will not better equip anyone to speculate about what JFK might have done had he not been killed. We cannot even speculate credibly that his re-election would have been assured.
            On another hand: the conspiracy hysteria built around his assassination over almost five decades arguably constitutes a clear component of the Kennedy mythology and has itself helped aggravate political distrust: Americans are free to indulge their political pieties, but other Americans are not obliged to posit belief in their paranoid hysterics or their utopian politics.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      I’m sure Tom is dying to interview the author of:

      JFK, Conservative

      He just hasn’t had the time.

      • TFRX

        That is hilarious.

        Thanks, I needed a good chuckle.

        • jefe68

          What is it with the right? How is that all of a sudden JFK is a Republican and a conservative.

          What’s even more hilarious this Fox News commentator Charles W. Cooke, who gets this weeks wanker award for saying on Thursday that the recent move from the Senate to end filibusters on judicial nominees could lead to a “military coup.”


          • TFRX

            Remember when Truman was a Conservative for awhile? MLK?

            The allegory is clear: Mormons have been caught “converting”, performing religious rites, on the bones of Hindus, Jews and others to Mormonism–to get their Subway Club Cards stamped, or something.

            In the same manner our FoxFukkers have a fascination with making anyone they like, long dead, into a “conservative”.

            This needs a name. Any ideas?

          • jefe68

            Neo-Nihilism conversions…

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          I’ve often thought that a good belly laugh could help us all.

      • Jeff

        JFK would be considered a conservative as per liberals today.

        In an early speech, “Why I Am a Democrat,” Kennedy explained simply: “Because I was born one” — in other words, “an accident of birth.” Given that accident, JFK opted for the most conservative and Jeffersonian definition of Democrat he could find, that which “stood firmly opposed to a strong centralized government. … It championed states’ rights, and strict constitutional interpretation.”

        There was a Minnesota Public Radio station that did interview that author…


    • nlpnt

      There is something very Boomer-centric about describing America pre- and post-JFK assassination in terms that very much sound like the difference between childhood and adolescence/adulthood.

    • hennorama

      Coastghost — let’s see if I have this right … in your mind, Democrats (alone, apparently) are observing the 50 year anniversary of the assassination of Pres. Kennedy for PARTISAN reasons?

      Please allow me to quote the current VP, Joe Biden:

      “With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey.”

      • Coastghost

        hen: I wasn’t positing belief necessarily, but it’s impossible to pretend that Democrats are not emotionally invested in keeping the Kennedy mystique, the Kennedy myth, alive and breathing.
        If anything, I incline to my #2) above: Boomer handwringing and self-indulgent nostalgia. Most Americans alive today don’t recall a single day of the JFK Presidency, and the myth correspondingly no longer enjoys broad or deep (or uncritical) appeal.

        • hennorama

          Coastghost — thank you for the clarification.

          However, the half century anniversary of the assassination of a President, and the recollection of his career, is not the sole province of any one political view or party.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I wish to believe that such an occasion would not bring out the worst in partisanship.

            But it has:
            To find the very roots of the tea party of 2013, just go back to downtown Dallas in 1963, back to the months and weeks leading to the Kennedy assassination. It was where and when a deeply angry political polarization, driven by a band of zealots, burst wide open in America.


          • hennorama

            RWB — thank you for your response.

            While one understands your sensitivity to all things TPM, I’m not sure that an essay on the political climate in Dallas in 1963, by a Professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, qualifies as “the worst in partisanship.”

            The similarities between then and now, that Professor Minutaglio points out, are striking, are they not? Are you disputing what he wrote, or is your objection based on something else?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Hennorama TY for this opportunity to clarify my objection for you. As you can see from my earlier post I believe that the professor’s essay is the worst in partisanship. It attempts to paper over the real facts that President Kennedy was murdered by a admitted Marxist that hated America and loved Fidel Castro.
            Oswald had plotted to kill a retired General Walker. General Walker was a segregationist and a Democrat.

            These facts are ignored and another meme is substituted. A false narrative that attempts to equate Sen Cruz with Oswald and the Tea Party Movement with the KKK.

            Such hyper-partisan rhetoric has poisoned the political discourse of our nation for too long. Such thinly veiled hate speech will continue as long as people of good will make allowances for it when it slurs the other guys.

          • hennorama

            RWB – TY again for your response.

            I think you’re misunderstanding the words of Professor Minutaglio. Minutaglio is not comparing the TPM and the KKK. The comparison he is making is between the John Birch Society in Dallas in 1963, of which J.L. Hunt was a very prominent member, and the Tea Party Movement.

            He also is not equating Sen. Rafael Edward Cruz with Oswald in any way, shape or form. The sole sentence from the linked essay that included Sen Cruz’s name is this one:

            “There is even another charismatic, Ivy-educated ideologue: Sen. Ted Cruz would have been quite comfortable in Dallas 1963.”

            This is an allusion to Rep. Bruce Alger, who was elected to represent Texas’s 5th district, including Dallas, and served in office from 1955 to 1965. Again quoting an earlier paragraph from Minutaglio’s essay:

            “Dallas was represented in Congress by an eloquent, Ivy League-educated ideologue regarded by some as the most extreme politician in Washington. Bruce Alger had cast the lone “no” vote against a federal program to provide free surplus milk to needy children. Even among his conservative peers, Alger was considered on the outer edge.”

            In writing about Oswald allegedly, but very, very likely, having “plotted to kill a retired General Walker…[who] was a segregationist and a Democrat,” you omit the fact that Gen. Walker was also vehemently anti-Communist, and a strong supporter of the John Birch Society. This is a rather salient fact that may have motivated Oswald, who you described as an “admitted Marxist that hated America and loved Fidel Castro,” wouldn’t you agree?

            http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk/hsca/report/html/HSCA_Report_0046a.htm (Oswald/Walker connection)
            http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2013/10/the-john-birchers-tea-party.html (discussion of the book “Dallas 1963,” by Professor Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis, and the John Birch Society in Dallas)

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Hennorama TY for you response and for your mentioning of me elsewhere in this forum.

            From your comments here and other places in this forum it would seem that we have again reached an impasse where you fervently believe “x” and I believe “y” so be it. I enjoy comment with you and wish you and those that you love a very Happy Thanksgiving.

          • hennorama

            RWB — thank you for your response, and apologies for this delayed reply.

            You’re welcome, of course, and credit and mention is always made where due.

            As I said, I understand your sensitivity. What is unclear to me is your actual objection.

            Do you disagree that Professor Minutaglio was comparing Sen. Cruz to Rep. Bruce Alger?

            Do you dispute that the comparison being made in the essay is between the political climate in Dallas in 1963, and the present political climate, including the Tea Party Movement?

            Do you agree with WftC’s contention, that “the implication is the Tea Party and their ilk is responsible for JFKs death?”

            If so, please explain how you reached such a conclusion.

            Please feel free to ignore these questions, however, in the spirit of your kindly expressed wishes, which are returned in kind.

            Thanks again.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Hennorama, thank you for your response. I trust you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday. I am glad that today’s programming has allowed me the opportunity to respond to the questions you pose.

            Yes, and

            I often find that when people compose essays they confuse the terms compare and equate. This essay attempts to equate the Tea Party Movement with the some of the worst elements of our nation’s political past with only the scantest of evidence. It is clear that the author seeks to obscure the fact that Oswald was a man of the left and acted because of those convictions and not because of anything coming out of the environment of Dallas. I equally condemn the author’s attempt to make his opinions seem more insightful and news worthy by trying to tie it to the most important political movement of our generation. A movement he opposes and seeks to thwart. Bill Minutaglio is a “man of the left” and works to advance that political philosophy, and not an honest understanding of our nation’s history.

            Hopefully that clears up and lingering confusion you may have had.

          • hennorama

            RWB — thanks for the reply, and I hope your holiday was a good one. Mine was pleasant enough, with lots of family, friends, food, and football.

            As you follow my commentary, you no doubt have seen my other posts on this topic, which expressed all of my thoughts on the matter.

            Clearly we disagree about most points, but at least we have not been disagreeable. Thanks again for your thoughts.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            We absolutely disagree on some small matters, but I believe that we agree on the more important matters.

          • hennorama

            RWB — when I began walking my dog this morning, it was dark and slightly cloudy. Fifteen minutes later, as we were on our way home, I noticed some reflections in a window, then turned around.

            The clouds were turning from grey to purple to salmon to pink to orange to yellow and white, and the sky was turning from black to grey to purple and then to blue.

            Transfixed, I stood watching the spectacular sunrise for several minutes.

            In a world filled with such wonders, why do we allow ourselves to get bogged down in the mundane “small matters”?

            Happy Holidays!

  • TFRX

    The official WaPo line, in normal language: “Withouth the filibuster the Republicans will keep successfully appointing right wing
    nuts to the bench as they have been for decades.”

    When “EvenTheLiberal” Washington Post doesn’t like something a Democrat does leftwards, it’s a signal the Dems are doing something smart.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Remember the phrases:

      “Reap what you sow”
      “The chickens have come home to roost”

      They are in your future — 2015 and beyond.

      • TFRX

        You’ve got a rich fantasy life thinking the GOP wasn’t going to do this.

        And you’ve got a streak of denial thinking that the best thing for a Dem pres to do is to just let the right walk all over him. “If only Obama gives in more, the right will be on board with this bipartisanship” schtick.

        Record number of holds, delays, and filibusters, ashole.

        • Jeff

          Like under Bush? This was brought up and the Republicans chose not to do it!

          • TFRX

            They won’t next time? The GOP wouldn’t go “nuclear”, out of the goodness of their hearts?

            You’re a Randite, right? Does that stuff fly anywhere but in Galt’s Gulch?

          • Jeff

            Nope it’s time to teach lessons…my advice to the Republicans when the tables are turned…appoint a single Supreme Court justice without the filibuster rule so Democrats can see what it feels like to have no minority input and then reinstate the filibuster rule as it was on Wednesday.

          • TFRX

            After Janice Rogers Brown and Yosemite Sam from the GOP, while Obama’s had a record number of filibusters and delays and holds, now you say “it’s lesson time”?


            Please stop pretending you’re not a Republican.

          • Jeff

            Most filibustered nominees cleared the hurdle; for example, Obama won Senate confirmation for 30 out of 42 federal court nominations, compared with Bush’s 35 out of 52. Aren’t facts wonderful?

          • TFRX

            I can turn on the TV and be entertained by any Beltway Inbred who has a fetish for bipartisanship, instead of good policy.

            Those folks are operating in a media bubble wherein the hivethink punishes them for not falsely equivocating any real transgression by the Right with some over-imagined, if not totally pretended, sin by the Left.

            That’s what they have to do.

            What’s your excuse?

          • TFRX

            Keep pretending crap, bub.

            And so quickly, too.

            Janice Rogers Brown and “Yosemite Sam” are embarrassments. Obama’s never gotten anyone that weird and unqualified near the nominating stage.

          • Jeff

            A look at the confirmation rates for district court nominees picked by the past four presidents shows a mixed bag: For Mr. Obama, the Senate approved 143 of his 173 nominees; for President George W. Bush, 170 of 179 nominees; for President Bill Clinton, 170 of 198 nominees; and for President George H.W. Bush, 150 of 195 nominees.

            For federal appeals court nominees, President George W. Bush saw 35 of his 52 nominees confirmed, and, so far, 30 of Mr. Obama’s 42 nominees have been confirmed. Presidents Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan all saw significantly higher confirmation rates for their appeals court nominees.


          • TFRX

            The facts about all those bills that never went anywhere because 60 is the new 51 have escaped you.

            I love it when fake Libertarians reveal themselves as mere partisan Republicans.

          • Jeff

            Just pointing out real facts…you can read into them whatever you would like.

          • Don_B1

            Patricia Owen is no prize, either. She is the one who just authored the decision overturning the stay of the Texas anti-abortion law and permitting the immediate closing of about one-third of the reproductive health clinics in Texas. Notably the opinion was joined in by two other female justices on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, also appointed by President George W. Bush.

          • Jeff

            Ah, the last act of an individual losing a debate, ad hominem, baseless attacks. Good facts you brought up, good counterpoints disputing my facts…oh wait, that’s not what happened there, is it? Media bubble, that’s funny…I listen to NPR all day but yes, I’m in a media bubble for the Right. My excuse for using facts is that I’m not a liberal, I know I should just use emotion and never bring up relevant facts and attempt to change the topic but I can’t seem to do that since I’m not a liberal.

          • pete18

            It’s also his first act, he doesn’t have anything else.

          • TFRX

            The facts about all those bills that never went anywhere because 60 is the new 51 have escaped you.

            I mean, I expect that from Beltway Inbreds, who have to knobslobber their sources.

            Try better next time.

          • OnPointComments

            Nothing excites the righteous indignation of liberal loons like having to deal with facts. Keep up the good work.

          • TFRX

            The facts about all those bills that never went anywhere because 60 is the new 51 have escaped you.

            I mean, I expect that from Beltway Inbreds, who have to knobslobber their sources.

            But what’s your excuse?

          • Ray in VT

            Yet only 76% of Obama’s nominees have been confirmed (although given that he is in the middle of his term that number, even without the “nuclear option” would likely end up higher), while 91% or Bush’s nominees were confirmed but only 79% of Clinton’s were confirmed.


            What I find more offensive, as I think that in some circumstances the filibuster can be useful, so long as it is used in a limited factor, are the cabinet level appointment filibusters. I think that in recent years the minority party has definitely been abusing the filibuster.

          • Jeff

            Cute, you left out HW Bush’s numbers…who had very similar approval percentages as Obama.

          • Ray in VT

            So, if Obama’s numbers are similar to George H.W. Bush’s, which are close to Clinton’s numbers, then Bush’s years were actually a high time of bipartisanship in which modern record appointment percentages were achieved, despite the supposed Democratic obstructionism to which many allude, correct?

          • Jeff

            I think you’re confusing Bush 41 (HW) with Bush 43 (W).

          • Ray in VT

            I do not think so.

          • TFRX

            The facts about all those bills that never went anywhere because 60 is the new 51 have escaped you. All those headlines about Legislation X failed, 54-43 ring a bell?

            I mean, I expect that from Beltway Inbreds, who have to knobslobber their sources.

            But you’re an Objectivist, right? What’s your excuse?

          • Don_B1

            The Democrats were the ones that backed down. The “Gang of 14″ came up with an agreement that allowed a bunch of radical ideologues to be confirmed by majority vote, which in 2005 was obtainable by votes of Republican Senators without any Democratic Senators.

            The operable words to the agreement are in Wikipedia are found here:


            and are:

            “The ultimate confrontation was prevented by the Gang of 14, a group of seven Democratic and seven Republican Senators, all of whom agreed to oppose the nuclear option and oppose filibusters of judicial nominees, except in extraordinary circumstances.”

      • Jeff

        There’s nothing stopping Republicans from changing the rules once again to use the same “no filibuster” rule with Supreme Court appointments…nothing what-so-ever stopping them.

        • MrNutso

          A good point. And nothing from changing the rules back to what they were on Wednesday if they get a majority in the Senate.

          • Jeff

            Very true too, my advice to the Republicans when the tables are turned…appoint a single Supreme Court justice without the filibuster rule so Democrats can see what it feels like to have no minority input and then reinstate the filibuster rule as it was on Wednesday.

          • TFRX

            And likewise, your nonpartisan advice to the Dems must be “appoint every liberal you can find to every vacancy available”.

            PS The non-qualification of many crackpot Republican nominees under GWB stands in stark contrast with Obama’s choices who’ve been gobstopped.

      • OnPointComments

        President Obama’s approval rating is at its nadir. The last time the Democrats had control of the House and Senate, they rammed through Obamacare without a single Republican vote, even though the majority of Americans were against it then and are still against it now. Obamacare has been a fiasco, and will only get worse. Now the Democrats have changed the rules and taken away “the right of free and open debate…from the minority party.” I predict that this naked power grab will swing the Senate to Republican majority in 2014, and the House will remain in Republican control in 2014.

        • MrNutso

          Who is having enough votes, whether with one party or many, to enact legislation ramming something through. If it is, what is the point of having elections?

        • TFRX

          I predict every Foxfuxxer out there just wants to parrot “Naked power grab” to what the real world calls “Nominating people to fill vacancies”.

          Let’s see if NPR is interested enough to put on their big boy boots and commit journalism about it.

      • Ray in VT

        The GOP is just now reaping the rewards for the obstructionism that it has sown.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          The GOP is behaving exactly as the Dems did in the last two years of Bush-43. Is it any worse? I’m not sure. 3 years vs. 2? It doesn’t seem much different.

          Blocking Miguel Estrada seems a bigger deal than anything than anything the GOP has done.

          What I can say is the GOP are an ineffectual opposition party. There are so many issues that they have public support but they can do nothing to advance policy or extract a political price from the Dems.

          #keystone pipeline
          #deficit spending

          • TFRX

            I missed the part where hacks akin to Janice Rogers Brown, Harriet Miers, and Yosemite Sam made it to Obama’s short list.

            The idiots that GWB had the nerve to suggest got turned down for a reason.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Harriet Myers was stopped by fellow Republicans. I don’t see a parallel on the Dem side. Perhaps as the polls continue to fall on the Dem side in 2014 we’ll see a resurrection of integrity on the Dem side.

          • Steve__T

            When Congress as a whole shows a resurrection of integrity, I’ll pay attention, but until I see it on both sides, Congress has no integrity.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I agree. Too often they play us for dupes.

            btw – I have to give a shout out to Carl Levin who appeared to have integrity on the rules change. Of course, it would have been truly courageous IF it was the 50th vote blocking the rule change. Alas, it was simply meaningless show vote.

          • TFRX

            What percentage of Congress needs to show more integrity, and how?

            Because I don’t really have a lot of praise, but when it’s about the simple day to day job of actually governing, I see one side who wants to make sure people’s opinion of Congress is in the sewer.

            And they can hang their “Mission Accomplished!” banner high.

          • TFRX

            Yes, I know she was. She was too much a hack even for the GOP to stop.

            Anyone in the normal world, not in the Beltway, would have said “GWB is overplaying his hand and shouldn’t be so out there with nomimees”.

          • Don_B1

            President Obama has not nominated anyone with anywhere the poor qualifications as was the case with President George W. Bush, so you point is null and void.

          • Ray in VT

            “Blocking Miguel Estrada seems a bigger deal than anything than anything the GOP has done.” How about holding up the nominee to head an agency for 2 years because you don’t like the rules of that agency. How many cabinet level appointees have been filibustered under Obama versus previous Presidents.

            The GOP could always try winning elections in order to advance their agenda. It seems that there was a vote for the top office a while ago. How did that turn out for those who sought to repeal the ACA? Their guy took it, right?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            LOL. According to the polls Romney would take it today. Timing was off.

          • Ray in VT

            Hmmm, and when do those votes count? Why, on Election Day (or during early voting). I wonder if Bush would have won in 2005 after Katrina, or when the bodies really began to pile up in Iraq?

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          The will of the people who elected you is obstructionism?

          It just represents the reality of the populous right now.

          Much as Dems might like, we can’t just vaporize the 49%

          • Ray in VT

            What of all of that “elections have consequences” and “the President ought to be able to pick his team” talk that seemed all the vogue when there was a guy with an R after his name in the White House?

            Blocking the ability of a President to pick his own top people in a historically unprecedented way is obstructionism as far as I am concerned. Should the President not get to pick his top people if a minority disagrees?

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            It brings up the question of how much power do these unelected, appointed officials have. If, as with Obamacare, they are people who are given a blank slate bill/plate of spaghetti, so essentially write the law as they go…. I really don’t want folks like that with no check.

          • TFRX

            Funny how Libertarians never worry about this stuff out loud when the GOP is in power.

            I guess you all get put back in your gilded cage then.

      • hennorama

        WftC — pssst … you may want to edit your first “phrase,” as it is making you look rather silly.

        (Not to mention your concluding sentence.)

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I caught it within seconds of the post. It must have been in your cache.

          But thanks for your concern.

          • hennorama

            WftC — de nada, senor.

    • MrNutso

      Liberal WaPo?

      • TFRX

        That’s what we call it.

        “EvenTheLiberal” WaPo.

        • Don_B1

          That is the WaPo which:

          1) does not understand the meaning of a lack of aggregate demand in the economy particularly since the financial crisis of 2008 in the middle of the Great Recession which makes fiscal stimulus the best by far process to get the economy started again.

          2) does not comprehend the threat of the emission of CO2 from burning fossil fuels for energy on all life on this planet.

          3) lets George Will repeat debunked claims on climate change and austerity economics that have been shown false.

          Now that is a newspaper which is really a strong advocate for the only ways to improve the lives of the majority of Americans rather than the lives of just the most wealthy (1% and maybe a few of the top 10%), who have enough money to make their own lives quite good.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    The Dems used the filibuster to block SCOTUS nominee Miguel Estrada. They could not stand the FIRST Hispanic SCOTUS justice to be a GOP nominee.

    Well, the Dems will no longer be able to block a future Estrada.

    “Estrada was superbly qualified: Columbia College, Harvard Law School, Harvard Law Review. Sound like anyone?”


    • TFRX

      John Yoo?


      Oh, wait, you’re serious?

      Let me laugh harder: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      What that turd isn’t doing in a military prison is beyond me.

      • OnPointComments

        I suppose John Yoo should have simply approved sending a drone down on the heads of the terrorists instead of water boarding them.

        • TFRX

          Remember, when John Yoo says “I’m waterboarding someone, so that means they’re a terrorist”, the Foxfukers can be expected to follow.

          All the drone stuff was put in place by the God-loving Right-wing White House, House and Senate, during a time of Compulsory Patriotism.
          Look it up.

        • Ray in VT

          Killing an enemy on the battlefield and torturing him after he is captured have been pretty widely agreed upon to be very different things.

          • OnPointComments

            A fine distinction that is likely of little solace to the dronee.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, we could always be putting the boots on the ground, thereby increasing American casualties and quite possibly civilian ones as well. Also, while President Obama has stepped up the use of drones, let us not forget that they were used by the previous administration as well, so it looks like the Bush administration just preferred an all of the above approach.

        • Jeff

          You forgot to include the words “American citizen” right before terrorists…that’s completely acceptable with Obama and his lawyers.

    • northeaster17

      The rules as changed do not apply to SCOTUS appointments…JEEZZZZ!

    • hennorama

      WftC — not to pick on you today or anything, but Mr. Estrada was a nominee for a vacancy on the D.C. Circuit Court Of Appeals, not the Supreme Court.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Clarification accepted.

  • hennorama

    Just out of curiosity … does anyone know of any potential ‘Pelican Brief’-like scenarios involving the D.C. Circuit Court Of Appeals, which might make filling any or all of the three current vacancies of special import to a particular case?

  • steve wisniewski

    Having retired from the DoD, the real news about the ‘war on terror’ describes only ONE tactic (terror) being used against western civilization. The REAL war is the war on drugs regardless how the public is tired of hearing about it. The countries involved in the Afghan situation must remain there until factions of Islam decide that we ‘infidels’ have a right to live on the planet. The headlines are there for all to read: Afghan heroin production in 2012 was a record high!! Over 90% of the worlds heroin supply comes from the Afghanistan territories!! This heroin situation has decimated Russian society along with their aggressive abortion program (average Russian woman has had six abortions). Mr Putin is offering cash rewards to Russian women to have healthy babies, and China has just allowed its citizens to have more than one child. Both Russia & China realize now that people are needed to pay taxes, work, and defend one’s homeland and NOT being addicted to illegal drugs. Nearly two thousand years ago, a famous Chinese general stated, “A tactic is no tactic once it is known”.

    In a nutshell, the tactics being used by the Islamic radicals are three fold: Terror ( conventional & nuclear-Iran), distributing heroin & contraband tobacco, and total resistance to birth control so much so that muslim prisoners in Isreal prisons smuggle their sperm to keep their wives continually pregnant.

    For reference, the latest prediction is that in or around 2050, all of Europe will be a new Islamic Republic by sheer Islamic population increases.

    Finally, as for casualties of the Afghan war, the perspective of war versus what drugs are doing to our country. One example: A survey was conducted in the State Massachusetts to determine how many citizens in the military had perished in the Afghan war: less that 50….how many Mass. citizens died from drug overdoses: OVER 4,000!!! The radicals are well pleased with those ‘body counts’ especially since we maintain our abortion programs as well. To review: Terror, drugs, and population demographics are the three ‘tactics’ being waged to wipe out ‘infidels’ off the planet…..

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Maybe we should give up on this Liberty crap, and just start shooting heroin like the Russians…..

  • TFRX

    One more Beltway Inbred ignoring all the wingnut hacks GWB nominated and beating the dead horse of False Equivalence with Obama’s centrist nominees. Then weeping Won’t Somebody Think of the Bipartsianship?.

    Dana Milbank all but says “Elections have consequences. Except when a Democrat wins one.”

    • HonestDebate1


      • TFRX

        Yes, centrist.

        What did Chuck Hagel get for being a right-of-center Republican, again?

        And you’re too wingnut to care, but everyone here knows that.

        The litany of wingnut Bush and nominees is out there. Do your own homework for the crackpots.

        • HonestDebate1

          Hagel is right of center?!

  • tbphkm33

    I’m going to draw some fire over this stance:

    Organ transplants between HIV-positive patients now possible thanks to new law

    - I think this is a potentially dangerous move. As there a different strains of HIV, allowing transplants or blood donations between infected individuals seemingly raises the risk of creating even more strains – maybe even a super strain. I wonder if more caution should not be used. It might save individuals, but does it put the general population at an increased risk from a super bug?

    - I am sort of anti-transplants anyway. Several reasons, one is the general risk of creating a super bug of any infection (not just HIV). More practically, I question overall how much it extends the life of the recipients. True, in some cases it is decades, but what percentage is a transplant only a few months?

    Lastly, should society be investing in transplants for individuals who have created the situation themselves, such as drug addicts or alcoholics needing a liver transplant. These addictions have inflicted longterm negative impacts on society in general. Is it morally right for such individuals to then once again ask society to extend their lives with an organ transplant? Sure people change, but I say not. They led a dangerous life and now its time to pay the piper for earlier choices.

    Same scenario that society already lays at the feet of say coal miners who are dying of black lung disease – “you chose your career, now you pay the price.” Just because a banker with clout, who now needs a new liver from years of cocaine abuse, does not mean we as society cannot apply the same principle that we do to lower socially ranked individuals and refuse expensive treatment.

  • Jeff

    Here’s what then-Sen. Joe Biden said in 2005 when a Republican Senate majority threatened to use a similar “nuclear option” to allow a simple majority to carry the day:

    “The nuclear option abandons America’s sense of fair play . . . tilting the playing field on the side of those who control and own the field. I say to my friends on the Republican side: You may own the field right now, but you won’t own it forever. I pray God when the Democrats take back control, we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing.”

    • TFRX

      I have etched into my brain Our Network Correspondent on The Evening News reporting from outside saying “This bill won’t get 60 votes, so it’s not going anywhere, Diane (or Brian, or Scott)” like it’s the most goddamn natural thing in the world, over the last 4+ years.

      Only because Obama was the president.

      How’s the weather in Gullible Gulch?

  • Mattyster

    The best way to stop hyper-partisanism is if both parties are interested in governing. Right now it looks like the only thing Republicans want is to make President Obama look bad. We’re in this situation because the right wing’s massive propaganda machine is misinforming vast numbers of Americans so they vote against their own best interest. They’ve been convinced that government is the enemy when in reality the government is us.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      What will you be doing to support the presidency of Scott Walker when he wins the next election? Can you name any policies or actions that President Bush took that you supported? Do you consider yourself hyper-partisan?

      • lobstahbisque

        Ask a rhetorical question you get a rhetorical answer.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          So are you admitting you are hyper-partisan? Or are you trying to say that hyper-partisanship is not a problem?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Paraphrase Mattyster: “Why can’t we all get along. Everything GOP is evil”

      One question — why couldn’t Obama govern for his first two years in office with a solid Dem congress. He couldn’t even get a budget passed. He broke almost every campaign promise. [I'll cut the deficit in half in my first term. I'll go through the budget line by line and eliminate all waste and bloat."]

      Almost every big decision by this administration has been political. Even the response to the Obamacare debacle has been political. His fist words to the minority party at joint meeting wasn’t from Dale Carnegie. It was “I won”.

    • StilllHere

      He doesn’t need help looking bad.


      Paraphrase Mattyster: Why can’t the Republicans just accept Democratic policies and proposals.
      It’s really disturbing when I read comments like yours and realize how detached from reality so many liberal dems are. It’s laughable when you mention propaganda and associate it with Republicans. If only that were so. Obama is the biggest liar that’s ever occupied the Oval office whose entire campaign was based on demagoguery and appeals to the most base instincts of his supporters ; namely resentment and envy. Seriously –are you that stupid?

      • OnPointComments

        Liberal dems have a distorted sense of how government works. Many, many times on here I have seen comments along the lines of ‘Obama won the election. The people have spoken. Why are Republicans obstructing the will of the people?’ Liberals apparently believe that when voters elect a Republican member of Congress, elected in many instances to specifically stop the fundamental change of America envisioned by Barack Obama, that these Republicans are supposed to simply capitulate to the majority party and forget the promises to their constituency.

        This is what they believe, and yes, they are really that stupid.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          I object to you calling them stupid.

          • HonestDebate1

            It seems to me calling them stupid is the kinder alternative.

          • jefe68

            Yeah, my choice words for you lot are not suitable on a family show. But you get my drift sparky.

          • HonestDebate1

            And you’re proud of your rhetoric?

        • jefe68

          And yet you lot lost two general elections in a row. You know what’s really stupid, somehow thinking general elections don’t matter. Then it’s on to the regressive right wing memes about the changes to “your America”. Here’s some news for you, you lot lost. You will most likely lose again in 2016 due to picking extremist to run in the general election. By the way you also seem to be ignoring how tea party candidates are now losing Congressional elections and this is a trend that will keep on happening. You lot are on your way out.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            OMG!!! Romney was an extremist? McCain was an extremist?

            Unfortunately negative smear campaigns work to suppress the vote if you have a $billion to spread around IF you have a compliant media.

          • jefe68

            Romney had to tack way to right to even get the nomination. After he lost, and you know this, but have selective memory, he was touted by the GOP base as not being conservative enough.

            McCain had that Albatross tied to his neck, a little extremist called Sarah Palin.

          • TFRX

            I guess that Etch-a-Sketch thing is something only some voters have.

          • HonestDebate1

            The house gets a say.

            Ted Cruz was right about Obamacare.

          • jefe68

            They say all they want. The house Republicans have proven over and over again that they are not fit to govern.
            Cruz is a joke and a opportunist of the worst sort.

          • pete18

            And you think Obama has proven himself fit to govern?

      • Mattyster

        Seriously, are you that stupid?

  • OnPointComments

    From Pat Buchanan’s lips (or in this case, fingers) to the voters’ ears.

    “Obama’s reputation for competence has been shredded, and, so, too, has his reputation for truthfulness.

    “With millions losing their health insurance because of Obamacare mandates, we learn that Obama and his team knew this was inevitable, even as they reassured us, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. Period.”

    “The brutal truth: Our president got his legacy program passed by deceiving the American people in a giant swindle.

    “Not only have millions lost their health care plans, tens of millions more may lose theirs at year’s end when they learn that their employer’s health care plans also do not meet Obamacare mandates.

    “Hillarycare cost the Democrats the House in 1994. Obamacare, the love child of Hillarycare, could cost Democrats the Senate in 2014.”


    • hennorama

      OPC — Mr. Buchanan’s thesis, that a single sentence from then-Senator, then-President-elect, and now-President Obama, was how the PPACA became law, “in a giant swindle,” is beyond silly.

      • OnPointComments

        A single sentence, repeated at least 36 times, leading up to an election and afterwards.

        “If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. PERIOD. NO ONE WILL TAKE IT AWAY. NO MATTER WHAT.”

        There’s not much wiggle room in President Obama’s statement, and the statement is false as even he has admitted. Sounds like bait and switch to me, a giant swindle to control one sixth of the US economy.

        • hennorama

          OPC — I see.

          So according to the theory of Mr. Buchanan, and yourself, simply repeating a single sentence a few dozen times resulted in the passage of a law, ” to control one sixth of the US economy.”

          Yeah, right.

          • OnPointComments

            Henn — I see.

            So according to the theory of Hennorama, if President Obama had told the truth, “Millions and millions of people will lose their health plan, and many, especially young healthy people, will pay much more,” the legislative course of the healthcare law and the election would have been unchanged.

            Yeah, right.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            We were promised numerous times (before the election) for complete transparency and all debate and negotiation with lobbyists will be televised on C-SPAN. Also, there would be a waiting period to give everyone (including the public) to read the bill prior to a vote. ha ha ha ha !!!! The joke is on us.

            C-SPAN must have been down for maintenance because they never broadcast the sausage making.

            “On January 8, 2007, Senator Barack Obama was quoted as saying of the Democrats ethics reform package

            “To do this, we must not only strengthen but enforce the rules governing our interactions with lobbyists, and finally make the legislative process fully transparent to the public. The American people put their faith in us so we could restore their faith in government, and this is our chance to make that happen”

          • hennorama

            OPC — had [hennorama] spouted such a theory, you might have a point.

            You’ve made a resoundingly hollow defense of the Buchanan/OPC argument there, sir.

          • OnPointComments

            I agree with Pat Buchanan: the President lied to get his plan passed, and it likely wouldn’t have passed if the truth had been known.

        • StilllHere

          He had to lie to Democrats to get it passed, and then he had to offer kickbacks to some Democrats. It stinks and now we all know it.

    • jefe68

      Pat Buchanan, that’s hilarious. You folks are desperate.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    The silence from the libs is deafening.

    “Endless Afghanistan? US-Afghan agreement would keep troops in place and funds flowing, perhaps indefinitely”


  • WorriedfortheCountry

    “No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?”
    ― George Orwell, Animal Farm

    See Obamacare and the regime response to the ‘if you like your plan, you can keep your plan’ lie exposure.

    • OnPointComments

      You can keep your health plan.
      You can keep your doctor.
      Your premiums will go down by $2,500.

      “A liberal is someone who doesn’t care what you do, as long as it’s mandatory.” –Charles Krauthammer

      • lobstahbisque

        Well take that you dirty liberals! Liberals, liberals! Let’s see let’s make fun of the—- liberals and make them feel really really bad by repeating our message over and over. Those silent, LIBERALS!!!!! Why don’t you speak up while I’m vilifying you, you freakin’ liberal. There that ought to shut them up for a while….those unpatriotic, liberals!

  • jefe68

    Seems like it’s a good time to repost this:

    • brettearle

      It might be worthwhile for the political cartoonist to add, somewhere, a breathtaking disclaimer:

      that the growth is rapidly becoming an endangered species.

      Thanks for posting it again.

      Where’s the Vicodon?

      • hennorama

        brettearle — I dunno … those fallen wing nuts have sprouted leaves, so the species seems to be reproducing apace.

        • brettearle

          The only vibrant clones are who….?

          Maybe my own private belief–but I have the sense that even O’Reilly is wearing thin.

          Hopefully, David Brooks will soon receive the gravitas that he deserves from the Right.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — the sprouts don’t seem to be clones, as they have different appearances.

            (Sorry — getting way too technical now. The leaf forms on the sprouts, and the fruit shapes, makes this appear to be a persimmon tree rather than any sort of actual nut. Depending on the species, persimmons can reproduce with or without cross-pollination, but either way, the offspring are not clones.)

          • brettearle

            Spoken like a true Botanist.

            Will His Majesty grant me an indulgence and allow me to change it to `spores’?

          • hennorama

            brettearle — no. Seedlings or sprouts.

            Actually, I care not one whit. I may simply be persnickety and persimmoncentric, as I’ve been harvesting some on behalf of the local food bank recently.

          • brettearle

            I was teasing myself, in front of you.


          • hennorama

            brettearle — no worries at all. In retrospect, I can see how my tone might be interpreted as somewhat harsh, but that was not my intent.

            Quoting the French castle defender, as a mood lightener:

            “I Furz in Ihrer allgemeinen Richtung,” or perhaps more appropriately, “Je pète dans votre direction générale.”

          • brettearle

            Before I go rushing to my live French Dictionary [who, of course, is none other than my better half, who still thinks you're more than one person], I should tell you that I can’t ever remember being offended, or else terribly offended, by anything you have written to me.

            [I'm sure you've heard me go off half-cocked at others--so you would know it, if my invective would be redirected toward you. I can't imagine that happening. For one thing, you are too dimensional to be a viable target, anyway.]

            On the other hand, I WILL be offended if you ever leave the Thread for any extended length of time.

            I simply wish that I had more time to keep up with all of it and do the necessary research…..

          • hennorama

            brettearle — consulting your “live French Dictionary” is unnecessary, as the French and German are the same.

            And, dammit! why haven’t you been offended by anything we have written (and we are not plural, despite the thoughts of your Lieblings-Mädchen)? Here we thought we were equal opportunity offenders. ;-)

            One (or two) must endeavor to improve results, one (or two) supposes. Back to the salt mines …

            [PS] a bit of advice: do not “go rushing to [your] live French Dictionary … half-cocked,” or in any fractional state for that matter.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    ““Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” – President jfk conservative, 1961

    “You didn’t build that” – President Obama, 2012

    Hmmm… Does anyone doubt that jfk could never hold statewide office in Massachusetts today, let alone be the Dem. nominee for President. The Dem party sure has come a long way.

    • jefe68

      The right wing inanity squad just keep on posting these desperate memes about JFK. So pathetic.

      Context is everything: “There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
      “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

      “The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

      “So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. That’s how we funded the G.I. Bill. That’s how we created the middle class. That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam. That’s how we invented the Internet. That’s how we sent a man to the moon. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for President — because I still believe in that idea. You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.”

      It’s amazing how they somehow forget that JFK’s brother was Teddy Kennedy. If you want to know what kind of politician JFK would have been had he ran for and won a a seat in the Senate, look no further than Ted Kennedy.

      • pete18

        It might make more sense to look at JFK himself, since he was a senator for eight years.

        • jefe68

          That’s true, my mistake.
          That said, he was a liberal Democrat.

          • pete18

            Leave it to the regressive fools to set you straight.

            JFK wasn’t a liberal democrat by today’s standards. Not even close.

          • StilllHere

            Setting him straight is a full-time job, and a thankless one at that.

    • StilllHere

      Exactly, now its handouts and pocket picking.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        In revisionist history RFK is considered a ‘modern’ liberal. But…..here is a gem from RFK :

        “Welfare has proved ineffective and demeaning. The only answer is to create jobs. I’d do it through tax incentives to the private sector, using the Government as employer of last resort. I think business can handle most of it if we make it economically attractive.”

        Further, RFK saw how welfare damaged the family unit. An inconvenient truth.

      • OnPointComments

        “Everybody in Cleveland, every minority, got an Obamaphone.” –anonymous woman

        “Obama is going to pay for my birth control!” –anonymous woman

        “I’m here trying to get some Obamabucks.” –anonymous NYC man

    • TFRX

      Keep digging up failed GOP crap like this is FoxNation.

  • Scott653

    I love how Harry Reid lays the blame of the Senate’s dysfunction squarely on the Republicans. I believe it was late 2009 when a bill that affects 1/6 of our economy was rushed to passage through a back door way referred to as reconciliation in the wee hours of the night behind closed doors — of course this devious and myopic method for passing the ACA was used because Scott Brown won his election and would take office a couple months later preventing a super-majority vote. And now, millions of Americans are seeing the effects of “lets pass it before we know what’s in it” legislative strategy used by the Dems.
    Moreover, Mr. Reid has basically tabled all 20 or so jobs bills offered by House Republicans; refused a vote on Ryan’s budget bill sent over from the House; failed to pass a budget himself for over 5 years; has still failed to pass an Appopriations bill; and rejected all attempts by Republicans to delay any aspect of Obamacare despite the fact that Obama has now decided through executive orders to approve the same delays that Republicans asked for in the first place.
    Anyone with any knowledge of the political process has to question the timing of Reid’s nuclear option and realize that this is a desperate approach by Reid to distract from the failure of the Obamacare rollout and to rush in liberal judicial appointments on account that the Dems likely stand to lose the Senate in 2014. Reid is just as much responsible for the dysfunction of Congress as the Tea Party. It was partly Reid’s actions in late 2009 that created the hostile, distrustful, and dysfunctional atmosphere in the Senate. And please cut the crap about McConnell’s vow in a private meeting to make Obama “a one-term President”. You mean to tell me that Senator Tom Daschle didn’t have the similar conversations with his colleagues when Bush was President? After what Reid and Obama pulled in late 2009, I can understand McConnell’s mentality. Its all a part of the political game.

    • pete18

      well said.

    • lobstahbisque

      Ya lost. Get over it, fix it or you’ll lose again.

  • StilllHere

    Let’s see what you sing when roles are reversed.

  • OnPointComments

    Leading up to the launch of HealthCare.gov, everyone in the Obama administration claimed they didn’t have a clue that the website would fail. The week before the launch, President Obama said “It’s a website where you can compare and purchase affordable health insurance plans, side-by-side, the same way you shop for a plane ticket on Kayak, same way you shop for a TV on Amazon. You just go on and you start looking, and here are all the options.” Except it didn’t work, and everyone in his administration said they didn’t know it wouldn’t work.

    Today, the same Obama administration that couldn’t foresee any problems with the website five days before its launch, has acquired an all-knowing prescience that enables it to foresee that insurers won’t be able to meet the October 1, 2014 enrollment date. So the deadline has been extended. By a month? No, that’s not long enough. A month and 15 days? Yes, that’s the right number.

    And the extension just happens to move the enrollment date until after the national election on November 4, 2014. Because insurers will need more time. Sure.

    The Brothers Grimm couldn’t have written a more fanciful fairy tale.

    • lobstahbisque

      You sound upset. I mean like it’s an affront to you personally.
      Ever feel not quite right? Do you not take enjoyment in the things you used to? Maybe you need some mental healthcare made available to you personally by the ACA. It can help alleviate your galloping paranoia.

    • Coastghost

      ObamaFraud for all. Mandatory.

      • OnPointComments

        The Obama administration may have erred in keeping the Obamacare Sword of Damocles suspended over the heads of Democrats for the election. The electorate have already experienced the first enrollment, and keeping the the facts of the 2nd enrollment in abeyance for another 45 days will probably have everyone assuming the worst. And they’ll probably be right.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    JFK assassin, Oswald, was a liberal Marxist who worshiped Castro and spent time living in the Soviet Union working in a radio factory.

    Another inconvenient truth.

    Here is how the revisionist history mavens and the media plays the game.
    Todays essay in the WaPost:

    “Essay: Tea party has roots in the Dallas of 1963″

    So the implication is the Tea Party and their ilk is responsible for JFKs death? Really?


    • hennorama

      WftC — you’re really on fire today. The linked essay was already posted by RWB, far below.


      • notafeminista

        As the headline of the essay nor your subsequent quote of it makes no mention of when during Dallas 1963 the Tea Party might have “rooted”, it would be at the very least, intellectually dishonest to assume anything came before or after a specific event of that year. However, this from the actual essay,

        “To find the very roots of the tea party of 2013, just go back to downtown Dallas in 1963, back to the months and weeks leading to the Kennedy assassination. It was where and when a deeply angry political polarization, driven by a band of zealots, burst wide open in America.”

        Paragraph in its entirely clearly states “leading to” thus making it prior to the event in question, and one might infer however correctly or incorrectly that the author of the essay is attempting (as so many others have) to link today’s Tea Party with a tragedy.

        • hennorama

          notafeminista — what nonsense.

          As the Tea Party Movement formed only quite recently, it cannot in any way have been responsible for the JFK assassination. This fact is in marked contrast to the original post from [WorriedfortheCountry], who wrote of an “implication [that] the Tea Party and their ilk [are] responsible for JFKs death.”

          That is clearly false, which is my point.

          • notafeminista

            I didn’t make up the quote. You tell me.

          • hennorama

            notafeminista — please explain your sentence “You tell me,” as its meaning is unclear.

      • brettearle


        I read the article–and although an intriguing mosaic of political connections with radical ideology (and well written, too), I have to agree that there is some political exploitation on the part of the essay, much less the Headline.

        I’m frankly surprised that the Post placed it–even though the article interested me.

        It’s also curious that no mention was made of Oswald’s attempt on Walker…..

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          “no mention was made of Oswald’s attempt on Walker”

          Good pickup.

          But it goes beyond political exploitation of the anniversary. It is quite vile. By implication they tie both Ted Cruz and the Tea Party to extremist activities like cross burning, Swastikas, and bomb threats.

          Also, there is a sort of a double level of propaganda here. Although they don’t state it, there is an implication that the hate and vitriol that existed in Dallas was somehow tied to the assassination. There is no evidence that Oswald was at all influenced by local politics. As you pointed out, Oswald may have tried to kill Walker.

          The irony (and that is the primary reason I posted it) is the politics of the assassin are the polar opposite of the Tea Party.

          • hennorama

            WftC – The “irony” is entirely in your own mind, since Oswald is never mentioned in the essay.

            Why? Because the essay is not about Oswald or the JFK assassination. It is simply detailing the political climate of “the Dallas of 1963,” and observing the similarities between that climate and the present national political climate, including the Tea Party Movement.

            Professor Minutaglio’s essay is adapted from the book ‘Dallas 1963,’ which he co-wrote with Steven L. Davis. The book describes, as one reviewer wrote, “the tedious, deadening politics of the time.”

            The essay does some of the same.

            This political climate had been present in Dallas for a number of years. For example, in an NR interview, Professor Minutaglio described an incident that happened in Dallas four days before the 1960 Presidential election, which was dubbed the “Mink Coat Mob Riot,” This was a protest organized by Dallas’ Rep. Bruce Alger, who held a sign that read “LBJ Sold Out to Yankee Socialists” during the protest.

            The protest turned very ugly, and according to Professor Minutaglio, from an October 2013 interview on NPR:

            “LBJ and Ladybird Johnson were attacked by a mob of Dallas’ leading citizens during a campaign stop in downtown Dallas. In the lobbies of the two finest hotels in Dallas, it was a melee: people swinging signs at them, they were spitting at them, people were pulling hat pins out of their hats and trying to stab people. It became known as the Mink Coat Mob Riot …”

            Of course, if the title of the book had been “Dallas 1960” or “Dallas 1962,” its sales prospects would be rather poor.

            Again, the essay is not about Oswald or the JFK assassination, but rather “the [political climate of the] Dallas of 1963.”




        • hennorama

          brettearle – TYFYR.

          As you know, the headline may not have been chosen by the author, Professor Bill Minutaglio. (Remember Mr. Romney’s infamous “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” op-ed headline?) It would be interesting to know who wrote the headline, as the Tea Party Movement is never mentioned in the essay itself.

          There is also no mention of Oswald whatsoever, so it seems unsurprising that there was no mention of “Oswald’s [alleged] attempt on [former General Edwin A.] Walker.”

          This essay was not about the JFK assassination. Rather, it compared the political climate of “the Dallas of 1963” with the present political climate. In “the Dallas of 1963,” the John Birch Society, and its members and supporters, held sway. There are significant similarities between then and now. That’s the point of the essay.

          There is also nothing indicating any, as [WorriedfortheCountry] wrote, “implication [that] the Tea Party and their ilk [are] responsible for JFKs death.”

          BTW, the essay was adapted from the recently released book “Dallas 1963,” written by Professor Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis. Here is an excerpt of the transcript of an interview of Professor Minutaglio, by Melissa Block of NPR, from this October:

          “BLOCK: Bill, what do you make of the fact that in the end, JFK is assassinated in Dallas, not at the hands of a right wing extremist, which is what they were fearing, but a self-described Marxist who had defected to the Soviet Union before coming to Texas, Lee Harvey Oswald.

          “MINUTAGLIO: Oswald was living in this hothouse environment, this overheated, increasingly vitriolic environment. Most people who have studied Oswald have suggested that he was somewhat of a malleable figure and an impressionable figure, and someone who wanted to make a statement. I believe now that as we look at him, that he had to be shaped by this almost civic hysteria in Dallas. And it was just perfect for someone like Lee Harvey Oswald to well up and become, as he perceived himself, an agent of change.”

          Of course, it may simply have been that Oswald loved Castro and Cuba’s version of socialism, and was really angry at Kennedy over the Bay of Pigs, and at former General Walker, who was vehemently anti-Communist.

          The interview, and further discussions of the book, can be found here:


          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Try paragraph 5 as notafeminista pointed out to you a couple hours ago below:

            “To find the very roots of the tea party of 2013,…”

            You do make a good point about the headline but they didn’t make it up from whole cloth as you suggest.

          • hennorama

            WftC — thank you. Appropriate corrections have been made.

            Regardless, it is impossible to conclude that your original post is valid, and that the author was implying “the Tea Party and their ilk is responsible for JFKs death.”

            That’s not supported by anything in the essay, and it is of course completely impossible for the TPM to be responsible for something that happened decades before its rather recent formation.

            The author’s point is that the political climate that was present in “the Dallas of 1963″ had significant similarities to some elements of the present political climate.

          • brettearle

            Thanks, Henn.

            I read your comment– but haven’t looked at the links. I saw the author earlier tonight, on “The News Hour.”.

            After WftC’s comment to me, I wrote the following and then retracted it–because I wanted to keep my ideas to myself. [I actually do more of that than I let on.]

            But because you `published’ what you did above, I reprinted my earlier comments, below.

            However, I should say, first, that, in my opinion the subtext, or the Elephant in the Room, in the article, is both Oswald, as well as the political climate in Dallas that might have been rife with fanaticism in 1963.

            I do not believe that it takes a leap of face to see that the article’s intent is to make a linkage–however loose it might be–between Right Wing Ideology today and its so-called Ancestry, there, in Dallas.

            The Headline only underscores that point and I don’t think that the Headline would have been chosen–if one strong angle of the piece didn’t imply it.

            But the guilt by association is a fascinating form of Fabulism. We all are less than 6 degrees of separation away from miscreants of all kinds.

            Herewith, my comment….albeit unfinished….

            “I’m sure you know that I wasn’t totally defending your position.

            Indeed, though, it is difficult to fully vet Oswald’s position–if he acted alone:

            Did he kill JFK because JFK had planned to kill Castro?

            Was Oswald’s motivation because JFK had stood down the Soviet Union–in the
            Missile Crisis?

            And, therefore, was Oswald swearing allegiance, as a Russian communist, yet again–even though the Soviet Union had rebuffed his search for party acceptance when he had sought political asylum?

            By taking a shot at Walker, was Oswald trying to pull off a demonstration shot for his backers–and, at the same time, possibly leaving a retroactive trail that might deflect political suspicion?

            Or was Oswald simply a crazed fanatic who could vacillate ideology at the
            drop of a new bumper sticker?

            Do not forget the supposed evidence that may have linked him to an
            anti-Castro movement as well.

            I agree that It is unfair to connect the Tea Party, by loose implication, to the

            But I do not agree that Right wing ideology was not strong in Dallas, at the
            time nor do I agree that right wing ideology in Dallas did not have factions that may have had similar views as the Tea Party.

            Nor do I agree that there are no political assassins or potential political
            assassins from the Right.

            JFK had many enemies.

            One approach that has been played down–though out there–were the radical malcontents within the CIA, not just for the Bay of Pigs fiasco. But also
            because of his restrained commitment in early VietNam policy that may have
            jeopardized CIA operatives.

            But I’d have to check on that.

            Then of course, Havana and the Mob and Judith Exner and the Mob.

            There was always the suspicion that Oswald was purposely put in public positions of protest that showed him advocating both sides.

            But Oswald was likely increasingly an unstable character–whose desperation may have motivated him to make an historic statement.

            [However the Parade Route conundrum just seems too coincidental and too convenient. And De Mohrenschildt's connections to Oswald are quite intriguing, indeed]

            The worst thing for all of us may have been Oswald’s failure at taking his own life in Russia:

            Because he turned the murderous aggression away from himself and redirected it–so that the impulse would interlock with his fanatical zealotry.

          • hennorama

            brettearle – putting the unmentioned Oswald, and the issue of the headline (as its origins are unknown) aside for a moment, consider this question:

            What if a sentence in the essay had been:

            “To find the very roots of the tea party of 2013, just go back to downtown Dallas in [1962], back to the [years and] months and weeks leading to the Kennedy assassination. “ ?

            The political climate in Dallas had been largely the same for several years prior to 1963.

            According to a review on dallasnews.com, the book from which the essay was adapted, ‘Dallas 1963,’ “opens three years before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.” In the book, the authors recount the Dallas political climate over the years, including the “Mink Coat Mob Riot,” which happened four days before the 1960 Presidential election. This was a protest organized by Dallas’ Rep. Bruce Alger, who held a sign that read “LBJ Sold Out to Yankee Socialists” during the protest.

            The protest turned very ugly, and according to Professor Minutaglio, from an October 2013 interview on NPR:

            “LBJ and Ladybird Johnson were attacked by a mob of Dallas’ leading citizens during a campaign stop in downtown Dallas. In the lobbies of the two finest hotels in Dallas, it was a melee: people swinging signs at them, they were spitting at them, people were pulling hat pins out of their hats and trying to stab people. It became known as the Mink Coat Mob Riot …”

            Of course, if the title of the book had been “Dallas 1960” or “Dallas 1962,” its sales prospects would be rather poor.

            Again, the essay is not about Oswald or the JFK assassination, but rather “the [political climate of the] Dallas of 1963.”

            The similarities between then and now are undeniable. However, in 1963, these specific politics were more localized and regional, whereas today they have become nationalized.

            The essay says this up front, in grafs 4 & 5:

            “If today’s extremist rhetoric sounds familiar, that’s because it is eerily, poignantly similar to the vitriol aimed squarely at John F. Kennedy during his presidency.

            “And just like today, Texans were leading what some of them saw as a moral crusade.”

            Nowhere does the author indicate that the TPM is somehow, as [WorriedfortheCountry] wrote, “responsible for JFKs death.” He doesn’t even indicate that the politics of “the Dallas of 1963” were responsible IN ANY WAY.

            The point is, as Minutaglio wrote, that “today’s extremist rhetoric sounds familiar, … because it is eerily, poignantly similar to the vitriol aimed squarely at John F. Kennedy during his presidency.”

            Thanks, as always, for your response.




    • jefe68

      There was no tea party back then.
      Only the John Birch society.

      Oswald was one confused individual.

      By the way you have a lot of f’n nerve writing all the BS on the anniversary of JFK’s assassination. Show some respect for his family at least. Or are you really this much of a low life.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        It was the WaPO that published this nonsense attack on the TeaParty by some academic pin head on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. Take up your gripe with the publishers of the WaPO.

        I’ve done nothing but praise JFK. Why would his family be upset with praise? Are they embarrassed by his politics? If so — not my problem.

        • StilllHere

          Ignore the nasty bully. Most do.

          • jefe68

            Oh that’s rich. Coming for one who spends his entire time on this forum being a troll.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Rose colored glasses and all political blinders affect your vision.

          • fun bobby

            I don’t know why all the downvotes I am impressed that you admit that you spend your entire time on this forum being a troll. I think that from time to time you even make non trollish comments so don’t sell yourself short

        • jefe68

          Why post it? It’s nonsense.
          JFK’s politics are that of a Democrat from the 1960′s. The right on this forum have been making these absurd attempts to paint him as a Conservative.

          Judging by how both his brother’s evolved politically from 63 onward, it’s pretty clear to me that the odds of JFK would have as well. One thing is for sure. JFK would not be anything near the political spectrum that you and all the extreme right wing who post on this forum lean towards.

          • pete18

            So let me get this straight, your argument that Kennedy wasn’t a conservative is based on your speculation of what he might have become after his death?

            What I like about your illogical argument is that it is an unwitting admission that while he was alive (the only time one can use to evaluate about where someone stood in the political spectrum) he was indeed a conservative.


        • John Cedar

          If JFK were alive today he would be a Tea Party member himself.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            JFK was the first supply-sider President.

          • TFRX


            Please stop trying to convert dead Democrats into Republicans.

            Stop the Neocon-crophilia Baptisms.

          • TFRX


            Please stop trying to convert dead Democrats into conservatives.

            Stop the Neocon-crophilia Baptisms.

        • hennorama

          WftC — The Tea Party Movement is never mentioned in the essay itself. Consider the possibility that Professor Bill Minutaglio may not have written the headline of the essay in WaPo. (Remember Romney’s “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” op-ed headline?) Your comments lead one to conclude that the headline is what you are most concerned about, and that it has heavily influenced your view of the essay. Perhaps you might reread the essay, without first reading the headline.

          This essay was not about either the JFK assassination or the Tea Party Movement. Rather, it compared the political climate of “the Dallas of 1963” with the present political climate. In “the Dallas of 1963,” the John Birch Society, and its members and supporters, held sway. There are significant similarities between that political climate, and some elements of the present one. That’s the point of the essay.

          As Professor Minutaglio concluded the essay, “Fifty years after Kennedy’s death, it is as if nothing has changed. As the nation continues to sift for meaning in his tragedy, this is the most aching lesson of all.”

          • notafeminista

            Funny how both the headline AND the essay both mention the tea party…capitalized or uncapitalized. Prof. Minutaglio may not have been referencing the tea party when he referred to the overheated and vitriolic political environment of 1963, but the author of the essay certainly inferred it – otherwise any mention of the tea party, capitalized or uncapitalized, is at best, extraneous.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            When referring to the political movement, the words Tea Party should be capitalized.

          • hennorama

            notafeminista – TY for your response.

            Funny how neither the headline nor the essay say anything remotely like “…the Tea Party and their ilk [are] responsible for JFKs death,” as the original post from [WorriedfortheCountry] indicated.

            That Professor Minutaglio’s essay compared the political climate of “the Dallas of 1963” with the present political climate, Tea Party Movement and all, is not in dispute.

            Funny how there has been no dispute of these two paragraphs in the essay, just prior to the mention of “the tea party of 2013″:

            “If today’s extremist rhetoric sounds familiar, that’s because it is eerily, poignantly similar to the vitriol aimed squarely at John F. Kennedy during his presidency.

            “And just like today, Texans were leading what some of them saw as a moral crusade.”

            Funny too how there has been no dispute of the essay’s concluding paragraph:

            “Fifty years after Kennedy’s death, it is as if nothing has changed. As the nation continues to sift for meaning in his tragedy, this is the most aching lesson of all.”

            Yes, that’s really “Funny.”

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            hennie, brettearle tried to help you out but you keep digging.

          • hennorama

            WftC — thank you for your response.

            Please explain as clearly as you can, exactly how you concluded that “the implication is the Tea Party and their ilk is responsible for JFKs death.”

            Please point to the specifics of the essay that led you to that very particular conclusion.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            It is clear as day that this article attempts to tarnish the image of the Tea Party and Ted Cruz.

            The article is outrageous and despicable. Any attempt to distract from calling out the propaganda will fail.

            You appear to have a forest vs. tree issue.

          • hennorama

            WftC — are you unable to articulate how you formed your conclusion? As you have made no attempt to do so, your words ring rather hollow.

          • notafeminista

            Funny maybe, but mostly emotionally manipulative. Political “vitriol’ existed long before the Kennedy administration, but somehow Leftists and Baby Boomers have assumed the mantle of martyrdom and demand we all be civil to one another even while scrounging Facebook for supposed theatre shooters (oopsie sorry about that) and suggesting on network television that ANYONE should deserve to be urinated and/or defecated in or upon for exercising his or her freedom of speech.

            PS: Both the headline and the essay speculate whether or not the tea party may have had its roots in Dallas 1963 in the weeks and months prior to the events of November. As you point out, the Tea Party is a comparatively recent. development. What then, do you propose the author of the essay was hoping to accomplish by mentioning an organization (however loosely defined) that by your own admission did not exist in 1963?

    • TFRX

      You really piled a lot of crap on your plate. Hope you brought a shovel.

  • StilllHere

    What are the boys at S&P saying about the shutdown now? Looks like America ignored it. Let’s do it again, this time for a month!!


  • pete18

    For those making the lame comparison to Bush’s medicare poll numbers in the quixotic hope that the Obamacare numbers will also go up over time, they won’t because the way the program is structured there is nothing but bad news ahead for it.

    Here’s one of the next shoes to drop, which has been predicted by us critics for years: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/insurers-restricting-choice-of-doctors-and-hospitals-to-keep-costs-down/2013/11/20/98c84e20-4bb4-11e3-ac54-aa84301ced81_story.html

  • OnPointComments

    One difference between John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama:

    JOHN F. KENNEDY, November 20, 1962: “It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now … Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.”

    CHARLES GIBSON: “…when the [capital gain] rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down. So why raise it at all…?”
    BARACK OBAMA: “Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”

    It brings to mind the old saying about cutting off one’s nose to spite the face. According to Barack Obama, the self-proclaimed ultimate arbiter of all that is fair, it is better to decrease government revenues and make the deficit larger than to decrease taxes.

    • TFRX

      You got a great sense of denial. Remember the 90% rate under Kennedy?

      • HonestDebate1

        It brought less revenue.

      • pete18

        Q: Supply sider, what kind of woman do you think I am?

        A: We’ve already established that now we’re just arguing over the rates.

    • Don_B1

      1) At the time President Kennedy made his comments on the tax rates, the top marginal rate was over 90%. The “Laffer Curve” tried to capture this, but for Mr. Laffer, and you apparently, the marginal tax rate is always above (to the right of the top of the curve that looks like one half of the McDonald’s Arch) the peak of the maximum tax revenue. This has not been true since before the Reagan tax reform of 1986. Tax cuts that reduce the maximum marginal rate to any value below 65% (or a higher level closer to 70%; Google Piketty and Saez).

      2) When Charles Gibson made his comment, he was talking about the year immediately following the lowering of the capital gains tax. Of course many investors owned a lot of stock that had appreciated a lot over many years and thus had accumulated large capital gains, which led them to continue holding that stock rather than sell and pay the tax due at the previously higher rate. So there was a surge in total capital gain tax revenue, but it was because there was a huge surge in the amount of long-held stock with large gains that was sold in that year following the rate reduction. But as soon as that “bubble” of stock selling ended, in a year or so, the amount of tax coming in dropped as a percentage of the total revenue from stock transactions to below what it had been before the capital gains tax was lowered.

      Bottom line: Tax revenue will be decreased with lower marginal tax rates when marginal rates are already below 65% and when capital gains rates are decreased below the rates on other earned income.

      In other words, you are cherrypicking to make anything near a reasonable sounding argument on the surface and, as usual with Republican idea supporters, you lie.

      • OnPointComments

        Not surprisingly, you missed the point.

        Barack Obama was given the premise by Charles Gibson that raising the capital gains rate would decrease revenues. How did Obama respond? Did he cite the Laffer Curve, or the effect on future years, or the relationship of capital gains rates to marginal rates? No, Obama said that he would raise the capital gains rate FOR PURPOSES OF FAIRNESS. Get it?

        GIBSON: “You have, however, said you would favor an increase in the capital gains tax. As a matter of fact, you said on CNBC, and I quote, ‘I certainly would not go above what existed under Bill Clinton,’ which was 28 percent. It’s now 15 percent. That’s almost a doubling, if you went to 28 percent. But actually, Bill Clinton, in 1997, signed legislation that dropped the capital gains tax to 20 percent. And George Bush has taken it down to 15 percent.

        “And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down. So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?”

        BARACK OBAMA: “Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”

  • Fredlinskip

    Filibuster issue still ain’t fixed.

    If our government is supposed to be for and by the people, why should 41% of Senate, representing states containing a very small fraction of the nation’s overall population, be allowed to prevent our government from functioning

    Masterminds behind GOP have doing EVERYTHING in their power to create a “do-nothing congress“- Americans be damned.
    In this they have been quite a success, as recent polls on Congress have illustrated.

    We have become a country run instead of:
    FOR THE PEOPLE (majority of) BY THE PEOPLE (majority of),

    to one of:

    It has never been like this before.
    If minority, through practices of gerrymandering (in House) and filibuster (In Senate), gets to pulls all the strings in Congress then:

    • StilllHere

      Why do you hate America?
      More often than not, doing-nothing is the right thing to do.

      • Fredlinskip

        Doing nothing is what current GOP does best, which is why Congressional ratings are so low.

        No other President has been subjected to this extreme interpretation of filibuster rule, where EVERYTHING requires 60 votes.

        GOP changed the rules- not Dems.

        • StilllHere

          Congressional approval ratings are low because of what they have done, not because of what they haven’t.

          Not everything requires 60 votes, unfortunately.

          • Fredlinskip

            Well at least Congress took care of the pressing Helium problem-
            I had been losing sleep about that.

    • TFRX

      I love the amnesia from our expert correspondents in the mainstream media.

      If I never hear one of them again blurb, “This bill won’t get 60 votes, so it’s not going anywhere, Diane (or Brian, or Scott)”, it’ll be too soon.

      • Fredlinskip

        Not following you.
        You don’t like hearing the truth repeated?

    • Don_B1

      It would be an extremely unlikely action, but, thinking of your point about the rural states increased power in the Senate in the light of this issue, it struck me that one way to have a “filibuster” rule while equalizing that power across the interests of the American people on a per capita basis would be for the cloture vote to give each senator the number of votes as there are representatives in his state. That way the more populous states would not be a the whims of the minority.

      You would see the secessionist movement boom, however.

    • fun bobby

      to distract the proles and keep them hating each other

  • HonestDebate1

    So last August the pre-election unemployment numbers came out and they were at an all time low for Obama. The number was below the 8% (new normal) milestone. The megaphone was full bore.

    At the time Jack Welch caught a ton of flack for tweeting: “Unbelievable job numbers. These Chicago guys will do anything… can’t debate so change numbers.”

    He didn’t back down.

    Rush was on record for months before that saying it was a given the numbers would be below 8% by the election:

    “And I want to remind you that I have warned you this kind of thing is going to happen. The unemployment number is going to precipitously drop and it’s going to get close to 8% by next November. Just mark my words. That’s in the can. It’s in the cards.” -Dec.20, 2011


    Expect the knives to come out for the guy who wrote the above. Given the history and the certain knowledge that Obama will lie to further his agenda, why would any sane person dismiss this allegation out of hand? It seems entirely plausible to me.

    • TFRX

      You lost a bunch of folks at “Entirely plausible to you”.

      But if you didn’t learn anything about anonymous sources from the all-smoke, no-fire of BenghaziGateGate, I can’t help you.


      It also claims that instances of bad data being filled in is something that was going back to 2010 — in other words, this is not a story about the infamous September 2012 jobs report. There’s also no allegation here that there was pressure to manipulate the number
      up. The only claim is that there was pressure to fill in gaps where there was a shortfall in the number of survey respondents.

      There may be more information to come to light on this, but at least this particular report doesn’t jibe with Welch’s claim that something unusual happened with the September report to artificially push the number down.

      Oh, and there’s this:

      CNBC senior economics reporter Steve Liesman reported that the worker named in the New York Post article has not worked for the Census Bureau since August 2011.

      • HonestDebate1

        Yea, it seems entirely plausible to me and an fair reading of your link reveals the author isn’t ruling it out either.

        Fair or not, it’s the bed Obama has made for himself. And yes, Benghazi is another example of a known lie to further an agenda.

        Seriously TF, would it have affected the election if the public had known that Al Qaeda was not “decimated” and had committed an act of war unrelated to the silly video, that millions of people would not be able to keep their plan or doctor as emphatically promised, and that the unemployment rate was NOT at record low under Obama?

        Of course it would have, so he lied.

      • hennorama

        TFRX — yet another example of a phony “scandal” based on speculation and anonymous sources.

        Ignored in the discussion is the stubborn fact of the persistent decline in the Federal unemployment rate since its peak in 2009, AND the fact that the rate has not exceeded 8.0 percent since August 2012.

        The chart of the rate since Jan. 2003 can be viewed here:


        • pete18

          Has not EXCEEDED 8.0 % since 2012? Now there is a record of success.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — had anyone claimed “a record of success,” you would have a point.

        • OnPointComments

          Also not ignored in the discussion is the stubborn fact that for the eight months from January 2012 through August 2012, the unemployment rate had declined a paltry 0.60%. Along comes the announcement of the September 2012 unemployment rate, the last before the election, and what happens? The unemployment rate declines a whopping 3.70%, six times the average for 2012 through August, and the second largest decline in the unemployment rate to date for the Obama presidency. The September 2012 announcement also takes the unemployment rate below 8% for the first time in 43 months.

          • hennorama

            OPC – TY for your response.

            Is it your contention that such slight differences constitute manipulation? If so, please note the following:

            For the eight months from January [2006] through August [2006], the unemployment rate had declined a paltry [0.00]%. Along comes the announcement of the September [2006] unemployment rate, the last before the election, and what happens? The unemployment rate declines a whopping [4.255]%, [infinity] times the average for [2006] through August. The September [2006] announcement also takes the unemployment rate below [4.6]% for the first time in [62] months.

        • HonestDebate1

          First of all 8% is awful, horrible, a disaster. Secondly, I did not accuse anyone of anything, I said it was plausible and it is. Third, looking at the U3 number is misleading at best. When there are fewer people looking for jobs and the universe of available jobs is going down, that can equal a lower unemployment rate. This also leaves out how many are working part time or taking pay cuts.

          The LFPR has not been this low in over 30 years, it cannot be ignored…. well maybe you can.

        • HonestDebate1

          “…yet another example …”

          There sure are a lot to defend.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Notice the response from Jay Carney. It wasn’t: “We find this unlikely BUT if it did happen it is outrageous. Therefore, we will conduct an immediate and thorough transparent investigation”.

      Instead the response was: “Remember what we did to you guys last time. We sent out our minions in the compliant press to marginalize and vilify you as kooks if you dared to broach this topic. Report on this at your own peril”.

    • Ray in VT

      Haha. Another phony. This one ginned up by a Murdoch rag. This one supposedly perpetrated in 2012 by a guy who left Census in 2011. That guy must be super powerful to manage that. Although, considering some of the ridiculous things that you have thrown your weight behind, it does not surprise me in the least that you would think that this particular piece of tripe to be “entirely plausible”.

      • HonestDebate1

        Yes, entirely.

        • Ray in VT

          Yes, an entirely phony scandal ginned up by a Murdoch rag. Good to see that you’ve seen the light.

          • HonestDebate1

            Coming from you who says the IRS,NSA, Benghazi, “keep your plan”. fast and furious. etc. are ALL phony scandals, it doesn’t mean much.

            I don’t know if the story is true but it’s entirely plausible. Ask Jack Welch, he didn’t gin up squat.

          • Ray in VT

            Again, considering what you consider to be plausible, based upon many of your past statements, that’s a pretty low bar. Obama should just change party affiliations. Then he could act with impunity, as Republicans never lie (based upon the only supposed dictionary definition). Only Democrats do.

            I’ve pretty consistently said that there are real issues there. It’s just a shame that the dingbats want to go out and try to spin it like “Obama’s fueling violence in Mexico to crack down on the 2nd Amendment here” or “Obama’s directing the IRS to go after his enemies” and such. It’s just pretty apparent to anyone who isn’t in that sort of true believer circle that a certain element of the American right wing is just right out to lunch.

            Did you ever find me that quote from Charlene Lamb saying that they had a drone providing Washington with video from Benghazi as the whole thing was going down?

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t care a thing about party. The fact that Obama lies and is incompetent is what bugs me.

            And yes, I gave you Lamb’s testimony.

          • Ray in VT

            Yet Republican lies don’t, even when they cost thousands of lives and trillions or dollars or when they spy on Americans without warrants.

            Yes, you provided a link, but I did not see any statement by her where she said what you said that she said, so please provide me with a quote from her where she said something to the effect that Washington had video feed from a drone throughout the attacks that would have allowed people there to watch the attack unfold. It should be pretty easy, as you claim to so thoroughly research things, although, having seen some of the fruits of such “research”, the quality of those outcomes is, as some have worded it, “not even wrong”.

          • HonestDebate1

            I hate lies, I don’t care who tells them and I am consistent. I say neither Bush nor the Clintons, Algore, Albright, Berger, Pelosi, Reid or any of them lied but you will not. You say Bush lied but no one else did. You refuse to say whether Obama lied about Obamacare. You can’t. And you want to talk about spying on Americans but give Obama a pass. That rich. No, you’re way too ideological to be taken seriously.

            Now, regarding Charlene Lamb, first realize what I said. You are bad about telling me I said something I never did like the petition project was hard science for one example. Here’s another :”as you claim to so thoroughly research things”. I’m thorough but I never made that claim. I can be wrong but just not as often as you.

            It’s on this thread:


            And here’s the quotes from your masters:


            It’s amazing the lengths you will go to to change the subject. I will never understand the charge of disliking someone just because. It’s stupid. I have reasons, good ones.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s funny that you hate lies, but excuse the Bush lies. I have cited evidence previously regarding why I think that particular statements were lies, yet you just try to say that if Bush was lying than everybody was, despite the fact that Bush made statements contrary to intelligence information that had emerged, and were in some way unrelated to statements made by others, years after statements made by those in the late 1990s.

            As I have said, I could make any argument that I would like, but I just prefer to use the definition of lie, which you continually lie about how it is the only standard, that you use for Republicans, as I just want to make it apples to apples.

            You calling someone too ideological to be taken seriously is indeed rich, considering the bogus, conspiracy ridden nonsense that you push on a regular basis.

            Regarding that thread you said there that “There was a drone, there was a video. The DOJ had it but obviously the White House can’t be bothered” and “Hannity … may have said the State Department was but he qualified it
            by saying ACCORDING TO TESTIMONY! Look up Charlene Lamb.” and then that “they (the White House) could have called the pentagon though” to which I in part responded “Oh, so they just had access to it, but chose not to watch it? Is that your position based upon Forbes and Fox?” and you replied ”

            That was the testimony of Ms Lamb.”

            So, are you saying, then, that the testimony of Ms. Lamb indicated that Washington had real time video access of the attack? That certainly seems to be your position. If it is, then please supply a quote from her testimony to that effect. My position is that such video did not exist in real time. Do you disagree?

            You’re right about stuff? I guess that that probably happens sometimes, but seeing as how you can’t even read the dictionary correctly and pass along unflattering reports of black on white crime put out by racists, then it certainly does surprise me when it happens on some topics.

          • HonestDebate1

            Whatever dude. You’re looking silly. Do you want to seriously talk about evidence to the contrary? There was all kinds of evidence Benghazi was a terrorist attack and none that there was a protest; there was all kinds of evidence you could not keep your plan and rates would not go down; there was all kinds of evidence Gitmo couldn’t be closed or that the Cambridge police didn’t act stupidly; and on and on etc., etc, forever. You’ve got to be kidding. The vast preponderance of the evidence was that Hussein had WMD, we had no way to verify for 5 years and it was a post 9/11 world. There is ALWAYS contrary evidence, duh!! That you can say Bush should have taken one piece and disregarded the rest is absurd. But I can see why you will die before you will examine Obama in the same light, ideology. And you are going back to the tired claim about the late 90′s when I gave you a gazillion Democrat quotes from 2002 and 2003. Why must you lie?

            And you are not using a definition of lie. You are cherry picking something out of your butt. It’s the same thing as the alleged Bush lies. a thousand definitions are consistent but you choose to make up one and take it as gospel. Fine.

            I never said they were watching it in the White House. Never. Are you denying there was a drone video? Really? And I gave you a media matters link with the quote. Is that not good enough? Or are you sticking with the lie that I said they were watching it from the White House?

            The fact is the President could have moved mountains with a modicum of concern. He can watch your brother milking his cows if he wants to. I think he was passed out drunk… not your brother, Obama.

          • Ray in VT

            Thanks, once again, in totally ignoring the arguments and evidence that I have made and presented in favor of your predetermined line of argument. That’s not honest debate, but, then again, that isn’t really your thing, despite your false claims.

            I am using the definitions in the dictionaries, not just picking the definition that I like and think makes sense and claiming that it is the only one. Face it dude, your position that “by any definition one must know that one is lying in order to be lying” or whatever is, according to several dictionary definitions, a lie in an of itself. The dictionaries say that you’re wrong, but if you want to stick to that lie because it gives you comfort or makes sense to you or something, then whatever. Live a lie. Just don’t expect others to believe it or accept it, as it does not reflect reality.

            My position isn’t that there was a video to watch. I was, as anyone on here with an ounce of sense could tell, making fun of the dopes in the right-wing circle jerk sites and blogs that have pushed every moronic conspiracy theory out there regarding Benghazi and the President in general.

            Are you saying that Ms. Lamb said that there was a video that allowed them to watch the attack in real time? Your comments suggest that you think that that is the case. If that is the case, then please give me her words to that effect.

            Please also spin me another yarn about how the President and the administration did nothing, likely based upon an anonymous Fox “witness”. Perhaps you’d like to stick by 60 Minute’s mercenary. A bunch of the ‘baggers seemed pretty wet for him until it turned out that he was a fraud.

          • HonestDebate1

            97% of all definitions of lie include intent. You’re so silly!

            Defend the Benghazi debacle all you want. And yes there was a live feed from the drone at the Pentagon as there is for every drone, everywhere, every time. I never said they were watching it in the White House but they could have if there was concern. It’s a joke that you are now citing 60 minutes. My position has been consistent from far before last week. Why hasn’t Obama made the witnesses available? They exist. The conspiracy was the allegation that it was a video repeated for weeks. Obama is not engaged. Look at the famous picture of the situation room the night they got Bin Laden. Obama isn’t even at the table. He stopped by for a picture.

            The guy is an embarrassment and his Presidency is crumbling. You are too invested to see the truth.

          • Ray in VT

            That stat doesn’t match up with what I have seen in the dictionaries that I have seen. Did you pull that, along with your assertion “there was a live feed from the drone at the Pentagon as there is for every drone, everywhere, every time”, straight out of your behind? I can only imagine how far you must have had to bend over and how deep you had to dig for those nuggets.

            It’s pretty funny to see how you ignore and excuse the intelligence failures, and even the outright lies, of the Bush administration that led to thousands of American deaths, yet also ignore the intelligence failures and uncertainties of the Obama administration that resulted in zero deaths. Just more (dis)honest debate. Follow your own advice and wipe the hate from your eyes.

            I am very interested in facts, but just not the subjective Truths that ideological fanatics such as yourself choose to peddle. Look at yourself, dude. You can’t even honestly present the plain language of the dictionary without running it through some sort of bizarro filter that transforms the meanings to mean what you want them to mean. It’s just sad, but it is what I have come to expect.

          • HonestDebate1

            More BS. I have never ever ever never ever excused intelligence failures of the Bush administration. I said he didn’t lie. Intelligence failures are not lies. The difference is the intent to deceive. And there was zero zip nada intelligence failure in Benghazi. There was no credible evidence of a protest over a video and there was tons of compelling evidence it was a terrorist attack. BTW, it was a terrorist attack. They lied.

            I got your plain language right here, put it through your bizarro filter. I’m not doing this again but be clear, you are the one ignoring the plain language of every single dictionary I could find. It really is unbelievable that you are still clinging to this. But again, it’s all semantics until you bring it into context and you refuse to say Democrats lied (IN 2002-3!!!) or Obama lied while you also refuse to explain the difference.

            A lie is a false statement to a person or group made by another person or group who knows it is not the whole truth, intentionally.

            The Free Dictionary:
            1. A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood.
            2. Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.

            Dictionary dot com:
            1. a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood. Synonyms: prevarication, falsification. Antonyms: truth.
            2. something intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture: His flashy car was a lie that deceived no one.

            an intentionally false statement


            1: to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive
            2: to create a false or misleading impression

            To deliberately say something that is not true

            to say or write something that is not true in order to deceive someone

            1: to deliberately tell someone something that is not true:


            1 A falsehood uttered or acted for the purpose of deception; an intentional violation of truth; an untruth spoken with the intention to deceive.

            Tell an untruth; pretend with intent to deceive

            American Heritage:
            To present false information with the intention of deceiving.

            to speak untruthfully with intent to mislead or deceive

            Vocabulary dot com:
            tell an untruth; pretend with intent to deceive

          • Ray in VT

            Got it. Intelligence failures under Bush are mistakes. Intelligence failures under Obama are lies. When Bush makes statements at odds with the assessment of the intelligence community, then that’s okay, as is warrantless surveillance of Americans. Must be nice to be a Republican so that one can get away with such lies and deceptions that cost thousands of lies and have people go to the mat for you for years after the fact. What a nice cocoon blind ideology must be. I wouldn’t know.

            Hey, all of that plain language is great, but those aren’t the only definitions. You have conveniently left out the definitions that say nothing about intent. Just more ideological blinders I guess. Do you actually see the other definitions, or does your faith preclude you from even seeing the words on the screen or page? It must be amazing to just ignore what one does not believe in order to attempt to make even something like the dictionary fit into one’s warped view of things.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m so sorry, I must not have been clear. THERE WAS NO INTELLIGENCE FAILURE IN BENGHAZI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Ray in VT

            Turning on your caps lock and tossing in 20 or so exclamation points doesn’t allow you to disregard the conflicting initial accounts and intelligence that suggested otherwise. Such tactics may work on Rushbo’s show or at a Tea Party rally, but it doesn’t work when one is attempting to debate the facts. Although given your history of the selective use and recognizing of facts, I don’t think that concern for facts is very high on your list of priorities.

          • HonestDebate1

            Rush is radio you can’t use caps. And there wasn’t much conflict after 24 hours. There certainly wasn’t an intelligence failure. There was a security failure, there was a military failure and there was a a colossal failure of leadership.

          • Ray in VT

            There were conflicting accounts, and the video that disproved the accounts that pointed towards an initial protest was not available for another 17-20 days, so how was there no conflict?

          • HonestDebate1

            I am not going to give you the quotes but the CIA, the Libyan President, the warnings beforehand, the previous attempts, the first anniversary of 9/11 since the crazies took over, the pleas for more security, the weapons used and many other factors pointed to a terrorist attack. It was a terrorist attack.

            But again, that’s not my issue. If there were conflicting accounts, where did they come from? Who on the ground in Benghazi blamed the video? I dispute your claim to the extent that if their were conflicting accounts they were not nearly as credible as the evidence of a terrorist attack. We were told with certainty that it was the video. They conveyed false and misleading information. I think they knew it was false and misleading meaning they lied but you don’t need that extra level to say it was a lie. So this time take me literally, by ANY definition they lied.

            Where am I wrong? Or will you say they lied? Will you at least say it was a lie?

          • Ray in VT

            I reject your rejection of the conflicting accounts. It seems as though, seeing as how you are all over things, that you would know all about them. Interesting that you don’t. Much about the attack certainly had a different character than the events that were then unfolding in Egypt over the video, but facts about what it was that happened at the outset of the event and the motivations of the attackers on that night were not clear.

            You take issue with these accounts, yet you seem to totally defend that seemingly shaky reports and allegations, and even the outright lies, upon which the invasion of Iraq was based. How interesting…

            Given your favorite definition of lie, please tell me how, given the conflicting accounts that existed, how you can prove intent, and I do mean prove not infer, because to prove intent I believe that you would have to prove that the administration knew that there was no protest prior to the retrieval of the consular video.

            As is possible in many situations, one can say that it is a lie or not based upon which definition one uses, which is likely to be influenced by what one thinks of the administration. Based upon the conflicting accounts, I cut the Obama administration the same slack that I cut the Bush administration regarding WMDs in Iraq. Both the video line and the WMD line had evidence for and against. Both were wrong. One cost 4,500 Americans to die in an ill conceived invasion. The other cost zero lives, yet some only want to harp on that latter one that was equally as wrong, but yet did not lead us to invade another country or sacrifice thousands of lives.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yadda yadda, Iraq again. I am consistent. Neither Bush nor the gazillion Democrats lied. You not so much. You still can’t apply the same criteria across the ideological aisle. And now you want proof of intent? Why? It’s not required, they lied either way. Is that not what you have been preaching? Until you can take a stand, you should just quit.

            Will you say they lied? Will you at least say it was a lie? Or better yet, will you say it wasn’t a lie, after all they didn’t know for sure for 17-20 days right? Pick a position and be consistent, will you? You’re in a pickle.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, you just gotta keep on harping on your anti-Obama b.s. and ignoring the far worse things that Bush did. Typical. Bush lied. Thousands died. Oh, he didn’t lie? So when he said things that were at odds with the assessment of the intelligence community, months after those assessments were made, then those weren’t lies? Show me that the Democrats who also spoke on those issues had access to those intelligence assessments, and I’ll label them as liars too.

            I’m being pretty consistent, and I have taken a position. I am in no pickle at all, except the one that you imagine, based upon arguments that you accuse me of making that I am not making.

            Your position is that one must know that one is lying in order to be lying. If you want to hold Bush and Co. to that standard, then apply it to Obama or be a miserable hypocrite. You say that they lied either way. Based upon the definition that you state is the only one, then they were not based upon the evidence. Please explain this logical discrepancy. Your positions are inconsistent with the facts.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes they had access. If you want a name of a Democrat, George Tenet. But the leadership had access as well. Hillary knew from her tenure as First lady. The list goes on.

            No it’s your position that they lied either way, not mine. I say he knew he was lying and if he din;t then he didn;t lie. It’s you who won’t take a position.

            Will you say Obama lied? Will you at least say he told a lie? Or better yet, will you say it wasn’t a lie, after all they didn’t know for sure for 17-20 days right? Pick a position and be consistent, will you? You’re in a pickle.

          • Ray in VT

            Please provide the evidence that they had access. So, Hilary knew from her time as First Lady that the intelligence community was saying that the Bush administration’s star informant on supposed Iraqi links to Al Qaeda was lying to them and intentionally misleading them in 2002? How does that work?

            It is not my position that they lied either way. Please tell me when I have said so. I have merely cited valid dictionary definitions which you have told me do not mean what they clearly say that they mean. I have taken a position. The only pickle that I am in is the feebly constructed one that you have created with arguments that you say that I have made that I have not. Please, tell me how Bush’s intelligence failures are not lies and Obama’s intelligence failures are lies? I am not the one calling one a liar while, at the same time, saying that another is not.

          • HonestDebate1

            I already told you there were no intelligence failures in Benghazi. None.

            You won’t say squat about Obama. You refuse to say he lied or say he didn’t lie about Benghazi. You just flat out will not take a stand because you can’t. If intent is not required, if “Anything misleading” is a lie as you cited, then by YOUR own criteria Obama had to have lied whether he knew he was conveying false information or not.

            Would Wesley Clark have been informed, or how about the President of France?

            “There’s no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat… Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He’s had those for a long time. But the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11th of 2001… He is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn’t have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we.” — Wesley Clark on September 26, 2002

            “What is at stake is how to answer the potential threat Iraq represents with the risk of proliferation of WMD. Baghdad’s regime did use such weapons in the past. Today, a number of evidences may lead to think that, over the past four years, in the absence of international inspectors, this country has continued armament programs.” — Jacques Chirac, October 16, 2002

            “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.” — Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002

            “I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons…I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out.” — Clinton’s Secretary of Defense William Cohen in April of 2003

            Did Obama lie about Benghazi? Did he tell the truth? Are you saying it was the video?

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, I’m just gong to take your word for it about Benghazi, because you’re a good, reputable source of information. Bull. I get it. You deny those initial accounts of a protest. It flies in the face of the anti-Obama narrative that you like to push night and day, and it undermines your charge of lying by the administration, but that doesn’t mean that you get to just declare that those accounts don’t exist. Just like you don’t get to decide what is in the dictionary.

            I’m pretty sure that I have taken a stand repeatedly, and I have made my rationale quite clear. Try reading my comments again. Perhaps they just don’t want to sink in through your ideological veil.

            Wow, you really took it to me there. You really devastated an argument that I wasn’t even making. Congratulations. You truly are the master debater around here. Your comparison of what I have cited versus the points where I have charged the Bush administration with lying isn’t even wrong. A correct analogy would be a politician saying that the world has not warmed over the past several decades despite the scientific community has said that it is has.

            Please tell me who has argued for there having been an initial protest that led to the attack, although people on the ground said that the attackers told them that they were angry about the video. I mean, it’s not like people in the Obama administration are still barking up that tree, like how Bush officials stood by their guns on WMDs and Al Qaeda links long after those issues were clearly disproven.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who on the ground IN BENGHAZI said it was a protest over the video? There was no protest in Benghazi. Do you know why we did not have access to the site for weeks after the attack? We had a Libyan President who was on our side. He was denouncing terrorism, he was trying to help. He happened to be right, don’t discount that. Obama stuck a finger in his eye and went with the video meme which made the video famous. The Libyan President was furious and denied us access. The CIA said it was a terrorist attack. BTW, they were right.

            So back up your claim, who on the ground in Benghazi said it was a video protest and stood by tat claim for 2 weeks while Obama parroted it?

            Or not, but I have a question. Did Obama lie? Did he tell the truth?

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe the people who were interviewed in Benghazi in the days following the attack. The Libyan Prime Minister also said some days after the incident that the attackers hijacked a protest. So, was he lying too? Intelligence coming out of the CIA suggested a protest, unless you think that the talking points that came out of the CIA in the days following were also lies created by the administration.

            I think that I have been clear regarding whether or not I think that the President lied. Check again. Maybe you just don’t remember it, as you seem to have a pretty porous memory.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who on the ground in Benghazi said it was a video? What people?

            And no, I don’t remember. Is it that hard to say? Did he lie? Did he tell the truth? Was he not lying because he conveyed false information without knowing it was false?

          • Ray in VT

            The people who were interviewed and reported upon in the news media, jackass. Also, again, try reading my comments, and try not to actually understand what I am saying before spouting off and telling me that I am saying something that I am not saying, again. Maybe you’ll understand if you really want to.

            You seem to want to say that he lied by conveying “false information without knowing that it is false”. That is valid according to some definitions. That is not a standard that I generally like, but it is valid. I merely object to you using that standard for Obama and not for Bush. My problem is your selective application of such a standard.

            Congratulations on your 10,000th comment, BTW. It is truly an amazing feat.

          • HonestDebate1

            I have not seen anyone on the ground in Benghazi that said it was a protest over the video. I was asking for specificity.

            And no, I am saying Obama did know. I don’t think he’s an idiot. I am also saying Bush did not know what he was saying wasn’t true. Further I am saying there was overwhelming evidence to support Bush’s view that had been echoed by the world and there were no inspectors for 4 years in a post 9/11 word. I am applying the same standard to Bush and Obama. you, not so much. If you apply the same standards to Obama then he lied. Deny it.

            Did Obama lie? Did he tell the truth?

          • Ray in VT

            I guess that you just haven’t sought out that information. Please educate yourself on the issue. As with many news stories, when reporters interview people on the street, names are not given, or the generalized sentiment of those talked to is given.

            He has sequestered all witnesses? That would probably be news to the people who have testified.

            So, you are saying that Obama “knew”. Please provide evidence that proved that there was no initial protest. The Libyan P.M. said that there was. Is he a liar?

            I have provided evidence that certain statements that were made by the administration to build the case for invading Iraq were not believed by the intelligence community for months prior to top administration officials publicly making that statements. You are making another case. It is like claiming that the CBO has said that the cost of the ACA has tripled, when those figures cover a different time frame and don’t even come from the CBO. It seems pretty elementary to me. You, apparently, not so much.

          • HonestDebate1

            Ray, there was no protest in Benghazi. We now know this. I did not ask for names.


            Of Course there were certain statements, I never denied that … and then there was the vast majority but one thing they all agreed on, there was no verifiable way to know for sure.

            And nice pinball but you lost the ACA argument too. I proved the numbers came from CBO but you just ignore the part of the total (implementation cost, etc.) That also came from the CBO via the select committee.

          • Ray in VT

            “We now know this”. Exactly. Now, not then. You did not ask for names? I certainly thought that you might be asking for such, based upon your statement “Who on the ground in Benghazi said it was a video? What people?”

            So there were statements suggestions a protest, quite possibly related to the video? How do you define “vast majority”, and what are your sources for that? You also like to point out how much evidence that there was suggesting the presence of WMDs in Iraq, yet you don’t accuse Bush of lying about that. An interesting lack of consistency regarding labeling presidents liars.

            Nope. I did not lose that argument. Where exactly did you prove that the numbers came from the CBO? You gave me a number from a report with nothing but GOP names on it and then called the Democratic counter argument partisan propaganda or something. Again, that is not honest debate. When comparing similar circumstances and time periods the CBO numbers have been pretty consistently within the same range.

            Declaring that the GOP numbers, which did not come from a CBO report that compared circumstances and time frames, are CBO numbers doesn’t win an argument. It just makes you a dupe for buying more GOP spin.

          • HonestDebate1

            If there was no protest then there were no eyewitnesses to a protest. So the administration said with certainty it was a protest of the video gone amuk. Based on what? Some alleged interview with some alleged person on the street who had to be lying? That’s what trumped the CIA, President of Libya, the surveillance cameras and Chris Stevens? Alrighty then.

            The numbers came from the CBO. Believe what you want.

          • Ray in VT

            So, you are judging the administration to be lying based upon evidence that was then not available, and why are you not answering the question as to whether or not the Prime Minister of Libya was lying when he said that terrorists hijacked the protest at the consulate? You want to tout his statement linking the attack to terrorists, but you ignore that he said that there was a protest. Curious. Please also tell me how one can use the security video from the consulate to prove that there was not a protest prior to it having been retrieved?

            The numbers were cooked by the Republicans. It’s that simple. It doesn’t surprise me that you would stick by that lie either, based upon your history. Believe their numbers if you want to, but to call them CBO numbers is a lie, even if you believe it.

          • HonestDebate1

            I am saying they knew it was a terrorist track that night. I am saying they knew there was no protest tot the video that night. They lied.

            You are confusing the Prime Minister with some interior ministry official who was certainly lying. Duh. There was no protest despite the certainty expressed by Washington. The Prime minister said it was a terrorist attack.

          • Ray in VT

            So, given that people at the scene said that there was some sort of protest, and that video from the compound was not available for some time, then please explain how they “knew”. Got it, once again, bad intel under Obama: lies. Bad intel, or even statements directly in contradiction to intelligence assessments under Bush: not lies. At least you are consistent in your hypocrisy.

            I am mistaken. It was the Libyan President, not the Prime Minister. So he is a liar?

          • HonestDebate1
          • Ray in VT

            He was certainly of a different mind as to whether or not there was a protest earlier. So was he lying then?

          • HonestDebate1

            BTW, calm down. Don’t get your feelings hurt just because you’re in a pickle. This isn’t the first argument you’ve lost, no biggee.

          • Ray in VT

            For my feelings to get hurt, then I would need to feel that I have somehow been bested. Considering that all that you have done is repeatedly misrepresent my position and then argue based upon that misrepresentation, I merely think that you are being obtuse, either intentionally or otherwise. Just keep on believing what you want to believe. That certainly seems to be you m.o.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

          • HonestDebate1

            I really must reiterate how strange your position is. Foremost in the total lack of context with reality. You can make up all the definitions you want to but unless you can apply them to the facts, they are meaningless. But you refuse to say whether Obama has lied.

            And your accusation that I am the one who can’t read a dictionary when I have given you pages of evidence and you have give me squat it truly bizarre. It seems to me, if I can give you multiple definitions, all first and second ones, then you are the one ignoring them. Not me.

            It is impossible to lie without knowing you are lying. Maybe your extreme confusion is grammar. As a noun a lie needs no intent. A lie is a lie. But as a verb, it requires a deliberate intent to deceive as I have documented ad nauseum. But you accused Bush of lying, that’s a verb. So maybe you can find some comfort in the fact that it is possible to tell a lie (noun) and not be lying (verb) but only if you don’t know it’s a lie (noun). But you are hung there too because you say intent is not required so that anytime some one is innocently wrong or mistaken then they are lying. So if Obama was blaming the video because that’s what he believed to be true then he was telling a lie (noun) and since, in your mind, intent to deceive is not required then he was lying (verb) but you won’t say that. you will not apply the she logic to Democrats. But I have.

            Happy Thanksgiving anyway.

          • Ray in VT

            I am not ignoring anything. I have not made the sort of exclusionary statement that you have. I recognize the definitions that you have given, but I, and the dictionaries, do not recognize that what they say requires intent in all cases. You seem to be of the opinion that there is a definitive definition and explanation that can be applied to all cases. It’s a black and white take on the world, and like most absolute positions, it is doomed to be wrong some of the time. The fact is that differing definitions can allow some people to view a statement as a lie, while another person using another relevant definition can define it as not being a lie. Thems just the facts of the world in which we live.

            I find your logic to be extremely bizarre. So, one can be a liar but not have told a lie? Good luck getting that to pass muster in a course on logic or, even, with just about anyone with any sense, common or otherwise.

            You claim that as a verb lie required intent. You are most definitely wrong. Take, for instance, these definitions of lie as a verb:

            An inaccurate or false statement; to express what is false — Random House

            A false statement or action, especially one made with intent (note that it says especially. That is not a requirement); anything that gives or is meant to give a false impression — Webster’s New World Dictionary

            Anything misleading — Chambers 21st Century Dictionary.

            There you have them. Definitions of lie as a verb that do not require intent, thereby proving your statement that one must know that one is lying or order to be lying to be false. Should you continue to make such an assertion, based upon the fact that you have been enlightened as to evidence to the contrary, despite any belief that you may have on the subject, then you will be lying. Such a statement as you have made is false and misleading.

          • HonestDebate1

            You said I could not read a dictionary, that I was inventing words that didn’t exist. That position is only possible if you ignore what all the dictionaries say. The irony is you would be in a much better position to defend Obama’s lies (your passion) if you could say he had no intent to deceive. In fact that seems to be your defense of the Benghazi lie with your claim of uncertainty. You’re in a pickle.

            I can’t believe you are still clinging to this. You are now reduced to trying to hold me to the literal interpretation of the cliche’, “by any definition”. Fine. Silly but fine. Maybe you think my saying 97% was backtracking. You have lost the argument if only for the reason you still refuse to put it in real world context and say whether Obama lied or if not, why not. I am bored with this and feel like you are flailing. I don’t have a great need to continue… but this is too delicious. I’ll even go the extra mile. I’ll take them in reverse order.

            I would suggest you toss the Chambers dictionary in the garbage. “Anything misleading”?! A mirage in the desert is misleading. And how is it possible that it describes a verb? It’s describing a noun. Anything is a thing not an action. Are you sure you read that right?

            Ditto Webster. If we omit what you would like to omit then it is describing a noun. So if it said, “A false statement or action; anything that gives a false impression” then it’s clearly describing a noun. The ONLY way it describes a verb is by looking at the totality, “made with intent” and “meant to give”. It does say simply “to give” as well but again that is absurdly broad. Obama said there were 57 states, that gave a false impression but it wasn’t a lie. And don’t tell me it was a misstatement, that’s irrelevant if we use your interpretation. Anything is anything and you have steadfastly refused to explain the difference between a misstatement and a lie. Very obviously that difference is intent.

            Since Random House is not online (I couldn’t find it), I strained my back by taking the very large hardcover of “The Random House Dictionary of the English Language” (the unabridged version) off the shelf. You gave me the sixth definition. You ignored the others. On page xxix (V. A.)guide to the dictionary section states:

            “The most common part of speech is listed first, and the most frequently encountered meaning appears as the first definition for each part of speech. Specialized senses follow, and rare, archaic and obsolete senses are are usually listed at the end of their part of speech group.”

            You have ignored the first definitions that I cited.

          • Ray in VT

            See, once again it is entirely useless arguing facts with you. I have presented definitions with which you disagree, and you just want to throw them out or explain them away (it says that it’s a verb but without intent it’s really a noun). Face it. You’re wrong. Treat it as a noun. Treat it as a verb. Either way valid definitions say that intent is not necessary.

            You seem to be under the mis-impression that we are arguing about something that the President said. We are not (at least I am not). I am arguing the correct point that valid dictionary definitions say that intent is not necessary for something to be a lie.

            You accuse me of flailing, yet I am not the one wanting to throw out or ignore certain dictionary definitions. I guess that once again you have steeped yourself so much in your own positions/opinions that you have been blinded to facts. It seems that nothing is less unclear than the dictionary, yet you still fail to comprehend that your position is not in line with some valid definitions, ergo intent is not necessary for something to be a lie. Live with it.

          • HonestDebate1

            A noun is a person place or thing.

            You can sit on a couch and you can couch false claims in scientific jargon. These things matter.

            Forgive me for being elementary but your second to last sentence is so bizarre I felt it necessary. The clear meaning of the dictionary is the many first and second definitions that all agree; the fact that every dictionary cites intent. it is not hard to comprehend at all. It is your framing that requires cherry-picking and scrutiny to come up with. You say intent is not necessary for something to be a lie. I absolutely agree and have never disputed that fact. But intent IS required to lie. I know nouns and verbs are confusing.

            Having said that, I surrender. Have it your way. When Obama said he went to 57 states he was lying. When he said he would close gitmo he was lying. When he said Benghazi was caused by a video he was lying. When he said the website would work he was lying. He was lying anytime he ever said anything false. He was lying anytime he ever misspoke. Fine, if that’s the way you want it.

          • Ray in VT

            I am familiar with the basic parts of speech, thank you. I can also read a dictionary. Several dictionaries define lie as a verb where intent is not required. Intent is not required in order to lie. No matter how you want to explain it away, that is just a fact.

            I have previously given examples of what I think is the difference between being wrong and lying, even if you continue to ignore those examples. I am merely arguing that your position is not factually correct, and given that, by using differing definitions, people can validly describe something as being either a lie or not. I know. Reality is confusing. The gray area that exists in the world is confusing. Keep on trying, though. Maybe you can struggle through it.

            I am not arguing that any of those are lies. I would likely argue that those are misstatements and not lies. I am merely arguing that valid dictionary definitions would allow one to describe those statements as lies if one was so inclined. I am arguing against your position that one must know that one is lying in order to be lying, and the dictionary supports me, as it is my position that believing something that is false does not excuse one. If one is an American adult who has had at least one decent science class, and one argues that the world is flat, no matter how firmly and sincerely one holds that belief, then it is still a lie, and one is a liar for repeating it, given how blatant the falsehood is. Believing a blatant lie doesn’t get one off of the hook in my book, and the dictionary supports such a position.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    I gave careful thought to posting this here. Bill Mckenzie’s comments, as well as the very different responses to Professor Minutaglio’s essay convinced me that this topic needs to be discussed.

    MARTIN BASHIR: Last Friday, on this broadcast, I made some comments which were deeply offensive and directed at Governor Sarah Palin. I wanted to take this opportunity to say sorry to Mrs. Palin and to also offer an unreserved apology to her friends and family, her supporters, our viewers, and anyone who may have heard what I said.


    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      A response from Jim Gareghty of NRO:

      Perhaps the treatment of Palin most clearly represents the contradiction between how liberals see themselves and how they actually behave and think. They like to think of themselves as being tolerant, understanding, intellectual, rational, the “reality-based community.” And then when you mention Palin’s name, a bunch of ‘em snarl, spit, sneer, and their eyes bulge with rage — all for a woman who’s been out of office since 2009 and who shows no sign of returning to it again.

      • JGC

        Sarah Palin has always delighted in throwing verbal bombs at the expense of certain sectors of the American public, with the goal in mind of energizing her ultraconservative base. There is no sacred area that cannot be mined for Palin’s political points: slavery, the Holocaust and Hitler, Catholic theology, etc. All fair game in her mind. She can write, speak and tweet her lightly considered comments that cut those affected communities to their core, and then when some get overwrought and respond back in anger, she retreats to her safety zone, letting Team Palin fight back for her honor and reputation.

        This most recent contretemps I haven’t followed, but there are plenty of others in her past. Bashir has apologized profusely, with much regret for his words and without any excusing qualifiers. I am not aware of Palin ever,ever giving an unqualified apology for her many, many verbal transgressions. Ever. When she does make apologies, they are always couched in terminology reflecting her mindset: “I am sorry that the media has twisted my words”.

        If some people snarl, spit, sneer and have eyes bulging with rage, maybe some have cause to do so. Few expect communities to be tolerant, understanding and rational when it comes to equating their ethnic or religious tragedies with such profoundly crass and transparent moves on the political chess board, as made routinely by Sarah Palin.

        OK, moving to other subjects, RWB,knowing you are a Tea Party member: I spent some time in western PA recently. One of the things that disturbed me was the local Tea Party has been instructing the local private high school on the Constitution. The county Tea Party has also made an invitation to the other three public high schools in the county to instruct their students on the meaning of the Constitution, but so far these schools have not taken them up on their offer. I am still trying to sort out my internal objections: after all, it is a private school, so if they welcome a political group giving them instruction in civic matters, is that my concern? On the other hand, if it was a prominent private high school that permitted a progressive or union-based group coming in to give lectures on the Constitution, shouldn’t I also be concerned? When I was in this county school system (back in the day), the teachers taught the civics lessons; we didn’t have outside groups coming in to give their filtered perspectives, whether public or private. What is your thought on this?

        • HonestDebate1

          No JGC, Palin has never done anything close to the vitriol she has received. She has been called a sl@t, and c%nt, an idiot, and even had her family dragged into it. Letterman said her 9 year old daughter got knocked up at a baseball game. Our own Tom Ashbrook blamed her for Gabby Giffords’ injury. No, she does not deserve this.

          She gets it because she is effective and most of the time cannot be refuted on the facts. That makes people crazy and they lash out.

          • JGC

            I dunno…I think Palin’s rhetorical fluorishes are often akin to a red hot poker shoved inside a bee hive. That is what makes people crazy to the point of lashing out, sometimes unfortunately even more rudely than her original inflammatory word choice.

          • HonestDebate1

            I won’t say she is not provocative but she is not nasty or vicious. I also say things I know will stir the pot but have a basis and can defend them.

        • hennorama

          JGC — I agree with the general tenor of your comment, but cannot support Mr. Bashir. His comments were uncalled for, and lowering himself to the guttural level rather than taking the higher road serves only to distract from the content of his criticism of Mrs. Palin.

          This is in full consideration of all the execrable things that she has put into and expelled from her mouth.

          • JGC

            I am not supporting Bashir, other than to recognize that he did give a full apology to Sarah Palin, and without any accompanying excuses as to why he responded the way he did to her comments on slavery. It was an unreserved apology.

          • hennorama

            JGC — fair enough. Thanks for the amplification of your point.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          JGC thank you for your response. I will not return to my original question. I believe that you answered my question so I should answer yours.

          I am not as familiar with the specific incident as you are but there are some common themes with other incidents I am familiar with. Your objection seems not to having outside experts teach a specific topic but to your perception that they will be teaching a filtered perspective, similar to the claims by some that text books evidence a bias. Included in you questions is part of the answer and part of what is wrong with education in our nation. Even back in the day you receive your civics lessons from a “progressive” and “union-based” group. At that time, we as a nation had a sense of common national identity, and the individual teachers and school administrators held a strong culture of personal/professional integrity which balanced the impulse to filter lessons through any other perspective. Those principles have eroded; it is not uncommon now to hear of people proud that they have lied in service to their higher “truth.” The people involved may be the sort of people that should give you concern. But on the other hand, how thoroughly do you examine the other materials that children are exposed to in school for the lessons they teach? A final closing thought, where will you find more parents; in the best attended PTO meeting for you district, or any of the Black Friday sales?

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    “Obama is like someone who burns down your house. Then shows up with an empty water bucket. Then lectures you about how defective the house was.” –
    Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.).

    Obama appears to have loaded his team with sycophants and yes-men. Something an experienced leader would never do.

    This quote is telling:

    “He knows exactly how smart he is. . . . I think that he has never really been challenged intellectually. . . . He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do. He would never be satisfied with what ordinary people do.” -Valerie Jarrett


    • OnPointComments

      As a commentator has noted, Valerie Jarrett is the Rasputin of our time.

  • fun bobby
  • WorriedfortheCountry

    From the interesting trivia desk:

    Political affiliation of the last three presidential assassins.

    Kennedy – Communist/Marxist
    McKinley – Anarchist-communist
    Lincoln – Democrat

    • hennorama

      From the corrections desk, WftC section:

      The “last three presidential assassins” were, in reverse chronological order:

      Lee Harvey Oswald (a self-described communist), who shot President John Kennedy.

      Leon Czolgosz (a self-described anachist), who shot President William McKinley.

      Charles J. Guiteau (a self-described Republican), who shot Presidential James A. Garfield.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        I knew I could count on you.

        Garfield (who was also a Republican) may have been shot but it appears he was killed by incompetent doctors.

        • hennorama

          WftC — no worries.

          The commonality of these successful assassins seems to be mental disturbance rather than politics. This seems common among the recent unsuccessful ones as well, e.g. John Hinckley, Jr. and Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromme.

          • WorriedfortheCountry


            Just as extremists in Dallas ’63 have nothing to do with the Tea Party, Ted Cruz OR the Kennedy assassination.

          • hennorama

            WftC — TY for your response.

            No one said they did, sir.

            And if you are referring to the recent essay in the Washington Post, to which you had linked in your original post far below, nowhere does the author of the piece indicate that the persons discussed in the article:

            “Dallas Morning News publisher Ted Dealey”
            “oil billionaire H.L. Hunt”
            “W.A. Criswell, head of the largest Baptist congregation in the country”
            “an eloquent, Ivy League-educated ideologue regarded by some as the most extreme politician in Washington–Bruce Alger”
            “Maj. Gen. Edwin A. Walker”

            who you collectively describe as “extremists in Dallas ’63,” had anything to do with the Tea Party, Ted Cruz OR the Kennedy assassination.

            The author simply said, as stated previously,

            “If today’s extremist rhetoric sounds familiar, that’s because it is eerily, poignantly similar to the vitriol aimed squarely at John F. Kennedy during his presidency.

            “And just like today, Texans were leading what some of them saw as a moral crusade.”

            Nowhere does the author indicate in any way that as you wrote in the aforementioned post, ““…the Tea Party and their ilk [are] responsible for JFKs death.”

            Again, as previously and politely requested, please explain as clearly as you can, exactly how you concluded that “the implication is the Tea Party and their ilk is responsible for JFKs death.”

            Please point to the specifics of the essay that led you to that very particular conclusion.


  • WorriedfortheCountry

    “Price of Electricity Hit Record for October; Up 42% in Decade”

    Didn’t some politician say something like “under my policies electricity prices will necessarily skyrocket”?

    “The 13.7 cents per KWH price of electricity of June through September 2013 was the most expensive electricity has ever been in the United States since BLS started tracking electricity prices in November 1978.”

    This is very bad news for jobs, the economy and consumers. What is interesting is these prices are coincident with low natural gas prices and a shift in generation capacity to natural gas. We are clearly doing something very wrong.

    • fun bobby

      as soon as the bipartisan efforts to start exporting gas are complete then that gas price will skyrocket as well

    • hennorama

      WftC — glad to see that my six! other replies finally were released from “moderation” purgatory.

      I still cannot explain how they were held up in the first place, though.

  • davecm

    The definition of HYPOCRISY
    * “This nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power.” “naked power grab” “It is a fundamental power grab by the majority party…..designed to change the reading of the Constitution” , Joe Biden, 2005
    * “The threat to change Senate rules is a raw abuse of power and will destroy the very checks and balances our founding fathers put in place to prevent absolute power by any one branch of government,”” Some in this chamber want to throw out 214 years of Senate history in the quest for absolute power.” Harry(forgetful) Reid 2005
    * “We are going to maintain the integrity of the U.S. Senate.” “And if you cannot get 60 votes for a nominee, maybe you should think about who you are sending to us to be confirmed ” Hillary Clinton, 2005
    * “I sense that talk of the nuclear option is more about power than about fairness … I believe some of my colleagues propose this rules change because they can get away with it rather than because they know it’s good for our democracy.”
    Sen. Barack Obama, 2005

    How do you define hypocrisy????

    • hennorama

      davecm — which of those persons you quoted voted for the so-called “nuclear option?”

      And if any of those you quoted in your post did NOT vote for the so-called “nuclear option,” please explain exactly how you conclude they are examples of hypocrisy.

      • davecm

        A vote of 52 to 48, with ALL Dems. voting for it except 3! Harry voted for it, Obama approved of it and the rest of the bunch will tow the line on approval. Tho this was a move to so-call, break a logjam on Obama’s nominees, I can assure you this is just the start of more to come. The Dems. want absolute power!

        • hennorama

          davecm — gotcha. So only one out of the four persons you quoted voted for the “nuclear option,” but in your view, all four are examples of hypocrisy.

          That is some very interesting “logic.”

          One question — how do YOU define “hypocrisy?”

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Again, there’s that forest and tree thingy.

          • hennorama

            WftC — one must give you credit for properly spelling the word “forest,” unlike another notably “Omniscient One.”

            Well done, sir.

          • Coastghost

            hen: speaking not for davecm but as an amateur lexicographer, let’s define as: “contrast or discrepancy between prior word and posterior deed”.
            And surely you’re not such a naïve literalist that you fail to see the contrast and discrepancy exhibited here by a sitting Senator, a sitting President of the Senate, a sitting President who dabbled briefly in the Senate, and a former sitting Senator, all of whom are Democrats and none of whom publicly opposed this perceived expediency.
            If you really prefer to equate logic with full consistency, I think you’re obliged in this instance to appraise Reed, Biden, Obama, and H. Clinton as illogical.

          • hennorama

            Coastghost — TY for your thoughtful response.

            One significant problem with your definition: it does not allow for either changed circumstances or a change of mind.

            Mere inconsistency is not in and of itself hypocritical.

            One must also note the fact of the passage of eight years between the cited quotes and the recent vote.

            Had there been an interval of eight days rather than eight years, your point, and that of [davecm], would be far more well-taken.

          • Coastghost

            I disagree: the passage of eight years is most pertinent: in 2005, Republicans controlled the Senate, and though “nuclear option” was vocalized by Republican Senators back then, no change to the rule concerning filibuster cloture came out of that Republican-controlled Senate.
            “Changed circumstance” in this instance would merely suffice as code for “rank opportunism”, which is what Reid’s shepherding of this rule change amounts to.
            I’ll strive to refine my provisional definition accordingly.

          • pete18

            Given the choice between an honest and principled change of mind and political expediency, which to you seems more likely. Keep in mind the record of the players involved.

          • hennorama

            pete18 – thank you for your response.

            As the topic at hand did not include the elements of your premise, there is no such “given.” Therefore, no response to your question will be forthcoming.

            Please note that only one of the persons quoted in [davecm]‘s original post voted for the change of Senate rules. Note also that Senator Reid had been working to AVOID this change, and had crafted at least two previous compromise deals this year alone.

          • pete18

            Really, do you not have an opinion about that?

            How about on these two subjects?

            A. Do you think President Obama lied in selling Obamacare?

            B. Do you support Obamacare in its present form (not how you might imagine it being changed) as opposed to having done nothing (as opposed to some other option like single payer)?

          • hennorama

            pete18 – thank you for your response.

            In an effort to ensure understanding, the phrase “political expediency” is the element of your prior premise that was not present in the topic, which was the definition of “hypocrisy.”

            As to your more recent queries, please allow a preface, which was written in reply to you about three weeks ago:

            [I always find the use of the word “selling” to be curious when it comes to politics.

            [It implies that politics are purely transactional, and that voters will only be swayed by money, or "stuff" as Bill O'Reilly bloviated, or “generous gifts” as Mitt Romney said after his electoral loss.]

            As such, please allow me to rephrase your question:

            A. Do you think President Obama lied in [promoting the passage of the PPACA]?

            No, I do not. As previously stated, I’ve always understood the “if you like it you can keep it” statements in a larger context, as they originated in the discussion of the “public option,” when then-Senator Obama was making these statements during the 2008 campaign for the presidency. Also as previously stated, in my view, the problem is that President Obama did not adjust these statements AFTER passage of the PPACA, and after the rules involving grandfathering were finalized.

            As to your next question, yes, I support the PPACA in its present form, and view it as far superior to allowing the prior system to continue unchanged. The PPACA is far from perfect, but it is clearly better than what existed prior to its passage and enactment.

          • pete18

            So why exactly are those “non adjusted” statements not lies? He knowingly promised something that he knew not to be true?

          • hennorama

            pete18 – TY again for your response.

            For the reasons previously stated, my comments are limited to statements made after passage of the PPACA, and finalizing of the rules.

            The unqualified post-passage, post-rules finalization statements are neither entirely true nor entirely false.

            If they were entirely false, then no one would be able to keep policies that they like. If they were entirely true, then everyone would be able to keep the policies that they like. Since neither of those conditionals are met in their entirety, how one judges the President’s statements is likely more dependent on one’s general opinion of President Obama than all of the facts.

            As to the President’s knowledge — he elucidated his thinking about this topic in his recent press conference, and I would not dare attempt to speak for him.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • pete18

            Henn, although I appreciate your attempt at clarity on these topics, from now on, I guess I’m going to have to refer to you as Gregory HINES-oramma given that intricate and audacious display of tap dancing that you
            just gave.

            You’ve set up a number of twisting false premises in answer to a relatively simple question.

            “And if you like your insurance plan, you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you.
            It hasn’t happened yet. It won’t happen in the future.”

            -Obama, remarks in Portland, April 1, 2010, after the health-care law was signed into law.

            If I make the claim to you that I will send everyone on this forum an autographed picture of Ronald Reagan if I get five “likes” on my next post, and then, after receiving those likes, I send everyone except you, jefe68 and Brettearl that picture, my promise has not been rendered “partially true,”
            nor was it an “incorrect promise” (the NY Time’s euphemism). The only accurate description of it would be that it was entirely false–a lie. That’s because the operating word is “everyone.”

            Or, using a more meaningful example: if an insurance company advertised a policy by claiming that anyone
            who signed up with their plan would be guaranteed to go to see any doctor that
            they wanted to and be covered, no matter what, PERIOD, and it turned out that only 80% of the people who signed up for the plan would be able to do so, that would not only be considered a lie, it would considered fraud.

            Obama’s promise was not one of degrees, it was an all encompassing one.

            This is true not only of his quotes AFTER the bill was signed but BEFORE as well.

            Your attempt to save his integrity by attaching his promise to the
            supposed intent that a public option would be in the bill does not eliminate the mendacity of the Obama’s claim. One cannot honestly make a claim over how something will look after it is built if
            he knows going in that he don’t have full control over the building process.
            That not only makes Obama’s promises more misleading, it shows him to be even more idiotic than previously thought. If he had only made his promise at one point, early on in the process and then he later amended it, you might be able to make your case, but he made at every stage of the bill’s crafting, as well as after it was signed and after the supreme court confirmed its legality. And, his promises were always absolute ones that did not include the public option escape hatch that you’ve imagined for him:

            “That means that no matter how we reform health care, we
            will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”

            – President Obama, speech to the American Medical Association,
            June 15, 2009 (as the health-care law was being written.)

            That is a lie, fraud and a broken promise. There’s no way around this, Mr. Hines, and it is surprising that someone who makes such a claim over facts, logic and the integrity of an argument would be seen doing so much partisan dancing in his assessment of this record.

          • hennorama

            pete18 – TY for your response.

            One notices that the dates of the citations in your post are before the finalization of the PPACA rules, and before passage of the PPACA, respectively, rendering them unresponsive to my post.

            Be that as it may, the issue is with the unequivocal and unqualified nature of the statements.

            As we have both made our views clear, and there is neither agreement nor a meeting of minds, further exchange on this topic seems pointless. Please let me know if you disagree.

            Thanks again for your response.

            PS – your proposed new moniker is rather funny, but unacceptable. Thank you for the amusement you provided.

          • pete18

            The first quote was after the bill was signed, so I’m not sure why you are skating away from it. Please explain what you think was ambiguous about Obama’s promises at ANY of the times that he made them. They were unequivocal statements, that is not a matter of debate.

            The nickname may be unacceptable but it is fitting.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — perhaps you misread my words. Please allow me to repeat from the post to which you replied:

            Be that as it may, the issue is with the unequivocal and unqualified nature of the statements.

          • pete18

            I don’t understand your point. What are you saying? You believe they were unequivocal statements but still not lies?

          • pete18

            I don’t understand your point. What are you saying? You believe they were unequivocal statements but still not lies?

          • hennorama

            pete18 — I have nothing to add to what I’ve already written on this topic.

          • pete18

            Too bad. I’m usually fine with coming to an “we agree to disagree” moment during these debates, but usually that’s when I understand the reasoning behind the other person’s point, even if I disagree with it. I have no idea what the basis is for your position, it strikes me as extremely vague and slippery and I’m guessing that your hasty exit from this conversation may reflect your own recognition of that.

            Of course, it’s also possible that I’m just completely misunderstanding your point due to my own thick headedness. As best as I can read your explanation, you believe Obama was unequivocal in his statements before the law was signed but you excuse that because you believe that he was imagining the law would include a public option. When the law was passed and didn’t include a public option you define Obama’s continued recitation of the same exact promises as “unadjusted comments” and “partially true” rather than lies because of the all or nothing paradigm that “not everybody lost their insurance.” Is that right? Or I’m I misreading your statements?

            If it is true then I’m still baffled by your
            assertion that a partial fulfillment of an all encompassing promise is not a deception and a fraud.You’re not telling me that a company that promised that everyone who came to their store on Tuesday would get a 50% discount on toasters but then only gave that discount to 80% of the people who came was not committing fraud are you?

          • hennorama

            pete18 – TYFYR.

            As we have been going forth and back on this topic for weeks, characterizing my desire to disengage as a “hasty exit from this conversation” is unfounded.

            President Obama has already described his thinking about this topic. I am not so arrogant as to attempt to speak for him.

            It appears that your standard is that if even one person is unable to keep a health insurance policy that they like, then these statements are “lies.” You are of course entitled to your opinion.

            I disagree, and have expounded on the matter at considerable length. If this is inadequate for you, that is unfortunate.

            One endeavors to disagree without being disagreeable, and you are commended for having done so. Thanks again.

          • pete18

            I’m not interested in President Obama’s opinion, I’m interested in your opinion about him.

            You’re tossing up a straw man to avoid the heart of the issue. My standard isn’t if one person loses their insurance the statement is a lie (although technically it is) , but it certainly is a lie if five MILLION do, which is the conservative estimate of what has transpired up to this point (as you well know). This consequence was foreseeable even before the the rules for the grandfather clause were set up.
            It is also clear that many more people will lose their insurance and access to the doctors they like before the dust settles.

            So I’m curious, what percentage of people do you believe would have to lose their insurance before you would it a fraud? There must be one for you, right?

          • pete18

            Cat got your tongue?

          • davecm

            In my book, if you give your thumbs up on it as the other three did, that is the same as a vote.
            A person who tells you one thing and then does the contrary. A person who binds Obamacare on everyone in the country, BUT!!!! himself!!! OH! and congress also!

          • hennorama

            davecm — thank you for your response.

            I see, sort of.

            As your comments are unclear, please explain in detail what you meant when you wrote, “if you give your thumbs up on it as the other three did, that is the same as a vote.” For example, please give the specific details of Secretary Clinton’s “thumbs up on it.”

            In order to promote mutual understanding, please allow further clarifying questions:

            1. Was your sentence “A person who tells you one thing and then does the contrary” meant to be your response to my prior question, “how do YOU define ‘hypocrisy’ “?

            1a. If so, does the fact that eight years have passed between when the quotes in your post were spoken, and the recent Senate action, make any difference?

            1a.1. What if it was eighteen years, or twenty-eight years?

            1a.2. How about eighty years?

            2. Do you know that there are several exemptions to the individual provisions of the PPACA?

            3. Do you know that a separate provision of the PPACA, put in by Republican Senator Charles Grassley, applies to members of Congress and their staff, and that it forces them to give up Federal employee coverage and buy through the new exchanges instead?

            I look forward to your candid and complete responses.

        • TFRX


          I remember everyone’s hair on fire when GWB’s first big bill passed 51-50.

          Oh, wait…

    • Fredlinskip

      Shamelessly plagiarizing some of Newton Whale comment (see “Best comments”) :

      “Mitch McConnell (R-KY): ‘The Constitution of the United States is at stake. Article II, Section 2 clearly provides that … the President alone, nominates judges. The Senate is empowered to give advice and consent. But my Democratic colleagues want to change the rules. They want to reinterpret the Constitution to require a supermajority for confirmation.’

      Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA): ‘Every judge nominated by this president or any president deserves an up-or-down vote. It’s the responsibility of the Senate. The Constitution requires it.’

      Lindsey Graham (R-SC): ‘I think filibustering judges will destroy the judiciary over time. I think it’s unconstitutional’

      Jeff Sessions (R- AL): ‘[Constitution] says the Senate shall advise and consent on treaties by a two-thirds vote, and simply ‘shall advise and consent’ on nominations…. I think there is no doubt the Founders understood that to mean … confirmation of a judicial nomination requires only a simple majority vote.’

      Richard Shelby (R-AL): ‘Why not allow the President to do his job of selecting judicial nominees and let us do our job in confirming or denying them? Principles of fairness call for it and the Constitution requires it.’

      John Thune (SD): Filibustering judicial nominees ‘is contrary to our Constitution …. It was the Founders’ intention that the Senate dispose of them with a simple majority vote.’

      “‘Bipartisonhip at last’”

  • davecm

    “able to be relied on as honest or truthful.”

    Obama stated, If you like your present health insurance and Doctor, you can keep them, PERIOD!!!!!

    * 5 million Americans had received cancellation notices this year.
    * Christopher Conover, research scholar in the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research at Duke University states:
    “Bottom line: of the 189 million Americans with private health insurance coverage, I estimate that if Obamacare is fully implemented, at least 129 million (68 percent) will not be able to keep their previous health care plan either because they already have lost or will lose that coverage by the end of 2014,”
    * UnitedHealth, nation’s largest provider of privately managed Medicare Advantage plans, this month began terminating contracts with thousands of physicians across the nation who participate in the Medicare Advantage plans, 10-15 % of the doctors.
    Gynecological oncologist Johnathan Lancaster, one of more than 200 doctors dropped from UnitedHealth’s network at Moffitt, which is a nationally recognized cancer center.
    Dr. Lancaster said the cuts mean that about 2,500 current Moffitt patients will have to switch plans or find other cancer doctors—and that thousands more who come for consultations and second opinions can no longer use their UnitedHealth Medicare Advantage plans there.
    Unitedhealthcare states that the cuts are due to ACA (Obamacare)

    Once again, How do you define Trustworthy?????

    • fun bobby

      you know what they say: “fool me once shame on you, fool me fool me fool me… we can’t get fooled again”

  • OnPointComments

    How not to build a website. A story about the people who think they can manage national health care.



    “The prime contractor, CGI Federal, had long before concluded that the administration was blindly enamored of an unrealistic goal: creating a cutting-edge website that would use the latest technologies to dazzle consumers with its many features. Knowing how long it would take to complete and test the software, the company’s officials and other vendors believed that it was impossible to open a fully functioning exchange on Oct. 1.

    Government officials, on the other hand, insisted that Oct. 1 was not negotiable.

    Vital components were never secured…A backup system that could go live if it did crash was not created…the architecture of the system that interacts with the data center where information is stored is so poorly configured that it must be redesigned…

    An initial assessment identified more than 600 hardware and software defects — “the longest list anybody had ever seen,” one person involved with the project said.

    “Cut corners, make date…” In the last week of September, the disastrous results of the project’s inept management and execution were becoming fully apparent.

  • hennorama

    daniel considine — indeed.

    It will be interesting to watch how the principled Republican Senators, believing these latest rules to be horribly wrong, justify NOT changing the rules back when they return to majority status.

    I for one will not be holding my breath waiting for said change.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    My favorite tweet of the day (apologies to the anonymous tweeter):

    “Who among us has not passed a car w/ an Obama 2012 bumper sticker & looked to see what kind of moron is driving?”

    • fun bobby

      I do that even to the few prii without such a sticker.

    • TFRX


      Hey, if you’re posting crap anonymously, how do we know you’re not making stuff up?

  • OnPointComments

    The last word in the article is pivotal.



    …there’s a deeper reason he [President Obama] and his people lied: They did it because they could. They did it because nearly five years in the White House had given Obama and his team confidence they would not face the music and they could finesse the problems until they got fixed.

    Consider the events that would have been unprecedented scandals in a Republican administration…that have instead been covered dutifully but with relatively little passion and almost no follow-up. Why? Because it would have hurt Obama, that’s why.

    First, the Obama Justice Department…Fast and Furious…secret surveillance of Fox News Channel reporter James Rosen…tactics against reporters at the Associated Press.

    Second, the Internal Revenue Service…The IRS’s own acknowledgement that it had targeted conservative groups with anti-liberal agendas has led to shamed retirements, hasty changes at the top of the agency and officials pleading the Fifth Amendment.

    Third, the State Department…Obama felt free to select the chief liar, Susan Rice, as his national-security adviser without experiencing a moment’s fear about how her appointment might become a scandal.

    Fourth, making law from the White House…Notwithstanding President Obama’s constitutional duty to enforce the law of the Untied States, where federal laws conflict with his policy preferences on gay marriage, illegal immigration and drug policy, the president has simply opted not to enforce or defend them.

    He has always had the protection of his liberal base…He has always had the protection of Senate Democrats…he has always had the protection of the mainstream media.

    As a result, Barack Obama and his administration have said what they felt they needed to say and done what they felt they needed to do for immediate political gain. They did so this time. But this time was different, because this time he was mishandling and discrediting the great liberal desideratum of our time — a national health-care system.

    This time he hasn’t gotten away with it.


  • WorriedfortheCountry
  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Oh my!! Daily Kos diarist dismayed that Obamacare is screwing over students at his favorite Ivy League school.

    Convente is also upset that Obama’s “marketing slogans … turned out to be not so correct.”



    I listened to Trudy Rubin’s rationalizing Harry Reid’s takeover of the Senate and it made me wonder where she obtained her “worldviews “. Perhaps she’s spent too much time focused on such progressive utopia’s as the former Soviet Union, present day Russia, East Germany, Cuba, North Korea and China where party loyalty is placed ahead of country or is equated with country. I can just imagine reading her columns years from now when the Republicans control everything and ram through their programs and policies over Dem opposition. Just garbage commentary.

  • Coastghost

    “PEACE IN OUR TIME!” proclaims sub-Messiah Obama, attempting to earn his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. (I did not even try to resist that one.)
    We don’t and won’t know the full details of this startling diplomatic breakthrough, of course, but I doubt that Obama’s numbers rose significantly as the talks in Europe progressed.
    I further doubt that this tentative proclamation of peace will raise his domestic popularity, as much as in real terms this tentative agreement may succeed only in raising the prospects for war breaking out sometime in the next six months.
    Americans no longer are confident in this President’s ability to lead. As a body we no longer trust him with domestic policy: how much credence do we dare extend to this advertised accomplishment in foreign policy, regardless of what it consists of?
    By the time Carter dealt with the Iranians following their Shi’a revolution, he was a largely ineffectual President. Obama, at this point in his Presidency, is freshly perceived as an ineffectual President. The extent to which the Iranian negotiators see this remains to be seen.
    Maybe this approach will work, maybe it won’t: success likely does not lie with Obama himself, but of course any failure will be all his.

    • brettearle

      It is important to emphasize what you say in your last paragraph–but, maybe somewhat differently (though maybe not) from what you meant.

      No success and No failure will be all Obama’s. [No President should receive all credit and blame--if something important, or controversial, happens on his watch.]

      One could argue that the President could have done a better job, before the Gulf Oil Spill, of seeing to it that Secretary of the Interior, Salazar, eliminated the cozy relationship that the Department of Minerals Management apparently had with the off-shore oil industry. He at least should have known more about it–or, at least, should have been apprised of it more.

      Nevertheless, I don’t think that you could directly blame the President for the ugly, ugly accident.

      However, in this case, I’m going to have to say that the President is much more of a hands-on party to this agreement. And therefore, he deserves more, of a part, of the credit or blame–depending on how one looks at it and depending on how it turns out.

      What bothers me about the agreement is this:

      How can the US be close to 100% certainty that, with such an agreement, Iran isn’t carrying on–in a covert and clandestine way–some ongoing nuclear enrichment that can’t be detected?

      How do we KNOW–EVEN IF Iran has agreed to it, and it apparently has–that heightened access, for heightened verification, covers all possible activity that might lead to nuclear weapons-grade enrichment?.

      • hennorama

        brettearle — we cannot know with 100% certainty. That’s why there will be monitoring.

        This agreement is merely a promising first step. One might call it “distrust and verify.”

        Here is the monitoring that was agreed to, from the just-released text of the “Joint Plan of Action”:

        “• Enhanced monitoring:

        o Provision of specified information to the IAEA, including information on Iran’s plans for nuclear facilities, a description of each building on each nuclear site, a description of the scale of operations for each location engaged in specified nuclear activities, information on uranium mines and mills, and information on source material. This information would be provided within three months of the adoption of these measures.

        o Submission of an updated DIQ (design information questionnaire) for the reactor at Arak, designated by the IAEA as the IR-40, to the IAEA.

        o Steps to agree with the IAEA on conclusion of (a) Safeguards Approach for the reactor at Arak, designated by the IAEA as the IR-40.

        o Daily IAEA inspector access when inspectors are not present for the purpose of Design Information Verification, Interim Inventory Verification, Physical Inventory Verification, and unannounced inspections, for the purpose of access to offline surveillance records, at Fordow and Natanz.

        o IAEA inspector-managed access to:

        o centrifuge assembly workshops (4);

        o centrifuge rotor production workshops and storage facilities; and,

        o uranium mines and mills.”



        • brettearle

          For me, Henn–and I think for even the Trained Verifiers–do we know that such Nuclear Weapons-grade development centers aren’t being concealed somewhere?

          For example, even though I was against the Invasion of Iraq–unless it had been a concerted, international effort–whereby all, or most (and I mean, most or all), major powers would have, and could have, approached Hussein, before any UN resolutions might have even been passed–and read him the `non-violent’ riot act, to get him to leave, you could have still argued that Hussein might have squirreled away WMD offshore, far underground, or in another country–if none were to have been found….or if none–up `till now–have been found.

          Why doesn’t the same–in some way–obtain here?

          Fancy names of technology are impressive and may sound convincing.

          But really, ASIDE from my political agenda, or yours, HOW do we know?.

          Had Bush I, Clinton, Bush II been stricter with No. Korea, how far might they have gone with their program or are currently GOING with their program?

          None of us know the answer to these questions.

          But ONE thing we do know:

          We had to have had a Diplomat representing 1, of the 2 greatest, genocidal dictators in the 20th century win an Appeasement that led to millions of deaths, become a frame of reference for the following:

          Those who ignore History may be doomed to repeat it.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — thank you for your thoughtful response.

            It is indeed impossible to be 100 percent certain of total compliance, even with inspectors on the ground, and even with the highest of intelligence capabilities.

            These concerns are always present in agreements of this sort, and are certainly valid. The fact that this is a short-term agreement, combined with the vast majority of sanctions remaining in place, indicates the lack of trust amongst the parties.

            This is a good thing. No one is going to stop monitoring, and intelligence efforts will be maintained and perhaps even increased.

            As stated, this is merely a promising first step. Its success is by no means a certainty.

            Please allow a modification: “Don’t trust, and verify, verify, verify (and spy, spy, spy).”

    • hennorama

      President Obama made no such “proclamation,” and certainly did not utter those words in the context of the agreement between Iran and the other six nations involved.

      Some context, in contrast to [Coastghost]‘s misleading post:

      On January 21, 2013, in his second Inaugural Address, President Obama said, in part (EMPHASIS added):

      “America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe. And we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice –- not out of mere charity, but because PEACE IN OUR TIME requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity, human dignity and justice.”



      • Coastghost

        hen: thanks for the warning, I was completely unaware.
        Hard to believe that Obama or his devotees permitted this phrase ever to escape his lips while being recorded.
        Heads-up, tape librarians and tape editors!

        • hennorama

          Coastghost — you’re welcome.

          The clarification was meant for the audience rather than the author, and no lack of awareness on the part of the author was indicated. Quite the opposite is in fact the case, as evidenced by the word “misleading.”

          • notafeminista


          • jefe68


      • fun bobby

        was that the same speech where he declared the oceans would cease to rise?

  • Fredlinskip

    In the history of our nation, 23 district court nominees have been filibustered –


    Anything wrong with this picture?

    • hennorama

      Fredlinskip — Nothing to see here. It’s just business as usual. No changes needed. Move along. Keep calm and carry on.


    • Coastghost

      Obama has some talent for picking poor nominees and/or baggage-laden nominees, no? (He wanted Susan RIce initially as Sec. of State to succeed H. Clinton, didn’t he?)
      His native charm can go only so far.

      • HonestDebate1

        As if Hillary wasn’t baggage-ladened enough. Many people consider her a completely reasonable choice for President in 2016 despite her disastrous reign at State which she was wholly unqualified for to begin with. Go figure. As far as I’m concerned the Republican’s efforts are noble.

        • Fredlinskip

          Long as you don’t care about Democracy.

          Apparently GOP have disabused themselves of this basic notion, which founders fought (and died) for.

          • HonestDebate1

            I see no affronts to democracy. I do see a President with some strange opinions on the Constitution and some nasty friends.

          • Fredlinskip

            Both the excessive Gerrymandering and obvious abuse of filibuster negate the will of majority of Americans and weaken the power of the vote.
            If not for excessive Gerrymandering Dems would have majority in House.
            If not for excessive filibuster, Senate would function.
            These are “affronts” to Democracy.

          • HonestDebate1

            Filibusters and gerrymandering have been around for a while. What is lacking is leadership. Obama can’t even get a single vote on his budgets. He’s not reasonable.

          • Fredlinskip

            I think you’re being a bit disingenuous there, Honest.
            Yes, Filibuster and gerrymandering have been around a long time, but they have never been used to so effectively to disenfranchise the will of the electorate to the extent they have for past 5 years.

            If Prez can’t get a vote on his budgets, could it be that he is too much in the middle of the extreme gulf between those proposed by Dems in Senate and GOP in House?

          • HonestDebate1

            Of the President’s budgets that have come to a vote, none has garnered a single affirmative from either party. Most of the time Reid just doesn’t let it happen.

          • Fredlinskip

            It would seem then that Reid believes the Prez budget leans too far the right?
            Honestly I need study the matter further, which will have to wait for another day.

          • HonestDebate1

            That is not it at all. His budgets are completely irresponsible. 99-0 was the Senate vote, 414-0 in the House.

          • TFRX

            You’ve got a rich goddamned fantasy about Obama’s budgets.

            Don’t let the reality intrude: GOP hackmeisters called it them and introduced them.

          • HonestDebate1

            99-0; 414-0; No budget signed in 5 years.

            You’re going to need a bit more lipstick for that pig… maybe some costume jewelry and a moo moo too.

          • TFRX

            Your need to say “his budgets” is wallowing in the sty.

            GOP hackmeisters called them ‘Obama’s budget”.

            Stop yer Foxfuking.

          • jefe68

            Hey come on, he likes his sty. It’s all cozy and all.

          • jefe68

            You’re waisting your time with this guy.
            President Obama could be tying his shoes and he would find fault in the act.
            Did you not get the memo? Obama is a socialist or communist, depends on the day, who’s taking over the country and is cahoots with Lex Luther.

      • Fredlinskip

        Not to change the subject , but my comment was in reference to abuse of filibuster rule concerning circuit court judges which was, as I understand it, the principle “trigger” causing Dems to FINALLY push back.

        The qualifications of the filibustered district court nominees were not in question.
        The sheer number of filibusters makes it clear that it has been used in a way never intended.

      • JGC

        That is false that Obama chose nominees that would not be acceptable under “normal” conditions. His nominees were main stream. Until now, anyway.

      • TFRX

        Let me help you with your side’s baggage, cause there’s a lot of lifting.

        Janice Rogers Brown. John Yoo. Yosemite Sam. Just to name a few.

  • JGC

    As far as I can tell, no one has mentioned the surprise win in the LA-5 district by Vance McAllister, the “measured pragmatist” Republican candidate over the favored Tea Party/Jindal-backed Neil Riser. McAllister ran on a platform favoring many of the items that are near and dear to the Republican heart, but with the significant difference that he is willing to work with everyone, no matter their party, to achieve reforms, and that includes reforming areas of Obamacare.

    The Tea Party took another hit this past week with Representative Radel taking leave to address his alcohol problems (he never really admitted to having a cocaine problem, too). His parting words before entering the Ford Clinic (Rob, not Betty) were, “I do believe in faith, forgiveness, redemption and drug-testing.” (OK, he actually said everything except the “drug-testing” part.)

    • TFRX

      “The Tea Party took a hit” is funny, funny phrasing.

      Hope that was intentional.

  • davecm

    Obama meets with several liberal journalist this week in another, (WE will be the most transparent Admin.) off the record meeting.
    I can only wonder what this coming weeks news programs will focus on?
    Here is some news:
    * US national debt is just a measly 17 Trillion.
    * Official unemployment is reported at 11,217,120
    * Actual unemployed (the real number) is 21,446,587
    * US population is 317,101,877
    * US Taxpayers is 114,734,752
    * US work force (those with jobs) 143,581,495
    * Citizens not in labor force (those not working) 91,717,230
    * 77% of all new jobs created in 2013 were part-time jobs.
    * Beware my friends, Obama is only human, he can make mistakes, do not think of him as Jamie Foxx does: “First of all, give an honor to God and our Lord and Savior Barack Obama,”

    • hennorama

      davecm — just out of curiosity, what are the sources for your figures? They are curiously exact, making them rather suspect.

      For instance, the BLS (HOUSEHOLD DATA) Table A-1. “Employment status of the civilian population by sex and age,” shows the following for October 2013:

      Employed: 143,568,000
      Unemployed: 11,272,000
      Not in labor force: 91,541,000


      • davecm
        • hennorama

          davecm – thank you for your response.

          Your source essentially makes educated guesses about the figures they present. They disclose their sources only in the most general way, and do not disclose their methodology. For example, rather than citing the specific table(s) used as the source for their various employment figures, they simply say “Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

          From the “About” section of their site:

          “All debt clocks on the site are updated continuously to the most precise calculations, using complex formulas and exacting standards, and the values displayed are verified from the best sources available.”


          They may be accurate, and they may not be; there is no way to independently verify what they present, so caution is highly recommended.

      • davecm

        here you are

    • fun bobby

      your those with and those without jobs numbers do not add up to your population number

  • hennorama

    “If canceled, not even 1% will pay more for Obamacare: Study” (headline on cnbc.com on Nov. 21, 2013)


    “The analysis found that only 0.6 percent of people under age 65 are at risk of losing their individual plan and having to pay higher premiums for coverage approved by the Affordable Care Act, according to Families USA, the consumer health advocacy group that issued the study.”


    Key Findings from the analysis:

    - Only 5.7 percent of non-elderly Americans are in the Individual Market

    - Most People with Plans in the Individual Market Will Qualify for Financial Help in Purchasing New, and Better, Insurance

    - Most People are Not in the Individual Market over a Year

    - A Fraction of Americans are at Risk of a Potentially Harmful Termination of Ongoing Individual Market Coverage


    “Historically, two-thirds of individuals in the private, individual (non-group) market did not purchase insurance that lasted more than 12 months. The individual market before the Affordable Care Act was a transitory source of insurance and the “wild wild west” of health insurance marketplaces, with high out-of-pocket costs and few consumer protections. In this market, many plans left consumers with high unpaid medical bills, especially consumers who developed serious or chronic health problems. For most consumers who bought individual market coverage, it was their only health insurance option because they did not have an offer of affordable job-based coverage and their income was too high to qualify for Medicaid.

    “The ACA provides a new, consumer-friendly insurance marketplace with premium tax credit subsidies that will make insurance much more affordable, and it provides federal dollars for states to expand Medicaid.

    “In fact, under the ACA, only 0.6 percent of Americans under age 65 will be at risk of losing their current individual market plan and will not be income-eligible for financial assistance that will make their new insurance plan more affordable. Even among this 0.6 percent, some have insurers who will not or cannot cancel their plans. Others will decide that they are better off with higher-value plans in the new insurance marketplaces.

    “Like any other major piece of domestic legislation, the Affordable Care Act faces challenges. As the debate over the health law continues to evolve, it is important to keep those challenges in proper perspective. “



    • davecm

      Great defense of ACA hennorama.
      Tell that to the 5M people who have individual plans that have now received their cancellation notices.
      BCBS of Alabama states they will not extend the so-called sub-standard plans described by Obama and ACA as of Friday’s news, maybe that will change.
      Tell that to me, I have paid into a company group plan for 30 yrs. having used very little of my insurance. We have been informed that starting in 2014 my great BCBS may be history being replaced with another that WILL, as they state, will cost me more!!

      • hennorama

        davecm – thank you for the favor of your reply.

        A few points:

        While I do in fact support the PPACA, imperfect though it may be, only a dozen or so words and expressions in the post are my own. What you describe as “defense of ACA” is simply a series of quotes from two websites. One might more accurately describe the post as “information” related to the issue of individual health insurance policy cancellations.

        The fact that you have paid employer-based group health insurance premiums for 30 years, and that you made little use of your benefits, has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not your employer will continue using the same insurer, or if the insurer (and your employer) will change the policy benefits, premiums, deductibles, co-pays, etc. As you no doubt realize, prior to the PPACA, employers were routinely being hit with significant health insurance premium increases, and had been adapting by pushing more and more of the costs of health insurance and health care onto their employees. Employers also would change insurers when they found less expensive alternatives.

        As to the individual health insurance market – as was quoted in my original post above, “Historically, two-thirds of individuals in the private, individual (non-group) market did not purchase insurance that lasted more than 12 months. The individual market before the Affordable Care Act was a transitory source of insurance and the “wild wild west” of health insurance marketplaces, with high out-of-pocket costs and few consumer protections. In this market, many plans left consumers with high unpaid medical bills, especially consumers who developed serious or chronic health problems.”

        Hard data is difficult to come by, but those who were devising the PPACA rules wrote, in the June 17, 2010 edition of the Federal Register, that “a reasonable range for the percentage of individual policies that would terminate [in a given year], and therefore relinquish their grandfather status, is 40 percent to 67 percent.”

        http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-06-17/pdf/2010-14488.pdf (page 34553, which is page 17 of the PDF)

        So, taking your (unverified) figure (“5M people who have individual plans that have now received their cancellation notices,”) and dividing it by the figure from the Families USA analysis, (“15.2 million, or 5.7 percent, receive their coverage through the private, individual (non-group) market.”) we come up with a result of 32.9 percent, which is lower than what was considered to be a reasonable estimate of normal annual turnover in this market.

        In other words, business as usual, and any sort of surprise.

        Thanks again for your response.

    • OnPointComments

      “IF YOU LIKE YOUR HEALTH CARE PLAN, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO KEEP YOUR HEALTH CARE PLAN.” 5 million individual plans cancelled. “PERIOD. NO ONE WILL TAKE IT AWAY. NO MATTER WHAT.” A majority of group health plans will have lost their grandfather status by the end of 2013, resulting in another 50 million to 100 million insurance policy cancellations. “NO MATTER HOW WE REFORM HEALTH CARE, WE WILL KEEP THIS PROMISE: IF YOU LIKE YOUR DOCTOR, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO KEEP YOUR DOCTOR. PERIOD.” Doctors in at least 10 states have received termination letters. A number of the nation’s top hospitals — including the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, and children’s hospitals in Seattle, Houston and St. Louis — are cut out of most plans sold on the exchange. Because of the ACA, many insurers are significantly limiting the choices of doctors and hospitals available to consumers. “THE ACA WILL CUT THE AVERAGE FAMILY’S PREMIUM BY ABOUT $2,500 PER YEAR.” “I didn’t say they’re going down. I said the rates are lower than was predicted,” said Kathleen Sebelius. Obamacare’s benefit mandates will raise individual insurance premiums in 42 out of 47 states, in many cases causing rates to double.

      • hennorama

        OPC — Why all the shouting?

        One notices no dispute of the findings in the Families USA analysis.

        • OnPointComments

          I’m not shouting, it’s simply a method to differentiate the lies from the truth.

          • pete18

            These aren’t lies these are just “unadjusted statements” and “incorrect promises.” Get with it OPC.

    • OnPointComments

      It might also help readers assess the motivations and partiality of Families USA, the originator of the report cited by CNBC, if they knew more about the organization.

      As the Washington Post has noted, Families USA is not impartial when it comes to the Affordable Care Act. The organization filed an amicus brief on behalf of the federal government in “King v Sebelius” in which the organization stated “In 2009 and 2010, Families USA actively supported the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). Representatives of Families USA testified at Congressional hearings on the bill. Families USA also sponsored studies that informed the statutory design, and it advocated for the legislation.” As noted in the Daily Caller, “Families USA recently received a $1 million grant to promote Obamacare from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Sebelius admitted in testimony before a House ethics panel in June that she personally asked the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to contribute to Pollack’s former group Enroll America. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation owns more than $1 billion across 13 million shares of stock in Johnson & Johnson, which is regulated by HHS. Enroll America, meanwhile, is currently embroiled in scandal after a James O’Keefe video showed an official with the nonprofit group conspiring to leak private data to what he thought was a political action committee.”

      What about Enroll America? As noted by Newsbusters, “Enroll America is a liberal organization working to get as many people sign up for ObamaCare as possible. Its founding chairman is Ron Pollack, head of the liberal (even according to The New York Times) advocacy group Families USA. That group pushed hard for both major Democrat health care bills (Hillarycare & ObamaCare). Enroll America’s president is Anne Filipic, a former Democratic political operative. Rovner conveniently left out the ideological and party labels and the background for Ron Pollack, Families USA, Anne Filipic and Enroll America, instead portraying them as impartial experts: “of…Families USA,” “consumer group,” “president of Enroll America,” and “a private nonprofit group” respectively.”

      • hennorama

        OPC — thank you for your response.

        As noted in the first quote in the post to which you replied, the group was identified as “Families USA, the consumer health advocacy group that issued the study.”

        No one was hiding their advocacy.

        One [once again] notes absolutely no dispute of their analysis.

        Thanks again for your response.

        • OnPointComments

          Describing Families USA simply as a “consumer health advocacy group” is a bit of an understatement. It’s not common for a run-of-the-mill advocacy group to have the HHS director solicit a million dollar contribution from a foundation with significant investments in companies which HHS regulates. With the close relationship between Families USA, Enroll America, and the Obama administration, in my opinion it is more of an administration advocacy group.

          I’m sure the analysis of Families USA is just as credible as any other biased organization that likely approaches an analysis with a predetermined agenda and desired outcome. My guess is that the Obama administration thinks the $1 million dollars was money well spent.

          • hennorama

            OPC — thank again for your response.

            Your post is now the third time that you have not disputed the analysis and its findings.

            Despite baseball season being over, three strikes still make an out.

            Thanks again.

          • OnPointComments

            The burden of proof typically lies with the person positing the data, and in this case would be either Families USA or you. I eagerly await your proof that the analysis is valid. It made me skeptical that CNBC noted “the study was an effort to counter a steady stream of bad publicity for the administration about canceled policies;” with that goal, the conclusions in the study aren’t surprising at all, are they? However, curiosity overcame me and I read the report and the endnotes.

            The first key finding in the report is:
            “Only 5.7 percent of non-elderly Americans are in the Individual Market: Out of 267 million Americans under age 65, just 15.2 million, or 5.7 percent, receive their coverage through the private, individual (non-group) market. (Note 4)”

            Note 4 references a report on insurance coverage from thirteen to seventeen years ago, from 1996-2000. Sounds a bit dated, doesn’t it? I wonder if the study is still valid for 2013. The study noted that two-thirds of individual coverage was temporary, which began or ended with employer-provided coverage. I wonder if the unemployment rate might effect this dated study — seems like the near doubling of the unemployment rate from 1996-2000 to 2012 might have a big effect. Families USA also noted this out-of-date study in its finding that most consumers would have left the individual market in less than a year when they got a new job; I bet getting a new job was easier in 1999 when the unemployment rate was 4.2% than in 2012 when it was 8.1%. Maybe you’ll provide proof that this old study, over a decade old when the average unemployment rate was much, much lower, is still valid.

            I was going to quit at this point, but Note 6 caught my eye: “A recent survey found that 45 percent of people with individual coverage described their insurance as “fair” or “poor,” compared to 18 percent or less for ever (sic) other form of coverage, including Medicaid.” (Note 6). Hmm, this is a survey of 1,018 adults, and only includes Michigan residents. I wonder how the opinions of Michigan residents compares with residents in Alaska or Georgia. Maybe you’ll provide us with evidence that the experience of 1,018 people in Michigan (a state with roughly 3% of the US population) is representative of the entire US population.

            At this point I did lose interest. Families USA used old data for its first key finding, and very limited data for one state in another instance. I’m not surprised; I didn’t expect more from an organization intent on providing support for the Obama administration and its policies.

          • hennorama

            OPC – taking another swing after striking out? OK then.

            The age of the data for the study published in 2004 does not necessarily invalidate it, but your point is well-taken. However, as is pointed out in the first sentence of the Abstract of the study itself, data on the individual market is difficult to come by.

            “Abstract: Information about patterns of individual health insurance coverage is limited.”


            I’m not sure whether it was another poster or yourself that first pointed to the estimates published in the Federal Register in June 2010, but the article (which I have repeatedly cited and quoted) also pointed out the difficulty in getting this information, and acknowledged the range of estimates:

            “Reliable data are scant, but a variety of studies indicate that between 40 percent and 67 percent of policies are in effect for less than one year.”

            http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-06-17/pdf/2010-14488.pdf (page 34553, which is page 17 of the PDF)

            You wrote “Families USA also noted this out-of-date study in its finding that most consumers would have left the individual market in less than a year when they got a new job; …” The “got a new job” part of this is not completely accurate. Here is the relevant quote from Families USA:

            “According to peer-reviewed research, the average duration of individual-market coverage before the Affordable Care Act was very short. Its median duration was eight months, with individual plans often bridging periods of job-based coverage. Altogether, 64.5 percent of consumers with individual market insurance kept that insurance for a year or less—a result not affected by income.[note 5]

            Please note the phrase “often bridging periods of job-based coverage.”

            The two unmentioned alternatives to job-based coverage are public coverage and uninsured status. The 2004 study (linked to above) indicated that 58.1 percent of the time, individual coverage bridged gaps from employer-based coverage and back to employer-based coverage. They also found that 10.2 percent went from public coverage and back to public coverage, and another 7.5 percent went from uninsured status and back to being uninsured. The remaining 24.2 percent began and ended with different statuses (from public coverage to uninsured, for example).

            Using your point, that “the near doubling of the unemployment rate from 1996-2000 to 2012 might have a big effect,” one also could reasonably argue that due to greater difficulty in getting employment, individuals who purchase individual policies after losing employer-based coverage would be more likely to drop the policies not when they regain employment, but rather when their income drops and they qualify for public coverage, or when they can no longer afford the policies, and they become uninsured. They also may be inclined to drop individual coverage even faster, as job and income prospects were obviously more difficult during the more recent past.

            Now let’s go back to the estimate range from the Federal Register – “between 40 percent and 67 percent of policies are in effect for less than one year.” Using the lower end of the estimates, we then get the following:

            5.7 percent (individual market participants) X 40 percent (hold policies less than one year) X 29 percent (those with incomes above 400 percent of poverty and who will not qualify for financial help) = 0.6612 percent.

            What a HUGE difference compared to the finding of 0.6 percent!

            As to “Note 6” of the Families USA analysis – this note was mentioned only in the portion of the Discussion that indicated that “The Number of People Affected Could Be Even Smaller,” and not the Key Findings.

            Here is the paragraph containing Note 6:

            “Third, many of the 0.6 percent of Americans who have incomes too high for financial help and, without the ACA, would have kept their individual insurance for more than a year would prefer new coverage options, even without subsidies. A recent survey found that 45 percent of people with individual coverage described their insurance as “fair” or “poor,” compared to 18 percent or less for ever other form of coverage, including Medicaid.” [Note 6]

            Really great points there, OPC.

            That’s now strike four.

          • OnPointComments

            The age of the data for the study from 1996-2000 may not necessarily invalidate it, but my educated guess is that it does in this instance. If the very first “key point” of the analysis is flawed, why bother with the rest of it? As I’ve said before, Families USA had a conclusion in search of data to support the conclusion, so I’m not surprised by the organization’s faulty data.

          • HonestDebate1

            It also is inconsistent with the facts on the ground not to mention the smell test. I think Henny is doing the same thing as you suggest Families USA is doing. She is searching for data to fit her conclusion.

          • pete18

            Well, in Henn’s defense, I think we all do that to some degree. However, I do agree with OPC’s assessment.

          • HonestDebate1

            I can agree with that but speaking for myself, I don’t stop there. I eagerly want the opposing view. I seek that out as well. I don’t want to be wrong for the sake of ideology. I want the truth, ideology be damned. That doesn’t appear to be the case with Henn but I’m sure she would say the same about me… but she would be wrong.

          • hennorama

            OPC – wow. Going for a fifth strike? OK then.

            You make an “educated guess” without basis. You present absolutely no contradictory data or analysis.

            You have pointed to the age of the data without presenting either newer or contradictory data. Instead, you merely speculate that the age of the data MAY make it invalid.

            You make no comment about the range of estimates presented in the Federal Register, based on multiple studies rather than a single study, and make no mention or dispute of the alternative calculations using the lower end of the estimates.

            Your flailing results only in a fifth strike.

          • OnPointComments

            You assume that I’m swinging every time you pitch, but as you’re throwing balls and not strikes, I’m just watching as you throw another wild pitch. As I said, the burden of proof lies with the person positing the data. You state that “The age of the data for the study published in 2004 does not necessarily invalidate it, but your point is well-taken,” then continue to cite the data to support your cause, without any proof that the data is still valid. The Federal Register uses the same dated study. I suspect that you describe this data as “published in 2004″ because it sounds so much better than identifying that the actual data is from 1996-2000, thirteen to seventeen years ago.

            Quite frankly, it’s all a moot point. Five million cancellations may be of no consequence to you or Families USA, but the coming cancellations of employer-based plans could take the number of cancellations up to the range of 100 million, a number that even you and Families USA will be hard pressed to say is insignificant. Aren’t we in a pitiful state when Obamacare was sold under pretenses that the President knew were false, and the excuse is essentially “Yeah, I lied, but it doesn’t matter.” The ends justify the means, right?

          • hennorama

            OPC – thank you for your response.

            Call your flailing whatever you wish.

            It’s understandable that you object to the analysis proffered by Families USA. It’s also understandable that you characterize the Families USA analysis as that organization viewing policy cancellations as “of no consequence.” It’s also rather hilarious that you ascribe such a view to me, as I have stated no personal view and have simply quoted the words and work of others.

            Please point to the words from Families USA and/or myself that support your view.

            Please point out more recent data that would result in a substantially different analysis.

            My words indicated that your point QUESTIONING the age of the data was well-taken, as it is not an unreasonable one. I too have used the age of data as an objection to various posts, but only to question why easily available and more recent data was not used.

            Your abject failure to present any alternative data or analysis speaks volumes, as does your absolute and complete failure to acknowledge the alternative calculations from the range of estimates presented in June 2010 in the Federal Register, which were derived from multiple studies.

            Your rather simplistic position about the age of the particular data in the 2004 study cited in the Families USA analysis is simply stubborn, and not well-reasoned. All studies must use data that was compiled prior to their publication, and the data used by the researchers was from the 1996 – 2000 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), a publication from the Census Bureau, which was itself released well after the year 2000. The researchers used the most recently available data at the time they did their study.

            Again, please point to more recent data that would completely invalidate the key findings from Families USA.

            Thank you for conceding that your argument is moot.

            Enjoy the holiday.

          • OnPointComments

            Families USA (FUSA), a partisan organization with ties to the Obama administration and funded by extreme liberal sources, concocts an analysis using data from thirteen to seventeen years ago that concludes “only” 15.2 million Americans today receive their coverage through the private, individual market; it is “just” this 5.7% of Americans that might be
            affected by the cancellations of individual health plans; and “only” 0.6 percent of Americans under age 65 will be at risk of losing their current individual market plan.

            I wonder what FUSA meant by “only” and “just;” actually I don’t wonder — I’m pretty sure I know what FUSA meant. Nothing to see here folks, move along. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. But I do wonder how “only” and “just” relate to “period” and “no matter what.”


            I bet “PERIOD” means except for 15.2 million Americans, and “NO MATTER WHAT” means except for 5.7% of Americans. After all, the sentence President Obama used was written by the same man who gave us the FUSA report.

          • pete18

            That’s the question Henn can’t respond to in an intellectually honest way. How many people have to lose their health plan because of Obamacare for the President’s promises to rise to the level of “lies” or “fraud?” Given that number of people who are uninsured is between 30 and 48 million, and that number was the significant enough to turn the system upside down to create Obamacare, how is it that 31% of that number (15 million) is NOT significant?

            So if for some reason Henn is still finding it impossible to find 15 million people significant in this equation maybe he can let us know what the tipping point is in his mind? It would be good to have him on him on record when the employer mandate kicks in and millions more will start losing coverage.

          • HonestDebate1

            But as you probably know, on Wednesday Obama delayed the employer mandate, by decree, for another year.

          • pete18

            That will give Henn another year to formulate a number. I’m sure it will take at least that long because “flip flop” math
            is very complicated to generate answers with.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t think even Henn’s disingenuous, selective, parsing beyond belief, number milking math can make the Obamacare debacle work.

          • hennorama

            pete18 – As the discussions mentioned various alternative derivations of [hennorama], please allow this interruption of what seems to be a trilateral exchange. Let me first note the odd feeling involved when various versions of my moniker are included in discussions to which I am not a party. This is not a complaint but rather simply a note as to the unusual aspect of this phenomenon.

            A few points:

            Never have I described those whose health insurance policy status is changing as either insignificant or “of no consequence.” Also, 15.2 million (and/or your lower 15 million figure) is a widely accepted estimate of the number of people in the individual health insurance market, and NOT the number whose policy status is changing, as both you and OPC have implied.

            You and I have conducted a polite and reasonable discussion of this topic over several weeks, and yet you previously characterized my desire to disengage, after going over the same ground again and again, both in depth and in breadth, as “abrupt.” Now you state that there is some question which I “can’t respond to in an intellectually honest way.” Neither characterization is apt, and neither characterization is appreciated. This is especially true in light of my habit of acknowledging and correcting factual errors when they are pointed out or otherwise discovered, in marked contrast to all three members of your trilateral discussion group.

            As previously stated, I do not view various and sundry statements made by President Obama as “lies.” It is therefore impossible to respond to a question from you that uses that term, as the premise is not accepted. One must also note that one party to your trilateral discussions has argued long and hard that for a lie to exist, there must be some nefarious intent involved, and none has been demonstrated.

            One further notes that you have expressed flexibility and gradation in your view of these various and sundry statements. You wrote, “My standard isn’t if one person loses their insurance the statement is a lie (although technically it is) , but it certainly is a lie if five MILLION do…” Your statement recognizes one of my points — that the subject statements are neither entirely true nor entirely false.

            This ground has been tilled over and over, and clearly nothing is going to move either of us from our respective rows. That does not make either view intellectually honest or dishonest, as both are opinions, and both were arrived at honestly .

            Please allow me to address another of your comments in this thread: “That will give Henn another year to formulate a number. I’m sure it will take at least that long because “flip flop” math is very complicated to generate answers with.”

            You were responding to an erroneous comment that falsely claimed, “on Wednesday Obama delayed the employer mandate, by decree, for another year.” No doubt you now realize that this claim from another member of your triumvirate is completely inaccurate, so one forgives your flippant (and floppant) response.

            (As an aside, it is really rather tedious batting down various inaccurate, false, and misleading comments. The sheer volume of misinformation and disinformation present in the forum is at times overwhelming to a reasonable person’s patience.)

            More to the point, the “math” to which you refer (assuming it is the analysis from Families USA, which was the topic of this thread) is not from me, and I will not be providing any original quantitative analysis on this topic.

            If instead you were referring to your prior comment involving what you described as “promises,” “lies” and “fraud,” I have already addressed that comment.

            Thank you for your attention.

          • HonestDebate1

            Why on earth won’t you take a stand on anything? You most certainly have done all you can to down play the significance of millions losing their policies. It’s very clear. Falling back on semantics as a defense is disingenuous.

          • HonestDebate1

            Oh and BTW, the employer mandate was indeed delayed by decree for a year. The delay, by decree, on Wednesday was for small businesses online enrollment. Sorry I confused you.

            Is it your position that small businesses are not employers? Or did you just not get the memo about the decree? What’s false? What’s misleading?

            …. I mean besides your claim that Families USA is independent and non-partisan?

          • hennorama

            OPC – TYFYR. Please again note that your replies to me do not appear on my DISQUS dashboard, and delays in responding are therefore common.

            Quick points:

            Only = no more than
            Just = only = no more than

            Still no dispute of the actual data, just repeatedly pointing to its age.

            Still no more recent or contradictory data offered.

            Still no contradictory analysis offered.

            Absolutely no evidence offered for the words “concoct” and “partisan.” (unless by “partisan” you mean “dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans.”

            15.2 million is a widely accepted number for those in the individual health insurance market, and NOT the number whose policy status is changing.

            Merely impugning Families USA, and implying bias due to sources of funding and connections to other groups.

            False claim that “After all, the sentence President Obama used was written by the same man who gave us the FUSA report.” Zero proof offered, other than third hand non-reporting and reinterpretation of original reporting.

            Strike seven.

          • HonestDebate1

            Do the gazillion individuals in the employer provided (in truth no employer provides squat, it comes out of the employees pocket) healthcare market count?

          • pete18

            A related note, the president of Families USA also serves as Secretary and Treasurer of the board of the Herndon Alliance group who produced the research to help the Obama administration sell the heath care overhaul. They are also credited with originating Obama’s fraudulent line, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” You can’t make this stuff up.


          • hennorama

            pete18 – thank you for your response.

            Enjoy your holiday.

          • pete18

            Cheers, don’t eat too much pie!

          • HonestDebate1

            This isn’t a game and you are not the umpire.

  • pete18

    More adventures with the serial liar: Not only were the pledges Obama made about the ACA whole cloth lies, so was the heartbreaking story about his mother, which he
    recited endlessly on the campaign trail and in the debates:

    The moving and infuriating story was a staple on the 2008 campaign trail. His mother had insurance, he explained, but when she came down with cancer, her insurance company claimed her disease was a “pre-existing condition” and refused to pay for her treatment. In a debate with Sen. John McCain, Obama said: “For my mother to die of cancer at the age of 53 and have to spend the last months of her life in the hospital room arguing with insurance companies because they’re saying that this may be a pre-existing condition and they don’t
    have to pay her treatment, there’s something fundamentally wrong about that.”

    There would be, if it had been true. But when New York Times reporter Janny Scott researched the issue for her biography of the president’s mother, she discovered letters proving beyond doubt that Cigna never denied Stanley Ann Dunham coverage for her disease. The dispute was over a disability plan that
    would have paid some of her other expenses.

    The White House did not deny Scott’s account, but shrugged it off as something that had happened long ago. Not so long that it couldn’t be milked one last time though, for a 2012 campaign film. In “The Road We’ve Traveled,” the message remained unchanged — a greedy insurance company had cut off Obama’s mother at her moment of maximum vulnerability, and it cost Dunham her life.

    Monas Charen nails the rational that both Obama and his supporters use to euphemize and excuse his bald-faced lying: “It’s different in politics, explained Michael Cohen in the New York Daily News. The American people want too many contradictory things. “Seemingly, the only path to change is
    telling voters what they want to hear.”

    Doubtless that’s what Obama tells himself to justify his deceptions. It’s a form of “lying for justice.” If your goals are noble enough, truth is an acceptable casualty.”

    Read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/11/22/remembering_stanley_ann_dunham_obama_120748.html#ixzz2llLivizH

    • OnPointComments

      I read this on a website somewhere.

      For the simple minded who really think this president cares about you because he says so and promises hope, you need to repeat this ten times every morning when you wake up, again at noon just before lunch, then at dinner time and right after your head hits the pillow:

      “Barack Obama lies therefore I cannot trust him”

      For those who are not as simple minded but still hold on to hope add this to the mantra:

      “If he lies to the nation what makes me think he isn’t lying to me?
      Who am I that I mean anything to him and should expect to receive free gifts from a liar?
      Could I simply be a pawn in his game?”

  • HonestDebate1

    Great points, especially about testing our positions.

  • OnPointComments

    More information about Families USA, incorrectly touted by the media as a non-partisan and independent organization, most recently in connection with its report on health plan cancellations under the Affordable Care Act.


    Philippe Villers, the president of Families USA (FUSA), serves as the Secretary and Treasurer of the Board of the Herndon Alliance, credited with crafting President Obama’s, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” message, backed with money from George Soros’ Open Society Institute, the Tides Foundation, The Center for American Progress, the AARP, the Service Employees International Union, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and MoveOn.org.

    Ron Pollack is the co-founder and Executive Director of FUSA, and helped found Enroll America. FUSA and Enroll America are in the exact same office building, in the exact same suite. Anne Filipic, the person listed on the $1.1 million dollar grant for Enroll America from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, formerly served as Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Before this, she was the Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

    The current president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, sits on President Obama’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. Nancy-Ann DeParle, who sits on the Board of Trustees of the foundation, served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy in the Obama Administration from January 2011 until January 2013. Before this, she served as the president’s Health Care Czar and led the administrations effort to pass Obamacare.

    Speakers at the FUSA Health Care Action (HCA) conference in January 2010 included Valerie Jarrett. After the annual HCA conference convened, FUSA put together a document titled, “Messaging Cheat Sheet: Mastering the 30-Second Sound Byte.” The document contained ways to answer difficult questions being asked from reporters or the public.

    • HonestDebate1

      Don’t expect a reply from Henn.

      • HonestDebate1

        I stand corrected.

    • hennorama

      OPC – OMG! You mean (gasp!) there are organizations that receive funding from others, and use research and polling to promote policy positions? You mean it’s true that some organizations are (double gasp!) interconnected? When did this horror start, and when will this madness end?

      Please allow me to point out the irony involved in your complaint about supposed bias, in that you quote a source that is very clearly biased.

      Let’s examine those who are behind the article to which you linked, from “Capitol City Project.” From their “About” page, we find the organization consists of these three named individuals:

      Stephen Gutowski. This gentleman “served over four years as the content editor for the Media Research Center’s video site MRCTV.” For those who do not know, Media Research Center says this about themselves:

      “MRC’s sole mission is to expose and neutralize the propaganda arm of the Left: the national news media.”

      First of all, one wonders if MRC includes Fox News as part of “the national news media.” No doubt MRC has no bias whatsoever, and no doubt Mr. G has no similar biases.

      Joe Schoffstall. This gentleman also “worked as a multimedia reporter at the Media Research Center (MRCTV, CNSNews.com).” See above as to bias.

      Anne Sorock. This gentlewoman “is the editor-in-chief of the “Capitol City Project.” She also writes as Legal Insurrection and is a co-founder of The Frontier Lab, a nonprofit organization that conducts cutting-edge research in the civic, consumer, and political spaces.”

      The Frontier Lab says this about themselves:

      “THE FRONTIER LAB conducts cutting-edge, private-sector- based marketing research to understand how and why Americans form their opinions about the civic, cultural, and political landscape. We support pro-freedom civic and cultural leaders in understanding the political marketplace and more effectively selling their solutions.

      “To achieve these ends, THE FRONTIER LAB conducts employs the latest science, such as laddering analysis and behavioral event modeling, as well as traditional surveys, to map “political consumer” behaviors and the psychology behind their values and idea affiliations. Our work includes:

      - Publishing groundbreaking research that realigns the current political paradigm system;

      - Providing cutting-edge marketing research and turn-key communications directions;

      - Identifying opportunities that exist to innovate messaging and packaging strategy;

      - Leading educational programs based on deep-values insights derived from our research.

      - We seek to enable our partners in the fight for America to market to their core audiences — and to their audiences core — with the most stirring words, through the most efficient channels, to inspire behavior that achieves both their and their audiences’ desired ends. “

      One of the four members of their Board of Directors is “JACK FOWLER, publisher of National Review,” a publication that describes itself as the “most widely read and influential magazine and website for Republican/conservative news, commentary and opinion.”

      Again, no doubt they have absolutely NO biases whatsoever.

      Let’s quote from a few “About Us” pages on various other websites, to see what the organizations write about themselves. If you’re interested, try to guess the identity of the organizations (revealed later):

      Organization 1 says “[Our] staff pursues this mission by performing timely, accurate research on key policy issues and effectively marketing these findings to our primary audiences: members of Congress, key congressional staff members, policymakers in the executive branch, the nation’s news media, and the academic and policy communities.”

      Organization 2 says “To assist the advocacy community, civic leaders, and elected officials, [we], working with our partners, [continue] to undertake new rounds of research to identify communications strategies and messaging that best resonate with the public.”

      Organization 3 says “[Our] scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues. [We receive] approximately 80 percent of [our] funding through tax-deductible contributions from individuals, with the remainder of [our] support coming from foundations, corporations, and the sale of books and publications.

      Organization 4 says “[We are] a national nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the achievement of [a single public policy issue]. Working at the national, state, and community levels, we have earned a national reputation as an effective voice for [those most directly affected by the issue] for 30 years.”

      Organization 5 says “[We are] a private, nonpartisan, not-for-profit institution dedicated to research and education on issues of government, politics, economics and social welfare. [Our] purpose is to serve leaders and the public through research and education on the most important issues of the day.”

      Organization 6 says “Our work blends market research with language creation to deliver winning messaging. Our creative team is made up of expert wordsmiths that know market research as well as they know language. [As] a result, you get language that is tailored specifically to shift support towards your issue, your business or your goals…word by word, phrase by phrase. Tested, researched and perfected, using innovative polling, comprehensive market research, and instant response dial sessions – we make sure you know exactly what your audience wants, and needs, to hear.

      Organization 7 says “As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to [a single public policy issue, we work] with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For more than 40 years [we have] brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect [those we serve].

      The Big Reveal:

      1. http://www.heritage.org/about
      2. http://herndonalliance.org/about/services/services.html
      3. http://www.cato.org/about
      4. http://www.familiesusa.org/about
      5. http://www.aei.org/about/
      6. http://www.luntzglobal.com/
      7. http://www.rwjf.org/en/about-rwjf.html

      Other sources:


      • OnPointComments

        I note that you are unable to dispute any of the facts in the article and my comment.

        • hennorama

          OPC – thank you for your response. Hope you are enjoying the holiday.

          There’s nothing of significance to dispute. This is what the article showed:

          Various organizations and individuals are linked in various ways. Big deal, and big surprise.

          Various organizations that for decades have been working on U.S. health care issues are putting their money into efforts to promote and defend the PPACA. Big surprise.

          Various organizations are trying to counter the false, misleading and inaccurate stories about the PPACA that have been receiving considerable attention. Big surprise.

          Not a surprise: you have still not presented a single shred of contradictory evidence or data regarding the analysis from Families USA.

          Also not a surprise: neither did the article you quoted.

          Now let’s examine one of the claims made by Mr. Schoffstall. He wrote that the Herndon Alliance “…are credited with crafting President Obama’s, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” message…”

          Rather than doing any original reporting, Mr. Schoffstall instead cites “Lachlan Markay of the Washington Free Beacon,” an obviously conservatively biased publication, and links to an article by Mr. Markay, titled “Sourcing the Lie.”


          In his article, Mr. Markay also did no original reporting related to this claim, and instead simply cited and quoted an article from Politco, written in April 2009:

          “When President Barack Obama says Americans can maintain their ‘choice’ of doctors and insurance plans, he is using a Herndon strategy for wringing fear out of a system overhaul,” Politico noted in a 2009 piece on the group.”


          Completely absent from that original reporting, from Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown, is anything that indicates that Herndon Alliance “crafted” any message.

          Unless Ms. Budoff Brown’s phrase “using a Herndon strategy” now means “using a message crafted by Herndon,” of course.

          Great third hand non-reporting and reinterpretation from your source there, OPC. You can really pick ‘em.

          Thanks again for your response.

      • HonestDebate1

        Brent Bozell is a saint doing the Lord’s work but what does that have to do with the million dollars of our money being spent on propaganda?

        Maybe you are not familiar with MRC or Newsbusters but they aren’t heavy on opinion.

      • HonestDebate1

        Just so you know, I appreciate your consistent down votes. I also really enjoy your not replying for however your snit lasts this time. The down votes that always appear when you reply elsewhere let me know you have read the comment. I like having the last word unchallenged. As many times as I’ve shredded your arguments I don’t blame you for not tangling with me.

      • OnPointComments

        Is it your contention that Families USA (FUSA), Herndon Alliance (HA), and Enroll America are nonpartisan and independent? A brief recap:
        ● Philippe Villers is the president of FUSA and is also secretary/treasurer of Herndon Alliance.
        ● Ron Pollack is the co-founder and Executive Director of FUSA, helped found Enroll America, and is Enroll America’s Executive Director.
        ● FUSA and Enroll America are in the exact same office building, in the exact same suite.
        ● Enroll America’s president is Anne Filipic, who formerly served as Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

        As president of Enroll America, Anne Filipic received a $1.1 million dollar grant for her organization at the behest of HHS Secretary Sebelius. Surely you’ll concede that HHS Secretary Sebelius is not nonpartisan.

        The Herndon Alliance newsletter dated February 23, 2009 gave the following messaging advice as one of the “key points to make on what health care reform will deliver to Americans:”

        “If You Like It—You Can Keep It: Health care reform means better choices and options for all. You have the choice to keep your doctor, your hospital and even your health insurance plan if you like it.”

        Remember, this was HA’s February 23, 2009 newsletter. On June 6, 2009, 103 days later, President Obama made this promise for the first time:

        “…if you like the plan you have, you can keep it. If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too.”

        President Obama repeated the “If You Like It—You Can Keep It” statement at least 37 times after Herndon Alliance recommended using it as a key point.

        How does Herndon Alliance develop its key points and where does it get some of its information? According to HA’s Form 990, one of HA’s largest independent contractors is Lake Research Partners (LRP). LRP is headed by Celinda Lake, who describes herself on the LRP website as one of the Democratic Party’s leading political strategists, serving as tactician and senior advisor to the national party committees, dozens of Democratic incumbents, and challengers at all levels of the electoral process.

        If you still believe these organizations are independent and nonpartisan, then you’re hopelessly naïve.

        • HonestDebate1

          Nice work OPC. It’s ironic that the effort to defend Obamacare led you to dig this deep and expose the incest we would otherwise not know about.

          • OnPointComments


        • hennorama

          OPC, OPC, OPC …. more flailing? OK then.

          Still no dispute of the actual data about which you complained.

          Still no more recent or contradictory data offered.

          Still no contradictory analysis offered.

          And now, still more errors.

          Well done, sir.

          Let me first get your query out of the way: NO. (Detailed response below the second break, beginning with “As to Families USA …).

          I read your hilarious comment on Friday Nov. 30, 2013, and decided to not reply for at least 24 hours, in order to give you and your backslapping cohort some time to realize how silly and ignorant one of your main points is, and to allow some time to pass so that someone else might at least give you a clue.

          As no one seems to have caught your glaringly erroneous misinformation, please allow me to point it out:

          You wrote (in brackets due to the internal quotes):

          [The Herndon Alliance newsletter dated February 23, 2009 gave the following messaging advice as one of the "key points to make on what health care reform will deliver to Americans:"

          ["If You Like It—You Can Keep It: Health care reform means better choices and options for all. You have the choice to keep your doctor, your hospital and even your health insurance plan if you like it."

          [Remember, this was HA's February 23, 2009 newsletter. On June 6, 2009, 103 days later, President Obama made this promise for the first time:

          ["...if you like the plan you have, you can keep it. If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too."

          [President Obama repeated the "If You Like It—You Can Keep It" statement at least 37 times after Herndon Alliance recommended using it as a key point.]

          You are seriously ignorant of the facts if you think June 2009 was the first time Senator/Presidential nominee/President-elect/President Obama made statements of this type. He was talking about this throughout the 2008 Presidential election campaign, and if memory serves, since at least 2007. As such, your implication that a Herndon Alliance newsletter from Feb. 2009 was the origin of these statements is laughable on its face.

          Thank you for the comic relief.

          Herndon Alliance is not, as was written in the article from your biased third-hand source in your OP, “credited with crafting President Obama’s, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” message.”

          Instead, research from the Herndon Alliance helped convince those working to reform the U.S. health care system to change their communication strategy, from one that emphasized facts and figures, to one that used more emotional appeals. From the original reporting by Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown, in April 2009:

          “When President Barack Obama says Americans can maintain their “choice” of doctors and insurance plans, he is using a Herndon strategy for wringing fear out of a system overhaul.”

          (Notice the word “strategy,” and the complete absence of the word “message” or even anything close to “If you like it you can keep it.”)


          “The research from 2006 to 2007 was fundamental to helping shape our view of how to talk about health care and, generally, how progressives and Democrats talk about health care,” said Richard Kirsch, national campaign manager of Health Care for America Now, a major umbrella organization for liberal groups.”


          “The intense focus on framing the issue in a way that resonates with voters is a lesson learned from the last major health care push in 1993-94 — and even from 2004, when the Democratic presidential candidates emphasized the uninsured and failed to break through with a compelling message, Van Vranken said.

          “He said he cringes when he looks back on the statistics-heavy materials he produced to explain Dean’s plan.

          “I couldn’t understand it, must less someone from the heartland,” Van Vranken said. “The left just liked to be the smartest guy in the room, and show how smart we were and throw in facts and figures.”

          “This time around, they went for emotion.”


          “Herndon presented its findings to the campaigns of Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and John Edwards. Deliberate or not, Herndon’s footprints were discernable.

          “Clinton assured voters they could keep their insurance if they liked it, but could also choose from a mix of public and private plans. Obama always stressed the need to rein in insurers. Edwards tapped into polling that showed voters wanted a public insurance option.”

          (Notice that the three campaigns emphasized three different aspects of the Herndon findings, and that CLINTON “ assured voters they could keep their insurance if they liked it…,” not Obama.)

          See (again):

          For more on the origins of the message, from a firsthand account published Nov. 1, 2013 titled “The Origins of ‘If You Like Your Health Insurance, You Can Keep It’ “ by Richard Kirsch, Senior Fellow, Roosevelt Institute; author of ‘Fighting for Our Health,’ see:


          In the article, Mr. Kirsch wrote the following, confirming the 2009 Politico article:

          “We also knew that those who wanted to block health care reform would play on people’s fears, a lesson learned most recently in the 1993-1994 fight over the Clinton health plan, in which opponents made wild claims about government bureaucrats coming between you and your doctor and denying you coverage.

          “In that context, it was essential to assure the 85 percent of Americans with health coverage that reform would not be a threat. Hence, “If you like your health care, you can keep it.” That message reassured people and let them be open to the rest of the message: proposed reforms would guarantee quality, affordable coverage to everyone and fix the real problems people were facing. After all, the first part of that sentence, “if you like it,” implies that lots of people would love to improve their coverage by making it more affordable and secure and by ending insurance company abuses.

          “Hillary Clinton’s campaign understood this early on, and she used the message consistently when she talked about health care reform during the Democratic primaries. Soon after she dropped out, Obama made it a key part of his health care message. But the promise that you could keep your health care was more than just a message; for almost everyone, it was an accurate description of the almost identical reform policies proposed by Clinton and Obama, which became the foundation for the Affordable Care Act.”

          BTW – your biased source (the three-person “Capitol City Project”) clearly is not great at fact-checking, and you apparently can’t be bothered to do so either, as you continue to repeat their erroneous words. The article you cited (and now you as well) made a big deal about “Families USA and Enroll America are in the exact same office building, in the exact same suite.”

          The problem is that this is absolutely false. Had the “reporter” (and you) done even a cursory check, he would have discovered the following:

          Enroll America
          1001 G Street, N.W. 8th Floor
          Washington, D.C. 20001
          Phone: 202-737-6340


          Families USA
          1201 New York Avenue NW Suite 1100
          Washington, DC 20005
          Phone: 202-628-3030
          Fax: 202-347-2417


          These buildings are situated about three blocks apart, and both are a few blocks from the White House.

          Again, you really know how to pick a source to quote. You swallowed and then regurgitated their errors, whole.

          As to Families USA — I have never once indicated that they are, “nonpartisan and independent.” I have quoted their website, which indicates they are “a national nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans.”

          Non-partisan. Not “nonpartisan and independent.”

          I have also made no comments as to either Herndon Alliance or Enroll America being “nonpartisan and independent.”

          That these organizations and some individuals involved with them are interconnected is unsurprising, as they all are involved in healthcare issues. If involvement and/or connection equals partisanship, then let’s see who else is involved, and therefore guilty by association. Here’s the complete list of the Board of Directors of Enroll America:

          Ron Pollack Executive Director, Families USA

          Vinny DeMarco President, Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative

          Roger Schwartz, Executive Branch Liaison, National Association of Community Health Centers

          Debra Barrett, Vice President of Government Affairs, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA

          Tom Epstein, Vice President, Public Affairs, Blue Shield of California

          Anthony Barrueta, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Kaiser Permanente

          Sister Carol Keehan, President and CEO, Catholic Health Association of the United States

          Richard Umbdenstock, President and CEO, American Hospital Association

          Look at all of these horrible partisans, all of whom, not coincidentally, are involved in health care and health insurance!

          And here is the list of the Advisory Council for Enroll America, all of whom must obviously be horribly partisan:

          America’s Essential Hospitals
          American Academy of Pediatrics
          American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
          American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)
          American Diabetes Association
          American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
          American Nurses Association
          Ascension Health
          Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
          Association for Community Affiliated Plans
          Benefits Data Trust
          Catholic Charities USA
          Center for Public Policy Priorities
          Communities Joined in Action
          Community Catalyst
          CVS Caremark
          Doctors for America
          Easter Seals
          Express Scripts
          Friends of Cancer Research
          Health Care for America Now
          Healthcare Leadership Council
          Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
          March of Dimes
          Medicaid Health Plans of America
          Mental Health America
          NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
          NASHCO (National Alliance of State Health Co-Ops)
          National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics
          National Association of Health Underwriters
          National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
          National Council of La Raza
          National Council on Behavioral Health
          National Health Care for the Homeless Council
          National Hispanic Medical Association
          National Indian Health Board
          National Medical Association
          National Urban League
          National Women’s Law Center
          Pennsylvania Health Law Project
          PICO National Network
          Planned Parenthood
          Raising Women’s Voices
          Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
          Small Business Majority
          Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE)
          Solutions for Progress
          Trinity Health
          United Way Worldwide
          U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG)
          Young Invincibles


          Now let’s examine some examples of how “partisan” Families USA has been over the years.

          While Gov. Romney and others were trying to reform the Massachusetts health insurance and health care systems, Families USA was providing information and support. They also helped after the law was enacted.

          As examples, all of the following are on their website (Years, Titles and URLs):


          “What do the differences in the House and Senate Medicare drug bills mean for low-income residents of Massachusetts?”

          “How the Immigrant Provisions of the Senate Prescription Drug Bill Will Help Massachusetts”

          “Who’s Uninsured in Massachusetts and Why?”


          “The Uninsured: A Closer Look Bay Staters without Health Insurance”

          “Join the MassACT! Campaign A Ballot Initiative for Affordable Care Today”


          “Proposed Health Reform in Massachusetts: Net Gain for the Business Community”

          “The Enzi Bill: Bad Medicine for Massachusetts”

          “Massachusetts Health Reform—Round Three” (this is a Powerpoint presentation, so open only if really interested)

          “Massachusetts’ Uninsured Children”


          “Guide to Finding Health Insurance Coverage: Massachusetts”

          “Massachusetts Health Reform of 2006”



          For even more information, see:


          So yes, I guess Families USA HAS been “partisan,” but only if “partisan” means “dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans.”

          Thanks again for the comic relief.

          • HonestDebate1

            That sure is a lot of ignoring the forrest.

            Was candidate Obama talking about a bill that existed? He said a lot of things during the campaign that proved to be completely false regarding Obamacare. It wasn’t a lie until the plan existed. We now know it was not true but you seem to be saying it was a lie all along. I disagree. A campaign promise is not a talking point to pass a bill that doesn’t exist. And don’t forget (I guess you already did) Obama claimed that during the campaign he added the caveat about if the plan wasn’t changed, thereby negating the promise. Of course it was a lie, he never said it but forget that. Then he changed it and strangled the grandfather clause. That’s when he needed a talking point, he didn’t care if it was true. FUSA to the rescue.

            That is a colossal oversight in your logic.

            Anyone truly dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans would run screaming from Obamacare. It’s the antithesis to that paradigm.

          • OnPointComments

            Henny, Henny, Henny, you’re not only naïve, you may be delusional. And when you can’t go for substance, you go for volume. Embrace brevity.

            You believe information that was compiled from over a decade ago, when the economy was growing at a far greater rate than it has under the Obama administration, and the unemployment rate was half of what it is now, is relevant to what is happening today. You are of course free to believe what you want.

            Carefully re-read my comment above. You’ll note that it doesn’t reference either Politico or Capitol City Project, only Herndon’s own newsletter dated February 23, 2009, and President Obama’s speech from June 6, 2009.

            The first dated instance found by Politifact in which President Barack Obama or a top administration official publicly stated something close to, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” was June 6, 2009. The Washington Post says the first time President Obama used the phrase was June 15, 2009 in a speech to the AMA. Even liberal Media Matters said the promise was first made in 2009. I’m sure you’ll provide us with a documented quote of Candidate Obama saying in 2007 “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” I looked and couldn’t find one. Perhaps the quote you find will also have Candidate Obama promising “you can keep your plan if it hasn’t changed once the law is passed,” as he claimed he said; otherwise I will continue to believe that his claim was simply another lie he thought his foolish disciples would believe.

            Going off on a brief tangent, it’s a sad commentary that my argument is that President Obama started telling the lie in 2009, and your counterargument is that he’s told the lie for years longer.

            As to the interrelationship between Families USA and Enroll America, besides common directors, board members, and founders (as if that isn’t enough), on the 2010 and 2011 Form 990s for the two organizations, the addresses for both organizations are the same, and the 990s indicate the books for both organizations are kept by Delma Plummer, the Director of Finance & Administration at Families USA Foundation. The independence of the two organizations is one only slightly of form, not of substance.

            Nonpartisan? Surely you jest. The organizations rely on research from “one of the Democratic Party’s leading political strategists.” Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebelius raised money for Enroll America, and is the subject of a government ethics investigation for doing so. The investigation is not surprising since this isn’t the first time that Secretary Sebelius has been investigated for using her official capacity in violation of the law; an investigation by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel found that, for the first time in American history, a cabinet secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, violated the Hatch Act. The penalty for violating the law? Nothing. Laws are no impediment to members of the Obama administration.

            Nonpartisan? Here is the top senior leadership of Enroll America as identified on its website, with their former positions presented parenthetically:
            Anne Filipic, President (former deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement for the Obama White House)
            Chris Wyant, Managing Director (former Obama White House economics advisor)

            Keep drinking the Kool-Aid. I’m sure you find it refreshing.

  • OnPointComments

    It is utter irony that President Obama and the Democrats shut down the government in October because they were absolutely unwilling to discuss any compromise with Republicans about delaying Obamacare, only to have the shutdown end and the Obama administration announce delay after delay in Obamacare.

    • HonestDebate1

      I really wish that point was not lost on so many people.

  • pete18

    “Well, here’s how I see it. It sure looks to me as if the President of the United States, members of his administration, and Democratic Congressional leaders
    didn’t just lie. I think they intentionally perverted the truth. And I
    think they did it because, if they didn’t, they knew the bill wouldn’t pass through Congress.

    And Congress passed a bill it knew would dramatically impact
    Americans’ rights – you know, our inalienable constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – without even reading it. And they subverted the constitution by using the Commerce Clause to ram it through the Senate without a single Republican vote.

    If that isn’t enough, the Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare’s individual mandate as a tax, even though President Obama and congressional leaders clearly stated it wasn’t a tax. Had they proposed it as a tax, they never would have gotten it through Congress.

    I wish this was just about lying, dishonesty, and accountability. To me, it goes way beyond that. To me, and apparently the Merriam Webster dictionary, this is fraud:

    fraud noun ˈfrȯd

    a : deceit, trickery; specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right

    If a CEO or CFO of a public corporation pulled something like this, it would be fraud. The only difference is this fraud was committed against the American people. Not a small percentage of the American
    people. Not just the ones with individual coverage. Not just the ones who had subpar plans, whatever that means.

    We’ve recently seen reports that, way back in 2010, the Obama administration knew ObamaCare would dramatically disrupt private health insurance plans. They knew that at least 93 million Americans would lose their health plan
    coverage. And, by some estimates, the actual number will be much higher.

    According to the administration’s commentary in the Federal Register, in addition to individual plan disruption, “The Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66% of small employer plans and 45% of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013.”

    Perhaps more importantly, under ObamaCare we will have fewer choices,higher premium costs, and far fewer doctors. Let me spell that out for you: fewer choices + higher costs + fewer doctors = poorer health care.

    I’m no constitutional expert but it sure looks to me as if at least
    two branches of the Federal Government – branches that are supposed to provide checks and balances to keep each other from overstepping their bounds – committed fraud by perverting the truth and subverting the
    constitution to get Americans to give up some of their rights.

    Let me tell you something, folks. We’ve seen this sort of leadership behavior before. We’ve seen it at companies like Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, and Adelphia. If you’ve ever wondered what makes powerful executives commit fraud, the answer is simple. They think they’re above the truth
    and the law. They think they know better. And they think they can exert their will over others without being held to account.

    When that happens, it’s called absolute power, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    Steve Tobak is a Silicon Valley-based strategy consultant and former senior executive of the technology industry.


  • HonestDebate1

    Today is the day! The website will be fixed as promised, everything will work. Now that this one little pesky glitch is eliminated, Obamacare will be perfect.

    • JGC

      If you are good, you just may find a big, fat subsidy under your tree.

      • HonestDebate1

        I don’t think I qualify but I have been good. I am very serious when I say, until I read your comment I never even thought about a subsidy. Aside from that one loaf of government cheese in the early 80′s, I’ve never looked to government for assistance. Hunger and homelessness was the best thing for me, I am grateful for the impact it had on my life.

        God bless people in need, I’m glad there is a safety net for those in truly bad shape but I just think I am not on that boat. I will do what I need to do to get by.

        I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.

        • JGC

          Canada’s Thanksgiving is in October, but anytime time is fine for pumpkin pie.

          • HonestDebate1

            …and family… and beer.

  • HonestDebate1

    The hurricane season is now officially over and it was the mildest in decades. The prediction by NOAA was way off. This is yet more good news regarding climate… or so I thought. I heard an NPR report the said the reason was drier air. I guess that means global warming caused the mild season. Be worried, very worried.

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