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Poll_Blind

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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 23,862

About Me

NOTE: Anyone can join Democratic Underground. They can claim anything. Democratic Underground gives no warranty that the people with which you interact on Democratic Underground are Democrats or even Progressives. They may be Republicans, other political agitators or merely the mentally-unstable, heavily intoxicated or deranged personalities whose behavior is best described as "shit-stirring assholes". Furthermore, reading the first two sentences again, realize that their irrational, inflammatory or destructive behavior may appear to be supported by other individuals or even the bulk of respondents to a given post. However, always applying the above paragraph to certain phantasmagoric situations you may witness in given threads in our fora, you are best served by believing only those ideas that you agree with to be real and the rest, highly suspect.

Journal Archives

ABC News: Box of "Liberal Causes" stolen from DNC warehouse. Libertarians suspected.


Photo Credit AP

From ABC News:
Washington, DC - A refrigerator-sized cardboard box containing all the party's liberal causes has been stolen from the Democratic National Committee, sources report. The box of 'left wing' political ideas went missing sometime after being put into storage after the Democratic National Convention of 2012.

"Every two years we go to the warehouse and get the box loaded onto the truck. We open it up, dust the liberal causes off, do some restoration if necessary, and then put them on display during the convention. An intern was taking an inventory for insurance purposes and found it wasn't at the warehouse anymore." said Edith March, DNC spokesperson. "Which is ironic, because we hadn't actually insured them."

--snip--

"Well, it's not a total loss. We still have these little bobblehead statues of Ted Kennedy and Paul Wellstone from a gift shop in the lobby. Somebody had written 'liberal' on the bottom with a Sharpie so we've put those in a safe place. Oh, also...Somebody found an old 'ERA NOW!' button in their desk. We're looking into what that means and what it would take to mount the button on either of the bobbleheads. Maybe with hot glue or something."

Asked about the possibility the Democratic Party may not be able to recover the ideas, March seemed optimistic about being able to rebuild from scratch if necessary.

"We had a big brainstorm a few days ago to see what everybody remembers and so far we have: 'something about Social Security', 'there's nothing wrong with black people', and something about growing corn or maybe the sea. Didn't somebody famous write a book about corn growing in the sea? Anyway, we're getting there."

"Oh, one more!" she added, "'Old people need blankets.'"


--snip--

Sources close to the police investigation have implicated members in the local chapter of the Libertarian party in the theft. A YouTube video surfaced, showing Libertarians coaching each other on the pronunciation of phrases like 'Constitutional Rights', 'living wage' and 'old people need blankets'. Arrests are expected soon.


PB

Dramatic CCTV: Meteorite blast wave blows out doors, windows in Russia

I meant to post this last evening. You've probably all seen the first part but at about the :15 second mark they show CCTV footage from inside an office and a little later from inside a warehouse/industrial garage.

That is a a serious blast!



PB

Word Cloud from FULL text of President's speech tonight:



From the full text posted HERE.

PB

Nah, that'd be too easy to spot. Take the healthcare legislation or wiretapping or...

...any of those current-ish issues. The Obama Administration for whatever reason (LOL!) decides to push GOP/Heritage/Conservative...whatever...and then it's time to "revisit" the idea and "reconsider" the various facets of it, yadda yadda. They're not going to come right out and say "Oh, you know what? Bush/Heritage Foundation/GOP proposed the exact same thing. Now that Obama's pushing that same legislation, maybe Bush/etc. weren't so bad!"

You've got a healthcare law literally designed by the Heritage Foundation and AHA, warrantless wiretaps and especially warrantless data gathering up the ass and all anyone's going to get from them is "Oh, so I suppose drones are the new boogeyman this week?"

The most interesting thing about this is I talk to a shitload of different kinds of people, all walks of life, just about everywhere across the political spectrum. Know what? Nobody talks like the people do on DU. Because the people who are doing this on DU are putting a shot over on ya, it's not real.

If you talk to anyone who's actually in politics, any kind of representative, you don't get the nasty "Why don't you just vote for the Republicans you whiny crybaby!" attitude/bullshit.

Think about that. Think about how people talk to people here versus in real life, especially if you have ever worked with anyone in politics or given them feedback. Almost none of the things that happen here reflect anything you're going to experience dealing with actual politicians or actual politically-involved people.

It's like one of those Japanese theme bars in Tokyo where all the Japanese businessmen go after work, putting on their cowboy clothes and spurs and spend a few hours smoking hand-rolled cigarettes and listening to a player piano. No real cowboys every stop by, if you get my meaning. An unfortunately long time ago, real politicians did stop by DU and post, interact. That's years and years ago. This place is a Democratic Party Theme Bar now. Last time anything remotely real happened here it involved the great interview one of the admins did with Mudcat Saunders. I salute the DU Admins trying to get the place on track, but it's tough to imagine what they could do to actually re-invest this place with the kind of feeling it once had.

PB

Notice that the emphasis is not on male self-restraint but female temptation?

That's rape culture in a nutshell. That's male privilege. That's "I raped her because she was dressed like a slut and I couldn't help myself."

I'm sure it exists to some extent in other religions but in the Abrahamic religions it is instantiated and enshrined in religious lore, starting with the story of Eve. This example stands out because the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community stands out. But there are shades of it everywhere.

PB

DeFazio begins 14th term (He’s now Oregon’s longest-serving representative)

Until last week, Willis C. Hawley was the longest-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Oregon. Rep. Peter DeFazio surpassed Hawley on Thursday when he was sworn in for his 14th two-year term.

DeFazio said Thursday that when he arrived in Washington, D.C., as a freshman in 1987, he found himself participating in a legislative process — one in which bills were amended as they moved along, and members of both parties formed coalitions in pursuit of shared goals.

The House doesn’t work that way anymore. Because of changes that began under Democratic leadership and accelerated under Republican Newt Gingrich’s speakership, DeFazio said, the majority party now exercises near-exclusive control over the content of legislation. The leaders of the majority operate more like the heads of a parliamentary bloc than as legislative officers.

At the same time, DeFazio said, because of scientific redistricting most congressional districts have been made safe for one party or the other — with the result that few House members stray from party orthodoxy. The number of conservative Democrats has dwindled, and liberal Republicans have all but vanished. What DeFazio recalled as “the broad middle” of his early days in Congress is gone. The House now engages in top-down, party-line lawmaking.


Much more at the link! A fascinating little piece on DeFazio's career in the House of Representatives, changes he's noticed in Washington since he first arrived in 1987, and musings on the nature of his unusual longevity as a perennial outsider- a self-imposed role- from DC "politics as usual".

PB

Esquire: The Grand Sellout Emerges

MODS: There are many articles referenced and subreferenced in this OP. All linked, sourced and excerpted per usual DU rules.

Before the Esquire article, you should understand why people are talking about Chained CPI, today:

Emerging from a Democratic Caucus meeting Tuesday morning — where they were briefed on Obama’s plan by top White House adviser Rob Nabors — the Democrats pushed back hard against the president’s proposal to reduce future cost-of-living raises for Social Security recipients.

The change — known as the chained consumer price index (CPI) — is said to cut $130 billion in federal spending over a decade, and would include safeguards to protect the most vulnerable seniors.

“I don’t like it at all,” said Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.).

“A terrible idea,” said Rep. and Sen.-elect Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

“We don’t like the chained CPI,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.).

“We don’t like it,” said Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.). “Why are you hurting the vulnerable seniors?”

And so on and so on- worth reading that article too. There are a lot of Democrats who hate this. Can anyone blame them?


Photo Illustration by DonkeyHotey via Flickr/Special to The Politics Blog

I generally believe Ezra Klein when he talks about how everyone who matters is coming together to make a deal, so may I just congratulate all the important people on both sides of the aisle who have come together in semi-good faith to ram it to the rest of us. Really, kids, if this isn't really just a trial balloon big enough for the Macy's parade, well done.

On the spending side, the Democrats' headline concession will be accepting chained-CPI, which is to say, accepting a cut to Social Security benefits. Beyond that, the negotiators will agree to targets for spending cuts. Expect the final number here, too, to be in the neighborhood of $1 trillion, but also expect it to lack many specifics. Whether the cuts come from Medicare or Medicaid, whether they include raising the Medicare age, and many of the other contentious issues in the talks will be left up to Congress.


So here's where we sit. The Democrats, led by the president, who never is going to need to depend on Social Security, are prepared to concede on an issue that has absolutely nothing to do with the deficit. They are going to make life harder for millions of seniors. Social Security is now squarely "on the table" in any future budget negotiation. (Hey, who unplugged the third rail?) The simplest solution — raising the cap — is beyond discussion, now and forever. The "chained-CPI," which is a terrible idea on its own merits, as well as a piece of noxious moral sleight-of-hand, seeing as how it cuts benefits while pretending not to do so, is being adopted whole hog without a corresponding mechanism to raise more Social Security revenue to make up for the loss. If the president maintains his faith in the great god SimpsonBowles, the old folks will get a bump for only two years after the deal takes effect. Swell.

There are a couple of lines of thought here. For example, Paul Krugman is more optimistic.
Those cuts are a very bad thing, although there will supposedly be some protection for low-income seniors. But the cuts are not nearly as bad as raising the Medicare age, for two reasons: the structure of the program remains intact, and unlike the Medicare age thing, they wouldn't be totally devastating for hundreds of thousands of people, just somewhat painful for a much larger group. Oh, and raising the Medicare age would kill people; this benefit cut, not so much.


"Not so much"? That's what we get for a deal in which the president is simultaneously not even getting everything that he wants as regards the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Granny needs to lose some weight anyway.

Quite honestly, the president's willingness to tinker this way with Social Security marks his presidency in a way that nothing else ever will. There is no economic need to do this to Social Security at all. There is no need for the program even to come up in the discussions. This locks Social Security forever into being defined for all political purposes as an "entitlement," and we all know that "entitlements" need to be reformed because everybody this president considers his primary constituencies say they must. It sets the stage for more concessions down the line by any Democratic president who doesn't possess the political momentum that the current president seems hellbent on squandering. This is that most horrible of Beltway concoctions — a deal for a deal's sake, a demonstration for the courtier press that Washington "works." (Chris Matthews last night said that he wanted a cliff-avoiding deal so that "Washington" could prove it can work again. He framed it around the events in Connecticut and gn control. These people think ... strangely.) If John Boehner brings home this deal, his caucus should name him emperor. If that caucus turns him down, they all should be placed in a locked ward for the duration of the president's second term. Meanwhile, David Gregory just had an orgasm you could hear on Mars.


More at the link! What a great position this puts Democrats in...for the Republicans!

To wit:
President Obama’s latest fiscal cliff offer to support deeper spending cuts to popular government programs puts his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill in a tough spot on Tuesday, driving them to dodge questions about whether they could support it.

Obama’s plan calls for $1.2 trillion in spending cuts that include changes like slowing the cost-of-living increases for Social Security beneficiaries – a reform Senate Democrats declared off the table weeks ago.

So now, Obama’s proposal puts Democrats in a bit of a political pickle.

Democrats can’t embrace Obama’s plan for fear of getting hammered by liberal interest groups and giving Republican House Speaker John Boehner room to push for further entitlement cuts.

Conversely, Democrats can’t threaten to scuttle a deal if the cuts are included because it could undermine Obama’s negotiating position. And while Democrats are likely to support the cuts as part of a larger fiscal cliff package, they can’t say so now.

So, they’re not saying much of anything.


Apparently it's just a bridge too far to ask the President to stop putting Democrats in the position of either supporting shitty legislation or openly rebuking him. Why does this situation, any of the insanity you've read above, even have to happen?

JUST GO OVER THE FUCKING CLIFF

PB

Bluejay's George Bush "Squirrel" sig pic

I just can't get enough of this thing. I have no idea why, but it never gets old.



It's like half a zen kōan.

PB

Oregon inmate released, robs bank within hour, police say

Oregon inmate released, robs bank within hour, police say
(CBS/AP) EUGENE, Ore. - Authorities are accusing a man of robbing an Oregon bank less than an hour after he was released from jail due to budget cuts.

The Register-Guard reports that Eugene police arrested 33-year-old Christopher Franklin Weaver shortly after a Thursday robbery at a Pacific Continental Bank branch. He was returned to jail.

Weaver was among about 30 inmates released from the Lane County Jail at 11 a.m. Nov. 29. The bank was robbed at 11:55 a.m. the same day.

County sheriff's Sgt. Carrie Carver says "this isn't necessarily a worst-case scenario, but it's a very bad case."


Much more at the link, including a short video segment which is very much worth watching.

So this is the little town I live in. I've lived here since about 1983/84. I've traveled and lived all over the country, traveled to different countries in Europe, and this is still the most beautiful place on earth, IMO. Especially when you take the peace-loving, hippie-atmosphere into account.

But it's not always so nice. Crime, especially drug-related crime has washed over this little town like a tidal wave. It's not nearly as bad as it was during the meth epidemic but it's still something you have have to be aware of.

Anyway, if you do take the time to watch the video, one of the early-released inmates says something important, IMO- because he lives here too, just like I do. He basically says "You know, some of the people that I was in there with, who also were released today...they should still be in there."

Prophetic. After the interview with him was shot, one of the released allegedly robbed a bank.

Anyway, we have beautiful scenery everywhere. We've got nice people, too. But we're a city, like a lot of other nice cities, which is undergoing some severe budgetary cuts. There's just not enough money to go around and in situations like that, I really wish that we had a little more money to go around for things like more beds in the jail for people who really needed to stay behind bars.

That's all.

PB

Mr. Fish on the US role in the Middle East Peace Process



PB
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