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July 29, 2011 03:46 PM UTC

Open Line Friday!

  • by: Colorado Pols

“The Tea Party is a wild card. Everybody is really afraid of what they might do.”

–Rush Limbaugh, yesterday


72 thoughts on “Open Line Friday!

  1. I’m just wondering this morning if there are any Republican members of the US House who would vote yes on a debt ceiling bill that also received votes from a majority of Dems (not all Dems, a simple majority of the caucus).

  2. Why didn’t the Dems raise the debt ceiling in December?  I’m not being shitty or snarky, it just seems like that would have made sense for them at that point.

    1. I do agree that part of that deal should’ve been a matching raise of the debit ceiling to match the money we’re giving away as special interest payola, but it was forgotten in that aura of rational discussion happening between the two Parties.

      Just like buying a car – crap, I forgot the custom floor mats!

    2. It’s political bad form.

      It’s always, always been seen as Congressional housekeeping.

      At least a few people don’t  think we need a “debt ceiling”

      The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.

      In the spirit of bad form, in Dec we didn’t have a FY2011 budget. Not for lack of proposal, but somehow the obstructionist agenda stopped anything from passing. So if Constitutional language specifying that the debt is determined when Congress approves the budget isn’t enough, and Congress wants a redundant belt and suspenders kind of approach, what difference would a Dec approval have made?

      Great talk show fodder, awesome talking point, but no solution.

  3. Peggy Noonan demolishes Obama.  Don’t forget, you guys love Noonan because she’s really mean to Sarah Palin, right?

    [Emphasis mine]

    Mr. Obama seemed brilliant at politics when he first emerged in 2004. He understood the nation’s longing for unity. We’re not divided into red states and blue, he said, we’re Big Purple, we can solve our problems together. Four years later he read the lay of the land perfectly-really, perfectly. The nation and the Democratic Party were tired of the Clinton machine. He came from nowhere and dismantled it. It was breathtaking. He went into the 2008 general election with a miraculously unified party and took down another machine, bundling up all the accrued resentment of eight years with one message: “You know the two losing wars and the economic collapse we’ve been dealing with? I won’t do that. I’m not Bush.”

    The fact is, he’s good at dismantling. He’s good at critiquing. He’s good at not being the last guy, the one you didn’t like. But he’s not good at building, creating, calling into being. He was good at summoning hope, but he’s not good at directing it and turning it into something concrete that answers a broad public desire.

    And so his failures in the debt ceiling fight. He wasn’t serious, he was only shrewd-and shrewdness wasn’t enough. He demagogued the issue-no Social Security checks-until he was called out, and then went on the hustings spouting inanities. He left conservatives scratching their heads: They could have made a better, more moving case for the liberal ideal as translated into the modern moment, than he did. He never offered a plan. In a crisis he was merely sly. And no one likes sly, no one respects it.

    So he is losing a battle in which he had superior forces-the presidency, the U.S. senate. In the process he revealed that his foes have given him too much mystique. He is not a devil, an alien, a socialist. He is a loser. And this is America, where nobody loves a loser.

    1. Assertion, noun, verb, assertion.  What a waste of pixels.  The American people know who has seriously bolluxed this up and it’s not Obama or the Dems.

      Noonan calls out Obama from her little sandbox.  At least that must be where she is.  I haven’t heard that kind of language since preschool.  Maybe you could post things that will actually HELP?

    2. CNBC correspondent John Harwood this morning restated the results of this week’s Pew Research poll on the politics of the debt ceiling debate: 50-35 said the Republican party is more extreme.  51-26 said Democrats are more willing to work with the other side than Republicans.

      As to Noonan’s absurd comment that Obama “left conservatives scratching their heads: They (Republicans) could have made a better, more moving case for the liberal ideal as translated into the modern moment, that he did.”  This is what Harwood had to say:

      “Republicans will own a credit downgrade. They raised the stakes on the deficit reduction discussion. They accelerated it. It was already in process. They raised the stakes on a big package. But when it came time for the essential element that Democrats had to have to make a big pakage – which meant they were ready to strike a deal – revenues – they (Republicans) wouldn’t do it. So they raised the stakes, then blocked the solution.”

      This lady is on drugs and can’t be taken seriously, if she ever was.

    3. … to say on-camera the negative comment about Palin she was caught saying when she thought the mike was off? Yeah, for that she definitely won the 2008 edition of Raymond’s Annual Profile In Courage award, as well as my endorsement to be elected Galactic President.

  4. Why has the debt ceiling been confused with debt service?

    If more debt is required to service existing debt, you had better jump off this sinking ship. Think underwater home ownership with 2nd and 3rd mortgage.

    Rush Limbaugh,

    Please explain to me what the tea party platform is because as far as I can tell, there is no tea-party.

      1. I’ll let the Commie-Pinko Socialist magazine “The Economist” answer that one:

        Anyway, it seems that US may soon have a problem that featured in a column a few weeks ago, running out of money. In the modern world, debt is money and money is debt; the ability to issue debt is essential to the state.

        1. http://business.financialpost….

          Steve Jobs is now more liquid than Uncle Sam.

          While it’s highly unlikely that President Barack Obama is looking to ask the founder and chief executive of Apple Inc. for a loan, it became a fact as of Thursday afternoon – the world’s largest technology company now has more cash on hand than the most powerful democracy on Earth has spending room.

          As Republicans and Democrats continue to work towards a compromise to the country’s debt ceiling crisis, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Thursday that Washington now has a total operating balance of only US$73.768-billion.

          Meanwhile, Apple currently boasts a cash reserve of US$75.876-billion, as of its most recent quarterly earnings report at the end of June.

        2. I agree in modern terms debt is money, matter of fact, if all debt were repaid there would be NO money in circulation. Wrap your brain around that.  However this system of fraction reserve banking has serious pitfalls. Most debt goes into some type of default. The borrower pockets what he needs and the losses are collectivized. Sounds like the working version of “From each according to his abilities TO each according to his wants.”

          Now debt and government is an entirely different issue. Government needs tax revenue, not debt, to function properly.  Allowing massive government debt creates moral hazard that most people cannot comprehend. Basically government debt warps our entire system of constitutionally limited Representative Democracy.

          Government should only do task that the market is not capable of doing. Government should only work on a cash basis. This allows the voter to “feel the pain” and make reasonable decisions at the voting booth.

          Government debt is not the same as private sector debt and capitalism.

  5. Who’s everybody?  The Tea Party just might turn out to be the best friend Dems ever had, the virus that destroys the Borg from within. Stand fast Tea Baggers!  Don’t let those old establishment GOPers push you GOPTers around!  And remember; politics is just as evil as governing. Never compromise! Go down in a blaze of glory.  That’s the ticket.

    1. I like it!

      So many images come to mind:

      Alien popping out of a stomach

      The Thing exploding a dog in the Artic

      Men in hazmat suits in Congress

      Tron programs disoving into pixels

      Invasion of the Body Snatchers


      1. You do realize Roddenberry used the Borg as an example of collectivism. I.E. the fiscal authoritarians of the Dem party and the Moral authoritarians of the Rep party are the Borg.

        1. But the fact is, Mark G, the late 20th/early 21st century GOP caucus has been, until the introduction of the TP virus, the most perfect example of tightly disciplined group think collectivism anyone could imagine. The same cannot be said of Dems, famously mocked for being as hard to unite as a herd of cats. Just think of  Sen. Manchin and Sen. Sanders both in the D caucus. Heck, the GOP Borg even managed to assimilate “maverick” McCain.

          Up until now, when push came to shove, the GOP had no cat herding problem on any issue deemed vital by the leadership. The individual, even those like Snowe and Collins, was always successfully assimilated by the group whenever it was deemed absolutely necessary. They only appeared to deviate from the herd to the extent of their short leashes.  Now it looks like, if there are leashes still holding, they must be held by the TP.

            1. Usually I just think everything you say is idiotic.  This time I have no clue what it is you’re saying.

              But in the meantime, the TP has forced Boehner to include such a ridiculous requirement, a constitutional amendment to be passed by 2 thirds of both houses before the next ceiling raise, it clearly serves only the purpose of face saving for Boehner.  Passes with a all of 218, just barely making it over the line but it’s a win. For a few political seconds, anyway.  

              Apparently, after telling the prayers “no” yesterday, God changed his mind because he really was down with including a balanced budget constitutional amendment that he, being all knowing, naturally knows has no chance in the Senate because everybody knows that if  any such thing passed there is no possibility that the requirement could be met 6 months from now. This is not a serious bill.

              But then who knows the mysterious mind of God?  Except freshman far right congressmen, of course. And all those tiresome GOP pols who pray on everything instead of studying, looking at pratical facty stuff and thinking and who consider themselves “called” to run for things and think that things like the economy can be fixed prayer.

              Maybe God has an impish sense of humor. Or maybe these folks are getting their answers and their callings from the voices inside their heads.  Anyway, now the tail is officially wagging the dog.  The GOP is officially the party that does the will of the lunatic government hating, no compromise fringe. Let’s see how long the banker/overlords tolerate that.

        2. All you need to raise the super-awesomeness of your Borg/Tea theory is to add a creepy racial theory like in the comment in my sig line.  

        3. Speaker Boehner, you will be assimilated.

          Here is how…please state your position on each of these 20 planks of the Teapublican litmus test…

          That means that a litmus test MUST be applied and here it is:

          In any given Republican Primary or caucus, the Tea Party backs the candidate who agrees with the fewest of these points.

             1)       My chief attribute is electability

             2)       I have the greatest appeal to moderates

             3)       I  will work with Democrats with compromise as my goal

             4)       I will be treated well by the media

             5)       Political pundits agree that I am the right choice

             6)       National Republican political figures endorse me

             7)       The Tea Party is extreme and/or full of bumpkins who know much less than       professional politicians do and governance should be left to the professionals

             8)       I think higher earners should pay more taxes

             9)        I do not agree that we can make the cuts necessary to balance the budget and must raise revenue

             10)     We should not exploit every possible energy resource under our control

             11)      All traveling Americans are terrorists until proven not,  acts of violence by Muslims are isolated actions of a criminal and now way reflective of Islam

             12)     We should not end our military involvement in Libya, Afghanistan or Iraq

             13)     I will not stand firm against enacting or voting for Cap & Trade

             14)    I would make any deal to avoid a government shutdown

             15)   McCain was one of my top three picks in the 2008 primaries

             16)   I believe it is hopeless to directly challenge the left bias of the press

             17)   I think it is important to play fair when the Democrats shamelessly and blatantly cheat

             18)   I don’t believe Republicans should filibuster to block despicable, crooked nominees

             19)   Obama is just misguided not actively working to destroy this nation

             20)   I believe that Democrats are not evil, just wrong

          We will rarely find a champion who rejects all of the above statements but we are in a position to see that whomever emerges as the candidate in the general election – including for the presidency – rejects the majority of these points.

          That is the candidate the Tea Party endorses in that race.

  6. The constipated campaign of T-Paw, often called a ‘top contender’ for his robust single digit showings in poll after poll, is hoping to squeeze out some additional support come September:

    The goal for Ames is to “show big movement,” Pawlenty campaign manager Nick Ayers told NBC News after a meet and greet here this morning


            1. I’m glad Libertad didn’t asphyxiate himself masturbating in his mother’s basement tonight.

              Sometimes we forget to be grateful for the little things.

              not a fan of ‘turd but hard to hold yourself up as an example of civil discourse …

  7. legislation in the Senate to raise the SS payroll tax cap to $250,000 annual income that he said would guarantee its solvency for the next 75 years, compared to 25 years now.

    He said Representative Peter Defazio has already introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives.  Sanders said he got the idea of using $250,000 as the new Social Security Wage Base… from Barack Obama which Obama outlined as a candidate for President.

      1. He has a commanding grasp of the issues and is a fearless advocate for the common man.  All signs point to him running against Obama in the Democratic presidential primary.

        The American people deserve to hear this man in a truly national setting.  Right now, I would vote for Sanders as the nominee.

        1. Makes it kind of hard to run in a “Democratic presidential primary” when you aren’t a registered member of that party, doesn’t it? Ah well, fuck reality. We can get around that, I’m sure.  

              1. I legitimately love Mike Gravel, and I don’t understand how anyone who has reviewed his record and positions could feel otherwise. He is a courageous, genuine progressive elder statesman who deserves respect no matter what he’s registered as.

                Also, he’s super nice and has great taste in ice cream sundae toppings.

                1. You are so adorable. Heads up, chiquita–mockery doesn’t equal hate. It just equals mockery. And his presidential campaign was a fantastic joke that offered up some well needed levity during 2008.

                  I’m off to play with some pups for further levity. Ciao, ciao for now.

                  1. I got to hug a sweet puppeh this morning. She came to my door in the wee hours of the morn, could barely walk. Turned out to be a senior doggie missing for almost a week with almost no use of her hind legs–amazing she didn’t get hit. The vet was able to look up her rabies record from her tag and find her family. She’s back with them now. Happy day!

                    For the record, when I say don’t hate, I mean this:

                    Not this:

                    In other words, whatever you say, I will still see Senator Gravel as a helluva guy and one of my all time favorite presidential candidates. He had some goofy ads and didn’t get any traction, but I believe he’d have done a fine job in office.

                    Not trying to accuse you of ugly frothy at the mouth hate.  

                    1. about anti-Obama racism is wrong because somebody on the left did or said something just as bad. Probably not a politician, an elected official, a serious candidate, a party official or anyone like that, though.  Yes, your “some guy” trumps everything.  Pathetic, elbee.      

              2. He singlehandedly filibustered against the draft at a time when 1) filibustering was difficult, and 2) it was not popular.  He also read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record.

  8. Huh…a “special interest group” supposedly locked up by the Republican’t Party comes to the Capitol to protest cuts to programs that benefit the poor AND get arrested…

    On Wednesday, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sent a letter to Speaker Boehner informing him of its opposition to his deficit reduction proposal and arguing that “future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons.” On Thursday, religious organizations went from polite protest to full-scale mobilization on the Hill.

    Seventy priests, nuns, and social justice workers from Boehner’s home state of Ohio sent the Catholic Speaker a sharp rebuke: “You can heed the consistent moral calls from Catholic leaders who have urged lawmakers to decrease our debt fairly and protect the most vulnerable, or you can yield to growing political pressure from Tea Party Republicans willing to accept catastrophic default for the first time in our nation’s history,” they wrote. Professors from Xavier University, Boehner’s alma mater, also signed the letter.

    Sojourners, a Christian social justice organization, ran a full-page ad in Politico on Thursday morning, warning politicians that “God is Watching” their actions. Sojourners’ supporters have sent nearly 100,000 emails to Congress on budget morality in the past two weeks. “Scriptures teach that God is especially concerned with how the decisions of the politically powerful effect the poor and vulnerable (Isaiah10),” Tim King, a spokesman for Sojourners, told TIME. “The politically easy thing is to cut programs for those in need because poor people don’t have much for lobbyists in Washington D.C. The morally right thing is to defend those whom Jesus called, ‘the least of these.'”

    And nearly a dozen religious leaders were arrested inside the Capitol on Thursday while praying and protesting a budget that would balance itself on the backs of the poor with cuts in crucial areas, like Medicaid and food stamps. Arrests included Jim Winkler, General Secretary of the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Church and Society; Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, Director of Public Witness for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Shalom Center in Philadelphia; Rev. Jennifer Butler, Executive Director at Faith in Public Life; Rev. Michael Livingston, Past President of the National Council of the Churches of Christ (USA); and Martin Shupack, Church World Service’s Director of Advocacy.

    I’m interested to hear Barron X’s response to this…what I also find interesting is that most of the Tea Party Hobbits made proud noises that Ayn Rand is their religion of choice.

    Wonder how that’s gonna play out in 2012?

    1. BTW, WTF is the matter with you, posting from Europe?  Enjoy!!


      Obama is at 40% today per Gallup. GDP was revised down to next to nothing, the economy sucks, most Americans hate his bullshit ACA (which will probably lose the mandate next summer, thanks to SCOTUS).

      He is a lame-duck, one term President.  R’s will pick up a couple of seats in the Senate, and the D’s might pick up a couple in the House.

      How’s that?

      PS got a lead on an authentic Rockies jersey.  I’ll let you know.  Sorry it’s taken me so long to run one down.

      1. With Republicans in control of all 3 branches of government, it will be just like the Oughts!  Bigger tax cuts for the rich!  Insurance companies will be able to deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions!  More economic bubbles growing-growing-growing, then POP! just in time to dump them in the lap of middle class folks like me!  And a bunch of bright, shiny new wars, and maybe a draft to drum up enough bodies to go fight them!  Like my son!  And your daughters!

        Ellbee, what do you think Republican control of government will do to improve anyone’s quality of life?  Weren’t you awake 2001-2008?

    2. think we should raise taxes on and cut benefits for the poor. How else would we ever be able to force them to rely on prayer just to get through the day? Besides, Jesus helps those who help themselves, and the poor remaining poor means they haven’t gotten enough Jesus to help themselves yet.  

    3. .

      First, I’ve got a lot of frustration with the USCCB.  Although I am a Catholic Priest, and have been one for over 57 years, since I am not an ordained priest, they have put up nearly insurmountable roadblocks to me ever being elevated to Bishop.  Meaning, not only will I never get to join their exclusive men-only club, it almost eliminates any chance of me becoming Pope.  That really bugs me.  

      As for their latest publicity stunt, I grudgingly acknowledge some moral alignment with the teachings of that Jew who started the Catholic Church.  


      Maybe you think I’m having trouble reconciling the Church’s position and teachings with the tenets of the Tea Party.

      In fact, they’re not that far apart.  

      Obviously, I reject the consensus here, and across the Progressive spectrum, and across the corporatist spectrum, of what the Tea Party is and stands for.  

      Some conniving opportunists acted shrewdly to co-opt the movement, and most in it never saw it coming.  Most who self-identify as Tea Party today are actually GOP automatons who put their party above God, country and apple pie.  They have no idea what the contemporary T-Party stands for, but by golly they support it.  

      These aren’t bad people; they’re too stupid to be culpable.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t keep ’em from voting.  


      2 me, the whole T-Party gestalt is about rejecting, revolting against, the stranglehold that the corporatists of the one major party have on our government.  

      While the average T-Partier understands that devil worship is not the ideal mode, since their party is controlled by devil-worshipers, they got confused, and in their confusion, choose to be tolerant.  Can’t do anything to undermine the Borg.

      And this applies just as much to the Satanists running the Democratic Party and you Polsters who know that what they are doing is bad, bad, bad, but you can’t turn against your party, not after all you have invested in it emotionally.  

      If one of you is inclined to defend the Democratic wing of the Party of Beelzebub, Lucifer, Mephisto, because that wing does so much good for the downtrodden, then maybe that one does not see through the stagecraft.  Giving the appearance of advancing the public welfare is a tactic to get gullible chumps to buy in.  At its core, this wing is as decayed as it’s twin sister.  Think of NASCAR, and the appearance of competition there, or professional wrestling.  That’s really what the eternal GOP-vs-white hat struggle is.  Show business.  

      The lesser of two evils is still – ____ what ?

      So, from my skewed POV, USCCB ought to join the T-Party, their aims and values are so congruent.

      Which is pretty much what sxp said, if I understood him correctly.


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