Thanksgiving Weekend Open Thread

48 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Aristotle says:

    And no, I don’t care that this isn’t the Friday Jams thread.

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    Happy Thanksgiving all. I hope you’re all having a wonderful family day.

  3. Sir Robin says:

    I’m thankful for all Obama has accomplished:

    1. Saved the collapse of the American automotive industry by making GM restructure before bailing them out, and putting incentive money to help the industry

    2. Shifted the focus of the war from Iraq to Afghanistan, and putting the emphasis on reducing terrorism where it should have been all along

    3. Relaxed Anti-American tensions throughout the world

    4. Signed order to close the prisoner “torture camp” at Guantanamo Bay

    5. Has made the environment a national priority, and a primary source for job creation

    6. Has made education a national priority by putting emphasis and money behind new ideas like charter schools, but speaking directly to school children in telling them they have to do their part.

    7. Won the Nobel Peace Prize

    8. $789 billion economic stimulus plan

    9. Appointment of first Latina to the Supreme Court

    10. Attractive tax write-offs for those who buy hybrid automobiles

    11. Authorized construction/opening of additional health centers to care for veterans

    12. Renewed dialogue with NATO and other allies and partners on strategic issues.

    13. Beginning the process of reforming and restructuring the military 20 years after the Cold War to a more modern fighting force… this includes new procurement policies, increasing size of military, new technology and cyber units and operations, etc.

    14. Better body armor is now being provided to our troops

    15. “Cash for clunkers” program offers vouchers to trade in fuel inefficient, polluting old cars for new cars; stimulates auto sales

    16. Changed the failing/status quo military command in Afghanistan

    17. Closed offshore tax safe havens

    18. Deployed additional troops to Afghanistan

    19. Ended media “blackout” on war casualties; reporting full information

    20. Ended previous policy of awarding no-bid defense contracts

    21. . Ended media blackout on war casualties and the return of fallen soldiers to Dover AFB.

    22. Ended previous policy of cutting the FDA and circumventing FDA rules

    23. Ended previous practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug manufacturers for cheaper drugs; the federal government is now realizing hundreds of millions in savings

    24. Ended previous practice of having White House aides rewrite scientific and environmental rules, regulations, and reports

    25. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has created 2.1 million jobs (as of 12/31/09).

    26. Ended previous policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide emissions

    27. Ended previous policy of offering tax benefits to corporations who outsource American jobs; the new policy is to promote in-sourcing to bring jobs back

    28. Ended previous policy on torture; the US now has a no torture policy and is in compliance with the Geneva Convention standards

    29. . Launched Recovery.gov to track spending from the Recovery Act, an unprecedented step to provide transparency and accountability through technology.

    30. Ended previous practice of protecting credit card companies; in place of it are new consumer protections from credit card industry’s predatory practices

    31. Ended previous “stop-loss” policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date

    32. Energy producing plants must begin preparing to produce 15% of their energy from renewable sources

    33. Established a National Performance Officer charged with saving the federal government money and making federal operations more efficient

    34. Established a new cyber security office

    35. Expanded the SCHIP program to cover health care for 4 million more children

    36. Expanding vaccination programs

    37. Families of fallen soldiers have expenses

    38. . Provided the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with more than $1.4 billion to improve services to America’s Veterans.

    39. Federal support for stem-cell and new biomedical research

    40. Funds for high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools

    41. Responded with compassion and leadership to the earthquake in Haiti

    42. Immediate and efficient response to the floods in North Dakota and other natural disasters

    43. . Launched Business.gov – enabling conversation and online collaboration between small business owners, government representatives and industry experts in discussion forums relevant to starting and managing a business. Great for the economy.

    44. Improved housing for military personnel

    45. Improved conditions at Walter Reed Military Hospital and other military hospitals

    46. Changed failing war strategy in Afghanistan.

    47. Improving benefits for veterans

    48. Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants…) after years of neglect

    49. Donated his $1.4 million Nobel Prize to nonprofits.

    50. Increasing opportunities in AmeriCorps program

    51. Provided tax credits to first-time home buyers through the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 to revitalize the U.S. housing market.

    52. Increasing pay and benefits for military personnel

    53. Increasing student loans

    54. Instituted a new policy on Cuba, allowing Cuban families to return “home” to visit loved ones

    55. Cracked down on companies that deny sick pay, vacation and health insurance to workers by abusing the employee classification of independent contractor. Such companies also avoid paying Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance taxes for those workers.

    56. Limited salaries of senior White House aides; cut to $100,000

    57. Limits on lobbyists’ access to the White House

    58. Protected 300,000 education jobs, such as teachers, principals, librarians, and counselors through the Recovery Act that would have otherwise been lost.

    59. Limits on White House aides working for lobbyists after their tenure in the administration

    60. Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act on February 4, 2009, provides quality health care to 11 million kids – 4 million who were previously uninsured.

    61. Lower drug costs for seniors

    62. Making more loans available to small businesses

    63. Many more press conferences and town halls and much more media access than previous administration

    64. . Signed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the first piece of comprehensive legislation aimed at improving the lives of Americans living with paralysis

    65. Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals

    66. New Afghan War policy that limits aerial bombing and prioritizes aid, development of infrastructure, diplomacy, and good government practices by Afghans

    67. Announced creation of a Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record for members of the U.S. Armed Forces to improve quality of medical care.

    68. New federal funding for science and research labs

    69. New funds for school construction

    70. Ordered all federal agencies to undertake a study and make recommendations for ways to cut spending

    71. Ordered a review of all federal operations to identify and cut wasteful spending and practices

    72. . Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals.

    73. Phasing out the expensive F-22 war plane and other outdated weapons systems, which weren’t even used or needed in Iraq/Afghanistan

    74. Reengaged in the agreements/talks on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions

    75. Provided tax credit to workers thus cutting taxes for 95% of America’s working families.

    76. Reengaged in the treaties/agreements to protect the Antarctic

    77. Removed restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research

    78. . Helped reverse a downward spiral of the stock market. On January 19, 2009, the last day of President Bush’s presidency, the Dow closed at 8,218.22. In February 2010, the Dow closed at 10,309.24

    79. Renewed loan guarantees for Israel

    80. Restarted the nuclear non-proliferation talks and building back up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols

    81. Provided attractive tax write-offs for those who buy hybrid automobiles.

    82. Returned money authorized for refurbishment of White House offices and private living quarters

    83. Sent envoys to Middle East and other parts of the world that had been neglected for years; reengaging in multilateral and bilateral talks and diplomacy

    84. Unveiled a program on Earth Day 2009 to develop the renewable energy projects on the waters of our Outer Continental Shelf that produce electricity from wind, wave, and ocean currents. These regulations will enable, for the first time ever, the nation to tap into our ocean’s vast sustainable resources to generate clean energy in an environmentally sound and safe manner.

    85. Signed national service legislation; expanded national youth service program

    86. States are permitted to enact federal fuel efficiency standards above federal standards

    87. Students struggling to make college loan payments can have their loans refinanced

    88. Successful release of US captain held by Somali pirates; authorized the SEALS to do their job

    89. The FDA is now regulating tobacco

    90. Ended the previous stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date.

    91. The missile defense program is being cut by $1.4 billion in 2010

    92. The public can meet with federal housing insurers to refinance (the new plan can be completed in one day) a mortgage if they are having trouble paying

    93. The “secret detention” facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere are being closed

    94. US financial and banking rescue plan

    95. US Navy increasing patrols off Somali coast

    96. . Signed the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act to stop fraud and wasteful spending in the defense procurement and contracting system.

    97. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any president in his first six months in office

    98. Improved relations with Iran

    99. Improved U.S. policy on climate change

    100. Set timetable for exiting Iraq (already started removing troops)

    101. Improved relations with Russia

    102. Improved relations with the Islamic World

    103. Made progress towards greater cooperation on limiting nuclear proliferation

    104. Economic stimulus plan has created jobs. (Unemployment rate decreasing)

    105. Drastically slowed down the recession

    106. Saved Wall Street

    107. Passed the Lilly Ledbetter Act (equal work for equal pay)

    108. HEALTH CARE REFORM

    I invite the Republicans to provide their list for what their party accomplished in the same period of time. Or, during the last administrations time, perhaps?

    h/t C&L

  4. DavidThi808 says:

    Fareed Zakaria

    So if Congress does nothing, two sequestration processes go into effect: A budget cut and a tax increase. These two measures will cut over $4.5 trillion from the U.S. deficit over the next 10 years. That’s more than the Simpson-Bowles Commission proposed. And as Ezra Klein points out, that’s $3 of tax increases for every dollar of spending cuts. The Republicans’ strategy of blocking every deal suddenly doesn’t look so smart.

    Of course that supposes that the Congressional Democrats and President Obama have the intestinal fortitude to let both events happen.

  5. allyncooper says:

    As we are thankful for what we have, let us be thoughtful for those who have not, and resolve to understand and change that for the betterment of all.

    A quote from a great American I always think of at Thansgiving.

    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense. a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children”

                      Dwight D. Eisenhower

  6. Progressive Promoter says:

    Of course I mean liberal and conservative! This could come in handy: Top 5 Fox Myths to Debunk this Thanksgiving:

    1. The congressional Super Committee failed because both sides refuse to compromise.

    2. Nobody knows what Occupy Wall Street is about.

    3. Occupiers should stop protesting and just get a job.

    4. Occupy Wall Street is intent on provoking violence, especially against banks and the police.

    5. The biggest crisis facing our country is out of control government spending.

    Have fun!

    • Just got off the phone with Mom.  She doesn’t know what OWS is about, because there’s no-one out there really representing them as a unified group.  No plan to her means that they’re spending a lot of time essentially treading water.

      I can’t say that I blame her, especially when you get things like Occupy Denver electing a dog as leader to meet with the Mayor.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        . . . oh, heck . . .

        Happy Thanksgiving everyone — be sure to take time to count a few of your blessings today (. . . there will be plenty of time again tomorrow for all of the other stuff).

    • thiokuutoo says:

      As the only Dem, and a liberal Dem at that, in the family we have a set dinner rule. Nobody brings up politics at Turkey day dinner or Christmas either, because they know I am right and their screwy view of politics leaves them at a disadvantage when talking.

      • dukeco1 says:

        My wife and I don’t get invited to too many family gatherings, because we will not sit idly by while they spew their bullshit.

        Modern “Conservatives” can only defend their ignorant talking points with yet more ignorant talking points.

        • dukeco1 says:

          my rhetoric here, particularly my sig line, is fairly disrespectful of the republican party (neo-cons and tea partiers in particular, conservatives in general) and the wealthy segment of society they choose to represent. It’s a blog, so I am free to unleash my sometimes unconsidered opinion here…I like that about this place.

          An above exchange between David and Sir Robin got me to thinking about how important it is that I point out the word “modern” in my comment here.

          When challenged to provide examples of republican accomplishments, you have to go back a few years, because it seems the only thing the republican party wants to do today is to stop President Obama from saving the New Deal.

          I think every American should look at the difference in the presidents’ response to the recent “mic check” at his speech and that of, say…Karl Rove. The President stopped and listened, and later told the crowd the young people who interrupted him are the people for whom he took on the challenge of seeking the presidency.

          Mr. Rove started yelling at the crowd when it happened to him…Michelle Bachmann ran away… the merchants of money, only deal in money…for them, the truth has no utility. But there was, once, a different kind of Republican. I know, because I remember them.

          But I think they are in hiding.    

      • DavidThi808 says:

        Lots of disagreement, but we enjoyed it.

  7. Sir Robin says:

    for the first time in franchise history!

    11-0

    And what a franchise!

  8. ProgressiveCowgirl says:

    Apparently, he left God out, and that’s a BFD.

    I, for one, am thankful for a President who understands that he leads a country in which there is no establishment of religion, and where each person may worship — or not — in his or her own way, using whichever name he or she prefers for the God/ess/es he or she believes in. The Commander in Chief is not Pastor in Chief, and for good reason.  

  9. harrydoby says:

    Funny — no early morning post from Libby today touting the newest Rasmussen presidential poll.

    Election 2012: Obama 44%, Romney 38%

    Of course, maybe Razzie is just pumping up Obama’s numbers so they can setup the storyline of an impending crash in his ratings later.

    Or it could just be that Romney’s campaign is the one fading:

    Romney and the president have been neck-and-neck for nearly two months, separated by two points or less in a series of surveys.

    Two-weeks ago, Obama earned 43 percent of the vote to Romney’s 42 percent. In regular surveys since February, support for Romney has remained in the narrow range of 38 percent to 44 percent. In that same period, the president has earned 40 percent to 46 percent of the vote.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      In a race of Obama vs. Other [any party], Other easily wins. But a race of Obama against specific Republicans, and pretty much any specific Republican, then Obama wins.

      • harrydoby says:

        I would be shocked if anyone other than Mitt “What can I say to get your vote” Romney is the candidate in 2012.

        If for some reason one of the other contenders defeats Romney for the nomination, then the presidential contest would be over.

        So really, the focus needs to be on regaining the House. Get ready for the fourth “wave” election.

  10. Aristotle says:

    Sam Brownback can’t take a joke, gets high school senior in trouble.

    Great use of your time and resources, Governor. Fiscal conservatism for thee, but not for the GOP.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      Busy teaching kids exactly the wrong lesson. I hope this girl’s friends and parents support her and she refuses to apologize for exercising her first amendment rights.

      The good news is because of what Brownback and the principal did, it’s become a big story, that reflects poorly on Brownback. Good!

  11. nancycronk says:

    and other friends who practice the Muslim faith.

  12. harrydoby says:

    The New Hampshire Union Leader, the state’s largest newspaper, has endorsed Newt Gingrich for the GOP presidential candidate.

    Does this mean the new face of the Republican party stands for mean-spirited, egomaniacal hypocrites?

    • dukeco1 says:

      It should light a fire under the behinds of his (Romneys’) N.H. ground operation. They had better plan on getting out all those voters who support him in the polls.

      He has a problem with the high percentage of “I guess I could vote for a Mormon” demographic being syphoned off by Huntsman.

      What this really shows you is the desperation of the right to avoid Romneyville. If they can hang their hat on the Newtster, it must be pretty bad.

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