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February 19, 2007 04:28 PM UTC

Monday Open Thread

  • 48 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

It’s the Year of the Pig, baby.

Comments

48 thoughts on “Monday Open Thread

  1. over the weekend by Sir Robin (and the variety of responses by everyone else).  But I can’t help but think that everyone who’s complaining about the war and supporting the troops and not supporting the troops and not supporting the president but supporting the troops and on and on and on…need to take a deep breath and look at reality.  Yes, the war sucks.  Yes, many of us voted Dem in November thinking something would change.  Dems can do whatever they want in the  House but if we want real change it has to come from the Senate too.  Dems dont have 60 votes and that’s the way the Senate works.  End of story.  It’s not about moral obligation or doing what’s right.  It’s about reality.  As long a Repubs can keep 40 members in line, they can stop anything they want to (outside of a the budget resolution).  Yes, it sucks.  Yes, it pisses me off, but for all of you out there that want things to change there’s a simple way to make it happen.  Stop complaining, get off your arse and volunteer for Mark Udall’s campaign (or Mike Miles, whatever Dem wins the nomination).  Go to Tennessee and help make sure Lamar Alexander isnt reelected.  Go to and help get a progressive senator elected.  Go to North Carolina and get Liddy Dole out of the Senate.  Send money, volunteer, do something…other than complain.  B/c things won’t change w/o 60 reliable Dem votes in the senate…

    1.   Thanks for cutting to the chase.  However, I don’t think the majority of this country wants to wait until Jan. ’09 to take steps to end this debacle. 
        That’s why the Dem leadership has to work harder (as opposed to the GOP leadership, which is simply clapping harder) to build a coalition with the non-Koolaid drinking faction of the GOP caucus. 
        The Dems went from picking up two (Coleman and Collins) to picking up seven (Coleman, Collins, Hagel, Smith, Snow, Specter and Warner) Repub Senators this past weekend. 
        They still need four more.  I think eventually they can get Little Sununi and Voinovich given the results of last Nov.’s elections in N.H. and Ohio.  (Besides, Little Sununi should have little reason to be loyal to Shrub; Shrub was the one who actually fired Daddy Sununi as Chief of Staff during Daddy Bush’s term.)
        Any ideas on where the Dems might get the other two votes?

      1. Mitch McConnell (and/or the Bush Administration) have proven themselves extremely effective at keeping everyone in line.  I don’t think Harry Reid is going to be able to find those other four Senators.

        And so, what will happen is that the Democrats’ appropriations bills will come along later this month, complete with the restrictions being bandied about – full training required for all deployed troops, full equipment required, a year off (for retraining, etc) between deployments, and no more stop-loss…  These are all things we should have been doing from Day One regardless of partisan politics.  These restrictions will pass the House, and they’ll wind up in the Senate, where they can’t be filibustered.

        The non-binding resolution was a warning to the President to take better care of our troops, and to start listening to dissenting views within the military, State, and yes, in Congress too.  The Republicans are playing hardball in tying up that resolution in the Senate; that’s a shame, because without a willingness to talk, they’re likely to have less input into constructive solutions when the budget rolls through.

            1.   It depends on how each side spins the story.  Bush can argue that this is an unconstitutional encrochment upon presidential power.  Congress can argue that they are simply carrying out the voters’ wishes.
                At the end of the day, there are insufficient votes to override a veto. 

  2.   The RMN has a report on additional facts discovered by the Board of Overseers appointed in the wake of Ted Haggard meltdown last fall.
      The letter which the board sent out to members of the New Life Church congregation was rather vague in the details department.  One of the board members indicated that some young people in the church came forward with complaints about “inappropriate comments” by T.H.
      According to Mike Ware, one of the board members, “You’d think, ‘It doesn’t seem like a pastor should do that.’ Ted never really crossed the line where they’d think he was a weirdo but he got near the edge of it.”
      Indeed……..

    1. All of it–absolutely hair-pullingly fascinating.  Just when I thought I was tired of hearing about a long-defunct evangelical pastor who is rightfully and mercifully out of the headlines, you show up with more riveting tid-bits from Days of Our New Life.  Have you thought about writing up a script for his one and sending it off to Lifetime network or maybe UPN or something?  Or maybe this could be a real motion picture…Brokeback Steeple?  I really don’t think we’ve had enough gay scandal this year with Foley and Haggard and Hollywood and the rest of it–I’m really going to rely on you for top-notch reporting on the gay pastor front. 

      1. You’re already falling behind.  The sordid lives of these real life gay/straight/maybe pastors are much harder to keep track off then the TV soap operas. 

        1.   Remember the optimistic pronouncement made immediately after his 90 days in the desert that he had been “cured” of his homosexuality? 
            Well today’s letter backtracks on that a bit.  I’ll bet the overseers realized how foolish such a pronouncement sounded, so they tweaked the news (so to speak). Instead of curing Teddy, they provided him with a “launch pad” for recovery.
            They’ve asked him to leave the church as well as the state of Colorado because he has a “big personality.”  Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out! Doesn’t sound like a very Christian thing to do.
            They could have put Teddy in charge of Exodus, that group of so-called “recovering homoseuxals.”  They had some good press for a while until the leader of that group was caught in a gay bar in D.C. a few years back.  Claimed he just stopped in to use the phone. 

          1. For what other reason would the former Exodus leader need to visit a gay bar?  He had ready access to all those “recovering homosexuals” in need of guidance and his personal attention.  Sounds like shootin’ fish in a barrel.

        1. Lewinski is sooooo last century!  No credible conservative is still babbling on about the busty brunette any longer.  We’ve got the White House now and for most of us that’s enough to cloud our bad memories of the Clinton years.  There’s no legitimate reason to talk about Monica anymore.  It’s simply to flex a bit of Republican muscle and look like a goober doing it. If you catch me blathering on about Monica, please tell me, it’s embarassing.

          1. Didn’t you hear that Monica now has a degree fromthe London School of Economics?  I expect Bush will soon appoint her to the federal reserve board.  I’m sure her analysis of whether we should pay closer attention to M-1 or M-2 will eventually make us forget all about that cigar. 

  3. James Madison purposely gave sole power of the purse specifically to stop the executive from being able to wage war over the objections of congress.

    It’s very simple – funding is passed to cover defense and a scheduled withdrawl with money budgeted specifically for each step.

    I don’t see why the Dems have let the Repubs phrase “funding the troops” as “supporting the troops.” Come to an agreement on what congress wants to have happen in Iraq and then provide funding for that and only that.

    51 votes – or the Repubs stop any funding of the troops.

    1. The GOP didn’t do it because it is politically dicey.  But I say to hell with dicey, why keep trying to pass these nancy-boy non-binding resolutions?  The Air Amercia crowd, I can tell, is quite hungry for something with real teeth.  Do you think the Democrats can resist the temptation?

      1. There was nothing funny when the Repubs controlled both houses of Congress. I’m somewhat happier now that the country seems to have woken up and sent a message in November. Self-awareness? That’s another issue, and one I’ll explore in a diary that I’m creating. Thanks for your kind comment:-)

  4. and may indicate whether the escalation will have positive effects:

    In a coordinated assault on an American combat outpost north of Baghdad, suicide bombers drove three cars laden with explosives into the base, killing two American soldiers and wounding at least 17 more, according to witnesses and the American military.

    The brazen and highly unusual attack, which was followed by fierce gun battles and a daring evacuation of the wounded Americans by helicopter, came on a day of violence across the country that left more than 40 people dead in shootings, suicide bombings, mortar attacks and roadside explosions.

    ….

    The assault on the American base, located in the heart of a town called Tarmyia, was unusual because militants have largely avoided attacking heavily fortified American positions directly. Instead, over the past year, they have generally fired mortar rounds from a distance, or used snipers to wait for targets of opportunity, or planted improvised explosive devices on roads frequented by soldiers.

    The question will be answered in history’s own time, and the question will be…Did the “escalation” support the troops?

  5. The very real horror is that we will have trouble getting our military safely out of Iraq.  The very real horror is that Afghanistan is now being reconquered by the Taliban and that we are far more vulnerable before the illegal war. 

    When the President’s reference group is an echo chamber of fools, he makes bad decisions and the country is now suffering. The situation may be far worse than our nightmares and I am haunted by the sight of George H Bush crying at his son’s Jeb’s farewell dinner.  As if he knew which son was the better and  what price this country will pay for the folly of his eldest son.

  6. For those who are still obsessed:

    Senator BILL Clinton? http://www.examiner….

    For you cons who never understood how all that anti-Clinton hate lies came into being, here is an admission from Richard Mellon Scaife the Clinton was a pretty good president, and a quick insight as to how it all worked.

    http://www.pensitore

    And, don’t forget Al Gore in the White House!  Oh, happy days are coming again…. he he he

      1. Al is the most qualified person in American to be president, regarless of whether you like his policies or not.

        He already won once, he can do it again. All presuming that he runs at all.

          1. And look at the buffoon we got, thanks to the Supreme Court. I used to respect Sandra Day O’Connor, but after that, and then her later observation that Bush has not been a good president, well, off with her head!  🙂

            The recent Rolling Stone article on Gore possibly running ( http://www.rollingst… ) points out that there could be a significant vote going for Gore due to either empathy for having been screwed out of the presidency, or in effect, “undoing” the last eight years of Boosh.

            Gore could be coy unitl Sept 07 and then blow all the other Dems out of the water.  He has all of the creds and positions that the others lack, one way or the other.

            Read that article, even if you hate Gore, just so you have a full grasp on the possibility of him being the next president.

              1. Not saying Gore couldn’t win this year. But he could have won the electoral votes as well as popular vote in 2000 if he’d actually managed to win his own home state:

                “Gore failed to win the popular vote in his home state of Tennessee. Had he won Tennessee, he could have won the election without Florida. Gore was the first major party presidential candidate to have lost his home state since George McGovern lost South Dakota in 1972.”

                http://en.wikipedia….

                Popular vote Tennessee:
                Bush: 1,061,949
                Gore: 981,720
                Nader: 19,781 

                [statistics above:]
                http://www.statemast

                1. But probably not relative to a 2008 battle.

                  Don’t forget that the media consortium that slowly recounted all of the Florida votes found that Gore had actually won there.  So, the bottom line is that Al Gore won both the popular vote and the electoral vote.  Of course, that was all post supreme court, post GW inauguration.  And that was with Katherine Harris’ schemes of voter roll purging and such. 

            1. Let’s face it, it took real talent to take Bill Clinton’s economy, his record of peace and prosperity, his personal popularity (despite Monica) and lose the election to George Bush!  Whine all you want about how he narrowly won the popularity contest, he lost the only race that counted to George W. Bush!  And you want to shove a really talented person, Hillary Clinton, aside and nominate Gore again.  You ain’t parsing reality, you’re smoking dope.  Or else you’re Karl Rove in drag!

              1. The country was sick of the partinsanship in the country, and the shrub sold the country a bill of goods. Remember, “I’m a Uniter” bullshit? He has proven himself to be the best liar in modern history. You disagree with Gore being talented? Then give specifics. I’m so tired of the Pubs crock.

              2. Jeez, what ever set you off?

                Sure Hillary is talented, but to imply that Gore isn’t is absurd.  He has FAR more experience than Hillary.  Her husband gave Al many important assignments and he did well.  He has international experience which she doesn’t except as hanging onto Bill.  He was against the war from the beginning, not after he was for it. 

                How about less of the personal attacks and just stick to stating your opinions?  It’s not even election season yet.  Did you know anger will shorten your life span? 

                Be kinder, live longer.

    1. There are not 100 million Chinese and Indian programmers ready to step into the jobs here. Or program managers or radiologists or anything else.

      India has already run out of qualified technical people in most fields. And those people are generally still way behind the level of skill here. Most people in both countries are dirt poor and have almost no education.

      So yes the world is going to equalize over time. But the biggest challange the 3rd world faces is education. Both have a small number of world class colleges, and a ton of poor ones.

      We’re still in the fight.

      1. Job security, as long as there are funds to pay your job.

        I”m not aware of what you say, David, although I sure recognize that this is something I’m sure you know a lot about.

        Don’t forget, it isn’at all tech, but manufacturing, too.  One daugher went to China some years ago to visit her boyfriend.  She was an engineer for Motorola in Austin where they made chips. BF worked for a sub to Motorola.  He was in China for a year to set up a new plant even as Austin was struggling.

        Later, she was sent to Scotland for 4 months to help those Motorola employees be better chip makers.  Eventually Motorola spun off their chip facilities to become a separate company, Freescale.  In a span of ten years the job security went from great to very iffy due, in part, to foreign competition – that they helped create!

        Anyway, education is something that can be chipped away at, and I’m sure the Indians and Chinese will continue to do so. 

        BTW, maybe you can shed some light on a question I’ve long had.  How is it that a Chinese citizen, who makes a mere fraction of an American, can afford to come to America’s best universities, pay out-of-state tuition, and get an education to take back home?  Who is paying?  Are my suspicians right?

        I know that American universites depend heavily on those high tuition foreign students – where would DU be w/o them? But doesn’t that make them complicit in offshoring of our jobs, albeit indirectly?

        Meanwhile, I’m holding a $25,000 student loan debt…..

        1. I had a friend who was a peace corps volunteer in India in the sixties…teaching poultry farming in a very poor village….he went back recently to visit the village and he said all the young kids were employed as tech support to a multnational computer company….

        2. But we have not lost this fight. There are more IT jobs today than there were 10 years ago – both here and overseas.

          And a lot of what is being taken now is the crappier jobs. Yes sitting on a phone all day or handling a manufacturing line is moving overseas. But is that what we want our kids doing all day when they grow up?

          What’s rough is it requires learning and competing every day we work. And that is harder than a guaranteed job. But at the same time we are raising the standard of living across the globe and coming up with new things every day.

          It’s a mixed blessing but I am hopeful it will turn out well here and overseas.

          1. After a century of labor movement that allowed people to relax and not fear either bill collectors or wild animals at the door, we are moving back to that way of life. 

            For as long as their have been people, said people have feared starvation, wild animals, and later, financial predators.  They always had to be looking back over their shoulders. (Obviously, my analogy is over simplified.)

            Civilization helped with some of these.  But the labor movement shot the tiger.  Now you didn’t have to worry about pleasing the boss, or losing your job unless you really screwed up.  You had a pension, your kids could go to college, and medical care.

            Now, with globalization, we are right back to needing to run a bit faster than the tiger.  Back to school, several times in a lifetime.  One mis-guess of where things are going (COBAL? FORTRAN? DEC?)and the tiger’s got ya.

            I see some pretty high tech stuff moving to India and China, David.  Not just the junk jobs.  The best thing that could happen to the American worker is for those folks in Asia to unionize!  Fat chance.

            1. to make improvements and continue to advance. If people are safe they stagnate. That has happened to every leading civilization in the history of the human race.

              We are the first leading civilization that has chosen (at present) to keep the environment competitive.

          2. My supposition is that the government of China, for instance, fully pays for the education here in America for their best and brightest.  Unlike here, where one has to go into great debt and/or play the scholarship game.  BTW, when I was working on my masters degree a decade ago, the only scholarships open to Anglo White men were open to everyone else.  But we obviously were non-starters for scholarships for women and assorted minorities.

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