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AdLib On August - 1 - 2011

In light of the prospective deal on the debt ceiling, all of the propaganda machines are churning at full capacity, from Huffington Post to Fox News, Obama haters of all stripes and alleged political positions are joined in a chorus of furious, self-righteous bleating, like a flock of sheep with gas pains.

It’s quite a buffet of attacks to choose from, Obama betrayed Dems, was weak, outmaneuvered, is destroying the middle class, is ignorant, incompetent, a terrible negotiator, etc.

This deal marks the death of Keynesian economics, guarantees the death of the middle class, destroys Social Security and Medicare, assures a double dip recession or another Great Depression, will kill the entire bee population in the US, create an epidemic of impotency and make zombies rise from the dead to eat our brains (clearly not a threat to Republicans).

It’s easy to be a slanted pundit, just follow these easy directions:

1. Only recognize information that supports your pre-determined opinion (facts that don’t cooperate with already held opinions are not really facts, they are “Faecties”, imaginary things that only exist if you choose to believe in them).

2. Use your mind as a magnifying glass. Use it to burn those you see as ants then place it over any information that even tangentially supports your views to distort and exaggerate it and its impact on the future.

3. Never apologize. Sure, yesterday you may have said the world will blow up by the next day but just because it didn’t, that doesn’t prove you’re wrong, you may just be one day off. Instead, insist that despite claims to the contrary, the world is blowing up then quickly turn to another outrage which will surely be an even greater disaster (somehow).

4. Talk over others and ignore what they say or ask. You’ve spent all that time creatively carving up square facts to make them fit the round hole of your opinion (I’ll let you guess where it’s located), it’s just plain rude for others to interfere and insist square pegs should fit in square holes. Drown them out or wait for them to finish talking or asking questions (while ignoring what they say and instead humming the old Supertramp song to yourself, “Bloody Well Right”). When they’re done, just spout out your talking points as if they’re the answer to the question or statement you didn’t even listen to.

5. There is no such thing as “too hysterical”. Your category may be Politics but never forget that this is Show Business, emphasis on the “Show”. You’ve got to show outrage, frustration, smugness, cynicism and indignation. Often you’ll find that the day’s events thoughtlessly deprive you of legitimate reasons for giving your audience the emotional display they rely on.

That is why the InstaHowl 3000 from Outrage Manufacturing may be the most valuable investment in your career. Just input the day’s news into it, press the big red panic button and it will manufacture a variety of outrages that you can spout to whip up your audience (requires high decibels or big red fonts – not included).

Then there is the Mini-Me to this Dr. Evil, the herpes to this Black Plague…Troll Blogging.

Troll Blogging is a public pool where everyone is welcome from every part of the community to jump on in. And peeing in the pool is not only permitted, it’s encouraged.

As to the cast of characters in Troll Blogging, on the right, there are the earnest Dittoheads and Tea Partiers who have had megaphones implanted into their heads so their GOP authority figures can speak through them at will.

Then there are the paid and unpaid Arsonist Trolls who simply try to spark fires at moderate and Progressive sites to keep them busy stomping out tiny embers and disrupt their coming together to build or accomplish something.

Next are the Concern Trolls, Republican bloggers masquerading as Democrats and generously sharing their disappointment and disgust at how Obama has failed and betrayed “them” and all other Dems. They vow to never again vote for or support Obama, just as they vow to never again ride unicorns naked. These are the electronic equivalent of Trojan Horses only once inside the gates of Dem castles, they are evacuated out of the rear end of the horse.

Coming off similarly and resembling these horse’s asses are the so-called Dem Purists. They sing in chorus with Concern Trolls and are nearly indistinguishable except for the knives they leave in the backs of others.

Purists are fighting for your Democratic values…by trying to bring down the Democratic President and prepare the way for a right wing Republican to take over the White House. Only then can we return to the purity of Democratic principles and have all of them reunited in one safe place…a wish list.

After all, if there’s anything worse than not getting all the changes you want now, it’s getting more of them later. Their motto is “All or nothing!” and they’re not too sure about keeping the “All or” in there.

If President Obama killed Bin Laden, he’d be attacked for how he did it. If he passed health care reform that would insure most of the 50 million Americans who aren’t insured and those with pre-existing conditions, he’d be attacked for betraying Democratic values. If Obama saved the nation and the world from tumbling into a Great Depression through stimulus spending and loans to major industries, he’d be attacked for not doing enough. At least, that’s my guess.

For the types of people described above, Obama is playing the Purgatory version of Jeapordy, no matter how many answers you get right, you can never win.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

398 Responses so far.

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  1. choicelady says:

    I am beyond rage -- BEYOND it! I am so sick of this “Trojan Horse” and other bullshit I will positively SMACK the next faux progressive that says it. There is an enemy -- it is my PERSONAL nemesis -- the Right Wing Dominionist Christian Tea Party. The RW Christians have MURDERED five of my friends and acquaintances, have driven several of my friends into hiding for standing for justice, and are stalking me.

    DO WE GET THIS NOW????

    Obama is a careful political person. Rule No. 1 of Democracy -- you can’t get what you don’t have votes for. Rule No. 2 -- if you think anything else, see Rule No. 1.

    I went back to work today after vacation to find a diatribe against ME as a supporter of the Tea Party Right for finding good things in the credit limit agreement. Things that will prevent my neighbors on disability from losing every dime they get. Things that will keep my friend, living in hiding from white supremacists, from losing her Social Security. That will keep all our basic social supports intact and free from cuts until AFTER the 2012 election.

    And this ahat phony progressive UCC minister dared to call us RW supporters?????? When I finally asked this MINISTER what should I tell those who would have lost EVERYTHING if the agreement had gone any diffrently -- what should I say to them? Oh, phony progressives think YOU are dispensible so their ideology will prevail in chaos -- just LIKE the Teabaggers -- well when I asked that question, he stopped writing. Stopped talking. Stopped EVERYTHING.

    I am SO SICK of these people -- one of my OWN who said we were “middle of the road” stalking horses, Trojan horses, to protect our DONOR base!!!! I saw RED. We don’t HAVE a donor base because our members are older, progressives are CHEAP, and I never got a friggin dime from HIM or his church EVER.

    We took our position because we care about the survival of “the least and the lost, and the last.” That’s our charge, those are the ones who need us. And selling out to some cheap shot idiotic ideological crap is NOT Christian, is NOT politically sensible, and is a mark of the Left being as stuck up arrogant as the Right.

    Progressives -- when you sell people down the river, YOU are the Trojan Horses for the Teabaggers. YOU do their work FOR them.

    But if Rick Perry wins -- don’t think you’re immune. He will make sure you have NO freedoms -- no choice, no freedom of thought, no free speech, NOTHING. These people are playing for keeps. W was just the beginning. If you hate the Patriot Act -- remember please Michelle Bachmann wanted it to follow YOU. To test YOUR “Americanism”. And that means you are under surveillance 24/7 if these dipshits win.

    There is an enemy to democracy in American, and for sure ain’t Obama. It is the RW Dominionist Tea Party. If you can’t get that through your head, you will bring us to fascism and YOU will be the Trojan Horse.

    GROW UP!

    • Dorothy Rissman says:

      Choicelady, I understand your anger. That is an outrageous story. Sorry you had to go through that.

    • Marion says:

      I’ve always said the immature Progressive Left, and some of the insipid people the media pushes as “political contributors” are the best tool the Republicans have. And Dennis Kucinich is their best mate in Congress.

    • Emerald1943 says:

      Hi CL!

      Sounds like you’re gonna’ need another vacation to get over returning from vacation! Sounds terribly frustrating! I hope today will be a better one for you!

      • choicelady says:

        Hi Emerald -- yeah, that pretty much took the sparkle off being rested up! I’ll get over it, he won’t write again, and that’s that. Thank YOU for the kind words -- it definitely helps me get over the outrage!

    • AdLib says:

      Choicelady, so sorry you had to come back from a relaxing holiday to such blind hatred.

      These Purist absolutists are indeed identical to the Baggers, both are completely intolerant of anyone who doesn’t pass their purity tests of having identically intolerant views of all others.

      Small-minded, unenlightened and on both sides, anti-intellectual.

      Has a single one of these Purists EVER proposed a realistic or rational alternative to what Obama ended up signing off on?

      The only suggestion I’ve ever heard was that Obama should have refused a deal and used the 14th Amendment to pay bills. If he did that or what the Purist you’re mentioning wanted and just let default happen, here’s where we would be today.

      S&P would still have downgraded the US and the market would have crashed at least as badly. And there would be one person to blame, the one person who refused a deal, President Obama.

      The Repubs and the MSM would pile on him as the sole cause of all of our problems, The House would be threatening or starting impeachment against him and suing him in court for paying our bills.

      Perhaps other ratings agencies like Moodys would respond to the havoc by also dropping ratings but whether that happened or not, the crashing economy would be The Obama Economy and as bad as he is, Rick Perry or Mitt Romney could win the Presidency at this critical point in history and harm the American economy, Medicare, SS and all social programs permanently.

      Is that their goal? In fact, what the hell is their goal, other than howling about Obama? How is teaming up with the Baggers, the Kochs and the GOP in bringing down Obama and aiding Romney or Perry in being elected getting the issues they care about so much, moved forward instead of backwards or destroyed altogether.

      It is such shortsightedness, there is no logic or reason, just primal screaming. “WE’RE ANGRY! THAT’S ALL THE STRATEGY WE NEED!”

      Do these LeftBaggers really think that the actual Baggers in the House will be more likely to support Progressive values if they gain more power?

      One question to them that they can never answer and blows their behavior and zealotry apart is, “What’s your end game?”

      Whatever ridiculous thing they offer, from primarying Obama to wanting a Repub as President to destroy America so much society rips apart and Progressives can rise up like Mad Max to reshape the country as benevolent dictators, they have no sane end game, which is the mark of destructive zealotry.

      • choicelady says:

        Thank you for such good insights and support. I promise I won’t blow! Churchlady Lava never did anything good for the upholstery!

        This guy, a UCC minister, is pretty clearly not a Fifth Columnist as are Hamsher, Huff, and others -- but he is a major DUPE. And they, the running dog lackeys of the Fooling Class, are just as dangerous.

        We have nothing to rely upon other than Obama’s good sense and the middle who appear to LIKE the agreement relatively OK (Tea Baggers HATE it, Rush Hates it, so that’s good)

        What ARE we going to do in November 2012 if we don’t get back BOTH Houses AND the Presidency. It’s not enough to get Obama elected -- we need to claim the Congress as well.

        Lord have mercy -- no one else will.

        • AdLib says:

          Despite all that’s going on right now, I am optimistic about Obama winning re-election.

          As in his first run, he was hammered in the primary period by Rev. Wright, Birthers, Muslim accusations, Bill Ayers, etc.

          Then by the time the GE came along, he was pre-attacked and less vulnerable to those attacks.

          AND…John McCain and Sarah Palin were in the spotlight…which made Obama look better in comparison.

          Now, you get Rick Perry or Romney as the GOP nominee under a magnifying glass every day and instead of the one-sided bashfest only Obama is subjected to right now, the pain and pressure is spread around.

          Romney has already tripped repeatedly and avoided taking strong stands on GOP issues.

          That will all change when the GE starts and in the GOP primary, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it turn from a group ObamaBash to turning on each other and doing long term damage to the eventual candidate and GOP unity…considering how mercenary and intolerant the Baggers are.

          Betting against Obama hasn’t paid off before, despite how damaged he may have appeared at the time. Doing so now with so much time to go would be a worse bet.

  2. audadvnc says:

    As TYT put it the other day, Obama is a Trojan Horse:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bV6ZNGDPqA&feature=relmfu

    True believers will never face facts, and it took awhile for the rest of us to figure out what Obama’s game was. But now we have ample evidence to show that the system is utterly and hopelessly corrupted at the highest levels of power.

    We were sold a bill of goods by a bait-and-switch con man. From here on out, nobody in either party is the slightest bit trustworthy -- they are liars to the core, willing servants of the corporate Beast that has ensnared us all. The American Dream has been staked through the heart, sacrificed to the benefit of the parasitical rulers of society.

    • choicelady says:

      Aud-I don’t think so at all. Evidence? No -- assertions not proven in fact. Time and again we’ve run lists of what Obama has accomplished that flies in the face of entrenched power. The People’s View notes also what he’s achieved without Congress (much easier -- unilateral action always is) that we all want.

      http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2011/08/influence-minus-congress-equals-power.html

      The idea that Obama is a Trojan Horse is the meme of a peculiarly pernicious pseudo-Left, people of some intellect who are too good for not Obama -- DEMOCRACY. Democracy at its heart requires compromise to be legitimate. It’s not a unilateral effort since that would be totalitarian. We instant gratification folks also have NO patience with America as a gradualist nation. But in under three years Obama has pushed back HUGE encroachments of the corporatist ruling class which is precisely why they hate him. He has challenged the religious right on the faux issues they adore to motivate their base which is why they hate him.

      And snot-nosed whiners such as these smug and useless guys who never met a blue collar person they cared about or Dan Choi who GOT what he wanted -- they all dis Obama and call out conspiracy theories because maybe they did not get what they wanted immediately? Want instand gratification? But a Kindle. Only way.

      There is and long has been a Left that is happy ONLY in a comfy chair with a glass of excellent wine pontificating about some failure of someone other than themselves. Those of us who have worked our butts off for change have NO use for them, but they manage nonetheless to push their agenda, get public presence, and pretend they know something we don’t. But put them in the arena of democracy-in-action, they’d get NOTHING. And I mean NOTHING done because they haven’t a clue. They have the same narcissistic and solipsistic point of reference that Baggers have -- themselves.

      So I’d not be making decisions about Obama’s worth from what you see on talking head shows. Read widely and diversely about decisions and what their IMPACT is, what barriers (such as not being able to appoint Elizabeth Warren) hold back effective implementation of policies, and who the REAL threats are. The system CAN work if we engage with it -- it was the failure to vote at all by progressives that let the Baggers in. Who’s fault is it then? The same whiners and pontificators you’re letting shape your opinion. Do it for yourself. It’s much cleaner and more reliable.

    • Emerald1943 says:

      audadvnc, so let’s clarify your comment…

      Which of the republican candidates do you prefer to continue their destruction of our system of government? Do you want them to destroy Social Security and Medicare so you can pay your parents’ and possibly grandparents’ bills? Would you prefer a candidate who supports unlimited defense spending and two unnecessary wars costing us trillions of dollars and thousands of brave American lives? Would you like a president who cuts education to the bone and have our college students burdened with thousands of dollars more of debt? Would you prefer a president who sees no justice in making billionaires pay their taxes? Would you like to see a president who supports tax breaks for corporations who send our jobs overseas and their profits to tax havens?

      Do you like a president who pushes for domestic oil drilling while ignoring the fact that oil will only go up in price and eventually run out (but not until it has spoiled our coastline and killed off all the fish)? Do you support a candidate who would give the oil companies BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars in subsidies that they certainly do not need?

      Would you support a presidential candidate who refuses to acknowledge climate change in spite of the fact that the polar icecaps are melting away? Would it be beneficial to the country for the President to believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old and that man and dinosaur co-existed?

      Do you support a candidate who believes that health care should only be for the wealthy and unavailable to those who cannot afford private insurance?

      Do you support a candidate who believes that all businesses should be unregulated to criminally run rampant over the consumer and in our financial markets? By voting in one of these candidates, would you support no oversight on Wall Street? Would you support someone who believes that infrastructure spending is bad, allowing our roads, bridges, and schools to crumble from under us? Would you support a president who had no compassion for the most vulnerable in our society…the disabled, the elderly, the homeless, those in nursing homes, hungry children, and families made jobless by the recession?

      Surely, I have misunderstood your post. I cannot believe that you would support these policies, no matter what party affiliation. I don’t always agree with President Obama’s methods, but there is absolutely NO doubt in my mind about his values. That is why I will continue to support him and will work for his re-election! “Bait and switch con-man”??? I don’t think so.

      • AdLib says:

        Wow, so well said, Emerald! That is the choice at hand and I don’t know if some are so obsessed with their anger that they can’t see past it towards the future they’re working towards…and how much angrier and helpless-to-do-anything-about-it that would make them.

        • Emerald1943 says:

          Thanks, Adlib! I can’t believe that anyone in their right minds would support policies like these! But that is surely what we can expect if we don’t get off our butts and support the President. I have a problem with his PROCESS, not his POLICIES, and I hope that comes through in my recent posts. I want him to push back harder for those policies…that’s all! I believe that is a legitimate concern.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Audadvnc: See Above. She says it ALL. Anything I have to add would violate the rules of the site.

    • Caru says:

      I watched that when it came out. I thought it was very far from the usually good, but not always rigid and sober enough, analysis that the TYT network puts out.

      Even if they disagree with Obama and think that he’s wrong, they should remember the adage:

      “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

    • jkkFL says:

      hmmm..Cenk Uyger, and Glen Greenwald- two people I’d trust to tell me the truth!
      Throw in Pat Buchanan and Michele Bachmann, and you have four of a kind.
      Why not ask Congress to amend the 24th amendment and ask Dubyah to run again??
      Which ‘Icon of Purity’ ‘Belongs’ in the White House?

    • escribacat says:

      You need to read some history if you think things are worse today than they ever were. When exactly would you say the “American Dream” was real?

      • Caru says:

        According to an quick analysis reported by a team from Howstuffworks.com during bad times people think that the American dream is all about community strength and the like and during the good times the American dream is all about me, myself and I.

        • choicelady says:

          CAru -- I think people also remember the past in hazy pink and gold, all good, forgetting the bad. Yes the 50s were good for lots of us -- unless you were a minority. The fact is, that IS a template -- shared, and REALLY shared -- prosperity. Were we to have that today with everyone really included (no racial or ethnic segregation) we would be better off.

          But as a trained historian, please do let me say that the 19th century was infinitely WORSE than anything we see today. So much worse for ordinary people that it is the Gold Standard for those who would be Robber Barons. Little did we know that when Bush claimed they wanted to go back “before Roosevelt” that they meant TEDDY, not FDR!

          The past is rosy only depending on who is doing the remembering. Today is what we have, and it is a darned sight better than 100 years ago. Remembering the sign from the Daily Show rally: “Actually, most things are working pretty well.” Let’s build on that, not throw it away.

  3. Sabreen60 says:

    I know Milt is pretty much preaching to the choir, but IMO this is a great article. Please take a moment to read it and see what you think.

    http://pleasecutthecrap.typepad.com/main/2011/08/more-politics-101-obama-is-smarter-than-us.html#comment-6a00e008c7b51e8834014e8a74e94b970d

    • kesmarn says:

      Sabreen, this is a terrific piece. I wish it hadn’t taken me two days to get to it. (Things are a bit crazy around here.)

      The author highlights something that has been a problem forever: the fact that the left has a terrible time uniting behind a leader — even a leader who has more than demonstrated his capability. I understand that the left is by definition skeptical of leaders, but this is our Achille’s heel as well. The right marches lock-step toward their goal (and a simple one it is: more for us, less for them)regardless of the quality of their current leader. It’s mindless, but effective.

      We’re fortunate to have a compassionate, smart person at the helm now. It’s time to extend a little trust in his direction.

    • jkkFL says:

      Sabreen Thanks! It was a great post, and put all my frustrations into prose!
      Good stuff.

  4. bito says:

    Standard And Poor’s Versus Mitch McConnell

    Standard and Poor’s said this:

    The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said this:

    “I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting. Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming. And it focuses the Congress on something that must be done.”

    Remember this when Republicans claim victory.

    And Boehner said he got 98% of what he wanted? Was the downgrade part of his 98% From now to the elections the TGOP wiill do their damnedest to get the unemployment up to 10%!

    http://www.alan.com/2011/08/06/standard-and-poors-versus-mitch-mcconnell/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+liberaland+%28Alan+Colmes+Liberaland%29&utm_content=Twitter

  5. bito says:

    Myth: President Obama caved.

    Fact: President Obama laid out key priorities that had to be part of any deal. Those priorities are reflected in this compromise. First, we avoided default which would have plunged the economy into a deep recession, imperiling the well-being of millions of Americans. Second, the initial down payment on deficit reductions does not cut low-income and safety-net programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Third, we set up a path forward that will put pressure on Congress to adopt a balanced approach. And finally, we raised the debt ceiling until 2013, ensuring that House Republicans could not use the threat of default in just a few months to force severe cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

    Myth: Republicans got everything they wanted

    Fact: They won’t admit it publicly, but when push came to shove, Republicans backed down on their key demands. For months, Republicans called for a budget that would have ended Medicare as we know it, made catastrophic cuts to Medicaid, or cut investments in education by 25 percent, clean energy by 70 percent and infrastructure spending by 30 percent. As if that wasn’t enough, they also demanded that we repeat this debt-ceiling crisis, just a few months from now.

    None of these of these demands made it into a final deal.

    Myth: This deal cuts Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

    Fact: There are no changes to these programs included in the initial phase of this agreement. In the second phase of the agreement, everything will be on the table – and the President has made clear that the committee must pursue a balanced approach where reforms to programs like Medicaid, Social Security or Medicare would only be acceptable if coupled with higher revenues from the most fortunate.

    Myth: This deal reduces the deficit entirely on the backs of the middle class.

    Fact: While the initial down payment on deficit reduction -- about $1 trillion – will require belt-tightening, it still will allow us to invest in the programs and priorities we care about most. Moreover, hundreds of billions of this initial round of cuts will come from security spending.

    As we negotiated the domestic side of the cuts, we protected our historic new investments in Pell Grants as part of the down payment. For the second phase, we made sure that programs for the most vulnerable, like food stamps, Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit, would not be hit by the “trigger,” the automatic cuts that will go into place if Congress does not find an acceptable compromise.

    Myth: The joint committee — the so-called “super committee” — makes it easier for Congress to cut the programs we care about.

    Fact: The joint committee system puts pressure on Republicans to seek compromise. As we all know, in this round of deficit reduction, there wasn’t a lot of leverage bringing Republicans to the table. In round two, that changes.

    If Republicans aren’t willing to compromise, then the joint committee will fail. This would automatically trigger an additional $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction designed to be painful for both sides, with half that coming from savings in the defense budget.

    Myth: Since we weren’t able to raise revenues right now, we won’t be able to raise revenues in the future.

    Fact: The deal lays out two paths for further reducing our deficit. Both of them include revenues. Option one is for the joint committee to develop a plan that is passed by both Houses of Congress, and signed by President Obama. The President has already said that he will only support a balanced approach involving shared sacrifice. That means raising revenue through steps such as closing loopholes for corporations, reforming our tax code, and asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share in taxes.

    If the joint committee cannot develop a balanced compromise,that brings us to option two for raising revenues: the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. On January 1, 2013, President Obama can use his veto pen to end special tax breaks for high-income Americans if Congress votes to extend them.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/08/03/myths-and-facts-about-debt-ceiling-compromise?utm_source=email125&utm_medium=graphic&utm_campaign=deficit

    • Emerald1943 says:

      Bito, I didn’t have a chance to read through all this last night, but I’m so glad I did this morning. Thanks for cutting through all the information to bring us some sanity. It is actually a relief to see the clear picture in the midst of all the teeth-gnashing and hand-wringing!

  6. whatsthatsound says:

    I think there is a fair amount of mischaracterization happening on both sides. It is natural that one would feel demeaned when referred to as a flounder (those unlovely fish -- great eating though), but it is no less so when one is compared to children who didn’t get their pony, whiny ranters, etc.

    There are very valid and legitimate grounds for criticism of both the Democratic Party and the president. Just as there are valid arguments for the efficacy of Obama’s go-slow and achieve long term results approach.

    We have intelligent posters here who are able to provide facts, resources and articles that present both perspectives well and professionally. So long as this site continues to be a forum where critics and fans of the president converge to express their views, and the viewpoints of those they admire, I think it would behoove us all to be willing to slip on the other side’s moccasins.

    At least until they start to stink too much.

    • AdLib says:

      The Planet has always been and will always be a place for free expression. All opinions are welcome and as those who have spent time here can attest, disagreements and opposing POVs are debated daily.

      The one thing that is required here is a minimum of mutual respect. So, importing a style of discourse typical of some sites where anyone with a different opinion is insulted, doesn’t work here. At The Planet, we don’t believe that folks have to yell at each other to express themselves, in fact, people shut down and stop being receptive when attacked or insulted.

      So, if the point of blogging is to share one’s perspective and become enlightened by the POVs of others, the Planet’s a good place for that. It can sometimes take some getting used to from vets of other sites but it sure does wonders for one’s blood pressure.

      • whatsthatsound says:

        I understand and completely agree, Adlib. But there is still a certain gray area that needs to be considered, I feel. In a poster’s comment below, a general comment about Obama supporters is made. No specific member of this site is mentioned, and yet it is treated as an insult by other members. But really, was it that bad? The poster has a right to express an opinion about Obama supporters in general, and the metaphor of a flounder merely serves to make the point that he feels they are biased in their thinking. People reading this may FEEL insulted by such an attitude, but that is not really the same thing as actually BEING insulted. I fail to see any difference between that and the continual assertions that critics of the president don’t read enough, are purists, rant, didn’t get a pony, etc. etc. It is well known that there are critics of the president here; people who are not happy with his policies, and yet these “insults” not only continue, they are expressed by the administrators, such as yourself.
        Look, I understand. It’s a coincidence that the administrators of this site are, to a one, dedicated, committed, staunchly loyal supporters of this president. This, I feel, is admirable. But that fact, which is coincidental, nevertheless leaves open the possibility that a certain slant will appear in terms of what is, and what isn’t, considered insulting (and also puts Obama supporters in the position of being able to decide what comments stay and what go. I commend you for your fair mindedness with this task, and hope that you will continue to make all efforts to keep personal bias out of the equation when engaged in it) . This is what I am trying to convey, as I feel that tinge of slant has been the case in rare circumstances.

        • AdLib says:

          WTS, I think that you missed the comment that began this conversation. It wasn’t a metaphor about a flounder, it was the comment made that those who support Obama are delusional.

          That is not in the spirit of seeking a debate or conversation with those who support Obama, the only purpose of such a comment is to denigrate such members.

          There is indeed a difference between criticizing the concept of purism and those that are convicted to it and calling all those Dems who either support or criticize Obama, delusional.

          This is a false equivalency. It’s not apples and apples to compare the criticism of a specific, absolutist philosophy and those that subscribe to it with having a personal opinion on a politician.

          Using that logic, attacking someone for spouting racism is equivalent to attacking someone for having supported LBJ.

          Apples and oranges.

          There are members here who are dissatisfied with Obama and criticize him. They haven’t been and aren’t moderated for that, anymore than firbolg’s comments were.

          We have had a few members here who have argued for allowing members to insult each other, in the pursuit of free speech, and engage in HP-like feuds and battles with “the enemy”. That’s not what this site is about, people can go play in the mud elsewhere, The Planet is a place for thoughtful and substantive conversations and debate between people of ALL political views.

          Unfortunately, in such polarized times, it’s a challenge to have people of divergent views equally populate blogs, most often people will gravitate to blogs where the majority reflect their views or else use a diverse blog as a Thunderdome to engage in hostile attacks and provocations against those who don’t share their beliefs.

          I do take issue with your assertion that the political views of the Admin here have or would ever have a bearing on what comments are allowed here. No comment has ever or would ever be removed at this site because of its political POV.

          What is an unfortunate but simple truth is that those who are most intolerant and angry out there, including Baggers, Purists, etc., are more prone to reflect that anger and intolerance in their comments. So, there would naturally be more comments from them that violate our Terms of Use but at the same time, we have also had occasion to remove comments from members who support Obama because they too violated the Terms.

          I would recommend that you go back and review our Terms of Use ( http://planetpov.com/faq/terms-of-use/ ), this is the sole and impartial rulebook for Admin to use for moderating any comment. It takes political preferences out of the mix and applies the principles of this site fairly to all.

          • whatsthatsound says:

            Adlib, there is no need for me to personally email you. I have made my points and it is abundantly clear that you see nothing of value in them. So be it. It happens.

            You make an awful lot of assumptions, though. I’m curious as to where in my comments you read that I am for giving special consideration to critics of the president.

          • whatsthatsound says:

            AL, I read the whole thread, several times in fact. I continue to believe that the poster’s comments were overreacted to.

            “And if you want to see why I believe any remaining Obama supporter is deluded, set two hours aside and watch” is a comment that, according to an admin “came this close” to being removed?

            The comment may come across as obnoxious and overbearing, but insulting? A personal attack? I disagree.

            I don’t mind being in the minority on this point, but I maintain my pov that episodes like this, collectively, could have the effect of dissuading posters here from making comments that run counter to the “general slant” of this site. I love this site and would not like to see that happen, but the fact is that idea has been voiced several times by critics of the president who, although they could be more tactful, are not hurling insults around to members, only the president himself. Which, of course, is allowed.

            • AdLib says:

              If something happens, then a reaction is understandable, protesting against something that didn’t happen but could have strikes me as a bit peculiar.

              If a ref could’ve made the wrong call but made the right call, should he still be booed?

              Also, let’s put to rest this semantics issue, one of Merriam Webster’s definitions of “attack” is:

              “to assail with unfriendly or bitter words”

              For your proposition to be correct, a statement can be obnoxious and overbearing while not being unfriendly.

              When you try to split a hair so fine, it just falls apart.

              The gist of what you seem to be saying is that people who have opinions in the minority here should be given extra leeway to be obnoxious simply because theirs is a less popular opinion and additionally because members here attack Tea Baggers and Purists in their comments.

              I explained this in my previous comment and will try again from a different direction.

              If I was to go to the Tea Party Express blog site and write an angry comment attacking Baggers there, that would be just as disrespectful, as much of a personal attack on the specific members there and an intentional disruption of their site as it would be if the tables were turned and one of them posted such a hostile comment here.

              Context matters and that is what I believe you are missing in all of this.

              A blog site is like a community center. There are those who come frequently, know each other well and return often because they enjoy each others’ company and share many of the same sensibilities.

              In some cases, such as The Planet’s, the community not only visits but discusses the way things are, how they can be better and actually take action to try and make things better.

              There are other communities where their community center meetings are full of attacks, feuds, cliques and division, where people don’t know each other too well and so feel freer to being rude or insulting towards others. There are also communities where all are of a like mind and enforce in each other an absolute intolerance of opposing views.

              Let’s say someone moves from one of those communities to ours and after being pleasantly welcomed, they express themselves as obnoxiously as they always have at their previous community.

              Would our community be in the wrong for not not compromising our shared principle of respect in order to accommodate a new member’s free expression that includes attacks?

              I think it’s just the reverse, new members need to learn that at The Planet, they can act like real, decent people and not have to be in combat mode in order to express themselves and have debates and discussions.

              Intimidation that comes from a lack of boundaries harms free speech more than requiring respect. If a person knows that saying something supportive or critical of Obama will result in being attacked, they will be less likely to express themselves. If they know others can’t attack them purely for having a different opinion, they will feel freer to express themselves.

              No one here is or has been attacked or moderated for posting that they dislike Obama.

              The reality is that in a majority of cases so far, either in their first comments or once they see there are many here who support Obama, those angry at Obama typically project that anger in a spiteful reference to members here as “Obamabots”, “Obama Worshippers”, etc.

              New members are very valued and warmly welcomed here but if they feel they need to disparage other members who have opposing views, as a requirement of expressing their opinions on issues, we don’t just lower the principles of our site to that level.

              It takes a little time to decompress from a previous site that conditioned one into seeing discussions as combat zones. Once that’s done, they can enjoy freely express themselves by just showing other members the kind of respect they would wish to receive.

              I think we’ve explored this pretty fully. You’re welcome to email me to discuss any of this further if you’d like.

            • whatsthatsound says:

              funky, I really appreciate that. Thank you.

            • funksands says:

              WTS, I found your comments a very valuable addition to the discussion. Thank you.

            • whatsthatsound says:

              To whomever is thumbing down all these comments of mine on this thread, thank you for your contribution to this exchange. I am sure you are also aware that the Planet makes it possible for you to add your thoughts, arguments, etc., and more articulately explain just exactly what it is about them that you take issue with. That’s what the “Reply” button is for, very close to the thumbs down button.

    • Sometimes I think the issues of today aren’t near as weighty as they were in decades past. I mean,geez, look at the Cuban Missile crisis. We were one nervous private away from global thermonuclear war!
      But I do realize that today’s issues are far more subtle and creeping than those of the past. Rust never sleeps!

      • escribacat says:

        I’m with you on this, Kilgore. I suppose it’s all in how you look at it, but what I mostly see when I look around is how freaking lucky we are in this country compared to so many other nations. Relatively speaking, we are seriously spoiled. Even with gas prices — we still pay far less than they do in Europe. The human race does, unfortunately, have a lot of predatory members, and I don’t believe they will ever stop preying on those who aren’t as greedy or alert or quick on their feet. It doesn’t matter who is in control — that fact will never go away until the human race evolves a bit more from the ground up. I do see many signs of that evolution. Spend a bit of time reading how things were in the Old West — only about 125 years ago. Life was a lot cheaper then. We’ve come a long way in just a century.

      • jkkFL says:

        KT, perhaps the crises of today seem less weighty because they Are more subtle. I honestly think the risk is about equal- except the enemy is us- and involves too many back room deals, money under tables, and blackmail. Also, the ‘weapons’ are far more sophisticated. Currency manipulation, fraud, and wizards behind curtains are more sinister than one finger on one button.
        The damage is frequently not realized for years- mortgage fraud, bank fraud,
        insider manipulation and bankster collusion are all discovered long after the impact is terminal..and nobody is ever responsible- or prosecuted. It’s swept under the rug of ‘corporate misbehavior’ and continues as business as usual.

      • Emerald1943 says:

        KT, that’s an interesting comment. I don’t know if the issues are more or less weighty today. I know that when I was much younger, I paid little attention to the details.

        I also don’t know if they are more subtle. I believe subtlety was there in the good ol’ days too. Take FDR’s machinations to get the US into WW2 in Europe for example. He knew that the political will in Congress was not there and that he had to be creative to get the American people to come around to the idea. Thank goodness he made that move in the nick of time, or we all might have been goose-stepping!

        Oh, look at the time!! Time for Vox Pop!! We can discuss this later.

      • whatsthatsound says:

        I think they are just as weighty in a more subtle way. We have a very corrupt system of government that coddles the rich and disenfranchises the poor. It is no coincidence that major corporations are rolling about in cash right now, while unemployment rises. This is a DIRECT result of laws that have been passed and dereliction of duty by “public servants”.

        As Chomsky points out in the article I linked to on TOOT, the people care about JOBS, it’s only the financial industry to whom deficits is the great crisis of the day. But they push that (which of course means gutting federal programs, perish the thought that they should contribute more). We Da People are being woefully under-represented by the officials we elect.

    • texliberal says:

      WTS well put, but cowboy boots

    • Emerald1943 says:

      I stepped on a flounder once! It was in water about knee-deep. I was just a kid! It scared the bejezus out of me! Poor fish was probably more scared than I was. :-)

      Sorry, I digress…

      • I once stepped on a live rattlesnake. I was 32 and almost soiled my undies! I never knew a human heart could beat that fast!

        • Emerald1943 says:

          Those things are NOT funny! We have them in my area although I’ve not seen one on my property. We have the Eastern Diamondback, not a very nice critter. Glad you were able to get away without ruining your boxers, KT! :-)

          • Yeah, the timber rattler. This guy was sunning himself between two large rocks, and I was backpacking with a friend. We were walking from rock to rock and I stepped between two rocks because they were far apart. I just got to Southern Cal a few weeks before, and didn’t realize fully, just where I was. Well, I was reminded very quickly by Mother Nature! Whew!

        • whatsthatsound says:

          yikes, give me a flounder any day!

        • Khirad says:

          I came close to stepping on one. My heart fluttered, and even though I’d already gotten out of striking range of it, I ran a few feet anyway from the shot of shock/adrenaline.

          • jkkFL says:

            Khirad- My Hero! 😀
            I would still be running -with wet pants- if I came that close to one!!
            We have pygmy rattlers- but they are Loud..you can hear them far enough away not to keep going in that direction!
            They are nasty- tempered little rascals too; if you get too close they stop rattling, and Bite.

            • jkkFL says:

              @Khirad,
              By the time you check out a coral’s head, you have been bitten..
              “The Coral Snake’s venom is the most potent of any of North America’s snakes. It has short fangs and a small mouth. It does not strike like the pit vipers but bites and chews to inject its poison. Many people use this rhyme “red touch yellow, kill a fellow; red touch black, okay Jack.” to differentiate the Coral Snake from non-venomous copycats like the Scarlet King Snake. It occurs throughout Florida, primarily in heavy brush. Average adult size is 20-30 inches, and the record is 47.5 inches.”
              H/T Wildlife Removal/Snakes
              This article is a little outdated-we now have them in parks, on Little League fields and anyplace that is partially groomed. Pampas grass and border grasses are also hiding places they like. *sigh* they’re becoming urban- like ALL the animals in FL.

            • Khirad says:

              We have Corals, luckily I’ve never seen one, nor has anyone else very often.

              Here’s some more helpful info:

              Many people use a rhyme to remember the coral snake: “Red touch yellow, harmful fellow.”Unfortunately, this rhyme does not always work in our region (and many parts of the western hemisphere). We have several non-venomous snakes in our region that have red bands touching yellow bands. The best way to identify a coral snake is by: 1) a very blunt head that is black to behind the eyes, and 2) bands that completely encircle the body, along with the yellow or white bands occurring on both sides of the red bands.

              http://www.desertmuseum.org/books/nhsd_coral_snake.php

            • jkkFL says:

              @bito,

              RTY=dead
              That’s all ya gotta remember!
              Trouble is- those things are everywhere. I’ve even seen a group of them slithering down the sidewalk. They were about 6″ long, and there were 5 or 6 together- they were hatching nearby- in our complex..
              You can have them in the monkey grass border in your front yard.

            • jkkFL says:

              @bito, Oh yes, my friend! We have cottonmouths, Eastern Diamondbacks, Canebrake rattlers, and Copperheads. Also we have non-native species such as pythons, boas, and other species in the South- running wild and breeding like Rabbits.
              But THIS guy- has the most potent venom of any North American snake- the Coral:
              “red touch yellow, kill a fellow; red touch black, okay Jack.”
              [img][/img]

            • bito says:

              jkk, my brain always froze and I could never remember that rhyme when I saw those. 😆 I just stayed away!

            • bito says:

              jkk, Florida has more the pygmy rattlers or they are very big pygmies, I’ve seen 5-7 foot ones in Central Florida along with some large Water Moccasins.

          • escribacat says:

            I see rattlesnakes quite often when I hike with my dogs. Once I heard the darn thing through the racket of my ipod! That rattle is loud. Luckily I always seem to spot the thing before my dumb dogs do.

          • I hear ya! Most everybody has heard, in film or what not, what a rattlesnake sounds like. But man, when you hear it live, just under your foot you instinctively know you just stepped in some deep shit! I don’t know how I wasn’t bitten. I think I surprised the rattler just as much as he surprised me. He went one way, and I went (as fast as humanly possible) the other way.

            • Khirad says:

              I’d have been so lucky. The shock came when I looked at this unmarked big snake, figuring it to be a harmless like a Gopher Snake, got curious, looked at the flat head, then followed the body to the tail and realized that there was a rattle attached to a black and white band!

              That’s when a cold shot went down my body and I hoofed it.

              It was a Western Diamondback, around 4-5 feet and looked like this.

              [img][/img]

              So, let it be known. They do not always rattle, nor do diamondbacks always have diamonds. I wish I had. I was lucky I didn’t step on it, as I was out on a desert trail with no phone.

      • whatsthatsound says:

        Em, that happens to everybody.

        No wait, it doesn’t.

        • Emerald1943 says:

          Well, WTS, this little sub-thread is much more fun than the other one we were on earlier. We needed a little comic relief! :-)

          When the fish slithered out from under my foot, I thought I was a “goner”! I screamed, my granddaddy almost had a heart attack and came running! I cried and he took me for ice cream. Not a bad memory at all…

  7. Emerald1943 says:

    Hi everyone!

    I wasn’t sure whether to post this email here or on the debt ceiling page…but since it made me so angry, I decided to put it with the other “Outrage” posts. Enjoy!

    ==============================================

    Received today from Firedoglake.com

    “The austerity bill signed into law by President Obama this week creates a
    clandestine Super Congress designed to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.

    The Super Congress has to deliver a $1.5 trillion package by December, so we don’t
    have a moment to waste.

    Our Google and Facebook ads to make 2012 voters in swing states aware of this deal’s
    consequences were seen hundreds of thousands of times in just over one week. Since
    online ads are a cost-effective way to reach a large target audience, we’ve refined
    our ads to focus on stopping the benefit cuts the Super Congress will have in store.

    Can you donate $5 to run Facebook and Google ads in key swing states to stop the
    Super Congress?

    Donate $5 to run online ads aimed at building opposition to the Super Congress’
    coming attacks on benefits.

    Click here to see some of the ads and donate to get them online:
    https://secure.firedoglake.com/page/contribute/supercongress-ads

    The Super Congress is nothing more than the Catfood Commission on steroids. It’s a
    12-person committee that operates out of public view, with more power that ordinary
    members of Congress.

    Members of the House and Senate know they can’t pass these unpopular cuts
    democratically, so they’ve opted to use an opaque, backdoor approach that shields
    individual members from accountability.

    We know who voted for the creation of the Super Congress to cut benefits, and plan
    to keep them in the spotlight with these online ads so that voters know who to blame
    come 2012.

    Donate $5 to build our online ad campaign to stop the Super Congress from cutting
    social safety net benefits.

    https://secure.firedoglake.com/page/contribute/supercongress-ads

    We’ve got a lot in the works to push back on the onslaught of those who want to
    undermine the New Deal and radically reshape America. Just because this deal to
    raise the debt ceiling was passed doesn’t mean that all is said and done. I hope
    you’ll stick with us as we continue to defend the programs and principles we believe
    in.

    Deepest thanks,

    Brian Sonenstein
    Digital Strategy Director
    Firedoglake.com”

    ——————————————--

    The part about the benefit cuts to Medicare and Social Security just frosted me. What a scam to rake in the bucks!

    I guess these fake Dems are entitled to their free speech, but I sure do wish I knew a way to stop them from spreading the lies!

    • whatsthatsound says:

      Em, There IS a way to stop them! If you donate a hunred bucks to me, or heck, even five or ten, I’ll be able to get the word out about just how much they suck!

      I know exactly what to do! I just need your cash to make it happen!

    • agrippa says:

      Anyone who falls for that, deserves what he gets.

      • Emerald1943 says:

        Agreed, agrippa. My worry is that too many people will fall for that, condemning us all in the next election. It is sad that even now, several days AFTER the debt ceiling thing, these guys are still trying to gouge another $5 out of our pockets.

        Oh, I forgot…somebody has to push back against those who would “undermine the New Deal”!

      • choicelady says:

        But WE have the risk they will turn others away from voting! Yeah -- you give up your $5, you deserve to be scammed, but this sort of massive lie is dangerous since the lazy minded will believe it.

        Bah! Fie on Hamsher!

    • bito says:

      EmoProgs looking for a handout while they take a scrape of of every “donation” and put it into their pocket. As Michelle said-that’s Kaputza.

  8. GirlOutWest says:

    Best blog I’ve read for a long time! I find the “Concern Trolls” annoying and so obviously fake that while it makes me angry it also makes me laugh. “I voted for Obama but I’ll never do that again” remark is so silly and obvious.

    It is the “Purists” that make me outraged. They say they’re Democrats but IF they are, they are the worst kind of Democrat. They are weak kneed and undisciplined with a large sprinkling of childishness. They throw our ideals and the Democratic Party under the bus by either not voting or voting for a candidate with no chance of winning. How do they expect to get a stronger majority, by which governing is easier and our values have a chance to become effective, when they allow Republicans and Tea Party candidates to win?

    I guess the “Purists” showed us…

    • AdLib says:

      Thanks GirlOutWest!

      I do find the Purists just the other side of the coin of the Tea Baggers.

      Both are driven primarily by emotion, neither show any appreciation for the past or facts and neither have any long term solutions.

      Both are anger-driven, self-destructive fanatics who seem oblivious to the simple principle of cause and effect. Both vote or don’t vote against their best interests and both are religiously convicted that only their views are righteous, those who could be allies but disagree are instantly the enemy.

      The good thing when it comes to their similarity is, both represent small minorities of their political parties and if the majority is turned off by them, can roll right over them.

      That’s what I think will happen in 2012. Either they become part of the solution and work to make things better or they continue as part of the problem and will be diminished and swept aside.

      • GirlOutWest says:

        I think you are correct…the TP and the Purists will probably cancel each other out but I want all of us Democrats to be proud and strong and supportive of our candidates and each other. Hope springs eternal!

      • agrippa says:

        adlib, those groups are about the same:
        if you go far enough west, you are in the far east.

        Both wil burn out in time. The issue is the amount of time that will take.

  9. KQuark says:

    Brilliant piece AdLib.

  10. Marion says:

    I loved this, and I’m sharing.

    I’d add to that the grifters and shape shifters. You know who the grifters are -- people like Adam Green, the Hamster and Greenwald -- who fear-monger as much as the Teabaggers, keeping the lowest common denominator of Leftie stoked in such a wrangled state that when they ask for their 5 dollars to save SSI or Medicare, they hand it over.

    Green, pukewad wankspittle that he is, pocketed over $300k in 24 hours the day before the President’s GWU speech, by convincing those poor souls that he was going to cut SSI, Medicare and Medicaid. When he didn’t, did Green refund the money? Did he, bollocks!

    The world is waking up to the phoney PACs administered by Hamshit and Greedballs and also to the fact that Hamsher owns a PR company who caters for Republicans and that Greenwald is just a tad too close to the Kochs and the Cato Institute NOT to be whiffy. And then there’s Queen Ratfucker of AOL/Huffington.

    We have to keep calling these people out, and remember and be aware of the number of pundits on the Left, who -- until around about 2004 or thereabouts -- suddenly had a Damascene conversion and became Progressives: Huffington, Cenk, Ed Schultz, Dylan Ratigan, John Aravosis, Markos Moulitsas (Google Markos and CIA, that’a an eye-popper).

    • Khirad says:

      A Hamshit sandwich spread with poutrage and dickles, coming (back) up!

    • Artist50 says:

      Marion you keep me coming back for more -- “pukewad wankspittle” -- you have a way with words!

    • choicelady says:

      MArion -- I DID Google Markos and the CIA for which he’d once worked and defended at the Commonwealth Club!!!!!!!

      Yeah -- tell that to Ronni Karpen Moffit’s husband, Michael, widower after the bombing in Embassy Row killed her and former Chilean foreign minister, Orlando Letelier. The American who did the bombing was in cahoots with the CIA folks who overthrew Allende. Tell that to the folks in Guatamala, Chile, Nicaragua -- and any of the nations where John Perkins worked clandestinely for the CIA to destabilize governments everywhere.

      WHO, for cripe’s sake, is trustworthy? I feel like the 1930s Spanish, infiltrated by Fifth Columnists.

  11. AdLib says:

    The concerns over the Super Congress are legit but the hysterics aren’t fully considering something.

    They howl about how Medicare and SS could be cut in it. First, three Dems will be on the SC. Second, if even one of them refused cuts, they can’t happen. If a majority of Dems in the Senate oppose it, they can’t happen.

    And if no deal is reached, across the board cuts are triggered to begin in 2013…but SS, Medicaid and Medicare benefits are exempted. Then the Bush Tax Cuts expire at the end of 2012, just as the cuts would come.

    Let the trigger cut across the board and not touch entitlements then take the trillion from the expiring tax cuts to supplement any non-defense programs that would have been cut.

    AND…if the Dems re-take the House and keep the Senate and WH, they can restore full funding to Progressive programs and still pay down the deficit.

    Any way you look at it, revenues ARE an unspoken part of the overall deal and there will be revenue increases along with cuts.

    • Firbolg says:

      The “Super Committee” is an abdication of power by the Democrats who have turned into abject appeasers, lead by the Appeaser in Chief, the president. They get away with it because any remaining Obama supporters are like flounder – both eyes on the same side of their head.
      “…Medicare benefits are exempted…”
      Yes, Adlib, you’re right the are exempted.
      But payments to Medicare providers will be cut. Existing Medicare rates are already helping the “get rid of Medicare” job done slowly but surely – not as fast, perhaps, as the united parties of the United States for Wealthy Americans want but making progress every day. Further cuts will be just what the doctors and other providers ordered to allow them to drop more Medicare patients. This is like saying there will be no restriction on Americans using their cars, but gas will be increased to $50 a gallon and all roads will have toll gates.
      Want to bet when the next time Medicare rates come up under Paygo the issue will be taken hostage by the GOP and the Democrats will rush to their lockers for white flags again?

      • Emerald1943 says:

        Firbolg,

        IMO, there is a huge difference between sitting down with reasonable people and negotiating solutions to problems, and sitting down with ideologues who refuse to negotiate and are completely unwilling to consider others’ solutions to those problems.

        When deadlines loom, as did the deadline for the debt ceiling, one would assume that BOTH sides would be pressured to bring about a solution as quickly as possible. However, in the debt ceiling crisis, only ONE side seemed to care if great harm came to our country. Only ONE side was willing to be an honest broker.

        I would have to disagree with your “Appeaser in Chief” portrayal of the President. He was dealing with ideologues who first did not believe that the debt ceiling crisis would cause any harm, and second, had no intention of negotiating any agreement with him, no matter the terms. I would ask the question, “What was the President supposed to do?” If he included tax revenues in the agreement, it would not pass the House and default would occur. Would it have been a smart ploy on his part to hold the line, insist on those revenues and completely crash the economy? I can only imagine the headlines if he had done that.

        The President was successful in preventing cuts to benefits in entitlements. Was this not the most important issue on the table after raising the debt ceiling itself? How did he appease? I’m not sure I understand your comment.

        There is no question that Medicare reimbursement needs to be overhauled. Medical costs in general are rising way too fast and ways must be found to control those costs. But this is such a huge issue and can be taken up later, not when the country is faced with default and a financial calamity.

        As for me…my eyes are both on the LEFT! :-) The alternatives are just too terrible to think about.

      • choicelady says:

        Fir- you might want to read bito’s comment just below your thread on the Congressional Joint Congress. It’s not a new thing at all. The cut in Medicare provider rates is sort of a joke: they are being RAISED by 5% in ACA so cutting them 2% is a net GAIN. I have the advantage as anyone on the Planet can tell you (and I can hear them screaming now -- nooooooo, not again!) in having READ the health care reform bill stem to stern. It is nothing at all as most pundits say -- it’s quite solid and well done, dumping all the crap of the Romney MA plan and substituting thoughtful ways to keep this affordable and move, as France, Germany, Switzerland did, toward a single payer. It turns out we don’t even NEED a public option -- people are dumping their individual plans and moving into the government’s High Risk pool thereby saving thousands of dollars. And that’s before the whole thing kicks in. I could go on and on (and the Planeteers are begging me to STOP) but I will say it’s not Romney’s plan, and it’s amazingly well thought out.

        I’m with bito on your AAPS source -- they’re ultra conservatives who want to be free of ANY governmental oversight so they can’t be sued or stopped or anything remotely patient-friendly. NOT a good source.

        • Firbolg says:

          I realize I have kicked a hornet’s nest here and apologize to all.
          I knew that this site was a refuge for many of the progressive left HP posters (myself included) that were increasingly fed up with the bias and censoring even before the sellout to AOL.
          I had hoped that others like myself who supported Obama initially and had honestly tracked and assessed his behavior since would, like me, at least admit to some disappointment and would be open to two-sided debate.
          As I have a similar backlash on another thread, I will stay away.
          However I would suggest you follow both the composition and performance of the super committee against two issues already on the way before the year-end; the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the next SGR vote on Medicare rates for physicians. I believe Congress and the Administration will follow the same path as when they conflated the debt ceiling and deficit reduction to the detriment of both and the American people even though for the Bush tax cuts the Democrats hold the hostage (tax cuts) this time.

          • AdLib says:

            Firbolg, PlanetPOV is a place for free expression and many from HP have come here. As you’ve seen, though some have issues with your comments, they are not moderated and they remain part of a conversation. This is not the case at HP.

            Where we also differ from HP is that this is not a place where folks throw insults at others simply because they don’t agree with each other.

            The community here has grown accustomed to giving and receiving a modicum of respect from each other, especially when disagreeing with others.

            Debates here are about trading fact and reason instead of insults and self-righteous proclamations. In my book, tolerance for all those who don’t agree with one shows more confidence in oneself and one’s views.

            You are welcome at The Planet. There is more that I have learned here from having thoughtful and respectful disagreements than in all the time I spent at HP with insults, snark, intolerance and prejudice being flung around.

            As certain as anyone may be that they possess all of the correct opinions or viewpoints, if one truly seeks the truth, a degree of self-doubt and respect for opposing views is what leads to real wisdom.

      • Kalima says:

        Links would be a good thing, or maybe just an “I think”. Speculation and name-calling are a dime a dozen by overbearing, overpaid and overexposed hysterical pundits both on your tv and on the internet. We are a funny lot here, we like to see facts for ourselves before we decide anything. Thanks.

        • Firbolg says:

          To coin a phrase “I am therefore I think.” So that is the default for all posters, hopefully.
          Links – sure, no problem.

          http://improvehealthcare.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/IHC-PPACA-Case-2010-final.pdf
          Page 7.

          http://www.aapsonline.org/fraud/medfraud.htm
          Second main heading.

          http://thehealthcareblog.com/blog/2011/08/02/there-will-be-blood-on-the-floor-on-november-23rd/
          Paragraph 9 plus others.

          And if you want to see why I believe any remaining Obama supporter is deluded, set two hours aside and watch
          http://metanoia-films.org/compilations.php

          • escribacat says:

            Firblog, I’m one of those people who now has healthcare because of ACA — this after four years of being uninsured because of a bad back. I won’t provide you with any links to say why I support ACA and the president — I’ll just say that where the rubber hits the road, it’s a huge victory. It’s not good enough for you and many others theoretically — for me it could make a life or death difference. It certainly removed all the stress and anxiety of being uninsured.

          • AdLib says:

            Actually, I’ve found that absolutism is more often reflective of delusion.

          • bito says:

            I wonder why the AAPS might be writing a critical report on the ACA and Medicare.

            Though it describes itself as “non-partisan”,[6] AAPS is generally recognized as politically conservative.[5][7][8][9] According to Mother Jones, “despite the lab coats and the official-sounding name, the docs of the AAPS are hardly part of mainstream medical society. Think Glenn Beck with an MD.”[9]

            The organization opposes mandatory vaccination,[10] universal health care[11] and government intervention in healthcare.[9][12] The AAPS has characterized the effects of the Social Security Act of 1965, which established Medicare and Medicaid, as “evil” and “immoral”,[13] and encouraged member physicians to boycott Medicare and Medicaid.[14] AAPS argues that individuals should purchase medical care directly from doctors, and that there is no right to medical care.[15] The organization requires its members to sign a “declaration of independence” pledging that they will not work with Medicare, Medicaid, or even private insurance companies.[9]

            AAPS also opposes mandated evidence-based medicine and practice guidelines, criticizing them as a usurpation of physician autonomy and a fascist merger of state and corporate power where the biggest stakeholder is the pharmaceutical industry.[16] Other procedures that AAPS opposes include abortion[17] and over-the-counter access to emergency contraception.[18] AAPS also opposes electronic medical records[9] as well as any “direct or de facto supervision or control over the practice of medicine by federal officers or employees.”[19]

            On Oct 25 2008 the AAPS website published an editorial implying that Barack Obama was using Neuro-linguistic Programming, “a covert form of hypnosis”, in his presidential campaign.[20]

            Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_American_Physicians_and_Surgeons

            As to your first link what exactly on page 7 is supportive of your position?

            • Emerald1943 says:

              Bito, thanks! Good information to have!

            • Firbolg says:

              I also have been here before the site was launched – whatever that has to do with anything. And I always make a clear distinction between “stupid” (which I did not use) and “ignorance.” The latter can be willful or due to circumstances beyond the person’s control.

              With regard to my post, I believe in the principle of equifinality – in popular idiom, “that there is more than one way to skin a cat”. It is clear to me for reasons that should be obvious if you research the issue that both sides of the aisle in Congress are targeting Medicare and Social Welfare as a significant plank in the debt reduction edifice. The rules of the “super committee’ are just another path to that goal. By permitting Medicare to be cut whether the committee agrees or not, they have guaranteed a “lose-lose” situation for what are supposed to be Democratic Party principles. I also believe they did this in collusion and with “malice aforethought”.

          • Kalima says:

            Ok, I’ll check through your links when I have time, I’m in a different time zone, so it’s my early morning. I am not familiar with any of the sites you link to.

            A word of advice from someone who has been here since before we launched this site, your comment with your last link is quite unnecessary. Appearing to sound condescending, patronizing, or taking the membership here for fools is simply a waste of time and doesn’t work here.

            • Kalima says:

              It means exactly what it said, I was here on the site helping to make the small number of rules we have here, and being overtly condescending to our membership because they choose to support the President in this instance, is one of them.

              If you have a differing opinion that’s fine with us, but to try to win points by thumbing your nose at other genuine held opinions in a way that attacks them for having those opnions, is coming close to breaking our rules. We don’t ask for much, but we do expect a certain amount of respect for other members.

              Present your arguments without the name-calling if you expect anyone here to take you seriously.

            • bito says:

              I am in full support Kalima and I didn’t like the childish attack aimed at members of the site who do support the President. It was this close(putting thumb a finger together.)

    • bito says:

      A: If I read or hear the words “Super Congress” I’m going to lose my “Super Supper.” It’s a Congressional Joint Conference, not unheard of before. Many bills, if not most, are hammered out in conference and while this one has different responsibilities, it’s not unlike military base closings. It still has to be passed by both houses of Congress.

      B: I object to this R’s will protect military and D’s will protect entitlements black and white choices as projected by so many. Military contractors have been brilliant about their spreading around the sub-contracts to many districts, both R & D districts and there are people in every district that are use one part of the social safety network.

      I do think a compromise will be reached because it can harm both parties with a across the board cut, but it will take some real work Dem’s. Can we get it out that 70% of people in assisted living homes are on Medicare? That your water and sewerage systems are falling apart(both R&D districts)? That your child’s schools building is falling apart?

      Polls have been consistent showing 70% of all people belive that the rich need to pay more.
      The problem isn’t the structure of the committee, the problem is “will the Dems get their message out, and louder than the TP’s emoprogs?

      • choicelady says:

        I certainly hope the Dems jump on the ISSUES that unite us in need rather than divide us in ideology. I agree that Defense provides job -- need to be VERY careful about that and not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

        Focus on infrastructure should unite -- particularly since most project have always been contracted OUT to private sources.

        What happens is always dependent upon who is on this committee.

        I am a very radical person in terms of my wants. I am a very pragmatic person in terms of my understand of what is possible. We need people of the second order on this committee. Are there likely to be people of that ilk?

        And freaking Sarah announced today I gather. Wow. The fight between her and Bachmann ought to divide the Baggers now and into November next year. That alone could make this work!

    • choicelady says:

      When O’Donnell ranted that letting the cuts expire on everyone would be a great talking point for the GOP in the election, the Dems can forestall that in Jan. 2012 by introducing a bill to protect those with $250K or less. Maybe even peg it higher -- $500K -- so the GOP can’t scream “job killer”. Then the tables turn. Then let’s see the GOP refuse to pass that, protecting the rich at the expense of the middle.

      In all the critique of Obama, no one pointed out his victory at keeping entitlements off the table. No one gave a single other tactic he could have used. Had he invoked the 14th or any other protection for the debt ceiling, he still would not have a “deal” on a balanced means to reduce the deficit, if reducing it we must. He used good judgment in protecting so much and leaving the future negotiations up to a committee even knowing how useless that will be. If the minority hold the cards you have no choice but to deal with their issues -- and protecting us from cuts is all that is left. Revenues will NOT be included until Jan. 2013 at the earliest.

      • AdLib says:

        Exactly, CL. Though I think Obama may instead want to use the Bush Tax Cut leverage to revise the tax code, eliminating loopholes and other inequities, so the same amount of revenue is raised as letting the tax cuts expire.

        Even if rates go up, if the loopholes let Exxon pay no taxes, it’s still a problem.

        I am all for revising the tax code instead of just letting the cuts expire but if that can’t be arrived at as a good deal, let them expire.

        And yes, Obama can, through the Senate, put out a bill cutting 98% of Americans’ taxes to coincide with the Bush Tax cuts expiring.

        Right with you, Obama has protected entitlement benefits from being cut and all the Purists can do is howl that UI benefits weren’t extended. What brats!

        I am convinced that if Obama used the 14th Amendment, the US credit rating would drop, interest rates would skyrocket and the economy would have crashed again. This is because it would have confirmed that the US Congress is now 100% useless and the deficit would continue on course to engulf our economy. Also, knowing the Repubs WANT economic destruction and chaos, why would they want to compromise on any deal? They would just sit and wait as the economy tanked for Obama and the Dems to give them everything they wanted or just watch the nation crash and burn…confident it meant they would own the WH and Congress in 2012.

        Don’t mean to be condescending but these Purists and Outragers only seem to think in such narrow and one dimensional ways. I have seen no projection by any of them of what would haoppen to the economy and how a deal would be more favorable if Obama used the 14th. No strategy, no vision past today, the blind raged leading the blind.

        • choicelady says:

          I read Krugman this morning, and his answer is to have used the 14th or USC code -- and I agree. It would have stopped nothing in the way of undermining “full faith” about our credit. It also would have put entitlements constantly in peril. Absolutely nothing would have been done other than fighting over cuts to these programs.

          Nothing significant will get done anyway, but keeping entitlements safe, including major issues for those in need, is imperative.

          When the rancid purists refused to vote to “show the Dems” THEY brought this on us. I know because I was told, point blank, that chaos was a desired LEFT goal, too. The big difference is that the Left has no dominance to “fix it” if that happens.

          Some problems have no good solutions, and this is one of them. If we are being undermined by Ed Schultz and others exhorting Lefties not to vote over some pet issue or other, we are doomed. If even Romney wins, we will not see the betterment of society for decades to come.

          How did so-called Progressives get so stupid?

          • AdLib says:

            It’s going to be bad enough with Repubs dragging out the budget and battling on the Super Congress deal but imagine if we had the next year and a half with no deficit deal and entitlements under threat for that period and afterwards.

            Every other issue would grind to a halt and it would just be 24/7 about Obama deserving to be impeached as a dictator, slashing the deficit and budget by destroying entitlements, etc.

            It would indeed have been chaos and havoc for at least the next year and a half and the economy and credit rating of the United Banana Republic would tank.

            Indeed, it burns me up that so many on the Left would be such ideologues that they would seek to destroy our economy and future just to stop the Baggers from doing it.

    • Emerald1943 says:

      Adlib, good points all!

      Another thing that some of these screaming people are forgetting is the President’s veto pen!

      Congress may send anything they want to the President’s desk but he still has that awesome power. Even if (God forbid) President Obama is defeated in 2012, he will still be in the Oval Office when all those cuts are supposed to kick in. He would still have about three weeks left of his term. And an over-ride of his veto is highly unlikely, at least in the Senate.

      I’m still trying to get my head around all this…pardon my confusion. I’ll try to get it together today! :-)

      • AdLib says:

        Emerald, thanks for pointing that out, the Outragers no doubt have not considered Obama’s ultimate power in this.

        If Obama vetos it, the triggered cuts kick in which exempt SS, Medicaid and Medicare benefits…and leave the Bush Tax Cuts ready to expire.

        I saw this article at Daily Kos:

        A veto threat from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney at today’s daily briefing … but it comes with a caveat:

        “If it fails either to produce something or if Congress fails to act on it, you can be sure that the President will honor his promise to veto any legislation that would extend the Bush high-income tax cuts beyond 2012, which would, of course, create nearly $1 trillion in revenue raisers when that happens.”

        The “it” in question is the Super Congress that will be created by the debt limit deal should it make its way out of the House and Senate.

        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/01/1001820/-White-House-wants-Super-Congress-to-take-Bush-tax-cuts-off-table-for-2012

  12. chasethis says:

    Gabby Gifford on the floor today brought unexpected, yet prolonged, tears to my eyes.

    • Marion says:

      That was poignant, but, you know, people like Bill Maher and assorted EmoProgs on Twitter were ripping her for voting “yes.” Someone ACTUALLY tweeted something that you’d think a bullet in the head would have convinced her that Progressive ideals always win out over a Blue Dog. They were pissing on her for that. Funny, Gabby was always identified as a second amendment Blue Dog Dem. As soon as what happened happened, the EmoProgs reconstructed her as a Progressive, same as they’re doing now with Hillary, the Great White Hope of Progressives. They make me sick.

      • Khirad says:

        I liked to rip on them saying that they would have primaried her with their hatred of all things Blue Dog.

        Guess what fuckers, an out-of-the-closet liberal ain’t getting elected here and yes a moderate Dem really WAS FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR better than the batshit crazy alternative.

        So don’t feign affection for her, frauds. Well, with that pissing, they showed their true colors.

        • bito says:

          Hear, Hear! I’ll take our ‘Blue Dog’ Gabby any day over what we could of had last election. CD-8 is and has been a moderate district for many years. Our last Rep was an openly gay Republican. Do you think this new R party would back him today? He was for gay rights and womens reproductive rights, the same as Gabby. She represents her district!

      • Sabreen60 says:

        Yeah Marion they make me sick, too. I saw Adam Green’s tweet about Gabby and it was disgusting. Why say anything at all. What was the point other than to start chit. Some people thrive on chaos and confusion. Bill Maher has worked my last nerve and I’m tired of his backhanded and not so backhanded racist comments about the President. I read a really good piece on his history and it ain’t pretty.

    • PatsyT says:

      Same here Chase, I can’t believe how emotional I got when I saw her.
      She is going to be OK.

  13. texliberal says:

    I have to read this piece of legislation before I make a final judgement. Listened to Lawrence O tonight and he knows how this stuff works. He had some major reservations

    • AdLib says:

      O’Donnell also stated for a fact months ago that Tim Pawlenty would absolutely be the Republican nominee. Sometimes I like him, sometimes he’s too egocentric, more important to him sometimes to be sure than correct.

      • texliberal says:

        AL,He’s not much on predictions but he does know how Congress works. By the way watch Stewart tonight. Has a clip of Obama in 2010 saying the Republicans would never risk a financial collapse by not raising the Debt Ceiling and that was in December after the baggers got elected.

        • AdLib says:

          I saw that and it does show that Obama just didn’t anticipate the terrorism of the Baggers. He believed Boehner’s assurance that they wouldn’t hold the nation hostage like that…but they had just held 7 million Americans hostage over Unemployment Insurance.

          He assumed that since throughout history, no party had ever held the nation’s economy hostage, the Repubs wouldn’t. That’s the problem with being a historical scholar in times of extremism, the precedents are meaningless.

          Obama has been punished repeatedly for expecting a degree of responsibility and maturity in the Repubs. I sure hope the lesson is well learned now and that as we head to budget time in September and the Super Congress bill at the end of the year…not to mention the Bush Tax Cuts in 2012, he’s fully prepared for their tactics.

          • Emerald1943 says:

            Adlib, I don’t know who is advising the President on these things, but somebody badly missed the boat on this one!

            I’m sure that no one could have predicted that the baggers would take us over the cliff, but somebody should have at least presented the idea as a possibility. No person in his right mind would think that they would cause a financial collapse and possible depression over the debt ceiling but that possibility should have been a part of the President’s contingency plans. Perhaps it was and we just don’t know about it. Congress passing the bill last night may have been in the nick of time to save the President from having to use the 14th or some other remedy.

            I hope, in future dealings with these terrorists, the President will remember this and take it to heart!

          • Marion says:

            Obama wanted the debt ceiling done and dusted ahead of time -- during the Lame Duck session in December 2010, whilst the Dems still had majorities in both Houses. HARRY REID refused to do this, saying he wanted the incoming GOP House to “own” part of the responsibility for raising the debt ceiling. FACT.

            That worked out SO well, didn’t it?

            • whatsthatsound says:

              Marion, would you provide some links for this? You have written that it was Reid who stopped Obama from ending the Bush tax cuts as well. And now this assertion. I have no particular love for Reid, but I would greatly appreciate learning where you are getting all this from.

      • Khirad says:

        Yeah, his head is a bit to big for his shoulders sometimes -- figuratively, as well.

        He’s one of the guys I defer to more than most, but Pawlenty?

        • texliberal says:

          Hey he hates Morning Joke. Joe hates Lawrence on his show. Lawrence can be arrogant but he never lets that slime bag shout him down.

        • AdLib says:

          Most of us non-Beltway people knew Pawlenty was a loser from the get-go but sometimes he was clueless and yet had the gall to tell guests for a while that Pawlenty was the eventual nominee.

          As I said, I like him sometimes but his grandstanding, like on Friday, doing a whole segment on how he was barring Joe Walsh from his show was ridiculous and is the kind of BS that I don’t like.

          • Khirad says:

            I actually thought, maybe I’m wrong on this, that it’s sorta gotten to him. That I really liked him better when the show was still new.

            Then again, maybe that was just the new car smell.

    • Khirad says:

      And yet he was more peeved at the strategy and woulda, coulda shouldas of leveraging the 14th amendment and veto threat than the bill itself.

      • texliberal says:

        That’s true. He was more peeved that Obama didn’t couple a raise in the Debt Ceiling to extensions of Bush tax cuts in December 2010. John Stewart did a good piece on that fact tonight. Be sure to watch.

  14. agrippa says:

    I do not have a clear reading on what is going on.

    The amount of energy being expended is too much for the stated problem. That leads me to think that the stated problem is not, in fact, the actual problem. The stated problem is being substitituted for the actual point at issue.

    I am not clear on what the real bone of contention actually is.


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