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Wonderment
11-16-2010, 01:12 AM
I think these are the big five for the Lame Duck Congress, but please add other viable projects if you're aware of them. Any predictions?

1. Tax cuts for the rich

2. Dream Act

3. Don't Ask, Don't Tell

4. New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START)

5. Unemployment benefits extension

bjkeefe
11-16-2010, 01:31 AM
Viable. An interesting word, that.

I admire your idealism.

chiwhisoxx
11-16-2010, 02:11 AM
Card check has also been floated as a lame duck idea. And there was a story today about how Dems are ready to push amnesty during the lame duck session. However, I'd be shocked if any of these things happen, except maybe the unemployment benefits.

Exit question for fellow West Wing nerds: Anyone else remember the episode with the lame duck Senator and a nuclear test ban treaty? Life imitating art!

bjkeefe
11-16-2010, 06:16 AM
I think these are the big five for the Lame Duck Congress, but please add other viable projects if you're aware of them. Any predictions?

[...]

3. Don't Ask, Don't Tell

I wonder about this one, actually, despite my earlier cynical response. Depends if the Dems will stand firm and challenge the Reps to filibuster the defense appropriations bill, and if that happens, then will they have the guts to go out there to tell the public what the Republicans are doing?

Also, I'm late to the dance on this, but I think the leaked report could give some extra help (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/10/AR2010111007381.html?hpid=topnews):

Sources: Pentagon group finds there is minimal risk to lifting gay ban during war

A Pentagon study group has concluded that the military can lift the ban on gays serving openly in uniform with only minimal and isolated incidents of risk to the current war efforts, according to two people familiar with a draft of the report, which is due to President Obama on Dec. 1.

More than 70 percent of respondents to a survey sent to active-duty and reserve troops over the summer said the effect of repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy would be positive, mixed or nonexistent, said two sources familiar with the document. The survey results led the report's authors to conclude that objections to openly gay colleagues would drop once troops were able to live and serve alongside them.

One source, who has read the report in full, summarized its findings in a series of conversations this week. The source declined to state his position on whether to lift the ban, insisting it did not matter. He said he felt compelled to share the information out of concern that groups opposed to ending the ban would mischaracterize the findings. The long, detailed and nuanced report will almost certainly be used by opponents and supporters of repeal legislation to bolster their positions in what is likely to be a heated and partisan congressional debate.

[...]

The report also concludes that gay troops should not be put into a special class for equal-opportunity or discrimination purposes, the individual said. The recommendation is based on feedback the study group obtained from gay troops and same-sex partners who said they do not want a special classification, according to the source. Gay troops were encouraged to participate in the survey and to submit comments to the anonymous online drop box.

The report recommends few, if any, changes to policy covering military housing and benefits, because the military must abide by the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which does not recognize same-sex marriage. Objections by troops who do not want to room or shower with openly gay troops should be handled case-by-case by commanders and should be scrutinized, the source said.

(h/t: Towleroad (http://www.towleroad.com/2010/11/additional-details-leaked-from-pentagon-dadt-study-show-minimal-risk-to-military-from-lifting-ban-on.html), plus Anne Flaherty (http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2010/11/12/us_gays_in_military_leak/index.html), for the initial hint)

==========

Oh, and hey, Pareene (http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/11/15/mccain_dadt_meet_the_press/index.html), did Teh Honorable One have anything to say about all this?

Sen. John McCain, that honorable maverick, was allowed to debase himself on "Meet the Press" yesterday, because if it's Sunday, it's John McCain shamelessly lying on "Meet the Press."

[...]

... moving the goal posts, saying both that he hasn't yet seen the review and that it will not be the review he wanted, and once he gets this other review that he wanted, he will need to hold hearings, and also the Marine commandant is opposed to repeal. The whole act is depressing and completely unsurprising to any longtime observer of John McCain.

Speaking of John McCain's new boyfriend (http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/11/11/troops_fine_with_gay_people) (now that Joe Lieberman has dumped him (http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/11/15/lieberman-dadt-mccain/)):

The Marines are the most opposed to lifting the ban. Last month, former Marine Commandant James Conway "estimated" -- with no basis, I'm sure, in his own prejudices -- that "90 to 95 percent" of Marines would oppose allowing gay people to serve openly (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/10/15/retiring-marines-chief-warns-uncomfortable-serving-openly-gay-troops/). In reality: "About 40 percent of the Marine Corps is concerned about lifting the ban," according to the Post's source.

Finally, B'head Adam Serwer notes this (http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/adam_serwer_archive?month=11&year=2010&base_name=the_marines_and_dadt) about John McCain's new new boyfriend:

The Post also quotes [current Marine commandant] Gen. Amos' remarks from last weekend expressing concern about "unit cohesion."

"There is nothing more intimate than young men and young women -- and when you talk of infantry, we're talking about our young men -- lying out, sleeping alongside of one another and sharing death, fear and loss of brothers," Amos told reporters. "I don't know what the effect of that will be on cohesion. I mean, that's what we're looking at. It's unit cohesion. It's combat effectiveness."

What's remarkable is that even in 1993, when the policy was instituted, the empirical evidence suggested that this was nonsense. The RAND study found that "task cohesion," which was vital to the completion of military tasks, was distinct from "social cohesion," or service members actually liking each other. That's how black and white soldiers could serve together in Korea in the 1950s even as the South groaned under the heel of Jim Crow and white soldiers remained hostile (http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/adam_serwer_archive?month=10&year=2010&base_name=the_dadt_survey) to integration. At the time, the military study on integration, Project Clear, found that integrated units performed as well as white units.

To borrow a phrase, it turns out there aren't too many racists in foxholes, and it sounds like there aren't many homophobes either.

bjkeefe
11-16-2010, 06:46 AM
I think these are the big five for the Lame Duck Congress, but please add other viable projects if you're aware of them. Any predictions?

1. Tax cuts for the rich

"Ending the Bush tax cuts: Riskier than you think (http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/11/15/bush_tax_cuts_democrats/index.html)."

The gist: even though people tell pollsters they want taxes raised on the rich, the RWNM is so good at lying about this that they end up making the same people think everyone is paying more taxes, even though they're not. Not saying we shouldn't let the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire, of course. But the above is a sobering reminder from Steve Kornacki, looking back at Bill Clinton's experience. And if someone working for Salon thinks like this, you know every Dem in Congress has already thought about it, many times.

Wonderment
11-16-2010, 03:15 PM
My hunch is the whole session will be consumed with the Tax Cuts issue. I really hope I'm wrong.

I also hope the O administration does not raise voters expectations on what they can accomplish, only to blame intransigent obstructionist Repubs when they get stymied.

Obama, of course, DID raise expectations on all these issues during his campaign, but now I think the best strategy is to work furiously behind the scenes and chill on the promises.

Wonderment
11-16-2010, 03:30 PM
No pun intended. (http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/16/senate-leader-deals-blow-to-president-on-arms-treaty/?hp)

bjkeefe
11-16-2010, 03:34 PM
My hunch is the whole session will be consumed with the Tax Cuts issue. I really hope I'm wrong.

I do, too. I'd like to see DADT done away with, for one. It's a narrow, clear-cut issue, it has majority support of Congress and the military, and it would be a good thing to deliver on for the base. Plus, it has the added advantage of being the right thing to do.

I also hope the O administration does not raise voters expectations on what they can accomplish, only to blame intransigent obstructionist Repubs when they get stymied.

To a degree, I agree. But at some point, the president has to be a big part of the voices calling attention to those who deserve the blame. Not enough people are aware of the degree to which the Republicans are and have been the Party of No, too many of them think "eh, the Dems never get anything done," and consequently, they lose motivation and don't vote or do anything else to push for the things that most of us want.

Obama, of course, DID raise expectations on all these issues during his campaign, but now I think the best strategy is to work furiously behind the scenes and chill on the promises.

Maybe, and I think I get where you're coming from on this. On the other hand, (1) I have to believe that the WH is already working furiously behind the scenes, since by all accounts, all of them do; (2) part of what it almost always takes to get things through Congress is building momentum by getting the media talking about it and the public putting pressure on their representatives; and (3) if there is one thing Democratic administrations have been terrible at since I can remember, it's publicizing and taking pride in their accomplishments, so the upside of a high-publicity promise is that it's out there for people to recall when you do manage to get something done.

bjkeefe
11-16-2010, 03:42 PM
No pun intended. (http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/16/senate-leader-deals-blow-to-president-on-arms-treaty/?hp)

What a terrible headline by the NYT. Makes it seem to the casual reader like Harry Reid is to blame.

Anyway, this is just so typical of how the Republicans in Congress have been working since 20 Jan 2009:

... a Senate Republican leader moved to block a vote in what could be a devastating blow to the president’s most tangible foreign policy achievement.

[...]

The announcement shocked and angered the White House, which learned about it from the news media. Both parties had considered Mr. Kyl the make-or-break voice on the pact, with Republicans essentially deputizing him to work out a deal that would secure tens of billions of dollars to modernize the nation’s nuclear weapons complex in exchange for approval of the treaty. After months of negotiations and the addition of even more money in recent days, the White House thought it had given Mr. Kyl what he wanted.

They ask for concessions and the proverbial seat at the table while whining on Fox that they're being "shut out of the process" and having things "rammed down their throats," and no one of significance ever calls them on this bullshit while it's happening. Meanwhile they actually do get what they ask for, they stall as long as they can, and then when they finally have to act, they go all Lucy on Charlie Brown once again.

Because who cares what's good for the country and good for the world? The only way these people are capable of seeing things is "let's make sure we deny Obama a victory."

Wonderment
11-16-2010, 04:05 PM
They ask for concessions and the proverbial seat at the table while whining on Fox that they're being "shut out of the process" and having things "rammed down their throats," and no one of significance ever calls them on this bullshit while it's happening. Meanwhile they actually do get what they ask for, they stall as long as they can, and then when they finally have to act, they go all Lucy on Charlie Brown once again.

Yep.

And speaking of stuff the NYT should not publish with a straight face, there was also this disingenuous rant (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/10/opinion/10bolton.html)a few days ago by über-hawk Bolton and war criminal Yoo which must have scared off some conservative Repubs (and many Dems);

chiwhisoxx
11-16-2010, 04:06 PM
What a terrible headline by the NYT. Makes it seem to the casual reader like Harry Reid is to blame.

Anyway, this is just so typical of how the Republicans in Congress have been working since 20 Jan 2009:



They ask for concessions and the proverbial seat at the table while whining on Fox that they're being "shut out of the process" and having things "rammed down their throats," and no one of significance ever calls them on this bullshit while it's happening. Meanwhile they actually do get what they ask for, they stall as long as they can, and then when they finally have to act, they go all Lucy on Charlie Brown once again.

Because who cares what's good for the country and good for the world? The only way these people are capable of seeing things is "let's make sure we deny Obama a victory."

What if Jon Kyl thinks START is bad for the country and bad for the world, like many people do? Sure, he still jerked the White House around for a while, and it means he shouldn't complain about being shut out of the process. But if he truly believes START is a bad idea (which it is) then he out-maneuvered the White House politically. This is the big leagues, they play for keeps.

Wonderment
11-16-2010, 04:07 PM
But if he truly believes START is a bad idea (which it is) ...

Do you agree with Bolton and Yoo that we need more, not fewer, nukes?

chiwhisoxx
11-16-2010, 04:41 PM
Do you agree with Bolton and Yoo that we need more, not fewer, nukes?

Not necessarily, but that doesn't mean I'm obligated to support START.

bjkeefe
11-16-2010, 05:15 PM
Yep.

And speaking of stuff the NYT should not publish with a straight face, there was also this disingenuous rant (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/10/opinion/10bolton.html)a few days ago by über-hawk Bolton and war criminal Yoo which must have scared off some conservative Repubs (and many Dems);

No doubt. Or gave them additional cover/talking points, at least. Sad that Bolton and Yoo are still given such a platform.

bjkeefe
11-16-2010, 05:28 PM
What if Jon Kyl thinks START is bad for the country and bad for the world, like many people do? Sure, he still jerked the White House around for a while, and it means he shouldn't complain about being shut out of the process. But if he truly believes START is a bad idea (which it is) then he out-maneuvered the White House politically. This is the big leagues, they play for keeps.

To some degree, I buy the general principle -- politics ain't beanbag, as the saying goes. But in this case, no. He outright lied. He asked for a quid pro quo, and didn't hold up his end of the bargain. It's one thing to be in opposition to a bill or treaty, and to use tools at your disposal to oppose it. But at some point, stringing the majority along with a stance of "I just have certain discomforts, and if you give me X, Y, and Z, then you'll have addressed my concerns, and you'll get my support," while all along planning never to deliver, is pissing all over the concepts of trust and cooperation and good-faith negotiations. There is no way for society to get along if that's going to be the way of the world. And not only is what Kyl did immoral, it's egotistical in the extreme -- why should his view count for more than everyone else who wants this treaty?

Wonderment
11-16-2010, 08:44 PM
Not necessarily, but that doesn't mean I'm obligated to support START.

I'm just wondering cuz we only have 5,000 nukes currently and Yoo and Bolton think we're understocked. Or maybe it's like Goldilocks and the Three Bears: 5,000 is just right. "Ahhh, this porridge is just right," Goldilocks said happily, and she ate it all up.

Yoo and Bolton:


The low limits it [New START] would place on nuclear warheads ignore the enormous disparities between American and Russian global responsibilities and the importance of America's 'nuclear umbrella' in maintaining international security.

bjkeefe
11-20-2010, 06:09 AM
No pun intended. (http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/16/senate-leader-deals-blow-to-president-on-arms-treaty/?hp)

A post (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/11/19/you-make-a-grown-man-cry/) with some good links and righteous commentary.

bjkeefe
11-23-2010, 03:43 PM
To some degree, I buy the general principle -- politics ain't beanbag, as the saying goes. But in this case, no. He outright lied. He asked for a quid pro quo, and didn't hold up his end of the bargain. It's one thing to be in opposition to a bill or treaty, and to use tools at your disposal to oppose it. But at some point, stringing the majority along with a stance of "I just have certain discomforts, and if you give me X, Y, and Z, then you'll have addressed my concerns, and you'll get my support," while all along planning never to deliver, is pissing all over the concepts of trust and cooperation and good-faith negotiations. There is no way for society to get along if that's going to be the way of the world. And not only is what Kyl did immoral, it's egotistical in the extreme -- why should his view count for more than everyone else who wants this treaty?

On a related note, B'head Daniel Drezner has posted "Your admission of error for the day."

Hat tip to LGM's Scott Lemieux, who observes (http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2010/11/let-this-be-a-lesson):

Let This Be A Lesson

If you assume contemporary congressional Republicans are bargaining in good faith, you’re almost certainly wrong (http://drezner.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/11/17/your_admission_of_error_for_the_day).

Wonderment
11-23-2010, 09:07 PM
2. Dream Act (http://dailycaller.com/2010/11/23/can-the-dream-act-pass-the-senate-in-the-lame-duck-session/print/)

Moribund, but not quite DOA

bjkeefe
11-24-2010, 04:17 PM
A post (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/11/19/you-make-a-grown-man-cry/) with some good links and righteous commentary.

On a related note, how many people, even considering only those who have been paying some attention to this story, knew about this aspect of the Republican Party's wish to Keep America Safe (From Anything That Could Be Seen As A Success By The Obama Administration) by refusing to sign the treaty?

Let's start with START, the proposed nuclear pact with Russia that Senate Republicans such as Jon Kyl (Ariz.) (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/16/AR2010111607258.html) are attempting to derail, at least until the next Congress. Since the expiration of the previous START treaty (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/16/AR2010081605422.html) last December, there have been no U.S. inspectors in Russia to keep an eye on the country's thousands of nuclear warheads. If the Senate doesn't come up with the 67 votes needed for ratification, says Travis Sharp (http://www.cnas.org/node/3937) of the Center for a New American Security, there's a risk Russia will retaliate by removing its logistical support for the U.S. war in Afghanistan, abandoning its cooperation in preventing nuclear proliferation, and thwarting U.S. efforts to keep Iran from gaining nuclear weapons.

But don't take his word for it. Listen to Richard Lugar (http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/11/151056.htm), top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations committee and one man who still puts the national interest above political considerations. "We're talking today about the national security of the United States of America," he pleaded on Wednesday. "[T]his treaty must be ratified and be ratified in this session of the Congress.... We're talking about thousands of warheads that are still there, an existential problem for our country. To temporize at this point I think is inexcusable."

Or listen to Bob Gates (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703339304575240164048611360.html), the Bush/Obama defense secretary. "The new START treaty has the unanimous support of America's military leadership," he wrote in the Wall Street Journal, calling for a strong bipartisan majority to support the treaty because of "the security it provides to the American people."

To borrow Bush's phrase, are Republicans not interested in the security of the American people?

(source (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/19/AR2010111902596.html) | via (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/22/milbank-the-gop-has-enter_n_786866.html))

operative
11-24-2010, 04:26 PM
2. Dream Act (http://dailycaller.com/2010/11/23/can-the-dream-act-pass-the-senate-in-the-lame-duck-session/print/)

Moribund, but not quite DOA

Ah, one of the few areas that I actually agree with liberals.

bjkeefe
11-30-2010, 12:33 AM
[...] On a related note, B'head Daniel Drezner has posted "Your admission of error for the day."

Hat tip to LGM's Scott Lemieux, who observes (http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2010/11/let-this-be-a-lesson):

Let This Be A Lesson

If you assume contemporary congressional Republicans are bargaining in good faith, you’re almost certainly wrong (http://drezner.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/11/17/your_admission_of_error_for_the_day).


And now this (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/28/jon-kyl-start-wont-happen_n_788863.html) (via (http://alicublog.blogspot.com/2010_11_28_archive.html#9064207789598258119)). Shorter Jon Kyl:

The reason START won't pass? All Harry Reid's fault.

Immoral and gutless!

bjkeefe
11-30-2010, 02:41 AM
[...]

And now this (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/28/jon-kyl-start-wont-happen_n_788863.html) (via (http://alicublog.blogspot.com/2010_11_28_archive.html#9064207789598258119)). Shorter Jon Kyl:

The reason START won't pass? All Harry Reid's fault.

Immoral and gutless!

Good post from Steve Benen (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_11/026841.php) on Kyl and the Republicans' immorality on START, in which he surveys conservative criticisms of Kyl, et al, and asks when do we get to ask. Excerpt:

I can appreciate why it's unusual, if not downright reprehensible in some circles, to question politicians' motives. It's the inviolable line -- everyone is expected to be patriots acting in good faith, with sincere disagreements over the merits of competing policies. Without clear evidence of malicious intentions, motivations are supposed to be largely off limits in the civil discourse, especially when it comes to Republicans.

The problem with the GOP lately is that even those inclined to give the party the benefit of the doubt simply can't come up with a good-faith explanation for their actions -- which leads to awkward questions about whether they'd actually put their partisan goals ahead of the national interest. It's almost a modified, political version of Occam's Razor -- if one can't come up with a reasonable explanation for a party's actions on policy grounds, it necessarily makes questions about motivations plausible.

operative
11-30-2010, 12:01 PM
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/45724.html

Great to see the Democrats reminding us that they are fully reliant upon patronage politics to survive, since American liberalism is one big patronage scheme.

bjkeefe
11-30-2010, 02:06 PM
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/45724.html

Great to see the Democrats reminding us that they are fully reliant upon patronage politics to survive, since American liberalism is one big patronage scheme.

Ah, yes. Those Democrats and their love for earmarks. It's in all the headlines!

16 Nov 2010 (http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/11/16/graham_bachmann_earmarks/index.html):

Lindsey Graham and Michele Bachmann agree: No more earmarks, except for their earmarks

24 Nov 2010 (http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/11/24/kyl-seeks-big-earmark-three-days-after-gop-earmark-ban/):

Kyl Seeks Big Earmark Three Days After GOP Earmark Ban

This is quite apart from the reality that earmarks are such a vanishingly small problem in the context of the deficit, not to mention the myriad of ways in which Congress is broken, that only a full metal wingnut would try to make an issue over DEMOCRATS LOVE EARMARKS!!!1!

P.S. Regarding the quoted source, it is a measure of the idiocy of too many of the Politico staff that this would appear, in the lede no less: "a potential game changer." But, I guess all operatives get their news there. When directed by Drudge links, I mean.

And hey, click that screenshot, and look what's in red, right below the Hillary gossip.

http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/4042/drudgeearmarks.th.png (http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/4042/drudgeearmarks.png)

You clowns are just too predictable.

operative
11-30-2010, 03:25 PM
Ah, yes. Those Democrats and their love for earmarks. It's in all the headlines!

16 Nov 2010 (http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/11/16/graham_bachmann_earmarks/index.html):



24 Nov 2010 (http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/11/24/kyl-seeks-big-earmark-three-days-after-gop-earmark-ban/):



This is quite apart from the reality that earmarks are such a vanishingly small problem in the context of the deficit, not to mention the myriad of ways in which Congress is broken, that only a full metal wingnut would try to make an issue over DEMOCRATS LOVE EARMARKS!!!1!

P.S. Regarding the quoted source, it is a measure of the idiocy of too many of the Politico staff that this would appear, in the lede no less: "a potential game changer." But, I guess all operatives get their news there. When directed by Drudge links, I mean.

And hey, click that screenshot, and look what's in red, right below the Hillary gossip.

http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/4042/drudgeearmarks.th.png (http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/4042/drudgeearmarks.png)

You clowns are just too predictable.

Shorter Bjkeefe:

GRR REPUBLICANS!

39 Senators voted for the ban. 7 were Democrats. So don't try to sell me a line on this being a bipartisan problem. The Democrat party can't survive without patronage schemes.

Edited because bj appears to be on the verge of incontinence over my having mockingly included his name in my ersatz quote.

bjkeefe
11-30-2010, 05:29 PM
Shorter Bjkeefe:

If you're going to use the QUOTE tags as an ersatz indentation mechanism, that's fine. It's conventional on this board to do so. But you would do well not to include within the quote a line like ...

Originally Posted by bjkeefe

... at the top of it. That is lying.

But, since you're a Republican operative, I suppose morality matters less to you than authority, so I will point out that this behavior is also an explicit violation of item 3 in the site's guidelines (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/faq.php?faq=vb3_board_faq#faq_guidelines).

39 Senators voted for the ban. 7 were Democrats. So don't try to sell me a line on this being a bipartisan problem. The Democrat party can't survive without patronage schemes.

As I have already said, I don't consider earmarks to be a problem, and neither does anyone else with a grasp of basic arithmetic and an adult familiarity with our political system. They're a shiny object the GOP holds up to keep its mouth-breathing base fooled into thinking the Republican Party actually has some interest in good governance.

But to the extent that you, as a loyal member of that base, find earmarks to be a problem, I have to laugh at how, once again, typing instead of thinking is on display. If your numbers are to be trusted, it would appear that a fair amount of Republican Senators also do not favor a ban on earmarks.

Yes, yes, I know: THOSE ARE THE RINOS!!!!1! NOT REAL CONSERVATIVES!!!1! WE WILL BANISH THEM FOR INSUFFICIENT PURITY JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE!!!1!

Child.

operative
11-30-2010, 05:36 PM
If you're going to use the QUOTE tags as an ersatz indentation mechanism, that's fine. It's conventional on this board to do so. But you would do well not to include within the quote a line like ...



... at the top of it. That is lying.

An outrage!



But, since you're a Republican operative, I suppose morality matters less to you than authority,

I am glad that you have tackled the important moral issue of the day: whether or not including "by xxx" in an ersatz quote veers into the dishonest.



so I will point out that this behavior is also an explicit violation of item 3 in the site's guidelines (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/faq.php?faq=vb3_board_faq#faq_guidelines).


Uh oh.



As I have already said, I don't consider earmarks to be a problem, and neither does anyone else with a grasp of basic arithmetic and an adult familiarity with our political system.

The fact that patronage politics can find its way into bills in other ways is no defense of allowing a corrupt, blatantly patronage-political scheme to continue.


But to the extent that you, as a loyal member of that base, find earmarks to be a problem, I have to laugh at how, once again, typing instead of thinking is on display. If your numbers are to be trusted, it would appear that a fair amount of Republican Senators also do not favor a ban on earmarks.

Ten, I do believe. Out of 42. Clearly this is the important point.


Yes, yes, I know: THOSE ARE THE RINOS!!!!1! NOT REAL CONSERVATIVES!!!1! WE WILL BANISH THEM FOR INSUFFICIENT PURITY JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE!!!1!


With the exception of Dick Lugar, they are the pork barrel rollers, the patronage thugs who betray their oaths of office.

Wonderment
12-01-2010, 04:57 PM
Reid says a Dream Act test vote is coming this week (http://www.whsv.com/home/headlines/Democratic_Senate_Leader_Says_Will_Force_Vote_on_D ream_Act_111130839.html); Repubs circulate No-on -start/no-on-DADT/no-on-DreamAct letter

Wonderment
12-02-2010, 03:41 AM
Op ed by 5 former Republican Secretaries of Stat (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/01/AR2010120104598.html?hpid=opinionsbox1)e on passing New START:



...we urge the Senate to ratify the New START treaty signed by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. It is a modest and appropriate continuation of the START I treaty that expired almost a year ago.

-- Kissinger, Baker, Powell, Schultz and Eagleburger

bjkeefe
12-02-2010, 06:48 AM
Op ed by 5 former Republican Secretaries of Stat (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/01/AR2010120104598.html?hpid=opinionsbox1)e on passing New START:

...we urge the Senate to ratify the New START treaty signed by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. It is a modest and appropriate continuation of the START I treaty that expired almost a year ago.

-- Kissinger, Baker, Powell, Schultz and Eagleburger

Flaming liberals, every last one of them.

But seriously, thanks for pointing that out. I guess if I had to bet, I'd bet that the Republicans are so bent on Denying Obama A Victory that they'll let the planet burn down before they pass the damn treaty, but that's no reason not to keep the pressure up.

BTW, for anyone who wants to know: Jon Kyl (http://kyl.senate.gov/)'s phone numbers are 202-224-4521 (Washington, DC), 602-840-1891 (Phoenix), and 520-575-8633 (Tucson).

bjkeefe
12-08-2010, 04:23 AM
I wonder about this one [DADT], actually, despite my earlier cynical response. Depends if the Dems will stand firm and challenge the Reps to filibuster the defense appropriations bill, and if that happens, then will they have the guts to go out there to tell the public what the Republicans are doing?

Pareene says it looks like they have figured out yet another way to be the Party of No (http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/12/06/dadt_delay/index.html):

GOP will just delay "don't ask, don't tell" repeal to death

Democrats are frantically finalizing the details of their capitulation on the "temporary" extension of low tax rates for the super-wealthy, in part so that they can just move on from the depressing tax issue and maybe get some votes on other stuff taken care of before Rand Paul shows up next month with his snake flag and his MESSAGE FROM THE TEA PARTIES. One of the things Democrats would like to vote on is the Defense Authorization bill, which includes the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." It is looking less and less likely that they'll get it done. Unless Joe Liberman, of all people, saves the day.

As I explained last week, all signs point to Republicans successfully running out the clock (http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/12/01/dadt_tax_cuts_victim) on this legislative session without any action on anything besides tax cuts. Robert Gates must be a War Room reader, because he predicted doom for "don't ask, don't tell" repeal on an aircraft carrier, today. (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46013.html)

“I’d have to say I’m not particularly optimistic that they’re going to get this done, I would hope that they would,” he said during a town hall style meeting with sailors in one of the ship’s massive hangars.

The brilliant thing about the run-out-the-clock strategy is that you don't even have to bother to come up with a reason to oppose changing a deeply unpopular policy! So while John McCain gets a lot of justified heat (http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/12/02/dadt_hearings_mccain) for his craven reversals, everyone else can quietly have no position whatsoever beyond "we have other things to take care of first" or "let's not rush anything."

Obviously the idea that the Senate "needs" two weeks to debate the authorization bill and "don't ask, don't tell" is nonsense, as Brian Beutler explains here. (http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/why-republican-demands-to-debate-dadt-repeal-for-two-weeks-are-bogus.php) Defense authorizations bills usually require a couple days debate at most, and this one's been around since September, so hopefully everyone has read it.

Joe Lieberman, using his powers of unbelievable self-satisfaction for good on this particular issue, wants to keep the Senate in session through Christmas in order to get this taken care of (http://thinkprogress.org/2010/12/06/lieberman-holiday-repeal-dadt/), and he is enough of a pain in the ass to maybe make that happen. That's the best chance we have at seeing "don't ask, don't tell" end legislatively any time soon, but the process will still involve days of debate and dozens of "controversial" amendments (no public funds for Islamofascist abortion pills etc. etc.) and could still come down to whether or not Susan Collins falls in line with her party or actually votes her supposed "conscience," and we all know how that joke turns out.

I am thinking that if this is up to Holy Joe, he will eventually cave to McCain, say publicly that "further study is needed" and that will be it for the year.

Co-blogger Steve Kornacki is a little more hopeful (http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/12/06/gop_dadt_two_step/index.html), but he does not really persuade me. Maybe Obama got some promises on the down low in return for settling the tax cuts thing, which is largely what Kornacki's hopes rest on, but I don't trust Republicans to keep their word on this any more than they have on anything else.

chiwhisoxx
12-08-2010, 11:45 AM
Pareene says it looks like they have figured out yet another way to be the Party of No (http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/12/06/dadt_delay/index.html):



I am thinking that if this is up to Holy Joe, he will eventually cave to McCain, say publicly that "further study is needed" and that will be it for the year.

Co-blogger Steve Kornacki is a little more hopeful (http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/12/06/gop_dadt_two_step/index.html), but he does not really persuade me. Maybe Obama got some promises on the down low in return for settling the tax cuts thing, which is largely what Kornacki's hopes rest on, but I don't trust Republicans to keep their word on this any more than they have on anything else.

Someone (I think you probably linked to it, judging by the meme and sentiment) was talking about Scott Brown pulling the "further study" card as well as a reason for waiting, and the blogger said "TEH GHEY WILL SPREAD!" Funniest thing I read all day.

bjkeefe
12-08-2010, 05:11 PM
Someone (I think you probably linked to it, judging by the meme and sentiment) was talking about Scott Brown pulling the "further study" card as well as a reason for waiting, ...

I've heard that about him. I think it's possible, sure.

Meanwhile ... maybe (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/08/AR2010120802536.html)? (via (http://wonkette.com/431988/senate-going-to-try-to-vote-on-dadt-today))

Senate to vote on gays in military

By ANNE FLAHERTY
The Associated Press
Wednesday, December 8, 2010; 12:54 PM

WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday he would demand a vote on letting gays serve openly in the military, a test of whether Republicans have dropped their objections to overturning "don't ask, don't tell" after a Pentagon study found it could be done without hurting military effectiveness.

The vote late in the day Wednesday would be procedural, paving the way for future debate if approved. Reid announced his intentions on the Senate floor.

Reid's call for a vote was considered a gamble by Democrats who have been pushing for months to overturn the 1993 law, which bans gays from revealing their sexual orientation. Republicans have blocked previous attempts to advance the bill, citing procedural grounds. It remained unclear Wednesday morning whether GOP concerns had been addressed.

If the vote fails, the bill would be considered dead for the year. The repeal effort would then face an uphill battle come January when Republicans take control of the House and increase their numbers in the Senate.

Checking Google News (http://www.google.com/search?q=senate+vote+dadt&hl=en&safe=off&prmd=ivn&source=univ&tbs=nws:1&tbo=u&ei=2PH_TPTtNJC4sAP_sNyvCw&sa=X&oi=news_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CDgQqAIwAA) shows no vote as of yet.

==========

[Added] There is this additional bit (http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/08/key-vote-near-on-dont-ask-dont-tell/), though:

In order to entice some Republicans to back the procedural move, Mr. Reid, according to his aides, has offered the opposition the right to offer multiple amendments. If Mr. Reid can win the vote on the underlying Defense Department policy measure, the Senate would be on the verge of repealing the ban. A failure to cut off the filibuster probably dooms the repeal for this session of Congress.

Mr. Reid won a new Democratic ally Wednesday in his push to lift the ban when Senator Mark Pryor, Democrat of Arkansas, said he would support efforts to bring the Pentagon measure to the floor.

“I have now carefully reviewed all of the findings, reports and testimony from our armed forces on this matter, and I accept the Pentagon’s recommendations to repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’” Mr. Pryor said in a statement. “I also accept the secretary of defense and chairman of the joint chiefs’ commitment that this policy can be implemented in a manner that does not harm our military’s readiness, recruitment or retention.”

Also, looks like the DREAM Act is heading for a cloture vote (http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/12/08/its-d-day-for-dont-ask-dont-tell-and-dream-act/) (which the Party of No will probably defeat).

==========

[Added2] And this (http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/murkowski-ill-vote-yes-on-dadt-repeal-if-debate-is-long-enough.php), speaking of Sen. Brown. posted just a few minutes ago:

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) has climbed off the Don't Ask, Don't Tell fence and decided to cast her vote for repeal. That makes her the third member of the Republican caucus -- behind Scott Brown (MA) and Susan Collins (ME) -- to say they'll vote to end the military's ban on openly gay service members, a number that should give proponents of repeal much to celebrate. It seems entirely likely now that Democrats have the necessary votes to block a filibuster of the defense authorization bill that includes the DADT repeal language.

But like Collins, Murkowski's vote comes with the stipulation that Democrats allow enough amendments for the debate to be deemed "open." Exactly what number that may be is the subject of much gnashing of teeth (http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/team-collins-were-making-progress-on-dadt-negotiations.php) up here on Capitol Hill today.

chiwhisoxx
12-08-2010, 05:36 PM
I've heard that about him. I think it's possible, sure.

Meanwhile ... maybe (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/08/AR2010120802536.html)? (via (http://wonkette.com/431988/senate-going-to-try-to-vote-on-dadt-today))



Checking Google News (http://www.google.com/search?q=senate+vote+dadt&hl=en&safe=off&prmd=ivn&source=univ&tbs=nws:1&tbo=u&ei=2PH_TPTtNJC4sAP_sNyvCw&sa=X&oi=news_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CDgQqAIwAA) shows no vote as of yet.

==========

[Added] There is this additional bit (http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/08/key-vote-near-on-dont-ask-dont-tell/), though:



Also, looks like the DREAM Act is heading for a cloture vote (http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/12/08/its-d-day-for-dont-ask-dont-tell-and-dream-act/) (which the Party of No will probably defeat).

==========

[Added2] And this (http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/murkowski-ill-vote-yes-on-dadt-repeal-if-debate-is-long-enough.php), speaking of Sen. Brown. posted just a few minutes ago:

Found it.

http://firedoglake.com/2010/05/26/early-morning-swim-rachel-maddow-on-imminent-repeal-of-dadt/

Not familiar with Blue Texan, but pretty damn funny.

bjkeefe
12-08-2010, 05:48 PM
Found it.

http://firedoglake.com/2010/05/26/early-morning-swim-rachel-maddow-on-imminent-repeal-of-dadt/

Not familiar with Blue Texan, but pretty damn funny.

Yes he (?) is.

The easiest way, for me anyway, to stay up to date with BT is by checking Instaputz (http://instaputz.blogspot.com/), where he's a coblogger. He links to his posts on other sites from that one.

Wonderment
12-08-2010, 06:03 PM
Or the glass half full view of Collins (and Snowe) is here: (http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/12/08/maine_dream_dadt)

Maine's moderate Republican senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, are again proving themselves to be totally reasonable people whom you can always rely on to negotiate in good faith. Today Olympia Snowe is killing the DREAM Act and Susan Collins is strongly considering blocking the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."

bjkeefe
12-09-2010, 12:24 AM
Or the glass half full view of Collins (and Snowe) is here: (http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/12/08/maine_dream_dadt)

Heh. My favorite idealist has beaten me on cynicism again.

And it turns out he was right to do so. News from five hours ago (http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/12/08/5614124-update-senate-delays-dont-ask-dont-tell-vote), with emph. added:

After threatening this morning to hold a procedural vote on the bill containing repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office confirmed late Wednesday that he will postpone the vote as negotiations continue with Republicans who support lifting the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.

The Senate will also not hold a test vote on the DREAM Act tonight.

The delay will allow more time for Reid to negotiate with Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who supports repeal but has demanded a "fair and open" process on debate and amendments to the Defense Authorization bill that contains the DADT repeal.

How's that football, Charlie Brown?

Here's the HuffPo's take (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/08/huffpost-hill-reid-puts-o_1_n_794152.html) from 2.5 hrs ago, for those who want extra spin on their delay news.

chiwhisoxx
12-09-2010, 12:48 PM
Congressional Dems vote not to bring up the tax reform package for a vote:

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/12/09/house-democrats-defy-obama-on-tax-cut-bill/

So what now? I think there are too many people with a vested interest in this to just let it die. If they need to appease House Dems, maybe move the estate tax exemption back down to around 3 million, and 35%? It's not a huge concession, but the symbolism of the House Dems changing the bill in some way could be enough for them. Be interesting to see if any Republicans were lost because of a change like that; I doubt it would be a critical mass. We shall see.

operative
12-09-2010, 06:37 PM
Congressional Dems vote not to bring up the tax reform package for a vote:

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/12/09/house-democrats-defy-obama-on-tax-cut-bill/

So what now? I think there are too many people with a vested interest in this to just let it die. If they need to appease House Dems, maybe move the estate tax exemption back down to around 3 million, and 35%? It's not a huge concession, but the symbolism of the House Dems changing the bill in some way could be enough for them. Be interesting to see if any Republicans were lost because of a change like that; I doubt it would be a critical mass. We shall see.

Wow what a stupid move by House Dems. 56% supported the tax deal. Now they make Obama look weak and powerless AND go against the will of the American people. The GOP can say "We worked out a deal with the president, the ideological base defied him and he couldn't stop it." Win win for the GOP, lose-lose for Obama.

Ocean
12-09-2010, 06:52 PM
Win win for the GOP, lose-lose for Obama.

Not so fast. That's just your wishful thinking.

operative
12-09-2010, 06:54 PM
Not so fast. That's just your wishful thinking.

Believe me, my wishful thinking is much more wishful than that. I just don't see how a failure to get the House to pass the bill would be construed as anything other than a failure for Obama by the public.

Ocean
12-09-2010, 07:04 PM
Believe me, my wishful thinking is much more wishful than that. I just don't see how a failure to get the House to pass the bill would be construed as anything other than a failure for Obama by the public.

It's an intraparty correction.

operative
12-09-2010, 07:13 PM
It's an intraparty correction.

Yes, so instead of being seen as losing to the GOP (something some on the left felt), he'll be seen as losing to the ideological wing of his own party on a popular piece of legislation. I really don't think that helps him any--in fact, being unable to control his own party may hurt him even more--being unable to control the other party is generally a given.

Ocean
12-09-2010, 07:24 PM
Yes, so instead of being seen as losing to the GOP (something some on the left felt), he'll be seen as losing to the ideological wing of his own party on a popular piece of legislation. I really don't think that helps him any--in fact, being unable to control his own party may hurt him even more--being unable to control the other party is generally a given.

No. You need to think about it differently. I don't know whether you understand soccer, but it goes like this:

Player number 9 of soccer team A, is the best player and the captain of the team. He has a great opportunity to score a goal in the last five minutes of the game when they're in a tie with team B. However, he kicks the ball completely off center and ends up going out near the corner. The fans are pulling out their hair in desperation because this is the last game of the round. Everybody is tense and they can't believe how number 9 could have missed the goal. And then, in a quick maneuver the team recovers the ball and two of the defense players find an opening and come all the way near the goal with a good opportunity to score. You've got to stop the action there, because we don't know what happens next. But you can imagine the stadium energized and everybody holding their breath with hope. If they score it doesn't matter whether it was number 9 or not, the end result is the same, and that's what teams are for. When one player misses an opportunity or makes a mistake the other players pitch in to help and compensate.

Or something like that.

Wonderment
12-09-2010, 09:36 PM
Anyone want to declare them DOA yet? I'm pretty close.

I think Obama is betting on NEW START as the one lame duck issue that's both popular with progressives and actually achievable, although the bar is even higher, requiring 67 Senate votes.

Ocean
12-09-2010, 09:45 PM
Anyone want to declare them DOA yet? I'm pretty close.

I don't know what will end up happening, but those two were the two other punches of the day. I was looking at the news during my lunch and I had to stop. Couldn't digest food and bad news all at once.


I think Obama is betting on NEW START as the one lame duck issue that's both popular with progressives and actually achievable, although the bar is even higher, requiring 67 Senate votes.


One hope left.

Wonderment
12-09-2010, 09:59 PM
I don't know what will end up happening, but those two were the two other punches of the day. I was looking at the news during my lunch and I had to stop.

I watched the House Dream Act vote last night on C-Span. There was a big celebration afterwards, including the cheers of visitors (presumably Dream Act kids, invited by their Reps.)

It was disturbing, knowing that the whole thing was going down in flames the next day in the Senate. The kids may not have known, but the pols in the room certainly did. What were they so happy about?

chiwhisoxx
12-09-2010, 10:09 PM
Anyone want to declare them DOA yet? I'm pretty close.

I think Obama is betting on NEW START as the one lame duck issue that's both popular with progressives and actually achievable, although the bar is even higher, requiring 67 Senate votes.

What the HELL was Harry Reid doing today? From what everyone seems to be reporting, Reid had a deal in place with Collins, Lieberman, Snowe, and Brown to allow them to put additional amendments in the bill in exchange for a yes vote. Then, this morning, Reid suddenly decides he's not going to allow the amendments, and he predictably loses the vote. To repeat: what the hell? Why? He held a vote he knew he was going to lose, and also lost the vote over amendments that frankly don't matter that much. I really don't know what to say other than...what the hell?

Wonderment
12-10-2010, 03:53 AM
From what everyone seems to be reporting, Reid had a deal in place with Collins, Lieberman, Snowe, and Brown to allow them to put additional amendments in the bill in exchange for a yes vote. Then, this morning, Reid suddenly decides he's not going to allow the amendments, and he predictably loses the vote. To repeat: what the hell? Why?

Here's how the NYT lead editorial on "one of the most shameful days in the modern history of the Senate" (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/opinion/10fri1.html?_r=1&hp) explains it:

Republicans wanted extra days of debate, demanding the right to amend the defense bill that contained the repeal provision, and essentially killing the bill without quite admitting to it by suffocating it of time. Mr. Reid said he had concluded that they had no intention of repealing the repressive measure, so he called for a vote.

TwinSwords
12-10-2010, 08:01 AM
And here's how Greg Sargent at the Washington Post describes (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/why_harry_reid_decided_to_move.html) Reid's thinking:

Reid concluded that even if Collins was sincere in her promise to vote for repeal if given the four days of debate, there was no way to prevent the proceedings from taking longer, the aide says. Reid decided that the cloture vote, the 30 hours of required post-cloture debate, and procedural tricks mounted by conservative Senators who adamantly oppose repeal would have dragged the process on far longer.

"It would have been much more than four days," the aide says. "Her suggestions were flat out unworkable given how the Senate really operates. You can talk about four days until the cows come home. That has very little meaning for Coburn and DeMint and others who have become very skilled at grinding this place to a halt."

After spending several hours thinking it over today and consulting with other members of the Dem caucus, Reid decided to push forward with the vote today, the aide says.

The aide rejected the claim that Reid should have extended the session another week in order to accomodate GOP procedural demands, as Joe Lieberman and others had asked, arguing that extended debate would actually have dragged the session into January, what with other things on the Senate to-do list.

chiwhisoxx
12-10-2010, 01:03 PM
And here's how Greg Sargent at the Washington Post describes (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/why_harry_reid_decided_to_move.html) Reid's thinking:

Okay, I understand that Harry Reid thought the Republicans may have been trying to just kill it by slowing it down. But the problem with that logic is that it presupposes the bill was alive in the first place. If you don't get Collins, Snowe, and Lieberman on board, the bill is dead anyway!

Scenario A: Reid holds the vote yesterday, the bill will DEFINITELY fail
Scenario B: Reid waits a week, and gives away the amendments. Maybe the Republicans were stalling, and they kill the bill. But maybe they were being genuine, and the bill passes

That doesn't seem like a very difficult decision to me. What am I missing?

Wonderment
12-10-2010, 02:18 PM
That doesn't seem like a very difficult decision to me. What am I missing?

I think you're missing what TS just spelled out for you: the political calculation that there was no way in hell that DADT repeal was passing in this Senate. Option B was an exercise in utter futility, and Reid did not want to waste the time.

Rather than let "moderate" Repubs. save face, Reid can go back to the affected community and show how time and time again, not more than one single Republican would allow a vote to end discrimination.

Ocean
12-10-2010, 03:42 PM
I think you're missing what TS just spelled out for you: the political calculation that there was no way in hell that DADT repeal was passing in this Senate. Option B was an exercise in utter futility, and Reid did not want to waste the time.

Rather than let "moderate" Repubs. save face, Reid can go back to the affected community and show how time and time again, not more than one single Republican would allow a vote to end discrimination.


Yes, and it's a way of saying enough with playing games.

JonIrenicus
12-10-2010, 05:56 PM
Okay, I understand that Harry Reid thought the Republicans may have been trying to just kill it by slowing it down. But the problem with that logic is that it presupposes the bill was alive in the first place. If you don't get Collins, Snowe, and Lieberman on board, the bill is dead anyway!

Scenario A: Reid holds the vote yesterday, the bill will DEFINITELY fail
Scenario B: Reid waits a week, and gives away the amendments. Maybe the Republicans were stalling, and they kill the bill. But maybe they were being genuine, and the bill passes

That doesn't seem like a very difficult decision to me. What am I missing?


Scenario C: Call the republicans out on where they stand today. Get the Excuse to not move forward on repeal of dadt out of the away (get the tax deal done), then bring forward a standalone bill stripping dadt from law.

If Scott Brown and Murkowski and whoever else still vote against it once the excuse is removed, then they will be shown as liars. This forces a crucible later on, one that cannot be killed through procedure and delay tactics. There is no cowards way out. Put up, or shut up.

The time for hiding and deference to the party for the moderates is over. Past Time.

Wonderment
12-10-2010, 06:22 PM
Scenario C: Call the republicans out on where they stand today. Get the Excuse to not move forward on repeal of dadt out of the away (get the tax deal done), then bring forward a standalone bill stripping dadt from law.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins:
“If it’s decoupled from the broader defense bill, there are far fewer issues to be dealt with.”

Define "far fewer."

chiwhisoxx
12-10-2010, 06:52 PM
Scenario C: Call the republicans out on where they stand today. Get the Excuse to not move forward on repeal of dadt out of the away (get the tax deal done), then bring forward a standalone bill stripping dadt from law.

If Scott Brown and Murkowski and whoever else still vote against it once the excuse is removed, then they will be shown as liars. This forces a crucible later on, one that cannot be killed through procedure and delay tactics. There is no cowards way out. Put up, or shut up.

The time for hiding and deference to the party for the moderates is over. Past Time.

That's well and good, and I know most of you think the Republicans were just jerking Reid around. For all I know, they were. But I'm still convinced Reid traded a better (better being a relative term) shot at passing the bill in order to try and make Republicans look bad. Some people may think that's worth it, I dunno.

stephanie
12-10-2010, 07:08 PM
That's well and good, and I know most of you think the Republicans were just jerking Reid around. For all I know, they were. But I'm still convinced Reid traded a better (better being a relative term) shot at passing the bill in order to try and make Republicans look bad. Some people may think that's worth it, I dunno.

I think too much has happened for that argument to be believeable. Plus, I thought the claim was that they won't pass anything (though the Republicans who voted against it* claim they are really, really for it and really really against DADT) unless and until the tax bill is worked out. Thus, it's the Dems' fault that we still have DADT, because they won't give on tax cuts for the rich. Seems like there's going to be some excuse no matter what.

Also, there was some talk recently about Kyl and New START, and I think you defended him for being misleading (apologies if it wasn't you) on the grounds that if he really thinks it's bad he would be reasonable to do whatever he can to prevent it, even being misleading about his willingness to support it to delay it. Well, I think this is the fallout of stuff like that -- who can possibly trust the "oh, just delay" here, then?

*Well, a few of them. Most of them seem to be willing to be for DADT.

Wonderment
12-11-2010, 01:39 AM
Campaign for a Nuclear Weapons Free World (http://www.nuclearweaponsfree.org/):

This morning both Republican Senators from Maine--Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins--issued statements announcing that they intend to vote for ratification of New START! This is exactly the kind of public Republican support we have been working toward all year with our phonebanking, action alerts and other grassroots pressure. We are confident that if the Senate votes on the treaty, we now have the votes we need to ratify. And two of our other targets, Senators McCain (AZ) and Scott Brown (MA) made statements in the last 24 hours that the Senate should vote on the treaty during this session.This is due to all of your hard work, congratulations!

But we can't rest quite yet. The tough part will be making time to debate and vote on the treaty in the next 7-10 days! With the fight over tax cuts raging, this will not be easy. Far right groups like the Heritage Foundation have launched attack campaigns on any Republicans supporting the treaty, so we need to redouble our efforts to show public support for New START!

Both Republicans and Democrats need to hear from their constituents right now. Here's what you can do:

* We have a new Sample Action Alert. Ask all of your members one more time to call their senators. Email your friends, rustle up every last phone call and email you can. Here are new and updated resources for you to use: https://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5329/content_item/learn-newstart

Wonderment
12-13-2010, 01:37 AM
Dems. in house worse than Dems. in Senate? All House Dems. voted for this provision.

The Senate is expected to consider a provision this week that would block the Obama administration from bringing Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States for trial, including the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

The House on Wednesday approved the nine-month ban on transfers of Guantanamo inmates, drawing fierce opposition from Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. The provision then went to the Senate as part of a broad spending bill that the chamber is likely to take up in some form this week.

bjkeefe
12-15-2010, 03:04 AM
Campaign for a Nuclear Weapons Free World (http://www.nuclearweaponsfree.org/):

This morning both Republican Senators from Maine--Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins--issued statements announcing that they intend to vote for ratification of New START! This is exactly the kind of public Republican support we have been working toward all year with our phonebanking, action alerts and other grassroots pressure. We are confident that if the Senate votes on the treaty, we now have the votes we need to ratify. And two of our other targets, Senators McCain (AZ) and Scott Brown (MA) made statements in the last 24 hours that the Senate should vote on the treaty during this session.This is due to all of your hard work, congratulations!

But we can't rest quite yet. The tough part will be making time to debate and vote on the treaty in the next 7-10 days! With the fight over tax cuts raging, this will not be easy. Far right groups like the Heritage Foundation have launched attack campaigns on any Republicans supporting the treaty, so we need to redouble our efforts to show public support for New START!

Both Republicans and Democrats need to hear from their constituents right now. Here's what you can do:

* We have a new Sample Action Alert. Ask all of your members one more time to call their senators. Email your friends, rustle up every last phone call and email you can. Here are new and updated resources for you to use: https://org2.democracyinaction.org/o...learn-newstart (https://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5329/content_item/learn-newstart)

I feel a little like I'm Lucy with the football here, but ...

From Steve Benen's latest post (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_12/027089.php) (Tuesday 14 Dec 2010):

Senate action on New START ratification (http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/133549-senate-dems-plan-to-move-start-as-soon-as-wednesday) could begin as early as tonight, but more likely tomorrow. The leadership is confident (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46371.html) it has 67 votes, it's not a done deal.

If you click through all of the links, you will note several mentions along the lines of "Republicans are looking to stall." Shocking, I know, that a few Party of Hell No dead-enders would try to subvert a two-thirds majority of the already ridiculously conservative and out-of-touch institution that is the United States Senate, but hey, that's how it goes when you have wingnuts running your country (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=192247#post192247).

Still, I figured I'd note this because just in case the long shot comes home and common sense breaks out for a brief moment, I'll have been glad that I did.

Wonderment
12-15-2010, 06:57 PM
START stopped?
By Jennifer Rubin (WAPO) (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-turn/2010/12/start_stopped.html)12/15/4:30 EST


Jackson Diehl reported on the latest problem for the administration regarding START ratification. As a simple vote-counting measure, it appears the White House is one vote short. Eight Republican Senators -- Jon Kyl, Lamar Alexander, John Thune, Chris Bond, Orrin Hatch, Saxby Chambliss, George LeMieux and Mark Kirk -- who were critical votes for the White House to sway -- have come out in an afternoon press conference against ratification....

The number needed for ratification: 67; the number the White House presumably has: 66. So where do we go from here? I would not yet count the White House down and out on this. A plugged-in Republican tells me the administration "can promise the moon and the stars to whoever flips first." But if they haven't pulled out all the stops now, he observes, the White House may in fact have come up short.

A Republican adviser (whose boss is not one of the eight) tells me that it is "hard to give it Last Rites just yet. But it would sure be a helluva lot easier for Sen. Reid to just declare that we'll take it up at a date certain in January of February." But then, the White House will have far fewer solid Democratic votes.

The bottom line: START is on life support, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision to plunk down a monstrous omnibus spending bill is certainly not going to help move the calendar along.

Ocean
12-15-2010, 08:03 PM
Can't we get a Christian fanatic that feels compelled to break that number 66?

Wonderment
12-16-2010, 03:57 AM
The lame duck Dem-dominated House finally accomplished something bipartisan, in fact unanimous, without amendments, without debate and without the slightest hesitation: Go Right Wing Extremist Zionism! (http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-house-opposes-unilateral-declaration-of-palestinian-state-1.330922)


The resolution calls on the U.S. administration to "deny recognition to any unilaterally declared Palestinian state and veto any resolution by the United Nations Security Council to establish or recognize a Palestinian state outside of an agreement negotiated by the two parties."

It also urges Palestinian leaders to "cease all efforts at circumventing the negotiation process, including efforts to gain recognition of a Palestinian state from other nations, within the United Nations, and in other international forums prior to achievement of a final agreement between Israel and the Palestinians… and calls upon foreign governments not to extend such recognition."

Wonderment
12-22-2010, 01:00 AM
These are the issues we were watching when I began this thread. I've included my grades. Feel free to add your own.

1. Tax cuts for the rich. D for Obama and Dems. There were some important benefits in the bill that passed, but not ending the Bush Plutocrat Cuts was a major failure on an important campaign promise.

2. Dream Act. F for Obama and Dems. This was an unmitigated disaster and leaves an immigration policy in tatters and more major campaign promises unfulfilled with nothing but more enforcement on the horizon.

3. Don't Ask, Don't Tell. B for Obama and Dems. This should have happened long ago and only finally happened at this point because the momentum had reached tsunami levels that only a right-wing extremist and/or homophobe could resist. Meanwhile, the rest of the gay rights agenda languishes.

4. New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) A for Obama and Dems. Although this is only a drop in the nuclear disarmament bucket, it's a big symbol of cooperation and a foreign policy coup. It's also consistent with Obama promises and long-range plan to abolish nukes. Well done, Dems and moderate Repubs.!!!!

5. Unemployment benefits extension (See 1 above)

popcorn_karate
12-22-2010, 06:15 PM
These are the issues we were watching when I began this thread. I've included my grades. Feel free to add your own.

1. Tax cuts for the rich. D for Obama and Dems. There were some important benefits in the bill that passed, but not ending the Bush Plutocrat Cuts was a major failure on an important campaign promise.

2. Dream Act. F for Obama and Dems. This was an unmitigated disaster and leaves an immigration policy in tatters and more major campaign promises unfulfilled with nothing but more enforcement on the horizon.

3. Don't Ask, Don't Tell. B for Obama and Dems. This should have happened long ago and only finally happened at this point because the momentum had reached tsunami levels that only a right-wing extremist and/or homophobe could resist. Meanwhile, the rest of the gay rights agenda languishes.

4. New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) A for Obama and Dems. Although this is only a drop in the nuclear disarmament bucket, it's a big symbol of cooperation and a foreign policy coup. It's also consistent with Obama promises and long-range plan to abolish nukes. Well done, Dems and moderate Repubs.!!!!

5. Unemployment benefits extension (See 1 above)

you forgot the most important grade.

civil liberties : F-