Public Option Close to Vote in House [Update]

by: Shaun Appleby

Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 17:21:13 PM EDT

The Medicare+5 public option is apparently eight votes short of passage in the house according to Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ):

The robust public option is eight votes short of the 218 it needs to pass the House, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) tells HuffPost.

Grijalva, as co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has been counting support for a public option tied to Medicare rates -- the so-called Medicare plus five -- over the last few weeks.

"We anticipate that we're at 210," he said. "We feel that the momentum is all on the robust Medicare plus five public option."

Grijalva said that "25-plus" Democrats have said they will vote no. "Some of those no's are no regardless. It has nothing to do with the public option," he said, putting the number of those firm no-votes at 18 or 19.

There are 256 Democrats in the House. With 25 or 30 no votes, that leaves only about 15 to 20 members still to decide. Progressives need roughly half of them.

He says that backers of the public option are focusing on those persuadable Democrats rather than negotiating with members who will vote no.

Ryan Grim - Public Option Within Eight Votes Of House Passage, Says Rep. Grijalva Huffington Post 21 Oct 09

If you favour a public option it's probably time to do a little homework on your local representative and exert some political will if necessary.

Shaun Appleby :: Public Option Close to Vote in House [Update]
This is a stunning opportunity to get the House measure passed, and Speaker Pelosi is looking for some daylight:

Nancy Pelosi is ready to rumble. The House Speaker told her Democratic caucus Tuesday night that she plans to bring a health care reform bill with a robust public option to the House floor for a vote, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) tells HuffPost. But first she needs to know that the party is with her.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has been tallying support for a public insurance option tied to Medicare reimbursement rates over the last several weeks. According to people in the room Tuesday night, Pelosi told her members that the caucus is close to the 218 votes needed to pass the bill. She went on to say that the few remaining undecideds - or undeclareds - needed to let Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) know by Wednesday where they stand.

The caucus will meet again Wednesday evening to retake the Democratic temperature. If the 218 votes are there, the party will plow forward and go to conference committee negotiations with a strong hand.

Ryan Grim - Pelosi To Dems: Time To Take A Stand On Public Option Huffington Post 21 Oct 09

Let's give her a hand.  Dr Howard Dean has provided a website with the tentative whip results for every member of the house here:

In addition to your emails, Democracy for America members and our partners have made calls to Congress and reported back the results to Stand With Dr. Dean. We have compiled the reports from those calls and combed through public statements of every member of Congress. Based on a complete review of your reports and our research, the grid below lists every member of Congress and their basic position on the inclusion of a public healthcare option.

Where Congress Stands Stand with Dr Dean

Check out your representative, you might be surprised that they are a 'don't know' at this late stage in the debate.  If so, email them your thoughts, this can be done directly through the House of Representatives website at Write Your Representative.

Additionally, the Health Care Action Center on Obama's Organising for America website has a range of connectivity options for getting your message out, including Tweets, telephone contact tools and email and Facebook shares, though it does not specifically mention the public option in any of the boilerplate messages.  OFA, incidentally, has been doing yoeman work in providing a platform for getting the message through with a phone-banking effort which began on Tuesday:

It's not even noon on the West Coast and already Capitol Hill staffers say they're getting nonstop calls from constituents in support of President Barack Obama's health insurance reform. At about 2:15 EST, Organizing for America (OFA) surpassed it's goal of 100,000 phone calls to Congress, each one imploring representatives to vote for reform.

The nationwide "Time to Deliver on Health Reform" event is the most massive outpouring of support from Obama supporters since Election Day 2008.

Dawn Teo - Congress "Getting Completely Crushed" With Over 100,000 Calls For Obama's Healthcare Reform Huffington Post 20 Oct 09

Since then the number has exceeded 300,000, three times the target.  We are not alone.

[Update:] From The Hill today:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) drive for a public option in healthcare reform ran into turbulence Thursday when a survey of her caucus showed she needs more votes to pass such a bill.

The survey ordered by Pelosi turned up 46 Democrats who said they would vote against the so-called "robust" public option, according to a Democratic lawmaker who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Mike Soraghan - Whip count shows Democrats lack votes on 'robust' public option for healthcare The Hill 22 Oct 09

It is hard to believe that some of these Democrats oppose the legislation due to concerns that it is not single payer, about the income surtax it would impose on the wealthy or the fear it would subsidise abortion.  You gotta' wonder sometimes.

Representative Weiner points out that as the numbers approach 218 lots of representatives get a bit precious about the power of their votes.  Sigh.  It was ever thus.  Worth reading the article and ringing the holdouts mentioned if they're yours.

Crossposted at MyDD

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Done and done. (2.00 / 5) a little homework on your local representative and exert some political will if necessary.

Lots of 'hopey' news on the health car reform front of late.  Feeling better and better about the odd for meaningful reform and a decent public option.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

My representative and both of our senators (2.00 / 4)
are already on-board. I have been hounding them for months on this issue.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
I Did Mine (2.00 / 3)
Gary Ackerman, (D) NY-5.  Dean had him as "don't know" which is a bit hard to accept.  I'm also sending an email to friends back home to get them to stir him up a little too.  Like old times.  Who's yours?

[ Parent ]
Mike Thompson (D) CA-1 (2.00 / 3)
Another key factor in suppressing costs, Thompson said, is introducing a public option to compete with private insurance companies, which will drive costs down. Thompson said plainly that he supports the public option, and that he doesn't imagine it is possible that any bill will pass the House without one.

I still lean on him anyway.  Same with Babs Boxer and DiFi.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

[ Parent ]
To Misquote Mae West (2.00 / 3)
"There ain't no such thing as bad progressive advocacy."

[ Parent ]
Thompson is a Blue Dog btw. (2.00 / 4)

[ Parent ]
I know. (2.00 / 2)
Hence my constant calls and e-mails.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

[ Parent ]
Just Rang My Mum (2.00 / 3)
She's 84 and registered Democrat last year, bless her.  Another inbox hit for Ackerman.

[ Parent ]
jebus christ (2.00 / 2)
capital of typo city.  mea culpa.  

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

[ Parent ]
I live in Anthony Weiner's district (2.00 / 5)
plus I know the guy, yeah, we're cool there.  

Go Weiner (2.00 / 3)

But supporters of the liberal approach said they believe they can get the votes. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), a vocal supporter of the public option, said he thinks that the Medicare-based option will end up not only in the House bill, but in the final bill. Pelosi has viewed the Medicare-based option as a bargaining chip with the Senate, saying that if the House passes the more liberal option, the final bill is more likely to include a public option with the negotiated rates favored by centrists. But Weiner said the political winds are at the back of the more liberal option.

"That's the way it's trending in the Senate because that's the way polls are going," Weiner said. He said that Obama's ratings on healthcare are falling because he's seen as backing away from the public option.

But polls have also demonstrated confusion in the public about what the public option is. Weiner said support is also growing among more centrist members to label the public option as an extension of Medicare, because it's a well-known government healthcare plan.

Mike Soraghan - Speaker's move left on public option draws centrist complaints The Hill 21 Oct 09

Keep your powder dry and your fingers crossed.

[ Parent ]
eh, Weiner isn't exactly the great hero (2.00 / 3)
Weiner is doing this for Weiner (I can say this cause I know him and I'm anonymous here.) Weiner is more interested in the attention he's getting here...the fact that it's good for the country is icing on the cake.

If the public option wasn't getting so much attention, he wouldn't be making a big deal about fighting for it. It's the only reason why he's subtly slipping in slams on the President, something he isn't doing at town hall meetings in Brooklyn, because that'll get him on TV and while on TV, he can make a name for himself.

Weiner is one of those people who is looking out for his own just so happens our luck is good and his getting to know me tour helps us get what we want.

[ Parent ]
Any Attention is Good Attention (2.00 / 3)
I didn't much like his sly crack at Obama in the piece I cited but at times like these a vote is a vote.

[ Parent ]
I agree (2.00 / 4)
the only reason I'm pointing it out is that he won't be on our side for everything.

Progressives are going to hate him when we're dealing with Middle East issues, for example.  

[ Parent ]
Alan Grayson is a progressive hero right now, too. (2.00 / 2)
I wonder how long though before he does something to piss folks off.  It's bound to happen sooner or later.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Yeah (0.00 / 0)
Russ Feingold voted with the Republicans twice in the last 24 the latter vote, he was the ONLY Democrat to join Republicans in a filibuster.

If I wasn't banned on all the progressive blogs, I'd be asking when do we primary him? lol

[ Parent ]
In his defense (although I guess it's more of an explanation) (0.00 / 0)
one of those "no" votes was for the defense budget which contained spending for Afghanistan.  Didn't see Kucinich listed as a "no" vote, though.  Hmmm.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
no vote is fine (2.00 / 1)
but he voted to sustain a Republican filibuster. If it's inexcusable for Ben Nelson or Joe Lieberman, it should be for him too.

[ Parent ]
Hmmm, someone might have some 'splaining to do. (0.00 / 0)

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
But isn't that true for almost all politicians of all hues, shapes and sizes? (0.00 / 0)
Why pick on  Weiner only then?

[ Parent ]
I only brought him up (2.00 / 2)
because he's my Congressman.  

[ Parent ]
Thanks, Shaun! (2.00 / 4)
We're close in the House, we just need to apply a bit more pressure.  

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

I'm SOL in Goodyear. (2.00 / 4)
My district is gerrymandered all to hell and back.

And my Representative is an idiot. I don't mean to insult those of below average intelligence by putting this Neo-Luddite in the same boat with them, but it's the closest definition to "willfully functionally retarded" as you can get...

[ Parent ]
Trent Franks? (2.00 / 3)
Send an email anyway.  Give his pollster some heartburn.

[ Parent ]
Who Dares Wins (2.00 / 4)
From Politico:

Pelosi has been considering three options, including the one she plans to include in the House bill. The other two options are considered more palatable to moderates in her party - one in which doctors can negotiate fees directly with the government and another with a "trigger" that would impose the Medicare-plus-five rate if the negotiated rates didn't save enough money.

But moderate and conservative Democrats - including the fiscally conservative Blue Dogs - have raised strong objections to the robust public option in the past, meaning Pelosi will face a struggle to rally support behind it in the final bill.

Patrick O'Conner - Pelosi pushes strong public option Politico 21 Oct 09

Wouldn't passing this change tip the scales a bit?  I reckon it would.

On a side note. (2.00 / 5)
Dawn Teo is a Moose and her Huffy article is getting a lot of love.

Rock on!

Just because they are posting on a progressive site doesn't make them progressives. - John Allen

And Why Not? (2.00 / 5)
It was a lovely article.

[ Parent ]
A public option that isn't tied to Medicare (2.00 / 1)
doesn't make any sense. Setting up a network takes a lot of time and money. Medicare already has a network of providers. Why would they refuse a fresh source of revenue that will be paid at higher rates? I could see it even higher than +5. Medicare already beats private insurers more than that. Make it +7. The new pool of people will be healthier on average than the current Medicare members. They should be cheaper to insure.

This would be the second best option. The best option is opening Medicare to everyone. Charge premiums that cover payments. Anyone purchasing insurance on the open market would be able to join.

Simpler, quicker, and cheaper than anything so far offered. And the one thing most likely to "bend the curve".

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

In rural states (2.00 / 1)
doctors and hospitals get screwed out of reinburstment rates with Medicare, so many doctors don't accept it, and it is really hard for Medicare patients to get care.

That's why Democrats from states with large rural populations are skeptical of medicare + 5 or medicare for all.  

[ Parent ]
All doctors don't accept all insurance plans. (2.00 / 1)
Lots of doctors have a full patient load and aren't interested in any new patients. There is also a shortage of doctors in rural areas. This also makes it difficult to find a new doctor. A recent study found that 29% of Medicare beneficiaries who were looking for a new primary care physician had difficulty finding one. That's not surprising, since there is a shortage of primary care physicians in this country. This especially impacts rural areas where most of the doctors are primary care physicians.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
But that's why some of these guys are skeptical (0.00 / 0)
of a public option, they are afraid that same problem will arise for people on the public option and make it unsustainable.  

[ Parent ]
Not sure I understand this. (0.00 / 0)
What "same problem"? Lack of doctors?

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, and the doctors that exist (2.00 / 1)
will take on patients on private insurance instead of those on the public option because their rates are higher on private insurance.

So that's why some of these members of Congress prefer a level playing field public option, or none at all.

[ Parent ]
So if the public option is less expensive (2.00 / 1)
it is a bad thing? I thought "bending the curve" on health care costs was one of the major intentions of health care reform. You did read my comment where I said that most people on Medicare have no problem finding a new doctor when they need one, didn't you? The whole point about having a nation-wide plan is that it would have more bargaining power and be able to negotiate lower rates. The majority of doctors and most hospitals accept Medicare. There is no logical reason they would reject another large group of potential patients that would be paying higher rates than Medicare. The only people threatened by a public option are the insurance companies. The drug companies and medical providers would all be getting a large group of patients paying above Medicare rates.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
Not cost to the patient (2.00 / 1)
reinburstment to the doctors and hospitals. In areas with a lot of doctors, like cities and suburbs, finding a new doctor when on Medicare or Medicaid is not hard, but in rural areas, where most of the members of Congress opposed to Medicare +5 are, it's very difficult, much more difficult than those on private insurance.

Another words if there are 300 doctors in NYC and 250 of them accept Medicare, it's not hard to find a new doctor, but if you live in Minot, North Dakota and there are only 15 doctors and 10 of them accept Medicare, it's much more difficult to get an appointment, or to find a doctor nearby. In someplace like NYC, it's not hard to find a doctor that accepts Medicare that's easy to get it, in rural areas, you sometimes have to drive 30-40 miles to find another doctor, and when you're eldery, that's hard. This is true in many rural states like North Dakota or rural parts of the country.

That's what they're worried about.  

[ Parent ]
Then they should be addressing the lack of doctors in rural areas. (2.00 / 1)
Or people should live where they have better access to health care. People in rural areas might have to drive 30-40 miles to find any doctor.

Health care in rural areas has always been underserved. This has more to do with demographics than with Medicare rates.

This argument doesn't make any sense. Let's use your ND numbers for example. Take an area with 15 doctors that accept Medicare. Add a public option that pays Medicare+5%. You now have 10 doctors serving a portion of the population, the ones that sign on to the new plant, who were not serving that population when they were uninsured. How is this a bad thing?

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
the reason for lack of doctors in rural areas (2.00 / 2)
is simply doctors make more money working in urban and suburban areas...they make more money in urban and suburban areas because reinburstment rates are higher.

The thing with the ND example is that a public option only accepted by those 10 doctors will overburden those 10 doctors, while the other 5 while be underburdened, so the 10 doctors might (and the AMA warns will) stop accepting Medicare because they are being overwhelmed and underpaid.

Rural members of Congress want to reinburstment problem solved before, or while, passing a public option. So far the only bill that did this was the House Energy and Commerce bill because the Blue Dogs fought for it, but it makes the bill more expensive at the same time, so it was dropped.

Schumer's level playing field public option was meant to give no logical reason for, say, the other five doctors in ND to not take Medicare, their reinburstment rates are the same, but premiums would be more expensive.

It's a double edged sword.

[ Parent ]
See, this is the kind of discussion on health care I want to see. (2.00 / 2)
Canada deals with these sorts of issues, and there are other issues with public health insurance that are worth wrestling with.

But "itz comminizm" and "dey'll kill gramma" is freaking mind-numbingly stupid.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
That would require the country has a good faith debate (2.00 / 4)
on the subject, but that's too hard, too confusing and takes too long.

Communism sucks and Grandma will die is easier, takes less time.

Someone once told me they vote Republican because they "explain things in simple ways people can understand"

Another words; they don't make me have to think.  

[ Parent ]
We made a small attempt at that debate right here over the last week or two, (2.00 / 3)
it didn't seem to go so well.  Knowing everyone involved in that debate I know that there was no ill will, but the relative velocities and vectors of the players were/are divergent enough to make the conversation extremely difficult.

I am more interested in finding out how we have those sorts of conversations that I am in actually having them.  The Moose is a good lab for that sort of thing.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
[Insert bruh paraody here] (2.00 / 2)
in order to have those conversation, you must first admit the other person has a valid point...something that doesn't happen much on the blogsphere.  

[ Parent ]
It's worth the effort. (2.00 / 2)
I think the online forum will be where we learn how to talk together.  We just don't know what that forum really looks like, yet.  I am beginning to have a stronger feeling that I do know what it looks like, and over the next year or three I might just see what I can do to move it closer.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Never thought about it that way. (2.00 / 2)
In such obvious context.

I think the online forum will be where we learn how to talk together.

I think lots of people role play in one way or another on the web.

Just because they are posting on a progressive site doesn't make them progressives. - John Allen

[ Parent ]
Yes, doctors make less money in rural areas. (2.00 / 2)
That means rural residents need to pay higher rates if they want to attract more doctors. That's the free market at work. Rural areas fail to attract doctors for more reasons than Medicare reimbursement rates. Doctors make good money. They want to live somewhere they can enjoy the fruits of their labor. They are also highly educated and want the same kinds of culture that appeals to other highly educated individuals. This is mostly to be found in urban areas, not that rural living doesn't have its own attractions.

We can agree that there is a problem for rural areas. There is also a problem for the 80% that don't live in rural areas. Dragging down reform because it doesn't fix everything for everyone is nonsensical.

There are fixes in the bills that deal with rural problems. Here are three amendments that were submitted for the Finance Cmte bill. I don't know if any of them passed and I'm too lazy to look right now.

S. 307 - Wyden - Allows flexibility in the CAH bed count
S. 1355 - Barasso/Wyden - Raises the RHC Cap to $92
S. 1171 - Pryor - Would waive the 35-mile rule for CAH designation

In addition to those three, Senator Grassley offered a fix.

Health Reform Headlines -- September 29, 2009

Today, the Senate Finance Committee passed, by a vote of 23-0, Senator Grassley's Geographic Practice Cost Indices (GPCI) amendment to the America's Healthy Future Act of 2009.  The Committee originally intended to bring the amendment up last week, but delayed doing so to allow more input from other Finance members.  This effort paid off, as demonstrated by the amendment's unanimous support, and the NRHA applauds the Committee for its hard work in accepting this provision that will provide greater health care access to rural America.  

Addressed as part his response to an NRHA health reform questionnaire sent to candidates during the 2008 presidential campaign, President Obama also affirmed his commitment to addressing these rural physician payment inequities, stating that:

"...without equitable payment rates, many rural providers simply will not be able to continue to serve their communities."

The passage of this amendment is a huge step to help ensure rural America's access to health care providers, and the NRHA will work hard to ensure this provision remains in the final version of the bill before it reaches the President's desk.  

For the entire text of the original amendment, please click here and refer to page 142 of the document. The amendment is titled "Grassley Amendment #D 2."

It's not like people are ignoring the shortfalls in the health care system when it comes to rural areas. I just don't see why it should dominate the debate.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
Latest News from The Hill (2.00 / 2)
Speaker Pelosi isn't giving up but the outcome hangs in the balance:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is scrambling to push back the notion she lacks the votes for a "robust" public option.

Pelosi (D-Calif.) called an emergency meeting of her caucus Friday morning to declare that she has not abandoned the push for including that provision in a healthcare bill.


At Friday's caucus meeting, leaders took a roll call of those members in attendance - 196 of the 256 House Democrats - on a single question: Do you support a robust public option?

A member supportive of a robust public option said there was "overwhelming support" for a "Medicare plus 5 percent" public option among those members in attendance.

But this member also said that the votes of as many as 50 of the 60 absent members could still be up in the air.

Jared Allen and Molly K Hooper - Pelosi calls an emergency meeting on push for 'robust' public option The Hill 23 Oct 09

Exciting stuff.  Giving the moves Reid is considering in the Senate it appears the 'public' option is far from dead, robust or not.  This strikes me as our best chance to affect the conference between the House and Senate bills in favour of a strong public option.

BTW (2.00 / 3)
POLITICO Breaking News:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will announce this afternoon that he plans to push ahead with a public option vote on health care reform that includes an opt-out provision for states, sources tell POLITICO.

I don't suppose there will be any crow-eating among the mouth-breathing hyperactive doom-sayers on certain blogs?

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

Oh for the love of great wide Jehovah, they are actually doing it:

Some f*&^ing idiot on some f*&^ing blog said:

"The lack of any position taken by this President has not gone unnoticed."

Yes, it is coming, Virginia:

"Obama walks on water, proves incapable of swimming...."

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Sigh (2.00 / 3)
It was ever thus.  The diarist in question, incidentally, was a devoted Hillary acolyte.  Surprise, surprise.

[ Parent ]
Au Contraire (2.00 / 2)
It is clearly a victory for progressives who have been criticising Obama every step of the way.  Self-evident, isn't it?  And if the public option is included in the final bill it will be in spite of Obama's trenchant opposition, of course, and further justification of their self-fulfilling prophecies regarding his 'progessive' credentials.  Sigh.

I don't give a toss, frankly, as long as he remains in the White House.  I can feel an '11th-dimesinal chess' snark coming on but sometimes you just have to let nature take it's own course.  Any suggestion that this outcome is in any way a consequence of Obama's determination, calculation or political acumen is greeted with predictable howls of derision.  We'll let history be the judge and await vindication when time has cast its long shadows on these days.

[ Parent ]
Now it's time to move the goalposts (2.00 / 2)
to the next impossible thing so that we can bash Obama when it doesn't happen.

Re: Ignore The Anti-Reid Spin (none / 0)

I am more focused on the next step, which is how to make the public option more inclusive and pegged at a medicare plus 5 rate, than I am in spin over Reid. But, I can understand why that matters for my posts online. Namely, they will seek to try to limit further leftward movement by claiming this is the new furthest left we can go.

by bruh3 on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 02:36:43 AM MEST

AKA, I've been proven wrong, so now I have to move the goalposts to somewhere else so when it doesn't happen, they'll forget about how I was wrong.

Someone who hasn't been banned on MyDD should ask you know who how he likes his crow; boiled, baked, fried, or tar tar.

[ Parent ]
I was just thinking there should be a good diary (2.00 / 2)
based on the naysaying, teeth gnashing, and hair pulling on the left over health care reform once the process works its way through congress. The diary could use quotes that proved to be completely wrong. The same could be done with any subject. It's amazing how wrong the punditry is on stuff like this. It would be nice to have something to point to when they start carrying on over the next issue. Sort of like saying, "You were completely wrong about UHC. Why should we believe anything you say about this?

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
Ironically... (2.00 / 2)
I'm willing to predict that just as the Republicans apparently learned nothing about 'free market' economics by the Great Crunch of 2008 that some of our progressive ideologues are so committed to their narratives that no amount of evidence, even the seismic shift of landmark legislation, will stay them from their incessant and principled attacks on the best ally they have had for decades.

Are you putting your hand up to write this proposed diary?  It would be worth crossposting it at a certain site I can think of.

[ Parent ]
I don't know about volunteering for that diary (2.00 / 4)
It would be fun to write, tho. If I was ambitious, which I'm definitely not, I'd build a web site that collected the misplaced rantings of as many pundits as possible. Something like It would be great to have a site like that for debates. People like Krauthammer and Kristol are wrong more than they are right. They were totally wrong about Iraq. They were wrong about Afghanistan. Now they want us to follow their advice on Iran and Afghanistan. Why in the world would anyone listen to their advice?

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
Slacker. (2.00 / 3)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Tangling With Bruh... (2.00 / 2)
Is a self-inflicted injury.  I've had a few goes over recent days and even elicited an ironic 'You win' at one point but if there was ever a poster whose impressive tenacity wasn't matched by the slightest mental agility whatsoever he is 'the one.'  He's thick-skinned, I'll grant him that, but equally impervious to any reasonable argument.  He'll be blaming Obama for every progressive 'setback' between now and 2016.

Probably no point signing him up as a trustee for the Obama Presidential Library fund.

[ Parent ]
You know, I really don't believe in trolls as such. (2.00 / 1)
People who intentionally antagonize for purposes they don't have any belief whatsoever in?  I think those are mostly the stuff on Bond novels and wild fantasies.

I think these folks actually believe their conspiracy theories.  And there is nothing you can say to change their minds.

(flame-baiting still is fun, though.  I just couldn't help myself, and I feel terrible for it...)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
I Actually Admire Bruh... (2.00 / 2)
In some respects and I'm pretty sure he's genuine.  It takes all kinds.  We actually agree about a lot of things, we just don't admit it.

[ Parent ]
LOL, (2.00 / 2)
Blasky, how can you have come into contact with Jerome Armstrong and not believe in trolls? ; )

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

[ Parent ]
I try so hard to be nice, and there you go.... (2.00 / 3)
It's impossible at the end of the day to judge another's intentions.  Lots of people seek happiness by trying as hard as possible to be miserable (psych 101), they aren't being dishonest they are simply neurotic.  Self-immolating conspiracy theorists aren't lying, they're simply wrong on a  professional level.  The first sign of a conspiracy theorist on the radio, for example, is when they say "I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but...".  Yes you are, psycho, and since you won't believe it that proves that you are (see what I did, there? ;~).

I am of the opinion that conspiracy theorists are generally very honest (to a fault, literally).  But by definition they have already built a system for handling facts that has pre-configured "that just proves my theory" baskets of all shapes and sizes.  So, Obama actually did get elected, but that's only because he has agreed to be the lap-dog of Them.  So, his healthcare thing seems like it is working, but it only because We fought against him and now he will make it look like he wanted it to.  If troop levels go down in Iraq it is because he has made a deal to split power with Russia and China and the Capitalist Illuminati.

Arguing.  Fire hydrants.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Not a chance! (2.00 / 2)
Here's what the FDLers are saying:
But as Jane's explained for months now, the game plan, as outlined by Rep. Raul Grijalva to us, was to pretend to back the PO only to kill it at the last minute.  This was done in order to keep the industry stakeholders from running Harry-and-Louise ads 24/7 for the past six months, and to keep them from snapping shut their checkbooks and going back over to their traditional home on the GOP side of the aisle.

This deal was supposed to have gone down months ago.  But Jane's getting the word out -- and organizing the pledge drive -- stopped the deal in its tracks and kept the PO alive.

Any one know if Grijalva's really a player?

And I have a difficult time thinking that Jane Hamsher's pledge drive really did all that much.

[ Parent ]
LMFAO (2.00 / 2)
Anything to make them feel relevant.

I have friends on the Hill, not only was Hamsher ineffective, she actually made things worse. When she sending her minions around demanding members of Congress take her "pledge" to vote only for a Medicare +5 public option, there were some who tried to explain they don't favor that because of the low subsidies Medicare pays to rural doctors and hospitals and they feared a public option would either but hospitals in their districts into bankrupcy or they wouldn't even accept it, making it pointless.

Hamsher accused them of being on take and called them all insurance company lackies. The Speaker and the leadership had to do a lot of ass kissing to get them back in the fold...hence Rahm Emanuel's comments about the netroots being "fucking stupid"

[ Parent ]
Not surprised by that. (2.00 / 2)
It just did not follow that a pledge from a blog would be seen in a good light. Grijalva seems like a good guy, but I question is political savviness if he's talking to Hamsher. Maybe he told her a few tidbits, which she spun into her own conspiracy.

Hamsher now has gotten people to believe that she was the only reason that the public option is alive, and there are people who donate to her PAC as a result. My money will not go to anything where Fire Dog Lake is involved. I just hope that she'll fall flat on her face at some point and people stop trusting her. Maybe she will go the way of Jerome Armstrong at MyDD.

[ Parent ]
Hamsher used Grijalva more than vice versa (2.00 / 2)
She successfully tried to up her credibility by acting like she knew him personally or that he was relying on truth, Grijalva was relying on a lot of people and groups, most notably labor unions. FDL was basically a footnote. In the end, I'm not sure how they see themselves as effective as their list of members of Congress who voted to take their "pledge," or agreed not to vote for a bill without a public option, was a mere twelve names long. Obviously that numbers was bigger, and is because of factors that don't include Jane freaking Hamsher. Even Anthony Weiner, whom I know personally, thinks FireDogLake is "full of ideological loons"

Hamsher has her own little merry band of followers, but whatever, they're irrelevant and few people know who the hell she is.

You would think after the near fatal damage she did to Ned Lamont in 2006, she'd go the way of Jerome Armstrong, but she didn't...she will though, perhaps once election time comes around and she tries to convince Democrats to not vote because not enough of her agenda has been passed...or when she convinces her merry band of purists that we should vote Democratic despite their lack of purity. She's better off going back to movie producing.

[ Parent ]
I suppose that if you make up (2.00 / 1)
enemies and conspiracy theories, you can basically get people to believe that their really fighting against something.

With Lamont, the overall effort was seen as successfully marginalizing Lieberman, that it didn't matter if her work on Lamont hurt more than it helped.

I thought most of her movies were failures.  

[ Parent ]
Oops. "They're really fighting" not their. (2.00 / 1)

[ Parent ]
S'OK, we'll accept that you know the difference... ;~) (2.00 / 2)
As far as the quote above, the ability to believe that presupposes that the Underground Rumor Mill is better at getting the Real Scoop then all the resources that the billions the insurance industry has to spend on this topic.  And said rumor mill is so good at keeping the secret about the Real True Truth that they'd never let complete freaking morons find out and start posting on blogs...

That DKOS comment just begs a response.

Welcome to the Moose, btw!


John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Thank you for the welcome! (2.00 / 3)

[ Parent ]
Phillies? (2.00 / 4)
Yankees fan here.  Welcome to the Moose.

{puffs chest, glares}

Heh.  Seriously, sincere welcome to the best blog on the block.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

[ Parent ]
Well that "blackface" thing nearly ended his campaign (2.00 / 2)
I had a very close working relationship with the woman who was Lamont's press secretary during the campaign. She sometimes hosts shows on PBS and when I worked for PBS, I met her. She had choice words for Hamsher that would make Joan Rivers blush. Lamont's campaign had to do epic damage control in Bridgeport and Hartford as a result of Hamsher's shenanigans and they needed the minority vote to come over to them since they were so strongly behind Lieberman.

She had one hit movie; Natural Born Killers.

[ Parent ]
It was a disgusting incident. (2.00 / 2)
I just wish that people like that would just go on the record so that Hamsher (and others like her) would be discredited by more people.  

[ Parent ]
She did, at the time (2.00 / 3)
Well not her, but her deputy;

Lamont spokeswoman Liz Dupont-Diehl tried to distance the campaign from the photo and said campaign manager Tom Swan had called Hamsher and asked that the picture be taken off the blog. "This was not the campaign's doing," she said. "We find it offensive and inappropriate. We asked that it be taken down, and it was."

but as Lyn, that was Lamont's press secretary's name, told me; "We were being far too nice."

She pointed out that Lamont said immediately afterwards he had nothing to do with the "blogs" to which Lyn sorta scolded him, seeing as no one would believe that, Lamont being the netroots candidate and all...but she said to me, in the green room at PBS before she was to host a show I was producing, that "our mistake was being the blog candidate, not Connecticut's candidate"

Jane will fuck up and do something stupid like that again, I guarantee it.  

[ Parent ]
It would probably have to be someone (2.00 / 1)
with unimpeachable progressive credentials. With all due respect to your friend, a press secretary would not be enough.  It would probably have to be Raul Grijalva or a well-known individual who Hamsher said with whom she says she is buddies.

[ Parent ]
It won't happen. (2.00 / 1)
I just wish that people like that would just go on the record so that Hamsher (and others like her) would be discredited by more people.

Pundits aren't held accountable for their utterances. Look at Krauthammer and Kristol, for example. They are wrong more than they are right, yet they still get airtime.  

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]

First, I want to thank you DT for getting me back into the fold here, I saw this, after being off the blogs for a few weeks, and I just HAD to chime in.

I was on the Lamont campaign in 2006, best months of my life, until Jane Fucking Hamsher, who apparently doesn't know where to fucking draw the line came out and destroyed it for us.

And I'm not even kidding...August 1, it became clear we were going to win the primary, our first polls had the race tied in a hypothetical matchup with Lieberman and the GOP candidate with a large percentage of undecided Lieberman primary voters in the African-American community in Bridgeport, Hartford, Bloomfield and New Haven. If we could win them, and we thought we had a chance since they tend to be loyal to the Democratic ticket and were strongly anti-war, we could beat Lieberman in a general.

Our goal was the convince Lieberman-supporting Democrats, specifically African-Americans as they were the easiest to get, that Lamont would be able to deliver for them even without senority. Many told us they were afraid Lamont would be a minority freshman Senator (since it didn't appear Democrats would take back a Senate majority at the time), and they needed Lieberman's senority, even with his faults. Our aim was to convince them...and on August 4, 2006, just as we began to unroll our strategy....enter Jane Fucking Hamsher to fuck everything up. We narrowly won the primary...we had thought we'd win by between six and ten points, we won by 3 fucking points, we barely made it through because we didn't win the percentage of AFIRCAN-AMERICAN voters we thought, the undecided black voters went almost unanimously for Lieberman, I wonder the fuck why?...if the primary had been a week later, we likely would have lost (which, to be honest, I now think would've been a better outcome)

We spent the remainder of the campaign trying to get black voters to trust us again, since that was our victory strategy. We weren't making any dents in Lieberman's white support, we need to flip young Lieberman supports and minorities. Jane Fucking Hamsher ruined it for us.

I cannot tell you the extreme rage I felt toward her, ugh, I'll let Madeline Kahn explain for me;

I left Jane a really angry comment on FDL where she claims the President is behind Lieberman's filibuster. I wasn't very nice, but I was surely holding back. I'm sure some of my former campaign buddies have choice words, especially the field director from New Haven, who I will keep nameless, and who had a picture of Jane Fucking Hamsher to use to throw darts at, since the Lieberman won had gotten worn out.

She has a lot of fucking nerve. She should be apologizing for the help she stupidly gave Lieberman during that election. What a fucking tool.

BTW DT, you know Lyn? What a wonderful woman she was, such a great person to have a conversation with.

[ Parent ]
I do know Lyn, worked with her at PBS (2.00 / 1)
small world...maybe bruh is right, maybe we are the same person LOL

[ Parent ]
Yes, maybe bruh is right about that. (2.00 / 4)
Stopped clocks and all that jazz.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
Stopped clocks are right twice a day..... (0.00 / 0)
should be interesting to see what bruh might be right about next.

Though, if bruh told me the sky was blue...I'd rethink my position on what the word 'blue' means.



[ Parent ]
FTR, here's what I said (2.00 / 3)
I wrote it in the heat of anger, flames, Madeline Kahn, you know, but the devil in me hopes it gets to her;

It must suck to be you today Jane, considering how much you sabatoged Lamont's campaign with your idiotic blackface gaffe. Yes, I know about that, I was on Lamont's campaign in 2006...and I was in the conference room the day after your little thoughtless tirade and after Lamont made his comments in Bridgeport distancing himself from blogs. Perhaps you know how much damage control we had to do in the black community, who overwhelmingly backed Lieberman, because of you and because of that, it took our campaign five steps back. We never had a chance.

If I were you, I'd shutup right about now. Lieberman is still in office in part because of your stupidity. You can blame the President all you want to make yourself feel better, you'll only look as dumb as you did when you helped ruin our chance to elect a progressive Senator in Connecticut, but there isn't anybody who worked with me on Lamont's campaign who doesn't curse your name right about now.

Thanks for nothing. Go back to producing your crappy movies.

I'm sure her merry band of cheeto munchers in pajamas will rush to defend her, but what the fuck ever. The fact anyone is still taking his nutjob seriously is a joke.

[ Parent ]
ZING! (0.00 / 0)
Remind me not to piss you off...

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Apparently to avoud injesting said crow (2.00 / 1)
the naysayers sayeth this;


I know, I know, but it's worth the read, if only for the laugh.

They try so hard, bless their little hearts.

[ Parent ]
I think that fits under the (2.00 / 3)
hair-pulling, teeth-gnashing, naysayers I mentioned above. And when the reform bill passes with a public option in it they will say, "He didn't really want it. He would have been happy with a bill without a po." Sadly enough, they'll believe it too. All of this based on "anonymous sources". It really is sad.

[ Parent ]
Oops, (2.00 / 1)
forgot I was logged in as an editor.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
LOL (2.00 / 3)
I was like "who is this person?"


[ Parent ]
Come on now. (2.00 / 3)
The only reason we'll get a trigger-less public option is that the netroots screamed and hollered, called the President a corporate shill, a liar, an insurance industry hack, a sell-out, and Bush-lite.

Yep, No-drama Obama is certainly listening to the screechings of the blogosphere.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
That's gonna be hard to do with donkey **** in your mouth, Joe... (2.00 / 3)
POLITICO Breaking News:

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) says he will join a Republican filibuster against the Senate Democrats' health care reform bill unless the public option is removed.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

There goes the myth of the filibuster-proof majority. (2.00 / 2)
Question is what, if anything does he want?  And, what, if anything can be done in response?  Folks are screaming for him to be stripped of his chairmanship (not that his committee has done anything that I know of) and/or he be kicked out of the caucus.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
This is why you be careful who you pick a fight with (2.00 / 3)
Tossing him out in a primary in 2006 was a good idea, until it backfired and it gave him carte blanche to be a bastard for the next six years.

During the Civil Rights Act time, LBJ decided to tone down the arm twisting of several Southern senators and Congressman like J. William Fulbright, Al Gore Sr., and Wilbur Mills because he needed them for his Great Society legislation.

I don't know what he wants, I suspect what he wants is a repuditation of the liberals who tried to toss him out of office in 2006. Doesn't matter whether we kick him out or not. Had we expelled him from the caucus, it wouldn't have made this bill pass any easier seeing as we'd still be chasing after his vote...only we'd look like the morons who are begging for the vote of the man we tossed to the curb.

[ Parent ]
This, of course (2.00 / 4)
is a secret conspiracy started by Rahm Emanuel...he is, of course, using Joe Lieberman to kill the public option because that's been his plan all along and Jane Hamsher pushed to get the public option in the bill and succeeded, so he and Obama are using Lieberman to kill it, blah blah blah corporate dems blah blah blah blah Nader.

No, seriously, this is what FDL and OpenLeft are saying.  

[ Parent ]
I'm afraid to ask, (0.00 / 0)
but who is "FDL"?

Oh - and of course they are...

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
The Irrepressible.. (2.00 / 1)
Fire Dog Lake.  They and Open Left are making MyDD seem sober and balanced.

[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, FDL and OpenLeft (2.00 / 2)
still get linked to and views. Hamsher and Bowers have followings that Jerome Armstrong has lost. As I wrote elsewhere, I just wish these guys would be proven completely wrong in an obvious way, so that no one would listen to them.

I am however pleased to have found The Motley Moose where there are some folks who think as I do about the "netroots."  There are realistic people at other blogs, but if someone points out how bankrupt the almighty Hamsher is, then, her followers will start with ridiculous attacks. It is too exhausting to read.  

[ Parent ]
It does take a lot of energy. (2.00 / 2)
The risk of too much agreement is the whole "echo chamber" problem.  We are a fairly broad community here and we experiment with having voices from further afield join us, but there does seem to be a certain limit on the relative difference in velocity that fosters the best conversation.

We generally have enough distance between opinions to make for lively discussion quite often, though, while having enough in common to keep a strong sense of community.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
There's Nothing 'Wrong' With the Netroots... (2.00 / 2)
In theory.  It strikes me that their biggest weakness is their inflated sense of their own importance in matters of analysis rather than being a natural rallying point for progressive political pressure.

To my mind they have fallen into the trap of being another part of the vast media opinion circus, always clamoring to make their own voice heard above the din and often by encouraging notoriety over reason.

[ Parent ]
If Hamsher or Bowers (2.00 / 1)
(and others like them) were as good with analysis as they and their followers think, I would not be all that bothered, because then, (at least in theory) some positive, effective action would be encouraged.

At work, there were 3 of us who share an office. We are all basically junior staff. A better position opened up recently, and the supervisor was looking to promote one of us. The guy who got the promotion (I'll call him Alex) was stupid and incompetent (to put it mildly), and there were several projects where I and my other officemate (I'll call her Susan) ended up picking up the slack. It sucked because the weak link on our team was the one who got the promotion.  Now that pissed me off. I totally felt that if I didn't get it, then, it should go to Susan. Then, I'd be in a situation where I understood it and felt that at least someone who was deserving were rewarded for her strong work. Instead, the Idiot got the job. (Susan and I actually referred to him as the Idiot when he wasn't around.) So, if Hamsher were actually a brilliant strategist, then, I wouldn't care about her constant self-promotion, her inflated sense of self, or her sway with her followers. But she sucks and probably hurts progressive causes more than she helps.  

[ Parent ]
As They Say... (2.00 / 2)
Sh*t floats.  I've never understood that aphorism on rational grounds but it seems to describe the phenomenon pretty accurately.

Your boss probably wanted the subordinate least likely to challenge his authority or threaten his/her appearance of competency.

[ Parent ]
What I don't get is why folks with little or not actual (2.00 / 2)
policy/political experience are treated like they know everything.  Everyone has an opinion and a right to state it.  But people like Jane and Ariana Huffington go on tv and are treated like experts.  Keith Olbermann, last night, asked Ariana if "she'd won" because of Reid's announcement on the opt-out compromise.  I turned the channel so I can't really say what he was talking about (or what her answer was).  1) who is Ariana, exactly, and 2) why should I care about her opinion.  I find her website more and more trashy as the weeks go on.  And, don't get me started with the attention hog act of hers over the "Biden should resign" article.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
TV pundits (2.00 / 1)
frequently, someone who is inexperienced but good looking or is someone who has experienced but has been out of politics for so long that they no longer have good sources or have a viewpoint that is irrelevant to today.

[ Parent ]
Okay, smarty :) explain Ariana. (2.00 / 3)
Seriously, though, Rachel had someone on last week who has been a long-time Democratic strategist.  While listening to Rachel list off the campaigns he'd worked on it was striking that the dude hadn't been particularly successful as a strategist.  And, Rachel's point wasn't a lesson on what not to do.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Ariana... (2.00 / 5)
Is the epitome of networked, fashionable posturing as the foundation for unashamed self-promotion.  Any attention is good attention and if you've got the exposure any number of others will supply the content to bask in the glow of your publicity.

I actually like Huffington Post, or should say it is one of my first stops on my daily rounds of the news.  Ariana understands the demands of Internet information, 24/7 ever-changing headlines and a wide variety of contributed opinion.  But I think the things that come out of her mouth could just as easily been pulled out of some other orifice.  It just goes to show you can have the 'right stuff' as a promoter and not have a sensible thought on the subject of any of the content except insofar as it advances the cause of your publicity.

For all their faults the New York Times and the BBC are my preferred generic news sources for original content.  And as for foreign affairs you have to cast a pretty wide net to get anything like sober analysis and reporting.

[ Parent ]
Win/loss records (2.00 / 1)
sometimes don't tell us very much about how good a consultant or strategist is.  There are a lot of reasons someone wins or loses.

Ariana makes for good TV, I guess. She has a certain notoriety about her.  

[ Parent ]
Speaking of win/loss records, (2.00 / 3)
I couldn't help but notice your nom de plume.  Be you a Phillies fan?  If so, willing to put up a bit of a wager?  I believe Yankee fans far outnumber any other team on the site.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Word. (2.00 / 1)
It strikes me that their biggest weakness is their inflated sense of their own importance in matters of analysis rather than being a natural rallying point for progressive political pressure.

Just because they are posting on a progressive site doesn't make them progressives. - John Allen

[ Parent ]
Often they succeed in just the opposite. (2.00 / 2)
being a natural rallying point for progressive political pressure

One of the diarists at FDL who also regularly posts on DKos used the notion of Rahm torturing progressives to keep them from voting for a PO.  I haven't opened one of her diaries since, although I don't doubt her sincerity and committment to getting the best healthcare reform.  I simply question her methods and don't need such rhetoric to inspire me to make more phone calls.  She's well-respected by the community at large and didn't need to resort to such hyperbole to get eyes on her diary.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
I think I know who you are talking about. (2.00 / 1)
I too had to avoid her diaries. Too much false information. I think sometimes she is being stupid and other times she is playing dumb because it helps FDL generate hits or something.  

[ Parent ]
I was talking about nyceve in this case. (2.00 / 2)
I avoid her partner, slinkerwink, as well because she's largely cut and paste from her previous diaries.  Plus, I find the "please rec this diary so other's will see it" comments unattractive.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
nyceve means well (2.00 / 2)
but she's clueless about politics and has her head filled with BS from slinkerwink and Hamsher. slinkerwink is worse because she talks about her work in Congress, but her information is usually crappy. I have a few friends who work in Congress, and whenever I check with them about something she writes, I get responses like "WTF?" It doesn't appear as though slinkerwink worked in a leadership office or had a high position. She was probably a staff assistant or legislative correspondent.  

[ Parent ]
I Regularly Get Criticism... (2.00 / 3)
For repeatedly posting one of my favourite quotes, 'Politics is the art of the possible.'  Somehow it seems some corollary to Godwin's Law because I cite a notorious Prussian hegemonist.  Sigh.  Doesn't make him wrong.

I guess the antithesis is that 'Politics is the art of the impossible,' which, given the curry we got for believing in 'hope' founded on good political tactics, seems unbelievably to be the ethos of much of the progressive punditry.  It strikes me as self-defeating, which may start a whole discussion on the psychology of such an attitude and the politics of outraged failure.

[ Parent ]
Some really smart dude who now lives in a fancy white house (2.00 / 4)
has been said to also believe that 'Politics is the art of the possible.'  But we know he's a socialist.

John Cole over at Balloon Juice cracked me up with this after Lieberman's little announcement...

I'm laughing at the Lieberman stuff. Will all the folks who spent the last few weeks trashing the WH for being insufficiently aggressive with the public option please write up your apologies long-form? I'll check memeorandum for you later. Pretty clearly, the swarthy guy knew the whip count better than Harry Reid. Imagine that! Of course, by noting that Team Obama has more political awareness and skill than Senate Democrats just makes me an O-bot.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Amen (2.00 / 1)
Dare I say, a prophet is never honoured in his own time.

[ Parent ]
Obama is a pretty good political strategist (2.00 / 3)
as luck would have it, and while he is not always right, he's got a decent track record. I wish more bloggers would at least consider that Obama and his team have a better strategy or at least acknowledge that there are times when Obama and his team were right.  

[ Parent ]
I think the guy is a genius *and* incredibly diligent - that's the key to his success. (2.00 / 4)
Literally (I'd peg him above 150 for an IQ).  Much more useful, he's diligent as all hell.  Usually you get one of the other - successful people who got there by being really diligent or by being outrageously bright - almost never do you get both.  His life story explains how he managed to develop the diligence: partly the moving around, partly the single mom trying to be Uber Parent and waking him at 4am to study, partly the Jackie Robinson Effect (if you want to succeed at something and be black you better be more than a little bit better prepared).

One of the common downfalls of the brilliant is a certain amount of intellectual laziness (when you're right most of the time just by guessing, why actually do the long division?).  Bill Clinton is an example of this (no flames, please, he's more diligent than I am but I'm not president).  Most politicians are the other example - folks who are fully bright enough to do the job and extremely diligent, but who just don't have the brilliance of a Jefferson/Clinton/Obama and therefore just aren't able to perceptualize the 11-level chess problems.

Being brilliant and hyper-diligent still doesn't guarantee that someone is going to be right all the time, but it sets them at an edge ahead of pretty well everyone else.  

I think this is the unique position our president is in.  He just tends to be a page ahead of the rest of the class.

So call me a 'bot all you want, it's true.  I'm actually among the more conservative folks around these parts and the least aligned with the Liberal ideals that Left Blogistan and even the president himself believe in.  But I'll take a president who is as hard-working, brilliant and realistic as this one 100% of th time over someone adequate who agrees with all of my views.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
I know who you're talking about (2.00 / 1)
and I know her, had conversations with her off the blogs...she worked on the Hill.

A lot of what she says is to rally a base..."Hurry, call, Obama will sell us out!" It's false outrage-creating headlines to get a response, that's all.

[ Parent ]
Is she as much of an idiot (0.00 / 0)
off the blogs?  

[ Parent ]
I dont know if I'd say idiot (2.00 / 1)
ideological and clueless, living in a fantasy world with little understanding of politics and history.

Naive, perhaps  

[ Parent ]
FDL and OL don't come close to the crazies on the Right. (2.00 / 3)
Michelle Malkin is upset about Tinkerbell being chosen as an "honorary ambassador of green" by the UN. The key hear is that MM is a voice on the Right. The people on FDL and OL are anonymous bloggers. Here's what on of their counterparts on MM's site posted about the Tinkerbell announcement.

On October 27th, 2009 at 11:04 am, graysonret said:

Keep working on the kids. Soon, they will grow up and be "zombies" to the radicals. The important goal is tearing down the U.S., and free enterprise in order to promote the EU and Asian markets plus socialist politics, with the socialists in charge and exempt, of course.

Both extremes have their crazies, but the crazies on the Right are far more visible and vocal now. There's no comparison.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
I agree with what you are saying. (2.00 / 2)
There is no comparison.

Bowers seems like a nice person. I just think that progressives would be better off if the bloggers who are influential with many of their readers, actually knew what they were talking about.  Maybe it would be easier to fight the Malkins of the world, because we would not have to worry about Hamsher doing something as stupid as that blackface picture from 2006.

[ Parent ]
No, maybe not (2.00 / 1)
but they're close.

Hamsher has a diary up on FDL now where she claims, with no sources, just her opinion, that the White House is secretly asking Lieberman to filibuster...the reason is, of course, because Obama didn't throw Lieberman out of the caucus after the elections and supported him in the 2006 primary (along with like, everyone else)

Even one DKos commenter, who had been working with slink and nyceve on the FDL calling congressmen project has cut ties with them;

FDL: Obama asked Joe to filibuster public option (0 / 0)
This is a bridge too far for me. I'm done with fire dog lake.  

Lieberman to Filibuster - And What's Obama Going to Do?
By: Jane Hamsher Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:01 pm

It's really, really hard to believe that Lieberman is off the reservation here. He owes his chairmanship to Obama's and Reid's intercession after what he did during 2008.

Wow. just wow. That's a bridge way too far for me. I'm done. I can't support that.

That wasn't some comment by an anonymous blogger there. It was Jane Hamsher herself. I heard that she is going through hard times now. For that, she has my deepest sympathies and I sure hope it isn't physical. However, whatever the reason, that can't be supported.

by math4barack on Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 01:30:49 AM EDT

Keep alienating yourself Jane.

[ Parent ]
It would not follow that Emanuel (2.00 / 1)
and Lieberman are even that close.

They definitely don't agree on policy towards Israel, and that's a dealbreaker for Lieberman right?  

[ Parent ]
Best Comment Subject Ever. (2.00 / 2)
Well done, Sir.  Very well done.

{golf clap}

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

[ Parent ]

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