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Friday Talking Points [146] -- Clowning Around

[ Posted Friday, November 12th, 2010 – 18:15 PST ]

Send in the clowns!

No, that's not a statement on Congress returning to Washington next week. Although if you choose to read it that way, I certainly can't stop you, can I? Ahem.

But for anyone who thinks that American voters just elected a bunch of clowns to represent them in Washington, I humbly draw your attention to Brazil, where they just elected a real clown to their Congress.

Francisco Silva, better known as "Tiririca" (or "Grumpy the Clown"), not only won his recent election in Brazil, but he received almost twice as many votes as any other candidate. Voters sent their message loud and clear -- We want the clown! The Brazilian political establishment is apparently not amused, as they are reportedly forcing Silva to take a literacy test before they'll allow him to serve.

In other clowning around, the media were quick to pounce on President Obama's use of "Slurpee" in his rambling "car in a ditch" metaphor, when the press corps decided to call the upcoming meeting of Obama and the new congressional leaders a "Slurpee Summit." What is it with this president and beverage-themed summitry? Sigh. The 7-Eleven corporation, naturally, took this metaphor and ran with it, to make a few bucks. Hey, if they can mine the media's idiocy for profits, then "more power to them" is what I say.

Other comedic news -- cartoon cat Garfield's creator had a bit of an embarassing moment this week, when a cartoon he drew a long time ago was coincidentally run on Veterans' Day. Whoops! Bad kitty....

A member of the Democratic National Committee (D.N.C.) had his own foray into the world of being a clown this week, as he denigrated the White House's ability to communicate their agenda by saying the Obama administration "couldn't sell cocaine to Charlie Sheen." Ouch.

But the clown-tastical moment of the week was undoubtedly seeing the video of someone attempting to egg Rahm Emanuel out on the campaign trail. The egger missed his target, and was promptly hired by the Cubs. Heh.

Now, to be a responsible media voice, I obviously have to condemn such actions in general. To do this, you're going to have to picture school counselor "Mr. Mackey" from South Park, because that's whose voice I am going to use to condemn doing this type of thing:

"Hucking eggs at people is bad... Mmm'kay?

It's wrong to huck eggs at politicians... Mmm'kay?"

Having said that, we look forward to next week, when Congress returns to perform The People's business. (Pause for laughter.) Or, as some might say, when we send our own clowns in for one last laugh before the end of the year (when the new clowns will take charge, of course).

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

We have two Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week awards to hand out this week. Our first goes to none other than Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who defied conventional D.C. wisdom and threw her hat in the ring to become Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in the next House of Representatives.

Pretty much the entire chattering class in Washington had decided among themselves about a week before the election that Pelosi was toast. Pelosi, in this narrative, would lose a tidal wave of seats in the election, and not only step down from any Democratic leadership position in the House, but would likely just quit and return to San Francisco and, I don't know, take up gardening or something. One wonders if anyone propagating this rumor ever actually met Pelosi. Love her or hate her, Pelosi learned politicking at a tender age (at her powerful Baltimore politician father's knee, so to speak) and has shown over and over again that she can be tough as nails when she needs to be. Add to that the fact that she represents possibly the safest Democratic district in the entire country (the likelihood of San Franciscans sending a Republican to the House is slightly less than the chances of the entire city breaking off from the mainland in a giant earthquake early next week), and one does indeed wonder where the conventional wisdom of Pelosi tucking her tail between her legs and creeping home even began.

Pelosi refused to follow recent Republican tradition by doing so, but this shouldn't exactly be surprising. She's actually following a deeper Democratic historical tradition by sticking around. The new House will have fewer Blue Dog Democrats in it for Pelosi to worry about, and she never announces things that she hasn't already counted the votes for in advance, so at this point it seems a sure thing she'll win the Minority Leader post next week. Nobody has even openly challenged her for the seat.

For this impressive stick-to-it-ness, Nancy Pelosi is this week's first winner of the MIDOTW award. So far, Pelosi has been one of the most productive Speakers ever, and if Democrats take the House back in the next few years, she will likely continue this streak.

Our second Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week is Vermont's Bernie Sanders. When the deficit commission's report came out, Sanders was one of the first to denounce it from the Left. Here's his reaction to the commission's ideas on Social Security, for instance:

If we are serious about making Social Security strong and solvent for the next 75 years, President Obama has the right solution. On October 14, 2010, he restated a long-held position that the cap on income subject to Social Security payroll taxes, now at $106,800, should be raised. As the president has long stated, it is absurd that billionaires pay the same amount into the system as someone who earns $106,800.

And just today, Sanders announced he is going to fight back in an admirable way -- he's going to get his own group of progressive voices together and come up with a better way of solving the budget problems.

This deserves praise. The best way to fight a bad idea is to present a good idea in its place. Fighting a bad idea by just screaming "that's a bad idea" without offering anything in response is nothing more than playing politics. If you've got a better idea -- let people know! The devil, of course, is in the details. But I would be willing to bet that whatever Sanders comes up with will be a lot better than what the Republicans come up with next year, so it's good that Sanders will (by that time, assumably) already have a plan of action in hand.

Democrats would do well to support Senator Sanders' effort. This is how you fight a battle of ideas -- by putting your own ideas on the table. Which is why Sanders gets a MIDOTW award, even at the beginning of the process.

[Congratulate Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on her Speaker contact page, and Senator Bernie Sanders on his Senate contact page, to let them know you appreciate their efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

Before we get to the main award this week, we have to at least give Robert Zimmerman a (Dis-)Honorable Mention here. Zimmerman's the D.N.C. member who wanted to get his name in the news earlier this week. While he did achieve this, anyone on the national committee of any political party should realize it's not a good idea to link together a president from your own party with the words "cocaine" and "Charlie Sheen" in a sentence. It's just bad form, really, even if it was a funny line. There is a guy out there whose real name is also Robert Zimmerman, and he has made quite a living for himself waxing poetic and lyrical and even bitingly caustic at times -- but you, sir, are no Bob Dylan. Next time, do think twice, OK?

President Obama also was fairly disappointing this week, as a White House spokesman seemed to suggest that the Republicans had already won the battle over the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy -- which had to be walked back quickly. I mean, guys, you've got to at least pretend to fight before you give up, OK? On top of this, Obama failed to achieve a goal that the White House had been hyping -- a free trade deal with South Korea. Perhaps the treaty will be ready in a few weeks, but the visuals would have been a lot better if Obama had signed it in Seoul this week, during his visit.

But even the president rates no more than a (Dis-)Honorable Mention this week. Because there was one Democrat who proved to be just as massively disappointing as his critics have been warning the rest of us all year long. Erskine Bowles, the Democratic co-chair of the president's blue-ribbon deficit commission, is this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week by far.

Bowles wins this lowly prize not for what was in the commissioners' plan, either, but for the fact that he released it at all. You see, the plan itself is so laughably outside of what Congress is going to agree to that it become almost completely irrelevant the moment it appeared. Not only is the plan as a whole simply not going to pass Congress (neither the lame duckers nor the incoming bunch), it's hard to see how even any of the individual pieces of the plan would ever pass a vote in the Senate.

Normally, blue-ribbon commissions of this sort don't publish their preliminary findings ahead of time. They hold back until the public report is agreed upon, and then they make it available to everyone. By putting out a list of "suggestions" (or "starting points") from the two chairmen, it becomes obvious that -- with less than a month to go before their deadline -- the commission is simply not going to be able to agree on much of anything as a whole. In other words, the suggestion list the chairmen released this week likely isn't even going to make it out of the commission, much less be voted upon by Congress.

Erskine Bowles has always been a disappointing choice to head this commission on the Democratic side. But the fact that this preliminary report was even released is pretty obviously a statement that the commission is largely going to fail, and going to ultimately be seen as a gigantic waste of time by just about everyone -- left, right and center.

For achieving this feat, before he even reached the commission's deadline, Erskine Bowles is our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week.

[I could not find public contact information for Erskine Bowles, so I guess you'll have to send your comments to the White House, to let them know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 146 (11/12/10)

Some historically-minded folks pointed out after the recent election that it was the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's election. Look for many more "50 years since..." vignettes all next year, in other words.

But don't try to draw too many historical parallels. Because it was also the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's election, meaning we're in for years of "150 years since the Civil War..." stories as well.

Dueling metaphors at twenty paces!

Which, of course, brings us to the Friday Talking Points part of the column. So, without further ado....

 

1
   Repeal it if you dare

Democrats have to learn a whole new game when it comes to talking points. They -- especially House Democrats -- are going to have to start playing defense. Or underdog, perhaps. The way to effectively do this is to wield the weapon of the wedge issue, in an attempt to split the divisions in the Republican Party wide open. This means exploiting issues where Tea Party politicians disagree with Republicans, where Tea Party rank-and-file voters are about to be disappointed by the politicians they just elected, and any other points of leverage Republicans provide as they squabble among themselves about what to do next.

The first of these issues is going to be the Republican campaign slogan: "Repeal Obamacare!" Democrats need to use this as a taunt against Republicans, who are soon going to realize that outright repeal is just not that popular beyond their base -- specifically, not that popular among the independent voters who are the key to American politics at the moment.

"Republicans promised all over this country in the last election that one of their top priorities was to repeal what they call 'Obamacare.' Well, we'll see whether they actually deliver on that promise once they get to Washington. My guess is that they're going to disappoint their base by not even bothering to try repealing the healthcare reform bill Democrats passed. And if they do go ahead and attempt repeal, they're going to be on the wrong side of the public. A new poll just out shows almost six in ten Americans want to keep what we passed intact or even make it stronger, while less than four in ten wanted to see it repealed. Republicans keep bragging that they're 'listening to the voice of the American people,' but in the end I bet ideology will triumph over actually doing what the public wants."

 

2
   So I guess you were lying about getting rid of earmarks?

This is the current struggle within the Republican Party, and it deserves a few taunts lobbed into the fray from Democrats.

"I notice that one of the signature issues of the Tea Party folks is apparently being tossed overboard by Republicans immediately. So, when Republicans made sweeping promises about how they would end earmarks in Congress, I guess they were just lying to the voters, eh? I mean, it took Rand Paul about twelve minutes after he got elected to say that he was just fine with earmarks, and would be fighting for a bunch of them to go to his home state. The hypocrisy of these guys just astounds me. I wonder if all those Tea Party voters are taking note?"

 

3
   You're awfully quiet over there

While Democrats have come out fairly strongly against the leaked deficit commission ideas, Republicans have mostly been silent on the matter. This should be pointed out.

"You know, I find it interesting that most Republicans haven't had a thing to say about the ideas which came from the deficit commission's chairmen recently. Democrats certainly stood up and made their positions known right away, but it seems Republicans are too timid to say what they think about the ideas put forth. So, let me ask you, which proposals from the commission do you agree with, and which do you disagree?"

 

4
   Defending Social Security

There's a reason why they used to call this the "third rail" of American politics -- because if you touch it, you die. While the deficit commission's ideas on raising the retirement age and means-testing benefits are actually pretty mild (as these things go), it gives Democrats familiar ground on which to fight. Republicans have -- quite laughably -- tried to set themselves up as the "defenders of Social Security," but this is really where the rubber meets the road. Meaning Democrats shouldn't hesitate to bring it up.

"Do you agree with the deficit commission that America should raise the retirement age and cut benefits to seniors? How does the Republican Party feel about these proposed changes? Republicans started trying to convince America that they were the defenders of Social Security, so I'd really like to know how you feel about these proposals. Do you agree with Democrats that Social Security does not need to raise retirement ages and cut benefits, or are you on the side of those who would make these cuts on seniors' income?"

 

5
   Pass the anti-nuke treaty

This one is one of those background issues, but it needs to be pushed for the lame duck session of the Senate. The bar is high -- Obama will need a whopping 67 votes to pass this treaty. But polls show that precisely the same ratio -- two-thirds -- of the public is behind Obama. Point this out.

"The Senate really needs to find the time before the end of the year to pass the nuclear arms reduction treaty Obama signed with the Russians. This issue has the overwhelming support of the American people, and there is simply no reason why the lame duck Senate shouldn't be able to pass it. Republican politicians have been making political hay over how they are now responding to the voice of the American public, so this one is an easy decision. The public supports the treaty, and the Senate Republicans should also support it and ratify the treaty before the end of the year."

 

6
   Bachmann overturned

OK, that's as close as I could get to a "Bachman Turner Overdrive" joke, and I have to admit it was a pretty poor effort. But, again, taunting is called for in this instance.

"I notice that for all the gains the Tea Party made, the Republican leadership in Washington is absolutely freezing them out of leadership positions. Michele Bachmann, for instance, is a figure the Tea Partiers have loved for a while. She announced she was running for a House leadership position in the Republican Party, but her campaign was quickly squashed by all the establishment Republicans. I think the Republican Party regulars are terrified of the new Tea Party folks, and are doing everything they can to marginalize them so much that their voices remain unheard in any important decision-making process. Again, I wonder if the Tea Party voters are taking note."

 

7
   What the...?

Two inventive young folks decided that they had had enough of the constant barrage of criticism our president has faced for the past two years -- so they did something about it. They created a web page whose address is: www.whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com. If the White House were smart, they'd hire these two in a heartbeat. It also allows Democrats to easily direct the public to a handy reference for what the president has accomplished, although it's going to be a bit tricky to say the name on the airwaves.

"You know, when I hear such sweeping criticism of President Obama, I would encourage your viewers to check out a web page whose name I unfortunately cannot say in full on the air. But, if you'll fill in one word in the web address, I would direct folks to the 'what the "F" has Obama done so far' website to see the list of his accomplishments, for some needed contrast."

 

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Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant
Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

33 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [146] -- Clowning Around”

  1. [1] 
    fstanley wrote:

    I've been wanting the cap on social security to be eliminated since I first heard about it but I'm not holding my breath. Obama and the Dems are already caving on the Bush tax cuts so I don't see them tackling this issue anytime soon. They need to realize that without a strong and healthy middle class this county is going to fail. As Obama is finding out on his Asian trip - the US is not held in very high esteem by the rest of the world. And part of the reason for that is how we treat our working poor and middle class.

    ...Stan

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    As Obama is finding out on his Asian trip - the US is not held in very high esteem by the rest of the world. And part of the reason for that is how we treat our working poor and middle class.

    I would have to disagree with this..

    The rest of the world couldn't care less about the working poor and middle class of America..

    The US has lost esteem and clout in the world because the very first thing Obama did upon being elected is go abroad and tell the rest of the world how bad America is...

    Michale.....

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    The first of these issues is going to be the Republican campaign slogan: "Repeal Obamacare!" Democrats need to use this as a taunt against Republicans, who are soon going to realize that outright repeal is just not that popular beyond their base -- specifically, not that popular among the independent voters who are the key to American politics at the moment.

    I would contest this...

    While there are a couple individual aspects of CrapCare that Independents like, Independents and NPAs are overwhelmingly against CrapCare.

    The majority of Americans support repeal of CrapCare in it's entirety and then replace it with something that actually reforms Health Care...

    Michale.....

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Interesting side note here..

    Do a GOOGLE on Majority Americans Repeal CrapCare...

    The top three listings are CW.COM!!! :D

    Michale.....

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    I guess that's not as earth-shattering as I first thought, since "CrapCare" is a local moniker. :D

    Color me embarrassed.. :^/

    Michale.....

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Interesting side note here..Do a GOOGLE on Majority Americans Repeal CrapCare...

    The top three listings are CW.COM!!! :D

    I hope that's not true.

    As a fan of this site, that would be very disappointing and disheartening ...

  7. [7] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Before making a comment on my favorite column of the week, I've been thinking about how best to support things I believe in and at the same time perhaps listening to too much public radio.

    This leads me to propose the first ever CHRIS WEIGANT FALL FUND DRIVE!

    Yes, we interrupt these comments for a quick pitch for CW.

    You can find any number of progressive blogs that scream about the latest zaniness from conservatives and fall into the back and forth game of "Who's Nuttier?", but few ignore this game and focus on the larger picture.

    Few also have CW's sense of humor and intricate knowledge of American history. I learn new things here all the time.

    For example: Where else would you learn about Brazil electing an actual clown?

    That said, I'm going to put my money where my mouth is (silencing me and likely pleasing many) and announce a matching grant of $250 from now through Xmas.

    I will match donations up to the first $250 raised for Chris. If y'all can pitch in $250 together, then this would be a $500 xmas present for CW.

    $1 a week is a $52 donation. Or pledge based on how many comments you make (I'm talking to you, Michale :) )!

    For each dollar you donate, up until $250 total is reached, I'll match your contribution.

    To donate, all you have to do is click on the button on the upper right-hand side of this web page.

    And if you donate early, I'll stop interrupting the comments. Thought I'd start here with the Weigantites, but will probably go over to HuffPo as well (*sigh*).

    Any CW pledge drive ideas or help are also welcome - y'all are a pretty creative bunch!

    Help our favorite writer on the Interwebs with a little extra Xmas scratch! Donate now and encourage others to donate!

    Cheers
    -David

    p.s. CW, I'm assuming you can track donations through Xmas and let me know at akadjian@yahoo.com. Apologies, I should have talked to you about this before announcing, but I thought it would be a nice surprise.

    p.s.s. My FTP comment for the day:

    A new poll just out shows almost six in ten Americans want to keep what we passed intact or even make it stronger, while less than four in ten wanted to see it repealed.

    This is really good. The trick here I think is "repeal" vs. "improve". Republicans have already put themselves on the side of repeal, if Democrats could manage to market themselves on the side of "improve," I think they win.

  8. [8] 
    Americulchie wrote:

    Chris
    Excellent column;as I have come to expect.Really it has been a week of disappointment I was so hoping that Bachman would go into overdrive so far she has yet to deliver craziness;I wonder if the Republican leadership promised to fill her bra with cash.
    Rand Paul has promise as an example of captured by the system.I guess I will be waiting for further development.
    Michale
    Ahh my new best friend and foil.You really need to get out more, the rest of the World already knows that America is puffed up like an adder with our conceit.

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ahh my new best friend and foil.You really need to get out more, the rest of the World already knows that America is puffed up like an adder with our conceit.

    Comes with the territory of being the only remaining Superpower...

    At least, we were until Obama got elected...

    Michale.....

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Democrats could manage to market themselves on the side of "improve," I think they win.

    Democrats had a year to "improve" CrapCare... They felt that it was perfect the way it is.

    Why do you think all of the sudden, Dems are going to change??

    Granted, they got their asses to them at the last election. But, judging from all the quotes since the mid-terms, Dems STILL don't get it..

    Americans want healthcare REFORM..

    CrapCare ain't it. Period.

    I like your idea about giving CW a nice christmas gift..

    Here's my pledge.. I'll donate $0.50 for every post I make starting with this commentary.. :D

    Michale....

  11. [11] 
    Americulchie wrote:

    Michale
    I hate to break this to you but it is about 9:30 P.M. for America.We never were that "shining city on a hill",or to put it more forthrightly The Emperor never had any clothes.A few years ago I read an article in the Guardian about how the American accent was in reality a petrified English accent from 500 years ago;no that doesn't mean we sound more like Shakespeare than Queen Elizabeth II.The thought then occurred to me that we Americans might just be in our character petrified English from the 17th Century.Parenthetically as a person with a Joycean allegory for a last name I found that thought fraught with irony.

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    We'll just have to agree to disagree on that..

    I am a veteran of two branches of the US Armed Forces and have served in security, LEO and CT capacities for most of my adult life.

    The United States is an exceptional country despite the claims of Obama and the Democrats...

    Are we a perfect country?? No, of course not... But we are, by far, the best country on the planet. :D

    Michale....

  13. [13] 
    Americulchie wrote:

    Michale
    As long as we are going down Demagogue Road;I too am a veteran of the U.S.Armed Forces.I consider myself a patriot I gave serious consideration to re enlisting before the first Gulf War,I wanted to be on the winning side for once in life but as I was newly married my now ex wife objected.I love my country but I am ashamed when we do not live up to our stated principles.Mr.Obama has kept on with the war on terror and we are not seeing any return other than more blood and treasure going up in smoke quite literally.One can be patriotic while not turning a blind eye to its faults.

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    First off, let me clarify..

    I never said the US was perfect.. I specifically mentioned that, yes, we do have faults..

    I simply maintain that, in the totality of existence, the US is the best country on the planet..

    But, let's approach this from a different angle. And, since a big part of Obama's "Apology Tour" dealt with Muslims and Islam, let's key in on that aspect.

    What do you think the US should apologize for with regards to Islam and Muslims??

    Once you list that, then please list what Muslims and Islam should apologize for??

    We can start there and move on...

    Michale.....

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, for sports fans out there.... :D

    http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2010/11/14/jaguars-hail-mary-beats-texans-video/

    Check out that video..

    Michale......

  16. [16] 
    Americulchie wrote:

    What do you think the US should apologize for with regards to Islam and Muslims??

    Ordinarily I would let you have the last word but this one was just too juicy.I have stated before I am an agnostic;as such I have contempt for all religions as far as I can see very little good has come from any religion;that being said there are many demagogues(all from the right I might add)who have stoked the fires of intolerance.As much in the same vein that the right to lifers in the Christian community have gone all fringy there is a fringe in the Muslim community.I think it rather principled of someone named Barack Hussein Obama to make an apology for the egregious sins we as Americans have visited on members of the Muslim faith.

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think it rather principled of someone named Barack Hussein Obama to make an apology for the egregious sins we as Americans have visited on members of the Muslim faith.

    Fair enough..

    Exactly what "egregious sins" have we "as Americans" visited upon the members of the Muslim faith..

    And what about the "egregious sins" that the Muslim faith have visited upon Americans??

    No mention of that???

    Regardless, I share your sentiment of all organized religions as well..

    To me, belief in a god is a very small step up from believing in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.

    No offense to anyone here... Just how I feel about it..

    Michale.....

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    The best way forward for President Obama...

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/12/AR2010111202846.html

    Michale.....

  19. [19] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Hey Michale,

    Hope this doesn't post twice. Having a few network problems this eve. But just wanted to say thanks for the pledge!

    If I had a tote bag or the latest David Sedaris CD I'd send it to you. That's a little NPR humor. Ok, very little. Gimme a break.

    Seriously though. Knowing how much you post here, that's a very generous offer.

    As for the Jags. Un ... effin ... believable. Saw that on TV earlier and still can't believe it.

    Will comment on the WashPo piece later, but it's late on a Sunday so will just say thank you again before signing off.

    -David

    "There's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you'll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?" - Airplane

  20. [20] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    David (akadjian) -

    Wow! I spent all weekend upgrading my house's network, which involved my computer being basically off the wire for the past few days (it also involved much crawling around in the attic, but I won't bore you with that part).

    In any case, just wanted to explain why I haven't reacted to your overwhelming suggestion of a fall donation drive, AND your VERY generous offer!

    I think it's a great idea, but then I would, wouldn't I?

    Heh. No, seriously, I am about to turn in for the evening (I'm bushed, see previous comment RE: crawling in attic), and was just checking out the site to see if everything's working, when I came across your offer. I will get some details up and running starting tomorrow, and thank you for the idea and your generousity. In other words: "Watch this space, more to follow!"

    But right now, I'm falling asleep at the keyboard, so I've got to leave it there for now.

    Michale, thanks for your offer, too, wanted to say that as well! More later....

    :-)

    -CW

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Seriously though. Knowing how much you post here, that's a very generous offer.

    It's the least I could do.. Ya'all (and CW especially) display a lot of grace in allowing me to display my thoughts here.. Unlike the "head stomping" sites that permeate the Leftist blogosphere. If CW goes under, I would be a lost babe in the woods.. OK OK, a lost fat bald guy in the woods.. :D

    Just no fair pushing my buttons to up my postings!! :D

    As for the Jags. Un ... effin ... believable. Saw that on TV earlier and still can't believe it.

    Yea, it was pretty astounding.. I was all prepared to watch the game go into overtime.. You can bet Josh Scobee (Jags Kicker) is thanking his stars for that Hail Mary. He had blown two kicks earlier that were well within his range, either of which would have broken the tie.. Scobee definitely owes Thomas a beer or 12.. :D

    CW,

    Michale, thanks for your offer, too, wanted to say that as well! More later....

    De nada... :D

    Michale....

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hope this doesn't post twice. Having a few network problems this eve.

    Speaking of Computer/Network problems, I just HAVE to tell you about MY week.. :D

    As I mentioned earlier, we have a video server set up here that has 4 hard drives in it with a total of about 2.4 Terabytes of storage.. I had just gotten in this nice little External 4X HD Enclosure that I wanted to put onto the system and make it look all nice n' purty.. Unbeknownst to me, the Enclosure was actually a RAID enclosure that takes all 4 HDs and makes one big one... But I didn't know this so, when I put the HDs in, it overwrote the data on my MOVIE hard drive.

    Over 6000 family pictures and over 900 movies disappeared in the blink of an eye.. :(

    The GOOD news is I was able to do a recovery that got back practically everything. But the recovery system doesn't recover the file names. It simply lists them as File0001.jpg File0002.jpg File003.avi File0004.avi..

    With the pics, that's no big deal, as we use a BROWSE feature that allows us to view thumbnails of the pics.

    But now I have to go thru over 900 movie files, watch a bit of the movie to learn what it is and then rename each and every one. :D

    Ahhhh the life of a computer geek.. :D

    Michale.....

  23. [23] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Over 6000 family pictures and over 900 movies disappeared in the blink of an eye.. :(

    I live in fear of this happening. Which is why my backup drive has a backup drive. (Basically RAID- which I think you'll like once you get used to it. I am a bit surprised though at its behavior. RAID 0 perhaps for faster performance?)

    As for the suggestion about Obama's next steps from the 2 kindly FoxNews gentlemen, I find it hilarious. Why? Here's the thesis: Here's how you can win, just give up. But I guess those folks did their job for the Post and generated a lot of hits. I'd rather talk about more interesting things than the latest attempt to generate outrage.

    Here's where CW's columns rarely fall into the name calling trap of Left vs. Right. He brings us more interesting things than what the standard corp-O-news brings us. If the idgits are talking about it, he's probably not.

    Which is why I encourage folks to support his unique brand of "reality-based commentary". It's never cliche and there's always something new.

    Click in the upper righthand corner to donate! Funds are being matched up to the first $250 donated. Donate now! And we can all get back to what we do best, arm-chair politicking.

    Cheers
    David

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    I just wanted to commend you for taking the idea of supporting extraordinary journalism to the next level and I intend to make my donation an annual contribution to support the good work Chris does here every day.

    I would also suggest that everyone get their copy of How Democrats Can Take Back Congress ... by "Tom Paine". It is a timeless analysis but even more timely in the wake of the recent midterms.

  25. [25] 
    akadjian wrote:

    p.s. Michale- Think of it this way. What if during the Bush years someone wrote an article asking him to not run for a second term. WWBD (What would Bush do?)

    And, would anyone take it seriously who wasn't partisan? That's what elections are for.

  26. [26] 
    akadjian wrote:

    That's awesome, Liz! Thanks for posting about it here.

    And I have to say I much prefer Chris riffing on Tom Paine than Glenn Beck. Great suggestion.

    BTW- Was that you over at HuffPo talking "Send in the Clowns"? Made me laugh and dangit, I'm still singing it :)

    Cheers
    -David

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    I'm 'LizM' at HP - I thought you knew. :)

  28. [28] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [5] -

    Don't be embarrassed, it means you are a linguistic pioneer. I often try to start such viral memes, so far with little success (I'm still pushing hard for "moose poop," personally, to catch on).

    The truly freaky thing for me is when I go to Google or Wikipedia to research a subject, do a search, and my own columns pop up. It's like some through-the-looking-glass sort of experience....

    David [7] -

    See Monday's column's comments for update on pledge drive...

    Michale [9] -

    Um, when did we stop being a superpower? I must have missed that in the news...

    [10] -

    I'm going to hold you to that. $0.50 now until Xmas. Heh. I bet you'll be astounded how fast that adds up.

    Americulchie [11] -

    Well, we sure haven't outgrown our Puritan ancestry from the 1600s, that's for sure...

    Michale [12] -

    Once again, without quoting a Fox personality, when exactly has Obama said America isn't an exceptional country? I bet you can't come up with a quote even remotely approaching that...

    [14] -

    Again, please provide quotes for Obama's "apology tour" as it didn't exactly happen that way (outside of the world of Drudge and Fox News).

    What Americulchie is trying to say here is (to paraphrase) "The British thought exactly the same thing, up until their empire receded. How is America any different?"

    David [19] -

    Sedaris has CDs? Who knew?

    :-)

    Michale [21] -

    Just no fair pushing my buttons to up my postings!! :D

    For those unaware, here are Michale's largest buttons, should you wish to exploit them in order to make him pay dearly for the privilege of being our (and I do say this with all possible due respect and love) resident House Troll:

    (1) Torture
    (2) What he likes to call "CrapCare," our new healthcare reform law.
    (3) ANY quotes from movies, especially science fiction or action/adventure, and MOST especially Stargate or Star Trek. Feed him a quote, he simply cannot resist replying. Heh. His knowledge of movie (especially science fiction) quotes is encyclopedic, even I must admit, in awe.

    [22] -

    Well, once you get the RAID system fully up and running, you can rest assured that failure of one single hard drive will never again impact you in such a negative way. That's the beauty of RAID. Just had to say that, for the technically-minded...

    Liz [24] -

    Wow, a plug for the book, even! I'm overwhelmed! It's probably selling for like 12 cents on Amazon (used) by now, but there are still plenty of ideas in it which Democrats have so far ignored, I will admit.

    :-)

    OK, I am down to the end... everyone, all together now...

    "They're... ALLLL-read-EEEEE.... HEEEE-REEEE!"

    Heh.

    -CW

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Bush didn't run on a mantle of "change"... Obama did.

    If Obama truly cares about this country and not his political agenda, he would announce he is not seeking a 2nd term.

    Obama is on record as saying, "I would rather be a great 1 term President than a mediocre 2 term President."

    It's time for Obama to put up or shut up. IE Put the country first and his version of the Democratic Party agenda second..

    CW,

    Um, when did we stop being a superpower? I must have missed that in the news...

    Read the news of Obama's failed Asian tour. Better yet, listen to an ardent Obama supporter about it..

    nation.foxnews.com/bob-schieffer/2010/11/15/even-bob-schieffer-turns-obama

    Under Bush, the rest of the world may have hated the US, but they still respected and/or feared the US's position in the world.

    Now, the rest of the world is simply dismissive of the US.. And such an attitude can be laid directly at the feet of President Obama.

    I don't think I have ever been embarrassed by our President.. Until now..

    I'm going to hold you to that. $0.50 now until Xmas. Heh. I bet you'll be astounded how fast that adds up.

    I am just going to have to be more conservative in my postings. :D Howz THAT for a double-meaning, eh?? :D

    Once again, without quoting a Fox personality, when exactly has Obama said America isn't an exceptional country? I bet you can't come up with a quote even remotely approaching that...

    "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism."
    -President Barack Obama

    In other words, what Obama is saying is that everyone is special.. Which is simply another way of saying that no one is special.

    I won't even bother with Michelle Obama's quote that she was never proud of her country until it nominated her husband for the Presidency..

    That would be just too damn easy an argument to make. :D

    Again, please provide quotes for Obama's "apology tour" as it didn't exactly happen that way (outside of the world of Drudge and Fox News).

    How about Real Clear Politics?? :D

    realclearpolitics.com/2010/09/06/obama039s_china_apology_tour_241133.html

    Or simply GOOGLE Obama Apology Tour and see how many listings you get from LEFT oriented websites..

    What Americulchie is trying to say here is (to paraphrase) "The British thought exactly the same thing, up until their empire receded. How is America any different?"

    Time will tell if America is actually different than the British empire.

    But it's not what I believe. It's not what you believe.

    It's what our president believes that is important.

    Even more important, it's what the rest of the world believes about our president.

    When our president can't even sign an already agreed upon trade agreement with a staunch ally, you have to know that the US stature in the world has fallen dramatically..

    Don't take my word for it. Simply read all about what world leaders are saying and thinking about Obama these days..

    Those same leaders may not have liked Bush and his cowboy diplomacy. But they were NEVER dismissive with Bush, like they are today with Obama.

    For those unaware, here are Michale's largest buttons, should you wish to exploit them in order to make him pay dearly for the privilege of being our (and I do say this with all possible due respect and love) resident House Troll:

    Now, come on.. Don't feed the delusion that I am a troll... There isn't a definition of Troll anywhere on the 'Net (more than a 5 years old) that fits me and my postings. At least none that wouldn't fit anyone else here. :D

    Anyone can find one, I'll immediately PayPal them $100... Dollars, not quatloos... That's how confident I am.. :D


    (1) Torture

    Always a fun topic.. :D Still hoping for you to watch UNTHINKABLE so we can have another So Is Torturing A Daughter OK? discussion.. :D

    pamphleteeringpress.com/archive/060915HuffPost.html


    (2) What he likes to call "CrapCare," our new healthcare reform law.

    Hay, don't blame me for CrapCare. David came up with that! :D I liked my "DunselCare" just fine up until David came up with something more accurate...


    (3) ANY quotes from movies, especially science fiction or action/adventure, and MOST especially Stargate or Star Trek. Feed him a quote, he simply cannot resist replying. Heh. His knowledge of movie (especially science fiction) quotes is encyclopedic, even I must admit, in awe.

    Aww shucks, thanx.. :D

    My latest button (which everyone seems to be afraid to push :D) is the illogic of the Left as Religious Freedom Crusaders.. :D

    Well, once you get the RAID system fully up and running, you can rest assured that failure of one single hard drive will never again impact you in such a negative way. That's the beauty of RAID. Just had to say that, for the technically-minded...

    I actually had a RAID0 system set up previously which basically gave me one big drive.. But the danger to that is, if you lose one drive in the system, you lose all the data.. I know that I can do a RAID1+ where it mirrors the data, but I really hate the idea of wasting all that space simply for the sake of redundancy.. So I simply have 4 SATA drives installed in the system and assign each drive it's own category. I have the 1.5TB Drive assigned to TV shows (It's about 3/4 full right now), a 1TB drive for Movies and Kids Shows thats about half full and two 500GB drives for HiDef TV Shows and HiDef movies, respectively..

    Wow, a plug for the book, even! I'm overwhelmed! It's probably selling for like 12 cents on Amazon (used) by now, but there are still plenty of ideas in it which Democrats have so far ignored, I will admit.

    Au Contraire' $11.01 :D

    amazon.com/How-Democrats-Take-Back-Congress/dp/0977775909

    Michale.....

    p.s. I actually think I got all the attributes right!! :D

    "Hold onto yer butts"
    -Samuel L Jackson, JURASSIC PARK

  30. [30] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I'm 'LizM' at HP - I thought you knew. :)

    I didn't know. But that would have been my guess. I don't usually hang out over at Huff Po. Do you know the regulars over at HuffPo?

    Would you be open to posting a few comments over at HuffPo to help CW? I posted over there last night and will continue to do so, but the regulars over there may know you better. Though I did recognize a couple of names (dsws, for example).

    Shoot me an e-mail at akadjian@yahoo.com if you're open and we can talk offline. Basically, all you'd have to do is every now and then say a few things about CW and ask folks who like his work to pitch in.

    See Monday's column's comments for update on pledge drive...

    Thanks for posting, CW. I think we can have some fun with this. Now, all you have to do is write that article that gets picked up by the MSM and drives a million or so people here! :)

    Hay, don't blame me for CrapCare. David came up with that!

    Now who's pushing buttons!!! :)

    -David

  31. [31] 
    Americulchie wrote:

    Holy Cow I wish I had been here at the beginning.There is much food for thought here as opposed to a lot of the name calling one reads on the Huff Po;I can't tell you all how grateful I am to have real feed back from people.One word I have grown tired of is racist it now sets my teeth on edge how people just casually toss it out.The other word I am tired of reading is Teabagger;though I read one the other day which I do admire that being :Teabundist without the umlaut.It seems that a lot of so called liberals,or progressives are rhetorically challenged(much to my everlasting disappointment)myself I call myself a liberal;I like that word;so close to libertine another state of mind I don't have a problem with.Michale I have found though it is easier to make points if one applies a certain balm if you will by using honorifics;I do like the term "crap care" though.Finally I will state I have a love hate relationship with all technology;it is great when it works but is horrid when it doesn't.

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David[30]

    Oh, I suppose I could come up with a few comments over at HP to help CW ... every now and again ... you know, sing his praises and ask for money. :)

    Seriously, David ... you don't even have to ask. I think it's very important, in the post-press era in which we live, to support extraordinary journalism and Chris certainly provides that and so much more.

    So, I will happily be joining your mission here and at HP and encourage everyone who appreciates the excellent product Chris publishes to support those efforts, both through comments and by financial contributions to http://www.chrisweigant.com. I will also suggest that they even consider making those contributions annual payments ... and that they buy his excellent primer on how to be a good Democrat, too!

  33. [33] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Awesome, Liz. Thank you! I'll see you here and over at HuffPo and we can have some fun w/ this. Maybe we can convince CW to add the "Send in the Clowns" theme music for a day :)

    There is much food for thought here as opposed to a lot of the name calling one reads on the Huff Po;I can't tell you all how grateful I am to have real feed back from people.

    It's one of the things I like about CW's site. The comments section in our local newspaper politics section could best be characterized by this brief back and forth: "You're liberal!" "Oh yeah, well, you're stupid!"

    The Internet seems to provide a buffer similar to a car. People will say and do things inside their car that they would never say or do if they weren't in the car.

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