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Friday Talking Points [158] -- In Non-Charlie-Sheen News...

[ Posted Friday, March 11th, 2011 – 17:38 PST ]

Last night my local television news led off their broadcast with the first video of the devastation in Japan. An absolutely enormous earthquake had struck off the coast -- an earthquake almost one hundred times as big as the one which hit San Francisco in 1989 (the Richter scale is logarithmic -- the difference between 7.0 and 9.0 is a factor of 100 -- and the Loma Prieta quake was either a 6.9 or a 7.1 while the Japanese quake was either an 8.8 or an 8.9). That is a big quake, folks. Video was streamed live of the four-meter-tall tsunami wave destroying and carrying away everything it touched -- cars, semi trucks, boats, buildings (some of them still on fire). It was a stunning bit of truly breaking news.

And then -- you simply can't make this stuff up -- the anchor uttered the worst segue I think I've ever heard, possibly the worst in all of television news history: "We turn from the live feed of the tsunami in Japan to a police raid on Charlie Sheen's house in Los Angeles...."

Chalk one more up on the "only in America" media chalkboard, I guess. Sigh. Which means, for the second week in a row, I must begin with the all-encompassing statement: "In non-Charlie-Sheen news..."

Democrats and Labor lost their standoff in Wisconsin this week, as the Republicans figured out a legislative loophole and immediately put it to use to end collective bargaining for public-sector union members. By doing so, they lost all claim that this was any sort of "budget crisis," since they had to sever the Union-busting bits off from the actual budget in order to avoid the quorum requirement in their upper legislative house. In effect, the Republicans were admitting, "Nah, it's not about the budget, we just want to crush the Unions."

So far, though, the entire episode has had a catalyzing and energizing effect on the Democratic base. Labor is white-hot with rage, and there are a lot of Democrats outside the borders of the Badger State who have been cheering on the spectacle of tens of thousands of people marching in the streets of Madison (in February, no less) for their rights. This energy (so far, at least) shows no signs of dissipating now that the first battle has been lost -- instead, multiple recall efforts have been launched and at least one television ad run from the state Democratic Party. The bar for recalling politicians in Wisconsin is fairly high, so it's anyone's guess whether any Republicans will actually be tossed out by the voters over the entire episode. But this fight reaches beyond Wisconsin, to many other Rust Belt states -- which are, coincidentally, the states which may determine the next presidential election. Overall, a Union resurgence in political activism in these states is a wonderful thing to see for the Democratic Party as a whole.

There was one episode of delicious irony in all of this, during a town hall meeting held by Republican officeholders, which resulted in the following official statement:

Congressman Sensenbrenner and the Wauwatosa library director repeatedly asked individuals attending last night's Town Hall Meeting to be respectful as other patrons were using the library. After numerous requests for attendees to listen to the individual speaking and be mindful of other library patrons were ignored, the meeting was adjourned.

It is unfortunate that the same respect given at Congressman Sensenbrenner's Town Hall Meeting in Brookfield Sunday evening wasn't experienced last night, and individuals who were patiently waiting to ask a question, receive help with casework or share their concern were unable to do so at the meeting.

Hoo boy. Republicans complaining about unruly town hall meetings. It is to laugh, no?

Frivolity aside, there was one story which reached conclusion this week which is quite simply a disgrace. The family of the last American veteran from World War I to die, Corporal Frank Buckles, requested that he lie under the U.S. Capitol rotunda as a way of honoring all veterans from an all-but-forgotten war. Congressional leaders refused. Nobody's saying exactly who made this decision, but signs so far point to Speaker John Boehner for derailing this effort. Arlington National Cemetery just announced that he will lie in honor in an Arlington basement chapel, and not under the Capitol Rotunda, as the senators from his state had requested.

This is disgraceful. There ought to be an outcry. Where are the veterans organizations? Where are the "we respect our troops" politicians? Why was this honor refused? Where is the freakin' media, for that matter?

Oh, wait, don't tell me. They're at Charlie Sheen's house, right?

Sigh.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Before we get to this week's award, we have to hand out a retroactive Honorable Mention to Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon. Wyden put together a bill (with Senator Scott Brown, making it bipartisan) which President Obama came out in support of one week ago. I wrote about this bill earlier, if you're interested in all the details, but we wanted to at least acknowledge Wyden's work here, even if we are a bit late.

And, of course, the Wisconsin Democrats and Labor movement deserves an Honorable Mention as well, for their fierce resolve in the entire Madison standoff. This is in addition to handing them the MIDOTW award itself, a few weeks back, we should mention.

But this week, Representative Keith Ellison wins the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award, for his testimony before Republican Peter King's hearings into Muslim radicalization. Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, broke down in tears when eulogizing an American who died trying to save other Americans in the World Trade Center on 9/11. The American in question was a Muslim, but we have removed that fact from the previous sentence due to the powerful nature of Ellison's closing words:

Mr. Hamdani bravely sacrificed his life to try and help others on 9/11. After the tragedy some people tried to smear his character solely because of his Islamic faith. Some people spread false rumors and speculated that he was in league with the attackers only because he was Muslim. It was only when his remains were identified that these lies were fully exposed.

Mohammed Salman Hamdani was a fellow American who gave his life for other Americans. His life should not be defined as a member of an ethnic group or a member of a religion, but as an American who gave everything for his fellow citizens.

Ellison's testimony was not only impressive, his emotional moment actually stole the spotlight from the King hearings. King, of course, was doing nothing more than grandstanding by holding the hearings in the first place -- a fact proven when he refused to allow people with hard facts about Muslim radicalism to even testify. King wanted provocative statements on the news, not information of any kind. Which is why the entire "hearing" was nothing more than a media spectacle from start to finish.

And Ellison robbed King of his moment in front of the cameras, because his testimony became the go-to soundbite for the entire media universe. For that fact, and for his testimony itself, Keith Ellison wins the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award, hands down.

[Congratulate Representative Keith Ellison on his House contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

Before we get to an admittedly obscure (but also well-deserved) Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award, we have to at least hand out a (Dis-)Honorable Mention to Senator Claire McCaskill. No, not for supporting the position of Senator Joe Manchin (see last week's FTP [157] MDDOTW section for details), but rather for getting caught in a bit of political hypocrisy. McCaskill apparently paid her own family some money for airplane rides -- one of them to an explicitly political event (rather than justifiable travel for her job) -- which would be a violation of Senate ethics rules. McCaskill, to her credit, paid it all back before it became a bigger story.

But the hypocrisy factor is what earns her a mention. Because McCaskill had previously pushed stronger Senate ethics rules for travel expenses. Which puts her transgression on the same level as Republicans who demagogue gays and are later found out to be one, or Democrats who chair tax-writing committees who can't seem to honestly do their own taxes. It's not the action, in other words, it is the fact that you tried to gain political advantage over the issue -- and then got caught with your own hand in the same cookie jar.

But McCaskill's lapse was far eclipsed this week, by a very obscure story about Columbus, a small town in New Mexico very close to the Mexican border. This town, for the record, has a history of cross-border violence, because it is where Pancho Villa launched a cross-border raid almost 100 years ago which led to the United States invading Mexican territory with 10,000 troops (who then couldn't manage to catch the wily Villa).

The news this week from Columbus is just about as shocking as what took place back then, though. From a local news station's report:

Several federal agencies swept through the New Mexico border town of Columbus Thursday morning arresting nearly a dozen people including the mayor, a village councilor and the chief of police who are suspected of smuggling guns into Mexico.

According to a 26-page indictment the investigation into the suspected gun smuggling operation began 15 months ago.

The indictment alleges Mayor Eddie Espinoza, Village Trustee Blas Gutierrez and eight other conspirators bought and smuggled guns including AK-47s across the border into Mexico. The indictment states Chief of Police Angelo Vega joined in the conspiracy. Investigators said the group used unmarked Columbus police vehicles to help carry out the crimes.

None of the stories I could find on the incident, however, listed any political affiliation of the elected officials involved. I finally just went ahead and called up the local library in the town, and was informed that both Espinoza and Gutierrez are, in fact, Democrats.

Which means that this week, there is simply no contest for the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award. Columbus Mayor Eddie Espinoza and Village Trustee Blas Gutierrez are without question our MDDOTW winners this week. And, we have to say, the allegations of cross-border weapons smuggling indeed hits a new low in the entire history of this award.

[We could not find any public contact information for the elected (and arrested) Democratic public officials of Columbus, sorry.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 158 (3/11/11)

The Senate this week shot down two budget proposals -- the one the Republican House had passed and a Democratic bill to balance it. Neither got anywhere near 50 votes (much less 60). This will likely be Topic Number One for the next week in Washington, Democrats need to get out front on the issue a bit. So far, they've been doing a fairly good job of doing so.

Because make no mistake about it, this fight is coming. Democrats can either stand on the sidelines and wind up getting steamrolled, or they can put forth some ideas of their own and put the Republicans on the defensive.

This week, we've got four talking points which are actual quotes from Democrats (well, OK, I had to paraphrase one of them...), which is a good sign -- it's always a good sign when I can quote what is already being said rather than coming up with them on my own.

Without further ado, here are this week's talking points, for all Democrats to consider using in the coming week (especially those in office who are about to be interviewed).

 

1
   Four Hundred Billion Dollars

I keep wishing some politician would stand up and say this out loud. There's a reason the deficit is so big this year.

"Before I begin talking about the deficit, let me throw out a fact. The extension of the Bush tax cuts -- which happened just before the current frenzy of deficit-cutting from the Republicans -- will add four hundred billion dollars to the deficit, just for the first year alone. If Congress had refused to extend the Bush tax cuts, we would have cut the deficit we now face by four hundred billion dollars. Let's all keep this in mind while we talk about how much we can cut the deficit, shall we? Because the first $400 billion does nothing more than pay for the extension of the Bush tax cuts. If you can't cut that $400 billion, it means that Congress will have voted to increase the deficit. It's an inconvenient fact, but there it is. Our deficit would be $400 billion smaller because these tax cuts were absolutely unpaid for. That sort of puts all the rest of the numbers being batted around into some perspective, doesn't it?"

 

2
   Trojan Horse

Senator Charles Schumer seems to be leading the way for a new Democratic strategy on the budget -- extend the discussion beyond just discretionary non-security spending.

I'm going to turn over the next two talking points to Schumer, from an article he wrote this week, because he's making a lot of sense [emphasis is in original].

My fellow senators and I are working hard to avert [a government shutdown], but so far, the debate has centered on so-called "domestic discretionary spending" -- basically the 12% or so of the budget that goes to programs other than the military, Social Security, and Medicare.

And let me tell you: a bipartisan compromise simply will not be found in domestic discretionary spending cuts alone.

. . .

The hard right wing of the Republican Party has deliberately confused two separate issues: reducing the deficit and cutting government.

Their fervor for spending cuts is not grounded in deficit considerations at all. The dirty little secret about the Republican spending plan is that once the dust has settled, it would only decrease the deficit by $5 billion in [Fiscal Year] 2011. We're talking about a difference between $1.360 trillion in budget outlays under the current [Continuing Resolution], versus $1.355 trillion in budget outlays under the Republican proposal.

No, they are using deficit talk as a Trojan horse for eliminating things they don't like.

We don't face the current deficit because of Head Start and cancer research, and we'll never get out of it by cutting Head Start and cancer research.

 

3
   All parts of the budget

Schumer, part two:

To truly reduce the deficit -- and keep America a great place to live and do business -- we need to scour all parts of the budget that contribute to the deficit, not just the parts of the budget that some of us don't like.

In last week's Wall Street Journal-NBC poll, the most popular proposal to reduce the deficit -- out of 23 options surveyed -- was a surtax on millionaires and billionaires.

The Pentagon should no longer be treated as off-limits.

We can find ways to achieve savings in Medicare and Medicaid that don't reduce benefits.

Agriculture needs to be put on the table.

Yet all the Republicans can talk about is cutting "discretionary" areas of government.

We need to reset the debate. Together, we can do it.

 

4
   Ten weeks, still no jobs bill in the House

Nancy Pelosi has been pushing this point hard, to her credit, so I'm going to paraphrase a press release from her office to create a talking point. The words and sentiments are Pelosi's, I just changed the sentence order around a bit and made it more conversational in tone.

"I see that, for the tenth week in a row, there are exactly zero jobs bills out of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. This week, there was still no action from the GOP on jobs. Republicans continue to put partisan politics ahead of Americans' top priority – jobs. Overall, Republicans are scheduled to hold 76 hearings this week which fail to answer Americans' question: Where is the Republicans' jobs plan? The Republican answer to jobs has been a "So Be It" spending bill that would cost 700,000 jobs and stall our economic growth. Ten weeks and counting, no GOP jobs bills. Why aren't Republicans taking action on jobs?"

 

5
   The People's Party

Robert Reich has been pushing a talking point, which is a good one. Get out front and brand the movement which began in Wisconsin. Use "People's Party" more and more, and the media will eventually pick up on it. Read his whole article, it's worth it. Here's the crux of it:

The Tea Party grew out of indignation over the Wall Street bailout -- an indignation shared by the vast majority of Americans. But the Tea Party ended up directing its ire at government rather than at big business and Wall Street. Was this because billionaires Charles and David Koch and their like funneled money to the Tea Party through front organizations like Dick Armey's Freedom Works, and thereby co-opted it?

Now we may be seeing the birth of a genuine populist movement. Call it the People's Party. Like the Tea Party, the People's Party doesn't have a clear organization or hierarchy or single address. It doesn't have lobbyists in Washington. It's not even yet recognized by the mainstream media.

But the People's Party seems to be growing in numbers and in intensity. And it's starting to push elected officials -- first at the state level -- to listen and respond.

 

6
   Romneycare pretty popular

President Obama complimented Mitt Romney recently, which the media reported as some sort of insult. Or something. It's hard to follow their logic, at times, I have to admit. On non-Charlie-Sheen subjects, at least. Obama, or some other enterprising Democrat, should strike this iron once again, while it's still hot.

"For all the smoke and noise on what Republicans call 'Obamacare,' there was an interesting poll out of Massachusetts this week. Mitt Romney's healthcare reform -- which is very similar, and even has the dreaded individual mandate -- is actually pretty popular in the state. A whopping eighty-four percent of the public likes Romneycare, apparently. That's a pretty high approval rating for a plan which isn't all that different than what Democrats passed last year on the national level, don't you think?"

 

7
   When the TelePrompTer dies

Once again, Arizona governor Jan Brewer shows us that it's not whether you use a TelePrompTer, it's whether you can cope with speaking without one. Brewer famously failed this test a while back, and it looks like she hasn't gotten much better at it.

"I hear a lot of Republicans say snide things about President Obama using a TelePrompTer, but when Obama speaks without one -- as he did today at his press conference -- his intelligence continues to shine through. Republican governor Jan Brewer, on the other hand, just showed us all once again what happens when a politician truly can't handle speaking without one."

 

All-time award winners leaderboard, by rank
Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant
Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: Democrats For Progress

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

20 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [158] -- In Non-Charlie-Sheen News...”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, of course, the Wisconsin Democrats and Labor movement deserves an Honorable Mention as well, for their fierce resolve in the entire Madison standoff.

    Oh, come on, CW!

    The Democrat Senators in Wisconsin ran away and and hid in another state to avoid doing their jobs!

    That is ANYTHING but honorable...

    - a fact proven when he refused to allow people with hard facts about Muslim radicalism to even testify

    Do you have a cite for this? I don't doubt your word, but I would like to read up on this myself.

    I read a completely different version.. Would love to read yours..

    Michale.....

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    On the Japan related news front, check this out..

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/4580794/animation-tsunami-races-across-pacific-basin/

    It's a pretty impressive animation on the flow of the tsunami outward from the quake epicenter.

    Michale.....

  3. [3] 
    Moderate wrote:

    By doing so, they lost all claim that this was any sort of "budget crisis," since they had to sever the Union-busting bits off from the actual budget in order to avoid the quorum requirement in their upper legislative house. In effect, the Republicans were admitting, "Nah, it's not about the budget, we just want to crush the Unions."

    And that would be a really powerful argument Chris. If it were true. What was passed was a budget bill, it just wasn't an appropriation bill, which is the only thing considered "fiscal" in Wisconsin.

    The bill that was passed is just 6 pages shorter than the original document, and will save just $30 million less than the original bill. To put that in context, the bill will save:

    *The state itself $300 million over the next 2 years by requiring state workers to pay 5% towards pensions and 12% towards insurance.

    *School districts and municipalities $1.44 billion over the same time by requiring their employees to pay 5% towards their pensions, and giving school districts and municipalities the option to require their employees to contribute 12% towards insurance.

    Ellison's testimony was not only impressive, his emotional moment actually stole the spotlight from the King hearings

    I've read other moments of Ellison's testimony that were far less impressive. He said:

    "Ascribing the evil acts of a few individuals to an entire community is wrong...Targeting the Muslim American community for the actions of a few is unjust. Actually all of us--all communities--are responsible for combating violent extremism."

    Nobody is "ascribing" the acts of Islamic fundamentalists to every member of the Muslim faith. Whilst all communities are responsible for fighting against terrorism, it is the terrorists themselves that are targeting the Muslim American community; in order to recruit them.

    And I say that as someone who, whilst not Muslim, has been mistaken for one at airports and been subject to extra searches and questioning. Since I have nothing to hide, it doesn't bother me. This is a great piece by a Muslim who supports the hearings:

    http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/guestvoices/2011/03/in_defense_of_peter_kings_muslim_hearings.html

    Regarding your talking points:

    1) The Bush tax cuts should never have been all-or-nothing. I think the two highest brackets (33% and 35%) should have been allowed to expire.

    2) & 3) Couldn't agree more. See, we can sometimes agree!

    4) Well, here we'll have to agree to disagree. Whilst polls show that voters care more about jobs than deficits, they don't understand.

    Deficit reduction is more important than job creation. If the deficit is not brought under control, the government continues to print more money to meet its spending obligations, which increases inflation. The Fed would have to hike rates, hurting both small businesses and home owners.

    5) Well, the "People's Party" might not have the Koch brothers but they still have compulsory dues...well, other than in Wisconsin.

    6) Doesn't stop Romneycare being a horrible piece of legislation. If Romney does win the nomination I think Obama will massacre him.

    7) Nobody accused Obama of being stupid (or if they did, they only served to demonstrate their own lack of intelligence). For me it was not that he couldn't cope without the TelePrompTer, but that he felt like without it he wouldn't "stay on message". It just made him feel fake and too "control freak"-y rather than sincere and heartfelt.

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Moderate,

    And I say that as someone who, whilst not Muslim, has been mistaken for one at airports and been subject to extra searches and questioning. Since I have nothing to hide, it doesn't bother me. This is a great piece by a Muslim who supports the hearings:

    http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/guestvoices/2011/03/in_defense_of_peter_kings_muslim_hearings.html

    That's an AWESOME article and it's EXACTLY how American Muslims SHOULD feel about this issue...

    I would be willing to wager that, with the exception of those with an agenda, most American Muslims DO feel this way about the hearings...

    It's a shame that the rabble rousers of the Hysterical Left and those with even darker agendas are trying to put the breaks on what SHOULD be a frank and honest discussion about the very real threat that faces us all..

    Thanx for the link...

    Michale.....

  5. [5] 
    Moderate wrote:

    No problem. I've read a few excellent articles that get to the crux of the Peter King hearings but I thought the most powerful was that one, which highlights that genuine adherents of the Islamic faith are as angry over its radicalisation as anyone else, and want to see what can be done to stop the takeover of their faith by extremists.

    This was another good article:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/08/AR2011030804487.html

    A couple of my favourite quotes were:

    The roots of Holder's reticence are admirable: He wanted to avoid tarring an entire faith with the sins of a few extreme adherents. But the unavoidable fact is that, however much violent terror reflects a distortion of the tenets of Islam, it is not only practiced by adherents of the religion but practiced in its name.

    To ignore the religious nature of the terrorist threat is to succumb to politically correct delusion.

    And this one:

    Yes, there are other sources of terrorism. Radical Islam is the biggest and most dangerous. And, yes, King is a flawed questioner. But the question he poses is an appropriate - and important - one.

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Nancy Pelosi has been pushing this point hard, to her credit, so I'm going to paraphrase a press release from her office to create a talking point. The words and sentiments are Pelosi's, I just changed the sentence order around a bit and made it more conversational in tone.

    Pelosi had 4 years as House Leader.

    All she did was up the Unemployment and raise the deficit to unheard of heights.

    It's the epitome of hypocrisy that she would complain about a do nothing GOP majority...

    Perhaps the GOP is following the medical Prime Directive of "First, Do No Harm"...

    If only Pelosi had followed that, this country's economy might not have been in the toilet...

    Michale.....

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    But the unavoidable fact is that, however much violent terror reflects a distortion of the tenets of Islam, it is not only practiced by adherents of the religion but practiced in its name.

    To ignore the religious nature of the terrorist threat is to succumb to politically correct delusion.

    Yes, there are other sources of terrorism. Radical Islam is the biggest and most dangerous. And, yes, King is a flawed questioner. But the question he poses is an appropriate - and important - one.

    I would love to see someone (anyone!! :D) dispute these facts with facts of their own...

    Michale.....

  8. [8] 
    Shevek57 wrote:

    Hi Chris,

    I usually read you on HuffPost and seldom bother to stop in here at the home front. Looks like you still have Michale and his various sockpuppets polluting your comments section, but otherwise, I hope others—like myself—have taken the time to give you positive feedback along the way. Keep up the good work!

    Shevek57

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, ain't I the popular one, eh?? :D

    Michale......

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    As one lowly sockpuppet to the Sockpuppet Master, poor Shevek just doesn't stick around here long enough to really get to know ya, not to mention the rest of us.

    And, he doesn't know our gracious host too well, either. :)

    By the way, the latest edition of FTP is STILL not up at HP!?

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    It's the mindset of the Hysterical Left. And the Hysterical Right for that matter.

    In their minds, no one could POSSIBLY disagree with their viewpoint. Therefore anyone who DOES disagree simply MUST be paid to disagree and secretly DOES agree with them..

    It's doubly impossible, to them, that more than one person could disagree. Hence, when faced with multiple people that disagree, it MUST be that they are all the same person..

    It's a self-fulfilling delusion that indicates an immature mind...

    On a totally and completely unrelated note, I wanted to share some powerful footage that was just released that shows the Japanese Tsunami coming ashore..

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12725646

    It's horrifying...

    Michale.....

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Yes, I am quite familiar with the type of commenter you describe. They cannot present a cogent argument based on the facts to save their life and so they resort to the sort of behavior that often results in personal attacks and unsubstantiated accusations.

    In any event, I am confident that this behavior will be dealt with around here in the appropriate manner ... if you know what I mean and I know that you do! :)

    The earthquake/tsunami/nuclear crisis in Japan has been horrifying to watch, indeed. My cable company has made the main news service channel out of Japan, NHK, available during this crisis and the images and footage have been heartbreaking.

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    As an aside, I was thinking that this would make an excellent topic for a CW commentary....

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100079703/why-is-there-no-looting-in-japan/

    Michale.....

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    As one lowly sockpuppet to the Sockpuppet Master,

    KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!!!
    -General Zod, SUPERMAN

    :D

    Michale....

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    General Zod... er ... I mean, Michale

    That would be a very interesting topic for discussion. I'll tell you what, I'm pretty sure that the Janpanese people will overcome this tragedy and rebuild the devastated parts of their country.

    That's assuming, of course, that the nuclear dimension to this crisis prevents them from doing so. We can only hope that will not be the case.

  16. [16] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    michale,

    that's superman 2! shows what you know...

    ;)
    ~j

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    I agree completely..

    I have lived and worked in Japan for a bit of time and I have nothing but respect for their culture..

    There are many possibilities as to why the Japanese are facing this crisis with stoic and honor..

    Unfortunately, some of those possibilities can be construed as racist or bigoted..

    NYPoet,

    ACK!!!!

    I stand corrected.. :D

    Michale.....

  18. [18] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Where is the freakin' media, for that matter?
    Oh, wait, don't tell me. They're at Charlie Sheen's house, right?

    Are you just beginning to notice that we don't have a press corps anymore? ;D We haven't had one since Obama hit the campaign trail in 2008. That's when the transformation from reporters to groupies transpired.

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    That's when the transformation from reporters to groupies transpired.

    And then the transformation from groupies to jilted lovers.. :D

    Good ta see ya around, CB.. :D

    Michale......

  20. [20] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Same here, Michale. How's Commander Dither's golf game been going? Any late-breaking news?

    I thought this was a good op-ed by Oliver North:
    POTUS' Attention-Deficit Disorder
    http://townhall.com/columnists/olivernorth/2011/03/18/potus_attention-deficit_disorder

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