ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points [277] -- Who Will Inhabit The Cave?

[ Posted Friday, October 11th, 2013 – 16:56 PDT ]

Now that the budget battle is truly joined, with hourly updates issuing forth from the not-so-hallowed halls of Washington, the cry among the media as I currently write this runs along the lines of: "A deal is in sight -- maybe!"

But because I'm not following the minute-by-minute flow (because I have to write this column, and, you know, that space-time continuum thing...), I will instead focus on the aftermath. This aftermath is coming, although I certainly can't say when. Tonight? Tomorrow? Monday morning? Whenever it happens, the entire political media universe is going to pivot to their old standby: who won and who lost? Because, to the denizens inside the Beltway, everything in politics can be framed as a horserace.

In this particular instance, the storyline will run with one of either two words to describe the perceived loser: "blink" or "cave." We're going with the cave metaphor, today. Call it media-political spelunking, if you will. Which brings us to the most important question imaginable (to the mainstream media): Who will inhabit the cave? Who will cave, and who will enjoy the bright, bright media sunlight of perceived victory?

Of course, I can't completely blame the media. The cave metaphor is actually used most vociferously by ultrapartisans from both sides. No, this is not false equivalence, it is merely a fact. When Republicans such as John Boehner eventually face reality (see: fiscal cliff, Violence Against Women Act, Hurricane Sandy relief), it is the rabid Right which screams "Boehner caved! RINO!" the loudest. When President Obama gets congressional Republicans to vote for and pass an income tax increase for the first time in two decades -- but has to move the bar a little on where the tax kicks in -- the frenzied Left is the one screaming "Obama caved! He shouldn't have budged one inch!"

So who will be assigned to the dark, dank depths of the cave this time around? Perhaps Boehner and Obama will both share the cave, who knows? If a deal is reached where Obama agrees to some small legislative adjustment in order to get both an otherwise-clean budget bill and an extension of the debt limit, it's easy to see the Tea Party going ballistic that Obamacare wasn't defunded after all, but it's just as easy to see some on the Left say Obama caved and shouldn't have given in on a single thing, period. Don't get me wrong. As I said, I'm not a big fan of false equivalency, I just wonder whether Obama or Boehner will have the "You caved!" label attached, when the dust settles.

My take on the situation is that Obama has been doing a great job for the past two weeks, that the Tea Party has overreached so badly that the brewing fratricide within the Republican Party has now broken out into full-fledged and open civil war, and that the Tea Partiers aren't going to get any of their major demands at all. Oh, and that the Republican brand has been so damaged by the fight that people are now seriously talking about the possibility that John Boehner will lose control of the House in 2014 to Democrats -- something which was downright unimaginable before the House Republicans shut down the government.

The most insane thing in an insane couple of weeks, at least to me, is the major demand that Republicans have -- out of desperation -- decided upon as their fallback position. "Obama and the Democrats must negotiate on the budget!" This is downright laughable. Democrats have, after all, been trying to form a budget conference committee all year long, only to be blocked over and over again by Republicans (a total of 19 times in the Senate). I compiled an extensive timeline of these facts in a two-part article series this week (on Wednesday and Thursday), as a definitive list, just in case anyone in the mainstream media wanted to review how laughable the Republican "Democrats need to come to the table" claim truly is. If you don't have time to read these two rather exhaustive articles, I came across a much shorter (and much more amusing) version which brilliantly sums the whole thing up in a Huffington Post comment.

If Boehner can sell his own party on the line: "We've exacted a major concession out of Obama, by forcing him to do what Democrats have been begging Republicans to do all year" and thus spin it as some sort of major political victory, then more power to him. Whatever floats the Republican boat, I guess. If this is a good enough face-saving measure for him, then I'm all for it.

But the media should really try to get it right. Obama agreeing to talks which his side has been trying to make happen all year is no concession at all. Unless it's a concession from Boehner, that is. Boehner needs something to save face, and it's conceivable that Obama will toss him some sort of legislative scrap or another in the negotiation. But if the scrap is tiny enough, and if the main selling point for Boehner is that he "forced Obama to the table," then Boehner's the one who will be stumbling around in the cavernous dark and hoping his flashlight batteries hold out -- not the president.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Well, it wasn't for anything he did this week, and it wasn't even us handing out the honor, but we have to at least mention in passing that Harvey Milk is going to be on a U.S. postage stamp next year. This is a high honor indeed, and a notable milestone.

While the news barely scratched the surface of the media shutdown frenzy, the real Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week was Janet Yellen. President Obama (if you believe the insider scuttlebutt) had intended to nominate Larry Summers to chair the Federal Reserve, but Summers was forced to withdraw his nomination basically because his name was "Mud" with a whole lot of Senate Democrats. Obama was forced (again if you believe the scuttlebutt) to name Yellen instead, which (no matter where the truth lies) is indeed a big progressive victory.

Yellen will not only be the first woman to head the Fed, she will also be the first one to do so in a very long time who actually seems to care about unemployment more than how Wall Street profits and bonuses are doing. And that, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing.

Yellen is the most qualified individual for the job. Virtually everyone agrees upon that. Senate Democrats are happy with her, which simply couldn't be said about Summers. For her historic nomination to chair the Federal Reserve, Yellen is easily the clear choice for Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

[Congratulate Janet Yellen's appointment via the White House's contact page, since we couldn't find contact information for Yellen.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

This one is also, sadly, a pretty easy call this week.

Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was just sentenced by a federal court to 28 years in prison, for corruption. Kilpatrick and his abettors had turned the mayor's office into a multimillion-dollar criminal enterprise, and now he's going to pay a very steep price for doing so.

There's really not a lot more to say about this one. Easily the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week, by any measure.

[We have no contact information for Kilpatrick, but if you're interested enough we'd suggest trying to find him through the federal Bureau of Prisons website.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 277 (10/11/13)

Only three of these are actual talking points, this week. In case anyone's reading this column for the first time, our continuing goal here has always been to provide Democrats -- both officeholders being interviewed on weekend news shows as well as rank-and-file supporters at their workplace water coolers -- with some handy suggestions for talking points to make the Democratic case for the upcoming week.

But every so often we wander off from this goal, and provide all sorts of things under the talking points rubric. Today, we're providing two talking points dealing with the brutality of the poll numbers for Republicans, as well as a third on the same subject by Alan Grayson (who excels at creating talking points, on a regular basis). The first three in the list, however, are nothing more than the "best quotes of the week" which deserved to be shared. And the last one is just for fun, if you'd like to join in two very special efforts to register your own rage at Congress.

So, all in all, a very mixed bag this week. Let's get on with it, shall we?

 

1
   Bow your heads

I'm normally not a big fan of our tax dollars being spent on congressional chaplains (for constitutional reasons), but it seems the Senate's current chaplain isn't afraid of mincing words in his opening prayer before the chamber. Here are just a few of the things Barry C. Black has been saying for the past week to the Senate. This is exactly the sort of thing Congress needs to hear right now.

Save us from the madness.... We acknowledge our transgressions, our shortcomings, our smugness, our selfishness and our pride. Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable.... Remove from them that stubborn pride which imagines itself to be above and beyond criticism. Forgive them the blunders they have committed.

 

2
   Suicide of the Right

That title isn't mine. It's the title of an absolutely brutal article by the staunchly conservative John Podhoretz. In it, he points out that the public is blaming Republicans for the mess in Washington, and that the Tea Party is causing this harm. Think "brutal" is too strong a word? Here's Podhoretz on where the Tea Party has led so far: "Their tactic failed, and now what they are left with is House Speaker John Boehner basically begging the president of the United States to negotiate with him."

In fact, the article's main point is Podhoretz begging the Tea Party to stop destroying the Republican Party. He pulls no punches. The entire article is an amazing read, but here are the best bits, especially the car metaphor at the end:

They [Tea Partiers] think that they're supported by a vast silent majority of Americans who dislike what they dislike and want what they want.

I dislike what they dislike. I want what they want. But I fear they are very, very wrong about the existence of this silent majority, and that their misperception is leading them to do significant damage to the already damaged Republican "brand."

. . .

There is only one electoral vehicle for conservative ideas in the United States -- the Republican Party.

It's one thing to refuse to waste your time buffing and polishing the vehicle so that it looks nice and pretty; that's what political hacks do, and ideologues have every right to disdain such frippery.

But if, in the guise of making the vehicle function better, you muck up the engine, smash the windshield, put the wrong tires on it and pour antifreeze in the gas tank, you are impeding its forward movement. You're ruining it, not repairing it.

It may not have been a very good vehicle in the first place, and you may think it couldn't drive worse, but oh man, could it ever. And it's the only one you've got.

 

3
   A dead end with no strategy

Republicans trash-talking each other, part two. Congressman Peter King seems to be emerging as the House leader in trash-talking the Tea Party (the Senate leader is, obviously, John McCain). He's always good for a few quotes, and Salon not only reported a few of them, they also have the video for you to watch. From the article:

Speaking with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, King called the ongoing government shutdown "the strategy of Ted Cruz" and wondered aloud "why more Republicans around the country didn't join me in denouncing Ted Cruz" before the shutdown began. "We cannot allow our party to be taken over by the likes of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul," King continued, describing Cruz and Paul as "isolationists" and "RINOs" who "don't represent traditional Republican principles."

"Ted Cruz, what he did here, was lead the party into a dead end with no strategy, somehow convincing a number of House Republicans that we just sent this to through Senate [sic] as far as defunding and closing down the government, he would manage to get Harry Reid and President Obama to back down," said King. "He never had a plan. It was fraudulent from the start. And we have to cut this guy off now."

 

4
   See? We told you so.

OK, this one and the next one are the original talking points, this week. They both hit Republicans where it hurts the most -- right in the poll numbers. The NBC poll, in particular, is nothing short of crushing (PDF download), across the board.

"Democrats repeatedly told Republicans -- and some Republican leaders even told their own Tea Party wing -- the hard, cold truth that the American public would hold them directly responsible for any government shutdown. Well, now the poll numbers are in, and it looks like we were right. Two polls -- Gallup and NBC -- just put the public's approval rating of the Republican Party at all-time lows. One had them at 24 percent approval, and one had them at 28 percent approval. The lowest they've hit in the last quarter-century before now was when they impeached Bill Clinton, and their numbers fell to 31 percent. One of the pollsters said, quote, these were jaw-dropping numbers. The Washington Post said these numbers, quote, hit the Republican Party like a bomb. Chuck Todd of NBC News summed the situation up, saying 'John Boehner and Ted Cruz have successfully done what Newt Gingrich couldn't do: get a majority of the country to blame the Republicans rather than a plurality.' Does anyone wonder why John Boehner is now negotiating rather than playing the games he's played for over a week? Boehner knows how to read a poll, and the turnaround in his attitude can be traced to precisely when these polls appeared. Democrats can do nothing more at this point than sit back and say 'we told you so.' Sorry if that's insensitive, but at this point I don't really care."

 

5
   Some poll numbers are up, though

Again, this needs to be hammered home. Because this is the leverage which is actually motivating the Republicans to cave (numbers from previously cited NBC poll).

"Not all the polling has been downward, though. Two very important numbers came out of that NBC poll as well -- two numbers which really ought to get Republicans' attention. The first is that President Obama's job approval rating actually went up in the past month. While Republican polling is in free fall, Obama gained a few points. I think that's rather significant, don't you? But the truly astonishing movement in the polls was the public's approval of Obamacare, which gained a whopping seven points over the previous month. All along Democrats have been predicting that the dismal polling over Obamacare would resolve itself only when the public actually saw the benefits of Obamacare. That is precisely what happened this month. Americans got to see for themselves what the fuss was all about, and instead of recoiling in horror the way Republicans predicted, they overwhelmed the computers with an absolute flood of demand. And it's important to note -- even with all the rollout problems the Obamacare exchanges are having, Obamacare gained seven percent approval in one month's time. Look for those numbers to go even higher in the near future, when the benefits start actually kicking in next year."

 

6
   Hemorrhoids or Congress? Dog poop or Congress?

We just love Alan Grayson's ability to boil things down to language everyone can understand, and then go out on the House floor and use that language. Check out Grayson's speech on video, if you need a break from cable television idiocy this weekend.

A national poll asked the following questions: What do you have a higher opinion of, Congress or witches? Congress, 32 percent; witches, 46 percent. What do you have a higher opinion of, Congress or hemorrhoids? Congress, 31 percent; hemorrhoids, 53 percent. What do you have a higher opinion of, Congress or dog poop? Congress 40 percent; dog poop 47 percent.

 

7
   Send Boehner the bill, or drunk-dial Congress

Are you reading this column late on a Friday night, perhaps on a mobile device while enjoying some "adult beverages" in your local tavern? Oh, come on, go ahead and admit it -- I know from the scheduling of this column's appearance that that has to be true for at least a few folks on the East Coast, right? Well then, this one's for you.

Because it has been a rather exhausting two weeks, and because these two came to my attention (one was tweeted to me, one I saw on Craig Ferguson's late-night comedy show last night), here are two amusing ways to let Congress know what you think.

"Two websites have popped up to let average Americans join in on the budget negotiations. The first is BillBoehner.com, where you can figure out your share of the costs of the government shutdown and then send a bill for that amount to Speaker of the House John Boehner. Annoyed at the waste of the government shutdown? Bill Boehner. Angry at the stupidity of the whole thing? Bill Boehner.

"The second site is for a little later in the evening, shall we say. When you get to the stage of your evening where you've gotten your cell phone out and are contemplating a little mischief, we invite you to use the site DrunkDialCongress.org to (as it says) drunk-dial a random member of Congress. Got something about the Washington mess to get off your chest? Drunk-dial Congress. Want to just rant and rave randomly? Drunk-dial Congress. Tried to get through during the day but the switchboard was too full? Well, hey, after midnight I bet your chances of leaving a voicemail would be better -- so go ahead and drunk-dial Congress. You know you'll feel better if you do!"

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

50 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [277] -- Who Will Inhabit The Cave?”

  1. [1] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Another great piece CW, you have really been pounding the keys over the past few days!

    To expand the imagery a bit....

    What really worries me is that "The Cave" is situated pretty close to the lip of "The (Fiscal) Cliff." Both parties could go over that lip as they grapple heedlessly, egged on by their sweaty, bearded, torch bearing, ocher painted warriors.

    Then the press will have to figure out who in the gulch is more badly hurt.

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    Who will cave, and who will enjoy the bright, bright media sunlight of perceived victory?

    As much as it disappoints me, I have to concede that it looks like the GOP is going to cave... :(

    The ONLY silver lining to this is the fact that, when Obama and the Democrats renege on their promise to negotiate, I will have another "TOLD YA SO" notch in my belt..

    Looks like I am going to have to gain more weight. The TOLD YA SO belt is getting too full of notches.

    As I said, I'm not a big fan of false equivalency,

    Who is??

    But let's face the facts here. There is enough legit equivalency to choke an elephant...

    Not that anyone here will concede that fact, of course.. :D

    But the media should really try to get it right.

    Have you MET our media??? :D

    Boehner needs something to save face, and it's conceivable that Obama will toss him some sort of legislative scrap or another in the negotiation

    Around these here parts of the country, that's called negotiating in bad faith..

    I mean, if you ENTER into negotiation with your mind already made up, how is that "negotiation"??

    Let me finish with a point I made the last commentary. A point that bears repeating because it's so dead on ballz accurate...

    The faux-outrage over Obama's shutdown is ridiculous..

    If a government shutdown was the only way that ya'all could get your Single Payer, then ya'all would be pushing your Democrats to shut the government down in a stone cold minute..

    The shutdown was, is and always will be a political tactic...

    And, let's face it.. A Party that would stoop to calling political opponents "terrorists" would have absolutely NO PROBLEM shutting the government down to achieve their agenda..

    The Democrats problem has never been one of desire.

    It's always been a question of competence...

    If ya'all are honest with yourselves, you would acknowledge this simple truth...

    Michale

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Due To The Government Shutdown, Mount Rushmore Can Only Be Viewed From The Canadian Side

    http://lifeonthescenicroute.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/mt-rushmore-from-the-canadian-side.jpg

    :D

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Once again, President No-Negotiation Obama proves he is not looking at solving the problem..

    He simply wants total abject surrender from Republicans...

    I wish I could say I was surprised...

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Michael

    I wouldn't be so sure about the Republicans blinking first, or anybody blinking as the United States heads into default.

    The game at this points seems to pit short term Republican political priorities (fear of tea party primary challengers) against the President's and Senate's longer term agendas, which basically demand long term deal making and accommodation.

    If Boehner and other establishment Republican players (notably big money donors) can't control fearful congressional incumbents, than neither side may see any compelling reason to blink first.

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:
  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    against the President's and Senate's longer term agendas,

    The problem with those long term agendas is that they are antithetical to the well-being of this country and her people..

    One only has to look at California, Detroit, the Democrat National Committee and the White House gift shop to know this to be true...

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    SF Bear wrote:

    Michale - What are you talking about? California is a paradise compared to most states, every day I thank God I live in California. Have you ever been to California?

  9. [9] 
    SF Bear wrote:

    "The shutdown was, is and always will be a political tactic..."

    Forget for a moment who did it, or even why they did it, the question is simply: "Is this a good way to run the country?" Is it a good idea to have a system that allows a small minority to thwart the will of the majority? Is it advisable to grant the Speaker, any Speaker, the ability to deny a vote on a piece of legislation? If we agree that these procedures are harmful and ultimately counter productive shouldn't we be talking about the structural changes necessary to prevent this sort of thing in the future.

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale - What are you talking about? California is a paradise compared to most states, every day I thank God I live in California. Have you ever been to California?

    Born and bred.. I am a San Diego boy, thru and thru.. With the exception of a couple years in New Jersey, I was born in California and left at age 17...

    I have been back a couple times since... And I see what a horrible economic cesspool and urbanized cluster-frak Democrats have made my home state...

    The GEOGRAPHY of California is un-paralleled ...

    The intrusion of government and the total inept way the economy has been handled??

    Completely Democrat...

    Mayor of my home town??? A Democrat...

    Well, FORMER mayor anyways.. :D

    Is it a good idea to have a system that allows a small minority to thwart the will of the majority?

    It was when Democrats had the minority..

    You see the point???

    Ya'all whine and bitch about the tyranny of the minority...

    Yet, ya'all whined and bitched about the tyranny of the MAJORITY, when that majority was the GOP..

    In essence, when the Democrats are the minority, everything is the GOP's fault..

    When Democrats are the majority, everything is STILL the GOP's fault..

    When Democrats have a LOCK on all facets of the government up to, AND INCLUDING, the White House.......

    Everything is STILL the GOP's fault...

    And ya'all wonder why I compare political fanaticism to religious fanaticism...

    It's the same mindless devotion... Totally lacking of rational or logical thought...

    If we agree that these procedures are harmful and ultimately counter productive shouldn't we be talking about the structural changes necessary to prevent this sort of thing in the future.

    By all means.. Change things so that the Majority can more easily impose their will and sideline the Minority..

    And what happens when the DEMOCRATS are the Minority??

    Don't you think talk like that is... well, somewhat short-sighted??

    I'm just sayin'.....

    Michale...

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Don't you think talk like that is... well, somewhat short-sighted??

    I'm just sayin'.....

    I mean, seriously...

    Think about it..

    Ya'all have given any future POTUS the green light, tacit approval, to ASSASSINATE American citizens without any due process whatsoever...

    Ya'all have given any future POTUS unfettered access to ANY and ALL American's communications, no matter how irrelevant to ANY investigation..

    Ya'all have, with great gusto and enthusiasm, opened up Dick Cheney's Pandora Box...

    Ya'all want to give to the Majority the complete, unfettered and un-opposed ability to run totally roughshod over the minority. To render the Minority utterly and unequivocally irrelevant and impotent in the governing of this nation...

    "THINK... Before you strike."
    -Smokey The Bear

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    SF Bear wrote:

    Consider this in the abstract, forget D's and R's. If you have a system where by the minority can always stop the majority then neither side can ever get anything done. This is pretty much what we have now. If there is majority rule and the public grows tired of a course of action they can throw the bums out and be pretty sure that the new bums will do things differently. What we have now simply insures that nothing gets done ever. The system was set up to insure that minority views would get a careful hearing and consideration but at the end of the day the majority did in fact get their turn at governing.

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Consider this in the abstract, forget D's and R's. If you have a system where by the minority can always stop the majority then neither side can ever get anything done. This is pretty much what we have now.

    I understand what you are saying SF, and to a certain extent, you are right...

    All I am saying is that, one day, the Democrats will be in the minority..

    And since everyone knows that Republicans are evil infant eating terrorists, is it wise to give the GOP tools to ignore the minority??

    Our system was designed so that our Congress would have to work TOGETHER to accomplish things..

    But the well has been so poisoned that it's impossible to do.

    And, contrary to what ya'all think, BOTH Partys are to blame for that..

    But the solution is not to give MORE power to the majority..

    Because, as I point out above, one day the "terrorists" will be the majority Party..

    Think of the damage they can do with the powers you want to hand to the Democrats..

    That's all I am saying..

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    The system was set up to insure that minority views would get a careful hearing and consideration

    Call me silly, but referring to the minority as "terrorists", "arsonists" and "hostage takers" doesn't seem to me to be "careful hearing and consideration"...

    But that's probably just my warped and biased view, I 'spose...

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Michael

    The train seems to be getting back on the tracks.

    I was able to sign up for new health insurance last Friday, using the Internet. I may well have been one of the first.

    The process was slow, partly because there were a lot of questions to answer, and partly because the web engine is clearly cross checking a lot of data bases.

    The interface isn't slick, and often leaves you watching an arrow chasing it's tail, and wondering is this thing actually working? Sometimes no, but I was always able to log back in and start where I left off, and after about 2hrs (!!!) at the last screen, I did get an insurance provider. I had about 16 choices, and was able to keep my existing Doctor and dentist. Doing a comparable search entirely on my own would not have been feasible...I have a life, I have to work.

    The electronic sign up is very imperfect, but ultimately pretty impressive. It does most of the data research for you, and leaves a good trail of documentation, which you can print out or leave on your hard drive. Best of all, I actually have solid insurance that I can easily afford.

    Anybody else tried this yet?

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    How frakin' AWESOME!!!!!

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/10/13/Barricades-moved-WH?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Veterans are storming the open air monuments and memorials, grabbing the barry-cades and taking them over to the White House!

    Suck on THAT, OBAMA!!! :D

    That just makes my day! :D

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    TS,

    Glad to hear you are a happy obamacare subscriber...

    And, apparently, the ONLY one to date. :D

    There are many many MANY more testimonials of people with "sticker shock" and obamacare ruining their lives...

    But I am happy to hear you are happy.. :D

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hay TS!!

    Obamacare enrollees become urban legend
    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/10/13/3685595/obamacare-enrollees-become-urban.html

    Congrats...

    Yer an Urban Legend :D

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Michael:

    Thank, you, thank you, Always wanted to be an urban legend in my own time! :) Handicapped by my lack of Big Feet. I'm terrible at spontaneous combustion and have never met an alien.

    If you're right, it's the first lottery I've ever won.

    Persistence on my part played a role.

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Handicapped by my lack of Big Feet

    Yer a poet and ya don't know it..
    But yer feet show it...
    Cuz they're Longfellows...

    yuk yuk yuk :D

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Fascinating ... from the religious nutjob side of the aisle ...

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/10/inside-the-conservative-bubble-it-looks-like-ted-cruz-is-winning-big/280532/?google_editors_picks=true

    "If God is with you, who can be against you?"

    At the same time, who can even talk to you?

    I'm fine with religion, but the people that think God is talking to them scare me.

    -David

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm fine with religion, but the people that think God is talking to them scare me.

    Now ya know how *I* feel.. :D

    "The only problem with born again Christians is that they are a bigger pain in the ass the second time around"

    :D

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The only problem with born again Christians is that they are a bigger pain in the ass the second time around

    Heheh. I'm actually fine w/ the majority of Christians. Mostly because most Christians a) believe in freedom of religion, b) aren't trying to force their religious views on everyone (believe in separation of church & state).

    I'd pretty much say the same thing about any religion: Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc.

    It's the folks that can't seem to accept one or the other of these views that I'm typically at odds with. In any religion

    :)

    -David

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Agreed..

    Fanaticism really knows no religious (OR political) boundaries...

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh my gods, this just keeps getting better and better...

    Obamacare ‘navigator’ in Kansas has outstanding arrest warrant
    http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/14/obamacare-navigator-in-kansas-has-outstanding-arrest-warrant/

    Yea, I know, I know..

    In and of itself, it really doesn't mean much. I completely agree...

    But ya'all gotta admit..

    It's a PR nightmare on a program that is chock FULL o' PR nightmares...

    How many more head-slaps can obamacare take???

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    “One of the Obama administration’s jobs, separate from all of the political stuff we talk about here, is to simply run things like this well, to run their signature legislative initiative well. On that, so far, this has been a big failure.”
    -Ezra Klein

    You would have to look quite hard to find a more fanatical Obamabot than Klein...

    Even HE says it's a "big failure"...

    Are ya'all ready to concede that obamacare, as of right now, is a train wreck??

    "Come on, you can say it. It's OK, they know already..."
    -Joe Pesci, MY COUSIN VINNY

    I know it's hard to say the words, "Michale, you were right." I know.. I get it...

    But, whether it was the shutdown or obamacare.... The fact is I called both dead on ballz accurate...

    "It's an industry term."
    Marisa Tomeii, MY COUSIN VINNY

    :D

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing. Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping. This, in turn, creates a massive traffic bottleneck, as the government verifies your information and decides whether or not you’re eligible for subsidies. HHS bureaucrats knew this would make the website run more slowly. But they were more afraid that letting people see the underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans would scare people away.

    HHS didn’t want users to see Obamacare’s true costs

    “Healthcare.gov was initially going to include an option to browse before registering,” report Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky in the Wall Street Journal. “But that tool was delayed, people familiar with the situation said.” Why was it delayed? “An HHS spokeswoman said the agency wanted to ensure that users were aware of their eligibility for subsidies that could help pay for coverage, before they started seeing the prices of policies.”
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/14/obamacares-website-is-crashing-because-it-doesnt-want-you-to-know-health-plans-true-costs/

    And so it goes and so it goes...

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Many an IT project took a while before the kinks were worked out.

    Would a Fortune 100 company kill one of their IT investments? Or would they fix it?

    -David

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hay Stig,

    Wanted to ask ya something..

    Since you are, apparently, the ONLY person on the planet that has actually signed up for obamacare, what do you think of their Privacy Statement?

    The Privacy Statement for obamacare basically states that they can share all of your information with any agency they deem necessary and that you "should not have any expectation of privacy" with regards to any and all of your data..

    Whatcha think??

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    Many an IT project took a while before the kinks were worked out.

    Could you give me an example of an IT project that was over 1/6th of the economy of a given country and had performed dismally in tests but, because of political pressure, the system was deployed anyways??

    Frankly, I can't think of a one...

    It was VITAL that obamacare be done right...

    It's apparent that it was not..

    To paraphrase Toby Keith, "How do you like {it} now!?"

    Would a Fortune 100 company kill one of their IT investments? Or would they fix it?

    Depends..

    If the cost to fix it exceeds the market value, better to cut the losses and start over..

    Using Bashi's GTA online analogy, if the real GTA 5 had had THESE kinds of problems for such a length of time, it's likely they would have bag'ed the entire idea and started over...

    Of course, no one on the Left will even admit there's a problem, so fixing it takes on a whole new level of crazy..

    I think ya'all can admit now that calling obamacare a train wreck is putting it nicely..

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    If Obama really had some smarts, he would announce a one year delay to the individual mandate..

    I mean, seriously, look at it.

    It's all but assured that circumstances and the train wreck that is obamacare is going to FORCE the delay...

    Obama can get in front of that and appear magnanimous in announcing the delay... This will put the GOP on the spot and force them to play defense...

    In short, Obama can appear presidential in giving the GOP something that he is going to be FORCED to do down the road...

    I honestly don't think Obama will avail himself of this golden opportunity...

    His ego just won't let him admit that he frak'ed up... Frak'ed up good...

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/10/14/in-washington-right-now-democrats-teenagers-republicans-adults/?intcmp=HPBucket

    As much as it hurts, people??

    THAT's the reality...

    Yea, I know, I know.. Fox News blaa blaaa blaa blaaa...

    I get it. The facts hurt....

    Michale...

  33. [33] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Using Bashi's GTA online analogy, if the real GTA 5 had had THESE kinds of problems for such a length of time, it's likely they would have bag'ed the entire idea and started over...

    Not really. GTA V launched first and is the highest selling video game of all time. The online component launched two weeks later. It should be fixed for just about everyone this week with patch 1.04 and they are handing out an "economic stimulus" of a half mil of in game currency as an apology. Rockstar has been well criticized for the launch by the gaming press and absolutely trashed by the hysterical blog posters.

    Saying Obamacare is a train wreck because of the website problems is a bit of hyperbole. What it really shows is problems with government procurement and integration of computers between different departments. The site has to pull info from six different departments computer systems. According to the New York times about 50,000 people have signed up but many of those will have more work to do because of errors. Since all you seem to want to do is place blame (isn't that what you accuse the left of?) the story has been much more interesting on tech blogs where discussion of what actually went wrong takes place...

  34. [34] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Michael:

    This is a link to the privacy statement I electronically agreed to:

    https://www.healthcare.gov/individual-privacy-act-statement/

    The text does not contain "should not have any expectation of privacy" Perhaps you are extrapolating just a smidgeon?

    The agreement is similar to other privacy agreements I sign every time I do a new form of internet commerce. I crossed that security Rubicon many years ago.

    In the age of electronic communications, with sophisticated hacking and data mining, nobody has any expectation of complete privacy, but then, we didn't haven't have any realistic expectations when all we worried about was snail mail, phone taps and gumshoes.

    I didn't design the 21st Century, I just live in it. Everything happens faster, including invasions of privacy.

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bashi,

    Not really. GTA V launched first and is the highest selling video game of all time. The online component launched two weeks later. It should be fixed for just about everyone this week..

    And obamacare is STILL a train wreck right now, two weeks later...

    Ironically enough, setting up a simple sign-up website is child's play compared to setting up a world wide game server..

    And I think you would agree that this particular sign up web site is a HELLUVA lot more important than just a video game.

    Yet, Obama dropped the ball....

    Since all you seem to want to do is place blame (isn't that what you accuse the left of?) the story has been much more interesting on tech blogs where discussion of what actually went wrong takes place...

    I already know what went wrong.

    But what amazes me is that ya'all refuse to admit anything is wrong..

    "It's normal" "It's just the start"

    While all those excuses may be true, they are still just lame excuses..

    This SHOULD have gone better..

    Ya'all know it. Ya'all just won't concede the point..

    Even Ezra Klein, the Obamabots of all Obamabots, says it's a "big failure"...

    What makes him wrong and ya'all right?? ESPECIALLY in light of the facts that completely support Klein's (and mine, incidentally) position..

    I would really like an answer to that.

    What makes ya'all right and Klein wrong??

    TS,

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obamacare-website-source-code-no-reasonable-expectation-privacy_762489.html

    The Privacy Statement has a lot of hidden code that is still applicable and is still binding.

    I didn't design the 21st Century, I just live in it. Everything happens faster, including invasions of privacy.

    Really nonchalant about it, ain'tcha :D

    You weren't around here during the Bush years, but Weigantians (and the Left in general) hysterically screamed to high heaven over Bush's privacy violations..

    Under Obama??

    "Eh, it is what it is.. No biggies.."

    So this says that ya'all (and the Left in general) REALLY don't care about privacy and stuff like that.

    It's only used as a blunt impact weapon with which to beat GOP'ers over the head with..

    It's just AMAZING the difference in attitudes under a '-R' POTUS compared to the attitudes under a '-D' POTUS..

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bashi,

    Since all you seem to want to do is place blame

    I am also constrained to point out that, if something like this had happened under a GOP POTUS, it would be ya'all who would be hysterically placing the blame..

    The funny thing is, I would be right there with ya'all, on the same page.. :D

    Funny how that is, eh?? :D

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Once again....

    Unions poised to win delay of ObamaCare tax in budget deal
    http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/328459-labor-gets-obamacare-olive-branch-

    Corporate cronies got the one year delay on obamacare..

    Now Unions are poised to get the one year delay as well..

    I guess the American middle class is the only group not worthy of a delay..

    Which is ironic because, of the three, it's the Middle Class that TRULY needs the break...

    At least we know something for an absolutely certainty now..

    Obama and the Democrats are no way, no how "warriors" for the middle class...

    Obama and the Democrats are (with ya'alls tacit approval) royally screwing over the middle class...

    Michale

    PS: "Damn! Three times!!" :D

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Jack Lew was asked what questions should NOT be asked of President Obama in an upcoming business round table discussion.

    “Don’t ask about leadership. He’s sensitive about the criticism that he hasn’t provided strong leadership.”

    http://investordiscussionboard.com/boards/politpub/opinion-obamas-leadership-proves-presidency-no-place-amateurs

    Apparently Obama himself realizes what a crappy leader he's been...

    But at least Jimmy Carter can breathe a hefty sigh of relief..

    Carter is no longer the worst POTUS ever....

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    TheStig wrote:

    MICHAEL:

    I'M TYPING IN ALL CAPS TO INDICATE I'M COMPLETELY, TOTALLY, ABSOLUTELY CHALANT ABOUT PRIVACY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    MY WORKING ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING I PUT OUT VIA THE WEB!!!!!!!!!!!!

    EVERYTHING WILL BE STORED FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!

    EVERYTHING WILL BE SHARED AND STORED AGAIN!!!!!!!!!

    ALL SECURITY SYSTEMS HAVE HOLES, EXPECT THEM TO BE USED BY THE CLEVER AND UNSCRUPULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ALL THE LITTLE PIECES YOU SEND OUT WILL BE SIEVED, SORTED AND REASSEMBLED BY THIRD PARTIES, MOST OF WHOM ARE BUSINESSES TRYING TO SELL YOU SOMETHING, BUT NOT ALL!!!!!!!

    AT ROOT, THIS IS A TECHNOLOGY ISSUE, NOT A POLITICAL ISSUE. IT'S THE NATURE OF HIGH SPEED CONNECTIVITY!!!!!!!!!!!

    ALL USER AGREEMENTS SIMPLY REMIND YOU OF THE OBVIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!

    KEEP THE REAL SECRETS IN YOUR HEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. [40] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Michael:

    The secret ink is a classic gaffe.....accidentally telling a truth that is usually ignored.

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    AT ROOT, THIS IS A TECHNOLOGY ISSUE, NOT A POLITICAL ISSUE. IT'S THE NATURE OF HIGH SPEED CONNECTIVITY!!!!!!!!

    Correction...

    It's a POLITICAL issue when there is a GOP POTUS..

    When it's a DEM POTUS, *then* it becomes a technology issue.

    Do you know how I know this to be true??

    Because, during the Bush years, the Hysterical Left AND Weigantians simply would not shut up about their privacy...

    Under Obama?? With even MORE egregious privacy violations??

    Nary a peep.....

    It's cricket city...

    These are the facts...

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    Apparently you missed this summer. I mean there was thing with this snowden guy, I don't really remember because it's cricket city in here. But it's obvious that we aren't concerned at all.

  43. [43] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    And for the love of God stop doubling down on punctuation. A sentence gets one period, not two.

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Apparently you missed this summer. I mean there was thing with this snowden guy, I don't really remember because it's cricket city in here. But it's obvious that we aren't concerned at all.

    And where is the hysterical outcry from the Left, from Weigantians, that permeated the Bush years???

    Non-existent..

    As I said.. Cricket city...

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    And where is the hysterical outcry from the Left, from Weigantians, that permeated the Bush years???

    Not ONE single Weigantian condemned Obama for the actions, the CONTINUING ACTIONS of his NSA...

    Under Bush, such actions produced hysterical moral outrage..

    Under Obama, such actions don't even produce comment, let alone condemnation..

    That's the problem with situational principles. They are not really principles at all.

    They are simply a blunt force weapon with which to beat political opponents over the head with.

    All I am asking for is a little consistency...

    Apparently, that's too much to ask for...

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    You should check out Salon.com Michale, they never let up on the drone war and NSA. The left is very concerned, and very disappointed in Obama for continuing the policies started by Republicans.

  47. [47] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    We have a deal! Holy shit I really thought we were going through the debt limit.

    "The deal developed by the two Senate leaders would open the government until Jan. 15 and extend the debt ceiling through Feb. 7. It also includes backpay for furloughed federal workers and an agreement for the House and Senate to finally -- for the first time in years -- open a conference committee to hash out their differing budgets, perhaps allowing them to find a longer-term solution." Courtesy Huffington Post (Sorry Michale)

    Also it keeps the sequester in place.

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    YoYo,

    You should check out Salon.com Michale, they never let up on the drone war and NSA. The left is very concerned, and very disappointed in Obama for continuing the policies started by Republicans.

    Bullshit.. ONE person is concerned... The rest give token responses..

    Show me the type of unified hysterical opposition that we saw in the Bush years.

    Hell, even here on CW.COM, we were treated to weekly commentaries on the Yoo/Torture memos.. The AT&T Domestic Surveillance scandal..

    Obama actually ASSASINATES an American citizen w/o due process??

    Not a peep...

    This is the bigotry argument all over again..

    Just concede the point and ya'all can eliminate 80% of my arguments... :D

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    And obamacare is STILL a train wreck... :D

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    WOW!!!!

    Cause for celebration!!!

    The VERY FIRST person in Delaware *finally* signed up for obamacare... :D

    Again, ya gotta feel sorry for Obama. His name will be forever associated with the train wreck that is obamacare...

    Kinda like Mudd.....

    Michale

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