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A lot of Republicans are comforting themselves over their complete rout in the debt ceiling negotiations last night with the fact that they can do this all over again when the debt ceiling has to be raised sometime next month. The thinking is, of course, that the leverage in the negotiations will shift from the Democrats to the Republicans, and Obama will be forced to give up massive cuts to entitlements like Medicare and Social Security to get the debt ceiling raised, all the goodies Obama avoided giving away in this round. It worked like a charm in the summer of 2011 to get trillions of dollars in spending cuts, so why wouldn't it work this time?

President Obama, however, has been clear that he won't play that game with him this time.

"I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up," he said. "If Congress refuses to give the U.S. government the ability to repay these bills on time, the consdequences for the global economy would be catastrophic—far worse than a fiscall cliff."
This is exactly the correct sentiment by Obama, but the question on my mind is how exactly will he avoid having that debate?
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Friends: I'm Sally Struthers, and I'm here to tell you about a horrible epidemic that's spreading its poison through the veins of our society. It's a problem that often goes unreported in our society, leaving the innocent, helpless victims in tatters, while they silently cry to the heavens, simply: "Why?".

It's a known fact that Presidents are in this country EVERY DAY, huddled in a corner of their large, white, government-funded mansion housing, getting criticized for the things they've done. They were never warned that this would happen. They took the job expecting nothing but praise for every bodily function they excreted, but instead entered a world of pain and grief, watching percentage point after precious percentage point of their approval slip away. The pain, as you can see from this picture, is almost too much to bear.

But you, dear viewers, can make a difference.

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Q: Nothing to be done.
A: What do you mean?
Q: About all the racism rampant in this country. Isn't it terrible?
A: I'm beginning to come round to that opinion. All my life...
A: Excuse me?
Q: You vile, disgusting racist!
A: What? What do you mean?
Q: Why the hell would you use words like that?
A: Like what?
Q: Round.
A: Um, I don't get it. How is "round" a racist thing to say?
Q: Do I have to spell it out for you? "Round" is an obvious reference to the shape of a noose.
A: But I wasn't thinking of nooses. I meant round as in...
Q: And now you say "noose"! Stop trying to justify your filth. You really have a lot of nerve.
A: Look, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you. I had no idea that the word "round" was so bad.
Q: You have the mentality of one of those little bugs that crawl around.
A: You mean a beetle?
Q: No, the kind that you find in your kitchen.
A: Termites?
Q: No, no. The kind that crawl around on your countertops.
A: ...
Q: Come on! Looking for food??
A: You mean a cockroach?
A: Oh my gosh! I've insulted you again! I'm sorry. This is so embarassing!
Q: It's not excusable, but it is understandable. It's your subconscious racism coming out of you like a wet fart in a crowded elevator.
A: I can be subconsciously racist?
Q: Absolutely. Subconscious racism is far more pervasive, and permeates through channels that aren't obvious, but still effective. And what's more, it can only be spotted by someone like me, who already knows you're a racist and is thus more prepared to see the subconscious racism in what you do.
A: Damn. I guess I understand it, but I don't know what I can do about it.
Q: Exactly. You better watch yourself round the rest of this website. Not everyone is as open-minded as I am.
A: Hey, you just said it.
Q: Said what?
A: know.
Q: What?
A: The "r" word.
Q: Oh, you mean "round"? Well, I can say it because I'm black. Duh.
A: Oh. But can't black people be racist too?
Q: Black people being racist!? Please. Show me one example where black people disaffected an entire race of people for over three centuries.
A: Point taken, but don't you agree that racism is more than just slavery?
Q: Answer my question.
A: I did. I said racism isn't just slavery. Will you answer my question?
Q: Only when you stop avoiding my question.
A: Oh jeez, we're just going round and round...
A: Oh God, sorry! I can't believe I was so insensitive!
Q: How can people like you have any perspective at all towards racism, when every other word you say is a filthy slur?
A: Honestly, I didn't come here to slur anyone. I'm actually a pretty liberal guy. I just wanted to talk about politics.
Q: Ah yes, politics. Let me take a wild guess - you hate President Obama, don't you?
A: No, I admire him and kind of like him. I don't think he's really lived up to the "Yes We Can" and "Change We Can Believe In" stuff from his campaign though. There's things he promised on the campaign that he's compromised on, or not really moved towards.
Q: Right. So typical. "Move towards." Like you just want him to "move towards" the servant's quarters and fetch your mint julep, RIGHT?
A: Uh...?
Q: All you white activist fauxgressives are alike, just hating on people that don't keep their "promises". And throwing away your ability to think and following a stupid narrative. And not listening to our narrative.
A: So wait - this is an anonymous website. And it's Democratic. How do you know I'm not black?
Q: Because we've taken demographic surveys of the site's users, and they're 95% white.
A: But maybe I'm one of the 5% that isn't.
Q: The statistics apply equally to everybody, so you're all 95% white.
A: But you said before you were...
Q: You see, it's no surprise that your white privilege is blinding you.
A: White privilege? What?
Q: White privilege. The way that society just hands people like you a better experience in everything you do in life than people like me. Less suspicion. Shorter jail sentences. The way you're never asked to speak on behalf of your race as a group. The way you can walk into a crowd of people and not be met by silence.
A: Oh. I've never heard that term, but I know what you mean. It's like that TV show, "What Would You Do?" I didn't realize how differently black people were still treated until I saw that show.
Q: So, you saw a nice little TV show about it. How precious. White privilege blinds people like you to the racism that lurks in their cold, black hearts.
A: But what does white privilege have to do with this website?
Q: Don't play dumb. People like you are crawling around here like cockroaches, criticizing President Obama all the time.
A: What does criticizing the President have to do with white privilege? Or racism?
Q: Come on. Barack Obama is black! And your subconscious racism makes it impossible for you to have a rational opinion about the president. You always use these racist words in your criticism, and that just belies your true intent every time.
A: So what are the words I shouldn't use, so I know to avoid them?
Q: I'll tell you as you type them.
A: Oh.
Q: And speaking of, just look at the way you're typing.
A: What about it?
Q: The font? Really?
A: What's wrong with my font? It's the standard font for comments here.
Q: Hello, it's colored black?? Wow, you really are blind.
A: Oh. I didn't realize that was a problem.
Q: Excuse me? Is that a "problem" when you write your Klan newsletter every month? How racist can you be?
A: Sorry! I tried to apply a font color tag, and it doesn't seem to take it.
Q: Then you need to preface the rest of your comments here with the word (COLORED) so we know you're trying to write in color, and not trying to patronize us.
A: (COLORED) Like this?
Q: Very well, I suppose. You're just lucky I'm such a patient guy.
A: (COLORED) Yeah, thanks. I really appreciate the advice. So tell me, what if I ever wanted to describe the shape of a circle to someone here? How would I say it?
Q: You just better not. Unless...
A: (COLORED) Unless what?
Q: Unless you become...
A: (COLORED) What??
Q: (fanfare) A RACE TRAITOR!!
A: (COLORED) Huh? What's that? Aren't traitors usually bad people?
Q: No, a race traitor is someone who works against the racist interests of their own race. They work to dismantle white privilege wherever it is found, no matter what the consequences mean for their own selves.
A: (COLORED) Wow! That sounds really exciting!
Q: It's really the best that a 95% white guy like you can hope for.
A: (COLORED) So if a race traitor works against the racist interests of their own race...
Q: Who told you that's what a race traitor does??
A: (COLORED) You did.
Q: Mm-hmm. Just another white guy who thinks they're some kind of authority on race traitors, because they have a black "friend" who tells them about it. What a joke.
A: (COLORED) Uh, I was just going to ask if there were any other famous race traitors in history.
Q: Well, you've probably heard of John Brown, haven't you?
A: (COLORED) Sure, that's the guy who led the race riots just before the Civil War.
Q: And there's also people like Abraham Lincoln. And Steve Martin.
A: (COLORED) Is that what I have to do here to make it OK to say what I want to say? Lead a race riot?
Q: Uh, no. I'm not even sure how that would work online.
A: (COLORED) Are there any race traitors on here?
Q: Yeah, at least one.
A: (COLORED) So what did they do?
Q: Wrote a diary about how they were now a race traitor, basically.
A: (COLORED) Oh. That seems too easy.
Q: It's not! You can't be a race traitor here unless you really, really mean it!
A: (COLORED) I mean, if I say I'm a race traitor, how do you even know if I'm sincere or not? And how does writing a diary about being a race traitor compare to what people in our history like John Brown did to combat real racism?
Q: There goes your white priviliege, blinding you again to what...
A: (COLORED) And who cares what words I use? As long as I know I'm not using them for racial intent, and no reasonable person would take them that way, who cares what people like you think? You're taking a serious problem like racism and twisting it into a cudgel that you use to ultimately mock racism. You know what? ROUND.
A: (COLORED) Is that the best you've got? Just calling me a racist? ROUND ROUND ROUND!
Q: Haha! No, calling you a racist means you can't really be part of this website.
A: (COLORED) What do you mean? I can comment and write diaries just like you.
Q: Yes, but everything you write will be met with suspicion. When you walk into a diary, silence is what you'll get when you make a comment. Because you'll be speaking for your entire group of fauxgressives.
A: (COLORED) But that's kind of like...
Q: Look, I'm sorry, but you're clearly not race traitor material. What I'll have to do is take you to the "DFH section" of the website, and leave you there.
A: (COLORED) "DFH section"?
Q: Yes, where people like you who write colored belong. It's in the back of the website. As long as you don't try to move up to the front, you'll be fine.
A: (COLORED) (Sighs) Ok. We can part, if you think it'll be better.
Q: Well, shall we go?
A: (COLORED) Yes, let's go.


Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:06 PM PDT

An Apology, and a Proposal

by CaptUnderpants

I'd like to take some time to offer an apology, and make a simple proposal.

First of all, I wrote a bit of satire a few days ago titled Obama praises success of War On People With Funny Names at annual dinner, which became popular for the wrong reasons. I read another popular diary myself just yesterday titled Have You No Shame, Greenwald? that (rightly) took Glenn Greenwald to the woodshed by implying that, since it was legally justified for US Special Ops to kill Osama bin Laden, that it was ok for a Libyan or Pakistani to do the same to President Obama. I agreed with the diarist that making this kind of reference to assassinate our president, even as part of an reductum ad absurdum argument, was beyond the pale and had no place in any rational argument.

In so doing, I was reminded that I had done something similar in my satire.

I'm referring specifically to this paragraph:

After the President's remarks, he took the first gunshot in the dinner's traditional shooting, in which a person whose name exceeded the required number of syllables was brought up on stage to be fired upon by all the dinner's guests, while the West Point Military choir sung their own rendition of Toby Keith's latest country hit, "America Fuck Yeah". Obama's shot missed the man's vital organs and hit him in the arm instead, prompting the president to quip, "I may be even better at bowling than this," which drew a round of laughter from the crowd before an aide came up to finish the job with a machine gun. The crowd then broke into spontaneous chants of "USA! USA!", along with other words that were easy to pronounce.

I realize there were some important differences between Greenwald's tweet and my piece above: first of all, my diary was clearly satire. I got to use a snark tag, which you can't do on Twitter. Secondly, my joke was about President Obama shooting someone else, not someone else shooting President Obama. Still, getting executed isn't something to laugh about or even remotely condone, whether you're a president or someone else with a "funny name," and especially when so many people with funny sounding names are getting killed senselessly today in Lybia, Syria, Yemen, and other places around the world. So, after prayer and reflection, I've decided to edit this paragraph out of my diary. I sincerely apologize for anyone who may have been offended by this part of my diary, and I promise to try and hold myself to higher standards in the future.

Now for my proposal. It seems that, for well after my diary was published on Saturday, people were commenting well afterwards, as recently as this afternoon, about stuff that had nothing to do with my little joke. Among other things, certain users who had been harassed in the past carried this harrassment forward into the comments section of my diary. Of course, there were the expected counter-accusations, righteous indignation, and defensiveness that we've all come to expect from pie fights at Daily Kos. But at least in one instance, someone who was harrassed was actually made physically ill by the abuse, helping to cause a relapse of that person's illness. Considering that person had made clear that the harassment should stop well before my diary, there was no need for things to get that far. And this wasn't the first time this sort of behavior had gone too far.

Can we agree that harassment of other users that goes beyond disagreement with their political views has no place here? I hope so. And in light of this, I have a simple proposal I hope we can all agree to honor. Quite simply,

If someone replies to you that they want you to stop responding to their diaries and comments, then stop responding to them.

The motivations for this kind of a request shouldn't matter - it's just a matter of the most basic level of respect for them as a person. Whether you think they're an Obot, Ohater, or whatever other kind of label; whether you think they're doing it for valid or stupid reasons; whether they come back the next day and write the biggest turd of a diary or manna from heaven -- just stop responding. Go find another diary or comment to reply to, or write your own elsewhere. Other people can always HR their worst comments, and behavior that's truly over the line can always be reported to the site admins.

But honestly, if we can all strive to do this, I believe it would improve the site and its community tremendously. I hope we can all take this moment to make ourselves, and by extension this site, a little bit better.

Thanks for reading.


WASHINGTON, DC (AP) - Lavishing praise on Special Ops teams and the rest of America's military, President Barack Obama gave a well-received speech commemorating the nation's War On People With Funny Names at the annual America's Language Heroes Gala at the East Room of the White House last night.

"Job well done," President Obama said to rounds of applause. "Our citizens have been under the burden of unpronounceable names for far too long. It is you, the men and women of the military, who have selflessly devoted yourself to the cause of putting an end to this grave linguistic problem for the rest of us, and for that, you deserve something that every American can pronounce - 'thank you'."

[This paragraph has been removed by the author - please see here for an explanation.]

The War on Funny Names has received increased attention since last weekend's successful Navy Seals raid, in which several people in Abbotabad, Pakistan were successfully executed. (Their names could not be republished since news agencies were unable to confirm their correct spelling.) The war, and the commemorative dinner, was begun during President Bush's terms in office, as a response to his difficulty understanding who exactly they were talking about on Al-Jazeera one day in office. President Obama's actions in continuing this war have received overwhelmingly positive reviews, much like in Libya two months ago, when the President ordered military action to be taken against the country because nobody knows whether its leader's name begins with a "G" or "Q".

While the White House refused to release photos of the victims or anything else that could confirm their deaths of those killed at Abbottabad last week, most Americans agreed that as long as they didn't have to encounter them working at their local gas stations or convenience stores, that would be proof enough.

Outside the dinner, the Tea Party held a rally to protest President Obama's policies in the War on Funny Names, saying that he did not go far enough. "We need monosi.. - monasum... - names that only have one syllable", said Jenny Beth Martin, leader of the Tea Party Patriots group. "Just like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and the rest of our Founding Fathers intended." However, this has had the opposite political effect, since their policy has caused suspicion on their own ranks whose names they weren't intelligent enough to pronounce, and led to the mass "elimination" of many of their members, causing their ranks to thin and draining their power as a political force.

"This is definitely a winner for President Obama", Charlie Cook, author of The Cook Report writes, in his latest article "2012: It's Obama's To Lose Now". "After the firestorm caused by criticism of President Obama being aired at the Daily Kos website a few weeks back, the president really needed to kill some people with funny names to boost his numbers. It just gives the American public that feeling that, not only are we as good as people who think differently or speak differently than us, we can totally kick their ass."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) held a press conference immediately after last night's dinner. "Why would anyone take a name that has a hyphen in the middle of their last name? It just makes everyone more suspicious. One of my constituents wrote to me, 'Are these people trying to insult my intelligence? Because if they are, I don't get it.' All this woman wanted to do, she said, was get back to her NCIS: Miami reruns and not have to think about this anymore. And hopefully, this past raid in Pakistan has gone a little way towards making this woman's dream come true."

The War on Funny Names is expected to take a prominent position in this month's debt ceiling negotiations, with the Republicans insisting that they must eliminate people who names exceed a certain number of q's, vowels, or rolling r's before voting to increase the ceiling. "It's necessary for our economy," said House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) in an exclusive, tear-filled interview on ABC's "20/20". "And if we don't get these provisions, the only way for people to get the necessary education they need to pronounce these terrorist names is to cut taxes for our wealthiest and productive citizens."

As an expected precaution, a No-Diary Zone has been set up at the Daily Kos website in order to take "all actions necessary" to prevent diaries that criticize the President's actions, according to the text of UN Resolution 1974. Markos Moulitsas, founder of the Daily Kos website, was filing paperwork for an emergency name change petition and could not be reached for comment.

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(1) It's one of the few things we've done over the last ten years that will actually decrease al Qaeda recruitment. The whole idea that Osama was invincible and too strong for anyone to take down has just been shattered. There's no quicker way to break up a cult than to destroy its figurehead.

(2) This could give President Obama an excuse to come up with a quicker exit strategy from Afghanistan. I'm not optimistic on this one, especially considering Secretary Clinton's remarks this morning, but still, the opportunity is there if Obama wants it.

(3) No rational person can now claim that Obama is some sort of Muslim sympathizer or secret agent of Islam.

(4) This greatly improves Obama's 2012 election chances against anyone the Republicans nominate, which means much greater progress towards progressive goals after 2012 than if the other guy/gal won.

(5) We've just exposed once and for all that Pakistan is no ally of ours. This means that we can expect that the aid we send over there for them to "assist" us in the War on Terror will be greatly reduced/eliminated. And that's more money in the budget for priorities that really matter, like health care and unemployment funding.

(6) Hell is freezing over! Even The Donald was forced to say nice things about President Obama. Enjoy the warm sunshine of bipartisanness for the few hours that it lasts.

(7) We've given the families of 9/11 victims some small sense of closure.

(8) We've shown that this messed-up war was at least for something. This may just give some folks out there who are disillusioned about our government some renewed hope in it. And optimism is never a bad thing.

(9) We have removed the most effective figure to speak for al Qaeda and radical Wahhabi Islam. As the Arab Spring continues to blossom, the chance that groups like the Muslim Brotherhood will be able to co-op such movements has therefore been reduced.

(10) We've totally ruined Jerome Corsi's next book, "Where's Osama bin Laden?"


WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - President Barack Obama, ahead of his multiple television interviews he has scheduled for tomorrow to discuss the diary "Ezra Klein Calls President Obama A Moderate Republican" written by slinkerwink on the Daily Kos website, has issued a statement strongly condemning the diary.

"Let me be clear: this type of rhetoric has no place on a Democratic website," the statement reads. "It is despicable and personally hurtful. Despite the fact that there were no actual insults in the diary, its critical tone has done grave damage to the moral fabric of our politics. As such, we will use all necessary means to stop publication of further diaries by slinkerwink."

The statement came on the heels of the massive political fallout from the diary's publication this afternoon. Gas prices skyrocketed and markets plunged over uncertainties surrounding slinkerwink's future diary recommendations. A poll just released by Gallup showed President Obama's approval rating dipping from 48% earlier this morning to just 29% after the diary was published. A series of rebuttal diaries by blue aardvark and Upper West did mitigate the effects somewhat, causing nationwide approval to rise back up to 38%. "They are true American patriots," Vice President Joe Biden said in impromptu remarks at the National Press Club. "If they don't want to pay their taxes this year, we're cool with that."

But clearly, the damage had been done.

"This is a huge, huge unforced error," said Larry Sabato, political scientist at the University of Virginia. "Historically, voters do not take kindly to diaries that have the word 'BREAKING' in them, and they also do not take to diaries that are in any way critical of the president. Anything that is less than unyielding loyalty to the president makes them question the direction of his policies and leads to unmitigated political damage."

Charie Cook, author of the Cook Report, agrees. His latest article, titled "2012: It's Trump's To Lose Now", states "This couldn't have come at a worse time for Obama. With the election only eighteen months away, and fresh off of the heels of the 'Obama wants to end Social Security' diary fiasco, we have slinkerwink calling the president a moderate Republican. Sure, she didn't say it in as many words, but was there any doubt what she was really thinking? The country quite clearly doesn't." (Cook goes by the name "hotpants183" on the Daily Kos website).

Republicans were quick to jump on the controversy, with Speaker John Boehner (user name: "orangerulz") calling slinkerwink "the voice of the Tea Party," and adding "she has articulated in a few paragraphs what was on the heart of every American: the only way to solve this country's problems is to cut taxes for our wealthiest and most productive citizens."

After the diary's publication, an emergency meeting of the president's National Security Council in the Situation Room was called to determine whether slinkerwink would be tried in a civilian court or a military tribunal, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling for "the Manning treatment". Eyewitness reports that Obama was silently weeping and rocking in his chair during the meeting were not confirmed.

"This is outrageous," said Charles "Bud" Wheeler, an auto parts store manager in Harrisburg, PA. "I thought slinkerwink was change I could believe in. Guess the Democrats are all still just bickering children who can't be trusted to make decisions for our country. Didn't they learn their lesson from the Obama-Clinton primary meta-wars?"

"There's so many questions that the American people have that are still unanswered," said dentist Orly Taitz, who leads a group called the "slinkers", who insist that the diary was not published by slinkerwink and who runs the website "Why was there a twelve second gap between the publication of the diary and its tip jar? How was the title of her diary 'magically' changed after an error was pointed out in it? And who are these people who keep adding recs to all of her comments, and what is their connection with Al-Qaeda?" Ms. Taitz currently has twenty two lawsuits filed in district courts around the country related to this matter.

Markos Moulitsas, the founder of Daily Kos, was busy receiving marching orders from Generalissimo George Soros and could not be reached for comment.


Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 11:36 AM PST

POLL: Which side are you on?

by CaptUnderpants

I've come back to reading the site these past few days, and I was curious as to the lay of the land now. We seem to go through all kinds of vicious cycles here, dating back to the Dean wars, and we seem to be in the middle of a fierce one now. So, please respond to my poll below, and we can all get a better idea as to who we are. Thanks!

(If you'd like to rec this so that we get a broader response, I'd appreciate that too.)


Which statement comes closest to your opinion of DKos?

47%107 votes
52%119 votes

| 226 votes | Vote | Results


Just received this tweet over the Interwebs:

@JeffreyYoung_HC Dems will not use "deem and pass," Pelosi told members, according to Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY).


Is dropping deem and pass a good idea?

74%278 votes
12%47 votes
12%46 votes

| 372 votes | Vote | Results

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As a diversion from the intense health care reform, would any Kossacks care to follow your president's lead and make some college basketball picks? If so, step right up and join my league!

Address: http://tournament.fantasysports.yaho...
Password: winthrop

Winner gets free universal health care! Second prize will have to settle for punching Joe Lieberman in the mouth.

Good luck!


As if we needed to have more reason to doubt the White House today:

When it comes to progressive priorities in the Senate, there's one standard: 60 votes are needed. But for Ben Bernanke, there's a second standard: 50 will be just fine, thank you.

Democratic leaders in the Senate are asking colleagues who are reluctant to support Bernanke's nomination for a second term as Federal Reserve chairman to nevertheless vote with them to end a filibuster and allow a vote on the actual nomination. The reluctant members would then be free to vote no to express their displeasure. Several Democrats have committed to just that and others are considering it.

The public health insurance option was stripped from health care reform because it didn't have 60 votes. An expansion of Medicare took its place but it, too, was dropped for having fewer than 60. Both proposals had at least 50 votes. Dawn Johnsen, a nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel, has the backing of progressive organizations, but a 60-vote threshold has held her up for a year.


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I'm curious as to what the pulse of Daily Kos is with regards to the Liebermanized HCR bill coming out of the Senate. If you had a vote in the Senate, would you vote for this bill?


If you had a vote in the Senate, would you vote for this bill?

43%78 votes
51%93 votes
5%9 votes

| 180 votes | Vote | Results

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