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There was certainly a lot to hate about the abrupt capitulation by Harry Reid on the filibuster reform. Apparently, all the hot air he spouted about the system being "broken" was just to "pressure" McConnell to come to a "gentlemen's agreement."

More on his twisted reasoning below. But, there was something very interesting in all this:

“The only way we’ll get rid of the filibuster is if it continues to be abused,” he said. “Hopefully, what we’ll do here will stop some of the abuse, but what will happen if the minority continues to abuse the rules is we won’t get rid of the filibuster, but we’ll go to something like what [Sen. Tom] Harkin has pushed, where one vote is at 57, and then another vote is at 55.”
Since it's certain that it will "continue to be abused" this sets the future frame of debate for 2015.
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I was forcefully struck by the readership response to the following Oakland Tribune Editorial praising the police:

Oakland Tribune editorial: Oakland police did good job in removing a public health hazard

The Editorial is a typically familiar corporatist style bleat about how wonderfully "restrained" the police were and how great the Mayor was in cracking down on the protestors. Examples of this disgusting swill below the fold. But, what struck me forcefully is how angry and hostile the rejection of this nonsense was in the readers comments.

A typical example:

"This is called Propaganda ! This is what mainstream corporate media do when they're confronted with a movement that threatens the status quo. The oakland tribune is little more than a mouthpiece for a media that speaks for goldman sachs and bank of America, and ignores the people they actually are supposed to serve. SHAME ON YOU !!!

It just serves to prove that they are decidedly NOT winning the propaganda war over this. Outrage and determination continue to build.

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Tonight in his nationally televised address President Obama called for "modest adjustments  [read brutal cuts] "so that Medicare is still there for future generations." [presumably because Republicans being having achieved "modest adjustments" to Medicare through their blackmail campaign will just leave it alone in future?]

And in exchange for these "modest adjustments" he said:

"Finally, let’s ask the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to give up some of their tax breaks and special deductions.

"This balanced approach asks everyone to give a little without requiring anyone to sacrifice too much. It would reduce the deficit by around $4 trillion and put us on a path to pay down our debt. And the cuts wouldn’t happen so abruptly that they’d be a drag on our economy, or prevent us from helping small business and middle-class families get back on their feet right now."

Will it be OK if Grandma has to pay more for medicine whether she can afford to or not, if only some billionaire has to forgo a deduction for his corporate jet?

We can all line up and breath a sigh of relief that "at least we got something?"

Why this pathetic groveling for a fig leaf? Are we supposed to be please with that?

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An angry Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "confronted White House budget director Jack Lew during a Thursday afternoon meeting about secret talks on a deficit-reduction deal between the president and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)."

Reid and other Democrats warned the administration officials in the meeting that they might not support a deal between Obama and Boehner if kept out of the loop.

In an extraordinary admission:

“It was a heated session,” said a senior Democratic senator who attended the lunch. “There’s a basic lack of trust with the president.” The lawmaker said the lack of trust stems from what they suspect are secret negotiations taking place between Obama and Boehner, without the input of Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.).

Lew was somewhat evasive in his answer, leading some Democrats to conclude that Obama is conducting backchannel talks with Boehner.
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We've had some debate about WHY the Senate Democrats failed ONCE AGAIN to gain a 50 vote majority (with Joe Biden) for filibuster reform -- even MINOR filibuster reform!

The Quiet Death of Filibuster Reform

It won't be official until a Senate Democratic Caucus meeting this afternoon, but it's abundantly clear that the hopes raised during the inter-session break of Democrats lining up behind a package of serious filibuster reforms have been dashed.

Aside from the fact that there are less than 50 Democratic votes for major changes in the threshold for cutting off debate, there aren't 50 Democratic votes for the proposition that a simple majority can set the rules for the Senate in each Congress, which was the premise of this whole "reform" exercise.

In this diary I argue that given political realities this is a GOOD thing and the best possible outcome we could have expected from the ongoing fiasco!

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I came across this statement by a Tea-bagger and it seemed worth quoting because it sums up everything in a small nutshell (Pun-intended).

The context is that Congressional Republican leaders are having trouble with the newly elected Tea-baggers. They can all agree on "repeal Obamacare." But, what should they replace it with? Senior Republican leaders want to simultaneously introduce a new bill which both repeals the HCR Act AND introduces a NEW bill to replace it (presumably with glib sounding crap) But, newly elected Tea-baggers are balking at replacing it with anything! Check out the rationale:

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Given the massive "white backlash" against immigration that led to the deeply racist Arizona bill, amid a barrage of efforts by Tea-baggers to enact similar legislation in a host of states in the coming years, this is a story that desperately needs to be broadcast on all the major media, but it flatly contradicts widely held beliefs that "everybody just knows" so so you're unlikely to have ever heard of it at all.

CU professor finds controversial link between reduced crime and rise in immigration.

Contrary to popular perception, [University of Colorado at Boulder Sociology Professor] Wadsworth found that the growth in the new immigrant population was responsible, on average, for 9.3 percent of the decline in homicide rates, and that growth in total immigration led, on average, to a 22.2 percent decrease in robbery rates. He controlled for other variables in the study, such as changes in employment, poverty, divorce, age distribution and other factors that often influence crime patterns.


Have You Heard Of This Research Before?

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I was struck by something in this article in Politico describing the typical GOP reaction to the outrageous KKK like conduct of the Tea-bagger protesters to the passage of HCR.

"[shouting 'nigger'] at civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), spit[ting] on Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) and hurl[ing] an anti-gay insult at Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)."

But Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) said that the outbursts were "a reflection of widespread passion and anger that exists throughout the country." And while he said that such behavior "is never helpful," he also suggested that much of the anger stems from the feeling — amplified exponentially by the passage of health care reform — that the country is slipping out of his party’s hands.

Is America really "slipping out of their hands" and what does this mean?

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You have to have some respect for the insane warriors of the Right. You really do. They just called Lindsey Graham Rep. South Carolina out for being INSUFFICIENTLY Conservative. As if he could move any further to the right without falling off the flat biblical earth!

And instead of just shrugging my shoulders at another example of right-wing madness, after reading this article in ThinkProgress, it made me think. When the hell are we going to get OUR Congressmen to FEAR us, the way Graham has to fear a group of 100 lunatics with signs that read: "Unconstitutional Anti-Christ Socialist Federal Deficit Spending Programs?"

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On a day when Obama begins the rollbackof Bush era suppression of science, it's worth remembering WHY we need a National Science Day. August 11, 1999, the day the Kansas School Board elevated "scientific creationism" to be taught in Kansas Schools.  A satiric look back:

"On August 11, 1999, the Kansas Board of Education rejected evolution as a
scientific principle -- a precedent that, for Marduk's sake, other states will hopefully follow.

The 10-member board, ignoring pleas by elitist educators and faithless scientists, voted six to four to embrace new standards for science curricula that eliminate evolution as an underlying principle of biology and other sciences.

"However, only a fool would believe in evolution, and I welcome the decision handed down by the Kansas Board of Education," said Scott Hill a farmer, board member and Babylonian priest who helped write the new standards. "It's a step forward. We're going to improve rather than detract from science education in Kansas. Children will learn of the great cockle-shell that created our magnificent world!"

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Part I: As The Worm Turns. . .Violent Talk In the McCain Bunker. . ."There's Going To Be a Bloodbath. A lot of people are going to be excommunicated." . . .Theocons At the End of Days!

You've seen all the stories over the last week. As Captain McCain, lashed to the the Great White Whale: Bush, sinks into the abyss, Republicans being drawing their knives and looking around for whom to blame:

Palin A "Whack Job," Top McCain Adviser Says

Blame game: GOP forms circular firing squad

"There's going to be a bloodbath. . . .The litmus test will be: where did you stand on Palin?"

There are three factions in the Republican party. The Theocons, the Neocons and the Economic conservatives. Bush managed to cobble them together into the last gasp of the Reagan coalition. Now in defeat, they're at each other's throats. What does the future hold for the Republican party?


Will Republicans Fall Apart Or Pull Together Over The Next Two Years?

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A recent article from the NYT shows how the McCain sock-puppet is hand-operated:

"McCain's other adviser was 53-year-old Mark Salter, a brilliant, pugnacious writer who has composed all of McCain’s books and major speeches and in a more encompassing sense is McCain’s definer, looking after what Salter himself calls the "metanarrative" of McCain’s transformation from a reckless flyboy and P.O.W. to a courageous patriot."

This article has been mentioned before, but the implications of it are still interesting. You have to wonder, is there really anything really real about McCain other than his infamous temper, his self-righteousness, his contempt for other people who disagree with him, and his infinite sense of entitlement?

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