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President Obama went to dinner last night with a bunch of Democratic Senators and revived his horrible plan to cut Social Security. On the menu was pavé of halibut and bullshit.

Senate Democrats discussed a proposal to use a new formula to calculate Social Security benefits at a two-hour dinner with President Obama at the Jefferson Hotel Wednesday evening...The lawmaker said Obama discussed his controversial proposal to use the chained consumer price index to calculate cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security benefits but the issue did not dominate the conversation. - The Hill, 4/17/13
This is what the President does after gun control got defeated in the Senate? He revives cutting Social Security? I don't know what to say. Törnqvist schmörnqvist? I want things to be better for retirees and the disabled, not worse. Can somebody send me to chef school so I find out what heck pavé is? Or you can sign my petition to ask the White House to use CPI-E.
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Pavé is...

20%3 votes
26%4 votes
26%4 votes
13%2 votes
13%2 votes

| 15 votes | Vote | Results

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I came of age in the time of the Grand Bargain!

Millennial childrens can scarcely imagine how grand and bargainy it was in the 1980s. We were such uncompromising compromisers! Chrysler built the K-car which combined the style of Frank Sinatra with the grace of John Deere. George Steinbrenner combined the hiring of Billy Martin with the firing of Billy Martin...three times! Warner Communications combined the music with the television. The Reagan administration combined the secret sale of arms to Iran with the secret funding of right wing guerrillas in Central America with the lying about it to Congress. Are you nostalgic yet? There was something in the air during this time. Call it dreamagination. Call it lead. In the eighties, our bold leaders were able to remake the world into a new, different, often less good world.

So what does this have to do with Grand Bargains? Join me below and I'll tell ya!

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If Palin is McCain's VP pick this should be part of the discussion.

Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- TransCanada Corp., the nation's largest pipeline company, won approval from Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to build a $27 billion pipeline to carry natural gas from the Arctic to U.S. markets.

Palin on Aug. 27 signed a bill authorizing the state to award Calgary-based TransCanada a license to build the 1,715- mile (2,744-kilometer) link from Prudhoe Bay to the Alberta Hub in Canada, according to a statement. The license will be granted in 90 days.

That's great news. For Canada. Why did Gov. Palin choose a Canadian company for a $26 billion dollar infrastructure project? More on the flip...

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I'm tired of these through-the-looking-glass argument from the Clintons. It's the second time on a national stage that I've been told the equivalent of "who are you going to believe, me or your lyin' eyes?" and I don't like it one bit. Rather than rant and throw shoes at the TV I'm just going to ask...

If caucuses don't matter why on earth did the Senator from New York spend 74 days in Iowa since the 2004 election and never once make this argument in front of Iowans?

All of Hillary Clinton's Iowa visits are chronicled by the excellent GWU Democracy in Action project. 74 days in Iowa and never does Hillary Clinton argue that caucuses shouldn't count and now she can't say it enough. What does that record say about Sen. Clinton's character? 74 days, not a peep.

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When Harry Truman left office in 1953 his sole income was his Army pension of $112.56 per month. To make money Truman wrote a memoir, sold off some family farm property and would have been content to live out his days in Independence, Missouri on the proceeds of these transactions and his army check. Congress, perhaps a bit embarrassed by his austerity, passed the  Former Presidents Act in 1958 providing past presidents (at this point just Truman and Hoover) a pension of $25,000 per year.

In a recent C-Span feature on presidential librararies Brian Lamb aired an interesting clip of former President Truman speaking about the post-presidency and profit. Transcript of Truman video below.

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BREAKING NEWS! (more from AFP, BBC, and McClatchy)

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's military said on Friday it had launched a cross-border land offensive backed by fighter jets into northern Iraq on Thursday evening to hunt down Kurdish PKK guerrillas.

Turkish television reported, without citing sources, that 10,000 troops had entered Iraqi territory. NTV said troops had moved 10 km (6 miles) inside Iraq.

"The Turkish Armed Forces, which attach great importance to Iraq's territorial integrity and stability, will return home in the shortest time possible after its goals have been achieved," the General Staff said in a statement posted on its Web site.

The military's General Staff said the cross-border offensive was launched at 7 p.m. (12:00 p.m. EST) on Thursday.

A senior U.S. official said the land incursion was "not the greatest news".

Use this as an Open Turkey/Iraq thread. Any thoughts?

Discuss

On frames...

For 99% of America 'frames' involve either bowling and pictures of your kids.

'Framing' is something carpenters do when building a new house.

Stipulating that I think George Lakoff is preaching "Liberal Propaganda for Dummies", there is no bigger GOP-"frame" than saying Democrats are "Kumbaya" singers.

Time.com, 10/22/06 (10 days before the election):

Example: the Republican ad deemed "too hot" for TV--a spoof depicting a clownish Madeleine Albright singing Kumbaya with Islamic terrorists--that was "obtained" by the Drudge Report and shown via YouTube.

This is a rant...

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Favorite fighting style...

57%8 votes
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Sen. Chris Dodd's recent success in blocking legislation giving retroactive telecom immunity for warrantless surveillance was a real world example of how a detailed working knowledge of the legislative rules and procedures makes a leader more effective. It's not just officials who need to know the process, it's essential for citizens to be well informed as well for our system to work. As Thomas Jefferson said, "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government." I know I'm thankful for all the work the likes of Kagro X, Adam B, Christy Hardin Smith, Jeralyn Merritt, McJoan and Marcy Wheeler do on a regular basis educating people about the process.

Does Sen. Clinton promote understanding of our process when she says people who vote "present" are avoiding tough choices or is she just promoting ignorance of our system of government? No.

More on the flip...

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Is Sen. Clinton misrepresenting the meaning of a "present" vote in her campaign?

76%49 votes
12%8 votes
10%7 votes

| 64 votes | Vote | Results

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Obama crushes Edwards by 13 points in Edwardsville. Give it up Edwards E. McEdwardspants!

In 2004 when both Edwards and Obama were on the ballot in Edwardsville*, IL it was none other than Barack Obama who pulled down 64% of the vote to 51% of the vote for John Edwards**. Using my own polling methodology*** I've determined that even in a place that is named after John Edwards**** people still prefer Barack Obama. How much more evidence do you Edwards Cylons need to before you realize you're backing the wrong horse? Now on to victory Obamatons!

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Best place in America?

7%3 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
7%3 votes
14%6 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
14%6 votes
4%2 votes
36%15 votes
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| 41 votes | Vote | Results

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LA Times, 9/14/07:

BAGHDAD -- ...a new survey suggested that the civilian death toll from the war could be more than 1 million.

The figure from ORB, a British polling agency that has conducted several surveys in Iraq, followed statements this week from the U.S. military defending itself against accusations it was trying to play down Iraqi deaths to make its strategy appear successful. [...]

ORB said it drew its conclusion from responses to the question about those living under one roof: "How many members of your household, if any, have died as a result of the conflict in Iraq since 2003?"

Based on Iraq's estimated number of households -- 4,050,597 -- it said the 1.2 million figure was reasonable.

More on the flip...

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Bush is going to give a speech comparing Iraq to Vietnam. This diary is a reference for the press, to highlight the past mentions of this analogy by the Bush Administration, all mocking the same comparison. The examples below from a Google search of 'Iraq + Vietnam' on whitehouse.gov:

1) Q Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, April is turning into the deadliest month in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad, and some people are comparing Iraq to Vietnam and talking about a quagmire. Polls show that support for your policy is declining and that fewer than half Americans now support it. What does that say to you and how do you answer the Vietnam comparison?

THE PRESIDENT: I think the analogy is false. I also happen to think that analogy sends the wrong message to our troops, and sends the wrong message to the enemy. Look, this is hard work. It's hard to advance freedom in a country that has been strangled by tyranny. And, yet, we must stay the course, because the end result is in our nation's interest.

More on the flip...

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Fri Aug 03, 2007 at 08:54 PM PDT

Fear Itself

by joejoejoe

How did we go from here as a nation...

"This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

...to here?

"It's important for the American people to understand there are cold-blooded killers who want to come to our homeland and wreak havoc through death."

Why does a Democratic Congress identify with the second statement and not the first? Discuss.

Discuss
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