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Purple-eyes twin owls
digby writes The magnificent failure of the grown-up in the room strategy:

A strategy only a villager could love::

The budget deficit is the lowest it has been since President Barack Obama took office, according to a Congressional Budget Office report this week. But don't expect that to matter to the American people.

In fact, the deficit has been falling steadily since 2009. Yet a new HuffPost/YouGov poll shows that Americans still think the deficit is going up and disapprove of Washington politicians accordingly.

It's a painful irony for the jobless, whose livelihoods were sacrificed in the pursuit of deficit reduction over the past several years. Beginning in 2010, the White House shifted its focus from growing the economy to reducing the deficit, hoping to win over swing voters thought to be turned off by too much government spending. As public jobs were slashed and government spending slowed, the economy took the predicted hit. But as the survey shows, there was no political gain that came with the pain.

The administration has since pivoted away from talk of belt tightening and shifted back toward economic growth—which, economists have pointed out all along, is the fastest way to reduce the deficit.

According to the new poll, 54 percent of Americans think the budget deficit has increased since Obama took office in 2009, while only 19 percent know it has decreased. Fourteen percent think it has stayed the same since Obama became president.

Some of us pointed out many, many moons ago that there would be no political payoff for this. By demagoguing the deficit they plant the idea in people's heads that it's the most intractable problem the nation has ever faced and that the only thing we can do to fix it is slash government as far as the eye can see. The real numbers are irrelevant. Cutting the deficit is like the war on terror—it will never end. (And if it does, as happened briefly at the end of the Clinton administration, the Republicans will seize power with their stirring message: tax cuts! It's yer muneee!)

The Democrats had a chance to break this cycle because we were in a depression and citizens were looking to the government for solutions. But all the hemming and hawing about "short-term-stimulus-long-term-deficit-just-like-your-family-budget" nonsense ended up confusing the public and they fell back into their old way of thinking. Of course, attacking "the deficit" was always the Democrats' plan because only then could they "get it off the table" and move on to funding all the neat stuff the public really needs and wants.

How's that working out for us?


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2007The Wages of Bigotry:

When they're trying to get you to vote for that referendum that bans same-sex marriage*, they tell you that it's all about The Sanctity of Marriage, and Protecting Religious Freedom, and that of course it's not about Screwing Over Gay People.  It's not going to disenfranchise anyone, they say—it's about setting some common-sense limits.

Actions have consequences, though, and the people of Michigan are about to realize that their 2004 vote to prohibit same-sex marriage did, in fact, relegate an entire class of citizens to permanent second-class status. Because the Michigan Court of Appeals held today that the gay marriage ban also bans same-sex domestic partner benefits. […]

So even a quasi-autonomous public entity like the University of Michigan is now prohibited from offering some of its top employees domestic partner benefits. Unmarried opposite-sex partners, of course, can continue to enjoy the benefits. But gay employees and their families are SOL, even if they've been receiving family benefits for years. Is that what Michiganders expected when they passed their marriage ban? Who knows. But regardless of what they expected, <>this is what you actually get when you vote for a feel-good "protection of marriage" referendum.  No matter what its purveyors tell you, if you read it closely enough, somewhere buried in the fine print, you'll find the wages of bigotry.  Today, we're reminded that they eventually come due.


Tweet of the Day:

You'd think I'd be a creationist, but these days I prefer to deny any involvement in this fiasco.
@TheTweetOfGod



On today's Kagro in the Morning show,  the Christie saga continues, with former aides taking the 5th and refusing to comply with subpoenas. Greg Dworkin joins us to talk about that, the new Republican threat to the ACA's "risk corridors," and Arkansas Republicans' attempt to boot 85,000 people back off their new-found health care coverage. Next, a little background on the Bridgegate contempt mechanics. A look at the House's super-important floor business for today, the "Sportsmen's Heritage And Recreational Enhancement Act." And Elizabeth Warren backs a new proposal to let the US Postal Service offer basic banking services. 


High Impact Posts. Top Comments.

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Comment Preferences

  •  996,381 registered users on dKos now. (10+ / 0-)

    Here are the 10 newest registered users on dKos.  Hope to see their comments and diaries here soon!  (If they're not spammers.)

    HawkeyeSD
    Ajay786 (user #996,373: spammer)
    claire mills
    crazyrascal
    ltsden
    rhoatuh (user #996,377: foreign spammer)
    cwatgo
    Marco Esquandolas
    kenty nurutami
    pilgrim514


    And since our society is obsessed with numbers that end in a lot of zeros as milestones, here's a special shoutout to users:
    #996,100: joanne classick
    #996,200: bookkeepin (spammer)
    #996,300: 4peacedaybyday

    We've added 328 more users in the last two days.  We're no longer being flooded with all those fake users, though it seems there's been a recent rash of increase in spammers.


    And for your Diary Rescue music pleasure, here's 3 Doors Down's "Kryptonite".

  •  How big of a douchebag... (10+ / 0-)

    do you have to be to mock Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic death simply because he helped provide a voiceover in a commercial for Mayors Against Illegal Guns in the past, as if he’s some kind of hypocrite for not wanting illegal guns flooding the market?  Because that's what a pro-gun page did on Facebook.  It was here, but they've since removed it.  Here's the image they had, though.  In case that disappears too, it reads:

    THINKS THAT A BAN ON GUNS WILL SAVE LIVES

    DIES FROM A HEROIN OVERDOSE

  •  8,000 years and , finally, we've arrived at (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, JeffW, Jeff Y, peptabysmal

    bumper-sticker mentality.

    After 65 years, the ONLY thing I know absolutely and positively about life is that the check is SUPPOSED to be in the mail. That's it. Nothing else. PERIOD.

    by franklyn on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:35:15 PM PST

  •  Tweet of the Day (7+ / 0-)

    Looks like God has Evolved ...

  •  New Jersey bridge scandal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, viral

    Chris Hayes talked about the growing scandals involving Gov. Chris Christie (R) with Heather Haddon and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ).

    Rachel talked with Steve Kornacki about it.

    Lawrence talked with New Jersey state sen. Loretta Weinberg (D), Joy Reid, and Jonathan Chait.

    Ed covered it with Mike Papantonio and New Jersey state assemblyman Louis Greenwald (D).

  •  Aren't the American people just following.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y

    ..the President's lead on the deficit?

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

    by PatriciaVa on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:39:37 PM PST

  •  Remember when kids used to flock (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, PatriciaVa, Jeff Y

    to Hollywood for acting jobs?
    You ought to see the line outside of Faux News in New York.
     

    After 65 years, the ONLY thing I know absolutely and positively about life is that the check is SUPPOSED to be in the mail. That's it. Nothing else. PERIOD.

    by franklyn on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:39:53 PM PST

    •  Fox News Channel gets 90 cents a month from... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Aunt Pat, Jeff Y, peptabysmal, viral

      .every Pay tv subscriber.  90 cents * 90M households * 12 months is 972M dollars a year, just from carriage fees.  Throw in advertising dollars, and that's real money for salaries/benefits.

      Look at Disney.  Over 60% of Disney's market cap is attributable to ESPN.  ESPN gets 5.50 a month from 95M households!!!!

      Disney would be a shell of what it is today had it not bought Cap Cities (which owned ESPN) back in 96.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:54:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obamacare and the CBO report (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, viral

    Chris talked about it with Josh Barro and Georgia state senator Jason Carter (D).

    Lawrence talked about it with Ezra Klein.

    Ed talked with Connie Schultz.

    •  I have a quesion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      If those hours in the CBO report are due to people who will now have affordable healthcare before Medicare at age 65 and therefore start drawing Social Security at age 62, what would make anyone think that with the number of unemployed people out there the companies would have any trouble replacing those retired workers?

      I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

      by Just Bob on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 10:12:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  CBO report link (0+ / 0-)

        http://www.cbo.gov/...

        I think the relevant section is Appendix C, page 127.

        I see my hypothetical was too limited, but I still don't understand their projection. If someone works fewer hours, someone else will work more hours. The hours worked are controlled by the employer, not the employee. If a business requires X number of hours to meet demand they will hire people to work those hours. If someone quits a full time job to work a part time job, the employer will hire someone else to replace the lost worker.

        The only exception that comes to mind would be the self employed, who can control their own hours.

        Am I missing something?

        I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

        by Just Bob on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 11:07:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's another possibility (0+ / 0-)

          Is the CBO saying we'll have a labor shortage and employers will not be able to find people to fill their work schedule?

          I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

          by Just Bob on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 11:21:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Projections (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Just Bob

          Part of the decrease in hours worked apparently comes from the weak economy projected, with just 2.2% growth 2018-2024. And part of that comes in turn from an increase in deficits (after the next 3 years) and ballooning debt.

          The large budget deficits recorded in recent years have substantially increased federal debt, and the amount of debt relative to the size of the economy is now very high by historical standards. CBO estimates that federal debt held by the public will equal 74 percent of GDP at the end of this year and 79 percent in 2024 (the end of the current 10-year projection period). Such large and growing federal debt could have serious negative consequences, including restraining economic growth in the long term, giving policymakers less flexibility to respond to unexpected challenges, and eventually increasing the risk of a fiscal crisis (in which investors would demand high interest rates to buy the government’s debt)...
          By comparison, as recently as the end of 2007, such debt equaled 35 percent of GDP
          http://www.cbo.gov/....
          •  link (0+ / 0-)

            http://www.cbo.gov/...

            All of that is predicated on current law. Cutting $8 billion from SNAP is a direct reduction in WalMart income. I would hope we can fix that, not for WalMart's sake, but for the multiplier effect on the economy. I suspect WalMart will be lobbying for that fix.

            Another consideration is raising the minimum wage. That will increase revenue, increase consumer spending, and, perhaps, reduce the requirement for SNAP.

            As always, elections matter.

            I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

            by Just Bob on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:59:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Environmental issues (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, Jeff Y, viral

    Rachel talked about the West Virginia drinking water with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

    Lawrence touched upon some of this in his rewrite segment about the bad forms of socialism.

    Ed talked about the Keystone XL pipeline with Michael Brune and Susan Casey-Lefkowitz.

    •  On that Ed show Segment, I didn't think that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeff Y

      either Brune nor Casey effectively countered what Ed was saying.

      Ed is sold on KXL on the basis that some of its capacity will be used for shipping Bakken oil, rather than shipping Bakken oil by train to the gulf.  

      That argument gets eroded by pipeline capability and shipments of Bakken crude by other pipelines when you have a national network of pipelines like this:

      http://jblangconsulting.com/...

      I'm pretty sure I've heard of Kinder Morgan proposals for pipelines heading east from the Bakken region.

      As for Bakken oil and the Gulf, there isn't any compelling need to ship Bakken sweet crude to Texas and Louisiana when there are oil production plays in Texas and out in the Gulf.

      The other really annoying thing about Ed's claims is that he wants to paint an 'energy independence' moniker on the KXL pipeline on the basis of a portion of the Bakken Crude being in it when the purposes of the international pipeline border crossing is to ship large proportions of hydrocarbons from Alberta.   This is not energy independence and calling it that is an act of deception under the circumstances since the primary purpose of KXL in tar sands syncrude shipments.

      My verdict is Ed's argument is crap.   Unfortunately, Brune and Casey couldn't finish the fight because they keep promoting this conflation that the purpose of the KXL pipeline is to export oil from the United States.  

      Environmental advocates carrying around the 'KXL pipeline is for export' conflation hurt their own anti-KXL advocacy in an un-forced error in anti-KXL camp.

  •  From NASA (5+ / 0-)

    NASA analysis of MODIS satellite imagery processed to show land temperature anomalies this past January

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/...

     

  •  Other assorted MSNBC clips (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, viral

    Chris talked about the abortion rate falling, and then talked about Bill O'Reilly's "self-reliance" comments in his interview with Obama, with Alex Wagner and Dedrick Muhammad.

    Rachel mentioned the latest on marriage equality in Virginia and Oklahoma.

    Lawrence had on special guest Bill Nye the Science Guy, fresh off his debate with creationist Ken Ham.

    Ed looked at Volkswagen workers in Tennessee trying to form a union with Bob King.

    •  I don't know how Bill Nye does it (10+ / 0-)

      How do you seriously "debate" people who's answer to everything they don't understand in the world is, 'because Jesus'?

       I would have been laughing my ass off.

      “I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they're out there and it really bothers me.” ― Kurt Cobain

      by Jeff Y on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 09:00:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Forced myself to watch it with my one good eye (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LinSea, JeffW

      And Prof. Nye was STERLING in his composure, ability to answer stupid with a straight face and refrained mightily from laughing in Ham's face when an audience question to Ham, "So if you take the Bible as the literal word of God, people are not allowed to touch pigskin and men should have multiple wives right?"  Ham hemmed and hawed and explained all about how there were plenty of Xians who saw it his was etc......and Bill?  He didn't retort with "GET the FUCK out of the OT dude, you're NOT JEWISH!" which is what my son was screaming at the TV.  The aftershow was brill too......3 fat, white guys wondering where atheists derived JOY from the idea of being related to pond scum.  Oh my, NYE/DeGrasse Tyson 2016!

      ~Arianna_Editrix-- I willingly accept Cassandra’s fate, To speak the truth, altho’ believ’d too late

      by Arianna Editrix on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 10:54:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Farm Bill passed... (15+ / 0-)

    Listen to The After Show & The Justice Department on Netroots Radio. Join us on The Porch Tue & Fri at Black Kos, all are welcome!

    by justiceputnam on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:45:52 PM PST

  •  I can't believe that some of us (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PatriciaVa, Pluto, RainyDay, viral, cybrestrike

    were claiming that Obama was some kind of political genius 5 years ago. My how things have changed. I'm not saying that he's a idiot, but to have actually believed that deficit reduction during a depression was smart politically let alone economically surely puts one's practical intelligence in question.

    Yeah, he's got this covered. What moron came up with that?

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:45:59 PM PST

    •  President's a much better campaigner than... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, Willinois, LinSea

      ...administrator.

      That said, President Obama's a much better President than HRC would ever have been.

      Let's not forget that HRC recommended to President Obama that the US engage in a war against Syria.

      And while I disagree with President Obama's stance on the deficit, HRC would have enacted a REGRESSIVE national sales tax, which would have doomed the US to economic mediocrity.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:58:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think Obama has done a good job with what (5+ / 0-)

      he's had to work with.

      Republicans decided they were going to oppose everything, and I mean everything, that he wanted to do before he was even inaugurated.

      In the real world, Republicans would have been steamrolled for doing crazy shit like that, but we don't live in a real world anymore. We live in a world where the Right Wing Noise Machine is so powerful that they're able to define in the Corporate Media everything they do as 'patriotic', and everything Democrats (including presidents) do as 'traitorous'.

      “I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they're out there and it really bothers me.” ― Kurt Cobain

      by Jeff Y on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 09:29:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They even made the Ed Show say that the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jeff Y, peptabysmal, cybrestrike

        KXL Pipeline was about U.S. energy independence.  

        Alleged liberal Ed on MSNBC is practicing 1984 ministry of truth methods.

        •  You can't be a genuine progressive (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          viral, cybrestrike

          and a partisan Dem. Not these days. There are progressive things that the party does, but it's not an especially progressive party these days. You can be a progressive and align yourself with it on various issues, but to toe the party line is to not be a progressive. Too many people make the wrong choice there.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 09:42:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Who forced him to focus on deficit reduction (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cybrestrike

        and what was the payoff there? HE chose to do that.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 09:40:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No one did (0+ / 0-)

          And there was no payoff.

          But the Corporate Media (spurred on by the Right Wing Noise Machine) convinced a large majority of the American public that the deficit was and is, a huge problem.

          “I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they're out there and it really bothers me.” ― Kurt Cobain

          by Jeff Y on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 10:02:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  He got suckered by the Repubs. (0+ / 0-)
        •  By raising taxes on the rich. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jeff Simpson, LinSea, JeffW

          I don't understand why it's so quickly forgotten that Obama's main method of cutting the deficit was raising taxes on the rich. He was using Republican goals against them to argue for making the tax code more progressive.

          What if Obama had gotten the policy he actually asked for in 2010? A second jobs/stimulus bill plus tax increases on the wealthy and closing corporate tax loopholes. We'd probably have less income inequality and a better economy.

          Honestly, I don't get why the netroots still fall for this game of blaming Obama for everything the Republican Congress forces by government shutdown, threatened default and other acts of sabotage. The GOP strategy is to obstruct and count on people being dumb enough to give Obama all the blame.

  •  Every time I get upset about how bad (6+ / 0-)

    Illinois' Democratic party is, I remember how much of a joke the Illinois Republican party is and it makes me laugh.

    Illinois GOP Gov. Candidate Took Strapping Male Staffer on World Tour:

    The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford, an unmarried 58-year-old and Republican candidate for governor, took an unprecedented number of international trips with his 28-year-old assistant, Joshua Lanning. Both men, pictured above in Israel, drew taxpayer-funded salaries during their overseas adventures. Now Rutherford is facing sexual harassment charges from a mystery (and male) staffer.

    Most of Rutherford’s overseas trips were paid for by third parties. But one of his aides bragged to the Sun-Times that, in order to save on travel expenses on domestic trips to New York and Washington, the treasurer’s office often booked Rutherford and Lanning to a single hotel suite. When the men were sleeping in the same room, at least Illinois taxpayers were getting their money’s worth.

    No other staffers accompanied Rutherford on these trips, which totaled 32 days and included jaunts to China and South Korea. (The previous treasurer, who served three terms, told the Sun-Times that she never left the country for official state business.)

    http://gawker.com/...

    “I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they're out there and it really bothers me.” ― Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:48:08 PM PST

  •  The buck stops here done well. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, Pluto, Jeff Y, Ender

    Punxsutawney Phil has been unfriended.

    by jwinIL14 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:54:45 PM PST

  •  zXC (7+ / 0-)
    You'd think I'd be a creationist, but these days I prefer to deny any involvement in this fiasco.

    @TheTweetOfGod
    Yeah, god.

    Thanks a lot.


    “The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.” ― Eric Schmidt

    by Pluto on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:59:44 PM PST

  •  The Magnificent Success of the Grownup Strategy. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady, Jeff Y

    The grownups are about restoring society to its rightful Nobles owners.

    Our Enlightenment system was a century out of date when it was penned using dinosaur feathers dipped in ink. In our Framers' backward America the people and the economy were the same thing, unlike the rest of the developed world. Their system was perfectly ignorant of a hundred prior years of contradictory experience, their system perfectly unarmed against the threats of same.

    Given almost any least advantage, the rich under our system can capsize the ship of state in their favor, as they have done in no small part by being the grownups in a room the smartest men in western history designed with the thinking of infants.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 09:01:22 PM PST

    •  When we're kids all we want to do (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Jeff Y

      is be grownups who are allowed to do all the things that grownups don't allow kids to do. I'm not sure that grownups can be trusted to run things.

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 09:32:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Letterman tonight :) (9+ / 0-)

    Things Pres Obama should have said to Bill-O during the Super Bowl 'interview':

    "It's 4:30 PM, are your viewers still awake?"

    “I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they're out there and it really bothers me.” ― Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 09:03:21 PM PST

  •  deficit narrowed; DEBT expanded (7+ / 0-)

    Actually, I would wager than close to 90% of Americans conflate national debt with the deficit.  The accumulation of deficits give rise to the national debt.  Therefore, if the Federal Government still runs a deficit, the national debt still grows.  

    In business terms, we're not losing as much money as before, BUT, we are still losing money, 'adding' to the accumulated deficit (what is known as negative retained earnings).

    So, not surprised at the survey results.

  •  i did not expect this. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, JeffW, cybrestrike, LinSea

    TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes? -- Addington's Perpwalk.

    by greenbird on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 09:27:32 PM PST

  •  Good night. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea

    Tonight's diary:  Redefining Realness

  •  Keith Olbermann totally savaged (10+ / 0-)

    the Sochi Olympics tonight:

    He's been pretty much criticizing them for much of the last month, from Putin getting a frequent "Worst Person In Sports Award", first for the twin toilets (which give a new spin to the term biathlon) then for the arrest of an environmental dissident for "swearing" in a bus station where he was never present, then Ralph Lauren for the horrendous USA uniforms (which are unsafe to wear anywhere outside the Olympic Village). (The Norwegian curling team also got a nod for their uniforms as well.) He has also addressed the issue of human rights violations against LGBT Russians.

    But tonight, he outdid himself. Methinks he's probably very happy not to be working on an NBC affiliated network. From disasters with housing to unsafe water in at least one hotel to no rooms ready in another all the way to stray dogs being killed by a pest control company, he sums it up as follows:

    "If you are now ready to start a boycott of the Olympics, please put my name at the top of the petition."

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 10:21:12 PM PST

    •  Whoa! Those Norwegian uniforms (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, viral, Cali Scribe

      could cause seizures!

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 10:35:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They are actually very cunningly designed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cali Scribe

      The Norwegian uniforms that is.  Ralph Lauren is on crack with his bulky sweater thingy.  But, the Norse strategy will pay off.  Imagine trying to hit colored stones on white ice with those pixelated rickracked random stripes as a background to your target!  Now you're as blind as I am! lol

      ~Arianna_Editrix-- I willingly accept Cassandra’s fate, To speak the truth, altho’ believ’d too late

      by Arianna Editrix on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 11:00:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't mind that American athletes are competing. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cali Scribe, LinSea

      There's no feasible way the US could have withdrawn anyway, after the long-lived bitterness in the wake of 1980.  President Obama did the right thing by not making that declaration.

      However, I've felt from the start that I simply should skip watching the Olympics this year.  I'll miss viewing ice skating, and I am the odd-duck American who enjoys curling, but I do not need to give my tacit approval to this spectacle.

      Good luck to all the participants.  May the most skilled win.

      •  We've got a bit of a mutiny here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW

        I'm feeling the same way as you -- but Mr. Scribe wants to watch at least the opening and closing ceremonies, plus the ice hockey (we're NHL fans and there are rumors this is the last year NHL players will be active in the Games because the league doesn't like the disruption in the schedule). I'll probably just spend more time on the computer with the headphones on while he watches.

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:12:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I sensed the "grownup n the room" strategy failing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, viral, LinSea

    miserably when I watch Bernie Sanders and Michele Bachman on some show recently.  I took heat for commenting that when "excuse me" doesn't get you heard after twenty or thirty tries, it might make sense to try a different tactic.  

    Now, I think Sanders is a gem and Bachman is a piece of shit when it comes to who I want making laws.  But the response to my comment was so fuckin' "oh-my-god you criticized a democrat, how DARE you" that I thought I was on a tea-party page for a moment.

    Sometimes "excuse me" is not the way to go, especially when it means the likes of Michele Bachman gets to hammer away on her points while yours go unexpressed.

    If I have any spit left after I've licked my own wounds, I'll be glad to consider licking yours. Peace.

    by nancyjones on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 10:34:51 PM PST

  •  Word Salad (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    viral, Cali Scribe

    "..Americans still think the deficit is going up.."
    I think people confuse the 'deficit' with the 'national debt.'  The latter IS going up, whereas the rate of increase in the annual federal budget deficit is dropping.  

  •  the fact that most don't know the deficit has gone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea

    down just speaks to how poorly our side, or at least those who are purportedly on our side, speak to this (non-) issue. Why is that? I think it just undescores the fact that most Dems are neoliberals, unfortunately, and Obama is one of them. Deficit spending is a powerful tool of government - it's not merely an indicator of how well or poorly government is performing. We should be spending - and taxing those who can afford it - more, not less. This is the point that needs to be hammered into the media.

  •  Loved the Colbert interview with (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    delver rootnose, JeffW

    Pussy Riot.
    "We don't want to be lead by shirtless man on horse."

    When they put it that way it reminds me of Bush.

  •  Trade defict then = lost jobs and lower wages.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbsoul, LinSea, JeffW

    ..make that the story and dump the budget deficit wpending talk completely.

    US workers competing with workers whose employers don't have to pay for or consider pollution or job safety issues etc.

    If the Dem legislators feel that they got powned by the GOP on messaging with the word "deficit" pounded into peoples brains to the point where Dems must first deal with the budget "deficit" and spending and blah blah blah (which is a BS meme - along with the credit card comparison) then talk about JOBS and the deficit in trade

    We don't have a budget deficit, we have a jobs deficit caused by a trade deficit
    Jobs and the trade deficit. And lose the TPP talk.
    By demagoguing the deficit they plant the idea in people's heads that it's the most intractable problem the nation has ever faced and that the only thing we can do to fix it is slash government as far as the eye can see.
    I heard Steelworker Labor Leader Leo W. Gerard explain recently that NAFTA cost 100's of thousands of jobs over the years, possibly millions if you take into account all of the factories that weren't built here in the US added to the many thousands that have been closed down due to off-shoring.

    Trade deficit. Correct that.

    Admit that the TPP is a mistake that would worsen the job market in America if it is anything like NAFTA (which, if they opened the books and included labor organizations into the negotiations on what is actually being proposed, would help us to determine if it would bring some much needed balance into between countries - start there first - imo)

    Trade deficit - that is the deficit that matters today - imo too

    Make that the "intractable problem" because it is. unlike the budget deficit BS story:

    Digby
    "Quick, let's make a deal (before the deficit goes away on it's own.)

    Thx MB
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Wow, True story. I read tonight's article, but missed that the first article was written by Digby, but was reminded of her earlier work on this - calling out the foolishness of the whole deficit thing

    Ii wasn't until I was putting in the last link that I realized it was Digby :)

  •  Human Rights | A Reason to Attend the Moral March (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea

    on Raleigh, NC- YouTube

    Short video of speech by Caitlin Breedlove who works with an LGBT organization in the South.

    http://m.youtube.com/...

    The Moral March on Raleigh, NC will be this Saturday, February 8th.

  •  Make your own conclusions (0+ / 0-)

    US debt held by the Federal Reserve since 1940

    http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/...

  •  I just wish people.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eeff

    ..would learn the difference between the annual budget deficit and the total national debt.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:28:59 AM PST

  •  Republicans don't care about the deficit (0+ / 0-)
  •  If the apparent success of Republican distortions, (0+ / 0-)

    misrepresentations and buzzword tactics (coupled with six years of obstruction and nothing else!) is disturbing, think what it says about the intelligence, insight and comprehension of the average American.

    Originating in that pool, being a 'grown-up' ain't sayin' much.

    While the Dems have their share of failures, concessions and 'primary fear', anyone who'll even consider voting for a Republican should have his/her head examined.

    ... except those who are openly and defiantly proud of their masochism.

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