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Ross Douthat says liberals should love Hobby Lobby... Maureen Dowd says America needs some of that hopey stuff... Jacob Heilbrunn says Neocons are learning to love Hillary... Fred Pearce shows that climate change can be beaten on the cheap... But first...

Dana Milbank explains why losing the Senate could be a good thing.

The walls seem to be closing in on the Obama presidency.

Iraq and Syria are overrun with terrorists. Violence is flaring in Ukraine and on Israel’s borders. A humanitarian crisis is developing on our own southern border, but immigration legislation, like most all legislation, is moribund. Probes of the veterans’ health-care system, the IRS and Benghazi are sucking up attention and the administration’s time.

As President Obama fails to get any credit for the millions who have found jobs or gained health-care coverage on his watch, a nonpartisan Quinnipiac poll this week found that 33 percent of Americans consider him to be the worst president since World War II, besting (or worsting, as it were) George W. Bush and leaving Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon in the dust.

...  The prevailing view is that a Republican Senate would only compound Obama’s woes by bottling up confirmations, doubling the number of investigations and chipping away at Obamacare and other legislative achievements.

Yet there’s a chance that having an all-Republican Congress would help Obama — and even some White House officials have wondered privately whether a unified Republican Congress would be better than the current environment. Republicans, without Harry Reid to blame, would own Congress — a body that inspires a high level of confidence in just 7 percent of Americans, according to a Gallup survey last month finding Congress at a new low and at the bottom of all institutions tested.

There would be no more excuses for Republicans’ failure to put forward their own health-care plan, immigration proposals, specific cuts to popular government programs, and pet causes involving abortion, birth control and gay rights. This would set up real clashes with Obama — who could employ the veto pen he hasn’t used a single time since Republicans gained control of the House in 2010 — and sharp contrasts that would put him on the winning side of public opinion.

Well, that's... no. Just... no. Hell no. Let's not stake what little remains of the government to an ant hill just so we can see if people wake up before the last scraps of flesh are removed. Okay?

Let's go in and see if there are better ideas this morning.

The New York Times looks at the IRS scandal.  No, the other scandal.

There is a scandal going on at the Internal Revenue Service, but it has nothing to do with Lois Lerner or her missing emails. House Republicans have not given up on their noisy crusade to tie Ms. Lerner to what they imagine to be widespread political corruption within the Obama administration, but all they have proved is that the I.R.S. is no better at backing up its computer files than most other government agencies.

No, the real scandal is what Republicans did to cripple the agency when virtually no one was looking. Since the broad Tea Party-driven spending cuts of 2010, the agency’s budget has been cut by 14 percent after inflation is considered, leading to sharply reduced staff, less enforcement of the tax laws and poor taxpayer service.

As the economist Jared Bernstein noted recently in The Washington Post, a weakened I.R.S. enforcement staff will be unable to make a dent in the $385 billion annual gap between what taxpayers owe and what they pay — an unintended tax cut, mostly for the rich, that represents 11 percent of this year’s spending.

Which is, of course, all part of the GOP Governance Cycle. Cut funding, conduct show trials, defame. Cut funding, conduct show trials, defame. Cut funding...

Ross Douthat just can't understand why liberals don't love having their religion dictated to them.

For a generation now, liberals have bemoaned the disappearance of the socially conscious corporation, the boardroom devoted to the common good. Once, the story goes, America’s C.E.O.s recognized that they shared interests with workers and customers; once wages and working hours reflected more than just a zeal for profits. But then came Reagan, deregulation, hostile takeovers, and an era of solidarity gave way to the age of Gordon Gekko, from which there’s been no subsequent escape.

There are, however, exceptions: companies that still have a sense of business as a moral calling, which can be held up as examples to shame the bottom-liners.

One such company was hailed last year by the left-wing policy website Demos “for thumbing its nose at the conventional wisdom that success in the retail industry” requires paying “bargain-basement wages.” A retail chain with nearly 600 stores and 13,000 workers, this business sets its lowest full-time wage at $15 an hour, and raised wages steadily through the stagnant postrecession years. (Its do-gooder policies also include donating 10 percent of its profits to charity and giving all employees Sunday off.) And the chain is thriving commercially — offering, as Demos put it, a clear example of how “doing good for workers can also mean doing good for business.”

Of course I’m talking about Hobby Lobby, the Christian-owned craft store that’s currently playing the role of liberalism’s public enemy No. 1, for its successful suit against the Obama administration’s mandate requiring coverage for contraceptives, sterilization and potential abortifacients.

Ah, I love the smell of straw men on Sunday morning. Among the more minor infractions of these paragraphs (and the even more skewed ones ahead), let me point out that, for hourly workers, having the store closed on the day your employer deems holy is not "getting a day off" it's "not being able to make any money on a day that may or may not have any meaning to the worker."

Maureen Dowd wonders just what this America place is about.

With our swaggering and sanguine image deflated by epic unforced errors, Americans are playing defense, struggling to come to grips with a world where we can no longer dictate all the terms, win all the wars and lead all the charges.

“The Fourth of July was always a celebration of American exceptionalism,” said G.O.P. pollster Frank Luntz. “Now it’s a commiseration of American disappointment.”

From Katrina to Fallujah, we’re less the Shining City Upon a Hill than the House of Broken Toys.

For the first time perhaps, hope is not as much a characteristic of American feelings.

Are we winners who have been through a rough patch? Or losers who have soured our sturdy and spiritual DNA with too much food, too much greed, too much narcissism, too many lies, too many spies, too many fat-cat bonuses, too many cat videos on the evening news, too many Buzzfeed listicles like “33 Photos Of Corgi Butts,” and too much mindless and malevolent online chatter?

Are we still the biggest and baddest? Or are we forever smaller, stingier, dumber, less ambitious and more cynical? Have we lost control of our not-so-manifest destiny?

Well, as long as one of our major political parties celebrates stupidity, rejects science, and declares that they hate the whole idea of government and still get elected to govern... Corgi butts better than we deserve.

However, this is an interesting and nuanced article from Dowd. Read it... because next week she'll probably be back to some middle school nickname for Hillary and selected quotes from Mean Girls.

Jacob Heilbrunn thinks that the remaining neocons are running scared enough to look for love in a strange place.

After nearly a decade in the political wilderness, the neoconservative movement is back, using the turmoil in Iraq and Ukraine to claim that it is President Obama, not the movement’s interventionist foreign policy that dominated early George W. Bush-era Washington, that bears responsibility for the current round of global crises.

Even as they castigate Mr. Obama, the neocons may be preparing a more brazen feat: aligning themselves with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her nascent presidential campaign, in a bid to return to the driver’s seat of American foreign policy.

To be sure, the careers and reputations of the older generation of neocons — Paul D. Wolfowitz, L. Paul Bremer III, Douglas J. Feith, Richard N. Perle — are permanently buried in the sands of Iraq. And not all of them are eager to switch parties: In April, William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, said that as president Mrs. Clinton would “be a dutiful chaperone of further American decline.”

But others appear to envisage a different direction — one that might allow them to restore the neocon brand, at a time when their erstwhile home in the Republican Party is turning away from its traditional interventionist foreign policy.

What does the word "back" mean here beyond "being allowed to spew their BS on your TV"? Does anyone actually care who or what the neocons support?

The New York TImes on kids and guns.

An estimated one-third of American children live in homes with firearms, according to public health research, and 43 percent of these homes have at least one unlocked firearm lying about as an invitation to accidental mayhem.

The inevitable results are appalling. Federal data says that between 2007 and 2011 a yearly average of 62 children, age 14 and under, were killed every year while playing with a family gun left loaded and unsecured, and 660 were injured badly enough to require hospitalization.

But the actual toll could be even greater — with 100 youngsters or more shot to death each year in grossly careless family settings — according to a detailed new study of child deaths by firearm conducted by Everytown for Gun Safety, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun research and lobbying organization.

I'm perilously close to becoming a single issue voter on this subject.

Doyle McManus says that (gasp) there could be a downside to killer drones.

To wartime strategists under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the new weapon, like many innovations in the history of military technology, seemed at first like a silver bullet.

Drones with lethal missiles could hover for hours over potential targets, waiting for the moment to strike. They could kill suspected terrorists with relative precision, though not, as the CIA claimed in 2011, without any civilian casualties. Best of all, drones didn't endanger American lives; the pilots were safe and snug in Djibouti or Nevada.

Drone strikes may be an efficient way to kill terrorists, but they're no way to make friends.
-  
In an almost-invisible campaign that started modestly under Bush and expanded dramatically under Obama, the U.S. has launched more than 1,600 drone strikes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and even, in one case, in the Philippines, according to Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations.

But consider how those drone strikes appear if you are an ordinary civilian in, say, northwestern Pakistan. You know you are in constant danger; a missile may strike your home at any time without warning. It's not clear who's shooting; the war and its combatants are officially secret. It's not clear how you can avoid becoming a target; members of Al Qaeda are fair game, of course, but what are their neighbors and cousins and grocery suppliers to do? And if something goes awry, there's no one to complain to; the CIA doesn't have a customer service desk, and the government of Pakistan claims (falsely, in most cases) that it has no control over foreign missile strikes.

So, you're saying that launching missiles that take out people in any nation because we've unilaterally decided that we can wage war across any border and define for ourselves what constitutes an enemy combatant while disregarded how many civilians we take out in the process, might potentially offend someone? I believe this was predicted by, hmm, pretty much everyone paying the slightest bit of attention before this whole mess began.

Fred Pearce shows that stopping climate change may be much cheaper than we thought

Saving our skins might be surprisingly cheap. To avoid dangerous climate change, the world needs to boost spending on green energy by $1 trillion a year. That sounds scarily large, but we could cover a lot of it using the subsidies currently handed to fossil fuels. ...

The numbers work like this. Investment in low-carbon energy is currently $200 billion a year. But that isn't enough. For a 70 per cent chance of keeping below 2°C, the investment will have to rise to $1.2 trillion a year.

Spending is set to rise as energy demand increases and governments meet their existing climate commitments. The world is probably already committed to doubling green energy investment to $400 billion a year by 2050, says McCollum. But even with that, we still need to find another $800 billion a year.

That sounds like a lot to make up. But global investment in energy is already $1 trillion a year and rising, says McCollum. The problem is that much of that investment goes to fossil fuels. According to the International Energy Agency, government subsidies for fossil fuels are around $500 billion a year – six times more than subsidies for renewables.

Nearly all this "cost" actually comes in the form of infrastructure investments that pay off in ways other than climate change. Helluva bargain.
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Comment Preferences

    •  No, Dana! (10+ / 0-)

      Too many times, AFTER a Democratic loss, I’ve grasped at the straw that Republicans would now be forced to act responsibly, because they would have the actual responsibility of governing.  After 2000, there was a brief period when I thought that at least Cheney, conventional shriveled –souled, miserly Republican that he was, wouldn’t let the spoiled frat rat do anything totally ruinous.   And since polls showed that the public vastly favored hanging on to Clinton’s projected budget surplus, rather than cutting taxes, the Republicans wouldn’t actually revert to Reaganomics.  In 2010, I hoped that, now that they have to govern, Republicans will have to stop the crazy talk and wouldn’t do anything that would endanger the good faith and credit of the United States .  So Dana, you have to get it straight that the Republican Party is now made up of characters from a Don Martin cartoon, or a Hieronymus Bosch painting. To the extent that they want to do anything comprehensible, it is to destroy the United States Government.  The only possible redeeming grace from Republicans capturing the Senate in 2014, is that the electorate might begin to actually feel the disaster, wise up enough to blame it on the right people, and start trying to save the situation in 2016.  It’s a weak reed to grasp, but it’s the only real one if the Republicans win the Senate.

      •  You are spot in, but Dana does have one point.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shawn87, Calamity Jean

        ..in the first part of this paragraph..

        It is not hard to imagine a Republican takeover of the Senate causing conservatives in both chambers to overreach. House Republicans would get more pressure from their base to take a swing at impeachment, because the odds of convicting Obama in the Senate would be better (if still prohibitive).
        Remember the late 90's when the GOP went for Impeachment?.. the backlash could keep the republicans out of power for a decade or more. That'd be good.

        But then Milbank kinda goofs that all up by following it with this - making your points (in above comment) along with Michael Tomasky's warnings
         

        Alternatively, Republican leaders, recognizing that the public will hold them responsible now that they have complete control of Congress, might try to compromise with Obama.
        ..yes, the people will hold the republicans responsible all right but the assholes running the GOP would relish the criticism as proof of their "government slashing patriotism" and will gladly, jubilantly trade any positive feelings toward themselves for a chance to f'ck-over the President and put forth their ALEC/think tank agenda they have been paid & instructed to shill for.

        The compromise ship sailed and then sunk long ago

         If the republicans took the senate and kept the house they wouldn't try to pass legislation that they thought had any chance of going un-vetoed.
        Nope, they'd immediately attempt passing the worst poison pill laden legislation; taunting the President, forcing him to veto it and then spinning a narrative that;  "SEE?..Obama is vetoing immigration reform.." as an example. or whatever issue the GOP think tanks can come up with as a vehicle for their propaganda and more bad austerity laws.

        It would be 2 years of spin until 2016 on every issue. Zero real attempt to pass any laws. A campaign against the President, his pen and his phone. Does anyone really think the GOP, in the state they're in could resist the temptation? That Karl Rove wcould keep them in line? Not a chance - imo

        And then there is the gutting; NLRB; CFPB; PPACA. Dodd-Frank etc.

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        Thx Mark Sumner
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        actually I'm a bit surprised by this from Dana Milbank. He doesn't usually take the insiderish flavor as much as this seems

      •  Not just NO, but HELL NO to Dana Milbank (0+ / 0-)

        There's no time for Milbank's cutesy bullshit about GOP control of the Senate.

        Have you ever heard of Mitch McConnell -- America's worst nightmare?  

  •  Well, an all-Republican Congress certainly (25+ / 0-)

    would not invest in green energy by taking away the current subsidies for fossil fuels. Milbank appears to have written
    his column while drunk and Pearce must have been been vacationing in Colorado to have such high hopes.

    Thanks for the APR, Mark!

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 04:16:03 AM PDT

  •  I get this odd feeling Republicans know (36+ / 0-)

    they're losing.  The Republican AG candidate in Texas posted some argle-bargle on FB yesterday and the response was overwhelmingly negative.  I was surprised.  Dems in Texas sure seem motivated to me.  

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 04:16:44 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the info; I would be a single (28+ / 0-)

    issue voter about guns, but there's the wars against us:
    War on women
    War on black people esp boys & men
    War on poor people
    War on working people
    War more years
    War on the environment
    War on immigrants
    War on LGBT
    War by evil big biz against us humans

    Of course they all overlap because the greedy rotten 1% benefit from each & all of them.

    So many problems but I feel you because I get really hot about that one, children dead because of stupid armed adults NOT being responsible.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 04:20:56 AM PDT

    •  All true ... (6+ / 0-)

      but being willing to stand up for gun safety regulations is a strong indicator of how much spine a candidate actually has.

      If a candidate talks pro-environment but fondles the NRA's bullets -- he's probably going to cave on environmental issues like a wet paper sack.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:16:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Joe Manchin for instance. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hbk, cybersaur, Calamity Jean

        "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

        by nosleep4u on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:17:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I wonder if (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tampaedski, nosleep4u

        The problem with Gun Control is that it's on the curve of popularity about where Gay Rights were back in the '90s and '00s?

        Plus we don't have the longer view of histroy yet to see if the curve gets better or not.

        "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

        by Stude Dude on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:22:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not in all districts. The antiscience types are (0+ / 0-)

        ...matched on the Left by people who just don't get that you can be a good person and Democrat and disagree on guns or this or that issue.

        This idea that it somehow helps to keep electing Republicans just as long as we can claim we ran people who agreed with us on our prime issue, even though it was the opposite of their constituents who vote, is counterproductive and dangerous for the rest to the entirety of our interests.

        The greatest threat is the Republican Party and the wingnut majority on the SCOTUS. Those on the Left who do not yet understand this, or deny it, are part of the problem.

        The goal should be to have a large enough coalition to control the legislative/judicial/executive agenda without needing the votes of Republicans or the block of coalition members who disagree with you on what ever issue/position you believe they are wrong to support.

        The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

        by sebastianguy99 on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 12:10:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Huge reasons why I don't pay WaPo or NYT (10+ / 0-)

    for subscriptions--their writers are so full of crap. Send MoDo back to Denver for more brownies, please!

    "Alcohol enables Congress to do things at eleven at night that no sane person would do at eleven in the morning." - George Bernard Shaw

    by Loose Fur on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 04:22:46 AM PDT

  •  Gotta love the Repub strategy. (37+ / 0-)

    They're basically trying to make government disfunctional through spending cuts.

    I was on the IRS site a week ago, trying to get information on some charities, and amazed at the mess their database is in.

    I initially blamed "government," like most people do, then realized they're trying to hold the whole thing together with spit and string.

    Not many people stop to consider the "spit and string" part of that thought process when they run up against such problems. They just think "government sucks."

    Nice game the Repubs got going, huh?

  •  I will opt to skip the rest of Maureen's column (15+ / 0-)

    tyvm, interesting and nuanced as it may be this week.   I believe we've all seen the true nature of Dowd and given a choice I prefer Corgi butts every time.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 04:23:55 AM PDT

  •  This idea is so blindingly clear (19+ / 0-)
    we could cover a lot of it using the subsidies currently handed to fossil fuels.
    that it astounds me that there isn't a daily--hourly--call for us to take back that money and use it for something necessary.

    How is it such a chunk of our national wealth is wasted, year after year after year, by giving it away to these dreadful companies?  They have no interest in green energy ("because the profits aren't there" as I heard in one interview).  They just want to sock away ever more obscene profits while the earth sizzles and drowns.

    What possible explanation is there for this state of affairs to continue?

    "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    by SottoVoce on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 04:27:27 AM PDT

    •  Simple explanation: Money talks. (13+ / 0-)

      The fossil fuel companies continue to receive gazillions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies and below-market royalties because their money pays for the best lobbyists and junkets money can buy, and their people literally write the laws and regulations dealing with energy issues, land use, etc. So they write their own ticket, so to speak.

      It's the same process as the military contractors writing the Pentagon budget and persuading Congress to push for it, even if the Pentagon doesn't want that new weapon system.

      So yes, redirecting those subsidies to renewables would be a grand idea. But actually accomplishing it would take a huge amount of work and push-back. I'm not optimistic.

    •  Does sound like a no brainer . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SottoVoce, Curt Matlock

      . . . but I think that might end up something akin to "taking back the ransom money before the hostage is delivered."

      I think there's a reason that, for instance, gas prices in the U.S. are lower than in other parts of the developed world. I think it's because we pay for gas up front, with tax subsidies, before the oil is even out of the ground.

      So if we divert the ransom money to green energy the kidnappers will simply pass the burden right back to us in increased prices for the petroleum products we buy from them. That ransom will be there regardless, in the form of either a subsidy or higher prices, since we're still hostages to oil (and the oil companies).

      I'm sure someone will be along shortly to argue that I'm a complete and utter fool and that it's all about higher taxes in other parts of the world. But that's what I think of the whole business, fool or not.


      - Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.
      - Frank Zappa


      by rudyblues on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:30:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think having higher gas prices would (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hbk, arlene, Laconic Lib

        force us to work on alternative means of energy more urgently (and with government help).  By not having to pay for what it really costs the country, we can take our time innovating and implementing longer term solutions.  It's like not paying for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and relegating the fighting to those hidden volunteers): it was easier for us to keep it going for all those years, without paying significant attention to our folly and its dangerous consequences.

        "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

        by SottoVoce on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:59:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think we should be subsidizing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hbk, wayne, koNko

      fossil fuels either, but there is still a need for oil (lots of it) other than for the production of electricity.  In fact, only about 6% of the electricity produced in the U.S. utilizes oil.  Of course there is no excuse for coal subsidies; the electricity generated by that fuel can certainly be replaced by renewables, even though the transition would be costly and prolonged.

      The biggest need for oil is in the area of vehicle fuels, and also in the production of plastics (have you noticed that practically everything you buy today is plastic, or contains as many plastic parts as possible?).  There is no way renewables can be used for such purposes.

      "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke

      by SueDe on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:04:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not a question of needing oil (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        As much as not needing to subsidize companies with such obscenely outsize profits.  If the oil we do extract ends up elsewhere than being burned, that's great.  But the companies do not need the US taxpayers' limited funds.  Subsidies should be going to research and development of alternatives to fossil fuels (and substitutes for plastic, too.)

        "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

        by SottoVoce on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 12:03:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Think less of "companies" (5+ / 0-)

      and more of "wealthy foreign monarchies." The British royal family owns 10% of BP; the Dutch Royal family owns 25% of Shell. How many trillions of oil wealth is owned b Saudis? Tax subsidies are direct deposits into their bank accounts.

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 07:16:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dana Milbank is an idiot (24+ / 0-)

    He's just another intrepid member of the MSM, locked away from reality in the DC bubble and pretending that Republicans are rational people. Does anybody really think that if "Republicans don't have Democrats to blame", they'll somehow fear being perceived as obstructionist and so will become cooperative? Obstructing Obama is a feature to them, not a bug and Dana Milbank, this piece has got to win idiotic drivel of the week.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 04:27:27 AM PDT

  •  Dana Millbank sucks (6+ / 0-)

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 04:42:46 AM PDT

  •  $15/hr? (11+ / 0-)

    Someone posted here in DKos a pic of a "Help Wanted" poster for HL.  Full time pay was advertised as more than $15,000/year.  For a 40 hr week, that comes down to $7.21/hr.  Basically, they start full timers at the federal minimum wage.

    •  I've seen Hobby Lobby stats all over the map. (7+ / 0-)

      For example, I've read quotes from workers that say only store managers get FT hours; the rest max out at 30 hours/week, and so never qualify for top wage.

      But who knows?

    •  In 2013, Hobby Lobby minimum wage was (0+ / 0-)

      $14/hr for full-time
      $9.50/hr for part/time.

      Don't know what their employee mix is.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:15:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmmmm. Found another report saying they've (0+ / 0-)

        gout about 15,000 full time employees, which would be about 85% of their work force.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:19:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How many employees per store (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Iberian

          13000 employees, 600 stores, that's about 20 employees per store. 15000 full time employees would be 25 full timers per store. I can't imagine each store has 25 full timers. More like a couple full timers and the rest part time. How many are extended the insurance benefits?

          •  Think so? (0+ / 0-)

            Let's see:

            A certain number of people must work at corporate HQ, but even 25 per store is a pretty low number when you think about it.

            six days a week, 12 hours a day.

            That's 72 hours a week.

            If full-timers work 40 hours a week -- and they might not, that would be 14 employees working at a time in a store.  There is a certain amount of management work done, stocking, covering breaks and lunches, etc.

            And these are big stores.  Doesn't seem too amazing.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:16:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Their stores are not that large. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cheminMD

              These aren't Home Depots.

              Most stores run 3 to 6 employees at any given time. Split into two shifts, take the high end (6), and that 12 full-time jobs per store. Divide that time up among 25 employees and you get a lot of part-timers. And that's being generous calling 12 hours two full shifts.

              "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

              by nosleep4u on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:31:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks, obviously, I have no retail experience (0+ / 0-)

                Just throwing some numbers out there. The local hobby lobby stores around here are open from 9-8, so 11 hours of customer time. Add 30 minutes to each side of that and your 12 hour days works. Six hours per day for six days is only 36 hours. Four eights and two fours is only 38. Three eights and three fours is only 36. That way all full timers are on six days a week and it's easy to cover 12 hour days. The full timers probably get paid to stay extra while covering part timers calling in sick.

                So that's 36*15=540*52=28080 for a full time employee with a schedule that would make finding another part time job difficult.

                •  And that is still speculating... (0+ / 0-)

                  because we haven't heard from anybody that full-timers work 6 days,
                  or -- the people who stock the stores, which likely happens in off hours, etc.

                  And -- I found this interesting item on Wikipedia:

                  When Wal-Mart incorporated in 1969, it had 38 stores and 1500 employees.

                  That's nearly 40 employees per store, and we know that Wal-Mart doesn't like to overstaff.  Wal-Mart stores are bigger than Hobby Lobby stores, but a 1969 Wal-Mart was nowhere near the size of the huge stores they operate now.

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 07:20:51 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  The ones I've seen are pretty large, but Home (0+ / 0-)

                Depots have a lot more than 25 employees per store.  I'll bet they have more than 25 people working at any one time.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 07:23:55 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  How many (0+ / 0-)

      full time employees per store. Most retail now uses the trick of under-employing their own employees to keep them "flexible". The manager gets to work 50 or 55 hours,40 paid, the floor people work 30 or 35.

  •  We had an all-Republican Congress. That's how we (14+ / 0-)

    got here.  On the House side none of them - not one - knows enough about economics to put aside their ridiculous TRICK-le down theory.  None of them understand the meaning of diplomacy and compromise which is really needed on the Senate side.  And they are a real buzzkill from drugs (marijuana and birth control) to MY relationship with God to enjoying my damn President.  Seriously, has anyone one of them ever quoted the President accurately? in context? without Republican-explaining him?

    No, been there done that.  No more all-Republican Congresses.  That's like saying, "When the British ran the country it was awesome!"  And you know if Milbank was there he would be that guy.  You know the one complaining about how hard democracy is and then trying to use reverse psychology on us to get the British back.

    What Milbank is really saying is Democrats sit home on election day because the last time you did it Boehner became the Speaker of the House.  I think Democrats are much, much smarter than that.

  •  Really, Mark? I thought you were better than this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Peace Missile
    having the store closed on the day your employer deems holy is not "getting a day off" it's "not being able to make any money on a day that may or may not have any meaning to the worker.
    Among the problems most retail employees have are:

       1. Low wages
       2. No control of their  lives in a 24X7 world.

    So -- you have an employer who starts new employees out at double the minimum wage and ensures at least one day off each and every week and you see that as a bad thing?

    You sound like a 19th century robber baron. What? We can't put the children to work?

    You want to harp on the company's policies WRT health care, have at it.

    But -- you want them to stop doing well by their workers?

    Maybe you ought to study up on the labor movement Democrats supposedly support, and find out about the struggle for higher wages and the 40 hour week.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:10:07 AM PDT

    •  It's not the time off that's the problem (8+ / 0-)

      It's that the time off is mandated to be the designated Sabbath of the employer, which may not match the employee's religious Sabbath or preferred schedule.

      In the scheme of things, this doesn't trouble me as much as other reports of Bibles and religious literature in the breakroom and explicitly religious preaching at mandatory team meetings. It seems to me a business can determine what hours it will be open based on whatever criteria it chooses.

      I am also not as troubled by the "closed on Sundays" as some people, maybe because until fairly recently (or so it seems), where I lived (CT and MA), the "Blue Laws" left over from 1650 prohibited all stores from opening on Sundays, except a few small corner stores. (My father used to take me on the Sunday morning run to the Jewish delicatessen, which was one of the few -- I wonder if maybe they had special permission from the city to open on Sunday and close on Saturday instead.) It made Sunday a day for trips to the park, family gatherings, softball games -- a shared day off for almost everyone, whether church-going or not.

      •  Is there any evidence that employees can't get (0+ / 0-)

        other time off?

        Anybody going to work for Hobby Lobby knows that they are closed on Sundays.  Employment is a contract -- when you take a job, you agree to the terms.  People who work at Hobby Lobby agree not to work on Sundays.

        A full time work week of 40 hours would have to be chopped up into short days to keep employees from getting at least one non-Sunday off.  A 35 hour week would have to be chopped up  into even shorter days.  My bet is that most Hobby Lobby workers get at least 2 days off each week.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:40:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm missing something here (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Curt Matlock, Iberian, Laconic Lib

      Are all the employees started off as full time? Because when someone puts in the effort to state that "full-time employees are paid $15.00/hour" if usually doesn't mean that "all employees are paid $15/hour". Maybe I'm being a bit too cynical here.

      A store like that is going to have part-timers. They may have other full time jobs that don't require them to work weekends. A little time on the weekends on a part time job could help make ends meet, but you can only get half as many hours when the store is closed half the weekend.

      •  No they are not. I have tried to nail down the (0+ / 0-)

        number who are full-time, but I find myself trying to match numbers from different articles at different times.

        I've found a couple of references to "about 15,000" full-time workers, but the total employee counts I've found have gone from about 17,700 to about 22,000.  That would give a range from about 70% to about 85% full-timers.

        As to hours on the weekend, you shouldn't take a job at Hobby Lobby if you really want to work on Sundays.  Same is true for an awful lot of jobs.  Most of the places I've worked close for the weekends.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:10:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure, because people desperate for work (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac, askew

          are going to turn down a job if they can't work on Sundays. Right.

          It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity. ~ The I Ching, 13th Hexagram

          by Blue Intrigue on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 08:05:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Can't work Sundays"? Oh my, isn't that a twist. (0+ / 0-)

            The phrase used to be "have to work Sundays".

            And who says they can't work Sundays?

            How strange is it to complain because Hobby Lobby decides to work on certain days and not others in this case.  If people "can't work Sundays" because Hobby Lobby is closed, it must mean that other employers aren't open on Sundays either.  After all, a hobby and craft store is never going to be the only employer around.  People without jobs tend not to buy a lot of craft supplies.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 08:43:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The only twist (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              askew

              is the one you're attempting to add. An employee of a store that is closed on Sunday can't work at that job on Sunday. I can't believe I have to fucking explain that.

              It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity. ~ The I Ching, 13th Hexagram

              by Blue Intrigue on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 10:50:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I can't believe that you find it to be a problem. (0+ / 0-)

                How many people are clamoring to work on Sundays?
                Are you out on the streets demanding other businesses open on Sunday?  Most non-retail businesses don't work Sundays.

                Is there some reason why any business must open on Sunday?  Those that do simply hope to make more profits.
                Nothing very noble in that.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 12:43:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry but you were the one who brought it up (0+ / 0-)

                  Forgive me for expressing a progressive opinion. Perhaps you can't imagine a situation where a poor woman may need a different day off - child care issues, doctor's appointments - but that's no reason to advocate for taking whatever shitty hours you're offered and being grateful the company not's greedier.

                  It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity. ~ The I Ching, 13th Hexagram

                  by Blue Intrigue on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 01:33:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's a progressive opinion? Wow -- tells me all (0+ / 0-)

                    I need to know about your thinking.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 01:47:31 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  How is it not? (0+ / 0-)

                      Since when is pointing out that poor people don't have the luxury of turning down job offers not in line with progressivism? (This should be entertaining).

                      It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity. ~ The I Ching, 13th Hexagram

                      by Blue Intrigue on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 02:01:23 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I'm more referring to "can't work Sunday" (0+ / 0-)

                        Honestly, your whole line of reasoning on that amazes me.

                        I've never known anybody who truly needed to work on Sundays other than those looking for part-time work because of school or, say, another job.

                        Makes me wonder why somebody looking for part-time work would bother to apply for a job that only offers Saturday employment if they needed both Saturday and Sunday, but -- the real question is why in the Hell is any of that Hobby Lobby's fault?

                        Sounds like you prefer WalMart and the ability to be underpaid AND unable to control your schedule.

                        Somebody who claims to be a progressive should show at least a tiny understanding of what the hell the labor movement fought for in the 19th and 20th centuries.  I know unions have been battered to the point of representing a small slice of the working population, but there was a reason they fought for 40 hour weeks.  Not only did it allow workers more opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their labor, but it created more jobs.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 02:11:36 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I'm sorry that a line of reasoning (0+ / 0-)

                          based on empathy for poor working people amazes you. I'm sorry that you think a personal anecdote supports your argument. I'm sorry that you feel the need to conjecture as to my retail preferences. I'm sorry that you think the labor movement is a thing of the past.

                          Bless your heart.

                          It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity. ~ The I Ching, 13th Hexagram

                          by Blue Intrigue on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 02:26:01 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Thanks for the laugh!! Have you ever known any (0+ / 0-)

                            actual full-time retails employees?

                            Anyway, I will presume that you are sincere and really believe that you are being progressive in a viewpoint that would warm the heart of merciless bosses everywhere.

                            I admire your stubborn doggedness if not your rationale.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 02:33:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Have you ever known a poor person? (0+ / 0-)

                            You know, since you're determined to get personal in this thread.

                            It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity. ~ The I Ching, 13th Hexagram

                            by Blue Intrigue on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 02:50:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Absolutely. More than a few. (0+ / 0-)

                            Including in the family, and have myself been through some times harder than you might believe.  For that matter, I was even a full-time retail employee in my younger days and my father in law was a full-time retail employee for most of his life.

                            We don't all have the luxury of arguing on a purely hypothetical basis.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:39:33 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

                            Go back to defending Hobby Lobby now, please.

                            It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity. ~ The I Ching, 13th Hexagram

                            by Blue Intrigue on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 03:00:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  The difference between "getting Sunday off" (7+ / 0-)

      and "the store is closed on Sunday" is the difference between "All employees get a paid three week vacation" and "all employees are required to take the last three weeks of December without pay."

      For an hourly worker, having the store closed on one day of the week only represents a loss of flexibility in how they get their hours in.

    •  Taking HL's word for what they pay employee? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Laconic Lib

      Try starting a criticism on firmer ground. That watery silt doesn't work well.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:34:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, gosh. This is America. Given how easy it is (0+ / 0-)

        to keep secrets I'm real sure that Hobby Lobby could easily be paying it's people $3 an hour and nobody would say a word.

        So -- I guess you got me there.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 07:22:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Government is Broken. Vote Republican and We'l... (7+ / 0-)

    "Government is Broken. Vote Republican and We'll Prove It."

  •  The Republican War on the IRS (11+ / 0-)

    began in the 90s, when uncollected taxes were approaching $200 billion a year.

    In the decade following Mr. Bush's inauguration, that figure rose to nearly $500 billion annually.

    Numbers need some perspective? In that decade uncollected taxes alone could have paid for both Mr. Bush's wars of choice, his tax cut Santa bag for his "base," and the stimulus package Congress grudgingly allowed his successor to wield in an attempt to revive the economy afterward.

    All of it.

    Very useful figures and graphics here and here.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:34:16 AM PDT

  •  Does Milbank take dictation from Fox? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glenn45, Stude Dude, Ohkwai
    Iraq and Syria are overrun with terrorists. Violence is flaring in Ukraine and on Israel’s borders. A humanitarian crisis is developing on our own southern border, but immigration legislation, like most all legislation, is moribund. Probes of the veterans’ health-care system, the IRS and Benghazi are sucking up attention and the administration’s time.
      Iraq (and less directly, Syria) are on the Bush administration. One might argue with Obama's response to the situation there, but the neocons completely own that clusterfuck.

      Israel is a sovereign nation. They can and should take care of themselves.  Ukraine is out of our hands.

      Last I checked, "legislation" comes from Congress, not the White House.  If Republicans enjoy letting kids die in the desert, there's not much Obama can do to stop them.

       The three "scandals" Milbank mentions are all contrived Republican tropes.

       Now, there are plenty of legitimate reasons to be critical of the Obama administration, and the biggest one of all is his abject failure to reverse, or even contain, the damage that neoliberal trade agreements have done to the American middle class. His pretty rhetoric notwithstanding, he continues to pursue abominations like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will wreck what's left of American broad-based prosperity. He hasn't laid a finger on Wall Street rapaciousness.

      Oh, and he lied to us about net neutrality. That's hard to excuse, too.

      The greatest disgrace of the Obama administration is that he has embraced failed, anti-worker right-wing economic policies and managed to get branded as a "liberal" anyway, severely damaging true progressivism for years to come. THIS is the tragedy here -- not these ticky-tack "scandals" Milbank's serving as a stenographer for.

     

    "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

    by Buzzer on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:35:46 AM PDT

  •  I like drones. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, zozie

    War always brings civilian casualties. No American ones. Thats a major upgrade in my view.

    The problem isnt drones. Its our foreign policy. We shouldnt be striking those countries with anything, including drones. We should be minding our own business. Thats the core of the problem.

    •  Objectively, they're no better or worse (5+ / 0-)

      than human dropped, launched or fired weapons. But they tend to be misused and abused, resulting in lots of innocent deaths. They're sort of like the military version of the Taser that way, a favorite of sadistic idiots and cowards.

      In any case, the idea that we can kill our way to security is sheer idiocy.

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

      by kovie on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:53:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Meh. (0+ / 0-)

        If no American casualties means insults like coward, fine. Were cowards. BOOM...you are human mist. Were home for dinner, safe and sound. Cowardly and all.

        The problem we have is getting involved in other peoples shit. If we mind our own business, we wont have to strike anybody unless directly attacked.

        •  Yeah, right, GO USA RULEZ! (0+ / 0-)

          Real sophisticated dialectic ya got there:

          Americans good, others bad, die sucker die!

          And you're the one who's accused me of being too white. Pathetic.

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

          by kovie on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:06:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nope... (0+ / 0-)

            America is my country and its where I was born and raised. We got problems here that need attention. Id you want to around the world solving problems, YOU GO. Leave our troops and our people out of it.

          •  not what he said at all (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Calamity Jean

            "If we mind our own business, we wont have to strike anybody unless directly attacked" is a long way from "Americans good, others bad, die sucker die!"

            As to whether drones disproportionately appeal to sadistic idiots and cowards in the military, I have my doubts. I don't suppose such people have ever had trouble sending other people to fight and die. However, it's possible that drones are more likely to be used indiscriminately than alternatives that put American lives at risk, not because of anything in the character of the decisionmakers, but because the political cost is lower.

            "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

            by HudsonValleyMark on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 07:58:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The trouble is drones allow for (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          wars, while simultaneously keeping the public ignorant of the fact that a war is actually happening.

          The U.S. is conducting a war in Pakistan. And another in Yemen. But how many of the public know that? How many on DKos even know it? (Or would even try to argue it's not happening?)

          "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

          by nosleep4u on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:43:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Drones should be exclusively DoD (0+ / 0-)

      I don't "like" drones, but when I first understood just what "signature strikes" were, I knew it was going to a diplomatic Pandora's Box. Drones should only be supporting troops in the field (recon, close air support, etc.), and nothing else.

      Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:01:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, you can go be a troop in the field. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tb mare, a2nite

        Id rather keep our people, and our drones, at home minding our own business.

        •  My point is DoD is subject to more oversight... (0+ / 0-)

          ...than CIA/NSA "special operations." At least for now. The reality is that the technology exists and it will be used. I'd just as soon get the joysticks out of the hands of the "Black Ops" departments ASAP.

          I know that you're not suggesting classic isolationism when you say "mind our own business", and I suggest you mean broadening the parameters of what constitutes "our business" beyond the whims of the Financial Elites and the mad ravings of the NeoCons.

          Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

          by Egalitare on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:24:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, I mean good old fashioned isolationism. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tb mare, a2nite

            As in we have Swiss like friendly relations and fair trade with everyone and dont get entangled in problems that have nothing to do with us. And we should support those with whom we have an alliance by treaty, namely NATO. Outside of that, humanitarian assistance and peace corps ONLY.

            •  But drones don't enable isolationism. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tb mare, Egalitare, Laconic Lib

              They do exactly the opposite, making it incredibly easy for politicians to bomb other countries without any sort of democratic consent.

              Wars are stopped when the people are confronted with the consequences. Drones make that confrontation difficult if not impossible.

              "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

              by nosleep4u on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:46:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Its us who does the electing. (0+ / 0-)

                Dont blame them. Its us who gets all rah rah when it comes to bombing shit.

                We didnt have drones for years and that didnt stop us from rushing into war after war after war post World War 2.

                But prior to World War 2, this country had no appetite for foreign conflict. Even when Hitler was running roughshod over Poland, France and bombing the everloving shit out of Britain,  Americans said 'not our problem.' Even when Germany was sinking American ships, the people wanted no parts of it. It took a Pearl Harbor and the Axis declaring war on us. Thats the way it ought to be. We get attacked, then let loose the lion.

                Im optimistic that our modern gilded age and costly adventurism is causing the tide to turn. Folks want some inward focus for a while. Just like after World War One. Where the electorate goes, the politicians will follow.

    •  what goes around eventually comes around (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, Calamity Jean

      it's just a matter of time until these diabolical weapons start being used here.

      Imagine a US civil war where both sides (and some rogue third parties) all start using drones.

    •  US drone policy = terrorism. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean
  •  Cavendish out of Tour (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ohkwai

    Yesterday's spill just short of the finish separated his shoulder and forced him out of the Tour. From stage favorite to being out on day 1 on home turf. Ouch.

    His fault, of course, which he readily admits. Props for that.

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

    by kovie on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:49:48 AM PDT

  •   Democrats Won A Consensus To Govern In 2008 (4+ / 0-)

    The Republicans had given us two failed wars and given us an economic downturn of historic proportions. Somehow in the years that followed that consensus disappeared as the Obama team could not give voters a sharp enough contrast between the Democratic approach and the GOP approach. So there are some in the White House who think a GOP congress will help provide that contrast?

    ...This would set up real clashes with Obama — who could employ the veto pen he hasn’t used a single time since Republicans gained control of the House in 2010 — and sharp contrasts that would put him on the winning side of public opinion.
    The conditions have been there for 6 years to provide that contrast. I have no faith that they would be able to use a GOP Congress to get Obama on the winning side of public opinion.
  •  President Obama would probably like to pass (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko, Calamity Jean

    some legislation before he leaves office. I know of one bill that might well pass the senate when they get back, it's at the top of the agenda and has passed the House in a reasonable form. There are places where the interests of Repubs and Dems overlap, the trick is to make more of those places.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:04:36 AM PDT

  •  How to make enemies (4+ / 0-)

    You'd think this common sense was common:

    So, you're saying that launching missiles that take out people in any nation because we've unilaterally decided that we can wage war across any border and define for ourselves what constitutes an enemy combatant while disregarded how many civilians we take out in the process, might potentially offend someone? I believe this was predicted by, hmm, pretty much everyone paying the slightest bit of attention before this whole mess began.
    You aren't allowed to think about the consequences of killing "enemy combatants" if you want to be patriotic so that bit of common sense gets rejected by "patriots".

    Best to use terms like "collateral damage" and "precision strikes" if you want to talk about what happens when our bombs explode. Otherwise you might stumble onto the realization that everyone killed, enemies and non-combatants alike, had friends and family that will be newly "emboldened" to hate those who dropped the bombs.

  •  Shoot down this Winger meme, please (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, nosleep4u, a2nite, Eric Nelson

    "If your birth control is none of my business, then why should I pay for it?"

    More fun if bellowed in a avuncular blow-hard voice....

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:33:56 AM PDT

    •  "If the road to your house ... (6+ / 0-)

      is one of my business, why should I pay to have it maintained?"

      "If your house is none of my concern, why should I bothering stopping an arsonist?"

      "If your life is none of my business, why should I stop to help you if you're puking in the gutter?"

      Of course, they're not paying for it. It's paid for out of worker compensation. Which Hobby Lobby does not own, but which SCOTUS has allowed them to steal. So the real answer is "Why do you support corporate theft?"

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 07:34:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  America just can't quit slavery which is what (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude

        Evil big biz & RW want a return to pre-1856.

        Roberts is worse than Taney. He should know better, but he got selected because white male supremacy has to be protected.

        I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

        by a2nite on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 09:05:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  '84 (0+ / 0-)

    Was the Democratic presidential bench so shallow back then that we had an over-the-hill space hero, a youthful image person prone to Monkey Business, and a loser that reminded people of Carter?

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:45:22 AM PDT

  •  McDaniels recount a move to recoup personal loan? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    Sam Hall in The Clarion-Ledger is worth a read today:

    Hall: McDaniel campaign in financial straits

    Read all of it, he's got a $100,000 personal loan to his campaign that will need to a "forgiven" or recouped through fundraising, thus his vote fraud challenge:

    The first of two eyebrow-raising emails was one in which he asked supporters to contribute to what he called the Election Challenge Fund. This designation is important because FEC regulations allow funds contributed to a recount effort to fall under an additional maximum limit, as if it were another election. So, if someone has maxed out for the primary and runoff elections, they can contribute $2,600 toward the recount election. So, that $5,200 already earmarked toward the general theoretically (and most likely) will roll over to the recount effort once a challenge is filed.
    However, any money contributed toward the Election Challenge Fund, can be used for any other legal campaign expenses. All McDaniel has to do is file a challenge and go through the process. That allows him to raise another round of $2,600 from maxed out donors and use the money however he sees fit — including paying political staff or repaying his own loan.
  •  This simple message (4+ / 0-)

    is what we should run on in Nov.

    GOP Governance Cycle. Cut funding, conduct show trials, defame. Cut funding, conduct show trials, defame. Cut funding...

    It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

    by Desert Rose on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:52:47 AM PDT

  •  Okay, so they want us to lose the Senate and (4+ / 0-)

    elect Hillary? Yet another example of overpaid, self centered pundits prattling nonsense inside of their Beltway Bubble. Somebody needs to lock these characters inside of a crappy apartment they can barely pay for and make them work two part time fast food jobs for a few months to give them the perspective they are so very lacking.

  •  Either way the American people lose (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    whether the GOP obstructs or is in complete power. This is a party that has never cared about us.

  •  It pisses me off (0+ / 0-)

    that Obama could actually come in lower than Bush in the polls as the worst President since World War II. People as usual aren't paying attention to the GOP dung heap of constant obstruction.

    •  GWB's WH didn't call his base "F-ing retards" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      Obama has spent too much time reaching across the aisle to people who'd hate him in any case.  Meanwhile, he has dissed the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.  That leaves very little love in the center as the poll shows.

  •  Well, you asked: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean
    Does anyone actually care who or what the neocons support?
    Yes, some of us do because it continues to affect out lives and, I sad to say, it's a short putt from Hilary Clinton to that group. Way too short for comfort. And she finds common cause with them often enough that what Jacob Heilbrunn suggest is not that far fetched.  

    If I was American I would need the extra large clothes pin for my nose if faced with the prospect of voting for her verses GOP whomever in 2012.

    Instead, I will hope for someone better and if it comes to a Clinton presidency, hope for a little damage as possible.

    BTW, if you want to find some recycled neocons in the Washington FP establishment, you need look no further that Obama's circle of advisers, it's the Left Wing of that school.

    No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

    by koNko on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 08:11:08 AM PDT

  •  i used to wonder what kind of fool Dana Milbank is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Calamity Jean


    and now I know - a damn fool.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 08:18:25 AM PDT

  •  Full Time Workers? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    In everything I read about Hobby Lobby's "high" minimum wage, it says "full time" workers get that minimum wage. What percentage of Hobby Lobby workers are actually full time? I've never seen that anywhere.

  •  I swear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    "Writers" like Milbank often seem to write for the love of pulling out of their rear-guard asinine and sub-par theories that constitute nothing more than a tinkling symbol sound.  
    First lets get this right. This "poll" is full of shit. 80% of these polls taken are STILL conducted by land-line household phones. While roughly 70% of Americans exclusively use their cell phones and internet as the primary means of extended communication outside of a face to face. (we're doing it right now!)

    Second, to blather on about an All GOP Government at this time in our nation being a "Good Thing" just so the rest of the country, who aren't paying attention to politics, will be able to better see the wolf in grandma's bed, is no different than all the war-starved-wingers who keep repeating that the atrocious downside to any war is "We don't think that there will be any negative impact whatsoever..." is ludicrous.

    No sir. Should that beehive be cut down, they will find their way up your trunks and bite you in the...

  •  Mary Landrieu should now be a shoe-in for LA Senat (0+ / 0-)

    With perverts like David Vitter and Vance MCallister already on the Republican ticket......and the breaking news of Bill Cassidy's daughter, Louisiana looks like a cess pool of moral depravity.......
    Does Bill Cassidy condone fornication...?!?!?!
    This should hold the Senate for the Democrats.......

  •  So everyone who's been ignoring the filibuster... (0+ / 0-)

    will finally start paying attention once the Republicans hold the Senate?  I wonder what color the sky is in Millbank's world.

    I don't know what's been trickling down, but it hasn't been pleasant---N. Pelosi

    by Russycle on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 09:54:26 AM PDT

  •  Can I get some of what Milbank is smoking?? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    I mean, it's got to be some top-shelf weed.

    First:  Republicans will not win the Senate in 2014.  Six months ago, Democratic senators in Arkansas, NCarolina, and Louisiana were trailing.  Now, all three are leading and pulling away.  In Georgia, with Michelle Nunn leading the two GOTP primary contenders, a safe Republican seat doesn't look so safe any more.  Then, of course, there's Ol' Kaintuck where Turtleface McConnell may hang on to win . . . or not.

    Second:  Win, lose, or draw in November, the GOTP will not change their tune -- NO!! NO!! AND HELL NO!! is all we have to look forward to until 2016.

    In 2016, Hillary Clinton will have long coattails and, more important, TWENTY-THREE Republican senators will be up for re-election with only 6-7 or those safe.

  •  How many of those Hobby Lobby employees (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    are full time and thus get that minimum of at least $15 per hour?  Retail is the land of the part time employee.

  •  Milbank, a supreme Beltway Bafoon... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glenn45, Calamity Jean

    the epitome of D.C, right-leaning, writers who think politics is about how you're perceived, rather than what you accomplish.

  •  Heilbrunn's misdirection (0+ / 0-)

    Per Mark Sumner:

    Jacob Heilbrunn thinks that the remaining neocons are running scared enough to look for love in a strange place.
    In fact, Heilbrunn knows very well that it's exactly the other way aroound; Hillary is courting the Neocons.  For example, Heilbrunn "neglects" to mention that Hillary appointed Robert Kagan's wife (Victoria Nuland Kagan) as Assistant Secretary of State.  She's the one who was recorded saying "Fuck the EU" and admitted that the U.S. had "invested five billion in support of the aspirations of the Ukrainian people," i.e., in promoting a right-wing coup.

    Hillary and the Neocons are a match made in heaven.

  •  Maureen Dowd (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean
    However, this is an interesting and nuanced article from Dowd. Read it... because next week she'll probably be back to some middle school nickname for Hillary and selected quotes from Mean Girls.
    I get your point. But Dowd's on a roll: Her last column, "My Head’s Exploding
    Is That the Iraq Drumbeat From Cheney & Co. Again?", was a winner too.

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