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Member since: Tue Mar 8, 2005, 07:39 PM
Number of posts: 27,315

Journal Archives

The Two Sentences That Should Be Part of All Discussion of the Debt Ceiling (James Fallows)


1) Raising the debt ceiling does not authorize one single penny in additional public spending.

2) For Congress to "decide whether" to raise the debt ceiling, for programs it has already voted into law, makes exactly as much sense as it would for a family to "decide whether" to pay a credit-card bill for goods it has already bought.

MA Democratic Party Chair - Scott Brown is a faker.

Thanks, John Walsh.

I wish all Dems would say the same thing rather than talking Brown up. The guy is a faker. Time to let this known.


Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh called former Sen. Scott Brown (R) a "faker" and insisted the state party is not concerned about its chances in defeating him in what will likely be the second special election with Brown as the GOP's nominee.


"I've met and observed Scott Brown for a few years. Charismatic is not the word I would use. I think Scott Brown is a faker. And so, yeah, is Ed Markey going to dress up in a costume and drive around Massachusetts? I mean, Scott Brown is a lifelong politician, who drives around in a truck he bought to haul his daughters horses, with a suede overcoat that cost 600 bucks, pretending he's a carpenter or electrician. Yeah, I suspect Ed Markey's not going do that," Walsh said during a conference call with reporters.

I think [Massachusetts voters] will see, if it is Ed Markey or if it is [Reps. Mike] Capuano or [Stephen] Lynch or any of these others, what you will see is a candidate of substance on issues that are important that will take the fight, just as Elizabeth Warren did, on the substance," he said.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/276835-mass-democratic-party-chairman-scott-brown-is-a-faker#ixzz2Ho6dLywe

On another positive sign, Ed Markey hired Sherrod Brown's campaign manager.


Markey announced Saturday that Sarah Benzing will manage his campaign. She most recently run the Sherrod Brown's successful race for Senate, overcoming $40 million in spending that outside groups poured into Ohio.

Benzing also managed New York Sen. Kristen Gillibrand's successful campaign in 2011. She previously worked as Iowa's Congressman Bruce Braley after managing his winning campaign in 2006.

Markey says Benzing's record managing grassroot campaigns shows she has the leadership, know-how and passion to lead his campaign to victory.

US Rep. Markey to run in Senate special election

Good news


US Representative Edward Markey, dean of the state’s Washington delegation, will run in 2013 for the US Senate seat expected to open with the nomination of US Senator John Kerry to head the State Department.

Markey, 66, a Malden Democrat elected to the House in 1976, is the first prominent candidate to declare a run for Kerry’s seat, which will be filled through a special election early next summer, probably in June. Kerry, a Democrat and head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is expected to be easily confirmed by the Senate in the coming weeks as the next secretary of state.

The Massachusetts special election is likely to be a closely-watched national race, and a potential harbinger for the 2014 mid-term elections.

“I have decided to run for the US Senate because this fight is too important,” Markey said in a statement to the Globe. “There is so much at stake.”


“With Senator Kerry’s departure, Massachusetts voters will decide once again whether we want a Senator who will fight for all our families or one who supports a Republican agenda that benefits only the powerful and well-connected,” Markey said. “I refuse to allow the Tea Party-dominated Republican Party to lead us off the fiscal cliff and into recession. I won’t allow the [National Rifle Association] to obstruct an assault weapons ban yet again. I will not sit back and allow oil and coal industry lobbyists to thwart our clean energy future or extremists to restrict women’s rights and health care.”

Markey said he favors spending money on “innovations and jobs,” protecting Social Security and Medicare, and “a sane approach to guns and violence.” In the US House, Markey has worked extensively on energy issues, and called for “a national policy that makes our country energy independent and curbs the pollution that is causing global warming.”

Obama: Unemployment Insurance Must Be Part Of Fiscal Cliff Deal

I dont like the change in CPI, but this is something nobody speaks about and that would be devastating for people if it did not happen. I know this issue is not exactly sexy and that most people here dont really care, but dont forget them when you say you are ready to go over the hill.


President Barack Obama warned Republicans in Congress not to let unemployment insurance expire for the long-term jobless at the end of the year.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Obama criticized House Speaker John Boehner's so-called Plan B proposal to hike taxes only on incomes above $1 million, a level far above that of the $400,000 stipulated in the president's most recent offer.

"The speaker is now proposing what he calls Plan B, so he says, 'Well, this would raise taxes only on folks making a million dollars or more.' What that means is an average of a $50,000 tax break for every millionaire," Obama said. "At the same time we are not providing unemployment insurance for 2 million people still out there looking for work."
"We applaud President Obama for insisting that a year-end fiscal agreement include a renewal of federal unemployment insurance, and for making clear he will veto House Speaker John Boehner’s so-called 'Plan B' proposal for failing to include a reauthorization of federal jobless aid," NELP director Christine Owens said in a statement. "It would be truly and unbelievably cruel to push millions of unemployed job-seekers off this year-end cliff."

Adam Lanza, Asperger's, and the Media Narrative on Autism and the Mentally Ill


Researchers have found no connection between autism and violence, but that hasn't stopped the mainstream media from harping on Newtown shooter Adam Lanza's apparent bout with Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism but is no longer listed in the DSM-5. Of course, it hasn't stopped the emotional responses from those familiar with autism, either.

Can we stop this? Can we stop referring to his as Asperger as a reason or a cause for his act?

I am Facebook friends with Ryan Lanza (Salon)

Chilling view of human nature, and one we have seen on DU these last few days. Trying to find explanations to things we cannot understand is only human, but, in doing so, we often forget to stop and think, and to make sure what we read is true.


There a lot of things we need to have a “national discussion” about in America — gun laws and access to mental health care being the two most important. For decades we’ve hidden our mentally ill in prisons and under bridges instead of dealing with them humanely. We’ve decided that access to guns is more important than our safety, that more guns equals safety, or that it’s a settled political issue. But another problem brought to light by this story is journalism in the age of the rolling news cycle, and how social media shapes not only coverage of breaking news, but us as people.

We have a problem with rushing to judgment.

News organizations racing to be first know that an article with a snappy headline thrown up when people are hungry for information can bring in incredible amounts of traffic – forget glory or prestige, keep the servers running ads. But accuracy and being first seem to conflict. Gawker’s first headline was “Is This Ryan Lanza, the Connecticut School Shooter?” which was later updated with my screen shot changed to “This ‘Ryan Lanza Facebook Profile Is The Connecticut Shooter’ Stuff Is Fucking Up Everything” (which seemed to admit they were fucking everything up). In response to criticism from Adam Serwer and Poynter, Buzzfeed’s editors detailed some of their thinking today.

The outpouring of vitriol directed at me I’m still trying to figure out. I was feeling shitty about the human race due to the shooting, this wasn’t helping, and as someone used to getting their share of criticism and trolls, it was on a level that surprised me. People all over the web were immediately passing around unverified nonsense, creating fake profiles of Lanza, burn-in-hell Facebook pages, raging on people they don’t know – like me – with the most tenuous connection imaginable to Lanza.

Allow me to add this because I have seen people doing just that and it bothers me

Don't Stigmatize Asperger's Syndrome in Wake of Newtown Massacre

What Real Americans (Digby)


One of the more positive consequences of this ridiculous fiscal cliff fight seems to be a growing awareness that the beltway is out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Americans. For those who've read Chris Hayes' brilliant book Twilight of the Elites, this is well-trod ground and his analysis explains quite well how this came to pass.

The term "The Village" does stem from the notorious Sally Quinn article about the Clintons. But it's more than that. It's shorthand for the permanent DC ruling class who have managed to convince themselves that they are simple, puritanical, bourgeois burghers and farmers, even though they are actually celebrity millionaires influencing the most powerful government on earth.

It's about their phoniness, their pretense of speaking for "average Americans" when it's clear they haven't the vaguest clue even about the average Americans who work in their local Starbucks or drive their cabs. (Think Tim Russert, good old boy from Buffalo, lately of Nantucket.)It's about their intolerable sanctimony and hypocritical provincialism, pretending to be shocked about things they all do, creating social rules for others which they themselves ignore.

The village is really "the village" an ersatz small town like something you'd see in Disneyland. And to those who argue that Versailles is the far better metaphor, I would just say that it is Versailles --- a very particular part:

The Village is a metaphor for the faux "middle class values" that the wealthy, insular, privileged, hypocritical political celebrities (and their hangers-on and wannabes) present to the nation.

I am always shocked by the ability Digby has to read through these bullshits.

Top Senate Democrat Rejects Raising Medicare Eligibility Age

Happy to hear that, particularly coming from Durbin.


As rumors swirl that Democrats may consider raising the Medicare eligibility age to reach a deal before the looming “fiscal cliff,” a top Senate Democrat expressed opposition to that option Sunday. Speaking on Meet the Press, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said raising the age at which seniors can receive Medicare from 65 to 67 would leave retired seniors with a dangerous gap in their health coverage:

DURBIN: I do believe there should be means testing. and those of us with higher income in retirement should pay more. That could be part of the solution. But when you talk about raising the eligibility age, there’s one key question. what happens to the early retiree? What about that gap in coverage between workplace and Medicare? How will they be covered? I listened to Republicans say we can’t wait to repeal Obamacare, and the insurance exchanges. well, where does a person turn if they are 65 years of age and the medicare eligibility age is 67? They have two years there where they may not have the best of health. They need accessible, affordable medical insurance during that period.

Stephen Colbert Is Vastly Overqualified for Jim DeMint's Vacant Senate Seat


Stephen Colbert has launched a Twitter campaign to get South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to appoint him to replace Sen. Jim DeMint, who announced he was quitting Thursday. And the problem is not that Colbert isn't qualified. It's that he's too qualified.

"Let's see, you need someone young, someone conservative, someone from South Carolina, maybe someone who had a super PAC?" Colbert said on The Colbert Report Thursday night, as his left hand tried to smother his right. Sure. But let's be real. What you need to be a senator these days is the ability to "say words good on the TV." Colbert says words too good. Instead of displaying talking points-style discipline during interviews, he engages in spontaneous riffing. Worse, Colbert has a skill set that is way to broad for the Senate. He appears to speaks Latin nearly fluently. He studied philosophy in college. His favorite book is not nearly down-to-earth or biblical enough — it's Lord of the Rings. He believes that science is real, at least given the number of scientists he books on his show. He told New York magazine in 2007 that he loves Richard Nixon — but not for the appropriate reasons, like that Nixon got really good at winning presidential elections. Instead, Colbert loves Nixon's policy: "He started the EPA. He opened China. He gave 18-year-olds the vote. His issues were education, drugs, women, minorities, youth involvement, ending the draft, and improving the environment. John Kerry couldn’t have run on this! What would I give for a Nixon?"

Think about the man Colbert would be replacing. Jim DeMint might be quitting to run a think tank, but he's no thinker, according to The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin, a conservative blogger. Rubin writes:

Even DeMint would not claim to be a serious scholar. He is a pol. He’s a pol whose entire style of conservatism – all or nothing, no compromise, no accounting for changes in public habits and opinions — is not true to the tradition of Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk and others...
Every individual who works [at Heritage] should take pause and consider whether the reputation of that institution is elevated or diminished by this move. And I would say the same, frankly, if any other non-scholarly pol took that spot.

Digby blog - Faux journalism versus good journalism

At a time where reporting is getting lamer and lamer on all sides, this is welcome.


Faux journalism versus good journalism

by David Atkins

Nate Silver takes aim at Politico:

“Politico is … it’s like ‘Who won the day?’ kind of thing, right?” Silver responded. “They’re trying to cover it like it’s sports, but not in an intelligent way at all, right? And they want to create noise, basically, right? Their whole thing is, you have to have a lead story about some gaffe that some candidate made on the campaign trail.”
Of course, the same could be said of most of the political press.

The alternative, of course, would be to try to get at the truth. That would be journalism. Good journalism would then not only report the truth, but report it in context.

For instance, here's what passes for faux journalism these days:
"Democrats and Republicans divided as fiscal cliff looms."

Here's what actual journalism would look like:
"As fiscal cliff looms, Democrats offer major spending cuts; Republicans refuse tax increases on wealthy."

Here's what good journalism would look like:
"Democrats plan to cut assistance to poor during massive recession as Republicans defend record low tax rates on the wealthy at time of record income income inequality, while Congress nears self-imposed arbitrary deficit deadline."

Good luck getting them to do that, though. Good journalism is hard.

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