Tuesday morning mishmash

1. NYT: retails sales beats even the most optimistic forecasts:

Americans are splurging as though it’s 2007 again.
Shoppers spent more money this holiday season than even before the recession, according to preliminary retail data released on Monday.
After a 6 percent free fall in 2008 and a 4 percent uptick last year, retail spending rose 5.5 percent in the 50 days before Christmas, exceeding even the more optimistic forecasts, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, which tracks retail spending.

The rise was seen in just about every retail category. Apparel led the way, with an increase of 11.2 percent. Jewelry was up 8.4 percent, and luxury goods like handbags and expensive department-store clothes increased 6.7 percent. There was even a slight increase in purchases of home furniture, which had four consecutive years of declining sales. The figures include in-store and online sales, and exclude autos.

“For the past year or two, when I’ve seen growth in one area, it seems to come at the expense of another,” said Michael McNamara, vice president for research and analysis at SpendingPulse. “Here, things are actually all moving in the right direction.”

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2. Good read from Ezra:

Scoring the Obama administration’s record on inequality


3. Remember the Left meltdown over Sonya Sotomayor’s “centrism” and yelling at the president for not nominating a “True Liberal”? Well, not for the first time, nor the last – they were full of crap.

NYT: Sotomayor Guides Court’s Liberal Wing


We are now three months into Justice Sotomayor’s second term on the court. That is awfully early in a justice’s career to draw any general conclusions. But some things are becoming tolerably clear.

Justice Sotomayor has completely dispelled the fear on the left that her background as a prosecutor would align her with the court’s more conservative members on criminal justice issues. And she has displayed a quality — call it what you will — that is alert to the humanity of the people whose cases make their way to the Supreme Court…

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4. Remember the Left meltdown over Elena Kagan’s “centrism” and yelling at the president for not nominating a “true Liberal”? Well, not for the first time, nor the last – they were full of crap.

LA Times: Sotomayor, Kagan shift Supreme Court debates to the left

The liberal wing is no longer drowned out by Scalia and his fellow conservatives during oral arguments.

For most of the last two decades, Supreme Court conservatives led by Justice Antonin Scalia dominated the debates during oral arguments. They greeted advocates for liberal causes with sharp and sometimes caustic questions, putting them on the defensive from the opening minute.

But the tenor of the debate has changed in recent months, now that President Obama’s two appointees to the court, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, have joined the fray and reenergized the liberal wing.Gone are the mismatches where the Scalia wing overshadowed reserved and soft-spoken liberals like now-retired Justices David H. Souter and John Paul Stevens. Instead, the liberals often take the lead and press attorneys defending the states or corporations.

“They’re clearly on a roll,” said Washington attorney Lisa S. Blatt, who has argued regularly before the high court. “They are engaged and really active. It just feels like a different place.”// more***********************************************************************************************




124 thoughts on “Tuesday morning mishmash

  1. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says no U.S. troops will be left in his country after 2011, calling the agreement for all American soldiers to leave by then “not subject to extension, not subject to alteration.”

    “Not a single militia or gang can confront Iraqi forces and take over a street or a house,” Maliki, recently awarded a second term, told The Wall Street Journal, expressing confidence that his country’s military will be strong enough to keep Iraq secure by 2012. “This is finished; we are comfortable about that.”

    Maliki also called attention to a sense of “paranoia” within the United States of an Iraq-Iran alliance.

    “For Iraq to be dragged into an axis or an orbit, that’s impossible, and we reject it whether this comes from Iran, Turkey or the Arabs,” Maliki said.


  2. This year we will see a big surge in the economy. With Obama spending money on greening this nation we actually have a chance to make it through the energy shocks that might come. This president is thinking ahead. I am interested in the nuclear fusion experiments in Livermore Labs in California, too. We might be on the cusp of a new power technology using lasers. I think Obama will tell us about this if things go well. Now we have a battery industry, too, thanks to his efforts.

  3. It really is amazing how wrong so many on the left are sometimes, isn’t it? Over at the GOS, I was just told that when “true progressives” take back the Democratic Party, “Democrats like me” will have to decide if we’ll join them or join the Republican Party.


  4. As usual, a great morning round up. Just to comment on a couple of the itmes.

    Regarding the spending, this doesn;t really surprise me. When people feel positive about the future they spend more, specially after doing a lot of belt tightening for a few years. And as I mentioned yesterday, a positive buying public lifts all sectors of the economy. Although I won’t give all the credit to the President, there is no doubt in my mind that he has a lot to do with the public spirit being elevated.

    Regarding the two SC justices. It was obvious from the beginning that the President based his decisions on what he knew was in the hearts of these two women, not just their past history. He also knew that a overwhelming “liberal” nominee had no chance of making it through the Senate. Look at the problems he had with these two relatively non controversial appointments.

    A quick comment on those on the left who are the most hysterical abotu what has been happening. There have been a lot of statements here about them being full of hate, anger, envy, spite, etc. I have a different opinion.

    They are a lot like Charlie Brown when Lucy is holding the football for him. They feel they have been betrayed in the past and have pinned hopes on people in the past, only to have them be destroyed.

    They are, in effect, paranoid. They feel people are out to betray them in the future and, anticipating that betrayal, anything they see that can remotely be seen as that betrayal confirms their fears, and anger arises from fear and hurt and betrayal is both.

    Yes, they are frustrated, but it goes well beyond that. In their paranoia they turn into that which they most despised in the past. They become intolerant of other views, even when the other view, in principle, is the same as theirs. So what you have is a Red State mentality in left leaning sites. What you see is a demand that the President act as Bush did to fulfill their hopes.

    Slowly, though, I think some of them are coming out of the paranoid delusional state they were in, though not all will.

    And with that, I refuse to talk anymore about that particular segment of society. Instead, I will focus on who the real enemies of progress are, the Republicans.

  5. It’s that “hair on fire” mentality. I always visualize that photo of the President which merely states “…..I got this.” Some people have vastly underestimated his abilities. And good on the ladies of the Supreme Court for giving the BushBuddies the what for….

  6. I think the Prof Left will become more and more marginalized as Obama has success.(Like FDL or Hillary44) Do they really believe he will let them undo all he has done so far?

  7. Yes, because those with absolutely no people skills will easily win over the populace how? These people couldn’t convince a guinea pig to eat a piece of lettuce.

  8. I agree that we should focus on the real enemies of progress. However, I hope you realize that many from the Professional Left are in fact Republicans who pose as “progressives” in order to line their pockets, and to cause division within the Democratic party with the ultimate purpose of undermining the Democratic president and his very progressive agenda.

  9. Yes, there seems to be a lot happening under the radar, which means it doesn’t get picked apart by the naysayers. It’s what people don’t seem to realize when they complain that the President has forgotten his energy promises. Would love to know how things are really going with fusion, in particular.

  10. Thanks BWD! Just yesterday, I took a look at Obmama inaugural address, this man is so damn consistent. If anyone got a different message from Obama campaigns or his inaugural address, they were not listening, and need to go back and review what he said, and compare it to what he has been doing.

  11. Good Morning Pragmati,

    I had to laugh this morning when I signed onto Facebook I had a friend request form Markos Moulitas (I’m sure one of my friends sent it to me just to be funny). I graciously declined his friend request. 🙂

    Another great Morning Mishmash BWD. Thank you for keeping us informed.

  12. Great news on the two Obama judges. The gos freaks are being shown time & again they’re politically stupid.

    Nice toon.

  13. I have to remind people all the time of this man’s consistency. One of the things that causes me great consternation is when some on the left say, “he loss me when he doubled down on Afghanistan”. I SMH in amazement because I know this man went all over the country during the 2008 campaign saying “he would finish the job that GWB should have finished in Afghanistan”. Now they all are surprised and upset because that he did what he said he would do.

    They are like spoiled kids that stuck their finger in their ears and hummed na na na na while he was telling them exactly what he planned to do.

  14. The most hilarious thing I saw recently – which shows just how far around the bend the frustrati have gone – was one commenter on my blog stating that there was going to be a “powerful libertarian/progressive coalition” which was going to shift the party to the left. Then they proceeded to mention their dream ticket: Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich.

  15. My fav was – paraphrase – “Of course I will try to work with them, and if that fails, I will crush them.” Said calmly, with a soupcon of selk aware mirth. Cool.

  16. Off the subject, but as an artist, I want to commend you, blackwaterdog, on the design of your site. I particularly like the palimpsest-like background, almost like the wall of a cave. Perhaps we can think of ourselves like the ancient shamans who created the cave paintings, making marks on the wall that will invoke beneficial experiences in the real world?

  17. “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t”

    Yes, I know that isn’t always true, but that Jay-Z quote seems to fit so beautifully in this instance. LOL

  18. Their time had come (possibly) It is now gone. Deal with it, frustrati.

    I’ve said it countless times…the kindergarteners I sub for are more mature, more realistic than you’ll ever be.

    Have a good day, e!

  19. I have thought that the gradual improvements in the economy versus some sort of huge turnaround might indicate that they are real and not a bubble bound to burst some time in the future. Also because we did not experience a full blown depression I think we may not, as a population, have mentally computed how close we came and are impatient to have things back to feeling normal. We need to emphasize the positive that is real to keep motivated to do the long hard work of changing the structural problems.

    I love reading about the two new women on the court. Thanks for the links.

    As far as the left infighting, I think its just another boil that has been lanced. We have to find our way to respect, empower and include one another before we can hope to change our relationships with those that are ideologically opposed to liberal solutions.

  20. …And documented very important things that many ignored for posterity

    I love the design too. I like the ease and economy of it; it goes well with the lowered blood pressure that also comes with the place.

  21. I agree, except I believe their paranoia has pesonal, past history IRL roots, as well as political.

    To use the 2010 TV Expression of the year – They are Dead to me.

    “dead” is harsh. So I substitute – “non-existent”. Sensations do not exist without a perceiver. I choose not to perceive them 🙂

    (Unless I can get off really good snark at their expense :))

    Sheila – GREAT resolution!

  22. President Obama should have the opportunity to fill two more Supreme Court vacancies should he win a second term as Bader Ginsburg and Breyer would likely retire under a Democratic President than risk the possibility that a Republican would be elected in 2016. OTOH Scalia and Kennedy will try and hold out until 2016 to be replaced by a Republican President.

    Surely Scalia will stick around for 2016, but Kennedy could potentially retire earlier if the GOP takes the Senate in 2012 as he’s the centrist and a Democratic President and Republican Senate would probably lead to a pretty damn centrist nomination.

    The 2016 Presidential election will be a epic battle for the future of the Supreme Court. If a Democrat could win they’d surely replace a couple from the Conservative side.

  23. Great points cuphalffull.

    I think that the nature of this president speaks well to the long-term nature of his accomplishments. It is likely never to be fully appreciated by most. And I totally agree…It is so important that his economic solutions (and everything else that radiates from them) be more sustainable and address the quick pendulum shifts that were likely to lead to repeated cycles of feast and famine and eventually an even more insecure and unproductive populace.

  24. I think you are right about people not really realizing how close we came to a total economic disaster, saved by TARP (okay, I give Bush a little credit) and the auto bailout (although started under Bush, really brought to a successful fruition by Obama). Because of that, they did expect a bigger turn around.

    I also agree that some sort of a blending will be necessary, although never will it be total. Human nature dictates otherwise.

  25. Agreed. And, barring an epic collapse, I don’t see a Republican winning even in 2016. This is an aspect too often overlooked. What the current court has done to this country is shameful, in my opinion.

  26. Let’s face it. People projected onto him their own hopes and desires. He has been very consistent. He always spoke of what he hoped to achieve, but always said he couldn’t do it alone. In regards to Afghanistan, I wish the job had been done right by Bush to begin with, but it wasn’t. Obama had two choices. Give up right away or might one last effort to set things right.

    He chose the latter, which is what he said he woudl do. His increase in troop styrength is being likened to the surge in Iraq. It really isn’t as the whole approach is different and the goal is also different.

    Do I wish it were being done in a different manner? Probably. But the decision isn’t mine. The telling point will come this July when he has promised to start drawing down the troop strength. Of course, for some, unless he takes them all out in July, it won’t be enough, but if he doesn’t start drawing down, then that will become a majro issue, even for me.

  27. That is one decision you will never have to make. Why do extremes of either party always think they will soon be the majority?

  28. I don’t understand this way of thinking. What type of coalition would this be? Libertarians are the furthest thing from progressive, no?

  29. LOL. The reality of these nutzos from the left = let’s recruit the two unwilling candidates from the political extremes and make an taxfree, soshulist utopia. Nutters all.

  30. As I read Japa21’s comments they certainly described my attitude in 2008. I had the very naive attitude that since President Obama was such an intelligent and compassionate man and since Democrats controlled Congress it would all work out just fine. Boy do I feel silly. Although this may sound strange, I think the negative press, tea party, and hysteria of Glenn Beck has an upside. It motivated me to pay more attention, make calls to Congress and start a blog. It has also given us this supportive and informative blog (with a great background image). Sometimes it takes adversity to get you going.

  31. Terrific comment. Co-signed: President Obama looks to the long term rather than quick fix.

    One quibble: is there really a great deal of infighting amongst the base or is this media-manufactured drama? For the most part, the left seems just fine (amazingly stable approvals for this POTUS); it’s our self-appointed spokespeople who continue to divorce themselves from our thoughts and beliefs. Nothing can or should be done about that other than building new spaces to represent a more authentic point of view.

  32. I think the so called teabagger congressmen/women will not be re-elected in 2012 not only because of their stupidity but because the economy will be stronger. Already people are having buyer’s remorse on these candidates as the craziness is now in the light, before they were lost in the hoopla of the GOP lies.

    In FL especially some of them are now seeing is it was not in their best interests to vote the way they did but too bad so sad.

  33. You know, I just wish people will be truthful whether it is from the left or the right. It doesn’t really matter they criticize PBO that is alright, but lets just be honest and truthful. I care less about the criticism of Glen or Rush or all of Fox-news people of this Prez, if it is honest they might be considered as real, but they just aren’t talking true to the power. They lie, they dessieve people. It is not even a close to the truth lie it is outrageous lie. It is like not true. But why? As I said they can dissagree and talk about the truth of their belives or even ideology but why lie? I just don’t get it.

  34. Also in 2016 we will have kids in middle school able to vote not to mention some high school kids that will JUST miss voting in 2012.

    My son along with some of his friends are working tirelessly with some adults and kids their age to show the facts not the lies. One of these kids will benefit the DREAM act since her parents brought her here illegally when she was 4mths, she told one teabagger grandma she did not deserve to be a grandma since she could not put aside her prejudice and do what is best for her grandkids future.

  35. Oh, thank you very much. 🙂 I know that reading is a bot difficult on the eyes for some – that’s why i use large fonts and try to just post links and not force people to read too much – but i do like the way the place looks now…

    Thanks again.

  36. The cynics fail to understand that the ground has shifted beneath them.

    —–President Barack H. Obama 1/20/09)——–
    Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has already done, what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage. What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.

    The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

  37. *This* is what the entire media, the hysterical left and the Karl Roves of the world totally miss. This president is adored by high school kids. They will run to vote on 2012.

  38. Ron Paul was cogent on exactly one issue: the war in Iraq. Does this person have any conception of Paul’s other “ideas”? They certainly are not congruent with Kucinich’s.

  39. Yes, g, putting energy, even negative energy, into something feeds it. It is important to acknowledge the negative, then move on to concentrate on the positive if one desires to be truly effective in the long run. Our President is a true leader in this respect.

  40. I like the quote too, JordanRules, but you are right, it isn’t always true. When data is infinite (and there does appear to be an infinite amount of data around, numeric and otherwise), data is infinitely corruptible. But I do prefer depending on it to vague suppositions and out-and-out lies.

  41. Theres a blog called. Little Green Footballs they have a interesting story about Mr markos. Some of his writings. They are revealing. I tried to link but im having trouble.

  42. Please have me read as much as you want. I get info from you that i don’t hear elsewhere.

  43. There was a sig line over at DK that said something to the effect of “Politics is like Astroids (old school video game) – go far enough left and come out on the right.”

  44. Exactly and its happening now. The ground is shifting beneath them. They are paranoid and running.

  45. The flip side of that is that with the economy improving folks will be less inclined to make any changes.

    The biggest case in 2012 will be the accomplishments from 2008-2010 vs the accomplishments from 2010-2012 and then tell America to choose.

  46. Ezra Klein jumped the shark on this whole Vick thing. I had to take him to task over it on twitter this morning. WTH is wrong with the prof. left? Ezra Klein could have taken a cue from the pres. and use his comments to highlight a serious issue/social injustice facing hundreds of thousands of young black man…and women…in this country.

    Fools. They’re all a bunch of fools.

  47. Er whut? I guess they don’t realize that they will be kissing up to “Democrats like me” in order to get their candidates elected? they are going to need our money and our time and yeah they are going to need the one group they have been trashing – OFA!

  48. I posted this comment in another thread:

    I think its a combination of misguided nader
    flunkys, dumbass libertarian ron paul
    followers and a dash of larouche & republican
    trolls dipped in dog shyt…hehe…The sad
    thing is that they don’t have the guts to
    just state their business and make a case for a viable 3rd party…Im glad they’re too lazy
    to build the infrastructure to even get on
    the ballot.
    Yep…They can go right ahead throwing bricks & hiding on supposedly Democratic blogs, while ignoring the heavy lifting…I mean really…We’ve seen what Pres. Obama had to go through over a two year campaign…That’s why POTUS is where he is and them…well they’re dumster diving 🙂

  49. Excellent, just excellent.

    They are remaking gov’t to make gov’t work one freakin day at a time. It is amazingly impressive.

  50. Yes, he’s up to 91% support among liberal Democrats. That’s the same percentage support that he has among African-Americans in that same poll. In other words, DKos ain’t the base.

    Check jotter’s diaries, jotter.dailykos.com. There are only about 2,000 people who comment on Daily Kos in a typical day. 2,000 people. That’s it. That’s why the views expressed on that site are so extreme and don’t represent the majority of liberals or Democrats. You get 2,000 of the most extreme political junkie liberal internet addicts in America and put them on a site, it’s not going to be representative of a larger group.

  51. I sort of agree with your assessment. I’ve thought about it before but then I also think about their candidates of choice and conclude that these people are really just clueless sometimes and turn a blind eye/deaf ear when these candidates or their heroes show themselves. They expect more and see things that the candidate never promised. They dismiss the candidates voting record and they miss all kinds of clues that scream ‘NOT A TRUE PROGRESSIVE’.

    Reminds me of when I watch Divorce Court and the woman is complaining that her husband is a serial cheater. You feel sorry for her until you find out that she was aware that he was cheating on her during most of their relationship. Not to say that these women (or men) deserved to be cheated on but this person showed you who they were before you walked down the aisle.

    “When people show you who they are, believe them” – Maya Angelou

  52. Hey Ray, interesting comment about fusion experiments. Any links? If we’re going to solve our energy problems, the solutions will come from new technologies like that.

  53. Oh for the love of Buddha, they have the people skills of paranoiacs. Yeah, the rank and file Democrats are going to follow them to the barricades.

  54. In President Obama’s second term he’ll have to look to push potential 2016 candidates to the forefront. It’s easier for the opposition to create leaders going up against the current President and contrasting against him to get in the public eye.

    More likely than not, the next President will be a Governor, coming out of the Senate is rare.

    Manchin, Bayh and Warner are former Governors in the Senate. Kaine is a former Governor as well. President should have a cabinet spot waiting for Brian Schweitzer once his current term expires to get him Washington experience. Losses of Bill White and Alex Sink were pretty big as they would have been purple/red State Dem Governors. Too bad Conway is blocked by Beshear in Kentucky. Sebelius is another potential contender – especially given how she’s handling HCR implementation.

  55. That’s why people need to stop giving them so much attention. I view them in the same manner in which I view freerepublic: a large site with people who hold a very narrow and boutique view of politics. They are only problematic when mistaken for grassroots or the base. And IMO we have a POTUS who is too smart to do that; he’ll tell everyone how necessary and important and influential etc. etc., leaving no stone unturned, but at the end of the day, he knows that they are not his base of support. So it behooves us to continue to build up alternative spaces which have authentic voices. I’ll be frank: this rainbow lunacy which went down there couldn’t have happened at numerous other spaces more closely tethered to mainstream Dem views of this POTUS. That says it all in terms of giving people a time, importance, energy and credibility that they simply don’t deserve any longer. And it’s a little bit telling that I haven’t wasted a page click on that space in quite some time yet I am well-versed in what’s going on there because we spend a little too much time talking about these people. Totally understandable, but I’ve moved to a place at which I just don’t care what they think, and I mean, *at all* and encourage people to maybe think for a second about whether it’s worth it to engage such mindlessness, only to become predictably upset and discouraged afterwards.

  56. My 26 year old nephew and 21 year old niece were in town for Christmas. We gathered at my mother’s for Christmas Eve dinner as usual. Talk turned to politics. Nephew was pissed off at Wikileaks, wondering where they were during the Bush years. I commented on the PL frenzy over Pres. Obama. “Professional Left? What’s that?” I went on to explain about DKos and FDL. Neither of them — both young, politically aware people — had ever heard of them.

    My nephew and niece ARE the base. The screamers of the frustrati are not.

  57. You guys, be very careful with LGF; they are a far rightwing site, yet one of the few which maintained any sanity as the Republican leadership went over the cliff. I think that simply disengaging purity sites “on the left,” like that of Moulitsas, is a great idea.

  58. What?!? Where do they keep finding all of these fake liberals to poll??? They must not be mining his “real” base on the true blue progressive blogs!!1!111!

  59. Yes, that made me happy. Again, it was all about the fight and not actually moving the court in the right direction. The right simply could never find anything to really hurt the nominations of Sotomayor or Kagan. You don’t think that President Obama didn’t find out everything he needed to know during his private conversations? He just used an old play from the Republican playbook, which is fielding seemingly innocuous candidates that the other side can’t really make attacks stick against.

  60. IMO the fight is pretty much contained to the blogs, pundits like Shultz, or some random entertainment figure who just shoot their mouth off without having all of the facts handy. Otherwise, everyone I know is ready for 2012.

  61. You still go into the fantasy based community?

    In my 70+ years, I’ve never seen such a poor excuse for a group alleging a dedication to “helping” the “average” person. The place is a joke. I think they have strategy sessions where they argue about stuff like: “What word can we use to really, really relate to ‘Main Street”?”

    “Hey!!! I’ve got a BRILLIANT idea. Let’s say that everyone who disagrees with us is a CORPORATIST! Now that’s something the average Joe can understand!”

    Then they find out over a period of about a year that the “average Joe” is still asking: “What the HELL are you talking about? That doesn’t make any sense to me and, besides, isn’t your website run by a corporation?”

    “Well THAT didn’t work so maybe we can start calling people who don’t agree with us Taliban! Well maybe not everyone who doesn’t agree with us, but at least all the religious ones. That will get everyone on our side.”

    Yeah it did. Alan Grayson liked the idea, though! Damn that was a short political career. How do you lose to someone they had to import from elsewhere to run against you. Probably a missed opportunity for Alan Keyes!

    They need a new name. How about Daily Loser?

  62. Yeah well I STILL say Tricky Ricky had the machines in Harris County destroyed or one of his flunkies cause there is NO WAY in heck slick Rick is that close to Bill White in Harris County. It was within 100,000 in Houston as Ms Gladys says it was no coincidence the machines for the LARGEST block of Democratic votes or White’s hometown is this close, his approval rating is still in the 80’s.

  63. Exactly right, Rina! This lefty split is a mythical media creation and is nothing but people sitting back and laughing as the left is depicted as idiots and buffoons, the children in the room, when in fact we have closed ranks around this POTUS, are very supportive of Dem ideas, and understand that progress is taking place in a context in which not everyone agrees with us. We’re getting a bad rap here IMO.

  64. Hey, would somebody be willing to post a link to my blog entry on Reddit.com? I would LOVE for this to get wider attention. That’s how we fight the meme that “Obama is a plutocrat that’s not advancing the progressive agenda.”

  65. Bill White looked for a hot moment like he had a chance to win against Perry. Then he hired slinkerwink and everything went downhill.

  66. Unfortunately, Democrats never controlled the Senate. They had 58 nominal Dems in the Senate but that included a bunch of people who wanted personal attention at the expense of the agenda. Bernie Sanders was reliable, though it seemed that he caused Finegold to go off track trying to keep his “most liberal” cred going. Holy Joe was out to undercut the people who cost him the Democratic nomination and/or supported Ned Lamont.

    But given that reality, President Obama’s record is even more impressive. It is progressive, having moved us to a better place and given us a new starting point from which to progress. It is critical that people understand that progress means moving forward, not achieving Utopia in fell swoop.

  67. Your last lines say it all. Too many people focused on what wasn’t done, not realizing this was a lot of groundwork laying. I like to say “we have seen the beginning of what can be, not the end of what will be.”

  68. How the heck is that a “walk back?” They did that same crap during the Park51 hullabaloo. Christ!

  69. Whew!!

    Can we talk cognitive dissonance? The frustrati are indeed frustrated, and they are clearly having some difficultty comprehending.

    I swear, more and more I am beginning to think that these guys are in living in a fantasy world.

    But we can all do them a favor and let them marinate in their own bitter sauces.

    Go figure.

  70. Reddit.com is a place where people submit links and then they can be voted and commented on. It’s a treasure trove of useful links on the web (along with a shit-ton of worthless stuff). There are “reddits” for various topics and mine would go under the Politics reddit. You have to sign up for a free account (takes just a second) then click on the Submit a Link link. I used to do it but they banned me for submitting links to my own blog 😉

    When things get popular on Reddit, thousands of people see them which is why I see it as a good way to help get the message out.

  71. I agree with that, GN. The problem that I see is that sites like that ARE perceived by many outsiders as representative of the views of all liberals or all Democrats. And as such, sites like that influence the debate and affect peoples thinking. That’s why I mention the stats such as the fact that only about 2,000 individual users post comments (far fewer, about 200 post diaries) on DKos in a typical day, because it shows that it’s not really a large group of people creating the content there in terms of what you see in the comments and diaries. It’s a very small group of people whose views skew far outside the mainstream.

    I hear what you are saying about moving to a point where *you* don’t care what those sites are saying. But because those sites have established themselves as the “leaders” of the progressive blogs, they get page views and they get to influence the debate. A lot of people who don’t understand the underlying dynamics still think that sites like that speak for the base. Those people go to sites like that and see the negativity and it turns them negative against Democrats and the president because they think that’s what the base thinks.

    If DKos was really the base, since 91% of liberal Democrats support President Obama, then you would see 9 out of 10 comments, 9 out of 10 diaries, 9 out of 10 front pagers supportive of the president. You don’t see that when you go there. I can’t think of one single front pager at DKos that is truly supportive of the president. They are all either cynical, critical, or downright disrespectful of the president.

    The answer is to build up alternative sites, but at the same time discuss the root of the problem of why those alternative sites need to be built in the first place. Ignoring it doesn’t do any good. 90% of the people on this site came here because DKos became too toxic.

  72. Kudos to the the Supremes — Sotomayor and Kagan. People will learn in time to cease and desist from undermining and underestimating this president.

  73. Exactly he thanked them for giving him a second chance, Its a shame he has to clarify.

  74. The phrase “we have seen the beginning of what can be, not the end of what will be.” will roll around in my brain all day and cheer me. We need to stay hopeful and encouraged, folks like you really help.

  75. I get your point about the need to continue to point out just how fringe and narrow certain spaces which claim to speak for the base are in actuality; that’s a great point. And IMO management sets the tone and climate and they have made a deliberate choice: purity troll. Because they have an irrational view of this WH. My only point is that it is very easy to become diverted and lose focus, and made to believe that there is this huge divide between the coalition which put POTUS in place. As far as I can detect, supermajorities of African Americans and white liberals are still in place, as are majorities of other groups of color. White swing voters are the group missing the party and that’s where we need to focus rather than on the manufactured and dishonest “conflict” in “the left” present on certain sites (containing people so simple-minded that they worship clear trolls yet disdain a POTUS working his fingers to the bone to help average people—just twisted and deranged).

    But I do take your points; well said.

  76. Okay, I can’t help it: WOW. Not a good move, that hire. I’m not sure that I even want to know the details. Going forward, it would be a good idea for Democratic candidates to decline to trust any portion of their campaigns or legislative strategies to sensationalists. All blogs are bubbles but the sensationalist spaces are totally operating outside of reality IMO.

  77. Ezra Klein has exhibited a lot of right wing toolery these past few weeks. It’s a shame – he used to be the voice of reason amongst the pundits.

  78. Oh, and I was cherishing my moment of being called a Republican this morning. I thought I was special, but I’m not! It’s hard for me to understand who’s there anymore – are any of these people either sober or over 16? I’ve never read so much paranoid nonsense in my life, and I’ve been in some interesting places over the last 60+ years.

  79. Seems we have a fight brewing in Chicago in the Mayor’s race. Clinton is coming to town to support Rahm Emanuel, who was Clinton’s deputy C of S, and is the current front-runner in the race. Danny Davis is calling foul and saying that this “will thwart the legitimate political aspirations of Chicago’s black community.”
    I don’t see how as the black community can vote for whomever they please, but Davis must be guessing they won’t be voting for him. I guess we can change his statement to “”will thwart the legitimate political aspirations of me.”


  80. In my 70+ years, I’ve never seen such a poor excuse for a group alleging a dedication to “helping” the “average” person. The place is a joke. I think they have strategy sessions where they argue about stuff like: “What word can we use to really, really relate to ‘Main Street”?”

    I am ready to confess that I’m the odd one out here (being based in the Netherlands), but I *do* recognize this (hapless) desire to connect to Main Street (while being elitist bloggers).

    However, in *my time* (DOIINNG) “Main Street” was coined as “laborers” and “liberals” vs. “purists” was “communists” vs. “anarchists”.

    This was Amsterdam, the 1970s.

  81. Do you live in Harris county? My daughter and some other friends/relatives live there and it’s my understanding that there wasn’t much enthusiasm for White.

    I live in Jefferson county and it was hard to tell there was a governor’s race going on. Bill White campaigned against Obama — saying things like he and Obama don’t come from the same place. He talked trash about Nancy Pelosi — too — and I love Nancy Pelosi.

    I saw no signs — I got no phone calls — I saw no interest in Bill White.

    I didn’t vote for him. I didn’t tell anybody not to vote for him — but I wasn’t about to tell anybody to go vote for him.

    Oddly enough — I got a Christmas card recently from Bill White for Texas. That’s the first thing I got from Bill White for Texas all year. I guess he knew what he was doing and thought he could do it without “my” vote.

    What’s that about? Is that card supposed to be a peace offering? He can forget it. Bill White will never get my vote for anything.

  82. I agree entirely with you. They are Republicans posing as Dems. However their attempts to divide aren’t really working. 91% of Liberals are digging what our President is doing. Those poor Fake Dems…they’re just not very good at it. Besides underestimating President Obama, they’re underestimating us. That’s just fine by me.

  83. Thank you! That makes me extraordinarily happy to read. So have they really discovered how to make cellulosic ethanol this time. I keep reading that the science still isn’t there yet in some places, and that it is there yet and moving from the laboratory to industrial scale already. Not sure which to believe.

  84. If only they would realise that true progressives as they call themselves are a minority in the party the better off they will be.

  85. I check out LGF from time to time and many of them are jumping the Repug ship all together and voting Dem even the owner.

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