- Thomas Jefferson: Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State.
- Sharon Angle: Thomas Jefferson has been misquoted on church and state.
- Thomas Jefferson: The priests of the different religious sects dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight, the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his Father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter [...] we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away all this
- Sharon Angle: Thomas Jefferson has been misquoted on church and state.
I’d argue in a similar vein as Yglesias: it’s not remarkable at all that the GOP extracted this kind of stern loyalty. What’s remarkable is that The Democrat did not. Not even on procedural votes can Democratic Leadership count on the caucus voting in lockstep (and then being free to vote their conscience on final passage).
Likewise, such fealty is also not required on keystone issues such as healthcare insurance reform, or more recently on FinReg. Say what you will about whether or not Feingold is in the right by withholding his vote for FinReg (in favor of some theoretically better but functionally nonexistent “other bill”), the fact of the matter is that in so doing, he’s empowered Code Brown to set the agenda for FinReg, and The Democrat has dutifully sent the bill to the American Taxpayer instead of the largest banking interests in the world. And now will get to take the blame for it. Because, rest assured, the GOP will run on that. And won’t be troubled in the least by the facts that they were directly responsible for that change and many, many others just like it. The facts do not matter.
FinReg Conference Committee headed back to the table:
In an extraordinary move aimed at winning over reluctant Republican senators, the top Democratic negotiators on the Wall Street reform bill will reopen the conference committee Tuesday to swap out a controversial $19 billion tax on big banks, according to House and Senate aides.
Yes, you read that right. Fresh off nearly destroying the global economy, fresh off being bailed out to the tune of trillions of dollars, fresh off the entire affair being compared to “an ant” by Boehner, the GOP is again moving the goalposts (and being allowed to do so by Democrat asshat enablers, which on this occasion includes Russ Feingold (D-Wis.); thanks a lot, and I hope you enjoy your years in the minority).
The banksters just can’t be held accountable for any amount money, no matter how small, no matter how justified, no matter how directly related to their own future operations. Not even a relatively paltry $19 billion that’s intended to bail their sorry asses out in the not-too-distant future. Nope. That’s also coming out of your ass, American Taxpayer. Hope you enjoy it. The GOP got it just for you. Because you’re special. See you in 2010.
Ezra Klein notes the outcome of some polling on what the average American thinks should be done:
1. Raise the limit on taxable earnings so it covers 90% of total earnings.
2. Reduce spending on health care and non-defense discretionary spending by at least 5%.
3. Raise tax rates on corporate income and those earning more than $1 million.
4. Raise the age for receiving full Social Security benefits to 69.
5. Reduce defense spending by 10% - 15%.
6. Create a carbon and securities-transaction tax.
I don’t see any of these that are antithetical to the broad strokes of Democratic policy, at least as it has played out under Obama. Plus, these are the popular ideas. So steal them. This should be the Aims for a Renewed America (or whatever). You run on it across the board. Individual candidates may feel free to leaven in some Wall St. Fatcat mentions such that they can play down #4.
You’ve already allowed the Republicans to devestate whatever recovery there was…you’d damned well better have a platform that, in a stroke, both recognizes that we have a serious problem and outlines real, substantive, measurable ways to address it. Starting our First Day back in the Congress.
You got a better idea, Reid? Didn’t think so.
Question: Have you seen any stories about the way the heat wave proves that global warming is happening? We ask because of the lunacy that occurred when it snowed in D.C. this year.
There has been no nonsense this week—and that, of course, is good. But in these well-twinned weather events, we can’t help seeing the shape of American politics over the past forty years. One tribe has broadcast well-known bits of nonsense: Socialized medicine has failed wherever it’s been tried! The Social Security trust fund has already been spent! If we lower tax rates, we get extra revenue! In the absence of active attempts at rebuttal, such nonsense has been quite effective. Claims of this type have driven American politics, as in the past year’s debate about the Obama health plan.
Many people believed what they heard about that unusual snow in D.C. This week, it’s been very hot in D.C. Thankfully, not a word has been said.
I tend to agree up to a point, in that it is intellectually comfortable to see a lack of foolishness in the discourse. But, by the same token, you cannot win a the larger game you refuse to play the smaller one. And, let’s face it, The Democrat categorically refuses to use a convenient heat wave (or, for that matter, any other politically useful event) to make the GOP an object of derision; the GOP and its media enablers have no such compunction about using a convenient snow storm, oil spill, natural disaster, and or terrorist attack. It’s all about messaging and inoculation. The first thing low information voters should think about when faced with some future snowstorm-related attacks on Democrats should be some Democrat pointing out the fact that it’s hot today in an amusing way that demeans and debases some particularly idiotic, utterly predictable GOP talking point.
Neither today’s heat or last winter’s freak snowstorms have much if anything to do with global warming per se; but you cannot simply grin and bear an attack, no matter how ridiculous, and hope that the truth will out because you have the facts on your side.
The facts do not matter.
Average high for Boston today? 79°F.
Temperature right this very second? 88°F
The same can be said for most if not all of the eastern seaboard of Our Great Republic.
This must be extremely embarrassing for the global warming deniers. I’m already sick of the blanket coverage of this heat and how embarrassing it is for them. Such blather is sufficiently prevalent that probably one half of one degree of this heat is directly attributable to B-roll of eggs frying on pavement.
Instead, what you saw was David Petraeus taking a command that amounts to a demotion from his current post and could destroy his reputation as a miracle worker. Petraeus’s successes in Iraq gave him a tremendous reputation and credibility as a big, strategic thinker. He could rest on that, retire on that, run for office on that. Instead, Petraeus is going to put that reputation back on the line in service of a war effort that may well be doomed. Why? Well, the civilian who leads the military asked him to, and a soldier obeys.” —Ezra Klein, nailing it.
Also interesting to me that the Petraeus move politically neutralizes any credible GOP opposition while also effectively neutralizing Petraeus relative to any vague 2012-based thinking that may have been going on while simultaneously giving the endlessly imbecilic chattering class a bone re: Presidential “toughness.” Masterful.
Remember this the next time a conservative explains how we ought to voucherize public education. The minute that happens, the conservatives will come back and decide that we need to means-test the vouchers. That done, they’ll attack the remaining program as “welfare.”
This is not a group of people it’s possible to do business with.” —Mark Kleiman on the ever-moving goalposts that “sensible people” must forever be chasing after.