The Sunday Roast: 2012 – The Best Line…and The Worst

I have been thinking a lot about what stuck in my mind from last year and, of course, there are numerous occasions that are memorable. In my own life and in politics. Not all good memories, but that was 2012 for me. Not all good. Let’s stick to politics.

Here the best line in politics of 2012. Hint: A door painted on a rock…

And there was in my humble opinion the worst:

The only way is to take away the guns from the bad guys. Period!

So, what are you thinking? There are some really great quotes out there you are welcome to post the best, funniest, most thoughtful, most thought provoking and most uplifting lines that come to your mind. I think we might as well end this year on hope. Heaven knows we can all use it.

To All Critters and Regulars and the Occasional Lurker. I wish you a very Happy, Healthy and Successful New Year. Let’s get 2012 behind us, we have been spared another Republican President, yes it affects us over here as well. But there is still a lot of work to do on both sides of the Atlantic. I wish us all the best for it.

EV

 

Sunday Roast: We

we

Republicans, what part of this do you fail to understand?  No, we’re not asking you if you like it or think it’s good (by your standards) — that’s been decided.  Whether or not you like, accept, or understand it, Barack Obama is still our President.

“We” includes you, Republicans, so lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way, because we’re still trying to clean up your messes.

This is our daily open thread — Who else is beyond done with the WHINING?

The Watering Hole, Saturday, November 17, 2012: Go Away, Mitt

It seems many in the Republican Party are not too happy with their most recent presidential nominee. A report in yesterday’s Washington Post, titled “Romney Sinks Quickly in Republicans’ Esteem,” quotes many prominent Republicans denouncing Governor Romney’s recently recorded comments to supporters in which he blamed his loss, in part, on President Obama’s “gifts” to his constituents. The comments were, of course, highly offensive, especially considering Romney was trying to win by promising “gifts” to what he viewed as his own constituency (such as tax breaks for people in his income class, people who make their money through unearned income and who pay a lower tax rate on that income than the people who work for them.)

Romney’s remarks, coupled with his “47%” comments, portray a man clearly out of touch with the average American. (Thousands of Americans have sent their own sons and daughters to compete in Olympic Games, but how many have sent their own horses?) By all accounts, he was actually shocked that he lost the election. This is only possible because of a failure on his part to recognize his lack of connection to average voters, and because of a character defect which made him believe the hundreds of lies he told throughout the campaign. But the one thing he never blamed was the fact that his message was rejected by a majority of American voters. You lost, Willard, fair and square.

The president campaigned on building up the middle class in part by asking those in the upper income brackets to pay a little more, and you campaigned on promising those in the upper income brackets that they would pay less at the expense of those in the middle class. The rich are not, no matter what any Republican tells you, “job creators.” It’s the rest of us in the lower incomes who create jobs. Why does an employer hire someone, anyway? Usually, it’s because business has picked up so much that the employer’s current staff can’t service the company’s customers. It’s not just for the sake of hiring someone, or as an excuse to spend some of his personal wealth. When you give lower income people a tax break (such as on their payroll tax), it puts extra money in their pockets that they can spend to meet their day-to-day living expenses. When middle income people have extra money in their pockets, they buy themselves things that they really need, like food, clothing, and shelter. That extra spending is what drives the economy. But when wealthy people get a tax break, the extra money is just that – extra money. They don’t need it to survive, and they don’t spend it. They put it trust funds or overseas tax havens, or they pass it on to their children and grandchildren. But Mitt Romney doesn’t understand this. And I doubt he ever will. Which is why he should just STFU and go away. The American people have had enough of his lies, and we’re not interested in anything he has to say.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Mitt Romney’s social cluelessness, or anything else that comes to mind.

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, 11/14/12: A postlude on the election

Today’s Open Thread is brought to you by our guest blogger, SpiritKat.

When Enough Is Enough

It’s time for Republicans to face the fact that the majority of American people just don’t want what they’ve been trying so hard to sell. Can you imagine what the voting numbers would have been in the recent Presidential election if the Republicans had not tried so hard to cheat and rig the election in their favor? Yet, despite all their disreputable attempts to steal the election for themselves, the American people rejected them.

In spite of the fact that the Republicans tried to give the election to Romney by disenfranchising voters with their unnecessary voter ID laws, or maybe even because of this very action, the number of people who made sure they got out and voted was still enough to defeat the Republican Presidential candidate. Then they attempted to cheat their way into the Presidential office when their rich corporate employers tried to extort votes for Romney through threats of job loss to their employees. Yet in spite of this there were still enough votes to reelect Obama.

Through Citizens United, with our own Republican stacked Supreme Court’s help, the Republicans thought they had the perfect solution for rigging the election, but they underestimated the American people, who clearly said a resounding NO on November 6, leaving the Republicans to swallow their own crud when they found that even they with all their wealth could not buy this election after all. That is, perhaps, one of the greatest things to come out of this election. Yes, money may talk, but clearly it doesn’t always talk loud enough, and certainly not enough to sway the voters in this election.

Then there was, of course, the embarrassment of their Presidential candidate, himself, who was so blindly egotistical that even Joe Scarborough dropped his face in his palms. Throughout the campaign, the stances of the Republican candidate changed practically every time he spoke. Mr. “Etch-a-sketch” gave us nothing concrete, just the “same old, same old” tired plan that got our country into this mess in the first place, and to make matters worse, he riddled the rhetoric with lie after lie after lie. “How can such a man be trusted with the welfare of our country?” we asked. By the close of the campaign, it was made even more clear when Romney made his comment about “not caring about the poor”, and even worse later on with his “it’s not my job” to care about the “freeloading” 47% comment behind closed doors with his rich cronies. Ah, at last we saw clearly his true colors.

It was my own great hope that the American people would finally wake from their apathy and beaurocratic induced stupor to take a stand against its tyranny in this election. Thankfully, enough of them did just that. It is also my hope that the Republicans, themselves, will have an epiphany and realize that we, the people, won’t accept what they keep peddling so hard. Perhaps, in light of this loss, they will begin to understand that the American people need, and won’t accept anything less than, honest industry, fruitful employment, personal freedoms, healthcare, a stable economy, and genuine concern for our welfare. We need these things far more than we’ll ever need the unconstitutionally forced religious beliefs of others, or a make-believe “Leave It To Beaver” society. Today, I feel that my faith has been restored, for though they tried, even a Diebold couldn’t win enough votes for the Republicans this time.

THE OPEN THREAD OF THE DAY IS NOW OPEN FOR COMMENTS

The Watering Hole, Monday, November 12th, 2012: Wallowing in Filth

Thinking that I would just check the Patch local newspapers online to see the local reaction, if any, to the Obama re-election, I somehow ended up wallowing in the filth on the Washington Times.

Not that there wasn’t any filth in the local online ‘news’ – there were plenty of stupid, ignorant, and racially intolerant comments following the above article.

The second piece that I found in the Patch talked about the author’s experiences at the polls in Rockland County, NY (across the Hudson River), where, he alleged, poll workers were wrongfully denying certain non-white and younger voters’ rights to vote, and/or giving voters incorrect information. A woman commenter responded by listing several instances of alleged hanky-panky by Democratic pollworkers, among other things. Then the commenter threw in a link to The Washington Times, and I gave in and clicked on it. Naturally, I wish that I hadn’t. Reading many of the comments following that article made me want to shower, at the very least. However, I did at least run across a possibly useful site which includes a map of which States have, or are considering, photo ID voter laws.

Here’s a few more articles from the Washington Times that ought to raise one’s blood pressure:
- “The Rising Number of States Seeing One Party Rule”; and,
- “Companies Plan Massive Layoffs as ObamaCare Becomes Reality;

And if all this wasn’t enough, here’s some more crap from Newsmax.com: Fearmongering about “Currency Wars”; plus, just take a look at some of the “articles” listed on the home page at Newsmax.com: “FBI Suppressed Petraeus Scandal to Protect President“, and “Norquist to Newsmax: Don’t Surrender Bush Tax Cuts.”

This is our daily open thread–Had enough? I know I did!

Tripping (OVER) Luz: The Light Fantastic

I’ve always enjoyed metaphor, particularly when discussing politics. Today, with the 2012 General Election still wafting in the illume of its afterglow — and given its rather profound and popular (well, profoundly UNpopular to some) assertions — the notion came to me that it might be fun, maybe even worthwhile, to ponder the concept of light and dark as they have come to define today’s American political system. As is readily apparent to the enlightened mind, the Republican Party has come to define, for all practical purposes, the darkness implicit in the regressive side of the human persona. Meanwhile and in starkest possible contrast, a Black (of all things!) American Democrat(!) was stunningly reelected to the office of President of the United States!  Out of Darkness . . . comes Luz? The Light?

Far out! Right?

Well, not really. ‘Tis a fairly common phenomenon, actually, both in scientific reality and in the human persona, in human existence/occupation. Common, yes, but still intriguing, interesting to explore. So, without further ado . . .

Luz: The Light Fantastic

Red — is the Fire’s common tint –
But when the vivid Ore
Has vanquished Flame’s conditions,
It quivers from the Forge
Without a color, but the light
Of unanointed Blaze.
(Emily Dickinson)

Light is, quite literally, the stuff of life.

Around the globe and especially in its more arid reaches, light is ubiquitous, and light is defining.  The common clarity of overhead sky allows the light of both day and night to constantly illuminate by degree, and illumination refines the activities of life.

The first time one encounters severely illuminated aridity, the impression is likely to be strong, seldom tentative.  There is the landscape – typically rugged, jagged, harsh, angular, never overtly delicate or soft.  The endless dome of blue overhead is very often without a single cloud, or sometimes it’s masked by roiling, dark, and fearsome clouds and storms – or, by gentle cumulus, or high and giddy cirrus streaks.  But always, no matter the conditions, there is something magical in the interplay of light and landscape, in pockets or splashes of intense color in rock, or sky, or springtime wild flowers sprinkled across an otherwise drab, tan, and often convoluted surface.

After a time, either of two possible outcomes seems inevitable: one is a wish to leave, quickly; to escape the heat, the thorns, the always sharp edges of aridity, and the blinding light of the midday sky. The other is to seek the unerring beauty intrinsic to form, to subtle color, and to ponder the sheer paradox of a land where everything genuinely is harshly delicate, to become captive to the realization that in the unique, there is no equivalent anywhere.  The urge to explore the subtleties soon can overwhelm, demand immersion.  How can it be?  Why is it thus?  What is it that underlies the mystique of the land, the mystery of the soul — the light — of life itself? How can either be best explored?  Where to begin?

On the nature of light

To the physicist, light is a wave, a photon which races through the cosmos at constant speed, a speed which, in and by itself, establishes limits on all relationships of mass and energy.  The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has located a distant dot in deep space, and each time its orbital coordinates intersect with the coordinates which mark the precise location of that dot, the Hubble gathers another photon or two which have traveled from that source.  With each encounter, the ‘image’ of the dot becomes more refined.  It’s now been calculated that those occasional photons which the Hubble detects emanating from that source have been traveling from that source for approximately 13.5 billion earth-years, or from a time when the universe itself had existed only a scant 300 million years beyond its moment of origin, the so-called Big Bang.

Much closer to earth, approximately 9000 light years distant, lies the Trifid Nebula, a gigantic cloud of gas surrounding a massive star which is hundreds, possibly thousands of times the size of our own tiny sun. The Trifid Nebula is a place where new stars are being created even we speak – as if a fundamental testimony to the endless ‘life’ of light intrinsic to the universe.

Figure 1:  A “Stellar Nursery” area in the Trifid Nebula (HST photo).

The photons that scald and illuminate the earth’s arid regions originate much closer to the earth, of course, but aside from that little detail they’re identical to those already traveled 13.5 billion light years, or 9000 light years, and, in a simple sort of way seem less mysterious.  ‘Our’ photons – generated in the nuclear furnace we call the sun – have a relatively short travel time of seven minutes, give-or-take, and collectively their impact on earth-bound light is a lot more predictable, more useful by sheer weight of numbers.  Sun-generated photons continuously bathe, at any given moment, half of the earth’s surface, with intensities dependent upon both the angle of attack and the migrating atmospheric patterns which stand between the earth’s surface and the sun-weather patterns.

Overall, the temptation amongst the modern throng is to assume things skyward have always been as they are today, that we have a sun, and a moon, and at night, stars arranged in connect-the-dot patterns descriptive of bears, bulls, hunters, etc.  But that which we observe today is far from constant.  True enough, eclipses and comets, though relatively rare, are generally predictable because they are also predictably cyclic, as are the annual migrations of constellations across the night sky.

But there are, sometimes, unexpected and unpredicted perturbations in the observable cosmic ‘norm’.   On July 4 of the year 1054, C.E., people in Asia and in the Americas – including the indigenous peoples of what is today the American Southwest – duly recorded their observation of the sudden appearance of a new ‘star’, a star bright enough to be seen, at first, even at midday.  What they witnessed was not the ‘birth’ of a star, however, but rather the sudden death – an explosive supernova and gravitational collapse – of a star perhaps ten times the mass of our sun, situated nearly 7000 light years distant from earth.  The supernova initially blazed with the light of 400 million of our suns and, had our solar system been positioned within fifty light years of the explosion, it would have been burned to a crisp.  Today, the Crab Nebula has tamed substantially but can still be observed as a glowing mass of gas and dust.

Figure 2:  HST image of the center of the Crab Nebula. The Crab Pulsar is located in the vicinity of the two bright spots near the center of the ‘red’ cloud.

At it’s core is a neutron star which has a diameter of approximately six miles, a mass at least as great as that of our sun, and rotates 30 times each second.  In so doing it unleashes pulses of intense radio emissions – 30 pulses per second – and this “pulsar” acts as a cosmic generating station which produces enough electromagnetic energy that the nebula today shines brighter than 75,000 of our suns.  It is dim to us only because of its distance from the earth, and though it no longer contributes substantially to the light which today blankets the American Southwest, when it was ‘new’, in July of 1054 C.E., the Anasazi were impressed enough to depict the event in pictographs in at least two separate locations including Chaco Canyon and a cave at White Mesa.  Follow the ‘instruction’ in those pictographs today, and each time in each 18½ year lunar cycle that the moon is positioned as it was on July 4th or 5th, 1054 C.E. point a telescope toward the spot in the heavens relative to the lunar crescent as indicated in the Anasazi rock inscriptions, and the Crab Nebula will come into view.

The ancients understood light, that it was central to life itself.  They understood and measured the lunar cycle, and knew how to predict exactly the moments in the solar cycle we now call the equinoxes and solstices, and they understood, precisely, the impact each had on life, on their lives.

Over the entire course of human civilization, light – as it emits from the great darkness – has been understood to enable survival and persistence of not only humankind itself, but of the entire spectrum of life. Over the billions of elapsed years since life first appeared on planet earth, light has been its primary source of energy, the energy which enables the one primary event upon which all life depends for success, i.e. reproduction of kind, and in persistence which, ever present, accepts myriad modification to allow the incredible variety of form and species present today, each and all of which share an interdependence with all of life, hence with light.

It’s generally agreed amongst astrophysicists that the overwhelming percentage of mass which makes up the known universe is matter that cannot be observed directly, appropriately designated as “dark matter.”  Dark matter itself emits no light, but its mass and resultant gravitational effect enables the formation, evolution, and ‘functions’ of galactic clusters, of galaxies themselves, and components therein/thereof.  In that sense, it is dark matter – that metaphoric eternal darkness – which enables the formation of light-emitting sources, stars of every description and which in turn enable the formation and function of life itself.

From the Dark, Luz: Light, Life, and Vision

Light enables life, and life enables vision.  Vision is bifurcate: there is the record of that which exists in the immediate surround, evidenced by ‘sight’, and there is the intellectual extension of sight, often called ‘insight’ which is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, “Internal sight, mental vision or perception, discernment; in early use sometimes, Understanding, intelligence, wisdom.”  John Ruskin spoke of insight when he noted that “Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands can think for one who can see.”

Ruskin was very concise as he pointed to one of humankind’s most common shortcomings, i.e. an inability to ‘see’ beyond the moment because of an overall lack of insight – or at least an overall resistance to practice same. Today, we sometimes refer to that dilapidation of vision, that darkness of purpose, as Politics.

Nevertheless, the truism remains: to ‘see’ allows comprehension and understanding.  The ancient peoples scattered around the globe understood, and used their intellectual vision to enable their survival – even to prosper – for thousands of years, often in harsh and unforgiving lands.  One could hope, perhaps should hope, that across the breadth of humankind, illumination, not darkness, serves to reveal, to light the way of life on journey toward its own ultimate destiny.  And still, the pages of human history are crowded with evidences of fluctuation: from the light of Ancient Greece to the darkness of the Crusades; from the light of the Renaissance to the Black Hole of German death camps; from the victory over tyranny by the Great Democracies to the impending darkness of a new Imperial age set amidst the unenlightened clash of Capitalist and Cleric; the lessons seem all too difficult to learn, to obey.  But always, when the light dims and when, as the poet Dickinson describes, “. . . the vivid Ore Has vanquished Flame’s conditions, / It quivers from the Forge / Without a color, but the light / Of unanointed Blaze,” the black hole of shallow intellect shatters and life persists, even in, or perhaps because of “. . . the light Of unanointed Blaze.”

Perhaps this “unanointed Blaze” is the light which emanates from that which astronomer Carl Sagan commonly referred to as “star stuff,” and is not encumbered with or otherwise distilled through the faculty of intelligent examination?

In any case, it should be noted that when the “Red of the Fire’s common tint” of the star stuff which defines the gas cloud at the center of the Crab Nebula (Fig. 2) is vanquished by the vivid ore of the neutron star called the Crab Pulsar, the result might become not an unanointed Blaze, but instead a black hole from which no light can e’er escape again.  The choice well may, in that instance and in fact, have already been made – we’ll not know till some 7000 years have passed after the conclusion of the event, because it will take that long for the message to arrive, even as it travels at the speed of light itself.

It could thus be that the lesson we might learn is more simple, i.e. better we rely on the illume from our own sun to show us the way and to provide us with the illume to proceed accordingly.  On the earth, the rocks, the plants and flowers, the animals, the mountains and clouds all know how to deal with illuminations and make them work appropriately.  Only the human animal has, it seems, the tendency to move away, to migrate instead toward the intellectual darkness his fragile ego portends — a phenomenon which today seems to have reached a zenith of sorts, particularly within the realm of Politics, American-style.

So perhaps it would be the wiser course to pay heed to the natural world, to the grand universe itself. When darkness seems pervasive it is, after all, the wise person who recalls the wisdom as (again) was perfectly expressed by the Poet Dickinson:

Those — dying then,
Knew where they went –
They went to God’s Right Hand –
That Hand is amputated now
And God cannot be found –

The abdication of Belief
Makes the Behavior small –
Better an ignis fatuus
Than no illume at all –

Better *any* light, even the glow of swamp gas, than the darkness — the black hole — of unenlightened blaze.

Someone — anyone — please feel free to pass said tidbits on to the Grand Old Party (assuming a remnant of it still exists . . . somewhere . . . in its self-imposed darkness). Meanwhile, a final personal (hopefully poetic) tribute to intellectual illumination, to Luz itself:

Luz: The Light

A thread of light persists as darkness falls;
Luz, life’s subtle flame, shines forth as beam cast
Sharp through reality’s ere darkened pall,
Revealing hints of living soul’s repast.
In darkness, too, the whispers of the muse –
Silent intonations, though heard before,
Evoke reflections of lives lived — a ruse?
Fires sensed by those who live become as cores,
Pure shafts of light. Collections of past times
Not readily dispelled arouse the Source —
The Souls of those long gone returned as mimes,
Intoning memories of Luz, a force
  No darkness can conceal, nor dare it try
  Extinguish light — with shadow, or with cry.

The Watering Hole: November 9 — Get a grip, Republicans

White People Mourning Romney

I mean really, people.  Drama Queen much?  That looks like a jewelry counter in there, I think y’all will be okay — unless potential customers just don’t like how friggin’ silly you’re being.

Hey, does anyone remember how you felt when George W. Bush won re-election in 2004?  I know I was stunned — and it was my BIRTHDAY!  Man, that stung!  I walked around in kind of an astonished daze for about a day, but I never thought this country had “died,” or was doomed for destruction (although GWB gave it one helluva try).

I shook it off, pulled up my big girl panties, and started informing myself.  I realized that, although I had always voted, I had never really been interested in politics and how or why they worked.  I got an internet connection and started looking for information — not knowing the first place to look.  I just had to read and read and read, knowing that because it’s on the internet, it doesn’t mean it’s true.

Sometime in 2005, I found Eric Alterman’s blog, “Altercation.”  He seemed to have a good head on his shoulders, so I checked all his links.  By doing so, I found David Corn’s blog.  I liked him because he was smart and snarky.  I made my first comments online on Corn’s blog.  Then Alterman linked to a brand new blog called “ThinkProgress,” and shit got real!  In a pretty short time, TP went from one or two posts a day, and maybe ten comments, to eight or ten post a day, and hundreds of comments!  I met loads of wonderful people there, and learned SO MUCH from their comments and outlook on life.  I read so much information on so many topics that I’d never heard of before, and it was awesome.  Then, in 2007, when the troll shit got so deep it was over-topping our hip-waders, we left TP and created TheZoo.  I’m still learning today!

My point is this, Republicans and assorted tea-types:  Sure, you’re disappointed.  You had high hopes and dreams that Barack Obama would be a one term President, and it just didn’t work out.  I can’t say I’m sorry about that turn of events, but I understand the feeling.  Sorta.

Here’s a video that might help you start you own journey toward educating yourself about politics in this country, and an actual exploration of facts.  It’s not Fox, it’s Rachel Maddow, but stay with me here.  It might scare you, but it’s 16 minutes of your life.  You can still be furious and hurt, but please stop thinking this country is over.  I don’t know why you think we’re such a fragile country.  I mean really, come on.

Rachel just gave you a huge number of FACTS.  You probably don’t agree with that assessment, but your assignment is to make a list of all those facts and then confirm or debunk them.  You have to be discerning in your sources of information!  No Drudge or Fox, and to be fair, no MSNBC or ThinkProgress.

Remember:  Actions speak louder than words.  John Boehner and Mitch McConnell can stand in front of microphones and say they’re all about “jobs, jobs, jobs,” but check their voting record.  It’s up to you to educate yourself, because it sticks better that way.  Do it for YOU, okay?  This bitterness and anger is going to eat you alive, and no one wants that.

Let’s work together on getting this country back in shape and working again.  Whadda ya say?

This is our daily open thread — And it’s FRIDAY!!!!

The Watering Hole, Thursday, November 8th, 2012: “Political Capital”

George W. Bush appears to have had a long-term “thing” about “political capital. From Slate, November 2004:

“Bush has long been smitten with the notion of getting and spending “political capital.” In December 2000, Time asked him, “What did you learn about being president from watching your father?” Bush’s answer: “I learned how to earn political capital and how to spend it.” The interview continued:
TIME: You think he didn’t spend it well late in his term?
BUSH: I think he did not. History has shown that he had some capital in the bank that was not properly spent.”

…and…

“…during an interview with Tim Russert on Meet the Press in 1999. Bush told Russert he would spend “capital” on his plan for Social Security.”  [Yes, we remember his cross-country "Privatize Social Security Tour" (sigh)]

W’s first press conference after his re-election, on November 4, 2004, has a couple of gems when viewed an eternity later (2012):

On “political capital”:

PRESIDENT BUSH:
I feel — I feel — I feel it is necessary to move an agenda that I told the American people I would move…you go out and you make your case and you tell the people, “This is what I intend to do.” And after hundreds of speeches and three debates and interviews and the whole process, where you keep basically saying the same thing over and over again, that when — when that — when you win, there is a — a feeling that the people have spoken and embraced your point of view. And that’s what I intend to tell the Congress, that I made it clear what I intend to do as the president; now let’s work — and the people made it clear what they wanted — now let’s work together. And it’s one of the wonderful — it’s one of the — it’s like earning capital. … I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style. That’s what happened in — after the 2000 election. I earned some capital. I’ve earned capital in this election, and I’m going to spend it for — for what — what I told the people I’d spend it on…

On the supposedly all-important Deficit:

“Q Thank you, sir. Many within your own party are unhappy over the deficit, and they say keeping down discretional spending alone won’t help you reach your goal of halving the deficit in five years. What else do you plan to do to cut costs? [emphasis mine]
PRESIDENT BUSH: (Chuckles.) Well, I — I — you know, I would suggest they look at our budget that we’ve submitted to Congress, which does in fact get the deficit cut in half in five years. And it is a specific, line-by-line budget that we are required to submit, and have done so.

The key to making sure that the deficit is reduced is for there to be on the one hand spending discipline — and I — as you noticed in my opening remarks, I talked about these appropriations bills that are beginning to move. And I thought I was pretty clear about the need for those bills to be — to be fiscally responsible, and I meant it…

The revenues are exceeding projections, and as a result the projected deficit is less. But my point there is is that — so with — with good economic policy that encourages economic growth, the revenue streams begin to increase. And as the revenue streams increase coupled with fiscal discipline, you’ll see the deficit shrinking, and we’re focused on that.”

Now, I have been puzzled about this whole “political capital” idea since I originally saw George W. Bush swagger and leer about it. Back then, the other election buzzword was “mandate”, as in “the re-election of GWB proved that he has a ‘mandate’ from the American people,” even though only a little more than half of the American people had actually voted for him. I’ve never seen Democratic Presidents utilize this reasoning; nor would I actually expect them to do so, for the same reason why I would never use the term “landslide” to describe a win of only a few percentage points.

Three questions:

-Using Bush’s “political capital” logic, shouldn’t President Obama have now earned some of his own, to spend on doing what he promised America he would do?
-Would Republicans and the TV cheerleaders at Faux News admit that President Obama had earned “political capital” to spend, since he had won a “mandate” from the people? …and…
-Will President Obama and the Democrats ignore the Republican obstructionists and actually try to spend that “political capital”?

This is our daily open thread–what do you think?

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, November 7, 2012: Celebrate/Commiserate as Needed.

President-Elect Obama?

President-Elect Mr. Etch-a-Sketch?

Roughly half the country is suffering from a hangover because their candidate won.

Roughly half the country is suffering from a hangover because their candidate lost.

The rest are saying, “There was an election yesterday?”

(channeling Bill Maher)

THIS IS OUR OPEN THREAD.

CELEBRATE/COMMISERATE
AS THE CASE MAY BE

The Watering Hole, Monday, November 5th, 2012: Adelson’s “Newspaper”

In my post from Saturday, November 3rd, I promised (threatened?) forthcoming info regarding the view of our Presidential Election from overseas. So here’s a few recent articles – aka “newsletters” – from the Israel HaYom free daily newspaper**, owned by Mitt Romney’s biggest sugar-daddy, Sheldon Adelson:

November 2nd Newsletter: “Will Sandy save Obama?”
November 2nd Newsletter: “A stormy road to the White House – Uncle Sam’s Identity Crisis”
Another November 2nd Newsletter: “Where will the storm take voters?”
A third – and truly offensive – Newsletter/Opinion from November 2nd: “Obama’s ‘black power’ past and present”

Fourth: In this article from yesterday, it appears that there may not be any daylight between Bibi Netanyahu and President Obama, at least on one issue:

Two days after Abbas implied in a Channel 2 interview that he would be willing to abandon the demand for a Palestinian “right of return” in exchange for peace with Israel, Netanyahu told the weekly cabinet meeting: “I saw the interview with Abbas over the weekend. I heard that he has since rescinded his remarks, but this proves how important it is to hold direct negotiations without preconditions.[Emphasis mine]

From the Fifth (and last) in the Israel HaYom’s election series: The following two (the only two) amusing excerpts from Boaz Bismuth’s “Two Days to Go”, reporting from Cambridge, Massachusetts, prefaced an article based mostly on the Obama “Messiah” myth:

“At least one thing is certain: The next American president will be a Harvard graduate. Out there, in the picturesque calm of the prestigious Ivy League institution…I watched the students passing in front of me and wondered whether any of them would choose to emulate the two famous alumni, Obama and Mitt Romney, and someday join the race to the White House.

“We’re not too excited by the fact that two of our alumni are running for president,” explains Sam, a business student. “Obama is a part of the ruling elite, just like Romney, and it is pretty clear that someone from the ruling elite will be sitting in the White House.”

I ask Sam to help me figure out the polls. “Look, it’s rather simple,” he says. “The people you see who are dressed up and wearing a tie, like me, will vote for Romney.”

“And what about the rest?” I ask.

“They’ll vote for Obama,” he replies.

“But I see very few ties,” I remark.

“It’s the weekend,” he explains.”

Bismuth’s next paragraph gave me a satisfying chuckle:

“Since Americans are unable to decipher the multitude of polls, Nate Silver has come to the rescue with his New York Times blog, FiveThirtyEight, named after the 538 electoral votes. Silver, 38, who accurately predicted the results in 48 states in the 2008 election, declares decisively: Obama is going to win on Tuesday. He projects that 300 electoral votes will go to Obama (30 more than he needs to win), and 50.5% of the popular vote. On the opposite side of the fence, senior Republican strategist Karl Rove predicts in the Wall Street Journal that Romney will win 279 electoral votes, making him the next president of the U.S.”

[Yeah, well we all know how Rovian Math worked out in 2008, right? It still brings me joy to remember the look on Karl's face when, in the midst of his explanation of how, via Rovian Math, McCain could still win, Brit Hume next to him announced that Obama had won Ohio, and the election was over. Priceless.]

And just for fun (or at least a brief break from our election,) here’s a couple of IsraelHayom’s ‘newsletters’ regarding Iran:

From Friday, November 2nd: “Iran is near completing its nuclear activities in Fordo”; and today’s “Iran suspending uranium enrichment in effort to halt sanctions.”

**Check the ‘About Us‘ page’s claim that “… Israel Hayom has a 31.8 percent exposure rate, maintaining its position as the most read daily newspaper in Israel for the second year in a row.” I emailed a few of the above links to a Jewish co-worker, whose daughter has visited Israel several times and has close contacts there: her daughter had never heard of ‘Israel HaYom’, and was going to ask her Israeli friend about it. Haven’t heard anything yet, but IMO, this “newspaper” could be nothing more than one of those freebies you can grab on your way out of the grocery store. :)

This is our daily open thread–try to stay strong and sane!

Mitt Romney Lies About Bain Capital

Mitt Romney likes to say that “he can do that” or “that he can fix that” or “he fixed that in the past”.  This is always in relationship to the budget deficit.  Yet, it was tax payers money that saved Bain Capital not Mitt Romney.  He won’t talk about that.

Rolling Stone has the complete article which can be read here.

Excerpt:

In fact, government documents on the bailout obtained by Rolling Stone show that the legend crafted by Romney is basically a lie. The federal records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that Romney’s initial rescue attempt at Bain & Company was actually a disaster – leaving the firm so financially strapped that it had “no value as a going concern.” Even worse, the federal bailout ultimately engineered by Romney screwed the FDIC – the bank insurance system backed by taxpayers – out of at least $10 million. And in an added insult, Romney rewarded top executives at Bain with hefty bonuses at the very moment that he was demanding his handout from the feds.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-federal-bailout-that-saved-mitt-romney-20120829#ixzz2BGEstawA

President Obama vs Mitt Romney: HWOCV? (How Would Other Countries Vote?)

While I haven’t quite been ‘all over the map’ on the internets last night and this morning, I have spent several hours overseas.

Once again, I started at foreignpolicy.com, where “Blue Planet”, by Uri Friedman, caught my eye. For a brief moment I thought it was going to be about climate change, then I saw the subtitle: “What if the world could vote in the U.S. election?” Well, let’s see:

“In a recent UPI/C-Voter/WIN-Gallup International poll, which surveyed more than 26,000 men and women in 32 countries, 62 percent of respondents said that the U.S. president has a high or very high impact on their lives, and 42 percent felt they should have the right to vote in this year’s contest for that very reason. When you call yourself the leader of the free world, you’d better believe the world is going to take an interest in who you are.”

“Obama is preferred over Mitt Romney in 31 out of 32 countries in the UPI poll and 20 out of 21 countries in another BBC World Service/GlobeScan/PIPA survey. Fifty-one percent of respondents in the UPI poll said they would cast a ballot for Obama, with more people saying they wouldn’t vote for either candidate (18 percent) than would vote for the Republican nominee (12 percent). In the BBC survey, 50 percent of respondents chose Obama and only 9 percent selected Romney.” [NOTE: The BBC survey did NOT include Israel.]

Mr. Friedman’s article goes on to describe the (as he designated them) “Red States” and “Blue States.” As one would expect, “Blue States” include “…France…Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.” Under “Red States”, Mr Friedman writes:

“There is really only one red (foreign) state in this election, and it’s Israel. In a poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University last week, 52 percent of Israelis said a Romney win would be preferable for Israeli interests, compared with 25 percent who said the same about Obama. The divide was starker among Jewish Israelis, who backed Romney by a 57-22 margin, with support for the GOP candidate strongest among right-wingers. A plurality of Arab Israelis, by contrast, favored Obama (45 percent) over Romney (15 percent)…Benjamin Netanyahu hasn’t expressed a preference for Obama or Romney during his effort to get the United States to commit to clear “red lines” for Iran’s nuclear program, but the Israeli press** has speculated that the prime minister’s meddling in the race could invite U.S. payback if Obama is reelected.”

Keep in mind that these surveys were taken during September and October. I’d be curious to know whether there would be any changes if those polls were taken now, after Hurricane Sandy has drawn attention to the differences between a very Presidential President Obama and the out-and-out opportunism and phoniness of Willard Mitt Romney.

**I’ll have more on some of the “Israeli Press” in another post that I’m working on, probably for sometime tomorrow. Stay tuned…

The Watering Hole, Thursday, November 1st, 2012: “Disgusted” Just Doesn’t Cut It

I’m so sick and disgusted by far too many of my fellow American citizens that I don’t even know what to write about.

I don’t know what’s worse, the lies of the Romney campaign and their supporters, or the stupidity of the people who believe the lies, even after they’ve been debunked. The political opportunism of the President’s opponents making shit up about the Benghazi attack before the four bodies were even cold, forwarding conspiracy theories under the guise of “some people say” and “there are rumors”, show just how despicable these die-hard “party over country” people are.

The blatant politicizing of the Hurricane Sandy disaster by Romney and Ryan, all while Romney refuses to answer questions about his stance on FEMA, should make their supporters at least take pause; instead, their supporters are nit-picking the stories of the Romney/Ryan photo-ops during the disaster.

One of the latest attacks on Obama comes from Breitbart and The Washington Times‘ Ben Shapiro:

As Hurricane Sandy rocks the east coast, the Obama campaign soldiers on via email. Tasteless email. With millions out of power, the Obama campaign sent an email this evening with the following text:

GOT A PHONE? GET HIS BACK. CALL.BARACKOBAMA.COM

If you have a phone, don’t call your loved ones to ensure they’re safe. Call up a random person and push for Barack Obama. Because when the weather gets tough, the tough stump for Obama’s re-election.

At this point, even the word “disgusted” just isn’t enough. Anyone have a better word?

This is our daily open thread–talk amongst yourselves, I’m too disgusted.

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, October 31, 2012: Romney’s Zombies: Mormons posthumously registering voters.

Walker, The Zoo’s top underground reporter, digging up a new story.

It’s a widely known secret that Mormons baptize the deceased into the Mormon faith. But they have added a new twist in what most regard to be a bizarre practice: Mormons all across key battleground states have been secretly registering the deceased. Using their posthumously issued Baptismal Certificates as IDs, they then register everyone they have baptised into the Mormon faith as a Romney Republican. They also fill out a request for an absentee ballot on behalf of the deceased.

It is rumored that this registration drive has added hundreds of thousands of voters to the rolls in the key battleground states of Ohio, Virginia and Florida, and may prove to give Romney a victory in each of those states. In fact, it appears they have stepped up their efforts, baptizing, registering and casting an absentee ballot is now encompassed in a single ritual.

“County clerks began to question our voter registration drive” one individual involved in the practice spoke, on condition of anonymity. “but when we invoked the First Amendment Freedom of Religion, they usually back right down, especially in the South. “Cept that one in Dade County, Florida. She rejected one of our newly baptized into the faith just because his date of birth was approximately 1837. Heck, Lincoln freed the slaves, we’re just freeying their souls. Go figure.”

Romney, when asked about it, said “We’ve had dead people voting for years. Why should this election be any different?”

HAPPY HALLOWE’EN EVERYONE.

OPEN THREAD:

TRICK

TREAT

OR POST

The Watering Hole, Thursday, October 25th, 2012: Mixed Bag

I realize that I’m constantly posting articles from Foreign Policy Magazine, but they do provide some interesting items. Here’s a few that you may (or may not, I admit) be interested in.

First, a “who said it” article with fifteen quotes from either President Obama or Mitt Romney. Many of the quotes make the answer pretty obvious, but considering how WillardMitt has been trying to morph into a reasonable moderate like President Obama…well, see how you do on it.

Next, “In Praise of Apathy” discusses the American non-voter, as well as the two-party system, the electoral college, and the failings of the latter two. I was afraid that this article would be similar to the ‘Voting is a waste of time’ one on which I had previously written, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Speaking of the two-party system, here’s another FP article about the Third-Party Presidential Debate that was held on Tuesday night. Some of the topics in this debate are issues that many of us are more concerned about than those covered in the three debates between President Obama and Mitt Romney: the use of drones, climate change, the war on drugs, etc.

Last, an article from “The Daily” that I found on FP’s sidebar, entitled “Unsolicited Advice: An Open Letter to Undecided Voters”, which I think you’ll all enjoy.

This is our daily open thread–let’s talk!

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, October 24, 2012: The Sketchy Deal

Are we there yet?

The debates are finally over, and the top contenders have hit the campaign trail. Polls show the race is within a Diebold. And Romney has ties to a corporation that makes electronic voting machines sold to several key states.

Four years ago, Republicans joined hands and closed ranks in a concerted effort to prevent this country from fully recovering from the Great Recession they caused, just so they could use the continuing economic doldrums against President Obama. And that’s exactly what Romney did throughout the debates. And roughly half the country is ready, willing and able to buy

THE SKETCHY DEAL:

All cartoons are posted with the artists’ express permission to TPZoo.
Paul Jamiol
Jamiol’s World

THIS IS TODAY, OUR DAILY THREAD

WOULD YOU BUY A USED CAR FROM THIS MAN?

HOW ABOUT HIRING HIM TO BE IN CHARGE OF THE LARGEST MILITARY ON EARTH?

HOW ABOUT GIVING HIM POWER OVER WOMEN’S UTERUSES?

DO YOU TRUST HIM TO PUT YOUR INTERESTS FIRST?

?

Live-blogging the 3rd (and last!) presidential debate of 2012

Okay all y’all, the final presidential debate begins this evening at 9:00 (ET), live from Boca Raton, Florida, and is moderated by Bob Schieffer.

The wingnuts have already started whining about how biased Schieffer is, and expectations have been lowered so much for Mitt Romney, that if he manages to walk onto the stage and not cough up a hairball, he’ll be the winner.  Yeah, whatever.

I think the President will do well tonight.   He’s got four years of foreign policy under his belt, and he knows what Mitt’s all about — and he knows that the chances of us seeing a brand-spankin’-new Mitt Romney this evening are high.

Drink your whole glass every time Mitt says “Benghazi.”  We’ll all be hungover together tomorrow.

 

The Watering Hole, Monday, October 22nd, 2012: Mixed Emotions

Since I’ve been wallowing in the throes of depression – Rmoney and Obama are more-or-less tied in the polls, Republicans are doing everything possible to disenfranchise likely Democratic voters, CEOs are threatening their employees if they don’t vote for/donate to Rmoney, my Jets lost in overtime to the damned Patriots, the list goes on and on – I thought I’d throw out something to start the week on a lighter note.

Our current local State Senator, Republican Greg Ball, had some issues with women (among other things) that plagued his last campaign, but still managed to win. His 2012 challenger, Democrat Justin Wagner, has been sending out a series of mailers taking advantage of Ball’s misogynistic reputation. Here’s the front covers from the four mailers that we received – enjoy!

Not so amusing is the fact that tonight is the third and final Presidential debate between President Obama and Elder Professional Liar former Massachusetts Governor Rmoney. So here’s just one more Foreign Policy article, listing 50 questions that various and sundry people would like to see asked of both candidates during tonight’s debate.

(Note: I could not figure out how to get the “Not so” out from between the pictures, so if any of my fellow Critters can edit that and put it at the beginning of the paragraph below them, please feel free to fix it for me.)

Last, but obviously not least: HAPPY 24TH ANNIVERSARY, HONEY!

This is our daily open thread–what’s on YOUR mind today?

The Watering Hole, Thursday, October 18th, 2012: Romney’s Foreign to Foreign Policy

While we’re all still on a bit of a contact high from President Obama’s excellent performance in Tuesday night’s debate, the final Presidential Debate, supposedly covering U.S. foreign policy, looms just around the corner. As a follow-up to my post on Monday, I’m offering two pertinent articles from Foreign Policy magazine.

The first is a piece of rather hawkish advice offered to President Obama by David Rothkopf, which, in part, points out the frightening fact that:

“To get to buried Iranian facilities, such as the enrichment plant at Fordow, would require bunker-busting munitions on a scale that no Israeli plane is capable of delivering. The mission, therefore, must involve the United States, whether acting alone or in concert with the Israelis and others.”

Oy!

The second, as I mentioned on Monday, is a return to Mitt Romney’s recent foreign-policy speech at VMI (Virginia Military Institute.) While I find it disturbing for a Presidential candidate to be obviously undermining his audience’s Commander-in-Chief, even more disturbing were Romney’s comments about the recent tragic attack on our embassy in Benghazi. This line in particular jumped out at me: “These mobs hoisted the black banner of Islamic extremism over American embassies on the anniversary of 9/11.” I’m still looking, but I have not found ANY independent corroboration of this little tidbit.

The following are a few more excepts. Of course, it figures that Romney is a proponent of an Obama Administration policy with which many of us liberals take great issue.

“Drones and the modern instruments of war are important tools in our fight, but they are no substitute for a national security strategy for the Middle East.”

Anyway, Romney continues…

“It is time to change course in the Middle East. That course should be organized around these bedrock principles: America must have confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose and resolve in our might. No friend of America will question our commitment to support them. No enemy that attacks America will question our resolve to defeat them. And no one anywhere, friend or foe, will doubt America’s capability to back up our words.”

Based on this attitude, Romney wants to pour an unnecessary and unasked-for $2 trillion-with-a-T into the Department of Defense.

“I’ll work with Israel to increase our military assistance and coordination. For the sake of peace, we must make clear to Iran through actions, not just words, that their nuclear pursuit will not be tolerated.
I’ll reaffirm our historic ties to Israel and our abiding commitment to its security. The world must never see any daylight between our two nations.

Why? The United States of America is NOT the same country, we don’t share the same culture or the same history as Israel; we are not geographical neighbors experiencing common challenges. The Constitution says nothing about our country’s ability to create a new country, nor about then being responsible for that new country forever. The President of the United States swears an oath to protect and defend our Constitution, and that oath does not mention protecting and defending Israel as well. Israel is fully capable of defending itself, having been greatly helped by our military and financial assistance. Isn’t it time to cut the cord and let the allegedly adult sovereign state of Israel be responsible for its own actions? But I digress…

“Finally, I will recommit America to the goal of a democratic, prosperous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the Jewish state of Israel. On this vital issue, the President has failed, and what should be a negotiation process has devolved into a series of heated disputes at the United Nations. In this old conflict, as in every challenge we face in the Middle East, only a new President will bring the chance to begin anew.”

Now, that’s the ultimate lying hypocrisy from Romney, who, in the infamous, supposedly-private “47% speech” to big-money donors, said:

“And I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there’s just no way. And so what you do is you say you move things along the best way you can. You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that it’s going to remain an unsolved problem. I mean, we look at that in China and Taiwan. All right, we have a potentially volatile situation, but we sort of live with it. And we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve. We don’t go to war to try and resolve it.

In other words, Romney has no plan for the Middle East. Does this mean that Romney’s believes in “hopey-changey”?

I also ran across this interesting and helpful analysis on Romney’s VMI speech, by Andrew Quinn.

This is our daily open thread–what do YOU have to say?

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 Post-Debate Detox

Happy Hump Day!

Ok, The Presidential Debates, Round Two, is now history.

Who won?

Obamny?

Rombama?

The President certainly brought his A game this time, and closed on a slam-dunk with bringing up Romney’s 47% remark behind closed doors.

The moderator did a credible job of moving things along, but could have been better in cutting Romney off after the TV monitor showed his time was up, then not allowing Obama a chance to rebut.

Romney’s Etch-a-Sketch was in full play…again…in this author’s perspective.

What do you think? Think the President regained his Mo-Jo? Think Romney will continue to add to his momentum? Think Fox News will go apoplectic over Mitt telling the President, basically, to not interrupt Romney’s interruption, that he’ll get his turn?

OPEN THREAD.

GO FOR IT.

MAKE MY DEI.

Live-blogging the 2nd 2012 presidential debate

President Obama and Mitt Romney will meet this evening at Hofstra University in New York for their second “debate.”  It will start at 9 p.m. ET, and will be a townhall style format, with CNN’s Candy Crowley moderating.  The questions will come from so-called undecided voters in attendance.  i don’t get the whole “undecided voter” thing, but there it is.

C-Span will have live coverage of the debate here.

Thinkprogress has five facts for us to remember:

1. The deficit is largely a product of tax cuts and wars. The newest report out from the Congressional Budget Office shows that we have a still-large but slowing budget shortfall, with the deficit at $1.1 trillion for 2012. But the issues that are adding the most to our deficit aren’t health care costs or the stimulus; wars and tax cuts are responsible for that.

Zooey:  And remember, it’s a filthy lie that Obama has increased the deficit in any way — he’s actually lowered it.

2. When US officials asked for more security in Libya, they wanted it in Tripoli, not Benghazi.The attack on the United States embassy in Libya was a tragedy that has had a confusing aftermath. Republicans have claimed that employees at the Benghazi embassy asked for more security in the days before the attack, but actually it was the embassy in Tripoli, not Benghazi where the attack occurred, that sought longer hours for its security guards.

Zooey:  Also, remember that the House refused to pay for increased security in our foreign embassies.

3. 72 million people would be uninsured under Romney’s health plan. A recent study of Romney’s health care plan shows that it would increase health care premiums for most Americans, and would leave 72 million people uninsured. If the Affordable Care Act were repealed, 60 million Americans would remain uninsured. Under Obama’s plan, that number is expected to drop to 27.1 million.

Zooey:  Remember, Romney’s plan will cover those with pre-existing conditions, BUT only for people who already have health insurance, which makes no fucking sense.

4. If the DREAM Act were passed, it would add $329 billion to the economy by 2030.President Obama has vowed the pass the DREAM Act — a bill that provides a pathway to citizenship for young, undocumented students and service members — while candidate Romney has said he’d veto it. According to a joint report by the Center for American Progress and the Partnership for a New American Economy, passing the DREAM Act “would add $329 billion to the U.S. economy and create 1.4 million new jobs by 2030.”

5. The “six studies” that Romney cites in defense of his tax plan are actually 3 blog posts, 2 right-wing reports and 1 op-ed. The idea that a Romney administration could give a 20 percent tax cut to everyone, and then pay for it by eliminating loopholes and deductions for the wealthy has been strong refuted by the Tax Policy Center. Romney has cited six other “studies” that confirm his plan could work, but those are dubious: One is a report by the conservative Heritage foundation, one is a paper from a former Bush adviser, one is an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, and three are blog posts.

Zooey:  If you like this “study” I’ve posted for the evening, please click “like” and share it to your favorite social network.  Everyone knows that gives a “study” like mine more credibility.  :-D

Have fun with the live-blogging, all y’all!  There are no rules, but alcohol and a sense of humor really help.  Just sayin’…

The Watering Hole, Monday, October 15th, 2012: Presidential Debates, Part Deux

With an eye towards tomorrow night’s Presidential Debate, here’s a transcript of the first debate, along with the Washington Post’s fact-checking of that debate.

Since the second debate, a town-hall style hosted by Candy Crowley of CNN, will focus on both domestic and foreign policy issues, take a look at the transcript of Mitt Romney’s recent foreign-policy speech at Virginia Military Institute (VMI.) (I’ll have a bit more on this in my upcoming post on Thursday, October 18th.)

Lest we forget the full content of Mitt Romney’s “47-Percent” talk with his $50,000-a-plate donors, I suggest a review of the entire transcript, which contains both domestic and foreign-policy comments.

And in the meantime, back in the real world, ThinkProgress discusses how President Obama is actually dealing with the “thorny issue” of a nuclear Iran. The President is considering an agreement with Iran (i.e., diplomacy) as suggested by a couple of Israeli security experts. This shall, no doubt, be seen as “weakness” by Romney/Ryan and all other Republicans.

This is our daily open thread–start studying, or talk about whatever’s bugging you lately.