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January 05, 2007


I hate to be a grump, but the last bit from the WaPo article stood out.

Democrats are already having trouble reconciling their promises even for the initial hundred-hour blitz. Senior House Democratic aides said a promise to cut student-loan interest rates in half will have to be phased in over five years to comply with a pledge to offset any additional deficit spending with equal spending cuts or tax hikes.

The loan pledge is proving just too expensive, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and the committee's senior Republican, Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) introduced legislation yesterday to immediately repeal the alternative minimum tax. That proposal would cost the Treasury hundreds of billions of dollars.

Same ole MSM.

Reps. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) reintroduced legislation on the new Congress's first day to mandate that NSA surveillance once again involve a warrant from a secret federal court.

Brilliant! Bush says he doesn't have to obey the law that already exists, so let's pass another law that says the same thing!

This is a detail, though. I agree with Hilzoy that it was an inspiring day. My baby daughter is far too young to understand, but it's a special day for her.

It was mighty welcome news for my 76-year-old mother, and politics has been short on good news for her in recent years.

This op-ed by Keith Ellison is quite nice

I agree, it's a great start. Let's hope that we can say the same in a month or a year.


    "I have reached the tentative conclusion that a significant portion of this administration, maybe even including the vice president, believes Iraq is lost," [ Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe] Biden said. "They have no answer to deal with how badly they have screwed it up. I am not being facetious now. Therefore, the best thing to do is keep it from totally collapsing on your watch and hand it off to the next guy — literally not figuratively."

via Yglesias">http://www.matthewyglesias.com/archives/2007/01/die_for_your_government/">Yglesias

Yeah great... as long as you ignore alot.

"Forget that investigation of Mollohan. He now chairs the subcommittee that oversees the FBI budget. Some swamps are drained, others are protected wetlands.

Murtha chairs the subcommittee overlooking the defense budget. His brother will be lining up the suitors on K Street."

Hilzoy's turned a blind eye and I'm betting the media will also.

Murtha chairs the subcommittee overlooking the defense budget. His brother will be lining up the suitors on K Street.

Will that be before or after he drinks the blood of infants?

What Steve said. The law already mandates that NSA surveillance involve a warrant. The problem isn't the law. The problem is the administration breaking the law.

Bril, when you get done sweeping the world with your hypocrisy detector, let us know what's left besides the Dalai Lama, you, and the odd pillar of salt or two.

There's a great cartoon in the recent New Yorker depicting Shiva the God of War (his most obvious manifestation) driving in traffic. He has his big toe curled around the steering wheel, a cigar on one hand, a cell phone in the other hand, a cup of coffee in the other other hand, and, for all I know he's changing the batter in a mobile waffle maker with teh other other other hand. His final hand is flipping the bird at another driver.

For some reason I thought of Hilzoy when I saw this cartoon, merely from the standpoint of a busy, busy individual (her) who posts approximately three times of day on a myriad of subjects which even my loquacious jocularity (if you say that phrase in an Irish accent and sign it 'Tacitus', it sounds even more impressive) can't keep up with.

Like the Democrats in Congress, she's bound to miss a few things.

I view the current turnover in the following way: we're merely returning to politics as usual, kind of like the Mafia returning to its previous incarnation as the Black Hand. Corrupt, sure, but in a smaller-scale, more local sort of way. Unlike the contemporary Republican Party, which decided all industry from waste collection to Vegas should be corrupted in one monolithic Mafioso machine, we're going back to one-on-one payola, where the little guy gives up a little baksheesh but gets protected in the meanwhile.

Sorry it's not as pristine as you like. My view, not Hilzoy's.

By the way, "swamp" is a Republican term for something that should be drained and bulldozed. "Protected wetland" is a liberal term for something that should be preserved because it is the kidney of the environment.

The Bushes have confused the entire issue.

I can always tell when a contemporary Republican uses the term "protected wetland", there is a thought bubble above his head envisioning a strip mall with a liquor store, a laundromat, a hot wings joint, and a guy in the parking lot with a petition asking for signatures to do away with the minimum wage.

"Comtemporary Republican" it too general a term. I meant Bril.

a guy in the parking lot with a petition asking for signatures to do away with the minimum wage

don't forget the bow tie!

"Comtemporary Republican" is also a misspelled term.

John Thullen: I'm not worthy. I'm not worthy. (Bowing, with all my hands extended before me.)

I was gratified to see our new freshman Congressperson (Congresswoman!) Gabby Giffords on national news today. She's a terrific long-time southern Arizonan, young, bright and full of spunk. Also she's a friend whom I supported vigorously during the campaign. Best of all, she's a progressive Democrat and she replaces Jim Kolbe, a long-tenured Republican representative who's original congressional campaign I ran way back in 1984 when I didn't think he had a chance of winning and didn't think the outcome mattered much. (Damn, that). Oh well. I agree with Thullen all the way around re hilzoy.

DeLong praises the election of James Clyburn as Majority Whip, and adds,

I know that as long as the Democratic Party has people like James Clyburn and John Lewis in it while the Republican Party has people like Newt Gringrich and Tom DeLay in it, I will be a Democrat.


"Comtemporary Republican" is also a misspelled term.
I just figured you were making some reference to French nobility.

I just figured you were making some reference to French nobility.

Comte de Money comes to mind.

Anyone want to bet on whether bril can pass the Turing Test?

ya know, this afternoon, while waiting for the big hand to finish that last lap and a half, i was sitting here thinking about posting a little "bril should be here any second to point out something the Dems have done that we're not adequately ashamed of" comment. but i thought i'd be a gentleman and avoid the cheap shot.


if only bril had my sense of fair play.

Just for the record, I could've written cleek's 11:26 verbatim.

(With final sentence amended to 'if only bril had my charm, wit and good taste in music.' Oh, and modesty, of course.)

Far as I can recall, ObWi also ignored this:

On many a workday lunchtime, the nominal boss of U.S. intelligence, John D. Negroponte, can be found at a private club in downtown Washington, getting a massage, taking a swim, and having lunch, followed by a good cigar and a perusal of the daily papers in the club’s library.

“He spends three hours there [every] Monday through Friday,” gripes a senior counterterrorism official, noting that the former ambassador has a security detail sitting outside all that time in chase cars. Others say they’ve seen the Director of National Intelligence at the University Club, a 100-year-old mansion-like redoubt of dark oak panels and high ceilings a few blocks from the White House, only “several” times a week.

mattbastard: With final sentence amended to 'if only bril had my charm, wit and good taste in music.' Oh, and modesty, of course.

And your fanatical devotion to the Pope.

Shorter bril: "your cup does not runneth over -- it merely brims"

Well, maybe he would not say "brims"

I like a good party, but a lot of the 100 hours stuff is tiresome political theater. And it creates an unrealistic expectation that real change has occurred, as opposed to the opportunity for real change to occur. I prefer the latter form of symbolism, but I know the party profits more from the former. Hence -- onward 100 hours (legislative hours, that is -- the link to York is a crack up -- what a whiner).

The reality is that it is a long slow grind to effectuate change. Corruption has not been eliminated because new rules have put a new lock on the liquor cabinet -- it is like the drunk affirming sobriety at the AA meeting. The real test is resisting that drink during the later moments of drudgery and despair when the bright lights are off, and bad habits are easily reacquired.

But these are just the whispered warnings to not overdo the party -- celebrate away but watch out for that hangover.

I'm just wondering how hypocritical bril considers itself for not having gotten all het up over Duke Cunningham. You know, over on its own blog.

This troll is already fat. Wonder what'll happen if we squeeze it?

Maybe this is the time to share that 'bril' in Dutch means 'glasses' or, metaphorically, 'viewpoint'.

Jes: I have nothing to follow up with (besides hysterical giggling).

Ok, this too.

Wonder what'll happen if we squeeze it?

i'm thinking John Belushi in the Faber College cafeteria.

Exactly what I was thinking of when I wrote that, cleek.

What's really funny is how the 5 day work week vow is already being broken by Democrats.

Criticise me all you want, but Hilzoy has spent years tearing apart the Republicans and Bush every chance she can get... now that its the Democrats in power she looks the other way.

That's the height of hypocrisy as far as I am concerned.

I was hoping for something different, but I am not surprised. I always thought the talk of corruption was bluster, but her actions now prove that to be true.

To be fair I should have said posts not actions.

That's the height of hypocrisy as far as I am concerned.

At the risk of once again acting as Dictionary Boy:

hypocrisy: n The professing of virtue and beliefs that one does not possess

If you can point out to us in what way hilzoy is professing virtues or beliefs that she does not possess, that might help your case a bit. This is an accusation we see from all kinds of people directed at all kinds of other people in situations where it's convenient for them to do so. I think there's a great deal of unalloyed irony in that, but I'll leave it for someone more eloquent and less regardful of the potential waste of time to spell out in detail.

Back to the hilzoy's-not-being-critical-enough-for-me notion, though: I think in this particular situation, I'm inclined to grant some mini-breaks to our new Democratic Overlords. I think it's far better, to point out one aspect of this situation, to aim than to not aim at all. So what if Nancy Pelosi has said something like "let's put in a full work week", and merely advanced things by 20% or 50%. I don't know the particulars, nor do I care all that much. I think that so far, Pelosi has done far more good than ill, and done far more things to advance the respectability of that part of our government than the Republicans (who I've been voting for pretty consistently for the last couple of decades, until now) have in my memory.

Which isn't as good as I remember it being, but that's another topic.

So, bril, you're of course free to complain that the Democrats haven't adhered to every single last comma of their promises, but I'm thinking that if Pelosi only cleans up half of what she says she will, that's half that wouldn't have seen the cleaning rag had Republicans kept control.

Sad, I think. And pathetic. But Republicans had their chance, and did worse than nothing.

I'd like to see Democrats do better, certainly. I'm not happy that Jefferson is still taking up valuable space on the floor, and I'm not at all happy that Mollohan occupies a place where he can potentially interfere with an investigation of Mollohan, but I think the odds of such things being cleaned up under Nancy Pelosi are rather better than they would have been under Denny Hastert or that Tom what's-his-name.

And again, if you have some particular areas of concern, you can always voice them on your own blog. You can even do stuff like this, which is possibly hypocritical but also possibly funny.

This is not to say that I think hilzoy needs defending, or if so that I think she would choose me to defend her. This is, rather, an attempt to convert you to a sort of drive-by shooter to a participant. Sometimes I like to play the long odds.

LOL at the 'strip' Slartibartfest.

And kudo's - so many words and such clarity ;)

Thanks, dutch, but so far it looks as I've wasted all that perfectly good clarity.

Well, maybe adequate clarity is more fitting.

The turkey post was funny. Sadly, the actual story was debunked over two years ago.

You can spend your entire life on the Internet playing whack-a-mole with smears like this. This is why Drudge exists; most people admit that he's not a reliable source, but gosh darn it, it's so much fun to repeat whatever he says.

Sadly, the actual story was debunked over two years ago.

I'm obviously using the wrong Google search, because I can't find even one reference to such a debunking. Help me, please?

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