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Sunday, December 02, 2012

OTP December 2012 - Pushing G.O.P. to Negotiate, Obama Ends Giving In

Mr. Obama, scarred by failed negotiations in his first term and emboldened by a clear if close election to a second, has emerged as a different kind of negotiator in the past week or two, sticking to the liberal line and frustrating Republicans on the other side of the bargaining table.

Bitter Mouse Posted: December 02, 2012 at 11:15 PM | 6172 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   1. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 02, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4314879)
Such shameless intransigence is, of course, the hallmark of Islamic negotiation.
   2. Tripon Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:26 AM (#4314941)
Lets Fighting Love.
   3. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:11 AM (#4314956)
Fun episode of The Walking Dead and it sucks that it won't be on for a few months. One thing I do have to note is that they've turned Michonne into the dumbest character in the history of TV shows. There has been about a dozen times where if Michonne simply said something, anything, the whole plot would get settled but instead she says nothing and we get hours of lunacy.

Some major deviations from the comic books but it looks like they'll be swinging back around after the break and adding some of those storylines into the mix.
   4. Tripon Posted: December 03, 2012 at 03:03 AM (#4314976)
Rewatching How I Met Your Mother. Season 1 is still great and watching mid twenties Colby Smulders and Season 1 Allison Hannigan is extremely hot.
   5. jyjjy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 03:07 AM (#4314977)
Headline seems quite optimistic considering no deal has been made yet. I'll believe it when I see the final outcome.
   6. RollingWave Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:02 AM (#4314995)
Given that the Dems would get quite a few things they wanted if the thing actually fails, (tax hike on rich and defense cuts) why should Obama be the guy worried here, he is the one person in this whole thing who no longer has to worry about reelection again.

The GOP meanwhile, don't seem to get as much stuff as they would want if the whole thing blows up... sure there is entitlement cuts, which is dubious if the GOP actually want to cut it though. well that and destroying the US ... or at least the US government.

   7. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4315019)
Yeah I found the headline really oddly written (but submitted it anyway).
   8. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4315022)
Bitter, I read the headline as "... Obama ends up giving in", so I agree it's oddly written.
   9. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:39 AM (#4315028)
Edmundo me also on first read.

Continuing our previous discussion regarding the Asian American vote. Pretty interesting and addresses a bunch of arguments that came up last month.
   10. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4315029)
So is November's OTP the most comments in a single month?
Using the time stamp on the posts, and then subtracting an hour (since it doesn't seem to have recognized DST switchover), the very last post in November was on page 112.
It was Lassus at (converted time) November 30th, 11:55pm, and it was post #11144.

There were 721 hours in the month, so that means there were ~15.45 posts per hour, every hour.

That has to be the record, right?


   11. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4315035)
What the GOP gets if the whole thing blows up is that the whole thing blows up. They sure seem to like that. It's like a goal in and of itself for them.
   12. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4315039)
Given that the Dems would get quite a few things they wanted if the thing actually fails, (tax hike on rich and defense cuts) why should Obama be the guy worried here, he is the one person in this whole thing who no longer has to worry about reelection again.

The GOP meanwhile, don't seem to get as much stuff as they would want if the whole thing blows up... sure there is entitlement cuts, which is dubious if the GOP actually want to cut it though. well that and destroying the US ... or at least the US government.


Boehner and company are sort of throwing a hissy fit because Obama isn't 'negotiating' the same way he did 2010-2011 -- remember that the whole 'cliff' thing got --- quoting Boehner here "98% of what he wanted" to get the debt ceiling deal done. Obama's MO in previous negotiations had been to start with an opening offer that was already a compromise against what would normally be the opening D position... then move closer based on that, with the GOP's 'compromise' essentially being "not crazy". I mean, agreeing NOT to default on previous expenditures is hardly a sane compromise by a well-grounded negotiator.

Obama is playing this one differently and good for him - if he doesn't want to spend the next four years in misery, it's inherently necessary to break this "NO COMPROMISE!" GOP mindset. Given that he's got a just concluded election on his side, the fact that all the available polling shows that the GOP will take the blame for lack of a deal by an almost 2-1 margin, and public opinion on his opening negotiating position on his side -- it's the perfect place to make a stand.
   13. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4315040)
willcarroll

it's pretty basic actually. if you are a gop house member you have a choice between what you perceive as 'maybe' the national economy suffering for some undetermined time or 'knowing' you will lose your seat in 2014 if you vote for any deal that has any type of tax increase.

whereas after january 1st you know you will be presented with the chance to vote for a tax decrease.

pretty simple
   14. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4315053)
Congress rejoice!

Gallup says congressmen just slip past car salesmen on 'honesty and ethics'!

Of course, Gallup just concluded a very poor polling cycle, so it's entirely possible that Congress might, in reality, be considered as honest and ethical as stockbrokers or even insurance salesmen.
   15. Lassus Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4315059)
Fun episode of The Walking Dead and it sucks that it won't be on for a few months.

I don't even watch the Walking Dead, but this current practice of splitting up a 12/13 episode season into two half-seasons months apart is the worst thing that has ever happened to television, and possibly the worst thing in the history of humanity.


or 'knowing' you will lose your seat in 2014 if you vote for any deal that has any type of tax increase.

I'm probably just young and naive, but I truly believe a vote for an increase in taxes on the GOP side doesn't immediately submarine your chances for election. And if it does, maybe you should get out of a party that's committed to treating you insanely.

   16. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:18 AM (#4315061)

I don't even watch the Walking Dead, but this current practice of splitting up a 12/13 episode season into two half-seasons months apart is the worst thing that has ever happened to television, and possibly the worst thing in the history of humanity.


It predates TWD by a good clip.

I think Battlestar Galactica was actually the first 'hit' to do this, no?

   17. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4315064)
lassus

house members are elected to represent their constituents. these house members have been told and are being told to not compromise, to not vote for a tax increase and to do so would be the end of their career representing their district. this message is coming from individuals in their district, from groups, from lobbyists, you name it

so yes, they 'know' the fallout.

the other stuff is just a maybe. at least that is how it is being perceived
   18. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4315068)
The New Yorker on the elusive mandate:

"In 2004, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, conservatism’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, congratulated President Bush for “what by any measure is a decisive mandate for a second term” and exulted, “Mr. Bush has been given the kind of mandate that few politicians are ever fortunate enough to receive.” This year, examining similar numbers with different labels, the Journal came up with a sterner interpretation. “President Obama won one of the narrower re-elections in modern times,” its editorial announced. Also: "Mr. Obama will now have to govern the America he so relentlessly sought to divide—and without a mandate beyond the powers of the Presidency."
   19. formerly dp Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4315070)
I don't even watch the Walking Dead, but this current practice of splitting up a 12/13 episode season into two half-seasons months apart is the worst thing that has ever happened to television, and possibly the worst thing in the history of humanity.
In fairness to TWD, they started off with a 6-episode, teaser-style first season.
   20. Lassus Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4315072)
It predates TWD by a good clip.
I think Battlestar Galactica was actually the first 'hit' to do this, no?


Oh, I know, it finally caught up to Doctor Who this year, which only lengthens the torture of Moffat for me. As far as BSG, I don't know, I started it on DVD towards the end so there was no real delay for me.


house members are elected to represent their constituents. these house members have been told and are being told to not compromise, to not vote for a tax increase and to do so would be the end of their career representing their district. this message is coming from individuals in their district, from groups, from lobbyists, you name it. so yes, they 'know' the fallout.

I know you're the expert on the gop, but this still sounds, to me, somewhat on the hysterical (not the comedic sort) side. I'm sure it could be both hysterical and right, so there's that.
   21. TomH Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4315074)
gonfolan, what were the Senate and House makeups in 2004 vs 2012? I suspect their use of 'mandate' was assessed, correctly I might add, by more than electoral or vote margin of only the Presidency.

Not that I agree with the WSJ's take; you (and the New Yorker) make a valid point about their bias.
   22. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4315078)
lassus

not claiming to be an expert.

just trying to help others understand the rationale behind what is perceived as irrational behavior

if you are a house member who knows if the economy tanks but you voted as your district wanted you likely keep your seat but if the economy improves but you know for certain that youl will lose your seat for having voted against the wishes of your district then on a selfish level it is not a hard decision. you let the economy tank, blame the president and keep your seat
   23. Lassus Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4315080)
Harvey - "expert" wasn't meant as a knock there, just acknowledgement, at least regarding the gop.

Anyhow, everything else is concern trolling on my part, but you aren't the only one smart enough to see that the gop has a definite strategy to see the economy tank. It's already started to come back on people, and I don't think this whole thing is going to make it any better.
   24. Greg K Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4315084)
What is the rationale behind the "split season"? Is it done more marketing reasons? Production?

Game of Thrones is really the only show I've followed "live" so to speak in the last few years...if I had to wait more than a week for the next episode I'm pretty sure I'd strangle someone. Not putting the DVDs out until 5 minutes before the next season starts is bad enough.

I recall Lost had some kind of hiatus that people didn't like very much. Was that a split-season or the writer's strike? I watched the show on DVD later so I didn't pick up on it.
   25. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4315086)
lassus

something that folks also miss is that the wing of the party so determined to not compromise doesn't give a sh8t what any ceo has to say. that is another wing of the party that takes the input of corporate leaders

that is one of the problems of the current coalition. used to be that on big matters you listened to other factions to represent their views at key moments. now you have a good number of house members who only care about their stuff and to h8ll with everyone else in the party.

that's unhealthy
   26. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4315093)
gonfolan, what were the Senate and House makeups in 2004 vs 2012? I suspect their use of 'mandate' was assessed, correctly I might add, by more than electoral or vote margin of only the Presidency.


The GOP picked up 4 Senate seats in 2004 (going from 51-49 to 55-45) and 2 House seats (going from 229-205 to 232-203).... Total House votes were about +3 million for the GOP, but that was actually a drop from the 2002 midterm splits (GOP -0.4% from 2002, Dems +1.6%). The Dems actually outpaced the GOP so far as total Senate votes by a pretty good clip - but then, given the nature of Senate elections - not much to divine by that since it largely largely depends on which seats are up.

In 2012, the Dems picked up 8 House seats (going from 193-242 to 201-234) and 2 Senate seats (going from 53-47 to 55-45). Final House tallies not in yet, but it looks like total Dem House share will be just under +1 million.

All things considered, I'd say that aspect is a wash at best... the biggest difference is probably that Democratic Senate minority leader Tom Daschle also lost in 2004, whereas this time out - the biggest 'name losers' were really 'names' more to their tendency to be loud and obnoxious (West, Walsh) than having any real power in the caucus.
   27. steagles Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4315094)
I don't even watch the Walking Dead, but this current practice of splitting up a 12/13 episode season into two half-seasons months apart is the worst thing that has ever happened to television, and possibly the worst thing in the history of humanity.
What is the rationale behind the "split season"? Is it done more marketing reasons? Production?

Game of Thrones is really the only show I've followed "live" so to speak in the last few years...if I had to wait more than a week for the next episode I'm pretty sure I'd strangle someone. Not putting the DVDs out until 5 minutes before the next season starts is bad enough.

I recall Lost had some kind of hiatus that people didn't like very much. Was that a split-season or the writer's strike? I watched the show on DVD later so I didn't pick up on it.
for a show like the walking dead (or breaking bad), it's the difference between a 12/13 episode season and a 16/18 episode season. instead of having those 12 episodes lined up 12 weeks in a row, you have 8 episodes in the fall, and another 8 in the spring.

and that also means that you don't go 10-12 months without airing any new content on TV, which means that you should be able to keep a more steady viewership.
   28. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4315097)
gonfolan, what were the Senate and House makeups in 2004 vs 2012? I suspect their use of 'mandate' was assessed, correctly I might add, by more than electoral or vote margin of only the Presidency.
Not that I agree with the WSJ's take; you (and the New Yorker) make a valid point about their bias.


House of Representatives, 2004: GOP by 30
House of Representatives, 2012: GOP by 33

Senate, 2004: GOP by 10
Senate, 2012: Dems by 10

GOP pickups, 2004: 4 Senate seats, 3 House seats
Dem pickups, 2012: 2 Senate seats, 8 House seats

Bush, 2004: Won by 2.4%, 35 electoral votes, and 3 million votes
Obama, 2012: Currently ahead by 3.6%, 126 electoral votes , and 4.7 million votes (percentage and vote margin are expected to rise)

Wall Street Journal, 2004: "Just because an election is close doesn't mean it isn't decisive."
Wall Street Journal, 2012: "President Obama won one of the narrower re-elections in modern times."
   29. Paul D(uda) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4315100)

Did Sopranos or B* split the season first?
   30. Greg K Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4315108)
and that also means that you don't go 10-12 months without airing any new content on TV, which means that you should be able to keep a more steady viewership.

Someone needs to tell that to the guys making Game of Thrones!

At 10 episodes per season, and one book per season (excepting 2 season for book 3) that's 60 episodes to catch up to where they are now book-wise. Ideally, you'd do them all at once. That's an episode a week for just over a year. Plenty of time for Martin to finish the series and tack on 20-30 more episodes. I suppose now someone's going to tell me that wouldn't have been feasible...TV would be a great medium if these pesky practicalities didn't always crop up.
   31. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4315110)
BTW -

Just wanted to start the Brian Schweitzer '16 watch:

Gov Schweitzer was on CNN's Sunday yacker this past weekend and all but declared his candidacy -- he did the coy "I'm governor for another 2 months yada yada", but also joked about his great love for the people of NH and IA. I'm betting he runs in 2016.

A potential Schweitzer candidacy would be interesting for the Democrats --

On one hand, he absolutely and wholly defangs any NRA/gun control arguments - I'd say there's at least an even-money chance that he actually gets an NRA endorsement. He's also got a pro-coal bonafides that might actually make Appalachia swing back to its old Democratic ways.

He's got a fair number of feathers in his cap that will liberals will like -- education and health care (he's been probably as friendly to single payer as any candidate).

He's a blank slate on immigration, more or less...

The big question - should he run and get the nomination - is whether he'd be able to keep the Democratic trendlines for minority demographics intact. I could see him absolutely hanging onto the youth vote - he's charismatic, plainspoken, and can hold the attention of the crowd.... but his gun stances are likely to be problematic for the urban coalitions. I'm guessing he'd need an exceptionally active outgoing President Obama in the fall campaign.

It would be an interesting race - Schweitzer would have an excellent chance at competing for the voters increasingly trending Republican... but the question is whether he'd be able to hang onto Latino, AA, etc gains (specifically, turnout gains).
   32. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4315113)
zonk

gov schweitzer can take any stance he wants on immigration because on a local level it doesn't matter so he has no concerns about fallout that could harm him as governor

it's why democrats from out west could vote for civil rights legislation in the 50's and 60's. nobody cared back home because there were no blacks to be concerned about
   33. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4315120)
zonk

gov schweitzer can take any stance he wants on immigration because on a local level it doesn't matter so he has no concerns about fallout that could harm him as governor

it's why democrats from out west could vote for civil rights legislation in the 50's and 60's. nobody cared back home because there were no blacks to be concerned about


The one clue we do have --

Schweitzer does have a very strong record on Native American issues in MT (it's one 'minority population' that MT does have)...

Assuming HRC doesn't run in 2016 (and increasingly, I don't think she will) -- I can't think of anyone sitting prettier than Schweitzer. He can run as far left as he needs to in the primary, but his persona does a great deal to inoculate him when it's time to move back to the center for a GE.

Like I said - his GE fortunes are going to hinge very heavily on whether he can keep a significant chunk of the Obama coalition engaged...

...well, that and the fact that, just by nature of his locale - he probably needs money more than anything, as he doesn't have a natural financial backing constituency to get behind him.

However, the second part is mitigated by the fact that the liberal blogosphere tends to really love him - and see Howard Dean in 2004 - I think he could small donation his way to warchest parity if he had to (it ought to be noted that he's a vocal 'soft money' opponent, too).
   34. GregD Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4315121)
On one hand, he absolutely and wholly defangs any NRA/gun control arguments - I'd say there's at least an even-money chance that he actually gets an NRA endorsement. He's also got a pro-coal bonafides that might actually make Appalachia swing back to its old Democratic ways.
I will take that bet! The Democrats could nominate Charlton Heston's rotting corpse and the Republicans Carolyn Maloney, and the NRA would still endorse the Republican for President.

That said, Schweitzer is interesting for exactly the reasons you state; he's got lots of solid positives but it's unclear he'd excite any of the groups that have animated the Democratic resurgence. Seems like your classic VP pick.
   35. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4315123)
In fairness to TWD, they started off with a 6-episode, teaser-style first season.


Which is all I've watched of it so far, at least a year ago, courtesy of Netflix. It was ... perfectly OK, but nothing life-changing. One of these days I'll get back to it. Maybe.

(I read the first 70 or so issues of the comic before losing interest with the glacial pace [& realizing that I would be OK with having Robert Kirkman set on fire & kicked down a long flight of stairs], I should note, & of course I've seen eleventy-billion -- OK, more in the ballpark of 260 or so -- zombie movies, so of course normal viewers' mileage probably varies.)
   36. Flynn Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4315128)
What is the rationale behind the "split season"? Is it done more marketing reasons? Production?


Among the other reasons mentioned, it also allows for a smaller writing staff with the head writers taking more of an active role. In a traditional 22 episode season the head writers basically manage - they'd go crazy or disappear into a punchbowl full of cocaine (or do both if they're Aaron Sorkin) otherwise. In a 12 episode season broken into chunks of six the head writers can actually write rather than delegate.
   37. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4315133)
On one hand, he absolutely and wholly defangs any NRA/gun control arguments - I'd say there's at least an even-money chance that he actually gets an NRA endorsement. He's also got a pro-coal bonafides that might actually make Appalachia swing back to its old Democratic ways.

I will take that bet! The Democrats could nominate Charlton Heston's rotting corpse and the Republicans Carolyn Maloney, and the NRA would still endorse the Republican for President.


I don't know -

This isn't a standard rural state Dem governor - Schweitzer is probably as vocal as Heston was about opposing any and all gun control measures... There's a credibility breaking point, I think, for the NRA regarding Schweitzer. Maybe I'm going too far in thinking they'd actually endorse him - but I could easily see them sitting out the endorsement. I mean, this is a guy who - in response to a question about how many guns he owns, rather famously said "Probably more than I need, but not as many as I'd like"...

Add that to the fact that Schweitzer tends to be rather... let's say combative... when it comes to voicing his opposition to legislation he doesn't like, it would be hard for the NRA to make the case that members should fear Schweitzer getting rolled by his own party on such legislation.
   38. Lassus Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4315134)
In a 12 episode season broken into chunks of six the head writers can actually write rather than delegate.

This makes sense for a 22-episode season, but if you need that much break time to write twelve episodes, I'm calling artistic laziness.
   39. JuanGone..except1game Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4315136)
Among the other reasons mentioned, it also allows for a smaller writing staff with the head writers taking more of an active role. In a traditional 22 episode season the head writers basically manage - they'd go crazy or disappear into a punchbowl full of cocaine (or do both if they're Aaron Sorkin) otherwise. In a 12 episode season broken into chunks of six the head writers can actually write rather than delegate.


I've heard that the split season has come about mostly due to the writer's strike in 2007. Like you said, studios realized that they could do with less if they changed the scheduling of shows. Another reason why that was one of the dumbest strikes in memory.
   40. bookbook Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4315152)
I approve of Obama's negotiating thus far. If Boehner isn't complaining, the democrat isn't doing it right, to be honest.

All of the demographics are trending Democratic, and the Dems should nominate Schweitzer to inoculate against the shrinking GOP demographics? If, and only if, you feel he's the right guy for the job. It really doesn't seem likely to be politically necessary.
   41. Flynn Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4315158)
This makes sense for a 22-episode season, but if you need that much break time to write twelve episodes, I'm calling artistic laziness.


More down time equals more time for head writers to go into the bunker and work their magic. But you can't ask a head writer to pull 18+ hour days seven day a week every single week for 12+ weeks, because they'd go insane. It's a different type of show but have you ever seen the documentary about the Making of South Park? Trey Parker is basically insane on Wednesday afternoon because he's constantly writing and rewriting. He needs that break, especially when he's got a whole bunch of other projects going on that makes Comedy Central a lot of money.

   42. Flynn Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4315162)
Schweitzer seems like the world's most ideal VP pick ever. I'm not entirely sure they should go with him for President, unless there's nobody better (since he is good).
   43. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4315172)

All of the demographics are trending Democratic, and the Dems should nominate Schweitzer to inoculate against the shrinking GOP demographics? If, and only if, you feel he's the right guy for the job. It really doesn't seem likely to be politically necessary.


Oh, I'd definitely be getting behind Schweitzer because I think he's the right guy for the job... if we're still going to be in a period of partisan recalcitrance, he's the guy I'd want as my standard bearer. He doesn't mince words, he gives good soundbite, and he's the sort that almost relishes 'the fight'.

I'm just gaming out his electoral plus/minuses.
   44. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4315185)
[quoteAssuming HRC doesn't run in 2016 (and increasingly, I don't think she will)

I'm just curious as to why you think that. Assuming there's significant job growth in the next 4 years and Obama's popularity is intact, do you really, really think HRC could turn down one last shot at history? I don't know HRC or pretend to know her, but something tells me that she couldn't sit back. Particularly with a stacked GOP deck in 2016 and a frankly somewhat light Democratic bench (right now.)
   45. steagles Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4315189)
...well, that and the fact that, just by nature of his locale - he probably needs money more than anything, as he doesn't have a natural financial backing constituency to get behind him.
i disagree. i think he could get big business/energy/wall-street backing considering he would be a much more preferable candidate for them than cuomo or clinton, or...you know i don't even really know who else is out there. the democrats lost a lot of gubernatorial races, and those are usually the breeding grounds for successful national candidates. but anyway, schweitzer would seem to be better positioned than most anyone else to raise money from those donors.
Schweitzer seems like the world's most ideal VP pick ever. I'm not entirely sure they should go with him for President, unless there's nobody better (since he is good).
i actually think he might win in a landslide if he runs a good campaign. unless there's a geological shift in the republican party, their stances on abortion and immigration and gay marriage aren't changing before 2016. maybe you lose some of those votes because of turnout, but you're still almost guaranteed to win them by a hefty majority.

and, if you think a lot of the anti-obama animus reeks of race-baiting, having a good ole country boy at the top of the ticket could really help downballot.
   46. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4315191)
I'm probably just young and naive, but I truly believe a vote for an increase in taxes on the GOP side doesn't immediately submarine your chances for election.
It may not significantly harm your chances of winning a general election that you're a candidate for, but on the other hand it may significantly harm your chances of becoming a candidate for a general election.

The Republican base has increasingly become a mob of outright idiots; angry idiots, who are totally willing and able to put up a crazy person to run in a primary against any "RINO" who is perceived of insufficiently toeing the line - i.e. against anyone who doesn't loudly scream that Jesus hates science, Jesus hates immigrants, Jesus hates the poor, Jesus hates helping people, Jesus hates raising the marginal tax rate on the uber-wealthy by a tiny amount, Jesus hates General Motors, Jesus hates gay people, Jesus hates Mr. Rogers, Jesus hates Jesus hates Jesus hates.
   47. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4315197)
First things first:

Fun episode of The Walking Dead and it sucks that it won't be on for a few months. One thing I do have to note is that they've turned Michonne into the dumbest character in the history of TV shows. There has been about a dozen times where if Michonne simply said something, anything, the whole plot would get settled but instead she says nothing and we get hours of lunacy.
It was fun, and left a ton of things hanging without it's all feeling terribly forced. What's particularly depressing about Michonne is what a marvelous actor Danai Gurira is. She's physically perfect in the role, and can express tremendous warmth and intelligence. Using her like this is like using C-notes for toilet paper.

Which is all I've watched of it so far, at least a year ago, courtesy of Netflix. It was ... perfectly OK, but nothing life-changing. One of these days I'll get back to it. Maybe.
I heartily encourage you to enjoy the second season, and pay no mind to complaints that the season was slow; it was remarkably well done, and well paced, with classical tragedy at its center. Some things just need an extended build up. When people complain that it's slow, what they usually mean is that two of the thirteen episodes were somewhat uneventful. If you don't crave an exploding head every five minutes I imagine you'll enjoy it very much.

(I read the first 70 or so issues of the comic before losing interest with the glacial pace [& realizing that I would be OK with having Robert Kirkman set on fire & kicked down a long flight of stairs],...
Huh. That's just where I quit, but more because as Kirkman ran out of ideas he fell back more on Rick making errors to keep what drama there was going, until Rick became a blundering oaf who could raise up his stump after the town was overrun and declare without a hint of irony, that by god having meetings about how to make the place safer was an idea whose time had come! Hilarious and awful. Plus, skimming told me that Nagan made the Governor a hive of moral complexity. Wouldn't be the first thing that ran out of real dramatic juice long, long before production ceased.

This makes sense for a 22-episode season, but if you need that much break time to write twelve episodes, I'm calling artistic laziness.
Not a writer, I see.

if you are a house member who knows if the economy tanks but you voted as your district wanted you likely keep your seat but if the economy improves but you know for certain that you will lose your seat for having voted against the wishes of your district then on a selfish level it is not a hard decision. you let the economy tank, blame the president and keep your seat
This is also the way the world as a whole works. I find it completely credible.

What the GOP gets if the whole thing blows up is that the whole thing blows up. They sure seem to like that. It's like a goal in and of itself for them.
Sure. It damages government, an inherent good to some of them. If you think government shouldn't borrow money, damaging it's ability to borrow money is a good thing.

Also: "Mr. Obama will now have to govern the America he so relentlessly sought to divide—and without a mandate beyond the powers of the Presidency."
Does anyone still take the Journal seriously? They're only slightly better than Fox at dull hackery.

I think Battlestar Galactica was actually the first 'hit' to do this, no?
Anyone catch B&G: Blood and Chrome? They diced the first episode into five chunks, and the first chunk, while respectable, was overly cliched: cocky young viper pilot, blah blah blah. Watchable because it was set in the intriguing BSG universe, but not exceptional. I'll keep slogging, though. I like the setting.

As far as BSG, I don't know, I started it on DVD towards the end so there was no real delay for me.
I hear it's even better if you start with the first episode.

:-0)
   48. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4315200)
This makes sense for a 22-episode season, but if you need that much break time to write twelve episodes, I'm calling artistic laziness.

A 22 episode season is 22 22 minutes shows over 25 to 30 weeks. 12 episodes is 12 43 minutes episodes over 14 weeks or so. It is roughly the same amount of airtime condensed into half the time.
   49. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4315201)
I'm just curious as to why you think that. Assuming there's significant job growth in the next 4 years and Obama's popularity is intact, do you really, really think HRC could turn down one last shot at history? I don't know HRC or pretend to know her, but something tells me that she couldn't sit back. Particularly with a stacked GOP deck in 2016 and a frankly somewhat light Democratic bench (right now.)


It's more gut than anything -- but she'll be 69 in 2016 and going back to the 90s, I think she's been through more battles than two political lifetimes. I go back and forth on her future - today, I just think she's ready to be done with it... that might change tomorrow.

BTW - it should be noted... she's still got a few odd million of 2008 campaign debt to retire.
   50. Greg K Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4315203)
I hear it's even better if you start with the first episode.

This is entirely incorrect when it comes to Battlestar Galactica. I decided to watch it earlier this year, got season one in the mail, put in the first disc and was greeted with "previously on Battlestar Galactica..."

Warning to all likewise ignorant newbies, don't start with season one, episode one!
   51. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4315204)
Just wanted to start the Brian Schweitzer '16 watch:


Schweitzer is awesome. Just wanted to re-emphasize that point.
   52. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4315205)
against anyone who doesn't loudly scream that Jesus hates science, Jesus hates immigrants, Jesus hates the poor, Jesus hates helping people, Jesus hates raising the marginal tax rate on the uber-wealthy by a tiny amount, Jesus hates General Motors, Jesus hates gay people, Jesus hates Mr. Rogers, Jesus hates Jesus hates Jesus hates.

Remember, Jesus would hate the act, not the actors. Well, except those who would raise the marginal tax rate, he would hate those people. :)
   53. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4315206)
i disagree. i think he could get big business/energy/wall-street backing considering he would be a much more preferable candidate for them than cuomo or clinton, or...you know i don't even really know who else is out there. the democrats lost a lot of gubernatorial races, and those are usually the breeding grounds for successful national candidates. but anyway, schweitzer would seem to be better positioned than most anyone else to raise money from those donors.


Energy concerns maybe - but I have a hard time seeing other sectors lining up with him. He's a got a very strong populist streak in the old western progressive vein of William Lemke, Burton Wheeler, etc.
   54. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4315207)
I heartily encourage you to enjoy the second season, and pay no mind to complaints that the season was slow; it was remarkably well done, and wellpaced, with classical tragedy at its center. Some things just need an extended build up.

No, no, no, no. Don't listen to the communist! Most of the second season was godawful. The first half of the season had a storyline that could have been condensed to 2 to possibly 3 shows and it would have been great. Instead they stretched it out to 7 shows and they kept hammering the same narratives, character points, and plot points over and over week after week. The second half was much better, it contained 6 episodes and for the most part the 6 were decent but if you wanted to quibble you could probably say there only needed to be 5 episodes in that half.

for the first half I'd say you could watch episode 1, 2, 3 and 7 and you'd get virtually everything you'd need to move on from that half.
   55. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4315208)
Remember, Jesus would hate the act, not the actors.
Not Republican Jesus. Republican Jesus hates you for saying Jesus wouldn't hate the actors.
   56. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4315209)
Huh. That's just where I quit, but more because as Kirkman ran out of ideas he fell back more on Rick making errors to keep what drama there was going, until Rick became a blundering oaf who could raise up his stump after the town was overrun and declare without a hint of irony, that by god having meetings about how to make the place safer was an idea whose time had come! Hilarious and awful. Plus, skimming told me that Nagan made the Governor a hive of moral complexity. Wouldn't be the first thing that ran out of real dramatic juice long, long before production ceased.

I've read all the issues so far but it is mostly out of routine nowadays. Once the Governor storyline was finished the series had pretty much nothing left to tell that was new and I think the series has been kept alive to cash in on the TV series. Frankly I'm not sure why or if the comic book was viewed as good and financially successful before the TV show started up. The art is nothing special, the writing is horrendous, and the themes are simplistic, in your face, and repetitive.
   57. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4315217)
Schweitzer seems like the world's most ideal VP pick ever. I'm not entirely sure they should go with him for President, unless there's nobody better (since he is good).

My preliminary thought is that Schweitzer's the current version of Jim Webb, who would've also been a decent VP but hardly likely to excite the base at the top of the ticket.

With a reasonably good economy**, I still think Hillary would jump in and absolutely crush any standard issue Republican, including any and all of the names who've been bandied about in the media. The way she's conducted herself since that 2008 primary fiasco, she's earned the respect of the Obama primary voters, and if anyone doesn't think she could get women to come out to vote in record numbers, I've got a Kehoskie Bridge I'd like to sell them. The GOP wouldn't know what hit them.

**Without that, all bets are off.
   58. SoSH U at work Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4315219)
A 22 episode season is 22 22 minutes shows over 25 to 30 weeks. 12 episodes is 12 43 minutes episodes over 14 weeks or so. It is roughly the same amount of airtime condensed into half the time.


That's only comparing it to sitcoms. They make 22-episode seasons of hour-long dramas as well.

   59. Lassus Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4315226)
Not a writer, I see.

Does being a musician count? Listen, I'm not close to saying quality writing is easy, but the writing in Dr. Who and the Walking freaking Dead is absolutely no better than Fringe or many other 22 episode hour-long shows. (To also answer mccoy.)
   60. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4315229)
That's only comparing it to sitcoms. They make 22-episode seasons of hour-long dramas as well.

Law & Order type shows are extremely different than the cable dramas which is why the "showrunner" has become god in recent times. The procedurals were the old format of the 1 hour drama and in those dramas they would farm out the writing to several different writers and groups of writers. There are almost no character storylines and most of the drama is based on telling a story about getting from point A to point B in that single episode. Just apples and oranges really.
   61. The Good Face Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4315235)
It would be an interesting race - Schweitzer would have an excellent chance at competing for the voters increasingly trending Republican... but the question is whether he'd be able to hang onto Latino, AA, etc gains (specifically, turnout gains).


I don't see any reasonable case for Schweitzer to match or exceed Obama in minority voters, especially in turnout.

Personally, I'd be more interested in seeing how a gun lover from a flyover state plays with the SWPL and single female contingents that make up the bulk of the Dems white voters.
   62. TomH Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4315237)
House of Representatives, 2004: GOP by 30
House of Representatives, 2012: GOP by 33

Senate, 2004: GOP by 10
Senate, 2012: Dems by 10


well, if you have 3 out of 3, and neither legislative body even that close, that's a pretty good mandate. Unlike 2012, where the Pres has 2 of 3.

In 2008, Mr Obama had a clear mandate. Not as much in 2012. The WSJ gets 1 or 2 pinochios, but they ain't that far off. In this case at least :)
   63. Greg K Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4315238)
Law & Order type shows are extremely different than the cable dramas which is why the "showrunner" has become god in recent times. The procedurals were the old format of the 1 hour drama and in those dramas they would farm out the writing to several different writers and groups of writers. There are almost no character storylines and most of the drama is based on telling a story about getting from point A to point B in that single episode. Just apples and oranges really.

How about Lost? 49 episodes in the first two seasons (which relied quite heavily on character storylines). I suppose it also depends on what your take on the writing is. I think it was good to great over that period, with a spot of meh in the middle of season two.

Meant as an actual question...I actually don't know much about the writing process for TV shows. Lost sounds like it would be interesting on this score, with the added element of a team of writers trying to develop characters with a view to contributing to a long-game that the head writers have in mind, but not finalized. Must have been quite a project. And one that (mostly) worked very well in those first seasons.
   64. SoSH U at work Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4315244)
Law & Order type shows are extremely different than the cable dramas which is why the "showrunner" has become god in recent times. The procedurals were the old format of the 1 hour drama and in those dramas they would farm out the writing to several different writers and groups of writers. There are almost no character storylines and most of the drama is based on telling a story about getting from point A to point B in that single episode. Just apples and oranges really.


And how is this predictable, little character development format different from the 22-minute shows that were apparently an apples to apples comparison?

Besides, not all of the one-hour network shows are procedurals. Fringe isn't (at least from what I recall I presume). I'm pretty sure Revenge wasn't designed that way (just caught a few episodes at the beginning). I presume the Good Wife isn't, though I have never seen it so I can't say for certain. Some horror show my wife and I watched last night wasn't, though I don't know if it will reach 22 episodes).
   65. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4315246)
Never watched Lost and from what I've read the writing was so fast and furious on that show that they weren't really able to have any long range plans and storylines. A lot of it they simply made up as they went which if you think the writing was excellent is a testament to how good the writers were to be able to put up that much quality writing in that amount of time.
   66. DA Baracus Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4315256)
The writing on Lost was a disaster in the final seasons.
   67. steagles Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4315259)
Never watched Lost and from what I've read the writing was so fast and furious on that show that they weren't really able to have any long range plans and storylines. A lot of it they simply made up as they went which if you think the writing was excellent is a testament to how good the writers were to be able to put up that much quality writing in that amount of time.
not sure if it's been linked here previously, but this is a writeup detailing the creation of lost that was posted on grantland.
   68. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4315263)
Never saw Lost either. Taped the first few episodes back when it was new & I still had cable, but never got around to watching them. One of these years, I suppose. (Of course, I've been saying the same thing for at least a couple of decades now about the series finales of Cheers & LA Law, too.)

Series I watch (via Netflix these days) tend to last no more than one season, I've found -- Invasion, Threshold, Surface all come immediately to mind, for instance. Having plowed through the first two(!) seasons of Haven over the course of a couple of weeks, I expect it to be cancelled forthwith.

(Obviously, I prefer sf/horror series. There are tons out there, most of which I know little to nothing about; anyone got any particularly strong favorites? I'm two episodes into the first season of American Horror Story, which I gather drastically changes format every season, or something like that.)
   69. zenbitz Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4315264)
Is it possible that "the cliff" was actually the real compromise, fully inteded (by both sides) to be enacted, and the rest of this is just blather for taxpayer and voter "benefit"?
   70. Gotham Dave Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4315270)
No, that’s not possible. Even the biggest stooge in Washington can see that the expiration+sequester is awful, awful policy. Democrats agreed to it because they were desperate to not default, Republicans agreed because they thought they’d have both chambers and the White House after the election. They were wrong, which is why Obama has leverage (and is actually acting like it, for once).

It’s possible that some Democrats like the deal; after all, they are the party of fiscal responsibility (if we’re being serious about that term). Said Democrats would be fools, but there’s definitely people in the party who are out of touch and deficit-obsessed to the point of being willing to risk a recession to cut it down.
   71. Greg K Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4315274)
The writing on Lost was a disaster in the final seasons.

I carefully walked around mentioning the last couple seasons. If you can't say something good about someone...

I keep pushing back the moment when Lost lost it, so to speak. At the moment I'm cool with everything up to and including season 4. I've even come so far as to think of the major plot device of season five to be unproblematic in principle...just poorly executed.
   72. Lassus Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4315282)
Law & Order type shows are extremely different than the cable dramas which is why the "showrunner" has become god in recent times. The procedurals were the old format of the 1 hour drama and in those dramas they would farm out the writing to several different writers and groups of writers. There are almost no character storylines and most of the drama is based on telling a story about getting from point A to point B in that single episode. Just apples and oranges really.

Right, but this isn't the kind of show we're talking about. There are plenty of hour-long shows from 12 to 22 episodes that have equally difficult continuity to any of the 12-episode shows that are somehow requiring this massive break in the middle. I'm simply not seeing the "oh, writing is hard" as a valid reason when so many others are doing just fine.
   73. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4315284)
So is it worth getting into Lost? I ask as another person who's never watched a single episode. As the series went on it started to sound intriguing, but by that point I had missed so much there wasn't much point in jumping in midstream.
   74. hokieneer Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4315288)
Never saw Lost either. Taped the first few episodes back when it was new & I still had cable, but never got around to watching them. One of these years, I suppose.


They are on netflix. The wife and I had never watched them either until a little over a year ago. It was actually a great viewing experience; no commercials or cliff hangers.
   75. DA Baracus Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4315289)
At the moment I'm cool with everything up to and including season 4.


Agreed. Season 4, as I recall (I really have no desire to go back and watch) was strange to me in that I felt it was overall pretty weak yet had some of my favorite episodes, although that was because of the flashbacks. After season 4 it was clear the writers had no idea what they were doing anymore.
   76. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4315294)
Speaking of Walking Dead, the first issue I ever bought of the comic (I read the previous 3 arcs in TPB form) happened to be #19, which introduced the character of Michonne & last I looked (some months ago) was going for insane money on eBay, like $200-or-more insane. The first Governor issue, from about a year later, was going for around half that at the time.

I would've put those suckers up for bid in a NY minute if I hadn't misplaced the USB cable for my digital camera. Which situation remains in place.

Just in case anyone wasn't sure, yes, I am an idiot.
   77. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4315301)
I just watched Jericho on Netflix. It was pretty good. Too bad it was cancelled so quickly.
   78. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4315305)
well, if you have 3 out of 3, and neither legislative body even that close, that's a pretty good mandate. Unlike 2012, where the Pres has 2 of 3.
In 2008, Mr Obama had a clear mandate. Not as much in 2012. The WSJ gets 1 or 2 pinochios, but they ain't that far off. In this case at least :)


I don't think either one had/has a "mandate," as interpretive and amorphous as the keys to the kingdom tend to be. But puh-leeze, don't go trying to sell us that the first guy had a big-time mandate, while the second guy who got reelected with 150% of the first guy's voting margins doesn't make the cut.

A more expansive look at the Wall Street Journal's analysis and rhetoric of Nov. 7, 2012:
"A divided country gives Obama a second chance... [He succeeded in] eking out a second term with a fraction of his 7.3% margin of 2008... Given that second Presidential terms are rarely better than the first, this is best described as the voters doubling down on hope over experience... [His campaign was] a caricature even by the standards of modern politics. But it worked with brutal efficiency—the definition of winning ugly. Mr. Obama was able to patch together just enough of these voting groups to prevail... Mr. Obama also benefitted from his long run of extraordinary good luck [Hurricane Sandy]... Chief Justice Roberts provided a salve of legitimacy to the President's deeply unpopular health-care law... something to protect in an otherwise aimless second term... the two campaigns fought Medicare essentially to a draw in Florida, despite the Democratic attempt to demagogue... [Romney] took too long to defend his Bain Capital record, letting the Obama campaign pummel him with more than $100 million in unanswered attack ads from May through July... Mr. Obama will now have to govern the America he so relentlessly sought to divide—and without a mandate beyond the powers of the Presidency... Speaker John Boehner can negotiate knowing he has as much of a mandate as the President... They will say the middle class chose Mr. Obama's government blandishments over Mr. Romney's opportunity society. We don't think such a narrow victory of an incumbent President who continues to be personally admired justifies such a conclusion... The battle for liberty begins anew this morning."

And that of Nov. 4, 2004:
"Millions of conservative first-timers whom the exit polls and media missed emerg[ed] from the pews and exurban driveways to give President Bush what by any measure is a decisive mandate for a second term. Never mind the closeness of the electoral vote, this time Mr. Bush easily won the popular vote, the first President to win more than 50% since his father in 1988. The Republican gains in both Houses of Congress mean Mr. Bush also had coattails, unlike Nixon in 1972 and even Reagan in 1984... Just because an election is close doesn't mean it isn't decisive. The huge voter turnout of some 120 million [] adds to the mandate because it means the country was fully engaged in this national debate... The President's opposition went all-in, as they say in poker, with the most relentlessly partisan performance by elite cultural institutions that we've ever witnessed. Hollywood, CBS, and the New York Times threw everything they had at Mr. Bush, and the country rejected their values and agenda, not his. We trust that the President will not now let those same opponents interpret his mandate for him. The effort is already under way to diminish the victory by insisting that Mr. Bush "move to the center," which is code for giving up the agenda that voters just endorsed. The country remains "deeply divided," we are told, so Mr. Bush is obliged to make concessions... Mr. Bush now has an opportunity to achieve much of what his opponents blocked in the first term... we hope he and the GOP majorities on Capitol Hill don't flinch from large ambitions even if most Democrats rebuff their overtures. The center-right voters who just elected them are expecting progress on their priorities. One of those is the federal courts, where voters sent a clear signal about the kind of judges they want. Referendums opposing gay marriage went 11 for 11 on Tuesday, winning even in Oregon where the 57% to 43% landslide was the smallest majority among the 11. This is not a message of intolerance toward gays; it is a rebuke to those liberals who insist that courts impose their values on venerable American institutions... We do already know, however, that Mr. Bush has been given the kind of mandate that few politicians are ever fortunate enough to receive. The voters expect him to use it."

2012
2004
   79. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4315307)
Just looked up the listing for Jericho. Town cut off by nuclear blast? Sounds potentially right up my (many-laned) alley.

Edit: I see I've already got it in my Instant View queue. Along with 250-odd other things. To go with the nearly 500-DVD queue.

That's it -- I hereby declare a moratorium on all new movies & TV series for the next quarter-century, on the off chance I can begin catching up.
   80. Steve Treder Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4315312)
Even the biggest stooge in Washington can see that the expiration+sequester is awful, awful policy. Democrats agreed to it because they were desperate to not default, Republicans agreed because they thought they’d have both chambers and the White House after the election. They were wrong, which is why Obama has leverage (and is actually acting like it, for once).

Exactly.

It’s possible that some Democrats like the deal; after all, they are the party of fiscal responsibility (if we’re being serious about that term). Said Democrats would be fools, but there’s definitely people in the party who are out of touch and deficit-obsessed to the point of being willing to risk a recession to cut it down.

I suppose so. But I expect most people involved grasp that the "cliff" analogy isn't an especially good one; the way government contracts and budgets work, very little would actually impactfully change on Jan. 2nd. Allowing all of the "cliff's" sequestration requirements to actually take effect would take many months at least, which is sufficient time for actual negotiation and sensible compromise to occur. (Of course, that assumes that "sensible compromise" isn't still interpreted as "self-immolation" by a certain wing when facing reality that starkly in the face.)
   81. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4315313)
No, that’s not possible. Even the biggest stooge in Washington can see that the expiration+sequester is awful, awful policy. Democrats agreed to it because they were desperate to not default, Republicans agreed because they thought they’d have both chambers and the White House after the election. They were wrong, which is why Obama has leverage (and is actually acting like it, for once).

It’s possible that some Democrats like the deal; after all, they are the party of fiscal responsibility (if we’re being serious about that term). Said Democrats would be fools, but there’s definitely people in the party who are out of touch and deficit-obsessed to the point of being willing to risk a recession to cut it down.


Precisely.

Remember that the original 'deal' was supposed to be leverage for a bipartisan committee to work out a deal (that failed miserably)... the 'intention' was always that something would be worked out that was less cleaverish.

I don't know that many Democrats "like" this deal -- but from the blogosphere to the liberal punditocracy (see Krugman, et al) to Dem congressional leadership -- they've pretty much made peace with sequestration coming to pass.

The GOP is still trying to run an inside bluff while other side of the table already knows damn well they didn't make their straight.
   82. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4315314)
200 bucks for a mass produced modern comic book seems extremely insane to me but it appears are willing to pay that. Someone is selling that issue on Ebay right now and has 7 bids on it with the highest bid being 152.50 with less than a day left on it. A signed one has a high bid of $200 and another person has a high bid of 89 dollars.

In looking up this issue on Ebay I discover that supposedly only about 4,600 copies were made of TWD #19 which does reinforce my view that this series wasn't really all that big back in the day.
   83. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4315319)
I just watched Jericho on Netflix. It was pretty good. Too bad it was cancelled so quickly.

For a second there I thought you were talking about Jeremiah and I almost attempted to stab you through the intertubes.
   84. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4315324)
$200 for a mass-produced modern comic book is insane, but hey, that would pay for Xmas this year, by god.

Not sure when the series began really taking off, but a circulation of 4,600 would've been pretty healthy for an indie like Image (still would be, I'm pretty sure, not that I've paid attention to sales figures in a year or so). Nothing spectacular, though.
   85. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4315325)
Just looked up the listing for Jericho. Town cut off by nuclear blast? Sounds potentially right up my (many-laned) alley.

Edit: I see I've already got it in my Instant View queue. Along with 250-odd other things. To go with the nearly 500-DVD queue.

That's it -- I hereby declare a moratorium on all new movies & TV series for the next quarter-century, on the off chance I can begin catching up.


I liked Jericho quite a bit -- some of the backstory gets a little wobbly and silly, but setting that aside and just focusing on the town itself and such, it was quite watchable.
   86. Greg K Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4315332)
So is it worth getting into Lost? I ask as another person who's never watched a single episode. As the series went on it started to sound intriguing, but by that point I had missed so much there wasn't much point in jumping in midstream.

I'm probably the wrong person to ask, in that I love a lot of things about Lost so what else am I going to say?

But I'd say the first four seasons are great, great television. People who haven't seen the show always seem to be surprised by how character driven it is. The last two seasons aren't great, at that point the show turns into "I just want to see what happens!" If sloppy writing is something that annoys you, maybe you'd be better off just reading up on the events of season 5 and 6 on wikipedia. But as an exercise in watching characters you've come to know quite intimately work their way to the conclusion of story, however disappointingly written, the end is watchable.

But I'd say, like the baseballing career of Craig Biggio, let the great peak years define the show for you, not the stumbling at the end. Certainly worth it in my books.
   87. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4315345)
One other interesting bit of gamesmanship on the fiscal cliff...

Pelosi and the Dems are threatening a legislative maneuver to force the Senate bill (which essentially makes permanent the current tax rates for income up to $250k) to the floor in the House.

Now - they can't just "do" this - basically, they need to find 35 GOP co-signors... the chortling, of course, is 'where are there 35 Republicans willing to cosign a Pelosi-sponsored action'.

However... a couple of interesting things are at play here.

First, we've already seen some fissures in the House GOP. Tom Cole, for one, coming out in favor of the Senate bill (and he's no moderate).... Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) just announced her resignation to take a lobbyist job, so I would highly suspect she might be game. Maybe I'm being charitable here, but let's say Pelosi can get 10 GOP signers who basically see the writing on the wall.

That's where things get interesting -- Boehner has some real problems with his caucus at the moment... that's the problem with a caucus rife with 'purity' types -- how many of them are fed up with Boehner and would sign-on to a forced vote on the Senate bill just because it would significantly weaken Boehner's gavel?

Honestly, I sort of suspect that the reason the Democrats are just threatening rather than actively pursuing this is that they're not entirely sure they want to see Boehner go down. "Devil you know" and all that - but it would be almost certain whomever rises due to Boehner's fall would be more difficult to work with.

It's an interesting gambit...
   88. JuanGone..except1game Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4315350)
I liked Jericho quite a bit -- some of the backstory gets a little wobbly and silly, but setting that aside and just focusing on the town itself and such, it was quite watchable.


Seconded here. There was some silliness but its a million miles better than say Revolution where I'm now actively rooting for the death of the protaganist. Some very good acting by veterans and some interesting and plausabile plots, if dystopian future's are your bag.
   89. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4315360)


It's more gut than anything -- but she'll be 69 in 2016 and going back to the 90s, I think she's been through more battles than two political lifetimes. I go back and forth on her future - today, I just think she's ready to be done with it... that might change tomorrow.

BTW - it should be noted... she's still got a few odd million of 2008 campaign debt to retire.


That's a fair point, I'd have to imagine that a book and some speeches would retire any/all of that debt. Frankly, it's going to be hard for Democrats to follow up Obama and Hillary looks to me to be the only person around who will be ready and able to do so (I don't know about willing, obviously.) Supposedly, she's just as ambivalent.

I just can't imagine someone with Hillary Clinton's ambition and sense of history being able to turn down one last shot at the White House. And I really, really can't imagine Bill (to the extent he has any influence) doing so.

I liked Jericho quite a bit


I'm surprised any MidEast discussion occurs without securing the Ayatollah of Rock 'n Rollah's opinion.
   90. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4315361)


Seconded here. There was some silliness but its a million miles better than say Revolution where I'm now actively rooting for the death of the protaganist. Some very good acting by veterans and some interesting and plausabile plots, if dystopian future's are your bag.


Sigh... please, please - no slams on Revolution. Yes, I know it sucks. Yes, I was grossly wrong in wanting to give it a chance. Yes, I've even been unable to watch the last few episodes out of an abundance of disappointment.

But I'm still coming to grips with the fact that the major networks have a supreme ability to destroy every concept show that's right up my alley and at this point, I just don't have it in me to stomp on Revolution... yet.
   91. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4315365)
Regarding Lost. There is a bit of lack in likeable characters, but there are enough and the stories the first few years are really good. The writers like the villains a bit too much, which you can really notice because a couple characters evolve and lose a bunch of awesome when they start trending good (which I find a bit annoying). But overall I think it a very good series, especially the first few seasons.

TWD. Not my cup of tea.

Regarding quickly canceled shows I enjoyed both Daybreak and FlashForward, each only a season.

Regarding politics for 2016. I think HRC or Schweitzer would have a really good chance to win pretty easily in 2016 unless the economy crashes. I think both would hold a large potion of the Obama coalition (with some turnout losses countered by the fact that as people get older they vote more and his youth vote will be 4 years older with the next generation still favoring Team Blue). Both would also eat into GOP strongholds of white women and white men to a degree (which will make up for not having incumbancy).

Other Dem candidates would I think do a bit worse (though you never know), but I think in 2016 generic D beats generic R - partly because Team Red is not willing to change and need to lose at least one more presidential IMO.
   92. Steve Treder Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4315367)
Boehner has some real problems with his caucus at the moment... that's the problem with a caucus rife with 'purity' types -- how many of them are fed up with Boehner and would sign-on to a forced vote on the Senate bill just because it would significantly weaken Boehner's gavel?

Honestly, I sort of suspect that the reason the Democrats are just threatening rather than actively pursuing this is that they're not entirely sure they want to see Boehner go down. "Devil you know" and all that - but it would be almost certain whomever rises due to Boehner's fall would be more difficult to work with.


Indeed, but all this turbulence is another reason for the Dems to sit tight. Whatever happens, there is unquestionably going to be drama and strife of some sort within the GOP ranks. Since it's going to play out anyway, then it may be in everyone's interest to get it underway. If Boehner proves to be a lame duck, that's a new fact, and it's better to deal with facts than with potientialities.
   93. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4315368)
I liked Jericho quite a bit

I'm surprised any MidEast discussion occurs without securing the Ayatollah of Rock 'n Rollah's opinion.


The Path to Peace:
#1 -- A moratorium on settlement building.
#2 -- Recognition of Israel's right to exist.
#3 -- Arm bar.
   94. Lassus Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4315373)
I just can't imagine someone with Hillary Clinton's ambition and sense of history being able to turn down one last shot at the White House.

This has to be it. Taking the optimistic view that humanity is still around 500 years+, first female President of the USA is immortality. I'd be truly stunned if she passes up the opportunity.
   95. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4315375)
Sigh... please, please - no slams on Revolution. Yes, I know it sucks. Yes, I was grossly wrong in wanting to give it a chance. Yes, I've even been unable to watch the last few episodes out of an abundance of disappointment.


I have been watching Revolution out of a sense of duty (And it is bad but not totally horrible), and slowly over the last few episodes the lead female has become much less annoying. She even had an OK scene in the most recent episode (and for a long time I too was hoping for her death, she was the weakest character and her feeble whining was too damn much).

Note: This is not to be read as a full endorsement of Revolution. It is replacement level genre TV roughly as good (or bad) as Terra Nova (partly depending on your feeling about post apocolyptic worlds versus dinosaurs/time travel). Just that it is slowly getting a bit better, but it still sits in my DVR queue until I have watched most everything else.
   96. hokieneer Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4315376)
No, that’s not possible. Even the biggest stooge in Washington can see that the expiration+sequester is awful, awful policy. Democrats agreed to it because they were desperate to not default, Republicans agreed because they thought they’d have both chambers and the White House after the election. They were wrong, which is why Obama has leverage (and is actually acting like it, for once).

It’s possible that some Democrats like the deal; after all, they are the party of fiscal responsibility (if we’re being serious about that term). Said Democrats would be fools, but there’s definitely people in the party who are out of touch and deficit-obsessed to the point of being willing to risk a recession to cut it down.


It would be the first time in a long time where spending is cut not increased, even if it is just ~$100B, which is around 9-10% of the annual deficit. That being said, any major cuts in spending or major tax hikes would, combined with the sluggish GDP growth, by definition send the economy into a recession. That's the nature of the beast by having so much of the GDP being propped up by public spending.

I do fully expect the GOP to give the WH the ability to increase the debt limit by EO, because that's the worst possible thing they could do. Gotta keep circumventing the power checks so you can take advantage of it when your team is back in power.

   97. Steve Treder Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4315382)
I'd have to imagine that a book and some speeches would retire any/all of that debt. Frankly, it's going to be hard for Democrats to follow up Obama and Hillary looks to me to be the only person around who will be ready and able to do so (I don't know about willing, obviously.) Supposedly, she's just as ambivalent.

I just can't imagine someone with Hillary Clinton's ambition and sense of history being able to turn down one last shot at the White House. And I really, really can't imagine Bill (to the extent he has any influence) doing so.


Well understood. I believe, however, that another plausible scenario is that both Hillary and Bill decide that both of their Golden Years might be better spent inhabiting the unelected-and-ultimately-unaccountable-but-still-on-the-worldwide-A-list-of-prominence-and-influence space that Bill has clearly enjoyed inhabiting since 2000. They will have been there and done that already with both the Presidency and the SOS, and they may be ready to let someone younger deal with those headaches.

The obvious risk of such a scenario, of course, is that the Dems don't hold the White House in 2016, and the influence they would enjoy with its occupant would be vastly if not entirely reduced. But still I think there's a real sense among both Bill and Hillary that they increasingly see themselves as global figures at this point, no longer needing to be entwined in intra-US BS.
   98. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4315385)
I'll admit that the humor value of the hated Kenyan Muslim Socialist being followed by the FemiNazi Shrewish Wife of Bill (and the attendent anger fest that would follow) would amuse me no end. At this point it kind of looks like any D elected will face some hate, but you have to think the HRC hate (having fermented 20+ years) would be exceptionally strong.

EDIT: Added a word lost somewhere, perhaps in the postapocolyptic future or on a mysterious island somewhere.
   99. zonk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4315394)

I do fully expect the GOP to give the WH the ability to increase the debt limit by EO, because that's the worst possible thing they could do. Gotta keep circumventing the power checks so you can take advantage of it when your team is back in power.


I disagree on that with great vigor...

The whole debt limit nonsense is actually Congress getting a chance to backdoor blame the executive for spending that only Congress can authorize to begin with. It's nonsensical. The President can't spend money congress doesn't authorize him to spend... so whenever the President has to ask for a debt ceiling increase, all he's effectively doing is asking congress to let him cover the checks that Congress already wrote.

There's actually a gathering judicial argument that the debt ceiling itself is bad law - it's just never been tested, but in effect - you've two contradictory pieces of legislation at play.

Congressional powerchecks on spending are for Congress to simply not spend money.

Yes, yes -- there's wiggle room on direct military action (WWI bringing about the 'debt ceiling' to begin with), but again -- Congress keeps wanting to have it both ways.

It's well past time for the debt ceiling to just go to the dustbin of history.
   100. Steve Treder Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4315396)
It's well past time for the debt ceiling to just go to the dustbin of history.

Yep.
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