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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 10:15 PM | 6172 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   201. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4315760)
In 2004, Bush won reelection with a bigger percentage than he won in 2000


In fairness, it would have been darn near impossible for him to win re-election with a smaller percentage, so that's not saying much.
   202. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4315766)
Re: Lost: The first and worst stumbling point was when the three main characters were locked in cages for flippin' forever (I think this is the beginning of season 2). Those episodes were unwatchable.


For me, the breaking point was Nikki and Paulo: Two characters that were blatantly shoehorned in at the start of the third season for no other reason than to a) look pretty and b) provide a body count without killing off any of the real regulars.

Once you figured out that nearly anyone introduced after the first season was there only to get killed, it removed a lot of the dramatic tension from the show.
   203. Tilden Katz Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4315767)
Once you figured out that nearly anyone introduced after the first season was there only to get killed, it removed a lot of the dramatic tension from the show.


From what I remember, Lindelof and Cuse wanted Nikki and Paulo to have a a greater role but fan backlash necessitated their quick demise. I do remember that after the episode where they died there was a great run of episodes leading up to the jaw-dropping season 3 finale.
   204. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4315768)
Yes, yes, voters reelecting Obama by a smaller margin in 2012 and leaving the GOP in control of the House was exactly the same thing as when they reelected Bush by a wider margin in 2004 and gave the GOP bigger majorities in the House *and* Senate. It's a "wash," as Zonk put it.
   205. Steve Treder Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4315770)
so again, if you understand that no gop house member is going to register an actual vote for any type of tax increase on any taxpayer this makes sense

in that context

by the way, i know you wiseguys can wordsmith my above post about what does and does not make a tax increase but let's not be cute

you know what i mean


Of course we (at least, I) know what you mean, but the entire point is that in doing this the house GOP members would be engaging in nothing but the most transparently pedantic, cynical, technical, and, yes, "cute" exercise in wordsmithing themselves out of "registering an actual vote for any type of tax increase." Is anyone expected to be fooled? Is this sort of parliamentary limbo dance expected to actually win new admiration and popularity among any potential new voters for the members and for the party? Is this anything but yet another extremely-short-term-focused shallow tactical maneuver?
   206. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4315771)
So where were you going to put it -- Uganda, like some suggested? Believe it or not, there has been a continuous Jewish presence in that part of the World forever. Israel is a more legitimate name for the area than Palestine.


I don't care who was there first. I care about making decisions that don't all but assure endless war. I don't think the creation of Israel 65 years ago justifies Palestinian attacks on Israel today by people whose parents weren't even alive when the fighting started, and I don't think Jews have any special right to the land because King David ruled there 3000 years ago.

I don't know where I'd have put the Jewish state. If they couldn't find a place that was acceptable to both the Jewish community and the local population, then I'd have not created a Jewish state. That seems like a better alternative to what we have now.

The UN came up with a plan to split up Palestine that if the Arabs hadn't hated the Jews so much could have worked. So the Arabs attack and invade Palestine.


If Stephen Strasburg threw 75 mph, I might be able to make contact against him.

It was abundantly clear how the Arabs felt about the increasing Jewish presence in Palestine well before the UN made it the official Jewish state. It'd have been nice if the Arabs decided to try to peacefully coexist (I believe Abbas acknowledged not too long ago that they'd have been better off if they had accepted the Partition Plan), but there was no chance of that happening. The only way it wasn't going to lead to what we're seeing now was if one side had managed to wipe out the other side earlier on.
   207. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4315776)
I don't care who was there first. I care about making decisions that don't all but assure endless war. I don't think the creation of Israel 65 years ago justifies Palestinian attacks on Israel today by people whose parents weren't even alive when the fighting started, and I don't think Jews have any special right to the land because King David ruled there 3000 years ago.

I don't know where I'd have put the Jewish state. If they couldn't find a place that was acceptable to both the Jewish community and the local population, then I'd have not created a Jewish state. That seems like a better alternative to what we have now.


We were going to get endless war in Palestine regardless of whether or not a Jewish state was created. Lebanon and Palestine is a quagmire of ethnicities and religions that is always going to cause turmoil and bloodshed. The Arabs had their chance at a peaceful solution back at the end of WW2. They said no to it.

As for saying no to a Jewish state that wasn't really something the Western powers could do without getting involved in middle eastern wars and the western powers since WW2 have shown no real desire to do that until only very recently and we have seen that hasn't really worked out all that well.
   208. Steve Treder Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4315778)
I don't know where I'd have put the Jewish state. If they couldn't find a place that was acceptable to both the Jewish community and the local population, then I'd have not created a Jewish state. That seems like a better alternative to what we have now.

The blindingly obvious one.

The only way it wasn't going to lead to what we're seeing now was if one side had managed to wipe out the other side earlier on.

And the odds of that were distinctly less than Strasburg never again throwing better than 75 mph.
   209. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4315780)
I stopped watching TWD after season 1 because it was getting really sloppy and boring. It went from interesting zombie flick to The Real Housewives of Walker Country.


Despite the erroneous opinion of others, season two was largely brilliant, with some of the best tv ever made. Episodic television, especially with season long dramatic arcs, is always going to have errors and rough spots. That's the nature of collaborative entertainment. You either go big, or get dull. If you create complex characters and have, because of time constraints, half a dozen writers writing those complext, you'll always have problems. I'm guessing what you imply is soap opera I see as the legitimate meat of tragedy.

Re: The Walking Dead: I'd argue that the video game is its best incarnation.
I'll assume you're posting from that universe where a company other than telltale games has a TWD game out, cuz that's just nuts. The game is essentially confined to one parent-child relationship, meaning it attempts only a small fraction of the tv series' range. It's filled with drab key hunts meant to pad playing time and that often make little sense. It offers nothing in terms of gameplay beyond the the worst sort of button-mashing. Oh, and it even blew the ending, where a character's 'heroic' act was in complete contradiction to the fundamentals of the ZA.

The game is so badly designed that in the pc version the much touted, 'your choices matter' (if they do, they barely do) doesn't even work. As you go from episode to episode the game simply substitutes random decisions for the choices you made that were supposed to carry over. Argh.

Someone whose name I missed just described the Tea Party as a million working class guys "fighting until the last dog dies to make sure millionaires get their next tax cut." Sounds about right.

I felt like I needed a shower after reading every second issue.
If it wasn't the zombies chewing on someone, it was the horrors performed by humans on each other. And it was so graphic!

I'm not saying it was bad (I loved it, and was an avid follower of it and "Y The Last Man"), but there was rarely any joy or fun from reading the stories.


The biggest reason I stopped reading was I could no longer identify with the character of Rick. Tragedy is cathartic for me, so I could deal with the ongoing horror, but when the lead is a clot, no thanks. The tv series, on the other hand, is almost infinitely more shaded wrt characters. That, and Lauren Cohan. And Laurie Holden. But fun? No, not a whole lot.

- In 2004, Bush won reelection with a bigger percentage than he won in 2000; in 2012, Obama was the first president in history to be reelected with a smaller total.
Sweet ####### jesus, he's baaaaaaackkk!!!

Don't encourage him. Please.
   210. Steve Treder Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4315781)
We were going to get endless war in Palestine regardless of whether or not a Jewish state was created.

That this is true doesn't make creating a Jewish state in Palestine a good idea.

As for saying no to a Jewish state that wasn't really something the Western powers could do without getting involved in middle eastern wars

The responsibility of the Western powers is far less relevant and meaningful here than the responsiblity of the Zionists.
   211. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4315782)
I get super-anxious when a bunch of Goys start lecturing each other about Israel.
   212. Steve Treder Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:17 PM (#4315785)
I get super-anxious when a bunch of Goys start lecturing each other about Israel.

No one should express an opinion about Israel except Jews?
   213. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4315787)
Of course we (at least, I) know what you mean, but the entire point is that in doing this the house GOP members would be engaging in nothing but the most transparently pedantic, cynical, technical, and, yes, "cute" exercise in wordsmithing themselves out of "registering an actual vote for any type of tax increase." Is anyone expected to be fooled? Is this sort of parliamentary limbo dance expected to actually win new admiration and popularity among any potential new voters for the members and for the party? Is this anything but yet another extremely-short-term-focused shallow tactical maneuver?

Obama voted "present" 129 times in the Illinois senate. That "transparently pedantic, cynical, technical, and, yes, 'cute' exercise in wordsmithing" seemed to work out quite well for him.
   214. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4315790)
for me, the most illegitimate thing about this election was the GOP's forecasting ability. many GOP losers seemed legitimately stunned even after losing by double-digit margins. it seems like their polling and analysis should have made them see this coming.


Conservatism 101 states that actions have consequences. The action of building a completely insular bubble of in-house propaganda and talking points, to the point where any science or rigorous thinking that contradicts assumed ideological truth is dismissed out of hand, has the consequence of eventually turning your party into a bunch of simpering morons blind sided by simple reality.
   215. tshipman Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4315792)
Oh, so when we analyze the House election, we count the raw votes and not the number of seats won — because that helps Dems — but when we analyze the presidential election, we count electoral votes and not the raw votes or percentages — because that helps Dems. Now I get it.


Joe's right: President Gore did win fewer votes in his campaign for re-elect than he did in his first term.
   216. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4315794)
No one should express an opinion about Israel except Jews?


That's not what I mean. I don't wish to prohibit anybody from speaking. I just . . . I don't know. I feel like there are a lot of people in American society who are not Jewish who feel like they know better than we do what's good for us. For the record, I tend to fall closer to you on the spectrum, as far as my attitudes toward this whole set of issues goes. I guess that's why I get nervous about very pro-Israel non-Jews. Or something. Hard to say.
   217. Dan The Mediocre Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4315797)
I guess that's why I get nervous about very pro-Israel non-Jews.


I would think it's because most of them believe that Israel is necessary for an event that will result in the death and condemnation of all Jews. So their support is something of a mixed blessing.
   218. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4315798)
I get super-anxious when a bunch of Goys start lecturing each other about Israel.


And I get super anxious when my government subsidizes and apartheid state to the tune of 8 or so billion per year. So we all have issues to deal with, I suppose.

EDIT: Note that I have not said a word about what Jews should or should not do. I've confined my comments to the state of Israel.
   219. spike Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4315799)
I get super-anxious when a bunch of Goys start lecturing each other about Israel.

Count your blessings - non-Americans lecture each other and Americans about America
   220. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:30 PM (#4315802)
Conservatism 101 states that actions have consequences. The action of building a completely insular bubble of in-house propaganda and talking points, to the point where any science or rigorous thinking that contradicts assumed ideological truth is dismissed out of hand, has the consequence of eventually turning your party into a bunch of simpering morons blind sided by simple reality.

... who hold the House and make gains among governors. Woo-hoo!
   221. Flynn Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4315806)
That's not what I mean. I don't wish to prohibit anybody from speaking. I just . . . I don't know. I feel like there are a lot of people in American society who are not Jewish who feel like they know better than we do what's good for us. For the record, I tend to fall closer to you on the spectrum, as far as my attitudes toward this whole set of issues goes. I guess that's why I get nervous about very pro-Israel non-Jews. Or something. Hard to say.


Why should the debate that goes on in Jewish communities around the world about Israel be limited to those communities alone, especially when as Americans our tax dollars go to support Israel? It's simply unfair that we are not allowed a rational debate about Israel.
   222. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:36 PM (#4315808)
Hey, Joe. When you're done telling us why the GOP's incredibly robust 7 Congressional pickups in 2004 kicked major ass over the Dems' shockingly weak 10 Congressional pickups this year, what did you think about the lefties over at the Wall Street Journal editorial page, saying that Nixon didn't have any electoral coattails in 1972, and that Reagan didn't have coattails in 1984? (As linked and quoted in post #78 in this thread.)
   223. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4315809)
You either go big, or get dull. If you create complex characters and have, because of time constraints, half a dozen writers writing those complext, you'll always have problems. I'm guessing what you imply is soap opera I see as the legitimate meat of tragedy.

Complex characters? The characters in season 2 were cardboard cutouts who had only one note to play. T-Dawg? Carol? Carl? Andrea? Shane? Lori? There was absolutely no depth or nuances in almost all of the characters in season 2 and they all kept playing away on that same note of theirs episode after episode.
   224. villageidiom Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4315810)
so again, if you understand that no gop house member is going to register an actual vote for any type of tax increase on any taxpayer this makes sense

in that context

Will the Norquist disciples in their districts who are demanding they not vote for a tax increase really look at an en masse vote of "present" as something different from supporting a tax increase?

I'm surprised Norquist hasn't commented on the "present" vote gambit yet. He's sure to say that voting "present" when faced with a tax increase is the same as voting "yes". I'm sure vocal folks in Republican-represented districts will say the same. They might even say it's worse, because at least if you vote yes you're taking a stand, whereas voting "present" in this context is cowardice.

If they're serious about this approach there's NO way they don't risk their jobs in two years any less than if they'd voted yes.
   225. Steve Treder Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4315813)
I don't wish to prohibit anybody from speaking. I just . . . I don't know. I feel like there are a lot of people in American society who are not Jewish who feel like they know better than we do what's good for us.

Well, here's the thing: Israel has a whole lot of impact on millions and millions of people who are not Jewish. What's "good" for many different people is at stake here, not just what's "good" for Jews.
   226. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4315814)
Obama voted "present" 129 times in the Illinois senate.


Should he have voted for those bills, or against them?
   227. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:44 PM (#4315816)
That this is true doesn't make creating a Jewish state in Palestine a good idea.

There were no "good ideas" if a good idea is defined as no bloodshed or future wars caused by the decision. A fight for a Jewish state was going to happen regardless of whether or not Western powers thought it was a good idea and the fight was even going on while Britain was trying to keep the balance in Palestine and prevent Jewish immigration into Palestine. The Jews wanted the area so they fought and took it. Their story isn't unique. Anglos did it, Normans did it, Germanic tribes did it, the English did it, so on and so on. Land goes to those who can successfully take it and hold it. Plain and simple.
   228. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4315820)
Should he have voted for those bills, or against them?


Which way did his Ayers direct him to vote? Obviously.
   229. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4315821)
Hey, Joe. When you're done telling us why the GOP's incredibly robust 7 Congressional pickups in 2004 kicked major ass over the Dems' shockingly weak 10 Congressional pickups this year,

Still don't grasp that adding 7 seats when already holding a majority is better (and tougher) than adding 10 seats when in the minority, huh? Oh, well.
   230. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4315822)
I'm surprised Norquist hasn't commented on the "present" vote gambit yet. He's sure to say that voting "present" when faced with a tax increase is the same as voting "yes". I'm sure vocal folks in Republican-represented districts will say the same. They might even say it's worse, because at least if you vote yes you're taking a stand, whereas voting "present" in this context is cowardice.

Norquist has a choice to make. He has power and if elected officials stop listening to him then he loses that power. So if he draws a line in the sand and then opposes incumbents in 2014 his guys better win or else he's finished for awhile. His power will be gone and the donor money will dry up very quickly. He only has power as long as the deep pockets think he can influence policy.
   231. Steve Treder Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4315823)
There were no "good ideas" if a good idea is defined as no bloodshed or future wars caused by the decision.

So, we agree that this was a bad idea, because it displayed no chance of resulting in anything but bloodshed and future wars.



   232. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4315825)
So, we agree that this was a bad idea, because it displayed no chance of resulting in anything but bloodshed and future wars.

No, I'm saying it is an "idea" in which you can't say "good" or "bad" because it isn't that kind of "idea".
   233. Steve Treder Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:55 PM (#4315831)
No, I'm saying it is an "idea" in which you can't say "good" or "bad" because it isn't that kind of "idea".

Well, you seem to be readily describing it as nothing more or less than ruthless, brutal ethnic cleansing. Which is kind of my point.
   234. Greg K Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4315833)
Once you figured out that nearly anyone introduced after the first season was there only to get killed, it removed a lot of the dramatic tension from the show.

Desmond? Benjamin? Juliet? (sure she ends up dying, but I wouldn't say that was her only purpose). For lesser characters you've got Bernard, Alpert, Miles. Certainly Eko was a bit of a tease in that it really seemed like he'd be a bigger part of the show, but for reasons outside of the show he had to be killed off...but I think you're over-stating the point.
   235. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:01 PM (#4315836)
Well, you seem to be readily describing it as nothing more or less than ruthless, brutal ethnic cleansing. Which is kind of my point.

According to your definition no country on the planet should exist. We would all be a bunch of nomadic herders, well, scratch that. There would be about 3 million people on the planet and they would all be nomadic herders, but even that wouldn't be true because if they were nomadic herders they would need to hold onto and protect their territory from the occasional neighboring herders.
   236. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4315839)
If it was the year 1760 we'd all be sitting around a table in an inn somewhere arguing about whether or not colonizing the Americas was a "good idea" and how it would simply lead to endless wars and bloodshed.

Endless wars and bloodshed is what we humans do and we've been doing since we started gathering together into societies and communities.
   237. spike Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:08 PM (#4315842)
Obama voted "present" 129 times in the Illinois senate.

Was wondering if this was going to come up - after the raft of #### the GOP gave Obama during the 08 camopaign about this, the schadenfreude of having the Republican house majority do this to allow pass a de facto tax increase on the wealthiest 2% while enraging their Norquistian Tea Party base will be will be Wagnerian in scope and quality
   238. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4315844)
In 2004, Bush won reelection with a bigger percentage than he won in 2000; in 2012, Obama was the first president in history to be reelected with a smaller total.


From highest to lowest:

Obama, +7.3%
Obama, +3.6%
Bush, +2.4%
Bush, -0.5%

Yeah, that's a fantastic argument you've got there, Sparky.
   239. Steve Treder Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4315846)
According to your definition no country on the planet should exist.

No, I'm not. I'm saying that by the 20th century, and especially by the middle of the 20th century, given the unprecendented scale and destructiveness displayed in the wars of conquest waged in the 20th century alone, it was horribly clear that the idea of the Jews conquering the land of Palestine -- "taking it and holding it," in your words -- was not going to be anything close to "plain and simple," also in your words. A "bad idea" is the very least one might term it.
   240. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4315847)
Obama voted "present" 129 times in the Illinois senate.
No issue ever dies for Joe.
   241. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4315848)
Endless wars and bloodshed is what we humans do and we've been doing since we started gathering together into societies and communities.


That doesn't make it a good thing. In fact, it seems like a pretty horrible reason to justify making a decision that will continue that timeless tradition.
   242. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4315849)
Re: Lost: The first and worst stumbling point was

the first season, in my experience.
After it was all over & I hadn't seen any of it, I figured, Great! Now I can blow through the whole thing as fast as I want! Who knows, maybe it'll be like "The Sopranos" (when I would sometimes watch 8 or 10 episodes over a weekend). Unfortunately... Lost just wasn't that dang good. Not Sopranos good, but also not good good. I made myself watch the whole first season, figuring at some point it HAD to get better, but it never did grab me, so I gave up.
   243. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4315850)
EDIT: double post.
   244. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:18 PM (#4315854)
I made myself watch the whole first season, figuring at some point it HAD to get better, but it never did grab me, so I gave up.

Hell, if the pilot didn't grab you, you probably should have just given up then.
   245. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:20 PM (#4315857)
steve (205)

um yes, this is politics. not being flip

spike:

this deal wouldn't be floated if it had not already been vetted and gotten approval to be floated.
   246. tshipman Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4315859)
Norquist has a choice to make. He has power and if elected officials stop listening to him then he loses that power. So if he draws a line in the sand and then opposes incumbents in 2014 his guys better win or else he's finished for awhile. His power will be gone and the donor money will dry up very quickly. He only has power as long as the deep pockets think he can influence policy.


See this is interesting to me. Is he actually going to oppose any kind of deal? Doesn't he risk becoming irrelevant? I mean, let's say that there's some kind of deal on the Fiscal Cliff. It ends up being quite popular and the economy grows over the next two years. Incumbents face very few primary challenges. Isn't this the nightmare scenario for Norquist? Not only was his pledge broken, but it proves toothless.

The whole point of that stupid pledge is that the only power it has is the power legislators grant it. Fear over breaking the pledge is what grants it power. This situation is sort of unique in that its two years away from an election cycle, and the economy is quite likely to be stronger in the next cycle. It's an interesting situation that Mr. Norquist finds himself in.
   247. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:25 PM (#4315864)
re 239

If you can call it a bad idea then you should be able to come up with a good idea. What was the good idea?

As for the destructiveness and scale of war that simply was never going to happen in Palestine and between the combatants and since "never" is a long time you can view the term to mean highly unlikely. The middle east then and even now was/is simply not built for the kind of wars that are as destructive and vast as the wars between the continental powers in the first half of the 20th century.

re 241

Again, you can't call it a good idea or bad idea. Do the Jews of Palestine and future Israelis think it was a bad idea? Absolutely not. Do we Americans think it was a bad idea to settle America? Absolutely not. A group of people wanted the land so they took and have held on to it. That isn't unique or unusual nor is it unique and unusual that bloodshed has followed in the decades afterwards. There has never ever been a peaceful conquest of territory by one people over another group of people. To expect that to happen and to also declare the taking of territory by a group of people with no territory as a bad idea is just off by a lot.
   248. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4315865)
Hey, Joe. When you're done telling us why the GOP's incredibly robust 7 Congressional pickups in 2004 kicked major ass over the Dems' shockingly weak 10 Congressional pickups this year,

Still don't grasp that adding 7 seats when already holding a majority is better (and tougher) than adding 10 seats when in the minority, huh? Oh, well.


2004 GOP picks up 7 of 254 opposition seats = 2.76% conversion rate
2012 Dems pick up 10 of 287 opposition seats = 3.48% conversion rate

Better and tougher, huh?

Nothing at all to say about the Wall Street Journal stating as fact that Nixon 1972 and Reagan 1984 had no coattails? Oh, well. After the November thread, your silence is the wisest possible move.
   249. Steve Treder Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:27 PM (#4315866)
um yes, this is politics. not being flip

So, can I assume that your answers to my questions are as follows?

Is anyone expected to be fooled?


No.

Is this sort of parliamentary limbo dance expected to actually win new admiration and popularity among any potential new voters for the members and for the party?


No.

Is this anything but yet another extremely-short-term-focused shallow tactical maneuver?


No.

Yippee for the GOP?
   250. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:30 PM (#4315867)
The whole point of that stupid pledge is that the only power it has is the power legislators grant it. Fear over breaking the pledge is what grants it power. This situation is sort of unique in that its two years away from an election cycle, and the economy is quite likely to be stronger in the next cycle. It's an interesting situation that Mr. Norquist finds himself in.

His power isn't just on paper or in the minds of legislators. He also has the power of money behind him which is his real power. Voters don't give a fig if a GOP'er signed a pledge or not, that isn't where his power comes from and the politicians know it. His power is the money supply and the influence it brings with it. Go against Norquist and your opposition gets the funding and not you. Not only that but you risk becoming an outcast because the establishment doesn't want the money and power spigot turned off on them as well. But if a great deal of politicians and most importantly incumbents break the pledge while Norquist demands them to toe the line he is in a very precarious position.
   251. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:30 PM (#4315868)
I made myself watch the whole first season, figuring at some point it HAD to get better, but it never did grab me, so I gave up.

Hell, if the pilot didn't grab you, you probably should have just given up then.

I thought about that, but I figured I had to give it more of a chance. Maybe the pilot was just setting up a lot of interesting... well, no, as it turned out.
   252. greenback calls it soccer Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4315873)
Norquist isn't powerful. He's a message boy for a bunch of rich people who don't want their taxes to increase. Their opinion isn't changing any time soon, regardless of the economy, or for any other reason.

   253. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:47 PM (#4315885)
Desmond? Benjamin? Juliet? (sure she ends up dying, but I wouldn't say that was her only purpose). For lesser characters you've got Bernard, Alpert, Miles. Certainly Eko was a bit of a tease in that it really seemed like he'd be a bigger part of the show, but for reasons outside of the show he had to be killed off...but I think you're over-stating the point.


In addition to Juliet and Eko, you've got Nikki and Paulo, Libby and Ana Lucia, Charlotte, Faraday, the accidental explosion twins Arzt and Ilana, Rousseau and her daughter, Karl, most of the Others (Mikhail, Danny, Bea, etc.), most of Widmore's people (Abbadon, Dorrit, the captain whose name I can't remember and can't be arsed to look up, etc.)...

I think that of all those, Libby is the one that pisses me off the most. Not only was her death totally pointless, but it meant that we'd never get any resolution on her ####### half-finished plotline with Hurley. And no, that alternate timeline #### doesn't count. That's when I knew, once and for all, that they were just making this crap up as they went along. There was no answer to any of the mysteries. They were just writing as fast as they could to try and stay ahead of the bear.
   254. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:53 PM (#4315888)
steve

correct

greenback

oh yes he is. that you acknowledge him alone is symbolic of the role he plays. and he changed the entire discussion around taxes.

   255. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:53 PM (#4315890)
Just started re-reading the Walking Dead comics and one of the things I immediately noticed is that Rick is able to walk from the hospital where he was in a coma all the way to a rural road where he picked up a bike and was able to bike to his house without encountering a single walker. Then he was able to drive from his house to the police station without encountering a single walker accept at the fence on his way out. Then Rick was able to drive/walk/horseback ride from Kentucky to Atlanta without encountering a single walker. Finally he was able to walk from Atlanta to the campsite without encountering a single walker. This is about the only time that any character has had that kind of amazing luck throughout the whole series. After the first couple of issues nobody can anywhere or do anything without encountering at least a few walkers coming after them.
   256. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:13 PM (#4315900)
To give Grover Norquist the benefit of the doubt, I don't think he's simply carrying water for his rich friends who want low taxes. I think he's a true believer who holds faith in supply side voodoo regardless of what the facts of history tell him.
   257. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4315901)
Noted conservative intellectual Rick Santorum has joined the constellation of deep-thinkers and notable luminaries over at World Net Daily, alongside Chuck Norris, John Rocker, Pat Boone, Ann Coulter, and Thomas Sowell.

Santorum, a devoutly religious and sincere man whose life illustrates only the callings of the Almighty will now be doing the Lord's bidding by authoring challenging and rigorous political treatises, perhaps not unlike his fellow WND author who exhorts, Wake Up White People:

There can be little doubt that Cameron’s opinion of UKIP is but a pale shadow of the U.S. bifactional ruling party’s hatred and contempt for white Americans who still hold to traditional values, believe in their constitutional liberties and derive their sense of identity from historical America. They mock the secessionist petitioners in Texas and other states, celebrate the infestation of even the smallest American heartland towns by African, Asian and Aztec cultures, and engage in ruthless doublethink as they worship at the altar of a false and entirely nonexistent equality...The fact that the future citizens of Aztlán are presently content to continue collecting tribute in the form of state and federal largesse does not mean that they will refrain from exerting the political muscle that their growing demographic weight provides them once the contracting economy brings the gravy train to an end.

It also seems unlikely that the millions of Americans who have moved away from declining school systems, who have retreated from an increasingly vibrant [sic, I think he meant "violent"]communities, and who have fled from high-tax jurisdictions will continue to retreat as the people who destroyed their schools, their communities and their state budgets attempt to follow them.

They will not because they cannot. The frontiers are closed. There is nowhere else to go.
   258. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4315902)
Conservatism 101 states that actions have consequences. The action of building a completely insular bubble of in-house propaganda and talking points, to the point where any science or rigorous thinking that contradicts assumed ideological truth is dismissed out of hand, has the consequence of eventually turning your party into a bunch of simpering morons blind sided by simple reality.


This is a little over the top. I think there are a lot of people who could be termed "simpering morons" on both sides of the debate. I do, however, acknowledge that GOP polling and analysis this year seemed way off.
   259. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4315904)
Finally he was able to walk from Atlanta to the campsite without encountering a single walker. This is about the only time that any character has had that kind of amazing luck throughout the whole series. After the first couple of issues nobody can anywhere or do anything without encountering at least a few walkers coming after them.


If the Zombie Apoc was in it's first stages as he's waking up, that would make sense. But it can't the longer you go in Zombie A, the higher the walker to human ratio.
   260. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:18 PM (#4315906)
Meanwhile, on the right, Erick Erickson, producer of the influential RedState blog, wrote: "Let the spending be cut. Let the Democrats raise taxes. Then negotiate for better. As long as the so called fiscal cliff looms the GOP operates from a position of fear, which is a terrible position from which to negotiate.

"In short, the GOP should do now what it should have done back in 2011—shoot the hostage."


all the tea party members are on board with this mindset
   261. The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:25 PM (#4315912)
Bai Ling was the featured guest in that tattoo story, and it was perhaps the worst hour in the history of television. I don't understand how she gets work. She's a terrible actress, and unattractive to boot.
I think she's a butterface. ;-)

She's definitely not a good actress, but no one (including Matthew Fox, whom I do think is good) could have done anything with that episode as written, because it answered a question that no one asked, in a way that led to nothing.

Re: Walking Dead video game: I think the game really runs with the advantage of video games as an art form -- that they can make you feel that You Are There, both as an observer and as an actual participant. Now, certainly not every subject matter that a movie/TV show/game/etc. can be about, is going to have You Are There as its main purpose. But I think the zombie/survival horror genre does.

I see the strong focus on a relatively small number of characters as a strength, not a weakness. I was deeply invested in what became of Lee and Clementine. (I probably don't need to tell you that I've heard many others say the same.)

Now, if the comic or TV show were written by Tolstoy or something, I assume that I'd feel similarly invested in those characters, even though I'm "just watching" them rather than having the experience of being "among" them. But that ain't the case. It's easier for the video game to do it, and I think it does it.
   262. yb125 Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4315913)
I know sometimes you just need to accept things for what they are but I am going to try get a convosation about a non TWD show going, (never been into the zombies, not that I dislike them I just do not care.) So...

Is it reasonable to think How I met You Mother will finish strong?
Do you plan on calling in sick or watching at work when the new Arrested Development episodes are on Netflix?
I have been trying to like Big Bang Theory since as a proper dork/nerd I am told I should love it, but it the spark is not there, anyone else feel the same?
Is Happy Endings working for anyone else?
Is The Arrow's Batman envy dooming the show?
   263. The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:33 PM (#4315921)
I haven't seen Arrow, but I do know that Green Arrow used to drive an Arrowcar and retire to the Arrowcave, so there's at least support in the text...
   264. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:34 PM (#4315923)
re: Arrested Development: yes.
re: Big Bang Theory: agree.

haven't watched/haven't watched enough of the others.
   265. Langer Monk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4315924)
I have been trying to like Big Bang Theory since as a proper dork/nerd I am told I should love it, but it the spark is not there, anyone else feel the same?


I find nothing funny on that show - but since I'm one of like 3 people on earth that also found not one thing funny about Seinfeld, I'm open to the suggestion it's me.

I think Archer is hysterical though, so there is that.
   266. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4315925)
Is it reasonable to think How I met You Mother will finish strong?

No.

Do you plan on calling in sick or watching at work when the new Arrested Development episodes are on Netflix?

No.

I have been trying to like Big Bang Theory since as a proper dork/nerd I am told I should love it, but it the spark is not there, anyone else feel the same?

It's OK, I guess. I don't think you're really missing anything transcendent.

Is Happy Endings working for anyone else?

I've never seen it.

Is The Arrow's Batman envy dooming the show?

I've never seen it.
   267. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:37 PM (#4315926)
I find nothing funny on that show - but since I'm one of like 3 people on earth that also found not one thing funny about Seinfeld, I'm open to the suggestion it's me.

Looking back at reruns, Seinfeld is a lot less funny than I remember it being.


I think Archer is hysterical though, so there is that.

Archer is a ####### national treasure.
   268. spike Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:37 PM (#4315927)
"In short, the GOP should do now what it should have done back in 2011—shoot the hostage."

all the tea party members are on board with this mindset



Well then not all Republican Congressmen are Tea Partiers - FTA I linked to above, "By doing this, Republicans avoid taking blame for tax increases on 98 percent of income tax payers. As one senior Republican in Congress told me, "You don't take a hostage you aren't willing to shoot."
   269. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4315930)
The reason you want to make it to at least the end of season two of Lost is that is when "Henry Gale/Ben Linus" (played by Michael Emerson) shows up.
He is EASILY the best actor/character in the show after only a couple of episodes, and he's fantastic to watch.
In later episodes, they rely too much on Ben/Locke (Terry O'Quinn, the second best character/actor on the show) interaction stories, and it starts to lose its power.

As for killing off minor characters, it would have probably not have happened if they all stopped getting arrested for drunk driving!
   270. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4315931)
From highest to lowest:

Obama, +7.3%
Obama, +3.6%
Bush, +2.4%
Bush, -0.5%

Yeah, that's a fantastic argument you've got there, Sparky.

2004: GOP president, GOP majority in House, GOP majority in Senate
2012: Dem president, GOP majority in House, Dem majority in Senate

See any differences?

***
No issue ever dies for Joe.

Obama votes "present" 129 times? Move along, nothing to see here.

GOP possibly votes "present" once? HUGE DEAL! REPUBLICANS ARE SPINELESS WEASELS!

***
Still don't grasp that adding 7 seats when already holding a majority is better (and tougher) than adding 10 seats when in the minority, huh? Oh, well.
2004 GOP picks up 7 of 254 opposition seats = 2.76% conversion rate
2012 Dems pick up 10 of 287 opposition seats = 3.48% conversion rate

Better and tougher, huh?

Yes, when you have fewer opportunities to make pick-ups, your conversion rate tends to be lower. Thanks for doing the math to prove my point.

Nothing at all to say about the Wall Street Journal stating as fact that Nixon 1972 and Reagan 1984 had no coattails? Oh, well. After the November thread, your silence is the wisest possible move.

The more wrong you are, the more smug you get. Do you live near (or otherwise hang out a lot with) Steve Treder, by any chance?

Anyway, I haven't read the articles you keep hectoring me about. Regardless, it's funny when liberals who hate the WSJ editorial page — "a swamp of radical nonsense" (#104) — suddenly cite it as dispositive.
   271. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:39 PM (#4315932)
Is it reasonable to think the story of the Hobbit will actually require three full-length movies to tell?

Is the Wire worth the hype? Thinking about watching it....
   272. Tilden Katz Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4315934)
Is the Wire worth the hype? Thinking about watching it....


Absolutely. Takes a few episodes to get into but after that it's pure gold.
   273. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:46 PM (#4315937)
I have been trying to like Big Bang Theory since as a proper dork/nerd I am told I should love it, but it the spark is not there, anyone else feel the same?

Uh, as a proper dork/nerd you should definitely NOT like that show. Only people who AREN'T nerds should enjoy that show.
   274. Tilden Katz Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:48 PM (#4315940)
Only people who AREN'T nerds should enjoy that show


Jocks?
   275. Lassus Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:49 PM (#4315941)
Is the Wire worth the hype? Thinking about watching it....

There is no other answer but yes. None.


Obama votes "present" 129 times? Move along, nothing to see here.

The dude votes for presents? I am so totally voting for him.
   276. Langer Monk Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4315942)
There is no other answer but yes. None.


This is as unanimous as Nancy Grace hate.
   277. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4315945)
As a card-carrying nerd The Big Bang Theory is very funny.

And Seinfeld is the funniest show of all time. Just as funny today as the day it aired,
   278. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:52 PM (#4315946)
If the Zombie Apoc was in it's first stages as he's waking up, that would make sense. But it can't the longer you go in Zombie A, the higher the walker to human ratio.

According to the comics he'd been out for about 3 weeks of the Zombie Apocalypse and in that time humanity at least in America had been wiped out. Rick in his travels from the hospital to his house to the police station to Atlanta saw a grand total of 2 human beings. Once in Atlanta he saw a grand total of 1 person. It simply shouldn't have happened the way the comic has it happening and then have survivors constantly surrounded in later issues.
   279. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4315949)
Is it reasonable to think the story of the Hobbit will actually require three full-length movies to tell?


I'm not sure how it is, but Jackson will pad it out obviously.
   280. zenbitz Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4315951)
I avoided big bang theory for a long time but I find it piecewise hilarious. I think its pretty much 100% Sheldon

I wouldn't dvr it or write fanfic. It does make me laugh though
   281. yb125 Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4315954)
Is it reasonable to think the story of the Hobbit will actually require three full-length movies to tell?


I'm not sure how it is, but Jackson will pad it out obviously.
Page 3 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3


I believe they are including back story and lore not in the book, but from another cannon source.
   282. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:57 PM (#4315955)
Some of the seasons of The Wire are great and some of them are "meh". First season was outstandingly great. I think it was the second season with the docks storyline that was not so great. Season 3 was very good. 4 and 5 hit or miss with their political, school, and newspaper storylines not so great.
   283. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:57 PM (#4315956)
Oh, so when we analyze the House election, we count the raw votes and not the number of seats won — because that helps Dems — but when we analyze the presidential election, we count electoral votes and not the raw votes or percentages — because that helps Dems. Now I get it.


How does pointing out that a guy won fewer EV's in his re-election almost 100 years ago help the Dems? It's a statement of fact, not opinion, and it means absolutely nothing going forward.
   284. DA Baracus Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4315958)
   285. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:00 PM (#4315959)
Zombie storylines are pretty good for present and immediate future thinking. Night of the Living Dead and 28 days Later type movies. Zombies are good baddies for that but make a horrible baddies for 1 year later type storylines because as we see in TWD they aren't really good enough baddies to be a threat 1 year later and that is why I think the comic book series is seriously suffering now because there is nowhere for the characters to go.
   286. Randy Jones Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:00 PM (#4315960)
Is the Wire worth the hype? Thinking about watching it....

The Wire is the greatest TV show ever made.


I have been trying to like Big Bang Theory since as a proper dork/nerd I am told I should love it, but it the spark is not there, anyone else feel the same?

Uh, as a proper dork/nerd you should definitely NOT like that show. Only people who AREN'T nerds should enjoy that show.

What Biff said. The TV show that is actually made for nerds is Futurama.
   287. Spahn Insane Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4315964)
The point of Joe's harping on Obama's receiving fewer EVs in 2012 than in 2008 is obvious. It means he's only 332/365ths the president that he was in his first term.

That said, it's cute how he's still spinning 2012 as a successful election cycle for the R's almost a month after the election.
   288. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4315965)
The Wire is the greatest TV show ever made.

Wait, when did they re-title The Shield and Rescue Me?
   289. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4315966)
Should he have voted for those bills, or against them?


He should have voted for them before voting against them.
   290. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:04 PM (#4315969)
Still don't grasp that adding 7 seats when already holding a majority is better (and tougher) than adding 10 seats when in the minority, huh? Oh, well.


Except when the Democrats are in year 20 of a 40 year run as the majority. or something.
   291. Randy Jones Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4315971)
Wait, when did they re-title The Shield and Rescue Me?

Rescue Me was very good, but not great and not comparable to any number of other shows. The Shield was just bad. Michael Chiklis is not a good actor
   292. spike Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:07 PM (#4315972)
Is it reasonable to think the story of the Hobbit will actually require three full-length movies to tell?

I'm not sure how it is, but Jackson will pad it out obviously.


I read somewhere that it's going to incorporate a lot of backstory from LOTR and the The Silmarillion, which as a LOTR geek to an extent, I would heartily applaud.
   293. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4315974)
That said, it's cute how he's still spinning 2012 as a successful election cycle for the R's almost a month after the election.


i wish there were more than two teams, not just R and D.
   294. Lassus Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4315975)
Wait, when did they re-title The Shield and Rescue Me?

Shows that may be great are not the greatest.
   295. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:11 PM (#4315976)
I read somewhere that it's going to incorporate a lot of backstory from LOTR and the The Silmarillion, which as a LOTR geek to an extent, I would heartily applaud.


I never quite understood the Silmarillion's hype. I started it but got bored. It seemed like some weird combination of boring history textbook and Homeric epic.
   296. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:12 PM (#4315978)
spike

who stated that all republican congresspeople are members of the tea party?

not making this a logic exercise but that was never written by me

i was pointing out that tea party members are willing to not just go over the fiscal cliff but head over it at 100 mph whooping it along the way.
   297. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:13 PM (#4315980)
I believe they are including back story and lore not in the book, but from another cannon source.


Yes. They will be including a lot of the White Council stuff that was only hinted at in the book.
   298. Lassus Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4315981)
Speaking of The Wire and a show with a laugh track....

You know, I wanted that to work, but I think they picked the wrong scene.
   299. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4315982)
It seemed like some weird combination of boring history textbook and Homeric epic.


That sounds about right, yeah.
   300. Eddo Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:16 PM (#4315983)
Is it reasonable to think How I met You Mother will finish strong?

I think so, but at the same time I'm not confident it will. There have been a couple very good episodes this year (particularly the premiere), but also some clunkers. I think this absolutely has to be the final season. TV shows have a shelf life, and HIMYM's is definitely not beyond this year.

Do you plan on calling in sick or watching at work when the new Arrested Development episodes are on Netflix?

It's the greatest show of all time. But no. I have a DVR and Netflix so that I don't have to interrupt other parts of my life to watch what I want.

I have been trying to like Big Bang Theory since as a proper dork/nerd I am told I should love it, but it the spark is not there, anyone else feel the same?

Yes. I have no problem watching reruns on TBS (and elsewhere?) as a diversion, but I just can't get into it. And quite a few of my friends and family members do watch it regularly.

Is Happy Endings working for anyone else?

Very much so. It being set in Chicago caught my attention, and while it doesn't do Chicago well (but also not noticeably poorly, which is how it usually is for shows set here), I've gotten hooked. The cast has very good chemistry. It reminds me very much of Friends (obviously). I particularly like how they treat the gay friend (Max) - they avoid making the humor all "ha ha, he's quirky and gay", but rather, "look, he's doing funny stuff and messing up relationships... and oh yeah, those relationships just happen to be with men".
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