You really want to ban that photo?

Jeff Golden

Last week I posted an unhappy piece on President Obama's Afghanistan decision.  It drew a healthy mix of comments, including some amazement that critics like me apparently didn't hear or remember candidate Obama's support for escalating the war there.  That's not accurate; many of us heard it, didn't like it at the time, swallowed hard and voted for him because of the nature of the whole picture.  None of that should or does lessen our view now that this is a big mistake, unsettlingly like the reasoning we heard from LBJ and Nixon in our youth. 

Online reaction to the piece was divided, without any particular surprises or drama.  But reaction to the picture --a singularly evocative blending of the faces of Barack Obama and George W. Bush -- was something else again.  One reader called it (accurately, I think), "creepy" and asked me not to do it again. Then two others called for its removal from Blue Oregon,  Then this, Sunday evening: "Kari I'm going to continue to push you on this one. I've emailed you and will continue to do so until the picture in Mr. Golden's post is pulled. I encourage others to do so as well."

 I want to say two things:

1)  I'm surprised. As a fairly new contributor, I might have the wrong idea about Blue Oregon.  I thought one of its values was fierce support of free expression.  That's a big reason I joined up.  It seems to me, now more than ever, we better have a clear, compelling reason before pulling anyone's posting off this blog.  Demonstrable lying is one.  Personal attacks unrelated to issues under discussion is another.  But being offended, by text or image, is not.  I take this to be the whole point of the First Amendment.

    For perspective: let's say that in December 2001 someone posted a criticism of George Bush on a Republican blogsite and attached a composite photo of Bush's and Bill Clinton's faces.  Let's say some outraged readers demanded its removal, and the moderator in fact removed it.  Tell me what we'd be thinking about these folks -- their tolerance for dissent, the depth of their understanding and appreciation for free speech, even their confidence in their own convictions.  Tell me honestly.  I'll go one further: in its broad strokes, I don't see significant differences between demands to remove this picture and Muslim demands to remove cartoons about Mohammed from Danish papers.  Am I missing something?

2)  I wish I hadn't chosen that picture.  It hit me in the gut when I saw it online, and I'd worked myself into enough heat on this Afghanistan thing that I scooped it up to accompany the piece, "unencumbered," as Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers. like to say, "by the thought process."  It was a bad choice.  It says fairly clearly that there's no real difference between Barack Obama and George Bush.  That's a ridiculous thing to say or imply, and it supports lazy thinking ("Aw, they're all just a pack of  crooks and liars, all the same, so I don't listen to any of 'em") that cripples effective activism.  So yes, I believe Obama has moved dramatically to the right of his campaign rhetoric (though not on Afghanistan), and made a huge mistake surrounding himself with old pros invested in the old order, who keep telling him nothing really bold is possible,  AND I don't think he's George Bush, or even very close.  Which makes that picture a bad choice.  Sorry.  

Comments

  • lofa (unverified)
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    People seriously need to wake the hell up and take the blinders off and see the president for who he really is. Don't listen to his smooth talk speeches that put people in a sleep state.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    The longer you spend on BO, the more disillusioned you will become with progressives. What you will soon learn is that the "true believers" of the left are no different than those on the right, they just have different talking points.

  • mandm (unverified)
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    I see nothing wrong with you expressing your opinion using this picture. It made a strong impression upon me, and that's not a bad thing.

    jmo

  • james r. bradach (unverified)
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    I don't come here for progressive thought.

  • Chris (unverified)
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    Jeff, Don't be suprised with the reaction of blueoregon regulars to want to remove a posting they dont like. Typical of "progressive" attitude - Ignore the rules to fit their kool aid version of utopia

  • Ricky (unverified)
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    I personally would never use the term progressive to describe my political views. It's harmful to the image of Democrats as it has become associated with zealotry. I'd rather be known a a Conservative Democrat since the only people we really need to appeal to and persuade are the ever-increasing number of voters who have stopped associating themselves with either of the two major parties: the Independents. We've already lost a large percentage of the independent vote that was trending our way the past two elections, thanks to health care reform and the escalation in Afghanistan.

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    "I personally would never use the term progressive to describe my political views. It's harmful to the image of Democrats as it has become associated with zealotry. "

    Source, please?

  • james r. bradach (unverified)
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    More people are soon to die in west asia than any and all of us have ever met or ever will. I have seen the graveyards outside Ho Chi Mihn city. Few of them will deserve this. These peoples lives are harder than anything from your nightmares. What will this get us? You can't bring better futures to the dead. A picture in need of deletion.

  • james r. bradach (unverified)
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    I have pictures!

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    mp97303,

    Since you hate us so much, why don't you go somewhere else where you feel appreciated. We sure as hell don't like your snarky ass attitude. You are anything but progressive.

    Moving on....

    Disclosure:

    I was one of the people (maybe the main one) making a stink about this picture. The main reason is the picture does pretty much in not so many words say Obama=Bush. This to me is just ugly in the worst way. As I said before (and I will repeat) I have no problem with what you wrote. The picture is what was really offensive. If are that apologetically resentful for voting for Obama, then send me your address and I'll swallow my pride and for X-mas I'll buy you a copy of Sarah Palin's book. You might need it in 2012 (I'm serious).

    I think it goes beyond a freedom expression argument to that of a lapse of judgement. This site rallied around electing a Democrat less then a year ago. Sure, people are critical of him. That's fine. But comparing him to the Chimp in Chief is a tall leap. Again, it's not the words, but the picture you added.

    I may live overseas Mr. Golden, but a lot of us spent time and energy over here registering voters making sure people voted and got their ballots back. It was flipping freezing cold and raining but we stood out there. I've had to live over here and hear how bad of a president we've had for the past 5 years I've been here (came here in 04). We have taken a lot of shit for what Bush has done, which is why I have fought tooth and nail for the election of Obama.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    "The longer you spend on BO, the more disillusioned you will become with progressives."

    "Typical of "progressive" attitude "

    "I personally would never use the term progressive to describe my political views. It's harmful to the image of Democrats as it has become associated with zealotry."

    Define "progressive."

    The people I know who consider themselves progressive were opposed to the war on Iraq, are opposed to the war in Afghanistan and believe that with 20 million children living in poverty and without health insurance America will be progressive when it remedies these tragic flaws.

    If they are "far left" then America is in trouble. If they are zealous in opposition to war and in favor of improving the lot of people,especially children, in the lower economic strata, - with liberty and justice for all - then their zealotry is something to be proud of.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Thank you for your comments, David.

    Truth is, many wining candidates gather a diverse coalition of voters/ volunteers. Obama was just the latest.

    When I hear comments/ news reports saying "Obama voters believed that when he took office..." I wonder how closely they were paying attention.

    To my mind, the prime directive for the Obama campaign was not so much ideological. It was about respecting the intelligence of voters and thus setting himself apart from the previous 8 years. There was that famous quote in Newsweek that he came to believe voters were looking for "complexity and explanation". I believe he has delivered on that.

    But tough problems require hard work, long hours, and sometimes priorities and compromises not everyone likes. That is what I believe is happening.

    A friend and I were both 1984 Democratic National Convention delegates. Does that make us part of the "Democratic base"? Or do people in that category all agree on the details of certain issues?

    He sent me an email awhile back and here is part of what he said, "...'know-it-alls' you described who think the best way forward is to eat our own, hits it right on the head. I couldn't agree more. ......... How soon some people forget what it's like to have these right-wing nuts running the country, packing the courts, cutting funding for education, infrastructure, science research (does stem cell ring a bell?), and on and on."

    I believe this is why the picture was a misjudgement. Eric Holder is not like any of Bush's AGs, Hillary Clinton is not Condi Rice, Gates is not Rumsfeld, etc.

    And all those people across the country who were both thrilled and relieved when Obama was declared the winner did not agree on all issues of policy.

    This is why I don't use the term "progressive". I still have on tape the coverage of election night. Young people on the street in places like New York City jumping up and down and crying, the crowd at Grant Park, the folks I was with at the election night party here in Salem were all overjoyed. But to say they are all of the same political persuasion is a mistake.

    Has anyone noticed how the Republicans now want a go slow approach where their voices are heard?

    There is a saying about the political Golden Rule---behave and treat others the way you would want to be treated.

    Obama actually expects to explain things to people and answer (or have his cabinet etc. answer) questions about his policies. This is a great change from Bush/Cheney saying "here's the way it is---agree or we will call you unpatriotic."

  • james r. bradach (unverified)
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    We should progress.

  • james r. bradach (unverified)
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    Make up the rules...win every time...how long will you expect me to play?

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    LT,

    Good point, I think two things often missed by those who are crtical of Obama. First, what you brought up is that Obama takes the time to lay out his position and why he is doing it.

    Second, many of these things he is doing he has what he said in the campaign. People scream and yell that he's betrayed us. Well I think they were living in a bubble. Even I myself who was only in the country four months of the entire election season, followed the election more carefully then some of these people (Thank God for the internet and cable).

    I don't want to stray too much from the topic at hand since this isn't a thread about the war, but a response to my complaint (and others).

  • james r. bradach (unverified)
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    Here is a picture: A man wins a peace prize on the eave of his lighting the world on fire.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    I think the picture should stay. The offensive part is President Obama using the anti-war movement to get elected while acting like a neo-con in office. I figured he was saying the neo-con stuff to keep them from attacking him during the campaign. Who knew he really meant it and where's the change?

        The only change is that President Obama has a different way of pronouncing Pakistan.
    
    His decision in Afghanistan is also reminiscent of W because it is dumb. Yes, if he somehow captured bin Ladin that would be a different story, but I don't see the sense here in trying to create a nation out of these many tribes, etc...
     My brother visited Afghanistan for Reuters and he told me it was one of the most complex bunch of factions in the world. How complicated is it? Well, start with the fact that Osama bin Ladin used to work for us. The place is chaos, plus they're really dug in up in those mountains.
    
      If you want to feel good about something here, I suppose it's kind of nice that the earth is still big enough for people in primitive conditions to escape detection from high-tech military operations. That's reassuring in some ways, but you have to understand that and avoid the arrogance that we can automatically impose our will anywhere on earth. Maybe someday....if we don't go broke trying first.
    
      One other thing about President Obama's plan:
     Ever since he brought up the 2011 withdrawal date, there has been a lot of discussion about what the hell he actually meant. 
    Sounds like W to me.
    
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    Bill McDonald said:

    I figured he was saying the neo-con stuff to keep them from attacking him during the campaign. Who knew he really meant it and where's the change?

    Yeah, who knew Obama was telling the truth. That we'd actually have to stay around and clean up W's mess. You are another one that didn't listen. Obama has always been crystal clear that Afganistan was going to be a challange. He has always said people may not agree with him on the issues, but he will take the time to explain his stance.

    As to the picture Bill, I wouldn't worry, I doubt Golden or Chisholm have the guts to remove a picture that makes this look like a right wing blog.

    Enough said....

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    For the record: Jeff Golden is the only one who is going to decide whether the photo stays or goes.

  • Nick P. (unverified)
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    But comparing him to the Chimp in Chief is a tall leap.

    Really? How is the Obama Administration not a continuation of the same geopolitical strategy as George W. Bush? Obama defends and shields Bush-era torturers. It intensifies the war in Central Asia with a plan praised by Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich. It fails to deliver even the most basic reform on health care. It has allocated token funds to rebuilding New Orleans.

    How does the Obama regime represent a meaningful break from Bush-era politics? Other than the fact that you like what's on his iPod more?

    Some more food for thought: In defending Obama against criticism from the left, what function does Blue Oregon serve? Put another way: If Obama shields Republicans and Republican policies, who does Blue Oregon shield by proxy?

    Still waiting for an article on here about how the intensification of the war is bad because it's going to mean a whole lot of dead Afghans.

  • acai berry (unverified)
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    I absolutely LOVE all your post !! I'm new on this website, but rest assured that I will read every post you publish ! It's so informative ! And it really helps with what we need to do!

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    For the record Kari, my previous statements stand. I'll continue to put pressure on both you and Golden until you remove the right wing smear. I really couldn't tell if this was Grudge Report or not.

    If Golden was serious about his apology, he would have removed it. I simply don't take him at his word.

    Still waiting for your address so I can send you your Sarah Palin book.

  • BOHICA (unverified)
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    Boo hoo. Obomba is a killer just like GWB.

  • Roy M (unverified)
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    Jeff, your original post is better because of the picture you included. It provokes thought, and causes one to draw comparisons.

    With respect to Afghanistan, there are many who voted for Obama with no illusion the U.S. would leave anytime soon. What is troubling is to watch individuals who once offered support, now thrashing him when he makes the tough calls. The President was briefed about U.S. security before he took the helm, and I'm pretty sure it included a little more detail than most of us have access to. To suggest he is unaware of the various factions, conditions, and confusion over there is unlikely.

    Will he continue on some similar paths as the previous President, yet still be much different in his ability to accomplishing the end? The picture posted at least causes one to ponder that question.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Roy M, The tough call for President Obama would be to acknowledge this isn't going anywhere, mention that we can't afford these open-ended occupations and get out. This was the easy path for Obama because it kicks the consequences down the road. It is a very tough call for the troops however, troops who will have to roam through those mountains. As far as trashing Obama now, one thing we should avoid is the Bush era blind allegiance - the "It's my team so it's right" mentality. I find it ironic that the same right wing clowns who are bemoaning the assault of the executive branch on the Constitution, were silent in the midst of Cheney's and Bush's shenanigans. Fox News is now trumpeting its independence from government because they challenge the Obama administration. Yet, while Bush was in office, Fox News acted as his PR firm. They could have formed a special foundation: Cheerleaders without Pompoms.

      I'm going to base my criticism or praise on what I believe to be best for the country. Besides, it now seems clear that President Obama is guided by political pragmatism, so if we protest these wars loud enough, there's a chance he'll listen and respond.
    
       I'd rather have progressives thrilled by the moves Obama makes, than the right wing, and the Afghanistan decision drew effusive praise from Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich. What does that tell you?
    
      Finally, did you ever consider the idea that Afghanistan could ruin the Obama Presidency?
    

    Maybe the people he's hearing the protests from now, actually have his best interests at heart. I know I'm still hoping for the best for him, but this first year has been grim and disturbing.

  • Really? (unverified)
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    1) I'm surprised. As a fairly new contributor, I might have the wrong idea about Blue Oregon.

    Jeff, I'd submit you probably didn't understand the reality of Blue Oregon before you joined, at the same time I think you represent the reality of Blue Oregon.

    Remember, first BO is a side project of a bunch of people who make their living in various ways supporting the "blue" status quo and power holders in Oregon politics. The goals and values of the "blue" status quo are quite apart from "progressive" or even traditional Democratic Party values in support of working people. They actually are much closer to many of the values of those who fight for the "red" side. On the "blue" side here, it is the values of a relatively privileged segment of the society who just happen to have adopted the label "Democrat" or "Independent" because that has market value here, and who have also learned to participate in the new new PR tools of the new media.

    Second, "freedom of expression" is not really the underlying communication value in the political social media of which this forum is a archetypal example. The motivating value is protecting an "echo chamber" of opinion in which people first look to be re-assured of their own beliefs, and second strive for personal status in the group by being "trusted authorities" who is popularly acknowledged (acclaimed) opinion leader as stating those beliefs in the most reassuring way.

    Third, did you really join this forum as a named, thread-starting blogger for any other reason? In your piece and your comment, you don't provide any statement that you were throwing down the gauntlet to challenge the groupthink here. The overall sense of your comments is that you may have thought you were going to get props from the group because you thought you had guessed what they were thinking and were going to stand up to raise the volume in the echo chamber. But you made a beginner's mistake of guessing they stood for something other than defending the "blue" status quo for their own selfish and fearful reasons. Bad luck for you, but such is the nature of emotional groupthink and tribalism at BO and most of the "blue" political and social media in the NW.

    Be clear about one thing: These people turn on and attack anybody who dares to point out the emperor is naked as "uncivil", "unsocial", etc. just as much as any other clique or gang, because mainly they are about defending their comfort zone, not anything close to critical thinking or the facts. Watch out for your supposed defenders here in this particular case. They are defending you now. But are they are doing that because they are really defending their own personal comfort zone in the hope they can shift the echo chamber here just a little more in line with that? In that way, much of the social media in this "blue" corner of the country is just the rather trashy, toxi "blue" mirror to the "red" in other parts of the country. The strongest underlying, self-directed personal values that determine political and social status and power are the same. They are not some underlying set of principled values of equity, justice, and liberty.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    You know one thing these sites should look at as well as the red state-blue state stuff? The role special interests play in Washington. If Afghanistan policy was really driven by the will of the People what would it look like? Is the White House working to keep Wall Street from melting down again, or following orders from Wall Street? Is Obama worried about what progressives think, or what the military industrial complex wants? Is the red state/blue state dynamic a diversion from how things really work? That is the essential Dance of Blue Oregon: Presenting developments in politics as if we were engaged in a meaningful debate, when time after time, the real flow of ideas goes from the lobbyists and generals directly to the politicians.

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    Remember, first BO is a side project of a bunch of people who make their living in various ways supporting the "blue" status quo and power holders in Oregon politics.

    I'm posting here more than any other contributor (with the possible exception of Kari). I work for no Oregon political organization or 'power-holder'. Please at least attempt to get your information correct before swiping that broad brush across your comments. (And before someone chimes in with the "Fellowship" BS--I dropped that at the end of November. But even if I hadn't, the stipend for the Fellowship isn't a 'living'. It wouldn't even cover half of most people's rent).

    On Jeff's piece: I don't like the picture. I think it's ridiculous to morph Obama into Bush. I can see why some people even find it offensive. That said--good for Jeff. Pushing people to look at things from different perspectives and introducing difficult and unpopular ideas is part of political blogging, or at least it ought to be. Not only would I not take it down--I'll defend keeping it here. I absolutely disagree with what it represents, but it pushes an idea very worthy of discussion. It should stay.

    Personal to Jeff: If you're gauging the response to your post simply from the comments here, that's a fundamental mistake. The vast majority of those who read this blog don't comment: upwards of 85%, in fact. You should always (ALWAYS--yeah, that's emphasis) write what inspires, moves or otherwise motivates you.

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    Isn't this a fallacy of percentages?

    Two or three commenters out of dozens get offended. Doesn't someone, somewhere always get offended?

    <hr/>

    This reminds of the larger political dialogue as practiced on the net. Most recent example:

    Some mayor of a town of 2500 population in Tennessee accuses Obama of an anti-Charlie Brown vendetta, and it makes Olbermann, Matthews, Huffpost, KOS, and TPM.

    Nothing really happended (except maybe the enhancement of a political career for the idiot in question) but it sure got the old blood boiling.

    <hr/>

    Warning: Being uncomfortable may lead to introspection......

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    From Kari, above: "For the record: Jeff Golden is the only one who is going to decide whether the photo stays or goes." In bold letters. Thanks, Kari. That tells me, whatever the spread of opinion on this thread about the nature of BO, it IS a place I want to blog. As to keeping or pulling the picture: I have two conflicting thoughts. The first is that it's misguided and deeply dangerous --I'll even say "unAmerican" -- to let anyone suppress expression on a forum like this just because s/he's personally offended, no matter how much "pressure" s/he threatens to apply (in fact, it's more dangerous the more pressure there is). The second is that I erred in choosing this picture in the first place, because I don't believe that Obama is functionally equivalent to Bush. The first belief is much stronger than the second. The photo stays. Jeff G

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    I don't see how Carla's denial makes the point she's refuting "inaccurate.". You aren't really an owner, or more specifically a founder of BlueO, are you? Them that are, to varying extents fit the bill as adescribed.

  • Ten Bears A Dancining (unverified)
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    Posted by: mp97303 | Dec 6, 2009 7:48:42 PM

    The longer you spend on BO, the more disillusioned you will become with progressives. What you will soon learn is that the "true believers" of the left are no different than those on the right, they just have different talking points.

    That's absolutely true. BTW, a little sensitive on the "creepy" bit. That was clearly said in sarcasm. BTW, mp, you're no better. At least 5 progressives have railed at BO for claiming to be progressive (Bob, Bill, Harry K, Z, Peri). So you're dissing them, en masse, to accept Dem hacks' claims? Sounds like you want to disparage progressives! Given what you admit, shouldn't they come off as hostile and fired up? What if BO claimed to be "small business women" around the water cooler? Add to it they ignore you, personally. Would get a bit hot under the collar, no? They could do. The word progressive appears in the masthead to get hits. Period. Unfortunately, it hurts real progressives. Don't you love the way they've added an "expires" term to the SEO metatags, so you can't quote anything more than a few weeks old. You can search for it in the archives...

    As for the other two... I've met a lot of the posters from here, offline. There have been posts where people clearly say, "it is purely my personal experience that I've never met anyone from xyz country that I liked" and a big brew-ha-ha was raised. They use specious bullying logic. I can't even post it, but they reacted massively to "an infringement of their trademark" earlier. 1). "Blue Oregon" is not a trade or service mark. 2). It isn't trade-markable. When articles are removed "this violated a trade-mark - editor", there is no statement revealing the specious logic, they leave the poster's name to defame him/her, and one is left wondering if they know and are that two-faced, or are really that ignorant. IP addresses have been banned based on the URL left with the post. "Just don't like it".

    Add to that Karol's rapid rise through the ranks, playing a very clear role as the "identity politics editor". Add to that that date rape drugs, foreign sex vacations...you name it...are advertised daily by link spammers, and Kari feels that he just doesn't have time to get to that. What happened to language trumps all? If I said "date rape doesn't exist largely, and is a hysterical urban myth" I would get the PC ax. But I could directly advertise the drugs, with impunity. PC? It's just another old form of hypocrisy. "Zarathustra" left a very good semiotic analysis of "race" on one post, and all went on debating PC terms, completely ignoring it. The bottom line is that the rule is simply to enforce the most banal version of PC speech imaginable. "Jiang" had a post on here 4 years ago talking about the 19th century rubber plantations, and how the British public, later outraged, just never knew, because the appropriate, polite language to use in the Commons and Lords could not render the horror! It's the same today. Thousands die so that we can keep the language genteel. Screw if it keeps you from getting the point across. "Honor" and "bravery" are found in letting your dinner guests know that the word "negro" is not used in your presence.

    Many at BO don't like that. There are two classes though. Those without an outside agenda, and those that see everything on here as a reflection on their clients' organizations. Those people are largely important Dems, and for them, how you say anything is infinitely more important than the content. It's time to split this blog, along those camp lines. That won't happen. The PC speech crowd have nothing to attract readership and sponge off the real progressives, like yourself. Coincidence that, at the point there was almost no real discussion left, you returned? They need real, honest progressives and the tank is mighty low.

    It's very ironic that I got up this morning and thought about a discussion from exactly a year ago, and reached the conclusion that it was time to start "Blue Heart, Green Thumb". As much as any enviro debate brings in the trolls, grow topics seem to be an antidote. And BTW, Kar-lock, I will live long enough to see your dust farting ass in the grave and I will dance on it until I get leg cramps. When ever I am asked by the next generation how we got here, I will take them for a pee on your tombstone. But environmental terrorist speech is OK, here.

    Oh, and I will bet it was Dan and Kevin that called for its removal. Sadly, we now live in a day and age where these learned perceptions create a feeling. That is now the law. Make me uncomfortable and I can recover damages, or at least threaten you really well. And they really do feel uncomfortable. When you live with your head up your ass for decades, you really begin to believe that no one could possibly want to live in the light. We have a whole generation coming, that thinks they are entitled to never be spoken to by a stranger, or that makes them uncomfortable. The "participation generation" will no doubt sue for job performance statements that cause them emotional distress. T.A's brave friend on Tri-Met should be glad he chastised black males. If they had been white girls abusing a younger boy, he would have been questioned for harassment and intimidation.

    Take the "am I a PC speech maven" test. Taco Bell (Pepsico) had an incident a few years back. A woman was referred to personnel as having made racist remarks, because she used the word "niggardly" in an internal memo. Her defense, of course, was to point out that the word has nothing to do with race. In response she was disciplined, and explicit guidelines were issued "not to use wording in corporate correspondence that would not be easily understood by a sixth grader".
    So, what's your PC score? Pick your reaction. a) Outstanding. Why did she have to use that word anyway? (5) b) They went overboard, but she should be disciplined. (2) c) They could have ignored it. (0) d) That is just stupid. It will hurt the company. (-3) e) I will never eat at a Pepsico restaurant again. (-5)

    Any negative score makes you unfit for public participation in the Democratic Party of America. Zero makes you a progressive. A negative score characterizes you as an extreme radical, troll and "hater". Incidentally, anyone that ever uses the word "hater" has a positive score. We don't just enforce PC standards anymore. We have test questions to see if you're on board.

    Thank you, thank you, for posting this. There's a growing list of people that have tried to say this for years. They have universally been deleted or ignored.

    Posted by: BOHICA | Dec 7, 2009 4:39:45 AM

    Boo hoo. Obomba is a killer just like GWB. Actually, if you're a Paki civi, he's much more of a killer. They call him "Pakikush" in Urdu. (Sounds like a new killer weed strain!)

    The relevance for this? Have to repeat what Bill B said on the Afghani thread (quote), We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won't allow them to write "fuck" on their airplanes because it's obscene!

    Today nothing is very obscene. PC is the new "polite speech". Today one could probably write "Fucking Hardcore" on the airplane, but "Sandnigger Hound" would be completely over the top. But if a "sandnigger" gives you a look at a checkpoint that makes you uncomfortable (or anyone in Oregon to a peace officer), you can just blow them away. That's acceptable. The wrong speech is not.

    (This was so long because I am in a department store in Glasgow, on xmas vacation, and have been banned from posting to BO. I honestly do not know what I said to trigger the reaction. Emails go unanswered. Meanwhile Kar-lock, Parker, and wunderblunder post with impunity. One an only conclude that real progressive speech is more threatening than dittoheads or environmental terrorists.)

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    "People yell and scream he betrayed us."

    Some of us who are critical of Obama don't feel betrayed because we were skeptical of him from the beginning, including, in some cases, his speech at the Democratic Convention in 2004. After all he came from Chicago, a city not only noted for being windy but also for its endemic corruption. Who promoted him that he came, from a national point of view, virtually out of nowhere to be a prominent speaker at the convention? He sure as hell didn't do that on his own.

    With his rhetorical skills Obama had a lot of potential to be a really good president except for how the system works. More than ever the president is reduced to being more of a figurehead than anything else.

    That system works well in European countries where they have a president for pomp and circumstance but with a prime minister to do the work of navigating the ship of state. In America our navigating and engine room teams come from Corporate Amerika, an unelected component with control over the White House and much of Congress. And right now it looks like they are steering the ship of state onto a reef called Afghanistan with few members of the crew in Congress capable of causing a change in direction.

    While Obama is out and about making speeches who is behind the curtain pulling the levers of power?

  • Mary Jones (unverified)
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    The word progressive appears in the masthead to get hits. Period. Unfortunately, it hurts real progressives.

    So true (and so sad). The main stream democratic party does not give a damn about progressive issues.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    But wait. There's worse. There's Max Baucus

  • zull (unverified)
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    Of course we shouldn't ban a photo. Idiots put pictures like that on the Internet all the time without thinking about it first, and it stays there as a reminder that you think before you act, always. It's not coming down, it'll be cached somewhere anyway.

    However, I don't see how Obama's "moved to the right" of his campaign rhetoric on Afghanistan at all. And honestly, do you think Bush would have taken his time and deliberated the issue, instead of rubber stamping it? And at what time during the Bush Presidency did he EVER commit to a timeline? Or mention one? Or NOT jump all over someone for defending the suggestion of a flexible one?

    As far as health care and the economy goes, the reason Obama's moved to the right is so simple and so annoying that everyone on the left doesn't want to believe it. It's those stupid right wing teabaggers. They're a ginned up and propped up pseudo-populist movement, but the bottom line is that they get on TV with their signs and their stances on the issues, and that scares politicians. On the other side, the left is just lauging at the teabaggers, kicking Obama in the shins (instead of standing behind the best elements of his policy and "pushing" them...and him), and generally not getting out there, phone banking, working the crowds, and counter-protesting the teabaggers enough to get on TV...and the politicians notice that as well.

    Obama hasn't moved to the right, it's just that his base has sat their backsides down and is having a big pout about not getting their way, right away. Even though they had an inkling about the size and scope of this mess...they want everything fixed, they want to preserve their post election euphoria, and honestly, this is the part of politics that makes the weak of heart tune out. Right now, we've got some pretty weak hearts here on the left.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    I asked a year ago how being in power would change Blue Oregon. At the time I thought it would be spin. It seems the ugly reality is that those "just progressive" types on staff, have largely become Party faithful. I have been truly sickened at the "loss" of Pat Ryan. It's good to have you back, and Ben Cannon's good example.

    To her credit, Carla responded, and it seems truthfully, to that query a year ago, saying, "my head is already spinning".

    These are herd animals. Human domestication is the name of the game. Unfortunately, domestication, wildness and civility are mutually exclusive. We are left only with herd animals and the wild. Civility is dead. I was surprised to see a Sarah Palin fanatic, passing a Tri-Met stop, chastise a smoker. No friend of Tri-Met, the domestication was most important. But that wasn't very civil, was it?

    Real life, hard conflict, with civil interaction as the sine qua non is only still found in cricket. Barely. When that is gone, I will likely strap on a bandolier, don jackboots, and return to Texas to fight fire with fire. (Still just a "Franciscan", I guess).

    It is a hard and fast rule of societies, that repression leading to homogeneity on the surface leads to a proportionate increase in chaos, below the surface. Fin de siecle Vienna. They've been there, done that, across the board. Our verbatim repetition of their course is willful ignorance of the most venal sort. But then the business of America is fraud.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Just to clarify, I used the term "progressives" because I am under the impression we aren't allowed to use the term "liberal" any more. I had no intent to disparage true progressive and steadfastly support most of your efforts.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Chris Hedges makes my point above under "People yell and scream he betrayed us." Only better. Liberals are useless

  • Peri Brown (unverified)
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    Posted by: mp97303 | Dec 7, 2009 10:44:52 AM

    Just to clarify, I used the term "progressives" because I am under the impression we aren't allowed to use the term "liberal" any more. I had no intent to disparage true progressive and steadfastly support most of your efforts.

    That's very interesting. Makes sense (since I regard you as one of the true ones!). Insentient to such posturing, I was completely unaware. So, there is a conscious assault being made on progressives, coming from the Dems, as a reaction to right wing radio. Now, if you add to that my conspiracy theory that Dems are behind those broadcasts...

    Of course it would never occur to anyone to make a linguistic/etymological analysis of "liberal", and ask Beck and ilk, "what do you have against freedom"! No, at times like this I fear "Paul Cox" is right and the answer is that the Dems are the ones that don't like "liberal". One moment of irrational exuberance from Howard Dean and we have to dump 150 years of Party history. How typical! This is just like "New Labour" dumping the unions. "New Dems" are dumping the liberals.

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    Jeff G.,

    First of all, BRAVO!!!

    Secondly, I'll ditto Carla and Pat Ryan while tempering that with a semi-ditto of Ten Bears who I agree with more in principle than on every single specific. And I'm not sure which "Kevin" he was referring to but for the record: I didn't email or talk to anybody anywhere about your picture.

    I can see why people found it offensive. But in the context of your post (without which it'd be pointless to even discuss the photo because the photo wasn't posted in isolation) I personally didn't find it offensive because it was merely a graphic illustration of your argument.

    Personally, I'm torn on Afghanistan. I'm leaning heavily towards agreeing with those opposed to Obama's new escalation, but find it as yet difficult to let go of the humanitarian potential (which, as I said on my blog the other day, feels like buying into spin at this stage... yet there it is.)

    Anyways... Keep on keepin' on. Lay it out there, be true to yourself in the process and let the chips fall where they may! And keep in mind what Carla said about the silent majority who only read and don't comment.

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    Jeff G.,

    First of all, BRAVO!!!

    Secondly, I'll ditto Carla and Pat Ryan while tempering that with a semi-ditto of Ten Bears who I agree with more in principle than on every single specific. And I'm not sure which "Kevin" he was referring to but for the record: I didn't email or talk to anybody anywhere about your picture.

    I can see why people found it offensive. But in the context of your post (without which it'd be pointless to even discuss the photo because the photo wasn't posted in isolation) I personally didn't find it offensive because it was merely a graphic illustration of your argument.

    Personally, I'm torn on Afghanistan. I'm leaning heavily towards agreeing with those opposed to Obama's new escalation, but find it as yet difficult to let go of the humanitarian potential (which, as I said on my blog the other day, feels like buying into spin at this stage... yet there it is.)

    Anyways... Keep on keepin' on. Lay it out there, be true to yourself in the process and let the chips fall where they may! And keep in mind what Carla said about the silent majority who only read and don't comment.

  • Ms Mel Harmon (unverified)
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    Jeff,

    Appreciated the first post and this one. I was the one who mentioned that I found the picture "creepy" and asked you not to do it again. But it's certainly your choice and I don't look badly upon you or your post for having included it. I didn't take it as a political statement as much as playing around with pictures until you came up with something that was, well, creepy.

    Hey, can you morph Sizemore with Loren Parks? That would be a scary one!

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    David English: Yeah, who knew Obama was telling the truth. That we'd actually have to stay around and clean up W's mess. You are another one that didn't listen. Obama has always been crystal clear that Afganistan was going to be a challange. He has always said people may not agree with him on the issues, but he will take the time to explain his stance.

    I'd like to suggest that you may be wearing your blinders a bit too tightly cinched.

    I've got a couple of sidebar scripts running on PK. Both are by politifact.com. One fisks political claims by a wide variety of sources, both left and right. The other tracks 500 of Obama's campaign promises... and is parked immediately beneath a banner proclaiming support for Obama.

    I support Obama and don't at all regret voting for him. But neither do I delude myself into thinking that he's perfect or that he'll never do anything wrong or that he hasn't already done things wrong.

    You say that he was "crystal clear" about Afghanistan. Yeah well he was crystal clear about many campaign promises and some of them he has outright broken, as politifact.com clearly demonstrates.

    Pestering Jeff G. about sending him Palin's book damages your credibility far more than it damages his. He's under no moral, ethical or rational obligation to only disagree with Obama within the confines of whatever guidelines YOU deem appropriate.

    As we used to ask in the schoolyard way back when I was a kid, "who died and made you God?"

  • Barack W. Obama (unverified)
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    Re: "It says fairly clearly that there's no real difference between Barack Obama and George Bush. That's a ridiculous thing to say or imply, and it supports lazy thinking..."

    Yes. There are differences. For instance, Bush spent less money on militarism and attacked fewer countries. Bush was an ignoramous, and so his crimes were LESS ignominious (Obama being a constitutional scholar means he KNOWS that his refusal to restore habeas corpus, to end torture in our offshore penal colonies, to abolish Bush’s secrecy laws or to halt the warrantless wiretapping and monitoring are unconstitutional).

    Furthermore, Obama, in his relative sophistication, refuses to enact serious environmental or health care reform, to regulate Wall Street, to end our relationship with private mercenary contractors or to stop handing some $1 trillion a year to the military and arms industry.

    In short, the picture IS offensive... to Bush.

  • (Show?)

    I don't see how Carla's denial makes the point she's refuting "inaccurate.". You aren't really an owner, or more specifically a founder of BlueO, are you?

    The commenter didn't say "founder" or "owner". The description is "side project". It's accurate that Blue Oregon is a side project for me. It's also accurate that I'm one of the two most prolific contributors here, as far as I can tell.

  • (Show?)

    I asked a year ago how being in power would change Blue Oregon. At the time I thought it would be spin. It seems the ugly reality is that those "just progressive" types on staff, have largely become Party faithful. I have been truly sickened at the "loss" of Pat Ryan. It's good to have you back, and Ben Cannon's good example.

    To her credit, Carla responded, and it seems truthfully, to that query a year ago, saying, "my head is already spinning".

    Z: My head wasn't "spinning" because some "party faithful" line was being shoved my way. It was spinning because of the responsibility of writing for the first time at a place that has a good-sized readership. Unless we're thinking of two different post/comments I made...in which case feel free to link me to what you're talking about.

    I'm not big on purity tests and I honestly don't care who considers me "progressive" or "liberal" or whatever enough..and who doesn't. I write about what interests me or inspires me or motivates me--and if that doesn't meet somebody else's threshold then it doesn't. I don't put my sweat into writing in order to get nice labels in blog comments.

    I hope Jeff continues to write here for a very long time. I don't always agree with everything he says, but so far its been thought provoking and interesting. I hope he doesn't let the BS in comments change what he's doing, either.

  • genop (unverified)
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    Funny, I thought the photo was a clever means of conveying the fact that military entanglements often create strange bedfellows. Did I read too little into it? It seems in todays political discourse many pundits (professional and amateur alike) take themselves and others too seriously. Debate by it's very nature implies that no one knows the answer. It is in the debate that the issues sharpen as we struggle for clarity in a complex world. I am disappointed with some of the policy and lack of policy decisions made by the current Administration. This does not mean I would prefer the alternative to a Chief Executive who clearly conveys his process and reasoning in making certain decisions. When I disagree or think I have an idea worthy of consideration, I send a brief note directly to the President. Unlike the previous Administration, I have a sense that thoughtful dissent is encouraged and considered by this Administration. Agree or disagree, I have heard no other voice providing a sense of clarity and direction, which would draw my support away from Obama.

  • Rahlstrom (unverified)
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    Jeff - keep the photo

    Real "change" and "hope" - means pull out of Afghanistan.

    There's a lot of apologists for Obama - BO is filled with them. So kudos to you for posting what you believe, the picture fits perfectly. You should write more, others should get a life.

  • Peri Brown (unverified)
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    Posted by: Rahlstrom | Dec 7, 2009 4:21:03 PM

    Jeff - keep the photo

    Perhaps I overstated your dittohead credentials. Or maybe the karma on this thread is just that good.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    I have lived too long. I agree 100% with Carla and Kevin.

    But to reiterate, "Bravo, Jeff"!

    Hip-hip, hurah! Hip-hip, hurah! Hip-hip, hurah!

    Fooorrrr...he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fe-e-low...and none of us will deny!

    I have the oddest sensation. Could it be...healing?

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    "Just to clarify, I used the term "progressives" because I am under the impression we aren't allowed to use the term "liberal" any more."

    Words should be used to convey recognized meanings, not as substitutes for other words with a different meaning or no meaning at all. "Liberal" has been used and abused in so many ways it has been rendered almost meaningless. "Progressive" still has some meaning indicating advocates for a more civilized and humane world. "Liberal" is getting to be like "incredible" and "unbelievable" by people whose vocabularies are so limited they can't think of some appropriate adjective with a reasonably precise meaning. Without considering any previous statement I have made on the subject, if I were to say, "Obama is an incredible president" what would you consider I meant by that? Great? Lousy?

    For more and better on this diversion, take time out to read George Orwell's Politics and the English Language.

  • rogerisright (unverified)
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    Barrack Obama sold this country and the people who supported him a huge bill of goods. Everyone here lined up to call Bush a liar (and worse), Cheney a liar (and worse) and most recently Sizemore a liar (and worse) where are those lie sensitive watch dogs now that BO is running the show? As I sit here writing this I can't remember even one campaign promise he has kept... seriously! I can accuse things like not holding unemployment under 8% like he promised but there are literally 100's of flat out lies that no one seems to be bothered by. As much as Bush increased our national debt ...and as much fun as it was to point that out all the time Obama has taken Bush's debt (which used to take our breath away) and tripled it! I am opposed to the healthcare plan for one big overriding reason that also has stopped me from buying my mansion and my 200' yacht ...we can't afford it! We can't afford what we already do...Tax the rich is a great slogan and sounds great but the top 10% the earning population already pays almost 80% of the bill

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Posted by: rogerisright | Dec 7, 2009 6:08:21 PM

    Barrack Obama sold this country and the people who supported him a huge bill of goods. Everyone here lined up to call Bush a liar (and worse), Cheney a liar (and worse) and most recently Sizemore a liar (and worse) where are those lie sensitive watch dogs now that BO is running the show?

    Oh, fer... There's a dozen on here that roast him daily on the same skewer!

    He may run the show but he don't run the war.

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    Posted by: rogerisright | Dec 7, 2009 6:08:21 PM

    Barrack Obama sold this country and the people who supported him a huge bill of goods. Everyone here lined up to call Bush a liar (and worse),

    He was a liar.

    Cheney a liar (and worse)

    He was and is a liar

    and most recently Sizemore a liar (and worse)

    He too was and is a liar. Becky in particular has done a lot of leg work to document Bill's lies, including right here in this comment thread.

    where are those lie sensitive watch dogs now that BO is running the show?

    Z handled that one already.

    As I sit here writing this I can't remember even one campaign promise he has kept... seriously!

    "Can't remember"? LOL - nice way to avoid responsibility.

    FYI at least 62 of his campaign promises have been kept, as documented by politifact.com.

    That includes 3 of what they characterize has his top 25 campaign promises. It also includes one broken promise, two compromises and one that is stalled. The rest are "in the works." Keeping in mind that he's not even through his first year yet.

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    Jeff, thanks for the admission. i think i had to do something similar once - a picture that i wish i hadn't posted. of course people are going to say "eek! take it off!" because that's just a knee-jerk reaction and people tend to write with insufficient consideration in comments. not many BlueOregon regulars (of the non-troll denomination) would actually endorse banning; it's just easy to state things that way now and then.

  • Really? (unverified)
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    I don't see how Carla's denial makes the point she's refuting "inaccurate.". You aren't really an owner, or more specifically a founder of BlueO, are you? The commenter didn't say "founder" or "owner". The description is "side project". It's accurate that Blue Oregon is a side project for me. It's also accurate that I'm one of the two most prolific contributors here, as far as I can tell.

    Her effort to spin the original comment which referenced the several year-old Blue Oregon project as a whole that she only recently joined:

    Remember, first BO is a side project of a bunch of people who make their living in various ways supporting the "blue" status quo and power holders in Oregon politics.

    in a way she could draw attention to herself is highly informative and ironic. Carla's malignant egotism, and amateurish propaganda tactics on display here, are prime examples of what makes Blue Oregon example #1 of exactly what Chris Hedges was saying in the piece Bill Bodden pointed out.

    Searching this blog with Google, she has previous identified herself as the "Online Community Builder for Compassion & Choices". They were much in the news recently as working closely with Blumenauer to get a much misrepresented provision inserted into the House health care bill (that was eventually dropped). Regardless of the merits of the provision, and I happened to support it, organizations don't have that kind of clout with a representative unless they are representing the status quo, and that representative knows that carrying that group's water is going to be a net positive for their career. As it would be amongst Blumy's elitist Portland "blue" base.

    In Carla's comment where she mentions the fact just noted, we also see another example of the propagandist's art, which I guess is now called "PR 2.0" on "Web 2.0":

    Our state is a leader in palliative care and hospice. Oregon Health Sciences University is the creator of the POLST paradigm--an organization leading the way on improving care for patients at the end of life.

    Of course, palliative care has nothing to do with hospice or POLST. In fact, as anybody who has been caregiver to a dying family member knows, in Oregon there is an ongoing tension in our system between advocacy for true palliative care, and advocacy for post-palliative care measures like hospice, POLST, Death with Dignity, etc.

    Oregon may be a leader in palliative care for those who can afford it. This may come as a news to the temporarily economically comfortable who tend to be the "liberal", demographic of Blue Oregon, but the reality when it comes to genuine palliative care for most working and poor people the reality is far different.

    The reality is that once a person has decided medical care --- which our medical and insurance system colloquially defines as care to actively restore health as much as possible --- is no longer what he or she wants, but that end of life care --- which our system colloquially defines as care in the active dying process --- is just a bit premature, genuine and complete palliative care (which is much more than pain meds while waiting to die) is seldom available unless one has very good long-term care insurance. What we think of medical insurance covers medical care, and frequently end-of-life care, but does not cover true palliative care that can be needed for days, weeks, months or even years.

    Carla's juxtaposition of those sentences, careless or intentional, in an effort to plug the status quo and politically-connected group she represents invites a clear implicature that medical care, palliative care, hospice, and C&C are somehow part of a harmonious thread in Oregon. Nothing could be further from the truth. Getting that genuine palliative care for the days, months, or even years, inbetween medical care and active dying care that is the focus of hospice/POLST/DwD is not easy in our system. Carla should strive for as much "accuracy" in her advocacy writing for her clients of the "blue" status quo as she spins and misrepresents the words of others is lacking for her own self-promoting benefit.

    Jeff, you've chosen the company you will keep. The question remains, was your point in posting the picture to challenge the "blue" status quo groupthink here? Or just an effort to stand out as the pied piper of this pack to them and the world? It's ironic that health care is precisely one of the areas in addition to defense policy that this administration has been anything but a strong advocate for true change we can believe in.

  • (Show?)

    in a way she could draw attention to herself is highly informative and ironic. Carla's malignant egotism, and amateurish propaganda tactics on display here, are prime examples of what makes Blue Oregon example #1 of exactly what Chris Hedges was saying in the piece Bill Bodden pointed out.

    It is all about me. And it's about damn time you figured it out (rolling eyes). Seriously tho..if you find me so awful, why read me? Or is it not really about that, but really about just being a jackass trying to undermine because you have little else to do?

    And yeah, I work for Compassion & Choices, a NATIONAL nonprofit. I appreciate the opportunity to reiterate the fact that I work for no Oregon politico.

  • Kurt Fucking Hagadakis (unverified)
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    Posted by: t.a. barnhart | Dec 7, 2009 11:42:25 PM

    Jeff, thanks for the admission. i think i had to do something similar once - a picture that i wish i hadn't posted. of course people are going to say "eek! take it off!" because that's just a knee-jerk reaction and people tend to write with insufficient consideration in comments. not many BlueOregon regulars (of the non-troll denomination) would actually endorse banning; it's just easy to state things that way now and then.

    So that we don't waste our time, could you just post the troll list? While film izle spams with impunity and JK pastes the same on every climate/UGB thread without ever being hassled, I'll bet every one of your "trolls" is a solid progressive. Maybe read "Really?"- or his s(he) a troll too?

    How about using some of that energy to get Kari to go to validated IDs rather than sniffing at the ones you don't like?

    This is incredible. Where in this thread did you EVER get the idea that Jeff regrets posting it? "Some of the livestock are out of the pen! Call farmer Barnhart and tell him to bring a cattle prod"!

    "Really?", fair 'nuff, but Carla's learning, imho. Maybe more appropriate for t.a. that obviously is working his nuts off to be a jerk. It ain't that hard, t.a. Grow a goatee; the rest you've got down. You can take the guy from the narrow minded evangelicals, but you can't take the narrow minded evangelical from the guy!

  • andy (unverified)
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    There isn't really anything progressive about most of the BO crowd. Liberal facist would be an accurate description for many. Some slight variation of that covers most of the regulars.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    "Liberal facist (sic) "

    Check the definitions of liberal and fascist and you'll find they are contradictions in terms.

  • Rethug Purity Troll (unverified)
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    I think we conservatives are making a mistake by attacking Obama. He's pretty much the best we can hope to get in a country with democratic institutions. (Once we do away with the remaining democracy and throw it out with the bath water, we can and will do better, but this is now.)

    Obama has done essentially exactly what McCain would have done on foreign policy and on bailouts for our financial industry friends.

    Obama would kill no more grandmothers with his new, improved not-quite-public option than are presently killed by our friends, the insurance industry.

    Obama has shown no inclination to support workers' rights, as we had feared. Or gay rights or womens' rights.

    It's clear that Obama will not enact serious environmental or health care reforms, and he's not going to seriously regulate derivatives.

    He's going to increase the privatization of the military and our educational institutions.

    Secrecy? Warrantless wiretapping? Repression of the left? He's our kind of guy on all of that, and more.

    Let's cut Obama some slack. I expect that someone far more dangerous to our interests will run against Obama as a progressive in 2012, and that could be expensive for us, so we should consider donating to his campaign. (It couldn't hurt.)

  • Really? (unverified)
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    Jeff, with today's news comes more to support the question implicit in your photograph that is uncomfortable for the true "blue" to confront:

    What is wrong with the putrid souls of the "blue" side?

    Citing an argument that hallmarked the Bush years, Obama administration attorneys have asked a San Francisco court to drop all charges against Berkeley law professor John Yoo, who authored legal opinions that permitted the torture of prisoners.

    An amicus curiae brief [PDF link] filed by the Department of Justice with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday essentially argues that because he was giving advice to the president on a national security matter, Yoo should not be held accountable for his actions as it would have a chilling effect on advice provided to future presidents.

    That's exactly the point. He should be held accountable as an accomplice to torture, a crime against humanity, so it has a chilling effect on providing that kind of advice to any president, ever.

  • Really? (unverified)
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    Oh and also, exactly as predicted by several in these pages: It’s official: Democrats drop public option.

    Prediction 1: CBO equivocates on the cost of the Medicare buy-in option for those of us 55 and over to buy into Medicare so it is dropped from the final bill at some point before it hits the Senate floor for final passage after conference.

    Still waiting to hear from Wyden and Merkley on their positions on this "compromise". Can they out double-spin Harkin?

    Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa told reporters he didn't like the agreement but would support it to the hilt in an attempt to pass health care legislation.

    Prediction 2: Wyden got the mandate we all fork over billions in welfare for private insurance companies in exchange for what still will be crappy insurance in reality, and he will be an advocate for this bill like he never was for a public option, disgusting example of the Oregon Blue Weasel that he is.

    Prediction 3:: As people debate the debate in the Senate, when asked about first-termer Merkely's position, it will be "Jeff Who?", making him that even rarer species: The Oregon Invisible Clear-Blue Weasel.

    At least Conyers swaggers like he still has a functioning pair. We'll see thought when it comes time to actually prove it.

  • (Show?)

    Oh and also, exactly as predicted by several in these pages: It’s official: Democrats drop public option.

    The Senate Majority Leader says that this report is untrue.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/08/senate-sinks-abortion-ame_n_384846.html

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    It's official a rumor.

    Why is it that the nattering nabobs of negativity around here are so quick to jump on mere rumors as a vehicle for spewing negative opinions of elected Dems? I'd expect it from the wingnut trolls. But then again perhaps therein lays the answer to my question...

  • Really? (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Instead of just reading one non sequitor quote as Carla and Kevin do, desperate for anything to give them an excuse to spout, some of us first read the whole post and then some other news sources.

    What those of honest intellect find reported even in the rest of the HuffPo piece, as well as at other sources such as the NY Times, the WSJ, and the CSM is that, to quote the CSM, It might be a public option in name only. But it could be a way around one of the most difficult obstacles facing Democratic leaders as they try to push healthcare reform legislation through the Senate.

    What Reid with a straight face says is a "public option" credibly is reported (as in not refuted hours after reported, complete with reports of dissatisfaction by other Senators on-the-record) to be a private FEHBP-style program offered through the Federal government for the under-55 set, and (maybe), a Medicare buy-in option for the over-55, along with a Wyden-Snowe style trigger.

    Only in DC and in certain "blue", BO-friendly areas of Oregon --- i.e. where "truth" is an exceedingly "flexible" concept even when it comes to independently verifiable facts, would that be called a "public option".

    And of course, Reid himself could have been explicit in what he meant. But in true "blue" fashion that BO also so ably represents, which has little connection to long-forgotten true Democratic Party values, he spun and in doing so made himself look even smaller than he already does. To quote his own statement: As is long-standing practice, we don't disclose details of any proposal before the Congressional Budget Office has a chance to evaluate it. As if disclosing the details would change the economics of a proposal defined sufficiently to even have "details". What that means is that his office will bargain details with the CBO as necessary so what will be in the final plan is anybody's guess. But that is different from a "rumor" about what has been agreed to at this point as Carla and Kevin try to spin it.

    Reid's statements like so many from "blue" (and "red") politicians in DC, is the same kind of amoral, weaseling double talk that holding Woo accountable for war crimes would discourage presidential advisers in the future from giving the sound advice (like "torture is OK"?)

  • JJ Ferguson (unverified)
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    a vehicle for spewing negative opinions of elected Dems

    That says it all "Really?". While you go point by point, stating facts, it is being heard through a banal Martha Stewart/USA Today filter, "Is that a good thing or a bad thing". "That sounds really negative". PC speak has now become the PC attitude. Call the "Happiness Patrol"!

    There will always be those that "believe in rainbows" and those that measure the spectrum! Chin up, eyes forward, keep on marching! Many appreciate knowing that they're not alone in seeing that not only is the emperor naked, he's a paunchy, syphilitic, dirty old man. Pity those that don't have the stomach to bear the sight and persist in delusion. It's really not their fault. Not all have the mettle to enter whole new worlds. Comfort and security are hard-wired, after all. Being in the lead is a lonely place, especially when you turn around and there're so few there. Be content to know that for every progressive that speaks out, there are many more, fatigued by the struggle, that will take solace and find themselves reinvigorated by the efforts of those that continue to fight.

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    While you go point by point, stating facts, it is being heard through a banal Martha Stewart/USA Today filter

    Oh the irony...

    JJ quotes me responding to a comment comprised of: a brief assertion followed by a series of predictions (hint: O.R. labeled them as "prediction") and ending with what can only be credibly characterized as a personal opinion (which may or maynot be true but was clearly an opinion either way). But filtered through JJ's apparently anti-entropic, banal filter where the commonly accepted rules of construction for the English language cease to have any meaning, that became some sort of "point by point stating (of) facts."

    BTW I'm not a Dem.

  • Rethug Purity Troll (unverified)
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    Re: "But in true "blue" fashion that BO also so ably represents, which has little connection to long-forgotten true Democratic Party values..."

    While I agree with most of what you say, just what are those "long-forgotten true Democratic Party values"? And just when were they held by Democrat elites?

    The DP long ago sold out to corporate interests, and it has been the junior partner in empire building since at least Woodrow Wilson.

    Let’s Talk about VUI: Voting Under the Influence by Sibel Edmonds:

    I hope more people are coming to the needed realization that their votes based on ‘lesser of the two evils’ and ‘not wasting my vote’ were indeed wasted. I hope to see more people voting as a statement of where they stand and what they truly believe, rather than casting votes on either side of the same coin...

    I hope this post-Obama speech awakening will be neither short-lived nor misdirected. While the Party-Connected media, websites, and blogs are savvy enough to know that real criticism is in order after Obama’s decision for the surge, they are pro-establishment enough to change the tune and misguide, misdirect, and misinform when the time comes for the next elections. That’s when both parties, tied together at the top as one big party, the war party, the establishment party, will try to have you drink the same Kool-aid again, walk the same path, think the same thoughts, and vote the same vote to elect those deemed viable and subservient by the now ruling establishment.

  • Lord Beaverbrook (unverified)
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    Let’s Talk about VUI: Voting Under the Influence by Sibel Edmonds:

    We've been plagiarized! 13 months progressives have been saying those phrases, verbatim, right here. The friggin' exact words...it's too much.

    Your membership card is in the mails, though!

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