My Goodness

    Gracious, me.

    Seems the Obama bashing folks have taken over this place while I've not visited.  And yet they STILL cannot come up with any alternatives, nor any new thoughts.

    My goodness.

    But....the sports posts have been excellent. 





    As have been the original Daggers' posts.  You know, those folks on the banner, who first started this place.

    A place I used to enjoy visiting, once.


    This is a very loud but heartfealt performance.  Please enjoy.

    I've said my two cents now, with song, and with feeling.  Moving on, again, now.  Bye.


    Lis...why do you come here ? You KNOW it only upsets you. Laughing

    Could it be everywhere she goes, it's all she hears?

    Somewhere... over the the rainbow.

    Okay, okay, whille I'm still allowed my voice, I'll say it aloud.  Wink, wink.

    I first joined this place back when some of you didn't even post at TPM yet.  Like a good friend of mine, I didn't want to help move traffic away from Josh's site, so I just watched, in amazement, as the founders of this place made it into something really cool.  And I took great joy in watching other friends get adopted into the fold. 

    And over the past two years, I've been hanging out, sometimes silently, watching, agreeing, arguing....

    But seeing this turn into another FDL is too much to bear.

    And seeing y'all tear into our only party that has an option a year from now, it hurts even more.

    We do miss you, Lissie.

    Welcome LisB. The bashers have nothing other than criticism. When they are shown numbers suggesting most Democrats approve of Obama, the bashers state that those are not "real" Democrats. They also claim moral superiority. The obvious solution to the problem is to work to get a Republican elected. The Republican will make things worse, making the only alternative one of their "real" Democrats. When you ask them to name a "real" Democrat who would be viable nationally, you get static.

    It isn’t the Democrats that are abandoning's the Independents  

    Here is a good example: 

    "Personally, I neither look forward to an Obama defeat nor do I fear it. I just know I won't vote for him again.

    One vote can't change the world. If your president is doing what the American people want, they should re-elect him quite handily. Expressions of dissatisfaction or analysis predicting bad electoral (and societal) outcomes from the Democratic party's current course of action shouldn't be able to impact that at all…….

    Y'all do whatever the hell you want with your party. This was the first time I ever trusted a party in the first place. In my view is just another partnership that isn't working out and needs to be terminated - like a shoddy vendor or a business where a key member is unable to execute. I'm not getting what I want and need from the relationship, so I'm moving on. Hopefully a changed dynamic will allow new relationships to develop that have a better chance of working toward goals I agree with using methods I can support. Perhaps the way I make decisions will never find success for me, but I am reasonably certain that a lack of success is all but guaranteed if I refuse to stop doing things that clearly aren't working.

    If I were advising Democrats as a business, my advice would be to try and give the voters you need to win the election what they expected. Which you say was "change in Washington".


    The Republicans have blocked Elizabeth Warren at every turn. Republicans have vowed to block ANY nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Despite that the CFPB opened it's doors on June 21st. Despite the absence of a director, the bureau still has the power to look at the activity at Goldman Sachs, etc.

    Senate Democrats placed the Bureau under the Fed, shielding the agency from budget cuts by House Republicans. As the campaign gets under way, Independent will be given the full info on wha the WH and Democrats have been doing.

    Recess appointment

    To remain in effect a recess appointment must be approved by the Senate by the end of the next session of Congress, or the position becomes vacant again; in current practice this means that a recess appointment must be approved by roughly the end of the next calendar year.

    1 year > 0 years

    So you like doing things that for appearance sake rather than to get the agency headed in a specific direction with a permanent direction?

    Let me pose a question another front. Landrieu is often a hindrance in the Senate. One website grades her Liberal voting record at 13/100. Landrieu's Conservative voting record is graded 38/100. I can't vouch for the methodology used to do the grading but the overall grading would fit into what most people think about Landrieu.

    Is it better to have someone from Louisiana who votes with Progressives 13% of the time and Conservatives 38% of the time in a state that is unlikely to vote in a true Progressive statewide versus having a Louisiana Republican who would vote with Progressives 0% of the time and with Conservatives 100% of the time?

    (Edited to include the link)

    You said "Independents" but there's no link.  Who are you quoting here?

    The writer stated  "This was the first time I ever trusted a party in the first place"

    If the writer has no party affiliation, does that make them an independent.?

    I also drew the conclusion, when the witer also said "Y'all do whatever the hell you want with your party.

    Your party; as opposed to his party 

    I read this comment somewhere on this site, do you suppose I should have given credit to Dagblog for such an informed opinion?  

    Not to dagblog but to the writer.  it's common courtesy.  Unless it was you and you're quoting yourself.




    I would gladly give praise to the writer. But I didnt want to direct attention to the specific writer as much as his words, rang like a bell.

    Do I give praise to the bell ringer or to the quality of the sounds of the bell?

    I really dont know Ramona.

    If I overhear a conversation and can't say who said what or I read a comment on an open forum, Am I under obligation to keep quiet of the things I've read without geting permission first, or telling authorites who ask " who is it; that is teaching you these things"   


    Resistance, writers traditionally give attribution to a quote that isn't theirs.  I don't understand your hesitation here.  Writers who don't give credit to the original author are often accused of plagiarism, in fact.  Since you separated the paragraphs into a quote, I had to assume the quote wasn't yours and asked you whose it was.  It's a logical question.

    FYI, if someone used something I wrote without attribution, I would call them on it.  I wrote it and that fact should be acknowledged whenever it's reprinted.  As I said, it's common courtesy.  If you don't feel you can give the writer's name, then from now on don't use the quote. 

    You have no right, to insist that I include the writer’s name. If the writer says to me I would appreciate you giving me the credit. I will do so. If the writer does not want his name associated, I have respected his privacy. 

    I chose not to include the writers name in the event, I, may have misinterpreted the comment, and I'll leave interpretation to others on this type of communications venue.

    If this writer had written a Blog, then the work would and should be protected,

    I don’t feel that every stated opinion or comment, when people gather in the town square needs to be copyrighted and protected from plagiarism.

    Why should the ideas promoted by the comment, be an effort to libel or slander the writer?

    As though you and Liz both come at it from the perspective, “ who is the writer”, rather than focusing on the meaning.  So you might say "I know that person, don’t listen to the words, they're just Obama bashers anyways?"

    If you put it on an open forum in a comment as though to be overheard in the public square, rather than a piece of work in Blog form, does that negate issues of copyright or plagiarism?

    I placed them in quotes, in order that others might not glorify me, or that the statement as being from my own originality. By placing them in quotes I am clearly identifying that it is not mine, I do not intend to glorify myself or to enrich myself off of another’s work.

    So either I leave the name off or don’t present this comment or I quote the comment and leaving the privacy issue alone? 

    The spontaneous nature of this communications device would surely be hindered if every time someone makes a comment we should have our attorneys work out the agreement.

    Better yet, clearly stated; this site and others will not protect open speech? Don’t post if you want to make a legal issue if your idea takes root? 

    The writer of this quote can easily identify their work, if it’s credit they seek.


    Is it wrong to protect a Socialist individual, when all we needed was their ideas?

    “Tell us who are you quoting, Resistance  so we can bring him in for questioning?”  

    Have it your way, Resistance.  But I didn't see anything in that quote that would require heavy questioning.  Otherwise I might have insisted.

    Not sure what the flap is about, but were the author here, I'm sure he would claim it; I think he even got thanked by the man he made it to.  It was on these boards; not some email or something private.

    Lis, be real.

    Alternate policies? Get out of Afghanistan and Libya, help homeowners fight back against illegal bank foreclosrues, stop bashing Social Security, quit playing budget fear games with the GOP and instead focus on job stimulus, stop giving the FBI and CIA more extraConstitutional powers, quit the corrupt support for Wall Street...

    Alternate politicians? Try Russ Feingold, Al Franken. At least primary Obama to make him give some attention to left-leaning opinion.

    In a black-white Gallup poll of "do you think the President's doing a good job", most Democrats will say yeah so as to not give Republicans satisfaction. If you ask more detailed questions, you're going to get disapproval on certain key issues, unlikely 80% approval across the board.

    Do you think 9% unemployment and 16% black unemployment represents near the best Obama could do 2 1/2 years after the economic crash? Do you think the lawsuits against millions of illegal foreclosures should have been led be the executive branch rather than individual homeowners?

    Do you think the President getting off his ass and doing something now will make his and Democrats' re-election more likely in Novermber 1 1/2 years away or should we just coast and hope for the best?

    Another Trope posted this yesterday regarding unemployment.


    Washington, D.C.–Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Republican attempts to block the Economic Development Administration reauthorization. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

    This Congress convened in January with a single mandate from the American people: create jobs.

    And so Democrats have brought to the Senate floor bill after bill aimed at helping American businesses innovate, grow and hire. These were good pieces of legislation with proven track records of creating jobs.

    Take the Economic Development Administration reauthorization, for example. Since 1965 the EDA has created jobs in economically distressed communities. Creating good jobs in places that really need them, like Nevada, ought to be a goal we can all agree on.

    In the last five years, the Economic Development Administration has created 300,000 jobs. And it’s done it efficiently, too. For every dollar the federal government invests, private industry invests seven.

    For 45 years the EDA has worked with businesses and universities at the local level to create jobs from the ground up.

    Even when Republicans controlled the White House, even when they controlled Congress, even when they controlled both, EDA was there helping businesses grow.

    Today our economy needs those jobs more than ever. Yet Republicans have found a new way to kill a piece of legislation that would put Americans back to work.

    They have stood here on the Senate floor and talked with straight faces about job creation. And then they turned around have bogged down good, job-creating legislation with amendments that could kill even the most bipartisan bill.

    Meanwhile, unemployed Americans wait.

    They wait while Republicans filibuster – not with words, but with amendments – a bill that has created 300,000 jobs in the last five years.

    One would think these must be important amendments if Republicans are willing to make Americans standing in the unemployment line wait a little longer.

    You be the judge. My Republican friends are holding up a proven job-creator to exempt the sand dune lizard from the Endangered Species Act, for example. And, lest the lizard be singled out, there is an amendment to exempt the lesser prairie chicken, too.

    This sends the message that such frivolous amendments – more than 90 of them in all – are more important than putting people back to work.

    They’ve also filed amendments on:

    EPA water quality standards, Light bulbs, Right to work laws, The estate tax, Repeal of Wall Street Reform, The U.S.-Mexico border fence. And, yet again, a handful of their amendments would delay or repeal health care reform.

    That is a battle Republicans seem determined to fight over and over no matter how many times they lose. We’ve already voted on bank-card swipe fees and ethanol subsidies. And we voted on the regulatory reform amendment offered, once again, by the senior senator from Maine. Yet we could not reach agreement to consider this worthy bill.

    But this is not the first time Republicans have stopped the important work of job creation in its tracks. The Small Business Innovation Research Bill died here on the Senate floor. And the FAA Reauthorization and Patent Reform bills – which would have put hundreds of thousands of people to work – languish in the House.

    And still, unemployed Americans wait. Tomorrow Republicans will get another chance to help us move forward on a bill that has a proven track record of putting people to work. In the meantime,

    I urge my Republican colleagues to consider the cost of these delay tactics.

    "Do you think 9% unemployment and 16% black unemployment represents near the best Obama could do 2 1/2 years after the economic crash?"

    The operative term is "economic crash."  There are a lot of experts out there explaining how we could be back to normal after a melt down this generation had never seen before.  There might be a few things he could have done (especially if he just let health care reform pass onto to be dealt with maybe in six or seven years from now) and we might be at 7% unemployment.  I doubt that would have happened if we created an immediate power vacuum in the Middle East, nor if the shaky housing market was able to make a slow adjustment to the mortgage crisis, nor if the too-big-to-fails were allowed to actually fail.  But that is my speculation, just any counter is also speculation. 

    I love this.  Your "solution" to our problems is to run a candidate for national office who, in one case need months of recounting to win his not-very-conservative state, and another who got trounced in his?

    Look, I love Franken, and Feingold's the best on civil liberties.  But seriously, you couldn't have better captured the recipe for Democratic electoral suicide if you were a Republican plant.   


    Yeah, let the Democrats waste money to prove a point that not everybody agrees needs to be made.

    Oh yes, it's the Rahm "unions just flushed their money down the toilet" Emanuel argument.

    I tell you what, you spend your money your way, I spend mine my way. That's capitalism *AND* democracy.

    Meanwhile, if my chef is spitting in my food, I'm going to make sure I get him to stop, get another chef or stop going to that restaurant. You can do as you like. Democracy. Free choice.

    Uh. Ok. How could I stop you from spending your money however you desired?

    I'm using my money to try to defeat Republicans. We can both get to happy.

    I'm using my money to fight the corporate takeover of America

    IMHO the more superior position.

    Similiar to diaries in which people tend to write only when things are dark and gloomy, people in general are more motivated to blog (at least from a political perspective) when they are angry or need to get something off their chest.  Consequently, the blogs (as opposed to the comments) are going to be more heavily weighted towards those with a bone to pick with Obama or other politcians, and less so for those who may have their disagreements or disappointments, but aren't thoroughly upset by them.

    Lis, nothing would make me happier than to write a piece praising Obama's handling of the economy, our security and our liberties.  Just waiting on some facts.

    Obama's critics very frequently defend alternative policy ideas and political tactics that they would like to see Congressional Democrats and Obama endorse and pursue.  Included among these have been such things as:

    1. A national full employment and job guarantee program.

    2. Household debt re-structuring programs.

    3. Egalitarian income policies, including such options as a maximum wage or wage-ratio cap, and higher marginal tax rates on the wealthy.

    4. A more aggressive, less conciliatory White House communications strategy toward the Republican opposition.

    5. More aggressive enforcement of existing financial laws and regulations, and prosecutions of high-level financial exectives who appear to have defrauded their investors.

    6. A general political decision to pivot away from long-term deficit reduction and austerity policies as the centerpiece of the nation's economic strategy, and toward robust economic recovery driven by progressive government activism.

    7. Federal Reserve reform.

    8. Revisiting health care reform to create a more significant public component in the system, and taking more serious regulatory steps to drive down costs.

    9. A second round of financial reform aimed at breaking up too-big-to-fail institutions, reining in the shadow banking sector, and more heavily regulating lending practices.

    Obama's supporters either (i) do not like these suggestions, or (ii) approve of the suggestions on the merits, but believe they are politically unrealistic.

    The critics respond that the failure to build support around a more progressive agenda is mainly due to the fact that the most powerful man in the United States, and the one with the most far-reaching communications platform, is unwilling to support that agenda, either out of political calculation or philosophical preference.  And they suggest Obama has proven to be a remarkably weak negotiator and ineffective advocate even for those progressive causes he claims to support.

    Critics have also suggested that as a tactic for moving the country in a more progressive direction we need to find ways of putting political pressure from the left on Obama and other Democrats during the upcoming round of primaries and elections.  Obama's defenders don't like this idea, and suggest any criticism of Obama from any direction in the party only weakens Democrats and empowers Republicans.

    But I fully admit that most Obama critics have offered no new ideas lately about LeBron James, professional golf and tennis, scuba diving and literature.

    Re: #4 and #6, this from Politico:  'Dems fret over WH dealmaking:

    As bipartisan debt limit negotiations between congressional leaders and the White House rev up, a number of Democrats are worried that President Barack Obama will agree to a deal with the GOP that cuts federal spending too deep, undermines the social safety net, slashes entitlement programs and does not include a single dime in tax increases.

    These Democrats, mainly progressives and liberals, fear the White House will be too quick to give in to an ideologically rigid group of tea-party-driven Republicans who won’t even consider Democratic proposals to close certain tax loopholes or cut off certain tax credits to raise more revenue. Democrats are scheduled to meet with Obama at the White House on Thursday.

    What I’m concerned about — it’s not that I don’t trust them — is they [the White House] figure, ‘Let’s get this thing the hell out of the way, and if we gotta suffer from our base, let’s do it now,’” said New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell, a member of both the Budget and Ways and Means committees.

    Some lawmakers were upset that Obama seemed to indicate to House Democrats during a recent White House session that he wanted to “get past” the debt ceiling debate — a sign that he was most interested in the politics of a mega-budget deal.

    “I think the president and his team have their calculation where they want to posture him for his reelection,” Grijalva added. “And we have our calculation, too, and we think that our base and our constituency is not going to be happy with the deal.”

    Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio said his Republican colleagues told him that Obama was moving toward the GOP position on spending cuts after they left their own meeting with the president at the White House.

    Read more:

    From the Ben Bernank on #1:

    The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the first quarter, down from 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter, and recent data have shown manufacturing and consumer and business sentiment weakening. (Ben doesn't understand why...)

    U.S. employers added 54,000 jobs in May, down from 232,000 in April, while the jobless rate climbed to 9.1 percent, the second straight increase after dropping 1 percentage point since November in the biggest four-month decline since 1984.

    Policy makers also raised their forecast for unemployment, predicting it will average 8.6 percent to 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter of this year. That is an increase from the prediction of 8.4 percent to 8.7 percent in April.  

    These figures about Real Unemployment #s:

    Thus, the real unemployment rate is 18.2%, compared to last month’s real unemployment rate of 18.0% and to BLS’s official rate for May of 9.1%.

    Come on. The current health care bill is a first step. Go back and look at the history of Social Security and note how many people were not covered under the initial bill. Look at the number of ethnic minorities not covered by the initial bill.

    Tell me how to get to, and when you had 0% unemployment.

    The people who are disagreeing with the critics are saying that it takes time to get some legislation to be as good as it needs to be. It was almost a decade from the time Martin Luther King Jr started in Birmingham to passage of the first Civil rights bill. The initial Civil Rights bill did not cure all the ills that befall the African-American community.

    You criticize people for realizing that there is a long struggle rather than overnight solutions that are the norm.

    It's easy to sit in a chair at a keyboard and criticize as opposed to generating a plan and legislation.

    Issues are complex. Take the issue of charter schools. Some believe that charter schools are produce better outcomes. Others believe that charter schools merely take money from public schools. If the parents in a community want to fund charter schools, is the correct thing to do is support he parents: or to say that since the charter school will be located in the same building as the public school, two categories of students will be created. Funding the charter school means that the new money goes to the charter, the old stuff stays in the public school. You can't fully fund both.

    You have to make a choice, is the Progressive thing to side with the parents and the charter schoool, or is the Progressive thing to side with the teacher's federation and the public schools?  Real world decisions are not as easy as you may think.

    Your points have merit.  What I was responding to was the claim that the Obama critics never have any new ideas.  You might think the ideas are bad or unrealistic, but the critics offer ideas all the time.  I only touched on the domestic economic policy ideas.

    As for the Affordable Care Act being a first step, I agree.  But the President appears to disagree with you.

    Tell me how to get to, and when you had 0% unemployment.

    I should have said that, while most of your points have merit, this one is rather silly.   We are still stuck at 9.1% official unemployment, with real unemployment much higher.  This is a catastrophe.  It is a profound employment crisis that Obama refuses to address in any serious way other than by cosmetic steps and impotent entreaties to private sector job creators, all while he wastes the country's time on a completely misguided long-term deficit reduction agenda driven by right wing rhetoric, and built on a political foundation laid by the extremely conservative Deficist Reduction Commission that he himself appointed.  He's so busy "winning the future" that he has given up on the people who live in the present.

    And your pojnt is what?  That unemployment is never 0%?   It's like I criticized Bush for his response to Katrina, and you said, "Tell me about the years when the country had no rain at all."

    I was responding to........A national full employment and job guarantee program.

    And so your point is that because we have never had such a program we shouldn't have one?

    I think it would be hard to get it funded in the current climate, since I'm guessing it would involving jobs in government or government supported jobs in industry via corporate tax cuts or direct payment for the industry jobs by government.

    The CBO just came out with its report: CBO's 2011 Long-Term Budget Outlook

    The local paper in my community on the front of the Business secttion ran a report that basically took the angle best summed up by the following from the CBO's Director's Blog:

    The alternative fiscal scenario incorporates several changes to current law that are widely expected to occur or that would modify some provisions that might be difficult to sustain for a long period. Under that scenario, which many budget analysts believe is a more realistic picture of the nation’s underlying fiscal policies, revenues would remain close to their historical average of 18 percent of GDP, and federal debt would exceed 100 percent of GDP by 2021 and would balloon to nearly 190 percent by 2035.

    Whether one wants to say that the situation needs to be kicked down the road, the current environment out there says there is reason to be concerned now about the deficit.  Especially with Greece imploding on people's television screeens. 

    Then again I guess we can just call the CBO a bunch of partisan hacks in the pocket of the monied elites.

    Squeezed in among all the words on that report were acknowledgements that there need to be increased revenues to make the debt a lower percent of GDP, as well as spending cuts, yes?  They mentioned the recent extensions of the Bush tax cuts Obama enacted, and it looked to me as though the CBO assumed they'd continue, not clear.

    Defense cuts: could be enormous, as we're spending $120 billion a month in Afghanistan.  Lord knows what in the other wars, and other defense contracting.  Health care costs: could be huge, but no one has really tackled that, sadly.  And oh yes: jobs.  Workers pay into the general fund, as wwell as into FICA, yes?  So when you create debt to make jobs, you get a good multiplier effect on those dollars; same for unemployment.  Investment debt in infrastructure can also have great return, but we no longer invest in this country.  Just defense.

    I put up a link at Destor's that not one dime has been lent from the $31 billion small business fund since it was started nine months ago; incompetence...or something else?  Plenty of questions in Congress about that one now.

    So I hope if they trade repatriation of the trillions with a five % rate for the hope of using the proceeds (piddling), they keep an infrastructure bank in outside hands.

    The point isn't that there isn't ways to avoid this "alternative" scenario. There definitely are and the CBO acknowledges it.  The point is that if we continue as we are, in general, and given the brokenness of Congress to make changes (like actually cut the defense budget), then we are headed toward a crisis in the "near" future.  For some the nearness of that "near" is more intense than for others.  So it creates a type of conventional wisdom out there on the political landscape that must be acknowledged.  When you have the CBO making this claim, to stand and claim that the budget deficit meme is just a red herring or worse, just makes one look a little uninformed. 

    For instance, we do need to deal with the defense budget.  But realistically given the Repub control of the House, what is a doable path to actually achieve significant cuts to it?  One would be getting control of the House back to the Dems and keeping the Senate.  (no use getting the House if one loses the Senate in this regard).  Not only that but the Dems that are elected can't be hardcore blue dogs who are going to vote with the Republicans when it comes to things like the defense budget.

    And so on.


    A bit more, including the Ben Bernank saying the same thing, and urging a long-term view on the debt.  As  Cho says, he's to the left of Obama on this.  ;o)

    Economist Alice Rivlin, the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office, told CNN's Candy Crowley "if you just slash spending now or if you raise taxes right now -- that's a very bad thing to do as the economy is beginning to strengthen."

    Rivlin would prefer if lawmakers offer additional aid to state and local governments to prevent more layoffs. But at the same time, she added, lawmakers should put a plan in place to cut long-term spending by making changes to entitlement programs and reforming the tax code.

    Economist Ken Rogoff, meanwhile, has been warning that economic growth suffers when a country's gross debt tops 90% of GDP -- a marker the United States has already surpassed. His research on fiscal crises with fellow economist Carmen Reinhart is often cited by many lawmakers calling for debt reduction.

    Rogoff certainly favors some fiscal adjustment, just not a rapid one.

    "The important thing to do is structural reform. Make us grow faster. Improve our tax system, build infrastructure, education, view it as a crisis in that way," Rogoff said on "Charlie Rose" last week.

    But, he added, "I certainly don't think slashing budgets at some last-minute deal is the way to go about business." 

    I keep forgetting to say: So there is good debt, beneficial to the economy, and bad, wasteful debt.  Some tax cuts can be argued to be beneficial, but they haven't worked out so well since the stimulus, in which about half of the money went to tax cuts.

    Trade LeBron James to the Canucks. Solve several domestic and international problems in one easy move.

    Liz are you out there....LIZ CAN YOU HEAR US


    Obama: "There is no pain your feeling"

    But getting back to the original post (man, they can get off point easily.  All it takes is the word "Obama") and why you've been staying away.  If you (and others) stay away and dag turns into FDL lite, or any other one-note forum, you have only yourselves to blame.  It's like the Democrats caving to the Republicans by just shutting up.  It's not hard to figure out how the Republicans were then able to filter into every form of media and gain strength.

    I don't have a problem with many different voices here.  I welcome them, in fact, and wholeheartedly encourage it.  But I wouldn't like to see my favorite blogsite taken over by any single faction, and the only way to avoid that is to strike a balance.  FDL doesn't do that, and it's the main reason I stay away from there.  But the people who participate here (or have in the past, people such as yourself, Lis) have things to say in the most amazing, diverse ways. I would hate to see that end.

    I don't know how G and A could be any more welcoming, any more accommodating.  It's your choice, of course, but dag is only as good as its participants.  If you choose not to participate and then look on in dismay at what it seems to have turned into, well. . .hmmm.

    Funny.  Every time someone makes a pro-Obama comment, or criticizes the arguments made in an anti-Obama comment or post, there are four or five people who reliably show up to join in an attack on that person; and those attacks are rarely based on substance.  The opposite almost never happens.

    So, unless you want to turn this into a gang fight, maybe those four or five should stop jumping in and piling on in every discussion thread.  I'm usually fine taking on all comers, but I love the tussle, and even so I can get pissed off to the point where I seriously think about never visiting this site again.  I can totally understand why some less comfortable with the conflict decide to leave.

    I prefer that people moderate themselves, except in extreme cases.  But don't blame people that don't have the time to haunt this site and defend every comment posted, like some apparently do, for the dynamics here.  You're just letting the bad actors off the hook. 

    Please tie their hands and if possible remove their brains, so we can have a fighting chance?

    Dude, of all the people I'm referring to, you are by far the stupidest.  Try reading my comment, and then we'll talk.  Wait a minute, no we won't.

    Okay, now, there you are.  That was uncalled for and that's what I'm talking about.  Nobody here deserves to be called "stupid".  You can disagree with the comment, and you might even call the comment stupid, but I'm asking you to stop the personal call-outs.  Please.

    Resistance implied that the reason I don't like the way my opponents here argue is because I'm stupid (i.e., the "remove their brains" comment).  Why is his comment OK, but mine worthy of censure?

    Oh come on, Really?  It doesnt take much thinking ability to ascertain, yours was a personal attack.

    As we all know from team sports, the refs always call the retaliation, not the initial foul. Frankly, the way it was phrased I wasn't sure if he was agreeing or disagreeing with you. So I suppose I could censure him for being vague. (Where is that censure button? I thought I had a censure button.) You were a lot clearer, so I should give you a cookie, then censure you. (Oh, I ate all the cookies.)

    Frankly I think we do the rest of the 'net a service if a few goofballs hang around here, thinking they are tough, instead of standing on some street corner getting smacked around by old ladies.

    Brew, some of the folks you are talking about are quick to degenerate into profanity and personal attacks questioning your intelligence and morals. They are also the first to feign some great offense when you respond in kind.

    For the most part, all that they have going for them is the criticism and sense of superiority. They are the folks who would come into a community meeting and the the poor little minorities how the minorities need to respond to a certain situation. They are like Michelle Bachmann telling us how Obama has disappointed African-Americans.

    They would walk into a church and be barely able to suppress the urge to state how they are superior to those who believe in a "Sun God".

    They ridicule how you may feel on a host of issues. I know that the discussions on the Civil War and Secession were as disgusting to me as they were to you. They simply have a belief system that is different. Some tend to form a triple attack, making you think that you are the only one on this site with a particular set of beliefs. What is more likely is that a number of folks just don't want to enter in to the discussion.

    Don't let them ruffle you. They are not going to change. It's something I came to realize when one of the little darlings tried to get me kicked off the site while going on a profanity laced tirade that was a number 7 on the Bristol stool chart. The tirade was so funny that I came to realize how little of substance was present. Since then, I've tried to remain calm during provocation.

    That's my two cents worth.

    Let me clarify since I brought up the Civil war and Secession. I am not saying that people are racist.

    The group I am speaking about tend to admire Cornel West, an African-American who is supported by many Blacks including Boyce Watkins and Eddie Glaude. There are Blacks who would love engaging in a "full" dicussion of wheher the Civil War should have been fought and the merits of Secession.

    Other Black do not fall into that category. Thus the Blacks described above have a different belief system than other Blacks on those issues.

    Again, I am not calling people racist and that is whyI used the term belief sytem. I guess it may have been better to say different opinion.

    (Trying to extract foot from mouth)

    I don't want to keep this going, but I read Resistance's comment as a reference to "I prefer that people moderate themselves".  It wasn't a personal attack on you, from my POV.

    I too would love for the adults in the group to moderate themselves.  But almost every post with a long string of comments inevitably turns from sensible, interesting arguments into "How do I humiliate thee?  Let me count the ways."

    I stay away from those "discussions", and usually leave it to others to moderate them.  They're stupid and non-productive and I don't see anything to gain from jumping into the thick of it.  But I do think they can be watered down simply by creating more posts that are, in fact, interesting and sensible.  And that means creating an atmosphere where people who lean that way want to be here. 

    There are enough sites already taken over by the bullies of the world.  I want this one to be different, and it worries me that so many people see it as a haven for bullies.  I think we need to change the atmosphere here, but it's walking a tightrope between stifling voices and moderating them.  I think that's why everyone approaches it with caution.

    I'll be honest and admit I'm getting nervous watching so many women leave here.  When most of us were at TPM the blend seemed to be about half and half, and it worked fine.  There were always the bullies, but the more temperate voices prevailed.  We felt we had a home.  It bothers me that the women I've known and liked don't feel that way here.  I'm going to work to change that, and if that means chiming in when things get ugly, so be it.  I've held back a few times lately, just because I didn't want to get involved.  I won't be doing that anymore.

    I haven't left. I still read the blogs and comments as much as possible. Just don't have time to write. Busy bringing home the bacon.

    I just skip over the commenters that I usually don't agree with and the food fights that some get into. I still find it the best place to come.

    Thanks, trking.  Glad to hear that.  Always glad to see you here.

    When most of us were at TPM the blend seemed to be about half and half, and it worked fine.

    I don't remember it working fine, Ramona.   There was that whole Clinton-Obama primary campaign that was very savage - much more mean, wild and ruthless than anything I've seen here lately.  But people mostly got over it.

    And interestingly, following that brutal intra-party debate, Obama was elected in a landslide.  I think Democrats need to have something at least approaching a similar debate during the upcoming primary season, or else Republicans are going to be the one's kindling all of the energy and intellectual excitement among the American public.  The Republicans (and their ideas!) are getting all of the attention in New Hampshire right now, and it's killing me.   If the Democratic primary season consists of nothing but Obama waltzing by from time to time to suck down an ice cream cone and pose with his kids, he's going to start the 2012 campaign deep in a hole, backed by nothing but bored and disaffected Democrats and tuned-out independents.  And progressives will never get any new grass roots ideas on the table.

    I'd like to see someone like Kucinich run, even though he probably doesn't have a chance in hell, just so the country is at least exposed to the alternatives.  If Obama's positions are smarter and more realistic, let him defend his record and make that case in public against committed progressive criticism.

    Even theough progressive alternatives are well-represented in the lefty blogosphere, the left is systematically excluded and censored by most of the mainstream media - particularly the Sunday morning talk shows and major-paper editorial pages.   At the same time, far right voices are given a seat at the table.  That's may be one reason lefties tend to be more boistrous.

    For my two cents on the meta-issue, it seems to me that Quinn is right, and that the pro-con balance is now about half and half.  But recently, some of the the more Obama-supportive voices appear to have gotten depressed by the criticism, and checked out to some extent into recreational diversions and non-political posts.  I don't think the critics of Obama are to blame if the proportion of criticism to support changes because supporters are writing about other things.

    @Dan K You wrote:

    But recently, some of the the more Obama-supportive voices appear to have gotten depressed by the criticism, and checked out to some extent into recreational diversions and non-political posts.

    Not so, we just move on to other places to do our political blogging.

    At DAG I've been called a traitor to this country, another has claimed I merely want to "screw America over" another has implied that my status in life, means I cannot participate here, because I am not like everyone else.  I am not particularly interested in engaging  individuals who view me as being worthy of abuse and unworthy of participation. Continuing to subject myself to that abuse, enables those abusers to continue on, as they are cheered by the crowd. This community has clearly spoken out in so many way as to why I, personally am not welcome or acceptable. That has nothing to do with being depressed about the President, it has everything to do with being depressed about the state of relationships here.  Only fool would stick around to subject themselves to that kind of treatment.

    tm, I really don't think they realize how they come across. I know that I have been guilty of responding forcefully to what I thought was provocation.

    Wattree recently put up an excellent post, and I participated in a verbal exchange that had more to do with personal attacks than the substance of Wattree's post. Stepping back andd realizing what I was party to (along with a hilarious tirade against me) got me rethinking my approach.

    I think the only way to keep things in line is for people to speak out as you did in your personal post above.

    @rmrd0000, yes you are correct. I realize that much of this goes on in the blogosphere and keeps these blogs going, endlessly.  I am not convinced it makes any difference at all, as people are very wedded to demonizing folk with whom they disagree. But thank you, I appreciate very much what you have written.

    When you were asked to provide the proof, the traitor label was explicitly applied to you.

    You instead acted butthurt, like brew did above about brains.


    You became vicious in your attacks.

    You like the victim card and you'll play it all the time  

    Only fool would stick around to subject themselves to that kind of treatment.

    TM's leaving; and if you (the other readers)  dont go, your fools

    Hows that that communications skill working for you TM?

    I should have told you, what you just told all of us

    I am not particularly interested in engaging  individuals who view me as being worthy of abuse and unworthy of participation.

    Shorter: If you dont follow TM you are fools. 

    You are cute though.

    And the purpose of this was...?  She has a right to her opinion and she didn't direct any of it at any one person.  You did.  In short, you just directed a personal attack at T.  So where does that leave you?  And how does it negate anything she just said?

    ...and those attacks are rarely based on substance.

    And how, exactly, would you characterize the substance of this blog post? I am not seeing a single positive thing said about Obama here at all. How the hell can this post be described as a "pro-obama" one?  It isn't that at all. The entire purpose of this is to provoke a meta gang fight. Notice how much action it has? Seaton will probably be green with envy by the time this gets done racking up "reads".

    As far as any specific substance can be gleaned from the words LisB actually wrote, I think Ramona has done an admirable job at addressing the essence of what Lis said in her post. I'm actually impressed that she managed such a cognizant response with so little to work with.

    Although I actually disagree with Ramona's characterization of the general tone and content here. It is especially unfair to call our critical discussions "FDL lite" - like many who use "FDL" as a perjorative, I suspect Ramona spends very little time actually consuming the content. For one, the topline content often has some of the most professional journalism being generated in the industry (and a fair amount of activist commentary) - we are by-and-large commentary only here. Also, I can tell you flat-out many of the opinions I have posted here either would or actually have gotten me flamed out of FDL threads (by users to whom if you respond in kind FDL will ban your ass, apparently). I have witnesses for some of it.

    Truth is that reasoned criticism (and the occasional rant) are being leveled across the political spectrum about the current approach of this administration. Yes, even from people who on polls, and in real life, support the president. The only way to avoid that criticism would be to stick your head in the sand. Maybe create an artificial bubble where everyone is only allowed to mention Obama if they find something nice to say about him to balance whatever criticism they may want to raise - apparently using a similar logic as used by Fox (and news in general) in "balancing" every reported event with batshit insane republican policy and assertions or the desire to demand intelligent design and global warming denialism be taught to show "all sides" of the debate.

    Ramaona is right. If Obama is so awesome ... why can't you guys EVER create a single fucking blog post explaining why? They are always about why some critic isn't being properly black or how everyone who doesn't make blog posts saying what Lis apparently can't articulate for herself is just an Obama-basher with no deeper motivations or unmet need driving their opinions. Taken in whole, the happy-with-Obama case most commonly reduces to "Obama critics suck." I suppose that pairs nicely with the current defacto campaign slogan "Not as bad as the GOP."

    If you think there is a valid point of view not being represented - you guys need to make your damn case and represent it. Quit bitching at other people for making theirs. And if/when someone who shares your opinion about Obama finally DOES generate a post attempting to make the case ... as you said to stardust on her thread, expect to be challenged .... don't go all GOPper and act like some kind of victim of a deeply unfair attack motivated by an unthinking blind hatred of the guy we all fucking elected together.

    Lis already ran me off of another site ... specifically for having what I considered to be a very interesting discussion much like the one you and I just had (at least I found it interesting). Because I didn't post any counterbalancing pro-Obama emo poetry or some shit. I ceded the whole damn website - and it had a lot of folks posting there who have never posted here that I really liked chatting with at TPM. Lis and I and are totally cool ... it's past ... but I'm not giving her another one. And I'm not shutting the fuck up because Lis has a sad about people being dissatisfied with Obama. That's why I've totally stayed away from the other site - because it is not my intent to give Lis a sad (and I am almost physically incapable of shutting the fuck up when I disagree with something). But by the same token there has to be some room in the universe somewhere for more than just Lis. Sorry to see her go if that's what she has to do ... but I know damn well she has a nice warm snuggly place ... so I don't feel that sad.

    [And as long as we're meta here ... you are pretty much one of the most egregious "bad actors" on the site. I know you see it as justified, but you go over-the-top more consistently than anyone else on any side of any debate. I'm kind of an a-hole too (and may be worse - who knows), so whatever, but just so you are aware.]

    I am aware.  When I started visiting the political blogosphere, flaming and vitriol were pretty much the norm.  It's a very hard habit for me to break, apparently. 

    ROTFLMAO. Nothing but meta, as always, I see.

    We discuss politics, you discuss us. Interesting approach you have.

    Lovely to see you, as always, LisB. And I get that it's hard to hard people criticizing the President. Still, I'll say what I've said before. To imagine that this site is somehow being taken over by the critics only shows that you have some serious blinders on. The thing is, a word of criticism tends to sting more than 10 in support, so it's always hard to measure. But let's just start wit the names running across the banner here. How many people on it would you regard as "Obama bashers?" By my figuring, there are... none. Zero. Destor is probably the closest to landing teeth marks in the President's leg, but pretty much the entire lot is on record as supporting Obama, pretty much come hell or high water, in 2012.

    After that, just turn to the list of Reader Bloggers, and see how many are Obama "bashers" versus "defenders." Just to take a handful of vocal defenders, we see Dick Day, Another Trope, Brew, rmrd, Barth, TMcCarthy, bslev, Peter Schwartz, Rootman, Stilli, Jason, and on and on.

    Critics? Maybe a dozen that write here a fair bit? Seaton, Stardust, Miguelito (not around very much, or at all really, anymore), Sleepin (not around much anymore) Desi (rare appearances), probably me, Cho (not around lately), Resistance, DanK, kgb, Jolly, cmauk, oleeb.

    Lots I'm unsure of - ArtA, Lulu, acanuck, emma, flavius, cville, Larry, Mr Smith, Orion, Watt,

    Now, I'm sure I've missed people out and miscategorized people, but I'm also sure that even amongst what you'd call the "bashers," there are a number who have made clear they are arguing against a President that, come November 2012, they will actually vote for. 

    In short, and to be blunt, you're simply more sensitive to the criticism than the praise. As for whether the critics have been able to come up with alternatives, let's leave that nonsense out. 

    Anyhoo. Must run. good to see you. Drop by more often, I'm sure people would love to hear from you. 

    Quinn, I don't want to speak for Lis, but I think you're reading this wrong.  It's not the criticism of Obama that is getting tiresome, it's the bullying of anyone who thinks otherwise.   We're all opinionated and we all criticize, but we don't all enjoy gut-kicking.  When it threatens to take over the place, the people who don't like that sort of stuff are going to go looking for friendlier territory.

    I think that's what Lis and tmccarthy and others are saying.  I want this to be the friendly territory.  Criticize Obama all you want, and we'll do it, too.  But lay off the personal attacks and we won't have to be posting conversation after conversation about this topic.

    Ramona. I am first going to do my best to understand what you feel, even though my own views and feelings are somewhat different, ok?

    I GET, from my gut, my lived working and daily experience, what it is like to back a politician and a political party that somehow fails to live up to peoples' expectations or demands. I also get how hard it is to hear their attacks, and not to take them personally. I have done politics, in some form or other, all my adult life. I have been with politicians as they won, sustained themselves, and as they went down in flames - including some who went down to vicious personal attacks, splits within the party, etc. 

    And I know that it is incredibly difficult, right now, for backers of Obama. The Republicans are damned near insane - on a vicious, socially-destructive tear. We know that.

    Now, I would argue that the Obama Administration has done a poor job of arming its defenders. I've been on the inside of governments which had to change course primarily BECAUSE they needed to arm their people, motivate the base, and I expect Obama's will be no different on this. But right now... and this is not some grand attack on Obama... I just feel he and his advisors have done a poor job on this front. 

    More deeply, I feel they have done... a poor job, substantively. Compared to the Republicans, yes, they've done better. But when you win office it's not enough to just be better than if the other guy was in. You have to move the nation, at all speed, toward a place where - the NEXT time the Republicans get in - they're the ones facing more ground to make up, more accomplishments to undo. In short, you have to move YOUR agenda forward. Otherwise, year on year, there is a net loss, as governments of the two stripes come and go, and eventually... a nation can be lost. 

    And right now, my worries about the US are extreme on this front. 

    It is an absolutely natural part of the response of people who backed Obama for some to feel... he has failed. First on some policy or other, but it often grows until they feel it across an entire Presidency. Some will feel he failed and will decide to sit back, and not be as active. Others will disappear, oft-times in despair. Some will decide to stand and fight, from within. Others will feel their best course is to fight, and threaten to withdraw their money, energy and even vote. Others still will look 3rd party.

    I don't know what to say to Obama backers who find this personally upsetting, other than... above all else... you CANNOT own these attacks as personal attacks. I know, I know, it's almost impossible. But let me tell you. I lived through - amongst many others - Tony Blair's decisions and ultimately, the loss under Brown. Ken Livingstone's loss. Various Canadian examples. As well as Clinton and company.

    And in each case, the same issues arise. And while the usual nature of blogging is to declare triumphantly that this means the personality of centrists of leftists is somehow perverse, I don't actually think that's right. Partly because... I have found myself on BOTH sides over time. 

    And not to put to fine a point on it, I have run myself. I have a family member who is the chief advisor to a major leader. I was a partner to a very major female leader for a number of years, and went through some of the most vicious attacks I have ever witnessed. I have many school friends and life friends who worked for the Clinton and Obama regimes, and governments in Canada and the UK. 

    And what amazes me is that people don't seem to understand that for those people, their daily lives are FULL of these sorts of debates, and attacks, and defences, and decisions, and maneuvers. It's just that they're a bit more used to it. It's emotionally still brutal, and usually they have to step out after a few years. And it's why I could never again return to the 24/7, inner circle, Blackberry pasted to one ear brigade. Emotionally, my guts can't handle it.

    But to hear people say ---- The Obama Admin isn't equipping its people for the fight.... Or, he appears to be detached... Or, they never should have shut down their grassroots election machine... Or, he's made a mistake by not pulling back mush faster from Afghanistan, or by not trumpeting a HUGE Job Creation bill, even knowing it would lose, etc. etc. etc. --- All these things are bog-standard, day-to-day, eating lunch kinds of discussions for those in that world.

    But for many in blogworld, they FEEL like a "gut-kicking" to hear that sort of debate. They just do. And that is just plain something that has to be coped with. Because it's NOT something that is going to go away. 


    Now. That was my best attempt to understand things from the inside of an Obama-backer's mind.

    As for the bullying thing. What I'm going to say is simple, and blunt. If there is bullying happening, and you're on the masthead, then tackle the problem person by name, and deal with it, at the time, on that blog.

    After that, it is not in general acceptable to go on about how anti-Obama people here are bullying. Name the names, and deal with it - right at the time, on that blog - or leave it out. Because otherwise, it's not just meta, it's smearing. 

    From my perspective, I think the problem is actually more what I discussed above. People backing Obama are finding the criticism hard to handle right now. As I said, I think that's unavoidable. 

    As to the claim of bullying more generally, let me just note a few things. For starters, if you are convinced bullying is happening, I would - once again - point to the masthead. The group there is enormously more pro-Obama than anti, and if it's a problem, they should change how they're doing their job.

    Secondly, none of you seem to be posting about the bullying problem, even as people like Miguelito and Sleepin' have taken leave of us, or as Cho and Des have downscaled their presence. 

    Third, I listed as many vocal Obama critics as I could in my comment. If there is "bullying" being done, then there pretty much has to be a gang. But once you remove those who have already largely stepped away... and recognize that people like Seaton rarely enter others' threads anyway... and that people like me fight with other anti-Obama types like kgb and oleeb and cmauk and such, who are thus crap at forming "gangs".... and note that you'd be hard-pressed to see anyone swinging through the threads with semi-lone wolves such as Resistance, DanK or Jolly, then... even in theory... who do you have left who is doing this "bullying?"

    Maybe me and Stardust? 


    I just don't believe this is the heart of the problem. The heart of the problem is that right now, as an Obama backer, it's hard to take heart, and hard to hear the attacks.

    And the only way to deal with that is to make better arguments and pitches about why what's being done is positive and beneficial... or to change some policies, and then promote the hell out of that. As somebody noted, even bothering to raise the issue that the Republicans are worse is really not worth the time, especially to people who saw their way clear to vote for Obama last time, because they GET that. And in fact, for those of you interested in keeping score, chasing around waverers and critics and screaming "you're a Republican" at them, happens to be pretty much the best ANTI-Obama trolling method available, right? 

    So. The case for Obama... or ideas he should propose.. or policies he should implement.

    This is not a bad assessment.

    The teabaggers and the hard right are coming up with all the ideas right now--all of them really bad except that small group that wants us out of these goddamn wars.

    We, the dems or the left or the progressives or the liberals NEED NEW IDEAS AND NEW ARGUMENTS!

    I have to ponder this further but we are always playing defense these days and my own thinking on this subject has become lazy and cynical.

    I think the ideas are out there for sure. All the Prez has to do is focus on the good ones!

    Besides the wars, certain executive orders and such (read Greenwald) just seem over the top!

    I mean they are going to threaten another journalist with jail for chrissakes for not giving up some source!

    This is very good, Quinn, and illuminating. I think your analysis is right. Supporters of Obama are in a tough place right now. We're getting it from both, or all, sides. Obama himself is in a tough spot. I'm not sure I have any arguments for Obama that haven't been made a hundred times already.

    For me, bottom line, I don't want "the Republican" to win and I'll do what I can to prevent that. Plus, in my heart, I still believe in Obama and I think he has moved the ball forward in some important ways. But all of this has been said and chewed over many times. I think these are excellent arguments, but they only convince folks who...are convinced by them.

    I think Dan makes a good point that primarying Obama would add some excitement and news value to the campaign, which is important in and of itself. But s/he'd have to be a serious contender, i.e., not Kucinich. Feingold, though an equally remote chance, would be more interesting. And I think the "hope" and "change" brand of idealism has been tarnished a bit, at least for now. So I'm not sure that "2008 Obama" could beat "2012 Obama."

    As you and Dick and Dan and others have said, the Dems and Obama need some better ideas, or a primary challenge, or something if Obama is to win. Sure, he can win if the Republican completely screw themselves over. I'm not inclined to bet that they do, however.

    Which means, Obama's gonna need some major juice, excitement and electricity, to get people organizing, and get people turned out in his favour. Right now, I'm feeling as though he - and his team - can't see their way clear to strong, exciting, game-winning stances.

    Like Afghanistan. Seriously, after taking out Osama, the door was wide open to a Nobel Prize winner to announce a rapid, strong, withdrawal of troops... AND to combine that with a strong new job creation strategy with the savings... or SOMETHING that would at least excite his base. 

    Instead, in 2012, we will have as many troops there as when he came into office. 

    As though Osama's death isn't even being used as a strategic turning point. 

    This just strikes me as bad politics, if nothing else.

    You don't need to understand how I feel, Quinn.  Any more than I need to understand how you feel. It's not about our feelings, it's about the general feel of dag.

    It's not about Obama, either, even though 80% of the comments are about Obama.  It could be that "bullying" is the wrong word here.  Whatever it is, some of us don't like the direction the comments are taking all too often.  It's a turn-off to some people and they're saying so.  If it's a turn-on to other people, fine and dandy.  But when a good number of people are leaving here, all related to the feel of dag, it's time to figure out why that is and what to do about it.

    I guarantee that nobody is leaving because they got their feelings hurt over Obama.

    Cheap, lame analysis.  You need to go by the number of posts/comments, not by the number of commenters.  And, as I note upthread, there is a pack mentality to certain of the critics that I don't see among the defenders.  And I am the only defender who treats the critics with the scorn that they routinely visit on the defenders.

    Your response here is dead typical. Even when I point out that the masthead is ENTIRELY made up of strong or moderately pro-Obama voices.... Even when I go through the list of other bloggers and make crystal clear that there is no huge preponderance of anti-Obama types... Even without noting that the mainstream media provides vastly more room for traditional Democratic voices than  it does to the "far left" critics... You fall back on a further, perhaps even more bizarre defense, that somehow the bullying is down to the fact that they outpost you. 

    I'm not sure I even need to point out the humour in the fact that you... don't post.

    And now, as I continue to request, you should please stay away from me. 

    Brew, I think I'm on your side of this argument most often, but I'm surprised you can't appreciate the depth and subtlety of what Quinn is saying. There's a lot there to chew on.

    You may be right that those who post the most on Obama are the ones least likely to defend him. You'd have to count 'em up and see.

    But at some level, who cares? Moderating these discussions would be insane.

    I have a certain scorn and anger toward those who seem to threaten to sit it out or put in a weak effort. I think back to how folks said there was no difference between Gore and Bush. We'll never know what President Gore would have done--but it's hard to imagine him going into Iraq the way Bush did. In short, there IS an important difference between centrists and their parties.

    So I'm with you on all that. But I really think you should re-read Quinn's post. It's important.

    It seems to me that some blogs are written as openings for discussions, rather than as emphatic condemnations written in stone.  Hearing someone else's perspective is valuable to me as I try to better understand the issues.  I enjoy reading the different views of the people here, even if I don't agree or comment on all of them. 

    Oil speculators add $30-40 to each barrel of crude. The "Do Nothing"  Obama administration is trying to chase speculators out of the market.

    Sorry, this was not a response to you. It was meant for the general comments section.

    Problem is, AIUI, speculators make money correctly betting on prices going up or down. So while flooding the market might prick the bubble, it won't stop speculation.

    Agreed. at this point, I'll except the prick.

    (Bad joke # 1..........I thought that we agreed that we weren't going to talk about Weiner)


    I'd agree, Mr. Smith.  I just flipped through five or six pages of my blogs, and they are incredibly varied.  Some are news of events, and sometimes due to thenature of the news they do question Obama policies strongly, but they are news, not just commentary or opinion.  That does rile some people, but they are free to respond, and often do.  And not always as politely as some on this thread would care to see.  ;o)

    I nominate LisB for the Dagblog Award for Parsimoniously Purging a Plethora of Pronouncements for eliciting 8,325 words in comments from a mere 39 word post! Jamie Dimon would be proud of that kind of leverage!

    Can anyone condense their ideas for Obama's to do list down to an achievement he can tout on a bumper sticker, or in a 30 second undecided voter influencing pre-election TeeVee commercial, after all isn't that the sort of stuff that gets politicians elected in the US? Americans now seem to be sick of war, how about a campaign theme Obama, The Peace President, or Got OBL and Didn't Start a New War to do It!

    OK, folks. I'm cutting off the meta at 6:00pm ET, so get your last licks in if you're into that sort of thing.

    Dear Lis, I realize that your intentions are good, but I think that you misunderstand one of the fundamental premises of Blogging is not a team sport. There are no good guys or bad guys or us vs. them at dagblog, just individuals exchanging words and ideas and barbs and banter.

    Your blog post attempts to frame the debates at dag as zero sum competitions between two teams. It says in short, "What a shame it is that the other team has taken over the blog."

    Naturally, those who view the blog this way have risen to the occasion, and an angry debate between proud team players ensued--as always happens on meta posts that smell like team spirit.

    And that sucks. It sucks away mutual respect. It sucks away contentful discussions. It sucks away the free exchange of ideas. It sucks away the pleasure of blogging.

    So while we always encourage and invite a diversity of ideas, we do not believe in shutting down a perceived faction for being too strong or vocal.

    Some on this thread have complained about a "gang" mentality, one of the never-ending refrains from TPM Cafe. I understand that lopsided debates can make people uncomfortable, and I would ask people involved in discussions to be mindful of overwhelming someone--even (especially) if they disagree strongly with them. I include in this point the mocking banter among friends that can sometimes make people feel like the butt of a group joke.

    That said, we're not going to monitor threads to the point that we tell people to back off because there are too many strong opinions on one side or the other. What we will do, as we have always done, is to discourage personal attacks the best that we can.

    Ultimately, it all works out a heck of a lot better if you don't see yourself as representing one side or the other. There was a brief golden era back at TPM Cafe after the 2008 primaries ended, when all of a sudden, people realized that the folks they had been screaming at for months weren't actually that bad.

    At dagblog, we've tried to maintain that kind of mutual respect. We haven't always been successful, but we're still trying.

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