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Old 11-04-2010, 02:55 AM   #151
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Oh, lord, soooooo much to comment on here, where do I begin...*Cracks knuckles*. Getting venting/angry commentary out of the way first, then ending on a positive/general note.

First off, the voting out of the Iowa judges really makes me want to cry . However, isn't there still a whole lot of crap the anti-gay crowd would have to go through in order to ultimately defeat the legalization of gay marriage? I'm no expert on how this stuff works, but anyone who has a bit more knowledge about it, enlighten me, I'd be interested to know just what else they have to do. Regardless, I'm certainly going to keep an eye on things related to that issue and fight like hell with all the means I have to stop the anti-gay crowd.

That does lead me to something else I found interesting, though. I was watching Rachel Maddow's show tonight and she was talking about this issue, as well as other ballot measures and such, that were defeated/approved, and I noticed a recurring theme kept coming up about "out of state interests" having a say in that stuff. Out of state interests were what helped push the "anti-activist judges" thing here, and of course, it's been active other times, too. And I'm kinda confused about that, because if we are leaving taking care of the issues up to each individual state, like so many insist it should be, then why exactly are people from other states trying to dictate who the judges for my state are and what they can vote on in regards to that issue (or any issue)? It's like when the Mormon church in Utah put all that money toward Prop 8 in California-you're in Utah, what the hell do you care what happens in California? Just further proof that the "let the states decide" mantra of conservatives is complete BS and confusing as hell.

What makes the decision about the judges all the more ironic is that for all the bitching about these three judges being "activists" (what exactly does that even MEAN?), two of them were appointed by a REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR, Mr. Branstad, who you guys just re-elected back to office! Make sense to anyone else? Yeah, didn't think so. Enough to make you want to bang your head against the nearest wall while screaming.

Oh, and Steve King is still around. Happy day for Iowa, indeed *Sigh*.

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Originally Posted by PhilsFan View Post
I disagree with socially conservative politics on basically every point: capital punishment, gay rights, abortion, etc.

I resent their almost unanimous conclusion that I'm an elitist non-American because I live in the northeast and support Democrats.

I'm insulted by their embrace and celebration of ignorance.
Ditto all of this, though I'd change the "elitist non-American" bit to, "I resent their almost unanimous conclusion that just because I live in 'middle America' naturally this means I'll be swayed by their borderline offensively patronizing small town, folksy, 'family values', rural babblings, and that I'll automatically fear those 'elitist big city people with their smooth-talking ways'."

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The establishment will now go about muzzling the Tea Party and destroying any of their potential presidential candidates for 2012. Count on it.
Pretty much. The Republicans have a very delicate dance to do right now. On the one hand they'll want to try and continue to distance themselves from the crazier antics of the party, but if they don't listen to them, that won't help them among the voters (and I will quite frankly have absolutely NO problem saying, "I told you so" to the people who voted for them when that happens. You should've been paying better attention, guys, sorry. You get what you voted for).

As depressing as much of last night's news was, I can still manage to see a potential silver lining in all of this. Nathan was absolutely right in saying the Republicans are something of a gift for Obama and the Democrats. Aside from the potentially destructive Tea Party/Republican Party merger/battle, having the Republicans there might light a fire under the Democrats and get them motivated to fight harder. If a miracle actually does happen and the Republicans DO learn to work with the Democrats, well, then, hey, fantastic . I'm not betting on that happening, but who knows. Plus, other presidents have had strong oppositions and managed to win re-election, so I'm not too worried about Obama's chances in that department for 2012.

(Personally, I'd love to see Obama go up against the Republicans the next two years the way he went at them at that retreat back in January. That would be awesome)

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Originally Posted by deep View Post
Obama has been campaigning with driving metaphors.

"You put your can in D to go forward
and R to go backwards."

Well, I'm waiting for a pundit to say he got his driver's license revoked.
Really, no kidding, I'm surprised that hasn't happened yet. I was watching most of the election coverage on my local CBS affiliate last night, but I saw clips from CNN-the hell was with that gaggleful of people in their headquarters? Seriously... Also, did anyone hear O'Reilly's bit about advising kids not to watch MSNBC because Democrats might be committing suicide there or things of that sort? Real charming, that. Idiot. Nice song choice from Jeannieco as well. I will never be able to hear that song the same way again, thanks to that sanity rally .

Despite all the wins that I wish hadn't happened, I am thrilled to death to see that O'Donnell, Angle, and Paladino lost their races. That was definitely some bright news. And deep mentioned the Colorado ballot stuff-the personhood amendment, the UFO thing-good to see that Colorado's still as loopy a state as ever . Kinda surprised to see that the marijuana measure lost in California-what's with that state lately, you guys are losing your uber-liberal status! Quite honestly, I wish pot were legal simply because if it was, last night's results would have had a LOT less anger attached to them. Then again, though, I saw a clip tonight talking about all the crazy ballot measures and bizarre comments from various politicians like Angle, the Arizona governor (whom I'm so happy to hear is still going to be governor, that's just great), or Paladino, Boehner supporting the Nazi dress guy, Grayson's firebrand "Republicans want you to die" speech, and so on, and there was so much strange stuff in that mix that the only thing I could think of was, "Say no to drugs". That's about the only way I can explain last night's results, because otherwise, I'm at a complete loss as to understanding how the HELL anyone voted for and allowed David Vitter to win.

*Deep breath* Okay. Long-winded yammering over now. Hooray if you manage to read all this.

Angela
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:20 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by Moonlit_Angel View Post

Also, did anyone hear O'Reilly's bit about advising kids not to watch MSNBC because Democrats might be committing suicide there or things of that sort?
I agree I wouldn't have said the suicide thing, but if you watched any of MSNBC's coverage, his point was dead on. There are officially no more pretenses at MSNBC. None. They jumped the shark if they hadn't already. Any iota remaining of them being a credible news outlet was lost. You simply cannot compare their coverage of this election or any election with FNC's. As far as news stories are concerned, Tuesday night was the biggest night of the past 2 years, and they failed miserably.
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:23 AM   #153
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Did they change any D's to R's?
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:44 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by HBK-79 View Post
What about the youth vote, the black vote, the Asian vote, and the Latino vote?

All I hear from my friends is that Obama will win again as long as the turnout in those demos is strong.
I think young people, African American people, Asian people, and Latino people all want some extra money in their pockets-and jobs
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:00 AM   #155
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Saw this in the paper this morning. A nice, if minor, display of civility after a very nasty campaign.

Kirk, Giannoulias Hold Local Beer Summit - Chicagoist

In a show of collegiality strikingly missing in this election cycle, Senator-elect Mark Kirk and defeated Democratic candidate Alexi Giannoulias met at the Billy Goat Tavern last night for a beer. “Alexi and I, during this campaign, we discussed having a beer when this is all over,” Kirk told CBS2. “The first round is on me.”

The 20-minute meeting was held at a small table, where the two men held a whispered conversation in front of a press corps that outnumbered patrons at the establishment made famous in a sketch on Saturday Night Live. Giannoulias gave Kirk a worn copy of "The Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln," and the two exchanged email addresses and phone numbers. “We had some private moments. I told him I want him to be a good senator,” Giannoulias told the Tribune. “I hope he succeeds, I really genuinely do from the bottom of my heart.”

Kirk said he was touched by the gift, adding that “through the campaign and the TV ads, it was tough,” Kirk said. “But off camera, he's a very likable guy.”

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Old 11-04-2010, 10:29 AM   #156
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It's kind of cute, I suppose. Any genuine sentiment is really not there since it's a staged photo op, though.
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:41 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by 2861U2 View Post
I agree I wouldn't have said the suicide thing, but if you watched any of MSNBC's coverage, his point was dead on. There are officially no more pretenses at MSNBC. None. They jumped the shark if they hadn't already. Any iota remaining of them being a credible news outlet was lost. You simply cannot compare their coverage of this election or any election with FNC's. As far as news stories are concerned, Tuesday night was the biggest night of the past 2 years, and they failed miserably.
MSNBC is the Fox News of the left. That's hard to argue with. Both are equally lacking in credibility.

Which is why I can compare their election coverage. They're two sides of the same coin.
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:50 AM   #158
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:35 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by PhilsFan View Post
MSNBC is the Fox News of the left. That's hard to argue with. Both are equally lacking in credibility.

Which is why I can compare their election coverage. They're two sides of the same coin.
I don't watch MSNBC at all, but I do listen to Ed Schultz on the radio now and then. Does MSNBC really try and portray themselves as a fair and balanced network?

I mean the pretense with Fox News is ridiculous. But, I guess there are enough people who don't realize that.

Still, cable news viewership is minuscule compared to the major networks. It all gets too much attention--so really, the bullshit is working.
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:56 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by 2861U2 View Post
I agree I wouldn't have said the suicide thing, but if you watched any of MSNBC's coverage, his point was dead on. There are officially no more pretenses at MSNBC. None. They jumped the shark if they hadn't already. Any iota remaining of them being a credible news outlet was lost. You simply cannot compare their coverage of this election or any election with FNC's. As far as news stories are concerned, Tuesday night was the biggest night of the past 2 years, and they failed miserably.
I did not see MSNBC's coverage, no, so I have no clue whether or not I'd agree with your statements. But of course, the very same could likely be said about Fox, too.

Mark pretty much said it all. Rachel's probably the person I enjoy watching most on MSNBC.

to the beer get-together. I agree, would've been better to do this sans media, but it's still nice nonetheless.

Angela
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:23 AM   #161
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Midwest at Dusk

By DAVID BROOKS
New York Times, November 4


If Balzac were alive today, he would plant himself in that region of America that starts in central New York and Pennsylvania and then stretches out through Ohio and Indiana before spreading out to include Wisconsin and Arkansas. He’d plant himself in the working-class families in this area. He’d do it because this is the beating center of American life—the place where the trajectory of American politics is being determined. If America can figure out how to build a decent future for the working-class people in this region, then the U.S. will remain a predominant power. If it can’t, it won’t.

It would take a Balzac to understand the perplexities and contradictions one finds in these neighborhoods. On the one hand, people are living with the daily grind of getting by on $40,000 a year, but they’re also living with Xboxes and smartphones. People in these places have traditional bourgeois values, but they live amid a decaying social fabric, with high divorce rates and skyrocketing single parenthood numbers. Many people in these neighborhoods distrust government but still look to it for help. They disdain Wall Street but admire capitalism. They are intensely patriotic but accustomed to globalization. If you talk to people on the coasts about The Sixties, they often think of Woodstock. If you ask people in this region about The Sixties, they might remember the last time there were plenty of good jobs instead.

The Midwest has lost a manufacturing empire but hasn’t yet found a role. Working-class people in this region overwhelmingly backed George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 but then lost faith in the Republican Party’s ability to solve their problems. By 2008, they were willing to take a flier on Barack Obama. He carried Ohio, Indiana and Iowa.

...On Tuesday, the Democrats got destroyed in this region. They lost five House seats in Pennsylvania and another five in Ohio. They lost governorships in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa. Republicans gained control of both state legislative houses in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Indiana and Minnesota. As Ronald Brownstein of the National Journal noted, “The stampede toward the GOP among blue collar whites was powerful almost everywhere.” Republicans captured at least 35 seats in the U.S. House in districts where the percentage of whites with college degrees lags behind the national average. The old industry towns in the Midwest were the epicenter of the disaster.

...Democrats have, at least temporarily, blown the opportunity they were given to connect with the industrial Midwest. Voters in this region face structural problems, not cyclical ones. Intensely suspicious of government, they are nonetheless casting about for somebody, anybody, who can revive their towns and neighborhoods.

...American politics are volatile because nobody has an answer for these people. They will remain volatile until somebody finds one.
My sense is that this is a pretty good read of the Midwest's political climate, at least the eastern portions of the Midwest (i.e. excluding the Plains states, which are often included in the category). Although those "old industry towns" comprise only small portions of the region, nowadays even the rural areas are far more dependent on light manufacturing and services than farming, so that the mood in the declining steel towns spills over into them. Half a century ago, these people's parents and grandparents found the abundant factory jobs a sturdy ladder from being (mostly) poor ex-farmers to secure, comfortable middle-class livelihoods, and took for granted their children could have the same or better. That economy is gone, and nothing that really resembles a replacement for it appears to be in the offing. Maybe when you're in SF or Seattle or NYC or DC it elicits anticipation and excitement to hear about "green jobs" or "the information economy," but no one here is buying it. It's not that they're opposed to those things, it's just that they don't have the ring of anything that sounds likely to support such large numbers of people across such broad swathes of territory within a single national economy. I also get the sense that most fear or suspect (probably rightly) that neither party really has any Big Ideas of a way up and out for them--the politicians will toss around vague if sensible-sounding stuff about better sci-tech education and more money for aspiring entrepreneurs' pockets, but they sure don't sound very clear or confident about what exactly the desired result might look like and how many new jobs it might deliver. And perhaps in truth it's a misunderstanding of what politicians are ultimately good for, and capable of facilitating, to really expect otherwise--but that's almost too despair-inducing to contemplate.

Now I didn't actually grow up here, so maybe I'm reading the regional mood wrong; maybe 2861, or Lies, or indra, or whoever else is from these parts would see a different picture. But this is more or less what I'm seeing, in my students, my neighbors, and all the other people I regularly interact with in my community. And as exasperating as all this rootless casting around for political 'deliverance' can be, I do understand the underlying sense of impending doom, and the panic that can foster. I just don't think that The Answer for problems this big lies much with whichever lever(s) you pull on Election Day.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:43 AM   #162
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Unfortunately, realistically solving "structural economic problems" (for instance, the parts of the US auto industry no longer functioning) means a lot of smacking unions around, telling people who have had long careers on the factory floor that their jobs are obsolete, and the monumental task of transitioning folks from assembling and tending to things to service jobs that require technical/computer skills.

It's very hard to win votes when you basically have to lay out to working-class people that, "your way of life is no longer sustainable in the economic reality of 2010, the groups you looked to for job protection are holding this country back economically, you need to leave the workforce to re-train, you need to modernize".

It'll be a lot easier to solve structural economic problems when baby boomers (many scared of re-training, many unable to financially, many are stubborn) retire, but until then good luck trying to modernize the working fabric of rural America.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:58 AM   #163
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Agreed it may be too late to help the Baby Boomers (that is, until the frighteningly close point when their eldercare bills start rolling in), but, I think the bulk of the smacking unions around and clearing obsolete people off the factory floor may have already been done. (I can just hear my many chronically under-employed neighbors sneering, "Factory floor? And which long-extinct factory would that be?") And I don't think most here fear re-training, either--though that's a hell of a lot of people to re-train. They just want to know what the endpoint is, what's in the offing for them and their children jobswise if they go for it, and that's what they're not hearing.
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:30 PM   #164
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Breaking news that Pelosi is running for minority leader. Let the chaos in the Democratic Party begin.

Nothing could be better for the GOP than to have her and Reid continue to be the face of the Democratic Party going into 2012.
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:10 PM   #165
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Breaking news that Pelosi is running for minority leader. Let the chaos in the Democratic Party begin.

Nothing could be better for the GOP than to have her and Reid continue to be the face of the Democratic Party going into 2012.
Keep in mind, however, that there is a lot less possibility of chaos in the Democratic party post-midterms because all the Blue Dog dems are gone. All of them. They got in back in 2008 on the back of dissatisfaction with the Bush administration, and now their swing states have gone Republican again. If anything the post-2010 Democratic Party will be more united than 2008 due to the absence of the Blue Dogs, who had to cover their own asses during the entire stimulus + healthcare debates.

I'm hoping they dump Pelosi.

I never liked her as a congressional leader, and unfortunately for her career she helped push through a lot of legislation during a period where the Republican Party had their horses in line and were able to oppose the house Dems and the President in lockstep. No matter who was Dem house leader during the first half of the term, he or she would have gotten battered, and Pelosi did.

I do think it is best for the Democrats to take a new house leader, but not someone who they want to groom into a future presidential candidate. The next two years will be absolute gridlock in Congress. Beyond a possible compromise on the Bush Tax Cuts for that 250K+ income bracket, I don't see any major legislation getting through from either side until 2012
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