Open Thread

Loose Change Is Hard To Belive In

Two years ago Barack Hussein Obama was elected President of the U.S. with  Democrats having a majority in  Congess and an almost fiflibuster-proof majority in The Senate. Tomorrow the politicl landscape will have changed somewhat.  To what degree depends largely on how many formerly energised Democratic supporters are “getting out the vote” because we know that a buzzed-up bunch of Tea-Baggers are going gangbusters to rally their people for E-Day.

Conventional Wisdom and assorted Solomons of Psephology like  Nate “NYT” Silver predict Dems will lose the Congress and hold The Senate by a whisker. Seems a fair call, but wouldn’t be surprised if the Dems get done in the Senate too. We’ve all had our two bob’s worth over the possible result and the reasons for it. In the next day, many of those quetions and points of conjecture will be answered.

1,024 replies on “Loose Change Is Hard To Belive In”

Joe Lieberman Out!

Joe Lieberman will not run for reelection in 2012, Connecticut Democratic sources tell HuffPost, ending his four-term Senate career. Two prominent House Democrats, Chris Murphy and Joe Courtney, are eyeing a bid, with Susan Bysiewicz, a thrice-elected former secretary of state, also jumping into the race.

Lieberman, who lost a 2006 primary to netroots insurgent Ned Lamont, will announce his retirement on Wednesday. “Senator Lieberman made a decision about his future over the holidays which he plans to announce on Wednesday,” a Lieberman spokesman said. In 2006, Lieberman ran under a party he created called Connecticut for Lieberman. Anti-Lieberman activists, however, have since taken it over.

As Lieberman deliberated, the new chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), told HuffPost that the party would consider supporting Lieberman if he returned to the fold.

“This is first a Connecticut decision. It’s a Joe Lieberman decision and we’ll work our way through all of that,” Murray said. “He and I have chatted a number of times.”

More here…

Kent Conrad To Retire.

In a big development for the 2012 Senate races, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) is set to announce that he is retiring, the Washington Post reports — opening up a red-state seat that could be very tough for the Dems to hold.

A moderate Democrat, Conrad was first elected to the Senate in 1986. He initially retired in 1992, but was then elected to the state’s other Senate seat in a late 1992 special election — making him the only person to have ever held both of his state’s Senate seats during the same day, when he was sworn in from one to the other. He was re-elected easily in 1994, 2000 and 2006.

It would be handy to get another liberal up. But I suspect that North Dakota would be just that little bit harder.

More here…

Obama Launches Review to Target ‘Excessive’ Regulations
by Elise Viebeck

President Obama said Tuesday he will sign an executive order to trim outdated and ineffective regulations that impede economic growth.

In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Obama said the country’s complex regulatory structures have sometimes had a “chilling effect” on job growth and, giving a nod to the priorities of the new House Republican majority, observed that small businesses often feel that burden.


Jan 18:


One of us: Cheney and Neocons praise Obama:

“…………former Bush NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden — one of the most ideological Bush officials, whose confirmation as CIA chief was opposed by then-Sen. Obama on the ground he had overseen the illegal NSA spying program — gushed with praise for Obama: “there’s been a powerful continuity between the 43rd and the 44th president.” James Jay Carafano, a homeland-security expert at the Heritage Foundation, told The New York Times’ Peter Baker last January: “I don’t think it’s even fair to call it Bush Lite. It’s Bush. It’s really, really hard to find a difference that’s meaningful and not atmospheric.”
Those are the nation’s most extreme conservatives praising Obama’s Terrorism policies. And now Dick Cheney himself — who once led the “soft on Terror” attacks — is sounding the same theme. In an interview last night with NBC News, Cheney praised Obama for continuing his and Bush’s core approach to Terrorism:…………”

70% of Americans Think Obama Hasn’t Brought About Enough Change.

I guess it’s my week to write about polls, because this number in the new Gallup poll on President Obama really jumps out.

Americans see room for improvement in several aspects of President Barack Obama’s leadership at the halfway mark of his term. Their broadest criticism is directed at the president’s record of bringing about changes the country needs — a central theme of his 2008 election campaign — with 70% saying he needs to do a better job of this.

More here…

NBC/WSJ Poll: Short Republican honeymoon.

That headline is right out of pollster Bill McInturff’s analysis:

The GOP’s short honeymoon

Republicans have now been in control of the House for less than two weeks, but the survey suggests an abbreviated honeymoon for the GOP.

Just 25 percent say that the Republicans in Congress will bring “the right kind of change” to the country. That’s compared with 42 percent who said that after Democrats took over the House in 2007, and 37 percent who said that after Republicans gained control in 1995.

In addition, a majority (55 percent) believe congressional Republicans will be too inflexible in dealing with President Obama, while an equal number (55 percent) say Obama will strike the right balance.

On House Republicans’ goal to repeal Obama’s health care law — an effort that cleared the chamber on Wednesday — 45 percent support eliminating the law and 46 percent oppose the GOP effort.

And attitudes about the Republican Party have declined, with 34 percent viewing the GOP positively and 40 percent negatively — down from its 38-37 percent favorable/unfavorable rating last month.

By comparison, the Democratic Party’s fav/unfav in the current poll is 39-35 percent, up from its 37-41 percents score from last month.

“I think this has been a pretty short Republican honeymoon,” McInturff says.

More here…

They’re lining up for Joe Lie Berman’s seat.
Joe Courtney (D-Conn)

Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn., 5th)

Susan Bysiewicz.

Rep. Chris Murphy To Announce Connecticut Senate Candidacy On Thursday

It looks like we have a couple of liberals at least.

balance of power changes in the senate.

-1 Repugs and blue dogs. +1 Democrats.

While on assignment in Canada in the early sixties, Boris and Natassia raised a clandestine love-child who they named Vierotchka, although Boris preferred to use the sobriquet, “Spookchik” when addressing his daughter. The kid did all the normal cloak and dagger stuff, was a natural code-breaker, spoke languages that flummoxed career linguists and adored Spy v Spy. While attending Deepcover Junior High, Vierotchka was tasked by Kontrol with her life’s mission………….. unweaving the moral fabric of Canadian society.

Her code name was Nora………. Nora Tittov.

Australia Opens Probe of CIA Rendition
By Scott Horton

Although Australian intelligence officials have consistently maintained that they knew nothing about Habib’s mistreatment in Egypt, their accounts have now been directly contradicted by eyewitness testimony. The evidence was so strong that the Australian Attorney General accepted mediation and agreed to a substantial government settlement on civil claims arising from his torture in Egypt.

The inspector general’s probe is designed to explore more fully the role that Australian intelligence officers played in the rendition and torture and to decide whether a formal criminal probe and prosecutions are appropriate.

With Gillard’s announcement, Australia now joins Britain, Germany, Poland, Spain, and Italy among the nations now conducting formal investigations into CIA renditions operations on their soil or involving their government personnel. Torture allegations figure prominently in each case.

Interesting to read stories like this in light of the articles about the pressure the US government put on Spain over it’s investigations along the same lines.

Yes it is, Hussey. Be good to see the IG’s probe parameters. As Sir Humphey said, don’t have one unless you know the outcome. And there’s only two results. Either ASIO were present at Habib’s torture in Egypt or they wern’t. I think The Rodent , his fleas and his fan club have good reason to be concerned.
Also, a positive finding would render top tory Tones vulnerable to a leadership challenge by Fauntleroy De Wenty. Tones has been a rusted-on Rodent Man from the get go.


Some Terrorism Scares Are More Useful Than Other Terrorism Scares
by Marcy Wheeler

“Because the press almost never covers these domestic terrorism incidents. And, just as importantly, our government doesn’t often (the biggest exception was the Hutaree bust) hold big press conferences to report on such events, partly is because most press conferences are about arrests, not unsolved crimes. Moreover, in spite of Neiwert’s and Bunch’s work, there is not one bogeyman, like al Qaeda, which the press can blame.
And without an easy and convenient bogeyman, terrorism scares don’t serve the same purpose for the press, or the government.”


Obama officials caught deceiving about WikiLeaks

“……….prosecution of WikiLeaks would hardly be inconsequential; it would likely be the first time in history that a non-government employee is convicted of “espionage” for publishing government secrets and, as such, would constitute one of the greatest threats to press freedom in the United States in a long time.”


Juxtaposed and seemingly unrelated homepage banner headlines tell a story about contempory UK priorities.


See ya later, schmuckens!

Jan 19:

Jan 20:

Jan 20:

Jan 19:

Google CEO Praises the NBN

Cerf heaped praise on the National Broadband Network, saying Australia was making a long-term investment that would “serve you incredibly well in ways that even I can’t figure out”.

“The idea of being able to export your talents without having to export your people … this is a very attractive proposition,” he said.

“I honestly envy the political will to make this kind of long-term investment.”

Quite handy information when getting in an argument with people on the NBN.

More here…

Good stuff gaffy. Great to hear. I hope there is a lot more to come.
Between this and the Wikileak files handed over. Something good should come out of the two.

Something good ya reckon, Chris? Me too.


“It is likely that historians in Tunisia and elsewhere in the region will note that a limpid-looking Australian called Julian Assange did more for their new freedom than all the heft of the US State Department.”


Sy Hersh confirms what we knew way before Gen. J. “Call me Gerry” Boykin saw satan hovering in the sky above Somalia. The U.S. Military-Industrial-Complex, first articulated as such by retiring US Pres. Dwight D. “Call me Ike” Eisenhower in Jan 1961 and beautifully captured near the end of the film “Good Night and Good Luck”, is dominated by fundy fruitloopists HQed in the Vatican (the fascists of opus dei) to the drive-in glass cathedrals and prayer towers(xtian minarets?)of the money sucking animals who finesse the rubes of Sep Nation via tele-evangelism.

“Put yer hands on the TV and pray with me brothers and sisters before sending your once in a lifetime donation to……..”

Over a long and distinguished career, Hersh, 73, has broken dozens of big stories about the US military, foreign policy and covert operations. In 1969 he exposed the army massacre of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai and the subsequent cover-up, for which he won the Pulitzer prize. His account of American military abuses of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib for The New Yorker in 2004 spurred reform and prosecutions.

12 Reasons Obama Wins in 2012.

The economy’s rebounding, his approval ratings are ticking up, and the GOP field is a mess. Mark McKinnon and Myra Adams on the president’s odds of a return ticket to the White House.

President Obama’s poll ratings are climbing. And the online prediction market Intrade has Obama at a 58.9 percent chance of winning a second term. Though November 2012 is light years away in political time, as Team Obama regroups in Chicago, they should be optimistic about their reelection prospects. Here are 12 reasons why:

1. Power of Incumbency

In the last 56 U.S. presidential elections, 31 have involved incumbents; 21 of those candidates have won more than one term. Based on these historical odds, Obama has a better-than-67-percent chance of winning reelection. In 2004, voters were not happy with the economy, the Iraq War or President Bush generally, and still he was reelected.

More here…

maybe with bags full of roubles the number one fox is off to, knock knock this must be london calling.

The hen house needs a firm fox to sort out the chickens and who better than the sly, shifty old coyote himself.

Rupert Murdoch is due in London next week, just as his company’s attempts to close down the phone hacking crisis are in tatters.

Murdoch tried to keep phone hacking cases out of the courts and out of the public eye through confidential settlements with the likes of football boss Gordon Taylor and PR guru Max Clifford. When that failed, the publisher of the News of the World insisted that phone hacking was the action of a single “rogue reporter” – jailed former royal editor Clive Goodman – and its executives chose to lash out.

Gaffy, great to hear Joe and his band “summons” Poppa Fox to Dick Whittington’s old bailiwick. The Dart domiciled offspring is clearly a monumental fuck up. His days as one of daddy’s Myrmidon Majors were numbered when junior began to bully the Beeb. Filthy rich foreigners, even long time exiled but Loaded expats can mess with pommies up to a point. However, there comes a time when there are things up with which The Establishment will not put.
Just ask Bondy.

Years ago when the boy from Moosefart, MN was more engaged politically than now he wrote a whimsical ballard about a one night stand. Have heard literally scores of versions but none as good as Bobby Darin’s masterful interpretation.

Btw did you catch the program about the Freedom Riders and the music that inspired them? It’s either on TV1 or TV2 “best of week” on the homepage.

After Ellsberg’s The Most Dangerous Man in America (also in “best of week” play agains), the story about the music and the people of those turbulent times fairly resonated.

Soldiers Forced to See Chaplain After Failing Spiritual Fitness Test

Ever since complaints about the GAT, which can only be described as an unconstitutional “religious test,” began to surface a few weeks ago, the Army has been bending over backward insisting that that spirituality doesn’t mean religion; that nothing in the CSF’s “Spiritual Fitness” training is mandatory; and that no soldier is being forced to do anything whatsoever if they flunk the test. But these claims from the Army are far from what the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) is hearing from soldiers who have failed the Spiritual Fitness section of the test.

Not crusaders, just spiritually aware.

Final Countdown: Keith Olbermann And MSNBC Announce They Are Parting Ways (VIDEO).

Keith Olbermann and MSNBC abruptly announced tonight that “Countdown” has ended, effective immediately.

Olbermann broke the news to his viewers during his show’s final sign-off (full video below). MSNBC issued a statement with the news following tonight’s episode. According to the New York Times, the host came to an agreement with NBC management late this week to step down. “Countdown” aired for just under eight years.

The bizarre timing of the announcement has raised a number of speculations, from Olbermann’s suspension last November to the departure of NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker in light of the network’s recent acquisition by Comcast.

More here…

Chris, Keith O is too good to not land on his two left feet sooner or later. He’ll be back, if not msnbc then on some progressive media outlet.

Hussey, when decent god-fearin’ Merkins workout to pump up their spiritual six-packs it means that no “Haji’s” gonna kick oily sand in their faces in front of their paramours when they “do” the beaches in Gulf and Southeast States.

New thread up, Ticsters.

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