Open Forum, Dec. 19 - 25



Most read stories on last week:

No. 1) Top wheelchair racer nearly lost family due to sex addiction

No. 2) Washougal incident: Stanbary accused of raping girl, 9

No. 3) Many questions, few answers in Washougal murder-suicide

No. 4) Police confirm 3 bodies found in Washougal home

No. 5) Washougal police chief takes stock of violence

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darn, and just when I saw the R's doing something I considered the right thing to do..........

*"The rank-and-file members are extremely opposed to it," said the GOP source, adding that most members were concerned with the uncertainty caused by just a two-month extension, **as well as the political benefit the White House could gain in the national dialogue over taxes.***

For a moment I'd forgotten what the House GOPer's are all about.

mrd — December 19, 2011 at 7:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Ron Paul is top in the latest two polls in Iowa, almost makes me want to tune into Fox news to see if their heads have in fact exploded.

frobert — December 19, 2011 at 9:11 a.m. ( | suggest removal

mrd — December 19, 2011 at 7:34 a.m.

I guess that's what you call "job security". If you have to vote again in two months, you'll have to be there. Of course it could just mean they are trying to screw the taxpayers and the President again.

I'm really getting sick and tired of all this BS.

hawkeye — December 19, 2011 at 9:50 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Let's hope we all can find a way to work together in 2012. And do it with a smile on our faces as well! :-)

Lou Brancaccio (Columbian Staff) — December 19, 2011 at 10:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Nail from the 17th @ 9:58pm

1. Title I. Quality, Affordable Health Care for All Americans This Act puts individuals, families and small business owners in control of their health care.

1A..Can you expand on how it's going to be different with the new plan...Seems like I have choices now..

2. It reduces premium costs for millions of working families and small businesses by providing hundreds of billions of dollars in tax relief – the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history.

2. A The largest tax cut in History??? So who is going to pay for the program and how much of a tax cut am I going to get lets say I'm making 50K and fam of 4...I don't have that info..

3. It also reduces what families will have to pay for health care by capping out-of-pocket expenses and requiring preventive care to be fully covered without any out-of-pocket expense.

3A. This is the most interesting part I believe..The capping part is important...What will be the capped amount?? This is more important for people who have life threating illneses that require expensive and on going care..

4.For Americans with insurance coverage who like what they have, they can keep it. Nothing in this act or anywhere in the bill forces anyone to change the insurance they have, period.

4A. While that is whats being touted, If I understand this one thing to be accurate. Companies can drop there current Insurance program and sign up for the Government option "Obamacare" which is suppose to be more affordable to have. Does that mean companies will drop there current plans due to possible lower pemiums under Obamacare.. Where will these people work who Ins company is now losing out business to the Government???

The bottom line with the AHCP, is it's going to be paid for by all taxpayers... So if so how is the actual cost given all perameters going to cost me less in the long run? Can you explain that with actual facts and numbers..I'm not buying what he is selling yet...


vanwadreamer — December 19, 2011 at 10:46 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Perry vs. teenage girl on DADT: Here are some other campaign dispatches over the weekend that you shouldn’t miss from the largest and most complete political site on the web, On Sunday night, NBC’s Carrie Dann reports, Rick Perry was approached by a teenage girl, who questioned him about his recent Iowa ad taking aim at gays serving openly in the military. "I'm just wondering why you're so opposed to gays serving openly in the military and you want to deny their freedom when they're fighting and dying for your right to run for president?" asked 14-year-old Rebecka Green, who was accompanied to the Decorah town hall by her father, Todd. Perry, who has faced scattered protests on the issue throughout his bus tour in Iowa, told the young woman that he believed President Barack Obama was pressured to change a functional "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy by a progressive voting bloc. “‘Don't Ask Don't Tell’ was working," Perry said, later adding: "This president was forced by his base to change that policy."

**Nice sidestepping Mr. Perry. Perfect response, "if you ask, I won't tell".**

hawkeye — December 19, 2011 at 10:57 a.m. ( | suggest removal

The Republicans want to extend the whole thing for a year while the democrats want two months. The democrats, of course, don't want the one year plan because they want to use everything they can as campaign propaganda, especially so with "his arrogance" in the White House. I find it very amusing how democrats had no problem with obama and his puppets ignoring everything the Republicans came up with while they were in charge of both the House and the Senate. Now, the fools cry foul because they can't ram their crap down everyone's throats. I hope that after the elections next year, the Republicans own both the House and Senate and obama is president. I can't think of a better deal than that. "his arrogance" will have to come up with a different strategy. He'll find out what Custer felt like at "Little Big Horn", surrounded and no place to go.

cranky — December 19, 2011 at 11:32 a.m. ( | suggest removal

vanwa- Any info I get you can obtain also. Projected costs are just that. In addition to the extensive and informative sites I've posted for you, you can also write Senator Murray for further info if needed.

nailingit — December 19, 2011 at 1:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal

cranky- Turn the channel.

The biggest challenge of a yearlong extension is finding a way to pay for it. The House and Senate already failed to agree on a long-term deal because they couldn't settle on offsets. The current two-month extension costs $33 billion and is paid for via new fees on banks doing business with mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Assuming a yearlong extender package contains the same elements, it would carry a price tag of about $200 billion.

nailingit — December 19, 2011 at 1:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal

**Sarah Palin On 2012 Presidential Run: 'It's Not Too Late'**

Hold on Baggers, there's hope!!!

nailingit — December 19, 2011 at 1:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit: I can't imagine who is going to be the person to jump into the R race at the 11th hour, but, if it is Sarah, she'll just add to the sideshow. It makes for fun entertainment.

Here's some lighter fare: The house featured on Home Alone is for sale in beautiful Winnetka, Cook County, IL:

Nearly 2 million, but, hey, they reduced the price by about $170,000 last month.

I have been having a Christmas movie marathon while trying to configure a computer. Home for the Holidays, Home Alone, and Love Actually: can't get enough.........

Oh, yes: check out the Portlandia spoof of Vancouver. Funny, funny, funny!

manthou — December 19, 2011 at 4:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal

This Oregonian guest opinion caught my attention today, too:

The political hate mongering that goes on in some blogs should diminish, I would think, with the threat of financial liability of this magnitude.

manthou — December 19, 2011 at 6:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal

You guys really need to read this. It explains SO much.

hawkeye — December 19, 2011 at 10:09 p.m. ( | suggest removal

***And then there is the question that keeps rolling around in my head. If this captcha thing is to prevent computers from posting, how does the computer know if you've copied the words properly?***

hawkeye — December 19, 2011 at 10:11 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Here's an easy way to contribute to a charity in the area and it won't cost a penny. Go to and just by clicking on the site today $1.00 will be contributed by the owner's friends & family to the list of charities that is provided. He wants to reach 5,000 unique hits.

Welcome to Buck-a-Hit Day

Thanks for coming to this blog on our ninth annual Buck-a-Hit Day. Just by visiting here today, you have caused the Gift-Giving Team to give $1 to one of our six designated charities. We'll throw in a buck a hit for the first 5,000 unique visits (as measured by SiteMeter).

Read more:

buckeye — December 20, 2011 at 6:28 a.m. ( | suggest removal

hawkeye @ 10:11 PM: Thanks much for the informative link last night. I was literally just reading it when my spouse came down the stairs saying that we needed to contact Ms. Herrera Beutler NOW about this very issue.

The Senate's vote was overwhelmingly bi-partisan! What gives with the House of Representatives?

Your link explains so much.

Does she really listen to our feedback? Or does she listen to hand-picked bobble heads who only shake their noggins yes?

manthou — December 20, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. ( | suggest removal

manthou — December 20, 2011 at 8:30 a.m

As we all know, she is just another Boehner clone. Whatever he says, she does. Of course the mail I get from her says different, her actions speak volumes.

hawkeye — December 20, 2011 at 8:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I have noticed with great appreciation that Lou B has joined Matt in paying us brief and friendly visits once again.

I have also noticed that his banter with the FB folks has taken on a playful, friendlier substance that goes beyond the usual, "Great discussion today, folks."

I have been saying off and on for a long time now that you cannot develop relationships with loyal readers when the only time you come on to comment is to deliver a slap on the hand or defensive rationale.

Whatever the motivation for the change (and it is a change that is obvious), it is welcome and appreciated and it works. Keep it up, please!

manthou — December 20, 2011 at 8:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal

The Polar Plunge at Goose Lake, in Alaska was a success!
1200 took the plunge and raised over $323,000 for Special Olympics.
Very proud of my grandson who was one of the 1200.
He wants to do it again next year.

Before we leave for vacation..just wanted to say..
Hawkeye again Happy Birthday! Mine is tomorrow.

My Christmas wish is..

We all have lists of things to do, buy or give..
we have grocery lists, honey do lists,..
and of course a Christmas list..

My Christmas wishlist this year is simple..

I wish health for everyone, for those who have been ill, to regain strength, those in pain to have relief. A cure for all those who are terminally ill.

I wish prosperity for all, those without jobs to find one, those with a job a raise.

I wish every child to receive at least one gift this Christmas that is their hearts desire.

I have heard some say that all they wanted for Christmas was world peace. Well, world peace would be good, but it's only possible under one condition. It is for all nations to surrender their armies and their sovereignty to a global government such as the U.N. Can’t you imagine what a nightmare that would be! Absolute power in the hands of fallen men will always become a horror of oppression.
I wish the American people would reject the cult of celebrity and take as their role models honorable, upright men and women. I wish our churches were changing the world rather than adapting to it. I wish we could somehow reclaim our children from drugs, sex, and hopelessness. I wish our schools taught the truths and traditions of our nation instead of dumbed-down, multicultural tripe. I wish our chosen leaders were motivated by patriotism and honor instead of vanity and greed. I wish our president would enforce our immigration laws and other principles he once professed. I wish our national parties were not corrupted by Leftist ideology on the one hand and transnational corporations on the other. I wish, I wish...

ELISI — December 20, 2011 at 9 a.m. ( | suggest removal

"If the blind lead the blind, then they all
fall into the ditch."
{ Matthew 15:14 }

nailingit — December 20, 2011 at 10:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit: Jesus, if he were alive today and wanted to vote, would certainly not register as a Republican :)

On another note: The House killed the tax cut passed by the Senate only days ago by a bipartisan majority.

They are bound and determined to make sure President Obama does not enjoy any major victories, if they can help it, constituents-be-damned.

What they don't understand is that they are helping the Dems and our President by doing this.

manthou — December 20, 2011 at 11:46 a.m. ( | suggest removal


i join you in your christmas list. i wish that, somewhere in our country, there is another jfk, or another lincoln, even another reagan. we need to elect eagles, because the nation is dying from this diet of nothing but turkeys.

our constitution has created a nation that shone with the effects of freedom for 235 years. may God protect it and our country. now is the time to stand up and be counted.

DeeLittle — December 20, 2011 at 12:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Presidents with bullet holes in them? Huh. ;^)

Drift — December 20, 2011 at 12:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal

manthou — December 20, 2011 at 11:46 a.m.


Republicans in House Reject Deal Extending Payroll Tax Cut

House Republicans on Tuesday soundly rejected a bill approved by the Senate that would have extended the payroll tax cut for most Americans beyond the end of the year and allowed millions of unemployed people to continue receiving jobless benefits.

The House vote, which passed 229 to 193, also calls for establishing a negotiating committee so the two chambers can resolve their differences. Seven Republicans joined Democrats in opposition.

But the Senate has left town for the year, and Democrats say they do not intend to call it back, putting continuation of the tax cut in jeopardy and leaving a shadow over many unemployed Americans as the holidays near.

manthou, you are correct. The Republican'ts keep this up and there won't be anymore in the House to argue with. These guys are cutting their own throats. I have always thought that in order to get your way, you really need to pick your fights, not fight ALL the time.

My Christmas wish is for the congress to work TOGETHER for the betterment of the country.

hawkeye — December 20, 2011 at 12:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal

**DRIFT** "Presidents with bullet holes in them? Huh. ;^)"

congratulations. that just got you on perm ignore.

DeeLittle — December 20, 2011 at 12:55 p.m. ( | suggest removal

hawkeye: At 12:49 you wrote this:

**I have always thought that in order to get your way, you really need to pick your fights, not fight ALL the time.

My Christmas wish is for the congress to work TOGETHER for the betterment of the country.

Insightful words! I agree!

manthou — December 20, 2011 at 12:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal


why no "arrrrgggggh" for the senate that replaced the house's one-year extension bill with a 2-month extension bill, thru it at the house then left town?

seems the r's have a point here.

DeeLittle — December 20, 2011 at 1:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal

correction: thru=threw

DeeLittle — December 20, 2011 at 1:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal

DeeLittle — December 20, 2011 at 1:04 p.m.

Since I haven't read it, I can't say why the Senate didn't like it, but don't you think that it would be better to keep something in place during the holidays and give them time to work together after they come back rather than be rushed into making a decision that would not be beneficial to everyone involved? I have a feeling that the House stuck a rider in with the extension that should not have been there, like that pipeline deal. That should be a separate issue that has nothing to do with this extension.

I believe ALL bills should be single subjects or the President should be given line item veto power.

hawkeye — December 20, 2011 at 1:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal

hawkeye- The Republicans are insisting to pay for the payroll tax cut with program cuts and downsizing, putting all of the burden on the middle class. They also want many riders attached that push a "conservative" agenda (to include some kind of "mandatory "small government" drug testing). The Dems want to pay for it by a modest revenue shot in the arm from the upper 1%. Obama, Senate Repubs and Dems agreed it's too important not to pass, so wanted to give it another two months for discussion.

Why do the Republicans always insist tax cuts for the middle class have to be paid for, and tax cuts for the rich pay for themselves?

manthou & hawkeye- I wish I had your confidence this will benefit the Dems at election time. Think 2010, a couple of years removed from losing 750,000 jobs a month, to positive job growth...these people want to return to Bush policies and they were voted in. Amazing!

Fox news, Limbaugh, pastors and preachers, so many influencing bigoted and narrow-sighted minds to make sure they get out the vote. The American voting public has an enraged case of ADD that not only hurts us as a nation, but makes us the laughing stock of the world.

manthou- nailingit: Jesus, if he were alive today and wanted to vote, would certainly not register as a Republican :)

I agree, and it sounds like he was too smart to register as an independent, too liberal for a Libertarian, so that leaves..:)

nailingit — December 20, 2011 at 2:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Well there you have it Dee, what would you have done? Seeing as your "team" wants to change the rules, how would you have voted? Stick with what is working for two more months while everyone has a chance to work on it or blindly push ahead with something that nobody really knows how it will end up?

hawkeye — December 20, 2011 at 3:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal

hawk and nail (sounds like boutique Hardware store or somethin'): Jaime HB voted with the Dems on the payroll tax cut! Wow! I think I will sit down and thank her right now!

Maybe she is getting the message. Maybe she is getting a spine. Maybe she is actually thinking of her constituents!

manthou — December 20, 2011 at 3:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit — December 20, 2011 at 2:51 p.m
well you nailed it there alright. Well put and to the point.
I just don't get it. What does it take to realize that this country is screwed without a middle class? Do we really have to go back to oligarchy-a few "nobles" and many serfs and peons? Is that what they want?
I need to see Obama get his mojo back and show his anger and finally, finally stand his ground. This useless congress has gotten its way too long, with pitiful results. Time to kick booties and make them work.

luvithere — December 20, 2011 at 4:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Per Vice Pres Biden -

“Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That’s critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests. If, in fact, the Taliban is able to collapse the existing government, which is cooperating with us in keeping the bad guys from being able to do damage to us, then that becomes a problem for us.”

So, because our Pres has not come out and said the Taliban are our enemy, they're not? What about the fact that the Taliban has been fighting our presence since Day 1 in that country? What about the fact that the Al Qaeda operations there were decimated early on - before going into Iraq - and that our enemy there since then has in fact been the Taliban? What about the fact that of our over 1850 US military deaths in that country, about 1500 have occurred since Pres Obama took office? This can be tied largely to our increased military presence, with escalation coming on Pres Obama's watch. With a minimal Al Qaeda presence in the area - mostly in Pakistan - just who was the enemy we were fighting if not the Taliban?

This could be considered a stupid comment, except that the White House Press Secretary is defending the Vice Pres. If the Administration believes they can start making these remarks to pacify the Taliban prior to our pending withdrawal, they're sadly mistaken. The bloodbath will start before we shut the door behind us.

An expanded version of the Vice Pres's comments - which is harder to find than it ought to be - brings out that he preceded the offending comments by saying the issue was that the Taliban harbored Al Qaeda - that if they would have stopped doing so, then we wouldn't have had a problem with them. Perhaps so - but they elected another path. Which made them our enemies then, and they remain so to this day.

roger — December 20, 2011 at 4:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Re: the house vote today on payroll tax cut.

Unfortunately this wasn't actually a vote on the cut, it was a vote to send the bill to conference. A yes vote sends it to conference, a no vote doesn't. Either way the bill is not being passed. Speculation on the left leaning blogs is that Boehner was afraid that enough of his caucus would tell him where to go and vote for the bill so he didn't allow a vote. So now it goes to conference, of course there are no senators around to have any meetings. They are scheduled to return on the 23rd of Jan. While I am glad that JHB voted the way she did the vote was effectively meaningless.

Boehner has already nominated eight of his folks to the conference committee and it seems that at least five of his appointees are against the cut anyway. Politics as usual from the republican side.

dfsadfh — December 20, 2011 at 5:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal

luvithere- It seems the middle class is a thorn in the paw of an out of control congress. They wouldn't even allow the payroll tax cut to be voted on, because they knew the votes existed to pass it. It's the baggers and a few others that are doing this. Boehner thought he had the vote and O'Connell signed off on it. Then the high hard one from Boehner with a cantor popper and the middle class is getting nailed.

It will be interesting to see the jobs these one termers get when they leave. They're doing big $$/Corp/ bidding and I'm sure they will get there's on departure. This is not only wrong, but it's anti-American imo. Not the process, but these faux "strict constitutionalists", that are shredding the very document they claim to love.

Politicians are elected to do the will of the people. Man does this underscore a short term limit like congress gets.

This is right wing tyranny, not only this but with so many other issues such as restricting voter rights, union busting, forced austerity while the 1% make record profits. Somethings gotta change and it's not going to be the Republicans to bring it.

nailingit — December 20, 2011 at 7:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal

NASA announced Monday the discovery of Kepler-22b, the first planet the Kepler spacecraft has discovered in the habitable zone, an area with a distance from a star where temperatures will permit the existence of liquid water.

The discovery of Kepler-22b, which is 600 light-years away from Earth, brings scientists one step closer to finding a planet that could possibly harbor life.

"This is a major milestone on the road to finding Earth's twin," Douglas Hudgins, Kepler program scientist said in a statement. "Kepler's results continue to demonstrate the importance of NASA's science missions, which aim to answer some of the biggest questions about our place in the universe."


Kepler-22b has several Earth-like characteristics: The new planet's temperature is around 72 degrees Fahrenheit and its radius is 2.4 times Earth's. The planet completely orbits its star, which is similar to our sun, every 290 days, just 75 days shy of an Earth year.

Last week, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory announced the discovery of Kepler-21b, a new planet with a radius 1.6 times Earth's. But unlike Kepler-21b, which is only about 3.7 million miles away from its sun and is therefore a scorching 2,960 degrees Fahrenheit, Kepler-22b is about 79 million miles from its sun, coming in at a pleasant 72 degrees.

nailingit — December 20, 2011 at 7:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal

**The GOP's Payroll Tax Fiasco
How did Republicans manage to lose the tax issue to Obama**?

Senate Republicans say Mr. Boehner had signed off on the two-month extension, but House Members revolted over the weekend and so the Speaker flipped within 24 hours.

nailingit — December 21, 2011 at 7:19 a.m. ( | suggest removal

**Jules Manson, Failed Tea Party Candidate, Calls For Assassination Of Obama, First Daughters**

"Assassinate the f----- n----- and his monkey children," Manson commented on his own post, according to a screen shot uploaded by Facebook group "Americans Against the Tea Party" and relayed by Your Black Politics blog.

The post has since been scrubbed from his Facebook profile, replaced with an explanation that the comments were "careless, emotionally driven remarks that had no real substance."

**Manson, an avid Ron Paul supporter and libertarian**, also writes that he has since been visited by the Secret Service, with whom he says he cooperated fully as he "was hiding nothing."

nailingit — December 21, 2011 at 7:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit — December 21, 2011 at 7:34 a.m.

He's giving the name "Manson" a bad rap.

hawkeye — December 21, 2011 at 7:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal

"Well there you have it Dee, what would you have done? Seeing as your "team" wants to change the rules, how would you have voted? Stick with what is working for two more months while everyone has a chance to work on it or blindly push ahead with something that nobody really knows how it will end up? " hawkeye

1. my 'team' is the la lakers

2. the rules were broken by the senate. the house & senate speakers have collaborated on this bill, nothing was added to the house bill that the senate didn't know was coming.

3. CHANGE THE RULES: the rules says a senate bill and a house bill that have different contents go to committee to arrive at a blend acceptable to both houses.

WHAT DID THE SENATE DO? instead of letting it go to committee, it threw it's version back at the house, DEMANDED it be passed as-is, and then promptly left town.

the r's have a point here.

BTW... i will discuss/debate, but i won't engage with anyone who's only critical thinking skills are looking for 'his team's ' talking points. i'm not goldie.

DeeLittle — December 21, 2011 at 10:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Dee Little,
WELL SAID. talking points are just action..It's just one big blame game..I had to laugh about a poster on the FB side.. Jim Moeller.. He said the same crap that congress is saying.. OBTW its Christmas and "MY family is more important than yours and working even another day takes away from my family" At least we passed a little spending cut before the holidays.. I don't know about anyone else but My BUTT is working all the way through the holidays..

On a side note I’m sure all heard our VP so eloquently say yesterday that the Taliban are not our enemy.. My son just went back to Afghanistan recently to fight these folks.. Maybe the President ought to inform our VP what in the heck we are doing over there. OTR the president has his you know what up his you know what.. That’s why he is doing such a crappie job both here and abroad..

What is up with people today that can't see what a terrible job he has done and if elected we'll look more like the Bankrupt Europe the next four years.

vanwadreamer — December 21, 2011 at 2:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal

As President Obama and Democrats battle during this holiday season to enact a tax cut for the 99 percent of Americans who constitute the heart of the nation, House Republicans are making a seismic political blunder reminiscent of the self-destructive overreaching of then-Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) that rejuvenated the Clinton presidency during the 1990s.

The GOP House should pass the bipartisan Senate compromise to continue the payroll tax cut and jobless benefits that was supported by President Obama, 89 senators — Senate Democrats, Senate Republican leaders, a strong majority of GOP senators — and House Democrats.

Recent economic data points suggest a potentially important uptick in economic growth and job creation. Failure to extend the payroll tax cut and jobless benefits will cause an economic setback and would be the equivalent of an attack against economic growth, job creation, consumer confidence, business confidence and public confidence by a House GOP that acts like the prisoner of a far-right faction at the expense of the nation as a whole.

nailingit — December 21, 2011 at 2:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Sen. Scott Brown (R- Mass.) denounced House Republicans for rejecting a payroll tax cut deal on Tuesday, and accused his colleagues of putting politics before the needs of American families.

"It angers me that House Republicans would rather continue playing politics than find solutions," Brown said in a statement released shortly after the House voted to block the bipartisan bill. "Their actions will hurt American families and be detrimental to our fragile economy. We are Americans first; now is not the time for drawing lines in the sand."

nailingit — December 21, 2011 at 2:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal

The conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board is slamming House Republicans today for their hard-line position on the payroll tax cut, writing that GOP lawmakers are throwing the 2012 election to President Barack Obama before it even begins.

Read more:

nailingit — December 21, 2011 at 2:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal

1par·ti·san noun
\ˈpär-tə-zən, -sən, -ˌzan, chiefly British ˌpär-tə-ˈzan\

Definition of PARTISAN

: a firm adherent to a party, faction, cause, or person; especially : **one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance**
a : a member of a body of detached light troops making forays and harassing an enemy
b : a member of a guerrilla band operating within enemy lines
— partisan adjective
— par·ti·san·ly adverb
— par·ti·san·ship noun
Variants of PARTISAN

par·ti·san also par·ti·zan
Origin of PARTISAN

Middle French partisan, from north Italian dialect partiźan, from part part, party, from Latin part-, pars part
First Known Use: 1555
Rhymes with PARTISAN

advance man, Alcoran, also-ran, Ameslan, anchorman, as one man, astrakhan, Astrakhan, ataman, Athelstan, attackman, balmacaan, Bantustan, ...

nailingit — December 21, 2011 at 2:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal

While I won't dispute the "Up tick" claim. You can do anything you want with numbers to make yourself look good. But the dems dropped off over 300K people from the unemployment stats last month so sure it looks a little better. And I guess you just want the one percent to give to the 99 % so they can be better off. I don't buy it. I earn every dollar I make. I give generously throughout the year, I'm not wealthy at all but give waht and when I can. Just like the folks at the Hilton picketing over low wages,, Thos jobs are not skilled labor "per Say" kinda like Biden there, thought you might like that.. Thats why they are minimum wage jobs..None of his programs have increased what the left would call working mans wages.. He is a a fraud if you ask me.. He wants us to become a socialistic country, go move to one and see how you like what you take home after taxes there..

vanwadreamer — December 21, 2011 at 2:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal

"WHAT DID THE SENATE DO? instead of letting it go to committee, it threw it's version back at the house, DEMANDED it be passed as-is, and then promptly left town. DeeLittle"

Sorry Dee but the Senate didn't have a "version". What they had was the SAME bill we have been under. All they wanted to do was extend it for TWO more months to give them AND the House time to work things out instead of having the House Republican'ts send them a bill with things the public and the Senate and the President don't want.

How hard is that to understand? Why wouldn't Boehner go along with this? He's just trying to screw with the President AGAIN. What a jerk.

BTW, the Lakers suck.

hawkeye — December 21, 2011 at 2:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I'm thinking this argument is a waste of time.

1 - The tax cut is a joke. The "2% payroll tax cut" is from our Social Security tax; Congress has done nothing to cut back on the general fund that they spend from. So, we're basically putting less into savings now, and will most likely have less for the future. And there's no indication this cut has created jobs, so why should it be continued?

2 - Both parties are at fault. When the Dems controlled the House, the Repubs couldn't get any legislation they were interested in heard - it was all about health care and whatever else Speaker Pelosi was interested in. So now that the Repubs have the House, Speaker Boehner is playing the same game. And everything they pass gets round can filed by the Senate Dems. We had a Super Committee to work toward compromise and hash out a deficit reduction plan. Neither side would budge. Both sides share the blame - equally.

It would be nice to suggest that the solution is to elect moderates - from both parties - who'll work together. But this leaves out our national demographics. We've changed the face of the US over the past 50 years - people have migrated to different parts of the country, and tended to settle where they feel most comfortable. Consequently, different sections of the country are vastly different. People back in Richmond VA truly believe in Eric Cantor, while we here in WA (at least up in the Puget Sound, where the majority live) believe in people like Patty Murray. And both areas see the other as evil.

An optimist will say the pendulum always swings back to the middle - that the current dysfunction is transitory. But one of these days we won't be able to fix Humpty Dumpty... and then what?

roger — December 21, 2011 at 4:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Boycott the NBA - Go Zags!

roger — December 21, 2011 at 4:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal


excepting your horrible sports ideas, i gotta agree...mostly.

both sides play politics. but there's politics...then there's POLI TICKS.

clinton was the reverse of obama...clinton had both houses repub's, and he HAD to work w/the speakers....mainly gringrich. together, they solved problems, fixed the budget, and had a very good gvt.

now..what have we got? obama, in HIS 1st months, had ALL congress. he (pelosi) literally locked the r's out of the meetings. didn't even give lip service to having their input, and pelo was seen on nat'l tv crowing.. WE WON. GET OVER IT. can't much blame the r'sif they're a little..uh.. paranoid now.

health care awoke most americans to what kind of change obama really had in mind, tea parties sprung up and the house was voted repub. what happened?

suddenly, we're a country of classes...and our glorious leader is leading a class warfare uprising. what else could he do? the country turned against him, so he did what a true politican-slash-nothing else does: started fires the media would cover that he could then stomp on and be hero again...anything to distract voters from his performance as president.

and so it continues....the 2-wk bill had more to do w/politics than any service to the people. by putting it off until 2012, obama can drag it out forever...remember, glorious leader was AND IS a follower of saul alinsky, who famously advised, 'never let a good crisis go to waste'.

DeeLittle — December 21, 2011 at 7:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Ebert drives the nail home with his observation. The Alinsky thing is heavily promoted by Glenn Beck and others. LOL

**Saul Alinsky pours for the Tea Party**

I had heard a great deal about Saul Alinsky's book Rules for Radicals, but had never read them. The Right has demonized Alinsky, linking him to Obama. Curious to know more, I went to Wikipedia and found the Rules themselves.

As I read them, it occurred to me that these Rules are strategic, not ideological. Alinsky was of the Left, but the Rules have no party.

**As I look around America in 2010, it occurs to me that the group currently using these Rules most effectively is the Tea Party.**

From Wikipedia:

* Rule 1: Power is not only what you have, but what an opponent thinks you have. If your organization is small, hide your numbers in the dark and raise a din that will make everyone think you have many more people than you do.

* Rule 2: Never go outside the experience of your people. The result is confusion, fear, and retreat.

* Rule 3: Whenever possible, go outside the experience of an opponent. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.

* Rule 4: Make opponents live up to their own book of rules. "You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity."

* Rule 5: Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It's hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.

* Rule 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy. "If your people aren't having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic."

* Rule 7: A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag. Commitment may become ritualistic as people turn to other issues.

* Rule 8: Keep the pressure on. Use different tactics and actions and use all events of the period for your purpose. "The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this that will cause the opposition to react to your advantage."

* Rule 9: The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself.

* Rule 10: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Avoid being trapped by an opponent or an interviewer who says, "Okay, what would you do?"

* Rule 11: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it. Don't try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame.

nailingit — December 21, 2011 at 10:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal

If you watch the video, Beck’s story of Lucifer ‘receiving all the credit’ is pulled ONLY from Mormon theology. I’m not here to discredit that, but I will note that it is wholly different from other views on Lucifer. Why? Because in Mormon Theology, Lucifer Christ are brothers. But what about in Orthodox Jewish theology? This is important because Alinsky was not Christian (I note that many evangelicals would not consider Mormons Christian) but raised Orthodox Jewish. He retained his Jewish beliefs, although not quite so Orthodox. Alinsky didn’t believe in Christianity nor really even in Lucifer, as in segments of Judaism, Lucifer is the one who tests people for God.

But, you know what else is really funny? The Tea Party and other grassroots groups are starting to use Alinsky’s book.

nailingit — December 21, 2011 at 11:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Poll Finds Fox News Viewers Significantly Misinformed

A poll conducted by has found that the higher amounts of money flowing to the 2010 elections led to a more poorly informed public. The poll, titled "Misinformation and the 2010 Election: A Study of the U.S. Electorate," was the first conducted after a national election since the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission, which freed corporations and unions to spend unlimited money to influence U.S. elections. The poll found strong evidence that voters were significantly misinformed on many issues that figured prominently in the 2010 election campaign, including the stimulus legislation, the healthcare reform law, TARP, the state of the economy, climate change, campaign contributions by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and President Obama’s birthplace. In most cases, increased exposure to news sources decreased misinformation, but exposure to certain news sources were found to create higher levels of misinformation. For example, people who watched Fox News almost daily were significantly more likely to hold beliefs that are not true, including that their own income taxes have gone up, that most scientists do not believe climate change is occurring, that most economists estimated the new health care reform law will worsen the deficit, that most Republicans opposed the TARP bailout, and that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and cannot legitimately serve as president.

Main Source:, December 10, 2010

nailingit — December 21, 2011 at 11:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal

This isn't the first study that has found that Fox News viewers more misinformed in comparison to others. Last year, a study from the University of Maryland found that Fox News viewers were more likely to believe false information about politics.

nailingit — December 21, 2011 at 11:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit at 11:22 PM: I know I have repeated this before: half the population have IQs under 100.

I truly think that this explains why so many voters rely on others to do their higher-level thinking for them (smarter politicians and news media), why they are so easily mislead and why they continue to vote against their own best interest. They choose a position based on aspirations or ideology only and cannot evaluate the deeper implications.

When you pair a lower IQ with lack of exposure to diversity (someone who never left their small home town to go to college or to travel, someone who does not read a wide range of material), it makes the situation even worse.

I am truly not trying to be mean or disrespectful here. It is the truth of the concept of normal distribution, proven statistical science.

manthou — December 22, 2011 at 8:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal

manthou- I get where you are coming from. A low IQ seemingly would be more susceptible to environmental stimuli than a higher one. The ability to reason and problem solve, when tainted with years/decades of environmental ideological thinking, regardless of what that thinking is, has to be impaired/shaped to a decent degree. Not to be disrespectful to people that depend heavily on religion for their self identity, but those who source an invisible entity, i.e. Christianity, Mormonism, Muslim, etc. as their reason for voting against controversial issues such as abortion and gay rights, hold ground that can't be broken as it's based in environment/family/ideological experiences, and many times these folks lack the where with all to grasp the long term consequences of their decision making. I echo your remark, I am truly not trying to be mean or disrespectful here, just trying to understand this 'reasoning that flies in the face of reasoning' the right seems to be caught up in. Having said all this , it's still baffling. If I had a higher I.Q. no doubt I could understand this a bit better. :) Me thinks there are a few politicians that vote/set policy for their own self-interests rather than the country's, knowing that many in their party lack the ability to distinguish the difference. Throw in a mandate from an invisible deity that only dialogs with those that follow it, and it's the perfect recipe for disaster.

Here are a couple of sites that parallel social events/decision making such as marriage, work etc. with degree of I.Q.

nailingit — December 22, 2011 at 10:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Uh, manthou, 100 is the mean IQ of the population. Therefore < 1/2 are both above AND below 100. ;^)

Drift — December 22, 2011 at 10:21 a.m. ( | suggest removal

100 is mean. You are talking about the median actually.
Standard deviation for IQ is 15, right Manthou? Median same as mean here in this instance? Been too many years....I forgot

luvithere — December 22, 2011 at 11:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal

BAGHDAD (AP) — A wave of 16 bombings ripped across Baghdad Thursday, killing at least 69 people in the worst violence in Iraq for months. The apparently coordinated attacks struck days after the last American forces left the country and in the midst of a major government crisis between Shiite and Sunni politicians that has sent sectarian tensions soaring.

This WILL NEVER end until all of them destroy each other. There is a lesson here if people will only listen.

hawkeye — December 22, 2011 at 11:41 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hawk-are you surprised? Most of us saw this coming. And no - people will not learn a lesson as long as male machismo and overall stupidity are so prevalent in our politicians and our species. (As a species, we are truly dumb anyway. Not sure why we are still around but at least we seem to be working on getting rid of ourselves here)

luvithere — December 22, 2011 at 12:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal

luvithere — December 22, 2011 at 12:12 p.m

I know, I was kinda hoping that once we left, they would get it together and try to work it out but I see it only took a couple of days for them to start it all up again. I just know they are going to figure out a way to blame the U.S. for this.

As long as we don't go back in......

hawkeye — December 22, 2011 at 12:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal

luvithere — December 22, 2011 at 12:12 p.m

Also, I resent your "male macho" reference. You don't think females make "macho" mistakes?

hawkeye — December 22, 2011 at 12:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal

no, they make female mistakes and a few (M. Thatcher comes to mind) think they need to act like male machos.
Take a look around-see ratio of female and male politicians. Also think of what testosterone does. And then let us think of Bush. If that was not male macho impersonation, then I do not know what is.

I did not say, all males exhibit it though. For example, I do not see it in you :)But I really believe, IMO, that most politicians have a hefty dose of it.

luvithere — December 22, 2011 at 12:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal

House Republican Leaders Agree to Payroll Tax Deal

Bowing under intense pressure from members of their own party to end the politically damaging impasse over a payroll tax holiday, House Republican leaders on Thursday agreed to accept a temporary extension of the tax cut, beating a a hasty retreat from a showdown that Republicans increasingly saw as a threat to their election opportunities next year.

Under a deal reached between House and Senate leaders — which Speaker John A. Boehner was presenting to the rank and file in an evening conference call — House members would accept the two-month extension of a payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits approved by the Senate last Saturday while the Senate would appoint members of a House-Senate conference committee to negotiate legislation to extend both benefits through 2012.


hawkeye — December 22, 2011 at 2:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal

AND he admits opposing this might not have been a politically smart thing to do.
O think? The man really needs to learn how to think and do his job. The GOP just blew it big time for all to see (hm, that I actually like)

luvithere — December 22, 2011 at 3:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal

A provision of the NDAA that's causing controversy is the ability granted to detain US citizens on American soil and hold them in military detention indefinitely. It seems the language defining who is covered, especially as relates to who can be classified as a terrorist or terrorist supporter, is extremely vague. Civil libertarians on both sides (Rand Paul and Al Franken are quoted by Forbes) say that the government is being given to declare anyone it wants a terrorist under this latest version.

Someone wrote an LTE to The Columbian the other day about this topic. What especially got my attention is one of the comments made - an individual says that the feds average about 3 detentions without court order per year using the NDAA as authority. He goes on to note that law enforcement is using this Act to justify drug arrests in unspecified larger numbers.

Interesting. Over the past several years people have claimed authorizing this right to indefinite detention is a matter of surrendering our Constitutionally granted liberties due to fear. Perhaps they were right? Anyone have more info on this?

roger — December 22, 2011 at 4:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal

hawk @ 2:43 **"HAH!!!!!!"** And may I add **:)**...and another **:))**...on so many levels! **:)))**

nailingit — December 22, 2011 at 5:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal

luvithere & hawkeye- I believe luvit nailed it. Guys are always trying to prove whose got the biggest...and whose best at whatever. Not a bad thing, as it drives competition and self worth. We just have problems prioritizing and compartmentalizing. Consider what we use to think with half the time, we fair pretty well I guess. (to say otherwise would endanger my ego) :))

nailingit — December 22, 2011 at 5:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal

for those of you crowing over the r's change of position, i have a question:

when did it become a political stare-down and not difference of opinion?

answer to yourselves; my 'team cheer' basket is full (<-- note to hawk)


scares the hell outta ME. there's a limit on what i'm willing to trade for 'homeland security'. the constitution isn't part of it. warrantless tracking via publicly-viewable cameras is one thing...pushes the edge...but THIS proposal tramples all over our protections.

DeeLittle — December 22, 2011 at 5:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal

The full interview can be seen during a "20/20" holiday special on Friday, Dec. 23, 10 p.m. ET on ABC stations.

Obama cited his approach to setting expectations for the "long haul" of economic recovery -- balancing the need to convey the seriousness of the situation without being alarmist -- as less effective than desired.

He also admits that he could have been more resolute in his early dealings with congressional Republicans, a nod that his more compromising approach ultimately angered some parts of his base.

"When it comes to dealing with Congress, you know, of late, I've said, I'm not going to wait for Congress. I'm going to go ahead and just do whatever I have in my executive power," he said. "I think that there were times in my first couple a years where I kept on sitting there trying to see if we can negotiate some sort of compromise, and there just was a lot of refusal on the other side's part to compromise.

"And, I'd just stay at it... but as a consequence, I think a lot of time was lost that frustrated a lot of people around the country," Obama said. "They want to see action on behalf of some of these issues."

Sounds like Obama's getting it! Hopefully 2012-2016 will be a time where Progressive policies take front and center!;=true#.TvPjUhw0jDq

nailingit — December 22, 2011 at 6:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal

*Good article. Is this the kind of guy we want in the White House?*

**Mitt Romney Declines To Release Tax Returns, Cementing Posture Of Secrecy**

"But it's also worth noting that Romney is starting to cement a legacy as one of the most secretive presidential candidates in the modern era. Several good government advocates expressed serious concern with what has become a pattern of non-disclosure."

"Already, Romney has declined to name the individuals who have bundled money on his behalf. He is also known to have destroyed records from his time as governor -- an act that last week was revealed to have been much more extensive than buying and wiping government hard drives. Reuters reported that in the final weeks of his term as governor, Romney "sought and received permission to destroy 150 boxes of paper records of his tenure."

"And now, should he win the Republican nomination, he will be alone among recent party presidential nominees who have declined to release tax returns."

"I think the implications are that he is afraid of what this says about who he is and who he will represent if he is in the White House," said David Donnelly, the national campaigns director of the Public Campaign Action Fund, a group that tries to limit the influence of money in politics.

nailingit — December 22, 2011 at 8:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal

**Obama Birthplace Lawsuit Tossed By Appeals Court**

The U.S. Constitution says only "a natural born citizen" may serve as president. The challengers allege that Obama, whose father was Kenyan, was born in that African country, rather than the U.S. state of Hawaii. They claim his Hawaii birth certificate is a forgery.

*Libertarian Party vice-presidential candidate Gail Lightfoot was also a plaintiff.

*Disappointing. No wonder this party receives such little respect. It gives none.

nailingit — December 22, 2011 at 8:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit — December 22, 2011 at 8:49 p.m.

Are you trying to tell me "The Donald" didn't file a lawsuit?

hawkeye — December 22, 2011 at 9:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Reference the reversal by the House leadership on the 2 month continuation of the tax reduction and unemployment compensation - here's something else they threw in.

"But in addition to language about jobless benefits, the agreement includes a provision expediting the review of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Boehner said he expects a vote to pass the legislation will occur “before Christmas.” Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Montana, put out a statement praising the continued bipartisan advance of his Keystone XL legislation giving the president 60 days to make a decision on a permit for the project."

Pres Obama was trying to defer a decision on approving the project, required of Sec'y of State as it crosses an international border, until 2013.

So, Pres Obama has now been backed into a corner. He can't say no to the continuation as it now stands - not after his speaking out the past couple of days against the House Repubs for not passing it. (Or can he?)

This Keystone X project decision is going to be a critical one as concerns his chance of being reelected. Environmental and other liberal base groups are strongly opposed. But many of the states affected, like Montana, are for it - they see jobs and other benefits from the project being approved. (Probably BIG payoffs from Chevron too - we'll see.) So, Sec'y State Clinton is (apparently) going to be forced to deliver a decision quite soon - one that Pres Obama's reelection team is going to have to perform major damage control on all the way to Election Day - no matter which way she rules.

roger — December 22, 2011 at 9:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Frobert isn't going to like this;

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A direct-mail solicitation for Ron Paul's political and investment newsletters two decades ago warned of a "coming race war in our big cities" and of a "federal-homosexual cover-up" to play down the impact of AIDS.

The eight-page letter, which appears to carry Paul's signature at the end, also warns that the U.S. government's redesign of currency to include different colors - a move aimed at thwarting counterfeiters - actually was part of a plot to allow the government to track Americans using the "new money."

The letter urges readers to subscribe to Paul's newsletters so that he could "tell you how you can save yourself and your family" from an overbearing government.

hawkeye — December 22, 2011 at 9:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal

hawk @ 9:32- If the donald would have filed for pres office he could have and no doubt would have. Gee...I wonder if anyone that posts on this forum doubts his citizenship. :)))))

roger- "So, Pres Obama has now been backed into a corner." I don't think we're going to see many more corners Obama's backed into before next election. 2 months? To make a decision? I'm sure Obama's got his mind made up with the data to support his decision, and he'll take all the time he wants. I could be wrong about this but..I think something has happened.

I think the 44th and current President of the United States of America, leader of the free world, Professor, Scholar, Community Organizer, Author, The Adult in the Room, half white, half black, son of a Kenyon father, and the finest example of American individual achievement this side of...anybody...Barack Hussein Obama..(sorry I couldn't resist the opportunity to explode some far right heads :)) has his mojo back. This time with an authority he lacked before. His demeanor, his comments and interviews the last month, the debt ceiling debacle, the downgrade, little credit or any on foreign policy, wouldn't vote on a jobs bill, bush tax cut fight, the birthers, the right wing agenda of destroying collective bargaining, zero compromise with tax cuts and zero compromise with all things Obama, and the coup de grace...

...publicly fighting against the stalwart stance/heart/soul issue of the modern day republican party...taxes. They wanted to raise taxes. On the middle class. Attaching riders that had nothing to do with the issue, and insisting on middle class cuts and middle class job loss to pay for it. Knowing it would further hurt our economy and put us in a deeper hole as a nation. But borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars from China to pay for tax cuts for the rich is okay because "they pay for themselves"? This is anti-American crap and you can tell yourself both parties are equally culpable for this mess but you are just plain wrong. imho. :)

I think he decided that if he's going to have this job for the next 5 years, it's time to remember and pay attention as to the why, the what, and who voted him in office to begin with. At least I hope so.

nailingit — December 22, 2011 at 10:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal


Pres Obama didn't want to have the go ahead on Keystone X ruled on until after the 2012 elections because a large group of people will be upset no matter which way he goes. This project, rightly or wrongly, has become one focal point of the domestic gas/oil production fight (shale oil fracking being the other). One side, a large part of the Dem base, feels these projects should be stopped due to environmental concerns. A major fear is contamination of water tables. Another side, not as politically tied, feels these projects are necessary due to potential jobs and reduction of dependence on imports from the Middle East.

I'm sure Pres Obama knows what he wants his decision to be - he just didn't want to make it yet. This forces his hand.

roger — December 23, 2011 at 6:46 a.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit - re: The Donald.

"Gee...I wonder if anyone that posts on this forum doubts his citizenship. :)))))"

Actually, I think we need to consider another possibility. When was the last time one of those slasher movies starring Chucky was released? You know, there is a bit of a resemblance there - especially with the bad hair. Is it possible?

roger — December 23, 2011 at 6:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit @ 10:38 PM: Well-written opinion! I happen to agree 100%!

When the Wall Street Journal publishes an editorial that basically screams this at its Republican-dominated readers: "What are you guys thinking?! Are you nuts?" I think it was directed to the rogue Tea Party freshmen in the House.

Boehner is losing his grip on the Speaker job. And I am feeling very good about our President.

manthou — December 23, 2011 at 7:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal

For those interested, here is a link to the WSJ editorial:

I like the use of the image: "circular firing squad." The Republican party is self-destructing from all the in-fighting.

manthou — December 23, 2011 at 7:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Is it just me or what? Why does extending a $1000/yr tax break two months for working stiffs become such a big hassle? It seems extending the tax cuts two years for the wealthy (and I assume we're talking more than a $1000/yr for these folks) was effortless by comparison. Seemed as though Congress couldn't get it to Obama fast enough, and he couldn't wait to sign it.

mrd — December 23, 2011 at 8:09 a.m. ( | suggest removal

roger- Keystone is a big employment issue with republicans because they've made it one. Many numbers thrown around, from 5000 to 20000 short term construction workers, (it certainly won't affect unemployment numbers) and some more from the bleed off, many from out of country. If the right had their way, they would employ slave labor from China to reduce costs. Over 1300 miles of crude pipeline running through America would be quite the target for domestic terrorism, so I guess we'll need a bunch of $10.00 an hour rent-a-cops to over see it.

Great analogy with Chucky! I wonder if they let the donald carve turkey at Thanksgiving?

manthou- The Republican House and Senate leadership up for grabs. Great conversation/optics to have during the 2012 campaign/election!!

nailingit — December 23, 2011 at 9:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal

manthou/roger- Keep in mind this hasn't been voted on yet. The tax cut still might not happen. Boner thought he had the votes before...

nailingit — December 23, 2011 at 9:09 a.m. ( | suggest removal bad, they passed it!

nailingit — December 23, 2011 at 9:16 a.m. ( | suggest removal


Keystone is an employment issue for the same reason the new I5 bridge is one - because the people who're backing these projects want us to focus on this area and ignore larger concerns.

Wikipedia has an in depth review of the entire project. (I realize some people doubt anything from this source, but the person who wrote this entry did a lot of research and is pretty neutral.)

As is presented, the first two phases of the Keystone project were completed with little national fanfare. It wasn't until Nebraska objected to routing Phase 4 over their aquifer that environmental groups ramped up their protests. The claim that 20,000 jobs would result from the projects was a counter to the protest, originating with the Canadian corporation that owns the project. They're highly inflated (same as the bogus CRC-generated I5 bridge project employment numbers).

There are numerous issues one can raise over this project. (I'm highly suspicious of the need to run Phase 3 to the Texas ports, when production estimates show this will result in the entire system running well under full capacity.)

But, for the sake of this discussion, check where the already completed Phase 1 ends - in Illinois. Pres Obama's home turf. Never a peep out of him when it was benefiting Illinois.

Yes, it is all about politics and getting reelected. To try and portray our Pres as being above the muck doesn't work. First, he prospered in the Illinois Democratic political system; one of the demonstrated more corrupt in the nation. And once in the Senate, he abstained from voting on almost anything controversial.

But I will say one positive thing about him - at least he's better than the clowns the Repubs have running.

roger — December 23, 2011 at 10:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal

manthou and nailingit,

I'm thinking your discussion yesterday morning may apply to the following:

roger — December 23, 2011 at 10:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal

roger: Oh, I saw that Air Jordan issue this morning! Amazing.

Retailers and manufacturers love to create the myth of scarcity to manipulate consumers. Too many buy into it which heightens the adrenaline and sense of competition.

Ugly. Sad. I think we will be seeing some stores being held accountable for this game.

It is truly predatory in these lean times and unethical to whip up customers like this. And you are right, it is usually the ones with the least resources, mental and otherwise, who flock to these "opportunities."

manthou — December 23, 2011 at 12:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Ugly shoes and ugly response. I have never understood the frenzy of shoppers on Black Friday and I will not understand this one either. Total descent into anemie-and for what? Good sense goes out the window.
Manthou-yes, stores need to stop the whipping up of the masses but let's also put blame on the masses themselves. Why in the world do you have to act like a loonie to get a bit of a bargain?
Once again, I am back to the issue of IQ scores we discussed before. Are we sure we should not reset, ahem, the mean?

luvithere — December 23, 2011 at 1:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal

roger- Check this out from the horses mouth.

"And once in the Senate, he abstained from voting on almost anything controversial."

roger- Controversy is always in the eye of the beholder. For the liberal base that made up his constituency, he did the will of the people. He did deliver a speech voicing his opposition to the Iraq war, and at the time was pretty controversial/politically risky. He's not above all the muck, but he's not as mired down in it as so many silver-spooned politicians are. I disagree much with his decision making on many issues and am always the first to criticize when I don't agree. But I think he's unduly been a lightning rod for dissatisfaction in our country for many things he had nothing to do with. As for the shining example of individual achievement, a half black hawaiian coming from a broken home, living in Paradise (Hawaii), admittedly doing coke, Kona bud up the kazoo, some of the most beautiful women on the planet, the beach, the surf, the LIFE! Becoming focused enough to become the Pres is just amazing imo!

"Here are the facts: According to reports by both The New York Times and the Associated
**Obama Record May Be Gold Mine For Critics**

AP) Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama may have a lot of explaining to do.

With only a slim, two-year record in the U.S. Senate, Obama doesn't have many controversial congressional votes which political opponents can frame into attack ads. But his eight years as an Illinois state senator are sprinkled with potentially explosive land mines, such as his abortion and gun control votes.

Obama was known in the Illinois Capitol as a **consistently liberal senator** who **reflected the views of voters in his Chicago district.** He helped **reform the state death** penalty system and **create tax breaks for the poor** while developing a reputation as someone who **would work with critics to build consensus.**

**He had a 100 percent rating from the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council for his support of abortion rights, family planning services and health insurance coverage for female contraceptives.**

nailingit — December 23, 2011 at 2:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal

The Republican presidential race is becoming more laughable by the minute. Donald Trump has changed his party affiliation, dropping the R's and denouncing them, and registered as unaffiliated. He did so in order to enter the race for president in case he is disssatisfied with the bozo the R's select. He won't, however, quit his TV show to campaign. He must plan on using a reality (?) TV show from which to run, I guess. That would cap American politics-some goof winning the presidency with "The Apprentice". Sheez, and I didn't think it could get worse.

Now all we need is for Palin to announce something equally silly in order to keep her name in the headlines also. Oh, the trappings of celebrity. But, style over substance, even for the White House.

mrd — December 23, 2011 at 3:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I, as an independent voter, was hoping for a decent Republican challenge next year. After Christie dropped out, all that ended. Now we will have to put up with "his arrogance" for another four years. Our best bet is that the Republicans own both the House and Senate after the election. If that happens, obama will know what Custer felt like at Little Big Horn. We can only hope.

cranky — December 23, 2011 at 4:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal


it's beginning to look like the best outcome, gotta agree.

DeeLittle — December 23, 2011 at 4:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal

*Our best bet is that the Republicans own both the House and Senate after the election. If that happens, obama will know what Custer felt like at Little Big Horn.*

jeez cranky, you sound as if you'd like to see some real political fighting. makes for great entertainment perhaps, but as very low approval ratings for both Congress and the White House seem to show, most people are fed up with the political nonsense and would like to see some REAL progress on the economy. Instead of fighting tooth and nail for almost a year, these fools couls have pumped something out last winter to see how it helped the economy. If the plan worked, great. If not, we could be on plan B by now. But as long as they fight, this depression will linger.

How petty is it getting? Some congressman critizied Michele Obama for speaking to school children to encourage them to eat better to combat obesity. The congressman said the government had no business telling people what to eat, and besides that, the first lady had a "big posterior". The bar continues to sink......

mrd — December 23, 2011 at 4:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal


Thanks for finding the final EIS; there's a lot of good info there. Please keep in mind that it was challenged immediately by the EPA for being too narrow in scope, especially as pertains to reaction to leaks. And I believe Nebraska entered negotiations with TransCanada in November to move the route of the pipeline - at some expense to that state. If anything, this supports the EPA's position. Finally, Pres Obama decided to defer the final decision to 2013 in November - after the environmental protests escalated.

So, Pres Obama is now in a no-win situation. He can veto the two month extension, citing inclusion of Keystone X. The Repubs are ready to counter with the claim he's not really for jobs or tax reductions; he'd rather pander to environmentalists. Or he can sign the extension, and have to render the decision within 60 days. If he says no - same response as above. If he OKs the project, this will be a last straw for much of his base - he ALWAYS sells out on anything they consider important. Either way, given his poor ratings and the closeness in the polls to the leaders of the clown show, this is going to hurt his chances for reelection. Unless he's got something big in reserve that we don't know of yet.

I'm thinking there are plenty of Dems who share this view of his chances - I heard again today that there's a move to draft Hillary.

roger — December 23, 2011 at 5:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal


how low did the bar move when one of the mainstream media's opinion shows called sarah palin's children 'inbred'?

...or doesn't she count.....

DeeLittle — December 23, 2011 at 7:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal

roger- I'd bet good money Keystone won't be decided till after the election. :)) Where did you hear the Draft Hillary as of late? His ratings are improving and the general public sides with him on key issues, from abortion rights, taxation, gay rights, medicare and many other issues. I haven't seen/heard or read anything other than the base is fired up and momentum is taking a Huge turn in Obama's favor.

The Republicans have lost the voice they had a year ago. Gone. The Republican's argument on raising taxes and creating jobs? Gone. Fox and right wing media can't lie about the numbers. (LOL) What job creating policy initiatives have the house introduced? That was the platform they ran on in 2010. But what they haven't done won't hurt them as much as what they have done since getting elected.

I'm afraid some of the Dem pundits are counting chickens before they hatch. We have to remember what extreme dirty swift boat style Republican election tactics can do. Combined with unlimited money, redistricting and voter infringement/restrictions laws that have been enacted in Republican dominated states, Dems still face an uphill battle.

nailingit — December 23, 2011 at 7:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal


Good evening.. How many bills has the senate passed and how many has the house passed under Obama..I think you'll find the House has passed more bills the senate has shot down.. I find it still very funny your are citing job growth and lower UE but in reality we all know over 400K people now are not even being counted in the UE numbers thus making it look like UE is going down.. Job growth.. How many jobs has Obama created that the left call working wage jobs?? Now compare that with less than working wage jobs.. You probably have that source at your finger tips as usual... As far as ratins going up..None of the people I talk to about politics that voted for him last time will vote for him again..I think many like Ron Paul.. I'm not one of those but I think we would do worse with Obama still in there....One step closer to socialism and spreading the wealth to the other 99%. From the 99% I've seen some just need to get off there arse..But wait if they did that then they couldn't destroy property and keep other people from working now could they..But it's there right to assemble and free speach and all that, but they also want a new form of governement. Sorry but you can't have it both ways..

On another note everyone have a merry Christmas and safe holiday..Peace to All:)

vanwadreamer — December 23, 2011 at 9:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal

*how low did the bar move when one of the mainstream media's opinion shows called sarah palin's children 'inbred'?
...or doesn't she count.....*

apples to oranges. I was referring to politicians in general, not the media, and besides, I didn't see or hear of the name-calling to which you're referring.

For what it's worth, the bar is low for both. Both seem to value attention and ratings moreso than quality and integrity.

And I really don't know if Palin can count but I assume she can.

mrd — December 24, 2011 at 7:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal


Draft Hillary 2012 has been making the rounds in the past week. My sister-in-law in AZ said people there were getting computer calls asking them to join some sort of petition. Here's a Politico post that says Hillary's people know nothing about it, and suggests its being funded by a GOP group.

Wishful thinking on my part, I guess. We need strong leadership to get that crowd in DC working together, and the Top 3 there now (Obama, Boehner and Reed) aren't providing it.

roger — December 24, 2011 at 7:23 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Press Talk today: Good idea about creating a consigliere position to advise city politicians, Lou. :)

This concept too, can be taken too far, however. Benton Harbor, MI, has a consigliere, of sorts, which is creating a new type of dictator. From my favorite Chicago news source, the Sun Times:

Give someone power, there is always the chance they will abuse it.

manthou — December 24, 2011 at 7:29 a.m. ( | suggest removal

roger @ 7:23 am: My fantasy Democratic ticket for 2012: Obama/Clinton.

Then Hillary will be in the perfect position to win the Presidency in 2016. Biden can become Sec of State.

manthou — December 24, 2011 at 7:43 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Just got done reading Lou's latest Press Talk - Awesome! I expect Mayor Tim will develop a new case of heartburn over breakfast while reading this column.

Lou - You question how they could have given the latest raise without anticipating the backlash. I expect Mayor Tim will focus in on this, and blame you for creating the controversy.

But I really wish you would follow your own argument a bit further - that times are hard, the average person is just getting by, and gov'ts need to quit reaching their collective hands out for more money. For example, just when will we see a good cost/benefit analysis of the light rail portion of the CRC project in The Columbian? No matter who coughs up the billion dollars this will cost (Feds or tolls), the expense ultimately comes back to us. And I have yet to see an argument that supports the need to share in the Tri-Met cash drain that MAX is. The Yellow line can't move enough people to have a meaningful impact on Vancouver's rush hour traffic. And, per a recent article in your south of the river competitor, Tri-Met is threatening to increase time between runs as a cost cutting measure if they don't get more money from somewhere.

roger — December 24, 2011 at 8 a.m. ( | suggest removal


Reverse the order and I'm with you. Hillary's time is now or never - she's in her mid 60's now, and would be about 70 in 2016. But NO on Biden being Sec'y of State. That job requires an adult who thinks before putting mouth in gear. At the risk of being accused of pandering to women, I'd like to suggest bringing Condoleeza back as Sec'y of State - she was one of the few adults who stayed with Bush 2.

roger — December 24, 2011 at 8:09 a.m. ( | suggest removal

**Funny how he hasn't taken the time and effort to qualify for his HOME state.**

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Leading Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has failed to meet the requirements to be in the primary election in his home state of Virginia, the state's Republican Party said.

The former Speaker of the House of Representatives defiantly pledged to run a write-in campaign for the March 6 primary.

Texas Governor Rick Perry also failed to make the ballot for the state's Republican vote. Only former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Texas Congressman Ron Paul qualified for the Virginia vote.

hawkeye — December 24, 2011 at 8:16 a.m. ( | suggest removal

vanwa- Good morning. Job growth sucks. There isn't much. There have been job bills that the congress won't even vote on. On the other hand we aren't losing close to a MILLION JOBS PER MONTH as we were in 07-08.

I prefer dismal to devastating.

roger- I think some of these orgs. for the Hill were put in place at the height of Liberal/progressive disenchantment with Obama. It was continuing the Bush tax cuts as to when my head exploded. Now that Obama seems to be getting the message, (too bad it's to the point where hundreds of thousands of Americans are taking it to the streets screaming, as there is nothing else left to do) it makes sense the Republicans are behind this to prevent momentum.

manthou- About a year ago the liberal media was floating the Hill/Obama ticket as being more than just a rumor. Not much has been said for awhile. Hmmm. Could the White House be pumping up the Hillary for Pres movement in order to gain insight to public opinion? (ref. roger @ 7:23). Politics are fun when you're riding the wave! A Hill/Obama ticket would be great. Senator/Sec Clinton is a proven soldier, warrior, smart, connected, her skill sets and experience are just insane.

nailingit — December 24, 2011 at 8:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal

The Columbian (HEY, MATT!!!)

This CAPTCHA is becoming truly ridiculous - I'm hitting refresh at least a half dozen times before I get to something I can read - and I'm still wrong maybe 10% of the time.

Personally, I think the program is funded by the school teacher unions, and is being made difficult on purpose. Read their logo - "stop spam. read books." (Sorry, manthou, but I always blame school teachers when I run across something like this - I blame this tought process on my Algebra teacher, who just loved those STUPID word problems about trains traveling in opposite directions, etc.)


I'll try this one, and keep my fingers crossed.

roger — December 24, 2011 at 8:21 a.m. ( | suggest removal

hawkeye- LOL! These guys are just ridiculous!

This is a **great article**. Let's remember the Occupy movement this Christmas. They have changed the conversation and are helping to shape future economic policy.

“If I hear a politician use the term ‘paying your fair share’ one more time, I’m going to vomit,” said Golisano, who turned 70 last month, celebrating the birthday with girlfriend Monica Seles, the former tennis star who won nine Grand Slam singles titles.

Read more:

nailingit — December 24, 2011 at 8:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal

roger: I saw a Captcha challenge today that was actually easy and fun. Of course, it was not attached to The Columbian's comments. :(

This "puzzle" was a simple command: "Show us you are human." What followed was a simple math calculation problem: 3 + 4 = ?

Maybe you are right about the teacher unions creating this monster, after all! :)

I just had an idea on how to cull out Forum commenters, including myself (I am hopelessly math-challenged): make the question a complicated calculus or trig formula!

manthou — December 24, 2011 at 8:32 a.m. ( | suggest removal

roger- It's Christmas Eve. I'll save a comment about Condi till after Christmas day. :)

nailingit — December 24, 2011 at 8:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit at 8:27 am: That Rolling Stone piece is priceless! The quotes say it all, don't they?

I see that the police are stepping up their assault on the OWS stalwarts in several cities yesterday and today. I also see that the OWS groups are filing police brutality and free speech lawsuits in return.

These folks are not going away easily and their message should not be so easily dismissed.

manthou — December 24, 2011 at 8:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal

btw Merry Christmas to the basement and a happy new year. Peace.

nailingit — December 24, 2011 at 8:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Right back at you, nailingit!

Merry Christmas to all of you, my basement friends.

now the captcha challenge: 5 trys

hawkeye — December 24, 2011 at 8:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal

another same time post! Ahhh! I think the arrests are firing Ocuppy up even more! I read about the lawsuits also. These suits will be all about free speech and the right to protest. A needed conversation! Much better than the courts being tied up with the frivolous wasteful lawsuits the right brings about our President's citizenship.

nailingit — December 24, 2011 at 9:03 a.m. ( | suggest removal

PEABODY, Mass. -- An airport security officer confiscated a frosted cupcake amid fears its icing could be a security risk, according to reports.

Rebecca Hains said the Transportation Security Administration agent at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas took her cupcake Wednesday. According to Hains, he told her its frosting was enough like a gel to violate TSA restrictions on allowing liquids and gels onto flights to prevent them from being used as explosives.

"I just thought this was terrible logic," Hains said Friday.

Hains said the agent didn't seem concerned that the red velvet cupcake, which was packaged in an 8-ounce mason jar, could actually be explosive, just that it fit some bureaucratic definition about what was prohibited.

"Once he had identified it as a security threat it was no longer mine and I couldn't have it back," Hains told NBC station WHDH.
Hains, a 35-year-old communications professor at Salem State University, said she told the agent she had passed through security at Boston's Logan International Airport earlier in the week with two cupcakes packaged in jars, gifts from a student. But she said the agent told her that just meant TSA officials in Boston didn't do its job.

"The TSA agent who saw them, picked them up and said, 'these look delicious,' and sent me on my way," Hains told WHDH.

'Civil liberties'
The TSA, which is entrusted with protecting the nation's transportation system, was reviewing the incident, agency spokesman Nico Melendez said. Passengers are allowed to take cakes and cupcakes through checkpoints, he said.

Hains, who lives in Peabody, just north of Boston, said the encounter highlighted the ludicrousness of TSA policies.

"It's not really about the cupcake; I can get another cupcake," she added. "It's about an encroachment on civil liberties. We're just building up a resistance and tolerance to all these things they're doing in the name of security, when it's really theater. It is not keeping us safe."

**Can you imagine what would have happened if it had a candle in it?**

hawkeye — December 24, 2011 at 9:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hello, Folks...

I wanted to wish you all who visit the Whine Cellar (aka The Forum) a Christmas blessing of peace... and may the New Year begin a change in the right direction for all!!! Have a safe and meaningful Christmas, Folks!!!

- Goldie

goldenoldie — December 24, 2011 at 4:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Merry Christmas. May we all enjoy good health, and plenty of lively discussion in the upcoming year.

roger — December 24, 2011 at 4:55 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Oh, Goldenoldie, thanks for dropping by the basement, I miss your smile.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours.

Roger, Nailingit, Manthou, Mrd, Vanwadreamer, DeeLittle, cranky. frobert, Lou, Matt et all, have a good one and enjoy the holidays, your families and stay out of trouble. Be safe above all and come back as soon as possible.

hawkeye — December 24, 2011 at 6:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal

What timing! Will Santa give Sarah a special toy from his Santa sack?

Current location Anchorage, Alaska, United States

Santa's next stop is Wasilla, Alaska, United States 00:15

nailingit — December 25, 2011 at 12:28 a.m. ( | suggest removal


may God bless us, EVERY ONE

and, please God... peace.

DeeLittle — December 25, 2011 at 2:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Our winter holiday spiritual traditions (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice) share a common symbol of light: candles ablaze to lead us out of the dark.

Wherever you get your source of light and hope, hold it in your hearts and keep it foremost in your thoughts every day of the year. Brighter days will prevail.

I wish you all an abundant new year ahead, full of health and love.

manthou — December 25, 2011 at 6:04 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I hope everyone had a great Christmas, I know I did.

Here's hoping for a great New Year and a prosperous (in many ways) year ahead.

hawkeye — December 25, 2011 at 9:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal

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