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Liberal Outrage

Can we be mad about it now?

As a good party loyalist i know my official response to the latest NSA revelations that we've been spying on friendly foreign leaders' phones is that "everybody does it" and all the outrage is just phoney political posturing. But now that we know it's been happening since the Bush days i believe that my marching orders are changed and now i'm allowed to be outraged about it and can blame the media for falsely reporting that it was Obama's fault, right?

By fnord12 | October 27, 2013, 10:56 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Neoliberal vs. New Deal health care

I wanted to go a little further with the post below and talk about how real lefty liberals like me are having our own "i told you so" moment since the ACA is (or seems to be) collapsing under its own Rube Goldburg-esque weight, while we prefer a simpler "Medicare For All" solution. But i didn't want to distract from my anger at Paul Ryan, so i left that part out. But luckily that case is made here so i can just link blog it (found via Atrios).

To be clear, i'd still rather see the ACA work than have it fail so that sometime maybe in the future we could have Single Payer.

By fnord12 | October 23, 2013, 2:48 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

We are mad you didn't implement the thing we didn't want

Regarding the problems the ACA web portal is experiencing, it's totally understandable if not exactly fair to say "We told you so. Government programs never work." or whatever. But calls for the resignation of Kathleen Sebelius from people that have been doing everything they could to cause the program to fail is beyond your normal cynical opportunism. I don't know if Democrats called for, for example, the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld when the Iraq war was going badly. But the key thing to remember there is that most Democrats voted for the war, so the idea would be "Ok, we went along with this and now you're botching it so heads need to roll". So i could imagine these cries of outrage coming from moderate Republicans who voted for the ACA (hint: there weren't any) that are now upset that the thing they voted for isn't going well. But coming from Paul Ryan it should just be laughed at.

By fnord12 | October 23, 2013, 10:56 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Sockpuppets are real

Fox surely isn't the only one.

By fnord12 | October 21, 2013, 12:33 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Tell Me Again How Misogyny Is Dead


Campaign creator Christopher Hunt, head of art for Ogilvy & Mather Dubai, offers this summary: "This campaign uses the world's most popular search engine (Google) to show how gender inequality is a worldwide problem. The adverts show the results of genuine searches, highlighting popular opinions across the world wide web." Each ad's fine print says "actual Google search on 09/03/13." While Google users in different countries are likely to get different results, a quick test shows that several of these suggested terms definitely come up in U.S. searches.

I did my own auto-complete on Google with these same beginning phrases and got similar results, so it definitely isn't specific to Dubai. Sad. Infuriating.

By min | October 21, 2013, 12:26 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

The CIA's Fake Vaccination Campaign

Another article i'm late on thanks to it being on queue in the loo. I'd heard about this but hadn't really read about it. It's pretty outrageous.

By fnord12 | October 21, 2013, 11:26 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link


This just sounds like someone completely out of touch with reality to me:

Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said the implanted defibrillator that helped keep him alive in 2007 had its wireless feature disabled because he feared terrorists could use it to kill him.

"It seemed to me to be a bad idea for the vice president to have a device that maybe somebody on a rope line or in the next hotel room or downstairs might be able to get into, hack into," Cheney said on CBS's "60 Minutes" program airing today. "I worried that someone could kill you."

I mean, there's no doubt that the World Trade Center attacks happened, but the idea that there was some kind of terrorist ninja on a rope line waiting to hack into Cheney's heart, it seems to go beyond what anyone thought Al Qaeda was actually capable of. And this was in 2007, not in the immediate scary aftermath of September 2001.

By fnord12 | October 21, 2013, 11:15 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Also Obamacare's fault: zombies and rat-eating frogs

Not that it's a surprise, but it's really outrageous to see the extent at which Sean Hannity and even the "ordinary citizen" guests on his show will go to in order to misinform about the ACA. I don't know how generous to be about the guests, whether they were lying or just clueless and riled up by hucksters like Hannity.

By fnord12 | October 18, 2013, 3:08 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

It's My Name. It's Always Been My Name. So Back Off!

This made me all "RAWRRRR!" even though i don't personally have this issue.

While more than 25% of women surveyed in a UK poll said they'd like to keep (or at least hyphenate) their maiden names, 63.3% of male Men's Health readers said they'd be pissed off if their wives decided not to take their names. And a staggering 96.3% of respondents said they wouldn't take their wife's name if she asked them to. The individual responses are astonishing:
"I'd like her to want to be a part of my family and be proud of our name." --Anonymous respondent, via a SurveyMonkey poll

"One family, one name. If she didn't take my name, I'd seriously question her faith in us lasting as a couple. And I don't want hyphenated kids." --Brandon Robert Joseph Peyton, via Facebook

"I believe the purpose of marriage is raising children, and children take their father's name (as a way of identifying paternity). Mothers always have a special bond, carrying their young. Fathers don't, so [passing on our name] is our compensation." --Matthew Bratcher, via Facebook

See? It's just about family. It's just about togetherness. It can't be sexist, it's tradition! And lighten up--traditions are just rituals through which we fetishize and deify the past, confining our modern social mores to shapes that our great great grandparents would be comfortable with if they happened to time travel here for a drop-in status quo inspection. NBD. THAT'S ALL. How could anyone complain about a tradition?


If you think I'm overreacting and exaggerating about the symbolic power of naming, then perhaps you'll listen to a more trustworthy source: the men of Men's Health. They're quite candidly fixated on it. Their clarity is indisputable.

My name is part of who I am." --Anonymous respondent, via a SurveyMonkey poll

"Call it pride or ego, whatever. It's not happening." --Anonymous respondent, via a SurveyMonkey poll

"It sounds like she's trying to hang onto her "single person" identity and not identify with the fact that she's married now." --Anonymous respondent, via a SurveyMonkey poll

Translation: My name is part of who I am. To change it would be unthinkable. It would be like giving up my identity. My identity is too important to give up. It would be a sort of death. So here, women, YOU DO IT. His identity supersedes yours. And any desire to maintain your "'single person' identity"--your you-ness--is an insulting affront to the institution of marriage itself.

I hate when someone decides to change their name "cause that's what you do" rather than "i really wanted to take my husband's name" or "i like his name better" or really, any reason other than "shrug". But i've tried to behave myself and keep my unwanted opinions to myself on this issue. Except now i'm all riled up so people should stay away for a couple of weeks. Let me settle down.

Addendum: I quickly threw this post up and then thought of more things i wanted to say. I also added to the excerpt above.

THE WORST reason i've ever heard is "my husband would have been upset if i didn't change my name." THE. WORST. That there has to be some kind of red flag. That is a "Whoa! We need to discuss this." moment. You need to know why he'd be upset if you didn't give up the identity you've had all your life and see if it is miraculously not rooted in sexism. And if it is a subconscious, deep-seated, i-always-just-accepted-it-cause-that's-how-things-work kind of reason, is it something he'll acknowledge and try to expunge from his psyche? If the answer is "no", well...i guess that's a personal choice every woman has to make for herself. Down the road, as the years progress, will it just be your name that you're asked to give up or are there other expected "norms" you'll have to conform to?

By min | October 17, 2013, 3:57 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Foreign exchange program

Do you think Britain will take Thomas Friedman, David Brooks, Ron Fournier, and Marueen Dowd in exchange for Peter Oborne? No? How about if we threaten to send those losers if they don't give us Oborne?

By fnord12 | October 17, 2013, 9:56 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

Rump Rules

Final vote on the clean CR and debt limit raise was 81-18 in the Senate and 285-144 in the House. So how did we come to nearly catastrophic failure with those levels of support? The answer is that our government is broken thanks to arcane rules that Congress has imposed on itself.

The Tea Party Republicans are already getting ready to do this all over again. Is anyone going to do anything about the Hastert Rule and the filibuster rule and everything else before we get to that point?

Some kudos to Obama and the Democrats for not caving for once. Granted they were only defending the status quo, not pushing forward a new agenda, but even with that i didn't have high hopes when this first started, and i'm glad to see they stuck to their guns.

By fnord12 | October 17, 2013, 9:15 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Help us help ourselves

Lindsay Graham:

"We won't be the last political party to overplay our hand," he said. "It might happen one day on the Democratic side. And if it did, would Republicans, for the good of the country, kinda give a little? We really did go too far. We screwed up. But their response is making things worse, not better."


TPM asked Graham if he'd prefer default to a clean debt limit hike.

"I think both are terrible options and it'd be silly to pick between the two," he said. "Only a dysfunctional democracy would have those two choices -- which means it may happen."

Actually, voting for a clean debt limit hike is exactly what should be happening here. It's not a "terrible" option, it's the sane, middle of the road option. If the Democrats were asking for a Public Option, Union Check Card, and Carbon Regulation in return for not throwing the country into default, that would be the equivalent of what the Republicans are doing. A clean raising of the debt ceiling with no strings attached is exactly what we've been doing on regular basis for decades.

By fnord12 | October 15, 2013, 7:39 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

A solution is at hand

From TPM:

Republican New Jersey Senate candidate Steve Lonegan... issued a statement encouraging Republicans in Washington "not to capitulate to the president's unreasonable demands" until after Wednesday's special U.S. Senate election in New Jersey. According to Lonegan, he will win that race against Democratic Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker. That in turn will cause Obama to give in to the Republican demands to stop the health care law.

"When I win, Obama will fold," Lonegan said in the statement.

By fnord12 | October 10, 2013, 1:45 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Another arcane rule change

Following up on my post two below, another weird House rule change.

By fnord12 | October 10, 2013, 10:50 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link


Just to be clear that i'm not exaggerating when i call the tea party wing of the Republican party quacks:

Michele Bachmann:

This happened, and as of today, the United States is willingly, knowingly, intentionally sending arms to terrorists, now what this says to me, I'm a believer in Jesus Christ, as I look at the End Times scripture, this says to me that the leaf is on the fig tree and we are to understand the signs of the times, which is your ministry, we are to understand where we are in God's end time history.


"Rather than seeing this as a negative, we need to rejoice, Maranatha, come Lord Jesus, His day is at hand," Bachmann said. "When we see up is down and right is called wrong, when this is happening, we were told this: that these days would be as the days of Noah."

Ted Yoho:

"I think we need to have that moment where we realize [we're] going broke," Yoho said. If the debt ceiling isn't raised, that will sure as heck be a moment. "I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets," since they would be assured that the United States had moved decisively to curb its debt.

Paul Broun:

"America is going to be destroyed by Obamacare, so whatever deal is put together must at least reschedule the implementation of Obamacare," he says. "This law is going to destroy America and everything in America, and we need to stop it."

Marlin Stutzman:

"We're not going to be disrespected," said Congressman Stutzman during an interview with the Washington Examiner on Tuesday. "We have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is."

By fnord12 | October 9, 2013, 1:50 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

It's already formally normalized

Kevin Drum tries to figure out how to communicate that this merged shutdown/debt ceiling crisis in not just politics as usual. And he's right that what's going on is nutty. But it's worth noting that what's happening here is nutty because of 40 nuts in the House. So the real question is how 40 Congresspeople can bring down the government and the economy. Because the difficulty in explaining why this is something extraordinary stems from the fact that we act like we're following a normal process. Obama won't "negotiate" with Congress. Never mind that it's really just some random quacks in the House. There is a majority in the House that would vote for a clean continuing resolution and a debt ceiling increase. Also in the Senate. But the optics on this works in the favor of those quacks. "Obama won't negotiate." And the press buys it.

So how did these random quacks wind up getting so much power? The answer is due to a corruption in the way Congress works. The first relevant bit is the so-called Hastert Rule, which isn't a real thing, but it's a bureaucratic piece of nonsense that says that a majority of the majority party has to vote to bring a bill to vote. It's similar to the equally not real 60 vote requirement to bring a bill to a vote in the Senate. Both of these are extra-constitutional and could be easily discarded. But we've come to talk about them like they are real things that have always existed. And so it's normal that a fringe minority can prevent a vote from happening. Every "objective" article talks about a 60 vote requirement in the Senate and a "majority of the majority" vote in the House as if they were in the Constitution.

The second relevant bit is this odd de-coupling of funding from the laws that require money. You vote for a bill, it gets approved, and then you have this separate process to allow us to pay for the things in the bill. If that sounds crazy, it's because it is. And they found a solution to this problem back in 1979 but Newt Gingrich and the Republicans undid it in 1995 ("Gingrich abolished the Gephardt Rule, and within the year the government had shut down."). And since then it's just been another thing that we've come to accept even though it's completely insane.

My point here is we need to be against this stuff before it starts causing these major problems. We should continue to be fighting for filibuster reform in the Senate even though it's not immediately relevant since Republicans took back the House. We should be looking hard at gerrymandering and voter rights push-back (the latest is this crazy two-tiered scheme in Kansas and Arizona, where if you don't have the right papers you can vote in some elections but not others), we should have been challenging the Hastert rule years ago, etc.. And by "we" i really mean the Democratic leaders and strategists, who've meekly accepted all this stuff, passed on multiple occasions to deal with the filibuster, etc.. Because when your president has to go on television to try to explain why it's ok for him to not negotiate, it's already too late.

By fnord12 | October 9, 2013, 12:56 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Ummm... yeah! Stay away!

New York and New Jersey are among the least free states, with no successful business. So there's no point in you moving here. Go ahead and move to Utah or whatever.

By fnord12 | October 9, 2013, 12:49 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

"and a new bill of Elizabeth Warren's choosing"

Love it.

By fnord12 | October 3, 2013, 4:06 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

In their eyes.

On Monday i linked to an article pretending to look at the US in the context of the government shutdown as if it were a foreign country. Now we have some actual reports.

By fnord12 | October 3, 2013, 11:28 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Anarchy in the US

Slate looks at how the government shutdown would be reported if it were happening in another country.

By fnord12 | October 1, 2013, 2:31 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

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