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Yes Blame Both....
Author: Raine    Date: 05/24/2012 12:53:04


I do believe this fairly sums up much of the current state of affairs. Last month Washington Post ran an article in the opinion section titled: Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.
We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.

“Both sides do it” or “There is plenty of blame to go around” are the traditional refuges for an American news media intent on proving its lack of bias, while political scientists prefer generality and neutrality when discussing partisan polarization. Many self-styled bipartisan groups, in their search for common ground, propose solutions that move both sides to the center, a strategy that is simply untenable when one side is so far out of reach.
It is a very interesting read and is the thesis of a book written by the same authors of the Op-Ed article.

Last week, Greg Sargent made an astute observation with regard to media and the fallout from the article. He writes:
It turns out neither man has been invited on to the Sunday shows even once to discuss this thesis. As Bob Somerby and Kevin Drum note, these are among the most quoted people in Washington — yet suddenly this latest topic is too hot for the talkers, or not deemed relevant at all.

“Not a single one of the Sunday shows has indicated an interest, and I do find it curious,” Ornstein told me, adding that the Op ed had well over 200,000 Facebook recommends and has been viral for weeks. “This is a level of attention for a book that we haven’t received before. You would think it would attract some attention from the Sunday shows.’

“The piece focused on press culpability — it would be hard to find a more sensitive issue for the media than the question of whether they’re doing their job,” Ornstein said. “We got tons of emails from some of the biggest reporters in the business, saying, `We’ve raised this in the newsroom, and editors just brush it aside.’”

Ornstein, while stressing that he wasn’t casting any blame, noted that the topic hasn’t come up on Howard Kurtz’s weekend media show
An amazing piece that hundreds of thousand of people read, and not a peep of it being discussed on television. Not even Howard Kurtz, host of CNN's Reliable Sources, which describes the show as "Now more than ever, the press is a part of every story it covers. And CNN's "Reliable Sources" is one of television's only regular programs to examine how journalists do their jobs and how the media affect the stories they cover. Host Howard Kurtz, Washington Bureau Chief of The Daily Beast, is the nation's premier media critic, and each week he questions print reporters, television correspondents and Internet bloggers about how the press is covering the major stories of the week."

This is proof to me that yes, we can blame them both, the Republicans in office for obstructing the work for the people of this nation and our fourth estate, the media, for failing to honestly report the news -- especially when the news is about their tendency to say both sides are to blame. The media loves a circus, and the GOP is more than happy to provide it. Republicans are not the same as Democrats, in spite of what some people will tell you. For all the railing against the mainstream media, it appears that the most radical among us (left and right <<< see what I did there?) have fallen for this meme that they are the same. I would say it's more than fair to declare that nothing is getting done in Washington-- at least not as much as could be done, but the reasons why have far more complicit participants. It's really a sad joke on those (myself included many times) that claim to be part of voice representing either side of the aisle. The media - which we need to have to inform us all - is failing us at the very root level: It refuses to take reflection on itself.

As I wrote on Monday, it appears that if it bleeds, it leads. In this case, a clarion call was made to those that are creating the problem. The people who are supposed to further discuss this have gone completely silent. Is this a purposeful bloodletting by omission? What happens when there is no more blood left?

As thus, I believe that Mike Lukovich nailed the problem today.


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50 comments (Latest Comment: 05/25/2012 02:02:54 by wickedpam)

Author: BobR    Date: 05/23/2012 12:20:12

This campaign season has been an amazing one. Despite the notion from the outset that Romney was going to be the presumptive nominee, the Republicans had quite a field to choose from. For conservatives, they just want anybody but Barack Obama in the White House next January. For the Republican voter, however, it seemed like a game of "anybody but Romney". Romney won that game, however, so now the Republican party has to pretend to think he is the best thing since sliced bread.

They know, of course, that he isn't. They know that a large percentage of people who vote for him are really just voting against President Obama. That sort of lackluster support generally doesn't translate well into traffic into the voting booths. Add to that the improving economy and job numbers, and the likelihood that gas prices will continue to drop. The Republicans are getting desperate, and it is definitely showing.
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30 comments (Latest Comment: 05/24/2012 01:24:28 by TriSec)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 05/22/2012 10:24:52

Good Morning.

Today is our 3,880th day in Afghanistan.

We'll start this morning as we always do; with the latest casualty figures from our ongoing war, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 1,977
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 1,030

We find this morning's cost of war passing through:

$ 1, 334, 627, 850, 000 .00

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53 comments (Latest Comment: 05/22/2012 20:43:32 by Mondobubba)

On Protests, If it bleeds, should it lead?
Author: Raine    Date: 05/21/2012 17:27:50

This morning I have been watching some truly awful photos from the protests at the NATO summit in Chicago. They are brutal. There was violence - to the point that CNN (via Don Lemon) actually reported about it.

To which I say: really? I am not going to take anything away from Don Lemon, who correctly asked "Does Anybody Deserve This!" It's longish, but it is truly worth listening to what Mr. Lemon is discussing. He is watching a video feed from the protests.
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13 comments (Latest Comment: 05/22/2012 03:13:28 by Will in Chicago)

I saw the news today.
Author: Raine    Date: 05/21/2012 12:55:35

I took pretty much the entire Sunday off and away from the computer. I wake up this morning to Corey Booker seemingly throwing the President under the bus and Chicago police beating the crap out of protestors at the NATO Summit.

What a messed up way to wake up. I wish it was a joke. That reminds me:
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30 comments (Latest Comment: 05/21/2012 18:26:38 by Raine)

Happy Sunday!
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 05/20/2012 14:26:47

Some old cartoons to entertain and/or offend! :)

Velveeta has to werk today....
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2 comments (Latest Comment: 05/21/2012 00:42:08 by AuntAzalea)

In and out of Florida
Author: TriSec    Date: 05/19/2012 12:40:25

Morning out there! Looking like a terrific weekend; I've got a soccer game today, then some on-water stuff tomorrow for Mr. Bean. It's all good.

Hopefully, I can work on keeping the minimal color I got in my 48 hours in Florida last week. I promised that I'd post my impressions of our security theater, and since no matter where we may go, I always tend to keep a travelogue, so today's blog is already written!
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5 comments (Latest Comment: 05/20/2012 01:25:59 by TriSec)

The Definition of Insanity
Author: BobR    Date: 05/18/2012 13:31:03

Last night we watched the HBO movie "Too Big To Fail", based on the book of the same name by Andrew Ross Sorkin. I had felt like I had a pretty good handle on what happened, but the movie definitely filled in some gaps in knowledge, and provided some "behind the scenes" looks at just how incestuous the banking industry is. I highly recommend it.

It seems to paint Bush Treasure Secretary Paulson in a favorable light, and pretty much everyone else (including CEOs of the banks, House Republicans and even John McCain specifically) as self-centered dicks that are more concerned for themselves than they are their shareholders or the rest of the country.

While Republicans like to blame people buying "houses they couldn't afford", they forget that Bush was pushing home ownership, that banks were pushing loans they knew were going to blowup to people they knew were risks, and that the reason people were defaulting on their loans was because previous bank failures were affecting the job market. Essentially, the banks created bad economic conditions which made their own "assets" toxic, which had them teetering on the edge of failure.
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40 comments (Latest Comment: 05/18/2012 23:02:19 by BobR)

This is so 2008.
Author: Raine    Date: 05/17/2012 12:57:05

From the New York Times:
The plan, which is awaiting approval, calls for running commercials linking Mr. Obama to incendiary comments by his former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose race-related sermons made him a highly charged figure in the 2008 campaign.

“The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way,” says the proposal, which was overseen by Fred Davis and commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade. Mr. Ricketts is increasingly putting his fortune to work in conservative politics. {snip}

The group suggested hiring as a spokesman an “extremely literate conservative African-American” who can argue that Mr. Obama misled the nation by presenting himself as what the proposal calls a “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln.”

A copy of a detailed advertising plan was obtained by The New York Times through a person not connected to the proposal who was alarmed by its tone. It is titled “The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good.”
Are we really going to be led down this road again? AGAIN?
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33 comments (Latest Comment: 05/18/2012 03:16:53 by Will in Chicago)

It's All Politics
Author: BobR    Date: 05/16/2012 13:00:54

It seems like it's only been a few months since the big NDAA brouhaha. When it was signed by the president, there were predictions of doom and American citizens being pulled from the streets as terrorists for doing nothing more than - say, protesting the government. Those dystopian visions of a future police state have not come to fruition.

In an effort to get ahead of the curve (and possibly line up some campaign talking points), the NDAA for 2013 is getting some final touches before heading to the president's desk. Once again, the president is not happy with it and is threatening veto:
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78 comments (Latest Comment: 05/17/2012 01:36:36 by TriSec)

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