Monday Open Thread

Filed in National by on February 1, 2010

Is it already Monday? The weekend just flew by again, and I had a three day weekend. Let’s get started with a Monday open thread.

Will Bunch, blogger at Attytood (Philadelphia) gives a preview of his upcoming book Tear Down This Myth about Ronald Reagan:

But they don’t have to. Here are three ways that progressives can take back the political debate by turning the Reagan legacy on its head:

1.Reagan had a big-spending economic stimulus plan. It’s true. As noted in the book, the economic turnaround of the 1980s had little or nothing to do with Reagan’s income tax cut that was heavily weighted to the rich but was instead the result of other factors, including the tight money policies of then-Fed chairman Paul Volcker (now an Obama adviser) and a global collapse of oil prices. But there was something else: Reagan also created thousands upon thousands of new jobs across America with a spending program that caused the federal deficit to skyrocket. It was called the Reagan defense buildup.

2.Reagan would not have allowed many of the terror tactics started by Bush and Cheney and continued in the face of pressure by the Obama administration. Don’t believe it? — let me count the ways:

A) Reagan was a staunch opponent of torture by Americans, signing in 1988 the International Convention Against Torture, which said “[n]o exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”

B) The official policy of the Reagan administration was civilian trials for terrorists, as elaborated in a speech by the official overseeing the policy, Paul Bremer (yes, THAT Paul Bremer) who said in 1987 “a major element of our strategy has been to delegitimize terrorists, to get society to see them for what they are — criminals — and to use democracy’s most potent tool, the rule of law against them.”

3.Obama can best honor Ronald Reagan in this centennial year not by another statue, but by continuing to work toward the grand goal that the 40th president and the 44th president both share: Ridding the world of nuclear weapons.


About the Author ()

Opinionated chemist, troublemaker, blogger on national and Delaware politics.

Comments (48)

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  1. Lizard says:

    ws bm bng rcst whn h bwd bfr th sn-mrcn myr f Tmp?

  2. Gee, what a shock, the conservative paradise of Colorado Springs, Colorado is making big cuts in basic services.

    The deep recession bit into Colorado Springs sales-tax collections, while pension and health care costs for city employees continued to soar. Sales-tax updates have become a regular exercise in flinching for Mayor Lionel Rivera.

    “Every month I open it up, and I look for a plus in front of the numbers instead of a minus,” he said. The 2010 sales-tax forecast is almost $22 million less than 2007.

    Voters in November said an emphatic no to a tripling of property tax that would have restored $27.6 million to the city’s $212 million general fund budget. Fowler and many other residents say voters don’t trust city government to wisely spend a general tax increase and don’t believe the current cuts are the only way to balance a budget.

    Magical thinking is at work here, big time. Government can cut “waste, fraud and abuse” and work just fine, just don’t cut MY program that I like.

  3. Sarah Palin is all about Sarah Palin.

    Ex-AK Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R) PAC spent more money buying copies of Palin’s best-selling book than it gave in contributions to political candidates, according to new FEC reports.

    The papers filed over the weekend show SarahPAC spent $47,777 on copies of “Going Rogue” during the last 6 months of the year. Meanwhile, she handed out just $43K in donations to candidates seeking federal office.

  4. cassandra_m says:

    Wingnut welfare at work!

  5. hey anonny nonny says:

    From TNJ’s Jill Fredel via Twitter:

    “Sources say we won’t hear an announcement today from #Chris Coons on running for U.S. Senate seat from #Delaware.” has reverted back to his county exec site, and the others are down now. Somebody realized they screwed up…

  6. Jason330 says:

    Conservatives in Co Springs are going to find out that rebuilding cost more than maintaining.

  7. So does anyone think the Palin PAC kickback scheme will cause a scandal?

  8. cassandra_m says:

    Why would it? This is still part of the Gingrich Get Paid model — and it is only a crime to make money if you are a Democrat.

  9. Lizard says:

    so this is what an Obama Freeze looks like…

    Obama Sends Congress $3.8 Trillion Budget, Soaring Deficits Projected ^ | 02/01/10 |
    President Obama sent Congress a $3.8 trillion budget Monday for fiscal year 2011, pushing a plan that includes new jobs-creation programs but is projected to add nearly $1.3 trillion in deficit spending on top of the current year’s projected $1.6 trillion deficit. According to the plan, the 2011 deficit of $1.267 trillion would fund nearly the entirety of the year’s discretionary spending, which is $1.415 trillion or 37 percent of the government’s total outlays. Mandatory spending on items such as entitlements and interest payments make up the rest.

  10. Lizard says:

    for the 12 years when Republicans controlled the Congress, the average annual deficit was about $104 billion. (wich was way to high)

    in the three years that Democrats have controlled Congress, the average annual deficit is now $1.1 Trillion. (that’s $1,104 billion or more than one million million dollars)

  11. anon says:

    Lizard, lying with math.

  12. cassandra_m says:

    And of course these numbers are spin.

    Designed to let Republicans take credit for the surplus and designed to make the era of the broken economy the Democrats’ fault. The broken economy is why the deficit is so freakin’ big. As President Obama politely explained to you morans, the current deficit not only includes all of the structural deficits put in place by the Republican Congress (think tax cuts not paid for, Medicare Part D not paid for, wars not paid for) AND it includes the massive loss in revenues as lots of people lost their jobs and no longer paid taxes. It also includes all of the automatic stabilizers that kick in when the economy goes south.

    So there will be no trollishness on this budget here. More of this BS gets disemvoweled. Take your alternate reality over to one of your wingnut websites where people have no math, much less any capacity to read a balance sheet.

  13. Lizard says:

    dmcrt dfcts gd rpblcn dfcts bd nl prs fr th dr ldr. gt t.

  14. a.price says:

    “So does anyone think the Palin PAC kickback scheme will cause a scandal?”

    no, because pointing out any potential flaw in Saint Sarah is just the left wing media bein’ mean to a poor mother of… however many were her’s and the ones that are Bristol’s and she takes credit for… All she wants to do is bring the Real America back and let people keep MORE of the money they earn doncha know.

  15. Lizard says:

    unable to refute numbers with numbers, cassie resorts to Memory Hole 2.0

  16. a.price says:

    she is referring to Bush’s fun idea to not include the cost of the war in any budget.
    oh btw, gila monster. you do a lot of annoying crap… but that lack of vowel nonsence is just stupid. OOOO IM GONNA REMOVE THE VOWELs SO PEOPLE TAKE A HARDER LOOK AT WHAT IM TRYING TO SAY!!!!

    DesparateTrollWhoNoOneTakeSeriously says what?

  17. ap,

    lizard didn’t do that. One of the administrators did. It’s called “disemvoweling.”

  18. a.price says:

    oh. well my apologies to lizard. it’s still annoying :p

  19. Lizard says:


    wow you are slow. I didn’t remove the vowels, cassie did. It’s “punishment” for failing to praise the dear leader.

    There are three versions of the Memory Hole here on the DL.

    the original Memory Hole – ungood comments are deleted.
    Memory Hole 2.0 – ungood comments are disemvoweld.
    memory Hole 3.0 – ungood comments are left in moderation

    orwell would be impressed.

  20. cassandra_m says:

    Orwell would take you to the woodshed.

    You can be here with facts — and you already know the trollishness is not going to be tolerated. You were warned.

  21. a.price says:

    again, im sorry troll. I dont know all of the fun blogging tricks and such. I assumed you did it because you get ignored a lot and it was a ploy to make people read what you wrote. It might also interest you to know that this is a privately run website and they can allow any comment they want. So your cries of free speech infringement dont really apply….. kind of like when anyone with an IQ over 56 tried to call Glenn Beck’s radio show with a disagreement.

  22. John Manifold says:

    Today’s spam from Lizard’s buds at CRI concerns the pressing social ill of residents in Delaware public housing not being able pack heat.

  23. Von Cracker says:


    Lizard’s analysis is tantamount to a third tit – fun to look at (and mock) but utterly useless!

  24. MJ says:

    Now we need Jack to go after the NFL like the AG in LA did –

  25. MJ says:

    UI – Alan Keyes paid himself a salary out of campaign funds when he ran for President and for Senate in IL.

  26. I think politician scams are pretty common. The most common one I’m aware of is the charitable foundation set up by a pol. The foundation then hires the pol’s family members as the president, VP, etc. and pays them a salary. It’s also a nice way to funnel corporate donations straight to the politician’s family.

    I remember with disgust that George H. W. and Barbara Bush donated some educational software from their son Neil’s company after Katrina. B & G got the charitable write-off and Neil got the money.

  27. John Manifold says:

    CR Institute “warns” housing authority to let more weapons onto the premises:

  28. Geezer says:

    I believe the warning involves allowing any, not more, weapons into their homes, not “the premises.” At least, that’s how I read the link.

  29. Geezer says:

    The difference, Lizard — not sure your reptilian brain will be able to understand this, but here goes — Obama took office during the Great Recession. What’s the GOP’s excuse?

  30. hey anonny nonny says:

    JM – Don’t worry. It won’t be too long until their “investigative reporter” goes off half-cocked and shoots himself in the foot.

    His career has been founded on getting a couple of anecdotal cases, massaging them into a broader narrative that sounds worse than it is, finding a couple of people who are outraged and then hammering it home over and over and over until he hounds people out of their jobs or gets a policy or law changed. He was the editors’ pet at TNJ right up until he quit abruptly after they laid off his wife, but had no respect from his co-workers.

    I’m kind of surprised it’s taken him so long to get this story going – the man is a gun freak.

  31. Geezer says:

    There were a lot more that “a couple” of anecdotal cases in the prison health care scandal.

  32. anon says:

    Any pro-choicers going to man up and boycott the Super Bowl on account of the Focus On The Family ad?

  33. Geezer says:

    As long as Focus on the Family is asking people to “choose” life, I don’t see where pro-choice people should have a problem with it.

  34. John Manifold says:

    I believe the warning involves allowing any, not more, weapons into their homes, not “the premises.”

    Which is exactly what I was saying. This will be a gut check for elected public officials, to resist this nutty claim for gun-totin’ “rights.” Lord knows, the NRA has a lock on the General Assembly.

  35. Geezer says:

    So you’re against the Constitution too, eh? I’m pretty sure that’s where the “right” you put quotation marks has been found by our current Supreme Court.

    Why is the claim “nutty”? Why should the gun ban apply to all, instead of just those restricted for various reasons from owning guns? Why should the fact that these folks have a government agency as a landlord prevent them from protecting themselves? In other words, instead of a blanket condemnation, why don’t you try making a case for your position instead of an ad hominem attack?

  36. liberalgeek says:

    I wonder how CRI feels about mandatory drug testing of people on public assistance? I know that it has been bandied about by various conservatives. It seems to me to be the same animal. Accepting public assistance should never entail surrendering your rights.

    So I think that people in public assistance housing should be allowed to own guns. The prohibition is akin to a deed restriction, which are unenforceable if they are illegal. Seems to me that it would be easy enough to simply challenge the rule in court. I wonder why the NRA feels they have to take it to the legislature?

  37. hey anonny nonny says:

    ‘Cause it’s cheaper to lobby a couple sympathetic legislators than to file and pursue a case in court, that’s why. Don’t you know how much those bloodsucking lawyers charge? 😉

  38. liberalgeek says:

    Sadly, I do know how much they charge…

    But it seems like no new law is required and it would permanently put the issue to bed in the first judge that is asked.

  39. hey anonny nonny says:

    So anyone heard anything new about Coons’ announcement? Is it coming tomorrow?

  40. I haven’t heard anything anonny. Have you heard Coons is announcing tomorrow?

  41. hey anonny nonny says:

    No, I haven’t heard a thing. Rumor was something was coming Monday, the site went up, then it went down again, and nothing happened. Just trying to figure out how much time is left until Nancy’s head explodes.

  42. anon says:

    Accepting public assistance should never entail surrendering your rights.

    Interesting question, academically at least. Gun ownership actually is a protected right… but what protects your right to get public assistance without a drug test?

  43. Jason330 says:

    77% of self described republicans think that the book of Genesis should be used in public school science classes to explain how God created the world.

    Mike Castle might be among the minority, but he is an order follower.

  44. liberalgeek says:

    I suspect that it could be interpreted as illegal search and seizure. Applying for public assistance is not “reasonable cause” for a warrant.

  45. John Manifold says:

    Landlord has right to keep guns out. No “right” to tote heat under U.S. Constitution – except in cockeyed view of Scalia wing.

  46. hey anonny nonny says:

    Geezer wrote: “There were a lot more that “a couple” of anecdotal cases in the prison health care scandal.”

    Which, IIRC, was co-written with another, much better reporter.

    The psych hospital stuff was more the example of what I was talking about – a handful of cases blown into a bigger narrative. Ditto the stuff he wrote about the lady turned down for a gun permit.