Thursday Open Thread [1.10.13]

Filed in Open Thread by on January 10, 2013

President Obama nominates his Chief of Staff, Jack Lew, to head the Treasury Department and the Republicans are having a fit. Why? Jon Chait has the answer:

Lew’s disqualification, according to numerous Republicans quoted in the story, is that he doesn’t agree with Republicans on public policy issues. The quotes are sort of amazing:

Johanns said it’s also about policy, saying a Lew choice would be “controversial.”
“I just think there are economic policies in this administration that haven’t been well received, and Jack Lew is in the middle of that,” he said.
“We’ve got to have a person who has credibility with the leaders of the American and world economy, someone who has credibility with the Congress, and I would feel like Mr. Lew’s nomination would be a mistake,” Sessions said.

This is the problem with Brennan and Hagel, fundamentally too. None of these people sufficiently reflect GOP policy. Someone should remind them that they aren’t in charge. And conservatives reading should remember this next time one of their guys is in the White House. I don’t see Lew as representing policy different from that Geithner pushed, so it seems stupid of the GOP to make a federal case out of this.

Nate Silver is still on his book tour, and he did a Q&A at Reddit on Tuesday — the NYT has an edited transcript of the session:

Q. Which do you find more frustrating to analyze, politics or sports?
— doogie92

A.Politics. I don’t think its close. Between the pundits and the partisans, you’re dealing with a lot of very delusional people. And sports provides for much more frequent reality checks. If you were touting how awesome Notre Dame was, for example*, you got very much slapped back into reality last night. In politics, you can go on being delusional for years at a time.

Full disclosure: I said in a NYT video yesterday that I’d bet Notre Dame against the spread.

AIG’s Board declines to join in the lawsuit against the US for bailout terms unfavorable to shareholders. AIG also notes that it will not let Hank Greenberg’s company (Starr International) pursue any damages in AIG’s name, either. Good for them — especially since some of them (including Greenberg) who ought to be enjoying some extended time at Club Fed.

For the rock and roll geeks among us — Grantland is running a 7 part series called The Winner’s History of Rock and Roll. Part 1 covers Led Zeppelin. Why the Winner’s History?

If [Marshall] Mathers had been born in the ’50s instead of the ’70s, he probably would’ve made his dreams real by forming a rock band. For decades, rock and roll was fueled by the same greed for cultural capital that now powers the hip-hop generation. You don’t always get that impression reading the rock history books; critics have long focused inordinately on the rabble-rousers who gathered outside the gates of castles constructed by purveyors of commercial decadence and Middle American ubiquity, and cheered as these artists waved their pitchforks at mass consumer culture while asserting their autonomy from it. Rock history is written by the losers, in other words, which is why the importance of insurgents is overstated while the people inside the castles — the rich and famous rulers of middle-of-the-road rock and roll — are disregarded or flat-out ignored.

So the author wants to write a rock and roll history based on his admittedly “mainstream” music tastes rather than any tastemaker’s effete list. And then he writes this bit of hilarity:

Before Led Zeppelin was the Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin was Nickelback. Led Zeppelin was routinely slammed for being derivative and crass.

No idea how true this is, but it is a hilarious line.

So what interests you today?

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  1. puck says:

    I gotta say, anything I ever heard that sounded like Led Zeppelin came AFTER Led Zeppelin.

    I don’t know much about Lew but I like what I am hearing. This is someone who comes prepared for partisan warfare (on the right side!) and represents a 100% break from the Goldman Sachs clones.

  2. jason330 says:

    The problem with Lew, Hagel and Kerry is that they were nominated by President Obama. The GOP does not view the President (or any Democratic President) as legitimate.

    By trying to invalidate this presidency through this grand form of jury nullification, they are turning 250 years of history and tradition on its ear and basically pissing on the Constitution.

    Rarely are they confronted with that truth, but when they are – they are candid. They don’t give a fuck.

  3. puck says:

    The fault is in the Constitution. It relies on various gentleman’s agreements in places, but what happens when you are not dealing with gentlemen?

  4. cassandra_m says:

    This counts as Good: Louie Giglio backs out of Inaugural benediction over comments on homosexuality

    Here’s how it went down: 48 hours ago the White House announced that Giglio would be delivering the benediction at Obama’s inauguration, citing the pastor’s “work raising awareness about modern-day slavery and human trafficking.” Wednesday, ThinkProgress.org posted a link to a sermon Giglio gave in the mid-1990s warning about the mainstreaming of homosexuality and speaking out against changing the definition of marriage. Thursday morning, there’s a WhiteHouse.gov petition calling for the president to replace Giglio with a religious leader “with a history of supporting LGBT equality”and an A section story in the New York Times on the preacher, and a blogosphere ablaze.

    And then God said, “Let there be controversy!” And there was controversy.

  5. kavips says:

    I too was against single sex marriage back in the nineties… At least I think I was…. I can barely even remember the nineties….

    Now if he gave a sermon a year ago, that would be a different story…..

  6. anon says:

    Despite the deep unpopularity of fetal personhood bills in 2012, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has again decided to cosponsor the Sanctity of Human Life Act, a bill that gives full legal rights to human zygotes from the moment of fertilization.

    Ryan, who reportedly has 2016 presidential ambitions, had to de-emphasize his opposition to abortion without exceptions during the 2012 election to align his position with presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But this year, Ryan has been tapped as a keynote speaker for the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List’s sixth annual Campaign for Life Gala, and he is re-upping his support for the most extreme anti-abortion legislation in the country.

    The personhood bill, first introduced in 2011 by Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) and reintroduced by Broun last week, specifies that a “one-celled human embryo,” even before it implants in the uterus to create a pregnancy, should be granted “all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” Similar legislation has been rejected by voters in multiple states, including the socially conservative Mississippi, because legal experts have pointed out that it could outlaw some forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization as well as criminalize abortion at all stages.

    Broun said in a statement that a zygote’s right to life should be “defended vigorously and at all costs.”

    Read it all here:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/09/paul-ryan-personhood-bill_n_2440365.html

  7. cassandra_m says:

    If you read the article linked, Giglio isn’t just against gay marriage, he is against gay people:

    If you look at the counsel of the word of God, Old Testament, New Testament, you come quickly to the conclusion that homosexuality is not an alternate lifestyle… homosexuality is not just a sexual preference, homosexuality is not gay, but homosexuality is sin. It is sin in the eyes of God, and it is sin according to the word of God. You come to only one conclusion: homosexuality is less than God’s best for his creation. It is less than God’s best for us and everything in our lives that is less than God’s best for us and his plan for us and his design for us, is sin. That’s God’s voice. If you want to hear God’s voice, that is his voice to this issue of homosexuality. It is not ambiguous and unclear. It is very clear.

    No matter. What is clear is that Giglio isn’t interested in the idea that we are all created equal, with certain unalienable rights — which is good enough for him to not participate in the inauguration of an American President.

  8. pandora says:

    Why don’t they just go find some low ranked, religious guy/gal working in a soup kitchen? You know, someone actually doing god’s work.

  9. In other words, gay groups want to participate in a religious cleansing. President Obama should remember that last year at this time, he did not favor so called same sex marriage either. Everything the Pastor said is 100% correct. 2000 years of scholarship would back him. You either believe the Bible or not. If you do not it does not give you a right to eliminate every serious Bible or Koran believing cleric from even a minor role on the public stage. He is not there to deliver a sermon on the direction of morality.

    Essentially, this is a replay of the Rick Warren situation. It is a lack of tolerance for the mere presence of someone with a different point of view.

  10. cassandra m says:

    It is a lack of tolerance for people who have no tolerance for gay people. No point in tolerating the bigots — how would they know they were bigots unless you actively shun them?

  11. John Manifold says:

    Found:

    http://grist.org/living/the-science-of-why-comment-trolls-suck/

    [This is posted because it was published today, and not with any reference to David, who has the integrity to state his views, articulately, in this heterodoxical setting.]