Monday Open Thread [7.7.14]

Filed in National by on July 7, 2014

The New York Times:

“The June jobs report — showing 288,000 new hires, the unemployment rate down to 6.1 percent and positive revisions to the April and May jobs numbers — gave the White House and congressional Democrats grounds for optimism.”

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist of Pantheon Macroeconomics: “All the signs are pointing toward strong payroll growth…It’s increasingly very difficult for the naysayers to argue that it’s not very good out there.” Shepherdson predicted that by November, the unemployment rate would be below 6 percent. Despite the usual cautionary notes about the jobs report being just a snapshot and the President’s lagging approval ratings, adds Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, “An improving economy is a twofer…It raises the president’s approval ratings, altering the environment in ways that help us, and directly improves the prospects of each Democratic candidate.”

Booman, in responding to the psychotic columnist Maureen Dowd‘s latest incoherent screed lamenting the days of our nation seeing itself as the undefeatable cowboy John Wayne are now gone, makes a very good point:

We were disabused of that notion in Indochina before I was even born. We ought to have learned it in Korea.

That feckless North Korea fought us, JOHN WAYNE’S AMERICA, to a stalemate at the height of our military power (right after World War II). Some jungle guerilla communists outright defeated America in the 60’s and early 70’s. And yet now, NOW, is when the nation is mourning the loss of our greatness and infallibility? Hahaha. All of these pundits live in a world that is completely unrecognizable from our own. Perhaps it is time they stop inhaling their own shit.

Ronald Brownstein of the National Journal:

It was a revealing convergence Monday when the five-member conservative Supreme Court majority delivered the Hobby Lobby contraception decision even as President Obama announced that House Republicans had officially shelved immigration reform.

Both disputes reaffirmed the GOP’s identity as the champion of the forces most resistant to the profound demographic and cultural dynamics reshaping American life—and Democrats as the voice of those who most welcome these changes.

And both clashes captured a parallel shift: While Republicans took the offense on most cultural arguments through the late 20th century, now Democrats from Obama on down are mostly pressing these issues, confident that they represent an expanding majority of public opinion.

Veteran pollster Stanley B. Greenberg captures this almost unprecedented Democratic assurance when he declares flatly: “Republicans are on the losing side of all of these trends.”

Look, the liberals have won the Culture War. Marriage Equality will go nation-wide next year if the Supreme Court takes up any of the pending cases. And even if they don’t, we are five years away from every state having it by judicial or legislative order. The Hobby Lobby decision has been described as a last ditch rear guard decision that may in fact advance the liberal side rather than the conservative.

From Ha’aretz, pointing out that terrorists can be Jewish and Israeli.

“Abu Khdeir’s murderers are not ‘Jewish extremists.’ They are the descendants and builders of a culture of hate and vengeance that is nurtured and fertilized by the guides of ‘the Jewish state’: Those for whom every Arab is a bitter enemy, simply because they are Arab; those who were silent at the Beitar Jerusalem games when the team’s fans shouted ‘death to Arabs’ at Arab players; those who call for cleansing the state of its Arab minority, or at least to drive them out of the homes and cities of the Jews.

No less responsible for the murder are those who did not halt, with an iron hand, violence by Israeli soldiers against Palestinian civilians, and who failed to investigate complaints ‘due to lack of public interest.’ The term ‘Jewish extremists’ actually seems more appropriate for the small Jewish minority that is still horrified by these acts of violence and murder. But they too recognize, unfortunately, that they belong to a vengeful, vindictive Jewish tribe whose license to perpetrate horrors is based on the horrors that were done to it.

Prosecuting the murderers is no longer sufficient. There must be a cultural revolution in Israel. Its political leaders and military officers must recognize this injustice and right it. They must begin raising the next generation, at least, on humanist values, and foster a tolerant public discourse. Without these, the Jewish tribe will not be worthy of its own state.

Finally, Think Progress has the take down of Governor Perry and his lies about immigration by ABC’s Martha Raddatz. Indeed, during this current refugee crisis on the border and how it informs the immigration debate, every single conservative and every single Republican must answer this question: if our border is so insecure, then how is it that we have captured all these children and teens trying to cross it? If the border was as insecure as Republicans describe, we would not know about all these kids because they would stream across the border undetected.

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  1. I’m posting this here b/c the Daily Thread is not yet up.

    On reflection, my post about Stephen Rementer and the Marsh Road fatal accident was not up to my standards nor up to the standards of Delaware Liberal. I shouldn’t have posted it.

    Accordingly, I have trashed the article. My apologies to the Stephen Rementers who did NOT wantonly cause that fatal crash. But not to the Stephen Rementer who did cause that fatal crash.

  2. cassandra m says:

    I read some of the comments on Dowd’s silliness and there was one observation that really hit be as TRUTH — Down has become the “whiner in chief for the glitterati”.

    This country is still the shining city on the hill to very great many people — you don’t need to get much further than those kids surrendering to the Border Patrol (and their parents who sent them — can you imagine ever sending a kid on that kind of risk?) to know that’s true. The problem is the 1% (and the Congress they’ve bought) who are intent on making sure that the middle class and the working class are pressed firmly into the feudal society these folks think will free them of ever participating in the work that sustains the city on the hill. I think about it in terms of Social Security (apologies for beating this horse) — not definitively fixing Social Security benefits who, exactly? It benefits the people who are let off of the hook for helping to fix it and specifically damages those who have worked all of their lives trying to contribute to the city on the hill.

  3. SussexAnon says:

    “If the border was as insecure as Republicans describe, we would not know about all these kids because they would stream across the border undetected.”

    It was made abundantly clear to me on another thread that these kids are seeking out border guards to surrender to once they cross into the U.S.

  4. Delaware Dem says:

    Yes. I guess that means there are abundant border guards to surrender to.

  5. Dave says:

    Just to make sure this info is promulgated locally: and

  6. bamboozer says:

    Yes, social conservatives have lost every battle of the culture wars, don’t expect them to give it up as long as they can get money out of the faithful to fight on. Sort of like beating the disease and still having some side effects. As for Hobby Lobby we have yet to see the end result of corporations now having religion, I still expect a barrage of lawsuits, most absurd and probably provoking a boycott to go with it. Immigration? No real results until employers are prosecuted. As for Israel the Jews there have become what they have been fleeing for millennia, cruel and intolerant masters of the down trodden.

  7. SussexAnon says:

    No necessarily DelDem,

    Because, once again, as it was made abundantly clear on another thread, many, many miles of border remain open.

  8. ben says:

    ” As for Israel the Jews there have become what they have been fleeing for millennia, cruel and intolerant masters of the down trodden.”

    Watch it, Alex Jones. Many many Jews disagree with the war-hawkishness of the people running Israel. A lot of them LIVE in Israel and even serve in the Knesset. Remember how ALL Americans hated all the Muslims when W was President? yeah. neither do I. Might wanna relax with the blanket statements. That’s how genocides get started.

  9. kavips says:

    Echoing Ben above, here is Wiki’s breakdown of the last election... One can see the Likud is trending downward… very similar to today’s Republicans after their spurt in 2010… Obviously Republicans do not represent the majority of our nation. Yet they are in enough critical positions to freeze an entire country of 315 million people from going forward…. So, as always…and ben is right… blame the conservative faction. Not the entire people….

    Isn’t that funny how conservatives mess everything up, for everybody?