evening all

CBS: During a Toys-for-Tots event Friday, a marine asked First Lady Michelle Obama to accompany him to the ball next November. The music drowns out the invitation but you can still see the exchange and hug.

ABC: While sorting donations at the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign, this afternoon First Lady Michelle Obama received an unusual request.

Across a pile of race cars, the Associated Press reports Lance Cpl. Aaron Leeks invited Obama to be his date for next year’s Marine Corps Ball.

The 20-year-old Marine from Maryland told the AP, Obama said “she’d love to go.”

“Actually she said I’d need to speak to her husband, too, but she said she’d love to,” Leeks said.

No word yet on whether the request has received the president’s approval. “If the president’s watching this, this might be the first he’s heard of it,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney joked at today’s daily briefing.

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers toys and gifts donated by White House staff to the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots campaign at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., Dec. 16, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


The only thing that ever disappoints me about Steve Benen is that his charts aren’t BIGGER!

Any way, he’s back after a two day break and he’s catching up on the news about the drop in unemployment (see here) – this chart shows unemployment claims going back to the beginning of 2007.

And they say the Stimulus didn’t work?



Don’t miss:

Milt Shook: There’s No Such Thing as an “Indefinite Detention Bill” and Other Pro Left Lies. (Stay to the end, and watch me expose Glenn Greenwald as a liar once again.)

Full post here

Thank you creolechild

Steve Benen on the NDAA: …… There’s been a fair amount of coverage this week, arguing that the bill, among things, empowers the executive branch “to throw American citizens into prison for life without charges or a trial.” Adam Serwer’s reporting shows otherwise.

This is not to say the NDAA is a good bill…. but it’s not quite as outrageous as some reports have suggested.

I had one related thought about this. President Obama has been facing quite a bit of criticism from the left over the NDAA’s provisions … if I’m making a list of those responsible for the NDAA’s most odious measures, the White House wouldn’t be on top. I’d start, obviously, with congressional Republicans whose misguided worldview intended to make the NDAA even more offensive, but it was a whole lot of congressional Democrats who went along with them.

… Regardless, the NDAA is done. Recalling a phrase I’m sure I’ve used more than once this year, it’s bad, but it could have been worse.

Full post here


327 Responses to “evening all”

  1. 3 Ceb
    December 16, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    According to a report of the story on NBC, Michelle told the soldier that she would love to go, but she would have to ask her husband. Well, we knew our soldiers were fearless.

    • 4 Alycee (@jazziz2)
      December 16, 2011 at 7:23 pm

      excuse me, he’s not a soldier — he’s a MARINE!

      • December 16, 2011 at 7:46 pm

        Hey CEB, don’t feel too bad. My son is a young Marine, and I didn’t know the difference until now, either. 😉 But I tell you, if I had been like you and mistakenly called my son a soldier in person, he would let me know in no uncertain terms the error of my ways. Let’s just say I’m glad you made that mistake on the blog rather than in front of an actual Marine. 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • 6 Ceb
        December 16, 2011 at 7:51 pm

        Give the civilian a break, geez!

        I stand corrected.

    • 8 anniebella
      December 17, 2011 at 7:30 am

      Our First Lady has a heart of gold.

  2. 9 vitaminlover
    December 16, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    The Obamas are people people. They are so real. Not a hint of phoniness. They just like to help people.

  3. December 16, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    PBO won’t have a problem with it. The young man is a soldier and has served our country bravely, PBO will okay it. The man Miche called over is prolly her trip planner/social secretary. He gave the soldier a card with contact info on it. She prolly told the soldier to call in a few days and he’ll have an answer. I hope she goes, I know she would love to because she loves our armed forces and would likely enjoy doing this as a personalized gift to the soldier.

    • 11 Alycee (@jazziz2)
      December 16, 2011 at 7:31 pm

      Army = soldier
      Air Force = airmen
      Navy = sailor
      USMC = Marine

      And yes, the capitalization is intentional because Marine is a proper noun. Thank you…

      • December 16, 2011 at 7:36 pm

        uh-oh! Well, la-di-da, and excuse me please! I will confess to a certain ignorance in terms of the proper names for each specific branch of our armed forces. I will revise my comment: he is not a soldier, but a Marine (yum, I really like Marines). Thank you, Alycee.

      • December 16, 2011 at 8:01 pm

        Now Alycee. I take a bit of an issue with your denigration of the other services. As a former sailor having watched brave Marines hanging over the side puking their guts out while we transported them, i question where i think you were going.
        All branches including the Coast Guard deserve our respect and admiration for what they do. Hell, a lot of people don’t know that the Coast Guard came under fire in Vietnam and do so now in the Indian Ocean and other points of the globe.
        Bottom line, the Marines are part of the Navy Department.

        • 16 Alycee (@jazziz2)
          December 16, 2011 at 8:49 pm

          Yardarm, I’ll answer your bottom line first. You are correct, the US Marine Corps is PART of the Department of the Navy, just as is the US Navy. They are two separate branches of the same department.

          I was not trying to denigrate the other services, I was literally trying to educate. The civilians seemed to understand that. 🙂

          Officially, Marine is a “proper noun” and is always capitalized; for whatever reason, the other services consider what they call their folks “common nouns” and is therefore usually only capitalized at the beginning of a sentence. Why? I don’t know — ask the other services. I left the Coast Guard off intentionally because the only thing I could think of was “coastie;” was too lazy to look it up and didn’t want to offend. So of course, in response to you, I looked it up and it is in fact “coastie.” LOL

          I noted that you address yourself as a “former sailor,” Marines are a different breed, after we complete boot camp, its “Once a Marine, Always a Marine.” 🙂

          My position is usually, I don’t do the service rivalry thing in front of civilians — that’s usually reserved for sitting at the bar at the VFW, AmVets, American Legion, etc; but Yardarm, my fellow brother in arms, you just had to go there in mixed company with the puking over the side… Let’s just say I joined the Marine Corps back when sailors couldn’t be trusted to guard their own gates. 🙂 I love you! Carry on!

          • December 16, 2011 at 9:21 pm

            Oookkaaay! I’m going to belay further responses fot the sake of our site mates. Just keep yourself centered in the hatch and that the quarterdeck is four-o.

          • 18 jacquelineoboomer
            December 16, 2011 at 9:25 pm

            Alycee – May I add this. A few years back, the Navy decided to capitalize “Sailor,” as well! Here’s a write up on all of ’em from a Navy-connected blog about “Navy Style”:

            In 1994, the Secretary of the Navy, John H. Dalton, decreed the word Sailor (when used in Naval correspondence and referring to Sailors of the U.S. Navy) will be capitalized. Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, in 2003 and Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. John Jumper, in 2004 decreed the same for the words Soldier and Airman, respectively. Marine (when referring to a person in the Marine Corps) is a proper noun and will always be capitalized.

            • 19 Alycee (@jazziz2)
              December 16, 2011 at 9:55 pm

              JOB, thanks for the reminder re:Sailor; I was stationed on a Naval Base when that change occurred — I forgot, sorry! 😦

              Didn’t know that the Army and Air Force recently changed; I stand corrected. 🙂

              • 20 jacquelineoboomer
                December 16, 2011 at 10:08 pm

                Wasn’t correcting you! Just remembered all that myself (from my old public affairs days) and looked it up!

                • 21 Alycee (@jazziz2)
                  December 17, 2011 at 12:20 am

                  I can honestly say, I appreciate the correction; don’t want to disrespect my sister services. Thank you.

                  ~snark alert~

                  ’bout time they caught up…
                  good thing the guys at the post don’t know, we Marines still lord it over them… 😉

        • 22 jacquelineoboomer
          December 16, 2011 at 9:28 pm

          And even though the Coast Guard is now under the Department of Homeland Security (during peacetime), it can be transferred to the Department of the Navy by the President at any time, or by Congress during time of war.

          • 23 jacquelineoboomer
            December 16, 2011 at 9:32 pm

            And they’re called Coast Guardsmen.

            Now that I’ve added to this, I’d better stay out of it. I was “just” a Navy civilian for 30 years – ha ha. Deeply love BOTH the Marines and Sailors. 🙂

            • 24 Alycee (@jazziz2)
              December 16, 2011 at 10:05 pm

              “And they’re called Coast Guardsmen.” Just called my active duty Coast Guard cousin back — his response “You didn’t say you wanted to know what we are formally called…”

              BTW, no such thing as “just” DOD civilians perform a vital service — we couldn’t do our jobs without you.

              • 25 Alycee (@jazziz2)
                December 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm

                s/b “just,”

              • 26 jacquelineoboomer
                December 16, 2011 at 10:16 pm

                Thank you, darlin’. Luckily, most of the civilians I hung with knew we were there to support y’all, and were proud to do it. I loved every minute of it, even with all of the meetings that started at oh-dark-thirty. But I deeply admired the “honor, courage, and commitment” part, that’s for sure. I could never have had the courage to sign up for all the challenges, as you guys did.

                Here’s an example of one of my favorite tricks that I used to pull on junior officers. I’d be talking with a Navy Lieutenant in the hallway and spot the Commanding Officer (a Navy Captain) walking toward us. I’d say something like, “Well, what do you mean by that, LT Jones? I love CAPT Smith.” The CO usually got it, but you should have seen the look in the Lieutenant’s eyes when he spotted the Captain. So funny.

                • December 16, 2011 at 10:22 pm

                  Oooooooo! jo you are baaaaad! 😆 😆

                • 28 Alycee (@jazziz2)
                  December 17, 2011 at 12:09 am

                  You’re welcome; but I was just telling the truth. I had civilians working either with or for me 18 of my 21 years, and with the exception of one individual, the were all outstanding! Thank YOU for your service!

                  Yeah, I know about those tricks — I’ve pulled them and have had them pulled on me. 🙂

  4. 29 collegekay
    December 16, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    They’re Marines ladies 😀 They hate being called soldiers. lolz.

    • 30 Alycee (@jazziz2)
      December 16, 2011 at 7:32 pm

      Thank you…

      • December 16, 2011 at 7:39 pm

        thanks, kay and Alycee. Didn’t mean to step on toes. I plead gross ignorance and apologize profusely! Hope I am forgiven. :doe eyes:

        • 32 collegekay
          December 16, 2011 at 7:41 pm

          It’s all good Lisa. 😀

        • 33 Alycee (@jazziz2)
          December 16, 2011 at 7:46 pm

          No, you didn’t step on toes. Civilians usually think “soldier” is the correct term for all military personnel; so my mission is to educate. 🙂

          • December 16, 2011 at 10:16 pm

            Lisa would have been right if she’d said “a member of our Armed Forces” wouldn’t she? I love when different members of the Armed Forces are asked to stand at Fourth of July concerts while the band plays their forces’ signature songs. Even the oldest, most out of shape people stand tall and proud when their service name is called. I’ve noted lately that more women are standing these days. My MIL was in the first class of Waves (Women’s Naval Auxilliary) in WWII and is as proud of that service as its possible to be. She’s one of a very shrinking group of World War II era women Navy vets.

    • 35 maritza
      December 16, 2011 at 7:40 pm

      True collegekay, my old fart husband still says that he is a Marine even though he was done in the late sixties-early-seventies. (Vietnam Vet)

  5. December 16, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Chips, I heard on the previous thread that you and Axe are close, personal friends. He apparently sent you a tweet saying good catch about the whole NYT debacle. If y’all are friends, hook a sister up! Put in a good word for me! tell Axe that we love him too and miss him in the WH! Of course this also makes me wonder if you are in the inner circle? If so, what great plans have you and the president and the rest of the O-Team cooked up? what secret plans are on the burner, Chips? What’s Joe like in person? Is Rahm really as short as he looks on teevee? Is PBO really that devastatingly sexy? Is Miche that young looking in real life? Have you ever stayed over in the WH? Is Bo really that adorable?…………… Chips, we are waiting…………

    • 43 Alycee (@jazziz2)
      December 16, 2011 at 7:33 pm


    • 44 EDP4BHO
      December 16, 2011 at 7:36 pm

      LIsa, so funny 😀 😀

    • December 16, 2011 at 7:41 pm

      😆 😆 😆

      I’ve been exposed!

      I’m sworn to secrecy, so I can’t say anything about life in the White House inner circle. (Although I will reveal – and this is just between us – Bo is now dating Shirley the Chihuahua. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥).

      • 46 tally
        December 16, 2011 at 7:44 pm

        My cats will be heartbroken they can’t have that Shirley for breaky.

      • December 16, 2011 at 7:48 pm

        ‘Shirley the Chihuahua’?!! Has SS done a detailed background check on her parents? Her breeders? Is she from good stock? What are her credentials? Are y’all sure she’s not a gold digger? What goes here, Chips? Why all the secrecy? Why haven’t we seen them on any dates? Does the First Family approve? What about Miche? How is she taking her baby boy finally dating?!!!!

        • 48 tally
          December 16, 2011 at 7:49 pm


          😀 😀 😀

        • December 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm

          Well, to be honest Lisa, it was a little tense in the Oval Office when I had to break the news to the President about Bo and Shirley. At first he was fine about it, he thought it was kind of cute, but then came the question:

          “What kind of dog is Shirley? Is she a Portuguese Water Dog too?”

          “Well, Mr President ……………..,” I said.

          “Well what Chipster,” he asked. (He calls me Chipster).

          “Well Mr President ……… no, Shirley is not a Portuguese Water Dog, sir.”


          “No, Mr President”

          “What is she?”

          “She’s a …..”.

          “Are you okay Chipster?”

          “Not really Mr President.”

          “Would you like a glass of water?”

          “Yes please, Mr President.”

          *** guzzle, guzzle, guzzle ***

          “So, where were we Chipster? Ah, yes, Shirley – what is she?”

          “She’s a …. chihuahua sir.”





          “One of those dogs with a face like Newt Gingrich?!?”

          “Yes Mr President, that’s the one.”

          “So when they have, you know, babies, they’ll look like a cross between Newt and Ozzy Osborne?”

          “Pretty much, Mr President, yes”.

          “Cool! Thanks Chipster.”

          So, it ended quite well, he took it fine, which was a relief.

    • 56 jacquelineoboomer
      December 16, 2011 at 9:18 pm

      I laughed so loud I scared myself, at this: *Is Rahm really as short as he looks on teevee?*

  6. December 16, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    The US financial regulator has brought civil fraud charges against six former top executives at mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said the executives had misled investors about the companies’ exposure to risky subprime mortgages they held when the housing bubble burst.

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were rescued by the US government in 2008.

    Those charged include former chiefs Daniel Mudd and Richard Syron.

    Mr Mudd was fired from Fannie after the government took over. Mr Syron resigned from Freddie in 2008.


  7. 63 TrumpDog
    December 16, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Hell, if Michelle can’t go, I will!!!! Yum.

  8. 66 tally
    December 16, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    I’m still not over the fact DAVID AXELROD knows CHIPS & TOD, complete with the Naughty Harem™.


    😀 😀 😀

  9. 74 TrumpDog
    December 16, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Wanted to add that the Marine kinda has a Barack look to him. Young and really sweet looking.
    Not saying they look alike, just that they share a boyish but handsome quality

  10. December 16, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    OK, our darlin’ Chips – AXE tweeted YOU. How cool is that? OMG, you’re just amazing!!

    And YES, your tweet was AWESOME. Helen Cooper is a concern troll!!

  11. December 16, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Bah….marines …soldiers…. what is the big difference ?

    /ducks behind the desk.

  12. 91 tally
    December 16, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Hey David A – Make sure you invite the MLS CUP CHAMPIONS ***THE LOS ANGELES GALAXY*** sometime soon, while they’re all still playing for the Galaxy.

    Of course, I see no reason why Landon can’t get on a plane while he’s on loan to Everton. 😀

  13. December 16, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Christmas in Washington on TNT now!!!!

  14. December 16, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Between Chipsticks getting a “thx” tweet from @davidaxelrod, and TODville getting a “love you back” shoutout from the President himself thanks to Donna Dem, I do believe we’re hitting the big times. Good job, Chips. It’s good to know people in high places. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  15. 100 vero804
    December 16, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Wow…just read the last thread…the mobilization that took place to force the NYT’s Helene Cooper to correct her nonsense was amazing. And Chips…getting a shoutout twitter from Axe? I’m scared of you, girl!!!! Love that the WH acknowledged your efforts on that. One reason I think the “PBO isn’t an Israel supporter” nonsense is even an issue is because of the misinformation the media has helped carry and create. I’ll never forget the nonsense they did to the president after he gave the speech talking about the 1967 borders. It was a deliberate misinformation campaign.

  16. December 16, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    lol over at mediaite.com there is a story of a company selling Barack Obama mannequins either the head or full-bodied. Now I did not want
    to post the pictures…the full bodied one is…uh..naked? but it’s a mannequin so missing some stuff. Anyway.

  17. 107 CTGirl
    December 16, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    That’s one brave marine! 🙂

  18. 108 Ashley
    December 16, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    That is one bold guy I wonder if a female Marine will ask President Obama. Lord knows I would he is such a gentleman.

    • 109 vero804
      December 16, 2011 at 8:21 pm

      I guess with Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis being asked and going to the balls this year, Marines are taking note and asking their dream date. It’s cute and seems harmless.

      • 110 anniebella
        December 16, 2011 at 10:19 pm

        I don’t think the President would mind, except Mr. Leeks will have to come to the Oval Office first, to have a talk with the Barack Obama, before he pick the First Lady up. I’m sure if Mrs. Obama does attend the ball, there will be a back ground check on Mr. Leeks. And anywhere the President or First Lady goes it has to be check out first.

      • 111 Ashley
        December 16, 2011 at 10:22 pm

        I would have to agree if I were that guy I would be a nervous reck. I hope she goes this will be epic.

    • 112 anniebella
      December 16, 2011 at 10:21 pm

      I don’t think the President would accept a offer like that, because he is their commander in chief.

      • 113 Mae who love our CIC
        December 18, 2011 at 4:56 am

        First Lady will not be going on a date with anyone other than our President. This is not an open marriage. Might be a fun thing to do but First Lady is not a cheap thrill. Besides she is Malia and Sasha momma and they won’t go for it and will not accept no substitutes other than the their daddy the Commander-In-Chief.

  19. December 16, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Good News from Nevada – maybe this will spread

    New Nevada law spurs big drop in homes entering foreclosure


  20. 116 LTMidnight
    December 16, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    had to share

  21. December 16, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Another piece of that great speech in Osawatomie

    Obama :: Osawatomie :: Trickle down economics doesn’t work. It’s never worked


  22. December 16, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    I remember I stopped watching American Idol the night Jennifer Hudson lost. She has to be the luckiest singer in the world to be at all PBO major events.

    • 121 jacquelineoboomer
      December 16, 2011 at 8:58 pm

      She is phenomenal. I never watched American Idol much, so I thought she won! She’s a winner, in any event.

    • 122 Obama Grandmama
      December 16, 2011 at 9:20 pm

      I am currently watching XFACTOR with Simon Cowl, Paula Abduhl, and two other judges in it. What I thought was weird this week is Simon chose the song that Jennifer Hudson sang for Weight Watchers theme for the contestant he is mentoring. He acted like it was totally done differently than ever before. I felt like it was a slam to Jennifer Hudson again as he was the one that said she was too heavy to make it big when she was on American Idol. I remember cheering when she won the Academy Award when she was heavier than she is now as an I told you so against Simon.

  23. 123 isonprize
    December 16, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    How funny is it that the song playing was “All I want for Christmas is you?” That Marine had some nerve asking another man’s wife the Marine Ball, and his Commander-in-Chief, at that. And of course, how cool is it that Mrs. O said that she needed to ask her husband’s permission. Something tells me that, if it actually happens there will be a very cool story to come out of it.

    P.S. If Mrs. O is unable to attend with him, I would be more than happy to gol! 😀

  24. 126 halo
    December 16, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Chipsticks, what are we going to do when PBO asks you to come work in the WH?! With Axe and Donna Dem relaying to PBO about you, it’s only a matter of time!

  25. December 16, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Hello Everyone:

    I have not posted here in a while, but I visit a couple of times a day to do my part to keep these numbers up! This site, with its links to Washington Journal, Mrs. O, and TPV, has kept me sane.

    Helene Cooper’s reporting during the primary and election season of 3 years ago was as weird as this “mistake.” She tended to favor psychoanalysis of the (now) President Obama, and revealed some of her own conflicted feelings about race in the U.S. and the candidate’s racial identity. ( I had read her book so her “reporting” surprised me).

    Also: She attributed (in another article) the classic concept of “double consciousness” to a white contemporary scholar when it orginated with W.E.B. Du Bois in 1903 (Souls of Black Folk).

    …an act of ignorance that was simply quite stunning…


    • December 16, 2011 at 8:49 pm

      I agree wholeheartedly. Helene Cooper is a NYT writer/asst editor so she was accorded more respect than perhaps was due, given her shorthand these days.

    • December 16, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      Very, very interesting mphillip, thanks so much for that, I really didn’t know anything about her history.

      If that headline had appeared in print then I wouldn’t blame the reporter, I’d assume it was lazy work by a sub-editor who didn’t read the article properly – although, of course, she neglected to say in the article that the President DID mention the Palestinians.

      But because it was a a blog post on the NYT I’m assuming she wrote the headline herself – but I can’t be certain about that.

      What struck me about it, though, was that the headline fit her narrative, rather than the truth.

      She started the piece by saying “the Republicans will outdo themselves to say the most provocative things they can to demonstrate they love Israel more than anyone else” ….. “And President Obama will counter by saying as little as he can about the Palestinians”.

      So, she was effectively telling her readers that the President is as unprincipled as the GOP field on the issue of Israel.

      For her line to hold up, she needed him not to mention the Palestinians today, and certainly not to say something like this: “…. that’s why, as President, I have never wavered in pursuit of a just and lasting peace – two states for two peoples; an independent Palestine alongside a secure Jewish State of Israel.”

      So, she misreported what he said to fit her narrative, and chose a headline to complete the lie.

      That’s my theory anyway.

      • December 16, 2011 at 9:08 pm


        I’m absolutely astonished that this is how “journalism” operates today. Much more invested in have the narrative fit their own assumptions rather than “discovering” the truth.

      • 142 jacquelineoboomer
        December 16, 2011 at 10:05 pm

        Actually, in the old world of print media, Ms. Helene Cooper could have been fired for embarrassing her paper and mis-reporting. Remember that other reporter – I think also from the NYT – who wrote stories a few years back about places or events he visited, or something, when he never really went on the trips (how clear was my recollection? not so much!). He was disgraced and fired. What’s the difference between the two?

    • December 16, 2011 at 9:05 pm

      She was born in Liberia so perhaps she isn’t completely schooled in America history?

      • 144 Alycee (@jazziz2)
        December 16, 2011 at 9:33 pm

        BS; She probably knows more about DuBois than most Americans. I believe her ancestors were among the American settlers in Liberia; DuBois was a Presidential envoy.

      • 145 nathkatun7
        December 17, 2011 at 1:46 am

        If that’s the case, then she should avoid pretending to know American history.

    • 146 nathkatun7
      December 17, 2011 at 1:40 am

      Thanks mphillip for shading some light on Helene Copper. By the way, which “white contemporary scholar” did she give credit to for the concept of “double consciousness”? Given her ignorance of history, why is she still at the NYT?

  26. December 16, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    If Miche goes to the Ball, 10 to 1, Leeks will have to pick her up at the WH, where PBO will invite him into the Oval Office for a ‘nice little chat’–SS guys in full regalia i.e.: dark suits, sun glasses and guns a blazing. As a favor from McRaven, a few JSOC members will also be in attendance, just to clear the air, you know. Just so there are no misunderstandings.

  27. December 16, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Very very good comment here:

    The 2 totally opposite, competing, “Obama BAD” memes.

    …My contention is that the media regularly, and actively, promotes two different “Obama Bad” memes, one crafted to appeal to the far right, the other crafted to appeal to the far left.

    Depending on the day, and the particular news topic du jour, the opposite “Obama Bad” memes will be repeated across the media spectrum and then get repeated through out the blogosphere.

    Importantly, the fact that the 2 “Obama Bad” memes are totally OPPOSITE, is ignored.

    Below, I provide some examples of right wing “Obama bad” memes, and then I provide some examples of the same “Obama Bad” meme after its been flipped on its head.

    Right Wing Obama Bad memes
    Obama is a socialist, commie, fascist, racist, who wants to redistribute wealth from people who work and give it to minorities and illegal immigrants.

    He’s also a secret Muslim who hates Christians. He’s really from Kenya or Indonesia.

    He promotes the gay agenda.

    The stimulus was too big.

    He’s promoting socialized medicine and entitlement programs like Social security and medicare.

    He is weak on terrorism, and American security. He should not take our troops out of Iraq.

    Obama didn’t actually kill OBL.

    He’s also a dictator who hates the Constitution, and plans to take your guns, and indefinitely detain you on no charges in FEMA work camps.

    Left Wing Obama Bad memes
    Obama is a secret Corporatist Republican, who wants to redistribute wealth from the poor and the middle class, and give it to the super rich.

    He’s done nothing to help minorities or to resolve the immigration problem in a fair and comprehensive manner.

    He talks about being a Christian way too much.

    He hates gays.

    The stimulus was too small.

    He never really supported single payer or the public option, and he secretly plans to KILL programs like Social security and medicare.

    He ‘s a war monger who started at least 7 new wars. He didn’t really want to take our troops out of Iraq.

    Obama shouldn’t have killed OBL.

    He’s also a dictator who hates the Constitution, and plans to take away your free speech, and then indefinitely detain you on no charges at GITMO.

    What is the goal of the 2 Obama Bad memes?

    I think that the goal of the right wing Obama Bad memes, is to anger the GOP base, and INCREASE GOP turn out.

    I think that the goal of the left wing Obama Bad memes, is to anger the Democratic base, and DECREASE DEMOCRATIC turn out.

    Obama beat McCain in 2008 by about 6%. If the Obama Bad memes, can create a ~3% gain in GOP turn out, and a ~3% decrease in Democratic turn out …. the GOP has a shot at winning.

    The media needs a close race. What will the 24 hour political news pundits do if it becomes obvious that Obama is going to win? They won’t have anything to talk about.

    The need a close race, one that is unpredictable, like the final episode of a season of American Idol. Who will win?

    Oh … btw …. this week’s Obama bad memes appear to be …

    RW version … Obama is weak for getting us out of Iraq.
    LW version … Obama is secretly planning to indefinitely detain anyone who disagrees with him.


    • 151 vero804
      December 16, 2011 at 8:50 pm

      The president pointed that out when Steve Kroft interviewed him last week on 60 Minutes. It’s a very strange phenomenon.

    • December 16, 2011 at 8:54 pm

      Which just proves they’re just the two sides of the same racist coin.

    • December 16, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      Yeah, it’s really rather interesting that the week PBO pulls us out of Iraq, the militaristic indefinite detention memes surface.

    • December 16, 2011 at 9:11 pm

      Absolutely brilliant – “the fact that the 2 “Obama Bad” memes are totally OPPOSITE, is ignored” is just SO spot on. As vero804 said, the President made exactly the same point in the 60 minutes interview.

      He’s a “corporate whore” and a “socialist”, all at the very same time – which is quite an achievement.

      Excellent comment, thanks for bringing it here BWD – you’re BRAVE to venture over there!

    • 157 isonprize
      December 16, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      As President Obama said, “Both stories can’t be right” 😀


    • 159 nathkatun7
      December 17, 2011 at 2:10 am

      Excellent analysis, BWD! You really captured the two contradictory memes driving the media attacks on the President. I think the President is also quite aware of these Left/Right memes out there. Surely they both can’t be right. Since both memes are based on lies and manufactured outrages, they are both false memes. The question, however is: How come the so called respectable mainstream media continue to present them as credible critiques of the President? This question is indeed at heart of what is wrong with the current state of American journalism practiced by the so called respectable media. Clearly, the Rupert Murdoch model of reporting news, based on lies and hypes, has become the mainstream model of reporting news. Witness the questions asked of the President by Mr Kroft on CBS’ 60 Minutes; or the question asked of the President by Ms. Barbara Walters. Most of their questions were premised on the two contradictory memes, of the teabaggers (right wing) and firebaggers (left wing), that you so ably exposed.

  28. 160 vero804
    December 16, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Go ‘head J-Hud!! I love a soulful Christmas song!

  29. 163 lovingandlaughing
    December 16, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    I think to celebrate Chips tonight we should all make whatever size donation we can to TOD fundraising page for OFA! Let’s show our love and support and give!

  30. 168 CTGirl
    December 16, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Malia is a copy of her dad! Beautiful girl!

    • 169 vero804
      December 16, 2011 at 8:58 pm

      Yes she is. Love how she tried to maintain her game face. LOL. The Obama girls are something else!

      • 170 CTGirl
        December 16, 2011 at 9:01 pm

        Did you see how fast POTUS got back to the girls when they started chatting with Justin B.? That was too funny!

        • 171 vero804
          December 16, 2011 at 9:04 pm

          Yeah, I commented on that below. And then Bieber went to shake the president’s hand again, as the president was leaving.

        • 172 anniebella
          December 16, 2011 at 10:28 pm

          Believe me I feel real sorry for any guy who comes knowing at Barack Obama’s door asking to speak to his girls. Sorry, sorry, sorry.

  31. 173 desertflower
    December 16, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Wow! Go away and take a nap when I get home from work…and BLAM! I missed our very own Chips getting a personal text from DA himself! Holy Moly! What a week…Donna’s personal phone call from the President, now this? Wonder no more. Chips and TOD is a force to be reckoned
    with 🙂 Nothing gets by us here, and we’re not afraid to call them out . (NYT correction was great!) That’s what we need to do each and every time we see this BS. Locally and nationally. They won’t be able to hide, which is exactly as it should be.
    Speaking of important issues, the Ed Show had on a very important piece tonight on voter suppression…we need to be all over this! So many people will be unable to vote without proper paperwork in next year’s election. AA, other minorities, students, elderly. They want to do away with the rules and laws they see as being in the way.They want nothing less than total domination of our country by the wealthy and the corporations.Watch that segment if you get a chance…frightening.

    Congrats, Chips! Wow. What a family!

    • December 16, 2011 at 9:03 pm

      Thank you desertflower. I am highly embarrassed, though, that I’ve fussed over a two-word tweet – I’d guess the Axe man tweets 739,267,783 people every day! 😆

      • December 16, 2011 at 9:09 pm

        getting credit where credit is due is definitely something to fuss over, especially when the credit is for telling the truth!

      • December 16, 2011 at 9:19 pm

        Actually Ms Chips YOU didn’t fuss over the tweet. 😉 WE did. We are quite proud that your terrific journalistic skills were recognized. Keep up the good work!

        Oh, I almost forgot, …can I have your autograph too? I’m awaiting DonnaD’s as well. Hmmm. Wonder who will be the next TOD family member to step into the spotlight?

      • 180 desertflower
        December 16, 2011 at 9:32 pm

        Don’t be embarrassed! BECAUSE he tweets many, it was all the more AMAZING! If he was smart, I think that he should tweet you back and join forces with the TOD army of people that you have assembled here…to have this amazing President’s back….and work together to get this done 🙂 After all, we are the most informed, politically involved, motivated….AND FUN…..group of people ever assembled in one place to have this man’s back! Just sayin’…..thanks, Chips, for all you do.Hugs!

      • 183 jacquelineoboomer
        December 16, 2011 at 9:58 pm

        A two-word tweet from a guy who’s one of the closest advisors to the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, honey child, is magnificent.

        Hell, I’d probably just get a nod on the street. 🙂

        (In my younger days, a wink, of course.)

      • 184 nathkatun7
        December 17, 2011 at 2:32 am

        What fuss? I for one feel so proud that some one in the President’s inner circle finally recognized the invaluable work you are performing in support of the President. You have provided us a home where we can come in unity to support this incredible President. I am glad that the “Axe man” finally gave you a shout out. You deserved this little gesture of appreciation and more. I am absolutely convinced that any open minded person who visits this site will be profoundly changed because they would come to know the real President Obama and not the emasculated President Obama who is constantly portrayed by the so called mainstream media, the purity pretend progressives, and the right wing teabaggers.

  32. 185 vero804
    December 16, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Haha…Prez had to break up the little chatfest between his girls and Bieber. Funny.

    • December 16, 2011 at 9:06 pm

      I saw that too!! He made his way over there super fast! He is too funny. Today and the Reform Judaism event, he talked about negotiating Malia’s skirt length. Poor man, he must be living in terror. It’s so sad for dads when their daughters grow up, start dating, get married. Poor PBO.

      • December 16, 2011 at 9:12 pm

        And they are such beauties. He will be a tough Dad, fer shizzle.

      • 189 anniebella
        December 16, 2011 at 10:32 pm

        lisa, I listen to POTUS talking about that too. He’s just being a Daddy, but you better believe no any old thing will come his daughters way. I really don’t think Malia or Sasha would settle for any old thing. They she what their parents have and I know they would not settle for anything.

  33. 190 vero804
    December 16, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Well looks like the 2 month UI extension and payroll tax holiday has been accepted by the WH and Senate. Now we have to see whether the Republicans in the House see anymore hostage options in this whole debacle.

    The Keystone Pipeline issue has been kept in the bill. I guess it doesn’t mandate that the pipeline gets built. I hope the president says “no” to this pipeline. 60 days won’t be enough, so no dice. Alas, in 2 months, when the payroll tax cut and UI extension is up – as well as the pipeline deadline – we’ll be here again.

    I hate Republicans.

    • December 16, 2011 at 9:11 pm

      This crisis mentality is the mother of all headfakes and something I would never had imagined when I was canvassing for Senator Obama back in 2008. I’m so sick of this ugly right-wing demagoguery. I know PBO will pierce through it but it’s awful nonetheless.

    • 193 Britt
      December 16, 2011 at 9:11 pm

      This is a bad deal.

    • 196 dotster3
      December 16, 2011 at 9:13 pm

      Pfeiffer tweeting that the bill essentially kills the pipeline.

    • December 16, 2011 at 9:15 pm

      Me too. What I do hope is that environmentalists, Unions, and supporters start bombarding everyone involved in this process and don’t just leave it up to Pres.Obama alone. I would bet money that as soon as we get back Dems or the Senate are going to send a letter to PBO demanding that he be involved blah blah blah. This is what they always do. Punt and pass it to Pres.Obama, he makes the deal and then some Dems go on TV and disown every piece of the deal. Satan Sandwich my ass.

      • 201 vero804
        December 16, 2011 at 9:21 pm

        So far, the Dems seem to want to paint this deal as a positive thing. That they allegedly want to keep this issue of extending the payroll tax alive, for political reasons. I don’t buy that. No way they want to keep saying the same thing over, then getting weak tea legislation after angst-ridden negotiations.

        • 202 L3
          December 16, 2011 at 9:34 pm

          What would you have them do?

          • 203 vero804
            December 16, 2011 at 9:41 pm

            I would have forgone the X-mas holiday break and stayed in DC talking to any camera I could about how I want to pass a balanced deal to extend the payroll tax and UI benefits with a tiny surtax on millionaires, but we cannot do that because of the obstructionists on the Right.

            I think the Repubs want to go home, so we need to keep them from home. Then, if that doesn’t work, and Jan. 1 comes and folks are seeing less money than they saw in Dec., we keep plugging away with our ideas, or at least other ones at this point. Maybe pass this 2 month deal AFTER we got people’s attention and made the Republicans actually sweat.

            Yes, I understand people need that money. Heck, I need the money from the payroll tax cut. But I just don’t see what political benefit we have gained by doing these last minute random deals with the Republicans. The president’s poll numbers hit all-time lows following the debt ceiling fiasco, and he hasn’t truly recovered from that. Yes, it wasn’t such a bad deal, but the way it played out, the president appeared to have been incapable of standing on his principles – it appeared like he caved.

            I believe that if we cannot get good legislation right now due to the Republican House and their filibuster ability in the Senate, we need to show – clearly and consistently – that there are some core things we as Democrats believe in, and we’re going to fight tooth and nail to get them done, and if we can’t we’re only going to give in when we absolutely have to.

            I think they could have at least kept Congress in session until the new year on this issue.

            • December 16, 2011 at 9:48 pm

              I agree with your reasoning, vero. All good points.

              • 205 anniebella
                December 16, 2011 at 10:40 pm

                It’s not about political points with President Obama, it’s about the weak economy and not wanting the middle class taxes to go up.

            • December 16, 2011 at 9:52 pm

              people trump politics and ‘optics’ every time, Vero. I don’t believe in playing chicken or political games with people’s lifelines. That’s not how we do things. Plus you are forgetting that after the debt ceiling debacle, PBO’s poll numbers were better than those of the repugs in congress who most people blamed for the disaster. I don’t know what Democrats believe in, but I believe in doing what’s right for the American people. If that means sacrificing our ace in the hole, then so be it. That $1000 means a lot to the millions of Americans receiving it. As for keeping congress in session? What congress are you talking about? surely not the nasty, disgusting, ‘do nothing’ congress that goes out of it’s way every time in an attempt to embarrass the president?

              • 207 jacquelineoboomer
                December 16, 2011 at 9:53 pm


              • 208 vero804
                December 16, 2011 at 10:03 pm

                I completely respect your position and had been there pretty much all 2009. But I’m over it. Our party and our president saved this economy in 2009. They expanded health insurance. They created new regs on the financial industry. They saved Detroit and the American auto industry. They passed anti-hate crime legislation. They repealed DADT. They reformed the way we deal with student loans. They did SO much…and what happened? The GOP retook the House in historic fashion.

                Politics is how you win elections. So, I’d like to see the Dems figure out how to play a little more hard-nosed politics.

                Once again, I completely respect and understand your position. I’m just starting to see things differently. Not sure why. It’s just how I feel.

            • December 16, 2011 at 9:55 pm

              Its not just the payroll tax cut, its unemployment benefits as well. I’ve been on unemployment and if I had missed one check every bill collector and my landlord would have been after me. I wouldn’t mind the payroll tax cuts but don’t mess with people’s unemployment benefits. I couldn’t do it so I’m not going to get mad at Dems for doing it.

            • 210 nathkatun7
              December 17, 2011 at 2:51 am

              How would that have helped people who are slated to loose unemployment insurance? I agree that two months is not enough, but that’s still two months where unemployed people can still pay rent/mortgages and put food on the table. Two months from now Republicans still have to explain why they want to raise taxes for the middle class, deny unemployment insurance to those out of jobs, while cutting taxes for the rich. Our job as citizens is to utilize those two months to put pressure on all members of Congress to do the right thing. People asked the President to use the “bully pulpit.” He has done exactly that. Now it’s up to us to show that we listened and are ready to hold Republicans accountable. Keeping the Congress in session without extending unemployment compensation sounds good and would offer dramatic theatrics, but it would absolutely do nothing for the unemployed people who have to survive day to day. Any way, that’s just my two cents.

            • 211 L3
              December 17, 2011 at 7:00 am

              I went to bed because I was sick and tired of the whiners and second-guessers on this blog but everything you said means nothing to people who need that unemployment check. Posturing is great for people who have jobs and money to pay ther bills for people who don’t, not so much. The reason PBO’s poll numbers are low is because the media fails to report the truth about him, his policies and most of all the Republicans and that is unlikely to change no matter what he does.

        • 212 Jenny
          December 16, 2011 at 9:41 pm

          Even Obama critics like Eliot Spitzer and Rachel Maddow said politically it was great deal.

          • December 16, 2011 at 10:00 pm

            They could TURN it into a great deal but Dems have to play their cards right and keep some Dems from going on TV saying they want the pipeline like that knuckle head Rep. Cleaver and Van Hollen (someone mentioned he was wavering).

      • December 16, 2011 at 11:23 pm

        gobrooklyn~ activists have been organizing and demonstrating about this issue for a while now. At the last demonstration in front of the White House it’s estimated that approximately 10,000 people showed up and peacefully protested. Do you remember the video that Robert Redford did thanking President Obama for delaying the project? They’ve been putting work in on this issue…

  34. 216 Bobfr (aka Our4thEstate)
    December 16, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Our4thEstate Bobfr
    Congrats @SpeakerBoehner for KILLING Keystone pipeline. Brinksmanship FAIL. You should have listened to the State Dept warning. #OBAMA2012

    ““This provision does not mandate it,” the official said, “it simply speeds up the review process for a decision.” …. The State Department has already said that if the review process for Keystone is shortened to 60 days as it is in the bill, they will not be able to conduct the necessary review and the pipeline will most likely not be approved. “Despite the fact that it almost certainly leads to no permit being granted by the administration, the G.O.P. insisted on including this provision,” the senior administration official said.”



  35. 222 collegekay
    December 16, 2011 at 9:10 pm

  36. December 16, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    I see that Democrats totally caved on the tax deal. What a bunch of losers. Amazing.

    • 229 vero804
      December 16, 2011 at 9:19 pm

      I honestly believe that the Dems do not trust their messaging and convincing ability. They do not think they can sustain the blowback of either a government shutdown or a failure to extend the payroll tax holiday and the UI benefits. Plus, the media will not be kind to them.

      Of course, they also want to keep nudging the economy toward full recovery, and keeping those two items is important to the economy. So, with the Dems having a sincere desire to help the economy and the middle-class, coupled with their lack of confidence in their party’s ability to win a political argument, they do not have the stomach to walk away from the table with the Repubs.

      • 230 L3
        December 16, 2011 at 9:39 pm

        Stop blaming Democrats for the treasonous behavior of the Republicans.

        • 231 vero804
          December 16, 2011 at 9:48 pm

          I am not blaming the Democrats for the Republicans’ treasonous behavior. What I am suggesting is that the Democrats have got to change their tactics in this unfortunate situation. I do not think their current strategy is a winner. That is 100% my opinion and I am 100% with my president. That support I have for him is why I am so frustrated.

          My issue is this: I do not see how you can be an effective negotiator if you do not let your opponent think you are willing to walk away at some point – that you have a limit to your compromising. I just feel like the Democrats have no limit to what they’ll do to get a deal – any deal. Therefore, we get “the bill” with some nuggets of what we want, but it so ineffective and getting there was so painful with us bending and bending and bending, that the public doesn’t see it as a win for the Democrats. And the public doesn’t appreciate their efforts to shield them from the pain the Republicans are trying to inflict, either.

          • December 16, 2011 at 9:59 pm

            we aren’t willing to walk away from the American people, Vero. That’s what differentiates us from the repugs. We don’t give up, we don’t give out, we never walk away. That’s just the way it is.

            • 233 vero804
              December 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm

              I hear you. I guess you are right. All I know is that it is not entirely impossible that after all the good we did. After all the sticking with the American people our side has done, we could lose in 2012.

              It’s scary times we are living in when you cannot even get a tax cut done w/o all of this drama.

              • December 16, 2011 at 10:20 pm

                I feel you, Vero. I have my own problems with Dems in general and certain Dems in particular who have no backbone and no sense. However, this is not an issue of them betraying the American people, it’s an issue of them finally finding the courage-without PBO covering for them- to do something that makes a difference in the lives of other Americans. This 2 month deal is a result of Dems-finally in solidarity- swallowing their egos and doing the right thing instead of waiting for daddy to come save their asses. This is change I can believe in. I get your frustration with the politics of it, but let’s not forget to see the forest, despite all the trees. We can only do the best we can for each other. if what we do isn’t recognized or appreciated, then that’s too bad, but it does NOT negate the reason for doing it. For PBO and certain Dems, this isn’t about the next election, it’s about the people. That’s what we need to remember. We are doing these things because it is the right thing to do. Not because it’s politically expedient. PBO has been repeating over and over again: “It’s time to put country above party, to put the next generation above the next election.” That message was not meant only for repugs, but for us as well.

                • 235 L3
                  December 17, 2011 at 7:14 am

                  Thanx Lisa for your response to Vero. I feel like George Clooney these days, “disillusioned with Democrats who are disillusioned with PBO.” It just got to be too much last night. I came to this blog to escape the handwringing and second-guessing of PBO and it frustrates me when people bring that crap here, making snap judgements before all the facts are known is so PL. These Republicans are not playing by normal rules, they don’t just want to defeat PBO, I think they want to destroy him. PBO is trying to prevent them from destroying us and the country in their attempts to get him and if the country doesn’t get that in 2012, then maybe we deserve what we get.

            • 236 anniebella
              December 16, 2011 at 10:48 pm

              The President cares, do we want the President to be like the very people we hate. Boehner, McConnell, Cantor.

          • December 16, 2011 at 11:34 pm

            vero804~ please name a bill where the President compromised and we received “nuggets of what we wanted but it was ineffective?” From what I’ve seen it’s been the exact opposite with the GOP on the losing end, but maybe I’ve missed something.

            I respect your right to your own opinion but I strongly disagree with the statement that “the public doesn’t appreciate the Democrats efforts to shield them from the pain the Republicans are trying to inflict.” And I think that people who are now able to receive health care benefits would also disagree with your statement, as well as the families of those in the military who have loved ones who are returning from Iraq, and those who didn’t.

    • 238 halo
      December 16, 2011 at 9:20 pm

      This is insane. How the hell do you conduct tax policy for TWO MONTHS ata time?! We’ll be right back to where we were this time with the Rethugs taking Keystone hostage again. They’ll keep doing it with the Bush tax cuts and the debt ceiling at the end of this year!

    • 240 halo
      December 16, 2011 at 9:23 pm

      Is there confirmation on State Dept. rejecting Keystone now because of the 60 day review process?

      • December 16, 2011 at 9:26 pm

        copied from above:

        Our4thEstate Bobfr
        Congrats @SpeakerBoehner for KILLING Keystone pipeline. Brinksmanship FAIL. You should have listened to the State Dept warning. #OBAMA2012

        ““This provision does not mandate it,” the official said, “it simply speeds up the review process for a decision.” …. The State Department has already said that if the review process for Keystone is shortened to 60 days as it is in the bill, they will not be able to conduct the necessary review and the pipeline will most likely not be approved. “Despite the fact that it almost certainly leads to no permit being granted by the administration, the G.O.P. insisted on including this provision,” the senior administration official said.”



      • December 16, 2011 at 11:01 pm

        Halo~ the President removed the State Department from the decision-making process, after promising activists that he would look into the matter. He kept his promise AND took it a step further! 🙂

        Obama to make decision on controversial oil pipeline
        By Juliet Eilperin, Published: November 1

        President Obama said Tuesday that he will decide whether to approve or deny a permit for a controversial 1,700-mile Canadian oil pipeline, rather than delegating the decision to the State Department. Labor unions and business groups argue that it would create thousands of jobs in the midst of an economic downturn. Environmentalists — who plan to ring the White House in a protest on Sunday — say the extraction of the oil will accelerate global warming and the pipeline itself could spill, polluting waterways and causing severe environmental harm.


        BREAKING: State Department Puts Brakes On Keystone XL Pipeline |By Brad Johnson on Nov 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm

        The Department of State is planning to put the brakes on the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, Reuters reports. After seeming to be a foregone conclusion, approval by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama of the $7 billion Canada-to-Texas pipeline hit a wall of popular opposition and scandal. Climate activists mobilized across the nation, risking arrests in acts of civil disobedience, to raise the alarm about the civilizational risks of mining the tar sands. Nebraskans of all political stripes united in opposition to the foreign oil company TransCanada’s abusive practices and plans to cut across the state’s most valued ecosystems. State’s decision to reconsider its draft impact statements to evaluate alternate routes means possible final approval, originally expected this year, will be delayed at the minimum by several months.

        Update – “When President Obama stands up to big oil, we stand with him,” Bold Nebraska leader Jane Kleeb responded.

        Update – At today’s press briefing, Jay Carney outlines President Obama’s criteria for determining whether the pipeline is in the national interest: “Public health, climate change, economic growth and jobs, all of these things have to be factored in.”


    • 250 L3
      December 16, 2011 at 9:35 pm

      What would you have done?

    • 251 nathkatun7
      December 17, 2011 at 3:23 am

      I have the uttermost respect for you, BWD, but I respectfully and strongly disagree! I am also saddened that you’ve chosen to adopt the PL meme of “cave” about Democrats. In my humble opinion what the Democrats are doing is called buying time to try to help the unemployed people, even if it’s for just two months, until the issue of funding can be resolved. I know the dramatic theatrics of keeping Congress in session during the holidays sound enticing, but the theatrics do absolutely nothing to help a person who has to pay rent/mortgage on Jan. 1, or find enough money for grocery and home heating. Clearly this battle is not over. It was just extended. Hopefully Republicans can explain to folks in the next two months why they want to raise taxes on the middle class and deny unemployment insurance for people out of work. For God’s sake let’s stop eating our own. Democratic members of Congress and the President are not idiots or uncaring people. But, unlike the Republicans, they always put pragmatic politics above ideological rigidity. The truth of the matter is that in just 15 days, unemployment insurance will cease, and the payroll tax cuts will end. Surely getting a two month reprieve for the unemployed and the struggling low and middle class tax payers to continue the debate does not constitute a cave.

  37. December 16, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    So this is how the left corrects a lie? Seen on Twitter:

    @MotherJones Defense bill doesn’t authorize indefinite dentition of Americans, but it’s still a cop out

    • 254 vero804
      December 16, 2011 at 9:22 pm

      That’s textbook PL stuff. “Yeah, not as bad as we feared, but still sucks.” They can’t even just say, “not so bad” and end it there.

    • December 16, 2011 at 9:27 pm

      if only the PL could choke on their own bile.

    • 258 Bobfr (aka Our4thEstate)
      December 16, 2011 at 9:30 pm

      Fortunately, most Americans don’t even know whom these clowns are and for those aware of them their are increasingly seen as fraudster, hair-on-fire nuts.


      • December 16, 2011 at 10:30 pm

        You are so right, Bob. Not only do most Americans not know who these clowns are, but they’re not paying any attention to these arcane issues right now. It’s Christmas, the stores and streets are crowded, people are crazy busy and they don’t know or care about the sensitivities of the PL.

    • December 16, 2011 at 9:30 pm

      It’s in the job description at Mother Jones.

    • 261 nathkatun7
      December 17, 2011 at 4:26 am

      “A cope out” by who? Do these people realize that we have a divided government where one party, or the liberal ideology, is not in total control of all the branches of government? Something has gone terribly wrong in American education. Other than mythology, even the seemingly smart and educated people are totally ignorant of history and the way the American political system functions.

      I am sorry to keep making reference to the clip of the President’s conversation with students at Harvard, but he was spot-on. In that clip, President Obama reminded students that American politics is deeply grounded in compromises so long as people don’t loose sight of their principles. In essence what he was saying is that nothing will get done if political parties rigidly adhere to their ideological purity. Unless, of course, if one party controls the super majority in both houses of Congress, the Presidency, and the majority Justices of the Supreme Court. That’s why, imho, people who talk about “cop outs” completely fail to grasp the nature of the American political system.

      For example: using the purity progressive yardstick, I can effectively argue that the Declaration Of Independence was “a cop out” because it removed a passage condemning slavery and slave trade. I can also argue that the U.S. Constitution was “a cop out” because in order to form a union between slave and non slave states it incorporated provisions that sanctioned and protected the rights of some white people to own other human beings, who were black, as property. And talk about “cop out.” How about the Great Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation which did not apply to over a million slaves in states, or parts of states, loyal to the Union? I know this is a well kept secret, but Lincoln did not free all the slaves because he feared losing the boarder slave states to the Confederacy. And, how about FDR’s Social Security Act that excluded agricultural and Domestic workers?

      I cite all these examples to illustrate the complexity of American governance. The Republicans, in spite of their bravados and chest pumping know that they will never get exactly what they want, except for minor things. For almost thirty Eight years they’ve been unable to overturn Roe v. Wade. They’ve failed miserably to pass a balanced budget Amendment. I can go on. But my point is: more often than not, in order to make progress in this political system you have to be prepared to make some compromises and hope to continue the fight in the future. I challenge any one to show me a president, from George Washington to Baraka Obama, who got 100% of every thing he wanted or advocated. It is true that in times of war, or domestic crises, President tend to get most of what they want. But this is always short lived. Just to cite the most recent example, George W. Bush wanted to privatize Social Security, but he absolutely got nowhere because neither the people nor the Congress signed on. So, for all the Progressives who long for a progressive Bush replica, it’s important to pose and seriously study Bush’s legislative success that had nothing to do with the scare of 9/11.

  38. December 16, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Watching this video of the young Marines with FLOTUS makes me feel quiet sentimental. The young Marine standing slightly behind and to the right of the Marine with the camera (who is standing next to the “brave” Marine who is talking to FLOTUS) looks so, so, so much much like my son who also happens to be in the Marine Corps. Of course, he is not my son who is stationed on the West Coast, but he could almost be my son’s twin. They have the same/similar dark complexion, height, head shape, and mannerism — See how he continually bites his bottom lip while standing hesistantly back instead of forging ahead and talking with FLOTUS, himself? That’s just like my son. 🙂

    Seeing this young man makes me miss my Marine even more because he won’t be home for Christmas this year. 😦

    • December 16, 2011 at 9:29 pm

      Oh NCW, I’m so sorry he won’t be home for Christmas. 😦 I bet he’ll miss you just as much as you miss him.

    • 265 Alycee (@jazziz2)
      December 16, 2011 at 9:43 pm

      So sorry your Marine won’t be home for Christmas; sure you two will burn up the phone lines on Christmas day. Do you Skype? In 21 years, I only missed three with my family; I was Blessed!

      What amazes me is they all look so young, even the two in the first pic with FLOTUS!

    • 266 jacquelineoboomer
      December 16, 2011 at 9:46 pm

      Now WE love your son!

      • December 16, 2011 at 10:36 pm

        Thanks everyone for your kind words of support. Fortunately, I have a brother who lives near where my son is stationed, so at least he will have family to be with during the Christmas Holidays. And Alycee, those young men do look quite young because they are young! My son is just 19 but he looks 16 or 17. Hopefully, he will be able to come home for Christmas next year.

        • 268 Alycee (@jazziz2)
          December 16, 2011 at 11:46 pm

          That’s outstanding! Glad he’ll be with family, won’t be surprised if he takes some buddies with him. I was blessed to have family or friends near most of my duty stations.

          Its not just the teens looking young; when PBO was in Australia, his military aide was a Marine Maj or LtCol, he looked like a JrHS student.

    • 269 Walking_on_ Sunshine
      December 16, 2011 at 11:17 pm

      newcenturywoman. Hope you are able to talk with your son on Christmas day. He sounds very sweet. Like the First Lady says, the military families are serving and sacrificing right along with the service members. Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Coasties (hope I covered them all, I read up-thread and don’t want to get in trouble).
      When my husband was in the army – back a couple of decades ago now – there were a couple of shy young soldiers, who would come to our house on the holidays. We lived on base and were not much older than they were but I always felt quite maternal about them. I remember them being so sweet and polite.
      Thank you and thank your son for his service.

  39. December 16, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    🙄 🙄 Does the board consider PBO caving or just the Dems in Congress? We have so much to run on. I just hope the Dems don’t screw our advatage up for 2012.

    • 271 halo
      December 16, 2011 at 9:46 pm

      According to Dan Pfeiffer, there was a 2 month extension. They couldn’t get a year or millionaire’s tax because of the Rethugs. PBO now can kill the pipeline in 60 days. Rethugs will blame him for costing jobs, hating America, etc. Which is what they would be doing regardless. We’ll have to see what they’ll be taking hostage next year though. I’m more worried about the debt ceiling and the Bush tax cuts. Hopefully we can take back the House, let them expire and then pass the Obama tax cuts!

    • 273 jacquelineoboomer
      December 16, 2011 at 9:48 pm

      PBO never caves. My take.

      • December 16, 2011 at 10:41 pm


        He “played ’em!” 😉 🙂

        YES.WE.CAN…DO.(Much)More, Together!
        YES.WE.CAN, Again….Obama/Biden 2012!
        PRESS ON!

      • 275 anniebella
        December 16, 2011 at 10:50 pm

        I agree with you jacquelineoboomer.

        • 276 jacquelineoboomer
          December 16, 2011 at 11:40 pm

          Thanks, anniebella and snoopy4eva2 ! Took me a while, but I learned during the health care discussions to remember that President Obama is 20 steps ahead of all of us, and his team is 10 steps ahead of all of us in strategies and tactics. (Not that we are slackers, but there’s nobody like President Obama, from my perspective.) I realized I had to change my attitude to give them space. The GOP is so predictable, that the administration already knows everything they can and will pull, and they keep moving the target on the Rs. They entrap them every time they obstruct, even though it’s not clear what they are doing until after it occurs.

          I wish Democrats would ask themselves one question. Although “we” may not get everything we wanted, isn’t everything we’ve gotten what we wanted? I mean nothing bad has happened – look at President Obama’s list of accomplishments. If things are missing from our wish list, we should at the very least always appreciate what we did receive. Because nobody could have gotten health care reform but PBO, etc., etc., etc. We are so much better off than we would have been if he hadn’t been elected, it’s just amazing to me. If anybody should cut him a break, it’s us.

          • 277 hopefruit2
            December 17, 2011 at 12:46 am

            Do you recall how much bitching and whining there was about AJA jobs speech date – when Boehner declined PBO’s original date and it *appeared* that PBO had caved to Boehner’s demands, whereas Boehner had played right into PBO’s hands, giving him a huge audience on the same day as a football opening game?

      • 278 nathkatun7
        December 17, 2011 at 4:48 am

        Jacqueline O, I agree with you 100%. What PBO does is try to work out the best deal he can to advance the interest of the vast majority of the American people. Today I was really sad and distressed to see people I deeply respect use that word “cave” when attacking Democrats. It’s as if Democrats are totally to blame because the Republican are demanding ransom in exchange for their support of extending payroll tax-cuts and renewing the Unemployment Insurance.

    • 279 Jenny
      December 16, 2011 at 9:57 pm

      It’s republicans who caved.

      They opposes any extension of the payroll tax holiday and UI and they gave in. They caved.

    • 280 nospin
      December 18, 2011 at 6:40 pm

      PBO never caves. I dislike that term and frankly think it is utter bullshyte.

      Decisions should be made based on what is in the best interest of the American people and what can be realistically achieved in Congress.

      If we want more we better work our asses off to give PO a Congress that is willing to do the hard work to support and pass his policies.

  40. 281 Jessica
    December 16, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    I cannot wait until 2012 is over. It’s going to be a long year. So the payroll taxcut is only for 2 months. That’s interesting.

  41. 282 Jessica
    December 16, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    This is insane. Obama is fighting tooth and nails for payroll tax cut and UI benefits paid for by a tiny millionaire surtax but his approval ratings are in the mid-40’s when they should be in the mid-70’s. Don’t understand some Americans, I truly don’t.

    • 283 vero804
      December 16, 2011 at 10:09 pm

      Yep….that’s why I’m so frustrated. That is why maybe the American people need to “feel” the pain. This man is working his tail off, is going against a truly insane opposition and a useless media, and he is going to have to fight like hell for re-election against some weak tea Republican candidate with no core and no heart (Mitt, Newt, all of them fit that description).

      The mind, it boggles.

      • 284 Keith in C-bus, Ohio
        December 16, 2011 at 11:57 pm

        Vero and Jessica its called RACISM. Not a mystery. The MSM encourages it and the low information voters SUCK it in. It is what it is. We just have to work hard for the re-election. When PBO says this is going to be a FIGHT he is not kidding. There is a massive power structure that has been around for decades (centuries even) that feel very threatened by PBO. We aren’t playing cards here folks. KEEP HOPE ALIVE!!! Obama/Biden 2012

    • 285 anniebella
      December 17, 2011 at 7:03 am

      Some people always have to have someone to blame for something, and alot of times it’s the wrong person who they blame. But with all they know about the Republicans, with all the Republicans said they wants to do, if the people vote them back in, then America deserve the hell the Republicans will give them. You already see what they want to do to Medicare and Social Security. And alot of other programs which helps people. You see how they protect the rich and don’t give a dam about the middle class and poor. The whole up about this payroll tax cut is they don’t want to help Obama, to give him a victory. That is how it was with the American Jobs Act. The AJA would have created alot more jobs then that pipeline. But with people struggling like they are you would think they would put politics aside and do what is right for America. That’s the different between those that care and those that don’t give a dam. And alot of time because you care you can be accused of caving or giving in. But we can’t stay home like 2010, the Republicans are trying to steal this upcoming election anyway they can. That is what this voter id is all about. Let’s get our id and be ready to vote.

    • 286 nospin
      December 18, 2011 at 6:43 pm

      Jessica – I don’t pay attention to polls. They are meaningless at this point.

      When the time comes and voters are paying attention to the policies of a President Obama vs. a President Bachmann, Paul, Romney, Perry or Gingrich then and only then will the polls be relevant.

  42. 287 dotster3
    December 16, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    For a little break—–reporting on Piers Morgan again pressing his guest about politics, this time with Harry Connick Jr. Kept asking and asking and Connick kept trying to say that he didn’t want to voice his opinion, for a bunch of reasons, but Piers kept at it—-he’s obsessed with getting everyone to confess their political persuasion and asked if he voted for Obama. And Connick finally said yes he did, and proudly. He said he got to meet Obama when he was a senator, liked him very much, respected him as a husband, a father of girls which he could relate to, and as a man. And he said his mgr.’s husband is an ethics prof at Harvard and they have known him for many years and could attest to his impeccable character, etc. so Connick said that gave him even more certainty about his vote.

    • 288 Walking_on_ Sunshine
      December 16, 2011 at 11:28 pm

      thanks dotster. I’m always relieved to hear that when someone is interviewed who I like. Don’t want to have to ditch my favorites. I’m looking forward to seeing the interview. There really is something weird about Morgan’s fixation on this question.
      I love that our beautiful Democratic President is a man of impeccable character. Where are your “family values” now GOP?

  43. December 16, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I consider “caving” an emoprog and PL term and I refuse to use it. It’s just one step from “cave” to “weak” which is what usually follows the use of the term.

    And let’s be clear, when emoprog and PL says “Dems caved”…they mean President Obama. Forget that Dems in Congress agrees, or progressive heroes like Nancy Pelosi also agrees. You never hear “Nancy Pelosi caves” do you?

    Nope when you say “Dems caved” you mean POTUS.

  44. December 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Worst. Empire. Ever.
    Posted By Daniel W. Drezner| Friday, December 16, 2011 – 4:29 PM

    The past decade’s worth of American foreign policy debacles has led to some lazy thinking on American empire. Either the United States is using force to advance rapacious economic interests, or Washington is neglecting economic diplomacy because U.S. foreign policy has become too militarized. Right, now, neither argument holds up terribly well.


    During the 1990’s, one could argue that U.S. foreign policy in the Pacific Rim was too heavily dominated by the Treasury Department. During the 2000’s, one could argue that it was too heavily dominated by the Defense Department. Right now, U.S. policy in the region looks like a decent balance of security and economic diplomacy. I suspect that this balance has been so rare for so long that analysts simply aren’t used to recognizing it.


    • December 16, 2011 at 10:26 pm

      I’m also pretty sure that the US gets “kick backs” of sorts when they don’t get the contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan – China gets the big Afghan mining deal officially, but I can’t see the US really leaving empty handed – they’ll get something down the line that we didn’t think was politically possible. Also by drawing China into Afghanistan for the mining riches, it also means China has a stake in the country, which is in their natural sphere of influence anyways. China knows the US is leaving in 2014, long before everything has been mined meaning the Chinese has a vested interest in seeing Afghan security forces succeed so they might put pressure in Pakistan that the US can’t to crack down/control lawless territories.

  45. December 16, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Wait a minute — I missed Axe contacting our Chips McGee???? Lawd………….. goes to read back ….. we have some celebrities here. TOD is becoming quite well-connected. Mmmmhmmm. 🙂

  46. December 16, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    GOP want to speed up pipeline decision because it splits the unions from environmentalists – two parts of the Dem base. Unions want the pipeline because it’s a lot of work for them, enviros of course want it killed because it’s a disaster environmentally. I’m pretty sure it will eventually happen though.

    Who knows anymore. I know it’s certainly not killed yet no matter what the State Department is saying. In two months we’ll be right where we are now.

    GOP wanted this included because Pres. Obama said he’d veto it if it was. So they force him to go back on his veto threat, making him look weak in the process. OTOH Major Garrett said Obama Admin played the GOP here, issuing the veto threat knowing that the GOP would then key in on it as the major demand they wanted in return for the payroll tax cut extension and UEI extension which the GOP really didn’t want to do because it keeps the economy growing. So Pres Obama trades 2 month extension on each for “showing ass” and backing down on a veto threat.

    We’ll do all this again in two months, but that’s end of February now, with the Presidential campaign in full swing, and with Congress starting to get their challengers from primaries so Dems will have declared candidates to challenge the GOP in each district and make them own their votes.

    • December 16, 2011 at 10:39 pm

      Wait, what? Major Garrett said that?

      I think the GOP want him to make a decision now so that they could use it against him in the 2012 elections.

      Also, why would the Unions want this so badly if it only creates up to 1500 temp jobs and 50 permanent. I read that it wasn’t the 20,000 that was being spread around.

    • 299 Jenny
      December 16, 2011 at 10:56 pm

      What show are you watching?

  47. December 16, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    The invite from the marine to FLOTUS is too sweet. I think he’ll get his wish 😉 .

  48. 301 isonprize
    December 16, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Saw this somewhere on TOD from a tweet:

    “If President Obama said he was in favor of breathing, Republicans would tell you to hold your breath!”

    😆 😆 The funny thing about it is that IT’S TRUE!!!! 😆 😆

  49. 302 vero804
    December 16, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Hey, thanks guys for allowing me to vent and process things. The 2 month aspect has thrown me off. I guess it feels like a cop out..the Repubs will just find something else to poison the negotiations in Feb. I know this deal is the right thing to do morally and policy wise, it’s just hard to see our side give and give and stress to make a deal, while the other side just lobs bombs and throws up speed bumps. I guess I’d just like to see them stress a little.

  50. December 16, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    That young Marine is a ‘cutie’ – he and PBO’s smiles are remarkably similar. (Hope this comment doesn’t land me on the naughty mat – I’m new!!

  51. December 16, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    so you guys I totally blew threw this blog as fast as I could because Chips is BFF’s with The Axe now and I had to find out about it. Holy Mackeral I was not gone that long. TOD went to battle! Yes! I retweeted something from Bob and then found out it’s all over. Whew.

    What the heck was I going to say?

    Oh! Have you guys seen this?



    It’s by Milt Shook and it’s about the whole PL, emoprog reaction to NDAA. good read

    Chips! w00t!!!

    I gotta go right now but I’ll try to sneak back later.


  52. December 16, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    this guy is too cute. Leeks said at first he was going to ask Miche to dinner, but felt that would be going too far, so he asked her to the ball instead, with her husband’s permission of course:

  53. December 16, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    You know, I currently collect unemployment. It’s not very much, but it does keep food on the table. If my checks had ended on Dec. 31st, it would have been quite a hardship. Let’s Press on!! BTW, the local news channel here in Chicago is going to talk about the young man who ‘popped the question’ to the First Lady, after the break. Too cute!

    • December 16, 2011 at 11:17 pm

      tell us about it when its over. I wonder if this will be on the Monday shows.

    • 314 jacquelineoboomer
      December 16, 2011 at 11:20 pm

      I’m really happy this went through, for you and everyone else who receives it. Merry Christmas! And, after all, you earned it! I get some Chicago channels, but not sure if I’ll see the Marine tonight or not!

  54. 315 CaliCat
    December 16, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    ARG!!! I’m so annoyed by that stupid AP poll that says “the majority” of Americans don’t think the president deserves a second term. Usually I can shrug off these kinds of things but HP (of course) is hyping it up to fill their quota of “Bad news for Obama” articles they have to post or else. And it was apparently this poll that Barbara Walters was quoting in her recent interview with the Obamas. Can I just say, I CANT STAND BABA WAWA!!! She just couldn’t resist throwing those numbers in PBO’s face. She obviously doesn’t respect this president. Then again, Baba was smitten with Sarah Palin so there you go. The reality is President Obama has done more for this country in his first term than the vast majority of preceding presidents did in theirs. I think the poll itself is crap because AP is a joke and worse than Rasmussen but it struck a nerve with me because I’m painfully aware that many self described liberals and independents have been swayed by the anit-Obama propaganda machine (aka: the PL) that spews misinformation about the president 24/7, 365. I also know that this president is held to a ridiculous standard because he is black. If a white president had accomplished even half of what PBO has accomplished thus far he would be hailed by the liberal media as the greatest president of all time. But no, the PL (backed by the conservative media) spins every accomplishment they can into a negative. And what they can’t successfully spin into a negative, such as the killing of OBL or the ending of the Iraq War, they simply refuse to acknowledge. It’s no wonder that many low information voters have turned against PBO, even though the economy is slowly turning around they still refuse to give him the credit he deserves because they’ve been brainwashed to be anti-Obama.

    On a positive note, I know this poll (in-spite of what HP tries to push) is not an indication of the president’s chances for re-election. But it still infuriates me to no end. I can’t wait until PBO is re-elected!!! I will breath such a sigh of relief! I know it’s not a sure thing but I am very confident in his chances.

    Thanks, everyone, for letting me vent!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!!

    • 316 jacquelineoboomer
      December 16, 2011 at 11:28 pm

      No problem with venting! I gave up HuffPo months and months ago, and while I miss some of the good writers, I don’t miss the glaring headlines and all the Obama bashing – why I left. Some of the bloggers there are non-entities and I don’t like to allow “lesser beings” to bug me. (Of course, I did – for years – but I finally learned how much I can take and what I can’t take.)

      Also am down to only regularly watching Rev. Al and Martin Bashir on MSNBC, and following good folks on Twitter. TOD is the heart of my information sources, of course! This is the best place to visit, if we are to remain sane.

      Ah. My brain is much more calm now. Trying to keep my eyes on the prize, as well (2012 landslide – yeehaw!).

      • 317 CaliCat
        December 16, 2011 at 11:49 pm

        I totally agree with you about Rev. Sharpton’s show. It’s excellent and the only MSNBC show I watch right now. I will have to give Bashir a try one of these days as well. I also gave up HP a while back but recently I’ve been going back out of curiosity due to the campaign seasons heating up. However, I need to stop going there again because it’s just a complete garbage site.

        • 318 jacquelineoboomer
          December 16, 2011 at 11:55 pm

          Martin Bashir supports President Obama 100%, and has a rapier wit to-die-for. Sometimes I laugh out loud, because he says things with his charming accent that are total stabs at Republican jugular veins, but he sounds so intellectual while doing it – you can’t help but sit back and enjoy. (I’m tired, so that didn’t make much sense even to me!)

        • 320 anniebella
          December 17, 2011 at 6:34 am

          I’m with you there, I have given up on Huff Puff also, and the only show I watch everyday on MSNBC is Rev. Al. I will tune into Bashir once and a while.

      • 321 isonprize
        December 16, 2011 at 11:54 pm

        you called? 😆 😆

  55. December 16, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    NYTIME’s Andrew Rosenthal on Ron Paul’s governing philosophy:

    I get what happens on Day 1: You bring the federal government down to Somali proportions.

    What do you do on Day 2? Step over the homeless and the hungry on your way to a Cato Institute meeting?


    H/T PM Carpenter

  56. December 16, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Goodnight Chipsticks and TOD Family. Let us remember to keep Fred and others in our thoughts tonight. (((((((HUGS)))))))HZ

    • 326 jacquelineoboomer
      December 16, 2011 at 11:52 pm

      How people fail their children. That’s one of the saddest stories I’ve heard in a long while. He sounds as though his spirit will get him through this, especially the fact that he has goals for his future. I wish someone would mentor him along the way – from this point on – since he certainly needs it. Obviously, he has a brain and I’m hoping he can stay positive.

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