A word from Liberal Librarian: The work is never done

First, a big shoutout to Chips for allowing the lunatics to take over the asylum. Hopefully we won’t all regret it.

So, for my first post here, an essay, because it’s me.

* * *

The world heaved a huge sigh of relief on November 6, 2012, when the results came in and Barack Obama was confirmed in re-election.

Many people worked long hours, gave money they may not have really had, and ensured that President Obama secured a second term. The alternative was too ghastly to comprehend.

And many of those same people, after the election, assumed that, well, that was done, and we could just coast into four years of amity and progress. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As we have seen since the polls closed in November, this version of the Republican Party, dying as it is, is not going to go down without inflicting more damage. From immediately abusing the filibuster “reform” agreed to between Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, to vowing to hold the country hostage come the next debt ceiling vote, the GOP is making it patently clear that it didn’t learn a single thing from the election. Because the Republicans were returned to the House in the majority, they think that at least part of the country agrees with their policy. Of course, the thing is that the GOP lost the House popular vote, and held on by the skin of their teeth only due to aggressive gerrymandering resulting from its local victories in 2010.

Ah, yes, 2010. The year that the Democratic voters who turned out in record numbers in 2008 decided to sit on their hands. Because that’s what Democrats do. They show up for the big dance, for the most part, but not for the tune up events.

Here’s the thing: there are no tune up events. Every election matters, from President down to school board member. And, as important as the big elections are, those small elections matter more in people’s day to day lives. Textbooks around the country are being written to Texas school board standards, due to the state’s purchasing power, and the content of those books is not pretty. Laws are being passed in statehouses mandating that women seeking abortions pay for ultrasounds of their fetuses—a mandate if ever there was one. And, of course, GOP controlled legislatures in states which went for Obama are now trying to rejigger the Electoral College to make their votes be apportioned by congressional district—districts gerrymandered in Republicans’ favor by those very legislatures.

To be a citizen of this country, nothing should be beneath your notice. Every election should merit your attention. Every issue should be debated. I know: we all have busy lives, many of us just scraping by. It’s tough. But, here’s the thing: it will remain difficult if people don’t take power for themselves. The rich will astroturf “mass movements” by frightening groups in this country faced with demographic decline; they’ll pour money into their favored candidates, the ones who will do their bidding; and they will eke out victories which they will act upon as mandates, solely because we abdicated our responsibilities as citizens.

What Obama has been trying to do—among many other things—is to painstakingly reawaken the nation to the responsibilities of citizenship. Yes, as citizens we have rights; but for too long we’ve neglected the corollary to that: responsibility comes with the title of “citizen of the United States”. Self-governance works only if we govern ourselves; if we abdicate that work to an elite political class, then we get the policies we deserve. Nothing short of full engagement with the issues of the day will make our lives easier. It will be more work in the beginning, but will give a reward of a society which is more equitable and more just.

When is the work done? It never is, or never should be. If it ever is, then we’ve reached a point of sheer apathy. That’s not the kind of world any of us should want to live in.

231 Responses to “A word from Liberal Librarian: The work is never done”

  1. 1 donna dem 4 obama
    March 13, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Great job LL!!

  2. 9 susanne
    March 13, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    what? first? only because i didn’t read the entire essay first…. 🙂

  3. 14 hopefruit2
    March 13, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Excellent essay LL: This paragraph alone should be blown up, framed and hung in every citizen’s primary place of reflection at home, posted on Billboards in public spheres, community centers, bus stops, train stations, libraries, etc..

    //”To be a citizen of this country, nothing should be beneath your notice. Every election should merit your attention. Every issue should be debated. I know: we all have busy lives, many of us just scraping by. It’s tough. But, here’s the thing: it will remain difficult if people don’t take power for themselves. The rich will astroturf “mass movements” by frightening groups in this country faced with demographic decline; they’ll pour money into their favored candidates, the ones who will do their bidding; and they will eke out victories which they will act upon as mandates, solely because we abdicated our responsibilities as citizens.”//

    • 15 susanne
      March 13, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      agreed. i love the intro to that paragraph, too– saying the president is teaching us to value our civic duties, and to take part in the process that is our government. pbo has taken community organizing to the national level, with courage, grace, wit, and tenacity. if we as a nation fail to learn the lessons he’s making so clear for us, we will surely pay the price for many generations.

      excellent piece, lib!

    • 16 vcprezofan2
      March 13, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      I’m seconding Hopefruit’s comment, LL, and ‘Thank you’. The message of your essay is getting out …. slowly(?)… Here’s a precis in video format.

  4. 17 MightyPamela
    March 13, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Yo y’all…

  5. 18 donna dem 4 obama
    March 13, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Well I’ve been extraordinarily busy since the Inauguration and am very disappointed that we don’t have an OFA group working in my county working with the new OFA but I got an invite to go to the Montgomery County start-up session this Sunday with OFA so I’ll be there. I hope we get a great turnout because like LL said, we need all those folks that stood on line last November to be just as engaged in passing the President’s agenda.

    Any Montgomery County TOD’ers that would like to make the meeting this Sunday….come on down!!!


  6. 19 Vicki
    March 13, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Love your work, LL and this essay particularly.
    Not sure what it will take to awaken more of the country to why participation in our political process is Necessary.

  7. 20 4morefor44
    March 13, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    such an important article, mr. librarian, sir. should be shared far and wide on a regular basis.

    one additional thought i have on this (not saying you’re doing this, just talking in general)…the words “fight” and “work” and “struggle” have never quite fit for me within this conversation, since they imply a chore or negative connotation which can lead to people being tired or burnt-out. instead, like with my kids for instance, we’ve raised them with political involvement as being part of life as much as sporting events or doing schoolwork, and can be fun and rewarding on so many levels. it’s just part of living.

    sure, in reality it is a never ending fight against the same forces of greed and selfishness that dominate the trickle-downers today and have existed probably since…forever. but when approaching it from a more positive perspective it’s easier to get more people involved, and i thin think that’s exactly what president obama understood from the beginning and why he won a improbable and historical campaign centered on one word….HOPE. (not struggle or fight).

    • 21 vcprezofan2
      March 13, 2013 at 7:00 pm

      You make a good point IMO 4more – ‘fight’ and ‘work’ and ‘struggle’ do have negative connotations, though ‘work’ could be softened if we say ‘work together’. What are some of the more upbeat words you and your family have used over the years?

  8. 22 CindyH
    March 13, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Great job LL! And thanks to all of you here at TOD that are stepping up to help Chips get a break.

    While I know that the work is never done, I have to say that I sooo wish for a break from the constant insanity of the current GOP and the criminal negligence of the media. This site is where I come to get informed and re-energized and it never disappoints.

  9. 25 57andfemale
    March 13, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    How does Erick Erickson and his ilk get a voice in 21st century America? This is appalling on so many levels.

    “Erick Erickson ✔ @EWErickson

    That lefties are accusing the new pope of handing over lefties to the right wing junta for execution makes me adore the new pope.”

  10. 27 susanne
    March 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    new pope, tours cancelled, new shiny object–meanwhile…..

    ‘ Republican senators inserted several gun rights measures into a bill to fund the government through September, including one that says the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives must attach a disclaimer to any gun data saying it “cannot be used to draw broad conclusions about fire-arms-related crimes.” The gun lobby has lobbied to prevent government funding of research on gun deaths and injuries for almost two decades. It has succeeded. This follows a report that a Senate deal on universal background checks would require gun sellers to destroy records, which, as Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum points out, would make the law meaningless. It’s hard not to be skeptical of an industry that lobbies not just to keep it’s product legal, but to keep scientists from studying the effects of its product, and anyone from keeping track of who uses its product. ‘


  11. 29 yardarm756
    March 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Hey Chips. The new post produces an error message and won’t come up.

  12. 36 57andfemale
    March 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Excellent, as always, LL.

    Thanks for giving Ms Chip. a much-deserved break.

    But let’s clean up the wine bottles before she gets home………

  13. 37 Bill R.
    March 13, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Just to clarify as a former seminarian and recovering Catholic, the new pope Cardinal Bergoglio is a member of the Jesuit order. The Jesuit order is probably one of the most liberal in the Church both in terms of social justice and cultural issues. He is not Franciscan. He chose the name Francis (which is also my confirmation name) which bodes well if he follows the values of St. Francis of Assisi. My best guess he will be conservative on theological and cultural issues, but very liberal on social justice and standing with the poor and disadvantaged. He sets an example by living in a plain apartment, making his own meals, and takes the bus to work. I believe the papacy is a fading and dysfunctional institution but perhaps he can help it diminish with grace so that those who follow that tradition can remember who really started it.

    • 38 susanne
      March 13, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      here’s a clip from the review of a new book about the life of saint francis that was posted today at the new yorker–always worth reading their articles, however long.

      ‘ “Why you?” a man asked Francesco di Bernardone, known to us now as St. Francis of Assisi. Francis (1181/2-1226) was scrawny and plain-looking. He wore a filthy tunic, with a piece of rope as a belt, and no shoes. While preaching, he often would dance, weep, make animal sounds, strip to his underwear, or play the zither. His black eyes sparkled. Many people regarded him as mad, or dangerous. They threw dirt at him. Women locked themselves in their houses.

      Francis accepted all this serenely, and the qualities that at the beginning had marked him as an eccentric eventually made him seem holy. His words, one writer said, were “soothing, burning, and penetrating.” He had a way of “making his whole body a tongue.” Now, when he arrived in a town, church bells rang. People stole the water in which he had washed his feet; it was said to cure sick cows.

      Years before he died, Francis was considered a saint, and in eight centuries he has lost none of his prestige. Apart from the Virgin Mary, he is the best known and the most honored of Catholic saints. In 1986, when Pope John Paul II organized a conference of world religious leaders to promote peace, he held it in Assisi. Francis is especially loved by partisans of leftist causes: the animal-rights movement, feminism, ecology, vegetarianism (though he was not a vegetarian). But you don’t have to be on the left to love Francis. He is the patron saint (with Catherine and Bernardino of Siena) of the nation of Italy. ‘

      Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2013/01/14/130114crbo_books_acocella#ixzz2NSTYcxss

      • 39 Bill R.
        March 13, 2013 at 6:21 pm

        Nice review. My home altar is filled with icons of Francis and with his friend, Claire, who founded an order of contemplative sisters. The last statement of this review says it plainly. “To obey Jesus, therefore, you had to join those who were abandoned.” Francis is venerated as one who taught the sacredness of Creation and our own humanity as “God’s body”. The Italians call him “Il poverello”, the little poor one. He emulated the teachings of Jesus that it is in our humanity, in our humility and vulnerability that we are closest to the Divine, not too much what the domination paradigm we live in our culture teaches us. Part of the upbringing that I received growing up in the Catholic religion in an immigrant Italian home, was that practice of choosing a “patron saint”. Someone who is a guide and friend in heaven among those who have gone before us. Francis, Francesco il poverello, was mine, and still is.

      • March 13, 2013 at 7:03 pm

        One of my older brothers is named Francis, sent him the article. Thank you, susanne. We, too are recovering Catholics… It can be tough!

    • 42 daisydem
      March 13, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      That is so well written Bill R. and thank you for the insight. My husband was raised Catholic (I was raised Southern Baptist) and we are now Episcopalians. My husband’s middle name is Francis, his baptismal name Bernard. I will share this paragraph with him as I think he will like it and agree with it 100%.

      • 43 Bill R.
        March 13, 2013 at 6:12 pm

        Likewise Episcopalian. But I trained in a Benedictine monastic seminary and was trained as a spiritual director in a women’s Benedictine monastery/retreat center. Being Episcopalian I can keep the sacred liturgy dimension of it, while discarding all the medieval patriarchy and oppression.

  14. 45 donna dem 4 obama
    March 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    I’m just catching up for the day so let me take this moment to say THANKS and Congrats to LP and Amk on their inaugural posts. Excellent Work! We don’t miss a beat around here.

    Chips Chica, your blog is in mighty good hands!!!

  15. 47 hopefruit2
    March 13, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    This is HUGE and should be applauded by progressives far and wide. Let’s see Ed, Rachel or Chris Hayes discuss any of this on their respective shows.

  16. 49 Don
    March 13, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Awesome essay Liberal Librarian, you are one of a very few that can put a fire up under my ass, with my wife being the other. We certainly do need to hold the line because there are forces out there that don’t want this President to achieve his agenda, Republican and some Dems alike. But what this man HAS been able to achieve is historical and life changing, though our work is not done. His enemies are more determined than ever to stop his work, and if we stand strong like he does, then we will be able as a movement to take us to where we need to go.

  17. 50 donna dem 4 obama
    March 13, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Our VP Joe gets to go to Rome. I’m sure he is thrilled with this!

  18. March 13, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Well said! Sometime back I said “there are no unimportant elections.” For example, this year in November will be the local elections in NY. That’s when we’ll be choosing town, city, and county officials. Those people have a huge say about what your local area is going to be like, what services there are, and what your local taxes will be. They matter. They’re also where parties look to find candidates for the next level. In 2014, we have primaries, where we’re choosing candidates for various national (in NY, the House) or state government. Then the November elections will in many states determine which party controls the state, and the House elections will determine who controls the House and the Senate. Sit on your hands? You lost the right to complain.

    Back in early 2011, I pointed out to various “liberals” who had been screaming about things: With the 2010 elections in the House, all opportunities to advance a progressive agenda in Congress went out the window. Now it was a matter of holding on to what had been gained. Anyone who things the Republicans are “getting the message” is badly mistaken. It’s going to take several elections of serious electoral defeats for that to happen. But it won’t if people stay home.

    • 57 nathkatun7
      March 13, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      Great Comment, Norbrook! I always appreciate you hard nosed understanding of the way the political system functions. I especially appreciated this statement of yours when i first read it: “THERE ARE NO UNIMPORTANT ELECTIONS.”

    • 58 Dudette
      March 14, 2013 at 1:05 am

      THIS x 300 Million!

  19. March 13, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Wow! If you hesistate you miss a lot. thanks to all those pitching in to help. Lots of great stuff to read. Many hands…..etc.

  20. 61 Don
    March 13, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    What I love about President Obama the most is his ability to keep his counsel close, I bet Valerie Jarrett knows more about President Obama’s plans than anyone else, and I love it.

  21. 62 Don
    March 13, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    If and when you guys get the chance, go read Valerie Jarrett’s biography, it is amazing.

    • 63 donna dem 4 obama
      March 13, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      You notice how our President surrounds himself with astonishing woman? It’s just another reason why we women Love Him!!!

  22. 64 donna dem 4 obama
    March 13, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    President Obama To Senate Dems: We Need Solution To GOP’s Confirmation Filibusters

    “In a closed door lunch meeting with Senate Democrats on Tuesday, President Obama expressed his frustration with Republican slow-walking and filibustering of key nominees, and urged them to address the issue, according to a senior Senate Democratic aide.”


    Okay Harry Reid the ball is in your court…NOW DO SOMETHING SUBSTANSIVE on reforming the Filibuster please!!!

  23. 65 susanne
    March 13, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    thank heaven we re-elected president obama and vice presiden biden!

    ‘ The Obama administration will give a dozen cities and counties $2.3 million in grants aimed at reducing domestic violence.

    The grants are intended to help local law enforcement, prosecutors, health professionals and victims services identify possible victims of domestic violence, while monitoring abusers who pose a high risk.

    They represent the latest prong in the administration’s attempt to strengthen gun laws and curb firearm-related violence. The White House said 40 percent of mass shootings over the last three years began with the killer murdering their significant other.

    “Every single day in America, three women die at the hands of their boyfriend, or their husband, or their ex-husband,” Vice President Biden said at the unveiling of the grants in Maryland. “Many of these women have been threatened or severely abused in the past.” ‘

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/287913-holder-biden-announce-grants-to-reduce-domestic-violence#ixzz2NSWl1NrD
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

    • 66 hopefruit2
      March 13, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      All of these are very “progressive” and “socially responsible” initiatives, yet I don’t hear anything about these steps taken by administration being discussed by the so-called “progressive” cable TV hosts.

      It’s one long never-ending Obama-bashing monologue about drones, week after week after week.

      • March 13, 2013 at 6:03 pm

        Many of the liberals with microphones have a very straitened view of what “liberal” means. Basically, only their pet pecadilloes define the “liberal” agenda. Usually stuff that’s sexy, like drones, or marching banksters on perp walks. Caring about achieving real social justice, which should be the lodestar of any liberal, isn’t sexy. It’s infuriating.

        • 68 hopefruit2
          March 13, 2013 at 6:07 pm

          You’re exactly right LL – no wonder they’re affectionately dubbed “Limousine Liberals.”

        • 69 Don
          March 13, 2013 at 6:12 pm

          Damn right LL, I’ve just about given up on the socalled liberal media. When those motherfuckers can almost pooh-pooh a President for health care, Iraq war, don’t ask don’t tell, wall street reform, two females on the supreme court, and everything eles he has pushed through. I stay it is time to forget about them.

        • March 13, 2013 at 9:16 pm

          New essay materially LL! What day is your missus surgery again? Best wishes to the both of you.

    • March 13, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      Long ago, I remember him fighting for women. He was trying hard to get rape kits in all law enforcement offices. Crazy world isn’t it?

  24. 72 hopefruit2
    March 13, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    • 73 susanne
      March 13, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      just watch–they’ll start complaining about what it’s costing the taxpayers for vp biden to attend the installation. then later we’ll hear how lyin’ ryan also went, but paid for by the koch brothers or bibi or the nra, and that will be just hunky dory.

  25. 74 Don
    March 13, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Federal Investigators busted a ring of farmers, claims adjusters and insurance agents for stealing over one hundred millions dollars through false claims in North Carolina. Thank You DOJ, get after and prosecute all their asses.

  26. 77 carolyn
    March 13, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    LL, an excellent essay. Most important to remind us that the work is never done…..we cannot sit on our hands. I think that is part of what happened after November 2008; people thought “we did it, now President Obama will take care of it all!” We learned that sure wasn’t true, and never is. Hopefully we have learned the importance of local elections as we were reminded above, and realize that to have the rights of a citizen, we must take the responsibility, as reminded above also.
    Thanks for this important word.
    I am enjoying the “inmates running the asylum” today…….and I know Chips is appreciating the rest. I knew with all the talent on this blog, that this would work. (for a while)

  27. 78 Nena20409
    March 13, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Awesome Job LL. Thank you 😉

    Nice Job, LovelyPlain, Amk, Chips and LL.

    The TODville Village is Thriving, Humming and Rocking.

  28. March 13, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Extremely well done LL, LP & amk!!!

    Chips, you’ve got some real stars shining brightly for the TOD community – CONGRATULATIONS and you earned it, my friend!!



  29. 81 prettyfoot58
    March 13, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    great jobbbbb!

  30. 82 CEB
    March 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Dear LL, AMK, and Lovelyplains:

    Congrats and thank you for pitching in to help our wonderful Chips maintain this awesome blog. She deserves time to refresh and to renew after doing this unbelievably outstanding solo presentation that has inspired so many is so many places.

    Dear Chips,

    It is because of your amazing spirit that so many talented and loving people are drawn to this beautiful place. Thank you a million times for all that you do.

  31. 83 donna dem 4 obama
    March 13, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hailed the election of Pope Francis on Wednesday, noting that as the first pope from the Americas, he “speaks to the strength and vitality” of the region. Via a statement from the White House:

    On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I offer our warm wishes to His Holiness Pope Francis as he ascends to the Chair of Saint Peter and begins his papacy. As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than two thousand years—that in each other we see the face of God. As the first pope from the Americas, his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day. Just as I appreciated our work with Pope Benedict XVI, I look forward to working with His Holiness to advance peace, security and dignity for our fellow human beings, regardless of their faith. We join with people around the world in offering our prayers for the Holy Father as he begins the sacred work of leading the Catholic Church in our modern world.

  32. 85 Ladyhawke
    March 13, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Obama’s Permanent Campaign: Can He Use His Reelection Playbook to Change Washington?


    h/t Rev. Al

  33. 86 vitaminlover
    March 13, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Spot on, LL!

  34. 87 Ladyhawke
    March 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Rev. Al is interviewing pollster Cylinda Lake. She just said something that sums up what is happening right now”




    This is why the jackals (carrying water for the GOP) at the press briefing yesterday were wringing their hands about OFA. A lot of questions about conflict of interest and optics. Clearly, the GOP is concerned about the ability of OFA to mobilize the very same voters who got President Obama elected. I can’t stand Ed Rendell, but he made a good point. He said OFA could be very effective (not only with supporters) with moderate Republicans in certain districts. Bottom line, President Obama is promoting a COMMON SENSE AGENDA. I would think that moderate Republicans would be ripe for the picking since all we are getting from the GOP is unhinged and deranged behavior that is hurting the country.

  35. 88 Bill R.
    March 13, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    The Italian press has a quote from Pres. Obama on the new Pope Francis as “il palladino dei poveri ” – champion/defender of the poor. http://www.corriere.it/esteri/speciali/2013/conclave/notizie/13-mar-papa-francesco-le-reazioni-dei-leader_58991306-8c1b-11e2-8351-f1dc254821b1.shtml

    • 89 susanne
      March 13, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      beautiful! that should be pbo’s title, too!

      • March 13, 2013 at 7:27 pm

        Isn’t that the name the Indian Nation (Arapohoe?) gave him years ago….?

        • 91 susanne
          March 13, 2013 at 7:41 pm

          you are truly mighty, pamela! i don’t remember that, but i barely remember what day it is… 🙂

          • 92 MightyPamela
            March 13, 2013 at 8:22 pm

            Oh, thank you, susanne. I am not so sure the blog is ready for me to assume an additional title, TrulyMightyPamela, although the sentiment is very sobering (not that I am drinking…..) but best not to give me ideas while everyone else is working so hard! 😉 (I admit it is very tempting…..)

        • 94 CEB
          March 13, 2013 at 7:48 pm

          His Crow name translates to: “he who cares for people across the land.”

          • 95 MightyPamela
            March 13, 2013 at 7:59 pm

            Thank you, CEB, I know they bestowed a lovely name on him, but bless me if I can ever remember what it is! Can count on folks here to know, I love that about TOD! 🙂

  36. 96 JER
    March 13, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    LIVE NOW: President Obama speaks to supporters – http://www.cnn.com/video/flashLive/live.html?stream=1

  37. 97 Linda
    March 13, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Democrats jumped on South Carolina state Rep. Kris Crawford (R) this week after his vote against Medicaid expansion, helping to bring attention to racially charged comments he made on the issue in January.

    In a January interview with the Charleston Regional Business Journal, Crawford explained that he — unlike many of his Republican colleagues — supported the measure to expand Medicaid eligibility under President Barack Obama’s health care law. But Crawford predicted that he would be a dissenting voice in his party, suggesting that his fellow Republicans knew they would benefit from opposing Obama, in part because of race.

    “The politics are going to overwhelm the policy,” Crawford said. “It is good politics to oppose the black guy in the White House right now, especially for the Republican Party.”

    The comment didn’t get much pickup until Tuesday, when it came time for the state House to vote on the Medicaid expansion bill. Crawford, a onetime proponent of the effort, voted with his party to reject it.

    South Carolina Democrats quickly blasted Crawford’s reversal, calling it a sign that he was willing to play into the racially charged motivations that he had earlier accused his colleagues of following.

  38. 98 isonprize
    March 13, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    LL, great post. I have an ‘ENDLESS SUPPLY OF PAINT!’ I hope that everyone else does too!!


  39. March 13, 2013 at 7:34 pm


  40. 100 dotster3
    March 13, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Does anyone know why the entire U.S. news media seems to think that the entire U.S. is Catholic? Every single TV channel interrupted programming for extensive reporting on the new pope, following endless hours of air time devoted to the subject in the last few weeks. Every news program this evening is almost entirely devoted to the subject. Headlines screamed “WE have a new pope!” We??? I don’t think so. Less than a quarter of the population is Catholic—–and almost every Catholic I know lost interest eons ago—-along about the time the reports of priest abuse of children were piling up—–by the hundreds, thousands–?—from here and around the world. The largest religious identification in the U.S. is Protestant—-roughly 50%—–with a growing percentage of those with no religious belief at all. I just don’t get why the news media is pretending that we’re all Catholic and are even remotely interested in the pope announcement, let alone bombard us with the news. It’s a weird phenomenon, imho.

    • March 13, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      When they’ve got the Pope pinch hitt’n for Kim Kardashian you know they’re gonna juice it for all its shinny-object-distraction potential, dotster.

    • 102 susanne
      March 13, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      that was striking to me, too. every website, every blog, everybody waiting for the white smoke? are we to believe the pope is a significant political figure, whose policies and pet projects will affect all our lives? is this the 15th century?

      honestly, i think reporters are just sick to death of writing about the budget, deficits, taxes, the economy, and other math-centric topics. so dull, and no red shoes!

    • 103 Bill
      March 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      Argentina has a population of 40 million people and is considered a Catholic country. Someone said today 10% of Argentines attend the Catholic Church regularly. Continually using the figure of 1.2 billion Catholics in the world is probably overrating the significance of the church.

    • 106 CEB
      March 13, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      This is one more reason that I have avoided any form of media for days. Most of the world does not care, so why are they shoving this down our throats?

    • 107 99ts
      March 13, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      I get my pope news from Pierce – will miss his “daily pope”

    • 109 MightyPamela
      March 13, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      Because they have nothing, no brains, no common sense, so bigger view of, well….. anything. IMHO.

    • March 13, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      I had my TV set back a couple hours on MSNBC. Wasn’t planing to watch news today. But when I heard there was white smoke, I wanted to see the people’s reaction. I love live events. But tweety rattled on most of the time predicting who it would be and of course he was wrong. Funny, since I knew he was wrong. 😆

  41. 111 99ts
    March 13, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    GM from my world – I managed to sleep though amk attempting to take over the blog as we know it (joke joke – please don’t attack ManU in retaliation) – and I also slept through the smoke and mirrors and that can’t be a bad thing.

    On a brief look, it seems doubtful there will be any changes in the reality of the church’s views on things that affect the flock – and I voted for the black guy – that is when real and lasting change will happen.

    • 112 99ts
      March 13, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      Forgot to mention – did love amk’s toon – I had forgotten all about those terrorist alerts!

    • 113 MightyPamela
      March 13, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      Hey there 99ts, good to see you!

      • 114 99ts
        March 13, 2013 at 8:14 pm

        Hi there Pamela – I did see susanne building up the mighty side of your name, you are becoming famous – and in other news we have had 2 days without rain! Today a man called wanting to repair the ceilings – we suggested it is probably better that the roof gets repaired first – but who knows.

        • 115 MightyPamela
          March 13, 2013 at 8:29 pm

          see above, the name saga continues to unfold! 🙂

          • 116 99ts
            March 13, 2013 at 8:43 pm

            How’s about GloriousPamela? or “The World’s best Pamela” – so many choices – so little time – 🙂 🙂

            Much more interesting than Popes and tours – now I have to go out – my family good deeds are Thursday this week – although I had a lovely Wednesday with grandbabe – “the world’s best grandbaby” – for sure

  42. 119 prettyfoot58
    March 13, 2013 at 7:51 pm

  43. March 13, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    In a break from Popenews: Neanderthals may have gone extinct because their eyes were too big. Fascinating article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21759233

  44. 122 hopefruit2
    March 13, 2013 at 7:53 pm


    • 123 amk for obama
      March 13, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      Since 2008, U.S. prosecutors charged at least 86 people in their crackdown on offshore tax evasion, including two dozen bankers, lawyers and advisers like Singenberger. Another 38,000 Americans avoided prosecution through an IRS amnesty program that let them repatriate their accounts by paying back taxes and penalties and disclosing their offshore accounts and bankers.

      The major crack in Swiss bank secrecy opened in February 2009, when prosecutors charged UBS AG (UBSN) with conspiring to cheat the IRS. UBS, the largest Swiss bank, avoided prosecution by paying $780 million, admitting it fostered tax evasion and handing over data on thousands of clients.

      Singenberger, who lives in Zurich, was charged in New York federal court in July 2011 with conspiracy to cheat the IRS.


      Gee, I wonder what happened in 2008.

  45. 124 utaustinliberal
    March 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Ok…just testing something.

  46. March 13, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    What happened to the post: “We can but hope” ?

  47. 127 susanne
    March 13, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    when you think ‘hawaii’ do you think ‘computers’?

    ‘ Hawaii Only State Recognized Among 2013 Recipients

    Gov. Neil Abercrombie is proud to announce that Hawaii is the only state government in the nation to be recognized as part of the 2013 Federal 100 Awards by Federal Computer Week magazine, which will bestow State Chief Information Officer (CIO) Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia with the prominent award. ‘


    (full disclosure–geckos lay eggs inside my computer, so maybe i’m a little behind in recognizing our state’s progress)

  48. 128 anniebella
    March 13, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    So North Carolina Republican Congressman Walter B. Jones Jr. suppose to sent a letter to the President or someone saying that the President should stop taking tax payer vacations till he allow the White House tours to continue. I email the Congressman and told him if he was so concern about the White House tours, he and his party should have stop the sequester. I told him that while Americans are losing their jobs, here he is bitching about touring the White House. I ask the Congressman did he ask G.W. Bush to stop taking tax payer vacations as we fought a war we were lied into.

    • 129 99ts
      March 13, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      Annie – they only do it to attack the President – the man would NEVER visit the Obama White house – I find it entertaining as to who is complaining about losing the tours – certainly not those who really want to visit – the latter accept the reality that their tour is another person’s job.

    • 130 Bill
      March 13, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      Walter Jones often comes across as nutty.

      • 131 anniebella
        March 13, 2013 at 8:53 pm

        It is funny how Congressman Walter B.Jones never explain why he went on a white supremacists racists radio show last year. The show was in Tennessee and the beloved Jones remain silent about what he was doing on that show. Believe me I ask, but got no answer, not even from the local news here in eastern Carolina. I guest they didn’t want to tarnish the Congressman reputation.

  49. 132 susanne
    March 13, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    more news from hawaii (with very sweet photo):

    ‘ A Laysan albatross known as “Wisdom” – believed to be at least 62 years old – has hatched a chick on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge for the sixth consecutive year. Early Sunday morning, February 3, 2013, the chick was observed pecking its way into the world by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Pete Leary, who said the chick appears healthy. Wisdom was first banded in 1956, when she was incubating an egg in the same area of the refuge. She was at least five years old at the time. ‘


    • 133 susanne
      March 13, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      love this bird!

      ‘ Almost as amazing as being a parent at 62 is the number of miles Wisdom has likely logged – about 50,000 miles a year as an adult – which means that Wisdom has flown at least two million to three million miles since she was first banded. Or, to put it another way, that’s four to six trips from the Earth to the Moon and back again, with plenty of miles to spare. ‘

    • 143 yardarm756
      March 13, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      Ha! When I was on Midway in ’62 those birds were everywhere and protected. The local troops called ’em “goony” birds. They were clumsy as hell on land but a thing of beauty in the air. All seafarers love to see them when at sea. It means that land isn’t too far.

  50. 146 anniebella
    March 13, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Ed is on now interviewing the guy who shot Romney 47% video.

  51. March 13, 2013 at 8:10 pm

  52. March 13, 2013 at 8:15 pm

  53. 157 yardarm756
    March 13, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    OT a bit.

  54. March 13, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Excellent essay Liberal Librarian. Thank you for sharing your gift of expression and supporting Chipsticks in maintaining this blog. You are appreciated.

  55. 159 Jovie
    March 13, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Biden to Rome for Papal installation.
    I want to go Too! 🙂

  56. 160 mtmarilyn
    March 13, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Good evening TODville. What a great day for TOD. With LP, AMK, and LL stepping up to the plate and each hitting a home run. It really warms my heart to see how this family is ralling around our head mistress our Ms Chips.

    Thank you for this great article LL! You have such a great way with words that touch us all. We must all be there for this next election. Our country is depending on us.

    I also am tired of hearing about the Pope. It is news but he means nothing to me.

  57. 161 yardarm756
    March 13, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    • 162 Jovie
      March 13, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      I agree, but his Own caucus fought him, like Schumer and Feinstein.


      • 163 yardarm756
        March 13, 2013 at 9:14 pm

        They need the appropriate equipment too.

      • 164 Left-Indie
        March 13, 2013 at 9:17 pm

        Well, this is where leadership comes in. The turtle can hold his own the assholes together, but Ol’ Harry can’t? Every time i see him he just looks like a man who needs a nap. Let someone else be a leader. I wonder where the Whitehouse was on this. If they didn’t push, they made a huge mistake, too.

  58. 170 99ts
    March 13, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Hidden among the Pope and those White House tours that is the GOP’s latest assault on the President ( they are truly the party of trivia and hate) – is this gem – probably the best time to resign if you have to do it

    (apologies if it was discussed while I was sleeping).

  59. 171 amk for obama
    March 13, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    What an opening act, LL !!! Great piece especially since voting is the closest thing to my heart followed by real journalism.

    Congrats. Looking forward to more & more LL & lp bylines.

    Read about the new pope. Seems to be a much, much better man than the earlier ones. Best wishes to him to bring the RC into 21st century.

    Just wanna thank TOD’ers for putting up with my first thread. Expected raspberries but got the bouquets instead. Thanks.

  60. March 13, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    I have a question…I was reading this article about the Senate Democrats working to get Richard Cordray confirmed.

    The last line of the article says, “…Democrats will face a choice. They’ll either have to change the Senate’s filibuster rules or accept the fact that CFPB will automatically shed some of its hard-won powers the moment it loses its director.”


    I thought that if there were changes to the filibuster rules, they would have to be made at the beginning of the term. This makes it sound as if the rules can still be changed. Is that the case or am I misunderstanding. If so, what is the process?

  61. 178 prettyfoot58
    March 13, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Ezra being schooled on terminology…WORDS matter!

  62. 179 utaustinliberal
    March 13, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Scott Prouty (the guy who recorded Romney’s 47% video) is a working class bartender and he took down the scumbag that is Mitt Romney. He’s on the Ed Show right now and what a brave, courageous man. He’s got a lot of guts revealing himself. Thank goodness he came forward with the video that showed what Romney really thought of citizens without six or more zeros to their names. Apart from the 47% comment, the other disgusting part was Romney bragging about investing in Chinese companies that treated workers abominably. Made them live in inhospitable environments. Romney really and truly was a conscienceless cretin.

    Prouty’s interview on the Ed Show is a must watch.

  63. March 13, 2013 at 8:43 pm

  64. 186 Jovie
    March 13, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Senate rejects Cruz amendment on defunding ‘ObamaCare’

    By Ramsey Cox
    The Senate rejected an amendment from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that would have ended funding for President Obama’s healthcare law.
    The 45-52 vote on Wednesday was the first amendment vote on the $984 billion continued spending resolution that would fund the government through the fiscal year.

    That’s closer than I thought it was, we can’t lose the Senate in 2014. They could get rid of it through reconciliation. And would before it is implemented.
    Something to fight for! 🙂

  65. 190 amk for obama
    March 13, 2013 at 8:49 pm

  66. 193 sjterrid
    March 13, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    LL, great job helping out chips. Loved your essay on what it means to be a citizen. Glad to her your wife doesn’t have an infection, so she can have her surgery on Monday.

  67. March 13, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    I heard that tomorrow is Ed Schultz last show on MSNBC and that Ezra Klein may get that time slot.


  68. 207 anniebella
    March 13, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    So you guys heard about Ed show. He will be moving to the week-ends, 5-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. I wonder who will take his spot. Maybe Joy Reid. I doubt it very much, but if MSNBC had any sense she would. Pleas no Ezra Klein or some right winger.

    • 208 anniebella
      March 13, 2013 at 9:08 pm

      swbluega, please no Ezra Klein. No! No! No! No!

      • March 13, 2013 at 9:15 pm

        Right now as far as I can tell, that’s speculation Anniebella. So that may or may not be the case.

        However, it sounds like Klein may be getting a show. If not the 8pm weekday time slot then on the weekends. Guess that’s why we’ve seen him subbing so much.

  69. 210 Vicki
    March 13, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    so this was sort of Ed’s swan song. Tomorrow night is his last weeknight show—-moving to Sat & Sun 5-7
    Pretty strange, no?
    Ed says he wants to spend more time out in the field.

    Who will be in the 8:00 spot?

  70. 216 Jovie
    March 13, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    1,100,000 homes supplied by renewable energy in California Stamped-


  71. 217 Vicki
    March 13, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Put Olbermann back where he belongs

  72. 219 dotster3
    March 13, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Might have to be a Chicagoan to appreciate this and/or a long suffering Cubs fan, but funny. Cubs release white smoke to signal they have chosen a new 3rd baseman.

  73. March 13, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Great essay LL (as usual!), and excellent thread…. you, LP and amk have been quite brilliant today, thank you so much for giving Ms Chips a hand, so happy she is having a well-deserved break! We’ll be sending positive, healing thoughts to your wife on Monday.

  74. 221 hopefruit2
    March 13, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    MSNBC couldn’t wait to give Lil’ Ezra that 8PM prime time slot….

    • 222 Vicki
      March 13, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      Ezra is boring. Also frequently wrong. Also a Bloomberg puppet.

      This is scary to me. MSNBC can’t wait to shut down all voices of ordinary people.

    • 223 Ladyhawke
      March 13, 2013 at 9:49 pm

      I am not a big fan of Ezra Klein. For my money, Joy Reid is the best political analyst on cable. She is brilliant, insightful and original. She will rarely go along with what everybody else is saying. I also like Krystal Ball, Karen Finney and Ari Melber. Melissa Harris Perry is wearing thin. I can’t take her show anymore. I can’t put my finger on it, but she was better as a guest. I find Ed Schultz unbearable. I will not be sorry to see him go. Half the time it seemed he was going to blow a gasket. And I will never forgive him for telling people not to vote. The results of the 2010 midterms haunts us to this day.

      • 224 zekke Lydonna
        March 13, 2013 at 10:14 pm

        I agree with this whole-heartedly. She is my favorite–always insightful.

      • March 13, 2013 at 11:10 pm

        I agree except of late, I have a problem with Ari on the drone issue. I hope Joy Reid gets a shot at her own show.

      • 226 Bill R.
        March 14, 2013 at 12:04 am

        Totally agree. She is head and shoulders above Ezra Klein, both in intelligence, wit, and insight. Ezra Klein is 28 years old, thinking he’s entitled to be one of the Village’s top guns.

  75. 227 dotster3
    March 13, 2013 at 9:46 pm

  76. 228 amk for obama
    March 13, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Time for a new thread? … or not?

  77. 229 Vicki
    March 13, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    MSNBC has seen when boring Ezra is hosting the ratings drop dramatically.
    So maybe they don’t care about ratings.
    What they do care about may be very bad news for democracy.

  78. 230 hopefruit2
    March 13, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Hey amk, here’s our dream team right here.

  79. 231 carolyn
    March 13, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    So does this mean MSNBC is cutting back on their prison shows on the weekend?
    Perhaps we’ll see a wholesale shuffle…….

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