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July 23, 2011



I think that's exactly so and the "summoning Congressional leaders" today for what turned out to be a 49 minute meeting was just cover for his increasing irrelevance to the process..I think Sarah called him a lame duck now and if he wasn't before this week, he sure is at the moment.


the Gang of Six came out with a proposal to the left of Obama

It was a bipartisan group: Marxists and Leninists.

Carol Herman

For Boehner a tax deal would be political death! There are enough young turks in the House ... that there would be a show down. And, in that show down politicians would die.

Hardly likely the kind of atmosphere you need to shove more taxes down an American's throat.

Too bad both sides are so well alligned with pork barrels, though.

As to Obama, "to the left of him" is the news from Oslo. He's out of ammunition.

Even in da' Senate ... there are a few who are due up in 2012 for re-election. And, they don't want any lessons, now, from Russ Feingold.

While Merkel says she's made a deal ... but no one, as yet, has seen it. Her political life also seems to be hanging in the balance.


Finding an adult counterparty in the Democrat Party may be the most difficult task of all.


Herbert Meyer's in the AT, puts his finger on the real issue, 'He's lost control of the Senate' they cannot affirmatively support anything he is doing, hence the budget that
was voted down 97-0

Ben Franklin

"A deadlocked Congress has become incapable of acting consistently; it commits to entitlements it will not reduce, appropriates funds it does not have, borrows money it cannot repay and then imposes a debt ceiling it will not raise. One of those things must give; in reality, that means that the conflicting laws will have to be reconciled by the only actor who combines the power to act with a willingness to shoulder responsibility — the president.

Franklin D. Roosevelt saw this problem clearly, and in his first inaugural address in 1933, addressing his plans to confront the economic crisis, he hinted darkly that “it is to be hoped that the normal balance of executive and legislative authority may be wholly equal, wholly adequate to meet the unprecedented task before us.”

“But it may be,” he continued, “that an unprecedented demand and need for undelayed action may call for temporary departure from that normal balance of public procedure.” In the event, Congress gave him the authorities he sought, and he did not follow through on this threat."




So are Coburn and Chambliss Marxists or Leninists?

And, suggesting a possibility, did Boehner keep any of the Gang of Six informed on what he was up to?


It's been clear for a few weeks now that Obama, the Democrats and their supporters were going to rely on hysterical attacks portraying Republican leaders as irrational wacko Tea Partiers.

Their intention is to avoid budget concessions and to position Democrats as saving the country from crazed conservatives for the 2012 elections.

The story is complex and vague enough that it may work.

Ben Franklin

"Their intention is to avoid budget concessions and to position Democrats as saving the country from crazed conservatives for the 2012 elections."

I keep hearing, 'Obama, not so smart', and by extension, the Dems are not as smart as they think they are........What you describe makes him seem smarter than Republicans.

Is that your position?


Chambliss is my senator, and, in my opinion, he is more interested in the Washington Establishment than he is interested in serving the poeple who elected him as a senator. Coburn, I am very disappointed in him.


Except, huxley, that reality intrudes. You can't claim that unlimited debt or unlimited spending is no problem and sell that to voters who wrestle with the same problem over their monthly bills and who 'know' (ultimate truth) that it just isn't so. The issue for most voters is not complex because they confront it each and every time they pull out a credit card or balance their checkbook.

Congress gets away with a lot of shit and it's because voters tend not to grasp all the complexities of an issue. With this issue, there is no complexity that escapes the voter. They all know that an overdrawn checkbook and maxed out credit card are a BAD THING.

Ain't no sugary talk or scare tactic that is gonna change the perception that it's a BAD THING. Cause it is a fundamental that everyone deals with every day.


Vewy sewius, hit. (I love the wonder pets.)




Hey, Bolitha is a Georgian! What area if you don't mind the question? I'm in Gwinnett County.


I keep hearing, 'Obama, not so smart', and by extension, the Dems are not as smart as they think they are........What you describe makes him seem smarter than Republicans.

Ben F: I don't think Obama is smarter than Republicans. I am saying that he and his supporters do have a plan and some cards to play and, given the MSM in their pocket, it's not a bad hand to play.

It's the old law adage: When the law is on your side, argue the law. When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table.

They are pounding the table.


Do the Democrats play anything besides checkers? They do know that the appropriation bills for 2012 must originate in the House right? And the fiscal year starts October 1st and without appropriations these cherished Democrat priorities are defunded and shuttered? Do they really want a war? I think we can fix it so that they wont need nearly the amount of debt being projected. LOL


With this issue, there is no complexity that escapes the voter. They all know that an overdrawn checkbook and maxed out credit card are a BAD THING.

Stephanie: Not all voters.

Many Americans live on food stamps, disability, maxed-out cards and other schemes.

Many Americans believe deep down that the rich and the corporations are like the magic salt mill in the fairy tale that keeps grinding out whatever you ask, for free.

Many Americans feel that we have gotten away with these big spending policies for decades and that's just the way it is supposed to be, and hang anyone who says otherwise.

Of course, I agree with you that reality does intrude, but that's not obvious, yet, to everyone.

Cecil Turner

Well, as long as you agree the President's a liar--and that [sorta kinda] default isn't that big a deal--then that position makes some sense.

If making a deal to avoid that pass is in fact "significant," then what he's doing is the antithesis of "smart."


Stephanie, lived in Ansley Park in Atlanta for many years and am now living in a small Georgia town (no stop lights) on the coast near St. Simons Island and Brunswick. Is Gwinnett now considered part of Atlanta?


For Dana and his infatuation with all things fascist FDR:

Harold Ickes, FDR’s interior secretary and one of the most important architects of the New Deal, Roosevelt himself privately acknowledged that “what we were doing in this country were some of the things that were being done in Russia and even some of the things that were being done under Hitler in Germany. But we were doing them in an orderly way.” It’s hard to see how orderliness absolves a policy from the charge of fascism or totalitarianism. Eventually, the similarities had become so transparent that Ickes had to warn Roosevelt that the public was increasingly inclined “to unconsciously group four names, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and Roosevelt.”


Part and parcel, bolitha. To get to 'country living' you must flee to Barrow County or farther out. Even Walton County and Forsyth County are burbs now. Which, if you remember the stories about Forsyth County in the 40/50s, you will find that odd. ;)

I love the Ansley Park area, but it is mostly liberal yuppies and gays now. I miss the original Old Hickory House.

Hmmm... I'm quite familiar with the coastal environs as my grandparents/parents are from the Alma/Waycross/Douglas area. I'm supposed to go down there in the next few weeks to collect some furniture from grandma's house. Jekyll/St Simon's was a frequent day trip when I was visiting her and the heat got too stifling.

Ben Franklin

"The sociologist Max Weber, in his 1919 essay “Politics as a Vocation,” drew a distinction between “the ethic of responsibility” and “the ethic of ultimate ends”—between those who act from a sense of practical consequence and those who act from higher conviction, regardless of consequences. These ethics are tragically opposed, but the true calling of politics requires a union of the two. On its own, the ethic of responsibility can become a devotion to technically correct procedure, while the ethic of ultimate ends can become fanaticism. Weber’s terms perfectly capture the toxic dynamic between the President, who takes responsibility as an end in itself, and the Republicans in Congress, who are destructively consumed with their own dogma. Neither side can be said to possess what Weber calls a “leader’s personality.” Responsibility without conviction is weak, but it is sane. Conviction without responsibility, in the current incarnation of the Republican Party, is raving mad."

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2011/07/25/110725taco_talk_packer#ixzz1Sxjhzz6W


Dana, seems to me that author got the role assignments reversed. Higher tax rates and larger government as ends (JEF) always lead to economic downfall. That side is where the lunacy is. Look at WI as a recent example -- big spending cuts plus tort & union reform plus tax caps lead to biggest increase in employment in a decade. That represents responsibility.

Ben Franklin

"biggest increase in employment in a decade.{

I've seen that in print. What is the profile? What kind of jobs, from where? Can you tell me? Any good news is welcome.

Ben Franklin

This is something I hadn't heard............

If this is the whole story, it really pisses me off.

If ever there was a bad guy, he's it.


"The plan was to transfer Daqduq to the Iraqi regime as early as yesterday — without fanfare, the administration hoped, the debt ceiling crisis having saturated news coverage on a mid-summer Friday. But the Associated Press got wind of the transfer, and its brief report provoked outrage. Senate Republicans, joined by independent Joe Lieberman, fired off a letter to secretary of defense Leon Panetta, ballistic at the notion that the United States would surrender “the highest ranking Hezbollah operative currently in our custody.” Inevitably, the senators observed, Daqduq would return to the jihad “to harm and kill more American servicemen and women” when Iraq releases him, as these new “allies” of ours have done with other terrorists.

The unexpected blowback caused the administration to retreat on its release plan . . . at least for the moment. Nevertheless, under the security agreement the Bush administration negotiated with Iraq’s Maliki government, our military will no longer be permitted to detain prisoners in Iraq after the end of this year. Obama cannot vote present on this one: He’ll need to decide whether Daqduq gets military detention and trial outside Iraq, civilian prosecution inside the United States (which would require ignoring the will of Congress, including laws excluding known terrorists from our country), or the release for which Iraq has been clamoring under intense pressure from our Iranian enemy."


Nice goal post move there Ben... I'll just note that, at this point, democrats can't generate any jobs. Period. And the latest announcements of increases in layoffs of 'well paying' jobs at Boeing, Cisco and other companies are accelerating. Again.

If it wasn't for McDonald's adding 50K jobs in June, the economy in the rest of the 48 would look even worse (Tx and Wi would be the 50).

California, Illinois and other blue hell jobs are fast migrating to Texas and other more robustly red states.

Ben Franklin

"Only Republicans can generate jobs......" Stephanie

Minimum wage and Military/Gov't contract jobs?

Yes, you can !!!!


Dana, via a commenter at Althouse, the official jobs stats are here. Note that many of the jobs are in hospitality / tourism -- a year round activity including hunting/fishing, watersports (the Dells) and snowmobile trails. Most interesting to me was an increase in manufacturing jobs -- union production jobs coming back after decades of decline!

Ben Franklin


Thanks. I was able to pull some info that was specific, but most of it was in very general terms. They did say it was private sector.

But it's not all rosy. Stephanie touched on the subject of .'migration'.


9,500 jobs added in Wisconsin in June

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker was correct this week when he said Wisconsin's net gain of 9,500 jobs last month represented more than half the jobs added across the entire nation in that period. However, numbers from other states provide a clearer context.

Wisconsin added 12,900 private-sector jobs last month and lost 3,400 government jobs, for a net gain of 9,500. Meanwhile, the U.S. recorded a net increase of 18,000 jobs for the month. All numbers are seasonally adjusted.

However, that doesn't mean the bulk of those U.S. jobs were in Wisconsin. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says in the same period, Texas added 32,000 jobs and California added almost 29,000.

Those gains were offset by net losses elsewhere, including 16,900 jobs in Tennessee and 15,700 jobs in Missouri.


((am now living in a small Georgia town (no stop lights) on the coast near St. Simons Island and Brunswick.))

sounds divine


as Obama is to his teleprompter, BF is to scissors and paste


Jobs, schmobs. Democrats don't care about jobs; they care about votes. If they can convince the unemployed to vote for them, then more unemployment is a good thing. Otherwise, if more voters turn on them due to high unemployment, unemployment is a bad thing. Either way, it's not the jobs they care about; it's the votes.

The bottom line in all of this debt limit negotiation, and in all economic debates, is that Democrats are in the business of buying votes. To do this, they need money, and lots of it - preferably in slush funds like the "stimulus" or entitlements for classes of voters who'll stay on the plantation.

Thus, Democrats can only cut spending where the spending isn't buying them votes. Defense spending, for example, is only worthwhile if it's returned in the form of kickbacks that Democrats can use to buy votes, such as in campaign contributions. Otherwise, they're happy to cut it and use the money saved for more efficient vote-buying. And defense spending isn't very efficient in terms of vote-buying, which is why they're always happy to cut it.

If any of their more effective vote-buying spending gets cut - say in some sort of compromise - Democrats need more revenue to make up for that lost vote-buying power. In fact, they always need more revenue in order to buy more votes.

Some people think that cutting spending and living within our means is a good thing, by definition. These people aren't Democrats.

Yes, this is obvious to most of us here, but it bears repeating - especially for the younger generation, who haven't been taught the truth about Democrats and their convenient theory of Keynesianism.

Ben Franklin

"BF is to scissors and paste"

To which Chubby, is a man of very few words........

Cecil Turner

Not sure why we're worried about a couple thousand jobs, instead of the 1mil+ that've disappeared since Obama and his brain trust started tinkering with it (154,424,000 jobs in Feb '09 vs 153,421,000 jobs in Jun '11 . . . it's a downward sloping line when obviously a flat line isn't good).

I guess it's like looking at a 1.5 trillion dollar deficit and pretending 300 billion (letting the Bush tax cuts expire) or even more risibly, 80 billion (letting only the taxes on the wealthy expire) is going to make all the difference. In order to be a good Dem, first you gotta lose your ability to do basic arithmetic.



At least 32 die in east China high-speed train crash


Kennessey: President Obama used the Gang of Six’s plan as an exit strategy. He backtracked on taxes, knowing this would force the Speaker to abandon negotiations, and knowing he could use the Republican Senators in the Gang to argue from a position of increased rhetorical strength in the ensuing debate. It’s a clever strategy but it belies the President’s public posture.

So Kennessey thinks Obama cleverly forced Boehner to bail to order to get a better deal "in the ensuing debate"? So Obama's hissy fit was a sham, because he got exactly what he was hoping for? I don't get it.


I don't buy it.

Ben Franklin

" In order to be a good Dem, first you gotta lose your ability to do basic arithmetic." heh


Pelosi, June 26:" In the second year of the Obama administration, last year, more jobs were created in the private sector than in the eight years of the Bush administration under the regime of tax cuts."

That's carefully worded, and technically accurate. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that when President George W. Bush left office in January 2009, there were actually 653,000 fewer private sector jobs than there had been eight years earlier when he was sworn in. And between December 2009 and the end of 2010, the economy gained nearly 1.2 million jobs. But those two snapshot figures don't give an accurate picture of the roller-coaster ride taken by the economy, and private employment.
The fact is — despite the 2010 gain that Pelosi boasts of — the latest BLS figures show a loss of 2 million private jobs between Obama's inauguration and May. And if the economy continues to gain jobs at the same average pace that it did in 2010, it will take nearly another five-and-a-half years just to get the number of private jobs back to where it had been at the peak under Bush.


Democrats in ‘volcanic’ mood

Barbara Mikulski, Democratic senator from Maryland, best captured the turn of events in the critical US debt talks.

After emerging from a lunch meeting on Thursday with members of her party and Jack Lew, the White House budget director, Ms Mikulski said her colleagues were feeling “volcanic” about the prospect of a $3,000bn deal to cut deficits and raise the debt ceiling that did not include any higher taxes, adding that it was “like Mount Vesuvius” in the room.

Harry Reid, the US Senate majority leader, added: “This can’t be all cuts, there has to be a balance.”


Where's Harry's plan then?


The Gang of Six undercut the negotiations by moving to the left of the plan on the table. Obama took this as a sign that movement left was possible and took it. The dems in the senate then got greedy and added some more poison.

If the house republicans were smart, they would have countered with a larger number than Boehner's essentially telling Obama to ignore the idiots in the attic (the senate) and beware of further punishment.

I hope Boehner's plan to be unveiled tomorrow takes that tack, but all I hear so far are rumblings of smaller numbers for less months. Which might not be a bad thing if it results in higher dollars of cuts per month v the longer term solution.

Let's not forget the basics - the gang of six route requires 234 house members for passage, the CCB requires 4 senators to swap to pass... and the reason Dingy didn't bring it to a full vote was because he suspects THE VOTES ARE THERE.

Just who should be arguing from a position of strength in numbers??? Particularly with 67% of Americans supporting CCB?


The Kennessey analysis is just another example of someone attempting to take one of Obama's stupid moves and make it into something rather brilliant and sophisticated. The Progs have their work cut out for them, like the day the WH announced that Obama was actually leading by not leading. It's a religious mystery. Take it on faith.

Ben Franklin

“This can’t be all cuts, there has to be a balance.”

I think the 4 to 1 ratio was deemed bogus in the devil's details.

Bohner's plan is to keep his job, Harry too.

Jane says obamasucks

So how exactly would secession work?


This "balance" argument is like "compromise." Balance is not essential to solving a problem. The very use of the word discloses that the user is not interested in solving, but in making certain that the purported means of solution provides a benefit to a certain group. Balance is a judgment one might make in trading beads, for example. I can't recall balance being important in solving a physics problem.

Jane says obamasucks

Boehner should say he is done until he sees in writing Obama and Reid's plan, and it is released to the public so we can all see it.

Ben Franklin

Those are broad strokes, MarkO.

Balance in a negotiation is when both parties leave the table feeling like they gave up too much.

They just won't wager their jobs on the outcome.........


What is the difference in pure cuts per month for the CCB and the Gang of 14 plan?

What is the difference in net cuts per month for each (including revenue increases)?

What is the deficit reduction in cuts per month for each?

A smaller time frame with larger net cuts per month would be like manna wouldn't it??? Assuming the net cuts come from the projected growth in GDP and not in taxes...

Maybe Boehner is crazy like a fox. Hold the prospect of a revisit over O's head in exchange for larger per month cuts and he's really boxed himself in.

Or am I missing something?

Sara (Pal2Pal)

I am interrupting my self-imposed exile to let you all know that today is a very special day. Today is:


I hope all the JOM Gorgeous Grandmas have a super duper day!!!


He is the compromise. A majority of the American people and most Republicans would rather not raise the debt ceiling and instead balance the budget now. We graciously agree to an extension in return for real and meaninful spending cuts. More than dollar for dollar. There you go. Voila there is some balance and shared sacrifice for ya.

Ben Franklin

Welcome back, Sara.



President Barack Obama met Saturday with Republican and Democratic leaders — but only briefly ...
But congressional aides labored to produce at least a framework agreement to raise the nation's debt limit by Monday, congressional officials said. Even that would allow scarcely enough time for the House and Senate to clear legislation in time for Obama's signature by the Aug. 2 deadline, a week from Tuesday.

Obama ordered them there, but he only remained "briefly"? How petty and vindictive. What a low character he is. Boehner and the Congress folks are meeting at 5:30 and Obama and his minions weren't given a seat at the table.

Ben Franklin

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama won't accept a short-term extension of the nation's debt limit because it would do more harm than good.

Obama met with congressional leaders at the White House on Saturday for about an hour. In a written statement afterward, his spokesman said a temporary extension could hurt the U.S. credit rating and force Americans to pay higher interest rates on credit cards and other consumer debt.

The White House said Congress shouldn't be playing "reckless political games" with the economy.

In sales this is called the 'Real Objection" (my entry)

**************Obama wants a debt-ceiling extension that will last through the end of 2012. Republicans have talked of a shorter extension.

hit and run

Obama won't accept a short-term extension of the nation's debt limit because it would do more harm than good.

So Obama's stated position is that default is preferable to a short-term deal.


Do only grandmas who look like Jane Fonda and Tina Turner qualify? I like grandmas with gray hair who wear aprons and smell like shortbread cookies. Maybe they don't look great in spandex but they sure give great hugs. Do they count?


In my neck of the woods it is called misdirection. The debt limit increase is not what the ratings agencies are having issues with.

The lack of substantial cuts in relation to GDP is. Everything else is window dressing.

That the media continues trolling for sympathy for him based on this misdirection is crap.

That the republicans haven't bought it (so far) is astounding.


The Kennessey [Hennessey?] analysis is just another example of someone attempting to take one of Obama's stupid moves and make it into something rather brilliant and sophisticated.

Kind of like those deep analyses of the Red Hot Chili Peppers song, "Californication."

Californication and a Girl’s Guitar


The debt limit increase is not what the ratings agencies are having issues with.

The lack of substantial cuts in relation to GDP is.

That's what Rush was saying...there needed to be I think 4 trillion (or 2) in cuts or the ratings would go down.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Do they count?

Of course they count. Hugs were invented by Grandmas, weren't they? And "gorgeous" is in the eye of the beholder and perspective. I would rather have Barbara Bush as a grandma than Jane Fonda, wouldn't you? Heck, my Granddaughter calls me "Groovy Granny," and I love it. My daughter, on the other hand, has said more than once, "You didn't seem all that "groovy" to me when I was her age." Being freed from the bonds of the disciplinarian and teacher of responsible values has its perks.


Return of Mass Layoffs a Grim Sign for U.S. Workers

"Everything in business is confidence," Davidowitz says. "You lose confidence and businesses can't deal with that [and] who could have confidence with what's going on in Washington?"
Hard to see how this benefits Obama at this point, with his polling numbers dropping like a rock. I don't doubt that this was purposeful at first, as there are few other believable explanations, but apparently, smart as he is, he was too smart by half.
"Shovel ready was not as ... uh ... shovel ready as we expected. Heh heh."

-- B H Obama


I think once he heard Clarice was all set to serenade us as Pirate Jenny, Barackheath began to count on a last minute reprieve from the rating agencies.


Clarice, Glenn Reynolds is in your corner on the Khan Academy.

hit and run

Sara: her picture is next to the definition of "gorgeous grandma" in the dictionary in my mind.


Elliott, Only my accounting talents exceed my musical aptitude. Fair warning

hit and run

Sorry,bad form. That was written about Sara. I should have addressed it directly to Sara.

Sara...a picture of you is next to the definition of "gorgeous grandma" in the dictionary in my mind.


ext. I think the idea is sound. I also think it sound to give problem sets which cover matters not yet discussed in class so that once the solution is learned its value is appreciated. Otherwise it's all so much boring drills that few kids (Maybe people like Rick and Chaco and Cathy, for example) pay attention.


So its now clear that Zero rushed to the microphone to try to lie persuade the American people that he did not totally renege on a deal. Boehner told him, he was going to give it a go with the Senate, since he had no confidence in the reliability of the word of the President.

If this was not so serious, I would laugh at how amateurish Zero really is over and over again.

Cecil Turner

That's carefully worded, and technically accurate.

And, as he points out, fundamentally misleading. But OK, let's use Pelosi's metric. As we see from the graph:

Bush's "jobless recovery" created more jobs than Obama's "stimulus," and we're starting to peak at a level very close to the previous trough . . . with a larger population. Not exactly a triumph.

Spandex r us (FKA Another Barbara

I like grandmas with gray hair who wear aprons and smell like shortbread cookies. Maybe they don't look great in spandex but they sure give great hugs. Do they count?

Everyone *wants* a grandma like that, Chubby; no one wants to *be* a grandma like that.

Trust me.


Ditto what Spandex said.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Ditto Ditto

Barbara Lurking

Triple ditto with a full twist!


So we should be on the lookout for spandex grandmas who wear aprons and smell like shortbread cookies?

Sounds good to me.


So we should be on the lookout for spandex grandmas who wear aprons and smell like shortbread cookies?

Sounds good to me.


Worth repeating.


I figure since Boehner comes from a large family he has dealt with dysfunctional members and may view Obama in that light.



DoT's been really nice to BF, does that mean you can break your moratorium now?


Now the question is...does she smell like shortbread cookies & where the hell's the apron?


You could have at least showed the "after" pic, Janet.

Spandex r us (FKA Another Barbara)

But the salesgirl told me I'd look just like Michelle Obama in her workout outfit if I went for the leopard spandex!

LOL, Janet. Did I ever tell you I worked out with MO for an hour when her husband was the candidate. Worked out with both of them actually, but he is not very serious about lifting weights (or much else, it turned out).


I thought he did 70 lb dumbell curls. No?

Spandex r us (FKA Another Barbara)

No, Ext.

My husband and I laughed hysterically when we read that hagiographic piece. He used 25-lbs., halfheartedly and with few reps, and I do better curls.

Michelle's another story though. She's deadly earnest.

Jane says obamasucks

You know I've been thinking about these negotiations.

First of all the hardest deal to negotiate is one where the negotiator on the other side play the "do you know who I am" card. You see lawyers do it all the time, and they always end up with no deal or a really bad one if they get one at all. The natural response to the "do you know who I am" negotiator is "yes and I am about to put you in your place."

It seems clear that Bambi did the same thing with Netanyahu, a while back. bambi was arrogant, then petulant and Netanyahu promptly put him in his place.

Boehner is smart to say he will strike a deal with Reid and Pelosi instead, altho they have probably been buoyed by Bambi's incompetence.

I still don't think there will be a deal.


sorry about the pic...there wasn't much to choose from when I googled "grandma in spandex"!

That's kinda cool getting to work out with the Obamas though. It'd be interesting anyway.


sorry ladies.

I never got to know either of my grandmas and the closest thing I had to a grandma relationship was with a dear older lady who was a schoolteacher and friend of our family and she actually did smell like shortbread cookies. By today's spandex standards, she was quite frumpy in her fashion choices, but did I love her less because of superficial carp like that? Nope. It made no difference at all because she was fun, kind, patient. Ultimately it was those qualities that mattered, that I remember, that made a lasting impression on me. Not her physical appearance or her fashion choices.


Treasury Secretary Geithner has already dismissed this silly line of reasoning, so I’m not surprised to see these remarks by Obama …

Now, the gentleman asked about the 14th Amendment. There is — there’s a provision in our Constitution that speaks to making sure that the United States meets its obligations. And there have been some suggestions that a President could use that language to basically ignore this debt ceiling rule, which is a statutory rule. It’s not a constitutional rule. I have talked to my lawyers. They do not — they are not persuaded that that is a winning argument. So the challenge for me is to make sure that we do not default, but to do so in a way that is as balanced as possible and gets us at least a down payment on solving this problem.

That Packer bit was good, as satire, as Jim Ryan and bgates would tell you, it fails because it's too close to what the Journolist
intended; oh wait he's serious, never mind.



Nature Versus Nurture?

The other day when my female Lab pup dashed into the bushes and killed and ate that Ptarmagan, I was pretty sure that that was an example of Nature, not Nurture.

But then DoT posted this intriguing comment:

"At age five my cousin and I tested the proposition that if you stood at the toilet peeing while constantly consuming cups of water replenished from the adjacent sink, you could go on indefinitely.
To this day I think of the experiment as my first exposure to the scientific method."

Immediately Porchlight responded:

"So what happened? Don't leave us in suspense like that."

Followed by:

"Porch, we kept trying but came to the realization that the hypothesis could not be defended. Then we went promptly outside and played--and probably peed a bit extra for the next few hours, although I really don't recall. Our attention had been diverted to innumerable other things, as I'm sure you know. Those things might have been ants, worms, dirtclods or girls' underpants--I just can't say at this point."

Shortly thereafter Another Bub, and Clarice chimed in, so I took it as a given that JOMer's would be sufficiently interested in further information that might flesh out whether this matter was an example of Nature or Nuture.

Well last night in a bar in Tokyo I was pounding Yebisu's (a decent Jap Lager--- Brewery founded in 1897) and blabbin' with my one of my Filipino gal friend bartenders, when on page 99 of a fabulous new read, I came across this:

"One winter in Manilla in the 1930's [Commander] Wylie walked into the wardroom of his ship, the heavy cruiser Augusta (Captain Chester W. Nimitz Commanding), and encountered a "fist banging argument" between 2 of the ships up and coming young officers. At issue was what it took to become skilled at rifle or pistol marksmanship. One officer, Lloyd Mustin, said that only someone born with a special gift could learn to do it well. The other, a Marine named Lewis B (Chesty) Puller, said "I can take any dumb son of a bitch and teach him to shoot. Mustin would go on to become one of the Navy's pioneers in radar controlled gunnery. Puller would ascend to general, the most decorated US Marine in history. Gesturing to Wylie standing in the doorway, Chesty Puller declared, "I can even teach him."

"A 10 dollar bet ensued."

I'll not spoil the results of that experiment for JOMer's by telling you the results, but when I came upon that passage last night on my barstool, (besides laughing and enjoying it immensely) that old question struck me again---Nature versus Nurture, and I'm back to being more confused than ever.

Anyhow, had a great fun time drinking beers last night with Dot's old man, and hopefully one of these days I'll get the chance to do it with DoT himself.

The book BTW, was Neptune's Inferno, which so far is a fabulous read and just about mandatory for any JOMer stuck in a Jury-pool for the next few months.



It was ridiculous when it first came out, AB. Watch who does 70 lb curls in the gym, if anyone. Usually nobody comes close until some muscle-bound giant comes in and grabs them. I'm actually surprised the pencil-necked geek could do 25's.

Captain Hate

If the JEF works out as much as is claimed (instead of doing anything that could rightly be described as Presidential) he could do a fair amount of reps with 25s for sure. Like everything else surrounding Toonces, I don't know what to believe; he could be torching half a pack of Kools to get revved up for the day.


Worst damned speed trap in america is in ludowici.

Just saying.

Bremerton sure has changed.


daddy, there ain't nothin' like tossin' it back with the real thing. But, that Lloyd was a handsome devil.


Paid a welder $50.00. Got my ranger shot.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

A Grandma is a state of mind, physical traits have nothing to do with being a Grandma, outside a Norman Rockwell painting.

Both my Grandmothers died before I was born, one in her early forties, the other in her late fifties. I see pics of them and they look like Grandmas. I'm older now than either of them lived to be and, unless I'm totally living in fantasy, I don't think I look like their kind of grandma and none of my friends do either. That doesn't mean we aren't typical grandmas when it comes to our little ones. We just have more options open to us these days and much more freedom, especially those who have been widowed.

My son's grandma was primitive camping in Alaska at 75 and hiking the Great Wall of China at 89. But, she is also the person who, when my son was four, I was told made the "best peanut butter samwish in the whole wide world," and I should learn to make them like that. After some investigating, I learned that the sandwich was a standard 2 slices of bread with peanut butter smeared between. The difference was she served them on good china with a doily under the sandwich and his milk in one of her crystal goblets and at the dining room table. Far superior tasting in his mind to getting the same sandwich handed to him on a paper towel with a carton of milk and a straw and being shooed out the door to the deck.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vnjagvet

Neptune's Inferno was an excellent book, daddy. I had always known that Guadalcanal was a bloody battle. I hadn't known that the Navy took more casualties than the Marines. And I hadn't realized how close the Japanese came to winning the battle.


((We just have more options open to us these days and much more freedom, especially those who have been widowed. ))

perhaps a few more pressures as well


daddy, thanks for the tip.
This afternoon about 3 a young buck (deer) scampered down the road in front of my house. This in the middles of D.C. I tell you this to balance out your Alaska wildlife tales.



one pressure, for example, dangerous surgeries to set the clock back because society is far more youth oriented today than in the past when the wisdom of elders was held in much higher regard


Every time I read of naval battles I am impressed with how little the participants can know of what is going on at any given time. It's like a giant game of battleships.


Well, a black bear was hit by a truck on Hwy 316 either Thursday or Friday morning during rush hour traffic. 316 being the parkway between Atlanta and Athens and the incident happening along a pretty populated stretch just south of Lawrenceville. It's about 8 miles from me.

Interestingly, the bear was killed, and the truck suffered little damage. Now if it had been a buck...

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