Obama’s Two Fronts

Can he give conservatives and liberals just enough of what they want to win reelection? That is the pattern we saw in the closing days of the lame duck Congress – one that could dominate the second half of Obama’s presidency.

obama_2face.jpgFor conservatives, Obama caved on perpetuating lower taxes for the rich. For liberals, he signed landmark legislation aimed at ending discrimination against gays in the military. (For himself, the President squeezed in passage of the START treaty, a step toward his desire for universal nuclear disarmament.)

It is a formula that could facilitate Obama’s reelection: Occasionally give in to conservatives on the fiscal front, while sporadically delivering what liberals want on the social front. Neither side will be thrilled but perhaps neither side will be angry enough to cost him another term.

 

209 thoughts on “Obama’s Two Fronts

  1. http://blogs.cqrollcall.com/trailmix/2010/12/happy-holidays-trail-mixers.html#comment-324839
    Pogo,
    On the Oil & gas price scams
    http://money.cnn.com/2010/12/10/news/economy/oil_demand_prices/index.htm
    Oil demand to hit highest level ever
    Citibank futures analyst Tim Evans also foresees oil prices to continue hovering in their current $80 to $90 range for the next year.
    Despite China’s rapid growth, Evans said that on a worldwide basis — with oil prices high enough to both encourage new production and crimp demand — the overall oil supply picture looks pretty balanced.
    In fact, he blamed even $90 oil on investment money flowing into the sector — not supply and demand.
    “Where is demand exceeding supply?” he asked. “Not on the Gulf Coast; not at the gas pump. Only on the New York Mercantile Exchange.”
    Also
    http://www.businessinsider.com/crude-oil-speculators-2010-12#ixzz19Jr69MOA
    Volatility Alert: Crude Is Rising, But Not Because Of Demand
    Right now, speculative longs are dominating the crude market with hedge-funds and other large speculators long positions outnumbered short positions by 205,890 contracts in the week to Dec. 14, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
    Whenever you have an over-bullish market like this, it sets up for increasing risk and huge swings, particularly for crude oil, as it is one of the most widely traded and speculated asset classes in the world.
    Liquidity could only drive prices up to a point as there is no real strong demand to support the lofty $100+ crude price levels, but plenty of land mines to spook an exit en masse.
    So, expect volatility to be the major theme in the New Year with crude oil taking the escalator up, but the elevator down, and a couple of $12- to- $15 moves in both directions along the way.
    “Remember, the market is designed to fool most of the people most of the time.” ~ Jesse Livermoore

  2. “Best gift --the Bug vac”
    bw, may i ask if it’s not too personal, to what bugs are you referring and that you need to suckup? the creepy crawly low as a snake critterville kind, the little pitchers have big ears fbi kind, ancient german semi-motarized horseless minicarriages, or your dear hubby?

  3. ohhh we missed boxing day greetings on top of everything else overlooked (like where o where is my new camera owners manual)! apologies to all our canadian tmrs.

  4. patd
    no manual with camera, bought my wife one for her birthday,
    damn thing came with a disk. Had to put it in the computer and print out the manual. If that is not the case, then you probably threw it out with all the wrapping paper. Been there , Done that.
    It’s a bitch.

  5. Enough food in the house for a month, but I have to go to the store for milk so i can make a pile of pancakes.In the process I miss a woo hoo. Life ain’t fair!

  6. Pat, I bet there’s a manual for it on the tubes. That’s where I go since I have this annoying habit of being somewhere else when I use my camera while the manual is safe at home.

  7. Pat, I bet there’s a manual for it on the tubes. That’s where I go since I have this annoying habit of being somewhere else when I use my camera while the manual is safe at home.

  8. It’s pretty pathetic if the progressive wing of the Democratic party can be bought off with repealing DADT especially since Obama regardless of the spin he is trying for now did very little to help it along..while his position on civil rights evolves..
    really?
    Same for his stand on marijuana which was pro legalization prior to the election and is now similar to Nancy Reagan’s. Why is he allowing the justice department to threaten California elected officials with arrest for trying to provide medicinal pot to their constituents who are also patients.
    I think Obama stands for nothing but getting elected.
    I don’t see anything that makes me like him at all. We could have done so much better but in our haste to prove we aren’t racists we let ourselves be bamboozled.

  9. so Craig is the question,
    Are the American people really that dumb?
    We know where the smart money is on that bet.
    Mean while the minor victory of dadt came at a significant cost. Obama chose to continue the bad economic policy that has gotten us nowhere in the last 10 years.
    You can’t build an economy when the capital investment in plant and equipment for the last 10 years has hoovered at zero. The rest of the world has moved on and we are heading toward second class status.
    With the last space shuttle flight we don’t even have a space program to speak of.
    Jack

  10. Jack, that first question is purely rhetorical, right? :-)
    OK, looks like the return of Death Panels.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/26/us/politics/26death.html?src=me&ref=general
    As if you didn’t hear enough stupidity on the issue the first time around. In case you forgot….
    “Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate, and Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House Republican leader, led the criticism in the summer of 2009. Ms. Palin said “Obama’s death panel” would decide who was worthy of health care. Mr. Boehner, who is in line to become speaker, said, “This provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia.” Forced onto the defensive, Mr. Obama said that nothing in the bill would “pull the plug on grandma.”
    I hope everyone has their living will and other advance directives in place -- I know I do. In the immortal words of Jimi,”I’m the one that has to die when it’s time for me to die, so let me live my life, the way I want to.” So John, Sarah, leave the proposed regs the f*ck alone and quit inverting the import of advance directives. It’s people without them that could be subject to the decisions of death panels -- assuming that such a thing existed (hint -- it doesn’t). Idiots.

  11. “damn thing came with a disk”
    jace and pogo, thanks for the help. yep there’s a disk. there’s also a manual español. i’ll go online after i mess with the disk and find that it isn’t worth the hassle of messing with.

  12. speaking of oil men, there’s “a second guilty verdict against jailed former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
    Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s richest man and considered a political threat to PM Vladimir Putin, was convicted at a new Moscow trial of embezzlement.”…..
    …..”This and similar cases have a negative impact on Russia’s reputation for fulfilling its international human rights obligations and improving its investment climate,” Mrs Clinton said.
    She said the verdict “raised serious questions about selective prosecution -- and about the rule of law being overshadowed by political considerations”.
    German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he was “very worried” by the conviction.
    “The way the trial has been conducted is extremely dubious and a step backward on the road toward a modernisation of the country,” he said in a statement.
    “It is in the interest of our Russian partners to take these concerns seriously and to stand up for the rule of law, democracy and human rights.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12083773

  13. Pat
    My father in law is in assisted living. we bought him a new tv. It came with 3 different sets of instructions each in a different language. he wanted to help set it up.
    Ornery bastard that I am I handed him the one in french to read so he could help me set it up. It kept him occupied for some time trying to read it. I’m not certain he ever understood that it wasn;t in English. it was rather eye opening for the brother in law who believes his father is still capable.
    But I had never seen instructions where they did seperate booklets for each language.
    I have to admit that Ididn’t do much better with the English one than my fil did with the french one.
    I handed the remote to the wife and she pushed a couple of buttons and it worked.
    end of story.
    Jack
    Jack

  14. on that fire one day and grafitti another day in the shelbyville women’s bathroom, it’s my guess that it aint a man sporting a keffiyeh.

  15. patd
    Scroll to the bottom that is usually where the English is located. If not just use the Vietnamese instructions, probably about as useful as the English.
    Jack,
    What you did to your father in law is well, just sooo wrong.
    and sooo funny. I am ashamed of myself for laughing about it.
    You really are ornery. I think I like you.

  16. 2014 isn’t that far off will you be prepared?.
    How will those that eventually fall under ObamaCare, some 30 plus million AMERICANS, be able to afford it? How would an extra $300 to $500 a monthly expense affect your livelihood?
    Most Liberal will tell you not to worry about it, but that is because most Liberals have their own private health insurance policy, and they won’t have to deal with it. ‘Don’t worry about it’, you’ll hear them say, but this is something you’ll not hear the say, “Your monthly insurance premiums will be $$$”. Now we know it isn’t free because Obama has already addressed that issue, he just didn’t provide you with a figure. What will you have to sacrifice to be able to afford ObamaCare?
    Don’t believe me, call you Congressional House or Senate person and ask them what your premiums will be under ObamaCare, also ask them if they will drop their golden government health insurance policy for ObamaCare. I’ll save you the time and trouble: They don’t know, and no they won’t.

  17. TiR
    “Most Liberal will tell you not to worry about it”
    There is a statement that is about as ignorant as it gets.
    Can we say clueless?
    lol
    From your repeated posts it is quit apparent you haven’t a clue what most liberals would say.
    Which shows extreme laziness on your part because liberals offer their opinions long and loud on damn near any subject, all you have to do is listen.
    How does one learn to type/cut and paste , and still maintain such a pristine quality of ignorance.
    It’s a miracle!
    Jack

  18. http://factcheck.org/2010/11/the-truth-about-health-insurance-premiums/
    If there are big increases in health insurance premiums that would be the fault of the insurance companies and the profits they are continuing to enjoy off the backs of the American people
    the most interesting thing to me about TIR’s post is the failure to understand the actual cost of insurance now and how many people can’t get it no matter how much they are willing to pay. TIR also doesn’t seem to understand the impact of no uninsurance of course he probably doesn’t know how high the rate of medical bankruptcies is in the uS

  19. Tir
    Who ever said that it was going to be free to every one or any one for that matter? That health ins. of any type will be available to some thirty million Americans who had none is a monumental step forward.
    Perhaps I am a little bit more favorable toward the plan than some, in as much as my son will be able to purchase decent health insurance for the first time in his life with out an exclusion, or a horrendous premium for his asthma that he has had since childhood.Let me be very clear about this, he goddamn sure doesn’t expect to get it for nothing!Neither do his mother or myself who having been picking up a lot of his medical expenses out of our pocket.
    Obama care if you insist on calling it that, is far from perfect.
    There was much do be done that could have made it better and more cost effective for everyone, and it might have happened had republicans not been so insistent on attempting to scuttle the whole thing.
    I don’t expect any Scrooge like epiphany from you or any other liberal basher. Your type had the opportunity to make the plan better and walked away. Now we all including you have to live with the outcome.Holler all you want, what we will have in 2014 will be a good deal better than anything the republican/conservatives offered over the previous 25 years.

  20. http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month=12&year=2010&base_name=the_year_in_health_care_1
    “The Year In: Health Care.”
    “Health care reform actually held two promises for progressives. The first was affordable health care for (almost) all Americans; the second, less obvious promise, was to vindicate the role of government in our everyday lives. If successful, government-assured affordable health care would be an ideological defeat for conservatives who swear by a government is the problem approach to politics. Signing the bill was the first; step; the implementation process and the courts will make or break the actual success of health care reform.”

  21. http://joan-mccarter.dailykos.com/
    “New GOP House rules pave the way for more tax cuts for wealthy, slashing spending”
    “As everyone outside the Village has figured out, Republicans have never truly cared about the deficit, which is one of the most frustrating aspects of the Democrats’ adoption of their deficit narrative. By reinforcing the deficit hysteria which the Right will continue to use to justify shredding the safety net, the Dems made the GOP’s job that much easier. And by extending the tax cuts for the wealthiest have all but insured that the resulting ballooning deficit will make those spending cuts deeper and increasingly painful. This isn’t some big secret plan of the Republicans’--they’ve made it absolutely clear that this is their intention all along. These new rules are just the latest demonstration of that.”

  22. http://gay.americablog.com/2010/12/what-was-missing-during-dadt-battle.html
    “What was missing during the DADT battle”
    “The other missing ingredient here is that the president, who may not have even worked particularly hard behind the scenes for this legislation, surely didn’t get out front on it. That is to say that he -” unlike Lyndon Johnson or Jack Kennedy -” never used the bully pulpit to make the moral case for why this is the right and essential task for the nation at this time. Civil rights legislation and moral haranguing go hand in hand, each reinforcing and further advancing the other. Barack taking a powder on one of the great moral causes of our day doesn’t exactly help make life in America better and safer for gays and lesbians. Indeed, it’s worse than that. By stating that he still opposes gay marriage, he is absolutely part of the problem, not the solution.
    My guess is that we’re going to be seeing more of that. The last two years have been disappointing and arguably quite disastrous for the country. That produced a lovely vicious cycle, which gave us Election 2010, the results of which are now likely to produce even more disastrous politics over the coming two years.
    This was all ridiculously unnecessary, but that’s how it works with Obama and his party.”

  23. More than twice the average rainfall will have drenched Cairns by the end of December – the fifth month in a row that region has doubled its rainfall average.
    Widespread reports of 4-8 inches came from the region, with 11.05 inches reported in Cairns over the past five days. This brought the monthly rainfall total up to 16.75 inches at Cairns, more than double the normal monthly average of 6.28 inches.
    Rockhampton received 7.43 inches of rain over the weekend. An additional 1.93 inches fell in the past 12 hours.
    http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/43572/major-flooding-continues-in-au.asp

  24. CBob,
    I’m too blue today for these depressing predictions, and rainfall totals. More singing Polar bears please.
    Jace

  25. KGC, I agree with you. There is nothing I particularyly like about Obama. I am just relieved that he didn’t get to back away from repealing dadt.
    I have heard twice in the last 2 days of people being advised to NOT go onto the internet after hearing news of a loved one’s having a nasty disease, apparently because it will cause freaking out since it includes worst-case scenarios. Has anybody else heard that?
    It seems to me to be pretty wise
    If I could figure out how to put the pix of my bruise on the post, I would It’s pretty darn funny.
    I’m expecting my recovery from Christmas to take no more than 2 more days. And so to bed.

  26. “If I could figure out how to put the pix of my bruise on the post, I would It’s pretty darn funny.”
    bethy, if it looks anything like (even in the wildest imagination) the virgin mary, go immediately to the nearest fox/nbs tv station. do not pass go but do collect a few million in donations that will pour in. wow, our bethy could become a national icon of icons.

  27. thanks, pogo and ap, for links to the manual. if y’all don’t hear from me for awhile it’s because i’ve been committed to a padded cell after breaking down from total immersion into techno gobbledy gook written by jargon jihadists.
    jace, i will keep in mind your suggestion to “use the Vietnamese instructions, probably about as useful as the English” as a backup plan.

  28. cbob, good news for the electric, hydrogen, and solar powered car folks if hofmeister is right about “sometime between 2018 and 2020, supply and demand will become so out of balance that gas stations in several regions of the country will simply start to run out.”
    might even bring back pedal cars.
    http://www.bhsi.org/fourwhel.htm

  29. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/28/opinion/28herbert.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a212
    “The Data and the Reality”
    I keep hearing from the data zealots that holiday sales were impressive and the outlook for the economy in 2011 is not bad.
    Maybe they’ve stumbled onto something in their windowless rooms. Maybe the economy really is gathering steam. But in the rough and tumble of the real world, where families have to feed themselves and pay their bills, there are an awful lot of Americans being left behind.

  30. Speaking of many faces, there was a movie that I saw as a very young boy. ‘ The Seven faces of Dr-. ?” It had Tony Randell in the lead role, but I can’t remember the carachter name or the complete title of the movie.
    Can anybody help me? Very unusual movie but quite good. Have never even seen it on the movie channels Perhaps the Pres. has been watching it.

  31. Can’t imagine why they would want us to leave, I mean look at all we have done for them. It is a veritable paradise.

  32. RR,
    Thanks for the info and the link. It was a fascinating movie, and especially if you are a Tony Randall fan.
    I am going to get a copy. Lots of fun.

  33. Wow — I loved that movie! Ans was glad to see I could get a used copy on the cheap! Thanks for mentioning it! Dr. Lao was the ritz.

  34. I’m not shopping for condolences as Stinky and I aren’t consolable. Our youngest daughter, Alice, aged 49, cursed by bi-polar disease as well as borderline personality disorder was found hanged on Christmas Eve.
    She was victimized time and again by men attracted by her personality and appearance. Those men would routinely take everything this poor girl, with a special ed HS education, had to offer leaving her bewildered and destitute.
    Her own children wanted her to be like other moms. Clearly that was impossible. Consequently they trivialized her.
    Early last week, Stinky and I gave her a new microwave and cash for groceries to use in it along with hints on what types of things were helpful in warding off the depression that was clearly cloaking her. Sure enough the microwave was prominent on her kitchen counter and all the foods had been purchased—but to no avail.
    She had been hospitalized for ten days just after Thanksgiving.
    She worked for Waffle House. They have been marvelous in recognizing that she was ill and worked within the confines of her illness. They kept her insurance intact.
    Poor Alice. Her life really sucked.
    Flatus

  35. Keeping with the theme of the thread.
    Obama calling up the owner of the Eagles and praising him for giving Vick a second chance.
    Was that political genius or what?
    Jack

  36. Flatus….
    I can’t tell how deeply sorry I am on a computer… but it’s all I have.
    My little sister is a borderline personality disorder…. she drives me crazy. But I keep reminding myself of how much pain she’s in when she acts out. Poor Alice indeed having bi-polar on top of it.
    Alice is now out of that pain and flying with the angels.
    I wish you and Stinky all the best …. and the strength to deal with this.

  37. mornin’
    7 Faces was a hoot of a movie. btw, the film got an Oscar for makeup artistry -- not bad for a cult flick. Not his best work -- certainly not on par with his Odd Couple role, but a hoot none the less.
    Retail spending was up for the holidays.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/28/business/28shop.html?_r=1&hp
    It ain’t necessarily jobs, but it’s something.
    And here’s a good article on Sonya Sotomayor.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/28/us/politics/28bar.html?hp
    She’s become the left wing of the court’s enforcer.

  38. Flatus
    For what it is worth, you and your family are in my thoughts. It is not much I know but it is all I have to offer.
    I’m at a loss for words so I will borrow from Renee
    I wish you and your wife all the best and the strength to deal with this.

  39. Flatus, I can’t begin to tell you how badly I feel for you and Stinky, but if there is any consolation in this for you, it’s in what Renee said.

  40. Flatus,
    My sincerest condolences to you both. No words are adequate.
    You and Stinky are in my prayers.

  41. Dear Flatus,
    Such difficult news. My condolences and the hope that sorrow will eventually give way to gentle memories of someone you loved.

  42. TIR
    You are right that this should be reported: Loudly and often. Way too many wasted lives on this totally useless war.

  43. Actually it depends on the news you watch certainly Democracy Now and Link Tv have reported the current status of war casualties and ABC on it’s Sunday morning news show also reports the military deaths.
    Fox has moved on to from war mongering to Obama bashing as their full time subject matter
    NBC has usual is having personality disorder so reports on nothing

  44. Yes, it was reported by MSM -- if you pay attention to the news you probably knew it. It has been reported over the past 3 days -- AP has a story by Kristin Hall, which was run in Sunday’s Washington Post (I read it there) -- a day before Military Times ran it, btw. It’s on CBS and ABC news sites, and FoxNews and MSNBC (I heard it there yesterday) have reported it. Please, stop with the MSM bashing when it isn’t deserved, and for god’s sake do a little homework before spewing lies.

  45. If you search current news coverage of the Afghanistan war and deaths and injuries — the so-called liberal media seems to be doing a better job of spreading the truth,
    I think the problem for the right wing maroons is that they thought Shrub was a military genius and we were winning --
    oh right.
    Shouldn’t Shrub and Cheney be arrested for malfeasance in office for losing all that money in eyerack

  46. btw, Military Times picked up the story from AP -- what part of MSM isn’t AP? It’s the source of most of the MSM stories. Typical BS from TiR.

  47. Flatus dear , I am so sorry- there is nothing worse than the pain and sorrow of your loss. God this seems so feeble in this mode. Know that my heart is broken for you and your beautiful family and that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry.

  48. KC, bingo! And increasing caualties doesn’t fit with the RW media agenda for a neverending war -- might make Americans think maybe that’s not such a good idea. Prolly why the story didn’t make Newsmax. Funny, don’t hear any complaints from the RW that the rising tide of civilian casualties isn’t getting quick, wide and deep coverage.
    http://www.npr.org/2010/12/23/132276815/Afghan-Civilian-Casualties-Update
    Again, I guess civilian deaths don’t fit the agenda.

  49. Oh, Flatus, I just went through the thread. I am so sorry for your loss. Love & prayers to you.

  50. Flatus -
    Thank you for informing us of your family’s loss. I have never been very good at condolences , and a simple ” I’m sorry ” never seemed enough. But usually, it’s all that we ever can muster.
    I’m sorry buddy, hold Stinky a little closer for us all.

  51. Jace -
    As you look at the graphic of rainfall totals in Australia, remember that it’s just the past week, and that 400 mm of rain is 15.75 inches.

  52. Flatus,
    I am truly sorry for your loss. Bi-polar is such a hideous mental condition, not just for the victim who has to endure the very extreme swings in personality, and the medications which have their own special side effects; and many victims just rather not take their medications and cope with the symptoms of BP. But also for the love ones of the victim who stand-by and watch helplessly, offering their understanding, love and support to something which at various times can defies all reason. There are no words to adequately describe the horrors of BP. Again I am very sorry to learn of your loss.

  53. Pogo
    Glad to see the 101st getting some recognition. I would have been suprised that TiR was right about them not being in the news. There are a group of marines who have also taken the brunt of both wars. Last month Patsi posted an email about them. I googled them and only got one hit for Afghanistan and that was a Tom Ricks blog post.
    These wars are not being covered in depth. And while TiR wants to blame the liberal media, I suspect that DoD is more to blame for the lack of access they provide.
    Jack

  54. Posted by: jace | December 27, 2010 5:10 PM
    Interesting. Your correct,. ObamaCare won’t be free, so how can you say it will be affordable if you don’t know the cost? It is not just the cost (premiums), but what will be the coverage 80-20, 70-30, 60-40? What will be the deductible, the catastrophic coverage? What about generic vs. brand name medicines? So many unanswered questions.
    Since the Dems pushed ObamaCare through without even reading it, this will now provide the new R House to have hearings on every element of ObamaCare so the American public to fully understand and appreciate what it is they are being forced into paying.
    This will prove very enlighting.
    Of course fat cat Liberals Congressmen and their “KIND” won’t be dealing with all of that nonsense, “that’s just for the little people to figure out”, as they have their own private health insurance coverage.

  55. Flatus…
    I’m so sorry to read about Alice, and to know of the pain you and Stinky feel. Like everyone else, I can only echo the words of Renee and Pogo and others. Please know that you and Stinky, and all of your beautiful family, are in my thoughts. I, too, wish you the strength to deal with this.

  56. Oh, Flatus! I am so saddened for you and Stinkyat your horrible news! I’m sure you aren’t consolable so I
    will simply say I am so sorry and leave you to yout tears.

  57. Jack, I couldn’t agree more -- when the Military Times is getting its news from an AP feed one has to wonder. My takeaway from the article about the increased casualties among the 101st is that casualties track the uptick in troop numbers and combat activity. It’s not unexpected, considering that the same thing happened in Iraq when we surged.
    Uh oh, typo correct time -- “Since the ‘can’ts allowed ObamaCare to pass the Senate without even reading it …” Notice the RW having it both ways BS. When ‘can’ts filibuster Dem legislation, it’s a failure of the Dems to hold the moderate Dems and indies and when the ‘can’ts can’t hold their own caucus and muster a filibuster, it’s the Dems pushing things through. This is what we call talking out of both sides of one’s mouth. Obamacare passed because the ‘can’ts exacted a pound of flesh and couldn’t get a single dem or independent to join their filibuster.
    Later dudes, gotta go pick up the newly tuned up dog.

  58. Today’s war on climate scientists is worse than under the Bush Administration
    “The war on climate science and scientists that’s going on now makes the Bush Administration look moderate,” we said to Science for their December 17 news article “Climatologists Feel the Heat As Science Meets Politics.” Bush can’t be rehabilitated on climate change, but during the past two years the global warming denial machine has launched a nihilistic war on climate science and climate scientists that makes Bush officials seem tactically subtle and rhetorically nuanced in comparison.
    http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/2010/12/27/today%E2%80%99s-war-on-climate-scientists-is-worse-than-under-the-bush-administration/

  59. “Poor Alice. Her life really sucked.”
    flatus, not completely as she must have had some loving precious moments with you and stinky during some of it.
    as cbob said “hold Stinky a little closer for us all” and i hope you can feel our virtual arms hugging you both.

  60. forgot camera hook-up cord……will put up some pics after i get home…..It was a doozy.

  61. i dreamt of a white christmas
    just like the ones on the cards i sent
    but the days grew dreary and flakey
    and christmas more whiter than i meant

  62. That’s terrible news about Alice, Flatus. My friend Chris LeDoux said something I’ve never forgotten about times like these: “Life is a miraculous and mysterious thing. It can be beautiful, and it can turn downright ugly.
    Enjoy the good parts.”

  63. I heard Amy Goodman talking about Obama and a remark he made to someone prior to be elected that he took from something FDR said to A Philip Randolph..which is basically if you want Obama to do something…you have to make him.
    I do not have a problem with that…but that problem is that when people have tried to make Obama do things he squeals and cries that he is doing the best he can and that his allies should just leave him alone

  64. Flatus -
    You have many friends lifting your burden.
    There’s a lot of air under wings. Hot and cold.

  65. I have yet to warm up to this year. One God Damn tear drop to another. Aidois 2010 you rotten son-of-a-bitch.

  66. Craig -
    I have good news from Sand Storm City ……. The Flatlanders will play the Cactus Theater on the 26th of Jan. 2011 . I’ll get you a copy of the show for Imus.

  67. Craig -
    I have a copy of Don’s 4-Corners book, I’ll get them to write Imus a note, in it. Be a less than 6 degrees story.
    Half order of Kevin Bacon.

  68. We owe Imus a lot this year. This will be for all of us.
    We’re giving Don a “Half order of Kevin Bacon”.

  69. My little sister asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told her that I had a charity , pretty strange for a guy who’s income stream peaked at $29,000.00 12 years ago.
    Anyway, the little charity that we all have now., has raised :
    Target: £500.00
    Raised so far: £49,517.37
    9903% of our goal this year.
    Atta Boys all around ! “I’mBuying” ……. We bought boxes …. all over the fucking world. My little sister just bought $20.00 bucks of the next box. Best gift I ever got.
    http://www.justgiving.com/Colorado-Bob
    We raise another £482.63 , we bought 1,000 boxes.

  70. As the keeper here on this matter, I will break a rule, and release a bit of personal information about who gave to this effort. Just once.
    Our friend Flatus , …… nobody chipped in more than him. He holds the record for single gifts.

  71. I have about a dozen push pins for the Google Map at the Fish Camp.
    I should probably update that.

  72. Or at least he’s mostly dead:
    “CIA reports, doctors and biographers have asserted that bin Laden had (has) a range of diseases from typhoid to renal disease, Addison’s disease, secondary osteoporosis and Marfan syndrome. Intelligence agencies think that in 2000, he had kidney-dialysis devices shipped to him in Afghanistan. His 1987 biography states that bin Laden was being treated with insulin for diabetes and suffered serious low blood pressure. Is it likely that the most wanted man in the world has been regularly receiving medical attention without detection for the past 10 years?”
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/23/osama-bin-laden-is-dead/
    tt

  73. Tip -
    Like Howard Hughes. Watching ” Ice Station Zebra ” over and over again.

  74. http://www.taylormarsh.com/2010/12/29/biggest-2010-winner-the-american-right/
    “Biggest 2010 Winner: The American Right”
    “Pres. Obama doubled the Right’s midterm rout by finishing the year flip flopping on his campaign rhetoric against Bush tax cuts, taking a page from Bush 41’s “read my lips no new taxes” debacle, then doubled down on his flip flop by using Bush and Rush arguments to make the case for mill-billionaire tax cuts utilizing fearmongering that would make any wingnut proud or at least happy.
    Those of you around in ‘08, however, will also remember candidate Obama using this tactic on Hillary Clinton, calling her “Republican-lite,” even though he’s the one who ended up siding with banks on the foreclosure debacle, another issue Obama wouldn’t use to benefit Democrats before the midterms.
    That’s how badly the Democratic Party is stuck out on a limb on this one.
    Although the Right was always going to have a good midterm, the Democratic Party aided them in their cause by being so totally and completely inept in making the case for anything Democratic that the meaning of being a Democrat has vanished, gone up in smoke, pfft! The whole sorry spectacle culminated in Pres. Obama and Democrats making the Right’s case for them on economics to end the year.
    This is a criminal case of political malpractice, because it’s through Democratic Party economic policy that we got Social Security, Medicare and every other social policy that aids the people, including funding to keep this country’s infrastructure from crumbling, but also our public health system from fraying. Now, I could go on and on, but you catch my drift, because I’ve been writing about it for months and months.
    At every turn Democrats ceded territory to Republicans, moving rightward on policy, Pres. Obama appointing a Deficit Commission himself, then adding to the deficit through a tax cut scheme that isn’t paid for and embraced trickle down economics.”

  75. I know the folks on the east coast won’t be impressed, but we got snow in Tacoma last night. Must be a couple of inches out there. May not be able to get to store this morning. :-)

  76. mornin’
    Let’s see, how does the Bush admin differ from the Obama admin on climate change -- Oh, wait, I know this -- the Bush Admin encouraged and supported climate change deniers. Under the Obama admin, that yoke has fallen to the climate deniers in Congress -- the vast majority of ‘can’ts and the Dem senators and reps from WV.
    Tony, there’s a lot of truth in Taylor’s lookback at Obama in 2010. If only the house didn’t have the blue dogs and the senate didn’t have its own version of them, there might have been something that looked like progressive gains under Obama, but then again, maybe not. I’m in the camp that says he talks a better game than he plays.

  77. jamie -- You guys about as prepared as the south for snow? The mention of snow in the forecast & people are at the store stocking up like the end is coming.
    Even Moscow can’t handle the snow this year.
    “Putin banned certain officials from taking a vacation for the New Year’s holiday and ordered bureaucrats and transport employees to “stop whining and start working.”
    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20101229-705407.html

  78. Just when I thought maybe I would never have to hear Tucker Carlson’s idiotic and sophomoric opinions, he shows back up.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/29/tucker-carlson-michael-vi_n_802192.html
    What about George Bush, a$$hole? He killed 4000 Americans on a lie. What about Sarah Palin killing elk while her adoring father provides some of the creepiest commentary I’ve ever heard? Get a frickin’ grip.I own dogs and have allmy life, and I was appalled -- but please -- execution for dogfighting? A bit extreme IMHO.

  79. blue,
    Seattle gets an average of 7 inches of snow a year -- no more than 2.1 inches on average in any single month. With average highs of 45 degrees and above during the 3 coldest months, they are very well prepared for snow removal -- hunker down, let it warm up and watch it melt.

  80. I already made a trip to the store. The snow usually departs rapidly, the big hazard is ice if the temp drops and everything freezes over.
    We really haven’t had much of a winter at all this year. Keep waiting for it to happen

  81. Clean up begins after storm inflicts worst flooding in 150 years
    One site in the Marlborough Sounds measured 230mm (9 inches) of rain in 24 hours, Mr Wheeler said,
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/ nz/ news/ article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10697050

  82. Dear friends--thank you all so much for your thoughtful and kind remarks--they helped more than I can express. Family has gathered and we shall start the New Year with a private service for Alice.
    Flatus and family

  83. Narsarsuaq, Greenland -
    The average high there for this date is 14F. It is currently 46 F and raining.
    They are 34F degrees above average.

  84. Narsarsuaq, Greenland -
    On the opposite side of the world , New Zealand had the driest fall on record as Australia had the wettest. Now in New Zealand , they break their drought like this :
    Golden Bay New Zealand
    Golden Bay was hit particularly hard, with the latest flood being the third this month; the area has received over 500 millimetres of rain in December.
    http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=124283&fm=newsmain,nrhl
    This 19.6 inches of rain.

  85. ” How do you convert snow into rainfall amounts?
    Since precipitation is generally measured in inches of liquid water and not in snowfall amounts, snow is usually converted into inches of water by dividing by 10. Thus, ten inches of snow is equivalent to one inch of rain. ”
    New Jersey would be under water if this latest storm had been rain.

  86. Tucker Carlson trying to make himself relevant
    no matter what he does --mission impossible
    Kinda like the Fox weather whore who is claiming we are entering a period of global cooling when there is NO repeat NO evidence to support the claim and ALL of the evidence points to the opposite

  87. The price of coal , and sugar are moving higher. ……. wheat and cotton will move as soon as the first figures pop out of Queensland. The pictures from Queensland are stunning, ………. water as far as the eye can see, taken from a helicopter. The last week has seen the storms move into new areas, one’s that avoided the heaviest rains earlier this month.

  88. Dec 29, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s national economy has suffered losses of 6 billion rupees ($54,102,000.00) due to the floods ravaging many parts of the island in recent weeks, the government revealed.
    http://www.colombopage.com/ archive_10C/ Dec29_1293646969CH.php
    4,000 evacuated after flash floods in Philippine region
    The rainy season which began in June should have ended in November.
    http://gulfnews.com/ news/ world/ philippines/ 4-000-evacuated-after-flash-floods-in-philippine-region-1.737880
    Australian floods send coal prices soaring
    The wettest Australian summer since records began has resulted in the price of coal rising as fast as the stock of the English cricket team.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ finance/ newsbysector/ industry/ mining/ 8230182/ Australian-floods-send-coal-prices-soaring.html
    #

  89. Buy soy beans ……… the translation of web page from Argentina :
    Buenos Aires “burns” with a heat wave, you power shutdown and lack of fuel
    Added to the exhausting heat, that is hoped that it begins to decrease this Wednesday, the climatic phenomenon “the girl” has caused to drought in vast zones of the provinces of Buenos Aires and Pampas, in the richest agricultural region of Argentina, one of the global producing grain majors.
    Sources of the farming sector think that the lack of rains can be extended until next March, with the consequent loss of cultures of soybean and maize.
    The heat wave untied, in addition, a “historical record” of the electrical energy demand, according to agreed companies of the sector, to the point that in numerous districts of Buenos Aires and their urban belt were in the last days you cut of provision which they brought about rough protests of the users.
    http://babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_url
    ———-
    Every major crop growing area of the world has been slammed this year.

  90. Gas prices are at an all time high for this season and the rains here and cold weather else where is going to make fresh produce higher.
    Apparently the housing market remains bad and some are saying if not the whole economy at least the housing sector is not in recovery.
    So as well as a jobless recovery now we have the non-recovery recovery.

  91. “we shall start the New Year with a private service for Alice.”
    Flatus…. just remember that your entire TrailMix family will also be there in spirit.

  92. Is anyone else bothered by Danny Davis bringing up race in a threat to Bill Clinton about campaigning for Rahm Emanuel? I find that off-putting….does this mean Clinton dare not campaign for anyone if an African American is also running?

  93. Maybe I’ll take that picture and photoshop -
    “Greetings from Narsarsuaq, Greenland ”

  94. Sturgeone -- I’ve been missing your photo shows, and this is really cool. Unfortunately my computer is acting up and I can’t get thru it all, but I’m gonna fix that.
    Parsi -- I agree with the bit about Clinton being told to butt out. I haven’t heard much about it but it sounds bad.

  95. I guess that I’m not the only one who believes that Fascism has come to our shores and we are now the Fourth Reich.
    In an interview this week, Rep. John Hall (D-NY), who lost his seat in the mid-term elections, told the New York Observer that he sees a threat to American democracy in the court’s ruling.
    “I learned when I was in social studies class in school that corporate ownership or corporate control of government is called fascism. So that’s really the question — is that the destination if this court decision goes unchecked?”
    Read the whole article at Raw Story at link below and also read some of the comments.
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/citizens-united-path-fascism/
    This is 1930 Germany all over again where Hitler took power and Nazi Germany was born.

  96. Something from the climate desk -
    Narsarsuaq, Greenland at 9:50 PM WGT / 12-29-2010
    http://coloradobob1.newsvine.com/_news/2010/12/29/5735005-narsarsuaq-greenland-at-950-pm-wgt-12-29-2010?threadId=3016017&commentId=50415318#c50415318
    It seems for the last 60 days a bit of a heat wave has hit Greenland. The forecast for the last day of 2010 there calls for 59F degrees.
    8:04 min of proof we can rule out the “Urban Heat Island Effect” for the readings there. A VLJ Embraer Phenom 100 Landing at Narsarsuaq Airport in Greenland (BGBW)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUpCQsP5ijg

  97. As I slapped that piece together. It went from 50F to 52F at 10 o’clock at night in the dead of winter in the dark.

  98. I was deeply saddened by the news of your and your family’s loss of Alice. Words fail me.

  99. Keeping all of you in my thoughts as we close this year and kick it to the curb.

  100. “Best gift --the Bug vac”
    bw, may i ask if it’s not too personal, to what bugs are you referring and that you need to suckup? the creepy crawly low as a snake critterville kind, the little pitchers have big ears fbi kind, ancient german semi-motarized horseless minicarriages, or your dear hubby?
    patd…scorpions and black widows and children of the earth

  101. If ever a year deserved a good curb kicking, this one just may qualify. The year of the Bunny is on the horizon and promises to be a kinder gentler year.
    2011 is the Year of the Rabbit, which begins on February 3, 2011 and ends on January 22, 2012.
    According to Chinese tradition, the Rabbit brings a year in which you can catch your breath and calm your nerves after the ferocity of the Tiger. It is a time for negotiation. To gain the greatest benefits from this time, focus on home, family, security, diplomacy, and your relationships with women and children. Make it a goal to create a safe, peaceful lifestyle, so you will be able to calmly deal with any problem that may arise.

  102. CBob
    I’m stealing the postcard to send to a favorite right wing, knee jerk, climate change denier

  103. mornin’
    http://blogs.cqrollcall.com/trailmix/2010/12/obamas-two-fronts.html#comment-325004
    Patsi, my thoughts exactly.
    Bob, your weather is interesting and promises to get more interesting over the next 24 hours -- ours, too. Temps have been slowly rising for the last 2 days, now hovering just below freezing -- and raining -- and freezing. Had my 2nd most exciting trip out of the neighborhood since we moved here 7 years ago -- 15 mph with my heart in my throat and essentially out of control the whole way down the hilly, windy road out to Rt. 19. Geeez.
    And since this IS a political blog, here’s an amusing (to sick minded simpletons like me anyway) article about overused political cliches.
    http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/12/28/the-worst-cliches-of-politics-from-tax-and-spend-to-maverick/

  104. PBS has a great(?) film on climate change and how it is affect the South Pole.
    Apparently the South Pole is melting, and by the end of this century the sea temperature could raise 5 more degrees. If that should(?) happen the ice shelf surrounding the South Pole will begin to melt. However, that process will take hundreds of years if not thousand of years to complete. In the last 1 million years the ice shelf has melted and rebuild it self over 60 times.

  105. Pogo — Love the Walter Shapiro piece… I have had my nose out of joint at how we allowed the right to define both liberals and feminists for a long time….

  106. Patsi, I’ve always like Shapiro. He just gets better with age. And if you liked that, you’ll probably love this:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/29/AR2010122901402.html?sid=ST2010122901409
    “When Republicans take over the House next week, they will do something that apparently has never been done before in the chamber’s 221-year history:
    “They will read the Constitution aloud.
    “And then they will require that every new bill contain a statement by the lawmaker who wrote it citing the constitutional authority to enact the proposed legislation.
    * * *
    [But not everyone is fooled by this.]
    “I think it’s entirely cosmetic,” said Kevin Gutzman, a history professor at Western Connecticut State University who said he is a conservative libertarian and sympathizes with the tea party.
    “This is the way the establishment handles grass-roots movements,” he added. “They humor people who are not expert or not fully cognizant. And then once they’ve humored them and those people go away, it’s right back to business as usual. It looks like this will be business as usual -- except for the half-hour or however long it takes to read the Constitution out loud.”
    The foregoing message was brought to you by Mary Kay, Revlon and Oil of Olay. Cosmetics anyone?
    If this BS meant anything, it would bite the ‘can’ts in the ass.

  107. It is one thing to read. It is an entirely different matter altogether to comprehend. Given the mental capacity of some of these tea-party types, let’s just say that I’m not holding my breath. However the more time republicans spend reading the constitution the less time they will have to rape and pillage.
    Read on, read on.

  108. pogo,
    in the case of the republicans and their tea party toadies
    another OZ quote might in order as well “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”.
    Seems like good advice to me.
    New book title, Republicans in the land of Oz. I think it could be a best seller. So many possible story lines.

  109. “Khodorkovsky’s trial and sentencing are seen as a blow to Medvedev, who promised to fight a “war on corruption,” making it easier for businesses…”
    “…a conviction would show that Mr. Putin – who already served two terms as president, from 2000-08 – remains Russia’s real power and is likely to return to the presidency in 2012.”
    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-News/2010/1230/Russian-oil-tycoon-Khodorkovsky-sentenced-to-six-more-years

  110. Anybody have any New Year’s resolutions? (I ask, as I finish my lunch of carrots and Andy Capp’s hot fries.)

  111. Did anyone but me watch the Kennedy Center Honors? Nothing like watching a whole audience of jaded politicos on their feet cell phones lit and waving in a darkened theater (including the President and First Lady) while everyone rocked out to “Hey Jude” in honor of Paul McCartney.

  112. Nothing in two hours. Did everyone start drinking early? New Year’s Eve is tomorrow.

  113. “Three men have been charged in a Danish court with attempting to carry out an act of terrorism.
    They were arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of plotting to attack the offices of a newspaper which printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12093617
    severe case of nursery rhyme deprivation
    altho’ to be nit picky, old mother goose never mentioned ‘toons, only “sticks and stones”

  114. “Did everyone start drinking early?”
    jamie, no, but what ya got on hand? forget the glass, bottle will be fine. i just surfaced from techno hell level 5 plus premature exhaustion of printer ink trying to print out user manual (thank you again, ap & pogo) once i found relevant info. arrrgggghh.

  115. American drivers have to come up with $268 million more per day in higher gasoline costs, or almost $100 billion a year.
    http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/dec2010/bw20101230_850060.htm
    Blame High Gas Prices on Laziness and Greed
    Just as the U.S. economy seems about to recover, oil speculators are again ratcheting up gas prices.
    On the morning of December 23, 2010, the futures market for gasoline was sitting at $2.41 a gallon, or 58¢ higher than at the end of the summer driving season. And that reverses the historical trend: Over the past decade, gasoline prices on the futures market have consistently dropped by approximately 20¢ per gallon during that period. So that’s a 78¢-per-gallon turnaround.
    Multiply that 78¢-per-gallon turnaround by the average 344 million gallons of gasoline American drivers buy each day, and you come up with $268 million more per day that’s being diverted from consumer spending into higher gasoline costs—or almost $100 billion a year.
    Gasoline inventories on Dec. 17 were 217 million barrels, slightly more than gasoline inventories in the last week of February 2009—when the price of crude neared $33 a barrel in the wake of the previous fall’s financial meltdown.
    Likewise on Dec. 17, oil inventories in the U.S. stood at 340.6 million barrels. That’s only 10 million barrels less than we had in the last week of February 2009—again, when oil had fallen back to $33.
    Of course the oil pundits—whether industry analysts, commentators, lobbyists, or executives—validate the high price of oil. They usually do, saying as always that either gasoline supplies or crude oil on hand is in short supply, hence the increased prices. But that hasn’t been true.

  116. Well, I for one have been busy -- it’s the last workday of the year for me, so I had to finish up some stuff to put a bow on this one. I haven’t started drinking yet, but it’s still early, so I haven’t given up hope that I can get a couple drinks in me before the official drinking period starts.
    Just found out that I have to do 90 day evals for my employees next week -- I hate doing those -- they are the 3rd circle of management hell. Luckily I have great employees, so it’s not the 5th circle …
    Well, it’s wonderful here, but it’s here, which is where I am and want to say I was, so I’m going elsewhere so I can.
    Happy New Year everyone. (With a special wish for Flatus and Stinky).

  117. OK, I just saw Pit’s post on gasoline, so before I leave… Gas prices here rose $.20 in the past week. The bloodsucking oil companies and oil speculators have manipulated the price of oil and gasoline since at least the 60s. If there is any such things as heaven and hell they will be provided a seat next to the bankers to spend their eternity in hell.
    Son now I’ll say goodbye and Happy New Year.

  118. ” I have to do 90 day evals for my employees next week -- I hate doing those -- they are the 3rd circle of management hell.”
    pogo, true hell on wheels. one year i had emp’ees evaluate themselves just to prime the pump…. very interesting study in human nature.

  119. TIR -
    I missed that show, but it reruns here at 3AM on Sat. nights. I believe what the core barrel on that drill tells us.
    ” In the last 1 million years the ice shelf has melted and rebuild it self over 60 times. ”
    True , and never was there a highly complex civilization with 7 Billion mouths to feed when one of the cycles got started.
    Exibit “A” today -
    The coal exporting business is closed out of Australia today. They are the world leader in coal exporting. Mainly coking coal for steel. One wonders out long the India and Chinese fires can burn, without this Aussie coal.

  120. Philippines
    “It’s like a typhoon without wind,” Salceda said of the storms.
    Salceda said the storm is a “treacherous” and “silent killer.”
    Nine dead in Egypt, Saudi flooding
    SOUTHERN AFRICA: Heavy rain, flood warnings
    Evert Scholtz, a forecaster with the South African Weather Services, told IRIN that heavy rain was expected over Angola, central South Africa, parts of Botswana and northern Namibia over the next five days.

  121. http://www.taylormarsh.com/2010/12/30/the-political-moment-of-the-year/
    ‘The Political Moment of the Year”
    “If anyone had any doubts that 2010 was former Pres. Bill Clinton’s year, the moment he took over the White House press room proved the point conclusively.
    …and Barack Obama, who never showed Bill Clinton the respect he deserved before becoming president, has a new appreciation for WJC, because former Pres. Clinton did things in 2010 that Pres. Obama couldn’t come close to achieving himself.
    Now not only is Sect. Hillary Clinton the most admired woman in the country, but it was her husband who bailed out the Democratic Party’s failed image, because in 2010 Democrats lost their mojo, their heart and connection with middle class Americans, with the end of the year bringing real questions about just what the Democratic Party stands for today.
    Unfortunately, Democrats no longer sounding like Democrats is a problem not even William Jefferson Clinton can solve, because the President and congressional progressives ceded way too much territory to the Right.”

  122. The Earth has two great systems to move the heat around that it traps from the sun , the oceans and the atmosphere. The oceans being the most important. We have seriously under estimated just how the earth was going to respond to this little push our fat happy life style gave the system.
    We have increased the amount of water vapor by about 4% over the last 30 years. That number is being seen all around the world, it’s being seen in these rain fall rates. On a grand scale, and it doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. The forecast for Columbia and Australia is for rain until April. Both countries are flat on their backs.

  123. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/30/alters-the-promise-epilog_n_802866.html
    “Alter’s ‘The Promise’ Epilogue: Obama Team’s Dysfunction Prompted Lack Of Focus On Jobs; Bill Clinton Annoyed At White House”
    “Some revelations about the Obama administration detailed in the new epilogue to the upcoming paperback release of Jonathan Alter’s bestseller, “The Promise,” probably won’t please too many folks at the White House. Alter claims that a dysfunctional relationship between top White House aides hurt the administration’s policy on job creation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was almost dropped from financial reform legislation and was only reinstated after complaints by Elizabeth Warren, and Bill Clinton continually grumbles about being disrespected by the administration.
    The Obama administration’s perceived failure to take laser-like aim at the unemployment crisis was partly due to the dysfunctional relationship between White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, top economic adviser Larry Summers and senior adviser David Axelrod, specifically the intransigence of Summers, according to Alter:”

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