Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 18, 2008

LIEBERMAN GETS A SLAP ON THE WRIST.... Regrettably, the Senate Democratic caucus meeting went exactly as expected this morning.

Senate Democrats refused Tuesday to strip Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) of his prized chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

After months of acrimony between him and his former party, Democrats ultimately decided that taking away Lieberman's gavel would give Republicans an extra vote next Congress.

Lieberman instead will lose chairmanship of a global warming subcommittee on the Environment and Public Works Commission as a rebuke for supporting John McCain and attacking Barack Obama during the presidential campaign.

Roll Call added, "Senators approved the motion by a resounding vote of 42-13." Because the vote was held by secret ballot, we don't know which Democrats were part of the 13.

There will no doubt be plenty of discussion about how and why Lieberman got away with his offensive conduct with nothing more than a slap on the wrist, but I think there are a couple of points to keep in mind.

First, in retrospect, as soon as the option of kicking Lieberman out of the Democratic caucus was taken off the table, the center of gravity shifted. Initially, taking away Lieberman's committee chairmanship was the compromise/middle-ground between two extremes (giving him the boot and doing nothing). Once Democrats agreed that they preferred to keep Lieberman in the caucus, all of a sudden, stripping him of his gavel became the new extreme position, and the EPW subcommittee became the new "compromise." The shift obviously benefited Lieberman.

Second, let's pause to appreciate just how smart Lieberman is. In this case, I don't mean that as a compliment. It was inconceivable that if Obama won in a veritable landslide, while the Senate Democratic caucus grew by (at least) six seats, that Lieberman would not only get off scot-free, but would also be in a position to dictate to Democrats, without any leverage at all, which outcomes he found "unacceptable." If someone had predicted this scenario to me a month ago, I could have found it ridiculous. And yet, here we are.

Josh Marshall had a post back in June explaining, even before some of Lieberman's most outrageous conduct, that Lieberman was burning bridges that couldn't be rebuilt. "My assumption is that after the November election, regardless of the outcome of the presidential campaign, Joe will be stripped of his chairmanship," Josh said. I agreed wholeheartedly at the time. It was a no-brainer.

Except, it wasn't. Lieberman knows Senate Democrats better than Democratic voters do. My friend Matt told me via email yesterday, "If Lieberman ends up keeping his gavel on Homeland Security, I think we need to stop for a moment and recognize him as the smartest politician in Washington. He will have correctly made a bet about the fortitude of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate and he will have been right, against all apparent odds."

This is a decision, I suspect, that the caucus will regret in the not-too-distant future. It's predicated on the assumption that Lieberman really is a Democrat at heart.

He's not.

Steve Benen 12:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (124)

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what a pathetic, pusillanimous display. Senate Dems should have asked themselves, "What would LBJ have done?"

Or even "What would Mitch McConnell do?" You know, when Jim Jeffords defected to the Democratic caucus in 2001 (a different kind of betrayal, to be sure), Trent Lott wouldn't even let him continue to sing barbershop with his old GOP buds.

It didn't even have to be about how he chose to campaign this year. As Steve has ably pointed out, Lieberman has been a lousy committee chair and doesn't deserve to retain the responsibility. But there's this sense that Senator Lieberman is entitled somehow to chair this major committee based on-- based on-- damned if I know what it's based on.

And how long before Senator Lieberman shows his gratitude by embarrassing the leadership from his committee chair?

Ugh.

Posted by: scott_m on November 18, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not a Democrat at heart either, and the various capitulations over the last decade are some of the reasons why.

Posted by: AJB on November 18, 2008 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Bushobama Administration?

Dems are idiots.

Posted by: gregor on November 18, 2008 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe, to make this travesty a little bit fun, the netroots should have a pool - How many days until we get to say "I Told You So"?
This is truly disappointing.

Posted by: Todd on November 18, 2008 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

I give up. This . . . I don't even know what to say. I guess we can expect another 4 to 8 years of Republicans succeeding at pushing their agenda in spite of a Democratically controlled Congress and presidency.

Bunch of spineless motherfuckers.

Posted by: Taritac on November 18, 2008 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Absolutely revolting.

Posted by: wilder on November 18, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

This brings to mind Josh Marshall's "Bitch Slap" theory. If a Democrat gets bitch slapped and doesn't respond, it shows that anyone can push them around. Russians, Iranians, lobbyists, special interests, and cetera. They'll never stand up for themselves, so they won't stand up for you.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/003295.php

Sometimes I really understand why people voted Green in 2000. I'm ashamed of my party.

Posted by: Gene Ha on November 18, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

While I don't think beating him up with a metaphorical baseball bat would have the politically prudent thing to do (even if it would have felt good), could they have come up with something that actually "hurt" him a bit more? I mean seriously, they may as well have not even bothered taking away the subcommittee bit as useless a "punishment" as that was.

Sure I know that they wanted to stay friendly with Lieberman for political and even personal reasons, but ACK! This is lame, lame, lame. Senate Democrats have basically shown, before Obama even takes office, that either they can't be relied upon to stand up for themselves or that they will be out maneuvered by the opposition/semi-opposition every time. No numerical advantage will help with either of these two problems.

Posted by: ET on November 18, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

With hindsight, it should have been clear. You never win a bet that Congressional Democrats will show a spine.

Posted by: OkieFromMuskogee on November 18, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Very disappointing. I wonder how this will materialize. Hopefully, he'll behave.

Posted by: i just don't get it on November 18, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Oh I forgot to add - I hope they plan on revisiting this decision at a future date when Holy Joe jumps the aisle (which we all know he is going to do).

Posted by: ET on November 18, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

It's comforting to know that the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will finally investigate Obama's ties to Bill Ayers.

Posted by: Old School on November 18, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

It's time for all good liberals and progressives to commit their efforts at thwarting everything Obama tries to achieve. Why I stood in the rain for an hour to vote for this gutless bastard is beyond me.
He won't prosecute MURDERERS and TORTURERS still collecting paychecks in the Bush administration. He voted to renew the Patriot Act with meaningless caveats. Lieberman stays. Lieberman did everything but call Michelle a worthless gutter cunt. This is change?
Every day is darker than the last in this nation. Every day.

Posted by: steve duncan on November 18, 2008 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

frankly, we shouldn't blame senate dems: it was obama who gave them permission.

i got a lot of grief back at steve's old stomping grounds last spring for pointing out that obama was a centrist with the potential of ending up being another jimmy carter. i wonder how the grief-givers feel now?

i, myself, am unsurprised, although disgusted.

Posted by: howard on November 18, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Cqan we sack Harry Ried now? The guy is a piece of shit!

Posted by: Rick on November 18, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

I think the turning point came when a bunch of dirty fucking hippies started telling the Senate what to do. They don't like that. They really don't like that.

Posted by: MattF on November 18, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

why would it surprise anyone that Lieberman knows his colleagues better than outsiders do? They're weak, insecure, and childish. That hasn't changed. Exception: Russ Feingold.

Posted by: bruce on November 18, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Why doesn't he just invite goddamned Sarah Palin over for tea and propose she helm the Defense Department? Or maybe the Department of Interior? Hell, give her both, she's a hockey mom, she can multi-task.

Posted by: steve duncan on November 18, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly, i wonder how this will effect grassroots motivation to continue to help elect more dem senators in GA and MN. since i had no faith in the spineless, cowardly, craven, and useless dems, i haven't lifted a finger. however, if i had gone there from the OH team to do GOTV stuff, i would be takin the midnight train from georgia tonight.

Posted by: nerpzilla on November 18, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats require their voters to eat shit and like it.

Posted by: Brojo on November 18, 2008 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Second, let's pause to appreciate just how smart Lieberman is.

Smarter than the collective group of Senate Dems isn't particularly bright. His intelligence shines only in comparison to their political ineptitude.

Posted by: Shalimar on November 18, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

There will no doubt be plenty of discussion about how and why Lieberman got away with his offensive conduct with nothing more than a slap on the wrist...

Because it's just business. And the smart business was to keep him in.

Posted by: SJRSM on November 18, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

In order to keep the caucus in line to break a fillibuster, we needed to send a clear signal about party unity to keep future Democrats in line. This decision says loud and clear, you may stray, you may malign our candidate, campaign against him, protect the other Party's President from inquiry, but we still love you, so stay with us. We're you're true friends.

Posted by: Harry Reid on November 18, 2008 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

This is the fault of Harry Reid, which is why I don't want to see Hillary in the State Dept, I want to see her as Senate Majority Leader, and get rid of that washrag Reid.

Posted by: rdale on November 18, 2008 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

How long before Holy Joe finds a job for Ken Starr at the Homeland Security subcommittee?

Posted by: bobbo on November 18, 2008 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a what if: What if certain members of our party didn't ditch their date as soon at they got to the dance. What a novel approach to building wide support. Yet they wonder why their approval isn't much above that of Bush/Cheney.

Posted by: CARVEDNSTONEDEM on November 18, 2008 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

HoJo scored 42 Senatorial smootches on his weaselly little ass. Democrat Senators love the smell of sellout in the morning.

Oh yeah...Harry Reid is no better than HoJo and a total loser. And he will continue to be that way.

Fucked up. Nowhere to go.

Posted by: burro on November 18, 2008 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't there a time in the future where he could be stripped of the chairmanship or thrown out if he acts out again?

Can't he be on some kind of probation?

Posted by: lilybart on November 18, 2008 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

I expect that, as throughout the campaign, left wingers will bitch and moan, and within a year, Obama's decision to let Lieberman hang himself will appear crafty. I bet Obama will not even have to slip him the shiv. Lieberman will be out within 12 months based on something stupid he does. He just won't be able to help himself. Meanwhile, Obama will keep his cool (and his powder dry)--no drama.

Posted by: kk in seattle on November 18, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

My impression is that something went on behind the scenes. I think without Obama's intervention, Joe would be toast. I think Obama's said to him: you were McCain's Pet Democrat during this election, now you're mine. If you back my agenda, vote like a good little senator to back my stuff, I'll be your best friend. Pull any crap with me, and you will hit the ground so hard after I throw you out, you'll bounce.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty on November 18, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

I think everyone's forgetting just how valuable every Senate vote is. You can't just let one go. Even if Dems get to 60 this year - and that's looking unlikely - Lieberman has another 2 years to serve after midterms in 2010. We have no idea how elections are going to turn out in 2010.

I think that the calculus changed when Lieberman threatened to walk. The Dems could probably deal with Lieberman as a moderate Republican, but they don't want to deal with an unknown Senator appointed by a Repub governor of Connecticut.

I'm personally opposed to Lieberman keeping the chair. As I've written elsewhere, it's an insult to every volunteer in the Dem party who's agreed not to campaign for people outside the party, down to the grassroots precinct level. It's bad for the party.

However, it may be critical for some Senate vote we don't see coming yet. The first time Dems get something through just because Lieberman was there, is anyone going to acknowledge that Dems needed him?

Posted by: Rachel Q on November 18, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

"Senators approved the motion by a resounding vote of 42-13."

42 plus 13 equals 55. Minus Lieberman and Sanders there are only 49 Dem senators. Where did the other six votes come from?

Posted by: Haik Bedrosian on November 18, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

This is not Harry Reid's fault. This is Barack Obama's fault.

Democratic voters, and in particular the core voters who supported Obama early, wanted Lieberman out not simply as payback, but as a reasonable response to Lieberman's neocon support for the war, the Bush administation, and John McCain. Holding people accountable for their actions is not a crazy idea, and it seemed to be one principle that Obama believed in.

Not any more.

Obama put the word out that it was forgive-and-forget time, and I can't say he's wrong politically. But morally and ethically he just passed on doing the right thing by any measure. Which is something you should remember about the man.

Posted by: The Phantom on November 18, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

The right is right.
Democrats don't know how to govern.
4 and out, for a variety of reasons.

Posted by: Wayne on November 18, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

"Second, let's pause to appreciate just how smart Lieberman is."

Steve, I think you are looking at this completely the wrong way.

Lieberman isn't a very smart person at all - what he is, is like Bush and Cheney, well connected. It doesn't take much to do other's bidding and frame it as if that makes one an independant thinker. That he remains where he is, is a testament to the connections around him.

And it doesn't take a lot of intelligence to allow others to tell you what to do.

We can only hope that Obama and co. know what they are doing, and that someone in his camp is cleverer than those who fund Lieberman.

Posted by: Mathew on November 18, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

We need to end the practice of secret ballots on these caucus votes. Then we might start seeing some more Democrats developing a spine.

Posted by: jonp72 on November 18, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

I think Obama's first act as President should be to reach across the aisle by escalating Bush's War into Iran, in the spirit of bipartisan cooperation.

Posted by: Joe Lieberman on November 18, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Someone (Kos?) needs to start a list. Every single Democratic senators, minus Sanders and Leahy, needs to be a hard whipping in their next primary for this. My sole comfort is that Lieberman will give these foolz the backstabs that they richly deserve.

Posted by: anon on November 18, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe, to make this travesty a little bit fun, the netroots should have a pool - How many days until we get to say "I Told You So"?

I don't know how much of a bet it would be. Really, all I'd need to know is when Joe is going to appear on the next Sunday morning talking head show to talk smack about Democrats.

I think the turning point came when a bunch of dirty fucking hippies started telling the Senate what to do. They don't like that. They really don't like that.

Absolutely. They didn't like that the DFHs ganged up on their buddy Joe during his primary two years ago, and they're more interested in giving a middle finger to the DFHs and patting themselves on the back for their "sensible nature" than in actually taking a look at what makes a party a party. The message that they just sent is that there's no problem with campaigning for the other party's candidates. If that's the case why even have a political party? It's just kind of weird.

Posted by: NonyNony on November 18, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

in reading through the comments, i'm fascinated by the people who think that somehow, harry reid could have turned 42 votes when obama already undercut him. he's not a miracle worker.

and i'm fascinted by the people who, when confronted with a lemon, make lemonade: no, this wasn't a "crafty" move by obama, it was an example of why his all-kumbaya, all-the-time approach will be problematic in a wide variety of ways.

Posted by: howard on November 18, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

I'm spitting blood over this, but what is one to do? We cannot punish "Democrats" without mostly punishing ourselves. There is no viable alternative and they know it.

Posted by: outis on November 18, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

"...taking away Lieberman's gavel would give Republicans an extra vote next Congress. "

And pray tell, do the Capitol Cowards not realize that Republicans now have not only that extra vote in the next Congress, but the ability to maintain the Bushylvanian grip on Homeland Security---not to mention the one legislative tool that can destroy the Obama administration from within? I mean, c'mon now---why didn't they just hand the gavel to McConnell, and be done with it?

Lincoln only had to deal with one George McClellan; we get to deal with 42 of of the fence-sitting rat bastages.

Posted by: Steve W. on November 18, 2008 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

I really don't see the point of getting upset on this. Lieberman knows he dodged a bullet and should be a good puppy for a while. He knows how to smell the political winds turning, and for now they turn towards the Dems.

If you want to be upset about this, DONATE TO HIS OPPONENT IN 2010. Or BE his opponent in 2010. Let's get rid of bad politicians the good old-fashioned way: at the ballot box.

We can't, sadly, force the Democrats to grow a pair. But we can help liberate Connecticut. See you there.

Posted by: Charles Martin on November 18, 2008 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

By this time next year Chairman "There's nothing here (the Bush administration) to investigate" Lieberman will be calling for hearings on various aspects of the Obama administration that he will start to make Waxman look like piker.

At that point the Democratic Caucus will have no choice but to strip him of his chairmanship and the GOP Caucus will scream bloody partisanship.

Big mistake today.

Posted by: majun on November 18, 2008 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

"I Told You So"

How many days after the election did Obama offer the cos job to an ex-Israeli soldier? The 'I told you so' moment arrived almost two weeks ago. We are approaching the 'no change here' moment.

Posted by: Brojo on November 18, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: jonp72
We need to end the practice of secret ballots on these caucus votes. Then we might start seeing some more Democrats developing a spine.

Secret ballots or public votes, it won't matter as long as the Democratic Congressional leadership is more afraid of Republican talking point memos than they are of their progressive base.

Posted by: SteveT on November 18, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

OkiefromMuskogee beat me to it: With hindsight, it should have been clear. You never win a bet that Congressional Democrats will show a spine.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on November 18, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

I'm really fucking embarrassed by this. The right wing will have a field day with it.

What a bunch of assholes.

Posted by: Jeff II on November 18, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

If Joe keeps dodging bullets, eventually he realize how close he came to losing his committee.

Oh, who am I kidding. It was never going away. Still, he got a firm talking to.

Posted by: Harry Reid on November 18, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

This is the same warped sense of reality that allowed Biden to continually express how much he admired and loved McCain when it was blatantly obvious McCain did not warrant or deserve it. Senate Democrats have really lost sight of how things work out in the real world. Harry Reid must go, and go quickly. Hillary would be a much better majority leader than secretary of state.

Posted by: Matt on November 18, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Screw Connecticut, we've got 43 rat bastards to kick out. This is needs to be a litmus test - no money to any Dem senator unless he or she is on record about being against Lieberman.

Posted by: anon on November 18, 2008 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

By taking away his subcommittee chairmanship, incompetent Dems have actually freed up more of Lieberman's time to use his main gig to investigate Obama for the next 2 years.

Posted by: Shalimar on November 18, 2008 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Folks, Obama may have been elected, but no magic occured that changed the fundementals of the game in Washington. It is still STRUCTURALLY corrupt.

As long as politicians are dependent on injections of money from organized interest groups nothing will change.

Both parties depend on this, each one wanting to 'game' the system to their advantage, so there is no impetus for change from 'within'.

The situation will change only if the american electorate gets enraged enough to force the issue... (slim chance).

So, dime on a dollar that AIPAC said Joe will stay... so he will stay. What, you don't think they can buy the entire senate? Go back and look at the vote tally on Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel (etc, etc).

As always, the answer to seemingly irrational decisions in congress is to FOLLOW THE MONEY.

Posted by: Buford on November 18, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

And today was also the day that I told the DNC that they could no longer count on me for my money or my vote. I recommend that you all do the same. I listed reasons why I thought Lieberman should have been stripped of his seniority (at least) and ended it by saying that I have no option but to evaluate candidates individually. Collectively, the Dems are worthless. I also wrote the democratic part of my state's senatorial delegation and let him know that I was disappointed. There's a decent chance that he won't see my vote when he next runs.

Posted by: Diogenes on November 18, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

matt, i'm intrigued: do you know something i don't? because i don't see a single shred of evidence that hillary was opposed to lieberman staying in place. on what basis do you think that if hillary were the majority leader (a job i'm sure she has no interest in) that it would have made a difference?

let's repeat: it was obama who saved lieberman. you want to be upset at someone, be upset at him.

Posted by: howard on November 18, 2008 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

We must show we are different than the Republicans who imposed discredited conservative policy with an iron fist. We will impose conservatism with spinelessness and apathy. That's bipartisanship.

Posted by: Harry Reid on November 18, 2008 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if Democrats realize it won't take long for Lieberman to stab them in the back with this. I understand reconciliation and political gamesmanship, but this is a huge risk for the leadership - even more so considering the committee he continues to chair. If comes to a situation where having Lieberman as chair of this committee is a political problem, it may also be that it may be an even bigger political problem to remove him at that time.

The more I think on this the less I like it (especially since I know he is smirking behind closed doors).

Posted by: ET on November 18, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty:
My impression is that something went on behind the scenes. I think without Obama's intervention, Joe would be toast.

I agree that something went on behind the scenes, but not in the way you think. In addition to letting Lieberman keep his committee chairmanships and seniority, I wonder what else Harry Reid gave away to Lieberman to keep him from committing political suicide -- a bigger office? promised support for earmarks? an extra billion for Israel?

Not only are the Democratic leaders desperate to give away the store to their opponents, but they want to give away their cars, houses and the "use" of their spouses too.

Posted by: SteveT on November 18, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Someone (Kos?) needs to start a list."

Who are you, Joe McCarthy? What a bunch of pathetic losers you all are. You just won big in the presidential election. Your party controls both houses of Congress. Yet, here you are, sounding like a bunch of whiny b*tches because Obama and the Dems won't wreak the proper "revenge" on Joe Lieberman. Do you want to govern or settle scores? Because if you want to settle scores, you damn sure won't govern for very long.

I knew you backstabbers would turn on Obama, I just didn't know it would happen this soon. You are spiteful, hateful people who care more about settling petty grievances than doing what's good for the country (or even what's good for your party). A pox on all of you. I hope Obama continues to demonstrate that he's going to govern from the center and leaves you all out in the wilderness, where you belong. You're making yourselves permanently irrelevant, you juvenile perpetual-malcontents. Grow up. Your guy won, and now you're already ready to put him on the trash heap because he's more interested in what's good for the country than in settling your personal scores with Lieberman. I'm laughing at you all right now, you little crybabies.

Posted by: Joe on November 18, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

way upstream nerpzilla asked how this would impact motivation for the MN and GA senate races. i dont know much about GA, but it should make MN and policing the recount even more important for the left. JoeLie campaigned for Coleman. Think Franken -- whose campaign weakness was repeatedly his temper, who was Air America-leftist -- is the type to just forgive and forget that? Franken winning that seat is JoeLie's worst nightmare.

Posted by: zeitgeist on November 18, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

"Folks, Obama may have been elected, but no magic occured that changed the fundementals of the game in Washington. It is still STRUCTURALLY corrupt."-Buford

Yeah, but... we paid for his campaign! I thought Obama would have given a little more thought to the people who funded his campaign out of inertia more than anything else. But he's now in a position to entirely fund his campaign with the same people who corrupted the system he's supposed to fix, and can completely ignore us when he's up for re-election.

He's trying not to make Clinton's mistake, and is doing everything he can not to upset the DC club, so he can be a member.

If you can't do a bottom-up campaing and change top-down Washington, then what do you do?

Posted by: Memekiller on November 18, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

WTF why don't they just make Cheney Sec. of State. I don't need to rehash what everyone else already made painfully obvious here but WTF.

Posted by: Gandalf on November 18, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

I just my fellow Democrats in Connecticut have long memories.

Posted by: gk on November 18, 2008 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

joe, explain to us (we can hardly wait): what makes keeping lieberman in place "good for the country?"

putting all other matters aside, he was a terrible chair who broke a campaign promise to investigate the bush administration response to katrina. while henry waxman has done yeoman's work in investigating various bush administration malfeasances, lieberman has done zippo.

why is it "good for the country" that this pompous little ass is allowed to retain a powerful position?

Posted by: howard on November 18, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

There's nothing resounding about cowardice.

Posted by: rbe1 on November 18, 2008 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Thank God we spent so much time, money and effort to achieve the Liberman-proof majority so Joe could no longer make demands.

Posted by: Memekiller on November 18, 2008 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

The problem with this post is the assumption that the Democrats are Democrats at heart. Maybe Lieberman knows them better than any of us.

Posted by: LJ on November 18, 2008 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Today basic medicine, science including climatology, astrophysics and even both Einstein’s Special Theory and General Theory of relativity are brazenly and routinely falsified at the direction of Fascist elements for political/religious reasons. These scientifically fabricated and bizarre distortions are mixed in with some actual science and are passed of as “the new science” in exhaustive falsifications lasting for hours on NOVA and FRONTLINE, not to mention the new textbooks! Can you say Total Brainwash of the youth? Not to mention the adult population! The widespread genuine academic opposition to these wide-scale falsifications of science is never given equal time! We demand and will take some time to refute the U.S.-led capitalist dictatorship’s lies..

The Capitalist Dictatorship’s Attempt to Falsify the
Age of the Universe to Help Provide False Belief in “god”

The capitalists have tried to falsify the actual age of the Universe and the infinite cycle of a Big Bang followed by a Big Crunch, meaning a closed rather than an open universe, because the reality of a closed universe does not fit with the religious brainwash of a single creation and belief in a supernatural fictitious “god.” (The statecraft of capitalism’s alliance with religion and belief in “god” and other superstition is exposed further below.) The reality is that the process of contraction of the Universe begins soon after the Big Bang, which begins the process of expansion. The process of contraction began with the first condensations of gas after the Big Bang. At first the process of expansion is dominant, but the processes of expansion and contraction exist simultaneously from shortly after the Big Bang until finally the process of contraction becomes dominant and all galactic matter is finally drawn into Supermassive Black Holes, which today form the centers of all spiral galaxies and elliptical galaxies in the process of becoming spiral galaxies. These Supermassive Black Holes, which are growing larger continuously, finally link up all existing matter of the universe finally at one spot in the Big Crunch, at which time critical mass in the true and ultimate sense is reached for another Big Bang Cycle and the beginning of another Universe. The critical mass density required for the Big Crunch to occur is 1 x 10 to the negative 29th of a gram per cubic centimeter (approximately 5 hydrogen atoms per cubic meter), according to the calculation from the General Theory of Relativity, with neutrinos know known to supply the “missing mass.” (See below.) The fact that the expansion and contraction of the Universe occur simultaneously is one more example of the Law of Unity of Opposites, the Second Law of and Historical Materialism and the correctness of the scientific philosophy of Dialectical and Historical Materialism, as opposed to the false philosophies of idealism and metaphysics, which are the only philosophies permitted to be seriously taught in U.S. colleges and universities, and which form the underlying basis for all phony “cosmological” theory! See further below!

Back Holes Have Mass and a Size Which
Can Be Calculated and Rotate on an Axis!

In addition, in the Big Crunch matter most certainly does NOT collapse to “a single point less than the size of a single molecule,” a totally ridiculous assertion by the so-called “string theorists” (see below) designed to try to discredit the Theory of the Big Bang/Big Crunch Cycle of the Universe. Black Holes are formed exclusively of condensed nuclear material; protons and neutrons (composed of quarks) and electrons (composed of leptons) devoid of their orbits and all motion, all collapsed together. The end point of all matter in the Big Crunch is a Single Black Hole, the so-called “singularity.” All Black Holes have the same mass density which is said to be infinite, but which is no smaller than the mass of all combined nuclear material from all stars or gas contained in the Black Hole as explained above. The only difference is the difference in mass. Please note that while some of the information provided below may appear to be somewhat technical it is necessary for any subsequent challenges which might be made of this dialectical an historical materialist analysis. An educated reader should be able to understand most of it and follow for the most part the explanations which follow, which have in turn have vast political implications. A few key references are provided and the reader can research the area independently.

Black Holes have mass and size just as neutron stars (pulsars) also have mass!! All Black Holes, both Stellar Black Holes and Supermassive Black Holes (the result of combination of millions of solar masses) which form the center of evolving elliptical galaxies and all spiral galaxies, also rotate extremely rapidly just like neutron stars, some of which are estimated to be only 8 to 20 miles in diameter, and rotate in 1.4 milliseconds to 30 seconds! All stars rotate on a central axis to some degree due to the angular momentum of gas approaching the center of the proto-star prior to the ignition of hydrogen fusion. In other words the gravitational collapse of gas in star formation is not uniform just as its opposite, an explosion such as the Big Bang is not uniform. When the radius of the star is reduced drastically in stellar collapse the angular momentum remains the same but the momentum of inertia is sharply reduced. The standard example is that of a figure skater spinning with outstretched arms who speeds up by pulling in his/her arms. Black Holes are formed from the collapse of the largest Blue Giant stars 5 to 20 or more solar masses. Neutron stars are formed from the explosion of stars with 1.35 to 2.1 solar masses in a Type II, Type Ib or Type Ic supernova explosion. The rapid rotation of Supermassive Black Holes is in fact the reason Spiral Galaxies exist in the flattened disk form they do with spiral arms—because of the huge gravitational force exerted by the rapid rotation of Supermassive Black Holes which form their galactic centers! As the rotating Supermassive Black Hole in the galactic center gradually increases in size through accumulation/accretion of more stellar material and gas, the elliptical galaxy, which is in the process of becoming a spiral galaxy, first flattens due to the rapid rotation of the Supermassive Black Hole in its center.

The spiral arms comprised of outlying stars are formed by the combination of the gravitational force coming from the rapidly rotating galactic center and the relative gravitational attraction of one outlying star to another based on their actual distances from one another. As the outlying stars approach neighboring stars due to gravity this leaves other areas where stars are much less concentrated giving rise to the appearance of usually 2 major spiral arms originating from each end of the central bar often found in the galactic center, as well as several minor spiral arms, all of which are actually in the process of being gradually drawn inexorably toward the galactic center. The gravitational force of the Black Hole, the mass of which is steadily increasing, gradually overcomes the outward centripetal force caused by its rapid rotation.

Central bars form after the Supermassive Black Hole in the center of a large spiral reaches a certain size and are therefore found more prevalently in more massive galaxies where the required mass is reached sooner. Central bars form when stellar orbits in a spiral galaxy become unstable and deviate from a circular path. The tiny elongations in the stars' orbits grow and become locked into place, forming a bar. The bar becomes even stronger as it locks more and more of these elongated orbits into place. Eventually a high fraction of the stars in the galaxy's inner region join the bar. The galactic center thus attracts both gas and stars. This concentration of gas at the center of spiral galaxies does result in the formation of new stars but does not represent the primary or original source of star formation, which occurs in the beginning of formation of galaxies from gravitational condensation and collapse of primordial gas clouds. The central bars draw a large amount of gas towards the galactic center, fueling this new star formation, building central bulges of stars, and feeding the massive central black hole. The formation of a bar may be one of the last stages in the evolution of a spiral galaxy prior to its eventual total collapse entirely into its central Supermassive Black Hole.

The Hubble Constant is a calculation of the speed at which the universe is expanding and is crucial in calculating the age of the Universe. Four methods have been used to estimate the Hubble Constant and age of the Universe. The most recent method employed by Allan Sandage, et al measures the distances to Type 1a Supernovae explosions in distant galaxies and then confirms those measurements by comparing the relative luminosities of Cepheid variable stars as so-called “standard candles,” while Wendy Freedman’s NASA team uses Cepheid Variable stars alone, which is a lot less accurate. Freedman’s method especially is an easy method in which to either err or to deliberately falsify results as she and her NASA team have clearly done. (See below.) The typical errors in calculating the Hubble Constant include: 1.) “the universal, yet unjustified Period-Luminosity relation of Cepheid (variable stars), 2.) neglect of selection bias in magnitude-limited samples or 3.) the errors are inherent to the adopted models,” which cause most values of the Hubble Constant and corresponding estimates of the age of the Universe to be incorrect as explained in detail in the most comprehensive review which has yet been published, which also includes the Sandage team’s most recent calculation of the Hubble Constant to date of 62.3 +or–1.3, which is based on measurements to 279 galaxies: “The expansion field: the value of the Hubble Constant,” by G.A Tammann, A. Sandage and B. Reindl, Astron Astrophys Rev (2008), 8 July 2008, 15:289-331, DOI 10.1007/s00159-800-9912-y.

This value of the Hubble Constant corresponds to an age of the Universe of approximately 13.7 billion years, which should be sufficient to permit the Big Crunch. However even this method of calculation of the Hubble Constant, which as exhaustively explained and documented by Allan Sandage et al, is fraught with potential errors cited above, which Sandage takes account of and systematically avoids. As mentioned above Wendy Freedman and Co. on the other hand use only Cepheid variable stars in their “calculations” and deliberately include faulty (fraudulent) data in their calculations as explained to this writer personally by Allan Sandage, therefore making Freedman & Co.’s method of determination of the Hubble Constant even easier to falsify. Such data is systematically excluded by Sandage et al. as explained above. In response to the withering but suppressed critique by Sandage et al, known primarily only to other astrophysicists who follow these matters, Freedman has published a slew of pathetic papers addressing such topics as “correction of errors involving optical extragalactic background light (EBL), sampling-induced errors, magnitude errors, and random and optimal sampling,” etc. where she always comes up with ridiculously high (fraudulent) values for the Hubble Constant. Fraudulent data was necessary for Freedman & Co. to reinvent the entirely fictitious so-called “dark energy,” Einstein’s “Cosmological Constant,” (“My greatest blunder!” See below), which is declared to be “the opposite of gravity” and which has no scientific explanation whatsoever but is proffered as “the reason” the capitalist dictatorship and its media (and textbook) propagandists now say that the expansion of the Universe has unexplainably “speeded up,” a “finding” which violates all previous findings not to mention all known rules of physics including the General Theory of Relativity! In other words this finding is totally invented, totally fabricated, a Big Lie to end all Big Lies! All designed to achieve political-religious-propagandistic objectives. See below. Legitimate opposing viewpoints are simply ignored and in practice not permitted to be heard! How jolly!

Regarding the most recent results given above for the Hubble Constant, this writer would still prefer to accept Sandage’s previous calculation of 55 +or-5, which has been repeatedly established in papers from 1975, 1982, 1986, 1990 and 1995, although it may certainly be possible that the 62.3 +or-1.3 value is the most accurate and it is certainly can be argued that 55 +or-5 is not that far removed from the new figure. The reason for this caution is that Allan Sandage is now 82 years old and although he is 100% intellectually intact and in control of all of his faculties his name is listed second in the above paper indicating that he himself may not have collected the data used in the calculation giving 62.3 +or-1.3 for the Hubble Constant. I have not spoken or corresponded with the other members of his team, which also includes A. Saha who was not included in the above paper, as I have with Allan Sandage, so I can not rule out alteration of the raw data to give a falsely high Hubble Constant by certain personnel who might be bribed by the NASA forces in charge of the Key Project, which was set up determined to achieve a certain result come hell or high water. This issue is important enough to the capitalist dictatorship so that they would leave no stone unturned to tweek the results in their direction for reasons explained further below.

The U.S. so-called “intelligence community” organized the so-called “Key Project” in order to cover up the cyclic nature of the Universe from Big Bang to Big Crunch. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was built primarily for the “Key Project.” This is an important point. The capitalist dictatorship chose Wendy Freedman to lead the project rather than the obvious choice, Allan Sandage, the legendary, most preeminent and world-renowned astrophysicist as well as the number one authority on the Hubble Constant along with his internationally renowned group of astrophysicist colleagues. See above. The reason was that Sandage’s studies up to that point had shown the universe to be “between 14 and 18 billion years old, depending on what is assumed about the mass of the universe.” This corresponds to a Hubble Constant, which he and colleagues had repeatedly calculated to be 55 +or-5 as cited above. An older age, of course, would mean that the Universe contained easily enough matter to permit the Big Crunch, which is the key point the capitalist propagandists want to discredit because that would rule out a single creation and make the existence of a god, for which there is no scientific evidence whatsoever, even more unlikely! This is the actual statecraft behind the “Key Project.” See further below.

Freedman’s initial claim that the Universe was only 8 billion years old was obviously fraudulent, as have been all of her subsequent “estimations.” All of Freedman’s estimations of the age of the universe and the Hubble Constant have been designed to try to fraudulently invalidate (!) the Big Bang, the Big Crunch especially and the cyclic nature of the Universe in particular. The preposterous claim of an 8 billion year age is a direct attack on the Big Bang, which has been verified worldwide. In her initial unrestrained enthusiasm to falsify and misinterpret her own data (see above) Freedman forgot about the 1.) Red shift discovered by Edwin Hubble (see below) and 2.) the detection of the cosmic microwave background radiation, which is the residual effect of the Big Bang both of which exist as irrefutable evidence for the Big Bang origin of the Universe! Anyone using simple inductive reasoning would immediately begin to smell a rat! The capitalist dictatorship has a long history of political meddling and sabotage in virtually all fields of scientific and medical research and a history of using scientific advances against the masses in order to control them and also to reduce the population according to their own perceived needs, e.g. from Bio-warfare to Bio-fuels (through enforced starvation). In January 2003 Freedman was made the Director of the Carnegie Observatories located in Pasadena, California where Allan Sandage works thereby placing her above him as a maneuver to make her fraudulent estimates of the Hubble Constant appear more authoritative in the public eye!

There is no such thing as “Dark Energy” and the Universe has not suddenly increased its rate of expansion as falsely claimed by these frauds. Just the opposite! The rate of expansion of the Universe has continued to slow! All previous studies have indicated that is the case. The universe is not open. It is NOT flat! It is closed. In reality there are no “worm holes.” For worm holes to exist just within the known universe would require changing space-time topology and regions of negative energy, which does not actually exist. There are no “strings.” “string theory” is a mathematical attempt to try to refute and supplant, not explain, the Theory of Quantum Mechanics the foundations of which were established during the first half of the twentieth century by Max Planck, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Albert Einstein, etc.! See below for the most likely solution to the Grand Unified Theory.

It should also be noted that although we may be able to receive light from galaxies which started its journey virtually at the beginning of the Universe, that light does not portray the reality at this point in time of that galaxy which was the source of that light. The reality is that most of the universe is undoubtedly relatively uniform in its development today except where there are huge clouds of gas from super novae explosions and where there are huge accumulations of matter such as the Great Wall of galaxies, the latter of which formed due to the irregularities which occurred in the Big Bang just as in any other explosion. In other words the light from our own galaxy, the Milky Way, would appear to be receding from the most distant galaxies at the same rate that their light is receding from our own galaxy! This should be a no-brainer but is rarely if ever mentioned. The only point of view which is ever mentioned is from the Earth as if it were the center of creation.

The Fact That Neutrinos Have Mass Provides Basis
For the Big Crunch and Totally Refutes “String Theory!”
The false claim that there is supposedly “insufficient Dark Matter” to permit the Big Crunch to take place is entirely refuted by the discovery that neutrinos have mass! This fact was first reported on July 1, 1998 by a collaboration of 120 U.S. and Japanese physicists at the Neutrino 98 meeting in Takayama, Japan and submitted to Physical Review Letters. (By Super-Kamiokande Collaboration (Y. Fukuda et al.) Phys.Rev.Lett.81:1562-1567,1998.) Neutrinos have sufficient weight to allow the Big Crunch! The experiment measured the differences in mass of the three types of neutrinos to be 0.1 eV or greater. The group reported that the simplest interpretation of the solar and atmospheric results is that the heaviest neutrino has a mass of 0.1 eV. However, they reported that since oscillations between the 3 types of neutrinos depend only on the differences in mass it is possible that the masses of all three neutrinos are fully 1 eV or greater, but that it is the mass differences which are much smaller. (They allow for the “possibility.” How nice! They know that the majority of physicists do not simply automatically accept the interpretation which is proffered.)
This makes the most sense and is of course suppressed for political reasons. (See below.) If the mass of the neutrino is 1 eV that would mean that neutrinos account for more mass in the universe than all of the protons and neutrons put together easily supplying the dark matter necessary for the Big Crunch. The critical mass density required for the Big Crunch to occur is 1 x 10 to the negative 29th of a gram per cubic centimeter (approximately 5 hydrogen atoms per cubic meter), according to the calculation from the General Theory of Relativity. In addition, the fact that neutrinos have mass also provides the basis for the Grand Unified Theory which links the gravitational force described in the General Theory of Relativity with the strong and the weak forces and electromagnetism described in the Theory of Quantum Mechanics. Einstein struggled and failed to formulate this theory, but it has already been shown that at high enough energies electromagnetism and the weak force are the same force known as the electroweak force. It is theorized that if energies are increased even further and neutrinos acquire mass, which has now been fully documented, all the known forces will reduce to the same force thus providing the basis for the Grand Unified Theory. Instead these facts are de-emphasized with the false claim that “no one—not even Einstein—has been able formulate the Grand Unified Theory” in order to try to open the door to fraudulent “string theory.” The 1998 report that neutrinos have mass was blipped in the media and then neutrino research was de-funded worldwide and thereafter suppressed for a period of time. Wonder why?? It is time to employ some inductive reasoning, which is in fact scientific reasoning.

The Big Crunch will arrive on schedule and another universe will begin! Einstein once said that a theory of the universe should be both simple and elegant. He would definitely be rolling over in his grave if he were made aware of today’s totally contrived “science” especially the attempt by these fakers to re-introduce his fudge factor, the so-called “cosmological constant,” which Einstein invented/fabricated to allow for a static solution to his equations, which he was later forced to admit was false after the discovery of the Redshift by Edwin Hubble, which occurs when light or any type of electromagnetic radiation from distant galaxies shifts toward longer wavelengths, the less energetic part of the spectrum, due to the Doppler effect, thus indicating that those galaxies are moving away from our galaxy, the Milky Way (and vice versa) and that the Universe is (still) expanding (while it is also simultaneously contracting on another level—see below). (The Redshift in light from receding galaxies is proportional to their distance from Earth. That is Hubble’s Law.)

The false assumption of a static universe had prevented Einstein from predicting that the universe was expanding. Einstein admitted that the “cosmological constant” was his “biggest blunder.” (In December 1930 Einstein went to Cal Tech on a visiting professorship where he worked with Edwin Hubble and reportedly also apologized for his error.) In 1998 the U.S. so-called “intelligence community,” directed their fleet of fake “cosmologists” and some opportunist and duped astrophysicists to try to pass off Einstein’s fraudulent cosmological constant as the entirely fictitious and admittedly totally unexplained so-called “dark energy,” (!) AKA “quintessence, “ which is supposedly responsible for a supposed “speeding up of the rate of expansion of the Universe,” which is NOT in fact actually occurring. This rubbish has even been forced into advanced textbooks in astrophysics as good coin. The reason for these wholesale falsifications of astrophysics is due to the capitalists’ desperation to establish a false basis to claim that the Universe supposedly had a single creation and that it will expand infinitely rather than collapse once again in the Big Crunch completing another cycle in an infinite number. The U.S. governments’ position more easily allows for the existence of a “god” as “the creator.”

The reason that the capitalists have formed an alliance with religion is that the capitalists depend on religion, belief in god and the supernatural as important weapons of deception directed against the masses! This also helps explain the appearance of fraudulent so-called “string theory” which postulates multiple universes, eleven dimensions, rather than the 4 dimensions which actually do measurably exist. Stephen Hawking the ego-tripping, media-hyped “cosmologist” also postulated supposed “wormholes from one universe to another” as well as supposed “wormholes” from one end of our universe to the other to permit time travel “faster than the speed of light” (both of which are completely refuted by Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. While Hawking retreated on being so reminded, Heisenberg is brazenly ignored by other professional police-agent propagandists who are committed to such Big Lies of confusion such as the New York Times’ despicable Dennis Overbye (Oy!), Brian Greene and WBAI’s huckster Michio Kaku, who incidentally also covers up the fact that AIDS is Biowarfare by the U.S. Government Against Blacks and Gays primarily and tries to confuse his trusting, credulous listeners (and even students!) on innumerable other issues. The bottom line is that the capitalists want the masses to believe in a god—any god—even though there is no scientific basis whatsoever to support belief in a god (precisely the opposite)—because, to the extent that they believe in god, those who do believe in god believe that what happens in the world, including both natural events and political events, happens according to god’s will! The reality is that natural events occur due to the natural laws of science, physics and evolution, and what happens in world political events is due primarily to the decisions and actions of the U.S.-led world capitalist dictatorship, which still dominates world events! In the mind of the believer, god and the capitalist dictatorship—the capitalist government—become one! The capitalist government becomes god in the mind of the believer! This is pretty strong stuff and is what Karl Marx meant when he described religion as the opiate of the masses. Such false belief patterns of believers in god blunt the thrust for revolutionary change. Revolutionary change requires an absolutely scientific, objective and logical analysis of political events, political contradiction and political history, in order to learn how to carry out effective social change, meaning Socialist Revolution here in the United States and worldwide!

The Scientific Basis of Atheism:
The Origin of Matter is an Unknowable!

The capitalist dictatorship would have the masses believe that there is no limit on humankind’s knowledge, that everything is knowable and that everything was created by god. But this is false; there is a limit on knowledge and there is no god. Because of the fact that we exist as part of the Universe we can not exit the Universe, stand outside it and declare that a god, much larger than we are naturally but of course in our own image, who naturally is usually white and always male never female, created the Universe. The corollary is that the origin of matter is an unknowable! The false claim of supposed “wormholes” by the string theorists of course is a way to try to condition peoples’ minds to believe that they can do the opposite and exit the Universe, and is designed to set up the belief patterns for belief in god. (And while you’re at it, after you have exited the Universe don’t forget to check out “god,” he’s right over there. Right near that wormhole you just crawled out of!) Modern science has answered virtually all questions except one: the origin of matter. This is an unknowable. What is knowable is the cyclic nature of the Universe and the evolution of life, which is inevitable given basic necessary conditions. See above. Today religion and god continue to be invoked by the capitalist dictatorship to explain both the origin of life, matter and the existence of the Universe, rather than simply agreeing that certain things are unknowable. The reason is that the capitalist dictatorship uses religion to control the masses is explained above.

The original basis for belief in god (multiple gods initially) and religion was due to humankind’s inability to explain natural events and life itself. Primitive society had to have an explanation for what could not yet be explained scientifically. The philosophy of antiquity was primitive, spontaneously evolved materialism (Engels), which found its expression in polytheism where various gods were invented in the minds of primitive peoples, which were thought to control different areas of life: There was a sun god, a moon god, a weather god(s) thought to control rain, thunder and lightning, a god for earthquakes, a god of the seas, a god for day, a god for night and in some societies a god to control almost every aspect of life. Polytheism however was incapable of clearing up the relation between mind and matter. As Engels explains: “the need to get clarity on this question led to the doctrine of a soul separable from the body, then to the assertion of the immortality of this soul, and finally to monotheism.” As humankind’s thought gradually advanced and natural events acquired scientific explanations, polytheism gave way to monotheism. The old materialism was therefore negated by idealism. But in the course of the further development of philosophy, idealism, too, has become untenable in a practical sense and has been negated by modern Dialectical and Historical Materialism, presently tightly suppressed by the capitalist dictatorship.

Prior to the development of modern materialism, which serves as the basis for this analysis, and existing simultaneously with its development, organized religion formed pacts with the existing power structures, pacts which have spanned the entire sequence of civilization from the primitive slave societies of Egypt, Greece and Rome to the feudalism-based monarchies of Europe to today’s rapidly hardening war-based capitalist dictatorship. When the French Monarchy and the nobility were overthrown in the French Revolution the Catholic Church was first rejected as a competing center of power but then embraced as indispensable by the emerging bourgeoisie, which emerged victorious under Napoleon Bonaparte when it became clear that the peasantry, which had carried out the revolution could not organize or wield power. The bourgeoisie quickly realized that religion was necessary to control the masses as under the Monarchy and signed the Concordat of 1801 that reestablished the Catholic Church in France but with reduced influence. This has continued into the modern day where the capitalist dictatorship uses the belief in god and religion to blunt the thrust for revolutionary change as explained above. NAZI Germany also signed the Reichskonkordat in 1933 with the Catholic Church and similar agreements with the protestant churches in Germany, which were an important step in international acceptance of the NAZIs. Today the capitalists work overtime to keep alive the belief in a “supreme being,” taking advantage of man’s arrogance and insistence to be able to explain everything. As mentioned above humankind cannot exit the universe and is limited in this way. In the same way the origin of matter is also thus unknowable. The scientific basis of atheism includes but is not limited to the knowledge of the Special Theory of Relativity, The General Theory of Relativity, The Theory of Quantum Mechanics, the Big Bang/Big Crunch Cycle of the Universe, the origin of life through the Primordial Soup Theory of Stanley Miller and Harold Urey and Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Through Natural Selection. This scientific basis of life and the universe does not hold a place for a god. The capitalists’ propagandists try to keep the false idea of a god alive by claiming that science and religion are not incompatible. But they are incompatible! There is no scientific basis for belief in a god and the religious Fascists know it very well. That is why they wage a continuous never-ending battle against science in the classroom. The capitalists also front large organizations such as the John Templeton Foundation and the Stanford Templeton Research Institute for Nature, God and Science (STRINGS) to try to reconcile religion and belief in god. Good grief! Don’t be fooled for a second!

Religious superstition can play no constructive role in either in genuinely progressive thought or the process of organizing a Socialist Revolution in the United States. On the other hand the Socialist Revolution, while it does not support religion, permits no crushing of any religion nor does it not pit one religion against another as the capitalists do routinely as part of their strategy of divide and conquer. This is what the capitalists are doing in Iraq right now as part of their strategy of divide and conquer. The future of religion will be determined by an open long-term debate over time in a revolutionary evolving society and the strength of scientific evidence in addition to the polemics carried out by proponents of all religions as well as the proponents of atheism and Dialectical and Historical Materialism.

NOTE: the following paragraphs precede the above paragraphs in the entire piece about Global Warming and are in the proper order in the other email I have sent.

The Runaway Greenhouse Effect has already occurred on Venus where all the CO2 is found in the 932 degrees Fahrenheit (500 degrees Centigrade) atmosphere. The water in the oceans of Venus, which were nearly the size of the oceans on Earth, all evaporated away very early because of the heat generated by Runaway Greenhouse Effect caused by the fact that Venus receives 30% more sunlight than the Earth. The evaporating oceans finally boiled away completely after the temperature reached a measly 212 degrees Fahrenheit—on its way to the present 932 degrees Fahrenheit. Once in the upper atmosphere ultraviolet radiation from the sun split the H20 apart into hydrogen, which disappeared into space and oxygen, which reacted with minerals on the surface and also disappeared from the atmosphere. The Evolution of Life is what prevented a Runaway Greenhouse Effect from occurring on Earth as it did on Venus! Life did not evolve on Venus, with the consequence that there was no plant and animal life to absorb the gradual build-up of CO2 from volcanoes, which eventually formed the thick atmosphere which exists on Venus today composed primarily of CO2 (96.5%) with the remainder nitrogen (3.5%) and other minor components expressed in a few parts per million plus a sulfuric acid cloud deck beginning at about 50 kilometers above the surface. On Earth the CO2 which was released into the atmosphere through volcanoes went into evolving vegetation and then animal life, which over hundreds of millions of years became deposited in the crust of the Earth as the fossil fuels coal and oil. There is no carbon found in the crust of Venus. That is how we know that life did not evolve on Venus. Today the frenzied burning of those fossil fuels here on Earth has resulted in having the huge amount of CO2 stored in them being released all at once into the atmosphere. The Earth’s carbon sinks, the Earth’s natural storage mechanisms for CO2—the rain forests other vegetation and the oceans—have a limit and are now being overwhelmed. As occurred on Venus billions of years ago, that process now appears to have reached the stage of the Runaway Greenhouse Effect here on Earth. Without a Socialist Revolution here in the United States, which is the only possible way to still reverse that process, the situation on Venus today is the future of the Earth in the not so distant future. We are presently experiencing the beginning of that future. Life on Earth will become totally unlivable far before we arrive at the situation existing on Venus today.

The temperature on Earth does not have to rise very much to destroy all life. This is the reality which fake “opposition” figures such as James Hansen and Al Gore deliberately hide, while they attempt to control the issue and lead it to defeat. (See below.) In the 1951 science fiction/political film, The Day The Earth Stood Still, the Earth was visited by people in a flying saucer from a more advanced civilization which delivered an ultimatum at the end: “It is no concern of ours how you run your own planet, but if you threaten to extend your violence, this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned out cinder. Your choice is simple: join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration. We shall be waiting for your answer. The decision rests with you.” The result of Earth being reduced to a burned out cinder is clearly not limited to war and peace or even nuclear war. Although it goes without saying that capitalism-imperialism, due to its internal dynamic as explained herein, automatically extends violence everywhere and even to outer space with its Star Wars Program, etc. (which has thankfully not yet been realized in practice), capitalism has also extended its maximum violence to the environment. The environmental reality, not science fiction, is that with the onset of the Runaway Greenhouse Effect the Earth is now on course to become a burned out cinder like Venus! Only a Socialist Revolution can avert this catastrophe! It is our right and it is our duty to avert this catastrophe by ending the capitalist dictatorship in the United States through a Socialist Revolution.

The falsely labeled “Archaea” bacteria, tube worms, which have evolved to live at temperatures of up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, and the hyperthermophilic bacteria, which have evolved to live at water temperatures of up to 239 degrees Fahrenheit will be the last life on Earth because of their ability to live at high temperatures.. (Incidentally, “Archaea” was falsely so-labeled in order to spread confusion in science and to try to undermine in one blow both Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and the irrefutable Primordial Soup Theory of Stanley Miller and Harold Urey of 1953, who demonstrated that the basic building blocks of life; amino acids, purines, pyrimidines and carboxylic acids can all be produced by running electrical sparks simulating lightning through the most-likely original reducing atmosphere of Earth composed of methane, ammonia, hydrogen and water vapor or steam. Later experiments by Miller demonstrated that the precise atmospheric mixture was not as important as the fact that it be a reducing atmosphere, meaning that it must contain NO oxygen, because the compounds necessary for life, namely amino acids, purines and pyrimidines and carboxylic acids (required for the synthesis of lipids) cannot be produced in an oxidizing atmosphere! In addition, it has been reported that Jeffrey L. Bada, who had been a graduate student of Stanley Miller and Adam P. Johnson a graduate student at Indiana University visiting Bada’s laboratory on an internship working with co-workers have discovered 22 amino acids in the original samples from the Stanley Miller-Urey experiments, including 10 that had not been previously reported. (The Miller Volcanic Spark Discharge Experiment, Adam P. Johnson, Daniel P. Glavin, Antonio Lazcano and Jeffrey L. Bada, Science, 17, October 2008. page 404, Vol. 322, no. 5900, DOI: 10.1126 science. 1161527). See also The New York Times, October 17, 2008. In a 1996 interview Stanley Miller also revealed that he had been able to produce pyridines and purines by creating more concentrated pre-biotic "dry beach" conditions, which would have been present in lakes lagoons and beaches on the primitive Earth. From that point, self-replicating RNA molecules are well known and have been extensively studied and described in the major media and peer review journals. And DNA clearly evolved from RNA. There is no crediblee dispute.

In 1969 a carbonaceous meteorite fell in Murchison Australia which had high concentrations of amino acids, about 100 ppm, found in the same pre-biotic experiments of Stanley Miller, proving that the early evolution of life is a constant which occurs throughout the universe given certain favorable conditions, NOT that life came to Earth from comets or asteroids from elsewhere—so called “Theory of Panspermia,” which is also fraudulently being passed off as a “theory of life.” Cosmic rays and the heat of entry into Earth’s atmosphere would have destroyed all life potentially surviving the near absolute zero temperature of interstellar or interplanetary space. The goal of these determined and deliberate falsifiers is to keep the masses confused on as many scientific matters and political matters as possible because a confused person cannot act! False analysis of one issue leads in turn to false analysis of another. In such a situation the masses are much more to think what they are told to think and to do what they are told to do by the capitalist dictatorship. Since 1969 incidentally numerous carbonaceous meteorites have revealed the presence of amino acids.

In response to the knowingly false claim that life supposedly “evolved” rather than adapted to live around submarine vents formed under the oceans where tectonic meet, for example the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, it is a fact that submarine vents don't make organic compounds, they decompose them! These vents are one of the limiting factors on what organic compounds would exist in the primitive oceans. At the present time, the entire ocean goes through those vents in 10 million years. So all of the organic compounds are destroyed every ten million years. That places a constraint on how much organic material could accumulate. In addition, it also provides a time scale for the origin of life. If all the polymers and other compounds that evolve are continuously destroyed that means life would have to start early and rapidly. Looking at the process in detail, it is clear that long periods of time would be detrimental, rather than helpful to this fraudulent, totally contrived and deliberately misleading so-called “theory” of the origin of life which was created, among other reactionary reasons (see below), in order to provide a false pretext for NASA to carry out extremely costly and entirely unnecessary and useless space ventures to outlying planetary satellites under the false pretext of “searching for life,” wherever there might be water discovered by spectral analysis for example, in order to keep their jobs and obtain continued government funding.

William H. Depperman, Coordinator
United Front Against Racism
And Capitalism-Imperialism
November 18, 2008

Posted by: WHD2 on November 18, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

In sports, if a team player consistently keeps throwing the game to the benefit of the opposition, you get rid of that player.

The Dem's are clueless, apparently.

Lieberman must have something on the Dem's so nuclear that it beggars belief - the man has Dem Kryptonite to spare.

Disgusting.

Posted by: SteinL on November 18, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone know whether senatorial committee chairmanships are "fixed in stone" until the next biennial national election (absent death, resignation, or something like appointment to the judiciary or an ambassadorship), or can they be changed at any time?

Posted by: N.Wells on November 18, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Lieberman knows Senate Democrats better than Democratic voters do.

Not for long.

Posted by: Gregory on November 18, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

If a Democrat gets bitch slapped and doesn't respond, it shows that anyone can push them around.

What you're all missing is that the Democrats decided they had to slap down the base, not Joe. I'm sure that they feel they've shown a great deal of spine in standing up against the rabid blogger horde.

Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if Lieberman's winning argument was "Are you going to let MoveOn push you around?"

Posted by: Jinchi on November 18, 2008 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm - someone just pasted the first half of the Encyclopedia Britannica into the thread. Waiting for the second half now.

Posted by: SteinL on November 18, 2008 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK
Yet, here you are, sounding like a bunch of whiny b*tches because Obama and the Dems won't wreak the proper "revenge" on Joe Lieberman.

I ain't got no revenge motive.
I just want a two-faced incompetent removed from THE leadership position in a Congressional Committee whose primary duty is oversight of a recently-created gargantuan agency whose brief is "Homeland Security" and has been ground zero for some of the most egregious management screw-ups and cost over-runs committed since Jan 10, 2001.

What's your problem with that?
Dysfunctional oversight only aids the terrorists, you know.

Posted by: kenga on November 18, 2008 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Secret ballots or public votes, it won't matter as long as the Democratic Congressional leadership is more afraid of Republican talking point memos than they are of their progressive base.

Primary challenges are the answer. I was way disappointed that nobody tried to organize a concerted effort to recruit and back primary challengers this cycle.

We need a mechanism for bankrolling 5-10 primary challenges a year, to the most worthless Dems in the safest seats. I don't mind Blue Dogs in seats where the alternative is a reactionary wingnut, but anything with a D+10 or better PVI should be a strong Dem, a fighting Dem.

I'm ready to pledge $1000 as soon as someone comes up with such a mechanism.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on November 18, 2008 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

What Buford said. This has AIPAC written all over it. Those fuckers own congress, and that's why every now and then they all line up to tell us how up is down and black is white.

It's "The Lobby", Stupid.

Posted by: Racer X on November 18, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

AIPAK wins again

Posted by: elbrucce on November 18, 2008 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Smell the Change™!

I’m starting an Obama sellout count at my blog.

I wouldn’t technically count this one as a “sellout,” but it was started by Obama.

The no trials for war crimes, though, IS a sellout.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on November 18, 2008 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

GEEZ WHD2...get your own site. Interesting but not appropriate here.

owardly dems have proven once again that integrity is up for sale.. "Give me what I want or I'll caucus with the republicans"- Lieberman.

Dems could NEVER get any republicans to cross the isle for that magical 60 number because too many DINOs and Lieberman make it impossible don't ya' know.

Meanwhile cowardly dems are allowing the repubs to ripoff the taxpayers and empty the treasury without any accountability or even an explanation as to where the money is going and for what nor what we get from it.

All done so repubs can prevent Obama and the dems from carrying out their campaign promises. NATIONAL HEALTHCARE...forget about it...not enough money now. SOCIAL SECURITY benefits...sorry but we had to spend the money on the bail out. HELP WITH HOME HEATING COSTS OR ANY OTHER SOCIAL PROGRAMS...just not enough money now.

Unregulated greed is sending us right into a GREAT DEPRESSION...but the wealthy will not suffer. We elected these dems to stop this republican obstructionism...to end this corporatocracy...to stop the process of turning all our tax dollars over to the rich. Remember, "enough is enough". Screw this easy transition crap...make some fucking waves...shake our current system up before it destroys our economy.

I am starting to feel the same way I did when I found out Obama voted for FISA and telecom immunity when voting against it wouldn't have changed anything, would not have hurt his campaign but would have been standing up for civil rights and the 4th amendmnent.

I'm just sick of dems allowing themselves to be intimidated by a minority of wrong mis directed wealthy or ignorant people. Dems should have told Joe to go screw himself and maintained their integrity and gained some respect. It would have been worth the chance of not getting a 60 vote filibuster proof majority. Watching our senators succumb to blackmail showed us their principles are for sale.

Posted by: bjobotts on November 18, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

A pox on all of you.

Dean has left the DNC and the DLC has, once again, taken over the Party. Real Democrats will be subjected to much abuse from the DLC during the next four years, despite being the primary financial backers of the Obama campaign. Despite all of those hundreds of millions of dollars donated for bottom up change, the top still reigns. A pox upon them.

Posted by: Brojo on November 18, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Why Democrats persist in believe Lieberman is one of them continues to astound. The persistence of this group delusion is a sad commentary and what is its point but to give Lieberman yet more power?

Posted by: The Heretik on November 18, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

"...Yet, here you are, sounding like a bunch of whiny b*tches because Obama and the Dems won't wreak the proper "revenge" on Joe Lieberman...."

Or Bush or Cheney or Rumsfeld or Gonzales or, or, or....
Disaster capitalism expanded to congress. Integrity is meaningless and blackmail used to obtain votes. Don't look now but Paliens have infiltrated the senate. Who else will stand up and say give me the chairmanship I asked for or I'll go caucus with the republicans. There's a reason we don't negotiate with some people and Lieberman falls into that class. Does he really think he'll get a third chance for that VP spot??

Posted by: joey on November 18, 2008 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Relax. Obama is a politian who wants to get things done. He is going to do things that help him achieve his goals whether we like it or not. The last thing he needs is an unnecessary fight with Lieberman's supporters. Same with Hillary and Bill. If Obama is going to push for a peace treaty between Israel and its neighbors, he needs Clinton and Lieberman to do the heavy lifting. Its their supporters here and in Israel who are the problem to getting something done. They don't trust Obama although they voted for him over Palin. To me, it looks like Obama is several steps ahead of the rest of us.

Posted by: steve on November 18, 2008 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

This move sends a clear signal that gone are the partisan days where spineless Dems embraced the people who pissed on them out of fear. Now we embrace the people who piss on us in the name of commity.

Posted by: Harry Reid on November 18, 2008 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

you guys...remember how hard you were yelling for Obama to hit back at John McCain? Remember how he didn't do that? He went with a long-term strategy, not a short-term tactic.

Obama is smart. Lieberman will vote with the Dems and like it.

Posted by: JoyousMN on November 18, 2008 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

You know what? It's over. Can we move on? He said nasty things about the President Elect. I don't like him either and he won't be re-elected. That will be his punishment.

Time to move on. If anything this fracas shows that Obama is a big boy and rubber and glue and all that and we need that vote.

Posted by: roo roo on November 18, 2008 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Whether we are in or out of power, we resolve to be unresolved. We never waiver from waivering. No amount of leverage can make us budge from caving in. If you look us in the eye, you know we'll blink, because we are Democrats who are consistent in our inconsistency, who will brave any scorn to show cowardice, face the most miniscule odds and not perservere. No matter how much pressure you put on us, the weight of public opinion will never make us back down from backing down. No lack of leverage can fail to move us. No amount of mocking will ever motivate us to find our dignity.

No majority is too big, no minority so thoroughly rebuked, that we can not squander it. No amount of power can ever make us rule, no position is so high that we will lead, no Republican is so powerless we will not follow.

We are Democrats.

Posted by: Harry Reid on November 18, 2008 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Probably the worst thing was the acknowledgment about not pleasing the netroots. The Democratic Senatorial Caucus just flipped off informed Democrats who pay attention to what's going on in favor of pleasing the concern trolls on the Sunday bobblehead shows.

Unfortunately, I already had made up my mind not to vote for Evan Bayh, and after the Democrats' surrender to Bush in the 2006-2008 term (most notably, but not exclusively, on telecom immunity over FISA), so about the only arrow left in my quiver is a Sternly Worded Letter.

Then again, some Democratic Congresscritters seem to believe it's supposed to be effective, so who knows?

Posted by: Gregory on November 18, 2008 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

I have been hearing the appeal to just wait and be patient, and the Democrats will deliver somewhere down the road, for a very long time. I have tried to hold out hope that it might at least in part be true. I am, frankly, tired of voting for Democrats and supporting Democratic candidates, only to get spat on in return and offered an elusive promise that never materializes. If, in two years, we still have made no progress toward national health care and we are still in Iraq in a major way, that's it. I will be done. It will be time to sit it out and wait for the revolution.

Posted by: Outis on November 18, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

let's repeat: it was obama who saved lieberman. you want to be upset at someone, be upset at him. -howard

Harry Reid made the offer before Obama said anything about it. Obama wasn't going to come out and undercut the Democratic Senate leadership, president elect or not.

Had Harry said Joe was history, period, Obama would have towed that line. Harry Reid is the Senate Majority Leader, and this was his responsibility to lead on this issue.

He can't lead and he needs to go.

The last thing he needs is an unnecessary fight with Lieberman's supporters. -steve

That's weird, I thought the last thing he'd need was to be unnecessarily tied up in baseless investigations.

Posted by: doubtful on November 18, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Yet again, Harry Reid fails to perservere against the most possible odds.

Posted by: Memekiller on November 18, 2008 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Second, let's pause to appreciate just how smart Lieberman is. In this case, I don't mean that as a compliment. It was inconceivable that if Obama won in a veritable landslide, while the Senate Democratic caucus grew by (at least) six seats, that Lieberman would not only get off scot-free, but would also be in a position to dictate to Democrats, without any leverage at all, which outcomes he found "unacceptable." If someone had predicted this scenario to me a month ago, I could have found it ridiculous. And yet, here we are.

Lieberman bet they would chicken out, and they did. That doesn't make him Machiavelli, dude, that just makes them Democrats.

Posted by: steve s on November 18, 2008 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Christ. All of you fucking whiners. Look, on a lot of priority issues -- health care, cap and trade, and the industrial base bailout -- Lieberman's vote is important. Consider also that Lieberman can't hurt Obama.

Posted by: ACS on November 18, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

"Christ. All of you fucking whiners. Look, on a lot of priority issues -- health care, cap and trade, and the industrial base bailout -- Lieberman's vote is important. Consider also that Lieberman can't hurt Obama. "

His vote is important. And I'm sure we can always count on it because he KNOWS what will happen if he steps out of line.

Plum committee assignments.

Posted by: Memekiller on November 18, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

"We elected these dems to stop this republican obstructionism."

Fooled again!

Posted by: Larry on November 18, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike wrote: the smart business was to keep him in

If we needed more evidence of the Senate Democrats' grave error, Red State Mike's approval would fill the bill.

Posted by: Gregory on November 18, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

If, in two years, we still have made no progress toward national health care and we are still in Iraq in a major way

As the 50,000 former employees of CITI would say, bank on it.

Posted by: Brojo on November 18, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

doubtful, you have the power relationships all wrong: senate majority leaders do not tell newly elected presidents of their own party what to do on a critical strategic issue like this.

good grief: you honestly think harry reid - whom most americans don't even know - has more power to play in a situation like this than the currently most popular politican in america?

no, this was an obama doing....

Posted by: howard on November 18, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Consider also that Lieberman can't hurt Obama.

Wrong. That committee the Senate Dems left him in charge of is for government oversight, too.

Just because Traitor Joe refused to hold Bush accountable for his fecklessness doesn't mean that he couldn't be a scold for Obama.

Posted by: Gregory on November 18, 2008 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

I have been to the mountain top, and I have seen the promised land - and I turned and ran.

Posted by: Harry Reid on November 18, 2008 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Consider also that Lieberman can't hurt Obama.

Maybe. But there's probably someone else who can hurt Obama, and that person now got the message that Obama isn't ever going to punish anyone who crosses him.

Posted by: Tyro on November 18, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Consider also that Lieberman can't hurt Obama. -ACS

You obviously need to retake Civics 101.

Why is it that the people so intent on absolving Lieberman and so quick to call anyone who thinks otherwise 'fucking whiners' are ignorant of the way government works and what the chair of the Homeland Security committee can do?

Before you continue insulting people and making asinine claims like the one I cited, please, educate yourself.

Posted by: doubtful on November 18, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Ga, watching you whiners indicate that this proves that the Democrats will never accomplish anything useful ever is nearly as annoying as watching the Senate Democrats reward Joe Lieberman for being a douchebag.

Look, yeah, this sucks. I hate Joe Lieberman, he deserves a kick in the nuts and a punch in the face, and, in general, to have his smug self-satisfaction physically beaten out of him. At the same time, this isn't that important. It's annoying, and a sign that we should be on our guard. But basically giving up on what is the most hopeful political circumstances of my lifetime is totally ridiculous, and the other side of the same irritating coin.

So, yeah, it was a completely typical, frustrating, spineless Democratic move to keep Lieberman on. There is no defense of it, and it's totally pathetic.

But it's just as much a typical, frustrating, defeatist Democratic move to spend all your time whining and moaning and giving up on the Democratic Party generally over something that is, in the larger scheme of things, totally trivial. Lieberman doesn't matter. If the Democrats actually end up not accomplishing anything, I'll be very annoyed as well (and not incredibly surprised). But can we at least wait for Obama to take office before becoming disillusioned? Let's see if things work out. If they don't, I'm happy to castigate everyone involved in this. But this stuff is untoward.

Both sides on this exemplify that Democrats are unwilling to take their own side in a fight. Incredibly frustrating.

Posted by: Joh on November 18, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

this was an obama doing

And Obama went to bat for Traitor Joe in the Connecticut primary. Remind me again how much gratitude Traitor Joe showed in the last few months...?

This isn't about Lieberman voting with the Republicans on certain issues. Lieberman -- ostensibly a member of the Senate Democratic Caucus -- campaigned for Obama's opponent and spoke at the Republican convention. And the Democrats have given him a free pass for his perfidy.

Their spinelessness will cost Democratic causes a lot more votes than just Holy Joe's. Why should anyone make a tough vote for the team when there's no consequence for stabbing them in the back?

Posted by: Gregory on November 18, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

So, basically we are to believe that LIEberman would change his vote and go against his principles and the interests of his constituents in retaliation for taking his committee chairmanship away from him (something he is not entitled to anyway).

Why is it that the Dems would want such an unprincipled individual caucusing with them?

Posted by: Dilirius on November 18, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

good grief: you honestly think harry reid - whom most americans don't even know - has more power to play in a situation like this than the currently most popular politican in america? -howard

I don't think it matters who Americans know. Obama knows Reid, and plans to work with him in the future, so crossing him at the outset is something he wouldn't do.

No, obviously I don't think Reid has more power, but I do think Obama deferred to him as the senate majority leader and let him make the first offer, or Reid simply made the first offer without consulting Obama.

Either way, once an offer was on the table, Obama wasn't going to publicly go against the Senate Majority leader. Do you disagree with that? If so, why? I simply don't see Obama making waves with his own party leaders publicly so soon.

If Harry Reid had put his foot down and said Joe would get no committee assignments, then Obama would have supported it.

And let's be realistic. Even if you're correct and Obama also is at fault, surely we can agree that Reid is a pathetic excuse for a leader and needs to go? I don't think this would have happened with Leahy or Clinton, both contenders for the position, I think.

Posted by: doubtful on November 18, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

At the same time, this isn't that important. -Joh

Again with the people who don't know what this committee can do. When all of the Republicans on the committee and Joe Lieberman launch baseless "bipartisan" investigations against Obama, what do you think the headlines will be?

How much time and resources will be wasted defending against them?

But no, anyone who thinks this is a potentially troublesome situation is nothing but a whiner. Damn all of us who want our government to work.

Look at it this way. Red State Mike and FOX News are elated at this news. Sure signs the Democrats did the wrong thing.

Posted by: doubtful on November 18, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Harry Reid on November 18, 2008 at 1:49 PM

lol, that was beautiful.

"And the next time Joe steps out of line, he'll be punished with the Foreign Relations Committee chairmanship! How do you like them apples? No one messes with Harry Reid and gets away with it!"

I swear, Mort Goldman from "Family Guy" looks like John Wayne compared to Reid.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on November 18, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is still my guy. NO, he's not perfect. There will be a few concessions and dissappointments, so get used to it. And grow up.

But wow--let's keep this in perspective. Focus on what has gone right!! We just had the most damaging president for eight long years. And he's outa here in about 60 days...

Look at what Obama is now up against. Who the hell would want that job???

Thank goodness he's the one we voted in.

We are DAMN lucky to have such a bright, humble, hard-working,compassionate President-Elect. Damn lucky we went with the black man with the Muslim sounding name.

I believe there is a method to his madness, and I have faith things will get better for the most part--although his hands are tied on a heck of a lot.

I think the posts in this thread that already are damning him are ridiculously lame. Of course it's not going to be perfect, but let's not get carried away here.

This is going to be a kick-ass time in politics, with Lieberman or not. Let's focus on the joy that we have someone with a brain in office for a change--on the fact that we have a sane and intelligent and compassionate man in office for once! Someone who studies the likes of Lincoln and respects his wife and really gets that we're all in this together...

I for one am over-joyed we pulled this one off.

Posted by: We are DAMN lucky to have Obama on November 18, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Of course I'm not writing Obama off before he even takes office, and I still have great hopes for him, but I have absolutely zero faith in Congress passing his agenda.
Harry Reid has told the world that he will always cave, there is absolutely nothing that anyone can do that will cause Reid to hold them accountable. A true profile in cowardice. The damage is done, Reid is a lame duck leader.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on November 18, 2008 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone know whether senatorial committee chairmanships are "fixed in stone" until the next biennial national election (absent death, resignation, or something like appointment to the judiciary or an ambassadorship), or can they be changed at any time?

I'd be very curious to find this out before I have a meltdown. The reply I got from my senator (Feinstein) said that the committee chairmanships would be reconsidered when the next Congress convenes. Don't they have to re-vote on everything when the new senators show up? Otherwise, no new senator gets a seat on any committee, which seems a little odd to me.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on November 18, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Anti-Semitism alert:
"It's "The Lobby", Stupid."

none of you care though

"Liberals" my ass...anybody who tolerates bigoted comments like that isn't a liberal. You're all a bunch of fuckin' phonies and I am really enjoying seeing you call Obama a "sellout" already. This is good theater! What a bunch of fucking crybabies - you win the White House, you control both houses of Congress, and yet you can't stop whining about Lieberman. I said it before and I'll say it again - none of you care about "poor people" or "saving our country" - you only want revenge on your political enemies. You are petty mean bastards, and I'm smiling right along with Lieberman today. Woo hoo! Lieberman rules - netroots lame-os suck! Woo hoo! In your face, Markos Moulitsas!

Posted by: Joe on November 18, 2008 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

DLC goons are phonies.

Posted by: Brojo on November 18, 2008 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Anti-Semitism alert:
"It's "The Lobby", Stupid."

So we imagined the whole thing when Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin was convicted of illegally passing classified information to two employees of AIPAC? Or were all of the prosecutors and judges anti-Semites and that's why he was convicted?

I'm sure Franklin will be relieved to know that you think he did nothing wrong by passing information to a foreign government as he sits in prison for the next 12 years.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on November 18, 2008 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think I was defending Larry Franklin. I was just calling out some of you bigots on what is plainly obvious - there is some serious Jew-hatred that goes on in the comments section of Washington Monthly, and I have yet to see one of you goons speak out against it. So yes, I'm implicating you too, because if you don't speak out against bigotry, you're complicit.

Yeah, we Jews are just traitors with dual loyalties, never did nothing good for this world, right?
http://judaism.about.com/od/americanjewry/a/accomplishments.htm

Really sucks not having to worry about getting polio, doesn't it?

Posted by: Joe on November 18, 2008 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK
I don't think I was defending Larry Franklin
No, you were equating criticism of a hard-right anti-peace pro-Israel PAC, one with extensive influence in US politics, with anti-semitism. And implicitly defending(by misdirection) that same entity, which paid him to commit his crimes. Posted by: kenga on November 18, 2008 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

And Joe, to illuminate underlying point:
I don't loathe Catholics, I loathe pedophile priests and those who, in protecting them and the fair name of the Church, shuffled them amongst new pools of victims.

Posted by: kenga on November 18, 2008 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

doubtful, i've been out for a couple of hours, but i notice on return that howard dean has confirmed: this was obama's call.

as for harry reid, no i don't think he's a pathetic excuse for a leader: when your 50th vote is joe lieberman and your 51st is ben nelson, you do not have a working majority. it's silly to blame reid for that.

Posted by: howard on November 18, 2008 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

Criticizing Israel, AIPAC and Americans who served in the IDF for their militantism is not anti-Semitic. Endorsing the suspension of US military aid to Israel until it returns to its legal 1947 borders is not anti-Semitic.

Calling people anti-Semitic who criticize Israel, AIPAC and Americans who serve in the IDF is a form of bigotry. Joe is a bigot.

Posted by: Brojo on November 18, 2008 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

as for harry reid, no i don't think he's a pathetic excuse for a leader... -howard

Well, thanks for saving me from ever mistakenly taking you seriously again in the future. Seriously, that may be one of the silliest things I've read all day, and believe me, with the cadre of Lieberman fluffers out in force, there have been some downright silly things written.

Please, just humor me, how has Reid been a success? Just name one single thing. I'll wait with bated breath.

His slogan is 'Give 'em hell, Harry.' When was the last time he gave anyone hell? He issued a challenge in his capitulation speech today to find someone more angry concerning Lieberman than him. That's not hard.

Oh, and Howard Dean saying after the fact that this was in line with what Obama wanted doesn't invalidate my argument, which you still haven't countered. Reid made the first offer and there was no way Obama was going to go against one of his party's leaders. To do so would be impolitic, and that's not Obama. As a resident of Illinois since 2000 and someone who knew of Obama before it was cool, Obama is never impolitic.

There are some things in politics that are open to discussion, but the ineffective leadership and failure of Harry Reid is sadly not one of them. The Democrats haven't done a single thing they said they would in 2006. Not one. In fact, they fucked us on several things, like FISA. And the leadership, or more appropriately lack of leadership, is completely at fault.

Posted by: doubtful on November 18, 2008 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

Most posts seem very upset...conventional thinking here is Obama and Dems are weak.

But the Congress has a shit approval rating, much lower than even Bush. Congressional partisanship has stifled America's ability to get anything of importance accomplished in decades. While I dislike LIEberman, and fear he could still bite Dems in the ass, let's look at this.

Obama is being VERY SMART.

1. He's sending a clear message that change has come to politics. Getting shit done, not partisanship is now the order of business.

2. He's putting the onus of working to accomplish goals onto Republicans. By showing he's willing to extend a hand across the aisle, even with such a large majority, it will look bad on Republicans if they start subversively filibustering at every turn.

3. He's appealing to the center, which is not only where the majority of Americans are, it's where legislation gets made. Remember when REAL legislation got made? I can't. Partisanship has deadlocked this country for decades.

Posted by: Palinoscopy on November 18, 2008 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

doubtful, trust me: after reading your cheap little rant, there's little danger we'll be engaging in serious discussion of anything, that's certainly true.

i envy you your rich fantasy life: in the real world, when you don't have the votes, you don't have them. you can only judge people based on the material available to them, not on how you would write a hollywood script in which fire-breathing harry reid convinces ben nelson and joe lieberman to do the right thing (because that is your argument).

and in the real world, the analytic logic of your argument falls apart when you continue to prattle on about how the weak and pathetic reid somehow had the muscle to undercut obama: what nonsense. what utter bilge. you realize how weak this means you think that obama is, don't you? is that really your argument, that obama is even weaker than the man you deride as the pathetic senate leader?

dean said what he said because it's true: if obama had wanted lieberman out, he'd be out; he didn't, and he's not. deal with it.

and while you're at it, grow up.

Posted by: howard on November 18, 2008 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

Why do you and Josh think that Lieberman displayed brilliance by betting that Democrats would cave? Everybody on this exchange saw that one coming. Only those who assumed Harry Reid had guts and the Democratic Party principles were surprised at this outcome. It was never going to be a close call. Just pathetic.

Posted by: CDT on November 19, 2008 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

howard,

I asked you one simple thing: name something Reid has lead on successfully to the satisfaction of the Democratic voters.

You couldn't do it.

Instead you call my comment a rant all because I said I couldn't take you seriously because you made a ridiculous and baseless claim that Reid was an effective leader. I asked for proof, you provided none.

Instead you put words into my comment (tell me where I equated Reid's undercutting Obama with effective leadership, I didn't) and then you tell me to grow up. I redouble my earlier assertion that you're incapable of engaging in serious conversation.

You can continue to make excuses for Reid and blame Obama and insult me, but the undeniable reality is Reid is a failure as senate majority leader, and he should be replaced.

Let me ask another question, which you will assuredly not answer, how many Democratic senators will it take before Reid is an effective leader?

Posted by: doubtful on November 19, 2008 at 2:30 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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