Whoever came up with the idea of New Year's Resolutions should have been renditioned to the[...]
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From a gorgeous gallery of snowflake photos from SnowCrystals.com. Open Thread below...
This evening's Rescue Rangers are YatPundit, vcmvo2, jlms qkw, mem from somerville, Louisiana 1976, and dadanation, with watercarrier4diogenes at the wheel of the Editmobile, frantically chasing a vintage Perley A. Thomas streetcar, hoping to get its operator, YatPundit, back aboard before any of the passengers get wise.
The rescued diaries tonight are truly the gems for which we search every night. The Rangers are secondary to what they present to you, some of the best writing available on Teh Great Orange Satan, if some of the less noticed initially. Read these, rec and comment in them, let the diarists know that you appreciate their efforts and their viewpoints (even if you don't happen to completely agree with them).
jotter has the decade's ultimate activity summary in High Impact Diaries: December 31, 2009.
asimbagirl has Top Comments - New Year's Resolution Edition.
Enjoy and please promote your own favorite diaries in this open thread (even if you're the author! Here's where that's actually appreciated). And, of course, since it's an open thread, PLAY NICE, OK? 8^)
Title: Accentuate the PositiveArtist: Louis Armstrong
video details and more
After sixteen years of depression and war, Sachmo sings Johnny Mercer, New Year's Eve in Zanzibar, 12-31-1945.
You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
You've got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium's
Liable to walk upon the scene
Let us know what you're listening to tonight.
On December 12th, I wrote President Barack Obama a letter and wrote a Seminal diary about the letter and my frustrations with his adminstration. In my letter - sent via the White House website - I checked the box that I wanted a response. If ya haven't[...]
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First of all, many thanks to Rachel Maddow for the shout out above. She's the great one. Keith too.
The link that she is referring to of mine is the one I recently posted on the US broadening its Middle East gambit into Yemen.
I have been pretty busy today -- and hope everyone who spends time at TWN had a terrific New Year's holiday. I've been doing my Obama-inspired workouts every morning early, even this morning at about 7:30 am. Feels good.
But I have not been able to post today and will look to my team to post stuff up tomorrow as I'll be on a long flight to Dubai.
In the mean time, for those interested, I'd be interested in any reactions to the piece I drafted on Barack Obama's performance for the excellent foreign policy journal, The American Interest. My contribution is called "No Breakthrough."
Other contributors for the journal's symposium on Obama's policy performance over the last year were Jessica Tuchman Mathews, Francis Fukuyama, Walter Russell Mead, Niall Ferguson, Richard Perle, Ronald Steel, Joseph Nye, Robert Kagan, G. John Ikenberry, Josef Joffe, Leslie Gelb, William Galston, Michael Barone, Anne Applebaum, Will Marshall, Steve Clemons (you know him), and Stephen Krasner. All of their pieces can be accessed here.
A lot of folks ask me what they can read to tool up on foreign policy -- and my response is usually pretty broad, but it would not hurt to subscribe to The American Interest, which you can do via this link.
More soon -- I'll post from Dubai, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York this next week.
A great start to 2010 to everyone -- but as far as I'm concerned, this blog and my work are going to be very focused on trying to get the President and his national security team on a more constructive track -- so that I can give them a better grade next year than I am able to now.
-- Steve Clemons
I've got to wonder what else Fox News and Rasmussen think are acceptable topics for poll questions besides whether it is okay to torture someone or not. And since when does public approval for anything make it right? If the public still thought slavery was alright should we bring that back? How about women being allowed to vote? Inter-racial marriages--should we be taking some polls on what the public thinks about that topic?
As the Raw Story article noted:
Hard-line sentiments were also reflected in the answers to questions about airport security -- 54% would like to see the United States take control of boarding procedures at foreign airports -- closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, and probes of CIA torture during the Bush administration.
Liberal blogs have been skeptical all year about Rasmussen polls which show President Obama with an approval rating far lower than any other polling organization, and polling analyst Nate Silver in particular has recently subjected Rasmussen to fierce mockery. This latest poll is likely to only increase the controversy.
Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 12/27/2009-12/31/2009. All adults. MoE 2% (Last weeks results in parentheses):
On the final week of the 2009 incarnation of the Daily Kos State of the Nation tracking poll, we have what, to my memory, is a first: every entity polled, regardless of party, saw incremental improvement in their numbers.
Like last week, there are two really plausible explanations for this: either people are generally feeling better about everything because of the holiday season, or the recent conclusion of the Senate round of the health care debate has allowed both parties to consolidate their faithful, to some extent.
There is a real piece of evidence to suggest that the latter is the impetus for the generally positive track of the numbers for both parties over the last three weeks.
Look at the R2000 variation of the generic ballot test. Looking at the toplines, we don't see any real change in the margins over the last few weeks:
QUESTION: Would you like to see more Democrats or Republicans elected to Congress in 2010?
NOT SURE: 27
What has changed, and somewhat substantially, is that while Independents are still largely undecided about whom to support in 2010, Republicans and Democrats have hardened their 2010 voting intentions.
Consider the shift in the number of undecided voters over the past couple of months. On September 3rd, the margin between Democrats and Republicans was three percentage points, the same as in our year-end survey. But, on that date, 11% of Republicans were still undecided, and a whopping 23% of Democrats were unsure of their selection. Today, those numbers are 1% and 7%, respectively.
There is also some potential evidence that the Democrats lost this round of the P.R. war over health care. Independent voters, while still largely unsure of their preferences, currently prefer the GOP by a five point margin (26-21). On September 3rd, the Democrats held a three-point lead with this group.
Of course, an alternate explanation for same could be that more conservatives are self-identifying as Independents, perhaps to identify with the "Tea Party" crowd as opposed to the standard Republican Party label. Therefore, it should surprise no one that the Independent voter crowd would skew a bit more conservative than they did in years past.
There is logic to this: given the dysfunction of the GOP over the past several years, it would follow logically that several within their ranks would prefer to self-identify as Independent.
In the best evidence to date that the Democratic leadership is going to have to do an immense amount of outreach to their base in 2010, the highest percentage of Democrats to date (45%) indicated this week that they are either unlikely to vote, or certain not to vote. The number indicating a likelihood to vote has held reasonably steady (at 54%) since Daily Kos started polling on this question in late November.
The GOP fervor for voting has receded ever so slightly, but still towers over the Democrats in terms of voter intensity. The spread for the GOP stands at 75% likely/21% unlikely. While very strong, it is a drop from the 81/14 spread the GOP held when this question was debuted during Thanksgiving week.
Over the weekend, be sure to come back to Daily Kos, as it will be time to take a look at 2009 in review, using data from the tracking poll to gauge how the electorate changed during the year that was.
We at Open Left are taking the New Year's weekend off. Golden Oldies will run in their place.[...]
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Hello, all! The New Year has been good, and I have decided to reduce the heat in my house by a large amount. I have gotten used to 60 degrees F while active, but have now cut it to 52 degrees.At night I used to live with 53, but now have[...]
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