In Defense of the Turkey

I have been mulling THIS POST by Matt Yglesias over for the last few days, and decided that I'm unhappy about it enough to write a diary, belated as it may be at this point.  To quote the whole post intact:

The Case Against Turkey

I was going to say that Thanksgiving always leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth, but really it's the bland taste of turkey. The bitterness is purely metaphorical -- everyone feels compelled to eat a sub-par bird merely for the sake of tradition. I make the case for overthrowing the monstrous foul.

Oh, really?

An unusually tough turkey.

There's more...

McCain Dazed and Forgetful on Meet the Press. [Updated]

Oh, please, somebody, tell me we can get this short segment from today's Meet the Press on video!  

On MTP, today, Tom Brokaw brought up the Powell endorsement.  McCain responded by saying he had five great former secretaries of state backing him...  And then he proceeded to try to name them, flubbing it up and starting over again.  Then as the next question began, he suddenly interrupted to name the fifth one.

The trancript just does not do it justice.

MR. BROKAW:  Do you agree with Rush Limbaugh?

SEN. McCAIN:  No.  I'm disappointed in General Powell, but I'm very, very happy to know that five former secretaries of state who I admire enormously--Henry Kissinger, Jim Baker, Larry Eagleburger, Al Hague-- [A visible struggle here.  He starts over again...] Jim Baker, Henry Kissinger, Al Hague, Larry Eagleburger [more frustration...] and one other, and over 200 retired flag general--generals and admirals are supporting my campaign. I'm very proud of their support.

MR. BROKAW:  Senator, we opened today with a--how you're doing in Iowa.  The Des Moines Register has endorsed...

[Interrupting suddenly]
SEN. McCAIN:  George Shultz.  George Shultz is the other one. [He is visibly relieved.]

[Almost patronizing...]
MR. BROKAW:  George Shultz, right.

SEN. McCAIN:  George, I'm sorry I left you out to start with.  George Shultz, the great--one of the great secretaries of state in history.  Anyway, go ahead.  I'm sorry...


Full Transcript and Video is Here at MSNBC. The segment quoted above begins at the 26:00 mark. I would still prefer a direct link to just this segment.

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Should we sterilize Wall Street executives?

Wall Street executives lining up early for their bailout money so they can rush to payoff last week's paycheck advance.

I was watching the news of the impending bailout on MSNBC, just now, when I got fed up and turned to CNN, just in time to see this guy, Louisiana State Rep. LaBruzzo, explaining and defending his idea of sterilizing Lousiana welfare recipients. totheminute.cfm?recid=20404

Metairie lawmaker considers bill to fund sterilizations
by Richard A. Webster Staff Writer

NEW ORLEANS - State Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, fears Louisiana may be headed toward an economic crisis if the percentage of people dependent on the government is not decreased.

His solution: pay impoverished women $1,000 to have their tubes tied so they will stop having babies they can't afford.

The idea came to LaBruzzo after hurricanes Katrina and Gustav when the state was forced to evacuate, shelter and care for tens of thousands of people.

"I realized that all these people were in Louisiana's care and what a massive financial responsibility that is to the state," LaBruzzo said. "I said, 'I wonder if it might be a good idea to pay some of these people to get sterilized.'"

LaBruzzo said he is researching the issue, and if he finds that the number of people on welfare has increased on a dramatic and continuous basis over the past several decades, he may introduce a bill during the next legislative session promoting voluntary sterilization in exchange for monetary compensation.

"If both the welfare and Social Security system keep growing, one day we're going to have a small minority of people working to fund and finance everybody else who isn't working or producing," LaBruzzo said. "Our kids, who will be working, will be the minority and any vote of theirs will be canceled out. If your livelihood is based on government handouts, why would you ever vote for somebody who is going to lower taxes? They never would. So once we reach that breaking point there's no return."

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Child-Rearing Skills for Democrats

What fascinating stuff you can find on a pediatrics site. Are you a Democratic parent with difficult children? Perhaps this is for you:

Tidbits on Raising Children
Making Our Most Important Job Easier By Doing it Better

Chapter 8. Breath-Holding and Head-Banging
Loren G. Yamamoto, MD, MPH, MBA

Who should read this chapter? Parents who want to understand this special type of tantrum behavior to learn how to stop this behavior. Why do children do this?

Summary: Breath-holding and head-banging are extreme forms of tantrum behavior that deserve special discussion. These behaviors are generally attention seeking measures. A natural parental response to breath-holding and head-banging is instant attention to stop the episode. Unfortunately, this rewards the child for this behavior which reinforces and perpetuates it. To eliminate this type of behavior, parents should respond to these episodes with the exact opposite of what the child seeks. Since they seek attention, parents should respond with abandonment. Leave the room as soon as a breath-holding or head-banging episode starts. This might seem unacceptable to you at first, but the alternative is to continue rewarding the breath-holding and head-banging behavior; hence, more breath-holding and head-banging episodes. Discuss this with your pediatrician or family physician first.

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The thing REALLY WRONG about what Hillary said.

Many people are having trouble categorizing what Hillary said about the assassination of RFK.  Was it a flap, like bittergate?  Was she taken out of context?

But let me tell you why what Hillary said is so disturbing:  IT ACTUALLY MADE SENSE.

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Patty Solis-Doyle to go to work for Obama?

This article by Ben Smith on Politico has been getting a lot of buzz today.  There are a number of articles about it on Google News, right now, some of them rather entertaining.

Ben Smith is reporting that there are talks under way about Hillary strategist Patty Solis-Doyle, who was fired in March, coming to work for Obama.  I'll try not to characterize it too much, because that might be dangerous.  Ben Smith leaves some questions unanswered.  This is such a bombshell, though, that I can't believe we won't hear more about it soon.  If there are more Hillary staffers preparing to jump ship and climb on the USS Obama, that's a good sign this thing isn't going to turn into a scorched earth take-it-to-the-floor strategy after June 3.

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Hillary losing to McCain

Two new polls have come out, showing Hillary losing both Michigan and North Carolina to McCain.  What is happening to Hillary?

I have been watching, with interest, the new red-blue electoral vote maps that Jerome put on the MyDD front-page, apparently to replace the old delegate counters because they were starting to become embarrassingly bad for Hillary.  In the first few days, strangely enough, they showed Hillary winning in a general election against McCain, but Obama losing in a general election to McCain.

But the numbers keep shifting.  And today?  We see the electoral vote map estimate (as determined by Jerome) as follows:

Obama: 261, McCain 262, Undecided 15.   Margin -1
Hillary: 225, McCain 313.   Margin -88.

...And that Hillary-McCain map looks awful.  A defeat of this magnitude would probably lose us a lot more than just the presidency.  The downticket damage would have to be enormous.  And this in a year when we should be cleaning up like FDR vs. Hoover, 1932.

So what gives?  I noticed the change in MI and NC, and went a-Googlin' for poll numbers.  (After the jump)

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Hello, Bill, Hillary? This is Al.

Remember me?  I was your vice-president for eight years.  We used to have some good times.

Anyway, what I wanted to talk to you about...  All these people you see here, well, they're friends of yours.  Just like me.  I know, you thought this was going to be a fund-raiser, just a little fund-raiser.  I'm sorry we had to tell you that lie.  We just felt it was important that we got together, as a group, to help you in your crisis.

What crisis?  Well, you may not realize that there is one, but we assure you there is.  

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Kathleen Kennedy Townsend says it's over for Hillary

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Bobby Kennedy's daughter, and one of Hillary Clinton's endorsers, thinks it's over for Hillary.  

From Politicalwire: 2/23/dispatch_from_maryland.html

Townsend said she expects Sen. Barack Obama to win the Democratic presidential nomination and that Clinton is finished. She believed that the Wisconsin results demonstrated that Clinton's coalition (voters over the age of 50 and those earning less than $50,000) had fallen apart. When asked why the Clinton campaign had failed, Ms. Townsend had plenty of opinions and she placed significant blame on Bill Clinton and his racially tinged statements in South Carolina. She also felt that Clinton made a tactical error in making "experience and inevitability" her central campaign themes. Townsend argued that Clinton had little more experience than Obama and far less than candidates such as Senators Dodd and Biden. Additionally, making the inevitability claim hurt her when she lost Iowa... Townsend then lamented Clinton's decision to go negative and question Obama's readiness. She said that she called the Clinton campaign and advised that they 'go out on a high note' but her advice was politely dismissed."

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