Tag Archives: politics

maybe he’s done

12 Oct

Maybe he’s tired: of arguing both sides at once; of everyone else’s frantic expectations and pace. Maybe he’s depressed: with how little his long nights have changed his world; with the blood on his hands–or that he gets a kick from that power. Maybe he’s actually done and like Cincinnatus just wants to go home. He’s only a man in a tough as nails job. But he should’ve let his employer know. Now we are stuck with that or that guy.

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the political crater

7 Sep

Progressives see society as a web connecting grandma, strangers miles away, you/me. Conservatives see society as many cliques trying to climb the good life mountain. When Progressives talk about progress, they think of the web: when one rises, they pull up the rest a bit, too. For Conservatives, everyone must make their own way up the mountain, and helping non-clique members is conditional. The crater between is silly, because they both need the strivers to pull and climb.

poliPicks

1 May

polipicksThe weekend is typically a time of minimal internet dwelling and more outdoor living (Vitamin D is good for you). Here a bunch of articles, tidbits, and videos that should hold your interest until, oh, let’s see happy hour.

  • Souter’s Replacement: Will it be a woman, a minority, or both?
  • Do You Feel Safer?” ad: House Minority Leader, John Boehner (R-OH), made an ad against President Obama using close-ups of online articles relating to the release of the torture memos (intense close-ups), photographs from over 3 years ago of insurgents menacing the streets of Fallujah, a collage of pictures where Obama is thinking (possibly plotting!) and al-Qaeda training camp footage. All with ominous questions like: “Do you feel safer?” Well, now that I know you are in Congress…
  • Torture architects identified: These two guys are a hoot. First off, they “boast” to anyone willing to listen how they were paid $1,000 a day by the CIA. Second, they had no interrogation experience before they created the 10-point torture/interrogation manual. And finally, the CIA only realized once they were both under contract that they were, in fact, not experienced enough for such a task and that their techniques were “far more intense” then they expected. Oh CIA, when will you learn *kneeslap*
  • CEO pay falls, but perks rise: From 2007 to 2008, overall pay for CEOs fell 7%. Yipee. The value of their perks and perks-allowances (basically cash funds they can dip into anytime they want) rose 7%. Yip–what?! Perks also made up a larger percentage of their compensation package. The median value of perks for CEOs in 2008 was over $170,0000. I wonder if that includes free Diet Coke.
  • First Lady’s kicks too chic et cher?: Note to self: avoid Lanvin when volunteering at food banks.
  • Obama’s “Enchanted” response: In case you missed it, the president showed off his comic timing when answering a 20-part question posed by the NY Times that was at first ridiculed and then praised as pure genius.
  • Racism and the Swine Flu: There some things that just make logical sense. Using butter to make your omelette is one of them. Leaving work early on Fridays is another. And of course, using a global pandemic to promote racist accusations and xenophobic remarks is another. Just a taste, Michelle Malkin on the lessons learned from recent history:  “9/11 didn’t convince the open-borders zealots to put down their race cards and confront reality. Maybe the threat of their sons or daughters contracting a deadly virus spread from south of the border to their Manhattan prep schools will.
  • Elizabeth Edwards tells-some about you-know-what: Read her (probably mild) account about John Edwards’s cheating ways in her new book. A taste: “Elsewhere in the book, Edwards explains how her candidate husband originally lied to her about the depth of the affair (he originally said it was just one time), and how the “pathetic” Hunter hit on him with cheesy lines like: “You are so hot.” Saucer of milk, table for two, meow!
  • Sigh…I told you, do NOT let Joe go on morning shows. What part of that don’t you…ah, forget it“:

Harry Reid knew Obama had "It" all along

27 Apr

Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid (D-NV), is coming out with a new book: The Good Fight. Last January, he was well aware that any new book dealing with politics in the United States must have AT LEAST 15 pages dedicated to loving/trashing/analyzing Obama. So he did just that and wrote a 15-page epilogue titled, “The Obama Era.”

Here are some cute/insightful stories from Harry’s tell-some:

The Majority Leader recalls Obama as a freshman senator giving “an unusually fine speech” about President Bush’s war policy.

“That speech was phenomenal, Barack,” Reid said.

“And I will never forget his response,” Reid writes. “Without the barest hint of braggadocio or conceit, and with what I would describe as deep humility, he said quietly: ‘I have a gift, Harry.’ In the Bible, we are told that all men are given different gifts. And we see it in every field, from art to science, academia to athletics. Some are great; others are gifted. We were all about to learn just what a gift Barack Obama had.”

As Justin Timberlake likes to say, it isn’t really cocky if you know that it’s true.

Here is Harry recalling the zany, Benny Hill-esque instance when McCain decided to suspend his campaign to “save” our economy:

On Wednesday, September 24, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., phoned Reid and told him, “Harry, I am suspending my campaign to come back and help negotiate a deal.”  McCain explained that he was also calling upon Obama to suspend his campaign, and together they could convene a meeting at the Bush White House to help come to a deal on a bailout for Wall Street.

Reid didn’t think it was such a great idea, given that negotiations were well underway, with Democratic leaders of the Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee working with White House and Treasury Department officials.

“They were on the verge of an agreement, and any such McCain stunt would cost us valuable time,” writes Reid, also noting that McCain “had no standing to do any such negotiating. He was neither a member of the pertinent committees, nor did he have any particular expertise, nor was he of influence with rebellious Republicans who were openly opposing the plan.”

“John, please don’t come,” Reid says he told the GOP presidential nominee. “I’ve just issued a statement. I’ll read it to you. ‘This is a critical time for our country. While I appreciate that both candidates have signaled their willingness to help, Congress and the administration have a process in place to reach a solution to this unprecedented financial crisis. I understand that the candidates are putting together a joint statement at Senator Obama’s suggestion. But it would not be helpful at this time to have them come back during these negotiations and risk injecting presidential politics into this process or distract important talks about the future of our nation’s economy. If that changes, we will call upon them. We need leadership; not a campaign photo op.”

“That’s how I feel, John,” Reid said.

“I hope you’ll reconsider, Harry,” McCain responded.

Almost immediately, Reid writes, he got another call, this time from then-Sen. Obama.

“Harry, what’s John up to?” Obama said. “It sounds crazy.”

The White House meeting happened, of course, and Reid writes that the Democrats “entered the Cabinet Room having decided that Barack would do most of the talking on behalf of the Democrats. His presentation—eloquent, thoughtful, and commanding—was devoid of politics, and as he spoke, without notes, expertly dissecting how we had gotten ourselves in the situation, outlining the myriad problems before us and making the case for imperative action, the room was rapt. The senior staff lined the walls of the room, and the chief of staff for a senior Republican senator could be heard to whisper to a colleague: ‘He is good.’

“Obama concluded his remarks. ‘Yesterday, Senator McCain and I issued a joint statement, saying in one voice that this is no time to be playing politics,’ he said. ‘And on the way here, we were on the brink of a deal. Now, there are those who think we should start from scratch. . . . If we are indeed starting over, the consequences could well be severe.”

President Bush turned to McCain who suggested someone else should speak instead, Reid writes. “The longer I am around here, the more I respect seniority.”

“And then, as the meeting that he had called disintegrated into acrimony and disunion, John McCain remained silent,” Reid writes. “I don’t think that there was a person in that room, Democrat or Republican—with the possible exception of John McCain—who came away from that meeting thinking that Barack Obama shouldn’t be the next president of the United States.”

From Political Punch.

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Obama Welcomes Interrogation Investigations

21 Apr

In a sharp move away from what his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel, said over the weekend, President Obama told reporters today that he is open to a deeper investigation of the controversial interrogation techniques used during the Bush administration.

This has been a tug-of-war between Obama and the GOP. There was even talk that the Republicans were attempting to blackmail Obama and his Attorney General, Eric Holder, to prevent the release of memos detailing and promoting torture techniques written by Bush’s Office of Legal Counsel.

Obama is now telling Congress that if they really do want to look into this controversial remnant of the Bush years (another way of saying “Are you sure you wanna do this? Ok, whatever.”), they should only focus at the top of the food chain and use an independent commission rather than a congressional committee.

From Politico:

“I’m not suggesting that that should be done but I’m saying, if you’ve got a choice, I think it’s very important for the American people to feel this is not being done — to provide one side or the other political advantage but rather it’s being done in order to learn some lessons so that we move forward in an effective way,” Obama said.

Former Veep Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, and almost any Republican left with too much time on their hands after being laid off, are crying ‘foul’ to anything Obama changes about their torture policy. Of course they would. These are the same people that believe the president’s executive privilege includes overruling international agreements signed by the United States, like the Geneva Convention re: torture.

source: Politico

GOP is Stumbling Against Obama Healthcare

20 Apr

Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown writes about the state of disorganization the GOP and the right is in trying to figure out how to combat Obama’s proposed healthcare reform. Newt Ginrich, the former Speaker of the House, has become one of the most vocal opponents to pretty much anything Obama proposes, including his universal healthcare plan. Besides Newt, no other Republican is stepping up.

Except for a healthcare entreprenur millionaire by the name of Rick Scott, the right has little to no plan, resources set aside, or spokerperson for their side of the debate (more like a shouting match). On the other side, Obama has assembled a coalition of support that should be assumed of by now from the person who has email mailing lists of millions of loyal followers.

From Politico:

The organizational strength behind Obama’s plan is enormous. The House speaker, the Senate majority leader and the committee chairmen have agreed to work together, minimizing the turf wars that doomed former President Bill Clinton’s effort in the 1990s. The major labor unions have teamed up with business groups. An umbrella group for liberal organizations, Health Care for America Now, is spending $40 million on the fight.

None of this guarantees success, and the ultimate bill could provide plenty for critics to challenge. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said in an interview that, following Obama’s intervention in the auto and financial industries, he sees voters recoiling from a government-heavy health care plan.

But anxiety is setting in among some Republicans that they aren’t ready.

No one other than McCain had a plan/proposal/strategy that even dealt with healthcare reform. Most Republicans push the thing off as a socialist fairy tale that will never get off the ground. Obama managed to take out the only person who had an idea that directly countered his in the GOP.

The chasm grew last year, as Obama bombarded McCain with health care advertising. The Democrat spent $113 million, or eight times that of his rival, POLITICO reported in October. Running almost 200,000 commercials to McCain’s 11,300, Obama painted the Republican’s plan as the “largest middle class tax hike ever” for lifting the tax deduction on employer-based health insurance – an idea Democrats are now considering.

Republicans are in a rare position: without a message. The party that revolutionized electoral politics with mass mailing lists (thanks Karl Rove), and made bumper stickers equivalent to policy proposals, is now left to figure out what they actually believe in. They definitely know what they are against, but as anyone who knows the psychological undercurrents of politicking, you need to let people know what you are FOR in order to persuade.

source: Politico

Texas Congresswoman: Asians should change names to make them 'easier for Americans'

9 Apr

She’s unwilling to apologize. She says Democrats and others decrying her remarks are trying to make it “all about race.”  Hear hear! Here are her completely misinterpreted comments while debating some voter identification legislation: Continue reading