Oh this is too good to be true. A failed CEO wants to run for the United States Senate even as she admits that she has "not always been engaged in the electoral process." Translation: I don't vote. Way to go there Carly. At any rate, Carly Fiorina, the[...]
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The Democratic Party collapse in the 2009 Virginia statewide elections will come as a surprise only to those loyalists, true believers, and paid consultants and staffers who have chosen to ignore the increasingly dire situation facing working people in[...]
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I've spent the day talking with campaign folks and digesting some of what happened while I was[...]
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On 11/03/09 several African Americans won mayor’s seats in several US cities while David Bing retained his seat in Detroit. Take a look at 6 of these new mayors by using the link below:http://www.letstalkhonestly.com/blacknewsblackviews.html
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A conservative take on NY-23, from one of the more reasonable conservatives:
The story of NY-23 is "the Right starts dismantling the Republican establishment." This is about how the Republican Party is defined and who defines it.
Right now, the movement wants the Republican Party to be defined by opposition to big government. Gradually, as new leaders arise, we will demand that the Republican Party be defined by its own solutions, as well, but rebuilding is an incremental process. We can hammer out the policy agenda and the boundaries of the coalition later.
For now, our job is to disrupt the establishment GOP. If we beat Democrats while we're at it, great. But the first priority is to fix the Drunk Party - the Living Dead establishment Republicans. They're history. They just don't know it yet.
NY-23 was the first shot in that war. It was a direct hit. Next year, we start storming the castle.
When we set out with our own rebuilding project, we fought to reform the Democratic Party at the same time we promoted a "more Democrats" mantra to get the GOP out of power. We fought for good, electable primary candidates while also supporting less-than-perfect general election Dems against particularly bad Republican incumbents. For the most part, our primary candidates were good choices, and almost all won their generals. The big exception -- Joe Lieberman -- ran as a third-party candidate after getting ousted in the primary. Connecticut voters wouldn't make the same mistake if they had a do-over.
These conservative activists are approaching things differently -- they'd rather lose general election races than make gains in Congress with (in their eyes) less-than-perfect Republicans. That's a weird way to build a majority. Only 30 percent of the country is in the South, and that kind of politics plays poorly anywhere that isn't Southern or Mormon.
Time will tell if they've been effective. Maybe they've stumbled upon a brilliant "addition by subtraction" political formula that allows them to win more races by kicking everyone out of their party. But I still like our approach better. And in the end, we have the majorities to prove it worked.
In September, Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) organized a discharge petition in order to force a vote on a resolution that would “require that legislation and conference reports be available on the Internet for 72-hours before consideration by the House.” “It?s just common sense: Americans should be allowed to read the text of major bills before Congress votes on them,” said House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH).
The House Democratic leadership eventually agreed to post health care legislation online for 72-hours before bringing it up for a vote. But once they got what they wanted, conservatives started to complain that 72-hours wasn’t enough. “They are only giving you 72-hours to read it,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on Glenn Beck’s radio show today. “So they obviously are embarrassed of their own bill.”
On WorldNetDaily’s radio show today, Rep. John Linder (R-GA) claimed that Democrats were only including the 72-hour waiting period because they needed more time to twist arms for votes:
LINDER: I would not be surprised if they sent us home Friday and bring us back a week or so later to see if they can get the votes because I do not believe they have the votes now.
HOST: What makes you think that?
LINDER: If they had the votes, they’d have voted on it already. They would not have worried about the 72-hours. That 72-hours is for them to beat up their own members, not for the public to read the bill. If they had those votes, they’d cram it down now and they clearly do not.
Despite their current complaints about the 72-hour time period, both Bachmann and Linder signed the discharge petition seeking the 72-hours.
This is a guest note by BRIAN KATULIS, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. This article first appeared at the Center for American progress website on 2 November 2009, titled "Using U.S. Leverage to Strengthen Afghan Governance: Analysis of Karzai's Reelection"
Waiting for Obama's Post-Election Afghanistan Action Plan
Afghanistan's Independent Electoral Commission made it official today--it cancelled the second round of the presidential elections after Abdullah Abdullah pulled out of the race yesterday, and declared incumbent President Hamid Karzai the winner. As many senior Obama administration officials have noted, this outcome was not a big surprise--Karzai had a wide lead in the first round of voting and it would have been difficult, but not impossible, for Abdullah Abdullah to close the gap.
What the Obama administration isn't talking as much about is how it plans to structure the relationship with the new Karzai government moving forward. The Obama administration has rightly been in a holding pattern, waiting to see the results of what has been a messy and mismanaged electoral process. Now the pressure will understandably increase on the Obama administration to outline its revised strategy for the country.
If there's a silver lining to the messy electoral process, it is that the elections in Afghanistan brought to the forefront the significant challenges of corruption, poor governance, and leadership deficits that exist in Afghanistan.
Now that the election results are official, the Obama administration needs to work with its close NATO allies to set a clear plan aimed at outlining expectations for the Karzai government on fighting corruption, dealing with the drug trafficking, and advancing good governance. Some discussion of this emerged earlier this fall in a mini-policy debate over the draft metrics to measure progress, but that debate has unfortunately faded. Those draft metrics, quite frankly, were underwhelming on many accounts, reading like a vague wish list of things the United States would like to get done.
Vague wish lists won't cut it, particularly if President Obama is contemplating sending more troops into harm's way.
The policy and political debate in the United States has narrowly and simplistically focused on troop numbers--an important part of the equation, but not the only one. And conservatives have tried to reduce Afghanistan to a question of President Obama's determination and will, like in David Brooks' latest article in the New York Times, which takes us back to a time in 2002 to 2005 when conservatives treated national security like a football pep rally.
The missing ingredient from the Afghanistan policy debate has been a clear implementation plan for shaping the Afghan leadership's strategic calculations and actions. There are numerous documents and plans on paper--such as the 2006 Afghanistan Compact (pdf) and the 2008 Afghanistan National Development Strategy. What's been sorely lacking is an actual policy and plan to achieve the goals and implement the ideas laid out in these strategies.
The Obama administration didn't have a clear implementation plan to accompany the strategy it released last March (pdf), and the policy was still very much a work in progress as demonstrated at an event we hosted at the Center for American Progress with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and his interagency team. Saying that "we'll know it when we see it" when it comes to achieving progress in Afghanistan is not enough--it's not enough to convince the American people that more troops and money are worth it, and equally important, it's not enough to shape Afghan leaders' calculations and actions, including the reelected Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
As my colleague Caroline Wadhams argued earlier this fall, the question of what to do about Afghanistan is not simply a question of troop levels. And it's not enough to talk in lofty terms about "smart power," as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates do.
The real test case of what is becoming the emerging Obama doctrine on U.S. national security is found in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and thus far the team has quite frankly not delivered the goods on the significant promise of "smart power." Doing so would mean having a clear policy implementation plan to shape the calculations and actions of Afghanistan's leaders.
So when President Obama announces his decision on Afghanistan--quite possibly later this month--he cannot simply talk about the troop levels, as important as that decision is. The Obama administration needs to outline how all of our resources--including our most precious national security asset, our men and women in uniform--will be used effectively to shape the actions of Afghan partners.
We had a rudderless policy for eight long years that did not effectively address this question of leverage in Afghanistan. The time has come for President Obama to bring real change to the policy debate on Afghanistan.
-- Brian Katulis
AARP has scheduled what it's calling a major announcement tomorrow at 11:30 AM in DC. Hints but no confirmation that they'll endorse the Dem health care bill. [...]
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An op-ed in The Wall Street Journal falsely claimed that a poll conducted by conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway for the right-wing Independent Women's Forum (IWF) found that two-thirds of women are "less likely to back candidates who support government care." In fact, the poll asked whether respondents would be "more likely or less likely to support a candidate for Congress knowing he or she favored moving people from their private healthcare plans to government-run healthcare plans" [emphasis added].
WSJ op-ed subhead: "Two-thirds are less likely to back candidates who support government care." The November 3, 2009, Wall Street Journal op-ed by IWF chairman Heather Richardson Higgins on the poll's findings carried a subhead falsely suggesting that "[t]wo-thirds [of women] are less likely to back candidates who support government [health] care."
Right-wing poll asked respondents whether they would support candidates who favored moving people to the public option:
And, would you be ... more likely or less likely to support a candidate for Congress knowing he or she favored moving people from their private healthcare plans to government-run healthcare plans?
WSJ op-ed presented actual question in the article. Despite the WSJ subhead's distortion of the poll results, Higgins' op-ed acknowledged the actual question in the article:
And when asked if they would be more or less likely to support a congressional candidate if the [sic] knew that he or she supported moving people from their private health-care plans to government-run care, two out of three (67%) said it would either probably (26%) or definitely (41%) make them less likely to support the politician.
Proposal does not require people to take public option. Neither the current House bill, its predecessor in the House, the Senate HELP Committee bill, nor the Finance Committee bill require anybody to purchase insurance through the public option.
Conway thinks Palin "governed like a man ...didn't raise taxes and throw all this money into social programs." On the October 30 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Conway stated:
LAURA INGRAHAM (fox News host): But if a conservative guy had told a liberal woman to stay home and take care of the kids, I'm sure Maureen Dowd, Sally Quinn, and the whole elite Washington journalistic establishment would have been down their throats, saying you don't tell this woman what to do.
CONWAY: Actually, Sally wrote a piece --
INGRAHAM: I imagine you would.
CONWAY: Sally wrote a piece called "Palin's Pregnancy Problem," it was kind of mean and it ended up being untrue that the base did not leave Sarah Palin because her daughter Bristol was going to have this child out of wedlock. The whole crisis pregnancy culture is to embrace young girls who have unexpected pregnancies. And, look, I just want to say this, that, with Palin, she looks so feminine, she acts like a woman, but she governs like a man. She didn't take -- she didn't raise taxes and throw all this money into social programs, instead she put the governor's jet on eBay, makes her kids' own lunches.
Conway: Being politically correct and hiring people who don't speak great English will lead to "two planes crashing." During a discussion of a lawsuit over two employees fired for speaking Spanish in the workplace, Conway said: "[W]hat starts out as maybe the person doesn't speak English, getting -- putting mayonnaise instead of mustard as you requested on your sandwich is one day going to blossom into two air traffic controllers who don't speak great English because political correctness has made us appoint them to those positions. They're going to have two planes crashing in the sky."
In fact, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended in 1991, which prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of national origin specifically includes an exception for "those certain instances where ... national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise." And indeed, the lawsuit specifically alleged that the ability to speak English "was unrelated to the job they had been performing since 1999."