HuffPo's Sam Stein is reporting that Harry Reid is set to meet with Joe Lieberman today, perhaps to strip him of his chairmanships. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will meet with Joe Lieberman on Thursday to discuss how the disaffected, controversial[...]
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Before the netroots starts attacking Emanuel as an AIPAC stooge, Likudnik, or whatever, let me weigh in.
It's not true. His father is an Israeli and was active in the Irgun, the terrorist group founded by Menachem Begin which famously bombed Jerusalem's King David Hotel.
I don't know what the old man's politics on Israel are today (not all Irgunists were rightwingers). I suspect that, if he was still a rightwinger, he would not have produced a bunch of liberal kids. (Rahm's brother, the Jeremy Piven one, writes often on HuffPo and is a total Hollywood liberal).
Anyway, what I know about Emanuel on Israel is that he was a key player in getting President Clinton to embrace Oslo and to hold the Rabin-Arafat signing ceremony. I remember standing on the lawn and watching George Stephanopoulos and Rahm Emanuel all teary over "the handshake."
As a Member of Congress, Emanuel was not all that hawkish either. He supports Israel (so do I) but he definitely supports the peace process too. My guess: he'll be the one encouraging Obama to go for an Israeli-Palestinian deal the first year. And, when the rightwing Jews complain, he'll tell them to stick it up their ass.
And they will.
UPDATE: Huff Post has more:
Bolstered by a newly expanded majority, Harry Reid met with Joe Lieberman on Thursday to sketch out the conditions by which the Connecticut independent could continue to caucus with Senate Democrats. But Lieberman did not accept Reid's initial offers, leaving his future in the caucus uncertain, and potentially setting off a campaign to pressure the Democratic steering committee to decide Lieberman's fate.One of the biggest questions remaining from the election results is what happens to Joe Lieberman. A lot of us want to know. I saw Lieberman on CNN today doing a statement about how he intends to work with Obama. What an ass.
Reid offered Lieberman a deal to step down as chairman of the homeland security committee but take over the reins of another subcommittee, likely overseeing economic or small business issues officials said.
Today Senator Lieberman and I had the first of what I expect to be several conversations. No decisions have been made. While I understand that Senator Lieberman has voted with Democrats a majority of the time, his comments and actions have raised serious concerns among many in our caucus. I expect there to be additional discussions in the days to come, and Senator Lieberman and I will speak to our caucus in two weeks to discuss further steps.According to Josh Orton, who used to work in Reid's office and knows how to decipher these things:
where Reid's statements about Lieberman used to imply no coming consequences, i.e. 'Joe's gone off the reservations sometimes, but...' - today's statement runs in the opposite direction: 'Joe's with us on some things, but....' Reid is obviously implying that Lieberman will be punished; just because the details weren't announced today doesn't mean nothing will happen. Rather, Reid is likely working through the Senate mechanisms behind-the-scenes: walking through the complex process of Chairmanship 'musical chairs' that Ari describes here, estimating how many Dems we'll actually have in our caucus, and speaking with all of Lieberman's allies in the Dem caucus so no one goes off the reservation when a decision is announced.The National Review read the statement from Harry Reid and crazy K Lo thinks Reid is being mean to Lieberman:
So don't misread the reality - Lieberman has very little leverage in this situation and nowhere to go. He angered Obama and Reid during the campaign, and his presidential candidate lost. So Reid is taking his time, but that shouldn't be misread as indecisiveness or inaction. It just proves how little power Lieberman now has.
Translation: I am a bully and will make Joe feel pain.Reid is a boxer. Sounds like he, like so many of us, is pissed at Lieberman. The worst pain for a Senator is to lose a chairmanship with all its perks. Markos has a list of the Democratic Steering Committee, which makes committee leadership decisions. Those people may need to hear from us soon.
David Ogden, who during the Clinton administration led DOJ's civil division and also served as chief of staff to Janet Reno, is leading the transition team for the department, reports the Washington Post. Ogden is currently a partner at the WilmerHale law firm.
And the paper adds that "Democrats and interest groups have been developing "to do" lists for Justice, which had deemphasized antitrust, civil rights and environmental enforcement work under President Bush."
Ogden's deputy on the transition will be Thomas Perelli, who, according to the Post, "supervised the government team suing cigarette makers and oversaw the Justice unit that defends federal agencies in complex legal disputes."
We'll be watching closely to see what direction the department moves in under the new administration. But initial signs suggest the grownups may be back in charge.
As a heterosexual not directly affected by the damned thing, I too am very upset that Prop. 8 did not go down to resounding defeat in Cailfornia. Orange County and the LDS Church are alive and well, it seems.
What I have never understood is the basic premise stated (not the real reasons, the real ones being fear, hate, and prejudice) for not allowing same-sex people to marry. They're not going to be marrying you, you religion-biased asshole; why the fuck should you care?
How in the gods' names do Brad and George Takei-Altman, or Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi, threaten your marriage if it was a good one in the first place? Massachusetts has had gay marriage for several years now. The sky has not fallen, hetero couples are still getting licenses and weddings, and the ultimate result has been a massive state-wide shoulder shrug and a "Who the fuck cares, except for wedding and party planners in Provincetown, and divorce lawyers?" I find it ironic that two states who were founded by religious nutcases (hell, both Massachusetts and Connecticut executed "witches" in the old days) are the ones out here allowing gays to marry.
Marriage as an institution was originally an economic/political contract between two families, with the wishes of the people getting married very much secondary to that contract. It was not a "sacred bond" between two people of opposite sexes. Indeed, the Catholic Church (the only game in town at the time) didn't accept it as a sacred "sacramental" rite until the Middle Ages...and even then, it was performed at the church door, not in the church itself. Marriage for love, as the norm, came later. The contractual element is one of the reasons that government is involved at all.
The supposed Biblical argument of "one man, one woman (and only one man and one woman)" falls down pretty fast if you just read the bloody document. I give you, for example, Jacob the Patriarch...who worked seven years for Rachel only to get snookered into marrying Leah...then working another seven for Rachel (his father-in-law Laban knew a good thing when he saw it)...then "borrowed" both women's maidservants as concubines. And that the LDS, given its history and splinter groups, was pushing this "one man, one woman" thing is a classic case of irony and hypocrisy.
Fortunately, enough lawsuits are already filed that this will (I hope) be overturned in jig time. It's a simple matter of not allowing the state to withhold rights from an identifiable group of people. That's what "equal justice" means...just as it would now be considered unConstitutional to refuse a marriage license to an interracial couple, or refuse women the right to vote.
Anything less will be unAmerican.
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CNN's Dana Bash caught Sarah Palin for an interview in Arizona yesterday before she took off back to Alaska, and Bash asked her about how she affected the ticket, referring to polls indicating she hurt more than she helped.
Well, you know, I don?t think anybody should give Sarah Palin that much credit that I would trump an economic woeful time in this nation that occurred about two months ago ? that my presence on the ticket would trump the economic crisis that America found itself in a couple of months ago, and attribute John McCain?s loss to me.
But now having said that, if I cost John McCain even one vote, I am sorry about that. Because John McCain, I believe, is the American hero. I had believed that it was his time. He is so full of courage and wisdom and experience, that valor that he just embodies, I believe he would have been the best pick. But that is not the Americans? choice at this time, and realizing that, it?s time to move forward, to move on. I am certainly not one to ever waste time looking backwards and pointing fingers and playing the blame game. I?m no gonna participate in that at all.
When Bash asks her about the rumors she had "gone rogue" and become a "diva," Palin tries to laugh it off, and says: "It is absolutely false that there has been any tension."
The Finger-Pointing Begins In The Wake Of McCain-Barracuda DrubbingAs has long been customary with losing campaigns, the failed attempt of the McCain-Palin ticket to win the Oval Office is proving to be no exception to the rule. According to The New York Times, McCain insiders are accusing Sarah...
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The hottest post-election gossip blazing its way across the country is, as Scout Finch noted earlier, the "revelation" that Sarah Palin was in fact even more embarrassingly clueless than her empty-headed performance over the past two months had already led America and the world to believe.
Didn't know Africa was a continent. Couldn't name the member nations of NAFTA, even though they're the immediate neighbors of the United States. And, by the way, she was never shy about parroting the crap she had been programmed with about trade, and what a genius she was on the subject because she was from a state near Russia. Or something. Also.
But think about what this means, and what almost happened to this country.
Frankly, the people who knew this about her and were still directly responsible for "vetting" her, putting her on the ticket, attempting to foist this idiot on the American people, and protecting her while there was still a chance (however theoretical) that she could become Vice President and possibly President of the United States ought to be arrested and tried for treason.
The American public, and indeed the American constitutional system, was completely unprepared for a potential disaster of this magnitude. I've said before that we were all "low information voters" now, at least with respect to being able to actually evaluate the candidates for their fitness for jobs which we were no longer permitted -- as a matter of national security -- to know the parameters of. But putting this dolt on the ticket takes us ten thousand miles into the fucking Twilight Zone.
We used to think that having debates was an adequate way of gauging performance for our candidates, even though the realities of television have turned them into staged dog and pony shows these days. But even just as a measure of whether a candidate could mouth correct-ish, truthy-sounding answers, they still retained some value -- even as Palin failed even that ridiculously dumbed-down test. We were willing to live with the faked-for-television debate framework because it was always premised on the assumption that the candidates shared with most Americans a common base of cultural and political knowledge that any competent person could automatically be credited with, simply by virtue of having successfully grown to adulthood as an American, and presumably having gone through some sort of educational process, formal or otherwise.
Now it turns out that we would have been better off evaluating at least our Vice Presidential candidates by putting them on Jeopardy! Or in this case, even The Tonight Show's "Jaywalking" segment would have been sufficient.
Here we were trying to evaluate Palin's ability to explain the Republican ticket's economic plans, when she may never even have known how many pennies were in a dollar, or who the faces on the bills were. We jumped right past basic grammar school evaluations, because the gravity of the office McCain was contending for is one that has always caused Americans to automatically assume that the candidates would have enough respect to actually prepare to take on that mantle before challenging for the seat, and because we've always assumed that as much as we disagreed with the other party, it could at least be trusted to act in its own best interest by nominating a ticket that wouldn't be disqualified on its face, or be laughed out of the country for lack of even the most basic knowledge about who we are and what we're about as a country. Including such trivia as, say, the names of the countries we border.
But just as Alan Greenspan could sit before the Congress as an economist and profess utter shock at the possibility that corporate officers -- whose compensation became decoupled from actual performance over 20 years ago -- would put their own personal financial interests before that of the companies that hired them, I guess we now have to hope someone will believe us when we say we're utterly shocked by the possibility that Republican presidential candidates would similarly put their own ambition before the good of the country.
I guess looking back it's now clear why everything they touch turns to shit.
John McCain should never live this down.
Colorado's Secretary of State Mike Coffman -- who was elected on Tuesday to Tom Tancredo's Congressional seat -- had been ordered by a judge just days before the Election to stop purging voters from the system.
But despite his best efforts to purge voters from the rolls -- voting rights groups who filed suit estimated 35,000 people were purged in violation of the federal Voting Rights Act and settled to get 20,000 back on the rolls just days before Nov. 4 -- Colorado had record turnout and early voting, with few problems.
From the AP:
Colorado Common Cause, one of the groups that sued the state, and another watchdog group, Election Protection, said they received about 800 calls from Colorado voters, mostly about registration questions.
"Compared to 2006, Colorado is doing fabulously," said Jenny Flanagan, executive director of Common Cause.
Flanagan said there were some hiccups, such as provisional ballots being given out "wholesale" in some counties, including Arapahoe and Denver, at the first sign of trouble with a voter's registration.
"I don't know if election judges are overwhelmed or if it's a training issue, but it's something we're going to be looking at in the coming days," she said.
AP has called it, making it Obama 364, McCain 162, with Missouri and a single Nebraska EV still undecided (McCain leads both by the narrowest of margins with provisional and other outstanding ballots still being counted).
Congratulations North Carolina. You look great in Blue.
That's a 12-point swing from 2004.