Green jobs advisor Van Jones resigns.[...]
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D-Day: Justice and accountability by inches
Newshoggers: Paging Dr. Mengele of the CIA
Economist's View: Do corporations have a right to free speech?
Informed Comment: 60 said killed in NATO bombings; US Aid money may support Taliban activities
Sunday punditry, as Labor Day approaches...
The dominant health care story that emerged from August is one of frenzied confrontation -- seniors standing on folding chairs to scream at senators; sign-wielding protesters shouting across parking lots.
Those conflicts were real and raw. But they are only part of the story. With much less notice, many key stakeholders in the medical establishment, including several that mobilized against previous efforts to overhaul the nation's health care system, have come together behind reform. "That's very different from what we've ever experienced before and why there is every reason to be optimistic that health care reform will happen," says Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a liberal health advocacy group.
President Obama has already dispatched an additional 21,000 American troops to Afghanistan and soon will decide whether to send thousands more. That would be a fateful decision for his presidency, and a group of former intelligence officials and other experts is now reluctantly going public to warn that more troops would be a historic mistake.
After eight years of work there, the United States still does not have a reliable Afghan partner to hand off to. It’s time to discuss if nation building is still worth doing and at what cost?
Japan's voters have thrust power on an incoherent coalition of hungry politicians distinguished only by their willingness to promise anything to anybody anytime. Good for them. In many ways we should applaud the Japanese who voted for what is being described as "change they can't believe in."
The distorted echo of President Obama's campaign slogan is hardly accidental. Japan's Aug. 30 national election may turn out to be the first of many examples of the Obama factor reshaping politics in other countries. The victorious Democratic Party of Japan skillfully linked its opponents to George W. Bush and free-for-all, destructive capitalism while identifying themselves with the new U.S. president's push for economic recovery and social transformation through government spending.
Andrew Alexander (WaPo Ombudsman):
The Post recently featured a story by reporter Monica Hesse that ran on the front of the Style section while she was on vacation. The day before returning, she logged on to check e-mails -- and wept.
She was buried by an avalanche of messages angrily attacking her lengthy Aug. 28 profile of Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the group leading the fight against legalization of same-sex marriage.
Today's public service announcement:
Influenza-like illness (ILI) is a fever, and either cough or sore throat. CDC tracks the percentage of doctor visits for this illness using a network of sentinel docs. This is the country as a whole, with the red line representing 2009 (the other lines are previous years, useful as a baseline for comparison):
This chart shows that the southeastern part of the US is starting to have a rough time, likely due to H1N1 (most people are not formally tested.)
This represents extensive, but outpatient, illness. It also shows more ILI now than in the middle of flu season last winter.
You can find your own regional graph here, and find weekly updates here. Things are just starting, and you still have time to make preparations such as alternate child care in an emergency, and downloading some home care guides here and here so you have them on hand. And consider getting a novel H1N1 flu shot if you are in a high risk group, such as
when the vaccine is available in October. Everyone can get one by end of December, but those folks go first.
- pregnant women,
- persons who live with or provide care for infants aged less than 6 months (e.g., parents, siblings, and daycare providers),
- health-care and emergency medical services personnel who have direct contact with patients or infectious material,
- children aged 6 months to 4 years, and
- children and adolescents aged 5-18 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications.
I'm posting this Washington Post story because the White House still seems to believe that only "the left of the left" (a statement for which they have never apologized) has problems with the president's style of non-leadership. It seems much of the Democratic party, and independents, now have similar concerns:
The slide has only quickened. Emerging from an angry August recess, Obama is weakened politically and faces growing concerns, particularly from within his own party, over his strength as a leader. Dozens of interviews this summer in six states -- from Maine to California -- have revealed a growing angst and disappointment over the administration's present course.
Democratic officials and foot soldiers, who have experienced the volatile public mood firsthand, are asking Obama to take a more assertive approach this fall....
"Until last week, he was still trying to play ball with the Republicans who said, 'We're going to bring you down,' " said Karen Davis, 42, a musician from Jersey City who raised funds for Obama last year. "Now I'm thinking, 'This isn't what I voted for.' "
In addressing volunteers from Organizing for America last month, Obama warned those who had been central to the field operation of his grass-roots campaign that "everybody in Washington gets all wee-weed up" in August and September.Joe and I have already written extensively about Team Obama's ongoing efforts to rewrite the history of the campaign. Yes, they won, but not because the president sat back and refused to fight back until the end. In August of last year, the Netroots had had it, and people started openly questioning the president's ability and willingness to lead. Then the funders started weighing in with the campaign. All the while, Obama was dropping in the polls behind McCain. Finally, after all of that, Obama felt forced to engage, forced to fight back. This, happening at the same time as the financial crisis, is what won the race for Barack Obama. Sitting back and doing nothing only put him further and further back in the polls.
It was meant as a warning not to believe the Beltway analysis that Obama, a skilled communicator and player of the long game, was losing control of his message and his broader agenda.
Governing requires the ability to appeal to Congress and the electorate simultaneously, and Obama is attempting to do that with the patience and unflappability that were the hallmarks of his "no drama" campaign.
To Obama and his senior staff, that means ignoring the "cable chatter," the president's catch-all term for media punditry and Hill partisanship, and the Washington ethic of winning in real time.
"There is something that has grown into the Democratic DNA over the last 30 years that makes our first reaction fear," said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House deputy communications director. "And we can't keep our fear to ourselves."Amen.
Beyond the Beltway, many Democrats say they would be less afraid if Obama appeared less fearful himself...
In a victory for Republicans and the Obama administration?s conservative critics, Van Jones resigned as the White House?s environmental jobs ?czar? on Saturday. – White House Adviser on ?Green Jobs? Resigns Well, once the right wing makes you a[...]
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Lat weekend, I did a series of diaries on economics. One area I didn't get into concerned[...]
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After more than a week of criticism from Glenn Beck and the lunatics on the right, Van Jones has stepped down as advisor to the White House on green jobs.
Here's the impact their campaign had in other less biased forms of media:
And yet the Obama regime have felt the need to let him go.
From a Nexis search a few moments ago:
Total words about the Van Jones controversy in the New York Times: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy in the Washington Post: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy on NBC Nightly News: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy on ABC World News: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy on CBS Evening News: 0.
Anything You Can Do from Annie, Get Your Gun (1950)
It's the closest approximation of the Sunday shows I can think of right now: Annie Oakley and Frank Butler trying to one-up each other, screaming face to face and fighting about nothing of substance. Although I can't complain this week that the Democrats are non-existent or out-numbered (and hooray! the Obama administration has figured out they need to be out there too), my feeling is that the discussion will not be any more substantive than Annie and Frank's. WH Spokesperson Robert Gibbs will be on This Week, Senior Adviser David Axelrod will be on Meet the Press and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will be on Face the Nation, presumably to discuss the latest GOP hissy fit du jour of Obama's planned speech to students. But we'll also get lots of health care jabs as well, with Dr. Thomas Frieden of CDC on State of the Union and Howard Dean and Newt Gingrich on Fox News Sunday.
ABC's "This Week" - White House press secretary Robert Gibbs; former Sens. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Bob Dole, R-Kan.; Reps. Mike Pence, R-Ind., and Maxine Waters, D-Calif.
CBS' "Face the Nation" - Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
NBC's "Meet the Press" - David Axelrod, White House senior adviser; Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor; Harold Ford Jr., Democratic Leadership Council chairman.
NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show" - Panel: Eugene Robinson, Katty Kay, Gloria Borger and Michael Duffy. Topics: How does President Obama need to reset the health care debate? Should Ted Kennedy have shown more public penance for Chappaquiddick? Meter Questions: Will outspoken fringe players dominate GOP for the rest of Obama's term? YES: 9 NO: 3;
If unemployment is still high next year, will Obama revise his tax proposals? YES: 11 No: 1.
CNN's "State of the Union" - Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn.; Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Ben Nelson, D-Neb.
CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" - Some of our greatest hits: First, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on the limits of American power. Then former New York State governor Elliot Spitzer's unique perspective on the financial crisis and the Dalai Lama's perspective on the world.
"Fox News Sunday" - Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; Howard Dean, former national Democratic Party chairman; John Podesta, head of the Center for American Progress; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.
So, what's catching your eye this morning?
Wall Street Pursues Profit in Bundles of Life Insurance BACK TO BUSINESS By JENNY ANDERSONPublished: September 5, 2009 After the mortgage business imploded last year, Wall Street investment banks began searching for another big idea to make money. They[...]
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In case you missed it, the Martinsville Bulletin published an editorial on Sunday calling on Bob McDonnell to come clean with the people of Virginia, while the Roanoke Times blasted the former Attorney General for what it calls a "political shell game."
The Martinsville Bulletin stated, "if McDonnell expects Virginians to vote for him, he must continue to explain his beliefs and his record and how he has changed ? or not changed ? at every turn."
The Roanoke Times wrote, "he is engaging in the political shell game of shifting money from one spot, putting it in another and hoping no one notices the sleight of hand. He calls it 'redirecting.' "
Click the links to read both items and remember that his political agenda has followed his 1989 "manafesto" almost to the letter. Remaking one's self into something more palatable to mainstream voters is an old trick used by many politicians. McDonnell however is simply smoke and mirrors.
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