The New York Times this weekend profiled my old boss Rep. David Obey (D-WI) and his efforts to[...]
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These are sophisticated marketing techniques. And they're being cynically run by sophisticated people (who know they're peddling bullshit) on the not-so-sophisticated (who believe what they want to believe). The question with regard to those peddling[...]
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In advance of today's meeting with financial service industry executives, President Obama tells 60 Minutes, "I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of ... fat cat bankers on Wall Street." That and the day's other political news in the TPMDC[...]
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President Barack Obama said he expects the U.S. Senate to pass by the end of next week legislation to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system [. . .] "I think it's going to pass out of the Senate before Christmas (December 25)," Obama, who has made healthcare reform legislation his top domestic priority, said in an interview aired on CBS's "60 Minutes."
I guess Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln and Olympia Snowe will be putting the finishing touches on their bill in time to meet Obama's deadline. That will be fun to watch.
Speaking for me only
Gee, what a surprise. And I'll bet Lieberman's list of demands just got ten times longer. And more power to him. The White House is afraid of a fight, so its opponents are going to take advantage of the President's weakness. Nature abhors a vacuum, and politics abhors a wimp. So do voters.
From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE
"The President strongly opposes efforts, such as the draft law pending in Uganda, that would criminalize homosexuality and move against the tide of history."
Newly-elected and openly-gay Houston Mayor Annise Parker:
I met fathers worried about finding a good job. I met mothers worried about crime. I met young men and women who only want a chance for a good education. Families worried about taxes. Homeowners who just want to protect the neighborhood they love. Hear me: the city is on your side.
I learned about the problems and the needs and the hopes of our city at the neighborhood level, where families work and live. This election has changed the world for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, just as this election is about transforming Houstonians’ lives for the better.
Let us begin from this moment to join as one community, united in the goal of making Houston the city it could be, should be, can be and will be. That’s what this city will be about under my administration.
A BRIEF STATEMENT FROM BRUCE
Like many of you who live in New Jersey, I've been following the progress of the marriage-equality legislation currently being considered in Trenton. I've long believed in and have always spoken out for the rights of same sex couples and fully agree with Governor Corzine when he writes that, "The marriage-equality issue should be recognized for what it truly is---a civil rights issue that must be approved to assure that every citizen is treated equally under the law." I couldn't agree more with that statement and urge those who support equal treatment for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to let their voices be heard now.
The NJ state Senate has kicked the vote on gay marriage down the road a bit, but there should still be one before Corzine leaves office. (Keep up to date on the developments at Blue Jersey.) Seriously, some of you senators might say no to The Boss? Really??? That would take a lotta balls and a lotta dumb.
Cheers and Jeers starts in There's Moreville... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
December 11, 2009 C-SPAN
(Nicole:) Kucinich--who makes so much sense that he would never be given the same air time as Joe Lieberman or John McCain--also took part in a protest outside the White House this weekend:
Speakers urged Americans to take to the streets in opposition to what they called the escalation of an unnecessary war that has killed soldiers and civilians.
"The message is clear: We have money for war but not for jobs," said Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio). "We have money for war but not for health care. We have money for war but not for education. . . . We have money for war but not for peace."
Kucinich said that he is urging his fellow lawmakers to vote against additional war funding.
In an interview with CBS’s “60 minutes,” President Obama said that he “did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat-cat bankers on Wall Street.” Obama will meet with bank CEOs today and will reportedly tell them ?you guys were part of the problem and now you have to be part of the solution.? The banks claim they will ?step up now.?
“Citigroup reached a deal early Monday morning to be the last of the big Wall Street banks to exit the government?s bailout program.” Citigroup will repay $20 billion of federal aid through the sale of stocks and other equity. ?We owe the American taxpayers a debt of gratitude,” CEO Vikram Pandit said in a statement.
Developing nations, represented by “The Group of 77,” walked out of climate talks in Copenhagen today, citing their displeasure with negotiations they see tilted in favor of developed countries. British Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband told the press that “it is up to him and his counterparts in Copenhagen to help bridge the gap between rich and poor countries.”
Energy Secretary Steven Chu will announce today a $350 million “international plan to deploy clean technology in developing countries.” The U.S. is contributing $85 million to the five-year effort with the balance coming from other industrialized nations. The plan will go into effect “no matter what pledges” are made during the Copenhagen climate talks.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “in a face-to-face meeting” yesterday “that he will vote against a health care bill that includes a public option or a provision that would expand Medicare.” Democrats had “thought they had secured Mr. Lieberman?s agreement to go along” with a compromise, leading a Senate Democratic aide to call Lieberman’s announcement “a total flip-flop.”
Top U.S. officials “are pushing to expand CIA drone strikes beyond Pakistan’s tribal region and into a major city in an attempt to pressure the Pakistani government to pursue Taliban leaders based in Quetta.” The proposal signals U.S. resolve to go after the Taliban but also “risks rupturing Washington’s relationship with Islamabad.”
Western and U.N. nuclear officials “are evaluating a secret Iranian technical document that appears to show the country’s nuclear scientists testing a key component used in the detonation of a nuclear warhead.” If the document is authenticated, it “could rank as one of the strongest pieces of evidence pointing to a clandestine Iranian effort to build nuclear weapons.”
Democrat Annise Parker was elected Houston’s new mayor on Saturday, making her “the first openly gay person to lead a major U.S. city.” Parker “first emerged in the public arena as a gay rights activist in the 1980s” and rose through the ranks of city politics. Parker’s sexual orientation became a focus of the mayoral race after far right groups came out and condemned her “homosexual behavior.”
The Congressional Black Caucus continued to air its grievances against the Obama administration for not focusing enough on the ?disproportionate pain? that minorities are suffering from the recession. ?You have to target legislation and actions so that you can deal with that devastation,? Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said.
And finally: Sarah Palin turns the tables on William Shatner.
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America is clamoring for THIS again?
During the last election, the GOP fired up much of the electorate by persuading many voters-- through mindless repetition-- that Senator Barack Obama was the most liberal member of the Senate. Few people bothered to check the facts; if they heard it from Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter, Savage, Beck, Palin and the entire Republican noise machine enough-- and then heard it amplified by the brain-dead mainstream media-- well... "if there's smoke, there must be fire" is a tenet of Idiot America. It didn't matter that Obama's voting record was always way down at the bottom of the barrel, tucked in their among reactionaries like Lieberman, Landrieu, Lincoln, Pryor, Baucus, and never anywhere near actual liberals like Dick Durbin, Tom Harkin, Ted Kennedy, Jack Reed, Sheldon Whitehouse, Bob Menéndez, Barbara Boxer or Frank Lautenberg. No, Obama wasn't voting with Russ Feingold or Bernie Sanders or Chris Dodd or even Hillary Clinton. He was voting with Ben Nelson, Tom Carper and Evan Bayh. Evan Bayh may be a liberal-- but only in an alternative universe where Mitch McConnell, Larry Craig and Lindsey Graham are straight men singing the praises of Christian family values as they scurry back and forth to the Senate floor from Washington's public toilets.
It didn't hurt Obama because, it turns out, voters wanted a progressive after 8 years of knee jerk reactionary rule by a claque of corporate-controlled Republican zombies and vampires. So now there is a lot of buyer's remorse when Obama turns out to be... well, exactly what Obama always was, a corporate-friendly moderate with very tepid, overly cautious solutions to problems that call for game-changing solutions. The advisers he close include Wall Street lackeys like Tim Geithner, Lawrence Summers and, worst of all, Rahm Emanuel. Worst of all not just because Emanuel is a dyed-in-the-wool Wall Street lackey, but also because he used P.R. as deftly as the Republicans do to give himself the aura of accomplishment and "competent can-do tough guy."
That aura is as in sync with reality as the one about Obama being the most liberal member of the Senate or the new absurdity being floated by Miss McConnell that the current administration is hard left. Hard left? Only in a world where Mark Foley (R-FL) is caught breaking into the boy pages' dormitory after midnight and the Republican congressional leadership promises to hush it up if he agrees to run for re-election and save them the cost of running a candidate in an open seat. That's a dangerous world, although one usually without consequences for any of the perps. John Boehner, you may have noticed, has since risen in the ranks to leader of his party's House caucus. But Inside the Beltway, it just takes some pricey P.R., skillful repetition, cooperative, go-along-to-get-along media hacks and shills, and voilà! Rahm Emanuel is competent and responsible for a Democratic congressional resurgence, and Obama's sickeningly moderate agenda is "hard left."
Roll Call's interview with Miss McC this week reads like the ultimate in well-greased flackery, spoon-fed to teabaggers, dittoheads and other denizens of Idiot America who can certainly believe anything if they believe that the Buy Bull proves men coexisted with dinosaurs-- further proven by the popular television docudrama The Flintstones. See? A page right out of historeeeee:
video details and more
Democrats ?fundamentally misread the mandate of 2008. I don?t think it had anything whatsoever to do with turning America into a Western European country. It was more, kind of fatigue with the previous administration,? McConnell argued during an interview this week in his Capitol office.
McConnell argued that as a result, a ?sea change in the political environment? has occurred over the last year that has favored Republicans while causing increasing divisions within Democratic ranks.
?One thing I think is pretty safe to say is that there has been a sea change in the political environment and the confidence, if you will, of the majority that they are in sync with the American people,? McConnell said. ?If you look at the political landscape from, say, November of ?08 and compare it to today, we were down 12 in the party generic ballot, and two weeks ago in Gallup we were up four.?
That shift has implications for the president?s agenda on Capitol Hill, McConnell argued, noting that electoral pressures and public interest in issues such as the health care reform bill are driving that change.
?That has an impact on what happens up here, because we don?t exist in splendid isolation here. We are constantly interacting with our constituents, looking at the published polls about how people feel about how we?re doing. ... That explains in my view the difficulty they?re having passing the health care bill. The anxiety is on their side, and the energy and the passion is on our side.?
McConnell argued that Democrats and the White House have, at least on the domestic policy front, pursued an explicitly partisan approach. ?The domestic strategy was, unify the Democrats, try to pick off a few Republicans, give it a patina of bipartisanship and jam them. ... I think the bipartisan stuff with them is just talk,? McConnell said.
This morning, I learned in Politico that the AP's Ron Fournier, The Atlantic's James Fallows, the New York Times' Adam Nagourney, HuffPost's Sam Stein, and now Politico's Daniel Libit all are getting as much attention from, if not more, from "news hound" Daniel Lippman, an 19-year old George Washington University student who sends "us" a frequent stream of good corrections, things we might not have seen and should in the press or opinion world, and other items about the cool parties he expects to see me at.
Lippman is amazing -- and much appreciated. He really deserves the title "regular contributor" at The Washington Note as he sends so much that I use here.
One of the items Lippman brought to my attention this morning is that at 4:30 pm today, Vice President Joe Biden will administer the oath of office to former Senators Chuck Hagel and David Boren who will co-chair the President's Intelligence Advisory Board.
This swearing-in is one that I really want to attend as I am a huge fan of Hagel's and think that the Obama/Biden team's stock just went up a great deal by getting him on board.
But alas -- closed to the press. But how about think tank friends?
Thanks again to Daniel Lippman for getting this news on top of my morning pile.
-- Steve Clemons