"If Senator John Kerry had won the 2004 election, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito Jr., conservatives who have led the court to the right, would not be on the court. And last year’s devastating 5-to-4 ruling in the Citizens United case would likely not have happened."
Dear Mr. President, I demand that you lead me! And by that, of course, I mean you should totally ignore your own judgment and pretend you're me, because managing my own life is just too hard - I'd rather manage yours. Talking to you in my imagination is much easier than taking responsibility as a citizen for my own role in America's progress or lack thereof. Some would say that my attitude is a symptom of the problem, but to those people I have a very clear and compelling rebuttal: Shut up! I did not join Daily Kos three weeks ago (UID: 47873221937293328) just to see it turn into a place where impotent, self-destructive whining and character assassination of Democrats is treated like a bad thing.
Troubadour's diary :: ::
Now, I've thought about this very carefully - which is to say, I've studied my holy canon of HuffPo editorials, Glenn Greenwald articles, and Cenk Uygur screeds - and I've come to the eminently rational, constructive conclusion that the best way forward is to (a)completely destroy the Democratic Party, (b)turn once-liberal blogs into left-flavored teabagger hate spigots, and (c)demonize every identifiably human individual who comes within a country mile of holding office until the only people who can safely do so are those whose criminality exceeds all possible exaggeration.
I have heard the claim that this is all a pathetic, ego-driven attempt to deflect responsibility for our failure to produce a Congress amenable to our agenda. I have also heard the claim that obsessing on the decisions of one man indicates simple-minded authoritarianism incapable of self-governance in a constitutional, three-branch system. To everyone who thinks that, I think you'll find my counter-argument persuasive: Shut up!
It was not we who failed to elect a Congress that would pass our agenda - that was Obama's failure. He failed to make the American people do what liberal activists demand, which is the entire purpose of democracy - it even says so right in the Declaration of Independence, right after Thomas Jefferson's eloquent "Free Mumia" cantata.
Our choice is clear: Either we can get serious, return to reality, and focus on making progress like intelligent adult citizens of a democratic republic...BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHA...(gasp) oooo, heh, I slay myself sometimes...or we can stop letting little things like elections, separation of powers, laws, political reality, and moral consistency get in the way of striking a blow for the proletariat. Come on, boys and girls, whaddaya say? Let's have a sequel to the Weimar Republic, with Reds and brownshirts battling it out in the streets in a colossal rematch - maybe the outcome will be different this time.
Surely, given everything we've seen in our history, the American people would prefer to be dominated by a bunch of obscurantist economic theoreticians, endlessly fractious identity constituencies, and limitlessly petty political nitpickers rather than be violently ruled by a bunch of fascistic dullards with simple-minded slogans and beliefs they can summarize in bathroom-stall graffiti. We're just a hop, skip, and a jump away from anarcho-syndicalism becoming a regular topic of dinner conversation in typical American homes, aren't we? Of course, some people insist this is a false dilemma, and that America's survival during the Great Depression largely rested on rejecting it in favor of more holistic politics, but they're forgetting one thing: Shut up!
If Obama won't force us to be competent citizens - another gargantuan failure on his part (why does he victimize us so?) - then I guess we'll just have to go for our own oligarchy instead of acting intelligently to prevent the right-wing version from ruling us. And to lead this Revolutionary Council, I propose the following triumvirate of strong, constructive leaders, who have proven their credentials as non-sellouts:
This is spot on! The poo flinging begins in 3..2...
The New York Times Op Ed
The latest hot political topic is the “Obama paradox” — the supposedly mysterious disconnect between the president’s achievements and his numbers. The line goes like this: The administration has had multiple big victories in Congress, most notably on health reform, yet President Obama’s approval rating is weak. What follows is speculation about what’s holding his numbers down: He’s too liberal for a center-right nation. No, he’s too intellectual, too Mr. Spock, for voters who want more passion. And so on.
But the only real puzzle here is the persistence of the pundit delusion, the belief that the stuff of daily political reporting — who won the news cycle, who had the snappiest comeback — actually matters.
This delusion is, of course, most prevalent among pundits themselves, but it’s also widespread among political operatives. And I’d argue that susceptibility to the pundit delusion is part of the Obama administration’s problem.
What political scientists, as opposed to pundits, tell us is that it really is the economy, stupid. Today, Ronald Reagan is often credited with godlike political skills — but in the summer of 1982, when the U.S. economy was performing badly, his approval rating was only 42 percent.
In the last few weeks, a new player entered the financial reform fray with a $1.6 million ad buy, a respected economist on board, a blitz of opinion columns on left-leaning websites, and a message, cooked right into the group’s name — Stop Too Big To Fail — that liberals could love.
But as TPMmuckraker has looked into the group, every indication is that Stop Too Big To Fail is an astroturf operation funded by corporate interests to give the appearance of grassroots opposition to reform.
Not too surprising, actually. “Too big to fail” has been adopted wholesale by opponents of financial reform; rather than admitting that they’re trying to head off serious regulation, they claim that anything you do is actually institutionalizing TBTF — that what we need to do is swear that we’ll never do another bailout, and never mind the rest. Listen to any speech by Mitch McConnell.
And may I say, that’s one of the dangers of a too-simple, not-quite-on-point slogan. It’s easily hijacked.
Anyway, let’s see if this particular fraud can be shut down.
LAST November Henry Kissinger compared Barack Obama to a chess grandmaster who had played his opening in six simultaneous matches, but hadn’t completed a single game. Now the president has won the first of those matches with an audacious checkmate snatched from a seemingly hopeless position. But the rest of the chessboards are still gridlocked.
The health-care victory this week was a huge achievement for Mr Obama (see article). After the Democrats in January suddenly lost their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate many, reputedly including his own chief of staff, urged him to play for a draw and settle for a much more modest bill than the 2,400-page behemoth that he signed into law on March 23rd. Instead, the president buckled down: he dumped the (more expensive) House version of the bill, concentrated on the Senate version and criss-crossed the country, making powerful speeches and twisting arms. In short, he took charge, and started doing all the things he ought to have been doing a lot earlier.
His reward, however, is merely the right to continue playing. Had health reform failed after Mr Obama had invested so much of his personal authority in it, his presidency would have been crippled; and a president who is weak at home tends to be perceived as weak abroad as well. Success thus gives Mr Obama a chance to get his presidency back on track, but hardly guarantees it. That depends on him learning from his mistakes and not exaggerating the extent of his success.
Congress gives college aid a boost
WASHINGTON -- More needy college students will have access to bigger Pell Grants, and future borrowers of government loans will have an easier time repaying them, under a vast overhaul of higher education aid that Congress passed Thursday and sent to President Barack Obama.
The legislation, an Obama domestic priority overshadowed by his health care victory, represents the most sweeping rewrite of college assistance programs in four decades. It strips banks of their role as middlemen in federal student loans and puts the government in charge.
NO denial of pre-existing conditions
More young adults insured
US Vice-President Joe Biden has condemned Israel's approval of 1,600 new homes for ultra-Orthodox Jews in East Jerusalem.
From NY magazine
A candidate whose aides were prepared to block him from becoming president. A wife whose virtuous image was a mirage. A mistress with a video camera. In an excerpt from the new book Game Change—their sweeping account of the 2008 campaign—the authors reveal that, inside the Edwards triangle, nothing was too crazy to be true.
One early evening in February 2006, John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator then gearing up to launch his second presidential campaign, was hanging out in the bar of the Regency Hotel on Park Avenue with one of his donors and his young traveling aide, Josh Brumberger. A woman sitting at a nearby table with some friends walked over and introduced herself.
“My friends insist you’re John Edwards,” Rielle Hunter said. “I tell them no way—you’re way too handsome.” “No, ma’am. I’m John Edwards,” the candidate replied.“No way! I don’t believe you!”
Brumberger saw this kind of thing all the time. Women were always hitting on his boss. He and Edwards had a well-oiled system in place for dealing with these situations tactfully and politely.
“He is John Edwards,” Brumberger interjected, “and I’m sorry, but we’re in the middle of something. Thank you.”“Oh, I’m sorry,” Hunter said, and retreated to her table. Brumberger thought that she was trouble from the get-go. She looked like a hybrid of Stevie Nicks and Lucinda Williams, in an outfit more suitable for a Grateful Dead concert than an evening at the Regency. A few minutes later, after Edwards departed for a dinner around the corner, Hunter came back over to Brumberger and started quizzing him about his job. “I think I can help you guys,” she said, and handed him her business card. The inscription read, BEING IS FREE: RIELLE HUNTER—TRUTH SEEKER. After Hunter left, Brumberger sat there chuckling, having another glass of wine with one of his colleagues from Team Edwards. A little while later, he looked up through the window and clocked Hunter and one of her friends cornering his boss on his way back from dinner. “Holy shit, that crazy lady just cut him off!” Brumberger yelped and sprinted outside, where he broke up the scene, leading Edwards back into the hotel.“Thank you,” Edwards said, apparently relieved. “I’m lucky you saw that, because those women, I don’t think they would have quit.” Looking back on it later, Brumberger would always wonder about that evening: Was Hunter’s presence really an accident? Had she and Edwards met before? Did she slink back into the hotel and spend the night with him? The questions would plague him, and with good reason—for that night at the Regency was the moment when Edwards’s cataclysmic implosion began.
Read more: An Excerpt From John Heilemann and Mark Halperin's 'Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime' -- New York Magazine http://nymag.com/news/politics/63045/#ixzz...
WASHINGTON — Two former Blackwater security guards were arrested Thursday on murder charges stemming from a shooting in Afghanistan last May that left two Afghans dead and a third wounded, the Justice Department said.
The arrests came just days after a federal district judge dismissed a separate criminal case against four other former Blackwater security guards involved in a 2007 shooting in Nisour Square in Baghdad that left at least 17 Iraqi civilians dead. In that decision, Judge Ricardo M. Urbina offered scathing criticism of the prosecution’s handling of the case.
Thursday’s arrests seemed to signal that the Justice Department did not plan to abandon its scrutiny of Blackwater despite its defeat in the Nisour Square case.
Let us take a trip back into history. Not ancient history. Recent history. It is the winter of 2007. The presidential primaries are approaching. The talk jocks like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and the rest are over the moon about Fred Thompson. They’re weak at the knees at the thought of Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, they are hurling torrents of abuse at the unreliable deviationists: John McCain and Mike Huckabee.
Yet somehow, despite the fervor of the great microphone giants, the Thompson campaign flops like a fish. Despite the schoolgirl delight from the radio studios, the Romney campaign underperforms.
Meanwhile, Huckabee surges. Limbaugh attacks him, but social conservatives flock.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------This article sums it up nicely.
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Two Democratic senators Friday called on the Pentagon to take back more than $83 million in bonuses paid to military contractor KBR after a Defense Department report criticized its electrical work on U.S. bases overseas.
“I want them to tell us on what basis can they possibly continue to justify having paid $83 million of the taxpayers’ money for shoddy work that resulted in risk to our soldiers,” Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota told reporters.
Dorgan said he and Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania are pressing Defense Department officials to reclaim $83.4 million in bonus payments it awarded KBR for its work in Iraq.
Excerpts from President Obama’s Inaugural speech:
For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies
And from his victory speech:
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.
There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can't solve every problem
This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.
It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice
And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.
It is disheartening to see how many democrats are ready to stand in a corner with their arms folded and pout all day long because they can’t get what they want RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW. I still believe that we elected the right man for the job and that we can and will achieve the goals we long for if we keep writing letters and making phone calls (NOT JUST TO PRESIDENT OBAMA TO SCOLD HIM FOR ABANDONING HIS BASE) but to the various obstructionists who are fighting like hell to keep things the way they are.
Last Thursday, I was asked to appear on the Morning Show with Principal owner/General Manager of KRXA 540 am Hal Ginsberg in Monterey California. He asked me on to discuss a post I wrote on another blog. We had a good visit and I enjoyed being on his show. He’s a great host. I called him this morning (Monday Feb 23rd) to invite him on this Friday’s Equal Time. While setting his appearance up, I asked in passing about Randi Rhodes. He said that He called and talked with her last Friday. She assured him that she IS going to return SOON. I got the impression that she is approaching her return very carefully. I hope she gets with a decent syndicator this time around so that she can get on with broadcasting and not have to worry so much about the business angle.
We are looking forward to having Mr Ginsberg on our show this week and we’ll (among other things) get a Randi update. Stay tuned.
The ten most recent threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums.
FL GOP tries to close state pension system to new workers, yet take THEIR pension at 2X accrual rate
FL GOP denies $51 billion federal Medicaid to poor, yet order cheap health care for themselves
Happy Mother's Day
I love DU2!
Florida Senate President Don Gaetz (R) ran company now accused of Medicaid fraud (Rick Scott redux)
Mediterranean diet cuts risk of heart dis-ease
By No Elephants
Most surprising Oscar story for me:
By No Elephants
The ten most recommended threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums in the last 24 hours.
Use the tools below to keep track of updates to this Journal.