October 30, 2009
Jacked Up On The Positive SauceDubya sure got Stephen Colbert motivated:
October 29, 2009
Grow Up Girlie ManAfter Ahnold the Guhvahnator send his sophomoric message on the margin to the California Assembly, the San Francisco Chronicle sends him one.
Honoring Our War Dead
A scene we haven't witnessed for the last eight years: the Commander In Chief paying his respects as the bodies of American soldiers killed in war return home:
It was the president’s first trip to the Delaware air base, the main point of entry for the nation’s war dead to return home. The trip was a symbolic one for Mr. Obama — intended to convey the gravity of his decision as he moves closer to announcing whether he will send more troops to Afghanistan.Obama's shrill critics will predictably scream "photo op!", and to them I say it maybe a good idea to pause the histrionics and note that this was all conducted at dawn, with very little advanced notice to the media which was allowed to capture only the last 15 minutes of an event that lasted more than two hours.
Besides, we need to be reminded of the consequences of a war that has dragged on for so long. As Obama comes closer to a decision on Afghanistan, it's important for him and for us to be reminded often that there is a real human toll behind troop surges and military occupation.
I'm glad he's thinking carefully and deliberately about his next step, in stark contrast to Bush/Cheney whose decisions were a foregone conclusion (i.e. more war). As George Will said, "[a] bit of dithering might have been in order before we went into Iraq in pursuit of non-existent weapons of mass destruction... We have much more to fear in this town from hasty than from slow government action."
October 28, 2009
"It's journalistic shorthand to note a politician's party identification and state after his or her name. For example: Jane Doe (D-NY). And so Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman is identified as (I-CT). But the “I” does not stand for "Independent." It stands for "Insurance Industry."-- Paul Begala regarding Joe Lieberman, who threatens to filibuster the health care reform bill even though he proposed government-run health care as late as 2004.
Technorati Tags: democrats, health care reform, joe lieberman, paul begala, public option
October 23, 2009
Public Option: Still On The TableReports of the public option's demise may be exaggerated:
Democratic sources tell me that Reid – after a series of meetings with Democratic moderates – has concluded he can pass a bill with a public option.Even though an aide later denied that Reid concluded he has the votes, he confirms that talks are definitely in the direction of including a public option in the final bill.
Meanwhile, ABC's report adds that Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) was apopleptic about this because he courted Sen. Olympia Snowe's (R-ME) for months, to the extent of including her lame ideas to weaken the bill. He even tried to rally the Blue Dogs against it.
As if on cue, Sen. Snowe threatens to withdraw her support and possibly filibuster any bill that contains an immediate public option. She also added that Congress shouldn't rush this, that "Christmas might be too soon" and "we should give it the time it deserves". Funny, considering she never demanded more time when voting yes for the Wall Street bailout, the Patriot Act and the Iraq War.
We all know that the Democrats don't need Snowe's vote to pass this bill. It's just "bipartisan" cover so the Blue Dogs like Nelson, Lincoln and Landrieu can vote for the bill as well without upsetting the conservatives in their districts too much. The reality is, no matter how much they strip the bill bare, conservatives won't like it, and conservatives won't like them.
Hopefully, this sudden surge of courage on Sen. Reid's (D-NV) part means he realizes this, and that pressure from the grassroots convinced him it's more important to please the public -- which is overwhelmingly for the public option, despite what the nutty, screaming fringe in town hall meetings claim -- than Sen. Snowe and AHIP.
Technorati Tags: baucus, blue dogs, democrats, health care reform, public option, reid, republicans, snowe, news
October 22, 2009
Competition: As American As Apple PieWho knew the public option is so agile and hot?
Hmm, I wonder whom the GOP would pick to portray the death panel. Ben Stein? Fred Thompson?
Technorati Tags: health care, health care reform, insurance companies, public option, moveon.org, video, youtube
ScavengerA slimy oil tycoon says Iraq owes us:
T. Boone Pickens told Congress on Wednesday that U.S. energy companies are "entitled" to some of Iraq's crude because of the large number of American troops that lost their lives fighting in the country and the U.S. taxpayer money spent in Iraq.Entitled? U.S. energy companies are entitled?
So Pickens thinks that our young men and women spilled blood in an unjustified war that devastated a country and killed hundreds of thousands more of its people so vultures like him can pick on the remains.
To say that's disgusting isn't disgusting enough.
Technorati Tags: congress, iraq, iraqi oil, natural gas caucus, news, oil, t. boone pickens
Iran Ready to Deal?Could it be?
The head of the world's atomic energy watchdog said Iran and world powers have until Friday to approve a proposed deal to transfer most of Iran's nuclear material abroad to be reformatted for medical purposes.You mean negotiation and diplomacy can triumph over militarism and threats? Well, waddaya know.
Michael Adler at the Daily Beast has more on what went down.
As Dylan Matthews at Tapped pointed out, it's not as comprehensive a deal as the one hammered with North Korea and details like who will cover the shipment expenses can be tricky.
However, I agree with Laura Rozen:
If implemented, such a plan would conceivably put several months back on the clock to try to resolve international concerns about Iran's nuclear program. The deal seemingly offers Iran the appearance of de facto international recognition of its enrichment program, if not acceptance. It also gives Iran and world powers a chance to see if the other comes through on their side of the deal.Technorati Tags: elbaradei, diplomacy, iaea, iran, obama, uranium
October 21, 2009
Full CircleRemember that Bush shoe thrower?
The Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at President George W. Bush leaned back in his chair and soaked in the round of applause.I don't approve of what he did but I sure understand. If some uninvited foreign leader thrashed your country and turned it into one big catastrofrak you'd be hella mad, too.
Al-Zeidi clarified that it was Iraqis, not Americans, who tortured him in detention. He also declined gifts from wealthy Arabs until he's set up a foundation to help his people.
Meanwhile, what's the "throwee" been up to?
Former President George W. Bush has got a whole new gang. Goodbye, Condi, Cheney and Rumsfeld. Hello, Terry Bradshaw, Zig Ziglar and Rudy Giuliani.So the former leader of the free world now shills for motivational mega shows. And they're charging $19?! They should pay for wasting people's time. I mean, exactly how is Bush going to motivate people? By talking about how he successfully saddled the country with two wars and a collapsing economy?
Add to that how distasteful it is that the first thing this man did after leaving office was to lend his name and the stature of his position not to any humanitarian or philanthropic cause but to making some easy cash. Wingnuts didn't waste much time criticizing Obama for using his clout in bidding for the Olympics, so what do they have to say about this?
Rachel Maddow is on the case:
Stay the class act that you are, Dubya.
Technorati Tags: al-zeidi, bush, bush shoe thrower, iraq, news
Toolbag of the DayDubya's former Press Secretary Dana Perino, who again proves IOKIYAR.
Technorati Tags: dana perino, fox news, GOP, republicans
Today's GOP: We've Got a Rep For ThatTime to clear the cobwebs around here.
Technorati Tags: GOP, republican party, republicans, video, youtube
January 31, 2009
"The Bush Diplomatic Hall of Glory"What "diplomatic glory"?
The smell of fresh paint wafting last week through the hall heading to the State Department cafeteria signaled the demise of the Bush Diplomatic Hall of Glory -- that series of lovely photographs that touted the 43rd president's world leadership and diplomatic victories.Word.
But wait a minute, does the photo exhibit include this leadership victory in China?
How about this diplomatic victory in Iraq?
It wasn't a complete "hall of glory" without these moments of victory, no?
Photos: The Sydney Morning Herald, Washington Times
Republican Gregg for Commerce?The White House remains mum, but if Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) accepts the nomination for Commerce Secretary, New Hampshire Governor John Lynch could give the Democrats a 60 seat-strong majority in the Senate by appointing a fellow Democrat to replace Gregg.
Gregg will be under pressure from the GOP to say no, although given his age, 16 years in the Senate and a possible tough fight for re-election in 2010, he might say yes. The possibility becomes more likely if we consider that Gregg praised Obama publicly and that among Republicans he was second only to Olympia Snowe in voting with the Obama Administration.
Politico reports the GOP may demand that Governor Lynch appoint another Republican to replace Gregg before they agree to let him go, but that's not their call now, is it? If Gregg thinks his re-election prospects in 2010 are dim or if he's just more interested in serving in Obama's cabinet rather than retaining his Senate seat, then the Democrats don't have to concede a thing to get both him and their filibuster-proof majority.
(Dare to Know)
-- Epistularum Liber Primus, Horace
Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.
Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.
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