Friday, October 29, 2010

Jed Lewinson's four questions every undecided voter should ask Republicans

From Jed's post on the Daily Kos:

1. What was the average monthly private sector job growth in 2008, the final year of the Bush presidency, and what has it been so far in 2010?

2. What was the Federal deficit for the last fiscal year of the Bush presidency, and what was it for the first full fiscal year of the Obama presidency?

3. What was the stock market at on the last day of the Bush presidency? What is it at today?

4. Which party's candidate for speaker will campaign this weekend with a Nazi reenactor who dressed up in a SS uniform?

The answers (which if you are a reader of this blogs won't surprise you) are right here:

Did the President's Law Enforcement Professionals just stop a Terrorist attack in Chicago? (VIDEO)

Apparently, yes.  Yes he has:

President Obama said Friday that packages mailed from Yemen and intercepted in the last 24 hours contained explosive material and represented a "credible terrorist threat."

The packages, mailed via UPS and FedEx, were addressed to two places of Jewish worship in Chicago, the president said.

Obama, speaking four days before the midterm elections, did not specify any new security measures that would be taken or say that the nation's terrorist alert level had been raised. But he described the threat as serious, and pointed once again to Yemen as the source, saying his top terrorism adviser, John Brennan, had been in touch with that country's president.

The two packages were intercepted at different locations, one on a UPS plane at the East Midlands airport near Nottingham, England, and the other at a FedEx facility in Dubai. Officials provided no detail on the kind of explosives found.

U.S. counterterrorism officials believe the foiled attack may have been orchestrated by the al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, which has been behind a series of recent attempts to strike the United States.

"They're on the short list," one official said of the group, which is known as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, said U.S. authorities were scrutinizing other packages coming from Yemen, but only two have so far been identified as dangerous.

Those devices were "intended to do harm," Brennan said.

Hmmm. It turns out that Republicans aren't the only ones who can keep you safe from the Terrorists.

George Bush was wrong...or lying...


Why John Boehner is in for a world of hurt.

William Galston, of the New Republic, has picked up on the fact that John-of-Orange has already boxed himself into a corner:

These polls pose a serious problem for the Republican leadership. The new conservative majority will contain up to 80 members who are in sync with the Tea Parties or who owe their seats to Tea Party support, making many of them among 21 percent who think that cutting spending is the single most important thing they can do in Congress. (Some of them have already said that they won’t even vote to increase the debt limit next year.) GOP leaders are going to have to balance this reality on the Hill with the opposing reality of a public that wants more than just budget-slashing—including compromise with the other side of the aisle.

Representative Mike Pence, chairman of the House Republican Conference and a leader of the congressional conservatives, recently opined that, “I don’t think the American people are electing a new generation to Washington, D.C. in the hopes that Congress and the White House can get along better.” Either this week’s surveys are all wrong, or Pence is. And the fact that he believes what he does means that we’re in for a bumpy ride until the American people blow the whistle on the new majority, just as they did when Newt Gingrich & Co. went too far in their confrontation with Bill Clinton.

It’s sometimes said that the president has the worst job in Washington. Maybe so. But, by next spring, John Boehner may conclude that being speaker is a close second.

Of course, the Republicans can stick to their guns, refuse to compromise, and guarantee...I'll say it again...guarantee Barack Obama's re-election in 2012.

And by the way, none of this excuses the American public's woeful listening skills during this election.  The Republicans have been telling them over and over and over again that they won't compromise, yet the American public is voting them in with the expectation that they will.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is sheer idiocy.
When someone tells you who they are, you listen. The American people haven't, and are about to get the Government they deserve.

The polling data is in the same article, which can be found here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why I hate Huffington Post, an ongoing series.

There's a story in Huffington Post, a fair one. It's titled:

Obama: More Aggressive Anti-Foreclosure Efforts Would Help People Who Don't Deserve It.

That's a story that probably has some fair criticism.

But what's on the front page?  What's the headline you have to click on to get to that story?


This is why I can't stand the Huffington Post.

Is Kendrick Meek dropping out of the Florida Senate Race?

This is a little weird. According to TPM:

Ben Smith is reporting that on two separate occasions in recent days Bill Clinton had almost convinced Democrat Kendrick Meek to drop out of the Florida Senate race and endorse independent Charlie Crist. The Crist camp says that's true. The Meek camp is vehemently denying the report that on both occasions Meek initially agreed to the Clinton-brokered deal then backed out.

Late Update: The Kendrick Meek campaign just announced that Meek will hold a press conference at 9:30 p.m. ET outside his Miami Gardens office. Stay tuned ...

It doesn't necessarily mean that Meek is dropping out. He could be announcing his determination to stay in the race.

Still, I wish my Brothah' would do us all a favor, and get on out. He's not going to close and win this thing, and Marco Rubio in the Senate doesn't help anybody...except Corporations.

The Rally to Restore Sanity All-Star Lineup has been revealed.

Courtesy the Washington Post.  For the record, Don Novello, the "actor" who's giving the benediction, is also known as Father Guido Sarducci for those of you alive in the seventies.

PRE-PRE SHOW -- 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Video montages/music will play on the Jumbotrons around the venue to entertain the crowd as they gather.

PRESHOW -- 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

12:00 - 12:40 -- THE ROOTS will play for the crowd.

12:40 - 12:57 -- Comedian (TBD) will warm-up the audience.

12:57 - 1:00 -- Video countdown & intros

SHOW -- 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

1:00 - 1:05 SINGING OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM -- Musical guest (TBD)

1:05 - 1:20 JON STEWART welcomes the crowd

1:20 - 1:30 STEPHEN COLBERT enters

1:30 - 1:35 BENEDICTION by actor Don Novello

1:35 - 1:40 POEM read by actor Sam Waterson [note: Park Service spelling, not WaPo TeamTV's]

1:40 - 1:50 JEFF TWEEDY & MAVIS STAPLES perform

1:50 - 2:15 JON & STEPHEN perform

2:15 - 2:20 SHERYL CROW performs

2:20 - 2:30 SPEAKERS Guests make brief statements, both LIVE and TAPE (TBD)

2:30 - 2:40 MUSICAL GUEST (TBD)

2:40 - 2:40 SANITY & FEAR awards - PRETAPED footage.

And most importantly if you're like me, and cannot get back to your hometown for a Rally, the guide to watching it on the TeeVee.

Comedy Central -- airing rally in its entirety
C-Span -- airing rally in its entirety
Fox News Channel -- coverage as news dictates
CNN -- may have reports during the rally, and will cover during its 2-6 p.m. "Ballot Bowl."
MSNBC -- will carry portions, but not wall-to-wall, with correspondent doing live reports

The President on compromise

This is from the Blogger discussion the President held yesterday. If you weren't careful, and stopped a particular point, the President's answer would have been quite depressing. But read further...

Q: Mr. President, you’ve said that you want to work with Republicans after the election, but there’s probably a pretty good chance that they’re not going to advance with you. Is there sort of a breaking point you have of where you try to work with them and they just refuse to budge, which they’ve indicated so far? Is there a breaking point for you just like you’re going to have to go off on your own and find a way around them?

THE PRESIDENT: Look, the -- I’m a pretty stubborn guy when it comes to, on the one hand, trying to get cooperation. I don’t give up just because I didn’t get cooperation on this issue; I’ll try the next issue. If the Republicans don’t agree with me on fiscal policy, maybe they’ll agree with me on infrastructure. If they don’t agree with me on infrastructure, I’ll try to see if they agree with me on education.

So I’m just going to keep on trying to see where they want to move the country forward.

In that sense, there’s not a breaking point for me. There are some core principles that I think are important for not just me to stick with but for the country to stick with. So if the Republicans say we need to cut our investments in education, at a time when we know that our success as a nation is largely going to depend on how well trained our workforce is, I’m going to say no. And there are going to be areas where, after working very hard, we just can’t find compromise and I’m going to be standing my ground, then essentially we debate it before the American people.

But I don’t go into the next two years assuming that there’s just going to be gridlock. We’re going to keep on working to make sure that we can get as much done as possible because folks are hurting out there. What they’re looking for is help on jobs, help on keeping their homes, help on sending their kids to college. And if I can find ways for us to work with Republicans to advance those issues, then that’s going to be my priority.

Mr. President, I'm going into the next two years assuming that there’s going to be gridlock. Sorry.

It also led to this much, much longer exchange:

Q: I want to go back to the idea of working with Republicans. And given the comments from McConnell and -- well, all of them -- I think that what a lot of people find frustrating is that our side compromises and continues to compromise just to get that one Republican on. We’re going to get one of the Maine twins -- whatever. And it doesn’t happen, and then by the time health care or whatever goes through we’ve compromised; we still don’t get any Republicans.

I don’t anticipate this changing in the next two years. I think it’s going to get worse. How are you going to get Democrats to understand that compromise means the other side has to give something sometimes, one day?

THE PRESIDENT: Look, obviously I share your frustrations. I’ve got to deal with this every day.

Q: Well, I don’t expect you to talk like a blogger. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: But I guess I’d make two points. The first is, I’m President and not king. And so I’ve got to get a majority in the House and I’ve got to get 60 votes in the Senate to move any legislative initiative forward.

Now, during the course -- the 21 months of my presidency so far, I think we had 60 votes in the Senate for seven months, six? I mean, it was after Franken finally got seated and Arlen had flipped, but before Scott Brown won in Massachusetts. So that’s a fairly narrow window. So we’re right at the number, and that presumes that there is uniformity within the Democratic caucus in the Senate -- which, Barbara, you’ve been around a while. You know that not every Democrat in the Democratic caucus agrees with me or agrees with each other in terms of complicated issues like health care.

So it is important for me, then, to work every angle I can to get as much done as I can. If we had a parliamentary system, then this critique would make sense to me because you do as much as you can to negotiate with the other side, but at a certain point you’ve got your platform and you move it forward and your party votes for it.

But that’s not the system of government we have. We’ve got a different system. I will say that the damage that the filibuster I think has done to the workings of our democracy are at this point pretty profound. The rate at which it’s used just to delay and obstruct is unprecedented. But that’s the reality right now.

So I guess my answer is that there has not been, I think, any issue that we’ve worked in which I have been willing to sign on to a compromise that I didn’t feel was a strong improvement over the status quo and was not the best that we could do, given the political alignments that we’ve got.

And, yes, it leaves some folks dissatisfied. I understand that. But let’s take the health care bill. As frustrated and angry and dispirited as the base might have been -- we didn’t have a public option, and it just dragged on for such a long time, and you’re having conversations with Grassley, even though it turns out Grassley has no interest in actually getting something done -- all the complaints which I was obviously very familiar with, the fact of the matter is, is that we got a piece of legislation through that we’ve been waiting a hundred years to get through; that in the aggregate sets up a system in which 30 million people are going to get health insurance; in which we’ve got an exchange that forces insurance companies to compete with a pool of millions and will be policed so that they can’t jack up prices; that pool has purchasing power that they’ve never had before; that you’ve got a patient’s bill of rights that was the hallmark, sort of the high-water mark of what progressives thought we could do in the health care field -- we got that whole thing basically just as part of the bill.

You’ve got investments in community health centers and preventive medicine and research that’s going to help improve our health care delivery systems as a whole. And we can build on that.

And I know this analogy has been used before, but when Social Security was passed, it was for widows and orphans. And a whole bunch of folks were not included in it. But that building block, the foundation stone, ended up creating one of the most important safety nets that we have. And I think the same thing is going to happen with health care.

I think when you look at financial regulatory reform, there’s been a whole bunch of debates about where that could have gone and how it could have gone. And there are folks in the progressive community who complain we should have broken up the banks, or the derivatives law should have been structured this way rather than that way.

But the truth of the matter is, is that this is a incredibly powerful tool. You’ve got a Consumer Finance Protection Agency that that can save consumers billions of dollars -- is already saving folks billions of dollars just by having it passed. Already you’re starting to see negotiations in terms of how mortgage folks operate, in terms of how credit card companies operate.

You’ve got capital requirements that are being imposed on banks and other financial institutions that are much higher than they were before, which creates a cushion against the kind of too-big-to-fail that we’ve seen in the past.

You’ve got derivatives markets that are now being forced into open clearinghouses and markets so people know exactly what’s going on. You’ve got Volcker rule that some people didn’t think it was strong enough, but basically prohibits some of the proprietary trading that helped to create this market in securitized subprime loans that helped to trigger this disaster.

So in each of these cases, this glass isn’t full, but it’s got a lot of water in it. And so I guess my point is that on all these debates, my constant calculation has been, are we better off going ahead and getting this done? Or are we -- is it better for us to have a fight that may end up being symbolically satisfying but means that we lose because we just don’t have enough votes.

And I’ll give you one last example because I know this is a famous example in the blogosphere, is the stimulus. I mean, if folks think that we could have gotten Ben Nelson, Arlen Specter and Susan Collins to vote for additional stimulus beyond the $700 billion that we got, then I would just suggest you weren’t in the meetings.

This notion that somehow I could have gone and made the case around the country for a far bigger stimulus because of the magnitude of the crisis, well, we understood the magnitude of the crisis. We didn’t actually, I think, do what Franklin Delano Roosevelt did, which was basically wait for six months until the thing had gotten so bad that it became an easier sell politically because we thought that was irresponsible. We had to act quickly.

And getting 60 votes for what was an unprecedented stimulus was really hard. And we didn’t have the luxury of saying -- first of all, we didn’t have 60 votes at the time. We had 58. And we didn’t have the luxury to say to the Senate, our way or the highway on this one.

So we did what we could in an emergency situation, anticipating that we were going to have to do more and hoping that we could continue to do more as time went on.

The problem I have as a Liberal with the Liberal Blogosphere...

I do blame some of the lefty-bloggers for some of the atmosphere of depression around this Mid-Term. I blame Huffington Post, and more to the point, I blame some of the people that got to sit down with the President yesterday for the unenthusiastic state we're in. Why?

Cheerleading is a bit much to expect of anyone in this economic environment, but whenever I hear people say "I don't expect people to follow [The President] or anyone else blindly" I think that's a bull@#$% metric.

What I do expect from people in positions of responsibility is to answer the following six questions: Who, What, Where, When, How and Why.

What I think has happened is that the Media as a whole has abdicated its responsibility on the how and the why, because answering how and why takes more than the skills of a stenographer. Answering how and why takes actual work.

I'm sorry, but I include the Lefty Bloggers in this accusation.

I hold them responsible for depressing the enthusiasm gap by spending every other breath and word telling us how bad a job the President was doing. These were statements of opinion and not a discussion of fact.

Now, don't get me wrong. The "Professional Left" are universally a lot better on facts than their Rightward counterparts, but they are just as bad, if not worse on rhetoric.

I'm sorry, but rhetoric didn't get me health care. Understanding the breadth of the problem, and seeking legislative solutions (as boring as that sounds, did).

Now, I like reading the occasional Kos piece, I respect the hell out of Paul Krugman's numbers and economic knowledge. At the same, every day spent without Firedoglake is a happier one, and I try to click on Huffington Post as little as possible. Your opinions of these folks opinions may vary.

Still, as talented and popular as they all are, they seem to think that their "opinions" can somehow fill in for answers to how or why. Newsflash, they don't. It's just their opinions.

Any discussion of facts is going to address the pros and the cons of our respective side, including some of our most cherished beliefs. Opinion, by its very nature, leaves such challenges aside, assuming that the author of said opinion is already correct on the issue being discussed.

What I'm saying is sometimes Opinion pieces don't help you form an opinion.

Telling me Obama didn't go far enough, ironically...doesn't go far enough. Yelling and screaming over the Public Option didn't tell me how much money it was going to save, and it sure as hell didn't tell me that the Netherlands and Switzerland run their similar Health Care Systems without one. Both facts are needed to form an opinion.

We need a Public Option...okay, why?

The President isn't doing enough on Don't Ask, Don't Tell...okay, can we find out what could be preventing him from keeping that promise?

The President isn't fighting hard enough...are we really going to go through that bull@#$ again??

Nuance seemed to die in November of 2008, the need for it, didn't.

What I'm saying is that the Media in 2010 failed to inform me. I had to do more work on my own to find out what I needed to know. I blame the Lefty-Blogosphere for some of that too.

The President's discussion with Liberal Bloggers

I mentioned the chat President Obama had with Liberal Bloggers yesterday (same day as his Daily Show appearance), but I hadn't found the audio or video of that event.

And I still haven't.

What I did find was a transcript of the discussion, posted on Eschaton.  You can get there by clicking here.

"Fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy, and needs feeding": Keith's Special Comment on the Tea Party (VIDEO)

Dear old Dad (a frequent reader and critic of this blog) complained about the length of this Special Comment, saying that he already knew most of the information in it.

Problem is, that a lot of people don't, and it always helps to have this stuff in one space. This was a good Special Comment. I'm not always on board with Keith a 100% of the time, though we are both Liberals, but this one was pretty good.

Long yes (almost 20 minutes), but good.

Legal issues probably prevented a Broadcaster from NBC/Universal from using a short clip from MGM's 1954 classic "Inherit The Wind", but YouTube places no such least until the MGM Lawyers get ahold of it.

The really good part of the speech, the "you have the power to do more" the user unfortunately cut off.

But because I'm a screenwriter I gotta put the text up.  Respect for the author...

Henry Drummond: I say that you cannot administer a wicked law impartially. You can only destroy, you can only punish. And I warn you, that a wicked law, like cholera, destroys every one it touches. Its upholders as well as its defiers.

Judge: Colonel Drummond...

Henry Drummond: Can't you understand? That if you take a law like evolution and you make it a crime to teach it in the public schools, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools? And tomorrow you may make it a crime to read about it. And soon you may ban books and newspapers. And then you may turn Catholic against Protestant, and Protestant against Protestant, and try to foist your own religion upon the mind of man. If you can do one, you can do the other. Because fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy, and needs feeding. And soon, your Honor, with banners flying and with drums beating we'll be marching backward, BACKWARD, through the glorious ages of that Sixteenth Century when bigots burned the man who dared bring enlightenment and intelligence to the human mind!

Judge: I hope counsel does not mean to imply that this court is bigoted.

Henry Drummond: Well, your honor has the right to hope.

Judge: I have the right to do more than that.

Henry Drummond: You have the power to do more than that.

Voter Fraud = Voter Suppression (VIDEO)

If you're black, or just have a sense of history, none of this comes as a surprise to you.

By the way, in case you didn't know, let me make it plain: Dick Armey is a racist.

The Colbert Report interview with Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA) (VIDEO)

Funny enough, the President mentioned him in Part 2 of his interview with Jon.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Indecision 2010 - Revenge of the Fallen - Tom Perriello
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive

The Complete Daily Show Interview with President Obama (VIDEO)

On the whole, it was a good interview.

Here's what I mean. In the end, an interview is not about the zingers, one-liners and whatever quality sound-bites it generates. An interview has a mission, and it's a simple one. Did the Interviewer ask the questions that his or her audience want them to ask? I'd say that in this case, the answer is an unqualified yes. Did the Interviewee answer those questions well? Again, I'd say yes again, even more emphatically.  But remember, I'm biased (have you seen this blog?  I mean, come on!)

To me, Jon has expressed frustration with the President over the last couple of months, and his questions reflected that.  Good.   I'm glad he asked some hard questions because I think the President does well when he's cornered. (I still want to see or hear some audio with his discussion with the Left-wing Blogosphere). The President was able to take on a couple of Liberal-memes head on. My favorite part was his defense of Health Care Reform. He also hit the filibuster hard, as being unconstitutional.

Anyway, the complete episode is right here in all its multiple part glory. (Still no idea what the Show is doing tonight -- Thursday)

The original show open (cut due to length):

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Let's Keep the President Waiting
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Part 1:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 1
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Part 2: (containing the Health Care Defense, and Tom Perriello name-drop)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 2
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Part 3:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 3
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

And finally, your moment of Zen:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Moment of Zen - Obama Will Not Be at the Rally
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

He's going to be in Chicago that day.

Here's to the President doing this again...I'd like once a year, but at least by 2012.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How many times in the last century has a party captured the White House and then lost it only four years later?

Answer: exactly once, when Jimmy Carter's already-bruised presidency ran head-on into the Iranian hostage crisis and a brutal recession.

I did not know that.

This tidbit, and a couple of other memes that deserve to die from this new Kevin Drum article in Mother Jones.

President Obama's Speech at the Los Angeles Rally (VIDEO)

What can I say? I missed it.

David Plouffe Campaign Update - October 27, 2010 (VIDEO)

Who said the fight for Health Care Reform was over??

Steve Benen:

Many proponents of health care reform, including me, hoped the Affordable Care Act would enjoy broader public support as the intense dispute faded. The ACA would become law; Americans would learn more about it; new popular benefits would kick in; and Americans would invariably begin to appreciate it more.

That obviously hasn't happened, at least not yet. The numbers appeared to improve soon after President Obama signed the landmark bill into law, but in the ensuing months, support stalled and opposition inched higher.

One possible reason: those who invested heavily to kill health care reform kept investing to ensure Americans' hostility for the breakthrough accomplishment.

Greg Sargent has more.  The New York Times article is here.

Bobblehead Meg (VIDEO)

Okay, this is from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, and it's damn funny...and catchy, too! Lyrics are available here!

Tim Profitt of the Rand Paul campaign wants an apology from this woman...


Tim Profitt -- the former Rand Paul volunteer who stomped on the head of a MoveOn activist -- told told local CBS station WKYT that he wants an apology from the woman he stomped and that she started the whole thing.

"I don't think it's that big of a deal," Profitt said. "I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you."

Come December, when the Bipartisan Deficit Commission issues its report, watch the Republicans bring...well...nothing to a knife fight.

The Bipartisan Deficit Commission issues its report in December. Its going to have some painful ideas in it, like tax breaks and benefit reductions. (Of course, that's just rampant speculation on my part. I have no idea what's going to be in the final report, and neither does anyone at the Huffington Post.)

But what is known is that come December, there will be a report.

And...come December, the President will have the framework of a plan to combat the deficit. It will be Bipartisan (hell its in the name of the commission, isn't it?), and it will have specifics.

That's not to say the specifics will be popular even with Democrats. But we'll have a plan.

What will the Republicans have?

Remember, these yahoos have been running all year about the need to fight the deficit.  Only...without saying what they'd do to fight the deficit.

They say they're all about the Deficit, but when you ask them what they'd cut....

Oh yeah, a "plan" to cut Federal Spending by 40 percent, and layoff 7 million Federal workers in the middle of a recession. (Funny, that number accounts for the 3-4 Million jobs saved by the Stimulus and the 3 Million jobs saved by the auto bailout. What are Conservatives trying to make up for lost job-slashing time?)

Another positive ad featuring the President?? (VIDEO)

Again, like with Lincoln Chaffee, this isn't a total surprise. This is from Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias of Illinois.

Hmm. I'm not sure, but I think the President and First Lady use to work in Illinois...somewhere.

Think Progress: More Thuggery at Republican events...this time in Virginia (VIDEO)

Think Progress:

On Monday, Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) held a public campaign event at a local coffee shop in Louisa, VA, described as a “friendly event where voters could meet” the Congressman and Republican leader. Jon Taylor, a member of the Louisa Democratic Committee, and his wife RSVP’d to the event and showed up with a sign for Cantor’s opponent, Rick Waugh. The coffee shop owners asked the couple to leave, and when they protested, Jon Taylor was dragged out and put on the ground by three law enforcement officers.

America, you're going to get the Congress you deserve.

"The system is corrupt and broken...exactly how our Founders intended it to be." (VIDEO)

The Daily Show's interview with Senator Ted Kaufman (D-DE).

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Ted Kaufman
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Senator Kaufman makes a couple of really good points. One, that the system, as bad as we think it is, was designed to be this way by the founders. Now, granted Mitch McConnell has taken unique advantage of it in ways the founders never intended (and in ways the GOP is going to live to regret), but even with historic GOP obstructionism, this Congress, hell this Senate passed more stuff than any since FDR's time.

Oh, and the President will be in studio, tomorrow. Holla!

The Daily Show on my hometown of Washington, D.C. (VIDEO)

For the record, the in-jokes about my Hometown (especially K Street S.E.) are 100% funny and unfortunately 100% accurate.

Except for the Metro. I'm sorry, that's excellent. Suck on it, New York City!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2010 - Extreme Makeover DC Edition
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

All you need to know about Meg Whitman in 68 seconds (VIDEO)

The Brown Campaign just sent this video around. Like they said, it's telling.

Newsweek: Did Senate hopeful Mike Lee just leak the Republicans' master plan?

First things first, Mike Lee is going to be the junior Senator from Utah.

Second, he wants to cut Federal Spending 40 Percent.

Yeah.  You heard me.

Of course, the fact that this'll cut 7 Million the middle of the recession...apparently hasn't occurred to him. (Actually, it probably has, he just doesn't care).

Third, I want to see what happens when the Junior Senator from Utah tries to take away Federal Spending from the Senior-Senior Senator from Arizona, because that'll be fun.

Vital rule of Washington Number 1: There is a Lobby out there for every Federal dollar spent, and they're willing to fight and make someone (namely you) bleed for it.  What do you think Lobbyists do all day?

Remember folks at home...the stuff that you use Federal dollars for is wrong, borderline criminal. What they spend them on is vital, necessary.

It's not about what they're willing to sacrifice, its what they want you to sacrifice.

So a (former) Republican shows President Obama in a campaign ad...endorsing him?!?

Of course, it's former Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chaffee.

Watch and be amazed.

Continuning Coverage: Lauren Valle (the woman attacked in Kentucky) speaks

From Greg Sargent:

The MoveOn worker who was attacked by Rand Paul supporters has now spoken out about the assault, claiming she was "injured," "in severe shock," and that she has no doubt that the attack was "premeditated."

She also vowed "further legal action."

Lauren Valle, who was dragged to the ground and had her head stepped on during a scuffle outside last night's Kentucky Senate debate, detailed the attack in a conference call with several reporters. She described it as being at least as bad as the footage suggests.

"My memory of it is sort of that of a traumatized person," she said. "I distinctly remember a blow to my head."

Some have suggested Valle tried to bait Paul into getting photographed with her, but she said she didn't get close enough for that to happen. She said she had been yelling out to "Dr. Paul" in the crowd, in order to get him to respond to her effort to give him an award from the fake company "Republicorps." But she added she never got a chance to get close to him because she was "targeted."

Valle said the attackers had identified her well in advance of the assault.

I can't bring myself to post the video, but you can see it through Greg's story.

Huffington Post: Obama's Gay Appointees Smash Record

Really?? So under the radar, I hadn't noticed. (Nor apparently, has the Gay Community):

Less than halfway through his first term, President Barack Obama has appointed more openly gay officials than any other president in history.

Gay activists say the estimate of more than 150 appointments so far – from agency heads and commission members to policy officials and senior staffers – surpasses the previous high of about 140 reached during two full terms under President Bill Clinton.

"From everything we hear from inside the administration, they wanted this to be part of their efforts at diversity," said Denis Dison, spokesman for the Presidential Appointments Project of the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute.

The pace of appointments has helped to ease broader disappointment among gay rights groups that Obama has not acted more quickly on other fronts, such as ending the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bans gays from serving openly in the military.

In a sign of how times have changed, few of the appointees – about two dozen required Senate confirmation – have stirred much controversy. It's a far cry from the 1993 furor surrounding Clinton's nomination of then-San Francisco Supervisor Roberta Achtenberg as assistant secretary for Housing and Urban Development.

TPM: Sorry, this is why I don't like or trust Michael Bloomberg...

Too full of himself, if you ask me.  Now, this:

Two years ago, Mayor Michael Bloomberg had the city's term limits law extended so he could run for a third term, but now he says he supports a ballot measure to set it back to two terms.

After Bloomberg abandoned the idea of running for U.S. president in 2008, he persuaded the City Council to extend the term limits law, arguing the city needed him to stay on to get through the national financial crisis. He promised he'd convene a charter commission to put the question before voters again.

Voters get that chance Nov. 2. The ballot question asks whether to amend the city's charter to two terms; if voters check "yes," the law will be changed back to a limit of two consecutive four-year terms, and if they reject it, the three-term law will stand.

The billionaire mayor, who founded the financial information company Bloomberg LP, was asked Monday which way he would vote.

"I'm voting to restore it," he said.

Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent, didn't explain his reasons, but spokesman Stu Loeser said the mayor always supported three terms just for himself and officeholders at the time because the economic recession was an extraordinary circumstance.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Breaking: Things get ugly and violent in Kentucky...

From the Huffington Post.  A Move-On volunteer was attacked by a Rand Paul supporter:

An ugly scene took place outside the Kentucky Senatorial debate Monday night as what appeared to be a supporter of Republican candidate Rand Paul was captured by a local news affiliate literally stomping the head of a member of the progressive-activist organization

The MoveOn volunteer, Lauren Valle, went to the hospital after explaining what had happened to local press. As of 11:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time she remained there, according to another MoveOn official. According to a local Fox station, Valle had attempted to approach Paul before the debate took place, dressed in a blonde wig and with a "RepublicanCorp" sign mocking him as a stooge of special interests.

Attendees around Valle are heard screaming, "get the cops" as cameras captured her being dragged to the pavement by her red sweater. Once on the ground a man wearing white sneakers pushed the sole of his shoe down on her head.

Think Progress: And now, a list of the Foreign Oil Companies who have given to the chamber...

Like a dog with a bone (or Madison with...well, anything), the Center for American Progress is not letting this story go. Now they have a list of the Oil Companies who have given to the Chamber in recent years (weeks?):

Avantha Group, India (at least $7,500 in annual member dues): power plants

The Bahrain Petroleum Company, Kingdom of Bahrain ($5,000): state-owned oil campany

Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company, Kingdom of Bahrain ($5,000): state-owned oil company

Essar Group, Mumbai, India ($7,500): oil & gas, coal power

GMR, Bangalore, India ($15,000): coal power, mining

Hinduja Group, London, UK ($15,000): the Gulf Oil group

Jindal Power, New Delhi, India ($15,000): coal power

Lahmeyer International, Frankfurt, Germany ($7,500): power plant engineering

Punj Lloyd, Gurgaon, India ($15,000): offshore pipelines

Reliance Industries, Mumbai, India ($15,000): oil and gas, petrochemicals

SNC Lavalin, Montreal, Canada ($7,500): mining, power plant, and oil & gas engineering

Tata Group, Mumbai, India ($15,000): power plants, oil & gas

Walchandnagar Industries, Mumbai, India ($7,500): power plant, oil & gas engineering

Welspun, Mumbai, India ($7,500): oil & gas exploration

There's more (of course) at Think Progress.

Memo to Rhode Island Dem: "Maybe it's because you're losing..."

One of the things I am wary about when it comes to the President is that he is a Senator, a member of the world's most exclusive club. And for Senators (former or current), nothing matters more than the club.

Lincoln Chafee is a club remember, a former member of the Republican Party (he's now an independent), he endorsed Barack Obama for President early on in 2007...oh, and he's running for Governor.

So naturally, the President endorsed Chafee instead of his Democratic rival. Club members watch each other's backs. More important, they always return favors.

Needless to say, the Democratic Candidate did not take it well.

Courtesy TPM reporter Jillian Rayfield:

Frank Caprio, a Democrat running for governor in Rhode Island, doesn't really care that President Obama hasn't endorsed him. "He can take his endorsement and really shove it," Caprio told WPRO Radio.

"We had one of the worst floods in the history of the United States a few months back and Pres. Obama didn't even do a fly over of Rhode Island," the National Journal reports Caprio said. "He ignored us and now he's coming into Rhode Island and treating us like an ATM machine."

The interview audio can be found here.

Caprio's Independent opponent, Lincoln Chafee, endorsed Obama in the run-up to the Democratic primary in Rhode Island in 2008, which Obama lost.

The TPM Poll Average shows Independent Chafee leading Caprio 35.6%-28.7%, with Republican John Robitaille at 25.4%, and Moderate Party candidate Kenneth Block at 5.9%.

The Daily Show Schedule for the D.C. Shows (October 25-28)

Here's the rundown of guests.  I got it on my DVR originally, but now its available at the Daily Show's website.

Monday: Austan Goolsbee (officially now the coolest Economist ever, if that's not a complete contradiction in termsThird Daily Show appearance, and he's done Colbert)

Tuesday: Senator Ted Kaufman (D-DE)

Wednesday: Some guy named Barack Obama (hear he's a pretty powerful dude in D.C. circles).

Thursday...ummm, ahhh, nothing yet.

My bet is, depending on how the interview shoot goes on Wednesday, we're looking at a two-parter for the President.  I know Jon's got a lot of questions.

I need both of these guys to be on their A-games.  I need Jon to hit the President with some hard questions.  He can even be a touch angry.  Then I need the President to hit 'em out of the park.

I'm afraid Colbert didn't get the "big" gets for the Nation on his nights: Nicholas Negroponte might be good, with his one laptop per child intiative, but Gary Willis? Apolo OhnoMaria Kalman?  Doesn't seem to match the D.C. mood.  Then again, he has been known to stick interviews in the first segment, so we can see some action there.