Monday, November 23, 2009

Last Call


FOX fails at math.

Wrong Analogy

Ezra Klein describes the current health care situation in the Senate as hostage negotiations.
The hostage-takers might not prefer to kill the kid, but there's definitely some upside to killing the kid, as it strengthens them in future negotiations. Conversely, the people on the other side of the phone don't want the kid to die, but also don't want a situation in which hostage-taking is encouraged. Generally, you try and resolve that by killing or capturing the hostage-takers, but that's not really an option here, with the closest analogue being a kamikaze primary challenge against Blanche Lincoln, which would come too late to affect health-care reform anyway.
This is actually incorrect.

Ezra still assumes that both sides are negotiating.  To have negotiations, both sides must operate on good faith.  This isn't any more of a negotiation that it was with the Republicans.  What this is here is a plan to demand so much from the bill that the progressives are the ones that kill the bill and get blamed for it.  It's patently obvious if you take into account 3 things:
  1. The Senate corporate masters do not want any bill to pass at all.
  2. The GOP and the ConservaDems do not want to take the fall for killing the bill.
  3. Obama has to pass a bill or else he will be a one-term President.
Ergo, the easiest way to get rid of the Dems and Obama is to have the progressive Dems revolt and kill health care reform.  This was the plan all along.  The Republicans and ConservaDems are there to make the bill so horrible that passing it will be worse than not passing it.  Howard Dean gets it.  People still think the point was to kill the bill.  It wasn't.  The point was to kill the bill in such a way that nobody ever tries health care reform againEver.

The point is to bring down Obama in such a way that kills the Dems for decades and finishes off the Donks for good.

Making The Grade

The RNC has come up with a new ten-point purity plan for 2010 and forward.  The hysterical part:  None of the last three Republican Presidents would have survived the plan's "three strikes and you're out" policy...not even Reagan.
(1) Smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama's "stimulus" bill
(2) Market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;
(3) Market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;
(4) Workers' right to secret ballot by opposing card check
(5) Legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;
(6) Victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;
(7) Containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat
(8) Retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;
(9) Protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and
(10) The right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership
As Steve Benen adds:
It occurs to me, looking over the list, that George W. Bush would have been deemed ineligible for support from the Republican National Committee. He did, after all, increase the size of government, run enormous deficits, endorsed cap and trade, allowed North Korea and Iran to become more serious security threats, and rejected the right's line on immigration.
For that matter, I'm not sure if Ronald Reagan would have gotten RNC support, either. Reagan, you'll recall, voted for several tax increases, began the modern era of massive federal debt, ran huge deficits, and approved an immigration measure the far-right still resents.*

And it's not just the past, either -- Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) of Maine would easily fail this test, and be made ineligible for support from her own party.

I can't wait to see how the purity test turns out for the RNC. They're a clever bunch, aren't they?

* Update: Reader S.T. also reminds that Reagan would have failed the RNC Purity Test after withdrawing Marines from Lebanon in 1983 in the wake of the barracks bombing. Dick Cheney bashed the decision years later.
And George H.W. Bush would have failed on #1 (Read my lips, anyone?), #2 (Bush Sr. had his own managed health care plan to compete with Clinton) and #6 (He left Iraq unfinished, remember?).  He also would have failed on #10, as he signed an executive order on the way out that banned some military-style rifles.

Reagan, Bush Sr and Bush Jr never would have made it under this plan.  The Hoffman Effect rolls on.

Dimon Dogs

If this NY Post article is correct, I'd actually rather see Timmy keep his damn job.
As support for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wanes on Capitol Hill amid frustration with the Obama administration's handling of the economy, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is emerging as a potential replacement.

Sources tell The Post that a number of policy makers have begun mentioning Dimon as a successor to Geithner, whose standing in Washington has suffered because of the country's high unemployment rate, the weakness of the dollar, the slow pace of the recovery and the government's mounting deficit.
First of all, if you think Timmy hasn't been sucking up to Wall Street enough, then yes, Dimon's your man.  Second of all, there's that strong suggestion yet again that Obama's problem is deficit reduction, not job creation.  Both make me think ad bad as Tim Geithner is, Jaime Dimon would actually be an order of magnitude worse as SecTreas.

The Wall Street fatcats were talking about replacing Timmy with Jaime Dimon back in March.  I said then that it was a horrid idea, It may actually be worse now.

Can you imagine how putting a TARP bank CEO in charge of Treasury is going to look?  Are these "sources" insane or just stupid?  It would end Obama overnight.  He's got to be aware of this.

Right?  I mean even with Dimon aside, trying to reduce the deficit right now would pretty much wreck the economy.  Doing that and hiring Jaime Dimon as SecTreasury would assure a Dem meltdown in 2010.  I never thought I'd say this, but this guy would actually be worse than Henry Paulson.

What the hell are people thinking up there?


BooMan has a damn good point:  Senate ConservaDems are threatening to scuttle health care legislation.  If the legislation fails, the ConservaDems will be the first ones in the party to be voted out in 2010.  So why are these idiots so keen on getting themselves kicked out of office?

Does anyone here think Blanche Lincoln's Republican opponent is going to be nicer to her should she kill Obamacare?  Do you think more Democrats are going to vote for her?  Do you think more Republicans will?

Marked For Destruction

SC Gov. Mark Sanford is in considerable trouble at this point.  The SC State Ethics C omission has come back with 37 charges against the Republican governor.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford faces 37 ethics charges he broke state laws limiting official use of airplanes and involving campaign money.
The details were released Monday by the State Ethics Commission. They came five days after the panel charged the governor without offering any specifics.

Sanford's lawyers have claimed the charges involve minor and technical aspects of the law.

Story continues below ↓

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The charges followed a probe into whether Sanford used state aircraft for personal and political trips, used pricey airline seats despite low-cost travel requirements and reimbursed himself with campaign cash.
It also means the resolution to impeach Sanford continues.
A S.C. House panel will hold a hearing Tuesday at 1 p.m. on the resolution to impeach Gov. Mark Sanford, which was introduced last week.
The Judiciary subcommittee will meet in Room 101 of the Blatt Building. The meeting is open to the public.
The resolution seeks to remove the two-term Republican governor, who cannot run for re-election again, for disappearing from the state for five days in June. The married governor subsequently said he had been in Argentina visiting his lover.

The subcommittee hopes to conclude its work by Christmas. Its recommendation then would go to the full House Judiciary Committee. If that committee votes to impeach Sanford, the resolution would go to the full House. If the full House passes the resolution, it would go to the S.C. Senate, which would try Sanford. If convicted, he would be removed from office.
Between the ethics investigations and the impeachment resolution, there's going to be tremendous pressure on Sanford to resign over the next several weeks.  Will he go, or will he hold out?  The longer he stays in the news, the more damage he does to the GOP.

Dennis Moore No More

Missouri Blue Dog Dennis Moore is not running for re-election in 2010.

A Republican source tells us that the seat could be a strong pickup opportunity for them. One potential GOP candidate would be former state Sen. Nick Jordan, the 2008 nominee, who lost that year by a 56%-40% margin. Jordan is conservative, but is reputed to be in touch with the state party's moderate wing and could provide a unifying force in an open-seat race.

A Democratic source was more optimistic, citing the district's base in the Kansas City suburbs and parts of the liberal college town of Lawrence. "We think this is a strong seat for us," the source said. "Dennis Moore's going to be a hard act to follow for any candidate, but we know what it takes to win in this seat, and demographics are certainly in our favor."
After 12 years, Moore is packing it in. There are opportunities on both sides here.

StupidiNews Focus

This morning's big story is the Daily Telegraph's report on Tony Blair misleading the British public and Parliament about the Iraq War.
The reports disclose that:
Tony Blair, the former prime minister, misled MPs and the public throughout 2002 when he claimed that Britain’s objective was “disarmament, not regime change” and that there had been no planning for military action. In fact, British military planning for a full invasion and regime change began in February 2002.

The need to conceal this from Parliament and all but “very small numbers” of officials “constrained” the planning process. The result was a “rushed”operation “lacking in coherence and resources” which caused “significant risk” to troops and “critical failure” in the post-war period.

Operations were so under-resourced that some troops went into action with only five bullets each. Others had to deploy to war on civilian airlines, taking their equipment as hand luggage. Some troops had weapons confiscated by airport security.

Commanders reported that the Army’s main radio system “tended to drop out at around noon each day because of the heat”. One described the supply chain as “absolutely appalling”, saying: “I know for a fact that there was one container full of skis in the desert.”

The Foreign Office unit to plan for postwar Iraq was set up only in late February, 2003, three weeks before the war started.

The plans “contained no detail once Baghdad had fallen”, causing a “notable loss of momentum” which was exploited by insurgents. Field commanders raged at Whitehall’s “appalling” and “horrifying” lack of support for reconstruction, with one top officer saying that the Government “missed a golden opportunity” to win Iraqi support. Another commander said: “It was not unlike 1750s colonialism where the military had to do everything ourselves.”

The documents emerge two days before public hearings begin in the Iraq Inquiry, the tribunal appointed under Sir John Chilcot, a former Whitehall civil servant, to “identify lessons that can be learnt from the Iraq conflict”.
As much as this sounds like a comedy, it is not.  The plan was always to occupy Iraq for its oil and its strategic value in the Middle East.  Blair sold it just as much as Bush did, and sold it through lies.


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