Friday, January 8, 2010

Last Call

Bob Cesca reminds us that El Rushbo is just fine, thank you.  Just fine.
"We are at war with our own president, we are at war with our own government."
But there's no such thing as right wing violence.  And you should always support a President during wartime, just like the Republicans do.

More For The Future Files

Jim Pethokoukis is still convinced the Dems will lose the House and come close to losing the Senate in November, as he trumpets that today's job loss numbers were fatal for the Dems.

With the exception of the third of his nine reasons, which references the 85k job loss, I'm betting he wrote the entire article before today.

Oh wait, he did just that two weeks ago.

Jean Biden Passes At Age 92

The Vice-President has lost his mother Jean today, age 92.  His statement:
My mother, Catherine Eugenia "Jean" Finnegan Biden, passed away peacefully today at our home in Wilmington, Delaware, surrounded by her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren and many loved ones. At 92, she was the center of our family and taught all of her children that family is to be treasured, loyalty is paramount and faith will guide you through the tough times. She believed in us, and because of that, we believed in ourselves. Together with my father, her husband of 61 years who passed away in 2002, we learned the dignity of hard work and that you are defined by your sense of honor. Her strength, which was immeasurable, will live on in all of us.
Condolences to Joe, his son Beau, and all the Biden family.

Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion

Yeah, James Carville's junk. Just kill me now.

Spreading The Misery

Republicans have seen California's budget disaster and have learned the appropriate lesson:  If you make it impossible by law to raise taxes, you too can cause a massive meltdown in state budgets and destroy any semblance of government programs and infrastructure.

And remember...they always do it bigger in Texas.
Last month, Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) took to the House floor to proclaim that California’s Proposition 13 — which requires that a two-thirds majority of the state legislature approve any tax increase — should be a “guiding light” for the nation. And Lungren is evidently not the only one who believes crippling a state’s ability to craft a budget is a good thing.

In a column yesterday, the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore — no stranger to nonsensical economicsheaped praise onto Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), who is calling for Texas to adopt a Prop. 13-type measure:
On Wednesday, Mr. Perry moved to seal the deal with conservatives by calling for a new constitutional set of protections for taxpayers. Call it a Texas-style “taxpayer bill or rights.” Mr. Perry wants the state’s constitution amended to require a two-thirds vote requirement of the legislature for any tax hikes. He also wants state spending capped at the rate of annual population growth plus inflation.
This is certainly a nice-sounding populist measure. But it’s just one more instance of Republicans advocating an approach to budgeting that is not at all serious.

As Time’s Kevin O’Leary wrote, Prop. 13 lies “at the root of California’s misery,” leaving it no choice but to cut its budget to ribbons during the economic downturn. California has had to gut public education, slash social services and health care programs, close prisons, and lay off record numbers of public employees.
The odds of Texas getting a two-thirds Democratic supermajority?  Zilch.  Even Democrats in California can't swing those kinds of numbers.  It's effectively making tax increases impossible, ever.

(More after the jump...)

You're Steele In Trouble

The last piece of the puzzle that would let you know that Michael Steele's days were really numbered at the RNC is the rise of an alternative.  That last alarm bell is ringing right about now.
Katon Dawson, the former South Carolina Republican Party chairman who lost to Steele by just 14 votes in last February's RNC election, will travel to the committee's Winter Meeting in Hawaii on Jan. 25 in the place of Karen Floyd, the current South Carolina GOP chairwoman. Floyd asked Dawson to make the trip in her stead because the RNC confab conflicts with a Republican gubernatorial debate in South Carolina.

Dawson told CNN he is "thrilled" to travel to the Winter Meeting in Honolulu so he can re-connect with "a lot of really good friends and associates" on the committee. Since coming up short in the RNC race, Dawson - who helmed the South Carolina GOP for seven years - has been running his Columbia-based auto parts business. He also recently started Dawson Public Affairs, a political consulting firm.
What follows is the usual "Gee whiz" stuff you expect to see from the unusually trite and grateful Dawson, not the firebrand "no confidence motion" stuff we saw last March.  (And let's not forget, Dawson's a great fit for the racist Teabaggers.)

Now things get interesting -- "Chinese proverb on interesting times" interesting.

Mike, meet your Hoffman.

[UPDATE 4:38 PM]   BooMan has more evidence that the Michael Steele deathwatch is officially on.

What's Good For The Dubya

...doesn't apply to Obama because he's a Democrat, you see.  Steve Benen details the very similar conditions surrounding shoe bomber Richard Reid to Obama's Crotch Bomber, and lo and behold, Obama's getting pounded on by the "liberal press" for having a stronger response than Bush did.
Now let's compare the previous administration's response to a nearly identical terrorist plot -- Richard Reid's failed shoe-bomb attack (the same chemical, the same target, the same intended consequence, in same month of the year, with the same twisted ideology). Consider these two weeks:

Dec. 22: Reid's attempt fails.

Dec. 28: Bush hosts a press conference from his Texas ranch. In his opening statement, the president makes no reference to the terrorist attempt. Reporters ask Bush 15 questions, zero about the Reid incident. The president references the failed attack anyway, saying a total of 89 words on the subject.

Dec. 29: The president reads his weekly radio address. He makes no reference to the attempted terrorism.

Dec. 31: Bush again chats with reporters at a media availability in Crawford. Reporters ask Bush 10
questions, zero about the Reid incident. Again, Bush referenced the matter briefly, saying 53 words on the subject.

Jan. 4: Karen Hughes hosts a briefing for reporters. There were no questions about the Reid incident, and the subject wasn't addressed.

Jan. 5: The president reads another weekly radio address, and makes no reference to the attempted terrorism. Later that day, Bush appears at two public events, one in California, the other in Oregon. The shoe-bombing incident doesn't come up at all at either event.

Do you notice a difference between the two weeks after the Abdulmutallab plot and the two weeks after the Reid plot? Tell me -- which of these two presidents seemed to respond to the attempted attacks more forcefully, more seriously, and with more depth?
So once again, the standard for Obama is much much higher than the one for Bush.  Bush does less and gets a pass, Obama does more and immediately gets attacked for not doing enough.

Of course, maybe it's because Republicans refuse to deal in actual facts.
President Obama yesterday took personal responsibility for failures in the Christmas day terror plot, but Rudy Giuliani still isn’t convinced.

I spoke to the former mayor of New York City this morning on GMA, who assailed the Obama administration’s decisions on national security.

“What he [Obama] should be doing is following the right things that Bush did -- one of the right things he did was treat this as a war on terror. We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We’ve had one under Obama,” Giuliani said. “Number two, he should correct the things that Bush didn’t do right. Sending people to Yemen was wrong, not getting this whole intelligence thing corrected.”

Giuliani seems to have forgotten about the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and shoe bomber Richard Reid.
If even Snuffy here is calling out Rudy on his mendacious bullshit,  you know it's reached the point where even the Village can't prop up the GOP Pretty Hate Machine any more on this.  The evidence that the GOP is making a political football out of this is just too overwhelming.

BooMan Versus Charlie Cook

BooMan (gratz on the kid!) takes on Charlie Cook's assessment that the even money line on 2010 is that the Dems lose 6 seats, and could conceivably lose the Senate, to which BooMan says "yeah, right."
So, to get to the precipice of five seats, we've posited that the Dems will lose every open contest, plus lose the Majority Leader, the vice-president's old seat, and the seat down in Clinton Country. And Cook wants to give us even money on that happening, plus (wait! there's more!) he's willing to toss in another seat. I don't know where you go to get another toss-up, but you could go to Barack Obama's old seat in Illinois. Or, you could look at Michael Bennet in Colorado (but he doesn't really have much of an opponent right now). Maybe Specter/Sestak will lose to Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania or Barbara Boxer will get ousted in California. Maybe. But you want to give even money on those things happening?

It's actually not at all unlikely that the Democrats will win some of the open Senate races. Robin Carnahan is a strong candidate in Missouri, to give just one example. And the Republican infighting in Florida is a sight to see. Who knows, if that contest becomes about voting for the candidate they electorate hates the least, the Democrats could pull off a shocker. I don't think Vitter is a lock, or Burr. I don't see any Democratic senators losing except perhaps Lincoln in Arkansas. To me, the midterms are still a wash, with the most likely scenario being a pick up of no more than two seats by either party. That would be a saner 50-50 bet.
I agree.  Cook seems to think that 61 or 62 for the Dems is just as likely as 49.  That's just not logical. When it comes down to it, the people still hate the Republicans more than the do the Dems right now.  That might change in ten months.  It might change greatly...but if it does, I see it changing in the Democrats' favor.

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

What Abby Goodnough of the NY Times doesn't get about the Mass. Senate special election on Jan 19th is two things:

1)  Scott Brown has no chance. None.

2)  When Scott Brown loses, it'll be "ACORN stole the election!"

In fact, any race in 2010 where a Democrat wins will be "ACORN stole the election!"

[UPDATE 11:55 AM]  Correction:  Brown has no chance unless Martha Coakley is stupid enough to listen to Amy Siskind and come out against the health care reform bill.  As Rumpie commenter Glix puts it:
The PUbagger Movement is to politics what dark matter is to the universe; we know it’s there but we don’t know what it’s good for.
Amen to that.

[UPDATE 2 2:41 PMSteve M. asks:
Oh, Christ -- in the Massachusetts Senate race, are we about to play another round of GOP Failure = Success?

Yes.  Yes we are.  Coakley will win, ACORN stole the election, and this only proves that Republicans are winners.

Dean Broder's Latest Decree

David Broder declares that Obama is simply incapable of chewing gum and walking, and that his domestic agenda is dead thanks to Crotch Bomber, The Scariest Thing Ever.
The larger question is how this affects the long-term mindset and priorities of the new president. Before Sept. 11, Bush's agenda consisted largely of a set of tax cuts and an ambitious education program (No Child Left Behind), both of which were on their way to easy passage in a compliant Congress.

Obama, on the other hand, came into Christmas Day with an overloaded set of self-imposed tasks. He was winding down one inherited war in Iraq and expanding another one in Afghanistan. He was renegotiating our relations with other powers in the world and attempting to enlist their help in confronting outlaw regimes in Iran and North Korea. And simultaneously, at home, he was being pressed to rescue a badly wounded economy while lobbying a reluctant but allied Congress to pass controversial, ambitious changes in health care, climate control and financial regulation.

For Obama to establish a new priority would obviously be much more difficult than it appeared to be for Bush. And this new priority would be a much less comfortable fit for Obama than leading a war on terrorism was for Bush.

Nonetheless, events have their own logic. The Christmas plot appears to have shaken Obama like nothing else that happened in his first year. When he allowed the White House to quote his warning to his Cabinet colleagues that another "screw-up" like that could not be tolerated, he seemed to signal that his benign leadership style had reached its limits.
"Nonetheless, we expect Obama to completely drop this silly domestic agenda and instead to personally call up every American and to explain to them why Bush and Cheney were right, and that the only thing that matters now is saving America from Rough Men Intending To Alight Their Privates...and you will, of course, comply, Mr. Obama."

Such "soft bigotry of low expectations" wankery is Broder's hallmark these days.  How Broder equates Crotch Bomber with 9/11 is wankery requiring all new mathematical modeling to quantify it.  Exciting and new mathematics involving distributed computing arrays and waving dead chickens over the results.


And...84k jobs lost for the month, unemployment rate still 10.0%.  U-6 back up to 17.3%.

Welcome to the new normal.

Coming Apart At The Seams

The civil war in the Republican Party continues as the Teabaggers and GOP insiders are slugging it out for control of the party heading into November's elections.  The disagreement is over Sarah Palin, America's favorite moose-shaped lightning rod.
A poll of GOP insiders suggests that ex-AK Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has little support among the party's professional class -- and maybe that's just how she wants it.

In a survey of 109 party leaders, political professionals and pundits, Palin finished 5th on the list of candidates most likely to win the party's '12 WH nomination.
Mittster came in first, by the way.  Moose Lady?  Fifth behind Tim Pawlenty, John Thune and Haley Barbour.  Tied with Mitch Daniels of Indiana.  As in "Don't call us, we won't call you."

(More after the jump...)


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