We have a winner
And a special thanks to the community at Balloon Juice who came through with a major blitz at the last minute. Balloon Juicers are good people. They rock my socks off.
[More posts daily at The Detroit News.]
Blogging to the highest common denominator
I still believe in Hope - mostly because there's no such place as Fingers Crossed, Arkansas.I really miss her. She left us too soon.
You can't ignore politics, no matter how much you'd like to.
It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.
Conservatives have been mad at the Supreme Court since it decided to desegregate the schools in 1954 and seen fit to blame the federal bench for everything that has happened since then that they don’t like.
There's never been a law yet that didn't have a ridiculous consequence in some unusual situation; there's probably never been a government program that didn't accidentally benefit someone it wasn't intended to. Most people who work in government understand that what you do about it is fix the problem -- you don't just attack the whole government.
What you need is sustained outrage...there's far too much unthinking respect given to authority.
Remembering the thousands of times that the media uncritically regurgitated White House propaganda proffered by "unnamed sources," I'm having a little trouble understanding the substance of your complaint here. This administration is coming into office at a time of extreme turmoil far beyond any administration in recent history. And it's entirely possible the outgoing admin, crashed the communications system, deliberately or inadvertently, making it more difficult to manage incoming calls.To be fair, Johnston also posted his own phone number. Maybe a few hundred people should call him today and ask him to spell his name and give his title and ask him what exactly he's investigating. That ought to do wonders for his ability to get some real work done.
And surely you realize that publishing the phone number for the press office is likely to generate a huge wave of calls from every nutcase with a complaint, who will pretend to be a journalist. A cynical person might think you were trying to make the transition even more difficult. Which I guess would be good for some trivial 'gotcha' piece like this. For the good of a smooth transition, not so much.
And what was this earthshaking story that you're so offended they wouldn't give their undivided attention to? Frankly, "how the Obama press secretary’s office is operating and what its tone will be" is only important to the media. Trust me on this. The average Jake on the street doesn't give a flying leap about it.
"It is shameful," Obama said from the Oval Office. "And part of what we're going to need is for the folks on Wall Street who are asking for help to show some restraint, and show some discipline, and show some sense of responsibility."I suppose industry wide, there were some rank and file workers that really did deserve a bonus, but I'm betting the bulk of the money went to upper level management who really didn't. Either way it makes the stimulus harder to sell. Remembering the last minute rule change by the White House to the conditions of that bailout, a cynical person might think this was a feature of Bush's contribution to the TARP plan.
The American people understand that we’ve got a big hole that we’ve got to dig ourselves out of — but they don’t like the idea that people are digging a bigger hole even as they’re being asked to fill it up.I'd also note that the figures only represent monetary bonuses and don't include stock options so the real numbers are possibly much higher.
In total, from 6 AM on Monday to 4 PM on Wednesday, the networks have hosted Republican lawmakers 51 times and Democratic lawmakers only 24 times. Surprisingly, Fox News came the closest to offering balance, hosting 8 Republicans and 6 Democrats. CNN had only one Democrat compared to 7 Republicans.
The Medicaid provision had become controversial over the past few days not because of its monetary value -- in fact, it would save states an estimated $400 million over 10 years -- but because Republicans had loudly moaned that it amounted to "taxpayer funding" for "the abortion industry."You can try to placate them and take out every piddling thing that will benefit working class people from education funding, to the token few million for the arts and rehabbing the National Mall. You can ante up more of the same failed tax cut strategies that got us into this mess. They're still going to leave you empty handed when it comes to the votes.
Michigan Rep. John Conyers, Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, on Monday issued a subpoena to Mr. Rove, seeking his appearance at a deposition Feb. 2. Mr. Conyers wants the former aide to President George W. Bush to answer questions on the Justice Department's firings of U.S. attorneys in 2006, among other matters.The courts already held that Rove is required to appear, even if he refuses to speak. Of course, he ignored the order as long as Bush was there to protect him. Now we'll get to see how Obama handles this call for transparency.
"Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it," Mr. Conyers said. "After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk."Part of me wishes Conyers had waited a while on this one. It's not like we don't have more pressing problems or even more important inquiries into Bush administration misconduct. But if the end result is that Rove is finally held accountable, for anything, it could be worth it.
The French-made luxury jet seats up to 12 in a plush interior with leather seats, sofas and a customizable entertainment center, according to Dassault's sales literature. It can cruise 5,950 miles before refueling and has a top speed of 559 mph.Granted they put in the order a couple of years ago when they believed the bubble would never burst but now that they're on the government dole, you might think they would have cancelled it.
So let me suggest a truly audacious hope for your administration: How about a five-year time-out on war -- unless, of course, there is a genuine threat to the nation?McGovern suggests we use the war funds for a food program that would deliver the equivalent of free school lunches to every child in Afghanistan and other poverty stricken countries where hunger is as big, or bigger, a threat than terrorism. Maybe extend it to a food program for mothers along the lines of the WIC program here. He uses as an example his own agency that is currently doing such work and co-ordinating under the UN umbrella.
As the debate over President Obama’s economic stimulus plan gets under way, one thing is certain: many of the plan’s opponents aren’t arguing in good faith. Conservatives really, really don’t want to see a second New Deal, and they certainly don’t want to see government activism vindicated. So they are reaching for any stick they can find with which to beat proposals for increased government spending.To paraphrase Krugman, the sum total of their arguments is to throw as much crap at the wall as they can and see if anything sticks.
And I simply don't believe the possible death of a "possible terrorist leader" is worth three children's lives under any circumstances. There's no point to reclaiming the moral high ground by closing prisons and banning torture if you're going to hand it away again with indiscriminate airstrikes - and airstrikes are by their nature indiscriminate despite what the PR brochures on "precision" bombs might say.Exactly. Anonymous airstrikes like this don't eliminate the power structure of the terrorists and for every innocent that dies, a thousand potential terrorists are born. Bad strategy. It's simply not worth it.
The people who watch Fox usually don't watch anything else. They have no idea that the lies and distortions they've been hearing are often repudiated and disproved by all the other news services. They haven't a clue that one of the largest anti-American campaigns, indeed the most organized program of treason against truth, justice and democracy is broadcasting 24 hours a day. Fox is using and will use everything they can find to undermine confidence in our government and anything it does and as you can see is hoping our country will fall and our hopes will fail. To me, it constitutes as great a danger to our future as any foreign enemy or global economic collapse. Traitors, saboteurs, liars and purveyors of irrational hate, Fox News is the enemy and anyone who hopes not just for our survival, but our improvement owes it to the world to use every opportunity to expose them.Really. Read the whole post and then read his takedown of Limbaugh from his unique perspective as Limbaugh's neighbor.
A near unanimous 94% of Americans are concerned about our nation's infrastructure. And this concern cuts across all regions of the country and across urban, suburban and rural communities.A breakdown of the figures shows that a vast majority of Americans want the government to spend money to improve the infrastructure and are even willing to pay more taxes to see it happen. This includes a startling 74% of Republicans. With numbers like that I believe we can expect to see that particular bit of GOP obstructionism to disappear as if it had never existed.
Speaking to his senior staff, Obama said, "However long we are keepers of the public trust, we should never forget that we are here as public servants, and public service is a privilege. It's not about advantaging yourself. It's not about advancing your friends or your corporate clients. It's not about advancing an ideological agenda or the special interests of any organization. Public service is, simply and absolutely, about advancing the interests of Americans."Get that? He thinks of himself as a public servant and he expects the rest of the Beltway to take that notion to heart. I, for one, am finding this kind of language very heartening.
For Immediate Release January 21, 2009Mojo explains the significance.
- - - - - - -
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to establish policies and procedures governing the assertion of executive privilege by incumbent and former Presidents in connection with the release of Presidential records by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) pursuant to the Presidential Records Act of 1978, it is hereby ordered as follows:
... Executive Order 13233 of November 1, 2001, is revoked.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
"[Obama]'s putting former presidents on notice that if you want to continue a claim of executive privilege that [Obama] doesn't think is well-placed, you're going to have to go to court," says Anne Weismann, the chief counsel for Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW).Let the FOIA requests begin...
User-agent: *The new code today under the Obama administration
User-agent: *Supporting material at the link for you geeks. Maybe I'm just overly impressed by the mysteries of coding, but it looks like a huge difference to me.
That's it! BTW, the robots.txt file tells search engines what to include and not include in their indexes.
Labels: President Obama
He said there would be a two-year, rather than a one-year, waiting period for government officials to be able to work on such issues and said they would "not be able to work on matters you lobbied on or White House agencies you lobbied during the last two years."Call me a kool-aid swilling Obamabot who's been co-opted by hope but I have a good feeling about all of this. In any event, it's a welcome change to read the news without raising my blood pressure to unhealthy levels. I intend to enjoy it while it lasts.
"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this administration," Obama said in a statement to reporters.
Labels: President Obama
Labels: Bush Administration
Lederman, another former Clinton Office of Legal Counsel lawyer, is perhaps the most prominent of several high-profile opponents of the Bush Administration's executive power claims joining Obama, a mark that he intends not just to change but to aggressively reverse Bush's moves on subjects like torture. With hires like Barron, Johnen, and Lederman, Obama is not just going back to Democratic lawyers: These are anti-Bush lawyers.President Obama is also making his intentions on the Middle East turmoil clear with the naming of former senator George Mitchell as his Middle East envoy. Mitchell was a key player in Northern Ireland back in the day and the appointment seems to signal that Obama is going to get serious about trying to broker peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.
For example, just six weeks ago, the Bush administration issued revised endangered species regulations to reduce the input of federal scientists and to block the law from being used to fight global warming. [...]Obama vows to reverse these sort of changes but the process will be lengthier. Still, considering what he got done in the first 24 hours, for the moment I have great hope that our new president will be able to accomplish much more than his critics, or even his supporters, believe is possible.
Another Bush administration regulation that went in effect this month overturned a 25-year-old federal rule that severely restricts loaded guns in national parks.
Labels: President Obama
Labels: President Obama
Labels: Bush Administration
Labels: President Obama
For decades our politics have been driven by a call to increase spending on defense so much so that it truly has been the classic third rail of politics. What Rahm said that surprised me was when he was talking to Charlie Rose about being smarter about how we spend money, his very first example was "you can't have a $200 billion cost overrun by the Pentagon when other people are being asked to tighten their belt."Add that to the announcement that Obama is meeting with Pentagon brass on his first day in office and I'm feeling some hope for the kind of change I can believe in.
Old-fashioned voodoo economics — the belief in tax-cut magic — has been banished from civilized discourse. The supply-side cult has shrunk to the point that it contains only cranks, charlatans, and Republicans.And he offers a straightforward suggestion on bailing out investment bankers.
Why go through these contortions? The answer seems to be that Washington remains deathly afraid of the N-word — nationalization. The truth is that Gothamgroup and its sister institutions are already wards of the state, utterly dependent on taxpayer support; but nobody wants to recognize that fact and implement the obvious solution: an explicit, though temporary, government takeover. Hence the popularity of the new voodoo, which claims, as I said, that elaborate financial rituals can reanimate dead banks.Neither does he mince words when assessing the ideologues among economists. I love it when he talks like that.
The massive project features more than a thousand mini-figures, including President-elect Barack Obama and his family, vice president-elect Joe Biden, his wife Jill, George and Laura Bush, Dick and Lynn Cheney, and George Bush Sr and Barbara Bush.The figures are amazing easy to identify considering they're made of plastic blocks. I thought the Babs Bush was especially good. [h/t, oddly enough, to jammie guy]
Labels: President Obama
Said Charles Krauthammer, the longtime conservative columnist who was at Will’s dinner, on Fox News: “You see that since his election he has kind of reached out to people that may not be ideological allies, to Rick Warren, the pastor who will be at his inaugural, to John McCain, whom he has treated with a lot of dignity and respect, and to a bunch of right wing columnists last night, in part, because I think he is a guy who is intellectually curious and wants to exchange ideas, but also in part he wants to co-opt the vast right wing conspiracy.”Gracious is apparently not in Krauthammer's vocabulary. Notice he uses co-opt instead of co-operate. It's difficult not to notice if Obama succeeds in bringing comity to the process, guys like Chuck will end up looking like cranky old geezers shouting at the kids to get off his lawn if they stick with their same tired memes. They can't exactly accuse Obama of playing partisan politics when he seeks to include everyone.
Dear President-Elect Obama,Final word to the Moody Blues -- Go Now.
I know you hate confrontation, and that is commendable. However, there needs to be a complete and total wingnut purge at Justice, and these two need to be thrown out on their asses. No questions.
John Cole (joined by Libby Spencer)
"Social Security, we can solve," he said, waving his left hand. "The big problem is Medicare, which is unsustainable. . . . We can't solve Medicare in isolation from the broader problems of the health-care system."That I can live with, assuming it's a signal he understands part of the solution to the rising costs of Medicare, which granted are alarming high, is reforming the health care delivery system with an eye towards universal coverage. At least that's what I hope he means.
And to protect and defend the Constitution, a president must do more than obey the Constitution himself; he must hold those who violate the Constitution accountable. So Mr. Obama should reconsider his apparent decision to let the previous administration get away with crime. Consequences aside, that’s not a decision he has the right to make.If we don't hold the Bush administration accountable for its crimes, it's a sure bet that the next time the Republicans take power, it will happen again -- see Iran-Contra.
Labels: Just for fun
Labels: President Obama