I hate being gone from Daily Kos because then I feel like I have no idea what is actually going on in the world! Took me awhile to get up to speed.
So, the media is "buzzing" as it normally does about McCain's comments yesterday that he will not support the stimulus without changes. Why is this news to anyone? Could I be any less shocked? I think I remember that John McCain ran his campaign on the platform of continuing Bush's policies on the economy. And he also lost pretty decidedly. Of course he is going to push for more tax cuts, because that is the only answer that Republicans have for this economic crisis. And unfortunately for Republicans, Americans pretty overwhelmingly chose the economic philosophy of "that" other guy.
Also, Russ Feingold wants to end the practice of Senate appointments... just think how much drama we would have been spared!
I think everyone could predict that Obama would act to close Guantanamo. He said it repeatedly during the campaign and now he is making steps towards keeping that promise. I am more encouraged by the fact that he is including the foreign secret prisons in the executive orders because the fate of those facilities was not as clear. Bravo to you, President Obama! Now, about that interrogation loophole...
Also, what a night of drama in New York! Want to know my theory?
And, I'm pleased to present the first-ever Morning Reaction "you suck" award. Actually, I'm not sure, I might have done it in the past but I can't remember.
I still can't really believe that Barack Obama is currently our President, but hopefully it will sink in soon! There is lots of work to be done, but it is nice to just savor the moment...
The South Korean papers are filled with congratulatory messages for the new President and some anxiousness about when he might start focusing on North Korea.
And did you know there was such a thing as bullet-resistant clothing? Random, I know, but Obama wore some yesterday.
Two new polls out this morning show that Americans are overwhelmingly optimistic about Obama's presidency, which is great, but also a little surprising considering the host of problems Bush is leaving behind on his desk.
Also, reaction to Obama's train ride and editorial boards across the country react to Holder's statements on torture and waterboarding.
So apparently it is okay torture, but when it comes to inquiries and investigations - that would ruin too many innocent lives. Hayden thinks public inquiries into the CIA's torture programs would ruin too many good careers. He also called the question of the legality of waterboarding an "uninteresting question" to the CIA. Lots of... interesting... quotes in his interview yesterday.
Also, the media goes from "OMG, the TARP vote is a HUUUUUGE crisis for Obama" to "Big win on TARP for Obama." It's funny.
Also, South Korea refuses bail for the blogger who was arrested for "spreading false economic information."
My father-in-law lost his house to foreclosure in 2008. He was just one of 2.3 million Americans who entered into foreclosure proceedings last year. How many will we see this year? Obama's advisors are hinting that at least some of the remaining TARP funding will go towards the housing crisis.
Also, the California Nurses Association releases a report detailing the economic benefits of a single-payer healthcare system.
And, a conservative group is launching efforts this week to take down Harry Reid.
Sometimes I think Morning Reaction is too doom and gloom. That is probably because, as I'm reading the news, I usually choose to highlight issues that outrage me in some form or another... so you get lots of my outrage, and maybe a few funny items thrown in here and there. So today, in honor of the fact that we only have one week left with Bush as our President, I am only going to highlight good things.
Sometimes it's nice to focus on the good stuff every once while... especially these days, you know?
Obama and Bush seem to be working together to convince Congress to approve the second half of the TARP money before Bush leaves office. Supposedly, the Bush administration won't allocate any of the funding but Obama wants it ready for soon after his inauguration.
Also, all the retirements in the Republican ranks are causing a little heartburn for the GOP. And I always love that!
And, more reaction and analysis about Obama's relationship with Congressional Democrats.
Sorry for my absence the past few days, but sometimes life intrudes into blogging and news-reading time.
Democrats in Congress are working on a full-court media press to show that they will not be rubber stamps for President Obama (9 days, people!). They are throwing around words like "constitutional duty" and "checks on the power of the executive." Which is great. But, it would have been really nice if they discovered this urge, oh, about eight years ago.
Also, reaction to the new stimulus details and the continuing Burris drama.
And, I think I may be singlehandedly ruining the environment with all my Google searching...
The Pentagon has decided that they will not award Purple Hearts for military members diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. I don't know if changing the criteria for the Purple Heart is the best answer, but they really missed an opportunity to decrease the stigma from PTSD.
Also, the military is seeking to create virtual mommies and daddies for children whose parents are deployed. Because come on, kids will cope better with deployments if a computer says "goodnight" to them.
And, continuing reaction to the Reid and Burris spectacle and a Dem announces for the 2010 Alaska governor's race.
I agree with John Nichols that the opening day of Congress was not a good one for Democrats. Rather than focusing on what we need to accomplish we have unnecessary drama that should have been averted before now. Reid does have some rather unusual circumstances on his plate, but please: no more drama. It's embarrassing.
Also, reaction to Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Jeb Bush's decision not to run for Senate in 2010. Apparently, "the timing" wasn't right. I think what he really means is that his last name is political poison right now.
And, one Republican would like to delay Congressional business so he and other fellow Republicans can go to a football game. Seriously. Of course, Pelosi said no.
With the reaction to the choice of Leon Panetta coming fast and furious, a story in the New York Times about Muhammad Saad Iqbal illustrates why it is so important that we have a CIA Director who is firmly and unequivocally against torture. Iqbal was held by the government for six years until he was finally released without charges. He claims he was tortured in Egypt, Afghanistan and Guantanamo, including by the CIA.
Also, even newspapers that endorsed Norm Coleman are telling him to take his own advice and give it up - for the sake of your constituents, Norm. Remember them?
And, what is the big mystery today surrounding Washington Governor Christine Gregoire?