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I turned to Fox News and there was President Obama explaining the outline of the Iranian nuclear agreement.  When he was finished, Gretchen Carlson was there with the "expert" to explain all, presumable how about we're all fu*#ed   The expert was Bill O'Reilly.  My jaw dropped.  How could they possibly bring on THIS guy?!

Despite Carlson's repeated attempts to get O'Reilly to say negative things about the framework, he was...uh, sober and reflective, taking a wait-and-see attitude.  The man was rational.  He actually provided a common-sense approach, wait and see what happens.

I was stunned.  Even though he dissed the president for "a failure of his foreign policy" from day one, I think that was for Carlson as a palliative.

I'm still in shock that 1) Bill O'Reilly would be the first Fox News "expert" to weigh in, and 2) that he was surprisingly cogent and reserved.

Go figure.

Discuss

In what seemed at first like an unscripted "dramatic" moment where Karl Rove objected to Fox News call for Obama's win, and then Megan Kelly marched off down the hallways, cameras following, and interviewed the guys making the call (who defended the call), Megan slipped up prior to reaching her targets and said that when they "rehearsed" it earlier, she lost audio.

Rehearsed that?  Geez, guys, give us a break.

So much for the fake drama.

Discuss

Tonight I watched the first presidential debate, but two days ago I had an idea about what might be a good strategy for Obama, so I wrote the following:
 

In my days as a catcher for a fast-underhand softball league, I did a little something every game that never failed to pay off  At the end of the toss-around prior to the first batter, I would throw down to second base…short in the dirt…a little wide left or right…but never right on the bag down low on the first base side to catch the runner in his slide.

It gave the opposing team hope they could steal on me.

But when that very first base-runner tried to steal second, he was toast.   And if they were foolish enough to think that was an aberration, they discovered the hard way it wasn’t.

We played for the championship my first year, losing on a fluke, but won the next.

What I suggest Obama attempt in the first debate is to do just enough to allow Romney (and the media) to argue that Romney scored some points and could close the gap with a stronger performance in the 2nd debate.  It’s all about hope ;-))

What that does is prevent the ad money from drying up for Mitt’s presidential bid.  If enough people say Romney “won” the debate and is therefore still in contention (besides the reality of true situation), he gets to keep spending money on his losing cause.  However, if he’s seen as having “lost” the first debate, mucho dinero starts to head down-ticket to Senate and House races.

And Obama needs only to buy time to the second debate.

We have to keep conservatives chasing after the hope that Obama won’t toss out Romney at second base.  

And now, one hour after the first presidential debate, after viewing debate analysis on MSNBC, CNN, and even Faux News, I re-read the above.

Barack Obama did not lose anything tonight. Certainly not the support of those who know him and appreciate his stewardship of the Oval Office.   And for those paying attention to details, Obama was very specific on his record, and very specific on Romney’s non-specifics.  

Mitt Romney, however, lost a whole lot, because he got pinned down on ever-mutating positions he will have to “explain” in detail to his radical base, and then defend or “re-explain” to the American people in the next debate.

And Obama has run out more of the clock.  

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Finally, Mitt gets specific on something, only perhaps a bit too specific for it to show up to me like the truth.

In today's speech to the National Guard gathering, Mitt said he stopped and watched, from a distance, the aftermath of the Pentagon attack on 9/11.  He said:

I could smell burning fuel, concrete, and steel.  It was the smell of war.
I've smelled burning fuel, but I've never smelled what would be either unburned concrete and steel or else burning concrete and steel.  

Makes me wonder if, in his bid to be specific and colorful, he just made that shit up.  I certainly hope not, 'cause if he did, his soul is in jeopardy.

Just sayin'.  

Now I'm going out to play some golf and, on the way, think about the folks who didn't make it that day 11 years ago.

Discuss

Short diary here, sans bells and whistles...can't help myself ;-))

I consider myself a moderate Democrat and a moderate progressive.  The policy views of folks from President Obama to Bill Clinton to Rachel Maddow to Al Franken to even Reverand Al Sharpton all seem to fall within my somewhat broad wheelhouse.  For these benchmark personalities, I rarely see a waiver in point of view great enough to put them outside my political box.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, a man who I still consider a moderate Republican at his core, completely changed his political skin, and he did it in the period of a year.  By now speaking out for repealing the mirror image of Romneycare, by now taking very radical conservative stances on many social issues, and using typical Republican dog-whistle politics to fire up the base, he has made himself appear as a far more extremist candidate for president than the man who left the Olympic spotlight.

Why go through such a self-transformation?  One reason, and one reason only – to get accepted by the radical Republican base to secure the nomination of his party.

Mission accomplished.

But in faking extremist views, he frequently gets caught up in remembering the truth of who he is, and when he lies about that, it shows.   It shows enough that it doesn’t set too well with conservative Democrats, Independents, and even moderate Republicans, especially women.  And of course the rest of us are quick to pounce when we see the hypocrisy and inconsistency in his words and actions, past and present.  The result is that he cannot now, following his nomination, desperately pivot back to the middle as many have done before him.  

It’s too late for Mitt Romney to un-fake his extremist views, because what might rightly show up now as a true epiphany to some would be judged true fakery and desperate opportunism by most.

In golf, we make ourselves feel better after hitting into the bunker by saying, “At least I’m close to the rake.”

Goodbye, Mitt.  Give that rake a hug on your way out of your own self-made bunker.

Discuss

The Republican leadership has just announced what to me is typical of their policy of shooting themselves in the foot...and leg...and torso...and head at every possible opportunity.

As reported in Talking Points Memo, Republicans just tipped their hand, and the President should use this to best advantage for arguing to take control of the House AND Senate:

“If Obama wins re-election, the Republican Party will react by moving right, not left,” observes Ramesh Ponnuru, a well-connected conservative writer, in a Bloomberg op-ed Monday. “It will become less likely to compromise with Obama, not more.”
   Talking Points Memo

This is nothing short of a huge stragetic blunder on the part of Republicans, especially on the eve of the Democratic Convention where everyone's been asking, "Are you better off now than four years ago?"    

President Obama now has unassailable evidence that unless voters go Democrat all the way, expect the nation to suffer for the NEXT four years under unrelenting Republican obstruction.

How will the American public react to such an overt policy posture virtually guaranteeing them more of the same crap for the next four years?  

Stay tuned.

Discuss

This year most Democrats plus a majority of Independent voters will come to realize two things:  

1) President Barack Obama is good for this country, and by a long shot better than any Republican alternative.  Despite the dust-up prior to November, he should be reelected...hey, let's give him a landslide.  

2)  All the fuss about the debt will refocus on economic realities articulated by Paul Krugman in his NY Times OpEd on the national debt published on New Year's Day.  

It boils down to one single but very powerful meme for the electorate of 2012 and beyond:  Yes, we have an $X-trillion dollar debt, but because other countries owe the USA treasury $0.89X trillion, we're talking about a relative debt excess of only about 10% of what everyone's saying it is now.  $15 Trillion in absolute numbers?  Sure, but the rest of the world owes us $13.5 trillion.

Hey, doesn't sound so scary when you look at it that way!  I've not heard any Democrats support or further articulate this point, but maybe that's because everyone seems focused on Bain Capital, or else I'm not watching the news every second.

But it won't be long before the rest of the rational thinkers in America start climbing on board.  After all, Republicans never had problems with national debt before, and I'm assuming it's due in large part to the basics of Kurgman's talking points.  They just won't admit it because "Satan's right-hand man" is at the helm.

However, just like the Mittster will have to retrench on including only jobs added, not eliminated, in his Bain Capital quagmire, Republicans will by the force of sheer logic and economic reality also have to rebrand themselves from the "we must get the debt down to zero" crap to "well, okay, we didn't get that one right, either."

So now let's talk 2016 for any reasonable opportunity for a Republican presidency.  Hillary Clinton, I'm pretty much convinced, will be ready to be president, and we'll give it to her.  Twice.   Because under Obama, we eliminated 90% of what we thought was the debt! ;-))

Which brings us to 2024.  While it's an opportunity for Republicans, I'm kinda hoping a good Latino/Latina Democrat emerges, if nothing else but to drive the stake deeper in the hearts of many Republican bigots out there.

So I'm looking forward to 2024 and see if the Republicans have learned anything by then, and admitted it.

I see my hyperlink didn't work...here's the link to Krugman's article:
http://www.nytimes.com/...

Discuss

I’ve been hearing from several cable and Internet news sites that it’s high time for Obama to "own this economy."

Not so fast, folks.  

For reasons of common sense, Barack Obama will not "own the economy" until Republicans have ensured the payback of their share of the national debt, incurred since George W. Bush took office in January 2001.

Let’s start with the debt at about $6 Trillion (give or take a few hundred billion) on the day George Bush was sworn in.  When he left office, it was about $10 Trillion, a $4 Trillion increase.  The Iraq War has cost us $750 Billion, and will end up at or above $1 Trillion.  George Bush and his fellow Republicans own all of that!   Afghanistan is another matter entirely.

Keeping a running tab here, Republican share of "debt ownership" therefore stands at $5 Trillion...for starters.

Of course there's more, including a poll!

Poll

How much of the national debt does President Obama "own"?

57%22 votes
10%4 votes
13%5 votes
18%7 votes

| 38 votes | Vote | Results

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With the stepping down of Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the second ranking Democrat is poised to take his place -- Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii.  He's the 3rd most senior Dem after Byrd and Kennedy, and could hold the reins to the most powerful position in the Senate -- the guy in control of the purse strings.

Only one biographical passage here (see below the fold), the citation for his Medal of Honor during WWII.

You can see his biography at
Wikipedia

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At 6pm EST, Vigo County, Indiana polls closed, with a final 57-41 Obama victory in its computers but not made fully manifest for several hours.  Vigo County has been the bellwether county for predicting the presidential election going back to 1964.  I saw the numbers shortly after 7pm EST, and I knew we were on a roll.

At 8pm EST, Barack Obama should have been the predicted (not projected) winner of the election, based on the existing electoral vote results hidden in the EV computers (186) for states with their polls closed, plus New York and California to come.

The reason is as follows.  By 8pm EST, the following states had all the data locked somewhere in their computers but hadn’t reported them:  IN (1st to close -- including Vigo County -- still not called), VA, NC (still not called), OH, FL, MO (still not called), MI, NJ, plus others, and most importantly Pennsylvania, the must-win for McCain if he had any hope of winning.  

More...

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Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 11:09 AM PST

The G.O.P. Wilderness Project

by MoronMike

While we're all waiting, breathless, for the first exit polls tomorrow...

Republican office holders in general, and conservative political pundits in particular -- hatemongering enablers Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, plus others -- find themselves now staring into the maw of what could come perilously close to a 400-vote Electoral College landslide for Barack Obama.  Think of it -- the end of the conservative stranglehold on American politics.  Ahh, freedom!  For added insult to wingnuts everywhere, any further talk of a permanent Republican majority has been replaced by the vision of a 60-seat, filibuster-proof Senate and overwhelming Democrat majority in the House.  

On this day before the 2008 elections, the political wilderness is looking cold, harsh, and vast for conservatives; how long they stay there is highly dependent on their attitude.

I will note their thirst, and perhaps even calculate how many canteens they need, but I will neither recalibrate their compass nor point out the location of the spring. – Desert Dan Malloy, GOP Wilderness Project Director in a moment of rare lucidity.

More after the break...

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An opinion piece in the Anchorage Daily News suggests that if Governor Sarah Palin wanted to redeem what is left of her tarnished reputation, she could make an early appointment of Mark Begich as U.S. Senator to replace Ted Stevens.

Before the new year, as a joint act of grace, Sen. Stevens should resign his remaining term and Gov. Palin should appoint Begich to serve out the last few days. All Alaska would benefit from the seniority those few days would give Begich over other new senators, and Gov. Palin will be hailed locally for her bipartisanship.

In other words, a senator who has even one day of seniority is still considered senior.  And take note of the recommended scenario even if Stevens is acquitted.

This single act of appointment would, of course, be good news for Alaskans, gaining valuable seniority in a state where Ted Stevens has wielded considerable clout in the U.S. Senate.   And it could also be seen as a sign of bipartisanship, that old "reaching across the aisle" thing that Palin needs if she has higher ambitions.  

But there is another angle on this...below the fold

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