From Obama's debate intro Thursday night
Senator Clinton mentioned Barbara Jordan, somebody who ... said that what the American people want is very simple: They want an America that is as good as its promise. I’m running for president because I want to help America be as good as its promise.
And I marvel at this, because I'd been thinking a lot lately about Obama's promises, and a former Hooters waitress from Panama City Beach, Florida.
You may remember Jodee Berry, who was led to believe that the winner of her employer's regional sales contest would be awarded a brand new Toyota! After hustling her hot-pants'd buns off and winning the contest, a breathless Ms. Berry was blindfolded, escorted to the parking lot, and presented with her brand new toy Yoda!
The disappointed waitress brought suit for breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation, eventually settling for an undisclosed sum, but one clearly sufficient to cover the price of any Toyota on the lot.
Hounds and FOXes come running in from right field when Obama's bandwagon cranks up its 120dB dog whistle Wurlitzer. His policy point man is an ivory tower free marketeer (and DLC's Senior Economist). His Social Security wingman is an avid privatizer.
The third horse in BO's domestic policy troika is health care maven David Cutler -- a technology optimist, of American Exceptionalist bent.
Do other countries do health care better? Irrelevant -- we're different. Expensive? We ought to spend a lot more. Patients Bill of Rights? Dead issue. Single payer? Dissed and dismissed in a single paragraph of his book. Insure the uninsured? Sure, but don't let that distract us from the real issues. Negotiate drug prices? Careful, you'll kill the Golden Goose!
Our review of Cutler's eccentric frame for health care reform not only decrypts Obama's call to the Right – it unearths the audacious belief system that animates our New Politickers' across-the-board hope of finessing every clash of interest, and "turning the page" on every hard choice.
NC Chair Howard Dean has made his views known on the role of superdelegates:
Their role is to exercise their best judgment in the interests of the nation and of the Democratic Party. I am confident that they will carry out that duty responsibly and in accordance with the highest values of our democracy and our Party.
Ordinarily, a party-wide missive from Dean would send multiple diaries clambering up the rec list ... but today, with this message?
Nothing on the front page. Nothing on the Rec List. Nothing in the diaries, period.
Is DailyKos deaf to Howard Dean? Or only selectively deaf to this message?
Our first installment began the task of decoding Barack Obama's curious appeal to our right-of-center friends and relatives. (His point man on domestic policy is also the DLC's Senior Economist -- a deregulatin', free tradin', globalizin', sharp-shootin' son-of-a-centrist-gun from Waco Texas, Milton Academy, Yale's Skull and Bones society and the Chicago school.)
The second member of Obama's policy advisor triad is Harvard's Jeffrey Liebman. Specialty: "pensions and poverty", i.e., "entitlements", i.e., "Social Security".
Liebman's reputation: centrist alarmist and moderate privatizer.
He has supported partial privatization of the government-run retirement system, an idea that's anathema to many Democrats and bears a similarity to a proposal for personal investment accounts that Bush promoted, then dropped in 2005.
"Liebman has been to open to private accounts and most people in town would say he's a moderate supporter of them,'' said Michael Tanner, a Social Security expert at the Cato Institute
Something about Obama attracts New D's, GOP's, Broderites, Indies, Perotistas, Reagan D's and Libertarians alike. Is it his big table? His promise to turn the page? His post-racial posture? Is it his cologne?
Or is it Austan Goolsbee?
Who??? Goolsbee. Economic wunderkind, forensics champ, MIT PhD, Yale Bonesman out of Waco via Milton Academy, Obama's chief / top / senior economic spokesman and senior policy advisor.
Oh, and DLC senior economist.
Stopping by Australia on return from a surprise visit to Iraq, the President bragged:
We're kicking ass.
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA-07), delivering a reality-based assessment in a House floor speech, quoted the P.O.T.U.S.:
... he told the prime minister, quote, "We're kicking ass" ...
McDermott was promptly and properly admonished:
The Chair would remind Members to refrain from using vulgarity.
But a more pointed critique came from Rush Limbaugh. From his customary cruising altitude, the rightwing intelligence community's all-seeing observational blimp:
- Promoted McDermott from the House to the Senate;
- Asserted foreknowledge of the Petraeus Report;
- Determined that "Baghdad Jim" (who counseled Vietnam War PSTD cases as a Navy shrink) "couldn't care less" about the troops left in harm's way.
In a peace activist strategy conference callwith Michael Lerner, Medea Benjamin, Tim Carpenter and others, Rep. Lynn Woolsey called for primary challenges to incumbent Democrats even at the possible expense of losing the majority.
Interestingly enough, Woolsey herself was among the top ten primaried House Democratic incumbents in 2006, defeating term-limited CA legislator Joe Nation.
Last cycle's Top Ten detailed below the fold. Reminisce, analyze, speculate.
Can the netroots support a Democrat who definitely plans to appoint Republicans -- that's RepublicanS, plural -- to the Cabinet?
If there's a pre-selected list of such GOP appointees, do we need to know who's on it?
What does it tell us about the would-be standardbearer's philosophy of government? What more should we ask?
Seemingly unnoticed in a monster news week, Barrington (NH) resident Daniel LaBossiere found one of our leading candidates on the stump, and posed what he may have thought was a candidate-stumper: What do you value about conservative philosophy?
LaBossiere was surprised -- and favorably impressed -- by an answer that, as the candidate acknowledged:
ran the risk of alienating voters by saying the cabinet list "I've already made" includes members of the other party.
LaBossiere had praise for "the courage enough to answer it, which is difficult enough ... I've never heard any other politician make that statement."
What do you think?
Democrats rode a wave of wins in 2006, after coming up short in 2004. What did we do right?
In a recent exit poll analysis, Chris Bowers tries to show that we energized the base and boosted Democratic turnout. Markos highlights this result in a DLC-bashing front page post. Unfortunately, Chris didn't finish the maths, or select the most comparable data.
Perfecting his model, we learn that 78% of the swing came from Independents and Republicans. ("Base" gains finished third.) This tends to weigh against "base election" schemes, in favor of persuasion, conversion and oppo attrition strategies, with a primary focus on "center court".
Details [and bonus updates by Ideology and Region!] below the fold.
That from Michael Carvin -- conservative uber-laywer, scourge of affirmative action, and Majority Leader John Boehner's advocate before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals (sitting en banc
) in Boehner v McDermott
From the initial AP report on today's rehearing:
Judge David S. Tatel said that under Carvin's interpretation ... newspapers that published the contents of the tape could be held liable.
"The argument to extend it to the New York Times is quite powerful," Tatel said.
"I'm not representing the New York Times," Carvin responded. "I'm perfectly happy to throw them overboard."
For background apropos the holiday, see McDermott's Fall of the House of Ethics.
To pitch in of the side of truth, justice and the American way, pitch your post-election mad-money shekels to Friends of Jim. (Jim holds a safe seat; campaign funds defray case costs; surplus goes to aggressive, progressive campaigns.)
27 months ago
Chris Bowers issued his famous 80 district challenge
to the DCCC. At this point he hadn't begun to do the fundraising math -- but he apparently assumed we could take out GOP incumbents, in ordinary years, in 55% Red districts, by dint of "full-frontal assault". (Or at least he assumed we could do this cycle after cycle throughout the Kerry presidency.)
19 months ago Stu Rothenberg cited this challenge in a well-reasoned tutorial rant, noting two bloggers in particular for their "clueless" political naivete. [Subscription-only Roll Call; link is to RedState, and let any copyright grief be on their heads.]
This month Markos has taken to citing Rothenberg
as ironic evidence that the DC establishment is clueless. Does Kos's evidence support Kos's claim? Or just the opposite? Take a closer look.
US Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) authorizes the following release, in conjunction with a screening of the prizewinning "Iraq in Fragments":
SPECIAL FEATURE: The Original McDermott Iraq Interview
A videotape of my original Iraq interview - taped in Baghdad, four years ago, prior to the commencement of the Iraq War, will be played before the film.
James Longley taped the interview in September of 2002. He has searched through his film archive to provide the interview film to us. The film of the Baghdad interview has never before been seen. Only a portion of this film interview prompted the Senate GOP Majority Leader (Trent Lott) to suggest that I come home and "shut up."
Never-released footage from Rep. McDermott's Sept. 2002 mission to Baghdad, at this special event Oct. 22, 7-10pm. Full announcement from Jim below the fold.