Posting History for joemarkowitz
|What are the Senate elections about?
I think Republicans are right the midterm Senate elections really are about Obama. I know President Obama will only be in office for two more years, and Senators are elected for six, but who can ...
Karl Rove must be smiling to himself somewhere. Rove, remember, is the guy quoted as criticizing a reporter from what he called the "reality-based community." Rove explained to this reporter, who ...
|The 25th Amendment
I spent the weekend immersed in study of the machinations of power behind the scenes at the White House and the Capitol, and let me tell you, what's been going on over there is absolutely frightening.
|Harry Reid saves the world!
Today's 52-48 vote in the U.S. Senate asserting the majority's power to make the rules, and in the bargain abolishing the 60 vote cloture requirement for Presidential appointments, was ...
|The hostage-taker's dilemma
Tonight I had a chance to see an early screening of the new movie, Captain Phillips, based on the true story of the ship captain freed by Navy Seals after being taken hostage by Somali pirates. The ...
|Green Eggs and Ham
Let's not quibble about whether Senator Cruz's taking to the floor for hours to protest Obamacare is a "real" filibuster or not. It seems more real than all the demands for cloture votes and such ...
|Behind the scenes
A lot of people watching or reading the news had the impression that it was only in response to the latest Syrian government attack, that the President of the United States was suddenly threatening ...
|Justice Scalia, humorist
People are having trouble understanding Justice Scalia's rants in the gay marriage cases today. What they fail to appreciate is that Scalia can only be properly understood as a humorist. His ...
|In a world where this happens
OK, imagine a big, booming announcer voice like the ones they use for movie trailers. Something like this: IN A WORLD where there have been more concerted efforts to make it more difficult for ...
I heard Markos twice today explain his theory that because of demographic changes, and because Democrats better reflect most Americans' positions on the issues, Democrats are headed for something ...
Friday morning at Netroots Nation led off with an all-star panel to discuss gun violence. It's an issue that provokes strong emotional responses, particularly from the two panelists who represent ...
|The Act of Killing
The Act of Killing , a unique documentary I saw this weekend at South by Southwest, exposes the gangsters and paramilitary organizations used by the Indonesian government to kill perhaps a million ...
|How not to talk about guns
Piers Morgan's interview with radio host Alex Jones on Monday has gotten lots of attention, due to Jones's seemingly-unprovoked fiery outbursts and threatening manner. Morgan probably accomplished ...
|How to talk about guns
If we're going to have a constructive debate about how to reduce gun violence, it might be a good idea to set some ground rules. First rule: it's useless to frame this issue in terms of ...
Yesterday, Congress managed to pass legislation avoiding some of the potential negative effects of the so-called "fiscal cliff." Most political analysts are trying to figure out whether this ...
|Plan B fails!
The House leadership's withdrawal of so-called "Plan B" is is being portrayed as a failure for the Speaker, but Plan B was actually a pretty clever gambit on his part. To get more of what the ...
On this site, the Monday morning quarterbacking begins before the game is over. So many commenters seem so sure of their superior ability to negotiate it's a wonder they didn't run for president ...
|Zero Dark Thirty
How should progressives look at the film Zero Dark Thirty, opening this week, and already causing some controversy and debate? First, I would suggest, remember that it's a movie. As a movie, it ...
|We are all Keynesians
Whether you get your news from Fox, CNN, MSNBC or Jon Stewart, all you will hear is that the looming January 1 deadline to reach a budget deal represents a crisis that we should try to avert. ...
I caught up with continuing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for an imaginary interview in the wake of Tuesday's devastating electoral results for his party. Q: What's next now that your ...
California voters have the chance this election to prove that our state is governable . . . or not. Governor Brown put Proposition 30 on the ballot to cut through the legislative gridlock that ...
So Romney spokesperson Tara Wall goes on Soledad O'Brien's show this morning, the day Romney is scheduled to deliver an address on foreign policy, and refuses to address Governor Romney's own ...
|Ask Paul Ryan about taxes.
For those who didn't have time to watch Paul Ryan explain the Romney/Ryan tax plan to Chris Wallace yesterday , here is a summary in transcript form: CW: The Obama campaign claims that if we ...
|Bi-partisanship on the horizon
For those wondering what the president has been smoking when he predicts that after the election, Republicans in Congress will be more willing to work constructively with Democrats than they have ...
|How the market works
As we know, Republicans are skeptical of government solutions to any problems. They believe the market works wonderfully well in providing an optimum solution for everything. I want to give an ...
|After the election
According to Ramesh Ponnuru , a writer for National Review, President Obama is kidding himself if he thinks that after winning re-election, the Republican Party is likely to become more cooperative ...
|Victory in Ohio
If this year's presidential election comes down to a single state, that state would most likely be Ohio. Since the Republican takeover of the Ohio Secretary of State's office, the state has to be ...
Anybody remember when political conventions used to be the biggest events in politics? All the networks used to pre-empt their entire evening schedules for the duration of political conventions, and ...
|Throwing Akin under the bus
In the media narrative of election campaigns, there are gaffes. And when somebody makes a gaffe, you are supposed to do something to repair it, like clarify, or apologize, or fire somebody, or ...
|Shackles, chains and hinges
A shackle, according to Wikipedia, is "a U-shaped piece of metal secured with a clevis pin or bolt across the opening, or a hinged metal loop secured with a quick-release locking pin mechanism. They ...
Here is President Obama yesterday explaining clearly and succinctly why Mitt Romney needs to take responsibility for the actions of Bain Capital:
|Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (2012 edition)
ACT I Interior of Congressman Smith's house in Washington. Congressman Smith is a freshman Tea Party Representative. The Congressman enters, greeted by his 4 year old son, Johnny. Johnny: Hi daddy,
|Teach us how to fish
A lot of questions are being raised about Mitt Romney's offshore investments, as well as his investments in outsourcing, his unreleased tax returns, his $100 million IRA . . . . Wait a minute. Let's ...
|The angry dissenters
Think about the stinging dissents that Justices Alito and Scalia read from the bench yesterday, Alito angry that the states are not allowed to sentence juveniles to mandatory life without parole, ...
|Sun shining, pack an umbrella
Today's headline in Bloomberg : Obama Health Law Seen Valid, Scholars Expect Rejection The article goes on to describe a poll of 21 constitutional law scholars, 19 of whom (that is over 90%) ...
|Republicans squirm over immigration policy.
What could be more fun than watching the opposition fall all over itself trying to come up with a coherent response to President Obama's decision to stop deporting young people who meet criteria ...
|Who are the American people?
The Obama campaign was bombarding me yesterday with videos showing Mitt Romney on the campaign trail challenging President Obama's statement that we should be trying to preserve, and even increasing,
I'm starting to lose patience with the president's critics who think it's somehow unfair or unseemly for the campaign to attack Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital. Here we have a Republican ...
|Is the New York Times our friend?
The Obama campaign has already started taking the gloves off for the fall campaign, and the forces of decorum in the media seem a little taken aback. The New York Times , for example, published a ...
This might have been a non-story, until the New York Times this morning managed to get hold of what appears to be a pitch for a new Super-PAC video that would stir up the old Jeremiah Wright ...
It's a tough job sometimes being press secretary, especially when the press latches onto some issue like a pack of wolves and won't let go. Yesterday, Jay Carney was subjected to about twenty ...
|Romney foreign policy
Vice President Joe Biden delivered a speech at NYU earlier this week in which he laid out the contrast between the Obama's administration foreign policy record, and the foreign policy comments made ...
|What's at stake
Are we on the verge of a constitutional revolution? The Supreme Court cannot declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional without a fundamental re-thinking of our constitutional framework (...
|Wasn't that Bushville?
I just watched Rick Santorum's new campaign video , and I have to admit, I recognized that place. "Small businesses are struggling and families are worried about their jobs and their future." Yes,
|The Perfect Metaphor
Political campaigns live in search of the perfect metaphor, the one defining (I almost said unshakeable) image that captures a candidate, or an opponent, in voters' minds. It seems that Mitt Romney ...
|What bully pulpit?
Ezra Klein has an interesting article in this week's New Yorker summarizing the work of George Edwards and a number of other political scientists that tends to show that presidents' powers of ...
|Science lessons from plants
Last night I went out into my garden, just as Rick Santorum suggested , to talk to my plants. (By the way, congratulations Rick on Mississippi and Alabama!) I told the plants that carbon dioxide was ...
|The smoking gun
Apparently the tape that Andrew Breitbart was talking about before his death, which has now been released, shows Barack Obama as a law student embracing Professor Derrick Bell. On the Breitbart ...
The debate about contraception going on in Congress and on the campaign trail--who would have thought in the year 2012 we would be having a debate about contraception!--is fascinating in exposing ...
Once again Rick Santorum has his finger on the pulse of America's problems. Problems we didn't even know we had. In an interview with Glenn Beck this week (of which I still can't locate a transcript ...
News should be about something important that just happened. Real news might surprise us, and might even challenge our assumptions. Sadly, we don't seem to be all that interested in that kind of ...
|How to install a gun rack in a Chevy Volt
Speaking as one of the last people still promoting the dream of bridging the divide between red and blue America, I was thrilled to come across this video demonstrating that, in fact, you can ...
|The Santorum Surge
What explains the rise in the polls of improbable Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum? Much of the commentary I've been reading falls back on the suggestion that a lot of hard core ...
|Newt's Southern Strategy
After Newt Gingrich's defeat in Nevada yesterday, the candidate outlined a new strategy, heavily dependent on racking up additional delegate gains in upcoming southern state primaries, while facing ...
I'm trying to imagine the conversations candidate Mitt Romney is having with his senior staff after another one of his unfortunate misstatements. A staffer might say, "Mitt, what the heck did you ...
I was talking about capital gains taxes with a tax lawyer friend, who reminded me about the 1986 Tax Reform Act, promoted and signed into law by President Reagan. The law lowered the top income tax ...
Saul Alinsky, the great Chicago community organizer who died in 1972, was required reading for people involved in or sympathetic to the student and anti-war protests of the 1960's and 1970's. I ...
|Bi-partisanship is not dead.
Ryan Lizza's article in the new New Yorker contains some good inside information explaining how candidate Obama's promises to usher in a new style of politics, ran into the realities of a Congress ...
Protests marked the 10th anniversary this week of the prison set up for terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Many fault President Obama for failing to fulfill his campaign promise to shut down ...
I saw a video yesterday of Mitt Romney answering a woman's question about the Justice Department's challenge to a voter id ...
Conservative candidates like to talk about self-reliance, hard work and personal responsibility. I thought I would look up some quotes from Newt Gingrich on these subjects. Here are a few, from a ...
|Democrats finally master the politics of tax cuts.
Today President Obama succeeded in neutralizing the Republicans' greatest weapon--their claim that they are always for reducing taxes, while the Democrats are always for raising taxes. President ...
A light bulb went on in my own head when I read in this morning's LA Times (the paper edition) that the spending bill passed by the House yesterday includes a provision blocking enforcement of new ...
|Prospects for World Peace
The recent decision by the Lakers player formerly known as Ron Artest to change his legal name to Metta World Peace opens up immense possibilities for sportswriters and commentators to add layers of ...
|Time for a third party?
John McCain thinks it is likely that unless both major parties start doing something for ...
|Soap Opera Politics
Why is it that the public and the media are more than happy to spend endless hours discussing the details of Herman Cain's encounters with women a number of years ago? For some reason we think these ...
Has Nate Silver jumped the shark? I hesitate to criticize, because Silver has such a great track record when it comes to analyzing polls, but today's New York Times Magazine cover article seems to ...
|How it looks to a visitor
So this flying saucer lands in my back yard last night, and out pops a visitor from another planet who tells me he is interested in studying our enlightened political system. "Really," I respond, "...
|Sex and the Military
Imagine being poor Rick Santorum. He stands up for what he believes are wholesome values and traditional morality, and some joker re-defines his very name ...
|Politics and Negotiation
It's ironic that a number of people who frequent this site (I'm speaking particularly of those who write angry diatribes against President Obama's supposedly weak negotiating tactics in prior ...
|Doing the math
When I studied taxation at the University of Chicago Law School, back when it was even more of a bastion of conservative legal scholarship than it is today, students were not allowed to take the ...
|Tone of Voice
Reactions to President Obama's jobs speech Thursday night seem mostly favorable. Republicans seem less hostile than usual, and the president's fair weather friends seem pleased that that he is ...
Mr. and Mrs. America just suffered some flooding from Hurricane Irene. "I got an estimate," says Ralph the Republican, " that it will cost about $20,000 to fix the damage in our basement. And it's ...
I heard (actually invented) a rumor that Mitt Romney is developing a new strategy to revitalize his presidential campaign. I have also invented this interview with the candidate wherein I find out ...
|The Silly Season
This just in! A leaked transcript of a hacked phone call from last week, between Republican mastermind Karl Rove and Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican Party. Don't ask me how I got a copy, ...
|Corporations are not people.
I'm a business lawyer, so some of my favorite clients are corporations. I don't think corporations are inherently evil any more than any other form of business organization. And I think I understand ...
|Analyzing the Deal
Do the people in this community who regularly express outrage that the Democrats have made yet another deal that does not live up to their expectations, take any comfort from reading right wing ...
|Hope and Change in Libya
As of yesterday, the Qaddafi regime is no longer recognized by the United States and more than 30 other nations as the legitimate government of Libya. This potentially frees up billions of dollars ...
|None of the above
Yesterday Senator McConnell outlined the terms of a possible Republican surrender in the debt ceiling negotiations: "[I]n my view, the president has presented us with three choices: smoke and mirrors,
|Give Peas a Chance.
At his news conference this morning, while urging Congressional leaders to seize the opportunity to make a grand bargain on taxes and spending that would reduce the federal deficit for years to come,
|Casey Anthony not guilty!
Even readers of this site might be paying more attention to the big murder trial verdict than to political stories, and that illustrates the point of this piece that I am re-posting here. It is ...
|Fact-checking Mitt Romney
In a nice piece of political theatre, on Thursday Mitt Romney stood in front of the shuttered Allentown Metal Works plant, the same plant President Obama had visited the year before while trying to ...
|Who's being a dick?
Let's see, if the president calls out the Republican leadership for refusing to consider tax increases as part of a budget deal, he's being kind of a dick. But if John Boehner says that tax ...
|Negotiating with terrorists
"Terrorists" is probably too strong a word for the subject of this post, but what else do you call people who threaten to do something incredibly destructive if they do not get their way? I'm ...
Yesterday I attended what Markos called the first meta-panel in the history of Netroots Nation, in the hope of gaining a little more understanding of the many mysteries of this website. Even though ...
|Dan Pfeiffer at Netroots Nation
Here is my snarky version of a rather snarky interview I attended this morning by Kaili Joy Gray of White House Communications Director Daniel Pfeiffer. (Video can be ...
|New Hampshire Republican Debate
For those who did not have time to watch the Republican candidates debate tonight, here is a transcript of some of the highlights. Q: What is the Republican plan to create more jobs? Romney: We ...
In honor of my upcoming trip to Minnesota for Netroots Nation, perhaps some thoughts about a prominent Minnesota politician are in order. Not one I am likely to see at the conference, however. ...
The work of the California citizens redistricting commission , which just released its first draft maps of new Congressional and ...
|Gingrich abandons reality.
After the mass departure of his top campaign staff, I figured it was a good time to catch up with Newt Gingrich and ask him about the next phase of his presidential campaign. Here is a guaranteed ...
|Ann Coulter's Private Life
Piers Morgan seemed to get a bit under Ann Coulter's skin the other night, asking her personal questions that she refused to answer. (Here is the clip ...
|Big Weiner Story
Why are political sex scandals in this country always such big news? Each time one breaks, we act shocked--shocked!--to find that such things are happening here, even though we are familiar with sex ...
The other night I had the chance to hear Adam Hochschild talking about his new ...
|Snark (not snark)
Yesterday one of my posts --a light-hearted satirical version of the White House budget meeting with Republican ...
|Debt limit negotiation update
Just leaked! A partial transcript of today's session in the ongoing budget negotiations between Republican Congressional leaders and the President and Treasury Secretary at the White House: Obama: ...
|Politics and the Debt Limit
For as long as I can remember, votes on raising the federal government's debt ceiling have served as an occasion for political grandstanding. When the Democrats are in charge, Republicans take ...
|The Cain Mutiny
Psychologists tell us that when people have an idea firmly fixed in their heads, it is very difficult for us to accept contrary information. In fact, contrary information may only cement that idea ...
I would like to think that it is only in the spirit of promoting national unity that the president was talking about, that Bush supporters are re-visiting the issue of whether the torture of some of ...
|Leaked documents from Pakistan
Just released: some excerpts from the minutes of the Planning Commission meeting for the town of Abbottabad, in 2005. Q: All right, next up we have an application for a permit to construct some ...
|The Man Who Shot Bin Laden
I'm just old enough to have seen The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance in a theatre when it came out. One of the last of the great John Ford westerns, it starred Jimmy Stewart as a lawyer on the frontier ...
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