which I hope is right, it would also disallow the corporate pacs currently in existence as well as any indirect (such as a coroporation contributing to Chamber of Commerce) contributions of any source from any listed copporation - 100% of which have stopckholders from all over the globe.
Corzine couldn't run a positive campaign; he had no accomplishments except broken promises and corruption arrests. It's amazing he got any votes.
Deeds ran to the right, away from Obama and his policies. Is it any surprise that Obama voters wouldn't turn out for him? Once he got behind his only option was to go negative. Had Moran, or even McCauliffe, won the primary the campaign would have been positive and Obama-centric. (Also more money!)They may not have won but it wouldn't have been a total wipeout for all the state offices and 6 seats in the House of Delegates.
It doesn't matter who wins as long as Scozzafava comes in third. Either result would convince the fringe Republicans (most of them, actually) that the way to win is to select the furthest right candidate in every race. This is a Democrat's wet dream: Imagine if we ran a Dennis Kucinich in every district!
Even if Owens wins, he'll just be renting the seat until the next election. We don't need him in the house and he'd be the bluest of blue dogs (he used to be a Republican). In 2010 the Republicans will nominate Hoffman or someone like him and recapture the seat they have held since 1858. That's not a typo: the Republicans have held that district for over 150 years.
Wall Street is totally irrational and largely disconnected from reality. If you disagree, check out the stock prices of AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Even prominent Wall Street analysts are at a loss to explain why they are not zero.
Baucus' bill, despite the (intended) outrage it produced among the progressive class, is actually a shrewd move by a very savvy politician. In order to do reconciliation it is first necessary to pass a bill in the Senate. Baucus' bill, which will undoubtedly get a very good CBO score, is the type of bill that can get the votes of Olympia Snowe, Ben Nelson and (with a little arm twisting) other conservadems. Once the Senate and House have passed their widely disparate bills amd October 15 has passed, the conference committee can totally disregard the Baucus bill and get the best deal they can with the support of 50 Democrats and Joe Biden.
The worse Baucus' bill is, the better it is for the progressive cause. Conservative Senators know this, of course, but have the ability to vote against the conference committee bill while telling their constituents that the health care bill they voted for was the good one. The best outcome for conservadems is to vote against a bill which ultimately passes.
Carolyn Maloney said she would challenge Kirsten Gillibrand for a New York Senate seat. All of a sudden Gillibrand became pro gay marriage, pro gun control and in general, moved dramatically to the left. While it is still an open question as to whether Maloney will run for the seat, the threat alone was sufficient for Gillibrand to modulate her behavior.
A similar situation exists between Arlen Specter and Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania. Since joining the Democrats Specter has undergone a metamorphosis (of convenience?) in his voting behavior. Sestak actually is challenging Specter but the message has been sent.
While a primary challenge to Nelson could result in a loss of the seat, this may be a positive for the Democrats. Having 60 votes, you are expected to get things done and are punished if you don't. Having 59 seats changes this equation. Nelson has the 59th most liberal voting record in the Senate. This will become 60th as soon as Franken casts enough votes.
While I am not a Grover Norquist purist, the potential loss of Nelson is not really much of a loss. He, like Baucus, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the health insurance industry. His presence in the caucus weakens bills and dooms others. He also provides cover for other Democratic Senators to defy the party.
A message must be sent at some point and I believe we are at that point. Nelson is unlikely to be beaten (2-term Governor, long time Senator). A serious, well-funded challenge would send the message to other DINOs that we are serious about this and may cause them to think carefully about obstructing an agenda endorsed by the American people.
Mary Landrieu is another case in point. Democrats fought for many tens of billions in aid for Louisiana and she repays them by obstructing their agenda. Landrieu, without strong Democratic support and funding will lose her next election to a wingnut Republican. (Obama got 14% of the white vote in Louisiana.) In her case, a private talk explaining the political realities might cause her to rethink her priorities. (Yes she might switch parties - so what.)
Both Nelson and Landrieu are not representing their constituents. Their respective states would benefit greatly from Universal Health Care. The
real question is whose side are they on. It's surely not the people's. Worst case scenario, we lose both seats. We can afford to. Republicans consistently impose these kinds of constraints on their Senators and are quite successful at it. (Mitch McConnell got the NRA to "score" the Sotomayor confirmation vote striking fear in rural Senator's breasts.)
To use a medical metaphore (appropriate to the health care debate), when a cancer is infesting your body you cut it all out. Not just some, for it will return and migrate.
Evan Bayh is unbeatable in Indiana, whatever we do. Max Baucus on the other hand is seriously looking for consensus on a health care bill for no reason other that to boost his legacy (Kennedy-Baucus?). His campaign contributors are so heavily top-weighted to health insurance interests that he is fatally compromised (unless he intends to retire after this term). He is a hopeless case. The solution here is a gavelectomy. This is something he would understand and work to prevent, contributions or not.
None of this is easy, but when you have members actively sabotaging your agenda, you have to do something. If Obama fails to produce an acceptable health care bill, he will declare victory but it will be seen as hollow.
As for the House, don't get me started! The Blue Dogs, almost all of whom hail from rural districts in donee states, are resisting benefits that would aid their constituents more than those in the progressive/liberal areas of the country.
Absent a persuasive retooled message from the White House, we are consigned to a weak bill or no bill. I have a suggestion for that message which is simple and avoids all the extraneous bullshit of the Republicans. Formulate a chart, a la Ross Perot, following the health care money over the last decade. Bar graph, pie chart or just a few boxes, it would go something like this:
LAST TEN YEARS - HEALTH CARE PRINCIPAL PLAYERS
PATIENTS: Premiums +119%/Co-Pays + 35-40%
DOCTORS: Decrease in income (not sure of the %)
PHARMA: 300-400% increase in profits
INSURANCE COMPANIES: 400-500% in profits
While these numbers are estimates, they are close. Just put in the real numbers (from CBO) and FOLLOW THE MONEY!
Sell the plan on the huge transfer of wealth from the patients to the medical interests. (Insurance Companies are trusted by only 4% of the public to fix health care.) In selling there is a mantra: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). Don't get into the weeds, don't let them pick it apart. When voters realize what is happening, and will continue to happen sans action, they will revolt and back the Democratic plan - whatever it is - overwhelmingly. These figures cannot be agrued away.
Sorry for the long response but I'm pissed at Obama's inability to make what should be an easy sale. You always do better when you have an enemy. Goebbells knew it and so do the Republicans. Make the insurance companies the enemy (which they are - they provide no value-added) and we will win.
Sorry for the long response; I couldn't help myself.
Google, which was founded under the motto "first do no harm," agreed to China's internet speech repression in order to do business in that fine country. What we have seen here is a precursor of what is to come. There is no, let me repeat that, NO privacy on the internet or anywhere else. Don't post anything you wouldn't want your mother to read. Which leads me to FISA, essentially the telephonic equivalent of the internet's lack of privacy. The original FISA law, without the many adjusments over the years, was bad enough. What they are doing (and Obama agreed to) now is the death knell of any privacy or freedom of speech. Throw out the first amendment along with the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth. Democrats or Republicans, makes no difference. They either don't get it - or don't care.
The right, always ranting about "unelected judges," seems to have no problem with FISA which is is administered (rubber stamped?) by, you guessed it, unelected judges. But the new version, the one which Obama reluctantly (or pragmatically) embraced, doesn't even require the judges. The President can do whatever he wants. (Read a few Glenn Greenwald columns for a better explanation of this.)
First they came for the spam blogs, but I didn't have a spam blog, so I didn't speak up. Then they came for the people who called terrorists, but I don't call terrorists, so I didn't speak up. Then they came for me, and there was nobody left to speak for me.
On the bright side, If Obama should win (despite the ability the Bush administration would have to eavesdrop on his campaign, thanks to the soon to be approved NEWFISA) the Republicans will suddenly discover renewed distaste for things like FISA. And Democrats will, fearful of campaign ads as they they always are, will probably do away with it.
How many times did the Clinton supporters warn you that Obama was not the progressive he played on TV? Too many to count! "But no!' you said, she voted for the war while he, a state senator in an extremely liberal district, came out against it with no information other than published reports and little political risk. How dare she say the line that ended with "Barack Obama made a speech?"
And now, barely a month after he clinched the nomination, it is you who he's throwing under the bus. But wait, you rationalize, he's just saying this stuff to get elected. Ironic, isn't it, that one of the major complaints against Hillary was that she'd say anything to get elected. But still, where ya gonna go now? Clinton? Too late. McCain? Not an option. So you'll dance with the one who brung ya, you'll support and vote for Barack, and hope it all turns out well. Surely the candidate that made those beautiful, if substance free, speeches, must be what you envisioned him to be. And if he tacks right on a few issues, or a great many issues, or even all of them, you're stuck with him.
You made your bed, now lie in it, that's on you. You have to vote for Obama and hope you were right about him. But to Clinton supporters like myself, you put us in a box. We have to vote for Obama and hope we were wrong about him. Your complaints, your silly little posts, will have no effect on "the one you've been waiting for." He's on a mission - to get elected - and it's getting pretty crowded underneath that bus. I wonder what you'll say when he names Chuck Hagel or Colin Powell as his Vice Presidential choice. By that time all the possible Democratic nominees may well be under the bus with you.
Whether it's a conscious strategy or not, it's counter-productive. VP candidates should be assailed AFTER they have been selected, not before. No Democrat should be pointing out, for example, Romney's stewardship of Bain Capital which was basically a vulture fund which bought up companies, broke them up and sold the component parts, laid off many thousands of employees and made Romney rich. (By the way, did you know he's STILL a Mormon?) Discussion of Carly Fiorina's single-handed destruction of Hewlett-Packard and its workforce, for which she was given a $21 million bon votage party, should be stifled until and if she is the nominee. Nor should we mention Bobby Jindal's failure to recognize that, yes Virginia, there were oils spills off the LA coast after Katrina. You get the idea.
Let McCain use his ammo, most of which will be fired at decoys, while Obama keeps his powder dry. The first rule of VP selection is "do no harm." Of course, there's also Hillary. Is she an exception if Obama's team believes there is enough gain to overcome the harm? After all, rules do require an exception to prove themselves.
It doesn't matter who outranks whom, nor does it matter who gets the best of these childish exchanges. What does matter - all that matters - is what is discussed. McCain would like nothing better than to discuss military and foreign policy matters to the exclusion of all other topics. Any day the news cycle is about military issued is a win for McCain and a loss for Obama, no matter the content or the context.
Obama should want to discuss domestic matters, on which McCain trails him by huge numbers in the polls. He should encourage his supporters to be pointing out McCain's woeful domestic record, bill by bill, vote by vote. It should also be noted, in every interview, however off-topic, that McCain voted with the Bush administration 95% of the time in 2007 and 100% (only 6 votes though) in 2008. If those are the topics, McCain is a dead duck.
"Qui bono?" as they say (or used to say anyway) in Latin. The obvious beneficiary of this childish act is Barack Obama. The story will have a one-day shelf life, engendering sympathy for Obama from the media.
Is it not possible that Obama supporters were responsible? Karl Rove once planted a listening device in his own office and then claimed that the opposition was spying on him. (By the way, it worked!)
I doubt the campaign was involved but the attempt to discredit Obama's past and current antagonists will inure to their benefit.
In a word, no. LA Times poll has 37-22 Democrat/Republican partisan makeup. This is probably a tad too high. The 3% & 4% of Barr/ Nader voters is based on about 75 individuals who opt for these candidates. In real life, each would be lucky to get to 2 %, although Barr may get double digits in Georgia. Adjusted for the excessive partisan advantage, Obama is probably ahead by about 10, which in itself is nothing to sneeze at. I'm sure Mark Blumberg, Pablano or Jay Cost will have a more accurate analysis of this before the weekend.
Fiorina is best known for the disasterous acquisition of Compaq. Having almost destroyed BOTH companies, she was canned and given a parting gift of $22M.
His other potential VP choice from the business community, Mitt Romney, managed Bain Capital very successfully, and anassed for himself a $300M fortune. The way Bain Capital operated is similar to companies like KKR. Buy a company, break it up into its component parts, sell them off and don't worry about the serious job losses this creates.
Having expounded on this, however, I do not advocate bringing any of this into the national dialogue. Why discourage McCain from selecting someone who will be a millstone around his neck in the general election (esp. w/independents)? As the Cialis ads say, "when the time is right...."
When Don Imus made his infamous "nappy-headed hos" comment, he was lambasted by every press outlet, print, cable tv, media and internet, for his "racist" remark. Al Sharpton as usual took the lead in the grievance parade. Jesse Jackson and others followed his lead.
When I hear the phrase "happy-headed hos" I find it mpre SEXIST than racist. Nappy hair is a trait shared by many African American women; "ho" defines a very small subset of women. Where was the outrage from anti-misogynists? While it was mentioned on occasion, sexism was peripheral to the main criticism of racism.
Other than the occasional Tom Cruise pecadillo, the media treats female celebrities such as Britanny Spears, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Heather Mills and others with the utmost contempt. While I am not arguing that the behavior of these women has not at times been unfortunate, I note the absence of obloquy directed at men displaying similar foibles.
As for the junior senator from New York, I leave it others in the spirit of the diary.