Dylan Ratigan FTW(?!?!) "Hope Bonds"?

I'm just going to make this short, but I'd love to hear some of the opinions here on this. Ratigan on Morning Joe just illuminated me to the concept of taking the private investment idea from the current bailout and creating "Hope Bonds", a shitty name for what sounds like a good idea, one I hadn't seen or noticed thus far.

Would that work? It seems like it might. Lord knows war bonds helped the country through in WWII. Not only would this allow everyone to benefit from what could eventually be a decent return, it would give Americans a chance to put money in our own economy instead of relying on China. And doing it in a way that appealed to our better natures.

It could bring us together, make everyone feel like they are a part of government, and might just give everybody a little bit of optimism about our ability to recover.

And at a time when everyone's talking about us moving towards socialism, it'd be nice to demonstrate that the character of this nation remains independent. I greatly like the idea of everyone being able to chip in, and from a strictly political standpoint, it reminds everyone of Obama's campaign financing, so it might be a decent long-term boost to his political chances.

Thoughts? Even if I've called you a dick, I'd still like to hear thoughts.

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How The GOP FInds Happiness in Irresponsibility

Great and revealing article from the DC Examiner today.

You see it all over Capitol Hill, in the hallways, the hearing rooms, the gathering spots. Republicans, coming off a devastating, across-the-board electoral defeat, are ... happy. Being in opposition, after eight years of a Republican presidency and 12 years of GOP rule in Congress, suits many of them just fine.

Translation: The GOP is greatly happy now that they can stop all that nasty business of trying to lead the country and run the government they purport to despise. Now they can go back to just criticizing liberals, and they've realized that's all they really wanted all along.

I remember being in the minority. It was hell. We rejoiced when we regained power because we had a chance to actually accomplish something. And yet, the GOP rejoices when they lose power because they realize they no longer have to worry about responsibility, they can just keep their jobs by making ridiculous arguments and obstructing anything from ever happening.

Because if there's one thing that we now know Republicans hate, it's actually fighting for people. When push comes to shove, they have no interest in caring for the poor or sick, or even making sure more people don't become poor and sick. No, all they want to make sure happens is that Democrats don't get too happy. That's what makes them miserable, when they look down at Whoville and see Democrats actually smiling in pride at their government. Now that we're getting more divided, there's a spring in their step. "Glory be, we've created discord again! Mission accomplished!"

"We have a focus we did not have before, because we were just trying to hang on to power," Sen. Lindsey Graham told me. "Instead of hanging our heads, we're picking good fights. In that regard, there is an energy among Republicans that is counterintuitive to the beating we just took."

Yeah, that power is rough, right? Well, good news. You may never have to worry about it again.

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Mika, Please Speak Up or Shut Up.

Every morning I watch Morning Joe. After Joe was gone for nearly two weeks, I realized how much I missed the bastard. Mika has just gotten intolerable. Apparently not content enough to stand up for what she really thinks, she seems to have adopted Joe's own opinions in an effort to make a much duller show.

Maybe it's just that I haven't seen it long enough to know what she's always been like, I only started watching it a few months ago. But damn, she's terrible at playing the contrarian Democrat. She seems to have no real rhyme or reason for thinking the stimulus bill is messed up or that we need to worry about our deficit, she just says that it's so. At least Joe gives full explanations for his nonsense. Mika is the only person on television that can make a statement that people on the show agree with and then halfway admonish those people for agreeing with what she said. Clearly she has her own opinion and she often shows it, but as of late, the opinions I saw her defend a few months ago now seem to be deliberately dropped one by one.

Boo, Mika. Start speaking up for your own opinions and start fighting Joe again. Watching you two get along is dull as hell.

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Obama Boxed In?

Quick question, and sorry for making this a diary, but it's been awhile since we've beaten the dead horse that is Hillary for SoS.

How is Obama being boxed in here? Most accounts say that he made an offer already. So what is the drama here? OMG, now he HAS to give her the job that he just offered her and that was hers to take if she wanted it! It's hilarious how much they LOVE the idea of Hillary being an unreasonable, crazy person.

Seriously, let's say I have a bunch of apples and I offer you one. You say, "Hmm, only if my husband doesn't want it." Your husband says, "Nah, that's okay, you can have it." Then someone else says, "Oh, they've COMPLETELY played you! Now you HAVE to give them the apple or you'll look like a jerk!"

Granted, there have been gigantic leaks on this, but once she's into the Obama camp, it seems like it will be easier to control if they vet her people. And maybe that's the real story here, that some of Hillary's people don't want her to take this job. Maybe they're pissed at Obama from the primaries, maybe they were hoping she'd run in 2012, maybe they just want her to stay in the Senate. But if anyone is trying to play mind games here, I doubt it's Hillary.

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First Two Appointments Show Exceptional Judgment

Rahm Emmanuel is a bulldog being put in a position where he is solely responsible for executing an agenda as quickly as possible by any means necessary. He is uniquely qualified to produce instant kinetic energy. Not to mention that he has the respect of members of both parties.

Robert Gibbs has consistently been Obama's best surrogate for the last few months. For a long time Obama seemed to struggle to get his message and talking points across (remember when Kerry was a top surrogate?). That changed when Gibbs started showing up more often. He stays on message, he knows when to shut up, he knows how to needle members of the press and he knows how to strike the correct tone at any given moment.

Both these men are not only highly qualified for their spots, but those spots are tailored to maximize their strengths. Furthermore, these are both men of action, men who are the polar opposite of Obama in temperament in positions that require just that. It reminds me to an extent of The Godfather. I remember thinking while reading the book how differently things would have turned out had Luca Brasi not been taken out. Great minds need ruthless people to back them up, and I look forward to a little hardball. If this is how Obama will be approaching his staff, I have confidence in his ability to govern and execute his plan.

Update [2008-11-6 12:40:36 by vcalzone]: Thinking about it, I realized something else. Obama got the toughest Democrat in Congress to do what he wanted, even though it may not be in his self-interest. That, in and of itself, is highly impressive. That took balls.

One question I have, though, for Jerome if he's watching. I know you've had serious problems with Robert Gibbs in the past. Do you still? And even if you do, do you think Gibbs will excel in this post the same way Ari Fleischer did?

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Sorry for the caps, sorry for the lack of commentary, but this is absolutely stunning to me. And apparently, there's more to tell. Anyone still want to defend her? Holy shit.

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Obama's Most Unsavory Association Yet (THIS IS REAL!)

Jesus, it's worse than we thought. Look!

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OBAMA! The HAMBURGLAR! And look, they're at the KREMLIN! This is big, people.

Of course, there's also this, but I don't really see how it's particularly relevant. I mean, this was 20 years ago.
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Obama Launches KeatingEconomics.com - Full Documentary Coming Soon.

Jesus Christ... This is just brilliant. They aren't even reacting, they've been planning this. The site says that there will be a full documentary at noon tomorrow. They even registered the domain name back on September 25th. McCain's people can't compete with this. Not only that, but the angle they are taking makes the incident relevant by tying it directly to the most current, most politically volatile situation, so they've instantly made this more damaging and more relatable than McCain's unfocused accusations of knowing bad people. AND that strategy gives them an argument against John McCain's primary defense, that he learned his lesson. Because now McCain has been running with the same crowd. He hasn't cleaned up his act, he just found out how to hide it.

They've essentially pulled a Bugs Bunny cannon trick. John McCain's people yell to ready the cannons, and then immediately Obama's ship opens up and reveals cannons about twice the size. Whatever misgivings I once had about this campaign have long been alleviated.

The current economic crisis demands that we understand John McCain's attitudes about economic oversight and corporate influence in federal regulation. Nothing illustrates the danger of his approach more clearly than his central role in the savings and loan scandal of the late '80s and early '90s.

. . . .

The Keating scandal is eerily similar to today's credit crisis, where a lack of regulation and cozy relationships between the financial industry and Congress has allowed banks to make risky loans and profit by bending the rules. And in both cases, John McCain's judgment and values have placed him on the wrong side of history.

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Biden vs Palin by Rasmussen: Who Came Off Better?

Rasmussen put out a new poll featuring favorability numbers for the VP candidates after the debate. Conventional wisdom was that Palin was much more likable and that Biden was nice, but dull and people didn't respond to him. And the question of "Who won the debate?" showed a conflicted view. He won by a somewhat slim margin of 45%-37%. But when you look at the difference in favorability from a poll taken on September 24, you understand what Joe was trying to do.

Biden had a lot to gain in terms of favorability. I maintained that he had extremely high uncertain numbers that would almost assuredly go up rather than down, and that not only would he win the "ready to be VP" test, but he would emerge as the winner in favorability as well. So what do Rasmussen's head to head numbers show?
On this table, I count the difference on each level, counting a rise in favorable ratings and a drop in unfavorable ratings as positive.


This clearly shows what happened. 13% total difference towards a more favorable view of Biden (double counting, but whatever), and 4% of a total net loss for Palin. If you want to weigh it by giving the changes on both extremes double value, it gets even better for Biden, becoming -2% to +20%.

Granted, this top polling happened before the Couric incident, but it still captures the net result. Granted, you can argue that the debate made a difference from her standing immediately beforehand, but that is not the point. The point is that Biden went from reasonably popular to overwhelmingly popular in the last week and a half, while Palin actually got a little LESS popular. Remember: The ONLY metric Sarah Palin can win on is favorability.

Knowing that, the question of did better isn't even up for discussion.

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McCain: "I'm Not A Rich Man"

It comes at around 55 seconds in. I know, it's a joke, but Jesus Christ, could he have more blatantly said how out of touch with people he is? How little seriousness that he has for Americans that are struggling and really aren't rich men? Furthermore, for someone who describes themselves as a gambler, is it a great idea to admit that you're a lousy gambler?

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