Elizabeth Warren won’t rule out run for US Senate
Elizabeth Warren just declined on MSNBC to rule out a run for the US Senate in Massachusetts against Scott Brown in 2012. She indicated that she’s been working 14-hour days for the past year to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and that’s she’s very much wants to go home to Massachusetts and go on vacation with her grandchildren. Who can blame her.
This will, however, become a huge story if she decides to run. Scott Brown will be tough to beat, but Warren gives the Democrats a chance in a year where they will need pickups to keep control of the Senate. The decision by President Obama to appoint Richard Cordray to head the bureau instead of Warren will disappoint many liberals, but the left will be much better off with Warren as a candidate for Senator as pointed out by Ezra Klein.
One of the themes of the 2012 election will be the interests of corporations and the wealthy versus the interests of ordinary Americans. Obama is itching for this fight, and Warren will be a huge assets who will energize liberals and also appeal to independents.
The GOP’s Eric Cantor problem
The GOP discipline has completely broken down over the past week in the debt ceiling negotiations. All year they’ve been playing a game of Russian Roulette with the economy, trying to use a potential default to force massive spending cuts. In many ways the strategy worked well, as President Obama and the Democrats put just about everything on the table.
But, as usual, the ideologues are overplaying their hand, so much so that Mitch McConnell buckled under the pressure of the business community and basically said he’d let the president raise the debt ceiling without any cuts.
The guy at the center of all this is Eric Cantor, whose either too stupid or too ambitious to take yes for an answer. He can get massive cuts if he just includes some revenues in a deal, but instead he’s pushing the talks to the brink of disaster. Last night he also tried to imply that the President lost his cool in the last meeting, though all other accounts tell a different story.
Meanwhile, the polls are starting to shift in Obama’s favor with regard to the debt and the economy – at least when compared to congressional Republicans. That’s what happens when smarmy guys like Cantor become the face of the GOP.
Dana Milbank nailed it yesterday, even before Cantor’s latest performance last night in the negotiations where he again refused to budge.
He draws out the vowels in a style that is part southern, part smarty-pants. Had young Cantor spoken like this at his prep school in Richmond, the bigger boys may well have wiped that sneer off his face. Yet even then, Cantor was accustomed to having things his way. According to Cantor’s hometown Richmond Times-Dispatch, the quotation he chose to accompany his yearbook photo was “I want what I want when I want it.”
What Cantor wants now is power — and he is prepared to risk the full faith and credit of the United States to get it. In a primacy struggle with House Speaker John Boehner, he has done a deft job of aligning himself with Tea Party House members in opposition to any meaningful deal to resolve the debt. If the U.S. government defaults, it will have much to do with Cantor.
His antics from last night are being branded as childish, and the Democrats smell blood and are now taking direct aim at Cantor. Harry Reid is more than happy to negotiate now with Mitch McConnell who is desperate to avoid the potential catastrophe that he and other Republicans created.
They clearly thought Barack Obama would fold, but they were mistaken. Obama has called their bluff, and they look like panicked fools at the poker table.
Posted in: Conservatives, Democrats, Economy, Liberals, Lunatic Fringe, Policy, Politics, Polls, Republicans, Taxes
Tags: Dana Milbank, debt ceiling, Eric Cantor, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, President Obama
Hysterical Headlines – Mark Halprin suspended by MSNBC
MSNBC just suspended Mark Halprin for saying President Obama was acting like a “dick” today on the air. He was dumb for saying it, but he was trying to make a point about Obama’s tone, and naturally everyone is treating this like it’s a HUGE news story. It’s not. It’s just the kind of “shiny object” that gives the talking heads and bloggers something to talk about for a day.
Of course this is news, but does the Huffington Post really need this blaring headline with the “breaking” flash images on both sides? Good grief . . .
The funny thing is that Halprin is a pretty good commentator who is very honest about his opinions, often taking shots at both sides, so he often comes across as a dick himself. I think the whole episode is kind of funny.
Posted in: Humor, Media
Tags: Huffington Post, Huffington Post Hysterical Headlines, HuffPo, HuffPo Hysterical Headlines, Mark Halprin, Mark Halprin dick, Mark Halprin MSNBC, Mark Halprin suspended, MSNBC, President Obama
Digging in their heels . . .
It looks like we’re heading for an ugly end game for the debt ceiling confrontation. Ezra Klein explains:
The best advice I’ve gotten for assessing the debt-ceiling negotiations was to “watch for the day when the White House goes public.” As long as the Obama administration was refusing to attack Republicans publicly, my source said, they believed they could cut a deal. And that held true. They were quiet when the negotiations were going on. They were restrained after Eric Cantor and Jon Kyl walked out last week. Press Secretary Jay Carney simply said, “We are confident that we can continue to seek common ground and that we will achieve a balanced approach to deficit reduction.” But today they went public. The negotiations have failed.
“The primary goal of President Obama’s presser, which just wrapped up, was obvious,” writes Greg Sargent. “He was clearly out to pick a major public fight with Republicans over tax cuts for the rich.” That’s exactly right. But he didn’t want this fight. He wanted a deal. And he wasn’t able to get one that the White House considered even minimally acceptable. After putting more than $2 trillion of spending cuts on the table, they weren’t even able to get $400 billion — about a sixth of the total — in tax increases.
Klein goes on to explain that things will likely get ugly. Both sides are digging in their heals, and only a crisis or market meltdown will get them to move. Perhaps something else will change the dynamic, like the proposal coming from Kent Conrad and the Senate Democrats, but that seems unlikely.
As Klein explained, Obama has been quiet because he was hoping for a deal. Now that the Republicans want a fight, they are going to get one. Nobody likes taxes, but the notion that we can’t have any new revenues, including closing corporate tax breaks, when we’re facing a $15 trillion debt is totally absurd. The polls are in Obama’s favor when it comes to increasing taxes on the wealthy.
That said, the GOP is currently run by the extremists in the Tea Party who won’t compromise on anything. It’s probably going to get ugly . . .
Posted in: Conservatives, Democrats, Economy, Liberals, Lunatic Fringe, Moderates, Policy, Politics, Republicans, Taxes
Tags: debt ceiling, Eric Cantor, Ezra Klein, Jon Kyl, Kent Conrad, President Obama
Donald Trump won’t run for president
Big news!! What a shocker!!
Naturally, many people thought this was baked into the cake from the beginning. Donald Trump is a publicity whore. We all knew that. What we didn’t know was how stupid he could sound when he opened his mouth about topics other than real estate, reality TV or beauty pageants.
He completely embarrassed himself, probably doing great damage to his brand along the way. He also did some damage to the Republican Party, showing how gullible many GOP voters can be when it comes to topics like the birther issue. We saw how a carnival barker could shoot up in the polls just by running his mouth, and the rest of the field came across as very weak in the process.
Fortunately, Trump was humiliated by President Obama before he made his inevitable announcement that he wasn’t running. Even prospective GOP voters finally saw through his bullshit as his poll numbers plummeted after Obama released his long-form birth certificate and then had Osama bin Laden killed.
Good riddance . . .
Jokes for Friday . . .
Enjoy the weekend:
“In the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden President Obama’s approval rating jumped to 56 percent, his highest in two years. Which shows there is literally nothing he can do to please the other 44 percent.”
“Conspiracy theorists who are claiming that we didn’t really kill bin Laden must be reminded that they didn’t think he did the crime in the first place. Come on, nut jobs, keep your bullshit straight: The towers were brought down in a controlled demolition by George W. Bush to distract attention from Hawaii, where CIA operatives were planting phony birth records so that a Kenyan named Barack Obama could someday rise to power and pretend to take out the guy we pretended took out the towers. And I know that’s true because I just got it in an email from Trump.”
Piers Morgan is a hack
I just watched one of the worst interviews I’ve ever seen. Piers Morgan interviewed Rudy Giuliani, who took his expected shots at President Obama’s Libya policy, and Morgan didn’t ask a single question challenging anything Giuliani had to say.
This shouldn’t be a surprise. First, few “journalists” ever challenge Giuliani. Like Michael Moore, Giuliani usually peddles his bullshit without any worry that he’ll be challenged by his interviewer.
I looked up Morgan on Wikipedia and discovered that he’s a former host of Britain’s Got Talent and a host of America’s Got Talent. He also won Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice. What a surprise. Maybe he can invite Trump to his show and let him howl about Obama’s birth certificate without any tough questions.
Somehow, the geniuses at CNN gave this guy Larry King’s time slot. Besides being a tremendous bore, Morgan manages to make Larry King look like Bill O’Reilly. He didn’t even pretend to ask Giuliani a tough question. When Giuliani proclaimed that Obama and the United States should have insisted on regime change in Libya and led Britain, France and the United Nations to achieve that goal, it didn’t dawn on Morgan to ask Giuliani how that could happen given that the Chinese and Russians would have certainly vetoed any resolution that went as far as regime change.
He’s just the latest CNN fail . . . .
Posted in: Media
Tags: CNN, CNN fail, CNN sucks, Donald Trump, Libya, Michael Moore, Piers Morgan, Piers Morgan hack, Piers Morgan sucks, President Obama, Rudy Giuliani
Donald Trump joins the Confederacy of Dunces
With characters like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, we’ve been referring to the lunatic fringe of the potential Republican primary field as the confederacy of dunces. Many conservatives seem to have lost their mind when it comes to President Obama, so much so that they will rally around buffoons like Palin and Bachmann.
In order to appeal to the growing lunatic fringe, you have otherwise sensible candidates like Mike Huckabee joining in with idiotic comments about Kenya. We expect this garbage from bomb-throwers like Newt Gingrich, but hearing Huckabee go off the deep end is further evidence that the right wing has serious problems.
Now we have Donald Trump joining in on the idiocy. He’s now gone full birther, saying that he’s very “concerned” over whether President Obama was born in this country. Trump has always been a self-promoting charlatan despite his obvious success as a real estate mogul, but this is truly embarrassing.
The GOP establishment is rightfully terrified by the prospect of any of these dunces drawing real support in the primaries. It will be hilarious to watch, and these GOP “leaders” are getting what they deserved, as they embraced Sarah Palin and her anti-intellectual gibberish when it suited them, and now they have to live with the mass hysteria she and her ilk have whipped up on the right.
Posted in: Conservatives, Lunatic Fringe, Politics, Republicans
Tags: birthers, confederacy of dunces, Donald Trump, Donald Trump birther, Donald Trump dunce, Donald Trump full birther, Donald Trump idiot, GOP confederacy of dunces, Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, President Obama, Sarah Palin
Republican Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Bob Corker are all threatening to derail the START treaty, which they have all supported in the past, over votes scheduled by Harry Reid for “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and the DREAM Act. Every living former Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense supports the treaty, and these Senators have also supported it as it’s critical to monitoring Russian nukes and keeping loose nukes out of the hands of terrorists. It’s also critical in connection with Russian support for sanctions against Iran.
Frankly, it’s disgusting. They’re all claiming they’re upset with partisan politics when they have all been playing the political game for the past two years.
Now they’re willing to risk national security in the name of petty politics. They have no shame. If they blow this for political reasons, Obama and the Dems need to bludgeon them with this over and over again.
UPDATE:The reaction to these threats has been swift.
“What some Republicans like Corker seem to be saying is, ‘We will let nuclear weapons proliferate if you let gays serve,’ “ said Fred Sainz, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign.
Hopefully these Senators have painted themselves in a corner here. If the treaty goes down, they will be blamed for sacrificing our nuclear security for their petty grievances.
Obama fights back in press conference
Everyone seems to have an opinion about President Obama’s press conference yesterday. It depends of course, on how one views his tax cut deal. I think he made the best possible deal, and he left enough time for a real push for START and DADT.
Liberals are furious, and we’re getting the usual hysteria from many on the left. The usual suspects like Olbermann, Maddow and Schultz funneled the anger as usual, though others like Chris Matthews and Lawrence O’Donnell argued that the President struck a good deal.
I liked seeing Obama take on his critics, particularly those who consistently let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Here are some of the highlights:
So this notion that somehow we are willing to compromise too much reminds me of the debate that we had during health care. This is the public option debate all over again. So I pass a signature piece of legislation where we finally get health care for all Americans, something that Democrats had been fighting for, for a hundred years – but because there was a provision in there that they didn’t get, that would have affected maybe a couple million people, even though we got health insurance for 30 million people, and the potential for lower premiums for a hundred million people, that somehow that was a sign of weakness and compromise.
Now, if that’s the standard by which we are measuring success or core principles, then let’s face it, we will never get anything done. People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position, and no victories for the American people. And we will be able to feel good about ourselves, and sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are and how tough we are. And in the meantime the American people are still seeing themselves not able to get health insurance because of a pre-existing condition, or not being able to pay their bills because their unemployment insurance ran out. That can’t be the measure of how we think about our public service. That can’t be the measure of what it means to be a Democrat.
“This country was founded on compromise. I couldn’t go through the front door of this country’s founding,” he later added. “And you know, if we were really thinking about ideal positions, we wouldn’t have a Union.
Towards the end, he declared: “I don’t think there’s a single Democrat out there, who if they looked at where we started when I came into office and look at where we are now, would say that somehow we have not moved in the direction that I promised. Take a tally, look at what I promised during the campaign. There’s not a single thing that I said that I would do that I have not either done or tried to do. And if I have not gotten it done yet, I’m still trying to do it.”
The left needs a wake-up call. Of course we can have heated debate, but name-calling and silly calls for a primary challenge are ridiculous.