11/03/2010 archive

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Obama rues election ‘shellacking’

by Stephen Collinson, AFP

44 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama admitted Wednesday he suffered a “shellacking” in mid-term elections, but would not concede the rout represented a massive repudiation of his transformative domestic agenda.

A chastened president instead blamed the loss of the House of Representatives and Republican gains in the Senate on deep voter frustration at the sluggish recovery and his failure to clean up the “ugly mess” in Washington.

“It feels bad,” Obama said, digesting his defeat in a White House news conference setting the tone for a looming period of divided government and political confrontation in which he must now chart his 2012 re-election bid.

Obama and Reid: Still Can’t Commit on DADT Repeal

While President Obama says that he supports repealing DADT, he will not tell the lame duck Congress to do it:

   OBAMA: “There’s going be a review that comes out at the beginning of the month that will have a surveyed attitudes and opinions within the armed forces. I will expect that Secretary of Defense Gates and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen, will have something to say about that review. I will look at it very carefully. But that will give us time to act in potentially during the lame duck session to change this policy. Keep in mind we got a bunch of court cases that are out there as well. And something that would be very disruptive to good order and good discipline and unit cohesion is, if we got this issue bouncing around on the courts as it already has over the last several weeks, where the Pentagon and the chain of command doesn’t know at any given time what rules they’re working under. We need to provide certainty and it’s time for us to move this policy forward, and this should not be a partisan issue.

This is why voters threw out the blue dogs. Keep missing the message, Mr. President.

h/t Wonk Room @ Think Progress

Punting the Pundits: The Morning After

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Will Obama and the Democrats now get the message? The center is too far right. We did not elect them to continue the same destructive policies of the last administration. We elected them to do the bold things they said they would do really regulate Wall St. and the banks, real health care reform and regulation, ending DADT and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan not expanding them into Pakistan and Yemen. Had they tried that and failed because of Republican obstruction maybe last night would have been far different.


Glenn Greenwald: Pundit sloth: blaming the Left

Ten minutes was the absolute maximum I could endure of any one television news outlet last night without having to switch channels in the futile search for something more bearable, but almost every time I had MNSBC on, there was Lawrence O’Donnell trying to blame “the Left” and “liberalism” for the Democrats’ political woes. Alan Grayson’s loss was proof that outspoken liberalism fails. Blanche Lincoln’s loss was the fault of the Left for mounting a serious primary challenge against her. Russ Feingold’s defeat proved that voters reject liberalism in favor of conservatism, etc. etc. It sounded as though he was reading from some script jointly prepared in 1995 by The New Republic, Lanny Davis and the DLC.

There are so many obvious reasons why this “analysis” is false: Grayson represents a highly conservative district that hadn’t been Democratic for decades before he won in 2008 and he made serious mistakes during the campaign; Lincoln was behind the GOP challenger by more than 20 points back in January, before Bill Halter even announced his candidacy; Feingold was far from a conventional liberal, having repeatedly opposed his own party on multiple issues, and he ran in a state saddled with a Democratic governor who was unpopular in the extreme. Beyond that, numerous liberals who were alleged to be in serious electoral trouble kept their seats: Barney Frank, John Dingell, Rush Holt and many others. But there’s one glaring, steadfastly ignored fact destroying O’Donnell’s attempt — which is merely the standard pundit storyline that has been baking for months and will now be served en masse — to blame The Left and declare liberalism dead. It’s this little inconvenient fact:

  Blue Dog Coalition Crushed By GOP Wave Election

Robert Reich: Why Obama Should Learn the Lesson of 1936, not 1996

Which lesson will the president learn from the midterm election — that of Clinton in 1996, or FDR in 1936? The choice will determine his strategy over the next two years. Hopefully, he’ll find 1936 more relevant. . . .

Obama’s best hope of reelection will be to re-frame the debate, making the central issue the power of big businesses and Wall Street to gain economic advantage at the expense of the rest of us. This is the Democratic playing field, and it’s more relevant today than at any time since the 1930s.

The top 1 percent of Americans, by income, is now taking home almost a quarter of all income, and accounting for almost 40 percent of all wealth. Meanwhile, large numbers of Americans are losing their homes because banks won’t let them reorganize their mortgages under bankruptcy. And corporations continue to lay off (and not rehire) even larger numbers.

With Republicans controlling more of Congress, their pending votes against extended unemployment benefits, jobs bills, and work programs will more sharply reveal whose side they’re on. Their attempt to extort extended tax cuts for the wealthy by threatening tax increases on the middle class will offer even more evidence. As will their refusal to disclose their sources of campaign funding.

E.J. Dionne Jr.: And now for the next battle

President Obama allowed Republicans to define the terms of the nation’s political argument for the past two years and permitted them to draw battle lines the way they wanted. Neither he nor his party can let that happen again.

Democrats would be foolish to turn in on themselves in a fruitless battle over whether their troubles owe to a failure to mobilize and excite their base or to win support from the political center. In fact, Democrats held onto moderate voters while losing independents. What hurt them most was this brute fact: Voters younger than 30 made up 18 percent of the electorate in 2008 but only about half that on Tuesday, according to network exit polls. This verdict was rendered by a much older and much more conservative electorate. Yes, there was an enthusiasm gap.

More about the FAIL!

Dear Barack Obama: Word Salads Aren’t Enough

by Taylor Marsh

03 November 2010 9:31 am

Obama, Speaker Pelosi, Democratic legislators, and Obama loyalists thought they could pass health care legislation by throwing the American people into a corporate monopoly system against their will, while using seniors’ money to pay for it, sacrificing women, while lying to the people that it wouldn’t cost more, as you push so called “benefits” off into the future. In fact, Obama and his loyalists actually thought they’d even get rewarded. The political malpractice is epic.

Today Pres. Obama will come out and say something to the effect that “we get the message,” people don’t want obstruction or partisanship they want us to work together. The man is clueless. Following tested partisan and Democratic principles going back to F.D.R. might have saved some of last night. But Obama’s Monty Hall, “let’s make a corporate deal,” screw the policy principles mentality was always doomed to take Dems down. It was just a matter of waiting for the moment to manifest.

What voters want is for their lives to get better or at the very least to believe that the people in charge making policies understand their plight and know what they’re doing. Pres. Obama does not and, unfortunately, too many elected Dems thought their job was to walk in lock-step with a president who couldn’t find a democratic policy answer with F.D.R.’s road map.

The election results of 2010 are a result of Mr. Obama’s philosophy of cutting a deal for the sake of an “accomplishment” and in order to further your own political marketing. This craven self-serving political egotism means political catastrophe if what you’re doing doesn’t actually make the lives of people better or at the very least doesn’t make them feel as if you’re making it worse.

It’s the third turn out the bums election in as many cycles. It’s going to happen again in 2012 and if Pres. Obama doesn’t get his act together he will be turned out too.

Another good analysis

The Primary Obama Movement Begins Today

Ian Welsh, 11/3/10

Let me put it simply, what went wrong went wrong from the very top of the party.  In both political and policy terms, the President of the United States, the head of the Democratic party, created this disaster.

Barack Obama took pains to let down or gratuitously harm virtually every major Democratic constituency. Whether it was increasing deportations of Hispanics, whether it was putting in a Presidential order against Federal money being used for abortions which was more restrictive than Rep. Stupak had demanded, whether it was wholesale violation of civil rights climaxing with the claim that he had the right to assassinate American citizens, whether it was trading away the public option to corporate interests then insisting for months he hadn’t, whether it was not moving aggressively on card check (EFCA) for unions, or whether it was constantly stymying attempts to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Barack Obama was there making sure that whatever could be done to demoralize the base was done.

The status quo of Democrats coming in after Republicans and accepting Republican policies as a fait accomplit must end.  If it does not, the US will experience a full-on meltdown.  Not a great depression like in the ’30s (though the US is in a Depression) but a meltdown like that which occurred in Russia after the collapse of the USSR, where the population actually declined, food was hard to find, brown outs were common, medicine was in short supply, and so on.

The left must be seen to repudiate Obama, and they must be seen to take him down.  If the left does not do this, left wing politics and policies will be discredited with Obama.  This is important not as a matter of partisan or ideological preference, it is important because left wing policies work.  It is necessary to move back to strongly progressive taxation, it is necessary to force the rich to take their losses, it is necessary to deal with global warming, it is necessary to deal with the fact that the era of cheap oil is over, it is necessary to stop the offshoring engine which is destroyin the American middle class.

The first step to fixing America is fixing the Democratic party, and the first step in fixing the Democratic party is fixing Barack Obama and destroying, forever, publicly and in the most high profile way possible, the idea that Democrats can ignore and abuse their own base.  The lies spewed by corporate media figures who earn millions of dollars a year, that every time the Democrats lose, it is because they were too left wing, so more tax cuts are necessary, must end.

On This Day in History: November 3

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

November 3 is the 307th day of the year (308th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 58 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1964, residents of the District of Columbia cast their ballots in a presidential election for the first time. The passage of the 23rd Amendment in 1961 gave citizens of the nation’s capital the right to vote for a commander in chief and vice president. They went on to help Democrat Lyndon Johnson defeat Republican Barry Goldwater in 1964, the next presidential election.

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, the District, or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States, founded on July 16, 1790. Article One of the United States Constitution provides for a federal district, distinct from the states, to serve as the permanent national capital. The City of Washington was originally a separate municipality within the federal territory until an act of Congress in 1871 established a single, unified municipal government for the whole District. It is for this reason that the city, while legally named the District of Columbia, is known as Washington, D.C. Named in honor of George Washington, the city shares its name with the U.S. state of Washington located on the country’s Pacific coast.

On July 16, 1790, the Residence Act provided for a new permanent capital to be located on the Potomac River, the exact area to be selected by President Washington. As permitted by the U.S. Constitution, the initial shape of the federal district was a square, measuring 10 miles (16 km) on each side, totaling 100 square miles (260 km2). During 1791-92, Andrew Ellicott and several assistants, including Benjamin Banneker, surveyed the border of the District with both Maryland and Virginia, placing boundary stones at every mile point. Many of the stones are still standing. A new “federal city” was then constructed on the north bank of the Potomac, to the east of the established settlement at Georgetown. On September 9, 1791, the federal city was named in honor of George Washington, and the district was named the Territory of Columbia, Columbia being a poetic name for the United States in use at that time. Congress held its first session in Washington on November 17, 1800.

The Organic Act of 1801 officially organized the District of Columbia and placed the entire federal territory, including the cities of Washington, Georgetown, and Alexandria, under the exclusive control of Congress. Further, the unincorporated territory within the District was organized into two counties: the County of Washington to the east of the Potomac and the County of Alexandria to the west. Following this Act, citizens located in the District were no longer considered residents of Maryland or Virginia, thus ending their representation in Congress.

The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified in 1961, granting the District three votes in the Electoral College for the election of President and Vice President, but still no voting representation in Congress.

How About Them Dawgs?

Blue Dog Coalition Crushed By GOP Wave Election

by Amanda Terkel, The Huffington Post

Posted: 11-3-10, 05:52 AM

According to an analysis by The Huffington Post, 23 of the 46 Blue Dogs up for re-election went down on Tuesday. Notable losses included Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-S.D.), the coalition’s co-chair for administration, and Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.), the co-chair for policy. Two members were running for higher office (both lost), three were retiring and three races were still too close to call.

In fact, some progressives blamed the Blue Dogs for losses on Tuesday across the ideological spectrum within the Democratic Party.

“From our perspective, our members did all that they could do and really left everything on the field,” said Levana Layendecker, communications director of the progressive grassroots organization Democracy for America. “Of course we are disappointed with the results tonight, but not surprised. Unfortunately, progressive champions became collateral damage tonight in a toxic environment created by Blue Dogs who refused to stand up for real change.”

23 is still 23 too many.

Ready for some more good news?

Good morning campers.  I’m your Uncle Ernie and I welcome you to Tommy’s Holiday Camp.  The camp with a difference, never mind the weather.  When you come to Tommy’s, the holiday’s forever!

BP’s Dudley Embraces Deepwater Risk in U.S., Brazil After Spill

By Brian Swint and Stanley Reed, Bloomberg News

Nov 3, 2010 4:33 AM ET

BP Plc Chief Executive Officer Robert Dudley expects to drill in the U.S. Gulf for 20 years as the company exploits its experience searching for oil miles below the sea.

“Companies like BP, one of the roles they play in the industry is working in riskier areas,” Dudley, 55, said in an interview at BP’s worldwide London headquarters yesterday. BP “is now going to become incredibly focused on managing the risks, for example, of deep-water. It’s not going to shy away from the risk, it’s going to get even better at it.”

“We certainly have a great set of production assets and we have opened up the lower tertiary play in the Gulf of Mexico, which is a two-decade play,” said Dudley. “That’s an important piece of exploration for BP we’re very good at. You’ll see us continue to participate in that.”

Deep-water production accounts for about 18 percent of BP’s global output. The company is the top deep-water explorer in the Gulf and has taken part in more than 40 percent of the area’s large field discoveries in the past decade, according to its website. It also drills from deep-water fields in Angola. In March, BP bought assets in Brazil as part of a $7 billion deal with Devon Energy Corp.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents… The 2010 Elections in Editorial Cartoons w/Poll Closing Times

Crossposted at Daily Kos and Docudharma

Alfred Hitchcock Presents… The 2010 Elections

Psycho by Clay Bennett, Comics.com, see the large number of reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Prime Time

Election Edition

Interlagos this week.  Means between the lakes.  Pitchers and Catchers report February 13th.

Elections taking up a lot of ether tonight, you can consider this an Open Thread (when isn’t it?).  In a sort of meta interesting way NBC and Faux start their election coverage at 9 (Faux only hangs for an hour), ABC at 9:30, and CBS at 10.

Or perhaps you wish to avert your eyes-

Oh, you zip it, Doris! Rogers Hornsby was my manager, and he called me a talking pile of pigshit. And that was when my parents drove all the way down from Michigan to see me play the game. And did I cry?


It will happen.

October 14th Dave.  Jon’s Indecision 2010: Maybe We Can’t and Stephen’s Indecision 2010: Revenge of the Fallen are billed as LIVE.  Stephen is sharing the spotlight with David Frum and Chrystia Freeland.

BoondocksStinkmeaner Strikes Back.

Regardless of the verdict of juries… no player who throws a ball game… no player who undertakes, or promises to throw a game… no player who sits in conference with a bunch of crooked players and gamblers where the ways and means of throwing a ball game are discussed, and does not promptly tell his club about it… will ever play professional baseball again.

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

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