Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from July, 2012

Running against a phantom

E. J. Dionne wrote an interesting article in which he tried to describe the Republican's strategy in this presidential election.
For conservatives, this is a go-for-broke election. They and a Republican Party now under their control hope to eke out a narrow victory in November on the basis of a quite radical program that includes more tax cuts for the rich, deep reductions in domestic spending, big increases in military spending and a sharp rollback in government regulation...

In the process, the right hopes to redefine middle-of-the-road policies as “left wing,” thereby altering the balance in the American political debate. He goes on to suggest that the reason this strategy is making Romney competitive is because of 3 things:
Conservatives have their opening not because the country has moved far to the right but courtesy of economic discontent, partisan polarization and the right’s success in defining Obama as standing well to the left of where he actually does. That's why w…

So...Romney wants to equate economic success with superior culture and providence

Of all the things Mitt Romney has said, this one that he uttered in Israel yesterday has to rank up there as the most stupid and offensive.
I was thinking this morning as I prepared to come into this room of a discussion I had across the country in the United States about my perceptions about differences between countries. And as you come here and you see the GDP per capita for instance in Israel which is about 21,000 dollars and you compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority which is more like 10,000 dollars per capita you notice a dramatic, stark difference in economic vitality.  And that is also between other countries that are near or next to each other. Chile and Ecuador, Mexico and the United States. I noted that part of my interest when I used to be in the world of business is I would travel to different countries was to understand why there were such enormous disparities in the economic success of various countries...  And a…

ACA mandate does not require people to buy for-profit insurance

Overall I love BooMan's article defending the ACA and its benefits to those who cannot afford to buy health insurance.

But there's one correction that I'd like to make to what he said. This is a pretty common mistake many liberals make when critiquing the law.
Now, I hate the mandate because it attempts to compel people to buy private for-profit health insurance... It may sound like I'm nitpicking, but I think its an important point to remember that the exchanges set up by ACA for people who don't get insurance through their employer (as well as small businesses who tend to pay higher group rates) will be required to include at least one plan offered by a non-profit health insurer.

In addition, ACA provides $4.8 billion in funding for the development of non-profit health insurance co-ops.
...to foster the creation of non-profit, member-run health insurance companies in all 50 states and District of Columbia to offer qualified health plans. To be eligible to receive…

"Vetters" offer reward to prove Obama has an open mind

I don't usually weigh in on Israeli/Palestinian issues because it tends to be a landmine better left to those who are more informed than I am.

But I will say that it causes me no concern whatsoever when I hear reports that there is obvious tension between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu. It suggests that the President is applying pressure to a man who has proven that he cannot be trusted...and that's a good thing. It is, of course in contrast to Mitt Romney, who speaks Netanyahu's words.

While Romney was in Israel, the Breitbart crew used the occasion to continue their efforts to "vet" President Obama - this time on his past with regards to the I/P issue. They're offering a $50,000 reward to anyone who produces a tape of then state senator Barack Obama speaking at a farewell event in 2003 for Rashid Khalidi - founder of the Arab American Action Network and advocate for Palestinian rights.

This is something the wingers have been screaming about fo…

Ruh-Roh - Newsweek cover: Mitt the Wimp (updated x 2)

UPDATE:

The content for the cover story isn't available online or in print yet. But you can access it via an ipad application.

The full article is available here.

As the covers says, the article is by Michael Tomasky. The title of the article inside is "A Mouse in the White House? Mitt has bowed to reporters and cowered from the right. He's a candidate with a serious wimp problem."

Ouch!!!!

Tomasky alludes to #romneyshambles right away and then summarizes this way:
The episode highlights what's really wrong with Romney. He's kind of lame, and he's really...annoying. He keeps saying these...things, these incredibly off-key things. Then he apologizes immediately - with all the sincerity of a hostage. Or maybe he doesn't: sometimes he whines about the subsequent attacks on him. But the one thing he never does? Man up, double down, take his lumps. I personally think that a lot of men (including Tomasky in this article) still have a lot of work to do in fig…

Fierce Olympians

Is the GOP exodus showing up in Ohio and Florida?

Over the last few weeks, I've been highlighting stories of individuals who have announced their exodus from the Republican Party. Some might counter that in a country this large, a handful of people don't necessarily signify a trend.

That's why a poll released yesterday in Ohio by the GOP firm We Ask America is so interesting. Their findings are that 19% of Republicans in that state plan on voting for President Obama (8% are still undecided and 2% say they're voting for Gary Johnson).

I don't think its ever a good idea to put too much stock in one poll. But there are two reasons to pay attention to this one. First of all, its coming from a GOP pollster. But secondly, its clear that this result surprised them, so they double-checked.
What pops out immediately is the high percentage of self-described Republicans who say they will vote for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. An outlier? Perhaps. But we went back into the field last night to test it again. The results: a…

All in a day's work

And now its off to the opening ceremonies...all in a day's work.

"The incredible randomness of it all"

Today David Frum wrote an interesting article focusing in on the context in which President Obama made his remark about "you didn't build that."
Obama's second idea is that success is to a great extent random, a matter of luck. You think you succeeded because you were smart or hard-working? Listen—a lot of smart and hard-working people don't succeed...

In this particular election cycle, the argument that the successful are almost by definition deserving and that the unsuccessful are correspondingly undeserving has exploded into noisy public controversy.

The president appears to have heard that argument, and it irks him. That's pretty close to what I was suggesting when I wrote about those statements being a veiled reference to white privilege.

Frum is suggesting that President Obama was talking about randomness or luck. Reading what he said reminded me that I had wanted to go back and find something that Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote about this a while ago. I think …

WSJ columnist explains the dog whistle in Romney's "you didn't build that" attack

First of all, lets remind ourselves that when it comes to the overall message that sparked all of this, President Obama and Mitt Romney agree.

So you have to wonder why conservatives and the Romney campaign are working so hard to make this dreamed-up controversy such a focal point.

Kimberley Strassel fills us in via the WSJ:
The Obama campaign's bigger problem, both sides are now realizing, is that his words go beyond politics and are more devastating than the Romney complaints that Mr. Obama is too big-government oriented or has mishandled the economy. They raise the far more potent issue of national identity and feed the suspicion that Mr. Obama is actively hostile to American ideals and aspirations. Republicans are doing their own voter surveys, and they note that Mr. Obama's problem is that his words cause an emotional response, and that they disturb voters in nearly every demographic. Yep, that's exactly what dog whistles are designed to do - illicit an emotional respo…

These Guys

OMG, you gotta see this. Its a story you think you've heard before...until the end.



Thanks to DerFarm for sharing this in the comments.

State of the Race: #romneyshambles

Just before Romney let loose with his incompetence in London, Markos did a good job of capturing his dilemma.
How does someone go on a "foreign policy tour," yet refuse to talk about foreign policy?

How does someone claim to be running based on knowledge of business, then refuse to talk about his business?

How does someone carry the banner of the moralist Republican Party, yet refuse to talk about his own faith?

How does a former governor run for president, yet does everything in his power to erase those four years from the debate?

You strip away those things, and what's left? The fact that he has perfect hair? And now, with #romneyshambles in full swing, the Republican nominee has managed to step all over the one message on foreign policy he hoped to communicate.
Undergirding Mitt Romney’s trip to Europe and Israel this week was a single concept: President Obama has weakened the view of America in the eyes of foreign leaders thanks to a policy of appeasement and “apolog…

If I Were A Boy

"Presto, two-term President Obama"

It looks like today is going to be my day for short takes (two posts below). But I just read something that I HAVE to endorse.

The topic p m carpenter is discussing this morning is the Republican penchant for wanting it all...tax cuts and huge defense spending. But he's predicting that Romney is going to have trouble with that one.
Furthermore, Romney's opponent is no Carter, no Mondale, no Gore and no Kerry. Barack Obama won't be intimidated and he doesn't panic; he refuses to tactically flop around like a mackerel in the moonlight; he sets a strategic course and he sticks to it, reflecting an inner confidence and determined calm that noticeably frustrate the bejesus out of bullies like Romney.

Presto, two-term President Obama. KABOOM! Outta-the-park!

Can you imagine if Obama had said that?!

When Mitt Romney was interviewed by Brian Williams, the topic of what happened in Aurora and the need for gun reform came up. Here's what Romney said:
"Well, this person shouldn't have had any kind of weapons and bombs and other devices and it was illegal for him to have many of those things already. But he had them," Romney said, although the guns used in the shooting were all purchased legally.

"And so we can sometimes hope that just changing the law will make all bad things go away. It won't. Changing the heart of the American people may well be what's essential, to improve the lots of the American people." Most people commenting on this have done what this article did...point out that the guns (and ammunition) used in this instance were purchased legally.

But its that last sentence that stuck out to me. WTH was Romney saying? That it is "the heart of the American people" that is responsible for what happened in Aurora?

My gawd, just im…

Obama's "you didn't build that" a lesson in white privilege

The Republicans are stepping up the attack on President Obama's "you didn't build that" statement by saying that the context actually makes the statement worse. Here's an ad the RNC put out yesterday to demonstrate.



When I watched the isolation of this part of the President's remarks, it struck me that this is a message that most people of color in this country understand from day one because what he's alluding to (especially when he talks about the fact that there are a lot of hardworking smart people out there) is essentially white privilege. Its another way of saying "you were born on third base and thought you hit a tripple." The inference of his remarks is that there are a lot of smart hardworking people who DON'T make it.

I'm not suggesting that white privilege is what President Obama was consciously addressing. But as a black man in this country, this awareness about all the smart hardworking people who don't make it is a fact…

As a Mother...

There will be many campaign ads that get a lot more attention that this one. But listening to Michelle talk - as a mother - speaks very deeply to me. What I see in the Obamas are people who are grounded in who they love and know where their priorities are. That means that the work they do isn't meant to fill their own needs, but is given freely for the benefit of others.

America is not just broken, we're delusional

I tend to agree with BooMan.
If America has a problem it is that it has evolved to a point where the political natures of the two major parties are not able to co-exist in a functional way. Our system works when party loyalty is weak. But, right now, party loyalty is strong. No one can govern in an ideologically rigid system where you need 60% of the Senate to move legislation and no party has anywhere near 60% control.

There are only two ways out. Either the parties will become more fluid, or one party must be crushed underfoot. The delusional part is that every 4 years the country has one massive conversation trying to decide which one of two candidates can solve our problems with hardly a whisper about what's actually broken.

No matter what promises President Obama made, the truth is that for the last 2 years (since Democrats lost their 60 vote majority in the Senate and Republicans took control of the House), about the only things he's been able to get done are those he ha…

Hey lefties...how bout walking your talk?

I have tremendous respect for the tenacity of people involved in things like the Brady Campaign who fight the good fight on gun reform even when no one else is paying attention. Mayor Bloomberg also gets kudos from me for his commitment to Mayors Against Illegal Guns. I loved it when he and Boston Mayor Tom Merino made this ad for the 2012 Superbowl.



But what pisses me off are the lefties who can't be bothered to talk about gun reform until the country is in an emotionally reactive state and the issue hits the headlines. Then all of the sudden its all on President Obama and other politicians who haven't done anything.

So this morning I had a little vision. Over at Daily Kos, there are liberals who are both gun reform advocates and gun rights advocates. There's even a fairly active RKBA group (Right to Keep and Bear Arms). What if a site like that sponsored a conversation to see if those two groups could come to some agreement about sensible gun reform? They could then prop…

Why Allie and Stephanie matter

After visiting with Allie and Stephanie yesterday, President Obama told their story.
When the gunman initially came in and threw the canisters, he threw them only a few feet away from Allie and Stephanie, who were sitting there watching the film. Allie stood up, seeing that she might need to do something or at least warn the other people who were there. And she was immediately shot. And she was shot in the neck, and it punctured a vein, and immediately she started spurting blood.

And apparently, as she dropped down on the floor, Stephanie -- 21 years old -- had the presence of mind to drop down on the ground with her, pull her out of the aisle, place her fingers over where she -- where Allie had been wounded, and applied pressure the entire time while the gunman was still shooting. Allie told Stephanie she needed to run. Stephanie refused to go -- instead, actually, with her other hand, called 911 on her cell phone.

Once the SWAT team came in, they were still trying to clear the thea…

When President Obama initiated a conversation about gun laws

While some on the left suggest directly and indirectly that President Obama hasn't done anything about reforming our gun laws, I think its important to remember something he did do.

Two months after the shootings in Arizona, the President published an op-ed in the Arizona Daily Star suggesting that it was time for us to have a grown-up conversation on the topic.
I know that every time we try to talk about guns, it can reinforce stark divides. People shout at one another, which makes it impossible to listen. We mire ourselves in stalemate, which makes it impossible to get to where we need to go as a country.

However, I believe that if common sense prevails, we can get beyond wedge issues and stale political debates to find a sensible, intelligent way to make the United States of America a safer, stronger place. This is such a typical approach to an issue like this from President Obama. First of all, he waited 2 months until the rest of the country had moved on from their emotionall…

What happens to Republicans when they don't have to pander to their lunatic base?

To answer the question in my title: They get sane.

A great example of that is former Senate Minority Leader Bill Frist. Remember...he's the doctor-turned-politician that diagnosed Terri Schiavo on the floor of the Senate after watching a video tape. Total lunacy.

But he's not a Republican politician anymore and so he doesn't have to cater to their lunatic base. As a result, he wrote an article this week basically telling the GOP governors to get off their duffs and create the exchanges called for in Obamacare.
Enacting some sort of exchange establishment legislation is expected to be crucial to receiving federal approval for a state-run exchange. And though some GOP governors refuse to set up an exchange of their own, I see little advantage for states to default to the federally designed, one-size-fits-all exchange when they can design and run their own.

The silver lining is that with much planning left to do, there is still time to get involved and design the exchange in …

State of the Race: Stable

A few months ago I made the case that the electorate is not as volatile as we are often led to believe in national elections. Today, Larry Sabato makes the same argument.
Three months of close-to-zero movement in the presidential race calls into question our obsession with horse race political coverage. Neither millions of dollars in television advertising nor three weak monthly job reports in a row have moved the needle very much; the supposed gaffes that dominate the daily news cycle have even less effect. The truth is, the majority of people have already made up their minds.
While it is fashionable for voters to call themselves “independent” - both in how they respond to surveys or in their voter registration - polling data tell us that most people who claim to be independent really are not...Political science research suggests that the real proportion of independents in the November electorate will be even smaller, perhaps 5% to7%. I would go one step further and suggest that the …

Different Americas?

I remember not long after Bill Clinton was inaugurated as President, he and Hillary attended an event that included a performance by Stevie Wonder. I watched on TV as the President and First Lady sang along.

It was such a powerful moment for me. After Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush, it was the first time a POTUS could sing along with "my music." I realized that my generation had finally grown up.

I thought of that moment when I read this article about a rich old white lady suggesting that President Obama represented a "different America" because he sang "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green.
“It’s the difference between the songs that they’re singing,” Mrs Welch said. “Mitt Romney didn’t exactly do a beautiful job on that song, but think about what he’s singing, OK? I mean it’s that patriotic song and he goes all the way through it. Then you’ve got the very cool Barack Obama singing Al Green. That is the two different Americas. Isn…

Greenwald to The Guardian

Here's a little mindless minutia for a Saturday afternoon: 

Some of you may have heard by now that Glenn Greenwald will be leaving Salon next month and taking up writing residence at The Guardian. I suppose that it shouldn't come as a shock to anyone that when a British paper goes looking for a columnist to headline their expanding U.S. edition, they pick someone who writes about U.S. politics from Brazil ;-)

But actually I'm looking forward to it.

A couple of years ago I started commenting on Michael Tomasky's blog at The Guardian. Tomasky does a pretty good job of keeping his ear to the ground about what's driving the political conversation in this country. Whether I agreed with his take or not - talking about what he's writing about means that you're in the thick of the fault lines in American politics.

But the other thing that drew me there was that he had assembled a group of commenters that spanned the range on the political continuum. These days with…

Cheney vs Norquist

The beauty of having a President who is former community organizer and knows a thing or two about power and leverage is starting to show.

As a result of the debt ceiling deal agreed to last summer, we're about to witness a showdown between the two most powerful factions in the Republican Party - the military industrial complex (as represented by Dick Cheney) and the no-taxes group (as represented by Grover Norquist).

The genius of President Obama and the Democrats was to time the automatic spending cuts agreed to in the debt ceiling deal (which include $55 billion/year to defense) to the exact same day (January 1, 2013) that the Bush tax cuts expire. Remember, those things happen if Congress does nothing. So this time the old tried-and-true tactic of Republican obstruction won't work. They have to proactively pass something to stop it.

The line the Democrats are drawing is that in order to stop the cuts to defense spending, Republicans will have to agree to end the Bush tax cu…

So you want to talk about guns?

We all know this story well because we've lived it over and over again. Something tragic happens like what took place in Aurora, Colorado yesterday. Pretty soon people are screaming at each other trying to point the finger of blame. That screaming past each other is called a conversation and goes on for a few days until we find the next thing to get hysterical about. Nothing changes.

Unfortunately, it is only within that context that we ever talk about guns. And that's why we never do anything sensible about them. At a moment like this, not many people are interested in facts and reason.

But I'm going to take this opportunity to give it a go and present some of the facts I've found about them.

First off is a chart I found a few years ago that challenges the narrative we tend to create about the problem.  Please click through to take a look at it. If I post it here, it gets too small to read.

This chart was created following the Virginia Tech shootings and relies on gu…

A Day for Hugs

So here's one just for YOU!

What if the GOP always reacted to their wingnuts this way?

Perhaps you've heard that Rep. Michele Bachmann has been doing her best impersonation of Joe McCarthy lately.
The Minnesota Republican, joined by Republican Reps. Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Thomas Rooney and Lynn Westmoreland, sent letters to the inspectors general of five government agencies responsible for national security to demand they investigate infiltration by the Muslim Brotherhood into the highest reaches of the federal government. In particular, Bachmann singled out Huma Abedin, the wife of former congressman Anthony Weiner and a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In case Abedin hasn’t already been through enough already, Bachmann is now questioning her loyalty to the U.S. by asserting that Abedin has three family members who are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood (Abedin is Muslim). She’s been targeted before by anti-Muslim activists, and Bachmann notes that Abedin’s position “affords her routine access to the Secretary and to policy-making.” Bachmann a…

To Everything There is a Season

Just so you know, I won't be writing about the shooting in Aurora today. I also won't be watching the news about it. To everything there is a season and this is a time for weeping and mourning.

Time for a pivot (updated)

It felt good to see the Obama campaign throw some knockout punches at Romney, didn't it? That kind of thing can be effective in revving up the base - especially those who don't see the more subtle blows that President Obama tends to land on the GOP all the time.

But my guess is that the reason the campaign went after Romney so directly has not been about making the base feel good. In order to understand why that approach was necessary, its important to first understand the only strategy available to Romney in this race.

Its been obvious since the beginning that the goal of the Romney camp has been to make this election a referendum on President Obama. Since the Republicans have been able to successfully block any action that would have improved the economy, the idea was to hang that failure around the neck of the President and suggest that Romney's past in the private sector was all voters would need to know to think he would do a better job.

By spending so much time talki…

Oh, this is rich!

If you're Paul Ryan:

First, you hold the global economy hostage by threatening to not pass an increase in the debt ceiling without massive spending cuts to domestic programs, including Social Security and Medicare.

The people you're negotiating with want some tax increases on the wealthy to go along with spending cuts. But you refuse. Stalemate. U.S. credit rating is downgraded.

The opposition offers you a deal...along with some domestic spending cuts, agree to either a tax increase on the wealthy or defense spending cuts.

You chose the defense cuts.

Six months before those defense cuts are set to kick in - you start squealing like a stuck pig and accuse your opponents of not caring about national security due to cuts YOU VOTED FOR because of a crisis YOU CREATED.
The Obama Administration has yet to specify how they would implement current law, while refusing to demonstrate leadership in replacing the arbitrary cuts to core priorities...

The arbitrary, across-the-board sequest…

A tale of two quotes

What Mitt Romney said yesterday.
There are a lot of people in government who help us and allow us to have an economy that works and allow entrepenuers and business leaders of various kinds to start businesses and create jobs. We all recognize that. That's an important thing...

I know that you recognize that a lot of people help you in a business. Perhaps the banks, the investors. There's no question your mom and dad. Your school teachers. The people that provide roads, the fire, and the police. A lot of people help. What President Obama said last Friday.
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so…

Sununu's attack was no accident

The degree of panic in the Romney campaign these days was demonstrated when they sent out John Sununu to try to change the subject.



What he dished out there are all the old tropes from the lunatic base about President Obama...not American, drug-taking, socialist community organizer.

We've heard it all before.

But it sounds like this might be exactly where the Romney campaign is going to go.
"[Romney] has said Obama's a nice fellow, he's just in over his head," the adviser said. "But I think the governor himself believes this latest round of attacks that have impugned his integrity and accused him of being a felon go so far beyond that pale that he's really disappointed. He believes it's time to vet the president. He really hasn't been vetted; McCain didn't do it."...

In the next chapter of Boston's pushback — which began last week when they began labeling Obama a "liar" — very little will be off-limits, from the president&#…

Let's have this fight!

One of the big stories today is that the Republicans have taken a quote from President Obama's speech  in Roanoke, VA at a fire station last Friday totally out of context and are using it as an attack. Romney is so desperate to vilify the President and change the subject that he's created a video and dedicated a whole page on his website to the lie.

In case you've missed it, here's the quote out of context: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

And here's what President Obama actually said - with lots of context:
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worke…

From "welfare queens" to "roaches"

Republican Ronald Reagan's administration is most often credited with crafting the image of people on government assistance as "welfare queens" and loaded that phrase with screaming dog whistles.

I suppose it should come as no surprise that our current crop of lunatic Republicans would take it one step further. Enter Mike Huckabee.
“It’s basically just a transfer of money from the taxpayer to the government, from the government to people who become beneficiaries of the government, because that way the government can own these people,” Huckabee said on “Fox and Friends.” “It is a trap, and it is like the roach motel. Once you get in, but you never get out.” Absolutely disgusting!!!!!!

That's about all I can say on this one at the moment without joining Mr. Huckabee in the gutter.

Obama's second term

I suspect you've heard people suggest that when (not if!) President Obama wins a second term, he won't have to worry about being elected again and we'll see all kinds of wonderful progressive stuff from him. I know I've heard people say that.

But I don't buy it. The assumption of course is that there's some inner progressive in him that he's kept in hiding for political reasons. First of all, that analysis misses how President Obama has often been to the left of his critics already. And secondly, he's let it be known throughout his whole life that when it comes to traditional lefties, he's just not that into them. The man is nothing if not a died-in-the-wool pragmatic.

So when I first saw this article about how President Obama will take on the totally ineffective drug war in his second term, I just assumed it was more of the same kind of wishful thinking.
According to ongoing discussions with Obama aides and associates, if the president wins a secon…

State of the Race: Not the game-changer Romney was hoping for

As I've been saying for awhile now, Mitt Romney is in trouble in this race. To get some idea of that, check on the no toss-up states electoral college map at the conservative site Real Clear Politics. What it suggests is that if the election were held today, President Obama would win 332/206 (interestingly enough, the exact same prediction as Nate Silver.) That means that in the next couple of months, Romney needs to pick up 64 electoral votes to have a shot at this thing...not a pretty picture.

The other thing I've been saying for awhile now is that - given this picture - Romney needs a game-changer...something that can shake this race up. Lately he's been getting one of those. Only its happening in the exact opposite direction he wants.

The questions being raised about Romney's taxes, business and finances are coming close to uniting the divisions in the Republican Party - against him. Establishment groups were certainly anything but supportive yesterday on the Sunda…

Frum levels the most devastating Romney critique of all

The title of David Frum's post today says it all: Romney: Too Weak?
It's not just his arguments that are weak. For the past year, we have watched him be pushed around by the radical GOP fringe...

...at every point, Romney has surrendered to the fringe of his party. Weak. And now in his first tough encounter with Barack Obama, Romney is being shoved around again. This is not what a president looks like - anyway, not a successful president. While many of us have admired Frum's sanity lately, its important to remember that he is a Republican. And perhaps more importantly, he's been a strong supporter of Mitt Romney. So when he levels a charge like "weak" at his preferred candidate, people should take note.

Its also important to keep in mind that the Republicans have completely wedded themselves to manly white heterosexual men as their base. Being weak to these folks is nothing short of anathema.

I tend to think that BooMan is right...Romney doesn't have a ch…

Class warfare: Its not about bad people...its about power

In a couple of my posts from yesterday, conservative commenters showed up to basically demonize poor people as lazy drags on society who simply need to buck up and take care of themselves rather than ask for handouts from the government. In other words, pretty standard stuff from them.

It got me thinking about the fact that we liberals tend to demonize rich people in much the same way. We talk about them as if they are all selfish greedy people who only care about profits - not people.

The thing about it is that I've lived long enough to know some rich people who really are assholes. But I've also known some poor people who are assholes too. I've also had the privilege of knowing some rich people who were unbelievably selfless and generous. And I've known some poor people who are inspirational in their strength through struggle.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the amount of money someone has doesn't seem to me to be determinative of what kind of person t…

Photos of the Day: Come Rain or Come Shine

"Because of the values we share, I believe in you"

Yesterday I got to watch President Obama speaking in Virginia live. What struck me was that he really seemed fired up! Some of that is probably because he's pissed off at the Republicans. Yessirree, everyone is getting to see the "then I will crush them" side of this president.

But it was how he ended the speech that both moved me and tells me where his fighting energy comes from. I wanted to write about that but didn't get around to it. This morning I woke up to find that the amazingly talented Chipsticks had put it in a video. So here it is.



We are so fortunate to have this man fighting for us. These words would never be able to come out of Mitt Romney's mouth. And even if he tried, not a soul on the planet would believe him. As we've learned more and more about President Obama's background, its clear that this is the heart and soul of this man.
I made that promise because I saw myself in you, and I saw Michelle in you. And when I look at your kids, I …

Is the Tea Party going to cost the Republicans a Senate seat pick-up...again?

Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl (D) is retiring. So there is an open race to fill his seat. For the Democrats, the nominee will be the Congresswoman who currently represents Wisconsin's 2nd district, Tammy Baldwin.

There is primary race taking place to chose her Republican challenger. Since former WI Governor Tommy Thompson put his hat in the ring, everyone has assumed that he would not only be the Republican nominee, but that he would likely do a good job of challenging Baldwin.

Things got a little complicated on that road to Oz!

Thompson is going to have to get by 3 challengers to win the nomination - Eric Hovde, Mark Newman and Jeff Fitzgerald. Earlier this week, Public Policy Polling found Hovde leading Thompson 31-29.
It's the Tea Party putting Hovde over the top. Non-Tea Party Republicans split evenly between Hovde and Thompson at 31%, but Tea Partiers give Hovde an 18 point advantage at 39-21. And then a couple of days later, the tea party group FreedomWorks endorsed Hovde…