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    • Who’s doing what in Ukraine?
      I get the feeling we’re about to be sucked into yet another war: A flyer distributed in the eastern Ukrainian city Donestk is telling the city’s Jewish community that they need to “register” with the separatist government, but the head of the self-appointed new leadership in the region has denied involvement. In a set of […]
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      The Ukrainian military clearly doesn’t care enough to actually fight: The day began inauspiciously for Ukrainian forces as they sought to establish an operating base in the city of Kramatorsk, moving in units from a nearby military air base. According to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and a witness who spoke by phone, a column of six [...]
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Sunday Late Night Open Thread

government

What’s on your mind?

Favorite Gaffes and Verbal Tics

Good evening, you lovely Conflucians. This is a participatory thread. Please share your favorite funny or irritating moments of the 2008 Campaign season. We can also discuss the irritating habits and horrible gaffes of previous Presidents. I’ll start by sharing a few of my very favorite Obama gaffes.

Here’s another one I really enjoyed.

Now it’s your turn. What were your favorite gaffetastic moments? You should also feel free to ridicule the verbal tics and odd behaviors of the candidates and other politicians alive and dead.

President-Elect Treebeard?

Treebeard or Obama?
Treebeard or Obama?

In Barack Obama’s first press conference as President-Elect, he demonstrated the same urgency and bold leadership that he showed during the primaries.

Which is to say, none.

Every time he was asked for specifics of what he would be doing as President (and now) in order to address the economic crisis facing this country, he either deflected the questions or gave a standard stump speech. The reporters came away with no definite answers about who the next Treasury Secretary was going to be, whether or not the rest of the bailout would be distributed before the election, or even, what kind of dog his daughters were going to get.

“Hoom, hoom. Let’s not be hasty.”

Now, call me crazy, but didn’t Obama know he was going to win a long time ago? Didn’t he declare that he had won the nomination in February? Wasn’t he taking victory laps around Europe this summer? So, um, what was he waiting for? Where was the planning? Where is the bold new vision? Where is the, dare I ask, Change?

So far, I have seen nothing but Old Washington types being considered for Obama’s Cabinet and key staff positions. Deregulation fans Larry Summers or Robert Rubin for Treasury Secretary. John Kerry or Bill Richardson for Secretary of State. Rahm Emanuel for Chief of Staff. And these folks are all eeeevvvviiiillll Clintonites (except for John Kerry). Oh, the irony and the horror!

I have no idea what’s going on in Obama’s Ent-like head. But if I were going to be a leader who takes America in a new direction, and I realized that Reaganomics, as practiced by both Democrats and Republicans, has devastated this country’s economy in a truly terrifying way, then my Treasury Secretary would be someone who emphatically opposes Reagonomics.

Continue reading

Vent Your Spleen Open Thread

angry-mob1

Here is a chance to vent your anger and frustrations. 

MODERATION POLICY FOR THIS THREAD ONLY!:

1. No personal attacks or insults (polite criticism okay)

2. No threats of violence (Duh!)

3.  No racial or sexist epithets (double Duh!)

4. NO TROLLS

5. MYIQ2XU is the sole moderator, judge and jury.

IF YOU JOIN THIS THREAD DON’T COMPLAIN THAT YOUR FEELINGS GOT HURT 

The Public Humiliation of Hillary Clinton Continues

I have a great idea.

The Belstone Stocks, Dartmoor, UK

The Belstone Stocks, Dartmoor, UK

Why not just put Hillary in the stocks on the White House lawn on inauguration day and let passersby throw things at her? How fortunate for Sarah Palin and her family that she has returned to Alaska and can’t be put beside Hillary. Continue reading

Sunday: Who is Sheila Bair?

Sheila Bair, 2nd most powerful woman in the world
Sheila Bair, 2nd most powerful woman in the world

If you want to hear Obamaphile Extraordinaire Terry Gross squirming in her chair, skip the Gene Simmons interview.  The most entertaining interviews this year have been the ones Terry has had with Theresa Ghilarducci, a pensions and retirement specialist, and Robert Kuttner who wrote and published the book, Obama’s Challenge: America’s Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency.  Kuttner is being clever here.  What he’s actually doing is challenging Obama.  During the interview, one gets the distinct sense that Kuttner *knows* that Obama is not a transformative president.  It’s not in Obama’s character.  But he is trying to force grim realities upon Obama in the hopes that he will step up to the plate and deliver.

Those grim realities, and the possibility that a new president with approximately 142 days of Senatorial experience is going to be facing the most serious crisis since the Great Depression, make Terry very uncomfortable.  It’s like, “What do you *want* from him???  He just gave you the warm fuzzies?  Isn’t this enough???  Presidentin’ is really hard!”  I just love this exchange:

Kuttner:  I think the whole point is that crisis can be turned into opportunity but that Obama has to be very bold in the way he proceeds.

Gross:  But that’s the problem, isn’t it?  I mean, there are so many places that have grave financial need now.  Cities and states, uh, infrastructure, bank bailouts, homeowner bailouts, the auto industry wants money.

Kuttner:  Hmm-mmm.

Gross:  I mean, there’s a kind of crisis in every sector, so how do you decide what your priorities are?  That’s going to be a really hard one for Obama, don’t you think??

Yes, Terry, we *do* think.  And we have thought this for some time now.  That is why we did not support Obama.  We thought it would be too overwhelming for a guy with no knowledge of the executive branch or how the mechanisms of government actually worked.

Terry seems genuinely shocked that the economy is seriously smothering her pleasure in the nation’s self-actualization over the Obama victory.  My advice is to enjoy is while you can.  The $^*( hits the fan when the inauguration is over and the drum lines go home to Georgia.

Kuttner mentions several possibilities for Treasury Secretary.  Larry Summers is at the top of Obama’s list but not Kuttner’s.  Summers was too involved in deregulation in the 90′s.  He also mentions Governor of NJ, Jon Corzine, to which I reply, “Take him!  PLEASE!”  But Kuttner points out that Corzine was once the CEO of Goldman-Sachs and we already have enough incest between Treasury and Wall Street.

Then he mentions Sheila Bair, the head of the FDIC.  You may be surprised to know that this woman that probably no one has heard of is the 2nd most powerful woman in the world behind Angela Merkel.  She’s a very smart, very tough administrator who was right on top of the bank mergers of recent months. Democratic Cogresscritters like her. She’s also a Republican but one who is friendly to regulation.  Weird.  I guess such creatures aren’t mythical after all.

So, here we have a well-respected, pro-regulation, Republican administrator who is also a woman.

Will Obama go with Bair for Sec. of Treasury?  And what will it say about the transformative nature of Obama’s presidency if he defaults to Summers, a deregulator who thinks women aren’t smart enough to compete with men in math and science?

Sunday Early AM Sick Cat Open Thread

home-sweet-home-004

Can’t help him, can’t ignore him.  Why are you awake?

Bill Ayers Speaks

Good old Bill Ayers. Now that Barack Obama is President Elect, Ayers has decided to tell his sad story of victimization. Oh, he is so tortured and put upon. Poor Bill. Back in the 1960s, he and a bunch of his wealthy, entitled friends managed to destroy Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in no time at all by creating the Weatherman group and advocating the violent overthrow of the federal government. They ruined the reputation of the peace movement too with their bombs and threatening communiques. Lots of people back then assumed the Weathermen were CIA infiltrators. They certainly weren’t helping the cause of peace. Bill Ayers never spent a day in jail for the violence he perpetrated, and now he’s an author and a tenured professor of education. In fact lots of the ex-weathermen are professors, and they’re all pretty wealthy. They aren’t exactly living up to their socialist ideals, are they? Continue reading

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