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Wednesday News

Good Morning Conflucians!!

Let’s see what’s in the news today. You’ll never guess, more stuff about O’Donnell. No way. Yes way. Here’s a bit from ABC:

Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell broke her nearly week-long silence in the national news media Tuesday night in an appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity.”

But “mama grizzly” O’Donnell, who has faced growing scrutiny over her personal finances and past statements on sexual and social values, said future network interviews were entirely “off the table.”

“I’m not going to do any more national media because Delaware is my focus and local media are my focus,” she said.

By personal finances of course they mean she had trouble keeping up with her mortgage. Meaning, government is no place for someone who’s, you know, like the “little people”.

She told Sean Hannity that many of her provocative past statements which have resurfaced in recent days do not reflect her current outlook and are intended as a distraction for her campaign.

O’Donnell explained her 1999 comment on Bill Maher’s show “Politically Incorrect” that she had “dabbled in witchcraft” during high school as an act of “teenage rebellion.”

“Some people dabble in drugs to rebel. That’s how I rebelled,” she said. “Who didn’t do some questionable things in high school?”

O’Donnell said her controversial comments on homosexuality, masturbation and condom use, some of which were made during television appearances in the 1990s, were personal views and wouldn’t play a role in her decision making process.

“What those statements are about is in my 20’s I had newfound faith and I looked at going on those shows as a ministry,” she said of her television appearances. “My faith has matured and now it’s the Constitution that will determine how I decide on what crosses my desk.”

There’s more about mortgage, campaign financing issues, etc. And no, Castle still isn’t endorsing her, and much of the GOP is still on the attack. As has been reported here before, we’re liberal and we’re not for her. But it’s amazingly tone deaf for the opposition to go after the things they’re going after. On that note, let’s see what CBS has to say on the topic:

Yesterday, Hotsheet reported that Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell’s past remarks that she “dabbled into witchcraft” offended Wiccans, who said O’Donnell’s comments misrepresented their religion. Today, a Satanist from New York City is taking issue with the Tea Party candidate.

Some Wiccan leaders complained that witches do not believe in Satan. Diane Vera, the founder of a group called “NYC Satanists, Luciferians, Dark Pagans, and LHP Occultists” added today that O’Donnell’s anecdote also misrepresents Satanists.

“As far as I am aware, no serious practitioner of any variant of either Wicca or Satanism would have a picnic on one’s altar,” Vera said in a press release.

I guess they’re implying that some stupid kids in high school dabbling with things like that might not have been serious practitioners.  OMG! Say it ain’t so. And I guess someone like O’Donnell hasn’t read up on what those religions are really about. No way.

Yea, keep at this level of stuff and the idiots in the media are sure to get her elected. Idiots.

OK, enough of the stupid news. Let’s see what else is going on. In a move that couldn’t possibly surprise anyone, the GOP blocks DADT repeal slipped into the defense budget bill:

Senate Republicans dealt a stinging setback yesterday to efforts to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell’’ policy for gay soldiers, defeating attempts by Democratic leaders to take up a major military bill that includes the issue.

Democrats fell four votes shy of the 60 votes needed to break a GOP filibuster — which included Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts — that prevented consideration of the overall bill.

The defeat is expected to push any efforts to repeal “don’t ask’’ past mid-term elections. For gay-rights advocates and Democratic leaders, this means that a lame-duck session could represent a last stand for a repeal, because election gains expected for Republicans could extinguish any chances in a new Congress.

“Today’s Senate vote was a frustrating blow to repeal this horrible law,’’ said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which provides legal assistance to service members ousted through the ban. “Time is the enemy here. We now have no choice but to look to the lame-duck session, where we’ll have a slim shot.’’

And sadly the GOP can cite as their main reason for voting against it Obama himself. Remember Obama got the Pentagon to investigate the impact of DADT before he wanted to do anything about it. Well, they haven’t finished investigating yet. So this failure was preordained. And as we all know, Obama could have made this happen from day one with the stroke of a pen. Clearly this was always the plan. And now Dems can say, well, we tried. Right. You tried really hard. I’ll try just as hard to vote for you.

As we heard yesterday, Summers is heading for the door. Of course we and most of the world are hoping Timmeh is going to follow him soon. In the mean time, Reuters has a fun list of some economists mentioned as possible replacements. Have a look. That and what else might happen there should be a fun post for Dak later.

Speaking of rumbles behind closed doors at the WH, Bob Woodward has a new book called “Obama Wars” depicting lots of in fighting among other things. Some choice bits include:

Beyond the internal battles, the book offers fresh disclosures on the nation’s continuing battle with terrorists. It reports that the C.I.A. has a 3,000-man “covert army” in Afghanistan called the Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams, or C.T.P.T., mostly Afghans who capture and kill Taliban fighters and seek support in tribal areas. Past news accounts have reported that the C.I.A. has a number of militias, including one trained on one of its compounds, but not the size of the covert army.

The book also reports that the United States has intelligence showing that manic-depression has been diagnosed in President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and that he was on medication, but adds no details. Mr. Karzai’s mood swings have been a challenge for the Obama administration.

As for Mr. Obama himself, the book describes a professorial president who assigned “homework” to advisers but bristled at what he saw as military commanders’ attempts to force him into a decision he was not yet comfortable with. Even after he agreed to send another 30,000 troops last winter, the Pentagon asked for another 4,500 “enablers” to support them.

The president lost his poise, according to the book. “I’m done doing this!” he erupted.

To ensure that the Pentagon did not reinterpret his decision, Mr. Obama dictated a six-page, single-space “terms sheet” explicitly laying out his troop order and its objectives, a document included in the book’s appendix.

Mr. Obama’s struggle with the decision comes through in a conversation with Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who asked if his deadline to begin withdrawal in July 2011 was firm. “I have to say that,” Mr. Obama replied. “I can’t let this be a war without end, and I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party.”

This presidency is even more of a train wreck than I thought it would be. Seriously, that guy shouldn’t be a dog catcher.

In what is probably a smart move, Michelle Obama will hit the campaign trail:

Advisers said Mrs. Obama has no plans to bring sharp-edged rhetoric to the campaign trail. They said the First Lady will not attack Republicans directly or accuse them of driving the country into a ditch.

“She’s campaigning to advocate, to rally voters behind specific candidates based on what we can do together to build a better future,” said Stephanie Cutter, assistant to the president for special projects. “She comes to this as a mom, and that’s the lens through which she sees the world and that’s her test for every issue—what it means for her daughters and all of our kids.”

White House officials have built a schedule for the First Lady that focuses on a handful of candidates for the U.S. Senate and events for the Democratic National Committee’s women’s leadership forum.

She will start in Wisconsin and Illinois, travel to Colorado, Washington state and California. Among the candidates to receive her help: Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado; Senator Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin; Alexi Giannoulias who is running for the Senate in Illinois, and Senators Barbara Boxer of California and Patty Murray of Washington.

Most of the events will be fundraisers – including one for the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi — though aides said there will likely be some other public events added to the schedule in the coming days.

In news related to Michelle raising more money, the GOP seems to be short of it. Gosh, other than 8 years of a failed presidency, and then attacking the popular candidates and their supporters just as the Dems are doing, I can’t imagine what the problem might be:

In Iowa, Republicans finished August with just $34,819 in the bank, less than one-tenth what the Democrats there have. In Florida, Republicans have one-third less to spend. And in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, where Republicans could be poised to win multiple races for Congress and the race for governor, the party is well behind its Democratic rivals.

At this point in previous campaign cycles, a large check has usually been in the mail from the Republican National Committee to help pay for the ground game. But this year, the party cannot afford to execute a robust voter turnout program, which could make a difference in tight races where Democrats hold a financial and organizational advantage.

“Will we be on par with Democrats on money?” said Matt Strawn, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa. “Probably not, because we don’t control the White House. But will we have enough to get our voters out? I hope so.”

For the first time in at least a decade, the Republican National Committee has reduced the scale of its turnout and targeting programs, which have long been seen as critical ways to identify independent voters. A distinct state-by-state plan has become more of a one-size-fits-all regional effort, which is cheaper but may not be tailored to find voters in states where people do not register by political party.

Hey Republicans, if you were for, you know, your members having jobs, you might get some more money. Don’t laugh Democrats, like you’re any better.

Given that the money for both parties mostly comes from the same sources, namely pro monopoly corporatists, perhaps the plan was to keep Dems in power this cycle. That would be funny because I think the “little people” are a bit angry and given no viable alternative, may just switch who runs the house.

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