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This sounds like it could be interesting


From Chris “Mad Bitch Beer” Cillizza:

Tonight’s Delaware Senate debate between marketing consultant Christine O’Donnell (R) and New Castle County Executive Chris Coons (D) will be carried live on CNN and co-moderated by the network’s lead anchor Wolf Blitzer.

Judging from that treatment, a casual viewer might conclude that the race for Vice President Joe Biden’s old seat is among the most competitive in the country.

That, of course, would be wrong. Way wrong.

In the Real Clear Politics polling average on the Delaware race, Coons hold a lead of 17 points over O’Donnell.

Whoever is advising Chris Coons is committing malpractice. With a 17 point lead this late in the game the only smart move is to run out the clock.

Let’s say O’Donnell goes out there and proves that everything bad that has been said about her is true. I doubt that will happen, but anything is possible. What good does it do for Coons? Nada planada.

But let’s say she comes out and seems reasonably intelligent and normal, which is what I expect to see. Coons gains nothing and O’Donnell will likely narrow the gap between them.

But what if she seems intelligent and normal and Coons commits a major gaffe? If that happens it’s a whole new ballgame.

I suspect the DNC and the White House are behind Coons’ decision to debate. They are hoping to discredit the entire Tea Party Movement by embarrassing O’Donnell. It’s kinda suspicious the CNN is televising the debate live, too.

I’m no fan of O’Donnell but I see a very unpleasant similarity between the progressive witch hunt that has been launched against her and the ones launched against Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. When are they gonna treat a male candidate the same way?

The debate is on CNN starting at 7:30 p.m. eastern (4:30 p.m. Pacific) Everyone should tune in to catch at least a little of it because regardless of what actually happens the chattering classes will declare Coons the winner.

Trust your lying eyes and ears, not the media.


This is an open thread



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Water is still wet, and pundits are still perplexed as ever.

So Obama fanboy Andrew Sullivan had this headline out yesterday — it’s a hoot — “Obama’s Lost Narrative” (h/t to memeorandum) :

Nyhan goes after the Democrats for baseless attacks against the US Chamber of Commerce. It is very depressing to see them descend to this kind of stuff. What they need are not tactics and resentment, which is what we’re seeing. What we need is a narrative of recovery and reform from Obama. He has the record, and he has made a couple of great speeches. But this distracts.

My view, and I’ll say it again. Campaign on ending the long-term debt. Campaign on being the man who can bring America together to solve its long-term fiscal crisis. Call the GOP out on its fiscal record and its current refusal to specify what they’ll cut. Remind people of the debt commission. Remind people we need to cut spending and raise taxes. Be the adult in the room. With a megaphone.

I’ve been reading some pundit reactions, and they tend to be puzzled as to why Obama and the Ds are doing this. But, it’s really quite simple. This “Stolen election” meme isn’t about getting out the vote during the 2010 election cycle. It’s really more about the next election cycle. The Obama permanent campaign is pre-emptively shaping the narrative of Democratic losses in 2010 and pitching an argument to independents that it’s not Obama’s fault — everybody else is obstructing poor O, you gotta stick with O and show all the evil people fighting him wrong… in 2012!

It’s the same thing with all the hippie-punching coming out of the Obama camp. Combined with the strategy of a “War on Fox News,” the message that the WH has been quite consistently and doggedly (although misguidedly) telegraphing to Independents is that O has the partisans on both sides trying to thwart him. This of course will not bring Independents back in 2010, but this isn’t about 2010. Once Obama won in 2008, it was always about 2012 for the Obama permanent campaign. They do not care about 2010 other than minimizing any spillover to Obama’s 2012 re-election chances. They are banking on the electorate tiring of the partisan noise by 2012 and coming back home to Obama. This doesn’t look like enough right now, but 2012 largely depends on the economy and who the GOP picks as their nominee. The GOP slate is pretty awful on the whole in my opinion, so Obama may slide by on his weak posturing.

Furthermore, the Obama camp doesn’t care about looking like the grownups in the room. They are more interested in how they can make themselves look like the underdogs (“They talk about me like a dog”). Obama has lost the “I’m the outsider” canard he used in 2008 as Candidate Obama. President Obama IS Washington. He is desperately trying to make himself NOT Washingtion. So when you see “stolen election” memes, understand–this is the same as the ACORN meme was for the GOP. A consolation prize and red meat to start feeding the base for the NEXT election cycle, preparing their own grassroots to see themselves as being thwarted by the party that wins in the current election cycle.

I’ve also heard the activist left lament that Obama should be committing to protecting Social Security instead of this nonsense about the CoC. Indeed. But, a) O and friends have already moved on from 2010, they’ve signaled that it’s already a stolen election and lost, they’re not trying to win, and b) Obama is a Flim Flam Nowhere Man who BS’es on SS. Since O and the Dems have not shown any shyness about promising things which they were never going to deliver on, you really have to wonder about the things they won’t promise on.

That’s why he’s the Big Dawg


Howard Fineman:

I see that Dr. Rand Paul has taken out after Bill Clinton, dredging up Monica Lewinsky. And I know why Paul did so. The former president was here in Kentucky yesterday and in this state, as in many others, he is a far more potent and popular foe than President Barack Obama.

[…]

Like Voldemort’s, Obama’s is a name no one dares utter — and that includes Clinton speaking to Democrats.

[…]

Rail-thin but not frail, wearing a tweedy professorial sports coat and his signature rueful, knowing smile, Clinton was treated with a respect bordering on awe. His familiar mane of white hair, thinning now, was translucent in the sun, giving him an almost otherworldly look: the Sage from a Better Age.

Clinton is beloved In Kentucky. He won the state twice. He speaks the local dialect, which contains Appalachian notes of working-class pride, suspicion of big shots and Baptist revivalism. But more than that — and more than just in Kentucky –Clinton’s economic record (22.7 million jobs created, and he tends not to forget to mention the .7) looks spectacularly good in the context of what has followed.

These days there is almost an Old Testament, milk-and-honey reverence for that economic record, at least as expressed by former Kentucky Sen. Wendell Ford. An old-school podium pounder, Ford — stooped but still strong voiced at 86 — talked of the former president in messianic terms. “Bill Clinton found us the path to gold!” he shouted. The crowd of 2,000, most of them students, didn’t laugh. They seemed to think he was right.

[…]

But Clinton is all too happy to show Obama how it’s done. As a campaigner and as president, Clinton’s gift was his ability to untangle the knots of even the most complex policy issue and explain it in plain language to people suspicious of the powerful — but eager not to be screwed by them or to be seen as dupes.

What? People remembering better economic times under someone named Clinton? Isn’t that KKKentucky? Where are all the bitter clingy racists who just didn’t want to vote for a black guy?

Let’s go back to Salon and see what Steve Kornacki thinks of Fineman’s piece:

Continue reading

Wednesday News

Good Morning Conflucians!!

Let’s dive right in, so to speak. It looks like the deep water drilling band is lifted:

The U.S. is back in the deep water oil-drilling business. The question now is when work will resume. The Obama administration, under heavy pressure from the oil industry and Gulf states and with elections nearing, lifted the moratorium that it imposed last April in the wake of the disastrous BP oil spill.

The ban had been scheduled to expire Nov. 30, but Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Tuesday he was moving up the date because new rules imposed after the spill had reduced the risk of another catastrophic blowout. Industry leaders warily waited for details of those rules, saying the moratorium wouldn’t be truly lifted until then.

“The policy position that we are articulating today is that we are open for business,” Salazar declared.

The reality is more complicated. While the temporary ban on exploratory oil and gas drilling is lifted immediately, drilling is unlikely to resume for several weeks at least as oil and gas companies struggle to meet a host of new safety regulations. For example, the CEO of a company responsible for a well would have to certify it had complied with all regulations. That could make the person at the top liable for any future accidents.

“Operators who play by the rules and clear the higher bar can be allowed to resume,” Salazar said.

And as we heard yesterday, a judge ordered the Pentagon to put a stop to DADT:

US District Judge Virginia A. Phillips in California issued the injunction a month after she ruled that requiring gays in the military to keep their sexual orientation secret is unconstitutional.

The ruling permanently bars the Department of Defense from enforcing the law and goes a step further by compelling Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates to suspend any ongoing investigations or discharge proceedings.

The injunction may be appealed within 60 days. If the Obama administration decides to appeal, it would be in the uncomfortable position of defending a law it has opposed. An appeal, however, might allow the administration and the Pentagon to implement a repeal of the policy in a more orderly manner.

Alternatively, the administration could decide to let Phillips’s ruling become law, acknowledging that the court was able to accomplish what the policy’s opponents in Congress and the administration have yet to do.

The Justice Department said yesterday that it had not yet decided how to respond. “We’re reviewing the ruling,’’ Tracy Schmaler, a department spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

Several legal observers, however, predicted the Obama administration would seek a stay of the judge’s order from the US Court of Appeals, a request they said would probably be approved as that court reviews the case.

So next is a simple test of the Obama administration. They could either stand by their word and campaign promise and let the ruling stand and allow it to become law, or they can go back on their word and do the stay or worse, appeal, so that they can proceed in a “more orderly manner”. You know, most every time we’ve pushed for more equality in our rights, we’ve been told to slow down and do things in a more orderly manner. We will soon see in the most clear way possible what Obama is made of. What kind of character the man has. I will give him praise and be happy if he does the right thing here. We’ll see.

As of this writing, the miners in Chile are being pulled out. Sometime later in the morning they will hopefully be all out. Here’s a write up as it started to happen:

The first of 33 gold and copper miners entombed half a mile below ground for more than two months were hauled into the frigid Chilean desert air early Wednesday morning, emerging from a cramped, life-saving haven and into the embrace of family members once forced to confront the likelihood of their deaths.

Foreman Florencio Avalos, 31, was the first of the miners to ride up the shaft that rescuers hope will serve as the lifeline for all. Wearing sunglasses to protect his eyes from aboveground lights, Avalos squeezed into a specially fitted, bullet-shaped capsule only a shade smaller than the 28-inch diameter of the tunnel and was winched to the surface over 14 agonizing minutes.

As myiq posted last night, the last debate between Brown and Whitman leaves some looking for third party candidates:

One of the most aggressive segments of the hour-long debate began with Brown responding to moderator and former NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw’s question about a Brown campaign staffer caught on voice mail calling Whitman a “whore.”

Brown apologized to Whitman for the first time and called the remark “unfortunate,” but also chafed at Brokaw’s suggestion that to women the word is as offensive as the “n-word” is to African Americans.

“Women know exactly what’s going on here,” retorted Whitman, calling the word a “slur.”

That’s right Jerry, as we all know, bigotry towards women doesn’t count as much as bigotry towards most any other group. I mean come on, it’s only women. What a let down. But wait, there’s more:

On the Brown staffer’s use of the word “whore,” Whitman went on the offensive, saying that “slurs and personal attacks are … not what California is about.”

Brown retorted that “we’ve heard no outrage from you” regarding her campaign chairman former Gov. Pete Wilson’s use of the term “whores” to describe public employees unions.

Whitman’s comeback: “You know better than that Jerry, that’s a completely different thing.”

That’s pretty lame from Jerry. Just own up to it and apologize without that crap. What’s sad is Jerry is ahead by a bit, and if he just did something reasonable here, he’d move ahead. But he’s scared and feels the need to go this path. And what’s particularly tough with the path Jerry is on, is he’s opening unhealed wounds of misogyny within the Democratic party. From a state that chose to rise above misogyny in 2008.

But not to worry, he’s bringing out Obama to take care of that. Sigh.

Speaking of complete idiots out of touch, Paladino finally got word that he may have stepped in it, and now apologizes:

Republican candidate for governor Carl Paladino apologized to the gay community Tuesday for what he called his “poorly chosen words” over the weekend as he sought to steer his troubled campaign back to the tax issues that won him the GOP nomination in September.

“I am neither perfect, nor a career politician,” Paladino said in an e-mail distributed by his flagging campaign. “I have made mistakes in this campaign — I have made mistakes all my life — as we all have. I am what I am — a simple man who works hard, trusts others, and loves his family and fears for the future of our state.”

He apologized and said he should have edited more of the phrasing out of a speech he gave to Orthodox Jewish leaders on Sunday. His speech did include opposition to what he said was schools’ “brainwashing” of students into thinking the gay lifestyle is just another choice. He also said being gay is “not the way God created us” and the gay lifestyle is “not the example that we should be showing our children.”

Ah yes, the old poorly chosen words excuse. So was he lying then or is he lying now? You decide. Hey, he’s a horribly hateful bigot, maybe he can write for the Washington Post (see yesterday’s post by BB).

OK, now for a bit of comedy relief. Turns out Obama and Palin and Limbaugh are related. Somehow I’m not surprised:

President Barack Obama is distantly related to two of his most outspoken critics — Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin and talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh — as well as to former President George W. Bush, according to a genealogy website.

Family trees revealed Obama and Palin, the former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, are 10th cousins through common ancestor John Smith, according to Ancestry.com Inc. Smith was Obama’s and Palin’s 12th-great- grandfather. Smith, a Protestant pastor, was an early settler in Massachusetts and was criticized by the ecclesiastical community for supporting Quakers, said Anastasia Tyler, a genealogist for the website.

Obama and Limbaugh are 10th cousins once removed through shared connections to Richmond Terrell, a Virginia settler who came to America in the mid-1600s, Tyler said.

Palin and Obama have ties to Bush, both through links to Samuel Hinckley. Maybe leadership “runs in the family,” the website said, because Hinckley’s son, Thomas, became the governor of Plymouth Colony before it united with Massachusetts.

“Despite political differences, they do have similarities,” Tyler said. “We are all tied together; we are all part of America.”

OK, I’ll admit it. That’s a very nice sentiment at the end. They got me on that one.

WaPo’s trail mix has a round up of a few political goings on:

Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle announced Tuesday that she raised $14.3 million in the third quarter of the year – apparently a record amount for a Senate candidate who is not self-funding.

With three weeks to go until Election Day, Democrats have canceled all of their ad reservations in at least six districts where their odds of winning appear to be shrinking.

Christine O’Donnell turned heads with her “I’m not a witch” ad. But that attention hasn’t translated into votes for Delaware’s Republican Senate nominee: A new Monmouth University poll shows her Democratic opponent, New Castle County Executive Chris Coons, leading 57 percent to 38 percent among likely voters in the race for Vice President Biden’s former Senate seat.

As recently as several months ago, Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) thought he’d have no trouble winning a fourth term. But recent polls have shown the incumbent facing a surprisingly tough challenge from millionaire businessman Ron Johnson (R). The latest survey, conducted by Reuters/Ipsos, shows Johnson now leading among likely voters 51 percent to 44 percent.

Nice run down of a few items. Looks like O’Donnell is going nowhere fast. Good. And sadly Feingold isn’t either. Not good. But neither are surprising.

Now for some more fun news. First, because some folks seem to have an irrational obsession with the Palins, even young Palins, Bristol managed to survive another week on DWTS. Turns out “The Situation” wasn’t so lucky.

And in sports news, the Giants and the Phillies will be playing in the National League Championship Series. It looks to be a great pitcher matchup:

In the year of the pitcher, what else should dominate the National League Championship Series, which begins in Philadelphia on Saturday?

Much of the national chatter has the Phillies with an edge because of their experience, as it should be. They have won the last two NL pennants. Also, in sweeping Cincinnati in their Division Series, Philadelphia’s Big Three starters choked off a Reds lineup that produced the league’s best offensive numbers during the regular season.

However, anyone who predicts another Philly massacre in the NLCS must consider how well the postseason novices on the Giants’ staff pitched against the Braves.

The Giants’ modus operandi in the best-of-seven series will not be a state secret: They must keep the games low-scoring and hope to get one or two good pitches to hit, a mistake here or there, and convert them into the decisive runs.

Hopefully it will be a good one. And of course hopefully the Giants will win. Your mileage may vary of course.

And finally, the Nobel prize for physics went to some scientists that came up with Graphene:

Two Russian-born scientists, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, won the 2010 Nobel Physics Prize Tuesday for pioneering work on graphene, touted as the wonder material of the 21st century.

Both laureates began their careers as physicists in Russia but now work at the University of Manchester in Britain. Geim holds Dutch nationality and Novoselov is both a British and Russian national.

The Swedish Academy of Sciences hailed graphene — “the perfect atomic lattice” — for its glittering potential in computers, home gadgets and transport.

It lauded Geim, 51, and Novoselov, 36, for having “shown that carbon in such a flat form has exceptional properties that originate from the remarkable world of quantum physics.”

The prize honors a breakthrough that paved the way to graphene, a form of carbon touted as the next-generation super-material.

Just one atom thick, it is the world’s thinnest and strongest nano-material, almost transparent and able to conduct electricity and heat.

As a result, graphene is described as the candidate material to replace silicon semi-conductors.

It’s a big thing. A really big thing. Though small. It’s nice to know, amongst all the corrupt politics and mega corporate control, some cool things keep going on, and progress can still happen.

That’s a bit of what’s happening. Chime in with what you’re reading.

I think I’m gonna vote for Laura Wells


From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

Republican Meg Whitman and Democrat Jerry Brown attacked each other’s policies, positions and high-profile campaign gaffes Tuesday at the third and final gubernatorial debate.

“It’s not just me, it’s the people of California who deserve better than slurs,” Whitman said, criticizing Brown for an aide who was infamously recorded apparently calling Whitman a whore. “It’s not befitting of the office that you’re running for.”

Brown apologized, but later lashed back at Whitman’s own recent embarrassment — disclosure she fired her housekeeper after nine years of service after learning she was an undocumented immigrant. After such a long relationship Whitman didn’t even get the woman a lawyer, he said. It was “kind of a sorry tale,” he said.

Brown also laid into Whitman’s plans to cut the state’s capital gains taxes, saying that it would mostly benefit those making more than $500,000, including Whitman, the billionaire former eBay executive. He challenged her to say how much she would reap from such a move. Whitman, though, said that slashing the tax was key to making California competitive again.

“It’s a tax on jobs, it’s a tax on job creators and it’s a tax on investments,” she said. “We are not competitive with neighboring states.”

[…]

The debate was a key opportunity to reach the roughly one in five voters still undecided as the campaign winds down. Absentee voting stated across California last week.

It was hard to judge the winner. Victoria Escalada, for one, saw only losers. The Dominican freshmen entered the debate saying she was on the fence and left saying she didn’t want to support either, accusing both of spending the night insulting each other and avoiding direct answers.

“I’m mad about both of them,” she said.

Her friend, Jahaila Canton, a sophomore, said she hadn’t heard anything that changed her mind. She entered slightly supporting Brown and left the same way, though it was hardly emphatic. She said both dodged issues.

“I disliked her more than I didn’t like him,” she said.

Not all the candidates for governor were present, though in some cases, not for lack of trying. There are six official candidates for the state’s top executive including Laura Wells, the Green Party’s representative. She was detained and later cited and released after trying to enter the debate hall before the face-off started.

Wee! Can you feel my enthusiasm?