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    • Remember Colin Powell
      Colin Powell was the first black secretary of state. He was the consummate insider, who climbed the military bureaucracy with great skill and vigor. A man who always knew what had to be done to get ahead and get along. In Vietnam, for example, he understood his role perfectly: his time as a young U.S. Army Major posted in Saigon, when, after the My Lai Massa […]
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Friday Hitzenmisses

It’s another one of those sloooow news days with no big stories but a few little ones. Here we go:

He’s baa-ack!

Rudy gearing up for DC run

Confident that he’d have a chance to win, Rudy Giuliani is rounding up his top political advisers for a possible 2012 presidential run, sources tell Page Six.

Sources say the tough-talking former mayor “thinks the Republican race will be populated with far-right candidates like Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, and there’s opportunity for a moderate candidate with a background in national security.”

Giuliani has even scheduled a trip to New Hampshire for next month to meet with constituents in the state that failed him in January 2008, when he placed fourth in the Republican presidential primary.

Those of you who were paying attention to the GOP pre-primaries back in 2007 will recall that the media loved them some Rudy G. (Ru-dy! Ru-dy!) He was right up there with Mittens and Grandpa Fred as the GOP frontrunners. Then the voting started.

Speaking of Mittens, it’s gonna be a long year:

Romney flexes muscle in first NH Primary poll while Palin and others lag behind

Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney holds a commanding lead in New Hampshire in the early stages of the race for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination, according to a new survey commissioned by NH Journal and conducted by Magellan Strategies. The survey is the first statewide survey of Granite State Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in 2011.

Romney leads former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin by 23 points, with Romney earning 39% and Palin earning 16%. Mike Huckabee (10%), Newt Gingrich (8%), Texas Congressman Ron Paul (7%), former MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty (4%), Rick Santorum (3%) and MS Gov. Haley Barbour (1%) all trail significantly behind. Romney finished second to Sen. John McCain in the 2008 New Hampshire Republican Presidential primary.

Apparently they called up all 1,500 voters in New Hamster and asked them their opinion. 49 of them weren’t home so they are basing the results on the 1451 who answered the phone.

We really have to quit letting a few hicks in the sticks decide which candidates the rest of the country gets to choose from.

Benny the Rat sez:

God was behind Big Bang, universe no accident: Pope

God’s mind was behind complex scientific theories such as the Big Bang, and Christians should reject the idea that the universe came into being by accident, Pope Benedict said on Thursday.

“The universe is not the result of chance, as some would want to make us believe,” Benedict said on the day Christians mark the Epiphany, the day the Bible says the three kings reached the site where Jesus was born by following a star.

“Contemplating it (the universe) we are invited to read something profound into it: the wisdom of the creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God,” he said in a sermon to some 10,000 people in St Peter’s Basilica on the feast day.

While the pope has spoken before about evolution, he has rarely delved back in time to discuss specific concepts such as the Big Bang, which scientists believe led to the formation of the universe some 13.7 billion years ago.

Researchers at CERN, the nuclear research center in Geneva, have been smashing protons together at near the speed of light to simulate conditions that they believe brought into existence the primordial universe from which stars, planets and life on earth — and perhaps elsewhere — eventually emerged.

Some atheists say science can prove that God does not exist, but Benedict said that some scientific theories were “mind limiting” because “they only arrive at a certain point … and do not manage to explain the ultimate sense of reality …”

He said scientific theories on the origin and development of the universe and humans, while not in conflict with faith, left many questions unanswered.

“In the beauty of the world, in its mystery, in its greatness and in its rationality … we can only let ourselves be guided toward God, creator of heaven and earth,” he said.

Benedict and his predecessor John Paul have been trying to shed the Church’s image of being anti-science, a label that stuck when it condemned Galileo for teaching that the earth revolves around the sun, challenging the words of the Bible.

Galileo was rehabilitated and the Church now also accepts evolution as a scientific theory and sees no reason why God could not have used a natural evolutionary process in the forming of the human species.

The Catholic Church no longer teaches creationism — the belief that God created the world in six days as described in the Bible — and says that the account in the book of Genesis is an allegory for the way God created the world.

I’m not an atheist. I can accept the idea that (insert name of deity here) created the universe. I just don’t think any of the current religions have a clue about the true nature of (insert name of deity here).

New Broom Sweeps Clean Department:

Obama mouthpiece Robert Gibbs was forced out by new henchman William Daley

I wondered yesterday whether Robert Gibbs jumped or was pushed and noted that President Barack Obama’s words indicated that it was “not an entirely voluntary departure”.

It’s being reported by John King on CNN right now that Gibbs wanted to be a presidential counsellor – something he’s been putting about for quite a while – but William Daley, the new chief of staff, nixed this because he believed that too many cooks would spoil the presidential broth. So that’s why Gibbs is out.

Additionally, King reports that Valerie Jarrett, whose sole qualification to being a senior counsellor seems to be that she’s a long-time Chicago buddy of Barack and Michelle Obama, will have her wings clipped. Daley, not Jarrett, will be the person speaking to the business community.

It’s no secret that Rahm Emanuel, a Daley protege, clashed with Jarrett. Or that David Plouffe, about to join the White House, was often at odds with her when he was the 2008 Obama campaign manager. Obama is nothing if not ruthless. He dropped Jane Dystel, the agent who approached him to write “Dreams from my Father”, and has previously cut loose long-time advisers. One aide described him as “the most unsentimental man I’ve ever met”.

It’s already crowded under this bus. They need to get their own.

Okay, that’s it for now. Anything else we should talk about? This is an open thread.

32 Responses

  1. Ace of Spades (wingnut warning):

    I don’t know if Rudy used the word “far-right” or if that’s a source interpreting him. It’s stuff like that that would absolutely preclude him from having a chance. The Republican Party is a right-side party, period, and this idea that a moderate “savior” is going to come in and win is silly. Rudy can only win if he runs as both right-wing and “moderate.” (How? It’s a straddle. It often works.) Running as just “the moderate” is running to lose, and branding people on the right of the Republican Party — which is pretty much the party orthodoxy now — as “far-right” signals I’m not one of you.

    How come Democrats never do that? A moderate Republican is considered unelectable (by the GOP voters) but so is a far-left Democrat.

  2. Nancy Pelousy: We lost because of George Bush

  3. One aide described him as “the most unsentimental man I’ve ever met”.

    Yea, it’s called a heart.

  4. Chief of staff pick just another cog in the Daley machine

    The Daley boys are adept and skillful and ruthless in the pursuit of power and treasure. The family has controlled Chicago and Cook County for more than half a century. The Daleys are without doubt the best politicians on the planet.

    Obama knows this. And because he wants to get re-elected in 2012, he’ll keep the Daleys around him.

    The mayor’s mouthpiece, media merlin David Axelrod, once again will be shaping Obama’s message and image for the campaign. And Billy and Rich are easing former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel into the mayor’s job.

    It might look like coincidence. But there’s nothing coincidental about the Daleys. They’re not fools. They’re not dreamers. They’re planners.

    Yet what’s often left out of the official account of the Billy ascendency is his role as media manager. For decades now, Billy’s been playing the role of background source to many establishment media types.


    • I suspect that the reshaping of the O forces has much to do with political talk involving Big Dawg—O appears to have clearly taken the message that he has to do a Clinton style presidency. Daley was Clinton’s Sec. of Commerce and he was very involved in the tax compromise deal. Too bad O spent 2 years thinking he was much smarter than wjc. Whether O can actually do a wjc style remains very unlikely to me because O still can not connect with real people.

  5. The only thing Obama is loyal and devoted to is himself. He will do whatever is necessary to gain and retain power for his own means. Principles, people, law be damned.

  6. I’m wondering if Daley will have issues with Hillary and how she works. I think we heard her requirement for being SoS was that she worked directly with Obama and bypassed the CoS. Daley may have other ideas. And if so, since Obama delegates everything, as he promised he would in the campaigns, he’ll likely just go with “what he said”.

  7. open thread?

    Go see “Black Swan”. If you have ever done anything in the arts you have to see it. You will identify with the drive to be perfect because artists, singers, dancers, painters etc… we are our own worst critics.
    Natalie Portman might win the Oscar for this and I think Mila Kunis should probably get nominated too. They were both terrific.

  8. I’ve always hated the Seahawks

  9. This little cutie must be a Republican:

  10. I do not see Daley having a problem with HRC. Daley is a Clinton pick. With Daley and Goldberg both joining the econ team we have a replay of wjc’s second term. It will be interesting to see if wjc 3.0 can be as good as wjc 2.0. Doubt it.

    • Daley and Gene Sperling? Yes I agree it won’t be the same. Different economic times, and Obama fundamentally doesn’t care about the working and middle class. He cares about himself and his public relations. I don’t think Hillary would have made the same domestic policy choices. Wealth disparity today is unconscionable.

  11. “I can accept the idea that (insert name of deity here) created the universe. I just don’t think any of the current religions have a clue about the true nature of (insert name of deity here)”

    Which is pretty much why we approach (insert name of deity here) obliquely, though symbol, archetype, myth and parable. .Even the gospels that relate supernatural nativity stories (and thereby make the claim that Jesus was the physical, genetic son of Yahweh) quote him as teaching that “the Kingdom of Heaven is like “a mustard seed, or a woman sweeping the floor for a lost small coin, or the lilies of the field, or a bridegroom, etc..

  12. Big Bang?

    I thought that was a fat priest and an overweight altar boy.

  13. “The universe is not the result of chance, as some would want to make us believe,” Benedict said..

    What is the opposite of chance. Purpose? What if even the concepts of determinism and design are bound by the limits of human consciousness and intelligence. Whether we subscribe to a religious faith or not, how can we presume to understand the infinite universe in all its manifestations because our science has gotten so much better. I’m with Einstein. We continue to explore and learn, but with the humility and knowledge that we are only human…one particularly evolved species on one planet in one galaxy that may be nothing more than a speck of sand on some beach in another dimension. Does faith in the some unknowable force make sense in this context. Absolutely, but I seem incapable of it. As my buddhist doctor father said to me last week, your brain must just be wired wrong. 🙂

  14. Of course he comes up with that long after big bang is passe. We’re onto multiple universes man. What’s a pope to do? It’s hard to keep up with the hip physics kids.

  15. @xenijardin: Just noting: The PR firm that now reportedly represents Julian Assange also reps the Chippendales male exotic dancers and the Spice Girls.

  16. Fed Chief Says State and Local Governments Shouldn’t Expect Federal Loans. Not great news. Guess only banks, insurers and car companies get bailouts.

    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday ruled out a central bank bailout of state and local governments strapped with big municipal debt burdens, saying the Fed had limited legal authority to help and little will to use that authority. “We have no expectation or intention to get involved in state and local finance,” Mr. Bernanke said in testimony before the Senate Budget Committee. The states, he said later, “should not expect loans from the Fed.”

    The $2.9 trillion municipal-bond market has been stung recently by worries that some cash-strapped cities or states won’t be able to pay off or roll over debt. Costs have risen broadly for municipal borrowers. The market also faces challenges from the expiration of the Build America Bonds program, which helped cities and states borrow $165 billion at interest rates held down by federal subsidies. Some analysts speculate the Fed could jump into the market by purchasing muni debt or lending to struggling borrowers.

    The Fed only has legal authority to buy muni debt with maturities of six months or less that is directly backed by tax or other assured revenue, which makes up less than 2% of the overall market. The Dodd-Frank financial-regulation law enacted last year further tied the Fed’s hands, Mr. Bernanke noted, by barring the central bank from lending to insolvent borrowers or pursuing bailouts of individual borrowers.

  17. Twitter Responds to WikiLeaks Document Demand By Feds.

    Earlier tonight, it was revealed in numerous news reports that Twitter had been ordered by a U.S. federal judge to turn over documents related to several people involved with WikiLeaks. Tonight, a Twitter spokeswoman responded to request for comment on the situation:

    “We’re not going to comment on specific requests, but, to help users protect their rights, it’s our policy to notify users about law enforcement and governmental requests for their information, unless we are prevented by law from doing so. We outline this policy in our law enforcement guidelines.”

  18. Rudy is morally barnkrupt. He’s also a megalomaniac which is why post-911 gave him glory. He has been bilking the public trough with his “expertise” ever since. This is a despicable man. I could do hours on him and was thrilled to see him tank in 2008. He will tank again, because Rudy has a rough time faking what he is when he can’t control the venue. He needs to go away and find a fourth wife or something.

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