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    • The NYTimes Reveals More Than It Means
      Watch this video. It’s only 39 seconds. It’s worth it. What’s interesting to me about this video is NOT what Bernie says, it’s the reaction. It’s how genuinely uncomfortable the people interviewing him (The NYTimes editors) are. They really think he’s saying something terrible. Something awkward. Something embarrassing. What is he saying? “I ignore the […] […]
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Oh, For Cryan Out Loud! Do Dems REALLY Want Coakley To Win???

Along with all of the other email I got yesterday from Senators John Kerry, Chris Dodd, Bob Menendez, some DNC ijits and Barack Obama, urging me to help support Martha Coakley, I got yet *another* email from Joseph Cryan, the New Jersey Democratic Party Chair. (Note to Cryan: after the 2008 RBC meeting, I asked to be removed from the Democratic party roster. You can take me off your email list, thank you very much.)

So, the Democrats are in full panic mode if they are going to these lengths to get Coakley elected. Oh, yes you are, guys. You’re having an “Oh, $hit!” moment. Because, let’s face it, if you can’t get a liberal Democrat elected in Massachusetts, what the hell is that saying about your party and the Lightbringer you forced on the rest of us to lead us into the era of “Hope and Change!™”?

But look at the content of Cryan’s email:

What can we do to help? Please commit to helping the cause by clicking here: http://my.barackobama.com/CoakleyN2N

You can call voters in Massachusetts and help Martha Coakley continue Senator Ted Kennedy’s remarkable legacy.

As Massachusetts’ first woman senator, Martha Coakley will help advance Kennedy’s legacy – fighting for equal rights, a strong economy, and our families and communities. Without her vote, health care won’t happen.

Ok, here’s the problem with this appeal.  First of all, it makes it look like the entire Democratic party is owned by myBarackObama.  It is not.  Massachusetts and New Jersey did not vote for Obama in the primary of 2008.  He was rammed down our throats until we choked on him and only Massachusetts was actually allowed to cast some of their delegate votes for Hillary at the convention.  If you want our support, putting the Unity Pony’s name on the URL was a baaaad move. (and let me add that I have spoken to a LOT of people, many of them social conservatives, who really wish Hillary Clinton was our president right now.)  Secondly, and this is tied to the first problem, no one likes the health care reform bills proposed by the House or the Senate with Obama’s blessing.  We’re not just talking about Republicans and people who watch Fox News.  They’re going to vote for Brown anyway.  No, we’re talking about Democrats.  Democrats do not like this bill.  In fact, many of them hate this bill.  HATE IT.  And they hate it because it wasn’t written with Democratic principles in mind, which is why, if it passes, it will be a reflection of Barack Obama’s lousy negotiation skills and Max Baucus and friends dismissive attitudes towards Democratic voters who put them in office to Change!™ things.

Democrats hate this bill on so many levels that it’s really hard to know where to begin but let’s just start with the latest travesty, the union exemption from the excise tax.  Do you party people know how damaging that’s going to be to the public perception of unions?  Once again, the White House makes concessions to one group, that is only doing its job to represent its constituents, something Congressional reps should try for a change, and the result is that everyone else who happens to have decent, but not luxurious health care bennies at work will take a hit.  The optics of this whole thing are wrong in so many ways that I can’t believe the party would even let this happen.  Now, you’ve got working people fighting with each other and hating the party’s guts.

You’ve written a bill that locks average struggling people into insurance policies, forbids the vast majority of them from shopping around for better deals, bent over backwards to kiss the asses of the evangelicals on the issue of women’s reproductive rights, imposed an excise tax on those policies with the anticipated result that the benefits themselves will be trimmed for working people and you’ve made everyone mad at the unions for just doing their jobs.  Try to get their endorsement after this once the blowback from non-union people hits them.   You forced them into the untenable position of looking like special interests when they are really just trying to protect the workers who gave up wage increases for better health benefits.  Suddenly, they look like the bad guys.  And now you send out letters to Democrats who haven’t been the least little bit interested in the ridiculous Tea Party movement asking them to help support Coakley for the very same reasons that voters in Massachusetts are pissed off at her.

Have you Democratic big wigs completely lost the plot??

I would LOVE to see another woman in the Senate but I sure am glad I’m not voting in Tuesday’s election.  If I were living in Massachusetts, I’d be seeing so much red when I went to the polls, Brown would win by a landslide.

If you really want Coakley to win, take my advice: Table the health care reform bills and go back to the drawing board.  Take the bills out of contention and Coakley *may* have a fighting chance.  I know that the longer you wait to pass it, the more the Republican message machine will make it harder to pass.  But if it’s already a bill nobody wants, not even your friends, then the Wurlitzer isn’t doing as much damage as you’re doing to yourselves.  Table it, fix it and try again later.  Better later than never.  We’ve got employment issues and a broken economy.  You’re going to need all 60 votes.  Take HCR off the table, tell Michelle Obama to register as a lobbyist for for-profit hospitals just to make it official and start all over again.  Make the announcement today before it’s too late.  This is Massachusetts where the residents are already living with a health care system imposed on them by the state that is very much like the one you want to hang on the rest of us.  There are far more registered Democrats in Massachusetts than there are in other states.  If they are willing to vote in a Republican, it’s not because they bought the “big government” schtick.  It’s because they don’t buy the post-partisan, across-the-aisle, “let’s put everything on the table and negotiate our principles” away, Unity Pony type Democratic way of doing things.

And stop the frickin’ emails already.

Martha Coakley Wins Democratic Nomination for Senator from Massachusetts!

It’s over already. So far, Martha Coakley has won nearly twice as many votes as her closest opponent, Michael Capuano, who had the full support of the Obama contingent of the Democratic Party. Tonight the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party has won in Massachusetts.

The story isn’t on-line yet, but on the New England Cable News Network, there is a check by Coakley’s name! We are one step closer to having a woman Senator from Massachusetts for the first time in the state’s history.

To make the victory even more more sweet, Coakley was an early supporter of Hillary Clinton, and stuck with her right up to the Convention. She fought to have Florida and Michigan’s votes counted. She was the only candidate who ran on her own without invoking Ted Kennedy every five minutes, and she was the only candidate who refused to support the health care “reform” bill if that meant limitations on women’s right to choose when to have a child.

From Politico: Coakley Wins

With 82 percent of precincts reporting, Coakley holds a commanding 47 to 27 percent lead over Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.). Community service activist Alan Khazei lags well behind in third place with 13 percent of the vote and Boston Celtics co-owner Steven Pagliuca is in fourth place with 12 percent.

Coakley won nearly every municipality across the state, though narrowly trails Capuano in the city of Boston. Capuano also carried the academic hub of Cambridge and his home base of Somerville.

And John Kerry had the nerve to steal Hillary’s line:

Added Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.): “Tonight the glass ceiling in Massachusetts politics was smashed into a thousand pieces.”

This announcement was just posted on Coakley’s website:

The polls have closed, the voters have spoken, and I am so delighted to tell you that tonight, with great honor and humility, I will accept the Democratic Party nomination to the United States Senate.

I am so grateful for your support in this campaign. With focus, grit, hard work, optimism, enthusiasm, commitment, and a sense of humor, you made tonight possible.

Last week at a 1208 Countdown stop in South Hadley, I spoke with a young man in a wheelchair. He asked me why many buildings in Massachusetts didn’t have full access for those with disabilities. My response was, frankly, we haven’t done as well as we should. I told him that it was just one of the reasons I admired Senator Ted Kennedy: because he worked tirelessly to make life as fair as possible for everyone. That young man gave me a mug with some text from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass”:

“There is no use trying,” said Alice, “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

From the bottom of my heart, I want to offer a sincere thank you to you, your families, and all those across this great Commonwealth, from the Berkshires to Boston, from Peabody to Provincetown, who worked so hard for these past months to make this victory possible!

You helped me convince the voters to send a different kind of leader to Washington, one who can see all the possibilities and who will get to work on those problems that have seemed impossible to change.

(More at link)

Friday Mid-Morning News and Views

For me the biggest news of the day comes from Jeremy Scahill’s revelations about the relationship between Blackwater (aka Xe) head Eric Prince and the CIA. According to Scahill Prince has been working as a CIA asset for years, and that Blackwater contractors with U.S. backing are effectively engaging in a covert war in Pakistan.

In addition, Scahill revealed that there are more than 100,000 contractors in Afghanistan now in addition to the 100,000 U.S. military troops who will be there after Obama’s latest troop “surge.” Scahill wrote the cover story for this week’s The Nation. Unfortunately the story is not yet available on-line to non-subscribers. However Scahill did appear on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC program last night. Here is the video.

A few days ago, Scahill also talked about his latest Blackwater research in an interview with Laura Flanders:

There is also a major story on Eric Prince in the January issue of Vanity Fair.

I put myself and my company at the C.I.A.’s disposal for some very risky missions,” says Erik Prince as he surveys his heavily fortified, 7,000-acre compound in rural Moyock, North Carolina. “But when it became politically expedient to do so, someone threw me under the bus.” Prince—the founder of Blackwater, the world’s most notorious private military contractor—is royally steamed. He wants to vent. And he wants you to hear him vent.

I haven’t had time to read the full interview yet. I hope to get to it over the weekend.


In other news….

Top Congressional Researcher on Afghanistan Fired

The top congressional official who oversees research on foreign policy and defense issues, including the war in Afghanistan, has been fired from his job after publishing a newspaper op-ed criticizing the Obama administration’s recent decision about bringing Guantánamo detainees to trial.

Morris Davis, the assistant director of the Congressional Research Service’s foreign policy and defense division and the former chief prosecutor of the U.S. military commissions, says that the American Civil Liberties Union plans to challenge his dismissal in a letter to CRS’s longtime director, Daniel Mulhollan, on Friday. The letter will contend that Mulhollan violated Davis’s First Amendment rights to free speech by firing him and will threaten the service with a lawsuit if he is not reinstated, says an ACLU spokeswoman.

Politico thinks the Massachusetts Senate Race is boring Could that be because a woman–Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley–is leading the race by double digits? Politico seems disappointed that there are no Kennedys in the race. Massachusetts citizens are more interested in electing a Senator who will be responsive to their needs than having a celebrity studded primary.

Get this–according to Politico, Michael Capuano, Coakley’s nearest rival, is terrified of a “Rick Lazio moment.”

“We all learned from his mistake,” Capuano said in an interview of the former New York congressman’s debate badgering of Hillary Clinton, which has become political shorthand for what male candidates ought not to do against female opponents. “There are certain rules of engagement.”

It’s not just debates where the gender issue has surfaced — it hangs over the campaign because of the otherwise liberal state’s not-so-progressive history when it comes to women candidates….

…in last year’s historic Democratic presidential primary, much of the state’s political establishment — including the governor and both senators — rallied behind the man over the woman.

“That left a bad taste in women’s mouths,” said Marsh, adding that it seems to be playing out again this year, with nearly all of the men in the House delegation backing their colleague.

Oh really? Izzat so. Poor Mikey C., getting beat up by woman because of the “rules of engagement.”

Also from Politico, a number of opinion leaders weigh in on whether Ben Bernacke should get four more years as head of the Fed.

President Obama is running some PR operation and calling it a “jobs summit,” but The New York Times reports that there won’t be any money to speak of to back up any job creation effort by the administration. That’s as to be expected–unlimited funds for bankers and war, while middle-class, working-class, and poor Americans can go f**k themselves.

Mr. Obama said he would entertain “every demonstrably good idea” for creating jobs, but he cautioned that “our resources are limited.”

The president said he would announce some new ideas of his own next week. One of those, he indicated when he participated in a discussion group on clean energy, would be a program of weatherization incentives for homeowners and small businesses modeled on the popular “cash for clunkers” program.

What about the people who have lost their houses Mr. President–and the people who were already homeless? What kind of weatherization program will you recommend for them. I can’t wait for the big speech!

The Wall Street Journal reports that Allentown, PA workers and business people may not welcome President Obama’s “Main Street tour” with open arms.


Main Street Tour Faces Frosty Greeting

When President Barack Obama launches a multicity tour Friday to take Main Street’s temperature, he will likely get a cool reception from business leaders and workers here who say he hasn’t delivered.

Swing voters in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley helped Mr. Obama win this pivotal, populous state. But the region’s jobless rate inched up another half percentage point in October to 9.8%. About 41,000 people are out of work, the highest number since 1984.

Finally, here’s a “just for fun” story:


Cat Cams: What DO Cats Do Home Alone?

Fifty house cats were given collar cameras that took a photo every 15 minutes. The results put a digital dent in some human theories about catnapping.

Based on the photos, about 22 percent of the cats’ time was spent looking out of windows, 12 percent was used to interact with other family pets and 8 percent was spent climbing on chairs or kitty condos. Just 6 percent of their hours were spent sleeping.

What are you reading this morning? Please post links in the comments.


HAVE A FABULOUS FRIDAY!!!!