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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Getting serious

It makes me very happy to hear that the Obama folks are bringing David Plouffe and his team back into the fold to run the Dem 2010 election effort.

I'm assuming Tim Kaine already signed off, but you could imagine some rifts between Plouffe's role and the "career" DNC people and also tensions between Plouffe and all the local campaigns.

However, the guy is a demographic wizard, and folks will buck him (and his White House backers) at their own peril.

(What role will Plouffe play in allocating national money to individual races?)

"Precautionary" in Britain

Britain's terrorist threat level was raised tonight from “substantial” to “severe” - meaning that counter-terrorism agencies believe an attack is “highly likely”.

The Times understands that the decision to raise the threat level is connected to the conference on Afghanistan taking place at Lancaster House, London, next Thursday.

But the shift was also described by one source as “precautionary” rather than rooted in any firm information that an identified terror cell was plotting an attack.

Diddling the Governor's daughter pays pretty well....

As Bristol Palin files for custody and child support, we learn that high school dropout Levi Johnston "earned more than $105,000 in 2009 for various media interviews and modeling assignments."

Maybe George Bush shouldn't have been such a dick....

A new US assessment of Venezuela's oil reserves could give the country double the supplies of Saudi Arabia....

(It needs to be said that Venezuela's oil is "heavy" and requires more processing, but still...)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thought for the Day

With polling consistently showing the Republican "brand" is still weak, I'm wondering if maybe the Dem strategy should be to "nationalize" the 2010 election and run against the Republican brand.

Maybe the answer is to jiujitsu the Republicans, getting them on the record against healthcare and getting them on the record defending banks, bonuses, and rich people, and then running against that. (as it looks like there will be no major achievement to run on.)

It seems that in this period of economic grief, folks are wanting to rabble. Perhaps the Dems should take a hint from the tea party summer, and turn the non-tea party rabble back against the Republicans (..."who are more interested in protecting Wall Street bonuses than providing healthcare...).

It would fire up what is reported to be a less than fired up base.

She's a girl with a curious hand....

We've got another one. The wife of new Mass Sen and GOP hero Scott Brown was in a 1980's music video called "She's a girl with a curious hand," which is a very bad period song about handjobs, complete with a very intentional/not subtle squeezing of a suntan lotion tube.


With the Supreme Court gutting his signature legislation, what is John McCain's Senatorial legacy now?

Substantially failed Presidential bid? War hawk? The man who gave us Sarah Palin?

Thursday, January 21, 2010


To some people, "banker" is code word for Jewish; and guess who Obama is assaulting? He's assaulting bankers. He's assaulting money people. And a lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there's starting to be some buyer's remorse there?


People are still dying in Haiti. The media has just moved on.

It was never about the people or the event. It was about the emotion the news folks could generate.

President Pepsi

The supreme court (lower case because they no longer deserve our respect) has ruled that there can be no limit on corporate spending in political campaigns.

This is absolutely huge. This is the way third world nations work.

A 59 seat minority

Supposedly, the Senate Dems are circulating talking points that they can't pass healthcare with just 59 seats.

So, the Senate Dems are now the 6'5" huge kid who gets still gets beaten up because he's such a wuss.

That's an election winning stance.

Year Two: "I feel your pain"

In the Obama administration's response to Ma-Sem, I'm feeling something of a similarity to the Clinton administration's restart, although to a much lesser degree.

The Bill Clinton response was to dial back the big change ambition and target small, definable and achievable, incremental changes, and to reorient his domestic/economic message to the now parodied "I feel your pain" connection.

Now, Obama is definitely not in as bad of a political situation as Clinton circa 1994, but, flagging healthcare efforts, economic tension, there are some similarities.

But, when I read the Obama administration's political message they're pushing to the AP for example, I could sort of see the Clinton blueprint. (Or the WaPo)

Here's hoping he "focuses like a laser beam," because it did work pretty damn well last time.

(PS. I think that's not a bad narrative at all if that's where it settles. Big Bill's is still a popular presidency, and using that echo might be quite useful.)

Thought for the Day

In all this reorienting to the "great new political alignment," let's not forget Ma-Sen. was a "special" state election (lower turnout) and the Dem candidate was highly, highly flawed.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I only tip 15%

According to the UN,
Afghans paid nearly $2.5 billion in bribes — worth almost a quarter of the country's GDP — in the 12-month period ending last autumn.

Thought for the Day

Now Democrats will have an excuse for not getting anything through the Senate.

(How long until they invoke that?)

Their heroes

Let's run through the current top Republican heroes.

New Senator Scott Brown, ex-nude centerfold.

Sarah Palin, an ill educated, and wantonly ignorant failed sportscaster who uses facebook to dodge interviews, but was almost vice president.

Rush Limbaugh, a pill popping, rumored to be hooker visiting, racist, sexist, bigoted blowhard.

Glenn Beck, a man quite seriously discussed of having mental disorders.

You can continue the list, but you get the idea. This is the worshiped ideological core of the "Christian" GOP.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A meaningless poll

There's alot being made of this CBS poll that says 56% of Republicans don't want Sarah Palin to run for President in 2012, but, in the end, it's pretty meaningless.

If she were to decide to run, she'd need only 30% or so from the Iowa and South Carolina primaries, and she could probably swing that easily. After that, she probably walks through and the party blindly unites behind her, so, don't make too much of that poll.


From a NYDailyNews "interview" with Harold Ford.
The interview - granted under the condition that the questions be limited to his rationale for running, and not issues...

But who will I turn to for unchecked "administration sources say" articles...

Apparently, the NYTimes is preparing to charge for all web content.

Thought for the Day

Nobody gave a crap when thousands were dying of privation in Haiti before the earthquake....

Thought for the Day - 2

FoxNews will determine what today's special election "means" as the other media and pundits will likely follow their broad editorial lead.

Thought for the Day - 3

...because everytime there was a special election, it was the end of the George Bush presidency....

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bible citing gun scopes?

It appears that a significant supplier of gun scopes to the military inscribes each one with a bible verse. I'm sure Jesus would be pleased with the usage.

These fundy christians are just so, so weird.

Expectation setting?

CNN is reporting
Multiple advisers to President Obama have privately told party officials that they believe Democrat Martha Coakley is going to lose Tuesday’s special election to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat held by the late Ted Kennedy for more than 40 years, several Democratic sources told CNN Sunday.

I don't know what to make of this, though. Is this real or just lowering expectations so they can claim Obama's visit and agenda speech changed the day, resetting the stage for 2010?

Rewriting history

The NYTimes has an article on Bush Jr. returning to the White House about Haiti which includes this,
The president who was blamed, fairly or not, for the response to Hurricane Katrina was now being given the chance to put lessons learned to work in Haiti.

I wish he'd been Surgeon General

From CNN, so you figure it's got a little "hero" in it, but the story is pretty good. At a small Haiti UN medical station, the Canadian and Belgian doctors pulled out after someone ordered them to leave fearing for their security. That left CNN medical reporter Sanjay Gupta as the only doctor there.
Gupta -- assisted by other CNN staffers, security personnel and at least one Haitian nurse who refused to leave -- assessed the needs of the 25 patients, but there was little they could do without supplies.....

He and the others stayed with the injured all night, after the medical team had left and after the generators gave out and the tents turned pitch black.

Gupta monitored patients' vital signs, administered painkillers and continued intravenous drips. He stabilized three new patients in critical condition.

If you'll remember, there was also the story of Gupta stepping in to help an emergency neurosurgery on an Iraqi boy.