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Rush’s blind spot

10 Mar

Steve Kornacki on the dangers of Rush Limbaugh getting carried away with Obama’s polling woes:: 

Salon

Does Rush not remember that Republicans were gloating in 1994 about how independents and even some Democrats were abandoning Clinton just like they’re gloating about Obama today? And just like Democrats in 1982 and 1983 were crowing that independents and even some Republicans were fleeing Reagan?

The Clinton and Reagan comebacks provide very important lessons for those who would write Obama off right now — and for those who would read the GOP’s bright 2010 prospects as much more than a predictable reaction to double-digit unemployment and single-party control of the White House and Congress.  (I wrote much more about the parallels between ‘82, ‘94 and the present day — and why they portend well for Obama’s ‘12 prospects — here.)

New episode of “so it goes…” is up: Boss

11 Oct

So against all odds, Jack and I finally managed to get together and record another episode of our so it goes… podcast. It took me a week to edit (such is my life/time management skills), so ignore Jack’s ignorance to the whole Letterman creepiness.

So in this episode we discuss Obama and healthcare (again), Letterman’s sexy indiscretions and what it means for his career, a future [*spits*] Tory government, and the good (and bad) bosses we’ve worked under.

“Boss” can be listened to at the Mevio site here, or you can subscribe via iTunes, here.

Obama swats fly like Sensei

17 Jun

A fight’s a fight

27 May

You’ve probably heard all about Sonia Sotomayor by now. She’s the Bronx-rasied hispanic judge who Obama has nominated as his first appointee to the Supreme Court.

If like me you first read about her in The New York Times, you may also know that — from the comments posted there by liberal readers — the left aren’t particularly taken with her. The grassroots left, whose activism had propelled the young Chicagoan outsider to the presidency, were hoping for a nominee who would be guaranteed to further their cause (not to mention piss off the GOP).

Sotomayor isn’t an activist judge. She’s a champion of judicial process. To the polarised partisan her judgements might appear ambiguous (and so could be “shaped” to fit any desired narrative), but this is because they’re nuanced. A judge shouldn’t seek to push an agenda.

This doesn’t mean Sotomayor won’t be a liberal judge. No one is completely objective (even if, invariably, prejudiced myopia is a conservative trait). But it may mean that she will be a floating vote on close judgements. And surely, this is what we should really expect from Obama. He’s never claimed to be an activist liberal, he has always championed merit, fairness and common-sense.

To me Sotomayor is the perfect Obama choice. She has risen from humble origins to the brink of the highest court in The United States. She is smart — she graduated second in her Princeton class, and was an editor of the school’s law review. And Sotomayor appears to put reason and pragmatism ahead of culture-war politics.

Of course just because Sotomayor isn’t a rabid baby-eating liberal, it doesn’t mean that the Republicans will accept her with fair-minded acquiescence. In reality, the GOP is probably livid that they don’t have an activist judge they can easily paint as a “jackbooted feminazi”.

The Republican Party is in complete disarray. Rovian conservatism is built on the politicisation of religion. The GOP needs a Supreme Court fight to energise and unite its base — not to mention invigorate its fund-raising efforts.

The right thing for the Republicans to do would be to take the high-ground and embrace the new political atmosphere. Obama could have nominated a much more threatening judge (or Democrat politician) to the SCOTUS. He didn’t. But to a desperate GOP a fight’s a fight, and boy do they want a fight.

Rightwing nutjob Beck, advocates secession.

14 Apr

So you thought Fox News’ resident mentalist, Glenn Beck, couldn’t get more unhinged.

You were wrong. So very wrong.

You know the Republicans are going down the toilet faster than an aerodynamically sculptured turd, don’t you? Heh. Good.

Cui bono?

23 Mar

Further to this piece by Tom Griffin, over at LC, on the connections between the “decent left” (*spits*) and the Islamophobia movement, I read a piece in this week’s Time Europe, about the survival of NATO in spite of the collapse of the USSR. How it’s actually got stronger, despite all other alliances collapsing soon after mutual goals had been achieved.

Alliances die when they win. Take away the enemy, and you take away the glue that holds a coalition together.

[…]

Yet instead of taking its final bow, NATO expanded. In 1994, the alliance sent out invitations to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland; five years later, all three were in. Sixty years ago, NATO started out with 12 members; today it has 26. Not bad for an outfit that, according to theory, should have breathed its last once the Soviet Union had capitulated.

One wonders, when these characters are so committed to a continued American hegemony, if they haven’t got a vested interest in the continued threat of radical Islam?*

*rhetorical question

Craig Murray: I will accuse Jack Straw on Torture

20 Mar

From Craig’s blog ::

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has agreed to hear my evidence on torture on Tuesday 28 April at 1.45pm. Many thanks to everyone who helped lobby for this.

I am delighted, as I have been trying for over four years to lay the truth about British torture policy before Parliament. I will testify that as British Ambassador I was told there is a very definite policy to accept intelligence from torture abroad, and that the policy was instituted and approved by Jack Straw when Foreign Secretary. I will tell them that as Ambassador I protested formally three times in writing to Jack Straw, and that the Foreign Office told me in reply to my protests that this was perfectly legal.

I will prove my evidence with documentation….

Read more…

Hat-tip Jennie (email), who wonders whether the MSM will run with this significant story? We’ll see. If the blogosphere makes a big deal, then I would imagine The Guardian will pick it up.