Thursday, February 25, 2010

not campaigning

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wonkroom on 'reconciliation' [w]

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John McCain

longer version huffpo

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John Boehner

During a segment of the meeting devoted to cost control and federal entitlements, John Boehner instead trotted out just about every single GOP scare story about the bill - insisting it was a government takeover, calling it a massive bureaucratic mess, and even remarking about the number of pages in the legislation.

Coming after a fairly substantive policy debate, and having literally nothing to do with the point of the conversation, [Boehner's] diatribe evidently struck the president as a cheap shot and distraction.

And he responded by essentially putting Boehner on time out, telling him he'd get to his concerns after class.
John, you know, the challenge I have here, and it happens periodically, is every so often we have a pretty good conversation trying to get on some specifics, and then we go back to, you know, the standard talking points that the Democrats and Republicans have had for the last year. And that doesn't drive us to an agreement on issues.

There are so many things you just said that people on this side would profoundly disagree with and I would have to say based on my own analysis just aren't true that I think the conversation would start bogging down pretty quick.

Now, we were trying to focus on the deficit issue and the fact of the matter is, as we indicated before, according to the Congressional Budget Office this would reduce the deficit. [Rep.] Paul [Ryan, (R-Wisc.)] has different ideas about it. Other folks might think there are better ways of doing it. But right now what we are focusing on is the issue of federal entitlements and whether we can make some changes.

I will come back to you, I think, at the end of this session to answer the range of questions you just asked.

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An open letter to President Obama.

Carnival Games

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Summit's Eve
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorVancouverage 2010

tpm liveblog ...

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Monday, February 22, 2010


Michael Smerconish, "For Me the Party is Over"

.... Collegiality is nonexistent today, and any outreach across an aisle is castigated as weakness by the talking heads who constantly stir a pot of discontent. ... All of which leaves homeless those of us with views that don't stack up neatly in any ideological box the way we're told they should.
I think President Obama is earnest, smart, and much more centrist than his tea party caricature suggests. He has never been given a fair chance to succeed by those who openly crow about their desire to see him fail (while somehow congratulating one another on their relative patriotism). ... I'm not folding the tent on him. Not now. Not with the nation fighting two wars while its economy still teeters on the brink of collapse.

All of which leaves me in a partisan no-man's-land, albeit surrounded by many others, especially my neighbors. By quitting the GOP, I have actually joined the largest group of American voters.

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cf. Ranking Conservatives 2007.06.17

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bob Schieffer interviews Colin Powell

Face the Nation via huffpo

Dick Cheney's charges that the country is less safe because of the way Barack Obama has handled national security matters don't hold water, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday. "To suggest that somehow we have become much less safe because of the actions of the administration, I don't think that's borne out by the facts," Powell said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Powell pointed out that Obama has kept in place most of the programs enacted by the Bush administration. "The Transportation Security Administration created by George Bush is still in action working in our airports," Powell told host Bob Schieffer. "They take care of me every day that I go to an airport."

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence was also created under President Bush, "and it is still under President Obama, working hard," Powell continued. "Our counterterrorism authorities and forces are hard at work. Our law enforcement officials are hard at work. We have gone after the enemy in Afghanistan with 50,000 more troops, more predators are striking al-Qaida and Taliban leaders in Pakistan. We have continued the policies that President Bush put in place with respect to Iraq. And so I don't know where the claim comes that we are less safe."

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flashback 2008.10.19

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Elder Law

Published: February 16, 2010

Put aside for a moment the populist pressure to regulate banking and trading. Ask the elder statesmen of these industries — giants like George Soros, Nicholas F. Brady, John S. Reed, William H. Donaldson and John C. Bogle — where they stand on regulation, and they will bowl you over with their populism.

They certainly don’t think of themselves as angry Main Streeters. They grew quite wealthy in finance, typically making their fortunes in the ’70s and ’80s when banks and securities firms were considerably more regulated. And now, parting company with the current chieftains, they want more rules.

While the younger generation, very visibly led by Lloyd C. Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman Sachs, lobbies Congress against such regulation, their spiritual elders support the reform proposed by Paul A. Volcker and, surprisingly, even more restrictions. “I am a believer that the system has gone badly awry and needs massive reform,” said Mr. Bogle, the 80-year-old founder and for many years chief executive of the Vanguard Group, the huge mutual fund company.

Mr. Volcker, 82, signed up the support of nearly a dozen peers whose average age is north of 70 and whose pedigrees on Wall Street and in banking are impeccable. But while Mr. Volcker focuses on a rule that would henceforth prohibit a bank that takes deposits from also buying and selling securities for its own account — risking losses in the process — most of his prominent supporters see that as a starting point in a broader return to regulation. And most do not hesitate to speak up in interviews.

... more