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So Long, Shoebox: Karl Rove’s Last Hurrah

9:12 pm in 2012 election by Phoenix Woman

There is an anecdote that perfectly encapsulates the essence of Karl Rove. It goes like this:

Alongside his ambition and fixation on politics he appears to have believed that the end always justified the means. At [high] school debates he had a mountain of reference cards. Every debater on the team brought a shoebox of cards, but he would bring up to 10 boxes and dump them down, intimidatingly. A team-mate said “there wasn’t a thing on 99% of them”.

That’s our Karl: A boastful blowhard with precious little to back up the boasts, and addicted to ethical shortcuts to make up for his nothingness.

Lost in the blizzard of schadenfreude over his comeuppance and meltdown last Tuesday is this fact: He’s had similar comeuppances in the past, though the resulting meltdowns weren’t quite as spectacular as was last Tuesday’s.

For instance, let us consider 2006. Even as all the evidence was pointing, for those who were paying attention (and who were ignoring the sort of pundit-fog Rove specializes in emitting), to big gains for the Democrats, Rove was adamant that such gains simply weren’t in the cards — his “math”, you see, told him differently, as he announced to NPR’s Robert Siegel in late October of 2006: Read the rest of this entry →

Eastwood v. Chair Left Out of Romney’s RNC Video

5:43 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Remember how a few days ago, the Romney campaign said that Willard enjoyed and laughed at Clint Eastwood’s epic rant against a piece of furniture?

They must not have liked it that much after all:

A video mash-up of speakers from last week’s Republican National Convention does not include an appearance from the ” mystery RNC speaker,Clint Eastwood.

The two-and-a-half minute video posted today to the Romney campaign‘s YouTube account features former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, VP nominee Paul Ryan and of course, Romney himself, but it leaves out Eastwood‘s controversial speech.

Eastwood caused a stir at the convention and on Twitter with a rambling speech Thursday night, in which he interviewed an invisible President Obama in a wooden prop chair.

Dangit, that was the best part of the whole convention!

The World Turned Upside Down: Broder v. Emanuel

8:48 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Did Dan Froomkin sneak into the Washington Post building the other night and drop some truth serum into Matlock’s Metamucil? Because that’s the only way I can envision David Broder writing a column that gets so much right (by Broderian standards) for a change (emphases mine):

In the space of 10 days, thanks in no small part to my own newspaper, the president of the United States has been portrayed as a weakling and a chronic screw-up who is wrecking his administration despite everything that his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel can do to make things right.

This remarkable fiction began unfolding on Feb. 21 in the Sunday column of my friend Dana Milbank who wrote that "Obama’s first year fell apart in large part because he didn’t follow his chief of staff’s advice on crucial matters. Arguably, Emanuel is the only person keeping Obama from becoming Jimmy Carter," i.e., a one-term failure.

Broder then details all the pieces he’s noticed in the WaPo recently that originated from the pro-Rahm spin machine — and points out that this effort to protect Emanuel is hurting the very president Emanuel’s supposed to be serving.

Now, there has been plenty of criticism of Rahm Emanuel lately. But this is different.

This is the anti-DFH doing it this time. This is Mister Conventional Beltway Wisdom Boiled Down To Its Essence doing it this time.

That’s what makes it so shocking — and so consequential.

Obama may have had his BlackBerry taken away, but he still reads the hometown rag. He, who strives so hard to please and placate the purveyors of Conventional Beltway Wisdom, of whom Broder is the acknowledged Dean, cannot have failed to see this — or hear about it.

Whoever in Rahm’s press unit that was tasked with schmoozing the Dean of the White House Press Corps seems to have botched their mission. That would make this a rare failure for it — after all, they successfully smeared Martha Coakley, repeatedly. She had been doing just fine until she was made to back the Rahm-approved Senate HCR bill, and then she got shivved by Rahm’s Raiders when she most needed a helping hand — apparently so she and not they would take the fall and the blame.

Broder’s rejection of the full-court schmooze stands out in high-relief contrast to the emanations of those (like TNR’s Noam Scheiber) who fell for it hook, line and sinker. He’s actually calling out the Rahm machine — and who knows? Maybe this time Rahm will find that he can no longer dodge accountability by hiding from his current boss the way he hid from Bill Clinton.

Obama the Conservative?

11:30 am in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

One of the crowning ironies of the swarms of reflexive Obamapologists attacking FDL for working with conservatives like Grover Norquist concerning the details of Rahm Emanuel’s Freddie Mac stewardship as reported by the Chicago Tribune is that they didn’t raise so much as a peep of protest when the ACLU, CAF and PFAW worked with the guy.

Another, of course, is that Obama himself has a long history, especially with preachers, of conservative outreach — so much so that in 2008, a leading conservative publication in the UK actually touted him as the person who would save worldwide conservatism from the bad image given it by George W. Bush:

European conservatives should, like many of their American cousins, hope not only for an Obama nomination, but also for his election on November 4th. It has been difficult to present a strong case for conservatism in Europe, partly because of the Bush administration. But Obama could change that; a charismatic and broadly supported president with ideas similar to Burkean philosophy would lend credibility to conservatism everywhere.

If you’re wondering how somebody like Andrew Sullivan could be an unabashed fan of both Reagan and Obama, now you know.

Liz Cheney Wants Us To Bow To China

5:41 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Betcha dollars to doughnuts you won’t hear Dan "OMG EEEEK Obama was polite to an Asian dude" Riehl gumming Dick Cheney’s ankle over this.

After all the nonsense emanating from the right-wing bloggers — nonsense slavishly repeated by a corporate media that doesn’t bother to notice that Republican Richard Nixon greeted Chairman Mao with a polite bow without conservative commentators rushing to their fainting couches over it — we find that Liz Cheney, the daughter of their hero, their icon, Dick Cheney, wants us all to bow to China — big time.

Never mind that the alleged "concern" expressed by China, and referenced by Liz Cheney and her partner in sliming, FOX’s Neil Cauvto, is not exactly well sourced. Never mind that, as T.R. Reid notes in The Healing of America, they dropped their extremely successful "barefoot doctors" system in their rush to become capitalists — and so now have the dubious distinction of being the one major industrial nation whose residents have worse access to health care than we do. Never mind that Cheney’s friends at FOX spent a good chunk of yesterday freaking out about "bowing" done for form’s sake, as opposed to the truly submissive grovelling Liz Cheney is now urging on us here in America.

None of that matters. What matters is that once again, FOX tells us that anything, even bowing to China, is OK if a Republican does it.

GOP Still the Party of Lincoln? Not with Joe Wilson in It

7:15 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

If you’re wondering about Rep. Joe Wilson, the Republican backbencher who hurled verbal abuse at the President this evening, here’s a few tidbits:

– If you guessed "This guy is not a moderate Republican from the East or West Coast", you guessed correctly: He’s from South Carolina, which has been in the news recently because of Wilson’s fellow Republicans, Gov. Mark Sanford and André Bauer, but not for the reasons they’d prefer.

– If you wondered if perhaps this guy might be a Neo-Confederate or other person who might not be inclined to treat a black president with the same respect as he would a white one, you’d be right again — he’s a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group that lists Patrick Buchanan and Trent "Strom the Segregationist shoulda won in ’48" Lott among its members:

In 2002, the SCV was criticized in the media and by a group of SCV dissenters for the SCV’s views of Civil War history and the organization’s alleged association with neo-confederate individuals and organizations. Joe Conason, writing in Salon, and Jason Zengerle, writing in The New Republic, have argued that the SCV has morphed from an apolitical organization dedicated to Civil War history to a politicized organization dedicated to preserving the "Lost Cause" version of the history of the Civil War and the 1861-1865 era.[20] The SCV states that "[t]he preservation of liberty and freedom was the motivating factor in the South’s decision to fight the Second American Revolution".[3]

Civil War historian James M. McPherson has associated the SCV with the neo-confederate movement and described board members of the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia as "undoubtedly neo-Confederate." He further said that the SCV and their equivalent for female descendants, the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), have "white supremacy" as their "thinly veiled agendas." [21] The incident made McPherson a controversial figure among Confederate history groups and prompted a UDC boycott call and letter-writing campaign against him. In response to this boycott, McPherson stated that he did not mean to imply that all SCV or UDC chapters or anyone who belongs to them promote white supremacist agenda. He further stated that [only] some of these people have a hidden agenda.[22]

No wonder Erick Erickson of Red State, who we last saw defending Glenn Beck, calls Wilson a "hero".

Want to fight back? Donate to Rob Miller, Wilson’s opponent. Abe Lincoln would approve.

Oh, almost forgot — Wilson broke the House GOP’s own set of etiquette rules (he may have felt that they didn’t apply to a black or Democratic president):

References to the Senate or Executive Branch

Until the 109th Congress, it was not in order to make certain references to the Senate or individual senators. However, at the beginning of that Congress, the House removed the prohibition on making references to the Senate, leaving only the requirement that debate be confined to the question under debate and avoid “personality.” The precedents of the House allow a wide latitude in criticism of the President, other executive officials, and the government itself. However, it is not permissible to use language that is personally offensive to the President, such as referring to him as a “hypocrite” or a “liar.” Similarly, it is not in order to refer to the President as “intellectually dishonest” or an action taken by the President as “cowardly.” References to the Vice President, in spite of his role as President of the Senate, are measured against the standard used for the President rather than prior standards used to govern the Senate.

Categories of Unparliamentary Speech

Defaming or degrading the House
Criticism of the Speaker’s personal conduct
Impugning the motives of another Member
Charging falsehood or deception

Claiming lack of intelligence or knowledge
References to race, creed, or prejudice
Charges related to loyalty or patriotism

Committee on Rules – Republicans
U.S. House of Representatives
1627 Longworth Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

PHONE: (202) 225-9191
FAX: (202) 225-6763

EMAIL: Rules.Rs@mail.house.gov

Gibbs: Obama Still Backs Public Option

6:01 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

This morning, half the blogosphere — including yours truly — fell lock, stock and two smoking barrels for the "Resistance is futile, the public option is dead" line being pushed by Matt Drudge and the AP, which used an oddly-written story that didn’t have any authoritative named White House sources making that assertion featured in the story’s headline. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when, on CBS’ Face the Nation, President Obama’s press secretary Robert Gibbs took great pains to point out that the reports that got everyone’s undies (including mine) in a twist were, ahem, not true:

“The president believes this option of a government plan is the best way to provide choice and competition,” Gibbs told CBS.He added: “I think most of what you are seeing on TV, no offense, is good TV, and that’s about it.”

The video can be found here.

World Leaders Pressure Honduran Coup Plotters To Restore Zelaya, Return To Democracy

11:39 am in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

The nations of the world, following the leads of President Obama and the OAS, are working to isolate the coup leaders in Honduras and to get elected Honduran president Manuel Zelaya restored to office:

Two senior Obama administration officials told reporters that U.S. diplomats had warned in recent days against a coup, but that Honduran military leaders stopped taking their calls. They said the administration is now working to ensure Zelaya’s safe return."

I call on all political and social actors in Honduras to respect democratic norms, the rule of law and the tenets of the Inter-American Democratic Charter," Obama said in a statement.

For those conditions to be met, Zelaya must be returned to power, U.S. officials said.

Now, what was that about Obama not opposing the coup?

But wait, there’s more:

The president of Latin America’s largest nation, Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, said on his weekly radio program that his country will not recognize any Honduran government that doesn’t have Zelaya as president "because he was directly elected by the vote, complying with the rules of democracy."

[...]

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Rio Group, which comprises 23 nations from the hemisphere, also condemned the coup and called for Zelaya’s return.

By the way:  Reuters managed to correctly identify the vote as non-binding (even as their story’s headline tried to imply that only lefties are in the OAS, as well as implying that their opinions don’t count): Read the rest of this entry →

Health Care Stories: Share Yours, Read Others

8:27 am in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

President Obama has a website where you can read about the punishingly high cost of our current health care system, as told by Americans just like you.

Here’s part of Elizabeth’s story:

I am a single mom, my story is all too familiar. I could not afford health care for my children after my divorce so I rolled the dice and we were lucky. I have 3 children, all adults now, but 20 years ago when I divorced, they were all under 10 yrs old. I could barely afford food, the mortgage and basic needs. About 15 years ago I got them on the Virginia state program for kids, through a lottery system and tried to play catch up before we were disqualified because my meager income increases took us out of qualifying range. For many years I went without because we could not afford it. Thank GOD we came through without a major accident or illness. Many Americans are not so fortunate.

Here’s Dennis’ story: Read the rest of this entry →