Saturday, December 6, 2008

The President-Elect's Weekly Address

The President-Elect says that we need action, and we need it now. He promises to create jobs, save energy, and make America more competitive. He wants a massive effort to make Federal buildings more energy efficient, rebuild the national infrastructure, modernize and upgrade public schools, upgrade Internet access, and improve communication in health care. In the speech, he says he wants Congress to act immediately upon his inauguration. Here is the President-Elect:

Friday, December 5, 2008

BREAKING: Dem Leaders & Bush Agree on Auto Companies Rescue Plan

Oh, my! It looks like DC may give Detroit's "Big 3" $15 billion after all. So far, it looks like the money will NOT come from the "TARP"/financial industry rescue plan, but rather a loan from the "green technology" development fund. It's unclear, however, how many conditions will be included on the car companies actually developing greener cars.

Still, it looks like the car companies will have to make concessions. There will be government oversight. There will likely be some kind of fuel effiency standards for new cars. We'll just have to see what happens with the final deal.

Yes, Bush Completely F*cked Up

Admit it, Republicans! He didn't "keep us safe". He didn't "help our economy". He only misled us into war, kept us in needless occupation, brought back The Gilded Age, and nearly destroyed our Constitution.

So yes, Bush is a complete f*ck-up. And yes, President-Elect Obama has a real challenge in cleaning up his mess.

Here's a speech writer Obama ought to fire


Jon Favreau, the tacky adolescent on the left (as opposed to the tacky adolescent on the right), is Barack Obama's speech writer; he is to be the Director of Speechwriting for the President after Obama assumes office on January 20.

A stripling youth of 27, Favreau apparently doesn't know unacceptable behavior when he engages in it. He recently attended a party where he allowed himself to be photographed inappropriately pawing a life size cutout of Hillary Clinton.

This is just bad form, and it reminds me a lot of what went on in the blogs during the primaries. Blatantly sexist and entirely inappropriate for a presidential appointee. Al Kamen at The Washington Post reports that the man child had "reached out to Senator Clinton to offer an apology." Reached out, indeed.

I think the President-Elect should reconsider this appointment.

What to Do with the Leftovers?

All $30 million of them? Maybe rehire all those state & local organizers?

Please Excuse Our Technical Difficulties

We're having problems with Blogger this morning. We're trying to get this fixed. It's all up to Blogger now.

So please hold tight, and hopefully soon we'll be up and running again.


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Now It Looks Like Recession

Damn. 533,000 jobs lost in just one month. 6.7% unemployment. Our economy is in a downward spiral.

And again, this is why we can't afford "fiscal conservatism" now. We don't need "belt tightening" now. We need to stimulate this economy!

President Obama must be ready to tackle this on January 20. He must be ready to get people back to work & put money in people's hands ASAP. This is recession now, and we can't afford to continue falling down much lower.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Getting Local With Marriage Equality

One town in North Carolina is making it happen. Can we make equality happen from the bottom up by way of our cities? Perhaps so.

What Our Economy Needs

Forget "fiscal conservatism"... We need economic sanity to save us!

Canada in Crisis

Damn. Conservative PM Stephen Harper really blew it today. He delayed the inevitable by suspending Parliament until January 27. Whatever, the Liberals & the NDP will kick his ass then.

In the mean time, it sucks that the whole nation is in limbo until then.

Bushies Finally Admit the Obvious...

They f*cked up our economy. No sh*t, sherlock.

David Sirota & I Agree on Something!

Really? Yes, it's true! We both agree on who should NOT be the next Senator from Pennsylvania. ;-)

Joe the Huckster

Does he ever stop? I guess not. I guess "JTP" will never realize that his 15 minutes of fame ended 2 months ago.

Proposition 8: The Musical

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Late Nite Open Thread

What's happening?

So America Isn't So Homophobic?

I guess not. Believe it or not, most Americans don't hate queer people!

- Three-quarters of U.S. adults (75%) favor either marriage or domestic partnerships/civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. Only about two in 10 (22%) say gay and lesbian couples should have no legal recognition.

– Almost two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults favor allowing openly gay military personnel to serve in the armed forces.

– About six in 10 (63%) U.S. adults favor expanding hate crime laws to cover gay and transgender people.

– Nearly seven out of 10 U.S. adults (69%) oppose laws that would ban qualified gay and lesbian couples from adopting children.

So why do we keep hearing about this nation's "gay problem"? Well, it's not that hard to explain. People are still scared of "The M Word".

Yes, that's right. Marriage. There's this disconnect in many people's heads between supporting equal rights for all and knowing that separate isn't equal.

I occasionally ran into this problem when I was out campaigning against Prop 8 here in California. There would always be a few who'd ask me why we couldn't be happy that domestic partnerships "are just like marriage". I'd respond that domestic partnerships are not "just like marriage" because they're not marriage and they only provide 1/3 the same rights as marriage, as the other 2/3 are federal rights that are blocked under DOMA.

I just don't get it. On one hand, straight Americans seem more accepting of LGBT people than ever before. They support hate crimes laws, open military service, adoption rights, and essentially all the rights of marriage for gay & lesbian couples. But for some reason, people still stop and freak out over that actual one word: marriage.

So what can we do? First off, we need to continue educating people about what marriage really means. No, there's no threat to any churches. No, it doesn't force any one to do anything against his/her will. All it means is that all loving couples are treated equally under the law.

And secondly, we need to hold our newly elected officials accountable. Contrary to what some Beltway Pundits say about President Obama not being "too connected to the homosexual agenda", there's obviously support for equal rights. We can begin to make progress nationally by repealing DOMA, the current federal law that forbids recognition of any state or local same-sex union. By repealing DOMA, gay & lesbian couples actually would have the same rights as married straight couples. Also, we can urge Congress & the President to pass ENDA & allow open military service. No one should be discriminated at work, whether it's in the Marines or at the office near the marina, for one's sexual orientation and/or gender identity. It's just not right, and it's about time for the federal government to recognize that.

So is America ready for change that queer people can believe in? It seems likely now. We just need to continue educating the public on the change we really need while demanding that our government do what's right for all of us. Can we make it happen?

Yes, we can.

Divided States of America?

Are we still a polarized nation? Charles Lemos thinks so. I guess there's some truth to this.

Still, I don't think we're as polarized around "culture wars" crap as we used to be. And if President Obama can really deliver the change we need on the economy, we'll see a continuing death of the "culture wars".

Why Bill Richardson Owes Obama

Who knew it was all over the whisper of "Katrina"? ;-)

Now at SSP...

Check it out! ;-)

Progressive America?

It may be for real. ;-)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"You are lying" and "Clinton is too hawkish"...

This is merely my opinion regarding Clinton as SOS and therefore I cannot speak for everyone who did not support her in the primary (I did not support her, I was first an Edwards supporter then moved to Obama rather quickly despite some of my reservations). From some comments (by others) in various threads there are some very interesting themes emerging.

One... many at Kos hated Clinton, so that anyone that now supports her appointment as SOS was lying then or lying now.

Secondly... Clinton is so damn hawkish because of her support and vote for the war she is completely unfit to serve in Obama’s administration.

So, here I must refute these ideas...

Clinton fought hard during the primary and said some things that really pissed me off, just as many here were pissed. Some chose to express that anger in ways that might not seem as productive as other means but things were said during the primary, we all know that.

But when Clinton conceded and endorsed Obama, I was a bit shocked. I did believe she might keep fighting until the convention and even challenge his nomination at the roll call. But as history now shows us, Clinton not only endorsed Obama, she campaigned for him and urged her supporters to vote for him.

How much clearer could she have been, No McCain, no way, no how? She was very clear that McCain was not an alternative to Obama and by Republicans picking Sarah Palin as the VP choice (Sure, we all know McCain did not get his way) they gave Clinton an even bigger bat to hit that point home ; McCain/Palin were not an alternative to Clinton either.

I teared up when Clinton stopped the roll call and spoke those words that ended it as clearly as anyone could have, she will forever have a huge part in history for many different reasons and I think one of the most important was the grit and class she showed after she had lost the primary. It turned my head and it gave me the ability to forgive and forget. Yes, it can happen in politics as well, some things are just not worth hanging on to.

Is it possible that I might be the only one whose opinion of Clinton was drastically changed? I highly doubt it and I’m hoping that is the case, that many allowed themselves to be won over by her ardent support of Obama and her ability to be a “team player”.

Obama is also playing the game and he has given her a great opportunity to be a tremendous Secretary of State to put forth HIS agenda on Foreign Policy not her own. That’s where her perceived hawkishness is irrelevant to me, ultimately Clinton was chosen for her standing in the international community and relationships between world leaders that already exist. It is also a nod to her competency as a Senator and an opponent. It was a brilliant move by Obama in my opinion and a deserving position for Clinton as well, in my opinion.

But do you really think that Clinton would have enough sway over Obama to start another useless and illegal war? Really?

I know many here admired the fact that Obama stood up and spoke out against the Iraq war when it was not the politically expedient thing to do. I was also one of the many who never supported this war and I still feel betrayed by all that allowed themselves to be swayed by the bullshit meme put forth by the Bush Administration, either you are for us or against us. Clinton is not politically un-savvy, she knew she had to support the war, at least in her mind and at the time it was what she felt was necessary.

Clinton also knew (yes, all supposition on my part, I admit it) that she could not fully repudiate her stance on the war, it would mean admitting she did not do her homework and that she was possibly like every other Democrat (according to the right wing) soft on national security, etc. Clinton was in it to win and she made a calculated decision (just as John Edwards did, by the way, but he had nothing to lose in saying he was sorry, I wonder even now if he ever meant to see it through Super Tuesday).

Obama has proven that you can be for America and be against stupid wars. He’s held his own in showing that inexperience doesn’t mean dumb and that his intellect far outweighs the experience of the many people who supported this war in the first place. Clinton in his Cabinet will not overpower Obama nor will her “hawkishness”. Obama will not allow that to be the driving force of his Foreign Policy.

It is possible for former Clintons skeptics to support her appointment as Secretary of State without it meaning that we all lied just a few months ago. And by her full throated support of Obama during the general election she’s also proven that his agenda can be her agenda if it means improving our standing in the world and helping America be a better place for all of us.

Just call me a pragmatic optimist, I would much rather give people the benefit of the doubt and hope for the best once Obama is sworn in rather than mope about something that is completely out of my control in the first place. (Yes, the left has every right to speak out against the perceived move to the center, which is still more left than McCain would have ever been if he had won).

Looking Southwest for 2010 & Beyond

This year has been quite transformative for The West, especially The Southwest. Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico have gone from Red to Blue. Utah and Arizona don't look quite as Red as they used to. Oh yes, and California now looks bluer than ever before.

But will this last? Will The Southwest continue to trend blue? And can Democrats continue to make gains here?

Honestly, I think so. Why? First off, demographics are shifting our way. Latinos continue to grow in population and political influence. "Creative Class" professionals continue to breathe new life into the region's urban areas. The area has changed, and the changes favor us.

And because the the demographics of The Southwest has changed, so has the politics. The old "rugged individualism" and "libertarian conservatism" that used to define the region's politics have faded away as these formerly rural states are becoming much more urban and suburban. After all, why would young parents in Henderson, NV, worry about whether or not they can own assault rifles when they have to make plans for their kids' college education, keep their kids safe from dangerous air and water pollution, and be able to afford a home and food and health care? Why would a couple of biotech researchers in Aurora, CO, feel threatened by public park land in the state when they're worried about keeping their jobs?

See where I'm going? The West has changed. I know. I've witnessed how my native Orange County, CA, has changed from "John Birch Society" embarrassment to dynamic urban environment. I've seen firsthand how Las Vegas has transformed from small casino town to world-class destination. I've been amazed by how the entire region has changed, and how we all saw this on full display as Democrats won across the board here.

So what should we do next? Let's first talk about Nevada. Barack Obama won here by 12% (vs. a 2% Bush win in 2004), Democrat Dina Titus defeated GOP incumbent Jon Porter for Congress in NV-03, and Democrats now control both houses of the state legislature. So what next? We keep Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Senate and put a good Democrat in the Governor's seat to replace the disgraced GOP incumbent Jim Gibbons, as both are quite doable. I'd now peg the Senate race as "Leans Democratic" and the Governor's race as "Toss-up". Oh yes, and we'd be wise to take advantage of Obama's possible 2012 coattails here by finding a legitimate challenger to GOP Senator John Ensign.

Colorado was also good to us this year, as Obama won by 9% (vs. a 5% Bush win in 2004), Tom Udall won a formerly GOP Senate seat, and Betsy Markey unseated GOP Rep. Marilyn Musgrave in CO-04. So what can we do now? I'd peg incumbent Senator Ken Salazar's 2010 race as "Likely Democratic" now, but we should keep a close watch to make sure we win again. And of course, we'll need to make sure Obama wins again in 2012.

But what about California? Obama won here by a whopping 24% (vs. a 10% Kerry win in 2004) and Democrats already have both Senate seats & 33 of 53 House seats. What more can we have? How about the Governor's seat, which I already consider "Leans Democratic" as the GOP has no strong candidate to succeed Arnold Schwarzenegger? And how about winning the "Toss-up" House races in CA-03, CA-04, and CA-44 in 2010, where we came so close this year? Same goes for the "Leans Republican" races in CA-46 and CA-50?

And what about Arizona? McCain won his home state by 9% (vs. an 11% Bush win in 2004), but Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick still managed to win a formerly GOP seat in AZ-01. So is there still potential here? I think so. Without the McCain home state edge, Obama can win here in 2012. And better yet, we can beat McCain in 2010, as well as fellow GOP Senator Jon Kyl in 2012, with the right candidates. Same goes with the 2010 Governor's race, which can be a "Toss-up" if we can have a quality candidate run against newly minted GOP Governor Jan Brewer.

So where do we go from here out West? We win! Ready to win?

Weekly Strategy Session

This week, I'm opening the session to you. What should we focus on in the coming weeks? What issues should we discuss? How should we plan for future campaigns?

I want to hear from you on what we should do now. Go ahead and chat away.

The President-Elect Addresses the National Governors' Association

Barack Obama spoke at National Governors Association meeting this morning. The President-Elect promised to get to work quickly on the nation's economic woes. He asked the governors for their advice and pledged that he was beginning a partnership and that he was in it for the long term.

Sarahcuda to Attack Her Own?

Perhaps so? Say it ain't so, Joe! Well, it looks like Alaska's current senior Senator will make sure she doesn't succeed. Hehe. ;-)

The New FDR?

Think about it.

Hillary's Speech from Yesterday

I've been away for the Thanksgiving holiday, but I am back with delight that Senator Clinton will be our next Secretary of State. This is a dream for any C4O Democrat, that Barack Obama will enjoy the counsel of Hillary Clinton in the most important policy position in the foreign affairs establishment.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Unintended Consequences

This is why I'm not happy with Obama's Homeland Security pick. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Janet Napolitano. Just wacko fundie wingnuts like Jan Brewer.

So sorry, Arizona, but I guess this is what you get for not voting Obama. :-(

Planned Parenthood on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Nice. And at least my phone works now. Jeez, if only my peecee can at the same time...

I Hate My Computer Open Thread

OK, I had a whole diary ready to go... And it disappeared! Dammit, you biotch of a computer! Has your peecee ever pissed all over you like it has with me?

Damn, I guess this means more work (and sore hands) for me tomorrow...

More on Jim Jones

Here's the skinny on our new National Security Adviser. And btw, isn't it awesome that Charles Lemos is now at MyDD?

Obama Clinton Gates Jones Foreign Policy

I know there's been plenty of chatter lately on President-Elect Obama's foreign policy. In particular, I've heard the usual Beltway Pundits proclaim Obama must abandon his "leftist dovishness" and embrace his inner "center-right hawk" to be a "credible Commander-in-Chief". Meanwhile, I'm also seeing some progressives wail in despair over how Obama is supposedly abandoning them for "neocon-lite".

But what if both camps are wrong? What if today's revelation of the foreign policy/national security wing of the Obama Administration reveals something completely different? Hold on, because you may be surprised.

Now yes, Obama has two prominent ex-Republicans advising him. And yes, we don't even know if Defense Secretary Bob Gates and soon to be National Security Adviser Jim Jones even voted for the President-Elect. However, we need to remember that these two indivduals have never been part of the neoconservative cabal that caused so much damage in the Bush II Administration. While they're far from liberal internationalists, they do seem to hold a more pragmatic realist point of view that can help inform our next President understand the many dangers and challenges our nation faces. And if they provide "realist" reasons to support a more liberal internationalist (aka "progressive") foreign policy, more power to them.

But even above Jones and Gates, far too many so-called "progressives" seem panicked over the thought of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Why? I just don't know, other than the usual fearmongering over anything and everything "Clinton". Now I examined for myself Hillary Clinton's views on foreign policy. I found that her foreign policy is a liberal internationalist policy well within the mainstream of the Democratic Party.

So I do believe that we can get a glimpse into President Obama's foreign policy by looking at who will be on his national security team. But rather than looking at them and seeing a "neocon Obama", I see something different. Rather, I see an Obama Administration that will engage the world far differently than the current Administration has.

Honestly, it does look like Obama split the difference between realists who use diplomacy to keep threats at bay and liberal internationalists who use diplomacy to solve the world's problems. And frankly, I'm OK with it.

Why? Taylor Marsh sums it up well.

People talk about "hawkish" policies or people, but for national security focused analysts, with earned expertise over years of study, like myself, it's about America's history of strength going back to Truman that Bush-Cheney and the Republicans have made a mockery through their campaigns of fear, snubbing diplomacy for bellicose saber rattling, using the military as a threat instead of a very last resort, while undermining our moral authority by sending a message to underdeveloped nations that the rule of law across the globe is not to be respected by the most powerful.

What Obama faces in Central Asia was instigated under Ronald Reagan, which I'll leave for another time. But suffice it to say that it will take a strong team led by a 21st century mind to turn the U.S. ship of state in a new direction. Obama is that man, and today he proved he knows what it will take to get the job done through the choices of the people who will surround him.

Perhaps Obama's foreign policy team isn't wholly "progressive". Still, they're all great minds and they all agree on the value of diplomacy. Each may have a different view on diplomacy, but ultimately President Obama will be the one deciding what happens. And judging by the whole of his choices so far, I feel good about that.

It's Official...

Hillary Clinton will be our new Secretary of State. She just gave a great speech outlining her & President-Elect Obama's vision on foreign policy. I'm sure the world community must be quite happy with this new national security team.

Also, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano will be Homeland Security Secretary. Susan Rice will be UN Ambassador. Robert Gates will remain Defense Secretary. Eric Holder will be Attorney General. Gen. Jim Jones will be National Security Advisor.

Overall, great picks. They're all wonderful public servants & smart people who will serve our next President well.

O Canada

Their election was only six weeks ago. But already, it looks like they'll have a change of government. Why?

Simple. That's what a parliamentary democracy is all about. Larger parties & smaller parties can form coalitions to oust incumbent plurality-but-still-minority governments if they're not working.

Wow, if only America could be a parliamentary democracy... ;-)

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Is America really "a center-right nation"? I doubt it, and so does Tom Edsall at HuffPo. Perhaps we're not a nation full of "dirty f*cking hippies", but we certainly look more center-left as a whole today.

Why I'm Not Suprised

Didn't they see the signs?