Friday, November 30, 2012

You must remember this

CDS is still CDS. Some crap never dies. Some crap doesn't even fade away.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gaffe confirmed

In case there was any doubt about whether Mitt's infamous (and possibly fatal) "47 percent" video was just a pander and a lie, rather than a gaffe (i.e., a true statement of his feeling, however embarrassing), the latest results from the election are now in. Gaffe it was, and is. There were many varietals of sour grapes he could have chosen to serve. He picked Racist Scrooge.

Dig in - Updated

I had no particular feeling one way or another about the prospect of Susan Rice succeeding Hillary at State. But now I hope Obama names her, and I hope she gets confirmed on a party-line vote. He needs to stare these jerks down.

Update: As Bob has been saying, the facts are on Rice's side. This is an opportunity space, not a danger zone. Let the hearings happen. A full, open examination of reality will discredit McCain and Graham and the rest. Obama should give them all the rope they are willing to grab. That, in fact, is what I take his hot response at yesterday's presser to have been -- a macho dare, and a clever lure.

Why? Because what is most likely the case is that Benghazi was not just a diplomatic outpost but a staging HQ for US spooks. In other words, this was CIA spy stuff that got blown up. Why else, do we suppose, Mitt suddenly dropped the subject, after going at it hammer-and-tongs for weeks? Isn't it likely that he got a confidential briefing, in which it was made clear to him that pressing on this "issue" risked exposing our clandestine intelligence operations and operatives? So let Senator Senile and Senator Smarmy hammer away -- and let their party suffer the political consequences. Even if my speculation about the underlying facts of Benghazi is wrong, even if all that happens is that Susan Rice's actual statements on these news programs get played again and seen for what they are, this is a political winner.

Bad Memes, Bad Politics, Bad Policy - Updated

Still accepting rightwing memes, Robert Reich proposes a half-measure on the economy that cedes far too much ground.

Obviously, reviving the economy and lowering unemployment come first. They also come second, third and fourth. As Krugman has shown repeatedly, the deficit is not an urgent issue, in terms of actual economics. And as Reagan famously showed, it is never an urgent issue in terms of politics. Krugman has also shown how the GOP itself isn't serious about reducing the deficit, and never has been. It's pure theater for them. Well, we shouldn't go to that play.

Obama's frame from now on should be to redefine what it means to be "serious." That needs to be wrenched away from the faux VSPs, who have heretofore succeeded in equating it with fiscal austerity. Instead, seriousness should be equated with returning to reality, to data, to facts. Obama does have a mandate -- for a new, pragmatic governance based on facts. It is post-partisan, not bipartisan -- "post" in the sense that it doesn't organize itself around the opinions of partisans (or whoever is in the room), but around the evidence. This taps into the new Age of Nate Silver, of the Sandy-driven acceptance of climate change, of math education not just for our children, but for our politicians. The Democrats are now the party of reality, and the Republicans the party of fantasy. The election accomplished something really valuable in that respect, and it should not be pissed away.

Obama should paint the Republicans as the party of illusion and delusion. Central to those delusions are its memes -- like "entitlements," "job creators" and "fiscal cliff." These words should never be uttered or reinforced by our side. They should be relegated to the dustbin that contains "creation science" and its ilk.

Once again, Krugman lights the way: we bomb the cliff. The correct framing is to demonize "austerity" -- and calling it a "bomb" is a good way to do that.

Rhetorically, this should take the form of a polite but firm ignoring of the GOP. Obama should not treat this as a negotiation, but as work he is doing for the American people -- with the Republican House positioned as no more than an annoying obstacle. If that obstacle proves really persistent, no matter. Politically, the work here should never be framed as "compromise." The election was the arbiter between the two sides -- and one side won. That's over now. The facts are the facts, and the job of our government is to act on them. The American people have demanded that. If the House tries its extortionary bluff, Obama has to call them on it. They'll fold.

Update: Simpatico sentiments from the always piercing Charles Pierce, Esquire.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hooray for Jonathan Chait

Yes, I know he's a fanboy who makes risible claims for the greatness of the Precious. But he has also been hammering the right ideas and debunking the bad memes, and bad memers. He is doing God's work -- including his latest analysis of the election's meaning. This will, I hope, be read carefully by the White House. This is why Obama won. With the possibility of actual legislation eliminated by the Grover Norquist government-drowners in the House, Obama finally yielded to reality and began speaking in progressive frames. This is why the Dems won close Senate races in surprising places like North Dakota (in addition to those rape-erendums), and in once-doubted places like Massachusetts. This is the path to continued electoral success. This is the key to legacy.

Monday, November 5, 2012

And from the other side of the moon... Updated

You really have to wonder what Noonan will do to explain herself the morning after. But maybe, if you can talk yourself into actually loving Romney, it's a sign that you'll never wake up.

Update: Well, we no longer have to wonder. What she does to explain herself the morning after is, Romney-Janus-like, simply assert she never said what she said. Reality evaporates. Monday's faux-poet of right wing hope becomes, handy-dandy, Wednesday's finger-wagging, I-told-you-so Cassandra-scold of the right wing's fundamental flaws.

And, of course, Noonan is not the only Martian in this head-exploding comedy. She is legion -- pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. We don't have enough microwaves - it's an Orville Redenbacker orgy.

The irony is beyond thick here -- its gravitational pull is growing into a self-absorbing (literal and conventional) black hole. 

Update 2: Krugman on the deep magic of the GOP dissolution. If this party isn't fit to stand trial, it would be the height (or depth) of irresponsibility for our president to continue propping them up. Any talk of bipartisanship or reinforcement of the memes of "fiscal cliff" or "entitlement reform" is a betrayal of the American electorate.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Oh, snap

The uber poll nerd fights for facts:
"If the state polls are right, then Mr. Obama will win the Electoral College. If you can’t acknowledge that after a day when Mr. Obama leads 19 out of 20 swing-state polls, then you should abandon the pretense that your goal is to inform rather than entertain the public."
 Nice to see the reality-based community standing up for itself.