Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Mashup (10/21/09)

  • So “Snarlin’ Arlen” Specter tells us here that the “government” needs to “take the reins in job creation,” huh?

    Well, that’s interesting, given that he opposed the Employee Free Choice Act, collective bargaining rights for federal employees, and supported tax loopholes that encouraged exporting our jobs here.

    To vote for a real Democrat instead of Specter in the PA Dem senatorial primary, click here.

  • The following appeared in this New York Times opinion column today by Sheryl Gay Stolberg about President Obama supposedly deciding to give his health care reform message a rest for now…

    The idea, aides said, is for the president to take a breather while Democrats resolve their internal conflicts, so he can come back strong with a fresh sales pitch when the legislation moves closer to floor votes.

    “I think his time is better spent on this particular issue in conversation with members and in talking to his own advisers and instructing them on how to proceed,” David Axelrod, senior adviser to the president, said in an interview Tuesday. “That’s the phase that we’re in.”

    “I don’t know how much it helps, but it certainly doesn’t hurt the process to have him quiet,” said Senator Ben Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat who has been a less than enthusiastic supporter of Mr. Obama’s health care agenda.
    A “less than enthusiastic supporter,” huh? This tells us that the Dem senatorial traitor from Nebraska isn’t a “supporter” of health care reform at all (and the only “process” Nelson is interested in when it comes to this vitally important matter is a “process” that destroys reform altogether…as much as I detest the Repugs, I have to admit that they NEVER would have tolerated a crack like that against Dubya – even now, with their congressional majorities, the Dems have volumes to learn from “The Party of No” when it comes to message discipline).

    And Stolberg also provides this rather interesting remark…

    …in New York on Tuesday night, he told volunteers for Organizing for America, his campaign arm, that Democrats, who “can be their own worst enemy,” should “keep our eye on the prize” and come together around a health care bill.

    But that is preaching to the converted, a task much different from trying to rally a confused country around a complex policy issue that could reshape one-sixth of the American economy.
    I should note that the country doesn’t appear to be “confused” about the public option, which, according to CBS, is supported by 62 percent of those polled here, a number which has held steady more or less for the last few months.

    But of course, if you read the Times on a regular basis, the only thing you learn about the public option is that it’s only supported by liberals anyway, so it’s not surprising that they declined to cite contradictory information on this from the reality-based community.

  • This Reuters story tells us the following…

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A top U.S. Senate Republican invoked the memory of the scandal-marred Nixon administration on Wednesday to urge U.S. President Barack Obama: "Don't start an enemies list."

    Senator Lamar Alexander told Reuters he sees the Obama White House adopting an attitude similar to that of the Richard Nixon White House four decades ago, that "everybody is against us and we are going to get them."

    Alexander cited as examples the Obama administration threatening to strip the insurance industry of its exemption of federal anti-trust laws, "taking names" of bondholders who opposed the auto bailout, its reported aim to "neuter the U.S. Chamber of Commerce," boycotting Fox News Network and "calling out" of others who oppose it.
    (By the way, Eric Boehlert of Media Matters had what I thought was a good take on the comparison between Obama and Nixon here.)

    Well, it’s easy to see now that Alexander gets his information basically from right-wing blogs and pseudo-news-but-mainly-propaganda sites. Perhaps there is a quote from someone in the Obama Administration about trying to “neuter” the Chamber of Commerce, but I can’t find it (and to be perfectly honest, I can’t imagine that anyone from the White House could be dumb enough to actually utter those words).

    And as far as Fix Noise is concerned, the Obama Administration isn’t proposing to “boycott” it (though I would have no problem with that if they did).

    Instead, while quite rightly describing Fox for what it is, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod said the following here…

    White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel told rival cable channel CNN's "State of the Union" that Obama considers Fox News "not a news organization so much as it has a perspective."

    "And that's a different take," compared with other news outlets, Emanuel added.

    Obama's closest political adviser, David Axelrod, told ABC's "This Week" that Fox News "is really not news. It's pushing a point of view."

    The two Obama advisers yesterday shrugged off boasts by News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch that his cable network's ratings have soared since the White House made it a target. Murdoch also owns the New York Post.

    Axelrod said Murdoch "has a talent for making money," and insisted that Obama aides will "appear on [Fox] shows and participate" anyway, despite the alleged bias.
    I guess remarks like this from Alexander aren’t realty surprising, though, when you consider that he also whined about trying to achieve a “consensus” on Iraq in 2007 (here), even going so far as to try and reform the utterly pointless Iraq Study Group here (pointless for anything except propaganda purposes, I mean). Also, Alexander voted for a Medicare reform bill that rooted out provider fraud here, but he needed to be prompted by the return of Ted Kennedy to the Senate in July ’08 after Alexander and many of his fellow Senate Repugs initially opposed it.

    Finally (and worst of all), Alexander supported amnesty to terrorists who have killed or wounded U.S. troops in Iraq, comparing such a gesture to Nelson Mandela’s peace efforts, which co-won Mandela a Nobel Prize (here).

    Given this level of duplicity, Alexander should take a serious look in the mirror first before he tries to employ the Nixon canard anywhere else except where it belongs, and that would be concerning himself.

  • Update 1 10/22/09: Steve Benen makes some excellent points here (h/t Atrios), but I think if we’ve learned anything to date, it’s that our corporate media punditocracy doesn’t know the meaning of the word “embarrassment”...and I should add that I think NPR is as polluted as the rest of our media environment, by the way - the mere presence of Matthew Continetti proves that.

    Update 2 10/22/09: File this under "the proverbial blind squirrel finding the proverbial nut."

    Update 10/23/09: I'd like to think this will be the last word on this subject, but I know better (and David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun has been peddling some pretty crazy nonsense on this all week, which I may address later).

    Update 11/21/09: Another classy moment from Alexander here - creep.

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