The season is almost upon us and Talking Points Memo has very thoughtfully launched a new site, PollTracker, that features – are you ready bloggers? – a Presidential Dashboard! Great stuff – all the polls, all the breakdowns, the latest in the swing states.
I was surprised to Obama leading (sometimes only by a nose) in all 12 swing states. Today, anyway. I expect to visit often. And so should you.
Dear Senate Democrats:
The Republicans in the Senate in the voice of leader and turtle out of his shell Mitch McConnell have announced they will stop any vote on raising the debt ceiling unless they get their way with Medicare.
A very astute observer Josh Marshall listens to McConnell’s words and hears as self-serving a Senatorial statement as has been heard this session.
Republicans have boxed themselves into a political corner with their plan to end Medicare. It’s a big problem for them politically, and there’s no easy way out . . . [so] McConnell just announced he will not support raising the debt ceiling unless big Medicare cuts are part of the deal. Translation: Unless Democrats get us off the hook by agreeing to deep Medicare cuts (meaning Democrats can no longer attack Republicans for wanting to eliminate Medicare), then we’re going to force the federal government into default on its debt. . . . It’s as stark as that. And the decision for Democrats is equally stark: Do you negotiate with hostage-takers?
No you don’t Mr. Reid. No you don’t and don’t you dare. If Republicans actually would allow us to go into default and suffer all the world wide consequences of such an action, let them pay the price and forfeit all pretense of being part of this ‘governing’ thing.
Let them slink away with their Tea Party buddies to a State with a population smaller than Hartford and let them sit together late at night and plot how to take down those damn Americans. And all their damn American ideas. And all their damn beliefs that people matter.
The debt ceiling is important. More important though, is standing up to threats, threats as cavalier as McConnell’s.
So don’t you dare Mr. Reid.
Posted in Congress critters, economy, Government, Politics, Tea Party
Tagged debt ceiling, Harry Reid, Josh Marshall, Medicare, Mitch McConnell, Politics, Talking Points Memo
While the neo-con Prime Minister of Israel is insulting our president and defying our foreign policy goals while here, proving himself once again to be among the rudest guys on the planet, Josh Marshall posted this today. His post at TPM acknowledges the hard truth Obama articulated the other day.
Just as no man is an island, no country can be either. On its present course Israel is on its way to becoming a pariah state, a status in which it cannot indefinitely or even perhaps long survive. Neither the fact that Israel faces a profound cultural animosity among the region’s Arab populations nor the bad faith that often greets its actions nor even the anti-Semitism that is sometimes beneath the animus changes this essential fact. The make-up of the 21st century world is simply not compatible with a perpetual military occupation of another people, especially one that crosses a boundary of ethnicity and religion. Only the willfully oblivious can’t see that.
Josh Marshall speaks for me.
A week ago a relatively limited intervention probably could have sealed the rebels’ victory, preventing a reeling Qaddafi from fully mobilizing his heavy armaments. But where do we expect to get from this now? It’s not clear to me how the best case scenario can be anything more than our maintaining a safe haven in Benghazi for the people who were about to be crushed because they’d participated in a failed rebellion. So Qaddafi reclaims his rule over all of Libya except this one city which has no government or apparent hope of anything better than permanent limbo. Where do we go with that?
We’re calling a time out on a really ugly situation the fundamental dynamics of which we aren’t in any position to change. That sounds like a mess.
Maybe we do this and then that rejuvenates the opposition and Qaddafi is gone in a week. If that happens, great. Egg on my face. But I doubt it.
And that’s about how it looks to me. And that’s about how it feels to me. And like Josh Marshall, I’d love to be wrong.
A screenshot of the early TPM
Dr. Joshua Micah Marshall (the PhD is in colonial American history) started his little blog Talking Points Memo in 2000 during the recount. A lot of bloggers showed up for the first time in that year. But Josh (we’re old buds, so I call him Josh) was special from the beginning. Well reported stories, thoughtful commentary from someone who knew his history and brought that patina to his work. After a few years – while he was completing his PhD and beginning a family he put out a ‘bleg’ (request for contributions to sustain the blog). He specifically wanted to fund a salaried first employee.
I responded (only time I ever did for a blog) and sent $25. Best contribution I ever made. Josh was just on Hardball with Chris Matthews and that’s what reminded me of our history – me and Josh that is. He hasn’t got as much hair now but he’s just as smart as ever.
So now he’s got a few kids, a thriving company – TPM Media LLC – offices, employees, interns and a decade of solid work. Good for you Josh. I’m proud that I can claim a tiny bit of the glory.