Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere
There is a strong force within American politics that punishes political outliers and rewards politicians that hew to the middle. In our current election, Obama has done his best to reassure everyone that he won't come into Washington and start upsetting apple carts and tossing out the money changers. But the media and the Establishment clearly feels more comfortable with a Clinton-McCain election. The point is to get two candidates that agree on the fundamentals. And for the Establishment, you can disagree about almost everything, but you cannot question American Exceptionalism or threaten the military-industrial complex.
We can all parse Clinton's statements to guess how far she is willing to go in dismantling our Central Asian empire, but the Establishment is betting that she will make it safe to expand the empire again. And that is how this two-party system is supposed to work. The county is supposed to agree on the major foreign policy challenges we face. But a simple look at the Republicans debate on CNN tonight shows that there is no longer any such consensus. John McCain is actually bragging that he was the only man alive wise enough to advocate a surge of troops into Iraq. The Establishment desperately wants to agree with him because they still hope that Iraq was not a lethal error than undermined the foreign policy assumptions and unquestioned hegemony of the post-Cold War Pax Americana.-- BOOMAN
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was the most liberal senator in 2007, according to National Journal's 27th annual vote ratings. The insurgent presidential candidate shifted further to the left last year in the run-up to the primaries, after ranking as the 16th- and 10th-most-liberal during his first two years in the Senate.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., the other front-runner in the Democratic presidential race, also shifted to the left last year. She ranked as the 16th-most-liberal senator in the 2007 ratings, a computer-assisted analysis that used 99 key Senate votes, selected by NJ reporters and editors, to place every senator on a liberal-to-conservative scale in each of three issue categories. In 2006,
was the 32nd-most-liberal senator. Clinton
Of all the arguments against Hillary Clinton's nomination, her tenure on the board of Wal-Mart may be the most ironically damaging. Democrats survive on the money that labor unions generate, and they have a passionate hatred for the nation's largest retailer, which has successfully kept unions from organizing their workers. John Edwards and Barack Obama have repeatedly demonized Wal-Mart, even though most analysts agree that its low prices and job opportunities represent a net benefit to lower-income communities.
Hillary has attempted to parry criticism of her Wal-Mart connection by claiming that she did what she could to press for positive change while on the board. ABC News has reviewed hours of stockholder meeting videotapes and finds no evidence that she ever pushed Wal-Mart to be more union friendly.
-- ED MORRISSEY
If I were advising the Obama campaign, I’d find a quiet way to get as many copies of Hillary: The Movie into voters' hands as possible—only because it will remind them of the relentless ugliness in store for all of us if she becomes the nominee or the President.
hatred has always revealed far more about the pathologies of those who suffer from it than about either Bill or Hillary. But that doesn’t make it any more appealing. And in case anyone had forgotten the mental atmosphere of the nineteen-nineties, the Clintons themselves have helped exhume it in the past couple of weeks. Perhaps Citizens United will release a fall film called Madrassa Man, and Fox News will refer routinely to "President Barack Hussein Obama," and something called Obama hatred will become a feature of American political life. Perhaps, as Sidney Blumenthal told me, transcending partisanship is not the point. But the Clintons, who've spent the past few weeks trying to diminish Obama and distort his views as much as possible, are making even hard-headed politicos want to believe that we can do better. Clinton
[I]t is with some regret and chagrin that I am forced to recognize that the only serious opposition to McCain within Republican circles appears to be from people with active personality disorders. The officeholders seem more than ready to sign on. Even the professional activists of the Norquist variety are ready to do business, albeit with some grumbling and demand to be courted. I'm waiting to see what the Dobsonites have to say.
The same voices that supported tough macroeconomic policies to deal with the excesses of spending and borrowing in east Asia,
Russiaand Latin America are today pushing for a significant relaxation in the to deal with the so-called subprime crisis. Interest rates should be slashed quickly and $150bn put into taxpayers’ pockets by April at the latest, they say. The Fed cut by another half-point on Wednesday. US
The goal seems to be to avoid a 2008 recession at all costs. As Larry Summers, former Treasury secretary, put it, failure to act would make
Main Streetpay for the sins of Wall Street.
It is easy to lose sight of the overall picture.
Main Streetconsumers have overspent and over-borrowed and are unable to meet their obligations. The fact that households may have so behaved because they were enticed by “teaser loans” does not change the facts; it only assigns blame. Consumption has been above sustainable levels and needs to adjust down, whatever view one has about the responsibility of adults over their financial decisions . . .
Hence, macroeconomic policy should not be based on a panicky attempt to avoid a 2008 recession at all costs but on a forward-looking strategy that achieves the needed reduction in consumption at the lowest cost in terms of the stable growth. This is not achieved by giving US households a $1,000 cheque by April, a trick that no macro economic textbook would argue is particularly effective. If there is fiscal room – a big if, given the weak structural position of the US government and its likely cyclical worsening – it would be better spent in accelerating investments in plant and equipment via accelerated depreciation schemes, to improve the capacity of the economy to keep on growing after the crisis.
Former U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee's new political memoir is remarkable for its candor, its delicious window into life in America's most exclusive club, and its condemnation of President Bush and the combination of right-wing Republicans and Democratic enablers who plunged the nation into an ill-fated war without end in Iraq.
The most startling revelation: Chafee must be the only senator in
political history who says his defeat was the result of voters acting logically. U.S.
-- SCOTT MacKAYCartoon by Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Daily News