So I’ve been locked away in a library for 2 1/2 years finishing a premedical program at Columbia. I haven’t followed politics as closely as I used to and felt that I would be doing a disservice to readers by blogging if I wasn’t consuming news the way I had as a news producer, which was a la Garfield downing a plate of lasagna. But I have been nibbling away at some of the election news lately. And as much as the national polls show a dead heat between the Republican version of Al Gore and Barack Obama, my money is on Obama to pull this one out. Here are the two scenarios I predict Obama will get to 270 electoral votes — with and without Ohio, assuming Romney takes Florida:
Tags: Barney Frank, healthcare debate
Reader bones sent in this awesome rebuttal from Rep Barney Frank at a recent townhall: “Mam, arguing with you would be like arguing with a dining room table”
Tags: NHS, Paul Krugman
National Health Service has problems, but over all it appears to provide quite good care while spending only about 40 percent as much per person as we do.
Tags: Al Gore, Alaska, John McCain, resignation, Sarah Palin
Tags: 2008 Presidential Election, GOP, John McCain, Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin Resigns
Tags: Sonia Sotomayor, White House
The White House has privately released a list of more aggressive talking points on SCOTUS nominee Sonia Sotomayor in an effort to combat attacks from the right that she is a racist, activist judge. Here are a few of the newest lines of counter attack, which hone in on the argument that, with regard to one of the most controversial cases involving race, Sotomayor actually displayed judicial restraint:
* Judge Sotomayor was one member of a three-judge Second Circuit panel that ruled in Ricci, the New Haven firefighters case.
* The decision is an excellent example of judicial restraint. Although the judges were very sympathetic to the firefighters discrimination claims, they found themselves bound by Second Circuit precedent and unanimously affirmed the lower court decision. That lower court decision said that a city may evaluate whether to retain an employment promotion test that would have allowed essentially no minority candidates to be promoted within the fire department….
* The panel decision has been criticized for not reaching out and deciding important constitutional questions, but this would have run contrary to the idea of judicial restraint because the outcome was controlled by federal statutory law and longstanding Second Circuit precedent. Those important constitutional questions are better left for the Supreme Court, which has taken the case…
* There has been an effort by some folks who wish to reignite the culture wars of the past to define this case as an affirmative action case. This is not a case about affirmative action—the City of New Haven had no relevant affirmative action plan in place—this was one of many employment discrimination cases under Title VII to come before the Second Circuit.
* Some people are trying to criticize Judge Sotomayor for being a judicial activist even as they criticize her for judicial restraint in Ricci. This demonstrates that they are grasping for attacks in the face of a strong nominee. They simply can’t have it both ways.
Tags: KCMO Radio, Pat Roberts, Sonia Sotomayor
Republican Senator Pat Roberts says on KCMO Talk Radio he’s not voting for Sotomayor:
“Well, I’m a Marine and nothing much scares me… I do not plan to vote for her.”
Audio link here.
Tags: Chuck Schumer, Jim Tedisco, Michelle Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Scott Murphy
Chief Republican recruiter, Kevin McCarthy, is taking a page out of the Democrats’ political playbook–literally. According to Bloomberg.com, McCarthy has been thumbing through “The Thumpin”, which recounts Rahm Emanuel’s 2006 campaign to take back Congress. The premise: focus on putting forward candidates who better reflect the values of each constituency. It’s a nice thought, surely flattering to Rahm, but let’s be serious…it ain’t gonna happen. Exhibit A: The Special Election for the US Congressional 20th District (NY). GOP nominee, Jim Tedisco, a pillar of the community, model citizen, (think Ned Flanders without the bible thumpin) ran against former banker, Scott Murphy. Murphy, with a little help from his friend Obama, eeked out a victory with Tedisco conceding the race on April 24th. So, here’s the best example of a candidate who clearly identifies with his constituency, the ultimate little league coach candidate, and he lost…and to a banker! The problem isn’t the candidate, it’s the entire GOP brand, and it’s tainting the best the party has to offer.
Moreover, the Democrats’ win back in 2006 didn’t occur in a political vacuum. Remember various GOPers were getting slaughtered with corruption charges (Tom Delay, Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, etc) and Bush’s argument for invading Iraq was turning increasingly tenuous. Yes Rahm (and Schumer! come on, give this guy some credit!) picked good candidates, but ultimately they leveraged an atmosphere of Republican hypocrisy to the Dem’s advantage. So, until it’s revealed that Michelle has a past that rivals Miss California, I doubt the GOP will find anything that sticks to the Dems. Sorry, McCarthy, I guess it’s back to the drawing board.
Tags: Arlen Specter