Our famous linkfest to posts of varying viewpoints.
The Bush Administration Continues To Work On Having The Worst Environmental Record In American History: The White House is removing protections for endangered species before Bush leaves office.
Is Removing Illinois’s Senate Seat For Sale Governor Via Court Order A Good Idea? Ann Althouse has no sympathy for Rod Blagojevich but doesn’t think it’s a wise or legally soundproof idea.
The U.S. Economic Meltdown: A Consequence Of Reaganomics? A liberal radio talk show hosts argues it is.
But Is There A Bigger Issue? Is The Current GOP Simply Mean Spirited? Shaun Mullen writes:
The Republicans not only didn’t learn from the thrashing they received in the November election, they have refused to dial back even a notch or two on the mean spiritedness that repelled so many voters while embracing a position that is even to the right of Dick Cheney.
And so there were Senate Republicans this week in the 11th hour of a lame-duck session madly waving Old Glory and bloviating about free enterprise as they held a cocked gun to the heads of the American auto industry and refused to back down even after the vice president warned them that if they didn’t cease and desist “we will be known as the party of Herbert Hoover forever.”
There’s a LOT more so read it all.
And, indeed, it will not help the GOP gain votes and rebound given this latest act will be seen by average Americans as a big “Oh well!” coming from GOP Senate members who have big, fat, bank accounts to weather any depression, enjoy costly lunches several times a week at restaurants, get government-provided health care (as they complain about health care reform that isn’t entirely private) — an “Oh well” to let an industry suddenly go under that would trigger more financial turmoil, unemployment and pain. Will George Bush salvage part of his legacy and act to help keep the industry afloat? Stay tuned…
Obama Has Some Problems And Some ‘Splainin’ To Do as Ed Morrissey writes:
The categorical denials coming from Barack Obama on the Rod Blagojevich pay-to-play scandal took another hit today from the Chicago Tribune. Two sources confirm that Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s new chief of staff, had a number of conversations with Blagojevich chief of staff John Harris to discuss acceptable candidates to fill the rest of Obama’s Senate term.
Read it all.
And The Pressure Builds On Obama to release his contacts with the %$#@! Governor.
But John McCain Has Now Criticized The RNC saying expressing what many Americans who don’t listen to talk shows are saying:
“I think that the Obama campaign should and will give all information necessary,” said the Arizona Republican. “You know, in all due respect to the Republican National Committee and anybody — right now, I think we should try to be working constructively together, not only on an issue such as this, but on the economy stimulus package, reforms that are necessary. And so, I don’t know all the details of the relationship between President-elect Obama’s campaign or his people and the governor of Illinois, but I have some confidence that all the information will come out. It always does, it seems to me.”
Is The GOP On The Comeback Trail? Some think so and point to some political victories which they consider the beginnings of a trend.
Meanwhile, George Bush Is On The Trail in what Jules Crittenden calls a final “victory lap” in Iraq.
But WAS It A Victory? How will history view it? A new government report details the chaos and unwise Iraq rebuilding efforts. Read James Joyner for details.
In Case You Missed It former Secretary of State Colin Powell not only said GOPers should stop listening to Rush Limbaugh (a talk show host who has a private plane and flies around the country while being notably unsympathetic to average Americans in this financial crisis) but he blasted Sarah Palin. Read details at Booker Rising (a longtime favorite TMV site) which also adds:
While we’re on the topic of Brotha Colin, it should be noted that he has helped raise $1 million for the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial planned for the National Mall…on top of his own $10,000 donation. Good going, Mr. Powell. The memorial has raised $102 million of the needed $120 million.
The Fiery War Against Smoking continues as Boston considers banning smoking…in smoking clubs…
Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.s Denials In Blagogate: Are they convincing or not?
Is MBNBC’s Chris Matthews Planning To Run For Senate In Pennsylvania And Is It Impacting His Reporting Job? Dick Polman writes:
While watching Hardball last night, I became convinced that Chris Matthews is indeed positioning himself for a U.S. Senate bid from Pennsylvania – simply because of the way he was pulling his punches on the air.
Some observers argue that Matthews has been using his MSNBC forum to butter up the key politicians whom he would need in his corner during a Senate campaign against incumbent Arlen Specter. Case in point, his relentless slobbering over Gov. Ed Rendell. (Nov. 4: “You’re the best political analyst in Pennsylvania, governor.” Oct. 23: “You’re the best pol in the state.” April 2: “I think Eddie Rendell is the smartest politician in the state, as we know.” Feb. 13: “One the smartest people in politics.”) Although I suppose that, as a counter-argument, it’s worth noting that Matthews lavishes this kind of praise on many of his guests – including the journalists, many of whom are lauded as preeminent sages.
No, what concerns me – and this should also concern MSNBC – is when he appears (and perception is important) to fall silent for his own partisan ends.
Last night, for instance, he spent considerable time recounting the latest developments in the Rod Blagojevich debacle in Illinois – which, as he accurately noted, is a classic case of “pay to play” corruption (politicians skewing their decisions to benefit those who have ponied up the campaign cash). He then remarked, several times, that “pay to play” is not just a Chicago phenomenon, that in fact the practice has been common in other cities. He didn’t, however, mention any specific cities.
Indeed, I kept waiting for him to cite the most obvious recent example, the most journalistically valid example, but he never did:
The city of Philadelphia.
On his show, Matthews often uses any excuse to talk about his native city – the politics, the pols, the wards. But, curiously, not this time.
Read it in its entirety. This kind of thing will seriously damage the credibility of Matthews, who already routinely comes under fire from the right (when they don’t like what he asks) and the left (when they don’t like what he asks) who consider him biased (unless they like what he asks and he is then courageous, perceptive and even-handed). There could indeed be a conflict of interest in coming months — and solid media types such as Polman and less solid media types like weblogs (yours truly not in that category of course) will notice it, and most likely write about it. Not good news for MSNBC…
Questioning The Auto Bailout: No one is able to strip away all the political rhetoric and just stand back and give his take on it like Dave Schuler. A MUST READ.
You’ve Seen The Obama Campaign Logo and here is the logo that wasn’t…
UPDATE: He’s BAAAACKKKKKKKKK: Moderates, centrists and independent voters who were hoping that a GOP defeat might mean the once big-umbrella party would put the divisive and sometimes demonizing politics of Karl Rove behind them might think again. The latest is that Rove will help lead the fight against confirmation Obama AG nominee Eric Holder. If you add this bit of news plus the continued influence of Rush Limbaugh, and the recent Senate action on the bailout the news is: it’s highly unlikely that there is going to be a substantive shift in American politics to what McCain advocates in the quote above. Even with a financial meltdown there are some who still feel consensus is weakness. Is the Obama administration and are Democrats ready to deal with it?