Archive for the ‘Democrat’ Category

The Electorate’s Left Turn: Sorry, GOP: Nation No Longer Leans Right of Center

November 16, 2008

Here’s the main thought Republicans are consoling themselves with these days: Notwithstanding President-elect Barack Obama, a nearly filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the Senate and the largest Democratic majority in the House of Representatives since 1993, the United States is still a center-right country. Sure, voters may be angry with Republicans now, but eventually, as the Bush years recede and the GOP modernizes its brand, a basically right-tilting electorate will come back home. Or, in the words of the animated rock band the Gorillaz, “I’m useless, but not for long/The future is comin’ on.”  

By Tod Lindberg
The Washington Post
Sunday, November 16, 2008; Page B01

Thus Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, in Outlook last week: The United States “is indeed, as conservatives have been insisting in recent days, a center-right country.” On election night, former Bush guru Karl Rove opined on Fox News, “Barack Obama understands this is a center-right country, and he smartly and wisely ran a campaign that emphasized it.” And it’s not just conservative pundits and operatives singing this song. Take Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, who wrote an Oct. 27 cover essay entitled “America the Conservative,” which argued that Obama will have to “govern a center-right nation” that “is more instinctively conservative than it is liberal.”

The only problem: It isn’t true….

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/11/13
/AR2008111303550.html

Say it Isn’t So, Joe: Lieberman May Join GOP Senate Caucus

November 7, 2008

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is talking to Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman about the possibility of Lieberman caucusing with the GOP.

Lieberman’s affiliation with Democrats is up in the air. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, angered by Lieberman’s support of Republican John McCain for president, is considering yanking Lieberman’s chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee as punishment.

By ANDREW MIGA, Associated Press Writer

Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman makes a statement following ... 
Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman makes a statement following a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Capitol Hill in Washinton, DC. Emboldened by their electoral triumph, Democratic lawmakers look set to launch into a mountain of urgent business pushing ahead with new legislation including a fresh economic stimulus bill.(AFP/Getty Images/Brendan Hoffman)

Lieberman and Reid met Thursday to discuss Lieberman’s options, including possible committee and subcommittee posts for him. Those talks are ongoing.

A Lieberman aide, who requested anonymity because the talks are confidential, said Friday that Lieberman and McConnell, R-Ky., have spoken in recent days about the possibility of Lieberman joining the GOP conference. McConnell spokesman Don Stewart would only confirm that the two men have had recent discussions.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081107/ap_on_go_co/lieberman_
republicans;_ylt=ApFV9TdCaUvLK3fZ19m9SzCs0NUE

We Could Be In for a Lurch to the Left

November 4, 2008

There’s an old saying that politics in America is played between the 40 yard lines. What this means, for those unfamiliar with football, is that we’re a centrist country, never straying very far to the left or the right in elections or national policies. This has been true for decades. It probably won’t be after today’s election.

For the first time since the 1960s, liberal Democrats are dominant. They are all but certain to have a lopsided majority in the House, and either a filibuster-proof Senate or something close to it. If Barack Obama wins the presidency today, they’ll have an ideological ally in the White House.

A sharp lurch to the left and enactment of a liberal agenda, or major parts of it, are all but inevitable. The centrist limits in earlier eras of Democratic control are gone. In the short run, Democrats may be constrained by the weak economy and a large budget deficit. Tax hikes and massive spending programs, except those billed as job creation, may have to be delayed.

By Fred Barnes
The Wall Street Journal
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But much of their agenda — the “card check” proposal to end secret ballots in union elections, the Fairness Doctrine to stifle conservative talk radio, liberal judicial nominees, trade restrictions, retreat from Iraq, talks with Iran — doesn’t require spending. And after 14 years of Republican control of Congress, the presidency, or both, Democrats are impatient. They want to move quickly.

Democrats had large majorities when Jimmy Carter became president in 1977 (61-38 in the Senate, 292-143 in the House) and when Bill Clinton took office in 1993 (56-44, 258-176). So why are their prospects for legislative success so much better now?

The most significant change is in the ideological makeup of the Democratic majorities. In the Carter and Clinton eras, there were dozens of moderate and conservative Democrats in Congress, a disproportionate number of them committee chairs. Now the Democratic majorities in both houses are composed almost uniformly of liberals. Those few who aren’t, including the tiny but heralded gang of moderates elected to the House in 2006, usually knuckle under on liberal issues. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bosses them around like hired help.

In the past, senior Democrats intervened to prevent a liberal onslaught. Along with Republicans, they stopped President Carter from implementing his plan to pull American troops out of South Korea.

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122576065024095511.html

First Five Things New President Needs to Do

November 3, 2008

Whatever else waits inside the protective cocoon that the Secret Service will erect quickly around the 44th president on Tuesday night, there isn’t much to read on the topic of How To Lead The Country Now. Nor is there any crystal case on the hall table at Blair House which reads, “Break Glass In Event of Collecting 270 Electoral Votes.” And despite what you might imagine after seeing those Nicholas Cage National Treasure movies, there is no secret binder of special instructions awaiting the president-elect in the National Archives.

Blair House is the official state guest house for the President of the United States.

Blair House

 

And yet in 24 hours, either Barack Obama or John Mccain will quickly put several years of work behind them and turn to taking over the most powerful government on earth – and at the moment, among the most fiscally distressed.

 

So what does the winner do first?

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20081103/us_time
/thenextpresidentsfirstfivethingstodo;_
ylt=AlmI7bJVhQHhnlOjCWdClUys0NUE

From Time Magazine

Obama: ‘I Will Change The World’

November 2, 2008

With just three days to go he and his opponent John McCain are touring key states in an effort to woo undecided voters.

Senator Obama is still almost seven points ahead in the Real Clear Politics poll of polls, but the gap has narrowed slightly.

Don’t miss these other great pre-election treats:
Is The Maverick a Closer, or a Loser? Is Obama the Messiah? Tuesday We’ll Know!

Obama Says Election ‘Vindicated’ His Faith in America

From Sky News (UK)

At a rally in Henderson, Nevada, he warned his supporters against complacency.

“At this defining moment in history, you can give the country the change we need,” he said.

Sky News’ Michelle Clifford, who was at the rally, said Mr Obama was trying to leave nothing to chance.

“He’ll be using every ounce of his resources to get the vote out,” she said.

At the same time Senator McCain was rallying his followers in Newport Beach, Virginia.

In a usually safe Republican state, which is threatening to go to the Democrats, he asked for help on the home stretch.

He said: “Let me state the obvious again, we need to win Virginia on the 4th of November and with your help we’re going to win and bring real change to Washington.

The campaigning has been tough for both men, but Sky News’ Robert Nisbet, who has been following the McCain bandwagon, says the toll is beginning to show on the older man.

“Being on the road at rally after rally is exhausting and Mr McCain appears to be tired,” he said.

Obama, McCain promise respect for Congress

November 2, 2008

Voters for the first time in almost five decades on Tuesday will send a sitting member of Congress to the White House, with Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain both promising to thaw the prickly relationship between the two branches of government.

But congressional experience is no guarantee the next president will have a cozy time with his former colleagues, as both candidates would likely face obstacles on Capitol Hill that could slow or sidetrack their political agendas.

By Sean Lengell
The Washington Times
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“With Obama, he was not in the Senate very long, and John McCain is not very well-liked in the Senate, so [their congressional experience] might cut the other way,” said Gene Healy, a vice president at the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute and author of the 2008 book “The Cult of the Presidency.”

“I don’t know how much we can read into whether legislative experience at the federal level is going to lead to greater comity” between Capitol Hill and the White House.

With Democrats expected to make significant gains to their House and Senate majorities, a Democratic Obama administration would have a clear mandate to press ahead with his priorities, such as an expansion of government-subsidized health care, other spending programs, and a mix of tax increases and middle-class tax cuts.
Capitol Building Full View.jpg

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http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008
/nov/02/obama-mccain-promise-respect-for-congress/

Could a President Obama Control a Democratic Congress?

November 1, 2008

“Elections have consequences,” John McCain said during the final presidential debate. It’s his way of saying that certain decisions are the prerogative of a president; if you want them to play out differently, win the White House yourself. Should McCain manage to pull out an improbable victory on Tuesday, however, he may well find out how inconsequential elections can actually be. McCain would almost certainly become the first president in 20 years to enter office with a Congress dominated by a hostile opposition, and the scorn he has earned from formerly sympathetic Democrats during what has been, at times, a small and cynical campaign would make the few miles between the Capitol and the White House feel like the distance separating, say, Juneau, Alaska, and Moscow. Narrowly elected amid the inevitable allegations of fraud and divisiveness, McCain in his first year would stand little chance of passing a proclamation honoring Betsy Ross, much less any meaningful legislation on health care, energy or taxes.

By Matt Bai
The New York Times
November 2, 2008

 

WhiteHouseSouthFacade.JPG
For Barack Obama, of course, expectations would be significantly higher. In the 40 years since Lyndon Johnson left office, Democrats have spent much of their time and capital defending the programmatic pillars of the New Deal and the Great Society from conservative marauders rather than adding on to that legacy; even Bill Clinton’s signature achievements — welfare reform, the 1994 anti-crime bill, balanced budgets — were in large part about curbing the excesses of 20th-century liberalism. Now, with the Republican revolution in ruins and the global economy not far behind, Democrats in Washington sense an opportunity not simply to retake power but also to do something momentous with it. If Obama puts his hand to a Bible in January, he may well look out on the highest number of Democratic senators and congressmen since Jimmy Carter took office in 1976 — a substantial majority for a president who has promised a slate of expansive new programs.

If recent history is any guide, however, Obama would need more than raw numbers in his favor. Congressional majorities are, in fact, a lot like corporate profits; they exist on paper, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually there when you need them….

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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/magazine
/02wwln-lede-t.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Obama: packaging of the Democratic candidate for the presidency of the United States

October 29, 2008

The packaging of the Democratic candidate for the presidency of the United States, aided and abetted by the drive-by media and major TV networks, have perpetrated a great hoax on the American public. Never before in our history have we had a candidate with such a lack of accomplishments and a lack of transparency into his background and associates.

We can’t see his records from prep school, Occidental College, Columbia University or Harvard. What was his thesis? Who paid for his education at Harvard, since there is no record of student loans? There are even questions concerning where he was born. This is a fundamental and critical question. Was he born in Hawaii or Kenya? Did he become an Indonesian citizen? If so, he would have had to give up his U.S. citizenship. Was he then naturalized as a U.S. citizen when he returned to Hawaii from Indonesia? The documentation needs to be made public now. Certainly, security clearance requirements will require that the original documents be produced.

If the backgrounds and record or accomplishments of the two candidates were reversed, you can be assured the message coming out of the major media outlets would be quite different. Past associations matter. If John McCain had a 15-year relationship with the former unrepentant Weather Underground domestic terrorist, Pentagon bomber, flag-stomping radical leftist communist fugitive William Ayers and his accomplice wife Bernadine Dohrn, he would be attacked most critically. His judgment would be trashed.

There is a history of past associations by Barack Obama with black militants and dedicated Marxist leftists that should raise serious concern and should be exposed. If Mr. McCain had worked as a community organizer for the “Industrial Area Foundation,” an organization founded by the Marxist radical agitator Saul Alinsky using his training manual “Rules for Radicals,” he probably could not have got past the primaries. Likewise, his association with Gerald Kellman – an Alinsky disciple – who would have hired him with a $25,000 grant from the Woods Fund, where Mr. Ayers was on the board, would be more fodder for the drive-by media.

Had Mr. McCain been associated with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, he would be condemned as a racist. The same for his association with nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Let’s not forget, Mr. Obama considered Mr. Wright to be his “moral compass” until he became a political liability. There is his association with campaign fund-raiser and “slum lord” convicted felon Tony Rezko. The list of past and continuing questionable associations is too long to be covered here, but while they should be fully and openly vetted to date they have largely been given a pass.

The economy is the No. 1 issue facing the next president along with two ongoing wars. Mr. McCain in 2006 along with other Republican senators sent a letter to the Senate majority leader urging passage of a bill that would have reined in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and possibly reduced the economic crises we are now in. Mr. Obama did not support this effort. In fact, he is one of the biggest recipients of campaign contributions from these organizations.

When Mr. McCain tried to introduce the bill again in 2007, it was blocked by Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd and his fellow Democrats.

Mr. Obama states he has a plan to fix the economy. He says he will ensure that “economic justice is served.” What this phrase means is code for a socialist agenda for redistribution of wealth following a failed Marxist model of government taxing and spending.

Education is one of the key issues that have been raised to counter inequity in America today. If John McCain’s home base were Chicago and he pontificated on how he would focus on early education and helping poor children so another generation is not left behind, the news media would be quick to point out that Chicago has one of the worst education systems in the country for children.

Money is not the problem. Chicago spends more than $10,000 per student. However, less than one-third of Chicago’s high school juniors meet the statewide standards in tests. Teacher’s salaries are well above the norm and apparently are unaffected by performance.

In 1995, the radical leftist Mr. Ayers selected Barack Obama as chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge on “Excellence in Education.” His 1995-2000 tenure proved remarkably unsuccessful. When he can’t fix the school system in his home base, what does he plan for the country?

Mr. Obama’s track record as a united and consensus builder does not exist. His record in the Senate earns him the reputation as the second most liberal senator. His qualifications as commander in chief, when compared to the military credentials and service to our country by Mr. McCain, are nonexistent.

The propaganda that the American public is inundated with today by the drive-by media is the 21st-century version of the 19th-century medicine man whose “snake oil” will cure everything. The American public didn’t buy it then, don’t buy it now.

James Lyons, U.S. Navy retired admiral, was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations, and deputy chief of naval operations, where he was principal adviser on all Joint Chiefs of Staff matters.  This commentary appeared in the Washington Times, October 29, 2008.

Arduous Transition Awaits Next President

October 19, 2008

By Michael D. Shear, Michael Abramowitz, Anne E. Kornblut and Shailagh Murray
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, October 19, 2008; Page A01

If Sen. Barack Obama wakes up as the president-elect on Nov. 5, he will immediately assume responsibility for fixing a shredded economy while the Bush administration is still in office. If Sen. John McCain wins the election, he will face an imminent confrontation over spending with a Democratic Congress called back into special session with the goal of passing a new economic stimulus package.

Either way, the 77-day period between Election Day and Inauguration Day, traditionally known simply as the transition, is sure to present difficult challenges to a new president buffeted by intense forces, political and economic, without any chance to recover from the long and bruising campaign.

The challenge of putting the country back on a sound financial track has altered what under the best of circumstances would have been a frenzied period spent forming a new government. Instead, Obama or McCain will be forced to assemble a new administration even as he helps shape policies to ward off further declines in the economy.

And whoever is the new president will be under intense pressure from his own allies to live up to his campaign promises. Antiwar groups would press Obama to start the process of ending the war in Iraq, and conservatives would demand tax cuts from McCain. Either side would want to know that its candidate has an agenda to enact on his first day in the White House. With the outcome of the election still in doubt, neither campaign is eager to discuss plans for that day or the transition that precedes it, other than to acknowledge the urgent circumstances the 44th president will confront.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/10/1
8/AR2008101802140.html?hpid=topnews

ACORN Board of Directors Meet Amid Internal Lawsuit, $1M Embezzlement Caper, Leadership Struggle

October 17, 2008

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press Writer Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS – ACORN, the national activist group dogged by a high-profile voter registration fraud scandal, has another bruising item on its agenda when its board of directors meets here this weekend.

Leaders of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now are locked in a legal dispute stemming from allegations that the brother of the group’s founder misappropriated nearly $1 million of the nonprofit’s money several years ago.

The embezzlement case, a recent revelation to some board members, has spawned a lawsuit and set off a power struggle inside ACORN at a time when the liberal group’s voter registration practices are the subject of fraud investigations and fodder for presidential campaign attacks.

Bertha Lewis, ACORN’s interim chief organizer, called the lawsuit “a distraction from us marshaling our forces to deal with the Republican right-wing attacks” over ACORN’s voter registration.

The lawsuit filed in August by two board members accuses ACORN founder and former chief organizer Wade Rathke of either concealing or failing to properly report that his brother Dale embezzled around $948,000 from New Orleans-based ACORN and affiliated charitable organizations in 1999 and 2000.

Instead of reporting the allegations to law enforcement authorities, a small group of ACORN executives allowed the Rathke family to repay the misappropriated money, according to the lawsuit brought by board members Karen Inman and Marcel Reid.

Wade Rathke is seen in a Tuesday Feb. 26, 2002 file photo, in ... 
Wade Rathke is seen in a Tuesday Feb. 26, 2002 file photo, in New Orleans. A lawsuit filed in August by two ACORN board members accuses ACORN founder and former chief organizer Wade Rathke of either concealing or failing to properly report that his brother Dale embezzled around $948,000 from New Orleans-based ACORN and affiliated charitable organizations in 1999 and 2000.(AP Photo/Bill Haber, File)

Inman and Reid said the agreement, which called for the stolen money to be carried on the books of an ACORN affiliate as a loan to an officer, was kept a secret from the full 51-member board until earlier this year.

“We need to find out what happened, when it happened and make sure that ACORN is viable,” Inman said during a press briefing about the dispute Thursday in New Orleans. Inman also says she wants an independent audit of ACORN’s books.

Rathke, who founded ACORN in 1970, defended the decision to keep his brother’s actions an “internal matter” and resolve it with “private restitution.” Reporting the case to law enforcement could have left the group at risk of financial ruin, Rathke said.

“One choice would have been to go that way, but then we wouldn’t have been able to collect that money,” he said.

No working phone number for Dale Rathke could be found and a request by The Associated Press to contact him through his brother wasn’t immediately answered.

Lewis said the group’s board recently hired attorneys to explore whether Dale Rathke’s actions warrant a criminal investigation or could be the subject of a civil case.

“Remember, we just found this out in June,” she said.

Rathke said he took responsibility for his brother’s “mistakes” by resigning, while Inman says he was fired. Rathke blames a “small group of dissidents” for the turmoil that has followed his departure.

“I wish they would have kept the internal affairs of the organization internally,” he said.

Inman and Reid filed suit for access to ACORN financial records that staff members allegedly refused to give them.

During their meeting this weekend, board members are expected to discuss the lawsuit and explore ways to resolve it. A state judge presiding over the case has asked for a transcript of the board’s discussion.

Lewis said Inman and Reid don’t speak for the entire board and didn’t have authority to file suit on the board’s behalf.

“As you can well imagine, any organization that just fired its founder after 38 years would have internal issues,” she said.

Wade Rathke says he stepped down as ACORN’s chief organizer in June, but remains chief organizer for ACORN International. A spokesman for ACORN said the two organizations are separate entities, although they have shared office space in New Orleans.

Rathke shrugged off the board members’ lawsuit, calling it a “minor matter,” and expressed confidence that the voting registration controversy won’t consume the group.

“ACORN is a big organization now, and they’re big enough to weather this,” he said.


Above: Just a reminder: the FBI is investigating ACORN…..

Related:
ACORN Now Subject of Major FBI Probe

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081017/ap_on_re_us/acorn_missing_money_1