Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘circular firing squads

Six Reasons Gibbs’s Outburst Doesn’t Make Much Sense

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It’s a new day, so perhaps we’re all over it, but just in case we’re not: Here are six reasons Gibbs’ outburst doesn’t make much sense, not counting the fact that it will generate hundreds of articles like this. I especially endorse #1, #3, and #4.

Just Ridiculous

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Robert Gibbs has already inartfully walked back his Kinsley gaffe that left critics of the Obama administration “ought to be drug-tested,” but he ought to be drug-tested should probably resign / be fired anyway. He’s the press secretary; his whole freaking job is to stay on-message. Screwing up like this is not okay.

More importantly, this White House needs to remember who its friends are. By my count the Left has fallen into line every time it has been asked, often against its better judgment. It’s the Joe Liebermans and Ben Nelsons of the party who have repeatedly and gleefully betrayed the White House when it mattered, not the dirty hippies…

* Nate Silver: “I don’t know whether Gibbs was going “off-message” out of frustration, or whether the White House has become so jaded that they actually think this was a good strategy. Either way, it speaks to the need for some fresh blood and some fresh ideas in the White House. The famously unflappable Obama is losing his cool.”

* Glenn Greenwald: “The Democrats have been concerned about a lack of enthusiasm on the part of their base headed into the midterm elections. These sorts of rabid, caricatured, Fox-News-copying attacks on the Left will undoubtedly help generate more enthusiasm — more loud clapping — for the Democrats. I know I’m eager to go canvass and clap for Democrats after reading Gibbs’ noble, inspiring vision. If it were Gibbs’ goal to be as petulant and self-pitying as possible, what could he have done differently?”

* Chris Bowers: “Secondly, and more sadly, reaching out to the left by hating on it has a long, established tradition in Democratic politics. Many Democratic elected officials feel that reaching out to moderates and conservatives means bending over backward to show those voters that they share their views. However, many of those same elected officials consider left-wing outreach to be telling progressives to shut the fuck up and get in line. With outreach like that, it is probably no wonder that President Obama’s main problem with his approval rating right now is among self-identified liberals.”

* David Frum: “More proof of my longtime thesis, Repub pols fear the GOP base; Dem pols hate the Dem base.”

* John Cole: “Way to help the GOTV efforts, Gibbs. Asshole.”

More on Waxman-Markey

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Debate over the relative merits of a carbon tax versus this bill’s cap-and-trade model has mostly given way to concerns about whether the legislation, sponsored by representatives Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.), lines the pockets of polluters with little to show for it. The most it would cut carbon emissions by 2020 is 17 percent below 1990 levels, nowhere near the 25 to 40 percent reduction sought by scientists and international climate negotiators. The Sierra Club has withheld its endorsement in hopes of improving the bill before a final vote—it wants to prevent polluters from receiving tradable emissions permits for free, preserve the EPA’s authority to independently regulate carbon, and better fund energy efficiency and clean energy—but Fahn and other environmentalists are skeptical that lawmakers will listen. “From my perspective,” he says, “the prospects of strengthening it to where we’d want to support the ultimate version are growing slim.”

Mother Jones has some good coverage of the fight brewing over Waxman-Markey, including a checklist of what the bill will actually accomplish:

Cap and Trade
The Good
Ambitiously caps emissions at 68 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 by creating a market in tradable emissions permits
The Bad
By 2020, the cap will have cut emissions by only 4 percent
The Ugly
Only 15 percent of the tradable emissions permits will be auctioned off by the government; the bill hands out another 50 percent of the permits to the fossil fuel industry for free.

Kevin Drum calls this fight an example of “the circular firing squad,” but he’s wrong. It comes down to this: if the bill will make it harder to pass real carbon legislation later, then we shouldn’t pass it; if it will make it easier, we should. Or, as Harkinson puts it:

Given that almost all environmental groups agree that Waxman-Markey is far from ideal, the ultimate question is whether passing an imperfect bill now is better than holding out for a better one later. Those who advocate for an incremental approach point out that the US needs to bring something to the table in the next round of international climate talks in Copenhagen this December. On the other hand, Pica argues that improving massive bills like the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act took decades, “and by that time we will have carbon-loaded the atmosphere to such a degree that it may not be worth improving anymore.”

Written by gerrycanavan

June 22, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Friday Evening Links

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Friday evening links.

* Joe the Plumber…for Congress?

* New Jersey’s Star-Ledger cuts it newsroom staff by half.

* Joe “Let’s Assume the Best” Lieberman hits another Sarah Palin question right out of the park.

[W]hen asked by The Advocate if Palin is ready to be president from day one, Lieberman said “thank God she’s not going to have to be president from day one. McCain’s going to be alive and well.”

* Palin 2012? The buzz continues!

* Republicans are at each other’s throats, and the rats-off-a-sinking-ship watch hits a new high water mark with the first Obama endorsement by a McCain advisor.

* And Barack Obama is well ahead of both Kerry and Gore, eleven days out.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 25, 2008 at 12:54 am

Landslide Watch

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The Electoral College map is starting to look a lot like my obscene fantasy blowout, with OpenLeft’s most recent presidential forecast looking exactly like it. Obama—perhaps capitalizing on my hoped-for Ron Paul effect—has now taken a four-point lead in Montana, and CNN/Time polls from other swing states continue to look bad from Johnny Mc.

As reported and then strenuously denied earlier in the week, he’s now shifting advertising to Bush states, signaling he’s trying to play defense and possibly just avoid a blowout. Colorado in particular seems to have been abandoned. Pennsylvania remains McCain’s Last Stand, and I remain unconvinced he really has any sort of shot there.

More importantly the circular firing squad in the GOP has begun in earnest, most notably symbolized an NRSC Liddy Dole ad put out today that takes as its premise a McCain loss. Republicans are scrambling to be heirs to the throne: witness JoinRudy2012 and Marc Ambinder’s argument that Sarah Palin is positioning herself to be next in line in 2012.

All I can say to that is “Yes, please.”

Written by gerrycanavan

October 23, 2008 at 8:30 pm