Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Rahm Emanuel

Krugman v. Rahmism

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Someone, please listen to Krugman:

Look: early on the administration had a political theory: it would win bipartisan legislative victories, and each success would make Republicans who voted no feel left out, so that they would vote for the next initiative, and so on. (By the way, read that article and weep: “The massive resistance Republicans posed to Clinton in 1993 is impossible to imagine today.” They really believed that.)

This theory led to a strategy of playing it safe: never put forward proposals that might fail to pass, avoid highlighting the philosophical differences between the parties. There was never an appreciation of the risks of having policies too weak to do the job.

And then it led the administration to keep claiming that the legislation it had gotten through was just right, long past the point when it was obvious that the policies were inadequate.

And they’re still doing it. This is crazy: when you’re well down in the polls, minimal steps that won’t move the economy and won’t grab voters’ imagination are just a way of guaranteeing a devastating defeat.

I can understand why the people who persuaded Obama to go for the capillaries might still be claiming that they have the right strategy; but I don’t understand why Obama is still listening to them.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 5, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Blame Rahm

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Rahm Emanuel spent nearly a week in the summer of 2009 aggressively trying to talk Obama out of moving foward with an ambitious version of health care reform, and by his own admission “begged” him not to do it, a book out next week reports.

The socialists among you may blame Obama, but perhaps it really is just all Rahm’s fault.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 14, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Pelosi

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I will be a very happy Leftist if it is Nancy Pelosi, not Rahm Emanuel, who emerges as the hero of health care reform following tomorrow’s likely passage through the House.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 20, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Select Links While I’m Away (Part 1)

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Wednesday Afternoon Legitimate Complaints

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* NASA reports that the Chilean earthquake has shortened the day by 1.26 microseconds and moved the figure axis of the Earth about 8 centimeters. Google has set up a donation tool for earthquake relief; my Chilean friend Ignacio also recommends a donation to Cruz Roja Chilena. The country is still suffering dramatically; while writing this post I received a news alert about a tsunami warning just issued for the coast, following a huge aftershock.

* DCist profiles the first few couples to file for same-sex marriage licenses in DC. Congratulations, folks!

* Bunning’s temper tantrum had consequences.

* Related: Nineteen senators I would sincerely like to see become unemployed.

* Obama calls for an up-or-down vote on health care: “At stake right now is not just our ability to solve this problem, but our ability to solve any problem.” Mr. President, I have some bad news…

* Rachel Maddow, national treasure.

You are not making serious arguments, and you do not believe what you’re saying. It’s disproven by your record. In the case of Orrin Hatch, you are flat-out lying about the history of the tactic that Democrats are going to use to pass health reform. Doing that, lying about what’s been done, lying about the record, lying about this tactic is not actually a substitute for making an honest argument against health reform.

For the Washington Post to print something like this is bizarre. For these established, supposedly mainstream senators to try to get away with this is an insult to everyone they’re addressing, and to the media, in particular. And for us all to just let this slide and call it ‘politics,’ is to surrender to cynicism profoundly.

* Attackerman: Jewish Narnia Is Called Marvel Comics. More in this at MeFi.

* ABC, let Jon Stewart host This Week.

* Finally, a profile of Rahm Emmanuel sourced by someone other than Rahm Emmanuel:

…Emanuel is not the would-be savior of this presidency. For one thing, there really isn’t that much daylight between him and his boss, or between him and his top White House colleagues. Had things gone even more his way, it’s possible that he would have squelched a few more of what few bursts of idealism and principle survived Inauguration. But people looking for the reasons why the Obama presidency has not lived up to its promise won’t find the answer amid the minor rifts between key players. Nor will they find the answer in how well or poorly this White House has played the game of politics. The fact is that after a campaign that appealed so successfully to idealism, Obama hired a bunch of saboteurs of hope and change.

Rahm was simply their chief of staff. And now, this hypercompetitive bantam rooster is attempting to blame others for what went wrong. That’s evidently so important to him that he’s trying to take a victory lap around the wreckage of what was once such a promising presidency.

Emanuel’s greatest “victory” before this one, of course, was the one upon which he earned his reputation: Getting a bunch of conserva-Dems elected in purple states in 2006, winning the party control of the House while at the same time crippling its progressive agenda. This is what Emanuel is all about. For him, victory is everything — even if you have to give up your core values to win, and even if you could have won while sticking to them.

* OK, I think I finally see the source of all our problems: Americans are totally indifferent to the suffering of others and think nothing bad will ever happen to them. Consider a survey by Yale climate change research scientist Anthony Leiserowitz. The survey asked Americans, “Who will be most harmed by climate change?” Respondents said that climate change would mostly affect:

• Plant and animal species: 45 percent
• Future generations of people: 44 percent
• People in developing countries: 31 percent
• People in other industrialized nations: 22 percent
• People in the United States: 21 percent
• Your local community: 13 percent
• Your family: 11 percent
• You personally: 10 percent

* And Roger Ailes: Judas!

AILES: Well, I don’t think they’re whining over nothing and I think they have — look, there’s legitimate complaints that they could have. And I’ve had this dialogue with David Axelrod, who I like very much and, there are legitimate areas. I mean, Chris [Wallace] said that, that’s his words, that’s what he believes, and he had reason to believe that. But I don’t think its helpful to say that.

Bully Pulpit

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(alternative headline: Someone at the White House Finally Gets a Clue)

The Obama White House will present a reconciliation-ready plan for health care reform on Monday.

Also note that this represents something of an ultimatum to congressional Republicans: Dems are moving forward on this. The president is inviting GOP leaders to present their ideas and arguments, and has promised to consider them in good faith, but by crafting his own proposal, Obama is also making clear that their permission to govern is not a prerequisite. He’s open to incorporating Republican measures, but he’s not open to letting Republicans kill reform.

In other words, the message to the GOP is simple: you’ll get a chance to contribute, but we’re moving on with or without you.

As discussed last night, there’s absolutely no reason Obama’s version shouldn’t include a public option, though I’d be very pleasantly surprised if one got past Rahm and the other cowering centrists. There’s just no reason to hold back: it’s good policy, it’s an instant legacy with huge capacity for expansion towards single-payer, the public wants it, and the votes are there. Just do it.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 19, 2010 at 8:44 am

Quick Monday Morning Links

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* Two from Kevin Drum: How Obama’s advisors are screwing things up and how bad practices in climate change science are screwing things up. The second link, I think, suffers from the misperception that there is some sort of rational discussion about climate change taking place in some imagined Habermasian public sphere; what’s actually happening is that denialism has become a plank of the Republican party platform. “Good science” can’t overcome the primal need to be a good member of the tribe.

* Between the blanket refusal to discuss Shelby’s blanket hold and their deafening silence about an embarrassing Palin story that would have been shouted from the rooftops had it happened to Obama, can we finally stop talking about liberal media bias?

* Shades of The Wire: New York City police cop to juking the stats. (Thanks Michele!)

* Comcast, tired of being known as the worst company in the world, is changing its name.

* Travel beautiful Dagobah: minimalist Star Wars travel posters.

Monday Night

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* A key feature of capitalism in America is the complete insulation of elites from the violence the system inflicts against the poor. This is illustrated well in today’s health care debate; the actual human suffering and death caused by our broken health care system is invisible to people like Joe Lieberman, who is therefore free to consider health care reform as a purely abstract game centered around revenge against his enemies. To bring up the fact that people are actually dying over this is considered unspeakably rude—a total breach of decorum. Frank Rich and BAGnotes make the same point today about the invisibility of suffering in the economic crisis as a whole.

* In any event, Lieberman won (with an apparent assist from Rahm): the Medicare buy-in is officially dead.

* Ezra Klein explains why everyone is so terrified of reconciliation.

* Grist says the big story out of Copenhagen’s first week is the emergence of tensions between richer and poorer developing nations.

The one significant new feature of this treaty round is the emergence of a distinct voice for small island nations and the poorest states—the folks for whom climate change is an existential, not just economic, problem. Inside the talks, this manifested in the tiny island state of Tuvalu’s call for a new, post-Kyoto treaty that would require mandatory reductions not only from rich countries but from the biggest and fastest-growing developing nations, including China and India. It would also set 1.5 degrees C as the target for limiting the rise in global temperature, rather than the 2 C agreed upon in previous talks (and still maintained by big emitters). This amounts to the first big public eruption of the simmering tensions between major developing countries and their smaller/poorer brethren. Whereas China and India want to shelter their economic development above all else, Tuvalu, well, might go under water soon.

* The ultimate Disney/Marvel mashup.

* Millions of “lost” Bush administration emails discovered by computer technicians. MetaFilter has your schadenfreude.

* Could Bernanke really withdraw his nomination for chairman of the Federal Reserve?

* And I wanted to post this a few days ago, but seem to have forgotten: the situation with Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio is rapidly growing completely insane.

Monday Morning

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Monday morning.

* Following up on this post from Sunday: Rahm Emanuel says there will be no Bush-era prosecutions. OpenLeft wants to know whether Eric Holder is “a Gonzales-like lackey” in light of his apparent willingness to allow political judgments to influence DoJ policy.

* And speaking of political judgments influencing DoJ policy, this Rep. Harman story is pretty unbelievable, even for the Bush administration.

There are a lot of hairy details on this one. But the gist is that an NSA wiretap recorded Harman in a conversation with a “suspected Israeli agent” in which Harman allegedly agreed to use her influence with the DOJ to get them to drop the AIPAC spy case in exchange for help lobbying then-Speaker-in-waiting Nancy Pelosi to make Harman chair of the House Intelligence Committee — a position she ended up not getting.

The story suggests that the tapes show Harman crossed the line. And the gears were in motion to open a full blown investigation. But then Alberto Gonzales intervened and shutdown the whole thing.

Why? Here’s where it gets into the realm of bad novel writing: because Gonzales (and the White House) needed Harman to go to bat for them on the warrantless wiretaping story that the New York Times was then on the brink of publishing.

Find me one honest Congressperson.

* The Hollywood Reporter says the chances of a Dollhouse renewal are 50/50. That’s actually a lot better than I thought.

* Tuna projected to be wiped out by 2012.

* Maps from the recession.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 20, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Sunday, Sunday

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Sunday, Sunday.

* The New Yorker has fiction from the late great David Foster Wallace as well as discussion of his unfinished final novel. (There’s also a profile of Rahmbo.) Discussion at MeFi.

* Even more six-word science fiction. More at MetaFilter.

* The twenty-first century: an FAQ from Charlie Stross.

* Hypothesis: Sufficiently usable read/write platforms will attract porn and activists. If there’s no porn, the tool doesn’t work. If there’s no activists, it doesn’t work well. (via)

* Maybe Dollhouse shouldn’t have been as series: io9 clues into the central problem facing American television production, open-ended perpetual serialization. Discussion at Whedonesque.

* Sebelius to HHS.

* The formula that killed Wall Street. Some talk at MetaFilter.

* Anime Peanuts. More along these lines at MeFi.

* Reverse-plot movies. Reverse-plot games.

* Aside from their nihilism and incompetence, the biggest problem facing Republicans is that their mythology has become too difficult for the average person to follow. It’s like a comic book “universe” where the writers have been straining to maintain continuity for decades — all the ever-more-fine-grained details are really satisfying for the hardcore fans, but intimidating for potential new readers, who are left asking, “Trickle-what? Chappaquid-who? What’s that about Obama’s birth certificate? Obama’s European now? I thought he was a Muslim! Darn it, I’ll never catch up!”

I suggest, therefore, that the Republicans use their current time of wandering in the wilderness to do their own version of Crisis on Infinite Earths. They wouldn’t have to ditch their favorite heroes, of course — we could also be treated to limited series like Rush Limbaugh: Year One, Newt Gingrich: Year One, etc. They can reboot all the plotlines, free the beloved characters of the chains of continuity, and then do it again, and yet again — until finally they find success in some genre other than politics, much as comic book superheroes have moved on to the movies. GOP: Year One.

* See also: the GOP’s voice and intellectual force, Rush Limbaugh.

* Forget Switzerland: Is Ireland the next Iceland? Don’t forget your recession tourism.

* Slowly but surely, here comes marijuana decriminalization/legalization. Don’t forget your revenue stream.

* Imprisoned fifteen-year-old beaten by police officer. On tape.

* And put aside that old question of “justifying” the humanities: the real problem is that for much of the past decade, the culture isn’t listening to what the humanities have to teach.

Dean to HHS Redux

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Everybody is trying to figure out how to slide Howard Dean into HHS without Rahm Emmanuel noticing. Here’s Tom Harkin.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 6, 2009 at 12:02 am

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Where Is The Outrage?

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Rahm Emanuel resigns his House seat, and the first person he tells about it is his favorite penpal, crooked governor Rod Blagojevich? Really, Rahm? The first person?

What else has Rahm been talking to Blagojevich about? Where is the outrage?

Written by gerrycanavan

December 29, 2008 at 8:41 pm

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Blagojevich Blagojevich Blagojevich

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“I’ve got this thing and it’s [expletive] golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing. I’m not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there.”

I’ve been away from the computer all day, so I’m only finding out about the Blagojevich madness now. Who tries to openly sell a Senate seat? You sell that thing quietly, under the radar. Use codes. Geez. Blagovich now joins the elite cadre of four out of the last five Illinois governors who have been indicted or convicted—and I thought New Jersey politics were corrupt.

Good luck in 2016, governor. And good on Rahm, if he did tip the feds off, though in his position Blagovich was crazy to expect anything else from the incoming chief of staff.

More everywhere.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 9, 2008 at 8:39 pm

Now the Fun Begins

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Obama roasts his new chief of staff, c. 2005. See also: synchronized debating.

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 8, 2008 at 4:34 pm

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Victory Links

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Victory links.

* Headlines.

* How Obama won, including some provocative numbers on the changing demographic face of the United States:

** Obama only won white voters under 29; he did the worst among white voters over the age of 65.

* Obama won among every age group except for voters 65 and over.

Put those together with a 52% margin and you see that post-racial America you keep hearing about is in significant ways a post-Caucasian America.

* How Obama (probably) won North Carolina: volunteers, volunteers, volunteers. Big ups to Durham here. It’s good to be back in a blue state.

* Rahm Emanuel may never be Speaker of the House after all—looks like he’s taking Chief of Staff.

* Run-off expected in Georgia.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 5, 2008 at 3:59 pm