Monday Reads

Good Morning!!!

It’s the morning before America gets to grind its axe in polling places around the country. It’s still looking bleak for the Democratic Party and even though Michael Steele was managing expectations yesterday, the Republicans still seem poised to get control of the House.

This is from Alex Isenstadt at Politico. Be sure to check it out because the Biden picture at the top is just a hoot!

There is nearly uniform consensus among Democratic campaign professionals that the House is gone — the only question, it seems, is how many seats they will lose.

While few will say so on the record for fear of alienating party officials or depressing turnout, every one of nearly a dozen Democratic House consultants and political strategists surveyed expect a GOP majority to be elected Tuesday — the consensus was that Democrats would lose somewhere between 50 and 60 seats.

A senior party consultant who was on the low end with his predictions said the party would lose between 40 and 50 seats. On the high end, one Democratic consultant said losses could number around 70 seats.

Be prepared for Agent Orange as Speaker of the House. Gridlock may become our best friend if he gets into his agenda. There’s also an article there by Ben Smith on Russ Feingold’s last stand. If we lose him to this sudden plague of locusts that’s infested politics the last couple of years it will be a damned shame.

But Feingold appears on the brink of going down in a national tide that’s blind to distinction. Infuriatingly to the Wisconsin Democrat, he’s been painted not as a leftist — the usual attack against him — but as, of all things, a Washington insider. He’s been forced to defend a claim to independence that he feels is self-evident – “A guy did his doctorate at Princeton on this,” he says indignantly – against an opponent who likes to ask, what kind of a maverick would vote for this year’s health care overhaul?

Meanwhile, on the economic front, Dean Baker, Brad DeLong and Mark Thoma do what I really didn’t want to do yesterday. They ventured into David Broder’s silly piece about escalating the hostilities with Iran so we could boost the economy. Broder needs to be gagged. Those three said about the same thing but with much more clarity and data so I’ll send you to them this morning to see for yourself. Thoma says he doesn’t think he’s capable of that much shrill, Baker says the Broder column wasn’t a joke, and Delong says thinks there should be resignations at WAPO all day along over the mere hint of something stupid like that, let alone the out and out suggestion.

Here’s a bit of a Baker:

If spending on war can provide jobs and lift the economy then so can spending on roads, weatherizing homes, or educating our kids. Yes, that’s right, all the forms of stimulus spending that Broder derided so much because they add to the deficit will increase GDP and generate jobs just like the war that Broder is advocating (which will also add to the deficit).
So, we have two routes to prosperity. We can either build up our physical infrastructure and improve the skills and education of our workers or we can go kill Iranians. Broder has made it clear where he stands.

The Washington punditry clearly needs a house cleaning. Oh, speaking of which, we were discussing the lost ‘art’ of protesting some yesterday. Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism has a great editorial up on how protesting works. Wow!!! Image that!!!

It’s astonishing to see how Americans have been conditioned to think that political action and engagement is futile. I’m old enough to have witnessed the reverse, how activism in the 1960s produced significant advances in civil rights blacks and women, and eventually led the US to exit the Vietnam War.

I’m reminded of this sense of despair almost daily in the comments section. Whenever possible action steps come up, virtually without fail, quite a few will argue that there is no point in making an effort, that we as individuals are powerless.

I don’t buy that as a stance, particularly because trained passivity is a great, low cost way to hobble people who have been wronged.

It’s nice to know that it’s not just us, it’s just not the US, and it’s not all in our heads. The quote concerning the Brits and their Banksters made me realize that a lot more of us are in this together than we think.

Well, I have to go to university today to do my research work since my hard drive is dead and I haven’t got notification about when the new one gets delivered. Supposedly, by Thursday. I have a replacement blackberry on the way too. The Blackberry ap for WordPress has been a heaven send this weekend.

Hopefully, you can look forward to some new voices on the frontpage as well as familar ones this week as we seek to expand our issues and discussion forums here! Guess that does bring some meaning to the old saying that when one door shuts another one opens. We’ll let it be a surprise unless any of them want to self-announce right now!

So, what’s on your reading and blogging list today?


32 Comments on “Monday Reads”

  1. paper doll says:

    Be prepared for Agent Orange as Speaker of the House. Gridlock may become our best friend if he gets into his agenda.

    Oh my god ! Indeed, we should be that lucky! No, gridlock was what we had when it took the Dems over a year to pass the Healthcare industry’s fiscal health care package the HC lobbyist wrote ….. so the tradtional Dem agenda never got a chance. Ahead, I predict a new era of “bipartisanship” when the Repugs take the house and signed bills will fly off Obama’s desk . Help!

    • paper doll says:

      If spending on war can provide jobs and lift the economy then so can spending on roads, weatherizing homes, or educating our kids…..

      yeah but such things doesn’t send the money to just a handful of places and it would actually lift the economy of the lower 90% ! So you can see why it’s a no go! /snark

  2. Pips says:

    Looking forward to seeing the new posters’ posts. Oooh this is almost like Cristmas!

    And, if I may make a suggestion: Is it possible to somehow stress who the poster is? Like maybe start the post with her/his name … within parentheses or something? Or their gravatar? It’s good to know while you’re reading a post, instead of realizing afterwards who the author is. (Please tell me I’m not the only one making that mistake?)

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    Since I am in my “Debbie Downer” mood, I will just read the posts for awhile. Trying to comment and finding a “silver lining” in all this mess is futile. Not very productive in reading my usual “I hate these people” meme.

    Looking forward to reading new guest posts however.

    • Pips says:

      Pat, I loved, loved, loved (and I really don’t take that word lightly!) your comments, and your hilarious exchanges with Carol at TC during the Primaries. I hope you’ll find that wonderful, humorous side of yourself again.

      Speaking for myself only (heh!), I’ll read your comments no matter your mood. 🙂

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    Oh Pips, my “sense of humor” has pretty much dissipated over time.

    John Boehner and that spray on tan is going to be a constant reminder that “over the top make up” is not just relegated to the Jersey Shore.

  5. Woman Voter says:

    Brazilians welcome first female leader (WOW)

  6. votermom says:

    If Feingold loses, he’ll have a lot of free time to spend in Iowa next year. I hope he primaries BO.

    • dakinikat says:

      I’ve entertained that thought too. And. Iowans love to support others from the region.

      • Sima says:

        I hope he primaries him as well. I don’t think he’d have a chance, although I’ll support him if Hillary doesn’t run. But he will swing everything to the left. That’s badly needed.

  7. Pat Johnson says:

    Feingold will be a huge loss and his chances today do not look good.

    Obama would have to “gracefully” step aside because a primary challenge would be reminiscent of the 1980 primary when Ted Kennedy went up against Jimmy Carter which led to a Reagan victory.

    I think it is safe to say that as of today the Dem Party has been fractured. Obama won by a landslide which should have strengthened his mandate to lead but only proved that his lack of experience and the hoopla that surrounded his nomination was based on very little. Even his staunchest supporters are disappointed and that is saying a lot.

    Much will depend upon the economy getting stronger and if that succeeds then Obama is safe. But if it continues to remain stagnant then a GOP victory in 2012 is almost assured. Another opportunity to return to the abyss.

  8. grayslady says:

    I had the privilege of attending one of Russ Feingold’s “listening sessions” a couple of years ago. Many people don’t realize that Russ spends almost every weekend back in WI in the state’s over 70 counties, holding sessions where he listens to whatever questions the people want to bring to his attention. In Illinois, we’re told that if we’re in D.C. on a Thursday morning, we can have coffee with our two senators. Such a deal….

    I can’t believe the people of WI don’t realize what a jewel they have in Russ. However, he’s dead wrong about why people are opposed to the health care legislation, although his comment does show that Obama tried to convince every Dem politician that a vote against the legislation was all about “trying to bring down his presidency”. Have we ever had a more insecure individual as President than Obama? Sheesh.

    • HT says:

      From the outside looking in wrt your question, and based on 50 years of conscious pollitical junkism – no, you have never had a more insecure individual. Nixon was truly paranoid, but he wasn’t insecure – quite the contrary. The rest …..nope. All had their foibles and warts, but that wasn’t one of them.

    • Jane in CA says:

      I too have always loved Feingold. My brother and his wife, who live across the river from Minneapolis have voted for Feingold since they moved to Wisconsin years ago– and my brother is a liberatarian while his wife is a republican, which demonstrates the kind of cross-over appeal a person with integrity can generate, IMO. However, both my brother and SIL wrote to Feingold and told him that he would lose their support for good if he continued to support Health Insurance Reform without a public option — along with many other people who called, wrote, faxed against this bill.

      So … I am torn. While Feingold is one of the last politicians for whom I have any respect, I do admire voters who stick to their guns. Feingold was warned that his vote for health insurance would be costly; he chose not to believe it. Just imagine if all voters had the spine of Wisconsin voters — we might actually get change we believe in occasionally (or at least NOT get the kind of change to which we are we are vocally, actively, unilaterally opposed).

      • dakinikat says:

        I so understand that. I can’t imagine what pressure was brought to pass that pos health law. we know kuch caved in on Af1. It’s a tough lesson to learn.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    Valhalla has a very good post at Corrente on the new gender gap–Democrats have lost women. Gee, I wonder why?

    http://www.correntewire.com/hey_whered_all_girls_go

  10. foxyladi14 says:

    I like Russ.and would vote for to be POTUS..or Hillary,s V.P 🙂

  11. Pat Johnson says:

    I definitely need to escape the house today. The robocalls are coming on the heels of one another!

    Here in MA, the race between Deval Patrick and Charlie Baker is the big topic. To show how divided we are, my son is voting for Baker because he personally knows him while my daughter in law is working on behalf of Deval!

    My local race is a biggie with two candidates running for DA who loathe one another.

    Just hung up from a call from the Independent candidate for governor, Tim Cahill, who left me with a “God bless you” on his robo message. Jesus! If they only knew how I feel about those candidates who stoop to that level of persuasion.

    • votermom says:

      I just got a robocall from Joe Biden telling me to vote Dem. At the end of the call it says the call was paid for by the Dem party and not by any candidate. LOL. Nobody wants their name linked to the VP.

      • janicen says:

        I got a robo-call from Eric Cantor, who is running against a Democrat, and a Conservative Tea Party candidate. However, in the call, Cantor says he running against, “…a Democrat, and an Independent Green…” candidate.

        Just in case a few conservatives might think about voting for the Independent, Cantor want to mislead voters into thinking the Independent candidate is a Green Party candidate!

  12. Dee says:

    OT – the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping trial begins today.

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700077702/Years-later-Elizabeth-Smarts-kidnapping-trial-finally-to-begin.html?pg=1

    Elizabeth Smart seems an amazing young woman.

  13. gxm17 says:

    You folks are making me grateful that we moved in August and have a new phone number. We’ve received zero robocalls!