Posts Tagged ‘progressives

02
Jun
14

Elections Matter

Obama Wins

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Washington Post: Obama Judges Tip Appeals Court To Democrats

When President Bush II left the White House in 2009, the 13 U.S. courts of appeal were firmly under Republican appointees’ control. Ten appeals courts had majority GOP judges, two were evenly split and only one had a majority of Democrats. President Obama’s 49 appeals court appointees have dramatically altered the landscape. As of the Senate’s recess on May 23, nine of those courts had majority Democratic appointees and four had Republican majorities.

(There are 10 vacancies in the circuit courts. One Obama nominee is awaiting a Senate vote and three nominees pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.) The change, much feared by Republicans, is not necessarily shocking. But the transformation, in just 5 1/2 years, said University of Pittsburgh law professor Arthur D. Hellman, an authority on the federal circuit courts, marks ”a huge shift in a very short period of time.” And it means that Democratic appointed judges “have the ability to control every important case if they wish to” in those nine circuits, he said.

More here

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Timothy B. Lee: Obama Has Secured Democratic Majorities On Most Federal Appeals Courts

A president’s Supreme Court nominees get a lot of attention, but presidents shape less visible parts of the judiciary too. Barack Obama is no exception. The Washington Post has a chart showing how the president has changed the composition of the nation’s appeals courts over the last five and a half years: Now, it’s important to say that courts are not supposed to be partisan institutions.

Still, Democratic judicial nominees tend to be more liberal than Republican nominees. And so the growing number of Democrat-appointed judges in our appeals courts will push American jurisprudence to the left on a wide range of issues. And because Obama’s nominees will stay on the bench long after Obama leaves office, these nominations will be one of his most durable legacies.

More here

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Change Is

20
Aug
11

‘jane hamsher’s running out of sheep’

Norbrook’s Blog: …. other people have examined Accountability Now, which Jane and Glenn Greenwald launched with great fanfare a few years ago. Ostensibly it was to recruit progressive candidates, but it seemed to end up putting money into Jane and Glenn’s pockets:

Accountability Now collected $113,695 in donations during 2009, as it reported to the FEC, and spent $169,992 that year on nine consultants … including Hamsher ($24,000) and PAC cofounder Glenn Greenwald ($24,000)….

But it’s not Jane’s only PAC. Although most of the scrutiny has been on Accountability Now, when you look at FDL Action PAC’s FEC summary, you see something very interesting:

Fire Dog Lake: $90,063 …. Commonsense Media: $9,920

Hmm… it looks like there’s about $100K of “synergy” going on ….

…. recently Jane had a little blow-up, right after OFA announced what the President had raised (“a staggering $47 million in the past three months”)….

FDL Action’s fundraising wasn’t quite as good:

No wonder she’s pissed! Apparently all the previous donors have been thoroughly shorn, and new sheep aren’t lining up….

Read the full superb post here

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Norbrook’s post is brilliantly timely in light of Hamsher and Dan Choi’s arrests today outside the White House (along with another 60 or so people who actually do care about the environment – but you won’t hear much about them). They were staging a laudable (in my humble opinion) demonstration urging President Obama to block a proposed pipeline that would bring oil from Canada’s oil sands projects to Gulf Coast refineries (the Keystone XL pipeline).

Choi tweeted this yesterday:

Okay, so now that he can’t attack the President any more on gay rights issues – without looking even sillier than usual – he’s discovered (true, somewhat belatedly) that he really, really cares about the planet. And if caring about it so much sees him end up in jail, thereby getting him some attention again (when, really, most had forgotten he existed), then that’s a cross he’d, um, have to bear. Mission accomplished, well done Dan.

Hamsher?

Well, you have to admire her purity on this one. She is so passionate and utterly sincere about the blocking of the Keystone XL pipeline she would never, ever have anything to do with anyone who supported it, right?

June 2011:

Dear friends,

…..Hillary Clinton’s State Department is holding up the Canadian-American Keystone XL pipeline … unnecessarily inhibiting billions in economic activity and hundreds of thousands of jobs from being created, the State Department is preventing a much-needed regional stimulus. Click here to tell the State Department to get out of the way of America’s job creators and issue the Keystone XL pipeline building permit!

Onward,

Grover Norquist

President

Americans for Tax Reform

Ah yes, Hamsher’s old buddy, the ‘tax pledge’ guy who makes Rick Perry seems like Mao Tse Tung, the one she collaborated with in opposition to President Obama (and his then Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel).

What? She can partner the lovely Grover on one issue, it doesn’t mean she agrees with him on everything?

Of course! Just like she can team up with President Obama when … oh, never mind.

Any way, those of you who might suggest that this….

…. might have had something to do with Hamsher’s heartfelt concerns about the Keystone XL pipeline – and you can be sure she lies awake at night worrying about it … even though she has a hard-hitting interview with Cenk Uygur the next day (“Jane, you’re, like, soooooooo great!” “I know Cenk – but you are too!”) …. shame on you.

Yes, she has been jailed, and she may well claim she was waterboarded while she was in there, and that will raise her sinking profile, and may even attract a few more dollars to her struggling PAC, but ….. shame on you.

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PS

Ooooops, $$$$$ are creating a strain between the Firebaggers.

John Aravosis has started selling these t-shirts on his “I HATE OBAMA SO MUCH I CAN’T EVEN FIND THE WORDS ” blog:

….and that’s made Hamsher’s peeps very, very angry:

Oh noes, the Firebaggers are eating each other alive …. after all, there are only so many $$$$ to go around ;-)

A second PS:

Credit must go to Aravosis, having picked only white male models for the t-shirts he’s being trying to sell so far…

….. he chose a ‘non-white’ man for his ‘Proud Firebagger’ offering. Jeez, if he added a woman to the line-up we might even accuse him of being inclusive.

Thank you Tien Le for the link to Norbrook’s post ;-)

19
Jun
11

so the pl = 7%? but, but, but: they said they were the base!

RollCall: Despite their grousing about the administration during the Netroots Nation conference, liberal activists and bloggers are relatively happy with President Barack Obama’s performance.

A straw poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research showed that 80 percent either approve or strongly approve of the president …. The results broke down to 27 percent strongly approving of Obama and 53 percent approving “somewhat.” Thirteen percent said they “somewhat disapprove,” and 7 percent strongly disapprove of the president.

More here

Thankk you Proud ;-)

18
Jun
11

he’s losing the base!

Gallup

Thank you Lisa

11
Apr
11

‘purity politics’


The People’s View: So Friday night, a government shutdown was averted. And already, you have people in some big orange “progressive” places melting themselves down over how that aversion was a loss for progressives and how President Obama gave in to billions more in cuts. So let’s look at what we know about the deal, what Barack Obama’s negotiating skills gave us…

Let’s start looking at it from the perspective of core Democratic values … the Republicans’ effort to defund family planning blew up in their faces, and President Obama and the Democrats protected this much needed service for poor and middle class women and families….

… The Republicans wanted to block any money from going to implement health care reform, and guess what? They didn’t get that either. And that is a big deal. Although probably the likes of Uygur would have liked health reform to be defunded (so they could claim Pyhrric victory over the failure of an un-implemented law that did not carry his favorite pony item)…

…What else? The environment. Democrats have successfully kept the Republican “EPA riders” out of the budget deal. You know, the same riders that would have told the EPA, in essence, “Carbon di-oxide is not a pollutant, you can’t regulate it!” Politico calls this a major victory for Democrats…

…Not bad, I’ll say. Three pretty big progressive policy initiatives were saved from the Republican axe. Remind me why some of the people who claim to be progressives are whining about this again? …

….how about the screaming idiots on the professional left didn’t take dumps all over the President’s initiatives in the first two years, under the guise of purity politics? How about they hadn’t helped along a depressed Democratic turnout? How about if they had actually helped do proper analysis and sell the benefits of health reform, financial reform, credit card reform, student loan reform, women’s pay legislation, among a myriad of other things? How about they didn’t help turn the House over to the Republicans wholesale?…

…we are laying in a bed that the whiny Left made for us together with the teabagging Right. It’s their own making. What we are looking for are solutions within that framework now. It didn’t have to be this way, but it is. What President Obama needs is for progressives to get his back when he’s fighting for our environment, for women, and for health care in a toxic, hostile Washington, DC…

So please, before you go off the rail with Daily Kos, FDL, Ed Schultz or Cenk Uygur, please do some thinking, and some fact finding. Cool the nerves. Calm down. And read. Then make your own judgments. I think you’ll be more pleased than you think.

Please read the full post here – it’s magnificent

Thank you Rita for the link

07
Apr
11

‘a dose of hard reality for progressives’

Politcususa: One of the little nuggets to be found in the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll is the level of support that the American people expressed for Obama’s decision to leave GITMO open. 67% of Americans approved of leaving Guantanamo Bay open, and only 29% disapproved.

…Americans were asked to rank their support for some recent decisions made by President Obama … the results were a little surprising. The most popular decision that Obama made was to allow offshore drilling to resume. 71% of respondents approved and only 29% disapproved. The second most popular decision Obama made was to leave GITMO open …. The third most popular decision was the no fly zone over Libya. 66% approved and 30% disapproved. 58% approved of Obama’s proposed domestic spending freeze … The only recent decision that Obama has made that was unpopular … was his decision to continue the war in Afghanistan….

These are not the poll numbers of an unpopular or untrusted president. A large majority of Americans agreed with this president on four of his five decisions … they seem to trust Obama’s decision making and his judgment.

The real stunner here for progressives is how widely supported Obama’s decision to keep GITMO open is. Progressives including Rachel Maddow have been filleting Obama for his decision to keep the prison open for weeks, but it turns out that these critics are in the minority….

The data from this poll is a dose of hard reality for progressives who like to think of themselves as Obama’s base. The truth is that they are all small part of Obama’s base … there is an entire bloc of Americans who don’t follow the progressive movement but came out en mass to elect Barack Obama in 2008. These people are the Obama Democrats, and they are in many ways separate from the progressive movement.

…Progressives make up anywhere from 25%-29% of Americans … the Tea Party is supported by about 29% of America. As painful as this might be for progressives to realize, the reality is that your movement is about on par with the Tea Party in terms of support and self-described identification.

Progressives and Tea Partiers and over represented in the Internet discussion and both place a premium on purity. If one were to only read the progressive Internet discussion about Obama, you would come away thinking that he is doomed one termer, when the big picture reveals that Obama is in a good position to be reelected in 2012.

…Obama is the President of the United States and if he made decisions based on what the progressives wanted, his decisions would be unpopular with about 2/3 of the country … when progressive bash Obama’s recent decisions are they really upset at this president, or are they upset that more Americans don’t agree with them? …

Full article here

05
Mar
11

by george!

Freedom-crushing automobile-hating authoritarian

Conservative columnist George Will wrote a piece for right-wing comic Newsweek recently attacking President Obama’s support for high-speed rail.

Now, if Georgie’s main concern was cost, then you might say, ‘okay, that’s an argument’.

But no, as Steve Benen (Washington Monthly) put it, the column, which “featured a variety of errors of fact and judgment”, suggested that “liberals support high-speed rail (as) part of some elaborate, freedom-crushing, Ayn-Rand-inspired conspiracy.”

Seriously.

Okay, deep breath, here are a couple of extracts:

George Will: High Speed to Insolvency – Why liberals love trains.

“Generations hence, when the river of time has worn this presidency’s importance to a small, smooth pebble in the stream of history, people will still marvel that its defining trait was a mania for high-speed rail projects. This disorder illuminates the progressive mind…..

… Only an administration blinkered by ideology would persist … the real reason for progressives’ passion for trains is their goal of diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism.

To progressives, the best thing about railroads is that people riding them are not in automobiles, which are subversive of the deference on which progressivism depends …. automobiles encourage people to think they – unsupervised, untutored, and unscripted – are masters of their fates. The automobile encourages people in delusions of adequacy, which make them resistant to government by experts who know what choices people should make…….”

I know, I know.

Paul Krugman, who described the column as “truly bizarre”, made a similar point to Benen: “….it’s amazing to see Will – who is not a stupid man – embracing the sinister progressives-hate-your-freedom line, more or less right out of Atlas Shrugged; with the extra irony, of course, that John Galt’s significant other ran, well, a railroad.”

So, you’d imagine Georgie would disagree with this columnist who, in 2001 (after 9/11), wrote:

” ….Americans are impatient problem-solvers, so here are three things that should be done, the doing of which will assuage any sense the nation is having trouble gaining traction in the tasks at hand.

…..Third, build high-speed rail service.

…..A government study concludes that for trips of 500 miles or less – a majority of flights; 40 percent are of 300 miles or less – automotive travel is as fast or faster than air travel, door to door. Columnist Robert Kuttner sensibly says that fact strengthens the case for high-speed trains. If such trains replaced air shuttles in the Boston-New York-Washington corridor, Kuttner says that would free about 60 takeoff and landing slots per hour.”

Who wrote this? A liberal trying to take away your automobile freedom? Eh, no. Ready for this? Those are Georgie’s very own words, as reported by Sarah Goodyear (Grist).

Benen: “I don’t care that Will changed his mind; I care that he casually dismissed the substance of the debate in order to make the truly stupid case that high-speed rail is part of a liberal crusade to “diminish Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism.”

On the merits, he was right the first time. To agree with Will circa 2001 is not to be a freedom-crushing authoritarian.”

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So, Georgie was an enthusiastic supporter of high-speed rail….until he found himself on the same side of the issue as President Obama??

The amazing part is that this guy displays sense, occasionally – as Krugman said, “he is not a stupid man”, he has supported the President at times and has attacked the extremes of the GOP/Tea Party.

So what’s this nonsense and hypocrisy all about??

07
Jan
11

‘pragmatic, thoughtful, smart, diplomatic, effective….mature’

Huge thanks to Rita for letting me know about this blog post – loved it.

p m carpenter’s commentary: This morning the Post’s Dan Balz assesses the choice of Bill Daley as “another significant step in the post-election evolution of President Obama,” noting that Daley “has a reputation for shooting straight, playing hard, talking bluntly and, above all, remaining calm in a crisis.”

Indeed, the Beltway consensus is that Daley is pragmatic, thoughtful, damn smart, diplomatic, effective, loyal and philosophically mature — all in all he’s a judicious choice, one that will serve the administration well and frustrate the Republican noise machine.

So, naturally, with the notable exception of Howard Dean, who has responded as a model of reason, the activist progressive community launched into orbital unhingement over the Daley pick.

Gloomily representative of what’s become their orthodox overreaction to most everything Obama was the Torquemada of ProgThink, Adam Green, who said  … “(bla bla bla)”

Yes, just another White House “mistake” …. such as rescuing the nation from the Great Depression II, securing universal health care, pulling DADT’s repeal out of a hopeless hat, saving the domestic auto industry, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Read the full post here

22
Dec
10

‘new start’ & ‘dadt’ … obama wins again (critics lose … again)

HuffPost / Frank Schaeffer: With the Senate closing in on voting to ratify the “New Start” treaty with Russia, and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Obama’s critics from the Left and Right have — once again — been proved dead wrong…..

Once again, the president has proved smarter than his critics, let alone than the Republican “leadership.”

….As for the Left it’s also trying to undermine the president with talk about a sellout to Wall Street, “failed” tax policy etc., etc. (Somewhat perversely these days some of Obama’s Lefty critics even seem to be rooting for Julian Assange with a lot more enthusiasm than for their president.) Or as Bob Cesca put it in the Huffington Post:

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to participate in a [progressive] movement where so many colleagues have careened off the rails. We’re supposed to be the smart ones, the reality-based people.

And yet, out of some sort of manic-depression or desire for hipster cred, we’ve become overly preoccupied with tearing down the most liberal president in decades using non-reality-based criticisms instead of laser-focusing our efforts and resources on tearing down the real killers — conservatives, Tea Party people and the GOP.

And that’s not the half of it. Before he’d served even one year, President Obama lost the “support” of the easily distracted, terminally impatient, American “Left” and engendered the white hot rage of the hate-filled Right.

But some of us, from all walks of life and ideological backgrounds … are sticking with our president.

Why? Because he is, has been, and will continue succeeding. Obama’s critics from the Left and Right are being proved dead wrong, again and again.

We Obama supporters trust our first impression of him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man to lead us. We also trust our belief that he is the smartest man in any room.

Full article here

Thanks for the link Chi ;-)

14
Dec
10

‘what progressives don’t understand about obama’

NYT (Ishmael Reed) – Extracts: …Progressives have been urging the president to “man up” in the face of the Republicans. Some want him to be like John Wayne. On horseback. Slapping people left and right.

One progressive commentator played an excerpt from a Harry Truman speech during which Truman screamed about the Republican Party to great applause. He recommended this style to Mr. Obama. If President Obama behaved that way, he’d be dismissed as an angry black militant with a deep hatred of white people. His grade would go from a B- to a D.

….When these progressives refer to themselves as Mr. Obama’s base, all they see is themselves. They ignore polls showing steadfast support for the president among blacks and Latinos. And now they are whispering about a primary challenge against the president. Brilliant! The kind of suicidal gesture that destroyed Jimmy Carter — and a way to lose the black vote forever.

Unlike white progressives, blacks and Latinos are not used to getting it all. They know how it feels to be unemployed and unable to buy your children Christmas presents. They know when not to shout. The president, the coolest man in the room, who worked among the unemployed in Chicago, knows too.

Full article here




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