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robert reich on clinton April 23, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, berkeley, interviews, news, politics.
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clinton and reich (1994)

nymag:

So what’s changed? I asked Reich.

“I saw the ads” — the negative man-on-street commercials that the Clinton campaign put up in Pennsylvania in the wake of Obama’s bitter/cling comments a week ago — “and I was appalled, frankly. I thought it represented the nadir of mean-spirited, negative politics. And also of the politics of distraction, of gotcha politics. It’s the worst of all worlds. We have three terrible traditions that we’ve developed in American campaigns. One is outright meanness and negativity. The second is taking out of context something your opponent said, maybe inartfully, and blowing it up into something your opponent doesn’t possibly believe and doesn’t possibly represent. And third is a kind of tradition of distraction, of getting off the big subject with sideshows that have nothing to do with what matters. And these three aspects of the old politics I’ve seen growing in Hillary’s campaign. And I’ve come to the point, after seeing those ads, where I can’t in good conscience not say out loud what I believe about who should be president. Those ads are nothing but Republicanism. They’re lending legitimacy to a Republican message that’s wrong to begin with, and they harken back to the past twenty years of demagoguery on guns and religion. It’s old politics at its worst — and old Republican politics, not even old Democratic politics. It’s just so deeply cynical.”

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obama, clinton, and foreign policy in the middle east April 22, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, foreign policy, international, news, politics, religion, terrorism.
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discussion on to the point (segment begins at 8 min with lewis and levine; glick and ben-ami at 24 min):

Listen to/Watch entire show:

Barack Obama’s been criticized as weak in support of Israel and not tough enough on Iran. Hillary Clinton’s talked about “massive retaliation” if Israel is attacked and an “umbrella of deterrence” all over the Middle East. We explore their differences and similarities on a crucial arena of foreign policy. Also, tomorrow’s Pennsylvania primary, and oil, gas—and waivers of environmental protections—in Wyoming’s open spaces.

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Obama, Clinton and Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Barack Obama says Israel is ” America’s strongest ally in the Middle East,” but skeptics contend he’s soft on the Palestinians and not tough enough on Iran. Hillary Clinton promises “massive retaliation” if Israel’s ever attacked by Iran, and an “umbrella of deterrence” that would go beyond that. These and other differences have been used to suggest that Obama’s support of Israel is insufficient. Does Obama suffer from guilt by association with his church pastor and others? Who are the real advisors to his campaign? Does Clinton really support a two-state solution? What about a pre-emptive attack on Iran?

Guests:
  • Ann Lewis: Senior Advisor, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign
  • Mel Levine: Advisor, Barak Obama’s presidential campaign
  • Caroline Glick: Assistant Foreign Policy Adivsor, then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
  • Jeremy Ben-Ami: Executive Director, J-Street

who’s bitter? April 22, 2008

Posted by KG in comedy, econ, news, politics, religion.
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jonathan chait in the new republic:

But nobody’s challenging the validity of caring more about your religion, or even your right to hunt, than your income. The objection is whether it makes sense to vote on that basis. There are, after all, stark differences between the two parties on economic matters. Republicans do want to make working-class voters pay a higher proportion of the tax burden, restrain popular social programs, erode the value of the minimum wage, and so on.

Democrats, on the other hand, have no plans to keep anybody from attending church or hunting. A few years ago, their gun-control agenda revolved around issues like safety locks, banning assault weapons, and other restrictions carefully designed to have virtually no impact on hunters or average gun owners. Now Democrats have abandoned even those meager steps. The GOP’s appeal on those “issues” rests on cultural pandering rather than any concrete legislative program.

Now, it’s true that many working-class whites also vote on social issues that do have some political relevance, like abortion or gay marriage. It’s certainly not irrational on its face to vote your values over your wallet. (Democratic billionaires do it, too.) On the other hand, conservatives routinely express their fury that a majority of Jews stubbornly flout their own “self-interest”–defined as low tax rates and a maximally hawkish Middle East policy–to vote Democratic. The process of trying to persuade others to reconsider the nature of their self-interest is not some Marxist exercise or an accusation of false consciousness. It’s what we call “democracy.”

Sorry, did that sound condescending?

link roundup April 7, 2008

Posted by KG in arts/culture.
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1) “legal bondage: why we like restrictions on sex”

2) “a case of the blues” – nytimes mag story on the “recent struggles of the Republican party”…they are quite generous with their euphemisms

3) nytimes mag profile of david axelrod, “obama’s narrator”

4) “obama, mccain forged fleeting alliance”

5) ezra klein on health care

6) washingon post on the impact of howard dean as dnc chair

7) the erotics of investing

8 ) nytimes article on storing willpower

9) jonathan chait on hillary’s ridiculousness

10) the sting of poverty

11) vanity fair interview with ?uestlove about the roots’ new album and its political message

12) time.com’s first annual blog index

obama’s foreign policy March 26, 2008

Posted by AP in 2008 Elections, international, politics.
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you shouldn’t talk to your enemies because they are your enemies, so goes the logic of clinton and mccain. wsj:

Barack Obama is drawing fresh fire for pledging to hold direct talks with foreign adversaries, an approach both Hillary Clinton and John McCain say they will hit hard.

Critics in the foreign-policy establishment and from rival presidential camps said his idea could undercut pro-Western forces and legitimize leaders whose power the U.S. wants to undermine, including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Increasingly, they are presenting his ideas as a radical departure from standard U.S. doctrine.

maybe if you talk to them they won’t be your enemies anymore.

link roundup March 19, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, books, econ, environment, news, politics, race, religion, science, sex, tech.
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1) the human side of ralph nader (make sure you change the bookmark to chapter 1)

2) hillary’s “experience”

3) fred krupp, president of the environmental defense fund, talks about “his new book and his thoughts on harnessing the great forces of capitalism to save the world from catastrophe.” – direct real audio link & airtalk archive link (scroll to 3/14)

4) andrew sullivan ponders prostitution – 1 & 2

5) ezra klein on wright vs. falwell

6) TED talks (richard dawkins, larry brilliant, bill clinton, the google guys, and more)

barack obama strongest in november versus mccain February 9, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, media, news, politics, television.
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link roundup…obama & israel, edwards, clinton, & cuba February 5, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, econ, international, news, politics, religion, terrorism.
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does aipac trust barack obama,” the new republic:

Several other people connected to Middle East lobbying in Washington have told me, though, that they believe there is a rift between the official positions of AIPAC on Obama and the feelings of a good deal of its membership, possibly including some of its major donors. Because AIPAC doesn’t endorse candidates directly, but often encourages its very active membership to get involved in campaigns and fund-raising on their own, how the AIPAC rank-and-file acts is not a matter of diktat; it’s an accurate barometer of how it feels. And according to The Jerusalem Post, “When it comes to the Jewish establishment of campaign donors, fundraisers, and political players, support for Clinton is estimated to be twice that for Obama (except in his home state of Illinois, where he has deep connections with the Jewish community).”

new republic q&a with joe trippi (former dean & edwards campaign strategist):

Going into that last debate, we had a long talk that day about maybe getting out before South Carolina, after the debate. My own personal view is that he went into that debate saying, “Damn it. I may be getting out tomorrow. You’re going to know I was here.” You don’t know what’s going on mentally. That’s why I told him that night that he came back. I’ve never been as proud of anybody as I was for what he did that night.

He went into that debate believing he was going to get out of the race. He didn’t pull punches. He stood there, talked about the things he believed in. He didn’t roll over for Barack, for her. Damn it, Clinton was going to know he was there. Barack was going to know he was there. People were going to know.

It was the tonic he needed to wake up the next morning and say, “Screw you, I’m not getting out of here.” Even folks in the campaign, some of the people said, “We don’t want you to get hurt by getting destroyed here.” There were people saying that. It was pretty unanimous. It wasn’t unanimous that he would get out, but no one was saying you shouldn’t think about getting out. We didn’t want to get four or five points in South Carolina. Go do this debate. The debate prep was during the Giants-Green Bay game. That’s what so blew me away. The campaign had actually spent the day talking about urging him to think hard about getting out. We had no polling. We were watching the game. During the boring part, he would say, “What should I say about this?” It wasn’t the best debate prep we ever had in our lives. He goes in there, it was sheer who John Edwards is. We had that debate. This was a guy who walked into that debate, saying “People are going to know I’m here.” The next day he said, “I hear what you guys are saying, but I’m going to stay here and fight for every vote.”

the wrong experience,” fareed zakaria in newsweek:

Consider Cuba policy. Almost anyone who is being honest will acknowledge that America’s approach toward Cuba is brain dead. No one even remembers why we’ve imposed a total embargo on the country. A policy that was put into place at the height of the cold war, when fears of Soviet missiles and communist penetration were at their peak, has been maintained even though the threat that prompted it has collapsed….

Our policy has the additional burden of having failed, by any measure. We’ve been trying to force regime change in Cuba for 45 years. Instead Fidel Castro is now the longest-lived head of government in the world. Every tightening of the Cuban embargo has resulted in further repression and isolation…

Obama has advocated easing the Bush-imposed ban on Cuban-Americans visiting the island and sending money to their relatives. He makes a broader case for a new Cuba policy, arguing that capitalism, trade and travel will help break the regime’s stranglehold on the country and help open things up.

Clinton immediately disagreed, firmly supporting the current policy. This places her in the strange position of arguing, in effect, that her husband’s Cuba policy was not hard-line enough. But this is really not the best way to understand Clinton’s position. In all probability, she actually agrees with Obama’s stand. She is just calculating that it would anger Cuban-Americans in Florida and New Jersey.

maureen dowd on clinton & obama January 30, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, news, op-ed, politics.
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nytimes:

The New York State chapter of NOW issued an absurd statement on Monday calling Teddy Kennedy’s endorsement of Obama “the ultimate betrayal”: “He’s picked the new guy over us.”

But Obama is the more emotionally delicate candidate, and the one who has the more feminine consensus management style, and the not-blinded-by-testosterone ability to object to a phony war.

As first lady, Alpha Hillary’s abrasive and secretive management of health care doomed it. She voted to enable W. on Iraq so she could run as someone tough enough to command armies.

farewell john January 30, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, econ, news, politics.
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john-edwards-at-berkeley.jpg

edwards @ berkeley

it was a good run and you will be missed.

wapo:

 So it would be logical to assume that, if Edwards were to endorse, he likely would support the other change candidate in the race: Obama. But that is only one way to look at the choice he now faces. Edwards has been in conversation with both Obama and Clinton over the past two weeks. How often and exactly what they discussed has been the subject of rumor and speculation but not much hard detail. Some reports suggested he was looking to make a deal with one of them, that he was interested in a cabinet post in an Obama or Clinton administration.

John Edwards ended his campaign where it began a few days after Christmas 2007 — in New Orleans, the city that came to symbolize his commitment to make poverty the central issue of his candidacy. He led the debate on other issues as well. He was the first to put out a plan for universal health care and he sharpened the debate about the about the role of special interests in Washington.

But his was an improbable campaign from the start, given the odds of anyone defeating both Clinton and Obama. Realistically, his hopes ended in Iowa, where he needed to win but finished second. Defeat in New Hampshire persuaded his wife Elizabeth that there was no viable road to the nomination. Nevada delivered the most disappointing result — he ended with just four percent. South Carolina sealed his fate.

Now he is out. But he may have one more act in this drama.