Imagine a world in which an in-coming Democratic President won a strong majority of the country’s votes in an electoral landslide.
Imagine that President planned to confront an economic crisis by launching a massive, jobs-producing, infrastructure investment program via DIRECT government spending.
Imagine that President planned to spend billions in building wind, solar, and alternative energy, and building out the crucial electrical grid.
As reported on NBC, John Brennan has taken himself out of any consideration for a position in Pres-Elect Obama’s cabinet.
John Brennan, President-elect Barack Obama’s top adviser on intelligence, has taken his name out of the running for any intelligence position in the new administration.
In a letter Tuesday, Brennan wrote letter to Obama that he did not want to be a distraction. His potential appointment has raised a firestorm in liberal blogs who associate him with the Bush administration’s interrogation, detention and rendition policies.
“The fact that I was not involved in the decision making process for any of these controversial policies and actions has been ignored,” he wrote, in a letter obtained by The Associated Press.
This is obviously great news, I would say that the criticism from the left played an instrumental role in preventing Brennan from having any position in an Obama administration. Brennan’s position on torture is somewhat, well, tortured. He has come under quite a bit of scrutiny of course, given some of his statements on torture. His position on the issue isn’t really clear (except the fact that he hasn’t really taken a position), but the fact that he leaves himself open for question on the issue was of course a major problem. Unequivocal opposition of torture should be a prerequisite for any intelligence director, or any position in Intelligence or Justice for that matter.
David Sirota has built his own personal celebrity in recent months – getting more column work, raising his visibility as a blogger, and appearing as a contributor on such broadcasts as the Rachel Maddow Show. It is with gleeful irony that I found his latest, perhaps worst and most intellectually dishonest and insulting piece of work, “Obama Ate the Left, And We Shouldn’t Blame Him At All. But What Do We Do Now?”
If anyone took him seriously before this mind-numbing rant, then please, be convinced – as I have been for a long time – that he is not someone with the intellectual heft, let alone the maturity, to be considered a legitimate analyst. Yes, tough words, but I have had enough encounters with him on DailyKos and read enough of his junk to last a lifetime.
In a small piece of overlooked news, I’m happy to report that Tom Vilsack will not be named Secretary of Agriculture:
Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack today said that he won’t be the next agriculture secretary, ending speculation that an Iowan would snag the post important to a large swath of the state’s economy.
In an e-mail, Vilsack said he had never been contacted by aides to President-elect Barack Obama about that position or any other.
Why do I see this as good news? No disrespect to Gov. Vilsack, who I’m sure is a capable guy, but his views are too inexorably tied to his state and its central role in our food system. Indeed, he’s been one of the earliest and biggest pushers of corn-based ethanol as a solution to our energy crisis.
Now, to be fair, this is not Obama’s strongest issue as he too hails from a midwest, corn-producing state.
But, in an ideal world, the agriculture secretary will be someone who will start to wean us off this corn-based, centrally-managed food system (which, by the way, is highly vulnerable to disruption and attack) and instead move us to a more regional system.
Rachel Maddow is an immensely talented, entertaining, informative and intelligent voice on television, something sorely needed. I am thrilled her show is so successful and look forward to watching her for a long time.
But having said that, I’ve noticed that she can be somewhat of a (and I mean this with love) concern troll when it comes to Barack Obama, and has been for some time. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think any media figure should roll over for this guy. But the problem is, her analysis has been wrong repeatedly.
She was the lone voice saying over and over during the last couple weeks of the election that Obama didn’t have it in the bag or anywhere close to it, and that all early voting stats were BAD news for Obama (turned out to be just the opposite).
Yesterday, she expressed concern about how “un-changey” Obama’s administration-in-waiting has been, what with all the appointments of previous Clinton officials. Unfortunately, her analysis failed to separate “Clintonites” from highly qualified Democrats with experience who happen to have served the Clinton administration in some capacity. For example, she grouped in Eric Holder into the “un-changey” group of former Clintonites, but as Al Giordano has explained so well, he is anything but a Clintonite.
Look, I love me some Rachel Maddow. She should be skeptical and critical of Obama. But someone with her level of intelligence and analytical skills should also be able to be a little more…well…analytical with her “concern.” Segments like yesterday were a bit too simplistic and reactive for my taste.
I know, I know, many of you will say I should expect media figures to bow down before Obama and I’m just part of the cult, yada yada. Not at all. But when showing worry and concern continues to be different from the facts, that’s where problems arise.
Today’s breathless headline The Page:
“SNL CONSIDERING NEW OBAMA ACTOR!”
We all miss the election Mark, we do.
Let me make one thing clear: I hate Joe Lieberman as much as, if not more, than the next guy. I hate his fake sanctimonious, concern-troll tone as he went against everything he stood for his whole life and campaigned against Barack Obama. And while I understand why Obama sent the lifeline he did to Lieberman, I don’t like that Joe made it out of yesterday with a slap on the wrist. I also don’t like that he was removed from the environmental committee – the one issue he was pretty good at – but retained the Homeland Security committee (of course, my solution to this is to get rid of the Homeland Security department all together).
Having said all that, and understanding and being a part of the anger so many of us shared, yesterday was perhaps the most embarrassing day to be a member of the liberal blogosphere that I can remember. It was the Great Lieberman Temper Tantrum of 2008.
Apparently it’s true: Swarthmore College, my alma mater, rejected Obama:
The admissions office may have to keep mum, but senior Joel Mittleman ’09 actually had the chance to personally confirm the rumor when Obama held an open town hall at Strath Haven High School during the Pennsylvania primaries. “I did ask Obama [whether it was true],” he says, “not during the actual question and answer, but as he was walking the line shaking hands afterwards.” Mittleman recalls the Senator laughing in response, asking him where he heard the information, and then saying “Yes, it’s true. It really broke my heart, actually.”
Alum Anne Kolker ’08, a former intern in the Senate office and Mittleman’s original source of the rumor, further confirmed the story: “Yes, the first thing President-elect Obama said to me was “Ah, Swarthmore, great school. They rejected me.” Thankfully, Kolker reports Obama held no grudge against her. Here’s hoping admissions doesn’t write off any other presidential hopefuls.
Too bad, would have made our reunion weekends more interesting.
Jonathan Martin at Politico reminds us of one of the signature lines from the primary contest, where in response to a question (and a guffaw from Senator Clinton) about why there were so many Clinton advisers on Obama’s team, President-elect Obama lets loose with possibly the zinger of the election season: