Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Caroline Kennedy Out...

It's official. Brian Williams of NBC News reports that Caroline Kennedy has asked her name to be withdrawn from consideration to replace Hillary in the Senate. It seems that Caroline didn't really want the job after all.

Or...she got the bad news that Gov. David Patterson decided to appoint someone else and decided to save what little dignity she had left and withdraw.

Well, Howling Latina is batting 1000 of late. No "Meet the Press" gig for Olby and Tweety. No DNC chairmanship for Howard; no Cabinet post for Bill 'Judas' Richardson. Roland Burris was seated; and now Caroline goes down. Although every media pundit insisted Caroline was a shoo-in because El Nuevo Dedeterminante wanted her, yep, the howler predicted it all.

The cosmic consciousness of 'just desserts' is simply paying in kind every person who doubled crossed Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton during her presidential run. And it couldn't be happening to a nicer bunch. Now as added whip cream on that sweet gooey design, the howler was also right about Al Franken; he won and it's just a matter of time before he joins his brethren in Washington.

H/T Oooh, Nuance! for Caroline Kennedy image.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Michelle's Gown...

Barack Hussein Obama looks very GQ.

Michelle...? Not so much. Looks more like something Mamie Eisenhower might've worn in the 50s. Come to think about it, the howler likes Mamie's dress better.

Bishop Flap...

It wasn't HBO's idea to zap evidence of the good bishop at the jamboree.

Correspondence from HBO reveals the "Presidential Inaugural Committee made the decision to keep the invocation as part of the pre-show.

Hmmm, let's see if Rick Warren gets the same treatment.

Parting Gifts from Real Americans...

A sweet farewell to The Decider from the American people.
About 500 people marched to the White House and threw about 40 pairs of shoes at the gate while tourists looked on and took photos. Supporters said they were acting in solidarity with Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the Iraqi reporter who threw his shoes at Bush during a news conference in Baghdad in December.
H/T Tennesee Guerilla Women.

Gene Robinson's Prayer Kicks off Inaugural Events

The invocation which must never be seen or heard...

Monday, January 19, 2009

'We Are One' Concert

The entire show at the Lincoln Memorial, courtesy of HBO.

Enjoy the jammin' jamboree...if you can stand the bloviating.

Shakira - Whenever, Wherever

Shakira rocked yesterday at The Mall. Party on, dudes.

Obama Girl + Obama Duet!

Obama Girl Rocks!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hillary's Confirmation Hearing

In the morning; and in the afternoon, courtesy of C-SPAN.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Former Sen. Jonn Warner Bustin' Move

Looks like the kabuki planned by Arlen Specter for the Senate Judiciary Committee has been nixed. Politico writes that Virginia's former abled legislator is going to be the point man for Eric Holder by introducing him to the lofty panel.

Sen. Arlen Specter and other Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee may want to derail or slow down Eric Holder’s nomination to become the next attorney general, but one of their just departed colleagues is going to bat for the nominee.

Former Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), who just stepped down from the Senate after 30 years in the body, will appear on behalf of Holder during Thursday’s Judiciary Committee hearing, according to Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-Vt.) office. Leahy is the chairman of the panel.

Warner and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) will introduce Holder to the Judiciary panel, and they will offer strong support for his nomination to the AG post.

Get Out of Jail Card

In "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Obama gave every Republican operative, er, official, a get-out-of-jail card courtesy of moving forward. But as one might expect, the blogger boyzz are up in arms.

The new Congress and the new President are facing some very daunting challenges; challengers that could create even more of an imperative to forget the past and just move on.
Oh, my bad. It's never Obama's fault; it's always something or someone else. Obama continues to walk on water and build the world in six days. It's the unholy mess we're in; but please, pretty please, don't be seduced by the presidency, Mr. President-elect and forget the blogger boyzz whose praises won the fight for you.

[T]he lasting damage that's been done to our national psyche, our international standing, our Constitution, our democracy by the lawless Bush administration won't be ameliorated by just forgetting it all happened. As a seductive a thought as that is, it's just too big and too dangerous to try to shove under the rug.
Other blogger boyzz like Huffy were even more shameful (as you shall see), framing what Obama clearly stated in Reidspeak language of the 'we-need-a-damn-certificate-' kind as evaluative. It also seems our new sheriff in town can't really legally round up a posse to go after the bad guys until his new deputy arrives and tells him it's okay.

Responding to the most popular inquiry on the "Open for Questions" feature of his website, Barack Obama said on Sunday that he is "evaluating" whether or not to investigate potential crimes of the Bush administration, but that he was inclined to "look forward as opposed to looking backwards."

First, Obama needs to decide the value of going after the crooks in relationship to other weighty matters, like what the hell is he supposed to do now that he's president. Secondly, he needs to express the idea that as president, it's not really his job to go after anyone.

"I think my general view when it comes to my attorney general is that he's the people's lawyer. Eric Holder's been nominated," said Obama. "His job is to uphold the Constitution and look after the interests of the American people, not be swayed by my day-to-day politics. So ultimately, he's going to be making some calls. But my general belief is that when it comes to national security, what we have to focus on is getting things right in the future as opposed to looking at what we got wrong in the past."
Whew! Well at least Obama didn't totally slam the door "to investigating Bush." Let's hope Specter is wrong and Holder is up to the task as "the people's lawyer."

]I]f there's any hope for prosecution in Obama's answer, it is that Attorney General Eric Holder will truly be "the people's lawyer" and fully represent us by prosecuting torturers, wiretappers, and other criminals who committed their crimes from secret undisclosed locations hidden within the Bush-Cheney administration.
That's right, boys and girls. The whole sordid affair of what transpired during the Bush years will likely never be known; and like the benign spirits in Poltergeist, mark the howler's words, these thugs are deadly and will be back unless someone has the balls to go after them now. Let's see Olby do a special comment on that one.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Burris Cleared by Sec. of State

Looks like the Senate is running out of excuses for not seating Roland Burris.

Howling Latina is happy to link to the unsurprising news: the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled in Burris's favor and as a result, the Illinois secretary of state has finally stopped pussing footing around and "certified Roland Burris' appointment to the Senate."

In another story, Politico reports that Dems are not happy campers, squarely blaming the whole fiasco where it belongs: on the shoulders of Reed and Durbin (for stupidly claiming Burris was tainted when he had done nothing wrong) and Obama (for stupidly agreeing with them when he should've kept his mouth shut).
"Reid operates in this tight, little circle with Durbin and [Sen. Charles] Schumer and [Sen. Patty] Murray," complained one veteran Democratic senator, granted anonymity to speak candidly. "He needs to talk to more people, and maybe these kinds of situations won't occur again."
Check mate, your move guys...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Majority Proves Stupidity

Another poll proving that a plurality of Americans are idiots, courtesy of USA Today.

A majority of Americans say Roland Burris should be blocked from taking a U.S. Senate seat and Illinois should hold a special election to fill the vacancy he was appointed to fill.
After eight long painful years of Bush eavesdropping, rendition, torture and other illegality, Americans are so inured to leaders breaking the law that it's no longer a big deal. Imagine if anytime a secretary of state decided he or she didn't like some appointed senator and refused to sign a legally executed appointment?

Well, it sure was a big deal when Starr and his buddies in Congress were busy checking Bill Clinton's testicles a few years ago, though.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Franken Wins

After the last 933 absentee ballots were counted, and with no more ballots to count, Al Franken won a definitive victory by 225 votes.

The Minnesota Canvassing Board will be meeting tomorrow and everyone expects them to declare Al Franken the winner.

That's 59 Dems (if you count Lieberman); and with Specter facing reelection in '10 and the Maine twins solidly in the centrist bank, there is absolutely no reason why Dems can't pass their progressive legislative agenda without breaking a sweat.


Karma Express...Hang up the Phone

The Karma Express has decided to take revenge again.

First, it was John Edwards. No spot at the Democratic convention for you; too toxic. Then it was Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, the Twinky misogynists at MSNBC. No "Meet the Press" gig; too partisan. Coals in John Kerry and Bill Richardson's stocking. No job at State; too stupid. Jesse Junior, forget the Senate; too ethnic. Caroline, we're not that into you either; too genteel. And now it looks like the Karma Express is right on time and taking its first passenger of 2009. No commerce secretary job for Bill 'Judas' Richardson; too many questions about "pay-to-play" shenanigans.

Jake Tapper of Political Punch reports that Obambi and Judas kept the phone lines a-buzzing this weekend.
The governor spoke with the president-elect several times over the weekend, their last conversation being Saturday, when Richardson told Obama he was withdrawing his name from consideration.
With Obambi, it will be: "Hasto luego. Gotta run. Say hello to Jesse Junior, Bill Ayers and Jeremiah. Maybe we can all do lunch one day."

Wah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Judas is toast.

This is Stupid

McClatchy Newspaper reminds us today that once Dubya leaves office, he will be the very first president who does not receive Secret Service protection for life.

Thanks to the legislative geniuses of the 103rd Congress, every U.S. president henceforth will only receive Secret Service protection for 10 years; after that, it's Katy-bar-the-door; presidents are on their own.

Jeez, no wonder Dems lost elections that year by droves; and how well they deserved it, too.

Obama's Crucial Endorsements...

The Confluence sagely points out that Bill Richardson's latest foible "coincidently [makes] the second of Mr. Obama’s primary supporters/turncoats/opponents to have been caught up in scandal."
Did Mr. Axelrove perhaps find out things that both Judas and John Boy didn’t want out in the open during the primary season? Inquiring minds want to know."
A very interesting question...

It also looks like Jesse Junior was played for a chump; he never had a chance. Reed and Obama had other people in mind for the Illinois Senate seat.

Reformer Without Results...

Finally the words that shall never be spoken have been declared. Michelle Rhee may have been duping educational elites, full of sound and fury which when measured against nothing will signify the same.

From her tender days in Baltimore as a budding educator where legend has it that she singlehandedly raised her right hand, parted the seas and willed children to learn to today where she's the media darling after firing principals, teachers, secretaries, hell, maybe even a maintenance guy or two just to prove to anyone who might've doubted that she means business; that is, accountability for ALL (well, nearly all, as we shall later see), Rhee is on a quest to educate our little ones.

She is the latest educational guru to come down the pike to try to close the achievement gap between suburban and inner-city schools. And to hear Rhee and her supporters tell it, she's just the one to do it. All educators have to do is listen to her, remain focused, make a few discipline marks on the board, change a seating arrangement or two and voila, students suddenly become "calm and engaged" and thank educators in the process.

The story goes that everything was going swimmingly swell for Rhee, too. That is until those lazy, clueless unionized teachers ignored her teaching methodology and ruined every student gain by adopting their own personal pedagogical style.

Since Rhee's fabled days of teaching in Baltimore, she has gone on to earn a master's degree in public policy at Harvard and run a teaching recruiting firm. In June 2008, serendipity smiled when Mayor Adrian Fenty selected her to run the public school system in the District of Columbia.

Canny Rhee has had almost two years to whip the school system into shape. And she certainly has done so, right...? After all, she's been on the cover of Time magazine, featured in Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, CNN and PBS's "NewsHour."

Well, not so fast, Tonto. Equal to any paper trail from Rhee's days in Baltimore, lady luck has divined no documentation for Rhee to date. Let Bob Somerby explain about her early storied career:
[H]er official resume had long asserted this: “Over a two-year period, moved students scoring on average at the 13th percentile on national standardized tests to 90 percent of students scoring at the 90th percentile or higher.” At best, it’s extremely irresponsible to make such detailed claims on the basis of “informal chit-chat.”
You see, when Jay Matthews of Washington Post wrote Rhee's hagiography, er, article, two months ago, Somerby decided to follow up and ask him how he could be so darn sure that Rhee's students had indeed performed as she'd claimed. Matthews assured Somerby that everything was absolutely true because Rhee had told him she'd had some informal chit-chat with central office and well, they'd told her so.

Oops...just Rhee's self-serving assurances about some "informal chit-chat." Not exactly an airtight source.

As to the sure-fire astronomical progress in DC test scores, they've been rigidly documented, such documentation exists. In fact, the good mayor who fully believes in teacher accountability has "proposed a privately funded study to be conducted by researchers known to be favorable toward a mayoral takeover of schools" to vouch for Rhee and her unconventional dogma.

Well, thank the sweet lord that not everyone in the District is on the Rhee Express. According to Colbert King of Washington Post, D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray "has decided that the council must do more than just appropriate funds for schools, leaving Rhee free to run the system as she sees fit."
He said he will propose this month that the council select an independent evaluator to examine the impact of changes initiated by Rhee on teacher and student performance, school system operations, and the school governance structure itself.
Sounds like some really good news; and long overdue. Let's see how those pesky scores come out. Enough with the mythic stories that can't be verified; let's hold the educational bean counters accountable. And may the beans fall where they will...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Bill And Hillary Clinton Ring In New Year Dancing In Times Square

Roland, You're Likeable Enough...

For all those weepy eyed folks who just knew that Obama was a different kind of politician who would never, ever, ever mirror the strong-arm tactics of Bush and Company by circumventing laws they didn't like, welcome to 2009.

Oh yeah, and in the process, another sacrificial brother bites the dust under the bus.

Recent news about Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's totally constitutional appointment of former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to Obama's former Senate seat was met with uncharacteristic dispatch by Obama, which begs the question why was the president-in-waiting so willing to jump into the donnybrook while vacationing in Hawaii??

Make no mistake about it. Obama threw poor Burris under his proverbial bus. It was yet another "likable enough" moment for the person now deemed too tainted by the original sin of propinquity in time, space and party label to be redeemable, even by babyjeezus himself. Party elders have spoken...

“Roland Burris is a good man and a fine public servant, but the Senate Democrats made it clear weeks ago that they cannot accept an appointment made by a governor who is accused of selling this very Senate seat. I agree with their decision.”

Well...not everyone is drinking the elders-know-best transformational kool-aid. Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois, who just so happened to beat Obama in 2000 during the Democratic primary for Congress, has decided to pull the handy-dandy race card from the old Obama presidential deck and shake things up with this statement:

“There is no rhyme or reason why he should not be seated in the U.S. Senate,” Rush said. “I don’t think any U.S. senator…wants to go on record to deny one African-American from being seated in the U.S. Senate."

Hmmm, what ever happened to the Obama watchword, 'no drama Obama'? This isn't his fight; his supporters have told us a gazillion times over that our squeeky clean president-elect has absolutely no dog in this messy unpleasantness. So what's the big hairy deal if Burris joins his fellow Dems in the well of the Senate? The whole argument for not seating Burris sounds mighty specious to the howler. And no one explains better the disconnect between law and usurping by thuggery than Donna Christensen, the congressional delegate to Congress from the Virgin Islands.
"[T]he governor of Illinois is still within his right to make that decision and to make that call as long as he's governor and he made it,'' she said. "He chose an outstanding person. And, I don't think that that person necessarily comes under his cloud, it's just under these unfortunate circumstances.''
Get it?? Lawful. No cloud. Unfortunate circumstances having nothing to do with Burris. Let's not go down the road of discarding inconvenient laws. If Dems are going to follow the law, Burris must be seated.

Perhaps under the drudgery of Hawaiian sun spots and Kauai cocktails, Obama jumped the gun a bit and misspoke, but don't count on it. By his rapid fire response, everyone could see that Obambi was not a happy camper. Could the former attorney general know a secret or two...? Stay tuned and look for verbal gyrations of the 'we don't torture' type from Obama and elders to justify breaking the law as it has existed until now because of their other mantra: "YES WE CAN!" Bwa, ha, ha, ha, ha.

And yes, do not worry about a little thing like the rule of law. MSNBC is on the case, good folks. Obama and Company have yet another mouthpiece in Mika the apple polisher of "Morning Joe." She was recently aghast, yes, aghast and appalled at the godawful venal way Blagojevich used his god-given constitutional right to appoint someone who is not accused of doing ANYTHING wrong.

Meanwhile, the smears have already started from the usual suspects. But at least shrewd Digby sees the imminent danger.

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