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Ian Welsh

Obama can dry up more money than you think. Baucus is a tough nut, but a lot of the actual blue dogs (Blue Dogs are in the House) are in swing districts. If Obama and the House leadership decide to dry up their funds by making it clear to outside donors not to donate, and by punishing them by witholding earmarks, and making it clear to special interests that any special interest that gives to them is on the shit-list, well, it would have an effect. There are also thing that can be done like removing them from committees and so on.

Pelosi is the Speaker for one main reason, btw, she is the best fundraiser in the House.

This is a lot harder in the Senate, mind you, but there are ways to push this through with 51 votes, and in that case, screw Max Baucus.

Ian Welsh

Oh, and the reason some on the left dislike Obama is because he has escalated the war in Afghanistan, wants to keep gutting habeas corpus, isn't getting out of Iraq any faster than George Bush already negotiated, thinks warrantless wiretapping is wonderful, is continuing Bush and Paulson's financial policies, and so on.

In other words, some people on the left have some integrity of belief and don't excuse someone for doing things they blamed Bush for just because Obama has a (D) after his name. They didn't work their asses off to get Obama elected so he could be Bush-lite who speaks in coherent sentences.


Oh, beeeeea-uuuuuuutiful!: "Taibbi's an insult artist before he's a reporter, and he doesn't let his reporting, which is minimal, get in the way of a good insult." -- You nailed it, Mister. When I observe Taibbi's face on Bill Maher's show, I always think, "Wow. Contempt must be quite the drug for Matt."


I don't take any pleasure in America's self-destruction, currently being helped along by Democrats.

I mostly think, "Don't make me feel like a chump for voting for you." Not, "I told you so." Even though I did.


I saw Howard Dean at a book store talk recently. He was intellectually impressive and personally likable. Talk about Happy Warrior. He made the gracious point that, absent any meaningful input from Republicans, the Blue Dogs are playing a useful role in creating a certain kind of counterbalance in the overall funding debate, which is needed. That said, Dean insists there must be a public option and actually considers it the smart (only) way to move to single payer in the long run. He praised Pelosi, saying he admires her herding instincts tremendously. This - her ability to let the debates run their whacky and maddening course before starting to yank things into workable form - is what he gave as the reason she is Speaker. FWIW.

Susie from Philly

I see Taibbi's writing mostly as a course correction to the corporate media bullshit. It's pretty invigorating to read someone who's clearly on the side of working people, and frankly, I don't care all that much about the details anymore. It slows down the momentum.

And besides, every reporter has stories they know are true, but can't prove. It's one of the most frustrating things about the job.

I've had reporters like him working for me, and I had to go over everything they wrote because they were too lazy to do real footwork - they just wanted to hang out in bars and pretend to be Hunter Thompson.

But at least he's relentless in attacking people the Villagers revere.

Dan Coyle

And now he's yapping today, "Bush would have never done something like [take the public option off the table] just because his approval ratings had a bad summer."

Oh, fuck off, Taibbi. I can't stand it when hard lefties like you, Cockburn, Perrin et al start jerkin' it to the supposed manliness of right wing leaders, even though they support things that disgust you, they GET THINGS DONE, and that should be admired? They buck the will of the state?

Oh, go write for Nick Gillespie already, you dweebs. You're libertarians in all but name.


Dan, I saw that and almost wrote another post. I enjoy Taibbi's writing but this stuff about what BUSH would have done strikes me as it strikes you, macho posturing to no purpose. When Taibbi can tell us what to do about Max Baucus---that is, how to take away his chairmanship---then I'll start taking his rants against the Democrats and Obama more seriously.

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