Thursday, January 15, 2009

Don't Let the Door Hit Ya on the way Out

I don't usually link to cartoons, but ... these are the kinds of illustrations you'll see in the history books of the future when they talk about these times.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush served his full two terms. We'll see if Obama makes it. He's obviously inherited some big problems but he's not doing well on the one task he's had so far and which is totally in his control: making appointments.

Setting aside the insult Leon Panetta represents to everyone in the country and the Attorney General that was part of a Clinton scandal, how about two Cabinet secretaries who were not properly vetted for scandal.

Bill Richardson's problems were part of the public record. Did Obama's people even Google the guy?

Now, his Treasury Secretary nominee has admitted he didn't pay his self-employment tax for four years even though he had signed a document from his employer at the time, the International Monetary Fund, certifying "that I will pay the taxes for which I have received tax allowance payments."

This is Obama's pick to head the IRS? Presumably anybody who forgets to pay his taxes will now be entitled to quote President Obama that "it's no big deal"?

January 15, 2009 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Derrick said...



Stop feeling sorry for your bigot self, AnonBigot. We need to come together in these economic times and Obama is just the person to ensure that happens!

January 15, 2009 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Obama's decision to invite Rick Warren to give the invocation next Tuesday? I'm in agreement with Warren on Proposition 8 myself but, from an objective point of view, didn't Obama make a blunder here?

If Obama wanted to reach out to evangelicals, couldn't he have chosen someone who didn't so recently have a visible public role in a matter so crucial to one of his key constituencies? Virtually any evangelical outside California would have been a smarter choice.

Obama's "honeymoon" hasn't even started yet and problems are already surfacing with the inexperienced Obama's decision-making abilitities.

January 15, 2009 11:07 PM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

We all have to come together, AnonBigot...eventhough some of us are wrong (most of the right wing, you)-- but at least Obama is making making an effort towards unity. Something Bush, being as shameful as he is, would never do.

January 15, 2009 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If you mean get elected, sure, occasionally Democrats win elections. The pendulum was swinging his way so Obama jumped aboard for a ride.

As far as can he keep his campaign promises, the answer is, "no, he really can't".

You will notice that he has selected Bush's defense secretary after campaigning against Bush's prosecution of the war in Afghanistan.

You will notice that he selected a secretary of state who voted to approve the invasion of Iraq after campaigning against Bush's decision to do so. (Let's face it, if Obama had been in the Senate when the vote came up, he would have approved it too. He voted with the party leadership without fail.)

You will notice after campaigning against Bush's tax cuts, that Obama is proposing the largest tax cut in history.

You will notice after campaigning against the Bush deficits, that Obama is proposing trillion dollar deficits for "years to come."

You will notice after campaigning against incompetent Bush administration officials, that Obama has chosen a CIA director without training or experience in the field of intelligence.

You will notice after campaigning against corrupt Republicans, that Obama has already chosen two Cabinet members who have had scandals that should have been detected in the vetting process.

You will notice after campaigning against Bush administration interrogation techniques, he has chosen a top intelligence advisor who had to withdraw from consideration from another government post last year because he had publicly supported waterboarding.

"We need to come together in these economic times and Obama is just the person to ensure that happens!"

Ironically enough, I think we may indeed soon be united in our opinion about Obama.

January 15, 2009 11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"but at least Obama is making making an effort towards unity. Something Bush, being as shameful as he is, would never do."

This is some kind of myth being pushed by liberals currently to rationalize their sudden realization that they have elected a centrist, not too far in position from John McCain.

It is humorous.

Bush chose people who disagree with Republican positions to deliver the prayers at his last inaugural but there was no uproar.

Republicans are more open-minded than liberals.

January 15, 2009 11:37 PM  
Anonymous ol' flat top said...

Here's a daily meditation for all you gay Obama fanatics:

"Obama Supported Gay 'Marriage' before He Opposed It

by Jennifer Mesko, editor

A gay-activist newspaper in Chicago has discovered that President-elect Barack Obama supported same-sex "marriage" during his run for the Illinois Senate in 1996. Conservatives and liberals alike seem irritated by the flip-flop.

In 1996, Outlines newspaper, which merged with Windy City Times in 2000, surveyed candidates for all levels of elected office. Obama's answer was very clear: “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.”

But with an eye on the White House, Obama quickly dropped his support for gay "marriage" in favor of civil unions. More recently, he has said marriage is a religious issue and a state issue.

"I wonder, is this what Obama supporters meant by change we can believe in?" asked conservative talk-show host Sean Hannity.

Obama's transition team has had no comment on the report.

Jenny Tyree, marriage analyst at Focus on the Family Action, said: "I wish this was a change in policy we could take seriously, but unfortunately, Mr. Obama's actions do not support the lip service he's given to marriage. He did not support the state marriage amendments that passed in November.

"His position on marriage seems to be one of political expediency rather than personal conviction.""

What kind of a divisive, sick mind would say something like that?

Don't they know we have to come together for the sake of bank executives and stock brokers everywhere?

Here come old flat top
he come groovin' up slowly
he got ju ju eyeballs
he one holy roller
he got hair down to his knees
got to be a joker
he just do what he please

January 16, 2009 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Bush parting shot:

Lawsuits Filed Over Rule That Lets Health Workers Deny Care
Regulation to Protect 'Conscience Rights' Called Too Broad

By Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 16, 2009; A04

Seven states and two family-planning groups yesterday asked a federal court to block a controversial new federal regulation that protects health workers who refuse to provide care that they find objectionable.

In three lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, the states and groups sought an immediate court order preventing the regulation from going into effect Tuesday and a permanent decision voiding the rule.

"On the way out, the Bush administration has left a ticking political time bomb that is set to explode literally on the day of the president's inaugural and blow apart women's rights," said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who filed one of the suits on behalf of his state, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Rhode Island. "This midnight rule is a nightmare for hospitals and clinics, as well as women."

Blumenthal's lawsuit challenges the regulation on several grounds, charging that it is too vague and overbroad and conflicts with other federal laws and state laws. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America filed a second suit on behalf of its affiliates, while the American Civil Liberties Union filed sued on behalf of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, which represents many state and county health departments, among other providers.

"We filed this lawsuit today on behalf of the millions of women whose health care has been put in jeopardy by the Bush administration's parting shot at women's health," said Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards. "The courts must strike down this unconscionable, unconstitutional last-minute midnight rule."

Rebecca Ayer, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, which issued the regulation in December, said officials "have not had an opportunity to review the lawsuits, and we will respond to the court on any pending litigation. The department followed appropriate procedures to put the regulation in place, and the regulation is fully supported by law."

The regulation empowers federal officials to cut off federal funding for any state or local government, hospital, health plan, clinic or other entity that does not abide by existing federal laws requiring them to accommodate doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other employees who refuse to participate in any care they consider objectionable on ethical, moral or religious grounds.

Conservative groups, abortion opponents and others sought the rule to safeguard workers who refuse to provide such care from being fired, disciplined or penalized in other ways, and they defended the regulation yesterday.

"The regulation is important, because we increasingly are seeing discrimination against health-care personnel who hold religious beliefs having to do with abortion and contraception," said David Stevens, chief executive of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations. "Unless these conscience rights are protected, people are going to be driven out of health care."

Women's health advocates, family-planning proponents, abortion rights activists and others say it will create a major obstacle to providing many health services, including abortion, emergency contraception for rape victims, family planning, infertility treatment and end-of-life care, as well as possibly a range of scientific research.

President-elect Barack Obama has voiced objections to the regulation and could repeal it, and legislation has been introduced in Congress to block the rule, but both of those steps could take months to complete

"We are seeking a court order as quickly as possible," Blumenthal said. "We need this immediate order to prevent confusion and chaos."

January 16, 2009 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Thanks for the Citizenlink spin, flathead.

Pure spin relies on words like "seem"...."wonder"..."seems"

Compare the spin words to Obama's own words:

"I’m running for President to build an America that lives up to our founding promise of equality for all – a promise that extends to our gay brothers and sisters. It’s wrong to have millions of Americans living as second-class citizens in this nation. And I ask for your support in this election so that together we can bring about real change for all LGBT Americans

Equality is a moral imperative. That’s why throughout my career, I have fought to eliminate discrimination against LGBT Americans. In Illinois, I co-sponsored a fully inclusive bill that prohibited discrimination on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity, extending protection to the workplace, housing, and places of public accommodation. In the U.S. Senate, I have co-sponsored bills that would equalize tax treatment for same-sex couples and provide benefits to domestic partners of federal employees. And as president, I will place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes and a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws. I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment. But I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples — whether that means a domestic partnership, a civil union, or a civil marriage.

Unlike Senator Clinton, I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – a position I have held since before arriving in the U.S. Senate. While some say we should repeal only part of the law, I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether. Federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples, which is precisely what DOMA does. I have also called for us to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and I have worked to improve the Uniting American Families Act so we can afford same-sex couples the same rights and obligations as married couples in our immigration system.

The next president must also address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. When it comes to prevention, we do not have to choose between values and science. While abstinence education should be part of any strategy, we also need to use common sense. We should have age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception. We should pass the JUSTICE Act to combat infection within our prison population. And we should lift the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. In addition, local governments can protect public health by distributing contraceptives.

We also need a president who’s willing to confront the stigma – too often tied to homophobia – that continues to surround HIV/AIDS. I confronted this stigma directly in a speech to evangelicals at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, and will continue to speak out as president. That is where I stand on the major issues of the day. But having the right positions on the issues is only half the battle. The other half is to win broad support for those positions. And winning broad support will require stepping outside our comfort zone. If we want to repeal DOMA, repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and implement fully inclusive laws outlawing hate crimes and discrimination in the workplace, we need to bring the message of LGBT equality to skeptical audiences as well as friendly ones – and that’s what I’ve done throughout my career. I brought this message of inclusiveness to all of America in my keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention. I talked about the need to fight homophobia when I announced my candidacy for President, and I have been talking about LGBT equality to a number of groups during this campaign – from local LGBT activists to rural farmers to parishioners at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Dr. Martin Luther King once preached.

Just as important, I have been listening to what all Americans have to say. I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans. But neither will I close my ears to the voices of those who still need to be convinced. That is the work we must do to move forward together. It is difficult. It is challenging. And it is necessary.

Americans are yearning for leadership that can empower us to reach for what we know is possible. I believe that we can achieve the goal of full equality for the millions of LGBT people in this country. To do that, we need leadership that can appeal to the best parts of the human spirit. Join with me, and I will provide that leadership. Together, we will achieve real equality for all Americans, gay and straight alike.

Barack Obama"

January 16, 2009 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Thanks for the Citizenlink spin, flathead."

What, are you a roundhead?

I'm sure you've got a picture of Oliver Cromwell on your walll, Puritan that you are.

"Pure spin relies on words like "seem"...."wonder"..."seems"

Compare the spin words to Obama's own words"

Yeah, you're right. Obama is the true master of spin.

He supported gay marriage openly before his presidential bid and then, while running for president, tried to spin a new position that sounds different but actually has the same effect in order to confuse voters.

That's change we can believe in?

How dare you claim anyone else of "spin"?

January 16, 2009 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Read it again, pinhead.

As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws. I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment. But I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples — whether that means a domestic partnership, a civil union, or a civil marriage.

January 16, 2009 11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea-not anon
I see idiot Phelps and his fake church are coming to DC to protest Obama. Gosh, I hate to suggest anything bad will happen but if he and a few of his family should get crushed by the crowds - well, accidents happen- God's will and all.

January 16, 2009 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I used to have hair so flat you could land a fighter jet on it. Oh for the days.

January 16, 2009 2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim -- Andrea's post, stating that she hopes people are killed during the Inaugural, should be removed. I have no idea who Phelps is, by the way, but it doesn't matter who Phelps is. Andrea's post is disgusting.

January 16, 2009 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

I have no idea who Phelps is

I notice that doesn't stop you from commenting.

This video will fill you in a bit about Reverend Fred Phelps.

January 16, 2009 3:31 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Counter protesters at another soldier's funeral protested by Phelps' followers.

January 16, 2009 3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched the video. While Phelps was very wrong and acted grossly, Andrea is equally as wrong and acted equally as gross.

Her post should be removed.

January 16, 2009 4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"WASHINGTON (June 16) — Americans are as down as they've been in decades about the state of the country and its polarized politics, even as they express soaring confidence that Barack Obama will be able to turn things around.

A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds stratospheric expectations for the incoming president that his own supporters acknowledge may be unrealistic. A majority of those surveyed say Obama will be able to achieve every one of 10 major campaign promises, from doubling the production of alternative energy to ensuring that all children have health insurance coverage.

Seven in 10 predict the nation will be better off when Obama's term ends in four years.

John Cooter, 62, a pipe fitter from Port Angeles, Wash., who was among those surveyed, even credits good feeling from Obama's election with making strangers on the street friendlier.

"They kind of slow down and wave" as opposed to making a rude gesture, says Cooter, who voted for President Bush twice and surprised even himself by supporting Obama in November.

"To me, people have a whole different attitude," he says. "What he did was, he gave the American people hope.""

Kind of scary, huh? The expectations, the crediting of Obama with bestowing unexplained spiritual blessings...

Remember when he gave his first speech after he had clinched the nomination?

"We are the ones the world has been waiting for. Today, the world begins to heal."

Remember the convention, when he had a Greek temple built to give his acceptance speech in?

The latest thing is he has been seen going to dinner around town with a party of twelve. Does he think of them as his disciples?

We're going to have to watch this guy.

January 16, 2009 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, yeah

that Barry Obama is a miracle man

if you're in DC today, you know he's already reversed global warming!

January 16, 2009 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Gallup reports Obama's favorability is at 72% and Bush's approval rating is at 34%.

We're going to have to watch this guy.

Please do. Maybe you'll learn something.

January 16, 2009 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgive and Forget?
Last Sunday President-elect Barack Obama was asked whether he would seek an investigation of possible crimes by the Bush administration. “I don’t believe that anybody is above the law,” he responded, but “we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.”

I’m sorry, but if we don’t have an inquest into what happened during the Bush years — and nearly everyone has taken Mr. Obama’s remarks to mean that we won’t — this means that those who hold power are indeed above the law because they don’t face any consequences if they abuse their power.

Let’s be clear what we’re talking about here. It’s not just torture and illegal wiretapping, whose perpetrators claim, however implausibly, that they were patriots acting to defend the nation’s security. The fact is that the Bush administration’s abuses extended from environmental policy to voting rights. And most of the abuses involved using the power of government to reward political friends and punish political enemies.

At the Justice Department, for example, political appointees illegally reserved nonpolitical positions for “right-thinking Americans” — their term, not mine — and there’s strong evidence that officials used their positions both to undermine the protection of minority voting rights and to persecute Democratic politicians.

The hiring process at Justice echoed the hiring process during the occupation of Iraq — an occupation whose success was supposedly essential to national security — in which applicants were judged by their politics, their personal loyalty to President Bush and, according to some reports, by their views on Roe v. Wade, rather than by their ability to do the job.

Speaking of Iraq, let’s also not forget that country’s failed reconstruction: the Bush administration handed billions of dollars in no-bid contracts to politically connected companies, companies that then failed to deliver. And why should they have bothered to do their jobs? Any government official who tried to enforce accountability on, say, Halliburton quickly found his or her career derailed.

There’s much, much more. By my count, at least six important government agencies experienced major scandals over the past eight years — in most cases, scandals that were never properly investigated. And then there was the biggest scandal of all: Does anyone seriously doubt that the Bush administration deliberately misled the nation into invading Iraq?

Why, then, shouldn’t we have an official inquiry into abuses during the Bush years?

One answer you hear is that pursuing the truth would be divisive, that it would exacerbate partisanship. But if partisanship is so terrible, shouldn’t there be some penalty for the Bush administration’s politicization of every aspect of government?

Alternatively, we’re told that we don’t have to dwell on past abuses, because we won’t repeat them. But no important figure in the Bush administration, or among that administration’s political allies, has expressed remorse for breaking the law. What makes anyone think that they or their political heirs won’t do it all over again, given the chance?

In fact, we’ve already seen this movie. During the Reagan years, the Iran-contra conspirators violated the Constitution in the name of national security. But the first President Bush pardoned the major malefactors, and when the White House finally changed hands the political and media establishment gave Bill Clinton the same advice it’s giving Mr. Obama: let sleeping scandals lie. Sure enough, the second Bush administration picked up right where the Iran-contra conspirators left off — which isn’t too surprising when you bear in mind that Mr. Bush actually hired some of those conspirators.

Now, it’s true that a serious investigation of Bush-era abuses would make Washington an uncomfortable place, both for those who abused power and those who acted as their enablers or apologists. And these people have a lot of friends. But the price of protecting their comfort would be high: If we whitewash the abuses of the past eight years, we’ll guarantee that they will happen again.

Meanwhile, about Mr. Obama: while it’s probably in his short-term political interests to forgive and forget, next week he’s going to swear to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” That’s not a conditional oath to be honored only when it’s convenient.

And to protect and defend the Constitution, a president must do more than obey the Constitution himself; he must hold those who violate the Constitution accountable. So Mr. Obama should reconsider his apparent decision to let the previous administration get away with crime. Consequences aside, that’s not a decision he has the right to make.

January 16, 2009 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea-not anon
So Anon you are against the death penalty and the war- awesome! You are just so much a better person than me.

January 17, 2009 3:55 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Lame Duck Watch: Special Report

Goodbye, Good Riddance

MADDOW: Today‘s dramatic plane crash in the Hudson River in New York City drew attention away from the scheduled big news story of the day, which was, of course, the end of the public phase of the presidency of George W. Bush.

This is the start of the part where we don‘t have President Bush to kick around anymore. That said, given his approval ratings and the state of the world his tenure has left us with, there can be no promise that we won‘t be compelled to try to keep on with that kicking around.

The president‘s farewell address just 90 minutes ago was his last public event, his last speech to the country and puts a cap on the furious Carl Rove and Karen Hughes-produced legacy polishing tour that they undertook starting shortly after Election Day.

There were more exit interviews that you could count on all your fingers and all your toes, including long sit-downs with pretty much everyone on television except, you know, me and Keith and stuff.

There was a big final press conference full of defiance and self-defense that left most observers scratching their collective heads and got everybody mad about Katrina all over again.

And there was the announcement that First Lady Laura Bush is working on a book that will detail her own experiences in the White House, all in the name of spinning the history of the Bush administration to the positive, evidence to the contrary be damned.

But tonight was really truly it. President Bush - his farewell address. The official farewell address, his official goodbye, his valedictory, his final public appearance as president of the United States.

Now, despite the overt spin, those of us who keep track of things like this know that the real context of Bush‘s bye-bye tonight is this. When President Bush arrived in January of 2001, the unemployment rate was 4.2 percent. Now, on his way out, it‘s 7.2 percent. When he arrived, there was a budget surplus of $237 billion. Today, we are looking at a $1.2 trillion deficit.

When he arrived the consumer confidence index was 116. Now, it is 38. When he arrived there were 40 million Americans without health insurance. But today, there are 46 million.

And of course, when he arrived in January of 2001, we were fighting protracted wars in zero countries that we preventively invaded and justified occupying through manipulated intelligence. Today, we have been in Iraq for 5 ½ years and counting, and the war in Afghanistan is even older than that.

Also, there was a vital jewel of an American city called New Orleans back then, and a World Trade Center.

It is against that proud backdrop the George W. Bush presidency publicly ended today. Here are some of the president‘s final official words to the nation.


GEORGE W. BUSH, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Over the past seven years, a new Department of Homeland Security has been created. The military, the intelligence community and the FBI have been transformed. Our nation is equipped with new tools to monitor the terrorist movements, freeze their finances and break up their plots. And with strong allies at our side, we have taken the fight to the terrorists and those who support them.


MADDOW: And also, we invaded Iraq. Is that awkward to bring up here?

I‘m sorry. Let‘s go back to the speech.


BUSH: Afghanistan has gone from a nation where the Taliban harbored al-Qaeda and stoned women in the streets to a young democracy that is fighting terror and encouraging girls to go to school. Iraq has gone from a brutal dictatorship and a sworn enemy of America to an Arab democracy at the heart of the Middle East and a friend of the United States.


MADDOW: And now, a brief interlude from the Iraqi shoe thrower guy.

When is his trial scheduled for? Anyway - oh, sorry. Back to the speech.


BUSH: These decisions. But there can be little debate about the results. America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil.


MADDOW: After that first really big giant one.


BUSH: When people live in freedom, they do not willingly choose leaders who pursue campaigns of terror.


MADDOW: As for the Palestinians voting for Hamas, we‘ll just put an asterisk on that one and call it rounding error.


BUSH: Still, around the world, America is promoting human liberty, human rights and human dignity.


MADDOW: This brief intermission in the president‘s speech is brought to you by the official symbols of human, quote, “liberty,” human, quote, “rights” and human, quote, “dignity” as promoted around the globe by the presidency of George W. Bush.


BUSH: Like all who have held this office before me, I have experienced setbacks and there are things I would do differently if given the chance. Yet, I have always acted with the best interests of our country in mind. I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right.

You may not agree with some of the tough decisions I have made, but I hope you can agree I was willing to make the tough decisions.


MADDOW: Was putting Michael Brown the Arabian Horse Association guy in charge of FEMA - was that a tough decision, would you say? Was that hard to do?


BUSH: In the 21st century, security and prosperity at home depend upon the expansion of liberty abroad. If America does not lead the cause of freedom, that cause will not be led. As we address these challenges and others we cannot foresee tonight, America must maintain our moral clarity.


MADDOW: You keep using that word “moral clarity.” I am not sure it means what you think it means.


BUSH: And so my fellow Americans, for the final time, good night, may God bless this house and our next president. And may God bless you and our wonderful country. Thank you.


MADDOW: Joining us now with her response to the president‘s farewell address tonight is Arianna Huffington, one of the most influential critics of this president. She is also the proprietor and founder of “The Huffington Post.” Arianna, it is so nice to see you here. Thank you for coming in.

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, FOUNDER, “THE HUFFINGTON POST”: Glad to see you. I loved your rebuttal. It should have been the Democratic rebuttal to the president‘s farewell address.

MADDOW: Probably a little snarky for their tastes, I would imagine. What do you think is the big headline from the speech tonight? Is there a big headline or is it just Bush says goodbye?

HUFFINGTON: I think the big headline is to paraphrase Paul Simon still delusional after all these years, because it was delusional from beginning to end. From the points you made about Afghanistan, which he presented as kind of nice country for a vacation instead of a country where people are reluctant to leave their homes without armored convoys and where women have acid thrown on their faces for going to school.

To Iraq which he presented as a friend of the United States rather than a BFF with Iran. And what you mentioned about Hamas which he completely forgot. It‘s in the news every day. It‘s a democratically elected terrorist group.

And then, domestically, the fact he actually dared to say that this Medicare drug benefit program which has been declared a disaster by everybody is actually giving peace of mind to seniors. And that our air and our water are better despite all the best efforts of his production agency to actually deregulate just about everything.

And then moving on to the most kind of stunning thing for me was when he said that he, at least, would be given credit for making the tough decisions as though making tough decisions that are wrong is actually something you should take credit for.

MADDOW: But on the tough decisions thing - that really has been the theme of the legacy tour. This idea that, “OK, maybe you want to call it torture. We don‘t think it‘s torture. And maybe you didn‘t like the Iraq War, but we liked the Iraq War.”

Ultimately, all we can be faulted for is how badly we wanted to defend the American people. We‘re just too tough. But, I mean, how does that explain Michael Brown? How does that explain, you know, the number two guy in the Interior Department going prison and the Abramoff scandal? How does that explain Harriet Miers, all the cronyism? There was so much that wasn‘t tough at all, that was really easy for them. But yet, they want it to seem like it is all just errors of execution, not of intention.

HUFFINGTON: Yes. It is also - they‘re wanting it to seem that his intentions were always good and that he was willing to court unpopularity in order to do the right thing, and therefore ignoring all the things that were simply wrong decisions and that they were based on a fundamental principle that he uttered again which was that somehow, we are safer now.

And it is very important for everybody who wants to move forward which is very important - we all want to move forward - to also not allow them this kind of revisionist history where supposedly we are safer because we are not safer.

We are not safer because the world is less safe because of our actions and we are no safer because here at home, we have neglected our infrastructure. We have neglected our public health system which is going to be essential if, god forbid, there is another attack and we have neglected just about every other indicator of a healthy society including education and health care.

MADDOW: What I thought was remarkable is that he went back to some overtly religious language in the speech. He went back to the language of good and evil.

He had the audacity to talk about American moral clarity and our need to lead on human rights and human dignity issues around the world in the era - as a closing remark in the era that brought American secret detention and imprisonment without trial and torture under his watch.

Is it delusion or is it brashness in asserting that this really is what human dignity looks like?

HUFFINGTON: Well, it is also being disconnected from reality.

MADDOW: Delusional.

HUFFINGTON: Which is also shown again by the fact that he did not say anything about what happened in New York today.


HUFFINGTON: And it was dominating everybody‘s thoughts and news. And there were many examples of great American character there. And at the end, he mentioned American character, so why not actually link it to what had just happened?


HUFFINGTON: But it is almost as though he does really live in that bubble where maybe he doesn‘t even know what just happened.

MADDOW: Well, the bubble is about to get a lot less crowded as he ends his presidency. Arianna, it‘s so nice to have you here. Thank you.

HUFFINGTON: Thank you.

MADDOW: Arianna Huffington is, of course, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of “The Huffington Post.”

January 17, 2009 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Unlike Anon, some members and supporters of the GOP seem to welcome the changes the Obama administration is bringing to Washington. Obama will be publicly honoring John McCain and Colin Powell and his Inaugural Committee will toast Republicans at some important pre-inaugural dinners. (I don't remember Bush publicly honoring Gore or Kerry at his Inaugurals -- correct me if I'm wrong.) Behind the scenes, Obama and Rahm are contacting their former Senate and House colleagues and seeking their input into the hard work ahead to right this nation economically and more. Here are some excerpts from a recent Politico post that reported what some GOP members of Congress and other conservative leaders are saying about Obama and his team.

--“I think he’s done an extremely good job so far,” said Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who received a call from the president-elect last week. “On both the quality of his nominees and the contact that he personally or his skeleton staff have had with members on the Hill — I think they’ve done just an exceptional job at that.”

...“He was very clear: he said bring us your ideas,” Cantor recalled. “I take the president-elect at his word that he really does want to change the way Washington works.”

--“I have met with Rahm and spoken with him several times and he said, ‘Look, you need to understand — working in a bipartisan manner is something the president-elect takes seriously,’” [Rep. Eric] Cantor [ (R-Va.)] noted. “It has thus far been a very efficient process."

--“Once the campaign is over, to govern you have to find consensus and I think he understands that,” said [Sen. Lindsey] Graham [(R-S.C.),], who will introduce McCain at the tribute dinner Monday. “Ronald Reagan understood the value of personal relationships and I think [Obama] understands that that model offers the best hope of sustaining momentum from the election and achieving legislative success. So far, so good.”

Graham, one of McCain’s closest friends and a frequent campaign trail companion, said much of the good will from his party stems from a patriotic desire to turn the country around.

“A lot of people, including Republicans, want us to get back on our feet because we’re on our knees. And he’s the quarterback, he’s the captain – everybody is pulling for him.”

--“It has certainly helped the president-elect to get more of a hearing from evangelicals when he invited Rick Warren,” said Richard Land, a well-known social conservative and chief of the Southern Baptist Convention’s public policy arm. “I don’t think that would have happened had Hillary Clinton been elected.”

Land, who said he had been contacted by Obama aides since the election, praised the new president and suggested that he would receive a fresher look from Christian conservatives because of both his approach and his generation.

“He’s done a pretty good job making it clear that he doesn’t have the knife out,” said Land. “Just because you disagree with him on some issues doesn’t mean you can’t agree with him on other issues.”

And Obama, unlike the Clintons and President Bush, is somebody who is neither shaped nor scarred by baby boomer battles, noted Land, 62, himself a product of the era.

“There’s more opportunity for it to be civil, more opportunity for it to be constructive. We’ve been going at each other for so long, we just can’t help it. But somebody like Obama comes along – an even though he’s more liberal than Hillary – he doesn’t generate the same heat. I welcome it.”

--But, this being Washington politics, not all are convinced Obama’s motives are entirely altruistic.

Said Charles Krauthammer, the longtime conservative columnist who was at Will’s dinner, on Fox News: “You see that since his election he has kind of reached out to people that may not be ideological allies, to Rick Warren, the pastor who will be at his inaugural, to John McCain, whom he has treated with a lot of dignity and respect, and to a bunch of right wing columnists last night, in part, because I think he is a guy who is intellectually curious and wants to exchange ideas, but also in part he wants to co-opt the vast right wing conspiracy.”

January 18, 2009 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see Bea has posted just about everthing she's read recently.

Contrary to her simplifications and hyperboles, no one has anything against Barack Obama. He's displayed a good temperament and an encouraging open-mindednes. He's got enough sense, unlike Bea, to relize that he's governing a center-right country. His inexperience has been evident in his appointments but he's just getting started.

George Bush has handled the transition admirably, in contrast to the gangrenous TTF gang.

January 18, 2009 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

I'm glad to share a few interesting discussions about the historic transition to President Obama's first term. What are far right wingers blabbing about these days? There's nothing you find interesting enough in the pages of CitizensLink to mention apparently.

George Bush has handled the transition admirably

I agree, Bush has done an admirable job handing over the disaster he made of the country to Obama. It reminds me of the way he bankrupted Harken Energy, cashed out, and then left it for the next Director to lift the company up out of the red ink. I thank goodness Obama is smart enough to make the tough decisions to get us out of this mess Dumbya has left us in.

In a few more hours Bush will wash his hands of another mess he made and become one more sad chapter in the history books.

January 19, 2009 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...


Anonymous has been taking writing classes from Matt "Bam-Bam" Barber

January 19, 2009 4:24 PM  

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