Late Night: Obama the Risk-Averse

By: Tuesday June 28, 2011 8:00 pm

Obama likes to posit his conception of the world of the possible as the only world available. He has almost never taken a lead on a piece of legislation that he thought would fail, choosing his battles. He has seen the world as it is, and then called that the best world on which we can live.


FDL Book Salon Welcomes Tad Daley, Apocalypse Never: Forging the Path to a Nuclear Weapon-Free World

By: Sunday May 8, 2011 1:59 pm

Apocalypse Never is a frightening book to read but impossible to put down. In clear, accessible prose, Tad Daley unblinkingly lays out the case, point by point, for why we must ultimately rid the world of nuclear weapons or else suffer the inevitable consequences of the end of civilization as we know it. Daley then takes on the task of showing how this seemingly Herculean task can be accomplished, even within our lifetimes. It is compelling and accurate in its assessments and one of the absolute best out there on why we simply cannot continue along the way it has been.

Obama Hits an Easy One, Rachel Maddow Cheers

By: Thursday April 14, 2011 6:00 am

The reaction among liberals to the President’s speech Wednesday reminds us how thirsty liberals/progressives have been for President Obama to show the slightest hint of courageous, progressive leadership. So when Obama, who has repeatedly betrayed liberal values cherished by the Democratic Party since FDR, finally said what liberals/progressives have been saying for months, much of the liberal community cheered or at least said, “finally!” But this was easy.

Obama, “You’re A Goddamned Quarterback!”

By: Saturday March 19, 2011 5:00 pm

After Tucson, Arizona Shootings” (Sam Stein). It’s like Obama wants to check the box on every issue without sacrificing any political capital. The record is clear – Great speech (check), solid policy statement (check), no political capital expended (check). Likewise with the Wisconsin protest, if we were to look at the record, Obama made statements supporting the Unions (check), no political capital expended (check).

Lack of Leadership, Elite Failure Crippling Rescue Efforts in Japan

By: Thursday March 17, 2011 6:45 am

The focus on events at Fukushima Daiichi belie the apparently woeful response to the crisis created by the companion natural disasters that have killed at least 10,000 and left up to a half a million homeless.

In Lieu of Budget Leadership, Obama Proposes Spending Freeze

By: Wednesday January 26, 2011 6:55 am

If Obama actually thinks there are wasteful discretionary programs, like ethanol subsidies and farm subsidies, he should just directly call for those programs to be eliminated. If ending a bunch of bad corporate welfare programs results in an overall cut in discretionary spending, that is good.

Towns Reverses, Throws Support to Maloney in Oversight Committee Ranking Member Battle

By: Wednesday December 15, 2010 7:45 am

Last night, it appeared that Elijah Cummings would attempt to leapfrog seniority and obtain the ranking membership of the House Oversight Committee with the backing of outgoing ranking member Ed Towns. However, Towns reversed course last night, saying in a statement, “I support Carolyn Maloney to become Ranking Member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. She is next in line on the Committee, she has the seniority and competence to serve the Caucus well.”

Jackson’s Modest Proposal: Hoyer and Clyburn Out of Leadership, Off to DCCC

By: Monday November 8, 2010 2:00 pm

The common approach is to look to House “leaders” as how they will play broadly in the country, whether they have the ability to excite the mass middle of the public. Yet we know that the identity of the number 2 Democrat in the leadership will have no bearing whatsoever on the fate of the House in 2012 and beyond. The leadership position is a legislative one, particularly the position of the Minority Whip, whose job mainly entails keeping the caucus unified on important votes.

Hoyer/Clyburn Battle for Minority Whip

By: Saturday November 6, 2010 7:52 am

Could Nancy Pelosi’s decision to return as Minority Leader of the Democratic caucus end up squeezing Steny Hoyer out of the leadership entirely?

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Robert Kuttner, A Presidency in Peril: The Inside Story of Obama’s Promise, Wall Street’s Power, and the Struggle to Control our Economic Future

By: Saturday July 10, 2010 2:00 pm

It’s possible to give two very different interpretations of the Obama presidency so far. The first is a relatively positive interpretation. Proponents of this view argue that even though Obama has faced a united GOP willing and able to use filibusters to thwart initiatives, and even though he has had opposition within his own party to progressive initiatives, he has still managed to rack up an impressive list of achievements. Take health care as an example. The health care legislation wasn’t all that progressives wanted, not by a long shot. But the legislation is an impressive start and, importantly, it leaves the door open to further change. Though people forget, programs such as Social Security or Medicare weren’t perfect at first, but were improved substantially over time.

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