Wherein Digby Eviscerates Obama

When people say they want change it's not because they are tired of "partisan bickering" (which basically consists of derisive Republican laughter.) They're sick of a government that does exactly the opposite of what they want it to do. And they aren't picky about how it gets done. If it can be done with gentle persuasion, that's great. But if it takes a fight, they're all right with that too.

This is the central difference between the beltway CW as expressed by the Bloomer party and the village gasbags. The elders believe that nothing can get done without "moving to the middle" which currently means, even in the best interpretation, somewhere between the center right and the far right. And even that is incredibly optimistic. The truth is that Republicans out of power believe in total obstruction. They are perfectly happy to block all progressive legislation because they know they will suffer no consequences for it from the mild mannered Democrats and the bipartisan zombies. --Digby

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Barney Frank Endorses Hillary

Barney Frank is my Congressman (representing Massachusetts's fourth district) and a personal hero. Following the '06 elections, Frank became Chair of the House Financial Services Committee for the US House of Representatives. Today Barney endorsed Hillary for President!

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Barney Frank on Katrina: "Ethnic Cleansing by Inaction"

Barney Frank is the incoming Chair of the Financial Services Committee, and he has come in and committed himself to a very progressive agenda. The first piece of his remarkable speech was his sharp point that the intentional neglect of the housing situation of Katrina victims was 'ethnic cleansing through inaction'. The video quality isn't the greatest; he said in clear language that doing nothing for New Orleans residents is an intentional strategy to make Louisiana richer, whiter, and more Republican. It's not a huge secret.

The latest elected official to step into the swamp was Rep. Richard H. Baker, a 10-term Republican from Baton Rouge. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that he was overheard telling lobbyists: "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did."

It's great that we have fighters in there willing to do what's necessary. Frank also discussed the budget in the context of Iraq and Katrina, and executive pay. He wants a law passed that allows shareholders to vote on the pay that executives receive, which is a great way to restore public participation in corporate America and reign in managerial abuses.

After listening to Frank, I'm a lot less worried that the Democrats are going to fold to right-wing economic interests. Frank understands that political and economic elites have betrayed this country, and is going to reign them in. I wouldn't want to have someone as smart, experienced, and tough as Frank as my opponent, and I certainly wouldn't have needled his character, insulted his intelligence and offended his values for years. Which the Republicans have done. We have a friend in Frank.

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Wanted: An Atheist Candidate For President

The diary below was originally posted in my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

I was raised Jewish but my personal beliefs are agnostic. I'm not so arrogant to reject the concept of a higher power. I don't claim to know what the divine truth is and reserve the right to have a deathbed conversion when I reach old age.

For the time being I'm inclined to believe a higher power is really a more evolved life form that doesn't respond to prayer or monitor my personal morality meter. In my opinion John Lennon put it best:

"God is a concept by which we measure our pain."

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Ethics bill: Dems at sixes and sevens

It's hardly any surprise; the ethics proposals in New Direction were hardly radical; the years' long ethics truce in the House (remember that?) suggested no great desire among House Dems to exploit GOP misfeasance (why could that be? Jefferson? Mollahan? Any ideas?).

And the first real business of the 110th House - the Maj Leader elected pitted Mr Dem K Street Project against Mr 'Total Crap' - the phrase that launched almost more lefty emergency parsing missions than I voted for it before I voted against it!

The Times has a piece today on the variety of views amongst Dem MCs on the ethics bill which is item #1 of Pelosi's 100 hour agenda.

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