• on a comment on Wall Street's Financing Bill over 4 years ago

    The right does not respect compromise. They respect only power.

    That's exactly right.  We're the ones who need to understand the limits of our power.  Right now we simply don't have the votes.  We need to accept that and pick the best plan of attack.  It's only going to get worse in the near-term.

    Given the cloture rules (which are the real problem here), the way I see it we have 2 options for the 60th vote:

    1. We cut some outrageous pork-filled deal with Brown or another Republican -- and take the heat and negative ads that come along with it.

    2. We water down the bill enough that 2 or 3 Republicans can join in, and plan on fixing it later.

    Pick your poision.  Not passing a bill is not an option if we give a sh*t about the '12 cycle.


  • comment on a post Wall Street's Financing Bill over 4 years ago

    I understand this bill is far from perfect. I understand both left and the right must be actively posturing for strategy sake.  Fine.  That doesn't mean we can afford to miss this opportunity.

    We all know that Democrats are going to lose a non-trivial number of Senate seats this next cycle.  We also know we'll have more opportunities to fix the bill down the road, even if those fixes are tucked into other legislation.

    So posturing aside, why the hell would we miss our opportunity to pass a bill when our majority is the largest it's likely to be in some time?  The American public is on our side here.  Let's cut whatever shitty deal we have to in order to tuck this one under our belt, and prove we can govern.

    I'm not buying that inaction is the best alternative -- not for the country, not for the party.  The time for pragmatism is now.

  • Most organizations that require secure electronic communications will provide a "secure email" service that is incompatible with the email most of us use today.  Same goes with IM, etc.

    But there's no easy way to deploy these security features to the wider Internet.  People have been pushing for this for years to no avail -- it's difficult to coordinate and too much will break.

  • Not only is email security a concern in government, but it's also hugely problematic in the private sector.  The insecurity of email is already being exploited by "phishers" who forge emails from banks/vendors/etc to steal passwords, money, identities and worse.

    The security features needed to "fix" email would require changes to SMTP -- the protocol in charge of delivering email.  They would also likely require changes to most email client software used to read emails (ie. Outlook).  

    It's just not possible have secure communications over an inherently insecure channel without massive changes to the way messages are both sent and received.  Much easier/safer to use website based technology.

  • comment on a post Presidential Communication In The 21st Century over 5 years ago

    As someone who works in the IT security industry, I can tell you that email is not really a 21st century communications protocol.  In terms of implementation and safeguards, it's more like a 1970's protocol.

    Anyone on the Internet with a modicum of skill can forge emails that are completely untraceable.  Were Obama to begin sending out mass-email communication, the problem of forged presidential emails would probably arise within hours of the first official message.

    Until email supports modern authentication, encryption, non-repudiation, etc. it should not be used for anything purporting to be an official communication.  There are lots of other mechanisms (ie. blogging) that would be perfectly suitable.

  • on a comment on Hillary Will Concede On Saturday over 6 years ago

    care to wager on that? ;)
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12126210 9484746703.html?mod=hpp_us_whats_news

    WASHINGTON -- Sen. Hillary Clinton, who refused to concede after Sen. Barack Obama claimed the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday, will do so Friday, two top advisers said. Close supporters suggested she would like to be his running mate, on a unity ticket.

    But close advisers to Sen. Obama signaled an Obama-Clinton ticket was highly unlikely. People in both camps cited what several called "a deal-breaker" -- Bill Clinton may balk at releasing records of his business dealings and big donors to his presidential library.

  • As a die-hard Obama supporter I concur completely.  While it would have been nice for her to conceed tonight, I understand why she didn't... and thankfully I don't think it will impact the historic nature of the night.

    And yet as you said, if she hasn't conceded by the end of the week, the party (and especially the prominent Clinton supporters) need to step in and try to force the reconciliation that we desperately need.

  • I'm as vehement an Obama supporter as the next guy, but I can understand why Clinton did what she did tonight.  It was a power play, pure and simple.  She has a movement behind her, and she and her team felt this was the best way for her to utilize that movement.  While I wish she would have conceded, I can't say I would have if I was in her shoes.

    There will come a time in the next few days after she meets with Barack where she will show her true colors.  Clinton supporters need to understand that Barack cannot promise her a VP slot now without looking terribly weak.  Clinton needs to be magnanimous and save-face at the same time.  I'm confident she can do it.

    Maybe there's a VP slot in the future, maybe not.  But she cannot force the issue now if she wants the Democrats to win in '08.

  • comment on a post I Agree With Obama Supporters . . . over 7 years ago

    Personally, I'm undecided on whether Obama's "post-partisan" strategy is the best suited for helping him win the primary.  I think it's a big gamble.

    But putting that aside for a moment... were he to actually win the nomination and the presidency, it's pretty clear to me that Obama would be in the best position out of any of the candidates to actually pass an enact an agenda with a senate that consists of < 60 Democrats.

    Still, you can't deny that the Obama campaign doesn't feel much like a primary.

  • on a comment on Making Iraq the Issue over 7 years ago

    It's not important because beyond the blogosphere, nobody cares about how Obama may or may not have given mixed signals on funding votes.  The true test--the real political risk--was the AUMF itself.  And while Obama wasn't actually in the Senate at the time, nobody can deny that he took a gigantic risk coming out against the war as he did.  

    As far as the larger voting population is concerned, everything else is just details.

  • comment on a post Making Iraq the Issue over 7 years ago

    While this is a pretty transparent hit-piece, I think Jerome does raise a valid issue--albeit from the standpoint of a very high-information voter.

    However, I would argue that most people weren't paying attention to the nuance around Obama's war funding votes--and I think it's these voters that are being targeted.  To most people Obama is still the only major candidate who was right on the major issue of our time.

    In my opinion, Obama is simply trying to consolidate his hold on the "judgement" issue--and he's perfectly capable of doing that.  It's also plausible that he could use this positioning to peel off Clinton and Edwards support as the war and those who at one time supported it (even just initially) continue to look foolish.

    I don't see how you can criticize his strategy in this case.  You may have gripes about how he handled a vote or two, but that doesn't invalidate the "judgement gap" Obama is trying to highlight.

  • I don't think Bloomberg runs if Obama is the nominee.  The CW is that he will run if he sees an opening, which I personally think means a Hillary or Edwards nomination on the Dem side--with Edwards running too far to the left, and Hillary too polarizing.  Speculation is a beautiful thing... ;)

  • That's what I'm hearing too.  If his vote was politically motivated, and that's why he answered that way, then I think he needs to be forthcoming about that too.. otherwise his "mea culpa" comes across as political calculation.  Or maybe he has already stated that the vote was a political calculation?

  • But before all the Edwards folks jump all over me... Let me just say that I think Edwards is coming across as the most likable and most "real".. by some margin.. although I don't know if that necessarily translates into the most presidential.

  • comment on a post Democratic Presidential Debate Thread over 7 years ago

    I could have sworn I just heard Edwards answer that he was wrong to vote for the war and from that mistake, he learned to better trust his judgement.  I must have missed something...


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