Friday Night Open Thread

You know, I have to say that I have been pretty pleased with the Change President-elect Obama has been delivering so far. Indeed, since dropping the Post Partisan Unity Schtick since the Democratic Convention, I have had virtually nothing to complain about. Except one thing - John Brennan. But I am quite pleased to see that the Left blogs have refound their voice and have universally expressed their concerns about Brennan.

[Let me add good for my friend David Sirota for expressing his unhappiness that he is NOT getting the CHANGE he wants.]

It would be asking too much of me to not note that I was "the moron" who was one of the first to voice concerns about Brennan.

This is an Open Thread.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    Maybe the "Hillary drama" is good (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by lilburro on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 07:58:36 PM EST
    apparently no national security posts will be announced until everything with SoS is finalized.  So that's at least a week more allotted to make noise about Brennan.  Melvin Goodman critiqued him in the Baltimore Sun.  Hopefully the word (that few think he is a good guy, also that his appointment would defy the "change' message) is getting out.

    Sirota is tracking "center-right" meme (none / 0) (#14)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 09:07:23 PM EST
    In this column Sirota tracks the rapid up-tick in the usage of the meme: "America is a center-right nation".

    He's using lexis Nexis, but a Google search is also telling:

    *The dominant narrative phrase: America "is a center-right" country, gets a
      total of 133,000 hits.
    *The opposing narrative phrase: America: "is not a center right" country, gets   11,800 hits.
    *The opposing narrative phrase: America "is a center-left" country, gets             29,900 hits.

    I gather that at least 91,300 of the total number of texts do not use any phrase to counter the dominant narrative that America "is a center-right" country.

    It'll be interesting to see how much more pervasive the meme becomes over the next weeks and months.


    It seems as if (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Democratic Cat on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 08:00:55 PM EST
    the Left blogs did not want to criticize anything Sen. Obama did until he made (actual or rumored) appointments of experienced, centrist, inside-the-beltway types. Much of what I have been reading consists of people complaining that this isn't the Obama they voted for. (I think they just weren't paying attention.) But maybe it has given them some pause to think that they should question more.  With Brennan, it certainly seems like there's a lot to question.

    The fact that you were one of the first is one of the reasons I read this blog.

    "not paying attention" (5.00 / 4) (#44)
    by Fabian on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 04:19:54 AM EST
    The easiest way to mislead people is to give them the opportunity to deceive themselves.  Obama did that a lot with the hopey-changey rhetoric that people responded to.

    Even though Obama never defined precisely what Change meant, people were busy doing that for him.  Obama said Change and people heard "no more Clintons".  Obama said Change and people heard "out of Iraq".  And so on.

    If you listened to what Obama really said or didn't say, you are not surprised.  If you used your own interpretation for Obama's vague rhetoric, you probably aren't happy - but you have no one to blame but yourself.


    Starting to feel cautiously optimistic as well (5.00 / 13) (#3)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 08:05:55 PM EST
    Today, I was at a meeting at work where my boss informed us that Obama's transition team for science had already been to our agency to meet with the directors. He told us who was on the transition team for science - one of them, whose name escapes me at the moment, was previously an advisor to Gore on climate change. The other three were prominent science and tech people.

    It suddenly began to sink in how different things might be, and I felt like putting my head down on the table and crying from relief. We might actually have a president who believes in science, takes action on the environment, cares about the loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction, and so many other problems. We have verily been in the wilderness on these issues for such a long time that it's hard to believe things might really be different now.

    I'm impressed with how quickly things are moving, how organized things seem, and am feeling encouraged for the first time in a long time.

    I couldn't agree with you.. (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by NYShooter on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 08:46:08 PM EST

    "We might actually have a president who believes in science..."

    Thanks, Doc


    Now you've made me optimistic as well! (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Radiowalla on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 09:48:13 PM EST
    Great post!

    Thanks for the lift.


    I think this was my line first! ;-) (none / 0) (#19)
    by andgarden on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 09:52:57 PM EST
    now, now, spanky (none / 0) (#37)
    by NYShooter on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 12:24:53 AM EST
    remember the cookie, and pat on the head.

    Which line? (none / 0) (#47)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 06:13:23 AM EST
    Don't understand....

    I think (none / 0) (#68)
    by NYShooter on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 11:51:40 AM EST
    it refers to:

    "We might actually have a president who believes in science..."

    fight! fight!



    Thanks (none / 0) (#69)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:42:28 PM EST
    But I still don't get it. Must be dense, or else it's one of the blog things that I don't understand (like concern troll). Or both.

    I* believe (none / 0) (#70)
    by NYShooter on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 05:40:34 AM EST
    he was saying he used (invented) the line first, and that YOU STOLE (plagerized) it.

    :) lol


    Amazingly, even after all the docmentation (none / 0) (#46)
    by ruffian on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 06:11:16 AM EST
    of the atrocities of the Bush years, people forget that just getting back to the status quo of the Clinton years will take monumental change.  Any additional change on top of that is gravy, in my opinion.

    Exactly (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 06:17:10 AM EST
    I know that we are not going to get bold progressive change, but just that feeling that we will turn the clock back a little bit towards sanity is starting to feel good.

    It gets back to how I felt during the primaries (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by ruffian on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 06:26:52 AM EST
    You can't steer a sinking ship. We have to right the ship of state before we can steer in in a new direction.  Obama seems to be putting that team in place, and I am glad to see it.

    Tres Kewl!!!!!! (none / 0) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 09:39:10 AM EST
    Out of the blue, my dad sent me (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by andgarden on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 08:07:56 PM EST
    a ridiculously expensive Italian desk lamp. It has tension wires.

    Yeah, we have issues. . .

    What is a lamp w/tension (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 09:54:29 PM EST

    Office chic (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by andgarden on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 09:55:43 PM EST
    Is it the Artemide Tizio Lamp? (none / 0) (#23)
    by feet on earth on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 10:04:00 PM EST
    You know, (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by NYShooter on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 12:27:25 AM EST
    you bring a faucet to an architect and say, "here, build a house around this".....lol

    Close (none / 0) (#25)
    by andgarden on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 10:14:20 PM EST
    Link? (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 10:16:49 PM EST
    My google search revealed there is a rock group called "High Tension Wires" and a web site that mfgs. tension wires but doesn't illustrate that particular product.

    You should name it (none / 0) (#24)
    by Radiowalla on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 10:06:51 PM EST

    heh (none / 0) (#27)
    by andgarden on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 10:14:44 PM EST
    You have a nice dad (none / 0) (#48)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 06:14:20 AM EST
    Quantum Trendy (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 09:42:25 AM EST
    I may not attend to computer tech but household I'm all over.  My faves this past year have been the Lotus sanitizing system and the Clarisonic for my aging face (which is like going to the spa...really really really).

    Sirota's post was pretty good. (5.00 / 7) (#7)
    by Teresa on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 08:16:38 PM EST
    I don't particularly like him much of the time but what he said in that post is so true. It is about Obama to many of his supporters and not about issues.

    I don't know why it is so hard for some people to admit this.

    Obama should ask his supporters: (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Spamlet on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 08:38:41 AM EST
    "Were you in it just for me?"

    Woah (5.00 / 7) (#8)
    by WS on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 08:35:49 PM EST
    ABC's Political Punch said Hillary on Wednesday was ready to say No to SoS until Obama people convinced her to take it.  

    I think she really liked being Senator and was content to get to work.  She was not expecting SoS at all.  A reporter on Washington Week (I really have to stop being such a political junkie :( )  said Obama was already thinking about Cabinet appointments, namely SoS Hillary, 2 months before the election.

    Obama really did want Hillary to be his SOS, which contrasts with some of the coverage and CDS people about "boxed in" Obama.  He put major thought into this.    

    Hillary gets thngs done. (none / 0) (#43)
    by Fabian on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 04:00:30 AM EST
    And ex-Junior Senator Obama knows how hard that is to do in the Senate.

    I'm all for Hillary Clinton, SoS because if Obama wants something done, she'll do her best to do it - without the slavish loyalty of Powell or Rice.


    I'm glad that story is getting out there (none / 0) (#50)
    by ruffian on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 06:17:23 AM EST
    Obama had no reason in the world to name Hillary SOS unless he really wanted her. No one was expecting it.  Even most of the staunchest Hillary supporters such as myself would not have thought anything of it if he had not given her any cabinet post.  

    The idea that he was somehow 'boxed in' and forced to name an SOS against his will is just crazy.  but I guess that is what puts the D in CDS.


    I've seen Pols being Pols ... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 09:05:37 PM EST
    nothing to be optimistic about.

    As the economy continues to crash, and Paulson essentially is acting as if he got the deal from congress he asked for in the first place.  Because, basically, he did.

    All of Obama's appointments have been centrist Dems or worse.  And Obama himself has been quiet as a church mouse.

    Obama may be great president.  (Which isn't saying much.  Kinda like saying the healthiest person at a leper colony.)  But nothing to be optimistic about ... yet.

    What we get is competence (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Manuel on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 09:32:13 PM EST
    You can't blame Obama for this - he saw an opportunity and he took it. And I still believe in his heart he's a left-of-center progressive who will ultimately demand that his appointments respect that vision

    Even Sirota is caught up in the view of Obama as secret champion of proressive causes.  Let's face it, the one thing it looks like we are getting from Obama is competence and I, for one, am very happy about it after the last eight years.

    Since this is an open thread (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by cal1942 on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 10:14:39 PM EST
    Tomorrow is a great day for college football.

    Rivalry games galore.  Playing for Old Oaken Buckets, Axes, bronzed pigs, etc., etc.

    Poor seasons salvaged with last game glory, great seasons crowned with icing on the cake.

    This is what college football is all about.

    Michigan at OSU starts (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 10:52:03 PM EST
    a 9:00 a.m. PST.  Let's get if over with early, I say.

    Apple Cup....sigh... (none / 0) (#35)
    by oldpro on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 11:53:44 PM EST
    Krugman wants action before Obama takes office... (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 11:50:11 PM EST
    In today's NYTimes Krugman writes:
    Everyone's talking about a new New Deal, for obvious reasons. In 2008, as in 1932, a long era of Republican political dominance came to an end in the face of an economic and financial crisis that, in voters' minds, both discredited the G.O.P.'s free-market ideology and undermined its claims of competence...There is, however, another and more disturbing parallel between 2008 and 1932 -- namely, the emergence of a power vacuum at the height of the crisis.

    It would appear that it's currently up to Congress to keep the economy from going over a cliff. But..

    nothing is happening on the policy front that is remotely commensurate with the scale of the economic crisis. And it's scary to think how much more can go wrong before Inauguration Day.

    uh-oh (none / 0) (#51)
    by ruffian on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 06:20:55 AM EST
    It would appear that it's currently up to Congress to keep the economy from going over a cliff.

    No offense to this particular Congress, but once things have gotten to that condition, I suspect it is too late for Congress to stop the fall.  Hope they can put some mattresses at the bottom of the cliff however.


    Have a political Thanksgiving! (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by nycstray on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 12:14:37 AM EST
    Eat local  ;)

    Still need to do some shopping for the big feast? Check your local farmers market this weekend and support your local family farms and businesses. Buy single ingredient items and enjoy some cooking from scratch! There is nothing like eating good fresh local food and making a point ta boot ;) It's a nice and healthy way to say no to unsafe imports and big processed brands loaded with crap ingredients. Makes for GREAT leftovers also :) And no need to get too fancy, local fresh flavor rules.

    My PSA for the night ;) Off to find my gloves as I'm working the CSA Thanksgiving PU in the AM. Temp should be around freezing (if I'm lucky!), lol!~

    Our local fresh turkey vendor (none / 0) (#45)
    by Fabian on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 04:28:04 AM EST
    is a fowl and game meat place.

    For fresh turkey distribution, a refrigerator truck pulls up in the parking lot and they literally pull the birds straight out of the truck and give them to the customers.  It's a great solution.  


    I have been very happy with Obama thusfar (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 09:31:47 AM EST
    as well since becoming President elect.  After the primaries, he eventually did end up earning my vote verses me giving him my vote because a bunch of bots verbally abused me into giving it to him.  Thanks for linking to the Sirota post, I've been so relieved lately that things are changing that I failed to notice what Sirota does easily.  It's a heads up, so thanks to Sirota.  Things have been so rightwing fanatical for so long but just because I'm feeling the change doesn't mean I ought to take a nap on it.

    Some relief and some worry (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by joanneleon on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 09:32:36 AM EST
    Where science and the environment and general sanity is concerned, I feel great relief that Obama is already putting things back on track.

    Where the average American worker is concerned, I am still really worried.  I'm not seeing either administration putting this at the high priority right now.  Lots of talk, and lots of billions flying out of the Treasury, but no real progress.  It's clearly a swindle.  If you watched the hearings this week, Paulson was asked if he'd use some of the bailout money to give to FDIC Sheila Blair who obviously knows exactly what to do with mortgage modifications and Paulson basically told them to take a hike and use money from other programs.  The man was an absolute moron in the questioning.  And that's just one example.

    Where accountability is concerned, I'm really worried about Obama's direction.  I see no hope for any real accountability for the unprecedented abuse of power and crimes that were committed during the past eight years, and during the "reign" of modern conservatism.  This is the thing that gives me that feeling in the pit of my stomach that we will not really have true change in this country.

    You can't have everything you want, and I realize that.  But I really hope Obama hits some of those real fundamentals that are wrong in this country, otherwise his work will, in the end, be just a bandaid.

    While there are concerns about Brennan (none / 0) (#5)
    by barryluda on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 08:11:21 PM EST
    and it's good that BTD, and now others, are shining the spotlight on them, I'm still not convinced that Brennan isn't a good advisor to have among other voices.  It's Obama's job to hear smart and knowledgeable people, and then to make the right decision.  I don't want Obama to make a similar mistake to Bush and only have like-minded people as advisors.

    With that said, I do think Brenned should be ruled out if, as some like BTD have said or implied, it came out that Brennan is "an ardent supporter of torture."  I don't think we know enough about Brennan yet, as there seems to be a credible other side to the story.

    So, yes, let's watch carefully.  But I'm not ready to dismiss him yet.

    Brennan went along (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by lilburro on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 08:16:37 PM EST
    with every stupid thing Tenet and co. did.  If he is appointed we will never have an honest inquiry into what actually transpired when our government decided to torture.  He will cover his @ss and Tenet's.  That is his style.  I just wrote a diary about this, "CIA CYA."

    From Mayer's article Black Sites:

    By contrast, the treatment of high-value detainees has been directly, and repeatedly, approved by President Bush.  The program is monitored closely by C.I.A. lawyers, and supervised by the agency's director and his subordinates at the Counterterrorism Center. While Mohammed was being held by the agency, detailed dossiers on the treatment of detainees were regularly available to the former C.I.A. director George Tenet, according to informed sources inside and outside the agency. Through a spokesperson, Tenet denied making day-to-day decisions about the treatment of individual detainees. But, according to a former agency official, "Every single plan is drawn up by interrogators, and then submitted for approval to the highest possible level--meaning the director of the C.I.A. Any change in the plan--even if an extra day of a certain treatment was added--was signed off by the C.I.A. director."

    Brennan was the Director of the Counterrorism Center.  He knows every grisly detail.  He should be on trial, not in power.


    Thanks lilburro (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by barryluda on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 08:52:28 PM EST
    for pointing me to your "CIA CYA" diary about this.  I also went back to read your excellent "Why We Should Say No to Brennan" diary.

    I think your point about his close connection with Tenet is a good one, troubling for sure.  I also hadn't seen the Op/Ed piece in the Baltimore Sun that says:

    Mr. Brennan, as chief of staff and deputy executive director under Mr. Tenet, was involved in decisions to conduct torture and abuse of suspected terrorists and to render suspected individuals to foreign intelligence services that conducted their own torture and abuse.

    I still haven't seen a news piece, rather than an opinion piece, that convinces me that Brennan supports torture.  But it is problematic enough and your point near then end that we'd be better off with an outspoken opponent of the Iraq War and torture is also a good one.  I hope Obama goes in another direction or, at least, clarifies these issues of concern with Brennan.


    The Democracy Now (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by lilburro on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 09:06:52 PM EST
    program is good on this subject.  Getting an expert like Goodman to weigh in is extremely valuable.  See here.  

    And now, for Obama to turn around, put Jami Miscik back in the CIA in transition and Brennan in the transition process, and then you look at people such as the former deputy to Tenet, John McLaughlin, who is also an intelligence adviser, and Rob Richer, who was a key operations adviser, who was the deputy to Jose Rodriguez, who is now being investigated by the Justice Department for the illegal destruction of the torture tapes, you know, you have to wonder, who is Obama relying on for advice on the Washington community? He's only been in Washington, we know, for two years, and obviously there are things he needs to know about national security, the CIA and the intelligence community. And obviously, he's listening to the wrong people.

    I think Brennan Derangement Syndrome is an excellent disease to have!  And thank you for the compliments about my diaries.  


    Liburro, we won't get it anyway (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 09:03:22 PM EST
    Obama I think has made it very clear he doesn't want to go there.  "Partisan fingerpointing," dontcha know.

    He'd better be right that there's going to be a really huge pay-off for letting these b***ds, from Lieberman on up/down, off the hook because there sure will also be bad consequences from doing it.

    No way in heck he's going to go along with any investigation of Tenet. Not ga happen.


    It doesn't make sense to me. (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by lilburro on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 09:13:56 PM EST
    There was the news of torture commission plans floated a week ago.  Here's the Salon article on it.  

    The proposed commission -- similar in thrust to a Democratic investigation proposal first uncovered by Salon in July -- would examine a broad scope of activities, including detention, torture and extraordinary rendition, the practice of snatching suspected terrorists off the street and whisking them off to a third country for abusive interrogations.

    And people were all excited about this.  Hooray, progressive Obama!  But if you were going to do that, would you appoint someone to head the CIA who knew all those details and approved all those details, who thought those programs were valuable?  There is no question about Brennan helping guide every single thing listed in that excerpt along.  And as far as the confirmation process goes, why would Obama choose a CIA head he didn't think he would make it through the confirmation process?  So either he's not going to do a commission and he trusts that Congressional Democrats will roll over and not ask too hard questions of Brennan, OR he's going to appoint someone else.

    Because an indepth confirmation hearing on Brennan is going to look really, really bad.


    Did TL cover this AP story? (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 11:31:05 PM EST
    Obama Advisers: Torture Prosecutions Not Likely. (AP, 11/18/08)

    Two Obama [anonymous] advisers said there's little - if any - chance that the incoming president's Justice Department will go after anyone involved in authorizing or carrying out interrogations that provoked worldwide outrage...After he takes office in January, Obama is expected to create a panel...to study interrogations, including those using waterboarding and other tactics that critics call torture. The panel's findings would be used to ensure that future interrogations are undisputedly legal. (emphasis added)

    I know parts of the AP story have been widely criticized elsewhere, for anonymous sourcing, among other things. However, the bottom line of the AP story is probably correct: torture prosecutions are unlikely.

    In fact, the AP confirmed their conclusions with a direct quote from Patrick Leahy:

    Asked this weekend during a Vermont Public Radio interview if Bush administration officials would face war crimes, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy flatly said, "In the United States, no. These things are not going to happen".

    Perhaps that explains why Obama's most recent statement on torture (60 Minutes, 11/17/08) failed to acknowledge that America does torture under the Bush Administration.


    You'll also recall (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by NYShooter on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 12:35:33 AM EST
    that during the campaign, regarding impeachment and/or investigations, Obama stated, more than once, "the American people don't want us wasting our time and going on a political witchhunt." (maybe paraphrased)

    No investigations; don't know if they'll accept confessions.


    I really don't think (none / 0) (#39)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 12:33:20 AM EST
    he's going to expend the tremendous effort and political capital to try to thread that needle, as described in the Salon pieces.  It would really only be throwing half a bone to those of us who will never get over the U.S. using torture, and end up doing massive finger-pointing without ever actually prosecuting anybody and thereby allowing them to truly defend themselves.

    And besides, I can't see the "pragmatists" he's surrounding himself with -- ie establishment Dems. and probably some Republicans -- being at all enthusiastic about the idea.

    It will all get swept under the rug and nobody really held accountable, except for a book here or there by people like Charlie Savage.

    It was the responsibility of the Dem. Congress to do this the moment it got control, and they passed.


    The reason for optmism and pessimism (none / 0) (#17)
    by koshembos on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 09:41:51 PM EST
    Every nominee for cabinet so far except the incompetent Daschle are Clinton graduates.

    Reasons for pessimism: Obama goes for safety over boldness, he doesn't talk about Detroit or any economic issue and the vacuum consumes the country; these aren't regular administration changes and the the time for "there is only one president," especially if the the outgoing a-hole is W.

    Obama never relinquished the stupid unity shtick; he runs with it strongly. The rave reviews on his transition comes from media types that are full of it.

    Well, I won't judge Obama on (none / 0) (#29)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 10:19:16 PM EST
    boldness until after he takes office.
    So far I'm pleased with his choices and his public statements.

    Cultural alert: if you are (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 09:58:07 PM EST
    in San Diego on or before Jan. 4, don't miss exhibit of kimonos by a contemporary Japanese artist.  Timken Museum and San Diego Museum of Art, which are side-by-side in Balboa Park.  Quite stunning, intricate, and beautiful.

    Sounds wonderful (none / 0) (#41)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 12:36:17 AM EST
    Kimonos are a wonderful art form.  Puts Western "fashion" totally to shame, IMHO.  Wish I was going to be there.

    Is there an exhibition Web site with pix?


    Yes: (none / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 10:43:14 AM EST
    Don't be counting chickens... (none / 0) (#30)
    by pluege on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 10:39:17 PM EST
    The elephant in the room is Secretary of Defense - keeping Gates would be horrible.

    And leaving the republican LIEberman in charge of a key Senate committee is a huge mistake.

    Sorry, cannot agree. (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by oldpro on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 11:49:52 PM EST
    I would keep Gates at least for the transition out of Iraq of the military.  He will do what needs to be done and knows how to do it.  No question he sees the handwriting on the wall.  But get some deputies in place and others lined up 'cause 3 years isn't that long...and then we're in the next election cycle and politics drives events.  And vice versa.

    I agree (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 12:37:56 AM EST
    Gates isn't the doctrinaire nut case I confess I thought he was back in the day.  He's been fine, and it makes sense to keep him on for a while if he's willing.  I'd like to see him replaced with one of "ours" after a while, though.

    ITA (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Spamlet on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 08:45:37 AM EST
    for the reasons you say, gyrfalcon, and because it protects Obama from the rabid wingnut hate machine for the 2010 midterms and the rest of the crucial period leading up to and through the end of 2011. It also lends important (electoral) credibility to Obama's "bipartisanship" theme going into the 2012 presidential campaign, especially if troops have been successfully withdrawn from Iraq by then.

    I'm sure the military is anxious (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Fabian on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 10:04:42 AM EST
    they probably want to wrap things up and go home as much as anybody, but are afraid that there will be pressure to do things too fast and without proper planning - which is how we got into this mess to begin with.

    So keeping Gates would be reassuring to a lot of people.


    Chris Matthew floats Bill Clinton might (none / 0) (#53)
    by Kefa on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 06:56:33 AM EST
    want to be Sen.Clinton. I think that is just silly.

    Chris Matthews (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by joanneleon on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 09:23:23 AM EST
    How does this man still have a job?  

    Matthews did his job though (none / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 09:35:50 AM EST
    He has us talking about something he said, and it is hard to call him an idiot about it because often controversial Bill Clinton is in the way.  That dynamic will distract from the tweety in a this tweety debate.

    Tweety is a twit. (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Fabian on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 09:59:54 AM EST
    There's no reason to think that Bill Clinton wants to be a Senator and at least a few to think he doesn't want to.  His foundation work would be one.

    Tweety just likes stirring things up.  He is all that is bad about cable news.  He's smart enough and informed enough to know better, but too lazy and too self centered to do an honest job of informing his audience.  Franken may have been a comedian, but Matthews is a joke.


    Tweety does like to stir :) (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 10:22:03 AM EST
    Gotta Give Him Credit (none / 0) (#66)
    by squeaky on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 10:46:53 AM EST
    For comedy. Just imagine Bill taking Hillary's senate seat, that would be hilarious, imo. Of course it is something that can only exist in an imaginary world.

    Certainly a bunch of reverse- (none / 0) (#67)
    by oculus on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 11:01:26 AM EST
    precident.  Lois Capps, Cokie Roberts' mom, Sunny Bono's widow, etc.

    Er (none / 0) (#71)
    by squeaky on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 08:06:17 AM EST
    Being her spouse is not the elephant in the room.