Obama Fills Four More Top Spots at DOJ

President-Elect Barack Obama today named four people to fill top spots in the Justice Department, which presumably will be headed by his nominee Eric Holder. They are:

  • David Ogden for Deputy AG, the #2 spot. "Mr. Ogden, also a senior official in the Clinton Justice Department, has led the transition at the Justice Department since Mr. Obama’s election and has long been rumored as the front-runner for the #2 post."
  • Dawn Johnsen to lead the Office of Legal Counsel..."A professor at Indiana University law school, she served on an acting basis as head of the office of legal counsel in 1997 and 1998 in the Clinton administration."


  • Elena Kagan, currently Harvard Law School Dean, will be Solicitor General. "She too served as a legal advisor in the Clinton administration as an associate counsel in the White House from 1995-96.."
  • Tom Perrelli will be Associate Attorney General. "He was counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno during the Clinton administration. Like Mr. Ogden, he has worked on the Obama transition for the Justice Department over the last two months."

So all five top spots at Justice will be former Clinton DOJ officials. Hopefully they will bring a welcome change from the policies of the Bush Justice Department. Time will tell.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Three are Harvard Law grads. (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 11:50:31 AM EST
    One is Yale Law School grad.  Reminds me of those posters of Manhattan, with everything west of the Hudson getting smaller and smaller.

    Well, that's how it goes in the law (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by dk on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:18:47 PM EST
    I'm a relative (second career) latecomer to being a lawyer, and one thing I've noticed is how incredibly aristocratic the legal world is compared to probably just about any other profession in this country.  

    Pedigree is obviously a factor in any profession, but certainly in comparison to the ones I am more familiar with (academia, medicine) the legal profession is exponentially more backward in terms of how much pedigree(the identity of your law school, who your parents went to prep school with, etc.), as opposed to merit, determines your advancement in government and the private sector.

    Now, of course pedigree and merit can overlap, but it's rather clear in the legal profession which is the critical consideration.  


    Law school, definitely. (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:43:37 PM EST
    Not so sure about parents.  Government, at least state and county government in my state, care about the relative merits of local law schools, which seems reasonable.  Of course anything UC is a shoo-in.

    Where does... (none / 0) (#18)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:51:20 PM EST
    ...UC Hastings rate on the in-state law school hirings?

    Probably fourth (none / 0) (#22)
    by dk on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:53:45 PM EST
    after Stanford, Berkeley, and UCLA, at least in Northern California.

    Boalt Hall and UCLA trump (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:54:02 PM EST

    Well... (none / 0) (#34)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 01:22:01 PM EST
    ...hopefully that will translate as well, if not better, in Washington state for a certain young man I know who's Mother told him it was time to get a job.

    Not So Sure About That (none / 0) (#70)
    by kaleidescope on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 03:43:31 PM EST
    Generally, UCLA, Hastings and Davis are considered pretty fungible.  At all three schools if you were on the law review you could probably get a job anywhere in the country.  If not, then your choices are mostly limited to California.

    In my area of practice -- plaintiff side private enforcement of environmental law -- there is an elitist track and a track for everybody else.  By this I mean that if you want to work for EDF, NRDC or Earth Justice right out of law school -- in other words get a job that pays you a living wage salary -- then it really really helps to have gone to Boalt, Stanford, Yale, Harvard, Chicago, Columbia or Michigan. (On the other hand, at Earth Justice the San Francisco supervising attorney for years was Deborah Reems.  Deborah never went to law school, but started as a secretary and studied for the bar with an attorney before passing it sans law diploma.)

    The other track is the entrepeneurial track.  That means you get out of law school, you starve for years working for next to nothing practicing out of your apartment while you make a name for yourself.  You survive by winning cases and getting a court to award you attorneys fees.  Eventually you have enough of a reputation that groups like NRDC or the Sierra Club will hire you to to work on a case for them, paying you a modest "public interest rate" retainer up front and any attorneys fees you can get a court to award if you win.  On this track are many, many lawyers from no-name law schools like City College of San Francisco or Golden Gate University (where the incomparable Helen Kang directs the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic).  There are also many Columbia, Harvard, Hastings, UCLA and Davis attorneys on this track.

    Once you've been out of law school and practicing as a going concern for a couple of years -- on either of these tracks -- all that matters is your reputation as an attorney -- the cases you've won or worked on.  Nobody gives a damn what law school you went to.


    Well, I defer to your (none / 0) (#72)
    by dk on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 03:59:34 PM EST
    experience with regard to your last paragraph in terms of the non-profit sector.  My initial comment was related more to government and corporate law, where I'd maintain that for the most part what you label the entrepreneurial track is nearly nonexistant (caveat, I'm sure there are exceptions, but they prove the rule).

    Generally You're Right (none / 0) (#73)
    by kaleidescope on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 04:14:39 PM EST
    Government (especially the federal government)is as snooty about law schools as the private sector.  And, for example, Department of Justice lawyers are even more snooty than, say, EPA lawyers.  

    Perhaps that is why the stories (none / 0) (#46)
    by hairspray on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 02:04:56 PM EST
    about gender discrimination seemed to have been so virulent in the past.  When copious numbers of women went to law school in the late '70's and '80's there seemed to be a solid wall against them in corporate law.  I read a number of reports by women who didn't want to work 70 hour weeks and were not welcomed because of that.  In addition there was a lot of sexist humor in the workplace. As a consequence, many women went into family law and government positions where they were given some affirmative action.   I am not trying to make a cause and effect here, but medicine has given way quite well in the last 20 years (still trouble in surgery for women) but has law?

    It's still pretty bad in (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by dk on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 03:24:59 PM EST
    comparison to other professions, though clearly it is not as overtly sexist as it was back then.

    However, corporate law remains a rather stiltified, patriarchal world.  There is a definite holdover of the whole macho "master of the universe" culture in the high echelons of corporate America that makes it difficult to break in if you are a woman or a gay man.  Relationships are still made on the golf course, or during the private school board meetings where your children attend, etc.  


    In the '70s and early '80s, (none / 0) (#60)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 03:13:55 PM EST
    women were not even being considered for jobs in law firms in most cases--not a matter of not wanting to work 70 hours a week.  

    Beats getting them from Regent. (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Pegasus on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:23:19 PM EST
    I know, right? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Steve M on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:25:30 PM EST
    Nothing but table scraps left for us public school folks.  But at least we have better football teams to root for (except this year!).

    True. News to me the (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:41:29 PM EST
    President-elect appoints the honchos in the Dept. of Justice, not just the AG.  

    Me too (none / 0) (#57)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 02:45:48 PM EST
    I didn't know that. Do they have to be confirmed?

    Johnsen (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by MaryGM on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 01:15:40 PM EST
    Glenn Greenwald gives Johnsen a gold star, at least based on her recent (candid) writings and her reaction to the infamous Yoo memo.  She seems like a very passionate person, willing to step outside the rigid way of doing things in the upper levels of Washington.  And it's no small thing to be the first woman appointed to this post, either.

    interesting. (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by cpinva on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 04:30:43 PM EST
    i too didn't realize the president appointed the underlings, as well as the boss, at DOJ. is that true for other cabinet level positions also?

    i note that the obama administration is starting to look very much like the second coming of the carter/clinton administrations, much like the bush administration was reagan/bush I redux.

    if we're fortunate, round 2 of carter/clinton will be as successful as round 2 of reagan/bush I was disasterous. yes! please bring back those horrible, horrible days of the 90's: a roaring economy, budget surpluses, most other countries either liked us, or at least didn't actively hate us!

    oh, the horror, the horror!

    but i thought (4.80 / 5) (#10)
    by Turkana on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:36:18 PM EST
    the clintons were evil, and anyone associated with them was tainted. or so i read on the blogs (not this one)...

    they are evil (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 01:34:00 PM EST
    everything they do is there for evil.  Obama is good, perfect, divine, there for whatever he does even if it is exactly what Clinton  would have done, is excellent, perfect and miraculous.

    But You Did Read Here (none / 0) (#13)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:44:05 PM EST
    From some commenters that Clinton and Obama were miles apart on a multitude of issues, despite the fact that there is/was not a dimes worth of difference between them...

    I dunno squeaky (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by sj on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 01:20:04 PM EST
    It seems to me that working toward single payer vs pre-emptively ruling out single payer is worth much more than a dime.

    For one thing.


    I am not sure that single payer (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by BernieO on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 01:59:49 PM EST
    is as important as universal coverage and affordable insurance. Some countries like Germany do have private insurers, although my understanding is that they are non-profits. Some other countries have this system too. It is not socialized medicine in which the doctors work for the government and is the payer.
    PBS did a documentary a few months ago that explored quite a few systems, analyzing both their strong points and their weaknesses. It was well done. No matter which system, they were all better than ours. They all had good, affordable coverage for everyone.
    It is hard to see how Americans would ever agree to single payer given how much propaganda they have heard, but a system like Germany's would not seem so radical, IMO.

    Germany (5.00 / 4) (#56)
    by Nasarius on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 02:42:39 PM EST
    That's more or less accurate. But the key point is that everyone in Germany is insured (ie, "mandates"). You pay a certain percentage of your income to an insurer with strict legal obligations, unless your income is high enough and you can opt for a private insurer, or low enough and your insurance is free. You pick your insurer, pay modest co-pays (€10 on your first visit per quarter year), but there's no stress getting your insurer to pay for something, as often happens in the US. Dental coverage could be better, and you pay out of pocket for eyeglasses, but other than that...yeah, about the same experience as single-payer. An emergency or serious illness will never bankrupt you.

    Obama's proposed reforms are vastly better than nothing (or magical cure-all tax cuts), but he really poisoned the well with respect to mandates. As Germany decided a number of years ago, the system works much better when everyone pays in.


    Lambert and the other kids (5.00 / 4) (#75)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 04:54:27 PM EST
    over at Corrente have been closely following all the news about Obama's house meetings on health care. A whole lot of Americans do seem to believe single-payer healthcare, perhaps along the line of expanding Medicare to all, is exactly what we need.

    The kids at Corrente also have found numerous newspaper editorials and letters to the editor supporting single-payer. Apparently, despite an almost universal Villager blackout about John Conyer's bill HR 676 (Medicare for All), Americans know about it and want it.

    Single-payer is only as impossible as Barack Obama makes it.


    BS (none / 0) (#77)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 05:08:52 PM EST
    When the question is framed comparing the current system to single payer single payer plan is somewhat more popular, but when it is compared to other plans it ranks the lowest.

    While the public supports action to extend health insurance coverage, there is little agreement on how to solve the problem.  For example, Americans are divided over whether the government should make a major or a limited effort to provide health insurance to the uninsured.  When presented with a variety of policy options that would extend health insurance coverage to more Americans, the public expresses a high level of support for each option, but when asked to select the best option, no single one attracts widespread support.  

    Additionally, we see varying levels of support for selected policy options depending on how the proposal is phrased, and whether counter arguments are presented with the proposal.

    Kaiser poll PDF


    What, exactly, is BS? (5.00 / 4) (#78)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 05:16:49 PM EST
    That the Obama team is holding house meetings about healthcare reform? That people at those meetings express support for single-payer? That editorials are being published that support single-payer? That  HR 676 is a real bill sponsored by John Conyers?

    Or is this just another of your silly responses to anything that isn't awash in Obama worship?


    Inextricably linked in my mind (none / 0) (#55)
    by sj on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 02:38:04 PM EST
    Just as affordable insurance doesn't necessarily equal universal coverage, I don't think health care costs can be managed as long as profits and shareholder earnings are more important than the service that is [supposed to be] provided.

    And I know that we can't go from our current mess directly to single payer in one step, but without the goal, we'll never get there.

    And if propaganda can prevent us from getting what the best solution, why can't it be used to promote it as well?  I've always believed that the only thing the R's are truly good at is marketing.

    I wish I'd seen that documentary.  Do you recall the name of it?


    I think single payer with mandates (none / 0) (#84)
    by hairspray on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:17:54 PM EST
    is ideal.  But in the real world will someone tell me how we expect to pay for it?  I heard the former governor of Oregon speak at a LWV convention this summer saying  that we need to prioritize what we will pay for. Once we do that we can start on how to administer it.  But unless we understand that we cannot pay for everything we will not be able to make it work. In the interim we are trying to get infrastructure up and running with these various plans.

    That former Oregon governor, (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 11:31:36 PM EST
    John Kitzhaber, who is a physician, is very wedded to the idea that health care must be rationed. When he was in the state senate, and then as governor, he revised the Oregon Health Plan (our Medicaid program.) He felt that the amount of money available from the state and the feds for medicaid necessitated rationing. So, a big list of health care items was drawn up, and items were assigned a number on the list. Common illnesses and conditions, like the flu or a cold, got high rankings. Less common illnesses were ranked lower. Then, each biennium ( we have two year state budgets), based on how much money was available, a line was drawn somewhere on that list. Items above the line were covered; items below the line were not. Some things, like organ transplants, I don't think were ever funded.

    The amount of funding was ever changing, and dependent not just on state revenue, but also on what the feds kicked in. There was no reliable source of money. And, when things got really bad, like when the dot com bubble burst, and state revenues crashed, lots of people who had been covered were dropped completely.

    Based on this experience, Kitzhaber is convinced of the need to ration healthcare. Keep in mind, medicaid is not funded by payroll deductions, like medicare is.

    HR 676, John Conyers' single-payer bill, which provides for Medicare for All, explains how this can be accomplished through extending the payroll deduction, and having the federal government set the cost of healthcare services. HR 676 is not based on rationing services.

    I think Kitzhaber is wrong. I think Conyers is right.


    You probably realize that (none / 0) (#89)
    by hairspray on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 12:27:17 AM EST
    Medicare is not only broke but will soon be crashing. Social Security is not in trouble, Medicare is.  Perhaps if all young and healthy people were mandated to join Medicare, we could smooth out the risk pool for the near future, but the problem of baby boomers coming into the pool now is what is causing heartburn. And why? Well, its these elders who are getting cataracts removed, hips and knees replaced and all kinds of heart and arthritic care and of course here come all of the Type II diabetics. There is no way to pay for everything and as a nurse I can say that I agree with the good doctor when he says that 60% of our health problems are lifestyle issues.

    A problem with Medicare (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 12:52:44 AM EST
    is its almost total focus on treatment. The program, and its participants, would be well served by some preventive care. And, yes, Medicare is in financial trouble. Any plan that serves only the aged and the disabled will have problems.

    You are right-- if everyone, young and old, participated in Medicare, the cost would be spread out and, I think, manageable. A change to fund prevention as well as treatment would also help.

    I don't think we need to ration services, though, not if we truly have single-payer. I do think there are practices we need to rethink. For example, how should we think about end of life care? Should we be pulling out all the stops to extend a life by a week? How much should we spend trying to save the life of a desperately ill newborn? These are tough questions that we need to talk about.

    I've read that we would save a phenomenal amount of money by eliminating all the administrative costs our current system generates. And if there are no more gigantic executive salaries and stock options and dividends to pay, won't we be better off? I rather like the idea of a health care system focused on delivering care, not increasing profits.

    There is money to be saved by changing to single-payer. Go read HR 676. I'd be interested to know what you think.


    I will read it. The California Nurses Assoc (none / 0) (#92)
    by hairspray on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 01:15:23 AM EST
    backs single payer, but do agree that everybody won't get everything.  I cannot tell you how hard it is to see new parent's grapple with a preemie that weighs less than 2 lbs. There are few indicators so far (a brain bleed is probably the only one)to tell which infant will be disabled and which will not.  Only the statistics after the fact give us a clue. The costs are monumental and pediatric neonatal specialists almost never let go.  There are a lot of egos and scientific papers and academic tenure at work in this milieu. And of course the media makes a big issue of the 10-20% that do make it.  So the public thinks if everyone just spends more and works harder the baby will be okay.  I didn't mean to go on, but the public, including the relatives of oldsters and end of life issues can sometimes be the worst.And don't get me started on Diabetic II people.

    On the other points you made: (none / 0) (#93)
    by hairspray on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 01:20:19 AM EST
    for profit health Care is an oxymoron IMHO.  Yes, we should be focusing on preventative care, but you do see that Diabetic II disease is going through the roof and it is directly related to EATING TOO MUCH and not exercising. We need lots more living wills, etc.  We aren't even there yet.

    Totally get and (none / 0) (#94)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 01:37:02 AM EST
    agree with your point about Type II Diabetes. Eating better and exercising are critical. That is part of what I mean by preventive care. Yes, we should and must change the way we eat and the way we move. Of course, that also means taking on the industrial food production industry and King Corn and the farm subsidies and a whole slew of other political landmines.

    I can't imagine what it is like to work in neo-natal ICU. Telling parents that it is time to stop trying would be so hard, as would telling a wife and children that it is time to let Dad die. And when you add in religious beliefs about these things, well, it will be hard.

    I'll be interested to hear what you have to say about HR 676. Try googling "HR 676" and "Physicians for National Healthcare."


    The States have done... (none / 0) (#87)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 09:59:14 PM EST
    ...a lot of legwork on prioritizing what should be covered (along with the NAIC).  Most all States have at least one mandated plan that must be offered to small groups.  Colorado has  several, including the Basic and Standard--which are pretty accurately titled.

    Additionaly, most States also have statutes and regulations that mandate the basic health services that must be covered without exception.  

    Both been in place for years and have been reviewed time after time (if not annually).    

    Oregon has a strong DOI, the ex-Gov might want to check out what they do.  

    Or if not what the States have laid-out, why not something similar to Medicare?  That whole system is already built and works fairly well (for a huge government agency).  

    How do we pay for it?  We have to figure out what it would cost before we tackle that prickly issue.  I'm certainly not opposed to an income based mandated enrollment.  The risk needs to be distributed to make it to work.

    We have to do something one way or another.  The price we will pay may well be a drop in the bucket compared to what we can save if one factors in the human factor.  


    See my note to CaseyOR (none / 0) (#90)
    by hairspray on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 12:29:00 AM EST
    We Will Be Lucky (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 02:05:36 PM EST
    To get anything close to Obama's plan regarding universal coverage. The US is in the dark ages when it comes to taking care of the health of its people. Single payer plan is not a remote possibility in this country today.

    Single payer is what I would like, no question about it.

    From my point of view both Obama and Clinton have exactly the same end goal of universal coverage with a single payer plan, but they had slightly different approaches on how to get there.


    I hope you're right (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by sj on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 02:29:58 PM EST
    From my point of view both Obama and Clinton have exactly the same end goal of universal coverage with a single payer plan...

    Because that's not how it looks to me.  

    At all.  


    Obama... (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by pmj6 on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 03:02:06 PM EST
    ...was quoted on NPR a few days ago as saying "if I were designing a health care from scratch, I would go with single payer, but since we have yadda yadda yadda (can't recall exactly what he said there), we'll come up with a unique American solution".

    At least that's my recollection. I have to say I have grown to dread the words "unique American solution". The last 8 years were full of these, it seems...


    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 03:10:22 PM EST
    Unfortunately many americans and congresscritters are for various reasons, maintaining the position that Universal Health Care is socialism and will destroy the high quality system we already have in place, iow let them eat cake.

    UHC is not a popular idea, iow Obama, Clinton et al do not get to unilaterally dismantle what most americans see as a good plan.

    It certainly was not popular when CLitnon was president and the notion of catching up with the rest of the civilized world has not gained much traction since.


    Not what Obama supporters thought (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by sallywally on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 03:20:53 PM EST
    during the Primaries and well afterward.

    "On the issues I care about." (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:45:35 PM EST
    Fantasy Land (none / 0) (#16)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:48:11 PM EST
    You, iirc, were particularly bent out of shape by Obama's admitted drug use.. that is not policy, just in case you were wondering.

    I wish it was.


    "Bent out of shape" is a gross (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:51:45 PM EST
    exxageration.  I thought his admitted drug use, as well as assoc. with Rezko and Ayers, might be issues.  They weren't.  

    OK (none / 0) (#41)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 01:59:52 PM EST
    As bent out of shape as you have ever gotten here at TL. Usually your comments are measured albeit with your tongue is firmly in your cheek and so we do not get to see full flagellation from you, or any wild gestures for that matter.

    Didn't you opine that thought it should disqualify him and that it was political suicide to mention drug use?  Seems to me that you have a hard line regarding drug use especially for those in leadership positions.


    What I sd. was, given the option, I would (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 03:16:12 PM EST
    prefer to vote for a candidate for President who had not ingested cocaine.  

    Yes (none / 0) (#65)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 03:28:28 PM EST
    That was it..  among other relatively less intense statements.

    At least you have acknowledged that you are not representative of the by far larger group of americans that see past drug use/experimentation as normal with no negative effect on leadership ability. Most do not distinguish drug use from alcohol use at least in the sense of Obama's related experience.


    Actually (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Steve M on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 05:02:33 PM EST
    The polling on that issue looked kind of scary for Obama at the time, although I suppose that's not how it played out in the end.

    Here's an interesting piece on the polling.  According to one NYT poll, "74 percent of respondents said they did not think most people they know would vote for a presidential candidate who has ever used cocaine."

    Make of that what you will, and obviously the results of the election speak for themselves, but I'm not sure you should be so confident in claiming that an overwhelming majority of Americans don't see drug use as a negative.  Yes, it's not a big deal in my peer group, but my peer group isn't exactly America...


    Funny (none / 0) (#79)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 05:18:24 PM EST
    That most voters obviously would vote for a President that used cocaine but those voters are so out of touch that they overwhelmingly believe that other Americans are less enlightened then them would never vote for a president who used cocaine..

    ...but I'm not sure you should be so confident in claiming that an overwhelming majority of Americans don't see drug use as a negative.

    Certainly the poll you refer to does not confirm that the opposite is true.


    As I've stated earlier, I think (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 05:32:12 PM EST
    opinion varies depending on the age group of the person being polled.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Steve M on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 06:11:02 PM EST
    The fact that someone votes for Obama certainly does not establish that they believed he had no negatives!

    That's For Sure (none / 0) (#85)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 09:17:42 PM EST
    I disagree... (none / 0) (#32)
    by pmj6 on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 01:18:26 PM EST
    ...I think that Obama is much more conservative than either of the Clintons. Bill Clinton hoped to create universal health insurance and let gays/lesbians serve openly in the military. Hillary made universal health insurance the centerpiece of her campaign, only to be derailed by "I-didn't-vote-for-the-war" Obama campaign.

    But with Obama in office, I think it's more likely we'll see the Bush tax cuts made permanent (in the name of "stimulating the economy", of course) than anything resembling a universal health insurance system.


    Huh, (none / 0) (#42)
    by bocajeff on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 02:00:50 PM EST
    Bill Clinton signed the DADT for the military and the DOMA so you're absolutely wrong concering Bill Clinton and Gay Rights.

    As for Universal Health Care - he had 8 years to do something and except for one attempt that cost the Dems the Congress he didn't do much of anything in that direction.

    I don't care if you love or hate him, just get the facts straight.


    Ummm! You have parsed the facts (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by hairspray on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 02:13:17 PM EST
    quite a bit. Eight years to get Universal health care? With a Newt Gingrich and Tom Delay riding herd in the congress?  As for DOMA there is more, much more context to that story. The gays are big Clinton supporters and they understand that what the military and congress offered was far more egregious than DOMA.  At least Bill didn't invite a noted homophobe to give the major inaugurational prayer.  Read a little context to these stories before you pass them off as "facts"

    Facts, eh? (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by dk on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 02:23:28 PM EST
    Ok, find me one poll that says anything other than the fact that a large majority of gay voters overwhelmingly approve of both Clintons, or that in the Hillary/Barack matchup, a large majority of gay voters picked Hillary.

    Or, are you so sure that the Clintons are so bad with respect to gay rights that you think you know more than those majorities of gay people?  Mighty hubristic, if you asked me.


    Primaries are over. Supposed to (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:45:00 PM EST
    be movin' on, donchaknow?

    bloggers and blogs (3.50 / 2) (#17)
    by Turkana on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:50:00 PM EST
    that revealed themselves during the primaries remain revealed.

    That Is For Sure (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:53:37 PM EST
    But what is most revealed is how remarkably similar a small group of people are able to behave, while making believe that they are polar opposites.

    Could you flesh that out a bit? (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:55:13 PM EST
    Too veiled.  

    Cultists (none / 0) (#30)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 01:06:27 PM EST
    Two sides of one coin.

    This phrase for you (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by sallywally on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 03:23:59 PM EST
    seems to apply only to former Clinton supporters who criticize Obama on anything, no matter how justified that criticism.

    Huh? (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 03:31:55 PM EST
    That is hardly the case. TL ejected most Obama cultists early on, they were just as bad as the ensuing crowd of Hillary cultists, imo.

    Blind adherence to a figure without any ability to criticize that figure, about sums it up.


    Oh (none / 0) (#68)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 03:34:09 PM EST
    And the statement 'TL ejected' refers to the TL community as well as the moderators, and I use the term ejected quite broadly.

    CDS Didn't Disappear (none / 0) (#44)
    by daring grace on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 02:02:27 PM EST
    when Bill and Hillary left the White House. So it's not terribly surprising to see ODS still alive and prevalent as Obama is about to move in.

    Just as those with CDS delighted in disregarding the strengths and achievements of the Clintons to cast them in the worst lights, those with ODS have and will continue to do so with Obama...sigh.

    That's the one thing all those afflicted with these 'DS-es' seem to have in common: their derangements energize them more than anything else.


    OT: have you weighed in on (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:52:27 PM EST
    whether Senate should seat Burris?

    i haven't (none / 0) (#26)
    by Turkana on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:55:23 PM EST
    been posting much.

    i wouldn't seat him. if he were smart, he'd drop out, ask for a special election, and run. this one is unique, and no matter how good or qualified, the appointment itself- and his having accepted it- taints him.


    And Caroline Kennedy? (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:56:47 PM EST
    i have no problem with her (none / 0) (#82)
    by Turkana on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 06:46:31 PM EST
    and find some bloggers' negative obsession with her a bit... um... consistent...

    what taints the burris selection is blago. period. paterson is no blago.


    Nice to see you around (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 01:05:25 PM EST
    I trust all is well?

    Be careful of what you wish for! (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 01:32:47 PM EST
    As an Illinois resident I have two concerns over calling for a special election.

    One is the 50 million price tag. The other is people tend to forget that Obama's seat was held by a Republican. The only reason Obama was even elected to the Senate was because of Alan Keyes. I'm not excited about the Republican's picking the seat up again. In a special election I think that's exactly what will happen. Paul Vallis has moved back to Illinois and theirs rumors that he'll run in next Senate race as a Republican. He stands a very good chance of winning.


    Too bad for Marty Lederman (none / 0) (#2)
    by scribe on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:00:05 PM EST
    He would have made a fine head of OLC - but I guess his outspoken opposition to torture and Bush's "Constitutional Dictatorship" would have gotten the Rethugs' knickers in a twist.

    Now that 80 is the new 60, we need to remember that bringing Democratic ideals more in line with the Republicans', so we can always get to Magical Kumbayah 80, is the overriding goal of all policy pronouncements.

    Take heart...read Greenwald today (none / 0) (#3)
    by oldpro on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:05:05 PM EST
    re Johnson appointment to OLC.

    You'll like it.


    LOL - 80 is the new 60 (none / 0) (#4)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:11:36 PM EST
    You  must have heard Lanny Davis on XM too!

    I'd like 51 to be the new 60, and (none / 0) (#5)
    by ThatOneVoter on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:17:33 PM EST
    40 (or whatever the new count of Republicans comes out) to be the new zero.

    How about you take a look at Dawn Johnsen (none / 0) (#7)
    by Pegasus on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:19:19 PM EST
    before getting your own knickers in a twist?

    (Hint: she's pretty great)


    I'm not saying she'd be bad (none / 0) (#24)
    by scribe on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:54:59 PM EST
    just that Marty likely would have been great.

    Fair enough; he sure would have. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Pegasus on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    I took the time to read not only (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by scribe on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 01:41:42 PM EST
    Greenwald, but also her linked articles from Slate and listen to her YouTube at ACS.  I highly commend the exercise as I think you'll come to the same conclusion as I did:

    With people like her in office, there's hope for this country yet.

    Now, let's see just how much actual power-to-get-things-done she winds up having, as opposed to the possibility that she'll be overruled or just be trotted out to appease the left.

    In so many words - she reads and sounds like what we've been looking for, but the proof will be in the pudding or, as some might say, the convictions and career-destructions of Bushco and the thugs who made it happen.


    Re: pudding, absolutely. (none / 0) (#49)
    by Pegasus on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 02:14:36 PM EST
    I just know that from everything I've seen and read, as well as a brief meet-and-greet after a panel she was on at my school (I'm a law student), I've found her to be impressive as heck.

    Go read one of her (none / 0) (#71)
    by scribe on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 03:45:00 PM EST
    law review articles, at this link. (25 page .pdf)

    She leave no doubt about how she feels (in an academic, lawyerly way) about Bushco and its Constitutional atrocities.


    He also just filled the CIA slot (none / 0) (#37)
    by Saul on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 01:34:24 PM EST
    with Poneta

    what an odd choice (none / 0) (#39)
    by lilburro on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 01:57:22 PM EST
    it strikes me as a simple facelift of the CIA - not a fundamental change.  I wonder if Kappes will continue to be Deputy Director ...hm.

    Seems odd to me also (none / 0) (#43)
    by Democratic Cat on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 02:01:22 PM EST
    I have enormous respect for Mr. Panetta, but does he have intelligence credentials?

    I expected the CIA Director (none / 0) (#51)
    by lilburro on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 02:20:41 PM EST
    to fall loudly, for better or worse, on one side or the other of the intelligence community torture debate.  

    The NYT at least shows that his transition team was pretty hardcore anti-Bush:

    Members of Mr. Obama's transition also raised concerns about other candidates, even some Democratic lawmakers with intelligence experience. Representative Jane Harman of California, formerly the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, was considered for the job, but she was ruled out as a candidate in part because of her early support for some Bush administration programs like the domestic eavesdropping program.

    Doesn't sound like Panetta has anyone to protect though.  That bodes well for prosecutions/investigations of important CIA officials.


    Another Clinton appointee (none / 0) (#45)
    by Saul on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 02:03:36 PM EST
    I am surprised at the amount of his staff that have come from the Clinton administration.  Anybody got a percentage so far of his staff that is from Bill.

    Obama was running against a Clinton (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 03:30:23 PM EST
    ...for a very long time. But many of the people who served in the Clinton administration supported Obama early on. (Case in point, Holder) Actually, I think that Obama put himself a little bit in a box regarding the Clinton administration and I never really believed that he had the same opinion of it as did the virulent CDS-inflicted among his primary supporters. So I'm not surprised by any of this. In fact I am rather pleased because I think that on the administrative level the Clinton White House was enormously talented.

    It is getting harder and (none / 0) (#50)
    by hairspray on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 02:19:40 PM EST
    harder to call this a "change" administration.  Gee!  Do you think Bill had a good admininstration?  Do you think he made some intelligent choices?  Golly, gee whiz!

    Where else, exactly... (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 03:40:01 PM EST
    ...was he going to find Democratic people with cabinet level experience?  Since there's been exactly one Democratic president since Carter, it stands to reason that we're seeing a lot of folks who served under Clinton.  

    Golly gee.


    That was snark. And frankly I am (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by hairspray on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 06:50:36 PM EST
    happy about many of his picks. I agree the people he chose are experienced and will help him manage the sharks that are out to get him.  We have Bill Clinton bloodied as an example of how to avoid those pitfalls. I just which the left wing of the party would stop using the right wing "talking points on Bill and Hillary" and admit that much of that anger is baseless.

    My apologies. (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 09:29:42 PM EST
    The snark went right over my head apparently.

    In my defense, I get a little tired reading of quasi-fright wing talking points about the new administration around here.  Constructive criticism is fine and dandy, but there's a difference between that and looking for every fault, real and/or imagined.  

    It's just as bad as having to listen to the wingnuts (to this very day) blame everything under the sun on one Clinton or the other.  

    If I want to read that kind of stuff, I would go to The Corner, or RedState or JimmyPBJ's "blog".  And trust me, I really don't want to subject my already suspect sanity  to any of those places.  

    /taking snark detector in for a tune-up



    Right (none / 0) (#53)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 02:24:43 PM EST
    Just like BushCo....  no change... lol