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Inauguration Live Thread One

Best seats in the house...in front of the tv, watching in HD

10:45 am: The Clintons, Ted Kennedy, Michelle Obama and Dick Cheney (in a wheelchair) are arriving.

President Bush and soon to be President Barack Obama are walking into their car to cheers.

Update 11:01 am: Michelle Obama and Laura Bush just entered, Michelle looking happy. GW and Obama entered next. There are hundreds of thousands of people in the crowd watching, with the Washington Monument in the background. John Roberts is arriving.

Interesting tidbit: Roberts will be swearing in a new president who voted against his confirmation. More updates below:

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Bad Choices for the CIA

Decisions, decisions, decisions.  Right now, there is a really ridiculous op-ed in the NYT about rendition that promotes the deepest Bushisms we are fighting against - and the ones that make Rand Beers and other cosigners of the Campaign to Ban Torture such great choices.  

It is a demonstration of how difficult it can be to dominate the narrative.  Never expect the MSM to agree with you.

And watch when they forward something you hate - Newsweek has Mark Hosenball publishing an article that I considered completely improbable - on Obama keeping Steve Kappes.  I thought this was some AP joke.

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On Brennan & Torture Commissions

Yesterday, Glenn Greenwald linked to what he describes as a "very realistic, and rather Obama-sympathetic, point of view regarding his appointments and what he intends to do."  This link was to Jane Hamsher's diary "Obama and a Paucity of Progressives."  

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The Company's Company Man: Notes on Brennan 3

I have wanted to write something on John Brennan that has to do with his post-CIA business dealings and his chairmanship of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (which dates from Spring 2007 til about a week ago).  Like most other aspects of Brennan, his business and INSA dealings disturbingly reflect the status quo at the CIA and will in practice undermine Obama's stated goals if he is appointed CIA Director.

For this diary I will be leaning heavily on Meteor Blades' review of Tim Shorrock's "Spies for Hire" and Tim Shorrock's book itself, portions of which can be read for free on Google Books.  I want to use their insights to demonstrate Brennan's involvement in the corruption of the Bush administration.

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CIA CYA: Notes on Brennan Part 2

Recently, I wrote a diary outlining the many reasons why John Brennan should not serve in any capacity, particularly as head of the CIA, in the Obama administration.  Fortunately the number of people questioning Brennan's association with Obama has grown.

If Obama appoints Brennan to head the CIA, it is truly a big deal and a big problem.  It is not enough that Brennan does not approve of waterboarding at this moment.  

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Why We Should Say No to Brennan

As Obama puts together his transition teams for various departments and looks to future appointments, and we approach the exciting day of January 20th, I think it is important to be clear and to provide a strong body of resources for progressive opposition to John Brennan.  

I think it is important to recognize that we can do a lot better than John Brennan.  The purpose of this diary is to collect important sources, show evidence of Brennan's complicity in the worst of the Bush administration's programs, demonstrate Brennan's association with the most conservative aspects of the intelligence community, and show that there are better experts out there.

Thanks to the people who authored these sources, and esp. to BTD for bringing up Brennan in the first place.  I hope this is not too repetitive but I think it is important to gather all this information in one diary/place.

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Pew Research Poll: Growing Doubts About John McCain

The Pew Research Center released a new poll today. Shorter version: Voters have increasing doubts about John McCain's judgment, age and campaign conduct.

Currently, Obama enjoys his widest margin yet over McCain among registered voters, at 52% to 38%. When the sample of voters is narrowed to those most likely to vote, Obama leads by 53% to 39%.

On views of Obama:

More voters see him as “well-qualified” and “down-to-earth” than did so a month ago. Obama also is inspiring more confidence on several key issues, including Iraq and terrorism, than he did before the debates. Most important, Obama now leads McCain as the candidate best able to improve economic conditions by a wider margin (53% to 32%).

As for McCain: [More...]

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Memo to Obama: Supporting Down Ticket Dems is Important

Like many of their fellow congressional types, Kirsten Gillibrand and Joe Sestak are running for re-election. There are several Senate races out there too...some where Senate Dems might be able to pick up in-trouble GOP seats:
With 23 GOP seats up for grabs this year -- versus only a dozen Democratic seats -- Senate Democrats see a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pad their majority with as many as four to seven new seats.

This could be a great chance to get that solid majority in the Senate we've been discussing...that senators have claimed they need to "get stuff done."

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How Clinton Won West Virginia by Appealing to Edwards Voters

Cross posted at Corrente

On Super Tuesday, over 14% of voters in the Oklahoma Democratic Primary voted for neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama, despite their being the only two major Democratic candidates left in the race.  This was nearly twice the percentage of "someone else" votes as the next highest state (Arizona, with 7.2% of "neither" votes), and four times greater than Super Tuesday primary states over all (3.74% "neither" votes).

John Edwards received the lion' share (10.14% of the overall vote) of the `neither" vote, and his supporters represented a significant opportunity for both Clinton and Obama.  By examining where Edwards did well, both candidates could try and appeal to these "neither Clinton nor Obama" voters.

A review of exit polling from West Virginia shows that Hillary Clinton took advantage of the opportunity to appeal to Edward's voters, and it was her success among those voters that made the difference between her 24 point win over Obama in Oklahoma, and her 41 point margin over Obama in West Virginia.  Obama not merely failed to attract the support of Edwards voters, he actually lost support in the demographic categories where Edwards did best.

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Clinton Hangs On, Obama Drops in Polls, With Negative Media Attention

Aka Obama's Sour Apples to Apples, Part Four

Between late February and mid-April, voters in nine states that should/could be "Democratic" in the 2008 Presidential Election were exposed to a considerable amount of negative informative concerning both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The negative information had little impact on how Hillary Clinton was regarded when compared to John McCain.  But it has had a major impact on their perception of Barack Obama, and on the perception of the relative merits of Obama and McCain.

Overall, the worst that can be said about Clinton is the negative press attention has resulted in more previously undecided voters in certain demographic categories expressing a preference for McCain rather than for Clinton.   But Obama is not merely losing "undecided" voters in most demographic categories because of negative media coverage, a significant percentage of voters who had supported Obama over McCain have switched their preferences.

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