Category Archives: Obama Advice

Black Thought Nails Supreme Court Prediction

I am obviously not back on a regular basis, but I will engage in a little self-celebration at getting the first Supreme Court nominee prediction pick head on.

On November 22, 2008, I predicted Sotomayor would be the first Supreme Court nominee . . . and . . . well . . . she is:

Alright folks, I really have no idea how it will go down, but these are my predictions of the order of the nominations selected from the top ten prospects as listed by Salon.
I have no real additional insight into the picks and order aside from my gut feeling.

Nonetheless, here are my picks in order of their future nomination.

Nomination Pick #1

Sonia Sotomayor, 54 — After growing up in a Bronx housing project, Sotomayor has risen to become a judge on one of the most powerful courts in the land: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. As a Hispanic woman, Sotomayor would make an attractive candidate if Obama is looking to diversify the court. There has never been a Hispanic on the Supreme Court, and there is only one woman currently on the bench, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Sotomayor might also have bipartisan appeal. She is politically moderate, and President George H.W. Bush appointed her to her first judgeship.

Obama’s first appointment should rightly be a woman, seeing as they are more than 50% of the population and have one representative on the bench. I believe she will be the first appointment because she is an uncontroversial slightly liberal woman, and would be the first latino to boot. (link)

My prediction was that the second nominee would be Cass Sunstein. We’ll see how how I do in round #2.


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Filed under Civil Liberties, Legal, Obama, Obama Advice, The Civil Rights Movement

Gary Dorrien on Taking Social Investment Seriously

Dorrien on the opportunity presented to Obama in these challenging times:

We need to remember what happened last time. Franklin Roosevelt inherited bank runs, twenty-five percent unemployment, a manufacturing output decline of thirty-five percent from 1929, and a devastating deflation of currency values. The New Deal stopped the bleeding, whittling unemployment to fourteen percent by 1937. But Roosevelt never really believed in Keynesian social investment. The New Deal was a bundle of cautious half-measures. Roosevelt reduced unemployment spending in 1937, which helped to send unemployment soaring to nineteen percent the following year. By 1940, after seven years of New Deal economics, unemployment stood at 14.5 percent and the “New Deal” was not a candidate for iconic status. It became a great success only by gearing up for World War II.

That is hardly a model to emulate. We need huge investments in green technology, infrastructure rebuilding, high-speed trains, education, and health care to meet our human and ecological needs and to utilize the productive capacity of the economy. We need a Securities and Exchange Commission that actually regulates the financial sector, which would be a revolution. Cautious pruning of George W. Bush’s policies will not turn the tide. The question for the Obama administration is whether it really believes in a social and environmental investment strategy, or only half-believes. If taxpayers are going to bail out Citigroup or General Motors, the public should have a proportional say in how these companies operate. That basic justice principle is way overdue to be taken seriously in American politics and perfectly timely. (link)

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Filed under McCain, Obama Advice, The Economy

Jimmy Carter: Obama’s Human Rights Opportunity

Yes he can.

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Filed under Civil Liberties, Human Rights, International Relations, Obama, Obama Advice, Progressive Politics, U.S. Foreign Policy

How Will Clinton Look If She Turns Down Secretary Of State?

Last night at the bar my friend schooled me on why the Clinton pick for Secretary of State.  I’m now convinced it was.  Moreover, who the hell saw that coming?

And, as the pundits said it’s unlikely she would turn it down after the leaks about their meeting. I would think so, but the idea occurs to me that Obama might be even more savy than my conversation last night acknowledged.

Let’s say for a moment that Clinton turns him down.  She’s done more irrational stuff in the past, so although as my bar conversation last night concluded, it’s in her best interest to accept, she may not at the last moment (just like she did not concede after she lost the primary).

I think Obama’s six is pretty well covered. If Clinton turns him down, it kind of makes her look like an asshole.  Clinton supporters could no longer argue Obama somehow wronged her, was unfair to her, or didn’t  treat her with respect.

The fact that he extended the olive branch in such a huge way puts the future onus on her to return the gesture.

It’s hard to imagine somebody offered one of the most coveted jobs in the administration, turning it down, and then undercutting and maligning the person who offered it.

By offering it to Clinton, he also receives cover from attacks by Hillary supporters to select Richardson, now considered a traitor by the Clinton camp. They can’t really object to Richardson if Clinton was his “first choice.”

It may very well be, as is often true, that you offer things to people, but hope they don’t accept.

However, I think it’s probably more likely she’s just waiting to accept in order not to look desperate.

Personally, I hope she declines because I’m tired of hearing about and dealing with her and her weird issues.

I’m sure Obama is as well.

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Filed under Hillary Clinton, International Relations, Obama, Obama Advice, U.S. Foreign Policy

Chris Rock On The Economy & The Next President

Why is Chris Rock always just so right about everything?

Via Jack & Jill Politics:

As an aside, I recently met Chris Rock. Twas an honor.

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Filed under Bill Clinton, Humor, McCain, Obama, Obama Advice, Palin, The Economy, The Spin Wars

I Was Going To Write A Post About What Obama Should Say At The Debates

Today, I’ll limit my advice to show up and show the empty podium next to you!

Yes We Can!

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Filed under Obama, Obama Advice, The Debates 2008

Free John McCain

Just after CNN asks the McCain campaign to free Sarah Palin, we’re forced to ask the Republican nominee to free himself.

According to John McCain, although:

“I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated,” McCain told the Wall Street Journal in late November. (link)

he’s desperately needed in Washington to negotiate a bailout agreement that McCain’s pro deregulation policy stance helped create. Indeed, despite the fact that there are 98 or so other senators working on the issue, despite the fact that Democrats (the majoriry party) have essentially agreed on a plan, and despite the fact that McCain has done literally nothing to assist the last week’s negotiations on the crisis, and despite the fact that the crisis began last week but he didn’t hear anything about suspending a debate until his number tanked, 48 hours before the first debate he is desperately needed.

John McCain is a loser.

He can’t win on any issue so he tries to capture people’s imagination by simply doing unpredictable things.

Well my friends, being unpredictable is not being a maverick in any positive sense of the word. A maverick doesn’t just go a long with the crowd to be a contrarian, but does not do so for a good principled reason.

McCain is just trying to be unpredictable for unpredictability’s sake.

Moreover, this unpredictableness has no relation to actual policies, it’s only campaign tactics. While the political talking heads might praise these tactics, think of how such a politician would govern. Trying to keep the opposing party on their toes, McCain would govern erratically, by way of erratic political tactics and maneuvering. If that doesn’t alarm you , just think of this tactical approach applied to Russia, China, Iran, or North Korea.

Imagine going back in time to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Although Obama is about as even tempered as they come, imagine a leader of a potentially dangerous nation reacting to one of McCain’s stunts. McCain simply flunks the Cuban Missile Crisis test for President I discussed in an earlier post.

In any event, I don’t think McCain’s little stunt will do him much good. Most Americans think it was the wrong move, and nobody likes a loser.

McCain will always be the guy who backed down. Somehow, despite all the experience he campaigned on for so long, he can’t manage two important tasks at once.

McCain’s position is that he cannot get on the telephone and talk to members of Congress, while also preparing for a debate.

He needs to be physically present to help fix an issue even the people on Wall St. don’t fully understand, all the while while his campaign manager was on the books of those responsible to the tune of almost $2 million. That’s a credibility problem from hell where most American never see 2 million dollars . . . ever.

At the end of the day, McCain is conceding he (and his VP nominee) can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, and that his younger less experienced opponent can.

Man, I’m just happy my candidate can execute two tasks at once.

That’s a huge concession, and the Obama campaign should implicitly press the point until November 4, 2008.

I leave with a comprehensive history of John McCain’s endless quotes deriding the benefits of regulation, that he now wished to simply cover up now that deregulation of Wall St. may risk the next big depression.

Quotes can be that inconvenient sort of truth . . .


John McCain: The Deregulator

I don’t think anyone who wants to increase the burden of government regulation and higher taxes has any real understanding of economics and the economy and what is needed in order to ensure the future of this country.”
– John McCain [McCain Town Hall in Inez, Kentucky, 4/23/08]

McCain Is An Avid Supporter Of Lax Rules For Financial Institutions

McCain Supported A Banking Bill Because It Eliminated “The Tremendous Regulatory Burden Imposed On Financial Institutions.” While speaking in favor of bank deregulation on the floor of the senate, John McCain said, “This legislation takes a small but important step toward eliminating the tremendous regulatory burden imposed on financial institutionsOne principal reason banks are unable to make loans is the bewildering array of statutory and regulatory restrictions and paperwork requirements imposed by Congress and the regulatory agencies. While a case can certainly be made that every law and regulation is intended to serve a laudable purpose, the aggregate effect of the rapidly increasing regulatory burden imposed on banks is to cause them to devote substantial time, energy and money to compliance rather than meeting the credit needs of the community.” [Congressional Record, 11/19/93; emphasis added]

McCain Supported A Bill To “Takes A Small Step Forward Toward Eliminating Unnecessary Regulatory Burdens Imposed On Banks.” While speaking in favor of bank deregulation on the floor of the senate, John McCain said, “While a case can certainly be made that every law and regulation is intended to serve a laudable purpose, the aggregate effect of the rapidly increasing regulatory burden imposed on banks is to cause them to devote substantial time, energy and money to compliance rather than meeting the credit needs of the community … This bill recognizes this fact, and takes a small step forward toward eliminating unnecessary regulatory burdens imposed on banks.” [Congressional Record, 11/19/93; emphasis added]

McCain Said The Best Thing Government Can Do For Business Is “Stay Out Of Its Way.” While speaking about the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act on the floor on the Senate in 2000, John McCain said, “I am convinced that the best thing government can often do to advance the fortunes of the private sector is to stay out of its way. I support this bill because it makes progress toward that end, by improving companies’ flexibility to hire the talent they need, while providing for the regulatory framework and new educational opportunities to protect and promote American workers.” [Congressional Record, 10/3/00; emphasis added]

In 1999, McCain Supported Phil Gramm’s Banking Deregulation Bill. In 1999, John McCain voted for passage of the Senate version of a bill that would eliminate current barriers erected by the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act and other laws that impede affiliations between banking, securities, insurance and other firms. The bill also would exempt small, non-urban banks from the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), revise the Federal Home Loan Bank system and require that owners of automated teller machines (ATMs) provide notice on the ATM and on-screen of any charges imposed for the use of the terminal. The bill passed 54-44. [S. 900, Vote #105, 5/6/99]

McCain Missed The Vote For Final Passage Because He Was Campaigning In New Hampshire. John McCain missed the final vote on Phil Gramm’s banking deregulation bill because he was campaigning in New Hampshire. [NPR, “Morning Edition,” 11/5/99; S. 900, Vote #354, 11/4/99]

McCain Has Based His 2008 Campaign On Promoting Less Regulation

McCain: “I Don’t Think Anyone Who Wants To Increase The Burden Of Government Regulation And Higher Taxes Has Any Real Understanding Of Economics.” During a McCain Town Hall in Inez, Kentucky, John McCain said, “When we come out of this recession and we will because I believe that the fundamentals of our economy are good … Sen. Clinton wants the government to make the decisions for you on your health care, I want the families to make the decisions on their health care. I don’t think anyone who wants to increase the burden of government regulation and higher taxes has any real understanding of economics and the economy and what is needed in order to ensure the future of this country.” [McCain Town Hall in Inez, Kentucky, 4/23/08; emphasis added]

McCain: “I Understand Why The AFL-CIO And Maybe Other Unions May Oppose My Free Market, Less Regulation, Right To Work.” During an appearance on Fox’s “Special Report with Brit Hume,” John McCain said, “I understand why the AFL-CIO and maybe other unions may oppose my free market less regulation right to work. I think we have honest differences of opinion. I respect those labor unions, but I’m sure that those differences are very intense and very real.” [Fox News,” Special Report with Brit Hume,” 3/12/08]

McCain: “Let’s Reduce Regulation.” While speaking about the economy in St. Louis, Missouri, John McCain said, “I’m asked all the time are we in a recession or not in a recession. And I don’t know the answer to that because it’s kind of a technical term… I do not believe we should raise your taxes. I think it would be the worst thing we could do. And that means to me I think the tax cuts need to be made permanent. When you’ve got a bad economy, the worst thing you can do is increase people’s tax burden. Let’s reduce it. Let’s reduce regulation.” [CNN, “Ballot Bowl, 3/15/08]

McCain: “We Need To Return To The Reagan Years… We Need Less Regulation.” As shown on PBS’s “Washington Week,” John McCain said, “We need to return to the Reagan years. We need to have fiscal conservatism. We need less government. We need less regulation. We need to end of spending spree which has eroded our base of Republican support.” [PBS, “Washington Week,” 1/25/08]

McCain Promised To “Give Them Lower Taxes, Less Regulation, Less Government In Their Lives.” As shown on CNN’s “CNN Newsroom,” John McCain said, “We’ve got to do the other things necessary to encourage business and give them lower taxes, less regulation, less government in their lives, and that means a simpler, fairer — tax code. The tax code in America is broken and it needs to be fixed.” [CNN, “CNN Newsroom,” 2/14/08]

To Fix the Economy, McCain Would “We’ve Got To Take Specific Actions, Keep Their Taxes Low, Less Regulation.” As shown on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” John McCain said, “That our economy is in terrible shape, that we’ve got to take specific actions, keep their taxes low, less regulation, get – start exploring and exploiting offshore oil deposits.” [ABC, “Good Morning America,” 7/2/08]

McCain Said The Difference Between Obama & Himself Would Be “More Regulation Or Less Regulation.” During a media availability in Phoenix, Arizona, John McCain said, “I think the important thing is that there will be stark differences between either Senator [Clinton] or Senator Obama and me because they are liberal Democrats and I’m a conservative Republican… whether we pursue the present strategy in Iraq or whether we — or whether we set a date for withdrawal, which will mean Al Qaida wins; whether we have more regulation or less regulation.” [McCain Media Availability via CQ Transcriptions, 3/3/08; emphasis added]

McCain: “Less Government, Lower Taxes, Less Regulation, Safer America Is What I Can Give America.” During an appearance on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” John McCain said, “I can make a case that a less government, lower taxes, less regulation, safer America is what I can give America. But I don’t underestimate the size of the challenge.” [CBS, “60 Minutes,” 3/9/08]

McCain Is Long-Time Supporter Of Deregulation

McCain: “I Am A Deregulator. I Believe In Deregulation.” While speaking about the cable and satellite television during an appearance on CNN’s “On the Money,” John McCain said, “I am a deregulator. I believe in deregulation.” [CNN, “In the Money,” 7/13/03]

McCain: “The Basic Core Principles Of The Republican Party… Less Government Is Best Government, Less Regulation.” When asked how the Republican Party can recover after the losses in the 2006 election, John McCain said, “By returning to the basic core principles of the Republican Party, very careful stewardship of tax dollars, less government is best government, less regulation, lower taxes, strong national defense, community and family values.” [CNN, “CNN Newsroom,” 11/8/06]

McCain: “I Have A Long Voting Record In Support Of Deregulation.” The St. Petersburg Times quoted McCain at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing as having said, “I have a long voting record in support of deregulation.” [St. Petersburg Times, 6/5/03]

McCain: “I Continue To Believe In A Strong National Defense, Free Trade, Deregulation.” During an appearance on CNN’s “Wolf Blitzer Reports,” John McCain said, “I continue to believe in a strong national defense, free trade, deregulation. I’m pro-life. There are many, many issues that I feel would make it very difficult for Democrats to embrace me.” [CNN, “Wolf Blitzer Reports,” 5/8/02; emphasis added]

McCain: “Keep The Regulation Of The Government As Much As Possible Out Of People’s Lives.” During an appearance on PBS’s “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” John McCain said, “If you inspect my 17-year voting record, it’s a proud conservative Republican who acts on principles and one who obviously has a very strong commitment to the leadership role the United States has to play… I think that’s probably one of our first efforts – keep the regulation of the government as much as possible out of people’s lives.” [PBS, “NewHour with Jim Lehrer,” 2/2/00]

McCain: “I Believe In Smaller Government… Less Regulation.” During an interview on PBS’s “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” John McCain said, “, I would argue that I have 17 years of legislative experience with a clear voting record of a strong conservative. I believe in smaller government, stronger defense, lower taxes, less regulation, encouragement of entrepreneurship, encouragement of legal immigration. I think that my fundamental philosophies and beliefs are very clear, and I’ve articulated them for years and years. And most importantly, I voted on them.” [PBS, “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” 10/15/99]

McCain: “I’ve Been A Good Party Member. I Agree On Most Issues, Fundamentals Of Lower Taxes, Less Regulation.” During an appearance on CNN’s “Crossfire,” John McCain said, “I’ve been a good party member. I agree on most issues, fundamentals of lower taxes, less regulation, smaller government, coherent foreign policy, strong national defense.” [CNN, “Crossfire,” 9/13/99]

McCain Supports Deregulation Whenever Possible. The Journal of Commerce reported, “A McCain aide notes in the past he has supported deregulation of other industries. ‘Any time you can responsibly deregulate, Sen. McCain wants to deregulate,’ the aide said.” [Journal of Commerce, 1/6/97]

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Filed under Decision 2008, Domestic Politics, Framing, McCain, Obama, Obama Advice, Palin, The Debates 2008, The Economy, The Spin Wars, U.S. Foreign Policy