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Liberal Outrage

John McCain *lost* the election

Magazines are bathroom reading, so forgive me for talking about an article that came out in April, but i wanted to call something out of this Obama Vs. The Hawks article in Rolling Stone. The article is sourced from anonymous former Obama advisers so i don't know how much stock to put in it. For example, there's a valiant effort to give Kerry credit for his sarcastic offhand remark that gave us an out on Syria and barely mentions Britain's rejection of military action there. But what i wanted to call out was this:

"In part, the reason why they were focusing on doing something on Syria is that they felt people were pushing them," says another former White House adviser. "McCain, Lindsey Graham - it is unbelievable how influential Senator Graham was in the president's thinking. They desperately wanted Lindsey on their side. It's a fact that those two - and you have to include Joe Lieberman and Senator Kelly Ayotte - have had enormous influence on the way the White House thinks. But why? They have influence far beyond the reality of their power."

The article doesn't provide an answer. But i agree it's a mind-boggling question. These Senators are the Hawkiest of Hawks whose answer to everything is to bomb, bomb, bomb. Voters at a national level rejected McCain for Obama (and also rejected Lieberman). So why is Obama going to McCain and his little gang for approval? This is beyond the fact that, as everyone is pointing out nowadays, McCain has basically been wrong about everything so it's not like he's got some deep insight into foreign affairs. I'm just talking from a pure "what's the point of an election?" point of view if the guy we voted for is going to spend his time trying to please the guy we voted against. Of course he did the same type of thing by making Hillary Clinton Secretary of State and bringing in people from Bill Clinton's administration (Geithner!) but at least there you can argue they're all broadly part of the same ideological coalition. Almost by definition, if you can get McCain and Graham to agree with you, you're working against your own political party.

And beyond all of that, does anyone think Obama could ever do anything that would make McCain and Graham run to the cameras and talk about how great it was? For all that they influence Obama, have they ever complimented him for it, or more to the point, worked their connections in Senate to help him get bills passed? Have they ever made any compromise or concession at all with the Obama administration? Consistently wrong, ideologically opposed, and unhelpful and unable to be satisfied. Why in the world would you keep reaching out to them?

By fnord12 | June 26, 2014, 8:12 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

"Gosh, I'm gonna have to disagree with the doctor here"

Maybe because he's a madman?

By fnord12 | June 26, 2014, 4:14 PM | Liberal Outrage & Ummm... Other? | Link

Racism and AP History Exam Grading

So, WTF?

T-shirt front:

T-shirt back:

At the 2014 grading of AP World History exams in Salt Lake City, conducted by high school and college educators specializing in topics related to world history, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and College Board leadership engaged in culturally insensitive and racist behavior toward Asians, particularly Chinese people. The images above are from the front and back of a t-shirt designed for readers by the leaders of the AP World History exam grading. The images allude to one of the essay questions on this year's exam, a question about the Chinese Communist Party.

After Asian Americans and others pointed out that the shirt design was offensive, the director of ETS's Human Resources department agreed that it should be altered. But she later changed her mind, deeming it "not offensive," and approved it for printing and distribution. It was subsequently purchased by hundreds of high school teachers and college professors who were in Salt Lake City for the reading.

Sadly, many AP World History teachers and academics who were grading exams this year were not put off by this racist imagery. Hundreds of educators purchased this shirt and wore it on the last day. It is deeply disturbing that people who teach World History could be so indifferent to racial and cultural insensitivity.


Oh, well, i'm so glad the HR director wasn't offended. Guess that means it's totally not racist. Thanks!

As fnord12 said, what does this say about the bias of the people grading the tests?

By min | June 26, 2014, 3:59 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Big Government Cheese

Reading Matthew Yglesias about an unrelated topic (a brewing fight about the Export-Import Bank, if you're interested), he says as an aside:

...did you know the US Department of Agriculture runs a Dairy Checkoff Program in which it partners with major fast food companies to design innovative cheese-intensive products such as Taco Bell's double steak quesadillas and Pizza Hut's 3-cheese stuffed pizza crust?

No. I did not know that. And that's pretty crazy. Here is the link.

By fnord12 | June 24, 2014, 10:55 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Words mean things

Or maybe they don't:

The paper offered an expanded definition of "imminence," noting that "an 'imminent' threat of violent attack against the United States does not require ... clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future."

Kevin Drum has more to say:

Thus, the problem I've always had isn't specifically with the targeting of Awlaki, but with the fact that the targeting was based on such a flimsy legal pretext. However, despite the fact that I'm disappointed in Obama's decision to interpret the AUMF widely, most of the blame on that score should be directed not at Obama, but at Congress. The AUMF is now more than a dozen years old, and it's long past time for Congress to emerge from its fetal crouch and write a new law specifically designed for our present circumstances. Among other things, it should address the president's ability to target American citizens for killing. If Congress wants to give the president that power, it should debate and pass a law and the courts should rule on its constitutionality. That's the rule of law. And regardless of whether I liked the law, I'd accept it if Congress passed it, the president signed it, and the Supreme Court declared it constitutional.

Instead, as usual, Congress prefers to do nothing. This leaves them free to kibitz if they don't like what the president is doing, or to simply avoid having to take a stand at all. It's shameful.

By fnord12 | June 24, 2014, 10:41 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Darth Maul Bin Laden

Does anyone else think maybe the CIA has too much money and not enough to do?

By fnord12 | June 19, 2014, 5:08 PM | Liberal Outrage & Star Wars & Ummm... Other? | Comments (1)| Link

*More* primary choices?

Kevin Drum raises a number of concerns with Hillary Clinton's foreign policy positions, and i agree with him, but he ends with, "This is one of the reasons that Democrats need more primary choices in 2016."

More? Do we have any? I mean, i know we have this guy but i don't really see that going anywhere.

By fnord12 | June 19, 2014, 10:18 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2)| Link

More on reparations

On a day when people won't even concede to a 30 year old name change of a character that was originally an ethnic slur, i thought it would be good to follow up on Ta-Nehisi Coates' writing on reparations. This one is a response to his critics, especially the piece from the National Review's Kevin D. Williamson, which you can click through to read as well.

By fnord12 | June 3, 2014, 9:18 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Kudos for meeting your legal requirements

Yglesias and Krugman have positive things to say about Obama's decision to have the EPA regulate carbon emissions. Both essentially make the same point, which is that Obama is finally starting to see that he's not going to be able to reason with the Republicans. Here's Yglesias:

Once upon a time, of course, the White House had a fairly ambitious second term agenda...

Indeed, the "fiscal cliff" deal with congressional Republicans that raised less revenue than progressives wanted and less than it seemed like Obama could get by playing hardball was justified in part in the name of that agenda. The theory was that the president needed to clear the decks of the tax issue in order to make room for action on comprehensive immigration reform, gun safety regulation, a new surface transportation bill, and maybe even an overhaul of K-12 education.

But a fairly weak gun bill hashed out by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) was filibustered to death in the Senate. An immigration bill that did manage to pass the Senate is languishing in the House where John Boehner won't give it a vote.

I agree with all of that and i'm glad that the EPA will be taking this action. But it's worth noting (again) that this is basically required by law after a 2006 Supreme Court case. Both Bush and Obama dragged their feet on this, but it's not like Obama is suddenly and unilaterally making this decision. This gets surprisingly little mention, and when it does it's mainly to deflect (absurd) charges of fascism, but it was covered recently in a TPM Cafe piece.

By fnord12 | June 2, 2014, 10:38 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

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