ABC News commentator George Stephanopoulos directed pointed, hard-edged questions to Republican presidential candidates during Saturday night’s New Hampshire debate, often attacking without providing evidence to justify his broadsides.
When questioning former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Stephanopoulos, a former senior advisor in the administration of Democratic President Bill Clinton, premised some inquiries on the assertion — offered without supporting facts — that Romney’s job-creation statistics were inaccurate.
“Now, there have been questions about that calculation of 100,000 jobs. So if you could explain it a little more,” Stephanopoulos asked Romney of the former governor’s claims about jobs created by companies he has helmed. “I’ve read some analysts who look at it and say that you’re counting the jobs that were created but not counting the jobs that were taken away. Is that accurate?”
“No, it’s not accurate,” Romney bluntly responded. “It includes the net of both. I’m a good enough numbers guy to make sure I got both sides of that.”
president bill clinton
Peter Orszag will become the first member of President Obama’s cabinet to leave:
White House budget director Peter Orszag plans to leave government in July, becoming the first member of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet to depart, administration officials said Monday. Orszag is likely to join a think tank, colleagues said.
Presidential advisers say a possible successor as director of the Office of Management and Budget is Rob Nabors, who was Orszag's deputy and went over to the Chief of Staff’s office to be a senior adviser to Rahm Emanuel. Nabors now he attends the 7:30 a.m. senior staff meeting and insiders say his stock never dropped, but only gained in value.
Two other possible replacements each served as chief economic adviser to President Bill Clinton: Laura D’Andrea Tyson of the University of California at Berkeley, named by Obama as a member of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board; and Gene Sperling, now a counselor to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
What we really need is a new thinker in there – someone along the lines of a Paul Krugman. Everyone agrees that things like the stimulus was never enough, and the President never pushed for more. He needs advisers that will push him to really get this economy under control.
There has been non-stop talk this week about Joe Sestak's job offer by the Obama administration if he wouldn't run against Arlen Specter. Now we have some answers:
Senior White House advisers asked former President Bill Clinton to talk to Joe Sestak about whether he was serious about running for Senate, and to feel out whether he'd be open to other alternatives, according to sources familiar with the situation.
But the White House maintains that the Clinton-Sestak discussions were informal, according to the sources. The White House, under pressure to divulge the specifics of its interactions with Sestak, will release a formal statement later today outlining their version of events, including Clinton's involvement.
As Gregg points out, the fact that Clinton was actually involved in this shows how much the White House didn't want Specter to have to face Sestak in the primary. Regardless, I still don't see anything illegal, or even unethical in this. These are the type of games that happen in Washington all the time. Sure the people are tired of it, but Democratic and Republican administrations have both engaged in the same practices for decades. The Republicans calling for a special prosecutor is nothing more than a grand stand, but given that Clinton is involved now, I'm sure they will push it even more.
Per a breaking news alert from AP, Clinton suggested an "unpaid, advisory role" to Sestak. So it wasn't even an actual "job", but rather letting Sestak stay in the House and also act as an advisor. Nothing wrong with that.
The lady that Buffalo Spingfield lyrics were written for:
The Minnesota Republican congresswoman who claimed that President Barack Obama nationalized "51 percent" of the economy has concocted a yet stranger fiction.
She believes former President Bill Clinton is trying to "take me out."
"Because I'm using a statement like 'gangster,' I'm responsible for creating the climate of hate that could lead to another Timothy McVeigh and another Oklahoma City bombing," Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) remarked at a recent fundraiser, referencing an earlier comment she made in which she called the Obama Administration a "gangster government."
She continued: "I'm in my second term as a Congresswoman and the former president of the United States decides I'm important enough to take me out!"
Everyone is out to get Michele and now it’s Bill Clinton! Talk about a nut job.
And just for some extra fun, and maybe to prove I’m out to get Bachmann, I just realized who she is. There was an episode of King of the Hill where the anti-government paranoid Dale Gribble has to work with a female exterminator, who also shares many of his paranoid views. I give you the unintended cartoon version of Michele Bachmann:
And you can view the full episode here.
Call the Pope because hell is freezing over:
Senators John McCain and Maria Cantwell are joining forces to reinstate the Depression-era Glass-Steagal [sic] Act of 1933, which separated commercial banking from Wall Street investment banking. According to Newsweek, the two plan to announce the bipartisan McCain-Cantwell bill on Wednesday morning.
The Glass-Steagall law was repealed in 1999, allowing for commercial and investment banking to combine. Bloomberg notes that its repeal has sparked debate as to whether it "helped spawn reckless lending practices and financial speculation that led to the meltdown of credit markets last year and the $700 billion U.S. bailout of troubled banks."
There is something here that really has me scratching my head. Glass-Steagall was repealed by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999 and proudly signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton. The main author of that bill was Phil Gramm, who also served as the top economic adviser to the McCain/Palin campaign. So Gramm was good enough to advise McCain on economic issues, yet McCain now wants to repeal Gramm’s keystone legislation?
I love the idea of us getting back to real regulation in the banking sector but I really question the motives of McCain on this issue.
That’s the meme the wingnuts are trying to spin right now, following the lead of Byron York:
Vice President Joe Biden's favorable rating has fallen to 42 percent in a new Gallup poll, down from a high of 59 percent just after last year's election. Biden's unfavorable rating in the new poll is 40 percent, up from 29 percent last November. (Eighteen percent of those surveyed say they have no opinion of Biden.)
Biden's average favorable rating during his time in office so far is 45 percent -- well below the average 65 percent favorable rating for Vice President Dick Cheney during Cheney's first year in office. Vice President Al Gore's favorable rating during his first year, 55 percent, was also higher than Biden's. (Gallup did not measure vice presidential popularity before Gore.)
This really isn’t that shocking. Biden hasn’t been front and center on a lot of stuff. We just went from a period of imperial vice-presidencies, lead by Cheney, to returning the office back to it’s constitutionally intended place.
What’s really interesting though is how York finishes his post:
Finally, there is a greater gap between Biden's favorable rating and President Obama's than there was between Cheney and President George W. Bush and Gore and President Bill Clinton. Biden's 45 percent average favorable rating this year is well below Obama's average of 63 percent. Cheney's 65 percent average was near Bush's average of 69 percent, and Gore's 55 percent rating was close to Clinton's average of 57 percent.
India has raised their national security level to “war level” following last week’s attacks in Mumbai:
The fallout from a three-day rampage that killed nearly 200 people in Mumbai threatened on Sunday to unravel India's improving ties with Pakistan and prompted the resignation of India's security minister.
New Delhi said it was raising security to a "war level" and had no doubt of a Pakistani link to the attacks, which unleashed anger at home over the intelligence failure and the delayed response to the violence that paralyzed India's financial capital.
Officials in Islamabad have warned any escalation would force it to divert troops to the Indian border and away from a U.S.-led anti-militant campaign on the Afghan frontier.
India and Pakistan at war again. That’s real comforting in the world today, especially when we are talking about two nuclear nations. But don’t worry, we have Condi to the rescue:
President George W. Bush on Sunday dispatched Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to New Delhi in support of India following the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 200 people, including six Americans.</p>
Rice and Bush wanted an opportunity "to express the condolences of the American government directly to the Indian government and the Indian people," Rice spokesman Sean McCormack said.
Bill Clinton was the last Democrat to win Georgia, so it’s fitting that he heads on down there and campaigns for Jim Martin. Well that’s exactly what he is going to do:
Former President Bill Clinton will headline a rally for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jim Martin on Wednesday, the candidate’s campaign announced Saturday. Clinton is the first big name Democrat to stump for Martin in his Dec. 2 runoff battle with Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
There has been a lot of talk that Obama should go down there and campaign. I haven’t been on that side of the argument. I think Obama has a rather full plate right now. I’m sure if he could find the time to do it, then he would, but there is also a huge security risk now that he is President-elect Obama. I also think Bill will give Martin every bit as much of a boost as Obama in Georgia.
A familiar face from the Clinton years:
Gregory B. Craig, a well-known Washington lawyer who quarterbacked President Bill Clinton’s impeachment defense, has been chosen White House counsel by President-elect Barack Obama, according to Democratic officials.
Craig is intimately familiar with the president-elect’s record because he played the role of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in debate preparations.
The officials said Obama has settled on Craig but were not sure when the appointment would be announced.
Harriett Miers he is not – thank God!
Especially when things like this are being said:
The third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives and one of the country’s most influential African-American leaders sharply criticized former President Bill Clinton this afternoon for what he called Mr. Clinton’s “bizarre” conduct during the Democratic primary campaign.
Representative James E. Clyburn, an undeclared superdelegate from South Carolina who is the Democratic whip in the House, said that “black people are incensed over all of this,” referring to statements that Mr. Clinton had made in the course of the heated race between his wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Senator Barack Obama.
Good way to destroy a legacy Bill.
Sticking with their National Enquirer style questioning, I can't believe the moderators didn't ask this:
"Recently our own Brian Ross uncovered some disturbing details about your time as First Lady, Senator Clinton. In his investigation he found out that you were in the White House on the day your husband, Former President Bill Clinton, was receiving oral sex from an intern, Monica Lewinsky. How did you not know that was happening? Did you hear a slurping noise and suspect your husband was enjoying a Tootsie-Roll Pop?"
I mean it would have rated right up there with all the other crap they asked.
Bottom line is that Fox News is in for a very rough 2008. And the umbrella reason for that is quite simple: Eight years ago the all-news cable channel went all-in on the presidency of George W. Bush and became a broadcast partner with the White House. Proof of that was on display Sunday night, Jan. 27, during Fox News' prime-time "Fighting to the Finish," a "historic documentary" on the final year of Bush's presidency. Filmed in HD and featuring "unprecedented access," according to the Fox News press release, the show was pure propaganda. (I must have missed Fox News' "Fighting to the Finish" special back in 2000, chronicling the conclusion of President Bill Clinton's second term and his "extraordinarily consequential tenure.")
Seriously - isn't that what we have heard for years? They blame Clinton and Carter. So then riddle me this one:
Anxious not to repeat mistakes of past Middle East peace-making, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has turned to former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter for tips ahead of her own conference this year.
Rice invited Carter, a vocal critic of Bush administration policies, to the State Department on Wednesday where the two discussed his Arab-Israeli peacemaking efforts in the 1970s, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said on Friday.
Their talks were "good and cordial," he said. They focused on the Middle East and not Carter's recent criticism of President George W. Bush's policies in Iraq and elsewhere.
A Soviet specialist, Rice also telephoned another former Democratic president, Bill Clinton, who tried, and ultimately failed, in his eight years in office to bring the Israelis and Palestinians together.
I guess Democrats weren't too bad for the Middle East. I can't wait for the Republicans to cry foul on this one!
An article in today's Washington Post discusses how Democrats are targeting their opponents and using past and present legal/ethical problems their competition has faced as issues in their campaigns. The article takes a slant towards painting the Democrats strategy as dangerous. This part in particular highlights that slant:
Former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie said Democrats are dangerously close "to overreaching" in their attacks, risking a political backlash like the one that damaged Republicans after they pushed for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton over the Monica S. Lewinsky scandal in 1998. Democratic operatives said they are aware of this possibility but are calculating that, as long as the attacks are at the local level, they will not backfire.
Now the examples the article gives are pretty severe:
- Rep Don Sherwood's alleged assault on a former mistress, including allegations of choking.
- Deborah Pryce and what she did/didn't do in the Mark Foley scandal
- Joy Padgett and her close ties to now convicted felon Bob Ney (who will be sentenced today - more on that later)
- John Doolittle for supporting "forced abortions and sex slavery" in the North Mariana Islands (60 minutes highlighted this back in the 90's)
To add to the list, there are numerous races where ties to Abramoff are a key issue also.
Today President Bush showed his love for the environment has he created the world's largest marine sanctuary
President George W. Bush today created the world’s largest marine conservation area off the coast of the northern Hawaiian Islands in order to permanently protect the area’s pristine coral reefs and unique marine species. The President used his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate the area a national monument.
The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument encompasses nearly 140,000 square miles of U.S. waters, including 4,500 square miles of relatively undisturbed coral reef habitat that is home to more than 7,000 species. The monument will be managed by the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in close coordination with the State of Hawaii.
Bush has now shown he is concerned about nature and should win the hearts and minds of all environmentalists.
Oh wait a minute now. What is this? An article from December of 2000:
President Bill Clinton on Monday announced the creation of a vast "Yellowstone of the sea" - a reserve protecting an expanse of Hawaii's pristine coral reefs larger than the states of Florida and Georgia.
"The world's reefs are in peril. Pollution, damage from dynamite fishing, coral poachers, unwise coastal development, and global warming already have killed over 25 percent of the world's reefs," Clinton said in a speech at the National Geographic Society. He said the protections, to be designated in an executive order, would set a "new global standard" for protection of reefs and marine wildlife.