The Obama Republicans….

I’ve been having a discussion here at the PDog today with another one of the regulars…

He’s of the mind that ALL GOPer’s are true blue Conservative REPUBLICANS….

I did a post yesterday on this with a NY Times piece linked in….

Politico is following the NY Times pice with a look at the Obama Republicans….They are those who won tickets to the US House a few weeks ago in Congressional Districts that voted FOR President Obama, a  Democrat….

My view is that these people are NOT gonna be flame throwing Republicans…

The Politico piece goes deeper into why they are going to help House Speaker John Boehner AGAINST the rightwingnuts and why they may even help Democrats and the President on a few occasions….

The GOP’s slimmer majority the past two years forced the speaker into repeated showdowns with tea party members whose overwhelmingly conservative districts insulated them from a political backlash. The incoming faction of moderate-minded lawmakers, enjoying no such cushion, will give Boehner more room to maneuver.

But this will create new complications for the GOP. The only question the past year was how many seats the party would seize from Democrats. Now the script is flipped. Even the most bullish Republicans acknowledge they’ve maxed out their majority and now must protect their politically vulnerable lawmakers, who will face pressure to distinguish themselves from the party’s conservative wing.

“Republicans won a larger majority, and that gives them more elbow room when it comes to negotiating. What the majority of the majority means today is different than what it meant yesterday,” said Brian Walsh, a former National Republican Congressional Committee political director who now heads a prominent House GOP-aligned super PAC. “I think where the difficulty presents itself is going to be on the big national issues, where the blue district members are going to have to defend themselves and break through their party.”

“It’s the big national issues that are going to create some divisions in the party,” he added. “And those will create some challenges.”

Those issues, Republicans say, include, most importantly, immigration, but also tax cuts and government spending.

Some of the new GOP members are in election mode even before they’ve taken office, painting themselves as reasonable, bipartisan figures.



Now here’s a a REALLY interesting thought….

Remember when Republican House moderates where scared to standup to the House flame throwing rightwingnuts of 2010?

Well that group…led by Senator Ted Cruz is gonna have a counter I’d say come January 2015…

That group along with Democrats could in fact change things very much so in the House …..

Things gonna be VERY interesting for sure in this next Congress folks….

Note #2….

Come 2016?

There IS gonna be a Democratic nominee running for President….

If the nominee is Hillary Clinton?…( or a Strong Democratic male)

There will most likely be a GOOD amount of voters going to the polls….

And that means a good amount of Democratic voters….

If these new 26 Republicans in Obama districts do not produce, or are shown to be against the basic Democratic voter wants?…They will ushered out of office swiftly in a LOT of cases one could image….

A Review of One World Trade Center….Fall 2014

The review is done by MICHAEL KIMMELMAN @ the NY Times and tend to agree that the building isn’t that great of a stretch….

But Kimmelman does not take into account the outside factors that shaped the design of the building for the most part…

Formosa I believe that biggest thing is that the building is up and people are moving in 13 years after its predecessor buildings where razed…..

The review does not take in account that the base of the building was changed in reaction to the New York Police Departments wishes about security…..

The review pays NO acknowledgment that several parts of the whole development are security compromises…

The review does not acknowledge that technical challenges that went into rebuilding the place….

Does the building look radical?


Are we happy that it’s there for ALL to see?

You betcha!

One World Trade Center. (Courtesy Port Authority of New York & New Jersey)

image….Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Like the corporate campus and plaza it shares, 1 World Trade speaks volumes about political opportunism, outmoded thinking and upside-down urban priorities. It’s what happens when a commercial developer is pretty much handed the keys to the castle. Tourists will soon flock to the top of the building, and tenants will fill it up. But a skyscraper doesn’t just occupy its own plot of land. Even a tower with an outsize claim on the civic soul needs to be more than tall and shiny.

I find myself picturing General MacArthur in aviator sunglasses when I see the building. Its mirrored exterior is opaque, shellacked, monomaniacal. An abbreviated obelisk, the building rises to 104 stories atop a square, 20-story, concrete bunker, only partly disguised behind butterflylike louvered glass panels. The tower’s thick, chamfered corners produce octagonal floors and a facade of steep, interlocked triangles. From north, south, east and west, the building looks the same.

It abruptly stops at 1,368 feet, the height of the former twin towers, achieving its symbolic target number — 1,776 feet — by virtue of a skinny antenna. Counting the antenna is like counting relish at a hot dog eating contest. But it sufficed for the arbitrating Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. So, the building is the tallest in the Western Hemisphere, as if that ever meant anything.

Replacing the twin towers with another giant office building was somehow supposed to show New York’s indomitable spirit: the defiant city transfigured from the ashes. To the contrary, 1 World Trade implies (wrongly) a metropolis bereft of fresh ideas. It looks as if it could be anywhere, which New York isn’t….


Lame duck Presidents DO get stuff done….

The Washington Post is out with a piece that points to 5 myths about lame duck President’s, which President Obama is…..

Sure Obama HAS problems with little more than 2 years left…

But he sure doesn’t seem like he’s given up his ability to fight and advance things….

Current List….

1) Afghanstan

2) Iraq

3) Syria

4) Iran and nukes

5) Healthcare

6) Immigration

7) Confirmations at Justice and Defense

8) Just announced Environmental Rules

9) Just announced Educational standards for prospective teachers..
President Obama is now officially a lame duck: no more elections left, and facing GOP majorities in the Senate, House, governors’ mansions — and even the Supreme Court, in a sense, where five of the nine justices were appointed by Republicans. But that doesn’t mean he is powerless. In fact, looking back on two-term presidents reveals that much of what we believe about lame-duck commanders in chief may not hold up.

1. Lame-duck presidents cannot get anything done.

Wartime presidents as diverse as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush put the lie to this myth.

FDR recovered from a very difficult second term by winning a third and a fourth term and effectively presiding over the United States’ victory in World War II, which was complete five months after he died. At the time, his wartime leadership was more critical to his legacy than his New Deal policies, which were repudiated by the 1938 midterm election, where the Democrats lost badly. Reagan survived missteps such as the Iran-contra scandal and conducted crucial negotiations with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in his second term, and also handed the baton to Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1988 — a continuity in leadership that helped win the Cold War. And after the “thumpin’,” as George W. Bush put it, that the GOP suffered in the 2006 midterms, the president fired Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and pulled off a troop surge in Iraq. Although Bush’s approval ratings did not recover during his time in office, his presidency’s overall reputation has improved significantly with time….



As much as I point to President Obama doing his ‘own thing’ here?….

Once there is a Hillary Clinton announcement or if not, and eventual Democratic nominee , I feel President Obama will lose his ability to do whatever he wants that could hurt his parties nominee ….

American President’s and their Secretary of Defense…

Chuck Hagel is out as the Obama Administration Secretary of Defense…

There has been a lot of hand wringing over this….

There shouldn’t be…

These days?

It’s normal….

Chuck hagel has gone down the stem road as the last three Defense Bosses he proceeded….

The people in the White House, who the Pentagon bosses answer to , because they speak FOR the Commander-in-Chief, their boss, are not shy about their implied power….

They do NOT respect the chain of command , which the military lives by….

So they have reached out DIRECTLY to commanders in the Afghan and Iraqi wars….

Add that to the pressure on the Pentagon to make cuts while doing MORE….

The President IS the boss…

But the military in this country IS strong as it tends to be everywhere is strong and has it’s friends…

With the Islamic State coming into the worlds focus there has a been increasing change of heart in Congress, and even out in the American public…

A year ago we where talking about military deescalation ….

Now we have military assets in Africa dealing with Ebola….

We have military assets doing trying BACK in Iraq and a Afghan mission that will have 10,000 troops STAYING in country..Not leaving….

It IS not unreasonable for a Defense Secretary to want clarity on HOW he should get everything asked of HIS department with LESS….

It is also a fact of life that the Pentagon has those who will carry their water for them in the media and political circles…

Blaming Susan Rice is just a side issue….

President’s listen to their military …But in the end they go in the room and decide things among those they trust for a long time….By their nature…Militaries and their civilian overseers have contentious relations….

President Obama , like those before him ….

Will have to deal with the issues of Politics vs Mission….

Chuck Hagel is just incidental….

Charlie Cook thinks there is ONLY a 25% to 30% chance Hillary Clinton will run in 2016…

Hot Damn!

Charlie Cook is out there in a private conversation that he approved for publication….


He thinks Jeb Bush ain’t gonna make it either…

Cook thinks the GOP nominee will be a Tea Party type…..

His call on Hillary is that she maybe a media darling…But she’s become passe’

His call on Bush is he just isn’t what GOP primary voters will bite for….

Charlie Cook, one of the most respected political experts in the country, believes Hillary Clinton has only a 25-30 percent chance of running for president, and in any case he thinks she is either “rusty” or “she has lost her fastball.” He bases that on her disastrous book tour, in which she said some very inappropriate things and also did not sell many books.

The author of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report newsletter for almost 30 years also disappointed a local audience when he did not give Jeb Bush much of a chance of gaining the Republican nomination.

“Bush has two issues working against him to win the Republican primary for the 2016 presidential election,” Cook said. “One is immigration reform, which he favors; and two, is his advocacy of education reform.”

Neither of those causes would sit well with Republican primary voters, Cook said.

He expects the next Republican nominee to be either a tea party Senator or a governor from the Midwest. He wouldn’t predict beyond that.



Well THIS should get things going!….

IF…I say IF Cook is ANYWHERE near right?

2016 is gonna be a hell of year in politics….

(Personally I could see Cook being almost completely wrong 2 years out….But what do I know?)


Police around the country deal with confrontation issues after Ferguson…

Police Department’s around the country are being forced to deal with an age old issue…..

People stepping to cops….

In most places around the planet when you get in the face of a cop?

You have a problem…

If there is a color problem?

It gets worst in the media….

After the protests the first place in Ferguson, Missouri….

Police Departments have begun to require it’s members to examine the ‘give no ground’ policy of dealing with people…

Departments around the country have in recent years stepped up their training in ‘‘de-escalation’’ — the art of defusing a tense situation with a word or a gesture instead of being confrontational or reaching for a weapon.

Proponents, including the Justice Department, say the approach can improve trust and understanding between police and residents, curtail the unnecessary use of force and improve the safety of officers and civilians alike.

‘‘We haven’t taught officers to just walk away,’’ said Cambridge, Massachusetts, Police Commissioner Robert Haas. ‘‘But if the only reason a person is acting up is because you’re standing there … isn’t that a viable approach?’’

Haas and other law enforcement officials said they didn’t want to second-guess Wilson’s actions because they weren’t in his shoes at the time of the Aug. 9 shooting.

But, many said, the case should accelerate a national discussion about police culture and the potential for broader training in de-escalation, which is considered especially important in dealing with people in mental health or drug-related crises.

In Missouri this month, a federal law enforcement team held training with St. Louis-area police, including top commanders from Ferguson, on how unintentional bias affects police work. That approach goes hand-in-hand with de-escalation.

‘‘In every police encounter, the officer and the civilian bring with them and see the world through their experiences. The more these views diverge, the more they immediately see the other as a threat,’’ said Jenny Durkan, the former U.S. attorney in Seattle who led the effort to curb excessive uses of force by city police….


Speculation continues on a new DefSec choice ….

This is gonna be a tough one…

The last 3 Defense Secretaries have ALL had issues with a White House that looks at the nation’s military job thru purely political eyes….

The Pentagon and its friends say they are NOT about that…

While they WILL use politics to push back….

They are VERY unhappy with the Obama White House NOT trusting and letting them do their job….

With this playing out?

The White House is looking around to find somebody who….

1) Who can get along with President Obama

2) Will do more with the nation’s military with less…

3) Who will go along with White House micro managing the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan…

4) Who will NOT be talking about American ‘boots on the ground’ in Iraq or Syria…

5) Who will have acceptable past for Senator McCain and the Republicans in the Senate..

6) Who is willing to take the shit that will fall on them in the Senate Confirmation process and the media…

7) Who can actually be confirmed….

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson emerged on Wednesday as a new leading contender to replace Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense, but the race remains fluid and the timetable for an appointment still unclear.

Johnson is part of a field that’s said to include Bob Work and Ash Carter, the current and former deputy secretaries of defense, as well as Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James. And Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, is still another possibility.

Off the list are Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the incoming top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy. Both have said they don’t want the job.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, mentioned this week as a potential long-shot nominee, is also not in the running.
A spokeswoman for Johnson referred questions to the White House, which declined to comment.



Several early people floated for the job have said ‘No’ already….

Military people are gonna be suspect…

The job could only be 2 years, Some do not want to go to the Pentagon for such a short time after going thru the confirmation process …..

Some new incoming Republican politicians won because they don’t act like Republicans…

The New York Times is out with a piece that is kinda going in two ways….

At first the piece seeks to point to Republicans gains in Congressional , State and Loacal elections….

But then the piece goes on to point out that a few of the Republicans that they highlight have won a few weeks ago ago because they did NOT embrace the GOP talking points going in to the Midterm elections…

They campaigned (Sometimes against terrible Democratic opponents ) on issues that where NOT ideologically focused…

They promised voters that fi elected they would do the opposite of GOP marching orders to JUST block ANYTHING with President Obama’s fingerprints on it….

And THAT may be a good thing, even if the Democrats lost in those races….

“This is not just rhetoric — we spent over $6 million to identify new women and new candidates of diversity and bring them in,” said Matt Walter, the executive director of the Republican State Leadership Committee. “Most of these chambers were flipped because there was a woman or a person of diverse ethnicity in a key targeted seat.”

The wins, by candidates carefully chosen to challenge the traditional notion of the Democratic base, bode well for Republicans in future elections. They had a net gain of 59 women in state legislatures; Democrats lost 63 women. Republicans added 10 Latinos; Democrats lost five. Republicans reported 17 newly elected blacks; a comparable figure for Democrats was not available. In 2008, only about 31 percent of women in state legislatures were Republicans; in 2015, that figure will rise by eight percentage points.

It is not clear yet where the new Republican elected officials fall on the ideological spectrum. Several who were interviewed for this article, including Ms. Barnes, said they were focused on economic issues like job creation, not social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. Ms. Barnes said that she had made it clear to party leaders that she would entertain good ideas no matter which party floated them, and that she had been promised the freedom to vote her conscience.

It is equally unclear how far the new Republicans will advance politically….


If White Working class voter expect something from Republicans…They’re gonna be disappointed….


We kinda KNOW what those white working class voters cite President barack H. Obama as the reason they voted GOP a few weeks ago…

I hope they are happy…

Cause the people they voted for seem to care less about looking out for those voters needs…

attribution: Dreamstime (modified by Daily Kos)
When working people elect Republicans, they get screwed.

First, some data. In the recent midterm elections, a study by the Public Religion Research Institute found that white working-class voters—defined as those lacking a college degree, and whose jobs paid an hourly wage—voted for the Republican over the Democrat for Congress by a whopping margin of 61 percent to 26 percent.Got that? Good. Also, the “vast majority” of recipients of the Earned Income Tax Credit—and remember, that credit only goes to people who earn enough money that, without it, they’d be paying income taxes—are white, according to data collected by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Finally, the 2009 Obama stimulus package expanded the Child Tax Credit to make more working class families eligible. We don’t have exact data on the racial composition of those who benefited from the expansion, but given that about half of families in poverty are white, we can extrapolate that somewhere around half of beneficiaries are white.

Still with me? Okay. Now check this out, from a New York Times article about a deal in the works that centers around making corporate tax cuts permanent:

The emerging tax legislation would make permanent 10 provisions, including an expanded research and development tax credit, which businesses and the Obama administration have wanted to make permanent for years; a measure allowing small businesses to deduct virtually any investment; the deduction for state and local sales taxes; the American Opportunity Tax Credit for college costs; deductions for employer-provided mass transit; and four different breaks for corporate and charitable giving.Smaller measures already passed by the Senate Finance Committee, from tax breaks for car-racing tracks to benefits for racehorse owners, would be extended for one year and retroactively renewed for the current tax year.

[snip] Left off were the two tax breaks valued most by liberal Democrats: a permanently expanded earned-income credit and a child tax credit for the working poor. Friday night, Republican negotiators announced they would exclude those measures as payback for the president’s executive order on immigration, saying a surge of newly legalized workers would claim the credit, tax aides from both parties said.

It’s worth noting that the deal would also mean the expiration, in 2017, of tax credits that support the development of wind power because, oh noes, the oil and gas industry thinks they are unfair. Doesn’t the oil and gas industry receive billions in tax breaks? Er, well, hey, look over there!The absurd hypocrisy of that aside, think for a second about how Republicans understand payback. President Obama does something Republicans don’t like on immigration, and their idea of payback is to stick it to working-class Americans who have kids, most of whom—when we are talking about whites—just voted to make them the majority party in both the House and the Senate. At this point, the only thing standing in the way of the loss of those tax breaks for working Americans is President Obama. Oops.

I guess the lesson of the story is: be careful who you vote for. A better lesson of the story is: Republicans are boot-licking corporate sycophants who hate working families….

Hosni Mubarak is a free man in Egypt….

The man who ran Egypt BEFORE the Arab Spring has been cleared of all charges he was responsible for deaths during student uprising during that period…..

Thus while Mubarak is a free man…

The Muslim Brotherhood which succeed him in elections that where pushed by America , is banished, and its leader, who was the countries President Morsi, is in jail….

The Arab Spring has come and gone in Egypt…American style democracy , does NOT work, or is desirable in some places around the world….(Not that it is doing so well here in America either?)

An Egyptian court dropped all remaining charges against former President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday, raising the possibility that he could go free for the first time since being removed from office in the 2011 uprising that defined the Arab Spring revolt.

The court dismissed murder charges against Mr. Mubarak and his widely reviled security chief in the killing of protesters challenging his rule — charges that once inspired crowds to hang the former president’s effigy from the lampposts of Tahrir Square in Cairo and captivated the region.

The court also acquitted the former president on corruption charges, along with his sons and a wealthy business associate, figures who had come to personify the rampant self-dealing of Mr. Mubarak’s 30-year-rule as much as the president himself.

Coming five months after the inauguration of a new military-backed strongman, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, the decision amounted to the most sweeping repudiation yet of the claims of the Jan. 25, 2011, uprising that forced Mr. Mubarak from power with calls for democratic and accountable government….


The British Air Force gets it’s first A400M medium cargo transport…

Look out Lockheed C-130J’s….You got competition!….

The UK Royal Air Force has welcomed its first Airbus A400M Atlas tactical transport for training use, as the service makes preparations to stand up its first operational squadron with the type early next year.

Lead aircraft ZM400 was formally revealed at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on 27 November, some 10 days after it arrived on its delivery flight from Airbus Defence & Space’s final assembly site in Seville, Spain.


It was flown again the day after its receipt, before remaining on the ground due to an undisclosed technical fault, the RAF says. The transport was used to support ground-based training during this period, but is due to be returned to flight status by the end of the week, the service adds…


2016 Congressional Retirements….

There are gonna be a few retirements for both parties….

Those open seats will drive Democratic and Republican political bosses to worry….

Democrats would be hard-pressed to defend an open seat in West Virginia, where President Obama is deeply unpopular. Earlier this month, Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito easily won the seat held by retiring Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller for five terms.

Two of the Senate Democratic caucus’s most senior members, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), 74, and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), 78, also face reelection.

Reid, who turns 75 in a week, is another potential retirement. Some members of the Democratic caucus, such as Manchin and Sens. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Mark Warner (Va.) and Tim Kaine (Va.), are agitating for a new leader.

Republicans have a few potential retirements on their side of the aisle.

Five-term Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), 78, hinted last year that this would be his final stint in Congress but he appears to have changed his mind since then.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is 81 years old but he told a public television station in Iowa last year that he plans to run for reelection in 2016. He says his home state would be hurt if it lost two senior senators in two years. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) retires next month after five terms in the upper chamber; Republican Joni Ernst captured his seat. Grassley has $1.7 million in his re-election fund.

Republicans could lose Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who announced in January that he would run for governor in 2015, if his bid is successful.

His retirement could create an opening for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) to make a bid for her old job if she loses a runoff on Dec. 6. Recent polls show her trailing Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) by double digits and she suffered a setback last week when the Senate rejected her bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline.

Republicans may also have to find replacements for Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) or Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who both face reelection in 2016, depending on whether they run for president and how well they do….