Roundup for Monday 8/24/09

From Greg Sargent, proof that Democrats are losing faith in Obama’s tepid and contradictory ideas of change:

Here are the net favorability ratings for Obama — i.e., the difference between the favorable and unfavorable ratings — broken down by party and compared with the previous week:

DEMOCRATS: +72 (+78)
REPUBLICANS: – 86 (- 84)
INDEPENDENTS: +35 (+39)

Obama’s biggest drop was among Democrats, who shouldn’t be happy we’re still knee deep in two counterproductive wars, shoveling money at greedy bankers, and about to see the best chance at meaningful health care reform thrown away.

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From the NY Times:

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut on Sunday urged the Obama administration to consider postponing overhauling the health care system and instead work on smaller chunks of the issue until the economy improves.

Because, ya know, people stop needing to go to the doctor when they stop having a job. Connecticut voters, stop electing this guy.

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From Glenn Greenwald:

There’s little question that when people look back at this period in American history, it will be difficult to comprehend what happened in the Bush era — and especially how we blithely started a devastating war over complete fiction, while simultaneously instituting a criminal torture regime and breaking whatever laws we wanted.  But far more remarkable still will be the fact that, other than a handful of low-level sacrificial lambs, those responsible — both in politics and the establishment media — not only suffered no consequences, but continued to wield exactly the same power, with exactly the same level of pompous self-regard, as they did before all of that happened.  Looking back several decades or more from now, who will possibly be able to understand how that happened:  the almost perfect inverse relationship between one’s culpability and the price they paid for what they unleashed?

Right. Right. There should be more accountability for being wrong, breaking the law, etc. However, I have trouble believing that the last several decades were abnormal in that regard.

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Paul Krugman reminds us that it wasn’t crazy to distrust the Bush government:

Bear in mind that by the time the terror alert controversy arose in 2004, we had already seen two tax cuts sold on massively, easily documented false pretenses; a war launched with constant innuendo about a Saddam-Osama link that was clearly false, and with claims about WMDs that were clearly shaky from the beginning and had proved to be entirely without foundation. We’d also seen vast, well-documented dishonesty and politicization on environmental policy. Oh, and Abu Ghraib was already public knowledge. Given all that, it made complete sense to distrust anything the Bush administration said. That wasn’t reflexive, it was rational.

So why does the media insist that anti-Bush liberals of that era were crazy? Doug explains:

Whether or not something is rational is of no relevance. Arcane mixtures of “balance”, deference to power, and “seriousness” have completely replaced common sense.

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Thoreau explains why John Yoo isn’t fit to teach law at Berkeley:

I don’t believe that the law can or should be so malleable that absolutely any action is fine if a lawyer twists himself into a pretzel while writing a memo.  Nor do I believe that the existence of gray areas and hard questions means that anything and everything is fine.  The interpretation of law may not be easy or amenable to simplistic analyses, but surely there must be more to it than “Well, it’s like, complicated, man, so who are you to say that anybody’s interpretation is wrong?  Should we be, like, getting people in trouble just because they interpreted the law differently than everyone else?”

That and John Yoo is a war criminal who should be in prison. But I suppose if Berkeley wanted to let him teach from his cell…