Roundup for Thursday 1/21/10

Democrats: Get something done, or get sent home:

The fundamental pact between a political party and its supporters is that the two groups believe the same thing and pledge to work on it together. And the Democratic base feels that it has held to its side of the bargain. It elected a Democratic majority and a Democratic president. It swallowed tough compromises on the issues it cared about most. It swallowed concessions to politicians it didn’t like and industry groups it loathed. But it persisted. Because these things are important. That’s why those voters believe in them. That’s why they’re Democrats.

But the party looks ready to abandon them because Brown won a special election in Massachusetts — even though Democrats can pass the bill after Brown is seated. What that says is crucial: Whereas the base thought it was making these hard compromises and getting up early to knock on doors because these issues are important, the party thought all that was happening because, well, it’s hard to say. It was electorally convenient? People need something to do? Ted Kennedy wanted it done?

If Democrats let go of health care, there is no doubt that a demoralized Democratic base will stay home in November. And that’s as it should be. If the Democratic Party won’t uphold its end of the bargain, there’s no reason its base should pretend the deal is still on.

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Corporations can go back to nakedly buying elections:

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that corporations may spend as freely as they like to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, easing decades-old limits on business efforts to influence federal campaigns.

In a way, I don’t mind this change. Corporations have still been buying elections even with all the rules. They just had to take a lot of pains to hide it. Now the bribery will be more in the open. Maybe that will lead to a push for publicly financed elections. Ha… yeah right.

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Why is Carolina still ranked? I stand by my prediction that Carolina won’t make the NCAA tournament this year. I hope they can turn it around, but it doesn’t seem likely with all the freshmen and injuries.

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Obama reminds me why I voted for him:

Obama: It was the right thing to do for us to salvage the financial system, and I make no apologies for that, at all. But we knew at the time how politically toxic that was.

What it gave people a sense of is, “We’re spending all this money, but I’m not getting any help.”

And, “Gosh—I wanted Obama to come in there to start making sure that I was getting help; not the big special-interest and the institutions.”

Now if I tell them, “Well, it turns out that we will actually have gotten TARP paid back and that we’re going to make sure that a fee’s imposed on the big banks, so that this thing will cost taxpayers not a dime,” that’s helpful. But it doesn’t eliminate the sense that their voices aren’t heard, and that institutions are betraying them.

And I think that’s been expressing itself all year. And they’ve gotten increasingly frustrated over the course of the year.

So I take complete responsibility for the fact that—A—we had to salvage a financial system that could have made things much worse. We had to take the steps that we did at the beginning of the year, in order to stabilize the economy.

And I am actually glad to see that the economy’s now growing again, and we have the prospect of a much better economy in 2010. But that doesn’t negate the anger and the frustration that people are feeling.

And besides the good words, he might actually start reigning in the banks


  1. Ian

    Yeah, 12-7 and second to last in the ACC really doesn’t deserve a ranking. I mean they are just getting pounded by unranked schools. You know it all has to do with the fact that they are UNC, and they did earn that reputation. Still, would be nice if the people voting on the rankings would be a little more realistic and give a more worthy school some recognition. I wouldn’t count UNC out of the tournament yet. They still have a good amount of talent and a hall of fame coach. They could turn it around, but right now they are just fighting to get on the NCAA bubble.

  2. Clint

    “Obama to Propose Limits on Risks Taken by Banks ”

    Why didn’t he do this one year ago, when he had complete leverage over the financial institutions? Funny that he wants to do it now that he’s staring down his party’s epic defeat in November.