Beyond Troubling: The Obama Administration and Habeas Corpus

Like Rafe, I am concerned because “[o]ne of the biggest reasons I supported Barack Obama was the stand he was willing to take as a candidate against the worst excesses of the Bush administration in prosecuting the war on terror. As such, it is incredibly disappointing to me to see that as President, he is not living up to the principles he espoused before the election.”

I’m not quite ready to queue up Same Old Wine, but I’m feeling a bit tarnished.

Then there’s this from Glenn Greenwald at Salon:

An emerging progressive consensus on Obama’s executive power and secrecy abuses
It is becoming increasingly difficult for honest Obama supporters to dismiss away or even minimize these criticisms and, especially, to malign the motives of critics. After all, the Obama DOJ’s embrace of many (though by no means all) of the most radical and extremist Bush/Cheney positions — and the contradictions between Obama’s campaign claims and his actions as President — are now so glaring and severe that the harshest denunciations of Obama’s actions are coming from those who, during the Bush years, were held up by liberals and by Obama supporters as the most trustworthy and praiseworthy authorities on these matters.

Furrfu! Gotta pass that health care reform or it’s gonna feel like a wash.

The Hunting of the President Resumes

It does feel like 1992 in several ways. [For those that don’t recall, Conason wrote The Hunting of the President.]

The Hunting of the President Resumes: The right is trying to link Obama to Blagojevich and corruption — and the mainstream media is playing along. The Clinton rules are back.
by Joe Conason in Slate

If Blagojevich’s own pungent words don’t answer the supposed questions about Obama, then perhaps the explicit exoneration offered by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who ran this investigation, should suffice. The quoted portions of the Blagojevich wiretaps represent a very small percentage of the conversations taped and monitored by the FBI. Knowing Fitzgerald, it is safe to assume that his agents heard nothing that implicated Obama or members of his transition staff in the Blagojevich scheme.

While that should be obvious, don’t expect the excited Republicans to calm down anytime soon. Having nothing to sustain them for the moment except a whiff of Democratic scandal, they can hardly help themselves. They will persist in their partisan efforts to undermine the new president.

As for the rest of us, including mainstream reporters, perhaps we should be mindful of the vast amounts of money, time, and journalistic, prosecutorial, congressional and presidential effort that were squandered on the mythical crimes of the Clinton era. Can America still afford that kind of stupidity?

Time for Some Audacity?

Could be, definitely could be. I’m currently reading Jonathan Alter’s The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, so this is more grist for the mill.
[Krugman via Kevin Drum]

Franklin Delano Obama? [NY Times]
Suddenly, everything old is New Deal again. Reagan is out; F.D.R. is in. Still, how much guidance does the Roosevelt era really offer for today’s world?

The answer is, a lot. But Barack Obama should learn from F.D.R.’s failures as well as from his achievements: the truth is that the New Deal wasn’t as successful in the short run as it was in the long run. And the reason for F.D.R.’s limited short-run success, which almost undid his whole program, was the fact that his economic policies were too cautious. (…)

What saved the economy, and the New Deal, was the enormous public works project known as World War II, which finally provided a fiscal stimulus adequate to the economy’s needs.

This history offers important lessons for the incoming administration.

The political lesson is that economic missteps can quickly undermine an electoral mandate. Democrats won big last week — but they won even bigger in 1936, only to see their gains evaporate after the recession of 1937-38. Americans don’t expect instant economic results from the incoming administration, but they do expect results, and Democrats’ euphoria will be short-lived if they don’t deliver an economic recovery.

The economic lesson is the importance of doing enough. F.D.R. thought he was being prudent by reining in his spending plans; in reality, he was taking big risks with the economy and with his legacy. My advice to the Obama people is to figure out how much help they think the economy needs, then add 50 percent. It’s much better, in a depressed economy, to err on the side of too much stimulus than on the side of too little.

In short, Mr. Obama’s chances of leading a new New Deal depend largely on whether his short-run economic plans are sufficiently bold. Progressives can only hope that he has the necessary audacity.

So, some audacity, please. Perhaps a 10-year commitment (AKA, “Apollo project”) to energy self sufficiency and single-payer health care. Gear up that manufacturing sector and the educational system. We’re not going to crack the nut on affordable active solar, reliable affordable battery tech for vehicles and the various other things that populate my little fantasy.

We have to gear up education for research and design (hard sciences and engineering), fabrication and installation (workers idled by the burst housing bubble and auto industry lethargy), distribution, etc., to meet these goals.

Single payer health care will finally allow people to create more small, independent start-ups than we can currently imagine. Once free to abandon unfulfilling and underemployed positions because they, “can’t lose the benefits.” The health care necessity has been a shackle on American workers — regardless of the color of their collars — for far too long. If everyone has coverage, there goes one more obstacle to finding your own part of the American Dream, however your image of that may be.

This is a little ragged and for that I apologize. Rageboy used to write writes, “We blog when we should be sleeping, and it shows.” I will leave the applicability of that statement as an exercise for the reader.

HigherPie’s ‘Deep Inside Nevada’s EV Numbers v10.0 – Bravo, Nevada!’

As implied, here is HigherPie’s final installment on early voting n Nevada, but first I would like to note their observation about EV in Nevada.

First, Clark County is an absolute model for what every county and state in the country should do with early voting. (…) So, why don’t we all have Clark County’s early vote system? No, really. Why don’t we? I think we should.


And now, just because we can, not only graphics, but graphics displaying data. Mmm, data…

Deep Inside Nevada’s EV Numbers v10.0 – Bravo, Nevada! [dKos]
I feel like my firstborn is moving out of the house and going to college. It’s over. Early voting is all over.

I started this diary series a couple of weeks ago in the hopes that, day by day, I’d be able to point to the numbers and say, “Look! We’re doing better than 2004!” I thought I’d find places where Democrats had marginally higher turnout, or where Republicans appeared to have marginally worse enthusiasm compared to previous elections.

But that’s not what has happened. Instead, I’ve been able to point to the numbers and say, “It ain’t over of course, but right now, we’re blowing this thing wide open. It isn’t even close.”

And it isn’t. Something like 60% of the people who will vote in Nevada have already voted, and unless some inexplicable and unlikely swarm of both Democrats and Independents have jumped on the McSame Express, Barack Obama is up big with possession of the ball heading into the fourth quarter. More sports metaphors available upon request. (more)

You know the tune! All together now, I’m dreaming of a blue Ne-vaaaa-da! Just like the one’s I’ve never known (at least not since 1996). OK, gotta work on the rhyming, but you get the gist.

[this post has been edited because I have apparently lost the ability to spell]

Gambly and Whorish

You say that like it’s a bad thing. 😉

Nate Silver, who does FiveThirtyEight.Com, weighs in on Nevada in his series Road to 270: Nevada.

In addition, over at dKos, HigherPie spins the penultimate entry in the series on early voting in Nevada.

Deep Inside Nevada’s EV Numbers v9.0 – One Day Left
Well here we are. Just four days until Election Day, and only one day left for Nevadans to vote early.

The penultimate day of early voting saw most trends we’ve been chronicling continue, including the “lots and lots of people voted again today” trend.

It’s Barack the Inspirer versus John the Defiler, live in the Silver State, round 9!
Tomorrow is the final day of early voting in Nevada. I have a huge, mega-party diary planned, so be sure to find it at around 11pm tomorrow night [that’s 10/31 — ed.].

Top 5 Reasons Obama Supporters Shouldn’t Rest Easy

Yep, this is ultimately from Move On[dot]Org.

If you’re an Obama supporter, watching the polls or reading the news can feel pretty good right now. And we should feel good—progressives have worked hard to get this far!

But we can’t listen to the pundits who say it’s over. Can you share these “Top 5 reasons Obama supporters shouldn’t rest easy” with your blog readers—and encourage them to volunteer for Obama between now and Election Day?


1. The polls may be wrong. This is an unprecedented election. No one knows how racism may affect what voters tell pollsters—or what they do in the voting booth. And the polls are narrowing anyway. In the last few days, John McCain has gained ground in most national polls, as his campaign has gone even more negative.

2. Dirty tricks. Republicans are already illegally purging voters from the rolls in some states. They’re whipping up hysteria over ACORN to justify more challenges to new voters. Misleading flyers about the voting process have started appearing in black neighborhoods. And of course, many counties still use unsecure voting machines.

3. October surprise. In politics, 15 days is a long time. The next McCain smear could dominate the news for a week. There could be a crisis with Iran, or Bin Laden could release another tape, or worse.

4. Those who forget history… In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote after trailing by seven points in the final days of the race. In 1980, Reagan was eight points down in the polls in late October and came back to win. Races can shift—fast!

5. Landslide. Even with Barack Obama in the White House, passing universal health care and a new clean-energy policy is going to be hard. Insurance, drug and oil companies will fight us every step of the way. We need the kind of landslide that will give Barack a huge mandate.

If you agree that we shouldn’t rest easy, please sign up to volunteer at your local Obama office by clicking here.

Early Voting in Nevada, I Can Does it

Nevada has early voting, so I look Ian with me and cast my vote in the 2008 election. I let Ian press the button in the Presidential race. I thought it might be nice for him to remember voting for Obama’s first term as President… 😉

Remember, vote early and vote often!

Perhaps not the finest LOL Cat, but there you go.

links for 2008-04-14