Content by Moe Lane

Posted at 8:44pm on Jun. 22, 2008 MoveOn.org not ready to: Calls for Obama to Filibuster FISA

As Terry Pratchett once said, it's like watching a wasp land on a nettle. *Something's* getting stung, and you don't care which.

By Moe Lane

For the This Primary Is Made Out Of Awesome files: via the Huffington Post we see that MoveOn.org is absolutely adamant that Senator Obama filibuster the FISA bill this week. How awesome is it?

It's awesome enough that I'm reprinting the whole post after the fold. That's how awesome it is. You see, I want progressives to email the Senator and demand that he filibuster: he'll either not do so, and thus betray them further; or he'll cave to them, which will embarrass the Democratic Party at the very moment that they need to show Unity.

And either way, the FISA bill still passes. That's because the progressives don't have the votes to stop it, even if Harry Reid wasn't owned by Mitch McConnell (who looks increasingly likely to be keeping his seat, after all). As he is... well. This should be entertaining.

Well. At least for people who, you know, matter.

Moe Lane

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Posted at 1:02pm on Jun. 22, 2008 Europeans on cowboy unilateralism: "A hell of a way to start a presidential term."

Dare I even say... *simplisme*?

By Moe Lane

If you're wondering why you haven't really heard about this before (Via Hot Air)...

Europe Fears Obama Might Undercut Progress With Iran
By Glenn Kessler

European officials are increasingly concerned that Sen. Barack Obama's campaign pledge to begin direct talks with Iran on its nuclear program without preconditions could potentially rupture U.S. relations with key European allies early in a potential Obama administration.

The U.N. Security Council has passed four resolutions demanding that Iran stop enriching uranium, each time highlighting the offer of financial and diplomatic incentives from a European-led coalition if Tehran suspends enrichment, a route to producing fuel for nuclear weapons. But Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has said he would make such suspension a topic for discussion with Iran, rather than a precondition for any negotiations to take place.

European officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said they are wary of giving up a demand that has been so enshrined in U.N. resolutions, particularly without any corresponding concessions by Iran. Although European officials are eager to welcome a U.S. president promising renewed diplomacy and multilateralism after years of tensions with the Bush administration, they feel strongly about continuing on the current path.

...it's simple: European governmnents assumed that this year's election was going to be McCain vs. Clinton. Which is to say, they thought that either way the election turned out they could still count on American-European relations being run by somebody competent to do so. The possibility that this might not happen is apparently alarming them somewhat.

Read on.

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Posted at 8:29am on Jun. 22, 2008 A public service announcement to Time re the FISA "compromise."

By Moe Lane

Contra your suggestion otherwise, the Right is not "unhappy at concessions made to protect civil liberties." First off, that implies that we're the sort to be against civil liberties; second, we got pretty much everything we needed, thanks.

I'll agree that the Left is furious, though. That's how I found your article, in fact: googling blogs with the search term FISA has been a really fun exercise in schadenfreude these last couple of days.

Posted at 12:24am on Jun. 22, 2008 The "Actually, Moe already knows precisely how lame this is" Weekend Memorial Open Thread.

It's a Star Wars Opening Credits Crawl Emulator. And I *used* it.

By Moe Lane

So I know full well that I'm lame. I'm merely comfortable with admitting to that fact in public.

My Star Wars Text Crawl

(Sorry!)

Via AoSHQ

Open thread.

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Posted at 10:38pm on Jun. 21, 2008 Welcome to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, Jake Tapper.

What's that? You said that you never joined?

By Moe Lane

Trust me: once you start making these kinds of statements:

So … 15 questions.

Three of them were about Obama's broken promise, 12 were not.

And while certainly it's important to ask Obama about FISA and other matters, I am rather flummoxed that the press conference was so bereft of conflict.

...it's only a matter of time.

On the bright side, we have full dental.

Moe Lane

PS: No, actually, you don't have to stop writing entries like this or this. Going after our own guy is practically a VRWC rite of passage.

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Posted at 8:32pm on Jun. 21, 2008 *Not* the return of the Security Majority in Congress.

"Return" implies that it ever went away.

By Moe Lane

FiveThirtyEight.com has some numbers up of how the Blue Dogs jumped on FISA. As they note, the final vote was 105 Yea to 128 Nay on the Democratic side, which in itself is instructive of the failure of the progressive netroots to impose their desires on their Party; but among competitive-seat Democrats (31, as per the Cook Political Report*) the ratio was 23 Yea to 8 Nay. A fairly significant difference: and one that suggests that the Democrats have a fairly significant disconnect between rhetoric and reality. But we'll discuss that below.

By the way, those 23 Yea votes were from: Harry Mitchell AZ-5, Gabrielle Giffords AZ-8, Jerry McNerney CA-11, Tim Mahoney FL-16, John Barrow GA-12, Jim Marshall GA-8, Melissa Bean, IL-8, Brad Ellsworth IN-8, Nancy Hoyda KS-2, Dennis Moore KS-3, John Yarmuth KY-3, Don Cazayoux LA-6, Travis Childers MS-1, Kirsten Gillibrand NY-20, Michael Arcuri NY-24, Zack Space OH-18, Chris Carney PA-10, Paul Kanjorski PA-11, Jason Altmire PA-4, Joe Sestak PA-7, Patrick Murphy PA-8, Nick Lampson TX-22, and Ciro Rodriguez TX-23. I mention this because I am given to understand that ActBlue is making it a point to target these individuals (as well as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer), and far be it from me to stand in their way. Go ahead and spend that money, netrooters.

The rest of you, read on.

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Posted at 8:45pm on Jun. 20, 2008 Breaking: Barack Obama raised only 22 million dollars in May of 2008. [Updated again.]

By Moe Lane

$22 million. That would be $200,000 more than John McCain did.

Yes, we'll be expanding on this theme.

First Update: The WSJ reports $22 million, with $43 million cash on hand. As per OpenSecrets.org, Senator Obama's take in April of 2008 was $30.7 million, with $45.6 million on hand. This indicates a continuing drop in revenues, plus the second month in a row where the Obama campaign spent more money than it took in. Please note that this is May's results, not June's. The Obama campaign was actively campaigning for the entire month of May against a determined opponent; and his recent decision to break his word on accepting public financing argues that this month's totals will be significantly higher. That being said, I personally was assuming that Obama's cash on hand would not have dropped.

McCain, by the way, raised $18.3 million and had $24 million on hand in April. May's results were 21.8 million raised, and $31.6 million in the bank; both reasonable increases.

Read on.

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Posted at 12:44pm on Jun. 20, 2008 Some thoughts for our esteemed visitors regarding the passage of the FISA bill.

And may I offer my condolences for Senator Obama's sudden attack of laryngitis?

By Moe Lane

Good afternoon, our colleagues from the Other Side. As you no doubt know by now, the FISA bill has passed the House (293-129-13), complete with sufficient protections for the telecom industry so as to prevent precisely the sort of discovery expeditions that so many of you have so eagerly dreamed of. The Senate will in due course ratify it; the President will of course sign it; and it will not be repealed, even if "your" party somehow manages to win the Presidential election in November.

But I would like to offer these words of comfort. When you look back on your quest to fight this bill, I want you to appreciate the amazing amount of work that you spent on the issue. You called. You networked. You wrote letters and blog posts. You contributed to opposition groups. You reached out, and found people just like you, and you banded together to fight. And you kept going, and calling, and struggling, and you put your time, your money, and every atom of your being on the line. For some of you, this was your finest moment. You fought for this. You fought so hard for this.

Oddly enough, I didn't do any of that, but I won anyway. That's because you suck, and I don't.

Well, I didn't say that they were words of comfort for you.

Moe Lane

PS: Now go give money to Barack Obama. That's all you're good for, anyway.

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Posted at 10:57am on Jun. 20, 2008 Hey, Senator Obama! I know that you're busy in Chicago ducking the FISA thing...

...you *will* make a statement opposing it though, right?

By Moe Lane

Anyway, we need you to do some cleanup. Amanda Carpenter over at Town Hall noticed - as is her wont, clever person that she is - that there's a couple of bills that you co-sponsored: S. 1285 (the "Fair Elections Now Act") and S. 436 (the "Presidential Funding Act of 2007"). Seeing as you aren't actually an advocate for that sort of thing anymore, it's well past time that you remove your name from those two bills. Just for the principle of the thing, you understand.

Principle.

P-R-I-N-C... oh, never bloody mind.

Moe Lane

PS: Fair's fair: I suppose it's possible that these were just two more bills that you sidled your way onto and then promptly forgot about. As is your wont.

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Posted at 9:00am on Jun. 20, 2008 Let's get this Friday started: WaPo spanks Obama.

It ain't Glenn Miller, but it should get you in the mood.

By Moe Lane

I do believe that the the Washington Post is a little annoyed at the junior Senator from Illinois:

The Politics of Spare Change
Even $85 million wasn't enough to get Barack Obama to keep his promise.

BARACK OBAMA isn't abandoning his pledge to take public financing for the general election campaign because it's in his political interest. Certainly not. He isn't about to become the first candidate since Watergate to run an election fueled entirely with private money because he will be able to raise far more that way than the mere $85 million he'd get if he stuck to his promise -- and with which his Republican opponent, John McCain, will have to make do. No, Mr. Obama, or so he would have you believe, is forgoing the money because he is so committed to public financing. Really, it hurts him more than it hurts Fred Wertheimer.

Pardon the sarcasm. But given Mr. Obama's earlier pledge to "aggressively pursue" an agreement with the Republican nominee to accept public financing, his effort to cloak his broken promise in the smug mantle of selfless dedication to the public good is a little hard to take. "It's not an easy decision, and especially because I support a robust system of public financing of elections," Mr. Obama said in a video message to supporters.

It goes on from there: as Ed Morrissey himself notes, the WaPo isn't buying this as being anything except a typical politician facing a situation where he has to choose between keeping his word and seeking an advantage (I would recommend this article from the Center for Responsive Politics for those wishing to protest that statement). Which, when you think of it, is one of the more damning things that you can say about the man.

Oh, well. No doubt Obama will attempt to redeem himself with his base by aggressively opposing the passage of the FISA bill today.

Moe Lane

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