links for 2009-04-30

  • "That wasn't me," President Barack Obama said on his 100th day in office, disclaiming responsibility for the huge budget deficit waiting for him on Day One. It actually was him — and the other Democrats controlling Congress the previous two years — who shaped a budget so out of balance.

    And as a presidential candidate and president-elect, he backed the twilight Bush-era stimulus plan that made the deficit deeper, all before he took over and promoted spending plans that have made it much deeper still.

    Obama met citizens at an Arnold, Mo., high school Wednesday in advance of his prime-time news conference. Both forums were a platform to review his progress at the 100-day mark and look ahead.
    His assertion that his proposed budget "will cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term" is an eyeball-roller among many economists, given the uncharted terrain of trillion-dollar deficits and economic calamity that the government is negotiating.

  • I pretty much concur with Kathryn, but would observe, if Tom Ridge is determined to return to public office, why must he seek a Senate seat? Why must he jump into a primary where there's already an experienced candidate with a great fundraising network and strong grassroots support?

    (To put Kathryn's response in a manner Ridge is familiar with, picture a color-coded chart, and I'd put her ire somewhere between "elevated" and "severe.")

    Gov. Ed Rendell is term-limited. The only Republican who has set up an exploratory committee for the gubernatorial race is Rep. Jim Gerlach.

    Or why not go back to his old House district and knock off freshman Democrat Kathy Dahlkemper?

  • Meanwhile, in Virginia, Republican Bob McDonnell continues to lead all Democratic challengers, with his lead ranging from 5 to 12 percentage points. Closest is southerner Creigh Deeds; farthest back is Brian Moran. Terry McAuliffe leads the primary poll, and trails McDonnell, 46 percent to 39 percent.

    Polling in this state has been pretty consistent — McDonnell is almost always in the low to mid-40s, Democrats are almost always in the low to high 30s.

  • I do not believe that the United States should have a policy of using waterboarding to extract information from captured combatants in the Global War on Terror (GWOT). Let me explain why.

    Any decent socie

  • North Korea threatened Wednesday to conduct nuclear and missile tests and start an uranium-enrichment program in addition to its existing plutonium-based one, unless the U.N. apologizes for criticizing its recent rocket launch, dramatically raising its stake in the worsening standoff over its atomic programs.

    Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry said in a statement the country "will be compelled to take additional self-defensive measures" unless the U.N. Security Council apologizes immediately. "The measures will include nuclear tests and test-firings of intercontinental ballistic missiles."

  • Congressional Democrats turned up the pressure on the Obama administration Tuesday to start a criminal investigation by a special counsel into harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects.

    It would be a conflict of interest for President Barack Obama's Justice Department to investigate lawyers from the Bush administration, even though they no longer work for the government, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee said.

    (tags: CIA)
  • Similarly and contrarianly, I wonder if today’s Arlen Specter party switch, this time to the president’s party, won’t end up being bad for President Obama and the Democrats. With the likely seating of Al Franken from Minnesota, Democrats will have 60 seats in the Senate, giving Obama unambiguous governing majorities in both bodies. He’ll be responsible for everything. GOP obstructionism will go away as an issue, and Democratic defections will become the constant worry and story line.
    (tags: ArlenSpecter)