Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Daily Strike-4/26/09-Back from the Battlefields

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. I hope you all had as good of a weekend as I did. The Big Picture and I took a jaunt to Harper's Ferry and Antietam to learn the American history that enabled last year's election of Barack Obama. We also were surprised with a visit from Small Town Roots. It was a Strike convention! Please leave us some comments. We'll back back tomorrow morning with a full preview of the week in our Weekly Strike.

SUNDAY TALK SHOWS: The most notable guest on the Sunday circuit was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad. He spoke with ABC's George Stephanopolous about Iran's relationship with the United States. The Iranian President criticized President Obama for not answering his letter, and said that he would not talk with the United States without preconditions, which he did not specify. This is sure to embolden hawkish conservatives, who have criticized Obama for being willing to talk with Iran'a rogue leader. It's pretty clear that this guy is going to be a huge problem for President Obama. After causing a walkout of delegates at this past week's UN racism conference, he now wants to play hardball with the most popular leader on the planet. In what could be a significant shift, however, he did say that he could support a two-state solution in the middle east. Was that a tacit admission of Israel's existence?

The other talk shows devoted time to the release of the Bush-era interrogation memos. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs argued that the interrogation tactics increased recruitment for Al Qaeda and endangered our troops. Republican Senator Kit Bond argued that the real danger came from the Obama administration releasing the memo, saying that it will embolden our enemies. Democratic Senator Carl Levin disagreed, and argued that, starting at Abu Ghraib, the abandonment of our country's core principles is what endangered the troops and our country. There are two important questions right now in the court of public opinion on this issue. One, did the tactics work? Dick Cheney says that they did, but he's the biggest liar in the history of American government. Former CIA chief Michael Hayden, Karl Rove and other Bushies would concur. But many former CIA officials said that the tactics did NOT work, because detainees would give out false information to stop the torture. It's pretty clear to me that the blowback and unreliability of information gleaned during waterboarding outweighs any potential benefit. The second, and perhaps more important, question is whether the potential ends justify the means. I'll leave that judgement to my favorite Fox News reporter, Mr. Shepard Smith.

NY20: After we published on Friday, Republican Jim Tedisco conceded the 20th Congressional District race in New York to Democrat Scott Murphy. Murphy will be sworn in some time this week. The race took a few weeks to be decided after a recount, and the addition of absentee ballots. The result is pretty big blow to the Republican party. Republicans from Michael Steele to John Boehner believed that the more well-known Tedisco was pretty much a shoo-in, so they framed the race as a "referendum on the Obama agenda." I don't blame them for taking this strategy. A February poll showed Tedisco leading by 20 points. As the race became nationalized, Murphy came back, and ended up winning by 401 votes. This swing district in the northeast is exactly the type of place Republicans need to compete in to have any remote chance of being a relevant political party. I think we can tell from this race, as well as every major recent poll, that any talk of a potential Republican comeback should be pretty quickly discarded.

That's it for tonight. Please join us tomorrow morning. Also, let us know what you think by leaving some comments. And if this swine flu (which prompted the government to declare a public health emergency) becomes a big

No comments:

Post a Comment