Friday, April 3, 2009

The Daily Strike-4/3/09-Settling Down/Featured Comment

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. It's amazing how on some days, like yesterday, I could write for hours, and today, there has been almost no news in politics.

NY20: Perhaps the most amazing development of the day was the absurdly close race in New York's 20th Congressional District. At one point today, after re-canvassing in several counties, the Democrat Scott Murphy and Republican Jim Tedisco were exactly tied. I don't think I've ever seen that before. Now there are conflicting reports as new counties re-tabulate their numbers. Democrats are insisting that after a recount on Washington county, Scott Murphy took a 198 vote lead. Tedisco's team claims that the Republican holds a 30 vote lead, because of yet-to-be-released numbers from Saratoga County. Of course all of this comes before 6000 absentee ballots are counted, which they won't be until at least Monday morning. Whoever loses this race will almost surely pursue some sort of legal challenge (a la Coleman in Minnesota). The 20th district may not have a representative for quite some time.

CUBA: In one of those "let's dump this out to the media on Friday afternoon" moments, the President has overturned a longtime U.S. policy banning family travel and remittances to Cuba. Politico is saying that this could be intended as a sign to the Castro regime that the United States is ready to sit down for diplomatic discussions. I'm excited to see the almost certain livid reactions from conservative Republicans (especially in Florida) and Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, who has caused Obama lots of problems because of his Cuban policy.

OBAMA IN EUROPE: The President continued his European journey today in Germany and France. He started in Strousburg, France with a meeting with French President Sarkozy, who seems like he's pretty smitten with our President. He then held an international town hall meeting. One of the interesting moments in this meeting was when he added Obama-like insight to the U.S.-European relationship. He talked about how American has acted with bluster towards Europe, but Europe has showed some reactionary anti-Americanism. It reminded me of a lighter version of his speech on race last year, in that he sees nuance in a complicated relationship that neither side would ever seem capable of recognizing.

He then crossed the border to Germany for a meeting in Baden-Baden with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel seemed to be supportive of keeping some German troops in Afghanistan as the U.S. expands operations there in the coming months.

GAY MARRIAGE: Finally, Iowa's Supreme Court today unanimously struck down a state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Obviously I'm supportive of this decision, but I was equally excited to see which conservative would come up with the most inappropriate ridiculous statement. Iowa Rep. Steve King takes the cake. Enjoy:

Along with a constitutional amendment, the legislature must also enact marriage license residency requirements so that Iowa does not become the gay marriage Mecca due to the Supreme Court’s latest experiment in social engineering.
That's it for this evening, please join us tomorrow. Before we leave, I wanted to fulfill my promise to post this week's most insightful reader comment. Please continue to post your comments! It means a lot to us. Also, if you're not already a follower of the blog, please become one!!

This one came from "Anonymous," who was talking about the recently passed Public Service bill. Very astute analysis:

Anonymous said...

I originally did not expect President Obama would push the passage of the Serve America Act in that early stage. I recall when Senator Kennedy reintroduced the bill earlier, I thought, ok, it's good but the Congress might put the bill on a high priority. Then the President addressed to the Congress and expressed his desire to get the bill passed. I noted both House and Senate picked up the speed and set the target to get it done by April.

It make sense since overall the bill is a bipartisan one (and should be a bipartisan one). President Obama demonstrated he get things done in a bipartisan way (and he has shown the approach since day 1). More importantly, the President understands the strategic importance of national service. This helps the economy, makes good social causes, and assists President Obama's agenda (under the bill, new Corps will be formed to deal with education, environment, and health).


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