Warren invokes Teddy Roosevelt.

This is great stuff. Listen to the quote at 6:00 “So let me say this to anyone listening at Citi —I agree with you. Dodd-Frank isn’t perfect. It should have broken you into pieces.”

And listen to how she invokes Teddy Roosevelt at 7:10 and his trust-busting achievements a century ago.. summing up the dangers of too much political power in concentrated business power. And how a financial institution has been dictating the terms of passing a spending bill to keep government open this week. It’s gone too far now.

 

House passes $1.1 trillion spending bill

The bill passed the House last night, but finally there were some real signs of pushing back hard against the money interests in Congress..
Warren established herself as a leading figure in Congress…
And if it’s really the case that the last-minute provisions that were written by big banks and squeezed into this bill will allow them to gamble with other people’s money again, and gives them guarantees for their losses… it will be 2008 again in a very short time.. this is not political ideology, and it has to be stopped…Let’s see today how this is handled in the Senate..
Warren was recently let into the leadership and is not being quiet anymore..

And Obama looks bad and uninterested in all of this.. always avoiding conflict..

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/house-poised-to-narrowly-approve-101-trillion-spending-bill/2014/12/11/820d8974-8147-11e4-81fd-8c4814dfa9d7_story.html

Congress managed to narrowly avoid another government shutdown crisis Thursday night when the House approved a $1.1 trillion spending package
to keep most government agencies operating through next summer.

The 219-to-206 vote came with less than three hours to go until government funding expired.
The result capped a long and acrimonious day in which House Democrats nearly upended the entire package, which was backed by President Obama. The showdown exposed some of the dynamics on Capitol Hill in which the most liberal Democrats replaced the most conservative Republicans as significant obstacles to passing difficult fiscal legislation.

Senators late Thursday approved a two-day extension of current funding in order to give them more time to work
through arcane procedural rules, pass the bill and cap the least productive congressional session in modern history.

No Room For Hillary In Obama’s Inner Circle

This is an interesting take on her tenure.. and it might shed some light on her lack of tangible accomplishments as Sec. State for four years..
Maybe implying or making the case that she could do better in a different position in the future..
And even if this whole move of bringing her in was probably motivated by Lincoln’s “Team of Rivals”, it might have been brilliant politics by Obama, both towards Hillary and also in large part towards Bill.

http://uk.businessinsider.com/no-room-for-hillary-in-obamas-inner-circle-2014-12

As Hillary, the pragmatist, had demanded before taking the job, she did have regular “one-on-ones” with the president. For Clinton this offered the visual, at least to the Washington press corps, that she was an integral player.

To Obama it was a chance for respectful listening and making sure that Hillary personally felt looped-in
to the happenings at the White House. But it never seemed to stop him from doing whatever he wanted to do once she left the room.

“As secretary of state I think that her relationship with the president was cordial, but never close,” says Senator John McCain, who served as the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee and observed her up close.
(..) “I think she had very little interaction” with the president, says veteran State Department employee. “A lot of this was, you know, she would go to meetings of the NSC (national security council) when she was in town and called, but it was a very distant relationship.”

(..) “Obama brought her into the administration, put her in a bubble, and ignored her,” says a former high-ranking diplomat. “It turned out to be a brilliant political maneuver by Obama, making it impossible for her to challenge him, unless she left the administration, and not giving her an excuse that she could resign in protest. So she was stuck.”

TNR cancels December issue after mass staff resignation

It’s hard to see how tnr can survive for very long after this.. unless it’s established as something new and different…
The clash of mindsets is symptomatic.. and classic…

http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2014/12/tnr-cancels-december-issue-after-mass-staff-resignation-199625.html

The New Republic will not publish the issue that had been slated to hit shelves on December 15, following Friday’s mass resignation
by top editors and contributors.

“As you know, an issue that was in production by recently departed editors and writers, scheduled to appear on newsstands on December 15th, was left unfinished,” Guy Vidra, the New Republic’s chief executive, wrote in a memo to staff on Saturday. “Despite the incredible work you all are doing, going forward with the issue would run the risk of falling short of this institution’s renowned high standards.”

This is the statement from the three former editors..

“The New Republic cannot be merely a ‘brand.’ It has never been and cannot be a ‘media company’ that markets ‘content
,'” the former editors and staffers wrote in their statement. “Its essays, criticism, reportage, and poetry are not “product.” It is not, or not primarily, a business. It is a voice, even a cause. It has lasted through numerous transformations of the ‘media landscape’—transformations that, far from rendering its work obsolete, have made that work ever more valuable.”

http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2014/12/tnr-veterans-protest-hughes-destruction-199613.html

Jeb Bush: Is 2016 worth the family ‘sacrifice’

It mostly sounds like he’s slowly making the argument not to run… consistently fronting his doubts and hesitations is not a good run-up for a campaign..
And it’s not the tune of someone who really wants it…

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/jeb-bush-2016-elections-113247.html

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Monday that he is still considering whether it is worth subjecting his family to the rigors of a bid for the White House, but that a successful 2016 campaign would be willing to embrace a “lose the primary to win the general” approach.

The Republican was speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council dinner, and while he didn’t repeat past statements that he would decide whether to run by the end of the year, he said a decision would come “in short order, not that far out into the future.”

Bush said he is asking himself if he has the skills to run in a way that “lifts people’s spirits and not get sucked into the vortex.” “Perhaps more important,” he added, “can I do it where the sacrifice for my family is tolerable?”

“It’s a pretty ugly business right now,” Bush said. “So I’m not saying, ‘Oh, woe is me.’ Don’t get me wrong. There’s a level under which I would never subjugate my family because that’s my organizing principle, that’s my life. I think people kind of appreciate that. So, I’m sorting that out.”

Vladimir Putin Has Careened From One Diplomatic Disaster to Another

Summing up for the New years eve… Putin has not been very good for Russia this time… or for the world.. And oil prices down 40% should add a lot of weight to his troubles…
People should stop calling him a big strategist and a chess player… this is backwards and unproductive leadership..

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/12/vladimir-putin-has-careened-one-diplomatic-disaster-another

Militarily, Putin has had a mixed year: a clean and quick military victory in Crimea on the upside, but an ongoing military quagmire in eastern Ukraine on the downside.

Diplomatically, though, it’s been an endless succession of bad news. Ukraine is more firmly allied to the West than ever. Finland is wondering if it might not be such a bad idea to join NATO after all. The Baltic states, along with just about every other Russian neighbor, are desperate to reinforce their borders—and their NATO commitments. Russia has been dumped from the G7 and Putin himself was brutally snubbed by practically every other world leader at the G20 meeting in Brisbane. Economic sanctions are wreaking havoc with the Russian economy. China took advantage of all this to drive a harder bargain in negotiations over the long-planned Siberian gas pipeline. Even Angela Merkel has finally turned on Putin. Diplomatically, this year has been a disaster for Russia.

Honoring Small Business, Obamas Go Book Shopping

Having worked in various bookstores for over a decade in the past, I still always love the vibe and atmosphere in a place filled with books and people…

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/30/us/honoring-small-business-obamas-go-book-shopping.html

WASHINGTON — President Obama, joined by his daughters, went shopping Saturday at Politics and Prose, an independent bookstore in the capital, in what has become a Thanksgiving weekend tradition for the first family to honor Small Business Saturday — an outing that mixed policy and purchases.

The president and his daughters, Sasha and Malia, browsed the shelves and chatted with customers before buying two bags full of books at the store, where they also shopped at this time last year. According to a White House print pool report, Mr. Obama at one point held a patron’s baby.

At the checkout counter, a cashier asked the president, “You from out of town?” Mr. Obama replied, “I am. Do I get a discount for that?” Another cashier jokingly offered a “neighbor discount.”

Prioritizing healthcare overhaul was a mistake: Senate Democrat

This is not a very helpful outreach or strategy..
Schumer’s basic message sounds like this: “We screwed up with ObamaCare, now vote for us again in 2016! And by the way, we will also grow some bigger government right after screwing up.”
And attacking special interests in elections doesn’t seem to fly that well.. it’s negative and plays into the “everything is corrupt” attitude which reeeeally turns voters off and away..
As a message and strategy towards 2016 this is hopeless.. a boring, flat Hillary and a backwards and negative Schumer.. this will probably catapult the Warren strand of communication and focus into broader audiences..
Or maybe drive independents more towards a Romney or Jeb type of figure..

But it’s also depressing.. we need a positive vision and inspiring projects for the future!

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/25/us-usa-congress-democrats-idUSKCN0J92C820141125

(Reuters) – The No. 3 Democrat in the Senate said on Tuesday the Democratic Party had made a political mistake by pushing for Obamacare.

New York Senator Charles Schumer, speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, said that after passing a stimulus package to jumpstart the economy during the economic downturn, Democrats “put all of our focus on the wrong problem” by turning to President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform effort, which passed in 2010.

“The plight of uninsured Americans and the hardships caused by unfair insurance company practices certainly needed to be addressed. But it wasn’t the change we were hired to make,” Schumer said, noting that 85 percent of Americans receive healthcare coverage from their employer or the government.

(..) He said the “most important mission” for Democrats in the buildup to the 2016 elections is to embrace government, take on special interests and come up with an achievable policy plan that can be welcomed by the party’s moderate and liberal wings.