Don't mess with Obama

Onion fun (link):

WASHINGTON—After serving 12 years in the position, Motley, the official White House Jester, was beheaded Tuesday after delivering a poorly received jape about the spiraling national debt before President and Mrs. Obama.


At this, Obama reportedly dropped the large turkey leg in his hand and signaled to nearby Secret Service agents, who seized Motley and dragged him, pleading, to the Executive Dungeon. The President exited the Hall in a fury, and within minutes had drafted an order of execution by beheading.

Greedy much?

Headline says it all: Nigerian spam email of the week.  Here's a teaser:

Dear Friend

I am the private solicitor for Mr Tony Hayward, the esteemed Chairman and Chief executive of British Petroleum.  My client has various personal and family related holdings of BP stock and options. Due to his faithful long standing service to BP the total value of his holdings amounts to in excess of 100m pounds sterling.  Mr Heywood is a British citizen but it has been my sorrowful duty to advise him that his personal and family wealth is at great risk of being wrongfully confiscated by US authorities acting extra-territorially under special powers authorised by the US government and with the secret consent of a supine UK political and legal establishment.  

Here's the link to more.

(Hat Tip: Felix Salmon)

Double-Dip Please...

Robert Reich on what not to tell Obama (link):

B) Tell the President you understand the political pressures for deficit reduction are growing, and Republicans are making headway fooling the public into believing that this terrible recovery is due to to excessive government deficits. So so it’s perfectly fine for the President to bend to those political pressures. Cut the budgets of most federal agencies by 5 percent, enforce “pay-go” rules that don’t allow bigger deficits, build up expectations for the report of his “deficit commission” on December, and tell the American public that we now have to move toward fiscal austerity.

If you choose B, you shouldn’t be advising the President.

Ding Ding Ding

Ezra has it right (link).  The 'lone Republican' strategy has worked very well for the GOP.

It's further evidence that the "lone Republican" strategy doesn't work. Time and again, Democrats have ended up in a room with a single Republican who seemed willing to cut a deal. It was Olympia Snowe on health care, Bob Corker on financial regulation and Lindsey Graham on climate change. In every case, the final bill looked a lot like what that Republican helped negotiate. And in every single case, the Republican realized that he or she couldn't get more support from their party and so they eventually bolted the effort.

If you think this has all been a cynical strategy, it's been brilliantly successful. On the one hand, Republicans have had a major role in shaping these bills. On the other hand, they haven't had to vote for these bills, and so they could cleanly campaign against legislation that a member of their party helped write. And as an added bonus, Democrats are stuck trying to defend a bill that their base doesn't like very much and that's thick with compromises that annoy political elites.

It has to be a cynical strategy, right?   If I was in the minority and I thought it would trip up the ruling party, I'd give it a shot.