By Ken Krayeske • 8:45 AM EST
Call it a litmus test: If Obama's 2008 inaugural looks anything like the fascist coronation that Bush's resembled in 2004, the hope was a dream. Really. Look closely. The parade is going on in front of the neo-classical building. Can you see the bleachers? And the band? I couldn't either, because of all para-military style security (to keep terrorist protestors out). Hopefully, Obama's inaugural will look like Clinton's in 1992, where you could walk up to the parade.
Senator Dodd's mid-term cabinet position in 2010 looks further and further away every day, and the ignominy of his father - the only U.S. Senator ever to be censured - looks closer and closer each day.
Kevin Rennie over at the Hartford Courant reminds us that Dodd, who owns three houses, including one in Ireland, got a sweetheart deal from a failing mortgage company:
For nearly a year and a half, Countrywide failed (or declined) to secure its interest in Dodd's home by taking the ordinary and essential step of presenting the documents to the local town clerk and recording them in the land records.
This is exceedingly rare in the mortgage business. No wonder Dodd refuses to lift the veil on his deals with the generous lender that went bust this year.
Little Chris Dodd, like Jack Horner, stickes his finger in every pie. Dodd will be the keynote speaker at a bankers conference assembled by do-no-evil Google next week, according to document clearinghouse Wikileaks.
"With the world economic situation in turmoil, Google is assembling a who's who, including US senator Chris Dodd, for an intensive, one day executive gathering in New York on 19 Nov 2008. The document is a scanned imaged of the invitation."
The press release Wikileaks sent out Friday afternoon said:
US Senator Christopher Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, is to deliver the keynote address at Googles New York office. Senator Dodd was the Democratic party's point man ushering through the $850 Billion banking bailout last month.
'This invitation only event will bring together 200 Senior Executives for a day of information sharing with leaders from the financial and digital marketing communities to discuss how to capitalize on the current environment..,' the invitation, obtained, verified and released by Wikileaks reads.
Also billed as speaking is Mary Meeker, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley.
Wikileaks makes it clear: "Unless otherwise specified the document described here: At that time was classified, confidential, censored or otherwise withheld from the public." Yeah, Senator Dodd, can you help us understand this?
Gail Collins on our sniveling Junior Senator, Joe Lieberman: Like a squirrel breaking into your house and setting fire to the sofa. "Treachery is bad, but inept treachery is easier to get over", Collins writes for the NYT.
Bob Englehart over at the Courant drew Senator Lieberman as Joe the Plumber in the Senate bathroom. Twice in two day, the Courant proves that dead tree media still matters. Hopefully, Lieberman will remain in the toilet.
And Obama, the dauphin, has set up an open web portal for his transition team. Change.gov is posting job applications, and lowering expectations: Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today."
That little bit better just means changing facades on the capitalist monster. Colleges are cutting staff, freezing hires, robbing students of aid. You wouldn't know it if you based the health of the American higher ed system on Division I football.
How screwed up are we?
While Change.gov is a breath of fresh air (open government? not from a secret, undisclosed bunker?), let's remember: Rahm Israel Emmanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff is a warhawk.
And I'm not sure where I read it, but I like the litmus test - if Obama doesn't close Gitmo within a month of taking office, he is committing war crimes.
Funny, back in April, Obama told Will Bunch at Attytood: "that as president he would indeed ask his new Attorney General and his deputies to 'immediately review the information that's already there.'"
Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern on what Obama should tell the CIA: Get me the Downing Street Memos, and, get me a new daily briefer. The old one smells like the Iraq War.
So, see you at the Inaugural. Tickets are hard to get, but at least it won't be like 2004, where the security fences surrounded the parade route, and one couldn't even get close. Or will it? That will be litmus test number two: has the executive branch's reliance on the security state apparatus diminished, or is Bush's paranoid post-9/11 vision of republican democracy here to stay?
And a Happy Sunday Morning song, in honor of SU grads everywhere, Joe Biden, Lou Reed, Donovan McNabb, and Ted Koppel (also a friend of Henry Kissinger).