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The Democrats are going to run on “results” in November??

Bart Stupak, poster boy for the "party of results"

I know, I know.  It took me awhile to stop giggling too.  They can’t possibly be serious.  But that’s what PoliticalTicker is claiming.   Swallow your coffee before you read it:

Washington (CNN) – When voters head to the polls in November, the Democratic National Committee would like them to remember Democrats with one word: results.

On Wednesday at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, chairman Tim Kaine revealed his party’s new message and strategy months ahead of the midterm elections. Kaine talked about the efforts with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King in an interview that aired on John King, USA.

Kaine told King that Democrats hope to convince voters they are the party of results. Part of their new strategy will involve pushing that message, helping local candidates, and convincing many of the new voters – that voted for President Barack Obama in the last election – to support Democrats in the midterms.

The DNC chairman said that while the economy still needs improvements, it’s moved from recession to recovery.

Kaine said, “I think the improvement will be noticed by our voters and we’ll be able to make the case to them, do you want to keep climbing or do you want to hand the keys back to the guys who put us into the ditch?”

Yeah, I’m sure that’s what they will be thinking as they head out the door today with their complimentary cardboard box for their stuff and their three month severance packages.

Actually, that’s not what I’ve been witnessing here in the heart of middle class suburbia.  What is happening is that the Republicans in NJ are stirring up an anti-tax rebellion and directing it against hapless teachers.  Why should THEY be getting decent bennies and a steady paycheck when the people footing the bill with their ridiculous property taxes are seeing their industries disappearing and their own lives on the brink of disaster?

Tim Kaine and the Democrats are utterly clueless.  They have no idea what is really going on out here.  Results?  What results?

Was the stimulus package big enough to stave off these drastic cuts in our school districts?

Did Democrats end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Did the Democrats fight hard for the entrepreneurs and small businesses to get the capital they need to start new ventures so people would have jobs?

Did the Democrats soak the rich bankers within an inch of their lives so that they would learn a valuable lesson and the financial catastrophe they brought upon us wouldn’t happen again?

Did Democrats put together an adequate bailout and mortgage restructuring package for strapped homeowners so they wouldn’t throw in the towel and walk away from their obligations?  Did they make it easier for mortgage owners to keep money flowing to the banks to keep them solvent?

Did the Democrats impose some emergency regulations so that bankers would stop gambling away our futures?

Have the Democrat done ANYTHING so far to make sure that no one touches Social Security and that we get our Trust Fund money back from the thieves who took it?

Did the Democrats give us actual health care reform that’s truly universal, affordable, with competition?

Did the Democrats protect womens’ rights and autonomy of her own body?

Did the Democrats fix gender paycheck inequalities for real or did they simply pass a law with no teeth?

Did the Democrats try to protect American workers’ jobs?

I haven’t seen any results.  I’ve seen them turn their backs on their own voters in 2008 in order to elect their lightbringer, an easy win for them.  All they had to do was change the roolz in the middle of the game and cudgel frantic American voters with false accusations of racism to guilt them into voting for one of the most unprepared but nakedly ambitious presidents since George W. Bush.  But it wasn’t enough to make him president.  No, the world had to give him a Nobel prize as well.  What’s next?  A MacArthur genius grant for curing cancer?  Where does he find the time??  The awards must be piling up on his little display etegere, like a bunch of 3rd place martial arts trophies.  Everyone who participates gets a prize for trying.

And the whining.  I can’t stand it.  We are now supposed to believe that a minority party, the Republicans, are responsible for all that has gone wrong.  They stand in the way.  They say no to everything.  Even when Democrats had a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, the Republicans were responsible.  How can that be??  I am trying hard to wrap my head around this concept.  Here’s what I’ve got: 1.) Democrats had a filibuster proof majority in the senate.  2.)Republicans got what they wanted anyway.  3.) Soooo, maybe the problem is actually *in* the Democratic party.   Three names come to mind immediately: Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson and Bart Stupak.  You can throw Blanche Lincoln and Mary Landrieu in there as well but at least they can be leaned on.  Who leaned on Nelson, Lieberman and Stupak?  Those three swaggered all over Congress and Stupak in particular got whatever the hell he wanted.  It was Bart Stupak vs the majority of voters in the USA and Bart won.  BART won.  The Democrats allowed Bart and Obama to screw millions of women out of their personal autonomy and Democrats have the nerve to blame Republicans?

I don’t think Democrats understand the impact of their cowardice.  Women are not a special interest.  Workers have to work to pay taxes.  The financial investment industry is out of control and wrecking havoc around the world.  Our current wars are pointless wastes of lives and money.  Sick children should never have to pass through a gauntlet to get affordable health care.  And we need teachers, even the mean ones who can’t be bothered to address the needs of the gifted.  If they do a good job with the other 98% of the students in their classes, we will have gotten more than our money’s worth.

You want to know what I want to see in the results category?  I want to see real passion on the Floor.  I want to see yelling and screaming.  I want to see the progressives and liberals eat some red meat and throw a fit until the Bart Stupaks in their own party back down.  I want to see eggs thrown and smoke bombs and bloody noses.  I want to see incivility.  I want to see so much fighting in Congress by Democratic representatives on behalf of Americans not in the bonus class that the editorial page of the New York Times faints before it can reach the smelling salts.  I don’t want two Republican parties.  I want to see Democrats actually ACT like Democrats. 

Shove your “party of results” meme until you have some results.  I own my vote.  I don’t give it away for social promotion purposes.  You can’t scare me with the Republican boogie man anymore.  I voted for downticket Dems in 2008 but they haven’t pulled their weight.  If Republicans win this fall, Democrats have themselves to blame and no one else.  It was their responsibility to get things done and they blew it.  They coasted.   This fall, I’m not voting for either party.  I’m voting for a party to be designated later.

And stop calling me for money.

Thursday Morning News Links (with a little help from my friend Katiebird)

harvard.square

News from the Boston Area

Good morning, Conflucians! It’s another gray day in New England, but at least the Red Sox are still in first place.

Kansas City Royals play Red Sox this weekend.

José Guillen returned to the lineup — but as the designated hitter — and could spend time this weekend battling the Green Monster, the big left-field wall at Boston’s Fenway Park, in an effort to reduce strain on his aching legs.

Good luck with that, old man.

In other provincial news, legendary local gangster Whitey Bulger is still on the run, and his crimes are still being investigated and prosecuted.

Tall ships arrive in Boston (gorgeous photos!)

Mass. becomes the first state to challenge Federal Defense of Marriage Act.

“Our familes, our communities, and even our economy have seen the many important benefits that have come from recognizing equal marriage rights and, frankly, no downside,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said this afternoon at a news conference announcing the lawsuit. “However, we have also seen how many of our married residents and their families are being hurt by a discriminatory, unprecedented, and, we believe, unconstitutional law.”

Texting trolley driver indicted in crash

Governor’s Race Heats Up in Mass. (scroll down for story)

After years of consideration, republican Charlie Baker has decided to quit his lucrative job as CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care so he can devote his full time to a 2010 Massachusetts gubernatorial bid.

News from Another Corrupt State

Ex-Blagojevich aide pleads guilty, will testify

A blow for Illinois’s Blagojevich in corruption case

Illinois political floodgates open after Madigan passes on governor, Senate bids.

News from Washington, DC

Democrats say CIA deceived Congress for years.

Obama threatens veto of intelligence bill.

Healthcare overhaul bill stalls in Congress

What’s So Scary About Offering People the Option of a Public Health Plan?

Howard Dean: This is ridiculous. We’re 60 Years Behind the Times” on Fixing Health Care

Your candidate won, Howie. So why are you whining?

Cities Lose Out on Road Funds From Federal Stimulus

For [Marion] Barry, a Familiar Script Takes an Unfamiliar Twist Continue reading

Amazing News: Alexi Giannoulias Plans to Run for Obama’s Former Senate Seat

Alexi Giannoulias and Barack Obama

Alexi Giannoulias and Barack Obama

Holy Toledo! Former mob-connected investment banker and Obama basketball buddy and current Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is going to challenge recently appointed Senator Roland Burris for Senate in 2010, according to Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, 32, opens his exploratory bid for Senator today hoping his close association with President Obama, generational appeal, record and early start locks him in as a front-runner in what today is a very undefined field.

Giannoulias, I am told, is running no matter the election scenario or the other contenders. Last week, William Daley, the former Commerce Secretary and mayoral brother, floated his name in order to head off Giannoulias securing early endorsements. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) is also mulling a run, with her chances of getting in more likely in a special election.

Former Obama fundraiser Jordan Kaplan is in charge of raising the necessary funds for Giannoulias’ campaign, estimated at 5 million for the primary and 15 million for the general election.

Speaking to the DNC in August, 2008, Giannoulias referred to Obama as his “friend and mentor.” Obama was instrumental in getting Giannoulias elected as State Treasurer.

In the 2006 Democratic primary…Obama endorsed first-time candidate Alexi Giannoulias for state treasurer despite reports about loans Giannoulias’ family-owned Broadway Bank made to crime figures. Records show Giannoulias and his family had given more than $10,000 to Obama’s campaign, which banked at Broadway.

In response to the criticism over this and his endorsement of Dorothy Tillman, who had been accused of getting jobs for her relatives under former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington,

Obama rejected the notion that such endorsements conflict with his promotion of ethics reform in government.

“I have been very proud of my track record as a state legislator and as a U.S. senator in terms of maintaining highly ethical behavior throughout my public life,” he said in a recent interview. “Dorothy Tillman and Alexi Giannoulias were strong supporters of mine. There were no allegations that they had done anything illegal. And it was not a conflict for me to show my support for them.”

Giannoulias hosted a fund-raiser for Obama’s presidential bid in September, 2007–an event that was closed to the media and was not listed on Obama’s schedule.

A man who has long been dogged by charges that the bank his family owns helped finance a Chicago crime figure will host a Windy City fund-raiser tonight for Sen. Barack Obama.

Alexi Giannoulias, who became Illinois state treasurer last year after Obama vouched for him, has pledged to raise $100,000 for the senator’s Oval Office bid.

Obama kept his Senate campaign funds in Giannoulias’ Broadway Bank in 2004, but did not use the bank for his Presidential campaign funds. Another friend of Barack Obama’s, Antoin “Tony” Rezko, was also a Giannoulias customer, and used the Broadway Bank to float $450,000 in bad checks while gambling in Las Vegas.

The senior Senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin is apparently backing Giannoulis, arguing that Burris is “unelectable.” So it looks like the deal is done.

Hoodwinker and bamboozler: Burris and Blago

Burris and Blagojevich have no problems kidding the kidders

Burris and Blagojevich have no problems kidding the kidders

Burris and Blagojevich had no problem playing Harry Reid and the rest of a the Senate like a violin. They race-baited, they turned hasty and stupid claims about the Senate’s power back on the Senate, they masterfully orchestrated p.r. And all along any ordinary non-politician knew that these two were just like Paul Newman and Robert Redford in The Sting.

See reports here, here, and here for why that comparison is so apt and see who’s laughing now. Let’s see if the DNC and the DCCC get behind Kirsten Gillibrand’s reelection in 2010 or whether they leave her to fend for herself while they try to vindicate the Burris appointment by a “redemptive” election.

Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

070724_obamareagan_campaign

Today’s New York Times reports it, but we tried to tell the Cheeto gang back in January ’08.

WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama said Wednesday that overhauling Social Security and Medicare would be “a central part” of his administration’s efforts to contain federal spending, signaling for the first time that he would wade into the thorny politics of entitlement programs.

You know those “entitlement” programs we’ve all been paying into since forever? The ones that keep old people and fatherless children from wandering the streets homeless and starving? The President-elect is planning to mess around with them. Continue reading

Is this the hopey hopey change they told us about?

What a difference a day or two makes in D.C. Yesterday, Harry Reid and the Senate refused to seat Roland Burris because of the “taint” of being appointed by Rod Blagojevich.

Continue reading

Senator Diane Feinstein says that Roland Burris’ Appointment is Legitimate

popcorn_22

Fox News Reports:

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee that soon could take up Burris’ case, said Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has the right to appoint a senator despite the allegations of corruption against him.

“Does the governor have the power, under law, to make the appointment? And the answer is yes,” Feinstein said, urging the Senate to settle the matter. “If you don’t seat Mr. Burris, it has ramifications for gubernatorial appointments all over America. … Mr. Burris is a senior, experienced politician.” Continue reading

Sunday: The Chicago Tammany Hall

That's us under the bus, er, Tiger

That's us under the bus, er, Tiger

Following up on what myiq2xu wrote below, Conason and the media are frantically trying to spin the newest scandal into the molehill that Whitewater was, er, before they spun that up into a mountain.  So, I guess we can just forget all the nasty things they said about the Clintons back then?  I just know someone at the Washington Post is going to step up to the mic any minute now and offer a heartfelt apology to Bill and Hillary for making their lives miserable for 8 years.  And while they’re at it, Frank Rich, MoDo and the rest of the NYTimes cwack political reporting team can say they’re sorry for peeping into Hillary’s underwear drawer at the beginning of the last election cycle to speculate on how many times a month she and Bill had conjugal visits.  I mean, now that we’ve acknowledged that Whitewater was a whole lot of nuthin’…

Anyone who knows me, understands that my knowledge of American history is spotty at best and just damn pathetic at worst.  Hey, when you change schools 14 times before you graduate, linearity is the first thing to get chucked.  But I do recall a period of time in our nation’s history, I can’t recall just *when* but I think it was the period before and after the Civil War, when anti-democratic political corruption and patronage was rampant especially in New York City.  Jeez, I’ll betcha if the Times goes through its archive, it will find all kinds of articles and columns about it.

Harper’s Weekly was all over it.  It was the Tammany Hall era and the biggest Mr. Moneybucks of all was a guy named William Marcy Tweed, aka “Boss”.  Maybe I shouldn’t complain.  The Irish immigrant population was the prime beneficiary of Tweed’s machine and my ancestors probably would have done well- if they hadn’t been working the refs in Chicago at the time.  But I digress.

Here’s how Tweed’s Tammany Hall worked:

In April 1870, Tweed secured the passage of a city charter putting the control of the city into the hands of mayor, the comptroller, and the commissioners of parks and public works. He then allowed contractors and others to submit invoices for inflated amounts or for work that was not done. The total amount of money stolen was never known, but has been estimated from $75 million to $200 million according to The American Pageant.[citation needed] Over a period of two years and eight months, while he had over 1,000 workers at his command, New York City’s debts increased from $36 million in 1868 to about $136 million by 1870, with few costs or expenditures to show for the debt.

Tweed was accused of defrauding the city by having contractors present excessive bills for work performed—typically ranging from 30 to 90 percent more than the project actually cost. The extra charges were said to have been divided among Tweed, his subordinates and the contractors. The most excessive overcharging came in the form of the Tweed Courthouse, which cost the city $13 million to construct (the actual cost for the courthouse was about $3 million), leaving about $10 million for the pockets of Tweed and others.[4]

Tweed’s downfall came when he refused to authorize the Orange Parade, an annual Protestant celebration. City Sheriff James O’Brien, whose support for Tweed had fluctuated during Tammany’s “reign”, gave The New York Times evidence of embezzlement in light of the Protestant-Catholic riot that ensued on parade day. The newspaper was reportedly offered $5 million to not publish the evidence. In a subsequent interview, Tweed’s only reply was, “Well, what are you going to do about it?”[citation needed] Accounts in The New York Times and political cartoons drawn by Thomas Nast and published in Harper’s Weekly resulted in the election of numerous opposition candidates in 1871. Regarding Nast’s cartoons, Tweed reportedly said, “Stop them damned pictures. I don’t care so much what the papers say about me. My constituents don’t know how to read, but they can’t help seeing them damned pictures!”[5]

I am struck by the similarity of how Tweed’s machine worked to that of Tony Rezko and pals, what with him getting all of those dilapidated housing projects in Chicago that never got improved.   And who was his lawyer back then?  Anybody?  Don’t be shy.

Folks, what we got here ain’t no lousy real estate deal.  What we are dealing with is a vast political patronage machine with promises made and delivered for money and electoral outcomes.  There’s a little group of Stalwarts who select who the next big thing will be and they all pull in their chits to make it happen.  It may be centered in Chicago but there are tentacles in NJ for sure.  For all I know, the political machine in NY faced off against the one in Chicago and lost when NJ threw its weight behind the midwesterners.  And why would NJ do that?  Well, the Governor of NJ used to be the CEO of Goldman Sachs.  A lot of the financial industry may work on Wall Street but have sunk their roots in the swampy Meadowlands.  I dunno.  I merely speculate.  I can’t *imagine* why my Governor would lobby so hard to move up our (now meaningless) primary to SuperDuper Tuesday and endorse Hillary Clinton as soon as it was possible and then turn around and stab her in the back by giving every last one of our delegates to Barack Obama at the convention 9 months later.  Can you tell this really bugs the #$@% out of me?  Maybe it’s because she won this state by 10 points and she didn’t get a single delegate.  Not one.  Ok, I have to let it go.  {{breathing deeply}}

Anyway, Conason and his ilk are covering themselves in shame.  They are trying so desperately to save Obama’s ass from another presidential term of scandal after scandal.  If that was their hope, they should have gone with Hillary who had no skeletons.  But they were dazzled by the mahogany undertones of Obama’s skin while ignoring the Tweedy texture of his character. And that machine was in the pocket of some very, VERY wealthy people who had a significant interest in the outcome of the election.

What makes this scandal so much more significant than the teensy blip on the radar that Whitewater was, is that no voters were hurt over Whitewater, a faux scandal where the Clintons were innocent.  But this newest scandal perfectly illustrates the way that the electorate was sidestepped during the 2008 election season and voters may pay for this corruption with their livelihoods and retirement nest eggs.  The primaries were completely usurped by the spreading corruption from Chicago’s machine.  Hey, if they don’t want the association and there’s no THERE there, why did the DNC relocate to Chicago?  They might as well have put up a sign in neon declaring themselves bought and paid for.  THAT’S why this scandal may have legs and real, significant consequences for the players involved, including Obama.  Voters got screwed, royally, and there are bandits on Wall Street who made off with trillions of dollars in taxpayer money.  We know that Wall Street was firmly behind Obama and we know, because we witnessed it, how the nomination was stolen from Hillary Clinton.  And now we know that the Chairman of Obama’s National Campaign was all too willing to cough up more than a million dollars in political donations to Blogojevich in order to snag Obama’s senate seat.  What is really amazing is how this sheer brazen behavior could be tut-tutted by Conason and his pals so they can save face for supporting one of the biggest frauds in history.

If the rest of the country suddenly remembers its 19th century history class, the next four years ain’t gonna be pretty.

On another front: The biggest sexist in the Senate, Ted Kennedy, is still trying to shove Caroline Kennedy down the throats of New Yorkers, and the rest of us, by extension.  And now it seems that Caroline is interested in pursuing the job.  Isn’t that nice?  She’s sort of like Veruka Salt who has just discovered a shiny new thing that she just has to have.  Voile!  Carolyn Murphy, Kirsten Gillibrand and a handful of other more deserving female politicians in New York will just have to take an old, cold tater and wait.  Caroline won’t have to run at all and she can be counted on to passively carry out her Uncle’s wishes.  Wouldn’t it just be peachy if she helped push through healthcare reform and took the kudos away from Hillary Clinton who should have been leading that effort in the Senate?  Not to worry.  Caroline will help bring in much needed money to NY’s other financially strapped pols, like she wouldn’t do that anyway just as a concerned citizen who loved her state and country.

Come to think of it, what makes Caroline’s much ballyhooed ability to raise funds for elections any different from JJJr’s promise of millions of bucks for Blogojevich’s run?  Why, they seem exactly the same to me, except that JJJr. doesn’t have a giant Kennedy lion as his ally, breathing down the neck of the governor.  He only had some six degrees of separation from the President Elect of the United States.

Disgusting.

Governor Paterson, don’t make me get my friends together and come up there to Albany.   Say a firm NO to Caroline Kennedy.  Appoint some other well deserving woman.

One more thought:  I have the perfect replacement for Obama’s senate seat who would kill three birds with one stone- Alice Palmer.  Bwahahahahhaahaaaah!

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