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      One of the most extraordinary threads I’ve read recently is Abigail Disney doing the math on how Disney corporation could raise the income of its bottom tier workers. I’m sure the math is complicated. And no one is complaining about pay at the middle and upper levels of the company. So let’s say you just […]
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Conflucian Cocktail Party: A little help for my friends

Question:What’s the best way to get a kid to clean the house?  Answer: Promise her a Halloween Party/sleepover.  I’ve been busy all week trying to organize this little soiree.  But now the snacks are bought, the costume made, the hair highlighted and the house is – clean!

Yessss!

In the meantime, we have a little unfinished business before next Tuesday, like helping our friend Heidi Li at Democrats for Principle before Party raise some money to run ads in the Michigan and Miami area.  And let’s not forget Murphy and her batallions of flyer PUMAs, busily blamketing their neighborhoods with messages of Resistance.  Tonight’s fundraising Cocktail Party is dedicated to all of our friends who hung in there with us to the bitter end and now need a few more bucks to make it over the goal line.

Welcome to the Conflucian Cocktail Party.  This is the time of the week when PUMAs come together to mix, mix their drinks and throw a little cash in the kitty for the cause du jour.  To the left of the door is Rico, our ever faithful PUMA bartender with flair.  His special drink for this evening is a Four Fine Friends (looks like it will knock you on your @SS).  We are also offering Causmos for $10.00.  You can choose from a donation to Democrats for Principle before Party or PUMAPac.  I’m sure the proprietresses would be very grateful.

Our entertainment tonight is something *completely* different, and not necessarily in a good way.  This is a cover of Mr. Tambourine Man from the Golden Throat of William Shatner:

Ok, I have a twisted sense of humor.  If you don’t and you think your trigger words might get the best of you, leave them off with Florence the lovely checkroom attendant.  The waiters will be circulating shortly with some toasted pumpkin seeds, donuts and mugs of warm spicy cider.  Please drink responsibly and  tip your wait staff generously.

And Join me at 10PM EST for Conflucians Say on PUMA United Radio, PURrrr

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How to launder money – Illegal Campaign Donation Edition

 

Lambert and me* speculated a while back about how to use online fundraising to launder illegal donations.  I even wrote a post about it at Corrente back in May before I got banned for mentioning Bill Ayers:

The internet provides an interesting opportunity with numerous small donations to election campaigns, using fake names and staying below the reporting thresholds.

With the collusion of a banking institution (offshore?) the money could be transferred from lots of accounts opened just for that purpose.

The real challenge would be the source of the funds, but an off-shore bank or credit card company would solve that. Because the people don’t exist, no one complains about bogus charges on their account. The safeguards are in place to catch theft, not money laundering.

I called my shot.  From Ace of Spades:

I have over 8 years experience working in the payment services industry. By
taking a closer look at Obama’s online donation site, I have noticed that
his team has left the door wide open for credit card fraud by not putting in
the security measures to ensure full visa/mastercard authorization
compliance. This is outright irresponsible behavior on the part of Obama’s
team and in direct violation of their agreement with Visa/Mastercard.

I did a test on his site. Acting as Joe Stalin, I went onto the Obama site
and donated $5.00. I used false information, address: 100 Red Square,
telephone number 323-666-1953, zip code 10001, Employer: Kremlin
Occupation: Dictator. I did use my valid credit card numbers and expiration
date. The typical security measures, Address Verification System and the
Card Validation Code are not present on the Obama site. So there is nothing
in place to verify who I am.

[…]

I clicked submit. The transaction went through.

Then I went to McCain’s site, and entered in the same information. Joe
Stalin. $5.00. As you can see, my donation was rejected for errors.

* What’s the big deal? Obama has left the door open for anyone to run prepaid cards and foreign credit cards without proper screening. In addition, it is easy to run multi-transactions on the same card but under different aliases.

In addition, Obama’s site violates his agreement with Visa/Mastercard. Visa Mastercard regulations require each credit card acceptor to “obtain the 3 digit Card Validation Code [CVV2 found on the back of your credit card. 4 digits for American Express Cards] and submit this code with all authorization requests with respect to transactions where the card is not present…” [cite:] Visa/Master Program Guide.

[…]

Many foreign credit cards do not have CVV2 codes. Requiring such codes would limit foreign donations.

There’s a bunch more, so go to Ace’s place and read it.  Yeah, I know, Ace of Spades is a right-wing blog.  But facts are facts, so if you want to argue about it bring better facts. 

I have long suspected that there was something wrong with Obama’s fundraising  Back in July I posted this:

But the part that’s relevant here is that Senator Obama raised $25 million in the first three months of 2007, second only to Hillary Clinton. A nobody, with no resume. Two books, Two speeches, and a few appearances on Oprah. $25 million!

Lets compare that to the fundraising of the other Democrats:

John Edwards          $52 million

Bill Richardson       $23 million

Chris Dodd            $18 million

Joe Biden               $12 million

Dennis Kucinich    $4.5 million

Now if you’re thinking that Obama’s fundraising doesn’t seem that exceptional compared to Edwards, Richardson and Dodd, that’s because you’re only looking at the first quarter of 2007 for Obama. The amounts for the other five ARE FOR THE WHOLE CAMPAIGN!

Obama raised more in the first quarter than everyone but Edwards and Hillary would raise during the whole year. According to Open Secrets, these are Senator Obama’s fundraising numbers through May 2008:

2007:

Q1 $25 million

Q2 $31 million

Q3 $19 million

Q4 $24 million

2008:

Jan $37 million

Feb $57 million

Mar $43 million

Apr $32 million

May $23 million

How does a candidate with Senator Obama’s resume raise $99 million dollars before a single vote is ever cast? Hillary Clinton raised a phenomenal $230 million through May 31, 2008, but Obama did far better, raising $287 million during the same period. What’s wrong with this picture?

How could a rookie Senator raise money like a popular incumbent President running for reelection? I watched him, I’ve listened to him, and I wouldn’t give him a nickel. I can understand the donations this year after he started winning primaries and caucuses, but he raised 1/3 of his money before he ever got a single vote. (Actually, I can’t understand the other 2/3 either, not the amount of it anyway.)

Did I ever mention I used to catch thieves for a living? 

*For Zee, who obsesses about “grammer”

PUMA – A Brief History (Part II)

In our last episode I gave an outline of the pre-history of PUMA.  I wasn’t trying to write a detailed history, I just wanted to make a rough sketch and I thought I could do it in a single post.  But even though I broke it into two pieces and there was a lot I left out it was still pretty long.  I was totally blown away by your responses.

I ended Part I on June 1st which was the day SM (aka sm77) coined the name Party Unity My Ass.  It was intended as a joke but Riverdaughter put it into a post and within days it had gone viral.  Darragh Murphy, Will Bower, Heidi Li, Diane Mantouvalos and Alegre are just a few of the people who helped to form our “rebel alliance” and the JustSayNoDeal coalition.  I’m leaving out lots of people who deserve recognition and credit, but this is supposed to be a “brief” history.

The core of PUMA was and is Clinton Democrats, specifically Hillary supporters.  I call myself a liberal and eschew the name “progressive” but regardless of labels the vast majority of PUMAs are left-of-center politically and were either Democrats or independents.  Because Hillary’s core constituency was women PUMA has a similar demographic but it is not exclusively female nor is it focused entirely on “women’s” issues.  But the sexism and misogyny directed at Hillary and Sarah Palin have certainly been strong motivating factors for most PUMAs.

One of the pieces of misinformation (lies) being spread about PUMA is that it is a GOP ratfucking operation.  If that was true then those Republicans must be devious indeed.  They would have had to plant moles in the Democratic party two and three decades ago and had them pose as loyal party activists until this year.  They must have infiltrated Left Blogistan and positioned their operatives as prolific lefty writers at dkos and other blogs.  They must have told them to pose as Hillary supporters early in the campaign having somehow foreseen the meltdown of the progressive blogosphere.

Maybe Karl Rove is a diabolical genius and told Donna Brazile how to rig the election in favor of Obama knowing that Hillary’s supporters would be outraged and positioning his operatives to take advantage.  But when you really think about it, for PUMA to be a GOP ratfucking operation then Rove would have mad skills, because he would have had to either foresee or manipulate so many events.

Now it should be noted that when PUMA exploded onto the scene there was no one in charge of membership and we weren’t having people fill out applications and doing background checks on everyone who wanted to join.  Undoubtably some of the people who began to show up had ulterior motives and hidden agendas.  We know that many who joined under false pretenses were Obama supporters because they have since been exposed and given the boot.

The original PUMAs were united in two main goals – electing Hillary Rodham Clinton as the Democratic nominee for President and defeating Barack Obama and the corrupt DNC cabal that supported him.  Although some of us held out hope until the Demcratic convention that Hillary would be the nominee, others were pessimistic about her chances.  The pessimists were correct, the fix was in.

The emotional high point for PUMA (so far) was when the DNC was forced to put Hillary’s name on the ballot and hold a roll call vote.  PUMA was the driving force behind that effort, but the DNC simply rigged that vote as well.  PUMA had a large contingent present in Denver and several were interviewed by the media, although the interviews weren’t always friendly.  PUMA was involved in helping to expose the caucus fraud that allowed The Lightbringer to gain the early lead in pledged delegates, and has raised money to create and run anti-Obama ads in swing states.  All in all, that’s not too bad for a paranoid band of shrieking holdouts.

The official end of Hillary’s campaign and her endorsement of Teh Precious caused an identity crisis for PUMA.  Some PUMAs felt they should follow Hillary’s lead and support Uh-bama, while others chose to focus on electing downticket Democrats.  Some PUMAs have chosen to vote for John McCain next Tuesday, hoping that Hillary will run against him in 2012.  Others will be voting for third-party candidates or NOT (nothing on top) voting.  A few pathetic cases showed a complete lack of principle by choosing to slurp the Kool-aid only after some polls showed Obama with a clear lead.

Many PUMAs reregistered as independents but many of us are still Democrats.  I spent over 20 years as a “yellow-dog” Democrat and I am still registered with the donkey party, but if Teleprompter Jesus wins next week I am through with the party and will reregister as an independent. 

That’s a “brief” history of PUMA up to this point.  There is lots that’s missing, particularly YOUR stories.  If you didn’t already do so in my last thread, please describe briefly when you joined PUMA and why you joined.  Include a little bit about yourself and your politcal background, party membership, etc.  If you feel there is something important I left out, tell me what it is.

If you do that, I will compile it into a single volume that will be the definitive story of PUMA (so far)  That assumes, of course, that after the election I am not hauled off to Gitmo and waterboarded with Kool-aid.

Obama = Triangulator

Joe Lieberman ain’t got NUTTIN on Obama when it comes to DINO ism (Democrat In Name Only):

Obama says would include Republicans in cabinet

SUNRISE, Florida (Reuters) – U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Wednesday he would include Republicans in his Cabinet if he wins the election.

Obama, a Democratic senator from Illinois, also said he had “some pretty good ideas” about people he might tap for senior government jobs, though he emphasized he is focused for now on the final days of the campaign and takes nothing for granted.

“There is a transition process — that I’m not paying attention to on a day-to-day basis — but that has been set up,” Obama told ABC News in an interview.

Obama said he “absolutely” considered it important to have Republicans in the Cabinet but he sidestepped a question on whether he would ask Defense Secretary Robert Gates to remain in his job. There has been speculation that either Obama or his Republican rival, John McCain, might ask Gates to stay on.

“I’m not going to get into details,” Obama said, but he added that national security policy, in particular, should be nonpartisan.

Other people mentioned as possible defense secretary picks in an Obama administration include former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig and Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican senator from Nebraska.

Some analysts have speculated that during the transition period between November 4 and January 20, when a successor to President George W. Bush will take office, the new president-elect would move quickly to fill key jobs such as Treasury Secretary, Defense Secretary and Secretary of State.

Some public policy experts see a need for early announcements on such appointments in light of the global financial crisis and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

“I am not going to jump the gun on this,” Obama said but he gave credit to the Bush administration for its offer to make government resources available to both candidates to begin the vetting process early.

I knew it!!  This is the main reason why I never liked Obama.  Since his proclamation of his Reagan worship, I knew that Obama was a Blue Dog Democrat.  As RD explains here, Liberalism is DEAD in the Obamacrat party.  They want to be Republicans sooooo bad, but they don’t like the “Republican” name brand and this is is why so many of our current 2008 DNC leadership love him so.   They are all DINOs each and every one of them.  No wonder Colin Powell and other Neo-Cons are salivating at an Obama presidency, they gets to war-monger and skim the books all they want!  McCain/Palin won’t let them do that, look what happened to Ted Stevens in Alaska!

Question for the Obots getting paid $7 as hour by Axelfraud to troll our site, I have a question for you and I challenge you to answer it in the comments section:  When the Obama campaign hired you guys out on your “I hate Hillary” mission, your main excuse was that “Hillary is a triangulator.”  Well, isn’t what Obama doing called “triangulating?”  To help in your homework assignment, here’s a Wikipedia definition:

Triangulation is the name given to the act of a political
candidate presenting his or her ideology as being “above” and “between”
the “left” and “right” sides (or “wings”) of a traditional (e.g. UK or
US) democratic “political spectrum”. It involves adopting for oneself
some of the ideas of one’s political opponent (or apparent opponent).
The logic behind it is that it both takes credit for the opponent’s
ideas, and insulates the triangulator from attacks on that particular
issue. Opponents of triangulation[who?],
who believe in a fundamental “left” and “right”, consider the dynamic a
deviation from its “reality” and dismiss those that strive for it as
whimsical.

Obama started his career with people with far left leanings only because that was the way to get ahead in the Chicago Machine.  Personally, I don’t buy that Obama is a socialist, otherwise this wouldn’t be happening in his neighborhood.  Neo-Cons cook the books and make money off of war, while Obama’ and his cronies cook the books and make money off of low-income housing.  Different means but same intent.  Exploit the poor and bamboozle them into voting for you.

Voting for Obama is truly a vote for the Neo-Con Borg Collective.  So don’t feel bad when you vote against the DINO-crat, my loud and hellacious liberal principled PUMAs.  Remember this?

¡Que viva los PUMAs!

Thursday: A Tale of Two Endorsements

Many of us have wondered what is really going on in this election.  Why was Hillary Clinton dumped overboard by her own party in favor of a less than one term senator with no experience, no qualifications and apparently no scruples? And where the heck is he getting all of that money? We have some clues.  Donna Brazile keeps making reference to the “old coalition” vs the “new coalition”.  The old coalition consists of the old, uneducated, working class sino-peruvian lesbians and the new coalition consists of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit models with PhDs in Architecture.  The latter group is very anxious to chip the last bit of ice from the floe they have put the old coalition on.  We simply ask too much of government. We’re a burden.  We tie them down.  They want to be free to fulfill their destiny, FREE, I say!

But there’s something more unsettling lurking in the background.  Lambert identified it back in January.  It’s name is High Broderism.  It’s the belief that David Broder and his ilk in the Village are the ones who REALLY understand Main Street America.  And what you main streeters want is a kinder, gentler, more passive Democratic party.  Howard Fineman’s latest column in Newsweek is a warning to Obamaphiles who thought they were going to get real change in Washington.  It’s not going to happen, guys.  That’s not really what you want, say the Villagers.  You want a party that is less partisan and doesn’t upset the Republicans.  You want a party that is less confrontational, less wedded to its committment to the old, uneducated, working class sino-peruvian lesbians.  You want a president who is going to meet post-partisanly with Republicans in a civilized fashion, without raising his voice and put everything on the table to be negotiated away for the calm, reasoned, non-confrontational benefit of all. That is, to the benefit of all of the villagers.

Barack Obama is their man.  The media love him for many reasons.  He’s african-american.  He’s young.  Ok, he’s my age, but since I belong to the old coalition, I’m old; he’s young and full of possibilities.  He went to the right schools.  Ok, so did Hillary Clinton, but she married a Bubba.  And she doesn’t have a penis.  But mostly, Barack Obama is going to let the Broderites have their way.

How do we know this?  It’s been there all along but the recent non-endorsement of Linda Stender in the New York Times shows us exactly what the unholy Obama-Broderite alliance is really up to.  In 2006, the New York Times endorsed Stender over her opponent, Republican Mike Ferguson:

His Democratic opponent, Linda Stender, says she got into the race because she opposed the war in Iraq and says the United States looks like a “big bully” in world affairs. She says she would work to prevent further infringements on a woman’s right to get an abortion, to obtain federal funding for stem cell research, to force the administration to negotiate lower prices for the Medicare drug program with pharmaceutical companies and to get out of Iraq by the end of next year.

As to the tax cuts, she says she would support restoring the estate tax as long as some protection remained for family owners of small businesses, and would consider rolling back the reductions on the capital gains tax. On Social Security, she says the income ceiling on payroll taxes will probably have to be increased and the age of eligibility raised.

Mr. Ferguson, who is regarded as a backbencher in the House, has in the past opposed some of the administration’s efforts to backtrack on environmental protection, but he has shifted recently to a more compliant position. To his credit, he continues to support gun controls.

Over all, however, we consider Ms. Stender, a member of the New Jersey Assembly since 2002, as someone who would better stand up to the Bush administration for the district’s best interests. She wins our endorsement.

She lost NJ-07 by less than 4000 votes in 2006.  So, you’d think that with Ferguson retiring from the House that Stender should be a shoe in for 2008, right?  She’s in one of those coveted “Red to Blue” races.  But this year, she’s up against State Senator and Republican Lennard Lance and the race is uncomfortably tight.  Not to worry, you say.  The New York Times liked her in 2006.  Surely they will endorse her in 2008, right?  She’s a progressive Democrat and they liked her positions in 2006.  Not. So. Fast.:

7th District: In the race for the open seat in this central state region, Republican Leonard Lance and Democrat Linda Stender are both excellent candidates.

Mr. Lance has a fine record in the State Senate, where as Republican leader he won praise from both parties for his fiscal conservatism and his thoughtful views on social issues. Ms. Stender is a progressive Democrat who would make a worthy member of Congress. But Mr. Lance’s leadership qualities and his voice of moderation are needed now in Congress and in the Republican Party. We endorse Leonard Lance.

So, let me get this straight.  She’s an excellent candidate and you endorsed her in 2006 but now she’s not endorseable?  Well, now that Bush is gone, we don’t need anyone to stand up to him, do we?  There you have it, folks.  This, I suspect, is the real agenda behind the powerful elite support of Obama in the media.  The rank and file liberal journalists like Obama because his african-american, hopey-changeyness is kinda neat!  But the establishment want Obama because he will not rock the boat.  And to make sure he has a compliant Congress, the elite are not going to endorse a progressive candidate who is a little too strong in her convictions.  Or maybe they will if the candidate has a penis:

5th District: Residents in this stretch from northeast Bergen County to rural northwestern New Jersey are represented by Scott Garrett, one of the most conservative members of Congress. Mr. Garrett supports constitutional amendments to ban abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. He backs President Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy and limited aid for the poor.

We endorse Dennis Shulman, a Democrat who is a rabbi and psychologist. Mr. Shulman says he would work to mitigate global warming. He would also take an interest in psychological counseling and educational opportunities for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Personally, I like Dennis Schulman.  He is socially progressive.  But his health care positions are closer to Obama’s than Clinton’s.  The Broderites will tell you that this is exactly what YOU want.  They just know that you don’t want any more messy food fights in Congress where one side accuses the other of being obstacles to progress.  No, no, no.  What YOU want is for the Democrats you send to Congress to be passive, high school student government types who will work in peace and harmony to undermine everything you believe in because there will still be a sufficient number of Republicans and Blue Dogs to prevent any real meaningful change.

Of course, if this is the goal, one wonders what the Broderites in the Village will have to report on since nothing of interest will happen in the next two years.  But Congress will move along, working in sweet harmony, untroubled by the shrill, unpleasant voices of the liberals and progressives.  The old farty Broderites in Washington can finally have some low key, high class cocktail parties and the Village can finally have some peace and quiet.  And after all, isn’t that what you on Main Street want for them?  They know you do.

One more thing: Check out Heidi Li’s Potpourri for her latest post.  She is calling on both candidates to get their supporters in line.  The hung effigies are going too far, although, I think Obama’s got more to answer for, since he has benefitted mightily from the misogynism and race baiting.  If you have $5.44 to spare, help Heidi and The Denver Group run ads in Michigan and Miami to tell voters that Obama isn’t what he seems.

And if you have *another* $5.44, consider making a donation to PUMA Pac to help Darragh and her crew in their activities in these final days leading up to the election.

Here’s Heidi’s latest ad: