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Silly Video Open Thread

h/t tweet from Synchronize23

Has anyone seen Rico? I could use a seltzer with lime.

The Usual Suspects

Harold Ickes at RBC Meeting, May 31, 2008

Harold Ickes at RBC Meeting, May 31, 2008

Dan Balz has a piece in the Washington Post today about the efforts by both parties to “reform” the presidential primary system. The article is mostly about the Democrats’ problems though. Surprisingly, Balz to some extent acknowledges that the 2008 Democratic primaries were handled in a way that severely damaged Hillary Clinton’s chances. But he has it mostly wrong.

…there’s no disputing that the rules governing the nomination process can affect candidates’ fortunes. Just ask supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton. The DNC’s decision to punish Florida and Michigan for staging their contests in violation of party rules, particularly the penalty against Florida, robbed her of victories that could have changed the outcome. The Obama campaign’s mastery of the nominating rules clearly contributed to his victory over Clinton.

Um…Dan, “the Obama campaign’s mastery of the nominating rules?” Obama won by taking the small red-state caucuses, while Hillary won the big states. In the end, Clinton had more popular votes than Obama, and she would have had almost the same number of pledged delegates as Obama if it hadn’t been for the DNC’s refusal to count the votes of Florida and Michigan voters. The DNC rigged “the roolz” from day one in favor of Obama and they got plenty of help from the media in doing so. The RBC committee had to fiddle with the Michigan primary results, taking away four votes from Hillary and giving them to Obama along with “uncommitted” votes he didn’t earn in order to cement his “victory.”

Let’s get in the way-back machine and go back in time to May 31, 2008, shall we? Continue reading

Smoking Kool-aid in a crack pipe

I was bored and I hadn’t been by Blogstalkers for a few days so I dropped in to see what they were up to. Naturally, they’ve been talking about us.  People ask me why I visit their site and the reason is that it gives me a glimpse into the minds of the Failbots.  If I went to Cheetopia I would have to wade through long comment threads, but at Blogstalkers I can get the pure essence of Failbot with all the humanity and common sense removed:

I’d love, just once, for the panty-wetting, pearl-clutching brigade of disgruntled “We Were Right and Obama Sucks” bloggers to point to the United States president they revere as the model for All Things Good and Liberal.I mean, if he’s so awful, surely they can tell us “Now X – THAT was the man!”

Abe Lincoln? FDR? Civil rights disasters, both of them, who make Obama look like Gandhi. JFK? Hawkish as they come. Clinton? Uh, yeah. DOMA. NAFTA. “Welfare reform” that somehow managed to kick a lot of poor kids off the Medicaid rolls.

I’m perfectly fine with people criticizing Obama. I do it myself (been stuffing the Whitehouse.gov email box and those of my elected reps with loads of communiques on DOMA, DADT, and not backing down on the public option on healthcare). But the snot-nosed puling childen who act as if he’s letting us down so much in comparison to all those wonderful leftie presidents in the past are just pig-shit ignorant of U.S. presidential history, despite their scoffings that anyone not ready, six months in, to declare Obama an abject failure and get behind some purer leftie soul is just a starry-eyed idiot.

And who might that Galahad-pure Leftie Idol be?Bernie Sanders? Good luck with that. The Imaginary Progressive Hillary In Their Minds, Rather Than the One Who Voted for the War Without Reading the Intelligence Estimate and also supported the Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind, and Wanted to Ban Flag Burning? Oh, and who ALSO has never come out in favor of single-payer healthcare?

Jesus, I hate to admit this about the side I tend to, well, side with—but sometimes the rightists are right: liberals are whiny fucking crybabies who love to lose so they can keep playing victim all their lives instead of dealing with reality as it is. Which is to say: imperfect. Mostly sucky. But politics, as with every other choice in life, comes down to “what will suck least for the greatest number of people?”

Obama is better than JFK, WJC, Lincoln and FDR?  Blogstalkers has now crossed over into Ed Wood “so bad it’s funny” territory.

Speaking of “pig-shit ignorant,” this particular blogstalker is obviously unaware that no children were kicked off of Medicaid by the Clinton era welfare reforms.  The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 only affected cash aid.

Although it was signed into law by Bill Clinton, it was part of Newt Gingrinch’s “Contract on America” and it was timed to pass Congress in August 1996 in the hopes that Clinton would veto it so the Republicans could use the issue against him in his reelection campaign.

Obama has done nothing to repeal DOMA or renegotiate NAFTA.  NCLB was a bill co-sponsored by Ted Kennedy that passed with wide bi-partisan support.  Kennedy endorsed Obama last year before Super Duper Tuesday.  While Hillary did vote for the Iraq AUMF so did 28 other Democrats in the Senate.  Failbots conveniently forget that there was strong public support for the war and also the Patriot Act.

Nobody is perfect, but we’ve have great Presidents, good Presidents, bad Presidents, worse Presidents and  George W. Bush.  Out of 43 choices, guess which one Obama decided to emulate?

Obama is Bush III

change 3

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A small evil group to which no one we know belongs

Goldman-Sachs Tower.  (Sauron lives here.)

Goldman-Sachs Tower. (Sauron lives here.)

Early in the primary season last year, my colleague from up the hall told me of a dinner she had with her Wall Street working neighbors.  Now, not all of the people in NJ who work on Wall Street are evil people.  Some of them were just rank and file finance types.  One of my colleague’s friends quit Wall Street to work part time as a professor.  So, these people were not in the corner offices.  I thought for sure she was going to tell me they were all die hard Republicans.  Not so.  She said her friends said they feared a Depression if McCain was elected and a deep recession if Obama was elected.  They actually thought that Hillary was the one who was most economically sound.

No, I’m not being a Hillary groupie here.  My mind had been made up to vote for her anyway and at that point, Obamamania was in full swing.  What I found disconcerting is that these people who typically vote Republican thought it would be a disaster and they didn’t think Obama was going to be much of an improvement.  My colleague didn’t say anymore about it but after that point, she didn’t criticize Hillary anymore.  I think they told her something that frightened her.

A couple of days ago on Conflucians Say, I mentioned that it feels like the country is being controlled by a “Small evil group to which no one we know belongs”.  It feels like feudalism, as if the Normans had reconquered and grabbed everything in sight.  There’s a new patronage system.  To the victors go the spoils.  The rest of us have become serfs without any real rights.  Go ahead, try to assert your right of assembly.  Try to get your speech widely heard outside of the blogosphere.  Try to be non-religious and apply for govenment grants for your social programs.  Try to get your case of age discrimination heard fairly before the Supreme Court.  (Guys, I am really concerned about Sonya Sotomayor considering who is appointing her)

And then, I read the piece by Matt Taibbi yesterday about Goldman-Sachs called the Great American Bubble Machine.  It’s all about how G-S has been right there in the middle of every major financial crisis sinee 1929.  Opaque investment securities?  G-S.  Credit default swaps, CDO’s, the internet bubble and collapse of NASDAQ?  G-S.  How about the $4/gallon oil crisis of last year that hurt so many families and caused food riots in other parts of the world?  G-S.

G-S are those greedy nobles who rape, pillage and take what they want without consequence.  It’s really too bad that the US got rid of bills of attainder for special cases because if there was ever a corporation that should never be allowed to get anywhere near taxpayer money ever again, it would be Goldman-Sachs.  Unfortunately, our current government is infested with former Goldman-Sachs guys who have their fingers in everything financial.

Matt’s piece is full of charming quotes but this one really stood out for me because the person in question had a huge impact on the outcome of the primaries last year but mostly flies under the radar in today’s media environment:

The market was no longer a rationally managed place to grow real, profitable businesses: It was a huge ocean of Someone Else’s Money where bankers hauled in vast sums through whatever means necessary and tried to convert that money into bonuses and payouts as quickly as possible. If you laddered and spun 50 Internet IPOs that went bust within a year, so what? By the time the Securities and Exchange Commission got around to fining your firm $110 million, the yacht you bought with your IPO bonuses was already six years old. Besides, you were probably out of Goldman by then, running the U.S. Treasury or maybe the state of New Jersey. (One of the truly comic moments in the history of America’s recent financial collapse came when Gov. Jon Corzine of New Jersey, who ran Goldman from 1994 to 1999 and left with $320 million in IPO-fattened stock, insisted in 2002 that “I’ve never even heard the term ‘laddering’ before.”)


After reading this piece, it no longer surprises me that Corzine hasn’t done diddly squat for the homeowners of NJ and their outrageous property taxes.  I’m pretty deaf to the local Democrats who wail, “But if Corzine isn’t re-elected, we’ll get stuck with Christie and he’s a Republican and it will be WORSE!”  Really?  How could it be worse?  What has Corzine done for us?  He might as well have been Thomas Kean.  They were virtually indistinguishable.  Corzine, for all intents and purposes, *is* a Republican, albeit a socially liberal one.  So, what’s the diff?  Shouldn’t someone be held responsible for the gross unfairness, ineptitude and greed of the modern Democratic party?  And who better than Jon Corzine, former CEO of Goldman-Sachs who claims to not know that his own company was scamming ordinary day traders on his watch?  Where do Corzine’s loyalties lie anyway?  NJ has survived Republican governors before.  We have a Democratic assembly.  Why not just vote nothing on top?  I’m not giving my vote to Corzine until he starts to act like a Democrat.

In fact, I can’t think of a better way to kick the Democrats’ asses in gear than to defeat Jon Corzine.  He can be a cautionary tale: this is what will happen to you if you don’t start acting like a Democrat.  You won’t get another chance.  Your ass is glass.  Oh, and by the way…


NJ and NY, where the financial groups hold sway, were the ones that put Obama over the top at the Democratic Convention last year.  Those were states where Hillary won by 10 points or more.  The votes of Hillary supporters were wiped out at the convention. Zeroed. Nullified.  Like the primaries in those two states never even happened. We were disenfranchised, not by crazy Obamaphiles, but by a small evil group to which no one we know belongs.

And the former CEO for Goldman-Sachs lead the way.

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