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    June 2010
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Dear Big Dawg, “This is our future”

Howyadoin’.  I catered the primary cocktail parties in 2008 and occasionally, I do pick up jobs here and there for RD and the other FP’s.  I’m a working class kind of guy working on my degree in nutrition and physical training.  Going to open a spa someday for all those rich ladies with too much time on their hands and too much lard on their asses.

Anyway, I saw that you were stumping for Ms. Blanche down in Arkansas.  And I read some of your remarks about who was funding her opponent.  It sounded to me like you were trying to make out like union people are “special interests”.  But then I thought that was probably just Politico taking your speech out of context again.  Bill Clinton could never mistake hundreds of millions of working class Americans as “special interests”.  I mean, the unions gave us the weekend and most of us don’t even have to belong to one.  I live for the weekends.

Then Florence, you remember her?  Did the coat check deal for the cocktail parties?  She’s been getting all crazy with that SyFy channel stuff and she starts watching this Caprica show about some brainy teenager hacker girl who gets blown up but comes back to life in the body of a robot through some transfer of the bits of her life that comprise her soul that fit on one of them USB drives and voile, a cylon is born.  I guess you have to follow these things to really understand it.  Florence says she’s doing a lot of coat check gigs in corporate HQs and the dudes sound just like this Graystone character.  Take a look:

Imagine that.  A subhuman race that does all the work and never needs to be fed.  Or paid even.  And they don’t complain.  It’s like a shareholder’s wet dream. When the cylon’s arm comes off and it spills the glass of water all over the table, that, my friend, is what you call a visual metaphor.

Ehhh, whaddaygonnado?  It’s the future, Bill. It’ll probably all turn out ok in the end. It’s not like this has all happened before or will happen again. I think that’s called a cultural reference, Bill.

By the way, I read this comment by Anne on TalkLeft about what some White House Senior Official said about Blanche winning.  Dollars to donuts it was Rahm.

And the reason the AFL spokesperson (5.00 / 2) (#21)
by Anne on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:01:41 AM EST

shot back with “We are not an arm of the Democratic Party,” is because, according to the Politico article referenced in the post, a WH spokesperson said they’d

“flushed $10 million of their members’ money down the toilet” in the “pointless exercise” of supporting the failed bid of Bill Halter to unseat Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

Vale went on to say:

“If that’s their take on this, then they severely misread how the electorate feels and how we’re running our political program. When we say we’re only going to support elected officials who support our issues,” said AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale. “When they say we should have targeted our money among some key house races among Blue Dog Democrats — that ain’t happening.”

Disturbing on a number of levels.

For one, the public dressing-down of unions for working to help defeat Lincoln and supporting the other Democrat, and for not assisting in the election of more Blue Dogs should make it obvious that the New Dems and this administration have disdain for and are indifferent to the interests of the working men and women that unions represent, that they believe their own political interests far outweigh the interests of the people.

For another, the Rahm Emmanuel plan to stock the Congress with more and more Blue Dogs continues apace.

So, where does this leave us liberals and progressives?  Well, considering that the New Dems have not stopped trying to throw us out of our own party because we have refused to submit to the Stepford treatment that would render us compliant and quiet, I’d say we have three tasks: make more noise and refuse to be ignored, work harder to throw their craven a$$e$ out if they continue to ignore us, and, think very seriously about using some of that energy and anger to form, if not a new party, a strong and visible bloc whose votes cannot afford to be dismissed out of hand.

Hey, you take care, Bill. Stop by for a drink sometime. And if you see the Missus, tell her we’re here for her. But all in all, we would have backed Halter. Just sayin’.

Wednesday Morning News

Good Morning Conflucians!!!

Election day seems to mostly be over. Let’s take a look at some results. First up in California, Both Whitman and Fiorina win their GOP primaries:

Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman, who ascended to the top of the business world before turning to politics, prevailed in their respective battles for the G.O.P. nominations for the U,.S. Senate and Governor in California, setting the stage for costly general election fights this fall.

Ms. Fiorina, a former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, beat Tom Campbell, a former congressman, and Chuck DeVore, whose candidacy has drawn the backing of many Tea Party activists. She will face the incumbent senator, Barbara Boxer, in the fall.

Ms. Whitman, the former chief executive of eBay and a billionaire, had invested a small share of her personal fortune to prevail in the governor’s race over Steve Poizner, the state insurance commissioner, who put up $24 million of his own money into his primary campaign. She will challenge Jerry Brown, the state’s attorney general, who was first elected governor of California three decades ago.

So two GOP women win. It’s the GOP, so generally speaking they’re not on our side. Then again, who is. The general in both of those elections should be interesting. I’m definitely on the side of moonbeam (Jerry Brown), but then I’m a bit of a fan. Boxer, that’s a tough one. Any of the prominent Democrats that helped push Obama over the top in his ill gotten gains in the primaries, and then continued to support such things as a Heritage Foundation designed, Insurance Industry authored health insurance bailout bill isn’t anyone’s friend. But then likely neither is her competition. We’re screwed either way.

Next is Arkansas with Blanche Lincoln edging out her Kos/SEIU/Obot backed Bill Halter helped by some last minute Bill Clinton backing and campaigning. Yep, the Clinton’s still have it. It’s Arkansas, what idiots thought big dawg wouldn’t have a big impact (from the same NYTimes article):

Ms. Lincoln prevailed in the run-off over Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, despite millions of dollars spent on his behalf by organized labor and other special interests, setting up a general election race with Representative John Boozman, the Republican chosen late last month.

Although it’s kind of cool that Lincoln beat the one the Obots backed, she was against the public option. You know, exactly like the President and the entire Democratic party in the end. So she’s not necessarily our friend or a real Democrat either. Then again… Bill called Lincoln the comeback kid though, so there’s that.

And back on the GOP side over in South Carolina, Nikki Haley won, but not by enough. So she will face a run off election:

The Arkansas result came after a bruising Republican primary race for the South Carolina gubernatorial nomination was forced into a runoff of its own after Nikki Haley overcame accusations of marital infidelity. Ms. Haley will face U.S. Representative J. Gresham Barrett.

Ms. Haley, a state legislator, fell just short of claiming an outright majority of votes and now faces a June 22 primary with Mr. Barrett, a four-term congressman.

“We had the kitchen sink thrown at us,” Ms. Haley said in an interview on Tuesday. “We are a state of great people. We are a state of dirty politics.”

In recent weeks, she had been twice accused of infidelity by men allied with her opponents. She fiercely denied the suggestions. She rose in the polls by promising to break up an entrenched network that has dominated state politics for decades and she portrayed the unsubstantiated charges of extramarital affairs as retaliation for taking on special interests.

In my district, the fighting 5th, Robert Hurt won on the GOP side to go up against Democrat Tom Perriello for congress. Tom unfortunately, like most freshmen congressmen, sucked up and did what Obama told him too on every vote. Maybe he has more too him. Hard to tell. I think he will have a very tough fight in November.

In other election news: Jerry Brown wins the Democratic nomination for CA governor. Duh. Californians vote to change to open primaries. It looks like the Tea Party candidate, Sharron Angle, will win the GOP slot to go against Harry Reid. Of course Harry is happy. I’m not so sure Harry can win even if he was running against Elmer Fudd. In a slight bit of comedy, Gov. Schwarzenegger’s first ballot in the election was rejected because he voted for two senate candidates. So many jokes to be made of that, but I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader:

Did California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger have trouble making a decision in his state’s competitive GOP Senate primary today? The Associated Press is reporting that a scanning machine rejected Schwarzenegger’s ballot because he had selected two candidates for Senate.

Poll worker Keta Hodgson tells the AP that the Republican governor was given a choice of filling out a new ballot or not having his Senate choice count. He chose to cast a new ballot.

All in all it was most definitely a day for women. The only question is, are they women who are on the side of the people or on the side of the corporations. Since it’s pretty much a given that both parties are 100% in the tank for corporations, it probably doesn’t matter. To that end, why not go for women when possible. Just because. Well, except if they’re completely wacko like the “birther queen”:

Orly Taitz is an Israeli émigré who has spent the past two years filing lawsuits challenging President Barack Obama’s right to be president on the grounds that he was born in Kenya. In the process, she has earned herself $20,000 in court fines.

Now she’s running for the GOP nomination for secretary of state, and with her establishment-backed primary opponent mounting a less-than-stellar campaign against her, operatives say there’s a chance she could win.

“It’d be a disaster for the Republican party,” says James Lacy, a conservative GOP operative in the state. “Can you imagine if [gubernatorial candidate] Meg Whitman and [candidate for Lt. Gov.] Abel Maldonado — both of whom might have a chance to win in November — had to run with Orly Taitz as secretary of state, who would make her cockamamie issues about Obama’s birth certificate problems at the forefront of her activities?”

There are a lot more races out there. Chime in with your local races and any interesting stories.

Meanwhile Obama is out campaigning for the healthcare reform bill (I shit you not):

On Tuesday, Obama held a town hall meeting on health care at a Maryland senior center. He talked about the $250 check the newly-passed legislation will send to seniors who fall into Medicare’s “doughnut hole” gap in prescription drug coverage, and answered questions about the bill’s general impact.

Polls show Americans remain split in their opinion of Obama’s health care effort, so the administration is trying to quiet voter doubts in advance of fall mid-term elections. Since many of the bill’s major changes don’t take effect for years, officials are highlighting those things that happen soon – such as the “doughnut hole” rebate – in their attempt to garner favorable public opinion.

“We’re moving quickly and carefully to implement this law,” Obama told the crowd at the Holiday Park Multipurpose Senior Center in suburban Wheaton.

It’s been easy to overlook with all the attention devoted to events in the Gulf of Mexico, but health-care reform remains a contentious issue in Washington. Republicans are convinced that the relative unpopularity of the health-care bill will help them make big gains in November.

I guess if you’ve failed at everything else, go out and campaign for something already done with. Makes sense. Hmm, maybe he could hang around with the birther queen. They may have a lot more in common that I originally thought.

The Wall Street Reform bill is making the rounds again. A memo from Volcker pointing out exceptions to his rule making banks less risky:

White House economic adviser Paul Volcker, in a letter obtained by Reuters, said he firmly opposes exemptions to his rule being sought by banks that say they make only small investments in private equity and hedge funds.

At the same time, some Senate Democrats were moving to toughen the Volcker rule by reducing the latitude given to regulators in implementing it once it becomes law — a prospect now widely seen as all but certain, likely within weeks.

Conflict over the rule — which threatens the profits of banking giants such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley — came as a congressional conference committee prepared for its first meeting on merging House and Senate reform measures into the biggest bank regulation overhaul since the 1930s.

After days of behind-the-scenes talks among conferees, the committee will hold its first public meeting on Thursday, with the goal of completing its work by June 26, Representative Barney Frank, the committee chairman, said on Tuesday.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi will appoint Democratic members from that chamber to the joint Senate-House committee on Wednesday, Frank told reporters.

Frank and other conference committee leaders will have the difficult job of balancing Democrats’ desire for a hard-hitting bill with the need to retain some support from Republicans who have generally sided with Wall Street in resisting changes.

That last paragraph cracked me up. Like there’s a difference. Such theatre.

Hillary has been working to fix relations with left leaning Ecuador:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reached out Tuesday to one of the left-leaning populist leaders of South America, attempting to edge Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa out of the orbit of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

By all appearances, the charm offensive had an impact. A beaming Correa professed admiration and respect for “dearest Hillary” and for President Obama. He said he and Clinton had discussed tough issues — such as Ecuador’s concern over the U.S. military operating out of seven bases in neighboring Colombia — but said their two countries would have “debate with great openness.”

“The new left that I represent is not anti-anything,” Correa said at a joint news conference after three hours of talks. “We are not anti-capitalist. We are not anti-American. We are not anti-imperialist. We are pro-dignity, pro-sovereignty, pro-social justice, pro-good life for our people. We are in favor of the good things.”

He added that “we love the United States very much,” noting that he “spent the happiest four years of my life with my family in that great country” when he earned a master’s and a doctorate at the University of Illinois.

On the other hand, Nancy Pelosi tried to give a speech but was heckled the entire time by protesters wanting better healthcare (esp. home care vs. nursing care):

The protesters, wearing orange shirts and chanting “Our homes, not nursing homes,” did not let up until Pelosi finished her address and left the stage with security guards. The protesters said they were members of ADAPT, an activist group that advocates for disability rights and is fighting for passage of the Community Choice Act. The bill was introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) in 2009 but has not advanced out of the Finance Committee. In the House, a similar measure remains in the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The act would allow those who are eligible for care in a nursing home to instead receive similar care in their own homes through community-assisted living.

Many of the protesters were in wheelchairs or otherwise disabled, and they held up banners. One protester shouted at Pelosi: “We supported Obama. We supported you. We supported the campaign . . . But we don’t want to be taken from our homes.”

In a show of grace and charm and understanding, Nancy said:

At one point, Pelosi made light of the protests, saying: “Listen, I’m used to noise. I talk to the Democratic Caucus every day.”

In her speech, Pelosi noted the historic health-care overhaul and outlined a message she hopes will carry Democrats through the November midterm elections.

I don’t think she’s quite right in the head. Whatever you do, don’t look into her eyes. {{Shudder}}

Meanwhile Obama says he’ll get tougher on Oil companies while he moves to reopen offshore drilling:

But President Obama, in some of his strongest statements to date on the April 20 oil disaster, said he wanted to know “whose ass to kick” over the massive April 20 spill.

He said he still supports offshore drilling as BP struggles to contain its gushing well, but said oil companies will face greater oversight.

“I believe that we’re going to need to increase domestic oil production,” Obama told NBC’s “Today” show in an interview.

“But we can’t do these things unless we’ve got confidence that somebody’s looking over the shoulder of these folks because the systems have gotten too complicated for us to simply say, ‘you know what, you can go do what you want.'”

Obama, under pressure from critics who say he is not doing enough to contain the oil washing up on Gulf shores, said he appointed a bipartisan commission to look into the oil spill because he could not expect to get the truth from BP or other oil companies.

“I want them to report back to me because you obviously cannot take the word of oil companies when they say they’ve got a bunch of redundancy and back-up plans when something like this happens, and it turns out they have no idea what they’re doing.”

There he goes again, talking and talking, but what does he do. He’s our drill baby drill president. He never saw a mega corporation he could refuse. Here BP, take Louisiana, with my complements. Do whatever you want. My stupid minions will follow me whatever I do… {{bangs head on table}}

Congressman Nick Rahall (D, WV) is demanding more documents from Transocean that show there were fewer workers the night of the explosion than in preceding weeks:

Natural Resources Chairman Nick Rahall of West Virginia asked that Transocean, the Texas company that owned and operated the rig, to detail their staffing practices by providing work logs. Documents obtained by Rahall’s committee allegedly show that fewer people worked on the rig the night of the explosion than during anytime in the preceding weeks. Further, the committee says there were no engineers, electricians, mechanics or subsea supervisors on duty the night the rig exploded.

Mother Jones reports that witnesses knew the fire was going to happen and had warned about it:

Tony Buzbee, a lawyer representing 15 rig workers and dozens of shrimpers, seafood restaurants, and dock workers, says he has obtained a three-page signed statement from a crew member on the boat that rescued the burning rig’s workers. The sailor, who Buzbee refuses to name for fear of costing him his job, was on the ship’s bridge when Deepwater Horizon installation manager Jimmy Harrell, a top employee of rig owner Transocean, was speaking with someone in Houston via satellite phone. Buzbee told Mother Jones that, according to this witness account, Harrell was screaming, “Are you fucking happy? Are you fucking happy? The rig’s on fire! I told you this was gonna happen.”

Whoever was on the other end of the line was apparently trying to calm Harrell down. “I am fucking calm,” he went on, according to Buzbee. “You realize the rig is burning?”

At that point, the boat’s captain asked Harrell to leave the bridge. It wasn’t clear whether Harrell had been talking to Transocean, BP, or someone else.

And finally, Rod Blagojevich’s trial began:

An attorney for Rod Blagojevich declared Tuesday that the former Illinois governor is an honest man who “didn’t take a dime” of illegal money and simply trusted the wrong people to handle his fundraising before he was ousted by corruption allegations.

In a theatrical opening statement, attorney Sam Adam Jr. outlined for the first time how the defense plans to fight charges that Blagojevich tried to sell President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat and sought to use his office to line his pockets and those of insiders.

“The guy ain’t corrupt,” said Adam, whose remarks seemed at times more like a tent revival than a courtroom presentation. He said Blagojevich and his wife will both take the stand.

The trial will likely be more sad than entertaining. If there are any dark secrets from Rahm or Barack or others in the WH, don’t expect them to be allowed out in the light of day though.

That’s a small bit of all the things happening. Let us know what’s happening in your neck of the woods, or anywhere else for that matter.

18 Million Cracks: 2 Years Later

Republican women had a good showing in last night’s elections.

Tea Poser nutcase Orly Taitz stands no chance of winning, which indicates all the more that the success of the GOP women last night is the result of their tapping into something real.

What Nikki Haley is doing is HUGE, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Democrats had their chance in 2008 to make the next decade the Decade of the Democratic woman. But, they passed on it. Their loss.

Yesterday afternoon — well before the polls closed and I realized what a strong night it was going to be for Republican women — I wrote the following rant, which I’ve edited for clarity. It’s taken on another layer of meaning for me in light of last night’s results:

I don’t understand what they (i.e. the gatekeepers of feminism) need feminism for if there is *always* some issue that comes before women and girls and we always have to know our place and be willing to go last if at all because that’s what “good” women do.

Feminism is that one space where, by virtue of it being feminism and not any other -ism, women’s rights and advancement gets the floor–where gender equality gets to be advocated for to the fullest extent (instead of how it gets knee-jerk dismissed in every other space as the hobby lobby of bored silly little bourgeoisie wimmenz and ewwww rigid radical maneating manlike militant feminists!)

If they don’t want to put women first ever on any issue, what’s the point?

If a prolife woman can actually put women first on any issue outside of abortion–well we can have great feminist debates all we want about whether the prolifer gets to join the feminist club or not, but at least she’s doing more than declaring the space only exclusive to her and her tribe and never actually using it for anything.

And, where the Palins are concerned, even with any level of opportunism involved there, that opportunism can be turned back on its head, and be used against the Good Ol’ Boy network where both the Ds and the Rs try to keep women divided. If the feminist “authorities” on the left were paying any attention, they would notice that there’s a wide open field of potential out there for building some messaging consensus and solidarity amongst women and likeminded men — on feminist issues that go beyond the simplistic prochoice/prolife BS.

When both the left and right women pols now see “You go girl” as a way to build up their appeal, there is *something* going on. There is no reason for the women’s orgs to be as dead and without a pulse as they are right now except that they’ve become dead-by-default.

Every time Hillary or Palin go off the D/R script that ignores wimmen’s voices and wimmen’s issues altogether, every time they talk about women and girls, they’re changing the way politics are done. They are building a bridge for us so that we don’t need to have a separate “Women’s party” (inevitably blown off as silly women with frivolous agenda) –and the reason we wouldn’t need one is because we have become integral to the party system that is already in place.

To the extent that any liberal or conservative woman does something to pave that way a little bit further than it was before, more power to her in that individual endeavor. That’s not the same as supporting her politics, hard as that is for the Oprecious party and the so-called “progressives” to understand this concept.

This isn’t about following someone else’s politics. It’s about following my own.

I refuse to put women’s voices, women’s representation, women’s rights, and women’s causes last.

The GOP put women last until the brand fell completely apart. Now that same tattered GOP is relying on women to put the humpty dumpty back together again.

I voted for Hillary when we had the chance to have her as our first female president and put our country back together again.

I never had any confusion about the difference between Hillary Clinton and the women of the GOP. It’s the Democratic establishment and the activist left that was confused about that difference.

Now the Obama-Left is stuck between Barack and a Rand Place while women of the GOP are seeing their star rise.