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Sunday: Did Jon Corzine have a conflict of interest?

Early last year, Jon Corzine, governor of NJ and superdelegate, endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.  But something happened between his endorsement and the convention that changed his mind about Hillary.  Here’s Jon giving the lamest excuse I’ve ever heard for rejecting Hillary for VP:

“Seed themselves into public policy”?  I think we have the answer right there as to why Hillary was deep sixxed last year.  It had nothing to do with her qualifications or support.  It had everything to do with keeping her from interfering.  This interview is very revealing in retrospect, as well as providing  some stupid excuse that is supposed to make sense to the masses.  No doubt many non-politico types bought it.  They were probably thinking, “Well, Jon Corzine must know something the rest of us don’t know.”

Yeah, he probably did.  He probably saw his massive $400 million dollar personal fortune on the line.  From Wiki:

In 1975 he moved to New Jersey to work for Goldman Sachs. He became Chairman and co-CEO of the firm, but in 1998, he was pushed out of the firm. After his departure from Goldman Sachs, he earned what has been estimated to be $400 million during the 1999 initial public offering of the company.

At least he can say he wasn’t there when the company started buying credit default swaps and got involved in other “instruments”.  Still, nearly half a billion dollars is a big chunk o’change.  It would really suck, er, be of low quality, if he had to run a 2009 re-election campaign with significantly less money than he planned.  Even if the ne’erdowells in the company threw him out, he probably has a certain nostalgia for the place.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he and some of his former colleagues got together now and then at some “cottage” on the shore overlooking the shimmering water of the Atlantic.  They probably talked business and government policy and who was more likely to protect your investment.  From Jon Corzine’s POV, he wasn’t so much picking a candidate as a Charles Shwab.

Back last summer, the writing was surely on the wall for those lucky enough to *have* “cottages” at the shore.  Last August, during the convention, we were only a few short weeks away from the Paulsen bailout bill, the biggest heist ever perpetrated on the American people.  We were only about 2 weeks away from Hillary Clinton frantically running from morning show to morning show, trying to head off a disaster, trying to get money to homeowners, trying to get America’s attention.  But it was too late.  Jon Corzine had done everything in his power to get Barack Obama, including nullifying the votes of millions of New Jersey voters, like yours truly, who didn’t vote for him in the primary.  Yes, Jon Corzine took a state that Hillary Clinton *won* by 10 points and gave every one of our delegates, unanimously, to Barack Obama:

They made fun of us PUMAs last year.  We were called old, stupid, working class, female (like there’s nothing worse in the world), racists and Republican.  Here’s what we wrote on June 2, 2008 in PUMA Power:

Like adolescents, they insist on making their own decisions and yet expect us to get them out of a jam later. They hate us because of who we are and yet they need us in order for them to get what they want. And the superdelegates are the too permissive parents who are giving in to them because they can’t handle the screaming and guilt trips that will follow if they don’t.

This is where we come in, PUMAs. We will fill the role that the superdelegates have abrogated. It is our job to say “no”. We do not want to lose in 2008. We do not want another four years of Republican rule. We want 4 years of intelligence, competence and courage in a time of what will surely be a very critical time in our nation’s history. Terrorism is still out there. There are two wars going on. Our military is stretched so thinly that our national security is compromised. We have an energy crisis and many families are hurting. Our financial institutions got themselves over their heads. And there is a serious environmental catastrophe at hand in global warming.

Now is not the time to put a love object in office, a weakling who will be entirely dependent on his power elite enablers. Or worse, he may be a dissembler who has barely disguised his contempt for the voters.

There will be a lot of calls for “Unity!”. But let us acknowledge what this really is. “Unity” is a weapon that the party is going to use against us. It is the emotional blackmail of the teenager. “If you don’t let me have my way, it will be all YOUR fault if something bad happens!” “If you don’t get in line, it will be YOUR fault if we lose.”

Don’t give in to this. This is where a parent’s mettle is tested. When the stakes are not high, like staying up too late on a school night, we can afford to let them live with the consequences of their actions. When the situation is critical, we have to be firm. We have to give them choices. We have to tell them that we will not be willing participants in their destructive behavior. We have to tell them that the consequences of their behavior will fall on *their* heads. We have to take away the car keys. Not ground them. Just not aid them in doing what they want. We have to exert our authority.

That goes for superdelegates as well who are failing in their responsibilities. We will hold them accountable as well. If they allow these children to run the house, they will have to live with the consequences, not us.

Barack Obama is a ruthless campaigner who has brought out the worst in the political system but no matter how far he has come, he is a failure. He has failed to live up to core Democratic principles, He has failed to respect the voters. He has failed to disguise his contempt for average, hard working American men and women. And because he has failed in so many ways to appeal to the electorate at large, he will fail the ultimate contest. He will be a failed presidential candidate. We do not wish to be associated with failure while there is still time and an opportunity to avoid it.

We will not be blackmailed into party unity in order to indulge irresponsible people in their fantasies. Our votes belong to us and we will do with them what we feel is best for us, the party and the country.

We were wrong about Obama being a failed presidential candidate and we only suspected that the economy was trashed.  The economic crisis that occured shortly after the convention made sure that no Republican could win the WH.  The letter “D” could have won last year.  But Obama is certainly a failed president.  He was a failure before he ever took office when he lobbied Congress on behalf of the first Paulsen Bailout bill that contained no oversight provisions.  If that wasn’t a signal to the finance community that they backed the right guy, I don’t know what was.

So, now is the time to hold Jon Corzine accountable.  What did Jon know and when did he know it?  How much money was he in danger of losing and how much of the bailout money is lining his pockets now as it gets passed from the hands of AIG to the investors and shareholders at Goldman-Sachs?  Well, what can you expect from a guy who doesn’t wear his seat belt during a high speed commute from Atlantic City and nearly dies in a car crash?  The man can be reckless.  And if the country heads into a Japanese U shaped recession/depression, you can send your notes of gratitude to him and the other superdelegates who sold us out.

Dissenting Justice has more on the AIG=Goldman-Sachs unholy alliance for fun and profit from the bailout.  (H/T Bostonboomer)


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First Data Point

Alegre posted this very recently:  Ed Rendell is throwing his support behind Hillary and will vote for her for nomination.  Politickerpa has more details.  Rendell says:

Gov. Ed Rendell, in an interview with PolitickerPA.com today, lauded the resolution reached last week that will allow Clinton’s name to be placed in nomination, before U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) ultimately accepts the party’s presidential nomination.
… I think it’s good not because it will display any disunity, but because  it honors the hard work of so many people who supported Sen. Clinton,” said Rendell, who was one of Clinton’s most visible and vociferous campaigners during the run-up to the state’s April primary. “Many of the Pennsylvania delegates worked their heart out for Sen. Clinton, and they’re excited to cast a vote for her. From my vantage point, that will be closure for them.

“I think it will have the cathartic effect that both Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama are hoping to have,” he added.

Hmmm, cathartic or emetic?  I guess it depends on which camp you’re in.  If you’re in the Greek tragedy camp, you’re looking for the tragic hero to undergo some self-reflection of his hubris and come to a state of sophrosyne.  The catharsis is the effect of purging dramatic tension in the audience.  I’ll go for that.

But if you’re an Obamaphile right now, you’re probably feeling queasy.

It could be a sign that the ice is cracking or maybe Rendell is just an outlier.  Still, Charlie Rangell was thrown under the bus last week as was Wes Clark.  So, who knows?  We will have to wait for a second data point to see if there is a trend.  A third would point to a correlation.

Of course, the flood gates would open if negative news came to light about Obama.  Steady, Obamabots, we’ll get the barf bucket.

Wednesday: The Pit and the Pendulum

There is a tiny, almost imperceptible sign that just maybe momentum is swinging back our way. It looks like all of our warnings about the party about to go off of the cliff may be having an effect. Kevin Rodriguez, a superdelegate from the US Virgin Islands and member of the DNC, was originally a Clinton superdelegate. Then, during Obamania, he moved over to Obama’s column. Yesterday, He moved back to Clinton. Brave man. I hope others follow as well. That doesn’t sound to me like something you do in the pit of despair when you think your candidate chance of winning are nonexistent.

Also, for those of you who enjoy Fresh Air with Terry Gross, she recently interviewed James Webb. He comes off as prickly but what he says to her about his commitment to social justice and the working class may be an indication of his leanings though he’s not the kind of man you want to back into a corner. It’s clear that he will weigh his options carefully but from this interview, he must be pretty steamed about Obama writing off the working class in Appalachia. No, I’m betting that did not go over well at all with Webb.

For example, here is a brief excerpt from Webb’s new book, A Time To Fight:

But the one connecting dot in all of my experiences has been a passion for history and a desire to learn from it. Not the enumeration of monarchs and treaties that so often passes for academic knowledge, but the surging vitality from below that so often impels change and truly defines cultures. The novelist Leo Tolstoy wrote vividly about war and peace, showing us the drawing rooms and idiosyncrasies of Russia’s elite. But in reality, he was telling us that great societal changes are most often pushed along by tsunami-deep impulses that cause the elites to react far more than they inspire them to lead. And this, in my view, is the greatest lesson of political history. Entrenched aristocracies, however we may want to define them, do not want change; their desire instead is to manage dissent in a way that does not disrupt their control. But over time, under the right system of government, a free, thinking people has the energy and ultimately the power to effect change.

Hmm…

I can’t wait to see who he endorses. Will he stick to his guns and insist on respect for his Scots-Irish kin or is he more concerned with foreign policy and Hillary’s more forceful approach? Here’s a possible clue: during the interview, Webb says he considers himself to be in the mold of late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who was Hillary’s mentor and whose senate seat she took in 2000. We shall see what he does but I recall several weeks ago that Harry Reid said he knew of at least one of the remaining senators who was ready to committ and he implied that all he had to do was say the word to trigger a slew more. Could he be talking about Webb?

I thoughtlessly volunteered to chaperone Brook’s field trip today so I will be incommunicado until later this afternoon. Yep, a whole day in the company of genteel and well behaved 12 year olds at a minor league baseball game is just chock full of teachable moments but this time, I won’t be able to order a beer with my peanuts. *sigh*