Category - USA: Campaign 2008

Why Dems Lose Midterms

The preliminary numbers are in, and voter turnout was at a record low nationwide.

Conventional wisdom says that each party, Republican and Democrat, can count on roughly 45% of the vote, no matter what. The last ten percent is what you need to win an election.

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Grimm Prospects


By now, you’ve read about or seen the assault on NY1 reporter Michael Scotto by Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm. As it turns out, it was all anybody talked about in the aftermath of the State of the Union address Tuesday night, and as such, forced the GOP to go off message to defend one of their own.

They can’t be happy about that in an election year.

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Blustering to Sell Books

Here’s what’s really weird about Robert Gates’ new book:

In Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary of War, Mr Gates recounts how Mr Obama appeared to lack faith in a war strategy he had approved and the commander he named to lead it, General David Petraeus, and did not like Afghan President Hamid Karzai, according to The New York Times and The Washington Post.

“As I sat there, I thought: the President doesn’t trust his commander, can’t stand Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy and doesn’t consider the war to be his,” Mr Gates writes of a March 2011 meeting in the White House.

“For him, it’s all about getting out.”

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Pass The Popcorn

Oh boy, this is going to be great!

“There is now an out in the open civil war within the Republican Party,” conservative Iowa radio host Steve Deace wrote in a Politico op-ed this week.

He’s right.

Karl Rove has launched a new group, the Conservative Victory Project, which will aim to select GOP Senate candidates, weeding out future Todd Akins and squashing the prospects of anyone deemed unelectable.

It’s not sitting well with conservatives. Its first purported opponent is Steve King, a very conservative congressman with a history of colorful comments, who may be considering a run for Senate in Iowa.

After pantheon of Tea Party campaign groups (The Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and Tea Party Express) bashed the new effort, on Wednesday a cluster of conservative leaders demanded the new organization fire its spokesman, Jonathan Collegio, for calling Brent Bozell, a pundit who runs the conservative Media Research Center, a “hater” in a recent radio interview. Collegio had alleged that Bozell, a critic, has an ax to grind against Rove.

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Yeah, It’s Sad When People Reap What They Sow

And here we have Dana Milbank doing what Dana Milbankk does best — being a clueless dork:

It was a lonely farewell for Joe Lieberman.

When the senior senator from Connecticut stood to give his parting address Wednesday afternoon, just one of his colleagues, Delaware Democrat Tom Carper, was with him on the Senate floor.

As Lieberman plodded through his speech, thanking everybody from his wife to the Capitol maintenance crews, a few longtime friends trickled in.

In came John Kerry (Mass.), who bested him in the 2004 Democratic presidential primaries and then, like many Senate Democrats, endorsed Ned Lamont, who tried to oust Lieberman from his Senate seat in 2006.

In came Susan Collins (Maine), Lieberman’s Republican counterpart on the Homeland Security Committee, whom Lieberman supported over a Democrat in her 2008 reelection.

In came GOP iconoclast John McCain (Ariz.), who was close to naming Lieberman as his vice presidential running mate in 2008 — which would have made Lieberman the first man on both a Democratic and a Republican national ticket.

A few more senators arrived during the 20-minute speech, but even by the end Lieberman was very much alone — which is how it has been for much of his 24-year tenure. He tried to push back against the mindless partisanship that developed in the chamber, and he paid dearly for it.

Lieberman was excommunicated by his party (he won as an independent in 2006 after losing the Democratic primary) and retired this year rather than face probable defeat. Yet he received little love from the Republicans, either, because despite his apostasies on key issues — the Iraq war, above all — he remained a fairly reliable vote for the Democrats.

Let’s be generous and say that Milbank is being naive here — although I think either disingenuous or just plain stupid would be more accurate. Joe Lieberman didn’t ally himself with the Republican Party out of a desire to be “bipartisan.” Joe Lieberman has always been the most cynical of opportunists — interested in Joe Lieberman and nothing else. That’s why he became an Independent after losing that 2006 Senate race in the Connecticut Democratic primary to Ned Lamont. He wasn’t willing to give up his powerful Senate career merely because he was deeply unpopular in his home state, largely because his first and deepest loyalty was to Connecticut’s insurance industry, which bought that loyalty with millions of dollars in campaign contributions — and he knew that his Republican support in the state would be enough to put him over the top. After he was returned to the Senate, Lieberman announced that he would caucus with the Democrats — even though, contrary to what Milbank suggests, his ideology is much more Republican than Democratic — because if he switched from the Democratic to the Republican Party he would have lost his seniority on the House Armed Services Committee, and his position as Chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

And then, in 2008, while still holding on to his prerogatives as a member of the Democratic leadership, Lieberman announced his support for John McCain in the presidential election. That was betrayal enough, but then Lieberman went one giant step further. He announced he planned to campaign for Lieberman. Then when McCain lost, he fought (successfully, more’s the pity) to retain his committee assignments when some Democrats called for him to be stripped of them.

The man is craven. He is an utterly amoral power-seeker, and he’ll do anything he has to to get it and keep it. The Senate is well rid of him.

Documents Found In Meth House Bare Inner Workings Of Dark Money Group

ProPublica/Frontline, By Kim Barker, ProPublica, and Rick Young & Emma Schwartz, Frontline, October 29

This post was co-published with PBS’ Frontline.

The boxes landed in the office of Montana investigators in March 2011.

Found in a meth house in Colorado, they were somewhat of a mystery, holding files on 23 conservative candidates in state races in Montana. They were filled with candidate surveys and mailers that said they were paid for by campaigns, and fliers and bank records from outside spending groups. One folder was labeled “Montana $ Bomb.” Read More

Why the F*CK Didn't You, Madame Speaker?

(ed. note & warning: Please pardon the colorful language, but in context, it seems appropriate.)

“I could have arrested Karl Rove on any given day,” Pelosi said to laughter, during a sit-down with reporters. “I’m not kidding. There’s a prison here in the Capitol … If we had spotted him in the Capitol, we could have arrested him.”

You mean like so many on the left asked? Begged? Pleaded? Why not?

“It doesn’t serve our country, and it undermines the true purpose of contempt of Congress.”

Get the fuck out of here. No, seriously, GTFO! When are the Democrats going to get it through their thick skulls that the only way they’re ever going to right the ship of state and get to a place where Republicans are willing to be flexible and negotiate is to smack the fucks on the snout with a 2×4?

If the Teabagger movement tells us anything, it’s that Republicans are not only perfectly willing and capable, but seem to enjoy sinking into the gutter in order to stop this nation from doing, well, anything except a war that Republicans themselves declare (else why the argument over Libya?)

The Democrats are the human in the middle of a pack of rampaging junkyard dogs and you know how you beat down a pack of junkyard dogs? You don’t try to soothe them or bribe them: you take the lead dog, and crack him across the nose to show him who is boss.

Arresting, even just arresting, Karl Rove would have gone a long way to making the GOP realize you’re serious and to be taken seriously.

My God, woman, these are the thieves and crooks who stole elections, raped our nation, destroyed her good name and credit both domestically and internationally, Murdered thousands of our young men and women for wars that had no point and no end, and plundered the values of our homes! Fuck “contempt of Congress,” they are traitorous, murderous slimy bastards who if we had a Bastille and guillotine would be lined up at La Barrière!!

Arresting Karl Rove would have been, as they say, a nice first step.

How much different would the first four years of the Obama administration have been if, say, you had on January 1, 2007, slammed your gavel down and said “I will entertain a bill from Congressman Kucinich authorizing an investigation into a bill of war crime charges against officials of this Administration”? Or criminal negligence for ignoring the urgent warnings surrounding 9-11? Or hell, any number of things including charges of voter caging in 2004 or rigged elections in 2000?

I can tell you this much: Karl Rove would have spent the last six years running and hiding and spending money on lawyers and not building a superPAC war chest (after persuading five SCOTUS justices to pervert the First Amendment) to try to get the HNIC out of the White House. The Republicans would have thought twice before raising the birther issue, or banning abortions, or passing “Stand Your Ground” laws.

They would have respected you. Yes, they would have worked overtime to get rid of you, to take Congress over anyway, but guess what? It happened, despite your gestures of conciliation. You know who else reconciled with a tyrant hell-bent on destroying nations?

“Peace in our time,” my lily-white ass!

Zev Chafets Needs An Enema

Shorter…no, verbatim Chafets: “We’re all Cheneyites now.”

President Obama has largely adopted the Cheney playbook on combating terrorism, from keeping Gitmo open to trying suspected enemies of the state in military tribunals. Obama’s drone war, which has quadrupled the number of attacks in the past two years, reflects Cheney’s whatever-it-takes approach. The leftist wrath once trained on Bush’s veep is aimed at the Democratic incumbent these days. Even the Bush-Cheney pro-democracy doctrine, born as a substitute rationale for the Iraq War after the failure to find WMD, is bearing fruit, toppling dictators from Cairo to Tripoli. The dirty little secret of the last few years is that the man George Bush called ”œBig Time” won. We’re all Cheneyites now.

Um, no. President Obama has not been the most diametrically opposed to the Cheney/Bush policies of the past decade, it’s true and that has frustrated his liberal base.

But if you recall, Zev, he tried to close Gitmo and in no uncertain terms was told off by, well, asshats like you and Rush Limbaugh and Weaker Boener that to do so would be tantamount to treason. Obama ended Cheney’s war of choice in Iraq, for all intents and purposes. And Obama’s Homeland Security department continues to thwart legitimate plots against the United States– not the phonied up plots of the Sears Tower bombings– by using old fashioned detective work.

And look, you win when the goals you set out to achieve– finding WMDs– is accomplished. If you move the goalposts to what you’ve actually accomplished, that’s called a “compromise,” not a victory.

Chafets continues to bloviate about how events in Egypt, Libya, and Syria justify the Cheney Doctrine of pre-emptive intervention, but they don’t. The Arab summer would have happened under any circumstance, largely because it was internal strife, specifically shortages of food and jobs, that caused the uprisings.

Unless you want to make the case that the wars so bankrupted America that we were unable to prop up the shitty little dictators that the Republicans have been supporting for decades. That case I might give you but I’m not sure that, given the domestic economic fallout, it’s a case you want to make.

The telling event in the book, the event Chafets ought to pay more attention to as he ponders the future of barbaric conservatism, especially in light of his deep support for all things Israeli, is the scene in 2007 in his book where Cheney insists on bombing Syria’s nuclear reactor:

”œAfter I finished,the president asked, ”˜Does anyone here agree with the vice president?’ Not a single hand went up around the room.”

A room full of blood-thirsty, pro-Israel necons unanimously voted him down. There’s the Bush administration in a nutshell: too little, too late, and too stupd.

Is News Corp Finished – Senator Rockefeller Tells Feds to Investigate Fox Hacking of 9/11 Victims

There are some crimes so universally offensive that even mentioning the suspected crime has devastating effects. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) raised just such a question yesterday. In a brief press statement, the Senator said:

“The reported hacking by News Corporation newspapers against a range of individuals – including children – is offensive and a serious breach of journalistic ethics. This raises serious questions about whether the company has broken U.S. law, and I encourage the appropriate agencies to investigate to ensure that Americans have not had their privacy violated. I am concerned that the admitted phone hacking in London by the News Corp. may have extended to 9/11 victims or other Americans. If they did, the consequences will be severe.” Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, July 12

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation has used voicemail hacking and other forms of privacy intrusion in the United Kingdom as far back as 2002. The goal is to get the most intimate insider information, stay ahead of the news cycle, and beat the competition. Where better to get information than the voicemails and other electronic data belonging to those in the news. The News of the World, Murdoch’s flagship paper, hacked the voicemails of a kidnapped 12 year old, the widows of fallen soldiers, and even the powerful. In 2006, the Murdoch papers invaded the private medical records of former Labour Party leader Gordon Brown.
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BREAKING NEWS FLASH: Presidential Candidate Barack "Let Me Be Clear" Obama on Gutting Social Security


“But John McCain’s campaign has gone even further, suggesting that the best answer for the growing pressures on Social Security might be to cut Cost of Living Adjustments, or raise the retirement age. Now let me be clear: I will not do either.”
–Senator Barack Obama, campaigning for the office of President of the United States
September 6, 2008

More after the break

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