#politicians

Blood on their hands

Vacation time is over, and though I wasn’t going to start up new updates until Monday, it looks like we’re going to have to talk about the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. At the time of this writing, there is 6 dead, including a 9-year-old girl born on 9-11 and U.S. District Judge John Roll, and 12 others wounded.

Remember that Rep Giffords was one of the congress people “targeted” by Sarah Palin, literally, with crosshairs over her district.

She discusses the issue here:

The shooter has been identified as Jared Lee Loughner, who has left an internet trail of crazy. Sheriff Clarence Dupnik is also looking for another person of interest, so there may be more things developing soon. But I hope all you teabaggers are happy. You are getting what you want. Violence, murder, death. I am sure all our friends who keep calling for violent government overthrow are polishing their guns extra hard tonight. But they’ll be the first to try to shift the blame onto everyone else. Just watch.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 9, 2011 at 2:39 am

Categories: #politicians, #pundits, #shameful   Tags: , ,

Drain Clogs – 12-14-2010

American Action Forum thinktank head Rob Collins (a former aide to Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)) cannot explain the attack ads produced by his group

Former House candidate Tan Nguyen (R) lied to investigators about a voter suppression scheme. Where were the teabaggers screaming about this voter intimidation? Oh, wait, he only intimidated Spanish-speaking people, so he’s their hero.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) hates the truth that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says, so he just wants to eliminate it.

Glenn Beck thinks 10% of Muslims are terrorists.

The Teabag Caucus requested $1 billion in earmarks. Just ignore how they are “anti-earmark” and are “fiscally responsible”.

NAME EARMARKS AMOUNT
Aderholt (R-AL) 69 $78,263,000
Akin (R-MO) 9 $14,709,000
Alexander (R-LA) 41 $65,395,000
Bachmann (R-MN) 0 0
Barton (R-TX) 14 $12,269,400
Bartlett (R-MD) 19 $43,060,650
Bilirakis (R-FL) 14 $13,600,000
R. Bishop (R-UT) 47 $93,980,000
Burgess (R-TX) 15 $15,804,400
Broun (R-GA) 0 0
Burton (R-IN) 0 0
Carter (R-TX) 26 $42,232,000
Coble (R-NC) 19 $18,755,000
Coffman (R-CO) 0 0
Crenshaw (R-FL) 37 $54,424,000
Culberson (R-TX) 22 $33,792,000
Fleming (R-LA) 10 $31,489,000
Franks (R-AZ) 8 $14,300,000
Gingrey (R-GA) 19 $16,100,000
Gohmert (R-TX) 15 $7,099,000
S. Graves (R-MO) 11 $8,331,000
R. Hall (R-TX) 16 $12,232,000
Harper (R-MS) 25 $80,402,000
Herger (R-CA) 5 $5,946,000
Hoekstra (R-MI) 9 $6,392,000
Jenkins (R-KS) 12 $24,628,000
S. King (R-IA) 13 $6,650,000
Lamborn (R-CO) 6 $16,020,000
Luetkemeyer (R-MO) 0 0
Lummis (R-WY) 0 0
Marchant (R-TX) 0 0
McClintock (R-CA) 0 0
Gary Miller (R-CA) 15 $19,627,500
Jerry Moran (R-KS) 22 $19,400,000
Myrick (R-NC) 0 0
Neugebauer (R-TX) 0 0
Pence (R-IN) 0 0
Poe (R-TX) 12 $7,913,000
T. Price (R-GA) 0 0
Rehberg (R-MT) 88 $100,514,200
Roe (R-TN) 0 0
Royce (R-CA) 7 $6,545,000
Scalise (R-LA) 20 $17,388,000
P. Sessions (R-TX) 0 0
Shadegg (R-AZ) 0 0
Adrian Smith (R-NE) 1 $350,000
L. Smith (R-TX) 18 $14,078,000
Stearns (R-FL) 17 $15,472,000
Tiahrt (R-KS) 39 $63,400,000
Wamp (R-TN) 14 $34,544,000
Westmoreland (R-GA) 0 0
Wilson (R-SC) 15 $23,334,000
TOTAL 764 $1,049,783,150

Cartoon of the Day:

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - December 14, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Categories: #drainclogs, #politicians   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Palin the poser

You know, when it was first announced Bristol Palin would be appearing on ABC’s ‘Dancing With The Stars’ this year, I thought what I think every year when ABC announces their Dancing With The Stars line-up: “it’s ‘Dancing With The Stars’ and I don’t give a fuck about that show, but I’m sure something hilarious will come out of this pathetic attempt at broadcast television entertainment”.

From what I can glean on the internet, this year has been no exception, but the more I hear about ridiculous publicity stunts involving members of the Palin family these days the more I feel badly for the individuals caught up in the middle of the mess and angrier at the woman whose directly responsible for it all.

I wonder what Sarah Palin would say if you asked her what her opinion on fame is. What does she think about becoming famous? What did she see in famous people before she herself became famous? Is fame a responsibility or a luxury? Stumbling across this re-published article from 1996 in the Alaska Daily News, entitled “Alaskans line up for a whiff of Ivana”, then fisherman Sarah Palin, all the way back in the Clinton years, became a lede in a news article:

Sarah Palin, a commercial fisherman from Wasilla, told her husband on Tuesday she was driving to Anchorage to shop at Costco. Instead, she headed straight for Ivana.

And there, at J.C. Penney’s cosmetic department, was Ivana, the former Mrs. Donald Trump, sitting at a table next to a photograph of herself. She wore a light-colored pantsuit and pink fingernail polish. Her blonde hair was coiffed in a bouffant French twist.

”We want to see Ivana,” said Palin, who admittedly smells like salmon for a large part of the summer, ”because we are so desperate in Alaska for any semblance of glamour and culture.”

Fast-forward to fall 2010, Sarah Palin’s new reality show on TLC got the highest ratings of any premier ever to air on the 38th most popular channel on basic cable. From what I’ve read, the show doesn’t perch much on politics or religion (or reality, let’s be honest here) but “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” is simply a bunch of cameras following Sarah Palin and clan around while they embark on wacky adventures across America’s biggest concentration of tundras and glaciers.

As Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic points out however, “She Can’t Fish or Shoot a Gun”.

Sarah Palin. The woman best known for her love of sniping at arctic wolves from helicopter, immortalized by lonely Republican men around the country as a powerful starlet wearing a sexy red bikini and holding an AR-15 assault rifle, a mother who tries to relate to Real America over and over by talking about how much venison she’s stocked herself in the ice chest (aka outside) at home. She had to ask Levi Johnston to teach her how to use a hunting rifle, and from keen viewers to her show’s premier point out, she clearly knows nothing about fly fishing.

Trying to be something she’s not. While this isn’t a political tactic specific to just Sarah Palin, everyone in Washington panders to your sensibilities so you’ll like them more, but I think you could easily say Palin the the biggest exploiter currently of this quasi-celebrity/freakshow type of media attention. She is a paid talking head on FOX News, she wrote a book and toured the country promoting it (and is working on a second), receives extraordinarily amounts of money for speaking engagements where the press are actively discouraged from attending, has a daughter on a major prime-time TV show, now has her own TLC reality show, and receives financial contributions via private donors and her 527 SarahPAC organization. For Palin it hasn’t been too bad of a financial year (I’m surprised she’s so quite about wanting tax breaks for the wealthy).

Forget about thrusting one of your many daughters onto the public stage as a teenage mom and ironic abstinence advocate. For Sarah we have this PSA to thank her for:

It’s worth enough to mention too how Sarah Palin’s cult mama grizzly following showers an outpouring of support and unintelligible babble whenever Sarah needs it. Hence her book sales, hence her 5 million viewer reality TV show ratings (though I’m sure at least 2 million of these people tuned in to watch her crash and burn), and Palin also has her supporters to thank for her daughter Bristol’s continued voter-decided success on Dancing With The Stars.

And the best part? Because Palin is and always has been the Snookie of the political world, the less she seems to be accountable for giving straight answers to questions and proposing solutions to the problems that a president of the United States faces. And the more she’s allowed to act like a Real Housewife and not a former Alaskan governor, the more encouragement she gets to write books and parader her and her family around on television and seize greater political ambitions and appear on FOX News specials. She is her own walking PR press junket.

The more she pretends to be someone else the more people will like her for who she is, the less they will admire her for her understanding of the world and her ability to form coalitions while governing and move the country forward and making the United States successful once again. Voters can text their choice of president NOW to 94712, we’ll have the results for you right after this commercial break! Stay tuned!

Welcome to politicking in America.

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Posted by skiplogic - November 16, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Categories: #politicians   Tags:

Compassionate Conservatism at work

Robert Byrd (D-WV) died recently, leaving behind a distinguished political career that included many achievements among them being the longest serving senator, the President pro tempore of the United States Senate four times, United States Senate Majority Leader twice, and Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  Byrd was a powerful socially conservative democrat who you would think that most conservatives would like.  He opposed letting gays serve openly in the military, he endorsed the Defense of Marriage Act, He opposed affirmative action and voted for the partial birth abortion ban.  So why does Freep hate a person that holds many of the same views as them?  The answer is simple: he is a democrat which means he is the enemy.

BTW: To those who say we should be respectful of the dead, I say: Not those who have murdered millions of babies, shredded the Constitution, and stolen trillions of dollars. I would no more think of saying nice things about Kennedy, or Byrd, than I would think it my duty to think of something nice to say about Mao, Stalin, Hitler, or Pol Pot. Democrats are not part of the American body politic. They are alien combatants.

Since he is an “alien combatant” they are allowed to say bad things about him and once they were informed by Fox News that Byrd was once part of the KKK, Freep was off to the races.

Starting out in the House of Representatives, he was elected to the Senate in 1958 by defeating his incumbent republican opponent, who supported civil rights. Therefore, Byrd did not support civil rights. I wish current liberals could hear some of those firey speeches!

This Freeper loves the thought of God purging the senate of people who he disagree with him politically.

Senator Kennedy, Now Byrd, seems there is someone, that can clean house without a vote. There are a few more that need to feel the call of the Lord.

The reason the news didn’t report this “fact” is that it isn’t true

Of course, when driving into work listening to the national news they failed to mention he was a Grand Wizard.

Today is a good day, someone I disagree with politically died

This lifted my spirits! What a good day, we have another good democrat.

—————————————————————————————————-

I respected neither. The sun is shining a little brighter. The birds are singing a little louder. It’s a beautiful day. I haven’t smiled this much since Ted Kennedy died.

—————————————————————————————————-

Well jeez, I was taught that you shouldn’t say anything bad about the dying….that being said, I did just put champagne on ice – just in case…..

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It’ll be hard to top the warm fuzziness I felt at Ted Kennedy’s demise.

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Honestly, that is the best news I have heard in a month!!!!!!! Come on Nov 2. We need the power to stop all the mischief that will be going on in the lame duck session commencing Nov 3.

Disagree with me politically? Well I hope he suffered horribly in the last moments on earth.

I hope he was terrified and in great pain. This miserable human scum stayed too long and used far too much oxygen.

—————————————————————————————————-

Good riddance, I hope they turn the heat up for him where he now lives.

This crazy post just crops up in the middle of everyone making KKK jokes.  It is actually kinda refreshing to see a pure crazy post complete with bad Obama nicknames

Too many American Warriors unnecessarily have fallen on Byrd’s watch. Everyday lately we get the news of more of those warriors falling in Afghanistan in large part because of the ROEs that dictate that they can’t bring full force against suspected terrorist filth. Those ROEs exist at the behest of the CIC Maobama who had the full support of Robert C. Byrd and the rest of the human refuse that is the democrat party. Maobamacare, tax increases, decreases in our Constitutional Rights and on and on are all in place or are strongly contemplated by the democrat party of Robert C. Byrd and Akbar Hussein Maobama.

I hope the evil old bastard rots in hell.

Why do we need to be respectful to dead people?  Screw that!

Well as the saying goes, we should not speak evil of the recently departed, therefore, I’ll wait a respectful period–maybe a week or so?–before offering my opinion!

I have never understood this prohibition. Ted Kennedy was a despicable pig and a traitor, and I reveled in his death on this forum, as I would have any other criminal or traitor, the moment it was announced. Robert Byrd wasn’t nearly as bad, but was a KKK leader and racist, and later one of the most corrupt Senators in the history of the union. I do not mourn his passing, and wretch in expectation of Manchin appointing yet another sleazebag to replace him.

Second chances are for wimps and losers.  I am a fine upstanding Christian, I don’t give no second chances.

The guy was a KKK leader. None the less he served the longest term in the history of the United States Senate.

And he served as a Democrat.

No, I won’t be allowing this POS to drift off into some dream state as Democrats will be want to do.

This man could not have served as a Republican in the Senate of the United States. The Democrats would have torn him to shreds.

Everyone is a racist, but a Democrat. That’s what they have been pounding into our brains in the 59 years I have been alive.

So no, I won’t be letting this racist prick off the hook.

If you’ve served as a leader in the KKK, you’re done. That’s something I don’t give second chances to get right.

Read about his record. He can go straight to hell, and not pass Go or collect his $200 dollars.

I’m going to pray for the democrat part of Byrd’s soul just to balance this dude’s prayers out.

I’ll pray for his eternal soul that he finds the Lord.

Other than that…as a Democrat, he’s responsible for all sorts of heinious laws and other things that have hurt, harmed, caused pain, and otherwise damaged good peoples’ lives.

I cannot and will not pray for that part of him. He has to answer for that. In the position he was in, he had mega-chances to do good for people, to help his nation and his people. But he chose to be a Democrat.

If he goes, he goes. Bye-bye, Bob. Don’t let the door hit you on the *ss on the way out.

Felt the same way about Teddy and Murtha, and will feel the same way about Lautenberg or any other of these POS.

Sorry; I’m all out of compassion for these cretins. It’s just the way it is.

Mods, delete if you feel it necessary, but it doesn’t change the sentiment.

The mods over at Freep really had to earn their keep yesterday.  They had to delete so many comments people were commenting on the removed comments.

Wow look at all the comments removed..

Byrd has since written on his association with the KKK and has apologized for the intolerant views he held early in life and stating that joining the KKK was “the greatest mistake I ever made”:

I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times… and I don’t mind apologizing over and over again. I can’t erase what happened.” Byrd, 2005

Proving that people can change, in the Congressional Report Card released by the NAACP for the 108th Congress (2003-2004), Byrd received a 100 percent approval rating. In June 2005, Byrd proposed an additional $10 million in federal funding for the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C., remarking that “With the passage of time, we have come to learn that his Dream was the American Dream, and few ever expressed it more eloquently.”

Let us not forget though that the same people who are so quick to point out Byrd’s past also brought us these wonderful comments about Malia Obama and still actively spell Muslim as mooslim and mudslime and call Mexicans “savages”.

And finally I will be kind and answer one Freeper’s question about Byrd.

Is he dead yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yes he is.

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Posted by Frank Delicious - June 30, 2010 at 7:32 am

Categories: #freerepublic, #politicians, #shameful   Tags:

Of Governors and Google Bombs

Geez, we’ve only been around for, what, like a month now? Looks like we’re starting to get a bit popular judging by the web traffic:

Right on! We like when people like us! I can only imagine our success has been due to the combination of a few things. First, we’ve gotten bigger! Yup, added a whole bunch of new writers and everything. It’s kind of become necessary what with all the crazy that’s going around these days. And there’s crazy yet this year that’s still to come (can someone say Town Hall season 2010? In an election year?) but we’re happy to see our staff growing by the day and I’m sure you the reader will be just as happy with them as we move forward. Warning: crazy amounts of content are imminent.

Secondly, lots of people have been talking about us! Crooks and Liars.com has been known to mention Politisink.com from time to time and celebrity voice talent D.C. Douglas, who we posted about last month and gained our first official comment from, are just a few of the places we’ve seen visitors from over the last couple of weeks. We even have our first official nemesis, oh and some site called SomethingAwful Forums comes here a lot too, but how many month-old websites can say they’ve already made enemies? Don’t those kinds of hate/hate relationships take months and years to develop, simmer, and boil-over properly? Frankly, we are flattered.

The third factor might not be so apparent, but boy does it drive our web-traffic crazy. So go to Google.com and search for “nightingale for governor 2010”. Guess whose in the top 50 results for that search term baby. Yeah that’s right girl, Politisink.com. Chelene Nightingale is one of our many fantastic candidates for Governor this year in CA (running with the Liberty Party no less) and a person who Tars Tarkas mentioned in this article a few weeks ago (the link that people are following this site to from that Google results page).

Now, it’s very unlikely that about 20 individual AOL users are suddenly (and simultaneously!) become interested in searching Google for the term “nightingale for governor 2010” every night for the past month, usually around 1AM, and end up browsing through every Google result for about 10 pages till they click through to our fine website and it shows up in the web traffic, but hey they’re building our PageRank so thanks guys!

In reality, we’re being “Google bombed”, but it’s still a bit unclear as to what’s really going on here. Google Bombing is quick and painless, usually involving a rotating bunch of computers on different IP addresses searching for a generic term that some impressionable voter might Google one day, and click through those results on specific article or websites, usually positive ones, to artificially build the Google PageRank for those websites. As a result those really flattering articles get bumped to the top of the search pile and everyone reads why Chelene Nightingale is such a great lady instead of questioning why the Liberty Party thinks they can win a Governor’s election in the state of California this year.

That is, however, if it is the Nightingale campaign that’s one setting off the Google Bomb every night. The article Tars wrote really doesn’t discuss Nightingale, it more or less just mentions her name and the phrase “for governor” and the number 2010 in there at some point. Maybe instead this is the Meg Whitman campaign Google Bombing for the purpose of promoting the neutral and nasty results over the positive ones from the search term “nightingale for governor 2010”. Whitman did used to run eBay (some understanding of internet business and search engines might be necessary to be CEO that company) and has spent $60 million so far on her campaign (way more dough than the Liberty Party could ever hope to raise, sorry guys). $60 million leaves a lot of play around room for a fun Google-based search term result assault. You can never rule out the rich and well-to-do with things like this.

Maybe Rand Paul is even behind it for some nefarious reason or another. We might never know. Point is, we’re about to get a whole lot more popular for the search term “nightingale for governor 2010” on Google, so just you wait world!

Page 3 here we come!

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Posted by skiplogic - June 23, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Categories: #elections, #politicians   Tags: ,

The “grownups” on financial reform

I need to begin with a little preface on this about “technical” issues: DON’T PANIC.  This is written assuming no prior knowledge, but if you’d like to read up a bit Mike Konczal (a former financial engineer) has compiled a fantastic primer on the technical issues, including interviews with some of the most qualified experts in the country.  Dean Baker provides a good summary of our dilemma:

Wall Street is know around the world as the land of the million dollar babies since is chock full of people who have gotten incredibly rich as a result of handouts from the government. These handouts come in all forms, but most in the size extra large. The basic story is always the same; the banks and financial firms take gambles that provide big payoffs for their shareholders and “top performers” and pass along big risks to the taxpayers.

….

We had some hopes of reining in the million dollar babies with the financial reform package, but those hopes appear to be dimming. The effort to downsize the “too big to fail” banks got trounced in the senate last week, garnering just 33 votes. Apparently, the prospect of having to head out into the markets unprotected by the implicit guarantee of government bailouts was too frightening for JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and the other big banks. Their lobbyists twisted the arms and got the overwhelming majority of the senate to continue the big bank subsidy of free government insurance indefinitely.

Financial reform can more or less be summed up as getting these folks off of their unsustainable welfare program.  The rest is a matter of working out details and the media shamelessly taking the sides of the banks out of (somewhat legitimate) concern that offending them too badly might hurt their stock prices.

Just after I’d compiled the following, I saw that Yves Smith (likely among countless others) had also noticed this partiality:

The defenders of the economic orthodoxy have gotten much more shrill of late. In a perverse way, this is probably a positive sign: they might be feeling a tad worried that they are starting to lose their hold over consensus reality. But given how quick various media outlets are to pick up and amplify their messages, it would be more than a tad premature to say that the prevailing belief system is threatened.

It may be sample bias, but I’ve noticed two patterns. The first is a sharp uptick in criticism of “populism” or better yet, “populist anger”, which then serves as the basis for arguing that efforts to rein in the financial services industry are overdone. Now usually there is a wrapper around it, like “mistakes were made” or another not-very-convincing bit of crowd pleasing pablum to acknowledge that maybe some change might be warranted, but nothing approaching what those enraged savages want.

….

The finger-shaking at supposed children is overbearing and authoritarian, and amounts to a blanket refusal to deal with the substance of the bill of particulars against the financial services industry. But the part of his formula that is more revealing is his argument that the interests of Wall Street and “the economy” are aligned, and everyone needs to shut up and get with the program, since hurting the economy will be very bad for them.But this is bogus. The economy we now have has increasingly shunted the benefits of production to the top 1%. In the 1960s, it was accepted that increases in productivity would be shared between corporations and workers. No more. We’ve seen a persistent gap rise between wage growth and productivity growth, so the gains in employee output have been siphoned off to the managerial elite and investors.

So these populists, despite the hectoring, aren’t stupid or emotional. Quite the reverse. They’ve been snookered by the system one time too many, and have had enough. Primates as well as people are willing to take losses to punish cheaters, and this is deeply rooted, instinctive behavior for a good reason: you need some measure of fairness for societies to function.

Her claims in visual form:

Source

Source

And the nail in the coffin for the use of populist as an epithet here:

The medium financial players are the natural check on the power of the biggest financial players.

I saw something a while back that made me pause. Wall Street Journal, Proxy Plan Roils Talks on Finance Rules:

But in the bill launched this week by Senate Democrats, a little-noticed provision designed to give shareholders more clout is emerging as a stumbling block….The move encountered resistance from business groups…now, the Chamber is mobilizing forces to lobby lawmakers to kill the provision…Kurt Schacht, managing director at CFA Institute, an association for investment professionals that supports the idea, said, “The important test for lawmakers will be whether they can hold the line for these important investor protections. We expect that banking and other special interests will do their level best to strip many of these important protections from the final bill.”

My first instinct was “Why are the financial lobbyists fighting with the CFA Institute? Aren’t they all on the same team?”

Do you know what a CFA is? It stands for “Certified Chartered Financial Analyst.” According to here the median compensation for a CFA is $180,000, and CFAs with 10 years of experience or more have reported median compensation of $248,000. At a salary (assuming that’s the household income) around $250,000 this puts them right around the top 1.5% of Americans, with 98.5% of Americans earning below them.

However we’ve just come from an era where all the real earnings growth has gone to the top 1%. So this got me thinking: why is the CFA fighting with the Chamber of Commerce? Don’t their interests line up well? And then it hit me – Chamber of Commerce, the Financial Services Roundtable, the fsforum, they are all representing interests that clock in a notch above the top 1.5%. They are gunning to represent the interests of the top 1% in this current financial reform debate. And the CFAs could lose these fights.

So the only sources of opposition to this are the very top of the financial world, the friends they buy in congress, the corporate media, and executives at blue chip companies who rely on large financial institutions for their unjustifiable compensation.  Crying about being persecuted here takes some serious nerve.  Still, they’ve proven themselves up to the task.

General Electric’s CEO feels their pain:

In a wide-ranging discussion with Norm Pearlstine, chairman of Bloomberg Businessweek, Immelt spoke about the economy, regulation, the environment and even his own compensation.

“Going a couple years without a bonus isn’t that big of a deal,” Immelt said, joking that he can live on $3 million a year.

….

Immelt also voiced his support for Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), which has been under scrutiny since the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged it with fraud last month.

Immelt said GE is a longtime partner of Goldman’s.

“We trust them,” Immelt said.” “They’ve done great work for us.”

Immelt cautioned that the populist anger at Wall Street is not good for the U.S. economy.

“This is really a moment of time when the world needs the U.S. to be a beacon of stability, a beacon of reliability,” Immelt said.

“People need to tone down the rhetoric around financial services and stop the populism and be adults.”

Apparently “liberal” now means being to the left of billionaires:

Liberal Democrats in the Senate, emboldened by a wave of populism, are trying to make financial regulatory legislation far tougher on Wall Street, potentially restricting or breaking up the biggest banks and financial companies, David M. Herszenhorn reports in The New York Times.

Normally such efforts might attract little concern among Senate leaders or the White House. But the confluence of a high-stakes election year and a pervasive anti-Wall Street sentiment after the recession has given liberals unusual muscle in the debate. It has also raised the prospect that they could succeed in reshaping the bill.

The liberal amendment that could be hardest to defeat — and is among the most deeply dreaded by Wall Street — also has some of the purest populist appeal: a proposal by Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Senator Ted Kaufman of Delaware to break up the nation’s biggest banks by imposing caps on the deposits they can hold and limits on other liabilities.

“Look at what we did to AT&T, look at Standard Oil, basically what you do is you just split it apart,” Mr. Kaufman said in an interview. “If we don’t do that, we have got too big to fail, because when you look at these big complex entities, you cannot resolve them in a major financial crisis.”

So, according to the New York Times, none of this is being put forward because it’s a good idea, it’s all just shameless opportunism against innocent bystanders, persecution resulting from misdirected blame, and above all, terribly unfair.  In fact, it’s comparable to racism:

Politics, some believe, is the organization of hatreds. The people who try to divide society on the basis of ethnicity we call racists. The people who try to divide it on the basis of religion we call sectarians. The people who try to divide it on the basis of social class we call either populists or elitists.

But I’ve saved the best for last because “enraged savages” was anything but hyperbole.

Byron L. Dorgan was viewed as something of a Cassandra last fall, when he started warning fellow Democrats they were in for a 2010 drubbing unless they started talking more about issues that average voters care about — and in ways those voters understand.

But the senator from North Dakota has kept at it. Even after deciding against running for re-election himself, he’s been using his position as chairman of a leadership advisory group, the Democratic Policy Committee, to promote his views as parting advice to his colleagues.

And so it came to be that Drew Westen, a professor of clinical psychology at Emory University, flew from Atlanta to Washington early this spring. He explained to a caucus of Democratic senators, as Dorgan’s guest, his view that the most effective way to win over voters is to use simple language that engages the “frontal emotion circuits” of the brain.

Westen came to the Capitol wearing a pin-striped suit of the sort favored by senators, but his message made clear he wasn’t a member of their club. The senators say he delivered what amounted to an indictment of the party’s efforts to market itself in a time of economic anxiety. The Democratic Party was squandering its control of Washington, he said, by failing to telegraph its achievements and by pressing its agenda too timidly.

As a result, Westen warned, Republicans have been able to capitalize on the burgeoning power of the tea party movement and galvanize an electorate with shrinking confidence that the powers in Washington can create jobs, reduce the deficit or address other domestic challenges.

To revive their flagging prospects for the midterm election, Westen advised that March afternoon, Democrats ought to start by pushing to tighten the regulatory reins on Wall Street — an effort that should have started a year earlier, he said, right after enactment of the $787 billion economic stimulus package.

Many senators gave the psychologist a round of applause. But more important, they have started taking his advice, while also listening to a group of better-known Democratic operatives who have been saying much the same thing. And so, for the six months until Election Day, the party is putting a decidedly populist cast on its congressional agenda and campaign message. “They realized,” Westen says of the party leadership, “the importance of speaking with a clear voice to the anger of the average American.”

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Posted by dm - May 14, 2010 at 12:22 am

Categories: #politicians, #pundits   Tags: , , , , ,

Drain Clogs – 5-12-10

Alabama GOP governor candidates are having a war of words over who is the most crazy creationist. Not calling the other candidates crazy creationists, they are boasting at how crazy of a creationist they themselves are!

GOP Congressional Candidate Brad Goehring,running for California’s 11th district, posted this on Facebook:
“If I could issue hunting permits, I would officially declare today opening day for liberals. The season would extend through November 2 and have no limits on how many taken as we desperately need to ‘thin’ the herd,”
Way to be an eliminationalist, Brad Goehring, you with the ironic German name. He later tried to backpedal.

Comic of the day:

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 12, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Categories: #culturewar, #drainclogs, #politicians   Tags: , ,

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