October 31, 2010
Can the Dems hold on?
Wisconsin is in position to help answer the question. Feingold, Kagan, Lassa--if they win, smart money says the Dems will maintain control of Congress. If they lose, it is majority leader Mitch and speaker John. Yikes! The Republicans need a 39-seat victory in the House and must pick-up 10 seats in the Senate. I think they might pull it off in the House but not the Senate.
Wisconsin State Journal endorsed Russ Feingold after an hour with Ron Johnson, the plastic candidate. WSJ, in pain, concluded that Johnson has no plans. "Feingold is the best candidate for this tough job."
What was that all about, Spencer? Turns out that Green Party Assembly candidate Ben Manski got some help from his Democratic opponent, Brett Hulsey, who made up a quote for Assembly Representative Spencer Black and mailed it out without permission from Black. Not smart. Few would have been swayed by the made-up quote, but many are stirred by attempted tricks. As Black put it, trust is the key to effective work in the Assembly. Hear that, Brett?
October 30, 2010
Yes, Fairfax, Virginia, is still involved in Wisconsin's gubernatorial race and still hitting below the belt! Another over-sized postcard--biggest one yet--from "non-profit org" Americans for Limited Government arrived yesterday from Fairfax. Who would have predicted that a hotbed of Wisconsin politics would spring up in Fairfax? No one. This one doesn't even pretend to be spreading truth. It shows a to-do list in Jim Doyle's lap--
"My replacement should:
drive more jobs out of the state (who needs jobs when we have big government)"
We get some great writing from you. Keep it up. The latest post from Bob Menamin, "Evicting human decency," is terrific. It contains a rather depressing Obama quote that "more aggressive anti-foreclosure efforts would help people who don't deserve it." C'mon! That sounds like something W. would say.
Debate ball dropped--again: Whenever statewide elections come along, you can count on WMC's Milwaukee affiliate to host a debate; and the Wisconsin Broadcasters to host one; and usually Wisconsin Public Television through "We the People." The Democratic Party takes a vacation and is not involved in the plans. The League of Women Voters used to govern the debates but they got the elbow. By whom? Well, of course, forces that fear debates because, unlike TV spots, they cannot edit out the gaffes. Debates help the political insiders to control the framing of issues.
For a while, WPT was sponsoring more and more so they also got the elbow. Now we get pablum that can be written up by reporters in advance--"Blank and blank continued to disagree...
I think it is time for the People's Legislature to rise like the Phoenix...
Is there a war in Afghanistan? Can the Pentagon survive on only $400 billion? Have school vouchers helped improve test scores? If you had the power how would you fix MPS? Is Biddy Martin actually favoring privatzing the UW Madison campus? These are a few questions you didn't hear in the debates.
October 29, 2010
Where is Fairfax, Virginia?
The over-sized postcards, 8 x 11, arrive at our house almost every day from Fairfax or Oshkosh. Very professional, almost pretty. Some are addressed to "The Garvey Family," some to "Elizabeth Garvey," and some to "current resident." (I wonder if our Westy, Tuffy, would have received a bone if he were still alive.)
The message is always about the same: Barrett is a bum; Feingold is a wild spender of our Social Security money because "he has lost touch and abandoned Wisconsin seniors." And we can trust Ron "the plastic guy" because he "is not a career politician."
The line I like best-assures us that Ron Johnson "will always stand with Wisconsin seniors, NOT the Washington crowd."
Everything about this postcard campaign is a lie. Not a little white one, but a big dark mortal-go-to-hell-sin lie. My fifth grade nun would have had him in the corner in no time! Feingold has not "raided $2.2 trillion from Social Security"; he has not "spent 2 trillion on big government programs and pork"; and he has not "stuck seniors with a $243 billion tax hike."
If Johnson believes the stuff printed on the postcards he is too dumb to be in the Senate. If he knows that the message is false he is a liar and should withdraw from the race or apologize to the people of Wisconsin for lying to them about Russ. (I'll bet he has never been in Fairfax.)
The final message from Fairfax, wherever that is, shouts: "Feingold last seen in U.S. Senate voting against seniors' retirement accounts and health care." Whoa Nelly. Plastic Man has no soul.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: The JS never covers the thousands of progressives at Fighting Bob Fest, but get 15-20 Teabaggers in Racine to holler about smaller government and lower taxes, one packing heat, and JS would have you think that the Teabag movement is sweeping Racine. Complete with pictures, JS reporter (?) Bill Glauer suggests a sophisticated crowd "drawn by the rhetoric for lower taxes espoused by Grover Norquist." Yah, sure, Ole. If one in that crowd could identify Grover Norquist I would be astounded.
Thank you, Journal Communications. You bring us right-wing talk radio every day, all day, and the once proud Journal-Sentinel every morning. Why not just hire Grover Norquist?
October 28, 2010
Whose afraid of Scott Walker?
Wisconsin is an interesting place, but it is obvious that the vast majority of citizens are white. Milwaukee, one of the poorest cities in the country thanks in large measure to big employers moving jobs from Milwaukee to China, Mexico, and Thailand, is one of the most segregated cities in America. Most Badgers seem to dump on Milwaukee whenever they can. And, it must be noted, Milwaukee has a shadow government called the Greater Milwaukee Committee that determines policy on a variety of topics.
One issue avoided by Tommy Thompson, long-time governor, The Greater Milwaukee Committee, and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker is racial tension in Milwaukee.
We reported more than a year ago that 55 percent of adult black males in Milwaukee are unemployed. Our jails and prisons are over-flowing with black men. As Gwen Moore said, it is "dangerous to drive while black." Housing is a disaster, poverty among the black population is high and getting higher, not to mention that schools are failing and so we look to the next governor to lead us. Bring us together to solve our problems. Scour the nation for healing voices to bring hope to our state. We must address the two nations--one white, one black, separate and unequal, Warner Commission...
So who does Scott Walker bring to Wisconsin to showcase his position? Bobby Jindal of Louisiana; Haley Barbour of Mississippi; and Bob McDonnell of Virginia--the guy who says the Civil War was not about slavery!
Whoa Nelly! Jindal, Barbour, McDonnell and Walker. Listen up friends, Scott is bringing help! New ideas!
Oh my goodness. Save us!
KLEEFISCH: And there is the issue of gay-lesbian relations. The seldom-seen Lieutentant Governor candidate running with Walker is Rebecca Kleefisch. She used to work with Charlie Sykes. (Sit before reading.) She said that if we permit gay marriage then what is next? "Can I marry a table? A dog?"
October 27, 2010
Thank you, Howard Rich
I must have met Howard Rich somewhere. After all, why would I be so fortunate to receive an over-sized postcard from Chairman/Founder Rich if we had not met? I refer to the organization Rich formed in 2006 called Americans for Limited Government, or just ALG.
ALG is "dedicated to protecting the rights and liberties of the individual." Hey! Not all bad, I say!I wonder if he is fighting to protect gay individuals from Don't Ask, Don't Tell. (Bet he is!) Thank you, Mr. Rich. And I will bet lunch he supports the UW-Madison's research with stem cells. You betcha! Mr. Rich, you are always welcome at the Garvey home. Keep those cards coming. Even if we have not met.
Rich has been on the board of the Cato Institute--nope, didn't meet him at Cato; Club for Growth--nope, didn't meet him there but who knows, I may have met him but didn't appreciate his greatness. He is a big supporter of the right wing's favorite pollster, Rasmussen (I've never met Rassmussen either.)
So why did I get a big ugly picture of Jim Doyle and Tom Barrett from my friend Howard Rich? I can't figure it out. Barrett, according to the postcard, "raised taxes in Milwaukee, lost Milwaukee jobs, increased Wisconsin's spending." OK, but how does that impact Mr. Rich in Fairfax, Virginia? Why tell me about Wisconsin? Hells bells, I live here!
(My guess is Rich would have trouble finding Wisconsin on a map, and he doesn't look like a Packer fan.)
Ah, but I went to ALG's web page and learned that they are furious that NPR fired what's his name...Juan Williams! That is enough! Stop funding NPR (he calls it "National Pathetic Radio"). Why indeed! We get Fox and Clear Channel--what else do we need? Of course we would continue receiving the enlightening postcards from ALG not to mention Bradley Foundation screeds on vouchers. That along with Cato papers should be plenty to read!
Darn! Just as I was finishing my thank you note to Chairman Rich I got another postcard--looks like the one I got on Barrett but this one condemns Russ Feingold and it has a return address in Oshkosh not Fairfax.
I think Mr. Rich should mind his own loopy folks like the governor of Virginia, who celebrated the Confederacy last month. Whoopee!
P.S. Another card from my friend Rich. This over-sized card's return address is back to Fairfax, and the attack is on Tom Barrett! Catch this Rich analysis: "As a result of Barrett's high taxes and spending, Milwaukee is the 4th poorest city in the nation...and one of the nation's worst job markets." That Barrett--what power! He alone has over-taxed and spent Milwaukee into the dumpster!
The Nation arrived just in time to catch Calvin Trillin's poem.
"Unlabeled cash, accepted with a wink
Is what sent Nixon's men off to the clink.
But now that air of criminal intrigue'll
Be missing, since such secret bribes are legal."
Thank you, Calvin! Take that, Mr. Rich! Take that.
October 26, 2010
A little panic perhaps
Some people believe that there is hell on earth not in the after-life. Having listened to Charlie Sykes for about 45 minutes while driving to Milwaukee, I am now a believer in the hell-on-earth story. People, like red wine, should improve with age, but not Charlie. He sounds like Ann Coulter on steroids.
Sir Charles, of the Royal Bradley Foundation family, sounded panicky. He attacked the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel because of their (silly) endorsement of Walker over Barrett. He whined that MJS, in essence, does not have the right to endorse the true believer in propaganda from Bradley, Fox and Sykes--Scott Walker.
Me thinks he doth protest too much. Charlie seemed to fear a backlash and the most recent polls show that something is going on. Barrett seems to have closed the gap. According to the Mellman Group, Barrett will get more women and independents and the undecided are breaking to Barrett. So, despite countless hours of bloviating from Charlie, Barrett might be our next governor.
Joel McNally writes a terrific post this morning on the near financial collapse of Milwaukee County under Walker. Author? Greater Milwaukee Committee!
Can you believe it? Karzai confirms he is crooked. From "yes we can!" to "Yes I am a crook" the guy we are fighting to preserve says, Take that, Obama! I got the money, and I will join other exiles living n Dubai or Genva... Keep it up sucker.
Looks like the "teapublicans" are not going to push Johnson across the finish line--a candidate can impersonate a plastic figure for only so long. Eventually people start asking, "Yes, plastic man, what are you planning to do with Social Security?"
California Proposition 19: Why not try it? Prohibition didn't work. The war on drugs might topple the government of Mexico. Can pot be worse than alcohol?
October 25, 2010
Having any fun?
I have always preached that politics should be fun. For liberals and progressives it is especially true. Think about it. As a candidate you are aided by good people who work hard at every task from stuffing envelopes to sweeping the campaign office headquarters. You are invited to share your ideas with thousands of people at hundreds of events from the Rotary Club in Stevens Point to the Liar's Club in Burlington.
Lots of laughs, impassioned speeches, opportunities to persuade young people to get involved. And some brilliant supporters write issue papers for you that make you look well-informed. Yes, it should be enjoyable "work."
But that was pre-Rove, Lee Atwater, Scooter Jensen, Roger Ailes, James Bopp and the Koch brothers. Now it is blood sport. Kill the opponent rather than out-point her in debate. Uncover an essay written for Ralph Huit's political science course that 40 years later makes you look foolish. Run mean spots that show the candidate as a Halloween character.
I thought about this dictate--have fun!--last night as the crowd in Green Bay booed Brett Favre. Yikes! Here stands a guy, on one good ankle, who brought more fun and enjoyment to Packer fans than anyone since Curly Lambeau himself, and they booed him even after the game as he hobbled off the field, hugging Packer players on the way to the trainer's table. Boo? Boo?
Think Russ Feingold. Hard working, honest, smart, independent. A good if not great senator. "Boo, boo, boo," says the tea party crowd. Get off the field! You want to help people, we want to spank those without jobs or education or hope.
Almost forgot that politics should be fun.
October 24, 2010
We should have a contest. Who got the most requests for campaign contributions in 2010? The winner should get a week in Beloit.
I can't stand it anymore and I am determined to fight for the equivalent of a "no-call list." How about a statement on the web, "no contributions unless you are on record in favor of complete public funding of elections"?
Of course I know how difficult raising money is. Of course I know why the candidate needs money. But for god's sake, how many of the 99 Assembly candidates can have me on their list? And 16 Senators; 8 congressional candidates in Wisconsin, several from Minnesota, Illinois, Georgia, New York, and on and on.
This has to stop. It drains the energy out of the party supporters, has no impact on the major offices, annoys the hell out of people. If you give $100 you feel embarrassed--"why so little" is the look you get from the candidate.
Oh, I forgot about Attorney General races in Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota. Did I mention that Al Franken is calling to get ready? Ouch.
So, I will be pleased to get beyond the campaign to determine who won and why. If one victorious candidate gives me credit for his or her victory--"the $100 from you and Betty put us over the top"--I will pass out.
NYT says 40 Dem seats are toss-ups; 28 are leaning against or lost. They predict two losses in Wisconsin--Lassa and Kagan--and are certain the GOP will take control of the House. It looks like the right-wingers will take over the House and possibly the Senate. Ask yourself, What would the impact be on the White House if the Congress is controlled by the know-nothing party? What will the difference be?
I need a break. More later. Vote on Tuesday--and for laughs read the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's endorsement of Scott "bare-knuckle" Walker.
October 23, 2010
'We deplore, we deplore, we really deplore'
These are the first words from the Pentagon in response to the latest Wikileaks release of documents that should horrify all who read any portion of the thousands of pages of "classified documents."
The Pentagon deplores what? Not the conduct exposed but rather the release of documents that will inform Americans how the Iraqi war was prosecuted with our money, our soldiers, our private corporations. Predictably, the Pentagon warns that the release could cause harm to our troops. "We strongly condemn the unauthorized disclosure of classified information..."
Why, might we ask, is the material classified? Good lord, since World War II, anyone with a stamp could declare a document off limits--the excuse was, of course, some bureaucrat decided that the information could aid the Soviets! Declare it top secret. Isn't it time we decide to level with the American people and throw away the "secret," "top secret," "eyes only," "destroy after reading" or "burn before reading" rubber stamps? Our shameful conduct in Iraq has been partially exposed. Not by people we hired and elected--but from a group of Wikileakers. Trust us with the truth--I think we can handle it better than Scooter Libby, Glenn Beck and others who would protect us!
Final debate: Watching the final "debate" between Feingold and Ron Johnson was something to remember. Johnson can, like Tea Partiers all over the nation, list a bunch of "facts," but there is little or no connection--no thread of a philosophy. Johnson repeats his attacks like a Stepford Wife--there is no passion, no program, no feeling. He is ready for any question because he has been trained to respond with the same old same old.
I find people astounded that there is even a possibility that one of the brightest lights in the Senate could lose to Johnson, who has no program.
October 22, 2010
Walk into my parlor?
"Said the spider to the fly." You know what happened to the fly who listened to the clever spider.
Juan Williams said something about Muslims while talking on the O'Reilly Factor that went over the top. Muslims make him nervous! Oh really, oh Reilly? How about that from an NPR news and Fox news employee!
He got fired for that statement. Or did he? I smell a rat. Juan gets paid millions by Fox--owned by Republican Party contributor Rupert Murdoch, who would like NPR and PBS to disappear. It is time to kill that alternative to commercial TV and radio. Bring an end to Public Television and NPR.
Here is my take on Juan. As I recall, he was a senior adviser to the Republican Party and a regular on NPR and daily on Fox. Catch this nonsense from Roger Ailes: "Juan has been a staunch defender of liberal viewpoints since his tenure began at Fox News. ("Liberal" for Ailes is far right to most.) "He is an honest man whose freedom of speech is protected by Fox News on a daily basis." Juan Williams "liberal"? He sure lapped up the money offered by the right-extremist Roger Ailes/Murdoch.
Here is Williams's response: He was "fired for telling the truth." (The truth being that he gets nervous around Muslims? Not so much.)
No, he got fired, he claims, because of "one-party rule and one-sided thinking (not at "fair and balanced" Fox) at NPR, that leads to enforced IDEOLOGY, SPEECH, AND WRITING...It leads to people being sent to the gulag for raising the wrong questions and displaying independence of thought."
Now we know who writes material for Glenn Beck!
Newt--kill NPR! I will bet lunch at the Palm that this was a carefully planned effort to force NPR to fire Juan--thus beginning the assault on the life and death of NPR-PBS. If the election predictions are accurate, PBS will be lucky to make it until Christmas.
Frankly, NPR played fly to the Fox spider. Dumb response.
Now, Juan, how are we doing in Afghanistan?
Bob Herbert: Many Fighting Bob regulars attended Bob Herbert's talk at the UW Law School. The Kastenmeier lecture was packed and well worth the effort. A great writer. A treat for all of us.
DEBATE TONIGHT! Russ Feingold vs. Ron Johnson, at 6:30. Tune in--the last two debates demonstrated that Johnson needs time in AA ball before going to the majors.
October 21, 2010
Kastenmeier Lecture: 4:00 today at UW Madison Law School--NY Times columnist Bob Herbert is the speaker. See you there.
More of the same at the Vatican!
The Pope is at it again. Just when you conclude the Catholic Church has gone as far to the right as possible, the former Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, in elevating the likes of Raymond Burke to the position of Cardinal has proved there was still room for extremists on the right.
Burke will make most catholics wince. He started the broo-ha-ha-over Catholic politicians taking communion if they approved bath control, abortion, or same-sex marriage. Burke is the Bishop we have written about most--when he was in Lacrosse and then St. Louis where his battle to take over a parish owned by polish Catholics became legend. Scary thought---He could become the first American Pope!
A second appointment, Donald Wuerl, Washington D.C., generally unyielding on birth control, female clergy, same-sex marriage, celibate clergy--you get the picture. Post says Wuerl "is considered the leading teacher of Catholic doctrine." Yes, he denies communion to pols who stray and he and Burke have been vocal in attacking Obama. The Pope said they kept Wuerle's elevation from him for a day, he entered St. Matthew's Cathedral to applause and, catch this nice touch, "several women fell to his feet."
Then there is Ginni Thomas and her loopy husband Clarence. She got a truck-load of money, in anonymous contributions (two gifts of $500,000) and she heads a right-wing group called Liberty Central--the planning arm of the Tea Party! No problem? C'mon. How can Thomas, Clarence, remain on the Court? This is an outrage.
Any conflicts? Nope! As David Prosser says millions in cash souls not force recusal, so Clarence Thomas will conclude he can recuse--no matter what comes before the Court! Whoa Nelly! "Have a good day."
Looks like a toss-up in governor and U.S. Senate races. Momentum with Feingold and Barrett. Odd, but Walker seems as if stage fright has him in her grasp.
October 20, 2010
In case you forgot
I don't think anyone could forget the shameful attack on Anita Hill when she testified in the Clarence Thomas hearing. Now one can say that Thomas has been even worse than anticipated in 1991, being nothing more than Scalia's clerk, but back then the Senate needed information. Anita Hill stepped forward and, almost 20 years later, the wife of Thomas, a lobbyist in D.C., has called on Hill to apologize. Whoa Nelly! For what?
Polls are closing in the Senate race. The Feingold-Johnson race is all about turnout. The money has become a joke. Hundreds of millions and even a million dollar grant to Assembly Republicans and Senate candidates. They are noy playing bean bags.
Lots of work ahead.
October 19, 2010
You look kinda white to me!
It keeps getting worse. By now I'm sure you have seen the Sharron Angle TV spot and her defense of charges she is blaming Hispanics for all that is wrong in America. Not true, says Angle--not even sure the men in her spot are Hispanic. "Some of you look a little more Asian to me": She said this to a high school class! Then, as if throwing kerosene on the fire might help, she opined that she also looks Asian. "I have been called the first Asian legislator in Nevada." She looks awfully white to me!
Good lord, folks, get the hook, pull her off stage and pay the tuition for a 12-step program. She needs help.
NRA: 4 million voter cards will be sent to "members" in all 50 states. Ah, and to make your life easier, they will include a listing of NRA-approved candidates. I doubt if even one Democrat made the list--not even those Dems who go into fetal position when NRA barks. Will they ever learn?
Are we about to see another Huffington, Simon or Chechi? Super-rich Republicans who lost after spending big money on their own campaigns. (At least we got the former Mrs. Huffington and she created the Huffington Post. Haven't read anything about Simon or Chechi.)
Is Meg Whitman going to start "The Whitman Trumpet" if she loses? How much is she spending? She is spending $139 million of her own! What can you buy with 139 million dollars? Darned-near anything you want: 1,300 TV spots daily; 90 campaign offices; literature in Farsi, Russian, Mandarin; and a GOTV effort that would make Axelrod cry.
Will she win? I doubt it. Jerry Brown is formidable.
October 18, 2010
'Man up, Harry Reid!'
Did I hear that or was I letting my mind wander to the Wisconsin-Ohio State game? I checked and Maureen Dowd affirmed that Sharron Angle indeed said that to Harry Reid in their televised debate. Does it get any worse? Sharron Angle, described by Dowd, "had the slightly threatening air of the inebriated lady in a country club bar, tossing off outrageous statements and daring anyone to call her on them." Perfect, Maureen, perfect.
Truth, civility, common sense, are out the window in this mad GOP drive to field candidates who will waive the Tea Party flag. These nuts can say anything and get away with it by going on Fox to gain credibility. In baseball terms, these folks, Angle, the Delaware "I am no longer a witch" O'Donnell, and Carly Fiorina, are not ready for Triple A let alone the major leagues! But I am showing my age. Elections were not blood sport when I grew up. Indeed, my parents made it clear that when Ike won that he was now "our" president and we were not to criticize him at the dinner table. How quaint! Had a candidate said anything close to "man up" she/he would have been asked to stand down. I liked it better than "re-load."
Yikes! What if we win? One can only imagine the conversations in the corporate boardrooms. If we (Tea-publicans) win control of Congress, we will have to do something or we will face an even angrier public in two years! We could force real public financing of elections. Just saying no won't cut the unemployment rate, create jobs, fix schools. What if the anger we ginned-up takes aim at the corporate elite? US! Then what "Mr. Know-It-All"?
Listen to the League, Justice Prosser: The League of Women Voters, like Lazarus, has rejoined the fight. The League urged the courts to agree to a fixed dollar amount received as a donation to the judge's campaign, that would force a justice to recuse him/her self. "Oh no!" said Justice Roggensack, an ally of Prosser who believes that is a bad idea no matter how much money is donated to impact pending litigation. The Prosserites on the state Supreme Court argue that no amount of money invested by parties to litigation should force a Justice to step aside. Not five million, not even ten million is enough. Why? Catch this: Any standard might jeopardize First Amendment rights of groups like WMC. Hog wash! If the contributors are not trying to influence the Court on specific cases, where is the First Amendment issue?
So, listen up Judge Prosser. This is not the Legislature--this is our Court you are destroying.
October 17, 2010
Just win, baby. Just win!
Who said that? Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders. He didn't care how his coaches won--but they had to win. Too bad Al kept his career outside of the Tea Party--he would have been a poster boy. But the Dem's have their own--no, not goody-two-shoes NFL Commissioner Goddell--Nancy Pelosi.
She was told that conservative Democrats running for re-election are telling voters "Don't worry--I won't vote for her as Speaker ever again! I promise." Pelosi's response? "I just want them to win...they know their districts.. They are great communicators, very eloquent communicators to their own constituents." Whoa Nelly! Clearly she will not yield to those "eloquent communicators." She will march to her drummer. Everyone looks silly.
SURPRISE # 2: The Wisconsin State Journal, the self-described Independent Voice of Wisconsin, made another endorsement today--Attorney General. Yes, says the WSJ, J.B. Van Hollen "used his office for political purposes," but only a few times! Oh, thank god. So, he deserves the WSJ endorsement. (In a twisted way he does deserve it.)
Who is Rebecca Kleefisch? How dare you ask! Next you will be asking why she refuses to debate her Democratic opponent. She won't because the Democrat has been mean to her running mate Charlie Sykes. Oops! I meant Scott Walker. As for her views on gay marriage, WSJ published a letter to the editor stating that she "likened gay marriage to marrying a dog." If she said that, she should get out of politics. We don't need that kind of bias.
Hello--Independent Voice? You out there?
October 16, 2010
Almost unbelievable but not quite. CNN is apparently trying to prove that they are liberals--kind of, sort of, but definitely not lefties. They don't want the MSNBC mantel. CNN wants you to think of what they lovingly call their brand: "Breaking News" when you decide on which cable network you want to watch the Chilean mine rescue, floods in Pakistan, death in Afghanistan.
So, how do they prove that they are not like Fox--the sort of "objective journalists" worth watching? Well, they began last week trying to convince us that the Delaware Senate race was key to the probable outcome of the November 2 elections. They whispered that O'Donnell, former witch, is a serious candidate--she might win the debate! She might win the election! Stay tuned!
They promised to carry the debate between Chris Coons (Democrat) and Christine O'Donnell--the one who has had a Palin makeover so she looks like Palin. You know the one--the nut.
Wolf Blitzer was one of the panelists. Whoa Nelly! The nut was nutty as a fruit cake but Blitzer named her the winner--a narrow victory, but she won according to Wolfy.
Why did she win? "She didn't come across as just a weirdo or anything like that." Read again. She did not come across as JUST a weirdo. True--she was also ignorant and ridiculous. Ignorant, weird. Not just a weirdo--some test, Wolf.
When Blitzer asked her if she believes in evolution, she squirmed, wiggled, smiled, ducked, and Blitzer froze. When asked... oh why bother--she should not be running, she ought to go back to school. She listed lots of schools such as Princeton--send her back! Please.
Meanshile CNN will keep trying to convince us to turn to breaking news!
October 15, 2010
Heavens no! Two former enemies squared off years ago. In 1997 Cuomo and Andrew Frakas "were sworn enemies." Andrew Cuomo was the nation's housing secretary and he was after Andrew Farkas for giving kickbacks to a landlord. The case settled, Farkas and Cuomo embraced, and voilà! Friends for life! The NYT put it this way: "Mr Cuomo received hundreds of thousands of dollars for his campaigns from Farkas and over three years Frakas hired Cuomo and paid him $2.5 million dollars! Whoa Nelly! Now, Democrats are permitted to wince, shrug and then ignore this relationship. Not to worry! Farkas gave you all the comfort you need. "The truth is, there's a friendship here, a love and respect here, and a bond, that surmounts all this stuff...there is nothing about all this that is remotely inappropriate or improper."
OK then. Once sworn enemies as the regulator went after a scofflaw; they became friends, and the "hunted" hired the hunter and gave him thousands, indeed, millions of bucks! Everyday stuff--don't get huffy about it. Appearances be damned! Nothing should interrupt this love story.
I could not watch the second Feingold-Johnson because Channel 27, ABC affiliate in Madison, opted for dancing with the stars. So much for civic duty! Thanks 27! But CNN brought two debates--Nevada and Delaware. Conclusion? Howard Cosell often said "you deserve whatever you get." Well, we get people a step away from the Senate who are not qualified to catch dogs in the park. Harry Reid should have retired; as for Delaware and the "I'm not a witch" candidate--c'mon!
Will Ron Johnson show up tonight? I doubt it. He looks pathetic live and in color. Why would he jeopardize his lead by proving again he ain't ready for prime time?
Voter turnout--that is the only way to restore sanity to our corrupt political system.
October 14, 2010
It was something! The president of the country, Sebastian Pinera, stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the miners and their families until all 33 miners and five rescue workers were safe. No one bothered to ask the stupid question, "How can a poor country afford this operation?" They were proud as could be that Chile showed the world how a moral nation faces a crisis. They pitched in, worked night and day, prayed together, hugged, cried and sang patriotic songs together.
The president of Chile used words seldom heard in our nation's capitol: "Solidarity, faith, love, loyalty, pride." And as Michael Moore said to a half-asleep Larry King, no Chilean lost his home to foreclosure due to medical costs because they believe in community not some nonsensical ideology based on individual wealth--they believe in common wealth."! Hooray for the Chileans. They set the example for all of us.
Inside the BOXX: So you missed the second debate between Russ Feingold and Ron Johnson? Don't feel bad. It wasn't your fault. Whose fault was it? You could watch the meaningless Delaware debate on ESPN but not the most important debate in Wisconsin. So you were reminded of the debate on Channel 27 in Madison on the 6:00 news but when you tuned in to Channel 27, the ABC affiliate, you got Dancing with the Stars instead of Johnson and Feingold?
Wow! How could that happen? I tried to find out. When Dancing came on, I called Channel 27 and was greeted by a person who seemed as shocked as I was, but she said, "It is out of our hands. We can't do anything about it." I found that hard to believe so I called Feingold's campaign and was shocked to learn that the debate was not being shown on any Milwaukee channels either! In other words, the biggest population centers in Wisconsin were denied a chance to watch the debate!
Called 27 again and this time an officious man suggested it was too bad that I did not have access to the Internet! Why? He said it was streamed but not carried on Ch 27's sister station in Wausau where the debate was shown! I called a friend and asked her to check it out and she could not find it on the Internet.
Next day Channel 27's Tony Galli left a message that I should call Peter Boxx--he is in charge. I did and Boxx picked up the phone. Oh, he said, Ch 27 never said they would carry it. Why, then, I asked, did they remind us on the 6:00 news that it was on at 7:00? "Didn't" said Boxx. "Did," I said. He said "we told people it would be streamed!" Did not. Did. Did not...Did you tell the viewers how to get the debate on the Internet? Don't know, said Boxx.
Then Boxx, who was annoyed by the questions, was asked: Why didn't you carry it on a delayed basis? Catch this: "We did run it at 1:00 the next day." (My guess it was 1:00 in the morning.) He admitted that they did not promote it!
Then Boxx said they were never planning to carry it! So I called John Laabs, the Wisconsin Broadcaster's Foundation director and host of the first Feingold-Johnson debate. They have, over the years produced most debates. "Gee" said Laabs, "I know nothing about it. We were not involved!"
This much is clear. Johnson is ahead of Feingold in most polls. His Tea Party advisers certainly don't want to see him get run over in debates 2 and 3. No debates would be just fine with Johnson, who looks lost on stage.
Q. Did the Johnson people encourage Channel 27 to stay with Dancing?
Q. Will Johnson show up for the October 25 debate? And if he does will it be carried statewide or only in Superior or Rhinlander? If he does not show up, old inside the Boxx says, well then we will televise the Walker-Barrett debate. (Stream or carry?) And if they tell Johnson, "no show no penalty" he will not show up. Is this journalism? Do the broadcasters who use our air have a right to ignore these critical debates?
This is absurd. So absurd that I doubt it could have happened without orchestration. Shame on Channel 27 and the Broadcasters.
October 13, 2010
All you really need to know!
Scott Walker got a score of 100 from the extremist "Pro-Life Wisconsin" because he opposed embryonic stem cell research at the University of Wisconsin. Period. Ah, but on the campaign trail in Madison, he wasn't so sure. The Wisconsin State Journal reports, "When repeatedly asked whether he would support an out right ban on embryonic stem cell research, Walker [the WSJ endorsed candidate for governor] avoided a direct answer."
Apparently Walker's position on this key issue depends on who asks. If Bishop Morlino or the R-T-L crowd ask, he is opposed. If asked by a reporter, not so sure. If you have a family member suffering from ALS, Parkinson's or diabetes, you know what to do.
Chile: Did you notice that no one asked "Can we afford this rescue?"? No one asked if the miners paid a special tax--no it was not time for Rand Paul, Ayn Rand, Ron Johnson, or Rand's daddy. In Chile, the community responded. The community made a moral decision to spend whatever was necessary to save brothers, fathers, even strangers in this "community." It was beautiful. Perhaps Glenn Beck will explain to them why they should have been left to die.
My mind floated to Tennessee, where the home owner watched the fire department watch his house burn to the ground because he owed $74 to the Fire Department! Too bad his house was not in Chile--33 miners are lucky they were not in West Virginia or Tennessee.
October 12, 2010
What a mess!
With notable exceptions, Gaylord, Prox, Kastenmeier and Kucinich among them, most Democratic leaders, in office, have not fought for comprehensive campaign finance reform. I suspect most of them liked the system that got them elected and couldn't see why they should vote to make it easier for challengers.
For years incumbents had a huge fundraising edge and enjoyed money from right, left, middle, business, labor, lenders, bankers, Goldman Sachs, and big Pharma. If it ain't broke don't fix it, and for incumbents it wasn't broken. "But if you insist" they said, then make disclosure the acceptable reform. You know, tell us who is giving the money. Forget about public financing; we can hold our own without government assistance. The Obama phenomenon was proof to them that the little guy could out-raise the big boys.
Well, as me mither used to say, "You are getting your comeuppance." Who knows how to spell that word, but the meaning was clear. This year, incumbents are getting their comeuppanace, or, as some say, the chickens are coming home to roost. The big boys, to borrow from hockey, have dropped their gloves.
Take George Soros for example. Many of the faux reformers on the Democratic side, pushing so-called "blueprints" for building a progressive network, got money from daddy Soros and other rich folks. They could chuckle at those of us on the outside of the Club who were not blessed with the big bucks. He was a political placebo. But the diseased political system has taken over and the provider of placebos has changed his mind.
Soros stated that he didn't succeed in 2004, 2006 or 2008. Now he is out of the game! Why? "I don't believe in standing in the way of an avalanche." I am not kidding.
Soros predicts an avalanche and it appears that he is right. I think the moneyed interests will run the table. November will be a disaster and the pundits and the Democrats will shake fingers and blame liberals and progressives for angering the Gucci slipper crowd and the union people as well.
But we know better: It was Citizens United. It was the liars on the Supreme Court who opened the flood gates and ended democracy in America. Sad but true. Don't plan on staying up late on November 2. Drink some milk, have a cookie, read La Follette's autobiography, and slowly drift off. If a tear wells up, don't feel ashamed. Millions have fought and died for a system that has been destroyed by greed and corruption.
Hell, it is not the message it is the money!
Here is the Democrats' Rubik's cube. Your friend runs for the state Senate. She asks for a contribution and you send $100. Then her opponent gets two million bucks from the non-profit types. She calls and asks for another $200, or could you possibly give $500? Knowing that she needs it you would like to help but even $500 is a drop in the bucket. It won't matter, and besides you have 25 other solicitations on your desk that are just as compelling. So you give nothing and the GOP strategy works. Or is it less of a strategy than a system out of control because Democrats would not fix it when they had a chance?
Headline: "For Democrats, Even 'Safe' Seats Now Seem Shaky." You betcha!
October 11, 2010
Conspiracy? Coordination? False advertising?
The first debate between Russ Feingold and under-achiever Ron Johnson made a strong case for Feingold. So we all looked forward to tonight's debate to be carried by WKOW 27 at 7:00. Could Johnson catch up? Those of us who tuned in got Dancing with the Stars not the debate.
Whoa Nelly! What is going on? I called Channel 27 and the woman who answered was apologetic, but said there was "nothing we could do. It is out of our hands." Really? How convenient for the right-wing Channel 27. Instead of the candidate not showing up the cameras failed to show.
I can hardly wait to hear Tony Galli's excuse! This is truly a disgrace.
Bat or pipe?
This question will, I predict, remain in your mind for life. Maybe you shouldn't read about the beating of gays for being gay in the Bronx. NY Times reports, "The victims were all seated in a chair and attacked with whatever was at hand--a plastic bat, a box cutter...a shaving cream can." In the midst of the beating, a victim was forced to choose a "bat or a pipe" for the remainder of the beating. He chose the bat! Think about it--pick the weapon--bat or pipe.
My mind raced back in time to 1998 when Mathew Shepard, a 21-year-old University of Wyoming student, was beaten, pistol whipped, tied to a fence and left to die. He died because he was gay!
Who are we? Carl Paladino, a complete jerk, is running for governor of New York. What does he contribute to the conversation? He says, "homosexuality is not how god created us." This hate-monger refused interviews following his outrageous comment, but sent his campaign guy out to assure us that his boss is not homophobic and neither is the Catholic Church.
And the Armed forces are still studying "Don't ask don't tell"? Jaysus! Again, I ask, Who are we? Will Newt condemn this incredible outrage?
PBS: Ok, they have all but eliminated newspapers; commercial television is a disaster--more FOX than truth; they control almost all radio stations; they think the fairness doctrine is a communist plot; they have tempered public radio, tried to take over the board that governs PBS, and now they are picking the low-hanging fruit. KCET-TV, Los Angeles's main public station, is leaving PBS. Why? Oh, they say the dues are too high!
October 10, 2010
The Wisconsin State Journal calls itself "Wisconsin's Independent Voice." Talk about your whoppers! Wow! Arguably the laziest editorial board in the state, the "independent voice" can be counted on to endorse a Republican for governor no matter what. And so, if you were waiting to learn if this year the WSJ would demonstrate some common sense, the wait is over. Yup! Walker, the county exec who took Milwaukee County to the doorstep of bankruptcy court; the guy who wants to privatize Mitchell airport and privatize and sell county parks; close swimming pools for poor kids in summer heat. Yes, that one. He is the choice of Scott Milfred and his fellow bloviators on the editorial board.
The lines I enjoyed the most: WSJ doesn't like--"Walker's excessive pandering to social conservatives on issues such as embryonic stem-cell research and abortion..." but Walker is no "extremist."
Oh, I get it. He panders as a candidate but will make the tough decisions as governor! (And you can bet he favors WSJ's positions on everything from privatizing the Madison campus of the UW to appointment of Supreme Court justices.)
(I urge you to read the WSJ editorial and then read Joel McNally's superb post this morning, "The Blind Watchdog"--referring to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. While he argues the JS is blind, the WSJ watchdog has also lost his sniffer!
A once proud paper (actually two--Journal and the Sentinel) M-J-S has become less than relevant in political coverage.
Badger Hospitality: It was hot Saturday at Camp Randall. I was not surprised that the Badgers had huge fans blowing a cool mist at the Badger bench. Good idea as the temperature was expected to be in the 85 degree range. But the Badgers made no such arrangements for the visiting Gophers. No class.
Then, as if that were not enough, the Badgers, to the amazement of everyone in the stadium, went for a two point conversion when the outcome of the game had been decided. No class. Something good happened. The two point conversion failed. What was the score against Austin Peay? Hmmm.
Fool us once--shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us! Oh yeah? A new study by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation found that most Americans want more services not less from government. Take that, Newt!
While Ron Johnson cavorts with tea baggers promising to cut Social Security, most Americans believe Social Security and Medicare are "very important" and most want government in Washington to help eradicate poverty.
So, how do we explain the Republican sweep that all pundits have predicted on November 2? You got it right. The extremists on the right are pouring money into the system. Hundreds of millions of dollars. November 2 will be an auction more than an election. But if the GOP takes the House, you can bet the house that the State Journal and other less-observers will claim it had nothing to do with money--it had everything to do with hatred of government. Hogwash! Check out the Washington Post this morning.
October 9, 2010
Suddenly it is prime time!
Those who watched Ron Johnson on stage with Russ Feingold last night had to feel sorry for Johnson who suddenly found himself on center stage with a real senator. (Never mind that the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association's John Laabs refused to call Feingold "Senator." It didn't matter because Russ looked and sounded like a senator.)
There was Johnson, doing his best impression of a grade school report on "what I did this summer" without the Tea Party cheerleaders and facing a bright, articulate, independent Feingold. Johnson's only friend was, seemingly, Laabs. (Hard to tell what the panelists were doing there.) They should have called it a TKO after the first 15 minutes, but on they droned.
Feingold is one of the best in the Senate and Johnson is simply not up to the task. Had the Republicans nominated Paul Ryan or someone with a clue about the issues (hell, even Jamie Sensenbnner would have done better), it might have been a show, but the so-called "debate" simply gave Johnson enough time to make a fool of himself. His only hope is that no one was watching.
It began with the usual blather from Laabs about the generosity of someone who gave enough money to stage this show. Then Laabs introduced three inexperienced panelists who were incapable of asking a simple question and not permitted to follow-up on their questions or the candidates' answers. You know, like Johnson's sun spots theory of climate change. I am not making this up. He believes that because global warming may be the fault of the sun it would be foolish to spend money on climate change until we know more! Yikes! Call McKibben!
Stem cell research? Pack your bags, UW researchers, if "Senator Johnson" has any voice. The right-to-lifers are moving in! Johnson, oblivious to the roaring scandal of millions of dollars going into Republican campaigns by the Chamber of Commerce--including, apparently, foreign money--bragged that his work with the Chamber has prepared him to do battle in Washington.
Where did they hide the League of Women Voters? Where were the experienced panelists who could have saved us from the nightmare Laabs called a "debate"?
The Broadcasters, possibly fearing a knockout, would not permit follow-up comments or questions; they did not permit the candidates to respond to one another. It was absurd. Laabs should know better, but he plows ahead without a trace of fairness creeping into the picture.
It was embarrassing. (One can only hope no one from other states watched lest they think our educational system is failing us. I can hear them now: "When did Wisconsin morph into Delaware or South Carolina or Nevada?")
The awful Broadcaster's show preceded by a solid, professional, probing conversation on WPTV's Here and Now. Frederica Freiberg knows the issues, rolled with the punches, got the tough questions out and followed up on questions where appropriate. The Attorney General candidates did well and should have felt good that WPTV did just fine. Imagine how Laabs would have botched that one.
Someone should step in and take hold of the debate format. Goodness. Pick panelists at random and it wold be an improvement! Help!
October 8, 2010
Send in the clowns...
While I suspect Stephen Sondheim would object, "Send in the clowns" should be the GOP anthem. Remember 2000, when "unruly mobs" demanded an end to the recount that would have resulted in a Gore victory instead of our beloved leader W.? Some mob! Thousand-dollar suits, fancy shoes, monogrammed shirts--some mob! Turned out they were congressional staffers posing as unruly citizens. Well, they came back last week in West Virginia with a different disguise (almost).
Even if you have seen the story I can't pass on it. The GOP sent out a contract for a "folksy" TV spot in support of GOP Senate candidate John Raese. You know, like the Ron Johnson "I'm an accountant not a lawyer" Tea Bagger. The actors recruited should "convey a hickey blue-collar look." (No Gucci slippers. Please!) The talent agency went on. "These characters are from West Virginia, so think coal miner/trucker looks," the casting call suggests.
Step right up Paul Ryan, John Boehner--a total makeover is available should you want one. Substance? Not so much. Pulling down a statue in Baghdad, pretending to be coal miners or truck drivers, milking a cow--now you catch the theme. Send in the clowns. And be quick about it.
The GOP said they were pulling the ad and boycotting the ad agency.
OBAMA CALLS FOR VOTES TO OUTWEIGH OUTSIDE MONEY: Tooth Fairy also on retainer. Rahm off to Chicago to raise, yup, you guessed it, big money from those corporations with a big agenda.
Last night I had the pleasure of discussing our broken and corrupt electoral system with young people. They are not happy with the corporate domination, the "anonymous" contributors, the fantastic cost of elections. (It is estimated that $4 billion will be spent in the mid-term elections.) This madness must stop. No one with a conscience will seek office under these rules. We must have publicly funded elections! Don't believe me--ask some college students to run for office.
October 7, 2010
The elections are almost over!
Huzzah! One more speech, two more fundraisers, three more forgettable polls and the November election will be history. The National Republican Congressional Committee announced it will take a $6.5 million bank loan this week to help GOP candidates remain on the air. As if they need it! (I wonder if the bank loan is part of the bailout.)
Millions of dollars, hundreds of millions, are flowing into close races from West Virgina to Wisconsin. The Chamber of Commerce warned they will spend $75 million and they will. Sure, some of it might be foreign money, but that won't stop them. And if history means anything the Republicans will do very well on November 2, as they will outspend the Democrats by overwhelming odds. 15-1? 20-1? Will we ever find out? I doubt it. And with Koch and others they have framed the debate.
Some good news: Palin's California unfavorable number is 53 percent; 33 percent favorable. Among independents her unfavorable is 69 percent to 25 percent favorable.
The system is absolutely out of control. The U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens Unraveled (or was it United?) combines with legislators who have not had the courage to bring public financing to the table spells disaster for the coming decade. We are controlled, lock, stock and barrel by corporate America. I hate to say it, but this so-called election is merely prologue. It will get worse.
Presidential candidate Donald Trump? Yikes! Glenn Beck for vice president? Why not. If money is all that matters the game is over. Game, set, match. What "game" you ask? "The political game." We have been warned by the best public figures in our country's history, but we have done nothing to curb the expenditure of millions of dollars to fix races for Supreme Court to the Assembly. It is not just difficult to persuade good, honest, bright people to run for office it is damned near impossible.
It will get worse. Soon almost all major offices will have only one candidate running.
Whoa Nelly. I am sounding like the guy in the TV spot warning against premature celebrations. Maybe the guys with the deep pockets have gone too far in scaring the hell out of us. Maybe...
October 6, 2010
Dave Zweifel, my friend, and Warren Buffett are wrong, wrong, wrong. They assert "there's a class war and the rich are winning." Nonsense!
They are wrong. As Kevin Phillips announced a couple years ago on Bill Moyers' program, "The rich declared class warfare in 1984--and they have won!" Not "winning" but won! In Buffet's own words, "There's class war and we're winning." The "we" in that statement are the enormously wealthy who are now framing the issues for November and 2012, selecting the candidates, funding the preferred candidates, and winning through money, money, money. (Trivia question: When was the last democratic election in the U.S.?)
Don't believe me that they are in charge? Ask a judge in your neighborhood to take on Justice David Prosser next year, knowing that Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce will spend "whatever it takes...six, seven or eleven million dollars to elect Prosser." Can a Justice dispense justice if a million dollar patron stands before him in a case? I don't think so, but Prosser insists that is his question not yours. Really, none of your business!
Egad # 2: Feingold's most recent TV spot is so absurd that Chris Matthews showed it on national TV and called it "pathetic." I would say that is giving the Feingold media advisers a break! It is absurd and it sends the wrong message. It sounds like he is predicting a defeat. Not what the GOTV folks need!
Ah, in the Feingold spot players in the NFL are engaged in excessive celebrations after scoring...Feingold, marching up the sideline in an empty stadium, says the celebration of Johnson's victory is premature! Whoa Nelly. Premature! C'mon Russ! Senior media adviser John Kraus said the ad was being "edited to accommodate the NFL's concerns." Did I mention that the NFL raised hell because the Feingold campaign had no right to use the footage?
So, you wanna be a millionaire? Read Maureen Dowd's column today--too much. One of her best.
Well, folks, it looks like the right-wingers may run the table on November 2. Kagan, Lassa, Barrett, Feingold--all in treacherous water.
Get out and vote!
October 4, 2010
Find a place to live?
The sunny state of California is not so friendly these days if you live in your vehicle. Read the NY Times article "When Home Has No place To Park." It says, "Even as the economic downturn has forced more people out of their homes and into their cars, vehicle-dwellers are facing fewer options, with more communities trying to push them out."
Think about it. Where would you go if your bank had you evicted from your home? And while you are thinking about foreclosure/eviction, see my blog post from Sunday, and read "Bank's Flawed Paperwork Throws Some Foreclosures into Chaos" in today's New York Times. What some call "flawed paperwork others would call forgery, perjury or fraud.
Documents offered in court to permit evictions on the fast-track were apparently filled with lies or forged documents. Documents have been signed that were patently false. One former bank officer said he signed 400 each day without reading them or verifying the information the lender's officer swore to a court were true!
Go back to the eviction story and to the California arrests of people who live in parked vehicles parked on city streets. Where would you go? To the bank? To the mayor? Would you live in a vehicle, and if you would not what would you do?
America is in a real crisis. If the courts nullify evictions based on the forged documents, what then?
We have a real housing crisis--what is the answer? I checked the Pledge to America and apparently this crisis was missed by the architects.
Rand Paul is tasting power. He likes it. The main tea bagger responded to a question and put the baggers on the floor. Would Paul, as Senator, vote for Mitch McConnell, or the insane Jim DeMint for majority leader? Well, now, Paul is leaning toward the nasty McConnell not the pure DeMint. Wonder who Ron Johnson would vote for? Ask him.
It was that damned Macha! Now we know who is responsible for a poor but exciting and indeed riveting season. Not Bud Selig, not the GM, not the loopy baseball revenue sharing nonsense, not the pitchers--nope--Macha! You bum! Out you go!
October 3, 2010
Do you swear to tell the truth?
One man's "oops" is another man's lie. Having practiced law for most of my life, I have seen a lot of disturbing things. People under pressure often say or do strange things when they try to win a lawsuit or avoid conviction. Sometimes they stand, raise their right hands, and swear or affirm that they will "tell the truth...nothing but the truth...so help me god" and begin telling lies, despite the oath, as soon as they sit down.
It is disturbing when you know that a witness is lying or shading the truth. Bt that is why we have cross-examination.
Most people tell the truth in court because they had good parents and teachers. Some tell the truth because they worry they could be charged with perjury. Often, the "truth" is hard to find.
So, I ask you, what is the proper response when banks and other lenders, aided by lawyers, establish a pattern of lying to the courts? Read this in the NY Times: "Confronted with so many foreclosures, the lenders try to avoid the expense of a trial and they "try to process cases on a wholesale basis." Catch this: "The tool for doing this was the so-called robo-signers in which mid-level bank executives would sign thousands of affidavits a month attesting that they have personal knowledge of the facts of the case." (Oops!)
These sworn statements, presented to the judge, inform the court that eviction of people from their homes may go forward! Trust us! We have the documents!
The affidavits were prepared by lawyers who were paid a flat fee. When deposed, the robo-signers acknowledged that they could not possibly have knowledge of all the cases. They deliberately lied, under oath. Under oath. Ah, say the banksters, that is a technicality. You read it right: an intentional lie--thousands of them--is a technicality. Thousands of them. The volume was so great they could not ask the mid-level bankers to sign all of the false affidavits--let a machine do it! (I wonder if the robo-signer machine has First Amendment rights under the Citizens United decision. Should the machine do time?)
Who gets punished for this incredible nose-thumbing at the courts? Seems to me this is not an "oops!" This is perjury. And perjury is not a technicality.
October 1, 2010
Do you have a Plan B?
Rahm Emanuel is in trouble. Deep doo-doo, as some might say it. He wants to be mayor of Chicago and he doesn't like baseball and appears neutral when it comes to the Cubs! Whoa Nelly. Raised in Wilmette, he may have learned a lot about world affairs, but how, I ask, can a boy grow up in Wilmette and not support the Cubs? Hey, Ron Santo, who ya gonna cheer for? Remember Hal Jeffcoat?
Note to Rahm: The Brewers had a better season than the Cubs, and unless you repent your challengers will drive you into the basement. Got a Plan B?
Oh. One other problem. The rules say, "A candidate for Mayor must be a resident of the city for at least a year before Election Day." Let's see. When was Obama elected?
Congressman Danny Davis will be a strong challenger to Emanuel. I don't know Rham Emanuel, never met him, but I'm happy to see him leave the White House.
What's that you say? Sorry, Meg Whitman, but when you have an employee for nine years it is not credible to say "I cannot tell you how stunned we were." I'll bet. And billionaires are busy, busy spending money. Who really has time to check?
Arkansas: NYT reports the DLC-dominated Democratic Party is in danger. A local columnist said "Arkansas is just Alabama waiting to happen." It will be a different party after November 2.
The last progressive elected to the Senate? Dale Bumpers. Maybe the curtain is coming down on the DLC. Let it drop!
But not yet! Remember Lanny Davis, special counsel to Clinton? Well, he is now the lead actor in an effort to protect degree mills, from the wrath of Tom Harkin. Go Tom!