Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday Random Notes-- Banksters, Joe Miller, The GOP Nazi Guy, And Getting Out The Vote


I don't know if it was more about being exposed as a crook or because he was exposed as a fascist thug, but last week Joe Miller's campaign started to implode-- big time-- and in a state where fascist thugs are pretty mainstream and corruption is the name of the game. I guess voters just don't want that stuff in the headlines so much. Today, the NRSC signaled what teabaggers always suspected, that they're throwing the Craziest Catch overboard and getting behind primary sore-loser Lisa Murkowski's write-in campaign as the GOP's last desperate attempt to keep Alaska from winding up with two Democratic senators!

Cornyn, of course, is publicly denying the GOP is finished with Miller, petrified teabaggers will turn against establishment Republican candidates already distrusted by teabaggers, particularly Mark Kirk (IL), Roy Blunt (MO) and Rob Portman (OH), 3 Republicans with solid voting records against everything the tea party claims to stand for. If the extreme right of the fragile GOP coalition turns against these 3 as revenge for the betrayal of Miller, any hopes for a Republican takeover of the Senate will be immediately dashed. ABC News reported that "a high level GOP source" had let them know that the NRSC is now banking on Murkowski, who is widely hated-- as much as Kirk, Blunt and Portman-- by the teabaggers and especially by Palin, who would rather see Scott McAdams win than her mortal foe Murkowski. Teabaggers are very aware that all NRSC ads attack McAdams and none have attacked Murkowski. When someone close to her explained this to Palin it drove her into a frenzy.
It's a remarkable turnaround for Murkowski.  She was punished by party leaders last month-- unceremoniously stripped of her position as ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and her role in Senate leadership -- when she refused to bow out of the Senate race and endorse Miller.  But she has consistently said she is still a Republican and will caucus with the Republican party if she wins.

The nightmare scenario for Republicans is that McAdams comes in second on Election Day, trailing "write-in candidate."  Those write-in votes won't be counted unless there are more write-in votes than there are votes for any candidate on the ballot.  Once the write-in votes are counted, however, some of them will inevitably be disqualified (illegible writing, wrong name, etc.).  And a small number will be for candidates other than Murkowski.  If enough are tossed out, second place McAdams would be the winner.

I don't think anyone who's followed the election campaign even minimally believes that Miller-- or for that matter corporate shills like Kirk, Blunt, Portman and Murkowski-- believe it is the job of an interventionist government to act as a counterbalance against gigantically powerful and completely self-interested corporate-- often multi-national corporate-- forces. Today's NY Times asserts that the banks tanked the economy. That may be true but isn't government supposed to protect society from powerful predators and punish the evildoers? I wish the YES that most people would answer that question with would lead to a Democratic sweep Tuesday, like it did in the somewhat similar 1934 midterms (after Roosevelt's initial election and 2 years of GOP obstructionism and right-wing fanatics screaming about socialism. But, even if all Republicans are evil corporate shills-- and they surely are-- these days not all Democrats fight against their corporate paymasters with requisite vigor. Some, including many who will be looking for new careers after Tuesday (think Blanche Lincoln and a pack of Blue Dogs), every bit as in the tank to the corporations and the wealthy as the Republicans are. As the Times points out, the International Monetary Fund found that the persistently high unemployment in the United States is largely the result of foreclosures and underwater mortgages, rather than widely cited causes like mismatches between job requirements and worker skills. The Republicans, Blue Dogs and other conservative Democrats have saved their efforts to fight to protect the evildoers rather than punish them or even stop their rampage against law and order.

Tomorrow night (Monday) Alan Grayson will be at a rally with three Democrats who are all better than Republicans, Bill NAFTA Clinton, Alex Sink and Kendrick Meek. Doors open at 9:15 at Lake Eola Park, 600 N. Robinson St. in Orlando. You can reserve tickets at

The Ohio Republican Nazi guy, Rich Iott, campaigned with his political benefactor yesterday, John Boehner. Embarrassed that Iott had gone on TV and admitted dressing up for years in an SS uniform and then defending it by telling a stunned Anderson Cooper than SS collaborators and volunteers were just "freedom fighters" (remember, right-wing "freedom," whether Republican or Nazi, is about the freedom of the wealthy and powerful to exploit the vulnerable without being hassled by countervailing forces), Boehner tried keeping the event closed to non-rightists. The closed-door appearance was at a call center in Lucas County-- although I'm surprised the GOP hasn't outsourced their call centers to India-- and the Toledo Blade captured the event on video. The would-be SS officer is on the left, beaming at the would-be Speaker (in the red jumper).
"I just ask you for three days for all of you to be 'all in' to make sure we bring home [John] Kasich [Republican candidate for governor] and [Rob] Portman [Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate], and the whole statewide ticket," Mr. Boehner said.

Prompted, he then added, "and Rich," in reference to Mr. Iott, who was standing near him.

Wisconsin has 6 large newspapers that, between them, cover the state. Most of them are pretty conservative and some have never endorsed Russ Feingold in the past. This year, with an actual agent of China and Wall Street running for the Wisconsin seat, all the papers endorsed Russ Feingold. The Oshkosh Northwestern isn't one of the state's bigger newspapers, although it is reliably conservative. It's also Ron Johnson's hometown paper. And it also endorsed Russ Feingold.
At a time when America needs intelligent, principled, grounded and inspiring leadership, voters should send Russ Feingold to the United States Senate to help lead us out of tough times dominated by angry and divisive politics. Feingold embodies the best qualities of Wisconsin we could hope to send to Washington to represent the best interests of our state and nation.

...Candidate Johnson has railed against government programs but businessman Johnson has enjoyed the benefits of those programs.

His answer to questions in the limited interviews and appearances he has made have shown a propensity for vague and scripted talking points that strike emotional chords without substance or thought. For instance, he refused to spell out in any detail what federal programs he would cut in an appearance at the Milwaukee Press Club in September in response to a question about the major theme of his campaign, smaller government.

"There's billions of dollars . . . that from my standpoint would be available for cutting. But I'm not going to get in the game here and, you know, start naming specific things to be attacked about, quite honestly," according to a news story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. That is precisely the type of information voters should have to evaluate whether Johnson's choices line up with their own.

Johnson has simply not run a campaign that has made a compelling and substantive case to replace a senator as effective and well regarded as Russ Feingold. On Nov. 2, voters should return Feingold to the Senate.

The Final Thought: Sen. Russ Feingold is the most qualified candidate and should be re-elected.

Although DSCC chair and egregious Democratic corporate shill Robert Menendez very pointedly torpedoed her chances, one populist Democrat who never wavered a minute from fighting for ordinary working families is North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall. She's closing her campaign with the same feisty and incisive focus she started it with-- laser-beam attention to what really bothers ordinary North Carolina voters. “This election is about whether the middle class really survives or not,” she said. And that reminds me of a video you can't watch too many times-- one I really suggest you send to everyone you know tonight and tomorrow:

Or, if you don't like sending videos, think about sending Jed Lewison's post from Friday's Daily Kos, a post that many brainwashed voters will probably find challenges their preconceptions about the last few years. He asks 4 questions-- and answers them.
1. What was the average monthly private sector job growth in 2008, the final year of the Bush presidency, and what has it been so far in 2010?

2. What was the Federal deficit for the last fiscal year of the Bush presidency, and what was it for the first full fiscal year of the Obama presidency?

3. What was the stock market at on the last day of the Bush presidency? What is it at today?

4. Which party's candidate for speaker will campaign this weekend with a Nazi reenactor who dressed up in a SS uniform?


1. In 2008, we lost an average of 317,250 private sector jobs per month. In 2010, we have gained an average of 95,888 private sector jobs per month. (Source) That's a difference of nearly five million jobs between Bush's last year in office and President Obama's second year.

2. In FY2009, which began on September 1, 2008 and represents the Bush Administration's final budget, the budget deficit was $1.416 trillion. In FY2010, the first budget of the Obama Administration, the budget deficit was $1.291 trillion, a decline of $125 billion. (Source) Yes, that means President Obama has cut the deficit-- there's a long way to go, but we're in better shape now than we were under Bush and the GOP.

3. On Bush's final day in office, the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 closed at 7,949, 1,440, and 805, respectively. Today, as of 10:15AM Pacific, they are at 11,108, 2,512, and 1,183. That means since President Obama took office, the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 have increased 40%, 74%, and 47%, respectively.

4. The Republican Party, whose candidate for speaker, John Boehner, will campaign with Nazi re-enactor Rich Iott this weekend. If you need an explanation why this is offensive, you are a lost cause.

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At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm no fan of Bush but Jed Lewiston is trying to brainwash people into thinking Presidents control the economic cycle in the short term. Nobody that has taken even the most basic college level economics course should believe that. Job losses were slowing in early 2009. Remember all of the talk of the "second derivative" right around the time the stock market hit bottom? No economist would say President Obama somehow engineered this in a few months. And no, I'm not attributing it to Bush. I'm attributing it to the natural business cycle. Firms cut production and fire workers. Inventories fall. Eventually production needs to resume. And as for the markets, again, nobody with any training looks at the troughs reached in a panic (or highs reached in "irrational exuberance" and uses them as a straight proxy for the economy.


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