Saturday, March 23, 2013

Is Ann Kuster Selling Out Already? Just A Late Night Question


Looks like they may have been right about her-- though for the wrong reasons

It didn't surprise me when lifelong Republican/spoiled brat Patrick Murphy of Florida turned out to be one of the worst "Democratic" freshmen in the class of 2013. We warned about him all during the 2012 cycle. Of course he's not some kind of insane crackpot war criminal like Allen West, who he replaced... but Allen West wasn't able to get inside the Democratic caucus and woo naive freshmen Democrats away from progressive ideals towards a Republican agenda that Murphy has always supported. That's exactly what Murphy has been doing since he got into Congress-- that and voting with Boehner and Cantor on the crucial issues of the day.

What did surprise me were some of the freshmen Murphy was able to win over to the Dark Side-- and not just always-untrustworthy New Dems and corporate whores like Ami Bera (CA), Pete Gallego (TX, Congress' only freshman Blue Dog), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), Joe Crowley pawn Grace Meng (NY), Scott Peters (CA) and Eric Swalwell, a former Ellen Tauscher staffer. I'm certain Murphy didn't have to twist any arms to get those 7 to sign on, but I was profoundly disappointed to see freshmen Joe Garcia (FL), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) and, most of all, Ann Kuster (NH) get on board the Patrick Murphy Express To Nowhere.

When Garcia was going up against Republicrook David Rivera I was certainly rooting for him. He's an old friend and I like him and he's got some good ideas about moving the country forward. But... not exactly a courageous full-throttled progressive. We wrote about Rivera's unfolding corruption scandals all through the campaign but never endorsed Joe. So when he joined the New Dems and started crossing the aisle on crucial votes, it didn't really shock me. Similarly Kyrsten Sinema, a People For the American Way former Young Elected Official and a fellow board member, is someone Blue America considered endorsing. She has a carefully cultivated reputation among some Democrats as a progressive. But when we looked into it, from people on the ground, it became clearer and clearer that, at best, she'd be a mainstream Democrat-- never a stalwart progressive. We didn't endorse her and, sure enough, she got into Congress, joined the New Dems and started going out of her way to take the most cowardly and craven route to reelection the DCCC tries enforcing on their "stars" who don't shine that brightly-- vote with Boehner and Cantor, Israel urges them. And Sinema has been doing just that.

Where this has cut deep and hurt badly is the case of Ann Kuster, who Blue America did endorse and did raise money for in 2010 and 2012-- even though we didn't always get the feeling that she was what we were really looking for in a candidate. We should have followed our guts. She did join the Progressive Caucus but she was one of the only members to vote against the Back To Work Budget and she's been working with Murphy and voting badly over and over on key issues, like voting to end regulations for derivatives in the Agriculture Committee the other day, a position that only a Republican or a sold-out Wall Street shill could defend.

That derivatives vote for Wall Street is an especially bad idea-- one that crosses a bright red line. Former Goldman Sachs banker Jim Himes (R-CT) is working with Republicans to pass it and Kuster was one of the Democrats who went along. She's touting her connivance with Murphy on a phony-baloney bipartisan caucus (which includes mostly extreme right-wing Republican sociopaths like domestic terrorist Steve Stockman) and she told a New Hampshire audience recently that “On social issues, I am what they call progressive. But on the rest of the issues, I’m business-oriented.” So a Republican on economic justice? She mouthed Steve Israel's nonsense about none of the budgets being "bipartisan" enough and voted against the Progressive budget and even the pretty conservative Senate budget. "Unfortunately, none of the budget proposals on the table this week reflect the type of bipartisan compromise that New Hampshire families expect and deserve." This is what Israel has told vulnerable Democrats to spout. Notice the verbiage from Blue Dog Kurt Schrader when he gave his excuse for voting NO on the Senate budget:
Blue Dog Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) said he voted against the Senate budget because it did not go far enough on entitlements.

"It is not enough entitlement reform in there going forward. It needs to be a more complete and balanced picture and it wasn't bipartisan in the end of the day," Schrader told The Hill.
More entitlements cuts? Is that what Schrader and Kuster are angling for? You'd think she has a background as a lobbyist in a GOP-oriented shop instead of as a community activist like she sold us on when she was trolling for support. Some people blame it on an exceptionally bad staff but... she's the one voting with Boehner, not her staffers.

And speaking of trolling, Wall Street shill Jim Himes keeps sending e-mails-- like every day-- asking for money from the grassroots so they can pay for the nooses for their own hangings. Here was the one from yesterday:
I hate to flood your inbox, but I wanted to make sure you saw the email that I sent yesterday. Despite whatever her spokesperson said, Linda McMahon is clearly thinking about running for Congress. RNC chair Reince Priebus let is slip this morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe that he met with McMahon yesterday.

That's right: she's not just meeting with local Republicans, she's meeting with the national head of the GOP. Former candidates don't meet with national party leaders unless they're seriously considering a run.

We've seen that Linda McMahon is willing to spend $100 million to try and buy a public office, and we'll need every donation to counter her millions. Can you give $25, $50, or $100 to help me get ready to face her?
Himes is carrying Wall Street banksters' water. Let's see if they pay for his 2014 campaign against McMahon. There's not a chance on God's earth Blue America would chip in a nickel. And if you're wondering what's so bad about deregulating derivatives, the way Kuster and Himes are working with the GOP to do, here's how Thom Hartmann explained it Friday:
Less than a week ago, Senator Carl Levin issued a scathing report on the devastation JP Morgan caused with risky multibillion-dollar derivative trades. Yet, some in Congress are fighting to deregulate Wall Street, and remove oversight on derivative trades between utility companies and banksters. Levin said, “It is incredible that less than a week after new JPMorgan Whale hearings detailed hoe the bank’s London office piled up risk, hid losses, and dodged regulatory oversight, that some House members are again supporting the weakening of derivative safegaurds.”

And despite gridlock in Washington, the new effort to loosen regulations and water down the 2010 Dodd Frank Act is getting bipartisan support in the lower chamber. Republican Representatives Patrick McHenry and Scott Garrett are backing the measure, and Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore said the plan is only meant to relieve regulatory burdens on companies that do business with big banks. Another democrat, Representative Jim Himes, even wants to roll-back Dodd Frank, and stick taxpayers with the bill, should the derivative market implode again.

It’s only been five years since the banksters crashed our economy by gambling with derivatives, and the modest legislation we’ve enacted is meant to prevent another economic meltdown. Representative Alan Grayson, a leading voice for financial reform, criticized his colleagues for considering putting our nation at risk again. He said, “the road to hell is paved with these bills.”

We should be strengthening regulations on Wall Street, not giving banksters another free pass to gamble with our economic future. Call Congress today and tell them they must stop the next derivatives debacle before it’s too late.

UPDATE: Israeli Fingerprints

This is a comment from a New Hampshire reader of AmericaBlog I thought worth sharing:

And we're hearing more and more local activists complaining that Kuster, who represents the easier of New Hampshire's two congressional districts, is selling them out to the GOP. Miscellany Blue compared the terrible job Kuster has done since being elected to the stellar job Carol Shea-Porter, more a values-based leader than the hack Israel has helped Kuster bloom into, continues to do.
In February, Kuster again split with Shea-Porter and joined 43 Democrats who voted with the Republican majority to block a 0.5% pay raise for federal workers. "Leadership should concentrate on closing loopholes and reforming the tax code instead of shrinking middle class wages," said Shea-Porter.

In a series of budget votes last week, Kuster was one of 35 Democrats who crossed the aisle and voted against the Senate Democratic budget and one of 28 who voted against the House Democratic budget. Kuster said the budget proposals did not "reflect the type of bipartisan compromise that New Hampshire families expect and deserve."

Shea-Porter supported the Democratic budgets, noting they would "protect the middle class by investing in things like education, transportation, and research and development" and would "reduce the deficit in a balanced manner that closes tax loopholes, replaces sequestration’s irresponsible cuts, keeps our commitment to seniors, and cuts spending through a targeted and steady approach."

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At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well stated, as always, H.


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