And coming to a presidential race near you soon:
“Hillary’s Hit List: The Clintons keep a favor file of saints and sinners, according to this excerpt from ‘HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton,’” out Feb. 11 from Crown, by POLITICO’s Jonathan Allen and The Hill’s Amie Parnes: “There was a special circle of Clinton hell reserved for people who had endorsed Obama or stayed on the fence after Bill and Hillary had raised money for them, appointed them to a political post or written a recommendation to ice their kid’s application to an elite school. On one early draft of the hit list [a post-campaign spreadsheet], each Democratic member of Congress was assigned a numerical grade from 1 to 7, with the most helpful to Hillary earning 1s and the most treacherous drawing 7s. The set of 7s included Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), as well as Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Baron Hill (D-Ind.) and Rob Andrews (D-N.J.). …
“For Hillary, … the spreadsheet was a necessity of modern political warfare, an improvement on what old-school politicians called a “favor file.” It meant that when asks rolled in, she and Bill would have at their fingertips all the information needed to make a quick decision-including extenuating, mitigating and amplifying factors-so that friends could be rewarded and enemies punished.”
Now, Bill and Hill aren’t the first to do this nor will they be the last, but they certainly are an indicator of how awful our politics have become. It is a patronage system which has little at all to do with duty, service or honor and a lot to do with grabbing power and exercising it for the benefit of the politician and the politician’s cronies. The money, time and effort that typically goes into keeping up with this sort of thing is rather interesting in and of itself. Another indicator of the pettiness of politicians and their desire for retributive “justice”.
Of course money is no longer a problem to the former Governor and First Lady of Arkansas. Bill, who wrote off his underwear for tax purposes is now a multi-millionaire. Who says politics doesn’t pay off? And, so is his wife. So they’ve had both the time and money to put together an organization which will be pretty formidable in 2016.
As for the enemies on the Democratic side, well, it will be interesting to see how that plays out, won’t it? Especially if the “enemies” are situated in a strategic area that Hill needs and isn’t doing that well in. Bet that “numerical grade” goes up a bit in situations like that, huh? Bill Clinton is Mr. Pragmatism himself. Hill, yeah, not so much I think – not when it comes to “enemies”.
Anyway, I got a chuckle out of the list. Kerry just can’t win can he?
This is so “Econ 101” I’m surprised it has to be stated out loud, but of course it does because the Democrats insist on raising taxes now. Bill Clinton, for heaven sake, on the David Letterman show last night:
“Should you raise taxes on anybody right today — rich or poor or middle class? No, because there’s no growth in the economy,” Clinton said on the “Late Show.” “Should those of us who make more money and are in better position to contribute to America’s public needs and getting this deficit under control pay a higher tax rate when the economy recovers? Yes, that’s what I think.”
I disagree with his final bit of collectivist nonsense, but his point about raising taxes now is simply common sense, something which seems to be in short supply on the left these days.
Look, the problem isn’t one of revenue, it’s a problem of spending. More revenue won’t solve the problem. It may slow the debt accumulation a bit, but until these yahoos face up to the fact that the rich aren’t the problem -they are -we’re going to see the same spending patterns that have gotten us into the mess we’re in now.
Like it or not, soaking the rich for more taxes won’t change a thing in terms of debt unless Congress kicks the spending habit and restores fiscal sanity. This class warfare meme the Democrats are running is just another version of kicking the can down the road because they want to spend just like the old days.
This nonsense is directly out of Karl Marx’s “‘Critique of the Gotha Program” which outlines this deadly principle of socialism – “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”
We continue to be told we’re not a socialist nation and we’re not headed in that direction, but observation and listening to what certain politicians say gives lie to that claim. The first part of the Clinton quote may be “Econ 101”, but the second part is “Marxism 101”.
We need to quit tiptoeing around and call it what it is.
Ironic in the sense that he ends up doing exactly what he condemns in the same speech. Luckily I’m able to do what he claims doesn’t happen. If you’re confused, read on.
You can stand up and say anything and nobody rings a bell if the facts are wrong. There’s no bell ringing. It’s crazy, we’re living in a time when it’s more important than ever to know things. And not just to know facts but to put them in a coherent. sensible pattern. And we live in a time, if you just want to talk about the economy, where the model that works for economic growth and prosperity is cooperation. But the model that works in politics is conflict.
Well actually, Bill, there’s a lot of bell ringing, you just have to get out of the cocoon, get on-line and find it. For instance, I’m about to ring the bell on you.
You know, there’s not a single solitary example on the planet, not one, of a country that is successful because the economy has triumphed over the government and choked it off and driven the tax rates to zero, driven the regulations to nonexistent and abolished all government programs, except for defense, so people in my income group never have to pay a nickel to see a cow jump over the moon. There is no example of a successful country that looks like that.
Bell ring one: There is indeed an example of what the Tea Party wants to be found embodied in a country – at least temporarily. We live in it. Clinton and his ilk have done everything in their power to kill that model and finally those who happen to like it are fighting back. His reaction? To “stand up and say anything” even when “the facts are wrong”. Well, he’s wrong (don’t you love it when the left tries to redefine something – now what our founders wanted is supposedly what we have now. Really?).
Bell ring two: The Tea Party doesn’t preach anarchy. It talks about sanity in government – smaller government, less costly government, and less intrusive government. It talks about government living within its means. It talks about government on a budget. But none of them talk about “tax rates to zero” or abolishing all regulations and government programs except defense.
That’s a typical leftist fact free smear that sets up a strawman they can attack. And there Clinton is right in the middle of the political model he claims to dislike. Conflict abetted by mischaracterization designed to demonize. Fact free rants like this with the added bonus of condemnation of fact free rants.
Yes, Mr. Clinton, you haven’t changed a bit. And there’s even a bit more irony according to Think Progress (although they don’t seem to recognize it – I’ve always contended the left is irony impaired):
While blasting the Tea Party’s economic policies, Clinton also acknowledged that the media plays an increasingly dangerous role in fanning the flames of partisan rancor.
That’s just funny. Clinton fanned those flames with his mischaracterization of the US political model and the Tea Party knowing full well the smear would be reported by the media. But it is the media’s fault even if Clinton planned that every partisan word of his speech would be quoted by them.
You have got to love the guy in one way. He never lets his words get in the way of his actions, does he?
As mentioned in the previous posts, the Blue Dogs in Congress aren’t feeling the love from minority leader (don’t you love that title) Nancy Pelosi and the crew. And that may have a beneficial effect for the GOP.
Blue dogs didn’t feel the love of voters last November either, with about half of them going down to defeat after they supported the health care law. Message sent, message received. Sooo … they’re taking a look at the Republican budget and some are saying (surprise, surprise) it might be something they can support:
Blue Dog Democrats might support a plan from House Republicans to cut $32 billion in discretionary spending this year, a spokesman for the fiscally conservative bloc said Monday.
Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) said the Blue Dogs are waiting to see the details of the proposed GOP cuts before taking a position. The draft legislation from the House Appropriations Committee is due on Thursday.
Now, of course, the GOP doesn’t need a single Democrat in the House to pass the budget. Just as the Democrats didn’t need a single Republican to pass health care. But having a “bi-partisan” budget with significant enough Democratic support to call it that (and not snicker) would put more pressure on Democrats elsewhere.
But the comments from Ross and other Blue Dogs suggest at least some of the coalition’s members are willing to defect from their party and vote for the plan despite the vocal opposition of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Last week Pelosi rejected the GOP plan and said that $32 billion in proposed cuts “will come at the expense of economic growth and American jobs.”
“We must put our fiscal house in order, beginning with an aggressive attack on waste, fraud and abuse; but we must do so without jeopardizing targeted investments that are helping the private sector grow and hire new workers,” Pelosi said.
Got to love it — “waste, fraud and abuse”, the fall back of those who don’t intend to cut a dime while still talking about cutting spending. No one ever does anything about “waste, fraud and abuse” except talk about it. No one. And If Ms. Pelosi is so fired up about aggressively attacking it, why wasn’t that a priority when she was Speaker?
However the GOP doesn’t get off Scott free either – what happened to the $100 billion in cuts promised prior to the election? Why $32 billion (one of the questions I plan on asking Paul Ryan if I get the chance)?
Anyway, back to the point at hand – minority leader Pelosi is simply reaping a bit of what she’s sown:
The Blue Dog openness to the GOP comes amid strained relations with Pelosi. On Monday, Blue Dog leader Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.), who challenged Pelosi for the job of Democratic leader in the 112th Congress, said the coalition has been shut out by the leader’s office.
So, no surprise – the Blue Dogs aren’t liberal enough for the leadership (yes that’s today’s theme). In fact, they recently met with Bill Clinton to plot a bit of strategy:
The 26-member Blue Dog Coalition met Monday in New York with former President Clinton to discuss ways to move a centrist political agenda through a divided Congress. Clinton advised the group on ways to handle the situation and discussed budget, housing and energy policy, Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) said.
“One of the reasons we invited President Clinton was he had to work with Republicans after the ’94 election,” Ross said.
Now you know if that coalition is plotting a “move to a centrist political agenda”, it along with just about everyone else have decided that the “main stream” Democrats are way to the left of them. And they may find more leverage with the opposing party by being the designated “bi-partisan” validator with some “compromise” from the GOP to include some of their ideas.
And Nancy and the gang? Out in the cold gobbling on about “waste, fraud and abuse”. About the only real example of waste, fraud and abuse I’ve seen is the minority leader herself. A waste of time, a fraud as a representative of the people and an abuse of power all rolled up into one liberal politician. Can we do away with her? It will certainly save taxpayers money.
Thundering cow patties, what is going on in the White House?
Yesterday, President Obama turned a press conference over to former President Bill Clinton. He essentially, no he actually waived away his job’s duties in favor of attending a … Christmas party.
It’s not like he had to have the news conference when he did. He’s the President, he can call one anytime he likes. Instead he demonstrated what many have come to believe about him – he likes the perks of the job but isn’t too crazy about the job itself. It reminded me of the stories about his time as the editor of the Harvard Law Review. He never contributed a single article and, according managing editor, loved the prestige of the title, but wanted nothing to do with the day to day responsibilities it held.
The bizarre picture of Obama leaving the press room while Clinton takes the stage is more powerful than a 1,000 words on the subject by 50 different pundits. What was he thinking? What were his advisors thinking? It’s easy to say he’s been ill served by his advisors, but when Obama self-identifies as the “smartest person in the room”, you have to lay quite a bit of the blame squarely where it belongs – on him. Politically, what he did was absolutely stupid. I’m not sure what word better serves.
This again goes back to a constant and repetitive theme here (and now starting to grow elsewhere) – a true lack of leadership. I’ve known real leaders in my time, I’ve been a leader in more than one instance, and Barack Obama is no leader. He doesn’t seem to have yet even begun to grasp even the fundamentals of the concept of leadership. When there is a battle, leaders step forward (especially when it is a battle they’ve fomented), they lead from the front and they use every weapon at their disposal. Obama has “set a framework” (what, get into the nuts and bolts of actually helping draft the legislation? That’s work!), given a testy presser where he talked about hostages, bomb throwers and the "purists” on the “professional left” and then, with this latest news conference, delegated his presidency to Bill Clinton while he parties.
Tom Maguire says that one of the weirdest things about Obama walking out of his own press conference was:
…watching Obama implicitly declare that while Clinton and the press talked about stimulus and the recovery and unemployment relief, he had more important things to do, namely, get to a party with Michelle. Geez, why not announce he is getting back to the Oval Office to play Farmville?
Really. Or why not just be honest and say, “hey, this part of being president is not what I like to do”.
Maybe, just maybe, some adults in the Democratic party are finally admitting to themselves and each other that they made a hell of a mistake with this guy. And maybe they’ll begin what will be a painful but necessary process to find someone to run against this man in 2012. That, in my estimation (and barring an unforeseen event which might see the citizenry rally behind the presidency and the country), may be the only chance Democrats might have – and even then it might be a remote chance – of keeping the White House.
This White House gets curiouser and curiouser as the days go by. But it is becoming clearer, even to the “deep in denial” left, that this man just isn’t up to the job of being President of the United States.
“This election is about whether you want to reverse all the things that we’ve done,” Clinton said. “Because there’s always a time lag between when you do the right thing and you feel better. We’re in the gap here. This election is occurring in the gap."
Yeah, because given time we’ll absolutely be delighted with spending 3 trillion dollars we don’t have in 2 years with trillions more to come over the next 10 years. We’ll thrive on jacked up health insurance bills. And the anti-business atmosphere – a wonderful thing which is definitely settling the markets and getting businesses to commit their money toward recovery. “Lean forward” and you’ll just get more of the same.
The only “gap” evident to me is that between the ears of anyone who buys into Clinton’s nonsense. But hey, it’s Bubba – a man never much acquainted with the truth.
Any political junkie worth his salt has at some time or another looked around at the wreckage that was once a proud country and asked, “how in the world did we get here”?
Simple – we allowed a malignant political class to arise and we, for some reason, chose to allow them to handle our affairs of state without close monitoring that is the job of any responsible citizenry. The bottom line is we’ve been badly represented by that political class and we’re getting very close to “paying the piper” time.
So how did we get here? Well I’ve been of the opinion that the perks and power that today’s politics promise are so heady and attractive that they draw a particular type person to pursue such positions. Maybe not as much at local levels, but certainly at state and most definitely at a national level. And for the most part this personality type is not who we want in those positions.
At one time, holding office was seen as a public duty, a service and temporary in nature. A person served their time, did their duty – usually at a loss earnings-wise – and then went back to their former life.
Not anymore. Now we have the Bill Clinton-type personalities whose entire focus in life is to become a politician. It isn’t about duty or service anymore, it’s about a career and the trappings of power that go with it. Couple that with a belief that they know better than you what your priorities and responsibilities in life should be and how you should live it, and we end up where we are today.
When the priority changes from being about service to being about a career, the incentives change as well. Under the first scenario, a politician would consider it his or her duty to be a careful steward and do the people’s business with an understanding that his decisions will effect him and his family too. He’d also have an incentive, then, to face difficult problems and solve them quickly before they get out of hand. He’d also be less inclined to worry about the “political” effect of tough decisions since he had no designs on staying in the position of power any longer than necessary to fulfill his obligation to serve.
However, when the focus is on a career in politics, then the focus is decidedly not on the people’s business, but instead on that person’s business – their career. And maintaining that career and lifestyle and the power that comes with it becomes the first and dominant priority.
Those wishing to get elected and stay elected must be prepared to break every moral rule they have ever known if the ends justify it. Economist Frank Knight notes that those in authority, "would have to do these things whether they wanted to or not: and the probability of the people in power being individuals who would dislike the possession and exercise of power is on a level with the probability that an extremely tender-hearted person would get the job of whipping master in a slave plantation."
That paragraph describes, with exceptions, the dominant political class in charge of our country’s politics today. It also helps explain why they’re so out of touch with the rest of the country. Their focus is inward, their constituency is within the party and the beltway, not the populace and they attempt to keep power by throwing out just enough bones to keep the populist dogs at bay. They ensure reelection through devious device only open to incumbents known as “constituent services” which in reality means they offer the only remedy to a situation or law they helped create and propagate to those caught up in its consequences.
In other words, all our politics now are about serving special interests and using those special interests to maintain elected office or advance to higher ones. The issues themselves are somewhat incidental to the process of maintaining or advancing in office. If it is useful to that end, then we’ll see politicians blather on about fixing this or doing that.
For the most part, however, not much really gets done. Oh some money may be thrown at a ”problem” and some bureaucracy set up or a study done. But no solution is really ever forthcoming. Look at how long Medicare and Social Security have been identified as future fiscal black holes. Show me where anyone – anyone – has seriously addressed the real problems we face with them (and no, ObamaCare doesn’t address the Medicare problem, it instead exacerbates it) and taken steps to solve them? We’ve seen them talked about endlessly. We’ve seen accusations fly from one side to the other and back. But when all is said, nothing is done, and the can is once again kicked down the road while politicians point fingers at everyone but themselves.
Meanwhile, those in power stay in power and the only thing that changes is the amount of money you and your family owe due to their profligacy.
Is it any wonder the Tea Parties have arisen? My only question, looking back over the years, is why did it take so long?
Way back in April of this year, I noted that Bill Clinton had told the Democrats not to worry, that the American people would get over the passage of the health care legislation as soon as they saw how good it would be for them.
A good portion of them [Democrats] have deluded themselves into thinking Bill Clinton was right – that after they passed the legislation all the furor would subside and Americans would accept the new legislation – even embrace it. The term “Judas goat” comes to mind. And I think for those who bought into that nonsense, they realize they’ve certainly been led into the electoral slaughter pen. The Obama post law-signing sales tour has been anything but successful in changing the public’s perception of the law. And it certainly hasn’t cooled the anger about its passage.
Guess what – nothing’s changed. Well, except what Clinton is dining on these days … some crow:
Former president Bill Clinton, a champion of healthcare reform, admitted on Sunday that he made the wrong prediction about the popularity of President Obama’s healthcare bill.
Initially, Clinton had predicted that the polls in favor of Democrats would be boosted as soon as the legislation was signed into law. Instead, Clinton said on NBC’s "Meet the Press," his prediction was wrong for two reasons.
"First of all, the benefits of the bill are spread out of three or four years. It takes a long time to implement. And secondly, there has been an enormous and highly effective attack on it,” he said.
You be there has – and that attack has been based in the facts coming out about the new law. In fact, the anger had gotten hotter as more and more people find out they were lied to, duped and frankly, steamrolled into a new system that doesn’t do any of the things they promised.
My guess is Clinton didn’t mention that.
Oh, and I loved this:
The former president said he thought the current commander in chief got "disoriented" for a while, but "I think he is getting his groove back now."
Uh, you mean because he’s out “campaigning” again and attacking Republicans. Yup, that’s about the only “groove” the man owns. Let’s see how that works in November.
Somebody offered Sestak something. This is admitted.The offer was a clear quid pro quo; IF you do this, THEN we will give you this. This is admitted.
Sestak is a Congressman with senatorial aspirations.
Sestak refused the offer, choosing to continue his senate campaign.
Sestak made the covert offer public.
At points in time, the Obama DENIED the allegation.
At points in time, Sestak reaffirmed the allegation.
For months, the Obama stonewalled the story, paying a political price in the process.
Administration lawyers have reviewed the matter; nothing to see here, move on.
Yet, in certain circumstances, the Obama admit their actions could be highly ILLEGAL.
Bill Clinton, who could have come forward months ago to dispel the controversy, NOW is a player.
Sestak is now making statements that cannot be squared with his previous recorded remarks.
Eric Holder has been asked, and refused, to appoint a special prosecutor.
Now I don’t care who your are, that’s a pretty succinct summary.
And, after 10 days and an Obama/Bill Clinton luncheon the day before, the White House has finally issued a statement. You’re welcome to read it, but it essentially says “we clear ourselves, others have done this too, and besides, it wasn’t much of a position”.
But wasn’t it? I mean it is clear that we now have a convergence of minds as far as they’re concerned and the storyline is set. And, if everyone sticks to that version, not much will come out of all of this but a lot of accusations and the like. Unless, of course, the persons involved can be put in front of a grand jury. That, of course, is unlikely with a Holder as AG and the one who must appoint a special prosecutor – something he’s refused to do.
Moving on, the reason so many are having doubts about the story concocted by the trio (Obama/Clinton/Sestack)are many.
One has to do with the fact that Sestack has repeatedly spoken about a “job”. The unpaid appointment to a presidential commission isn’t a job (unless you’re giving up your real job – Congressional representative – and it’s pay to take this unpaid part-time position.
Two – an unpaid part time position would hardly be something any person would consider to be enough to get Sestak to withdraw from the Senate race. They’re a dime a dozen in DC and while they have some prestige, they don’t have the prestige of Representative or Senator.
Then there’s this interesting conversation recorded months earlier between Larry Kane and Joe Sestak:
KANE: “Were you ever offered a federal job to get out of this race?”SESTAK: “Yes.”
KANE: “Was it secretary of the Navy?”
SESTAK: “No comment”
Later Kane asks again, “Was there a job offered to you by the White House?” to which Sestak nods and replies “yes, someone offered it.”
Kane asks “It was big right?” Sestak replies, “Let me ‘no comment’ on it.”
“Was it high-ranking?” Kane asked. Sestak said yes.
Kane immediately called the White House for confirmation and they, later, denied it completely.
So again, it was a “big” job and it was “high-ranking”. To most observers, that wouldn’t be an unpaid gig on an “executive” committee.
That brings us to the question, who is not telling the truth here?
Sestak says it was a job, the obvious intent of the offer was to get him to withdraw from the Senate race and he refused it.
The White House initially denied it and then finally said, “oh, yeah, t’weren’t nothin’ folks, and Bill Clinton made the offer anyway” like that removes them from the fray.
So, you’re left to ask – was Sestak embellishing this to make is sound like more than it was? Or was he telling the truth and is now backing off a bit to make it sound much less than it was? Don’t forget, if it is an offer for something like SecNav, that’s against the law and he gets the Obama administration in some deep legal kimchi. This is the best course, career-wise, for him – but is it the truth?
This is also the best course for the administration. And having a cut-out (Bill Clinton – what does he have to lose?) as the fall guy if there is even the slightest problem, puts them in the “plausible deniability” range. “Well we ask him to find out how serious Sestak was about the Senate run, we didn’t tell him to offer him anything”. And of course, Clinton could then yuk it up and say “well heck, I was just trying to gauge the depth of his commitment – I knew he’s say no”. All verbal, and now, all three agreeing.
All too sweet, all too nicely wrapped up and all to long to come out with an answer if this is really the answer. It’s not – but the chances of us ever finding out what the real answer might be, at least anytime soon, isn’t very likely.
Bill Clinton visited Senatorial Democrats yesterday and told them to “just do it” when it comes to passing the health care bill.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Clinton told the caucus that when the bill is passed, the American public will begin to realize that “none of the bad things that people are talking about will come to pass.”
Well, except their taxes are going up immediately with no benefit (until 2013) and possibly killing any recovery – not to mention the debt increasing. And then there’s that little thing about the majority of Americans not wanting anything to do with the monstrosity the Democrats have concocted and preferring they kill this bill and start over with clearer and much more limited goals. Not to mention the polls which show a majority of the country agreeing it’s headed in the wrong direction, mostly because of the radical increase in the size and scope of government. Or how about joblessness and economic recovery ignored for more government intrusion and spending?
But hey, Dems, blow all that off, listen to Bill and suck it up. He wouldn’t lie to you, would he?
Meanwhile Gallup, apparently not privy to the Clinton promise, found:
Republicans have moved ahead of Democrats by 48% to 44% among registered voters in the latest update on Gallup’s generic congressional ballot for the 2010 House elections, after trailing by six points in July and two points last month.
Phaa – no biggie, Bill has it all figured out:
But, he pointed out that while Republicans have already been emboldened by divisions within the Democratic Party over reform, passing a bill can turn the tide.
“And the opposition has already been generated,” he said, “but if the support gets disenchanted, then the turnout goes down and surveys don’t mean anything.”
Except, perhaps, the “survey” taken on the first Tuesday in November of 2010 – less than a year away. But let’s not dwell on negatives!
So “don’t worry, be happy”, Dems. Do the Clinton thing and take one for the party. I mean it’s not like Bill Clinton has ever given bad advice or been at the helm during an electoral disaster, is it?
UPDATE: An apparently inspired Harry Reid has put the Senate health care bill on the Senate calendar. That alone ought to tell you how bad an idea this is for Democrats.