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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 7,290

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Trite but true: to the victor belongs the spoils -- and so it begins

I just posted this thought on another thread but want to give it more exposure.

For forever in time, we have heard that saying "to the victor belongs the spoils." Not 24 hours after the election, a Republican interviewed last night on cable suggested compromises Democrats and Republicans could make in the spirit of bipartisanship. The first suggestion from his lips was the passage of the Keystone Pipeline and passage of the proposed trade agreements now under consideration.

Approval of the Keystone Pipeline would result in a 100 million dollar profit for the Koch Brothers. They spent millions of dollars (perhaps I should say invested) in this mid-term election. Ads in Maryland alone ran virtually nonstop by the Republicans reviewing all the tax increases enacted by O'Malley/Brown. Most of them were Mickey Mouse charges, but included in the ads were a host of other ridulous taxes that I personally never witnessed enacted; for instance, a tax on diapers of all things.

But it does appear that should the Koch Brothers get the rewards they have been seeking in return for their "investments" in some of the politicians we saw making acceptance speeches, the brunt bruising for some of our most prized tools, for instance, the EPA, Social Security, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and other salient programs will be readily apparent as talks of privatzation, reform, or cancellation commence. Remember, Ben Bernanke said in a Senate hearing aired on cable "Social Security can be repealed."

To the victors belong the spoils -- well, only if we allow that to happen. I am one who today is grieving over the loss of the Maryland Governship, as well as a number of other races, but tomorrow I plan to start to brainstorm over what we can do to protect what we have that we prize as social redemption for the benefit of the poor, the elderly, the disabled, those living in poverty, those who still are in jeopardy for having no health care, protection of the environment, crucial restrictions on the firearm goals Republicans seek to implement for the National Rifle Association (whose members the majority of which I have been told support common-sense controls such as background checks), and of critical importance, the right of every registered citizen to cast and have counted a vote in his or her elections.

I ask you to join me in brainstorming what we can do to start to implement a recovery from these losses. After all, when someone throws a rock at you and puts out your eye, you need to start looking around for boulders to fire back. (That is a metaphor, not a threat.) Our boulders can be found by cooperating with one another to develop coherent strategies we can develop to start to take our government back in 2016.


We should just refer to this Country as the United States of the Koch Brothers from this day forward

From College Park, Maryland, I sit here devastated.

Hogan is a tea-party type Republican. He opposes handgun background checks, thinks everyone who wants to own an assault rifle should be able to have one. Crime is already up in this state and that is just what we need -- people walking around with assault rifles.

Do you want to know what happened? Non-stop ads running the last couple of weeks -- probably financed by the Koch Brothers -- touting all the tax increases during this administration. I could not believe it. And Brown did not answer them.

We should just rename the Country the United States of the Koch Brothers because they along with the other billionaires own the Country now. We are just the minions who are led to believe by the press and our corrupt politicians that we actually have honest elections here. It is inconceivable to me that there were so many virtual ties in tonight's elections and the Republicans had all the successes they did.

And I think I am done with MSNBC and its tilted reporting. I had to turn the television off. Keith Olbermann sure called it correctly when he started looking for another job so he could leave that network. He privately said with Comcast's partnering up with NBC, he (Olbermann) would be muzzled. I could not believe some of the comments, really stupid remarks, made by the panel this evening. One of the standout offenses was made by Andrea Mitchell who said in effect this loss would ruin O'Malley's chance to run for President in 2016.

The only honest broker was Ed, who was reporting in Florida. Clearly, he was disturbed by what he was seeing.

This is a nightmare, and I cannot believe people are blaming Obama.


Georgia on My Mind....

During the 2000 election controversy, I found myself doing a tremendous amount of research on Florida's constitution. It occurred to me that a search of the constitution in Georgia might hold interesting information with regard to the 40,000 (some say 50,000) registrations which are "missing." Remember, when the Secretary of State was asked to take responsibility for straightening this problem out, he uttered words to the effect that it was not his job to do so.



Paragraph I. Procedures to be provided by law. The General Assembly shall provide by law for a method of appeal from the decision to allow or refuse to allow any person to register or vote and shall provide by law for a procedure whereby returns of all elections by the people shall be made to the Secretary of State.


But it gets better!

Paragraph II. Right to register and vote. Every person who is a citizen of the United States and a resident of Georgia as defined by law, who is at least 18 years of age and not disenfranchised by this article, and who meets minimum residency requirements as provided by law shall be entitled to vote at any election by the people. The General Assembly shall provide by law for the registration of electors.

and still better!

The state constitution has a recall provision!

Paragraph IV. Recall of public officials holding elective office. The General Assembly is hereby authorized to provide by general law for the recall of public officials who hold elective office. The procedures, grounds, and all other matters relative to such recall shall be provided for in such law.

Perhaps the disenfranchised voters in George should form a class action lawsuit and sue the Secretary of State. If they are successful in convincing the courts he violated the state constitution, not to mention the U.S. Constitution, if he is convicted, he is ripe for recall.

The problem is some have suggested the 40,000 can be given provisional ballots. However, we know that in many states provisional ballots are only counted if the election is very close. The Democrats need for all eligible votes to be counted on election day -- not provisionally.

If you are so inclined, you can read the entire section at the link above, but what do you think these quoted paragraphs suggest?


"Third Way" and "New Dem" are indicative of the former DLC crowd

As many know, Bill Clinton was the first candidate sponsored by the DLC to reach the Oval Office. During his term in office, he personally tried to come up with a new term to describe his politics. "Third Way" and "New Dem" both were labels he considered. I read this in one of his bios written a few years ago.

The DLC fell out of favor with many true Dems and eventually had to fold. It has risen from the ashes, and many of the former members use one of these two labels to describe their political approach. We here at DU commonly refer to these particular types of politicians as conservative Democrats. Less generous critics might call them Trojan Horses.

Bill Clinton is of course a gifted politician. During his terms in office, however, he made many compromises with the Republicans in order to pass legislation such as cuts to welfare. While I do appreciate his political gifts to the Democratic party, I do not personally support New Dems or the Third Way. I am a liberal and want to see the party represent the citizens of this Country -- not the corporations and Wall Street.

I arrived here in DU in 2001 hotly complaining about the DLC and its failure to support Al Gore during the 2000 election controversy. In 2004 while rumors were surfacing Gore might seek the Presidency again, that particular group publicly voiced its opposition to another Gore run. An article appeared in The Washington Post along with a sentence with words to the effect that while they (the DLC) did not actually choose the Democratic candidate, it had a lot of influence on who the Party chose, and it would not support a Gore candidacy. Talk about hubris ....

I took a lot of heat for my posts wailing on the DLC in 2001, but eventually those here at DU at that time came to detest the DLC as much as I.


I would not call it a controversy -- I would label it a media con

It just one more made-up misrepresentation by the msm to misinform. We need to start calling them out more for these type maneuvers.

Everyone has the right to privacy when it comes to the question of how he or she voted. Running for public office does not obliterate that right. Grimes properly cited the sanctity of the right to privacy in the voting booth. In her role as Kentucky's Secretary of State (the person actually in charge of State elections), she would have been slammed by the press as a political novice had she actually answered the question saying she had voted for President Obama. The reporter who asked that question set a trap for Grimes; Grimes deftly refused to step in it.... Additionally, President Obama is very unpopular in Kentucky, and if Grimes had said she voted for him, that would have been the equivalent of shooting herself in the rear.

The REAL issue that should have been highlighted is the fact that while Kentucky Connect has been a huge success story in that state, most of its citizens do not realize it is a plank of the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare but JUST NOT DOWN THERE, which they believe should be canceled. Mitch McConnell danced around that issue by saying he thinks the Act should be canceled but the website can remain! Why didn't Chuck Todd focus on THAT?

And Chuck Todd's and Chris Matthews' adverse reporting on Grimes' response (and their pretended outrage) reminded me of MSNBC's biased remarks against Gore in 2000.


She did not fumble the question

She literally, as do all other voters, has the right to protect the privacy of how she chose to cast her ballot. The fact that she is running for office does not deprive her of that right. That was a trap question the interviewer chose to pose, and the candidate chose not to step in it. Had she done otherwise, we would be hearing outcries as to her failure to properly handle that question. She appropriately mentioned her Constitutional right to protect the sanctity of how she chose to vote, or perhaps even not to vote -- neither of which choices is any of our business.

Chuck Todd, NBC's touted "political expert", evidently never studied basic civics. His "outrage" is both obviously faked and misplaced, and he did nothing but demonstrate he is a rank amateur in his field -- and a partisan hack to boot.


This is a wonderful, timely piece

As a youngster who migrated to the East from Tennessee, I remember exactly where I was standing when I first heard him speak. I was mesmerized. One would think young people from the South would know exactly the contempt people of color there were held in by many Caucasians. I did not, but I was only 8 when my family relocated to the Nation's capital.

I had never heard this subject, discrimination against people of color, publicly discussed, and his words had a dramatic impact on me. I know many people are aware of what he did for our African-American community in helping to fight the obstacles prejudice presents, but I have wondered if he personally ever knew what he did for people like me in influencing us to join the fight. He educated me.

I remember his passionately saying in one of his speeches, "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord," and I knew he knew his haters would kill him. The only question was when would be his last day, his last moment. When would he be silenced? And so with that in mind, he made every second count. His persistence during his final days at continuing to speak out knowing doing so put his own life at risk is a heroism most of us cannot even comprehend.

And the truly ironic thing is those who killed him did not know rather than silencing the man, murdering him immortalized his words.

There are few people I admire as much as I do Dr. King, and I think your thread holds a timely message for us all.


What might have prompted Dick Cheney to appear in DC to speak out about current events?

Could the answer to this question possibly be found with once again one needing to follow the money?

Ten contractors were the recipients of 52 percent of the funds received to fight the original war in Iraq -- according to the article at the following link. Would you like to take a guess as to which one was the number one top recipient?


Houston-based energy-focused engineering and construction firm KBR, Inc. (NYSE:KBR), which was spun off from its parent, oilfield services provider Halliburton Co. (NYSE:HAL), in 2007.

The company was given $39.5 billion in Iraq-related contracts over the past decade, with many of the deals given without any bidding from competing firms, such as a $568-million contract renewal in 2010 to provide housing, meals, water and bathroom services to soldiers, a deal that led to a Justice Department lawsuit over alleged kickbacks, as reported by Bloomberg.

And when questioned about this sticky subject during that war's inception, Cheney casually said he was not on Halliburton's payroll during his Vice Presidential tenancy:

Cheney said Sunday on NBC that since becoming vice president, "I've severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interest. I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven't had, now, for over three years."

But, oops....

The report (by the Congressional Research Service) says a public official's unexercised stock options and deferred salary fall within the definition of "retained ties" to his former company.

Both of the above two blockquotes can be found at this CBS news site: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cheneys-halliburton-ties-remain/

So off the top of your head, what do you think motivated Cheney to re-emerge in DC this week to rip President Obama's war policy? Just wondering....


The Farmer in the Well (of Congress)

On the subject of the Farm Bill, it appears 15 Members of Congress voted for their own self-benefit while gutting 47 million of us. The word "service" to them must denote "self-serve" as opposed to serving one's constituents.

From an article dated September 2013, we learned that it was Republican Frank Lucas who introduced legislation cutting SNAP:

"House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) who introduced legislation on September 16 setting forth the House Republican leadership’s proposal to cut SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program) by at least $39 billion over ten years. This is almost double the cut in the House Agriculture Committee farm bill and about ten times the SNAP cut in the Senate-passed farm bill. The proposal is expected to go to the House floor this week."

The CBO estimated that these cuts would be deleterious to the most destitute among us:

"1.7 million unemployed, childless adults in 2014 who live in areas of high unemployment — a group that has average income of only 22 percent of the poverty line ....

"2.1 million people in 2014, mostly low-income working families and low-income seniors, who have gross incomes or assets modestly above the federal SNAP limits but disposable income — the income that a family actually has available to spend on food and other needs — below the poverty line in most cases often because of high rent or child care costs....

"Other poor, unemployed parents who want to work but cannot find a job or an opening in a training program — along with their children, other than infants."

All quoted material above can be found at this Center on Budget and Policies Priorities link:


With the passage of this Farm Bill containing 8.6 billion in cuts in food stamps, 15 fortunate members of Congress potentially benefit from the subsidies to be awarded, most of whom will receive thousands of dollars. It is not surprising that each of them voted in favor of cutting the SNAP program. Personally, I would think it would be professionally embarrassing for this information to be made public knowledge, but the term "embarrassed politician" seems to be an oxymoron. Nevertheless, here is the list:


And what name leaps from the page? Why, it is none other than the wife of Frank Lucas! Perhaps you might want to check out the list to see if your representative is listed.

This is the type of information we should use in campaigning against these self-serving politicians. The question we should be asking voters is if your best interests are not being served by your representatives, is it because they serve to benefit themselves? We must do better than this.


Leave No Fingerprints

Alison Lundergan Grimes scored a major political coup today. Running against Mitch McConnell, who has accused her of endorsing Obama's "war on coal", Grimes has now been endorsed by the United Mine Workers of America. I cannot quit laughing.

Thinking back to the day when we were excited to think Ashley Judd might run against Mitch, and remembering the disappointment many of us felt when we learned she had been talked into bowing out by persons within the Bill Clinton camp, this was exactly the correct move for Ashley Judd to make. On another day, in another race, in another place, she, Judd, might step out again. If she does, she will receive a political reward for her cooperation in this race.

Because this race is just too important for Dems to lose. With the difference of perhaps winning one of six strategic Senatorial seats by the Democrats, our ability to retain control of the Senate would hold by a mere slender thread.

While no fingerprints are visible as to the who or how this endorsement of the United Mine Workers of America of Alison Lundergan Grimes was obtained, it is the type of hallmark political maneuver a politician we have come to know as The Natural would quietly arrange.

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