Wednesday, 25 March 2009
ANOTHER EPISODE OF "GUESS THAT PARTY"!
From the Associated Press:
POSTED: Monday, Mar. 23, 2009
SEATTLE An FBI probe of a major lobbyist may
extend to campaign donations to at least two lawmakers from Washington
The Seattle Times reports that PMA Group was a big
donor to the political campaigns of Representative Norm Dicks and Senator Patty
Murray. Each reportedly received thousands of dollars from a wine steward, or
sommelier, and a golf club employee who were identified as PMA officials on
campaign finance reports.
Murray says she has donated $3,500 of her
PMA-related contributions to Food Lifeline. Dicks aides say he'll decide what to
do with the money he received wait after the FBI deetermines whether there was
any criminal wrongdoing.
PMA was founded by a former aide to Representative
John Murtha. The lobbying firm's office was raided by the FBI in
Ok. The article names a U.S. Senator, a house member and a lobbying
firm founded by a former aide to a house member. But it doesn't say what
party any of these people belong to.
Now it's your turn to....Guess That Party!
So, what did you guess? Is there any doubt in your mind about
which party it is?
In case you have any doubts, Patty Murray, Norm Dicks and John Murtha are
Democrats. By contrast, does the AP (or countless other media venues)
hesitate one second to name the political party when it's a Republican.
But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them
ED SCHULTZ: A MISTAKE FOR MSNBC?
Ed Schultz is a conservative Republican who suddenly became a liberal
Democrat when there was some serious coin in it for him. Although his
ratings are tiny compared to Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity,
Schultz currently is the most successful liberal talk show host
in the country.
And since MSNBC is all liberal-left all the time, the network is considering
adding Schultz to its lineup.
Brian Maloney of www.radioequalizer.blogspot.com
thinks MSNBC would be making a big mistake to do so, because of Schultz's
sometimes uncontrollable temper, and his argument is pretty
Here it is. See if you agree.
MONSTER IN THE
Will Schultz's Ego, Temper Sink Cable
As NBC's corporate
suits ponder whether to add
liberal talk show host Ed Schultz to their
weeknight lineup, how much do they really know about his track
In anticipation of his hiring,
the usual mainstream media subjects are busy cooking up Maddow-style fawning press coverage. Will this come back to haunt them,
Already, industry blog TVNewser is calling him "MSNBC's next potential star".
Forget digging into his personal background, however, it isn't
necessary to go any further than what has gone out over the airwaves, in
addition to some other questionable public antics. From his hot temper to
rapidly-expanding ego and sometimes muddled stances on key issues, network execs
may be getting more than they've bargained for in Schultz.
21 2008, for example, here's Ed Schultz mistreating a fellow liberal who dared to politely
challenge Big Eddie's position. Note how
the caller remains calm and reasonable while an unhinged Schultz channels the
ghost of Sam Kinison in Back To School.
This meltdown occurred just a few days after
Schultz walked off the set in
the middle of a Fox News Channel interview:
CALLER RODNEY (Hour Three,
44:40): I'm going to have to call you out on what your response was to
Congressman (Robin) Hayes (R-NC), who I do not know. I live in western North
Carolina close to Asheville, I hope to see you next Wednesday night. But we
cannot accomplish getting Barack Obama elected in this coming election by
stooping to the level of some of the other talk show hosts. And when you came
back with your comment concerning Representative Hayes a while ago and making
fun of his accent, talking about that you think they want to start a civil
war, I think you're taking a chance of alienating a lot of folks that are
still on the fence down here in North Carolina and Obama needs North Carolina.
We can't stoop to their level.
ED SCHULTZ (45:28) (with exaggerated Southern accent):
Well, first of all, Rodney, you have your opinion and I have mine. The
conservative movement in this country, in my opinion, completely out of
material and now in the arena of being vile. For a United States congressman
to claim that there actually is a political movement in this country known as
liberals that *hate* real Americans, now Rodney, if you want to let that go,
CALLER (crosstalk): No, I don't want to let
it go, Ed, I did not say that at all. I am a liberal, I am a supporter, but
there are a lot of people that are going to respond to your ...
SCHULTZ (interrupting): Well let 'em freakin'
respond to it! Rodney, Rodney, let them respond to it! Let 'em respond to it!
Come to the freakin' town hall meeting and respond to it! I'm not
CALLER: I'm not, well, I
God! I mean, it amazes me, it absolutely amazes me how many experts
there are out there in talk radio! You can't say this because this might
happen. You can't say that because that might happen. You can't do any of that
because that might happen. You know what something, Rodney? You don't know
your ass from third base!
CALLER: Wait a minute
now, Ed ...
SCHULTZ: No, no, no, wait
a minute, you don't! How do you, what do you know what to talk
CALLER: What do I know
what to talk about ...?
SCHULTZ: What do you, how
do you know what to talk about?! How do you know what strikes the passion of
the people? Have you traveled the country? Have you talked to people in market
after market? Have you looked in their eyes and seen the frustration with the
conservative movement in this country?
CALLER: OK, but when you
start doing things that take away from ....
SCHULTZ: That's your
CALLER: Well, and
evidently you have a very strong one, but I'm concerned about your
Well, you shouldn't be concerned about it, Rodney! Why don't you just get off
your ass and start working!
... in North Carolina for the first time in a presidential race, it could be a
very important part of this campaign, and the success of this campaign. That's
my concern. It's not defending Robin Hayes. It's despicable what he said, I'm
embarrassed by it.
SCHULTZ: Well, why didn't
you start out with that? But instead it's an attack on me (cross talk) I mean,
you started this, Rodney, I can't deal with you, you don't want a
conversation. You don't want a conversation.
to mild criticism of his on-air style, another way to set off our
hotheaded friend is to mention the success of Rush Limbaugh's program as opposed
to the continuing struggles of Schultz and other libtalkers to attract ratings
and revenue. From February, here's one example that includes
Far worse, in 2007,
Schultz actually got into a physical conflict in a
Minnesota bar when a patron mistakenly
believed Big Eddie was still a conservative Republican. Schultz's sudden
conversion, which coincided with the advent of syndicated liberal talk radio,
has long been the source of suspicion on both the left and right. It happened so
fast that many listeners were caught by surprise.
Ed has attempted to
bolster his left-wing credentials through extreme rhetoric, such as calling Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives
During another 2007 incident,
Schultz made racially insensitive remarks regarding Barry
Bonds and other ballplayers, including
Babe Ruth. Only liberal talk radio's obscurity saved him from a Don Imus-like
"nappy-headed hos" fate.
In April of last year, Schultz embarrassed Barack Obama on the campaign trail by
calling John McCain a "warmonger". To
prevent damage to his campaign, Obama quickly repudiated Schultz's
Ultimately, however, Schultz's anti-Hillary screeds were noted by the Obama campaign, which rewarded the talker with a front-row seat at one of
Barack's press conferences. Rather than
boosting Big Eddie's public standing, however, it led to public criticism and a
defensive tone from the man himself. Worse, it seemed to boost his already
pumped-up ego to unbearable levels.
While NBC's executives are obviously free to
hire whomever they choose, we thought they might like to first consider the
baggage that comes with a potential Ed Schultz television show. Is he worth
Yikes. This guy is a ticking time bomb.
On the other hand, a network that is comfortable with keith olbermann's
nightly hate-fest and rachel maddow's nightly smirk-fest will probably take the
plunge. Get ready for Schultz
THE OBAMA DEFICIT LIE
As John Hinderaker of www.powerlineblog.com shows us, Barack
Obama lied to our faces with his claims about the deficit.
Here is the proof:
Obama said, in his introductory
At the end of the day, the best way to bring our
deficit down in the long run is not with a budget that continues the very same
policies that have led us to a narrow prosperity and massive debt. It's with a
budget that leads to broad economic growth by moving from an era of borrow and
spend to one where we save and invest.
This is entirely disingenuous. Obama's budget
plan multiplies the
federal deficit far beyond what it has ever been, in any prior administration.
So how is he "moving from an era of borrow and spend"? It's a lie, pure and
simple, as this chart shows (note that it begins before the Bush administration
and reflects Obama's budget projections
that go beyond his maximum possible
When a politician is capable of this sort of
bald-faced lie, an alarm bell has to go off every time he opens his mouth. Obama
likewise delivered this highly misleading assessment of AIG:
Now, understand that AIG is not a bank. It's an
insurance company. If it were a bank and it had effectively collapsed, then
the FDIC could step in, as it does with a whole host of banks, as it did with
IndyMac, and in a structured way renegotiate contracts, get rid of bad assets,
strengthen capital requirements, resell it on the private
So we've got a regular mechanism whereby we deal
with FDIC- insured banks. We don't have that same capacity with an institution
like AIG. And that's part of the reason why it has proved so
I think a lot of people understandably say,
"Well, if we're putting all this money in there, and if it's such a big
systemic risk to allow AIG to liquidate, why is it that we can't restructure
some of these contracts? Why can't we do some of the things that need to be
done in a more orderly way?"
And the reason is, is because we have not
obtained this authority.
But there is, in fact, a widely used mechanism to
deal with non-bank financial institutions like insurance companies that may
become insolvent. It's called bankruptcy. In bankruptcy, contracts are
renegotiated, bad assets are gotten rid of and good assets are sold into the
private sector. That system exists, and would have worked perfectly well for AIG
if it were not for the federal government's desire to funnel payments to AIG's
counterparties--most notably, European banks--without taking responsibility for
doing so. Under Obama's proposal, every time an insurance company becomes
insolvent it will be another opportunity to expand federal power.
THE AIG DISGRACE, ACCORDING TO HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR.
Here is a truly excellent analysis of what Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. (what a
name!!) characterizes as "The Real AIG Disgrace". Mr. Jenkins lays out the
facts bluntly and unsparingly.
Read it and see the truth, in a way most mainstream media will never present
it to you:
The Real AIG Disgrace
By HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR.
The stock market was intoxicated with the Obama
administration's toxic asset plan. Whatever its contempt for the upper middle
class that acquires wealth through salaried work and bonuses, Team Obama still
has eyes for the hedge fund class, which will be ladled out taxpayer dollars to
make one-way bets on problematic bank assets.
Yet the AIG bonus episode, the administration's
one true disgrace so far, will not soon be forgotten.
Tim Geithner is rightly on the hot seat for saying
he didn't know about the bonuses until just weeks ago -- because he should have
quelled this furor before it ever got started. Instead he played dumb and
climbed aboard the outrage bandwagon -- and let Mr. Obama do the
There is not a shred of justice in the hysteria
that followed. As AIG chief Ed Liddy explained on the Hill last week, the people
receiving retention bonuses were not the same people who launched AIG's unhedged
housing bets that brought the company down. Those people were gone. Their pay is
already being clawed back.
Those who remained had been asked a year ago to
stay and work themselves out of a job. In accepting the terms offered to them,
they committed no offense (say, failing to pay taxes). Their only crime was
possessing marketable knowledge -- all the more marketable because of the
opportunity for hedge funds and other counterparties to profit from AIG's
distress. Had the company submitted to Chapter 11 rather than a government
takeover, a bankruptcy judge might well have authorized identical incentives to
minimize losses and maximize recovery for legitimate stakeholders.
The Washington Post, which has consistently
distinguished itself with its reporting about the real antecedents of this
"scandal," yesterday followed up by detailing "months of assurances to Financial
Products employees that the insurance giant would honor those contracts,
according to numerous internal AIG e-mails and memos . . . ."
Whether Mr. Geithner knew the specifics is
unimportant. The retention plan was known to his staff. The details had been
disclosed over and over in public filings. As far back as October, New York
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo had summoned the Treasury-appointed Mr. Liddy to
hammer out a deal on AIG's pay practices. Said Mr. Cuomo in a statement
afterward: "These actions are not intended to jeopardize the hard-earned
compensation of the vast majority of AIG's employees, including retention and
severance arrangements, who are essential to rebuilding AIG and the economy of
The voluble Rep. Elijah Cummings had been railing
about AIG retention bonuses almost continually, on air, in the print media, and
in publicly released letters to Mr. Liddy, since Dec. 1.
On March 3, Mr. Geithner himself was quizzed
during a congressional hearing in detail about the AIGFP retention plan by
Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley -- a week before Mr. Geithner now says he heard of
It may be that the full picture was kicked up to
him only when a political decision was needed, but by then his one decent choice
was to insist on the bonuses' legality. However politically inopportune the
bonuses may be, the president only dirtied himself by authorizing a feel-good,
bipartisan hate storm aimed at innocent AIG employees. And it's hard to believe
Mr. Obama would have done so, or the subsequent spectacle would have unfolded as
it did, without Mr. Geithner's seminal prevarications (and we say this fully
acknowledging that he's had a rough ride in an inhumanly difficult
Barney Frank, who doesn't have the excuse of being
stupid, was last seen bullying Mr. Liddy to do what on any other day Mr. Frank
would flay Mr. Liddy for doing -- violating the privacy rights of his employees.
Charles Grassley? His early bloviating about the duty of AIG executives to kill
themselves almost begins to look like a grace note, since it alerted the public
to the hyperbolic playacting about to come.
Paul Kanjorski, before running off to host a
hearing, proclaimed on CNBC that AIG's Mr. Liddy would be responsible if
Congress now failed to summon the political courage to take necessary steps to
address the financial crisis.
Pause to let it sink in. Mr. Liddy, who is doing
his job with grit and personal sacrifice, is blamed in advance if Congress
proves too cowardly to do its own job.
But the biggest lesson here is the old one that
the price of freedom is eternal vigilance -- beginning with insistence on the
rule of law. Americans clearly cannot trust their elected officials to defend
their rights and interests, or care whether justice is served, when the
slightest political risk might attach to doing so.
Which brings us back to Mr. Cuomo, whose office
has been implicitly threatening to publish names of AIG employees who don't
relinquish pay they were contractually entitled to.
Mr. Cuomo is a thug, but at least he reminds us:
It can happen here
THE OBAMA PRESS CONFERENCE
A few quick notes on the Obama press conference:
-He read his opening statement from a large teleprompter placed in the middle
of the room. He read the names of people he called on from a list in his
hand. His answers to a number of questions were clearly rehearsed.
Can this man do anything spontaneously -- other than insulting Special Olympics
-As usual, his answers were too long and too professorial. No one
expects Mr. Obama to compete with Gallagher or Chris Rock as an entertainer, but
there is something between that and being ennui on legs.
-Mr. Obama gets points for taking questions from a wide range of news sources,
both liberal and conservative. He also risked incurring disfavor from the New
York Times and Washington Post, both of which were shut out of the
-Mr. Obama demonstrated his short fuse several times - most notably when Ed Henry of CNN
asked why it took him so long to become outraged over the AIG bonuses. His answer,
"It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking
about before I speak", was unpleasant and uncalled for. It was also
a pile of baloney. How many days did he need
to be outraged? How many days did you need? How many
minutes did you need?
Lucky Mr. Henry didn't follow up by asking why, if he felt that way,
he didn't veto the stimulus bill that exempted those bonuses, thus allowing them
to be paid. He might have lost a couple of teeth.
-Mr. Obama lied to us about the economy. Claiming
you'll halve a deficit that you are raising in the first place
is another pile of baloney. Suppose someone owed you $100, and said "I can't pay you
the $100. But if you give me $900 more, I'll have $1,000 of your money. Then I can
pay back $500 and halve the debt". Would you fork over the $900?
-Mr. Obama also displayed alarming ignorance of how taxes work.
When he complained that it wasn't fair for a rich guy to get a 39% tax
deduction for charitable contributions because a bus driver gets less, he somehow
overlooked the fact that the only reason the rich guy gets a 39% tax deduction is that
he pays 39% in taxes.
I would have loved it if someone followed up by asking him whether he would consider
resolving the disparity by taxing the rich guy at the same level as the bus
driver. Not surprisingly, no one did.
Additionally, the premise that increasing taxation
on charitable deductions won't adversely affect the donations charities receive is, at
best, naive and, at worst, lying to our faces. How much contempt for
our intelligence must Mr. Obama have to say this with a straight face and
believe we will buy into it? Plenty.
All in all, a poised, workmanlike, boring, unpersuasive, often
PATRICK OLIPHANT'S POSITION ON ISRAEL
patrick oliphant is an editorial cartoonist currently employed by several
media venues, including the Washington Post.
This is his position on Israel's action against Gaza. .
Do you agree with this?
Gaza, is run by hamas, a terrorist organization committed in writing to destroying
Israel and killing its Jews, which fired thousands of rounds of artillery
into Israel before it retaliated. Do you liken it to a little
helpless woman with a child?
Do you think Israel is some kind of mindless monster for, at long
last, doing something about the attacks?
Well, as you can see, that is patrick oliphant's position.
On behalf of anti-Semitic colostomy bags everywhere, I would like to
thank Mr. oliphant. His work will no doubt grace their publications for
years to come.
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S FIRST NEGATIVE POLL
It isn't by much, and the pollster, a Democrat, tries to put a smiley face on
it as best he can, but there it is.
From John Zogby:
President Barack Obama's approval rating continues to slide, but the drop
since Election Day isn't dramatic, said pollster John Zogby.
A Zogby International poll out Tuesday shows that
49 percent of Americans rate the president's job performance as excellent or
good and 50 percent judge his job performance as fair or poor. Obama won 53
percent of the vote in November.
"It's pretty remarkable that anybody's at
50-50 with how bad things are right now," Zogby said in an interview.
To John, whom I met and discussed politics with at the ARF
(Advertising Research Foundation) convention last year, I would like to say
Mr Obama's performance in the polls isn't remarkable at all, given that he has
relentlessly blamed the economy on former President Bush -- as opposed to,
say, the Democrats who were instrumental in forcing lending practices that
took down Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac.
What's remarkable is that his ongoing series of mistakes, large and small,
accompanied by his insane spending of trillions of dollars we do not have,
hasn't resulted in even lower poll numbers.
Expect them. Soon.
PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY R.I.P.
This just came to me from my increasingly bizarre west coast pal Russ.
Be sure to have an air sickness bag close by when you read it, and maybe a
smidgen of baking powder.
Please join me in remembering a great
icon of the entertainment community. The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of
a yeast infection and trauma complications from repeated pokes in the belly.
He was 71.
Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of
celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth,
Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, Hostess Twinkies, and
Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours.
Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never
knew how much he was kneaded. Doughboy rose quickly in show business,
but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very
smart cookie, wasting much dough on half baked schemes. Despite being a little
flaky at times, he still was a crusty old man and was considered a positive
role model for millions.
Doughboy is survived by his wife Play
Dough, three children: John Dough, Jane Dough and Dosey Dough, plus they had
one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart.
The funeral was held at 350 for about 20 minutes.
TIMOTHY GEITHNER. A LIAR AND AN INCOMPETENT
Take a look at this video, from March 24, where Michelle Bachman grills
Geithner on the Constitutional authority for some of the stimulus actions. Pay
attention at the 2:00 mark where she asks Geithner if he would categorically
reject Chinese proposal to dump the dollar in favor of an international
currency. Geithner says he would indeed categorically reject such a proposal.
Well, apparently, he was read the
riot act by someone. Because the very next day he stated he was open to the idea
proposed by China. From
Geithner, at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the U.S. is
"open" to a headline-grabbing proposal by the governor of the China's central
bank, which was widely reported as being a call for a new global currency to
replace the dollar, but which Geithner described as more modest and
"evolutionary."Did you catch that? First
he says he hasn't read the proposal, then he offers his interpretation of the
proposal. How the hell is that possible? How do you interpret what you have not
read? Geithner is a dangerous, dishonest liar!
havent read the governors proposal. Hes a very thoughtful, very
careful distinguished central banker. I generally find him sensible on every
issue," Geithner said, saying that however his interpretation of the
proposal was to increase the use of International Monetary Fund's special
drawing rights -- shares in the body held by
its members -- not creating a new currency in the literal
I disagree. Geithner is not a dangerous, dishonest liar. He is a
dangerous, dishonest liar and, apparently, an incompetent who doesn't know what he's
saying from one minute to the next.
He has to go. Now.