Search Results for: ted kennedy

Edward Moore Kennedy 1932 – 2009

Aquarian Weekly 9/2/09 REALITY CHECK

EDWARD MOORE KENNEDY — 1932 – 2009

Ted KennedyIt is a good thing Ted Kennedy is Irish Catholic. He is going to heaven. That’s how it works. No matter what kind of sham your life is, what type of negligent homicide you’re guilty of, scores of hypocrisy you’ve dabbled in, and the fraudulent legacy you leave behind, the slate is clean. They bring a priest in, throw some incense on you and you’re fast-tracked to the pearly gates. And if there’s something akin to the heaven the Kennedy’s believe in, then Mary Jo Kopechne will be waiting there to greet him; the beautiful, young Boiler Room Girl with bouncy blonde locks and a dazzling New England smile standing across from the ravaged, wrinkled, cancer-ridden shell of the man who left her to drown in a dark inlet at Chappaquiddick 40 years ago.

And if there is a God, she will kick him squarely in the testicles. Twice.

It is a heartwarming story worthy of Revelation; the part of the Holy Bible where it all comes to pass — the shit rain, the seven-headed beasts, bottomless chasms, and the torture of the unrepentant. Humanity, in a phrase, is “kicked in the testicles”. Twice.

It is a book Ted Kennedy knew well. Every Kennedy knew Revelation backwards and forwards. Mother Rose insisted on it. She made them read it aloud every night before cookies and milk, later admitting it was a veiled attempt to wipe away the terrible iniquities of her husband, the racist bootlegger, who after visiting 1930s’ Germany framed the Jewish slaughter in Europe this way: “They brought it on themselves.” Later, the patriarch became a master at fixing elections, buying off laws, and hosting Senator Joseph McCarthy and his loving family up at Martha’s Vineyard for weekend detentes on how to “strip Commie Jew bastards of their rights”.

But despite the insanity of their parents and the ill-gotten fortune they would exploit to power, three of the four Kennedy boys became victims; the eldest, Joseph Jr. in World War II, and Jack and Robert to assassins’ bullets two decades later. Not baby, boy, Ted. He was a survivor. He was the one Kennedy that understood the lessons of Revelation. The Big Bad Senator had to look out for Number One. And this philosophy served him well for 47 years of public service.

Edward M. Kennedy was the genetic run-off of America’s Royal Family; a boorish toad of a man with the scruples of a desperate crack addict and the brains of a dung beetle. Everything he stood for or achieved was bought for him, handed down from the crimes of greater men and far more accomplished cretins. He was a failure and a geek and caused so much family embarrassment he was repeatedly sent on beer runs during the famous shirtless Kennedy football games. He was booted from Harvard as a dumb ass jock and stumbled into the Senate in a cesspool’s sludge of nepotism.

Edward M. Kennedy was the genetic run-off of America’s Royal Family; a boorish toad of a man with the scruples of a desperate crack addict and the brains of a dung beetle. Everything he stood for or achieved was bought for him, handed down from the crimes of greater men and far more accomplished cretins.

His professional career consisted of manic bluster on inconsistent drivel, including flip-flopping on abortion whenever it benefited him. He personally screwed two Democratic presidential candidates by stringing the party along like a coquettish debutante; leaving the doomed George McGovern to choose a shock-treatment patient for vice president during a cantankerous convention the Kennedy Camp ignited. Four years later, Kennedy blew his best chance at the White House when his shameless behavior of six years earlier — leaving a girl to die on a drunken night of lunacy with his pregnant wife convalescing at home — forced him to back out. Four years hence, he and his cronies haunted the weakened incumbent in a nasty primary race, all-but sealing the fate of an embattled Jimmy Carter. Minutes before the death rattle, Kennedy ignored party diplomacy and snubbed the president on the convention stage, symbolically hoarding his delegates and creating what later would become the Reagan Democrats.

Kennedy wasn’t even a decent drunk; surpassed by his first wife, Virginia Joan Bennett’s Herculean consumption of barbiturates and vodka. Mrs. Kennedy’s lasting comment on living with Teddy was she eventually had to check into several rehab stints after trying to drive her car off a cliff in a botched escape scheme. But escape she did in 1978, separating from Kennedy, but inconceivably remaining married to aid his botched1980 presidential run before divorcing him outright the next year.

Even from the grave Teddy remains a survivor. Just this week, on his deathbed, Kennedy lobbied to strike a 2004 law he championed to let the naming of his successor fall into the hands of the governor rather than the previous law, which handed it over to a special election, a process that could drag on for months and leave a crucial Democratic seat open for the eventual vote on Health Care Reform; his lifelong political objective.

It was a seamy, partisan, almost mean-spirited move, but summed up what Ted Kennedy, like any servable political survivor excels at. And no one clinging to this ragged democracy should begrudge him. Ted’s problem was that he could never keep his mouth shut when the other side pulled the same treacherous chicanery. He flew into a rage upon the pardoning of Richard Nixon in 1974, only four years after his Chappaquiddick fiasco, mustering the gall to comment, “Do we operate under a system of equal justice under law? Or is there one system for the average citizen and another for the high and mighty?”

Kennedy’s spectacular exercise in hypocrisy was also on display during his vocal attacks on Supreme Court nominees Robert Bork in 1986 and Clarence Thomas in 1991, the latter of which he had to slink away due to its “sexual harassment” theme, something the Kennedy boys, and most assuredly Teddy Boy turned into an art form. In fact, only weeks before the hearings, the senator’s nephew, William Kennedy Smith was arrested on rape charges, allegedly meeting the victim at a bar with his soused uncle.

I am proud to say in the wake of his passing, having thrown words down for public consumption over 20 years and in this space for a dozen now, I have never, ever written a single positive thing about Ted Kennedy.

Until now.

He was no Jesse Helms.

 

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Song of the Bloated Hyena reviews G.W. Bush’s first five months as president.

Aquarian Weekly 7/11/01 REALITY CHECK

SONG OF THE BLOATED HYENA

Georgetown, hero of many, enemy of more, has been silent since the GOP took November and ran with majority numbers into Washington. He has refused to answer calls to scoop the inside dirt on the tax cut fight, the gasoline hikes, the sagging economic burdens, the president’s Euro-tour, James Jeffords defection, the looming Supreme Court nominations and the plunging poll numbers for the man he once dubbed Captain Shoe-In on North Beach, San Francisco two summers ago. The silence is over.

jc: Why do I bother giving you valuable print space?

GT: Because this cheap column needs me. People love the real deal, not some satirical thousand-word literary masturbation. You should be sweeping the stalls in Grand Central Station with the kind of garbage you spew in this space. Did I hear right? Did you write that Bob Franks tried to pick your wife up in a bar in Jersey in some drunken stupor?

jc: That’s one way to interpret that.

GT: The only way.

jc: Never mind. How do you like these poll numbers on Bush after only five months? Did he get caught in some Paula Poundstone mishap? What do you figure…twenty to thirty percent by Christmas and a Mussolini burning by next June?

Right now the perception around town, and I think the polls reflect this, is that Bush is all talk and no action. His ability to communicate any message to the public is for shit.

GT: What did you expect? Economy is shit and Jeffords fucked us good. Now everything is bogged down up there. You think by ramrodding that patient’s bill of rights through the senate is going to help matters?

jc: Is he going to veto it?

GT: My best guess now is no. I don’t know anything concrete from anyone who’s talking, but I can tell you this: Not one soul with any say or cash in the party has one iota of confidence in that happening. I know one thing; we drew big money to shut McCain up last summer so Junior could skid through that primary, and it wasn’t so he could fist-fuck us on this Ted Kennedy bullshit. He cried like a five year-old after South Carolina and when the bank opened up he promised a whole lot. But those same people will have a great deal to say come November 2002.

jc: What else is riding on the mid-term elections right now?

GT: This goddamn tax cut. If that doesn’t jumpstart Christmas, shit will fly.

jc: What about the Supreme Court?

GT: Don’t go there, not yet. If anything, we’re looking at senate hearings up the ass. I was playing darts with that pinhead Shumer two weekends ago, and he’s giving me loads of grief about partisan philosophy and political ideology. And I’m not even worried about him. He’s dry. What about those other drunken psychos?

jc: It’s a booze thing?

GT: Shumer’s got it on good word that Hillary alone will jam up anything approaching a Bork or Sessions or Clarence Thomas. Circus Maximus times twenty on this one.

jc: Is that some kind of cryptic reference to Hillary’s drinking problem?

GT: What the fuck are you talking about?

jc: Never mind. So what about Bush’s campaign boasts about nominating a “strict constructionist” or bust?

GT: Yes, and he’s also a reformist.

jc: Should I bring up school vouchers now?

GT: That was never going to happen. People like their kids to remain stupid. Makes them feel superior to someone.

jc: So, what do you make of these pathetic poll numbers? It can’t be all economy.

GT: Listen, the man lost the popular vote, which doesn’t mean a hill of beans in the constitution, but this has always been a country of public perception. Bush was on daddy’s payroll when he crushed Dukakis and he land-slided Texas. What does this kid know about squeaking by? So he starts in like the new fat man in town, the pimp daddy strutting around Washington with his Gingrich smirk and no one in the party is willing to tell this guy he barely has a mandate to change the color of the drapes in the oval office. It’s been like Elvis’ final years over there.

jc: First you’re telling me the man has no balls, now you’re saying they’re too big?

GT: He’s got the attitude, believe me, but I don’t think he can put it into action. Perception is everything. Right now the perception around town, and I think the polls reflect this, is that Bush is all talk and no action. His ability to communicate any message to the public is for shit.

jc: He did get some semblance of tax cut through there.

GT: Politically that will be his albatross because he sold it as a necessity for the economic slump, not the money owed from a surplus. He sold the latter to congress, but the former to the people. Zogby isn’t polling congress. The people see the imp before the progressor. Secondly, the tax cut ostensibly cost us the senate when Bush crossed Jeffords on some Vermont things. You see Vermont is close to the vest when it comes to its political promises. Jeffords owed more to his constituency than he did to the party, or for that matter, the rest of the country. I see it as similar to Giuliani snubbing your boy up there.

jc: George Pataki.

GT: Yes, Pataki. You still on the outs with him?

jc: It doesn’t matter anymore.

GT: You’re out of New York politics now?

jc: We’ve only got limited space here.

GT: Oh, there’s a story there.

jc: Why do Europeans hate the Bush’s?

GT: Fuck Europe. The only thing that matters right now is how Vladimir Putin sees Chinese nuclear weapon progress and how this administration handles the way China will come strong in the next few years. Everything else is bullshit; the Middle East and this Palestinian crap, the oil stuff etc. You were right on about China last year. I read that crazed junk you wrote about the spy ring. That was good. But that’s changing fast and the whole mess will be a key to the legacy for whoever is holding the office by 2005.

jc: We all enjoyed the semantics parade when the spy plane went down.

GT: That’s the last compliment you’re getting from me. And don’t print it. You’re going to print it, right?

jc: Who’s going to win this Jersey gubernatorial race?

GT: Not McGreevey. He couldn’t beat Whitman, and no one wanted her to win.

jc: But Schundler received no party support during the primary.

GT: Gubernatorial primaries? Is there a more meaningless endeavor?

jc: Editing and writing the transcripts of these conversations for one.

GT: Hey, do you think Gore still thinks he won?

jc: Give me a quick prediction.

GT: Gary Condit will step down before this hits the newsstands.

jc: Do you think he knows where that woman is?

GT: Let’s just end this by saying he should step down.

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THE LAZARUS WEEK

Aquarian Weekly
3/11/20
 
Reality Check
 
James Campion
 
 
THE LAZARUS WEEK
Joe Biden Rises from Political Oblivion to Become Democratic Frontrunner in One Insane Week
 
What transpired on Super Tuesday, 2020 is by far the most stunning political comeback I have ever witnessed.

Former vice president Joe Biden nearly swept through the fourteen states like a firestorm, many of them he had not stepped foot in or spent a dime campaigning, while his opponents, especially billionaire and former NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg, spent millions. Yet he flipped states he was a clear underdog in over and over, and won, won, and won again. He beat Senator Elizabeth Warren in her home state of Massachusetts, and bested neighboring and favored Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and did it again in Minnesota and Oklahoma, states Sanders dominated against Hillary Clinton in 2016. Biden even bested Sanders in Texas, where he wasn’t even supposed to collect a single delegate. To add to this amazing election day performance is that the turnout, for the first time in this cycle, was record-breaking – larger in some states than 2016 and shockingly more than the 2008 Democratic revolution of Barack Obama.

All of this from a political dead man.  

The week before, Biden, having never won a single primary in his third run for the White House, stood on stage at the Gaillard Center in Downtown Charleston with five other candidates; all of whom were more viable than he. The presumptive frontrunner throughout the summer, Biden was a no show in the first three primaries. Sanders had millions of dollars, an impressive ground game built from his 2016 run, and rabid rallies, not to mention three wins in his pocket. He was the clear frontrunner now. Biden was broke, looked old, confused and beaten. Even Capitol Hill Republicans and Trump loyalists stopped mentioning his son and Burisma and figured they’d dodged the threat that got the president impeached in the first place.

Then something completely unsuspected happened. Biden held his own in the debate, appearing as the adult in the room and making timely quips about the furious cluster of shouting candidates around him. At one point he stopped speaking when his ninety seconds were up and calmly uttered, “Why do I stop when my time is up, no one else up here does?” Even his opponents chuckled. “Must be my Catholic upbringing,” he said. Then he got a little ornery. He started remembering the annoying, loudmouthed Irishman that people both adored and despised in the Senate. He pointed his finger. He did some shouting. He occasionally made sense.

Something else fortuitous, some might say magical, happened on a similar stage the week before. Elizabeth Warren took the opportunity of Michael Bloomberg’s first ever presidential debate in Nevada to relentlessly eviscerate him. It was a bloodbath of personal, business and political proportions. And suddenly the moderate alternative to Sanders, as Biden lay in ruins, was unmasked as a stuttering dolt who looked like he showed up at the wrong event. The millions he spent on ads that vaulted him in mere weeks to twenty percent in national polls withered to low single digits in days.   

When the SC debate was over, while Bloomberg was still being widely mocked as a paper tiger, Biden received condescending praise from pundits. But it appeared at the time that all the debate did was give supporters a reason to hold their noses and vote for him, allow him to get at least one slim victory before he bowed out gracefully and pulled the final curtain down on the Obama legacy.

For one week in the late winter of 2020 a 77 year-old went from the edge of oblivion to the top of the political heap. This doesn’t happen. Ever.

Those people were mostly African American. Some were contemplating Bloomberg, but no more. And they came out in South Carolina in large numbers that Saturday for Joe Biden. He gathered nearly fifty-percent of the vote, despite a veritable horde on the ballot. Thanks in large part to perennial congressman Jim Clyburn, who is to SC what Ted Kennedy once was to Massachusetts, without all the drunken buffoonery and murder. Clyburn, a no-nonsense, astute political thinker, told Biden and then the press he was impressed that his friend Joe found his voice, because up until then he had been a joke: no organization, half-ass operatives, weak stump speeches and off-kilter TV appearances. He told him in no short order to get his shit together and he would endorse him, then he would carry the state and be reborn.

It was that moment that Clyburn became the man who will either topple Donald Trump or hand him another four years. It was the seminal event thus far in the 2020 presidential campaign, whether Joe Biden becomes the nominee or not. Clyburn almost single-handedly shifted the narrative, forever to be known as the “candidate whisperer”, who resurrected dead Joe, because he was flatlining Saturday morning and by Saturday night he had a landslide victory. Then reborn Joe hit the stage and gave the speech of his life; a speech he needed to give. He needed to sound coherent and energetic and ready to fight and connect. And he did all of that. And within two days he ended the campaigns of Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and former Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the other two moderates frightened by Bernie Sanders.

The evening before Super Tuesday they both joined Biden on stage in El Paso, Texas for full-throated endorsements. Even long-gone Beto O’Rourke, who nearly beat Ted Cruz as part of the 2018 Blue Wave, chimed in. And after that the storyline was maybe Biden could hang in there on Super Tuesday and make this respectable? Maybe he could get to the fifteen-percent viability level to grab a few delegates and stay within a hundred or two hundred of the surging Sanders? Maybe hold off Warren or Bloomberg? South Carolina, they said, was a blip. There are no Clyburns anywhere else, even the other southern states like Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and Arkansas. He may do well there, but ho-hum.

By Tuesday morning the odds-addled 538 web site started chirping that the Biden surge was mega real, and it was scrambling numbers, flipping deficits to big leads, and by Wednesday morning it predicted he would have the delegate lead over Sanders. And boy were they right – to the humming tune of 637 delegates by the time of this writing (they’re still counting California). He is now in the delegate lead. The frontrunner. Before SC he had nine. Nine.

What Joe Biden has pulled off in one week, and really since the South Carolina Primary two days before, is beyond remarkable. The NY Times called it a miracle. The Sanders backers called it Party Interference. A frightened Trump is tweeting again about coups. One or two GOP senators began floating another possible investigation into Biden’s son, followed swiftly by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, demanding it. Mike Bloomberg, after a half of billion dollars spent on TV and radio ads, a giant multi-state infrastructure, and a superstar team of soulless political vipers, quit the race and endorsed, you got it, Joe fucking Biden. One day later Elizabeth Warren suspended her campaign.

What this means for the race going forward is hard to tell. After the bizarre 2016 results, I am out of the prediction business, but there is one thing for certain; for one week in the late winter of 2020 a 77 year-old former senator of Pennsylvania and vice president of the United States went from the edge of oblivion to the top of the political heap. This doesn’t happen. Ever.

Except it did.  

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SCOTT GARRETT NEEDS AN ASS KICKING

Aquarian Weekly .
10/26/16

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

SCOTT GARRETT NEEDS AN ASS KICKING
I Volunteer

I normally do not write about local politics in this space, despite the fact that this publication is printed in New Jersey and is sold around the tri-state area. Ironically, the few times I have delved into the Garden State weeds it has been picked up nationally. My rocky but ongoing association with the Huffington Post is a prime example. It began many years ago after I basically framed the entire state as a quagmire of Mob corruption. They loved this and begged me to blog and then kicked me out after my now infamous Ted Kennedy eulogy. Then asked me back when I berated them for ignoring the Trump campaign as “entertainment”. But, to say the very least, the whole “Mob corruption” meme did not go over well at the Jon Corzine offices, where I routinely received death threats, and subsequently had some knuckle-dragger who drives fat-ass Chris Christie around throw the butt-end of an Italian bread at my head.

10-26_sg

So, to spend a thousand or so words on my local congressman is something of its own story.

Okay, full disclosure; I want to find Scott Garrett, Republican from the 5th District, my district, and beat him senseless with my phone; the same phone robo-called three times a week by his boil-wretched offices to either invite me to listen to some insipid digital town hall or to come out and vote for his pitiful ass. I would not care at this point if Garrett supported every single bizarre, radical, far outside the bounds of human decency issue I hold dear. He dares to call my house, in the evening, when I am hanging with my daughter and blasting the Ramones. Thus, he needs a beating and I need to give him one.

Then, for reasons only known to my caffeine abuse, I really fucked up and Googled this cretin.

Now, I do not believe most of the articles I’ve found on Garrett in the “lame-stream media”, but to be brutally honest, I find myself just southwest of horrified that this bald turd has represented anything to do with me, even if it is ancillary political nonsense.

First off, Garrett, it turns out, is a friggin’ world-class, Grade-A bigot. He is proudly anti-gay, steeped in religious falderal. He reeks of hatred. It steams from his pores like cat piss in the sun and it has apparently gotten so bad the boatload of Wall St. money that has kept this parasite sucking on the public teat since 2003 has run for cover. Most notably, the powerful PNC and UBS banks have sacked him with extreme prejudice.

In the wake of this moolah exodus, Garrett received $145,000 of campaign cash from some shadow fascist organization called The Campaign for American Principles or The Ass-Face Butt Plugs For Jesus, which have been running ads in support of Garrett. According to NJ.com, the group’s founder and head Ass-Face, the pride of Princeton University, Robert George (never trust a man with two first names) has allegedly said he hoped the super PAC would pressure candidates to “come down on the side of religious liberty, of the sanctity of human life, of marriage as the conjugal union of husband.”

My wife is always telling me we are a stone’s throw from Bum-Fuck, but this is ridiculous.

What year is this and where do I live?

I did not set up camp less than 35 miles from Manhattan to have William Jennings Bryan conducting Scopes Trials under my nose.

All this research on Garrett further revealed a Politico report I missed last year where he told fellow Republicans in a closed-door meeting that he wouldn’t pay his dues to the National Republican Congressional Committee because the organization supported gay candidates.

He reeks of hatred. It steams from his pores like cat piss in the sun…

Processing this, I decided the best recourse to my bubbling hate and rage was to drive up to the end of the main Compound here at the Clemens Estate and publicly urinate on his campaign signs, before kicking them onto Route 23. Sipping Hendricks and drawing on a fine Cuban, I watched as pick-up trucks driven likely by his toothless constituency ran over them. It was a good day. And I plan on doing it again, if any of his zombie-eyed goose-steppers set foot near our Free Thinking country hamlet again.

But, if that wasn’t alarming enough, I made the mistake of driving past a giant billboard on Route 17 near Mahwah last week, which heralds in ten-foot letters that this brainless shit-stain is the only NJ representative to vote against banning federal spending for national cemeteries flying the confederate flag.

I Googled that.

Guess what?

Bald Turd strikes again.

Why would Garrett do that? He claims free speech. And no more sympathetic ear can he find for that, but I ask again, why would he do it? And why would anyone in this state not named Goober, Bookie or Weenie vote for this creep?

Is there a groundswell for treasonous fans of slavery in NJ? And if so, why wasn’t I notified?

Not since the Hitler Youth Camps were kicked out of Sussex County in the early-1940s has a more embarrassing level of misbegotten bottom-feeders been better represented in Washington D.C.

I have no idea who Garrett’s Democratic opponent is, or what he stands for, and it is very possible I disagree with most of if not all of it, but Josh Gottheimer is human, which is more than can be said of my new sworn enemy.

And as far as I can tell, he does not need an ass-kicking. Scott Garrett does.

I would like to administer it.

Fists at dawn, Garrett. You and me. No NRA. No Wall St. geeks. No RNC slugs.

You and me.

**Warning to all future candidates of District 5; you had better be careful whom you interrupt at home whilst they are hanging with their daughter and listening to the Ramones.

I thank you for your support.

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WHY BERNIE SANDERS MATTERS

Aquarian Weekly
6/1/16

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

WHY BERNIE SANDERS MATTERS

Everybody’s gone but me and you
And I can’t be the last to leave

– Bob Dylan

At this juncture it would take an act of God or the teamsters or something dreamed up by the ghost of Frank Kapra for 74 year-old Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders to wrest the Democratic nomination away from Hillary Rodham Clinton. The former secretary of state is but a handful of delegates away from wrapping this up and she owns an impressive number of controversial “super delegates” – not to mention the unofficial two and half million more votes she has garnered in this process. It is also not stretching credibility to argue Clinton has dominated the primaries with traditional Democratic voters – women, African Americans, Hispanics, and the core of union support, etc, and has used her campaign to fund-raise for down-ballot Democrats.

However…

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.,  speaks at the Alliance for Retired Americans 2015 National Legislative Conference in Washington, Thursday, July 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

The 2016 presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders matters.

The fact that I am writing about Sanders on the cusp of June is one pretty good reason. A year ago he was a completely unknown senator from a tiny northeastern state, whose claim to fame was copping to being a socialist. He was supposed to be this platform-shifting “issues candidate” that before being fodder would maybe force Clinton to edge slightly to the left before she went on to crush whatever loon made it out of the Republican contest. In any other year Sanders would be… say, Dennis Kucinich. But this is the witchy season of 2016, a bizarre year where a TV star mogul gets to play and win. Madam Shoo-In should have made Sanders go away around early March. This is how things are usually done around here. Yet, he has not only failed to go away, he is surging to the finish; making a terrible noise, along with the millions that make up his mostly young, feisty and fed-up constituency.

This would make Sanders a Ted Kennedy circa 1980; chipping at the inevitable nominee from the left to the detriment of the general election. But he is more than that. Sanders represents to Democrats what Donald J. Trump accomplished on the Republican side; he is an insurgence candidate, an anti-Washington, anti-establishment figure that has captured this year’s zeitgeist; a must for any presidential candidates (ask the sixteen or so actual GOP politicians that are home wondering what the hell just happened). If anything, Bernie Sanders has been the only real news on the Democratic side since February. His rallies (larger and more raucous than even the Donald’s), his character, (parodied brilliantly by Larry David on SNL), his suddenly “man-for-his-times” stature has eclipsed Clinton from every angle.

Turns out that Sanders is the only true issues candidate; leading a progressive charge against a sitting Democratic president. And as much as it is fairly fabricated, Sanders at least appears pure, untainted by the evils of Washington D.C. Of course, he has spent decades in the same quagmire as his opponent, but Clinton, who reeks of establishment and been-there-done-that gives him rare breathing room on this count. Again, in this climate, he is appealing, which according to most Democratic and national polls matters more to voters now than ever.

But Sanders matters not for hanging in there, staying the course ideologically, and timing; he matters because he is shifting the direction of the coming general election dramatically and has already (as has Trump on the other side) put the system under the microscope – the democratic vagaries of caucuses, strange delegate proportions, antiquated and shady party rules. Both he and Trump like to use the word “rigged”, which of course is nonsense, but indeed the structure of party primaries is such that it promotes scrutiny solely on the general misunderstanding of them by the public. Reminds me of watching a baseball game with a friend, who was unaware of the rule that a catcher must secure a third strike in order for the batter to be out; so when the ball whizzed to the backstop and the batter sped to first, he was incredulous. “The guy’s out! Why is he on first?” Well, you see, according to the rules… “But he struck out!” Okay, it’s weird, but that’s the rules, right?

Beyond the inside baseball aspect of Sanders’ movement, allowing the electorate to see behind the curtains, his candidacy has done a masterful job of revealing the warts of Clinton’s. Without sinking to the level of most political campaigns, the mere presence of Sanders, has put the onus on Clinton to stand for something, which beyond the standard liberal talking points, is a flimsy notion at best. Sanders has exposed Clinton’s greatest weaknesses as a stump candidate, an orator, or even a likable, relatable character. Remember what “likable enough” got her in ’08? Her blandness, already baked in, would have seemed less egregious against the standard opponent. Against the flamboyantly disheveled New Yawk ethnicity of Sanders, she appears invisible.

He matters because he is shifting the direction of the coming general election dramatically and has already (as has Trump on the other side) put the system under the microscope.

Of course, the biggest complaint of Sandersnistas is the seeming wild popularity of their candidate; his winning so many states, but constantly trailing. This puts the rigged idea into the lap of the “rigger”, which would be Clinton, further enhancing her villain persona, something Trump has already begun to weave into his already incendiary rhetoric. The now official Republican nominee has smartly coalesced his anti-establishment movement on the right with Sanders egalitarian rants, prompting him to run as a true independent, effectively handing the election to Trump by default – not to mention feeding this narrative that has grown in the ensuing months that the young and impressionable newbies rallying to Sanders’ populist message will see a viable revolutionary option in Trump.

Sanders has never really had a chance here. There was a moment in mid-March or immediately after his stirring upset in Michigan when Sanders could have made a move. He did not. He was roundly defeated by Clinton when it mattered most and it has left him as this annoying afterthought for Madam Shoo-In, which she has wrongly ignored or condescended to as if this whole silly primary thing is merely a winding road to her coronation. But by hanging in there until his party’s convention, Sanders has pushed this to the limit. If he wins California in early June and rides into Philly with serious momentum and poll numbers that show him trouncing Trump, while Clinton, with her damaging untrustworthy numbers weighting her down, barely squeaks by, he will have a fairly good argument to sway the aforementioned “super delegates” his way and throw the whole shebang into chaos.

And with more troubling news coming from the state department investigation on Clinton’s private server this week, Sanders may come to matter as much as anyone in American politics in 2016, including Donald J. Trump.

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ELIZABETH WARREN UNLEASHED

Aquarian Weekly
5/27/15
REALITY CHECK

James Campion

ELIZABETH WARREN UNLEASHED

Elizabeth Warren is what makes writing about politics interesting. She is the Democrats answer to Ted Cruz. She represents the polar end of a national party and can and will make waves to muck up the works when she can. In the end, though, her voice will be watered down by the legislative process. The progress of her times, as well as Ted Cruz’s, will go on. She will have made a point and she will live with her uncompromising street cred intact.Elizabeth Warren

Unlike Cruz and the right wing TEA Party he purports to represent – a sort of but not quite new fangled movement that shares the undertone of opposition for the current president and his policies, more specifically the ACA, which ushered this new wave in during the 2010 mid-terms – Warren is an old-fashioned liberal. She is dyed in the wool pro-labor, pro-regulation, pro-national education, and all the things that have become less fashionable in the past twenty years or so. This is why I laugh when people call Barack Obama a lefty. Lefties in the 1970s were lefties. It’s like calling Ronald Reagan a right-winger now. Reagan is a liberal compared to Ted Cruz, whereas Warren though would fit right in with Ted Kennedy.

And that brings me to Warren’s big move against her party’s president during this inner-party kerfuffle regarding Obama’s hot-and-heavy pursuit of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP is the latest in a string of trade agreements proffered by presidents since the first Bush in the late 1980s. Since then it seems like everyone has had to pitch one. None of them seem to be total slam-dunks. In many ways they have hit the working class hard, specifically the organized labor front. Even staunch conservatives have barked about trade agreements that almost always benefit the other nations. Pat Buchanan famously ran amok in the streets of Seattle during the WTO protests that turned into riots in 1999. “Now you might not have seen me, but I was out there at the Battle of Seattle,” he puffed to me when running for president as an independent in 2000. “I was out there all five days. The WTO didn’t see me because I was disguised as a sea turtle moving around the imperial troops.”

Buchanan, who I hear from now and then with pithy commentary for my work, is an old-fashioned conservative. He is the one chuckling at Ted Cruz the way the president chuckled at Elizabeth Warren for two weeks when he was pressed by the media to respond to why she was very loudly telling rally after rally that Obama was screwing the working man and being “secretive” about his little trade deal. The president candidly struck back in interviews and his own stumping, saying, “Elizabeth and me are friends and we agree on a host of issues, accept apparently this one. And I have to say she’s got it wrong this time.”

You got the feeling that, as is his wont with many of the distended voices on the right, Obama tried shrugging this off until the vote came in and Warren successfully – mind you a lot more successfully than Cruz’s 400 votes to eradicate the ACA or his entertainingly flaccid filibuster routines – got the issue to a debate on the senate floor. Suddenly the shrugs became anger. You can tell by the way the White House responded to Warren that they considered this an affront – for awhile what was “She’s mistaken that we’re not transparent on the details of the deal” became “She is lying.” Obama called one of the more endearing and combative Democrats, a woman for whom the extreme left wants dearly to run for president in 2016 against the other more formidable woman, a liar. And worse yet the president called her the most damning moniker around these days; “a politician. “She’s a politician like everyone else.”

Interesting.

Make no mistake; Obama is getting his trade deal. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell loves it. He all but smooched the president’s ass on the floor of congress last week and couldn’t care less if staunch anti-trade voices in his party were bitching. He “commends” the president on his bravery to face down the radical wing of his party, something McConnell has failed to do at every turn. This is a man who boldly announced forty days into Obama’s presidency that his job was to make him a one-term president. He failed at that too.

But McDonnell and Obama, strange bedfellows for the TPP, will win out. Maybe they should. I have no idea how this thing is coming out, like we had no idea how Iraq was going to come out or the ACA or really anything. But this does not change the fact that Warren has gone rogue and she has plenty of supporters.

She will have made a point and she will live with her uncompromising street cred intact.

Now Warren (Senator from Massachusetts – as Blue as a Blue State could be) may reek of Ted Kennedy’s brand of liberalism, but she also appeals to the Ron Paul wing of the Democratic Party. All those young people who hung onto Paul’s anti-military, anti-inefficient government stuff – something his son has chucked – flock to Warren. According to them she has fought the good fight because she is uncompromising, another dirty word in politics these days. And maybe it should be. It can get you momentum, serious mojo among the “fed up” and there are always plenty of those.

I’m reminded of something the great H.L. Mencken mused about Calvin Coolidge; “Half the people hate him and other half hate those who hate him, but they don’t comprise any portion that actually supports him.” I loathe paraphrasing a friggin’ genius, but I have no time to look it up. You do it.

I do have time for one more comment; Elizabeth Warren is interesting, because she may be the first person in a long time that has captured some kind of bygone sense of populist liberalism that’s not simply Keynesian, tempered by pragmatic professorial think-tanks of mortified inaction or works at MSNBC. But, alas, she’s like that kid pitcher who takes the majors by storm and gets big headlines and then sort of fades away, as if he never was and you miss him, but you move on; the political version of Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. He was damn interesting. That lasted a summer. But oh what a summer it was.

Look it up. Gotta go.

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MADAM SHOO-IN PART II

Aquarian Weekly
4/22/15
REALITY CHECK

James Campion

MADAM SHOO-IN PART II
Ms. Rodham’s Déjà vu Trail Begins Again

Okay, here’s the deal: Unless she murders someone or is murdered or convicted of an actual crime, or if someone finds the elusive “live girl/dead boy” in her possession, I write about Hillary Clinton once this year.

clinton2

This even seems beyond silly now, some five-hundred and some odd days from November, 2016 and a half year before primary season. Granted, this is Hillary we’re talking about; the original Madam Shoo-In, who unlike her male counterpart, George W. Bush (Captain Shoo-In) was not so much a shoo-in. Yet, she is preternaturally compelling; a weird combination of sort of beloved and very much hated. She is the New York Yankees meets Madonna; something far bigger than the actual thing she is supposed to be.

Let’s say for the sake of argument Jesus Christ came back this week. I would have to comment on this, no? And this is not to say I am comparing the possible return of God to judge the heaven and the earth to a Democratic candidate for president of the United States, but absent something that outlandish this is the political equivalent of a Second Coming. People assumed it, had faith in its coming, and now that it has come, you kind of have to observe it as sort of news.

Look, it’s news. Her husband was a two-term president, who for one reason or the other presided over the greatest peace-time economy in the history of this republic and in the grand scheme of things was arguably the finest president of the latter half of the 20th century because of it. If you are going to be fair, which politics is not, but come on; no wars, surplus, booming economy, and the aforementioned Yankees winning the World Series every year of his second term save one. Those were high times. Plus, Big Bill was entertaining. He was impeached. It was Camelot for bankers, lawyers and journalists; a Warren Zevon song come to life.

So, there’s that.

Plus, Hillary Clinton was in this same boat eight years ago and was ousted by the most unlikely candidate possible. I think even those who think Barack Obama is Satan agrees with that one. Before the autumn of 2008 the idea that anyone other than a white, male, Anglo-Saxon (probably Southern) protestant would be president was goofy. Shit, the only candidate who wasn’t all of these things (he was most of them) was John Fitzgerald Kennedy and he cheated, and then they blew his head off.

So, there’s that.

Then there is the fear factor. The Clinton Machine is no myth. It is real and it is humming again and that is cause for alarm and excitement. Don’t think Ms. Rodham strikes terror in all those who do not support her? Why do you think we were straddled with Sarah Palin? McCain and his people knew she was a moron, but they gambled on how much Clinton’s spurned legion would bring to their cause. Why do you think Obama made her Secretary of State? To keep her from mischief making on the sidelines. Why do you think FOX NEWS has already gone 24/7 nuclear on her? When MSNBC thought Chris Christie had a prayer they turned their network into Bash-Christie-All-The-Time. Ted Cruz ain’t getting that kind of wincing respect. Trust me.

AND finally, and even more implausibly, she’s a woman! A woman right now as I write this that has about as clear a path to victory this early than anyone I could recall who wasn’t already president. If they held the election, say, tomorrow or in a month or even at the end of this year, Ms. Rodham would win the damn thing by a fairly sizable margin. This is all hypothetical poll crap, but none of these hypothetical polls are reasonably close. She has 86 percent of her party wrapped up, leads the closest breathing Republican (Scott Walker – and he hasn’t even declared his candidacy yet) by double-digits, and the rest of the field by the kind of spreads that approach Putin-levels.

So, there’s definitely that.

What I am saying is I’m giving myself a pass on making mention that this past week Hillary Rodham Clinton announced her intentions of running for president AGAIN. But I’ll do this once and then let this thing ruminate for about a year. That’s all I have in me. And I am certainly not going to waste my time on people who barely poll at all like Ted Cruz or Rand Paul or that guy from Florida, who said something last week about being bursting with new millennium ideas and then supports the 60 year-old Cuban embargo. It’s Hillary and then back to real news.

Hell, if I am completely honest I have to admit that I’ve written probably the meanest, most spiteful columns in my nearly twenty years doing this about Ms. Rodham. I would say pound-for-pound that putting aside my irresponsibly vicious stomping of the deceased Ted Kennedy and maybe my stomach-turning eulogies of Gerald Ford and Jerry Falwell, my pieces on Clinton’s last run is as bad as it gets around here. That is until Dick Cheney kicks it. Then you’ll see a horror show.

Today, even I have a hard time digesting NEW HAMPSHIRE: SAME OLD SONG & DANCE – 1/16/08, THE EMPEROR’S NEW FACTORY GIRL – 3/12/08, THE PARTY VS. THE MACHINE – 4/9/08, LET’S MAKE A DEAL – 5/14/08, and BYE, BYE, MISS AMERICAN PIE – 6/11/08 – all of which include a fine sense of political reporting, but reek of bestial rage.

But if the opening days of this run is any indication she is the story here. Period. Not who wins, but if she loses. Think I overstate this? Check out the media obsession with her fast food lunch choices or where her van is heading next or listen to the torrent of attacks being heaved at her from desperate Republicans candidates – even some not who have yet to declared candidacy like our Chris Christie, (seven out of ten of us Jersey-ites thinks he sucks ass).

She is the New York Yankees meets Madonna; something far bigger than the actual thing she is supposed to be.

In many ways, this is a story about a story. This is not about Hillary Clinton at all. It is about Madam Shoo-In. She is no mere candidate, but an American monolith, a pant-suit gargoyle that reminds us that our choices are few and they come with fangs. Maybe another Bush should oppose her, turn this thing into a dung-fueled dynasty run.

Oh, and by the way, it is important to note, that while the Middle East continues to go wacky, there is no longer a non neo-con in this race. Even Rand Paul has given up the Libertarian charade. There will be war and it will include Americans dying after 2016. Make no mistake, Clinton is an interventionist and so is every Republican running for president. Not sure who will handle the ACA or the deficit or Wall Street or climate change or religious freedom, but mark this down, there will be war; Democrat or Republican.

Okay, I made it.

I’ll see Hillary next year.

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Weinergate

Aquarian Weekly 6/15/11 REALITY CHECK

WEINERGATE The Continuing Saga of Congressional Dipshits

Anthony WeinerI’m not sure a middle-aged man whose penchant for taking lewd photos of his body and sharing them with college students, and thus, through the magic of Twitter, the entire planet, can reasonably continue to present himself or his ideas, arguments and principles in a serious light. But I am quite sure that same man can continue to be a United States Representative.

Unless there has been a crime committed, then the Democratic Party, unleashing its well-worn bully routine and predictably running for cover as have Republicans in dozens of recent offenses, has no right to ask a man to resign a post honored him by the electorate. And thus once again we are confronted with the abject unconstitutional element of a two-party system that cherishes political expediency above the tenets of democracy.

Anthony Weiner, New York congressman, is the latest in the long line of “Did weird shit – lied about weird shit for awhile – copped to weird shit in a tearful press conference when it looked like the lying could not quite make the weird shit go away”. His case only differs in that he has been one of the most contentious, pompous, overly dramatic, and self-promoting assholes congress has produced in some time. And folks, that’s saying a whole lot there. In other words Weiner, who in 2005 ran for mayor of NYC would have run again in 2009 if the current mayor hadn’t proclaimed himself king, had designs on becoming something of a political star in the realm of a Sarah Palin or Eliot Spitzer.

Yeah, Spitzer and Palin, both disgraced quitters of governor gigs and raging hypocrites (Spitzer made his bones attacking prostitution while being a high-paying consumer of prostitutes, and Palin has perpetually railed about the evils of federal government subsidies when under her watch Alaska was rife with federal government subsidies) currently cull sizable cable television salaries.

So looks like Weiner can still be a congressman and most assuredly a TV personality, but then again, who can honestly ever take this guy seriously any longer?

Well, there is a man running for president right now who cheated on two wives, the last one while she was in a hospital dying of cancer, at the same time having the balls to be a prominent moralizer during the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal.

Could a John Edwards comeback be far behind?

Never mind that; if I may borrow a line from our good friends at The Daily Show – please Google new presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s name right now.

We’ll wait.

Hell, anyone with half a brain knows Weiner cannot sincerely continue to show up to a very public, civic gig and represent his district and his party with this load of feces upon him. His next move should be to quietly step down due to distractions and an undo amount of pressure on his family life and whatever blah-blah-blah the busted usually roll out like the guy who propositioned his employees by e-mail or the guy who picked up men in airport bathrooms or the guy who stuck shirtless photos of himself on Craig’s List after the other guy who did the crazy stupid thing that lead to his also quietly stepping down.

You pick an example, man. The names all seem to meld into the other.

This laundry list of systematic goofiness is what anyone, even those without the requisite potty mouth, would call a FUCK UP, or if you will, a monumental error in judgment or the very least a glaringly fanatical display of stupidity.

But let us reiterate that thus far there is no evidence Weiner has broken any law. And if code of conduct is the only issue here then it needs to be stated that being sneaky, underhanded and lying to the press is not all completely legal but actually a congressional staple. In fact, covering up embarrassing personal issues is aggressively encouraged among the congressional elite. The senate holds annual award ceremonies for the best and the brightest. Ted Kennedy and Strom Thrumond routinely took home a bevy of trophies.

If nothing else, Wiener kicked ass in every one of those departments.

Sure, this insipid idea that he simply “made poor choices” or that those of us not suffering from delusions should consider this a “mistake” is nose-diving into Charlie Rangel territory here. Rangel, the last New York congressman disgraced by scandal, believed in an alternate universe of his making that embezzlement was a “mistake”. A mistake is forgetting to pick up bread when it was on the grocery list or flubbing the name of a relative at a holiday party. It is certainly in no way a reasonable vehicle in describing the sharing of self-portraits of one’s cock over the Internet. And it is hardly an apt description for telling everyone your account was hacked by a Right Wing blogger and then not being sure it was your cock in the first place. This laundry list of systematic goofiness is what anyone, even those without the requisite potty mouth, would call a FUCK UP, or if you will, a monumental error in judgment or the very least a glaringly fanatical display of stupidity.

I would think any man not sure what his penis looks like and/or has such low expectations of the collective intelligence of people who could believe such nonsense needs to seriously reevaluate his self worth.

But all that existential shit must ultimately be his choice, and not those who wish to shove his stank into the corner to keep it off them.

Admittedly, a yawning credibility gap is the only reason this space felt the burning need to repeatedly state in the late-nineties that Bill Clinton was better off being an ex-president sooner than later. The Lewinsky case was never about sex or even perjury for us; it was about having someone hold the most powerful post in the free world and not only turning the Oval Office into a Bourbon St. massage parlor, but abusing power, influence and age to seduce his intern there. Then, scold us for having the audacity to call him on it.

But, hey, dumbness and arrogance are also not crimes.

Look, no one should give half a fart if Weiner lied to his wife or if he likes to take photos of his junk and throw it around the Twitter universe. God bless him. But he of all people, who frames his political arguments around common sense and intellect over sappy emotion and cold facts over-indulgent claptrap and has the unmitigated gall to demean the reasoning, common sense and intellect of his opponents (the way he dressed down a CNN producer as if he were a school kid) has to know he’s officially cut off his credibility oxygen. This would be like an abject business failure whose run ragged all over law and decency to amass pseudo empires with other people’s money and then passing himself off as a super mogul, like, say, Donald Trump.

So in the spirit of Spitzer and Palin and Trump, or hell, even Arnold Schwarzenegger, this space chooses to support Weiner’s right to his job and his hilariously deviant behavior and would like to officially recommend he pitch a network show.

He’s got star potential.

Weiner in 2016!

 

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Countdown To Compromise

Aquarian Weekly 4/6/11 REALITY CHECK

COUNTDOWN TO COMPROMISE How Congress Stretches Credibility And Avoids 2011 Government Shutdown

By the time this goes to press, we’re looking at eight days until a “continuing resolution” deadline for the legislative branch to send a bill to the White House or run the risk of a third federal government shutdown of the past sixteen years. Unlike the infamous hissy-fit mid-’90s’ Newt Gingrich/Contract with America variety, the country is mired in at best a stagnant economic recovery and embroiled in three — count ’em! — three military conflicts, the most recent now ratcheted up to something between Viet Nam circa 1955 “advisers” entry level or a pre-Iran/Contra illegal weapons trade smell test. As the Central Intelligence Agency vets the disjointed Libyan mob our nation contemplates arming, the fiscal battle of Capitol Hill has reached its nexus.

John BoehnerThe Republicans proposal of $32 billion in cuts to fund the government, the brainchild of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, has risen slightly in a behind the scenes wrangling to a reportedly $33 billion, which the Vice President recently leaked as “the number” most likely to slake Senate Republicans and to a large degree Speaker of the House John Boehner, who has from the very beginning has astutely striven to not become the Ghost of Gingrich while outwardly appearing religiously conservative. This spectacularly difficult juggling act will hopefully for his more reasoned Republican colleagues disallow the Democrats the political Hail Mary it needs to dismantle last November’s GOP congressional gains.

But, alas, as promised, the TEA Party caucus in the House is not screwing around. It plans on pushing a fairly steep $61.5 billion in cuts, and as of the final day of March, held rallies in front of the Capitol to prove it won’t be backing down, and, according to incendiary rhetoric from hardliners like Representatives Mike Pence from Indiana, Minnesota’s Michelle Bachman, South Carolina’s Jim DeMint and Joe Walsh from Illinois, if it ends in a stalemate that halts the running of the federal government, so be it.

Whether this queers Boehner’s two-faced political chicanery or the Vice President’s so-called “deal” and sinks Republicans into a public relations nightmare has yet to play out. Luckily Boehner has his sidekick, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in reserve to push hard against any kind of compromise, while at the same time working out a compromise. And compromise is sure to come; making it less likely that there will be a shutdown or its subsequent political fallout. No matter the outcome, the Speaker can continue to look responsibly legislative; claiming a measure of victory as his party upped the Ryan cut proposals by $1 billion, while Cantor remains unflinchingly hardcore.

No matter the outcome, the Speaker can continue to look responsibly legislative; claiming a measure of victory as his party upped the Ryan cut proposals by $1 billion, while Cantor remains unflinchingly hardcore.

The pit bull of this dynamic duo was on full display this week as Cantor went off the rails telling the press that if the Senate does not act, which it has not in 40-plus days, then the House’s current “continuing resolution” bill will become “the law of the land”. Now, Cantor is no Michelle Bachman. In fact, he appears to have a fair grip on reality and has used that grip at times quite deftly, especially during the contentious Health Care debate, as he sounded like the most sober and genuinely concerned opponent of key elements of the bill, while refraining from the embarrassing “death panels” or “socialism” hyperbole, which bogged down his congressional brethren. So the best estimate from that evidence is that he must know what every eighth-grader not on mescaline should know; that a bill cannot be a law unless passed through the Senate and signed by a president of the United States. Yet there was Cantor late Wednesday afternoon bellowing to a phalanx of national reporters that the House’s current resolution would magically be transformed into law as a consequence of the Senate’s inertia.

The only plausible explanation for Cantor’s silliness is by making a spectacle of himself he shines a pre-deal light on some portion of Republicans who either have to vote for the less-than-devouring budget cuts while holding their collective nose or throw some dissenting votes against it to regain traction on the Right. Like most congressional grandstanding, it is a show, but in this political climate and with larger battles to come, not the least of which the national budget and the debt ceiling deadline, we get a stellar performance worthy of the late Ted Kennedy at his thespian best.

The Democrats have their own scheme; allow the Republicans to fuck up again. Worked out great for Bill Clinton in ’96 when, with able assistance from excrement monger Dick Morris, the president used the “Republicans are going to kill your grandmother” to reclaim the White House. But hand-sitters like New York Senator Chuck Schumer couldn’t care less if this president survives the next two years, as long as the next two weeks gloss over Democratic congressional overreaches of the previous two years. He and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expect to let the House bill spin in the wind, get the in fighting to spill over into the cable news quagmire, and reap a political windfall.

Meanwhile, as mentioned, the word is that the Senate has already agreed in principle to move forward on the $33 billion resolution. And so now Democrats can feign disappointment and Republicans can fake a red-faced result of being the victims of an end-around. But it will be a small price to pay for moving the fight down the line to other issues, when the Democrats will cry responsibility and the TEA Party will have to stand and be counted or be mocked for a fringe noise-machine like the 2006 anti-war movement, duly ignored by Nancy Pelosi and the 110th congress.

The guess here is that it will be around $33 billion in cuts by week’s end with the ousting of pennies-on-the-dollar anti-Left riders like Public Broadcasting and Planned Parenthood, sending the spin-doctors to the microphones and test the measure of the shrink-the-government set. Now, cue the yawning.

 

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Scott Brown Goes To Washington

Aquarian Weekly 1/27/10 REALITY CHECK

MR. BROWN GOES TO WASHINGTON How The Bluest State Threw Up The Red Stop Light On Health Care

Politics, like comedy, need not apologize. It just is. The victor has his story and the loser, the excuses. It is the way of The Vote. This has never been more evident than what transpired in Massachusetts over the nine days from mid-January to this past Tuesday in a Special Election to replace a senate seat someone with the name Kennedy had owned since Senator Scott Brown1952.

The general consensus among pundits and reactionaries is that The Cradle of Liberty spoke loudly against the current atmosphere in Washington DC, including whatever incoherent monstrosity now stands as a Health Care Bill in the House. The election results, as abruptly surprising as they were, while always being a referendum on national politics by rule, is never as clear a national message as advertised. But, just as what you find funny does not make it comedy, does it fail to be comedy when you do not laugh.

It just is.

Before those crucial nine days unfolded you couldn’t have picked the victor, Scott Philip Brown, a little known and relatively benign anti-tax, fairly socially liberal Republican state senator out of a line-up. By around January 13, Brown trailed his opponent, the state’s attorney general, Martha Coakley by a respectable but hardly noteworthy 15 to 18 points. In a solidly Blue State boasting its own progressive health care system, where people for decades voted overwhelmingly for a Liberal Lion of dubious moral construct that also happened to be a particularly staunch proponent of a national health care system, the idea that a populist anti-Democrat uprising was a-comin’ is a myth.

After all the Right Wing chest-pumping and end-zone dances subsided, the exit polls clearly showed an alarming exodus of Independents, 60 percent of which make up the true Massachusetts electorate, a majority of whom before some major gaffs and haughty rhetoric from Brown’s opponent were hardly galvanized by his truck-driving, regular-guy approach. The best you can say for the decisive Independent vote was much of it may have emerged from boredom after their beloved Patriots were unexpectedly booted from NFL play-off contention.

In those vital days between the Shoo-in and Toss-out, the Democratic candidate treated the campaign as everyone else beyond her opponent did, as if the election was an irritating weigh station to her seat. It apparently did not matter to Ms. Coakley or her staff that openly mocking the Red Sox, which comes in slightly ahead of Catholicism in religious fervor up there, or publicly complaining that it was too chilly to campaign was bad mojo in a hyper-provincial state loaded with insecure pride-mongers. Ted Kennedy, despite his shenanigans, knew how to make Bostonians and beyond feel like they were running the federal government. There is a reason why a drunken lout with a sense of familial entitlement won every election every time, whether drowning a woman or with a Republican in the governor’s chair.

Many exit polls revealed that it was the stagnation and incompetence of government not National Health Care that drove the Brown vote. What a truck-driving nudist and a half-baked lawyer do in Beantown should have no bearing.

In her last televised debate performance, Coakley sounded like a grim mutation of Caroline Kennedy and Sarah Palin when she seemed unsure if the United States had a continued military presence in Afghanistan. Then as the national spotlight began to shine on her shrinking lead, with millions of dollars pouring in from a suddenly giddy Republican National Committee and the president’s last-minute doomed-on-arrival rescue mission, she desperately went Dukakis in the saddest attempt to appear like she wasn’t a detached intellectual snob.

Only then did the prospect begin to take hold that National Health Care was in jeopardy. Brown and his staff, who had primarily run an Independent campaign, steering clear of the still-damaged Republican brand, smartly rammed home a populace message, taking the Ted Kennedy formula of reminding the otherwise apathetic voter that the world would be glued to and changed by the results, giving them succor for their hometown penis-envy by becoming The Story. Evidence of this is that not since 1990 had such an election drawn as many participants, and just like the record numbers that put Barack Obama in office in 2008 was later championed by Democrats, so did the Republicans rightfully paint their enthusiasm with an ideological brush.

But let’s face it, no one saw this coming, nor did anyone have any idea less than two weeks prior that it would be a national story, never mind a referendum or uprising. Anyone who said they did lies. When most of the country was caught up in the human and political implications of the Haiti earthquake or whether the House Majority leader was a racist, dummy or an old, inarticulate coot, the rumblings in what is generally considered the most liberal of states, was ignored.

The fact is the Democrats were hot and heavy on this Health Care thing from the get-go, even before Arlen Specter and Al Franken gave them a “Filibuster Proof” majority, just as the Democrats were hot and heavy on ending the Iraq occupation in ’06. That a one-state special election can crush federal legislation is media-generated, political party pabulum. If you cannot pass a bill with 59 Senators, a stranglehold on the House and a sitting president after one solid year of The Push, you either don’t want to or have no capacity to do so. Many exit polls revealed that it was the stagnation and incompetence of government not National Health Care that drove the Brown vote. What a truck-driving nudist and a half-baked lawyer do in Beantown should have no bearing.

Shame on the losers – and to the winners goes the bending of truths.

Irony of ironies, the Democrats brought this on themselves long before Teddy went belly-up. Thinking John Kerry, another gangbuster lifer senator from the state, was about to take the White House in 2004 and Republican governor Mitt Romney would appoint his replacement; they pushed hard for a “Special Election” to decide the post. And now, before his body is cold and a lifetime memory of fighting for national health care dwindles, a Republican newbie rides south to the nation’s capitol to warm the Kennedy seat.

Thus, what was at best the longest shot in federal legislation since the privatization of Social Security now appears to be what this space long predicted – dead. The Democrats Dog & Pony Show on Health Care, which as stated here and among friends and colleagues for years was always a pipe dream worthy of Lewis Carroll but made manifestly impossible in the feeble hands of self-flagellating procrastinators, is now fading fast. No one really wanted a national Health Care bill in Washington. If they did, if this president did, they would have used the most dominant congressional majority in a century to do it.

That’s either hilarious or tragic.

Or it just is.

 

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