Monday Evening Open Thread: Shiny

(Ben Sargent via

Steve Kornacki at Salon reminds us about Cory Booker’s political history:

It’s easy to forget, but before the world met Barack Obama in 2004, many believed that the first black president would be Booker. Armed with Stanford, Yale and Oxford degrees and all of the invaluable personal connections he forged at those institutions, he set out in the mid-1990s to craft a uniquely appealing political biography, swearing off lucrative job offers to move to Newark’s Central Ward and take up residence in public housing. Within a few years, he won a seat on the City Council, where he showed an early and consistent knack for self-generated publicity, most notably with a ten-day hunger strike in the summer of 1999.

That set the stage for Booker’s 2002 race for mayor, an ugly contest against incumbent Sharpe James, an entrenched icon of the city’s civil rights generation of black politicians. James, as any self-respecting Newark mayor would do, leveraged his clout for campaign contributions from city workers, vendors and those who aspired to be city workers and vendors.

Booker, meanwhile, had hardly lost touch with his old classmates, keeping one foot in Newark and the other in Manhattan, where he built on the connections to elite donors that he already had. He called the millions of dollars he raised for the race “love money.” The press – and James’ campaign – took note that almost all of it was from outside Newark, nearly half of it was from outside New Jersey, and a quarter of it came directly from Wall Street.

This helped bolster James’ claim that Booker, who grew up in an affluent suburb, was not an authentic Newarker. That attack resonated just enough to save James, who won in a squeaker. It was a pyrrhic victory, though: Booker had captured national interest – there was a Time profile during the campaign, and an Academy Award-nominated documentary followed – and immediately started campaigning for the next race, while a federal investigation soon swallowed up James. In 2006, Booker was elected with ease, while James was on his way to jail.

Since then, the only question in New Jersey has been when – and not if – Booker will seek to run for statewide office. In 2009, the beleaguered Jon Corzine begged him to run for lieutenant governor on his ticket, an offer that Booker wisely refused. He’s often touted as a potential gubernatorial candidate for 2013, but those who know him say his eye is more on the Senate seat now held by 88-year-old Frank Lautenberg, which will be up in 2014….

Dave Weigel at Slate makes a contrarian argument about the ‘distration’:

The Romney campaign is spending all day “messaging” Cory Booker’s Meet the Press comments, raising the stakes with a profoundly dramatic video ad that’s intended to further the “Booker SLAMS Obama” story. Did you know that former congressman and frequent Morning Joe guest Harold Ford is a “key Obama supporter,” and not just a has-been now working for Merrill Lynch?

It’s nice, hot gruel for political reporters/readers, but… isn’t it also a distraction? Ideally, yes, the Obama campaign would be talking about Bain Capital with no strong response from the Romney camapign. But would the media cover the re-heated, microwaved Bain stories the same way? No — you need some sort of fight to make them worth covering. And here we are, talking about Bain, instead of talking about the economy, or Israel, or one of the things the Romney campaign enjoys discussing.

Besides shiny distractions, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

82 replies
  1. 1
    Mnemosyne says:

    Obama pwns Romney and Bain.

    I wouldn’t call it 11th-dimensional chess, but they certainly are prepared for every eventuality.

  2. 2
    Trentrunner says:

    Why is it when a Democrat “clashes” with the President, it’s never never never never never never never never never never never never never never from the left, but always from the right?


    King Lear

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    George Lucus says fuck you:

    In 1978, a year after “Star Wars” was released, George Lucas began building his movie production company far from Hollywood, in the quiet hills and valley of Marin County here just north of San Francisco….

    But after spending years and millions of dollars, Mr. Lucas abruptly canceled plans recently for the third, and most likely last, major expansion, citing community opposition. An emotional statement posted online said Lucasfilm would build instead in a place “that sees us as a creative asset, not as an evil empire.”

    If the announcement took Marin by surprise, it was nothing compared with what came next. Mr. Lucas said he would sell the land to a developer to bring “low income housing” here.

  4. 4
    MikeBoyScout says:

    11th dimensional chess that Booker kerfuffle.

    Tonight going to chillax and occasionally discuss George Tierney Jr. of Greenville, SC on the intertubes.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    PeakVT says:

    Did Booker hire Harold Ford’s political consultants recently?

  7. 7
    patroclus says:

    @Baud: George Lucas owes humanity a LOT after inflicting Jar Jar Binks on everyone. ExSqueeze me??!!

    I agree with Weigel – as long as we’re talking about Bain and all the rapacious stuff they do gets more publicity, it’s a win.

  8. 8
    PeakVT says:

    Oh, crap. B00ker is a sp*m word.

  9. 9
    Baud says:


    Makes you wonder: if you had to choose between a world with Jar Jar Binks in it, or one with Sarah Palin, which would you choose?

    Of course, since we actually live in a world with both, I’m depressed now.

  10. 10

    Come to So Cal, George; we appreciate you and will let you grow your business.

  11. 11
    Violet says:

    Jar Jar Binks. He’s relatively harmless compared to the Mean Girl.

  12. 12

    I would certainly rather see Jar Jar Binks in political office compared to Satana, Queen of the Damned. Advancing the bill that makes Palpatine into a dictator is nothing to what she’d do if she got her grubby paws on the levers of power.

  13. 13
    Alison says:

    @Baud: As someone who was born and raised in Marin – though in the northernmost town, firmly middle-class, unlike much of the rest of the county – when I read that the other day, I LOL’d so hard and gave Lucas a mental fist-bump.

    They will try to come up with many bullshit reasons to be against the housing idea, but for the majority of them, it comes down to OMG POORS IN OUR TOWN DEAR GOD NOOOOO. Even though most of the wealthy folk in Marin County are liberal and socially responsible and philanthropic and all that, a lot of them are still quite perturbed by the thought of a certain kind of people living near them, i.e. low-income, i.e. (in their minds) scary, dirty, worrisome, etc. Of course, that area near his ranch is AFAIR sparsely populated and pretty hidden away, but even so, TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT for some of them.

    It’s sad and unbecoming of them, but I doubt they’d see it that way.

  14. 14
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Mnemosyne: Obama defined the parameters of the debate, hit Romney for running from his record as governor, and pointed out he has to be there for the people Bain fires. Not bad.

  15. 15
    Chris says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Advancing the bill that makes Palpatine into a dictator is nothing to what she’d do if she got her grubby paws on the levers of power.

    She and her kind always struck me as the Separatist rather than Imperial type.

  16. 16
    Greg says:


    “Meesa reads all the newspapers. All of them, okeeday? Also, too.”

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    Reposting from the last thread (and NYT):

    President Obama and leaders of America’s NATO allies on Monday agreed to end their lead role in the decade-long war in Afghanistan next summer, saying it is time for the Afghan people to take responsibility for their own security and for the American-led international troops to go home.

  18. 18
    joes527 says:

    @Baud: Dude. You do realize that they are both fictional characters, don’t you?

  19. 19
    Linnaeus says:


    Saw that too. Very well done. The president does stuff like that better than most.

  20. 20
    Baud says:


    You do realize that they are both fictional characters, don’t you?

    At some level, joes527, aren’t we all?

  21. 21

    Binks, all the way. He’s an annoying but good hearted guy who got fooled by the great manipulator of the age. Sarah Palin is a vile, petty person who wants power to pursue her selfish interests.

  22. 22
    jeffreyw says:

    Digesting this pizza is all I want to do. Then a nap. I may multi-task.

  23. 23
    rikyrah says:

    Bain and Financial Industry Gave Over $565,000 To Newark Mayor Cory Booker For 2002 Campaign

    By Josh Israel on May 21, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Yesterday, Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker (D) attacked the Obama campaign for making an issue of Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital during an appearance on Meet the Press. While the progressive leader later backed off the criticisms, Republicans have been quick to highlight his comments as an attack against the idea that scrutiny of Mitt Romney’s record as a businessman is fair game.

    A ThinkProgress examination of New Jersey campaign finance records for Booker’s first run for Mayor — back in 2002 — suggests a possible reason for his unease with attacks on Bain Capital and venture capital. They were among his earliest and most generous backers.

    Contributions to his 2002 campaign from venture capitalists, investors, and big Wall Street bankers brought him more than $115,000 for his 2002 campaign. Among those contributing to his campaign were John Connaughton ($2,000), Steve Pagliuca ($2,200), Jonathan Lavine ($1,000) — all of Bain Capital. While the forms are not totally clear, it appears the campaign raised less than $800,000 total, making this a significant percentage


  24. 24
    Ben Franklin says:

    It;s more than a ‘kerfluffle’. The anti-Obama ads have already been produced with both

    Booker and Ford caught with their pants down. They need to step up to the plate and hit a grand slam!

  25. 25
    Ben Franklin says:

    It;s more than a ‘kerfluffle’. The anti-Obama ads have already been produced with both
    Booker and Ford caught with their pants down. They need to step up to the plate and hit a grand slam!

  26. 26
    Violet says:

    @Citizen Alan:
    She’d cede most of the actual work to whoever flattered her the most. She’d do a few ceremonial things, give a few speeches and show up for events where she’d be worshiped.

    But if she felt someone, or even some country, somehow slighted her, look out. All hell would break loose as she unleashed all weapons available to her. No slight would be too small to be ignored.

    Imagine a 16 year old Mean Girl with real power and actual weapons and that’s how it would be.

  27. 27
    Ben Franklin says:

    phuck YWP !

  28. 28
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I suspect he’s still pretty peeved about how Red Tails was treated by Hollywood “liberals,” so I don’t think he’ll be heading down here anytime soon.

  29. 29
    chopper says:


    i like that link.

    As Jew Lewison reported, the president spoke at some length on the issue.

  30. 30
    MikeJ says:

    @Baud: Jar Jar wasn’t nearly as amusing as Palin. She did robocalls over the weekend for a Texas primary and called phones in Kansas.

  31. 31
    Raven says:

    Rachel has Booker on NOW.

  32. 32
    Raven says:

    Rachel has Corey on NOW!

  33. 33
    Yutsano says:

    @MikeJ: I have to admit, that was kinda epic.

  34. 34
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Ben Franklin: The Obama campaign ain’t backing down on Bain. Quite the contrary, Obama told the world’s press this afternoon that the election was going to be about Bain and Romney’s claim that that makes him uniquely qualified to be President.

  35. 35
    Ben Franklin says:

    Corey; ‘ I didn’t realize the GOP would actually take SOUND BYTES out of context.’

    Holy Moley….

  36. 36
    Baud says:


    Homer: Marge… I don’t really want to go through with this. But being an astronaut is how I got you to respect me.

    Marge: Homer, when I met you, you weren’t an astronaut. You didn’t even know how to use a touch-tone, but I still respected you and I always will, no matter what… [touch-tone sounds come from the phone] … Homer, you already dialed…

  37. 37
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    And how will those two ads juxtapose on National TeeVee?

  38. 38
    dmsilev says:

    TPM got their hands on the emails between the Arizona wingnut and the Hawaii Attorney General’s office about birtherism. Short version: Hawaii is sick and tired of the nonsense, and is perfectly willing to jerk around the morons who keep pursuing the issue.

  39. 39
    Steve in DC says:

    Corey has always been a social liberal/fuck the middle class Democrat. He’d do well with Cuomo, and expect either of them on the ticket in 2016 to pacify the socially liberal Democrats at Goldman Sachs who fund the HRC while screwing the middle class.

    More of the same. We need more of the old school economics only Democrats, sadly the DNC made sure they are all gone.

  40. 40
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Mnemosyne: I just watched that before coming over here. Damn. Nice work, Mr P.

  41. 41
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Ben Franklin: How will the Obama campaign ads showing Gingrich, Santorum, Huntsman and Perry making the exact same attacks on Bain look?

  42. 42
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Steve in DC:

    O’Malley/Schewitzer 2016!

  43. 43
    Ben Franklin says:

    This guy. Old school, FDR boilerplate Dem

    @Steve in DC:

  44. 44
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    less effective

  45. 45
    JPL says: is broadcasting the graduation of Joplin High School. I have to say the students are saying the same thing they said 45 years ago when I graduated from high school..

  46. 46
    Linnaeus says:



    “You follow drugs, you get drug addicts and drug dealers. But you start to follow the money, and you don’t know where the fuck it’s gonna take you.” – Lester Freamon

  47. 47
    Ben Franklin says:

    Bain was an iron-clad discrediting of Romney. It will take a lot of broadcast advertising to reverse that. Send a bill to Booker for the difference. Romney will be catching up with our thin dollar advantage.

    This is reverse engineering of wingnut proportion.

  48. 48
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:


    I either need better neighbors, better online haunts besides here, or…just need to step the hell away from politics for a while, because it keeps feeling like everywhere I go, everything and everyone keeps canting 90% toward right-wing dipshittery. Supposed ‘stalwart dems’ or ‘liberals’ becoming rah-rah-Romney because apparently ‘Obama had his chance’, Wisconsin showing that ‘FUCK THE DEMOCRATS, FUCK THE JOB-KILLING LIBERCOMMIES FOR-FUCKING-EVER!!!’ still is a ridiculous electoral winner, and just about everything else making me feel like I should get the fuck out of this entire country because Obama and Democrats have destroy EVERYTHING AMERICAAAAAAAAA!!! And apparently, there’s no fucking way to pull anyone to the left on anything anymore. Point out how horrible vulture capitalism has been? Prominent Democrats go “LEAVE BAIN ALOOOOOOOONE!!!” Point out Romney’s failings? ‘OBAMA KILLED THE ECONOMY, STOP HIM NOWWWW!!’

    Everything right wing always gets purchase, everything left wing never sticks, and I feel like a fucking alien in my own circles now.

  49. 49
    JGabriel says:

    Someone has archived a bunch of tweets from George Tierney of South Carolina doing crazy stuff like: unfollowing Kathy Ireland ’cause she voted for Obama; calling Obama a “muslim baby-killer”; calling a lot people “dick-suckers” (fetish?); and so on.

    George Tierney of Greenville, South Carolina is a very angry man.


  50. 50
    Yutsano says:

    @dmsilev: Oh PLEASE do leave him off the ballot. The resulting shitstorm will get us over the N horizon for sure. And I love my birth state even more now.

  51. 51
    Baud says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik:

    I feel like a fucking alien in my own circles now.

    Your friends are losers. Find new ones.

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Gotta agree. Jar-Jar may be as annoying as hell, but there’s no evidence that he as a member of the Galactic Senate ever used his office to get his former brother-in-law tossed out of the Chancellor’s Guard.

  53. 53
    Steve in DC says:

    Jar-Jar is smater and less obnoxious than Palin.

  54. 54
    Freddie deBoer says:

    If anybody who has any legal expertise when it comes to labor law (as in, an individual worker, not a union), and would be able to tell me if a condition by an employer passes a cursory smell test, I would appreciate a quick email. I’m not looking for anything beyond quickly laying out a situation with a work contract and whether a provision is at all credible. Sorry to be arch, just don’t want to be too specific. freddie7 AT gmail DOT com. I’d be much obliged.

  55. 55
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    “I didn’t think anything would happen to my car if I left it at the curb with the doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition.”

  56. 56
    Steve in DC says:


    Depends on the state. IE where I am DC, MD, VA all have wildly different laws and other such crap. So what flies in one may not in the other.

  57. 57
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Ben Franklin: Have you seen any of the Obama ads on Bain? They’re simply the people involved telling their stories; and they’re devastating.

    The Willard camp might think going to bat for private equity will mitigate people’s disdain for their business model, but it won’t work, because they aren’t refuting the facts. It’s simply the political equivalent of ‘Leave Brittney alone!’.

    Booker knows he will be the loser in this kerfuffle, which is why he was on Maddow’s show damn near pleading.

  58. 58
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:


    Your friends are losers. Find new ones.

    I probably should, but…doesn’t change the feeling that politics has become utterly and totally impenetrable and slanted as ever. Just…feels all so goddamned pointless.

  59. 59
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik:

    Can I at least wonder why one would proclaim something an ‘electoral winner’ if it hasn’t been voted on yet? The WI recall elections aren’t until June.

  60. 60
    Freddie deBoer says:

    I should say it’s employment law, and not labor law. And thanks, Steve.

  61. 61
    Baud says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik: My low point was the 2010 elections. I’ve been more emotionally detached since then, although more motivated.

  62. 62
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    There is a wide gap on campaign spending for the time being. Obama has been spending more than Romney. That gap will be closing.

    Booker and Ford need to step up to the plate on money and time for the campaign.

    AYK, it’s about money, and they just cost Obama a lot of broadcast media dollars to counter their stupidity.

  63. 63
    Steve in DC says:

    I am not a lawyer but I’ve had to deal with them and my share of contracts before. I’d need a rough idea of it to know if I know anything about that area. But you’d probably need a lawyer that’s in touch with your states rules. Our headquarters are in NC yet our office is in DC and I know that this creates a legal fuck fest of massive proportuions. International hires add another lawyer of insanity to this.

    If it’s a right to work based issue or an at will sort of contract I do know a bit about those.

  64. 64
    Ben Franklin says:



  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    “The Franklin” is the name of a new boner pill?

  66. 66
    MikeJ says:

    @Ben Franklin: Because you failed to read any of the 763 comments here that have pointed out that B00ker is in the mod words list?

  67. 67
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Are you spelling B00ker’s name normally, without letter replacement? Because his name is also a moderated word for betting…things.

  68. 68
    Freddie deBoer says:

    @Steve in DC: That’s just what it is. Can you maybe send me an email? I’ll just send you a paragraph about the situation.

  69. 69
    Freddie deBoer says:

    @Ben Franklin: Ben, I’m afraid I know nothing about the comment moderation system.

  70. 70
    Steve in DC says:

    Who the fuck calls them a “b00ker” it’s a “b00ky”, I take it non of y’all gamble?

  71. 71
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    @Steve in DC:

    Because b00ky or b00kie is supposed to be slang for a b00ker?

  72. 72
    Steve in DC says:

    email sent.

  73. 73
    Steve in DC says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik

    I’ve never heard it called anything but slang. Kinda how pot heads don’t call pot “marijuana”. If someone is being that exact about it they are probably a cop, that or a moron.

  74. 74
    Ben Franklin says:


    all 763, yours?

    f you and WP

  75. 75
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @Ben Franklin: Yeah, I don’t think so. Meek is a good politician, but he lets the stump get to him and seems to shut down a lot. The last two months he was running for Senator, he was invisible in Rubio and Crist’s shadows. Even the local Dems had no clue what his campaign was doing.

    Besides that, he hasn’t ever actually run a competitive campaign for a state-wide office. I like the guy, he actually stopped and explained his thinking when I asked him a question, which was more than any other politician around here has. Even my own congressman. But I have yet to see the fire needed to mount even a state-wide campaign.

  76. 76
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    BOOker? Really?

    If you don’t pitch a tent at BJ, I guess you are SOL.

  77. 77
    danielx says:


    Gee, which would I prefer, a root canal or a colonoscopy? Or both? I’ll take door #1, since Jar Jar isn’t actively malevolent.

    As to this evening, enjoying the last cool evening we’re likely to get for a while. Nice enough to have the windows open and dry enough to paint some of the exterior tomorrow in a free moment; getting ready for the daughterspawn’s graduation party in a couple of weeks. Ninety degree weather this weekend for the Indianapolis 500, which is not unusual…but I’m glad I don’t go the the race anymore. Something about being in a crowd of 300,000 people makes me itch these days especially when at least 150,000 of them are buttered to the max, as those crazy kids say…

  78. 78
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @danielx: I went once. I had good seats in the grandstands just opposite the pits. The place was loud. I don’t think I would do it again. Cool one time experience, but not my bag. Le Mans? That, I want to see.

  79. 79
    Elias says:

    Republican economics is basically the econ-equivalent of homeopathy. Tax cuts and deregulation caused this problem? More of the same will help fix it!

  80. 80
    danielx says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Yeah, it’s definitely something to see – once. Although if you live around here and are young and/or stupid you go more than once, or go to qualifications, etc. I gave up going to The Race twenty years ago, although I did attend one of the Grand Prix races held here before the Speedway management told Bernie Ecclestone to take a hike. Those cars were not only loud, but painfully, obnoxiously loud – like amplified turbocharged mosquitoes.

    And yes, Le Mans would be a trip and a half.

  81. 81
  82. 82
    gaz says:

    asianGirl I really hope you are around just because my webcam hates my guts and my digital camera is no more. =(

    As I promised a week ago, here’s some pics of my nails as they exist currently. They survived moving a ton of things from my moms house into storage yesterday (the joy of multiple clear coats!) and are rather short right now. I cut them periodically because when I let them get long they eventually fatigue. When they’re short I do fun kid type stuff with them. These ones were done originally to match an outfit, as usual. Of course, they don’t at the moment, but the color scheme is fairly versatile despite the detail =)

    Disclaimer: The move did damage around my cuticles and the ends of my nails… arg.. and I had to take these on my axiom keyboard to trick the camera into focusing properly (I don’t recommend an MS webcam for photos!)

    There. Now I hope you visit this thread! heheh. This is a lot harder to do than it should be =) (Not the nails, but convincing the webcam not to be completely awful)

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