Why Does California Send This Woman to the Senate?

Good grief, if her husband’s financial issues and general hawkishness were not enough, it’s stuff like this that drives me insane:

The decision that brought about Sgt. Bergdahl’s freedom on Saturday continues to draw criticism. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.), head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday that Congress should have been consulted before Sgt. Bergdahl was exchanged for five Taliban detainees, who were sent to Qatar.

Imagine that. Why would they not tell them? Well, first, Congress was notified, and by my math, within a 30 day time period:

Obama administration officials first discussed with senior House Republicans the possibility of swapping five terrorism detainees from the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in late November 2011, according to senior GOP aides.

The possible prisoner exchange was discussed again during a briefing on Jan. 31, 2012, after senior House Republicans sent two letters to the Obama administration seeking more information on the possibility of the swap, said the aides, who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The aides said that no other communications between the administration and House Republicans about the possible prisoner swap took place after the January 2012 meeting — until an aide to House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) received a phone call from a Defense Department official notifying them of Bergdahl’s release at 11:52 a.m. Saturday — shortly before news of the release was first reported.

It’s not like they were out of the loop, because this happened:

The Arizona senator, himself a former prisoner of war, initially balked at the idea of a prisoner swap, calling the idea in 2012 “bizarre.” A few months ago, however, McCain changed his mind.

    U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been held by a group with ties to the Taliban for almost four years, and the group has demanded the United States release five Taliban prisoners in exchange for him.

    The Washington Post reported that U.S. officials confirmed that talks among diplomats and the Pentagon were under way. The official U.S. policy is not to negotiate with terrorists, but the military is winding down operations there by the end of the year and could risk leaving Bergdahl behind, CNN noted.

    McCain said his stance has changed only because the previous proposal was to release five “hard-core” Taliban leaders as a “confidence-building measure.” The current proposal would be an actual exchange of prisoners. “I would be inclined to support such a thing, depending on a lot of details,” he said.

Update: Asked specifically by CNN’s Anderson Cooper about the prospect of a 5-for-1 prisoner exchange, McCain replied, “I would support. Obviously I’d have to know the details, but I would support ways of bringing him home, and if exchange was one of them, I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider.”

That was in February.

McCain appears to have change course again after the Bergdahl announcement was made over the weekend.

    While McCain, himself a former prisoner of war, said he was “pleased” by Bergdahl’s release in a Saturday statement, he sounded a more ambivalent note on Face the Nation the following day.

    “It is disturbing that these individuals would have the ability to re-enter the fight, and they are big, high-level people, possibly responsibly for the deaths of thousands,” he said.

As best as I can tell, McCain has not explained why he was “inclined to support” the same deal the Obama administration actually struck, which the senator is no longer inclined to support.

Update: Yesterday, McCain suggested that it’s best not to dwell on the prisoner-swap decision. “It’s worthy of a hearing, but it’s done,” he said. Today, McCain adopted a different posture, telling reporters, “This decision to bring Sgt. Bergdahl home – and we applaud that he is home – is ill-founded … it is a mistake, and it is putting the lives of American servicemen and women at risk. And that to me is unacceptable.”

They weren’t out of the loop, they’re just making shit up now. This will always be about the Kenyan Usurper with these sociopaths.

At any rate, back to Feinstein. She may, unlike others and Sen. McCain, may actually have been kept out of the loop. Why? I dunno, but there is this:

Washington and Islamabad have never commented on where the deadly Predator drones take off and land, seemingly content with the general assumption that they are deployed from US bases in the Middle East or Afghanistan.

Pakistan constantly has to weigh its obligations to help the US fight the rebels and terrorists with hostile public opinion

But during a senate hearing on Feb 13 Mrs Feinstein, who is chairman of the senate intelligence committee, noted apparent contradictions in Islamabad’s expression of anger with the US over recent missile attacks on the autonomous tribal zones which provide sanctuary for al-Qaeda.

Addressing Dennis Blair, the new director of national intelligence, she said:

“I don’t know whether you’d care to comment on this but [I] also noticed that Mr Holbrooke in Pakistan ran into considerable concern about the use of the Predator strikes in the FATA area of Pakistan.

“And yet, as I understand it, these are flown out of a Pakistani base,” she said.

Oopsie daisy! Mind you, I am not a fan of drone warfare, but FFS, DiFi. And this kind of seals the deal:

The pending deal to move senior Taliban figures from Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to Qatar is part of a trade for the return of a Western prisoner, according to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

The Obama administration’s plan to move five top Taliban officials to live under house arrest in Qatar has been extensively reported but never openly discussed by administration officials. And until Feinstein confirmed it to The Cable, the fact that the crux of the deal is a swap for a Westerner had never been publicly disclosed.

“That’s the framework of the exchange. But it’s presented as a confidence-building measure,” Feinstein said. “We are giving up people who killed a lot of people, people who were head of major efforts of the Taliban.”

Feinstein said the deal involved the trade of one Westerner for the five Taliban leaders. She also confirmed the name of the Westerner in question, but The Cable has agreed to withhold that name at the request of U.S. officials out of concern for his safety.

You were kept out of the loop for a reason, moran. You can’t be trusted. Look, we in WV send Joe Manchin because it is the best we got. But you all can and should do a lot better.

94 replies
  1. 1
    trollhattan says:

    Said yesterday after this…line of “thought” was made known that I’m suspecting DiFi has lost her shit. She’s been on a tear lately, on the wrong side of every issue she’s involved in (the water stuff being most prominent). God I hope she doesn’t run yet again.

    Also, too, Fuck you, Dan White’s corpse.

  2. 2
    KG says:

    DiFi is a left over from when California was a competitive state. And now she has the advantage of incumbency, so she’s Senator for life

  3. 3
    Hunter Gathers says:

    This just keeps getting dumber and dumber as more time passes. I’m sure that by Saturday they’ll be accusing Bergdahl of assisting Bin Laden with 9-11 and Obama of kidnapping the Lindbergh baby.

  4. 4
    Joel says:

    She’s 80, so we can hope for retirement of some sort or another.

  5. 5
    RaflW says:

    Every Senate has to have it’s Lieberman. I guess she’s it now.

  6. 6
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Hunter Gathers: The 5 Taliban detainees have already been anointed the greatest criminal minds in the history of humanity. They’ll all have superpowers by the weekend.

  7. 7
    David Koch says:

    I wouldn’t mind this so much if she was consistent. But when Bush was in office she rolled over on every issue. She never-ever complained about anything Bush did. And considering her position on the Intell committee, at the very least, she should have raised hell over the outing of Valerie Plame and her network and how that actually damaged national security. But no, she didn’t say a peep,

  8. 8
    askew says:

    Just once it would be nice to have some Democrats support Obama on anything. We either get assholes tripping over themselves running to the microphones to bitch about Obama’s latest mistake or they run off and hide and are nowhere to be found. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen anyone besides Pelosi or Reid be useful to the party or to the Obama WH. Just complete wastes of space. Debbie W-S spends most of her time on twitter talking about softball or her kids and hasn’t shown her face on TV in ages. Worthless, worthless, worthless.

    And now we have leaks coming out from Hillary’s camp about how she disagreed with every Obama decision or told him what to do, etc.

  9. 9
    David Koch says:

    GOS has a great piece on all the wingers who were for Bergdahl’s release before they were against Bergdahl’s release.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....s-the-LOLs

  10. 10
    RaflW says:

    @David Koch: Well that is consistent. Consistently in the pocket of the right wing.

    I don’t think Democrat means to DiFi what it means to most of us. I hope the voters out there are figuring it out. I mean, if Brown can be a shoe-in why is she still there? I know incumbancy is powerful, but shit on a shingle, get her retired.

  11. 11
    David Koch says:

    Classic wingnutz

    Matt Binder finds typical wingnut kook who repeatedly criticized Obama for not bringing home Bergdahl NOW criticizing Obama for bringing home Bergdahl

    https://twitter.com/MattBinder/status/474267033216241664

    Here’s one wingut specifically screaming at her wingnut Senator to take the trade, NOW she’s screaming that they took the trade.

    https://twitter.com/MattBinder/status/474286697807876098/photo/1

  12. 12
    Hill Dweller says:

    @askew: Sen Murphy went to bat for the President on Maddow’s show. He rightly called the Republicans’ bullshit an election year stunt.

  13. 13
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Hill Dweller: Didn’t know that we released Lex Luthor, Magneto, Darth Sidious, Hannibal Lector, and Keyser Söze. I wasn’t even aware that we had them in custody.

  14. 14
    askew says:

    But, as annoying as Feinstein is, she is pretty harmless. Vermont’s Senator Leahy on the other hand has been fucking us over for years now by continuing to honor GOP blue slips that leave judicial seats empty. When Hatch was chairing Judiciary, he stopped honoring blue slips and Reid has been pushing Leahy for years to stop honoring them. But, Leahy cares more about Senate rules than this country, so he is letting the GOP block Obama’s judicial picks, which will hurt us for decades to come. Vermont can do better than Leahy.

  15. 15
    askew says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Well, that’s 1. Of course, he waited for days while the GOP got out there and set the narrative before stepping up and went on a show only watched by liberals. But, it’s better than the rest of the Dems have managed so far.

  16. 16
    David Koch says:

    @RaflW: She’s worse than Lieberman. Unlike Feinstien, Lieberman at least voted against Bush’s tax cuts, prescription drug scheme, and flag burning amendment.

  17. 17
    Ash Can says:

    I’m +several at this point and can’t for the life of me remember where I saw it, but I read a little news blurb earlier today that Feinstein spilled, or almost spilled, the beans on the Bergdahl negotiations to a reporter some months ago. Gee, I wonder why the WH would want to shut someone like that out of the loop?

  18. 18
    Culture of Truth says:

    What we learned from this is that probably, her heart is in the right place, even if she has been driven pretty far round the bend by reading daily alarmist terrior ‘we’re all gonna die’ reports, and Nobody Puts Congress in a Corder

  19. 19
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @askew: Only in Bizarro World can Leahy be considered worse than DiFi.

  20. 20

    @Ash Can: I added that. My power went out before I edited, and it just came back on and I proofread and realized I had forgotten the most important part, the fact that she had blabbed before on this specific issue. It’s there now.

  21. 21

    @askew:
    I’m betting those leaks are ‘journalists’ pulling quotes out of their ass again. It’s been a running theme during Obama’s presidency. Is anyone but Feinstein actually betraying the president here? The national news media does love to dig up one person and scream ‘Democrats In Disarray!’

  22. 22
    Felonius Monk says:

    @askew:

    Vermont can do better than Leahy.

    Vermont has done better. Unfortunately, when they made Bernie Sanders, they threw away the mold.

  23. 23

    Speaking of editing, the “was” instead of “were” was so bad that if my mother were awake and had read that, she would have walked down the street and thrown a hardback edition of Strunk and White at my head and told me I was disowned.

  24. 24
    askew says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    @askew: Only in Bizarro World can Leahy be considered worse than DiFi.

    DiFi hasn’t harmed the country and the Obama admin 6 years unlike Leahy who is single-handedly letting the GOP block Obama’s judicial nominees because he cares more about Senate Rules than the country. Nothing DiFi has done is that bad.

  25. 25
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: People in earlier threads have posted links to show that while HRC may have counseled against this trade as SoS in 2011-12, she has come out publicly in support of it this week. I am no Hillary-bot, but the willingness to ascribe assholishness to her is amazing.

  26. 26
    David Koch says:

    The cognitive dissonance among these zombies is astounding

    https://twitter.com/gregpinelo/status/474284507890065408

    The Derp is strong with tis one.

    Bottom line, the wingerz are brain dead xombiex. they simply do what they’re told without any recognition of their vast contradictions.

    A recent example: they all wanted Palin to be president, now they flip flop and say women aren’t suited to be president. Prior examples include: they were against “nation building” before they were for it. They were against socialized medicine before they were for it (prescription drugs). They were for deficits (“reagan proved deficits don’t matter”) before they were against it. They were for tax cuts, until Obama proposed a payroll tax cut. They were against embassy security before they were for it.

  27. 27
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @askew: I suggest that few would share your view.

  28. 28
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    From Cole’s linked article at the WaPO

    Administration officials briefed some senior leaders of congressional national security committees on Bergdahl’s condition and possible release as recently as December 2013, when a video of him surfaced. The video had been requested by American negotiators as “proof of life” ahead of a revival of indirect negotiations that had been stalled for more than a year. Several congressional aides said Tuesday that there was no discussion of a possible prisoner swap during the December briefing.

    If a prisoner exchange was always part of the (stalled) negotiations, how does it make sense that there was no discussion of a swap when those negotiations started again? In December negotiations reopened, in February McCain said he was open to the idea of a five-to-one exchange. This makes no sense.
    I think this has to do with 1) institutional and personal ego, Feinstein’s as arrogant as any of them (except maybe McCain), especially where her alleged expertise of defense/intelligence is concerned; 2) besides partisanship, we are talking about old white people here, Fox News’ target audience, susceptible to the hysterical fear of those strange, exotic barbarians who are so much more dangerous than any enemy we, or anyone, have ever faced in war. I was just reading that the “most dangerous” of the five was the Taliban’s military commander against the Northern Alliance. A violent man, probably guilty of war crimes and many grotesque associations and actions, dangerous to his Afghani enemies, but to us…? I’m not convinced.

    And now we have leaks coming out from Hillary’s camp about how she disagreed with every Obama decision or told him what to do, etc.

    I assume leaks are the reason the WH minimized discussion with legislators, and Dianne Feinstein is a leak from the Hillary camp. I can’t believe CA progressives could never come up with at least a challenger credible enough to scare her. And I am not one to call for primaries over every vote or position I don’t like.

  29. 29
    James E. Powell says:

    I am amazed that neither one of our senators is good for anything good. We have a corporate/hawk and a useless liberal.

    It’s a puzzle to me and I’m sure many others. We are one of the bluest states. How come we haven’t produced any Democratic political leaders of consequence?

    ¿Ou sont Les Frémonts d’antan?

  30. 30
    askew says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    @askew:
    I’m betting those leaks are ‘journalists’ pulling quotes out of their ass again. It’s been a running theme during Obama’s presidency. Is anyone but Feinstein actually betraying the president here? The national news media does love to dig up one person and scream ‘Democrats In Disarray!’

    Manchin, Grimes have made public statements criticizing Obama. And there has been almost no Dems making the TV rounds supporting his decision. The media couldn’t make up those stories if the Dems would actually voice their support for Obama’s decision. But, they have done nothing but sit back and twiddle their thumbs while Obama does all the hard work for years.

    Howard Dean would have been on MSNBC and CNN every hour ripping the GOP apart for their behavior had he been DNC head. Where’s DWS? No where to be found as usual just like the rest of the Dems. Bunch of worthless losers who have never been a bit of help to this WH. But, they are first in line to blame him for everything that goes wrong in the party and the country.

  31. 31
    David Koch says:

    Comedian Matt Binder posted the hilarious and yet mind numbing wingnut flip-flops

    https://twitter.com/MattBinder/media

  32. 32
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @James E. Powell: Earl Warren? Oh wait, he was a Republican.

  33. 33
    EJ says:

    It’s a one party state. If the races aren’t competitive, the incumbent or the biggest party hack wins. You ought to see the clowns we get at the state and local level. I mean, Jerry Brown – solid guy, but he’s an exception. Here in San Diego the Dems celebrated a chance to get a Democrat into the mayors office by throwing their support behind a known serial sexual harasser, and now they’re acting surprised that that blew up in their face.

  34. 34
    askew says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    @askew: I suggest that few would share your view.

    And all of them would have zero facts to back up their view. I have facts that show what Leahy has done to hurt our country. What has DiFi done? Has she single-handedly blocked an Obama nominee, a progressive bill from being enacted, etc? Nope. But, DiFi has always been a big target for the blogs while Feingold (before he got kicked out of office) and Leahy get away with hurting the party and country and no one says boo about it.

  35. 35
    🌷 Martin says:

    She wasn’t always this way. I don’t mind her opposing the idea. I mind that she leaked the Congressional notification from 2012 in order to scuttle the deal. Senators don’t get veto power. I don’t fault the WH for leaving them in the dark after that.

    She’s not a great senator these days, but she’s reliable in almost every arena but this one. She won by 25 points in 2012. Nobody came within a country mile of her at any point in the race.

  36. 36
    Fred Fnord says:

    Fer fuck’s sake, guys. California is not a monolith. We have more liberals than any other state in the country, more conservatives than any state in the country aside from Texas, more rich folks than any other state in the country, and more idiots than there are in the entire United States. Including California. Which makes no sense, but trust me, it’s true.

    DiFi’s headquarters is in the FiDi (Financial District) of San Francisco, and there are reasons for this: all she actually cares about is giving the rich folks what they want. Anything else she does is more or less done at random.

  37. 37
    Hill Dweller says:

    @🌷 Martin: Yep. She threw a tantrum because the Obama admin(wisely) cut her out of the loop this time.

  38. 38
    Fred Fnord says:

    Oh and bear in mind that this is just going to get worse with open primaries. If we aren’t careful, the next time we have an open senate seat we’ll have two Republicans and sixteen Democrats in the primary, and the two Republicans will go on to the general despite getting 15% of the vote each. If we ARE careful, we’ll still end up with one Republican and the most conservative Democrat of the bunch, who will be another DiFi, and we’ll all have to hold our noses and vote for said Democrat anyway. Because those are EXACTLY what open primaries are FOR. And we’re stuck with them, probably for at least the next twenty to thirty years, until something bad happens to a Republican because of them.

    Because ‘not allowing any real liberal Democrats or third parties to ever have any representation at all’ is the reason why both the Democratic and Republican parties liked the idea.

  39. 39
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @askew: Just off hand, when did we develop a parliamentary system where the president is the head of the party and must be followed at all costs? Look at DiFi’s voting record. She is easily one of the most rightish Democrats in office. Look at Leahy’s voting record. I will agree with you that he is wrong on the blue slip issue, but, Jesus, get a grip.

  40. 40
    🌷 Martin says:

    @James E. Powell:

    We are one of the bluest states. How come we haven’t produced any Democratic political leaders of consequence?

    We’re recently blue. We turned out two of the more infamous Republican presidents, after all.

    But we’ve got some good ones coming up. Kamala Harris is one to watch.

  41. 41
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    DiFi is noblesse oblige in Senate form. Not that much different from Maverick McMavericky. There’s now a big divide between those who are Senate lifers and those who are around for a term or two and say “fuck this shit”, and I can’t help but think that working alongside the Senate lifers contributes to that.

    Who was it who said that being on the intel committee and being exposed to Seekrits fucks with your head?

  42. 42
    🌷 Martin says:

    3 police officers shot and killed in Moncton, New Brunswick. Suspect still on the loose.

  43. 43
    askew says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    @askew: Just off hand, when did we develop a parliamentary system where the president is the head of the party and must be followed at all costs? Look at DiFi’s voting record. She is easily one of the most rightish Democrats in office. Look at Leahy’s voting record. I will agree with you that he is wrong on the blue slip issue, but, Jesus, get a grip.

    But, DiFi’s right votes are never the deciding votes. That’s the problem with the left blogs. They spend their time bitching about someone who has little to no impact on policy. Leahy’s decision to honor blue slips harms policy and this country. Who cares how he votes on other issues? He’s never the deciding vote either. Get rid of him and get a generic Dem in his place and the country is better off by far. But, he and Feingold get a pass on among the left because the left has always cared more about a politican’s speeches than in their policy decisions. And the blogs have always been harder on women and minorities than they have on white male politicians.

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Hunter Gathers: Obama and Clinton (Bill) tag teamed the grassy knoll, helped in the sinking of the Maine, opened the windows for the Second Defenestration of Prague, and were both present to help Judas Iscariot carry the thirty pieces of silver.

  45. 45
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @askew:

    Get rid of him and get a generic Dem in his place and the country is better off by far.

    Next in seniority on the Senate Judiciary Committee majority after Leahy? Dianne Feinstein.

    Like I said.

  46. 46
    askew says:

    @Fred Fnord:

    Yeah, the top 2 primary system California enacted is just going to end up screwing Democrats.

    I think the reason California has less of a farm team than other states is term limits on the state level along with Boxer and Feinstein having the top 2 Federal jobs locked up for so long.

    I just hope Gavin Newsum doesn’t end up with Feinstein’s seat when she retires. I’d like to see Harris or Hilda Solis take the Senate slot instead.

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @askew: Whatever. You are fine with her being a center-right dipshit who publicly opposes state policy and enables the GOP, but someone who tries to follow the rules of the branch of government to which he was elected is a GOP stooge? Sorry. I don’t buy it.

  48. 48
    askew says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    And do we know that she’d honor the blue slips? Because with Reid and other Senators have already come out against keeping them. But, Leahy doesn’t care.

    And I doubt Feinstein gives up Intel for Judiciary anyway.

  49. 49
    🌷 Martin says:

    @askew: It’s only been helping Dems so far. We nearly lost Controller to the scenario described above, but I think the party will get that under control.

    California is susceptible to kooks from the left as much as from the right. A system that keeps everyone from running too far into the weeds is a good one.

    I want Harris as Governor, from where she could run for President. Hilda for Senate, please. Gavin is the platonic ideal of a Lt. Governor. He’s perfect at being grand marshall of parades. Not wasting much talent there.

  50. 50
    askew says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    @askew: Whatever. You are fine with her being a center-right dipshit who publicly opposes state policy and enables the GOP, but someone who tries to follow the rules of the branch of government to which he was elected is a GOP stooge? Sorry. I don’t buy it.

    The blue slips are a courtesy not a rule of the legislative branch. Like I said already, Hatch got rid of them when he was chairing Judiciary. No reason that Leahy should ever have brought them back.

    And yes I care more about getting progressive judges on the bench to stop the GOP’s medieval push to roll back women’s rights and to take away voting rights from people. That is more important than some talking points Feinstein spews. But, that is something the left blogosphere has never understood. Policy and judicial appointments have lasting effect on this country. Politician’s words are a temporary blip.

  51. 51
    askew says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    @askew: It’s only been helping Dems so far. We nearly lost Controller to the scenario described above, but I think the party will get that under control.

    It hurt us in CA-31 and CA-25 where the Dems split the field and we ended up with a top 2 of all Republicans. We needed those two seats to start re-taking the House. The reason it is stupid is that Dems don’t turn out for primaries while Republicans do so all it takes is poor turnout to push 2 Republicans into the general election in many districts. The Dems have continuously found ways to undermine our blue-state strengths between stupid election gambits and dumb gerrymanders, we are putting ourselves in a massive hole for trying to re-claim the House.

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @askew: Okay, then. Let’s primary Leahy. Come on, let’s take down one of the most liberal members of the Senate because of his lack of perfection. OTOH, let’s keep not object a bit to one of the right most Democrats shitting herself in public.

  53. 53
    burnspbesq says:

    @Fred Fnord:

    If we aren’t careful, the next time we have an open senate seat we’ll have two Republicans and sixteen Democrats in the primary, and the two Republicans will go on to the general despite getting 15% of the vote each.

    Oh, chill. Kamala Harris is taking Feinstein’s seat in 2018. You know that as well as I do.

  54. 54
    Roger Moore says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    I want Harris as Governor, from where she could run for President. Hilda for Senate, please.

    Villaraigosa is going to throw his name into the mix somewhere, sex scandal be damned.

  55. 55
    Yeggman says:

    @Fred Fnord: It seriously pisses me off that we somehow managed to make vanilla first-past-the-post even worse instead of implementing something like IRV or fusion voting. And of course now we’re stuck with it forever because any effort to replace it will be decried by goo goos as no good partisans up to their old tricks.

  56. 56
    askew says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    @askew: Okay, then. Let’s primary Leahy. Come on, let’s take down one of the most liberal members of the Senate because of his lack of perfection. OTOH, let’s keep not object a bit to one of the right most Democrats shitting herself in public.

    Again, what are the consequences of Feinstein’s words or her votes? There aren’t any. Leahy’s bad outweighs his good because a generic Dem who places the country’s best interests above Senate traditions would be more valuable. Who cares how liberal he is when his decisions are making the courts more conservative and court decisions more conservative than they need to be. I have no problems with Leahy staying in the Senate if Reid kicks him off Judiciary where he can’t do damage.

    You seem to have zero understanding of real world consequences of what Leahy is doing vs. what Feinstein has said. Where they rank on some meaningless measurement of Senators’ ideology doesn’t matter. What matters is that Leahy is harming the country. Feinstein is being a self-serving asshole. Big difference. But, then I am a woman who stands to lose rights because Leahy cares more about Senate traditions than women’s rights. There is nothing liberal about that.

  57. 57
    KG says:

    @Fred Fnord: the way the open primary is setting up, there is going to be two or three candidates on each side that will get the money. We may still end up with a republican in the general, but there’s likely going to be one in the next couple of go rounds with two Dems in the general

  58. 58
    gian says:

    she gets re-elected on the theory that the right wing is worse.

    a credible moderate democrat rather than a conservative democrat could beat her in the primary if properly funded and organized. but where would that money come from? I live here and have held nose and voted for her since the 90s.

    she’s never been that bright in terms of handling a tough question – she had a gotcha moment when running against pete Wilson (of prop 187 fame) for governor (she lost)
    on one of the sunday republican ball washing television shows, I think the ABC one, she was asked a series of questions along the lines of “you say you’re better on women’s issues because you’re a woman” (like Palin?) DiFi said “yes” (a wise woman would’ve had radar up and given an answer not so easy to mess with and looked a little strange at “better”) in the classic sunday we love the GOP gotcha, the next question was “what issues is your opponent better at because he’s male”

    she ummmed and stuttered and all that. She couldn’t bust out a confident “none” or “circumcism” with a smirk it was an opening that a smart, quick thinker could’ve used.
    she sat there like it was a shock she was even asked anything like that.

  59. 59
    askew says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Oh, chill. Kamala Harris is taking Feinstein’s seat in 2018. You know that as well as I do.

    All it takes is for 3 or more progressives to run alongside of her as spoilers and allow 2 Republicans to sneak into the top 2. It has happened 3 times already in CA and almost happened in the controller race.

  60. 60
    gian says:

    @Roger Moore:

    the mediawhore, (shoutout to MWO) who slept with him while he was still hitched is getting more airtime on KTLA now that he’s not mayor.

    (edit to add)
    *that’s because she hid the affair and covered HIM while DOING him, and the coverage was favorable. I think she’s learned a lot and is much wiser

  61. 61
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @askew:

    It hurt us in CA-31 and CA-25 where the Dems split the field and we ended up with a top 2 of all Republicans.

    CA-31.

    CA-25

    I don’t see what you see. One puts a Dem in second place; the other was a GOP-split of ~60% of the vote between two candidates, and it’s a reach to think that combining the 30% of the two Dem candidates would make a difference in November.

    I think you see things that other people don’t see. You are a bit special.

  62. 62
    Elizabelle says:

    Liking the Kamala Harris love.

    She’d be a great governor, senator, president.

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @askew:

    It hurt us in CA-31 and CA-25 where the Dems split the field and we ended up with a top 2 of all Republicans.

    Check the numbers again. It’s still too close to call, but it looks like Aguilar is going to make it to the general election in CA-31.

  64. 64
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @askew:

    You seem to have zero understanding of real world consequences of what Leahy is doing vs. what Feinstein has said.

    Do you know the odds of a judicial candidate not supported by his/her home senators being appointed to the bench?

  65. 65
    Yeggman says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: CA-25 is a R +3 district, in other words very competitive. The main reason Republicans did well in the primary is because the primary electorate is much, much more conservative than the general electorate.

    I don’t know if a Dem would win, but it at least would be a race.

  66. 66
    askew says:

    @Roger Moore:

    That’s good news. Last I read was that 2 GOP were going to make it into the top 2. In 2012, 2 GOP made it to the top 2 so that was a seat we gave away.

    Here’s DKE’s recap of those two seats:

    • CA-25 (2): Oof. In an embarrassing development, Democrat Lee Rogers was shut out of the general election in this blue-trending district, a development we feared might happen. November will instead see a fight between two Republicans, ex-state Sen. Tony Strickland and state Sen. Steve Knight, who finished with 29 and 28 percent respectively. (Rogers took 22.) (Safe R)

    • CA-31 (2): Last cycle, no Democrats managed to advance past the top-two in this 57 percent Obama district, a huge black eye for the party. This year, the race has once again given Democrats fits, and they’re holding on to the second slot by a thread. Republican Paul Chabot easily captured first place with 27 percent, but Democrat Pete Aguilar, the DCCC choice, is ahead of Republican Lesli Gooch by a 17.4 to 16.5 margin at this point, or 390 votes. Another Democrat, Eloise Gomez Reyes, was just a bit further back at 16.0 percent, 232 votes behind Gooch. There were no obvious trends as votes came in on Tuesday night, but if Aguilar can’t hang on, it would be a true disaster for Democrats, who should be heavily favored to pick up this seat. (Likely D)

  67. 67
    askew says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Do you know the odds of a judicial candidate not supported by his/her home senators being appointed to the bench?

    You clearly haven’t been paying attention to what has been happening. The GOP Senators are giving their approval to Obama for the nominations and the second he nominates him, they put a blue slip on the nomination stopping it. They’ve been abusing this process because Leahy is a chump. Reid has been railing to try to get Leahy to change the process to no avail.

    But, that doesn’t matter. What matters is that Leahy is putting Senate traditions above this country’s best interests. That doesn’t make him a liberal or any better than Feinstein.

  68. 68
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Yeggman: Maybe we need to get Dems to fucking vote then?

  69. 69

    A friend of mine once commented that there was nothing wrong with DiFi that being turned into a black lesbian wouldn’t cure.

    I think she’s one more argument for the hypothesis that conservatism rots the brain.

  70. 70
    askew says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    We’ve been trying for decades and made some progress. The problem has always been that the GOP voters have more time on their hands to vote and usually have more flexible jobs allowing them to vote. Our voters are more likely to work at jobs that make it difficult to get time off to vote. Have less money and time to spend voting, etc. Plus, we need young people to vote and they have never been reliable voters.

    We will likely never match GOP turnout in midterms but we have to do better than we did in 2010 or Obama might as well go on vacation until January 2017.

  71. 71
    jl says:

    @KG:

    DiFi the one who put the kibosh on the first attempt at a deal? Oh my DiFi, Why oh why?

    There are a lot of good CA politicians who term out and could easily take her place and be very good Senators. I wish she would decide to get a life and retire. But she seems like one those Senators whose personal identity has merged into their office.

    I cast some symbolic votes against against her in the old CA primaries, but it was pissing in the wind.

  72. 72
    Fred Fnord says:

    @KG: Yes, but only in safe Dem districts of the House. In actual competitive races it’s never going to be the Dems that end up with two candidates, because we don’t have the party discipline that the Republicans have.

    Look, for example, at the State Controller race, where it will be Ashley Swearengin (Republican) vs either another Republican or a Democrat. Because we had four Democrats and a Green Party candidate to split the vote, whereas the Republicans only had two. If it does happen here, this will be the FORUTH time in the last TWO ELECTION CYCLES that this has happened to the Democrats (a seat that is likely to go to the Democrats instead being contested between two Republicans in the general). Meanwhile, not only has it not happened to the Republicans at all, it hasn’t even come CLOSE to happening to the Republicans.

    Yes, there have been races where two Democrats were in the general, but those were in places where a Democrat was clearly going to win no matter what. For places where one party had a safe district that was taken by the other party only as a result of the open primary, it is 100% benefiting the Republicans.

    And it’ll get worse. As they get better at hiding the source of money (the attempts to prevent it notwithstanding) they will be able to run their own Democrats as spoilers. Not feasible for Democrats, of course; even for those willing to stoop to that, we don’t have an infinite amount of money. They do. After all, if we have three credible Democrats and they have two credible Republicans, all they really have to do is run say three fake Democrats, each of which siphons off 5% or so, and, absent a real consensus candidate on the D side, they just win the whole ball of wax.

  73. 73
    amk says:

    well done, cole.

  74. 74
    Stella B. says:

    @David Koch: They were for hostage trades (at least for arms) before they were against them.

    DiFi is 80 and I’ve got two words for her. Linda. Sanchez.

  75. 75
    🌷 Martin says:

    @askew: No, it’s that Republicans are aggrieved and vote out of a deep sense of victimization. Our side doesn’t see voting as an existential fight for existence. They shouldn’t. Instead they should vote in order to keep the GOP feeling they way that they do. We need to blacken the skies with our votes.

  76. 76
    joel hanes says:

    @James E. Powell:

    ‘O— sont les Neigedens d’antan?’ Yossarian said to make it easier for him.
    ‘Parlez en anglais, for Christ’s sake,’ said the corporal. ‘Je ne parle pas fran‡ais.’
    ‘Neither do I,’ answered Yossarian, who was ready to pursue him through all the words in the world to wring the knowledge from him if he could

  77. 77
    jl says:

    WP is eating up my attempts to comment, and has broken my spirit, so I will try again with a short summary.

    CA not a very liberal state across the board on all issues.Yes, more liberal on non-economic issues, and environment. But very dead moderate center on old fashioned bread and butter business, economics and public finance issues.

    You want to win statewide reliable in CA, come off as a moderate. Jerry Brown knows this. Reagan knew it before him.

    Dems control in CA is recent. Difi got to Senate when a Dem win in CA statewide was NOT a gimme, and now she is cemented in with incumbancy (but that never happened in WV, right?), Dems finally got control of CA politics because CA GOP base is as nutty as anything in the South, and the GOP very specifically pissed off 90% of the various minority populations in the state by hating on them or patronizing them in an ugly way. Hispanics most importantly, of course.

    Don;t need to be real liberal to realize that the CA GOP is ugly brutal and nuts when they insult almost half the state population on a regular basis.

  78. 78
    joel hanes says:

    @askew:

    What has DiFi done [to damage Obama] ?

    I have always suspected (but will never be able to prove) that the reason that Obama found it necessary to renege on his promise to veto FISA legislation that included retroactive immunity for the telecoms that helped W’s administration illegally spy on American citizens is that, once he was President, he found out that DiFi and Jane Harmon were complicit, and if the telecoms were compelled to testify in open court, Obama would be cutting the throats of two senior California Democrats.

  79. 79
    joel hanes says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Kamala Harris is taking Feinstein’s seat in 2018

    From your keyboard to God’s ears.

  80. 80
    liberal says:

    @askew: yeah, I don’t get the Leahy thing. Normally this’d kind of thing would be due to some payoff, but in this case it seems to be due to stupidity.

  81. 81
    🌷 Martin says:

    The problem the GOP has in California is that the issues we’re liberal on relative to the nation right now are:

    1) gun control
    2) immigration
    3) abortion
    4) energy policy

    There’s room for them on foreign policy and economics and such things, but the topics that occupy the national GOP id are dead-losers in California. Any Republican that looks good nationally looks like a fucking lunatic here. Any Republican that can win at the state level looks to the national GOP like they would primary Bernie Sanders from the left

  82. 82
    Alex S. says:

    As important as the election of Obama was for the country, for the arc of history, for minorities, for general saneness and intellectualism, you can tell that for some of these regional princes and princesses, like Feinstein, he is just a nuissance and they will be so glad when he’s gone.

  83. 83
    David Koch says:

    @joel hanes:

    FISA legislation that included retroactive immunity for the telecoms that helped W’s administration illegally spy

    It wasn’t spying. they weren’t wiretaping into lines. Rather they were collectin telephone meta data.

    Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio — the head of the only company known to have turned down the NSA’s requests for Americans’ phone records. AT&T, Verizon and Bellsouth all agreed to turn over call records to an NSA database, according to reporting in the USA Today in 2006

    I’ve wondered why the general media didn’t go nuts when USA today revealed the metadata program in 2006, yet went nutz when Snowden re-revealed it 2013. Why did opinion polls show it was unimportant then, but important now.

    Was it simply a case of IOKIYAR? Perhaps it was because Obama had discarded the color-coded terror alerts and stopped governing by fear, led Americans to regain self-respect.

  84. 84
    David Koch says:

    @joel hanes: I do agree about your other point. If Obama prosecuted Bush and Cheney then it would have forced Pelosi from office for keeping it secret. She was left in a bad position. They told her torture was going on, but swore her to secrecy. If she violated the secrecy she would have been swiftboated by the hate media complex and their associates in the corporate media (David Gregory, Jake Tapper, Lara Logan, Jonathan Karl, Gergen, WaPo, etc.) and then they would have charged her with a felony for leaking classified info. They would have swiftboated her just as savagely as they’re swifboating Berngahl.

  85. 85
    rikyrah says:

    Cole,

    the two funniest lines of the post:

    They weren’t out of the loop, they’re just making shit up now. This will always be about the Kenyan Usurper with these sociopaths.

    you nailed it.

    I absolutely loved Benen’s takedown of Country Last. Even if he weren’t a former POW, the copious amounts of written and tape from him about this issue make him look like the fucking loser he is.

    You were kept out of the loop for a reason, moran. You can’t be trusted

    Kapow
    Kapow
    Kapow

    No, her traitrous ass cannot be trusted.

  86. 86
    Ruckus says:

    @🌷 Martin:
    As I said the other day, she wins because she is far better than the idiots that have run against her, she has a D behind her name and she is the incumbent. So who would run against her from the D side? I haven’t seen any names thrown in the ring, and I’d love to vote for someone else. She represents her interests, not that of the state of CA, she’s 80, and for the vast majority of people, that’s too old. It’s party politics, nothing more.

  87. 87
    kindness says:

    DiFi is what used to be a Northeastern Republican. Socially liberal, kinda hawkish and fiscally cheap.

    She sucks considering California could (and should) elect someone who is an actual moderate to liberal. But we don’t. We keep sending her.

    What really pissed me off was the bill she pushed through last week that undercut the environmental rules allowing more Bay/delta water to be shipped south. Don’t get me wrong. The south needs that water but I think they should get their water within the framework of the environmental rules.

  88. 88
    eyelessgame says:

    DiFi is my senator, and the oldest Senator; she did a good thing in beating the Man in the Empty Suit back in 1992, and there have been positive contributions she’s made (even if she’s always driven me kind of nuts) but it’s time for her to retire.

  89. 89
    Joel Hanes says:

    @David Koch:

    Rather they were collecting telephone meta data.

    That’s the program they continued, the one they’ve admitted.

    There was another program, one that was so odious that Comey refused to re-authorize, leading to the famous showdown over Ashcroft’s hospital bed. That program was not continued.

  90. 90
    jon says:

    Can we trade McCain for three Vietnamese factory workers, an Iraqi guy who can make shoes, and an Pashtun poppy farmer to be named later?

  91. 91

    From my experience carrying mail in San Francisco and working in the letter carriers’ union, I could have told you thirty years ago that Boxer was pretty good, Pelosi was okay and Feinstein was an asshole. San Francisco’s biggest mistake was voting for her to replace Moscone instead of Jello Biafra.

  92. 92

    From my experience carrying mail in San Francisco and working in the letter carriers’ union, I could have told you thirty years ago that Boxer was pretty good, Pelosi was okay and Feinstein was an asshole. San Francisco’s biggest mistake was voting for her to replace Moscone instead of Jello Biafra.

  93. 93
    David Koch says:

    @Joel Hanes: right, but we don’t know anything about that program. we don’t know what agency was involved. It could have been a warrantless wiretap operation involving the CIA. It could have been an old fashioned cointell pgrm run by the FBI. Had it been an NSA/Telcom operation, I’m sure Snowden would have revealed it by now. The fact that he hasn’t tells me it didn’t involve the nsa.

    Still I raise a larger and more important question, when the “massive” telephone metadata pgm was revealed in May 2006 why didn’t the blogosphere care? Why didn’t matter in 2006, but matter in 2013?

  94. 94
    Sad_Dem says:

    @Fred Fnord: “all she actually cares about is giving the rich folks what they want. Anything else she does is more or less done at random.” This. If you want to know how she has survived all these years, it’s because she gives the very richest and best-connected humans of California her devoted attention and service. Apart from that, she’s just another Maureen Dowd rambling on about kids and their skateboards and how they should get a paper route. She probably doesn’t know how many homes she owns.

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