Unifying the party through jobs

From this morning’s Politico:

Hillary Clinton’s team is moving to shore up an area where she urgently needs help — the campaign has hired Bernie Sanders’ director of student organizing to serve as her national campus and student organizing director, a Clinton official confirmed to POLITICO.

Kunoor Ojha is the Clinton campaign’s first major hire from the Sanders campaign, and her move to a role where she will work with the state teams to mobilize young voters represents a significant step in the former secretary of state’s outreach to the Vermont senator’s most ardent backers.

The party unifies when a bunch of people who were doing a good job on the Sanders campaign get good jobs on the Clinton campaign.

I remember in 2008 as the Democratic primary was winding down that a bunch of Clinton operatives got jobs on the Obama team.

I remember in 2004 that the digital/internet/blog outreach folks from the Dean and Clark campaigns got scooped up by the Kerry/Edwards team.

Echoing Doug, just chill……

 

 



The Company He Keeps

Look who Ted Cruz has recruited as his economic advisor:

If it’s true that a man can be judged by the company he keeps, what are we to make of the appointment of former Sen. Phil Gramm as economic advisor to the Presidential campaign of Ted Cruz?

Cruz made the appointment Friday, when he collected Gramm’s endorsement of his quest for the Presidency.

As Micheal Hiltzik points out in his coverage of this — what’s the word?– curious appointment, Gramm is exactly whom you’d choose if one global financial meltdown just wasn’t delicious enough:

Gramm left a long record as a dedicated financial deregulator on Capitol Hill, with much of his effort aimed at freeing up trading in derivatives. That’s why he’s often identified as one of the godfathers of the 2008 financial crisis, which was spurred in part by banks’ imprudent trading and investing in these extremely complex financial instruments.

JMWTurner_Sunrise_with_Sea_Monsters

Gramm himself is undeterred by his own disastrous record, and clearly Cruz is equally unbothered.  That would be why both men are ignoring Gramm’s last appearance as a campaign surrogate:

Gramm’s previous stint as a Presidential campaign advisor ended inauspiciously. That was in 2008, when he served as co-chairman of John McCain’s Presidential run.

Gramm’s most notable moment in that position came on July 10, 2008, when he dismissed the developing economic crisis as “a mental recession” in an interview–and video–released by the conservative Washington Times. “We’ve never been more dominant,” he said. “We’ve never had more natural advantages than we have today. We’ve sort of become a nation of whiners.” McCain immediately disavowed the remarks, and a few days later Gramm stepped down as his campaign co-chairman.

I’m assuming that Ted Cruz does actually hope to become president, and thus makes his choices in the belief that they will advance him to that end.  So I can only see two possible interpretations for this exhuming of one of the most egregious poster children for GOP economic failure.

One is that this is what epistemic closure looks like when it’s at home.  It takes a hermetic seal between you and reality to think the “nation of whiners” trope is a winner this year (or ever, really, but especially now).

The other is that this is just trolling, or rather yet one more instance of believing an action is simply good in itself, transcendently so, if it pisses liberals off.  Which lands Cruz — and the GOP — in exactly the same place as option one: doubling down on the crazy for reasons extremely clear only to those with the correct implants in their upper left second molar.

All of which is to say that I remain firm in my belief that the entity identifying itself as Senator Cruz is in fact one of these guys.

“Where are we going?”

“Galt’s Gulch”

“When?”

“Real soon!”

Image:  J. W. M. Turner, Sunrise With Sea Monsters, 1845



Centrist Dalek Horror Theater Presents: The Schoening

As the New Hampshire primaries get underway today, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirms this week that he is considering entering the 2016 presidential race as an independent, something that made the rounds as a trial balloon two weeks ago.  Now however Bloomberg himself is saying he’s considering making the jump.

The billionaire media mogul and three-time former New York mayor told Financial Times in an interview published Monday that he is “looking at all the options.”

Fellow New York billionaire Donald Trump has been leading polls on the Republican side for months, and Hillary Clinton only narrowly escaped Iowa with a victory over a self-described “democratic socialist.” Bloomberg, who is considering running as an independent, said Americans deserve “a lot better.”

Bloomberg has set a March deadline to determine whether he will run, and should he decide yes, he told the FT he would have to begin getting his name on ballots next month. He has signaled he could spend at least a billion dollars of his own money to sustain a campaign, according to a New York Times report citing anonymous sources briefed on his deliberations.

That’s not the funny part.  The funny part is who’s advising him.

Bloomberg’s pollster, Douglas Schoen, outlined the case for his boss’s potential White House bid in an op-ed last week for the Wall Street Journal.

Pundits are missing a large group of centrist voters who opt out of partisan primaries, Schoen argued, pointing to the low turnout in Iowa.

“That’s the new silent majority: the millions of Americans who don’t participate in Democratic or Republican primaries. They are equally as fed up with the status quo, but they have a different approach to problem-solving and different policy prescriptions than those on the ideological extremes,” Schoen wrote.

That has created an opportunity for someone to mount an independent run, he argued:

“Who fits the bill? Michael Bloomberg, a centrist with a clear (and arguably unique) record in business as an entrepreneur and in politics as a three-term mayor of New York. Mr. Bloomberg is a fiscally prudent conciliator who advances pro-growth policies and takes tough stands.”

That’s right, the guy running Bloomberg’s numbers is none other than our old friend pollster Doug Schoen, who along with his partner in crime Pat Caddell is the obnoxious No Labels/Americans Elect centrist grifter that warned Obama could never win re-election in 2012 and that Hillary had to primary him, that Obama had to champion the Simpson/Bowles Catfood Commission, that the Democrats were the real extremists, that Obama had to become a right-wing Democrat in order to attract Tea Party votes, that Trump should have gotten into the race in 2012 as in independent, and my personal favorite, that Barack Obama should have dropped out of the 2012 race completely for the good of America.

It looks like Doug has found his Trojan Horse to sink the Democrats and get his massive austerity cuts by splitting votes in favor of the GOP in Bloomberg, so if there was any doubt that a Bloomberg run is more Nader than Perot, the fact that Doug Schoen is involved should have you running for the exits.

The Centrist Daleks are back to TRIANGULAAAAAAAATE it seems, and should Bloomberg actually run, keep in mind it only takes ruining one swing state with a third party bid to throw the presidency.



Adapt Or Die

The Benghazi strain is dying in the wild:

Hillary Clinton will be testifying before the Select Committee on Benghazi on Thursday, and by the time she walks out of that hearing room, chances are that all the Republicans’ hopes of using this issue to bring Clinton down will be officially gone.

The timing of Clinton’s testimony couldn’t have worked out better for her, coming as it is after a string of revelations and embarrassments for the committee. First, then-presumptive Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy said on Fox News that the committee’s purpose was to bring down Clinton’s poll numbers, a “gaffe” that had an extraordinary impact, especially when you consider that he was only acknowledging what everyone in Washington already knew. Then we learned that the Select Committee has all but abandoned investigating Benghazi to focus on Clinton’s emails (and that committee staffers are so busy they’ve formed a wine club and a gun-buying club).

Then we learned that a former staffer for the committee is suing them, alleging that he was fired because he wanted to keep investigating Benghazi and not Clinton. Over the weekend, we learned that Democrats are questioning committee chair Trey Gowdy’s accusation that Clinton recklessly used the name of a secret CIA source in an email. According to Democrats, the CIA says the information isn’t sensitive. “I would say in some ways these have been among the worst weeks of my life,” Gowdy told Politico. No wonder.

So it will just have to mutate and adapt to the new climate:

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) recently spoke with talk radio host Matt Murphy and said the real issue with Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state is “how many lives she put at risk by violating all rules of law that are designed to protect America’s top-secret and classified information from falling into the hands of our geopolitical foes who then might use that information to result in the deaths of Americans.”

Brooks added Republicans are going to make sure this issue follows Clinton into office, should she be elected president in 2016.

“And in my judgement, with respect to Hillary Clinton, she will be a unique president if she is elected by the public next November, because the day she’s sworn in is the day that she’s subject to impeachment because she has committed high crimes and misdemeanors,” he said.

At least Republicans in 2008 waited until the day after President Obama’s inauguration before plotting to sabotage the country.  You have to admire their efficiency in attempting to impeach someone years before she’s even nominated for the White House, let alone elected, but here we are.



Hi. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Well, it’s been an interesting few months…

My last post, I was having a lot of problems with anger and sadness.  I spent four days in the inpatient psychiatric ward in observation. I slept a LOT during that time.  After I got out, I was going to individual counseling every other day for the first two weeks, then weekly after that. My wife and I started marriage counseling. Read more



Jebby Playing To Lose

I’m starting to become convinced that, like countless comic book supervillains who gain universe-changing power only to stupidly blow it in the end, Jeb Bush is self-sabotaging and doesn’t really want this gig that his dad and older brother had.

Jeb Bush vigorously defended some of the defining foreign policies and national security strategies implemented by his brother George W. Bush as president on Thursday, casting in a positive light elements of the Iraq War, a conflict that haunted much of his tenure.

He notably used wording similar to the “Mission Accomplished” banner that hung behind the 43rd president as he gave a speech on an aircraft carrier in 2003. The speech was one of the biggest embarrassments of his administration, since the war went on for years after that.

“I’ve been critical and I think people have every right to be critical of decisions that were made,” Bush said Thursday. “In 2009, Iraq was fragile but secure. It was mission was accomplished in the way that there was security there and it was because of the heroic efforts of the men and women in the Untied States military that it was so.”

In a question and answer session hosted by Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security held on a college campus here, the Republican presidential hopeful said the removal of Saddam Hussein from power “turned out to be a pretty good deal,” and he praised the 2007 troop surge his brother pushed as “an extraordinarily effective” strategy.

On the debate over interrogation techniques, another issue that dogged his brother, Bush would not say for certain whether he would preserve the executive order President Obama signed banning enhanced interrogation. “I do think in general that torture is not appropriate,” he said.

“I’m cautious about making commitments without having all the facts,” he said. Bush defended the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, which Obama has struggled to try to close throughout his presidency. “This is not a torture chamber,” he said, adding that he had seen it firsthand.

Bush went further than just lauding the the policy merits of the Iraq troop surge. He also commended his brother for not caving to the intense political opposition he faced at the time. “He had the courage to do something that is completely against the political grain,” he said.

I’d say Jeb couldn’t possibly be this utterly moronic, but it makes sense if deep down that he sees what history did to his dad and especially his big bro and that he feels like he’s being forced into this disaster, the poor little hothouse flower that he is.

I mean right now he’s supposed to be the crown prince with people tossing hundreds of millions of dollars at him to run and win, and instead he’s getting his ass handed to him in the polls by two failed CEOs with bad hair and a neurosurgeon who incessantly compares everything to slavery.

I think he seriously wants out, so he’s mailing it in.

Either that, or Jeb’s so incompetent that the people who made his idiot brother president for eight years still can’t find a way to get this guy in the W column, which is entirely possible.



Don’t Give Jeb That Good Ol’ Religion

Suddenly the party of the Moral Majority, culture wars, and freedom of religious expression uber alles isn’t too keen on religion and politics mixing anymore.  The leader of Jebya’s Catholic faith is no longer welcome in his 2016 campaign.

“I hope I’m not going to get castigated for saying this by my priest back home, but I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope,” said Bush, a devout Catholic. He added that he wanted to see exactly what the pope recommended “before I pass judgment, but I think religion ought to be about making us better as people, less about things [that] end up getting into the political realm.”

I wonder how that’s going to play with the Huckster/Santorum/Rubio “strong faith guides my policies”crowd.  The guy has bigger issues though.

In an hourlong town hall, held in a narrow, three-story opera house, Bush, in his shirtsleeves, spent considerable time talking about entitlement reform and the need to fix programs like Social Security, something he noted his brother tried, and “got totally wiped out.” But on those big-ticket issues, he said, both parties need to find common ground.

“We have to reweave the web of civility,” he said, a message that plays well in a state where firebrand conservatives have not done as well. “I have deep disagreements with liberal Democrats, but I don’t assume they have bad motives.”

And on national security issues, he said, “I would like to get back to the bipartisan consensus on foreign policy,” where everyone understands “if we engage, it’s not to create war, it’s to create peace.”

“I’m like my brother, only I’ll make the absolute failure policies he implemented work!” is a hell of a campaign slogan, yes?