Thursday, April 27, 2006

Pombo in the dumb-ster

This is just a list of several items that I have come across this week and which illustrate once more what an inept congressman that we have.

1. Another blog site has given Pombo a look. This time, Political Cortex has recognized the Pombo has saved the world. Don't get me wrong, he did not intend that.
It turned out that what Richard Pombo did was so underhanded, and such a threat to our public lands, that someone did notice. That someone included the Wilderness Society, but Pombo didn't care about them. He'd been giving them the middle finger for years. It included Earthworks, but Pombo didn't care about them either. He thinks they're terrorists. That someone included Trout Unlimited, and Pombo didn't care about 100,000 mostly Republican hunters and fishermen who... wait a sec, what was that?

Trout Unlimited, the sportsmen's group (whose membership is two to one Republican) emailed its roughly 100,000 members and contacted regional editorial boards to spotlight the fight. News spread like wildfire--western sportsmen were outraged that public lands where they hunt and fish might be put on the auction block. Once they knew the stakes, local hook-and-bullet organizations held phone-bank days, organized letter-writing campaigns, and scheduled visits to regional Senate offices. A petition signed by 758 sportsmen's clubs affiliated with National Wildlife Federation, from the Great Falls Bowhunters Association to the Custer Rod and Gun Club, landed on elected officials' desks in Washington just weeks later. "These lands, so important to sportsmen and women, are open to every American, rich and poor alike," the letter read. "We believe it is wrong to put them up for mining companies and other commercial interests to buy at cut-rate prices."

So maybe Richard Pombo wasn't convinced, but fellow western senators were. Even that favorite go to guy on gambling, Conrad Burns, declared that Pombo's provisions were dead.

2. Pombo allowed the Tracy Rotary Club to hear a presentation from Pete McCloskey and actually had a reporter (Phil Hayworth) from the normally friendly Tracy Press there. When one of Pombo's supporters asked what was obviously a planted question, they got the response of a statesman.
"What would be your policy regarding Israel?” asked Benjamin Rose, another self-proclaimed Pombo supporter.

McCloskey said he didn’t subscribe to the philosophy of "Israel: right or wrong."

"We have not held Israel to the same standards as other allies," he said.

To strengthen his argument that he is a friend of Israel, McCloskey launched into a tale about the time he and Yasser Arafat were in a bunker somewhere beneath Beirut.

"That’s where I got him to sign United Nations Resolution 242, which recognized Israel’s right to exist", he said.
Now, I ask you if anyone can possibly immagine that Pombo has the stature to pull off something like that. It is inconceivable.

3. I have been reading "The Republican War on Science" by Chris C. Mooney. Mooney has, on several occasions, offered an incredulous i comment regarding Pombo. However, in his book, he offers an explanation as to why Newt Gingrich could talk about saving money by doing away with Congress's Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) and to replace that by having individual congressmen go directly to the soientists when they need information on which to base policy. The conundrum is that Newt has been a supporter of science. Mooney suggest that this is because Newt is smarter than your average congressman. He has a PhD (Ok in History) but keeps up to date on technology, in some ways, a conservative Al Gore. So, he understands it when scientists talk. What Newt did not get is that DeLay and Pombo are Dumb and Dumber. One was a pest exterminator and the other failed to complete college.

The result is that we have a congress, politicized to the extreme, who look for anything and anybody to support their intended action rather than basing their action of establised fact. Sounds like a Congressman that I know.


Anonymous rick said...

The issue of support for Israel has always been McCloskey's Achilles heal, and if that Tracy Rotary Club forum is an indication, Pombo and his allies appear ready and willing to make this a prominent issue. The more pressing question is will some of the heavy weights (i.e., AIPAC) get behind Pombo. If they do, this primary will turn in to a real donnybrook.

9:27 PM, April 27, 2006  
Anonymous WA state said...


Man. I stop here from time to time to keep up on Pombo. I think there are links to him & WA state where I live.

Man. This kind of shit really turns me off. You guys have a real crooked politician, one who is dedicated to the annihilation of publically owned land and environmental regualtion. A real right wing anarchist. And you choose to attack each others candidates?

I don't know if you've noticed, but right now a speck of dirt on the bottom of your shoes would make a better congressman than that corrupt little twit Pombo.

I vote for anyone who has the guts to run against this piece o' crap. Give me a break about your overanalysed book review.

Let the candidates be sorted out based on the merits of their arguments. Not on all the jr. politicos attempts to smear each other.

6:24 AM, April 28, 2006  
Blogger Delta said...

This is really great. I make a long, substantive post about Pombo, Rick replies about the McCloskeyh Pombo campaign, then we get 11 more posts about Filson - McNerney. Maybe we should rename this blog Say No To Filson (McNerney).

This is becomming sort of like the Kos himself taking on the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters for endorsing Lincoln Chaffee. When Chaffee has long been a supporter of environmental issues;
when Chaffee personally was responsible for blocking the Pombo plan to emasculate the Endangered Species Act in this congreess, they want the Sierra Club to turn their back on Sen Chaffee just because he does not subscribe to the litmus test of progressive purity? That was shameful on the part of the progresive blogging community.

Remember, almost all of the important legislation on environmental issues including the establishment of the EPA right through to being a signatory to the Montrail Accord on CFC reduction related to Ozone, came under a Republican Administration. It is the moderate Republicans, like McCloskey, who are able to build the concensus to get things done.

8:28 AM, April 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I have to say is that Rick - whoever he is - never misses an opportunity to slam McNerney or McCloskey (instead of Pombo). I suggest that Rick find something useful to do with his life. Maybe Wayne Johnson has a job for him.

And Delta is right on target: this blog has become a Filson/McNerney pissing match, deeply destructive to all Progressives (whether they be Dems or the rare progressive Rep/McCloskey supporter). Is it any wonder why clubs like the San Ramon Valley Dem Club are inviting McCloskey to speak before them?

I heard from a friend who attended the SR Dem Club mtg in Dublin last night. He said McCloskey so impressed the Dems that there was a line of people re-registering as DTS after the mtg. Bear in mind if true that this would be the party "faithful." After the talk, he heard from two different Dems about the "destructive" pissing match going on in the party "aided and abetted by the blogs." Hello SNTP - anybody home?

Rumors were flying that one of the leaders of SRVDC had even referred to BOTH Filson and McNerney supporters in rather derogatory terms that I will not repeat here (because rumors are just that).

And as for Kos, I again find myself in agreement with Delta. Tell me all you guardians of progressive purity: How many elections has Kos ever won? This moron has become a victim of his own ideology - its called taking yourself too seriously because you've surrounded yourself with blind admirers. Funny, this is exactly what Bush has done. Someone needs to remind both Bush and Kos that the world we live in has many shades of grey and even technicolor. Seeing it as black or white is a fool's vision.

12:42 PM, April 28, 2006  
Blogger brian said...

My belief is that special interest groups deserve every ounce of criticism when they support power structures that go against what they are fighting for.

Otherwise it's like saying: "don't criticize the chess player for that shortsided move that won him three pieces but eventually cost him the game".

The folks advocate Democrats change to DTS and vote for McCloskey seem to be making a similar mistake. If all goes right with that plan, McCloskey will emerge from the GOP Primary a giantkiller thus greatly increasing the probablility of a win in November. Unless McCloskey re-registers after he's in Congress, we risk continued GOP control of the House. Quite a horrifying thought. How receptive do you think John Boehner or Denny Hastert would be to McCloskey's common-sense stances on the issues?

Also, if this blog continues to foster animosity between Filson-McNerney supporters we risk not having "all hands on deck" after June to defeat Pombo. Yet another horrifying thought.

3:00 PM, April 28, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

Brian --
You say, “Also, if this blog continues to foster animosity between Filson-McNerney supporters we risk not having ‘all hands on deck’ after June to defeat Pombo.”

This blog may be a convenient whipping-boy for many who are frustrated by the tenor of the campaign, but perhaps you need to look elsewhere when you place blame for fostering animosity.

5:47 PM, April 28, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

I have removed a line of commentary that I consider trollish. I will not tolerate comments that might help Pombo against an eventual Democratic nominee. The primary needs to be more than a pyrrhic victory, and some things won't be tolerated on this blog. I will summarily remove any further comments that might serve to give Pombo ammunition to use against the eventual Democratic nominee.

3:48 AM, April 29, 2006  
Anonymous wa state said...

Here here, Rick. Good job. Looks like this kind of crap is going on all over.

A year ago I would have just thought it was dem in-fighting. But after following the blogs for a while, I believe it is bona-fide troll incitement. I think their assignment is to foment insurrection and create ill-will.

I commend not allowing the beasts. Free speech does not mean unchallenged speech, and there is a time and a perhaps a place for destructive dissent.

But any resturauntier knows: no shoes, no shirt, no service....

Best to you all, and I like most of your candidates.

6:20 AM, April 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Censor,

You are a hypocrite and a coward.

10:14 AM, April 29, 2006  
Blogger brian said...

Babaloo - we all make choices. You can choose to continue fostering animosity - or not...

2:17 PM, April 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian said: "Unless McCloskey re-registers after he's in Congress, we risk continued GOP control of the House. Quite a horrifying thought. How receptive do you think John Boehner or Denny Hastert would be to McCloskey's common-sense stances on the issues?"

There are three possibilities here should McCloskey win the House seat in November.

1. If the Dems win big in Nov, control of the House is theirs. The "horrifying thought" scenario envisioned by Brian is only possible should control of the House hinge on one vote - otherwise, this is a non-issue.

2. If recapture of the House by the Dems doesn't hinge on one vote - say the Republicans were to maintain solid control after Nov - then having McCloskey in their midst challenging Hastert, Boehner, etc will be much fun for all of us.

3. But lets assume Matt's worst case scenario - the Republicans retain control by one vote because McCloskey took the seat. What happens then? Two things: The wicked excesses of Boehner/Hastert will probably disappear as they would fear a McCloskey bolt to the Dem party. Since this guy has put country over party all his life - what do you think he'll do knowing that by staying in the Republican party he's the only thing keeping these corrupt bastards in power? Do you think there is anything that would persuade him from throwing them out as his final patriotic duty?

Think about it.

12:04 AM, May 01, 2006  
Blogger brian said...

anonymous -

On #1 - Please explain how not gaining a 2/3 Democratic majority in the House is a "non-issue". You know, the kind of majority that has override power.

On #2 - Sorry but I can't see myself saying "I hate the 2007 Iran War but it sure is fun seein' 'ol Pete give em hell". A major component of this national election will be momentum - if CA-11 is polling strongly for either a Dem win or a close finish - that ONLY helps other races.

On #3 If you intend to say that McCloskey will surely change registration if it means control of the House - what do we do in 2008 with all of the pissed off Republicans in our district who voted for McCloskey only to see him flip.

Can anyone else see the major problem with headlines in the CC Times reading: "Democrats now McCloskey fans". Wayne Johnson wouldn't choose differently if he had to write that headline himself.

The best scenario I can muster is that McCloskey has Pombo limping into the election and gets beat by a Dem. Why should we aim for anything less?

3:50 PM, May 02, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (I know, it's been a long time, but I've been busy...)

With all due respect to "Brian", "Matt", and the various "anonymi" (hey, if you don't create a unique moniker, you takes yer chances...):

1) If McCloskey pulls off the miracle of twenty-o-six and beats Pombo on 06-06-06 (well, it COULD happen -- Benigno gets his usual 22% far right fringe, "Citrus Pete" pulls off 40% since that many RePug's could be disaffected, leaving the Dickster with a mere 38%), then...

2) McCloskey is a shoo-in to win the general, since even the die-hards at the SRVDC were saying with their recent and enthusiastic "re-registering as DTC" actions-speak-louder-than-words that neither Filson nor McNerney wets their whistle as Demo challengers, and all the RePugs will vote for him to keep Pelosi from replacing Denny Hastert as Speaker, so...

3) We Demos (if that happens) will have handed the 11th CD to the RePugs until at least twenty-twenty-two, since...

4) "Citrus Pete" will only serve 4 years, plenty of time for him to groom Mark Connolley (sp?) or the like to take his place as a moderate RePug for the 2010 election as his hand-picked sucessor, and "MC" will MC over that district as we re-enter redistricting as mandated by the 2010 census, and since the 11th CD will once again be red in 2011, it will be once again redistricted red for the next 10 years, so...

5) We are looking at a red 11th CD until at least 2022 if "Citrus Pete" wins the upcoming primary with the help of short-sighted Demos -- is getting rid of Pombo THAT BADLY, RIGHT NOW (instead of waiting for the right Demo candidate to show up in 2008 or 2010) worth THAT?

I'm not advocating either way, I'm just farting in church and pulling the tablecloth off the elephant in the room so that all of you can argue about this "minor detail" without denial or facade.

$.02 out.

9:26 PM, May 02, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr $.02-

That was surely $.04 worth of chatter and wild speculation.

You've left me, Mr Anon, without words of retort. I will contemplate all these scenarios you and Brian invoke, and write a report on it for Monday. Maybe.

The race is a complex one, with many vectors. How they will sum is anyone's guess right now!

10:46 PM, May 02, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

I think the power of McCloskey's campaign is that he draws a lot of attention to the race that McNerney and Filson do not. They don't have the "star power" that McCloskey does and don't attract the media attention.

So for the next 30-some odd days, McCloskey gets to slam on Pombo over and over, and the press pays attention and writes it up. It has power because 1) he is a Republican; 2) he is a "celebrity" in some sense; and 3) he is experienced and knowledgeable, having been in Congress.

Also, McCloskey is the first Republican of any stature to challenge Pombo in a primary. Tom B is out there, but he has not been in Congress and is not known nationally, like McCloskey. So this represents probably the first real serious challenge to Pombo from the R side.

It would be better if the R challenger was more in with the party, like Mark Connolly, or some elected official, but that is not how it is.

Realistically, I think that barring a surprise upset, Pombo will carry the primary. He has the support of too many SJ Republicans.

So all this speculation about what McCloskey will do in Congress is a bit premature. I would be wondering more about what McCloskey will do post-primary. Will he go back to the farm and keep quiet? Will he energetically back the Dem, hopefully McNerney? Will he run as an Independent?

I don't know, who does? But I am doing two things now: working to win the 2006 election, while also keeping an eye on the long haul to 2008 and 2010. I think all this effort to oust Pombo must continue until the day he is defeated (or arrested).

If the Dems want to win in 2008, assuming they don't in 2006, the time to start that race is now. The two-year election cycle is too short to organize the effort, secure the funding, and mount a campaign against Pombo.

I think we all should keep going without losing a beat after Nov. 2006, assuming Pombo wins again.

12:50 PM, May 03, 2006  

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