Friday, July 28, 2006

Friday Melange

The East Bay Express has an article out discussing the DCCC's support (or lack thereof) for Jerry McNerney entitled “Boxed Out: Jerry McNerney kicked ass in the primary, so where’s all the love from his party?

After the primary, insiders wondered what the D-triple-C would do in the general election with Filson out of the picture. Two weeks ago, they got their answer when the committee left McNerney off a list of so-called Red to Blue candidates the organization would be backing in the coming months in its effort to recapture the House. Lefty bloggers decried the snub…
Heh.

Meanwhile, the Hollister Free Lance published an op-ed last week that was harshly critical of Richard Pombo:
I believe most of us want to emulate the conservation philosophy [Cong. John F.] Lacey and [Theodore] Roosevelt established with their historic law [1906 Antiquities Act]. America must protect its heritage - both natural and cultural - as a precious resource for its citizens. One of the greatest strengths we have as a nation is our wilderness and our surrounding oceans.

Unfortunately in recent years, that strength has come under threat by politicians in Washington who have developed pay-for-play relationships with oil, logging and mining interests. Some of our elected representatives - people in positions of great political power - believe the natural environment is wide open to commercial exploitation for short-term monetary and political gain.

These representatives have been corrupted by a system in which lobbyist dollars come before democracy. Unfortunately, one of these elected officials represents the South Valley.

District 11's Congressman Richard Pombo has become a traitor to his own Republican party's legacy of conservation.
And finally, the Center for Biodiversity posted a straightforward exposé of the dishonest arguments Richard Pombo uses in attacking the Endangered Species Act:
Last Sunday, July 16, the Sacramento Bee published an interview with Representative Richard Pombo (R-CA), Congress’s most bilious opponent of wildlife protections, in which Mr. Pombo said this: “For about 90 percent of the species [protected under the Endangered Species Act], at least part of their habitat is on private property.”

It is interesting and instructive to compare this quote to a very similar statement he made last year on the floor of the House when he rammed through his bill to gut wildlife protections in the Endangered Species Act. At that point, he said: “You guys talk big about wanting to protect habitat and protect species, but 90 percent of the habitat for endangered species is on private property.”
Apparently, Pombo is either so stupid that he doesn’t understand the difference between species and habitat — or he’s hoping we’re that stupid. This article is an elegant deconstruction of classic Richard Pombo bullshit — check it out.

Oh, and feel free to use this as an open thread.

25 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why isn't everyone worked up about the War in the MidEast? I'm depressed....I'm going to crank up Barry McGuire's 'Eve of Destruction." Sometimes I think we're getting so pettty here that it defies description...it's like we're about to get a leg amputated and we're sitting in front of the mirror describing our zits.

3:46 AM, July 28, 2006  
Blogger Delta said...

No we are sitting in front of the mirror describing Pombo's zits. It is just a symptom of what created the mess that we are in.

There are really a few root causes and none of them are pretty.

I don't think that Ralph Reed lost the primary for Georia's Lt. Gov. simply because of his association with Jack Abramoff. I has more to do with the fact that he is a hyppocrit. He took on the aura of being the political spokesperson for the religious right. In fact, he was a money power player who hoodwinked the good, hard working, play by the rules people of this country while he raked in money from gambling interests.

At a similar level, we have the Bush administration policies on Iraq and the rest of the ME. There is a genuine intent to follow America's historic policy of Manifest Destiny, to spread Democracy around the world. However, the policy was expressed as something else, as a part of the War on Terrorism. Again, if you match the words to the actions, most of the Bush policy makers are hyppocrits.

With Pombo, it is just another symptom. Peel away the rhetoric that he uses to defend his policies, take away the focus-group crafted phrases and match the words to the actions and you find that Pombo has also become such a hyppocrit.

This hyppocracy is part of the culture of Washington, where those in power believe that the public is there to be manipulated to follow whatever policy these one-sided wonks want to put over on us. It is a sign of this culture that they genuinely dis-respect the public, that they believe we are all just another number on a media chart, a target for focused advertising aimed at getting another incumbent elected.

If these members of Congress want the public to start respecting them, then they had better start respecting us. To date, I have seen no sign of the fact that Pombo respects anything other than money and power and his family and I am not sure about the latter. If he did, maybe he would do something to improve the condition under which the people of the 11th CD live, especially the air quailty of the San Joaquin Valley.

8:22 AM, July 28, 2006  
Anonymous JohnMac said...

I work full time in a prison. I am a substance abuse counselor. The overwhelming characteristic of the inmates is their feeling of, their belief in entitlement. It's not that they get what they deserve - it's that they believe they deserve anything they happen to want. Almost to a man, they believe that rules are a good thing, that laws help order society, that norms are positive - it's just that the rules, the laws, the norms don't specifically apply to them personally. That somehow, they are exempt. That it's all a big mistake, with a better lawyer to point things out, no one would be there.

This is the kind of leadership we have in Washington from the President on down. It's kind of scary, actually. Of course, traffic laws don't apply to a president; traffic is stopped so he (in his motorcade) can zoom from here to there. (I've often thought that this perk alone might make it worth while to be president!) Is it a far leap from this to the idea that he doesn't need warrants for wiretaps? or any of a hundred ways he believes he's exempt?

Pombo is just an extension of this. The old 'I broke no laws!' excuse was lame the 1st time he used it, and just points out that for some people - those without ethics - the laws need to be more specific. And that is too bad, because most people are ethical and don't need laws to treat people and planets with respect.

2:30 PM, July 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (and I'll start a new trend for myself by being terse)

Here's why the "D-Trip" (as well as others who backed Steverino in the primary) aren't just falling and fawning at Sir Gerald's feet, with regards to where to spend their admittedly limited resources to get the 15 votes needed to get to 218 in the House of Representatives.

Sir Gerald has the least amount of "Cash On Hand -- aka COH" of any of the 35 Democratic challengers in the "2 factors" category, which is behind the 7 Democratic challengers who are in the "4 factors" or "3 factors" categories, so from Rahmbo's perspective, Sir Gerald is...

42nd out of 42 total for the competition to get precious and scarce "D-trip" money and energy parsed out from Rahmbo to Sir Gerald to get Nancy Pelosi elected Speaker.

Being a crack mathematician, even Sir Gerald can do the math on that...

$.02 out.

9:52 PM, July 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (with a mea gulpa -- I know, it should be mea culpa, but you get the pun)

One should not do heavy math so late on a Saturday night after so much hard work outside --

It turns out that the earlier chart from Charlie Cook & Co. has 4 folks with 4 factors, and 8 folks with 3 factors, and 35 folks with 2 factors (including El Dicko), which means that Sir Gerald is 47th out of 47 total when competing for precious "Rahmoola", not 42nd out of 42.

Sorry to get everyone's hopes up too much just to have them dashed...

$.02 out.

8:10 AM, July 30, 2006  
Blogger Delta said...

Sure wish that Rocky would raise his ugly head again to put mr. $0.0002 back in place. Sheez, for someone who won't even use their real name.

It was obvious from the start that Pombo had more money that Jerry. Always had, always will have. Too many big corporate donors. That just means we need a different strategy to deliver this district that buying megaminutes of TV Time.

The truth is out there.

8:38 AM, July 30, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

$.02 --
But why would the DCCC throw Red to Blue support to a candidate, such as in KY-02, where Cook has identified the race as factor 1? Using your premise, ANY candidate in the factor 4, 3, or 2 category should take precedence over a factor 1 race.

Using COH as your main criterion in the days after a hard-fought primary doesn't seem like a particularly useful yardstick. This is just a guess, since I don't feel like doing a lot of research on a fine Sunday morning, but I'm betting that Tammy Duckworth didn't come out of her IL-06 primary race against Christine Cegelis with much COH. And that certainly didn't seem to dim Rahm's ardor for her.

9:31 AM, July 30, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

$.02 --
Okay, okay. So I did go and sneak a look at Duckworth's FEC filing for the second quarter (her primary was in March, so that made for an apt comparison). As of 3/31, she had about twice as much COH as McNerney.

But here's the fallacy. When the DCCC actively supports a candidate, the Washington Establishment money flows freely (virtually all of these donations were made AFTER the primary). So for the DCCC to channel a ton of money to a candidate and then say "We measure a candidate's credibility solely by their ability to raise money and their total COH," is so corrupt, so intellecually dishonest as to make one's head explode. That is to say, business as usual in DC.

Sheesh, thanks for ruining my morning.

10:01 AM, July 30, 2006  
Anonymous JohnMac said...

Or, instead of complaining about the COH that Sir Gerald ain't got, why doesn't Mr 2% donate part of that hard earned buck? I mean, if you can't help in one way, maybe you can help in another.

And personally, I don't find pointing out the money situation very helpful, unless it can be segued into a way to help alleviate the cash differential. Which, BTW, I've already donated, and will again, until I'm up to the limit.

10:03 AM, July 30, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (with a message to our dear friend, BroMac -- aka "johnmac")

A fact, sir Bro -- I DID contribute a significant amount to Sir Gerald in 2004 when his supporters were far fewer, and did contribute again in 2006; but there are limits, sir, to how much I will contribute of my limited resources for political change (or as the French say, "monnai") to a futile cause.

Someone whose tax policies (as stated publicly on www.vote-smart.org) are more liberal than Barbara Lee's is unlikely to get the financial support (yet alone the public support) from large Democratic supporters to be able to compete meaningfully with someone like El Dicko in a district more conservative than Tauscher's.

For what it's worth, Babaloo -- Sir Gerald got to his vaulted "two factors" status with his finger nails on the edge of the abyss -- if the PVI for CD-11 was a mere .1% more R and he had raised a mere $1,700 less by June 30, Sir Gerald would be at "zero factors", not the two he currently sits at -- hardly a comfortable perch to sit on.

Money is important -- and having the right kind of personality and the right kind of positions that get the right kind of people to dig deeply into their wallets for the right size of contributions will get that money flowing.

Sir Gerald's COH compared to that of other good, well-meaning, ethical, compassionate Democrats across the YOU ESS of AY says volumes to those of you blog readers, who, unlike Delta...

"CAN stand the truth" (with apologies to Jack).

$.02 out.

11:09 AM, July 30, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Mr. $02,

We know that you're a believer in the trickle-down economics mythology, but can you spare us the "McNerney is to the Left of Barbara Lee" bullshit? There's no basis for your hyperbole, and it diminishes your already scant credibility when it comes to tax policy.

Also, I know you can't really fathom this, but Ellen Tauscher's district is a lot richer than CA-11. You really think that people making $40,000 a year give a shit about capital gains tax?

Furthermore, with regards to the Cook Political Report, it's important to note that it does not factor in the multi-million dollar IEs from environmental groups that are going to be spent opposing Pombo. So it's a bit disingenuous to suppose that there's not going to be a real anti-Pombo campaign. McNerney could sit on his hands for the rest of the cycle and Pombo would still be up against the best-funded challenge that he's ever faced.

12:38 PM, July 30, 2006  
Anonymous jbmendel said...

Howdy folks. I'm ever so confused as to how quickly 2% became unpopular. Sure it's not welcome news he's bringing, but he's made some worthwhile contributions in the past. Cut the guy some slack.

12:56 PM, July 30, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (and I'm going to refrain from engaging in the sort of vulgar, mindless, unfactual namecalling that some love to drop into at the drop of a Matt)

Lee's stand on tax policy, as of today (7/30/06):

Other Taxes:
Maintain Status a) Alcohol taxes
Slightly Increase b) Capital gains taxes
Greatly Increase c) Cigarette taxes
Greatly Increase d) Corporate taxes
Maintain Status e) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decrease f) Inheritance taxes
No Answer g) Other or expanded categories


I note for the record that McNerney has now gone into www.vote-smart.org between June 8th, 2006 and today and changed his stand on virtually every item on tax policy at that site (including the gasoline taxes that he was oh too happy to raise earlier) to "maintain status" -- which means that if El Dicko has a .pdf copy of the old positions (where Sir Gerald was far too willing to raise taxes even more than Barbara Lee), McNerney can now be hammered on being a dreaded "flip-flopper" should said copy of said "prior positions" see the light of a journalist's desk.

His positions today (7/30/06):
Other Taxes:
Maintain Status a) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Status b) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Status c) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Status d) Corporate taxes
Maintain Status e) Gasoline taxes
Maintain Status f) Inheritance taxes
No Answer g) Other or expanded categories

His positions as noted on June 8th, 2006:

Other Taxes:
Slightly Increase a) Alcohol taxes (more than Barbara Lee)
Greatly Increase b) Capital gains taxes (more than Barbara Lee)
Slightly Increase c) Cigarette taxes (less than Barbara Lee)
Greatly Increase d) Corporate taxes (same as Barbara Lee)
Slightly Increase e) Gasoline taxes (more than Barbara Lee)
Slightly Increase f) Inheritance taxes (more than Barbara Lee)
No Answer g) Other or expanded categories

Flip-flopping? On tax policy? In one month? Bad advice -- he is getting REALLY bad advice. Matt, please don't tell them what to do anymore, OK?

Oh, and Matt -- don't try to Stalinize this "news" with a "this comment has been censored by the blog administrator" move, OK?

$.02 out.

4:29 PM, July 30, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:00 PM, July 30, 2006  
Anonymous JohnMac said...

I don't know if The Record can be accused of politicizing Vote Smart, but Pombo can be. He doesn't complete the survey just to avoid trouble of this kind... but it's not beneath him to use it to his own purposes. Vote Smart: Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any negative campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches. How can they enforce such a policy? I don't know. Anyway, a mistake in the McNerney campaign. They'll get over it.

And yes, Mr 2% used to be very supportive. Thanks. Which makes me wonder why he's gone negative at this stage. He says he has reached the limit of his support for a futile cause... but if he still believes that the cause is a good one despite its futility, then perhaps saying nothing at all would be better than pointing out the futility of it. After all, what are Democrats if not idealists?

8:12 PM, July 30, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

$.02 --
Your arguments here have become a little Cheneyesque -- "If this piece of buckshot doesn't hit McNerney, maybe this one will" -- as you rove from COH complaints to Project Vote Smart critiques. There is only one underlying theme that connects your comments.

So okay. I think we all understand that you used to like McNerney and now you don't. Apparently, you don't like Matt either. Soon, you'll probably develop a strong aversion to me. If you dislike and disdain all the players here so intensely, why do you feel such a strong need to participate?

As to your comment holding Matt responsible for "Stalinizing" this blog, if you go back and check, I was the one who announced the new policy for eliminating troll comments, and I have been the one responsible for deleting comments since then.

And let me repeat the rules for your benefit. No recipes, no drive-by shootings. If your only intent is to insult and inflame and you have no commentary to add that is relevant, your comment will be deleted. So far, you have easily met the first two criteria; and you have skated perilously close to the third in some of your previous comments.

Finally, here is a new rule which relates to form, not content: No posting of copyrighted articles in their entirety. I am deleting the comment above which was nothing more than a cut-and-paste of Hank Shaw's full Stockton Record article. Please feel free to repost the comment with 1) a link, 2) an original comment, and 3) a small snippet so as to be in compliance with the fair use copyright laws.

10:51 AM, July 31, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please keep blogging, this is important!

11:36 AM, July 31, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (and congrats to our friend Babaloo)

If what you want in this forum is not the truth, no matter how ugly it might get, but merely an echo chamber for only what you determine that you and only you want to hear from you, so be it.

Laissez le bon rouleau d'illusions!

$.02 (over and) out.

11:45 AM, July 31, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK...

This is the Stockton Record Article regarding McNerney recently changing his position on multiple issues.


http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2006607300328


Here is a small snippet:

The scope of switches is unusually wide for just nine weeks. McNerney altered 55 of the 147 questions on the Project Vote Smart questionnaire Monday, according to the Montana-based group's Adelaide Kimball.

She said she had received McNerney's original answers May 15, shortly before the June 6 primary election.

Kimball said candidates sometimes do change answers, but Project Vote Smart requires them to include the candidate's signature on the changes as a way to prevent fraud.

...

Political odds-maker Allan Hoffenblum, co-editor of the California Target Book, said many candidates refuse to fill out the Vote Smart questionnaire because they fear their answers will bite them later.

"But once you do it, you'd better be prepared to stand behind it," Hoffenblum said. "Politically, this was a very naïve thing to do."

11:50 AM, July 31, 2006  
Anonymous apollo creed said...

Yo, I ain't seen Rocky for days now. He herd I was runnin up and down the beach, gettin all in shape, and seems Adrian was startin to go to the same beach a little too often for Rocky's taste. So I don't see Adrian starin at me no more, and I don't see Rocky postin here now more neither.

But hey Rocky, I'll only beat you up in da ring, not out heres on the blog. And Adrian -- well, she can wear sunglasses when she come on down to the beach. He,he!

So anyways, here I is catchin up on this blot, and I sees $.02 throwin some fast balls right down the pike. And McNerdley's guys are there, swinging and missing, getting the old "your out a here" from the ump.

First, McNerly gets up ta bat at Vote Smart (I'm gonna call it Vote Dumbass from nows on, I think). There's da pitch, right over the plate, a swing and a miss. "Slightly increase" the gas for my hummer. What the hell is dat? Strike One.

Then he's up at the plate agin, dere's Pombo on da mound (with bleach-blonde babe Annette cheering him on). Pombo winds up, and throws the pitch -- there it is, a flyer makin McNerley look stupid for saying such a dumb thing bout gas taxes. McNarly swings again, runnin over to Vote Dumbass and changin 55 positions.

Damm, I can see changing "55 positions" when I be with Adrian, and that dere is fun and healthly, but at Vote Dumbass, it ain't fun and it ain't smart and it ain't healthy for a candidate, unless he got the hots to be like the waffle champ hisself, John F. Kerry. Which would be pretty Dumbass, ifin you asks me.

So Strike Two. And nows, Pombo's back up at the mound, grinnin a big ol' shit-eatin grin, and Annette's gettin all hot cause her fat boy's gunna win again. And Pombo standing dere, sayin watch dis next pitch, you friggin amateur, you gonna get a curveball like you ain't never seen, and I be sendin you back to the AA league, whilst Annette and I and Wayne Johnson and Foggiliani and Dingbat go waltzing back to the DC scam, collecting more dough than your buddy Rocky ever made in a prize fight.

So's here we is, bottom of the ninth, and McNersey ain't been ezactly hitting em outa the park, if you know whats I mean. Maybe he should call Barry Bonds and get some of dem steroids, you know, beef up a little.

I don't know, mebbe things are out of balance here. Like, I would jump in da ring with Rocky (or bed wit Adrian, he, he) cause dey's my equal. But if some guy coming to da gym, all hot to fight the champ, but he ain't got no experience and specially no mojo, den I just say, "get lost kid" and tell the trainer to get me a contender to fight. Dis ain't no amateur hour going on here, cause when dat guy steps in the ring, I am gonna punch his lights out. Know why? Cause I wanna win, and especialy wanna beat dat loser Rocky.

Yo, Rocky, you wimp, where are you, you friggin loser -- come out and fight, or is youse a girlie man now? Go stuff your face with a cheeze steak, your an embarrassment to South Philly.

2:04 PM, July 31, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

$.02 --
I hope that I don't sound like one of those hopeless Democratic idealists when I say that I would hope to hear the truth and be spared the ugliness.

I have no problem with truth. I am no more pleased than you are by McNerney's responses to the Project Vote Smart questionnaire -- and his subsequent changes. But there is a difference between civil discussion of issues and name-calling.

You started off this thread by really snidely reffering to "Sir Gerald," then condescendingly referring to his brother JohnMac as "BroMac," and then finishing off your round with your reference to front-pager Delta with "those of you blog readers, who, unlike Delta... 'CAN stand the truth'."

Finally, you ended with this reference to the founder of this blog: "I'm going to refrain from engaging in the sort of vulgar, mindless, unfactual namecalling that some love to drop into at the drop of a Matt."

Look, anytime you want to discuss, like, you know, ISSUES, feel free to participte. You want to talk about COH? You want to talk about Project Vote Smart answers? Great! Talk about them. I'll engage with you any day of the week.

But if all you want to do is name-call, denigrate, and use Republican memes -- I guarantee that you'll be in for a hard time.

11:34 PM, July 31, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok then, address these issues (wonder if you guys have the guts to not delete it):

McNerney has a 9 to 1 cash disadvantage.

McNerney just blew himself up by changing 55 answers on so many issues of importance that he has lost all credibility in the media and has opened himself up like a peanut.

Mcnerney got pummelled by over 20 points last time.

McNerney sold out on pulling out of Iraq and left his Dean comrades behind to die on the battlefield on this one.

McNerney just made sure he will have no ability to raise money because people don't give checks to bumbling dorks running for congress who don't know what they believe.

Mcnerney's campaign operation is seemingly clueless and will get eaten alive by a hard edged veteran squad over at the Pombo campaign.

7:06 PM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

Anon --
Issue 1: As of 6/30, Pombo had $939,000 COH; McNerney had $151,000. That is a 6-1 ratio, not 9-1 (apparently your math skills are as poor as your manners). I know that you Pombo shills would like to forget about the $2 million or so in independent expenditures being made in the district, but they are clearly having an impact, since Pombo is obviously running for his life.

Issue 2: I agree that McNerney did himself and his campaign no favors in the Project Vote Smart matter. Whether that one thing is enough to completely derail his campaign, however, as you gleefully insist, hardly seems likely at this point.

Issue 3: That's just flat-out irrelevant. That was then; this is now.

Issue 4: That's news to me. Link, please? Meanwhile, Richard Pombo has the real blood of over 2,500 of our young American men and women on his hands.

Issue 5: Oh, really? Then how the hell has Richard Pombo raised so much money over the years?

Issue 6: You may be right. I'd like to see a LOT more from McNerney's campaign staff than I've seen since the primary.

But I have the strange feeling that Pombo's "hard-edged veteran squad" may be a myth. I don't think they've ever had to fight a tough race before, and I can't help but question how good they really are. I mean, Pombo spent $1.4 million as a seven-term incumbent and only managed to get 62% in his own party primary? Come on.

Now, please go back under your bridge and practice your long division.

8:49 PM, August 01, 2006  
Anonymous Tom Benigno said...

Johnmac: Is really paying attention to things,using the content of the Project Vote Smart for any or all publication is unlawful. The site was used to allow candidates to fill out answers so that the voters would have a chance to know the candidates party stance. The pombo camp has used that as a hit piece and have violated the Project Smart voters rules. Lets see where this goes. Pombo's hit man Carl Fogliani might be out of business and so might Pombo.


Tommy Bananas

7:05 AM, August 04, 2006  
Anonymous tom benigno said...

Why is it that everytime we talk about qualifications someone brings up money. Did you see todays Stockton Record it shows all the money that Spanos and Grupe put into the Republican Party. That's bull shit. That's what makes our candidates qualified not what they know , it's who they represent and why. If the housing market went to hell Pombo would have to go back to raising money from Alfalfa growers like me. Just think about what is happening, if things keep going like they are Pombo will be President. Not that he could qualify but the money would keep rolling in. We need stop the special interest from electing these fools.
VOTE POMBO OUT OR WE MAY BE LIVING IN A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY, AS SLAVES.

TOM BENIGNO

7:35 AM, August 07, 2006  

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