Monday Mashup Part One (11/01/10)

November 1, 2010

  • 1) I don’t know who else has noticed besides me, but the punditocracy is absolutely losing its collective mind as we near the end of this election cycle with its “doomed Dems” narrative, which is totally unsurprising I know; basically, I defy anyone reading this to navigate more than three clicks across any web news site to see what I’m talking about.

    And here is a sampling from yesterday’s New York Times, in which Sheryl Gay Stolberg does the best she can to concoct “Drudge bait”…

    CLEVELAND — The upper deck was mostly empty when President Obama closed out the campaign season Sunday afternoon with a rally on the campus of Cleveland State University here. His aides looked grim, fiddling with their BlackBerrys as Democratic National Committee staffers scurried to get a crowd estimate from fire marshals: 8,000 in a hall built for 13,000.

    It was a fitting coda to the waning days of a brutal election season for the president and his party. Mr. Obama spent the final, frenetic weekend of Midterms 2010 hopscotching the East Coast and Midwest trying to close the “enthusiasm gap” in key states. The task required him, at times, to confront the minor indignities that come with being demoted from rock star to mortal politician.

    What, no sneaky references to the faux Doric columns from Obama’s Dem nomination acceptance speech in Denver in 2008? You’re slipping, Stolberg! And funny, but I honestly cannot recall the last time I read about a campaign speech by a Repug in which the empty seats were counted.

    (And just for good measure, John Harwood depicted a “Republican rout” tomorrow here.)

    Stolberg, however, has nothing on Peter Baker, who, along with Helene Cooper, brought us this (from here, concerning the recent plane bomb scare that quite probably originated in Yemen)…

    WASHINGTON — Trying to manage a terrorism threat in the middle of an election campaign, the Obama administration is walking a political and national security tightrope.

    Remembering the debates over whether President George W. Bush sought to capitalize on the terrorism threat in the days before the 2006 election, White House officials do not want to look as if they are seizing on a potential catastrophe to win votes. But at the same time, they remember when President Obama was criticized when he said nothing publicly in the three days after an attempt to blow up an airliner last Dec. 25.

    “Every president has to be able to take off the partisan hat and assume the role of nonpartisan commander in chief when there is a security incident,” said C. Stewart Verdery Jr., a former assistant secretary of homeland security under Mr. Bush. “The president should be the public face of the response to send the right signals to Americans worried about our defenses, especially those partisans who might be inclined to find fault with anything the administration does.”

    Oh, and just in case we didn’t get it that the Obama Administration didn’t officially communicate with the media on the would-be Detroit pants bomber last December, Baker/Cooper go on to repeat it for good measure (of course, the period of time in question for Obama is three days, but I can recall nary a peep out of our corporate media slaves when a certain 43rd president went mute for six days in response to would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid, as noted here).

    There is still more hilarity in this column, as Baker/Cooper chide Obama again for his “breakdown” in responding last December (to which I ask the following: how many people were killed because of this “breakdown”), but by the end of the column, James Jay Carofano of the Heritage Foundation (now THAT’s a “fair and balanced” point of view) is wondering why Obama supposedly overreacted in the case of the most recent Yemen scare.

    And Baker went one better on Stolberg, by the way, writing an entire Op-Ed column yesterday on Obama’s supposed elitism to which I won’t even waste my time responding – if I want to read the National Review (and I don’t, I assure you), I’ll read the National Review.

    And in response to the supposed “apathy” of the Dem base, I give you this.

  • 2) Next, I give you what is perhaps the most schizophrenic opinion column I’ve read in a long time (and if you guessed that it came from Fix Noise, then you automatically win an autographed photo of humanoid Megyn Kelly with her face contorted as she yells at Obama spokesman Bill Burton, based on this).

    Former Vice Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro decried sexism in political campaigns (good), but then adds fuel to the proverbial fire with the following (bad)…

    But it’s not only Democrats against Republicans who sometimes cross the line. Take for instance, Carly Fiorina. Don’t tell me she didn’t realize that she was being sexist — as well as a tad ageist — when she said referring to Barbara Boxer in an off-mic comment: ‘”God what is with that hair? So yesterday.”

    And how did she stand by when Sen. John McCain issued an unheard of jab at a colleague in the Senate, when he said about Barbara Boxer after distorting her record that “I should know (how difficult she is on defense issues) because I have had the unpleasant experience of having to serve with her.”

    For those who don’t know how the Senate works, no Senator refers to his colleagues in that matter. John McCain has never referred to any colleague before like that. He thought he could get away with it because she is female.

    If the women of Arizona go on the Internet and Google three words: John McCain, rape and gorilla — they might see where he is coming from as far as women are concerned.

    OK, I think we need to step back a bit here.

    To begin, Ferraro is clearly angry about McCain involving himself in the California contest between Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina. And Ferraro has a right to feel that way, even though I don’t think this happened only because of Boxer’s gender; former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist involved himself in the South Dakota contest against former Senator Tom Daschle and on behalf of John Thune, which was also a low blow.

    Also, I am not going to excuse some of the truly lowbrow remarks by McCain that he has uttered in his public life – if you do what Ferraro suggests, you will indeed find the type of language she’s referring to.

    However, I think it’s more than a little self-defeating for her to make those remarks in a column where she’s decrying hateful language.

    Besides, who is Ferraro to say this when she had no trouble spouting some genuinely racist remarks while supporting Hillary Clinton, a sample of which is noted here?

  • 3) Finally, I just want to make a bit of a personal plea concerning tomorrow’s elections.

    Yes, I’m going to say that you should vote Democratic – no surprise there, I’ll admit. And I believe there are a lot of good reasons to do that.


    And one of them has to do with the fact that, for the first time in over 10 years, this guy won’t figure into the outcome of anything (even though he was ineligible in 2008, his policies were very much at issue then as I believe they still are now).

    My request is that you vote Democratic because of the good work done by the Democratic majority in Congress, notably of which is health care reform, jobs bills, the Lily Ledbetter law and granting the FDA more power to enable the safety of the food supply (there are a lot of other reasons, but I think those are some good ones for starters).

    All I ask is that I don’t read everywhere in the universe on Wednesday that the Repugs took over at least one house of Congress because all the “professional left” had going for it (the people who powered Obama’s victory two years ago first and foremost) was “Bush Derangement Syndrome.”

    Please click here to find a polling place in your neighborhood.

    Let’s keep doing the hard work we need to do up until the polls close tomorrow to make it plain to everyone in the world that our support for Democrats is based on moving this country forward for real, as opposed to running away from the past.

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    Carly Fiorina, The Job Killer

    October 10, 2010

    And if you think that, when push comes to shove, she’s all that different from any other Repug, you are utterly deluding yourself.

    (And by the way, I am not including this video to beat up people of other nationalities. I would only say, though, that if someone’s job in this country is outsourced/offshored for good, it should be replaced by something of comparable worth – a quaint notion, I realize, but one that has been sold to us by all of those “free” trade advocates…as I’ve said before, I have yet to see an example of “free” trade actually creating a job in this country from another location as opposed to the other way around.)


    Carly Fiorina, The Teabaggers Choice In CA

    July 24, 2010

    Another home run from Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films…


    Monday Mashup (9/28/09)

    September 28, 2009

    William_Safire_main
    Yes, I know William Safire is dead.

    Aside, from the fact that he once called Hillary Clinton a “congenital liar” (to which HRC famously replied that she didn’t feel offended for herself, “but for her mother’s sake”), and aside that he brought up the thoroughly debunked claim that Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers, met with “an Iraqi intelligence agent” in Prague, he also claimed that the Iraq war would be “quick,” with “Iraqis cheering their liberators.”

    Bill Moyers called him out on this here, but, like Thomas Friedman, Bill Kristol, Roger Ailes, Charles Krauthammer and Judith Miller, Safire chose not to stand up and try to defend that which is indefensible.

    Also, this tells us that Safire once claimed that “nobody was telling (President Obama, on the occasion of his acceptance of the Democratic Party nomination for president last year) or the voters that Democrats preferred abject surrender,” when in fact Dems are routinely vilified by Safire and his like-minded brethren in that manner.

    Good riddance.

    fiorina_6a00d8341e9e5b53ef00e55400e1388834-800wi
    This tells us that former John McCain Presidential Campaign Adviser Carly Fiorina, currently debating whether or not she’ll challenge California Dem U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer next year, discussed her battle with breast cancer in this interview with Karen Tumulty of Time Magazine. I give Fiorina credit for enduring this and trying to turn her struggle into something positive.

    However, as noted here, Fiorina has claimed that “There is no job that is America’s God-given right anymore,” an interesting remark for someone who, as former CEO of Hewlett Packard, turned a blind eye to that company’s trading with Iran (at the very least), as noted here.

    And as Mike Morrill of Keystone Progress tells us here (noting, among other things, HP’s disastrous merger with Compaq):

  • Fiorina Laid Off Nearly 18,000 HP Workers During “Restructuring.” According to the Omaha-World Herald, “Hewlett-Packard, based in Palo Alto, Calif., had a $ 903 million loss on revenue of $56.6 billion for its fiscal year that ended last Oct 31. According to a summary by Hoover’s Inc., an Austin, Texas, provider of business information, Hewlett-Packard has undergone extensive restructuring under Chief Executive Officer Carly Fiorina. The company announced earlier this year that it planned to cut 17,900 people by October because of a weak economy and its merger with Compaq.” [Omaha-World Herald 9/29/03]
  • Fiorina Suggests Her Biggest Mistake Was Not Firing More People More Quickly. In 2005, Fortune magazine reported that “Fiorina does not agree, naturally, that there’s been a brain drain (at HP). In fact, she believes that one lesson she’s learned while running HP is that she should have moved more quickly in ejecting certain people. Smartened up now, she says, “I would have done them all faster. Every person that I’ve asked to leave, whether it’s been clear publicly or not, I would have done faster.” [Fortune, 2/7/05]
  • Despite Being Forced Out, Fiorina’s Severance Package Was Reportedly More Than $42 Million. CNNMoney reported, “Ex-Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will get a severance package worth about $21.4 million, but stands to reap another $21 million after she was forced out by the computer maker’s board last week, a newspaper reported Saturday. The additional amount reflects the estimated value of her Hewlett stock and options as well as her pension, which were not included in her severance package, the New York Times reported.” [CNNMoney.com, 2/12/05]
  • Fiorina Was Paid $10.7 Million In 2002, But Was Decreased To $6.6 Million In 2003 Due To Poor Performance. As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, “Hewlett-Packard has slashed the pay of chief executive Carly Fiorina after she missed some performance targets last year, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission… Fiorina’s total pay — including salary, bonus and stock options — dropped about 38 percent from $10.7 million in fiscal 2002 to $6.6 million last year.
  • While her base salary went up from $1 million in 2002 to $1.24 million in 2003, her performance-based bonus dropped from $2.9 million to $2.1 million and the value of her stock option grants declined from $6.8 million to $3.3 million.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 1/24/04]

    If Fiorina is serious about making a run for the Senate, she should expect some sympathy for overcoming the odds on her personal health.

    However, that would be grossly overshadowed by the monstrous incompetence she has demonstrated in her corporate career, a frightening harbinger of what she would do in “the world’s greatest deliberative body.”

    Medical Devices Fraud
    And finally, I’m going to do something I’ve been meaning to do for some time; that would be bringing us up to date on that political piñata running for governor of New Jersey as the Republican standard bearer (from here):

  • Hmmm, Christie and Turd Blossom, huh?
  • Christie’s bad week (8/18) continued.
  • Somehow I don’t quite think “oops” covers this on Christie.
  • Is it just me, or does Christie’s whole “law and order” facade start to crumble (here)?
  • Is the Christie juggernaut “off the rails” (here)?
  • Christie is nothing but a bully and a thug (here – h/t The Daily Kos).
  • It’s getting harder to keep up with all of the Christie revelations (here and here…this guy shouldn’t be running for dog catcher, let alone governor of New Jersey).
  • And it sounds like Christie’s running mate has a case of foot-in-mouth disease herself (here).
  • Not an appearance of wrongdoing by Christie on this, but worth considering anyway…
  • It should be an interesting fall.

    Update 10/14/09: No “small dive” is good enough for Christie, it seems, based on this, unless you’re talking about his polling numbers.

    Update 10/19/09: At least Christie is honest in acknowledging his debt to Bushco; I’ll give him that much based on this.


    Male Bashing At The Inky? “Y” Not?

    April 15, 2009

    42-15717455
    Yes, this actually appeared on the pages of Philadelphia’s newspaper conservative house organ of record today (from here)…

    Guys, if you are between 18 and 50 and work in finance, do your country a favor: Get a handle on the potential economy-killer that’s running through your veins, and have yourself tested.

    We need to know if you’re a carrier of toxic testosterone.

    Not all of you are financial accidents waiting to happen. But some of you are operating at levels that require serious adult supervision.

    We know how you hate pain, so let me assure you that it won’t hurt. Just a simple saliva test, and we can tell if you are high-risk. I can even recommend a doctor.

    See, the author is arguing here that “toxic testosterone” is behind the near-ruin of our financial markets.

    Gee, silly me; I thought it was due to lax-to-non-existent government oversight, continued inflation of the housing bubble long beyond the point where any life form with more than a single cell of brain matter knew it would burst (advocated notably by our supposed financial geniuses including former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan), and buyers either obtaining home mortgages without even the slightest qualifications or borrowing relentlessly against the ever-shrinking equity of their property.

    But it’s all the fault of males only because of that dreaded testosterone! A-HA!

    Given that supposed revelation, I hate to break the news to Susan Antilla of Bloomberg, but here it is; women are guilty of financial indiscretions also.

    As noted here, former John McCain campaign adviser (and retired eBay Executive) Meg Whitman “received a ‘package’ worth $10 million in 2007, including $787,936 for personal air travel, and still draws $1.2 million a year as a ‘special adviser’.”

    OK, I’ll grant you that that doesn’t exactly qualify as a financial “indiscretion.” However, does anyone think Whitman rates a package like that given the fact that, while with eBay, she bought the Internet calling service Skype for $2.6 billion, and Skype has only made back $551 million as a result (noted here)?

    The link above to the prior post concerning Whitman also tells us the tale of Carly Fiorina, another former McCain adviser and former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, whose compensation was slashed from $10 million in 2002 to $6 million in 2003 due to “poor performance,” though she still walked away with a $42 million severance package in 2005.

    And this tells us of former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, who was elected in 1992 with the help of “voter suppression tactics” admitted by Ed Rollins, her campaign manager at the time. She also cut the workforce of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, resulting in Whitman earning a grade of “c minus” from “a coalition of environmental and public-policy groups” for her handling of environmental issues.

    Also, upon completion of her term as governor, she formed the Whitman Strategy Group and took the chemical company FMC as her first client, which was responsible for cleaning up arsenic-contaminated soil (FMC was responsible for 136 Superfund sites across the country … and had been subject to 47 EPA enforcement actions, according to Source Watch).

    (Yes, I know we’re here to talk about financial indiscretions, and these don’t directly qualify. However, I think it shows that high-profile women know how to use and abuse power at least as well as men.)

    And last but certainly least, this tells us how former Bushco Interior Secretary Gale Norton bailed as soon as her financial exposure to a certain Jack Abramoff was revealed in the cold light of day.

    Oh, and did I mention that, in the article, Antilla appears to endorse the idea of men taking female hormones “to tone down…aggression”?

    Perhaps a bit of “toxic testosterone” was at work in some of the money market machinations Antilla is talking about. But only a bit.

    Besides, toxic punditry beats that by a mile.


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