David Kirkpatrick

April 22, 2010

The party of “no” pulls gun …

… shoots foot.

Here’s a bad procedural move by the GOP today:

Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked an effort by Democrats to start debate on legislation to tighten regulation of the nation’s financial system, and the two sides traded bitter accusations about who was standing in the way of a bipartisan agreement.

There is some political jujitsu going on right now, and the GOP stands to lose a lot more than the financial reform debate.

Also from the link:

The majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, asked Republicans to agree to begin debating the measure, which would impose a sweeping regulatory framework on Wall Street and big financial institutions. But the Republican leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, objected, saying Democrats were pre-empting negotiations to reach a deal.

McConnell has a great point about negotiations, but his policy of all-out obstruction against all things Democrat in the legislature is working against him here. The Dems are very happy to force the GOP to block this move and substantially raise the floor of compromise. The longer the GOP opposes debate on the bill, the more the party appears to be in the pocket of Wall Street.

Fast forward to November and you’ll find a lot of ads hammering this point home to an electorate very, very sick of Wall Street and all things existing in the rarefied air of high finance. The economy is likely still going to be in the tank by the time election day rolls around and the GOP stands to gain, maybe gain a lot. The one thing it does not need is to be saddled with a tangible partnership with those evil-doers on Wall Street. And that is what has already started with today’s move.

Here’s the New Republic’s Jon Chait three days ago on why the Dems eagerly anticipated this move:

Chris Dodd says the Senate is going to hold a vote on his bill Wednesday or Thursday. Republicans still say they can muster 41 votes in opposition. The ideal for Democrats would be to have the whole GOP vote to filibuster the bill, then have a huge debate, and then have one or more Republicans defect and pass the bill anyway. Then you get an accomplishment and a chance to expose the GOP as carrying water for Wall Street.

March 2, 2010

Why is Charlie Rangel still head of Ways and Means?

It’s either spinelessness or hypocrisy from the Democrats. Both shoes probably fit.

From the link:

Caught in a swirl of ethics inquiries, Representative Charles B. Rangel, the dean of the New York Congressional delegation, appeared to be losing his grip on his powerful post as chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday night as Republicans planned to force a vote insisting that he step aside.

The House ethics committee last week admonished Mr. Rangel, an ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for violating Congressional gift rules by accepting corporate-sponsored trips to the Caribbean in 2007 and 2008.

The ethics panel is still investigating more serious allegations regarding Mr. Rangel’s fund-raising, his failure to pay federal taxes on rental income from a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic and his use of four rent-stabilized apartments provided by a Manhattan real estate developer.

February 1, 2010

The party of “no” is hard at work

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:19 pm

Hard at work doing nothing productive in the midst this extremely challenging economic climate. These tactics might (yes, might — there’s no given that this electoral cycle will favor the GOP) work in November, but real long-term damage is still being done to the Republican brand. Going with all tactics of negativity with no strategy or vision for the future aside from attempting to harm Democratic plans will not lead to electoral success.

From the link:

I got this note from someone with many decades’ experience in national politics, about a discussion between two Congressmen over details of the stimulus bill:

“GOP member: ‘I’d like this in the bill.’

“Dem member response: ‘If we put it in, will you vote for the bill?’

“GOP member:  ‘You know I can’t vote for the bill.’

“Dem member:  ‘Then why should we put it in the bill?’

“I witnessed this myself.”

I wrote back saying, “Great story!” and got the response I quote below and after the jump. It is worth reading because its argument has the valuable quality of being obvious — once it is pointed out. The emphasis is mine rather than in the original; it is to highlight a basic structural reality that has escaped most recent analysis of the “bipartisanship” challenge.

Also:

As I have pointed out a time or two or a thousand, the structural failures of American government are the country’s main problem right now. In this installment, we see that the US now has the drawbacks of a parliamentary system — absolute party-line voting by the opposition, for instance — without any of the advantages, from comparable solidarity among the governing party to the principle of “majority rules.” If Democrats could find a way to talk about structural issues — if everyone can find a way to talk about them — that would be at least a step. And the Dems could talk about the simple impossibility of governing when the opposition is committed to “No” as a bloc.

January 20, 2010

Teeth gnashing and hand wringing over health care reform

(Update — bold emphasis added because it seems it takes a sledgehammer to make a fiscal point right now.)

I’m sure there’s a lot of both going on behind the Democratic Party scenes. There’s a lot of both going on publicly along with plenty of finger pointing, blaming and dissembling among the left blogosphere. The simple fact is health care reform in its current Congressional form has not, and almost certainly will not, pass because of Democratic ham-fisted policy making. But the GOP is behaving shamefully and shamelessly as an opposition party with no alternative ideas and zero compromise on a very necessary evil.

Yes, health care reform is a very necessary evil. Honest libertarians can be excused from the argument, but fiscal conservatives are lying to themselves or everyone else when they deny health care reform must occur at some point in the near future. Health care as a percentage of income is becoming unmanageable and health insurance costs are killing businesses both large and small.

Without reform health care in the United States will continue to bankrupt people at higher and higher levels of income, and cause untold suffering and early death for the uninsured. And at a point in time looming very soon it will simply bankrupt the entire nation. I’m no fan of too much government influence anywhere, but after looking over the arguments (and sorting through the hyperventilated crap from both the left and the right) I am convinced reform at the federal level is now a necessary evil. Any fiscal conservative who looks at the numbers honestly will come to the same conclusion.

Some funny (interesting, not hah hah) facts about the situation on the ground now that Brown has taken over Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat: the oft pointed out irony that Kennedy’s old seat will end his signature legislation; the fact the Massachusetts electorate already has a state run plan along the lines of federal health care reform so scuttling the current reform efforts causes them no significant pain; that the new GOP senator voted for the Massachusetts plan, but has declared opposition to essentially the same plan on the federal level; the heaviest opposition to health care reform is found amongst voters who either are already in, or soon will be, the massive federal subsidy of Medicare or Medicaid and basically fear their benefits being harmed in some way. Talk about wanting to selfishly eat your children. No health care reform equals a potentially very bleak future for everyone middle aged on down.

January 19, 2010

Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat goes to GOP

Not any great surprise to anyone who’s been watching the lead-up to this special election. Scott Brown takes over Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts Senate seat and deals quite a blow to any flexibility the Democrats have with health care reform. By all accounts, Brown’s opponent, Martha Coakley, ran a positively dreadful campaign and even had the embarrassment of leaking a memo today while voting was still in progress with a weak sauce list of excuses why she failed to keep the Senate at 60 Democratic seats.

Another pretty weak move was to hold a press conference — also while voting was still in progress — claiming “voting irregularities” to try and get a fingernail-hold on any hope of stretching the final verdict out a bit further.

All in all the Defeatocrats got just what they deserve in this election. And given the political reality of Massachusetts Brown will likely be perfunctorily voted out of office in 2012.

From the link on the excuse list (second link), Marc Ambinder’s excellent fisking of the memo (Ambinder’s comments in bold):

Claims about Coakley’s Scant Campaigning and Miscues Were exaggerated

— Because of the failure of national Democrats to support Coakley, she was forced to devote significant time to fundraising in December. She also released a variety of plans in December and had a public event nearly every day.

[Coakley had 19 events after the primary through Sunday; Scott Brown had 66.]

January 7, 2010

Dems electoral road in 2010 gets a bit more tough …

… with yesterday’s announcements that Senators Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota aren’t going to defend their seats in November. That’s a lot of combined years of Congressional experience stepping back from the table. The Democrats are finding owning all of D.C. isn’t a walk in the park, and holding a governing coalition together is pretty tough.

Make no mistake, the elections are still quite a ways off and political winds blow notoriously fickle, but Obama’s first year in office has been tough on the Democrats. Blue Dogs are under attack both at home in the ballot box and from progressive purists in the blogosphere who are acting no less self-destructively than far-right GOPers who want to purge RINOs from the shrinking Republican tent.

If — and this possibility became a bit more probable with yesterday’s news — the Democrats suffer shockingly large defeats at the polls in November and (gasp!) actually lose control of the Senate, I wonder if the loony progressives who are hell-bent on battling a pragmatic and realistic president from their own party and appear to value ideology over governance will feel some measure of blame?

Probably not, and they’ll still be confused on why they’ll continue to be known as Defeatocrats.

August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy, RIP

Filed under: et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:47 pm

Whatever your opinion of the longtime senator from Massachusetts as a man, a statesman or simply as a politician, you have to admit he played the game in D.C. for as long and as well as anyone in modern memory. Many senators serve a very long time, very few remain so engaged and relevant their entire time in office. Until his sudden illness Ted was an active participant on Capital Hill.

From the linked NYT obituary:

Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a son of one of the most storied families in American politics, a man who knew acclaim and tragedy in near-equal measure and who will be remembered as one of the most effective lawmakers in the history of the Senate, died late Tuesday night. He was 77.

The death of Mr. Kennedy, who had been battling brain cancer, was announced Wednesday morning in a statement by the Kennedy family, which was already mourning the death of the senator’s sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver two weeks earlier.

“Edward M. Kennedy — the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply – died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port,” the statement said. “We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever.”

April 28, 2009

Arlen Specter switches parties

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:44 pm

The Pennsylvania senator leaves the GOP and doesn’t even simply become an independent. That says a lot about just how toxic the Republican Party has become.

It truly is getting down to the rump, and … you know, I’m not going to make a bad joke about rumps and toxicity right here. You can supply your own punchline with that softball setup.

From the link:

I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary.

I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election.

I deeply regret that I will be disappointing many friends and supporters. I can understand their disappointment. I am also disappointed that so many in the Party I have worked for for more than four decades do not want me to be their candidate. It is very painful on both sides. I thank specially Senators McConnell and Cornyn for their forbearance.

I am not making this decision because there are no important and interesting opportunities outside the Senate. I take on this complicated run for re-election because I am deeply concerned about the future of our country and I believe I have a significant contribution to make on many of the key issues of the day, especially medical research. NIH funding has saved or lengthened thousands of lives, including mine, and much more needs to be done. And my seniority is very important to continue to bring important projects vital to Pennsylvania’s economy.

I am taking this action now because there are fewer than thirteen months to the 2010 Pennsylvania Primary and there is much to be done in preparation for that election. Upon request, I will return campaign contributions contributed during this cycle.

While each member of the Senate caucuses with his Party, what each of us hopes to accomplish is distinct from his party affiliation. The American people do not care which Party solves the problems confronting our nation. And no Senator, no matter how loyal he is to his Party, should or would put party loyalty above his duty to the state and nation.

February 26, 2009

Dems are stupid, too

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:59 pm

Learning nothing from the recent plight of the GOP and its circular-firing squad method of enforcing purity within the ranks, the left-wing has loosed this bit of stupidity. Defeat from the jaws of victory is there for the taking.

Maybe the GOP isn’t totally sunk just yet …

From the link:

Congressional Democrats who vote out of line with their more liberal constituencies will face some tough times in the next election cycle.

With the goal of using “primaries to hold incumbents to account for voting with corporate interests instead of their constituents,” a group of grassroots activist organizations, including Daily Kos, have come together to form the Accountability Now PAC.

Accountability Now has a “single guiding principle,” said co-founder Glenn Greenwald, “of challenging the institutional power structures that make it so easy, so consequence-free for Congress to open up the government coffers for looting by corporate America while people across the country are losing their jobs and their basic constitutional rights while unable to afford basic health care.”

February 15, 2009

Ken Starr opens mouth and expels gas

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:14 am

Why is Starr even given a mic to embarass himself with?

From the link:

Kenneth W. Starr has a warning for the Obama administration: what goes around comes around.

During a speech yesterday in Boston, Starr told a group of attorneys that President Barack Obama could face an uphill battle over his Supreme Court nominees because as a senator he opposed two of George W. Bush’s Supreme Court picks, Samuel Alito and John Roberts.

Starr’s message: elephants don’t forget.

The former independent counsel during Bill Clinton’s Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky scandals, Starr said an aging Supreme Court meant that Obama could be able to name perhaps two or more nominees to the high court. And that could lead to a showdown with Senate Republicans who were livid with Democratslike Obama who filibustered and voted against the Bush picks.

Er, leaving Obama’s actions as a senator aside, if I were part of the GOP braintrust I’d put Ken Starr in deep mothballs. I certainly wouldn’t want to remind the public of the GOP’s cockblocking Clinton at every turn and actually moving forward with a failed impeachment effort.

Taking a longer view I’m betting history sees the last sixteen, and probably an even longer block of time, as the dark ages of the GOP. That is, if the party doesn’t completely implode which is still a very real possibility. Right now you have pundits, the right-wing blogosphere and the far right bloc looking to unseat the three Republican Senators who voted for the stimulus plan. Slick move there — it’s always a good idea to force your party into an even larger minority position at the ballot box.

History will see this period as the dark ages of the GOP because the party is purely obstructionist, partisan and hypocritical.

Partisan because every move the GOP has made over the last two presidential terms, and now the beginning of a third is to promote the GOP. Even if that means putting party over the nation. The voters have recognized that fact and if nothing changes in tone and action, the GOP may find itself in a very compromised position as an ongoing concern.

Obstructionist? See the Clinton years with the inane impeachment dog-and-pony show and the treatment offered the Democrats during the early Bush years when the GOP had the White House, Senate and House.

And hypocritical is the worst sin of all. The “small government” party spent taxpayers money like they controlled the printing press and ran up gigantic deficits to saddle the next several generations of Americans. A lot of the think tank ideas that finally went into practice under Bush 43 clearly should have remained in the filing cabinet.

The GOP coalition is in complete shambles and having a washed-up player in a failed farce making public statements isn’t going to help solve any of the many problems facing the party.

After the election I feared, and made the dark prediction, the GOP would continue to marginalize itself through a hard right-wing turn. The Palinistas were, and still are, very, very bitter. Bitter enough to bite their own noses off to spite the electorate that utterly rejected them.

That is the lesson the GOP needs to learn — the electorate has rejected them and demographics look very dismal indeed for any hope of a comeback unless drastic steps are taken. I’m not seeing those drastic steps.

I’ve contributed to NewMajority.com, and I like a lot of what I’m reading there, but I don’t see any real answers to the core problems right now. Culture11, another great new blog of conservative thought went belly-up recently. Former right wing blogosphere powerhouse Pajamas Media changed their business model to some ridiculous and soon-to-fail two-bit version of TMZ for politics. Joe the Plumber is their “star.” That’s all that needs to be said there.

I hope whatever new party rises from the ashes of the still burning brightly GOP corpse gets back to civil liberties, small government and personal responsibility. I’m not holding my breath — well, except when I keep voting Democrat because the GOP if full of folly, fools and fecklessness.

January 22, 2009

The fiscal GOP under Bush 43

Not the least bit fiscally conservative. As a matter of fact, quite the opposite. That’s going to be a tough mantle to bear when the next election cycle rolls around and Republican candidates start in on the empty rhetoric of big-spending Democrats and prudent Republicans.

Yes, the current administration and Congress will be big spenders. It’s not going to be surprising. Disappointing maybe, but no surprise. The surprise will be it’s almost impossible that a Democratic White House, Senate and House will outspend the most recent GOP-controlled White House, Senate and House.

Any new-found GOP fiscal conservatism is going to ring hollow for probably a couple of more election cycles, and very maybe much longer.

From the Cato-at-Liberty link:

House Minority Leader John Boehner tells NPR, “I and most Republicans believe that a smaller, less costly government gives us a healthier economy and a healthier society.”

Reality check: How the federal budget grew during the years of President Bush and a Republican Congress:

January 19, 2009

House stimulus plan looks good from Governor’s mansion

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:01 pm

I’m not even going to speculate on how good, or bad, an idea the current stimulus plan might be. At this point ideas are a waste of time — something is coming, it’s going to be big and it’ll be totally driven by the Democratic Party.

It is probably a good sign that the states are given a little support. That was one area of the current financial crisis that could’ve become ugly.

From the link:

State officials got their first look of the massive economic package worth $825 billion that Congress promises to deliver next month to President-elect Barack Obama, and many liked what they saw.
 
House Democrats Jan. 15 released details of their version of a plancontaining $550 billion in spending and $275 billion in tax cuts that they say will help pull the country out of a financial freefall compared by some experts to the Great Depression.
 
Crucial to states, the two-year package includes $87 billion to help pay for Medicaid, the joint federal-state program that costs $330 billion annually and serves 59 million needy Americans, and at least $100 billion for infrastructure spending — two top priorities of many governors and state legislators.
 
“Obviously they heeded our concerns,” said Michael Bird, the National Conference of State Legislatures lobbyist in Washington, D.C. He said the package includes “ample funds to create jobs; help the most disadvantaged get through the recession and perhaps ease some of the really tough budget decisions that state legislatures are facing.”
 
In a surprise to some, the proposed package also contains $79 billion aimed to prevent states from cutting into schools and college funding and another $41 billion to local school districts. While states and localities were asking for help on the education front, the levels were much higher than many had expected.

December 16, 2008

Democratic domination in the House

Interesting analysis from Nate Silver at 538.

From the link:

Even in districts where the Republicans did compete, moreover, they were often not truly competitive. The Democrats had 126 districts that they won by 40 points or more (including races that they won uncontested); these are what I call Democrat-Dominant Districts (DDD’s). These districts represent approximately half of the Democratic seats in the House, and nearly 30 percent of the House in its entirety. By contrast, the Republicans had only had 30 districts that they won by 40 or more points, of which 22 are in the South.

What characteristics did the DDD’s hold in common? In general, they were more urban, younger and poorer (although not any less educated) than the country as whole, and contained a significantly higher share of minorities. But, with 126 such districts, there was quite a bit of room for diversity between them. Basically, the Republicans aren’t competitive virtually anywhere on the Eastern Seaboard north of Washington, D.C., and virtually anywhere on the Pacific Coast north of Monterey. They aren’t competitive in virtually any dense urban center, or in virtually any majority-minority district (such as the black belt in the South or Hispanic-majority districts in South Texas). Finally, there are a dozen or so districts where Republicans are virtually nonexistant because of the presence of a large College or University. Collectively, that adds up to a lot of districts — almost a third of the country.

Conversely, the Democrats have very few districts in which they can’t play some angle or another. Nearly all of the Republican-dominated districts fit into a particular template: white, Southern, rural or exurban, lower-middle class (but not usually impoverished), low-mobility, with poorly-diversified economies reliant on traditional sectors like manufacturing or agriculture. There are only a couple dozen such districts throughout the country

December 6, 2008

Jefferson loses 2nd congressional district

This is good news for the Democratic Party. Sure Cao is a Republican, but the party got rid of the corrupt Jefferson.

From the link:

Political newcomer Anh “Joseph” Cao, a Republican, has beaten nine-term incumbent William Jefferson, a Democrat, in the 2nd Congressional District, according to the Associated Press.

With 79 percent of the district’s 492 precincts reporting, Cao, a Venetian Isles attorney who has enjoyed strong backing from local and national GOP organizations, is leading 53 percent to 43 percent over Jefferson. Green Party candidate Malik Rahim has 3 percent, while Libertarian Gregory Kahn is trailing with less than 1 percent.

The district, which was drawn to give African Americans an electoral advantage, covers most of New Orleans, most of Jefferson Parish’s West Bank and parts of south Kenner. About two-thirds of the district’s voters are registered as Democrats.

As predicted, turnout appears to be have been dismally low.

Jefferson, who is seeking a 10th term as he awaits trial on federal charges of bribery and public corruption, had expressed concerns that his base of African-American supporters might assume that he had won re-election last month and stay home from the polls today, potentially dooming his re-election effort.

November 21, 2008

Dems want to bail out the Big Three

I guess the threat of a Chinese takeover of the US auto industry is going to drive more corporate socialism. Looks like elected Democrats want to fork over cash to the failing businesses.

Isn’t it time someone pointed out no one — no one — has any clue what is happening financially right now? Our treasure is being spilled and spent in the Middle East and now on Wall Street and the Rust(ed out) Belt. Main Street will eventually turn to garbage can fires and gunplay if this keeps up.

From the second link:

Democratic congressional leaders, seeking to salvage a bailout of the Big Three automakers, demanded executives provide a business survival plan in exchange for their support of up to $25 billion in loans.

The ultimatum came on Thursday after the Democratic leaders failed to persuade the White House and congressional Republicans to use part of a $700 billion financial rescue fund to prop up the auto industry.

Hanging in the balance is the future of General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler LLC, whose losses have mounted during a severe economic downturn that has prompted Americans to largely stop buying cars.

Shares of GM and Ford rebounded from multi-decade lows as the developments in Washington kept bailout hopes alive.

While many lawmakers are anxious to see the companies survive, Republicans have been more wary of whether the money would really help, and Democrats have been more inclined to be generous to the huge employers of unionized labor.

Democratic leaders acknowledged on Thursday a growing public resentment over government bailouts of U.S. business in slowing the automakers’ demands, saying they will take a look after the auto industry provides a roadmap to its survival.

November 11, 2008

Majority of voters fine with Democratic takeover

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:38 pm

This is truly surprising to me.The ,single biggest qualm I had in voting for Obama is having one-party rule for at least two years. I think DC works best with a divided government.

The GOP brand is very, very tarnished. Probably doesn’t help having Palin on the “no my fault” tour right now.

From the link:

In the closing days of the campaign, lots and lots of Repubs sounded dire warnings about the liberal stranglehold one-party Dem rule would put on Washington. But it turns out that a solid majority of voters rather likes the idea:

In the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Tuesday, 59 percent of those questioned said Democratic control of both the executive and legislative branches will be good for the country, compared with 38 percent saying such one-party control will be bad.

Obviously Dems are enjoying the fruits of the GOP’s badly damaged brand here. More broadly, though, it suggests that Dems have a big opportunity.

November 6, 2008

A note to the GOP

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:49 am

Between the classless booing and catcalling during McCain’s excellent concession speech, and news like this:

Barack Obama has not even been sworn in yet as the 44th president of the United States but groups are springing up online calling for his impeachment. On Facebook, an “Impeach Barack Obama” group has attracted more than 700 members and a lively debate about the Democrat’s election victory on Tuesday over Republican John McCain.

Another Facebook group of the same name has 160 members and urges others to join because “we might as well get a head start on the impeachment of Obama.”

 

The Republican Party is in danger of marginalizing itself out of existence. Remember the Whigs? The Know-nothings? Political parties historically do die in this nation.

Right now the GOP brand is not small government. Hard to make that argument after the rabid support of two Bush 43 terms. There is the strong taint of corruption and hypocrisy. Lovely dance partners there.

I do think the lunatic fringe is not all that large in the party, but it has become the public face — religious extremists, anti-intellectual/anti-science morons and people who prefer hate over reason. It might not be accurate, but that is the GOP brand.

GOP, you created and abetted the “base” base and in turn created the latest brand. I’m ready to see a party that represents my interests — true small government, strong belief in civil liberties, free-market capitalism and moderate social policy. I no longer get any of my ideal government from the GOP. Don’t get it from the Democratic Party either, but the last eight years was an epic GOP failure.

Oh, and to the fools who are already advocating impeaching Obama? Yeah, that worked so well before. The baseless impeachment gong was beaten so hard during the Clinton years it broke. Put your tiny mallet away and just go home.

June 19, 2008

Democrats and FISA

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:07 pm

This “solution” to the telecom immunity/FISA issue strikes me as an odd move from the Dems.

June 3, 2008

This is one great post …

from the New Republic’s Christopher Orr channeling Detroit Piston GM, Joe Dumars. Especially funny here on the last day of primary voting.

From the link:

It’s no great surprise that some are trying to push us out of this series. From the beginning, it’s been clear that the media and league elites have been looking for an exciting new face, instead of a team, like ours, that has proven its mettle by making it to the Conference Finals six* years in a row. We saw it in the Western Conference as well, where officials and news outlets made clear they were sick to death of the reigning champion San Antonio Spurs and behaved like cheerleaders for the media-darling Lakers. Heck, they almost managed to persuade fans that a hokey, small-town act like the New Orleans Hornets was a legitimate contender. It is safe to say that this has been the most rigged coverage in modern sports history.

But back to the series in question. Yes, Boston has won four games and Detroit only two. But it’s hard to imagine a more arbitrary and undemocratic way to determine this series’s outcome than “games won.” It is, after all, a bedrock value of the game of basketball that all points must be counted. But how can that be the case when every point beyond the winning point is ignored? There are literally dozens of layups, jumpers, free throws, and (yes, even) dunks that our opponents want to say don’t count for anything at all. We call on the NBA to do the right thing and fully count all of the baskets that were made throughout the course of this series.

Once you abandon the artificial four-games-to-two framework that the media has tried to impose on the series, a very different picture emerges, with the Celtics leading by a mere 549 points to 539. Yes that’s right, the margin between the two teams is less than one percent—a tie, for all intents and purposes. This is probably the closest Conference Finals in NBA history, though I will thank you not to check on that.

Take the time to read the whole thing. It’s worth it.

(Hat tip: the Daily Dish)

May 31, 2008

Democratic chaos

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:54 pm

Wow. Just wow.

Overall what a black eye for the Democratic Party today. It seems Clinton has truly lost it (“it” being her mind, the race has been over for quite a long time) at this point, and her most ardent supporters are right there with her.

From the link:

Clinton nets 24 delegates out of the day.

A Democratic official close to Sen. Carl Levin says: “He is pleased they have made progress over where they were this morning. He is confident that the full delegation will be seated with full voting rights at the convention.”

7:16: Some Clinton supporters begin to shout: “McCain, McCain, McCain.”

 

7:15: Michigan compromise motion passes; 19 to 8.

7:05: A senior Michigan Democrat: “We will continue to work until the full delegation is seated but have reason to believe the candidate will restore 100% when picked.”

7:04: A spokesperson for Sen. Levin says that he’s “going to keep working until Michigan is fully seated with full voting rights at the convention.”

7:03: Ickes: “Mrs. Clinton has reserved her right to take this to the credentials committee.”

7:02: Ickes: “Hijacking four delegates is not a good way to start down the path toward unity.”

7:00 pm: Mr. Ickes continues. “Not only will this motion hijack four delegates from Mrs. Clinton, it will take 55 delegates from uncommitted status, which is a recognized presidential status under our constitution and convert them to Barack Obama.”

6:58: A senior DNC official says that Sen. Carl Levin is not likely to challenge the Michigan seating.

6:57: Don Fowler, former DNC chairman, and a Clinton supporter, announces his support for the motion. Ickes: “I rise in opposition. I find it inexplicable that this body that is supposedly devoted to rules is going to fly in the face of other than for our affirmative action rules the single most fundamental rule in the delegate selection process, that is, fair reflection.”

6:54: On To Michigan: Mame Reiley moves that all pledged delegate positions in Michigan be restored with one half vote; Clinton 69 delegates casting 34.5 votes, Obama’s 59 delegates casting 29.5 votes; a net of five.