How the 2008 Nomination Was Rigged for ObamaPosted: February 23, 2012 Filed under: Team Obama, The DNC, U.S. Politics | Tags: 2008 Democratic primaries, Barack Obama, Florida and Michigan Delegates, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Jeff Berman, May 31 DNC Rules Committee meeting 34 Comments
Hillary never really had a chance in 2008. Politico has the story this morning, based on a new book by Jeff Berman, who was Obama’s “chief delegate counter” during the 2008 primaries. The self-published book, The Magic Number, can be purchased at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The low-profile Berman, whose formal campaign title was national delegate director, was known for his obsessive attention to detail and preparation, and the book includes an unusually clear explanation of the complex, arbitrary process of selecting presidents. But its most striking moments, for those who followed the campaign closely, concern previously unreported battles, particularly around the primary calendar, the outcomes of which could have determined the nomination.
Unreported by the stupid corporate media who obviously could have investigated, but chose not to.
Florida and Michigan were key, and Berman describes how he tricked the Clinton operation into handing the nomination to Obama from the start.
“A January 29th Florida primary could completely blow up Obama’s winning path to the presidential nomination,” Berman writes. “This path requires him to win in Iowa, get through New Hampshire and Nevada and emerge, the week before Super Tuesday, as a leading candidate in South Carolina, whose large African-American population can carry him to a major victory one week before Super Tuesday. Moving the Florida primary to three days after South Carolina’s primary would block this strategy, as the election outcome in massive Florida would surely overshadow the results from smaller South Carolina.”
Berman quietly asked former Iran-Contra prosecutor John Nields and two other lawyers “to investigate exactly how the Florida primary legislation was enacted.” Their “authoritative legal report” showed that Florida Democrats — who were trying to blame the GOP — actually had a hand in the process; the Democratic National Committee used its findings as the basis for the move to sanction Florida, Berman writes.
According to Berman, Clinton aide Harold Icke, who was on the DNC Rules Committee, never questioned this fraudulent document, and signed on without any argument at all.
The Coup de grace, of course, came on May 31, 2008. Berman says that Howard Dean was worried about the outcome of the rules committee meeting that day, but not to worry. It worked out fine for The One. Of course we all recall how Obama’s nomination was secured by giving Obama some of Hillary’s Michigan primary votes, even though the Obama-obsessed corporate media ignored the whole slimy operation.
The uncertainty, though, lasted through the spring of 2008. Indeed, Berman writes, DNC Chairman Howard Dean was uncertain that he could persuade the Rules Committee members to enforce sanctions on Michigan and Florida in a May 31 meeting, and sought to cancel that session. Had the sanctions failed, the nomination fight could have blown wide open at the very last moment.
Berman also describes how he got help from the UAW to keep Obama and Edwards from being forced to keep their names on the ballot in Michigan, risking defeat by Clinton.
Berman called an official of the United Auto Workers, who had ties to Edwards, and persuaded the union to oppose the change.
“When the UAW makes a few calls in a political fight in Michigan, the political calculus of the fight changes,” he writes with satisfaction.
It’s all water under the bridge now, but I can still get angry about it. This is going to make it even harder for me to decide whether to vote the top of the ticket or leave it blank November.
Thursday Reads: Molly Ivins, Governor Goodhair, Corporate Crime, and HeroesPosted: August 18, 2011 Filed under: 2012 presidential campaign, Corporate Crime, George W. Bush, morning reads, Republican presidential politics, U.S. Economy, U.S. Politics | Tags: Antonio Diaz Chacon, Bill Clinton, Bush-Perry feud, Citi, corporate crime, George W. Bush, Governor Goodhair, heroes, Howard Dean, Indonesia, Jesus Lara, Karl Rove, Matt Taibbi, Mexican border, Molly Ivins, murder, Predator drones, Republican presidential wannabes, Rick Perry, SEC, Texas 45 Comments
Good Morning!! I’m going to be leaving for a two-day drive to Indiana either today or tomorrow, so I’m a bit meshugge this morning. Please be patient with me. Let’s see what’s in the news.
From what I can see, it’s mostly Rick Perry. And I must say, I find “Governor Goodhair” endlessly fascinating. He’s more of a gaffe-machine than Joe Biden–and that’s really saying something. Molly Ivins gave Perry that nickname. I miss her so much. So I was thrilled when I cam across this article in the Sacramento Bee:
Molly can’t say that about Rick Perry, can she? It’s a collection of quotes on Perry from Ivins. Here’s one:
June 24, 2001
First, we Texans would like to salute the only governor we’ve got, Rick “Goodhair” Perry, the Ken Doll, for vetoing the bill to outlaw executing the mentally retarded.
We are Texas Proud.
Such a brilliant decision – not only is Texas now globally recognized for barbaric cruelty, but a strong majority of Texans themselves (73 percent) would prefer not to off the retarded.
Gov. Goodhair’s decision – in the face of popular opinion, the Supreme Court and George W. Bush’s recent conversion on this subject – is a testament to his strength of character.
His Perryness announced, anent the veto, that Texas does not execute the retarded. I beg your pardon, Governor. Johnny Paul Penry, now on Death Row for a heart-breaking murder and the subject of two Supreme Court decisions, has an IQ between 51 and 60, believes in Santa Claus and likes coloring books.
We will never have another political writer like Molly.
Yesterday Perry “challenged” Obama on border security.
Perry, who was on his second trip to New Hampshire as a presidential candidate, criticized President Obama for his assertion during a speech in El Paso, Tex. in May that his administration had “strengthened border security beyond what many believed was possible.”
“Six weeks ago the President went to El Paso and said the border is safer than it’s ever been,” Perry said. “I have no idea, maybe he was talking about the Canadian border.”
Perry thinks we should use Predator Drones to deal with illegal immigration.
“I mean, we know that there are Predator drones being flown for practice every day because we’re seeing them, we’re preparing these young people to fly missions in these war zones that we have. But some of those, they have all the equipment, they’re obviously unarmed, they’ve got the downward-looking radar, they’ve got the ability to do night work and through clouds. Why not be flying those missions and using (that) real-time information to help our law-enforcement? Becuase if we will commit to that, I will suggest to you that we will be able to drive the drug cartels away from our border.”
Apparently the Governor of Texas did not know that the Department of Homeland Security has already been using Drones to patrol the Mexican border for years.
I’m not that up on Texas politics, but I’m beginning to get the idea that the Bush crowd doesn’t care much for Rick Perry. According to Elspeth Reeve at The Atlantic, Bush’s Crew Is Gunning for Rick Perry
Is Rick Perry “another George W. Bush”? In reality, Bush was more of a fake Perry, the Texas version of a studio gangster, clearing brush in his cowboy boots despite his prep school background. It helps explain why Bush’s allies and Perry’s allies don’t like each other very much: the Bush-loving Republican establishment sees Perry as “the low-rent country cousin,” the Los Angeles Times reports. And it explains why Karl Rove (who once worked for Perry, before helping Bush become president) went on Fox News to criticize Perry for calling the Federal Reserve treasonous — and to wish for more candidates to enter the 2012 race.
You’ll need to go to the link to read all about the Bush-Perry feud. In addition, Howard Dean told The Hill that the “Bush camp will take Perry out.”
Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean predicted that prominent political supporters of former President George W. Bush will deal a critical blow to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) presidential campaign.
“The Bush people don’t fool around, as you know,” Dean said Tuesday night on MSNBC. “You can say a lot of things about Bush’s presidency and his failures as president, but one thing nobody should say [anything] bad about [is] his political team. They know what they’re doing, and they are ruthless, and they are going to take Perry out.”
Here’s Bill Clinton’s opinion on Rick Perry’s presidential ambitions:
Do you have a Citi credit card? Better watch out
TANGERANG, Indonesia — Irzen Octa, a down-on-his-luck Indonesian businessman, suffered a torment familiar to millions of Americans struggling with debts racked up in better times: He feared losing his home.
In the end, he managed to keep the ramshackle two-story house where he and his wife raised their two now-teenage daughters. Instead, Octa, pursued by Citibank over a $5,700 debt on his platinum credit card, lost his life.
The 50-year-old businessman, invited to a Citibank office in Jakarta in late March, collapsed in a tiny room set aside by the U.S. bank for questioning of deadbeat debtors. He died shortly afterward — a casualty of a “harsh interrogation,” said Jakarta police spokesman Baharudin Djafar.
Noting that Indonesian debt collectors have a reputation for sometimes aggressive persistence, Johansyah, the central bank official, said: “The best thing to do is just pay.”
Octa’s widow said she first discovered that her husband had money problems when five men showed up uninvited at their Tangerang home one night in October and said they had come to get money. Unable to collect, they slept on a terrace outside the front door.
In the following months, debt collectors kept calling — and Octa’s debts kept rising because of hefty interest.
Sounds like a Mafia movie! Will that start happening here after the Republicans remove all regulations?
Matt Taibbi has a new article at Rolling Stone: Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes?
Imagine a world in which a man who is repeatedly investigated for a string of serious crimes, but never prosecuted, has his slate wiped clean every time the cops fail to make a case. No more Lifetime channel specials where the murderer is unveiled after police stumble upon past intrigues in some old file – “Hey, chief, didja know this guy had two wives die falling down the stairs?” No more burglary sprees cracked when some sharp cop sees the same name pop up in one too many witness statements. This is a different world, one far friendlier to lawbreakers, where even the suspicion of wrongdoing gets wiped from the record.
That, it now appears, is exactly how the Securities and Exchange Commission has been treating the Wall Street criminals who cratered the global economy a few years back. For the past two decades, according to a whistle-blower at the SEC who recently came forward to Congress, the agency has been systematically destroying records of its preliminary investigations once they are closed. By whitewashing the files of some of the nation’s worst financial criminals, the SEC has kept an entire generation of federal investigators in the dark about past inquiries into insider trading, fraud and market manipulation against companies like Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and AIG. With a few strokes of the keyboard, the evidence gathered during thousands of investigations – “18,000 … including Madoff,” as one high-ranking SEC official put it during a panicked meeting about the destruction – has apparently disappeared forever into the wormhole of history.
Under a deal the SEC worked out with the National Archives and Records Administration, all of the agency’s records – “including case files relating to preliminary investigations” – are supposed to be maintained for at least 25 years. But the SEC, using history-altering practices that for once actually deserve the overused and usually hysterical term “Orwellian,” devised an elaborate and possibly illegal system under which staffers were directed to dispose of the documents from any preliminary inquiry that did not receive approval from senior staff to become a full-blown, formal investigation. Amazingly, the wholesale destruction of the cases – known as MUIs, or “Matters Under Inquiry” – was not something done on the sly, in secret. The enforcement division of the SEC even spelled out the procedure in writing, on the commission’s internal website. “After you have closed a MUI that has not become an investigation,” the site advised staffers, “you should dispose of any documents obtained in connection with the MUI.”
I haven’t finished the article yet, but it sounds like an important story.
I’m going to end with a couple of feel-good stories.
Father of 2 becomes hero in abducted girl’s rescue
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The timing was just right for saving the life of a 6-year-old girl and for turning a 24-year-old mechanic and father of two young daughters into a hero.
It was coincidence that Antonio Diaz Chacon had come home from work early to spend time with his family Monday afternoon. It was also a coincidence that the family’s washing machine had just gone out, forcing them to do laundry a block down the road at a relative’s home.
Had it not been for that, Diaz Chacon wouldn’t have been there to see the girl thrown into a van as another neighbor yelled for the would-be kidnapper to let the child go.
Diaz Chacon is credited with saving the girl after chasing the van through a maze of neighborhoods to the edge of where Albuquerque’s sprawling housing developments meet the desert. It was there where the van crashed into a pole, the suspect fled and Diaz Chacon was able to rescue the girl and take her home.
Go read the whole thing. It’s good to know there are still brave and generous people out there who act selflessly just because someone needs help. And here’s another story about a heroic rescue–by an 8-year-old boy.
Just 8 years old and a novice swimmer, Jesus [Lara] reacted quickly last weekend to save a drowning infant from the bottom of a pool. On Thursday morning, the Plano Fire Department recognized his life-saving actions and explained how grateful they were for his quick reaction.
Jesus has only been swimming for two months. His father Henry began teaching him to swim in the pool at the Estancia Apartments where they live. Henry said after a long day of work Friday, Aug. 5, he kept his promise to take his son to the pool that night.
While Jesus was swimming, he noticed some bubbles coming from an object under the water.
The bubbles were coming from a 21-month-old toddler who had stumbled into the water.
“I grabbed a quick breath, and I dove under,” he said.
Jesus resurfaced holding a 21-month-old boy and arms outstretched, he yelled for his father to help.
“It was what he said that spoke volumes to me,” Henry said, remembering the boy’s words, “I found him at the bottom of the pool.”
Jesus’ father knew CPR and was able to resuscitate the child, who is now “doing fine.”
Those are my recommended reads for today. What are you reading and blogging about?
Enough is Enough!Posted: August 17, 2009 Filed under: A My Pet Goat Moment, Health care reform, Surreality, Team Obama, U.S. Economy, Voter Ignorance | Tags: Howard Dean, Kent Conrad, Paul Krugman, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, The Hill Comments Off on Enough is Enough!
Left Blogistan is alive with the sounds of open dissent. I can only say, it’s about time. Here’s a good example from TheHill.com aptly headed Obama picks fight with left on Health Reform. The news, however, is this fact. A public option is not a liberal option. It’s the option that every advanced economy in the world has chosen in some form. We already have a public option for seniors. We’re the majority, in every sense of the word, on this issue. This fight is not with the Left. This fight is with our babies who die in bigger numbers than most countries, our families bankrupted by inadequate insurance, and the many many ill people who are simply numbers on a spreadsheet that provide a mark-up of 30 percent or more for a industry based on always saying no!
Even in the real Socialized medicine haven of the. U.K., former Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher knew she had an unassailable object because it makes peoples lives much improved and they wouldn’t give it up once they had it. Here in the U.S., we’re not even talking socialized medicine despite the bleating of the right wing media machine. We’re talking about extending something we already have–Medicare– reformatting it so it benefits doctors, hospitals and patients rather than a superfluous, bonus paying, extraordinary profit making, third party payer. How can you lose the high ground on an issue that’s been so easily solved in nearly every other country that’s not an economic or political basket case? How can you lose momentum on an issue that polls showed people supported until you botched the policy so badly?
Liberal Democrats have insisted a public insurance option is necessary to ensure competition for private insurers. Just this week, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean predicted there could be Democratic primary challenges if a healthcare bill without a public option is approved by Congress.
Dean also told liberal bloggers gathered last week at the “Netroots Nation” convention that the only piece of reform left in the House bill that is worth doing is the public option.
The left wing of the Democratic party already has been irritated by concessions its leaders have made on healthcare to centrists in the House and Senate.
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) told CNN on Sunday it would be “very difficult” for her and other liberals to support legislation that does not include a public option.
“The only way we can be sure that very low-income people and persons who work for companies that don’t offer insurance have access to it, is through an option that would give the private insurance companies a little competition,” she said.
The last word in the Sunday TV Spin Zone was given to North Dakota Senator DINO Kent Conrad. This man has fewer folks in his entire state than do most neighborhoods in any major city in America. Why does he get to frame the debate?
In an interview on Sunday, Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, said the president remained convinced that a public plan was “the best way to go.” But Mr. Axelrod said the nuances of how to develop a nonprofit competitor to private industry had never been “carved in stone.”
On Capitol Hill, the Senate Finance Committee is expected to produce a bill that features a nonprofit co-op. The author of the idea, Senator Kent Conrad, Democrat of North Dakota and chairman of the Budget Committee, predicted Sunday that Mr. Obama would have no choice but to drop the public option.
“The fact of the matter is, there are not the votes in the United States Senate for the public option,” Mr. Conrad said on “Fox News Sunday.” “There never have been. So to continue to chase that rabbit, I think, is just a wasted effort.”
So, that’s it. The high rate of infant mortality we have here in the U.S. (worse than many developing nations), the appalling number of personal bankruptcies due to folks with either no insurance or underinsurance, and the number of people that have no access to even the most basic services other than the emergency rooms are simply Axelrovian ‘nuances’. TheHill.com continues to describe the back pedal, the sell-out, the cave-in, or what ever pejorative metaphor for the big Obama cop-out.
Dear Progressives: You’ve been had …Posted: August 15, 2009 Filed under: Health care reform, Surreality, Voter Ignorance | Tags: Bill Clinton, Howard Dean, Netroots Nation, Valarie Jarret Comments Off on Dear Progressives: You’ve been had …
I’ve been busy getting the youngest back to University and entertaining a friend as well as trying to get my own stuff together for semester’s start so I didn’t go to Netroots and I haven’t followed it very closely. Just got back in from a day of driving way too many places to see two headlines that juxtapose nicely. First, is at HuffPo and the headline is “Valarie Jarret Heckled and Hissed at Netroots Nation”. The other is from Politico and that headline is “Party leaders prepare liberals to accept a health care reform deal”. Do you think we need to play connect the dots? Sure you do!!!
So, we’ve known for some time that this is the health care reform plan that really isn’t about health care or reform. Now, we’re being asked to bend over, open wide and … well, you catch my drift. I’m not about to take one for Howard Dean or the Gipper, Gypper, POTUS, whatever. I’ll admit to being a fully recovered Deaniac. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Here’s Politico’s story.
After the toughest week yet for health reform, leading Democrats are warning that the party likely will have to accept major compromises to get a bill passed this year – perhaps even dropping a proposal to create a government-run plan that is almost an article of faith among some liberals.
With August dominated by angry faces and raised voices at town hall meetings, influential Democrats began laying the groundwork for the fall, particularly with the party’s liberal base, saying they may need to accept a less-than-perfect bill to achieve health reform this year.
“Trying to hold the president’s feet to the fire is fine, but first we have to win the big argument,” former President Bill Clinton said Thursday at the Netroots Nation convention, a gathering of liberal activists and bloggers who will prove most difficult to convince. “I am pleading with you. It is OK with me if you want to keep everybody honest. . . . But try to keep this thing in the lane of getting something done. We need to pass a bill and move this thing forward.”
“I want us to be mindful we may need to take less than a full loaf,” he said after recounting the political troubles that followed his failed reform effort in 1994.
It won’t be an easy sell. Even former national party chairman Howard Dean this week threatened Democrats who don’t support the public insurance plan with the prospect of primary challenges – the first rumblings of what could devolve into a Democratic civil war over health care.
So, how’s that sitting with the Netroots folks? They may have been polite to the Big Dawg and the Big Scream, but Valarie Jarett didn’t fare too well. It was a hootin’ and hollerin’ time up there in Pittsburgh! Why, you’d have thought it was just another town hall meeting with a bunch of Beck and O’Reilly acolytes! Do you suppose there were some sino-peruvian-lesbian plants up there or has some one finally awakened to the smell of bad milk in their cafe latte? Again, this was reported by HuffPo.
On Saturday morning, one of the president’s closest advisers, Valerie Jarrett addressed the Netroots Nation conference in Pittsburgh. And while attendees were largely supportive throughout the question and answer session, the reception was warm at best. The defining moment, in fact, came when Jarrett was hissed and heckled.
Roughly midway through the session, Jarrett was pressed to explain why the President was “continuing so many of [Bush’s] policies many of which he criticized as candidate Obama.” Knowing the mood and makeup of the audience – largely progressive activists from across the country – she acknowledged off the bat that it was “a fair question.” But from there, things grew a bit rough.
Jarrett defended the work Obama has done outlawing torture, and releasing Office of Legal Counsel memos detailing how such interrogation practices came to be. At that point, a protester in the audience screamed out a question about why the White House was trying to keep additional photographs of detainee abuse from becoming public.
“I heard somebody shout out about the pictures,” Jarrett replied. “Everybody knows what’s in those pictures. And this is where it gets very delicate and I know it is a touchy subject for this audience. But what he is trying to balance as president, is keeping us safe, not giving ammunition to people who already have ample ammunition from what they’ve seen before to be adverse to us.”
More shouts and protests followed. “I can’t hear you,” Jarrett said. “You know what you’ve got to do? You’ve got to figure out a way to get your question on here [pointing to the computer on stage that was receiving emails from questioners]. We are not going to have shout outs from the audience.”
Wow! Are the folks at Netroots part of the mob now? Have some of them finally realized that if they don’t cooperate with the current meme there’s a place for them under that big ol’ bus the rest of us were thrown under during the primary last year? Are they really willing to sell out every single item on the liberal/progressive agenda for enhanced status quo? Are these possibly those chickens we kept hearing about? Are they finally coming home to roost? And, do you think it’s too late to get some REAL health care reform out while we’re at it?
Listen, Netroots, POTUS said he wouldn’t sign anything that didn’t include a public option. Are you going to join us to hold him accountable for those words or are you going to cave into this pressure to win one for the Gipper or is that the Gypper?
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