October 16, 2010

The Tattlesnake – More Toast and Coast Edition

Because once was not enough…

Given their deep concern over budget deficits, someone in the Noose Media should ask one of these Tea Party candidates if they are willing, once in office, to save the taxpayers a little money by taking no more than $50K per year in salary, buy their health insurance the same way the average prole does, and forgo their housing allowance, generous government pension, and other perks for Congress members. Oh, right, they can’t ask them that because they run in terror from all but the ‘GOP friendly’ media.

With rumors circulating that the GOP Money Machine has quietly given up on Christine O’Donnell after her pathetic “do I need to know that?” debate performance; Sharron Angle’s bizarre Valley-of-the-Dolls, all-you-need-is-the-free-market mutual press conference with Harry Reid (where has Sharron been the past 30 years?), and Carl Paladino’s further fattening of his job resume for a gig with The Onion News Service, it’s become clear how weak the Republican Party really is these days. They are being led around by vacuous political shock-jocks like Limbaugh and Beck; their Teabagger candidates are ignorant, barely-coherent dingbats pushing stink-bomb Gilded Age economic cure-alls; and the only things keeping the sinking GOP dinghy afloat is Fox News, their dutiful handmaidens in the Big Media, and piles of undisclosed corporate cash for negative ads. If not for the aforementioned, the Know-Nothing Party would be curled up in a ball in the corner, mewling for mercy. They have no constituency except that 20 percent of the country that is uninstitutionalized wingnut – and that’s not enough to get anyone elected. Americans may be angry with the Democrats, but that doesn’t mean they want to move in with a family of moon-howling morons.


Consider that a month ago, every MSM pundit with an AFTRA card was assuring us plebes of Big Wins for the GOP in such states as Nevada, Delaware and Alaska, based on the polls and past off-year electoral history. Now, not so much — toss-ups everywhere as the Dems have come even in polls and, in the case of DE, shot up about 20 points ahead.

With that said, the Tattler again consults his Toast and Coast flash cards on some of the prominent races of Pax Americana:

Toast: Joe Miller, GOP candidate for US Senate from Alaska.
Tea Party Joe’s enthusiastic endorsement by multi-millionaire Sarah Palin probably didn’t help him much with Alaskans – she’s not well-liked in the Great White North anymore. On top of that, the hits just keep coming that he has a bundle of regressive views on Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance, which basically amount to telling the serfs to “suck it” while doling out tax cuts for the well-heeled heels. Not good. Then there are the recent embarrassing revelations that his wife collected evil unemployment benefits, his refusal to answer questions about his past hypocrisies, and a write-in challenge from Preferred Establishment Republican and sitting senator Lisa Murkowski, and you have Joe melting faster than a Bering Sea glacier in an Al Gore film.
Coast: It may be a squeaker but Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams, who has risen to within six points of Miller, will pull out this upset victory in what once was a Deep Red State.

Toast: Mark Kirk, GOP candidate for US Senate from Illinois.
Just because I can’t resist the rhyme, let me say Kirk is a jerk, but it’s true. Aside from inflating his US Navy service beyond recognition, he’s had a whole FUBAR political career as a Congressman. He’s not a Teabagger, he’s a spoiled little pain-in-the-ass from a suburban district of Chicago who apparently has never taken the time to understand what the big metropolitan neighbors his constituents depend on need and then wonders why things aren’t working better. He’s also not great at discerning what’s important to downstate farmers and blue-collar workers with whom he feels no affinity or compassion. He’s a vacant tax-cut-crazy political dilettante who votes as instructed by the GOP Elite. It’ll be a relief to wave ‘bon voyage’ to this political parasite. His Dem opponent is no prize, but it’s hard to imagine how he could be worse than Kirk.
Coast: Alexi Giannoulias, but only by a couple of points.

Toast: Michael Bennet, Democratic Senator from Colorado.
Sorry to say, but Bennet has run a soft, inchoate campaign against Tea Party goofball Ken Buck, and it’s showing. Meanwhile, Republican Ken has been Strong and Wrong, which sells well in the Rocky Mountain State, and even told the Birthers to stop asking him stupid questions in public, all of which resembles manliness to those deprived of oxygen in high altitudes. Colorado is a mixed bag with progressive enclaves such as Denver, Aspen and Telluride, but then there’s uber-Christopublican Colorado Springs and the Pine-Tree Yahoos and Desk-Set Mountain Men and SUV Cowboys who inhabit the rest of the place. They’re all for Buck and Bennet just doesn’t have the testicular appeal to overcome it.
Coast: Ken Buck, by a thread-narrow margin.

Toast: Linda McMahon, GOP candidate for US Senate from Connecticut.
Linda is, for lack of a better term, a knuckle-dragging dimwit who hilariously thinks she’s worked in the ‘real world’ because she ran a pro wrestling organization. She’s as phony as a Ric Flair knee-drop. Joe Lieberman notwithstanding, CT’s a Blue State and AG Richard Blumenthal is still popular despite artificially-enhancing his Marine Corps war record.
Coast: Blumenthal in a walk.

© 2010 RS Janes.

April 3, 2009

The Tattlesnake – Fitzgerald Finally Indicts Blagojevich for Jaywalking Edition

19 Charges Against Blago, 16 of Them Felonies, But Not Much St. Pat the Prosecutor Can Hang His Halo On

The AP has reported that federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald finally indicted impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich yesterday, April 2, on 16 felony charges, including conspiracy, attempted extortion, wire fraud and racketeering.

This all stinks to high heaven – Fitzgerald needs four months to indict a guy who, in his words, was on a “crime spree” and then doesn’t even have a press conference to announce the particulars of the indictment? Quite a bit different from the media circus he ringmastered last December to drive Blago from office. Plus, his key witness is apparently the jailed slimebucket Tony Rezko. Rezko is doing hard time in solitary and might be amenable to saying whatever Mr. Fed wants to hear to shave off some months from his sentence – not what you’d call a stellar witness.

Charges that Blago used his influence to arrange job interviews for his wife with companies doing business with the state where she wasn’t hired, used ‘improper influence’ (did he have a gun?) to block efforts to consolidate state retirement funds, held up taxpayer money to fix the Tribune Company’s privately-owned Wrigley Field, and ‘discussed the possibility’ of having Fitzgerald replaced tip off the flop-sweat desperation of a prosecutor trying to pad his case. Privately ‘discussing the possibility’ of removing a prosecutor, blocking the consolidation of state funds desired by a corporation, withholding taxpayer money for a private sports enterprise, and arranging job interviews for your wife are now illegal? Fitzgerald is going to be mighty busy from now on, prosecuting every single politician in Illinois.

Also named in the charges is a ‘Candidate A’ that some of the TV Talking Heads are claiming is Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. The allegation is that Candidate A was offered Obama’s vacated US Senate seat in return for a contribution to Blago’s campaign of $1.5 million. All well and good, except Jackson has already categorically denied that he discussed any kind of deal with Blago or his staff.

According to Jim Warren, formerly of the Chicago Tribune, speaking on Chris Matthews’ Hardball last night, there is little in these 16 counts that was not brought out in Fitzgerald’s press conference last December. If so, Fitzy is armed with 16 counts of wet noodle here – he supposedly has wiretaps that have Blago discussing bribes, but no actual bribes taking place. He might be able to make a thin-beef conspiracy charge stick but, then again, does he really want Blago and his staff taking the stand to expose the way the sausage is made in Springfield by both the Dems and GOP?

Regular Tattlesnake readers know that I have a friend who has 20 years experience with non-profit organizations trying to bring health care to everyone in Illinois. She reports that Blago was the only governor, and one of the few statehouse politicians, who ever took the issue seriously, and even appointed a liaison to the non-profit health care groups, with the aim of instituting single-payer universal health care for every Illinois resident. For this, and other progressive ideas, such as supporting unions and cracking down on the mortgage-lending industry, Blago was loathed by the corporate Powers-That-Be who have been trying to get rid of him since he took office. On the Republican side, the attacks have been spearheaded by the Chicago Tribune, and on the Dem side by Illinois Speaker of the House Mike Madigan, a corrupt leftover from the old Daddy Daley Chicago Machine who wants his daughter Lisa, currently the Illinois AG, to be governor someday.


March 24, 2009

The Tattlesnake – Ruminating and Rumorating Edition

“Why don’t you guys use your brains like I do.”
– George Bancroft as mob boss Mac Keefer in “Angels with Dirty Faces” (1938).

1. Looks like impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was right. He said as soon as the Powers-That-Be in state capital Springfield got rid of him they’d raise taxes, and now new Gov. Pat Quinn has announced he’s planning to do just that. (Taxes on a carton of cigarettes, for instance, have already gone up ten dollars in IL.) Quinn’s not a bad guy, but he was installed in office by House Speaker Mike Madigan, the same corrupt Machine politician that masterminded Blago’s removal. BTW, when does the other Pat, prosecutor Fitzgerald, indict Blago for his ‘crime spree’? It’s been four months and we’re still waiting, and Fitzy’s 90-day extension is coming to an end. Could it be he doesn’t have a case?

2. Word is, some GOP insiders are privately conceding more seats to the Dems in 2010 and the presidency in 2012. They know that short of a highly unlikely major blunder or meltdown on Obama’s part, the Republicans have no one who can beat him; current frontrunners Romney, Gingrich, Jindal, Huckabee, Sanford and (shudder) Palin just don’t have the heat. But this works to the advantage of the top party heads who would like to purge the Christian crazies, bigoted Dittoheads and nattering neocons from the ranks. (Keep them as voters and ground troops, of course, but well away from the levers of power.) Losing big in four consecutive elections just might accomplish that.

3. Speaking of the GOP, daffy duckster Michael Steele, the RNC Chair who has been hip-hopping all over the place, has turned out to be not so good at organizing much of anything – he still hasn’t even fully staffed his office. In fact, it’s been noticed that his only true talent seems to be in babbling baloney in front of cameras and microphones — not that all Republicans don’t, but Mike’s brand of urban twaddle confuses the party’s base of rural white rabble down in Dixie. They want God, guns and gays and Mike’s offering rap, pap and mall rats instead. The money’s drying up over distrust of Steele and he’s on a greased rail, the end of which should be reached before summer begins.

4. So is Obama’s Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner – on a greased rail, that is — only he’s on a shorter trajectory to oblivion. He’s managed to inspire confidence in exactly no one (except, supposedly, Obama), and his secretly playing point man for the tainted AIG bonuses and then dissembling about it has left him damaged goods in a government touting virtuous transparency. Watch for ‘Geit’ to regretfully resign for the good of the administration sometime on or about May Day.

5. Watch for the next AIG to be Bank of America, with a twist. BoA has assumed a boatload of debt buying up other failing banks and is now swimming in red ink. The chickens are nearing the roost, and soon the over-extended BoA could very well bankrupt the FDIC (unlike AIG, it’s a real bank), as the feds scramble to cover millions of depositors. The alternative would be to split up BoA into smaller companies and sever the gangrenous investments while retaining the profitable accounts. Obama would have to pull a Jimmy Stewart and encourage depositors not to withdraw their money, just until the crisis passes. Unfortunately, as it stands now with the boneheaded Larry Summers and ineffectual Geithner on the bridge, they’d probably break the treasury trying to save BoA from being split up, which means we’d be a nation of rag pickers by this time next year.


January 31, 2009

The Tattlesnake – After Blago the Deluge? Edition

“How many legs does a dog have, if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”
– Abraham Lincoln

Last Thursday, Illinois Speaker of the House and state Democratic Party Chair Mike Madigan finally managed, with the help of Patrick “Spotless Mind” Fitzgerald, the bankrupt Chicago Tribune editorial board, and their cohort in the national Big Media, to get rid of Gov. Rod Blagojevich on 14 articles of impeachment that are quaint and laughable compared to the blatant offenses of Bush and Cheney. Among the horrible crimes Blago committed were abusing his power by making it easier for senior citizens to get their drugs at cheap Canadian prices; bringing health care to uninsured kids, and helping poor women get regular mammograms and cancer treatment. Seriously. Since Blago bypassed, apparently legally, the corrupt lead-asses in the state General Assembly, they called this an abuse of power. Of course the main charge that he tried to sell the US Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama was based entirely on Fitzgerald’s lip-licking public readings of excerpts of wiretapped tapes – the actual full tapes have yet to be released — and remain unproven in a court of law. Here are a few things the BM, in its haste to bury Blago under ridicule, have missed:

– I live in Illinois and have known for years that Blago was not popular with the state Power Elite comprised of corporations, wealthy country-clubbers of both parties, the mortgage-lending industry, the bankers, the conservative Chicago Tribune, and the for-profit health insurance creeps. In fact, these various groups, through their mouthpieces at the Trib editorial board and elsewhere, have been trying to impeach ‘The Rod’ for years, but they needed the supposedly bias-free imprimatur of Fitzgerald’s bizarre press conference on December 9, 2008, following Blago’s arrest – he had yet to indict Blago, and hasn’t to this day — to bring it to a head.

– I also know a trustworthy woman who has worked for various organizations for more than two decades to bring health care to uninsured Illinoisans. She claims Blagojevich was the first Illinois governor to listen and take action, action that would have resulted, eventually, in universal health care for every Illinois resident. This alone, she says, made him a pariah among most IL politicians who rake in campaign contributions from the for-profit health care industry and he had that industry shaking in its boots – universal health care in a state the size of Illinois? It would be the beginning of the end of for-profit insurers across the land. This had to be nipped in the bud before it got out of hand.

Speaker Madigan is an Old-School Chicago machine politician who has amassed immense power in Springfield and committed every public vice he’s imputed to Blago. (If you think Blago has a foul mouth on him, spend a few minutes off camera with Mike or any of Daley’s Army – this is the way pols talk in Chicago.) He also wants his daughter Lisa, currently the Illinois Attorney General, to be governor and Blago stood in the way. Make no mistake, Pat Quinn may have been sworn in as governor on January 29, but the real power is Madigan who controls the purse strings, both in state government appropriations and Dem party politics. That’s how he got many of these State House toads to go along – he no doubt threatened he would throw official Dem party support to another candidate in the next primary, thereby guaranteeing they would lose their cushy seats in the legislature. (Some of these slack-jawed monkeys aren’t fit for much else; a good portion of them might drown in a rainstorm if they looked up.) Of course, he didn’t have to convince the Republicans – they all needed drool cups at the prospect of impeaching Blago.

– You’ve heard the old line that a Grand Jury will indict a ham sandwich. Illinois’ rules of impeachment are so lax you can be removed from office for just talking about that ham sandwich on the phone.

– Just in case, as is likely, Fitzgerald isn’t able to prove his corruption charges in a court of law (he may even quietly drop the charges now that the mission has been accomplished), Illinois lawmakers added an extra fillip to the impeachment indictment – Blagojevich is now barred from holding elective office in the state for life, so he won’t be in the hair of the health care apparatus and Corprocracy ever again, even if he’s cleared of corruption charges in court. They thought of everything.


December 29, 2008

The Tattlesnake – Is Gov. Rod Getting Rammed? Edition

What’s the Republican Political Angle to the Blagojevich Prosecution?

Is Illinois’ F**king Golden Boy Merely the Stooge for a Partisan GOP Attack on Obama and the Dems?

Had Enough Leading Questions Already?

While some may choose others – such as Billo, Hannity, the Savage Wiener or Radio’s Anal Cyst Rush — as a reliable weathervane of what not to believe, I have my own preference – second-tier CNN newsreader Kyra Phillips. In the case of the first four names, we know they are regurgitating their daily Talking Points from the Ministry of DoublePlusGood Neocon Truth, but Kyra aspires to a level of journalistic integrity that renders her eructations of state-sanctioned Big Media hooey more entertaining – and she’s easier on the eyes and ears than the Cave Boys.

I first noticed Kyra’s particular talent in this regard back in May of 2003, following Junior’s Commander-Cody-with-a-Codpiece moment on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and his hilariously boneheaded ‘Mission Accomplished’ ramblings afterward that ‘major combat operations’ had been completed in Iraq.

The Most Trusted Name in Newspeak had Kyra onboard the carrier that day and, with time to fill and a Glorious Victory in Eastasia to celebrate, she was given a free ride on a US Navy jet at the taxpayers’ expense. After landing, the breathless and excited Ms. Phillips gushed — only verbally, as far as I know — over the sea-going military, jet pilots, aircraft carriers and the whole goddamned Good War thingie – we had kicked Iraqi behind and all was right-wing with the world! But I noticed something in Kyra’s flushed smiling face and twittering-with-glee voice – why, it reminded me of a time decades before when I ran into a notorious groupie just hours after she had ‘balled’ (late ’60s slang term for copulation) every member of her favorite band! Of course, the video of Bush’s dumb publicity stunt is only useful now as a platform to launch a thousand jokes, and I’m sure Kyra’s embarrassing orgiastic spurt of militaristic slathering, wearing a flight helmet, no less, has been filed in the root cellar at CNN never to be seen again.

In the years since, whenever Kyra decides to editorialize the news, whether it be Rudy Giuliani’s popularity with Dixie-Fried Republicans, Fred Thompson’s manly irresistibility to voters, or Sarah Palin guaranteeing a big McCain win with the womenfolk, I have sure knowledge that whichever way Kyra blows, so to speak, the opposite is true.

This came up again a few weeks ago as the news of Scooter Libby prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s December 9th arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich blanketed the airwaves like an all-day Chicago blizzard. There was Kyra, frowning eyebrows crawling toward one another, serious-minded caterpillars an omen of the bad news to come, hyperventilating that the Blago scandal was “ten times worse than Watergate,” an attitude likely shared by some of her second-string Big Media cable colleagues but not expressed in so grandiose and historic a phrase.

Really, Kyra, ‘ten times worse than Watergate’? Hint to Phillips’ fevered brainpan: Blago didn’t have a private ‘Plumbers’ force breaking into his political opponents’ offices, he didn’t suborn perjury, he didn’t claim executive privilege to protect himself, he didn’t have a slush fund with millions of dollars in it to pay off criminals in his employ, and any scandals he’s alleged to be involved in are fairly pedestrian examples of political corruption and not a Constitutional crisis for the nation.

Perhaps she was taking her cue from Fitzgerald, who buzzed that Blago was on a “crime spree.” Whoa! Al Capone went on ‘crime sprees’ such as the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre – Blago’s babbling about wringing cash out of various politicians and bigwigs comes nowhere near that level of violent wrongdoing.

Whatever Blago’s crimes, no one died, no one was injured, he didn’t start any unnecessary wars based on lies, he didn’t authorize torture or the waste of billions of dollars in taxpayer money through no-bid contracts, he didn’t order Ken Blackwell to finagle the Ohio vote in 2004 to shoehorn Junior back into the presidency, he didn’t conspire to steal an election and jail the winner, as in the Don Siegelman case in Alabama, all of which seem to me to be much more serious than these routine instances of alleged malfeasance by Blagojevich.

But there’s more to this story than has been unearthed by the corporate BM, using the telescope from the wrong end, as usual.

Here are a few facts that have been missed in the rush to convict Blago:


December 14, 2008

The Tattlesnake – Big Media Blago Beat Blow Out Edition

Bored and Lazy Big Media Drooling to Catch Obama in Blagojevich Dragnet

Have you noticed? The Big Media have been desperately trying to shoehorn Barack Obama into the ethical problems of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, even though there’s not a particle of evidence that he was in any way involved. The Chris Matthews Crank-It-Up-Loud-and-Stupid Machine over at MSNBC presented a good example of the ugly process in action:

“MATTHEWS: Barack Obama, of course, rose to political power in a city, Chicago, in a state, Illinois, known for corruption. But Fitzgerald made clear that Obama was not implicated today. Here he is, quote, ‘The complaint makes no allegations about the president-elect whatsoever.’ Obama said this afternoon that he had no contact with Governor Blagojevich over who was gonna fill that Senate seat.

“Still, there are many unanswered questions, including that one. What conversation did occur between Blagojevich and Barack Obama about who would fill his Senate seat once he became president? Obama said this afternoon there were none at all.

“What conversations, if any, did Governor Blagojevich have with Rahm Emanuel about his replacement as a Democratic candidate in the special election in Chicago? Will this Illinois scandal in any way distract Obama from dealing with the financial crisis? What happens to Obama’s Senate seat now? Who gets to fill it? The disgraced indicted governor? The state legislature? Who? And what is it about Illinois that seems to make the state’s politics so relentlessly corrupt?”
– Chris Matthews, “Hardball,” Dec. 9, 2008, as quoted by Media Matters.

Jeepers, Tweety, that’s one Olympic leap of pure, empty, pull-it-out-your-keester speculation. Wasn’t Matthews once seen in a public men’s room in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during the Republican National Convention? Wasn’t Sen. Larry Craig convicted of soliciting men for sex in a similar place? What does this say about Matthews? And what is it about Minneapolis that seems to attract so many gay men to their public facilities? There are some ‘unanswered questions’ concerning Mr. Matthews’ conduct in Minneapolis during the Republican National Convention and the American people demand answers. (See the way this works? Take even the most tenuous, ridiculous association and blow it out of proportion ending with the dire ‘unanswered questions’ malarkey. There are always ‘unanswered questions’ about everyone and everything – it’s just that most of them are time wasting and ludicrous. Eating in a restaurant where mobsters occasionally dine does not make you a Mafia kingpin, except in the RNC’s Bizarro World of infinite guilt-by-association and silly questions.)

As far as the ‘relentlessly corrupt’ Illinois, Tweety and his pals should check some other states such as Alaska, Alabama and Florida, all of which ranked ahead of Illinois in the number of political scandals between 1998 and 2007. Wait, as Jamison Foser at Media Matters recently noted, USA Today already did: “[O]n a per-capita basis … Illinois ranks 18th for the number of public corruption convictions the federal government has won from 1998 through 2007…”

This is the line of ‘logic’ being used as the BM line up to slather over yet another invented ‘scandal’ for Obama — already they’re trying to make this his ‘Blagogate.’ Even the New York Times has the green-eyeshade on backwards as it attempts to conflate Obama’s passing acquaintance with Blago with involvement in some sort of shady business with the Rodster. As Eric Boehlert points out:

“The larger point is that in order for the Beltway press to gin up the Blago story this week, basic journalism guidelines had to be set aside and in some cases brazenly ignored. That’s the only way this story worked because simply reporting the facts as presented by the prosecutors would have made it painfully clear that, in terms of Obama’s involvement, there was none. In fact, Obama had thwarted Blago’s money-making scheme.”

But the worst of the bad lot was Liz Sidoti of the (Guilt By) Associated Press. In her December 10th article “Analysis: Scandal threatens to dog Obama,” she actually kicked off with these two vapid, meaningless paragraphs:


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