Thursday, May 18, 2006

Has Murtha lost it?

Tom at American Idle says Rep. John Murtha is ... well, not anything good.

We report. You decide. And buy DONKEY CONS, which mentions Murtha on Page 35 -- a grand jury named Murtha an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the 1980 Abscam sting.

Reed & Rudy: FLOP!

Looking for a sure sign that Ralph Reed's campaign in Georgia is falling apart? Barely 300 people turn out for an Atlanta fund-raiser featuring Rudy Giuliani:

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani breezed through Atlanta on Thursday, speaking in favor of both Ralph Reed and civil unions for gay couples.

At a $100-a-head Buckhead fund-raiser before more than 300 supporters, Giuliani gave Reed a coveted endorsement in his Republican campaign for lieutenant governor.

"He can actually get things done," Giuliani said. "I respect Ralph's ability as a leader. I think he's going to be terrific for the economy of Georgia. I think he's going to be terrific on law enforcement."

Do the math, people: 300 x $100 = $30,000
. That's chump change for a statewide race.

What do think Rudy Giuliani's speaking fee is? You think he's showing up in Atlanta for free? "Yeah, sure, Ralph, ol' buddy, be glad to help out! This one's on me!"

By the time you rent a ballroom at the Westin Buckhead (e.g, on the ultra-rich north side of Atlanta), book the caterer, the publicity, decorations, limos, etc., you're talking serious expenses. Giuliani's a GOP superstar, and the Reed campaign obviously expected a big score.

Only 300 people? Ouch!

Admittedly, it's impossible to know exactly how much the Ralph-and-Rudy show raised. The invitation to the event (H/T: Peach Pundit) offers "platinum" ($5,000, 10 plates), "gold" ($2,500, 10 plates) and "silver" ($1,000, 2 plates) sponsorships, but those still translate to no more than $500 a plate.

** UPDATE, 1 a.m., 5/19 **

Interviewed by Atlanta TV station WXIA
, which reports the crowd for Giuliani at "an estimated 200+" a spokeswoman for Reed is evasive about how much was raised Thursday:
Reed's campaign was vague when asked how much money they hoped to raise from the Giuliani visit. Spokeswoman Lisa Baron said guests paid a minimum of $1,000 per table, and a minimum of $5,000 to get into the VIP reception--thoug she said some guests gave much more. Asked to name the financial goal for the event, she said, "As much as possible."
Notice that Baron cites the larger "per table" figure to give the impression of big money. But it still adds up to a relatively small gross, and I am starting to suspect that the Giuliani event -- despite the massive media attention -- might have been a net loss for Reed. If so, it's a loss Reed can't afford, because the New York Times reports that the Cagle campaign has rapidly narrowed the fund-raising gap.

* * * * *
I've been saying for six weeks that the smart money in Georgia politics is on Reed's GOP primary opponent, state Sen. Casey Cagle. Unless someone can explain to me how 300 people for a $100-a-plate Buckhead fundraiser with Giuliani is a big success, I'll take this spectacular flop as further evidence that Ralph is going down in flames.

Ralph:
Give it up, man. Even your powerful Republican friends can't save you now, and your $4.5 million personal fortune is a millstone around your neck, because the conservative grassroots know you got rich by selling them out.

Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin.

UPDATES:
You're not going to believe this, people! It looks like
BILL CLINTON has endorsed RALPH REED!


Linked by Riehl World View.

Writing at the POLITICAL INSIDER blog at the Atlanta newspapers, Baxter and Galloway offer lots of dish, including:

Much of Giuliani’s speech was devoted to bucking up the Republican disheartened. “There’s a certain sense of unease among Republicans. We’ve got to lift our heads up and take a look around us — and realize that this country is pretty darn good shape,” Giuliani said.

A number of notables turned out: Howard “Bo” Callaway, Guy Millner, and Georgia-Pacific Chairman Pete Correll. But most GOP elected officials stayed away. Among those introduced: State Sens. Cecil Staton of Macon, Ralph Hudgens of Comer, Mitch Seabaugh of Sharpsburg; state Rep. Melvin Everson of Snellville; and Sam Olens, chairman of the Cobb County Commission.
"Disheartened"? "Unease"? Yeah, I expect there would be a lot of that at a fund-raiser for a two-faced hypocritical shill for a corrupt casino lobbyist. And if you were a "GOP elected official," would you want to be seen hanging around a dishonest creep like Ralph Reed?

- - - - -

This just in: In the latest poll, Casey Cagle has cut Ralph Reed's margin to within the margin of error. Strategic Visions poll May 5-7, based on Republicans only (total sample was 500 likely voters, margin of error +/-3%):
Reed 42%, Cagle 36%
That's a statistical dead heat, with two months before the Republican primary, and 22% are still undecided. Remember that Georgia is an open primary state, and many Democrats will have a double-incentive to cross over and vote against Reed: (a) they hate Reed, and (b) Zell Miller, who is REALLY hated by Georgia Dems, has endorsed Reed.

- - - - -
Bill Shipp, venerable Georgia pundit, points out that Georgia Christian Coalition grand dame Sadie Fields was a no-show for the Ralph & Rudy event.
- - - - -

Never trust a man who fictionalizes his own biography. On his campaign Web site, Reed claims that he "grew up in Toccoa, Ga." Wrong. He was born in Portsmouth, Va., and grew up in Miami, Fla. -- his dad was an opthamologist -- before moving to Toccoa when he was 15. (In this particular genre of bogusness, the rootless Reed emulates Clinton adviser/Democrat talking head Paul Begala, a New Jersey native who moved to a posh suburb of Houston when he was 12 yet never tires of pretending to be a downhome Lone Star good ol' boy.)

Being a native of Atlanta, born at Georgia Baptist Hospital (recently renamed Atlanta Medical Center) I have a low tolerance for fake Georgians.* This was always my basic beef with Newt Gingrich, a native of Pennsylvania. When I was a kid growing up in Douglas County, Ga., rich Yankees were always moving in, buying big new houses, putting down us locals, making fun of our hayseed accents, etc. Now, when it's to his political advantage, ol' Ralph wants the homefolks to think he's one of them. What a total phony ....

* Friends up here in the North sometimes get confused about whether I'm from Georgia or Alabama because of my frequent fond references to the latter state. Both my parents were from Randoph County, Ala. Generations of my ancestors are buried in Randolph County. My dad was a graduate of the University of Alabama (Roll, Tide!), I graduated from Jacksonville (Ala.) State University (Go, 'Cocks!), and I have friends and family all over Alabama, so I have very strong ties there. But I'm a native of Atlanta and grew up in Douglas County, Ga.

Previously on RALPH REED:
5/11: Anti-Reed Blog Brigade
5/9: Devil Going Down in Georgia
5/6:
What a drag
4/23: Reed's decline continues
4/21: Reed hits another iceberg
4/7: His lips are moving
3/11: Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin

3/4: Reed "flat-out wrong."

-- McCAIN


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Bovine excrement detected

Dan Riehl is not a "deport 'em all" kind of guy, not a "Tancredo for President" type. Dan is usually a man of mild temperament, but he's obviously starting to get fed up with the "It's Not An Amnesty" crowd.

What specifically caused Dan to start cussing, I believe, was the use of the phrase "intellectually honest conservatives" in reference to a radio discussion Wednesday between Tony Snow and Sean Hannity.

-- McCAIN

Previously on IMMIGRATION:


5/17: Ann Coulter loves Peter Brimelow
5/16: Commies love illegals
5/16: Next day, same issue
5/15: President Oprah
4/6: My immigration compromise

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

McKinney denounces "energy slavery"

Rob Redding alerts us that Cynthia McKinney has decided to apply her demagogic abilities to something less divisive than racial profiling by the Capitol Police:
As prices at the pump are soaring, up from a national average of $1.40 per gallon last May to $2.70 a year later, Exxon Mobil posted revenues of $89 billion for the first quarter of 2006, a company record. In the same quarter, Exxon dished out $7 billion in dividends and buybacks to shareholders, and lavished money on its corporate officers, including an outrageous $400 million retirement package for former CEO Lee Raymond. ...

Americans find themselves in this situation of energy slavery today because Washington did not listen to those of us who have consistently stressed the urgent need for an alternative energy policy that would break our dependence on foreign oil by developing cleaner, safer alternatives. Instead, Washington listened to corrupt oil lobbyists to keep us just where we are. Oil and natural gas industries spent over $300 million lobbying Washington in '03 and '04. And no politician in Washington has accepted more campaign contributions from big oil than George W. Bush. ...

Having Bush and Cheney in charge of the nation's energy policy is like having Pablo Escobar in charge of the drug eradication campaign. Ask yourself whether or not the time has come for a secular energy policy, one that maintains the separation of oil and state. I say "Amen."
OK, the notion that "corrupt oil lobbyists" and President Bush are directly responsible for high gas prices is silly. But at least she isn't being racially divisive, and that's a step in the right direction for McKinney.

Previously on McKINNEY:

4/12: Blogger for Congress?
4/10: Hatin' on Cynthia

4/5: Democrats' poster child
4/2: McKinney video, fisked
3/31: Who Cynthia McKinney is
3/31: "Jihad Cindy" does it again
2/27: Who predicted it first?

-- McCAIN


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Ann & Peter, sitting in a tree ...

** UPDATE 9 p.m. 5/18 **
In reading this over just now, I realized that my habitual sarcasm, fondness for inside jokes, and customary self-deprecating humor might be misinterpreted. I love Ann Coulter and am very grateful to Peter Brimelow. The people who hate them, hate me even worse (if possible). We now continue with our regularly-scheduled snarkfest. -- RSM
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Ann Coulter's got a crush on Peter Brimelow. Or something like that.

Just about the time I was starting to worry that somebody might make a big deal about my "links and ties" to Mr. Brimelow — for the record, I don't speak German and never learned to goosestep — here comes Ann, citing VDare and devoting an entire column to spanking El Presidente with Alien Nation.

Hey, Ann: Guess who really liked DONKEY CONS?

"Vividly written and witty."
-- Peter Brimelow
author of "Alien Nation"

Brimelow's writings on immigration got him banished from National Review.* Morris Dees' $100-million smear machine describes Brimelow as an "advocate of a whiter America" (that's a very bad thing, in case you didn't know) and has described VDare as part of "the racist right."

Since El Presidente has taken to denouncing patriotic Americans as "vigilantes," being praised by Mr. Brimelow can be a career hazard for conservatives. But now if I end up on the unemployment line, at least I have the comfort of knowing that Ann Coulter will be there with me ....

OK, not really. She'll still be on "Hannity & Colmes" and the New York Times bestseller list. But it's the thought that counts.

-- McCAIN


* -- The asterisk indicates that this is just my provincial understanding of the NR/Brimelow fallout. I'm not fully familiar with the details.

UPDATES I:

Ann's plug has given a huge boost to Alien Nation, the Amazon.com ranking of which went from #101,184 (5/17) to #9,088 (as of 3 a.m. 5/18) in about 8 hours. (Miss Coulter, have I ever told you how much I genuinely admire your work? And I know Lynn feels the same way, as she has told me so many, many times ....)

E.L. Frederick
's also blogging on Coulter's new column, apparently without realizing how she's jabbing the National Review gang in the ribs. ("C'mon, c'mon: Denounce me! Double-dog dare ya!")

Also blogging the latest Coulter column: Lady Jane at A Lady's Ruminations, Jason Gart , Roman Catholic Blog, Kevin and Patrick ...

This is so wickedly, subversively cool: Ann Coulter, one of the most famous faces of conservatism today, is leading untold thousands of her admirers to Brimelow and VDare! I hope this isn't lost on those of my paleo friends who had previously dismissed Coulter as a neo. I wonder if, in her next column, Ann will quote M.E. Bradford?

UPDATES II:

As of 5:15 p.m. Thursday 5/18, Alien Nation was at #3,923 in the Amazon rankings.

At VDare, James Fulford acknowledges the tribute from the Blonde One:
This is interesting. Ann Coulter is bashing Bush’s speech, and when Ann bashes something, it stays bashed.
And speaking of "interesting," Fulford reminds us of something I'd forgotten -- the late Sam Francis' defense of Coulter:
I haven't read the book [Treason] ... and it may be that Miss Coulter kind of O.D.'s on the hyperbole. I know the problem myself.
Nevertheless, if she's seriously arguing that liberalism is inherently prone to treason, she's right.
That's an inside joke: "I know the problem myself"! God, I miss Sam.

But I knew there was a reason I never classified Coulter amongst the neocons, and now I remember why: When you've been banned by NRO, attacked by the Wall Street Journal, and praised by Sam Francis, you've obviously got some paleo-chromosomes somewhere in your DNA. (Hybrid vigor?)

- - - - -

And, as expected, the Left's "links and ties" guilt-by-association smears now come to bear on Coulter, courtesy of HuffPo:
In fact, the article of Brimelow's that Coulter cites is ... rife with examples of Brimelow's racist, xenophobic rhetoric.
Yeah, and Brimelow's son has blue eyes!! How evil can you get? This is so wonderful: Now the SPLC gets to put a New York Times best-selling author on the cover of its Intelligence Report. How the millions will roll in down at the Poverty Palace in Montgomery!

But despite her admiration of progenitors of blue-eyed children, Ann's blogospheric fans are unabashed: Immigration Control, Carnage and Culture, Bubba's Bog , Rick Hale, ...

Linked at Voluntarily Conservative.
- - - - - -

Speaking of VDare, Bryanna Bevens just named Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) one of her favorite senators for this line:
Has anybody asked America if this is what they want? This bill has major flaws and they are going to be even madder at us when they see it.”
Exactly! It was during a trip to Alabama -- a four-day swing via Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia -- last month that I realized how angry people were about the Amnesty That Dare Not Speak Its NameTM.

I had been getting strong signals as a guest on radio talk shows, where hosts would intimate that they could take callers 24/7 about nothing but immigration. But it's not until you get out amongst ordinary working-class and middle-class people in the Red States -- e.g., my friends and family -- that you understand exactly how fired-up they are about this.

It's not that people hate Mexicans, not at all. Rather, people have the basic sense that:
  • The border is out of control;
  • Any concession to illegals would render futile future attempts at border security;
  • Republican leaders are a bunch of two-faced cowardly scum; and
  • "TWELVE FREAKIN' MILLION? Are you FREAKIN' NUTS? We can't let 12 freakin' million illegals get a free pass!"
If any Republican in the Senate had both a brain and a spine (this is a hypothetical) they'd find some way to scrap this whole thing and start from scratch with a Tancredo-style enforcement-only measure. If that placates the people and gives them some sense that the border crisis has been fixed, then maybe in 2007 or 2008, folks will be willing to hear about "guest workers." But not until then ....

And did I mention that this is all a hypothetical, contingent on the apparently impossible task of finding a Republican senator with both a brain and a spine?

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Daley machine screws taxpayers

Ah, the glorious "Hired Truck" scandal, so huge it's got its own Web site, featuring corruption so blatant it shocks even Chicago, land of "ethics reformer" Rahm Emanuel. And the taxpayers paid for all of it:
Mayor Daley's political organization got free labor and services from people hoping for city jobs or promotions -- at the expense of taxpayers, a federal prosecutor charged Monday.

The allegation by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Collins came during his opening statement in the corruption trial of Daley's former patronage chief and three colleagues. It's the closest prosecutors have come to laying the hiring scandal at Daley's doorstep. ...

"The mayor's political organization wants people to knock on doors, it should go out and hire them," Collins said, rather than relying on people hoping for a job.

Former patronage chief Robert Sorich, his friend and right-hand man, Tim McCarthy, and two former high-ranking Streets and Sanitation employees, John Sullivan and Patrick Slattery, are charged with taking part in a scheme to reward city jobs and promotions to people ringing doorbells or canvassing neighborhoods for candidates supported by the mayor.

Sorich, a top official in the mayor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and the three others allegedly did this by faking city job interviews and test results.
One of the key witnesses in the case testified Wednesday:
Mayor Richard Daley's office stopped dictating hires for coveted union jobs and the city began choosing applicants based on merit only after it became clear that authorities were investigating City Hall corruption, a former city official testified today.

Mary Jo Falcon, who resigned last year as personnel director for the Water Management Department, said the federal probe of the city's Hired Truck Program prompted a change in personnel practices in the Daley administration. ...

Falcon said Sorich had instructed her to lead a group of Asian-American city workers on election campaigns for Daley, U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan, 2000 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore and several aldermen whose wards have heavily Asian precincts.

Sorich's orders to work for Daley in 1999, when the mayor was re-elected, came at a meeting at the mayor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, where Sorich and McCarthy worked, Falcon said.
Understand that Rahm Emanuel is head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is loudly proclaiming that Republicans have a "culture of corruption." Yet Emanuel owes his election to the corrupt Daley machine.

In DONKEY CONS, we chronicle the historic, rampant and pervasive corruption of Chicago Democrats, up to and including the "Hired Truck" scandal (pages 80-81, 137-138). The mobster heyday of Frank Nitti and his successors (pages 68-72), the stolen election of 1960 (pages 45-48), Mel Reynolds, Dan Rostenkowski, Dorothy Rivers — Chicago has produced a never-ending parade of Democratic scoundrels.

The systemic nature of Democratic corruption in Chicago provides an ironic alibi for Emanuel. Because crooked politics is routine in Daley's Chicago, Emanuel can protest his innocence: He never requested, nor was he aware of, the illegal assistance provided to his campaign by the Daley machine.

Exactly. If you are a Chicago Democrat, you automatically benefit from the corruption — it's just that you are never held legally or politically responsible for it. More than 20 people have been convicted or pleaded guilty in the "Hired Truck" scandal — none of them the Democratic officials whose re-elections were the primary objects of the scam. So the little guys take the fall, and the Democratic bigwigs just walk away.

Linked by VP Cheney

Previous CHICAGO SCANDAL reports

4/17: Chicago Scandal Keeps On Truckin'
3/22: Resurrection Day for Chicago Dems
3/21: Chicago Corruption Hall of Fame
3/21: "Hired Truck" update
2/18: Hire 'em all!
2/4: Rahm's "Culture of Corruption"

-- McCAIN

UPDATES:
The "Hired Truck" scandal has gotten little press attention from the national media or the blogosphere. Much the same has been true of the corruption investigations surrounding former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, and Philadelphia Mayor John Street.

This is the bright side to Democrats' loss of power in Washington: Most corruption scandals surrounding Democrats now occur at the local level — the Democrats have always been a powerhouse in terms of big-city corruption, a subject which gets its own chapter in DONKEY CONS. So while the national media goes gaga over the Abramoff scandal, nobody outside the Chicago area knows anything about how the Daley machine was ripping off the taxpayers.

If the Democrats win in November, of course, these minor-league crooks will take their corruption to Washington with them, and the ultimate result -- this is a promise, not a prediction -- will be a series of scandals that makes Jack Abramoff look like a saint.

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