Sinking Ship Watch (Part 287)


"Have I defended Lieberman? I don’t think so. I’ve never particularly cared if Lieberman or Lamont represents Connecticut–Lieberman’s annoyingly sanctimonious, and less of a neolib than a neocon. Maybe the self-righteousness is why he’s never actually convinced many fellow Democrats to change their minds on anything, the way President Clinton changed minds on welfare, for example, or Fritz Hollings changed minds on the budget. Lieberman blew his one chance at greatness when he kowtowed to the race-preference lobby at the 2000 convention. ("Please don’t end it." It’s that pathetic ‘please’ that cuts it for me.)" – Mickey Kaus

“A Stupid Idea Implemented by Meat Heads” (Second in a Series of Slanders Against New York’s Minor Ballot Status Parties)


The title of this piece is actually stolen from a well-known political consultant/lobbyist, but I’ve utter confidence he’d not want his authorship of this bon mot to be widely disseminated, so I’m jumping his claim and taking it for my own. He was speaking of the Working Families Party (WFP), and so am I.

I have nothing against adding more parties to the ballot; let a thousand flowers bloom in our glorious democracy! Let’s lower the scandalously high signature threshold for independent candidates, but eliminate cross-endorsements (except in the case of qualified incumbent judges, who should, ideally, be exempted from facing partisan campaigns for re-election; although retention elections would be an even better idea).  Parties should run their own candidates instead of operating glorifed extortion rackets preying upon others.

Don’t Have a Kaus, Mickey!


"The truth is that many gay men are acting like Bill Clinton, because, like Bill Clinton, they are full of testosterone, and, like Bill Clinton, they can get sex when they want. Clinton gets it and has gotten it because of his charm and his power (which he regularly abused for sexual harassment purposes). Many straight men would do the same if they could get away with it. Can you imagine the lines for straight bathhouses if women were as eager to get it on with strangers as men are?

Gay men get it because their emotional and sexual universe is all-male and so twice as testosterone-laden as the straight male sexual universe. [Boldface added]" – Andrew Sullivan

The Independence Party is Neither


Thanks to the efforts of the great Azi Paybarah at 51st State (WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE READ THIS POOR MAN’S BLOG!!!), we’ve learned that, ostensibly to ensure his party’s ideological purity, Independence Party Chair Frank McKay attempted to question party members concerning their relationship with the egregious anti-Semitic cult leaders “Doctors” Lenora Fulani and Fred Newman, with the goal of dis-enrolling those who failed McKay’s litmus test for being in sympathy with the party’s “principles”.

Tommyrot: Tom Suozzi Does the Holy Sacrament of Extreme Disf-Unction (The Mournful Coda in a Two Act Tragedy)


Eliot Spitzer has pulled off a neat trick. In a party seemingly more and more driven by its most ideological activists, he has been embraced wholeheartedly by the party’s left wing, even though all evidence indicates he’s a Bill Clinton type, neo-liberal, new Democrat. Part of this success stems from the perception that his primary opponent, Tom Suozzi, is consistently to his right on social issues.

But is it really so? 

To the extent that the positions of the candidates would result in substantive differences in public policy as actually implemented, the answers range from “not very true” to “almost exactly the opposite is actually the case”. But, put on the defensive, Suozzi was unwilling or unable to convey the truth to the party base, especially the liberals most likely to respond to his message of “reform”. Having been seen as failing to pass the litmus tests required for admission to consideration, Suozzi’s campaign was doomed from the start. Since the ability to communicate one’s agenda (or, when necessary, to obscure it) is a political skill of considerable value to a Governor, perhaps this alone justifies the drubbing Suozzi is about to suffer.

Tom Pain: Why I’m Voting for Tom Suozzi and Why I Wish He Wasn’t Running (The curtain raiser in a two act tragedy)


My father is a retired investor who’s spent his entire life as a resident of either Texas or Louisiana, and currently splits his time between the two; he can, if pressed, tell you who occupies the third slot on the slate of either Likud, Labor or Kadima, but cannot, for the life of him, name the Attorney General of either of his home states, even though they are elected positions. But, he can tell you who Eliot Spitzer is. Eliot Spitzer is probably the only State AG whose support is worth any votes in the American Heartland (each state’s own AG may or may not be a possible exception), which is pretty amazing for a New Yorker, given that the support in such places by either of our very well known US Senators “ain’t”, in the words of Mr. Garner, “worth a bucket of warm piss”.

Why the bicycle riders?


In Leo Rosten’s classic, “The Joys of Yiddish”, it is said that, at a rally in Nuremberg, Hitler was delivering a long and detailed harangue about the perfidy of the Learned Elders of Zion. “All of  the world’s  problems” he screamed “are the fault of the Jews”.

“Yes” replied a disembodied voice from the audience, “the Jews and the bicycle riders!”

Hitler looked stunned, “The bicycle riders” he asked puzzled, “why the bicycle riders?”

The voice responded, “Why the Jews?”


The Sincerest Form of Flattery


"A real discussion of Manton would be instructive; he took a party from self inflicted extremis and in two decades turned it into the ruling power in the City, while successfully transitioning it through tumultuous demographic changes. I didn’t care for the man’s politics or his tactics, but it is hard to think of him as anything but a giant. "

Gatemouth; posted on "Daily Politics" at 11:20 PM on 7/23/06

 "Can there be another Tom Manton? He brought his county organization back from the wreckage of the Manes era, managing to impose something resembling unity on a wounded organization. And he did it in the face of massive change, staying ahead of Queens’ radically changing demographics by supporting candidates from emerging ethic(sic)communities."

Cracking the Whip


“I write today as a proud Democrat who maintains great hope that this fall a winning coalition will take back Congress from the Republican stranglehold it has struggled under for the last 12 years…..As such, I read with great displeasure the comments of your number one financial backer, Ken Langone, who a few days ago stated: "I can't tell you how critical it is that we preserve and protect the Republican majority in the House of Representatives and as well in the Senate. This is not a time to turn the asylum over to the inmates." ….As the Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee I hope to one day represent this state as its Chairman. It is your lead and most public fundraiser who has dedicated resources to making sure that people like me do not assume these important leadership roles and that we as Democrats do not take back the House. …Some of us believe that the Republican party has taken our State of New York, as well as our nation, in the wrong direction. I certainly thought that you were one of us….I hope that your support of Democratic Congressional candidates, especially in New York State, would cause you to denounce Mr. Langone's statements of Tuesday evening. I call on you to return the money he has given you in the past, to express your support for a Democratic takeover of Congress and to renounce any further support from Ken Langone for your campaign. …I respect your role as an outsider. But there is a fine line between being an outsider and turning your back on the Democratic Party and what it stands for.”

Father Knows Best


"We call on the Democratic Party, the national chairman, Howard Dean, right on down to the New York state Chairman Denny Farrell, to Brooklyn chairman Vito Lopez…We want the party to realize that the most loyal constituency of the Democratic Party have been black people. Now don't ambush us. Don't take away our power. We're also going to go to the Republicans and say 'How about you. Do you support the principle of power sharing?' And we'll see what the Republicans say also." – — Congressman Major Owens calling upon leaders of the Democratic Party at various levels to prevent a white politician, David Yassky,  from winning a Congressional seat  long held by black politicians.