by baldilocks

Has anyone considered that the Democrats may be throwing certain members and prominent supporters under the bus on purpose? I mean they had to know what kind of lives men like Al Franken led and they certainly knew about John Conyers since one of his victims was paid off by The Old Dirty Congressmen Fund. Oh yes, and now Bill Clinton is no longer their bright shining prince and won’t be the First Dude anytime soon (ever), they’re suddenly noticing his general lechery and alleged violence against women? Gee whiz. No loyalty.

But what I’m asking is whether a Stalinesque purge is going on right in front of our faces. Are the old – who have outlasted their usefulness — being put away to make way for the new?

Stalin, of course, had an infinitely more radical method of housecleaning.

The purges in the USSR started in the mid-1930’s and continued throughout the late 1930’s. Joseph Stalin had shared power with Zinoviev and Kamenev in the time after the death of Lenin (1924) and he had no intention of ever being put in that position again. By the mid-1930’s Stalin believed that the Bolshevik Party ‘Old Guard’ represented a threat to him and unless he did something about them they would remove him from power. Stalin suspected everyone who had any semblance of power and he wanted them dealt with. (…)

It has been estimated that between 1934 and 1939, one million party members were arrested and executed. During the same period it is thought that 10 million were sent to the gulags with many of them dying – either in transit or as a result of the terrible living conditions they had to endure.

Since we live in a country where show trials, summary imprisonment and summary executions are frowned upon (mostly), if there is a real purge going on, it’s necessary to kill or damage something other than the bodies of the no-longer useful: their reputations, such as they are. And it’s better than Stalin’s method: reputations can be revived should a formerly useful idiot become usable again.

And so, while we laugh at the hypocrisy of the Democrats and lament the stupidity of at least one Republican, let’s remember that the Democrat-controlled mainstream press allowed the accusations about Franken, Conyers and various other Democrat Party suspects supporters into the public conversation. They want this out there; they want them gone from public life, along with the other yet-to-be-named members of the $15 million club.

Hold on tight!

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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by baldilocks

Wretchard goes long on the unmasking of the two Hollywoods:

In the unending exposes of financial, moral and sexual turpitude we are witnessing a similar humiliation of a ruling elite. The critical role played by prestige in upholding the current status quo was no less important for the Western elite than it was for the old District Commissioners. Not so very long ago the elites were accepted as woke, part of the mission civilisatrice; better educated, better looking, better dressed, destined to greater things, the smartest people in the room.  They could pronounce on matters of morality, politics and even the climate.  What a shock it was to find through the Internet and social media it was all a sham; and these gods of Washington and Hollywood and the media were deeply flawed and despicable people.

Given the lack of quality control and penchant for recruiting rather than expelling the scandalous it’s amazing in retrospect the prestige lasted so long.  All the same, now their fallibility has been exposed under the spotlight of technological innovation, the spell is broken.  The elites may still rule but the sullen masses no longer flock to their door as they did of old.  Perhaps the single most destabilizing political development since the WW2 has been the destruction of ruling class prestige by the Internet.

I’ve read that, before World War II, those of the entertainment class were regarded as little better than pimps and prostitutes. Perhaps that has never actually changed; they simply have been giving the public a massive, long-running stage performance – where the stage is our perception of them. And now the show’s over.

But what about those other actors? The ones we are forced to pay?

In case you haven’t paid attention to the news today, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has been exposed – if you’ll pardon

Conyers’ come-hither look

the expression – as a serial sexual harasser. Meh. His creepiness has always been as plain as the leer on his face, at least to me. But he has paid at least one victim off with tax money. He is far from the only one. Very far.

Congress makes its own rules about the handling of sexual complaints against members and staff, passing laws exempting it from practices that apply to other employers. (…)

Congressional employees have received small settlements, compared with the amounts some public figures pay out. Between 1997 and 2014, the U.S. Treasury has paid $15.2 million in 235 awards and settlements for Capitol Hill workplace violations, according to the congressional Office of Compliance. The statistics do not break down the exact nature of the violations.

15 million dollars of tax money over two decades. And they hid it by disguising it as employee bonuses. But the victims will receive the money only if they keep their mouths shut. What I want to know is who the other congressional harassers  are.

You might have noticed that I haven’t commented on the Roy Moore situation at all. Why not? Because I don’t live in Alabama and there’s too much he-said/they-said, too much fishy evidence, and far, far too much Gloria Allred. If the accusations are true, Moore can’t be prosecuted because of the statute of limitations. Therefore, one way or the other, if the voters want him as their US Senator, it’s their business.

I really don’t care about the legal sex lives of Pretty Hollywood or Ugly Hollywood, as long as I don’t have to give them my money to clean up their messes. And at least with Pretty Hollywood – and with the National Felon League – I can’t be extorted by them for hush-money.

Therefore, Ugly Hollywood is far uglier and far more dangerous than the Pretty one.

As one of my friends pointed out, the Founding Fathers would be OPSEC OPSEC OPSEC by now.

RELATED: Short Observation on the Two Hollywoods

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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It’s forgivable that Ben Franklin didn’t include governmental bureaucracies with death and taxes as being the only certainties of life. After all, he died 143 years before that other Franklin – Roosevelt – laid the groundwork for the America’s administrative state.

This revelation came to me in early October, five days after my wife passed away, when a letter from the Social Security Administration notified me I was entitled to $255 in spousal survivor death benefits. The funeral home had reported the death a day after it happened, so I was surprised by how quickly the SSA sprang into action.

The letter told me to call a toll-free number about the benefit claim, which I promptly did. After going through an irritating introductory robo spiel (“What are you calling about?” etc.), the cheerful electronic voice promised to connect me to the right person. Instead, I got a recording telling me I had an estimated wait time of 45 minutes before I could talk to a human being.

I called twice more at different times over the next two days and got the same results. Then I realized how lucky I had been to get that far when the recording said, “All our lines are busy. Please try again later,” on my fourth call.

After several more fruitless phone calls during the following week, I checked the Social Security website for a solution. As I anticipated, there was no way to file a death benefit claim online, but it did mention that I could call my local SSA office instead of Washington.

I punched in a number, told the operator what I needed and was transferred to a phone that was picked up by a person. “Aha!” I thought. “I’m finally getting this done” No such luck.

The representative I spoke with offered his sincere condolences and took down my basic information. He then told me he was only a middle man – to actually file my claim, I still would have to talk to someone in Washington, but he could schedule a time for someone to call me. After doing some checking, he told me the earliest time I could receive a call would be mid-November, nearly six weeks away. I immediately agreed and wrote down the info on my calendar.

Before I hung up, I told the rep my wife and I had needed only short and simple phone calls to sign up for Social Security, so I couldn’t understand why there was such a convoluted process to collect a measly $255. He commiserated with me and said the rigmarole baffled him, too. “I’ve been here for 25 years and have never understood why it isn’t easier to get the death benefit,” he said.

Such are the ways of Rooseveltian bureaucracies.

When I finally received the phone call last Friday, it lasted about 10 minutes and was completely pointless. Instead of asking questions, the rep had me confirm information he obviously had in front of him. The only real question he asked was the city of my birth. When I gave the correct answer, I apparently proved I was not a lowlife trying to cheat Uncle Sam out of a small fortune.

A little background about the spousal death benefit is in order. It was included in the original Social Security Act of 1935, presumably to help grieving wives and husbands pay for their spouses’ burial expenses. The law capped the benefit at 3.5% of a person’s covered earnings, which would have been a maximum of about $315 when the law was adopted. Possibly nobody ever received such a large sum; in 1939, the average payment was $97 (roughly $1,709 in inflated-adjusted dollars).

Congress capped the lump-sum death benefit at $255 in 1954 ($2,388 today), and the limit was retained the last time the provision was overhauled in 1981 ($723 today).

In one respect, I’m glad the size of the benefit hasn’t changed in 63 years – it’s extremely rare when Congress puts on a display of frugality. On the other hand, I feel compassion for the poverty-stricken families who receive such a pittance when they have to bury a loved one. I know people who have spent more than $255 on a pet burial.

But despite the show of thriftiness, the Social Security death benefit – as it’s now constituted – wastes millions of taxpayers’ dollars a year.

It’s not the payouts that are wasteful, it’s the process. How many thousands of SSA employees spend millions of hours every year to take care of phone calls like mine? These are jobs that easily could be replaced by a web page (which probably would be more efficient, too).

Not only would streamlining the system save money, but it also would spare surviving spouses extra grief in their time of mourning.

My opposition to the new tax bill is selfish. It’s gonna cost me money!

As a resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I live in one of the bluest cities in one of the bluer states in the country. I pay city and state taxes—both of which will no longer be deductible under the proposals.

I understand the argument that the tax bill is intended to hold the line on exorbitant government budgets. But Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are not known for their penny-pinching, and the proposed tax bill is unlikely to change that.

Keep in mind, however, that Pennsylvania voted for Trump, and it’s unlikely that I am the only one who voted for the Republicans in 2016 and will lose money.

It’s a risky scenario given the fact that Pennsylvania hadn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate in decades. Moreover, the margin of victory was only 44,000 votes out of six million cast.

Congress should look at allowing a standardized amount that people should be able to deduct for state and local income taxes—say $5,000 across the board.

Sure, the increase of the exemption for a married couple from $12,700 to $24,000 will help but not enough to swing the tax bill is my favor.

There’s more. The cap on the real estate tax exemption at $10,000 will help me but not the many Republicans in the suburbs who pay much higher taxes than I do in the city.

And there’s more. The elimination of the deductions for charitable contributions will hit my wife and me. I doubt it will cause us to give less. But it does mean we will face higher taxes here, too. The elimination of the tax credit for adoptions makes no sense to me, particularly when it probably saved the lives of some potential victims of abortion.

It appears that my deductions for my home office will disappear. I’ve had outside income for more than 20 years and have reduced the tax exposure with my expenses at home. The tax bill means that I will be unable to deduct some of the costs I spend to do research in China, which I have done over the past three years.

I understand that the GOP needs a win, and I’d be willing to help finance a bit of that. At the moment, however, the cost is simply too steep, probably in the neighborhood of several thousand dollars. Since I don’t think I’m alone in my economic and political quandary, Congress and the president need to come up with some changes to make the tax bill more palatable. Otherwise, I am afraid the plan will lose more votes than gain them.

tax

K’Mtar: Freeze programme. You should have killed him when you had the chance.
Lt Worf: Why did you not?
Alexander: I don’t know.
K’Mtar: Look at him! He did not care that you showed him mercy. He was going to kill you.
Worf: K’mtar, that is enough.
K’Mtar: If this was real, he’d be dead by now.

Star Trek The Next Generation Firstborn 1994

As reports that President Trump is prepared to end or at least not renew Barack Obama’s dispensation for the children of illegal aliens who, through no fault of their own, were brought here by their parents illegally allowing then to continue to stay without fear of deportation debate on the subject has been renewed.

Unlike most of the debate concerning illegal immigration this is one of the few point where there is some merit to both sides of this argument but that’s fodder for a follow up post for now I’d like to state a political reality that many moderate members of the GOP caucus from Paul Ryan on down seem to have either forgotten or decided to deliberately ignore.

For a very long time the MSM has spun the narrative that thanks to demographics the GOP is doomed politically unless they adopt the open borders narrative and support legislation that provides amnesty for illegal immigrants and their children and that if they fail to do so they will suffer electoral disaster.

Furthermore Activist groups have insisted that the opposition to open borders is a matter of race hatred toward “hispanics” (from the mythical land of Hispanica no doubt) the MSM has suggested that the only way to prove that GOP voters and pols were not a bunch of race haters was to support programs like DACA.

And sure enough there have been GOP member who have rushed to do just that to prove to the MSM and activists that they are different from that nasty Donald Trump and those deplorable Tea party people who voted for him.  Folks like Paul Ryan:

House Speaker Paul Ryan says the president should preserve former President Barack Obama’s DACA amnesty even though “Obama did not have the legislative authority to do what he did.”
President Donald Trump should also let Congress decide how to deal with the DACA, Ryan told a Wisconsin radio show on Friday morning.

and Thom Tillis:

Conservative lawmakers led by Thom Tillis are crafting a bill they call the conservative Dream Act that would provide a path to permanent residency to people brought here illegally as children, offering President Donald Trump an escape hatch on one of his most vexing immigration challenges.

might expect to be well rewarded by said MSM and activist for their efforts on their behalf, that is they would be if the narrative being offered wasn’t based no two huge lies.

The first being that said opposition to DACA and/or illegal immigration is a losing issue.  While it is true that Donald Trump’s very public declarations concerning a wall might have run up vote totals for Hillary Clinton in Blue States like New York, Illinois and California where Republicans have little power but rather than cost him electoral votes won him states like Iowa,  Ohio and Florida (last won by GOP in 2004)  Pennsylvania , Michigan and an electoral vote in Maine (last won by GOP in 1998) and even Wisconsin (last won by the GOP in 1984 during the Reagan 49 state landslide).  Furthermore the rise in the Tea Party directly corresponds with GOP victories on the congressional and state level that have given the GOP the house since 2010 but has given them clear control of both houses of congress and the presidency.

The second lie is even bigger, and that’s the idea that either the MSM or activists will stop considering republicans who support DACA or illegal immigration racists.  While the MSM and activists will give these folks lip service as long as they are seen as useful in their clash with conservatives in general and Donald Trump in particular but the moment that DACA is enshrined into law Representative Ryan and Senator Tillis will suddenly discover that the activist community will find a new reason to call them racist haters and offer a new demand for them to fulfill and the MSM will again insist that without their support for this new demand they will never get “Hispanic” support.

It’s extremely ironic that experienced pols can so easily fall for lies so obvious but it’s always possible that they are not the ones that are being played for suckers by the MSM and activists on the left, but that they are playing the voters who elected them promising to  support border security and then hedging when the time comes just as they did on Obamacare.

The question is, are they fools, liars or both?


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If you are even slightly a leftist such as the folks I covered on the Boston Common this weekend one of the things that you believe without question is that the only reason why the GOP has control of legislatures in the south is because of a backlash over the civil rights act of 1964 and the voting rights act of 1965.
This has been an article of faith for years and it’s quite handy when you want to explain away uncomfortable electoral defeats. Why woo voters when you can simply cry “racism”.

It’s an easy to sell argument, after all the pre 1964 south was called the solid south for a reason. Through 1892 no former slave state (including border states) voted for a GOP presidential candidate. No state of the old confederacy voted GOP post reconstruction till Tennessee voted Harding 1920. Through 1955 when the fight for civil rights started looming large the GOP only managed to take states in the old confederacy two more times once when Eisenhower after winning World War to managed to take Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Virginia and once in the Herbert Hoover landslide of 1928 that added North Carolina to that list.

But the real power of the Democrats in the south wasn’t in presidential elections where they were outnumbered. It was in the state legislatures, where, with the exception of Missouri which was pretty competitive in the first half of the 20th century A republican speaker of the House in the old south and most of the old slave states (I’m missing data for Delaware) just didn’t exist.

And then came Democrat Lyndon Baines Johnson

In 1957 Johnson in an effort “sanitize” himself on civil rights for a presidential run pushed through the first civil rights bill post reconstruction. When he became president after JFK’s murder in 1963 he managed to get the Civil Rights act of 1964 passed doing so with only 8 votes from the old confederacy in the house and none in the senate, he followed that up with the Voting Rights act in 1965 and declaring that he would secure the black vote for Democrats for the next 2 centuries (although he used somewhat different phrasing describing the black vote, employing a word rhyming with “trigger”).

It is at this point that according to our friends on the left that the old solid racist south (including many of the slave holding border states) decided to abandon the Democrat party and started voting GOP

However there is one problem that stands in the way of that argument: The facts.

As Tip O’Neill once said all politics is local and nothing better reflects the feelings of a local electorate than a vote for a state legislator. So if the left’s meme is to be believed it shouldn’t have taken for than a few two year election cycles for a combination of mass defections and outraged old racists to fill the south with GOP speakers in their houses. So let’s take a look at a chart that lists all the old slaveholding states and see how quickly those racist southerners and old segregationists managed to flip their states to their new favorite party.

Southern State House Conversion Table

StateYear GOP took State
House of Representatives
Number of years from passage of 1964 Civil rights act till solid GOP Control
West Virgina201450
Alabama 2011 47
Arkansas 201349
Delaware (1) 19695
Florida
199733
Georgia
2005 41
Louisiana 200844

MarylandNevern/a
Mississippi201248
Missouri200339
North Carolina (2)1995/201131/47
South Carolina199531
Tennessee (3)1969/20095/45
Texas200339
Virginia200036
(1) Was only able to find data from 1998 to present online called Delaware Legislature for info but nobody available knew legislative balance & librarian never called back. GOP controlled house from 1998-2009 UPDATE Heard from librarian Monday who provided house ( & Senate Info from 1965 to present. Basically GOP took house in 1969 & held it till 1975 Dems held it till 1988 except for one term (81-82) and then the GOP won it back holding it till the Obama Landslide when Demorats took the control that they still hold.

Interesting note, The only period where GOP held the Delaware Senate since 1965 was 1969-1974

(2) The GOP took the North Carolina House for a single term in 1995 then promptly lost it again till 2011
(3) In 1969 the House was split. A Democrat defection gave the GOP the house for the first time since reconstruction. They promptly lost it in the next election and didn't get it back till 2009

As you can see when the data is presented the left’s article of faith runs smack dab of a factual cliff.

With the exception of a two year period of in Tennessee when a democrat defector gave the GOP the house for one term, No state of the old confederacy elected a GOP house until 1995 and even with that happened in North and South Carolina, North Carolina flipped back to the Democrats the very next election and stayed there until 2011.

Of those states only one other (Florida) joined South Carolina as a solid GOP state in the 20th century five of the states flipped this decade. And think about it. If you believe our friends on the left then Alabama the state where Martin Luther King wrote is famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail and Mississippi the state where the famous case of the murder of civil rights workers dramatized in the film Mississippi Burning took place in the 60’s were so apparently so outraged over the Civil Rights act, the Voting Rights act and LBJ that their voters they waited nearly 2 1/2 generations to vote GOP.

That’s simply not credible.

Now as this is such an article faith for our Democrat friends they will sooner imagine armies of ancient segregationists bussed from Nursing Homes on election day each years than believe the data.

Because there is a much more credible explanation as to why the left is losing the South that’s staring them in the face but that’s a post for later this week.

Update:  Heard back from the Delaware legislative librarian 9/21.  She was out on Friday but when she got back she kindly provided me both house and senate info from 1965 to present that I’ve used to update my table.  Many Thanks


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20 years ago the Media found itself in a situation they didn’t want to be in. The had gone all in on the death and funeral of Princess Diana when the day before her funeral Mother Theresa of Calcutta died. This invariably produced coverage comparisons that didn’t make the MSM look good like this from Mike Barnicle at the globe:

Realistically, nobody expects the coverage of Mother Teresa’s passing to equal the volume accorded Princess Diana. After all, Mother Teresa does not have two handsome children to appear in solemn procession behind her casket. Will not have millions of bouquets tossed in the street outside her palatial home. Wore only one outfit. Touched the emotions of a largely invisible group and did so far from the light of glamour.

That cut the MSM to the quick and they were put on the spot as a network exec admitted

One network news executive who requested anonymity said, “Honestly, we wouldn’t be sending all of our anchors and covering Mother Teresa’s funeral so extensively if it weren’t for all the Diana coverage.

“We’d be strongly criticized if we didn’t cover Mother Teresa in a big way.”

And while he made up for it by giving Christopher Hitchens one more chance to hit her during the funeral,the late Peter Jennings didn’t like being in a box.

ABC’s Jennings said TV news is in a no-win situation: “Mother Teresa’s death has not led to the worldwide frenzy that led us to break into coverage (for Diana). Given the extent to which the media covered Princess Diana, we will invariably be criticized for our coverage of Mother Teresa. But Mother Teresa is a very important story, and I don’t think the two should be compared.”

And that Brings us to Claire McCaskill and Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle.

As I’ve already written McCaskill when it comes to electoral politics McCaskill is one of the smartest pols in the game. She knew that 2012 was iffy and made sure post Obamacare she faced a Republican of her own choosing (instead of the one Sarah Palin had backed) She was willing to go after Harry Reid in a public way when it would be noticed but wouldn’t make a difference in terms of the Senate and knowing that she was going to need Trump voters tweeted out

and having made the statement against violent protests at the inauguration she backed them up despite loud objections from the left figuring it was all good:

So she will rejoice in stories like this and posts like this and highlight them to distance herself from the violent protests because regardless of the face she presents to the twitter world the radicals in her state who turned a thug like Michael Brown into a gentle giant know that the reality is she has their back.

Well unfortunately for her, one of those lefties Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal choose this time to on facebook her hope that the President of the United States be assassinated.

Missouri lawmaker acknowledged Thursday that she posted and later deleted a comment on Facebook about hoping for President Donald Trump’s assassination, saying she was frustrated with the president’s response to the white supremacist rally and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

and in a state that Donald Trump won by almost 20 points and the GOP controls both houses of the legislature by wide margins local democrats Democrats wasted no time calling for her head:

Stephen Webber, the Missouri Democratic Party Chair, said in a statement, “State Senator Chappelle-Nadal’s comments are indefensible. All sides need to agree that there is no room for suggestions of political violence in America — and the Missouri Democratic Party will absolutely not tolerate calls for the assassination of the President. I believe she should resign.”

The Senate Democratic Causus is condemning the comment. Senate Democratic Leader Gina Walsh said, “I strongly condemn and disavow Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal’s horrible comments. Promoting, supporting or suggesting violence against anyone, especially our elected leaders, is never acceptable. There is too much rancor and hate in today’s political discourse, and Sen. Chappelle-Nadal should be ashamed of herself for adding her voice to this toxic environment. Sen. Chappelle-Nadal’s unacceptable behavior has no place in our caucus, the Capitol, or the Democratic Party. Let me be clear, her views in no way represent the constituents of the 14th District or the great State of Missouri.”

And with the combination of political violence in the news her own statements about getting past last week’s violence, and the electoral polling in Missouri going in the wrong direction tide of Claire McCaskill joined in as well:

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and the chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party both called Thursday for the resignation of Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, for posting a Facebook comment stating: “I hope Trump is assassinated!”

“I condemn it,” McCaskill said in a brief emailed statement. “It’s outrageous. And she should resign.”

Now that’s a very clear statement with no ambiguity at all, but there is one thing I find odd and interesting about her condemnation of Maria Chappelle Nadal.  While you can find Senator McCaskill’s condemnation of State Senator Maria Chappelle Nadal words mentioned in just about every news story on the subject, you know where you won’t find it, at least as of 8 PM Eastern time last night?  Anywhere on her twitter feed.

That might seem odd until you consider this story

Which was reported from Netroots nation

let’s keep in mind that Evans is a left-leaning candidate hoping to change Georgia from red to blue. But that’s not enough. It seems the issue is, at least in part, that Evans is white.

Evans, a Smyrna state legislator who is white, was drowned out by demonstrators supporting Stacey Abrams, an Atlanta lawmaker who is black. A phalanx of sign-wielding protesters formed a line in front of her as soon as she took the podium, while others chanted “support black women” and “trust black women.” What followed was several minutes of pleading – “ let’s talk through it,” Evans implored repeatedly – and an attempt to plow through the speech.

Like I said Claire McCaskill is a smart woman who knows that while she can’t win Missouri without Trump voters the last thing she needs is far left of the party that dominates social media coming down on her for daring to call for the resignation of a black woman Senator in her state.

That’s the type of thing that can produce a primary candidate of color who while not a big danger to win in a general election is likely to force her to make public statements that she really doesn’t want to make.

McCaskill may have had no choice but to condemn Senator Nadal but she’s no fool so she’ll do all she can to make sure her condemnation remains as local a story as possible.

That being the case let me repeat my advice of January to her potential opponents.

If I was running the RNC or a conservative pac I’d encourage donors to quietly start financing a radical leftists, possibly a black nationalist to primary her and point to this event as a reason to do so

Hell if it was my call I’d take a card out of McCaskill’s own deck and quietly finance a “Draft Maria Chappelle Nadal for US Senate” movement.  I suspect the end result would be quite efficacious for the GOP.

And remember any Democrat who does anything to prevent a black woman from running for that seat must be racist.


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Last week I wrote about the political reasons for Niki Tsongas’ decision to not seek re-election in the 3rd district now let me say a few things about her.

It’s been my experience that people in general like her. My local paper the Sentinel and Enterprise which I quoted yesterday had quite few things to say on the subject. This comment from Fitchburg Mayor Steve DiNatale was typical

“She’s one of the few people in such a powerful position that I’ve known in my years of public service that you can phone up and get a response,” said Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale. “We’re going to miss that.”

I can vouch for this. I interviewed Tsongas for the first time during the Fitchburg 4th of July Parade when Fitchburg was removed from the 1st district and moved to the 3rd when Massachusetts lost yet another seat in congress.

and I covered her regularly. In the four years that she was my rep I covered her campaigns, her debates and events. She was always polite and always took the time to invite me to cover events when she was in the area even though she knew I was opposed to her. This piece from my Examiner.com days puts it well (via the wayback machine):

She also commented on the various scandals, saying we must learn from Benghazi and stating bluntly “IRS must be unquestionably A-political” but when questioned on an independent counsel ducked instead praising the President for being public and active in his efforts to increase transparency.

While one might question her definition of transparency on the part of the White House there is no question of her own. She took more than a dozen questions from different voters, invited others to leave recorded messages. Asked several poll questions to get feedback from all people on the call and not only didn’t exclude people who disagreed her she proactively called them to be invited to the event.

That willingness to engage can’t but help in 2014 which promises to be a tougher election than the last. Agree or disagree on issues one can’t help but note the first job of a Representative is to treat the voters you represent properly.

Don’t get me wrong she was a savvy pol and this was reflected in easy wins in 2012, 2014 and 2016. Perhaps if she was in a less competitive district she might have been tougher on conservative media but even if she always voted against me she was never afraid to hear the opinions of her political opponents nor was she one to demonize us.

Put simply, the only bad words I have to say about Niki Tsongas concern her voting record. She is a lady who respected the people she represented and in an age when Maxine Waters is the face of the Democrat Party and the left is literally gunning for Republicans, that respect is going to be missed.  The Democrat Party is poorer for their loss of her.

Congresswoman Tsongas interviewed by DaTechGuy 1/2013

On the day I promised my wife I would abandon the internet until we got home from Hampton Beach my congresswoman decided to call it quits.

Having imprinted the 3rd Congressional District with the indelible mark of her family’s public service, U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas will step away from Congress at the end of her current term to help nurture her family’s next generation.

First elected in 2007 to a congressional seat her husband Paul wielded to great effect, Tsongas has made a name for herself as a fierce advocate for women in the military, veterans benefits, and health care. Her recent bids for re-election have been forgone conclusions, but Tsongas said in a statement announcing her decision that the time has come to move on.

“I am so grateful to those who have been there since day one, and to the many great Americans who I have met along the way, all of whom have served as my inspiration and support,” Tsongas said. “I have learned in life that there is a time for endings and for new beginnings. After much thought, I have decided that this is one of those times.”

Tsongas, who is 71, has three daughters and two grandchildren, with another expected imminently. She said she plans to spend more time “enjoying and celebrating” them after her term expires at the end of 2018.

Now I’m a big fan of spending one’s golden years with the children and grandchildren and in that sense I completely agree with Congresswoman Tsongas’ decision, but I couldn’t help notice how this announcement contrasts with a story in the very same paper just four months ago:

REP. NIKI Tsongas put to rest growing rumors that she’s be retiring from Congress in 2018, when her present two-year term is up.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m not going anywhere but to work. I’m happy, healthy, and committed to helping my constituents on issues that are so important to them,” said Tsongas, who represents the 3rd Congressional District.

Asked to explain the persistent rumors, Tsongas said, “I think it is age-driven. I’m 71 and some people might be thinking I’m going to retire. But that’s not something I’m thinking about.”

So the question on the floor is this:  What changed in the 107 days between April 23rd and August 9th that converted the story of  Niki Tsongas retirement from a rumor to be quenched to a reality to be celebrated?

Might I be so bold as to suggest that the congresswoman , who has been covered and interviewed by this blogger, just might have seen this post:

 Sunday, even after the GOP fell on it’s face over Obamacare and the White House was playing musical staff Nancy Pelosi is reportedly saying stuff like this

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Sunday it was “unimportant” for Democrats to win back a majority in the lower chamber in the mid-term elections, The Hill reported.

“That’s so unimportant. What is important is that we have the lively debate on a better deal,” Pelosi told Fox News host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” when asked about the chances Democrats had to win back the House in 2018.

What does that tell you?  It tells me that no matter how bad things look for the GOP the American people have decided that the Democrats are worse.

Now perhaps it’s huberis to think that Congresswoman Tsongas first heard about Minority Leader Pelosi’s declaration here but I suggest it would be naive to discount this story from the Congresswoman’s calculations.

Or  to put it another way, in April when Nancy Pelosi was talking Democrats taking congress, and the prospect of a committee chair and the power that comes with it was there, Congresswoman Tsongas was all about working for the people of the 3rd district.  Once it became clear that even an outside chance of  such a prospect meant staying in congress until she was closer to eighty than seventy, enjoying one’s golden years with the grandchildren while one is healthy enough to enjoy them trumped another guaranteed lustrum or two in the congressional minority.

FYI here is the interview with Congresswoman Tsongas that the image at the top came from

Closing thought,  Interesting that the Democrats didn’t ask her to resign early and generate a winnable special election in a deep blue state that they could tout isn’t it?

A quick Layoff bleg update. Yesterday was the scheduled end to my layoff bleg and I’m sorry to say we didn’t manage half of the goal I had set although we did manage to raise enough to get me a paycheck this week and next week. This will make August a very lean month.

So if you are inclined and at all able I would ask you to hit DaTipJar at this time even if we don’t make the goal another $315 will mean a full paycheck for August 25th.




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by baldilocks

:::until they get into office:::

The Democrat Party’s latest strategy sits poorly with some of its loyal backers.

The Democratic party is facing a revolt from the left after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman said the party would back pro-life candidates in 2018.

The DCCC chairman, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, told The Hill that there will not be “a litmus test” for candidates on the subject of abortion. Lujan’s comments come as Democrats attempt to rebuild a broken party that has hemorrhaged elected offices on both the state and national level.

(…)

“I’m afraid I’ll be withholding support for the DCCC if this is true,” said former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, whose name was briefly floated this year as a candidate for DNC chair.

“What better strategy than to betray their base and reaffirm that women’s basic rights are negotiable and disposable,” said prominent liberal columnist Jill Filipovic.

“Reducing the rights of those with child-bearing capacity to a mere matter of opinion is utterly unconscionable,” declared New Republic writer Rachel Cote. She added: “The Democratic Party is in fact saying that there’s ‘no litmus test’ regarding their colleagues’ support of basic bodily autonomy. Terrible.”

Saying that the Democrat Party had taken the lead on abortion advocacy is a Captain Obvious assertion, but individual Democrats are far less homogenous in their opinions and beliefs about abortion. And now, after a long record of losing elections, with the 2016 election being the straw, the Party wants to win again.

And such is the nature of politicians and political parties regardless of affiliation: say what you need to say — even repudiate your most revered sacrament – then, when you win, drop the mask.

One more thing: I’ll bet that the usual suspects hollering about the DCCC’s pragmatism are merely playing their assigned roles; they won’t withhold any support, at least not where it counts: funding. They’re supposed to cry out in public protest about this. After enough pro-life Democrats and some Republicans are lured back into the fold, the professional Democrats will tighten their rhetoric right back up.

No, I don’t trust any of them. Why do you ask?

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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