As you may have already heard, the absent senators in Wisconsin are being held in contempt and not just by voters:

Republicans voted, 19-0, to find the Democrats in contempt of the Senate and issued orders to Wisconsin law enforcement to detain them.

“We simply cannot have democracy be held hostage because the minority wants to prove a point,” said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau).

The Senate voted in the morning that absent Democrats would be in contempt of a Senate rule requiring attendance if they did not return by 4 p.m. When they didn’t return, the Senate reconvened and Fitzgerald signed for each missing senator an “order to detain (in the nature of a warrant to arrest and deliver).”

Additionally the protests at the Capital has come at a cost to the voters, literally:

State officials said Thursday that damage to the marble inside and out the State Capitol would cost an estimated $7.5 million.

Cari Anne Renlund, chief legal counsel for the state Department of Administration, said in Dane County court that estimates of damage to marble includes $6 million to repair damaged marble inside the Capitol, $1 million for damage outside and $500,000 for costs to supervise the damage.

Much of the damage apparently has come from tape used to put up signs and placards at the Capitol.

Meanwhile two different recall efforts are under way in Wisconsin. Two weeks ago recall efforts were launched against some democratic senators for fleeing the state. Now the Union supported democrats are launching counter recall efforts against republicans who stayed and they are putting some serious green into it:

The Wisconsin recall effort is only a day old, but it’s going strong. The state Democratic Party has launched a website called Recall the Republican 8 to coordinate events. They have volunteer and contribution pages. There’s also a separate ActBlue page set up for the recall. A separate effort to air a powerful TV ad from the PCCC and DFA, filmed on the day of the 100,000-plus protests last Saturday, has already raised over $225,000.

I suspect a lot of help for union families could be done with 225k but leave that aside for a moment. Let’s look at the arguments:

This past weekend, constituents of Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, gathered in an effort to recall her.

“She let it out of committee. She had a chance to look at the bill and say, ‘This reaches too far,'” Darling recall organizer Kristopher Rowe said Saturday.

Or as State Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate puts it:

“In 60 days you can take Wisconsin back by recalling the Republican senators who have decided to push Scott Walker’s divisive attack on the rights of workers and his assault on schools, universities and local communities,”

While on the other side:

“You’re not representing me if you’re not in the Capitol to vote,” said constituent Amanda Cabrera, as she signed the petition.

“Vote yes or no, whether they agree or not, but they need to be in Madison,” said constituent Sandra Dolye. “If (Wirch) can’t do his job, he should get out.”

That’s all you need to know about this: Republicans want to recall people for playing Hooky. Democrats and Unions wants to recall people for showing up.

As I’ve already said the idea of extending the Bush Tax cuts rates on a temporary basis is a trap. By doing it in a temporary way the democrats are given a stark choice on raising taxes again in two years.

There is only one thing they could do that would be worse politically; and by golly they’ve managed to do it!

Defying President Obama, House Democrats voted Thursday not to bring up the tax package that he negotiated with Republicans in its current form.

“This message today is very simple: That in the form that it was negotiated, it is not acceptable to the House Democratic caucus. It’s as simple as that,” said Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen.

Well done democrats, now after Jan 3 when the republicans pass the tax rates without your help, they will get sole credit and if it can’t get passed due to senate intransigence or a filibuster by democrats then we have the president ON THE RECORD saying bluntly that a double dip recession is their fault:

President Obama warned his fellow Democrats on Wednesday that they risk plunging the country into a double-dip recession if they reject his tax-cut deal with Republicans.

Absolutely amazing! Totally tone-deaf! If you think 2010 was bad for the left watch what happens now. 2012 is going to be the sinking of the Titanic!

Update: Stacy has more, what fools!

Looking at the list of more than 50 House Democrats who signed the Welch letter, I see several names — including Paul Kanjorski, Jim Oberstar and Alan Grayson — of Democrats who got beat in the mid-term election.

Their careers are over and so they’ve got a political free-pass for these lame ducks to take a stand on “principle,” possibly resulting in a no-deal meltdown that results in Americans paying higher taxes next year. And maybe, as Larry Summer warns, pushing the economy into a double-dip recession.

Hey lets follow the losers off the cliff, unbelievable!

Gateway Pundit is amazed too:

Yesterday the Obama Administration warned Wednesday that if Congress rejected a compromise tax deal they risk plunging the US economy back into recession.Today the Pelosi democrats rejected the deal. They don’t trust his economic judgment, either.

This is like watching a horror movie you’ve seen before, you know the killer is behind the door and you’re shouting at the set. Don’t open it!

When the initial Bush tax cuts were proposed the making of the tax cuts temporary was a compromise that democrats and liberal republicans managed to forge to keep their constituents happy. If they could not stop the Bush Tax Cuts they could at least make them expire thus giving some consolation to their progressive followers.

Although Bush over and over suggested the Tax cuts be made permanent he could not manage to find the votes.

Now we come to 2010. The economy is bad and unemployment is rampant and now Democrats who were so proud to keep the Bush tax rates from becoming permanent find themselves trapped once again!

Once again the left is screaming “tax cuts for the rich” and their supporters are screaming for them not to cave in figuring that even after the republicans take control in a month they will not have the votes to get it passed.

Meanwhile Republicans are pushing to make the Bush rates permanent.

And so the white house and their advisers are leaning toward compromise, another extension, maybe two years of the Bush Tax Cuts. And thus the trap is set again.

The smart thing for the administration would be to pass the cuts NOW and make them permanent for several reasons.

1.  This will take the issue off the table, every time they simply extend the “Bush tax cuts” it sets up democrats in an election years to defend increasing taxes on business. (You know the folks who actually hire people.)

2.   As long as they are not permanent they remain the “Bush Tax Cuts”. Once they are permanent then they just become the US tax rates. Keeping them temporary keeps them associated with republicans and George W. Bush.

3.   If a democratic congress passes the tax cuts, then they not the republicans will get (and actually deserve) credit for the positive economic results. If it is passed once republicans are in power, republicans will get (and deserve) the credit for the results.

4.  If they are not passed and the economy gets worse (as the result of the tax hike) Republicans can directly blame democrats. Great issue for 2012.

5.   And finally if this is done NOW, then democrats have two years to placate their base. It will be over and done with.

Making the tax rates permanent would be not only the right thing but also the smart thing. That’s why I’m positive the democrats will fall right into the trap and simply vote for an extension at best. Given the chance to do the right or smart thing, the Democrats can be counted on to miss the boat.

I wonder if George W. saw all of this coming years ago and actually intended to set this trap for the left?

Update:
Crooks and Liars thinks the democrats have the GOP right where they want them. I’m telling you it’s just too easy. How do we ever lose elections to those guys?

You know if democrats keep giving us so many gifts we might spoiled:

The House ethics committee recommended on Thursday by a vote of 9-1 that Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) be formally censured by the full House for 11 counts of violating ethics rules.

Of course there is no guarantee it will actually be done:

A majority of the full House would have to vote to censure Rangel or lawmakers could opt for a lighter punishment. That vote likely will wait until after the Thanksgiving recess.

If the House votes in favor of censure, Rangel most likely would have to stand in the well of the House for a formal rebuke and reading of the censure resolution by outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). A reprimand would only require the House to formally adopt the investigative committee’s report on Rangel’s activities.

Charlie Rangel withstood some of the most horrific combat in Korea 60 years ago, if you think he will be bothered by a bunch of pampered pols whose every secret he likely knows staring at him in the well is going to bother him you are kidding yourself.

Dissenting Justice details the political calculus of Rangel’s decision to take it:

It is highly likely that Rangel calculated that the House would not expel him. The Speaker of the House cannot refuse to sit a representative simply because the individual has committed ethical violations. The Constitution, however, permits expulsion of House members by a 2/3 vote.

Rangel successfully ran for reelection with the ethics charges pending. Rangel probably believed that if he won the election, he could escape the ethics proceedings with a punishment short of expulsion. The committee’s recommendation that Rangel face a censure suggests that his gamble worked.

Gamble smamble if anyone thinks there was any chance that the democratic party would expel a senior member of the congressional black caucus when they are totally dependent on the black vote to win any national election, particularly when his own district didn’t care is delusional. Rangel has been in congress for 40 years he knows how to count.

Stacy is a bit more blunt:

In other words, a meaningless verbal scolding. He gets to keep his job, his pension, etc. Michelle Malkin live-blogged the hearings, complete with Rangel claiming he had been “smeared” and John Lewis calling Rangel a civil rights hero.

I don’t actually see an issue there. Rangel is a genuine war hero and I’m sure was active in the civil rights movement. Being a war hero and a civil rights hero doesn’t make it impossible for you to be corrupt in financial matters.

It will be interesting to see how the left handles this.

An excellent example of why Republicans are better than democrats. They can Learn, to wit Mitch McConnell:

“Make no mistake,” he added, “I know the good that has come from the projects I have helped support throughout my state. I don’t apologize for them. But there is simply no doubt that the abuse of this practice has caused Americans to view it as a symbol of the waste and the out-of-control spending that every Republican in Washington is determined to fight. And unless people like me show the American people that we’re willing to follow through on small or even symbolic things, we risk losing them on our broader efforts to cut spending and rein in government.”

So Mitch McConnell seeing the mood of the voters decided to respect their wishes. How about the democrats?

The word on the House Democratic caucus vote for minority leader is that Nancy Pelosi has won, 150 to 43.

An earlier measure to delay leadership votes until December garnered 68 votes in the caucus — not enough to carry, but perceived as an indication of uneasiness among some rank-and-filers about reelecting Pelosi. But a comfortable majority of the new minority seemed to have had no such qualms.

Ruby slippers has more:

She led the party out of the wilderness but under her leadership, she led them right back in. Heaven forbid any of these clueless Dems stop to ponder the possibility that passing massive pieces of unpopular legislation was really the problem.

Still, this is incredible news for Republicans. Leaving Pelosi, Reid and Obama in place as the face of a liberal Democrat Party is nearly as shortsighted as passing that health care law and far less damaging – to the country anyway. For Democrats, hoping the independents they lost in droves this last cycle will forget the midnight Christmas eve votes and that comical gavel, Pelosi’s continued presence in leadership is the nightmare they deserve.

Democratic intransigence, the gift that keeps on giving.

Nancy Pelosi seeing the fight between Jim Clyburn and Steny Hoyer for Minority Whip has demonstrated the ability she showed all during her time as speaker to make the tough decisions to solve problems.

In a statement released late Friday night, Pelosi signaled an end to the ongoing battle between Clyburn and Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.) to be the next House Minority Whip — the second-ranking leadership position in the minority.

“Should I receive the honor of serving as House Democratic Leader, I will nominate Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina to the number three leadership position,” Pelosi said in a statement sent to reporters at 11:01pm.

Number 3 position? She is not bumping John Larson as caucus chairman so what exactly is this #3 position that I’ve never heard of. What does it do? I’m sure Politico can tell us

Clyburn’s title and responsibilities were not specified in the announcement from Pelosi’s office, and Democratic leadership aides scrambled to explain the deal to reporters.

So let me get this straight. The Democratic Party faced with making an actual decision between two presumably qualified candidates for

South Park has the Democratic leadership pegged
the job that Jim Clyburn (who happens to be black) currently holds have agreed to put Steny Hoyer (who happens to be white) in Mr. Clyburn’s job and to invent a job, presumably with staff and offices paid via government funds, with no title and no specific duties for Jim Clyburn.

Who said that democrats didn’t know how to create or save jobs?

Hmmm let’s think about this, a totally unneeded job suddenly created for a member of a racial minority to avoid a conflict in an organization. What is the word that people have for a person who gets such a job for the sake of appearances. Oh I know, TOKEN.

I guess self-respect doesn’t come into play when power is involved.

Update: Separate but Equal? OUCH!

Yesterday memeorandum was all aflutter about Democrats coming back, about the large leads for democrats in polls. Captain Ed Morrissey (he will always be Captain Ed to me) however finds it is just another example of the time share media in action:

And how did the Democrats manage this rather remarkable comeback? Well, the WaPo/ABC pollster managed to find their usual sample gap. They went from a 31/25/39 D/R/I split in September in the general sample and 31/26/37 among registered voters, to 33/23/29 in the general sample and 34/25/37 among registered voters. That nine-point advantage to Democrats among RVs is almost twice what it was in the previous sample.

Of course it might be that democrats are using the new tactics like hiding they are democrats:

With voters in an anti-incumbent mood and a national headwind against their party, some freshman Democrats are touting themselves as unaffiliated outsiders — and it may help them win reelection.

Running against Washington isn’t easy when you’ve got an office on Capitol Hill. But Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D-Pa.) has effectively positioned herself as a challenger in her race against Republican Mike Kelly.

One of Dahlkemper’s first TV ads slams Congress and never mentions that she’s an incumbent.

It gets even better, Check out this “Deval Patrick” ad running in Massachusetts:

Not only is this ad missing the party of Deval Patrick and Tim Murray it’s missing Deval Patrick!

This is where the Democrats are in Massachusetts. Their candidate for governor is so unpopular that the Lt. Gov is featured in ads instead of him. If Tim Cahill wasn’t running as an independent Patrick would have no prayer against Charlie Baker.

Memeorandum thread here

Scanning the net today I read a series of posts that seem unconnected but actually scream the same thing.

I started with this post at The Other McCain which caught my eye this morning:

Past the advertising slogans like the one Al Gore spouted for his little pack of robots in Northern Virginia comes the question: does the man subscribe to that tripe? When not in front of the ‘bots, but rather chillin’ with the beautiful people in Davos, does he really sound like that?

It linked to the incomparable Victor Davis Hanson who within his weekly screed had this to say:

How could Barack Obama, community organizer par excellence, send his kids to Sidwell Friends? How does Bill Gates, Sr. tour the country, hectoring to re-impose inheritance taxes? Did Al Gore need the extra Montecito home or John Kerry the $7 million yacht (cf. “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money”)? Why did the Clintons shake down corporations for gifts to their DC home and Bill’s library?

Stranger still is this new Democratic emperor/bread-and-circus alliance. The very wealthy promise largess to the poorer on the premise that both despise the culture of the aspiring, the one in condescending disdain, the other in bitter envy. Jimmy Carter laments, near life’s end, the unfairness of it all, as the ignorant never appreciated his godhead. John Kerry wails about how a slogan or two misled us from his message. Obama re-channels the poor clueless clingers trope from the Ground Zero mosque to the upcoming election. “What’s the matter with Kansas?” is the gnashing of the well-off who cannot understand why the less well-off don’t join them in redistributing their far smaller incomes.

Then there is this post at Legal Insurrection:

The other interesting aspect, quite apart from politics, is Allred’s willingness to expose her client to legal harm even though the client does not have any meaningful legal claim. This is not a case where Allred’s client is a crime victim who comes forward to the police. There does not appear to be a violation of any law by Whitman, but there does appear to be both immigration and possibly criminal violations by Allred’s client, who filed false documents with the government. By going public as she has, Allred has exposed her client to significant legal jeopardy in order to score publicity and political points for Allred.

That got an instalanche that said in part:

Yeah, but she’s doing it in the service of electing a Democrat, so it’s okay. Kind of like outing gays, engaging in racist rhetoric, or whatever. It’s irretrievably evil — unless the cause is right.

Which led me back to my own Examiner article that went up around midnight

Hundreds of thousands of dollars of union dues will be spent not on pensions but to achieve that one day photo op to convince the media that their numbers are real and through them convince voters.

What is the thread that connects all these stories? The fiction of the modern democratic party.

About a month ago I sat with two friends in their late 50’s were sitting with a second friend. One expressed astonishment that I and my pal were Republicans. She is a strong faithful Catholic, against abortion, against gay marriage, an immigrant herself she is opposed to illegal immigration.

Yet she insists that the democrats are the party of the common man and that the republicans are the party of the rich and can’t understand why I left the party or consider it an unwelcome place for Catholics.

I couldn’t wrap my head around it until I talked to a third friend weeks later on a similar topic, when discussing her and a second faithful acquaintance of ours with similar views he said the magic words.

They still think that John Kennedy is president

That is the key, that is the reason for the preservation of the myth of Camelot. It is to connect Democrats to a time when they actually stood for the average person, for a shared set of American Values and with the military that so many of their father and grandfathers fought for back in WW 2.

Today the democratic party is increasing a party of elites. When Jay Nordlinger goes to Davos what does he find? It isn’t support for the values of the working class, it is support for the values of limousine liberalism. Their leaders are confused when the voter rejects their promises to continue to redistribute everyone’s wealth (but their own of course), they cry gun control as the inner cities bleed while in gated communities far removed they employ armed guards. They protect failing public schools while sending their own children to elite private institutions.
Every two years they run away from themselves to get elected, and whenever necessary throw a piece of their coalition under the bus only to dust them off and find them a seat when they are again needed. They promised a war on poverty but instead delivered an unending cycle of dependence and while pension funds are in trouble spend millions for political campaigns in the hope of sustaining themselves by the largess of the American Taxpayer.

They get away with all of this because a fair amount of the population and almost all of the media sees not the democratic party as it is, but sees it as what it once was, the party of give em hell Harry, FDR & JFK.

Much like a restaurant heavily in debt and living off glories well past the democratic party still pushes plans that have not only failed but made worse the very problems they were meant to solve while still trumpeting to those not paying attention the glories of their youth.

It remains to be seen if the Tea Party and the electoral upheaval it produces this cycle will produce the awakening that so desperately required.

Politico reports on the Democrats latest paean to open mindedness and tolerance:

Last summer, Democrats argued that the Tea Party movement was the astroturf creation of corporate groups. Now that the grass-roots conservative resurgence has emerged as a clear force on the right, the left is making a different case: That tea parties are simply the enemy.

To that end, the Agenda Project, a new, progressive group with roots in New York’s fundraising scene and a goal of strengthening the progressive movement, has launched the **** Tea project (full censorship mine but it rhymes with “Duck”)

Ah the left still trying to shut down an authentic grass roots movement. Gateway notes the progression:

First the left introduced the Coffee Party.
Then they introduced the Cocoa Party.
Then last month the left came out with yet another astroturfed group to counter the tea party… “One Nation.”

Perhaps these groups all failed because they, unlike the tea party, were actually AstroTurf groups?

With this new group and the T(ea?)-Shirts that go with it they might be able to get a few sales from the college crowd or people who like to say **** but if this is the big plan of democrats they these guys are finished. One more note:

The new project, so far, features merchandise, polling statistics aimed to paint Tea Party members as ignorant, and a mocking video.

Well I have video upon video upon video upon video, upon video, upon video, upon video (you get the picture) of ACTUAL tea party protesters and ACTUAL tea party members giving their actual unrehearsed opinions so your mocking stuff is just another pathetic attempt to attack Americans you can’t win an argument with.

Memeorandum thread here