It's quite obvious ColoradoPols doesn't give a crap what most D's do as long as there's a (D) behind their name. Maybe it's because they use the "don't get caught with a live girl or a dead boy" standard. Maybe it's that they're mostly insiders, the Professional Left of Colorado, and don't want embarrass the boss - even if he or she embarrasses the Brand.
I expect our side to uphold the ideals laid down by their Democratic forebears who made history: FDR, Harry Truman, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter even Progressive Republican Teddy Roosevelt. If you dare to think you can lead, it should be with a purpose beyond your family's welfare and your own checking brokerage account.
That being said, I shall praise Colorado's Senator Mikey* Bennet for one act, and condemn him for 2 others.
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is a Democrat's Democrat and it is very clear she will hold bankers and regulators feet to the fire for the profound responsibility the have in causing our current economic mess.
Here is some of what Mikey Bennet could have done if he gave a crap about what bankers did to you and me:
Now I condemn Bennet's egregious acts, committed in a way to curry more favor from bankers and further distance himself from ordinary citizens:
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today welcomed Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who will join the committee for the 113th Congress starting in January. Senators Brown and Bennet will replace outgoing Senators Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), both retiring this year.
"Michael Bennet brings a wealth of practical, real-world experience to the Finance Committee. He has proven himself to be an up-and-coming leader who is always willing to reach across party lines," Senator Baucus said. "As a fellow Westerner, I know Michael has a top-notch work ethic and will deliver common-sense solutions."
This is a case of political malpractice on the part of state and national Democrats.
(Michael Bennet is Chairman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. It is his job to find a candidate that will defeat the man whose only goal was to defeat Barack Obama. -z)
McConnell is a leading symbol of the GOP and of what Democrats loathe about the GOP. And he is, on paper, the most vulnerable Senate incumbent.
In his fifth term now, McConnell has an approval rating in Kentucky of 36 percent. Silent but sullen, most of his own party doesn't really like him. The state's Democrats, who still control the governorship and the lower house, positively despise the man.
Yet out of a toxic mix of fear, self-interest and timidity, no credible candidate has stepped forward to challenge him.
So I thank Bennet for stepping down from a committee on which he did not care to perform his most basic responsibility as a senator. He could've stayed and gummed up the works.
I derisively call Bennet "Mikey" because this is just how he treats his constituents: as his lessers who should be seen and not heard.
I criticize his continued transformation into the Ultimate DC Insider: a man who'll use committee seats to boost his campaign accounts and as an employment agent for his staffers. Senator Bennet has been transformed from a green politico who saw the how broken DC was to an insider who makes every move political and who only sees how his own future can benefit fro his days ahead as one of the most powerful politicians in Washington, DC.
In essence he spells this out in great detail, with graphics and charts:
[Social Security] is not generous enough to counteract the sorry state of retirement savings nationwide. In a report for the New American Foundation, Michael Lind, Steven Hill, Robert Hiltonsmith and Joshua Holland survey this data and conclude that the ongoing debate over how to cut Social Security is all wrong:
We need to make Social Security much more generous.
And then this --- problematic in some respects, but really radical by establishment discourse standards:
Medicare uses its massive market power to negotiate much lower prices than private insurers. For that reason, the Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2011 that "average spending in traditional Medicare will be 89 percent of (that is, 11 percent less than) the spending that would occur if that same package of benefits was purchased from a private insurer." Back during the health-care debate, the CBO estimated that a public option able to use Medicare's pricing power could save more than $100 billion over 10 years.
In a policy paper for the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, Robert Berenson, John Holahan and Stephen Zuckerman propose a package of changes that would save more than $700 billion over 10 years. One of the changes they propose is raising the age of eligibility from 65 to 67. But in order to blunt the impact of that change, they propose letting people between the ages of 65 and 67 buy in to Medicare on their own - that way, they can take advantage of Medicare's lower prices, even if they're paying for them out-of-pocket. "Buying into Medicare gives them as good a deal as they're going to get," Berenson says.
If it's such a good deal for the 65-to-67 crowd, then why not let 55-year-olds buy into Medicare, or even let everybody buy into Medicare? "I've always assumed it was just political opposition from Republicans," Berenson replied. I asked him to put aside the politics and just assess whether it would work. "Conceptually, I don't see a problem," he said.
The problem is if Udall proposed expanding Social Security then Kudlow would never stop calling him names, and he'd never again get his ego stroked on national basic cable again.
And if Bennet ever stopped listening to, let alone greasing the skids for, his Bankster friends they would never invite him to drinks at the Ritz again.
Senior elected Democrats in Washinton, DC, have a serious choice ahead of them in the very near future. And there is absolutely no evidence they will make the truly difficult and moral choice to support the elderly, veteran's and their families, the retired, and the disabled over their Big-Time, Big-Money Friends who have them on speed dial.
Now that Obama has fully embraced the cuts, no amount of White House spin is going to be able to permanently pin the chained CPI on Republicans, as the administration official is trying to do. Republicans have been demanding for months that Obama specifically spell out the cuts to social insurance programs he would accept; now he's done so, they will make sure he owns them.
The White House seems to believe that this will show the American public that he is Very Serious about both deficit reduction and working with Republicans, that "he is willing to compromise and do tough things to reduce the deficit," in the words of a senior administration official. Because of course a willingness to compromise is all that it takes to make the Republicans come around. That and his charm offensive.
Republicans aren't going to come around, and now have a weapon.
And what the American people will probably remember is that in 2008 candidate Obama promised that as president, he would not cut Social Security, a promise reiterated by Vice President Biden in 2012.
In fact, we're probably not going to be allowed to forget that, once the Republicans get their ads running in congressional districts around the country saying that Barack Obama broke his promise and wants to cut your Social Security.
Besides the fact that Obama and his henchmen Polis, Udall, Bennet are determined to cut the most successful and popular social welfare (check the Constitution for use of that word) program in human history, we also know that
You will pat each other on the back at the "tough" decision to cut Grandma's Social Security, keep those damned lazy slacker kids off Head Start, and continue to let the unemployed starve and our infrastructure crumble.
You will lie to yourself that it "had to be done" and you,yes You, were the adult in the room.
As an emailer said of Polis, Udall and Bennet et al.:
Making seniors have to decide between food, medicine or rent in exchange for the lint in the pockets of millionaires and billionaires is NOT courageous.
Betraying the principles of his party, betraying fundamental humane values, betraying people who voted for you, people who just can't believe you would do this, is the opposite of courage.
Being the handmaiden of plutocrats is not the sign of bold leadership.
P.P.S. Administration Hacks telling us "the American people want a solution that is halfway between R's and D's". Hacks forget that Republicans are Sociopathic Racists and Democrats are thisclose to enacting Eisenhower-era conservative policies.
I have said that part of getting our economy going and creating jobs means setting our budget on a sustainable footing and reducing the deficit. I supported President Obama's work in 2009 to create a bipartisan commission focused on reducing the deficit. And since then, I have called on Congress to embrace its balanced and bipartisan final recommendations. Confronting sequestration is just the latest challenge in the process to responsibly reduce government spending.
That's "Bowles-Simpson" that Udall still thinks is relevant and has a reasonable approach to our budget issues. Shame on him for thinking we could be so ignorant.
"Washington needs to have a broad and serious conversation about our nation's deficits and debt. We need a bipartisan and comprehensive deficit solution that builds on the work done by the President's Fiscal Commission that materially addresses the problem, ensures we're all in it together and is bipartisan."
-Michael F. Bennet
Sweet Jesus, that is just friggin' stoopid.
I think we can safely say "bipartisanship" is a higher goal than good policy and/or listening to voters for both Udall and Bennet.
Man, Ted Cruz is a real piece of work isn't he? This interview shows him to be a very nimble liar. For instance:
"The Democrats' budget does nothing to solve the enormous challenges facing Social Security and Medicare. Every one of us would like to see those critical bulwarks of our society strengthened, and right now those programs are careening toward bankruptcy."
1. Republicans do not want them "strengthened. This is not just a matter of semantics. You only have to look at what these people have been saying since these programs were enacted to understand that they do not believe that the government should administer these programs at all.
2. These programs are not careening towards bankruptcy. Social Security is funded as long as there are people working in this country. The only question is whether there is enough money in the dedicated funding stream to pay out the benefits that are currently mandated.
Like everyone else who makes this specious claim, he's saying that the only way to deal with a projected shortfall in the dedicated funding stream is to make it official immediately and prepare everyone but the well-off to live in penury in their old age.
Democrat Michael Bennet asked Jamie Dimon to weigh in on the country's fiscal situation.
Bennet sounds more like a lapdog than a senator.
Now it's looking like a true bulldog, Sherrod Brown, might be in line for the Chairmanship of the Banking Committee, a great place for someone who can fight "too big to fail" and ask tough questions of these sociopath bankers:
The departure of Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) has left a vacancy atop the powerful panel that could fall to one of Wall Street's most outspoken foes, a possibility that has bank lobbyists fretting.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), whose call to break up and cap the size of major banks has spooked Wall Street, is behind three senators who would have dibs on the gavel, but all three are likely to bypass the opportunity. A Brown chairmanship would also be a boost to his ally Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), strengthening her hand on the panel. Brown's office didn't immediately return a request for comment.
Bennet, whose ProgressivePunch crucial vote score is 76.83, is firmly in the ranks of fearful, tepidly moderate conservatives like Mark Warner (VA), Kay Hagan (NC), Claire McCaskill (MO), Tom Carper (DE) Mark Pryor (AR), and Mark Udall (CO), who often water down progressive proposals in committee, making them all but useless to working families fighting for their lives against corporate predators.
Staffers say the reason it took Bennet so long to decide whether to take the job-- a record three weeks that drove Washington media crazy-- was because he was negotiating a leadership platform that would promote moderate Democrats.
(My emphasis on the DWT post. -z)
Do Bennet and Warren, both Democrats, have the same goals in the Senate? Obviously not. With one, bankers will continue to win. With the other, bankers will start fearing the clinking of jail cell doors and might start acting a little more ethically and legally.
Both the bankers, and the members of the Senate Banking Committee, should take notice.
"There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own."
Many of the 1%-ers are too greedy to want to pay forward a debt to the very society that enabled them to become wealthy. Yeah, there are bigger markets in China and India. But while the Billionaires and Millionaires might like paying their workers 1/10th the wages of American workers I don't see them rushing off to live in those places where their ideal worker has to live and raise a family on the pittance they would offer.
UPDATE: Let me just add that the more I read Mike Rosen the more I realize he's just another threatened White Guy lashing out at his Enemies with lies, threatening Armageddon every day the White Male Oligarchy he belongs to shows its age, and using any and all grammatical constructions in use and available to persuade his listeners of our sickness, depravity, and unworthiness of living in the same America he does.
The candidates have made a "no Super-PAC" pledge that's been mostly successful at keeping out obscene amounts of unaccountable cash now allowed by Citizens United. The Colorado Koch is ignoring that pledge.
Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren have a no-Super-PAC pact in the Massachusetts Senate race that has kept outside groups from running television and radio ads.
But the pact hasn't stopped Super PACs from getting involved with things like mailings. Super PACs like America 360, a pro-Brown Super PAC that has spent around $200,000 in direct mail attacking Elizabeth Warren.
What else should you know about America 360? It's "funded almost entirely by an oil and coal company owned by William Koch." The PAC has a little over $50,000 in donations from three other individuals, and more than $500,000 from Oxbow Carbon, William Koch's company.
Coloradans pay good money for that coal that burns so dirty. And by that they are also paying for the dirty money that's aimed at keeping a weak Republican in a seat once held by Edward Kennedy - a World-class Democrat.
The emergence of yet another Koch brother who, yes, owns an oil company and has created a Super PAC to support Brown with the profits of that company both reinforces Warren's attack, and provides more fuel for it.
It's getting harder and harder for Brown to pretend he's an independent player for Massachusetts.
The company he keeps will betray him every time.
As Kos says, please donate $3 to Elizabeth Warren on ActBlue. Warren's doing well, but that dirty money can pollute more than Colorado's air and streams, it could pollute the political process for years to come, from sea to shining sea.
Large version here.......is it true that this message it too radical for our purple state? I know it's too radical for the kind of Democrats we have elected to office lately - none seem to have the guts, or the political savvy, or the populist sense that Elizabeth Warren does.