Monday, October 12, 2009

Dems in crisis

Today we're going to try staggering the post topics into individual posts -- instead of lumping them all in one. They'll be updated throughout the day -- last one at 3:30pm Central. Please let us know which format you prefer.

Nebraska Democrat Chair Vic Covalt, talking about Governor Heineman's special session of the legislature:

“We have a crisis... What kind of leadership is that? It is time for a change."
And what sort of change? change! Yeah!

But Covalt was correct about HIS crisis. You see Covalt has yet to announce that his party has someone to "change" into the Governor's McMansion. (Or any other statewide offices up in 2010 for that matter.)

But, "Covalt said it is even possible the party may wait until the state party's convention in July to announce a gubernatorial candidate."

Which is completely laughable. Oh sure, if Heineman somehow collapses, or dies, or the Dems can get Warren Buffet to self-finance a campaign.

So, interesting strategy, that.


macdaddy said...

Mr. Covalt should sue Glamour Shots.

Anonymous said...

macdaddy, you just made me LOL. :)

Uncle Wiggily said...

New format? You gonna let a couple of gasifying digital kibitzers whose own sites attract less viewers than a Tasmanian turd fight dictate how to re-structure the most popular pol-blog in the midlands? Say it ain't so ....

Street Sweeper said...


Assuming you're referring to Sol Kleinsmith's suggestion, then yes -- er, no -- I mean, Maybe.

Thought we'd shake things up. We'll see if it works.


Solomon Kleinsmith said...

Wow... I'm flattered? heheh

That is a pretty terrible pic of Vic though...

Even people who are strident Dems, the honest ones anyway, know that beating Heineman would be a hell of a climb. Not surprised nobody is biting.

Anonymous said...

I heard there is a Democrat named J. Williams that is planning to run for Secretary of State. Does anyone know who J. Williams is??

Street Sweeper said...


OK then how about every other statewide office?

The Dems can't find someone to run for Treasurer?

Anonymous said...

J. Williams for Secretary of State! Nebraska voters will fire a popular incumbent and replace him with a political hack who's lived in Omaha for a couple of years.

GeosUser said...

If you think the Dems in general on in NE in specific are in "trouble" just wait until we're approaching Nov 2010 election day with unemployment at close to 10%, higher taxes looming for 2011 and just having taken a beating on 2010 immigration reform (legalize the illegals" bill...they lose control of the House and no Dem in NE wins a statewide or national office.

millard repub said...

I don't who this J. Williams guy is, but I have heard from good sources that Kris Pierce, for ED of the Douglas County Dems, is planning a run for Sec of State. The people I know with the Douglas County Dems tell me that this Pierce guy moved here to Nebraska to run their county for their caucus. He has no Nebraska ties. It look like Covalt has a real credible candidate here! Ha!

Anonymous said...

Who is J. Williams? Do we know his first name?

Anonymous said...

I like the single posts, but can you stop with the "summary"? I like to read everything through Google Reader and I don't usually click past to read the rest of the posts on your site.

Solomon Kleinsmith said...

"OK then how about every other statewide office?

The Dems can't find someone to run for Treasurer?"

Don't look at me man. I tried both parties on for size one last time over the last few years... and in my experience both are pretty inept.

Vic is a really nice guy, but he's in a hell of a position. Fahlson sure comes off like a dope on his blog... pretty easy being the state chair of the republican party in such a conservative state isn't it?

Vic either has to find extremely talented political neophytes (or convince a state senator to give up a cushy seat there for a near sure loss) to upset incumbents (in most cases) and overcome a huge deficit in party registration... or find someone willing to 'take one for the team', like Max Yashirin did in Lincoln last year.

Omaha is different... Terry is obviously both the weakest candidate among our congressional delegation, and represents the most split part of the state. From my understanding, Smith and Fortenberry are pretty darn popular in their districts... now, if we were in MA, and your state chair came to you and said "None of the more experienced politicians in the state are willing to run... will you take one for the team?" What are you gonna say?

I doubt Kris Pierce would run for Sec of State. He about got fired for that drunken outburst at the '08 Douglas County Dems Victory Party (which I thought was awesome by the way, but I'm all about otherwise harmless disorderly conduct like that, haha), made a LOT of enemies amongst certain local Dem interests... and perhaps most importantly he's a Buckeyes fan, haha.

Anonymous said...

J. Williams = Kris Pierce according to rumors. For some reason he thinks it would be a good idea to run for Secretary of State.

Solomon Kleinsmith said...

Kris Pierce is Street Sweeper... pass it on... crap I didn't click the Anonymous button.

Anonymous said...

Like Pierce or not; he did a great job for the dems during the caucus.

They had close to 15,000 people attend the caucus in Douglas County.

I also have to admit they did a good job in voter registration while he was there.

Obama's campaign helped that.

Anonymous said...

I heard Ian Russell can't stand Pierce...That just be a big plus for Pierce...


Anonymous said...

I heard J. Williams and Ian Russell were buddies.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't be fair to say that Pierce didn't bring a new level of action to the Douglas County Dems, he obviously did. He rangled a lot of feathers on the way, especially in the state party by not sharing voter data and upgrading to Votebuilder until the Obama campaign came and forced him to.

The voter reg numbers had very little to do with the county dem organization. Plenty of groups did a lot of avtive voter reg, but unless you count the caucus then the county party was a minor player there.

Even people who didn't like him saw that he was a good 'mechanic' type politico though. Being a candidate is totally different and my guess this is a rumor... he's a smart guy. I'm sure he'd know he doesn't have a chance.

Brian T. Osborn said...

As a 3rd CD Democrat that genuinely gives a damn about the people of my party having a voice in the way their party runs, I found a unlikely ally in Chris Pierce. Whenever I had the opportunity to find myself in Omaha, I would stop by the DCD office on 72nd and Pacific, find Chris, and head to the nearby Clancy's for a cool one. Chris was always willing to assist with suggestions that helped me better organize my county, its caucus, and the 3rd CD. He's a hard working, intelligent, young Democrat with more good ideas in that skull of his than than a lot of the status-quo breed of political animals I have encountered out east.

Solomon, I hold you in the highest regard for the way you go about your political objectives. You have come to the realization that both the NDP and the NEGOP are fubared, and are dealing with it by being a more issues oriented political beast, grazing out on the free range rather than slopping at the feedlot pap the parties offer us. I haven't given up on my Democratic partisanship just yet, but a lot of the arguments I've heard from you over the past 2 or 3 years has certainly given me reason to consider. I still want the NDP to arise Phoenix-like from its ashes, and I'm willing to work toward that end despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles, but I've gotta admit I often long for the freedom you're enjoying.

Now that I've revealed that you both have been willing to speak to me in public, you both bear the guilt of association and probably have had your reputations trashed. Sorry.

Solomon Kleinsmith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Solomon Kleinsmith said...

Wow... weird day.

Street Sweeper takes some of my advice, and Brian Osborne calls me an "issues oriented political beast".

I left the party for a lot of reasonsbut... the only limits on my freedom were doing things that I thought would or would not help the organization I was working on at the time... and sometimes I just said screw it and said what I thought, heheh. I only have so much patience, and I really don't know how people put up with the crap that happens in both parties. I could only go through one cycle active in either party... ya'll must have a ton more patience and willingness to accept (or ability to irgnore) all the nepotism, corruption and just plain obnoxious people than I have. I have a low tolerance for that stuff... people at the grassroots level, even people I disagree with politically, are typically a LOT more fun to deal with.

Just do what your heart tells you and try to be nice... my two cents.

Anonymous said...

BTO be nice? Yeah, that'll be the day. And Kris Pierce was fired from the Douglas Dems, and doesn't have a good relationship with the "east coast" of Nebraska.

Solomon Kleinsmith said...

I heard so many rumors about that... they he got fired, that he was going to get fired, that it was all a rumor... then they hired him back for a few months, then I dropped out of the rat race. If he was fired why did he stay here? You'd think he would have moved away. Maybe he got a nice cushy job for a big company like Barry Rubin :)

Anonymous said...

If Covalt's comments are accurate, and the NDP does not field a single credible candidate for statewide office, they are killing White's chances big-time. No ticket means no message, no platform, no excitement, and no turnout by the lefty/progressive base.

It is understandable that Democrats are having trouble recruiting--I wouldn't want to run on a ticket that has given us 9.8% unemployment and is pushing a disasterous health care plan that will probably cost $1 trillion and still leave 25 mil. uninsured. I can understand why people don't want to be tied to that.

Anonymous said...

I thought the Obama win has brought a resurgence and excitement to the NDP. What happened?

Brian T. Osborn said...

Anon 3:09,

Yeah, people would MUCH rather be associated with a party that has plunged our nation into generational debt, destroyed our good name around the world, and has NO plans to provide health care for anyone but corporate bloodsuckers.

Gee, that would almost make me want to become a Republican ... if I were a masochist.

Solomon Kleinsmith said...

Obama has been in office for nine months... Oh eM Gee! The recession is his fault! He's so powerful that the effects of his election reverberated back in time!

Sounds like a bad Nicholas Cage movie.

Mr. Blackwell said...

Oh My!!! This picture looks worse than one of Jane Kleeb's SEIU ladies hitting Old Country Buffet after a day of protesting...very unsightly!!!

Anonymous said...

BTO and Sol--the stimulus bill was Obama's--it hasn't worked. He's gotten passage of everything he wanted on the economy and things are getting worse. Your party's responsible for what is happening right now. Period. This will be particularly true when, in Oct 2010, unemployment is at 10%.

Add the health care plan and cap & tax into this and your party's record will trigger another wave election--except this time you get hit by the tsunami.
Having said that, I appreciate both of your postings and comments. I hope you feel welcome here and urge you to comment frequently. You are both proof that the vile and obnoxious tone of NNN is not reflected in many current or former D members.

Solomon Kleinsmith said...

Are you dense enough to believe that any amount of government action could possibly get a country out of a recession this big? I doubt it. You just want to get a cheeky political hit in.

And sorry, can't lump me in with the D's. I tried both of your parties out in the last few years and couldn't stomach either.

This recession was years in the making, and can't be blamed on anyone in particular, even the government. I thought the stimulus should have been laser focused on job creation, and you can dig the Dems for that and/or any other way you think the stimulus package should have been spent instead. But pretending it is any particular group, or especially any individual's, problem is absurd. You're either stupid enough to talk talking points as more than marketing, or don't have a solid grasp on economics.

I tend to think that you R's will probably gain some seats in the 2010 election, but it wont be what you call a 'wave election'... I don't think. It'll take something much bigger than what is going on now for the center to swing drastically to the right, or several years of stagnation. IF things don't get better by 2012, then MAYBE we would see something like that.

If you're so certain, then how about a nice wager?

Anonymous said...

new format is good
easier to follow a single thread than bouncing around multiple subjects

macdaddy said...

Solomon: Obama promised exactly that. He promised that his plan would bring this country out of recession and with an unemployment rate not more than 8%. Are you saying he doesn't know what he's talking about or doing? This man was elected President by an overwhelming majority of Americans and yet just now you are implying that his approach is all wrong. Same for you BTO. You are complaining about generational debt. Are you serious? Obama is going to add more debt to this country than all previous administrations combined and you're complaining about Republicans? Smoke another one, bro'.

Solomon Kleinsmith said...

I don't remember the details of his promises... I never really listen to the details of politicians' promises, since I don't believe any of them and know they no politician has enough power to decide anything on their own... not even the president.

I'm not implying anything. I've been pretty clear I think. I think the stimulus was a good idea, I just think that it should have been laser focused on job creation... even more focused on things with so called 'multiplier effects'. I got into a big argument with some people on NNN about this around the end of January/beginning of February (if you want to search for them, the blogs are titled "Nelson "Undecided" on Stimulus Package" and "Pell Grants and Economic Stimulus"... there were probably more, but thats what I dug up quickly.

As I've said elsewhere, politicians of all stripes and levels inflate their own power. I think that nearly nothing that any president could have done would have been able to keep the economy from high nine % unemployment. We'll never know how bad it would have been had the government not stepped in as it has, but the vast majority of economists thought that something needed to happen as far as stimulus and keeping the banking system from imploding.

Banking wise, and I'm a little shaky on my understanding here, I think that they did the right thing overall, in making sure that they didn't let the whole system collapse, but they ENABLED the bankers to then just go back to business as usual, without really feeling the sting. I don't like how they sort of forced some of that TARP money down some of their throats (which started before Obama took office), but when those people took money from the government, the strings attached should have been a LOT more stringent. The lack of oversight, as things have come out, has been astonishing to me.

And you're talking to a hard core member of the Concord Coalition here, so you're preaching to the choir on deficits. One problem with government is they sometimes get one side of the coin right... but forget that there is another side that inevitably comes down the pipe. Deficits are a perfect example... stimulus and banking bailouts of some kind (in my and most peoples' opinion) needed to happen... and the economy is now appearing to be on the slow mend. When the economy finally does recover, in a year or two by most estimates... common sense would have it that we would then continue to tighten our belts and begin paying back the debt that we've collected over the last century.

Through administrations of both parties, that has not occurred. If you want to endear yourselves to the center and gain more seats, stop bitching about high taxes and focus on the debt. Keep taxes how they are, slow the growth of government below growth in tax receipts, and keep doing that until we've paid off a sizable amount of the debt.

But no... Republicans are more concerned with lowering taxes, even if we can't afford to, and Democrats are more concerned with spending more. Republicans aren't brave enough to cut programs deeply enough to pay for those tax cuts, that might piss off constituencies that they need for reelection, and Democrats can't muster up enough support to raise taxes enough to pay for the programs they want... so BOTH parties kick the can down the way to the next generation.

This has been going on for generations, so don't give me this crap about how its Democrats' fault for what is going on. Its BOTH parties fault, and its the fault of hundreds of representatives that have taken their place in DC and taken the short sighted, slash and burn easy way out for so many years.

Anonymous said...


Polifact has a few hundred campaign promises they are tracking. None list a promise about an umemployment rate. I looked everywhere for some promise of never going above 8%. Doesn't exist. Do aa little research, and learn some economics. Unemployment rates are a lagging indicator. And the increase started around December 2007. To continue your FOX fed talking points and adding in lies is a sign of a tiny mind.

Solomon Kleinsmith said...

The Promise Audit at the National Journal is a good one too, that I follow some.

macdaddy said...

Do I have to do everything?

"The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan" from Christina Romer, chairwoman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, and Jared Bernstein, the vice president's top economic adviser.

Their report projected that the stimulus plan proposed by Obama would create between three and four million jobs by the end of 2010. The report also includes a graphic predicting unemployment rates with and without the stimulus. Without the stimulus (the baseline), unemployment was projected to hit about 8.5 percent in 2009 and then continue rising to a peak of about 9 percent in 2010. With the stimulus, they predicted the unemployment rate would peak at just under 8 percent in 2009.

There ya go. From Politifact.

From CNN: At a House Democrats retreat in Virginia, Obama said he valued "the constructive criticism and healthy debate that's taking place around this package," but added that speedy passage of the bill was essential.

"We're not moving quickly because we're trying to jam something down people's throats," he said. "We're moving quickly because if we don't, the economy's going to keep getting worse."

Just words? Apparently so.

Outside the Beltway said...

First, I appreciate your candid arguments to other posts. A couple of things need to be corrected in your 'economic theory'.

The appropriate way to talk about the impact of government intervention on this Recession (10 years from now) is 'we'll never know how much WORSE the government made the situation by tripling the monetary supply and adding nearly 2T to the debt in less than 1 year'. We are headed for stagflation. As soon as anything 'loosens' up in the economy, when grandma or Uncle Ed go to pull some money out of savings to buy something there will be 3 times as many dollars chasing the same number of goods as before. In short, their money won't buy much.

Second, tax-cuts don't have to be paid for. They GENERATE ADDITIONAL REVENUE. This was true when JFK did it in the 1960s all the way through Reagan, Clinton (with a GOP Congress) and W. The 'problem' is Congress spends that 'additional' revenue (as the Gipper used to say) like a bunch of drunken sailors (and I mean no offense to those drunken sailors out there).

Solomon Kleinsmith said...

You guys really make this too easy for me.

" don't have to be paid for. They GENERATE ADDITIONAL REVENUE. This was true when JFK did it in the 1960s all the way through Reagan, Clinton (with a GOP Congress) and W."

Thank you for illustrating my point on Republicans not caring about cutting taxes and not cutting programs to pay for them. Only those with partisan blinders on see a world where their political priorities trump fiscal reality.

Notice how the deficit has been going up that whole time? (with the exception of the dot com bubble) Even when your party was in control? NEITHER party has the ability to control spending, whether it be through social programs, military or tax cuts. Pick your poison, you're both addicted to spending.

And even strictly with increases in tax receipts... its not possible to measure how much just the money infused into the economy from a tax cut increases output, but even if 100% of the money is spent, then you only get part of that back in tax receipts. Under great circumstances (given years and years of solid growth) that money may well increase tax receipts over the amount that were cut... but what do you think happened in the mean time? In the mean time, the government not only grew, but the dept incurred by that tax cut that wasn't paid for has been sucking up interest and eating into our yearly budget.

Again, you've bought into a talking point sir. A talking point that only makes sense in a world that has no resemblance to reality.

Your claim on stagflation... You guys out in left and right field are so easy to spot. One sign is certainty disconnected from reality... that this or that is going to happen because of something the other side did. Very smart people, who are much more informed than we'll ever be, disagree about whether or not stagflation is going to happen. Your certainty is bred from belief, ideology and/or spite.

So many of the problems we have now economically are new variables... some aren't, but put them together and we really don't know whats going to happen.

As for that study ya'll quote regarding unemployment... a whole ton of people underestimated the depth of this recession. Who knows if they knew better? I sort of assume they did and put out the rosy numbers to make people feel better, but I have no way of knowing one way or the other.

See the difference there... my guess isn't magically transformed into a claim of certainty. Belief does not equal reality... pass it on.

NE Voter said...

The Republicans cure for every challenge:

Tax cuts when the nation is at peace.

Tax cuts when the nation is at war.

Tax cuts when the economy is strong.

Tax cuts when the economy is weak.

Tax cuts during even years.

Tax cuts during odd years.

Tax cuts when employment is rising.

Tax cuts when employment is falling.

Tax cuts when the DJIA is over 10,000.

Tax cuts when the DJIA falls below 10,000.

Tax cuts when a Republican is in the White House.

Tax cuts when a Democrat is in the White House.

Tax cuts before 9-11.

Tax cuts after 9-11.

Tax cuts when Republicans control the House and/or Senate.

Tax cuts when Democrats control the House and/or Senate.

Tax cuts before Wall Street collapsed.

Tax cuts after Wall Street collapsed.

Of course, I could go on. Ask yourself (and be honest), would you go to a doctor that gave you the same prescription for everything that ailed you, whether the common cold or brain cancer?

I would also like to hear the conservatives here specifically answer this question: Under what specific circumstances would you SUPPORT a tax increase?

Meanwhile, the only thing that ever "trickles down" to Main Street is the bill.

You may now return to your previous bickering.

Wake up, people!

Outside the Beltway said...

My apologies, I mistook you for someone who wanted to have an intellectual discussion on an issue. It would appear you are more interested in posturing.

I made no reference to party or ideology in my post. (Such was my reason for using a balance of DEM and GOP presidents as example). Rather, I was arguing from the perspective of a strict Constitutionalist. Revenue under all of the aforementioned Presidents increased. I’m not sure where you derive your assertion about the revenue from tax cuts not exceeding the actual tax cut. It simply isn’t true. Do some digging and you will see that federal revenue increases after capital gains rates are cuts.

You did touch on the second problem – spending. In the 1980s, for example revenue under Reagan doubled after tax cuts, but spending tripled. Congress violated the TEFRA agreement they had with the President, spent money at record levels ,and drove up the debt. While one can thank ‘Tip’ and the DEMS for that in the late 80s the GOP deserves equal blame under W’s first term.

NE Voter,
You’re asking the wrong the question. By what authority does the federal government have to spend money outside of its constitutionally mandated duties [Defense, foreign affairs (treaties), interstate commerce]? Our federal budget each year is larger than the total GDP of all but a handful of countries on earth. That ought to tell you something about when we need a tax increase.

But if that doesn’t answer your question, constitutionally states are free to pass any laws, policies they desire not enumerated for the fed. You want to raise taxes, move to a state that will raise them for you. You want health care, go to a state that will pass it for you. ‘Taxachusetts’ is a good candidate for both – try it. I hear they need people who are otherwise insured to pay supplemental taxes for their ‘universal’ health coverage now. If you can’t get enough taxes and ‘free’ health-care there try Canada or Sweden. The point being - it isn’t the government’s money nor do they have a right to tell others how to spend what is theirs.

NE Voter said...

Outside the Beltway:

Thanks for your observations. However, I am not surprised that, cloaking yourself in your simplistic view of the Constitution, you completely avoid my direct question.

The Founding Fathers would spit out their beer at the notion that the Constitution they risked their lives and fortunes to establish would not move through history in accordance with the times. Yes, I will say it: Your "Constitutionalism" or "strict constructionism" are an utter repudiation of our Founders' revolutionary ideals.

If you prefer to read the Constitution as if it was still 1787, fine for you. I assume you then agree that the maintenance of the United States Air Force is unconstitutional. After all, the Constitution provides only for and Army and a Navy.

Under your reading, you must admit that the Founder's decision to not include an Air Force represents their original intent -- which must be observed forever, without regard to logic or experience.

If not, you recognize that the Constitution lives in history -- past, present and future. Alive yesterday, alive today, alive tomorrow. You can't have it both ways.

The Founders did not undertake the American Revolution to be governed by a museum piece Constitution that was outdated the moment it was signed. I do not pledge my allegiance to a dead letter, frozen in time. Nor did the Founders.

The Founders I revere would simply be appalled by such a cynical, politically expedient "interpretation" of the treasure they bequeathed to us.

I don't mean to get personal, but your reading of the Constitution makes a mockery of our Revolution, and makes of our politics -- the important work of today - trivial and insignificant.

Brian T. Osborn said...

Oh My God!!!

What is going on here? it seems that Leavenworth Street is being taken over by the adults! Actual political discourse is taking place here. Where did all the comments about peoples' bad hair go?

Oh, wait a minute, there is a discussion about bad Bar B=Q further on up on the home page.


Anonymous said...

Apparently, there was a Nebraska Dem in crisis in Iowa City, Iowa.

Poor Rebekah had to use campaign cash for an 861.17 repair to her Campaign Car.

Hmmm, no mention of a donation of a campaign car or expense for a purchase of a campaign car on her disclosure.

I would suggest that she speak with her friends at the DCCC about this car thing. There are VERY CLEAR rules about vehicles and campaign funds.

BTW, someone should point out to her that driving to Chicago to pick up a campaign check is not a good use of funds when you live in Alliance, Nebraska.

She should use this little thing called her mailbox!

NE Voter said...

Funny, come on here with a couple arguments that destroy the talking points and Sweeper's acolytes scatter like somebody p----d in the punchbowl.


Street Sweeper said...

...or maybe it's b/c there are EIGHT newer posts, and I'm the only one reading your comment...

NE Voter said...

Heh heh heh.