Tuesday, April 13, 2021
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Tag: Scott Brown

Political Trivia in Times of Crisis

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I've been trying to figure out why John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and several other Republican senators are piling on Susan Rice, UN ambassador, for her role as spokesperson for the administration on the Benghazi Sept.11 attack. There is no reasonable evidence for their ridiculous attacks, but maybe there's a political motive.

One of the "shining stars" of the GOP, Scott Brown, got wiped out by Elizabeth Warren, a genuine progressive, in his race to return to the Senate from Massachusetts. If we look at the two names mentioned for Secretary of State we come up with Susan Rice and John Kerry. If the GOP senators can make Susan Rice a difficult choice for President Obama, then perhaps Obama will simply nominate Kerry, thus opening a Senate seat in Massachusetts.

When Willard "Mitt" Romney was governor of Massachusetts, the Democratic majority in the  legislature took away his ability to name someone to an open Senate seat. That came back to bite them when Sen. Ted Kennedy died in office in 2010, and Scott  Brown won a special election against a feckless Democrat, Martha Coakley. (Coakley actually thought that Curt Shilling, hero of the Boston Red Sox victory in the 2004 World Series, played for the Yankees!) I'm coming to the conclusion that some GOP senators hope they can force the nomination of John Kerry as Secretary of State, thus giving Scott Brown another chance at a low-turnout special election.

Such Machiavellian maneuvers rarely work out as planned. Just ask Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling. In their dream scenario, Romney names McDonnell his Attorney General (!?!), thus enabling Bolling to be the incumbent governor when he faces crazy Ken Cuccinelli in 2013. Now, all Bolling can do is drop out of the race for the Republican nomination and scheme (we hope) for a way to stop Cuccinelli from getting to the governor's mansion.

Oh, I do love politics!  

Warner Pleased with Financial Reform, Touts Stimulus Dollars

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In an interview with WSLS-TV yesterday, Sen. Mark Warner summarized why he was very pleased with the financial reform legislation Congress just passed.

"We've now got a bipartisan bill that puts new rules of the road in place. It's going to end tax payer bailouts, it's going to make sure we've got rules in place so that no institution is too big to fail, it's going to make sure that a consumer that goes to try and get a mortgage or has a credit card has some rules that make sure they don't get into a house they can't pay for, or the credit card company won't jack up your rates without disclosure."

For me, the biggest irony of the vote on the bill was that Bob Corker (R-TN), who helped Warner write the part of the bill that is designed to force "too big to fail" financial institutions in trouble to unwind through bankruptcy, joined most of the "party of no" and voted against a bill he helped draft.

A rival to that in irony was the fact that Democrat Russ Feingold of Wisconsin voted against the bill because of it had too many loopholes. Feingold's refusal forced Harry Reid to seek the vote of Scott Brown (R-MA), allowing Brown to write an additional loophole big enough to drive Goldman-Sach's proprietary trading desk and all the hedge funds in Massachusetts through.

Brown got a watering down of the so-called Volcker Rule. That rule originally would have  prevented large bank holding companies from engaging in proprietary trading - making bets with its own money - as well as investing capital in hedge funds or private-equity funds. Thanks to Brown, the institutions can continue those financial gambles, the sorts of things that helped get us where we are. At least, the bill does limit how much capital a bank can bring to the "gambling table."

On another question he was asked in the WSLS interview, Warner refused to second-guess state government on how to spend the "surplus" created by tricks in budgeting, pushing up sales tax collections, and short-changing Virginia's retirement system. However, he pointed out that Virginia's budget would have been in dire straits without federal stimulus money that filled a massive budget hole, the stimulus money that every Republican from Virginia voted against.

Scott Brown Enrages Tea Partiers, Campaigns for Rob Wittman

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Sen. Scott Brown's coming to campaign - actually, raise money - for Rep. Rob Wittman (R-1). The only problem is, if you check out Brown's Facebook page, the "tea partiers" are extremely pissed at him for his announced decision to vote for financial reform legislation. Here's a sampling, typos (e.g, "rhino" instead of "RINO," "you're" instead of "your", etc., etc.) included.

*"Dear Senator Brown, You are a deceitful man, a "rhino"... a snake in the grass..... you're kind will pay in November... ..l., _ ,.l.."

*"Senator Brown, you are a disgrace to the GOP. You are part of the problem. I hope the voters of Mass. vote your sorry butt out and replace you with a REAL fiscal conservative. You are part of the reason why the Tea Parties exist! Electing you was a HUGE mistake."

*"Scott, you are just another RINO. I supported your campaign and I now regret it. I wish I had my $ 100.00 donation back."

*"Scott you have let us down. 2012 is coming sooner than you think!!!"

*"You have lost my support."

For what it's worth, I strongly support Brown's decision to back President Obama's financial reform legislation. I strongly encourage him to also support comprehensive, clean energy and climate legislation. Thank you Scott Brown, and enjoy the 1st CD of Virginia!  Ha.