Who’s On Your Enemies List?

What’s all this fuss about Hillary Clinton aides keeping a list of who was naughty and nice to her in the 2008 campaign?

Who doesn’t keep such a list? Those who’ve done us wrong are never far from mind.

I’ve got my own enemies list. Like the two people on a slightly drizzly day last week who knocked me in the head with their damned huge umbrellas. Such instruments of destruction on narrow sidewalks should be outlawed. For that matter, umbrellas themselves are an abomination. Wear a hat. Or stay inside. Get a little wet. So what. If we raised an umbrella in the shower there’d be no point to the matter.

Also on my list: The dang fools in the grocery counter line who wait until all of their items have been registered to swipe their credit cards in the machine and slog through the screen prompts, adding at least a dozen minutes to a process that could have been completed before their groceries were bagged.

Don’t get me started on the jerks behind me in traffic who dart around and block my escape when the driver just ahead stops to make a turn.

Or how about those automated phone voices who never give you an option to talk to a real person?

If the IRS worked for me, I’d audit them all. Revenge is best served cold? Hell no, I’d put it in the microwave and walk away.

You go Hillary. Take names and kick ass.

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Not On My Bridge You Don’t

Blue Bronc

Blue Bronc

What happens when political retribution affects a public of millions and yet does not affect three hundred million others?  Usually not much, unless you involve a heavy (really heavy) politician with a strong bent for bullying (who has shown a desire to be the one who fills the Taft bathtub in 2016) and include most of the American media. The popcorn popper is working overtime in the Blue Bronc home right now.

When I walk over a block to the shore and look northeast up the Chesapeake Bay about four miles away is the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bay Bridge, better known as the Bay Bridge.  It is the main link between the western side of Maryland, along with Washington, D.C. and Virginia and the Eastern Shore, along with Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey and New York. I can only imagine how pissed off I would be if it was shut down for days.  I know how I and others feel when it is shut down for a few hours.  Days of shut down would be nuts.

christie_bridge_scandal“All politics is local” A great phrase, something some politicians forget.  If you are running, announced or not, for president, your “local” politics is the entire country.  The physical impact of forcing a few hundred thousand drivers to sit and wait for hours is local.  The image of the big governor tossing everybody he can find under the bus is national and disturbing.  Although Nixon holds the record for all sorts of “dirty tricks” (fun phrase when used out of context) Christie is showing he has a few up his XXXXL sleeves. The political image of him sitting there will play every day he is still considered a candidate for the White House.

“Boss, we are going to screw up traffic along the east coast for a week to pay back that GDMF dem mayor for not kissing your huge butt.” 

“Sounds good.  Send a lesson to all those other MF that they belong to me, and will kiss my butt in the future or have their roads closed too!”

I cannot imagine, well almost not imagine, that conversation taking place.  First is Christie appears to be smarter than that.  However, he may have had a “God Syndrome” moment and lost his political and self-preservation bearings and said something like, “think of something to get the attention of the sniveling little sh#t dem mayor for not kissing my ample behind”.  Little “d” Dem is how Republicans denigrate Dems, so it is appropriate in the Christie conversations.

maxresdefaultThere is no way that Christie could not have known about what impact shutting down that egress would have, especially after the first day.  Why did he not ask the simple question “what the hell is going on with that bridge” after getting questions from all sorts of people in New Jersey and New York.  He cannot be so far out of the loop as that.

The next part of this whole thing is what Rachel Maddow, smart and wonderful woman, presented Thursday evening .  What if the shutdown had nothing to do with the Democratic mayor?  What if it was a larger political payback?  What if it was a state issue?  And, perhaps there is more to the story.

This fits the action better.  There are the usual “nah, no way” people trying to destroy the idea that Christie was trying to show how powerful he is by causing problems in the Ft Lee area.  He may be absolutely honest about not desiring or having retribution for the mayor not kissing his butt, but he may be deeply involved in the payback for the judge.

Christie-bridge-scandalHow does this affect 2016?  That is the question.  Just as having the Bay Bridge closed will not affect San Francisco drivers and voters; it is a shovel into the depths of the man’s psyche.  It is about the man and how he governs.  Sitting here eating popcorn (I bought a new air popcorn popper yesterday – yum) watching, listening and reading as much as I can about Christie and his non-apology press marathon conference is giving me a lot of insight into the man I did not have a couple weeks ago.  It gives me the talking points about him I will need going forward.

The side show is also about how certain members of the Republican Party are going after Christie, like wolves on a dying wolf.  They are eating one of their own.  The charge of RINO, is fascinating because it is so false.  Sure he has done a bit of east coast republican governing, but he is still one of the far right Republicans.  What he is, which is disturbing to me, a liberal (the term is acceptable once again) progressive Democrat, is some Republican that Dems vote for.  A hug of Obama is nothing more than the big one sizing up dinner (too bony no doubt).  That is a tactic more Republicans should try too.

I can understand his appeal to many people fed up with current politics, especially at the federal level.  Take nothing from the other side.  Tell the other side what is to happen then do it.  Allow nobody to intimidate you (something a few Dems should try sometime) and if they do bully them.  However, this is politics 1800’s New York and 1900’s Chicago style.  Not modern America.  This is the story that will affect the 2016 campaign.  And, it is a powerful story.

George Washington Bridge

Of interest in the Christie marathon press conference is how it is a direct copy of the West Wing story about the Candidate Vinick (Alan Alda) holding a long, answer all questions, press conference, at the nuclear power plant that failed, during his campaign for president as a way of getting the story out of the way and no more questions from the press regarding his role in how the plant was approved and managed. (Season 7, episode 14 “Two Weeks Out” — “Talk until they drop” press conference).  The difference is we see that Vinick only did what politicians do, apply goose grease to grease the skids of progress to get something done.  His actions did not in any way cause the plant failure.  Christie has yet to convince anyone that he was not involved in any way for disrupting the GW Bridge shut down.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor

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Job Dropouts Lower Unemployment Rate

Here’s a troubling line in the new Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data: “There were 917,000 discouraged workers in December. … Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.”

unemployed-signThat number is down slightly from last year but last month 347,000 workers dropped out, and are no longer counted in the unemployment rate — which makes for a rosier official number.

If those folks were still counted as participating in the labor force (or trying to) unemployment would be closer to 11%, instead of the current 6.7% official rate.

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The Hunt for Hillary

Will she or won’t she is gradually becoming more a question of when. Waiting to run for president might be Hillary Clinton’s luxury, but postponement in the 2008 race allowed time for Barack Obama to get the jump on her. Waiting, and then not running, will leave Democratic candidates at a disadvantage, having been denied access to donors on the sidelines pending her decision. The longer she waits the more she’ll have to run, or risk a lot of bad feelings in the party.

hrcglassesPerhaps the most tangible sign that she’s running is a move Time magazine reported over the weekend. Clinton’s 2008 campaign has rented its email list to a super PAC — Ready for Hillary — that she had previously kept at a distance.

In a signal that Obama forces are gathering for HRC, the president’s main super PAC for his reelection — Priorities USA — is in discussions about reinventing itself as a Clinton tool, Politico reports. Jim Messina and John Podesta, top former aides to Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, are in talks to co-chair the PAC, according to Buzzfeed. They’re keeping quiet for now out of fear that Vice President Joe Biden will be embarrassed and irritated as he makes his own decision whether to run.

If the Messina/Podesta teaming happens, and Biden gets out of the way, Democrats have a shot at uniting early under Hillary, which would allow her to spend the primary season talking to general election voters while Republicans gnaw on their limbs trying to win right wing voters. Still, Democrats usually don’t do coronations without a fight.

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Chelsea 2016?

Will Chelsea Clinton run the show if her mom runs for president?

chleseaDeep into a lengthy catalogue of operators and machinations within Hillary Clinton’s virtual campaign Politico tucked in this tidbit: “In interviews for this article, just about every close Hillary Clinton ally, asked to describe who is at the top of her organizational chart, gives the same answer: Chelsea. Exactly what that translates into is shrouded in a bit of mystery. It would be hard to overstate the closeness between Hillary Clinton and her only child, who is known to have more of her mother’s signature caution and private approach, than her father’s more free-wheeling style. The extent to which she’s expanded her portfolio within their family foundation has surprised even longtime Clinton insiders.”

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Hillary Hair Alert

The new year begins with an old topic: Hillary Clinton’s hair. Perhaps no other human head in modern times has generated more buzz over these past decades. Sporting yet a new style at the swearing in of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, HRC does it again.

hillary-clinton-bangs__oPtVanity Fair: “News outlets are calling it ‘bangs,’ which is technically correct, though Hil’s got more of a messy, side-swept thing going on, especially in comparison with Michelle Obama’s no nonsense, straight-laced bang.”

New York Magazine’s The Cut: “While some news outlets, like Vanity Fair, reported that they were ‘bangs,’ the Cut can confirm it: Those side-swept, layered, pieces of fluffy heaven resting ever so gently on our potential first lady president’s forehead are definitely bangs, no quotation marks needed.”

Hollywood Reporter: “Clinton’s style is a bit more downtown with a healthy dose of side-swept shag action that feels modern and free.”

Perez Hilton: “The former First Lady (and maybe future President!) looked fresh and glowy. … This latest hairstyle is not as fancy as her last swishy look, but it suits her perfectly! Bangs can be notoriously hard to deal with, but Hillary’s been in politics for decades, and we’re sure she can handle them!”

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NYT: Give Snowden a Break

The New York Times editorial board urges clemency for NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden:

The revelations have already prompted two federal judges to accuse the N.S.A. of violating the Constitution (although a third, unfortunately, found the dragnet surveillance to be legal). A panel appointed by President Obama issued a powerful indictment of the agency’s invasions of privacy and called for a major overhaul of its operations.

All of this is entirely because of information provided to journalists by Edward Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor who stole a trove of highly classified documents after he became disillusioned with the agency’s voraciousness. Mr. Snowden is now living in Russia, on the run from American charges of espionage and theft, and he faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life looking over his shoulder.

Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight. He may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service. It is time for the United States to offer Mr. Snowden a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home, face at least substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower, and have the hope of a life advocating for greater privacy and far stronger oversight of the runaway intelligence community.” — New York Times

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