Another Day, Another RNC Fail: RNC To Hold Fundraiser At Blackwater Compound

That’s the same Blackwater which has been accused of murder, illegal weapons smuggling, bribery, fraud (including using taxpayer money to buy strippers and prostitutes) and stealing weapons from the US military, among many other serious crimes.

You know that if the DNC held a fundraiser at, say, an ACORN office then heads would roll, careers would end and the right-wing media would launch a massive weeks-long national outcry.

And yet, almost nobody in the media is making a fuss over the RNC getting into bed with Blackwater.

And to think, ACORN was only accused of was giving bad tax advice.

Double standards much?

ATTENTION GOP DONORS: YOUR PARTY THINKS YOU’RE STUPID, EASILY MANIPULATED

Politico obtained an RNC fundraising presentation that shows what party leaders really think of their donors:

The Republican National Committee plans to raise money this election cycle through an aggressive campaign capitalizing on “fear” of President Barack Obama and a promise to “save the country from trending toward socialism.”

The strategy was detailed in a confidential party fundraising presentation, obtained by POLITICO, which also outlines how “ego-driven” wealthy donors can be tapped with offers of access and “tchochkes.”

The presentation was delivered by RNC Finance Director Rob Bickhart to top donors and fundraisers at a party retreat in Boca Grande, Florida on February 18, a source at the gathering said.

In neat PowerPoint pages, it lifts the curtain on the often-cynical terms of political marketing, displaying an air of disdain for the party’s donors that is usually confined to the barroom conversations of political operatives.

[…]

“What can you sell when you do not have the White House, the House, or the Senate…?” it asks.

The answer: “Save the country from trending toward Socialism!”

[…]

One page, headed “The Evil Empire,” pictures Obama as the Joker from Batman, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leaders Harry Reid are depicted as Cruella DeVille and Scooby Doo, respectively.

[…]

The most unusual section of the presentation is a set of six slides headed “RNC Marketing 101.” The presentation divides fundraising into two traditional categories, direct marketing and major donors, and lays out the details of how to approach each group.

The
small donors who are the targets of direct marketing are described under the heading “Visceral Giving.” Their motivations are listed as “fear;” “Extreme negative feelings toward existing Administration;” and “Reactionary.”

Major donors, by contrast, are treated in a column headed “Calculated Giving.” Their motivations include: “Peer to Peer Pressure”; “access”; and “Ego-Driven.”

[Emphasis mine]

So if you’re a small donor to the GOP, congrats: they think you’re petty, fearful and reactionary.

And if you’re a big donor to the GOP, congrats: they think you’re easily manipulated and egotistical.

That’s what the folks currently running the Republican Party think of their own donors.

But I think the best part of this story is how Politico obtained the presentation:

The 72-page document was provided to POLITICO by a Democrat, who said a hard copy had been left in the hotel hosting the $2,500-a-head retreat, the Gasparilla Inn & Club.

That’s right–the RNC put together this long, detailed, insulting presentation outlining their entire fundraising strategy for 2010 and someone just left it at the hotel, where it was discovered and handed over to the press.

This is what you’re paying for, Republican donors: to be insulted by people so incompetent that they leave a major campaign document sitting around in hotel.

I’d be asking for a refund if I were you.

BREAKING: Democrats Will Use Reconciliation To Pass Health Care Reform (UPDATED)

Politico Breaking News reports:

Sen. Tom Harkin tells POLITICO that Senate Democratic leaders have decided to go the reconciliation route for health care reform. The House, he said, will first pass the Senate bill after Senate leaders demonstrate that they have the votes to pass reconciliation in the Senate.

It’s about time–if Democrats can pass health care reform within the scope of Congressional rules then they should.

And if any conservative tries to whine about this they should be reminded that–between 1995 and 2007 alone–the GOP used reconciliation 7 times.

And do you know what the most recent bill the GOP passed through reconciliation was? It was a health care reform bill, passed in 2005.

UPDATED: People should also remember that Congress won’t be passing the entire health care reform bill through reconciliation.

Health care reform already passed through the House and Senate–the problem here is that the House bill and Senate bill differ slightly.

So reconciliation will be used to, well, reconcile the two bills into one so that it can be sent to the President’s desk.

Just remember that health care reform has already passed through Congress–this is merely intended to iron out the differences between the two versions.

GOP To Unemployed: ‘Tough Sh*t’

So says GOP Sen. Jim Bunning, who is blocking an extension of unemployment benefits that would serve to benefit 1.2 million Americans:

Jim Bunning, a Republican from Kentucky, is single-handedly blocking Senate action needed to prevent an estimated 1.2 million American workers from prematurely losing their unemployment benefits next month.

As Democratic senators asked again and again for unanimous consent for a vote on a 30-day extension Thursday night, Bunning refused to go along.

And when Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) begged him to drop his objection, Politico reports, Bunning replied: “Tough shit.”

Not only did Bunning kneecap America’s unemployed, he then had the gall to complain that his obstructionism caused him to miss–wait for it–a basketball game:

And at one point during the debate, which dragged on till nearly midnight, Bunning complained of missing a basketball game.

“I have missed the Kentucky-South Carolina game that started at 9:00,” he said, “and it’s the only redeeming chance we had to beat South Carolina since they’re the only team that has beat Kentucky this year.

That’s the GOP for you–they got theirs, so they don’t care about anyone else.

Jim Bunning has a massive, taxpayer-funded salary, so he cares more about his basketball game than the 10.7% of Kentuckians who are unemployed.

Unemployed? Tough. Uninsured? Tough. Sorry, Republicans have basketball games to go to, they don’t have time for you and your problems.

But there is hope–Jim Bunning’s retiring. And, this year, we have a chance to replace him with someone who really cares about the people–Dr. Dan Mongiardo.

BREAKING: NY-GOV: Paterson Out

David Paterson–New York’s unpopular, scandal-plagued, accidental Governor– will not seek re-election this year:

Embattled New York Governor David Paterson has decided to withdraw from the race for governor and will not seek election this year, local media reported on Friday.

The Democratic governor, implicated in newly raised questions of impropriety involving a top aide, has been under growing pressure to pull out of the race.

His withdrawal, reported by the New York Daily News and the New York Post, focuses political attention on state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who has been widely expected to challenge Paterson for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

[…]

Paterson was elected lieutenant governor and ascended to the top post two years ago when former Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned amid a prostitution scandal.

It now looks almost certain that Attorney General Cuomo will enter the race. On the Republican side, their candidate is likely to be former Congressman and failed Senate candidate Rick Lazio.

An Important Distinction

Reconciliation is a process, outlined in the Senate rules, through which certain kinds of bills can be passed by a simple majority.

The ‘nuclear option’ was a proposed change to Senate rules that would have eliminated the filibuster in all circumstances.

Why bring this up? Because Republicans are pretending that the nuclear option and reconciliation are the same thing–they’re trying to attack Democrats as hypocrites for opposing the nuclear option but supporting reconciliation for health care reform.

Sorry, Republicans, but words have meanings–you can’t just redefine them in order to smear your political opponents. Reconciliation and the nuclear option are not the same thing, no matter how often you lie about it.

UPDATE: And if conservatives try to claim that reconciliation is rarely-used or somehow unprecedented they should be reminded that–between 1995 and 2007–the GOP used reconciliation 7 times.

Most recently, the GOP used reconciliation to pass–wait for it–a health care reform bill:

  • 2005 – Legislation That Reduced Spending on Medicaid and Raised Premiums on Upper-Income Medicare Beneficiaries
  • 2003 – President Bush’s 2003 Tax Cuts
  • 2001 – President Bush’s Signature $1.35 Trillion Tax Cut
  • 2000 – $292 Billion “Marriage Penalty” Tax Cut (VETOED)
  • 1997 – Balanced Budget Act
  • 1996 – Legislation to Enact Welfare Reform
  • 1995 – “Contract With America” Agenda

[Emphasis mine]

Michael Steele Demonstrates Republican Priorities

The RNC Chair is living the high life using other people’s money:

Republican National Chairman Michael Steele is spending twice as much as his recent predecessors on private planes and paying more for limousines, catering and flowers – expenses that are infuriating the party’s major donors who say Republicans need every penny they can get for the fight to win back Congress.

Most recently, donors grumbled when Steele hired renowned chef Wolfgang Puck’s local crew to cater the RNC’s Christmas party inside the trendy Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue, and then moved its annual winter meeting from Washington to Hawaii.

[…]

A POLITICO analysis of expenses found that compared with 2005, the last comparable year preceding a midterm election, the committee’s payments for charter flights doubled; the number of sedan contractors tripled, and meal expenses jumped from $306,000 to $599,000.

“Michael Steele is an imperial chairman,” said one longtime Republican fundraiser. “He flies in private aircraft. He drives in private cars. He has private consultants that are paid ridiculous retainers. He fancies himself a presidential candidate and wants all of the trappings and gets them by using other people’s money.”

[…]

When Steele took over the chairmanship last winter, he inherited a $23 million surplus. Since then, the former Maryland lieutenant governor has raised $10 million less than the party collected in 2005 and has spent $10 million more. By the end of 2009, the committee’s surplus had shrunk to $8.4 million, according to campaign finance reports.

[Emphasis mine]

The RNC tries to justify this mess by saying that, since there isn’t a Republican in the White House, Steele has to travel a lot more to fundraise than some of his predecessors.

But, again, Steele is spending more and raising less–it certainly doesn’t look like the exorbitant travel, lodging, food and floral (really?) expenditures are profitable investments.

Personally, if I were a Republican donor, I’d be angry that my hard-earned money was going to pamper the RNC Chairman rather than win elections.  Without enough funding, the pool of potential GOP pickups will shrink–and for what? Fancy food, private jets and all of the pretty flowers Michael Steele desires.

(Not to mention the hypocrisy of complaining about Democratic spending policies when the Chair of the GOP is using other people’s money to keep himself knee-deep in Hawaiian junkets and gourmet food. At least we’re creating jobs and improving health care.)