Fast Eddie

It sure pisses me off to see former Gov./Mayor Ed Rendell on my teevee, talking against the Chicago teachers strike and pushing the Grand Bargain! (You’d think Stephen Colbert would know better.) In a recent post, Rich Eskow really puts Fast Eddie in perspective:

Consider former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who said today that the Chicago strike is “an important issue, because Rahm Emanuel is showing again that Democrats can stand up to unions when their demands are unreasonable.”

Banker/Democrats always need to show they’re tough, since they’re not willing to be do it where it’s really needed — by prosecuting their colleagues. Who makes a better scapegoat than the teachers who educate our kids? And if teachers don’t like the public bashing, hey — it serves ’em right for causing the financial crisis with all those toxic derivatives.

Banker/Democrats are always practicing their “tough” lines in the mirror. I can see them now asking their advisors, How’s this for tough? “Hey, kids! Ask your homeroom teacher if she’s better off now than she was four years ago!”

Rendell’s a folksy sounding guy with a flair for feisty, if nonspecific, leftish rhetoric. He came to the Governor’s office by way of a Philadelphia law firm called Ballard Spahr. The firm was first established in 1885, right around the time that the phrase “Philadelphia lawyer” became a synonym for “moneyed elite” — and for good reason. It continues to specialize in real estate, mergers and acquisitions, municipal bonds, and other forms of high-finance law.

Ballard Spahr received $22 million in legal fees from the state of Pennsylvania while Rendell was Governor. And when he left office, our “Man of the People” went right back to Ballard Spahr. It’s nice when things work out, isn’t it?

There’s no indication that Rendell ever applied for a job with the Philadelphia School District upon leaving the Governor’s office. In addition to his post-gubernatorial Ballard Spahr partnership, however, Rendell is now a “Senior Advisor” with the investment banking firm of Greenhill & Co.

He is also a regular commentator for MSNBC — the “liberal” alternative to Fox News.

As I tell people about Rendell, “We like him. We just don’t trust him as far as we can throw ‘im.” Perfect example: He’s one of the beloved centrists working to sell us that mess of magic beans called the Grand Bargain. His little group is called Fix The Debt. Charles Pierce puts it all in perspective:

Last week, the group, calling itself Fix the Debt, went public at a news conference urging the president and Congress to embrace a deficit-reduction plan along the lines suggested by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission, which included reforms of a tax code that produces too little and entitlement programs that spend too much. “Think of it as Simpson-Bowles 3.0,” said former Republican senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, who is co-chairman of the effort along with Ed Rendell, the former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania.

No, I don’t think I will think of it that way, and not just because the blog’s First Law of Economics — Fck the Deficit. People Got No Jobs. People Got No Money. — prevents me from greeting the words “Simpson” or “Bowles” with anything except gales of derisive laughter. Rather, I will think of it as the Plutocrats Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of My Wallet. A little clumsier, but more accurate, I think.

(And manly man Ed Rendell can just get stuffed at this point. He’s as much a Democrat where it counts as Tagg Romney is.)

Let me put it this way: If Ed Rendell’s for something, you can be pretty sure it’s not liberal.

The green zone

Nice catch from Marcy Wheeler regarding the Romney campaign’s new blame the media for our inability to run a campaign strategy:

One of Mitt’s advisors–hiding his own identity, but not his affiliation with the campaign of a man who has a car elevator–just said this:

The adviser, granted anonymity to criticize a press corps the campaign still relies on every day, went on to blame a “green room, green zone kind of divide,” saying the national press, most of whom live in New York or DC, “pockets of prosperity,” are isolated from the realities of the harsh economy — and therefore, unable to grasp Romney’s message.

Instead, they are preoccupied by concerns akin to war reporters relaxing in the green zone: “Too much chlorine in the pool, the parties are going on too late, why can’t we get the right flavors of Haagen Dazs? Most people aren’t living in that world.” [my emphasis]

And yes, the people who are doing rather well really are completely detached from how badly the rest of us are doing. There really is a green zone for them.

As Marcy notes in her post, there’s no denying that your librul media elite are oblivious to how the economy affects the lives of ordinary people, but really, the one person who can’t credibly complain on our behalf is vulture capitalist Mitt Romney. After all, he put so many of us in this predicament.

Not that discretion and common sense has ever stopped him from saying this sort of thing.  Remember earlier this year when Romney claimed to be from the “real streets of America.”

Yeah, Easy Street!

‘Defense’ trumps diplomacy

From Salon:

…The Benghazi consulate where Ambassador Christopher Stevens was murdered had no Marines surrounding it, no bulletproof glass and no reinforced doors. Libyan security officials were partly in charge of securing the building.

Among the worst trends in U.S. foreign-policy making in recent decades is the decline of the State Department and the corresponding rise of the Defense Department. State is responsible for American diplomacy — the hard work of negotiating and maintaining relations with other countries; Defense (formerly the Department of War, a more honest designation) looks after war-making and protecting national security. Few things reflect America’s skewed foreign-policy priorities more than the funding discrepancies between the two departments…

Breasts, but no nipples!

From The New Yorker:

The New Yorker has a Facebook page, which a lot of you like, or maybe it’s just one person with a lot of time on their hands, liking the page over and over again. But in any case, it’s a whole lotta like. We like that.

What we don’t like is that we got temporarily banned from Facebook for violating their community standards on “Nudity and Sex,” by posting this Mick Stevens cartoon. [Click here for cartoon and article.]

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