Sunday, November 19, 2006


You may have been able to tell by my frequent comments about Ivies in the White House, that I don't exactly worship at the NYT editorial page. This weekend, the nice folks who run that page outdid themselves with Ivory Tower lack of understanding of the partisan legislative process in our Congress.

I'm paraphrasing here but, I'm not making this up. They say the Dem's in the house are in disarray because the guy that Pelosi backed for second in command (Murtha--that flaming peacenik) didn't win. Now the party is split and Pelosi showed bad judgment in not avoiding the caucus fight and Hoyer (My name is "Steny" but my friends call me "Steny") will not advance her agenda. They seem to think her agenda has to do with health care for homosexual Orcas if they have gone through a civil ceremony and are employed by the City of San Francisco, anyhow, but I digress......

She made herself STRONGER by backing Murtha. Murtha managed her last two caucus campaigns (Whip and Minority Leader). She owed him her loyalty. That's the way it works in intraparty caucuses. By backing Murtha till the last dog died, she showed anybody else with whom she might make a future deal (Including Tanning Parlor Boehner) that she would deal and "stick". There is no more precious commodity for Congressional Leader.

When Reagan got to town, Speaker O'Neil couldn't stand him. It appeared to be mutual. But O'Neil told Reagan that his programs would get through Congress as long as they didn't cut SS and Medicare. The Speaker also told Reagan why he was going along, "When this turns to crap, I want it to be all your fault!" He did, they did and it was. (That's not my opinion, that's Reagan's Budget Director's opinion.) O'Neil and Reagan became friends because they bost recognized the other's word was more than nominally good. They'd work their respective sides to come through on a promise of delivery. O'Neil became a beloved, National Politician and Character, partly because he was charming but mostly because he was a "Sticker".

Pelosi Just Increased her "Sticker" factor. That will make her stronger, which in turn will make the majority dems stronger.

Why is it that elite editorial types can not figure that out? It's been so for at least 150 years.



At 5:09 PM, November 19, 2006, Anonymous Potstirer said...

Nice "spin" on a funny situation.

At 6:29 AM, November 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know Nancy Pelosi, but Steny Hoyer knows her well. So it is revealing that Hoyer said yesterday that he has sought assurances from Pelosi that she will not retaliate against Representatives who supported him over her choice, Jack "Unindicted Co-Conspirator" Murtha, for Majority Leader. Hoyer feels confident such retaliation won't happen, not because Pelosi isn't vindictive, but because "there are a lot of them." Yeah, like a majority of House Democrats.

It seems that with Pelosi, everything is personal. Her catfight with Jane Harman continues; despite the public outcry over Pelosi's determination to strip Harman of her presumptive chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee, Pelosi has told Harman that she will not a member of that committee in the new Congress. The only question is whether the new committee chairman will be the corrupt bribe-taker Alcee Hastings, or Rep. Silvestre Reyes, who, as far as is publicly known, has not been guilty of any criminal misconduct, but who led the Democrats' effort to pass a liberal immigration bill earlier this year.

So far, the Democratic House majority is not off to an auspicious start.

At 7:38 AM, November 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off topic, but whats with the Cubs signing Soriano? They just have to keep making things harder for my Cards. Why couldn't "Bargain Basement" Jockety have signed have signed him?

Cubs fans everywhere, I hear, callin each other in the middle of the night last night celebrating the news! I guess you have to open up the Tribune's coffers when the CSW & Cards win WS, maybe Tribune feels obligated?

At 9:09 AM, November 20, 2006, Blogger UMRBlog said...


The Harman thing really bothers me. Harman is one of the most significant assets of our Legislative Party. To tank her because of one honest policy dispute and some past CA internecine party fights is a slow growth form of suicide. If ANY democrat is elected president in 08, the director of Whatever the SuperHomelandSecurityEspionage is called then will be Harman. There is no one in second place. (Sorry Richard Clark, you're radioactive.)

Hastings is an embarassment to the United States of America but he comes from Florida. In the immortal words of Colin Cowherd "Florida is a greasefire" (Why you think OJ moved there?).

Reyes says he was supporting his president. That's all I know about that.

At 9:18 AM, November 20, 2006, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Oh, that reminds me. James Carville wrote an excellent book about six years ago called "Stickin'". It is an argument for personal and public loyalty on a moral and pragmatic basis.


At 10:07 AM, November 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deja Vu .........

I think I heard this before . It must have been when I found enlightenment upon reaching my center .


At 10:48 AM, November 20, 2006, Blogger UMRBlog said...

ok 1007,

So I have pet topics. I try to only bring them up when they apply. At least you gotta give me I walk my talk, even during the height of "shunfest".


At 11:48 AM, November 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ehhh you missed the point .

A Non-maze

the center


around 10 am

Now go see BORAT and tell me that a fake fight scene with 2 Naked men from the "'Stans" beating each other up and breaking up a Bankers conference butt naked with a rubber fist isn't gut wrenching .

If you ever feel "shunfest" again , you can walk a path to reflect and find enlightenment once you reach the center .


At 1:40 PM, November 20, 2006, Blogger UMRBlog said...

I mis-ID'd one good buddy for another. A little busy today. Not leaning into the blogosphere today.

I always wondered whether a corn maze should be just called a "maize"


At 2:29 PM, November 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


The incoming Speaker may believe that the large number of Hoyer supporters just gives her a target-rich environment to wreak mass vengeance.

Pass. The. Popcorn. This should be interesting to watch.

At 2:45 PM, November 20, 2006, Blogger UMRBlog said...


Interesting contest of values. Do I learn from 12 years in the wilderness and build coalitions or do I sprint through 12 years getting even with all of my grievances, real or imagined?

Rahm and the black caucus may have to team up to avoid a greasefire. It's a fair point but I think to some extent Pelosi's doctrinal disputes are caricatured. It's also possible her personal disputes are not.



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