It’s been a great weekend for Pittsburgh sports. From yesterday:
November 30, 2008 will be a day to remember in Steeler Nation, the day the Steelers annihilated New England in a 33 – 10 slaughter.
Ok, ok, wake up. It’s not real. At least not yet.
As the breathless speculation abounds on whether Chris Matthews will indeed make a run for Arlen Specter’s Senate seat in 2010, we also quietly wonder what will become of Matthews’ show on MSNBC, Hardball with Chris Matthews, especially given the fact that Matthews’ contract is up in 2009.
Matthews, who originally hails from Southeastern PA, has some roots here but not much of a connection with the locals, who see him either as A.) part of the elite media ensconced within the Beltway, or B.) Jim Matthews’ more successful brother. Either way, he needs to start getting in touch with the people of the Commonwealth. How to establish that connection?
Enter new BFF Michael Smerconish, the Philadelphia talk show radio host formerly known as a conservative. Smerconish, who stopped short of admitting to feeling a “thrill go up his leg” at the thought of an Obama Presidency, nonetheless endorsed the most liberal candidate for President this country has had since George McGovern because he thought Obama “seemed like a good guy.” Nowadays, Smerconish is almost a regular on Hardball as MSNBC’s token “conservative”, and when not giving Matthews reciprocal time on his own locally aired and highly rated radio show, is often heard promoting those appearances on said radio show.
“Hold on there, Lisa!” You say. “Smerconish has long been a water carrier for Arlen Specter. Why would he encourage a Chris Matthews challenge to Specter’s seat?”
Anyone who has any familiarity with Smerconish knows two things about him: First, it’s all about Michael: my book, my appearance, my cigars, my Christmas light discussion, my column in the Daily News, my column in the Inquirer, my dogs, my car, my ringtones, etc. etc. Secondly, Smerconish is a huge fan of mafia movies and the mafia “code”, therefore this move–while not a move directly against Specter–is one he may consider to be “strictly business” and would therefore fall within bounds of any loyalties to Senator Specter. Plus, as an added bonus, he would never actually have to endorse Matthews and he would still be able to ostensibly support Specter, because this whole charade would only work if Smerconish can keep promoting the illusion that he’s a “conservative.”
Those of us conservatives who were once fans of Smerconish’s abandoned him at some point during his long but steady drift leftwards; for me, the final straw was the post 9/11 pilgrimage with Arlen Specter to Cuba and the presentation of the FDNY Ball Cap to Fidel Castro, but for many others, it came much later with the endorsement of Barack Obama. It has been speculated that perhaps that endorsement was based on Smerconish positioning himself and his radio show in anticipation of the passage of some form of the fairness doctrine.
Theoretically, the endorsement of Obama makes much more sense in the context of positioning Smerconish as the new host of Hardball. In the run up to 2010, Matthews would continue to get local exposure via Smerconish’s show, Smerconish would continue to get national exposure via Matthews’ show. And if MSNBC subsequently hires Smerconish to fill Matthews’ seat, the network suits would get to bill him as a “conservative” on the farthest left leaning cable channel in history, therefore granting a bit of legitimacy to the network most sane people have written off as the Moonbat Channel.
Theoretically speaking, of course.
Who makes Hillary Democrats and Republicans work together?
Well, besides Obama.
One prospect for cooperation going forward is Chris Matthew’s potential candidacy for the US Senate in 2010. After what Matthews did to Hillary Clinton (and then to Sarah Palin), raising misogyny and sexism to a vile artform, he’s truly earned our lifelong scorn, and a promise from everyone here to work our hearts out against him at every twist and turn.
So, if Matthews does indeed seek the Democrats’ nomination in 2010, as expected, we hope Republicans out there join up with us again and help us stop this vile pig from being elected to the Senate. There can only be one person so vile and stomach-turning sitting in the Senate at a time, and that position’s currently filled by Claire McCaskill (who is on our list for defeat in 2012, to be sure).
Awesome… I knew this was coming.
Oh… and there’s the Fox & Friends gang.
No surprise on the Democrat side.
Sen. Bobby Casey’s support of the deceptively titled Employee Free Choice Act — the legislation that scuttles secret ballots for employees intimidated into joining a labor union — “is motivated by the best interests of workers who are too often getting the short end of the stick, especially in the current economy,” spokesman Larry Smar told the Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre.
Our other Senator?
A little more engimatic.
Pennsylvania’s other U.S. senator, Republicrat Arlen Specter, says he’s made no final decision on whether he supports stripping workers of their secret-ballot rights. But here’s a hint: He’s labeled as “dysfunctional” the National Labor Relations Board. We’re not surprised. For Mr. Specter too often views the Constitution in the same way.
I bought my first six-pack at 12:05 am on my 21st birthday at this place.
The neighborhood has soured a bit since.
[Jose] Moldonaldo-Luzuriaga, who worked in the take-out section of Salute, but was not working the night of the accident, but appeared to be intoxicated when he arrived at the bar. As a result the bartender denied the defendant a drink and gave him a glass of water.
When Maldonaldo-Luzuriaga was spotted drinking a Corona, that a friend had given him, he was escorted out of the bar by William Sullo and Carl Slaton, both employees of the bar.
Upon leaving the bar, Moldonaldo-Luzuriaga got in an argument with patrons outside the bar and got into a white Ford pick-up truck. He drove the truck around the parking lot approximately 3 times, without a license, before stopping his truck approximately 45 feet from the front of Salute Restaurant Bar. The defendant revved the engine and traveled at a high rate of speed over the curb striking Sullo and the bar.
In addition to the obvious homicide charges he is also facing reckless driving charges as well as driving without a license.
The lesson of this story? Jose Moldonaldo-Luzuriaga has been living illegally in this country for at least five years.
Defenders might say “Maybe if he had a license to drive he would not have been so rash and quick to anger.”
If our federal officials cared about the borders and visa holders, Mr Sullo would be alive.
Maldonaldo-Luzuriaga will be prosecuted to the fullest extent. If charged, the Maldonaldo-Luzuruaga will serve his time here, in the United States. Once the defendant completes his sentence it will be up to the authorities as to where he will go.
How about the f back where he came from? What’s he going to do in prison? Study for the citizenship exam?
Ed brings up a valid point below: was the selection of Joe Biden as Obama’s running mate just so much window dressing?
Victor Davis Hanson offers an interesting theory on the Corner that is worth quoting at length:
I’ve collated the dozens of articles from liberal thinkers that explain why so far Obama—the candidate of hope and change, and cleaning out the entrenched status quo that so warps our D.C. politics and ensures stasis in our policies—has surrounded himself either with Clintonites, outright Bush people or those who worked closely with them, and centrists of ambiguous politics. The explanations are quite creative and run the gamut:
1) Whom else might a Democrat pick, given that the Carterites are now 28 years out of office, and team Clinton the only experienced circle of liberals still around (and given that Democrats have only been in the executive branch for 8 out of the last 28 years)?
2) This is part of Obama’s brilliant grand strategy. Just wait and see how Machiavellian it works out: By coopting power-hungry centrist pros to enact HIS “progressive” policies, he can advance a leftist agenda much more effectively and fend off gratuitous attacks from the right-wing attack machine.
3) Review what Obama actually promised and you will learn he actually ran a centrist campaign; the problem is that too many liberals simply projected their own agendas on him, and saw what they wished rather than what was there.
4) These are not centrists at all. Gates was at heart a sort of anti-Bush maverick. Hillary and others are liberals that used to be the bane of right-wingers. The new economic team wants to assume government control of essential industries.
5) This is just a small sampling of appointments; wait until you see the U.N. rep, NEA, NEH, key figures at State and Justice. By picking bumper-sticker centrists at the figuratively top spots, he can appoint real progressives under the radar at the bread and butter posts where real policies happen.
Note that the most obvious and embarrassing explanation is taboo and blasphemous: That Obama is a masterful politician who never has had any real ideology or persona other than his own diversity story and history, youth, and charisma that together allow him to be whatever is politically expedient at the time.
That is, there is a pattern here: public campaign financing, FISA, NAFTA, drilling, nuclear power, coal, guns, capital punishment, abortion, Iran, Iraq, the surge, etc. all were repackaged as the primary and general elections evolved. A community organizing past that once welcomed in a Wright, Pfleger, Ayers, Khalidi, became inoperative lest he meet a McGovern-like fate.
And rather than assess carefully the Bush policies, it made better sense to lump them altogether under the general rubric that Bush shredded the Constitution and, as a unilateral preemptivist, ruined the American brand over seas (while knowing privately that when Obama himself assumed office he would leave alone the homeland-security measures, Patriot Act, FISA, etc. to ensure the continuance of the 7-year hiatus from a major attack, and follow Bush/Petraeus in getting out of Iraq to preserve the unexpected victory).
Likewise, privately Obama knew the meltdown was not Bush’s fault per se but a bipartisan miasma a decade in the making, fueled by Wall Street greed, wrongheaded utopian politics, and corruption at Freddie and Fannie—and thus the Bush response was largely to be followed (and this apparently may even extend to not tampering immediately with the existing tax rates.)
The result of all this?
I think we are slowly (and things of course could change) beginning in retrospect to look back at the outline of one of most profound bait-and-switch campaigns in our political history, predicated on the mass appeal of a magnetic leader rather than any principles per se. He out-Clintoned Hillary and followed Bill’s 1992 formula: A young Democrat runs on youth, popular appeal and charisma, claims the incumbent Bush caused another Great Depression and blew Iraq, and then went right down the middle with a showy leftist veneer.
All over the map.
So one of the questions for Chris, in his internal deliberations, will need to be whether he feels he is positioned for his first race against a known quantity (Arlen) or a potential opponent who is very far right. Chris, based on what I know about him, is more moderate than progressive (as Democrats go). To run as a Democrat, he has to be concerned not just with winning or losing, but recapturing a Republican seat, in a year when “60″ will once again be the magic number.
Further, I can’t think of someone who has run for office while doing two hours of TV hosting Monday through Friday. (I’m sure if I’m wrong, one of y’all will come up with the name.) In this environment, would MSNBC allow for that dual role? Probably not, first because it would seem unfair to have a nominee as a broadcaster, and secondly because there are probably not enough hours in the day to hold both jobs simultaneously. So the question becomes, does Chris want to give up his TV gig? Then again, if you read the Times article, that decision may be independent of whatever Chris may want.
First came a report that MSNBC host Chris Matthews met with Pennsylvania Democrats to discuss a 2010 Senate challenge to Republican Arlen Specter. Then came a report that Matthews had previously met with Democratic former Congressman Joe Hoeffel, Specter’s 2004 Democratic opponent, to discuss a bid. Subsequently, a Pennsylvania Democratic Party official went on the record about the meeting. Meanwhile, FiveThirtyEight.com’s Sean Quinn reported that Matthews has reached out to Obama staffers about working on a potential Matthews for Senate campaign. Matthews then denied that report.
For my money, I think it’s awesome that Chris Matthews, brother of County Commissioner Jim, met with his brother’s fellow Commissioner Joe Hoeffel.
Exit question: Was “Republican” Jim Matthews in the room with Democrat Joe Hoeffel and Chris Matthews? You know… you handle the pleasantries and introductions?
Isn’t that jackass leaving the Inkwaster to go annoy other Lousy liberals people??