Romney’s tax extension is a political blunder

In tennis they call it an “unforced error.”  It is an action that allows your opponent to score without the opponent having to do anything at all.  And it is what Mitt Romney just did by filing for an extension on his 2011 Federal tax return — to October 15, 2012, about three weeks before the presidential election.

Six month extensions are legal.  I have used them in the past.  But I’m not running for President.  And the issue of Mitt Romney’s failure to disclose his tax returns is one that Obama and his news media allies are going to wring around Romney’s neck for the rest of the campaign.  Romney has literally set-up the issue that he “has something to hide” in his finances by not offering more serious attention to the matter.  Romney may see his six-month extension as a way to avoid immediate disclosure of his finances and a year-long discussion of the details.  He can say “I haven’t filed yet” as an excuse to avoid public disclosure. But in doing so, he is demonstrating himself to possess poor political judgment, and poor “crisis management” ability, because his extension only helps his critics make the case that he is out-of-touch with the average American and hurts the chances of Republican victory in November.

Candidates for Federal office, whether President, Senate or Congress, are not required to disclose their actual personal tax returns.  Those returns are entitled to the same level of privacy that the IRS promises each and every taxpayer.  However, all federal candidates must complete a personal financial disclosure form, and in the case of a candidate for President that is “Office of Government Ethics Form 278.”  Form 278 essentially pulls out of the Federal tax return and makes public most any information that might constitute a conflict of interest. It is a good thing; as candidates for President should be subject to conflict-of-interest disclosures.

Even though the Form 278 makes public most any relevant information, an “old saw” of political campaigns is for a wealthy candidate to be challenged to disclose their actual personal tax returns by an opponent.  The challenge only really becomes a continuing news story if the wealthy candidate refuses to basically give a copy of their taxes to the news media.  At which point the story widens to claims of “what does he have to hide?”, all such mud-slinging being intended to wear down the credibility of the wealthy candidate in the eyes of the public.

Romney himself gave life to such claims against him when he was initially reluctant to disclose his 2010 tax returns during the Republican presidential primaries.  He eventually gave in to calls to disclose his tax returns, which showed he paid $3 million on $22 million in income, including $3 million in gifts to charity.  But his disclosure blew-up in his face because a Swiss bank-account and some other overseas investments revealed on the personal tax returns were not included in his Form 278 filing.  This lead to Obama calling on Romney for more prior year tax return disclosures, including for the time Romney headed the private equity firm Bain Capital.  Comparisons were drawn to Romney’s father, George, who had released 12 years of tax returns prior to his bid for the Presidency in the 1960s, and George W. Bush, who released 17 years worth of tax returns prior to his election.

With his team of 100s of staffers and policy advisers, one would think that Romney would have learned that any fooling around with his current tax return would be a political mistake.  But apparently he didn’t learn.  Obama’s staff made the predictable statement yesterday when they learned of the Romney tax extension — “what does he have to hide?,” said campaign manager Jim Messina.  Look for more of that theme about Romney in the next few months — all predictable, and it will hurt Romney.

If Romney takes a full extension to file his taxes, they won’t be available for public disclosure until just three weeks before the presidential election.  It may be that Romney just doesn’t want to reveal his taxes before the Republican Convention in August, and that he is more worried about getting past his presumptive nomination without further disclosures, than what Obama might say about him in the meantime.  Regardless, the Obama team will surely exploit the situation by issuing press statements and staging news events that will reflect poorly on Romney’s “late filing” until it becomes public.  And it is just as predictable that there will be something wrong with Romney’s eventual tax filing, which Obama’s team will seize on to further beat down Romney’s credibility.  Sadly, the state of the economy, gasoline prices, job creation, and the rest get sidelined to news reports created simply because Romney did not file his taxes on time.

Courtesy Citizens for Tax Justice, Flickr


Obama popular while unemployment, gas prices soar in California

Gasoline prices in California are $1.00 a gallon more than the average cost in the rest of the country according to the Los Angeles Times.  Since Obama took office in 2009, gas prices have risen around 100% nationwide and even worse in California.  According to the California Energy Commission, on January 21, 2009, the day after Obama took office, a gallon of regular gasoline in this state cost $2.06 on average.  On March 12, the same gallon of gas cost $4.38, a 106% increase under Barack Obama.

Astronomical gas prices are not California’s only problem.   Unemployment is 10.9% here, higher than the rest of the nation (8.3% nationwide), and at record rates still in important former “growth” counties like San Bernardino, where last week the unemployment rate grew from 11.9 percent in December to 12.3% now, around 40% higher unemployment than the national average.

One would think that California citizens, ranging all the way across the political spectrum from the Tea Party to the Occupy Movement, would be united in anger against the President’s economic policies, and taking it out on him in the Presidential polls.  But the reality is very much to the contrary.  While automobile dependent unemployed Californians continue to be the chump at the filling station, Obama’s support in California is reaching all time high levels of popularity.  In fact, Obama’s strongest large state nationwide appears to be California.

Mid-February polling by Field, Survey USA and Rasmussen Reports gave Obama an average 23.6 % lead over Romney in a one-on-one vote, with Obama at 57.3% to Romney’s 33.7%.  These figures are landslide proportions for Obama, and even threaten to exceed the other biggest lopsided vote in a Presidential election in California, as in 1964, which left the Republican party in shambles nationwide: Johnson vs. Goldwater.  In 1964, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater only managed to carry five states across the country against incumbent Democratic President Lyndon Johnson.  Goldwater was creamed in California but still managed to get about 41% of the vote here, and at a time when the demographics of the state were far more favorable to Republican candidates.  The fact that Romney is polling so much lower than Goldwater’s results at a time when Californians are really hurting suggests that if Romney is the eventual nominee, he may sadly be in for a thumping bigger than even Goldwater’s.

What is it about Obama and California voters?  Perhaps a better question is simply “what is it about California voters?”  One party dominance in Sacramento has lead to disaster economically in the state, which spends far more than in takes in and which has lost control to public employee unions on issues like pay, benefits, and pensions.  It is hard to believe that things could be worse in the Golden State from a policy level; yet Democrats keep winning elections here.  Will California voters ever wake up?  Maybe not in 2012.

Courtesy Tony Fischer Photography, flickr


Ban the “seven dirty words” in California Classrooms

Want to take a small step step to help build a more lofty civil society?  Then let’s ban teachers from allowing profanity inside California classrooms.  Not all cuss words; just the seven “dirty words” that the Federal Communications Commission has banned from public airway television and radio broadcasts since it won a Supreme Court ruling in the case of FCC vs. Pacifica Broadcasting in 1978.

The issue of decent discourse in public schools recently came into focus in the Arizona state school system, where a teacher urged high school students in class to yell profanities at each other more or less as a socialization project.  Outraged parents responded by complaining to the school district and to officials, and our friend State Senator Lori Klein (R-Anthem) authored a simple bill that has achieved national attention that would punish offending teachers who allowed obscene and profane communications in the classroom with suspension and even termination for multiple offenses.  “You’re there to be educated” Klein told the Associated Press, “You’re not there to talk smack.”

Banning the seven dirty words in California classrooms is recognized as constitutional given the FCC Supreme Court precedent.  Doing so is desirable for a myriad of reasons: children are impressionable and mostly learn their socialization skills in the classroom, interacting with other children.  A child’s communications skills move from simple to complex during the school years and sociologists understand that “mimicry”, especially of authority figures, plays a lasting role in communications development.  Moreover, a general moral decline has been recognized as growing within public school systems across America, which has been studied at Universities and written about by such authors as former Education Secretary William Bennett.  Bennett cites the Supreme Court’s “outlawing” of prayer in public schools as a source of the decline, noting in cultural indexes that between 1960 and 1990 divorce doubled, teenage pregnancy went up 200%, teen suicide increased 300%, and violent crime went up 500%.  It is clear that we are at risk of slowly becoming an “anything goes” society, and that result does not bode well for the future of our nation and our children.  As Rudy Giuliani learned as Mayor of New York, “small things did matter” in trying to turn back a culture of fear and crime in New York City, and to work towards a more civil society.

In the 1970s profane comedian George Carlin made a great living touring the country and swearing at his shows during his monologue “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.”  Some might have thought it was funny at the time, but what lasting contribution did Carlin ever leave for America’s school children?  If California’s public school children aren’t allowed to pray in the classroom, they at least shouldn’t have a teacher who allows obscenity in the classroom.  I think our friend, Arizona State Senator Lori Klein’s bill to ban swearing in public school classrooms is a good idea, and I hope some members of the California Legislature will put this positive idea for advancing civil society into law in our state as well.

Obama Crushed in Missouri Presidential Preference Vote

Missouri will be a key “swing” state in next November’s decisive vote for the Presidency.  In 2008, Republican candidate John McCain barely won the state against President Obama, beating him by just 3,903 votes statewide, 49.4% to 49.3%.  But judging by voter interest, or lack thereof, in Barack Obama’s re-election last night in the all-party Missouri Presidential preference ballot, the President does not appear to have improved his chances of winning the state in the 2012 Presidential election.

Obama was surprisingly only able to gain a relatively dismal 19.7% of the total vote in the “Show Me” State, barely capturing more votes than Republican Mitt Romney, with 64,405 to Romney’s 63,826.  Rick Santorum was the big winner, with nearly twice Obama’s and Romney’s votes, at 138,957, or close to 43% of the total votes of all candidates statewide.  In comparison to the votes given to the Republican candidates and other minor candidates on the ballot, Obama’s showing in Missouri was dismal.

While the election night was a Santorum blow-out and might be called a significant rejection of Romney on the Republican side, the significance of the returns in such an important Presidential “battle ground” state also reveal a real lack of enthusiasm among Obama voters that now cannot be ignored by the President’s campaign team.  The mainstream media has pretty much blacked-out reporting and analysis on Obama’s fairly consistent lackluster returns in the 2012 Presidential primaries where voters have been able to actually chose for or against him on a paper ballot.  Though Obama’s nomination as the Democratic standard-bearer is a foregone conclusion, his primary vote performance can also be seen as a sort of measure of how motivated his core support in the Democrat party will be to actually show up at the polls in November and propel him into another four years of service as President.  And so far, with vote totals down over 50% in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary vote, and now with the results in Missouri, Obama and his core supporters have little to show for these early primary races.

Photo courtesy mediaorgenyc, Flickr


Obama Blanked Out in Florida and South Carolina Primary Voting

While all the attention in the recent South Carolina and Florida primaries was focused on the GOP candidates competing in those states, it is interesting to note that President Barack Obama, who really has no serious opposition for the Democrat nomination for President, continues to show a rather lackluster performance among the Democratic voters in the primary states where he is on the ballot.  We previously reported that Obama’s support in Iowa and New Hampshire (where other minor Democratic candidates were allowed on the ballot), was down over 50% from 2008 in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.

But in the recent, highly publicized Florida primary, Obama didn’t even appear on the ballot because the State of Florida, in cooperation with the Democratic National Committee, declared a “blank ballot” in the Democratic primary election.  Hum….

And in South Carolina, delegates for the Democratic National Convention were selected by a “caucus” rather than a direct election, thus party insiders did not have to expose Obama to a vote of the people to confirm his nomination in South Carolina.

It comes as no surprise that an incumbent President who also has a seasoned Chicago political machine behind him would have little difficulty winning his party’s nomination for President again.  But wouldn’t it be better for America to make him actually have to face more of the Democratic voters?  Or are those Chicago operatives a little worried about Democratic turn-out and support, even if Obama is the only serious candidate on the ballot?



Obama’s dismal early primary vote support down over 50%

As Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton went into the Democratic National Convention in 2008 against Barack Hussein Obama, she had received a majority of the popular vote against Obama, 18,045,829 to 17,869,419.  Still, Obama and his Chicago machine managers fairly easily wrestled away the nomination for President from her.  Yet what is now more amazing, is that in the Iowa and New Hampshire primary elections this Presidential election, Obama is doing far worse in popular vote than during 2008.

True, Obama doesn’t have Hillary Clinton to run against in 2012, but isn’t it strange that not only are none of the vote totals Hillary racked-up transferring over to Obama, but even Obama voters themselves have diminished?  Obama voters and other traditional Democratic voters in the early primaries seen to be scurrying away from him like “rats on a sinking ship.”

Here are some popular vote totals and comparisons: in 2008 Obama received 104,404 votes in New Hampshire, finishing second to Hillary Clinton, who had 112,404 votes.  But on Tuesday in New Hampshire, Obama, with 81.54% of the vote in the Democratic primary, received only 47,220 total votes.  That is less than 50% of his 2008 vote total in the Granite State, not including all the missing Hillary voters!  Overall Democratic votes in New Hampshire in 2012 were just 20% of the total in 2008, down from 287,527 in 2008 to just 57,913 in 2012!  Not a great sign for voter turnout in November for Obama.

In Iowa, which Obama won in 2008, he gained about 24,000 caucus votes in 2012.  But in 2008 his total caucus votes were much higher, and though hard to exactly peg because the Iowa Democratic Party did not release actual vote totals for the caucuses in 2008, Obama consistently won over 50% of the vote in tiered district and county caucuses where turnout “shattered records” according to CNN, with 227,000 attendees.  Winning those caucuses with over 50% of the vote, Obama ultimately received close to 40% of the total delegates allowed.  It is a fair estimate to say that Obama received about 110,000 votes of the 227,000 who participated in caucuses in Iowa in 2008, as compared to about 24,000 in 2012, demonstrating another sharp drop off in voter support, which is down to about 20% of 2008 levels in Iowa, and consistent with the big voter fall-off for Obama in New Hampshire.

The fact is, Ron Paul even got more votes in New Hampshire this week, at 56,223, than Obama at 47,220, and Romney creamed them both with 96,773.  While the Republican nomination is still not yet completely settled, the tea leaves are surely not forecasting too well in the early primary states for President Obama.

Mitt Romney’s narrow Iowa win is really a defeat

Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for President that Barack Obama fears most, won the Iowa caucus last night by 8 votes over former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Rick Santorum.  Both candidates ended up with about 25% of the vote, yet Romney’s campaign outspent Santorum in Iowa by a margin of around 100 – 1.  And a Super-PAC backing Romney had spent close to $3 million in addition in Iowa by the end of December, while one supporting Santorum spent much less, at $347,000, according to the Des Moines Register.

How could Romney’s spending advantage and favorable polling results against Obama not have impressed Iowa Republicans enough to give him an indisputable victory?  A big Iowa victory would have given him a stepping-stone to another victory in New Hampshire next week and a chance to try to “clear the field” of the remaining Republican rivals.  But that didn’t happen in Iowa.

The reason is that 75% of Republican voters in poll after poll across the nation are simply not interested in Mitt Romney.  Those Republicans want a different candidate, and one with a more conservative record.  And the Iowa results reflected that sentiment.

As one digs deeper into the Iowa tallies, it is clear that Mitt Romney is no stronger in 2012 than he was during his losing campaign for the Republican nomination in 2008.  According to the results in Iowa in 2008, Romney won 29,949 caucus votes.  At the time, it was seen as a disappointing result of 25.2% of the vote because rival Mike Huckabee finished well above Romney with 34.4% of the vote.  Though Romney finished in first place last night by the thinnest of margins, his overall vote total of 30,015 was just 66 votes more than he received in 2008 – and that was against what some pundits have referred to as a “weaker field of opponents” in this election.

Try as he may, Romney’s support, again and again, peaks at about 25% of the GOP field and then stops.  I fear that is not a marker of a candidate who can beat Barack Obama.  Romney will need very enthusiastic support from Republicans to beat Obama in November.  But if there is now any candidate that is destined to lose steam in the race for the Presidency as a result of his tepid Iowa showing, it is now Mitt Romney.  In this sense, Romney was defeated last night.

Yet Romney was not a biggest loser last night.  While Michele Bachmann’s campaign has been running on fumes for months now, and is simply going nowhere, the biggest loser last night was Texas Governor Rick Perry.  Perry’s campaign and his Super-PAC outspent everyone in the race — even Mitt Romney, on campaign advertising, putting more than $5 million into the race to end up with a disappointing 10% of the vote and a fifth place finish.  If former Agriculture Commissioner Perry cannot compete in a farming state like Iowa, he will surely not do well in important northern primary states like New Hampshire.  His campaign has just fell flat, perhaps outclassed by the balance of the field in national campaign experience.  He looked wise and gracious last night at his post-vote campaign  speech when he said he would be going back to Texas to “reflect” on whether he would continue his campaign, and it is pretty clear now that GOP voters would like both him, and Bachmann, to do that.

Romney might still be the odds on favorite to win the GOP nomination in a narrowed field, but the race is now essentially between him, Santorum, and Gingrich.  Gingrich has a chance to do well in New Hampshire with the endorsement of the influential Manchester Union Leader.  He could turn around very quickly with another win in South Carolina, which will be proceeded by a debate that will help him.  And remember Gingrich hails from neighboring Georgia as the primaries proceed from South Carolina to Florida.  Rick Santorum, in the meantime, and like Gingrich, is pledged to “take the gloves off” to finally challenge Romney’s waffling record on conservative issues.  That could be Romney’s further undoing in the next round of GOP primaries.  Who knows, this race may end up being so convoluted that California Republicans, with our large cache of delegates at stake, will have a major say in the outcome of the GOP presidential nominee as late as our June primary election.  Regardless, it looks to me like Romney may be in the process of losing his grip on the nomination.

Oakland in disarray and revolt: Quan recall expands to include five school board members

Mayor Jean Quan is not the only politician under heavy fire in Oakland, reports the East Bay Express Online and Oakland Tribune.  But her legacy at the city’s school district is at issue.  Five of seven Oakland Unified School District board members are now targeted for a parallel recall petition to be circulated in roughly the same period as the Mayor Quan recall petition, on complaints that the board members want to “close schools.”  Jody London, David Kakishiba, Jumoke Hinton-Hodge, Gary Yee and Chris Dobbins all received their formal “notices of recall” yesterday at an Oakland Unified School District board meeting.  Recall representatives site closure of five elementary schools and plans to close more as the reason for their recall petitions.  The Superintendent of Schools has stated that Oakland operates too many schools for its 38,000 students.  Recall proponents apparently seek to push back from demographic changes over the years that have affected the ability of Oakland’s school system to deliver satisfactory education at a reasonable cost.  However, just a little research shows that Oakland U.S.D. has huge systemic problems well beyond school closures.

Oakland U.S.D School Board and administrators. From Oakland USD website.

Mayor Jean Quan was chairman of the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education until 2002.  She was a councilmember before her election as Mayor.

A news media “investigation” by Fox Channel 2 not too long ago found that Oakland schools had among the lowest test scores in the country, suffered from a lack of textbooks and other materials, broken bathrooms and buildings in decrepit conditions, hazardous stairs, and had classrooms infested by rats at the same time the school board was paying $100,000 for a redesign of its official logo, $25,000 for a different logo on cafeteria workers smocks, and $20 million for outside consultants and businesses over a period of two years, including more than $100,000 to a group called “Dance for Power” to build ethnic pride.  One consulting company earned $500,000 to teach teachers on new ways to communicate with students.  The school district spent $65,000 for private offices for each board member, (a total of over $500,000) on a perk not offered by hardly any other school system in the state.

The annual budget of the school district is over $400 million.

The Oakland school system is apparently in vast disarray.  In August, its own police chief, Pete Sarna, while allegedly drunk, used the “N-word” repeatedly in a dress-down of a subordinate officer who is African-American.  Just a few years before, Sarna’s predecessor, Art Michael, was forced to early retirement after being caught on tape arresting a young female Oakland Tribune reporter for accidentally (and with minor damage) “hitting his car” in an “F-word” rant laced with other profanities and aggressive behavior.

Oakland Unified School District has been very troubled for a number of years.  While he was Mayor, Jerry Brown urged the state to take over management of the school district from an incompetent school board as it sunk into bankruptcy.  In 2010, after receiving the largest loan ever made by California to a school district, Oakland Unified emerged from receivership $89 million in debt.  History buffs will recall the sad day in 1973 when Oakland U.S.D. Superintendent of Schools Marcus Foster, himself an African-American admired by local leftist activists, was shot with hollow-point bullets packed with cyanide and murdered by Donald DeFreeze (known as “Field Marshall Cinque”, and also an African-American) and the left-wing revolutionary “Symbionese Liberation Army” that kidnapped Patty Hearst, reportedly because Foster had reluctantly agreed with Oakland U.S.D. school officials to issue a type of identification card for each student.

It is hard to believe that just a recall will fix the Oakland schools.


Can Dianne Feinstein be beaten?

She is 78 and is already in her lifetime a character in a dramatic grand Opera. She has been depicted in movies. She is an iconic California politician. But she still can’t get better than 56% against Birther Orly Taitz in a polling matchup. Daily Kos, no fan of Taitz’s, says “even a ham sandwich” could get Taitz’s 29% in California against Feinstein. The question is, can she be beaten?

The answer is apparently no. And the reason is while Feinstein does not draw overwhelming numbers, when matched against every single possible credible Republican candidate, such as Tom Campbell, Congressman Devin Nunes, Carly Fiorina, or Steve Poisner, she consistently scores in the mid 50% majority range and the rest do not break even 40%. Even Poisner is tight, besting Taitz in match ups with Dianne by just 34% vs. 29%.

It is a pity for Republicans. Feinstein’s iconic stature should not have her polling less than 60% in all match ups. Her funding has been messed up by a treasurer thievery scandal. She is probably too old to run a truly vigorous campaign. She is more liberal than the rest of the state, and the November 2012 ballot should be decidedly anti-incumbent in California. A Golden State version of Florida’s conservative Marco Rubio, well funded with strong appeal to Latino voters, should be ideal. But that candidate has not come forward. It will also be a terrible pity for California Republicans if our nomination goes to Taitz by default. The result will be further proof of the permanent super minority status we have brought on ourselves.

Dianne Feinstein in Outer Space

Pelosi in denial on her unethical insider trading

It was quite a night last Sunday to see CBS “60 Minutes” show actually take on a powerful liberal Democrat, none other than California’s Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, for her self-serving unethical financial behavior.  That has usually been reserved for conservative Republicans over the history of the show, regardless of such sizzling reports as bags of $100,000 in cash being discovered in the freezer at former Democrat Congressman William J. Jefferson’s home in Louisiana, news of which never seemed to make the show.









It was also breathtaking for me to see that 60 Minutes built its story around our state’s own Hoover Institution and its’ Scholar Peter Schweizer’s excellent research on insider trading by members of Congress.  Peter is a brilliant conservative whom I first met as a young man when we were both associated with Young America’s Foundation.  He started writing books at a young age and has built an impressive body of work.  It is wonderful to see him hit the really “big time” with an important newsworthy program of national importance.

All that said, since Sunday, Nancy Pelosi has been making statements to the press that are more in denial about her personal financial ethical lapses than Jerry Sandusky’s creepy statements about “just horsing around” with 10 year boys in the Penn State athletic program’s showers.

The claim made against Pelosi is that she bought stock in at least eight initial public offerings (IPOs) of stock while having access to information and some control over legislation that would affect the value of the stock right after the offering, thus allowing her to make a hefty, immediate short term profit immediately after obtaining the stock.  In 2008, just one of the stocks was in shares of a credit card company, VISA, a company that was concerned about proposed “pro-consumer” legislation that would regulate their activities.  Pelosi’s profit alone in this stock rose $100,000 in just two days after she purchased it, and the legislation VISA was concerned about never made it to the floor of the House in that session, where Pelosi was Speaker of the House and controlled what bills were brought forward for a vote.

Two days after the 60 Minutes piece aired, Pelosi fired back, as reported by a generally sympathetic San Francisco Chronicle, her hometown newspaper, that the show “omitted key information” and was a “right wing smear.”  Of course it boggles the mind that the words “60 Minutes” and “right wing smear” would ever appear in the same sentence, let alone coming from the lips of press hack Drew Hammill, one of Rahn Emanuel’s protege’s, for liberal Pelosi.  60 Minutes is hardly a member of the “vast right wing conspiracy” that a younger Hillary Clinton used to rail about.  The fact that they based a segment of a show around research generated by conservative Schweizer, who holds a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from Oxford University and has written seven or eight books, including one that the New York Times called “the best” of the books on the Bush family, hardly supports a claim of a “right wing smear.”  In fact, Schweizer’s credibility and the other politicians the show picked-on proves the opposite.  And frankly, it is about time that the main stream media started giving more recognition to some of the excellent work of “deep thinkers” at institution’s like Hoover, which house many Peter Schweizer’s under their roofs.  “Right wing smear?”  The show I saw focused even more on claims against Republicans, not just Pelosi.  But most telling is Pelosi’s own first reaction, which was to do her own smear job against her detractors, and her failure to also own up to the fact that she made a bundle of money in a short period of time based on her insider knowledge and powerful position, in which she could control and contain the very legislation that would hurt her investment in the short term.

Now Pelosi’s argument has turned to self-congratulation about how pro-consumer she is and that “Congress never passed more critical reforms of the credit card industry than under the (former) Speakership of Nancy Pelosi.”  My reaction?  Well, she definitely DID NOT pass that legislation when it mattered to her personally in those two days after her IPO investment.  And even Benito Mussolini saw it was in his interest to make the trains run on time.

Congress needs to adopt laws that they impose on the rest of us.  Many years ago the House bank was reformed so Members of Congress couldn’t bounce checks without consequences like the rest of America.  So too should Members of Congress not be able to trade off their insider knowledge to personally profit on their control and knowledge of proposed legislation.  Pelosi should join Republican Congressman Spencer Bachus, also a target of the story, in holding hearings on this issue and enacting new legislation preventing it in future.  For once in her political life, she should stop smearing and blaming conservative Republicans for her own mistakes, and have the decency to say to us that like all God’s children, nobody is perfect, including Nancy Pelosi.