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Folding

Out here in California, the local Democrats are on the verge of making an historic deal -- one that would betray their long-time union allies. Read about it in my latest L.A. Weekly column. Money talks. Suckers walk.

74 Responses to “Folding”

  1. richard locicero Says:

    Oh Dear! Lo the poor Indian! Well, what do you expect? After all we are all aware that Democrats are always up to no good so I guess I’ll just let those nice Republicans in the Legislature – the ones that want to scalp all them Mexican terrorists – run things.

    Who need Rush and Michele when you’ve got Marc?

  2. richard locicero Says:

    I can’t speak to the merits or demerits of the bill but I do know that in Connecticutt when the casino opened in Ledyard on
    Pequot land, people came out of the woodwork claiming to be one of the last of the Mohicans so this is not some idle issue for the tribes. I know the Agua Caliente folks out Palm Springs way have always been very careful over who is or isn’t a member.

  3. leftside Says:

    A few details left out of this piece:

    The State of Califnornia is losing $1.3 million dollars a day with no deal.

    A Federal Court changed everything in February when it ruled, for the first time, that Indian casinos must follow the same Federal labor standards as every employer in the nation. That took the decision making authority out of the State’s hands, or at least promised a lengthy court battle to settle the matter whether the State can intervene. It could potentially cost taxpayers upwards of a billion dollars if the Dems dug in their heels.

    Any union has every right to organize the casino workers under National Labor Relations Board standards, which may not be the best, but it is the law of the land. National Dems are trying to fix the problem for all American workers.

    The issue of “betrayal” is all about “card check.” While I support card check, I think ignoring the tough decision lawmakers were forced into with the Court’s decision and loss of funds does not help the debate.

  4. Mavis Beacon Says:

    Oh, come on. I thought you had a nice comment on Hillary’s assent, RLC, but what are you talking about here? Marc’s criticism of the behavior of Democrats for doing actual bad things is just like Rush Limbaugh? Honest criticism is the same as raving lunacy as long as it’s directed at Democrats? That’s ridiculous.

    My understanding (based on both Marc’s work and other articles) is that some tribal leaders are expelling members to enrich themselves and stifle political disagreement. Anybody disagree with that? Or are we just comiserating about the trials and tribulations of elected Democratic officials in California?

  5. eli Says:

    just get the expelled members to come back as labor organizers! then they can’t be prosecuted… (although yes, still no stipend)

    SB 331: http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/sen/sb_0301-0350/sb_331_bill_20070410_amended_sen_v98.pdf
    Subdivision (a) [the law] shall not apply to any of the following:(1) Any person engaged in lawful labor union activitiespermitted to be carried out on property by the CaliforniaAgricultural Labor Relations Act (Part 3.5 (commencing withSection 1140) of Division 2 of the Labor Code), or by the NationalLabor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. Sec. 151 et seq.).

  6. Marc Cooper Says:

    Leftside.. you ought to apply as a PR hack for the anti-union tribes. You’ve got their line down perfect, you at least ought to be paid for parroting it! What a load of crap.

    Im fully aware of the recent legal ruling. HOWEVER, the Indian gaming compacts are VOLUNTARY. And no law — federal or state– prevents any employer from voluntarily complying with card-check neutrality. It’s written into several of the compacts of Northern California tribes where unions flourish.

    Your blithe implication of how easy it is to organize under NLRB guidelines reveal you real world ignorance. The Agua Caliente tribe, just to pick one example, spent millions of dollars crushing such a union drive — but that seems no impediment to Fabian Nunez sitting down to play patty cake with them.

    So you and RLC ought to just face the simple truth: the California Democrats have decided the tribes are richer than the unions and are backing down on the demand for card check. What part of that do you hacks not understand? And yes, RLC, of course, Im the very embodiment of Rush Limbaugh. No, in fact, I AM Rush Limbaugh. That’s what compels me to criticize such good hearted leaders as Romero and Nunez/

  7. Woody Says:

    Hau! I wantum my cut from casinos.

  8. jim hitchcock Says:

    I’m a card carrying member of the Delaware Nation, which refuses to stoop to opening a casino on their land (in Oklahoma)…but they do of course sell cigarettes.

    Sigh.

  9. listener_on_the_sidelines Says:

    From me, you’ll get, shekó:lih (Iroquois Confederation; the Oneida); not, hau.

    This purge has greed written, in gilt, all over it. Althoooouugh… many of these societies were determined through matrilineal descent. I don’t know if that includes the Pechanga tribe. Seems like there ought to be some clause that could be invoked, that if they hadn’t been disenrolled some number of years before the revenues from gambling became apparent, the tribe doesn’t get to just boot folks out now. Still, when it comes to the reservation, I’m not sure federal jurisdiction amounts to a hill of corn seed.

  10. K Nardy Says:

    How! Me Thinkum this writing from The L.A. Weekly
    have Heep big racist overtones. Scripe should have
    left the F-Troop cliches in the plains of our fathers
    many moons ago.

    First question on a hit piece like this is… did the
    Congresswoman get a chance to respond or comment?
    Since it says nothing to that effect, I assume She wasn’t
    given the chance… and I ignore.

  11. Hank Quevedo Says:

    MARC- YOU HAVE A LONG HISTORY OF BEING DISMISSIVE OF ISSUES OF SOVEREIGNTY. SOVEREIGNTY MEANS SOMETHING…SOMETHING THAT IT NEVER MEANT BEFORE GAMING. VIOLATION OF 157 TREATIES (WHICH ARE ACCORDING TO THE US CONSITUTION, THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND) GAVE NATIVES NO RECOURSE EVEN WHEN THE SUPREME COURT RULES IN OUR FAVOR. WE REALIZED THAT A NATION NEEDS TWO THINGS FUNDAMENTAL TO SOVEREIGNTY: A SYSTEM OF DEFENSE AND A TREASURY OR ELSE SOVERIGNTY IS JUST CHEST THUMPING DISPLAY. WE ALSO NOW HAVE INTER-TRIBAL MUTUAL DEFENSE COMPACTS.

    THE TRIBES THINK VERY CAUTIOUSLY NOW WHEN THEY WAIVE SOVEREIGNTY, NOT BECAUSE OF A PARTIVULAR ISSUE INVOLVED BUT BECAUSE OF THE PRECEDENTS IT SETS AND THE BAD HABITS OF THE JUDICIARY IN REFUSING TO OBEY THE LAW. I’VE BEEN ON YOUR ASS ABOUT THIS SINCE DAY ONE. YOU NEVER REFER TO SOVEREIGNTY AND ITS MEANING IT DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY WHICH IS YOUR PREROGATIVE…BUT ITS ABSENCE INTENTIONALLY FAILS TO INFORM.

    WHEW! THAT SAID…MY BELIEF IS THAT BECAUSE OF BEING FUCKED OVER BY WHITES OF BOTH LEFT AND WHITE STRIPE, TRIBES SHOULD BE EXEMPLARS OF A JUST AND LIVING WAGE, DECENT HEALTH CARE AND THE BEST AND SAFEST WORKING CONDITIONS SO THAT WE DO NOT EMULATE THE WHITE MAN IN THE RACE TO THE BOTTOM.

    I HAVE ADVOCATED TO MY FRIENDS AND CO-RELIGIONIST TRIBAL CHAIRMAN THAT THEY ACCOMODATE THE WORKERS BY PREVAILING WAGE STRATEGIES AND WELCOME A UNION SHOP AT THE SOLE, VOLUNTARY CHOICE OF THE CASINO EMPLOYEES. SO FAR, I HAVE BEEN A VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS BUT REACTIONARIES LIKE YOU AND YOUR CHUM, CHERYL MILLER, MAKE TRIBES WEARY AND WARY.

    FOR THOSE LIKE YOU WHO BELIEVE THAT INDIAN/US RELATIONS ARE BEST LEFT TO HISTORY LET ME REMIND YOU THAT THE EXTERMINATE OR ASSIMILATE POLICY OF THE US GOVERNMENT IS PRESENT, CURRENT AND CONTEMPORARY TO THIS WRITING.

    ACCORDING TO THE FEDERAL JUDGE HEARING THE COBELL CASE THE US GOVERMENT OWES THE TRIBES BETWEEN 180 AND 457 BILLION DOLLARS STOLEN FROM ROYALTIES FROM THE RAPING OF INDIAN LAND BY CONTRACT LET TO PLUNDERERS BY THE US GOVERNMENT. WE WOULD NOT NEED ANY FUCKING CASINOS IF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HONORED ITS P R E S E N T COMMITMENTS AND OBLIGATIONS. SO ON THIS ISSUE: GFY UNTIL YOUR EARS BLEED.

    I AM IN CURRENT DISCUSSION WITH TRIBES ON THIS RIGHT TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING NOT BECAUSE OF THE UNIONS BUT BECAUSE SOME PROFIT-MAKING ENTITIES IN THIS COUNTRY NEED TO SEND THE MESSAGE THAT WE ARE ALL DIMINSHED WHEN WE PROSPER BECAUSE SOMEONE CANNOT, FEED, CLOTHE OR CARE FOR HIS/HER FAMILY. MAYBE, THEN, WE CAN PRACTICE ONE VIRTUE OF CHRISTIANITY THAT CHRISTIANS FIND SO REPULSIVE, ECONOMIC JUSTICE.

  12. Hank Quevedo Says:

    HARRUUUMPH!

  13. Rob Grocholski Says:

    Mr C — Your lastest Weekly column seems pretty right on to me. Here in the golden state, the tribes are ‘an’ maybe ‘the’ ‘in house’ political ATM of both parties suckling for that darn mama’s milk. Apparently the leadership of the California Dems either believes a few labor allies getting scrapped up while they get that milk is acceptable loses or the same leaderships simply takes the unions for granted.

    Question/Help (to any kind Cooper commentor): what’s the site of the pro journalist that visits here? Believe her ‘handle’ here is rosedog?

  14. Woody Says:

    rosedog’s site is http://www.witnessla.com/

    She’s away for two weeks, but a socialist is filling in for her.

  15. Woody Says:

    rosedog’s site is witnessla.com

  16. leftside Says:

    Marc – as you well know, I never implied the NLRB rules are easy or good but said that this is another (national) battle. And I never parroted any line as my own. I added some much needed facts into the mix, because your story left much of them out.

    You assign the motive for all this being about getting cash for campaigns. Maybe it is, but that would be quite a risk considering unions are lot more choosy about their dollars than tribes. Is is not possible the CA dems put the public interest first, noting that losing a billion dollars+ (and likely not getting a better deal) still means something at a time when a major health care bill is trying to go through?

    I agree with Hank that the larger issue is one of sovereignty, particularly on the nationality issues. I would have liked a card check deal to have been worked in, but again, the State would have been looking at years of lost revenue – and likely lost in the end. It is a complicate legal issue as to whether backroom exactions in Sacramento are “voluntary” or not. In the end the lawyers made the deal…

  17. Hank Quevedo Says:

    THE TRIBES IN ON THIS DEAL ARE NOT TYPICAL OF THE OTHER 46 GAMING TRIBES. THIS SO-CALLED SIX-PACK HAS SHOWN LITTLE PUBLIC OR CIVIC CONSCIENCE AS TO THEIR PATRONS OR OTHER TRIBES…TAKE THAT TO THE BANK.

    BTW: I MEANT “CHERYL SCHMIT” NOT CHERYL MILLER THOUGH THE FORMER HIDES THE BALL BETTER THAN THE LATTER. CS IS AN INDIAN HATER…I KNOW HER AND HER SHILLS.

    MY GOAL IS TO UNITE THE FORCES OF THE MAJORITY OF THE GAMING TRIBES WITH THAT OF THE UNIONS TO CREATE A PERMANENT DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY…BUT MY EXPERIENCE WITH WHITE POLITICS IS THAT WE (THE ANISHANABE) WILL BE BETRAYED ANYHOW IN THE LONG RUN. WE PRIMITIVES SOMETIMES TAKE OUT POLITICS TOO SERIOUSLY. WE NEVER LEARN THAT THE FORKED TONGUE IS OLDER THAN INDIAN EARS.

  18. Hank Quevedo Says:

    AS TO THE MEMBERSHIP OR TRIBAL ANCESTRY, THE SUPREME COURT HAS REPEATEDLY DECREED THAT MEMBERSHIP IS NOT A FEDERAL ISSUE BUT AN ISSUE OF TRIBAL SOVEREIGNTY. THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE RIGHT BEFORE 1999 COMPACTS BUT AFTER CABAZON VS. CALIFORNIA, EVERY NON-NATIVE SON OF A BITCH IN TOWN WANTED TO CASH IN TO JOIN TRIBES WHICH DID NOT DO MUCH SCRUTINY BECAUSE THEY DID NOT HAVE MUCH ANYTHING TO SHARE EXCEPT A $1200 A YEAR bia ALLOTMENT. IN SOME TRIBES THERE WERE MORE WHITE EYES THAN INDIANS. TRIBAL ROLLS ARE STILL BEING CLEANED UP.

    NON-GAMING TRIBES SEEKING RECOGNITION OFTEN HAVE MORE MEMBERS NOW THAN THEY DID BEFORE THE EXTERMINATION.

    READ THE STORIES OF THE CHEROKEE AND THE “SOONERS” WHEN INDIAN LAND ALLOTMENTS WERE BEING MADE.

  19. Michael Balter Says:

    The Department of Defense has identified 3,507 American service members who have died since the start of the Iraq war. It confirmed the deaths of the following Americans yesterday:

    FELIX, Glade L., 52, Lt. Col., Air Force; Lake Park, Ga.; 622nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron.

    LEGRAND, Damon G., 27, Specialist, Army; Lakeside, Calif.; 571st Military Police Company, 504th Military Police Battalion, 42nd Military Police Brigade.

    STRONG, Johnny R., 21, Lance Cpl., Marines; Waco, Tex.; First Marine Division.

  20. Deserted Says:

    I think Marc’s take on Assembly Speaker Núñez’s apparent capitulation is pretty good, but we’ll know for sure by the budget deadline at the end of the month. In addition to what is apparently going to be Núñez’s appalling capitulation to the nasty anti-union tribes, there are a host of other problems in the casino expansion deals: no independent oversight of the casinos; paltry revenue sharing with the state—and the five wealthy southern California tribes comprise less than 1% of the state’s Indian population. This stinky deal is hardly what voters had in mind when we amended our constitution to authorize this industry.

    Although the Assembly rejected the hastily assembled casino expansions last August, the Assembly now appears on the brink of getting rolled in a most embarrassing manner. They’ve apparently blundered into the worst of all possible deals: having failed to force the tribes to reopen their compacts and fix the various flaws almost universally acknowledged in editorial pages up and down the state, the Assembly is apparently headed for Rube Goldberg “side-deals” for policy fixes. Picture this: the five small wealthy tribes will get lawful and enforceable rights to build the biggest casinos in the world, clearly stated in the body of compacts as required by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Meanwhile, the Assembly will meekly accept policy fixes contained in shaky side deals of dubious legality and enforceability. Without its rights established in the compacts, the state will never know if it’s getting a fair deal or a raw deal, and it will be too late to make a difference when we find out.

    And what irks a lot of Californians is that the Agua Caliente Tribe of Palm Springs continues to assert its privilege to spend millions from its state-enabled casino profits on California politicians, yet not be bound by the state’s campaign finance rules. Agua displays an astonishing arrogance: using Jack Abramoff and brass knuckle tactics to move themselves ahead at the expense of other tribes and other stakeholders. The Tribe’s behavior is so egregious that the CA Supreme Court ruled in January that if the tribe opts-in to California politics, it must also opt-in to contribution limits, reporting requirements, and penalties—a responsibility and accountability that clearly irks the patrón-like chairman Milanovich. Now the Tribe appears to have delayed its appeal to the US Supreme Court on whether California’s political rules apply to it until after it gets its expansion vote.

    $250 million in California political spending by these tiny tribes has clearly warped the state’s elected leaders. The rest of us need to keep hammering away at this shit.

  21. Michael Balter Says:

    Okay, time out for some thoughts on the Libby case. The right wing wants him pardoned, and the left wing wants him–pardoned, right? Because that is just more ammunition against Bush and the Republicans in the next election? Or do we stick to our principles and say we want him to serve time? In other words, do we want them to be hypocritical and expose their hypocrisy, and do we want to be hypocritical ourselves so they will expose their hypocrisy?

    Oh, politics is so hard.

  22. Michael Balter Says:

    Now here is something else seriously off target, and this is for reg and those other Democrats who are still ragging on about Ralph Nader: The Supreme Court has come down with yet another awful decision today on the late appeals filing case, written by Chief Suckass Clarence Thomas. Those of you DEMOCRATS who think it is the fault of Ralph Nader and those who voted for him that we have had TWO TERMS of a Bush administration need to take some FUCKING RESPONSIBILITY for the fact that the Democrats have nominated two WANKERS for president who have TOTALLY FAILED to inspire enough voters to pull that lever for them, and to step up to YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to INSIST AND DEMAND that in the next election the Democratic candidate be someone who INSPIRES enough voters that we do not end up with yet another REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT in 2008. If Hillary Clinton is the nominee she will likely lose, so reg, I suggest that you stop spending so MUCH FUCKING TIME blogging here and get out and stump for Obama if you are so INSPIRED by him. Otherwise I will hold you and your fellow Democrats RESPONSIBLE for whatever happens.

    Thank you for letting me get that out of my system.

  23. Michael Balter Says:

    I mean off topic of course, although I am sure some will take it as written. It won’t help you through the next two terms of a Giuliani presidency, however.

  24. Woody Says:

    If the Democrats nominated Lieberman, he would win. The Democrats would feel compelled to vote for him, people in the middle would vote for him, and conservatives would, too, because they wouldn’t want another Republican who really isn’t a conservative. But, the MoveOn types are so adamant about having an anti-war candidate that they will put that above an easy victory.

  25. Woody Says:

    Have an urge to throw up? This should put you over the top: HillaryHub.com

  26. K Nardy Says:

    Thanks Balter, it’s important for you to remind us from time to time just how confused you are. I remember well Hitchens and Cooper on a Nation Panel; shortly after the formor’s attempted rat out of Bluemental (with Cooper’s approval) telling the crowd that they should find a good repulican and vote for him. Specificly, on the issue of the Court, Hitchens told the crowd that
    the new Justices was not a big issue, hey, their are ALWAYS going to be new spaces for new Judges, what’s the big deal?

    Now of course, your Clinton bashing hero is a single issue voter, that being the importance of continuing the war in Iraq. The gutter politics employed against Clinton, often cheered on by dimwits impressed by “No One Left To Lie To” was often rationalized as springing from the savage assault on Robert Bork. Which is a way of saying, stopping a bad Nomination from a terrible President when you don’t even have one chamber is damn near impossible, and the political price hudge.

    Ah, if only those terrible Dems had a candidate who could inspire you like Christopher Hitchens!

    More interestingly off topic: the Libby case is going to be interesting political theater in the next month. Obviously, The White House was doing the prudent thing in seeing if they could keep Libby out of the jail until the elections, and pardoning him them. Looks like a no go; but the Neocons have forced the issue so absurdly that Bush will look like their bitch if he now does what everyone knows is was going to do in the first place.

    It’s a good time to note here that the advocacy journalism of Empty Wheel and the rest of Firedog lake gave readers a chance to inform themselves on what was going on with the trial; in the face of the MSM still bacic fear of the right’s echo chamber. How this blog has shamed the likes of the Weekly.

  27. Michael Balter Says:

    There’s just one problem with K Nardy’s logic, and that is that the vast majority of Democrats supported Clinton against the assault against him, and the viewpoints of Hitchens or Cooper or Balter were very much a fringe phenomenon on the left. So if the Democrats couldn’t muster a better or more inspiring candidate than Al Gore in 2000, or if Al Gore himself could not bring himself to be more inspiring, it is because you needed someone with Clinton’s charisma to pull of the centrist, shift to the right position of the Democrats. It didn’t work with a less charismatic candidate, and it won’t work with Hillary either when the Republicans get to vote for or against her. That is the legacy of Clintonism, and while I am confused about some things I am not confused about that. As I have said before, so many times, the Democrats set us up for the Republicans every time. It’s just that sometimes the Demos get lucky and get two terms before that happens, and tell us when the last two-term Democratic president was before Clinton, someone who has memorized their presidents? (can’t blame JFK for getting killed, but still…)

  28. reg Says:

    “the MoveOn types are so adamant about having an anti-war candidate that they will put that above an easy victory.”

    It’s called actually having some principles.

    Of course, the Republicans could win if they nominated a candidate dedicated to ending the war in Iraq – say Chuck Hagel. But they’re either lost in the fog like McCain or they’ve got to opportunistically suck up to the crazy base of deadenders.

  29. reg Says:

    Incidentally, Woody, Lieberman is the ONLY alleged “Democrat” who would turn Democratic voters away in droves. We might as well just dissolve the party if we turn the nomination over to a crackpot, whiny neo-con tool who has zero capacity to tell the truth.

    Save your “brilliant” advice…

  30. reg Says:

    I’m also amazed, Woody, that with around 2/3 of the public wanting a draw down to the war, you are so fucking far out in the ozone that you’d suggest Lieberman as a terrific presidential candidate. Send me a postcard from Mars with your next great idea.

  31. reg Says:

    “so reg, I suggest that you stop spending so MUCH FUCKING TIME blogging here and get out and stump for Obama if you are so INSPIRED by him. Otherwise I will hold you and your fellow Democrats RESPONSIBLE for whatever happens”

    I am.

    But you can take your bullshit Naderite denial tantrum and shove it.

    I have never denied that the Dems ran two less-than-inspiring campaigns, or that Clinton fucked up with his clueless actions. These are two major reasons that the GOP was able to prevail. But you Naderite wimps take ZERO fucking responsibility for your stupid, self-indulgent crap.

    And don’t put it on me to single-handedly get Obama elected. Do something your own damn self. Or accept your share of responbility. Sniping at Democrats because they don’t live up to your exalted standards doesn’t cut it except for the self-righteous. Spare me. In fac, taking responsibility is something you have yet to do regarding the fact that folks such as yourself supporting Nader’s run and claiming there wasn’t enough difference between Bush and Gore for Ralph not to indulge his narcissism in the general election is ONE OF the reasons we’ve had to live with this peculiar hell of the last six-plus years. (I would have welcomed Nader in the Dem primaries, by the way.) This is a simple fact Michael, that you and Marc see fit to deny. As I said, I don’t deny the substance of your criticisms of the Democratic campaigns. But neither of you have EVER copped to the fact that Nader’s campaign, after a mediocre effort by Gore, was decisive in handing the electoral college to Bush. Frankly, I think that’s chickenshit and bizarrely evasive.

  32. reg Says:

    Incidentally, why don’t you suggest just who the hell folks such as yourself are actively putting forward to run for President and save us from more serial GOP victories ? Or is all of this just an exercise of fanatasy politics that, at best and in one of it’s “good years” can’t really effect much more than to draw a handful of protest votes to save America from another sinister Democratic sell-out.

    I’m not impressed with either the rhetoric or the “reality” – which looks to me as non-existent, other than your big “impact” in 2000 – which you don’t even want to take any credit for.

  33. Jim R Says:

    What a tangled web we weave when first we practice expanding greed.

    Turns out the red man is just like the white man is just like……well, man.

    Evolution, God, or is it both, has a ways to go yet. In the mean time, develop a sense of humor…..and have a drink on me.

  34. Hank Quevedo Says:

    Hey, guys, thanks for getting off-subject. it’s to be expected when something creates heat AND light.

  35. richard locciero Says:

    Imagine that! The Red Man wants to make some money. Oh, and the tribes would like a say in who qualifies as a member. I’m sure there was aa long line of aplicants waiting when they were just some guys sitting on scrub land. nd I’m sure casino profits had nothing to do with it.

    I’m sure Woody was joking. Besides Joe’s in the “Connectitcut for Lieberman Party” so he can’t run in the primaries as a Dem. Sorry.

    MB just who are these lefties that want “Scooter” pardoned? I haven’t heard of any but if you know please let me in on it. Personally, I’m having a ball watching a bunch of legal “Scholars” twist themselves in pretzle shape over why perjury is no big deal when you lie to obstruct the investigation of a national security breach (Which Bush Senior called “Treasonous”) but were positively dizzy with rage when the alleged offense involved lies about a consensual blow-job.

  36. listener_on_the_sidelines Says:

    Sorry, Hank. When our host goes on ‘hiatus’ we do seem to meander all over the place. Hope MC’s not back in the ‘clink.’

    Perhaps I’m going to run the risk of making matters worse by admitting I laughed outright reading this. “The role of the sane conservatives in this will be to sit in the back of the room with paper bags over their heads and their hands folded quietly on their laps. ” which I’ve pulled out of the comments to DeLong’s post [ http://tinyurl.com/348emv ] A Proposed Pecking Order for Honest Conservatives.

    I am beginning to get antsy that Hillary Clinton will get the nomination. And, I do worry how electable she is. As an “unaffiliated” I tend to let those more committed select their candidate, and then make a decision. But for this next election, I’m considering that I should vote in a primary. If Clinton is the candidate, I will vote for her. Make no mistake; I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with the GOP. And, I think there are a number of others like me. A Clinton-Obama, Clinton-Edwards ticket (or, the reversals) is too much to hope for. And, I’m just not sure Clinton can carry it nationally.

  37. richard locciero Says:

    And lets face it. Our host on this site enjoys throwing bricks at the parties. Neither the GOP nor the Dems meet his high and refined moral sensibilities so like a ten year old he sticks out his tongue and takes his ball and goes home. No mucking around in the mud for him! No, He’ll be pure. Just like his good buddy Arianna who ran those shadow conventions to show how pure she was and how “Inauthentic” Gore was. Now she can’t sing Al’s praises too highly. Sorry Babe you had your chance.

    There are two tickets and everyone over the mental age of 13 knows that. Are the Dems perfect? Hell no! But look at the alternative! That list of “Bribe Takers” comes from a new book by Morris the toe sucker. FOX New’s favorite “Political Analyst.” (Every one here who believes Bernie Sanders is on the take please switch over to COUNTERPUNCH – you’ll feel more at home there.) I’m really going to listen to him. Again, there is a difference in kind between the two parties and you children better understand it.

    But I know you won’t because you would rather be pure. This is a goddamn game to you people. Health care, poverty, aand the like is something you feel in the abstract. I’d tell you stories but why bother. Let’s be post modern and quote a song writer:

    ” . . . You could have done better
    but I don’t mind.
    You just sorta wasted my precious time”

    And, sorry but it ain’t all right.

  38. richard locciero Says:

    Listener, at this time in 1979 Jimmy Carter was handily beating Ronnie and his people were praying that the Republicans would be “Dumb” enough to nominate him. Hillary is now leading all the main GOP candidates. Obama and Edwards have bigger leads. Tell you something?

  39. Michael Balter Says:

    The point that reg and so many others miss is that it is not so much WHO the candidate is as HOW the candidate behaves. Both Al Gore and John Kerry could have been very different candidates if they had actually run on the principles they have shown they believe in or once believed in rather than setting aside their principles and going the safe route. A lot of good that has done us. Hillary had principles once, but she has strayed from them so far that they no longer count. As for Obama, given his lag behind Hillary: Should he become even more cautious or more bold? Which would give him a better chance?

    Finally, I deny deny deny that Nader had much of anything to do with Gore’s loss. Put that one on Gore and the Democrats. Nader could not have convinced anyone that there was little difference between Republicans and Democrats if there was not already fertile ground for that belief based in the real life experiences of the people who voted for him. Marc and I didn’t create that belief, Gore and Clinton and the rest of the Democrats did by their behavior. Blaming Nader is cowardly copout but I see reg is still going that route.

  40. Michael Balter Says:

    The point that reg also misses is that how these candidates behave depends very much on how willing people like reg are to threaten to withhold their vote unless they move to more progressive positions. But nearly every grassroots Democrat wimps out in the end–oh, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court!–and the candidates know they will so why should they give a shit and where is their incentive to shift positions?

    We are facing a potential disaster right now as I speak: A Hillary Clinton nomination, another loss to the Republicans despite 8 years of the worst presidency in American history (John Kerry lost to Bush in 2004, as yourself fucking why why why? And then ask yourself again until you understand it.)

  41. Hank Quevedo Says:

    And the poultry shortage due to hit us in 2012 because of illnesses, viral attacks, contaminated chicken food, bacteriological impact seems to have no one interested. Remember, we are what we eat.

    AA batteries are now flooding the market due to stepped up Asian production quotas designed to hamper Latin America’s efforts to expand from the AAA market.

  42. Michael Balter Says:

    rlo, with all due respect, could you address the point that I have made so many times on this blog so I will at least know you are paying attention? I say we get the Republicans because the Democrats through their behavior, their policies, and their failure to fulfill their promises and make liberalism look attractive, hand the government to them time and time again. Do I need to answer my own question above? The Democrats have not managed to get themselves re-elected (not counting deaths and decisions not to run) more than about twice in the last 150 years or so. Clinton, before him FDR, before him it was around the time of the Civil War. Meanwhile we have had many times as many two-term Republicans. Does that tell you anything? It does no good to tell me there are only two parties and you takes your choice, you got to tell me why once the voters takes their choice on a Democrat they hardly ever re-elect him? No, let me tell you why: Because the Democrats set us up for the Republicans, the Democrats give us the Republicans on a platter, because the Democrats are responsible for the fact that Republicans take the country back every single time. Got it?

  43. listener_on_the_sidelines Says:

    Hank, it’s worse than that. I spent all day yesterday at a nutrition conference. As it would turn out nutigenomics argues that food elements have the ability to reporgram cells in utero (eg, folate). You, not only are what you eat. But you are what your mother ate. And, because your mother’s eggs were formed in utero, you are what your *grandmother* ate! But, hey. In the name of globalisation, penny pinchers now get to check which country really produced their toothpaste. We not only ignore the poor. We actually hate them.

  44. Michael Balter Says:

    Sorry, make that 3 times, I forgot Woodrow Wilson. Before that, the dynamic duo of Pierce and Buchanan.

  45. Mr. Peepers Says:

    Some quick suggestions to you commenting regulars:

    1) When you start writing a post that’s off topic, JUST STOP. A handful of you serial posters ruin almost every thread by veering into your SAME OLD topics, rants and spats.

    2) After you have posted once or twice — or maybe thrice — about any given topic, shut the fuck up and listen to what other people have to say without further response.

    3) Your ideological bashes of each other — and the minutia of your attempts to nail each other — are BORING. If you want to post, bring some info or a new angle to the table, make a salient point, and move on.

    4) Cooper bashing — that is attacking our hosts motives or integrity rather than arguing against his ideas — is rude and intellectually lame. I wish Marc was less generous and would simply block assholes who don’t know how to behave.

    If you were a dinner guest in someone’s home, you might argue and debate with them, but you would not spit at them. And if you would not spew such venom while looking another human being in the eye, DON’T DO IT ONLINE.

  46. Michael Balter Says:

    Other than agreeing with you on point 4, this is a blog, not a Sunday tea party, Peepers. We don’t pay much attention to finger wagging scolds here.

  47. listener_on_the_sidelines Says:

    Thanks, MB, for stating succinctly what I struggled to put into words. If we’ve half a hope of reinstituting our lost civil liberties, and half a hope of dealing with a broken military, and half a hope of enticing able bodied people back into civil service, the GOP needs to be buried in the hinterlands contemplating their navels for at *least* the next 8 years. Preferably, longer. The damage Bush has inflicted will not be undlone in a single term. Or, maybe, even in two terms. How the Dems handle this election worries me a great deal.

  48. reg Says:

    “I deny deny deny that Nader had much of anything to do with Gore’s loss”

    You make yourself look foolish, MB.

  49. reg Says:

    Michael, tell me what your proposal is, given the political terrain, over the coming months for people who want to see some sort of change – oh, other than that I spend more of my time knocking on doors and less time on the internet. If you’ve got the magic formula for Dems to win the Presidency, maybe you should think of a career change as a political consultatn. I just see what’s actually in front of my eyes when it comes to the next election cycle – and I’ve decided to step in and do as much as I can to push for the better outcome on that landscape. That’s all I can summon up. I’m a simple, humble man.

  50. Michael Balter Says:

    Okay, how’s this: Nader had NOTHING to do with Gore’s loss. Hardly anyone would have voted for Nader if the Democrats had been what they should have been for the electorate. And telling third party candidates that they should only run when they have no chance of influencing the outcome of an election is tantamount to forcing the voters to stick with the two party system even if they don’t want to. Whenever I or Marc raise this reg always says, oh no, everyone can vote for who they want to. But in reality the anti-Naderites are authoritarians who want to take away voters’ choices.

  51. Michael Balter Says:

    Fair enough question, reg. I think that Dems should do everything they possibly can to make sure the candidate is either Obama or Edwards and not Clinton. That’s the best we can hope for under the circumstances. See, I am a realist after all.

  52. reg Says:

    Mr. Peepers – if Woody served up some barbecue with his comments, I might be more polite. But when I run into random assholes spewing garbage, I tend to treat them with all of the respect they deserve.

    Michael – you seem to think that the issue is “blame”, not surprisingly since you deny that Naderites should share any. My question simply boils down to, after all of the ranting about this or that failure or deficiency of flesh & blood politicians who’ve taken the time to get themselves elected, what can I do about them. If you think the solution to getting them to move closer to your sensibilities is to poke them in the eye by voting for some miniscule third party or harangue them for either having sold out your dreams or perhaps on the verge of selling out your dreams – because, you know, everybody does – more power to you. My hunch is that’s not a serious strategy.

  53. reg Says:

    Wrote that last before I read your response – that’s totally reasonable. I share your concern that Hillary isn’t electable. I also don’t think Edwards has much chance of catching her in the primaries. If I did, and Obama wasn’t polling better both in terms of Hillary and against all GOPers than either Hillary or Edwards, I’d forsake my preference for Obama and push to help Edwards overtake Hillary. I’m a pragmatist – but I’m also pleased that with Obama I’m able to transcend pure pragmatism – at least by my own lights.

  54. reg Says:

    MB – one more thing as regards your history lesson. If your analysis were dead on in explaining why the GOP has had significant, recurring electoral strength over the last century-plus, two-term President William Jennings Bryan would be the patron saint of the modern Democratic Party rather than FDR and JFK. Unfortunately, the most progressive, populist candidate in Democratic presidential history ended up as a footnote except, ironically, as the cliched stereotype of reactionary fundamentalism in a play/movie.

  55. Hank Quevedo Says:

    Mr. Peepers- I agree with you on 1), 2) if comments are on subject and 3) especially infantile and ad hominem shit should be avoided unless the response is made to an egregious and recidivist asshole.

    I will never agree to 4) until Marc rules that free speech is not welcome and because bloggers know that the price of an opinion is bashing if the opinion clearly and DEMONSTRABLY puts integrity or motives on the line.

    I find some of the ideological bashing scintillating and stimulating when done as reasonable discourse and not the same old left versus right vitriol.

    If the rules of speech in blog threads are analogous to someone’s dinner table, then let’s all compliment the host on the gravy and succotash and say no more.

  56. Pad Says:

    Marc-

    I am somewhat curious as to wether or not you think that Indian Gaming should even be legal in California? Take into account the thousands of jobs that it creates. (I am a Surveillance Investigator at one of these.) The benefits are very good in comparison to many other opportunities out in the California market right now. In fact, the California market SUCKS for the entry-level employee. And the employees of these Casino’s pay thousands of dollars of taxes into the Federal and State systems.

    Without needing to say it, I will. These taxes pay for police, fire, roadway construction, military paychecks (some of which also goes into my pocket, thank you) and numerous other social programs.

    That is beside the fact that many Casinos, mine included, pay out of their own pocket for local community projects. They even provide their Tribal security force to the community for things like traffic control around local schools.

    And yes, Indians do, in fact, pay taxes.

    I know what the argument to all of that is. And even if they are doing it “just to make themselves look better to the community”, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the end result of what they are doing, regardless of intentions: communities are benefiting and taxes are being paid.

    People just want to encroach into something and get involved in things that have nothing to do with them. If they had true sovereignty, then people will mind their own business and let them do as they will.

    I think we need to take a more “laissez faire” attitude. We are benefiting regardless of how crooked they may be. Let them be that way. I have a paycheck that I can’t complain about and good benefits. We’re all paying taxes and the community is benefiting. And, oh, the poor children. They have safe zones around their schools, too.

  57. Marc Cooper Says:

    Well, Pad, if we took a laissez fair approach to gambling then we wouldnt have granted exclusive casino concessions based on racial DNA, would we? It would be based on market forces rather than on race-based state-granted monopolies. This is an extraordinary privilege that has been granted, one with extreme impact on local communities and therefore should be — at least– tightly regulated by the state. In short, I think the whole thing is a scam which has been proven to benefit a mere 10% of Native Americans.

    I have NO idea what you mean about Inidan gaming tribes paying taxes. Sorry, but their sovereign status blocks them from being taxed. So most of the tribes pay NO sort of revenue back to the state on their earnings. Zip. If you think it is fair and proper for the state to offer franchises worth as much as $500 million a year (based by the way on a regressive tax on the gamblers) without any revenue liability back to the state, then you ought to ask for a PR job down at Morongo.

    Mr. Peeppers: Thanks for your compassion vis a vis your grumpy host. Do I tire of the petty, personal attacks from such mediocrities as K Nardy and Leftside? Being a human being, the answer is yes. But, in the end, it’s OK. as I have said many times before, I rather view the comments section of the blog as akin to an Ant Farm i.e. it exists mostly for my Olympian viewing amusement, and only very rarely for any enlightenment (and Im often not even THAT amused by it all). Perhaps the most satisfying part of this section is its deadly predictability! It generally confirms my smug moral superiority! :)

  58. Woody Says:

    For those who think that they are the cream that rises to the top, let me remind them that S*** floats.

  59. richard locicero Says:

    Reg have you seen “I’ve got a Crush on Obama” by Obama girl”? Finally someone more besotted than you!

    (its on “Altercation” over at HUFF POST BTW)

  60. Hank Quevedo Says:

    MARC: For the 100th time, Indian Gaming Compacts are not based on Race or eithicity. Read Cabazon vs. California. They are based upon the originally unfettered right of sovereign nations to conduct any businesses they chose unless they have submitted to over-riding Federal inhibitions.

    This unfettered right was “fettered” by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 when Congress was scared shitless after Cabazon was decided in the Indians favor. Without the restraints of IGRA, Tribes could have had totally unregulated rights as sovereign nations.

    The fact that thribes have the treaty protected rights to req

  61. Hank Quevedo Says:

    require blood quantum goes back to the Dawes Act and Treaties of the 1800s. The tribes, all gaming tribes in California, have a revenue share (TAX) requirement…THEY ALL PAY TAXES. Your statement that they do not pay a portion of revenue to the State is, I’m afraid, knowingly false,because you know or should be charged with the knowledge that tribes pay taxes.

    To say that States offer “franchises” is fatuous. Without state compacts the tribes were free to game on their own (again, read Cabazon vs. California). The compacts cames out of IGRA because the Feds wanted the states to have a black-mail franchise to tax tribes and get them to negotiate away EPA, Coastal Commission and Local regs rights to the States.

    I am so saddened that you are so wrong-headed on this issue because you appear in all other respects a fair-minded guy willing to research his opinions.

    It would be good for your soul to sit down with any reputable Indian gaming Lawyer (it’s not an oxymoron) and disabuse yourself of your pre-judgments.

    I spend alot of my time trying to right the interal inequities between a handful of very rich tribes and the rest who still live in third world conditions primarily because the US has not paid them for rights and lands on which you stand which they gave up under massacre conditions.

    The stuff you spread really compounds the suffering of non-gaming tribal members who are descendants of the American Holocaust and have never demanded reparations…only the resources negotiated by this fucking government who is the all time deadbeat country. Just be fair and fact-check. It’s harder than opining in a vacuum but it’s always worth it.

  62. reg Says:

    I saw that yesterday…kinda cute/silly/whatever…

    I have to say that I’m not besotted so much as looking for a realistic option beyond Hillary Inevitabillary…if I thought Edwards had a serious chance of overtaking Hillary, I’d jump on his admittedly less interesting and more stereotypical and tired bandwagon. I’m pure pragmatism. Also, in the polling I’ve seen to date – admittedly early, but worth consideration – Obama’s the guy who actually beats the GOPers in a national matchup. I think Hillary will bring out the “Living Dead” to try to eat her alive in far greater numbers than Barack Hussein Obama, ironically.

    I had a very funny incident with the little Chinese-American lady who cuts my hair (what’s left – it’s a very lucrative gig on a per-minute basis.) I told her I was going to see Obama and after professing not to know what the hell I was talking about, to which I said “The young black guy in the Democratic debates”, she lit up and repeated several times, “I want him on. He’s the best one. I want him on.” She then proceede to explain to me that Hillary is “the same age as me (her)” and therefore is very “moody”. “Change of life. I tell my husband, let’s go here, then let’s go there. He almost put me in the nuthouse. Too moody. Can’t make up my mind. I don’t want President to make decisions like that. Too moody, Hillary.” Then she gave me her card and told me to give it to Obama so he could come and get a free haircut any time he wanted. I didn’t get a chance, but Obama and my hair lady would be a great photo op for his campaign. Unleash “Mrs. Siu” on the media to discuss the “change of life” – what a sneaky, underhanded way to sink Hillary.

  63. reg Says:

    “I saw that…” was to rlc on the Obamalove video….

  64. Marc Cooper Says:

    Hank… here’s a stepladder to help you dismount from your high horse and refrain from ludicrous suggestions that I aggravating the American holocaust.

    Play all the semantic games you please but you damn well know the simple truth. American Indians who do not meet certain DNA standards get disenrolled from their tribes and cut out of gambling revenue — meaning those who do meet those standards remain. Period.

    And while Indian tribal members may indeed pay taxes, you know very damn well that casino revenue is UNTAXED. Not only untaxed, but unreported. I would dare you to point us to any public disclosure of casino revenue.

    There are a handful of tribes, as you know, that signed new compacts in 2004 in which they agreed to pay 7-8% of their revenue back to the state — but they are a minority. As you know.

    You also know that the other tribes pay a pittance to a general fund that is supposed to aid poorer non-gaming tribes and you also know that pot is usually pretty bare. The big tribes spend much more on lobbying efforts to prevent the poorer tribes from entering into competiition.

    Indian gaming was a nice idea that went awry. It will eventually lead to the destruction of the tribes themselves — other than as very wealthy privately held corporations. It’s one helluva of an evil model for economic development.

    Now. if you will excuse me, I have to get back to my job to counting heads on the rail cars.

  65. Woody Says:

    A friend invited me to an Indian casino in Mississippi this weekend, but Father’s Day is not a great time to get away from the family. My perception is that the tribal gambling rules in Mississippi and North Carolina are different than they are in California and that the locations in the South have more restrictions and don’t make nearly as much money. But, the Trial of Tears has been reinvented and reversed, as the pale faces leave their money there and go back to their homes.

  66. reg Says:

    Credit where credit is due…terrific line, Woody.

  67. t'eetilawuncha! Says:

    In my opinion the attitude we need to get across is that these bills are ANTI-INDIAN and are another crushing blow delevered to the American Indian people. I have a feeling that most (if not all) the supporters of these bills think is that they are supporting indians, well we need to push forth the idea that this is ANTI-INDIAN and racest. Just because the authors of these bills are mostly indians does not meen that they are pro-indian in nature. There have always been indians who have fought and killed there own people (usually for monitory gain). Dont let them get away in claming that they are helping the poor down trodden indians, when in fact they are helping the rich well todo to crush the truly poor and down trodden indians.

    More links to explorer:
    pechanga.info/forum/

    http://video.nbc4.tv/player/?id=64156

    http://originalpechanga.blogspot.com/2007/04/family-togetherness-for-disenrolled.html

    http://www.myspace.com/paulinahunterofpechanga

  68. sterling Says:

    Thank you for your insightful article, I am one of the four hundred Pechanga members who were disenfranchised. It’s great to see the that some on the left are taking the right stance on this issue. These aren’t tribes at all anymore they’re just corporations that are allowed to operate without any oversight. Pechanga in particular is full of adopted “members” who don’t have a drop of Native American blood.

    This legislation shouldn’t even be considered as it has absolutely no affect on anyone except the tribes which are supposedly “sovereign” (if they were really “sovereign nations” wouldn’t they be prohibited from interfering in California politics?). I hope it dosen’t pass because I don’t want to see members of my family (who were living on the reservation well before the casino) kicked out of their homes.

  69. Mike B&W Says:

    Marc – Thanks for this interesting article. These blood purity policies and how these are acceptable in anyone’s mind are fascinating. “Sorry half-breed, you aren’t of the race enough to get the monthly payments.”

    Another fascinating story would be where the money comes from, and where it goes, and if there’s any Sopranos style action going on (other than bribing the legislature, which is a dull). There’s all kinds of contractors, lawyers, fees, land deals, and there must be some juicy stuff in the gray areas.

    For example, motor vehicle registration and driver’s license requirements are not subject to enforcement against Indian tribal members on roads within their Indian reservation. There *must* be some amusing abuses of this.

  70. t'eetilawuncha! Says:

    Misinformation at it’s best.

    What is fascinating is the belief that blood quantium is an issue. Did you watch the vidieo on the above link? An anthropologist who has studied the mission indian padrones (baptismal records) from the 1800′s has showed that this tribe iscorrupt, and will do anything including filling the pockets of polaticians to get anyhthing they want.

    If you study the facts for a while. You may learn something, or maybe you don’t care.

    These tribes are pushing for expanded gambling. Please do not support this. Make them fix their internal tribal business first.

  71. Ray Cook Says:

    Indians fill pockets of politicians? Yet, white owned businesses have compaign contributions. There is a lot of racism and bigotry in the coverage of Indian gaming issues.

    Unions are obsolete top heavy administrations that, yes we hear you Jimmy Hoffa, have a long history of corruption and theivery with little postive results for workers and great affect on workmanship, quality products and say wages.

    The issue of Unions in Indian country is much less about workers rights than it is about fertile grounds for new dues for a dying concept. The Union’s Stalinist approach to Tribes and their businesses can use some up-dating.

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