Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Waxman-Berman Machines -- The Dark Side

National Journal article

Latinos Broke up the Waxman-Berman machine.

What brought down the Waxman-Berman machine?

Was it Brad Sherman, because he bested the time-tested Democrat after his nearly thirty-years in Congress?

Yes, but there is more to the story.

Why did Sherman have an edge in the newly-drawn 30th Congressional District?

60% of the new district resided within Sherman's previous district.

Yet even deeper than that, the constituency which Sherman received in 2002 following the legislative redistricting all but assured that Sherman would receive a substantial Latino district instead of a more Jewish representation.

Sherman was not pleased, according to some reports. He resented the fact that Michael Berman had drawn out the more Jewish-leaning constituency for his brother Howard.

Ten years later, Brad Sherman would be thanking Michael again and again, although the gratitude would be a Pyrrhic victory for him.

The representation along the Westside-Valley region has changed dramatically in the past decade. Less Jewish, more Latino voters are changing the demographics, a shift which Democratic machine politicians Henry Waxman and Howard Berman were apparently not prepared for.

The shifting population, plus the explosion in public media, along with a diminished connection and respect for local issues at the expense of the nation spotlight, all but assured that the two machine pols would have a harder go in 2012.

Berman lost, and Waxman won barely.

Democrats Not Proud of "Proud Democrat" Henry Waxman

"I am a proud Democrat" Henry Waxman would repeat this phrase throughout his campaign against Independent Billionaire Bill Bloomfield.

Yet the entire Democratic delegation endorsed Howard Berman, yet not one Congressman, and neither of the Senators endorsed Waxman.

Even former House Rep Jane Harman refused to endorse Henry Waxman.

I remember a post which I had read for one of my pieces on Henry Waxman.

He was a Redondo Beach resident, now a state department official living in Virginia. He commented:

One of the campaign managers for the Bloomfield campaign was also a Democrat, and he expressed his displeasure with Waxman, enough that (in secret) he was running a campaign for the Independent to unseat the Congressman.

How many other Democrats would love to step forward and repudiate the former half of the Westside Valley political machine?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Waxman -- Impeach Obama

In 2007, then Oversight Committee Chairman Congressman Henry Waxman attended a town hall meeting sponsored by left-leaning interests in West Los Angeles. In a matter of minutes, the members of the audience excoriated Waxman for refusing to sponsor or endorse articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush, for they believed the oft-repeated, now retired cliche: "Bush lied. People died." Shortly after the Wikileak cables were leaked, diplomatic cables indicated that the Hussein regime did have extensive chemical weapons supplies and capabilities.

Today, President Obama is facing a growing backlash for increasing abuses of federal power. In Operation Fast and Furious, federal officials sold guns to illegal purchasers along the Southwestern border in order to track down Mexican drug cartels. Those guns were involved in numerous crimes, including deaths of federal agents. One September 11, 2012, armed terrorists attack the United States Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, in which four state department officials, including the US Ambassador, were killed. The administration's talking points on the attack changed frequently, suggesting that an unplanned demonstration exploded into violence outside of the consulate. Democrats and Republicans decry a lying "cover-up". National media outlets have confirmed that the IRS was targeting conservative groups with the name "TEA Party" or patriot, or any institution hostile to Big Government".

Republican President Richard Nixon faced the threat of impeachment for obstruction of justice and IRS abuse. Republicans and Democrats joined with pressuring Nixon President Clinton faced impeachment because he lied under oath to a grand jury. Will Congressman Waxman sponsor articles of impeachment against President Obama for his high crimes and misdemeanors?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Henry Waxman -- Leading the Fight for Whom?

"He [Waxman] fights for us and the things that are important. And he wins - which is important" -- Henry Duclos , Hermosa Beach Council Member

What has Henry Waxman fought for?

1. We no longer smell cigarette smoke on an airplane. How that constitutes anything heroic is just beyond me. Consumer activism through supply and demand has coerced many companies to change policies noxious to inidividual consumers.

2. The Congressman claims that he passed the first bill to "stabilize" the climate. Henry Waxman's comrade of climate change US Senate Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) has submitted that God cannot change climate change. What gives Waxman the impression that he or any legislation passed by Congress can do it, then?

3. He expanded the number of working poor eligibile for Medicaid 24 times. One Hallmark of Democratic Party leaders has been to help poor people. When will they institute policy which will help poor people no longer be poor? People do not want to be poor, and handouts only keep people from getting their own hands out.

4. Nutrition Labeling on foods. So, I know what's in my food. How is that a fight, and how is that a win, when the men and women who have fought and won for us in other countries do not have a decent place to sleep or recovery from their war wounds?

5. One of Waxman's "greatest deeds" -- Going after Big Tobacco. With all due respect, the Seven CEO's were sitting ducks for no one. Corporate liability immunizes CEOs, so that they can say just about anything, yet the stock-holders get hammers, and "The CEOs come out on top [1:43-1: 45]". His preening for the camera had nothing to do with both my mother and father quitting smoking, by the way.

6. Henry Waxman takes the credit for preventing cigarette marketing to minors. I applaud the parents, not paternalistic Big Government, for keeping our kids healthy. They are the ones who quit smoking and encourage their own children not to smoke. They are the only advertisement that our children need.

7. He "defended" sick kids in need of health insurance. How then does Congressman Waxman justify higher premiums, lower acces, higher taxes, and fewer doctors all because of his signature legislation, Obama-WaxmanCare?

8. Moved clean energy legislation that creates thousands of jobs.

This assertion is the most ludicrous and laughable. If Waxman was so proud of such a record, how come he declared (weakly) in open committee: "I'm sorry Solyndra happened." Not just one, but nineteen green tech companies have gone bankrupt with taxpayer dollars. Waxman's only retort: "Are you going to call the Koch Brothers?"

9. He pressed forward an abortive Cap and Trade bill in 2009, which had no chance of passage in the Democratically-controlled Senate. The policy has done nothing but aggravate pollution in Europe, while benefitting a few stock inside traders while pushing up fuel prices. How is this fighting for anyone?

"For Henry Waxman's record, look for the things you don't see. Henry Waxman: Leading the Fight".


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Henry Waxman and Background Checks (Someone Should Check out His Background

Congressman Henry Waxman just sent out another missive on his campaign listserv. Waxman is already in high gear to keep his seat, one he which he barely won last year, mostly because Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney diminished the voter turnout for conservative voters.

His lastest release is unimpressive, to say the least. Instead of taking on the Republican leadership for "denying science" about "climate change", Waxman slammed United States Senators who had voted against the "background checks" legislation, a bipartisan effort from Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia).

Dear Friend,

Last month, a group of Senators voted to filibuster bipartisan legislation that would expand criminal and mental health background checks for gun purchasers. 

For the first time in years, if not ever, Waxman could not target Republicans as the prime instigators of inaction. A greater number of Democrats, in Red States who face reelection in 2014, voted against the measure. President Obama wanted to push a poison pill bill from the Democratically-controlled Senate onto the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, so that Obama could blame the Republicans up for election in 2014 for thwarting his agenda. His plan backfired, and Obama ended up shooting himself and his party in the foot.

The legislation would simply extend the same background checks currently require for sales at gun stores to online and gun show sales.  Although polls show
 that nearly 90% of Americans - and even a majority of NRA members - support
this modest, commonsense measure, the leadership of the NRA furiously fought
it and won the first round of the battle.

It's amazing that for all the emotional pandering and guilt-tripping from grieving interest groups and mainstream media stays, the real problem which made Sandy Hook Elementary School an "easy target" was the gun free zone provisions which prevented any armed personnel from protecting the school and the students

Fortunately, the harsh public backlash has caused a number of these Senators to rethink their votes, and the authors of the legislation believe they may now be able to get enough votes to defeat the filibuster and pass the bill.  We have an opportunity to strengthen gun control for the first time in nearly twenty years, and be must not lose this momentum.

In New Hampshire, where US Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire) voted against the legislation, a growing consensus of her constituents support her decision to vote against the bill. As for the Democratic senators who voted against the Toomey-Manchin package, they are facing heavy campaigning and attack ads from the left, which will certainly hurt their chances of reelection.

I will be working as hard as I can to get expanded background checks enacted and to close other gaping holes in our gun laws.  I am the cosponsor of H.R. 1506, which would prohibit individuals on the terrorist watch list from obtaining firearms in the U.S., and H.R. 138, which would outlaw the purchase of high-capacity ammunition clips, which allow shooters to fire off as many as 100 rounds without stopping to reload.

It is both laughable and lamentable that Congressman Henry Waxman is jumping on the gun control bad-wagon at this time, when the country faces a sixteen trillion dollar national debt, Los Angeles County is the unintended "home" for tens of thousands of homeless veterans, and the Brentwood VA, under Waxman's congressional jurisdiction, remains uninhabited and

You can count on me to do what I can to address one of the most pressing public safety challenges of our time and fight to protect our families and communities from gun violence.

Recent statistics demonstrate that gun crime has diminished considerably in the last twenty years, this per President Obama's own Justice Deparment . According to Pew Research , however, the majority of Americans are unaware of the drop in crime, as well as the higher rate of gun ownership among women, and support for handgun bans is also at an all-time low . First, Waxman claims that "climate change" is the crisis of the new century, then he wants to after more sweeping background checks. Perhaps voters should check out his legislative background, where they will find a long record of voting against tax cuts and ignoring the plight of homeless veterans, along with a blatant disregard for our nation's national debt.

Of course, his skewed priorities are understandable. After all, as Oversight Committee Chairman, he investigated steroid abuse in baseball (even though he had no working knowledge of the steroid laws) as well as the dangers of lead in toys. As Chairman of the Energy Committee, he did not know the details of his 900 page Cap and Trade Bill (or likely the last-minute three
hundred page amendment). As ranking member of the same, he showed little regret or remorse for the billions of taxpayer dollars wasted on
green tech companies.


Henry A. Waxman

I hope that the voters in the 33rd Congressional District get sincerely tired of their Congressman pursuing inane issues while ignoring more pressing matters, like our country's byzantine tax code, or the damning damage inflicted by Obama-WaxmanCare. With unprecedented doctor shortages, higher premiums, higher taxes, and declining access, any candidate with a credible resume and a calculated campaign should be able to take down Waxman in 2014 (since a bad standard-bearer will not be depressing the conservative vote).

Thank You, David Bischoff

From the Argonaut Newspaper (May 9, 2013 edition)

Protections for veterans

 Re: “Broken promises” (Argonaut letters, May 2).

 The letter writer shouldn’t ridicule Rep. Henry Waxman for not showing up at important environmental meetings in his district. He is just too busy helping homeless veterans at the Westwood Veterans Administration facility.

 In his 38 years as a United States congressman he’s done everything possible to prevent homeless/medical needing veterans from having a home at the Westwood facility; assisting leases to occur for Brentwood private schools, leases for school athletic fields, golf courses, dog parks, university baseball stadiums, public parking lots for nearby national golf tournaments and assisting 30 1930s-era lobotomy prisons buildings to be declared “historical” so nothing can be touched.
But now things have changed and Waxman and his friend, Sen. Diane Feinstein are very busy renovating Lobotomy Building 209 for $20 million, so 65 homeless veterans can have a home to heal after war. The reason they both are pushing this project is because there’s a lawsuit against the Westwood VA for violating the Deed of 1888 (which created the Westwood VA campus) and the rights of 6,000 to 8,000 homeless veterans for not providing a home.

 The American Civil Liberties Union, which is handling the lawsuit along with support from the Annenberg Foundation, feels that they can prove the deed has been violated and that both Waxman and Feinstein should have been protecting veterans rather than catering to nearby wealthy homeowner communities.

 Personally, I’m disappointed that the $20 million couldn’t be spent more efficiently. At over $300,000 per veteran at #209, a “Tent City” could be created for 1,000 veterans with beds, showers, barbers, health care review and maybe some job opportunities direction.

 So letter writer, I’m sorry, but #209 needs to be finished before the lawsuit gets ruled on. Westwood VA needs to prove that they’re obeying the deed and taking care of all those homeless vets.

 David Bischoff
Los Angeles

My response:

David Bischoff:

Your subtle sarcasm is superb.

Romney depressed the voter turnout in 2012. No doubt, Bloomfield would have won had there been a stronger standard-bearer for the Republican Party, as Independent Bill Bloomfield was reaching out to all voters, including Republicans who would have elected a ham sandwich, a homeless person, or Lucifer instead of Henry Waxman.

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End the reign of Congressman Henry Waxman!