A change in Princes is the Joy of Fools. ~ Old Romanian Proverb
There is no cause so noble that it will not attract at least a few idiots. ~Larry Niven

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

ASTRO BOY comes out of the closet . . . shoves reporter in.

It wasn't enough that Senior (soon to be "ex-") Senator from Florida Bill Nelson abrogated all responsibility to the future of the nation by voting against HR 1, the Continuing Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2011.  Maybe he thinks that, since he'll be 69 in September, he shouldn't have to worry about the future.  He's got his; between what he earned as a Yalie lawyer, whatever business interests he has (and he does, rest assured) and his retirement from stints as a Florida state legislator, US Representative and now Senator, he'll be ok. You may not be, but he will.  Maybe his lack of concern for the future is because he knows 17 percent of Florida's population is over age 65 (vs. 13 percent in the entire US) and probably doesn't care about tomorrow either. [A bet I wouldn't take, they have children and grandchildren]  Or maybe it's because only 80 percent of adults have a high school education, 22 percent have any college degree and 23 percent report speaking a language other than English at home.  (All of the above here.)  It could be a cynical calculation that the people who have voted for his nice-guy-aw-shucks demeanor over and over and over are just too stupid to realize what an absolutely useless tool he has become.

Or perhaps always was.

"Fly me to da moon . . . ."
If you go to Bill Nelson's official Senate webpage, you can see some of the committees and subcommittees he sits on.  Nelson is Chairman of the Science and Space Subcommittee (duh!)  Nelson sits on the Aging Committee (also duh!), Intelligence Committee (no, that's too easy), Commerce Committee, Finance Committee and Budget Committee.  There's utterly no excuse for Nelson to be as nonchalant about the financial crisis the US Government finds itself in with the perspective those committee responsibilities force upon him.  Yet he is.

For example, Nelson has bragged continuously that he opposes drilling for oil and gas off the Florida coast. What that does when replicated in state after NIMBY state is to drive drilling rigs out into the deepwater where blow-outs are harder to handle.  While Nelson could have represented Floridians who suffer from having to pay more to drive to their jobs, he becomes a thoughtless doorstop blocking discussion of a comprehensive energy policy for the largest energy market on the planet.  It raises the amount of money we ship out of the country (which get's lent back to us at interest).  It raises the cost of gasoline (although there's more to that story-later).  It empowers many regimes that have either been the most fair-weather of allies or outright hostile enemies.So what does Bill do?  He joins in with a bunch of the most left-wing Senators in writing to the Commodities Futures Trading Commission bemoaning the actions of speculators.  His co-authors are:
Joining Nelson on the letter are Sens. Maria Cantwell ( D-WA ), Barbara Boxer ( D-CA ), Al Franken ( D-MN ), Jeff Merkley ( D-OR ), Patty Murray ( D-WA ), Robert Menendez ( D-NJ ), Mark Begich ( D-AK ), John D. Rockefeller IV ( D-WV ), Carl Levin ( D-MI ), Barbara Mikulski ( D-MD ), Sherrod Brown ( D-OH ) and Bernie Sanders ( I-VT )
The Usual Suspects when something has to be done that left-wing elements in America don't want done (though most people do).

Nelson has been a big supporter of high-speed rail though.  Long after Florida's Governor Scott (and Jeb Bush before him) dismissed the boondoggle Federal subsidy for high-speed rail that would have generated cost overruns on construction and operating losses while running that Florida taxpayers would have to cover (but it would create lots and lots of public sector union jobs!!), Nelson was trying to make rain with it.  Nelson was pestering Amtrak to get involved.  How bad does it have to be when Amtrak sidesteps it?

Now Bill Nelson is feeling the steam from the hot water the Tea Party is boiling to brew up some more upsetting election results in 2012.  Nelson and his good buddy Biden are tossing reporters into closets to limit what they see and report at Donkey fundraising functions.  I'm sure you've read it, it's a story that is so rich, it's gone viral on blogs and in the Twittersphere.  It's also illustrative of how Machiavellian the Donks have become, and especially the piranha pool surrounding the Obama Administration.

Last Wednesday, Joe Biden attended another fund raiser held in Orlando at a private home (rich Donk, so read palatial estate).   There was one pool reporter allowed to attend to record the event and distribute his reportage.  According to the Orlando Sentinel:

Not looking for sympathy here, but the life of a political reporter isn’t all champagne and canapes. Consider our man Scott Powers, who was sent over to the Winter Park home of Alan Ginsburg this morning as the designated “pool reporter” — aka scribe — for the fundraiser where Vice President Joe Biden is appearing on behalf of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.
 Turns out the veep hadn’t arrived, but about 150 guests (minimum donation $500) were already in the house. So to prevent Scott from mingling with the crowd, a member of Biden’s advance team consigned him to a storage closet — and then stood outside the door to make sure he didn’t walk out without permission. 
Scott e-mailed us this photo from his temporary prison. “Sounds like a nice party,” he wrote.
So exactly who was there that the reporter was not supposed to interview and report about?  What was discussed that inquiring ears might overhear?

Another take comes from Shane D'Aprile
"I need to make 8 points . . . ."
Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that if Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) loses his reelection race next year, it means President Obama and the Democratic presidential ticket won't win the key battleground state, either.

Headlining a fundraiser for the Democratic senator in Florida Wednesday, the vice president said the success of the presidential ticket in 2012 is directly linked to Nelson, telling supporters "as goes Bill Nelson in Florida, so go Barack Obama and Joe Biden in Florida," according to a pool report.

Biden was in the state to attend two events for Nelson on Wednesday, the first of which was a $500 per plate lunch attended by an estimated 150 donors.

"He's a truly, truly decent guy who has the absolute respect of his colleagues, and I've heard that from both sides of the aisle," Biden said of his former Senate colleague.

Actual footnotes from Biden's speech.
The vice president's visit marks the second high-profile event to benefit Nelson already this year. The Democratic is a top GOP target in 2012.

Earlier this month, Obama headlined a joint fundraiser in Florida, benefiting both the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Nelson's 2012 campaign. (empasis added)

If you think the goal was to raise the $75,000 the patrons paid for that lunch, that just covered the catering bill. Probably. It was a pretty pricey repast. According to what Drudge:
 They were busy noshing on caprese crostini with oven-dried mozzarella and basil, rosemary flatbread with grapes honey and gorgonzola cheese and bacon deviled eggs, before a lunch of grilled chicken Caesar and garden vegetable wraps.
Not so for Powers. A "low-level staffer" put Powers in a storage closet and then stood guard outside the door, Powers told the DRUDGE REPORT. "When I'd stick my head out, they'd say, 'Not yet. We'll let you know when you can come out.'"
And no crustini for Powers, either. He made do with a bottle of water to sip as he sat at a tiny makeshift desk, right next to a bag marked "consignment." Powers was closeted at about 11:30 a.m., held for about an hour and 15 minutes, came out for 35 minutes of remarks by Biden and Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida Democrat, and then returned to his jail for the remainder of the event.
At an event in Tampa with Biden and Nelson, a reporter from the St. Petersburg Times made the following observation:
Drudge and the blogosphere are lighting up over news that Joe Biden's team shut Orlando Sentinel reporter Scott powers in a storage closet so he couldn't talk with supporters at a $500-per-head fundraiser at the Winter Park home of Alan Ginsburg. He was the pool reporter for the event, and apparently the Veep's staff felt he should have no access to the mingling donors and only be allowed out when Nelson and Biden showed up. Nice.

 I was the lone pool for a Biden-Nelson fundraiser later that Wednesday afternoon at an Embassy Suites in Tampa. No closet for me, though I was kept stored in the lobby during the prelimaries. As as the main event started I was escorted toward a single chair in a corner, cordoned off by a roughly three-by-three velvet rope square. A Biden's staffer seemed too embarrassed to make me sit in it, though.
 But this is the "Most Transparent Administration" in history. Yup, they sure are.

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