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It sure pisses me off to see former Gov./Mayor Ed Rendell on my teevee, talking against the Chicago teachers strike and pushing the Grand Bargain! (You'd think Stephen Colbert would know better.) In a recent post, Rich Eskow really puts Fast Eddie in perspective:
Consider former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who said today that the Chicago strike is "an important issue, because Rahm Emanuel is showing again that Democrats can stand up to unions when their demands are unreasonable."
Banker/Democrats always need to show they're tough, since they're not willing to be do it where it's really needed -- by prosecuting their colleagues. Who makes a better scapegoat than the teachers who educate our kids? And if teachers don't like the public bashing, hey -- it serves 'em right for causing the financial crisis with all those toxic derivatives.
Banker/Democrats are always practicing their "tough" lines in the mirror. I can see them now asking their advisors, How's this for tough? "Hey, kids! Ask your homeroom teacher if she's better off now than she was four years ago!"
Rendell's a folksy sounding guy with a flair for feisty, if nonspecific, leftish rhetoric. He came to the Governor's office by way of a Philadelphia law firm called Ballard Spahr. The firm was first established in 1885, right around the time that the phrase "Philadelphia lawyer" became a synonym for "moneyed elite" -- and for good reason. It continues to specialize in real estate, mergers and acquisitions, municipal bonds, and other forms of high-finance law.
Ballard Spahr received $22 million in legal fees from the state of Pennsylvania while Rendell was Governor. And when he left office, our "Man of the People" went right back to Ballard Spahr. It's nice when things work out, isn't it?
There's no indication that Rendell ever applied for a job with the Philadelphia School District upon leaving the Governor's office. In addition to his post-gubernatorial Ballard Spahr partnership, however, Rendell is now a "Senior Advisor" with the investment banking firm of Greenhill & Co.
He is also a regular commentator for MSNBC -- the "liberal" alternative to Fox News.
As I tell people about Rendell, "We like him. We just don't trust him as far as we can throw 'im." Perfect example: He's one of the beloved centrists working to sell us that mess of magic beans called the Grand Bargain. His little group is called Fix The Debt. Charles Pierce puts it all in perspective:
Last week, the group, calling itself Fix the Debt, went public at a news conference urging the president and Congress to embrace a deficit-reduction plan along the lines suggested by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission, which included reforms of a tax code that produces too little and entitlement programs that spend too much. "Think of it as Simpson-Bowles 3.0," said former Republican senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, who is co-chairman of the effort along with Ed Rendell, the former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania.
No, I don't think I will think of it that way, and not just because the blog's First Law of Economics — Fck the Deficit. People Got No Jobs. People Got No Money. — prevents me from greeting the words "Simpson" or "Bowles" with anything except gales of derisive laughter. Rather, I will think of it as the Plutocrats Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of My Wallet. A little clumsier, but more accurate, I think.
(And manly man Ed Rendell can just get stuffed at this point. He's as much a Democrat where it counts as Tagg Romney is.)
Let me put it this way: If Ed Rendell's for something, you can be pretty sure it's not liberal.