Whither, or should it be “wither,” Pelosi?

When THE PLANET is asked about our political affiliation, we reply: not a Democrat and not a Republican. We are Pedestrian. Our political agenda consists solely of getting across the street in one piece. So what makes a good party?

Hacking with a dull machete, we would agree that the best political combination is, roughly, to have the social issues of Democrats and the fiscal approach of Republicans. If we could have major party clout and throw in Green-Rainbow and Libertarian independence of Corporate Masters and Big Money, we’d have something approaching the ideal party. You’d get closer if you could ever find a Benevolent Dictator, emphasis on the B part.

Is this what the House Democrats want for leadership? Scary.

Which is a roundabout way of wondering why the Democratic Party would want to return Nancy Pelosi to her position as Democratic leader. She will no longer be Speaker of the House, since that is now the office of the GOP.

Pelosi is no Sam Rayburn, let’s put it that way. The Democrats are coming off one of the largest mid-term election losses in history, with Pelosi as leader (60 seats lost in the House). Surely, Pelosi must take some of the hit and bear a large part of the responsibility.

She’s the left’s Sarah Palin, a figure who attracts the most fanatic end-elements as supporters and drives the others away. As much as the looney left dislikes Palin, the rabid right can’t stand Pelosi. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if Pelosi didn’t play well in Peoria and the rest of middle-class America. Palin does play well there to some extent, which is a topic of horror meant for another time.

Palin’s a San Francisco liberal, she’s shrill, and she’s imperious. The first is neutral, the second grating, and the third shameful.

Commander of a hear-historic election-day loss.THE PLANET’s favorite Nancy Pelosi story: In mid-September, she flew on Air Force One to New York City with President Obama. Obama flew off by helicopter to the fund-raiser. Pelosi chose to ride to the event in the motorcade limo. As her driver began to pull Pelosi’s limo out of the motorcade, security stopped the car and notified the hack that all — ALL — vehicles had to stay at the airport until Obama’s helicopter had left.

Queen Highness Pelosi-Nan gave it the “Don’t You Know Who I Am?,” insisting that the driver pull away and drive out of the airport. The guy, rightly, obeyed airport security. Her Imperial Majesty had a fit, screaming like a banshee. We will not call her a “hysterical female.” She was a “hysterical idiot.”

That, in a nutshell, and we mean nutshell, is why the Democrats should dump her as their leader. They won’t, but they should, in favor of (1) a husky man (not obese but with gravitas, as in substantial; think the polar opposite of Harry “Muscles” Reid) (2) with a radio voice who can (3) address the hard feelings within the party following Pelosi’s commandeering the party to a huge Nov. 9 losses.

The Democrats would be much better going to Rep. Heath Schuler, a moderate from North Carolina. Schuler doesn’t like “block votes,” where everyone in the party is expected to drink the ideological Kool Aid. He says that because “Americans are diverse and crave bipartisan solutions.” That’s a great answer.

Going with Pelosi over someone like Schuler sends the message that for the Democrats, it has been and will continue to be about Party first, country second. They are not different than the Republicans in this regard, but all the more reason for them to be better.


We will not abandon the “Teapot in a Tempest” non-story until Pam Malumphy lives up to her repeated promises to move her rocket out of orbit. Let’s be clear: we still welcome her on THE PLANET, but she, not us, will determine when we drop this caper.

Yet again today, she sent an e-mail keeping the embers alive. We’re not complaining, because, in a gawk-at-the-car-crash way, traffic has been heavy and interest high in our “Teapot” coverage. That’s the neat thing about writing online. You can literally count the numbers of readers.

WidgetWoman told it straight, from the young, professional, female perspective: "Teapot" was a bad example for women.

We will only add this to “Teapot”: Go to yesterday’s post and read what a woman calling herself “WidgetWoman” wrote in reaction to Malumphy’s behavior in this affair. She laments that Pam’s actions perpetuates the unfortunate stereotype of the over-emotional female whose hormones prevent enough of a logical, intelligent approach to public affairs. WidgetWoman writes as a young Berkshire professional. Think about it. Also, think about Pam’s stint on the city council. You can see WidgetWoman’s point.

I also heard from one of Mayor Ruberto’s harshest critics, and this person said just because Malumphy has it in for Jim Ruberto is no reason to assume she’s Joan of Arc. Touche.


The think-tank analyst who presented last night in Lenox about the looming $2 billion state deficit didn’t tell us anything new. Massachusetts is lots of sheckles in the hole.

On the campaign trail, that was a question THE PLANET put to every candidate: if you get to Boston, what will you recommend as policy to deal with the deficit? The answers were honest in their lack of answer. Fact is, there IS no “answer.” The problem has been left to accumulate for too long for an “answer.” There are sound responses, however.

The red ink is boss in this bluest of blue states.

Among the solutions must be pension reform. The pensions as part of benefits packages given to public workers have created huge unfunded liabilities for the state, cities, and towns. This must be addressed. Another response solution is health insurance, whose costs for taxpayer-funded plans for public employees have escalated 74 percent since the state’s landmark insurance mandate, with thousands of new state employees added to the payroll. One of the easiest fiscal areas to control here (also the hardest politically) is percentages. Why should taxpayers continue to be on the hook for 85 percent of a public workers health care costs?

In the Dreaded Private Sector, a person is lucky these days (a) to HAVE a job, (b) that includes health insurance, (c) amounting to 50 or 60 percent paid by the company. Many companies hire “contract employees” to avoid having to pay ANY benefits, let alone health insurance (why do you think 2/3 of the faculty at BCC is adjunct?). An adjustment for taxpayer-funded health insurance for public employees to 60 percent would save the state a fortune. That 60 percent figure is a generous 20 percent higher than the law requires. Sure, it’s not an easy solution, and it will be wildly unpopular with public employees, but someone has to tell them: the gravy train is over.

Unless we have “leaders” who want to get serious about reform — and that means taking on the political battle of fighting the Big Unions that have too many politicians in this state in their pockets — you, The Little Guy Taxpayer, will keep getting the short end of the deal. Don’t forget, when they say “the state” is $2 billion in debt, they’re talking about YOUR money. That’s how much YOU’RE in the hole.


  1. a watched pot
    November 17, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    “As much as the looney left dislikes Palin, the rabid right can’t stand Pelosi.”

    I would say it’s more like “only the looney left likes Pelosi and only the looney right likes Palin.”

  2. danvalenti
    November 17, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    We would agree. They are polarizing figures at a time when Americans want bipartisan solutions. Good point, Pot.

  3. Jim Gleason
    November 17, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    Who exactly is widget woman? She could be John Krol’s wife or any other ruberto sycophant who can’t stand Pam for her perceived slight to ruberto in having the impudence to run against him for mayor. If I hear the words “young professional” again I think I’m gonna puke. I was making 35k when I was 25 in 1985 working as a custodian so was I a young professional? I hope not because that classification is moronic and patronizing.

  4. WidgetWoman
    November 17, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

    I don’t doubt that Mr. Gleason doesnt want to be called a young professional since he is no longer young and not a professional judging by his insensitive comments. I am a young entrepreneur with a successful business in Pittsfield, not widgets, and found it insulting in the way and manner ofMs. Malumphy’s behavior having been a detriment to the issue of women being taken seriously and on a par with men.

    • Ivan the Rational
      November 18, 2010 at 9:43 am #

      “…not a professional judging by his insensitive comments”

      Perhaps “professional” isn’t really a meaningful status, afterall.

      Still, it is amusing how often those who attack show the same behavior they complain about. In criticizing her ‘behavior’ (what, her writing style?), you invoke the stereotype which is being used to attack her. As a someone who belongs to a real minority, I would not appreciate anyone doing that to me.

      Actually, now I am far more inclined to take Ms Malumphy much more seriously given the level headed manner with which she has handled the insinuating and prejudicial treatment in an blog that freely mixes opinion with reporting. If she runs again, I shall be paying attention.

      In addition, I am not satisfied that she has been fairly treated in relation to the other parties mentioned or that any sense of courtesy has been shown.

      • Ivan The Rational
        November 18, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

        As my last post may not be very clear, I am addressing WW, and occurrences of “her” and “she” refer to Ms Malumphy.

        • danvalenti
          November 18, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

          Thanks for the clarification, Ivan.

  5. hernando hideaway
    November 18, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    Havta side with widgetwoman. ms. malumphy handled the whole thing all wrong. all she hadta do is answer valentis original question regardless of how whe found out about it. there wasn’t a lawsuit. she sould have said that and didn’t brought all of the justified abuse on herself. i’m a professional but not young, btw

  6. Carol Mason
    December 2, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    Seems to me that the retirement and health care packages received by all congressmen and women for life, even if they only serve one term, is fair game also.