Archive for April 3rd, 2010


Trendy Fashion Buys Reimbursed as “Office Supplies” to RNC Finance Officials

April 3, 2010

For one Republican National Committee official, a spin through a trendy clothing boutique racked up hundreds in “office supplies,” all billed to party donors. And there’s more.  (From

RNC Chairman Michael Steele

At the Republican National Committee, the term “office supplies” seems to have taken on a whole new meaning. If you take its recent filings with the Federal Election Commission at face value, the RNC, it seems, requires thousands of dollars worth of pricey clothing and more than a splash of booze to run its office.

Listed on the report in the category of “office supplies” are purchases from a New England winery and a Capitol Hill liquor store, as well as more than $3,800 from a Florida clothing store. The category of “meals” also seems to extend to the sartorial, with a $450 purchase from a high-end Manhattan boutique — one that has no restaurant or take-out shop on the premises — falling into that category, as listed on the RNC’s reports to the FEC. That purchase, as well as one for more than $500 from the Florida clothing store, are attributed to RNC Deputy Finance Director Debbie LeHardy, who, according to the report, was reimbursed for them.

LeHardy also received reimbursement for more than $2,800 in “tips” between December 2009 and February 2010, according to the reports.

Even before news broke this week that the Republican National Committee spent nearly $2,000 at a bondage-themed Hollywood strip bar, RNC Chairman Michael Steele had been sharply criticized for extravagant spending. AlterNet’s review of RNC campaign finance records suggests a pattern of reporting irregularities within an institutional culture of over-the-top extravagance.

(Read more here.)

Remember when we were shocked (shocked!) by extravagant Republican expenditures for Sarah Palin’s wardrobe way back during the 2008 presidential campaign?  Looks like we were too hard on Sarah and the McCain campaign staff.  As AlterNet points out, this is really “an institutional culture of over-the-top extravagance.”  With other people’s money!

When will the Tea Party crowd catch on to the fact that Republicans are NOT the people who will end Washington’s big-spending ways about which Tea Partiers are so outraged?

Anyone want to make a donation to the good works of the Republican National Committee?Graychin


The “Bikini” Graph

April 3, 2010

First developed (I believe) as a home-made graph and a regular first-Friday feature by blogger Steve Benen of, the Bikini Graph (so called by Rachel Maddow) has been adopted by Speaker Pelosi’s office to illustrate the progress that has been made since January 2009 in damming up the flood of lost jobs that began in about January 2008 under the trickle-down economic policies of the Bush Administration:

Doesn’t this look like progress to you?  After a job hemorrhage beginning in 2008, the stimulus policies proposed by the Obama Administration and adopted by the Democratic Congress are turning the Bush economic mess around.  Of course not all the damage has been repaired yet.  It will take a long time to replace all the jobs that have been lost and to bring down the unacceptably high unemployment rate of near 10%.   But who can deny that real progress is being made?

Eric Cantor, that’s who!

“Any report showing that the economy added jobs is clearly a better alternative to one showing that it lost more jobs. Yet we must set our sights higher, our goals larger, and our actions bolder. Americans deserve far more than the up and down, roller coaster like unemployment reports of the past few months.  We must work to move beyond this uncertainty by creating a sustained period of real job creation, and that can only start once Washington stops actively impeding economic growth.”

“Bolder”?  Like what?  More tax cuts to enlarge the deficit?  Or MORE stimulus spending, when you only helped weaken the 2009 stimulus?

“Roller coaster”?  Dude – look at the graph!

And the people in Washington who are “actively impeding economic growth”?   Take a look in the mirror, Pal.  Those are YOUR policies on the left, in red.