Tag Archives: Nancy Pelosi

Too Rich…

…not to POST!

This is a MUST READ given the latest Salvo launched at the Eeeviiil  Koch Brothers.

Divorce Beltway Style

Column: The Democratic breakup that exposes Washington’s rotten core

Tony and Heather Podesta
Tony, Heather Podesta / AP

BY: Matthew Continetti
April 11, 2014 5:00 am

“I see lobbying,” Tony Podesta has said, “as getting information in the hands of people who are making decisions so they can make more informed decisions.” Last week the information Tony Podesta was giving was the divorce complaint he had filed in D.C. Court against his wife Heather. The hands receiving that information belonged to a gossip columnist for the Washington Post, who made the “informed decision” to report on it. Later in the day Heather, who is also a lobbyist, informed the Post the text of her counter-suit. It published a follow-up.

The documents, which you can read below, did not become available to the rest of us until yesterday. They tell stories not only of a May-December romance gone sour, but of how obscene wealth can be amassed through rent-seeking and influence-peddling in Washington D.C., and of the hoary means by which the princelings of the capital and their consorts maintain and grow that wealth. They tell stories not only of an ugly divorce, but of the power of lobbying, of how one family maneuvered to the center of the nation’s dominant political party, of the transactional relationships, gargantuan self-regard, and empty posturing that insulates, asbestos-like, the D.C. bubble.

That the broken couple now uses the tools of their trade—the phone-call to a friend, the selective leaking of documents, the hiring of attorneys, the launch of a public-relations campaign—against one another is more than ironic. It is fitting. Tony and Heather Podesta reached the pinnacle of wealth and influence in Barack Obama’s Washington. Now they, like he, are in eclipse.

The stories begin in the fall of 2001. She was in her early thirties, working at a trade association, and on the rebound. Her second marriage had just ended. A friend, Dorothy Robyn, a Democratic policy wonk, suggested she meet Tony Podesta. Tony was decades older than she, and had been married once before, but he was young at heart. He took her to the opera for their first date. On the way, the story goes, they stopped by one of his homes to pick up a car. She noticed his art collection. “I don’t know why it is,” Tony said, “but I have artworks where the women have no heads.” The next day she sent him a note. It was signed, “Woman with a head.”

The woman with a head was Heather Miller, and soon she and Tony were in love. They moved in together. When they married, in April of 2003, Tony was 59, and Heather was 33. Nancy Pelosi witnessed their vows, as did Patrick Leahy, and Ed Markey, and Bill Richardson, and countless other Democratic bigwigs. According to the Post, which has chronicled the ups and downs of the Podestas’ relationships and careers, the noted D.C. chefs and restaurateurs Roberto Donna and Kaz Okuchi “personally cooked for the guests.” This was no ordinary wedding.

And Tony Podesta was no ordinary man. A longtime Democratic aide, a counselor to Teddy Kennedy, Tony had been one of the capital’s most powerful lobbyists for some time. As his lawyers would later put it, “‘Podesta’ was a widely recognized and well-respected name in the lobbying industry at the time of the marriage.” The lobbying firm he had established in 1987 was powerfully connected. His younger brother, John, was President Clinton’s chief of staff. Tony Podesta owned art and wine and real estate in Italy, in Australia, in northern Virginia, and in D.C. He was a major Democratic donor, a force to be reckoned with, and a cut-up, a character who wore loud neckties and red Prada shoes. “The Pope wears Prada,” he is known to say, “and so do I.”

Heather changed her name—something she had not done in her previous marriages—to Heather Miller Podesta. She emulated her spouse, developing, in the words of the Post, “a penchant for flamboyantly patterned dresses.” She joined the company, began lobbying. She picked up Tony’s art habit, and together they amassed a collection of more than 1,300 pieces. She set to work, renovating their six bedrooms, six-and-a-half bathroom home in Northwest D.C. off of Massachusetts Avenue, overlooking the Rock Creek Parkway.

She wanted, her lawyers would say later, “to create a uniquely beautiful architectural space for the dual purposes of having a wonderful home in which to live and promote their shared interests, both professional and personal.” The renovation took three years and cost millions of dollars. The “marital residence,” where they promoted their shared interests in holding parties and fundraisers for Democratic politicians, and housed immense wine and art collections, is estimated to be worth some $5.6 million. Concerned about income inequality? The Podestas are the One Percent.

They would visit their apartment in Venice, Italy, up to a dozen times a year, hosting Janet Napolitano, entertaining passersby such as Reps. Shelley Berkley and Eliot Engel, “even,” the Post once breathlessly intoned, “Teddy Kennedy.” They’d open their homes to tours, so people could enjoy the art, could witness the spectacle of their wealth. One story they liked to tell took place in 2004, when the guests at their northern Virginia home, near Lake Barcroft, walked into a bedroom festooned with the works of Katy Grannan, “a photographer known for documentary-style pictures of naked teenagers in their parents’ suburban homes.” The guests were shocked. But oh, how Tony and Heather laughed.

In 2007 Podesta Matoon became the Podesta Group. Heather formed Heather Podesta + Partners, establishing two prongs of the Podesta family empire. The third prong was the Center for American Progress, founded in 2003 by John Podesta, who would oversee President Obama’s transition team in 2009, and join the Obama administration as a senior adviser in 2014. The Podestas had become the most important non-elected family in the Democratic Party.

In 2009, with the inauguration of Obama and the dawn of unified Democratic control of Washington, business boomed. Revenues at Tony’s firm close to doubled, and revenues at Heather’s firm increased by 50 percent. The money has continued to roll in. The Podesta Group had some $13 million in lobbying income in 2013, sporting clients such as Lockheed Martin, Wells Fargo, U.S. Airways, Walmart, and the National Biodiesel Board. Heather Podesta + Partners made some $4 million, lobbying on behalf of health companies, the American Beverage Association, Brookfield Power, DeVry University, and others. A portion of that money was recycled, contributing to Democratic campaigns, opening up avenues of influence: Tony gave some $45,500 in 2013, all to Democrats; Heather some $95,798 to Democrats, Democratic committees, and liberal groups.

As government expands, extending its reach to every aspect of business, every sector of the economy, private citizens and corporations require sherpas to lead them through the mountains of regulations and tax provisions, to discover exemptions and special favors and other forms of relief or favoritism to improve the bottom line. And who better to act as sherpas than the relatives of the Democrats who impose the regulations and tax provisions in the first place, who better than the lively proprietors of a family business operating in the luxurious and morally uncomplicated world of the caste of limousine liberals who dominate politics, culture, news, and finance.

Corporations give to Democratic politicians, avoiding the scrutiny of liberal attack dogs in the media and nonprofit sectors, and enjoying the ego boost that comes with being on the “right side of history.” Then those corporations hire the Podestas to get them out of the Rube Goldberg traps the Democrats have enacted into law. John’s innovation was to establish a corporate-funded think tank where the burdensome policies would be concocted, and whose staff would go on to man the regulatory agencies that put their wool-headed ideas into practice. And to whom do the corporations turn when they find themselves on the receiving end of all this uplift, all this do-goodery, all this progress, hope, and change? Why, to the man in the red Prada loafers, and to his flamboyantly patterned wife.

It was in 2009 that the Washington Post dubbed Heather Podesta the “It Girl in a new generation of young, highly connected, built-for-the-Obama-era lobbyists.” The appellation was bestowed in a lengthy and fawning “Style” profile, which acted as a sort of advertisement for her lobbying firm. Heather Podesta lamented in the piece that the onrush of business, the peals from health insurance and green energy companies looking for special treatment under the new Democratic dispensation, had interfered with her and her husband’s international travel. Whereas they used to visit Venice up to a dozen times annually, Podesta said, “Now we only maybe get there six times a year.” The poor dears.

The next year, Washington gadfly Tammy Haddad reported on Heather’s fortieth birthday for Politico. “Attending a Tony Podesta party is a pretty good way to start a new year,” Haddad wrote, “but a party to celebrate his wife Heather’s 40th birthday at their new showcase home is a great way to start a new decade.” It was downhill from there. Like Elvis, with whom she shares a birthday, Heather Podesta, Haddad said, had “become a rock star in the Washington power scene as a top lobbyist.” There were red-velvet cupcakes. An Elvis impersonator gyrated for guests. Democratic Congressman John Larson and “Terry Lierman, chief of staff to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, took a tour of the provocative and sometimes whimsical artwork with Jane Oates, John O’Leary, Conrad Cafritz, and Hilary Rosen.” Also there was Jonathan Silver, “the Energy Department’s new money man,” who gave the American taxpayer Solyndra, and who coordinated strategy with John Podesta’s Center for American Progress.

Those winsome days have passed, however. The couple separated a month before Obama’s reelection. Their marriage’s denouement, as related in their divorce filings, is like a retelling of The War of the Roses. He says that in March 2013, months after they had separated, she asked for money to “purchase a multi-million dollar residence for herself,” and he agreed to pay half of the down payment. What he did not know at the time was that she was seeing another man. She says he’s prevented her from accessing the database that keeps track of the art collection. He says she changed the locks on the Venetian flat. She says he’s trying to get rid of the art before the court divides it between them. He says she forced the “cancelation of a scheduled exhibition at the Australian embassy.” She wants the Kalorama house, half the art, and “an equitable division of the parties’ other marital property, including the value of each party’s lobbying firm, retirement accounts, securities, business assets, tangible personal property, including jewelry, wine collection, and all other marital property.” He just wants to be rid of her.

If Heather Podesta has a flaw in the eyes of Washington it is that she is entirely too honest about the mechanics of lobbying. When she launched her independent company in 2007 it was with the slogan, “We know people.” Dianne Feinstein once canceled a fundraiser organized by the Podestas, the Post reported years ago, after she got wind that the invitation read as follows: “The prix fixe includes the Select Committee on Intelligence for the first course followed by your choice of Appropriations, Judiciary, or Rules Committees.”

Heather Podesta’s court filing is just as direct. “As a married couple who both lobbied,” it reads, “they strategically cultivated their public image, and worked to build the ‘Heather and Tony Podesta’ brand for the success of their shared enterprise.” Now that shared enterprise is no more, the Heather and Tony Podesta brand is damaged, and all the years of strategic cultivation is in danger of coming undone. This “married couple who both lobbied” is sundered, revealing a political culture of pettiness and greed, and reminding us that there are few things as revolting, intellectually, morally, and ethically, as the “Washington power scene.”

Link to Full Article AND Actual Divorce Filing…. Here.


Harry Reid’s Mushroom Cloud

This morning Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) changed the rules of the Senate to allow for Mob Rule.  A simple Majority of Senators can now approve a Presidential Nominee for positions such as Judges.  While any nominee is now subject to simple majority vote for approval I’m going to stick with Judges… because that’s what really matters here.

I have tapped out my belief that the Progressive Liberal Socialists behind Obama Care will do anything… anything… anything to make sure this steaming pile of Elitist Social Engineering remains law.  Well, this is one of those “anything’s”.

There is a palpable sense of urgency emanating from the Democrats in Washington.

The Leftists are realizing that this whole destroy the insurance companies and force socialized medicine on the “stupid folks” thing just isn’t working out.  But they have waited too long and come to far to let it slip through their little commie fingers.

I posted a note some time back called the Benevolent Arsonist in which I proposed that Chief Justice John Roberts knew exactly what he was doing when he emasculated the Commerce Clause argument as applied to Obama Care (and pretty much anything else in the future) and instead forced it to be defined as a Tax.

Why is this important now?

It’s important because we are about to see Millions, possibly Hundreds of Millions of Americans forced to pay The Obama Care Penalty Tax because they have not enrolled in the brilliant Socialized Medicine Scheme thrust upon them.  They are going to be penalized for Not buying Something!  And once that happens… it constitutes “Harm”.  And once you’re “Harmed”… you can Sue, but not until then.

The Liberal Left Democrats in this country know full well the lawsuits are coming.  Harm is just over the Horizon.  In fact, it dawns in six weeks.

This is why those Big Unions, and Corporations, with armies of lawyers and the money to use them, all got waivers…  The Left hopes to slow down those who can make things happen Fast.  (Well, Big Labor is a different story… but let’s stay on topic.)

And because Small Businesses have neither money nor lawyers on staff they are left out to dry… just like the rest of the stupid Individuals who don’t know what’s good for us.

The Nuclear Option has been on the drawing boards behind those closed Red doors for some time.  And faced with a rapidly disintegrating Dream…

The Obama Administration and the Elitists who support Obama Care just need more time.

They need more time to create Government Addicts.  Just like the local Heroin Dealer… they are willing to give it to you right up until you Have to Have IT.  All these European Socialists who occupy the political offices of the United States want is enough time for there to be no way back to the way it was.  And while they don’t need to stack the courts forever, they absolutely need their people in place really friggin’ quick to fend off any legitimate lawsuits demonstrating the direct Harm being caused by this Soviet Style, Mean-Spirited and Overtly Oppressive Health Care legislation.

So the Nuclear Option was employed this morning because President Obama, Harry Reid and the rest of their Ilk see the writing on the wall.

This thing sucks.  You know it, I know it and even those blind Kool-Aid drinkers singing Obama songs before passing out at his campaign speeches now know it.  If they don’t, they’re starting to figure it out.  (The jury is still out in regard to what those people can actually figure out, but we’ll see as the weeks pass.)

Obama needs his Judges in Place.

Obama needs to be able to “expand”, in other words Stack, the courts in his favor.

Obama’s Legacy as the Man who Remade America into a Social Democracy depends on it.

And you fools are not playing along.

So they have no choice but to start pulling out the “anything’s”.


What’s good for the Gander is good for the Leathery Old Goose.

Isn’t it fun to watch the squirming when demands to release tax returns are returned at those who already hold leadership positions within the House, Senate and major political organizations such as the DNC?

So, Minority Leader Pelosi is not interested in releasing tax returns. Hmmm…  She doesn’t seem to be interested in any conversation relating to releasing tax returns… when those conversations are relating to hers.  Strange.

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, head of the DNC, has been found to have “off-shore” accounts.  Strange.

We get to re-visit Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitners tax evasion…

I promise there is more to come…

It’s fascinating to watch what is happening now that the Liberals no longer control the flow of information. It is wonderful to see the power removed by a free-market and media fractionalization. No longer can a person, any person, level a charge and not be held by someone, somewhere, to the same critique.

Since one of the miracles of being elected to public office is the sudden wealth that follows… I think it would be terrific to play this game for a little while longer.  I can only hope that we see more of this type of critical examination of all of these people on both sides of the aisle.  It’s like sunlight to vampires.  In fact, as I type this… vampires could be a terrific analogy to expand upon.

I trust the Romney campaign feels the same way and will continue to refuse to release his tax returns for another month or so.


The GOP is trying to suppress the Vote!

We should all be outraged!
It is clear, at least to Nancy Pelosi, that the GOP’s “manufactured” concern over U.S. taxpayer-funded up-armoring of Mexican Drug Cartels and the subsequent death associated with it is actually a blatant attempt to suppress the illegal alien and dead vote. Wow… after reading that last sentence it becomes clear to me as well. How could it be anything else?  Dead People and Non-U.S.Citizens beware!
I also think the attention being directed on AG Holder and his program that led to the death of over 200 Mexican Citizens and BATFE agent Brian Terry (That’s his name Mr. Carney…) is without question also a War on Women.

And, obviously the “manufactured outrage” over the BATFE operation to send guns to drug dealers using your tax dollars is just the GOP trying to embarrass the Attorney General and the President 2-years before an election.

And, the attention being given the finely crafted and expertly executed mission to hand assault weapons to Drug Cartels in Mexico, at your expense, is just a GOP “scheme” to starve minorities and push grandma over a cliff.

I wish Representative Pelosi would run for President.  She’s a smart thinker.

When it’s so clear, how can there be any questions?

Thank you Nancy for clarifying all of this for us.