Thursday, August 18, 2011

Having Trouble Posting On Threads?

I've received word from someone who says Blogger won't accept his posts. If anyone else is having trouble, let me know at It's been giving me trouble too, so I may well be migrating to wordpress. Other suggestions for non-google-related free blog hosting sites also appreciated.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

John Stewart Agrees with Me About Ron Paul

Looks like I'm not the only one who has noticed that Ron Paul is being ignored by the media despite his popularity among voters:

Apparently Fox News is among the worst offenders. Huh. I was irritated that CNN gave him short shrift. I had no idea Fox was in on this.

Do The Elites Need an Eye-Opening Ass-kicking?

There's much controversy today over the colorful way in which Texas Governor Rick Perry has expressed his disagreement with the fiscal policy of Ben Bernanke.

And boy, are the panties atwist.  Perry must be interpreted literally, they insist. Not figuratively, That's not allowed.

Look, Perry is not circumspect. He's not an "iron fist in velvet glove" guy. He's just an iron fist guy. He doesn't pause and carefully chose words in order to find clever ways to say nasty things that don't sound nasty at first. Many are sure this is a bug. But how many regular folks will find it to be a refreshing feature?

Ordinarily, I don't go down the road of criticizing elitism. I usually find it to be a dumb anti-intellectual meme favored by know-nothings.

But when it comes to political speech and analyzing it, that's overwhelmingly the province of the elite. Well educated folks who are all wonky about politics, Like me, and like the posters I talk with at  Donklephant  and  Rise of The Center.:

  • People who have big vocabularies. 
  • People who enjoy reading lots of stuff, sometimes high-brow and with sophisticated analysis. 
  • People who then enjoy writing their opinions carefully and at length, using just the right words.

Such folks have a built-in bias for taking care with how one expresses one's views. So they generally fall right into line with interpreting quickly expressed ideas literally when they should quite obviously be interpreted figuratively.

Time after time after time, I have seen that the regular  non-wonk world has little patience with such nonsense. And I agree with them. How is it that so many well-educated hard-thinking Americans has developed this blind spot for the difference between literal and figurative expression? Maybe the only way to rid them of this blind spot is to just kick their asses really really until it goes away. Figuratively of course, not literally, for the dense among you.

Oh, and just let me add, to fend off ill-targeted drive-by comments: I voted for Obama in 2008 and plan to vote for him again in  2012. I don't like or support Rick Perry.

Monday, August 15, 2011

It Bothers Me That Ron Paul Gets Less Coverage

I'm not a Ron Paul supporter. But while he came in second in the Iowa straw poll, all the media seems interested in talking about is Mitt Romney versus Rick Perry. Look, they reporteded every utterance by  Sara Palin for the last 2 years. They've lately been giving Michelle Bachman the same platform. Donald Trump was treated as serious and viable.Wolf Blitzer is the Donald's lap dog, for chrissake.

If they can do all those things, then they can cover Ron Paul every bit as much. He's more popular than most of these other folks. And even if you don't agree with him, it's easy to see that he's a more useful voice. On issue after issue  he makes decently-reasoned cases for his positions that go well beyond the talking point pablum of a Palin, a Bachman, a Perry. That deserves an audience.

I don't want major news outlets to decide what the story is going to be. It's not their role to cut to the chase. Right now, they are supposed to be telling the story of which folks Americans might prefer to be the protagonists next year.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Last Time I Get Burned Like This

So here's the theme song for the 2012 elections. Vote for Republicans OR democrats? I don't think so.

Don't Get Fooled Again, Folks!

In congressional nitwit ping-pong, the people are the ball and the parties are the paddle. Back and forth we go between preferring the half-truths of one party, then the other. How will democrats seek to make their next shift back towards full power?

For starters, pay attention, and use your memory. Looking back just a little ways, it's quite easy to see that irrespective of how the GOP may have behaved recently, there's simply no reason to now entrust democrats with the keys to the car again.
  • Informed independents sat and listened for over a year while democratic supporters claimed that Obama care (which I supported, BTW) was revenue positive according to the CBO. Every time dems were told that this was based on cuts to medicare providers that would NEVER happen, they utterly ignored this and simply repeated that the CBO was trustworthy. 
  • Prior to that, for years and years, we all listened to democratic supporters who insisted that social security would not become a burden to the federal budget until after an accounting device called the social security trust fund was used up. And who was right? Not democrats.

Look, NO ONE can claim with honesty that democrats as a group have given a true shit about deficit spending. What little there is has come with way too much arm twisting. They've only just begun to grudgingly concede that it's an issue. And no one can tell us how many actual votes there are for SS and medicare reform within the democratic party. Here's the real kicker:
Democrats are trying to position their entire party as the reasonable ones almost exclusively on the back of their President's public pronouncements, none of which have been supported by actual details.
In other words, we have no idea how "willing to deal" they actually are. How recently was it that both Nancy Reid and Nancy Pelosi declared SS and medicare sacrosanct? Has it been weeks? Days? Hours? What sorts of changes are now supportable in their view? 

Sure. Republicans got serious religion about our debt only after they were ejected. But it's been a strand in their DNA for quite awhile.  And what has gotten any of the democrats "willing to deal" at all? Republican intransigence. 

To believe that the democrats are the white hats in this is naive. And to believe that they would substantially tackle America's debt problem if only they were freed from Republican intransigence is a fool's mileage.

Don't get fooled again.

It's not about blame, it's about responsibiiity. Further it's about Americans as a group opening theiu eyes and seeing that congress as an institution won't take that responsibility. So we'll  have to replace them with folks that will.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Forecast Calls For Pain, Pt. 2

In the immediate aftermath of the debt ceiling debacle, subsequent credit downgrade, market tankings, and renewed fears over a double dip recession, what's the congressional prognosis? What's the next chapter in As The Incompetent Nitwits Turn? The forecast calls for pain. Again.

When we last left our heroes, they had begun retreating to their lush summer homes to recuperate from the exhausting effort of not budging on anything, changing their minds about nothing, and blaming the other side for everything. They left us with the promise to work from a committee geared towards compromise.

Riiiiiiiight. Today, the names of the committee members are trickling out. Let the vicious, mean-spirited squabbling begin resume continue. Let each side tell us why the other side's choices demonstrate bad faith while theirs are the height of wisdom and good faith.

Now, notice that neither party's diarrhea-mouthed PR flacks can even manage to keep their mouths shut about who gets on the committee. The sniping can't even wait until the committee gets to work and floats preliminary proposals. Really?

So, are we actually supposed to believe that this committee is going to do a single thing to get us closer to the scope of compromise we're going to need to bridge a defict gap between 2.2 trillion dollars of revenue and 3.7 trillion dollars of spending? How stupid, how guileless, how innocently faithful would we have to be?

I don't believe it for a second. Not one second. Republicans have shown nothing if not an invigorated commitment to opposing revenue increases no matter what else comes up on the table with it. They won't support restoring the previous top tax bracket rate. And they won't support any proposal that closes corporate tax loopholes while lowering tax rates if that proposal results in any immediate additional government revenue. And democrats won't heave even a smidgen of social security or medicare revisions onto the table without that. I'm calling it now. The absolute best we can hope for out of this committee is bitterness, gridlock, vitriol, and another last minute deal that does the absolute bare minimum. Along with yet another empty promise to try harder and do better next time.

Time for regular Americans to notice that we've been in an abusive relationship with both Democrats and Republicans in congress. And they're never going to change. Thy take us for granted, they beat us, and then they make empty promises that this time they're really going to change. Time to walk out. Or else we keep getting what we deserve.

UPDATE: John Avlon reports on CNN that not a single member so far named has any record of bipartisan compromise. They're all staunch partisans, says Avlon, and the committee is a recipe for more gridlock. What a shocker. It occurs to me that the should have made each party choose the OTHER party's members.