Monday, November 21, 2011

A Stupid Man's Idea

Krugman doesn't thnk much of the GOP "IdeaMan"
“It was his time, the Republican base doesn’t want Romney and they keep looking for an alternative, and Newt — although somebody said ‘he’s a stupid man’s idea of what a smart person sounds like,’ but he is more plausible than the other guys they’ve been pushing up.”

This would be fun other than what it says about the state of our two party system...

The President, "No"

So who was that guy on my TV? He looked a lot like Pres Obama.

I assume he means it, "No," you don't get to just bypass your "Super Committee" deal. I found the whole "Super Committee" thing ludicrous on its face and political buck passing by the GOPers. Now lets see if Americans get straight in their heads who has what role - Congress passes laws and the Pres signs or vetoes them. His actual power is that and it begins to look as though the GOPers walked into a massive trap.

My affection for the Pres veers around quite a bit and it is based mostly on what he is willing to tolerate and some of that I don't like one damn bit. He is a hugely better choice for President than anyone the GOP is promoting, but that is also a pretty back-handed compliment.

I've heard people say that if in 2012 we'll have won if we re-elect the President in regard to things like OWS and rightwing nuttery. I disagree. Rather than making actual progress we'll have marked place or slowed the descent to hell. We won't have won spit and we won't until this nation ceases to tolerate positions where Obama seems anything other than moderate right.

You can love this President and still agree with me...

The GOP's Deep Bench?

It has been an article of faith amongst Democratic activists that one thing the GOP has done is to develop a deep bench. There sure the hell are alot of candidates "running" in the GOP Presidential Primary but if this is a bench it surely is an egg sucker of one. If you look at MultipleMitt as the presumptive front runner/nominee it looks as though the quarterback ought to be playing tiddly-winks and his back-ups can't get out of the sandbox. Now, lots of GOPers go with the claims that there are those not running who ought to be, but that sure begs the question of, "why aren't they if they're so good?"

One of the "conservative" favorites is Mitch Daniels, but he appears to have some kind of family problems and a close national look at Indiana politics ought to blow right up in his face. Then there's Chris Christy, who might be just plain too mean spoken to appeal to somebody other than the angry right and he's just way too damn NE Liberal GOP to do spit in the Confederate Party of Republicanism. Jeb Bush, um - Bush? I'm really at a loss to come up with replacements from whatever bench it is proposed to exist.

The bench is composed of GOPers, after all. That does mean they adhere to the GOP idiotology and that has gotten so far out of hand that reason is one of the last things they have to offer to voters. It looks as though they'll have to fall back to their old standbys of fear and hatred. That will work with a certain percentage (27% seems to be it) but that should be short.

I'd say it is up to Democrats to offer something that looks like a real alternative other than "not as bad as."

(hmmm, I think I'll coin a new tag - NABA)

Can’t we do better than this?

John Cole at BalloonJuice asked that question, in a post regarding the violence at UC Davis:

Which leads me to what bothers me the most, which is the failure of leadership in every institution in this country. Can’t we do better than this? Can’t we do better than pay 400k to someone who doesn’t have an instinctive gut rejection of the idea of macing a bunch of kids sitting on a sidewalk. Can’t we do better than that? Shouldn’t we be able with that kind of money and benefits and perks to find someone who would immediately recoil at the thought of sending riot police with batons and chemical weapons to go thump the kids paying 35,000 a year for the privilege to sit in that public space? Can’t we find people whose immediate response to everything is not the application of force and a reliance on police brutality? Are we really this lost as a nation that our academic institutions are run by sociopaths with no problem solving skills? It’s just fucking amazing, whether it be UC Davis or Penn State or Wall Street or the Catholic Church or, well, wherever.

I like BalloonJuice and I think Cole is a really good writer, but...

Maybe there's an age difference or maybe some different choices in reading American history between us, but the tone is one of offense taken to a violation of an accepted standard that I don't see as having existed except theoretically. I do understand that if you stay within the bounds of what the establishment finds acceptable in belief or values you should be fine. You won't have done a damn thing to better the system, but you won't get pepper sprayed in your Teabagger costume of 'Ladyliberty.' It was quite well understood by the cops and their directors that the Teabaggers were the GOP and quite within the bounds of belief that the plutocratic state approves. The same cannot be said for OWS, it is a direct assault on that plutocratic state.

It has been said that history is just the story the victors tell. That was much more true of periods when literacy was uncommon than it has been from the time literacy was fairly common - at least for something other than "popular" history. The actuallity of the history of anti-establishment movements and protest in this nation is that they've been met with state approved violence with numbing consistency. On occassion this violence has backfired by engaging the general populace in matters that 'were not their concern.' (see Civil Rights or Labor) At those times, as today, most media was complicit in demonizing the protesters and scoffing at their cause.

No John, we're not better than this; this is what we do and what we have done from the time Declaration of Independence signers were still holding office. I am scarcely suggesting that we shouldn't do better - I just want it understood that this establishment protection behavior is deeply engrained and it involves one hell of a fight to do something about it and the natural tendencies of police too ... well act like ... police.

(in case anyone think I'm bashing John as ignorant - I think the failing is more one of POV, he wants to trust our establishment and I flatly do not. I think history is on my side. The civics lesson of the run up to and process of the Revolutionary War was quickly forgotten by a hell of a lot of the leaders - the Establishment protects itself whether it be George V or Citibank.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Not Mitt Of The Week

I'll save myself the blood pressure hike of analyzing every body's favorite lizard Newt, and you the boredom of repetition. This week or last week the leader is/has been the NotMitt. I can certainly understand the NotMitt sentiment on their side - what they've got is an opposition field that completely sucks eggs. The NotMitts consist of grifters running performance art projects ... and Rick Perry. The Perry Problem is that he's managed to look dumber than a post next to ... posts. (no I didn't mention Huntsman - nobody does)

The GOP adopted a proportional delegate selection process which may cause them some real heartburn this time out. There certainly are smaller areas where MultipleMitt will do well on the basis of not being barking at the moon crazy but that leaves plenty of smaller areas where that barking will be the compelling narrative. MultipleMitt just doesn't create what you could call enthusiasm - well he does in a negative sense. Enthusiasm of some form is what gets people to go out and actually vote for a candidate in something like a Primary and Primaries are notoriously low turnout elections. (even amongst GOPers)

When the voting does start, if somebody is in the position of the NotMitt of the Week they could benefit from Mitten's lack of appeal. If that translates to a loss or very narrow win for Mittens those NotMitts will get a bump with Primaries starting to stack up. Proposing to use logic and reason to analyze how things shake out is a real iffy project with the crazy/stupid. Reason would tend to favor somebody who has run in at least statewide elections and done well and who has money - Perry. There is a reason US House members are under-represented as Presidents. Playing to a small electorate with narrow interests isn't the same thing as appealing to the public at large.

The Administration apparently has decided that the eventual nominee will be MultipleMitt. I don't know, they're pros and all, but I do wonder if that disqualifies them from figuring out how this will go. The professionals and establishment keep beating the drum about Multiple being the only one with a chance against Obama and thus getting the final nod. One could point to some '10 elections and scratch his head.

This could give me a headache... OMG, I just realized I'd spent all these words to tell you nothing.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mitt, 'Idiotology Trumps Facts'

Oh for gods sake, Mittens...

“Sometimes you wonder, would there be someway to introduce some private sector competition, somebody else that could come in and say, you know, each soldier gets X thousand dollars attributed to them and then they can choose whether they want to go on the government system or the private system and then it follows them, like what happens with schools in Florida where they have a voucher that follows them. Who knows.”

We must help those poor veteran victims of socialization...
Steve Benen bothered to take a look at what actually happens at the VA. Quoting Philip Longman:

An answer came in 2003, when the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine published a study that compared veterans health facilities on 11 measures of quality with fee-for-service Medicare. On all 11 measures, the quality of care in veterans facilities proved to be ‘significantly better.’ … The Annals of Internal Medicine recently published a study that compared veterans health facilities with commercial managed-care systems in their treatment of diabetes patients. In seven out of seven measures of quality, the VA provided better care.”

This surely needs Mitten's grubby profit hands all over it.

Facts entirely optional GOPers...

I'm not suggesting that health care isn't (rude word) up.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

How Long Mitt? (edit) NOT LONG)

How much time will elapse between the elections last night and Mitten's refutation of his support for Zygote Citizenship and Union Busting? Suppose it will be some nuanced, well those were sorta like what I want but not quite and ... Obama, anyhow - or will he just forget he ever had anything to do with such things?

Most of the rest of them were too far into that camp to switch gears and besides their voters won't tolerate any ... back-sliding.

I don't know that OH2 and MS26 signal any political re-structuring but they certainly give The Administration a Romney Ballbat. That is useful...

I do have to wonder how a debate on a "business" channel is going to work out in MI with previous anti-auto bailout rhetoric laying there like a large ... dogpile. That and the approval of the State subsidized foreign auto makers in ... ooops ... The Confederacy. Er Mitt, Michigan was pretty proud of the number of troops it sent into the Civil War Meatgrinder. Maybe in the rarified Romney surroundings you missed the monuments in every town?

Oh hell, there is that safe 27% of the electorate is safely ... CPR*.

*see tag


So it took until this afternoon for the Romney campaign to state that he never was on they Zygote Bandwagon. Ummm ... video tape Mittens? Mike Huckabee and the word "Absolutely"? Honestly, this makes the crumbiest choices Democrats have had look like a choice between saints.

Gotta love it...

In Ohio and Mississippi Stupidity Loses

The first order of business is to acknowledge all the smart hard work done by volunteers and congratulate them on the outcomes. Ohio's 2 and Mississippi's 26 went down by large margins. The issues at hand managed to essentially offend a broad spectrum of voters and failed thanks to that. Well, that and some actual organizing and pushback that amounted to more than whining.

There has been a lot of happiness on the leftish side about the overfall results of the off-season elections. It is nice to have something to be happy about but over reading the elections isn't smart. I don't have much to say about MS26 because it was patently stupid and obviously a step way too far. OH2 was a bit of a different thing, it was a GOP wet-dream and something they really wanted - a mechanism to break unions. The GOP's problem is that they struck at something important to people, more important than "god, gays, and guns." The GOP didn't just play the division game, they played an actual issue. That is the crux.

The GOP does pretty well with emotional division bullshit, and have for quite awhile. OH2 turned on something else and blew up in their faces. This ought to be considered in any leftish celebrations. OH2 isn't a repudiation of the GOP, it is a repudiationn of their stepping out of their baliwick of emo-stupidity. If you're thinking the GOP hate and division machine is mortally wounded then you're just not paying attention to what voters get up to. There is a difference between smacking a broad coalition in the face and kicking the small and impotent around. The GOP miscalculated the amount of "the other" factor involved with unions - it just isn't the same thing as ... gay. There are just way too many people involved, especially if you include friends and relatives.

The other side, loosely called Democrats, can learn something from this - especially the part about giving a broad spectrum something to get excited about. Sure, go ahead and hold your breath...

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Sexual Harassment

Just to be real clear, I don't think sexual harassment is a joke or mostly made up. I don't have much of anything like experience with it at a personal level for a couple reasons, I work construction and I was boss and I would not tolerate any crap that broke the relationship of being a crew.

Doing something that makes the work place a hostile environment is wrong and if done from a position of power even more unacceptable. I just don't give the least bit of a damn about Cain.

The Cain Game Fun

The Media, even David Gregory, have been busy analyzing the Cain situation ... no really ... not just stenographing. This is a pretty funny thing to see. Any GOPer you can think of is allowed to make fact free assertions on their programs that flatly contradict actual, ummm, facts without even a bit of questioning.

What could possibly be different here? Well there is the sex aspect of it. The sex aspect has driven some stories before. Here is one thing that certainly is true in this case - Herman Cain is not the Establishment's candidate. That "NOT" is important, the Establishment does not want the candidate of their Party to be an actual clown - as opposed to a multiple choice Mittster type.

I doubt that Mitt's weaknesses please them, but they certainly don't have a real problem with his current momentary positions. Cain is certainly in line with them, but Cain as GOP candidate for President is a joke and that's known by everybody other than the twenty some percent who say they'll vote for him.

I'm not saying anything about the veracity of the women's allegations. People have been known to lie and they've also been known to tell the truth in extremely difficult situations. I could care less about Herman Cain, what I care about is what this says about our political process and the media's part in it and the plutocratic control of the whole damn mess.

Hold onto your hats ... I just heard David Gregory, no kidding, state that Cain has no facts to back up his assertion that OWS and the Democrat-machine ramped this up. "NO FACTS" from David Gregory??? Honest-to-pete when these people go this far out of character you have to know something is going on that isn't ordinary.

Don't forget that for the Establishment to have a Cain type as candidate could allow a Democrat to say something Progressive and not get hung for it... That certainly would not do.

Just to be clear about harassment

Caligula's Horse

Pierce at Esquire had this to say about voting for GOPers in, say, Ohio:

You knew what they were when you invited them in. You might as well be surprised and offended when your dog licks his nuts in front of the vicar.

I know some actual liberals/progressives from the various states that elected Kasich types to "responsible" positions who vehemently did not vote for them. To be sure, it is unfair to paint with too broad a brush but the election results speak for themselves. Maybe the polling shows that voters would do something different and you'd like to think they've learned a lesson. I also have a bridge in Brooklyn...

If lessons were learned in this way you'd think there would have been second thoughts about putting the cretins who wrecked the economy back in charge. You'd think that what some random woman does with her uterus is less important than ... gads, fill in the damn blank.

I pretty much grew up in Ohio and got a good education thanks to their system and had some other fair opportunities - along with the privilege of watching some of my peers get shot by the National Guard under another GOPer. That was also a point where a significant portion of the public figured those kids had it coming. I never saw any good reason for the large percentage of Ohioans who were members of the Northern Confederacy; but they certainly do exist.

That bunch would elect Caligula's horse if it wore an (R). I have no idea what the rest of the Kasich voters' excuse is. Well, they do say things, but...

I'm really glad there are people out there who have had the nerve and energy to push back - it shouldn't have been necessary. THAT is the whole point of voting.

***Just a note in fairness - I live in OR-02 and they've proven they'd elect that horse... er have done it, at least the back portion of it.

Monday, November 07, 2011

GOP ABM* Strikes

*Anyone But Mitt

With Huntsman deep in the weeds, Mitt seems the only "establishment" candidate to the GOP. That is just plain unacceptable and thus:
Trump Bump
Bachmann Bump
Perry Bump
Cain Bump

And now ... MSM is on about a Newt bump. A bump for the tired old idea (I use that word extremely loosely - fantasies) man; a guy whose personal behavior most of them would loath and whose campaign is transparently about self-promotion. The Media Pundits may ignore this stuff but even if Newt moves up some I strongly doubt he can strike any emotional chords with the ABMs nor does he have real money to sustain himself without a real connection to emotion. I think the Media is playing the "it's his turn" theme rather than looking at Newt and the ABMs.

The sex stuff isn't going to do huge damage to Cain, but he will implode at some point with that group and never ever forget that he is ... well, black. What I do think is that if Perry can stop doing things the way he has been he's going to be their guy. He's white, he's from Texass, and he's ... hmmmm ... pretty ... and he's white... Oh yeah, he does have some real money. And even if he is stupid he might be able to stop doing it in front of voters.

When something is operating in a mode like ABM, an entire negative, staying power helps - that and an ability to not do something stupid. You've got people looking for someplace to land, not an actual enthusiasm for, and about all that requires is an ability to stay in front of them and some sort of "charm." Charm is another of those words I'm using loosely since it can easily include a 'go for the nuts' type persona they wouldn't want as a dinner guest - supposedly a Perry characteristic.

I'm not presenting this as some sort of prediction - it's silly to do that with crazy people; not that I like Mitt a bit, either. The Obama Campaign seems to think Mitt will be the one but I'm less sure. They may well have fallen into the trap of using reason in regard to craziness. I'm inclined to think an ABM could pull it off, especially considering Mitt's consistent 23%.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Sure, It's Fun Laughing At The GOPers...

I know a lot of my readers (using the words 'a lot' is hyperbole) get some real fun out of what the GOP has to offer this time around. They're so easy to mock and so full of s**t on a regular basis that...

Here's the thing about that; this has something to say about the state of the nation that isn't in the least reassuring. There are two Parties in this country and one of them is producing what the GOP is. What that means to the "other" party is yet to be seen. Running against lunatics/multiple choicers leaves that "other" party with a hell of a lot of options to be ... stupidly almost GOP. How will the Democrats read the public? Will they read the election as really being between Right and Righter? They have done that previously.

The most open question today is whether the electorate can understand that fiddling around at the margins of the system is inadequate and that the failure to recover falls on the heads of those fiddlers and the total obstructionists. There is discontent, how deep and how reflective it is I can't begin to measure. If the "Middle" is still stuck on the "fiddle around" with the status quo position we are going to see candidates and policies that reflect that and the same failures. Politicians aren't generally known as risk takers and expecting them to move more than marginally from the status quo isn't reasonable if the "Middle" hasn't already been there for some time.

I don't think the Democrats generally are so stupid as to not realize that being the Party of the GOP's previous decade or so isn't going to address what's wrong with the nation. That particular intellectual "accomplishment" doesn't mean spit in regard to what policies they'll advocate or support. I'm not ignoring the percentage of Democratic legislators that would do something, I'm flatly aware of what the outcomes are.

OWS may mean something, but in regard to actual useful policy it won't mean anything unless that "Middle" is truly pissed off. I don't have polite words for the outlook of that group other than status quo at all costs. Accurate adjectives involve swearing and words like ... nah, not gonna go there. If that's where you stand - I have no appologies to make.

No, I'm not in the least optimistic.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

OWS, I Appologize - Sort of

From the start OWS garnered my emotive support and my intellectual dismissal. I understood what OWS was unhappy about, in fact I figured it was about thirty years late in coming. What my intellect dismissed was its staying power and the reach it could have into political discourse.

I didn't believe the plutocracy would allow its reporting or physically allow them to stay. I never thought the lack of a narrow political agenda was a problem, but I did dismiss their chances of pushing the economic dialogue anywhere in their direction.

I don't think the GOP is real impressed yet, they still see it as a target of convenience. I have an utter disbelief that Democratic outcomes will show any particular effect any time soon but I am actually impressed to see the President and a few other speaking in more openly populist terms. Lacking OWS I strongly doubt the President would have adopted his current ... confrontational? ... style.

I don't think it is so late that flaming mansions are required to get some sort of relief within the halls of government, though thinking something realistically effective is coming soon is pretty damn optimistic. It isn't as though we lack models that have demonstrated their utility through practice, it is true that those models are nowadays considered radical.

Facts are blatantly on the side of OWS, that has never proven a decisive factor in politics. People are actually starting to make a fight out of something that should have been settled business a half-century ago. No, I don't really expect the plutocracy to let much happen and they certainly own sufficient law-makers to ensure not much happens. Sides are being picked ... what that means is still an open question as are the consequences for being on the wrong side from the American people.

I cannot afford to do a damn thing to help keep OWS going beyond typing this handful of words but if you've got even a couple bucks with nothing to do there are ways to help out, even if it is just ordering a pizza to be delivered to their site, it would be something.

Oh yeah, about that appology ... sorry to be too quick to dismiss.

I Know,

I quit politics. Addiction is a powerful thing.

The Perry Saviour

You can look at the current GOP field and find something interesting at the most optimistic and if you were a GOPer - appalling. It is pretty obvious that there exists a rather sizable and wealthy "Anybody But Mitt" segment of the GOP. This is where the Rick Perry campaign came from.

Now, if you cannot understand the sizable "ABM" sentiment because you aren't a GOPer you could try this one on to see how you would react - Joe Lieberman For President (D). If the mere concept makes you throw up a little, you can start to "sympathize" with the "ABM"s. I may have found Barack Obama, the primary candidate, a bit lacking in leftism but supportable as intelligent and generally in agreement with my concept of a Democrat - something Joe Lieberman totally fails. It is reasonable to assume that the GOPers who put forward Rick Perry were at least astute enough to understand that the rest of the clown parade were ... well, clowns and never going to get anywhere in a General Election. In shorter terms, not completely stupid.

Before his entry, I was somewhat familiar with Rick Perry by reputation. The reputation of not losing elections, the reputation for being a 'hardnosed' candidate, and someone the handful of thinking Texans I know of, loathed and considered stupid. It has taken his entry into "Presidential" politics to acquaint me with the levels of incompetence he has, a Texan who makes GWB look able and Sarah Palin a speaker of the English language. It isn't as though he wasn't good at debating, a shy child would have out-performed him. His speech in New Hampshire ... well, jeeze. His failure at the persona of candidate isn't even the crux of the issue.

This guy's campaign looked at a demographic that thought the tax code is a mess and decided to add a voluntary additional layer to the current mess. Never mind that the voluntary chunk would screw them and aid the oligarchy - even the factually impaired will quickly grasp that it is just another layer of complexity.

What you're looking at in this little snapshot of Rick Perry is what the ABMs came up with, their best shot. This is the cure for Mittism. Imagine that you are a GOPer and this is what a bunch of your movers and shakers came up with as Party Saviour.

I find it real damn difficult to feel sorry for the GOPers, but there's an actual twinge.