Friday, October 11, 2013

Flogging Tories

What's happening in Washington is a demonstration of what happens when a political system lets a stick fall into the hands of its Flogging Tories.  Of course, so far the Tea Party's lackies are handling the stick like blindfolded children swinging at a pinata, but in absence of adult supervision from the House Leadership, they are all too likely to bring down the full faith and credit chandelier and smash the punchbowl, draining it of whatever's left of QE/monetary policy stimulus.

Monday, December 3, 2012

American Exceptionalism, Definition of

American Exceptionalism, n. (1980-present), a belief on the part of certain Americans that allows them simultaneously to feel 1) different from, 2) superior to, and 3) threatened by everyone else.  Paradoxically, the sentiment is not unique to the United States and is merely the current counterpart to sentiments expressed elsewhere in earlier eras.  Among memorable predecessor episodes, early 20th century Germans indulged themselves in the fantasy of a Teutonic master race that ended badly for everyone it touched.  In the late 19th century the French justified empire by reference to a 'mission civilatrice' in the service of the childish races while at the Victorian zenith of the British empire the English were wont to suggest that the 'niggers begin at Calais.'  And so on.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Republican, Definition of

Republican, n., (American, 2012): member of a political faction in the United States of America, who, out of fear that the country is in danger of turning into Canada, advocates policies that, if given effect, would turn the country into Mexico.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Roll over, roll over . . .

It's all over, Grover,
In a new twist, screw Norquist.

Bail out, boys (and Republican girls, too), on that no new taxes pledge, while there's still time.  Your shoes may be wet and mucked with the night soil, but if you roll up your trousers (lift up your skirt hems, ladies), there's hope you save them.

Watcha gonna do if all those cardiac care nurses, all those Marine Corps gunnery sergeants, all those front line supervisors on the night shift, wake up and realize just what they've gotten from a generation of tax cuts for the rich?   Realize what those tax cuts have done to the country they and the rest of the 47% percent love and fertilize with blood from their veins rather than trickle down and capital gains.  They've gotten less than nada.  Way less than nada.  And the crime against the country has been unspeakable.

Yeah, their kids are graduating from State U with a lot more debt--so the one percent can have one more jet?  'scuse me, its just a share in a Netjet.  New York to Nantucket, Chicago to Mackinac.  The well earned weekend.  And remind the new housekeeper that we recycle religiously.  Gotta be religious about something.  What is a carbon footprint, anyway?

Give me a break.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rich White Trash

With his latest comment about 'gifts' buying the election for Obama, which is after all just a riff on the 47 % comment, Mitt Romney is rapidly becoming to failed Presidential candidates what Jill Kelly is to honorary consuls.

And I'd like to hear him elaborate on the 47% comment again, but not on a conference call to donors.  How about to a roomful of wounded vets in a military rehab center?  But first, I'd like to hear him in front of those guys explain how his sons' service in his presidential campaign was a patriotic contribution comparable to their service in the Middle East.

Monday, November 12, 2012

How Could You Betray Us, General Petraeus?

Okay, so your little head got the better of your big head.  You're not the first guy . . .

And Paula Broadwell, you have given a whole new dimension, a final and full measure of definition, to the term 'embed.'

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Landslide Barry

From Tuesday until Saturday I watched as Florida slowly completed its tally of the Presidential vote.  On Wednesday morning, President Obama led former Governor Romney by .54 percent, just barely  enough to avoid a mandatory recount (.50 percent).  By Saturday midday the president led his challenger by .88 percent (and had broken through to an absolute majority--50.1 percent--of the total vote cast), or almost twice the margin needed to avoid the mandatory recount.

At this point a recount seems unlikely, since it matters little how big the electoral college margin is.  So, the president swept all eight of the 'toss-up' states.

That says something about how bad polling can be when somebody puts a thumb on the scale (whether that somebody is the Romney campaign desperately trying to confirm a path to victory or the media, desperately wanting to report a close contest).  And it says something that both Nate Silver and the Princeton Election Consortium were giving the good stuff anyway for free (with no social disease mambo jambo) to anyone willing to strip and dip in the data.

But it also says something about the president's re-election campaign.

He won all but two of the states he carried in 2008.  And 2008 had a couple of special elements--the ya-ya factor of the first ever election of an African American president and the repudiation of the Bush Cheney regime.  This time around, the first element was gone, and, let's face it, Obama was the guy facing repudiation.

Despite the, er, best efforts of Team Romney, the country wasn't ready to repudiate the Democrats.

And, for something to think about, not only did the country not repudiate the president, not only did the country increase the Democratic majority in the Senate, but across the country a majority of voters voted for Democratic candidates in the House of Representatives.  The only reason the Republicans control it is the odious practice of gerrymandering, at which they excel.