Sunday, August 15, 2010

Last Call

Pretty good article over at Raw Story tonight detailing why Michael Steele no longer matters to the Republicans:  he's no longer in charge:  Karl Rove is.

Appearing on CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday, Republican strategist Ed Rollins was asked to comment on the so-called "shadow RNC" that has sprung up to bypass Steele as the Republican party's core management. Rollins has in recent months emerged as a strong Republican critic of chairman Steele, after calling for his resignation in April.

"[He’s] so immersed in controversy that he’s kind of in a bunker these days," host Bob Schieffer said, noting Steele's reluctance to appear on television. "Are Republicans going to have to do something about Michael Steele?"

"Well, there’s no time," Rollins replied, noting the upcoming election season. "Obviously he’s been a disaster. You have three men on this show -- not me, but the other three -- who have all been party chairmen and very distinguished party chairmen. Michael Steele has failed miserably in the things you’re supposed to do: raise money and basically go out and articulate the message. It’s not going to matter though -- in the 11 weeks from now, what he says and does in the next 11 weeks is not going to matter."

The reason Rollins says it will not matter is because of the so-called "shadow RNC" formed by former Bush political adviser Karl Rove and former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie, which has effectively undermined Steele's position, rendering him nothing more than a figurehead.

Rove disclosed during a July broadcast by Fox News, his part-time employer, that his American Crossroads groups would effectively benefit via financing loopholes opened by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.
Ol' Turd Blossom is calling the shots.  Republicans are going right back to the Karl Rove playbook to try to bring down Obama and Dems heading into the election.  Thanks to SCOTUS they will be able to spend unlimited funding especially in the last 30 days.  The RNC fundraising machine has been bypassed by Rove's Crossroads outfit.

In effect, he's leading the charge to buy Congress back.  And he'll have tens if not hundreds of millions to help him do so.

Gotta love the American election system, eh?

Cheapening The Discourse

Oh noes!

Clearly I have been caught assisting TBogg in cheapening the discourse with my vile, vituperative uneducated blogger self and must therefore immediately submit to a Blogger Ethics Panel as outlined in Section IV Paragraph 23 Sub-section D in the Village Code.  I shall inevitably be detained along with my criminal acquaintance Steve M.

Also, I thought it was "bowl" and not "bag" but bags are recyclable and environmentally friendly which no doubt makes this crime all the more heinous.

I Know Obama's Position On Cordoba House Is Right...

...because it's the exact opposite of what Bill Kristol thinks Obama should be doing. As people a lot smarter than I have pointed out, Bill Kristol is never right about anything and in a sane world would have his writings collected as evidence he isn't fit to be released from the sanitarium yet.

Why he is still considered one of the leading media voices on "conservatism" is truly one of the great mysteries of our time, right up there with the success of Jersey Shore. Kristol should be opposed most vocally by actual conservatives.

As TBogg reminds us, the last time we listened to Kristol's advice...

But even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism. The United States must therefore provide full military and financial support to the Iraqi opposition.

...we got exactly what we deserved.

School Supply-Side Economics

More and more school districts like St. Clair County, Alabama are asking parents to cover school supply shortfalls.  These days, that means even basic stuff like cleaning supplies and glue.
When Emily Cooper headed off to first grade in Moody, Ala., last week, she was prepared with all the stuff on her elementary school’s must-bring list: two double rolls of paper towels, three packages of Clorox wipes, three boxes of baby wipes, two boxes of garbage bags, liquid soap, Kleenex and Ziplocs.
“The first time I saw it, my mouth hit the floor,” Emily’s mother, Kristin Cooper, said of the list, which also included perennials like glue sticks, scissors and crayons.
Schools across the country are beginning the new school year with shrinking budgets and outsize demands for basic supplies. And while many parents are wincing at picking up the bill, retailers are rushing to cash in by expanding the back-to-school category like never before. 
Gotta love that libertarian utopia we're becoming.  "Let the parents of kids in schools pay for it all, not my tax dollars!"
Pre-kindergartners in the Joshua school district in Texas have to track down Dixie cups and paper plates, while students at New Central Elementary in Havana, Ill., and Mesa Middle School in Castle Rock, Colo., must come to class with a pack of printer paper. Wet Swiffer refills and plastic cutlery are among the requests from St. Joseph School in Seattle. And at Pauoa Elementary School in Honolulu, every student must show up with a four-pack of toilet paper.

For the retailers, back-to-school season is second only to the holidays, and parents’ longer school-supply lists are a bonus — especially at a time when shoppers are reluctant to spend. While the impact is not enormous, retailers are looking for anything to lift sales.

“It’s newfound business that the retailers didn’t have a year or two ago,” said Steve Mahurin, executive vice president of merchandising for Office Depot. 
And see it's good for the economy because it's making parents spend at retailers instead of schools buying it in bulk at a discount!  Get involved!  Guide your kids!  Pull your weight!  Buy toilet paper your school can't afford!  We should be celebrating the fact that we're holding schools accountable for taxpayer money like this and making parents pick up the tab instead of taxpayers!

And hey, if parents can afford all these supplies, then we have room to trim school budgets even more, right?  We should be proud of starving out the government educational beast!  Kids are small anyway, they need to toughen up and learn that life sucks and only through working hard do you get anywhere.  Hey, why have school anyway?  The only real education is a practical education in the concrete jungle.  The ones who thrive will succeed...the rest are parasites, right?

Welcome to Galt Elementary School.  Today's recess will be held in the Gulch.

The Debate Is Heating Up

The warmest June on record followed by the second warmest July on record...
Worldwide, the average temperature in July was 61.6 degrees Fahrenheit (16.5 Celsius), the National Climatic Data Center reported Friday. Only July 1998 was hotter since recordkeeping began more than a century ago.

And the January-July period was the warmest first seven months of any year on record, averaging 58.1 F (14.5 C). In second place was January-July of 1998.

The report comes after a month of worldwide extremes including floods, fires, melting ice and feverish heat. Atmospheric scientists have grown increasingly concerned about human-induced global warming in recent years, though political pressures and fierce arguments about climate change have slowed efforts to develop solutions.

The climate center noted that a condition called La Nina developed during July as the waters of the central Pacific Ocean cooled. This is expected to last through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2010-2011.

That could be bad news for the Gulf of Mexico as La Nina years tend to have more hurricanes, and such storms could interfere with the clean up of the oil spilled in that region. 
But...e-mails from scientists!  Al Gore is fat!  George Soros!  Lamestream Media!  It snows in winter!  Cap and Tax!  Never waste a crisis!  God will provide!  Clap harder!  Junk science!

And make sure we actually do...nothing about this.

An Exercise In Pattern Recognition

Doug J at Balloon Juice argues that the similarities between Cordoba House and the Prop 8 ruling, that is "Democrats defending an unpopular minority through the Constitution", is part of a much larger pattern.
Reflecting on the twin horrors of gay marriage and the wholesale destruction of a Burlington Coat Factory outlet in lower Manhattan, I see a lot of similarity between the two issues. Frum Forum makes the point that all Obama said last night is that that “our laws grant people the right to do what they please with their own property….One’s rights don’t evaporate upon the majority taking offense”.
That extends to Arizona's  SB1070 law as well.  Republicans want to take rights away from people and only let the majority have them in a mob mentality government.  Democrats want to extend, protect, and guarantee rights to all Americans, including the unpopular minorities.
To paraphrase Raymond Chandler, it is not funny that someone should be dehumanized, but it is sometimes funny that he should be dehumanized over so little, and that his dehumanization should be the coin of what we call civilization.
Dehumanization is the currency of the Republican Party.  Latinos, gays and Muslims are the Others.  They're not Real Americans.  Their rights must be curtailed through the will of the majority because they are unpopular.  Republicans want to apply the Constitution through Rasmussen polls.  Only the approved religions get to build here.  Only the approved relationships count as marriage.  Only the approved people born here count as citizens.

Everybody at some point is a minority in some way, shape, or belief, folks.  What happens when the Tyranny of the Majority tries to take that away from you?  This is not a government by mob rule.  It's not administrated through Facebook posts or Sunday show rants or op-ed columns.  It's a government by Constitution where your rights are guaranteed even if you are an unpopular minority, and especially if you are an unpopular minority.

History will remember which party made the tough calls to stand up for these minorities for their rights, and which party tried to profit politically off of nothing but fear of and hatred for an unpopular minority.  You do have a clear choice in 2010 at the polls:  expanding rights to include all or limiting them to just the majority.

Is that what Americans should be all about?  Too many times in our darker parts of history the answer was yes.  We come around eventually, but it takes time.  It also takes people recognizing that hatred for what it is, the most base, cynical form of emotional manipulation, and resisting it.

Credit Where Credit Is Due

The good news is Americans are paying off debt and improving their credit scores.  The bad news is Americans are saving that credit for dealing with the next financial storm and they aren't buying as much with it, and that's leading to deflation.
This protracted reluctance on the part of consumers to take out debt and spend it is unmatched in recent memory.

Even after the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City's World Trade Center, spending rebounded within four months, he said.

The United States will not see a similar upward trend until unemployment abates and home values stabilize, Adams said, adding he doubts the unemployment numbers will drop in the near-term.

In the meantime, U.S. consumers are husbanding their resources instead of spending on items big or small.

Demand for home loans rose the week of August 6, but only by less than 1 percent, even though 30-year loan rates fell to 4.57 percent, the lowest in 20 years of recording keeping by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Even everyday indulgences are less in favor. Revolving balances on bank-issued credit cards have fallen to 2005 levels, to $716.9 billion in July from a peak of $835.7 billion in October 2008.

"Credit card balances reflect whether consumers are going out to dinner and buying clothes and they are continuing to drop," Adams said. "Consumers do not have confidence and prefer to build up their balance sheets instead of spend."
Despite record low mortgage rates,  banks have ratcheted credit back, consumers have ratcheted spending back, and we're stuck in a deflationary cycle as credit gets taken out of the economy.  Americans are getting worried they'll have to use that card for groceries and gas to make it through a rough patch rather than a new item.

Too many of us are worried about losing what we have, so we're playing it safe.  Even worse, many of us are in a situation where we don't have a choice.
Related Posts with Thumbnails