Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Last Call

The postmortems on how Obama has already lost everything are getting annoying.

“He cannot save 2010,” the big-time Democrat is saying of Barack Obama. “It is gone. He must now concentrate on saving 2012. But the biggest fear of some of those close to him is that he might not really want to go on in 2012, that he might not really care.”

In my experience, the big-time Democrat has hardly ever been wrong. He does not dislike President Obama. On the contrary, like most big-time Democrats, he worked hard for his election in 2008 and would much rather see Democrats hold onto Congress this Nov. 2 than lose.

He just doesn’t think it’s going to happen. A few months ago, he told me Democrats could win the House in a squeaker and also retain the Senate. We talked again a few days ago, and things had changed.

“There is going to be a total wipeout, and it is totally going to be in Obama’s lap,” he said. “He should drop plans for Congress and plan for Nov. 3 and what he does next.”
And of course those plans for what Obama should do next are simple: completely capitulate to the GOP and roll back the last 75 years of social programs, civil rights, and declare war on Islam by bombing Iran. Right?

Because anything short of that will lead to impeachment hearings pretty damn quickly under a GOP Congress.

I know it's hard for Roger Simon and the Village to function under any other assumption that Republicans are always right 100% of the time and Democrats are nothing more than a curious, anachronistic relic of democracy kept around as court jesters to whisper "memento mori" at the GOP elite whenever they foul up the country as bad as Bush did.

Apparently the Tea Party is now in charge of that whole "reminding Republicans they too are mortal" thing, and so really the only political parties are A) Republicans and B) Tea Party Republicans, and they forget the rest.

It seems to me that any "big-time Democrat" who is willing to throw in the towel at this point was a Republican to begin with.

Hey, at what point do the Hillary Clinton PUMAs start turning out in droves for the GOP in November to force such a blowout in 2010 that she has to run in 2012?

Won't that be great?

There Are Nooooooo Cats In America

And the streets are paved with cheese!

Also, there are no racists in the Tea Party movement...

...and the streets are paved by magic!

Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion

ACORN has been defunct for over half a year now, yet 20% of Americans believe ACORN still will "steal the election" for Democrats.  Best part?

Perhaps the most interesting thing about all this is that only 40% of voters definitively say they think ACORN will not steal the election with another 40% saying they're not sure. I guess a lot of folks are just waiting to see if ACORN's really gone away or if it's just hiding in the bushes waiting for people to get complacent before it makes its move.

Sixty percent...3 out of 5 Americans...think there's at least some chance ACORN can steal the election for the Democrats.

Let's go over that again.

A majority of Americans think there's a chance that a defunct organization that has been completely disbanded will still be able to affect the election.  The Republican media campaign to discredit the Democrats as illegitimate has been so successful that most of us now believe in ghosts.

I am increasingly convinced that as a people, we deserve an overwhelmingly powerful Republican Congress that will dismantle everything since the New Deal and return us to Gilded Age serfdom.

Gold Rush, Part 11

Gold hitting yet another record high today...

Gold hit record highs Tuesday to settle above $1,271 an ounce, as the U.S. dollar declined broadly after upbeat data failed to convince investors to shift into risk-linked assets.

Gold is now on course for a 15 percent gain in 2010, fueled largely by investor nervousness stemming from the fallout of the euro zone debt crisis and from economic data that has suggested global economic growth may be losing momentum.  

"May" be losing momentum?  Nice.  People are starting to hedge their bets big time.  Gold jumped almost $30 an ounce today on an idle Tuesday.  The next Fed meeting is next week.  If the Fed is going to announce it will start buying securities in earnest then, all bets are off.

At this point we're just waiting for the trigger that will plunge us right back into September 2008.

The Tyrrany Of The Majority Continues

A new Qunnipiac University poll finds more Americans want to end 14th Amendment citizenship provisions for children of undocumented immigrants.

American voters say 48 – 45 percent that the United States should end the practice of granting citizenship to U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.

Voters also say 68 – 24 percent that immigration policy should emphasize stricter enforcement rather than integrating illegal immigrants into U.S. society, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey finds.

Democrats favor granting citizenship to children of illegal immigrants 62 – 31 percent. Republicans, by 67 – 27 percent, and independent voters, by 51 – 42 percent, say these children should be denied citizenship. Women split 46 – 46 percent while men oppose this automatic citizenship 51 – 43 percent.

There's also some interesting numbers on Islam in America.

Only 38 percent of American voters have a favorable opinion of Islam, while 40 percent have an unfavorable opinion. But voters say 50 - 27 percent that mainstream Islam is a peaceful religion, rather than a religion which encourages violence to non-Muslims.

The Muslim group has the right to build a mosque and cultural center near Ground Zero, American voters say 70 - 25 percent. But voters say 63 - 28 percent that it is wrong to do so. There is no sub-group which says it is "appropriate" to build the mosque near Ground Zero.

Once again, if you say the Park51 people have the right to build their community center but are not free to exercise that right, then they do not have the right. You cannot have this position without being a complete hypocrite.

Period. And yes, this means I'm calling tens of millions of Americans hypocrites. So be it.

The tyranny of the majority continues. When is it appropriate to exercise your Constitutional rights? Only when the majority says so. That's how America works now. When are you an American? Only when the majority says so.

The Constitution is now secondary to the Court of Public Opinion.

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

Shorter The Village:

"You know if you damn Liberals went back to your powerless days of 1994, the Republicans would completely stop being insane.  Why can't you Dirty F'cking Hippies just do what the Tea Party wants you to do and shut up already?"

Stick This In Your Pipeline And Smoke It

It's not a question of if another San Bruno gas pipeline disaster will happen in America, but where and how soon.

The tragic explosion of a gas pipeline in a San Francisco suburb has shed light on a problem usually kept underground: Communities have expanded over pipes built decades earlier when no one lived there.

Utilities have been under pressure for years to better inspect and replace aging gas pipes — many of them laid years before sprawling communities were erected around them — that now are at risk of leaking or erupting.

But the effort has fallen short. Critics say the regulatory system is ripe for problems because the government largely leaves it up to the companies to do inspections, and utilities are reluctant to spend the money necessary to properly fix and replace decrepit pipelines.

"If this was the FAA and air travel we were talking about, I wouldn't get on a plane," said Rick Kessler, a former congressional staffer specializing in pipeline safety issues who now works for the Pipeline Safety Trust, an advocacy group based in Bellingham, Wash.

Investigators are still trying to figure out how the pipeline in San Bruno ruptured and ignited a gigantic fireball that torched one home after another in the neighborhood, killing at least four people. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the pipeline's owner, said Monday it has set aside up to $100 million to help residents recover.

One has to wonder if PG&E would have rather spent that $100 million on inspecting the gas lines before rather than cleaning up the mess later.  The fact is inspection and replacement of buried gas mains like that is expensive and messy.  50 year old pipes in the middle of older neighborhoods where homes and businesses are built up can be a real pain to get to, especially in densely populated urban centers.

But the simple fact of the matter is utility companies are profit based, not safety based.  Skipping on inspections means the company saves money, not to mention laying off safety personnel (you don't need as many.)   It's a short-term gamble most companies are increasingly willing to take, and these companies want the government to back off and mandate fewer inspections.

At some point, government infrastructure investment becomes mandatory.  San Bruno was the result of why.  Infrastructure requires someone to pay for it and to direct it.  If companies aren't going to do it, who will?

Big Dog Versus Rachel

Hey look, Politico's trying to start a fight.  Imagine that.

Bill Clinton flashed irritation at MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and other liberals Monday for failing to appreciate the successes of his presidency.

“One of the leading television commentators on one of our liberal cable channels said I was the best Republican president the country ever produced, which would come [as] quite a surprise to the Republicans, half of whom still think I’m a closet communist,” Clinton said during an appearance with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Clinton didn’t mention Maddow by name, but she made that comment on her March 31 show.

“What she meant by that was I didn’t necessarily follow their ‘conventional wisdom,’” he said. “I said, ‘What do you mean?!’”

Clinton said he accomplished more for the poor and middle class than traditional, New Deal-era liberalism ever could have. He touted his welfare-to-work program, which he said cut the rolls by 60 percent.

“We had 100 times as many people move out of poverty during those eight years [I was president] than the previous 12 years because we had an earned income tax credit, not because we had another traditional anti-poverty program hiring people,” he said.

Big Dog has a point. The man did balance the Federal budget and he did so in a fair manner. It doesn't mean however he didn't pull a few Republican-style things, especially the end of Glass-Steagall.  That was all Clinton and Phil Gramm, and that on Clinton's way out created the bubbles that wrecked our economy over the last ten years, from dot-com madness to the housing bubble to the current meltdown.  All of that came from banks being able to play Big Casino games starting in 2000.

The results from all that (plus Bush's additional spending, plus the spending Obama has started to try to pull us out of the mess) is a massive deficit hole and a national debt approaching $14 trillion now.

None of that would have been possible without Clinton's last year in office.


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