Monday, January 30, 2012

Dispirited Tea Party in Florida:

This is no surprise, considering how the Republican establishment has succeeded, or is about to succeed, in getting a Rockefeller Republican (Romney) to head the ticket this year.

CBS Evening News story:
In Florida, the Tea Party remains a powerful force. Monday's Quinnipiac University poll says 34 percent of Republican voters support it.

Tea partiers have helped elect a number of candidates in Florida, but CBS News correspondent Chip Reid found there is frustration in their ranks. (...)

Tea partiers seem to be split among the Republican candidates. Many are also dispirited by the absence of movement favorites like Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain. [Alex] Berry [tea party coordinator for Boca Raton] plans to write in Ron Paul in November. Like many tea partiers, he would rather vote his conscience than win an election. (...)

"If Romney becomes the nominee, yes, I will vote for Romney, but I will not actively get out and bust my buns for him. I don't like him," [William] Benedict [co-founder of the Manatee County Tea Party] says.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Representative Paul Ryan - don't oversimplify!

There is a constant call by Republicans to simplify the tax code - largely by making it less progressive (fewer brackets, lower rates). Simpler is better.

Today on Fox News Sunday, Rep. Paul Ryan was on for an interview. There was this exchange:
Chris Wallace: The president is proposing the Buffett rule, the idea that if you're making at least a million dollars a year that you should pay at least a 30% tax rate. And he's proposing this just as we find out that Mitt Romney, who's a multi-millionaire, is paying a 15% tax rate. Again, isn't that on just the simplest basis, fair?

Paul Ryan: If you oversimplify, you could probably make that case. I can get into the tax data. I can get into the fact that the effective tax rates people pay at the higher end are still higher than everybody else. But lets just look at the math. All the tax increases the president is talking about, they only cover 8% of his proposed spending increases. ... Crush job creators. ... [mentioned supply-side nostrums, etc.]
How about that? When the simple message is that Romney is paying at a lower rate than many others, that's an oversimplified view.


Friday, January 27, 2012

The beginning of the end of the Tea Party:

Serious damage has been done to the Republican party. The Tea Party contingent got brushed aside by the elites and it looks as if they will be faced with with the prospect of voting for a Massachusetts Mormon moderate in the general election. Just think about this:

Nothing that Romney did while holding office was conservative.

And now they going to vote for the guy?

They've been bitching for years that the Republicans didn't put up a "real" conservative. And after all the sound and fury - and electoral success in 2010 (!) - they are being left in the lurch. As a result, many of them will disengage from the Republican party.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Obama's SOTU speech:

Early on, he said:
Let's remember how we got here. Long before the recession, jobs and manufacturing began leaving our shores.
So why did he sign three free-trade agreements (Panama, Columbia, South Korea) last year?

But there's good news:
We can't bring back every job that's left our shores. But right now, it's getting more expensive to do business in places like China. Meanwhile, America is more productive. A few weeks ago, the CEO of Master Lock told me that it now makes business sense for him to bring jobs back home. Today, for the first time in fifteen years, Master Lock's unionized plant in Milwaukee is running at full capacity.
Apparently, workers here are now being paid less than those in China. Time to celebrate!

And this is pathetic:
So we have a huge opportunity, at this moment, to bring manufacturing back. But we have to seize it. Tonight, my message to business leaders is simple: Ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to your country, and your country will do everything we can to help you succeed.
In other words, no government policy, like tariffs, to be enacted. Just hope and pray that somehow, business will stay here.


One of the worst debate questions ever:

By Brian Williams at the Florida debate:
Governor Romney, a question you know is coming because of what you have set in motion for tomorrow when you release one year`s tax returns and your estimates for 2011. We know it`s not a matter of producing them. You said during the McCain vetting process you turned over 23 years which you had at the ready because, to quote you, you`re something of a packrat.

So, prior to tomorrow, can you tell us tonight what`s in there that`s going to get people talking? What`s in there that`s going to be controversial? What`s in there that you may find yourself defending?
1) Maybe NBC News can look at the tax returns and find something.

2) Asking a candidate to mention a defect is like asking a potential employee what their shortcoming is. The typical answer is:
Well, my biggest problem is that I work too hard and always put the company's interest ahead of mine!


Michael Lind in Salon:

Two good essays recently.

1) How conservatives lie about government
... members of the right-wing counterculture are brainwashed — that is the only appropriate term — by the apocalyptic propaganda ground out constantly by the conservative media establishment.

2) Race, liberty and Ron Paul [this is more about libertarianism than Paul]
Some libertarians concede the legitimacy of government coercion in protecting property rights. But in doing so, these libertarians, like Ron Paul, give up any principled objection to government coercion. They simply want government coercion to be used for some purposes—protecting property rights—and not others—enforcing civil rights.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Here is how an effective propaganda outfit does it:

Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team.

Newt Gingrich's three marriages mean he might make a strong president -- really
By Dr. Keith Ablow

Published January 20, 2012

I will tell you what Mr. Gingrich’s personal history actually means for those of us who want to right the economy, see our neighbors and friends go back to work, promote freedom here and abroad and defeat the growing threat posed by Iran and other evil regimes.

First, one note on what Mr. Gingrich’s married life, including his history of infidelity does not mean: It does not mean that Mr. Gingrich would be unfaithful to the United States of America or the Constitution of the United States.

You can take any moral position you like about men and women who cheat while married, but there simply is no correlation, whatsoever—from a psychological perspective—between whether they can remain true to their wedding vows and whether they can remain true to the Oath of Office.

I want to be coldly analytical, not moralize, here. I want to tell you what Mr. Gingrich’s behavior could mean for the country, not for the future of his current marriage. So, here’s what one interested in making America stronger can reasonably conclude—psychologically—from Mr. Gingrich’s behavior during his three marriages:

1) Three women have met Mr. Gingrich and been so moved by his emotional energy and intellect that they decided they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with him.

2) Two of these women felt this way even though Mr. Gingrich was already married.

3 ) One of them felt this way even though Mr. Gingrich was already married for the second time, was not exactly her equal in the looks department and had a wife (Marianne) who wanted to make his life without her as painful as possible.

Conclusion: When three women want to sign on for life with a man who is now running for president, I worry more about whether we’ll be clamoring for a third Gingrich term, not whether we’ll want to let him go after one.

4) Two women—Mr. Gingrich’s first two wives—have sat down with him while he delivered to them incredibly painful truths: that he no longer loved them as he did before, that he had fallen in love with other women and that he needed to follow his heart, despite the great price he would pay financially and the risk he would be taking with his reputation.

Conclusion: I can only hope Mr. Gingrich will be as direct and unsparing with the Congress, the American people and our allies. If this nation must now move with conviction in the direction of its heart, Newt Gingrich is obviously no stranger to that journey.


Friday, January 06, 2012

Gingrichideas Twitter account:


Variable, but some good ones like
Free CIA-provided Wi-Fi.


Wednesday, January 04, 2012

After the Iowa Caucus:

Eric Ericson of Red State, who badly wanted Perry to re-emerge as a viable candidate, remarks:
Bachmann must drop out. Frankly, it makes sense for Perry to do so as well except for one issue.

If Rick Perry drops out of the race it will be the ultimate failure of the tea party movement to see the race come down to two or three big government conservatives.

... the tea party has failed because it has surrendered itself into the hands of Romney, Santorum, or Gingrich ...
Considering all the attention given to the Tea Party - especially on right wing radio and the Murdoch presss - it's surprising that it may end up having very little impact in 2012. They don't have a candidate. Santorum is a G. W. Bush-era Republican, Gingrich is pre-Bush. Neither are bona fide Tea Party types.

Real Tea Party politicians are mostly in the House (Ryan, Cantor, and first-termers that were elected in 2010) or holding state-wide office (Walker, Snyder, LePage ). None of national stature. Maybe their time will come, or maybe their time is passing. Hard to say which.