Blog Credo

I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis.The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.
- Abraham Lincoln


Saturday, August 30, 2014

What Really Matters?

Hint: This is not one of those things.

Republicans since Reagan have consistently overvalued symbolism over substance.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Some Times, The Good Guys Win

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/news/market-basket-speech?click=feed#comments

You have demonstrated that everyone here has a purpose. You have demonstrated that everyone has meaning and no one person is better or more important than another, and no one person holds a position of privilege.
Whether it’s a full-timer or a part-timer. Whether it’s a sacker, or a cashier, or a grocery clerk, or a truck driver, or a warehouse selector, a store manager, a supervisor, a customer, a vendor or a CEO—we are all equal. By working together—and only together—do we succeed.
I have always believed that we are born into this world and at a certain place to be with certain people for a reason and a purpose. Everyone has a destiny, and because of you, I stand here with a renewed vigor and a sense of purpose. May we always remember this past summer first as a time where our collective values of loyalty and courage and kindness for one another really prevailed. And, in that process, we just happened to save our company.
As you gave generously to those who had less than you, the public watched in awe and admiration, because you empowered others to seek change.
You all have demonstrated to the world that it is a person’s moral obligation and social responsibility to protect the culture which provides an honorable and dignified place in which to work.
Damn straight, man!

All We Need Is Polyester Pants And Disco On The Radio

http://www.vox.com/2014/8/28/6078117/americans-foresee-unending-economic-doom

When you have an economic catastrophe - and it bears repeating that technically 2007-8 was a depression - it takes a LONG time to revive people's confidence.  Reagan's great trick was in reviving confidence, even when things weren't really improving all that much for many people.  He as great at the atmospherics of pride.

This decade feels very much like the '70s.  The hangover from a bad war, energy concerns, environmental apocalyptic warnings, economic stagnation.  My guess, also, is that if you asked people in '79 or even '91 if they thought things would get better, they would've been pretty pessimistic.  I know the early '90s felt like shit to me.

The economy will bounce back.  And as long as Democrats can gain control of Congress and the Courts, it might even bounce back for working class Americans, too.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Stewart On Ferguson

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/jon-stewart-ferguson

I think in 2008, there was a lot of self-congratulatory thinking from liberals and conservatives that we had passed some sort of racial barrier and America was now a racism-free country.

It was a bullshit fantasy then and it's a bullshit fantasy now.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Can We Agree On THIS? (Probably Not)

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2014/08/26/im-an-outlaw-quick-on-the-draw/

US cops fire a ton of bullets.  It now seems as if ten shots, not six were fired at Michael Brown.  Basically, he emptied his clip at the kid.

And US cops do that all the time.

Cole links to Mark Steyn of all people who notes that German police fired 85 shots in an entire year for the entire country.

Why do cops unload their weapons at people?  Because they are afraid.  Because we live in an armed country.  Because we insist on guns to assuage our fears.  Because we all think we're action movie heroes.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!


This is what we came home to.

When Frost wrote:

Good fences make good neighbors

Apparently few people realized he was being ironic.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Molten Salt Reactors

http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2014/8/24/85153/6374

Any discussion about energy production that ameliorates carbon poisoning has to include nuclear.

And any discussion about nuclear should start with Molten Salt Reactors.

Sadly, the MIT group wants to make their first MSR in the US.  Given our sclerotic regulatory regimen and our obstinate (and well funded) carbon industries - including shale gas, they should be looking at Europe, Japan and China as the place to make this happen.

And by tomorrow would be nice.

Pierce In High Dudgeon

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/The_Body_In_The_Street?click=feed

The man can lay some wood.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thug Life

Michael Brown has been called a "thug" in the various cesspools of the Internet.  I dare you to go into a Yahoo comment section and return with your sanity intact.

Want to know what a thug looks like?

Try this.

The Nixon-Reagan Coalition

http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2014/8/23/94657/5561

Nixon began the process of stripping white Southerners away from the Democratic Party, and Reagan pretty much completed the process.  The scope didn't become truly apparent until Clinton won the White House and all those Southern Democrats in the House flipped from blue to red, but that's what happened.

Reagan built his coalition with intellectual support from neo-conservatives and demographic support from neo-confederates.  He wedded the old Main Street/Wall Street Republicans with the church pews of the Moral Majority. Aside from Cubans, his was a mostly white party and it could win massive landslides with white votes.

Those days are gone, and the panic that it has unleashed in the GOP is palpable at the highest levels.  Louie Gohmert may be too stupid to walk and chew gum understand how nativism plays among the growing share of Hispanic voters, but the mandarins of the party understand.

Rand Paul is only possible in a party that is struggling to re-articulate a vision that is both true to the Reagan Coalition and endeavors to address the coming demographic irrelevancy it faces.

But Booman is right that Paul is anathema to so many constituent parts of what remains of the Nixon-Reagan Coalition that his success is highly unlikely.  My guess is that whatever Clown Car chugs over to Iowa, they are all going to attack Rand Paul. Santorum, Perry, Ryan, Cruz, Tweedledee...they can all take easy shots at Paul's heterodox positions.

It's going to be very, very important to limit losses in the Senate this cycle for the Democrats.  While I have my issues with a Clinton Restoration, she does have the potential to create a landslide, especially if the GOP throws up a Caveman like Perry or a Sociopath like Cruz.

And as we've seen, having enough votes in the Senate is crucial to accomplish anything that a Clinton Presidency might want, especially immigration reform.  That goes for the House, too.

The sixth year of a presidency is always brutal, but it's REALLY important for the Democrats to turn out their base in 2014, because 2016 could be a very good year.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Anti-ACA

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/halbig-obamacare-2010-bastard-has-to-be-killed

Remember that what this asshole wants to "kill" is healthcare for millions of Americans who don't have it.

Obamacare continues to work about as expected, when it's allowed to work.  The short-sighted failure of GOP governors to not accept Medicaid expansion is the only true hiccup in the law, and that is solely motivated by partisan and ideological concerns.

So the virulent hatred of Obamacare is based entirely on partisan and ideological reasons.  They want it killed because they don't want Obama to win and don't want government-supported private health care to work.

And screw the millions of people who currently have health insurance for the first time.

These people are sociopaths.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Newest Earwig


The Police Need To Chill

http://www.vox.com/2014/8/20/6047853/michael-brown-ferguson-protests-police-community-leaders-peaceful

Yes, someone will always do something stupid.  Throwing a water bottle at police is stupid.

But police can't continue to escalate every little provocation.  There are people - the majority of people - in Ferguson who want to be heard not seen.  They want to protest firmly but peacefully.

Every time the police escalate as a group against the actions of a single provocateur they take a tense environment and make it 100 times worse.

Right now, it looks like the police are the biggest instigators of violence in Ferguson.  No matter how cool Capt. Johnson is.