Politics - General
Promoted by Specter
We all know the nice little mess we have in terms of energy debates.
We have calls for lower prices, alternative fuels, cracking down a price gouging, preservation of wildlife and their lands, cleaner emissions, more refineries, energy independence, global warming, no more subsidies, more subsidies....and on and on.
Everyone has their scape goats: It's the Dems! It's the GOP! It's Empire! It's the oil companies! It's Bush! It's CLINTON.
Keep in mind that I'm more economical than political. Some politicians are genuinely trying to help, some are pandering. Some both. We can see this matter through the lens of business, consumers, national security, GWOT, some of these or all of these.
Promoted by Brendan for some weekend discussion
It occurred to me on my way to work this morning that there is a pretty clear analogy that can be drawn between management-labor relations and relations between nations, specifically looking at terrorism as an analogy for unions (or vice versa). Of course I have to take pains to state up front that I am not making *any* sort of moral equivalency between the two but instead comparing how the two fulfill a certain niche, and how understanding that niche allows us to prevent problems.
Americans Unready to Revolt, Despite Revolting Conditions
Joel S. Hirschhorn
The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal national poll results vividly show a population incredibly dissatisfied with their nation’s political system. In other countries in other times such a depressing level of confidence in government would send a signal to those running the government that a major upheaval is imminent. But not here in the USA. Why?
First, here are the highlights of the poll that surveyed 1,008 adults from June 8-11, with a margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.
A whopping 68 percent think the country is on the wrong track. Just 19 percent believe the country is headed in the right direction - the lowest number on that question in nearly 15 years. And most of those with the positive view are probably in the Upper Class.
This is a spillover place for continued discussion about what rights are included in the Constitution, origin and scope of rights not explicitly detailed, interpretation of the ninth and tenth Amendments, legality of governmental regulation of business, and anything else that spins off from here (interstate commerce clause?). Perhaps relevant and at any rate interesting to me are these thoughts on natural law and the Constitution here , examined in the context of Griswold v. Connecticut.
Also for discussions about societal obligations and responsibilities, free markets, and the joys and perils of capitalism as practiced in these United States.
I'll spruce this up if anyone would like me to add something specific to the outline here. Otherwise, have fun!
Open Letter to Congressman Ron Paul
Joel S. Hirschhorn
There are numerous reasons to admire you, as I have for many years. Clearly you are running for president as a Republican, rather than a third party candidate, for the sole purpose of getting media and public attention not available to those outside the two-party duopoly. In last night’s debate among Republican presidential candidates you proudly described yourself as a “champion of the Constitution.” However, you are missing a major opportunity to demonstrate your courage and allegiance to our constitutional republic.
You have acknowledged the appropriateness of amending the Constitution. In fact, you introduced legislation for an amendment that would stop giving automatic citizenship to babies born in the U.S. to non-citizen parents. You said: “Our founders knew that unforeseen problems with our system of government would arise, and that’s precisely why they gave us a method for amending the Constitution. It’s time to rethink birthright citizenship by amending the 14th amendment.”
Rules: No googling! Guess the political party of the speaker (all US Presidents) and, for extra credit, the speaker. I'm interested in whatever broader conclusions you might draw from this little game...
Short excerpts from seven somewhat famous speeches to compare and contrast below the fold.
Update: 1. GWB 2. JFK 3. Nixon 4. FDR 5. Reagan 6. Clinton 7. Eisenhower
So, any changes in your perception of these Presidents? Or in how you break down liberal/conservative foreign policy?
Joel S. Hirschhorn examines the long-term consequences of supporting "lesser evil" candidates. I think a number of (personal) factors go into the decision, but this is certainly a topical question as the Presidential candidates try to present themselves as "electable" -- what are your thoughts? (Promoted by Brendan)
Condemn progressives for voting enthusiastically for Democrats and the inevitable response is something like “just imagine how much worse voting for Republicans would be.” Similarly, many true conservatives and Libertarians see voting for Republicans as a necessary evil. With many progressives regretting giving Democrats a majority in Congress and many conservatives regretting putting George W. Bush in the White House, it is timely to refute lesser evil logic.
The price of a commodity is determined by three factors. The competition between seller and seller. Competition between buyer and buyer, and finally competition between seller and buyer.
Seller Vs Seller; whoever sells the same commodity of the same quality for the cheapest price will dominate the market. This has the effect of pushing down the price of a certain commodity.
Buyer Vs Buyer; this has the effect of increasing the price of a commodity.
Seller Vs Buyer; the outcome will depend upon the result of the first two groups. If there is less competition between the sellers than that of the buyers the price will rise, and the opposite will produce the effect of lowering prices. In the same proportion in which the competition between sellers decreases, the competition among the buyers increases. In reality it is usually competition among the sellers that is most often the case; an excess of supply over the demand, and the selling of commodities at ridiculously low prices.
This diary is being written as a response to quaoar in this comment:
In formulating a response I was searching for a particular quote by Abraham Lincoln which I was aware of from the Time-Life series on the Civil War. I was not able to find the quote I was looking for, but I did come upon this letter:
It is an excellent read, in my opinion, and very much worth everyone's time. It is obvious to me, based on this letter, that Bush 43 is doing his best to follow in the footsteps of Lincoln with respect to the GWOT. I know that most here will disagree and object to the comparison, but this is my opinion. I need not justify it to any of you. The parallels between the philosophies and the rationales are striking to me, however, and they indicate a clear intent on the part of the President to follow historical precedent as he sees it (i.e. as defined by Lincoln and as they are applied to our present situation).
From MSNBC Democrats announce Iraq war funding deal :
The Congressional Democratic leadership has announced a deal on the once-vetoed Iraq war supplemental funding bill...
NBC News has learned the deal is expected to be quite similar to a measure put forward by Sen. John Warner, R-Va., last week including 18 benchmarks on both political security and economic progress, with reports due from the Bush administration to Congress on July 15th and September 15th.
Sources tell NBC the benchmarks will be tied to Iraqi reconstruction funds, but the president will have the ability to waive the benchmarks.
The deal, after weeks of refusing to back down to President Bush on setting a timetable on Iraq, would leave Democratic leaders having to explain to their party's rank and file why they've now relented.
So what does that mean? This is an Open Thread.
I saw clammyc's dkos diary So they hate Bush. How do we get their votes? and immediately thought of a few ways Democratic candidates could chip away at parts of the rather fragile Republican coalition.
The fact of the matter is some of us, conservatives/libertarians, like seeing a respectful nod and underscoring of common values between us. And you do not need to compromise or throw away any of your principles. Here is what Democrats could talk about with a slight change of emphasis:
Promoted by Brendan -- could the political rancor of today actually spawn armed conflict in the future? Are the fault lines across American society deepening to the point of potential civil war? I don't think so, but it's worth examining what lines in the sand we draw as conservatives or liberals.
This diary is an outgrowth of this comment , so some related commentary may be found there. That comment was, in turn, a reply to this open thread topic from Ender:
Is there any doubt that some liberals are overreacting whining babies? Top recommended diary on dkos - Is there any doubt now that it is a coup attempt? . You look at it, and all you can do is shake your head. Is there any doubt that the person who wrote that is
a lunatica bit off? At least we don't get much of that craziness here :)
The text of my original comment is reproduced here as a matter of convenience:
I have been saying for years that I think this country may actually be heading into a civil war some time in the (relatively) near future. I haven't ever put a time frame to it but I wouldn't be surprised if it occurred in my son's lifetime.
Finding Hope In A Dismal World
Joel S. Hirschhorn
For so many, hope is down the drain. Hard to fault them. Abundant evidence shows our insane world sliding down a global cheese grater.
Fish are dying in the Great Lakes. Bees have disappeared. Polar ice caps and glaciers worldwide are melting faster than ever. A global pandemic of a drug-resistant strain of TB is coming at us. Much of the U.S. food supply is highly vulnerable because of imports and totally inadequate government scrutiny. Politicians keep lying. Americans keep dying. Too many senselessly in the insane Iraq war that our delusional president cherishes and our cowardly Congress refuses to stop. Others die because of lax gun laws. Even more because they can’t get quality medical care. And the icing on the fungus-infested cake: the richest one percent of Americans captures 19 percent of the nation’s income. As the rich become super-rich, economic injustice and inequality punish most debt-loaded Americans, with millions facing bankruptcy and home foreclosure.
I ran across this dkos diary discussing Coulter's latest outrageous statement:
WASHINGTON (AP) - A recent Newsweek poll showing Democrat Barack Obama leading top Republican presidential hopefuls could have been made up and might help al-Qaida, conservative commentator Ann Coulter said in her latest verbal broadside.
[...]"I think this is Newsweek doing more push polling for al-Qaida," she said
Coulter is predictable and stale, reduced to ever more trollish and deliberately offensive soundbites in a desparate attempt to cling to the spotlight. After she essentially called Edwards a "faggot" at CPAC, conservatives rushed to distance themselves from her remarks. I viewed her comments as part of a disturbing trend of slash-and-burn politics embraced by a vocal subset of Republicans. FOX typifies the gloves-off approach that Coulter takes to extremes, so it's no surprise that they didn't get the memo that conservatives didn't wish to be associated with her venom.
FOX was out front smearing Obama , perhaps the most electable Democratic Presidential candidate, and was subsequently frozen out by the Senator. Coulter's comment is outrageous, but not unexpected coming from her, and not out of character with previous FOX coverage. It's time to quit pretending FOX is a serious news outlet. They choose to embrace Coulter and Coulteresque commentary, and they choose to demonize their political opposition. Hey, if that gets them ratings, whatever, but let's treat this "fair and balanced" charade with the contempt it deserves.
It was the most pathetic sight in a tawdry exchange that passed for a debate : middlebrow moderator Chris Matthews asked the ten Republicans on stage an absurd question — “I’m curious, is there anybody on the stage that does not agree, believe in evolution?” Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo, and Mike Huckabee raised their hands. The query was vague and ridiculous, as “belief in evolution” covers a wide range of possibilities, from atheistic randomness, to theistic purposefulness, and beyond. But it was an opportunity to show bona fides to a segment of the Republican base that is deeply interested in evolution as a bellwether for other, more profound things, and three of the ten present had the presence of mind to grasp that.
XUqBO7 Very neat post.Much thanks again.
I don't think we've dissected this yet and this synopsis is a good starting point, albeit a snarky one. The President's recent statements are in bold:
"It makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing."
Here's a news flash -- there is no such thing as surprise withdrawal. You can't sneak 160,000 soldiers out of Iraq in the trunk of a Volvo. One day, America will leave Iraq, and when we do, we will catch no one - no one -- by surprise. Does anyone really think al Qaeda will be looking at empty blockhouses for weeks saying to themselves, "why don't those infidels come out to play?" When we start to leave, it will be broadcast on every station around the world for months in advance and there is not one damn thing anyone can do about that. Whenever any Republican advances the "we can't let them know when we're leaving line," they should follow it with an agonized scream, because stupidity that powerful ought to hurt.
Crossposted on DKos
Two days ago LarryInNYC wrote a diary titled Another Red Stater Reaches The End(er) Of His Rope. about my diary on Swords Crossed: Iraq, Bush, Congress and USA . I was somewhat embarrased by Larry's diary because I don't actively participate at RedState any longer. That kind of a "rat leaving the sinking ship" image does not help that blog, many members of which I respect. So, I would like to clarify that I am in no way affiliated with RedState nor should it reflect negatively on them. Yes my nickname means Ender from RedState but I created it over a year ago when I was a somewhat more active user there.
I'm following Ender's lead here, because this isn't really front page material. Still, some of you might find this interesting:
No, this isn't going to be one of those diaries about how my Republican father has suddenly seen the light, nor will it be about how he repeats crazy FOX news talking points while my brother and I laugh and tear them to shreds. Instead, this is just a portrait of one guy who still considers himself a strongly conservative voter, faced with what he knows is a declining Republican party.
We talked for about a half hour, covering the Presidential campaigns and the situation in New Orleans. Here are a few of the more interesting points: