Sunday, May 31, 2009

This Is A Good Example

Great post about CA's problem which shows how balancing the books on the backs of the poorest, sickest, ailing, etc. is now the overt and explicit policy of the CA government. It is no longer Something We All Know(tm) but never say out loud. This is out loud for sure.

When NY Gov. Paterson have his first speech on NY's budget woes last fall, he went in this order: First, the sick. Then the old. Then the little kids. Then students. But never, ever, the hedge fund managers -- that would be wrong!

Ah-nolt's experience is CA is eerily reminiscent of Ron Reagan's stint in the governor's mansion and then White House. "Tax Cuts! Yea! Pay for Them By Cutting Government Waste (And Yes I Mean Those Welfare Queens)." Who knew such a tough-but-compassionate guy would end up creating whole new generations of homeless people.


Today's NY Times is a perfect example of dumb-ness masquerading as insight. On the front page of the site, the headline manages to blame President Obama for "push[ing] the issue of 'identity' back to fore front."

Seeing it in context is worse. This - likely intentionally -- makes it sound like the President caused this controversy by dint of his nominating a Latina judge. WRONG. EPIC fail.

The controversy is caused by the barely-concealed bigotry of what passes for the leadership of the Republican party. Where is Steele denouncing Rush and Newt? Where's Boehner distancing House Republicans from these people?

The NY Times manages to locate the center of gravity on this in exactly the wrong place. Further evidence, I suppose, that no one with critical thinking skills reads the NY Times before it is published.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I've Never Seen It Put Better

Bob Herbert:

America has become self-destructively shortsighted in recent decades. That has kept us from acknowledging the awful long-term consequences of the tidal wave of joblessness that has swept over the nation since the start of the recession in December 2007. And it is keeping us from understanding how important the maintenance and development of the infrastructure is to the nation’s long-term social and economic prospects.

It’s not just about roads and bridges, although they are important. It’s also about schools, and the electrical grid, and environmental and technological innovation. It’s about establishing a world-class industrial and economic platform for a nation that is speeding toward second-class status on a range of important fronts.

It’s about whether we’re serious about remaining a great nation. We don’t act like it. Here’s a staggering statistic: According to the Education Trust, the U.S. is the only industrialized country in which young people are less likely than their parents to graduate from high school.

We can’t put our people to work. We can’t educate the young. We can’t keep the infrastructure in good repair. It’s hard to believe that this nation could be so dysfunctional at the end of the first decade of the 21st century. It’s tragic.

'Nuff said.

Monday, May 11, 2009

What It Means To Be a Republican

In the dust up over former Vice President Cheney's recent appearance promoting torture, there was a revealing bit that shows what being a Republican means to old Dick:

"I think my take on it was Colin had already left the party. I didn't know he was still a Republican."

"So you think that he's not a Republican?"

"I just noted he endorsed the Democratic candidate for president this time, Barack Obama," Cheney said. "I assumed that that is some indication of his loyalty and his interest."

In fact, old Dick even went so far as to explicitly proclaim that "maintaining our loyalty and commitment to those principles is vital to our success" as Republicans.

Seems to me that Dick's view is that being Republican means marching in lock-step loyal formation. Obedience to orders would seem to be a core Republican virtue, at least according to old Dick.