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      From a study by his officials: In the report, “The State of Homelessness in America,” even shelters get some of the blame for increasing the number of people who are homeless.The argument: Some people would be able to find their own housing if they were turned away from shelters. “While shelters play an extremely important role […]
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Thursday: Jim DeMint makes my ears bleed

Last night, Jon Stewart took apart Jim Demint’s worldview piece by piece.  It’s a thing of beauty.  Unfortunately, you have to listen to Jim Demint’s irritatingly folksy South Carolina drawl speaking nonsense right wing talking points during the segment.  By the way, why is it that Stephen Colbert, a South Carolina native, does not speak in the same drawl?  I lived in SC as a kid, in Charleston, and EVERYONE down there had a southern accent.  So, what gives, Stephen?  And is it possible that Fox type viewers respond to the drawl in a hypnotic sense? My natural speech pattern is more like Stewart’s.  It’s rapid, a bit throaty, punctuated.  Demint’s is slower, more musical, even a bit soothing and against it, Stewart sounds harsh, like a splash of uncomfortably cold water on the upper arms.  When you listen to these two go at it, you can’t help but pick a side.  I’m on Stewart’s side but I imagine that Demint’s southern siren call is hard to resist.

***********************************

I love Craig Crawford.  He’s one of the more honest pundits on TV (that I don’t watch anymore).  Check out his blog Craig Crawford’s Trail Mix for interesting observations on the campaign.

However, I did find his recent post on the effect Ron Paul will have on the Republican primary and nomination to be a little weird.  It’s a short post, here’s a lengthy excerpt:

GOP bosses talking about winnowing the field so that Mitt Romney doesn’t face a lengthy nomination battle against multiple foes ought to consider the alternative: Ron Paul goes to the convention with 40 percent of the delegates. That could happen if he’s the last rival standing sooner, rather than later.

With fewer winner-take-all primaries and caucuses, and Paul already proving an ability to garner up to 25 percent of the votes in a crowded field, it’s not a tough mathematical challenge to conclude that he would capture even more of the anti-Romney vote and roll into Tampa next summer as a trouble maker.

It’s not that Paul could threaten Romney’s nomination, but he could steal the coverage, much as Jesse Jackson did to Michael Dukakis, and Pat Buchanan to George H.W. Bush. (Reminder: Both nominees lost the election).

At the very least Paul would want a prime-time speech, and probably a whole lot more. Chairman of the Federal Reserve, perhaps? Just kidding, but …

Ok, here’s the weird part.  Obama and Hillary Clinton went to the convention in Denver in 2008 in a dead heat.  Actually, if the DNC hadn’t busted Florida and Michigan to half votes and reapportioned Michigan votes by giving 4 delegates from Hillary and all uncommitted delegates to Obama, Hillary would have been ahead.  According to Crawford, Ron Paul would deserve a lot more than a prime time speech if he only had 40% of the vote, not even a dead heat.  So, why is it that Hillary only got a prime time speech, no floor debate, and not even a legitimate roll call?  How come Jesse Jackson and every other candidate from the Democratic primary system prior to 2008 got treated as legitimate politicians and their delegates accorded a voice but not Hillary’s?  How do we explain a discrepancy like this?  We should all be asking ourselves this question until we get an answer that makes sense. Oh, sure, the superdelegates all moved like osmosis to Obama’s column, pulled no doubt by a hypertonic money solution.  But the elected delegates should have counted for something.  And they didn’t.

So, either the Republicans are going to be a lot more honest about their convention than the Democrats or they will adopt the Democrats’ model from 2008 and negate the primaries altogether so that they don’t have to accommodate Ron Paul’s constituency.  And if that’s the way the parties are going to go, why go through this expensive and painful process every 4 years?  If the money guys are going to pick the male party nominee anyway, why bother with the façade of electoral legitimacy?  We all know what our preisdential campaigns have boiled down to in the past 12 years.  The preferred candidates get the nod.  It will either be a money wing candidate with social conservative tendencies or a money wing candidate with socially moderate tendencies.  Them’s the choices.  Pick one.

If you don’t like your choices, and that’s all you’re going to get, you HAVE to go outside the parties and pick a different flavor of politician.  Yes, it takes effort to find them on a ballot.  No, there’s no guarantee your candidate is going to win, although it will be easier if as many people as possible show up to vote for the same person.  That’s usually how it’s done.  But at some point in time, enough of us have to decide that we have no other alternative and decide to pick someone else.  It can be done.  Just say no to both parties this year unless they give you a choice you can live with.

******************

For a different take on the 2-party system, check out Virtually Speaking Susie’s interview with Mike Patterson from Occupy DC.  Mike spells it out for the occupy doubters: the Occupy movement is not interested in becoming an arm of the Obama campaign.  It doesn’t like Democrats any more than it likes Republicans right now.  Both parties have let the American people down.  What Occupy will turn into is a different question but it’s not there to support Obama, that’s for damn sure.

By the way, tune your bat channels for Virtually Speaking tonight when one of my favorite bloggers, Lenore Skenazy of FreeRangeKids is on to talk about what happened to American childhood.  I’m convinced that there is a connection between fearmongering and strict behavioral controls of both parents and children and the goals of the right wing.  I hope Jay Ackroyd and Lenore explore this connection.  The one thing you can count on is that Lenore will bring her horror stories from modern day parenting.  The fact that she is not exaggerating makes it all the more frightening.  That’s tonight at 8:00pm EST.  Virtually Speaking A-Z with Stuart Zechman and Virtually Speaking with Lenore Skenazy.

Here’s a little taste of Lenore:

**************************************

This headline says it all: “SOPA Sponsor Rep. Lamar Smith to SOPA opponents: You don’t matter.

Ok, good to know.  I hope he’s not doing anything important when the internet giants decide to pull the plug temporarily for system maintenance.

*************************************

For those of you who have made a resolution to be less of a slob this year (moi!), check out ApartmentTherapy’s homekeeping tips.  Think of it as housecleaning for people who have better things to do with their time and less “impeccably fresh” Martha Stewart-esque attention to obsessive detail.  Like, is it ok to clean your jeans in the freezer.  Or, if your house is really messy, where do you start?  It’s so overwhelming.  Start with the bedroom.  Here’s the list for deep cleaning your bedroom, step-by-step.  You can do this.  Er, *I* can do this.

Just do it.

*************************************

Another one bites the dust: Sanofi closes its Bridgewater, NJ site.  This happened faster than my former colleagues anticipated.  I’m very sorry to hear this and hope that they’ve all been preparing for their Plan B’s.  I’ve been getting a recent flood of LinkedIn invitations in the last week.  It’s nervewracking, guys.  All I can say is get out of NJ if you can.  The money has dried up.  You need to decide to not to live a precarious existence.  Pack up the family and head west or at least mid-west.  Scale down, regroup, renew and reclaim your dignity.  To those of you who didn’t get an invitation to Cambridge, don’t beat yourselves up.  I know how good you are.  It’s nothing personal.  It’s mostly politics and, unfortunately for Cambridge, it will *not* be getting all of the “best of the best”.  One final thing, you will feel so much better once the shoe drops.  I sleep a lot better these days.  Good luck to all.

***********************************

And now, a thing of beauty to relieve you of combat fatigue.  This is a ballet of the seasons from a new version of Cinderella.  The company is Belle Etudes in Arizona and the dancers are pretty young.  The choreography is exquisite:

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40 Responses

  1. I saw that Trail mix post and was kind of floored. But, my conclusion was a little different. Just a little. I thought he was warning the Republicans not to let it get that far. To give the whole shebang to Romney now.

    Otherwise, the memory of that whole event continues to make my stomach hurt. Actually hurt. I dream of the day when Democratic leadership apologizes for the disgrace of the 2008 primary season. I’m thinking that the first sign will be the rejection of caucuses as legitimate methods of delegate (and candidate) selection.

    My newish thing is that I’ve reactivated my account at MyFitnessPal.com — I’m logging all my foods and exercise. The coolest thing since last year (before that seemingly unending round of bronchitis attacks in 2011) is that EVERYTHING I’ve searched is already there. Every single Aldi-brand item. It’s great!

    And I’ve managed to do enough walking to keep up with my calorie goals. !!!

    Well see how it goes from here.

    • I never thought of it that way but maybe he was kinda warning the Republicans. OTOH, what is so awful about a real floor debate, for *either* party? We are so conditioned to think that any kind of argument is bad. Why? Why is it that the only interested parties that are arguing what our values and policies should be are bloggers? And why is it that those arguments never make it into the party apparatus?
      The worst thing in the world is not lack of unanimity. The worst thing is the failure to consider other options. So, why is it that the party doesn’t want to consider other options? Either it likes things the way they are, they’re convinced they can do nothing about it or they think we’re crazy. Or all three.
      And if that’s the case, why do we put up with it? We should all go on strike against both parties.
      Right. I’m calling a strike. Let’s strike against both parties this year. maybe you can’t call for a general labor strike (and why is that? That should be a subparagraph to the unalienable “pursuit of happiness” right.) but there is nothing to stop us from calling a strike against the party system.
      Let’s strike them.

      • I’m torn between striking and Occupying…. I love it that Hillary got so many write in votes in NH and wonder what could be done with a highly coordinated effort. … Probably nothing. Considering what Hillary’s 18 million votes got us last time.

        So, strike. How do we make that look like more than laziness?

        Also, I think the platform convention should be totally separate (and happen first) from the nominating convention. Maybe get back to the Mini Conventions that we had in the 70s and use them for platform conventions. Then judge all candidates by how sincerely and effectively they present the issues.

        (rolls on the floor laughing)

        • Pick a candidate to the left of the Democratic party and say he is a placeholder. As long as the party refuses to negotiate with its voters, we’re on strike and will vote for that candidate.
          And then do it.
          They won’t take it seriously unless you pick someone. And at this point, it doesn’t really matter all that much who that person is. It just has to be someone to the left of the Democrats who is not crazy and is not a Democrat.
          Rocky Anderson is one possibility.
          When it comes right down to it, he can’t be worse than Barack Obama. No, he really can’t be. Obama has never really had to practice politics until he got to the white house. His whole career consisted of getting his next promotion. He’s made a career of his own career. So, why not someone else? Does it matter if they have a party to work with? Did it matter to Obama? No, the Democrats did whatever the fuck they wanted. But if there appears to be a mandate, ie, if the voters strike, maybe Congress will get a clue. If we can get our own president, we can get our own congress.

          • “Pick a candidate to the left of the Democratic party and say he is a placeholder.”

            Surely you are using “he” in the generic sense.

          • I don’t think they care. They will claim victory with 2 votes. It is going to take alot more than a strike. As we saw in 2008, they will have who they want regardless of how voters vote.

            What we are basically looking at is completely rigged elections that are cordinated to appear as if they are democratically determined. That’s why they bother with the primaries even though the outcomes are predetermined by puppet masters (ie wall street, party bosses, etc..).

            I think voters have to expose these guys and over throw them in some fashion, although I don’t know how.

        • there is a draft Hillary effort going on on facebook. I have no idea if that is the source of these Hillary votes. But I have not heard of any other effort. I am thinking that people are still mad about being called racist for supporting the obviously superior candidate.

        • I wonder at a coordianted effort also, katiebird. If she can get that much with little or no buzz I wonder what she could get with people running ads, could you imagine what would happen if she actually won a few states by write in? What would the media do? Would that wake up sleeping democrats to take notice and call for Hillary to be nominated at the convention? Stranger things have happened. Yes, the caucuses need to be abolished… then again didn’t the Obama people “get in their faces” without consequence? I think Hillary supporters should occupy the caucuses

    • “I dream of the day when Democratic leadership apologizes for the disgrace of the 2008 primary season.”

      A nice dream but it ain’t never gonna happen. The Dems coalesced around Obama because of his race and the radical left of the party hates the Clintons. And because they are idiots.

  2. good post RD. 🙂

  3. Can we come up with some women to support who are to the left of Obama? There must be some one.

    • Ms.Warren?

    • Marcy Kaptur of the greater Toledo Ohio area.

    • Jan Schakowsky? Donna Edwards? Barbara Lee? Sheila Jackson Lee? Louise Slaughter? Lynn Woolsey? Rosa Delauro? Diana Degette? There are many more but those are some liberal Pols off the top of my head that are definitely to the left of the Great Pretender(not that any of them would challenge the “Head of the Party”). We probably need to find a non-Pol “Outsider”, which is much more difficult!

      • U.S. Rep, Jackie Speier (D) from the 12th Congressional District, San Francisco and the Peninsula, should be on your list. She is on the Homeland Security and Oversight and Governmental Reform Committees.

    • Jill Stein of the Green Party

      She’s a third party candidate and like Anderson she has signed the same platform. She’s definitely to the left of Obama. Then again, if Nixon were alive today HE’D likely be to the left of Obama.

  4. A great piece with a little of everything. Yep. You said it all re: Hillary, RD. Pretty much a nightmare anyway you slice what happened to her & also your take on what the big machines behind the parties do. We saw it happen, day by day over here. I am very non-surprised by Rom. One of my oldest guy friends likes Paul, no kidding. I am so amazed because we had same CA childhoods. He just digs him. Myself? I am disgusted as a Dem. Beyond. So, not sure where my vote will go or even if I care RD. You know? You know how you love Sweden? Well, I think I like France and Holland like that. Or Spain or Portugal. Hugs! xxoo!

  5. ps: wants that bedroom! Omg RD that list, omg. Yep. Minimalism next time out! like that pix! xxoo! Simplicity rules!

  6. I lost my pogo stick stylus. F}#%! F{}#! F{}^!

  7. OT re research jobs. Just saw this, might be a lead for you.


    http://clawfoot.livejournal.com/1157494.html
    Dear job posters:
    Don’t advertise that you’re looking for a technical writer if you’re actually looking for a highly specific professional who can also write. It’s very discouraging to read over a whole posting for a tech writing position and then see that the requirements section includes a PhD in, say, chemistry.
    TIP: you’re looking for a chemist, not a writer. Chemists probably won’t search the tech writing jobs.

    • LOL! I don’t have a PhD. After 2 decades in the business, I am suddenly unqualified to do the job I did- for 2 decades. The first thing that recruiters ask is where I got my PhD. Because it is inconceivable that anyone but a PhD could do this job? Very puzzling. I’ve worked for and with PhDs who weren’t capable of doing it. There’s nothing magical about a PhD and up until recently, it didn’t matter. I think there is a MBA thing trickling down here.

      • I wish we could/would go back to the days where people realized that you can get an education outside of the classroom and there is something to be said for experience and training on the job. Sadly, it seems that people want that piece of paper.

        It’s actually kind of offensive that businesses expect kids to go tens on thousands of dollars into debt to be trained for their workspaces. There used to be a time where they took some responsibility for at least some of the training. Not these days though.

        • Truer words were never spoken. I started out as a chemical engineer then moved into oil exploration and became a geophysicist on my employer’s dime. That would never happen with corporate attitudes today.

      • MBA = Mendacious Buttkissing Asshole 😈

  8. “So, why is it that Hillary only got a prime time speech, no floor debate, and not even a legitimate roll call?”

    I remember talking with a delegate at the convention, trying to persuade her to support a roll call vote for the nomination. Her response was that she would do what Terry McAuliffe told her to do. Now this was a normal (supposedly representative of the voter’s will) delegate, not the super kind.

    The fact is that the Democratic party is a machine. It is not a representative organization of the people it claims to support. It has it’s own agenda and voters are merely pawns for their plans. I used to believe otherwise but 2008 changed all that for me.

  9. Most of Apple’s $82 billion cash stockpile is ‘trapped’ overseas

    Heaven forbid, if Apple repatriated that money they would have to pay taxes on it.

  10. Maybe I’ve been listening to southerners for far too long, but I didn’t hear much of a dwarl, didn’t find it folksy, and heard no musical lift. I DON”T AGREE WITH DEMINT; however, he represents a constituency that wants government off its back, period. In the 9 minutes of Jon Stewart’s show, I heard a confident man, now a bookwriter, explain his views and those of his supporters. RD, you’ve been a bit harsh.

    ***************************************************************************************

    Washington, DC, weather January 17 is forecast to be a few degrees off ours: DC’s — 55 hi, 35 lo, and a 40% chance of rain; ours — 58 hi, 35 lo, and a 40% chance of rain. Pack an umbrella.

    *****************************************************************************************

    Has there been a discussion here of the new TB strain that is resistant to drugs? I heard on the radio today about one TB aptient in a Mumbai hospital has left the hospital and no one knows where he is.

    Here’s a link:

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/01/12/145027086/a-dozen-cases-of-tuberculosis-that-resists-all-drugs-found-in-India

    • I’m serious about the southern accent. It comes across loud and clear to me. And when I lived in SC, everyone talked that way. I’m not trying to be harsh. In fact, it’s the new yawkers and joisy accents that come off sounding offensive. This is my point, it’s Demint’s politics, not his accent, that makes my ears bleed. Sorry, if that wasn’t absolutely clear.

      • Listening to this interview again, I actually came away admiring DeMint for appearing in this hostile environment. Jon himself praises him at the end for coming on when he knew the audience demonized him. DeMint obviously has the specter of the U.S. falling over the cliff as Greece would have done without the European bailout. He knows there will be no bailout for us if we don’t correct the deficit and wasteful spending NOW, and, without a correction, the national and global effect would be catastrophic from our economic collapse. I agree with what he said in the interview, I have problems with what may lie behind the words, the merciless destruction of whole programs that are necessary and do work. But, then, Obama is not to be trusted either on these issues.

        DeMint represents a state of John C. Calhoun’s states rights’ believers, yes, after all these years, and a district of more economic conservatives than social conservatives of up-state. S.C. has had much greater than the national average of unemployment over these last 3/4 years. There is background to DeMint’s views.

        Looking forward: Demonizing the other side will not solve our grave economic problems. There needs to be some middle ground that both sides can agree on. Even Jon agreed that more discussion between the two sides could help, possibly bring some away from the extreme conservative stances. Michelle Bauchmann’s campaign losing support is a little hopeful.

        • Haven’t paid much attention to what is going on in Greece due to the austerity required for the bailouts, have you? Spouting economically illiterate crap, like Demint does is not helpful. National economies are nothing like a households, even for those who are not sovereign in their own currency anymore.

          Even the IMF doesn’t believe austerity is the way to go in these circumstances. It’s the way to complete fucking ruin.

    • BTW, whatever his views are, some of them are outright lies. Social Security is not broke and up until last year, it wasn’t a drag on the deficit. I noticed that Stewart did not correct him. Demint is a fearmonger. His book is meant to unsettle his target audience. I have a problem with people who tell lies and scare people to get what they want, I don’t care which part of the country they’re from.

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