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    • What Protests in Lebanon, France, Chile and Ecuador Have In Common
      There’s some important events happening today: another Brexit vote, and the Canadian federal election (whose results are not obvious), but we won’t know how either of those end till later, so let’s discuss some popular protests of massive size. In France the protests were sparked by an increase in diesel taxes. The demands included an […]
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Even his friends don’t like him


Remember all that stuff you heard about Mitt Romney being the GOP lead dog for 2012? Don’t believe it:

Romney’s Conservative Problem

Mitt Romney’s been looking weaker and weaker in our 2012 Presidential polling over the last couple months and it’s pretty easy to identify the reason why: he has a major problem with conservatives and there’s no evidence it’s getting any better.

We’ve polled eight states, not including Massachusetts, since the 2010 election ended. Romney has the lowest favorability rating of the Republican top 4 with conservatives in every single one of those states except Michigan, where he probably benefits from his dad having been the Governor. And it’s not like Romney is just slightly less well liked than the others with conservatives- it’s a large gap, particularly when you compare him with Palin or Huckabee. Romney’s average favorability is 58%. Gingrich is next worst at 64%, followed by Huckabee at 73%, and Palin does best at 77%.

[…]

Not surprisingly given that they like him the least, Romney also does the worst with conservatives when Republicans are asked who their top choice as the 2012 nominee is. In six of the eight individual states Romney is last with conservatives with the exceptions being Michigan again and Wisconsin, where he narrowly edges out Gingrich to finish third. On average Romney gets just 14% with conservatives in these preliminary trial heats with Gingrich at 17%, Huckabee at 21%, and Palin at 22%.

I told ya so!

Mitt is a dead man walking. He couldn’t even get elected dog catcher. It’s the curse of Seamus.

The conservatives don’t like him and the fundies hate him. Sooner or later the GOP establishment will realize it and either cut a deal with Palin or throw their support behind Pawlenty or Thune.

If Mitt wins the nomination then that means the GOP is conceding 2012 just like they did 2008.



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The Culture of Cannibalism in US Politics: The Cycle of Corruption

MarkTwain_arts Mark Twain, in “Cannibalism in the Cars,” suggested that cannibalism of the body politic is a logical outcome of the practice of the political values of the elected representatives of the United States, in dire circumstances. What would occur, if such dire circumstances did not require a natural disaster, but became a systemic feature of the political landscape?

doncamp

The current economic crisis and America’s abject failure to provide economically-efficient, affordable healthcare are two examples of dire circumstances that are systemic features of America’s political landscape. Both crises are the results of bad governance. Both circumstances are direct products of the growth of influence of en-corporated political interests (encorps) in the system of governance of the United States. Bad governance, in both cases, involves a betrayal of the public trust that is manifested in not regulating the encorps in a way that protects the public’s interests, especially with respect to not meaningfully regulating the encorps ability to influence government officials.

The United States was born wary of the power of vested interests to influence public policy. Alexander Hamilton’s comments in the Federalist Papers are an example of this concern. .

In republics, persons elevated from the mass of the community, by the suffrages of their fellow-citizens, to stations of great pre-eminence and power, may find compensations for betraying their trust, which, to any but minds animated and guided by superior virtue, may appear to exceed the proportion of interest they have in the common stock, and to overbalance the obligations of duty.

Unfortunately, keeping the vested interests out is not a simple matter. How can it be when parties themselves are collective expressions of a set of weighted interests? Frankly, it is sensible for people of like purpose to strive together to achieve their aims, and there is nothing necessarily insidious about the practise. In fact, it’s a cornerstone of Democracy and civil society.

It is also, however, the entry way for corruption because the crux of the matter is not that people have differing and competing interests: it’s that they differ so greatly in terms of their power to realize those interests. When the power to realize those interests is used to unjustly deny the interests of less powerful, but equally or more deserving citizens, through a donation that is traded for a piece of unjust legislation, then it can be said that a positive feedback loop of corruption has been initiated.
The overly simple analysis that follows attempts to describe the basic workings of this system.
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A message to the GOP: Palin was your only bright spot this year

Barack Obama didn’t win because Sarah Palin doesn’t know Africa is a continent. Barack Obama won because people really, REALLY hated Republicans, even the ones who were kinda reasonable.

It’s not like you guys don’t understand this. And I sure as Hell don’t intend for you to get away with it. You guys were so bad that it is criminal. Your asses should have been impeached a zillion times over by now. The stock market is tanking again and your outrageous behavior was so over the top that the American people overlooked corruption in the Democratic party just to avoid voting for you. They preferred to hand the country over to a complete neophyte who cheated his way to the top rather than put the country in the hands of a more seasoned and less Republican Republican.

People without family ties don’t get to be governors of major oil producing states by being stupid. It’s a nice scapegoat that the media has provided you guys but I don’t buy it. Sarah Palin had nothing to do with the fall of the Republican party.

You need to acknowledge how loathesome your legacy is. Feel the gritty realness of what your reprehensible behavior has wrought. Shut up for several years until you have had time to reflect on the hardships you have caused to ordinary men and women. We will be cleaning up after you for generations so the next thing I want to hear out of your mouth is mea culpa.

And get the f#%^ off of Sarah’s case. You’re making fools of yourselves.

Saturday: Truth and Consequences

The Obamaphiles continue their charm offensive to woo and cajol us to vote for Obama.  How sweetly they shower us with attention and affection.  Soon, they will have us eating out of their hands, our tiny little bird brains filled with brilliant Barackian light and music.

F$&* that $*%^!

Can we please get a better brand of troll here?  The ones we have been assigned are insulting our intelligence.  Let’s knock these myths down one at a time:

  1. McCain has skin cancer.  He could *die* in office.  DIE, I say!  Then, Sarah Palin would be President.  OMG!  She’s only been a governor for 2 years!  Woe is me!  What shall become of us??? Truth: Tim Kaine has been governor of VA for exactly as long as Palin.  He was on Obama’s short list for VP. So, if Kaine was experienced for Obama, Palin is experienced enough for McCain.  Plus, the Republicans have maintained a more natural order in their ticket.  John McCain is “mentoring” Palin.  It looks logical and good spirited.  As to the health issue, skin cancer, like melanoma which McCain has had, is curable if caught early.  People with John’s skin type, which happens to be mine also, have to be extremely vigilant about noticing changes in the skin but it *is* possible for us to lead healthy, productive lives with sun protection and immediate treatment of lesions.   He’s more likely to die of heart disease.
  2. But she’s so inexperienced.  How would she handle the presidency if she had to step in? Truth: Barack Obama has been running for president for as long as Sarah Palin has been running Alaska.  In fact, she is likely to step into the top spot with more ease than Obama because her experience as an executive is more relevant than his as a legislator.
  3. She’s a former beauty queen. Truth: Former beauty queens get scholarships to college.  She got one.  She seems to be very smart.  Very tenacious.  We liked those qualities in Hillary.  Plus, she’s easy on the eyes.  So, she shows that women can be attractive and smart and powerful.  And the people screaming “former beauty queen” are showing their bigotry towards women.  I’m so glad we’re getting this all out in the open this year, aren’t you?  Otherwise, we would have spent the next 40 years co-existing with you troglodytes and sleeping with you and stuff, never knowing what you were really thinking.  Now, we can feel confident that if you don’t measure up in bed, it’s not our problem.
  4. She’s anti-choice. Truth: We know what she is but if Obamaphiles insist on calling us post-menopausal, dried up pussies, you shouldn’t be surprised if we are suddenly unsympathetic towards young female Obamaphiles who find themselves unintentionally pregnant.  Some of us fought those battles in the 60’s.  Some of us took advantage of the battles won in the 70’s and 80’s.  Some of us continue to fight in the 90’s and 00’s.  But we’re not your parents who are responsible for getting you out of every scrape.  YOU are responsible for your own fate.  If you don’t like the anti-choice leanings of your next president and vice president, work your ass off for downticket Dems so Republicans can’t ram through any more anti-choice legislation.  You’re old enough.  Do it yourself.  Besides, you female Obamaphiles had a choice in Hillary Clinton who was committed to prtecting your reproductive freedom.  Instead, you picked a man who is actively courting evangelical voters and watering down the pro-choice section of the Democratic platform.  And you have the nerve to call US dumb?
  5. She thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution. Truth: So do I.  And I’m a scientist that eats evolution for breakfast.  Hear me out.  Creationism is one of many theories about the origin of life.  Yep.  Betcha you guys forgot about spontaneous generation and the garbage theory (sort of like scientology).  In fact, in my 10th grade biology class, all theories were presented.  It took about 2 days to go through spontaneous generation, the garbage theory and creationism (taught by way of a Navajo myth.  What can I say?  My High School was progressive.)  Once that was over, we spent the rest of the quarter talking about natural selection.  You may be surprised to know that some Christian colleges like Messiah College where Monica Goodling was an undergrad are very natural selection friendly.  They have to be if they are teaching biology in an accredited program.  That’s the way life and biology work and they acknowledge it.  Students are presented with many theories and they are left to sort it out for themselves in an atmosphere that respects evidence based science.  That’s the way it *should* be.  Besides, you can beleive in natural selection and also that your creator caused it to be the way life originated.  Ain’t nobody’s business if you do.  And it keeps the crackpots out of the science class.
  6. She’s no Hillary ClintonTruth: And neither is Barack Obama.  If the Democrats wanted Hillary Clinton to save Obama’s bacon, really the DNC’s bacon, they should have put her in the top spot and made Obama VP.  That would have been an unbeatable ticket.  Palin seems to have a lot of qualities that Hillary supporters admire.  No, she’s no Hillary Clinton but we didn’t get Hillary despite all of our efforts and the warnings we gave.  It seems like the Democrats are completely blindsided by Sarah Palin.  Heck, we knew she was coming.  She or Christie Todd Whitman were going to kill the Democratic ticket.  But did th DNC listen?  Nooooo. Tough noogies.
  7. McCain is only pandering to you wimmin. Truth: Yup.  And???  You think we’re too stupid  to realize this?  Of course he’s pandering to us.  He’s a f%*(ing politician.  That’s what successful politicians do.  They reach out to voting blocs and offer them something.  I know that the Democratic party has abandoned this approach this year because they are above all of that and we’re just supposed to fall in line and hand over our votes like good little girls.  Obama is transcendent and Hillary was just too down to earth and common.  That’s why she needed to be purged.  Or maybe the Democratic party really is just that Good Old Boys club and they only used women’s rights as a come on.  We’re not too stupid to see that.
  8. You’re all going to vote for McCain because he picked Palin and it’s all identity politics. Truth: Not necessarily.  Some of us will never be able to cross that ideological divide.  But Palin was the deciding factor for a good many people here.  McCain did something that the DNC refused to do- honor women voters.  As Chicago Dyke said:

    More than anything else, she is a clear warning: someone in the McCain campaing has a brain. Bigger than Rove’s, bigger than McCain’s. Fear that, if you long for Democratic victory this fall.

    More than anything else, we want to punish the DNC for turning its back on voters who went to the primary polls in good faith to vote for Hillary Clinton, expecting that our votes would be recognized.  We voted for her in overwhelming numbers in some major D and swing states and our votes were taken from us in the interest of “unity”.  Our delegates were harrassed and intimidated, our persons and characters insulted and derided, our candidate of choice, a brilliant, energetic, dedicated public servant, reduced to a figurehead of “your time has come and gone”.  We were told in no uncertain terms that OUR chance to lead the country had slipped through our fingers in favor of a bunch of amateurish, idealistic, young thugs.  I gotta tell you in advance of the November purge that that attitude went over like a lead balloon.  We will not let you get away with it.  Some of us will stay home.  Some of us will vote N.O.T. (nothing on top).  Some of us will write in or vote third party.  And, now, because of Sarah Palin, some of us feel we have some place to go.

  9. The Democrats have no one but themselves to blameOh, absolutely true.