Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Congressman admits he’s useless

July 27, 2009

Representative John Conyers (D-MI) suggests it’s pointless for a member of Congress to read the health care bill without lawyers to explain it to him. May I suggest to the Honorable Mister Conyers that the real question then is what’s the point of a Congressman who can’t understand what he’s voting on?

A conservative country

February 27, 2009

Despite the fiasco in Washington, D.C., there are significant signs that the bulk of the country remains basically conservative. It shows up in what the Democrats have to do to try to be elected even in New York. where Republican Jim Tedisco is running against Democrat Scott Murphy in a special election for New York’s 20th District. Notice that the Democrats must appeal to conservative ideas:

“Murphy highlights his business background and boasts that he knows how to create private sector jobs.”

“Democrats . . . label the GOP candidate as a “career politician” due to his long service in the New York State Assembly.”

Barnes burns Adelman

October 27, 2008

This is going to leave a mark:

[Ken] Adelman recently endorsed Obama and said he “would not have hired [Palin] for even a mid-level post in the arms control agency.” Well, I know both Palin and Adelman. And Ken, I’m sorry to tell you, but I think there are an awful lot of jobs in Washington that Palin would get before you.

The Atlantic loses a subscriber

October 27, 2008

I have been pondering this for awhile, but had waited to see if things might change. Overall it’s still a good magazine, IMO, and I’m generally not one to make a global decision based on a single factor. After all, I can simply choose not to add to web traffic. But gutter politics can’t be supported, even tangentially, and the smear that clarified the issue for me is described here (link doesn’t go to the offender; you know where he is if you’re compelled to see it.)

A copy of this goes in the mail today.

Dear Mr. Bennet,
After several years as an appreciative subscriber to The Atlantic, I have recently informed your subscription department that I will not be renewing my subscription. In case it interests you to know, the reason for my decision not to renew is that your magazine has become a platform for the worst sort of political discourse. I am referring to the scurrilous smears of Governor Sarah Palin by one of your senior editors, Andrew Sullivan.
I read with interest the cover article he wrote in December, and while I was not persuaded that Senator Obama was necessarily the best choice for President, I was hopeful, like many Americans, that his nomination and candidacy would in fact matter, that it would mark a change in the tone of presidential politics. That his opponent was not closely identified with the right-wing of the GOP seemed to add to the likelihood that questions of substantive issues confronting America would predominate this election cycle.
Regrettably, substantive discussion has again taken a backseat to issues of image and hollow rhetoric. But while silly complaints about not wearing lapel pins or overusing one’s military experience can be excused, one cannot excuse vile, baseless innuendo posing as a simple question, nor the promotion of misogynistic sexualization found on YouTube. Clearly emotions are running high in this election, and no one is exempt. If asked, I would have predicted that in the course of carrying out professional duties, a senior editor of a magazine of The Atlantic’s stature and reputation would be able to avoid indulging the darkest of human impulses. I would have been wrong.

Your magazine has introduced me to several writers I enjoy because of their engaging writing and insights on topics I would not otherwise have been likely to consider carefully, such as James Fallows on China. Gregg Easterbrook is a favorite, not least because I lived in Buffalo for five years (including the four Super Bowl years) and can appreciate his feelings about western New York. Several of your frequent contributors will always attract my attention because of their insights and challenges to my thinking. In the future, however, I will not be reading them as a subscriber to The Atlantic.


I used their postage paid reply envelope to inform the subscription department. Hopefully the backlash against those who call attention to the ideas of the candidate does not extend to criticism of his enablers.

Celebrity self-revelation

October 17, 2008

Old, but still comedy gold. Who would have thought this guy is such a wuss? “She really scares me.”

Political history

October 17, 2008

Part of the problem with our electorate, at least the part that’s about to take a flyer on Senator Obama, is a total lack of connection between current events and history. At best it goes back 3 to 4 years. As in the comment made about this election, “the Dems have had 8 years of the Rep. and it is time for a change wether [sic] you guys want it or not.” There’s absolutely no consciousness that what is going on now is related to anything that happened more than a few months ago. Or what is likely to result more than a few months in the future.

The Wall Street banker cited here notes that the current financial breakdown has been building for 10 years, which leads me to believe that the causes go back even further. Even within the past few years, John McCain supported legistlation addressing the very situation that blew up this summer, but Democrats in Congress blocked action. But because George Bush has been President 8 years, it’s time to change to a Democrat.

I suggest that combined with Democrat opposition to addressing the problems we’re facing right now is the fact that George Bush changed from a compassionate conservative, if he ever was one, to a Republican trying to please people by governing like a Democrat. So now we’re going to get the real thing in the name of “change,” and the next 4-8 years in the economic arena are going to be like the last 4, only moreso. John Galt, indeed.

I’m glad I like cheese

October 16, 2008

Change is coming, I suspect, given the political winds here in mid-October. Change is inevitable, actually, every election after a two-term President. But even though a lot of people are dissatisfied with current conditions, if enough vote for “Change” and get a President Obama, they may soon be asking, “Who moved my cheese?” Or maybe it will be, “Where is the agriculture department distributing the free cheese?”

Change happens, but it’s not always for the better, just because it’s a change. A bigger government, more regulation of business, higher business taxes, government payer health insurance systems, these things are going to wind up hurting the economy and therefore the working people of this country more than they realize, I fear. Change can be good, but it can be harmful. Be careful what you wish for.

Personal responsibility or government largesse

October 16, 2008

One of the main differences between the left and the right is illustrated by the assumptions behind this statement from Senator Obama last night, explaining his “spread the wealth” comment to the prospective plumbing-business owner:

Now, the conversation I had with Joe the plumber, what I essentially said to him was, “Five years ago, when you were in a position to buy your business, you needed a tax cut then.”

And what I want to do is to make sure that the plumber, the nurse, the firefighter, the teacher, the young entrepreneur who doesn’t yet have money, I want to give them a tax break now. And that requires us to make some important choices. <CNN Transcript>

In the view of Senator Obama and the left, he was able to become successful because of tax benefits bestowed by the government. I suspect he would disagree.

Reasoned arguments according to Buckley

October 15, 2008

Christopher Buckley follows up his endorsement of Obama with a post detailing his departure from National Review, which is somewhat interesting as it was founded by his father, one of the deans of the modern conservative movement in America. I’m not an expert on William F. Buckley, but I suspect he might have had higher standards for “a reasoned argument,” which is how the younger Buckley describes his “conservative case for Obama.”

As I pointed out earlier, Buckley’s case comprises mainly distaste for Sarah Palin and the people interested in learning about Obama’s associations and governing principles. He seems to believe that Obama will have an epiphany upon election and not actually enact the policies he’s campaigned on for a year and a half. Demeaning Sarah Palin and ignoring the policy ideals of the two candidates, surprise, surprise, was not well received by the readers of National Review.

Rich Lowry at the Corner called Buckley out on the way he presented his departure. This seems to have prompted a headline change for Buckley’s post, though the original implication is still seen in the URL. And the rest of his post, complete with hyperbole pointed out by Lowry, remains intact. It’s an unfortunate parting, assuming Mr. Buckley is the basically conservative-libertarian he claims to be. His social standing is secure for the next administration, at any rate. I wonder how much that had to do with it. But since motive attribution is thin ice, I’m sure I’ll never know to any satisfaction.

Do these political ads really work?

October 15, 2008

Nebraska’s 2nd district is apparently within reach for the Democrats this year. I’m fairly new to this area, but I take it this is not Jim Esch’s first crack at the seat held by Lee Terry. Now you should know Lee Terry has all the charisma of taupe walls in the break room. He has a face for radio and a voice for silent movies. I’m not sure what if anything has distinguished his congressional career, but since I’m new to the area that’s not revealing much about Lee Terry.

What kills me, though, is Esch’s ads where he’s sitting at a table with several elderly people sitting around it on the sides and behind him. He’s looking at the camera, intoning about the financial crisis and the claim that Terry wants to privatize Social Security. He, however, will protect it. So there’s the dichotomy, apparently, privatize Social Security or protect it.

Is that the same protection scheme the Democrats have engaged in for the past 30 years that has the system headed toward insolvency in the near future? Thanks, Jim, for offering to protect that for me. Don’t give me the opportunity to keep the money the government is confiscating and plan for my own future. Keep taking it, spending it on current accounts, and guaranteeing it’ll be insolvent when I retire.

I’m in the generation that has never expected Social Security to factor into my retirement. Well, some of my generation at least. I’m sure there are plenty blithley planning on that few hundred bucks a month at 62. But that’s on them. I’d be pleased to have more to contribute to my own retirement besides what I already have to set aside from my current take home pay. Feeling like I’m being robbed every month for a program that will be broke in a few years ticks me off. Then people like Jim Esch try to make me believe the government can protect the program for me when people like him have been kicking the can year after year for the past 30. Who really believes that anymore? How can an ad like that be expected to work? Yet it’s on the air here pretty often. It’s nonsense, but maybe it really does work.