Archive for the '2012' Category

Simon Schama on current American politics

In this interview Schama mostly gets it right. He is certainly correct that too many Americans still hold out some hope that Obama is going to do something about our problems (Indeed, Schama was one of the Europeans who ate the Hopium back in 2008). People still don’t get that Obama is the leader of the American kleptocracy.

I think Schama under estimates the power of the Occupy movement. He is looking too much at the Presidential election, which will change nothing, and not enough at the growing unrest. Imagine if someone tried to understand French politics during the 1780’s and only paid attention to the debates among Louis XVI’s councilors and paid no attention to Paris salons. I suspect that the years 2012-2016 will be very similar, a continuing implosion of the kleptocracy and the rise of whatever replaces it. That is why it is so crucial that we keep this non-violent.

Note – I am fascinated that, like the Corrente community, Schama gets the similarity with the ancien regime

Obama online enforcer: exhibit A

Call me Shoq

In my very rare spare time, I hang out with snobby, east coast progressives who wear smart looking black berets, smoke French cigarettes, and speculate about whether Simone de Beauvoir, Oscar Wilde, or Susan Sontag would have voted for David Cook or Sarah Palin as the next American Idol. Like me, most of them would all rather be living in Hollywood, snarfing veggie cocktail weenies with Sean Penn or Susan Sarandon.

When not openly trying to find passionate animal rights activists in short skirts and six inch heels, like all the other liberals, I live to hug trees, burn Bibles, and nominate Michael Moore, Ward Churchill and Jane Fonda to the Supreme Court. Someday, we hope to finally bring Utopian socialism—or at least unsubsidized health care—to Wal-Mart. …

… Shoq’s political enemies are many. But they aren’t always members of the Far Right. They can also be progressives, pseudo-liberals, anarchists, or members of the so-called “Professional Left,” who can often strenuously object to and resent his politics, and his vocal way of proffering his views to a significant following of progressives, personalities, and media outlets.

His twitter feed is every bit as disagreeable as his about section, at least the times I have looked at it. It consists of hurling abuse at Obama’s critics on the left. As if a few obscure bloggers could have any impact upon a President sitting on a 9.6% unemployment rate to say nothing of a soaring foreclosure rate. Seriously, no one can help a President who won’t help himself.

UPDATE: Projection much?

Does Huntsman have a messiah complex?

The Biblical Implications of Jon Huntsman’s Website

Per this morning’s Playbook, Jon Huntsman’s official campaign website is going to be Right now, it’s just a “Coming Soon” banner, but by the time he announces his candidacy tomorrow it will be bursting with the usual multi-media features (hopefully not too many). Anyone else puzzled by the biblical allusion in that URL? When I read it, I hear “John 20:12.”

Curious about the passage, I looked it up. The King James Bible version: “And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.” (If that’s too taxing for you, here’s the New Living Translation: “She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying.”) Okay, so it’s the resurrection.

It is obviously a dog whistle to the evangelical vote. This will go right over the heads of the secular set and the idea is that it will appeal to bible thumpers

Dan Pfeiffer

Melissa McEwan

I have been a political junkie since I was old enough to understand the democratic process, and never in my entire life have I seen a White House Communications Director be so clueless, so tone deaf, so wildly and hopelessly out of touch with the largest constituency of a sitting president.

And it’s manifestly evident the problem isn’t with Pfeiffer’s competency. The problem is that the entire Obama administration is structurally and institutionally clueless, tone deaf, and wildly and hopelessly out of touch with their largest constituency, and Pfeiffer is just doing his job—communicating the White House’s position.

It isn’t just Obama, it is the entire Democratic party, or the war on women would not be going anywhere.

Edit –
Netroots Nation 2011

It was in speaking with fellow rank and file netroots types that I soon realized what was really going on at this conference. The dominant theme of the conference was not chosen, intended, or likely desired by any of the organizers. It wasn’t discussed by any of the panels or speakers I saw. Instead, it was in the halls, in the questions, and on the lips of those without an exhibitor, speaker, or media badge.

The unofficial theme of this conference was of a movement at a crossroads, with a choice between our most deeply cherished principles and our understandable concern in accidentally empowering an insane and openly fascist Republican Party over a corrupt, ideologically conservative, and fully propagandized Democratic Party.

Three cheers for Trumka!

I hope he means it.

Obama’s reelection campaign


The advisers contend that the country is far too closely divided to imagine a re-election scenario like 1996, when Bob Dole never came within striking distance of President Bill Clinton.

In 1996 the unemployment rate was 5.4%. Obama’s problem is not that the country is divided. Obama’s problem is that his economic policies stink outloud. In January 2009 unemployment was at 7.6%. Incredibly it has continued to rise under Obama, going as high as 10.1% and only recently coming down to 8.8%, still higher than when he took office. There seems to be this bizarre notion that the fate of ordinary Americans will have no consequences to America’s elites, both political and economic.

Back to Politico:

The biggest concerns include independent voters, who are fickle by definition, and Midwestern, blue-collar white men, who were the last demographic group to go along with Obama in 2008.

Well maybe Obama should get himself to the solidarity rallies in Wisconsin and Ohio, you know, where working class white men are currently hanging out?

Democratic officials are intently focused on three states that Obama won last time – Virginia, Colorado and Nevada – that provide different paths to victory as an alternative to the traditional dependence on Ohio and Florida. But they are also trying to replicate the bold map strategy of 2008 by eyeing Texas, Arizona and Georgia – three states he lost last time – as potential targets. Changing demographics in the three states have yielded hundreds of thousands of currently unregistered Hispanic voters who could be receptive to Obama.

This is just delusional. Obama wrote off Northern Virginia when he froze the pay of federal workers. Nor are the women of Northern Virginia happy with Obama’s anti-abortion policies, which will be a problem for Kaine since he is anti-stem cell research and probably anti-abortion. These were not issues when he ran for Governor, but they will be issues when he runs for Senate. Bobby Scott might be a stronger candidate in Northern Virginia. Doug Wilder won Northern Virginia in 1989 because he was pro-choice. The problem with Obama’s people is that none of them have any respect for women and therefore do not appreciate the seriousness of these issues.

Why does Obama think that Hispanics will vote for him? Under Obama deportations have increased. Combined with continuing high rates of unemployment, Hispanics have no reason to vote for Obama.

Obama may very well win reelection, but only because we have a deeply dysfunctional political culture.

The Virginia Senate race of 2012

#1, I live in DC, not Virginia

#2, I am not well informed about Virginia politics

Having said that, I think that this fellow is far too optimistic about the chances of winning in Virginia in 2012.

It is most unlikely that Obama can carry Virginia a second time. On January 20, 2009 unemployment was 6.1%, it is now 10%; moreover, by the time the House Republicans have succeeded in bullying the Dems into additional spending cuts, the economy will tank and the unemployment will be worse (which was the Republican strategy all along).

Obama is unpopular now and his action freezing federal pay will not win him any friends in Virginia. Obama will be a huge drag upon the rest of the ticket. Virginia Democrats will be hard pressed to defend their incumbents, nevermind hold an open seat.

George Allen’s blunder is now 6 years ago, so much water has passed under the bridge that most voters will not care very much. It is important to remember that in spite of his blunder Allan almost won reelection 6 years ago.

Having said all that, I suspect that Bobby Scott would be the strongest candidate Democrats could field. Scott has a wonderful easy going Virginia gentleman demeanor that is worth thousands of votes by itself. Tim Kaine by contrast has a truly weak persona that has made him such a disaster as DNC chair. Moreoever, he is a Catholic. This used to be a non-issue, but given Kaine’s opposition to stem cell research, there are legitimate questions about his willingness to put the constitution before his bishop. Also I think that Democratic women are passed tired of voting for anti-choice Democrats.

But what do I know, I don’t live in Virginia.