Today I offer you a mixed bag of political, social and sports related observations and commentary. I guess this is my long form version of tweeting:
If his name were Mullins or Smith instead of Weiner, would this have been as big a story for as long? When a 4th grader can write the jokes, your days in office are numbered. (He certainly gave new meaning to the phrase “Member of Congress”, but I digress). Congratulations to Sen. David Vitter, who survived his scandal visiting prostitutes while a married man. Good thing he didn't tweet your junk, and instead chose to share it with others for money. Saved his job.
Who Will Wash the Invisible Hand?
It is a sad day when defunding and eliminating the EPA, as Michelle Bachmann calmly proposed during the CNN debate on Monday, isn’t viewed as radical and a recipe for a health disaster in America. Third World nations do not have independent oversight over public air, water and land usage, and she must view this as a positive. Market forces will not reduce toxins in the air; the profit motive will not encourage protection of the drinking supply by businesses; individual citizens cannot police the dumping of pollutants into waterways hundreds of miles away from their homes. By most any measure, our nation is cleaner and more livable since Nixon created the EPA in the 1970s. We don't need to recreate 1776 in every way. Some progress is good.
Southern Strategy Redux
According to a poll released today, Obama beats Romney in a head-to-head matchup in every part of the U.S., except the South. Hmmm, what is unique about the South? It was the last region to accept racial equality (some would argue within view of all the Confederate flags that it still hasn’t), and the states in the region consistently rank dead last in the quality of public education. This is the region producing the most opposition to the current President. Draw your own conclusions.
Déjà Vu All Over Again
At the same point in Reagan’s first term, Republican leadership was floating names of possible candidates to challenge the incumbent in the 1984 primaries. Howard Baker was being openly talked about as a viable alternative to the President who was presiding, after 2+ years in office, over an economy suffering with over 10% unemployment. This was largely forgotten after November 1984. Today’s headlines will be largely forgotten by November 2012. The difference is that the Democrats worked with Reagan. The current Congress learned that lesson, and will deny the economy improvement so Obama can't claim that it is Morning in America.
Cup Runeth Over
I thought that cities rioted after winning a championship. When did cities start to burn cars and loot after losing a championship? I wonder if these kinds of tragedies happened during the days of Prohibition…
I Was For It Before I Was Against It
On June 1st, Speaker of the House John Boehner said that Obama had met the legal requirements of the War Powers Act. Two weeks later, Boehner says Obama has not the legal requirements. The War Powers Act has been a lightning rod for both parties ever since it was enacted, with each side accusing the opposite side of circumventing or abusing its authority. I will say that it doesn’t help to have Obama state that what the US is doing in Libya doesn’t amount to “hostilities”. When a bomb lands on you, I think that meets the legal definition of “hostilities”. That said, renowned pacifist John McCain asked his colleagues in the Senate, “If this were a Republican President, would you be acting the same way?” That, I believe, is a rhetorical question.
I read that Al-Qaida has a new leader. His confirmation process looks challenging, however; seems he didn’t pay employer taxes for his in-cave nanny from 1998-2003.
I might be the last one to accept that the GOP wants the country to fail, but when they even reject tax cuts, I have no choice but to accept that their strategy for the next 18 months is to insure no economic recovery will derail their narrative that Obama is destroying America. The GOP has refused to consider a temporary payroll tax cut in order to provide some stimulus. How can they plausibly argue that government is ineffective if they allow government to be effective? Perhaps that was the genius of George Bush.
I Choose Option 2
In the political bible of the Far Right conservative movement, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand writes, "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." Wow. Is this rugged individualism and self-reliance, or greedy narcissism wrapped in isolationism?
FDR, hero of liberals and others everywhere said, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” Is this social engineering through government sponsored redistribution of wealth, or the best way to insure the long term social and economic stability of a nation that becomes greater than the sum of its parts?
UFC Combatant Wanted: Must Have Own Skates
After watching the Stanley Cup Finals, it is impossible for me to imagine the Washington Capitals winning the Cup with their current roster. Boston boosted about 12 ‘gritty’ players who could combine that grit with skillful play. The Caps have about 4 gritty players. Finesse will not win the Cup in the modern era of the NHL, and the Caps need an overhaul.
During the MTV Movie Awards, Justin Timberlake and Milo Kunis thought this was funny (sorry, couldn't get the video loaded but here's a link to see it):
Timberlake grabs Kunis breasts and holds on. Kunis grabs Timberlake's crotch and holds on. This show was targeted at teens and pre-teens. Go ahead and call me a prude, but when Bill Maher thinks this act is offensive, it must be pretty bad. This type of nationally televised behavior is my competition while I try to instill wholesome values in my children.
I’m not laughing, and you shouldn’t either.