“These people who are making a big deal out of gay marriage?” Eastwood opined. “I don’t give a fuck about who wants to get married to anybody else! Why not?! We’re making a big deal out of things we shouldn’t be making a deal out of.”
“They go on and on with all this bullshit about ‘sanctity’ — don’t give me that sanctity crap! Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want.”
31 Oct 2011 2 Comments
28 Oct 2011 Leave a Comment
This is a double geek post. Here’s a picture of some of the Space Shuttles’ main engines (Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis):
It’s pretty geeky to like a picture of engines, but to make this double geeky I have to say that they remind me of Daleks. Anyone agree?
26 Oct 2011 Leave a Comment
Senator Paul Ryan has decided to argue against Elizabeth Warren.
In response to this report:
In its report, the budget office found that from 1979 to 2007, average inflation-adjusted after-tax income grew by 275 percent for the 1 percent of the population with the highest income. For others in the top 20 percent of the population, average real after-tax household income grew by 65 percent.
By contrast, the budget office said, for the poorest fifth of the population, average real after-tax household income rose 18 percent.
And for the three-fifths of people in the middle of the income scale, the growth in such household income was just under 40 percent.
which meant that the top 1% of earners doubled their share of the nation’s income (they now control 17% and remember that the rich usually control a much higher share of total wealth than total income)
Ryan pushes back:
Let’s not focus on redistribution, let’s focus on upward mobility,” he said. “If these studies are used as justification for erecting new and more barriers for making it harder for people to rise, all that will do is reduce our prosperity in this country.
If you look at the change in the share of income of the top 1%, though, you see that their share was at the lowest levels from about 1953 until 1983 (it looks like it started going up in 1980 or so). Last I checked, that included the times when income rose faster for everyone and there was more mobility:
The U.S. economy grew by an average of 3.8% from 1946 to 1973, while real median household income surged 55% (or 1.6% a year). The economy since 1973, however, has been characterized by both slower growth (averaging 2.7%), and nearly stagnant living standards, with household incomes increasing by 10%, or only 0.3% annually.
So, the change in the government starting with Reagan has erected new barriers for people to rise–stating that, of course, is class warfare whereas when Ryan says something meant to allow the rich to keep more money it’s not.
Therefore, when Ryan argues against this statement by Warren:
“You built a factory out there? Good for you,” she says. “But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.”
She continues: “Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
Ryan dismissed it as the “fatal conceit of liberalism.”
“Money and wealth made and created in America is the government’s unless they benevolently spend it back to people. It’s the other way around,” Ryan said. “No one is suggesting that we don’t need good schools and roads and infrastructure as a basis for a free society and a free enterprise system. But the notion that the nucleus of society is the government and not the individual, the family, the entrepreneur, is to me just completely, inherently backwards.”
he is not only trolling (ignoring her argument and then arguing against what he pretends she said), but he is wrong even if we pretend he’s making a serious counter-argument. Her point is that historically the US economy does better when the government spreads money around, even the rich do better, and those that benefit from the structure of our economy should be willing to give back more (for example, the presence of copyrights has made some people extremely wealthy, so shouldn’t those people give back a lot of it in taxes?) . In other words, basically the government is redistributing money that the rich owe society for all that was given to them–the nucleus of society is all of us, not just the rich (also, does he really believe that no one is suggesting we don’t need to spend to have a good infrastructure?–he must not listen to himself).
Update: TPM links to a report (the report is embedded at TPM) which shows that there is more economic mobility in many countries than in the US, for example those socialist hell-holes Sweden, Canada, Finland, Norway, and Denmark.
25 Oct 2011 Leave a Comment
The Republican candidates are tying to one-up each other on taxes. Hermain Cain has his 9-9-9, Ron Paul is going to have a big tax cut and massively cut government spending, and now Rick Perry has a flat tax:
The plan includes a flat income tax rate of 20 percent, but it will also allow any taxpayer the option to remain under the current system, according to a person involved in the Perry campaign. Under current tax law, the wealthiest Americans face a marginal tax rate of 35 percent for much, if not most, of their taxable income
In addition, the plan has a $12,500 deduction for each person in a household, so, for example, two parents with one child would have the first $37,500 of income excluded under the plan.
It will also eliminate estate, capital gains and dividends taxes. This will obviously mean a huge tax cut for the rich, does Perry care?
But I don’t care about that. What I care about is them having the dollars to invest in their companies. To go out and maybe start a business because they got the confidence again because they actually get to keep more of what they work for. If that’s what comes, I’ll take that criticism. Because what I’m interested in is getting Americans working.
And if the rich just take the money and do nothing with it (as they’re doing now)? He’ll be ok with that also, since in each case it means the rich get more.
And what about the deficit? Since this will reduce taxes for everyone, obviously it will make the deficit worse.
I don’t think it does. The budget deficit needs to be addressed through a number of ways. We think this will balance the budget by 2020. And you’ve got to have some hard cuts. You’ve got to deal with the entitlement issue.
This is known as magical thinking. Cutting government revenue by a lot now and talking about cutting costs later will not cause the deficit bigger now–interesting. Ok, Romney, Bachmann what do you have? At some point, I assume one of them will say they’ll eliminate the income tax completely.
22 Oct 2011 Leave a Comment
The comparison of the Occupy Wall Street movement to the Tea Party such as:
More and more commentators — as well as President Obama — have likened the Occupy forces spreading across the country to the Tea Party movement. But as they have, conservatives and Tea Party activists have rushed to discredit the comparison and the nascent movement. They have portrayed the Occupy protesters as messy, indolent, drug-addled and anti-Semitic, circulated a photo of one of them defecating on a police car, and generally intimated that Democrats who embrace them are on a headlong road to Chicago 1968.
is really just the usual need for the press to put things into boxes. There are, of course, similarities, but one is just the continuation of a long line of similar protests:
too many observers mistakenly react to the tea party as if it’s brand new, an organic and spontaneous response to something unique in the current political climate. But it’s not. It’s not a response to the recession or to health care reform or to some kind of spectacular new liberal overreach. It’s what happens whenever a Democrat takes over the White House. When FDR was in office in the 1930s, conservative zealotry coalesced in the Liberty League. When JFK won the presidency in the ’60s, the John Birch Society flourished. When Bill Clinton ended the Reagan Revolution in the ’90s, talk radio erupted with the conspiracy theories of the Arkansas Project. And today, with Barack Obama in the Oval Office, it’s the tea party’s turn.
It’s too early to know if Occupy Wall Street will go down a similar road (despite speculation, it is not being funded by George Soros), but the Tea Party was partially funded and directed by rich conservatives:
funded and inspired partly by formal organizations (FreedomWorks, the Tea Party Patriots) and specific personalities (Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck), but with a membership that, in practice, is an agglomeration of hundreds of local groups that often compete with each other and hotly insist that they take direction from no one.
It’s also too early to know if the Occupy movement will be effective, but it will make a difference if it keeps doing things like this:
In Roxbury, as Christians stood with Muslims and as white college students stood with a black woman who recently lost two nephews to gun violence, the voice of the Occupy Boston movement sounded more diverse than ever in the three weeks since protesters set up tents in the Financial District.
“We’re one family,’’ said True-See Allah of the Nation of Islam, addressing a crowd of more than 500 in Dudley Square during a rally for Occupy the Hood, a movement in Roxbury allied to Occupy Boston and other Occupy movements around the country.
22 Oct 2011 Leave a Comment
Here are two stunning pictures. The first is of the North American Nebula (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech):
21 Oct 2011 Leave a Comment
This is interesting:
FRUSTRATED TEACHERS, including several in Boston, are conducting “flash grade-ins’’ to draw attention to the many hours of work required of them outside the classroom. It’s a clever strategy: hunker down in public spaces and grade papers as a way to show that teachers don’t have it easy when it comes to work schedules.
Reasonable people should be able to come up with a system that provides more school time without over-burdening teachers or bankrupting school departments. Grading papers at South Station is a nice gimmick. But for students, the successful journey always leads back to the classroom.
I’m assuming that they’re deliberately missing the point of the grade-ins–that teachers already have long work days even if the school day isn’t that long. The Boston Globe wants to add 90 minutes to each school day and thinks this somehow this can be done without adding much to the length of a teacher’s day? And, of course, they don’t want to pay the teachers any more for this. Really, how can the teachers have a problem with adding 7.5 hours a week to an already busy work week for no extra pay?
20 Oct 2011 Leave a Comment
The GAO detailed instance after instance of top executives of corporations and financial institutions using their influence as Federal Reserve directors to financially benefit their firms, and, in at least one instance, themselves. “Clearly it is unacceptable for so few people to wield so much unchecked power,” Sanders said. “Not only do they run the banks, they run the institutions that regulate the banks.”
It’s accepted practice that the rich make their own rules. For instance, CEO pay is usually decided by the Board of Directors which is usually made up of fellow CEOs. And I’m sure they would be confused as to why anyone should have a problem with that–after all they deserve all the money they make.
Now, given its composition, do you think the Fed is more worried about the rich or the rest of us?
19 Oct 2011 Leave a Comment
Here’s Cain on the Occupy Wall Street protests:
“I don’t have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated, to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration,” Cain said. “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks — if you don’t have a job and you are not rich, blame yourself!”
Interviewer Alan Murray asked: “You don’t think the banks have anything to do with the crisis that we went into in 2008?”
“They did have something to do with the crisis that we went into in 2008. But we’re not in 2008 — we’re in 2011!” Cain replied.
“When I was growing up, I was blessed to have had parents that didn’t teach me to be jealous of anybody, and didn’t teach me to be envious of somebody. It is not a person’s fault because they succeeded — it is a person’s fault if they failed. And so this is why I don’t understand these demonstrations, and what is it that they are looking for.”
Cain really doesn’t understand a lot of things I guess. He doesn’t seem to get that the housing/mortgage problems are ongoing and that is the fault of the financial industry and that the recession was mostly caused by them. He also doesn’t seem to understand that the financial industry has a lot of power in Washington in both parties (in fact one of the main points of the OWS movement is that they have too much influence–Cain doesn’t seem to have heard that). And he doesn’t seem to understand that there are a lot of people out there who fail or are poor through no fault of their own–because of sickness or being let go because the company decided to move their business overseas or …). He also doesn’t get that many of the OWS protesters don’t especially like Obama, it’s just that they think he’s worlds better than someone like Cain.
We also get the results of the Tax Policy Center’s analysis of his 9-9-9 tax plan (there are charts at the link):
Under the 9-9-9 plan, everyone with income below $200,000 will pay a significantly higher share of federal taxes than they do right now, while everyone with income above $200,000 will contribute less overall to federal revenues. People making over $1 million would ultimately pay a 174 percent smaller share of federal taxes than they do now.
Ok, I assume this won’t be true of everyone and I don’t know what they mean by 174% smaller share (are they getting money back?), but you get the idea–most people who are rich will pay lower taxes and most of the rest of us will pay higher taxes.
Put these together and you have a Presidential candidate who says that people who aren’t rich have done something wrong and should pay higher taxes. In a sane world, only the rich would vote for someone like this.
18 Oct 2011 Leave a Comment
It’s always been obvious that Ron Paul wants to gut government, but now he’s made it official. Let’s see:
Cuts $1 trillion in spending during the first year of Ron Paul’s presidency, eliminating five cabinet departments (Energy, HUD, Commerce, Interior, and Education), abolishing the Transportation Security Administration and returning responsibility for security to private property owners, abolishing corporate subsidies, stopping foreign aid, ending foreign wars, and returning most other spending to 2006 levels.
So, he wants the US to be isolationist, trust private companies with our security, gut all aid to the poor, and get rid of many/most regulations. How about entitlements:
Honors our promise to our seniors and veterans, while allowing young workers to opt out. Block grants Medicaid and other welfare programs to allow States the flexibility and ingenuity they need to solve their own unique problems without harming those currently relying on the programs.
So here he waits a bit and will then gut Social Security and Medicare, while cutting Medicaid immediately.
I love this:
Conducts a full audit of the Federal Reserve and implements competing currency legislation to strengthen the dollar and stabilize inflation.
Strengthening the dollar will hurt the US economy (making exports more expensive and imports cheaper) and will try to ‘stabilize’ non-existent inflation. He wants to get rid of the Fed, but I guess doesn’t want to say this explicitly.
Some details of his cuts for his budget in 2016 (his budget against CBOs forecast if things keep going as they are). Here are some of his cuts to the poor:
- Medicaid: $181 against 404 billion –cut by more than 50%
- Schip: 5 against 10 billion –50% cut
- Food stamps: 30 against $72 billion–more than 60% cut
- Child nutrition: 14 against $23 billion–about 40% cut
- HUD: 0 against $49 billion
- Supplemental nutrition for women, children, etc.–eliminated
He also would cut the EPA by about 50% and wants to get rid of recent financial regulation (it’s not like the financial industry crashed the world economy, is it?), as well as many other regulations.
The reason these massive cuts don’t balance the budget quicker is he also wants to cut taxes:
Lowers the corporate tax rate to 15%, making America competitive in the global market. Allows American companies to repatriate capital without additional taxation, spurring trillions in new investment. Extends all Bush tax cuts. Abolishes the Death Tax. Ends taxes on personal savings, allowing families to build a nest egg.
Almost all of those new cuts go to the rich–so he really is cutting aid to the poor to help the rich. Any person who even thinks of voting for Paul is no liberal. In essence, he wants the US to be like it was in 1900.
15 Oct 2011 1 Comment
Lord’s Resistance Army are Christians. They are fighting the Muslims in Sudan. And Obama has sent troops, United States troops to remove them from the battlefield, which means kill them. That’s what the lingo means, “to help regional forces remove from the battlefield,” meaning capture or kill.
So that’s a new war, a hundred troops to wipe out Christians in Sudan, Uganda, and — (interruption) no, I’m not kidding. Jacob Tapper just reported it. Now, are we gonna help the Egyptians wipe out the Christians? Wouldn’t you say that we are? I mean the Coptic Christians are being wiped out, but it wasn’t just Obama that supported that. The conservative intelligentsia thought it was an outbreak of democracy. Now they’ve done a 180 on that, but they forgot that they supported it in the first place. Now they’re criticizing it.
Lord’s Resistance Army objectives. I have them here. “To remove dictatorship and stop the oppression of our people.” Now, again Lord’s Resistance Army is who Obama sent troops to help nations wipe out. The objectives of the Lord’s Resistance Army, what they’re trying to accomplish with their military action in these countries is the following: “To remove dictatorship and stop the oppression of our people; to fight for the immediate restoration of the competitive multiparty democracy in Uganda; to see an end to gross violation of human rights and dignity of Ugandans; to ensure the restoration of peace and security in Uganda, to ensure unity, sovereignty, and economic prosperity beneficial to all Ugandans, and to bring to an end the repressive policy of deliberate marginalization of groups of people who may not agree with the LRA ideology.” Those are the objectives of the group that we are fighting, or who are being fought and we are joining in the effort to remove them from the battlefield.
That’s pretty damn ignorant. The LRA is one of the worst groups in the world today and Rush is defending them. He says he hadn’t heard of them before, but, I guess, thinks they must be good since Obama is sending troops against them. As an aside, the LRA has mostly fought in Uganda (they were trying to topple the government for a while, but now move around since they were mostly defeated a few years ago) and Uganda claims they were supported by Sudan. In other words, Rush has it completely backwards: the LRA was supported by Muslims in Sudan to fight against Christians in Uganda (Uganda is a mostly Christian country). Of course, when you’re as stupid as Rush you tend to get a lot of things wrong.
15 Oct 2011 Leave a Comment
The Boston Globe has an article about all the new rental units being built in Boston. This is a great thing according to them, of course:
The heightened demand for rentals goes beyond downtown Boston, with large new complexes also going up in Somerville, Cambridge, Cohasset, Weymouth, Andover, and other municipalities. Real estate specialists said the increasing supply will eventually help to moderate prices.
“If I’m a renter, I’m encouraged by this,’’ said Gregory Vasil, chief executive of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board. “It’s been a very long time since we’ve really produced a lot of apartments like this, and the increased supply will help address the problem’’ of ever-rising rents.
Real estate specialists said the current market is particularly unusual because it is fueling rental construction at all price points, from luxury units in the Back Bay and downtown, to mid-priced apartments in the suburbs, to scores of affordable homes being built in Chinatown and at the Charlesview Residences in Cambridge.
There are two problems. First, developers have been saying that new construction will bring prices down for 20 years (ever since statewide voters decided that Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline shouldn’t have rent control) and it hasn’t happened yet:
In the quarter that ended Sept. 30, average asking rents in Boston climbed to $1,773, making the city the fourth most expensive rental market in the country, according to Reis Inc., a real estate research firm.
That is putting more pressure on the apartment market, causing average rents to increase by $124 per month, or 7.5 percent, since 2007, according to Reis.
Second, the reason the developers have to say that the new construction will eventually bring down rents is that almost all of it is either ‘market rate’ or ‘luxury’, in other words expensive. Even the affordable housing is problematic, it can apply to units that are directed to people making up to 120% of the median income of the Boston area and a 1 bedroom unit in that group is $2093 a month–I don’t think many people would consider that affordable.
In some sense, this is an update of this earlier post. I tried to give a new breakdown of affordable housing by income limit, but there is no affordable housing rentals available at either the BRA or the DND. Yeah, the city of Boston is doing a great job keeping Boston affordable.
14 Oct 2011 1 Comment
Intervening in a volatile and brutal crisis, President Barack Obama said Friday he has dispatched 100 U.S. troops to central Africa to support a years-long fight against a guerrilla group accused of horrific atrocities. Obama said they were sent to advise, not engage in combat, unless forced to defend themselves.
In a letter to Congress, Obama said the troops will act as advisers in a long-running battle against the Lord’s Resistance Army, considered one of Africa’s most ruthless rebel groups, and help to hunt down its notorious leader, Joseph Kony.
A smaller group of U.S. military advisers assisted a previous Ugandan-led offensive against the Lord’s Resistance Army in late 2008 and early 2009. That operation backfired, however, as Kony’s group escaped and his fighters responded by committing a string of massacres against civilians.
Fewer than two dozen U.S. personnel were involved in that operation, in which they provided intelligence and guidance to a force of Ugandan and Congolese troops that were hunting Kony’s group in a remote area in northeastern Congo. Kony’s fighters slipped away and rampaged through nearby Congolese villages, killing several hundred people, according to human rights groups.
The complaints are similar: Many Ugandans say that their government is corrupt and that their president, Yoweri Museveni, who after 25 years has ruled Uganda for longer than more than half the country’s population has been alive, is dismissive of the people’s plight.
The government, in response, has accused opposition leaders of taking advantage of financial problems for political gain. Opposition leaders staged what they called “Egypt style” protests in April, and since then lawyers, teachers, taxi drivers and traders have held various strikes and demonstrations. Government forces have clamped down violently at times, killing at least nine demonstrators since April and arresting hundreds, including top opposition leaders.
That makes the timing of this quite suspicious, especially given the history:
Museveni periodically barks out a war cry against corruption, but usually with mixed signals. Last year, addressing a gathering of African journalists and business leaders, the president appeared to suggest the danger of corruption was overstated. He said he knew some African governments that were run with puritanical discipline but whose countries were still poor.
It also seems to part of the continuing problems of the area. Oil has now been found in Uganda and remember that the war in the DR Congo was mostly about resources. It would be nice if the LRA could be stopped, but the history of the region makes me think this will just lead to more problems.
14 Oct 2011 Leave a Comment
Let’s end the week with some fun stuff.
First, here’s a picture of the Carina nebula which contains several massive stars have exploded (Credit: NASA/CXC/Penn State/L. Townsley et al.):
Wenzhou reportedly asked the central bank for a $9.3-billion loan, a request that has been met with criticism reminiscent of the U.S. financial bailout.
“Saving Wenzhou is like saving a gambler,” Han Zhiguo, an economist at a private securities firm, wrote on his blog. “Using the taxpayers’ money to save Wenzhou has a huge moral risk.”
Part of the backlash is fueled by a distaste for Wenzhou’s freewheeling ways. Many Chinese blame the city’s speculators for worsening the country’s property bubble, and despise their outlandish displays of conspicuous consumption. This year, a video of a Wenzhou wedding motorcade — a parade of Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, Ferraris and Lamborghinis — went viral.
Guan, the importer of wine and scrape metal, said outsiders don’t understand.
“Those people against a bailout probably don’t work hard and just hate rich people,” said Guan, who said he owns property in every city in which he does business. “Wenzhou people take initiative. But sometimes, like in a family, children make mistakes. So the government should come in and help their kids to resolve this difficult situation.”
Gee, I don’t know why anyone would be upset with people like Guan–statements like his are what lead to things like Occupy Wall Street.
13 Oct 2011 Leave a Comment
“Under this bill, when the Republicans vote for this bill today, they will be voting to say that women can die on the floor of health care providers … it’s just appalling,” Pelosi told reporters on Thursday. “I can’t even describe to you the logic of what they are doing today.”
but it’s not:
The patient, who was too ill to be moved to the operating room much less another hospital, agreed to an abortion. But there was a complication: She was at a Catholic hospital.
But the hospital felt it could proceed because of an exception — called Directive 47 in the U.S. Catholic Church’s ethical guidelines for health care providers — that allows, in some circumstance, procedures that could kill the fetus to save the mother. Sister Margaret McBride, who was an administrator at the hospital as well as its liaison to the diocese, gave her approval.The woman survived. When Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted heard about the abortion, he declared that McBride was automatically excommunicated — the most serious penalty the church can levy.
12 Oct 2011 Leave a Comment
The new ad against Elizabeth Warren basically is bashing her because she’s too tough on the rich and corporations. This seems like a losing strategy to me–they think that yelling at bankers is going to hurt her popularity? This is actually an ad that will make Democrats more likely to back her, I guess we’ll find out about everyone else next year.
11 Oct 2011 Leave a Comment
“Greedy union bosses are calling the shots,” the ad’s narrator says, referring to Washington. “They want their payback.”
“They won’t take no for an answer,” the narrator says as shots of protesting workers fill the screen.
Somehow the growing disparity in the US and the recession brought on by the financial industry is the fault of …. unions.
Big business will always tell you that reducing regulations will increase the number of jobs. They won’t tell you about how regulations can increase the number of jobs (a decrease of regulations in the oil industry might increase the number of jobs in the oil industry but reduce the number in the tourism and alternative energy industries). Especially when regulation helps much more than it hurts (via here):
The benefits of the G-SIB framework relate primarily to the reduction in the exposure of the financial system to systemic crises that can have long-lasting effects on the economy. The LEI estimated the benefits of Basel III by multiplying the degree to which it reduces the annual probability of a systemic crisis, by an estimate of the overall cost of a typical crisis in terms of lost output. Drawing on the LEI’s results, the MAG estimated that raising capital ratios on G-SIBs could produce an annual benefit in the order of 0.5% of GDP, while the Basel III and G-SIB proposals combined contribute an annual benefit of up to 2.5% of GDP – many times the costs of the reforms in terms of temporarily slower annual growth.
10 Oct 2011 2 Comments
The continuing arguments about voter ID bills is illuminating:
In June, Maine Governor Paul LePage signed a law ending same-day registration for new voters. Ever since, the Protect Maine Votes coalition has been working on a citizens repeal. Now they’ve discovered that some of the same Republican politicians who support ending same-day registration have in fact used it themselves.
Voting records reveal Gov. Paul LePage, at least two state senators and seven state representatives have at one time registered to vote on Election Day or during the two business days preceding it. That practice is banned under the new law they all supported.
Whenever you see an article on the subject, such as here, you’ll see the arguments for voter ID always come down to election fraud (usually in the context of ACORN and Chicago). This shows a shocking ignorance of how election fraud works in the US (well, it would be shocking if Republicans didn’t push the ideas all the time). Individual voter fraud is quite rare for a few major reasons: the penalties against it are steep; if you want to influence an election, it’s expensive; it’s uncertain (how do you know the people are actually voting for the people you want them to vote for). It’s much easier and better to get people in positions of power who can change votes in bunches, such as here (I talk about it here). That’s the way it was done in New York and Chicago and … pretty much always.
So, if voter fraud isn’t common or all that important, why do Republicans care about it so much? Part of it is that it’s a push against typically Democratic voters (the poor and minorities), but I think it’s mostly about the optics. This is a way to get Republicans excited. The obvious implication is that people who aren’t worthy are voting (you see that in this editorial: “As for what I think, I would prefer it if fewer people voted. We have all been conditioned to assume that higher turnout is desirable and healthy when it often — as is the case with same-day registration — is not.”). It’s another way to talk about race, the ‘deserving’ poor, and illegal immigrants without even mentioning them–people just jump to that conclusion.
09 Oct 2011 Leave a Comment
There’s some bad timing in Jeff Jacoby’s column today:
Love Cain or loathe him, it should be possible to talk about his candidacy without resorting to racial pejoratives. Like Lester Maddox’s axe handle , the political race card ought to be by now nothing but an ugly memory – something no decent voter, activist, or candidate would dream of brandishing.
The problem is that race came up for Republicans and here’s Cain:
A rock near the entrance to a ranch where the Perry family leased a hunting camp was painted with the word “N—erhead,” The Washington Post reported.
The slur has been painted over, but Cain said he finds this use of the word “insensitive.”
“Since Governor Perry has been going there for years to hunt, I think that it shows a lack of sensitivity for a long time of not taking that word off of that rock and renaming the place,” Cain told “This Week” anchor Christiane Amanpour. “It’s just basically a case of insensitivity.”
Oh my, that sure sounds like he played the race card. I assume Jacoby just missed it, because other conservatives have decried the episode–I, of course, mean Cain playing the race card.
08 Oct 2011 Leave a Comment
Despite the fact that I’m a Red Sox fan, I have to admit that I like that the teams with the highest payrolls are all gone. Here are the top 5:
New York Yankees $ 202,689,028
Philadelphia Phillies $ 172,976,379
Boston Red Sox $ 161,762,475
Los Angeles Angels $ 138,543,166
Chicago White Sox $ 127,789,000
The teams that are left are ranked 10, 11, 13, and 17 (Detroit, St. Louis, Texas, and Milwaukee). The other playoff teams were ranked: 1, 2, 25 and 29. I would have liked if the Rays (they were ranked 29, which is still a mean salary of $1.58 million) had gone further, but I guess Milwaukee will do.