I suppose it’s more comforting to think that Wisconsin voters are stupid than that Walker’s opponent, Democrat Mary Burke, is a poor candidate. A millionaire Harvard MBA who worked for her dad’s non-union business, and campaigns as a non-ideological candidate who is vague on most issues, Burke for some reason is having difficulty inspiring the Democratic base to get out and vote.
But at least she’s not like that millionaire Harvard MBA Mitt Romney! I mean, what kind of party would nominate such a person for office?
tomallen commented on the diary post Saturday Art: Influential Authors: Stephen R. Donaldson by dakine01.
I found myself enjoying Hyperion but finding Fall of Hyperion dull; Endymion fun but Rise of Endymion boring; Ilium neat but Olympos ridiculous. Good starts, awful sequels.
And at the end of Olympos you sees signs of Simmons’s hatred of Islam beginning to show. It’s been more blatant elsewhere; he basically calls for a crusade/genocide.
While you put forward some good ideas for increasing turnout, I’m not convinced that’s the major problem facing us. Nor is it a lack of comity and bipartisanship. When both major parties have agreed to protect Wall Street, fight numerous wars, cut back on people’s benefits, and shred the Bill of Rights, I don’t think giving politicians even more public backing or motivation to compromise is a wonderful thing.
Looking to fix a busted capitalist system by making some minor improvements in voting procedures is like using recycled metal to build new oil refineries. You’re focusing on the wrong thing.
Jail is for the little people, as DSWright said. Remember one of the reasons so many of us are still going there — Hunter’s daddy Joe. The Vice President is one of the biggest anti-legalization advocates in the Obama Administration. (He even coined the term “Drug czar.”) From a 2012 article in HuffPo about the drug war:
…Joe Biden continues to guide the administration’s hard-line drug policy. “The vice president has a special interest in this issue,” Sabet says. “As long as he is vice president, we’re very far off from legalization being a reality.”
Thank goodness there’s nowhere in the US with “bad infrastructure, serious poverty, highly inadequate health care systems, local funeral traditions, and government corruption.” We have an “adequate disease response system” which has worked so well in the past, for example with HIV/AIDS. /snark
I’ll grant that the mass media are hyping Ebola in the US right now (while mostly overlooking the catastrophe in Africa), but I think Jon is being far too sanguine in dismissing the possibility of epidemic here, if not with Ebola, then with the latest strains of enterovirus or influenza, to name just two.
tomallen commented on the blog post Because Our Plan for “Success” in Syria Worked So Well in Libya
The strategy is a failure only if you assume that US rulers want stable Arab democracies in the Middle East.
tomallen commented on the blog post California Adopts Law Ending Disparity Between Crack and Cocaine
It’s not the end of prohibition, but this is a start. Now if Brown seriously wants to correct this injustice — and at the same time alleviate the horribly overcrowded California prisons — how about commuting the sentences of those already serving time to what they’d be if this law had been on the books all the time?
Not a bad summary, but do you really think that the people in charge are bumbling? (Would you call Dick Cheney a bumbler, for example?) That seems a more charitable assessment than that they are malevolent, or greedy, or power-hungry — that they see the disaster ahead and figure they can make a profit off [...]
EJ Dionne praises the debate over the first Iraq War (on resolutions that were largely a courtesy to/by GHW Bush, who had already sent half a million troops to the region.) He writes:
The arguments, a prelude to votes on resolutions endorsing military action, were almost entirely free of partisan rancor and the usual questioning of adversaries’ motives…. Far from leaving the country torn and bitter, the debate brought us together.
In other words, it was the ideal Village debate: civil, bipartisan, and totally symbolic.
A post-election vote accepts that politics is what it is. We can get all moralistic about this. We can sermonize that politicians should always vote their consciences and should never, ever think about their own fates or the fate of their party. But to say this is to demand a degree of selflessness from men and women in the political trade that we never ask of anyone else — with the exception, of course, of our soldiers in combat.
Those poor politicians! Will no one think of *their* feelings? Only a true Beltway journalist could have written a column like this.
tomallen commented on the blog post Another Dem Drops Out to Help an Independent, This Time in Kansas Senate Race
Orman is an ex-Republican (since W’s reign) who’s flirted before with the Democrats. He hasn’t committed to caucusing with either major party, presumably to see who bids highest. He’s a big business man, a deficit hawk who says he’s socially tolerant. Apparently he’s sympathetic to the wing of the Kansas Republican Party that despises Tea Party Gov. Sam Brownback, though the Tea Party senatorial primary candidate is the one who’s beaten up Pat Roberts so far.
According to this article in the
Even before Taylor’s departure, Orman had already won the backing of the moderate group Traditional Republicans for Common Sense. – See more at: http://baltimorepostexaminer.com/greg-ormans-independent-rise-whats-right-kansas/2014/09/04#sthash.wfOcxqdg.dpuf
tomallen commented on the blog post Ukraine Seeks NATO Membership As Putin Addresses Separatists As ‘New Russia’
In fact, Michael Gordon, who teamed up with Judith Miller to proclaim proof of WMDs in Iraq, is now one of the star NYTimes reporters on the “Russian invasion”.
tomallen commented on the blog post In Wake Of Ferguson Protests White House Will Review Militarization Of Police Programs
Step 1: A review.
Step 2: A commission.
Step 3: Legislation that makes things worse.
As you say, it’s the status quo that’s sick. You can’t have healing until you first remove the cancer.
tomallen commented on the blog post 300 More Troops For Iraq, Obama Declares ISIS Must Be ‘Extracted’
So ISIS/ISIL are the new Nazis? I thought Assad was the new Hitler. Or Qadaffi was. Maybe Putin? It used to be Saddam Hussein, the last time a US President ramped up the war in Iraq.
Given the non-stop propaganda from every cable news channel and newspaper, I can understand why people argue, “Sure, every other time we said someone was not just horrible but worse than Hitler, and so we had to go to war with them, it turned out we were wrong and/or exaggerating — but this time we really mean it!” However, after all the times we’ve been lied to, a little skepticism about official government and news reports may be warranted.
And don’t get me started on Kos.
Here’s Digby, for example:
Obviously, things could spin completely out of control. They usually do once the switch on the fighting machine is turned on. But for now, Obama’s keeping it together. We’ll see what happens.
From your link to the blockade wiki:
In March 1993, Israel imposed an overall closure on Gaza with newly built checkpoints; and, from October 2000, Israel imposed a comprehensive closure on the Gaza Strip. When the Al-Aqsa Intifada broke out in September 2000 Israel put trade restrictions on the Gaza Strip and closed the Gaza International [...]
tomallen commented on the blog post Should the Health Care Exchanges Just Automatically Assign Everyone a Plan?
I bet this complicated Rube Goldberg system can be improved by adding another part! Surely the best solution to technocratic neoliberalism is implementing a better formula. *sigh*
tomallen commented on the blog post You’d think he’d know this already, they are called “Sam’s Clubs”
So I guess this is funny because he’s suggesting the warehouses be built in Central America? Because we already have such warehouses in the US — ICE detention centers such as the one Jeh Johnson visited last week in Arizona:
After touring the recently opened center, he said staff told him that some of the immigrants told them they were surprised to be detained.
“This facility … represents proof that indeed we will send people back.”
But without more beds, the department says immigrants caught entering the country illegally will continue to be released while awaiting their deportation and asylum hearings. Right now, they are detained only if there is a place to house them.
The Obama administration has requested emergency spending of $3.7 billion to open more detention centers, hire more immigration judges and take other steps to deal with the border crisis.
tomallen commented on the blog post White House Sending Troops To Iraq On ‘Security Mission’
Also Turkey, Pakistan, Sudan, South Sudan and Yemen.
Great military powers fighting proxy battles in a region of delicate alliances and long-standing grudges. What a brilliant way to mark the centennial of the start of World War I!
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