Miscalculations

Imagine living in such a blinkered world that you have no idea what’s going on right in front of your face.  Okay, so you answered, “yeah, all you need to do is look at the nearest Republican.”  Smartass 🙂

It’s true.  But it still is astounding, isn’t it?

Just think of the recent Republican miscalculations: the Tea Party, Palin, Bachmann, Santorum, Perry, the economy, the environment, the right-wing assessment of the 99%ers, etc.

The teabagger movement, such as it is/was, can be counted as a backfire big enough to launch someone into space.  At its height, it was being touted as “concerned citizens getting involved,” and “patriots,” and blah, blah, blah.  Even with all the gun-toting, threats, and misspellings, no one in the mainline media had many bad things to say about them.  Even when it became apparent that the group was largely composed of astroturf, it didn’t seem to bother anyone enough to comment on it much.  The worst criticism was coming from comedians and bloggers.

At its height, the movement was tiny.  This was another thing that got distorted without much comment.

And then, like any corporate-bred fad, it started to fade.  But this fact was ignored.  The teabaggers were still considered so influential that a Republican Presidential candidate debate was held in the Tea Party’s name.

And somewhere in the middle of all of this, the 99%ers started occupying Wall Street and other financial centers across the country.  Instantly there was a stark contrast that went largely ignored: the contrast between a “created” movement that simply existed to give the impression of massive hatred of Obama, and a natural-born protest movement born of years of economic outrages.

The reaction from the mainline media and the Faux News clowns?  OUTRAGE!  Hippies!  Communists!  Divisive!  Violent!  Losers without jobs who want a handout! Never mind that some 70% of the 99%ers are employed!

Which brings me to my next point: the economy.  Wow.  That was and is beyond a giant miscalculation.  But still, 3 years into the biggest economic failure in modern history, Republicans are still touting the very failed policies that landed us where we are now, and no bankers have gone to jail even though, as I’ve heard it, their outrages continue to the extent that  the U.S. taxpayer could end up paying for bank failures in Europe any day now.  That’s not paying for European WELFARE, mind you, it’s paying for their failing banks, which our banks have been bailing out, and now via some loophole are about to transfer the liability for that to US…meaning you and me.

So let’s look back 30 years, to the Reagan administration (with which most of this current crisis began), and ask, “how the hell was this supposed to work?”  And we will conclude that it didn’t and hasn’t and won’t.

Okay, so here we go:

Start by demonizing the unions.  Then erode the middle class.  Label the wealthy “job creators” and then reduce their taxes so they can “create more jobs.”  Demonize women, blacks, hispanics, and Muslims.  Jews are problematic, so we’ll loudly worship Israel at the same time we quietly hope all the Jews “go home.”  (This is a HUGE dilemma for right-wingers, who are actually quite anti-Semitic, and it is something that they are currently trying to project onto the 99%ers — thankfully without much luck so far.  Projection is a big thing with the right wing; whatever they accuse others of, you can be positive they themselves are guilty of.)

Meantime, ship millions of factory jobs to other countries.  Then demand that everything from janitorial work to CEO requires a college degree — or two or three — and then charge up to hundreds to thousands of dollars for each degree. Never forgive the gigantic loans most students have to have to get through school.  Then declare the degrees aren’t good enough and/or Americans are too expensive to hire (never mind that the biggest expense with most U.S. employees is HEALTH CARE COVERAGE which could be eliminated by that awful SOCIALIZED MEDICINE), and ship as many of the rest of the jobs overseas as we can, and to whatever extent is possible, hire immigrants at subsistence wages  to do what’s left.  Tell Americans that these immigrants are “Doing jobs (you) don’t want to do.”  Make it harder and harder to apply for a job, let alone get one.  Label those without jobs “losers” and condone efforts to keep them out of the job market, even as the government takes away their benefits.  Oh yes…meantime, exponentially increase the cost of housing wildly beyond inflation, even as you populate the builders’ payrolls with low-paid immigrants who are non-union.  Saddle homeowners with huge mortgages, then take away their jobs IF they have jobs.  Then foreclose on homes and call their former owners “losers.”

And oh yes…deregulate.  Promote the myth that regulation is a job killer.

While we’re at it, why don’t we talk about abortion to the exclusion of everything else?  Never mention the word “regulation” even as you are touting policies that would make women’s reproductive organs the most regulated things in the U.S.

Okay, tell me…how was this supposed to work?  And yet yesterday I read in the Chicago Sun-Times — in two columns, no less — that all this crap is still a good idea and we only need to keep making the same mistakes to make them work.  One even said that deregulation is the answer.  I mean, really.

I once heard a saying: if you keep doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same result.  And so it may be with the Republicans.  Right now they are rolling on bloated ambition born of their “success” in 2010.  But it’s another miscalculation, because what happened in 2010 was much like what happened in 1994.  I suppose it is only delusions of grandeur that are keeping the Republicans from seeing this.

So I say to them, go ahead, continue your war on women, your war on the middle class, your war on the environment.  Just keep thinking you have the majority on your side when in fact your support amounts to a fraction of a percentage of a minority. Dismiss the 99% out in the streets as hooligans and don’t think for a minute about what their collective  name actually means, or even a second about the set of circumstances that brought them there.

Great.  The more miscalculations, the better.  It may be the way to finally get rid of you all.

P.S. — Watch Old Fart’s take on abortion.  It’s priceless:

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READ it

As I typed the title of this post I was thinking of a scene from a Harry Potter movie (maybe the 3rd; I don’t remember), where Snape confronts Harry in a darkened hallway, makes Harry remove a piece of parchment from his pocket, and when Harry balks at reading it out loud, Snape snaps, “READ it.”

Yes, Harry Potter is germane here.  So much that was in that lengthy story is coming to pass.

But anyway, HP aside, I’d like to share something with you: the Bill of Rights from the U.S. Constitution.  You know, that piece of parchment(?) so many Teabaggers claim to defend, but haven’t read.  There are probably no Teabaggers reading this, but I think the rest of us should actually read it if we haven’t already (and I’ve learned that many of us have).  It’s agonizing to realize how many of these rights have been violated already.

The First 10 Amendments to the Constitution (i.e., Bill of Rights) were Ratified by the States December 15, 1791

Preamble

Congress OF THE United States

begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday

the Fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.:

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

AMENDMENT XI

Passed by Congress March 4, 1794. Ratified February 7, 1795.

Note: Article III, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by amendment 11.

The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

AMENDMENT XII

Passed by Congress December 9, 1803. Ratified June 15, 1804.

Note: A portion of Article II, section 1 of the Constitution was superseded by the 12th amendment.

The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; — the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; — The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. [And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. –]* The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

*Superseded by section 3 of the 20th amendment.

AMENDMENT XIII

Passed by Congress January 31, 1865. Ratified December 6, 1865.

Note: A portion of Article IV, section 2, of the Constitution was superseded by the 13th amendment.

Section 1.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XIV

Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.

Note: Article I, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section 2 of the 14th amendment.

Section 1.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2.

Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age,* and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3.

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4.

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5.

The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

*Changed by section 1 of the 26th amendment.

AMENDMENT XV

Passed by Congress February 26, 1869. Ratified February 3, 1870.

Section 1.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude–

Section 2.

The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XVI

Passed by Congress July 2, 1909. Ratified February 3, 1913.

Note: Article I, section 9, of the Constitution was modified by amendment 16.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

AMENDMENT XVII

Passed by Congress May 13, 1912. Ratified April 8, 1913.

Note: Article I, section 3, of the Constitution was modified by the 17th amendment.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

AMENDMENT XVIII

Passed by Congress December 18, 1917. Ratified January 16, 1919. Repealed by amendment 21.

Section 1.

After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section 2.

The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 3.

This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

AMENDMENT XIX

Passed by Congress June 4, 1919. Ratified August 18, 1920.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XX

Passed by Congress March 2, 1932. Ratified January 23, 1933.

Note: Article I, section 4, of the Constitution was modified by section 2 of this amendment. In addition, a portion of the 12th amendment was superseded by section 3.

Section 1.

The terms of the President and the Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

Section 2.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

Section 3.

If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

Section 4.

The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.

Section 5.

Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.

Section 6.

This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.

AMENDMENT XXI

Passed by Congress February 20, 1933. Ratified December 5, 1933.

Section 1.

The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2.

The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 3.

This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

AMENDMENT XXII

Passed by Congress March 21, 1947. Ratified February 27, 1951.

Section 1.

No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

Section 2.

This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.

AMENDMENT XXIII

Passed by Congress June 16, 1960. Ratified March 29, 1961.

Section 1.

The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as Congress may direct:

A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

Section 2.

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XXIV

Passed by Congress August 27, 1962. Ratified January 23, 1964.

Section 1.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax.

Section 2.

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XXV

Passed by Congress July 6, 1965. Ratified February 10, 1967.

Note: Article II, section 1, of the Constitution was affected by the 25th amendment.

Section 1.

In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2.

Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section 3.

Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4.

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

AMENDMENT XXVI

Passed by Congress March 23, 1971. Ratified July 1, 1971.

Note: Amendment 14, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section 1 of the 26th amendment.

Section 1.

The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Section 2.

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XXVII

Originally proposed Sept. 25, 1789. Ratified May 7, 1992.

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of representatives shall have intervened.

You Can’t Be Serious

Got this from an email from a wingnut relative.  Yes, the wingnut who wrote it is credited at the bottom, so shut up about stealing.  Hell, I wouldn’t bother.

But anyway, this article very conveniently ignores what “economic conservatives” think of the poor while it plays the race card — you know, because Perry speaks Spanish and Rubio…something or other, Hispanics will vote for them in spite of the fact that Perry thinks Hispanics (especially poor ones) are instruments of the devil and need to be starved to death.  You know, just like women will vote for any misogynous politician just as long as he’s handsome, or any female at all no matter how stupid and nutty she is.  Uh-Huh.  And how about all those angry white conservatives — who will they vote for if Perry starts openly pandering to Hispanics?  Now, in THAT case, you can count on race (or at least, overplaying the race card) as a deciding factor in the vote.

And then of course, we have the use of questionable statistics, the touting of a failed economic policy (LESS REGULATION IS THE ANSWER)  and of course ABORTION outweighs every other problem the country has.  Especially when you have no answers for anything, I suppose.

Read this and laugh.  Or spit.  Your choice.

August 29, 2011
The Ticket Obama Fears Most

By Bruce Walker
The talking heads on Fox News Special Report this Friday concurred that Marco Rubio will be on the Republican ticket next year as the vice presidential nominee.  I agree.  There is virtually no downside to Rubio and the advantages to the ticket are prohibitive.  He is youthful, attractive, and articulate.  Rubio won a tough three-way race in Florida last year.  His life story is compelling as the child of Cuban parents who worked up the hard and legal way..  His conservatism on social and economic issues is unwavering.  Rubio is slightly too young and inexperienced to run as president, but eight years as vice president would make him ideal presidential timber.

If Senator Rubio becomes the running mate of Governor Perry, which I believe is increasingly likely, President Obama could face his worst electoral nightmare.  At the outset, both men are excellent campaigners — articulate, likeable, attractive, and accustomed to winning elections in the diverse and large populations of Texas andFlorida.  Unlike Republican nominees since Reagan, Rick Perry knows how to work crowds.  Perry, like Rubio, has never lost a political race.  Although it is a relatively small section of his resume, his time successfully selling Bible reference books door-to-door may be as important as background in running for president.

Both Perry and Rubio have life stories which demonstrate that the American Dream really works.  Perry grew up on a cotton tenant farm in the middle of nowhere and worked hard up every step in his path to success.  Rubio’s parents worked in menial jobs so that their son could have a better life.  Imagine Rubio campaigning in Las Vegas, where his parents worked like so many Hispanics today, cleaning rooms and tending bars.  The greatest impact of these life stories is that the Republican ticket could say just how poor people need not stay poor if government gets out of the way.

Perry and Rubio are both social and economic conservatives.  The left tries to downplay the appeal of social conservatism, but to take just a single social conservative issue, abortion, the latest Rasmussen Poll shows that 55% of Americans believe that abortion is morally wrong while only 30% believe that abortion is morally acceptable and 41% of Americans believe that it is too easy to get an abortion inAmerica while only 14% believe that it is too hard to get an abortion.  The vanilla question about whether Americans are “pro-choice” or “pro-life” is meaningless, if Republican candidates have the gumption to ask Obama in a debate whether he believes abortion is moral or immoral — leaving the question of federal policy on abortion aside.

This particular ticket would also have profound appeal to Hispanic voters, whose support for Obama has dropped a dramatic 36 points since he took office.  The impact of Rubio on the ticket, of course, is obvious: he would be the first Hispanic on a major party ticket in American history.  Big chunks of Hispanic voters in 2008 voted Obama because he was a “person of color.”  Reelecting a black man president has much less psychological value to Hispanic voters than electing a Hispanic who could easily be president in eight years.

The impact of Rick Perry is real, but underestimated by Beltway punditry, which listens more to high ranking Hispanic organizational leaders rather than ordinary Hispanics.  Perry has won many statewide elections in Texas, including three as governor.  Almost 40% of the state is Hispanic.  Governor Perry speaks Spanish, but more than that, just as a New York City or Chicago politicians grasp the nuances of European ethnic differences, so Perry understands the largely Mexican-American minority and has steadily improved his percentage of the Hispanic vote in Texaselections.

A politically savvy Perry with the first Hispanic on a national ticket as his running mate could disarm the traditional skittishness that some Hispanics have had about voting Republican.  Combine that with the very real success that Perry has had in creating jobs in Texas — compared with Obama nationally or California Democrats — and he could make a strong argument that Perry-Rubio is precisely what most Hispanics really want in Washington.

This could be complemented by the rise of Hispanic Republicans in 2010.  Susana Martinez, the conservative Republican governor of New Mexico, next door to Texas, is a prime example.  The first female Hispanic governor in American history could travel throughout the Rocky Mountain region touting a Perry-Rubio ticket.  It is not just Hispanic “people of color” that could connect with Hispanics.  Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley, both articulate and strongly Republican governors could both show the legal immigrants from lands as distant as India are welcomed by conservatives.

Black voters will go overwhelmingly for Obama, but black voters vote overwhelmingly for Democrats no matter what Republicans have tried.  If Hispanic voters, already accustomed to conservative Republicans senators and governors, vote in substantial numbers for conservative Republicans at the national level, then not only is Obama in trouble, but so is his party.  That is why Perry-Rubio could be the ticket Democrats fear most.

Page Printed from:http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/08/the_ticket_obama_fears_most.html at August 29, 2011 – 08:50:28 AM CDT

P.S. What was this author smoking?

American Dream? More like “Rude Awakening”

A modern-day nightmare: the story of a foreclosure

Watched a video this morning where a commentator said, “money is ruining America.”  Specifically he meant Big Money — you know, the Koch Brothers variety.  Of course, if you’ve been reading this blog, you know where I stand on that issue.  I think a large majority of people in the U.S. probably agree with me, and the rest are teabaggers — or else, they just haven’t been paying attention.

Later I started to think about an immigrant family who allegedly came here chasing the “American Dream,” as pro-mass immigration politicians and media pundits so love to put it, usually with accompanying dewy eyes.

Well folks, here’s this family’s idea of the American Dream.  It has to do with Big Money, but these people are not the Koch Brothers.  They are eastern European immigrants who came to this country only in the last 20 years or so.  Where I live there are lots of them, and let me tell you — a lot of them are currently bailing out and going back to their homelands while they still can live well on whatever is left of their “American Dream.”

This particular family moved into a relative’s neighborhood about 7 years ago, when a homeowner there, (a credit junkie who was about to face an enormous hike in his mortgage payment — he had an ARM — at the same time he started paying a hefty mortgage on a dream farmette he’d built far in the boonies), charged this family almost half a million dollars for a house in an area where even at the height of the bubble, houses were only about $375,000.00.  May sound like a lot now, but a few years ago it could be considered a bargain, even if you were only getting a 2-bedroom 1950’s tract house for that amount of money.  And what these people bought was that and only that, even if an unfinished room had been added onto the back of the house (which supposedly accounted for the extra-high asking price).

They moved in with an army of relatives helping them.  The formerly wide, quiet suburban street was transformed into a congested urban nightmare with rows of BMW’s, Lexus’s and other luxury cars parked along both curbs, often sitting idle for days.  At times it was so jammed that getting down the street was impossible.  Then they started blocking driveways, and as I remember, at one point my relatives couldn’t back out of their driveway (even when it wasn’t blocked) because there was no room to maneuver the car once it was out in the street.

The unanswered question in all this — which remains unanswered to this day — is how these poor, hard-working immigrants who came here with nothing, came upon all this money (or at least enough to get a half-million dollar mortgage plus loans on a caravan of luxury vehicles).  As I said, there was and is no answer.  We still don’t know what this family did for a living.  We do know that they were culturally ill-adjusted to the point where they were astounded and furious if you asked them to kindly NOT sit in your driveway making cell phone calls (I’m not even talking about sitting in a car making a call, I’m talking about parking one’s designer-jeans-clad ass on the driveway and making a call), or not to dispense with their endless cigarette butts, beer and Coke cans on your lawn.  May sound petty, but this is life in suburbia, and they were continually breaking the unwritten rules.

As the years went by, the hordes of relatives dropped away and it was possible to traverse the street again.  The family started to behave somewhat more civilly, even though they maintained a haughty distance from their neighbors.

This past year the remaining fancy cars and SUVs have pretty much disappeared, and the house has looked almost abandoned, and lately brightly-colored notices have been appearing on the front door, often hanging there for weeks.  Someone said they saw a sheriff’s deputy deliver one of these.

An obvious conclusion: the money well has dried up and they are facing foreclosure.  It’s even possible that the are making plans to flee the country.

This is not the first such story I’ve heard in recent times.  And somehow, such stories almost always involve immigrants.  And so I ask, as I have before, “what is this American dream?”

Is it merely about stuff?  Is it about owning, however temporarily, an overpriced house and fancy cars?  Is it nothing more substantial than that?

Judging from comments I’ve heard from some immigrants in the past decade, for a portion of them, that’s all it ever was.  And that is not enough.  But I guess to people like the Kochs, on whom we can partially blame the present state of things, it was enough to help set up an immigrant industry that dumped an unsupportable bumper crop of immigrants in the U.S., the sheer bulk of which was unlike anything ever seen before, helping to throw our salaries, housing market and finally our standard of living into an unstoppable tailspin.  In the end, it has benefited no one except those who weren’t affected by it.  People like the Kochs, for instance.  And it is people like them I hold responsible for bullshit like this.

Yes, I’ve seen immigrants come here and work their asses off.  They deserve all the best, and our help.  But people like the ones I’ve just mentioned?  The Just Here for the Stuff crowd?  Forget it.  No sense in coming here merely to get mountains of junk that you couldn’t get at home.  In the end, it only drives you broke and if you’re smart, you’ll realize you were better off without it.

If this sounds teabaggery to you, go stuff it.  Think about what I am saying.  This country was never solely about things, and anyone coming here solely for things is in for a rude awakening.  Kinda like that family I just told you about.

Time to rethink it all, Hoss.

I predict

As yet another crazy has thrown his hair into the net (Rick Perry, that is), I now have a prediction for the 2012 Presidential election: President Perry.

It all came clear to me the moment he decided to deny his previous denials that he was even thinking about the office, decided to ignore his previous desire for Texas to leave the U.S. (okay!  when?), and decided to take credit, much like Walker in Wisconsin, for tons of new (low-wage, no benefits)  jobs in his state that had little or nothing to do with him being governor.

What was clear?  This guy is going to be President.  Yes, he of the insufferable corn-sucking accent, hideous boots and faux-cowboy hat perched on a perfectly-coiffed, brainless noggin; he of the stuffed suit and cheap plastic mannerisms, all neatly packaged to sell like a steaming pile of horse-shit to the country music god and country set.  You know, just like George Bush.  Only dumber.

Now let’s get real:  Palin is never going to run; Perry’s her man.  Or at least, she will say that when it becomes apparent that his billionaire supporters have already rigged the election for him.  Saves face for her, after all.  It’s clear to most of us that her political ambitions are dead; however, the too-large portion of the U.S. media still determined to pay her some mind has already declared that she will be the “king maker” in the upcoming primary season (based on what is something they never say).  She’d probably sooner tear her wig off in public than support Michele Bachmann — remember, this is the set that is entertained by cat fights.  So Perry is the perfect way out for her.  Gotta grift while you can! *wink*

She’s getting help from the rest of the field.  Romney is a large, handsome cloud of nebulous gases.  Bachmann is too overtly crazy to get the nomination.  Crazy may be okay for a man, but for a woman?  Pfft.

However, as Bush Jr. and Reagan have proven, stupid is no barrier to being President.  Enter Perry, the dumbest of them all.

But the majority of citizens would NEVER vote for this rhinestone cowboy! you protest.  And I say it’s no matter.  Why?  Because he will do what Bush did twice: steal the office.

It’s already in the works.  Mark my words, kiddies.

Yet another WTF moment

Once again, the WTF moment comes from what someone on Facebook called “The Batshit Twins.”  You get two guesses as to who the twins are and the first two don’t count if you’re a regular reader here.

Anyway, read this and think long and hard about two terms: “retard” and “gay.”  Then join me in marveling at the similarities between Palin and Bachmann — now including their reactions to imagined insults, which from both parties sound something like: “that just shows how inappropriate and immature liberals are, this doesn’t hurt my feelings because I’m getting used to it (but I’m reacting violently anyway), he’s so MEEEEEAN to me, I’m just a politician speaking her mind that’s in the Constitution and the American people who love freedom, and that’s what he’s mad about, and…blah, blah, blah.”   Never mind that it usually turns out that the object of their ire never uttered any such word, or if s/he did, it wasn’t aimed anywhere near the Batshit Twins.   Everything, after all, is about them.

I am reminded of a quote from Gone With the Wind which went something like, “Scarlett knew that the way to hold a man’s attention was to talk about him and then slowly turn the conversation to the subject of yourself and keep it there.”  That’s exactly what these two nutjobs are doing.

Or, at least, it’s what they’re trying to do.

Reality has crept so close to Sarah Palin at this point that even she must sense its cold breath just behind her.  The success of her first book can be questioned; the second just plain failed.  Her movie failed.  Her bus tour failed.  Come to think of it, quitting the governor’s job in Alaska — lauded as a brilliant move by some on the right — was the biggest failure of all.

Since Bachmann has gone ahead and tossed her mane into the Presidential ring, only Fox News and a few blogs are really paying Palin any mind these days.  One  may wonder what will happen if she actually does announce her own candidacy at this point, and come up with the distinct possibility that it will be nothing much.  (Of course, someone, somewhere will try to paint it as being an unqualified success.  All I can say is, “unqualified” is the only correct word in that sentence.)

Everyone else is trying to make Bachmann look like she is coherent and has ideas (or even some notion of reality), and it’s keeping them very busy — far too busy to bother much with yesterday’s Palin.

Nasty books are being written about Palin, but at this point even they aren’t of much interest to many people.  It’s official:  Bachman is the new mind-rape of the right.  It’s rather like trading in a red  tomato for a pink one: the difference in flavor is slight.  But both go splat real good when they’re rotten, and it  just so happens that Palin is the tomato that is closer to being rotten at the moment.

But I digress.  The real issue is that, like I just said, these two are nearly identical.  Both are controlled by their husbands, for instance, but neither will allow any access to the spouse even as they declare that someone like Michelle Obama is fair game for their own brand of nastiness.  Catfight?  Yes, these two understand that concept well, even as they appear to understand little else.

Both are physically attractive.  Both seem to think that being President is no more challenging than being Miss America.  And so they yammer and whine like they are doing a backstage scene in some reality show about beauty pageants.  (The real fun will begin when they inevitably start whining about each other, which has already begun to an extent.)

It’s all very cute, but what bothers me is that either of them is being taken seriously for even one second.  It went on for more than 2 years with Palin, and now we’re being hammered almost every day with new and improved…but somehow acceptable…idiocy from Bachmann.  It seems there is nothing she can do or say that is so stupid that she is sidelined, as she should be, instantly.  This is where Palin was in the latter half of 2008.  Let’s just hope that the story ends the same way for Bachmann.

In the meantime I have only one request for the both of them: turn down the whine.  Your idiocy is badly affecting the careers of actual intelligent female politicians who do NOT confuse Miss America with the Presidency.  And you’re driving most of the rest of us insane.  So please, please STFU, won’t you?

BTW, a note for Palin/Bachmann defenders and the media who are trying so hard to make Bachmann look legit: a Teabagger relative of mine shuddered when I mentioned Palin’s name (“she’s crazy!” the person said), and didn’t even know who Bachmann is.   You’ve got some work to do, Hoss.

Collision with Reality

Yesterday two elderly relatives, who are spending their retirement listening to right-wing radio shouters, came face-to-face with the fact that those shouters, whose every word they imbibe like a poisoned martini, are the same people who want to destroy them in order to save the wealthy from taxes.  But they still didn’t quite get it.

Why not?  Because the shouters are shouting louder than ever, blaming everything on Obama.  Remember, the louder you shout, the truther you are, even if you are spewing nonsense.  It’s the first law of the propagandist.  And because of the screaming propagandists, there is a contingent of about 30 million people in the U.S. who have absolutely no idea what is really going on.  The rest have a sort-of half idea of what’s going on, and it’s all because of the rest of the media.  (No, there is no mainstream “liberal media.”)

I did try to tell one of my relatives that if it weren’t for Obama, whatever Social Security benefits and Medicare benefits they are already getting would have been completely erased by Republican/Teabagger hands.  She sorta got it, but only after I lectured for about 10 minutes.  The other one remains hopelessly marooned in his easy chair next to the radio, swaddled in an inescapable cocoon of anger over the fact that there is a half-black man in the White House.

I gather that one message has reached through the loudly vibrating  cocoon, however: the message that Social Security, at least, has never been the cause of the government’s financial problems.  That much even these two folks get.  Apparently, however, the right-wing flapjaws have been concentrating their attacks on Medicare/Medicaid.   “But there’s so much fraud in Medicare!” protested my reluctant student.  I told her if she wanted to see fraud, she need look no further than your average private health insurer.  She agreed, but I believe it was only to keep from being forced to have to think.

(One upside: if Medicare/Medicaid are cut, it will only serve to demonstrate how badly a national health insurance plan is needed.  And maybe this message will come so loud and clear that the army of flapjaws will not be able to shout it down, quite as they were unable to shout Social Security down.)

Meantime I’ve gotten a few private e-mails from Teabaggers who are chortling that “this is the end of Obama” and “he’ll never be re-elected now!”  I usually don’t take the bait but this time I did write back to one of them and only asked the following: “and who will be blamed the next time?  Bachmann?”

In true Teabagger fashion, he hasn’t replied.