Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Utah's Lost Decade

(Source)

Friday, September 28, 2012

The worst of both worlds.

I'm sure this RINO making all this hoity-toity smart sounding talk is soon to be purged and sanitized.  Still, smart:

I’m not the biggest fan of Eisenhower or Nixon, but they (and Reagan) are clearly preferable to this post-Reagan Republican Party. Those presidents won national majorities for a reason. They weren’t strict conservatives, but they certainly weren’t any less conservative than the Bushes, McCain, or Romney. They didn’t pretend they were going to abolish the welfare state — often, they didn’t even pretend they would cut the welfare state — unlike so many of today’s Republicans, who don’t follow through but do use their rhetoric to polarize. That gives us the worst of both worlds: big government plus the delusional sense within one party that it represents the antithesis of big government and may freely hate other Americans who don’t mouth the mantra. And what goes for big government goes for Judeo-Christian values, a strong national defense, and all the rest: the GOP’s rhetoric occupies a separate mental compartment from its actions, even as its voters and ideological apologists continue to believe that there is a profound moral difference between them and the rest of the country. It’s a losing strategy, and worse, it’s made the country ungovernable even as government grows.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DNC Day 1: Clearly Obama's Convention

(Crossposted at MyDD)

May be my partisan view, watching from home, but the enthusiasm today seemed more palpable than last week, complete with mentions of the candidate by name that seemed both frequent and -- get this -- intentional!  Hmm.  Not only Obama himself but specific policy and programs received direct and often detailed positioning in quite a few remarks. The scene felt more like what I'd expect at a convention than my take on the all-things-generic-Republican (and some Romney guy too) RNC.

Also included: more than one strong commitment from speakers on gay marriage, not just in the approved platform items but as a rallying point (for turnout?).  Interesting, considering this was only 2004.

Lilly Ledbetter was solid:

Three years ago, the house passed the paycheck Fairness Act to level the playing field for America's women. Senate Republicans blocked it. Mitt Romney won't even say if he supports it. President Obama does. In the end, I didn't get a dime of the money I was shortchanged.
But this fight became bigger than Lilly Ledbetter. Today, it's about my daughter. It's about my granddaughter. It's about women and men. It's about families. It's about equality and justice.
This cause, which bears my name, is bigger than me. It's as big as all of you.
'Obamacare' fully embraced. "Real people, real problems" far better, far more tangibly defined than those spoken at/about in the Made Up Scary President Republican Universe. 

Tim Kaine said some things I tried not to pay attention to.

Noted by a smart guy on Twitter:
Biggest news of the conventions is that both parties are now chasing Dem-leaning demographics--Latinos and women. [...] This ends decades when both chased GOP-leaners (southerners, suburbanites, working class whites).
CSPAN has video of the whole shebang. Stand outs to me were (in content, if not delivery) San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro's stark contrast of the choice this election is about:
We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
Republicans tell us that if the most prosperous among us do even better, that somehow the rest of us will too. Folks...we've heard that before.
First they called it 'trickle-down.' Then 'supply side.' Now it's 'Romney/Ryan.' Or is it 'Ryan/Romney'?
Either way, their theory has been tested. It failed. Our economy failed. The middle class paid the price. Your family paid the price. Mitt Romney just doesn't get it.
And of course the Twitter busting (nearly double that of Romney's acceptance speech) boat of awesome that was Michelle Obama:


Wednesday's schedule here.

Monday, July 9, 2012

OBAMACORE!!!1!!!

Because I'm still on Cherilyn Eagar's mailing list and I don't want to bogart the hilarity:

Dear [Reactionary Moron],

Thank you for being a strong supporter of liberty in a dangerous time in our nation's history.  First it was the federal take-over of banks, autos, energy, and health care - ObamaCare.

Now it's ObamaCore:  the take-over of education through "Common Core Standards."

On all fronts, President Obama is showing Americans what he really meant when he promised to dramatically transform this nation.

And now America is standing up and fighting back.

Now more than ever, we need you to stand up with us.  The American Leadership Fund was established in 2010 to assist coalitions, candidates and elected state officials in promoting state issues that need our support across this nation.  We have had a strong and effective influence on education, immigration, fighting ObamaCare, and opposing a constitutional convention.

Your immediate help today will go a long way to push back ObamaCore - the progressive education agenda of the Left destroying free enterprise and the American Dream.

ObamaCore and State NCLB Waivers
Unfortunately, Utah is once again on the front lines of progressive education, having recently been approved for the ObamaCore waiver, also supported by Washington special interests and unions.

If you don't live in Utah, is YOUR state on board with the Common Core NCLB waiver?  Chances are, the answer is "yes."

You see, it's a Catch 22.  It's either No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which has been another federal failure, or the waiver, which requires the adoption of federal "Common Core Standards."

This waiver violates federal statute by imposing a centralization of standards, testing and curriculum.  It also drastically alters prior legislation (FERPA), which has traditionally protected parental and student privacy rights in the past.

With this new Common Core waiver, not only will privacy be gone.  Another generation of American children will once again be subjected to new round of lowering the basketball standard so all students can shoot the basket, a typical progressive dumbing-down strategy that resurfaces with new names and labels.  

ACTION ALERT:  What You Can Do
  • Attend The Common Core Forum - FREE to the Public
    (or request a copy of the recorded version by clicking here.)
Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Larry H. Miller Free Enterprise Building Auditorium
Salt Lake Community College Campus
9750 South 300 West, Sandy, Utah
RSVP Here

Featured Speakers Include:
Dr. Bill Evers, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution; member, Mitt Romney's Education Policy Advisory Group; former United States Assistant Secretary of Education under George W. Bush
Kent D. Talbert, co-founder, Talbert & Eitel, PLLC; former General Counsel, United States Department of Education under George W. Bush
Emmett McGroarty, Esq., Director of Education Policy, American Principles Project; author, ALEC anti-common core legislation; founder, www.truthinamericaneducation.org network
James Gass, Director, Center for School Reform, Pioneer Institute

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wingnuttia Through the Years: Only the Names Have Changed

As we reflect on the GOP nomination battles, it would only be natural to ask WTF?! are the crazies getting crazier?  No, says Rick Perlstein, they're just more concentrated in one party.

Over the last sixty years or so, I see far more continuities than discontinuities in what the rightward twenty or thirty percent of Americans believe about the world. The crazy things they believed and wanted were obscured by their lack of power, but they were always there – if you knew where to look. What's changed is that loony conservatives are now the Republican mainstream, the dominant force in the GOP….

David Noebel, who exposed the "Communist subversion of music" by which Russian spymasters deployed Pavlov's techniques to rot the minds of America's youth via their bought-and-paid-for agents, the Beatles…. Noebel himself is still with us. In the 1970s, he was a favorite source for James Dobson, the still enormously popular Christian Right radio pschologist and Republican power broker. Most recently, Noebel's reputation got a boost from an admiring Glenn Beck on Fox News…. Right-wing radio hosts fingering liberal billionaires like George Soros, who use their gigantic fortunes – built by virtue of private enterprise under the Constitution – out to "socialize" the United States? 1954: Here's a right-wing radio host fingering "gigantic fortunes, built by virtue of private enterprise under the Constitution ... being used to 'socialize' the United States." Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, "fed up with elitist judges" arrogantly imposing their "radically un-American views" — including judges on the Supreme Court, whose rulings he's pledged to defy? 1958: Nine Men Against America: The Supreme Court and its Attack on American Liberties, still on sale at sovereignstates.org.

Only the names of the ogres have changed — although sometimes they haven't. Dr. Noebel's latest project is to republish a volume he apparently finds freshly relevant, Dr. Fred Schwarz's You Can Trust the Communists: To be Communists. Schwarz, an Australian physician who died three years ago, had his heyday in the early 1960s, when he would fill municipal auditoriums preaching his favorite gospel: that the Kremlin dominated its subjects by deploying "the techniques of animal husbandry," and harbored "plans for a flag of the USSR flying over every American city by 1973." The new version, updated by Noebel – it comes with raves from grateful Amazon.com reviews, like this: "Just as important as it was 50 years ago"; and this: "Should be required reading for every American," and "This book made me a conservative" – is titled You Can Still Trust the Communists: To be Communists, Socialists, Statists, and Progressives Too.
It's comically expected for some to feed it to get elected.  It's tragically human for simple minds to suck up what explains your troubles and fears, no matter how bat shit crazy.  And it's down right embarrassing how many of these lunatics are Utahns.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

SCOTUS arguments recap - Day two

(Crossposted at MyDD)

After initial arguments yesterday, the Supreme Court today slogged headlong into the meat of the arguments for and against the Affordable Care Act mandate (transcript and full audio via NPR).

Nothing new here outside of specific presentation, and maybe the political optics outside the court.  Politico has a recap of the 7 key points, including the "Brocolli Argument":

SCALIA: “Could you define the market — everybody has to buy food sooner or later, so you define the market as food, therefore, everybody is in the market; therefore, you can make people buy broccoli.”
VERRILLI: “No, that's quite different. That's quite different. The food market, while it shares that trait that everybody's in it, it is not a market in which your participation is often unpredictable and often involuntary. It is not a market in which you often don't know before you go in what you need, and it is not a market in which, if you go in and — and seek to obtain a product or service, you will get it even if you can't pay for it.”
Here in Utah, Little Mikey and Marky are already cheering the demise of the mandate, and SCOTUSblog's Lyle Denniston confirms, this is going to be Justice Kennedy's case to call.  But where Kennedy is may be up in the air (emphasis mine):
“So,” Breyer said, “I thought the issue here is not whether it’s a violation of some basic right or something to make people buy things they don’t want, bujt simply whether those decisons of that groujp of 40 milliion people substantially affect the interstate commerce that has been set up in part” through a variety of government-sponsored health care delivery systems.  That, Breyer told Carvin, ”the part of your argument I’m not hearing.”
Carvin, of course, disputed the premise, saying that Congress in adopting the mandate as a method to leverage health care coverage for all of the uninsured across the nation.  Kennedy interrupted to that that he agreed “that’s what’s happening here.”  But then he went on, and suggested that he had seen what Breyer had been talking about.   “I think it is true that, if most questions in life are matters of degree,” it could be that in the markets for health insurance and for the health care for which insurance was the method of payment “the young person who is uninsured is uniquely proximately very close to affecting the rates of insurance and the costs of providing medical care in a way that is not true in other industries.  That’s my concern in the case.”
More interesting, was yesterday a setup? As David Dayden has pointed out: yesterday every Justice agreeing a mandate was not a tax under Anti-Injunction, today Obama's SG arguing it's just like a tax to Congress.
And even more interesting, the politics outside of it all.  Roll Call has 5 races where health care will matter either way, and why Democrats will make this about RyanCare. Senate Republicans are squealing tires in reverse, hoping everyone forgets "Replace" is a word. For Obama, it could be win-win.  Mandate struck down, Republicans lose a major rallying point for the general election, Democrats may gain one (Activist judges!).  Robert Reich sees Obama positioned well for Medicare for All if the Affordable Care Act unravels.  And somewhere, Lil' Ricky and the Newt are firing up the attack ads on Romney.

Tomorrow's arguments: Mandate "what-ifs" and the Medicaid expansion.