David Bernstein’s take on the Eliz. Warren pre-rollout strikes me as about right. It’s early for her to be doing a full media press, and frankly there’s no hurry — except the stated reasons of bruised feelings on the part of the local media-folk. I’d nitpick with one thing: I’m quite confident that the activists do indeed understand that she’s already made up her mind to run — and indeed are eager to give their advice. She’ll get an earful from the Dem activist faithful, no doubt. But she’d do well to actually listen to them — with a big dollop of discernment, no doubt. She’s got to get up to speed on running a grassroots campaign, and on myriad issues that are not within her current area of expertise. Just because she’s got a good and salient motivation for a campaign doesn’t mean that she’s a complete candidate yet. And a skillful person could and should use these meetings to try to get a feel for the grassroots landscape, as it were. The Palin comparison is actually useful. It’s not just that Sarah Palin was miserably unprepared to answer questions about national and international issues; it’s that she acted [...]
Some welcome news out of Libya tonight. I for one am glad that for once the US and our allies actively took the side of a people seeking to overthrow a despotic regime. Here’s hoping this trend continues throughout North Africa and the Middle East. UPDATE: Qadaffi’s compound now in the hands of rebels.
Last year, more than 27,000 people stepped forward and helped improve our political system. Those voters established that a state-wide write-in campaign can work – even with very limited resources and an unmistakably first-time candidate. As a result, in future, we can expect that more will take that path – with the result being that we, as voters, will have more choice. As a consequence, our system, which is far more important than any candidate, will benefit. Where there is no choice, the system does not succeed. Where no one will step forward in opposition to run – in part because of the likelihood of daunting personal attack, there is no choice. Democracy is not for the timid, yet will not happily endure if running for office necessarily entails an exorbitant personal cost. In that regard, Martha Coakley, my general election opponent, deserves much credit. In October, 2010, she was well ahead in the polls and had plenty of resources. Her victory, however, was hardly assured: the month before, we had done something both unexpected and unprecedented – our last-minute write-in campaign, whose principal resource was good faith, had surprised many by receiving far more than the requisite 10,000 votes. [...]
You don’t have to take my word for it – great chart at this link. One of you technological types can embed it in a comment. [Happy to assist. -ed] The odds that all – or even most – student loan debt will be repaid have been declining for some time. I suggest that decline is accelerating, and that to the extent that student loans have been repackaged and sold/resold there is a huge bubble about to go POP! The increase in costs for higher education, and the declining support have outpaced inflation for many years. For the total of student loans to actually – GULP – exceed the total amount owed on credit cards feels a lot like the Titanic hitting an iceberg to me – it won’t float.
Congressional redistricting tea leaves suggest Stephen Lynch and William Keating will get placed together. However, this doesn’t really make sense from a geographical perspective. Why? Well, currently there are four districts (MA-03, MA-04, MA-09, MA-10) dividing Southeast Massachusetts. In order to keep all incumbents in their districts, any map of Massachusetts will have to have districts that run down from Boston Metro to SE Massachusetts. If MA-09 is eliminated, MA-10 will have to pick up the slack by adding part of MA-09′s portion of SE Mass, rather than adding area to the north. Hence, I drew a Democratic gerrymander that eliminates Lynch while keeping every other incumbent in their district, and Capuano’s district replaces Lynch’s in the cracking of Southeast Massachusetts. More beneath the flip. While many have suggested getting rid of Lynch by feeding him to Sonia Chang-Diaz, this map does not do that. Under this map, her senate district would more or less be in Capuano’s district. Rather, the goal of this map is to split Lynch’s district multiple ways so he doesn’t have a district to run in. Under this map, his home is put into Tierney’s district, but Tierney is heavily favored. And in the off-chance [...]
Last September I penned an article entitled “Where Have all the Libertarian’s Gone?” In that piece I opined: “In the din and roar surrounding politics in America today much is made of the importance of Libertarian thinking. Some have pointed out its importance to the Tea Party Movement: “More recently, the Libertarian theme of the “tea party” began with Republican Congressman Ron Paul supporters as a fund raising event during the 2008 presidential primaries to emphasize Paul’s fiscal conservatism, which laid the groundwork for the modern-day Tea Party movement.” That said it’s interesting to consider the following two questions: First, if Libertarian ideas are so compelling, how come Libertarians garner such a small portion of actual votes during major electoral campaigns? Secondly, if Libertarians command such low voting totals, how is it that there is such a disproportionate number of Libertarian organizations and who is putting up the money to support them?” I went on to point out that in the 2008 election there was a Libertarian candidate, Bob Barr, the former Republican Congressman of Georgia. Barr garnered a paltry 523,686 votes or 0.4% of the total votes cast in the 2008 presidential election. Well it goes without saying that [...]
Peggy Noonan, columnist for the conservative Wall Street journal and one time primary speechwriter and special assistant to Ronald Reagan said today on ‘Meet the Press” that Rick Perry’s recent comments made her wince. Noonan said that Perry, like other Republicans in the 2012 presidential sweepstakes, read Michele Bachmann and possibly Sarah Palin, presently have a persona problem in that they can’t tone down their rhetoric to the point that moderate voters find them appealing. Judging from the fact that independent voters have decided the last three elections, that’s a real problem for the Republican Party going forward. Financial commentator Maria Bartoromo appearing on the same program pointed out that even on Wall Street, a bastion of conservative sentiment, that people have grown tired of comments such as those made by Rick Perry since he has entered the 2012 race. Likewise Maria Cardonna of CNN opined: “(Perry) announced his candidacy on Saturday and has since campaigned like an angry bull cornered by a Matador. . . . This approach may help win him the nomination, but it also will help lose him the White House. . . . The firebrand technique may endear him to the tea party faithful, but it will alienate him from the critical [...]
Jim DeMint’s appearance on the Kudlow radio show Saturday night* was very good. He pointed out that 60% of investment capital comes from the top 3% of income earners, those earning $200,000 or more. To me this explains why the Democrats have been unable to gain any traction in their efforts to repeal the Bush Tax Cuts. The confused message of the electorate is because they want the 2003 investment tax cuts but don’t want the 2001 rate cuts and the huge deficits that came along with them. Our unsophisticated political divide right now is not offering the right solution. The Democrats propose raising income tax rates (which people want) but also raising investment tax rates to almost 40% (which would kill the economy and which people don’t want.) Essentially the Republicans are hobbled by their lingering Keynesianism which led them to do Bush’s 2001 income tax rate cuts. The 2003 investment tax cuts were the real drivers of growth, but are coupled in the public’s mind with the ineffective 2001 cuts. In addition, it’s very difficult to argue against payroll tax cuts when you are still out there defending income tax cuts as “putting money into people’s pockets so [...]
The flash point appears to be energy policy as represented by the oil shale, transCanadian pipeline. See: http://readersupportednews.org/off-site-news-section/49-49/7118-65-arrested-outside-white-house-in-keystone-pipeline-protests The Rutland Herald states that as I write, Bill McKibben remains in jail, with his hearing to be held Monday: http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20110821/THISJUSTIN/708219826 At issue, of course, is the country’s energy policy, and whether the future of our children and our planet remains of interest to the Democratic Party, or whether oil money now owns both parties lock, stock, and by the barrel. The problem really is “the future” and the reality is, politics follows the money, today. Many years ago, when I was a college student I had the transformative experience of meeting Thomas Binyacya in Ann Arbor, Michigan during his mission from the Hopi Nations to warn the rest of us. Sadly, that warning was not heeded then, and is more critical now although Thomas Binyacya long ago joined his forefathers across the Rainbow Bridge: http://www.nytimes.com/1999/02/15/us/thomas-banyacya-89-teller-of-hopi-prophecy-to-world.html http://www.welcomehome.org/rainbow/prophecy/hopi.html We are all one, living on one planet. Ultimately, what hurts one of us will hurt all of us. Wealth consolidation as discussed in today’s Boston Globe is a path to greater and greater harm for the children, including our own children even [...]