I disagree with Hightower.

What you will find here is: a centrist's view of current events;
a collection of thoughts, arguments, and observations
that I have found appealing and/or amusing over the years;
and, if you choose, your civil contributions which will make it into a conversation.

He not busy bein' born, is busy dyin'. - Bob Dylan

Please refer to participants only by their designated identities.

suggestion for US citizens: When a form asks for your race, write in: -- American

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Charlie Wilson

Good-Time Charlie Wilson

By Karen Tumulty Wednesday, February 10, 2010
From Texas comes word that Charlie Wilson’s heart–his second–finally gave out. Which wasn’t all that surprising, when you considered how much he had lived. If you measured Charlie Wilson’s life in years, it came to only 76. But if you looked at the number of miles the former Texas Congressman put on his odometer, well, that added up to more than most men could manage in three lifetimes.

Charlie Wilson was the kind of man who would declare on 60 Minutes: “I just love stickin’ it to the Russians.” The kind of man who would make a fact-finding trip through Pakistan, taking his then-girlfriend, a former Miss World USA, in tow. And then, when the Defense Intelligence Agency refused to ferry her, he was the kind who would use his position on the House Appropriations Committee to slash the funding for two DIA planes, and have them transferred to the national guard instead. His House colleagues used to say Charlie Wilson was the only person they had ever met who could strut while sitting down. And, yet, he also managed to get elected 12 times from Lufkin, Texas–a town so socially conservative that it didn’t vote to allow alcohol sales until 2006, which was 73 years after the rest of the country ended Prohibition.

Pretty much everyone else who ever met him developed a fondness for Charlie Wilson. They just couldn’t help it. The columnist Molly Ivins once pondered how it was that a liberal feminist such as herself could love such an unreconstructed chauvinist so very, very much. “I’ve been worrying about my fitness to write for Ms. Magazine on account of I like Charlie Wilson,” she wrote in that magazine in 1988. “Good Lord, that is embarrassing. Congressman Wilson is the Hunter Thompson of the House of Representatives; a gonzo politician. He’s a sexist and has made war a spectator sport. By way of redeeming social value, he’s funny, a good congressman for his district, and hasn’t an ounce of hypocrisy. … I called Wilson to ask him why we like him, thinking he might know. He said: `Feminists like me because I am an unapologetic sexist, chauvinist redneck … who … votes with ‘em every time. I have proven that I can vote with ‘em without kissing their ass. I try not to let ‘em know I vote with ‘em; it’s more fun to have ‘em mad at me.’ ”

When they made a movie a few years back about how Charlie had secretly funded the ouster of the Soviets from Afghanistan, Tom Hanks played him. And Hanks did it just the way Charlie had wanted, right down to the opening scene. In 1990, which was sixteen years before the movie hit the screen, Charlie had told Washington Post reporter Tom Kenworthy that he wanted it to start with him in a hot tub with two Las Vegas showgirls, even as a fruitless Justice Department investigation of him was under way. “It would be a lot better movie if I was retired,” Charlie had told Kenworthy. “Or if I moved into the witness protection program. Then it’d be one hell of a movie.”

It turned out to be a hell of a movie anyway, because it was about a hell of a life. Fact is, no one could have made up a character like Charlie Wilson.

UPDATE: Carl Hulse notes the congruity in the passing of Charlie Wilson and John Murtha in the same week.:

The pair had a connection that goes far deeper than their expertise at playing the inside game in Congress to full advantage for themselves and their pet interests.

As recounted in the book, “Charlie Wilson’s War,” then Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill asked the colorful Mr. Wilson to take a spot on the House ethics committee to help shut down an inquiry into Mr. Murtha, who had gotten caught up in the Abscam bribery investigation. Mr. Murtha wasn’t prosecuted for his role, but the internal watchdog committee was looking into whether he broke House rules by not reporting a bribery attempt.

In the book written with Mr. Wilson’s cooperation by investigative journalist George Crile, Mr. Wilson agreed to take the seat on the ethics panel in return for appointment to the board of the Kennedy Center, which would provide him with plenty of access to exclusive entertainment events. The inquiry was quickly derailed, leading the chief investigator to resign.

“It was the best deal I ever made,” Mr. Wilson told Mr. Crile. “I only had to be on Ethics for a year, and I get to stay on the Kennedy Center for life.”

Mr. Wilson and Mr. Murtha went on to cooperate closely in providing secret funding for the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, and Mr. Murtha’s role in helping engineer that embarrassing defeat by the mujahedeen was noted in obituaries this week.

UPDATE2: Commenter Jamie Dunham offers this personal recollection:

I grew up in Lufkin and cannot remember a time without Charlie Wilson. I can see him now walking down Main Street. He was a colorful and loved character, as evidenced by the years he served in office. He recently took the time to talk to my son who was writing a college paper on Afghanistan. Everyone in the district knew that Charlie would take your call, find out about your Social Security check and listen to your views. He will be missed.

Read more

Sunday, June 26, 2011

gay marriage

Congratulations to New York on legalizing gay marriage.

This has been a very hard issue for me and I have had to come a long way on it over the past 30 years.

I have finally come so far as to be willing to support a court decision based on equal protection of the laws.

However, I am very glad that it is being done legislatively which is much firmer evidence of acceptance.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

How to spend the peace dividend?

An article in the NY Times talks about the end of the surge in Afghanistan and asks the question in the title.

Now exactly how does that "war dividend" thing work?
I think it goes like this.

We go to war.
We raise taxes to pay for the war.
The war is over.
The taxes are NOT cancelled.
We have revenue to spend.
A dividend.

That image is the haze of obfuscation that surrounds the Times article.

It is true that the war taxes will not be cancelled.
But that is because there were no war taxes in the first place.
We borrowed the billions to pay for the surge.
There is no dividend just an illusion, an excuse to borrow and spend more.

This is the mind set that got us into the fiscal trouble that we are in.

Watch out for the other side of this tragi-comedy of irresponsibility, though. They may just agree that there is a dividend and we need to cut taxes to absorb it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tax code expenditures 2

We are subsidizing ethanol and other energy sources so that they can compete with oil.

But we are also presently subsidizing oil companies. A proposal came to the Senate that we should stop that activity. Senato Wicker (R of Mississippi) voted against it and said: "The suggestion that the appropriate response to soaring gasoline prices is greater taxation upon the companies that produce gasoline runs counter to common sense."

That is, Wicker argues that to stop a subsidy is an increase in taxes.

So much for the notion that the debt was all the Democrats doing.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

comments problem

So Tom tell us again how are you making the comments thing work?

Russell on thought

Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth -- more than ruin -- more even than death.... Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.
Bertrand Russell

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What the U.S. Can Learn from Sweden

Sweden has long been a illustration for the left of how their policies can work. From looking at the article (see below) by Anders Borg and Johnny Munkhammarthat who are in the Swedish government, it appears that they have moved a bit to the right. Perhaps all sides might learn a lot from Sweden, especially about putting aside our game playing and dealing with real problems. The article was on realclearpolitics recently.

What the U.S. Can Learn from Sweden
By Anders Borg & Johnny Munkhammer

The policy debate in the United States is presently focused on solving serious budget problems. This situation has deep roots in the debt crisis - so far hitting Greece, Ireland and Portugal the worst. What should the U.S. do?

Today, northern Europe is leading its region out of the recession. The region is open to trade and has flexible markets, innovative industries, well-functioning institutions and a high degree of social cohesion. Protectionism is very limited; structural change in the business sector is welcomed even by trade unions.

The Swedish economy is performing well, with a GDP growth rate of 5.5 percent in 2010 and employment growth of 2.5 percent this year. While other countries struggle with deficits of five to ten percent of GDP and debt levels approaching 100 percent, Sweden will achieve a budget surplus this year and the debt will fall below 40 percent. If the United States had the same unemployment level as Sweden, several million fewer people would be out of work today.

What explains the Swedish success story? Why was Sweden, according to the World Economic Forum, the world's second most competitive country in 2010? The answers can be found in our socially cohesive reform strategy, based on four key parts.

The first priority of the current center-right government has been to move people from welfare into work. When elected in 2006, nearly a fifth of the working-age population was outside the labor market and faced very high marginal tax rates. To help this group back into employment, we have made work pay by substantially reducing income taxes - particularly, through the introduction of earned income tax credits, for low- and middle-income earners - and reforming benefits systems. Employment is now growing faster than in most other OECD countries, and total employment is reaching an all-time high.

Second, we have focused on reforming the educational system and improving the situation of groups with weak employment prospects. Schooling and vocational training must impart individuals with the knowledge and skills to make them productive in a modern economy. We have reduced the employer costs of companies, especially for those who hire workers who have been unemployed for long periods, making those workers more attractive. Marginalized groups have thus been helped to establish themselves in the labor market.

Third, a strong commitment to sound public finances meant that Sweden entered the down-turn with a surplus. This allowed the government to pursue an expansive but responsible fiscal policy, while letting extensive automatic stabilizers work. At the same time, our reforms have reduced transfer payments by two percentage points of GDP between 2006 and 2011.

The fiscal policy framework, with an expenditure ceiling and a surplus target, introduced in the mid-1990s, remains a corner-stone of economic policy. Achieving the surplus target of one percent of GDP over the business cycle is the overriding priority, and the expenditure ceiling has never been breached. With a credible fiscal policy in place, households and firms have not had to adjust investment and consumption decisions. Sweden has been able to avoid the cuts to public services and welfare provision which are now taking place in most OECD economies.

Fourth, pro-growth reforms have been pursued. Markets have been de-regulated, state-owned companies sold, competition introduced in health care and education - through school vouchers - and reforms to the pension system have made it demographically sustainable. The wealth and inheritance taxes have been abolished. Furthermore, we have initiated reforms stimulating entrepreneurship as well as research and development.

Social inclusion matters, especially in tough times. Our reforms have targeted both the demand side and supply side of the economy, and the ultimate objective has been to improve the position of socio-economically weaker groups. Strengthening social cohesion by increasing labor force participation has been our mantra.

During our reform process we have learned from others, just as Sweden hopefully has illustrated that successful reform is possible, and that it brings both economic and political advantages. The current government was re-elected in 2010 with a greater share of the votes, a phenomenon which is more common than sometimes believed.

Some strategic lessons: Be well-prepared and launch reforms soon after an election, so results will materialize well before the next election. Make significant changes in order to have substantial results. Focus on real problems that citizens perceive as important, and never lose the grip on sound public finances.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


June 19 was the day that it was officially announced in Texas that the slaves were freed.

The state of Texas is widely considered the first U.S. state to begin Juneteenth celebrations with informal observances taking place for over a century; it has been an official state holiday since 1980. As of June 2011, 39 states and the District of Columbia have recognized Juneteenth as either a state holiday or state holiday observance.

Though Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863, it had minimal immediate effect on most slaves’ day-to-day lives.

Juneteenth commemorates June 18 and 19, 1865. June 18 is the day Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves. On June 19, 1865, legend has it, Granger publicly read the contents of “General Order No. 3”, which announced that the slaves were free.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The debt problem

I am told (by a liberal friend) that the people want their SS and medicare like it is and they won't tolerate a reduction by the Rs.
The Ds do not propose serious "revenue enhancements" to pay for it though. This view leads to no serious reduction in the deficit and, therefore, bankruptcy.
I believe that.

The Rs are opposed to any "revenue enhancements". I am told (by Paul Ryan) that to avoid bankruptcy we will have to drastically cut future medicare benefits for those under 55 .
This view leads to serious difficulty for some of those older folks beginning in 2021.
I believe that, too. But at least it addresses the problem. It also leaves a lot of time to deal with the medicare problem it creates before that problem actually gets here.

I think that the Ds need to propose raising taxes - yes-seriously (and on all of us not just the superrich - that won't get enough) to show that they are as serious as Paul Ryan.

I would then support combining both programs to deal with the fiscal problem.

But if one side is serious about the debt prolem and the other is not, then I will go with the serious side.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

why europe no longer matters - Richard N. Haass

When Defense Secretary Robert Gates devoted his final policy speech this month to berating NATO and our European allies, he was engaging in a time-honored tradition: Americans have worried about Europeans shirking their share of global burdens since the start of the 60-year-old alliance.

Gates sounded a pessimistic note, warning of “the real possibility for a dim if not dismal future for the transatlantic alliance.” Yet, the outgoing Pentagon chief may not have been pessimistic enough. The U.S.-European partnership that proved so central to managing and winning the Cold War will inevitably play a far diminished role in the years to come. To some extent, we’re already there: If NATO didn’t exist today, would anyone feel compelled to create it? The honest, if awkward, answer is no.

Haass: Why Europe no longer matters
In the coming decades, Europe’s influence on affairs beyond its borders will be sharply limited, and it is in other regions, not Europe, that the 21st century will be most clearly forged and defined.

Certainly, one reason for NATO’s increasing marginalization stems from the behavior of its European members. The problem is not the number of European troops (there are 2 million) nor what Europeans collectively spend on defense ($300 billion a year), but rather how those troops are organized and how that money is spent. With NATO, the whole is far less than the sum of its parts. Critical decisions are still made nationally; much of the talk about a common defense policy remains just that — talk. There is little specialization or coordination. Missing as well are many of the logistical and intelligence assets needed to project military force on distant battlefields. The alliance’s effort in Libya — the poorly conceived intervention, the widespread refusal or inability to participate in actual strike missions, the obvious difficulties in sustaining intense operations — is a daily reminder of what the world’s most powerful military organization cannot accomplish.

With the Cold War and the Soviet threat a distant memory, there is little political willingness, on a country-by-country basis, to provide adequate public funds to the military. (Britain and France, which each spend more than 2 percent of their gross domestic products on defense, are two of the exceptions here.) Even where a willingness to intervene with military force exists, such as in Afghanistan, where upward of 35,000 European troops are deployed, there are severe constraints. Some governments, such as Germany, have historically limited their participation in combat operations, while the cultural acceptance of casualties is fading in many European nations.

But it would be wrong, not to mention fruitless, to blame the Europeans and their choices alone. There are larger historical forces contributing to the continent’s increasing irrelevance to world affairs.

Ironically, Europe’s own notable successes are an important reason that transatlantic ties will matter less in the future. The current euro zone financial crisis should not obscure the historic accomplishment that was the building of an integrated Europe over the past half-century. The continent is largely whole and free and stable. Europe, the principal arena of much 20th-century geopolitical competition, will be spared such a role in the new century — and this is a good thing.
The contrast with Asia could hardly be more dramatic. Asia is increasingly the center of gravity of the world economy; the historic question is whether this dynamism can be managed peacefully. The major powers of Europe — Germany, France and Great Britain — have reconciled, and the regional arrangements there are broad and deep. In Asia, however, China, Japan, India, Vietnam, the two Koreas, Indonesia and others eye one another warily. Regional pacts and arrangements, especially in the political and security realms, are thin. Political and economic competition is unavoidable; military conflict cannot be ruled out. Europeans will play a modest role, at best, in influencing these developments.

If Asia, with its dynamism and power struggles, in some ways resembles the Europe of 100 years ago, the Middle East is more reminiscent of the Europe of several centuries before: a patchwork of top-heavy monarchies, internal turbulence, unresolved conflicts, and nationalities that cross and contest boundaries. Europe’s ability to influence the course of this region, too, will be sharply limited.

Political and demographic changes within Europe, as well as the United States, also ensure that the transatlantic alliance will lose prominence. In Europe, the E.U. project still consumes the attention of many, but for others, especially those in southern Europe facing unsustainable fiscal shortfalls, domestic economic turmoil takes precedence. No doubt, Europe’s security challenges are geographically, politically and psychologically less immediate to the population than its economic ones. Mounting financial problems and the imperative to cut deficits are sure to limit what Europeans can do militarily beyond their continent.

Moreover, intimate ties across the Atlantic were forged at a time when American political and economic power was largely in the hands of Northeastern elites, many of whom traced their ancestry to Europe and who were most interested in developments there. Today’s United States — featuring the rise of the South and the West, along with an increasing percentage of Americans who trace their roots to Africa, Latin America or Asia — could hardly be more different. American and European preferences will increasingly diverge as a result.

Finally, the very nature of international relations has also undergone a transformation. Alliances, whether NATO during the Cold War or the U.S.-South Korean partnership now, do best in settings that are highly inflexible and predictable, where foes and friends are easily identified, potential battlefields are obvious, and contingencies can be anticipated.

Almost none of this is true in our current historical moment. Threats are many and diffuse. Relationships seem situational, increasingly dependent on evolving and unpredictable circumstances. Countries can be friends, foes or both, depending on the day of the week — just look at the United States and Pakistan. Alliances tend to require shared assessments and explicit obligations; they are much more difficult to operate when worldviews diverge and commitments are discretionary. But as the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya all demonstrate, this is precisely the world we inhabit.

For the United States, the conclusions are simple. First, no amount of harping on what European governments are failing to do will push them toward what some in Washington want them to do. They have changed. We have changed. The world has changed.

Second, NATO as a whole will count for much less. Instead, the United States will need to maintain or build bilateral relations with those few countries in Europe willing and able to act in the world, including with military force.

Third, other allies are likely to become more relevant partners in the regions that present the greatest potential challenges. In Asia, this might mean Australia, India, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam, especially if U.S.-China relations were to deteriorate; in the greater Middle East, it could again be India in addition to Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia and others.

None of this justifies a call for NATO’s abolition. The alliance still includes members whose forces help police parts of Europe and who could contribute to stability in the Middle East. But it is no less true that the era in which Europe and transatlantic relations dominated U.S. foreign policy is over. The answer for Americans is not to browbeat Europeans for this, but to accept it and adjust to it.

Richard N. Haass is president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Voltaire on religion

May we not return to those scoundrels of old, the illustrious founders of superstition and fanaticism, who first took the knife from the altar to make victims of those who refused to be their disciples?
Voltaire, 1694-1778

Friday, June 17, 2011

a Paris

The title is all of my French.

to email us use the mail.com address.

We are having a late cool spring here.

We walked down the Seine and drank wine and ate with Christian and Deanna today.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Clinton on Health Care

“I think the Democrats are going to have to be willing to give up, maybe, some short-term political gain by whipping up fears on some of these things — if it’s a reasonable Social Security proposal, a reasonable Medicare proposal. We’ve got to deal with these things. You cannot have health care devour the economy.”
Bill Clinton

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Russell on race

Bertrand Russell told a story in one of his books about a man, who, when he saw a Jew engaging in a bit of sharp business practice would say, “How like a Jew.” On the other hand when he saw a gentile engaging in a bit of sharp business practice he would say, “The funny thing is that he is not a Jew.” Russell observed that this was not a good way to obtain statistical averages.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gingrich campaign's collapse

Newt Gingrich's Campaign Director and staff resigned last week apparently because they thought that Newt had to get down into the business of retail campaigning and could not soar above the campaign with high flown rhetoric.
In reverse order PBS's opinion meisters offered the following (paraphrased):
Alan Shields: I've seen candidates fire staff before, but this is the first time I've seen a staff fire a candidate.
David Brooks: They thought he was running a presidential campaign and he thought he was running for a place in Aristotle's Pantheon.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

"deficits don't matter"

Bob Beckel says the deficit is no big deal.

"I mean, when you get up in the morning, today. Across America. Seriously. What is it about a $14 trillion deficit that bothered you today?" Beckel asked.(added at noon same day - note that the man is on television talking about it and they conflate the debt and deficit)

He thinks the view should be - me,me,me--now,now,now

He believes that if you can't see the negative results of the debt RIGHT NOW then it is not important. Among other things he says - literally - "forget about your children and grandchildren".

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Tenure Biennium

My Tenure Biennium has a facebook page.

Broken trail

In the movie Broken Trail, Robert Duvall’s
Prentice Ritter (cowboy) says a few words at a funeral:
“We're all travelers in this world.
From the sweet grass to the packing house.
Birth 'til death.
We travel between the eternities.”

Thursday, June 9, 2011


From the right:
So the perfect narrative for any movie is "David vs. Goliath."
The whistleblower vs. the evil corporation.
The tough reporter vs. the corrupt politician.
The half-naked talk show host vs. a team of rambunctious houseboys.
But for the narrative to be accepted, David must be liberal, and Goliath an evil Republican.
So when these roles are reversed in real life, it confuses the crap out of the mainstream media.
Andrew Breitbart was accused of trying to destroy a congressman, of fabricating a scandal, of hacking social networks. These accusations were pushed by the left and a carnal congressman.
So when Breitbart took the stage at Anthony Weiner's presser, it may have been one of the greatest "speaking truth to power" moments I've seen. Breitbart vindicated himself and Weiner imploded.
As I tweeted earlier, if Breitbart were a leftist, Sean Penn would die to play him. But since he's not, I guess it'll probably be Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
Because this battle doesn't fit one's assumptions, so just ignore it or mock it.
Right Stephen?
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST: Breitbart was gracious in victory.
ANDREW BREITBART, BLOGGER: It is news, my friend. It is news.
I'm here for some vindication.
COLBERT: You got it, Andy! I think it is time to admit not only is this a valuable member of the press, I would go so far as to say this is the Edward R. Murrow of congressional wang photos.
Yep, I'm sure if Andrew Breitbart were Michael Moore and Weiner were Boehner, Colbert would have felt the same way, right?
And, as Jon Stewart says about Weiner, "We sometimes forget these people are human."
Remember him saying the same thing about Palin, Cheney and Bush?
Read more here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Boys will be Boys

A common expression in my childhood that seems to have died a regrettable death during the feminist movement of the 70s. During those years the phrase was interpreted as being dismissive of inappropriate behavior simply because “boys will be boys”. The feminists were and are correct in that bad behavior should not be dismissed based on gender. Humans can be better than that.

So why do I feel that the death of the phrase is regrettable? I owe that attitude to my Grandmother. At a preschool age and after I had been treated roughly and unfairly by a group of slightly older boys my Grandmother picked me up, dusted me off, sat me on her knee and told me never to forget that “boys will be boys”. It was a warning that I should ignore that fact at my own peril.

I prefer Grannies interpretation

Gary Hart

Gary Hart's campaign for the Presidency was notable for several things none of which were very important. He was supposedly reminiscent of JFK.

In 1984 his "fluffyness" led to Walter Mondale’s memorable “Where’s the beef?” ad. In his concession speech at the convention in San Francisco Hart assured the party that he was one Hart that they wouldn’t leave there.

In 1987, his bid for the 1988 nomination ended with the exposure of his extramarital fling with Donna Rice. His wife explained that she didn’t mind and was perplexed as to why the voters did.

President Reagan supposedly said: “Boys will be boys, but boys will not be president.”

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.
Bertrand Russell

This is related to what I have called "Statement contrary to presumed bias".
That is, if a man does believe an assertion (to be a bit more general than fact) that is against his instincts, then his belief carries more weight than it would if the assertion were in line with his instincts.

I have wanted a name for this. When someone either makes or believes a Statement Contrary to Presumed Instincts.
With only one permutation I get: SCIP.

In his statement listed here on June 2 last, Senator Goldwater was SCIPing.

Monday, June 6, 2011


I am going to be distracted during June and July.

I don't know how much I will be able to put up here.

I hope some of the other contributors will join in here.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

woman paints with sand

Try this for something a bit different.

You can also get to it by googling: woman paints with sand.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dr. Death

They tell me Jack Kevorkian died.

Did he have any help?


Friday, June 3, 2011

electoral college

Another way the Elec. coll helps Rs. Money is more fungible than union hands.

Added after Tom's first comment and moved from 5-29-11 to 6-3-11:
This was a brief reminder to write something.
Taking a traditional theme that the Rs get the support of the money people and the Ds get the support of unions which is the form of money and people to turn out the vote etc.

The money that the Rs get can be moved around from one state to another more easily than the people that the Ds have.

It was kind of a throwaway and perhaps that is what I should have done with it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Barry Goldwater

In the summer of 1974 the country was in the midst of the agony of realizing that Richard M. Nixon had committed acts that qualified as the "high crimes and misdeameanors" that were required for the impeachment and removal of a President of the United States.

Even many of us who would never have dreamed of voting for Nixon were reluctant to take that draconian action against him. “What will it do to the country?” In my own case I quit worrying about whether it was the right thing to do when Barry Goldwater, AKA Mr. Conservative, said: "That son-of-a-bitch has got to go." That was a "statement contrary to presumed bias" which is the kind of thing to which I give high credibility.

Mr.Goldwater took some other difficult positions which qualified him as a man who would “do to ride the river with.”

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

2012 Candidates - June-2011

Here are some possible candidates for the major party nominations for president in 2012.
The sequences in parentheses are my wild guesses about the percentage chance that each of them had monthly, Jan-current month, of getting the nomination. My principal reaction to each is listed afterword. If you will point out stuff to me I can improve this description over time.
The YAMSLT test can be found here.

Remember I am not a professional at this, just an interested citizen.

Barack Obama (99) I will consider him (again).

Mitt Romney (25-25-26-24-25-28) I would consider him. Some say he has a problem in that the Romney health plan in MA is similar to Obama’s national plan. Some say that it is therefore a contradiction for Romney to oppose Obamacare is. I think not. But I don't know if he can make the case.
Tim Pawlenty (05-07-08-16-14-25) - I would consider him. A serious person. The most likely replacement for Daniels.
Sarah Palin (20-20-21-16-16-19) - A lightweight. Fails the YAMSLT.

Michelle Bachman (x-x-x-01-01-10) A lightweight. Fails the YAMSLT.
Jon Huntsman (x-x-1-1-01-05) Still don't know him.
Seems like serious people take him seriously.
I don't see how he wins the nomination though.

Newt Gingrich (4-4-4-4-03-03) - I would have considered him but he abandoned the 1st amendment. ……… his position on Park 51 not only that they should not, but that Muslims do NOT even have the right to, build there.
Ron Paul (x-x-x-x-01-02) (sorry I forgot him before)
Rick Santorum (x-x-x-01-02-1) - Too far right for me. Fails the YAMSLT.
Bobby Jindal (1-1-1-1- 1-01)- Fails the YAMSLT.
Jim Demint (1-1-1-1- 1-01) - Too far right for me.
Gary Johnson (x-x-x-x-01-01) Will highlight the drug prohibition issue.

Mitch Daniels (15-15-16-16-16-2) - I would consider him.
A serious person. Sorry to see him go.
Mike Huckabee (25-20-21-18-18-2) - Fails the YAMSLT.
Delighted to see him go.
Chris Christie – Says he’s not running. I would have considered him.
Is he reconsidering since Mitch dropped out?
Donald Trump - (x-x-x-x-0-out )- Will not be a credible candidate.
Haley Barbour – (0-0-0-0-out (as predicted here in February))
John Thune -Says he’s not running.
Mike Pence – Says he’s not running.