Sunday, April 29, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Osama is dead and General Motors is alive. If Romney had been President, exactly the opposite would be true.
Okay, finally, a little ditty short enough and punchy enough to appeal to Joe Sixpack.
Now if we can just get one or two a week until November, the Democrats may stand half a chance.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
He was giving a speech in Manchester, New Hampshire and he sounded as if he were trying out lines on a focus group:
1. Are you better off now than you were 3 years ago when Obama took office?
2. President Obama has done the best he can, but that's not good enough.
3. Let's let somebody try to be President who has some experience in the business world. Obama has none.
4. President Obama may not have caused the financial meltdown crisis but what he did made it worse.
5. My parents never told me we could make our family more successful by taking away something from some other family.
6. Tax the rich? That's class warfare.
Of course, none of these rhetorical flourishes have any real substance. They are all applause lines. They are meant to stir up those who already hate Obama. And there are plenty of those. And some of those, who knows how many hate him because he is a Black man sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom. That's the deep down truth. There are a set of "they" out there who will never accept the stinging defeat this inoffensive Black man handed them in 2008.
But, just for the fun of it let's look at the six empty slogans emanating from that empty man, Mitt Romney:
1. Are you better off now than you were when President Obama was sworn in in January, 2009? Well, if that's the real question, then Obama gets re elected in a landslide. You will remember the economy was in free fall and the government and the nation was not far behind. But that would require a few neurons in the memory part of the brain and nobody from Rush to Mitt wants to have any of those functioning.
2. President Obama isn't good enough. Well, I've argued that at times, but compared to anybody the Republicans have put forward, most especially Mitt, oh, give me the O man.
3. Experience in the business world. Oh, there's a necessary qualification. You notice Mitt doesn't want to mention his own experience in government, which provided the model for Obamacare, and Mitt left as his own administration was presiding over a disintegration in government services in Massachusetts. He could not have got re election based on his performance in government so now he's saying, well, forget that. Elect me because I made vulture capitalism work for Bain Inc.
4. President Obama made the financial crisis worse. Oh, really. He might have done more and he might have done better but he wrested the steering wheel out of the icy grip of every Republican in Congress and in the land just in time to keep the nation from driving off the cliff.
5. No, your parents didn't tell you not to take things from the rich to improve your lot because you were already rich. That's Rubio's line. It goes to the heart of the Republican problem. The GOP is the party of the haves and they live in fear of the day when Joe Sixpack realizes that some part of his own failure is directly connected to the success of the rich, who have controlled the rules and rigged the game so guys like him cannot succeed.
6. Taxing the rich. Class warfare. Oh, very bad. Well, give me a little class warfare that comes from the bottom 80% and is aimed at the upper 20% who have been reigning down bombs on the have nots for so long the have nots think getting screwed is normal.
But none of this analysis matters. People hate Obama and resent the Democrats because they have come to believe in fantasies about right and wrong. Until Joe Sixpack gets smart, he'll vote for Republicans, he'll love the NRA, and he'll tune into Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, and he'll never know what hit him, but that's all right with Joe.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Now, public opinion and informed opinion has caught up with his insights.
It turns out, lo and behold, the Supreme Court, despite the attempts at illusion with the black robes, is nothing more than one more political institution, no more rational than Congress or the executive, and just as captive to political philosophy. The strip search case brought this into bold relief, as did the clarifying experience of listening to the justices pick apart the Obamacare law, and play with it like so many ill bred adolescents, picking at and playing with their food.
It was clear, from a reading of the Constitution, which is, after all a short document, the only description of the Supreme Court is brief and vague. No number of justices is specified and no mechanism for removing justices is specified.Now, a professor of law at Duke, writing in the NY Times observes the Court has had various numbers of judges, from 7 in 1789 (a number set by Congress) to fewer in 1800 to 10 during the Civil War, a number determined by Congress which was worried the Court would sympathize with the Confederacy.
The idea of lifetime terms derived from the experience of the English king removing judges whenever he disagreed with their opinions. But the Constitution says only the justices can be serve as long as they display "good behavior."
A group of law school professors suggest a new law which would allow every President to appoint a new justice to the Court, every two year of his presidency, so by the end of his four years, he's appointed 2 justices. If he serves 8 years, he appoints 4. But only the 9 most recently appointed justices get to vote on cases. The other justices would meet with the newer justices to decide which cases get heard in the first place.
That would work for me. I'd like it even better if he got to appoint one a year.
It would mean if you win the election, you get a court, gradually, which agrees with your philosophy and politics, but the court would change with the changing political environment in the country.
Now, all we have to do is to get President Obama re elected with a large enough majority in House and Senate to pass this thing.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
So here are excerpts from the Supreme Court opinion about strip searches in the case called Florence v Board of Chosen Freeholders.
The complaint came from a man who was riding in a car (not even driving) during a traffic stop and arrested when the police computer (erroneously) said the man had failed to appear for a court appearance. He was taken to two jails.
"At the first jail, petitioner, like every incoming detainee, had to shower with a delousing agent and was checked for scars, marks, gang tatoos, and contraband as he disrobed. Petitioner claims he also had to open his mouth, lift his tongue, hold out his arms, turn around, and lift his genitals. At the second jail, petitioner, like other arriving detainees had to remove his clothing while an officer looked for body markings, wounds, and contraband; had an officer look at his ears, nose, mouth, hair, scalp, fingers, hands, arm pits and other body openings; had a mandatory shower; and had his clothes examined. Petitioner claims that he was also required to lift his genitals, turn around and cough while squatting."
Notice, even in the description, certain inclinations of the justices. The petitioner is a "detainee," which is better of course than being a prisoner, I suppose. And notice the use of the word, petitioner "claims" as if there is reason to doubt what he says. After all, he is a guy who has been doing genital lifts. We have to doubt a guy who would stoop to this. He couldn't be a gentleman, if he is willing to talk about it.
The prisoner had nothing done to him that all the other prisoners hadn't had done to them, which is, I infer, supposed to make us all feel better. He was not abused in any special way; he was abused in the same way everyone else taken into these two jails was abused.
During the arguments, the justices made clear their sympathies were not with the man to whom all this was done, but their sympathies were with the jailers, who were, after all, at great risk from harm from the dangerous people they had arrested. Well, maybe the people they had arrested were not dangerous at all, but the jailers had no way to know that and so, full of fear, the jailers were justified in visiting these deprivations onto whomsoever they found under their full control inside the jail.
It has been noted both in this trial and in a similar case heard before this court some years ago, the data on what has been found from people hauled in off the streets suggests it is a very rare thing, maybe once out of a thousand, that anything which might be harmful to the jailers has ever been found. One of the justices suggested this lack of positive findings might suggest the deterrent efficacy of the strip search procedure--after all, any miscreant on the street who knows he or she might be arrested and stripped searched is sure to not hide a gun up his rectum or her vagina.
In fact, there are still knifings in jails and prisons, and still drug use. Stripping prisoners has not made a dent in any of this. That did not seem to matter to the justices, the fact this practice, put in place to protect jailers and prisoners does not, has never been effective. None of that matters. The point is, the jailers say they want to do it. That's all that matters, what the jailers want. That's all our learned justices need to hear.
This is what this nation has come down to, fellow citizens.
This is what the founding fathers so loathed they wrote it into the constitution there would be no unreasonable searches and seizures. They had had experiences with King George III's soldiers and police. But I bet they weren't doing genital lifts in 1776.
No, we have to wait for Justice Scalia and his crowd for treating citizens, innocent citizens, captured on the streets of our nation like Abu Ghraib prisoners.
When George W. Bush spoke to the nation after the photos of Abu Ghraib appeared on the internet, he said, "This is not who we are." He said a few bad apples at the prison had done this; they were the exception in their sadistic behavior.
Well, folks, Judge Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Kennedy have made this exception into who we are.
What is the difference between being jailed in America and being raped? If it happens in jail, it's legal.
Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.
Had enough yet?
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Monday, April 2, 2012
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Ultimately, I got a good accountant, who helped me keep things straight and things settled down.