Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Representatives for leading social conservative groups in Iowa held a secret meeting Monday as part of an effort with one main goal: find and support a Republican presidential candidate who can stop Mitt Romney in Iowa.
The idea: avoid splintering the conservative vote in the state by rallying around one GOP rival who could win Iowa's Jan. 3 caucus and then challenge Romney in New Hampshire and the other early voting states.
Many social conservatives and other religious leaders in the state have openly labeled the former Massachusetts governor as a "flip-flopper," a criticism the campaign frequently beats back, while others have seen Romney's Mormon faith as an issue. And many of them have openly hoped for someone to emerge as a viable alternative to the former Massachusetts governor.
So what lessons can we extract from this? First, it's a little early for Obama to focus on Romney as the nominee-apparent. Lots can happen even in the few weeks between now and Iowa's caucuses (January 3) and who knows what surprises are in store for any candidate up to then? Second, it seems apparent that the "enthusiasm" gap that the Republicans claim to enjoy over Democrats will dwindle should Romney win, and while that enthusiasm could be bolstered by selecting another of the colicky dwarves, those people would scare off the independent voters who will turn out in droves to defeat a nutcase.
The way the race is shaping up, and with the positive employment news released yesterday-- overall, jobless claims rose but in 45 states and territories, they declined, a first in this recession-- it seems all Obama has to do is stay in the Oval Office and sign executive orders until January 2013, and he'll have a second term.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Our liberalism has its roots in our diverse origins. Most of us are descended from that segment of the American population which was once called an immigrant minority. Today, along with our children and grandchildren, we do not feel minor. We feel proud of our origins and we are not second to any group in our sense of national purpose. For many years New York represented the new frontier to all those who came from the ends of the earth to find new opportunity and new freedom, generations of men and women who fled from the despotism of the czars, the horrors of the Nazis, the tyranny of hunger, who came here to the new frontier in the State of New York. These men and women, a living cross section of American history, indeed, a cross section of the entire world's history of pain and hope, made of this city not only a new world of opportunity, but a new world of the spirit as well...
Many of these same immigrant families produced the pioneers and builders of the American labor movement. They are the men who sweated in our shops, who struggled to create a union, and who were driven by longing for education for their children and for the children's development. They went to night schools; they built their own future, their union's future, and their country's future, brick by brick, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, and now in their children's time, suburb by suburb.
But more important:
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
Post your favorite JFK quotes in comments.
Monday, November 21, 2011
For the first time in the history of the nation, 100,000,000 Americans are at or near the poverty line. (p. 20, Fig. 6, line 2)
Talks in Washington aimed at cutting the US government's borrowing are on the verge of failure.
A special Congressional committee had been charged with finding $1.2tn (£762bn) in savings by Wednesday.
But the talks between Democrats and Republicans are widely reported in the US media to have collapsed, with a formal joint-statement to that effect expected later on Monday.
Meanwhile, the US national debt has just risen above $15tn (£9.5tn).
The "tell" in this is that there is a slate of automatic cuts to be made should the committee fail by Wednesday. Of course, no one expects those cuts to be made, and as Senator John McCain (R-AlZheimer's) said over the weekend, Congress made it, Congress can unmake it.
Along with the country, of course. Our debt ratings will collapse, and who will get the blame? Not Weaker Boener. Not Senator Mc-whatisface, but President Barack Obama. Anything to grab more power.
And there's the motive. It seems pretty clear that, based upon this story, as well as events at UC Davis over the weekend along with the memo revealed on UP with Chris Hayes on Saturday from John Boener's "personal" lobbying firm, there is a radical, concerted effort on the part of conservatives and their minions to tamp down any dissent from the corporate Republican line that everything is peachy keen except anything liberals have put their hands on, which is everything.
But hey, there's a clown car!
That's not to say this isn't a real terror plot, but note some curious things about this story:
1) It was broken by the NYPD, and not the FBI who presumably were apprised at SOME point in this "two year investigation" culminating with the arrest of Jose Pimentel.
2) A far more important terror story hit the airwaves today, but you might have missed it in all the hoopla from Mayor Mike's office: an actual, SUCCESSFUL terror attack against an American city on November 8.
Mayor Mike, who has been front and center in America's War Against Its Children, managed to manipulate the timing of his story of a potential plot to hit the airwaves just in time to deflect at least some attention from the truly terrible doings in Davis and Illinois.