Archive for July, 2009

Strongly Approve? No.

Friday, July 31st, 2009

There is this interesting polling metric Rasmussen threw out, the graph to which Republicans have glommed onto.  It isolates the “Strongly Approve” and “Strongly Disapprove” and arrives at a number with the difference.  Thus, with Obama’s approval rating even now and even still above 50, the strong disapproval outweighs the strong disapproval by a decent margin and something is to be made of the “fervor” of disapproval outweighing the “fervor” of approval against the backdrop of a vast middling.

Whatever else I ca say about the President, he has a relatively long field vision range that enures himself from such transitory noise.  A significant factoid from the Obama — Clinton primary fight:  the Clinton staff was always on top of the latest Drudge missives, the Obama staff was not.  That explains a good deal of how Obama could claim his running of a campaign demonstrated his presidential abilities — notwithstanding the problematic nature of Obama’s candidacy.  (He — um — was a US Senator on the National stage for all of a year before staking his claim at the presidency, and a good part of his campaign was the equivalence of projecting a giant image of himself out there for a cult-like ambience to his supporters.  What?  Did I say that?)

I am temperamentally unable to “strongly approve” of anyone.  There is the flimsiness to these polls, and particularly this one.  I suspect a portion of Obama’s “Left flank” support has hedged over from “strongly support” to “middling support”.  A larger portion of the “Strongly Disapprove” is more solidly in place than the other categories on this continuum — the very real advantage of opposition — the supporters can make value judgements on the act of governance.  The nature of our two-party system discourages any movement from “Left flankers” beyond the middling support range.  Take that “Problematic nature of Obama’s entire campaign” comment I threw out there.  There is this right-wing video offered up, outraged by the very presence of Obama and considering his very presidency illegitimate by tact of being oh so unqualified and sudden and as a by product of a of media conspiracy.  It is a more partisn tinged version of the Alex Jones conspiracy joint “As the Mask Slips” — its commentary experts that assortment of talk radio persoanlities and newsmax and world net daily types.  Who makes an appearance on this film?  Sarah Palin.  See how the public is hemmed in in these assessments?

As an example of that:  Joseph Biden recently made a rather crude analysis which undermined Ameican “soft power” relating to US — Russia relations.  It causes a bit of a row in the Russian media, and some consternation on the part of Vladamir Putin.  Notable about the gaffe, thought, is it was simply an explication of what Biden was saying by implication in his recent foreign tour.  And if you assembled an assortment of the foreign policy team for the past four Presidential Administrations, the consensus opinion would align behind Biden’s “Russia fade” comments.  Such is the nature of human relations and diplomacy that such statements can really only be passed behind coded messages to be divined.

Back to Biden’s counterpart in the 2008 campaign:  Palin.  She can, I hear, see Russia from her house, and would have our nation on guard for when Putin rears her head over the Alaskan horizon.  Which is to say, at least Biden’s gaffe made sense.  I’m tempted to suggest Biden should have that talk show and not Palin — Biden’s love of his own voice would provide the gist for the mill for everyone; Palin would best be advised to play up oppositional phone calls to buttress her and her supporter’s “aggrieved” complex.

doc hastings, redux

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

One thing I neglected to mention about Doc Hastings:

Doc Hastings made an appearance on Fox News, the great disseminating tool for the Republican Party.  This clip was posted to his facebook page.  It is not a good performance; it is not a bad performance — save yourself the few minutes and don’t push “play”.  Hastings said nothing noteworthy, and the host lead him through the interview.

A minute and a half into the clip, the bullet-point pops up on Hastings.  He “Served 8 Years in WA State Legislature”, “Joined House of Reps in 1994”, and “Ran Family’s Small Business”.   And I guess the audience has now been briefed on who the heck this guy is.  The actual appearance on a national venue was novel enough that local press had to note:

It’s not exactly prime time, but Rep. Doc Hastings was ready when Fox News called this morning.  
Interesting enough:
Hastings, the Pasco Republican, has emerged as a leading critic of the Obama administration from his perch as ranking minority on the House Natural Resources Committee.

So.  Does his one appearance sometime in the afternoon on Fox News fore-tell increased visibility of Doc Hastings as a public voice of the Republican party?  (And remember,  his battle to bring down the  population of wild horses is attracting celebrity opposition.)

Sure.  Why not?  The Republicans need somebody to point out there.  As George Voinovich said of the current Republican party:

Sen. George Voinovich, the former governor of Ohio, made waves when he told The Columbus Dispatch “we got too many Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns.”

“It’s the southerners,” he said. “They get on TV and go ‘errrr, errrrr.’ People hear them and say, ‘These people, they’re southerners. The party’s being taken over by southerners. What they hell they got to do with Ohio?'”

Hastings has, so far as I can tell, not gone on tv and gone “errr, errrr.”  Then again, until that blip of a Fox News interview, he hasn’t had the chance.  Another possibility:  Fox News needed to find a Republican to follow through that talking point kabuki dance, and went down the list.

In other  “will have the job so long as he wants it” entrenched Northwest Republican Congress-critter news, Greg Walden is railing against the “Fairness Doctrine”.  Seems a waste of time.  Noteworthy, one argument Hastings makes about (ahem) “Welfare for Wild Horses” act is that it’s out of place for our national priorities.  Which means he should be on the phone to Walden to nix his “Fairness Doctrine” cause.

“welfare for wild horses”

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009


Question:  What’s animating Doc Hastings these days?  Hm.  He stood next to Newt Gingrich at a press conference recently in support of the policy of “Drill Baby Drill”.  Mildly noted, Gingrich was asked about his presidential prospects.  It must have been nice to meet up with Gingrich, “Class of ’94” and all that.
Also, if you go to his facebook page, you’ll see he’s hawking the complicated box health care chart.   ‘Tis a stupid talking point, but it’s a requirement of Republican Leadership to hawk that chart.

But what’s really animating Doc Hastings is the desire to slaughter all the horses. 

Okay, that’s an unfair characterization of a land management issue.  Except that we get to his
is characterization of the issue amusing.  It is, as Doc Hastings says, “Welfare for Wild Horses.”    The definition of “welfare” does not match.  (To be fair, it doesn’t appear that Hastings was alone with this title — it was a Republican talking point.  For a second there, I gave Representative Hastings too much credit.)

Also notable, his facebook page has a typographical error.  Doc Hastings is speaking out against “wefare for wild horses.”  (I will go ahead and give Hastings credit for coining “wefare for wild horses.”)

It is notable to show a Sarah Palin-esque criticism comes into play here.  “Hollywood Starlets” coming for “anti-hunting, anti-Second Amendment circuses from Hollywood”– a reference to an Ashley Judd commercial against Sarah Palin’s aerial killing of wolves.  The Barbi Twins and Willie Nelson’s daughter have come out swinging.

the matter of Sarah Palin

Monday, July 27th, 2009


I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with Sarah Palin right about now.  Is she a major force in American politics, or a sideshow freak?  The problem is I know and you know that she is never going to be nominated to a presidential run, even if she might think she’s pulling the route of Nixon post 1962 pre-1968.  But she has a following in this American Republic, and someone somewhere out there looks at that image of her signing a baby and does not cringe.  (From :53 to, oh, 1:52 of youtube: Noted Poet Laureate Sarah Palin.)

It is the audience that believes The Media is up to wantonly slander Old Glory (youtube 3:25 to 4:32… fascinating at 5:25 where the CNN news ticker alerts the “Developing Story”).:

Democracy depends on you, and that is why — that’s why our troops are willing to die for you. So how about, in honor of the American soldier, you quit making things up?”

And everybody else.:

We are facing tough challenges in America, with some seeming to just be hell-bent maybe on tearing down our nation, perpetuating some pessimism, and suggesting American apologetics, suggesting perhaps that our best days were yesterdays.

Suggesting “American Apologetics”?  (I think this is a Dictionary Moment.) 

July 4th, or probably more like the 3rd, one of those “lists” was thrown out at me — “Most Patriotic Songs“.  The wasn’t the list and has an aspect of “Counter-Programming” to it — as against the list I saw which stuck that quaint old country diddy “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue”, but this song includes the song I want to mention.  Johnny Cash’s “Ragged Old Flag”.  I tis an item of smaltz, and hearing this narrative I am left with this basic problem:
All very well and good, but I think your little town would be better off if you, you know, repaired the flag and put up a fresh coat of paint on your old courthouse (renovate or upgrade to a more modern one?) as opposed to throwing out Patriotic Bromides.

So.  Sarah Palin.  Do with her what you must, I suppose.  Good luck to Alaska’s new governor.

Health Care Forming and Reforming

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

As you know if you’ve been following these things, this crew have gotten their “Inner Ross Perot” on and given us a “This is what Health Care Reform looks like” (as opposed to their bubble-plague graphs which have been ripe for mockery):
Health Care Reform looks roughly like this, they say:

It is a design that obfuscates more than it illuminates, an attempt at the 1994 graph used by Bob Dole to show a bunch of bureacracies getting in between you and your doctor.  I recall Conan O’brien having Bob Dole on his program, and having a gag with him where he questioned the honesty of the graph by “zooming in” to one of the boxes to show one of the new bureacracies as “The National Basketball Association”.

Or… I have engaged in some form of “Create instructions for simple task”s exercise on more than one occasion.  “Make a Peanut and Belly Jelly Sandwich”, for instance.  Or better still for my illustration:  “Here’s a fairly simple design of boxes and circles.  Write up instructions on how to draw them.”  When given this type of exercise, my inclination is to create a precisely correct, but purposefully difficult to comprehend unless the listener is paying close attention, instructions.  It’s a project where I’d want it to end up where the person following the instructions will screw up, but I will be certain that it would be his/her fault. 

The New Republic rebuts this chart, in part with a chart of our current system.:

The graph is, I would say, a lot more honest — illuminates more than it obfuscates.  In the end, a lot of the arguments against is striking me as arguing that we’re just replacing one box with another — sympathetic supposition, I suppose, particularly as Congress and the Obama Administration are hammering out what amounts to the compromise of a compromise of a compromise of a compromise.

A clearer cut chart can be drawn for this piece of legislation.  Something to the effect of a Vinn Diagram — Humans on one side, Animals on the other, with a giant “NO!!!” in the point where the two circles meet.

2012 Republican Presidential Cattle Call #4

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Last time I pushed through this arena of a joke — the joke comes from the fact that the election is 3.5 years away – it was June 23rd.  Well, I suppose I can throw this up again.

#1:  Mitt Romney.  From out of nowhere, a poll shows a neck and neck race with Obama.  Though, of course, the question is operable:  This has to be the silliest poll ever. Obama has been in office less than six months. The elections are over 3.5 years away. What exactly does one expect to learn from a poll now?  Romney’s rolling into Nebraska (as we all know, the Nebraska Primary is HUGE) , he’s getting an exciting painting of himself unveiled, he’s trying to stop Health Care and is trying to wriggle out of his state’s Health Care for his base, which under the right circumstances would be a good thing.

#2:  Mike Huckabee.  Some AP analysis:  Mike Huckabee is turning into a front-runner for his party’s 2012 presidential nomination almost by default.  (You know… the election is 3.5 years away?)  Well, in the run up for such a thing, Huck Pac is restructuring. 

#3:  Sarah Palin.  Had I posted this a few weeks’ back, I would have had her as #2.  Not that I’m thinking too hard about this matter.  (Did I mention the election is 3.5 years away?)  She now leaves her seat as governorship of Alaska to tour America, quitting one thing to do another thing altogether.  Sarah Pac is apparently doing swimmingly in donations garnered.  Rush loves her and has taken up her cause.  She used official government office for personal purpose, but who hasn’t done that?  Also, she has found th perfect tool to rebut these problems: Twitter!

Also she keeps popping up on ad-buys on my computer screen.  It’s rather bizarre.  I don’t quite understand it.  Am I to donate to Sarah-Pac from various websites that do not much like her?  It’s that type of Maverickyness — that she feels bold enough to insert ads at poe-news, that keeps her up to #3.

#4.  Condoleezza Rice.  What — was that too random for you?  A throw-back to the old Dick Morris charade of a book?  Well, check this out!  Actually, this begs the question… who the heck is Gary Johnson?

#5:  Gary Johnson.  Like his haircut.  That’s enough to throw him up the list.  Has a facebook page pushing his presidency.  Remind me to look up Rice to see if she has a facebook page.  I bet she does.

#6:  Bobby Jindal.  Back in the game, back in the swing of things.  Writing op-eds.  That’s how you stay in the game.  He’s also waving giant sized novelty checks — part of the “have it both ways” nature of opposing and supporting Federal Stimulus.

#7:  Dan Quayle.  I take the opportunity to point out that someone sought out his opinion on things.  And he provided a headline grabbing soundbyte.  This doesn’t really portend a presidential run, but in case you haven’t figured it out, I’m not really taking this list seriously.

#8  Mike Pence.  He’s in Iowa.  That does portend a presidential run.  Kind of.  He urges a return to the values of Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich.  Anyway, they’re getting used to him in Iowa — trying to get a good idea of what he looks like. 
Meanwhile, Pence is throwing himself in with what they all are involved in these days — slowing down Health Care, grinding it to a hault.

#9:  Ron Paul.  Because they asked for his inclusion in these things.  But I think Gary Johnson might be his new “more mainstream” stand in, now that Mark Sanford has been sliced away.

Well, in a month I’ll come back and see how things have rejumbled themselves.  Who knows?  Maybe Tim Pawlenty will re-emerge back onto the list somewhere.  That would be quite a comeback.