Archive for August, 2009

What’s the Matter with Arkansas?

Monday, August 31st, 2009

PUMAs.  They’re still out there.  If you really want to look.  See, for instance, here:

I’ve been watching the Glenn Beck Show this week;[...]  For me, it is confirmation of everything I have thought, said, felt about Obama since the campaign. [...]  I find it rather alarming that we now have avowed communists and radicals advising our President in official positions called czars.

Hm.  At the dawn of the Russia’s Communist Revolution back in 1917, if you had told Vladamir Lenin that within a century the United States would go Communist, he would have smiled and nodded in approval.  If you had then told him that the Communists would be infiltrating the United States government in the form of Czars, he would have been, well, a tad confused.  Such is the weird arc of history.

Another day, another creepy murder related in some way to Barack Obama. There is something about this guy that leads to unusual murders wherever his name arises.

There is some dejavus with this one.  It reminds me of Clinton’s Ring of Death.  Though, of course, every president has a Ring of Death, so why shouldn’t Obama be different?  But it just kind of strikes me as odd — PUMA — Hillary Clinton supporters, weren’t they?

When pondering the election returns and the red streak that ran across Appalachia, Arkansas was the state that stands out most glaringly.  Or:
McCain:  58.72 percent  Obama:  38.86%
Bush :       54.3 percent    Obama:  44.6 %

The Republican advantage, on the national scale, has doubled.  The difference between the state Democratic party (Arkansas is at once a one – party state on the state level) and the National Democratic party widens, and there I suppose we have to suggest that the party is three and four decades behind the rest of the South.

We could basically assign Arkansas as the “Epicenter of PUMA”.  There was no “PUMA effect”, but to the degree that there was — it would have been pretty much consigned to Arkansas.  In a way this makes sense, the final attachment to a Clinton, the husband swamping his “Favorite Son” state in his two elections, and leading his successor Al Gore to a narrow loss, helping to obscure the political shifts.    To say these are at times complicated and confusing matters, I had to laugh when I saw this headline / suggestion that Clinton be brought in to arm-twist the “Blue Dogs” — the Blue Dogs having formed their formation after the 1994 midterm election.

Oklahoma is on the state level “Democratic” (of that type that would run their mouth against the Secular Conspiracy and bemoan the lack of school prayer in the schools), but they spit out to the Senate two crackpot Republicans.  Arkansas has managed to spit to the Senate two Democratic senators, such as they are, and the bill should come due sooner or later.

Arkansas is also the Epicenter of Birtherism, it appears.  These two things probably go hand in hand, the conspiratorial churnings that bring about one aligns with the other. 

The new survey of Arkansas from Public Policy Polling (D) finds the state to be very conservative, very Birtherist, and very much opposed to President Obama on health care — despite the fact that the state’s Democrats are typically dominant and hold all major offices right now.

Only 40% approve of President Obama’s job performance, with 56% disapproving — matching up pretty closely with John McCain’s 59%-39% victory here in 2008. In addition, only 45% say Obama was born in the United States, with a strong 31% saying he was not, and 24% unsure. Among Republicans in Arkansas, the Birther question comes up as 23%-49%-28%.

On health care, only 29% support Obama’s plan, with 60% against it. In addition, respondents were asked whether Rush Limbaugh or Barack Obama has the better vision for America: Limbaugh 55%, Obama 45%. And keep in mind that this is a state where Dems have both Senate seats and three out of four House members.

Arkansas Republicans have been shifting about locating a candidate to take on Blanche Lincoln.  They have some minor status candidates and not their “Big Guns” (being a one-party state, somewhat hard to find — though party-switches are pretty likely around about now), and polling indicates that just might be enough to oust Blanche Lincoln.    Their candidates include:

In May 2009, Hendren apologized after it was reported that during a meeting of the Pulaski County Republican Committee in Little Rock, he referred to Democratic U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York as “that Jew” after Schumer had criticized the Republican Party. “I ought not to have referred to it at all. When I referred to him as Jewish, it wasn’t because I don’t like Jewish people. I shouldn’t have gotten into this Jewish business because it distracts from the issue… I believe in traditional values, like we used to see on The Andy Griffith Show,” Hendren said, adding that he does not use a teleprompter and sometimes mispeaks in haste.[3][9] Schumer said that he accepted the apology. Hendren’s comments drew a reprimand from Brian Walsh, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, who said that “Comments like this are completely inappropriate and don’t have any place in public or private discourse.”[3]

And then there’s this candidate.

“When I joined the military I took an oath to defend the Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic,” Reynolds said. “I never thought it would be domestic, but in today’s world I do believe we have enemies here. It’s time for people to stand up. It’s time for us to speak out.”

He added: “We need someone to stand up to Barack Obama and his policies. We must protect our culture, our Christian identity.”

When he got to the Q&A session, he said that he would be careful with his answers, “I don’t want to do a Kim Hendren,” and later clarified that he was not categorizing President Obama as a domestic enemy.

To be fair, that one may be considered the “Alan Keyes” in terms of fringe-ty in this election race.  I don’t know how viable the Founder of the Arkansas Tea Party, Tom Cox is either.  For all I know, the primary battle will become an epic battle between those two.  But the polling is matching up Coleman, Griffin, Baker, and Cotton.  Nobody’s ever heard of them, and they tie your Blanche Lincoln.

Considerig the Birthers and PUMAs and “Deathers” floating about, I wonder if a Sam Yorty prototype character could gain some traction in the Democratic Primary?

Although he was the first mayor to have a female deputy, and the first to have a racially integrated staff, his appeal did not extend to most of the city’s large African-American population. Disaffection with high unemployment and racism contributed to the Watts Riots of August 11–17, 1965. Yorty’s administration was criticized for failing to cooperate with efforts to improve conditions in neighborhoods such as Watts, but he accused other leaders of raising false hopes and of action by communist agitators, having always categorically rejected any criticism of the city’s police or fire departments.

After the riots, Yorty challenged incumbent Democratic Governor Edmund G. (Pat) Brown in the 1966 gubernatorial primary. He received 981,088 votes (37.6 percent) to Brown’s 1,355,262 ballots (51.9 percent). Yorty’s politics shifted toward the right. This change became evident when he joined the election night celebration of Brown’s successful opponent, Ronald W. Reagan. Yorty went to Vietnam to support the American troops and was thereafter dubbed “Saigon Sam” by his liberal opponents.

the problems of Google Ad Sense

Monday, August 31st, 2009

I direct you to this article in the “American Conservative “, a bastion of isolationism.  The article calls to “ditch the Carter Doctrine” and remove our troops from Afghanistan.  Make of it what you will; I don’t really care at the moment.

What I want to direct you to now is the advertisement on the sidebar.  Ads by google.  The “Google Ad Sense” program, offered to your blog though unless your blog gets any hits you’re not going to get much money out of it.   With that, the google wanders over the website and  randomly give you:  “Find your Russian Beauty Today”.  “Browse Photos Now”.  And there is what I take to be a photograph for a “Mail Order Bride” possibility that you might just pursue — an attractive smiling blond Russian woman in a bikini.  Purchase her marriage today, why dontcha?

I’m just trying to get some perspective on geopolitics and the history of foreign policy decisions here.  I’m not in the market.

Texas Board of Education

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

The Texas Board of Education is a powerful institution, Texas being a large market for School Textbooks nationwide, textbook makers write toward their standards.  So, they hold the nation hostage.  And thus we get this:

The first draft for proposed standards in United States History Studies Since Reconstruction says students should be expected “to identify significant conservative advocacy organizations and individuals, such as Newt Gingrich, Phyllis Schlafly and the Moral Majority.”

Gingrich helped lead House Republicans to their 1994 takeover of Congress and became House speaker. Schlafly founded the conservative Eagle Forum and became a leading opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment aimed at formalizing women’s equality with men. The Moral Majority formed in the late 1970s as an evangelical Christian organization that influenced politics and public policy for decades. [...]

Whether students will also be exposed to liberal examples from the ebb and flow of American politics is hard to predict. Conservatives form the largest bloc on the 15-member State Board of Education, whose partisan makeup is 10 Republicans and five Democrats. [...]

But Mercer said he also would include the liberal National Education Association, MoveOn.org, Planned Parenthood and the Texas Freedom Network a group that says it promotes “religious freedom and individual liberties to counter the radical right.”

Two reviewers have recommended that Cesar Chavez, the late farm workers union leader, be removed from history books because they deem him an unworthy role model.

Anyway, the Culture War continues in the comments section of these stories.  See here:

Good to hear that there is some leaning to the right, but our kids need to know how liberals have corrupted any morals and values in this country and stood for everything which is against the traditional family. Hopefully there will be a stall or ban on all the desensitizing our children to the horrid sex and crime that our media so projects as being the norm. May God bless America again.

Also there’s this statement of where this is leading us:
Children have stopped growing taller (the average height of Americans has remained static for fifty years while Europeans have grown six inches) as the standard of healthcare and basic diet declines.

 I’ve stated this before on this blog before I know (though with four digits worth of blog posts it’d be hard for anyone to remember), but I was  impressed by the way my Literature textbook evaded the mention of “homosexual” in a quick write-up for Oscar Wilde  (for “The Importance of Being Earnest”) in describing legal troubles due to “flamboyance”.

As for Newt Gingrich’s place in history — well, he deserves a sentence or two in that thousand page book of finely tuned turgid, I suppose.  Intertwined in those two sentences is that explanation on why he only lasted four years as Speaker.

A Summer of Marginal Relevance fades into a return to an Autumn Irrelevancy

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Here’s the current quote-pull at the top of google news search when “Larouche” is sought.:

“The Boomers will be scared into becoming human, because you’re in the real world, and they’re not,” … “Unless they want to commit suicide”
 
This comes out of the seven or so news links regarding the lawsuit Molly Kronberg brought them.  The previous quote I saw was actually not from him at all, but from Rachel Brown in that whole thing with Barney Frank.  (Look down these things here.)  And such is the end of this “15 Minutes of Fame-ishness”, the most media attention that the cult has received in about twenty years.
 
Another sign of the end of this “15 Minutes of Fame-ishness” is that the assorted blog mentions are right back to their status quo.  The leader of the Larouche Cryonics Movement has a message missile to throw to someone or other.    And this person obsessed with Satanism believes that this should receive more attention in the Military than it’s receiving.  The “Town Hall Mania” of Hitler Mustaches has faded to a brief mention here on “the only ugly incident at the Town Hall meeting” of “your typical 20-something brainwashed dirtbag”, the “healthy debate” that follows this, your Michelle Bachmans.  Some annoynaces in front of storefronts.  (Begging that question:  Strange. What is a “LaRouche”?)
Though, reading through these comments, I am always back to that Seinfeld question: “Who… are… these people?”

Instead of name calling about “LaRouche cultists” and such hot-button language, try not to be half-assed on the facts. I have no idea why LaRouche has gone off in the more recent direction, he does seem to have seized the bit in his teeth and is not being reined in, but some of his prior stuff is sane and makes more sense in terms of how the public should be treated than those who have been taking UnitedHealth money and now are representing UnitedHealth interests over the public interest.

It ends with that thud.  Rumble through the conservative blog vane at a Representative Dingle meeting, an “Obama Mustache Poster Waver” is identified as a “Dingle Supporter” — makes sense, Dingle that type the Larouche org would glom on to – and (you’re losing me with this one) “Plant”.  This goes to show you that while there is no moral gain from becoming an enemy, there is also no moral to lose from becoming a “friend” — and vice the versa with the words ”gain” and “lose”.  (See tooI even went outside to ask individuals to stop being rude to all visitors and clean up their acts. I was appalled at the behavior of the LaRouche PAC and am even quoted on their Web site asking them to tone it down. )  ORincluding LaRouche followers, who had scurried to get a protest of their own together at noon, when they found out that those “George Soros funded MoveOn people . . . that support blatant marxism and more Federal control [who] are not the voice of the Texas people” had a permit for a rally. (Actual quote from their e-mail)

The “Liberal Blog Vane” pretty much has its final shot with Larouche as “loose grenade material” with this dailykos post.  What strikes me about the comments is the manner that the partisan Democrats more or less just drop off the fourth wheel of this “Quad” and go for the more clear-cult partisan enemies:  Michele Bachmann, Betsy McCaughey, Sarah Palin.  That actually might be something of a victory for the org — along the lines of how The Guardian managed to mention Anton Chaitkin of Executive Ingelligence Review without mention of Larouche.

For their part, the question What do the LYMers know anyway about this “takeover”?:

Comment #9:   As to the youth movement, I was accosted by a group of them in Seattle just last week. When I responded by saying, “Hey, look, it’s a dining room table”, it quickly became clear that there was only out of the group who had the slightest idea what I was talking about. Now, that’s a pretty dumb bunch, even by dining room table standards.
Purely anecdotal, I suppose, but it begs the quesiton:  How can they be so shut off from the world that they miss their effects of their “World Changing” activism?

Argurably a small bit of whiplash comes with these placed side by side:
#20:  I knew a fellow who was in one of Larouche’s groups years ago, back in the Seventies. Among other things, they thought that Stalin actually had some pretty good qualities, and certainly wasn’t the mass-murdering monster most have come to believe about him.

#39:  To use Lenin’s phrase LaRouche, and now his disciples, have now become the “Useful Idiots” for an American Fascism. Only his death and the eventual falling away of his followers (to the American Nazi Party perhaps?) will reduce the incidence of stupidity within the American body politic!
Strictly speaking, no.  I don’t know “where they will go” — I’ve stated already a suspected more-than-half lifing away after the old cult leader falls away, which at least suggests a bit of remnants.  But not to the “nazi Party”, and this is something that I see drives ex-members crazy.

For his part, Barney Frank was the subject of a cover story for the conservative National Review, which while oppositional and critical made failed in the task of referencing Frank’s Nazi and Fascist and Hitlerite antecedents.  Barney Frank has also thrown in his support behind Ron Paul’s “Fed Audit” bill, putting his name in highlights in some of those Ron Paul adoring conspiratorial sites that Larouchies have to fight for some space.  (See the “google quote news pull” for one particular prisonplanet link — which gets in there by dent of a Larouchie commenter grabbing the first spot in a comments section!  And while I’m on prisonplanet, look to the comments section on this page – one notable quotation: this woman was a agent provacateur   it was a set up AND Anyway – the reason why she didn’t have anything else to say there was probably due to a bug in her programming…)  Add in his name having been floated briefly, and batted away, for possible replacement in Ted Kennedy’s seat, and we see Barney Frank’s career moving away from this odd little footnote.

While “Leatherstocking” in the wikipedia edit attempts tries to forge forward the “Was right about the 2007 — 2008 Collapse into Armegeddon!” insertion, as against a handy chart here.

As for me, after reading the first paragraph of LPAC’s reponse to Lawsuits:
According to various British-steered internet blogs, Molly Kronberg, a collaborator of circles associated with Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister and controller of U.S. President Obama, wants to sue Lyndon LaRouche and his political action committee, LaRouche PAC. She has teamed up with former LaRouche prosecutor John Markham. This frantic propaganda and publicity stunt is a direct British reaction to LaRouche’s largely successful campaign to defeat the Nazi-like British-designed healthcare plan of the Obama Administration.

I feel the need to assert a certain Britishness.  Well, in honor of a nickname I had way back in high school … there’s this – “SPAM”. 

The obvious observation to the response otherwise comes from here:

When asked for a response to the lawsuit, a LaRouche associate pointed the Times-Mirror to the Web site article.
In the article, the LaRouche PAC calls Molly Kronberg a collaborator of circles associated with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair

Yeah, that’s one response to the lawsuit that might backfire

In other news: a belated report of “a very interesting and successful experience for all involved“, “Speaking In Forked Tongues” and all that.

Waiting for Senator Dukakis

Friday, August 28th, 2009

One of Ted Kennedy’s dying wishes was for a politically expedient change in the Massachussetts election laws, to slot in an interim Senator for the political expedient change in Massachussetts election law that occured in 2004 to keep Mitt Romney from appointing President-elect John Kerry’s replacement.  That item of politics is something that bears to be kept in mind as the attempt to incur into existence a “Wellstone Effect” of a backlash by referencing such a thing (here and here second to last paragraph and here – that last one wins the day in being the first item to appear when typing the phrase into google news – so, congratulations “Hot Air”!) at the same time Republican Senators sit on their hands and claim that Kennedy’s absence in the reason they can’t figure out how to take part in the Democrats’ Health Care attempts.  What do you think “Kennedy would have wanted”?

The election mid-stream change is for the best, and probably should be roughly made equivalent throughout the other 49 states.  Wyoming has a good system, and one that would work for small d democratic values with Massachusetts at the moment due to the nature of their partisan politics: overwhelming legislature of one party in perpetuity, Senators off to Washington the same, governor liable to be of the other party.  Wyoming’s legislature sends the governor three names to choose from, and that is that.

The law should be that a Political Ghost of the deceased’s rough ideological framework is appointed for the interim 6 months, before that special election spits out the new Senator for the rest of the term.  The name that comes out for Massachusetts is Michael Dukakis.  There seems to be a steam-roller demanding Senator Michael Dukakis.  I like the idea.  He is a place-holder and a political ghost.  Are there any other big name Massachusetts Democrats of the past three decades, or is the fact that the Senate has been firmly in hands of Kennedy and Kerry, and no Democrat was elected to the governor’s mansion for 16 years after Dukakis waddled away leave that cupboard barren?

In 2002, after Wellstone died, the political ghost that was attempted to be brought before the people of Minnesota was Walter Mondale.  Unfortunately, the “interim” was to be a full six years, so Norm Coleman ended up in that seat — practically by default.  The interesting thing about South Dakota when Tim Johnson suffered severe health problems was that the the most evident ”political ghost” that haunts those halls for an interim would have been the other Democratic presidential loser, George McGovern.  This suffers the basic problem in the rulese in that it would have a liberal replace a “centrist”.  Just as well that the law would have given the Republican governor the appointee.  Which is probably better than what happened in Georgia in 2000 when a deceased Republican Senator was replaced by the Democratic governor with Zell Miller.

National Review versus The Nation

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

nationalreviewbarneyfrankcoverthenationcovercalifornia

Advertisements found in this National Review issue:

The People of America’s Oil and Natural Gas Industry
(note: the word “People” was very much emphasized)
GovMint.com with historic “Indian Head Coins”
Computer designed specifically for Seniors
Conservative Book Club (Get 3 for a penny!)
Bose Radio
Rosetta Stone “learn a language”
“Jitterbug” cell phone designed for… aging baby boomers
Govmint.com with (Historic) Samurai Silver Coins (Are Conservatives by nature coin collectors?)
FLAME advocacy group, “Facts and Logic about Middle East”
36 lecture course “Western Civilization”: Mathematics
Neuroston Memory Pills (apparently National Review attracts an older audience?)
20 carat Staver emeralds
Cenesenics Medical Institute “How does this 54 year old neurosurgeon look so good under his scrubs?”
Phrma (“Following Obama’s lead in Curing Cancer”, ad features the dramatic moon shot

One more note about the advertisements: Through the first half of the magazine, they come every other page.  Through the second half, there are no advertisements (except the back and inside back cover.)

Okay, instead of going to The New Republic, where we’d expect to see a few identical advertisements, I’ll go to a recent (2 back, regretfully) issue of The Nation.:

Credo Mobile (one 1/3 page ad, another full page.  Markets itself against AT&T in regards to partisan political support)
Lecture Course “Quantumn Mechanics Made Clear” (It is noteworthy to compare the lecture course offered to Nation readers to National Review readers, but I don’t know what can be sussed out by this.)
Powell’s Book Store subscription
Panscope optical system microscope
Book: “America at Risk”.  (It’s a title — if not book — that might be promoted by National Review, though I’m guessing the “risk” differs.)
20 carat Staver emeralds (Hey!  Same advertiser!)
The Movie “Taking Woodstock” (finally the “aging readership” prevelant in the National Review ads, though a bit different sociographical group.)

Health Care and Edward Ted Kennedy

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

At a Town Hall meeting with Representative Moran in tow with Howard Dean, Randall Terry shouted out from the crowd, “BABY KILLER!”, letting the world know that he did not like Howard Dean.  I have a flashback to 2005, and the parade of the political odd who poked their heads into the Terry Schiavo picture.  That was a sharp puncture at the tiny re-election bubble enjoyed by President Bush.  In the case of the Town Hall meetings, we have this mass of instant celebrities, “movement conservtive” cause celebres slotted into cable talk show slots and radio shows, your “Joe the Plumber” regular folk with grave concerns expressing YOUR anger.  It is that odd sort of American Exceptionalism which has a ranting about the threatened destruction of, against all available evidence, “The Greatest Health Care System in The World!”  I very much doubt that the party of this (and this quad-team ) will win the White House in 2012.  Anyways, the last development was the mobilization of shouting matches between two polarized sides of the Health Care debating — such as this is.

There have been actual non-sensational town hall meetings that have played out without too much of a hitch, and furthermore town hall meetings that have played out with general agreements, as is the wont for our “Safe District”ing nature of the Congress, the lack of confrontation making them essentially rallies.  But in terms of reasonable challenges reasonably framed, unless it happened toward Obama himself, the media (and me) has gravitated to “the Crazies”.  They are things cable news networks can loop that help fill their long void of emptiness, and youtube will get hit upon hit off of.

The weird reality is that this is the most liable way to defeat a Health Care program whole masse, or to stream it over to its most industry-favorable manner where the “Progressive Champions” are left championing industry profiteering protections.  See, for instance, this Wall Street Journal editorial on “Saving the Obama Presidency ala what “Saved the Clinton Presidency” by way of finding the minimal, an editorial which, incidentally, contradicts the William Kristol memo of the time.

On the crass political calculation front, Ted Kennedy’s Death, in the grand scheme of this all, may be awash, or if the whole Democratic Caucus can be swayed by a “Legacy” project it’d be a spurring to the end of passing something.  I just sense that “On guard” posture against any hint of referencing The Kennedy and “The Cause of Ted Kennedy’s Life” and picking up his “Mantle” to invigorate the moribud process (thank you very much, Senator Baucus.)  I picture a Fox News — talk radio controversy enflaming some comment or other out of proportion to something crass — think Wellstone Memorial.

Regarding Kennedy, I have little to say.  Look around the Internet and you’ll find a mass of eulogizing of one type and another  (ie: this warning).  In terms of his career finale of import, endorsing Obama — and without his endorsement it’s hard to picture that “Super Tuesday tie” with Clinton that propelled him to victory (and this suggestion which looks like a bit of wishful haliography, until Obama lives up to a promise).  In that sense, Kennedy edged forward Obama / Biden instead of Clinton / Obama.

I do have one random thought.  In 1980, as he ran to usurp the incumbent Carter for the presidential nomination, somebody asked him the very simple question “Why do you want to be president?”  He fumbled the answer to that basic question and said something fairly stupid, which had the effect of unsettling his chances at the nomination.  Yet at the same time, the fumbling of that question betrays the real reason anyone wants to be president: kinda cool, you’ll be remembered — even a John Tyler gets some mention in the History book above and beyond all but a few Senators.  The added reason was that he had a brother who was president, and another president who ran for president, and thus “President Kennedy” rang well in a lot of people’s ears.  But those two reasons would not make a good answer.

Glenn Beck is insane

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

From the Reason “Hit and Run Blog”, I see the cover to Glenn Beck’s upcoming book.

Okay.  A little help, please.  What is Glenn Beck trying to get at here?  It’s the quesiton seemingly everyone wants to know.  It is, I guess, an East German military uniform.  In, as they say, a “Werner Klemperer pose” — mimicing the parody of a Nazi German officer on “Hogan’s Heroes”.

I’m tempted to suggest that Glenn Beck is trying something like the parody radical chic a Michael Moore might do with Che, “ironic” because, you see, he’s called a “Far Leftist” and so he would roll to that image.  Glenn Beck, called “Fascist”, imposes the clownish image to the Far Right but somehow mixes the messaging with that one.  Notwithstanding that it’s not a very good message in the first place — he’s supposed to be “Revolutionary” somehow or other, isn’t he?

m4s0n501