Watching the GOP Debate in Iowa…If Ron Paul was 20 years younger, he’d win!
What’s happening in Wisconsin, is happening in Ohio too. From Huff Post:
Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) says he expects the state’s Republican-controlled House to pass a bill that would bar all public workers from striking and limit the bargaining rights of their unions.
The measure would limit the bargaining rights of roughly 350,000 teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public employees. They wouldn’t be able to negotiate health care benefits or certain working conditions.
It’s basically a concerted effort by Republicans to break apart the Dems support base.
And I thought “Change” was coming. Sounds like it’s the same ‘ol situation. Obama and pals are “outraged” at the bonuses AIG execs received while at the same time they’ve taken the company to the crapper. However, Senator Dodd, as well as Treasury Secretary Tim Geitner knew about the bonus payouts, new they were going out, and even approved of it.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, who originally proposed the executive compensation provision, said he did not include the exemption clause, which said new rules “shall not be construed to prohibit any bonus payment required to be paid pursuant to a written employment contract executed on or before February 11, 2009.” In an interview with CNN, Dodd denied inserting that exemption at the 11th hour, and insisted he doesn’t know how it got there. “When I wrote the language there was no such language like that,” Dodd told CNN Tuesday. Multiple Senate Democratic leadership sources also deny knowing how the exemption got into the bill. The mystery isn’t just how what was effectively a protection for AIG was put into the stimulus bill — it’s also how a provision intended to prevent AIG from giving executive bonuses, was taken out. The Senate passed a bipartisan amendment proposed by Sen. Olympia Snowe, R- Maine, and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, that would have taxed bonuses on any company getting federal bailout dollars, if the company didn’t pay back the bonus money to the government. But the idea was stripped from the stimulus bill during hurried, closed-door negotiations with the White House and House of Representatives.
And yet now they’re “Outraged”. Senator Grassley even suggested that the AIG execs to commit suicide.
Look, AIG shouldn’t have given out bonuses after claiming that they needed a bailout. But at the same time, we have a bunch of charlatans in Washington who are feigning outrage just because the American people who elected these jokers are outraged. They are reactive instead of being proactive.
An 2004 article by Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard, after the Republican victories in the House, Senate, and with Bush being reelected, exclaiming how the Republican majority was “expected to last for years, maybe decades”.
Listen to Walter Dean Burnham, professor emeritus at University of Texas at Austin, who is the nation’s leading theorist of realignment, the shift of political power from one party to another. The 2004 election, he says, “consolidates it all”–that is, it solidifies the trend that has favored Republicans over the past decade. To Burnham, it means there’s “a stable pattern” of Republican rule. “If Republicans keep playing the religious card along with the terrorism card, this could last a long time,” he says.
For Republicans to slip into minority status again, [Burnham] says, it would take a monumental party split like that in 1912 or “a colossal increase in the pain level” of Americans as happened with the Great Depression. Neither is likely.
The point of the article, IMHO, is that nothing is permanent and anything can change in an instant. Even for Democrats. So unless Obama can truely usher in an era of bipartisanship, we’re doomed to repeat history.
Paul Krugman opines on the ugly turn occurring in the McCain/Palin rallies:
The crisis isn’t the only scary thing going on. Something very ugly is taking shape on the political scene: as McCain’s chances fade, the crowds at his rallies are, by all accounts, increasingly gripped by insane rage. It’s not just a mob phenomenon — it’s visible in the right-wing media, and to some extent in the speeches of McCain and Palin.
And from HuffPost:
As the election season heats up I think we, as ordinary citizens, watching the convention coverage and the morning talk shows, listening to the left leaning or right leaning commentators, the pundits, the gurus, the historians, the know-it-alls, the O’Reillys, Limbaughs, Matthews and Olbermanns, need to remember that [IMHO] it’s all about one thing:
$$ MONEY $$
Democrats and Republicans alike need to give outlandish, roaring speeches, make fun of the other team, so that they can rally their base and bring in more money through donations and contributions to their respective parties and elections.
Pundits and commentators need to make bold predictions and make outlandish statements so that their value increases. They need to be loud, hard, and controversial. They need to be a part of the news and make news. They feed off of one another by bashing each other. And if they’re popular enough, they get invited to participate on the news/talk show circuit such as MSNBC, FOX News, or CNN. The more popular they are, the more they make, the more books they can sell, and the more viewers the programs get. The more viewers they get, the more the networks can charge for advertising. The more they charge for advertising, the more money the networks make. Also, the more viewers they have the more consumers big companies get to see products they advertise through commercials, and the more money they make selling their products. The more money companies make, the more their stock value goes up, the more they can spend on lobbying Washington, the more they can contribute to politicians and political parties.
And around and around we go. Obviously, this is a simplified analysis, but you can get the essence of it. We just need to take everything we hear with a grain of salt. Understand where it’s coming from, and why.
What does that mean for us ordinary citizens? Maybe just more of the same no matter who gets elected.
Took some time to watch the RNC the last two nights. I thought Fred Thompson was good, along with Mitt Romney. However I thought Giuliani was horrible. I can’t understand how people would pay to hear him speak. And after watching him speak last night, I realize now why I don’t think Giuliani and McCain are good at public speaking. They take too many pauses for laughter. It seems like even if one person in the audience is laughing, Giuliani or McCain will stop what they’re saying to laugh with them. It just interrupts the flow of the speech. It’s worse then saying “Ummm” all the time and it becomes a distraction. The pauses for laughter last night made it hard to listen to what he was saying and made for a disjointed speech.
That said, I think Palin did what she had to do to energize the Republicans, even though there was a lot of truth stretching.
And I hope the media continues to scrutinize their statements, despite being bullied:
There is a tendency in the media to kick ourselves, cringe and withdraw, when we are criticized. But I hope my colleagues stand strong in this case: it is important for the public to know that Palin raised taxes as governor, supported the Bridge to Nowhere before she opposed it, pursued pork-barrel projects as mayor, tried to ban books at the local library and thinks the war in Iraq is “a task from God.” The attempts by the McCain campaign to bully us into not reporting such things are not only stupidly aggressive, but unprofessional in the extreme.