August, 2012

Aug 12


Three thoughts about what I’ve seen of the GOP convention.

One, McCain may’ve made a little headway for the Republicans in his remarks on Afghanistan, the President’s announcement of a timetable for withdrawal, the strong chance of a Taliban resurgence after we’re out–in a realpolitik sense, he’s probably right. The President knows that, too. That stuff is a problem–but it’s one we have to accept and face anyway. We simply cannot stay there any longer, despite the downsides of leaving…We cannot afford the cost in blood and treasure…

Two, there’s a sense that GOP insiders don’t actually want Romney to win because they figure he’ll be hard to get rid of then as the next candidate and might well lose…as he’s not very supportable. SO they actually are assuming Obama will win,they wrongly think that will turn the country against the Democrats and will allow a Christie/Rubio ticket to win in 2016. And Christie’s speech was clearly an announcement for his 2016 candidacy which infuriated Romney.

Three, they’re basing a lot of the convention theme on a deliberate misinterpretation of Obama’s words. When Obama said “you didn’t build that” he was speaking of “public roads and bridges”–not your business. But the line had sloppy syntax, allowing for the soundbite distortion.

Basing so much on a deliberate misinterpretation (they know damn well what Obama really meant) is simply desperate and has got them ridiculed by Jon Stewart and others…

Aug 12


Wall Street Journal article excerpt from the year 2013 after Mitt Romney’s election and the 2012 triumph of Tea Partiers in Congress: “The White House is pleased to announce Pres Romney’s signature on the Free Market Minimum Wage Bill…The bill is a federal mandate lowering the minimum wage to 75 cents per hour in fast-food franchises, 85 cents per hour in other franchises. The President pointed out that ‘minimum wage in prison averages 25 cents an hour–this is three times that!’

Asked about the ten cent discrepancy between fast food franchises and other chains, like Wal-Mart, the President explained that ‘There is actually a lot of free food in these chains, like, you know, your Burger Bell, or whatever. They get a discount on their meals and, most important, they get what are called floor spillage rights. It’s a wonderful free market innovation–employees wash their mouths with antiseptic, then lick the floors with their tongues. This cleans the floors and gives them additional food from spillage. It’s estimated that the spillage of grease and other food particulates in these businesses averages a hundred calories per square foot…’”

Aug 12

Expected new advertisement from the NRA:

Sooner or later…

“Guns. There are more out there than ever. We’re the reason–so we should know. And we should know–we do know!–what to do about it. Guns can only be countered by guns. We’ve saved America by
seeing that America must purchase guns–to counter the guns that we’ve channeled to gun fanatics, collectors, the mentally ill, and people with childish minds. There are no longer any options. Your only hope is to buy guns–to save your life…from guns. Our guns. Your guns. Their guns. The National Rifle Association: preparing you for your future. With guns.”

Aug 12

Don’t Privatize the Post Office–Subsidize it

So there’s talk of privatizing the US postal service. Not necessary.

If we have to subsidize it–so what? Right now we’re subsidizing oil companies, and agribusiness. Who shouldn’t be subsidized. Take those subsidies away, and use the money pay for the post office.

It’s socially important that the post office is not privatized. It’s a positive, helping connection with the government. People naturally make fun of post
office lines and so on, but it’s actually been very good to me, and mostly the people are good, helpful, dedicated people.

Think of Brin’s novel, The Postman. The postman or woman is a glue that helps cement society together. It’s important that we pay for it with taxes. It means, we’re saying yes to community, to do that. Not communism. Community. You don’t want government institutions to be some giant heartless machine as they’re claimed to be…and the post office was never that.

If you think of Pink Floyd’s Welcome to the Machine–the machine was the record company, it was PR, it was radio, it was commerce. Not something like the post office–it’s just not the “big machine”.

We need the post office for public morale.