Posts tagged "politics"

(via andrewtsks, molls, Calvin’s Canadian Cave of Coolness: I Will Take The Truth Anywhere I Can Find It, etc.)
Well, this would be true, except, as the New York Times/CBS poll shows, the Tea Partiers aren’t a bunch of working-class folks mad about losing jobs. They’re a bunch of middle-upper class right-wing activists mad because Obama’s the President and taxes go to schools, hospitals, police, roads, and everything else America doesn’t deny to poor people.
For instance, 23 per cent of Americans think the most important problem facing the country is the economy. So do 23 per cent of Tea Party supporters. But another 27 per cent of Americans think the biggest problem is a lack of jobs. Only 22 per cent of Tea Partiers say jobs. Tea Partiers are more likely than average to call a problem “Politicians/Government” (13 per cent as compared to four per cent), and the deficit (11 per cent as compared to five). The emphases are different here. Americans don’t like a bad economy that leads to them being unemployed. Tea Partiers don’t like government and the deficit, which they blame for a lack of jobs.
Further, 54 per cent of Americans blame the Bush administration or Wall Street for the state of the economy (32 and 22 per cent respectively). Only five per cent of Tea Party supporters blame the Bush administration. This is the Bush Administration that ran the economy for eight years before the economy went to shit. And one tea partier in twenty blames Bush. A plurality of Tea Partiers (28 per cent) blame Congress for the state of the economy. A further 10 per cent blame the Obama administration, and only 15 per cent blame Wall Street.
A majority of Americans think the government should spend money to create jobs. A majority of Tea Party supporters would prefer the government to reduce the deficit. A plurality of Americans (39 per cent) think the deficit is the fault of the Bush administration, you know, the administration that pitched Medicare Part D, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the upper-class tax cuts, all of which were unfunded. Tea Party supporters are most likely to blame Congress (37 per cent, as opposed to 19 per cent of the American public), followed by Obama (24 per cent, as opposed to a mere eight per cent of the American public). If there’s a problem, Tea Partiers blame it on the Democrats. 38 per cent of Americans have a favorable view of Republicans. 54 per cent of Tea Partiers have a favorable view of the GOP.
56 per cent of the Tea Party supporters think Obama’s policies favor the poor, as compared to just 27 per cent of the general population. Tea Partiers are most likely to think Obama has increased taxes; Americans are most likely to think Obama  has kept taxes the same (both are wrong).
Tea Party supporters are less concerned than the average American that they will be out of work in the next twelve months. Tea Party supporters are more likely than the average American to rate their household’s financial situation as “good” or “very good.” Tea Party supporters are more likely to call themselves middle class and less likely to call themselves working class. Tea Party supporters, on average, make more money than other Americans.
Larry Flynt and an awful lot of other people have misread the Tea Party. Supporters of this movement are more likely to be wealthy, educated and Republican. They are not working class people who are frustrated that they are out of work. They are reasonably well-off Republicans who dislike the Government spending money on poor people. Americans dislike Wall Street, Tea Party supporters dislike Democrats. This is a right wing movement, and speaking to it in social justice terms will not work. Larry Flynt, you are wrong.

(via andrewtsksmollsCalvin’s Canadian Cave of Coolness: I Will Take The Truth Anywhere I Can Find It, etc.)

Well, this would be true, except, as the New York Times/CBS poll shows, the Tea Partiers aren’t a bunch of working-class folks mad about losing jobs. They’re a bunch of middle-upper class right-wing activists mad because Obama’s the President and taxes go to schools, hospitals, police, roads, and everything else America doesn’t deny to poor people.

For instance, 23 per cent of Americans think the most important problem facing the country is the economy. So do 23 per cent of Tea Party supporters. But another 27 per cent of Americans think the biggest problem is a lack of jobs. Only 22 per cent of Tea Partiers say jobs. Tea Partiers are more likely than average to call a problem “Politicians/Government” (13 per cent as compared to four per cent), and the deficit (11 per cent as compared to five). The emphases are different here. Americans don’t like a bad economy that leads to them being unemployed. Tea Partiers don’t like government and the deficit, which they blame for a lack of jobs.

Further, 54 per cent of Americans blame the Bush administration or Wall Street for the state of the economy (32 and 22 per cent respectively). Only five per cent of Tea Party supporters blame the Bush administration. This is the Bush Administration that ran the economy for eight years before the economy went to shit. And one tea partier in twenty blames Bush. A plurality of Tea Partiers (28 per cent) blame Congress for the state of the economy. A further 10 per cent blame the Obama administration, and only 15 per cent blame Wall Street.

A majority of Americans think the government should spend money to create jobs. A majority of Tea Party supporters would prefer the government to reduce the deficit. A plurality of Americans (39 per cent) think the deficit is the fault of the Bush administration, you know, the administration that pitched Medicare Part D, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the upper-class tax cuts, all of which were unfunded. Tea Party supporters are most likely to blame Congress (37 per cent, as opposed to 19 per cent of the American public), followed by Obama (24 per cent, as opposed to a mere eight per cent of the American public). If there’s a problem, Tea Partiers blame it on the Democrats. 38 per cent of Americans have a favorable view of Republicans. 54 per cent of Tea Partiers have a favorable view of the GOP.

56 per cent of the Tea Party supporters think Obama’s policies favor the poor, as compared to just 27 per cent of the general population. Tea Partiers are most likely to think Obama has increased taxes; Americans are most likely to think Obama  has kept taxes the same (both are wrong).

Tea Party supporters are less concerned than the average American that they will be out of work in the next twelve months. Tea Party supporters are more likely than the average American to rate their household’s financial situation as “good” or “very good.” Tea Party supporters are more likely to call themselves middle class and less likely to call themselves working class. Tea Party supporters, on average, make more money than other Americans.

Larry Flynt and an awful lot of other people have misread the Tea Party. Supporters of this movement are more likely to be wealthy, educated and Republican. They are not working class people who are frustrated that they are out of work. They are reasonably well-off Republicans who dislike the Government spending money on poor people. Americans dislike Wall Street, Tea Party supporters dislike Democrats. This is a right wing movement, and speaking to it in social justice terms will not work. Larry Flynt, you are wrong.


This week at the USSC.

My other blog has been doing things, as usual:


Dino Rossi: #51?

The big loser here, clearly, is the Queen, who may find herself actually forced to play a substantive role.

Paul Krugman, “Hung Over in Britain,” The New York Times, May 7, 2010

Monarchists in Australia like to say of our system of government that it “ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The problem is that our system of government is broke, and just because it may work on a day-to-day or year-to-year basis doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have major structural problems that have no good means of resolution. In Australia we saw that in the latest fiasco of an election in Tasmania, in the dismissal of Gough Whitlam in the ’70s, the dismissal of NSW Premier Jack Lang in the ’30s, the attempted interference of the British Crown and Parliament in NSW affairs as recently as the 1980s, and the anxiety in NSW last year over whether and how the Governor could call an early election to rid the state of its loathed government. This is not a system that works. This is a system that, in our country’s lifespan of little more than a century, regularly breaks down. 

And now in the UK, it looks like they might encounter a similar problem. In an age where we do not consider hereditary monarchs to be gods who may rule naturally over us commoners, giving them and their representatives a role in democratic politics is a recipe for failure. There is no such thing as a ceremonial political position. If the royalty has a de jure place in our government, it will sooner or later end up having to take an active place in our government. It might seem a safe fantasy to shield checks and balances away in unelected positions, so we don’t have to deal with unseemliness of Presidential politics that we (tell ourselves we) witness in American government, but the only result of that is that one day we end up with unelected people forced to make decisions with legal force that can never be supported by the force of popular will.

The system is broken, and where ever it is used in the world, it breaks. Monarchism is a sick remnant of times when people were not considered able to govern themselves. Where ever it endures in the world, it should be destroyed.


This week at the USSC.

My other blog:


GOP sticks to the script.

For an American it’s stunning to watch an unprecedentedly uncertain and chaotic British political transition over and done with within five days … I think there’s a lot to admire about this whole setup. The speed of the British transition is sometimes attributed to the practice of establishing a “shadow cabinet” but in this case the hung parliament rendered the shadow cabinet somewhat moot and they wrapped it up within a week nonetheless. The bigger issue, I think, is the UK’s much heavier reliance on professional civil servants to run the government on a day-to-day basis. Presumably Cameron will actually need some time to get any major policy initiatives organized, but he and his relatively small team can step into 10 Downing Street and know that the basics will keep running smoothly.

Matt Yglesias, “The Need for Speed,” Think Progress, May 11, 2010

Oh how I weary of Yglesias’s periodic pieces fetishizing European systems of government, particularly when they don’t seem to be based on a proper understanding of the system he’s fetishizing. See, the thing is, a shadow cabinet doesn’t need to be confirmed. Which means you can put any idiot in charge of whatever arrangement you can cut an intra-party deal on. (A favorite in the Australian Liberal-National party coalition is to make the rural-based National Party responsible for the Trade portfolio, resulting in a trade policy that constantly skews pro-agriculture and against tech-based innovation.) So when all you have to do to form a government is show you’ve got a majority of one house prepared to say they’ll ride with you, yeah you get a government pretty quick. It doesn’t mean it will be a government filled with talented individuals the country can agree should be representing it.

The big advantage with the American system of confirming the administration is that the branch is, in a very real sense, accountable to the people. In a parliamentary system, ministers aren’t all that accountable. Take Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan. Swan represents an electorate in Queensland, which means that his job is to look after the money of the entire nation as well as to be the representative of a bunch of Banana Benders. But when it comes election time, the nation doesn’t get to judge Swan. The nation can only say yea or nay to the party that decided he should be Treasurer. The Queenslanders whom Swan represents get to decide, however, whether he is a good representative, and if they decide he is not a good representative, then the rest of the nation does not get to decide he was a good Treasurer. (Or if they decide he was a good rep, then the rest of the nation cannot signal that they do not like their Treasurer.) Then repeat this throughout the cabinet. Think this doesn’t have a real world effect? Opponents of former Australian leader of the opposition Malcolm Turnbull, who fought the 2007 election as Member for Wentworth and Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, campaigned against Turnbull at a local level on the basis that he wasn’t doing a good job as Environment Minister (a national position). But only people in the suburbs of Eastern Sydney could cast a vote evaluating Turnbull’s fitness to be Environment Minister!

So, yes, parliamentary systems ensure a much more rapid transition of power, but that’s because they only have to transition power from one Prime Minister who thinks he’s got the numbers to another Prime Minister who thinks he’s got the numbers. Yes, there are very real debates to be had about how many American Administration-level positions should be subject to Senate confirmation, and there are very real problems associated with the length of time a lame duck Administration has to flop around before its successor is inducted. But a lot of the reason it takes so long is that America inducts a new national Government every four years, instead of permitting one dude to say, “Hey, I know these guys. They’re all right. Give ‘em a job!”


I know everything there is to know about her. She’s so fake. But she’s so good at it, too. She’s amazing at it. If I didn’t know it, I wouldn’t know the difference. She’s gifted. She could do movies because she’s so gifted.
Levi Johnston on Sarah Palin (in “The Revolution Will Be Commercialized,” New York Magazine, April 25, 2010)

Fuck Yeah Alabama.


obamarama:

(An aside: Most of the best photos here are from White House photographer Pete Souza. He captures tons of moments that just paint pictures. 98% of the credit for Obamarma should go to him, really.)

Around the West Wing, they have these photographs blown up and hung up on the walls. (They call them Jumbos.) After a few weeks, they’re taken down, replaced with more recent shots, and the old ones are made public. I really hope they start incorporating obamarama captions under the jumbos.

obamarama:

(An aside: Most of the best photos here are from White House photographer Pete Souza. He captures tons of moments that just paint pictures. 98% of the credit for Obamarma should go to him, really.)

Around the West Wing, they have these photographs blown up and hung up on the walls. (They call them Jumbos.) After a few weeks, they’re taken down, replaced with more recent shots, and the old ones are made public. I really hope they start incorporating obamarama captions under the jumbos.



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