Greg Prince's Blog

Musings and pontifications from a reality based progressive

Archive for November, 2008

Day 51

Posted by Greg on November 30, 2008

This administration is doing everything we can to end the stalemate in an efficient way. We’re making the right decisions to bring the solution to an end.

DC 2001

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A society worth saving?

Posted by Greg on November 29, 2008

You’ve heard about the Walmart debacle in New York where a worker was trampled to his deth by shoppers coming for their silly specials.

My friend Michael Stickings has some good commentary on the matter.

It’s a horrible story, obviously. And, to me, it’s even worse when it’s juxtaposed with the recent horrific events in Mumbai. Not because, in and of itself, it’s worse than the attacks in Mumbai, and certainly not because the Wal-Mart killers are worse than the Mumbai killers, but because while there is serious shit going on in the world, both serious violence and serious suffering, serious shit that deserves our serious attention and our serious efforts to fix the problems that cause it, the Wal-Mart incident, an incident of lethal violence, however unintentional, was, at its core, a display of disgusting, out-of-control greed. It’s like, with all the serious shit going on in the world, of which the attacks in Mumbai are a stark, news-dominating example, all these pathetic people care about is themselves — about consuming more and more and more, about filling up their meaningless lives with material goods, with no apparent concern for others beyond their narrow, self-absorbed existences.

And don’t think it was just the 2,000 or so people who lined up before 5 am at that particular Wal-Mart. There are countless more just like them, brutally rapacious and more than willing to storm and trample and kill in search of that must-have sale item, or whatever it is they need, or have been told they need, whatever it is they think will make them happy, common decency and everyone else be damned.

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Still more history

Posted by Greg on November 29, 2008

Nate Silver has a great piece up which looks at the raw percentages in the popular vote.  It turns out that Obama comes in second in the all time percent of the population who voted for him.  Check out the graphs.

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Rewriting history

Posted by Greg on November 29, 2008

The efforts to disassociate Bush from conservatism continue.  It will fail.  As Yglesias observes:

Part of the effort to pull the wagon of conservatism out of the ditch into which Bush piloted the country is going to be an effort to deny that George W. Bush was a real conservative. In reality, Bushism should be understood as the highest form of conservatism. In particular, the High Bushist years of 2001-2006 represent the only time that the post-war conservative movement has had total control over the federal government. If the practical consequences of pre-Bush conservatism were less disastrous, that’s largely because conservative political power was more constrained in those earlier eras.

Meanwhile, it’s worth recalling that at the peak of his political power, when Bush was making his most disastrous decisions, conservatives not only thought he was a good president, but a great one. There was practically a line around the block to write paens to his genius.

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Mixed blessings

Posted by Greg on November 29, 2008

Being in government isn’t always a happy time, as opposition parties in Canada are learning.  Ian at FDL observes:

While Americans are enjoying their tryptophan comas, up in the Great White North, the Conservative government of Stephen Harper has presented the opposition parties with a choice: castration or being in charge during the worst recession since World War II.

The Conservatives have presented a budget which:

1) has no fiscal stimulus to help the economy;
2) gets rid of public financing for political parties, since Conservatives don’t need it and the other parties do; and,
3) which forbids public sector unions to strike for 3 years while they “reform”, (read, get rid of) pay equity.

Harper figures this is a no lose bet for him.  If the other parties bring him down, well, they get to be in charge during the upcoming recession, which will do nothing for their popularity.  If they don’t bring him down, he institutionalizes the Conservative fund raising advantage and gets to break the public sector unions.  Rich people and corporations love giving money to folks like Harper who keep cutting their taxes, gutting regulations and letting foreigners make them rich by buying out their firms then moving the jobs and headquarters to other countries.

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Day 52

Posted by Greg on November 29, 2008

As far as the legal hassling and wrangling and posturing in Florida, I would suggest you talk to our team in Florida, led by Jim Baker.


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Day 53

Posted by Greg on November 28, 2008

Those who enter the country illegally violate the law.

AZ, 2005

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Day 54

Posted by Greg on November 27, 2008

The law I sign today directs new funds and new focus to the task of collecting vital intelligence on terrorist threats and on weapons of mass production.

DC, 2002

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Who cares about bipartisanship?

Posted by Greg on November 26, 2008

Yglesias breaks down Elizabeth Drew’s Truth about the Election and brings up some good points.

Drew observes correctly, that bipartisanship may be more difficult than Obama thinks since the GOP is becoming even more the wingnut caucus.

But does it matter?  He doesn’t think so.

The thing of it is that it doesn’t really matter what Eric Cantor thinks. The House Republicans are, in effect, irrelevant. The House GOP mattered in the 110th Congress because President Bush used his agenda-setting powers to frame a certain number of issues such that Blue Dogs agreed with the Republicans. In the 111th Congress, you’ll have more liberals (making Blue Dog votes less necessary) plus more Blue Dogs (reducing the proportion of the Blue Dog faction you need to get all the Blue Dog votes you need) and a Democratic president who presumably won’t deliberately shift the agenda to terrain that lets the Republicans get the upper hand.

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On the matter of banking

Posted by Greg on November 26, 2008

From a friend:

To My Bank

  Dear Sirs,

In view of what seems to be happening internationally with banks at the
moment, I was wondering if you could advise me. If one of my checks is
returned marked “insufficient funds,” how do I know whether that refers
to me or to you?

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Day 55

Posted by Greg on November 26, 2008

This business about graceful exit just simply has to realism to it at all.

Jordan, 2006

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Palin’s Thanksgiving wishes

Posted by Greg on November 25, 2008

Via satirist Andy Borowitz:

In order to celebrate Thanksgiving, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin today issued what she called “my list of thankfulnesses”:

The first thankfulness being that I’m thankful for this turkey, and also too for the metal funnel thingy that cut the turkey’s head clean off while it was flapping its wings trying to get out and all.  That was fun.

The next thankfulness being that I’m thankful that Levi is going to marry our Bristol, and I’m hoping also that we’ll know soon what his location is.

Another thankfulness too being that I’m thankful for Sen. Ted Stevens, because compared to what he did and all it doesn’t seem like a big deal if you tried to get some dumb old trooper fired.

My next thankfulness being I have thankfulness for our President-elect Barack Obama, and proudness, too, even though he probably is spending Thanksgiving palling around with Bill Ayres and Osama bin Laden and the Unabomber also.

A darned important thankfulness being I’m sure thankful that when the lawyers from the RNC came to take back all of that clothing they didn’t check under Piper’s bed.  Good job, Piper!

And my last thankfulness, which I saved for last because it is the most important thankfulness, would be the turkey again also.  I’m thankful that God created turkeys with so many tiny little bones in them and also too I hope Katie Couric chokes on one.

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Day 56

Posted by Greg on November 25, 2008

I believe that, as quickly as poossible, young cows ought to be allowed to go across our border. … There’s a bureaucracy involved and I readily concede we’ve got one. I don’t know if you’ve got bureaucracy here in Canada or not, but we’ve got one in America, and there are a series of rules that have to be met in order for us to be able to allow the trafficking of cows back and forth.

Ottawa, 2004

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Day 57

Posted by Greg on November 24, 2008

The president and I also reaffirmed our determination to fight terror, to bring drug trafficking to bear, to bring justice to those who pollute our youth.

Chile, 2004

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Day 60

Posted by Greg on November 21, 2008

I had a cordial meeting at the meeting last night. We greeted each other cordially.

Germany, 2002

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