Sunday, January 24, 2010

My Prediction

New Orleans Saints 24, Indianapolis Colts 17. You read it here first.

Why I Hate Independents

Yes, I know. I've heard it all. Martha Coakley didn't put in the effort. Martha Coakley assumed that she was the Senator elect and ran a Rose garden campaign. Martha Coakley was arrogant, condescending and aloof....And it's all true. But, it's time to explore another reason Coakley lost.
There are a growing number of people who define themselves, politically, as independents. They don't think of themselves as Democrats who want the option of voting for a Republican every once in awhile. They don't think of themselves as Republicans who are concerned that their party has gone too far to the right. They are people with no political philosophy whatsoever.
I'm not trying to make the point that all independents are political wild cards. I'm not even trying to make the point that the majority of independents are living in some political bell jar. What I am saying is that a sizable minority of independents are nothing more than reactive. They may respond positively to a personality, from time to time, but by and large they are a driven by a cynical nihilism that they mistake for some sort of intellectual profundity. They're the type that voted for Ralph Nadar because, in their minds, there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans. Does any one still think that Al Gore would have invaded Iraq and given free reign to corporate America? I fear that these fools will do nothing more than destabilize the American government as they vote against everything, because they have no idea of what they want in life.
Just remember, Scott Brown will have to stand for reelection in a couple of years. Elizabeth Warren for U.S. Senate, and if she shows a talent for governance, Warren for President in 2016.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Those who can afford to donate to Haitian relief, and not everyone can, should. Now that I've written the obvious, it's time to move on.
Haiti has a problem far greater than earthquake damage. It's time for the world to accept that it's sound, strong, well managed government that makes a successful nation. Every time that a well meaning, foreign government gives more money to Haiti with out demanding fundamental, structural, reform; well they may not be making things any worse, it's hard to imagine that that is possible, but they're certainly not making things better. When Bill Clinton ran the military dictators who had just overthrown Jean Bertrand Aristide off of the island, he had this great opportunity to demand reform in exchange for a Haitian Marshal plan. He didn't. Now it's Barack Obama, the EU, and any other big player with an interest in helping Haiti, that has the main chance. After the rubble is cleared, after the dead are buried, and after food and clean water is provided for the survivors, it's time to offer Haiti the chance for a top to bottom rebuild in exchange for fundamental government reform.
One of the things Haiti does not need is more of the World Bank's help. This whole notion of the Reaganization of the world, mass privatization, making the world safe for trans-national corporations has to stop. Every nation should have publically owned infrastructure and services. Every nation should be allowed to protect it's ability to produce food for it's own population.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bye Bye Chris Dodd

I've been preparing a post on the split between economic and social liberalism. Usually when I write these commentaries, I have an idea of what I want to write, but that's all I have. I start with the basic idea, dash things off and see where they go. I review what I've written to make sure I haven't typed out something incredibly stupid, of course, but in the end what comes, comes.
Anyway, the whole economic/social liberal split has always fascinated me, and while the real big and well thought out post sits on the burner, I thought I'd preview things a bit with some thoughts on Chris Dodd. In a nutshell, American liberalism has always come in two flavors. Economic with it's emphasis on unions, wages, hours, health care, etc., and social with it's emphasis on identity politics. It's been my observation that economic liberals have a tendency to support social liberal causes, but that social liberals are often economic moderates or even economic conservatives.
For the first time since the 1960's, we're shifting away from social liberalism and back to economic liberalism. Many of today's liberal leaders have made their reputation on their social liberal stands. But are they economic liberals as well? Chris Dodd has always, right from the beginning of his career, been on the side of the financial institutions of the United States. He may be a reliable vote for things like civil rights legislation, and bravo for that, but he is also a reliable supporter of the banking and brokerage industry. I, for one, am not sorry to see him go. I just hope that his replacement is a liberal who cares about usury laws and will support strong regulation of the banking and financial sectors of our economy.
Ed Schultz for Senate in North Dakota.