Monday, August 30, 2010

Who Cares?

I don't care about Glenn Beck or his rally. He preaches to the converted. His job title could best be described as baiting liberals. He doesn't care what those on the left think about him and I don't care what he thinks about us. As long as his stupid idolaters don't shot anyone, I say ignore him.

Another Question

I've signed up for Google ads on my blogs because it would be nice to make a couple of bucks on the side. I am a leftist. I mean I'm really a leftist, as in a western European style socialist. So why is it that all the ads seem to be so right wing? I mean Repug, chamber of commerce right wing?

Home and Revolution

Are political revolutions accompanied by social revolutions?
All of the political commentary seems to posit that sooner or latter the American people will, once again, have confidence, and will start to spend money. The left/right split seems to be whether that confidence will return from the economic top, or from the middle class and bottom.
I ride my bikes all over southern California, and as I move from one block to another, I'm reminded of what pre-Reagan America was like. I'm old enough to remember when people bought houses as homes, and not as investments. I'll roll by block after block of what, 30 years ago, were considered large family homes. And then, sometimes in a new development, or a newer house sited among homes from the fifties, sixties or seventies, a McMansion; a house two or three times larger than it's neighbors. Families didn't get bigger. The lust for square footage did.
The political revolution of the Reagan era was accompanied by a social revolution that was fascinated by ostentatious wealth. Bigger, for the sake of bigger, more for the sake of more. But what if the social revolution of the Obama era is a rejection of excess? We've built an economy that survives through mass consumption. What if the American people now want smaller, more manageable homes? Smaller, more fuel efficient cars? What if the idea of a big screen TV in every room of the house begins to seem silly? If our economy needs excessive consumption to right itself, we might be in big trouble.

Little Meg

So there I was. Sitting in front of the television watching a Q&A with Republican pornographer, Little Meg Whitman. She was asked what she thought of the job that President Obama was doing on the economy. "Well not so good. I mean that colored boy means well, for a Muslim who wants to abort conservative babies and turn America into a socialist state and take all the money away from rich people who should be running things because God blesses them with money and if God didn't want us to be in charge he wouldn't have allowed us to get rich by dealing with his agents on earth, Goldman Sachs..." OK, so I paraphrased a bit. Well, actually a lot.
The fact is I'm not afraid of Little Meg, the virgin Sara, or Mittens Romney. What does scare me is all of the Democrats who make criticisms that are equally silly. Barack Obama inherited the worst financial crisis since the great depression, two unfunded, and stupid wars, and most telling of all, a political center that had been moved so far to the right that it may take decades to get back to Eisenhower's America. And that ain't all that liberal, folks.
So, why do so many people on the left constantly harp on what they perceive to be Obama's failure? If he went before Congress and asked for single payer health care he wouldn't get it. But, he can move the discussion to the left, and with hard work and support, he can get us a lot closer. How about an immediate switch over to complete green, and renewable energy? Again, without across the board support from Congress, it won't happen now, even if it were possible, but we can move in that direction.
I've always hated the way the Repugs characterize those of us on the left, but I've got to admit they may get one thing right; We love to be victims. While Little Meg and her sad, stupid cohorts take the long view to power, too many of those on the left would rather be noble losers, than think about how we can build the foundation for a liberal future. It's so much easier to say, "Don't blame us, Obama wasn't the man we thought he was," than it is to do what's necessary to build the coalitions, make the deals, and inch along to a better country and world. I've noted before that the much hated LBJ got more civil rights legislation, and if it hadn't been for Vietnam, might have gotten us to the great society that most of us on the left would love to live in. He did it by moving the center to the left, one inch at a time. Alas, I fear that many on the left will sit out the next couple of elections because they are sooo disappointed in Barack Obama that they'd like a President Palin since it will feel sooo good to complain about how evil she is. And just to get used to the idea, we can turn over Congress to the Repugs in November.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What I Don't Understand

I understand that Roger Clemens lied to Congress. I understand that that is a very serious charge. After all, if witnesses are allowed to stand before a Congressional panel and say what ever they want, without any regard to the truth, then there is no point in Congress having investigative powers at all. I understand that young athletes want to emulate famous stars, and that when what they use steroids to be like Roger, it can kill them. I understand that is appropriate to charge Roger Clemens with lying to Congress, and if found guilty, it is also appropriate to send him to jail.
What I don't understand is how tobacco company CEOs can come before a Congressional panel, swear to tell the truth, and then state that tobacco is not addictive, and not be charged with lying to Congress, just like Clemens.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Levi Leipheimer, famous for podium finishes at the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana, has won the Leadville 100, one of the premier mountain bike races in the United States. Once again, I'm going to make an appeal for a multi discipline bike race.
This is what I'd like to see. Day 1, a road time trial in the 20 to 25 mile range. Day 2, cyclo-cross. Day 3, a mountain bike stage. Day 4, a road stage in the 100 to 150 mile range. Day 5, a criterium. And while we're on the subject, both women and men's races.
There are a lot of riders who already ride in multiple disciplines, so it shouldn't be too hard to put together a competitive race.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


This should not be read as a defence of Rep. Maxine Waters in her upcoming ethics trail in the house. At this point, what we know is that she may or may not have set up a meeting with federal regulators that may or may not have benefited a bank in which her husband owns stock.
When I was a child, almost every politician in the United States was a man, and almost all of them were married. The wives of those politicians almost all had the same profession; political wife and help mate. That's no longer true. During the Clinton administration, Repugs liked to attack Bill Clinton by smearing Hilary. It was noted that as a lawyer, her firm often represented their clients before the state of Arkansas when Bill was governor. A conflict of interest, and a possible opportunity for corruption. Well, Hilary was a lawyer who worked for the biggest law firm in the state , and her firm's clients often did business with the state. Was she required to give up her career so that Bill could be in politics? Or perhaps, Bill should have resigned the governorship so that Hilary could make money at the Rose Law Firm? Like it or not, politicians are no longer, mostly male, and politicians of both sexes have spouses with careers and ambitions of their own. And, since ambitious people often marry other ambitious people, there is a high level of certainty that there will be some overlap in their public lives.
Maxine Waters, as a politician, has a long history of representing, not just her district, but minority interests in general. Should her husband not have a right to pursue a career in banking because of that? Should Maxine Waters give up her advocacy of minority interests because her husband's banking interests may come in conflict with her position in the House? The meeting that Rep. Waters supposedly set up was to aid a number of minority owned banks. Does her husband have an obligation to let the bank that he represents go under because a government bail out may overlap with his wife's career? If Goldman, Wells Fargo, B of A, and the rest of the major financial institutions were to be denied government bail outs because so many former, and future employees pass through congress, than Waters' bank should have been allowed to fail as well. But that didn't happen. All the mega-banks that got government hand outs are alive and well. I don't see any reason why the bank that Maxine Waters' husband is involved with shouldn't have been bailed out as well.

Friday, August 6, 2010

In Old Arizona

Arizona got it wrong. If that state really wants to do something about illegal immigration, then it needs to repeal its right to work laws and encourage union membership. Union members make more money, therefore they spend more money. When the general population spends more, more jobs are created. If more jobs are created, eventually there will be labor shortages, which create higher wages for all.
Of course, Arizona can't do it one its own. When John McCain, John Kyle, and the Arizona house delegation move to repeal Taft Hartley, and pass card check, they will need the support of the other 49 states. These brave Arizonans will face an up hill battle to, once again, make the United States a union friendly country. But when jobs are plentiful, when we once again embrace classic economic theory, rather than the trickle down/Chicago School of Economics foolishness, a bright day for the American worker will dawn. When John McCain stands on the steps of the capitol and shouts, "Unions now, unions forever," we'll all regret having voted Democratic. Yes, nationwide labor shortages will make us all prosperous again.
So what does this have to do with illegal immigration? It's simple, we only care about the undocumented when times are hard. Bring back universal prosperity, and no on will care. (Except, of course, those who hate anyone who doesn't have white skin.)