Friday, August 31, 2012

Rick Santorum and the Republican Convention

Rick Santorum and the Republican Convention
P. Schultz
August 31, 2012

            Due to reasons beyond my control, I was (a) forced to watch a lot of the Republican convention and (b) forced to watch it on Fox! Now that was an interesting experience. One of the more memorable moments for me was when Juan Williams commented that Anne Romney’s speech did not persuade him that she actually cared about women and then, miraculously, he disappeared from the panel he was on – after a commercial. That was revealing.

            My impressions were that the speakers were amazingly uninteresting and notably vague. It seemed they were more interested in trying to come across as epitomes of “the American dream” than as competent politicians who knew how to address our issues these days. None to my memory said anything much about foreign policy but then they did not actually say anything much about domestic policy, except of course that theirs would be different than Obama’s. Of course they played fast and loose with the facts, so fast and loose that even I noticed while some of them were speaking. For example, I knew that Paul Ryan, when he criticized Obama for not acting on the conclusions of the committee dealing with the deficit,  had also done nothing by way of acting on those conclusions – although I had forgotten that he was actually on that committee and voted against its report.

            I think one of the most interesting speeches was given by Rick Santorum, surprisingly enough. The last part about his daughter, Bella, was moving and the kind of speech we need more of in this country. This does not mean I agree with Santorum on the legal status of abortion; his remarks were about being pro-life, not legislating against choice. If Santorum would make this distinction, he would carry the day and, moreover, do something worthwhile for the republic while advancing the pro-life agenda. But then it is not clear that Santorum actually can make this distinction, as it requires moving beyond the simplicity of his pro-life ideology. Further, I believe although I cannot check it, that Santorum never once mentioned Mitt Romney. He certainly did not play the cheerleader – the rather bulky cheerleader – that Chris Christie played in his keynote. Again, though, Christie’s speech was a bore generally and did not come close to comparing favorably to other convention addresses over the years such as Reagan’s for Goldwater at the 1964 Cow Palace in San Francisco that brought Reagan into the national spotlight for the first time. And I mention this speech because it seemed it was Christie’s intent to seize the national spotlight so when Romney loses – as many Republicans hope he does – he can step up as the next Republican nominee for the presidency.

            Anyway, in a sea of nondescript speeches, Santorum’s was the best I heard and one of the few to admire. His pro-life agenda comes from the heart; it is not, as it is for so many politicians, a political prop to be used to rally “the base.” What Santorum does not recognize is that being pro-life does not require being anti-choice. It only requires that we speak about life the way Santorum spoke about it, that life is to be honored and cherished, and that those who are alive but have “special needs” should be loved as the Santorums love Bella. The difference between being pro-life and being anti-choice is understood by most Americans. If only some politician would rise to the occasion our republic would be better off.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ryan, Brooks, and Political Fantasies

Paul Ryan, David Brooks, and Political Fantasies
P. Schultz
August 24, 2012

            David Brooks, in a column today in the NY Times, argues that Paul Ryan made a big mistake by not supporting the Simpson-Bowles proposals for debt reduction and that he did so for hopes that can only be described as “political fantasies.” To wit:

“To put it another way, Ryan was giving up significant debt progress for a political fantasy.”

            Well, I beg to differ. Ryan did not give up the possibility of significant debt reduction because he has political fantasies. He gave this possibility up because he is not interested in significant debt reduction, just as Ronald Reagan was not and Shrub was not so interested. Reagan, Shrub, and Ryan have the same goal: Not to reduce the debt but to redistribute the wealth in this country upward. If in the process of redistributing the wealth, they can reduce the debt, they would do so. But if they cannot, then they will not reduce the debt. One political fact that most people overlook when discussing the government’s debt is that it is the wealthy who benefit from government debt. This was clear to Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, the former who wanted the national government to assume all debts incurred during the Revolutionary War [thereby tying the wealthiest people into the new government]; and the latter who opposed the assumption of such debt because he knew that it would facilitate economic and then social inequality.

            It is, I say, David Brooks who is fantasizing. He is fantasizing that Paul Ryan is a “deficit hawk” despite evidence to the contrary, such as his vote against the Simpson-Bowles proposals. We keep thinking that our politicians don’t know what they are doing or that they are living in fantasy worlds of their own creation. But it just isn’t so. Ryan knows what he is doing and what he is doing would be clear to everyone if we would just look at his actions. As Yogi said: “You can see a lot just by watching.”

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Paul Ryan, Republicans and Abortion

Paul Ryan, Republicans, and Abortion
P. Schultz
August 22, 2012

“[Paul Ryan and the Republican Party] put the rights of rapists above the rights of their victims, guaranteeing every rapist the right to choose the mother of his child. What’s [being] proposed is a rapists’ bill of rights.” The Political Brain,  by Drew Westin.

            The above is a quote from Drew Westin’s book, The Political Brain, which I have written about previously, although as indicated the quote has been altered a bit. And this is a statement that Westin argues, persuasively, that should be used against those who think that rapists have the right to have their children born by their victims. And this is the way the argument should be put: That if abortion is not available to women who have been raped, then the rapist is being given the right to impregnate women and force them to have their, the rapists’, children. And these are the same guys who pretend to be “tough on crime?” Not so much.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

McCarthy and the NeoCons

McCarthy and the NeoCons
P. Schultz
August 21, 2012

Here is an exchange I had with a friend and former student.

“Dear Peter,
“I thank you for recommending Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men and sharing your "No Country for Old Men: Cormac McCarthy and the New World Order."  Your piece helped me to see the political lesson Mr. McCarthy teaches through the story that he tells.  If I may ask, how have neo-cons tried to make the novel fit their agenda?”

My response.

“Well, if you recall in my paper I recounted Sheriff Bell's discussion with a woman at a convention in Corpus Christi [of all places] in which she went on and on about the "right wing" and how she was worried that her granddaughter would not be able to get an abortion. Bell responds that he didn't think she should worry; that she should worry about euthanasia. Well, some neo-cons see this as an endorsement of a pro-life position, with which it is consistent. But I saw it as Bell saying it isn't the "right wing" or the "left wing" that is the problem but something more than that. Bell says in that place that he did not know what the woman was talking about when she was talking about "the right wing this and the right wing that." Our issues transcend the right wing/left wing debate and just as the right wing isn't the problem for Sheriff Bell so too it isn't the "solution" to our problems, just as the left wing isn't the "solution" to our problems.

“There are times when our "problems" transcend politics; when our "troubles" [often a better word than "problems", no?] cannot be alleviated by political means. As such times, conventional partisanship such as "right wing" or "left wing" is merely meaningless chatter - which is what Bell's "ignorance" of the "right wing" means as I see it. You don't have to know about the right wing to know we have troubles, real and deep troubles. Voegelin argues somewhere that Plato and Aristotle confronted such a situation in Greece and Athens during their lives, as reflected by Plato's critique of the alleged greatest statesmen illustrates. Even a Pericles could not rectify, create the order that was needed in Athens/Greece/the world. Only a Socrates/Plato could do that. Maybe Lincoln lived in such a time as well and, perhaps, he understood that. Perhaps at such times tyranny/demagoguery become very real possibilities as people think that power, the vigorous exercise of great or immense power, must be present and used to create the necessary order. Of course, tyranny won't do it because politics can't "do it."

“More simply, the question for me is: At which level is McCarthy thinking? Conventional partisanship is necessarily reductionist; it reduces all issues to such simplicities - some examples - as "pro-life" versus "pro-choice" or "capitalism" versus "socialism" or "hawks" versus "doves." We can address what we call "the abortion issue" but that is as useless as addressing "the drug issue". One of my favorite exchanges in the novel: Another sheriff expresses dismay that drugs are being sold to school children. Bell: "It's worse than that." The other sheriff says: "How's that?" Bell: "School kids are buyin' 'em." And elsewhere Bell ruminates that drugs have always been around. But something must be happening when millions of people, even successful and prosperous people, are using them. Something is lacking. See the stone cistern passages and Bell's ruminations on what it took for a man to chisel out such a cistern.

“This is a continuation of our discussion earlier. The neo-cons who like to think of themselves as such "radicals" are not so radical after all. And by trying to "own" presidents, books, movies, etc. through "interpretation" they "de-radicalize" them; they strip them of aspects and reduce them to "conventional wisdom." And anything they cannot reduce to conventional wisdom, they label "subversive" or just "crazy." Some know what they are doing but a lot don't. When they do it to someone like McCarthy, it is a real shame because McCarthy knows things and see things few people do.

“They also do it when they teach Plato, e.g., as merely a prop for what they call "Western civilization." And they also do it when they teach Nietzsche as or reduce him to the enemy of that same civilization. Much is lost when this is done; in fact, I would argue that the very soul of people like Plato or Nietzsche is lost when this is done.”

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Legitmate Rape" and Abortion: The Ryan/Akin Policy

“Legitimate Rape” and Abortion
P. Schultz
August 20, 2012

“Asked in an interview on a St. Louis television station about his views on abortion, Mr. Akin, a six-term member of Congress who is backed by Tea Party conservatives, made it clear that his opposition to the practice was nearly absolute, even in instances of rape.

“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Mr. Akin said of pregnancies from rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.” [NY Times, August 20, 2012]

            These are comments by a Tea Party type trying to defend his position that women who have been raped must be forced to carry any pregnancy that results to term. Let me rephrase that: These are comments by a Tea Party type who argues that a woman who has been brutalized and forced by a psychopath or sociopath into what is euphemistically called “having sex” must carry the criminal’s child to term, thereby forfeiting her right, her moral right to determine whose child or children she will bear.

            Oh yeah, this certainly confirms for me that Mr. Akin, a six-term Congressman, is a man of high moral principles. His moral principles are so high, in fact, that I can barely see them. His moral principles lead to  allowing rapists to determine for women whose children they will bear. And note should be taken that while he is in favor of punishing the rapist, he is also in favor of punishing the woman by forcing her to carry the child to term. And he manages to justify this by indicating that if a woman does get pregnant as the result of an act she considered rape, then that act could not be a “legitimate rape.” I guess this means she must have, at some level of consciousness, really wanted “it.”

            This is Paul Ryan’s position as well and it is beyond me why the Democrats don’t repeat, over and over and over again, that Ryan and other “right wing” Republicans favor forcing women to bear the children of those who have brutalized them and raped them. It cannot be because the American people agree with the Akin/Ryan types; because they don’t. I would imagine that even a majority of Catholics, at the very least, do not agree with Akin/Ryan types. Heck, most Catholics don’t agree with their church on divorce or artificial contraception or even gay and lesbian sex. Why would anyone think that they would think that rapists, including apparently incestuous rapists, should be empowered over their victims, that the act of rape should be “legitimized” by forcing a woman to bear her attacker’s child?

            By the way, if you want to talk about “legitimate rape” then Mr. Akin and Mr Ryan are your men: Because their policies/preferences would do just that, legitimate rape! Ah yes, the moral high ground. Looks a lot like immorality to me.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


P. Schultz
August 19, 2012

            There are some debts that can never be repaid. And there are debts that can never be repaid and need never be repaid.

            My friend and brother, Bob Nann, is dying of cancer. I say “friend and brother” because Bob, with whom I went to high school and graduated with, saw the firefight, the battle in which my brother, Charlie, died on June 3, 1967 in Vietnam. Bob reached out to me when he and his wife and some others were building Memorial Park in Metuchen, New Jersey, to honor those Metuchen residents who had died in WWI, WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. By reaching out to me, Bob changed me, he changed how I grieved for my brother, Charlie, he helped me to heal. As I said when I spoke at Memorial Park in 1998, I lost a brother in Vietnam and  I would always miss him. But I had also found Bob Nann and I had found a brother in Bob.

            I owe Bob but I can never repay this debt. But then I don’t have to repay that debt. Bob gave of himself, he gave of himself to me, not to get anything in return but simply because he could do so and wanted to do so. Why did he do it? He did it out of love and it is as simple and complex as that. We humans love; we love to be loved and we love to love. When we reach out to others and “touch” them, we do so out of love. Not only can this debt not be repaid; it need not be repaid.

            Bob Nann is dying. But, as with all of us, his love lives on. It lives on in his relatives; it lives on in his friends; it lives on in me. That love will die only when we, his relatives and his friends and I, die.

The Real Media Bias

The Real Press Bias
P. Schultz
August 18, 2012

Here is an excerpt from a Paul Krugman column, date noted below, which makes the interesting argument that the media is mainstream, not left wing or right wing, but mainstream. I would submit though that Krugman has it wrong in part, in the part where he says “many commentators want to tell a story about US politics that makes them feel and look good….” Rather, I would suggest that these many commentators tell the story as Krugman describes it, “a story in which both parties are equally at fault in our national stalemate,” because they believe that story. This story has the benefit of allowing these commentators to “stand above the fray,” to be sure. But like a lot of Americans, even most Americans, these commentators have bought the story the politicians – and others of the opinionated elite – tell, viz., of a political system that is “broken,” that needs to be “fixed,” and that these fixers must be “pragmatic” rather than “political” types. That is, to put this more directly, this story concludes that we need “mechanics” or “serious policy wonks.” This is what underlies the emphasis on “even-handedness,” which the media and others take to be an unalterable duty. I mean even Fox “News” pretends to bow before that altar of being “fair and balanced.”
But if our system isn’t “broken,” but is being controlled by some oligarchs, as it seems to me it is, then “mechanics” or even “serious policy wonks” won’t help, because then our problems are political, not “mechanical.” And as Aristotle argued so long ago, politically the best thing that can happen to an oligarchy is for it to be balanced with some democracy. So what we need, in this view, is not “even-handedness” in our media or in our politics but, rather, more democracy or, if you prefer, popular government. One aspect of Aristotle’s politics that is not often enough commented on is that, for him, any attempt “to stand above the fray” is bound to fail, to fall prey to those political partisans, whether democrats or oligarchs, who seek power in order to rule. Or, to put this more directly, for Aristotle there is no escaping politics and as all forms of political rule are partial, there is no escaping partisanship.

But Krugman’s quote is still worth considering because it does help to illuminate what story the media is telling and how that story serves to reinforce the status quo, serving those partisans who currently hold and exercise power. And as Krugman points out, we all want to think that there are “good, honest, technically savvy…politicians,” politicians we can admire because they are all about “ideas,” not partisanship. It is nice story, a really nice story. Too bad it isn’t true.

Paul Krugman wrote Monday in The New York Times:
“Like Bush in 2000, Ryan has a completely undeserved reputation in the media as a bluff, honest guy, in Ryan’s case supplemented by a reputation as a serious policy wonk. … It’s because many commentators want to tell a story about US politics that makes them feel and look good — a story in which both parties are equally at fault in our national stalemate, and in which said commentators stand above the fray. This story requires that there be good, honest, technically savvy conservative politicians, so that you can point to these politicians and say how much you admire them, even if you disagree with some of their ideas; after all, unless you lavish praise on some conservatives, you don’t come across as nobly even-handed.”

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Paul Ryan: The Smoke and Mirrors Man

Paul Ryan: The Smoke and Mirrors Man
P. Schultz
August 16, 2012

Here are two selections from two columnists, John Dionne and David Stockman, who can be fairly characterized as from different parts of the political spectrum, commenting on Paul Ryan and his allegedly incredibly smart budget proposal. When will people understand that Ryan is anything but an intellectual giant but only looks like one in the midst of intellectual midgets and that he is anything but a deficit hawk? His goal is not to reduce the deficit but rather to redistribute the wealth UP!

“What’s striking is not just that down-ballot Republican candidates are distancing themselves from Ryan’s proposals, particularly on Medicare, but that Romney won’t take ownership of them either, except in vague terms. Worse, the Romney apparatus is forcing Ryan to distance himself from his own budget. It was sad to watch Ryan dancing around these issues on Fox News Tuesday night and having to say that Romney is the boss. How long before conservatives start producing “Let Ryan Be Ryan” bumper stickers?

“Oh, yes, and Ryan could not explain when his fiscal plan would balance the books (presumably because the right answer is somewhere past 2030). “I don’t know exactly when it balances,” Ryan told Brit Hume. So much for specificity.” John Dionne, in the Washington Post, August 16, 2012

“In short, Mr. Ryan’s plan is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices. And it couldn’t pass even if Republicans were to take the presidency and both houses of Congress. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have no plan to take on Wall Street, the Fed, the military-industrial complex, social insurance or the nation’s fiscal calamity and no plan to revive capitalist prosperity — just empty sermons.” David Stockman in the New York Times, August 13, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Corporate State and Its Supporters

The Corporate State and Its Supporters
P. Schultz
August 14, 2012

            Below is a rather lengthy quotation from a column by Chris Hedges, that can be found on, for those who might be interested in reading the entire column. It lays out in better and more precise ways that I can do why I argue that the most important event of this presidential election has already taken place: The nominations of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, Mr. White Bread and Mr. Almost White Bread.

            My only complaint for Mr. Hedges is his focus on the criminalizing or the attempted criminalizing of all dissent. The corporate state and its supporters, like Romney and Obama and so many others, has other, more subtle, and more effective ways of stifling dissent, from what is called “educational reform” to limiting the scope of our political discourse by means of what is presented as intense and enlightening rhetoric. But then I suspect Mr. Hedges knows this too and would not disagree.

“Contrast this crucial debate in a federal court with the empty campaign rhetoric and chatter that saturate the airwaves. The cant of our political theater, the ridiculous obsessions over vice presidential picks or celebrity gossip that dominate the news industry, effectively masks the march toward corporate totalitarianism. The corporate state has convinced the masses, in essence, to clamor for their own enslavement. There is, in reality, no daylight between Mitt Romney and Obama about the inner workings of the corporate state. They each support this section within the NDAA and the widespread extinguishing of civil liberties. They each will continue to funnel hundreds of billions of wasted dollars to defense contractors, intelligence agencies and the military. They each intend to let Wall Street loot the U.S. Treasury with impunity. Neither will lift a finger to help the long-term unemployed and underemployed, those losing their homes to foreclosures or bank repossessions, those filing for bankruptcy because of medical bills or college students burdened by crippling debt. Listen to the anguished cries of partisans on either side of the election divide and you would think this was a battle between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. You would think voting in the rigged political theater of the corporate state actually makes a difference. The charade of junk politics is there not to offer a choice but to divert the crowd while our corporate masters move relentlessly forward, unimpeded by either party, to turn all dissent into a crime.”

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Joys of Modern Life

The Joys of Modern Life
P. Schultz
August 12, 2012

            “A pilot sits at a computer controlling a CIA drone loaded with weapons powerful enough to shatter a tank and accurate enough to be airmailed through a terrorist’s bedroom window. As analysts cross-reference video feeds with voice intercepts to confirm the target’s location, a weapons technician calculates the probability that innocent people walking nearby might get killed as well.
            “As soon as a senior CIA officer, monitoring the entire scene from a separate location, gives him the final go-ahead, the pilot, who is operating from a hidden operations center in the Nevada desert, squeezes a button on a joystick, and, if the laser beam lines up correctly and he’s a good shot, a cloud of debris will fly up and then settle down around a motionless human body.
            “When the senior CIA officer is finished issuing orders for the day, she can walk out the door and, instead of returning to a tent or a modular trailer on some desolate military base in the Middle East, get in the car and drive a couple of miles to the Capital Beltway or to the grocery store down the block, or the tanning salon or the pizza joint located along a landscaped boulevard in suburban northern Virginia – just another day at the office helping to kill terrorists five thousand miles away in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere.” [pp. 202-203, Top Secret America, by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin]

            “Just another day at the office…..” Yes, indeed. And what does this person say when s/he is asked at home, “Well, dear, how was your day?” Does s/he answer: “Oh, it was great. We killed three terrorists today.” “Well, that must have been exciting. Was there any collateral damage, dear?” “No, we don’t think so but we will know more tomorrow.” “Wonderful. What would you like to watch on TV tonight? American Idol is on.”  

            Seriously, though, what kind of compartmentalization is required in one’s mind to participate in these killings and then just “go home?” Several years ago, when reading some abortion cases that had been argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, I read a description, a graphic description, of what is called a “partial birth abortion” and I wondered: How can any human being actually do that? Or, more precisely, I wondered how any human being could perform such a procedure and not go insane. I wondered the same thing when I read this passage in Top Secret America.

Boehner Loves Romney's Choice

Boehner Loves Romney’s Choice
P. Schultz
August 12, 2012
            It will surprise no one who reads this blog with some regularity that I find the following persuasive. 

“First, Romney’s choice: The past few weeks have made clear that the race is slipping away from him, as President Obama’s lead has widened in state and national polls and the economic outlook has brightened slightly. The right has sensed this — see talk show host Laura Ingraham, among others — and conservatives are convinced that Romney is losing because he’s not assertive or conservative enough. So I agree with the New Republic’s Noam Scheiber when he writes this:

“’Ryan is the way Romney and his aides escape blame for their now-likely defeat — blame which would have vicious and unrelenting — and pin it in on conservatives instead. With only minor historical revisions, they will be able to tell a story about how Romney was keeping the race close through early August, at which point the party’s conservative darling joined the ticket and sent the poll numbers into steady decline.’”

            Now, I would not say that Romney is being deliberately coy with his pick of Paul Ryan as his VP but it is worth asking what will be said about this pick should Romney lose the election, as it looks like he might. I would say that Romney had little choice but to select Paul Ryan. He was losing, even or especially among conservatives as was evident in Ann Coulter’s scream against Romney and his spokeswoman a few days ago. Still, John Boehner loves this pick because I either way he wins. If Romney wins, Ryan is out of the House. If he loses, then it can be said, as Mr. Scheiber notes here, that Ryan and the Tea Partiers are to blame. In either case, Ryan is either no or less of a threat to Boehner than he is now.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The "New" National Security State

Top Secret in America: The Rise of the New American Security State
Dana Priest and William Arkin

            “Calling the reaction to al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack a ‘war’ ensured that the government could justify classifying everything associated with fighting it. Under President George Bush, journalists’ efforts to figure out how the United States was waging this war…were often criticized by senior administrative leaders, members of Congress, cable television pundits, even the public. Many of those journalists hoped that would change under…Barack Obama. It is true that the president and his cabinet members have not publicly disparaged the news media as much as [Bush] did. But behind the scenes, the situation is actually worse….Obama’s Justice Department has taken a more aggressive tack  against unauthorized disclosure of classified information by pursuing so-called leak investigations than the Bush administration. Recent indictments were issued against a former CIA employee who allegedly talked to book author James Risen…about a botched attempt to slip faulty nuclear plans to Iran; and a former National Security Agency official, Thomas Drake, who helped a Baltimore Sun reporter detail the waste of billions of dollars at his agency. In early June 2011, the government was forced to offer Drake a deal because its lawyers said they did not want to reveal classified information related to the case in court. Drake accepted the…offer…[and] expected to serve no prison time. Then there is the case of former Justice Department official Thomas Tamm. In August 2007, eighteen FBI agents, some with guns drawn, burst into his home with only his wife and children present, to raid his files during an investigation into his alleged role in helping the New York Times develop its seminal warrantless surveillance story in 2004. The government dropped his case nearly four years later, in April 2011, after Tamm’s career had been ruined and he faced financial peril.” [pp. xx-xxi]

Read it and weep. Welcome to the New World Order.

Stalemate in Washington

Washington Ain’t Broke or Why Boehner and Obama Want Stalemate
P. Schultz
August 9, 2012

            Why would the Speaker of the House of Representatives be satisfied with stalemate? Why would the president of the United States be satisfied with stalemate?

            It is fairly simple to think this through. First, the Speaker of the House does not agree with the politics of the “insurgents,” that is, those freshmen legislators who make the most noise and who are generally Tea Partiers. Boehner is not a Tea Partier. Second, by facilitating stalemate, Boehner is trying to preserve his own power by controlling or defeating the “insurgents” in his own party as much as he is trying to defeat Obama, if he is trying to defeat Obama. His seat is secure whereas those with less seniority and especially the freshmen legislators are less secure. He is hoping that stalemate will lead to their defeat, or at least some of them. This might not happen in which case Boehner is a goner.

            Obama also favors stalemate, first, in order to control the Republicans and especially the insurgents, because he does not agree with their policies. And, second, he sees stalemate as a way to help secure his re-election, to preserve his power, insofar as he can run against a “do nothing Congress.” And he knows or should know that this is a strategy and a rhetoric that could help Boehner and is in line with Boehner’s own strategy. Hence, if this strategy works, then Boehner and Obama can work together after the election without having their power threatened by forces both within and without their own parties.  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Foreigners Get It

Foreigners Get It
P. Schultz
August 4, 2012

This requires little comment from me. Even the Palestinians get our politics better than we do.

“American Jews like to split hairs over which candidate is more pro-Israel or who better represents their interests: Is Mr. Obama’s facial expression lacking? Is that omitted adjective by Mr. Romney significant? But ask 9 out of 10 Palestinians and you will get an identical response: “There is no difference between Obama and Romney.”

And a little more from the Washington Post:

"There are still almost 80,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and each month brings a few dozen home in coffins — more than 2,000 since 2001. Hundreds more arrive on medical evacuation flights, many of them without a limb. The war will cost taxpayers more than $100 billion this year. The Taliban, which enjoys sanctuary in nuclear-armed Pakistan, continues to conduct devastating attacks on the Afghan government and the civilian population.

"But you wouldn’t know any of it from listening to President Obama and Mitt Romney on the campaign trail. They may not agree on much, but when it comes to the decade-old conflict, they have adopted the same strategy on the stump: Say as little as possible — sometimes not a word — and quickly change the subject."

Oh, I know. Let us talk about gay and lesbian marriage and Chick Fil-A!!