Archive for April 2010
What’s on your mind besides that personal best at Bloomsday and Apocalypse Pretty Soon?
Those wanting petition signatures to remain private can’t be encouraged by the questioning that arose from the Supreme Court hearing. Alito is on board. Roberts is a maybe. Thomas? Who knows since he doesn’t ask questions. Hopes for Scalia might’ve been dashed:
Declaring that the rough-and-tumble of democracy is not for the faint-hearted, what Scalia referred to as the “touchy, feely” sensitivity of some political activists, the Justice said “you can’t run a democracy” with political activity behind a First Amendment shroud. “You are asking us to enter into a whole new field,” Scalia told James Bopp Jr., the lawyer for Washington State signers of an anti-gay rights petition. Politics, the Justice went on, “takes a certain amount of civic courage. The First Amendment does not protect you from civic discourse — or even from nasty phone calls.”
Do you agree with the sentiment expressed by Scalia? Do you think it pertains to this case?
A North Idaho teenager with too much time on his hands and not enough substance in his head turns out to have been the author of a Craig’s List offer to sell a 4-year-old boy. Now authorities are trying to figure out what, if anything, to do with the youngster. Looks to me like technology is creating opportunities for misbehavior faster than public officials can come up with rules to restrain it.
What are your thoughts…about this or anything else that stirs your mind today?
Can’t find my thread opener. So it’s up to you guys.
Tax cut, anyone? Well, not anyone, but most people would apparently get one under this plan backed by William Gates Sr.
Tim Eyman is for lower taxes. Wonder if he’ll sign the petition?
“It is the Holy Grail of the progressive movement,” Eyman said of the income tax. “I really think they probably should have had it [the news conference] in church because it requires so much faith in something. But I believe it’s fundamentally a Pandora’s box.”
Hmm .. sounds ilke a “no.”
Heard this song on the way to work. It’s “Amerika 6.0 (The Best We Can Do)” by Steve Earle. Starts like this:
Look at ya
Yeah, take a look in the mirror now tell me what you see
Another satisfied customer in the front of the line for the American dream
I remember when we was both out on the boulevard
Talkin’ revolution and singin’ the blues
Nowadays it’s letters to the editor and cheatin’ on our taxes
Is the best that we can do
So, has your idealism been undermined by the inertia of everyday life?
Consider this an open thread.
For those who care about these things, the Website WashingtonVotes.org has posted its account of missed votes from this year’s regular and special sessions of the Legislature. It’s a valuable site if you like to keep track of legislative activity. The lawmaker who missed the most votes was Spokane Valley Sen. Bob McCaslin, who was hospitalized and underwent heart surgery during the session. His 491 missed votes were easily at the top of the pack. No. 2, at 163, was Rep. Chris Hurst, and Enumclaw Democrat, whose wife underwent brain surgery followed by a difficult recovery. The five senators and six House members with the most missed votes were given a chance to explain, and most of them said it was personal or family health issues that took them from Olympia when there was work to do. But Sen. Dale Brandland, R-Bellingham, cited merely “personal reasons” (well, yeah) and Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, said he needed a family weekend. My nomination for least justifiable, though, is Sen. Cheryl Pflug, R-Maple Valley, who missed 78 votes mainly because she is going to law school at night.
Pick a topic and run with it, but put the scissors down first.
Pew is out with a poll about a record level of distrust in government. This item notes that distrust has been typical since the 1970s, with only 9/11 and its immediate aftermath breaking the cycle. Recessions fuel spikes, even though the country relies more on government during them. The last line is telling, I think, about public opinion. It would be impossible to abide the wishes of the majority and produce a coherent outcome.
If this sounds schizophrenic, it’s hardly different from the schizophrenia Americans already suffer when we blast the government for deficit spending even as we largely defend entitlements (40% of the budget), defense spending (20%), relief for the unemployed, and the historically low tax rates that make the deficit the deficit. What does it mean that we’ve become a country that expects a government we don’t trust to provide growing benefits from taxes we don’t want to pay?
How much should leaders follow public opinion?
Three more days until … well, I guess that deadline isn’t as momentous with so many people not owing anything.
Consider this an open thread.
Think I’ll go with the bowling alley method of blogging for awhile. I set ‘em up. You knock ‘em down. This is an official loose thread. Note the themed threads below. And, as always, be careful in here.
U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “a nice person.” Then went on to say more.
I’m 180 degrees in opposition to the speaker — she’s a nice lady,” he said. The crowd could be heard responding unfavorably to his characterization.
“Come on now, she is a nice — how many of you all have met her?” continued Coburn. “She’s a nice person. She’s a nice person.”
“Just because somebody disagrees with you doesn’t mean they’re not a good person,” he added. He then discussed his own experience of being vilified before asking the crowd not to “catch yourself being biased by Fox News that somebody’s no good.”
Do you think the demonization has gone a bit too far in politics?
… The Dorn Supremacy, The Dorn Ultimatum. Which one fits? Oh well, as long as there isn’t a sequel to this.
Ever used that site or others like them? What is behind the gullibility of so many people? A distrust of media is, of course, one reason. But what I find interesting is that no matter how many times these myths are busted, some people will continue to forward the emails or repeat the claims. These “sources” never seem to lose their credibility.
I think a major factor is fear. A lot of people are just generally fearful of what can happen or what institutions will do, which makes them susceptible to claims.
“They” are spreading disease, grabbing guns, indoctrinating kids and on and on. In general, there is this mystery master plan that is being carried out. So be afraid. Be on guard. Believe the stories that fit the fear.
What’s on your soggy minds this morning? I mean, what’s on your minds this soggy morning.
Note themed threads below on health care, education and global warming/cap-trade.