Laconic Yet Saccharine

This page is dedicated to short (1-2 sentences) axioms and anecdotes about the politics of day.

March 12, 2014—Dianne Feinstein’s war with the CIA is unexpectedly entertaining. She has long been one of the most ardent defenders of the shadow state… what changed?

March21—Saw Representative Guinta (NH) drinking a milkshake during a House Budget Committee markup on an amendment by Allyson Schwartz on not ending Medicare. Paul Ryan really utilizes being in charge of the AV, I wonder if Dems are prohibited from using it..

January 24—Even funnier! Mitch Daniels opened his party’s response by saying “Greetings from the home of the superbowl” while completely forgetting to introduce himself or his state. Brilliant…

January 24—Just watched Obama’s State of the Union speech—very good. But the most entertaining aspect was when members attempted to shake his hand afterwards; most received a handshake, a smile, maybe a kiss. That is, except Jim Costa. He was following Obama around trying to say something to him and Obama kept ignoring him and walking away. Classic Blue Dog, trying to win the favor of those in his party without showing the requisite level of loyalty or integrity…

January 24—”…just as the Founding Fathers envisioned: car dealers [coming to Congress],” from a floor speech by Missouri 7th Representative Billy Long. I guess the Tea Party does not care about anachronisms…

January 7—”I’m not anti-union, I’m anti-government,” one of the better misstatements Rick Santorum made at a campaign stop in Hollis, New Hampshire…

January 3, 2012—I just watched Bachmann’s speech about her performance in the Iowa caucus and how 2012 may be the last election to salvage the vision of Founding Fathers. She claims she is a constitutional conservative. But checking the record, she voted for the PATRIOT Act every single time it was up for a vote, from the initial vote to its more recent reauthorization. If I am not mistaken, the Founding Fathers were not fans of overbearing government, which she cites, but I guess her vision of big government is okay. Hypocrite, and a loser at that…

December 23—During one of his usual dishonest and incendiary speeches, this one in South Carolina, someone asked Newt Gingrich if he would be willing to campaign against Pelosi when he is president. He said yes, but that it would be difficult because she may actually be more conservative than her district. He is right. Also, someone asked him about what he will do for poverty, and because the questioner is black, he started talking about how he was the most pro-Washington D.C. speaker in House history. So a black person with a serious question gets a belittling answer about the heaviest black city in America, while not receiving an answer… seems like Newt is still a racist.

December 16—For once leadership actually does something that betters the quality of legislation (instead of facilitate passage or hone antagonism). By DCCC Chair Wasserman-Schultz vacating her seat, which I suspect was the suggestion of Leader Pelosi, on the Judiciary Committee, the entire committee and prospective piracy legislation will benefit from the innovative mind and industry expertise of Jared Polis. Watching the 12/15/11 Committee markup, it is clear that only Zoe Lofgren, Darrel Issa, and to some extent Jason Chaffetz know very much about the internet (the whole focus of the markup), let alone possess the necessary advanced knowledge on the matter. I would advise anyone reading this to view the markup, though it is 10 hours long, here: Judiciary Markup 12-15-11

December 11—To lead a country you can not simply be for the status quo. That is not leadership. That is why Mitt Romney is not a leader—he is incapable of taking a hardline stand on anything, even what he believes is right…

December 3—For the record, “illegal” immigration is a very deceiving term; all immigration was legal in this country until the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. To label someone an illegal immigrant is only to point out they look differently than you and have different values. I thought America was the great melting pot…

December 3—I have had Donnie’s politically sharp witted song “Over-the-Counter Culture” stuck in my head, when I started thinking about how just like Mexico’s drug cartels, which serve both a smuggling/distribution function and a pseudo regional governance function, America’s drug cartels also have a monopoly on drugs in this country, and serve to corrupt government at all levels by wielding its economic might. Their are other differences, such as the type of violence each side employs, but both cartels serve countersocietal purposes: they control drugs which are in demand, but use the resources they control to erode the very idea of a functioning liberal democracy…

November 29—At a press conference discussing his retirement from the House, Barney Frank was asked what he meant by saying that Newt Gingrich winning the Republican primary would be a reward to Democrats, Frank answered, “well, I don’t always get what I want for Chanukah” but that Gingrich would fill that role. Then he went on to discuss filibuster reform very articulately. I have long admired Frank for his intellect, grasp of the issues, wit, and ability to understand and craft policy like very few other legislators are capable of. Though he is in fact a capitalist (or what he “social-capitalist”), I have found great inspiration from the Congressman, in many ways making politics look rewarding and fun, while clearly displaying that politics is of vital civic importance. Thank you for your service Barney Frank, and I look forward to reading whatever it is you have to write…

November 23—Speaking to the Des Moines Register on November 19th, Ron Paul said he wants to cut the military because it is less important than child healthcare (which typically gets cut or is used as a bargaining chip). This now makes Ron Paul the most socially acceptable candidate in the Republican primary. I do not think Romney would do draconian cuts any more than Obama would (but has not yet). Not to mention Paul is also the most peace oriented candidate, even including Nobel Peace Prize recipient Barack Obama. Sometimes you have to wonder, can Ron Paul’s social and foreign policy outweigh his poor economic view? Than again, his administration would certainly be something America has never seen…

November 6—Why are presidential candidates campaigning (or mentioning in speeches) the second amendment? Not only has Obama 100% ignored gun control in his 2.5 years as president, but it is certainly not a salient issue in the current political dynamic.

November 6—The left plays class, the right plays religion and race. How does one oppress the other? Technology.

November 6—Was Occupying the Port of Oakland a good idea? I have leaned yes as a statement, but truck drivers need to make a living. Though truck drivers in fact transport the merchandise and materiel between those with commanding sums of money. I do not believe money is bad in itself,  but only because I do not believe any objectivity (good, bad) exists. Money is a manner of taking prosperity away from the source of production/point of production. Yes, bartering is still regressive, so instead everything should be cooperatively owned, with certain directed industries and societal needs, but predominantly community control.

November 6—Mitt Romney may not be a demagogue, but his accusation at the “Defending the American Dream” summit by Americans for Prosperity that the other side are the demagogues is ludicrous. Obviously both sides use demagoguery, but one side is certainly more vitriolic and hateful with its rhetoric, which is inexcusable.

October 3—Van Jones gave a tremendous speech today to the progressive movement. I’m glad to see there are still progressive leaders who don’t simply awe at the intensity of the reactionary tea party (no more capitalization).

September 25—So I have been playing around with Dave’s Redistricting software, and man, who knew congressional districts could be drawn so differently. In Indiana, I was able to create 7 safe Democratic districts and 2 hardcore Republican districts. I did this without an incredible about of spatial awkwardness, as every single district is either a square or rectangle and based on regional similarity. In Florida (which was a little more partisan), I created 24 (of 27) Democratic districts, ranging from 51-49 districts to 67-33 districts. This one is more out-there than the Indiana one, but still goes to show you that with the growth in mapping technology the more a state legislature could completely change the composition of its federal representation…

September 25—Another thing: Rick Perry actually got on my good side during the last Republican debate (the Fox-Google one). First, he said he supported in-state tuition for undocumented students because we should not penalize children of illegal immigrants, which would mean you have “no heart.” He claimed they are more valuable educated that not (+1). Second, he said building a border wall would be ludicrous “1200 miles, and then 800 miles more to Tijuana” and that we need boots on the ground (+2). Then Michele Bachmann forced  him to defend his HPV vaccine mandate, which he defended as erring on “the side of life” (+3). Maybe Perry’s not so bad…

September 25–Wow, it’s been awhile. So Lamar Alexander wants to be more bipartisan? That’s a very good sign, as he is one of the most intellectually astute members of his caucus. I foresee him doing some good things with Ron Wyden or Claire McCaskill in the upcoming year. I hope Lindsey Graham, Bob Corker, John Hoeven, and Kelly Ayotte fall in line as the next Republicans reaching across the aisle to get this country moving again…

August 4—Our form of government, filled with divided powers, interest groups, regional differences, lobbyists, and partisanship, has created an exorbitant amount of varying constituencies that disable our governing bodies’ abilities to reduce spending. In desperation, this leads decision-makers to isolate and target the programs with the most inaudibly voiced constituency to endure the brunt of the cuts. This is the injustice in American Austerity…

August 4—”If the government will get out of the business of running ______, it will just take care of itself.” This argument seems to be coming up a lot lately, and it makes me think, do these people understand the reasons why government gets into the business of ______ in the first place? Do they understand how difficult it is for an agency to takeover an industry and how infrequently this occurs?

August 2—Today before he voted for the compromise debt ceiling increase/deficit cut bill, Minority Leader McConnell said “though Republicans only control one-half of one-third of the government…” and then proceeded to say that they won the fight because the American people were on his side. However, Republicans control the Supreme Court too, meaning they control exactly one-half of the federal government, not one-sixth; a sign McConnell is either distorting the truth or does not understand the current political landscape…

August 1—The Ryan budget’s destruction of Medicare was the most promising campaign issue for Democrats heading into the 2012 election; this is no longer the case. Obama and congressional leaders have brokered a deal that will affect Medicare, pell grants, and many other expenditures that help working people, indicating the Republicans have successfully rope-a-doped Obama into forfeiting the one issue that may have guaranteed his reelection…

July 26—Fiscal conservatism is an oxymoron. The last two presidents to balance the budget were Bill Clinton and Lyndon Johnson. Ronald Reagan nearly triple the debt, and Bush took a surplus and drove it into a trillion dollar annual budget deficit. These are not the only arguments, but are convincing in themselves…

July 21—At 6pm EST Senator Inhofe went to the floor to talk about Cut, Cap and Balance. In saying our current fiscal is untenable, he was outraged that Obama’s 2011 Budget was $3.6 trillion to fund the government. He mentioned he thought Clinton’s 1996 budget for $1.5 trillion was too much, but since then our spending has skyrocketed. By naming two Democratic Presidents, he omits the eight years Bush increased spending, culminating in a 2009 budget for $3.1 trillion…

July 21—In between his evisceration of Republican arguments to alter the CFPB, Barney Frank used the word “refudiate” in a sentence. It was not a joke either, he legitimately used it. So funny…

July 7—Mark Halperin calling Obama “kind of a dick” is hysterical. That said, seeing him get suspended from MSNBC “kind of” sucks, since he is generally one of the most astute commentators the channel offers…

July 6—I figured by recollecting on all the laws that the Roberts court has overturned, I might be a little perturbed. But I have actually gained some perspective. One of my favorite laws in the last 10 years was a bipartisan effort known as McCain-Feingold in the Senate and Shays-Meehan in the House. Of course this campaign finance law has become almost completely overturned, but at least I can honestly appreciate a bipartisan effort… even with my disposition…

July 4—I was just thinking, it really sucks that John Roberts will be Chief Justice for another 15 to 20 years. The Chief Justice really has a lot more power than people realize, including what cases will be heard and in what order. He will continue to attack the progress made in the last century, in all facets of governance and society…

July 2—It saddens me to see Minnesota enter a government shutdown. However, If Mark Dayton was not governor, it would be much, much worse. Look at Wisconsin…

June 28—Listening to Pawlenty’s speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, I have realized that he does not have much of an ideology separate from saying the opposite of whatever Obama believes and has done. Actions that he would have done in the same manner as Obama he criticizes bereft of integrity. On a side note, Pawlenty desperately needs to learn how give a speech with some enthusiasm, because there is no way he can catch fire if he continues to make Romney look like Howard Dean (“Yeehaw!”)…

June 27—In McComish v. Bennett, the Roberts court once again proved they are the most activistic, staree decisis denying court in decades. In case you think there is a difference between freedom of speech and money, the court has once again denied that precept, rolling back more hard fought campaign finance laws…

June 27—Jon Kyl is currently on Senate floor using the platitude of Obama has amassed more debt than every president before him-combined. The problem is that Obama took office with a previous year deficit of over a trillion dollars and the year Bush and Obama shared had a defecit of 1.8 trillion. Very shady blame game, which the facts do not support…

June 25—Anthony Weiner’s June 16th resignation over his wiener controversy had to happen. But all the same, I will miss his fiery floor persona, media savvy, and most of all, his incredible use of parliamentary inquiries and points of order. For a political fiend, Weiner’a understanding of House rules has made for many exciting C-SPAN views…

June 25—If Mitt Romney wins Iowa, the Republican primary will effectively be over…

June 25—Obama announced on June 22 that by 2014 the U.S. will no longer have combat troops in Afghanistan. I guess leaving a country to fend for itself with an embryonic national military that costs more than its GDP is victory…

June 25, 2011—Gingrich and Bachmann claiming Black people are worse off under Obama than any American president prior is hilariously anti-historical. But then again, maybe they see an opportunity to chip into the 94% of Blacks who voted for the first Black president…

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