Let it be borne on the flag under which we rally in every exigency, that we have one country, one constitution, one destiny. -- Daniel Webster

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Satire for a Saturday

Saturday Poetry

Singing a new song:

"No, No, No, Can't Have that Socialism"
Performed by the well-known pop group No Direction

Oh, we can't have that socialism,
That godless, reckless socialism.
Oh we can't have that way,
Gotta keep those goblins away.

Oh, no, no, no, we can't have that socialism.
Oh, no, no, no, it's not the way for us.
Oh, no, no, no, we can't have that socialism.
It's evil and atrocious.

Oh, we can't have that radio-action,
That red, red activation.
We cannot afford it,
Gotta keep the music tacit.


We can't afford to feed all people!
It's not that were unsociable,
We just don't have the money,
We spent too much already!


We are the big, bad hoarders,
From ruffians we don't take orders.
We know what's best for all the rest,
So don't put us to no d---- test!


(c) 2014 The Musical Patriot

Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Our primary concern is for the little fellow." -- Harry Truman

     In the campaign for the Presidency in 1948 Harry Truman came out swinging.  Initially given little chance of being elected in his own right after succeeding to the Presidency upon the death of Franklin Roosevelt, Truman hit the trail hard in three rail trips across the countryside of America.  Crowds were unexpectedly large for a man whom the pundits said could not win.  His style was folksy without being smarmy, down-to-earth, yet responsible.  And his words were pitch-perfect and often eloquent.  If nothing else they were crystal clear.  Whatever Truman's faults in letting loose the atom bombs over Japan, his campaign of '48 has stood the test of time.  Let him be an inspiration, and may his words serve as a call to action to us today.        Here he is on the campaign trail in Bonham, Texas:

    Some things are worth fighting for....We must fight isolationists and reactionaries, the profiteers and the privileged class....Our primary concern is for the little fellow. We think the big boys have always done very well, taking care of themselves....It is the business of government to see that the little fellow gets a square deal....Ask Sam Rayburn [Democratic leader in the House from Texas] how many of the big money boys helped when he was sweating blood to get electricity for farmers and the people in small towns....


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Give 'Em H--- , Harry

Harry Truman, accidental President extraordinaire, became famous for his 1948 whistle-stop campaign for the Presidency.  Truman, who had been derided and dismissed by virtually every pundit, went on to win a clear victory in a campaign with four major candidates.

The style of his campaign was fiery and even blunt, yet somehow never mean.  When the cards seemed stacked against him, Harry Truman came out swinging.  What was surprising was he didn't swing wildly, and against expectations he kept his tongue under control.  He kept it under control but certainly not under wraps.  For here was a master of the common touch, an exemplar of plain speaking.   Harry Truman "gave 'em @#!*% ," and the people loved it.  Crowd size exceeded all expectations and was truly amazing.

When we look back on Truman's campaign we see it was based on a program of fairness and justice to the average American, including African-Americans.  When challenged to enact it, and even encouraged by their candidate, Dewey, to enact at least part of it -- the  Congress under Republican control balked, thus earning the moniker "do-nothing Congress."

In the end, the people did vote for their own interests, just as Truman had urged.

I cite this example of a great American campaign to encourage more honesty in the current fight.  The press and media are fence-straddlers at best, and enablers of log-jam, at worst.  Why can't the pundits simply be honest about the Republican agenda, an agenda favoring the powerful monied interests, just as in 1948?   The press only stands to have egg on its face as in 1948, either through out-right election results or the fall-out of stalemate and even government shut-down in the worst-case scenario.

In short, media be accurate;  media, be fair.  Justice demands it and it is surely in your own best interest.  The stability and health of the Republic are very much at stake.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sam Wang : Incumbent Governors Meeting a Head-wind

When the economy goes south, voters fly the coop.  Sam Wang says as much in his latest New Yorker article.  Since more Republicans are defending seats than Democrats, this does not bode well for overall Republican numbers in offices held across the country.

One governor who appears to be leading is Rick Snyder of Michigan.  It was Snyder who charged ahead with state take-overs of troubled cities such as Flint and Detroit, among others.  (To be accurate -- at least in the case of Flint, the take-over is of budget and financial matters, a very big part of city governance.)  This take-over power shoots holes in local democratic control of cities, creating added uncertainly and mistrust on the part of citizens.  After Ferguson, what we don't need is more mistrust.

But as dissatisfaction with the sluggish economy continues, governors races are being impacted.  As has been said, All politics is local.  And this year the locals "ain't" happy.  

PEC on Governor's Races

Friday, August 22, 2014

Democrats Have a Better Chance Than Most Think for House Take-over: Princeton Scholar

According to Sam Wang of the Princeton Election Consortium, there is a higher possibility of a Democratic House take-over than most people think.  He says that when districts are gerrymandered, as they certainly have been in many Republican-controlled states, independents are concentrated in the resulting Republican-majority districts.  This means, for instance, that a 15 point lead in those districts for a Republican translates to no more than a 4-5% actual lead.  He therefore recommends Democrats concentrate on districts with less than a 15% Republican lead.  Such advice if followed has the potential to narrow this race.

You can fine more information here:    Princeton Election Consortium  .  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

They've Got Our Number

It is beginning to be number crunching season amongst pollsters and pundits as the mid-term elections approach.

The only analyst I trust at the moment is Sam Wang of Princeton Election Consortium.

And yet I remind us all that elections cannot be reduced to numbers.  Sadly, to a large extent they can be reduced to money.  And according to the information I am getting, big-money Republican  interests are out-funding Democrats by a significant margin.

So, let us be a bit cautious about even the Election Consortium.   If it's just the numbers we want, let's turn to Princeton.  If it's the march of events and how to understand how they may affect the elections, let's definitely include others.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What's On My Mind

Today I am reminded of a certain well-known social media site which asks, "What's on your mind?"  An even better reference is Steve Allen's old PBS Show, "Meeting of Minds."   The trouble is I have only my own mind at the moment.

However, I do have an answer to the question.  I am thinking so much about the profit system these days, how hurtful and inefficient it is.  Almost everyone on the popular left continues trying to "regulate" the profit system, to refine it, to curtail it -- but not to challenge it.  Yet challenge it we must if we are to survive.  My fear is we are going to see a big collapse before the system is seriously challenged.  In such a collapse so many people get hurt.  I wish that could be avoided.  If we face facts now we have a much better chance of minimizing the pain.

I realize this is asking a great deal.  The main problem I see is that the press and media are essentially profit-making industries, and very big ones.  What there is of an independent media has a hard time competing in the world of ideas.  The behavior of the media in so many ways is ugly and destructive.  All the more reason to support independent journalists.  In my own humble way I am honored to try to contribute.  

Monday, August 18, 2014

Study De-Bunks Idea of Voter Power

Quick Post --  

A new study has de-bunked the idea that average voters have any real power in U.S. elections.  This does not come as a surprise to the average voter, of course. But it is very useful to see the actual statistics showing this to be the case.

Study On Voter Power

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Beginning Blogging of Election '14

Today I begin some serious blogging of the up-coming elections in the U.S.

You may have seen the scary headline at the 538 web site, stating there is a "60% chance" of a Republican take-over of the Senate this fall.  When I read that I was angry, in no small measure because it didn't make sense.  Five months out and we are putting a percentage chance like that on the entire race?  Of course there were details given.  However, Sam Wang of Princeton slices and dices the numbers leaving the Nate Silver salad, well, shredded.  Read more at the link below.

Princeton Election Consortium Straightens Out the Numbers

N.B.  I was out of state last week and unable to post here.  It is good to be back!  I plan to continue posting as regularly as possible.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The Fire Boehner Project

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has just announced the Fire Boehner Project.  The timing is excellent as Congress is vastly unpopular and its peripatetic Speaker with it.  How America suffers when its leaders are poor!

Just how is Boehner a poor Speaker?  First, he does not represent the aspirations of a deeply disappointed and worried citizenry. Second, he hardly attempts to lead the entire House.  And third, he has trouble unifying his own party.

Is it possible, just possible, this is the worst Speaker in U.S. history?  Which other Speaker would challenge Mr. Boehner for this unedifying distinction?  

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Time for a New Poll Analyst?

Quick post --

The news media has picked up on the election analysis of the 538 web site which is led by Nate Silver.
I have respect for Mr. Silver, and his work is far above the kind of analysis we used to get.  However, in a year like this I wonder whether his 60% chance of a Republican take-over of the Senate holds any water now. With Mitch McConnell (Senate Republican leader) facing his toughest battle yet, and House Republicans shooting themselves in the foot over Obama lawsuits and immigration reform, who can predict Republican control of Congress in 2015 with any certainty?

Monday, August 04, 2014

Worthwhile Reading

Newspapers these days have little of value to me.  But a couple of papers yesterday had several articles I thought worthwhile.  The Washington Post had several articles on the Nixon administration as this week marks the 40th anniversary of that tragic President's resignation.  (See the Outlook section for reviews of books, including John Dean's new one.)   And The New York Times had the indomitable Maureen Dowd on G. W. Bush's tome about his father, the first President Bush.  Dowd's commentary, while sharply drawn, was also erudite and penetrating -- well worth reading.  

Friday, August 01, 2014

World Stock Markets Down on Friday

Quick Post --

New York's Dow Jones Industrials index was down again today after Thursday's huge drop.  The market's irrational exuberance has turned into gloom.

More later.

Thursday Worst Day for Dow Industrials Since February

Featured Post

Bill Clinton Warns on Rising Nationalism

Rush Link -- Bill Clinton on Rise of Nationalism