Weekly Musing 2-15-15
Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton were walking down the street when they came to a homeless person. Then Romney gave the homeless person his business card and told him to come to his office for a job. He then took $20 out of his pocket and gave it to the homeless person. Hillary was very impressed, so when they came to another homeless person, she decided to help. She walked over to the homeless person and gave him directions to the welfare office. She then reached into Romney’s pocket and got out $20. She kept $15 for her administrative fees and gave the homeless person $5. Now, …do you understand the difference between a Republican and a Democrat!
Vote NO on MI Proposal One
I would actually support an increase in taxes that would go to fix our roads, bridges and infra-structure. And I’m sure there’s plenty of savings that could be found in other state programs as well.
However, Proposal 1 raises almost $2 billion a year (annually) from Michigan taxpayers by raising the sales tax by 1% and collecting the internet tax. HOWEVER, around 40% of that (annually) goes to something else…a payoff to get Proposal 1 on the ballot.
Instead of $2 billion going for roads, 40% of that is “spread around”: $300 million to schools, $95 million to local government, $130 million to local bus, transit and rail agencies and $260 million to restore EITC (tax credit). That’s around $785 million EVERY year.
Vote NO on Proposal 1 this May 5th. (NOTE the Election Date)
Also…see what the Mackinac Center has to say:
RNC launching ‘Hillary’s hiding’ campaign
Nearly two dozen Republicans are in the early stages of clawing at one another over the 2016 presidential nomination, but that’s not stopping national party leaders from lobbing new attacks at Hillary Clinton ahead of the Democrat’s all-but-certain presidential campaign rollout.
The latest front in Republicans’ anti-Clinton effort launched Tuesday morning, with the Republican National Committee’s “Hillary’s Hiding” campaign designed to highlight the former secretary of state’s recent lack of straightforward political activity despite her presumed pre-candidate status.
The RNC’s effort will include billboards in early primary and caucus states — such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina — op-eds, and videos like the 2-minute post it plans to unveil Tuesday featuring edited clips of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, White House press secretary Josh Earnest and Clinton, branding her candidacy as “#Obama’s 3rd term.”
“What’s the only way not to seem like she’s campaigning?” asks RNC communications director Sean Spicer in the planned campaign kickoff memo. “Go into hiding.”
The memo notes that Clinton has not held a news conference in over 200 days and has not been to either Iowa or New Hampshire since November’s midterms. It also details 28 times Clinton’s camp has declined to comment on the record for news stories since May.
The Rise and Fall of the Parties – The Democrats should be worried.
This partly explains why Republicans feel bullish about 2016. One does not need a recession for power to transfer from one party to the other. More often than not a party’s hold on the White House expires after eight years. Since FDR and Truman, only once, in 1988, did a political party retain power for three straight terms. And 1988 was really an extraordinary confluence of good luck for the incumbent party. The nation’s economy quickly sloughed off the Wall Street downturn of 1987 to post an impressive growth rate of 4.2 percent. Tensions with the Soviets had largely waned. The Iran-contra scandal did not come close to damaging the reputation of George H. W. Bush, who ran a competent campaign. And the Democrats nominated a cold fish in Michael Dukakis.
What makes political cycles especially interesting, and adds a wrinkle to the foregoing analysis, is the electorate’s relentless hedging of its bet on the majority party. Almost as soon as a new president is elected, the defeated opposition starts down the comeback trail—in Congress, as well as in governors’ mansions and state legislatures all across the country. Not always, of course, but the pattern is clear.
Sean Trende and David Byler of Real Clear Politics have produced an interesting metric of party strength, combining the standing of each party in the White House, Congress, governorships, and state legislatures. Their data indicate that there have been seven full political cycles in the postwar era (from Eisenhower to George W. Bush). In five of them, the dominant party’s first White House victory was its high-water mark. In the other two, it was the reelection four years later. After that, the opposition party began improving, often substantially.
The View From NATO’s Russian Front
‘I believe the Russians are mobilizing right now for a war that they think is going to happen in five or six years—not that they’re going to start a war in five or six years, but I think they are anticipating that things are going to happen, and that they will be in a war of some sort, of some scale, with somebody within the next five or six years.”
So says Lt. Gen. Frederick “Ben” Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe. It’s Monday evening at the Army’s Lucius D. Clay garrison near Wiesbaden, a small town in southwest Germany. The air outside is freezing, the ground coated by a thin layer of snow. Moscow lies 1,500 miles east, but Russia comes up almost immediately as I sit down to dinner with Gen. Hodges and one of his aides in a cozy dining room at the base.
“Strong Europe!” reads a sign on one of the walls. Next to it is the U.S. Army Europe insignia, a burning sword set against a blue shield. The two signs represent the strategic framework the three-star general has introduced—building on America’s decades-long role on the Continent—since taking command last year of the 30,000 or so U.S. soldiers stationed in Europe.
The U.S. military presence in Europe is more vital at this moment than it has been in many years. American engagement is essential if the West is to deter a revanchist Russia that has set out to “redraw the boundaries of Europe,” Gen. Hodges says with a native Floridian’s drawl.
He points to the recent increase in violence in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Kremlin forces in January assaulted the Black Sea port of Mariupol, killing 30 civilians, and are now consolidating their gains.
“What’s happening in eastern Ukraine is very serious,” the 56-year-old West Point alumnus says. “When they fired into Mariupol that got my attention. Mariupol is an important place, city of 500,000 on the Black Sea. Russia has to resupply Crimea by sea or air, and that is very expensive, so obviously they would like to do it overland. Mariupol sits right in the way. They would really like to drive right through there.”
What Russian President Vladimir Putin “has done in Ukraine,” he says, “is a manifestation of a strategic view of the world. So when you look at the amount of equipment that has been provided, and the quality and sophistication of the equipment that has been provided to what I would call his proxies . . . they clearly have no intention of leaving there.”
Good Lesson for ALL My Social Media Friends: How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life
In the early days of Twitter, I was a keen shamer. When newspaper columnists made racist or homophobic statements, I joined the pile-on. Sometimes I led it. The journalist A. A. Gill once wrote a column about shooting a baboon on safari in Tanzania: “I’m told they can be tricky to shoot. They run up trees, hang on for grim life. They die hard, baboons. But not this one. A soft-nosed .357 blew his lungs out.” Gill did the deed because he “wanted to get a sense of what it might be like to kill someone, a stranger.”
I was among the first people to alert social media. (This was because Gill always gave my television documentaries bad reviews, so I tended to keep a vigilant eye on things he could be got for.) Within minutes, it was everywhere. Amid the hundreds of congratulatory messages I received, one stuck out: “Were you a bully at school?”
Still, in those early days, the collective fury felt righteous, powerful and effective. It felt as if hierarchies were being dismantled, as if justice were being democratized. As time passed, though, I watched these shame campaigns multiply, to the point that they targeted not just powerful institutions and public figures but really anyone perceived to have done something offensive. I also began to marvel at the disconnect between the severity of the crime and the gleeful savagery of the punishment. It almost felt as if shamings were now happening for their own sake, as if they were following a script.
…I would be the only person she spoke to on the record about what happened to her, she said. It was just too harrowing — and “as a publicist,” inadvisable — but she felt it was necessary, to show how “crazy” her situation was, how her punishment simply didn’t fit the crime.
…It was a profound reversal for Sacco. When I first met her, she was desperate to tell the tens of thousands of people who tore her apart how they had wronged her and to repair what remained of her public persona. But perhaps she had now come to understand that her shaming wasn’t really about her at all. Social media is so perfectly designed to manipulate our desire for approval, and that is what led to her undoing. Her tormentors were instantly congratulated as they took Sacco down, bit by bit, and so they continued to do so. Their motivation was much the same as Sacco’s own — a bid for the attention of strangers — as she milled about Heathrow, hoping to amuse people she couldn’t see.
NEW Facebook Page…
I’m heading over to a new Facebook page…PLEASE join me there… I started a new Facebook page to get around my “friend” limit…and play more politics-:) I’m going to slowly move off the “personal” page and only engage on this new page. Join me & “like” here: https://www.facebook.com/SaulAnuzis
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