Everything in politics is tit for tat. Clinton perjured himself so Bush lied about WMDs. Obama is sending thrills up Chris Mathews formally non-partisan leg so the right must have wanted Bush on Mt Rushmore (and don't ask 'who' - tit for tat doesn't require it).
So in 2009 the right will attack Obama with the left's playbook of Bush criticisms. So we'll get the same rush to declare Obama's presidency a failure and the right will try to establish his legacy (of failure) while still in office. Without MSM complicity these memes won't be nearly as widespread as the BDS sufferers were able to manage with Bush. But they'll be out there.Comment Posted By East Bay Jim On 19.01.2009 @ 17:37
Bush out of his depth? Newsflash: every President is out of his depth. No human being possesses the range of attributes requried of a President. We choose amongst unqualifed candidates and hope for the best.
Fact is, the second guessing ankle biters on Iraq will be swept away by history, just as all the WWII mistakes are no longer widely known (who knows that more than 1,000 died off of Normandy.....training for D-Day?). In a generation only a few Americans will know what Abu Ghraib refers to. Today some think it was the defining moment of the war.
Amongst Clinton, Bush and Obama, if you could choose to 'own' the legacy of one of the three who would you pick, Rick?Comment Posted By East Bay Jim On 16.01.2009 @ 14:34
Obama will be re-elected off of the backs of future generations. He'll spend what ever it takes to get re-elected - spend money that will be paid via lower living standards for the generations that follow.
This approach - making the current economy strong without regard for the future - isn't an Obama or a Democratic one. It's a political approach that Bush succumbed to too(compassionate conservatism is one part compassion and three parts cynicism - the voters will kick you out if you can't match the 'goodies' the other side is providing). The worm has turned (more people benefit from government spending than pay into the spending pool) and while we'll always be rich from a historical perspective we're going to see European levels of growth going forward. Doing better than your Dad did will be increasingly rare. Who you know will be more important than what you know.
But I think the American experiment will not die and will isntead be re-ignited elsewhere. Where, I can't say, but there is a power in the words of Friedman, Hayek and others that will continue to inspire.Comment Posted By East Bay Jim On 16.01.2009 @ 14:23
Defending your borders equals fascism. Right.
And it makes no difference if settler policy and the blockade are acts of war. I'm pretty sure Hamas sees itself as at war with Israel. They're not lobbing donuts over the border. And when another party is at war with you it would be bad manners, not to mention a drain on the longetivity of your country, to not respond in kind.
In PJ O'Rourke's book Peace Kills (I think that's the title) he talks about an Israeli couple with different political beliefs though each blamed the hostilities on leadership: Sharon won't/wouldn't end the war because it keeps him in power, and Arafat won't/wouldn't end the war because it keeps him in power. O'Rourke sets that up as an equivalency. But is it?
If it is an equivalency it's only because Israel doesn't truly fight back. The Palestinians have a position that is untenable without the full backing of the Western media, even to the point of fauxtography to back their fantasys. So the media, and the Hamas apologizers above, give unrealistic hope to the Palestinians. As if Israel can be destroyed without the rest of the Middle East going to glass. So the problem isn't Sharon or Arafat using war to maintain power. It's the Western media's influence that makes the positions impossible to maintain: keeping Israel from truly defending itself and giving Palestinians hope that Israel could realistically be dismantled.Comment Posted By East Bay Jim On 29.12.2008 @ 17:39
To #12 above, all recession aren't equal. The most recent recession never even met the historic standard: two consecutive quarters of negative growth. The last significant recession was 1981. And this long period of no significant economic contraction was no accident. Politicians learned: there's no job security, in politics, when you're in recession. Which leads to: no recession on my watch. Which leads to Greenspan hitting the gas whenever there's even a wiff of a slow down. Flood the zone with cheap money and unemployment stays low and the recessions are regional/industry specific more than national/all encompassing.
This recession will be deep and long, punctuated by brief stabalization whenever the government steps on the gas. But 'the gas' is no longer cheap money. It's giveaways. The healthiest thing for the long term of this country is rolling government shutdowns and massive cuts in government spending to create a new, sustainable government spending baseline. Throw out a few tax holidays for companies that hire workers, builders that build houses, or stimulate the broad economy in any way and we'll go through a painful year and come out far stronger. But politicians might lose their jobs so the odds of this happening are nil.Comment Posted By East Bay Jim On 10.12.2008 @ 10:43
I've ripped on Comcast for years but have to say that my last two customer service experiences were actually positive (both dating back about 6-8 months ago). It was evident to me that there had been training and real management concern - and since perfection ain't happening that's an A in my book.
I have both internet and cable. If the next experience goes as well as the last two I'm going to add phone.
Two remaining issues with Comcast for me:
1) the HD box is a disgrace. It runs hot and when it does so everything's sluggish. I might press a button and it can take as much as two minutes before the box acts on it. But I can understand that Comcast made a big capital investment in that particular box so they're loath to make a new investment in a better box when the current ones work. So this is one I'll live with as I can understand where Comcast is.
2) Comcast needs to advertise it's successes more. I see HD channels pop up in my guide every month or two these days. There's almost never an announcement. I read in the business section of the paper about the Big 10 Sports network getting added - if I hadn't read the article (in the BUSINESS SECTION!) I never would have known! They just added it to their $6.99 sport tier - an outstanding deal for anyone that likes College Sports (and you get NFL, NBA and NHL networks too).
I also have one complaint about the industry: once television is fully on the internet, a la carte pricing will reign. Why not get ahead of this customer service enhancement while you have a built in customer base? The technology is there now. The customers want it - at one time 200 channels seemed like a good thing but now it's just unnecessary clutter in the guide (which is hard to navigate when the box is hot).Comment Posted By East Bay Jim On 8.12.2008 @ 13:19
I like "untold effects on weather systems". If you can spin a catastrophic yarn from farting cows please take a shot at describing the weather effects from nuclear radiation. I'll get the popcorn.Comment Posted By East Bay Jim On 10.12.2008 @ 09:23
I recognize the devotion Obama's followers have for him. I see it every day in the wall of Jonas Brothers posters my 10 year old has in her room.
Can we stop pretending that these folks are even trying to think rationally? Does anyone really think that there's ANYTHING Obama could do to lose Michael Reynolds as a fan? Short of sleeping with his wife (and even that I'm not sure about).Comment Posted By East Bay Jim On 3.12.2008 @ 19:16
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