Comments Posted By Surabaya Stew
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SARAH PALIN AND THE ASPIRATIONAL POLITICS OF RESENTMENT

Nice Palin summary, Rick. Your analysis of the appeal of this woman to many Americans and her vast shortcomings compared with Reagan are right on target. The part about her being too lazy to actually make a successful run is dissected perfectly by this site:

electoral-vote.com

The guy who runs it has been pretty accurate before, so let me take the liberty of quoting the link in part:

Palin probably hasn't actually made a decision yet. She appears to be too busy enjoying her new-found celebrityhood. But at some point she will come to realize that running for President isn't done on Facebook. She will personally have to walk through great piles of snow in subfreezing temperatures meeting voters in small batches in both Iowa and New Hampshire. While other countries find this an odd rite of passage, it is the way things happen in the U.S. and despite coming from Alaska, so far there is little evidence that Palin has the desire to put up with an extremely difficult process for months on end. If she tries to avoid Iowa and New Hampshire while her Republican opponents are out there at factories, schools, churches, malls, etc. day after day, they will hit her mercilessly for being lazy and a quitter. Even Hillary Clinton, who was widely accused of expecting a coronation, trudged through the snow day after day after day trying to collect votes one at a time. Palin will have to do the same thing if she wants the job and it may or may not have truly dawned on her how difficult, unpleasant, and demanding the process is.

Something tells me that the "bet-it-all-on-Florida" strategy employed by Rudy in 2008 would be the preferred starting point for Palin in 2012, because then she can have everything stage-managed by her handlers, ensure that only supporters come to her rallies, and be able to enjoy an 8-hour working day at most. (She wouldn't use Florida exclusively, but instead hop around between other early-voting states.) Yet in the end, this approach exposed a lack of "fire in the belly" for the job, something that also doomed Fred Thompson's run for POTUS.

In the end, Palin won't run because she knows she can't do it. She does know that talking about running will keep her in the spotlight (and make the dollars flow into her bank account faster), so she will keep up this charade for as long as we talk about her. In the meanwhile, any attempt of healing the structural problems of the GOP and elevating conservatism overall will be ignored, so long as she keeps shilling.

Comment Posted By Surabaya Stew On 10.02.2010 @ 13:23

LET'S TALK ABOUT TOILET PAPER

Wonder what the editors/writers of the Good Book would have made of toilet paper? To quote Deuteronomy 23:13 from the King James Bible:

And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee.

The New Living Translation of the Bible puts it in language for the FaceBook generation:

Each of you must have a spade as part of your equipment. Whenever you relieve yourself, dig a hole with the spade and cover the excrement.

Guess our biblical forbearers didn't wipe! Thanks God for modern times....

Comment Posted By Surabaya Stew On 9.02.2010 @ 12:17

SECURITY BREACH AT US NUCLEAR WEAPONS SITE IN BELGIUM

This issue isn't getting any press over at any other blog or media outlet, thank you Rick for bringing it to my attention! Guess nuclear weapons security isn't sexy enough an issue for people these days.

Comment Posted By Surabaya Stew On 6.02.2010 @ 11:10

THE ETHICS OF 'WALKING AWAY' FROM YOUR MORTGAGE

While you grasp the situation well Rick, your summary is not the best that you can do. This paragraph kinda stood out:

Not surprisingly, Congress will treat these people as victims and no doubt either bail them out (one estimate is it would take about $750 billion to pay off the difference between what underwater borrowers owe and what their houses are worth), or make some accommodation with credit reporting services to give these strategic deadbeats a pass. Encouraging irresponsibility has been the hallmark of the Obama administration housing policies so why should we expect anything to be different here?

Not sure where this certainty re: Congress is coming from, but seeing how poorly the 75 billion already allocated for helping underwater/behind mortgage holders was spent, the chance of more money spent on this are slim at best. I mean, do the Dems really want to add such a thing to their plate this election year, seeing how bad they are at getting anything else done?

You may also wish to look at how many of there "deadbeats" are actually the victims of mortgage fraud and other financial shenanigans before coming to such a sweeping judgement. Not saying we need to have any special help for them (as that would be spectacular government overreach), but the circumstances are hardly black and white here.

Finally, the housing debacle has its roots in the Clinton era and was propelled along by Bush (all the while abetted by Greenspan), so calling Obama irresponsible in this matter is quite partisan. No president or party alone could have fucked up this badly.

Comment Posted By Surabaya Stew On 4.02.2010 @ 19:01

WHEN TAXES BECOME TYRANNICAL

Generally speaking, the tax code should be used for the purpose of raising revenue and not trying to modify human behavior. If Republicans keep that in mind the next time voters grant them the power to govern, we’ll all be better off for it.

Very well stated Rick; I'm not a fan of either party coming up with new ways to transform our behavior either. Trouble is, when the Government (national or local) is paying certain bills, (ie, healthcare, schools), then they have an incentive to get these bills to be either lowered or paid for by the folks using them.

The taxes on cigarettes only started to rise drastically when the numbers of emphysema and lung cancer sufferers started to become a burden on the government. Therefore, it made economic sense for government to discourage smoking because dong so would reduce their cost in the long run. The (federal) deduction of interest on mortgages is a powerful incentive for families to buy an house and stay in a particular community, therefore supporting the local schools with their (local) tax dollars. Without the stability of all those homeowners stuck with 30 year mortgages, our system of local schools boards, teachers unions, and established education facilities would come unglued.

Perhaps we are too far along on many of these government interventions to turn back; nevertheless, we should all be very cautious of any new areas of government involvement. I was far more upset over the federal takeover of airline security (remember how the DHS didn't exist 9 years ago?), than I am now about a contemplated increase in government involvement in healthcare from 50% to 60%.

Comment Posted By Surabaya Stew On 29.01.2010 @ 13:07

WHAT PLANET HAS OBAMA BEEN VISITING THE LAST YEAR?

Frankly, I think Obama did a pretty good job Wednesday night, but I have no idea why anybody on the right or left should be surprised by any speech given by Obama and I say that with all due respect to the man. Sure he's attempting to create his own version of America and spinning a narrative of how great things will be if only congress would go along with him, but I fully expected that. Bush did that for 8 years with his SOTU addresses, and Clinton for 8 years before that. Our President is just following in their rhetorical footsteps; the only question is how many Americans will either drink his kool-aid or will accept what he does with passivity.

Comment Posted By Surabaya Stew On 28.01.2010 @ 23:40

HOW DUMB ARE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE?

FYI, the stimulus bill provides $25 extra a week in unemployment benefits. Not a whole lot, but something useful. The best part of the bill is the 9 month (just extended to 15 month) 65% subsidy of COBRA. Between both benefits, ever since I was laid off in April I have saved approximately $2000 on my health insurance and received $750 in additional funds while I have struggled to find a job in my decimated field of Architecture.

Being able to go to the doctor and having a few extra dollars over the past 8 months to stay current with my bills is much appreciated. I anticipate having a new full-time job really soon so that I can get fully back into the productive life, but until that happens, its been good to have had this helping hand in these bad economic times.

So if conservatives and the GOP want to criticize the stimulus, thats ok. I know who's got my back, and they shall be getting my vote next time around.

Comment Posted By Surabaya Stew On 26.01.2010 @ 09:40

ZUCKERMAN'S LAMENT, KRUGMAN'S DISGUST

Glad to know I wasn't the only one who thought Zuckerman's screed was pretty batty. As an Obama supporter, it seems to me as if Mort had throughly convinced himself that BO was somebody else, and now he's crying out his lamentations out to the world. (Naturally all the while ignoring his self-deception!) Like too many smart people, he had to justify his non-vote for the McCain/Palin ticket with an imaginary projection of all he wanted in a POTUS candidate on a man who never subscribed to his wishes in the first place. Mr. Zuckerman deserves ridicule from the Left and Right for being so dishonest with himself. Kurgman by contrast has at least been consistent with his critiques of Obama, so nobody can say he's gone suddenly ape-shit.

Comment Posted By Surabaya Stew On 22.01.2010 @ 03:21

DOES A BROWN VICTORY POSE A DANGER FOR THE GOP?

Totally on track with your column this time, Rick. Were the 2010 GOP really serious about governance and compromise, the USA could have a new chance at a much better health care bill with a Brown victory. Sadly, thats unlikely to happen. (Over at PJM, I see your post has attracted the usual vile spittle from the drool cases; which actually isn't much different from the thinking emerging from much of the GOP leadership!) Then again, had the GOP been interested in helping America solve it's problems by moderately cooperating with Obama, we all wouldn't be making much if a fuss over Cloakly's political tailspin.

Comment Posted By Surabaya Stew On 19.01.2010 @ 19:38

REPORTS ON THE DEATH OF CULTURE 11 HAVE BEEN GREATLY EXAGGERATED

Got a taste of Culture 11 just before they closed up shop; thought it was an interesting place not really because of their Conservative/Libertarian viewpoints, but because they always had interesting articles that I never saw anywhere else. On that measure alone, it was disheartening that they couldn't continue on, because I treasure differences in (rational and well thought-out) opinions.

I felt that a major purpose of Culture 11 was an attempt to get away from the personality-based political writing that makes up a majority of day-to-day babel, and to focus on some of the root issues to where a Conservative/Libertarian angle might be useful. It was different in other words, and we're all poorer for its demise. A well thought out memorial piece, thanks Rick.

Comment Posted By Surabaya Stew On 14.01.2010 @ 12:34


 


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