Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for February 8th, 2012

Welcoming to the sidebar: the answer to why things are as they are

Posted by Charles II on February 8, 2012

Everything you think you know is wrong.

The Sixties Project is an amazingly deep and scholarly look at what happened in the 1960s. Most of the best and worst things about America today had their roots in the 1960s, whether it’s the abuses of intelligence to spy on Americans or Head Start, the religious right or women’s rights. One cannot understand why things are so screwed up today–or why there is such great hope–without reading this site.

My favorite is John Baky’s White Cong and Black Clap: the Ambient Truth of Vietnam War Legendry.

But perhaps the most important is this piece by Kent Germany on the War on Poverty. One of the important things it shows is that the Great Society was based on federal assistance to small, locally-based community action programs, not on bureaucracy. These often fell afoul of corrupt political machines, including Democratic political machines and were subverted by large business interests (like the realtors and Model Cities). But they were one of the brightest moments of hope for genuinely addressing the causes of poverty, and there were some amazing successes.

Nixon both fully funded “welfare” and turned it into a nightmarish bureaucracy. The Great Society was not Big Government. It was mostly federal aid to communities who could not otherwise afford it with the goal of encouraging local initiative.

We can fix America’s problems–if only we remember what works.

Posted in history, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

GOP’s 2012 CO, MN Caucuses and MO Primary Turnout Continue Lower-Than-2008 Trend

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 8, 2012

The Republican Enthusiasm Gap isn’t getting any smaller. Granted, Missouri’s primary doesn’t count as its Republican-controlled legislature was more interested in trying to jam a bunch of unpalatable amendments down Jay Nixon’s throat than in actually making sure there was a sensible primary system, but Minnesota’s and Colorado’s caucuses have real importance.

In 2008, Mitt Romney won handily in Minnesota, 41% (25,990 votes) to John McCain’s 22% (13,826 votes). Total turnout: 62,828.

In 2012, Rick Santorum won handily over third-place Mitt Romney, 44.9% (21,932 votes) to 16.9% (8,222 votes). Ron Paul was second with 27.1% (13,228 votes). Total turnout (per HuffPo): 48,795 – a drop in turnout of nearly one-third.

In 2008, Mitt Romney stomped all other GOP challengers into the dirt in the Colorado Republican caucus, winning with 60% of the vote or 42,218 votes. John McCain got 18% or 12,918 votes; nobody else even broke into double figures, percentagewise. Total turnout: 70,229.

In 2012, Rick Santorum beat Mitt Romney in the Colorado Republican caucus, winning with 40.3% (26,614 votes) to Romney’s 34.9% (23,012 votes). Total turnout: 58,863, a drop of nearly one-fifth from 2008.

Romney really didn’t want to be spending any more money on primaries at this point, but he simply has to in order to get people to the polls to vote for him. Even the ones he’s won, he’s done so by outspending his opponents by at least 5-to-1 (and he outspent Santorum in Iowa by nearly 100-to-1 and still lost). This doesn’t bode well for Mister Electable.

Posted in 2008, 2012, Uncategorized | Comments Off on GOP’s 2012 CO, MN Caucuses and MO Primary Turnout Continue Lower-Than-2008 Trend

Wingnut-Welfare Recipient And Ayn Rand Fan Craig Westover Lectures Us On Self-Reliance, Morals

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 8, 2012

In the course of his StarTribune missive seeking to enhance the right wing’s desire to demonize Saul Alinsky and any and all other lefties who have effectively fought against Westover and his fellow one-percenters, sings the praises of Ayn Rand, who of course taught that the one-percenters like Westover were so far above we mere mortals in the 99% class because they’re so much stronger and self-reliant and unhindered by things like morality and conscience and compassion.

Westover, in fact, is one of the Minnesota right wing’s leading recipients of wingnut welfare, having for many years drawn a paycheck at the Minnesota Free Market Institute (he’s still there in an unpaid capacity as a “Senior Fellow”), a notorious sheltered workshop for otherwise-unemployable conservatives, before going on to be the paid mouthpiece for the incompetent and crazy Pat Awada Anderson and was hired last year by disgraced former RPM Chair Tony Sutton to be the the Republican Party of Minnesota’s Communications Director.

As for whether Ayn Rand is more moral than Saul Alinsky, well — Guess who based the male heroes of several novels on a vicious punk of a serial killer named William Hickman? (Hint: Her name rhymes with “Mine Bland”, and she herself became what she scathingly called a “moocher” in later life, turning to Social Security benefits when her conservative buddies refused to significantly assist her and her ailing husband.)

I think I’ll take the guy who improved the lives of millions of Americans over the woman who spun turgid tales for the elites in order to provide comfy justifications for their own amorality and sociopathy.

Posted in (Rich) Taxpayers League | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Wingnut-Welfare Recipient And Ayn Rand Fan Craig Westover Lectures Us On Self-Reliance, Morals

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