First the bad news (banging head on desk) Murkowski wins (banging head on desk some more).
If I were an interviewer, the first question I'd ask is: "How do you plan to repair relations with conservatives in Alaska?" She can't win a primary or a (two-candidate0 general election without them, and the odds of winning another write-in candidacy are slimmer than a 90-pound fashion model, so she had BETTER realize the value in making amends - ASAP.
Now the good news - Republican Joe Walsh wins his bid for Illinois' Congressional 8th District.
Howard Kurtz reports: [Roger Ailes] offers this observation about Obama:
“He just has a different belief system than most Americans.”
That seems a rather loaded phrase—different belief system—even if you strongly disagree with most of Obama’s policies. It fits the view of those who are trying to paint the president as being outside the mainstream.
Dude, policies stem from belief systems. Obama sees the State as a gigantic nanny - the ultimate helicopter parent. Most people do not regard the citizenry as children.
A New Jersey school administrator is trying to weasel out of a salary cap. I note in comments here that his salary well exceeds that of the New Jersey Secretary of Education. (And it would still be about 30K bigger under the salary cap.)
If you could cancel a government program that would result in lowering government and citizen costs and increasing revenues, most people would thing that's a good thing, right? What could possibly be more important than those things?
Pennsylvania has public-sector liquor stores. What? How in the hecking heckity heck did something like that happen on this side of the Atlantic? I thought only Commies and the worst kind of Euroweenies were greedy and insane enough to nationalize booze.
Republicans now run both the governorship and the legislature, and privatization is on the table. Privatizing the industry will accomplish the three goals in the first paragraph, but "endanger[s] the jobs of thousands of state workers."
Legally, MSNBC is in the right. The Network has a rule, and Olbermann broke it.
Ethically, the rule is dumb. Media outlets should not bar journalists - and especially not pundit journalists like Olby - from donating to political campaigns. The media should restrict the PUBLIC political activities of the journalists under their hire.
For those of you who brought your Langston Hughes collections, turn to the poem Harlem:
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore— And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over— like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
Hughes may have had a particular tragedy in mind, but despair is universal, and he eloquently captures its essence. Deferred dreams are met in different ways. Some people give up. Some get angry at the dream, or at themselves for having it. Some manage to savor the dream, whether they have any real hope in achieving it or not. Some sink into chronic despair. And some "explode" - that is, they drive themselves to some desperate act.
How does a dream explode?
In Animal Farm, Benjamin the donkey was fully aware of the machinations of the pigs that had ousted the owner of Manor Farm, and he hated every minute of it. But for whatever reasons he did not fight the swinish insurrectionists. Year after year he faced every new policy as an inevitable fate.
But that changed one day. His best friend, Boxer the work horse, had been injured in a battle with a neighboring farm. Over time his injuries sapped his strength, and one day he collapsed. The pigs sent for what they said was an ambulance; in reality it was a van for the horse slaughter and glue boiler.
Napoleon the "fierce-looking" Berkshire boar and his gang heaped misery upon miser, and Benjamin did nothing. But suddenly they upped the ante too far. Boxer was being sent to be killed. Benjamin madly chased the van with every last ounce - but in vain.
But after that one act of desperate act of defiance, he gave up and lived out his life in bitterness.
One of the basic needs of humanity is an economic system that is fruitful, reliable, and predictable. For a long time the Pirates of the Potomac have steadily eroded that pillar of civilization at a steady pace with hefty and complex tax policy and reckless spending. State governments have done likewise, some more than others. Those Americans - fiscal conservatives and libertarians - who recognized the tyranny for what it is groaned under it, and like Benjamin most didn't try to do anything about it.
Many of the leaders in the Tea Party movement presently did protest the big-spending habits of the Bush administration. As I have noted elsewhere, the very same FreedomWorks that undergirds the Tea Party movement pushed hard to "Stop the Wall Street Bailout" in late 2008, at the same time as Dick Armey was declaring that “compassionate conservatism was a mistake” and Republicans should return to the effective compassion of small government solutions. And when the Heritage Foundation objected that TARP exceeded the enumerated authorities given the federal government in the Constitution, they gave the same reasons they give now for their support of Tea Party objectives.
If the glue factory van was a faint blip during the TARP debate, it was coming around the corner now. No way could the American economy survive this kind of fiscal insanity for long. Obama, Reid and Pelosi upped the ante too fact. Americans could see Armageddon from their house.
These Americans did not follow Benjamin's example. They did not protest for one moment and then fade into the background. They took an option that is missing from Hughes' poem: they worked proactively to win back the dream.
America is not quite Animal Farm. We have a two-party system - one party dominated by pigs, the other with enough pigs and non-piggish cowards to maintain a porcine status quo in Washington.
Last Tuesday a lot of pigs (and cowards) were taken out, and the Tea Partiers now has a sizable voice in the latter party. They're after the glue factory van. They're trying to save theirs and their children's futures. Any leaders of that latter party who try to block their path to that van does so at his or her own political risk. The Tea Party has unseated top-ranking Republicans before, and it can do it again.
Some have asked how the Tea Party movement hopes to pressure Republican leaders or influence the party. That's the wrong way to look at it. The goal is not to pressure Republican leaders but to become the Republican leaders. The goal is not to influence the party but to become the party.
If you want a job done right, you've got to do it yourself. Don't put your trust in the pantywaists who led the party into defeat in 2006.