Saturday, December 17, 2011

Making Lemonade

The Des Moines Register has endorsed Mitt Romney in the GOP Iowa caucuses.  The paper opines that Romney has shown sobriety, wisdom and judgment.  Sobriety, well, yes.  Wisdom? Judgment?  Well, maybe judgment when he was governor of Massachusetts and backed the healthcare plan that, as he never gets tired of denying, served as a model for President Obama's.  But the fact that he does keep denying that says much about his character, a factor that the Register ignores.

Making a virtue of hypocrisy, the paper praises Romney's asserted ability to "see the merits of tough issues from something other than a knee-jerk, ideological perspective."  I guess that's one way to describe flip-flopping.

Perhaps more than anything, this endorsement is testimony to how weak the Rebuplican field is, and how far to the netherworld of the Right the party has strayed.  

Saying it all

Heard on NPR:  "The United States invaded Iraq after the 9/11 attacks, which were plotted in Afghanistan."

Friday, December 09, 2011

On the faces of babes

Source: Yahoo

The thing about Scott Brown

A new poll has Scott Brown (R.MA) down 7 points in a match-up with Harvard Professor and Democratic senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren.  Surprising, but it's 11 months before the election so perhaps not all that meaningful.

The thing about Scott Brown is that he's not all that bright.  Listen to him.  Do you sense a deep intelligence, curiosity about the issues that confront us, a quest to solve problems?  If you do, please let me know.  (I met Scott Brown briefly in his Senate office; he did not impress.)

Now, we don't always vote for the smartest candidate.  Some very intelligent people cannot get along with others--they would not be good members of a representative body.  Some geniuses have no sense of reality, of the practical.  And as Sen. Roman Hruska said of Judge Harold Carswell after Nixon nominated him to the Supreme Court,  "there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance?"  Scott Brown may need to rely on that kind of "thinking" if he hopes to get re-elected.


The EPA concludes that fracking pollutes groundwater.  What ought to be shocking, but isn't, is the pushback from the company that operates the gas wells involved in the study, and from the governor of Wyoming, which gets 2/3 of its revenues from the Oil and Gas industry.  What's public health when there's money at stake (and when it isn't your water that's being poisoned)? 

Tuesday, December 06, 2011


Dan Quayle--perhaps the leading current example of "forgotten but not gone"--will endorse Mitt Romney today.  How many votes will that get Mitt?  Quayle's immediate family?  Maybe.

Do you think Mitt asked for this endorsement?  Or did Quayle proffer it out of (a) good will; (b) a sense of civic duty or (c) a pathetic desire to get back in the limelight one more time?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

What I'd like to ask Newt Gingrich

Mr. Gingrich, you are a historian (as we all know).  If you had been in your home state of Georgia in 1861, would you have supported secession, or opposed it?  And if you would have opposed it, would you have gone to the north, as some Southern unionists did, to do so actively?

I don't think this is a "gotcha" question.  It would be interesting to hear the answer and to reflect on what light it would shed on the candidate.

(It's a measure of the intellectual power of the Northern versus the Southern causes that among those from the South who served the Union were Adm. David ("Damn the torpedoes") Farragut and George H. ("The Rock of Chickamauga") Thomas.  The most prominent northerner to serve the South was John C. Pemberton, remembered as the general who surrendered Vicksburg to Grant.)

In case you forgot

Today (December 1) is the first day of meteorological winter.  Cheer up, though:  that means that March 1 is the first day of spring!  And winter is the shortest season of the year.