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A Merciful Justice

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Having been mercilessly and unjustly pilloried by the media throughout the 2008 campaign, Sarah Palin had a clear choice in its aftermath: She could sober up and prove the buggers wrong, or she could collapse into ignominious pasquinade. Sadly, she chose the latter. The rest of us should choose to move on.

—Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review

Here Mr. Cooke plays fast and loose with reasonable understandings of mercy and justice. After all, the only fault his nebulous boogeyman media committed was in coming to a natural and too obvious conclusion before he has managed to follow his own mob of pilloriers in doing.

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Written by macheide

29 January 2015 at 5:14 pm

Posted in jourbeau

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Prediction: Irreversible Damage

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An actuarial prediction for January 2017: Our next President will face a job that needs to be done with a public workforce against which irreversible damage will have been committed during the 8 years of the Obama Administration.

Supplemental prediction: not a single item on the Administration’s current to do list will be successfully accomplished.

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Written by macheide

14 January 2015 at 6:41 am

Posted in jourbeau

Bum Rush

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bum rushTo attack someone or something by wildly charging them full force with no sort of tact or skill other than one’s own momentum and possibly the backs and sides of their fists as they randomly flail them out of rage, but certainly consisting of no precisely swung blows.

urban dictionary

Sure, choosing a running mate so obviously inadequately prepared for any presence whatsoever on the national or international stage was a bone-headed decision demonstrating questionable leadership. And failure to reach toward a meaningful victory in the nation’s ill-conceived war in Iraq that might bring our soldiers home sometime in their own generation spoke of a dangerous failure to recognize the duty to govern for the people. And the failure to distance himself sufficiently from the serious failures of the Bush Administration – ranging from rampant morale problems in virtually every federal agency all the way through to an arrogant disregard for national and international law – contributed to electoral failures that extended far into the GOP’s various levels and far out into the party’s future.

But almost any citizen or commentator half awake through this past election would at least grant, if not vigorously agree, that what most killed McCain’s chances in the 2008 presidential election was his utter failure to suggest any cohesive strategy for dealing with the economic crisis. Just keep your faith in the basic underlying strength of the U.S. economy, blame any problems on “whiners,” and keep repeating meaningless old insults against the other side, without ever once enunciating a clear, cohesive policy of your own.

The American voter made it quite clear what we think of such a stay-the-course do-nothing stance.

Yet just like the charge of the light brigade, there go the House Republicans galloping pell mell right down the cliff trail blazed by McCain & Co. So in the end, McCain lost the battle but wins the war: the got-no-solution camp takes over the reins, doing their worst to block anything from being done to reverse the freefall. Tens of thousands more lose their jobs day after day after day, while with no solution of their own, all the congressional Republicans can come up with is leftover McCain campaign rhetoric.

So just like how Rove’s antics lost Congress for the GOP in 2006, then Mcain-Palin ticket lost even more in Congress while losing the White House in 2008, the remaining GOP congressional survivors seem bent on making Custer’s Last Stand look like a charity ball.

bumper sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com] - jourbeau

Written by macheide

29 January 2009 at 4:00 pm

Posted in jourbeau

Sell the News

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Applause for the resounding success of Barak Obama.

And a nod to the success of the Democratic Party in both chambers of Congress, as well as in numerous state and local elections.

I join many others in the expectation that good will come of the momentous decision that has been made today.

bumper sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com] - jourbeau

Written by macheide

4 November 2008 at 10:00 pm

Posted in jourbeau

Bush League Politics

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Actuary meets pollster: I don’t project the same hopes that McCain campaign handlers are said to dream as lurking in the tightest of the polls to come out in the past day or so from Pennsylvania, a so-called “statistical tie” which puts Obama at 47%, McCain “only” 4 points behind at 43%, with supposedly more than enough slack for catching up among the 9% undecideds. Let’s let the wider margins of other polls suggest that we can lock up Obama’s 47% in this one, then give McCain the benefit of the doubt by granting him his 43% here despite other polls showing him lagging further. Then let’s call the missing 1% rounding and another 1% out of the 9% votes likely to swing over to Barr or Nader. If only 2 out of the remaining 8 remain undecided to the bitter end, declining to vote at all, then McCain need to get 5 to Obama’s 1 out of the leftover 6 just to gain a tie. 5 to 1?!? That’s supposed to look like a sunny prospect?

Some TV commentators hint that voters who remain undecided so long into this election after the deluge of media from the Obama campaign must indicate sufficient residual doubt to push the majority of those undecided votes into McCain’s column. That I find very highly dubious. I’ve seen and heard from way too many Republicans who have gone through much the same process that first turned me into a hesitant McCain supporter, then into one who planned to simply abstain from voting altogether, then finally into deciding to cast a vote against the abject void of leadership and outright dirt being displayed by the GOP this year. So yes, many of those undecideds may have strong doubts about Obama, doubts that McCain and Palin’s smear tactics might even convert into fears strong enough to keep the voter from casting a vote for Obama. But as long as the McCain campaign persists in virtually 100% negative campaigning without offering any concrete plan for dealing with the current economic and social issues, those undecideds are not going to vote for a hole in the air. At best, from McCain’s perspective, they simply won’t vote; but that doesn’t win him Pennsylvania.

I sincerely believe that if the American system of government permitted a “None of the Above” option on the ballot and had a workable process for interim government (i.e., not even another single day of the Bush Administration) until a candidate could actually win a true majority, then this year would be a year when voters would send both major parties back to the drawing board. Whether or not that belief is actually true among all registered voters, certainly it is a prevailing opinion among any remaining undecideds that neither candidate is winning their approval. But if those “None of the Above” undecideds are finding cause to doubt and fear Obama, don’t look for them to just shrug and vote for a “trust-me” blank page that has failed to sufficiently distinguish itself from the failed policies of its predecessor. Or if a few are influenced enough by GOP demagoguery to fear Obama enough to vote against Obama in similar spirit as I’ve voted against my own party in going with Obama, don’t expect it to be in numbers of the order of 5 to 1.

I would rather pay a little higher tax on a higher profit than a lower tax rate on lower profits.

Victor Hammel, CEO of J.C. Ehrlich,
a pest-control company based in Reading, PA

As a general rule of thumb, my own profession tends to be economically conservative and lined up politically pretty much the same. But starting about four years ago, I found more and more actuaries at conferences and other business meetings speaking openly of disaffections with where the GOP was headed. We are not socialists, nor are we liberal. But we do expect leadership and positive action toward realistic goals. And although certainly not to speak for the profession in general, I have been hearing from hundreds who are no longer hearing what they want to hear from their traditional party. So seek instead to form a moderate coalition with someone whom they know not to be boogeyman caricature the McCain campaign has degraded itself into painting Obama as.

I am not alone. I know of many just like me, Republicans who would have given almost anything to have a reason to vote for McCain, but instead only have been muddied up by despicably ignorant attempts to keep us from voting for Obama. And for every one like me whom I personally know, there are thousands more. Not un-American. Not Marxist. Just seeking solutions that are MIA from the McCain campaign. When he loses, it will be because he lost voters like me. Pushed us away.

Bush League: Below good standards, not good or incorrect. Pitiful, poor, terrible, awful, bad, sucky.

Urban Dictionary

Pretty accurate characterization of the campaign that Bush’s would-be successor has run.

bumper sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com] - jourbeau

Written by macheide

31 October 2008 at 4:16 pm

Posted in jourbeau

Campaign Failure

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Sad to say, this waste of campaign contributions will probably be duplicated outside every polling site throughout the country. None of these signs “work,” neither to keep nor to convert any decided voter, nor to persuade an undecided one. Not a single vote will be influenced by this trash. Not one.

At least there exists strong evidence that robocalls, smear commercials, and other negative campaigning do have an effect – in the opposite direction intended, especially when there exists no strong, consistent positive message standing behind those low-road tactics.

As long as political parties persist in wasting campaign contributions on worthless or negative strategies, they need not come looking to me to donate to the “cause”! Nor can they hope me to be alone, nor even in the minority.

bumper sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com] - jourbeau

Written by macheide

26 October 2008 at 3:06 pm

Posted in jourbeau

Decided

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McCain’s campaign has finally convinced me.

I voted for Reagan both times around, remain solidly Republican despite all the damage our current president has done to the party, and don’t plan to switch my party affiliation. And have been waiting and hoping and urgently wanting good reason to vote for the Republican ticket in this election.

All I am being offered by the GOP is fear. Or worse. Powell called it what it is: demagoguery. Yet far from disavowing it or distancing himself from it, John McCain embraces it, repeats it, uses it as the basis for his own decisions.

Warren Buffett, one of the most thinking, successful men in the world in economic circles and surely no socialist, endorses Obama and believes in Obama’s leadership and plans; but without being given any solid reason for doing so, and without being given any substantive proactive alternative leadership or plan beyond stay-the-course, I’m supposed to choose otherwise on the basis of simple fear. Colin Powell, one of the most thinking, successful men in the world in foreign policy circles and surely no pal of terrorists, endorses Obama and believes in Obama’s leadership and plans; but without being given any solid reason for doing so, and without being given any substantive proactive alternative leadership or plan beyond stay-the-course, I’m supposed to choose otherwise on the basis of simple fear.

I have investigated more, read more, watched more, gone far further into this election than for any before in the decades I’ve been a voter, because I have wanted desperately to vote for McCain. Alas, his campaign gives me only reason to vote against him, and he has shown no leadership whatsoever as his campaign gets only uglier and uglier. Is this what we want of our President: as the pressure and adversity get worse, the decisions made by the leadership only spiral out of control?

At first, McCain’s poor campaign decisions and abject lack of leadership only convinced me to abstain from voting for him. He and his campaign have finally convinced me what I need to do instead. I’ll be voting for Obama. With no regrets.

 

 

bumper sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com] - jourbeau

Written by macheide

21 October 2008 at 9:56 pm

Posted in jourbeau