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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Delegates to the California Republican Party state convention that begins Friday in Sacramento should be asking themselves just two questions: Why can't they find an electable U.S. Senate candidate and how do they revive a state party that's become irrelevant?

This state went from red to blue because the California GOP lost its Reaganesque compass and, alarmingly, a willingness to discern between moral absolutes and generational evolution. Ronald Reagan brilliantly never let himself be the captive or defender of the status quo or party orthodoxy. He embraced broad principles and found ways to solve problems without selling out.

Voters, popes, presidents and even some elders have evolved. The state party has not and seems to be perversely proud of it. Political parties are meant to win elections, not be martyrs to lost causes of bygone eras.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

President Obama asked Congress on Wednesday to formally authorize military operations against Islamic State militants and sought the ability to use ground troops in limited situations, though he said that long-term deployment of U.S. ground forces isn't necessary to defeat the terrorist organization.

The draft resolution seeking authorization for use of force says the extremist group poses a "grave threat" to Iraq and Syria and stability in the region as well as U.S. national security interests.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong drove his SUV into two parked vehicles, then let his girlfriend take the blame for the hit-and-run accident in December, according to an Aspen, Colorado, police report. Armstrong was issued two traffic citations in January for the incident after Anna Hansen admitted she had lied to police in order to protect her boyfriend and avoid national attention. She admitted the ruse to police later and said, "I just wanted to protect my family because I thought, 'Gosh, Anna Hansen hit some cars, it's not going to show up in the papers, but Lance Armstrong hit some cars, it's going to be a national story." read more

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A week after his State of the Union address, political observers are still trying to figure out what President Obama's game is. That's how bizarrely untethered from reality the speech was. Obama refused to even take note of the GOP's historic midterm gains and the fact the House and Senate are now both under Republican control. On foreign policy, Obama talked as if everything was going swimmingly abroad, prompting even the Washington Post's Dana Milbank to marvel at Obama's "disconnect" from what is happening in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Russia. And Obama's policy agenda -- "free" community college, tax hikes, mandatory sick leave -- failed to take into account that it was dead-before-arrival in this Congress. read more

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Nulli (a fellow UCLA Political Science degree holder), in a different thread, challenged me to start a series of Political Theory Threads, so of course I said "game on." To make it easily accessible, I am going to through up an easy one:

Was the Soviet Union Communist or Socialist?

As a starting point, it is generally accepted that socialism and communism are alike in that both are systems of production for use based on public ownership of the means of production and centralized planning. Socialism grows directly out of capitalism; it is the first form of the new society and as Marx postulated, Communism is a further development or "higher stage" of Socialism.

What exactly do you think that the Soviets achieved, if anything?



You are going to need to do a little math, but start here

I dont need the heritage foundation to tell me that reaganomics has been good for anybody but the rich.

This has nothing to do with the Heritage Foundation.

Let alone what it did to the deficit.

I agree on this point, but that is not what I was discussing in #11.

Household income will go up when the adults sacrifice parenting time for additional work time as the second parent has to work to make ends meet. That doesn't mean the middle class is making progress. It means they are being squeezed.

#12 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2015-02-27 07:26 PM

That is certainly happening now, especially after the Great Recession, but my point was about the alleged "destruction of the Middle Class" during the Reagan years, which is proved false by those pesky things called facts.

People finally realize just how bad a Governor and President Reagan actually was. He killed the middle class.

#9 | Posted by Prolix247 at 2015-02-27 02:49 PM

Don't believe everything you are told to believe by TPM, etc., while this is a popular rant amongst the left it ignores the raw data:

Using the Census Bureau data to analyze the income growth of the 1980s, it clearly shows that during the Reagan presidency the percentage of households in the low income category declined, while the proportion of high income households increased. As a result, most econmists agree that while the middle class did indeed shrink as a share of all households, the reason for this is upward, not downward, mobility.

According to the Census Bureau, the percentage of households in the low income category dropped during the 1980s. This group comprised 27.5 percent of all households in 1980, 28.5 percent in 1982, and only 25.3 percent by 1989. As a share of all households, the proportion of those with low incomes became less prominent by the end of the 1980s.

Meanwhile, the percentage of households with incomes over $50,000 (considered to be high income in 1980 dollars) jumped from 17.6 percent in 1980 and 1982, to 23.5 percent in 1989. This almost 6% increase in the proportion of high income households during the 80's is a sign of solid income growth.

Simple math tells us that these changes at the ends of the income spectrum will cause the middle income category to shrink. This is exactly what happened, in that the middle income group comprised 55 percent of all households in 1980, 53.8 percent in 1982, and 51.1 percent by 1989. This shrikage is not a bad thing, however, but is a sign of upward mobility rather than the "destruction of the middle class" which is so cavalierly bandied about.

Lest we forget, let me provide a little context for #11:

GENEVA -- After promising to "push the reset button" on relations with Moscow, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton planned to present Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a light-hearted gift at their talks here Friday night to symbolize the Obama administration's desire for a new beginning in the relationship.

It didn't quite work out as she planned.

She handed him a palm-sized box wrapped with a bow. Lavrov opened it and pulled out the gift -- a red plastic button on a black base with a Russian word "peregruzka" printed on top.

"We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?" Clinton said as reporters, allowed in to observe the first few minutes of the meeting, watched.

"You got it wrong," Lavrov said, to Clinton's clear surprise. Instead of "reset," he said the word on the box meant "overcharge."

. . .

But Lavrov refused to let the matter rest there, bringing it up twice more during the press conference in a way that suggested he wasn't completely unhappy at Clinton's discomfort.

"We have reached agreement on how reset should sound in both Russian and English," he announced at one point. "We have no disagreement here."

A few minutes later, he referred to the gift again, noting that he and Clinton had pressed the button together -- a move that summoned up thoughts not of easing tension but of launching a nuclear strike.

"It is a very, very large red button," he said. "I do hope that Russia and the United States and other countries would never ever push any other buttons associated with initiation of destructive hostilities."

He told Clinton he would put the button on his desk in Moscow.

Politico, 3/9/2009
Wrong red button

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