Archive for November, 2011

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“Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three.”

November 10, 2011

GOV. PERRY: … And I will tell you, it’s three agencies of government, when I get there, that are gone: Commerce, Education and the — what’s the third one there — let’s see. (Laughter.)

REP. PAUL: You need five.

GOV. PERRY: Oh, five. OK.

REP. PAUL: Make it five.

GOV. PERRY: OK. So Commerce, Education and — the — (pause) —

MR. ROMNEY: EPA?

GOV. PERRY: EPA. There you go. (Laughter.) (Applause.)

MS. BARTIROMO: Let’s go —

MR: HARWOOD: Seriously? Is EPA the one you were talking about?

GOV. PERRY: No, sir. No, sir. We were talking about the agencies of government — EPA needs to be rebuilt. There’s no doubt about that.

MR. HARWOOD: But you can’t — but you can’t name the third one?

GOV. PERRY: The third agency of government.

MR. HARWOOD: Yes.

GOV. PERRY: I would do away with the Education, the Commerce and — let’s see — I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops.

Debate transcript per The New York Times.

By now, you’ve seen the clip of Governor Rick Perry hitting a mental brick wall in last night’s debate. It’s painful to watch. This morning’s papers are full of the suggestion that this effectively ended his candidacy. Why?  Why would anyone believe that? We elected George W. Bush, twice. (Okay, maybe just the once in 2004, but it’s time to let that go.) This is the party that elevated Sarah Palin to nominee for Vice President of the United States, and has since practically canonized her for her folksy inability to speak in complete sentences. Republican voters don’t want intellect, they want someone like them to be in charge. Republican power brokers want someone they can control. Rick Perry is doing a brilliant job in both regards. The best part about that clip isn’t actually his brain freeze, which could happen to anyone. No, the real genius of Perry is that he makes absolutely sure that we know he isn’t an otherwise competent man drawing a blank. He looks to Ron Paul – clearly the brains of this group – to give him the name of the third agency he’d cut. When Paul says he needs to cut five (Paul’s own plan), Perry agrees with him. “Oh, five, OK.” WHAT?!?! Then Romney suggests it’s the EPA, and again Perry agrees, until the moderator questions him directly about whether cutting the EPA is actually Perry’s plan. If Romney had been thinking more quickly, he could have gotten Perry to say he’d eliminate the Defense Department. Folksy, incompetent, and transparently manipulable? He’s the Republican Party’s dream.

When asked if he would stay in the race, Perry replied, “This ain’t a day for quittin’ nothin’.” Shoot, y’all. I think this guy has a chance to be President.

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The Message of 2011

November 9, 2011

I started a post all about the Republican vilification of government and their elevation of free-market capitalism to fundamentalist, gospel truth (I know, I know – you can’t wait to read that, right? Riveting stuff!) – but then last night happened. Democratic VOTERS happened. And that can’t be pushed aside for another day.

In case you missed it, there were some pretty huge issues elections yesterday. In Maine, voters supported their long tradition of same-day registration, overturning a Republican-backed law that required voters to register at least two days before the election. In Mississippi, voters rejected an amendment which would have made a fertilized egg a “person” under the law. In Ohio, voters trounced the Republican-supported law gutting unions for state employees (including teachers, of course). And, most sweetly of all, the GOOD people of Arizona recalled the self-proclaimed “Tea Party President” and architect of AZ SB1070, Russell Pearce.

This is big. This is HUGE. The major news story out of the 2010 election was the triumph of the Tea Party. The Republicans were already the party of no-tax pledges and small government, but after 2010, they completely bought into the lunatic fringe. Many Democrats in Congress quaked in their boots, too, believing that the country was veering sharply right. But yesterday’s elections show that Democratic voters can be just as passionate as the far right when our principles are on the line. We will fight for democracy by tearing down barriers to voting. We will fight for reproductive rights because these issues are far too complicated and personal to be bound by cartoonishly over-simplified mandates. We will fight to ensure that the people who work FOR US are allowed to organize for fair wages and benefits. And we will fight to remove politicians who make careers out of dehumanizing our neighbors.

Is this a great Democratic victory? Only if Democratic elected officials decide to stand with their constituents again. These are not fringe positions; this election was all about REJECTING extreme opinions. Of course, the money may not be as good. The unholy alliance of corporate interests, racists, the 1%, and religious fundamentalists, has allowed the GOP to raise ridiculous money while espousing ridiculous positions. So, Democratic officials, the ball is in your court. The People don’t like the fringe. The people want their voices heard – through voting rights, reproductive rights, rights to organize in unions, rights to due process for all residents. Will you listen to actual Democrats, or chase the money?

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Blue Minerva

November 6, 2011

This is my first blog; I’ve meant to do this for ages. I have facebook for communicating with friends, but sometimes I wish I could address a broader audience when it comes to all things socio-political. I make no claim to be an expert on any of this, but I’m willing to put my opinions out there, and willing to be corrected where I’m wrong. Try to find a deal like that anywhere else on the internet!

Blue Minerva: Blue for my left-leaning politics; Minerva for the Roman goddess of wisdom. I generally prefer the Greek iterations of the gods, but I’m not fool enough to compare myself to Athena. Minerva sounds slightly less hubristic, and recalls my favorite Hogwarts teacher. Double bonus. People say that choosing a name for your blog is the hardest part… I’m really hoping that’s true, because it stymied me for a couple of months. Nothing will ever be perfect, this blog least of all. But it has a name, at last.