Ever since the 1930s, something very much like the tea party movement has fluoresced every time a Democrat wins the presidency, and the nature of the fluorescence always follows many of the same broad contours: a reverence for the Constitution, a supposedly spontaneous uprising of formerly nonpolitical middle-class activists, a preoccupation with socialism and the expanding tyranny of big government, a bitterness toward an underclass viewed as unwilling to work, and a weakness for outlandish conspiracy theories.
(Thnx to AB for the pointer.)
I made a similar point about the Clinton-era lunacy in this sadly-still-relevant column from last year.
Drum is right about the mainstreaming of the movement, and the power of the media, but I wouldn't undersell the anger over the economy, and also the unresolved passions stemming from 9/11.
Much of this anger is misdirected, channeled away from Wall Street and its lackeys by shouting millionaires in the pay of billionaires, but it's real nonetheless.
New regulations that would have required houses built in North Carolina to be 30 percent more energy efficient than current models have been delayed following a vote by the state’s Building Code Council earlier this month.
The principal objections to the new regulations came from homebuilders, particularly the N.C. Home Builders Association...
More from Binker: "Advocates for the new rules said any increase in mortgage costs would be offset by lower energy bills."
The debacle comes as Australia's government, led by newly elected Prime Minister Julia Gillard, pursues a law to censor the Internet. Critics of the hotly debated Australian proposal believe the latest episode demonstrates exactly why Web censorship is unworkable.
Iranian court gives Hoder 19 years: "Hossein Derakhshan was convicted on charges of cooperation with hostile countries, spreading propaganda against the ruling establishment, promotion of counterrevolutionary groups and insulting Islamic thoughts and religious figures." (via Jeff)
Hard to believe that denial about the Great Recession persisted as long as it did in some quarters. Now they say it's over, which shows again how the formal definition diverges from the felt definition.
Anyway: "When we step back and look at this financial disaster 10 years from now, the destruction of capital in our economy as a result of what we've endured will be the single greatest lasting impact on recovery and how the economy performs in the future."
If you put advertisers on the same distribution platform as your editors and writers, and if you say that there are no lines separating what’s editorial content and what’s advertising, then at that point you don’t need Dinesh D’Souza to destroy your editorial integrity: you’ve managed to do it all by yourself.
Two months after Lehman Brothers collapsed in the fall of 2008, a small group of European leaders set up a secret task force—one so secret that they dubbed it "the group that doesn't exist."
Its mission: Devise a plan to head off a default by a country in the 16-nation euro zone.
We just avoided an epic disaster, but if everything is not fine by now, it must be because Obama's a Kenyan, so we should reempower the folks who say "Deficits are a terrible thing. Let’s make them much bigger."
After reviewing the City's grant application, the DOE guidelines, the proposed budget and the City Council video, I thought it worthwhile to make a few points on the DOE grant...The City ought not delay accepting these funds.
Glenwood Observer left a comment here that is republished in full after the jump.
[T]here's so much spin, ass-covering, internal confusion and changing positions from one moment to the next that it's hard to get a really clear read on just what's going on.
My money is on a combination of timidity and cupidity, although cluelessness looms as a possibility.
UPDATE: A relevant comment by eric from yesterday's thread on this topic:
Neither party (I speak here of the parties as organizations, and not necessarily of particular candidates or supporters) has demonstrated any serious interest in or credible commitment to policy or principle. Both trade primarily on fear and loathing -- the GOP on fear and loathing of poor, dark, and foreign people; the Dems on fear of the GOP. Both exist precisely to focus on the acquisition of power; once they temporarily accomplish that goal, they act more or less the same, with a few minor differences to keep the audience mildly interested.
To the extent that this is true, it's true in part because they work for the same people.
[A]dvocacy groups like Americans for Job Security [...] allow moneyed interests to influence elections without revealing themselves. Congress is now wrangling over a bill that would require some disclosure.
Not as important as proving that Obama is a cryptoislamic agent, but maybe there are some other shadowy places in our political system worth illuminating.
The Republican Party's 21-page blueprint, "Pledge to America," was put together with oversight by a House staffer who, up till April 2010, served as a lobbyist for some of the nation's most powerful oil, pharmaceutical, and insurance companies.
Before Madden was a game or even an announcer and pitchman, before the Raiders were always awful, Oakland had a team to be proud of:
Madden gathered the players together to begin the practice.
"Where's Hendricks?" he asked.
He was answered by a man in a Raider uniform and pads emerging from behind one of the end zones perched astride a large roan horse and wearing a black German army helmet embellished with the Raider logo on each temple. Expertly, Hendricks galloped the horse onto the field, dismounted at the 50, and announced himself ready for practice.
Maybe that explains the mini-epidemic of political theater, truthiness, and lies now underway in Greensboro.
Start with Danny Thompson's prop-waving performance when raising the issue of library filters, and consider the stream of disinformation on that subject at Joe Guarino's blog, which has even filter proponents throwing up their hands in disgust.
Then consider the attempted Breitbarting of Carolyn Coleman, and the apparent misrepresentation of plans for savings on the new jail.
The old journalistic saw has it that three's a trend. This trend is not a healthy one.
Asheville enacted an ordinance similar to Greensboro's RUCO program, and under it the number of housing complaints declined steeply. But under pressure from Asheville's landlords, the ordinance was repealed, and housing complaints quickly jumped back up...
The bottom line is that the terrorists Hate Us For Our Freedom, but it's sobering nonetheless to remember that Bin Laden secured his base of operations because of the Taliban, which was sponsored by Pakistan, which does much of what it does because of its feud with India, which involves things that have little to do with Our Freedom.
The failed attempt to Breitbart Carolyn Coleman should not obscure the interesting information presented by Ms. Adkins in the video -- that our massive jail project is said to be $21 million under budget.
What exactly does that mean? How firm is that new budget?
Will $21 million (or whatever large number may shake out) actually be available to apply to Guilford County's ominous deficit next year?
And I'd still like to understand the revenue flow, if any, from the old jail, and to get an explanation of where that money will go and why it shouldn't be applied to the bond debt for the new jail.
P.J. O'Rourke: "I take the Tea Party point that, politically speaking, control is scary. Out-of-control is also scary. And what’s most scary about foreign policy is how often it’s simply beyond our control."
UPDATE: Commenter CC4G quickly responds to my question: "Coleman's comment came one hour after the woman spoke and was in response to a male heckler. Ask yourself why the person who edited the video substituted a still shot of Coleman instead of using the video of her comments. On the video, a man can be heard yelling something at Coleman. Her response was to him and he is seen on the video -- but not on the propaganda for which you seem to be falling."
Looks like I got had. Apologies to Commissioner Coleman.
Ariana Iacono, 14, has been battling Johnston County school officials for weeks about her small peridot nose stud. The dress code prohibits students from wearing nose piercings and other facial jewelry, but Ariana says she should be exempt from the rule because she belongs to the little-known Church of Body Modification, which encourages piercings and tattoos as a path to spiritual enlightenment.
Interesting decision by our local newspaper, with its local focus on local news, to splash an art story from New York City across most of its Life section front, while giving much less space to another art story that's, well, local.
And why not drop a mention into the wire copy to let locals know that they can see work by Stieglitz right here at the local art museum?
Oh, yeah, about that local story -- the paper's version is hidden in the e-reader, but here's the scoop: "On Thursday, Sept. 23, trustees of the Public Art Endowment will unveil Entrance to a Garden, a sculpture by internationally recognized artist Dennis Oppenheim. This public event will take place at 4:30 p.m. on the front lawn of the VF Jeanswear/Wrangler Building, 400 N. Elm St., Greensboro."
A film adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s sci-fi novel Ender’s Game has been in the works for years now, hampered at various turns by Card’s frequent falling out with various producers and directors who want to make it a kick-ass war movie. So fams should probably take this announcement with the usual wait-and-see attitude...
The accuracy of computer modeling is a flashpoint in climate-change debates, so this sentence caught my eye: "Computer forecasts of water temperature suggest that corals in the Caribbean may undergo drastic bleaching in the next few weeks."
All kinds of reasons the outcome will not be conclusive on the larger question, but interesting nonetheless to see how this short-term prediction plays out.
Yesterday's link to DeLong's post about rich people and their problems led to an email discussion of that timeless topic, How Much Do You Need to Be Rich?
Ignoring the obvious cul-de-sacs (e.g., many Americans would seem rich in much of the world, if you have your health, etc.), it's still hard to define the shades of meaning. I'd say "rich" is at the top of the heap, above "wealthy," with "comfortable" and "well to do" down in upper-middle-class territory.
Multi-billionaires and even mere billionaires and centimillionaires may need their own category, but I don't think they should have "rich" to themselves.That's what intensifiers are for ("really rich," etc).
In the email exchange, I proposed the baseline for "rich" as being asset-based: being able to live a fairly luxurious life without an earned income. That standard might cause the really rich to snicker in their private jets, and it doesn't address the level of earned income needed to be rich, but it's a starting point. Thoughts?