Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Numbers, They Do Not Lie

Via the Unc, we learn that Congress' job approval ratings are the lowest in modern history! Single digit, in fact. And it only took two years -- one half a presidential election cycle -- to get there.

What happened? Well, it might be the switch to the Pelosi-led Democratic majority. It might also be the utter sell-out by the Republican leadership to the altar of Mammon (where Democrats are also worshipping). You'll notice that Pelosi and Reid aren't much in the news of late. Can you blame them?

Oh, wait. Yes you can!

Democrats promised so much and then completely failed to actually achieve any of it. No, wait, I misspoke. They did raise the minimum wage. Yay for them.

President Bush, meanwhile, has an approval rating three times higher than Congress. And that's after almost 8 years of bashing by Democrats and the media.

Pundits and Democrats are saying that Congress will go even further Democratic this next election, but if you dig into those Rasmussen numbers you'll see that the moderate and independent voters Obama is going for are the very people who are least happy with Congress right now. Reagan Democrats all, they were also mightily pissed off with Obama by the later primaries, as witnessed by Hillary's wins.

It all depends on whether or not the Republicans can get their act and image together in the next few months....

Bwahahahahahahahaha! Sorry, couldn't keep a straight face saying that. They've completely screwed the pooch in the past four years. The promise for conservatives in the 1994 Contract With America was assiduously ground into dust so that Republican leadership could make buckets of money.

At least the Libertarians have the best possible candidate this time around in Bob Barr. He's a professional politician from the mainstream and not some lunatic ideologue as past nominees have often been. He doesn't immediately start talking about disbanding the IRS and legalising drugs and prostituion on Day One. He's a gradualist who wants to move things a little at a time. He stands for things the Democrats and Republicans have demonstrated they don't care about any more. So, I hope we see and hear more from him

But I still don't hold out a lot of hope for America. Republicans have become the party of "We're not as bad as the Democrats!" They don't go after their own principles of smaller government, reduced Federal spending and lower taxes any more. I really do fear we've finally turned the corner into a nation that will vote itself unlimited benefits from the Federal Treasury, paid for with higher taxes today and promissory notes on the future.

Even if Obama loses (and I think he will) McCain is still the sort of person who will dicker and bargain with the Democratic Congress on legislation that's still bad for the country, even if it's good for his name. Like McCain-Feingold. He's not so much a leader as a "strike out on your own" kind of guy. That leaves the Congress in charge (which is, ironically, where the power and control ought to be in my opinion), and they'll whip him around like a bulldog on the knotted end of a rope.

An Obama presidency? Well, I really do think it might be a short one. The threat of assassination is very real, even if the media don't seem to want to discuss it. The attitude of the news media always seems to be a shocked surprise that there are still recidivist racists out there. It's just not a proper subject for adult discussion. Look at how they twisted the Democratic primary votes in places like Pennsylvania and West Virginia, where Hillary won big on the backs of rural, lower class whites. Remember Obama's slur of them as backwards bigots holding on to guns and God out of fear?

So, I fear it's very possible that he might be killed within the next two years. I don't want or welcome it, but it's a probability (not a possibility) that needs to be kept in mind. There are still a lot of people who really don't want a black president for "their" country. It's ugly but true. Who he picks as his vice-presidential candidate really is very important, even if the media won't always own up to why.

Along that line of thinking, I've heard some who think Obama's first term will be like John Kennedy's (hmmmm ... Kennedy) in that he'll pass a lot of important, historic legislation with a Democratic Congress. That legislation won't come into full effect until his second term, if he gets one.

I think an Obama presidency will turn into the Carter administration. I lived through it and it was a horrorshow for this country. We have many of the precipitative ingredients in place -- weakened economy, oil troubles, increasing inflation, farm troubles (thanks to corn and biofuels), disrespect from Arab countries. I think Obama will bring in lots of intellectuals who don't have much common sense and they'll end up dumping this country into a raft of troubles. Just look at the people he's been chucking overboard this year who were his advisors until they got him into problems.

Arch-enemy of the media Dick Nixon led to Gerald Ford. Ford's ineptness led to Jimmah Carter. And Carter's asshattery brought us Ronald Reagan.

Do we have a minimum of four years to wait for a strong presidential leader to emerge from either party? Or will we wait up to eight more years?

The "Netroots Progressive Left" was born in the loss by Gore in 2000. They've been raging and recruiting ever since. They've had almost no successes. The new Democratic Congressional majority was supposed to be their crowning achievement and you can see how that went. Obama is their newest crowning achievement and I already know how that will go.

Like they say, no matter who wins, we all lose.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Conversational Exchange of the Day

Manny: I thought you were, actually. Gay, I mean.

Bernard: So did I for a bit. Then I found out about the prohibitive standard of hygiene. And all that DANCING!

From Black Books.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Slow Decline Progresses

News from California has to come as a horrid shock to newspaper folks across the nation: The Orange County Register is outsourcing copy-editing to a firm in India.

Now, the Commercial Appeal here in Memphis has already announced that Scripps (their corporate owner) is outsourcing advertising layout and design to another Indian firm. This, however, is a whole new level. Copy-editing is reading the text for errors of spelling, punctuation and usage. It generally takes a person with good skills in English and a sharp eye for detail. The second can come anywhere, but the first? Have you talked with "Peggy" in an Indian support-line call center lately?

The cost of sending digital data across the world is trivial, but the people who manipulate that data in India will do it for much less than Americans will. They have a lower relative cost of living. Plus they don't have pesky OSHA and other workplace laws, nor do they have unions. It saves money.

Will the editors of the papers that benefit from this kind of outsourcing print editorials against it, as they do against other industries doing the same thing for the same reason? Will they swear that the product won't suffer by this change?

Will it? Will the community that supports this paper, and the people who won't work there any more, put up with it if they ever find out? Who will tell them?