Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Perverse Justice 

A commenter at the Volokh Conspiracy nails it:
In the federal system, court loads are managed by plea bargaining. People, who are actually guilty, are undercharged in exchange for being cooperative with expedited procedures. If someone insists on a trial . . . then they are overcharged, with the full consequence in sentencing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sound and Fury 

The Language Log on Sarah Palin:
I think being so utterly unable to explain what one wants to say is truly and reasonably regarded as a defect in one's qualifications for office — partly because being so inept at talking in a controlled and sensible way strongly suggests that there was no sensible thought back there, and partly because even if there were sensible thoughts back there somewhere, a leader needs to be more skilled at articulating them.

Having a president who regularly spluttered and stumbled like [Palin] when speaking off the cuff is exactly what made the past eight years so awful for those who would like to be proud of the USA and its leadership.

Family Values 

President-elect Obama's possible selection of Eric Holder to be Attorney General brings this Miami Herald headline:
Obama may tap Elián players for White House roles
The article notes that the appointment was "infuriating some Cuban-American Republicans who haven't forgotten the 6-year-old boy seized in Miami and sent back to the communist regime." It fails to mention, however, that he was sent back to Cuba to live with his father -- not that that matters to the rabid right-wingers in Miami's Cuban community.

Monday, November 17, 2008

An Alternative Plan 

It probably is too late for it to work, but instead of giving the US automakers 25 billion dollars to keep them going, why not provide a significant tax credit to those who purchase a new car from the Big 3?

An average credit of $2500 would encourage the purchase of up to 100,000 automobiles. The credit could be on a sliding scale - the better the gas mileage, the larger the credit.

As I mentioned, I think it's too late for this (and there may be legal reasons it wouldn't be possible).

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Time Moves On 

For my two grandfathers, it was John F. Kennedy.

For my father it was Jimmy Carter.

And for me, it is Barak Obama.

I'm referring, of course, to the point in our lives when we were finally older than the president.


Former Sun-Sentinel political columnist Buddy Nevins has started a blog about Broward County politics -- so far it's mostly all about the Lamberti-Israel race for Sheriff.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down 

The last non-Southern Democrat elected president was John F. Kennedy in 1960.

In 1960, the overwhelming number of schools in the southern states were segregated, as were its universities. The freedom riders had not yet begun their bus rides into the deep South, Martin Luther King had not made his "I Have a Dream" speech, the poll tax had not been abolished, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were still in the future.

The tumult of the Civil Rights movement and President Johnson's advocacy for an end to legal impediments to equal rights for African-Americans gave Republicans the opening to pursue their so-called Southern Strategy -- wooing and giving comfort to those who were opposed to a multi-racial society. The South became a GOP bastion.

Over the next 40 years, the only Democrats to reach the White House came from the South. But the Southern Strategy was a time bomb looks to have finally blown up last night.

The continuing empowerment of blacks, the increase in minority populations, the rise of a new generation that doesn't carry the racial baggage of their fathers and grandfathers overpowered the politics of fear.

Forget about Obama being an African-American. That a liberal Midwestern Democrat could win victories in the states of the former Confederacy is a sign that things have changed.

Obama said he had a righteous wind at his back. That wind was not only propelling him forward to the presidency, it was also blowing down the frail framework of the Republican Southern Strategy.

Happy Days are Here Again! 

I first voted in the 1968 presidential election. This will be the fourth one in which I voted for the winning candidate, but none were more satisfying nor gave me more hope for the future than did the victory of Barak Obama.

That Obama carried Florida was the icing on the cake.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Clint Would Agree 

Jonah Goldberg: "Truth be told I am not trying to say anything too profound."

Harry Callahan: "A man's got to know his limitations."

We Can Only Hope 

Jed Lewison at Daily Kos:
Republicans may not realize it yet, but it's not just John McCain who is going down in this election. It's also guys like Matt Drudge and propaganda machines like FOX News. They may maintain their influence within the shrinking world of the conservative right wing, but the rest of America has said goodbye and good riddance to their lies and distortions.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I'm Still Holding My Breath 

FiveThirtyEight: "McCain's chances of victory are estimated at 1.9 percent, their lowest total of the year."

Crystal Balls 

The Huffington Post has a list of pundits' predictions.

The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes thinks Obama will fall short, gathering only 252 electoral votes. No one else has Obama winning less than 311.

James Carville is the only one on the list who believes the Democrats will hold 60 Senate seats after the election.

McCain on SNL 

James Fallows:
. . . no candidate who thought he had a prayer of winning would have appeared on this show.

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