Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Final Act in the Wisconsin Recall Saga, Would “Giv’em Hell Barry” Work?, Texas Gov. Rick Perry Starts to Walk It Back . . .

And other News That Should Not Need Commenting, But Does

Tuesday brings two more recall races in Wisconsin, this time involving Democrats. The incumbent Democratic state senators are expected to hold one seat safely, but a second could be in play. Ben Smith in Politico reports

If Wisconsin voters had done this the first
time they wouldn't need recall elections

Sources on both sides tell me they expect Democrats to struggle to hold Jim Holperin's Wausau seat in rural northeastern Wisconsin, which is expected to be the tightest of the three races

Even with a win, the effort in Wisconsin to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker has a low probability of even occurring, much less succeeding.  With a loss that likelihood drops to near zero.

The Republican Campaign to destroy teacher's unions in Wisconsin is working well.  The Wisconsin teacher's union is having to layoff 40% of its staff, because

legislation makes it illegal for local teachers unions to electronically deduct dues from the payroll of teachers, and local unions also have to hold re-certification votes.

How desperate are Democrats to find positives about 2012?  Norm Ornstein has an article that suggests a parallel between Mr. Obama’s 2012 challenge and the successful campaign of Harry Truman in 1948.  Yes, that 1948.

Mr. Obama Wants to Party Like Its 1948

the President can at least take some solace in a precedent from 64 years ago: Harry Truman’s campaign for reelection in 1948—successful, despite a poor economic climate, and a polarized electorate

Mr. Ornstein goes on to say that if Mr. Obama is to repeat Mr. Truman’s historical win, Mr. Obama must campaign like Mr. Truman.  Good advice, “Giv’em Hell Barry” is a lot better slogan than “The Great Compromiser”.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is in full campaign mode, as he has already started to walk back two controversial positions.   Mr. Perry has had to put distance between his beliefs and electoral politics on gay marriage.  Mr. Perry, citing his adherence to the 10th amendment, has been on record as accepting New York’s legalization of gay marriage, and as wanting to turn abortion control over to the states with the overthrow of Roe. V. Wade. 

A few weeks before jumping into the race, Perry said in Aspen, Colo., that gay marriage should be left up to the individual states.

Gay marriage in New York?

“That’s their business,” Perry said. Later, in Houston, Perry said he would allow states to set abortion policy if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned some day as he hopes.

Mr. Perry Starts His Campaign

Since Conservatives only believe in the states’ rights when states do things they think are right, Mr. Perry has now had to advocate for constitutional amendments to prohibit gay marriage and abortion.  This brings him into mainstream Conservative ideology which states that the Federal government should not interfere in traditional state government issues unless the states do things Conservatives don’t like.  In that case involving the Federal government is proper policy.

Mr. Perry is also renouncing his previous support for mandatory vaccination against cervical cancer for young girls, as that position has come under attack also.

Speaking to voters at a backyard party in New Hampshire, Perry said he was ill-informed when he issued his executive order, in February 2007, mandating the HPV vaccine for all girls entering sixth grade, unless their parents completed a conscientious-objection affidavit form

 If the issue is between young women getting cancer, and proper Conservative ideology, well it is clear ideology trumps cancer every time.

As for the practice of giving up a position under political pressure, Mr. Perry said he was just trying to catch up with Mitt Romney, but didn’t think he had enough time to do that.

Billionaire Warren Buffet has an opinion piece in the New York Times in which he describes in detail how his tax rate is lower than most working folks.

Warren Buffett is interviewed in the White House Briefing Room, July 18. | AP Photo
Of Course He is Smiling - He is a Billionaire
and Has a Tax Rate of 17%!

Last year my federal tax bill — the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf — was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income — and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.

As expected, Conservatives did not refute Mr. Buffet, because they cannot refute Mr. Buffet (are the facts ever on the side of Conservatives?) so they have taken the old refrain of telling Mr. Buffet that he can pay more taxes if he wants to.

Now Mr. Buffet is smarter than most Conservatives (ok, not a difficult standard to beat) and knows that the problems of governments and deficits will not be solved just by himself, and that Republicans would probably just take the extra tax money and use it to reduce taxes on other billionaires.   So Mr. Buffet will donate the bulk of his estate to charity.  

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