Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Scattershooting fear, Gary Johnson, and more blog updates

-- My Nextdoor (neighborhood social forum) is filled lately with posts about crime: burgled homes, gunshots, suspicious people driving or walking the 'hood.  It seems as if my neighbors are crapping their pants about everything, even packs of stray dogs roaming the streets.  Put this together with the weekend bombing in New York and the discovery of another pressure cooker bomb in New Jersey, Trump's ratcheted-up fascist rhetoric, the continuing escalation of war in Syria despite "cease-fire" agreements, repetitive micro-aggressions between the US and North Korea and China and Russia, the queasiness reflected by a lot of my old Democratic friends about Hillary's gaffes, prevarications, and stumbles that have squandered her polling lead, and I believe we're about one actual terrorist attack away from President Donald Trump in an eruption of panic by the electorate.

Buck up, Americans.  This is supposed to be the home of the brave.  Start acting like it.

And please stop with the updates on Rick Perry and the Dancing With The Stars and the indignant outrage directed at football players who aren't standing for the national anthem, or holding up their fists instead of putting their hands over the hearts.  Let's focus more on the things that matter and less on the ones that don't.

-- You may have noticed that the blogroll in the right-hand column is back to "latest posts".  And Blogger is canceling the "Slideshow", top right, so I'll see if there's something I can come up with that will appear shortly in that space.

-- The news lately has exposed, in embarrassing detail, the Libertarian presidential candidate as an intellectual lightweight.  It began with "What is Aleppo" last week, and continued Sunday night on 60 Minutes.  The man just looks to me as if he has smoked too much pot over the course of his life.

Position-wise, the Libs get it right on a few things: decriminalizing weed and normalizing work visas, for example.  But Johnson's stand on other issues is an exercise in Trump-Lite.

  • He supports TPP.
  • He supports fracking.
  • He opposes any federal policies that would make college more affordable or reduce student debt. In fact, he wants to abolish student loans entirely.
  • He thinks Citizens United is great.
  • He doesn't want to raise the minimum wage. At all.
  • He favors a balanced-budget amendment and has previously suggested that he would slash federal spending 43 percent in order to balance the budget. This would require massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and social welfare programs of all kinds.
  • He opposes net neutrality.
  • He wants to increase the Social Security retirement age to 75 and he's open to privatization.
  • He opposes any kind of national health care and wants to repeal Obamacare.
  • He opposes practically all forms of gun control.
  • He opposes any kind of paid maternity or medical leave.
  • He supported the Keystone XL pipeline.
  • He opposes any government action to address climate change.
  • He wants to cut the corporate tax rate to zero.
  • He appears to believe that we should reduce financial regulation. All we need to do is allow big banks to fail and everything will be OK.
  • He wants to remove the Fed's mandate to maximize employment and has spoken favorably of returning to the gold standard.
  • He wants to block-grant Medicare and turn it over to the states.
  • He wants to repeal the 16th Amendment and eliminate the income tax, the payroll tax, and the estate tax. He would replace it with a 28 percent FairTax that exempts the poor. This is equivalent to a 39 percent sales tax, and it would almost certainly represent a large tax cut for the rich.

Johnson got the full Mediaite snark for his appearance yesterday morning on CNN.  He's previously -- as in 2000, before the election that year -- had a good laugh with W. Bush about how ignorant both men are.

Since protest votes seem lately to be the preferred cudgel Democrats are using to beat those who aren't on the Hillary bandwagon, let's be certain your progressive friends aren't making this mistake.  Here's the whole 60 Minutes enchilada, video and transcript.  Greens are on when, CBS?

-- It is a surprise, as Kuff has noted, that the Chronic endorsed Ann Harris Bennett for tax assessor/collector on the basis of incumbent Mike Sullivan's epic fail on voter registration.  I had previously commented that it wasn't likely to happen, but if newspaper endorsements still mean anything, this one should.  This is the local race to watch on Election Night (Kim Ogg and Ed Gonzalez should win, Jenifer Pool ought to in a just world), as it will likely be construed by talking heads as a harbinger of the length of Hillary Clinton's coattails, the GOTV effort of the Harris County Dems and Repubs, and other morning-after armchair-quarterbacking like that.

1 comment:

Gadfly said...

Plus, before he became an alleged libertarian, he was a law-and-order conservative who loved the hell out of private prisons.