Above the Fray

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Strategy: Words and music

As usual, Mark makes the 'telling' strategic point on the uproar [def:false shock and dismay, lies and distortions] about Dean's remarks:

"So we're on 'Orange Alert.' I guess maybe capturing Saddam Hussein really didn't make the country any safer, at least in the short run. Of course, a majority of voters already knew that.

A campaign isn't words; it's music. And Dean's comment was badly off key."

But that doesn't mean they want to be told it by someone running for President. The purpose of a Presidential campaign is to convince the voters to like you, to trust you, and to think you're on their side.

Raining on the national parade, even by telling the truth, doesn't help with any of that.

Reminds me of an old song by Tom Paxton..'Crazy John'
Mark A. R. Kleiman

Monday, December 22, 2003

Creeping Power Shift, Are we worried yet?

I held out some hope that the very scary trend in power consolidation would be checked. Now I think that the switch point has been reached. The ability of the Government and Corporations to get information on citizens is now so expanded that there is no going back. The genie is out of the bottle.. This represents a power shift that enables organizations to use information to coerce, manipulate and dismiss individuals with no balancing vector.

Essentially it means that 'You better not cry, you better not pout' nor make any other mistake in your life, because they will know, and won't forget, and just might punish...

Of course, I have a cold so I may be a bit grim and overly pessimistic today...

Congress approved a bill on Friday that expands the reach of the Patriot Act, reduces oversight of the FBI and intelligence agencies and, according to critics, shifts the balance of power away from the legislature and the courts.

A provision of an intelligence spending bill will expand the power of the FBI to subpoena business documents and transactions from a broader range of businesses -- everything from libraries to travel agencies to eBay -- without first seeking approval from a judge.

...The new provision in the spending bill redefines the meaning of"financial institution" and "financial transaction." The wider definition explicitly includes insurance companies, real estate agents, the U.S. Postal Service, travel agencies, casinos, pawn shops, ISPs, car dealers and any other business whose "cash transactions have a high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax or regulatory matters."...

"They [congress] had no idea this was coming," Edgar said. "This is going to help to continue to expand the list of people and organizations that are asking questions about civil liberties and Patriot Act powers."

..Note that the repeated mantra of exclusive Executive branch authority, without congressional or judicial oversight..

Merry Christmas Y'all
Cassel: More Power to the President, Stealth Bill

Friday, December 12, 2003

Arnie Alert III

Mark Kleinman weighs in on another issue:

So our new governor, having promised an investigation of his own groping activities in order to avoid answering any questions during the campaign -- an investigation that would obviously be entirely worthless -- has now decided that such an investigation would be entirely worthless, so he's dropping the idea. And his spokesgeek insists that the voters, by voting for Schwarzenegger after he promised an investigation, were recording a judgment that there was nothing to investigate...[rather circular donch think]

Will someone please explain to me, slowly and carefully, why we're supposed to be "civil" about this sort of shamelessness? The Governor of California is a serial sexual batterer whose word isn't worth the spit behind it. That's not partisan ranting; that's just a simple statement of fact.

Note: Mark is not given to ranting, he is a professor at UCLA in Public Policy and Social Research, so the 'harsh' language is uncharacteristic...guess he is highly energetic about Arnie!]

Mark Kleiman: A governor whose word is his junk bond

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Arnie Outrage Building

When CalPundit resorts to invectives, [he is a mild mannered guy doncha know], things are really heating up:

...Fine, let's just get this out of the way, then: is Arnold the most brazen liar in the history of politics, or what? I say this without a lot of malice, since I genuinely sympathize with the almost impossible job he's taken on. But still, enough's enough....

...He said over and over that education wouldn't be touched and that he supported Proposition 98. It was a cornerstone of his campaign. But less than a month after being sworn in he casually proposes gutting Prop 98 and then sends out his chief flack to make weasel noises about what the meaning of "cut" is. It's really unbelievable....

In the same interview, Arnold also backed off his promise to make sure local communities get back the money they lost when he reduced the vehicle license fee. And he's backed off his promise to investigate the groping charges.

This is a joke. He knew perfectly well exactly how bad the state's finances were when he made these promises, and he made them anyway. He knew he couldn't keep these promises without tax increases, and he made them anyway. And everyone believed that he had some magic plan that defied the laws of economics and lined up to vote for him.

And now he's just tossing those promises overboard without so much as an apology. It's revolting.

Arnold's Lies

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Arnie watch, Education

THEN (6 Nov 2002)
By a wide margin, voters approved movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plan to spend $550 million a year on after-school programs.

Bolstered by Schwarzenegger’s fame and $1 million of his money, the measure attracted the endorsements of police chiefs, district attorneys and business leaders around the state.

NOW (9 Dec 2003)

In what may prove a dramatic reversal of a key campaign promise, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday he is considering suspending Proposition 98, the landmark school funding guarantee.

"We're working with, you know, the education community to see how we can work together, for them to help with us this budget crisis," Schwarzenegger said during an interview on CNN that aired Tuesday.

"To maybe have a suspension or to have some relief there so we can pull out of these next two years and then pay it back, maybe," Schwarzenegger said.

Proposition 98 was passed by voters statewide in 1988. It mandates that public schools – kindergarten through 12th grade and community colleges – receive about 40 percent of the state's revenues.
This guy creates great charts. The bias is clear, but good visuals!

Saturday, December 06, 2003


The Fascist meme reversed:
Matthew Yglesias: Got Me:

"Well, I know I didn't just flip from left to right overnight. So I'll suggest new names as relates to this new America that we live in - meanies and weenies."

Thursday, December 04, 2003


Partisan Pundits really stretch the credibility scale...I rarely read them, but I do read the funny 'shorter' versions. This one gets special note since it is sooo OTT. Liberalzz have caused the housing problem in California....ROTFL

{a shorter]Thomas Sowell
There is no "national crisis" regarding a lack of affordable housing. There's plenty of cheap housing in Texas, for example. And there is actually lots of vacant land available for building in California -- it's just kept vacant by law, since it's in national parks and such. Instead of whining about a lack of affordable housing, people should just live in Texas and commute to Silicon Valley, or should build condos in Yosemite.

It is precisely in the places that have been most dominated by liberals for the longest times that housing costs and other costs of living have been driven up to levels that force many people out of town and even out of state. New York and California are losing more of their native-born populations than any other states and only influxes of immigrants help conceal that fact in gross statistics.

And these immigrants don't need affordable housing -- well, they do, but if we'd just let them sell their organs, they'd be able to pay for outrageously expensive housing without federal assistance.

World O'Crap

This Lady is very funny,,and I like the title of the blog too. Check out her 'reviews' of movies. Cutting is the softest word for it.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

A useful Distinction?

NEGOTIATE OR CONFRONT?....Clark Kerr, the architect of California's modern system of higher education, died yesterday. Rising student violence on the Berkeley campus prompted Ronald Reagan to fire him in 1967, and Kerr's obituary in the LA Times explains why:

As a former arbitrator who chose to negotiate rather than confront, Kerr was a symbol of weakness to conservatives.

There's a lot of insight packed into that one little sentence.

Calpundit: Negotiate or Confront?