Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gov. Paterson and the Shock Doctrine

Gov. Paterson and The Shock Doctrine______________________________
Gov. Paterson is applying the Shock Doctrine.
Naomi Klein's bestseller, The Shock Doctrine, is a good read. Her thesis is that the Milton Friedman radical economists use natural and political crises to impose radical private market policies. These radical policies would never be supported by the mass citizens under normal conditions.
Klein uses the examples of New Orleans, Iraq, Chili, and the current Bush call for off shore oil drilling as examples of the Shock Doctrine in practice. Post-Katrina New Orleans has become the petri dish for radical Friedman shock therapy.
Gov. Paterson is using shock to possibly impose Friedman-type radical private market solutions.
Selling off state bridges, roads, and other assets is radical.A property tax cap is radical and can have long-term negative consequences . Why not propose a circuit breaker instead?Projecting budget deficits three years out is radical and not realistic.Even calling the Legislature back 3 months before an election is radical. And could benefit the Senate GOP Conference.
One thing is for sure and that is the state is far too dependent on Wall Street revenues.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Yada, Yada, Watergate and Troopergate

Yada,Yada, Watergate and Troopergate***********************As the lovable Seinfeld characters would say, yada, yada, yada.Troopergate is much jabbering (yada,yada) about nothing.In case anyone missed it, Fred Dicker compares Troopergate to Watergate. On his radio program,Ch.6 news, The Post, and Arebetter's NY Now, Dicker is a legend in his own mind.When he looks in the mirror, he sees Woodward or Bernstein.
I'm a believer in the Watergate revisionist school. Watergate, itself, was a tempest in a teapot. Nixon was brought down by the revenge of the bureauratic nerds. Many of his actions treatened strong Wash. bureaucracies.And he should have burned the tapes.
Troopergate is a tempest in a teapot; a vindictive power play unworthy of adults. Spitzer broke the bipartisan entente between the Gov.'s Office and the GOP Senate Conference. He acted to aid the Dems in taking control of the Senate.
Joe Bruno, like others,was abusing the use of state aircraft. Spitzer apparently misused the State Police to gather very detailed info. on Bruno's travels. Having said this, the issue itself is overblown. The Albany political honchos have long misused state aircraft.
Spitzer appears to have had a temperment unsuited for the Governor's office. He covered himself in a cloak of an idealistic reformer, but had a vindictive elitist personality. He was a Type A personality functioning in a Type F Capitol environment. He likely used his Blackberry in the shower. Hopefully, he is getting good therapy in anger management; and, hopefully,his wife doesn't shoot him.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

July 4th ruminations-part 2

July 4th ruminations-part 2______________________
If Obama becomes President, he should call for the transformation of our political institutions...the audacity of hope.
The Presidency should be one 6 yr. term, with voters voting on whether to expand the term for 2 more years during the sixth year.
Eliminate the Electoral College, or replace it with a majority vote system. The latter would have states making up a majority of electoral votes to agree to vote for the national majority vote winner.
Public financiing of the President either/or public or private financing.
On primaries/caucuses, have rotating regional primaries; only primaries, no caucuses which are undemocratic; weekend and online voting; winner take all; and no superdelegates.
The House of Reps. should be 4 year terms, arranged to run also during the Presidential election.
The Senate 2 per state should be changed, and based on population. R.I. could still have 2, but Tx, NY,Cal.,Fl. Pa would have at least 4, or 6 or more.
The Supreme Court justices should be term limited, one 6 year or 8 yr. term.

July 4th Holiday ruminations on political transformation

Some July 4th political ruminations -part 1---------------------------------------------------------In a recent NYT letter, eminent Political historian James McGregor Burns declared that this presidential election should be a transforming one...transforming an 18th political system to meet the transforming needs of the 21st century.
Historian Gil Troy (Leading from the Center) makes the case that our best Presidents have been moderates, governing from the political center.
If that is true, the liberal bloggers (see daily kos and Huffingtonpost) should not get their shorts in a twist over Obama's move to the center. The NYT editorial board is also upset. In a lead editorial on Friday (New and Not Improved), the Times is concerned by Obama's flips on private campaign financing, electronic wiretappng, death penalty, gun control, faith-based initiatives and possibly Iraq.
The portion of the 50 million Millenials that gave Obama his caucus/primary victories may revote against Obama if he continues his rapid flip to the center.
I am also concerned by Obama's flips. I'm enough of a realist to expect him to move to the center. But the times call for a transformational leader. He should not govern from the center. Once taking office in January, or in his inaugural address, he should call loudly for a 100 days of transformation.
The 100 days should first deal with what conservative analyst Kevin Phillips calls the 6-7 sharks that are circling the US (see Bad Money). They are financialization of our economy; level of debt;peak oil;collapse of home prices;global commodity inflation;lousy economic indicators; and ,perhaps, Rush Limbaugh
The first hundred days should also deal with health care, a move to universal coverage. Obama should give Congress 100 days to put a universal health care bill on his desk. After 30 days, he should address Congress to bring this bill home in 70 days. It is what he should call the urgency of now; the urgency of hope. In his address to Congress, he should give them a ringing call, asking them if they are fired up and ready to go?
There are more transformational moves that are necessary. See part 2.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Happy holiday weekend to all.*****ABC News has a story that flat screens are an enviromental timebomb. NF3 (nitrogen trifloride) is used in their manufacturing. NF3 is not counted in the Kyoto Treaty list of environmental gases. I never liked big flat screens myself. The tube should be a marginal existence in all our lives.*****Obama may refine his Iraq withdrawl timetable after visiting Iraq this month. It is a pattern of his to now move rapidly to the political center. The liberal grassroots are getting angry, including Arianna Huffington.
The times call for a transformational leader. Obama is evolving into a pedestrian opportunist.*****The reports say Madonna is worth $600 million and has no prenup with Richie. Is Madonna going through menopause? Is she ok?Her hubby may be a nice guy, but the divorce lawyers will be fighting for big bucks (they get 10-25% or more). What is the purpose in Madonna breaking up A Rod's marriage? Is it to show how immature the $295 million A Rod is? Is it to show Madonna's dominance? One could easily see how A Rod is guided by his genitals, rather than his head. But a 50 yr. woman is seldom guided by the same .What does Kabbalah doctrine say about all of this?
Posted by gecannon on July 3, 2008 4:48 PM

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Supreme Court and Pres. election

"So little time, so little to do"Oscar Lavant"Sunshine on my shoulders amost always makes me high."John Denver________________If McCain wants to continue to use old age jokes, a Post writer used this one as a lead this am: "I'm so old, if I walked into an antique store, the salesman would keep me!"________________
Conservative Post op.ed. writer and National Review editor Rich Lowry writes that Supreme Ct. swing Justice Anthony Kennedy engages in "vaporous moralism".
His criticism is misplaced. It is Justices Scalia and Thomas , the two extremists, that engage in "vaporous moralism."
Their positions on Presidential power are extreme. Their rewriting of the Constitution through judical fiat is extreme. Scalia's recent statement that the Court's decision to stop the 2000 Florida recount saved the country is extreme and silly. Their recent opinion on 2nd Amendment gun rights is extreme and dangerous. Their opinions upholding Bush on 4th Amendment rights are extreme and dangerous.
A blogger has offered to give the conservatives the 2nd Amendment gun rights if they would give Americans back the 4th Amendment protections on search and seizure. The blogger doesn't believe the rightwing will accept the offer; and I agree.
There are mega issues in this Pres. election. Some suggest Obama can be a transforming leader-an FDR. He could also just be a pragmatist making marginal changes.
What is clear is that Obama (or McCain) will likely transform the Court. Two in the liberal bloc (Ginsberg and Stevens) will retire or die in the next 4 years. Obama or McCain can make the Court strongly liberal or conservative for a generation.
This is important enough for everyone to vote!
Posted by gecannon on July 1, 2008 4:30 PM