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A few political thoughts:

-Obama has recently made several appearances where he said, approximately, "Don't bet against the American worker." Yesterday, he began to turn the corner on this argument, and intimate that the Republicans (whom he termed 'the party of "no" crowd') had broken this maxim by opposing government aid to and intervention in the auto industry (and, now, for small businesses). I expect to see this line of thought to be extended, firmed up, and ramped up until our president feels comfortable saying the 'Republicans in Congress' are betting against America. Gonna have to move quick there, if they want to have time for the message to sink in nationally before the midterms.

-Chris Matthews, among others, has claimed to see big trouble for Democrats if the Justice Department is successful in either declawing or striking down Arizona's racist anti-apparent-immigrant laws. Right now, Hispanics account for roughly 15 percent of the US population. The Census bureau projects this number will go up by a little more than 2.2 every ten years, such that Hispanics will account for just under 25% of the populace by 2050. They are already the nation's largest minority.

I don't see clear support of racism against Hispanics being a good long or short term strategy for Republicans (particularly outside of red districts), but maybe I'm just not hip to the new, Southwest version of the Southern Strategy. Considering the percentage of the US population which is white is dwindling (down from 69.4% in 2000 to 65.1% in 2010, and expected to drop to 50.1 by 2050), I doubt this remix will be as big of a hit as was Nixon's original piece.

-I am tired of hearing people say Reagan spent us into massive debt to destroy the Soviet empire and end the Cold War. He didn't know that would happen. I defy anyone to show me serious evidence that he or his advisors predicted anything akin to that. Sovietologists were surprised when Russian socialism imploded. Reagan wasn't prescient, nor was he better informed than his top advisors.

He spent a lot of money, drove us into trillions of dollars of debt, and massively inflated the defence industry because he had a vision involving lasers in space, missile defence systems we still can't work out, and all sorts of cool stuff which probably would have made a very neat sci-fi setting for an early George Lucas film (like, say, Star Wars), but could not have been predicted to get us anything useful. Such foolish action doesn't become smart just because of a serendipitous upshot. Reagan's undying charisma shouldn't get him unearned, nonsensical accolades, no matter how many right-wingers clamber for them.


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More Political Notes

-Rick Santorum seems a somewhat likeable guy who believes several crazy, distasteful things. It may not be helpful to say his ideas are nuts, but it still is less useful to fashion him an evil man because his discriminatory views don't jive with the left, centre, or centre-right in America.

-Calling a person a 'front runner' before votes are counted is just plain wrong.  Calling one a front-runner after some votes are counted is slightly misleading.  The race isn't about who the media thinks is ahead, and it is only indirectly about who gets the most votes.  What really matters is accruing the most delegates.  In the race for a major party's nomination for POTUS, the guy with the most delegates-who-will-actually-vote-for-him-at-their-national-convention is ahead. If no delegates have been awarded, there isn't really a front-runner, no matter what polls might say.

-I doubt the primary process will hurt the eventual Republican nominee for POTUS all that much.…

Pointless Ruminations on the Absurd

The world around us is in no way required to conform to our expectations, beliefs, or desires. Rather, it is all but guaranteed to disappoint us, at least once or twice a lifetime. The loftier (or more deeply felt) our ideals, the more this may be true.

When we accept this incongruity and are keenly aware of it, but cannot change our thinking, absurdity steps in. The world no longer quite makes sense. It is untethered from rational or moral concerns, adrift in a bizarre joke told by no one.
Desire for normative order is often irrational and misplaced. Placing ethical constraints on amoral matters makes no sense. Yet these appear (sometimes, seemingly) inescapable conclusions. Hence the sensation of absurdity.

We can apply these incongruous demands to anything and anyone. But this is not a universal philosophy. It is a philosophy of the self, a diagnosis.

Magical Unrealism

The same men who say global warming is a hoax, Obamacare has been failing for eight years, and abstinence-only sex-ed works are also convinced even basic gun control is an impossible and useless approach which would only make us less safe. These are also the dudes most likely to tell you black and brown folk have it too good, Obama is a secret Muslim born in Kenya, and Sharia law is being forced on American legal systems. I wonder if there's some sort of overarching thread or theme to all this.