Archive: November, 2012
Every day, I grow more amazed at how what seemed like kind of a nothing presidential election (Clinton-Dole in '96 was my role model) may bring about more radical change than anyone could have ever predicted. Take the Fiscal Cliff (pictured above). Do you remember what President Obama and his fellow travelers in the Democratic Party used to be like? Do you remember the debt ceiling fiasco of 2011 (which seems like it was only last year)? Remember how their idea of a "negotiation" was to start -- start! -- with the compromise, so that when the Party of No said "no" (as they always do), they had to move to the political right to get anything.
Today, Team Obama came in with their opening gambit on the fiscal cliff -- and it was a political left hook. So now Drudge is highlighting how Mitch McConnell "laughed," but you know he was crying inside, because it only took 46 months or so, but Barack Obama has finally learned how to negotiate. So now it's the Republicans who will have to dance to the center or, seeing as they lost that election and all, maybe even (gulp) the center-left. Ditto with Susan Rice -- pre-2012-election Obama would have dropped her like a hot potato, in the same way that Shirley Sherrod was pushedbecause Glenn Beck was going to say nbad things about her, But now, as James Carville would say it, they're stickin'.
Apparently the UN does -- they do look sort of familiar...
President-elect Romney accepts congratulations from President Obama as they discuss Romney's pending inauguration as 45th commander-in-chief.
There are some things more Kafkaesque (lame pun intended) than the Eagles' quarterback revolving door. Like the part where The Man takes your money and doesn't give it back, even when you've committed no crime. This is a must-read piece of local investigative reporting: Isiah Thompsom of the City Paper on the bizarro world of asset forfeiture:
When Philadelphia Police officers stopped Dwayne Marks as he was driving north on Broad Street near Temple University last year, Marks says he wasn’t particularly worried. Marks, who is a black man in his late 30s from East Mount Airy, has faced drug charges in the past — but he’s straightened up, he says. When the police asked whether he had a criminal background, “I told them, ‘Yeah,’” he recalls. “I told them the truth.”
Well, now that we know that Mitt Romney won't be getting any closer to the Oval Office than Barack Obama's lunch table, that panicked Republicans are about to tax the 1 Percent and welcome millions of undocumented American immigrants, and Philly.com has a pot columnist, it feels like there are no more political worlds left to conquer.
So let's do something we haven't done moch around these parts. Let's talk about sports!
Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times said on Twitter that the increasingly delusional Rush Limbaugh has already lambasted his column today, which inspired me to instantly read itt. It's quite good, of course. The gist is that America is becoming like the Third World nations he's covered where the rich pay for generators or private security while everyone else suffers from crime, poor infrastructure, etc.:
So time and again, we see the decline of public services accompanied by the rise of private workarounds for the wealthy.
As president of the influential Philadelphia-based philanthropy the William Penn Foundation for the last year and a half, Jeremy Nowak had emerged as the driving force behind massive reform of Philadelphia's public schools. His organization spent millions on studies and related efforts to boost the role of charters and privatized education.
Suddenly, he's gone.
I guess we have our strategy to attract young readers to Philly.com -- the launch of a pro-marijuana column! I'm pinching myself here, but apparently Philly420 -- featuring "cannabis news" -- is going to be a regular feature of this news organization! (Smoking pot is still illegal in Pennsylvania, right? Just checking.) If nothing else, maybe Chris Goldstein can divert some of my more negative commenters for a few minutes here and there.
Here's the thing: I thought the column was not only provocative but very good, calling out some of the hypocrisy in the failed "war on drugs." In particular:
This summer I wrote about the Corbett administration's fox-guarding-the-henhouse plan of placing a leading advocate for charter schools in charge of drafting a blueprint to "save" public education in the beleaguered Chester-Upland school district. Interestingly, the plan announced by that pick, Joe Watkins, called for radical change and steep cuts but would have kept the district intact until 2015. Except that the, ahem, Republicans on the board rejected this plan, so now it's not clear what happens but you have to think the privatization of schools in the poverty-stricken Delco community will come sooner rather than later. If you didn't know better, you'd almost think the fix was in from Day One.
Of course, there already is the privatized operator of a large charter school in Chester -- his name is Vahan Gureghian, and he just happens to be Gov. Corbett's largest campaign donor. Since Gureghian entered the charter school business, he began building a home in Palm Beach -- rendering at top.
Jimi Hendrix would have turned 70 today. Had he lived, he'd be playing at the Borgata in Atlantic City...something to think about.