Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More Tea Party Stuff

I'm really killing it with these blog post titles, aren't I? God, I'm good.

Anyway, here is an article by a British political analyst in the guardian about the Tea Party. Great read. You should check it out.

Heres my own little cliff note version of it, and a lot of this stuff is really the obvious points that I've been making for months now, but he raises some unique points, as well.

The Republican "tent" is straining: witness the cannibalism already taking place this weekend, with Karl Rove attacking the tea partiers, with moderate senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska announcing a "write-in" campaign against her extremist opponent Joe Miller (the guy that says unemployment benefits are unconsititutional).

As America – admittedly, slowly – becomes more socially moderate (see polls on greater acceptance of gay rights, belief in healthcare, etc), Republican leaders in Washington are doing their best to portray an inclusive party. Many in the Republican camp are on board with the moderate strategy (see Ken Mehlman – Bush's chief strategist's – call for acceptance of gay rights, or Karl Rove's repudiation of the Tea Party).

It's tempting to compare the Republican party to the British Conversative party of the late 1990s: at war with itself; unsure of its identity; fundamentally torn by the issue of Europe and forced into being the party of "no" (remember William Hague's "Five days left to save the pound" campaign?). The answer for the Conservatives was to modernise, tack to the middle and embrace social change. They were able to do so not least because of the ageing population of the most rightwing elements.

Americans Republicans don't have that luxury. Tea Partiers aren't dying out. Their extremism is sustained, in part, by thriving Christian fundamentalism. They're here to stay. And they're here to be vocal.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tea Party Stuff

Well, shocker, my Econ professor never responded. I'll just keep it moving, I guess. Anyway, I had a few thoughts about the Tea Party, which has accrued even more buzz and momentum with Christine O'Donnell winning her primary in Delaware. First, I don't consider this some kind of huge blow to the Democrats, or to the United States as a whole. I think if we let the Tea Party into office completely, it will actually do us some long-term good. The buffoons who run the Tea Party and campaign largely - if not wholly - on wedge issues are sure to crash the economy and make a mockery of foreign policy if the controls are left in their hands. Hopefully, that will put an end to people voting solely on wedge issues. O'Donnell, for instance, has made the claim that masturbation should be considered adultery. Claims like this, along with other conservative extreme viewpoints, somehow have a history of rallying the voting base. Perhaps, though, once in office the country will finally see what an abomination the trickle down economics thought process has been, especially in its current form in the recession as businesses exploit the "recession" to cut costs, stop hiring, and commit layoffs all under the guise of a recession, all the while, they turn profits. The rich get richer. The "fair tax" and ultra-conservative misinterpretations of the Constitution lead by the clueless tea party continue to split the Republican party in half, though. So, odd as it is, the Republicans are actually blocking themselves from getting into office and trouncing progressive race/religious/cultural advancements. Not that I'm rooting for the Tea Party to get in office because I want them to succeed, it's more so that if the Cowboys were in the NFC Championship game and the AFC team was sure to embarrass whoever the victor of the game were, I would root for Dallas to win just so I could watch them get pummeled in the Super Bowl. Except, in politics, you don't get credit just for making it into office, your judged on results. The Tea Party would surely be at a loss for those.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Conservative Bias in Collegiate Economics

Below is an e-mail I sent to my Macro Econ professor this afternoon, hopefully she will respond and I can put her answer on this blog. She also, ironically enough, said something that completely contradicted my previous blog on drugs/Mexico and enraged me in class again this morning. I will certainly send her a link to this blog and continue to question her on her conservative biases throughout the semester.


My name is Jason Harlow I am a student in your Econ 201 course. On the first week of classes you made the implication that wages are inelastic, or rather, that people would be unwilling to accept certain paycuts because they could not maintain their way of life. As an example, you said that someone who had to pay their mortgage and put their child through college would not accept a paycut from $25/hr to $10/hr. Over the past few weeks, though, this statement has bothered me quite a bit, considering it is the basis for much of economic theory in this course, I felt it prudent for me to e-mail you my concern. Over the course of time we have seen that those in 3rd world countries have accepted pittances for wages, because those are all that employers are willing to offer. The "banana replublic" in Central America, for example, is notorious for offering wages of a mere $1/day. Certainly not enough for anyone to send their child to university, and yet, throughout the state people beg for the jobs in banana fields, or any job that will pay them any wage at all. Would it be possible for you to defend your statement or correct me if I misunderstood the position you assumed? In class or by e-mail works for me. Thanks so much for your time.

-Jason Harlow

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday Night Football

The defending champion Saints host the Vikings tonight and are 5 point favorites. Defending Champs have won their season opener the last 10 years and i expect it to continue. 70% of teams that cover su cover ats as well so take the Saints(-5) to the bank tonight. If the Saints lose tonight, i will reimburse everyone's losses by hooking them at Buffalo Wild Wings.

My sit and start for fantasy purposes tonight look like this:
Start: Reggie Bush(12 points) and Bernard Berrian(10 points)
Sit: Brett Favre(6 points) and Devery Henderson(2 points)

Good Luck this week Richards

A Few Opinions on Mexico

Lately, I have chosen not to comment much on politics, because frankly, it's just been discouraging me a lot. I'm really starting to regret choosing to pursue a politically-based degree, because, I don't know if I can work in the field. In other words, I've been taking the stance that I care way more about Jose Calderon than Felipe Calderon. But, nonetheless, I felt compelled tonight to comment on Mexico following another Mexican mayor being gunned down in his office in broad daylight. My stance on both immigration and drugs have been well documented on this blog, I don't believe I really have to re-visit them too much in depth.
First, let me just say that you can not fight a war on drugs with a law enforcement approach. That's something I learned watching HBO's "The Wire". A lot of my fellow hippy liberals say, hey why don't you just legalize drugs, that'll wipe out the entire black market. Sorry pals, it doesn't work like that. You don't legalize drugs and then expect an entire underbelly of drug lords and criminals to vanish. If you load a safety in the box to stop the run, maybe you can hold Adrian Peterson under 100 yards, but at was cost? Brett Favre is going to kill you over the top. What I'm getting at is that if you wipe out one industry, the criminals will just adapt and find a new industry or they'll produce drugs at a much lower cost, considering the prices they pay for labor are basically nothing (they strong arm cats) and that the black market doesn't tack on taxes. So if you wan't to legalize drugs because of your libertarian belief-system, thats one thing, but don't try to use eliminating crime as a cheap add-on benefit to your argument.
Not to mention the role that America has played in what Mexico has become. Unfair trade agreements we have entered in with corrupted Latin American leaders have crippled much of the potential economic successes Mexico and other nations may have enjoyed. Without legitimate options, rampant joblessness, and dire economic conditions of course violence will persist.
Anyway, it's Dallas week and I don't feel like proof-reading this, so don't grill me for misspellings or poor syntax or sentences and phrases that flat out make no sense. Go Skins. lol