CREATIVE. MARKETING. PROFESSIONAL.

From the Blog

A thought-provoking article by David Brooks on populism. Can we say that any ideology in any sphere based on creating an enemy is in this motivation deeply flawed?

..populism is popular with the ruling class. Ever since I started covering politics, the Democratic ruling class has been driven by one fantasy: that voters will get so furious at people with M.B.A.’s that they will hand power to people with Ph.D.’s. The Republican ruling class has been driven by the fantasy that voters will get so furious at people with Ph.D.’s that they will hand power to people with M.B.A.’s. Members of the ruling class love populism because they think it will help their section of the elite gain power.

So it’s easy to see the seductiveness of populism. Nonetheless, it nearly always fails. The history of populism, going back to William Jennings Bryan, is generally a history of defeat.

That’s because voters aren’t as stupid as the populists imagine. Voters are capable of holding two ideas in their heads at one time: First, that the rich and the powerful do rig the game in their own favor; and second, that simply bashing the rich and the powerful will still not solve the country’s problems.

via Op-Ed Columnist – The Populist Addiction – NYTimes.com.

Mar
07

We are enjoying a beautiful weekend with our friends Dawn and Chris in the mountains. The snow level is a bit low for early March, but today it started coming down hard. I’m getting ready for some more runs.

The first pictures are of us with my mom and Sam at the Minturn Country Club (odd name as it isn’t next to a golf course and isn’t fancy at all). You cook your own food on open grilles! It’s a lot of fun, and the meat is amazing.

Back to the slopes…

In the next installment of things that tell me snowballs’ chances in hell are improving: Rush Limbaugh wrote a great article regarding the stimulus package about how to balance the Keynesian (spend to stimulate) and supply-side (cut taxes to stimulate) theories in a bi-partisan compromise.

There was no derogatory comments about minorities, no references to reverse discrimination, no mockery, and only mild narcissism. Anyone thinking…ghost writer? (more…)

Interesting article from one of our neighbors to the North.

Tribute To The United States
From a Canadian newspaper
America: The Good Neighbor
Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator.  What follows is the text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:
“This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth.  Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions on debts..  None of these countries is, today, paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.
When the Franc was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris.  I was there.  I saw it.
When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help.  This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes.  Nobody helped.  The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries.  Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.
I’d like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the united States dollar build its own airplane.  Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC 10?  If so, why don’t they fly them?  Why do all the international lines except Russia fly American planes?
Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man on woman on the moon?  You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios.  You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles.  You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon – not once, but several times – and safely home again.
You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at.  Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded.  They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting AmericanDollars form ma and pa at home to spend here.
When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them.  When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose.  Both are still broke.
I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble.  Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble?  I don’t think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.  Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I’m one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around.  They will come out of this thing with their flag high.  And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles.  I hope Canada is not one of those.”
Stand proud, Americans

I have been thinking this for a long time, Colin put it much better than I could
“I’m also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say, and it is permitted to be said. Such things as ‘Well you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.’ Well the correct answer is ‘He is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian, he’s always been a Christian.’ But the really right answer is ‘What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?’ The answer is ‘No. That’s not America.’ Is there something wrong with some 7-year old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she can be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion he’s a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America.
“I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo-essay about troops who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery and she had her head on the headstone of her son’s grave. And as the picture focused in you can see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then at the very top of the headstone, it didn’t have a Christian cross, it didn’t have a Star of David. It had a crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Karim Rashad Sultan Khan. And he was an American, he was born in New Jersey, he was 14 at the time of 9/11 and he waited until he can go serve his counrty and he gave his life.”
Thank you Karim for your sacrifice

Brian Rants



This article is a great summary of what I’ve seen in this campaign…especially since Palin came into the picture, but admittedly with my candidate Barack as well. Impression over truth.
MCCAIN LIES
Obama will raise taxes
“Palin and John McCain, the GOP presidential nominee, have been more aggressive in recent days in repeating what their opponents say are outright lies. Almost every day, for instance, McCain says rival Barack Obama would raise everyone’s taxes, even though the Democrat’s tax plan exempts families that earn less than $250,000.”
“For now, there appears to be little political reason to back down. A Washington Post-ABC News poll taken Sept. 5 to Sept. 7 found that 51 percent of voters think Obama would raise their taxes, even though his plan would actually cut taxes for the overwhelming majority of Americans.”
…Bridge to nowhere
“Palin’s position on the bridge that would have linked Ketchikan to Gravina Island is one example of a candidate staying on message even when that message has been publicly discredited. Palin has continued to say she opposed a project she once campaigned for — then killed later, only after support for it had collapsed in Congress. “
OBAMA LIES
“Obama and the Democratic National Committee asserted for months that McCain wanted to keep U.S. troops fighting in Iraq for 100 years, when, in fact, the context of McCain’s 100-year statement was a comparison to U.S. bases in Japan and Germany. McCain explicitly said the troops would be there only if the country was at peace and there were no casualties associated with their presence.”
A McCain quote Obama has often used — that the economy is fundamentally sound — is months old. Since he said that, McCain has said almost daily that the economy is struggling. As for exaggerations, Obama said yesterday that he had supported a measure in the Illinois Senate to double the number of charter schools in Chicago. In fact, he was one of 14 state senators co-sponsoring a non-controversial measure that passed unanimously. “

Brian Rants



I really think Obama is the best person to lead our country.

What Plouffe says below is definitely what you would expect from a campaign mgr…but I think it is true. Hillary has too much spin for my taste. Claiming he’s elitist when they’ve  made 109 million since 2000, and Obama was raised by a single mother and just got his college loans paid off.

I do like lattes though, and definitely sip them rather than gulp them
Begin forwarded message:



From: “David Plouffe, BarackObama.com” <info@barackobama.com>
Date: April 14, 2008 11:30:47 AM MDT
To: Brian Rants <brianrants@gmail.com>
Subject: Who’s out of touch?

Brian –

Make a matching donation You’ve probably heard about the latest dust-up in the Democratic race.

A few days ago, Barack spoke about the frustrations that working people in this country are feeling and said what we all know is true: that many people are bitter and angry because they believe their government isn’t listening to them.

You and I both know that the hope of changing that reality is what drives the unprecedented support for this campaign from ordinary people in every part of the country.

But our opponents have been spinning the media and peddling fake outrage around the clock. John McCain’s campaign, which will continue the George Bush economic policies that have devastated the middle class, called Barack out of touch and elitist. And Hillary Clinton, who is the candidate who said lobbyists represent real people, didn’t just echo the Republican candidate’s talking points: she actually used the very same words to pile on with more attacks.

These comments show just how out of touch Senator McCain and Senator Clinton are with the reality of what’s happening in this election.

We’ve built the broadest campaign of ordinary people in the history of presidential politics — and more people across this country have voted for Barack Obama than either one of them.

And we’ve done it the right way: our campaign is funded by everyday people giving $5 or more. That’s distinctly different from Senator McCain and Senator Clinton, who both rely on money from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs.

There’s nothing elitist about a movement of more than a million people standing up for a different kind of politics.

If you’re fed up with these kinds of tired attacks, you can do something about it right now. We’re setting a goal of 1.5 million people giving to this campaign by May 6th.

You can bring a new donor into this campaign by promising to match their donation. You choose the amount you’re willing to match, and our system will pair you with a supporter who is giving for the first time.

When you do, you’ll be able to see for yourself exactly what kind of people are joining this movement. When that supporter makes their donation, you’ll receive a note with their name and town, and (if they choose to write one) a note about who they are and why they decided to give today.

Thank you for all that you’ve done so far — you are the strength behind this movement. And right now, you can double the impact of your next donation if you make a matching gift. Will you help fight back now?

https://donate.barackobama.com/promise

Barack Obama’s own life and story are reflected in the character of this grassroots campaign. He was raised by a single mother with help from his grandparents. He has a family he loves, not long ago finished paying off his student loans, and he’s doing what he can to help change this country.

That’s what he’s done for his entire career. After graduating, he became a community organizer, working with people in Chicago who — like many people across the country right now — felt left behind by their leaders.

When you make a matching donation, you’ll be paired with someone with that same sense that it’s time for a government that is responsible to the people for a change.

Someone is waiting to hear your story, and to share theirs with you. If you can support the campaign at this crucial moment, you’ll be able to share your story about why you’re committed to this campaign.

And because this is a matching donation, your gift of $25 will be doubled by another supporter. You’ll have twice the impact and help reach our unprecedented 1.5 million-person goal. Make a matching donation now and be a part of history:

https://donate.barackobama.com/promise

The attacks from the Clinton campaign — on Barack Obama himself, and on supporters like you — can be expected to increase as her chances of winning dwindle further.

A few weeks ago, one of her top aides tried to diminish our success by referring to the places we’ve won as “boutique” states and to our supporters as the “latte-sipping crowd.”

That means 30 states and territories — twice as many as Senator Clinton has won — qualify as “boutique.” And the nearly 15 million people who have voted for us (again, more than Senator Clinton) must drink a lot of latte.

It’s clear that Senator Clinton will continue to say or do anything as her campaign gets more and more negative.

But 1.5 million donors will be an astonishing and undeniable signal that it isn’t the elites fueling this movement — it’s the American people.

That starts with you.

Thank you,

David

David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

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Jul
28
Posted by brianrants at 5:16 am

You need to read the whole article, but this one line about the now being recruited class of 2008 says it all:

"The class is so deep and talented that the Irish don't have room for highly touted lineman Garrett Goebel of Montini because they already have commitments from five of the best defensive linemen in the country."

http://blogs.suntimes.com/preps/2007/07/what_does_it_say_when_notre_da.html

Go Irish

My lovely tour of the east coast continues. May try to add some pix later…for now here is some of the fun stuff we are doing.

PHILADELPHIA

I had no idea how much history I would discover in Philadelphia. Call it brushing up on American History.

The oldest residential street in America (early 1700′s), the building where the first Continential Congress drafted letters to King George about taxation without representation, cobblestone streets…amazing. I HIGHLY recommend getting the tour in a horse drawn carriage. The drivers know amazing facts about the history of the different buildings.

I also met some lovely beers.

Beers
City Tavern: this is where Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Ben Franklin would put down a cold one after a long day planning the revolution….amazing!
- Thomas Jefferson Ale: a hoppy amber ale…a bit too hoppy for my liking. Enjoyed it nonetheless, especially since this was Tommy Boy’s actual recipe!
- Martha Washington’s Summertime Ale: a very nice, light summertime ale…delicious

RHODE ISLAND

The beautiful Block Island, Narragansett beaches, buildings from the 1700′s, New England architecture, seafood…and great time with family.

Rhode Island is like getting out into the country…except it is by the ocean. Very nice.

Beers
- Newport Storm: a nice smooth ale…I prefer a little more bite like a Fat Tire, but I would definitely get it again.
- Narragansett Lager: it was nice. Not a huge lager guy, but I would drink this again.
- Dogfish IPA (something like that): man, I can’t stand IPA’s. This was again confirmed.