Monthly Archives: March 2014

I take back the nice things I said…

Re Gov. Dayton and medical marijuana:

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2014/03/29/medical-marijuana-penalties-are-mostly-mellow/

Suggesting to civilians with mm needs that they buy it off the streets… this is astoundingly bad guidance.  Following that advice would put one in peril of hoods / thugs, the police, and the prosecutors – none of whom are going to make lenient departures from their normal practices because someone’s needs is medical rather than hedonistic.

So the advice is wrong…. but Dayton’s the governor, so there is some great occupational malfeasance present in this advice as well.

And this as Dayton’s response all because as Governor he can’t sway the sway the police and prosecutors lobby at all.

And then, the Governor thinks “I didn’t say that” is going to be a conclusive, satisfactory response.

It’s pathetic.

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Conservative outrage dujour, reviewed

This is Bill Maher asking Rep. Keith Ellison, why don’t Democrats come out against the Second Amendment?  With Ellison responding, “I sure wish they would,” and that ostensibly being a confirmation of something Democrats are loathe to confirm, that they are secret gun prohibitionists.  And by extension, Un-American!  Cue the outrage.

http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2014/03/keith_ellison_tells_maher_he_wishes_democrats_would_come_out_against_second_amendment_video.php

I watched the tape, that’s not what I’m hearing.

Remember when Maher had a show on ABC called Politically Incorrect, and he never said anything politically incorrect (except to question whether suicide bombers and plane hijackers could actually be cowardly by definition)?…  But he never put liberal sacred cows in harm’s way, or skewered them.

To be sure, on Real Time here Maher is speaking candidly, with reality as the context.  That reality being, that the Democrats are prohibitionists when it comes to guns, and that they’d prefer there were no enumerated right to them conferred to civilians.

Insofar as Ellison says “I sure wish they would,” I’m not confident at all that he’s responding to that Maher question in particular. There are a few people talking then, and Ellison himself is mid-effort in completing a pro-forma talking point script he uses on the subject of guns.  The talking point script itself, with its focus on ‘sensible gun safety’ or whatever, is the argument Democrats make specifically to counter the charge that they are gun prohibitionists.

So it’s a hard for me to see where Ellison is the one caught speaking candidly.

To answer Maher’s question:  They don’t come out against it because it’s an electoral loser.  That doesn’t mean Democrats aren’t prohibitionists.  It just means there’s a necessity to posture.  Or ‘bullshit’, as he says at one point during the clip.

ACA is ‘working’

Jonathon Cohn looks again at whether some of the PPACA sob stories are true.

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117101/koch-brothers-obamacare-ads-new-ones-suggest-law-working

Inasmuch as they might not be true in any given case, Cohn claims that PPACA is actually ‘working’.

As an assertion, I think this is at best extraordinarily obtuse.  Let’s review  what’s ‘working’

  • Under 26 can stay on parents plan – that’s working
  • Sick people get the same rates as healthy people – that’s working
  • $2500 in premium savings per family – that’s not working
  • If you like your plan, you can keep your plan – that’s not working
  • If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor – that’s not working
  • The individual mandate – that’s not working
  • The employer mandate – that’s not working
  • Price competition from the exchanges – that’s not working
  • Young invincibles signing up to keep premiums low – that’s not working
  • Number of uninsured dropping – that’s not working
  • Health insurance is more “affordable”  – that’s not working

So yeah, you can say PPACA is working if you don’t actually evaluate if any of its components are working.

Chait Stains: Trope and Stereotype in Sports

What he notes here is true, no doubt.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/what-white-people-dont-see-watching-basketball.html

I liked both Kirby Puckett and Sandy Koufax quite a bit, though Koufax retired a couple years before I was born.

I found it very irksome to have to keep reading about Pucket’s gleaming smile and effervescence over the years…. The man-child trope.   And I found it very irksome to have to keep reading about how essentially Koufax’s intelligence made it possible to overcome his beta-male ness.  The old non-athletic super-genius trope.

A)      Puckett was a pro dedicated to his craft as much as anyone.  He learned how to hit properly in the majors, under the tutelage of Tony Oliva.  Hard to do, I’m saying.

B)      Koufax sat at 100 mph as a starting pitcher.  He was built like an Adonis and had an elite, elite physical skill set.  This beta stuff…whatever… it’s bullshit.  Occasions called for him throw belt high fastballs past Mantle, Killebrew, etc.  No beta there.

Interesting that in his lifetime Roberto Clemente was able to see to it he wasn’t caricatured.

Mark Dayton, Boss

Mark Dayton has had a full career, and is Governor now, but it’s not all that arguable that to this point he’s not demonstrated the qualities of someone who should take up politics as a vocation.  And that’s as much a compliment as is it’s not a compliment.  We know by now he’s kind of a nice man with good intentions.  But he’s not terribly leaderly and has no appearance of formidability.  He’s not dynamic at the podium or in crowds, with no evidence there are nimble routes from his mind to his mouth.  Which is to say, he doesn’t have a skill set that serves him, the public, or the job that well.  Also…he’s a bit old.  Superficially, I see those wrinkles and gray hair and I see grampa napping on the couch. I don’t see energy.

This would be disqualifying under most circumstances.  A candidate with these flaws probably wouldn’t be a candidate.  Dayton didn’t actually deserve the DFL nomination in 2010, having washed out of his senate seat.  But he had some good will and money left.  Smartly deployed, this was enough to elbow a couple decent candidates aside to secure the nomination.  And then he ‘beat’ Tom Emmer (ahem).

This ought to be the makings of a farce, IE, something comparable to the Ventura years….but it’s not.  Dayton has distinguished himself with steadiness.  And now, he seems to be that person who properly sets course for the party and sanctions misbehavior.

http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/250839681.html

Look, I’m conservative simpatico, so I know there’s a decent complaint to be made about Dayton’s bewilderment over the warehouse / tractor repair tax, etc.  But what ya gonna do, it is what it is with one party government.  PPACA / MnSure:  same.   His gamesmanship during the shutdown, which was in his first year, was awkward.  But he’s moved on.

The economy in Minnesota is very good.  Dayton and the DFL got their (modest) income tax hike on already high taxed high earners, and the sky hasn’t fallen.  The state budget is balanced, and looks good structurally going forward.  This settles an argument that went on in this state for about 15 years.  Dayton was ballsy, and he won the argument.  I’m at peace with this.

I have no idea if Dayton was for marriage equality 10 years ago, but he didn’t screw around in 2010 when he campaigned or in 2013 when it was clear there would be a bill.

In 1989 I had an academic quarter where I was a clerical intern for a rural DFLer in the house.  About 5 DFLers, all men about 50, used to congregate in this guy’s office at the SOB.  Very jocular, lots of shit talk.

Superficially, it didn’t seem like these guys had a lot of respect for Rudy Perpich.  The F’n governor this, the F’n governor that.  Thing sis though, Rudy Perpich was the boss.  I have some sense Mark Dayton has ascended to that sort of pedestal.