Posted on 10-09-2012
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

Before the Democratic convention the Republicans engaged in the odd tactic of praising the President they tried to impeach to the skies.  Some were delusional enough to think that Bill Clinton would come on the stage and take down Barack Obama.  And then Bill Clinton delivered a barn burner that eviscerated Mitt Romney.  But the Republicans have spent the last 30 years perfecting the tactic of repeating bullshit often enough for the credulous to eventually believe that something repeated so often must be true.

So out comes Gingrich with the doozy that the Clinton speech was actually an attack on Obama.  Mitt Romney has being trying to make the same case too.  Which gives this delighted blogger the chance to do what he could not last week since his blogging activities were in hibernation – A chance to post excerpts from Clinton’s brutal take down of the mendacity or Romney/Ryan.  Videos below:

1.  On Medicare – It Takes Some Brass To Attack A Guy For Doing What You Did

 

 

2.  Welfare Reform

 

 

3.  “Arithmetic”

 

 

4.  Health care reform

 

 

5.  “We left him a total mess…he hadn’t cleaned it up fast enough so fire him and put us back in!”i

 

 

 

Yeah this was “eerily anti-Obama.”

 

 

 

 

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Posted on 10-09-2012
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

In the aftermath of the party conventions it appears that Mitt Romney got no or even a negative bounce in the polls while Barack Obama got a measurable bounce in the polls.  To calm freyed nerves, Mitt Romney’s campaign issued a public statement that can be summarized by the video below:

 

 

For the actual statement see here.   The statement itself is rather odd since it provides no polling data to back it up and makes some weird comparisons to the 1980 campaign – for starters Reagan left the RNC with a huge lead.  Also Romney’s campaign had confidently predicted a 11 point lead after the conventions in the aftermath of his selection of Paul Ryan for vice president.

To be fair to Romney, all is not lost.  Two months is a long time for bad economic news to turn up (likely via Europe) or for something stupid to happen with Iran (which could tank the economy too). The ad barrage financed by the Super PACs of his billionaire friends is about to begin.  Super PACs in general have played fast and loose with the facts, but here they complement Romney’s cynical campaign.

The latest from Mitt Romney culture warrior is a promise he will not take God off the currency.  The rest of his riff refers to the fact that the Democratic platform did not originally explicitly mention God – though there were explicit mentions of faith all along.  Of course nobody is seriously talking about taking “In God we Trust” off the currency or the cold war insertion of God out of the Pledge of Allegiance.   But a desperate Romney will swing at anything, and he lacks the moral core of a John McCain that would prevent his campaign from going to the gutter.  This will be a long two months.

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Posted on 10-09-2012
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

Charles Koch, one of the billionaires trying to buy the election for Mitt Romney, posted a column in the Wall Street Journal today bemoaning corporate cronyism.  The general premise of the article is fine since there is often an unhealthy link between government and business, Charles Koch is the wrong person to deliver the message.  The article reeks of the childish Republican campaign twisting President Obama’s comment that businesses did not build their success by themselves.  It lurches into libertarian fantasia about how getting government out of the regulation business will create economic utopia – after which (kinda like communism) rich people will suppress human instinct and will not feel compelled to use their power to twist the system to their benefit.  Then Mr. Koch attacks government attempts to create a clean energy sector “some of which benefit Koch Industries” but conveniently makes no mention of the subsidies that his core oil and gas businesses receive.

As this article notes, Koch Industries vigorously lobbies against environmental regulations, relies heavily on government contracts, seeks corporate bailouts and maintains a vigorous lobbying operation to benefit himself.  Basically Koch and his brother belong to the class of oligarchs who believe that the public good is achieved when the government adopts policies that benefit THEM.  After that the trickle down fairy will take care of the rest of us schlubs.  After all this sort of oligarchy has worked so well in Putin’s Russia…oh wait!!

Meanwhile the man bemoaning crony capitalism is busy trying to buy an election for his favored candidate.  For good measure I will also note, this oligarch made his fortune the original way.  He inherited it.  You dislike crony capitalists?  Charles Koch, take a look in the mirror.

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Posted on 10-09-2012
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

This weekend I posted about the travails of Aseem Trivedi, who is being accused of sedition for mocking venal India politicians who deserve to be mocked.  Trivedi’s alleged offense is mocking national symbols, the constitution etc.  However, a blog article I noticed right now made a very important point.  It notes that all Trivedi did was mock India’s Parliament in cartoon form.  India’s politicians have degraded the entity they shed crocodile tears far more grievously and far more frequently.

The complaint that landed Trivedi in jail was a private complaint.  What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.  So dear Indians, start filing these complaints against these political thugs.  Harass the hooligans who turn Parliament and the legislatures into physical battlegrounds by hauling them in court for sedition, like they did to Aseem Trivedi.  If the police officers refuse to register your complaints, file sedition charges against them too.  But above all act within the strict letter of the law.  Turn these draconian laws on their head.

A few months ago when a hockey stick wielding uniformed apparatchik was harassing Mumbai’s night life I had joked to a friend who was particularly worked up that they should use Section 3 of the Prevention of insults to National Honour Act, 1971 to their advantage.

3.     PREVENTION OF SINGING OF NATIONAL ANTHEM
whoever intentionally prevents the singing of the Indian National Anthem or causes disturbances to any assembly engaged in such singing shall be punished with imprisonment for a term, which may extended to three years, or with fine, or with both.

When the apparatchik interfered with them, make sure to file the proper police complaint under strict letter of the law.  Make sure the judges are aware of the minimum punishments in Section 3A.

3A.        MINIMUM PENALTY ON SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENCE
Whoever having already been convicted of an offence under section 2 or section 3 is again convicted of any such offence shall be punishable for the second and for every subsequent  offence, with imprisonment for a term, which shall not be less than one year.

A Google search as I was typing this article discovered that this draconian act was already being used for civil disobedience.  Sadly in that case the high court is shielding the bureaucrat whose reaction to the protest was to basically abuse criminal law.

India’s political and police systems are ridiculously out of control.  In the aftermath of partition and secessionist movements in different parts of the country, India’s politicians realized the utility of Colonial era police laws that remain on the books.  But many of these laws are antiquated and grant a private citizen the right to initiate complaints.  Perhaps it is time for Indians to use them against their tormentors, and bury them with paperwork in strict accordance with the letter of their ridiculous laws.

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