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Category Archives: Politics: US
An odd campaign video for a Minneapolis Mayoralty candidate:
(found via tech President)
I was oddly cheered by De Blasio Takes His Modern Family on the Campaign Trail. The article, buried deep in the A section of today’s paper, reports that NY Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio’s family is a major part of his campaign, and that by deploying them, and especially his kids, he is portraying himself as at once the most politically progressive candidate but also the ‘family’ candidate.
Obviously, this sort of strategy ought to work against serial selfie-sharer Anthony D. Weiner, a candidate who is, to say the least, not family friendly. Perhaps less cheerfully, it also may work against Christine C. Quinn, whose wife, we are told, is not much of a campaigner.
One might well ask what is cheerful about a campaign ploy that could be said to subtly play against the fact that the leading candidate is not just a childless woman, but one married to another woman. The answer has two parts. First, that in the Times’s coverage at least, the modern nature of the City Council Speaker Quinn’s marriage invokes no comment at all. Second and more significantly, the de Blassio family consists of an Italian-American male, an African-American woman, Chirlane McCray, who did not take his name, and their two kids — one of whom stars in the campaign’s first video and promises among other things that de Blassio will reform the NYPD’s excessive stop-and-frisk policy.
Twenty-five years ago, I doubt that a campaign for major office, even in New York, could have been built around an inter-racial marriage as a major selling point. (Nor that it would showcase a 15-year-old kid with a big black Afro promising to rein in the police.) In twenty-five years we’ll see gay candidates on video boasting about the longevity of their marriage and about their kids.
Progress in action — slow, yes, and as always incomplete. But progress nonetheless.
Oddly related: Down With Tyranny’s The Failure Of Identity Politics– And It’s Not Just Wall Street Shill Cory Booker; one inevitable consequence of progress is that now anyone can be a sellout.
The White House’s online petition site was a good idea in principle, but it hasn’t amounted to much since the replies to petitions the Administration doesn’t intend to accept have so often turned out to be the usual mealy-mouthed mush you get from a political press office. They have not, in key cases, met the more demanding tests one would apply under the Administrative Procedures Act if an agency were required to respond to public comments. Even so, the whitehouse.gov petition site is still good for symbolic issues, and what could be more symbolic than the names of military bases?
Rename the 10+ Military Bases Named After Confederate Generals
Today we have over 10 US military bases named for generals of the Confederate States of America.
For example, Fort Polk is named after a plantation master of several hundred slaves. Fort Pickett’s namesake was accused of war crimes in executing 22 Union prisoners.
Forts Benning, Bragg, Polk, A.P. Hill, Rucker, Beauregard, Lee, Hood all carry similar tales.
When these bases were built, during the World Wars, it may have made sense to name them after local heroes. Now, with over 20% of our forces African-American why do we insult them by asking them to serve at a base named after defenders of slavery WHO KILLED AMERICAN TROOPS?
Would we have a Goering Air Base or Camp Cornwallis?
There are so many honorable people who upheld our American ideals, can’t we find 10 to honor?
Created: Jul 06, 2013
The petition needs 100,000 signatures in order to force the White House to reply with an explanation as to why it won’t do it. Sign here. I was #34, so there’s a long way to go.
More background at Political Animal, Sign the Petition–Retire General Hood!.
The Post Office’s money troubles stem from totally unreasonable congressional requirements, not imposed on any private business, that they fund not just current retiree’s pensions or 401(k) contributions for current employees (the private sector standard), nor just current employees’ future pensions, nor just projected future pensions for the next 20-25 years (the standard for most federal agencies), but all future pensions for all future projected retirees in the next 75 years. The idea, I have to presume, is to put the Post Office out of business and privatize its functions — a really bad idea when you consider that we rely on Post Offices to issue passports and to do other critical jobs like distribute medicine in the event of an epidemic.
I predict more credit cards will make bills due on weekends, forcing people to pre-pay, adding to their float.
Speaking selfishly, this makes me happier that I decided finally to stop renewing the Economist on the grounds that its politics were too predictable and its analysis increasingly threadbare. It came Saturday (on good weeks), which made it seem less dated and I had more time to look at it. Getting it on Monday at best will make it even less attractive.
Besides his sister, a former dean at New York University whom he saw regularly in later years, Mr. Koch is survived by New York itself, as an old friend put it a few years ago.
Koch’s generally successful tenure was buoyed by his outsized and quotable personality but stained by what could most charitably be called insensitivity to New York’s racial problems; to a distant observer that insensitivity sometimes looked more calculated. It’s odd to read again about the many scandals involving Koch’s associates that brought him down; that isn’t what sticks in memory nearly as much as Koch dooming his run for Governor by knocking upstate as too rural and Albany as devoid of a decent Chinese restaurant.