Dumbest Quote of the Day


We might have some dumb criminals here in West Michigan, but they sure have some dumb politicians in Minnesota:

I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president Jimmy Carter, and I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.
–Michele Bachmann

If this isn’t bad enough, the previous swine flu outbreak occurred when Gerald Ford was president.

It is also interesting that of the last two major terrorist threats, one occurred under a Democratic president and the Millennium attacks were stopped. The other occurred under a Republican president in which the warnings were ignored and the attack succeeded. Texas has some politicians as dumb as the one from Minnesota.

He Should Have Worked In The Bush Administration

We sure have some of the dumbest criminals here in West Michigan:

If only police work was always this easy.

A Norton Shores man called in a bomb threat to the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department Monday in an effort to delay his sentencing on a credit card fraud conviction, police say.

But police say his plan was foiled after investigators used caller ID to trace the call back to the suspect…

Reeves was arraigned Tuesday by Muskegon County 60th District Judge Harold F. Closz III on one count of making a false report or threat of a bomb, a four-year felony, and as a fourth-time habitual offender. His bond was set at $10,000 cash or surety.

Posted in Michigan News. 2 Comments »

Arlen Specter Leaves a Sinking Ship

Arlen Specter is switching from the Republican to the Democratic Party. While this is motivated largely by his personal electoral prospects, it is nevertheless another move towards turning the Republican Party into a regional party of the south and the Mormon belt of the west. In explaining this change, Specter cited the move by the GOP to the far right:

I have been a Republican since 1966. I have been working extremely hard for the Party, for its candidates and for the ideals of a Republican Party whose tent is big enough to welcome diverse points of view. While I have been comfortable being a Republican, my Party has not defined who I am. I have taken each issue one at a time and have exercised independent judgment to do what I thought was best for Pennsylvania and the nation.

Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.

Presumably Specter made a deal to keep his seniority but I have not seen any specifics yet. It remains to be seen whether this will meaningfully affect the amount of power the Democrats have in the Senate. Specter might wind up voting the same way, including on cloture, as he previously would as a moderate Republican. It is also possible that increased association with Democratic Senators, along with no longer being concerned with winning Republican primaries, could have some affect on his future voting record.

Besides further decreasing the amount of Republican Senators in the north, this adds to the view of the Republicans as a party in decline. Recent polls have showed that only twenty-one percent identifies themselves as Republicans. Karen Tumulty argues that one party has not had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate  since 1937 when considering the lack of ideological unity within the parties in more recent years. Can we even consider this a two party system anymore when one party has such little support?

That is actually a question which will become clearer in the future. The Republicans have had bad moments before, such as after the Goldwater loss and after Watergate, and have recovered. Still, today’s situation seems somewhat different. Voting against Goldwater didn’t necessarily mean permanent rejection of the GOP. Besides the political landscape quickly changed when LBJ alienated the south. Watergate was blamed on Richard Nixon and not the entire party.

Today it is not only individual Republicans but the views of the party which are being rejected. While an extremist faction has taken control of the party, increasing numbers of conservatives and moderates have begun to identify with the Democrats out of lack of any alternative.

Most likely the two party system will be restored, but it is not certain that this will be because of the Republican Party as currently constituted finding a way to revive itself. With so many of the remaining Republicans deluding themselves into thinking they lost because they are not conservative enough, the party could be on the way to extinction. In contrast the Democrats are becoming a big tent made up of a wide variety of views. I am increasingly suspecting that a future two party system will come about from a division of the Democrats over disagreements over future issues, either by the formation of a new party or a faction of Democrats moving to take over what is left of a dying Republican Party.

Obama Graded On Overturning Bush’s National Security Measures

Russ Feingold has graded Barack Obama on overturning George Bush’s national security measures. Obama generally received good grades, with one notable exception. The Hill reports:

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) on Tuesday released a report card-style review of the Obama administration’s progress in overturning President Bush’s controversial national security measures, giving President Obama high marks for most actions except for a “troubling” use of secrecy.

Feingold, a member of the Intelligence Committee and chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution, gave the highest marks for Obama’s renunciation of Bush-era practices such as harsh interrogation techniques and resistance to Freedom of Information Act requests. Those practices all received “A” grades.

“The difference between this administration and the Bush administration is night and day,” Feingold said in a morning conference call with reporters.

However, Feingold was harsh in his judgment of Obama’s “repeated assertion” of state secrets — a legal defense the administration has invoked three times in court to resist the release of information. That practice earned the lowest grade in Feingold’s report, a “D.”

Feingold said the administration is using the assertion in an “over-broad” manner, and called for the president to support legislation that would allow judges to review state secrets in a secure, closed process.