An outside-the-Beltway perspective on current events, politics, media, and the arts. We are proud to be part of the Reality-Based Community.

Contact Us

Recommended Diversions

Friday :: Apr 17, 2015

Where's the Real Drought Solution?

by Deacon Blues

I’ve been very busy of late without a chance to stay up on events. Nonetheless, let me throw out two short items for discussion over the weekend.

Hillary and the GOP Pack
It truly helps Hillary to have the likes of Chris Christie and Scott Walker attacking her for foreign policy and other failures. Both of these GOP governors have done so much damage to their states, in lackluster job growth, bad fiscal policies, terrible cronyism, attacks on education and the safety net, and their own whoring to the Koch’s and other GOP oligarchs that any attacks by them can be swiftly rebutted with the facts. As for Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio, a simple “we need serious candidates for serious times” dismissal by Hillary is enough.

Lastly, can someone tell me what’s wrong medically and physically with Jeb? The man is practically shrinking inside his clothes ever since he went public.

California and the Drought
Governor Jerry Brown and other state leaders, as well as our California media are doing the worst possible public service in their attention to the California water shortage, because that’s what it truly is. This isn’t really a crisis of consumption, even though almond farmers shouldn’t be able to plunder their contracted rights to supply the Chinese while major reservoirs go dry this summer. No, the real problem that neither Brown nor anyone else confronts is that climate change has destroyed the State’s supply of water, something you cannot adequately address alone through conservation or new storage. There’s nothing to store, because there’s no longer enough snow and rain runoff to create the necessary water supplies for the existing population and businesses, let alone the relentless and stupid growth being allowed.

The state needs to create more water, plain and simple. And the only way to do that is a massive public works program to build water desalinization plants up and down the state in partnership with local water districts. Yes, it will take a decade, and yes, the best case scenario is that we’d only be able to perhaps create 12-15% of our water needs after such a program, but that amount may be the difference in overcoming the up and down cycles of water production we may be saddled with now in this state. The only entity that can do the bond indebtedness needed for such a program is the State; these needs should not be left to individual water districts tackling costly projects on their own in a disjointed and uncoordinated way.

And it would be a far better investment for the State right now than the billions being spent on the bullet train.

Deacon Blues @ 2:27 PM :: Link :: Comments (1) :: TrackBack (0) :: Spotlight :: Digg It! ::

Friday :: Apr 3, 2015

A Good Iran Deal The GOP Will Try and Kill

by Deacon Blues

I’ve expressed my previous misgivings about the impending nuclear deal with Iran, given the news earlier in the week that Iran was insisting at the 11th hour to hold onto their spent nuclear fuel rather than ship it out to Russia. Now that the broad outlines of the actual deal were revealed yesterday, let me say it is better than what was (mis)reported in the days and weeks leading up the announcement.

Yes, there will still be weeks of tough final negotiations ahead over the implementing details behind each major element of the agreement. And yes, either the Iranian hardliners or GOP “War First” crowd here at home can derail this, but any deal that sharply reduces Iran’s working centrifuges and stockpiles, opens up their facilities to 15 years’ of monitoring, and has consequences for noncompliance is a far better outcome than nixing the deal, losing the multinational sanctions, and going to war.

That’s why the GOP and their war cheerleaders in the media will do everything they can to scuttle this deal. Because the same people here at home and in Israel who insisted upon the Iraq war now want another one with Iran. In fact, the GOP wants to kill this deal now and stall the war until a GOP president can be installed in the Oval in 2017 and prosecute the war themselves. The military industrial complex wants it no other way. That’s the only way to ensure more profits and more conflict funded by the American taxpayer.

And on that sad note, please have a good Easter weekend.

Deacon Blues @ 3:10 PM :: Link :: Comments (2) :: TrackBack (0) :: Spotlight :: Digg It! ::
Thursday :: Apr 2, 2015

Hillary Still Clobbers GOP Rivals

by Deacon Blues

Yes, she's taken a pounding over her stupid and ill-advised decision to "go private" on her business emails while at Foggy Bottom. Yes, her favorable ratings and her "honesty" ratings have understandably taken a hit as a result. Yet even after a bad two months of media coverage from inside the Beltway, what does it tell you about Hillary's chances in 2016 when after all this she still clobbers potential GOP rivals by double digits?

The latest national, large-sample poll by the Washington Post/ABC News shows that although Hillary may be less popular and seen as less trustworthy than she was months ago, the public overlooks that and gives her more than 50% of the vote.

Clinton: 54%
Bush: 40%

Clinton: 58%
Cruz: 37%

Clinton: 55%
Walker: 38%

Clinton: 55%
Rubio: 38%

After seeing this, and knowing the media coverage and GOP attacks she's endured over the last two months, two questions come to mind:

1. If Bush is already losing by 14 points before his anti-gay pandering surrounding Indiana, isn't he toast?
2. Why does the media keep focusing on favorability and honesty when she has these head-to-head numbers?

The poll also shows that 55% of those polled place more value on experience than a new direction (37%), undercutting all possible GOP rivals except Bush. And again, Bush's numbers in this poll came before his stupid endorsement of anti-gay discrimination.

So with all this said, when will the Beltway (that includes you MSNBC) stop the intentional take-down efforts and focus on the fact that the public wants Hillary over the GOP by large margins even after she's been knocked off her pedestal? They won't, because they are all invested in the "nasty bitch" narrative they've created.

Deacon Blues @ 2:21 PM :: Link :: Comments (0) :: TrackBack (0) :: Spotlight :: Digg It! ::

Indiana GOP Retreats, Leaving Jeb Exposed

by Deacon Blues

Indiana’s legislative leaders released their revised religious freedom law today, which reportedly prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and precludes a defense from civil actions arising from such alleged discrimination. The legislative leaders’ assertions that they meant this all along only underlines that the original bill fully supported by them and signed by the sad-sack Mike Pence didn’t have such protections to begin with, intentionally so.

And yet Jeb Bush went all in and endorsed the original bill and Pence’s actions, and now wants to scurry back behind a rock and say “never mind”. Sorry Jeb, you’ve been revealed to be nothing more than another pandering Republican.

But by all means, let’s keep talking about Hillary’s emails and not the GOP’s overt social agenda for 2016.

Deacon Blues @ 11:27 AM :: Link :: Comments (0) :: TrackBack (0) :: Spotlight :: Digg It! ::
Monday :: Mar 30, 2015

Jeb Endorses Anti-Gay Discrimination

by Deacon Blues

Indiana’s governor has discredited himself and all residents of Indiana by signing into law a measure intentionally designed to discriminate against gays and lesbians while hiding behind alleged freedom of religion. And given the chance to express his opposition to such discrimination, Mike Pence refused.

The bigger story however is that Jeb Bush just threw away any hope of attracting the middle by being fully on board with such discrimination.

"I think Governor Pence has done the right thing," Bush said, according to the New York Times. "I think once the facts are established, people aren't going to see this as discriminatory at all.

Such a statement by Bush runs so contrary to the supporters' clear intent behind the legislation that he is either stupid or clearly pandering.

"There are many cases where people acting on their conscience have been castigated by the government," Bush said, according to the newspaper. "This is really an important value for our country, in a diverse country, where you can be tolerant of people's lifestyles but allow people of faith to exercise theirs."

When a for-profit business obtains a license from government, and is allowed to discriminate under that license, that is state-sanctioned discrimination no matter how you slice it Jeb. And you just pandered and showed you are no different than Mitt Romney after all.

Deacon Blues @ 8:16 PM :: Link :: Comments (4) :: TrackBack (0) :: Spotlight :: Digg It! ::
Sunday :: Mar 29, 2015

Iran Does Obama, and Democrats a Favor

by Deacon Blues

On a day when the Arab nations finally banded together in a military alliance against Iranian aggression, that country blundered their way into perhaps killing the pending nuclear deal.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab states took steps today to form their own multinational military force to counter Iranian destabilization efforts, and did so with the assumption that they can no longer count on the United States to fully counter Tehran.

Yet at the same time, after months of willingness to have their nuclear fuel sent to Russia to verify no military usage, Iran reversed course today and said they were no longer willing to do so, which only allows the deal's critics to say "we told you so", and calls into question Iranian claims that they do not want nuclear weapons.

In the end, what Tehran wanted was to stop continued multinational sanctions. But their cleverness will backfire, as the move will kill any chance that Obama can get any real support for any deal among wavering Democrats. America's foreign policy will now resume its anti-Iran trajectory, especially with the Arab states stepping forward to confront Tehran.

And Hillary Clinton's 2016 foreign policy practically writes itself now: support for Israel and the Arab states against Iranian destabilization and Sunni extremism.

Deacon Blues @ 9:08 PM :: Link :: Comments (1) :: TrackBack (0) :: Spotlight :: Digg It! ::
« Link to Previous Entry