Year of the Nutjob
September 02, 2010
How does the class of 2010 stack up against its lunatic predecessor, of 1994? There are the well-known data points—Rand Paul’s alleged kidnapping of a college classmate; Sharron Angle’s assertion that there are “domestic enemies” in Congress—that suggest we’ve reached a new zenith of crazy, making Newt Gingrich’s bunch look like sensible establishmentarians by comparison. But Paul and Angle only begin to capture the strangeness of candidates out there who may soon be occupying your Capitol and governor’s mansion.
The Great Basin
September 02, 2010
In her campaign to displace Harry Reid from the U.S. Senate, Nevada Republican Sharron Angle has hit a few snags. Among the lessons learned: When holding a press conference, take at least one question. When discussing how to deal with electoral defeat, avoid suggesting “Second Amendment remedies.” When you’ve once complained that black football jerseys are satanic, prepare to have someone reveal it.
Meg Whitman's Freedom to Swing
August 30, 2010
By and large, Republican candidates and their handlers hope that swing voters snooze through the primary season, and don’t notice those ads and speeches attacking intra-party opponents as godless RINOs who want to sell out our priceless heritage of freedom for earmarks and the affection of media elites. We’ve certainly had examples this year of Republican candidates (e.g., Rand Paul and Sharron Angle) who’ve forgotten to change gears—and stop grinding their teeth--when transitioning from a primary to a general election audience. But you sure can’t accuse California gubernatorial candidate
Sharron Angle Versus The Satanic Football Jersey
August 19, 2010
One of the reasons I've been fascinated with Sharron Angle's Senate campaign is that she is not merely a candidate with extremely radical views, like Rand Paul, she inhabits an ideological grey area where radicalism starts to become indistinguishable with actual mental illness. Here is a column recounting her religious-based objections to a high school football team wearing black jerseys: The heart of the story starts in 1991 and, perhaps surprisingly, with the Tonopah High School football team. Mired in a dismal season, the Muckers traveled to Laughlin that fall.
Conservative Economic Hysteria In 1993 And Today
August 18, 2010
One aspect of the current bout of right-wing economic hysteria that nobody seems to mention is that the exact same thing happened in 1993 when Bill Clinton passed a deficit reduction bill that raised the top tax rate. It was class warfare, socialism or worse. Publications like Forbes and Fortune wrote stories urging rich people to give up their citizenship or flee the country in order to spare themselves Clinton's punitive anti-rich policies. There were bumper stickers depicting the "C" in "Clinton" as a hammer and sickle. Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John L.
Tea Bags, Wind Bags, and Moneybags
August 05, 2010
So let’s say you’re a Republican politician who’s been working the far right side of the political highway for years, getting little national attention other than the occasional shout-out in Human Events. Or let’s say you’re a sketchy business buccaneer with a few million smackers burning a hole in your pocket, and you’ve decided that you’d like to live in the governor’s mansion for a while, but you can’t get the local GOP to see you as anything more than a walking checkbook who funds other people's dreams. What do you do?
Tactical Radicalism And The End Of The GOP Establishment
July 18, 2010
One interesting sidelight of the current election cycle is that there are several races in which the Republican establishment has either lost control of the race or lost any sense of its own partisan self-interest. The Nevada Senate race is a prime example. Harry Reid, once a dead man walking, is now sitting on a nice lead because Republicans nominated a lunatic to oppose him. "A total f*** up by the state and national Republicans to allow Angle to get nominated," a source notes to Ben Smith. But of course there are numerous such fuckups.
The Number of the Day
July 13, 2010
If only unemployment lasted such a short time. Instead, the average unemployment spell now lasts: 35.2 weeks This economic downturn is the worst in several generations. People who lose their jobs are staying unemployed longer and longer. And, Sharron Angle’s inane assertions aside, it’s generally not by choice. Instead, it is just extremely difficult for many people to find work. That’s apparent from the graph below, which shows the average number of weeks someone who becomes unemployed stays that way.
July 08, 2010
--Stephen Moore wants to finance tax cuts for the rich with tax hikes for the poor. --Sharron Angle is having a bad day. A very bad day. --Why saying Washington shouldn't help the states "is like refusing to put the fire out in a burning building until it’s brought fully up to code." --Paul Krugman: "how much can the Fed help?
Barnicle Hoist On Own Petard
July 06, 2010
This morning, Mike Barnicle said that Sharron Angle "sounds like a mental patient." Tom Bevan retorts, "Sharron Angle may 'sound like a mental patient' to Mike Barnicle and the East Coast chattering class, but to voters in Nevada the biggest thing she has going for her is that she isn't Harry Reid." The East Coast chattering class? You can't say that to Mike Barnicle.