OK Republicans

Living in NC, I like to give the idiocy of our GOP state legislators some attention.  Thanks to FB, I’ve learned that (not surprisingly) they’ve got good company in Oklahoma.  Apparently, one of them has never heard of the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution:

A bill introduced Monday in the Oklahoma state Senate would forbid the United States Supreme Court from reviewing Oklahoma laws.

State Sen. Ralph Shortey (R-Oklahoma City) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 84, which would amend Oklahoma’s constitution to remove the U.S. Supreme Court’s ability to review the constitutionality of Oklahoma laws.

If Democrats introduce laws this dumb (I admit, it is possible), I certainly don’t hear about it.


The establishment comes down on Newt

We’ll never quite now how much of Newt’s seeming collapse in Florida is based on being destroyed in the ad market, being pummeled in the debates, or the Republican elites coming down hard on him.  But man, he sure looks done now (though this year, I’m definitely refraining from definitive pronouncements).

Damn, I should’ve sold Newt short a week ago!  Anyway, John Cassidy has a really nice piece about the GOP Establishment finishing off Gingrich the past week:

The only realistic scenario in which Gingrich could have defeated Romney was one in which he halted Mitt’s victory march in South Carolina and then took him down in Florida. When the Party elders saw Newt successfully carry out part one of this plan, they decided to halt his progress, and quickly. As Palin noted in her post, some of their attacks upon the former Speaker shaded the truth, others; such as the ones questioning his credentials as a Reaganite, were highly inflammatory. To the latter point, Palin recycled a 1995 quote from Nancy Reagan, who’d said, “Barry Goldwater handed the torch to Ronnie, and in turn Ronnie turned that torch over to Newt and the Republican members of Congress to keep that dream alive.”

Newt and his Alaska-based patron—for that is now her primary role—have just learned a lesson that many Democratic candidates have learned since 1968, when Richard Nixon put together the first recognizably modern Presidential campaign: never underestimate the ruthlessness of the G.O.P. electoral machine.

Yep.  You just don’t usually see a Republican on the losing side of the ruthlessness.  I did predict at lunch today that Newt will stick around as long as the media keeps paying attention to him.  Hopefully, that’s a good long while.  It’s just hard (though certainly not impossible) to see a road to victory at this point.

Reality in 12 easy charts

I was looking for some good visuals as I revise my economic policy lectures and I discovered that Jared Bernstein had put together a a set of CBPP charts that he nicely titles “Guideposts on the Road back to Factville.”  I like my title better.  Regardless, it is the handy data you want to win an argument with any conservative (i.e., introduce him to this handy non-Fox News world we call reality) on deficits, taxes, and economic inequality.  Hard to pick a favorite, but I think this classic does the trick pretty well:

Actually, there is one failing in this set as it does not include a chart showing how health care spending drives long-term debt.  Not that CBPP hasn’t taken care of this:

The Best album you never heard

Sorry, for posting to be a little slower.  You can blame my attendance last night at a Jeff Mangum show in Chapel Hill.  You’ve probably never heard of Mangum, or his former band, Neutral Milk Hotel, but he/they are responsible for one of my all-time favorite albums that chances are you’ve never heard of.   Here’s my favorite track from In the Aeroplane over the Sea, “Holland, 1945”

As Neutral Milk Hotel was having it’s greatest success over a decade ago, Mangum “snapped” as he put it last night, and completely left the music scene.  Thus, the fact that he is back touring after all these years led to some pretty excited fans and is an NPR-worthy story.  Anyway, last night he performed a mostly solo set that was a simply amazing performance.  I feel quite lucky that I was able to see him.

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