|—||A friend, after hearing that Rick Perry misread “Kim Jong Il” as “Kim Jong the Second.”|
This was too perfect not to post here.
Sadly, grammar fail. :P But still funny!
Accurate. You can do it too!
The video currently has 1,593 likes and 66,626 dislikes. — Ryking
So… you know how they think they’re going with popular demand?
So Rick, “maybe Texas should think about seceding” Perry has offered a couple of new proposals for his campaign that stand as Constitutional howlers.
In the first, he has promised to end lifetime appointments to federal judgeships. In the second, he has promised to cut Congress’ pay in half.
At least two things stand out about this for me.
First, there are real, historical reasons that federal judges get lifetime appointments and Congresspeople are paid meaningful salaries. As for judges, anyone who has ever read the Declaration of Independence in full—in other words, almost no one—would have read that one of the King’s techniques to abuse the colonies was to remove judges for political reasons, or otherwise manipulate their jurisdictions if they took actions the King disapproved of. The federal court was given lifetime appointments in the Constitutional system in order to ensure—or enhance the probability—that court actions were taken without political considerations. It doesn’t always work, but that was the intent.
Similarly, members of Congress get paid to make it possible for relatively ordinary citizens to have a chance to serve. The whole notion of paying the legislature was to open it to middle class people who would otherwise have to work full time to pay their bills, and so could not engage in public service. Again, this doesn’t always work as intended, but it’s certainly the case that if you cut Congressional salaries, it is even more likely that only the well-to-do could possibly afford to serve in Congress. I get why Perry might think this is a good idea, but whatever visceral joy there might be in squeezing Congressional salaries, it won’t make Congress work any better.
Second, Perry appears to have little to no understanding of how the amendment process works. As it happens, the president has no—zero, zilch, nada, keine—formal role in the process of amending the US Constitution. There are two paths by which the Constitution can be amended: 1) Congress proposes an amendment which then has to be ratified by 3/4 of the state legislatures; and 2) 2/3 of state legislatures call for a Constitutional Convention, and if any proposed amendments emerge from that Convention, they require the approval of 3/4 of the state legislatures. (Note that process 2 excludes Congress from the amendment process. It has never been used.)
Likewise, he appears to have no political sense of how Congress gets paid. Like it or not—and pretty much no one likes it—Congress decides how much Congress gets paid. Notably, under the terms of the 27th Amendment Congress can’t raise its own pay until an election has passed—e.g., after we have a chance to toss them out. But otherwise, it’s an act of Congress that sets Congressional pay, and while the President does have to sign the bill to make it a law, presidents always sign the Congressional pay act as the result of a simple political calculation: exactly how much of his or her legislative agenda is a President likely to get after vetoing Congress’ salary?
So, what exactly are the odds that Congress will approve a law to reduce its pay? Or to end lifetime appointments to the federal bench?
Some proposals are indeed sound and fury signifying nothing. Others are tales told by idiots. It takes a special mind to combine both: to make Shakespeare’s MacBeth real:
MacBeth, Act V, Scene 5
In general, I am of the opinion that there is little to no correlation between one’s college grades and one’s chances of success in one’s chosen career. As a practical matter, if you can get past the first gatekeeper of your chosen field—and this, as all of us who have struggled to make it know, is HARD—the rest of your career is largely shaped by how well you do the job you have, the opportunities and options you have available to you, and a little bit of serendipity—the stuff that happens by accident but leads you down some paths and not others.
So at one level I am not particularly bothered by the fact that Rick Perry was a not very interested student/big time party boy at Texas A&M. Nor was I particularly bothered that his gubernatorial predecessor, George Bush, was likewise disinterested in school. After all, FDR was a playboy in his younger days, and Lincoln never went to college. Being an A student does not mean you will be an A president. (See, for reference, Jimmy Carter.)
But I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve missed an important point about grades, at least in the case of people like Rick Perry. I’m beginning to think that, for Perry, the fact that he has been highly successful despite his poor school performance means that school basically doesn’t matter for anyone.
I’m still teasing through these ideas, so consider this a first draft of an evolving idea, but I think I’m on to something here. For example, an attitude that “school doesn’t really matter” seems to me to be a helpful explanation for Texas’ education “reforms” under Perry. Whether at the elementary and secondary levels, or at higher education, Texas’ schools have been riven by ideological and budget challenges that seem likely to weaken the system substantially.
What is striking about this in Perry’s case—and indeed in the case of many tea party candidates—is that they no longer seem to feel any need to even offer lip service to the notion that education is important to building success and opportunities for peoples’ lives. Where once the notion was that getting a good education was key to creating and maintaining a large middle class in America, now the emphasis is on boot strapping one’s way to the top. Indeed, many tea party types seem resentful that their tax dollars are used to educate “others” at all—whether illegal immigrants, or the poor who “belong” here. Education is a “cost” to be limited or eliminated, not a “good” that pays itself back in untold and often immeasurable ways.
We seem to have grown a generation of persons who believe that they are successful despite their educations rather than because of them. Which may be the biggest educational failing of them all.
This is why the media meme that Rick Perry is over is wrong:
Drudge has the scoop on Rick Perry’s third quarter fundraising haul: He raised more than $17 million, from more than 20,000 unique donors, half of whom were from outside Texas. It’s worth noting that Perry’s timeframe for the quarter was shorter than everyone else’s, since he didn’t actually…
Not an authority on the campaign, but wanted to say:
The media love their memes. They’ll chase that idea around and get lots of people to believe it until it gets proved wrong and they’ll call it a comeback.
Sensationalism: ruining accurate reporting.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Saturday that he would consider sending U.S. troops into Mexico to combat drug-related violence and stop it from spilling into the southern United States. “It may require our military in Mexico,” Perry said in answer to a question about the growing threat of drug violence along the southern border. Perry offered no details, and a spokesman, Robert Black, said afterward that sending troops to Mexico would be merely one way of putting an end to the exploding cartel-related violence in the region.
Black said Perry’s intention is to work with the Mexican government, but he declined to specify whether Perry is amenable to sending troops into Mexico with or without the country’s consent.
That’s just what we need. To escalate the so-called War on Drugs to the next level of stupidity, misery, and death.
and that’s totally gonna fly with Mexican cartels and the drug- bought government, who will absolutely turn this into a war, right Perry?
Does anyone recall… Pershing and Pancho Villa?
For those that don’t, Pancho Villa was a notorious Mexican outlaw who led a band on daring raids into American territory. General Pershing decided to lead a “Punitive Expedition” across Mexican territory to stop him, without Mexico’s consent.
It didn’t go well.
This is a little bit hard to believe because despite Perry’s many faults, he’s been pretty wise regarding immigration since his state directly deals with it. He has chosen smarter options over ones which satisfy the mob.
So of all the candidates, I’d expect this kind of stupid statement last from him.
No Rick Perry, that’s not what happened at the Boston Tea Party.
There’s a lot of myth about the Boston Tea Party.
The truth is that the American colonies were the lowest taxed of British holdings at the time, and the most prosperous. Parliament attempted to raise taxes several times but never did. The threat that they would without consulting the colonies was what spurred American discontent.
Tea was particularly lowly taxed. In fact, the taxes were so low that tea smugglers operating out of Boston tossed loads into the harbour. They stood to lose out if the price of tea was so low. How that became such a binding national event is a bit of a mystery to me.
The irony of course is that representation, and the ability to have their own laws chosen by their own continental congresses, was the only thing most American colonists really wanted. If Britain had given in, like they later would to Canada and Australia when they made the same noises, it’s possible history would have been very different.
The ideas of liberty and democracy were, at the time, dangerously liberal and perceived the way anarchy is today. That stuff, held so dearly on the constitution today, alienated tens of thousands of colonists who felt fealty to King and Country, and about 100,000 of them left to Canada at the end of the war.
The context for this post is the recent Republican debate in which Texas Governor Rick Perry defended Texas’ decision to educate the children of undocumented immigrants for the same price Texas educates children who are resident in Texas when they enter college. In other words, Texas charges such students “in state” instead of “out of state” rates.
Rhode Island just decided to do the same thing, by the way.
For this point of view, Rick Perry got booed by at least some of the Republican audience for the debate.
The anti-Perry case seems to boil down to the notion of incentives: if the state does anything nice for undocumented people, whether it’s offering education or housing or healthcare or anything else, such help both: 1) provides incentives for undocumented persons to come to the “friendly” state; and 2) means that legal residents’ taxes are taken to benefit illegal persons. And since we don’t want undocumented persons in the US (or a state), and we don’t think it’s right to take tax dollars in general, much less to take tax dollars to assist undocumented persons at all, then providing public services to undocumented persons is a prioriimmoral. It is wrong as a state of being.
Which is all fine well and good until you think about what made America great. And the answer is: other people’s smart, innovative and entrepreneurial people.
I’m obviously talking about immigration. Think about like this. Most of us have an “at home” bias. We grow accustomed to the routines and mores of our way of life, and even when things aren’t great, we stick with it. Inertia is, as Issac Newton well understood, a very powerful force in the universe.
So who moves? Who gets off their lazy butts and strikes out towards a better life? The research into this question finds pretty much the same answer over and over: people who are smarter, more creative and more entrepreneurial than the people who stay home and put up with their crappy lives.
What Perry understands, and indeed what America used to understand, is that it is the continual influx of talented, engaged, hard working people that has made America great. People bring their skills and their talents—and, yes, their troubles, too—to the United States, where these skills and talents find new and often surprising outlets, whether in their own lives or in the lives of their children.
What Perry understands, in other words, is that people have potential, and that a society can choose either to nurture and profit from that potential, or they can seek to repress and deny it. More, he seems to understand (and believe me, I hate that I am being sympathetic to Rick Perry) that we are all better off if we let people explore their potential regardless of the stamps on their documents.
America used to understand this too. It used to understand that its greatness lay in its ability to draw people of extraordinary skills and talents to the US, and while the movement of persons across borders always brings social tensions, that on balance the exchange has been to the profound benefit of the United States.
Now we’re booing people who just want a chance to use their skills and talents to help the United States be better. It’s insane. Unfortunately, in this election cycle it seems to be the Republican way.
This is what I just got in my email from a conservative pal. Right when I bitch about chain emails…
The email is a copy/paste of the “Pray for Rain” proclamation from Rick Perry, and a long, rambling prayer about God returning his favor to the U.S. and to Texas.
You know what would have worked out better? Rick Perry not cutting 75% of the volunteer fire department’s budget. They’re the main line of defense against Texas wildfires.
Always prefer practical solutions to prayer. You can do a lot more when you’re not on your knees.
We may be witnessing a very important shift in the character of the Republican Party. For decades now, it has tended to nominate very established names for president. But that may be changing. If Rick Perry does emerge as the front-runner, it is not just the story of one guy doing well; it is the story of a very different Republican Party than the one we have been familiar with for the last 30 or 40 years.
This is too perfect.
For me, the most telling moment last night was when the audience cheered when Rick Perry was asked about overseeing the executions of 234 people as Governor.
Those cheers reminded me that the Romans pretty much had a handle on the way politics works, “Christian” or not:
It’s all blood and circuses.