Members of Congress, candidates, and citizens have the opportunity to sign the pledge supporting repeal of ObamaCare. The reason for doing this before passage is an effort to define the movement. Even if Democrats buy enough votes to pass this (see Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson and a host of others), it’s not over.
Switzerland apparently now fines drivers based on their wealth in addition to their offense. A Swiss man was was fined $290,000 for a speeding ticket. Because of his wealth, the basic fine was multiplied by 130 to arrive at the higher figure.
Under Swiss law he was fined for the offence, then had the sum multiplied by 130 to account for his fortune.
The penalty is the highest speeding fine handed out in Switzerland. He was ordered to pay half of it in cash immediately with two years for the rest.
Is a crime committed by a rich man more serious than one committed by someone of more modest means? Should the penalty reflect the relative severity on the individual or should the fine for the same act be the same for all people?
As an analogy, a young man should get a longer prison term than an older man since the sentence would be such a larger percentage of the older man’s life expectancy. The slippery slope of such a principle could one day lead to differential pricing at supermarkets and other entities that perform a service labeled a “right” or “need” by a government. When the prices are all different, dependent on your wealth, what is the point of wealth?
Yesterday I finished the book Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? by Steve Fox, Paul Armentano, and Mason Tvert. There have been a variety of books written about marijuana prohibition, but this book is particularly timely and has an interesting twist on the issue. They address the past arguments against marijuana prohibition, such as the fact that it prevents law enforcement from responding to more serious crimes, prohibition has made it easier for children to obtain marijuana, regulating the drug would make it safer, etc. Their main point is that, while these arguments should be enough, they have not struck a chord in the American public.
The book offers a new approach: compare marijuana with alcohol
This is a potentially ground-breaking approach to the fight for marijuana legalization. Fox, Armentano, and Tvert are not new to the public policy scene; Fox works for the Marijuana Policy Project, Armentano NORML, and Tvert SAFER, all organizations working towards reforming our current marijuana laws. They have been engaged in countless debates about marijuana and the pros and cons of legalization. What they have seen in the past few years is that pitting marijuana and alcohol against one another is an extremely effective way of getting their point across.
Yesterday, I noted that Rothenberg Political Report had moved Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s seat to a likely GOP takeover. In the same post from Rothenberg, though not mentioned by me, was a note about the Senate race in Massachusetts:
In Massachusetts, it appears that Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) holds a statistically significant lead over state Sen. Scott Brown (R) with just days to go before the January 19 election. The one poll showing Brown up by one point appears to be an outlier. We’re moving the race from Safe to Clear Advantage for the Incumbent Party because of the small chance that Brown could pull up a huge upset in a low turnout election. But we continue to believe that Coakley will win, though her margin could be so narrow as to cause more jitters on the Democratic side.
Shortly after the Rasmussen poll from Massachusetts yesterday, Rothenberg slightly changed their tune, knocking the seat from “Clear Advantage for the Incumbent Party” to “Narrow Advantage for Incumbent Party”:
The Senate race in Massachusetts is ending in a flurry of money and activity. With just days before the Tuesday election, public and private polls show Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) with anywhere from a solid lead to a statistically insignificant one over state Sen. Scott Brown (R). Brown’s movement in the race as stirred the Democratic nest and now Coakley, the state Democratic Party, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are leveling attack ads against Brown.
The protesters marked their bodies with a number of messages such as, “Something to hide?” and “Be a good citizen — drop your pants.”
One woman has the word “diaper” scrawled on her lower back with an arrow pointing to her underwear and the word “prosthetic” printed on her leg. The word “piercing” and an arrow point to one of her breasts. Another woman dressed in a beige sweater and flesh-colored tights wears a sign reading “pixelated.” (To address privacy concerns, security officials say the scanners can be programed to produce a blurred, pixelated image of passengers to protect their modesty.)
Here is video of the protest:
Rasmussen, who had Scott Brown trailing Martha Coakley by 9 points just last week, now shows the Massachusetts Senate race now in a statistical dead heat:
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state finds Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley attracting 49% of the vote while her Republican rival, state Senator Scott Brown, picks up 47%.
Three percent (3%) say they’ll vote for independent candidate Joe Kennedy, and two percent (2%) are undecided. The independent is no relation to the late Edward M. Kennedy, whose Senate seat the candidates are battling to fill in next Tuesday’s election.
Coakley is supported by 77% of Democrats while Brown picks up the vote from 88% of Republicans. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, Brown leads 71% to 23%. To be clear, this lead is among unaffiliated voters who are likely to participate in the special election.
The election is next Tuesday. It’s going to come down to the wire.
Rothenberg Political Report has moved Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s seat in Nevada from a “toss up” to “lean takeover” by Republicans:
New polling confirms that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) is mired near 40% in general election ballot tests against all potential opponents, even those voters know nothing about. It will be extremely difficult for him to pull out a win, as Sens. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and John Sununu (R-NH), and more recently New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D), found out.
Reid’s most recent controversial comments don’t help because they keep the story focused on him, rather than on his opponents. Given Reid’s current standing with voters, he should be viewed as a slight underdog for reelection, which is why we are moving this race from Toss-up to Lean Takeover for the GOP.
According to Rothenberg, there are now eight toss up seats and three leaning take over for the GOP.
The tea party movement was always about the unorganized masses of concerned, passionate Americans uniting together with a common voice to protest the direction of the country. From that passion, others have sought to make money off the tea party movement. Some have done it for good. Many have not. And more and more we are seeing some people rise up to claim the mantle of “leader” of the tea party movement. Many of us who have been around for a while just want to know who the heck these so called leaders are.
The tea party “leaders”, if there are any, are actively at work in their home towns changing things one letter to the editor, one contribution to a candidate, and one protest at a time. They are not on bus tours profiting off the hard work and sometimes the names of others (some also on the bus with no pay) headed to Nashville licking their lips at the $500.00 per person payments coming in to their for profit company.
Sarah Palin is certainly giving the National Tea Party Convention legitimacy. But at what cost? I am fearful this thing will blow up and harm her. I am more fearful that a bunch of well meaning people from across the nation are going to show up, expect more, and then grow disaffected or burn out when the deliverables they expect do not come in.
Hindsight is 20/20, but voters think the bailouts were a bad idea:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 30% of voters think it was a good idea for the government to provide bailout funding for banks and other financial institutions. Fifty-six percent (56%) hold the opposite view and believe it was a bad idea. These findings are virtually unchanged from April of last year.
The new numbers are similar when it comes to the bailout funding for GM and Chrysler. Thirty-two percent (32%) like the idea of the auto bailouts, but 58% don’t. These findings, too, are consistent with what voters have thought of the auto bailouts all along.
Government bailouts are one of the issues that have fueled populist anger over the past year. Seventy-three percent (73%) of those in the Political Class think the auto bailouts were a good idea. Response from those with populist or Mainstream views are just the opposite: 73% of this group see the auto bailouts as a bad idea. The numbers are nearly the same for the bailouts of the financial industry.
Oliver Stone’s moral relativism reaches new lows with a TV show aimed at looking at Adolf Hitler’s point of view. Here he rambles about the point of views of Stalin and Hitler:
“Stalin has a complete other story,” Stone said. “Not to paint him as a hero, but to tell a more factual representation. He fought the German war machine more than any single person. We can’t judge people as only ‘bad’ or ‘good.’ Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and its been used cheaply. He’s the product of a series of actions. It’s cause and effect … People in America don’t know the connection between WWI and WWII … I’ve been able to walk in Stalin’s shoes and Hitler’s shoes to understand their point of view. We’re going to educate our minds and liberalize them and broaden them. We want to move beyond opinions … Go into the funding of the Nazi party. How many American corporations were involved, from GM through IBM. Hitler is just a man who could have easily been assassinated.”…
There’s so much wrong with this paragraph that it is impossible to know where to start. Oliver Stone seems to be convinced that American popular perspective must be completely false and so Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin must have had understandable points of view. What the point of this exercise is I don’t know.
I generally would agree with the sentiment that Adolf Hitler has been portrayed cartoonishly for the most part. Efforts like the German Der Untergang (The Downfall) do alot to accurately portray Hitler, but they do not play him up as a sympathetic figure, because he’s not one.