Well, I spent three hours working on a post on Saturday, about the so-called “Enthusiasm Gap” between Republican and Democratic voters leading up to November, and as soon as I was done – with links and everything – and tried to publish it, the damn thing disappeared without a trace. Nothing but blank space staring back at me where a truly incisive and timely discourse once lived. So I said “Fuck This” and took a break for a couple of days. Thankfully molly was able to fill in with her post this morning. Let’s try this again, with a few quick hits:
Redistributing Wealth Upward: Good piece from Dean Baker, explaining exactly why the HAMP program had nothing to do with helping people keep their homes, and everything to do with helping banks cut their losses.
Hippie Punching: This was included in my lost post, and is definitely worth reading, as it really goes to the heart of the whole “Enthusiasm Gap” bullshit. The real gap in our political culture is how the two parties treat their bases: Republicans embrace theirs openly, no matter how extreme or batshit insane their views are, while Democrats try to distance themselves as far as possible from theirs, for fear of being smeared as having the contamination of being “liberal.” Then, come election time, Democrats expect the base to pony up the bucks to support their candidates and vote for them in the election, and can’t, for the life of them, understand why people get pissed off at them.
Oh, and Susie Madrak is the fucking bomb.
The Whining of the Rich: Brad DeLong has a nice post about a rich douchebag named Todd Henderson (who’s name has been inexplicably x’d out in the most recent version of DeLong’s post; it’s still in the url, though, Dr. DeLong) who complains about how little disposable income he has left after paying for private school for his kids, sticking money into various retirement accounts, buying nice new cars, and paying the mortgage for a $1 million house. And, of course, letting the tax cuts expire on people, like him, making more than $250,000 a year is going to put a serious crimp in his plans to refurbish his yacht. See also here and here.
Elites vs. The Tea Party: I think Glenn Greenwald gets it exactly right here about the criticism of the Tea Party candidates. Like her mentor Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell is an obvious cartoon of a human being, and a dangerous extremist who in a rational world would not be allowed anywhere near the U.S. Senate, but limiting the pool of candidates for national office to well-connected rich people who went to the right schools is not what representative democracy is all about.
“Mice with fully functioning human brains” might be an improvement over, say, Ben Nelson: Speaking of Ms. O’Donnell, she is truly a piece of work. Transcript here of her sounding the alarm over human-animal hybrids. When Bill O’Reilly sounds like the reasonable one…
Tinkering around the edges: Nothing political here, just a really interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal about how innovations in engineering and evolution are more alike than we think.
And, finally, a rockin’ tune to send you off into the night (one of the cover tunes I’m working on singing with my son the death-metal guitarist). Enjoy.