Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Voters Can't Handle the Truth And the Candidates Know It

Will "campaign rhetoric make it impossible for [Obama or Obamney] to be effective if elected president?"  You betcha!  Read CNN, Campaign rhetoric may tie next president's hands

So "[t]o corral unexcited base voters, both campaigns must rely less on positive messaging (what can they say?) and much more on galvanizing dislike and antipathy of 'the other side.' The dueling dog stories do that job perfectly. Which is why you'll keep hearing about them through the long weeks of electioneering ahead."  Read CNN, Why Obama vs. Romney is becoming a dogfight.

150 Years Later

UPDATE VI:  One hundred and fifty years ago [April 24-25, 1862], "Admiral Farragut's momentous, and surprisingly bloodless, conquest of the Big Easy."  Read The New York Times, The Fall of New Orleans.

UPDATE V: Read also The New York Times, The Meaning of Bull Run.

UPDATE IV: One hundred and fifty years ago today [July 21, 1861] "the first major battle of the Civil War." Read the play-by-play of Bull Run at The New York Times, Where Ignorant Armies Clash.

UPDATE III: The South seceded over states' rights you say? Wrong. "Confederate states did claim the right to secede, but no state claimed to be seceding for that right. In fact, Confederates opposed states' rights -- that is, the right of Northern states not to support slavery. " Read the Washington Post, Five myths about why the South seceded.

UPDATE II: One hundred and fifty years ago today [January 5, 1861] "armed secessionist insurgents from Mobile" overtook "Fort Gaines on the outer reaches of Mobile Bay." Read The New York Times, The Precarious Position of Lt. Reese, which notes that several months later, "as Charleston Harbor was lighted up during the bombardment of Fort Sumter, [Reese] was en route to Pensacola, part of a 500-man expedition headed to relieve Fort Pickens, which guarded the entrance to Pensacola Harbor and sat just 40 miles east of his previous post. The tiny garrison at Fort Pickens was one of the few forts to resist Confederate demands to surrender; with the timely arrival of Reese and the rest of the reinforcements, it managed to avoid the fate of Fort Gaines."

UPDATE: "One hundred and fifty years ago today [December 20, 1860] South Carolina declared its independence from the United States." For more on the intricate legal history that connected slavery to states’ rights — and how it led to secession, read The New York Times, Disunion: States’ Rights, but to What?

From November until April, follow the Civil War Sesquicentennial.

The Washington Post "commemorates the Civil War's 150th anniversary with commentary from experts, sesquicentennial news and an updating event calendar."

And The New York Times "revisits and reconsiders America's most perilous period -- using contemporary accounts, diaries, images and historical assessments to follow the Civil War as it unfolded."

The Question Isn't Whether to Raise Taxes, It's Whose Taxes Will Be Raised

"Contrary to the conventional wisdom, Republicans are not against all tax increases. Rep. Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, thinks poor people might need a tax hike. . .

At the Politico event, Mr. Cantor was asked if broadening the base means tax increases for the poor. 'I'm saying that, just in a macro way of looking at it, you’ve got to discuss that issue,' he said. 'I've never believed that you go raise taxes on those that have been successful, that are paying in, taking away from them, so that you just hand out and give to someone else.'

There are many things wrong with this nonsense, but I’ll just point out one: Mr. Cantor and other Republicans who push this line have it exactly backwards. The problem is not that so many Americans don’t pay taxes. It’s that so many Americans are too poor to pay taxes."

Read The New York Times, A Dastardly Plot to Avoid Taxes.