Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bush the Lighter

If you can't tell already, I find Jeb Bush to be an intellectually contemptible person. I am not the only one to realize the "smart one" label was laughably misplaced. It's as if he doesn't bother to keep up and assumes his conservative instincts will see him through. Recently he went on record saying the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is no longer needed; specifically stating that a federal role was not needed to ensure voting access in certain states with a history of voting rights denial, e.g., Jim Crow. He said this with what should have the benefit of hindsight. It should have been as obvious to him as the rest of us that, because of the Court ruling, the states no longer bound by the VRA, primarily in the South, immediately began re-implementing voting restrictions, measures that would not have passed muster with the VRA- and all done by Republican-controlled states and municipalities because there was no longer VRA-mandated federal oversight.

This is precisely what what liberals warned would happen and precisely what the Supreme Court majority assured us would not happen.
Speaking of pompous presidential candidates, those of a certain age remember how George Bush the Elder played the racial fear card with that infamous Willie Horton political attack ad, the one that attacked Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis because he, as Massachusetts governor, had allowed Mr. Horton, a felon, to have a weekend pass. You know the story; Willie stabbed and raped at the first opportunity. Bad call, Gov. You know why you remember it? Because Republicans played that Horton attack ad incessantly and made sure everyone had their primal fears rubbed raw. Republicans know fear helps them win elections; they stoke it every chance they get.

So it is interesting how Huckabee has largely avoided a similar fate. You do remember the incident, don't you? OK, most of us don't, nor did we hear much about it at the time, which is really my point. Fortunately, some have seen fit to remind us.  And yes, if Huckabee starts to climb in the polls, one or more of his Republican opponents may bring up his Willie Horton moment.
Business Insider reports that economists are surprised that consumers are saving more than expected. This can be a problem in an economy where consumer spending plays such a dominant role. "Secular stagnation," they say. They shouldn't be surprised. As I have said more than once about job security; it has been stripped away for millions of us, and when people know they don't have job security, along with low wages and benefits, they do the rational thing and cut back on spending, especially when credit card debt is already high. It really should be obvious why households feel the need to save and pare down debt.

All that cheap plastic crap from China will sit on Walmart's shelves for a little longer, so there is a good side, I suppose.

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