The United States National Intelligence Council, which advises the CIA, publishes occasional reports forecasting the long-term implications of global trends. As Parag Khanna writes this Sunday in The New York Times, it see ahead a “Nonstate World,” a landscape where governments have "given up on real reforms and ... subcontracted many responsibilities to outside parties, which then set up enclaves operating under their own laws." And their “second great political trend of the age”: devolution.
State & Local Politics
Kid singer Miley Cyrus speaks her mind now where presidents did before her and John Belushi once charmed America. It tells us more about New York City and what has come of it than it tells about Cyrus. Possibly we know all we need to know already. But it informs about President Obama as well. I see him at this stage and with friends like this as a contemporary version of Franklin Pierce, considered by some to be the worst president ever. He was so weak and uncommanding that the country actually fell apart under his watch. That time is like this time.
Then, over here we have The Hammer.
As Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) announced her historic campaign for governor, the list of arrogant and anachronistic Texas Republicans embarrassing the Lone Star State grew with the ludicrous scene of Texas Republican Rep. Randy Neugebauer berating a park ranger outside the World War II Memorial, falsely blaming her for the Republican government shutdown.
The ranger stood her ground; other workers and vets came to her defense; and Neugebauer staged a humiliating retreat as bystanders cheered the ranger. As Davis announced her campaign to continue her leadership to provide better education to every young Texan, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) offered his latest apology to veterans offended by his comments regarding World War II and was embarrassed during a widely discussed meeting with Senate Republicans, who mostly detest him and told him his fanatic self-promotion was hurting the GOP and raising the risk of a default and new financial crash.
“The apocalypse is upon us,” says Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). The loyal governor of Vermont, Peter Shumlin, slips into old school agit-prop: The Tea Party “pirates” and the Republicans are “recklessly holding our economy hostage.”
Pirates and hostage-takers, terrorists too, says White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer. And Drudge cites, plaintively, fatalistically, headlines from abroad outlining the end of America. But perhaps the crisis and decline we are seeing today is the beginning, not the end, a crisis of creative transition of historic proportions: America is dying on the edges and awakening in the middle. Power is seeking a new center. In a free state, this will occur naturally. When politics blocks it, trouble inevitably follows. And it will get worse next week in the debt-ceiling crisis.
I have yet to see "The Wire," but see if I can guess what it is about. I hear it’s great. It is a law and disorder contrast in one of those Eastern cities in which the tai chi balance of yin and yang has descended to 90 percent unfixable and terminal disorder and 10 percent compensating aggressiveness well on the road to local fascism. Like Philadelphia in the mid-1970s, when so many Pulitzer Prizes were won at The Philadelphia Inquirer, where if a visiting European innocently happened to walk from Temple University downtown to Independence Hall, she could very well be killed or brutally beaten. And the cops would beat and torture suspects and perps even to the death. One time they even bombed a neighborhood, killing 11 and destroying 65 homes. So many American places are like that now.
Mike Pence absolutely gets it right. As reported in The Hill in August, Gov. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) used a weekly Republican address to tout Indiana's state healthcare program as a conservative alternative to President Obama's signature healthcare law.
"The Obama administration is creating confusion in the marketplace," Pence said. "It’s costing jobs, discouraging investment and making the future bleak for too many families.
“But there is an alternative to waiting on Washington, D.C., to come to its senses, and more Americans are realizing every day that the cure for what ails this country is starting to emerge ... not in our nation’s capital but in our nation’s state capitals.”
President Reagan reminded us that the states created the federal government, the federal government did not create the states, he said, and “All across this country 30 Republican governors are working hard to push back and preserve freedom.”
As the idiot debate unfolds in Washington about whether the U.S. government will be shut down by those the majority leader of the U.S. Senate correctly calls anarchists, mark Oct. 3 on your calendar as the date that will change Texas history, when state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) announces her campaign for governor.
From that date forward, Texas politics will never be the same.
CNN reported recently that a senior House GOP aide in Washington, criticizing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), said Davis has bigger (fill in the blank) than Cruz! Davis has circulated a letter to her friends in Texas letting them know that on Oct. 3 she will make a major announcement about her political future.
England, Pope Francis, Vladimir Putin and Neil Young are all joining up now with the nefarious Tea Party, teaming up in distaste of that spontaneous moment when the president woke up just a short time ago and decided to bomb Syria.
Just like Brig. General Jack D. Ripper in the 1964 classic "Dr. Strangelove" with Slim Pickens as Major ‘King’ Kong: “Well, boys, I reckon this is it - nuclear combat toe to toe with the Roosskies.” The hippies say no. But he’ll always have Paris. And Bill O’Reilly. I’ve a suggestion: Make it against the law for the president to see the world outside our borders as his own magic garden to do with as he will.
The hour will soon arrive when Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis (D) announces whether she will run for governor, and if she does, Texas politics will never be the same.
The challenges facing Republicans in Texas are similar to the challenges facing Republicans nationally, which is what I discussed in my new column about the battle between traditional Republicans and a new breed of old-idea Republicans I labeled the neo-confederates.
Texas will almost certainly go blue. The question is how fast. If Davis runs for governor, where she will be a fighting underdog with a real but long-shot chance of winning; and if Hillary Clinton runs for president, where she will have an even money chance of carrying Texas, the surge of Democrats in Texas will be accelerated. I emphasize that while Davis and Clinton are both pro-choice, they expand their vote with their long-term championing of issues such as pay equity, jobs, veterans support, and issues important to seniors, among many others.
They are shrill. They say things no one else says. They live as far away from power as you can get without being someplace else, which might be considered running away.
They say kooky things, and possibly we only turn to them in kooky times: Howard Dean and Sarah Palin. Now, as The Hill reports, ObamaCare’s cost-cutting board — memorably called a “death panel” by Sarah Palin — is facing growing opposition from Democrats who say it will harm people on Medicare. And Howard Dean is speaking up. I hope to see him soon on "Dancing with the Stars."