New objective

Keeping Romney below 47% of the vote.
Yes We Can!

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

13 thoughts on “New objective”

  1. Romney’s situation may be similar to that of Gore 2000; the media seem to have decided on him as The Designated Dork for this election cycle and that may well persist until election day.

    1. and Gore won the popular vote by half a million votes … and without enemies in high judicial places, he would have won.

  2. Given the ham-fisted, foot-shooting quality of Romney’s latest efforts, I’m guessing he’s not even getting any backdoor guidance from Rove anymore.

  3. Thing is, Romney has now revealed his tremendous short-comings. This wouldn’t be a problem for the plutocratic backers, and their employees in the media, IF they knew Romney would be a compliant puppet who wouldn’t grab the reins from their hands after January 20, 2013.

    But Mitt will NEVER be a puppet. In his mind, he’s the one. And the plutocrats know it, so they have to dump him now.

    1. “…if they knew Romney would be a compliant puppet…”

      If any Republican bosses think that, they have forgotten the lesson Roscoe Conkling learned about Chester Arthur.

      1. I think we can be extremely confident that they have forgotten the lesson Roscoe Conkling learned about Chester Arthur. Or more likely that they never knew it. I have only the vaguest idea who Roscoe Conkling was. I have a vague recollection of Arthur not turning out to be what one might have imagined (he was from NY machine). But all I know about is instituting the civil service.

        Look I know that the blogosphere is full of political junkies who slip into assuming that ordinary voters know as much about politicians as we do, but frankly discussing the possibility that plutocrats take off enough time from amassing great wealth to know who Roscoe Conkling was is a bit extreme.

        1. No wait isn’t he the guy who said that the commerce clause had to be interpreted narrowly because of something he wrote in his secret diary ?

          OK not quite. He was the guy who said that corporations had to be interpreted as persons with the right to equal protection under the law because of something he wrote in his secret diary.

          http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/history/page/3/ (search for Roscoe)and get the so very deLongian

          Justinian: But Bainbridge talks about the legislative history. He says the legislative history requires his reading of the Fourteenth Amendment.

          John of Salisbury: Now we get to the interesting case of Roscoe Conkling. Roscoe Conkling claimed that the drafters of the Fourteenth Amendment had used the word “persons” in the equal protection clause so that subsequent courts could use it to protect corporations from legislatures–and that the drafters had kept this secret throughout the ratification process, and that he was only now in 1882 revealing the true meaning of what the states had ratified.

          Justinian: Under what theory of ratification is a Court “required” to adopt a secret meaning of a law–a meaning unknown to those who adopted it?

          Edward Coke: Got me.

          Justinian: If Roscoe Conkling had written an extra clause on the original of the Amendment text in invisible ink, and the Amendment had then been ratified, would Bainbridge say that the invisible ink text was a valid part of the Constitution?

          Edward Coke: Got me.

  4. I have not seen any comments on one aspect of the Romney video. That is this: Yes, Romney was speaking to a bunch of people (those in the seats who had dinner served to them) who were of the same economic class and ideological bent as Romney himself. However, it seems to be unnoticed that there were those in attendance who were clearly within the category of those whom Romney classified as moochers. I refer, of course, to the wait staff.

    Having represented a caterer, I know that the practice in the industry is only to pay the wait staff for the events they actually work at. As a practical matter, this means that they work rather sporadically. Additionally, of course, their hourly wage is relatively low, although it is supplemented by tips. (Again, based on my experience, the wage is so low that the gratuity is generally built the price structure. That is, the cost of the banquet is $X per plate and there is a gratuity added on. Thus, the actual hourly wage may be lower than the standard federal minimum wage.) It is more than likely that many of them do not pay federal income taxes or pay such taxes at a relatively low rate.

    Of course, the members of the wait staff were invisible to Romney and his comrades. Romney et al. simply do not perceive the staff as having opinions or feelings that one must take notice of. (Going further, given the fact that the event took place in Boca Raton, we can assume that a high percentage of the wait staff were Hispanic. Yet, Romney never thought that his comments might offend the ethnic sensibilities of these individuals.)

    The point is this: Romney is beyond being callous. He is simply blind to anyone who is outside of his economic class or who is of a different ethnicity. This, standing alone, disqualifies him from being president.

    1. If you look at the video, it was shot from between stacks of glasses someplace (counter? bar? table?), away from the banquet tables. It was almost certainly shot by a member of staff.

      Of course, rather than reconsidering their ideas, it’s likely the Masters Of The Universe will merely redouble the controls and surveillance they impose on those proles they permit into their presence.

      1. Ahhh, the servant problem!

        Remember that the “right of privacy” was devised by Brandeis as the right of rich people not to be featured in the society pages.

    2. Thta’s right. You’ve put effort and analysis into your statement of the case. Pity (a human tragedy really) the principle can also be so succinctly stated as “there is the Romney, and then there is the Help.”. It sounds flip, but it’s just a succinct statement of the case.

  5. Baldwin 50% Thompson 41% in the latest Marquette U Law School poll. Reports from Wisconsin are that that poll leans R. That is a reversal from a month ago, when the same poll had Thompson up by the same margin.

    In Maine, King running as an (I) leads Summers (R) 43-35. Dill (the D) is polling around 15%.

    In Virginia, Kaine leads Allen (R-Macaca) 51- 43.

    In Massachusetts, Warren is up 5 over Brown. In Connecticut, Murphy is up by 5 over McMahon.

    Maybe Rmoney shot a bunch of Senate candidates in the head, too?

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