Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

When policies, truth, and just plain good campaigning fail, try voter suppression:

Here’s another for the annals of vote suppression. Calls have gone out to an untold number of North Carolina voters telling them that they need to fill out a registration form before they vote. Democracy North Carolina, a government watchdog that has posted audio (wav) of the call, says that the calls went out to “black neighborhoods.”

Sounds like the usual Republicon tried-and-true method for making sure Democrats don’t get out and vote, although TPM Muckraker hasn’t been able to trace this back to a particular group. Still, if you’re in North Carolina, might be a good time to let your friends know that this message is a steaming pile of bullshit.

Speaking of steaming piles of bullshit, Bush wants us to believe all our economic woes are due to folks not thinking his tax cuts are permanent:

To hear Bush tell it, the economic anxiety Americans feel right now is somehow related to tax cuts that expire in 2011 — tax cuts that primarily don’t help the middle class or low-income families anyway.

In all seriousness, how many people who are worried about their families’ finances right now are going to say, “I’ve been really worried, but now that I know my tax rate will remain the same in 2011 as it is 2010, I’m feeling better again”? That, in essence, is what the president argued with a straight face this morning. The answer for economic angst now is maintenance of existing tax cuts three years from now.

Ben at TP recently offered a competing explanation for economic anxiety.

[M]aybe American negative attitudes toward the economy stem from the housing and credit crises, job losses, rising unemployment, a volatile stock market, high gas prices, high family debt, flat wages, increasing budget deficits, a weak dollar, and rising health care costs — not to mention the effects of the $12 billion per month war in Iraq that is being bankrolled largely on borrowed funds.

Don’t know about you all, but I’m for Ben’s assessment. I think the latest round of tax cuts saved me all of $50. That doesn’t go very far toward filling the gas tank these days. Sure as fuck didn’t help my wages. You know how much of a raise his tax cuts gave me? $.02 per hour. Two. Cents. I’ll pay higher taxes in exchange for a better wage, thank you so very much.

And for those reality-challenged sorts who think tax cuts for the wealthy trickle down, just let me ask one thing: why is it that when my company’s taxes go down, my raise doesn’t go up?

McCain still needs to be bashed in the head with a clue-by-four:

This seems like an easy story for the media to pick up on, if reporters were interested — McCain keeps visiting specific locales for campaign purposes, but in nearly every instance, he either has or intends to undercut the facilities he’s visiting. This should be quite an embarrassment for McCain and his campaign. And yet, I have a hunch this will go completely unmentioned.

And just as an aside, I’ve been mulling over where McCain could go to talk to people who would benefit from his policy agenda. Country clubs? Corporate board rooms? Military-contractor conventions? No wonder McCain is showing up in odd places; he has limited options about where he can realistically go.

Too fucking right. You really need to go read up on his visit to a childrens’ hospital in Miami to get the full-flavored fuckwittery involved in this.

In better news, teens and young adults are far wiser than McCain:

The Pew Research Center’s latest report notes, “Trends in the opinions of America’s youngest voters are often a barometer of shifting political winds.” If so, the winds are at Democrats’ backs, and will be for a quite a while. While young people shifted to the Democratic Party a bit in the 1990s, the bottom fell out for the GOP and younger voters during Bush’s presidency.

In 1992, Republicans enjoyed a slight edge in party identification among 18-29 year olds, 47% to 46%. Four years later, Democrats claimed a six-point edge, 50% to 44%. By the time of the 2000 election, Democrats’ lead had expanded slightly to eight points, 49% to 41%.

And voters under the age of 30 have been making a beeline from the Republican Party ever since. In 2004, Democrats’ lead among young voters’ party ID expanded to 11 points, 51% to 40%. And in 2008, the margin became a landslide — Democrats 58%, Republicans 33%.

Who else gets the feeling the GOP has become the party of dinosaurs?

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