-“And it is made up of Americans from all walks of life like a three-legged stool. It's the peace through strength Republicans, and I'm one of them, it's fiscal conservatives, and I'm one of them, and it's social conservatives, and I'm one of them. It's the Tea Party movement and I'm one of them.”
-Michelle Bachman today in Waterloo Iowa.
For some reason, that line reminded me of this:
“I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”
-Eugene V. Debs in 1918 after he was convicted for violating the Sedition Act for telling Americans to resist the draft in World War I.
American Socialist Eugene V. Debs ran for president in 1912 and 1920, getting over 900,000 votes each time; the latter while he was serving time in federal prison. The U. S. population was under 100 million in those days. I think it’s a fair bet that he surpassed any vote total that Bachman will garner next year.
-I had mixed feelings about President Obama loosing 30 million barrels of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve last week. He did it as a response to inaction by OPEC, and along with an equal release by other members of the International Energy Agency, but this country uses over 20 million barrels a day, three-quarters of that imported. On the other hand, I thought that maybe he was simply taking a page from the Bush family playbook, as Clinton did. Maybe he’s finally learning how to play the game, in time for his re-election campaign.
Still another angle is that Obama did this to check speculation in the futures market that has been driving up the price of oil absent any real shortage or demand. If this is his motive, I suggest he listen to Senator Bernie Sanders, who points out that under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act passed last year, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission has authority to regulate such derivatives trading, but has yet to exercise it. Sanders suggests that the President asks for the resignation of some of these sluggish watchdogs.
-And last, the Sunday Chronicle had an ad from Houston Area Realtors thanking six area congressmen for cosponsoring H. Res. 25, a resolution to preserve the current federal income tax deduction for interest paid on a first or second home mortgage. Well holy Mom and apple pie. This is the sort of issue that divides the Joe Biden/ Eric Cantor group that’s been negotiating raising the debt ceiling. The Democrats propose limiting tax deductions to families with over $500,000 in income to 10% of gross adjusted income. At my house, we’ve never been able to claim more than the standard deduction unless we were buying a house or having a baby that year, and I’m not happy about helping people buy McMansions or lake houses on my dime. Grover Norquist may call it a tax hike; I call it socialism for millionaires.