Winter is coming. As the hymn goes:
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see:
O thou who changest not, abide with me!
This sounds like I'm depressed, but I'm not. I don't think I've ever been quite so aware of the seasonal cycle as this year; perhaps it's because I encountered change and decay as a subject to be encountered visually, as rich color and, thanks to my gardening style, layers of complexity and entanglement. Thanks to my new camera lenses! (And it is a cycle; "thou who changest not" is, IMNSHO, a nonsense. Everything changes, nothing is still. Try photographing a flower and you'll see it's in constant motion, even when there seems to be no breeze.)
But first, the enemy! If you want to see the desire for that which "changest not," look here:
During Tuesday night’s Denver Post debate in the 6th Congressional District, Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff backtracked from his support four years ago for a single-payer health care system. At the time, the Affordable Care Act had just been passed by Congress, and Romanoff was running to the left of Sen. Michael Bennett as he challenged him unsuccessfully in the party primary.
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman’s campaign seized Wednesday on what it called Romanoff’s “180-degree reversal,” suggesting his more moderate position this year was a “white wash” of his record. Romanoff said his position favoring a government-paid system changed because the health care reform law is now in place, and he doesn’t think it should be scrapped.
A couple of implications: Read below the fold...
[I'm stickying this because it's an important post. It's everything that would work against the 12-point platform. --lambert]
But first, a note on language: Golem uses "overclass." I think that's preferable to "the 1%." "Overclass" clearly states who's over and who's under; who rules and who's ruled; who exploits and who is exploited, unlike "the 1%," which, although appealing rhetorically, is a mere statistical distribution, and not all that accurate, really: it's the 0.01% that are the real malefactors of great wealth. "The 1%" confuses, say, a wealthy Hollywood entertainment lawyer with Paul Singer or Carlos Slim. That's not to say both aren't on the same side, but they play different roles in civil society, and actually may have differing interests. "You gotta know the territory," as they say in The Music Man.
Herewith, the plays in the playbook and Golem's comment: Read below the fold...
Bees are still working!
Schneider Tele 2x. (Boy, am I happy Dromaius chivvied me into getting this lens that I can't really afford. Lots of fun!) This photo is also interesting because it shows how the pollen remaining varies from flower to flower. Read below the fold...
The same idea, but different:
I wanted to try for the poppies in the front yard again, but they're all gone, now. (I did see a bee working, so that was heartening.) So I went to the wildflowers in the back: Read below the fold...
Before the “no” vote on Scotland's independence, The New York Times, carried a post by Neil Irwin in the Upshot making the point that the then upcoming vote “shows a global crisis of the elites.” He argues that the independence drive reflects “. . . a conviction — one not ungrounded in reality — that the British ruling class has blundered through the last couple of decades.” He also thinks that this applies to the Eurozone and the United States to varying degrees, and is “. . . a defining feature of our time.”
Irwin then updated his first post last night, expanding it and recognizing the victory of the “no” votes in the referendum. His new post did not add anything essential to his “global crisis of the elites” diagnosis, so the references and quotations below come solely from his pre-vote post. But the points made apply equally well to his update.
To summarize his argument, for decades now, the elites in major modern, industrial nations have committed leadership blunders and created great discontent among the citizens of their nations, to the point where their polices have contributed to damaging their economies seriously, and the rise of popular resistance embodied in extremist parties and independence movements. Elites have had vast power, but have not lived up to their responsibilities to serve the people of their nations. Discontent with their actions and results is so high that many are questioning the legitimacy of the very governing institutions that claim to serve them, and are exhibiting a greater and greater willingness to do something about these institutions and the policies that they and the elites are generating. Scotland is but one example of that, and his implication is that more examples are in the offing.
It's significant, some might say even remarkable, that Irwin's article appeared in The New York Times, since it is a flat out criticism of elite leadership over a number of decades and a warning to elites to improve their performance or deal with the consequences. But I think it still misses the most important question. That question is whether there is a global crisis of elites or a global crisis of democracies? I'm afraid I think that the crisis of elite leadership is only a symptom of the underlying cause of a broader global crisis of democracy. Read below the fold...
(Details of the plan aside). VT Digger:
In 2012, Shumlin received 57 percent of the ballots cast.
[Eric Davis, a retired professor of political science from Middlebury College] speculates that [Republican Scott Milne] will get 38 percent to 42 percent of the vote, and Shumlin will land between 48 percent and 52 percent. Milne will have to fight off Shumlin and Dan Feliciano, the libertarian candidate, who will likely get 8 percent to 10 percent of ballots cast, depending on how much media coverage he gets in the next several months.
"I expect Shumlin to come in first," Davis said. "But Shumlin needs to work hard to get above 50. If he wants a mandate for single payer he needs half of the votes cast." He suggested that the Democratic field organizers are going to need to work hard to get independents who lean Democratic to turn out and get Shumlin's percentage above 50.
Dunno the VT scene well enough to know whether a retired Middlebury prof gets to set the rules of the expectations game. But it sounds plausible. Read below the fold...
Thomas Frank has a good write-up in Salon:
The wrecking crew is in full swing in Kansas, and for once the people there seem to be ticked off about it. Once the hero of the state’s sin-hating millions, Sam Brownback is unpopular today. Indeed, his situation is so bad that the only sure way he can be rescued is by a mass disregard for economic reality—by cognitive blinders strapped on simultaneously by millions of individuals.
Either that, or by the culture wars.